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Outta Peak ‘Loveproof’ Review

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Originating from the exotic land of Italy, Outta Peak have done what they can to make a wholesome, dedicated band. Since their formation in 2010, the quartet have experimented frithelessly with music and shows, growing at an alarming rate and finding their sound. 2012 marked their first release of “Never Forget Never Regret.” Their first release, sang in Italian and English, consists of songs such as “Megan Fox,” and “Hate Your Goodbye.” Bass boosted, lively and charismatic with drum breaks and energised guitar riffs, “Never Forget Never Regret” started their journey to where they are today.

OUTTAPEAKFast forward to now, Outta Peak have released their latest album Loveproof. They’ve evolved since their early releases, developing a certainty in their sound and portraying a brilliant sense of growth. There’s a confidence in their music know, and as the album plays “Dear Christy,” the band’s current direction has taken it a notch heavier, but keeping it just as lively. If there’s anything the band has stuck to since their first release, is their ability to play vivaciously and to create perpetual music.

Outta Peak have an exceptional understanding of creating songs that stick with it’s listeners. “All In My Head,” is a brilliantly composed song and easily one of the album favourites. It’s a song that forces clapping, and with a memorable chorus, a bit of a sing along. There’s a few songs like this on the album, such as “Dirty Blankets,” and “Rest In Pieces.” The guys have truly mastered the creation of chorus’s that get you riled up and ready to scream at the top of your lungs.

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Loveproof is a full length, 43 minute album comprised of a plethora of songs that will most likely strike a chord with anyone. Now residing in Sheffield, UK and signed to Human Hearts Records from Arizona, USA, Outta Peak have some big plans for their future. Currently putting on shows around the UK and reaching areas such as Glasgow and Swansea, Outta Peak’s motivation is far stretched and full of passion.

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and stream their album Loveproof below on Spotify.

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Penelope Tree “The Scenes You Create” Review

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Bands such as Real Friends, Modern Baseball and Boston Manor have recently mixed emo with pop punk, bringing sad boys into fashion and lunging us back into 2002 where a different generation of emo was thriving, and everyone quoted Taking Back Sunday in their personal messages. Taking their chances in the field of modern day emo, Penelope Tree are an asset to any playlists featuring bands from The Story So Far, Microwave and The Wonder Years.

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Forming in 2015 in the city of Buckinghamshire, Penelope Tree have fearlessly put their thoughts and emotions on the line for their music. Released in 2016, The Scenes You Create arrived on the music scene at the right time to make maximum impact. It’s a four track EP, featuring some real worthy anthems such as “A Night Like This,” and “Restless.” It’s a lyrically beautiful EP, and has talent being shown musically, lyrically and chemically. The band works well together, with each instrument adding a certain element to make it special. The vocals are charming, pulling on your emotions throughout.

The first track, “The Way You Fall Asleep,” is a perfect example of the musical talent that the guys behind the sound of Penelope Tree have. The sound of the guitar, overlapped by the vocals is somewhat laid-back and relaxing, with the kick coming from the crashing of the drums. There’s every bit of relatability in The Scenes You Create, and it feels like the mature voice in a crowded room of pop-punkers. Penelope Tree work tirelessly, interacting with fans as much as they possibly can, putting on shows and making sure that everyone’s straight up having a good time. They show a copious amount of dedication, and The Scenes You Create is a perfect example of what they’ve already achieved, and an exciting stepping stone to what’s next.

Check them out on FACEBOOKTWITTER and INSTAGRAM and keep up to date with their whereabouts!

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The Reckless, The Brave “Out Of Time,” EP Review

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Work is slow. The only people walking through the center are zombified from the early morning commute – from the long week of work, and from those all too many drinks last night. It’s a Saturday, the only ones looking alive are the teenagers that are out early to make the most of their day before the evening gradually inches it’s way into Sunday. The weekend’s are too quick, compared to the 5-day working week. If only there were some way to spice up such a tedious morning. My only entertainment is the corner in which we sneak our phones and the bluetooth speaker, and for a Saturday morning, my phone isn’t going to be much fun considering the Friday alternative scene in Cardiff. It’s just pictures of kids eating their breakfast, or watching some creepy kids television show. I listen to the same playlist of music over and over again, so I decide a change.

My listen list, full of bands formed by friends, students and people with a passion for music is a long list to choose from. I settle for The Reckless, The Brave. I stalked their facebook not long ago, and was drawn in by the term “hard-hitting pop punk.” Pop punk is always spicy enough to turn dull to excited, or at least in my experience at least. The six track album starts with “Hard To Breathe,” and it keeps it’s promise. There’s so much energy that I instantly feel invigoration.

