DeeVer – You Need This | SMALL RECORD REVIEWS

DEEVER


AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 1st FEBRUARY!


Billy Taylor is a well-known and established face in the UK rock scene, most notably being part of Inglorious, but with his taste and outlook on the genre evolving with the times, he decided to break free and form a band that better reflected this ethos.

The result of that was DeeVer, who have been swiftly garnering a lot of buzz from the press, and they are carrying that through to the impending release of their much anticipated debut album – You Need This.

The entire ride is laced with an abundance of high-calibre anthems that are fueled by an explosive energy which is just so indescribably invigorating, getting the pulse racing over the verses before hitting an apex at the immense, catchy choruses, and this all stems from a massive sound pieced together from a quartet of tight performances.

Bill himself takes the lead and showcases just what an ace vocalist he is, with a real pitch and power behind his voice. Stevie exhibits his chops on the guitar with an electrifying display that is highlighted by some damn fine solos. Phil’s bass chords pop out and add an extra crunch, while mixing well with Higgy’s kinetic drumming.

It has to be said that the hype preceding Deever is beyond justified, and all the evidence can be seen in this album, which is an awesome, thrilling frenzy with minimal faults that provides the sweetest shock to the senses, burning with an intoxicating fire that has you utterly enveloped from beginning to end, leaving you feeling gutted when it’s over, and provoking the urge to go back and relive it countless times more.

It has that classic edge to it that will certainly draw in old-timers, but younger folk will surely get hooked too with the overall modern vein of it. Simply put, it appeals to listeners of all ages and creeds; just about anybody that fancies a good ol’ fashioned headbang.

You Need This is a masterpiece in the making, and we know it’s early days yet, given that it’s still practically the dawn of 2019, but we predict that this will be right up there as one of the most talked about underground British rock albums of the entire year, if not the next few years. Once you get to hear it for yourself, you’ll understand exactly why.


***HIGHLIGHTS***

We Are, Only Enemy, All Come Running, Back Down, I Am The Cavalry



IN ASSOCIATION WITH STAMPEDE PRESS

Static Union – King Tuts #KTNYR19 | SMALL GOES GIGGING

ktnyr19


Starting off was local artist Craig White, accompanied by his “band of merry men”, and he played a selection of numbers, primarily from his recently released album, with the majority having some nice, leisurely melodies to them.

Craig himself was a fine vocalist and guitarist, and Doug was equally adept in those regions, while Graham and Steven paired up to bring us solid rhythms on the bass and drum respectively.

Doug would suddenly take over in the lead with one of his own, the pretty catchy Honestly, as well as a top-notch cover of Bryan Adams’ Summer Of 69, but Craig would regain the reins and finish off their set fashionably.

They had the tough task of needing to get the crowd going, but folk did stick around as they entered one by one and, while still, their attention was kept throughout.

Simple and rudimentary, sure, but a well done job in getting us and everybody else warmed up, and we’d be happy to see Craig and his crew again another day.


Aside from the headliners, Neonwaves were the only other act that we were acquainted with going in, and after enjoying the material that they shared with us to review, we were optimistic about getting similar results out of them live.

They entered with a cool intro and generated an obvious buzz, with the people becoming more alive, cheering loud and getting more into it on the whole, most notably this one fella at the front who made the space his own, displaying his phenomenal dance moves and occasionally booting the monitors. We hope the guys aren’t offended when we say we spent half their run too busy watching him make a killing.

Their tunes, including the likes of Surface Water, Wish To Be Seen and upcoming single Nostalgia, effectively hit a sweet middle ground between being rocky and being atmospheric, with the latter element being boosted by the keys and pedals. The drumming had a real kick to it, and that was only amplified by the bass tones, and it was all topped off by mild vocals and refined riffs.

It was an entertaining affair from Neonwaves that was better than we could have hoped for, and it earned an appropriately positive response from those in attendance.


Now for more new (and younger) faces in Plastic Poetry, whose big group of friends and fans were already planted by the stage before they even played a note.

They fired out some seriously infectious, melodic tracks with stand out choruses, and the appealing writing quickly got caught in our heads. Victor had a very striking and fluent voice, and the team of Adrien, Andrew and Tim delivered excellent performances in their respective roles, plus they threw in a few nifty keyboard sections for good measure.

The boys kept the vibe flowing throughout, and were also pretty active, swaying and hopping about, igniting a wave of clapping, nailing Pete Townshend poses and getting taps aff, and that made them all the more fun to watch.

They overran their allotted half hour, so they were cut off prematurely, much to everybody’s dismay, but until that point it was a roaring good time that introduced us to a cracking quartet.


