7 incredible tracks you need in your life – March 2017

It’s that time of the month again! Today I’ll be going over the best tracks released throughout the past 30 days.

London Grammar – Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

I think most people with ears would agree that London Grammar are a band with a beautiful, atmospheric sound.  I absolutely cannot wait to hear more from this group.

PWR BTTM – Answer My Text

Ah, a track about navigating the modern age of dating and the woes of waiting for someone you fancy to text you back.  Why is this track so relatable?  This is a single from PWR BTTM’s upcoming second record, Pageant, due for release in May.

All Time Low – Last Young Renegade

This is the second single to be released from All Time Low’s upcoming record of the same name, and to me this song is stronger than its predecessor, Dirty Laundry.  I’m looking forward to hearing more from the album.

Palisades – Let Down

Palisades is one of the younger bands currently signed to Rise Records, and their electronic/hardcore sound means I reckon they’ll continue to find greater success.  Let Down is the latest single from their self titled record, released last year.

Have Mercy – Coexist

Have Mercy are one of those bands that I’ve followed on and off for the past few years.  The build up to their upcoming album, Make The Best Of It, is making me realise this is a band to pay closer attention to and take more seriously.

Black Stone Cherry – Cheaper To Drink Alone

This track is a pretty fun party song, and I can easily imagine it playing in the background of a rock bar, or at a house party.  However, the guest appearance by Lzzy Hale from Halestorm in the video was enough to sell this track to me.

Incubus – Glitterbomb

You can’t beat a bit of Incubus, and this latest track just proves that the band are still alive and kicking.


What do you think of these tracks?  Are there any awesome singles I missed?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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Review: Mallory Knox, Cambridge Corn Exchange

Last night, I was lucky enough to see Mallory Knox perform live for the second time.  Last time I caught the band live was at Leeds Festival in 2014, not long before the release of their second album, Asymmetry.  This time, the band are touring to promote their third record, Wired.  

First off, however, I’ll talk about the support acts.  Scottish act Fatherson were first to take to the stage, and this was my second time seeing them perform live – the first time was when they supported Enter Shikari on The Mindsweep tour.  In all honesty, I thought their performance took a little while to kick off, so maybe the first 20 minutes of their set was a bit lacklustre.  Their last couple of songs, thankfully, picked up the band’s energy levels and managed to get the crowd jumping.   Here’s the video for Lost Little Boys, one of the tracks the band played last night.

Next up were fellow Cambridge band Lonely The Brave. Unfortunately their performance was marred by a few technical issues: lead vocalist David Jakes had a number of issues with his microphone and in-ear headphones, so there were a few awkward pauses between songs whilst the problems were sorted out.  Otherwise, the band’s performance was spot on, just as good as when I saw them supporting Deaf Havana in 2014. Check out Black Mire, one of my favourite Lonely The Brave tracks:

Finally, Mallory Knox took to the stage.  Their performance was very strong throughout the night, with the entire band working together like a well oiled machine. Lead vocalist Mikey Chapman had some trouble with his voice, declaring about halfway through the set that his voice was “fucked up”, but he managed to power through and perform the rest of the set.  Plus, backing vocals from bassist Sam Douglas helped to fill any gaps.

The band’s set list was very strong, with a great mixture of tracks from all three of their albums.  They probably got the strongest reaction from the crowd whilst playing Lighthouse, Beggars and Wake Up from their debut record Signals, but it seemed like the crowd were equally happy hearing songs from Asymmetry.  The tracks from Mallory Knox’s latest album went down very well, and even though Wired was only released a couple of weeks ago, a decent portion of the crowd were singing along to the tracks.  Here’s the video for last night’s opening track, Giving It Up:


So there you have it.  Mallory Knox put on an awesome show, and if you have the opportunity to see them live, you’d be silly if you didn’t take it.

Have you already seen Mallory Knox live on their Wired tour?  What did you think of their performance?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

What’s in my shower? | Cruelty free skin and hair care

Since I started on my cruelty free journey, I’ve written a few posts about my experiences discovering new brands of skincare and cosmetics.  Today I thought I’d go over the cruelty free products I use on a daily or regular basis in the shower, to keep my hair strong and healthy, and my skin moisturised.  Now, I understand that there are many different skin and hair types, and there are different products available to suit.  Here’s a summary of my hair and skin type, so you can figure out if the products I use would suit you!

Hair type: Thick normal type curly hair, with dry ends.
Scalp type: Sensitive scalp, with some dry, flaky areas.
Facial skin type: Combination – mainly dry but with a very oily t-zone.
Body skin type: Mainly dry, with oilier patches on my chest and back.

So without further ado, I’m going to go through the products that I use in the shower, whether they are used daily or multiple times a week.

 

The first thing I do when I get into the shower is wet my face, then apply a thick layer of Lush’s Cup O’ Coffee face and body mask to my face, using the coffee grounds to exfoliate away any dead skin.  I then leave the mask on for the rest of the shower, to let the oils sink in and moisturise the dryer areas of my face.

