While there are certainly a lot of worthy acts checking out, we do feel that pop punk doesn’t always excel in terms of variety. But here is someone who does offer something different – Chris Quinn, and his acoustic-based project A Reason For This, who put out a self-titled EP at the top of the year.
Stuck opens it well, sporting a very nice rhythm, while the short but sweet This Place Is Still The Same boasts great lyrics and a fast pace driven by the guitar.
The emotions truly show through with You Were Right, and the anguish is only heightened in The Home In My Head, before Changing serves as a low-key note to end on.
A solid compilation that lends as a perfect intro to the talents of Chris Quinn, and we recommend it without hesitation to fans of the genre who are maybe looking for something less traditional.
After a wait so long to a point where we thought it would never be happening at any rate, Slowlight‘s debut album has finally arrived on the scene, titled The Only Thing I Want Is To Know What I Want. Say that three times fast. So following such patience and anticipation from everyone, is it worth it in the end?
They open up amply with Full On Empty, where the guitars are strong and the bass is delightfully crunchy. We like the smooth melody of the title track, but unfortunately the song goes on way too long and overstays its welcome due to a repetitious nature, eventually reaching a stage of monotonoty.
Thankfully, they recover considerably with the highlight, Blackout. In addition to being so catchy, Colin takes charge in the candid verses, while the great chorus is topped by commanding harmonies from Beth.
They blast the ears with the harsh and aggressive Prison, after which the interlude Cucumber serves as a nice bridge to Pretend For Real, featuring a mild rhythm and notable lyrics.
Strange Shapes adds a punchy dose, and the intensity only spurs with Turn The Knife, especially with the vocals. The riffs are solid in Let’s Plagarise – which has a brilliant intro, by the way – before Tiger Science provides a quelling finish to the record.
Despite some scattered inconsistencies throughout, Slowlight’s first full-length release is overall an entertaining one that certifies their worth and is sure to delight those who indulge in the punk and emo genres.
SLOWLIGHT HEAD OUT ON A “BRIEF TOUR OF CENTRAL SCOTLAND” IN MARCH ALONGSIDE SWITCH BONES
Whilst attending Friends With Benefest 3 last year, we had the opportunity to see Horizons for the first time and we liked what we heard, having seen potential in what they were capable of.
Well, now it’s time to test said potential, for after 2 years working hard behind the scenes, the guys are set to release their long-awaited Pathfinder EP.
They ease in and gradually heighten the sound before firing into A Bid Farewell, a simple yet solid enough track that does its job in getting us warmed up. They suddenly flick the dial with Hollowed, a high-tempo, fiercely aggressive track, where Jonathan’s roaring screams are packing some real force.
With the band now in business, In Time keeps the pace going with an array of zealous riffs and booming drum beats. The lyrics and a memorable chorus are the highlights of Pathfinder itself, not to mention guest vocalist Matteo Gelsomino of Novelists notoriety kills it in his appearance.
After taking a breather, they come swinging back for one last round, charging to the finish line with the intense Wearing Thin, closing out a great record that will almost certainly cement Horizons as one of Scotland’s most notable hardcore acts. Sure, there’s a couple of spots that may need some improvement, but ultimately the promise is abundantly clear.
“PATHFINDER” IS AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY
Glasgow rock duo Taped Live burst onto the scene last summer with their debut record Seven Sounds, and it wouldn’t be long before Leo and Sal were eager to have another go. Fast forward a few months later, and we have their second release – Take My Picture.
They kick off with the record’s namesake, a nice little jumping number with good guitars and a bucking chorus on hand. Crumble is laden with some cool distorted riffs, after which they return to animated form with the pretty catchy Think It’s Funny?
Half the length of its predecessor, but nonetheless this EP is just as worth it. Straightforward and not much in terms of risk-taking, but regardless, it doesn’t fail to entertain in its short time frame.
For 2018 and beyond, the pair will have to step up their game if they want to climb up the ladder and to the big leagues. The potential is there, it’s just a case of developing it.
Edinburgh blues rock band Black Cat Bone first came to our attention through their full-length album Growl back in 2015, and now it’s time to get ourselves refreshed and familiar with them again as we look at the follow-up – Get Your Kicks Sessions.
They warm up fashionably with Morning Light, certainly not taking long to get going with this rocking tune donning a cracking chorus. The title track is the unmatched highlight of the bunch; the rhythm is punchy, the harmonicas are slick and it all leads to a high-octane section that leaves the listener breathless.
We were initially worried that they wouldn’t be able to follow that, but our worries were quickly washed away with Bullet, which is straightforward yet catchy. The drumming and spirited riffs bounce off each other well in Love My Baby, whilst the vocals continue to display amounts of fervor, and they cap off the record in rollicking style courtesy of the utterly energetic Hipshake.
This is exactly what we hoped for – an EP that is huge amounts of fun and tailor made for a guaranteed swinging experience.
Far over in the Californian city of Richmond, RnB artist Rayana Jay has been making a reputable name for herself as of late, and she continues to showcase her abilities; as well as collaborate with a series of adept producers; courtesy of her most recent EP – Love, Rayana.
Swoon is a pretty serene starter, thanks to a nice mixture of Rayana’s warm harmonies and ESTA’s cool production. 2:30 takes it up a notch, as Rayana displays a direct attitude in her singing, and the writing is a key quality too. Taking the helm, FORTUNE puts together a good fitting beat.
Finishing it off is Love Is A Gravity Thing, a fantastic tune with Rayana at her A-game, and Jean Kengz creating a heck of a catchy melody that really sticks.
Rayana Jay proves her worth once again with what is an astonishing EP comprising of three stimulating tracks that make their mark in one form or another, and the producers involved do play a considerable part in that.
Soon, more people will open their eyes to Rayana and the talent she clearly possesses.
2 years after the release of their debut record All Roads Lead Home, London-residing Exeter rock quintet TALMA are back and ready to impress again with their second EP – Out To Sea.
We are greeted with an increasing drum beat before the guys get going with In Circles, which moves at a stable tempo and features a solid chorus. Lifeline certainly has more a pep, with competent vocals, neat riffs and smooth bass tones showcased over its course.
Starless Skies is very pleasant and has a real warmth to it, particularly in regards to the harmonies and cordial riffs. In our opinion, this is a highlight, and they follow in corresponding fashion with the closing title track, which builds upon the atmosphere and adds more and more layers of energy, leading up to an exciting finish.
This is another well done effort from the band that, while doing nothing revolutionary by any means, still brings plenty of variety to the table and succeeds in entertaining through each of the tunes in one way or another.
For our money’s worth, we enjoyed Out To Sea, and we think that any other sensible rock fan should too.
“OUT TO SEA” IS AVAILABLE FROM FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY