Album Reviews #4

Artist – Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band

Album: Prince of Poverty

Record Label: Unsigned

Release Date: March 5, 2021

Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band with their intricate mix of Rock, Alternative and Country have released their new Album ‘Prince of Poverty’ today. I previously interviewed Kristian last month if you want to check that out but now let’s get on to the review.

The album reminds me of that American Rock sound with a bit of a Country vibe reminiscent of bands such as Creed or 3 Doors Down. It kicks off with the song ‘They’ll Remember My Name’ which has this cool guitar riff and some delay and reverb in the background with the occasionally squealing note. I really enjoy the vocals you can hear the power present in his voice even when he isn’t really going for it. We also get a little bit of a solo which really tugs at my musical heart I just love a solo which is about more than just playing notes as fast as you can, I always feel less is more.

Then comes a much more laid back track and as such it is suitably led my an acoustic guitar ‘Tired of Being Tired’ is a much more simple tune. Most of the time we just get a guitar and drums as accompaniment to Kristians vocals. The message about blue collar work and working long hours gives this a somber feeling and it is the type of song for driving on long lonely nights. Following on from this we speed the tempo up for ‘Working Hands’ with much more of a Country ambiance due to the introduction of the Banjo and that increase in tempo although not one of my favorites on the album it is a bit of fun and the kind of track you can dance to.

After this we are back to that same vibe from the previous track a quieter number ‘A Warm Grave’ again with a feeling of tranquility coming from the acoustic guitar. This is just a chill track and I thought the section where he sings ‘We should meet down by the river’ his delivery reminds me of Kenny Wayne Sheppard which is a great compliment in my eyes. The album seems to go with the pattern of fast tempo for one track and then slowing it down as you will see. This next track neatly fits in with the pattern of this album and is a real swinging tune ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’ the vocals have this awesome flow that combines so well with the rhythmic guitar.

Though as I said then we slow the tempo again on ‘Soul for Soul’ which is quite an atmospheric song. With a reposeful acoustic performance and an electric guitar fading in and out of the mix. This aura of calm is momentarily disrupted by a more invigorating riff. It really has a mystic feel especially with the backing vocals of distance wails which adds a little ambience to the track. ‘That Kind of Love’ increases the tempo and in comes that more Country sound again. I love that deep sound to the guitar and the way the drums just really break through. This and the next track ‘I’ll Find My Way Home’ mix up the pattern the album was following and both stick to a faster beat both with some smooth guitar and sweet solos as with much of this album.

There isn’t any slowing down on ‘American Fire’ this is a very American song and the rhythm from the guitar almost has that feeling of riding a horse and I can just about picture a cowboy riding through the plains. The album then finishes on a slower note with ‘Just Driving Around’ which is a very Country song it’s slower but still has that upbeat rhythm and it’s just about being happy with a girl driving around and it’s a good way to end the album with a love song.

I do think this is a very enjoyable album to listen with some great guitar work which is always the way to my heart and some strong vocals. The nly minor flaw being perhaps the overuse of the back and forth between slow and fast tempo tracks. But that’s not really a problem and works quite well for the album so I think this should definitely get 4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Interview: Lead Singer Sergi Blanch From Freedivers

Band Members:

Sergi Blanch – Guitar/Vocals

Rafa d Villegas – Bass Guitar

Xavi Blanch – Drums

Freedivers are an Indie Rock band formed by Sergi Blanch based in Barcelona, Spain. The band’s music is influenced from the sound 90’s Seattle American Rock and bands such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana. They answered a few questions the other day and this is what lead singer Sergi Blanch had to say.

What got you into making music? 

Well, I think making music is a necessity, it’s something that at some point in your life you feel you need to do. maybe it’s the idea of reaching another level of communication with people.

What inspires you to make music? 

I think about life itself, I look around me and I look inside myself. Maybe a combination of both. We try to be inspired by everyday stories, with which anyone can identify. The connection between people is a source of inspiration for us.

What is your creative process?

All the songs are written by Xavi and me. They start with an idea from one of us, then we begin to work together until we have the musical structure, and later we dedicate ourselves to the lyrics. It is teamwork, which works.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

Personally, with Dave Grohl, I really like what he does and he seems like a great guy. although there are many bands that I would like to collaborate with. Surely my colleagues have their personal preferences, because each of us has our own influences.

