The likes of Pledge Music and Kickstarter have been propelling the music industry through new waters for some years now. Artists have been trying to cut out the middle man and perfect the art of DIY music for what seems like an age, offering up incentives and prizes if their loyal fan base will part with some of their hard earned cash, placing it directly in to the hands of the artists rather than the whole stream of people that each take their slice of the metaphorical pie, often leaving artists with just the crumbs. These days, more and more bands and artists are trying out their own ‘fan funded’ projects, and quite a few of them have had some incredible results.

Sonic Boom Six

An electro ska band is next up to try their luck and, so far, Sonic Boom Six appear to be doing pretty well for themselves. In order to raise funds for their fifth album ‘Operation Boombox’, the London based band are offering up a whole range of colourful and wonderful incentives to their fans in exchange for cash, love and support. These tantalising treats range from a fiver to over two grand, so depending on your budget and love of all things electro, there’s something for everybody! Fancy a t-shirt? A vinyl? A download? What about a house show or your name in the album credits? If all of that is a little too mainstream for you then you could always hand over a grand and get your name tattooed on lead singer, Laila K. The choice is yours!

With over 200 days left of this pledge, Sonic Boom Six have already reached 61% of their goal with no signs of slowing down. Fans have gobbled up much of what the electro band has offered, including a launch track ‘The Boom Needs You’, apparently so popular with fans that the band has added it to the list of incentives free of charge ( just a little social media love in return). SB6 are also promising to donate 5% of money raised after the goal has been reached to a Teenage Cancer Trust, which does seem a pretty low percentage especially after a goal has been reached but is still quite an honourable gesture.

The band promises that their new album will be full of bouncy reggae beats, a bit of a switch from their electro ska roots but something to get the body moving none the less. Whatever happens and wherever they go next, it’s obvious that Sonic Boom Six have done an excellent job in building themselves a fan base that will back them all the way.

You can check out the Sonic Boom Six Pledge page here.

There’s something about American punk that’s always had us UK folk eager to throw up our devil horns and pogo along with the rest of them. From the likes of Misfits, Bouncing Souls, Anti Flag and more, it seems we can’t get enough of that rebellious vibe from across the pond. It’s no different with the latest track from Rise Record’s very own Only Crime.

Review of Life Was Fair by Only Crime

Review of Life Was Fair by Only Crime

Life Was Fair is everything that makes the US punk/hard-core scene great. It’s dirty and rough and loud and heart pounding, so much so that you can almost smell the sweat and ripped denim when this track starts blasting through your headphones. You wouldn’t expect anything less when the band line up consists of some real heavyweights in US punk from the last ten years, previous experiences boasting Black Flack, Bane and Good Riddance (just to name a few).

Just like the track the video is typical of the genre, but it’s a tried and tested formula that gets our blood pumping every time. Damage, destruction and disturbance, its rebellious youth punching its way through this black and white world that’s constantly trying to enslave us. It’s that ever growing punk spirit to break the chains, to step out of line and run off the track that’s leading us to that typical conformist life.

In true punk fashion the song is over just as quickly as it began, but the impression, feeling and message remains.

The single Life Was Fair is out now via Rise Records. You can watch the video here.

Not long ago we reviewed a new single, Gulls, from the much loved David Gray. It was a slightly different sound than we’re used to from this national treasure, a lot more haunting and soul  searching. Well, now he’s back with a new video for a new single and, if you weren’t a fan of the last one, you’ll be happy to hear that this single is much more like the David Gray we fell in love with fifteen years ago, when the unforgettable White Ladder album was first released.

Back in the World David Gray

Back in the World David Gray

Back in the World is an upbeat, foot tapping little number which is hugely reminiscent of Gray’s older work, without making it feel like he’s just a one trick pony. Taken away with that folksy voice and familiar soft tempo, this track is steady melodies and memorable chorus builds with some beautiful piano playing woven through out. The track evokes a light, positive feeling, much similar to what one feels when listening to Gray’s memorable hits Babylon.

A few fans have critiqued this track to be ‘over produced’ and ‘lacking in emotion’. The latter, in my opinion, couldn’t be further from the truth. The emotion is present and raw if you really listen to the lyrics. As far as production goes then yes, there has been more fiddles and tweaks on this track than some of Gray’s earlier work, but considering we live in the age of auto tune and laptop created symphonies, David’s done pretty damn well ‘keeping it real’ as well as keeping up with the times.