Static Union had been in our radar for a number of years, and we’ve thought of them as one of the most promising young acts in the central belt. But in that whole time, for one reason or another, we kept missing them live. Now that the moment had arrived, was the wait finally worth it? It sure was.

Their sound was a 3 way bridge between indie rock, dark pop and post-punk, meaning that we got songs that had both a riveting sense of ambience and an intoxicating energy, with just some of the highlights being The WandererLost Control and Can I Be Loved.

Sean was a very good and confident vocalist and was also capably dishing out riffs; likewise with James, who additionally played some pristine synths, while the tight bass chords and beats from Liam and Cameron carried the hooking rhythms.

With the focus of the audience completely drawn onto them the entire period, it was a damn superb performance that was totally gripping and seamless, and absolutely worthy of being a headliner.

It honestly wouldn’t do much harm to see this lot get some wider attention in 2019…

 

 

DIY OR DIE 2 | SMALL GOES GIGGING

diy or die 2


It’s no secret by this point what big fans we are of the Livingston gothic post-punk duo Gravelle, and this was now the third time we were seeing them within mere months.

They walked on to a perfectly added puff of smoke and kicked off with The Worst to stir the dark mood. Keeping the chat to a minimum, they fired into the great tracks off their Liquid Skin EP, then worked they way through as of yet unrecorded material, with the highlight being the equal parts catchy and gloomy Shedding Skin, which is right up there as one of their finest.

Monique as usual shined with a bewitching voice and one of the scene’s most expressive faces, and Kyle really put forth a lot of aggression into his often swift riffs. Kudos to the engineer by the way for the appropriate choice of lighting to match, as we feel this really boosted the pair and put them in an environment which fitted with their music.

If there was any immediate flaws, the only one that stuck out is that they need to find a way to make the switcheroo in Touch Me a little less stilted, but otherwise this was another dazzling and drawing set from Gravelle, who continue to convert more strangers into fans, including one behind us who was quoted as saying “they were fun”, so they definitely achieved something here.


Nicole of Moonstruck On Clydeside recommend riot grrl squad Curdle to us a little while back, and we dug their stuff, especially as it’s a genre we hadn’t delved into enough, so we were glad about that, and now we had the opportunity to witness them live.

All dressed so fabulously and opening with Red To The Elbows, they gave us a mixture of lovely dual harmonies, stylish guitar pickings, thick basslines and tom pounds. Their tunes had generally cool rhythms, and the sound had this neat fusion of elements from rock and roll, doom and stoner rock.

Top choices included Blue Black, Give Me Your Phone Number and the tempo-shifting Flies On The Ceiling, and the title for Dave Gahan Is Such A Love Butt gave Freya from Woodwife a wee chuckle.

They implemented a theremin and even a freaking butter knife of all things to play riffs in one instance, and it actually worked. Unfortunately, it was a little rough around the edges in areas, whether it was chords being forgotten or a few miscues, and it was honestly a bit distracting.

But taking those problems out of the equation, Curdle were still solid overall and had a real raw and bona fide quality to them that clicked with us. Just need’s a touch of tightening up, that’s all.


The headliners Woodwife were the only act of the show that we entered into completely blind, but we had faith in Nicole’s taste and the hype she gave the band heading into this.

Right from the offset, they had us hooked in as they generated this captivating ambience that just resonated across the entire room. Most of their numbers were slow-burners (and not in a negative way) which started off easygoing, gradually building in size and speed with each passing verse, eventually leading up to satisfyingly grand payoffs, but there were also a couple of faster, catchier selections thrown in that sparked a vivid energy.

Freya was terrific, with her vocals being broad and so alluring, particular when she stunningly hit the high notes. The duelling guitars were paired so well, and Greg especially was quite adept, actually strumming with a bow in a couple of spots, plus he was immensely animated; bouncing, bobbing and shuffling around merrily to his heart’s content, and he had a very good voice in his own right. Lastly, the drumming from Douglas was excellent and helped to drive the flowing rhythms.

The feedback from the jam-packed crowd was unanimously positive, especially when they revived an old classic of theirs. It was just a spectacularly engrossing display from a tight trio who knew how to entertain folk and get them sucked into the moment.

 

Khaidian – Penumbra | SMALL RECORD REVIEWS

Khaidian-Penumbra-cover-web


AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 18th JANUARY!


The music business is often painful, and London quartet Khaidian know that all too well. John Tyrell and Joseph Perumal first got together way back in 2010, with the intention of forming a band that would present a unique sound that blended industrial metal with a mix of electronica.

Although there was a clear goal, it took them a whole 8 years to produce their debut album, having endured endless challenges, mainly related to constantly line-up changes that had the project delayed again and again.

