News: The Lion And The Wolf to release new single ‘My Father’s Eyes’

Here on altrocklife, as well as over on Scene Better Days, I’ve written quite a lot about Thomas George, aka singer-songwriter The Lion And The Wolf.  I reviewed his debut LP Symptoms last November, plus in July I reported that he was heading on tour with PJ Bond.

Now, The Lion And The Wolf is set to release a brand new single, My Father’s Eyes – a tribute to George’s father who had a heart attack and survived last year.  Due out on October 2, the single is released on 7” storm grey hand numbered vinyl and limited to 250 copies. Each record comes with a personalised thank you note and access to four exclusive bonus recordings.

The B-side is Bar Stools, another track which highlights The Lion and the Wolf’s new approach of recording full band.

Speaking of the release, George said: “I am so overwhelmingly happy with the way that these tracks have come together.  It was an amazing experience to go into the studio and record the music live with the band – you can feel the grooves and movement in the recordings and I get a real kick from that.

“I think this single really documents the direction that ‘The Lion and the Wolf’ is moving in and acts as a bridge between ‘Symptoms’ and the second record.”

Both songs were tracked live at Auckland House, which is the same studio where Symptoms was brought to life – nothing wrong with returning to tried and tested methods!

The single can be pre-ordered on TLATW’s bandcamp page.  His next live date in the UK is on September 2 with fellow singer-songwriter Northcote at London’s Old Blue Last.

Currently listening to: RootsImagine Dragons


News: ALLUSONDRUGS announce co-headline tour with Brawlers

In February of this year I saw ALLUSONDRUGS support Enter Shikari on tour at the Portsmouth Pyramids – I wasn’t too impressed by their live performance, as you can read here, but when I got home I listened to some of their music and I was pleasantly surprised.  ALLUSONDRUGS are a really exciting new British band, and it makes me happy to see them co-headlining with another exciting new British band, Brawlers.

I reviewed Brawlers’ debut album Romantic Errors Of Our Youth a while back through Scene Better Days, and I really, really enjoyed it.  I haven’t had the opportunity to see them live yet, which makes me sad because their tour doesn’t come very close to me.  The closest date is in Plymouth, which unfortunately is a bit of a trek!

Take a look at the tour dates below to see if this not-to-be-missed tour is heading your way this October.

  • 4/10 – Norwich Owl Sanctuary
  • 5/10 – Leicester Scholar Bar
  • 6/10 – Hull Fruit
  • 8/10 – High Wycombe Bucks SU
  • 9/10 – Plymouth The Junction
  • 10/10 – Middlesborough Twisterella Fest (just ALLUSONDRUGS)
    – Swansea The Scene (just Brawlers)
  • 12/10 – Birmingham Rainbow Courtyard
  • 13/10 – Chester Live Rooms
  • 14/10 – Sheffield Bungalows & Bears

Commenting on the news, ALLUSONDRUGS said: “We’re looking forward to having a load of stuff on the go after a summer leisurely rolling around the festivals. It’s going to be so good to be out around the country with fellow Yorkshire boys Brawlers too!”

Are you planning on seeing ALLUSONDRUGS and Brawlers live this October? Have you seen them live before, and what did you think of their performance?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: True FriendsBring Me The Horizon

Review: Nature Sounds

Take a look at my review of Nature Channel’s debut.

Scene Better Days

Before I start this review, I’d like to give major props to Nature Channel, who have managed to put out a full-length record in just over a year after their formation in Brighton. That’s no mean feat!

The album in question, titled Nature Sounds, opens with a bang. ‘Chet Baker’ sets the scene for a great punk rock record, full of crashing cymbals, aggressive guitars and shredded voices.

The album has a fairly lo-fi sound, which gives it a raw and grungy feel. The record is an unrelenting wall of sound that I honestly can’t get enough of. There’s a lot of focus on the drumming throughout, as well as loads of gang vocals and punchy choruses.

