Review: All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell

PVRIS are one of my favourite newer bands.  The Massachusetts three piece exploded onto the scene back in 2014 with the awesome single St. Patrick, followed up at the end of that year by their debut album, White Noise.  PVRIS’s sound combines post hardcore guitars and drumming with pop and electronic influences, seamlessly blending genres and bringing something a little bit different to the table.

White Noise is a brilliant debut record, so I was extremely excited to hear the lead single for their second album, Heaven, back in April.  You can watch the music video for the track here:

I fell in love with this track from first listen, so it’s safe to say that I had high expectations for All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, which was released on Friday after a short delay to their original release date.  Spoiler alert: if you enjoyed the singles, then you will definitely enjoy this record.

The album opens with Heaven, which sets the tone for the rest of the record with its huge chorus.  Even though this album can’t really be described as heavy instrumentally, and although the pop and synth sound has definitely been dialled up in this latest record, PVRIS’s lyrical content has brought AWKOHAWNOH to another level.

Discussing toxic and unhealthy relationships as well as vocalist Lynn Gunn’s own mental state, this record definitely isn’t a lighthearted listen.  Lines such as “I don’t belong to anyone else” from Anyone Else and “don’t need a metaphor for you to know I’m miserable” from What’s Wrong are backed with raw emotion, Gunn firmly stepping into the role of front woman on this record.  Whilst White Noise dealt with mature lyrical themes as well, AWKOHAWNOH takes those struggles, shoves them into the spotlight and tackles them head-on.

Even amongst these heavy hitting lyrical themes, the catchy and inevitably crowd pleasing instrumentals are hard to find fault with.  Lead guitarist Alex Babinski and bass guitarist Brian MacDonald shine on this album, creating tracks which will fill dancefloors at rock clubs and energise crowds at gigs and festivals.  Highlights include the beautiful, dreamy harp at the end of Walk Alone, the crashing riffs during the chorus of No Mercy, and the up-tempo album closer Nola 1.

One criticism I have of the lead-up to AWKOHAWNOH’s release is that PVRIS have already released five out of the 10 album tracks as singles.  Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy hearing new music by the band, but the excitement of listening to a new record for the first time was dampened down slightly considering I’d already heard 50% of its content.  Maybe this means there’ll be a deluxe version of the album, like there was for White Noise?  I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if that could be a possibility.

Overall, in case it wasn’t evident from the tone of this review, I absolutely LOVE All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell.  The only downside to PVRIS releasing this masterful body of work is that there’s now yet another contender for my album of the year. You guys aren’t making my job of choosing the best record of 2017 any easier, you know.

Highlights: Anyone Else, What’s Wrong, Walk Alone, Separate

Lifestyle: altrocklife’s favourite UK tattoo artists

Hello altrocklifers! As you may be aware, I’m a pretty big fan of tattoos and tattoo culture.  I currently have five tattoos, with plans for many more – a sentiment that I’m sure other tattooed people will relate to.  My Instagram feed is chock full of tattoo artists, giving me ink envy every time I check the app.  Today I thought I’d look over some of my favourite UK tattoo artists, and the tattoos I’d love to get from them some day, when I manage to squeeze into their massively busy books.

Danny Charles a.k.a. True Gent Tattoos

Danny Charles is one of the few artists actually based anywhere near me, in Grantham, Lincolnshire.  He mainly does black and grey work, but I absolutely love his occasional splashes of colour, such as in the example above.  I don’t have any particular tattoos in mind when I think of getting work done by Danny Charles, but adding work by him to my collection is a necessity.

Abi Hack

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXTIg6HBavv/?taken-by=abihacktattoo

Ever since I saw Abi Hack’s first floral knife tattoo, I knew I had to get a floral knife by her.  Hopefully I’ll be making the trip to see her in Essex sometime soon.

Paula Castle

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXyP0LeH4CO/?taken-by=paulacastletattoos

Paula Castle is an absolute genius!  I absolutely love her tattoos of women, and I was desperate to get her recent Aphrodite tattoo, but unfortunately somebody else beat me to it.  I’d love her to ink a Greek goddess on me some day.

Becca a.k.a. s6girl

Becca makes the most PERFECT bird tattoos.  I have a lot of bird tattoos planned, and if I have my way all of them would be by her.

Chrissy Hills a.k.a. epicterror

Chrissy Hills’ neotraditional style is absolutely magical, and I’m a huge fan of pretty much all of her work.

Xam the Spaniard

Xam the Spaniard is another artist who creates fantastic lady face tattoos.  His style is so crisp and clean, and I need his work on my body some day!

Rebecca Vincent

View this post on Instagram

Shoulders, shoulders, shoulders.

A post shared by Rebecca Vincent (@rebecca_vincent_tattoo) on

All of Rebecca Vincent’s work is absolutely gorgeous! I personally prefer getting colour tattoos, but I’d make an exception for this wonderful artist.  Her line work is exquisite, and I’m always a sucker for floral/botanical tattoos.

Ashley Luka

Ashley Luca’s style is absolutely beautiful, and I love her animal tattoos.  I’d love to get a pet portrait by her, or some other exotic animal, or just any living creature to be honest, I’m not picky.

Matt Webb

This artist is probably best known for his amazing rose tattoos.  Roses are one of my favourite flowers, and it’s one of my favourite fragrances, so even though scratch-and-sniff tattoos are not yet a reality, I’d still love to add a rose by Matt Webb to my collection.