Forming in 2014, the band’s patience and hard-work over the two years have paid off, massively. Their EP, Out Of Time, was released mid July in 2016 and has some serious tunes. “Hard to Breathe,” is infectious, lurking at the back of your head until you listen next. The lyrics are memorable, causing involuntary singing, head movements and foot tapping. Side effects include superfluous air guitar motions. You’ll be pretending you’re in a pop punk band whether you like it or not. Through one listen, I was a guitarist, bassist and a drummer. Despite the temptation to sing into the brush handle as I sweep the work floor, I’m not that great of a singer, and I won’t try my chances in public, but I know what I’ll be singing to later.

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As the album moves on to “About A Girl,” the listener gets a real sense of the modern take of pop punk. The vocals, are the main component of that vintage feeling, but  it’s the instruments that are able to switch between styles. “About A Girl,” is one of the lightest songs on the album, but still filled with that punk energy. There’s something myspace-esque about the third track, “This Is Me.” The idea of stumbling upon a new bands page, and hearing their featured song start to play. It’s got a very archaic feel. Almost like before the pop to punk ratio went 7:3. A modern day, and punkier Kids In Glass Houses if you will. The album varies in the pop punk direction the band has taken – there’s heavier moments complimented by light pumps. It wins the right to be dubbed as the EP’s anthem track. Fifth track “Out Of Time,” might argue that, being the EP’s titled, it’s the rightful owner of the EP’s anthem. And it’s close. It’s a huge song and has a tantalizingly mesmerizing guitar’s working side by side. It’s all brought and held together by a break in the song where it the light truly shines on the work that the guitarist’s are doing to bring this masterpiece together.

“I’m Going Insane,” is lyrically a personal favourite – it’s flowing and catchy and overall a switch-up from their thematic style. It’s a very emotionally driven song, with optimism laced between each note and every drum beat. Every song recorded for this EP is important in it’s own way, but “I’m Going Insane,” feel like the most fluently played and confidently handled song. It’s  captivating, for many reasons, including the subtle bass boosting the song’s depth. The final song, “Fade Out,” sums up the whole EP.  Song after song latches itself onto your cerebrum with every note floating through your ears. In a swift conclusion, The Reckless, The Brave have achieved a modern take on early pop-punk with Out Of Time, and with plans to tour Europe over 2017, they’re going to see a lot of fist pumping.

 

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Parallaxis “Dissonance” EP Review

PARALLAXIS(Photo Credit to Clearway Media)

The first track on the album starts somewhat misleadingly with it’s slow introduction into the song, but “Malice,” sums the talent of the band up perfectly. The electronic undertones contributes an extraordinary element to the post-hardcore 5-piece band that adds to the appeal – and definitely makes the listener want more. Parallaxis’s guitarists, Ben Stevens (lead) and Ash Henbrey (rhythm) have an impeccable equilibrium between them, particularly seen in second song, “Clarity.” The guys behind Parallaxis have tuned into what it is to make music powerful, and in the direction and genre they have taken to, have managed to create and stress emotion of each song.

The aggressive vocals throughout gives the EP an overall pugnacious attitude, softened and complimented by the clear voice of vocalist, James Holt. Modern post-hardcore are rarely described as “catchy,” and more-so reviewed on the amount of sound that the band can make, but keeping to the post-hardcore mixed with a sense of old-school metal, Parallaxis’s partially classic direction has achieved a captivating and addictive musical experience in their latest EP Dissonance. The final track of the album, “Home,” is an example of their brilliance, with an emphasis on Dan Wotton’s heavy bass line. The illustration of their musical talent in Dissonance is exciting, and promising to further excellence of high-energy, emotionally driven music and shows.

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The post-hardcore genre is a broad definition for a constellation of groups, and Parallaxis have given the category their own unique spin. The third track on the EP, “Dissension,” has an added intensity due to Dan Coombs’ pulsating power of the drums, abruptly cadenced guitar and explicitly distorted vocals. The tumultuous song is one of the most significant on the Dissonance EP, with the aptitude and choler expressed mostly through the instruments.

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They’re not all about fast-paced and erratic action though. Parallaxis show their varied talent in the musical industry with their ability to slow right down, and tap into an intimate part of their creativity during their songs. “Clarity,” is the second song of the EP, and much like the first track “Malice,” has a balanced structure between accelerated and slow. Their ingenuity of an allargando experience – the term used for an accelerated piece of music to become softer, while broadening their tones in a majestic manner, while keeping the loudness of the overall sound – is rare in any case, but Parallaxis seem to have it down to a tee, and accomplish with success.

