REVIEW | One Last Secret: Restart

Kilmarnock pop rock outfit One Last Secret have certainly been making the rounds over the last few years, and with their talent, it’s no surprise to have see them build such a strong legion of fans across the country in that time. All of this have led up to their long-awaited debut full length release: Restart. And I’m happy to say that after over a year of hard work put into this album, it is without a doubt their crowning achievement.

Sidelines provides a rocking start and sets a high standard for the rest of the record to follow, which the band achieves with little difficulty. The album is chock full of enjoyable upbeat numbers including Touch, Not Really You and Fighting On My Own, as well as other songs which have their own stand out qualities; Hole is a ridiculously catchy tune with lyrics that refuse to leave my head, the slower You Took Me Away has memorable riffs that I can’t get enough of, and Ghost fittingly enough features some beautiful haunting elements, especially in the intro and chorus.

Overall, this is an absolutely fantastic album from start to finish, and one so addictive I find myself constantly going back to listen to it again and again. Whether you are a dedicated fan of pop rock, or you are just seeking high quality music in general, this is a must buy.

REVIEW | The Courtesans – Audio | 28th March 2015

The Courtesans are an all-female band hailing from London that I’ve had my eye on recently and got interested in not long after discovering their music. As luck would have it, they were to be playing Glasgow with a few of my good friends supporting, so a ticket was bought and I headed down to Audio to catch the ladies in action.

28 mph would kick off the show with a decent set of grungy rock tunes that had the audience bopping their heads to every note. With the combination of a frontman that was really into it, solid riffs and bass work, and highlights including the fast-paced Gasoline, they made for a great opener.

Metal outfit Splintered Halo were next to take to the stage, and boy did they make their presence felt, delivering a wicked performance of heavy, catchy high-tempo numbers. Evelyn was a highly charismatic and talented vocalist, whether singing cleanly or fiercely dishing out the equivalent of cougar roars. Their rendition of No Limit was brilliant and Addicted got the crowd’s seal of approval. It was my first time seeing this band, and they made one hell of an impact. Consider me a fan.

After that insanity, it was Megalomatic‘s turn, and again they showed why they are one of the best upcoming live bands in all of Glasgow right now, playing a set with such a sheer, explosive energy behind it that had everyone in attendance hooked. As always, I admired lead man Craig’s vocal style and the rest of the band backed him up with cracking guitar, bass and drum work throughout. Their newer material showcased the growth and continuing development of their music as they produced longer, more complex songs. In standard Megalomatic fashion, they jumped between being on and off the stage and getting in among the people, even briefly ending up outside the building altogether. These guys only get better with time, and if they keep this momentum going, they will definitely go far.

And now for the main attraction of the evening: The Courtesans, who took the venue by storm. The femme fatales presented a spell binding performance that retained the crowd’s undivided attention throughout and sent them on a hypnotic musical ride like no other, highlighted by tunes such as Hard Man To Kill, The Power Of Love and the always popular Genius. Capping off with a well deserved encore, it was a very unique and captivating experience. I was glad to have witnessed it, and if they choose to return, I’ll be very quick in purchasing a ticket to relive it all again.

REVIEW | We Came From Wolves – Stereo | 26th March 2015

In celebration of the release of their latest single Am I Useful, Perth rock band We Came From Wolves embarked on a tour across the country, which included a show at Stereo in Glasgow. Being one of my favourite bands in all of Scotland, it was absolutely necessary for me to head down to witness them live once again.

Sea Of Crowns were up first. I saw these guys live at Nice N Sleazy last month, and just like then they impressed me by doing what do they best: delivering an energetic set with groovy riffs and cracking drum work. A great start to the show courtesy of an underrated live band.

Edgar took the helm next and they treated the audience to a highly entertaining performance of poppy numbers featuring enthusiastic vocal work, upbeat keys and very catchy bass lines.

At last, it was time for We Came From Wolves to take to the stage, and safe to say, they killed it. They played a phenomenal set that had the crowd hooked and in the palm of their hands from start to finish, whether they got them singing, clapping, bopping their heads, or even in the case of one particular gentleman, eagerly performing some mighty air guitar. They played a batch of fantastic tunes from their upcoming debut album including Glasgow Stranger, Coraline and the new single, as well as a few classics from the Paradise Place EP.

Capping off with For All Our Sins, We’re Golden, they finished what was undoubtedly one of the best live performances of the year so far, and it has definitely got me excited for the new album. Roll on 1st June!