What does Your Band Name Mean?

Some time ago, one of us was very attached to free diving. It is something fascinating, to dive into an unknown world with just one breath. It seemed mysterious and a bit romantic hence “Freedivers’. We all thought it was good and it was a unanimous decision.

What is your favourite song to perform?

It is difficult to decide on one of them, we like them all and we have a great time when we perform live. But personally I really enjoy ‘Freerider’ I feel it has a special energy. It was our first song, and maybe that also influences my decision.

What are you working on right now?

Right now we are working on a new 5 song EP and we just recorded a couple of videos that we will release soon. We have taken advantage of this time of forced seclusion to compose, record and do studio work. so when the situation returns to normal we will have enough material to hit the road.

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Single Reviews #11

Felix And The Sunsets – The Mushroom Song

Label: Independiente

Release Date: February 26, 2021

Felix And The Sunsets are an Alternative/Psychedelic Rock group from Leith in Scotland. The band formed in 2018 and have a cool fusion of Psychedelic and Garage Rock. Their music takes influence from classic rock artists such as The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa. These guys have also played a headline show at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh in November 2019 as well as getting airplay on many radio stations. They have just released their newest single ‘The Mushroom Song’, here are my thoughts on the track.

The song comes straight in with an awesome guitar riff very reminiscent of the classic rock bands that influenced them. This is then accompanied by a euphonious yet quite mellow vocal performance they never go for any immense vocals but it is a very pleasing sound. I perhaps would have preferred the drums to be a little louder in the mix but I think the guitar is definitely intended to be the star of the show when it comes to this track so I can see why the drums aren’t so loud.

I have to say when the song reaches the chorus that is my favorite section where the guitar is actually less intricate than other sections and it’s more thrashing and especially with those backing vocals and the ‘ooohs’ that just draw you in. There is something it reminds me of but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

The song follows the classic rock formula where normally sometime after the second chorus there comes a solo. There is nothing incredibly complex about the solo and I like that it is actually a little slower than the rest of the song. This is a nice shift as I feel that too often the solo goes faster and in some cases it works well but you only have to look at artists like Pink Floyd to realize how epic a slow solo can be. Obviously I don’t think this is quite on that level but I love the laid back nature of it which I think fits well with a track titled ‘The Mushroom Song’ which I’m assuming is in reference to the hallucinogenic mushrooms.

I wasn’t entirely sure what star rating to give this track I feel a little harsh in saying 3 stars because this is a good song and I enjoyed it very much. I feel perhaps they borrowed a little too much from the bands they were emulating and that the drums could have been a little louder but the guitar work was fantastic and as I said the the chorus was great and I like the feel to the vocal performance. Be sure to check these guys out I’m sure they’ll have many more great tracks to come.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Interview: Lead Singer James Konnanov From The Donaghys

Band Members:

James Konnanov – Guitar / Vocals

Scott Ripley – Bass Guitar

Nathan Ripley – Drums

The Donaghys are a three piece Indie Rock band and as in our last interview with Cultures these guys are from Greater Manchester. They originally formed in 2013 but only for a short period before coming back in 2017 where they really began to form their musical identity. Their style is a blend of American Rock and Indie British Rock and they have been compared to bands such as Jimmy Eat World the Killers and Oasis. I can see where these comparisons come from as I do hear that American almost Pop/Punk sound mixed with the Indie Rock sensibilities of a band like Oasis. The band recently released their newest EP ‘Don’t Mind Me’ on January 15th. I interviewed lead singer James Konnanov where we discussed their EP, influences and song writing as well as their plans for the future.

What got you into making music?

My dad has been the lead guitarist in a blues band from before I was born (he still is to this day) and that had a great influence on me. He was able to give me a head start when learning the guitar in my early teens. I’d have to say it was going to see my favorite bands live that really made me want to create songs of my own and perform them to anyone who would listen.

How would you describe your sound?

Loud! There are no frills really when it comes to The Donaghy’s. We have a ‘less-is-more’ type of approach that serves us well and it’s a kind of punk rock philosophy. We feel that the songs speak for themselves and we bring this ethos into the studio with us when we make recordings. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what our ‘sound’ is but you certainly know it when you hear it.

