Category: Reviews

REVIEW: Amongst Thieves | March For The Sun

Amongst Thieves’ EP March For The Sun is the follow up to their debut Revise. Reform. Big things were expected from these guys after a good debut and excellent reputation for performing live. They are fast becoming one of York’s most influential and innovative bands.

The first track on the EP, Alone will make you “Let go of everything you used to know” restoring your faith in the post-hardcore genre. Joshua Nash’s vocals are humble and raw yet impressively diverse. There is a clear chemistry between all of the members that has successfully been portrayed in this track. Musically this song is on point and it is made obvious how talented this band are at what they do.

The second track is titled 101 and is more hard-hitting and authentic than the previous. The emotive vocals are matched with fantastic guitar work and a solid bass and drum beat. Nash shows the extent of the diversity of his vocal range making you really sit up and take notice of what Amongst Thieves have to offer. The lyrical theme of moving on and letting go is something that almost everyone can relate to. Therefore, this song is one that is easy to personally connect to.

Stay Close is the EP’s love song offering; telling of sacrifice and belonging. Light and dark tones are used brilliantly guiding the listener through waves of multiple emotions. The drumming in the song’s breakdown is story-telling percussion at its best. Stay Close is a successful musical effort to play with emotions in all the right ways.

The EP takes a different, somewhat darker, turn with this song. There is an eerie, uneasy sense to the track that hooks you in. Again, great vocals from Nash add even more profundity and range like it has done with the entire record. Although it is not a contender for the best track, it does give the EP somewhere different to explore, which is needed at this point. It gives the running order a nice break up and keeps the interest and attention of the audience.

The penultimate track What We Become wraps up everything that you have loved so far in the EP into one song. A true masterpiece from this fantastic band who possess this song and maintain the high level they have established. It is impossible not to have this track stuck in your head and be singing it to yourself for the rest of day.

Check out the final, title track on the EP below and be sure to download the full EP at the band’s website.

Original Date: 24/10/2016

REVIEW: Faux Pas – Debut EP

Faux Pas are an Indie-Punk band from York and released their debut EP at the end of December. The four piece Yorkshire lads have previously performed at Reading and Leeds as well as providing support for The Sherlocks and Embrace.

As soon as the first track of the EP One In Three starts, listeners will wonder why they have not already given this band a listen. This track in almost perfectly executed and the combination of satisfying guitar work and toning drumming makes the music melt into your ears. Vocals from Reuben Cowl are a delight to hear and add character to Faux Pas’ sound as a whole. It is evident that the band have worked extremely hard on perfecting their work together and this chemistry really comes across in this song.

You Can Own Me is the second offering on the EP and provides a gentler tone to the project. Despite its more lenient ambience, the track still maintains a determined edge to it that was built in One In Three. You Can Own Me is all about atmosphere and when it comes to this, Faux Pas clearly know what they are doing. The song has a somewhat Arctic Monkeys frame to it however just manages not to fall into the trap of being a copy-cat piece. Toward the end, the track takes a rather disconcerting turn making a subtle flip to a more eerie setting before abruptly finishing. This leaves a sort of uncomfortable feeling but also captivates enough to leave you wanting to go back for more.

The truly stand-out song on this EP comes in the form of third track, Downtime. The different shades that are accomplished in this composition is simply fantastic. This is the song that will get its audience excited about what Faux Pas can and hopefully will achieve. Although every element is on point, the drumming just reaches another level with Downtime, in a way that you wouldn’t think was possible in this genre. This review cannot go without praising the excellent guitar solo from Lewis Egdell that takes you by the hand and leads you to the end of the song.

The closing song I Hate Dancing does a great job of reinforcing the sound and effect that the rest of the EP has constructed to this point. A catchy chorus, suitably matching guitar and rhythm work, what more could you want from an easy listening song to round up your Faux Pas experience. The instrumental breakdown in I Hate Dancing is entertaining and fits admirably within the overall composition of both the track on its own as well as the entire EP.

Faux Pas should be very proud of their debut EP as it shows hard work really does pay off. This taster of what these guys are all about triumphantly injects excitement as well as a fresh outlook on the Indie genre. This band is a credit to the York music scene and with continued hard work are sure to be a success in the future.

Original Date: 19/01/2017

LIVE REVIEW: Gaz Brookfield | The Fulford Arms | 16/02/17

The sold out acoustic show at The Fulford Arms started out with Harrison Rimmer.

A musician you must look twice at for the risk of mistaking him for Ed Sheeran. However, despite the obvious similarities – looks, guitar and style – Harrison Rimmer has a sound of his own. This young man looked at home on stage in front of the packed crowd as he humbly expressed how ‘awesome’ it was to be performing in front of so many people. Every song was executed with undiluted passion which oozed, not only from his vocals, but through his skilled guitar work as well. Rimmer’s musical sound had a fantastically controlled heavier edge making for a captivating show. He was a great opening act that got the audience buzzing and prepared for the next performer.

