When it comes to ‘supergroups’, I have to say I’m never particularly interested as the end result is usually one of disappointment. But when you put the band names Every Time I Die, Fall Out Boy and Anthrax together, you can’t help but be curious about what the outcome to this will be.

The Damned Things have gone about this the right way, creating just the right amount of buzz and not completely over-hyping what they have created. They would have been justified in hyping ‘Ironiclast’ more than they have though, as it is a really solid album, somehow mixing aspects of all the above bands along the way.

Opening track ‘Handbook for the Recently Deceased’ kicks off with a riff reminiscent of Every Time I Die attempting to write a pop song. From there, The Damned Things emerge as the band that they have the potential to be. The most impressive component of all the songs is the sense of melody and how well it shines through. Keith Buckley’s voice showcases a new dimension creating chorus after memorable chorus. It is impossible to get songs such as ‘Friday Night’, ‘Bad Blood’ and recent single ‘We’ve Got a Situation Here’ out of your head after just one lesson.

Thankfully the songs rely on simplicity for the most part, with a decent sprinkling of shreddery occasionally adding to proceedings. Following the addictive opening, the album takes on a traditional rock ‘n roll feel with tracks such as ‘Black Heart’ and ‘Little Darling’ seeing the band reach back to their older rock influences as Keith Buckley croons in the best manner possible.

If its the perfect combo of traditional rock meeting the new age and memorable choruses you’re after, it would be advisable for you to listen to ‘Ironiclast’, and then repeat.

Video for ‘We’ve Got a Situation Here’

Its been four long years since the release of the brilliant ‘Canyoneer’, but this year No Trigger are set to return with their second full length album after recently signing to No Sleep Records. Early previews in the form of recent EP ‘Be Honest’ indicate that this album will deliver another batch of honest punk rock songs to get hooked on.

Hear ‘Tooth’ taken from the ‘Be Honest’ EP below.

Although only playing a support slot, Cancer Bats were the main attraction at this show, and to be honest my onlyreason for attending. It was interesting to hear some newer Bring Me The Horizon material, which has distanced them somewhat from the gimmicky genre they were unfortunately thrown into. Three albums into their career proves they are more than just a fad band.

Cancer Bats stormed through their set and barely touched the stage as they powered through their thirty minute allotted schedule. Opening with ‘We Are the Undead’, the band showcased material from their latest album ‘Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones’, with ‘Scared to Death’ and ‘Trust No One’ all delivered with the aggressive energy expected from vocalist Liam Cormier.

Older material such as ‘Pneumonia Hawk’ and ‘Sorceress’ made up the remainder of the set with the band utilising each of their three albums to good effect.

‘Hail Destroyer’ sees the room erupt in one chaotic finale. Nose bleeds and sweaty bodies pile up and Cancer Bats once again leave their mark on Leeds.

Good Old War

September 22, 2010

Rather than just writing reviews, I’ve decided its time I also posted links and videos and other useful sources to music that I like. Good Old War are something that I like, very much.

Ahead of their three dates in London next week, here is a video of their track ‘My Own Sinking Ship’ from the band’s recent self-titled album.

Forming from the demise of Days Away, Good Old War who are; Keith Goodwin, Dan Schwartz and Tim Arnold blend harmonies beautifully and craft the perfect three minute songs. Two albums into their career and perfectly suited to the impressive Sargent House records roster, the future looks promising for the three-piece from Philadelphia.

http://www.myspace.com/goodoldwar

Fang Island – Fang Island

September 6, 2010

With a band describing their sound as ‘everyone high fiving everyone’, you can only hope that this album leaves yousmiling, and that it does. ‘Fang Island’ is another gem to add to the ever expanding Sargent House records label.

After a firework-accompanied guitar swelling intro in the form of ‘Dreams of Dreams’, the band fly into ‘Careful Crossers’ giving the first real impression of what Fang Island are about. Its a joy because there’s a real sense of enjoyment flowing out of each guitar riff and each cymbal crashed and drum hammered. There is almost a carefree feel to the music, yet it has been created with tonnes of devotion and attention.

There are riffs crammed into every inch and centimetre of each track. ‘Sidewinder’ literally does meander on a four minute journey, coming to a conclusion with a lead guitar riff which cannot fail to put you in a good mood.

‘Daisy’ and ‘Life Coach’ display a more vocal side of the band which works just effectively. There’s nothing overpowering about them, and the instrumental aspect of each song remains the focal point. The former of the two tracks is even due to be featured in the Rock Band game series which is a huge achievement and compliment.

