REVIEW | Leanne Smith: Precious Time

From up north in Aberdeenshire hails Leanne Smith, who happens to be a very talented singer-songwriter. I initially discovered her through her debut EP, Clockwise, and I was quite impressed; a feeling that would be replicated when I witnessed her live for the first time at Pivo Pivo last summer.

Recently, she released her 2nd record by the name of Precious Time, and she has truly outdone herself with this one.

We open with Hunters, a serene acoustic tune which starts calm but is soon perked up by a catchy backing drum beat; soon leading into Could Be Us which features very engaging, emotionally-fueled writing.

The title track certainly has to be a highlight, being a wonderful slow-tempo number that not only demonstrates the best of Leanne’s pristine vocal harmonies, but it is very easy on the ears, allowing the listener to be sucked in by the soothing melody. Eventually, the EP comes to a close with Canals which serves as a satisfying rhythmic finale.

Overall, an excellent display of musicianship once again from Leanne that proves her to be among the finest solo artists in all of Scotland at the moment. There is no dispute that she has the talent to go very far, if given the right spotlight.

REVIEW | Aquafaux: Spellbound

More often than not, I find myself coming across bands who I give a listen and think “why are these people not getting more attention?” Edinburgh electronic synth-pop band Aquafaux fit that category of groups I feel are seriously underrated, judging by their debut EP, Spellbound.

Starting slow and gentle, the title track elevates into a smooth opener with an enjoyable drum beat. She Will Deceive You picks it up by providing a groovy rhythm and highly memorable lyrics that will certainly be left ringing in your head afterwards.

See The Rain is a really catchy, fabulously upbeat tune rocking a fantastic chorus and excellent vocal harmonies, but they save the best for last; rolling all the great qualities of the previous tracks into one to bring us an electrifying conclusion in the form of Fame Game.

An outstanding EP that starts really good and only gets better as it progresses and builds to a superb finish. With this record, Aquafaux have proved themselves to be a very talented trio who don’t deserve to be as overlooked as they are.

REVIEW | Begin Again: I Ws Nvr Yr Grlfrn

Begin Again are a new pop punk outfit to emerge from Los Angeles, California. The brainchild of Ashley Beliovsky, a number of people, including myself, have been waiting in high anticipation for some music from the group, and at last they put out their debut single – I Ws Nvr Yr Grlfrn – and let’s just say, it’s awfully good.

This is an exciting, pumped up tune from start to finish featuring excellent vocals, fantastic guitar work and a ridiculously catchy melody; topped off by a dynamic chorus with highly memorable writing.

The band have made a great first impression by delivering one of the most enjoyable pop punk tunes that I have heard in recent times, and I can only expect their upcoming EP to be of a similar quality.

REVIEW | Six Time Champion: Let Me In

Ahead of their UK tour with Homebound, Brighton pop punk band Six Time Champion have presented everyone with a brand spanking new single by the name of Let Me In.

This was in fact my first time checking out the band, and this song effortlessly made me a fan; sucking me in with it’s energetic melody, lively chorus and enjoyable lyrical work, in addition to featuring great vocals, riffs and drumming.

A top notch tune that’s got me looking forward to catching the guys live in a couple of weeks time, and if I were you, I’d make it my priority to do the same and get down to one of their upcoming tour shows in July:

  • 2nd: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
  • 3rd: Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Corby
  • 4th: Stag & Hounds, Bristol
  • 5th: Undertone, Cardiff
  • 6th: Maguire’s Pizza Bar, Liverpool
  • 7th: The Eagle, Manchester
  • 8th: The Riverside, Sheffield
  • 9th: Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
  • 11th: Temple Of Boom, Leeds
  • 12th: The Old Blue Last, London

REVIEW | Fizzy Blood: Feast

I’ve discovered some mighty good bands this year, but hot damn, these guys may just take the cake – Leeds rock band Fizzy Blood, who recently released their debut EP, Feast.

Kicking off with a neat little intro, Black Sheep is a really cool opener that is heavy on the bass and highlighted by a ridiculously catchy rhythm, an aspect displayed again in the lead single, January Sun, an awesome tune with cracking riffs, memorable writing and a seriously rocking chorus.

Slither features an addictive beat accentuated by great guitar work and drumming. The band calm things down a little for the slick Cue To Leave, before cranking up the dial again with Patience, another energetic tune delivering more enjoyable riffs and bass lines. Soon, the musical proceedings come to an end with an exciting climax in the form of Queen Of Hearts.

This is an immense debut that only gets better with every spin, and it will surely rank as one of the best EPs to be unleashed in the UK’s underground music scene this year. Expect these gentlemen to go very far.

REVIEW | Blood Youth: Inside My Head

Blood Youth have established themselves as one of the hottest rising bands in the UK at the moment, and their debut EP – Inside Your Head – has done more than enough to cement that fact.

Piece By Piece is a heavy opening number that gets in your face instantly with ferocious vocals, ruthless riffs and incredibly memorable lyrics. But there is no time for a breather as the band are determined to keep the listener on this rollercoaster of a record; immediately kicking up the tempo further with Failure, afterwards delivering the highly bass-driven Cold Sweat.

An extra boost of adrenaline is injected with Dead Space, a relentless tune featuring swift drumming and an unbelievable chorus, before the EP wraps up with the rapid-paced Big Smoke.

From start to finish, this is an outstanding record with little flaws of note and a red-hot momentum that never burns out. With the talents that they have demonstrated, it’s certainly clear at this point that these guys are going to be something big.

REVIEW | Bittersweet Blasphemy: The Reckless Youth

Recently, I was given the opportunity to hear Ayrshire band Bittersweet Blasphemy for the first time with their latest single, The Reckless Youth, and I was really impressed with what I heard.

The band label themselves as a mix of post-hardcore and glam metal, and they live up to that moniker pretty nicely. In the space of 5 minutes, they deliver a cracking tune with an addictive rhythm, slick vocals, cool riffs and memorable lyrics that make this an ideal song for the audience to sing along to in any given live situation.

The band now have my attention, and I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to offer in their upcoming new EP.