A few more pop-inspired tracks, such as ‘Loose Parts’ and ‘Give Me Happiness’, feature lyrics that could easily belong to a pop rock number – but with added passion. Then there’s ‘Blood…

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Review: Venom (Deluxe)

Last week, Welsh rockers Bullet For My Valentine returned to the scene with their latest album, Venom.  A lot of fans were disappointed with their 2013 record, Temper Temper, so I was interested to see whether the band have redeemed themselves.

Lead single No Way Out was typical BFMV for me – lyrically the track bored me, as it was pretty boring, unimaginative and predictable.  Matt Tuck’s lyrics have always been on the boring side, and haven’t really evolved since their debut LP The Poison.  If you want to listen to tracks with moody lyrics that hark back to heavy rock of the early noughties, then BFMV are probably the band for you.

Leading up to the release of Venom, the band said in an interview with Kerrang! that the record would be their heaviest yet.  Whilst I agree with that, I would argue that heavier doesn’t always necessarily mean better.

Now, I thought there were a few redeeming tracks on BFMV’s previous album that made it worth purchasing for me, but overall I’d argue that the band have been on a downward curve following their brilliant first three albums.  There are a few redeeming tracks on Venom too – take a look at my highlights list at the end of this post – but I think I may have outgrown the kind of music that they create.  Some of the tracks on Venom sound like they belonged on Temper Temper, which is never a good thing.

If you enjoyed Temper Temper then I’m certain you’ll enjoy Venom, but if you were less than impressed, like me, then I wouldn’t bother picking it up.  With the deluxe version of the record being 15 tracks long, I honestly struggled to find the motivation to listen to the entire thing, but I managed it so that you, my lovely altrocklife readers, wouldn’t have to suffer the same fate.

What’s your verdict on Venom? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Highlights: Worthless, Venom, Skin, In Loving Memory (Demo)

Review: Blossom

On Friday, Frank Carter made a triumphant return to hardcore punk music with his new band, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.  Blossom is an explosive debut record full of raw emotion.

The album opens with lead single Juggernaut, which when it was released was a great indicator of things to come.  Anyone expecting the Rattlesnakes to sound anything like Carter’s previous band, Pure Love, would have had those illusions shattered by this powerful track.

Frank Carter is probably best known for his stint as the front man of Gallows, who were well known for their loud and volatile sound.  While it’s obvious that the sentiments explored in Blossom come from a similar place, exploring anger, hatred and loss, The Rattlesnakes manage to make these feelings feel even more raw and visceral.

I wouldn’t want this entire review to focus on Frank Carter, though. Even though he’s the frontman of this incredible new band, without its fantastic musicians there wouldn’t be much to listen to.  The guitars throughout, especially in single Juggernaut, are fantastically powerful, and the drumming is as cymbal-heavy and up tempo as you’d expect from an album of this genre.

Blossom is fast paced for the first half of the album, but towards the end the tracks slow down a little and become more moody and reflective.  The change of pace forces the listener to pay attention, as it’s pretty difficult to predict where the record will go next.  Most of the tracks clock in at under four minutes long, which helps them to pack a more significant punch – it’s surprising how much anger The Rattlesnakes managed to force into each track.

If you were a fan of Gallows when Frank Carter was frontman, then The Rattlesnakes will definitely be right up your street.  If you’re looking for a brand new and explosive record to sink your fangs into (see what I did there? There’s a track on the album called Fangs and – oh never mind), chock full of human emotion with raw punk roots, make sure you get to a music store or online and pick up a copy of Blossom as soon as you can.  I, for one, cannot wait to get my mitts on a physical copy of it.

Highlights: Devil Inside Me, Loss, Beautiful Death

Review: Positive Songs For Negative People

Friday saw the triumphant return of Frank Turner, who released his sixth studio album Positive Songs For Negative People.  I was lucky enough to see Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls play at Reading Festival in 2013, and he put on a fantastic show.  It’s clear on my first listen to his new album that it will be full of crowd pleasers, the same as his previous records.

