Patrons are a 4 piece alt rock band from Plymouth who are clearly influenced by luminaries like Biffy Clyro and In Case of Fire. Their second EP The Momentary Effects of Sunlight sees the band’s sound expand exponentially, creating a truly satisfying slab of emotional rock music.
Patrons manage to prove that over these 4 songs that they have an unnerving talent for writing music that ebbs and flows with wonderful fluidity. Songs like Circus kick off with a brilliantly off-kilter twangy riff that opens up into a soaring chorus before driving the whole thing home with a massive riff that could shake a house to its foundations. The movement of Patrons’ music is so natural that it makes for bizarrely easy listening considering the sheer amount of action contained within.
The band also make use of some famous post hardcore tricks like the quiet/loud dynamic. This becomes one of the most satisfying elements of Patrons’ sound as they often follow up their more subtle and understated moments with an enormous explosion of guitar euphoria.
We haven’t even spoken about the vocals which are exemplary throughout. Melodies are incredibly memorable, heart-on-sleeve affairs and when the music steps up a notch then the vocals follow suit. There’s some satisfying screams in here that really help deliver the notion that these boys really do sing it like they mean it.
Patrons have a seriously accomplished sound for a band this early in their career. The Momentary Effects of Sunlight is an EP loaded with fantastic song writing and the emphatic choruses are coupled with a lovely melding of delicate yet abrasive guitar work. If you’ve been looking for your new favourite rock band then look no further because Patrons might just be the one.
Patrons’ The Momentary Effects of Sunlight is out now and available to buy on CD direct from the band.
Norwich post hardcore band Darwin and the Dinosaur have dropped their debut album A Thousand Ships. Fans of This City and Young Guns will be in familiar territory as Darwin and the Dinosaur deal in big riffs, memorable choruses and worship at the heels of the quiet/loud dynamic.
The band have some wonderful song-writing chops. Tracks like Theories, Making Friends With Strangers and Riff Town Population: You are loaded with chunky, bouncy riffs and bolstered by some lovely, glittery leads. The band always chooses a great moment to punctuate their songs with a huge power-chord and for the most part their music is thoroughly entertaining.
The album isn’t without fault though. The band relies too heavily on twinkly, acoustic interludes to flesh it out. This results in a record that only has 6 fully-formed songs on it. If the band cut out the chaff and released this as an EP it would be much better off. A Thousand Ships has all the right elements to be a no-nonsense slab of post hardcore but sadly there’s a little too much nonsense.
The other issue is with the band’s vocals. While the vocal performance is entirely serviceable, they often sit in a comfortable mid-range that means a lot of the songs on A Thousand Ships feel overly similar. Things really plateau with Make Believe which isn’t nearly as exciting as the rest of the songs on the album and the vocals do it no favours. A little more variety in the vocals could have really set some of these songs off especially when you consider how thunderously heavy the opening riff of Making Friends With Strangers. It would have been nice to have heard the occasional scream to accompany the record’s heavier moments.
Regardless, Darwin and the Dinosaur are very close to having a seriously accomplished sound. For the most part, A Thousand Ships is a seriously exciting post hardcore record that’s stuffed with great riffs and choruses. If the band can make a record with a little less padding and some more variety in the vocal department then they’d be onto a winner. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.
Darwin and the Dinosaur’s A Thousand Ships is out now and available to buy on CD and vinyl direct from the band.
American desert rockers Karma to Burn have joined forces with Kent prog rockers Sons of Alpha Centauri and the result is a double dose of instrumental rock that’s big on groove and not much else.
KARMA TO BURN
Karma to Burn’s contribution is a spacey, 4 minute track called Six that hammers home a pretty satisfying groove but does little else to hold your attention. The track ends up playing out like a very long album opener which would be fine if the band had a stronger track to follow it up but they don’t as each band on this split only contributes a single track.
4 minutes, one riff; that’s all you’re getting. Fingers crossed Sons of Alpha Centauri have a little more to offer because this is an inconsequential opening on a 7” that costs seven of your British pounds.
SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI
Sons of Alpha Centauri thankfully put forward a song that has a little more meat on its bones. Their contribution is a song called 66 (get it? Six66? GROAN) and the song is a somewhat proggier affair than Karma to Burn’s effort. The off kilter guitar work brings back memories of classic earthtone9 which is certainly a compliment compared to Karma to Burn who brought on feelings of boredom.
Unfortunately while this composition actually bothers to move and progress into different riffs, the band’s sound really needs something else. The instrumentation just isn’t interesting enough to hold your attention without any vocals and this is where Sons of Alpha Centauri fall down. Sons of Alpha Centauri are making the sort of alternative rock that bands like Tool have been so successful with, but while bands like that include all the elements needed to flesh out their sound, Sons of Alpha Centauri don’t feel like they have enough in their repertoire to hold your attention.