REVIEW | Misguided Anchors (Self-Titled EP)

Last week, I had the opportunity to see Glasgow melodic metalcore band Misguided Anchors live for the first time when they opened for Falling With Style at Audio, and quite frankly they impressed me. So naturally, I had to pick up a copy of their debut EP from them afterwards. And just like their live performances, the EP blew me away.

The opening track Self Hatred is a catchy number that comes complete with cracking vocals, top notch riffs and smashing drums, with War In My Mind afterwards further kicking up the tempo and the heaviness factor.

The lead single Lust is a seriously great riff and bass driven tune with a memorable chorus, soon followed by Be Unleashed, and they sure saved the best for last; a swift head banger where the band delivers their greatest work across the board, and serves as one hell of a climax to cap off the record perfectly.

All in all, this is one of the best EPs I’ve listened to so far this year, and it seriously demands more attention. With the talent these guys boast and the huge potential they hold, Misguided Anchors are almost certainly going to become a major fixture in the Scottish metal scene within the next few years.

REVIEW | Reely Jiggered: Kaleidoscope

Celtic folk rock. Now that is a genre I never thought I would ever tackle on this blog, but as fate would have it, I was bestowed a copy of Gourock band Reely Jiggered‘s album, Kaleidoscope, and unexpectedly it turned out to be something I really enjoyed.

The record is chock full of really catchy jigs such as Warrior, Cuban Brenda and the bagpipe heavy Folk Police. While most of the songs are instrumental, now and again the listener is graced with the beautiful voice of Alison McNeill in the likes of Parting Glass, La Lorona and John Anderson. There are also a variety of tracks that are dripping with goosebump-inducing atmosphere, such as the title track and Scarborough Fair.

With Clumsy Lover serving as the last hurrah, this is a wonderful album that embraces the Celtic culture fantastically, thanks to a grand sound created by excellent instrumentation, luminous vocal talents and enjoyable writing.

REVIEW | Glory & The Fall: Style Over Substance

To say that Scotland is filled to the brim with many metalcore bands would be an understatement. Glasgow especially has it’s fair share of talented ones, and one of them is Glory & The Fall, who recently put out their debut EP – Style Over Substance.

The record kicks off ferociously from the get go with the catchy title track that features solid vocals, really good guitar and drum work and an enjoyable chorus. All of these qualities continue to be displayed throughout the rest of the EP; Worthless has plenty of sick screams and breakdowns, Nothing Left To Lose is heavy on the bass and Never Change serves as a smashing, high-tempo climax.

On the whole, a great first effort from one of Glasgow’s top flourishing metalcore talents. If these guys continue to deliver quality music and gain the right exposure, they should have little trouble making a name for themselves.

REVIEW | Bad Sign – Broadcast | 25th March 2015

What’s that? 3 of the UK’s top live rock acts on the same bill in Glasgow? This is a rare opportunity when it comes to gigs, so naturally I had to make my way down to Broadcast to catch this show.

Kicking off the proceedings were local progressive band Mountains Under Oceans. I credit these guys as one of the first to get me interested in instrumental music, and they quickly reminded me why that was the case. From We Built Our Castles On Moving Sand to Paths, they delivered a highly technical set that blended together dynamic riffs, bass lines and drum work that engrossed all in attendance.

And now for the first of the touring bands: Sworn To Oath. I’ve been a big fan of these guys for a few months, so when their Glasgow show last month was cancelled, I was really gutted. But thankfully, the long wait to catch them live paid off, as the trio dished out a performance of sick tunes from their incredible album Pillars, including Forever Hurting, Let The Rain Pour and Outcast. They got the crowd banging their heads and hooked them in with fierce vocals and addictive bass tones.

The Colour Line were up next. Last year I witnessed them destroy the 13th Note, and in the same vain they tore every square inch of Broadcast a new one with an insane set of psychotic proportions featuring immense vocal work, swift riffs, superhuman speed drumming and all the band members bouncing around the venue like little kids coked up on the highest of sugar rushes. A lost shoe, a circle pit around a pillar, broken glass, damaged chairs, people up in the air coming crashing down, guitars being played with mic stands, Thomas of Colours To Shame briefly joining the band…just another standard day on the job for this band.

After having a much need breather, Bad Sign capped off with an energetic, ferocious set of tunes that included some from their Destroy EP, such as Father and the ridiculously catchy Recidivist. The band clearly brought their A-game which made for a really entertaining live show. Unfortunately I had to leave late into the set, but regardless they had certainly made an impact and I will happily pay to see them again soon. A cracking end to one hell of a night.