At last, here we are; the light at the end of the tunnel that sees the forthcoming release of the aforementioned record – Penumbra – but was the wait actually worth it in the end?

The guys go charging in with a dominant force that quickly attracts attention. At the heart of it is Andy on the mic, who has an impressive voice that boasts quite an amount of intensity behind it.

John works double duty, standing out with some tasty riffs that get the chance to shine through some slick solos, while working on the programming side of things to blare out the sweeping electronics as advertised, which are utilised well to add an extra layer of energy to the tracks, especially when teamed up with Joe and Kris who give out their share of booming basslines and sturdy drumming.

After nearly a decade of frustrating hell, Khadian have thankfully pulled through with an album that is overall great with a large scale and driven by hardy rhythms, and while the electronic-metal sound has been done by other acts between the band’s formation and now, they still pull it off efficiently.

Now their next step should be to evolve and expand upon their roots to ensure that they can break out from the rest of the pack in a thriving scene that is both teeming and luxurious, and from there is where they will prevail in the long term.


***HIGHLIGHTS***

Sense Of The Spherical, Dramatic Professions Of Martyrdom, Thrive, Pearls Before Swine



IN ASSOCIATION WITH RAGE PR

ST.MARTiiNS – King Tuts #KTNYR19 | SMALL GOES GIGGING

ktnyr19


A night headlined by a pop duo also opened with one – Drift from Paisley – who were the only fresh new faces for this particular night, and we honestly had heard very little about them heading in; a fact that we regretted so badly coming out.

Linzi had such a luminous voice that was stunning and added so much to the aura that they established, plus it featured a wide pitch that swapped from low to high and vice versa at the flick of a dial.

Meanwhile, Andrew was multitasking like crazy, using guitars, keyboards, synths, electronics and who knows what other bits and bobs to produce melodic pieces, and doing so pretty effectively, and he even contributed some nice secondary harmonies.

The numbers were dark and dripping with ambience, and they had this undeniably magnetic pull to them, evident by the fact that at the end of the second song, everybody in the room suddenly migrated towards them and never turned back.

It was a fascinatingly radiant and even sometimes tingling performance that stood as perhaps the best opening set of #KTNYR19 so far from easily our favourite discovery of the entire festival by this point.

This pair is special. Oh, and happy birthday Elaine!


Russell Stewart fell into that rare category of acts that we had actually seen in the past, as we came to know him when he supported Fenella at 13th Note 2 years ago, but this time he wasn’t alone.

Russell himself has evolved his game since our last meeting. He was a great singer alone, but he also had a cool and collected confidence which never came off forced or flashy, he appeared to be all natural.

There was a broad variety and mix of tones with the material. You had those handful with bouncy beats that elicited sweet vibes to get people into a summery frame of mind, there was some slow, jazzy numbers, and at one point, Russell even returned to his solo roots for the drawing, well-written Old Wounds.

Each of the tunes were accompanied by dazzling backing vocals, very slick bass work, good drumming and bloody superb keys. Throughout, the feedback from the now heaping crowd was positive, and it was truly earned. Russell and co were on consistently top form, and left a fine mark on the stage of Tuts.


We came hooked onto Fauves when they released their debut EP a year prior, and we were quickly reminded why that was the case.

They entered and showcased a delightfully arty sound that was highly infectious, featuring a combination of high, pristine harmonies, polished riffs, juicy rhythms and exquisite synths.

They had little bother getting folk sucked in, with a sea of bodies to be seen bobbing along. Most of their offerings had a smooth, easygoing pace to them, yet they were catchy all the same, and there were a couple of spots where they upped the ante slightly and provided an extra dose of buzz.

Not surprisingly, they made their exit to mental cheers after a set that was a pleasing, well-refined display of their talents. By the by, Rory’s a cracking dancer.


We’ve been big fans of St.Martiins since we fell in love with Bad W/ Her in 2017, and we had been dying to catch the duo at a gig for ages since then, and they came equipped with the rest of their fine crew here.

They commenced on a soft note and eased their way in steadily, but that quickly changed when Do Your Words ignited a dancing sesh in the front row, and it continued from there with their other fantastic 2018 singles No It’s All Over and Ur So Pretty, each donning some fab writing.

Katie was a sensational vocalist, with such a pure voice that is even more ravishing in a live environment. The twin guitars fused with excellent tender chords that helped to drive the engaging melodies, the beats formed from the bass and drums were captivating, and the synths assisted in enhancing the atmosphere that enveloped the room and had a tight grip on the vast audience.

Capping off with the ever-popular Jazzboy and going out with very little in the way of flaws, it was a truly enticing viewing and listening experience from one of Dundee’s finest that left us in high spirits, as well as so glad to have finally scratched their name off our bucket list.

