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