Instrumental rock is a difficult genre to deal in because as both bands on this split have proven, missing an element as important as a vocalist can end up making your music sound sparse and uneventful in the process. Both Karma to Burn and Sons of Alpha Centauri need to spend more time making their music move in interesting and engrossing ways if they are to continue as instrumental acts.
Karma to Burn and Sons of Alpha Centauri’s 7” split is out now and available to buy from H42 Records and direct from Sons of Alpha Centauri.
What were your dreams as a teenager? Could you see yourself achieving those dreams? Could you continue to follow them into adulthood or would you lose interest in them? Is what you dreamt of doing as a teenager the same as what you dream of doing as an adult? InMe are a band that delivered on the dreams of two young men in the form of Dave McPherson and Simon Taylor and twelve years on from their debut album the two men have recruited two other men to continue their dreams into adulthood. It’s an inspiring tale but also an amazing story of knowing what you want to do with your life at such a young age.
Five albums later, InMe are now ready to drop their sixth and it’s the first part in a mammoth three album project. Each album in this trilogy is linked thematically and each showcases a signature part of InMe’s sound. The first album of the project is called Trilogy: Dawn and it showcases the more song-driven, anthemic side of the band that they previously explored in their earlier days. Unlike InMe’s earlier days, the band’s dynamic has changed dramatically with the inclusion of Greg McPherson and Gaz Marlow and while the band showcase moments of rock radio glory on Trilogy: Dawn, a lot of the songs feel bloated and lacking choruses as strong as those in songs like Crushed Like Fruit and So You Know.
There are also some bizarre choices in regards to the album’s running order. Instead of beginning with a song that sets things off in an explosive manner, opener Creation: Amethyst sounds like a mid-album ballad and it’s a very limp and underwhelming experience. In fact, it feels like Trilogy: Dawn takes quite a while before it gets into its stride and starts to deliver the sort of anthemic rock that InMe are so good at.
Four songs in we get Loss: Children of Exile and it finally feels like InMe have arrived. The angular riff that carries the beginning of the track is one the band’s best and it reminds us of Far Reaching from Daydream Anonymous. It isn’t long before the song opens up into a chorus that demands to be sung by a legion of fans and InMe are finally firing on all cylinders.
The second half of Trilogy: Dawn has some of InMe’s best work with the electronic-tinged Amnesty: Bonsai Forest being a real highlight. This is one of the most interesting things InMe have created so far and the beat in the chorus gives the song a trap music vibe. Then there’s the double dose of Chrysalis: Lone Dance on an Empty and Hymn: Ivory Elder which are future InMe classics. InMe have seen fit to make Hymn the lead single but it’ll be a massive shame if that wonderfully uplifting guitar hook in Chrysalis doesn’t get the radio play it deserves.
On the whole Trilogy: Dawn does a lot to showcase how fantastic InMe are and songs like Chrysalis feel almost celebratory. Unfortunately, a lot of Trilogy: Dawn feels unnecessarily drawn out and quite a few songs suffer from a lack of truly memorable melodies. InMe have all the capability to create amazing rock albums and they’ve proven that with their last effort The Pride, but Trilogy: Dawn feels overindulgent and bloated in comparison.
InMe’s Trilogy: Dawn is released on May 4th via Pledge Music.
The technical hardcore mob known as Artemis return for their third EP Nothing Left to See and it’s their most extensive to date. The band clearly draw from the Stallone/Palm Reader school of hardcore which means you’re in for a testing blend of razor-sharp, angular guitar work and emphatic, heart-on-sleeve vocals.
The proceedings kick off in an interesting fashion; opener I Am Alive features a relaxed guitar riff that allows the vocals to take centre stage. The highly-strung roar of the vocals is a massive draw on Nothing Left to See and Artemis really do sing it like they mean it.
When Dark Passenger rolls around then Artemis really begin to stretch their legs and break out the big guns in the process. This is Artemis at their best; riffs never outstay their welcome before they break into something new and the vocals tear through the scenery with their bile-ridden fury.
Sadly there are a few moments on Nothing Left to See where Artemis feel like they find their comfort zone and they’re less exciting to listen to as a result. When in Rome has very little in the way of any guitar riffs that help define the song and it becomes a pretty tiresome and forgettable experience. This is also the case for Sinking Ships which features a lot of atonal guitar work which is simply lacking in melody.
However, these are small complaints and the bigger picture of Artemis’ abilities is one that showcases a band full of passion and energy. Artemis’ Nothing Left to See has some amazing moments that are amongst hardcore’s best and despite a few occasions where the guitar spends too much time noodling around with passages that sound a bit lacking in melody, this is on the whole a pretty satisfying and punchy little hardcore EP. Artemis show promise and it’ll be interesting to see where they go next.
Artemis’ Nothing Left to See is out now and available to buy from Smithsfoodgroup DIY on limited edition cassette.