Tiger Mimic – Elephant Skeleton | SMALL RECORD REVIEWS

TM ES


AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 18th JANUARY!


It was last year that the pairing of Bram and Jess upped from New York City and moved across the pond to London, where they would form the indie rock quartet Tiger Mimic alongside their pals Ben and George.

In just a matter of months, they quickly made a strong first impression and caught the attention of many online. With that buzz firmly at their side, they get ready to release their debut EP – Elephant Skeleton.

Between the set of five tracks, we get a tight combination of really smooth, enchanting harmonies, sweet guitars, utterly sublime bass chords and mild drumming that carries the great beats.

The choruses are addictive, the writing shines through; even being quite clever in spots; and the infectious, almost jazzy rhythms are a joyous, sensation for the ears that unconsciously gets our hips swaying from side to side.

We knew we’d be in for something good, but Tiger Mimic have surpassed expectations here with an impressive record that is a tonne of fun, featuring content that is really memorable, well put together and has more than enough variety to keep it fresh.

Any new listeners that are given the opportunity to check out Elephant Skeleton should definitely not pass it up, it’s a pleasant surprise that will make anybody a fan.


***HIGHLIGHTS***

Salt Woman, Elephant Skeleton, I Took Off My Body


Bad Hombres – King Tuts #KTNYR19 | SMALL GOES GIGGING

ktnyr19


Kilwinning band Refuge Island have not been around long, but they’ve been making waves fast with a strong debut single and being recruited by management, and we were keen to see how they would translate onto the stage. They charged out the gates with The Blame, and from there would dish out a batch of other pungent, aggressive punky numbers such as Fever and Above Board.

Wullie was a perfect fit for the tone of the material, with a blunt attitude in his singing. Darren’s riffs were intense, John busted out bass chords real fast, and Stephen – while suffering from bad luck with a dropped stick and a falling cymbal – still kept up with his equally rapid drumming; accompanied by that one happy chap in the crowd proudly stomping away.

Few slips aside, it was a solid enough set from an act who are clearly still in their infancy, but could potentially develop into something more prominent down the line.


We became fans of Cats With Glasses dead quick after we got hooked onto their debut EP the month before, and we were quite excited to see if they could recapture the magic live. The short answer was yes.

As they broke in with Fit For Flight and Breakthrough, they switched up the energy and got a buzz going in a room now more packed with people, the majority of them being fans that knew the score and responded with much love via clapping and the like.

The bulk of their tunes were catchy and infectious. Those from the aforementioned record sounded cracking, while the fresh new songs were up to scratch. Jack delivered great harmonies, and he and Connor both gave us excellent guitar work. Tam was fluent on the bass, and Daniel was so concentrated in his craft on the kit, and effectively so.

It was impressive stuff from the four. We have high hopes for these guys, even at this early stage of the game, and we think they have a tasty amount of future potential lurking.


Now we moved into what was unfamiliar territory for ourselves, starting with Franky’s Evil Party from Dumfries, and yeah…this was something else.

The frontman Josh had this bizarre yet damn strong presence that was so brash but so fixating, and he backed that up with mental vocals. The rest of the sweaty shirtless outfit (well okay, not Megan on the latter) excelled too, with screeching riffs, sturdy chords, hefty cymbal crashes and catchy electronic beats all loaded in there.

When their tracks were at their calmest, they were smooth and had nifty grooves to them, but when they hit the other end of the spectrum, it was bloody insane. The profane writing was hooking, and the crowd were caught up in the madness, especially the red-hot front row yelling back and dancing along. Most, if not all, of the tunes were belters, with the immense King sticking out the most as the lyrics were echoed around the venue.

Whatever in the blue hell it was that we had just witnessed, it was a fresh, beautiful sight to behold.


And lastly were Bad Hombres, whose name we had seen kicking all over online, and much like the lot of the other headliners new to us, we were converted into fans.

Admittedly, it took us a while to regain the buzz after the preceding chaos of Franky’s, but we were soon won over. The set was good to begin with, and they gradually garnered momentum and we became all the more invested, especially with the subject matters their songs centred around, with focal points including Yes MenProtest As You Please and Theresa, all lyrically sound across the board and tackled in a bitter manner.

Their vocal games were top notch, the riffs were sweet and the rhythms had a pumping energy to them, particularly when they kicked it into a higher gear. The choruses tended to be ace, and they had a clear grasp on the crowd who filled the room to the brink.

A mixture of raw, resonant content and an obvious chemistry on stage made this a satisfying way to cap off the show. Bad Hombres had officially entered our radar, and they sure wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.


P.S. Hiip Priest’s DJ playlist was by far the best from any gig of #KTNYR19 so far, just saying.