Keep up to date with the band via their FACEBOOK and TWITTER. You can find their music on their Parallaxis Official Site, on iTunes or Spotify

 

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Lighten Up Laura ‘Acting Your Age’ EP Review

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It’s late and there’s no chance of any sleep soon. There’s too much caffeine in my system to lay my head down on the pillow and drift away. My brain is wired and my thoughts are mismatched – time for a distraction. An EP that’s been recently recommended is Lighten Up Laura’s Acting Your Age. Instead of opening the link to SoundCloud, I try my luck with Spotify, and luckily, the EP is the first on the list. Bingo. I press play and get introduced to the band instantly with the song “Take Your Shirt Off (It Looks Better When On Me).” The caffeine that’s been laying somewhat dormant until now starts sending buzzes and jolts of electricity around my body. This is not a band that requires a second listen to ensure you like what you’re hearing. It hooks you in straight away with sophisticated guitar, and laid-back, relaxing vocals that have a hint of angst and agony. “Take Your Shirt Off” feels like a public display of intimacy, like the guys have ripped open their chests to share their fears and desires in confidence.

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The intimacy can also be seen in the track “Apart From,” which is slower than “Take Your Shirt Off,” but still holds a great amount of power and emotion within the instruments. The EP starts to quicken its tempo in the the song, “Missed The Boat,” and you can start to see the music fit in with their self description of “Unnecessarily loud and fast-past ramblings” as seen on their facebook page, and I think they’ve pretty much got it spot on.  It’s not every day you come across a band with hinted undertones of Placebo, Foo Fighters and Incubus all in one. In fact, I believe whatever genre a person was to favor, Lighten Up Laura have the ability to adhere and appeal to most with their unique and well constructed sound. “Plactecine” takes a different feel, but still holds on to that emotion that Lighten Up Laura hands out in abundance. The song is heavily complimented by the bass, giving the song the overall positive and upbeat attitude.

LUPSHIRT“Unnecessarily loud and fast-paced ramblings.” 

With the mixing and help of Neil Kennedy at The Ranch, who has seen names such as Creeper and Moose Blood, and George Gallivan engineering, Acting Your Age is the first EP release from the band. Lighten Up Laura is a combination of students studying performance and production courses at Southampton Solent University. The jointed faces behind Lighten Up Laura are not only dedicated but willingly putting themselves on the front-line, showing clear passion and dedication for the band. Lighten Up Laura doesn’t have years to compare and contrast, with “Chewed Up,” and “You,” being released as standalone singles earlier this year. Although, there are major differences and similarities. Both independent singles are musically beautiful and showcases their originality, but Acting Your Age feels more concise, with clear direction and a firm grip on their distinctive sound. The bands influences range across various genres including Moose Blood, Lower Than Atlantis, Baston Manor, Lonely The Brave and ABBA; Acting Your Age is not only a wonderfully compiled showcase of their talents but they have made their mark on the Southampton scene, and a genuine stepping stone into a fast-paced and ever-changing industry.

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The most mesmerizing aspects of Acting Your Age is the vocal range of Ollie Maxwell and the cadency and energetic drumming of Sammy Abecassis that really puts this EP together. It’s worth noting that the efforts placed into Lighten Up Laura by the whole band including guitarist Rory Smith and bassist Fred Devonport are what distinguishes them, because despite the outstanding components of Acting Your Age, what makes it special is the hard work and talent of all the members combined.

Keep up to date with Lighten Up Laura by following their FACEBOOK and TWITTER and take a listen on SPOTIFY.

 

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This Time Last Year “Count Yourself Lucky” EP Review

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Based in Leeds with the sole intention of combining a 2000’s-esque sound of Pop Punk and new-age emo, This Time Last Year have channelled their energy in to their latest EP, Count Yourself Lucky. Releasing across platforms on Friday the 7th of July, Count Yourself Lucky is an interestingly immersive mixture of songs showcasing the variable creativity that TTLY possess, and are willing to explore. Maybe they haven’t quite hit the 2000’s sound of pop punk, but they’ve mixed the old-school with the new; to simply summarise, Count Yourself Lucky is the love-child between Rancid and Real Friends. Two completely different genre’s that probably shouldn’t work… but totally do. The quartet have refused to conform to the generic genre of pop punk and stayed true to their influences and combining all styles together.

The EP is a total of five full songs and an intro. The intro that opens the EP is rather vague and leaves you rather unprepared for the upcoming songs. It does, however, highlight the rhythm of the band with the looped sound of guitar and unclear vocals on top. In fact, it’s a longer intro to the second song on the album titled Split Cell, instead of a standalone introduction to the EP. As soon as the intro ends and Split Cell begins, you hear the change of chord and introduced to the talent that the band has to offer. The vocals offer the band that unique punk-esque style, and truly shines through the change of composition for the chorus. The style the band have advertised themselves as isn’t something new to the scene, with bands aiming to create a more emotional side to the pop punk environment. What is new is the way the band have achieved emotion through their lyrics without portraying a sort of pity-party where they depict sympathy. The attitude of the music behind the words gives it that positivity and slight optimism that gets you up and moving rather than wallowing in your own sadness. It’s giving listeners the chance to really use this music in an everyday situation, rather than for certain moods.

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(Photos courtesy of Lexi Powell Photography)

The Last Straw is the song that really brings out that old-school feel. It’s the most punk feeling song on the EP, and offers that angst that all our inner anarchists possess. The band no doubt show clear signs of well-rehearsed and coordinated talent, but in the best way, The Last Straw feels disorganised. The quartet’s energy transmits through their instruments, confirming that they have so much more to give. A Thing Or Two reels the chaos back in and slows the EP right down. It’s a strong anthem for the EP, and is the best song to show the bands true chemistry and synchronisation. There’s not one instrument or member that takes the spotlight, but instead focuses on everything they have. Split Cell, whether intentionally or not cynosures on the vocals and guitars while second to last song, Post showcases the affect that the drums have on the overall sound, with precision rhythm throughout offering the attitude that it strives for.

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The EP can’t be specifically rounded up for individual fans of certain genres. There are copious amounts of bands that TTLY can appeal to, with last song 742 (cleverly named after The Simpsons residence, 742 Evergreen Terrace) feeling like a mixture of New Found Glory at the start and slowly combines similar sounds such as Modern Baseball and Boston Manor.

 

Overall, the Count Yourself Lucky EP is such a solid starting point for the guys of This Time Last Year in terms of their creativity and chemistry. The band show a lot of promise with this being their first EP, excitingly pulling interest from all different kinds of places, and on their way to making their own personal mark into the massive Leeds, and even unsigned UK scene. I mean, every band has to start somewhere, and This Time Last Year has given themselves an interesting and evoking starting point. It’s worth following and staying up to date on their progression and endeavours, because they’re definitely going somewhere, even if they’re not entirely sure where.

Visit the official This Time Last Year site here and check out their Facebook & Instagram for updates.

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High Visions ‘Waving The White Flag’ Review & Exclusive Interview

 

 

(Photo credit to Rosie Verney Photography)

“We’re putting punk back in pop punk,” High Visions said in an interview with Live A Little Bit Louder, and their latest EP, ‘Waving the White Flag’ has definitely started them on the right track. The EP has copious amounts of highly energetic guitar riffs, strong bass lines, outstanding contrasts of vocals all complimented by the drums. The trio have mixed and blended each instrument together to cultivate an awesome and unique recipe on their take of pop punk. “I feel like our sound is separate from that of other pop punk bands, particularly in the music scene we’re in. We’ve tried to avoid the more well-known pop punk tropes with our music, and we definitely enjoy the style of music we play,” Zyggy, bassist of High Visisons says, “We take a lot of influence from the late ’90’s and early 00’s pop punk, such as Sum 41, Brand New and The Offspring. I don’t know how pretentious this could sound [and even though] we’re not pioneers within the pop punk scene or anything, we do feel like our sound is a way of putting the punk back into pop punk!”

Wed love to collaborate with our friends in the pop punk scene, particularly the boys in Safeguard. Especially in the North, there’s such a supportive community, with so many bands looking out for each other – it’s such an encouraging environment.”

Drunkenly meeting at Leeds’s dedicated rock venue, The Key Club, the guys started High Visions through the enjoyment and passion they share for music. “We were all in different projects at the time – Louis and Alex were studying at Leeds College of Music, and I was at Leeds University,” Zyggy explains, “[High Visions started] as a fun project that came out of a couple of impromptu jam sessions and Leeds College of Music.” He adds. “Now that we’ve all finished University, it seems like the perfect time to start taking things to a new level and although our schedules are quite tight nowadays – with myself and Louis in Leeds and Alex in Rotherham – we still try and go to Key Club when we can for old times sake.”