What is your creative process?

The creative process that we’ve seen the most success from lately begins with me, at home trying to work out an idea on my acoustic guitar. Once I’m happy with it, I bring the idea along with me to the next rehearsal and the boys kick it around with me for a while and fortunately the chemistry and understanding we have is so strong that before too long, we have the basics of a song we enjoy. From there, we keep on perfecting it week-in-week-out until it becomes part of our live set. 

Can you remember the first time you wrote a song?

I do! It was a song called ‘Casanova’. Interesting story with that one; I was really struggling to make it work. I was being overly fussy about it and worrying about it having to be absolute perfection. Whilst I was on the horns of this particular dilemma, I was fortunate enough to meet my hero, Daniel Andriano after an Alkaline Trio gig!! He’d written and sang some of the songs that had inspired me in the first place. I explained my situation to him and he gave me some really sound advice and pretty much that same week I had the song done and dusted. It still gets a run out in a Donaghy live set every now and again which makes me really proud!

Would you say your band has a natural leader?

“Leader” is an interesting term. I am the singer / songwriter and yes, most of the song ideas start with me but that by no means makes me a leader. We’ve gone wrong in the past by making decisions without everyone being 100% on the same page and suffered for it. These days everybody has an equal vote and we all “lead” the band in different ways be it; promoting the gigs, booking the studio time, running our social media there’s a hell of a lot to do and all three of us play a massive part.

Tell me about what you’re doing at the moment?

We are promoting our latest EP ‘Don’t Mind Me’ [title track shown below] currently. The title track was released a few weeks ago and its getting air play and some really positive reviews so that’s absolutely wonderful. We are trying to stay positive and focused. This pandemic will all be consigned to history before too long so we need to be ready to go again as soon as we get the chance. Basically, we have some ideas that are in the early stages, we also have quite a few song ideas from before all this craziness started so it will be fun to complete those of course. One thing is for certain; the first place we are headed once we get the green light is the practice space because the Donaghys have a LOT of catching up to do!

Where do you see the band in 5 years?

I’d say in the next five years I would really like us to have a lot more fans, a couple more EPs under our belts and to have played some really big gigs. I hope we are still getting the same enjoyment out of what we’re doing now by then. Maybe more so. By ‘really big gigs’ that could mean anything from headlining a bigger venue in Manchester or beyond, than we are used to or maybe it’s the Superbowl Halftime Show. It’s silly to say something like that of course but you have to dream big. Keep working hard and make sure you’re still getting that buzz and that fire in the belly that drives you on.

I’m looking forward to what this exiting band will offer us next I’m really liking what I’ve heard so far and hope that they can achieve their dreams and you never know it doesn’t hurt to dream big. Maybe we will hear them at the Superbowl Halftime Show or headlining the largest venues in Manchester. Here’s hoping this COVID situation ends soon so these guys can get back to creating more great music.

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Interview: Tom and Josh from Cultures

Band Members:

Josh Spivey

Tom Deegan

James Saunders

Cultures are a Indie Pop/Alt-rock band with an intelligent and idiosyncratic style and an equal focus on both head and heart within their lyricism. Hailing from Greater Manchester the band have had many support slots across the regions most iconic venues, including Germany’s Giant Rooks at Night & Day Café, and Marsicans at The Deaf Institute. They have recently released their latest single ‘Ghost’ which you can view below or check it out on Spotify. I asked band members Tom Deegan and Josh Spivey a few questions the other day and this is what they had to say.

What got you into making music?

Tom: Josh and I were at college together, both played guitar and ended up in a 5-piece band together through mutual friends. We found that our styles and sounds complimented each other so when that band broke apart, we stayed friends and started writing new songs together. Since then, we’ve developed our sound and teamed up with James, our drummer, to make the band we are today.

Who inspired you to make music?

Josh: My influences came in a few different waves. I’d played acoustic guitar a lot as a kid and had wanted to be a solo artist for a while. As a teenager, I found bands such as Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and the Killers, and Manchester bands like Oasis and The Smiths which directed my music style towards more electric guitar sounds and distortion. This was the point when I started looking to be in a band rather than making music alone and really started taking things seriously. These artists sparked my desire to start writing songs in a band but our sound is constantly influenced by more contemporary artists and is definitely evolving with every release.

