News: ALLUSONDRUGS announce August headline tour

Ever since I saw them supporting Enter Shikari at Portsmouth Pyramids last year, I’ve been following the progress of Yorkshire band ALLUSONDRUGS pretty closely.  Their music has a unique grungey-shoegaze sound which has seen them receive coverage from Kerrang!, Rock Sound and Radio 1.  You can watch one of their more popular music videos for the track I Should Have Gone To Uni here:

However, it appears that the band will no longer be performing under the name ALLUSONDRUGS.  A band spokesperson explained:

The Allusinlove Organisation hereby wish it to be known that these engagements shall be the full and final musical undertakings of the entity known as Allusondrugs. Please await further communications on this situation in the coming weeks for details of future works.

Does this mean the band will be changing their sound, as well as their name?  Well it seems likely that ALLUSONDRUGS will be testing a number of new tracks on their August headline tour, which head in a more focused direction away from their more low-fi origins.  It will be interesting to find out how these tracks are received by their audience.

Here are their tour dates, supported by the London alternative/indie band Massmatiks (except for dates marked with an *).

  • 3/8 – Black Heart, London
  • 4/8 – Boileroom, Guildford
  • 5/8 – Lady Luck, Canterbury
  • 6/8 – Humber Street Sesh, Hull*
  • 7/8 – Joiners, Southampton
  • 8/8 – Underground, Plymouth
  • 9/8 – Cobblestones, Bridgewater
  • 10/8 – Firebug, Leicester
  • 11/8 – Sticky Mikes, Brighton*

Are you heading out to see ALLUSONDRUGS on their tour?  What do you think of their music?  Tell me what you think on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments below.

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News: Chasing Cadence announce new EP and July tour dates

Chasing Cadence, a Herefordshire alternative rock five-piece, have announced that their next EP will be released this September.  The EP, Destroy Something Beautiful, includes their latest track Dear Life, and the official video is below.

If you’ve been to any gigs recently you might have seen these guys perform, as they’ve supported quite a few bands including Taking Back Sunday, Don Broco and Glamour Of The Kill.  Chasing Cadence have also appeared at Download Festival, Camden Rocks and Takedown Festival.

Plus, if you’re a fan of wrestling you’ll recognise the track from the opening credits of TNA Xplosion Wrestling.  They played the opening slot on the recent TNA arena tour, performing at Wembley Arena, Manchester Arena and Birmingham Barclaycard Arena.

The EP consists of five tracks, which combines raw alternative rock with electronic elements. I’ve listened to a few of their tracks and I really like the sound of this band so far.  I’m not alone in thinking that either: Chasing Cadence have received coverage and airplay from Kerrang!, Rock Sound and Scuzz TV, among others.

Ahead of the release of Destroy Something Beautiful, the band are heading on tour across England.  The dates are below:

  • 13/7 – The Old Blue Last, London
  • 22/7 – The Square, Harlow
  • 23/7 – The Blueberry, Norwich
  • 24/7 – The Tubman, Hastings
  • 6/8 – SummerFest 2016 at The Frog and Fiddle, Cheltenham

Chasing Cadence are also playing an EP release show at The Black Heart, Camden, on September 29th. Tickets are available from the band’s merch store.  I’m not close enough to any of these venues to drop in, unfortunately, but if you’re close by to any of these venues I’d recommend checking them out.

What do you think of Chasing Cadence? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments below.

Lifestyle: altrocklife’s thoughts on the EU referendum

Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, considering that tomorrow I’ll be casting my vote in one of the most important referendums in British history. Yes, tomorrow is judgement day, and we will be deciding whether Britain is going to Remain or Brexit the European Union.

I’m not writing this post today to tell you how to vote.  I’m not claiming to be a political expert with all of the answers, and I don’t particularly want to be drawn into an online debate about which box you should draw your X in.  However, I would like to talk about my observations of both campaigns, as well as the importance of voting.

