Tag Archives: download

Review: So-Crates’ v1

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So-Crates are a new project featuring members of Hold Your Horse Is and Reuben and if that doesn’t get your post hardcore senses tingling then you might need to see a doctor. v1 is the band’s first offering; a pay-what-you-want, 7 track mini album that is bursting with ideas.

The music on v1 is a pretty angular and progressive affair, but always fast and driving. Imagine At the Drive-In wrestling with Billy Talent and you’ll have a good grasp as to what So-Crates are aiming for. Despite the manic, almost nervous energy of the record, So-Crates are surprisingly tuneful with Robin Pearson’s half sung/half spoken vocals still being incredibly striking and unique.

What really adds some wonderful texture is the glittery lead guitar work by Toby Jackson. Despite the songs often being consumed by chunky bass-lines and furious punk rock drumming, the presence of Jackson’s leads means there’s always an earworm melody on display and it makes songs like Paused on a Crossfade really stand out. So-Crates are always mixing a wild and dangerous sound with extremely tuneful and welcoming melodies and it makes v1 a very unique record to listen to.

There is one obvious negative though; music of this energy could do with sounding weightier. The production work on v1 makes it sound more like a jangly indie rock record which seems at odds with how bat-shit crazy the songs are. So-Crates could really benefit from having their drums hit that little bit harder and their riffs need to carry a little more bass. It’s an adjustment that could have really set this record on fire, but it’s something we’ll have to hope the band addresses in future releases.

Overall, v1 is an accomplished and intense debut from an extremely exciting new band. If you’re a fan of post hardcore and math rock then you’ll find a lot to love here and despite some niggles regarding the production, the song-writing really does shine bright and offer a record that is greater than the sum of its parts.

8/10

So-Crates’ v1 is out now and available to download by clicking here.

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News: Mammoth New Pay-What-You-Want Sampler from Smithsfoodgroup Available Now

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Our friends at Smithsfoodgroup have curated an enormous 57 song sampler which you can stream and download below.

This pay-what-you-want sampler features music from Scumscene favourites Venom Prison, Svalbard, Old Skin, Ithaca, Employed to Serve, Artemis, Rolo Tomassi, Eulogy, OHHMS, Oblivionized, Yards and many, many more. This is an absolutely essential download for fans of heavy music that we cannot recommend enough. Hop to it:


News: Grab Old Skin’s :consume: EP Before It’s Gone Forever

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Old Skin are currently supporting the release of :consume:; a two track EP that is available directly from the band for one week only and then it’s gone forever.

The limited edition CD version is unfortunately sold out but you can still download the release for any amount of money (yes, even no money if you’re that much of a cheapskate). Make sure you grab it via the widget below because at midnight on the 1st of June the band will be taking it down and you’ll have to source it by “other” means (which the band are openly encouraging by the way).

Check it out because you won’t regret it. You’ll have a hard time finding a more interesting/punishing slab of metallic hardcore today:


News: Help Save ‘Kin Hell Fest

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The amazing Leeds metal festival ‘Kin Hell Fest took place this past weekend and despite a stunning line-up that included Napalm Death, Onslaught, Anaal Nathrakh, Lockup and UK Scumscene favourites Trudger, Hawk Eyes and Employed to Serve, the festival was under-attended and made a huge loss.

If you would like to help the organisers out and ensure the festival can return then you can lend your support by purchasing some discounted left-over merchandise which includes t-shirts, posters and patches. Head over to the ‘Kin Hell Fest Big Cartel to see what’s on offer.

Also still available is last year’s mammoth 83 track compilation which can be purchased for a mere £2.50. Make sure that you do because it features tracks from bands like Oblivionized, Aghast!, DSDNT and Roll on Three.


News: New Alaska Release Free Live Collection of Demos

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Post hardcore/alt rockers New Alaska have made a 14 track collection of live demos, jams and scrapped songs available for free download.

The collection is called Boom Vaults and is available to download via the following link: CLICK HERE

New Alaska are currently in the process of working on their next EP. Their first EP Finer Lines of Tomorrow is still available to download and purchase on limited edition CD. New Alaska’s split with Chestnut Road is also available to pre-order from Speedowax Records now. The Chestnut Road split features 3 tracks from Finer Lines of Tomorrow.


News: Milestone’s Medicate the Night EP Out Now

We like Milestone. We like Milestone’s Medicate the Night EP. We reviewed it and said “Milestone clearly have bundles of talent and hooks to spare and the fantastic riffs and melodies are massive, lasting affairs that will refuse to leave your head.”

So why not go and buy a copy? The EP is available now directly from the band’s BigCartel on limited edition CD and digitally via the band’s BandCamp.

You can even stream the entire thing below before you make your purchase. What thoughtful fellows Milestone are:


Review: Anacondas’ Sub Contra Blues

Anacondas are a bizarre little project. Stuart and James Hunter are ex members of metalcore legends Johnny Truant, but this fact is pretty irrelevant when you hear what Anacondas sound like. With the addition of drummer Timothy Newman, the band have created an intriguing blend of doom and grunge that is lead with some pleasant, almost shoegazey singing that only occasionally becomes a yell.

Sub Contra Blues is the band’s debut album and it clocks in at a solid 38 minutes with enough riff worship to satisfy your average headbanger. As mentioned before, the band’s sound is a pretty unique blend of doom and grunge that fans of Cave In and even Mastodon will find things to latch onto.