What is your creative process?

Josh: Lyrics to songs come fairly spontaneously to me and the process of turning this into fully formed tracks usually starts with me finding the guitar chords to match the vocals, then playing it to James [James Saunders the third member of the band] and Tom to see what they think. If they like it we then play around with tones and start building layers of guitar, synth and bass on top. Since the pandemic started, this process has been tweaked slightly to me writing the chords and vocals and sending a demo through to the lads to play around with on our laptops. We’ve been having phone and Zoom calls to discuss layers and structure which is so much harder than being in a room together throwing ideas out together. Thankfully we have had a couple of little windows between lockdowns where we’ve been able to get into the studio to write and record as much as possible!

What does your band name mean?

Honestly it doesn’t mean a whole lot to us, it was something our old drummer jokingly called us for a while as the fashion for band names beginning with “The” had changed and bands like Tribes and Courteeners were popular. I’m pretty sure it was referring to the type of cultures you’d grow in a laboratory rather than being from different parts of the world. Anyway, we did need a new name at that point and we all agreed it had to be one word long and plural, so Cultures came back around and we started calling ourselves it for real. Once it stuck, it felt right and we love it now.

Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?

Josh: Hundreds. I would love to work with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on a track. He’s worked with such a range of artists and the way that he puts his own records together in the studio creates such a rich and intelligent sound. I’d also love to work with a band like the Rolling Stones who have been around and done everything in music, they’d probably have a lot to share about what it takes to make it as a band.

Tom: For me it’s Dave Grohl, especially talking about live shows. He brings so much energy to every gig he plays and knows how to entertain. I’d also love to do a song with a female vocalists, maybe Taylor Swift or Katy Perry, as I think their vocals would work really well with our sound as a harmony with Josh.

What is your favourite song to perform?

Tom: Away From Us. It’s my favourite song because of the reaction of the crowd when we play it live. It’s a nice feeling to have a room full of people enjoying your music and singing along.

Josh: For me it was always Away From Us but at our last gig before the pandemic, at Deaf Institute in Manchester, we opened with Shake, which at the time we hadn’t released and it just kinda burst out of the stage and around the room and I saw a side of the song and a level that the song could reach that I had never realised when we were writing it.

What are you working on right now?

We are currently recording a number of new releases that will be coming out over the next year. At the time of this interview we’ve very nearly finished our next single in the studio and it will be being mastered in a couple of weeks. It’s the most exciting time we’ve been through as a band, which, considering we can’t play live is just ridiculous. We can’t wait to release our next couple of tracks to follow up Ghost and are even more excited to get back to live gigs as soon as it’s safe to do so. Watch this space!

So be sure to check out these guys I really enjoy their music. Give them a listen and remember to check out their newest single ‘Ghost’ and look out for their next release.

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Is Yungblud The New Modern Rockstar?

“Yungblud at the Rock am Ring 2018” by Sven Mandel is licensed under  CC-BY-SA-4.0

Who is Yungblud?

Dominic Richard Harrison or Yungblud as we know him arrived on the scene in 2018 as a wild eyed punk kid with his debut album 21st century Liability. He didn’t exactly come from a glamorous background being born in the small market town of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. However this small town happened to be just down the road from the university of Hull where I studied at the time. I like most students was trying to find out who I was whilst studying and going out to gigs (I’ll let you decide which I did more). It was around this time I discovered this guy from ‘Donny’.

I happened to be searching through a music streaming service and suddenly it popped up. On occasion I decide to check what songs are recommended. I was confidently told ‘we know you’ll love this’, a bit presumptuous given some previous suggestions. However in this case the algorithm directed me towards a song called Loner by the artist Yungblud. Something about it really grabbed my attention. His music incorporated tones of Rock, Hip/hop, Rap, and hints of Pop. This combination created something almost as wild as his long black locks so often highlighted red or was it purple or maybe green. Anyway It’s safe to say he can’t make up his mind on the colour either. I found his style appealing and it resonated with me partly due to his unique personality. Although unfortunately for me due to this mix of genres not every song always hit the mark but there was definitely something there which seemed not revolutionary but a swerve in a different direction.

Is He A Rockstar?