The album Mutineers is out 30th June  and the UK tour runs from present until mid July (see dates below)

Live Dates:

June 23                    Birmingham                          Symphony Hall

June 24                    London                                  Royal Albert Hall

June 26                    Gateshead                              The Sage

June 28                    Westport Festival               Westport, Ireland

June 30                    Glasgow                                  Royal Concert Hall

July 2                       York                                         Barbican

July 3                       Manchester                             Lowry Theatre

July 5                       Daytripper Festival                 Waterford, Ireland

July 6                       Groove Festival                       County Wicklow, Ireland

July 8                       Bristol                                     Colston Hall

July 9                       Bournemouth                          Pavilion

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frnkiero and the cellabration Announce Debut Album ‘stomachaches’

propertyofzack:

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frnkiero and the cellabration (ex-My Chemical Romance) will be releasing stomachaches on August 26th via Staple Records. Check out the track listing below after the jump.

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Excited doesn’t even cover it. 

Twin Atlantic emerged from Scotland in 2007; touring the country and gaining a steady stream of support from anyone who saw them take on small, local stages as if they were overcrowded arenas.  After the release of a well put together EP, an eagerly anticipated album and making friends with the legendary Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic became an unstoppable force. A few more killer tracks and once in a life time supporting opportunities (with the likes of Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance) and Twin Atlantic found themselves in the midst of a tornado of their own creation. It seems everyone is on board with this group of lovable Scottish lads and no one can get enough of their music, energy or presence.

Review of Heart and Soul by Twin Atlantic

August sees the release of the band’s third and perhaps most anticipated album Great Divide, with the first single, Heart and Soul, unleashing itself on the world late last month.  Heart and Soul is an energetic rock track, intro thumping its way through the speakers and building with Sam McTrusty’s unmistakable vocals in to a rousing, punchy chorus. The riff that flows through the track is sharp and catchy, latching on to the ears of any listener and refusing to let go. This formula continues on throughout – thumping, foot stomping versus that rise in to that epic chorus, the type that makes you close your eyes and belt along.

Since 2007 Twin Atlantic have seen, sailed, divided and conquered every ground they’ve stepped on, and if this single is anything to go by, the album that follows should be nothing less than victory.

Watch the video for Heart and Soul here.

David Gray has been entrancing listeners the world over for more than a decade now with his hypnotic voice and soul quaking lyrics. In 2000 he released the unforgettable White Ladder, and has been soothing us with a blanket of quiet English charm ever since.

‘Gulls’ is the new single from Gray’s forthcoming album Mutineers, which is set for release sometime in June this year.

With a lethargic and piano heavy start, this track slips in to the ears with the same ease as any other of David Gray’s work. His voice climbs slowly over the music in a melodic trance, entwining through airwaves and eardrums until you find yourself completely relaxed and peaceful within the first sixty seconds.

Still pushing his folk rock past in to the present day, Gray has managed to recreate some of that magic which bound us to his music more than ten years ago and spin it full force towards the future. This much is evident as the track climbs in to its chorus, boasting acoustic genius and atmospheric vocals.  

If this single is anything to go by, Gray’s new album promises the same brilliance we have come to know and love of this talented singer/songwriter, but with the volume on Gulls turned all the way up to eleven, the whisper of something new and exciting echoes out through every second.

You can listen to ‘Gulls’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF-xx8mMWIo

David Gray has been entrancing listeners the world over for more than a decade now with his hypnotic voice and soul quaking lyrics. In 2000 he released the unforgettable White Ladder, and has been soothing us with a blanket of quiet English charm ever since.

‘Gulls’ is the new single from Gray’s forthcoming album Mutineers, which is set for release sometime in June this year.

With a lethargic and piano heavy start, this track slips in to the ears with the same ease as any other of David Gray’s work. His voice climbs slowly over the music in a melodic trance, entwining through airwaves and eardrums until you find yourself completely relaxed and peaceful within the first sixty seconds.

Still pushing his folk rock past in to the present day, Gray has managed to recreate some of that magic which bound us to his music more than ten years ago and spin it full force towards the future. This much is evident as the track climbs in to its chorus, boasting acoustic genius and atmospheric vocals.  