To be honest, it appears to me that both sides of the argument have engaged in fear tactics and blatant lies in order to try and scare the general public into voting their way.  At the end of the day, the average Brit won’t have any sort of extensive economic, political or immigration-related expertise, so will have to rely on materials from both campaigns to make their decision.  The main sentiment I’ve seen recently is that, whatever way people vote, they’re voting that way because of independent research they’ve conducted and despite the official campaigns.

The campaigns have also been extremely emotional, drawing on peoples’ fears, their patriotism, and igniting anti-immigrant, xenophobic attitudes.  Emotions were running high especially after the murder of MP Jo Cox last Thursday, which is believed to have been politically motivated.  Plus, endorsements to both sides of the debate by celebrities, politicians and other big names has created a “names game”.  It almost feels like both campaigns are collecting endorsements like they’re Pokémon cards. (Sorry for the slightly outdated reference)

I also think that both sides of the debate have been stating their opinions and predictions as facts, which is deplorable to me considering nothing is guaranteed regardless of the result of this election.  Whilst the Remain campaign could argue that if we stay, we’ll just continue on as normal, after all the unrest and aggression towards the EU during these campaigns who’s to say that everything will go back to how things were? Plus on the Brexit side, no country has ever left the European Union after joining, so predictions from experts aside we really have no idea what will happen when we do eventually sever ties and leave.

Plus, voters – especially young voters – have had it drummed into their heads just how important this vote is, so I don’t want to add to the condescending tone and “remind” people how important this referendum is to the future of Britain.  However, I would like to reiterate that this vote will decide the future for those of us aged under 50.  Those voters over 50 won’t have to live with the long term consequences of either remaining or leaving the EU, whereas us young’uns will be dealing with whatever happens for much, much longer.  So, if you’re under 50, make sure you cast your vote, whichever way you decide is best, so your granny doesn’t end up deciding your future for you.

Review: The Getaway

Photograph of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at Lollapalooza 2014
RHCP performing at Lollapalooza 2014. Photo Credit: conyfera via Compfight cc

I’m pretty sure every punk rock fan likes at least one Red Hot Chili Peppers Song. Whether you’ve actively sought out their music or just heard them on the radio or in a rock club, I would be surprised if you’d gone your entire life without hearing Californication, Can’t Stop, Under The Bridge, By The Way, Dani California or Give It Away.  On Friday, the LA brand broke five years of silence since the release of 2011’s I’m With You with their eleventh studio album, The Getaway.

The album’s release was preceded by single Dark Necessities; you can watch the video for the track here:

The record is opened with the title track: a chilled out, indie sounding number with emphasis on Flea’s bass playing and additional female backing vocals, before leading on to Dark Necessities.  I first heard the single on the radio, and it was obvious from the introduction that this was a Red Hot Chili Peppers song.  The band haven’t departed too far from their sound over the years, but by incorporating new elements such as piano and strings, The Getaway has an edge over their previous albums.

Goodbye Angels is a track with a big impact, and a strong competitor for my favourite song on the album.  The introduction builds gradually: it begins with acoustic guitar before the addition of drums, additional harmonising backing vocals and electric guitars. The resulting track keeps up the powerful pace alongside catchy repetitive vocals until the electric instrumental breakdown at the 3:30 mark, demonstrating the musical talent that the band still has to offer.

Penultimate track The Hunter returns to the album’s initial chilled vibe, with singer Anthony Kiedis’s more melodic vocals and a focus on the accompanying piano creating a more atmospheric sound.  This atmosphere continues into the introduction of the final track, Dreams Of A Samurai.

My main conclusion is that The Getaway is a much more cohesive album than previous efforts.  Every member of the band, including Josh Klinghoffer who only joined RHCP full time in 2009, have used their wealth of experience to create an ego-free album with a polished sound.

The album clocks in at almost 54 minutes long, which means there’s plenty of new tracks to get your teeth into.  The length of the album, plus the sheer amount of hard work and effort that went into The Getaway, makes up for the 5 year wait, in my opinion.

Overall, if you liked RHCPs previous albums you’ll definitely enjoy their latest release. Whilst on the whole it’s got a more chilled vibe than previous releases, The Getaway is just as enjoyable as the rest of their extensive discography.