Then, I wet my hair and rub the Lush Soak And Float shampoo bar over my head – usually four or five strokes will provide enough suds, as I have pretty short hair!  I then use my hands to rub the bubbles into my scalp and along my ends, and rinse immediately once finished.

Next comes conditioner, and I have two conditioners that I use on alternative days.  First is the Superdrug Extracts raspberry and macadamia nut conditioner, for coloured hair.  It has a great scent and keeps my hair in good condition, but isn’t quite moisturising enough for my dry ends.  Second is the Noughty To The Rescue moisture boost conditioner, which I use on my ends to give them an extra moisturising boost.

Now it’s time to wash my body.  I put on my exfoliating shower gloves, then use some of my favourite shower gel, Lush’s The Olive Branch.  It has a lovely fragrance, and the olive oil helps to keep my arms and legs from getting too dry.

However, once a week I like to mix things up a bit.  Instead of using The Olive Branch, I use some of the limited edition Rose Jam shower gel, which has the most beautiful fragrance, possibly in the history of all fragrances (yes, I’m obsessed).  This is then followed by smearing a generous layer of Lush’s Ro’s Argan body conditioner on my arms and legs.  I also occasionally use my Bubbly shower gel, to stop my showers getting boring.


So, that’s the lowdown on my shower routine!  What do you think of these products? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Review: The Haze

Pulled Apart By Horses are an indie/alternative rock four-piece from Leeds.  Formed in 2008, the band have put out three full length albums over the years.  On Friday, the band released their fourth record, The Haze.  Hype for this record started building in November with the release of the lead single, The Big What If.  You can watch the video for the track here:

The record opens with its title trackmade up of grungy riffs and raw shouty vocals which demonstrates the band’s gritty rock ‘n’ roll sound perfectly.  The Big What If follows, and its fun tongue-in-cheek lyrics such as “I pray to my own toilet bowl that I won’t be swallowed whole” demonstrate that Pulled  Apart By Horses aren’t the type to take themselves too seriously.

One of the running themes of the record is the band’s up tempo, high intensity style which makes The Haze’s listening experience endlessly exciting.  You never quite know whether an awesome drum fill, wailing guitar riff or snarled vocal hook is coming next, and that’s what makes the album so interesting.  There are also plenty of catchy shout-along choruses to be found as well, demonstrated perfectly by Flash Lads and My Evil Twin.

There are a couple of slower tracks to be found on The Haze as well, such as the meandering Lamping which is full of la-la-las and starts out with a cool, trippy intro of birdsong and synths.  It’s the longest song on the record clocking in at just under four and a half minutes long, but I reckon the track needed that amount of breathing room, and the rest of the album is punchy enough that Lamping is a welcome change of pace.

Back in 2015 Pulled Apart By Horses’ original drummer, Lee Vincent, left the band and was replaced with Tommy Davidson, and I honestly feel like the new drums have injected a new lease of life into the band.  From an outsider’s perspective it seems to me that the line-up change forced the band to approach writing for The Haze in a new, fresh way.  Frontman Tom Hudson explained in interviews that the band recorded the album back on an isolated farm in Wales, and it seems like this helped them to focus solely on creating a kick ass record.

Highlights: The Big What If, Neighbourhood Witch, Lamping, My Evil Twin

News: Tigress announce new EP and UK tour dates

Essex-based pop rock band Tigress have announced the release of their second EP, Like It Is.  The five track EP is set to be released through LAB Records on 12th May, and it includes the band’s latest single, Power Lines.  You can watch the music video for the track here:

Tigress have previously seen coverage from Kerrang! Magazine, Rock Sound, BBC Radio 1, BBC Introducing, Scuzz TV, Kerrang! TV, Kerrang! Radio as well as hundreds of regional stations and webzines.

With the EP made up of awesome pop rock infused with strings and high energy choruses, Tigress will be revealing more new music over the next few weeks.  Their next single, Give Me A Chance, is due to be released along with a music video tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Tigress will be touring the UK with Counterfeit in April, before joining Counterfeit on their mainland Europe tour. The band will headline the VocalZone stage at Teddy Rocks Festival on the 28th April, and have also been added to the Camden Rocks and Work Hard Play Hard Festival line-ups.  Here is the list of dates and festivals where you can catch Tigress live this year:

(* = supporting Counterfeit)

  • 18/4 – Key Club, Leeds *
  • 19/4 – Academy 3, Manchester *
  • 20/4 – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle *
  • 21/4 – Stereo, Glasgow *
  • 22/4 – Rock City Basement, Nottingham *
  • 23/4 – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham *
  • 25/4 – Fleece, Bristol *
  • 26/4 – The Underworld, London *
  • 28/4 – Teddy Rocks Festival, Blandford Forum
  • 29/4 – The Haunt, Brighton *
  • 4/6 – Camden Rocks Festival, London
  • 23/7 – Work Hard Play Hard Festival, Kent

Tickets are on sale for all shows and details can be found at the band’s website.