If this single is anything to go by, Gray’s new album promises the same brilliance we have come to know and love of this talented singer/songwriter, but with the volume on Gulls turned all the way up to eleven, the whisper of something new and exciting echoes out through every second.

You can listen to ‘Gulls’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF-xx8mMWIo

7 Day Writing Challenge - Day Seven: Things You Don’t Understand

I guess the biggest thing I don’t understand is quite simply – myself. I know these are the years where I’m suppose to be getting to grips with who I am and building the adult I’m going to be for the rest of my life…but I well and truly have no shitting idea how the fuck I’m suppose to do that when I do not understand one single thing about myself.

I don’t understand why some days I am a warrior and others a complete mess, why I take pleasure in breaking myself down but try my best not to let anyone else get too close. I don’t understand why the outside world terrifies me, almost as much as the confines of my own house. I don’t understand how I became ‘The Girl of a Thousand Chances’ or how my body ended up shaped like a doormat. I don’t understand the choices I make in who gets to step on me and who I try to keep at arm’s length. I don’t understand how someone can work so hard to stay here and still have no drive to move. I don’t understand how I can be filled with so much passion for so many things, but possess no ambition to reach out and take. I have no idea what I’m doing with my time, my day or my life.

I don’t understand how I’m supposed to build myself in to a functioning member of society when these are the building blocks I have.  

7 Day Writing Challenge - Day Six: Favourite Song

I don’t have a favourite song. I know everybody says that, but I really don’t. I have a collection of songs that have always meant a lot to me over the years, there are certain songs I dance most to and songs that relax me. There are songs that pull me back in to my memories and songs that make me think about the future. There are new songs in the charts that I can’t stop listening to and old songs that I rediscover every once in a while. There are songs I grew up with and songs I found purely by accident. Actually, I think my music taste is made up from just a large collection of my ‘favourite songs’ – but then, isn’t everyone’s?

So…I’ll go for a song that I love at the moment.

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How to Save a Life by The Fray. Like REM’s Everybody Hurts people think this is one of those pointlessly depressing songs. Well, if you think that then it means you’ve never needed a song like this – and you should think yourself lucky for that. The truth is that this song actually contains a lot of hope. If you’ve even seen the video you’ll know it goes through some of the steps of experiencing and recovering from loss, depression, sorrow, guilt etc. It’s a comfort, really, almost a sort of ribbon that ties together those lost in themselves and those who feel left behind. If you’ve ever lost someone close you’ll know that no matter what the circumstances of that loss, you feel a tremendous weight of guilt. This is one of, if not the only (mainstream) songs I know of that addresses that feeling. There are plenty of songs for those still clinging on, but this track is a beautiful and real apology for those who feel like they didn’t reach their hand out further enough.

I know a lot of people think that listening to ‘sad songs’ when you’re going through something traumatic and hurtful will only hinder the process of recovery and drag you down further, but that’s not the case at all. These so called ‘sad songs’ are often the ones that bring us the most release. The words can push things in to your mind that you’ve shoved to the back for perhaps longer than necessary, forcing you to feel what you obviously need to feel.

How to Save a Life is real, honest and moving. It works for people in different ways, as music generally does, but for me it’s a reminder that I’m not in this alone, because no matter how we acquired our demons, we fight them off the same. 

So, here it is. I’m back from my month long trip around the US. It’s strange to be home - both a good and unsettling kind of strange. It’s nice to have the routine of day time in my own house again, good to know that those I love and need are only just a few miles away (instead of thousands). I missed my bed and my cats and my kitchen and my shitty couch. I missed cooking and cleaning and complaining about being the only person who does the dishes. I missed my big TV and my laptop and that kind of secure feeling that comes from an over familiarity with one place.

But at the same time I haven’t missed this place. Travelling was amazing. The places, the people, the food and the smells. Crossing what felt like a million time zones, closing your eyes and still being able to feel the soft sway of a plane as it comes in to land, waking up in a new city every few days. I can’t wait to do it again. The trip has made me so unsure of who I am and what I want to be, but as much as that is one of the most terrifying thoughts a person can have, I seem to be ok with it.