Harrison Rimmer

Next up to keep excited spirits up was Vinnie Whitehead, a man who was as just as modest as his name. A performance that was filled with dry wit and laughter made for an unexpectedly amusing set. The audience seemed to love watching Whitehead on stage just as much as he loved being there. His choice of songs was an appropriate mixture of themes and emotion, one song that in particularly stood out was Cracks and Dreams which was a fantastic musical representation of what it’s like living in York. This song is a must hear. All in all it was just good to see a musician capitalise on his Yorkshire roots and express pride in York.

Vinnie Whitehead

The audience moved in closer to the intimate stage as Gaz Brookfield approached. As he checked his tuning and set up the stage, there was an instant warming presence. His opening song Solo Acoustic Guy was both welcoming and engaging and promptly grabbed everyone’s attention. The rest of the night was as equally clever and entertaining with both new songs from his latest album I Know My Place and old favourites that the crowd enjoyed singing along to. The third track from the new album, The Tale of Gunner Haines was a specifically fascinating song as Brookfield sang the story of Gunner Haines, a soldier who committed suicide.

Gaz Brookfield was everything you would expect him to be live and more. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand and successfully encouraged participation from everybody. The atmosphere was nothing but friendly and fun as vibes of having a good time echoed around the venue. Brookfield’s rich tone came across beautifully within his vocals and his technical ability stayed true to his album recordings. Both his guitar and harmonica playing were flawless and worked extremely well within the live set. Gaz Brookfield’s experience and infatuation for music shone through during the entire night. The only downside to the performance was the slight curiosity that created as to how he would look and sound in a full band. The songs definitely hold the potential to be executed with more bodies and instruments but would this take away from the charm that is Gaz Brookfield?

Gaz Brookfield playing harmonica

REVIEW: Lyon Estates | Fir Tree [EP]

Lyon Estates are due to release their E.P Fir Tree on the 16th June 2017.

If you’ve been to one of their shows you’ll know that Lyon Estates always manage to pull it out of the bag and give a really cracking performance, full of energy, full of lovely pop punk goodness. How they manage to capture that in this E.P I’ll never know, one thing I do know, is that you need this in your life.

First track, You Told Me, This Stream Was Shallow is a song you can – and should – dance to, just let lose to. It is, a well put together, classic pop punk song that will undoubtedly get you off your chair and onto the dancefloor!
Fir Tree slows things down a notch. A sweet song with lovely light vocals accompanied by an acoustic guitar. It really shows that they’re a jack of all trades and they do it all so well. These guys know how to write a banger but they also know how to write a heartfelt ballad. Truly inspired.
Venom is probably a favourite – catchy and lyrics easy to pick up means they’ll have everyone singing along to this. A perfect pop punk summer tune that you’d want blasting out of your stereo on full.
All of the songs on this E.P are golden, so good you kind of wish you’d thought of it first.
Lyon Estates are a band that put a lot of effort and feeling into their songs and it pays off. They’ve managed to bottle their live show magic up and put the same amount of energy and feeling that they do there into a record. It’s a skill that few bands have.
Without a doubt this seven track E.P will have you dancing, singing along, starting mosh pits and enjoying yourself. A definite must listen for all pop punk fans.

You can catch them on tour in June and it’ll be one of the best things you do.
By Tarryn Watkins

Check out the video for Venom – the first single release from the E.P – featuring familiar faces from all our favourites on the York pop punk scene.

REVIEW: InVisions – Never Nothing

Metalcore titans InVisions have blessed us with some good music to date but with their debut album Never Nothing due for release on 18th August what more have they got to offer? The band have promised a lyrically consistent record that has been produced by Sam and Joe Graves of York’s very own InnerSound Studios.

The first track Torment grips you from the outset. It has a disorientating feel, yet, still maintains melodic tendencies of a good musical base. The different shades in Ben Ville’s vocals ease you into the journey of awareness that the song develops allowing you to lose yourself in a way that only great songs can. Torment persuades, excites and primes the listener for the rest of album. The breakdown is particularly effective. It creates an aura of realisation that builds into a realm of comprehension and insight. The grit and sense of determination that is crafted makes it innovative and simply fantastic.

Things take a slightly slower turn by the fourth track For What It’s Worth. It has a more solemn start and the vocals are packed with emotion. The guitar work in this track is second to none and perfectly enhances the overall sentiment while being successfully complimented by great drumming. The experimental nature of For What It’s Worth clutches your attention and makes it able to contend with any rock music around. As Ben commands you to ‘SAVE YOURSELF’ toward the end of the track, it is like he is speaking directly to that voice inside your head, literally connecting you to the music.

As the album reaches its half way point things show no sign of becoming boring or predictable. Faced by A Stranger shows off exceptional guitar riffs and proves InVisions’ >ability to be diverse while still preserving their niche sound as well as the theme of the record. All the instrumental elements blend seamlessly together. This track displays how aware the members are of each other which permits their evident chemistry to shine through.

The remainder of Never Nothing continues to test boundaries and stray from comfortable structures. For example, how Serenity builds as a short instrumental in its own right – however – flawlessly shifts into the next track Soul Seeker before you are even conscious of the fact that the two are separate. Just another instance where the band manage to keep you on your toes, surprising you at every opportunity.

Never Nothing truly is an epic debut release from InVisions and one they should be immensely proud of. Guitarist Alex Scott spoke of how the album portrays how much people hide behind a front when there is so much more going on. This record interprets this in mind-blowing ways. The layers between the music reflect the layers in an individual’s personality while the depths of each track mirror the depths of a person and the demons they fight. This is a must listen for not just rock fans, but music fans.

Check out the video for Turn Up released straight from the album below.

REVIEW: Safegaurd Headline Show at The Crescent | 7/7/17

A fantastic venue, a hyped-up crowd and four great bands inluding headliners Safeguard. York’s pop punk family including both bands and fans flocked to The Crescent to see four of the cities most established bands in the genre.

On The Ropes

First up on the insane bill was none other than On The Ropes. There really was no better way to start the night than watching these lively guys do what they do best. Opening with There’s a Charm to this Place, the early crowd was impressively – but not surprisingly – abundant. If nothing else, it was a treat to see front man Jonny Gill’s new bald head in action. Don’t worry, it wasn’t like Samson, his power is not in his hair as his performance was as good as ever. Their set ramped up a gear half way through with Constant Comment compelling fans to sing along. The momentum was held high for their oldie but goldie track There’s Plenty More Ships in the Sea. On The Ropes maintained their great standards and set the bar high showing the rest of the bands how it should be done. Ending on everyone’s favourite These Days, York’s pop-punk giants were as crowd pleasing as they always are.

On The Ropes

The only band that possibly follow such an immense start was, of course, Lyon Estates. However, it was not Lyon Estates as we know them. Normal front-man Alex Taylor unfortunately couldn’t make the gig because he was seeing Blink 182 (who can blame him?). So, who filled in for him you say? Ever a trooper, Jonny Gill stepped up for half the set alternating each song with Declan Gough from the night’s headline band. Both substitutes managed to reflect the fun and talent of Lyon Estates very well. Although admittedly, no one can quite deliver their songs as well as Taylor, nevertheless both guys did a great job making the songs their own. For the closing song Here’s a Shovel Kid, Gill and Gough shared the stage for an unforgettable end to the set.

Lyon Estates featuring Declan Gough and Jonny Gill

Since expanding to a four-piece band, One Way Street have gone from strength to strength and it showed with this performance. They have successfully honed in on their sound and their chemistry on stage was sharp. This was made evident during one of their classic, most loved, tracks Hold on to Tomorrow. The passion in Zac Roughton’s vocals were second to none and his ability to put across his connection with the song has only grown. After this show it is clear One Way Street have seriously stepped up and improved their game. Newest members Bryn Portas (bass) and Tom Mitchell (guitar) have fitted in perfectly with the line up and added an indispensable energy and professional edge.

One Way Street

On to the night’s headliner, Safeguard, York’s pop punk newcomers. Since blasting onto the scene only last year, these boys have made a huge impact and this gig explained why. All the members demonstrated an obvious devotion to music, however, Declan Gough and Zak Lonsdale stood out. Lonsdale seemed to sink into his own space with no inhibitions, just hunger to provide a good show. Gough’s vocal execution remained driven throughout the entire set, expressively and emotively delivered.

Zak Lonsdale, Safeguard (bassist)

The band treated The Crescent to four great covers, Sugar We’re Goin’ Down, Mr Brightside, The Anthem and My Friends Over You. Needless to say, these got the crowd going crazy and shouting the lyrics back at them. Gough did an excellent job of putting his own spin on these well-known tracks. Continuing to spoil their audience, Safeguard played two brand new songs Harbour and No Man’s Land, both of which went down a storm and are a must listen for any pop punk fan.

The set was broken up with an effective acoustic round with only Gough on stage. This gave him chance to connect with the crowd on another level. Having them sit down on the floor while he sang provided reflection of why we were all there, the music. An appropriate and genius idea that worked very well.

Declan Gough, Safeguard (vocalist)

The best performance of the set by far was the band’s swan song Empty Nest. Having been their first released song, it is the most well-known from the young guys. The audience loved it so much, they demanded they play it again at the end of their set. And, of course, Safeguard obliged, ending on an excellent note to round off and excellent night.

Lonsdale joined the crowd to play

 

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