Highlights: The Getaway, The Longest Wave, Goodbye Angels.

News: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes release provocative new video

Following the release of their 2015 debut album Blossom, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have returned with a brand new single, Snake Eyes.  The track is slightly different to previous tracks and shows clear evolution in the band’s sound.  It’s a little slower paced than previous tracks, but still has Frank Carter’s trademark great lyrics.

When the band released the video I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  I knew that The Rattlesnakes had some sort of trick up their sleeve, considering previews of the video shared on their Facebook and Instagram looked pretty normal to me.  However the last minute or so of the video heralded a plot twist I certainly couldn’t have predicted.

You can watch the video here.  Let me know what you think: did you predict the plot twist?

Plus, the release of the new track leads to some interesting questions about future Rattlesnakes releases.  Does Snake Eyes mean there’s a new album on the horizon? I certainly hope so, because Blossom was one of my favourite albums of 2015 and a follow-up would be fantastic.

Either way, the Rattlesnakes are a busy band.  They’ll be touring Europe in October, plus they just played Download Festival and will be performing at Reading and Leeds this August.  All in all, it’s clear to me that these guys are leading a punk revival, and I’ll be closely watching where the band goes next.

Review: If I’m The Devil…

Californian four-piece letlive. released their latest album, If I’m The Devil…, on Friday, and it’s an exciting post-hardcore LP with subtle hip-hop and indie influences to keep things fresh.  The release is their first since previous guitarist and percussionist Jean Nascimento left the band last year.  letlive. are well known for their experimental sound, and their latest LP certainly continues that trend.  The release was preceded by two singles; see the video for Reluctantly Dead below, which incidentally is one of my favourites from the album.

(By the way, the entire album is available to stream via Epitaph Records’ YouTube channel – pretty cool right?)

The album begins with opener I’ve Learned To Love Myself, a track with booming drums and subtle strings which add a real depth.  The first couple of tracks are fairly slow in tempo, but picks up with the soulful female vocals in the introduction to Good Mourning, America.  This track doesn’t shy away from discussing police brutality, an issue which has been prevalent in the American media for the past 18 months or so.

The title track is a slow burner, with an extremely atmospheric introduction that eventually picks up to match the tone of the rest of the album, reaching a crescendo during the second chorus. Final track Copper Colored Quiet is another atmospheric number, with female backing vocals adding a unique tone to the track; the song naturally winds down and brings everything to a close.

Throughout the album is underpinned by vocalist Jason’s unique voice, strong drumming and undulating bass.Whilst I haven’t followed letlive. religiously, I was a big fan of singles Muther, Renegade ’86, Banshee (Ghost Fame) and Younger when they were released, so going into their latest album I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Overall If I’m The Devil… is slower in tempo than previous releases, which means the album is more cohesive, in my opinion anyway.  This more relaxed tempo makes the album a more chilled listening experience, plus demonstrates that you don’t have to release fast-paced tracks to produce powerful music.

letlive. have a habit of producing albums full of heart, with lyrics that pull no punches whether on the topics of love, loss, family or politics.  Fans of the band’s previous releases will definitely enjoy If I’m The Devil…, and new listeners will find their latest release an excellent introduction.  There have been a lot of excellent releases so far this year, but I can see this letlive. LP shaping up as one of my favourites.

Highlights: I’ve Learned To Love Myself, Good Mourning, America, A Weak Ago, Foreign Cab Rides

News: Radio 1 Rock All Dayer takes over the airwaves

Today, the usually pop-oriented BBC Radio 1 have been taken over by rock and alternative music.  So far Twin Atlantic joined Nick Grimshaw on the breakfast show, blink-182 played an acoustic set in the Live Lounge with Clara Amfo, All Time Low hung out with Scott Mills, and Neck Deep were due to join Greg James on the air from 5pm.