My girlfriend unfortunately doesn’t like him that much but that’s more due to the persona he portrays rather than his music, but this drives towards the point I’m trying to make in this article. He is an artist that divides opinion like the classic Rockstars did but not just by hardly wearing any clothes like some popular artists do these days. Although I do give credit to popular artists who don’t feel the need to resort to that such as Billie Eillish who’s main appeal is her music. I just feel if any artist has to do that it in some way takes away from their music as it isn’t the main reason for drawing the audience. I know people will say it’s not any different than dressing in flamboyant costumes like Rockstars used to do. However I think it is quite different because while the silly costumes where fun the main draw was still the music.

In a time where the charts are dominated by Hip/Hop and Pop with trap beats is an artist like Yungblud the modern version of a classic Rockstar. Though you may not think it given the state of the charts now all the big rock bands from the past were littered throughout the charts and dominating them for a lengthy period. I don’t think that Yungblud is quite at the same level as them but he is one of the few ‘popular’ artists a long with Machine Gun Kelly and to a lesser extent Post Malone who actually seem to be incorporating influences of Rock into their sounds.

“Machine Gun Kelly performs at Summerfest 2018 in Milwaukee, on July 5, 2018.” by Pauline Zommer is licensed under  CC-BY-SA-4.0

They do have something similar to the Rockstars of old there is something appealing about them and this freedom of them being who they really want to be. Machine Gun Kelly is just doing what he likes which at the moment is pop/punk and Yungblud’s genre is almost impossible to nail down exactly. I think Dom [Yungblud] is more unique as an artist to the others I mentioned and sticks out more with that similar draw to those good old Rockstars. It reminds me of the way Bowie drew people in with his charm, personality and quirky costumes though definitely not on the same level I can see similarities. There really haven’t been many new Rock acts to make it in the charts in recent times, off the top of my head I can only really think of Royal Blood and Biffy Clyro there are probably others but there aren’t many. I think that Yungblud is the closest we have to that Rockstar personality and incorporates the genre very heavily in his music.

He is getting people in to Rock again even if it is a bit watered down Rock in a few of his songs. I like to think that I embrace change and enjoy many different genres, Rock though always seems to have the biggest draw to me. Here’s hoping this mini rock resurgence encourages more popular artists to include rock elements in their music again.

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Interview: Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band

Kristian Montgomery and his band with their unique blend of Rock, Alternative and Country have a knew Album due for release ‘Prince of Poverty’ on March 5th. Kristian was born in Florida but then moved to New England where he lived with his grandparents and it was from here where his journey as a musician began. I had a word with Kristian and this is what he had to say.

What got you into making music?

It started in church my grandmother had a god awful voice so I’d sing louder to drown her out. My Reverend heard me and knew we were poor and said he’d give me free vocal lessons. He introduced me to different bands and genres of music. He had a booming voice and I wanted to have a voice that got the same attention as his did.

Who inspired you to make music?

On the road to being a musician or successful in any field we always need people to support us and Kristian like many of us was supported by his family. “[They were] very supportive, I played a lot of shanty bars as a kid and although I fell through many of the common rabbit holes most Musicians do they were always there to pick me up off the floor and nurse me back to health.”

What are you working on right now?

I’m beginning my 3rd album of the pandemic ‘A Heaven For Heretics” soon. I’m throwing my self into the studio in hopes it will keep my mind off what a miserable world its been. But my hope is this is the last album of the apocalypse [COVID] and the world goes back to the way it should be.

What does Your Band Name Mean?

I hunt deer, and came upon a dozen dead deer during a bad winter. My buddy said what a bad winterkill it was. The name became a metaphor for surviving the cold northern winters by coming to see our band.

What is your favorite song to perform?

I like ‘They’ll Remember My Name’ it drives itself and is fun to just rock too.

That’s a cool choice I though I’d just include my favorite too ‘Take You Home’ and don’t forget to check out the new album ‘Prince of Poverty’ on March 5th.

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Album Reviews #3

Artist – Foo Fighters

Album: Medicine at Midnight

Record Label: RCA Records

Release Date: February 5, 2021

It’s the Foo Fighter’s…..I don’t think I need to give an introduction I’m sure you are all familiar with this massive rock band. They have been going for more than 25 years and you would think perhaps they may have got tired but they are still making great music. This album seems to harken back to their 90’s sound while also creating a something that also feels new and fresh.