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(Photo credit to Martin Crandon)

One track that stands out the most on the EP, and not for a catchy chorus that gets stuck in your head, is ‘Not Bent, Just Broke.’ “We challenged ourselves to write a song that was under a minute long, and we (just about) succeeded!” The song is of high, completely wild energy. “It’s the song that goes down the best at live shows. I remember joining a few too many of our own mosh pits during the final moments of the song!”

‘I’m Scared of What Might Happen’ is a showcase of the bands creativity. “‘I’m Scared of What Might Happen’ is my personal favourite; it’s a real grower,” Zyggy starts, “Louis came up with a lot of the initial concept which we then spent quite a lot of time developing into the version that’s on the EP right now.” It starts like an old movie theatre, with the sound of a movie reel in the background. It’s relaxing, it’s like the bands five minute breather from all that high energy. You imagine the boys in a black and white, stuttering film as they climb over into a coloured motion picture as the drums kick in and contrasts the old with the new. It feels like old school pop punk, in a modern world. “The lyrics are also pretty special to me as well. I rewrote them quite a lot over the perioud between writing and recording the song; it’s mainly about being far away from home and leaving people behind. Although I love living in Leeds, it’s hard having to leave people you love when you start moving on with your life. That’s basically what it’s about to me.”

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The six track EP is taken from a selection of the guys influences, and each of their preferences shines through. “We’re all into different styles of music – Louis is into hardcore and metal, Alex is into mid-00’s pop punk and I’m into the more modern style of pop punk and emo. To me, the songs highlight all the difference influences that our playing styles encompass. I like to think of it as a mission statement or something, like “Hey we’re High Visions and this is what we do. The EP is a collection of songs that we wrote in the first months after High Visions formed.”

“‘Waving The White Flag’ sets the ground for how we’re going to be developing our style in the future.”

“Our debut single ‘Amy,’ as well as the first track on the EP ‘Speakeasy’ are song I’d suggest to new listeners,” Zyggy says. Apparently, the best way to review an album is to listen to it ‘in the wild.’ This means, listen to the album away from notebooks and laptops, and to just simply enjoy it. And do that on repeat. Do it when you’re simply just living. Little did I know, during a game of Rocket League whilst trying to save a goal, I would be screaming the chorus of ‘Speakeasy’ at the top of my lungs. A cliche, but this song is so insanely catchy that  it stays with you. It’s excitingly powerful and aggressive, and the vocals only enhances the attitude of the song. This EP needs more than just any old headphones to listen with. There’s a huge difference between the iPhone headphones I used to initially listen, and the Audio-Technica’s I’m using now. A strong sound system changes everything – and all I can say, that hearing every single note of the guitar; every strum of the bass and every beat of the drum makes the listening experience of ‘Waving The White Flag’ unforgettable. It’s found it’s way into my daily playlists, or even going out of my way to stick it on. “The first song we wrote was ‘Head Underwater,’ and the initial idea for the song came to us in the first ten minutes of us jamming together,” Zyggy remembers, “That song kind of laid the foundation for the type of music we wanted to play, I think. It is definitely reminiscent of Teenage Kicks though – I can’t deny that!” Much like bands such as KoRn and Neck Deep taking nursery rhymes and spinning them into something almost entirely new, ‘Head Underwater’ proves that even though it shares similarities to The Undertones hit single ‘Teenage Kicks’ that their imagination can take them to different places. Despite the energetic and playful song, there are some real feeling behind the song. “I ended up writing the verses about how I was feeling about being in Leeds for the first time, struggling with anxiety and trying to find my feet. As far as songs go, it’s one of our most straightforward, and one of our favourites to play live.”

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High Visions ‘Waving The White Flag’ is only the start of the bands journey, and happy with the foundations they’ve laid for themselves and their growing fan base, and whilst this adventure is only just beginning, the guys behind High Visions are already planning what’s to happen next. “We’ve written a couple of new songs already. They’re harder hitting than anything on ‘Waving The White Flag,’ with heavier riffs from our guitarist, Louis. We’ve also incorporated some melodic hardcore and early post-hardcore into our sound,” Zyggy says, “but in the meantime whilst we’re writing material for our sophomore EP, we’re planning on playing a few shows over the summer and also start playing outside of Leeds as well! The next few months are definitely a big turning point in all of our lives, due to two of us graduating, however High Visions is staying a constant in our lives.”

Click HERE to listen to High Visions ‘Waving The White Flag’ on Spotify and follow them on FACEBOOK to stay up to date with their music.