Samoans and Freeze the Atlantic have seen fit to produce a split EP to accompany their October tour. Both bands have produced a new song and a cover of one of each other’s songs in the BYO Split Series mould.
Samoans have a wonderfully diverse offering on this split. Opener Wrong Cops sees the band exploring alt rock territories with comparisons to Transmit Disrupt-era Hell is for Heroes coming to mind. It’s a wonderfully dreamy bit of rock music that’s big on noodly guitar work and it’s drenched in Daniel Barnett’s soaring vocal melodies.
Then we approach Samoans cover which is something pretty special indeed. A take on Freeze the Atlantic’s Stompbox, Samoans strip the song back to its bones and concentrate on that wonderful riff that kicks the whole thing into gear. Instead of being the high-paced rocker that it took in its original form, Samoans’ version of Stompbox slows the riff down and amps up the distortion to give the whole thing a Deftones vibe that reminds us of Minerva. Stompbox now plods along with an Earth-shattering groove that Samoans are so fond of incorporating.
This is extremely strong stuff from Samoans that further cements their more considered post rock approach that the band implemented on their previous record. Samoans deal in large-scale, floaty melodies that are punctuated with dirty great walls of distortion and it’s still an absolute joy to listen to.
FREEZE THE ATLANTIC
Freeze the Atlantic have had a pretty rocky start to their career and they’re already on their third vocalist. While we were previously left a bit hollow by Liv Puente’s performance on their previous self-titled record, Puente has hit his stride on new song The Floor is Made of Lava. This is a far moodier and more musically interesting offering from the band that doesn’t follow the standard hard rock structures they’ve previously explored. This is more like a post hardcore song and it reminds us of bands like Radio Alcatraz. This is creatively a big step up for Freeze the Atlantic and we completely welcome it.
Now we approach Freeze the Atlantic’s cover. What’s interesting with this song is they actually opt to make Samoans’ I Am Your Density more approachable by changing the structure to something that flows more like a traditional rock song. This is quite a nice trade-off between the two bands that showcases exactly what they both do so well. Freeze the Atlantic do a fantastic job of making this their own and see fit to add a massive riff that will get the crowds jumping.
Freeze the Atlantic have definitely improved dramatically as song-writers and thanks to a stronger vocal performance from Puente it feels like all the pieces have finally fallen into the right places. I personally cannot wait to see what the band deliver on their next long-player.
This split from Samoans and Freeze the Atlantic is a great bit of fun that showcases both bands at the very top of their game. Fans of heavy rock music are given an incredibly diverse display of alt rock, post rock and post hardcore that manages to meld together in a strangely cohesive package.
Samoans and Freeze the Atlantic’s split EP is out now and can be bought directly from either band.
Plymouth-based hardcore act Boxkite harken back to the short-lived #UKSwell scene that encompassed bands like Bastions, Crocus, Pariso and Kerouac and like said bands, they have a wonderfully emotive approach to hardcore punk that ebbs and flows through passages of flat-out aggression and more introspective moments of respite.
In true punk fashion, Boxkite’s debut self-titled EP is over and done in 6 minutes which means that Boxkite deal in a dense yet visceral type of hardcore that grabs you by the throat and shakes you until you pass out. Opener Struggles begins with a devastating blast-beat that quickly establishes the no-nonsense approach to music that the band deals in.
Boxkite aren’t exactly breaking the mould on this record but fans of hardcore punk will still be treated to one of the most perfectly crafted punk EPs this year. What Boxkite do so well is temper their nasty, crushing riffs and snotty yelling with passages where they let the bass guitar ring out. Cycles and Red Skies are great examples of this; the bass is often used to drench the song in a nice bit of gloomy atmosphere before the band unleashes another ball-busting riff. It’s a simple trick that keeps the record diverse and makes the aggression even more impactful.
What really impresses is the wonderful clarity. No single element of the sound is lost in this mix; the guitar sound is more like traditional punk rather than the HM-2 hardcore that’s become so popular nowadays. The bass cuts through the action with a wonderfully dirty twang, the drums smack you straight in the chest with each snare and bass drum hit and despite the lairy, yelled nature of the vocals, you can actually understand the lyrics.
Boxkite have burst out the gates with a hardcore debut that doesn’t mess about. This is 6 tracks of solid, bouncy yet strangely forlorn punk that leaves a serious mark. Anyone looking for the next great UK hardcore band might want to seriously consider grabbing Boxkite’s debut EP while it’s hot; you won’t regret it.
Boxkite’s debut self-titled EP is out now and available to download direct for the band or buy on red or black vinyl through Tangled Talk Records or Boslevan Records.
Let’s Talk Daggers deal in a special blend of heaviness we like to call weirdcore. Hopefully it’ll catch on. It’s not quite post hardcore, not quite mathcore, not quite indie rock; it’s a bit of them all. Weirdcore. It’s also ridiculously exciting to listen to and after a long 2 year gap between mini-album Fantastic Contraption back in the March of 2013, it’s still as fresh and unpredictable as ever on Let’s Talk Daggers’ debut album A Beautiful Life.
If you’re not familiar with the band’s musical stylings then allow me to explain what the structure of a single Let’s Talk Daggers song is like: there is no structure. The band throws as many riffs, hooks and melodies they can at a single song and manage to piece it together in a way that actually manages to work. Think The Blood Brothers, At the Drive-In and Battle for Paris all blended into the craziest guitar super-group you can imagine and you’ll have an idea as to the chaos contained within A Beautiful Life.
As if the music couldn’t get even more erratic, there’s even a brass element that comes into play on songs like I Love You Dad, But I’m Mental and 3D Rug that adds yet another layer of complexity to the proceedings. A Beautiful Life is an album that is unforgiving in its density and if you’re new to the band then you might find the first listen to be a bit overwhelming. However, repeated listens reveal a band at the very top of their game and the sheer amount of memorable riffs on offer is a testament to Let’s Talk Daggers excellent song-writing.
As the album progresses, the band also manages to blend their noisier more erratic moments with a more laid back, indie rock vibe. Songs like the title track and Clutchendials have a wonderful quiet/loud dynamic to them that shows yet another layer of complexity to the music but without the impervious onslaught of technicality that comes with songs like Carvery Vibes.
Regardless, Let’s Talk Daggers have made one of the most electric rock albums of the year. If you can appreciate guitar music that doesn’t sacrifice technicality for song-writing then Let’s Talk Daggers have delivered a record that does just that and even more. A Beautiful Life is an absolute tidal wave of riffs, tempo changes and yelping and despite the madness of its contents, Let’s Talk Daggers have brought it all together into one cohesive yet exhausting piece.
Let’s Talk Daggers’ A Beautiful Life is out now on digital download direct from the band or limited edition yellow vinyl from Tangled Talk Records.