Leaving for that trip was scary. Having those who usually bail me out of the shit be thousands of miles away made me feel a little sick and before I left a month felt like the largest measure of time. But I did it. I left and I saw and I lived and I tasted and I was scared and I was happy and I flew and I fell and I survived. And that’s awesome.

7 Day Writing Challenge - Day Five: Someone Who Fascinates You

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I find Salvador Dali (or Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domènech) to be a terribly fascinating human being, and mostly because he was and is such a mystery to so many people. From his quotes and interviews it seems as though he never did like to give clear answers, almost as if he himself wanted to appear as surreal as his work.

I’ve loved Dali’s work from a very young age. My dad had two small prints framed in our old flat, and I used to sit and stare at them, before I had any serious concept of art or its many variations, and wonder what could be happening. The piece I remember staring at most is ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening’. My imagination, as young and limitless as it was, didn’t know what to do with such an image. Before I learned the title of the piece or its meaning, I used to wonder what this woman had done to anger all these strange creatures that were apparently after her.

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As I grew older I began to look more in depth in to Dali’s life and work. Some of his early life was actually quite heartbreaking, and like most artists it was the parents that loosened the first few screws (I’m not saying Dali was crazy – just that his parents helped him get a little fucked up – as parents so often do). Despite this, he loved his parents a great deal, and when his mother died it tore through him with a pain I am all too familiar with. Art helped him to cope. It helped him to create his own world when the one around him made no sense. It was his escape. He could make up his own rules, show whatever side of himself he felt like and display his emotions with any imagery he wanted – without having to explain himself to anyone.

I can relate to Dali and his work quite a lot. Getting lost is something writers, like artists, live for. It’s our strongest tool but also our greatest downfall, and it can often be hard to keep a hold of yourself. He taught me to make things for myself, to not care if it made sense to anyone else as long as it made me happy. I live by some of his quotes.

“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.”

“I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”

“Everything alters me, but nothing changes me.”  

I think Salvador Dali is one of the most fascinating artists and people who ever lived. He took the complexity of the human brain, of life and emotion and everything that makes a person move and turned it in to some of the most magnificent art.   

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7 Day Writing Challenge - Day Four: Favourite Movie

I know I’ve been a little bit heavy on the last three challenges (“Really? You? Never!”) so I’m actually pretty excited that this subject has come up – because talking about movies is something that really makes me happy.

People who love movies usually have problems pinning down their favourite, because cinema is such a vast and diverse world that it can be hard to pin down just one. Not for me. There is one clear winner when it comes to my favourite movie and it’s always been right at the top of the list since I first saw it at the ripe old age of seven.

 

Jaws! I absolutely love this film. Admittedly, I’ve never read the novel by Peter Benchley. I think I’m scared of it taking something away from the film – and I love it far too much to let that happen. I can still remember the very first time I ever saw it. I remember being totally entranced by it, the music, the suspense and the terror of finally seeing the shark (which doesn’t actually happen until about half way through the movie). I remember the look of excitement on my dad’s face as he kept his eyes glued to my every expression. I imagine it’s the look I’ll have when I show my kids this movie for the first time.

One of the things that makes Jaws so great is its production. Nothing like this had ever been done before from the camera work and sound to the building of the shark itself. The actors are incredible and I couldn’t imagine any other people playing these characters. There are so many scenes and lines that are just perfection. One of my favourites is on the Orca, at night, just before Jaws attacks when the Chief, Hooper and Quint are laughing and singing and swapping scar stories. The speech Quint gives about being on the Indianapolis was actually re-written a few times, the last being by Robert Shaw (the actor who played Quint) himself. The atmosphere as he speaks, the tension and sadness in his voice, and the silence from the others, makes that scene truly brilliant.

 

Jaws is such an atmospheric film and I don’t think a lot of people really appreciate that. I suppose it takes something away from it with each generation, but still that movie is a masterpiece of suspense. John Williams, who wrote the music for the film, did such an epic job. He created a theme tune recognised the world over, a beautiful and completely haunting introduction to one of the most destructive and terrifying monsters in movie history.

For me, the scene where the chief is shooting at the air tank in the shark’s mouth is one of the most amazing, gripping, thrilling, seat grabbing scenes in cinematic history. You feel every shot he misses and the restless urge for him to kill the monster is enough to make any movie lover crazy. I still feel it, even after watching the film god knows how many times.