At no point with Fang Island is there a pause or a filler moment. There were obvious standout moments on the first listen, but given more time, tracks such as ‘The Illinois’ and ‘Welcome Wagon’ hit as they weave their melodic magic and become lodged in your head.

‘Fang Island’ is an album to enjoy whatever the situation. It would be criminal to listen to it and not feel more positive in any way. Maybe even impossible. Had a bad day? Listen to Fang Island. Had a good day? Listen to Fang Island.

Upon entering the arena area of the cricket ground, you are greeted with an enormous stage construction which takes at least five minutes to actually get your head around. What is evident though is that this is going be more than just a gig, this is going to be a show of the usual Muse proportions.

Leeds band Pulled Apart By Horses open proceedings with a frenetic thirty minute set. Drawing songs from their debut self-titles album, the band’s energetic style with ‘Back to the Fuck Yeah’, ‘Yeah Buddy’ and upcoming single ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ endearing them to the crowd. With their recent success at the Reading and Leeds Festival and air time on Radio 1, it appears this will be a good year for Pulled Apart By Horses.

After what seems a relatively short set from Band of Skulls, Editors take to the stage in their main support slot. Opening with ‘Bricks and Mortar’, it has to be said that the sound does not do them any justice, with the vocals overpowering everything else and an almost non-existent bass sound giving the song no depth at all. Thankfully, the sound is soon balanced and the band find their rhythm and trademark sound with ‘Munich’ and ‘The Racing Rats’. Concluding the set with ‘Papillon’, Editors end on a high with far more appreciation and attention from the crowd.

Walking out with an army of flag wavers and the sound of sirens, Muse waste no time in hitting the crowd with ‘Uprising’ and the stage really does come to life. What was a huge grey looking building structure is now alive with lights, images, and messages all reflecting off Matt Bellamy’s extravagant metallic suit. The Muse hits continue with ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, ‘New Born’ and ‘Hysteria’ all featuring early on. The band are on top form as usual, it really is difficult to think of any band that is better than Muse live, both performance-wise and aesthetically. Every aspect of the show is designed so that no minute is wasted; even if the band aren’t on the stage, there is something going on with the stage show to prevent a restless audience.

During ‘Undisclosed Desires’, the band perform on a platform which takes flight mid-song as some form of spaceship, which is completely outrageous but yet fits in effortlessly with the rest of the show. Older tracks such as ‘Time is Running Out’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ sound as fresh as ever with the band demanding new unheard sounds out of their instruments.

Around two and a quarter hours after the first note of ‘Uprising’, the show draws to a close. The second encore comprises of ‘Plug in Baby’ and ‘Knights of Cydonia’, and the crowd show their appreciation with the biggest sing-a-longs and jump-a-longs of the night. Everywhere you look in the ground there are people loving every second of it. Young, old or middle-aged, Muse offer something for every age bracket, while still maintaining a sound that is most definitely associable with Muse and Muse only.

It is always safe to say that you will get your monies worth with Muse. Over two hours of music, very good support acts and a stage show better than any around, the band love what they do and their fans seem to love it even more. Fans travelling to Wembley next week may think they know what to expect, but once again Muse have raised their own high standards to provide a night of unrivalled entertainment.

Sandwiched between The King Blues and All Time Low is not where you’d expect to find Thrice very often, but that’swhere they are placed on the mainstage at this years Leeds festival.

The band last played the festival with a stunning performance in the Lock Up tent in 2008. Whereas that year saw the band use material from most of their back catalogue, todays set relies mostly on latest release ‘Beggars’.

First track ‘All the World is Mad’ is delivered with the quality you would expect from Thrice complete with Teppei Teranishi returning after Nate Patterson filled in for him on the bands tour earlier this year. The only complaint is that the sound is awfully quiet, a feature with many bands performances early in the day throughout the festival.

This somewhat took the edge off what was an otherwise flawless performance. Some fans would complain that the band drew too much from ‘Beggars’ with ‘The Weight’, ‘In Exile’ and the albums title track all featuring in the set. But Thrice will always play what they feel, and with their musical capabilites, their latest album showcases every aspect of their talent.

Old favourites are played in ‘Silhouette’ and ‘The Earth Will Shake’, but its just shame you could hear a persons conversation ten feet away over the actual band. The performance was there, its just a shame the volume wasn’t.