This evening Daniel P Carter’s rock show will be joined by co-host Annie Mac and taken over by seven bands performing live sets.  The show is set to be absolutely fantastic; check out the line-up:

7pm – Moose Blood

7:25pm – Against The Current

7:45pm – blink-182

8:05pm – A Day To Remember

8:40pm – Creeper

9:05pm – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

9:35pm – Asking Alexandria

The line-up is pretty diverse, ranging from pop-punk to post-hardcore to punk and plenty in between.  I’m personally most excited to hear from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, an absolutely brilliant band I have yet to hear perform their debut album, Blossom, live.  Coming a close second in terms of excitement is A Day To Remember: I absolutely love their new tracks Paranoid and Bad Vibrations, so I’m hoping they perform both of those songs.  It will also be interesting to hear blink-182 perform live without previous member Tom Delonge.

I always enjoy when Radio 1 put on days like this, which showcase the best of alternative music to a more mainstream audience. If only they happened more often!

What’s been your highlight of the Radio 1 Rock All Dayer so far? What bands are you most excited to hear tonight? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

altrocklife album haul: 06/06/16

Hey altrocklifers and welcome to my blog’s triumphant return! Over the past nine months I’ve essentially been a hermit due to the final year of my university course keeping me extremely busy, so unfortunately updating this blog had fallen by the wayside. But fear not! Now I’ve finished university I’ve got a lot more free time, so altrocklife is being revived.  From now on the blog will focus much more on music news and reviews rather than fashion and lifestyle posts, and after today I’ll be changing my upload schedule, from Mondays and Thursdays to Wednesdays and Sundays.

So, what better way to kick things off than with a review of my recent musical purchases?

Gallows – Desolation Sounds

Ever since Frank Carter of The Rattlesnakes fame left the band in 2011, Gallows seem to have dropped off the radar a bit; their 2012 self-titled album as well as Desolation Sounds didn’t get much attention. However, I think the album is dark and raw, and I absolutely love it. I bought it a couple of months ago and I’ve been listening to it pretty regularly since then.

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

If I’m ever in the mood for more indie guitar-led tracks, Wolf Alice’s first LP is my album of choice. My Love Is Cool has a great mix of chilled, acoustic tracks and more upbeat ones.

PVRIS – White Noise

I know I’m super behind the times here: White Noise has been out since 2014 and I only picked it up last month. Of course I already knew and loved the singles St. Patrick, My House and Fire so buying this album was definitely a safe bet.  If you’re after strong female vocals and synthy rock, this is the album for you.

Band Of Skulls – By Default

Band Of Skulls are one of my favourite bands, and to be honest I didn’t even realise they had a new album coming out until I spotted it on the shelves of HMV the other week.  It’s absolutely fantastic and definitely their best album yet.

Foals – What Went Down

Foals’ latest album is heavier than their previous efforts, and I’m a big fan of the slight shift.  Singles What Went Down and Mountain At My Gates are brilliant tracks, and two of my favourites on the album.

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

Following the success of Collide With The Sky, Pierce The Veil had big boots to fill with the follow-up album. Misadventures is pretty fantastic, but I’m not sure if it tops their previous 2012 album yet.  I’ll be giving it a few more listens before I make my decision.

Now on to a couple of albums I picked up today and haven’t had the chance to listen to yet.

Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves

If you followed my blog last year and kept up with my ‘incredible tracks you need in your life’ series, you’ll remember that I featured Nothing But Thieves multiple times throughout those posts.  I’m a massive fan of this band, especially vocalist Conor’s fantastic voice, so I’m certain I’ll love the album. Itch was one of my favourite songs of 2015, which definitely bodes well.

Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor

Whilst I was a big fan of Panic’s first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, I stopped actively following the band not long after its release and the rest of their albums seemed to pass me by. However, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time caught my attention and I decided I needed to hear the rest of the album.

Lonely The Brave – Things Will Matter

I saw Lonely The Brave supporting Deaf Havana in December 2014, and they absolutely blew me away.  I haven’t got round to listening to their previous album yet, but I heard Rattlesnakes and Black Mire from the new LP and I really enjoyed both tracks. I can’t wait to get my teeth into Things Will Matter.

So that’s my summary of my recent album purchases. Are you a fan of any of these albums? What records are you looking forward to this year? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.