Exam hiatus announcement

Hey altrocklifers! As everyone in education will know, we are officially in exam season.  I have five exams coming up in the next few weeks, and I need to hunker down and revise!  Therefore I’ll be putting altrocklife on hiatus from today until 8 June, where I’ll be back with a review of Young Guns’ next album, Ones And Zeroes.  

Never fear though, as I’ll still be active on Facebook or Twitter, sharing some of the latest alternative music and fashion news, and revisiting some of my past posts.

See you on the other side, readers!

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Lifestyle: Ring Of Fire

Hey guys! Today I’ve decided to do something a little bit different, and share a project I’ve been working on at university.  If you follow me on Twitter, you may have spotted me retweeting the link to Ring Of Fire, our interactive web documentary about binge drinking in the UK.

Binge drinking is a big problem in the UK, especially in young people aged 18-25, which is what inspired us to use it as our topic for this documentary.

We decided to treat the documentary a bit like a game.  The first section is a ‘night out simulator’, which allows you to explore a nightclub, speak to a bartender, see the experiences of other young people and share your own via the Twitter app.

The second section is like ‘the morning after’.  This lets the user find out more about what binge drinking actually is and the risks it carries, the psychology behind alcohol addiction, and some facts and figures about how it impacts on the NHS.

If you’d like to watch the documentary, follow this link.  For best results, view on a laptop or PC, in full screen, and preferably in Firefox!  If you want to share your experiences, then tweet the Twitter account linked above, or use #RingOfFire.

Thanks for reading everyone!  Let me know what you think of the documentary in the comments, or alternatively on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Torn ApartEnter Shikari

6 incredible tracks you need in your life – May 2015

Since my last post in March, so many incredible tracks have been released.  Check out my list of the best new music at the moment!

The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It

I’ve always liked The Maccabees, but they were firmly part of the poppier, less rock ‘n’ roll part of my music taste until now.  This track is a triumphant return for the band.

Don Broco – Automatic

This track has got me super excited for Don Broco’s next album, also titled Automatic and released August 7.

Lower Than Atlantis – Words Don’t Come So Easily

This track is one of the slower, more mellow numbers from Lower Than Atlantis’s self titled album.  If you feel like chilling out and you’re in the mood for some acoustic guitar, this track is for you.

Young Guns – Daylight

As much as I loved I Want Out and Speaking In Tongues, this track is definitely the strongest single from Young Guns’s upcoming album Ones And Zeros.

Neck Deep – Can’t Kick Up The Roots

This track hasn’t got an official music or lyric video yet, but if you’re in the UK you can listen to the track here via the BBC iPlayer (skip to about 33 minutes in).  Nothing like some unapologetic punk pop hot off the presses!

Nothing But Thieves – Itch

To me these guys sound very Royal Blood-esque, which is definitely a compliment.  The opening is super eerie and I love it!

What do you think of these tracks?  Can you think of any new releases that I missed?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Review: Romantic Errors of Our Youth

Here’s the latest review I wrote over on Scene Better Days, take a look!

Scene Better Days

When I was sent Brawlers’ debut album to review, I didn’t think I’d ever listened to their music. That’s until I heard ‘Windowmisser’, and I realised I’ve heard them played on BBC Radio 1 multiple times. They made a good impression on my first listen, and that good impression has continued while listening to Romantic Errors of Our Youth.

My initial reaction to the Leeds four piece was that their vocalist sounds a little bit like The Wombats’ Matthew Murphy. With a punk rock core running underneath quirky lyrics, Brawlers seem to have crafted a pretty original sound. Plus, the vocalist doesn’t struggle to be heard over the instruments, which is definitely a bonus.

‘Drink & Dial’ is perfect for radio play: in fact, a lot of the tracks would be suitable for a more mainstream audience. That doesn’t take away from the guitar riffs and cymbal-heavy percussion, however…

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Piercings as accessories

Now, if you’re on the fashion pulse as much as I am, you’ll have noticed that from A/W 2014 right through to S/S 2015, piercings have become a regular addition to catwalks of fashion shows everywhere.  The trend has been written about in Elle, The Guardian, The Debrief and The Telegraph, just to name a few.  As someone who recently gained some alternative ear piercings (tragus, helix and lobe so far, with more planned) I thought they would be an ideal topic for today’s post.

Photo of my ear and piercings (tragus, lobe and helix)
I never thought I’d have to take a picture of my ear for my blog before.

Personally, I’m glad that having multiple hoops in your ear is in this season.  I’m not a massive fan of the hoop in my lobe at the moment, because paired with my helix I’m unintentionally channelling Jim Hawkins from the Disney film Treasure Planet.  You can’t deny that I’m bang on trend, but once it’s fully healed in a couple of months I’ll be switching the hoop for a pretty stud, or maybe fake plugs.

Unfortunately due to my extremely flat ear cartilage, most of the more alternative piercings, such as the rook or snug, are out of my reach.  You can bet that I’ll be piercing my lobe again at least once, though, with more hoops around the outer edge of my ear to make a real statement.  For the first time in my life I’m not ashamed to draw attention to my massive ears, because now I have some cute jewellery to adorn them!

(I also have less pain to worry about than most people who get pierced, as I won’t be piercing my right ear at all.  What’s the point, when my hair covers it 99% of the time?)

If you’ve ever been to a rock, punk or metal gig, you’ll know that those of us who are fans of alternative music are usually into alternative fashion too.  And with alternative fashion comes alternative piercings.  Imagine the drinking game, “take a shot every time you see someone at the gig with a septum piercing, stretched ears or an ear piercing that isn’t a lobe”, everyone would be wasted within about 15 minutes.

So, maybe I find it kind of irritating that all of a sudden, alternative piercings have become high fashion. Honestly though, I’m not that bitter about it.  The more mainstream alternative piercings become, the more acceptable they become!  Discrimination in the workplace due to body modifications is a major issue, so now alternative piercings are a little more on the radar, hopefully they’ll become more accepted.  Plus, as I can attest, getting pierced is addictive.  Even for a massive wimp like me, I can’t wait to get back in the chair for my next, yet-to-be-decided piercing.  The more piercings we get, the more the trend is going to boom.

The alternative piercing trend doesn’t stop at ears though! Eyebrow rings, septum rings and double nose piercings are also on the rise, so if you’re already happy with your pierced ears, there are plenty of other places to turn to!

In conclusion, if you’re on the fence about whether to get an alternative piercing, altrocklife says go for it!  Much like hair colours and styles, and unlike tattoos, piercings do not have to be a permanent addition to your body.  Of course, make sure you’re educated about what the scarring could look like if you decide to remove your piercing, but if you get your snug pierced and 12 months later you decide it’s not your thing, there’s no harm in taking it out and letting it heal.

What do you think of alternative piercings?  Do you have any yourself?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: The Ghost Of YouMy Chemical Romance