There is a upbeat feeling around this album and we are introduced to this by the song ‘Making Fire’ Grohl as usual comes in with a slick riff which is then accompanied by a female choir singing the usual ‘na na na’. This leads into a gospel like chant with a cool breakdown and there are some na na na’s that join in with Grohl when he sings ‘I’ve waited a lifetime to live’ which as a nice little touch are sung by his daughter. The single I previously reviewed ‘Shame Shame’ is the next track and doesn’t really seem to fit in as much with this albums mood which is probably why I enjoyed many of the other songs much more. ‘Cloudspotter’ comes up next and it is a groovy little tune including some cool spoken vocals from Grohl and his voice combines really well with his daughters backing vocals.

Following up on this we get another great Foo’s acoustic track ‘Waiting On A War’ and the simply strummed acoustic guitar leads the whole track with come orchestral elements playing in the background. I knew Grohl wouldn’t be able to resist ending the track with some trashing electric guitar and he really lets it all out in a magnificent crescendo. The track that the album is named after comes up after ‘Medicine at Midnight’ which has a catchy chorus and the bass gives the verse a funky feel but I don’t think it is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

We then get back to that heavy guitar on the next track ‘No Son of Mine’ with an opening riff that sounds like a rock rendition of Abba’s ‘Lay All Your Love on Me’ and if you don’t believe me listen to the cover by metal band Avantasia. I love the heavy feel to this track the guitar just has an immense power to it and I really can’t get enough of it.

Afterwards we maintain this hard and heavy feel with ‘Holding Poison’ opening with a kick drum and some good old power chords which escalates into a fun Chorus with a simple yet scintillating riff. Then near the end we get an immense guitar solo which then fades to the drum and then bursts back into the chorus. I think this is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album.

The tone quickly takes a massive shift on the second to last song ‘Chasing Birds’ which is a really chill track and is something a little different and gives the listener something quiet to drift out the album. But just as we feel the album coming to an end we get one tune we can hear the palm muted guitar coming in with Grohl’s vocals with possibly my favorite chorus on the album I enjoy when the song fades for a second on the chord and then bursts into that awesome Chorus which also introduces a smooth riff in the background.

I did really enjoy listening to this album but I always find I do with the Foo Fighters. Though I don’t think this is their best album I think it is trying something a bit different and it really works and is still a very accomplished album. I also think this will grow on me the more I listen to it and therefore I feel this should get 4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Single Reviews #10

Normandie – Hostage

Label: Easy Life Records

Release Date: February 5, 2021

Normandie are a scintillating rock band from Sweden and they have a new single out titled ‘Hostage’ set to be featured in their upcoming album ‘Dark & Beautiful Secrets’ due for release on February 19th. The song was written whilst Philip Strand front man and vocalist was experiencing a panic attack and reflects on his experience of depersonalisation and living live with anxiety. This is what he had to say.

“When I was 22 I suffered from severe anxiety and experienced something called DP, De-Personalisation. I couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror and it felt like nobody could see or hear me. It was like I didn’t exist. ‘Hostage’ is about those experiences and is written from the perspective of what it felt like inside these panic attacks.”

Philip Strand – Dead Press!

I think he does carry this of on the track as the lyrics really do reflect that feeling of being broken and out of control. They have a relatability to them that really connects with the audience. It seems as though this is almost like a release from him not only helping himself but those that are listening.

Getting into the song musically it opens with echoing vocals and some synth sounds. Then the drum enters with a simple but powerful resonance combined with Strands euphonious vocals. I really enjoy the section just before the chorus when the drums fades out and you can just get his voice with some mild synth in the background. Then the song erupts and exudes emotion as if representing the feeling of being a ‘Hostage’ to his anxiety and how he just wants to let everything out.