Fans of Frank Turner will be well used to his melancholy lyrics, and as the title of his latest record implies, it successfully carries on this trend.  Get Better, a single from the album, gave us a good idea of what to expect from his latest effort.

Positive Songs For Negative People does a great job of obscuring sad lyrics behind upbeat acoustic guitars, although the actual reasons for his melancholy – apart from heartbreak – aren’t made particularly clear.  It often takes a second or third listen to the tracks to see past the music and work out what they’re actually about.  Frank Turner’s music is ideal for sitting at the window with a steaming cup of coffee, watching the rain pour while you contemplate your life choices.  There are still enough positive stories in the lyrics to prevent the listener from spiralling into depression though.

Angel Islington is a beautiful, stripped-back and chilled introduction to the album.  It’s not exactly an explosive start, but it manages to set the overall tone of the record very well.  Get Better and The Next Storm help to kick things into gear, but the most energetic track is Out Of Breath by far, which brings the record to a crescendo.  The album is wrapped up by the contemplative Song For Josh, written in homage to his friend Josh Burdette who committed suicide in 2013.

While this album sums up Turner’s work in a nutshell, I don’t think it stands out from the rest of his discography, so if you were hoping for something a bit different or experimental you may be disappointed.  Overall, if you were a fan of Frank Turner’s previous albums, then Positive Songs For Negative People will feel like a triumphant return for the Hampshire singer/songwriter.

Highlights: The Next Storm, Mittens, Josephine, Silent Key

Review: Automatic (Deluxe)

Today is a great day for me, as Bedford four-piece Don Broco release the follow up to their 2012 full-length album, Priorities.  The deluxe version of Automatic is three quarters of an hours’ worth of explosive alternative lad rock.  I imagine this record would be best appreciated while having pizza and a few beers with your mates, and I’ll certainly be adding some of the more upbeat tracks (such as What You Do To Me and title track Automatic) to my party playlist.

Don Broco’s frank and cheeky lyrics about their dealings with the opposite sex are just as fun to listen to as on their previous releases.  Lead vocalist Rob Damiani’s voice remains as smooth and fluid as ever, and drummer Matt Donnelly’s backing vocals help to shake things up and add something new to the record. The song writing on Automatic is a little simplistic, so if you’re after complex political or philosophical lyrics you may be disappointed.

Overall I think Don Broco’s music has evolved significantly since Priorities.  Stripped back verses make way for choruses which pack a mighty punch, and while the album flows well from track to track, each song stands out from the crowd in its own way.  Examples include the riff-heavy introduction to I Get Sick, the stripped-back Keep On Pushing, and the crowd-pleasing chorus of You Wanna Know.

Automatic is a fantastic follow-up from their last record, and fans of Priorities will definitely be satisfied.  It’s obvious how much hard graft the Bedford lads have put into this album, and I think it’s paid off.  Here’s hoping that their UK live dates, kicking off tonight at the Hoxton Square Bar in London, go just as well.

Highlights: Superlove, Fire, Nerve, Money Power Fame

News: Enter Shikari release animated ‘There’s A Price On Your Head’ video following tour announcement

Today, St. Albans four-piece Enter Shikari released an awesome animated music video for There’s A Price On Your Head, a track from their latest record, The Mindsweep.  You can see my review of their fantastic fourth studio album here.  The video is below – let me know what you think in the comments below!

The video was created by Peter MacAdams, who also worked with the band on an animated clip for their song, Slipshod, which you can watch here.

This video has been released following news that Enter Shikari are due to play their first ever arena dates in February 2016, with support from The Wonder Years.  I’m hoping to see them at the Bournemouth International Centre, but you can check out all of the dates below:

  • 18/2 – Glasgow O2 Academy
  • 19/2 – Edinburgh Corn Exchange
  • 20/2 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
  • 22/2 – Bournemouth International Centre
  • 23/2 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
  • 25/2 – Manchester Victoria Warehouse
  • 27/2 – London Alexandra Palace

Are you planning on seeing Enter Shikari live next year?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: DitmasMumford & Sons