What do you think of Tigress’s latest single?  Are you seeing the band on tour next month?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Review: Wired

Friday marked the release of Cambridge band Mallory Knox’s third full length album, Wired.  Hype for this record started building when the band released its lead single and opening track, Giving It Up: you can watch the music video for the track here:

Giving It Up is a fantastic opening to the record, with its bassy, grungy introduction and vocalist Mikey Chapman changing up his usual style to favour a falsetto in the chorus.  In fact, I pre-ordered the record on the strength of both the lead single and Better Off Without You, so it’s safe to say I have big expectations for Wired.

The second track, California, is an awesome song with summery vibes, and not just because it references the golden state in its title.  Its huge chorus with layered backing vocals bring to mind the image of driving down a palm tree lined boulevard, with the windows down and car speakers blasting.

Lyrically the record is even more personal than the band’s previous efforts: For You and Better Off Without You discuss bassist/vocalist Sam Douglas’s struggle with mental health and use of antidepressants in a raw and honest way.  These tracks are definitely the jewels in the Wired crown: Mallory Knox are at their best when being open, honest, vulnerable, and willing to take chances.

Another favourite is the gorgeous Falling In Love: it starts slow and quiet, with the focus on the emotion in Mikey’s voice, which builds with more layers of raw vocals and powerful guitar riffs as the track plays out.  Plus, Lucky Me is arguably Mallory Knox’s most aggressive track yet, and I absolutely love it.

That’s not to say that Wired is perfect, however.  Midnight is a pretty generic track, with little imagination in terms of the instrumentals or its lyrical content.  It’s not an awful song, don’t get me wrong, but to me it screams “filler” and the album wouldn’t have suffered if it hadn’t made it on to the final track list.

Overall, it’s obvious that Mallory Knox have grown and matured as a band when comparing their latest album to their previous records, Signals and Asymmetry.  The band have grown together, and are experimenting with new musical elements without leaving their signature sound behind.  The band’s incredible atmospheric choruses and thought provoking lyrics have evolved and simply become better and better over the years.  Mallory Knox are already doing pretty well for themselves, but I predict Wired will help launch the Cambridge lads towards further success.

Highlights: California, For You, Lucky Me, Saviour, Mother

News: 2000 Trees festival announces more line-up additions

Yesterday 2000 Trees festival announced thirteen new additions to their already jam-packed line-up.  The festival is due to take place from July 6-8 at Upcote Farm, near Cheltenham.

The festival line-up was already pretty strong, boasting punk duo Slaves as their main headliners accompanied by Nothing But Thieves.  Pulled Apart By Horses, Feed The Rhino, Strange Bones, Fizzy Blood and Petrol Girls are highlights amongst the rest of the line-up.

There are 11 new additions to the festival, including The Front Bottoms and The Wonder Years.  These pop punk giants are joined by Beach Slang, Black Peaks, Gnarwolves, Sløtface, De Staat, The Hyena Kill, Get Inuit, Acres, Peaness, MOSES and Wallflower.   You can see the full line-up here:

2000 Trees festival line-up

This is a pretty strong line-up, and it makes 2000 Trees Festival a really solid contender for bigger festivals such as Reading & Leeds for this year. If you’ve been tempted by the newest additions to the festival’s line-up, you can still buy Friday and Saturday day tickets, as well as tickets from Thursday to Saturday with camping, at the 2000 Trees website.


Are you attending 2000 Trees this year?  Which bands are you looking forward to seeing the most? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

News: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes announces UK tour support, sells out all dates

Today Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes made a pretty big announcement about their upcoming UK and Ireland tour: with two weeks to go until the tour commences, every single date has sold out!  This is no massive surprise to fans of the band, as FC&TR have had a knack for selling out gigs and shows ever since their formation back in 2015.  However to sell out an entire tour is no mean feat, especially considering their last UK tour was only in November of last year, as well as a smattering of small shows to celebrate Modern Ruin‘s release in January.

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Plus, yesterday the band announced the support for the upcoming 12-date tour.  First up is the awesome Yonaka, a female fronted alternative rock band with an awesome punk vibe, who’ll be joining FC&TR throughout the entire tour.

Second is Strange Bones, who have an incredible grungy punk sound, and to me sound like the love child of FC&TR and my favourite Brit punks, Slaves.  They’ll be playing every date except for those in Ireland: sorry, Belfast and Dublin!

To make up for the loss of Strange Bones, Fangclub will be playing the Irish dates, and the garage rock trio are sure to get the audience hyped up.

This is a really strong selection of support acts, and kudos to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes for bringing lesser known bands along on their tour.  Unfortunately I am unable to attend any of the dates on this tour, so know that I am eternally envious of everyone who’ll be seeing FC&TR live this month.  The combination of their explosive live performances, plus awesome support acts and packed out venues, is sure to lead to one hell of a tour.


Are you seeing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes live this month?  What tracks are you looking forward to hearing live? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.