 

Jaws is a classic, and there is nothing out there like it – nor will there ever be. It’s timeless. Perfect, made even more so for the flaws and struggles it took to get the film finished (something I guess you can’t appreciate unless you know the whole tale). It was bigger than The Sound of Music, Gone With The Wind and even bigger than the Godfather movies.

To me, it’s a representation of what makes a movie amazing – blood, sweat, tears and one hell of a story line.

Frank, Cherry and Lily Iero - B.F.F. Single Review

Frank Iero just might be the most genius parent that ever existed. How many other parents, when asked by their children just what it is they do all day, get to let their kids have a first hand experience in creating what their parent creates? Well, Iero has done just that and a few days ago he and his twin daughters, Cherry and Lily, unleashed B.F.F. (Best Friends Forever) on the world.

Now this is the part where Frank’s years in the world of music business and his talent at cunning child rearing combines. All proceeds from this track go to his three children’s respective college funds. GENIUS! Why, you ask? Well, there are several reasons. The most obvious being it helps him save for three children’s college funds. College is pricey as hell and getting in to the good schools is like trying to find the Black Pearl when your name isn’t Captain Jack Sparrow. Another reason is that saying the proceeds go towards his kids’ education will make you feel like a horrific human being for any illegal download/uploads/pass the parcels of this track (when usually we have little to no reservations about doing so). It’s not candy you’re stealing from a baby, its royalties and education, and it’s from adorable balaclava clad children!

My final and favourite reason for this stroke of genius is – imagine the family meeting if one of these kids start to slack off in college. Their parents can literally print off a list of the thousands of people who helped to get them in to college and threaten to make the rebellious little rug rat call each and every one of them, and explain why their money is being flushed down the metaphorical toilet. Once again – GENIUS!

The track itself is a wonderful little listen. Stripped back and laid bare, there’s a lot of honesty and feeling which goes to show these kids would have no problems if they chose to follow in dad’s footsteps. It’s acoustic and raw and still rough around the edges, but in the best way possible. Home grown and house proud, this song (and the accompanying video) is a laid back and curious little insight in to a very creative household.

Cherry and Lily, I think you could have a very bright future in music, once you ditch the old fart…

…just kidding!

You can listen to the track and watch the video at Frank’s website: frank-iero.com

Frank, Cherry and Lily Iero - B.F.F. Single Review

Frank Iero just might be the most genius parent that ever existed. How many other parents, when asked by their children just what it is they do all day, get to let their kids have a first hand experience in creating what their parent creates? Well, Iero has done just that and a few days ago he and his twin daughters, Cherry and Lily, unleashed B.F.F. (Best Friends Forever) on the world.

Now this is the part where Frank’s years in the world of music business and his talent at cunning child rearing combines. All proceeds from this track go to his three children’s respective college funds. GENIUS! Why, you ask? Well, there are several reasons. The most obvious being it helps him save for three children’s college funds. College is pricey as hell and getting in to the good schools is like trying to find the Black Pearl when your name isn’t Captain Jack Sparrow. Another reason is that saying the proceeds go towards his kids’ education will make you feel like a horrific human being for any illegal download/uploads/pass the parcels of this track (when usually we have little to no reservations about doing so). It’s not candy you’re stealing from a baby, its royalties and education, and it’s from adorable balaclava clad children!

My final and favourite reason for this stroke of genius is – imagine the family meeting if one of these kids start to slack off in college. Their parents can literally print off a list of the thousands of people who helped to get them in to college and threaten to make the rebellious little rug rat call each and every one of them, and explain why their money is being flushed down the metaphorical toilet. Once again – GENIUS!

The track itself is a wonderful little listen. Stripped back and laid bare, there’s a lot of honesty and feeling which goes to show these kids would have no problems if they chose to follow in dad’s footsteps. It’s acoustic and raw and still rough around the edges, but in the best way possible. Home grown and house proud, this song (and the accompanying video) is a laid back and curious little insight in to a very creative household.

Cherry and Lily, I think you could have a very bright future in music, once you ditch the old fart…

…just kidding!

You can listen to the track and watch the video at Frank’s website: frank-iero.com