“Now hold on”, I hear you say; “didn’t you say Anacondas sounded doomy?” Well yes, in the sense that a lot of their riffs are massive, down-tuned affairs that are given plenty of room to ring out. But when the band are given an opportunity to showcase their technical abilities they turn out some enormous riffs like the one featured at the beginning of High Horse. It’s these moments that really set Anacondas’ music apart from the rest. Not only are they blending genres like a pro, but they’re also finding opportunities to add lovely little prog flourishes to their music that add a very unique layer to the overall package.

The main issue with the album is that these moments are few and far between. The whole release meanders along at the same tempo and the down-tuned guitars are so bottom heavy that you rarely get to appreciate a melody. When the music moves up the fretboard even the slightest, Anacondas’ music really benefits from the added clarity.

Also, the shared vocals between all 3 members means the album has a problem with consistency. We generally enjoyed Anacondas better when the vocalists were shouting as it worked with the sludgy grooves far better than the alt-rock crooning.

You can’t deny that Anacondas are a band with a tonne of great ideas, but Sub Contra Blues proves that maybe they don’t all work that well together. There are moments of pure brilliance locked away in this record and with some added focus they could be the driving factor in a future Anacondas release. Is this album a failure? Maybe. But it’s certainly an admirable one at that and one that’s massively intriguing which can’t be said about a lot of bands’ music.

6/10

Anacondas’ Sub Contra Blues is available to download now.


News: Church of Fuck Release Free ‘Year of Sorrow’ Compilation

UK metal label Church of Fuck have released a free, downloadable compilation called Year of Sorrow which features a song from all of their 2013 releases, both scheduled and already available.

You can stream and download it from the below widget:

Church of Fuck’s next releases are the Razoreater/Iced Out split 7″ and Monolithian’s One/Zero on 12″. Click the links to pre-order both releases.


Review: Elysium’s In Valour

This cross-breed of metalcore and post hardcore is an interesting prospect that bands like Architects and A Day to Remember have pulled off to great success. Watford mob Elysium are following in these band’s footsteps on debut EP In Valour and generally succeed in paying fitting tribute to their peers.

Unfortunately for Elysium, while they have the chops to roll with the big boys, they haven’t got a lot that makes them stand out. In Valour plods through the metalcore motions and ticks all the right boxes; breakdowns, super-catchy chorus’, screaming, double-bass drumming etc. It’s all here and this genre has got to the point where it’s becoming stale.

Elysium need something else to help them stand out. When these 4 tracks come to a close you’ll realise that you’ve heard all these metalcore tropes in the past and that’s genuinely Elysium’s biggest problem; they offer nothing new.

This is not to say the band don’t have potential. The performances on In Valour are tight and effortlessly played and have the advantage of sounding enormous thanks to the brilliant production-work.

But even this doesn’t help the overbearing realisation that the band have no signature stamp of their own. Even the breakdowns feel cut and paste. 2nd track I’m a Thief But I Keep What I Steal even has a section early on that sounds like a breakdown is about to kick in but for one reason or another it doesn’t, leaving drummer Lewis Crawley to carry the song on his own.

The biggest pull comes in the form of the harsh vocals. These vocals have bite and deliver a sense of urgency that sounds vital. The delivery of these vocals sounds absolutely vicious and helps give the EP something meaty for the listener to get to grips with.

But sadly, Elysium simply showcase 4 tracks that could have been by any metalcore or post hardcore band that’s raised their head in the past 5 years. The band’s music is admirably played and well produced but at the end of the day, you’ve heard it all before. If Elysium can put more of themselves into their music on future releases then we’ll have a reason to revisit them, but for now we’ll just have to wonder what could have been.

4/10

Elysium’s In Valour is released on the 13th of May 2013 through all good digital outlets. It will also be available from the band at some point in the near future.


Review: Milestone’s Medicate the Night

Have you ever got an inclination as to what a band will sound like from their record’s artwork? We can’t say we were expecting a particularly multi-layered sound from Milestone when we saw the artwork to their Medicate the Night EP. Our assumption was that this record with it’s scantily clad women drinking heavily and gambling was going to contain music that was a bit daft and with little substance. Thankfully Milestone have proven us wrong.

Milestone make hard rock for fans of AC/DC, Freeze the Atlantic and Zico Chain and despite only forming last February, they have developed a rather accomplished sound. Vocalist and guitarist Jack Howells has catchy riffs in abundance and his sugary vocals are unique and recognisable which gives the band a considerable edge on other bands this early in their careers.

Let’s not forget the other half of this duel guitar attack as lead guitarist Kris Archer also gives the riffs an awful lot of bite. Blame Me contains one of the best riffs on the EP as well as a fantastic solo. The guitar work on Medicate the Night is wonderfully consistent and memorable throughout. The groove that Howells and Archer provide gives this EP its’ biggest appeal and at no point does the guitar work ever disappoint. This really is impressive stuff for a debut release.

The only real negative we can throw at Medicate the Night is that it tends to find its’ comfort zone and stay there. Most of the songs follow a similar mid-paced tempo that only occasionally changes for a faster moment like on the title track. EP closer Bless the Soul slows things down a bit, but this only makes it evident that Milestone are a better band when they plug their music full of energy. Luckily this corrects itself around the 3 minute mark and the song is better for it.

Medicate the Night is a solid rock EP from an exciting young band. Milestone clearly have bundles of talent and hooks to spare and the fantastic riffs and melodies are massive, lasting affairs that will refuse to leave your head. If the band can work on varying their sound on future releases then the UK might just have another great rock band to showcase to the world.

8/10

Milestone’s Medicate the Night is released digitally on May 13th 2013. A limited edition CD release will also be available from the band soon.