The rest of the track follows a similar vein and contains mainly drums and synths. This is an interesting song fueled by emotion and a real mental issue the vocalist suffers from. It is something that many people can relate to, to some extent as many people have experienced anxiety but may not know what it feels like to always suffer from it. I think this song should get 4 stars because I feel it could have mixed things up a bit more but has some interesting themes and is really great to listen to.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Album Reviews #2

Artist – Prime (UK Band)

Album: Art/Facts

Record Label:

Release Date: June 5, 2020

Prime the dynamic rock band from the East Midlands have released a best of compilation album ‘Art/Facts 2014/2018’. Unfortunately this will be their final album as last year they announced the band was breaking up. They played their final gig at Winding Wheel for a night of music on March 6, 2020 and were set for a tour in the Spring but this was curtailed by COVID. The whole story is available on the band’s website for those of you who want to know more. However they also gave us a parting gift of this compilation album and here are my thoughts on the album.

Spotify and other streaming platforms don’t include all the songs but if you want more they are available on the CD with a bonus interview also included. The album kicks off with the tune ‘In Summer’ that eases us in with some soft smooth guitar and a vocal performance from Lee Heir full of attitude. The verse is really fun but the Chorus has the biggest impact with some more heavy guitar and the lyrics ‘I just want your, I just want your love’ delivered with power. This track got my love and it’s really a great way to start the album. Next up comes ‘Bye Bye’ which is a more chilled song where I especially enjoyed the flow of the melody with the vocals, it isn’t as full on as the previous track but has a more delicate nuance to it.

Things intensify more on the third track ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ which has a more frantic drum beat that dominates the verse and I can’t get over the guitar in the chorus it’s so simple yet so sweet and satisfying those ooooohs in the background just complete it. As this is a compilation there are obviously going to be some quite disperate songs and ‘I.O.U’ mixes it up a bit with that cool opening bass riff and funky rhythm though I’m not quite set on the vocals for this one.

Then we have ‘No sign of Life’ which is led by the guitar and has some rather enjoyable sections where the bass and guitar play off one another. Although I do feel the drums could have been boosted a little more in the mix. Afterwards we are then taken in a different direction in the next track that lives up to it’s name ‘Free N’ Easy’. This tune incorporates dreamy vocals in combination with some sultry tones to make probably the most relaxed and laid back track on the album. So now coming up after this is perhaps one of my most favorite songs on the album ‘Like The Weather’ it’s a smooth jam with a vocal delivery that reminds me of Dire Straits and resonates with more classic rock.

Next up is ‘Flatline’ that includes an awesome intro although the only let down is that the intro is probably the best part but I honestly can’t get over that opening riff it almost doesn’t matter. We then get the rapidly paced ‘Take Me To Your Crew’ which is an entertaining yet short track which you can dance around to and I feel isn’t meant to be taken that seriously and I imagine this to be a fun one to hear live. I didn’t feel I heard enough bass in this album however ‘White Boys, White Noise’ makes up for this with it’s biting funky bass line that really leads this song accompanied by a captivating vocal performance and heavily distorted guitar.

Track 11 is a remix of Bye Bye which almost seems like a different song due to the techno and synth aspects added in it is a fun little track but I do prefer the original mix. This is the last song to appear on most streaming services and it’s a live track called ‘Teen Tv (Live At The O2 Academy Leicester) which gives me a bit of a Ramones Blitzkrieg Bop vibe especially due to the attitude in the vocal performance. Though the solo which is fast and frenetic is an exception as the Ramones would hardly play a solo with more than 2 notes not that I’m complaining it still sounded awesome.

“Bye Bye” Orignal Version

Extra Tracks

These tracks are only available on the CD most are also available via bandcamp. First we have ‘Du What You Du’ which has an opening reminiscent of something out of a Wild West film which then bursts into life with some awesome sounding guitar and a few nice little riffs. This is a very enjoyable tune perhaps with the exception of some of the ‘ooohs’ which are a little too much. Then we have ‘Silly Billy’ which is an instrumental song with some slick guitar accompanied by a comparatively simple drum beat. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea if you like your vocals but it’s a fun track and as a guitarist I always enjoy a song where the guitar gets centre stage. Finally we have another live track ‘Shake Off’ that despite not being the best in terms of audio quality really encapsulates the feeling of a live performance with the interaction with the fans and little nuances added to the song in a live setting.

This album has some standouts to me such as the opener ‘In Summer’ and ‘Like The Weather’ as well as some entertaining live songs which add a little more spice. This album does like to mix it up which I think especially suits a compilation album. I really enjoyed this but I couldn’t quite give it 5 stars although it more than deserves 4 in my opinion.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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