Jean Le Roux

Jean Le Roux’s style speaks for itself.  His work is absolutely gorgeous!


Who are your favourite UK tattoo artists? Do you have work by any of my favourite artists mentioned above?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

News: Marmozets announce October UK tour

UK five-piece Marmozets, known for their awesome mathsy-grunge rock, have been suspiciously quiet.  Since the release of their debut album, The Weird And Wonderful, back in 2014, and the accompanying tour to celebrate the release, news of the Yorkshire band has dried up.

Thankfully, the silence has now been broken, as yesterday Marmozets announced a tour in which they’ll be touring the UK this October.  The band had already scheduled a short run of dates later this month, finished up with sets at Reading & Leeds Festivals, so these October dates will come as good news to any fans who missed out on the August tour.

The announcement of new tour dates begs the question: will we have a new Marmozets album to look forward to? I seriously hope so, because I’ve been craving new music from the band for a long time.  Plus, I really enjoyed seeing Marmozets perform at Leeds Festival back in 2015, so it would be awesome to see them again.  I might have to make the trip back to Bournemouth to catch them at The Old Fire Station.  If you’d like to catch the band in October, check out the list of dates here:

  • 17/10 – Welly Club, Hull
  • 18/10 – Empire, Middlesborough
  • 19/10 – Saint Luke’s, Glasgow
  • 21/10 – Brudenell Social Club (community room), Leeds
  • 22/10 – Academy 3, Manchester
  • 23/10 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
  • 25/10 – The Garage, London
  • 27/10 – Arts Centre, Norwich
  • 28/10 – The Fleece, Bristol
  • 29/10 – The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
  • 30/10 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

If you want to catch the band on any of these dates, you can buy tickets from 9am on Friday.


Are you hoping to see Marmozets in August or October?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: altrocklife’s first EVER job interview

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I had a job interview earlier this week.  What you won’t know, however, is that interview was my first ever proper job interview! I won’t count the 10 minute interview I had for a shop sales assistant position back in 2012, because my friend and her mum both worked at the shop so I was basically guaranteed to get hired.

It’s safe to say that I was absolutely terrified.  I do get nervous speaking to new people for the first time, and I wasn’t completely sure that I’d done enough preparation.  Plus, the interview was conducted via video online, so a little different to the simulated face-to-face interviews I’d taken part in at university.  Today I thought I’d go over my expectations of the interview vs. the reality.

1 – have some notes in eye view

I think the main advantage of being interviewed over the internet is that you can keep notes of some of the main points you want to cover for reference.  I imagine it’s probably frowned upon to take notes into a face-to-face interview, but you can get away with it if the interview is online!  At the end of the interview I got the dreaded “do you have any questions for me?” question, but thankfully I wrote down what I wanted to ask, just in case nerves caused them to slip my mind.

2 – have examples which could work for a variety of questions

Often in interviews, the interviewer will ask you to describe a scenario in which you worked well as a team, worked well on your own, or demonstrated a particular skill.  I’d already prepared answers for those first two questions, and was completely ready for them – that is, until my interviewer didn’t ask those, and instead asked me to give an example of a time as a journalist where I didn’t take no for an answer.  Thankfully, I was able to take the example I had prepared for a different answer and focus on a different aspect of it, to make the answer fit the question. Phew!

3 – be honest

I would expect that this is an obvious answer, but I thought I’d touch on it just in case.  As part of the interview I had to complete an exercise which required five steps for the answer.  As my interviewer was going over my response, he asked me whether I thought, in hindsight, there was anything I’d missed off of the list.  Frantically I looked over my response, trying to work out what the interviewer was alluding to, but I couldn’t come up with anything.  I admitted as much to the interviewer, asking him to clarify, and as it turns out he looked over my response again he realised that I had actually covered everything he wanted – just out of the ideal order.

If I’d tried to invent something else that could have fit into the answer, I think it would have been blatantly obvious, and would have shown me up for being unsure of myself.  Plus, I could have ended up saying something completely incorrect in the heat of the moment.  I stood by the answers I originally gave, and in the end, it worked out for me.

4 – get into the zone

Even though I was sat in my bedroom whilst being interviewed, I wanted the atmosphere to feel as professional as possible.  I wore office smart clothes (obviously), made my bed, cleared the background of my dirty laundry hamper, and generally tidied up.  I immediately felt like I was in a more productive working environment, and hopefully that came across in the interview.

5 – don’t be afraid to ask for time to think

At one point, I was asked a question which came completely out of the blue – I had no idea that this sort of question would come up!  In order to organise my thoughts, I asked my interviewer if he didn’t mind me taking a minute to think, and he said yes.  This gave me time to properly structure my response, rather than potentially ending up rambling about topics not totally related to the question.  I was taught this trick by my career’s adviser back at university, and they believe asking for a minute to think about your response makes you look considered, rational, and able to handle pressure.


So there you have it! Was this advice helpful? Do you have any other useful interview tips?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

#RIPChester – altrocklife’s tribute to Chester Bennington

I’m sure that everybody reading this post will be aware that on July 20th, the lead vocalist of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, passed away at the age of 41.  He was married and had six children.  Fans of the band and of alternative music in general flocked to social media to pay their respects.  Now, the official Linkin Park website opens on a statement from the band, and an additional page on the site collates all of the outpourings of love and grief expressed via the hashtag #RIPChester.

I have umm-ed and ahh-ed about writing this blog post, not least because it’s been almost three weeks since Chester passed away.  However, it wouldn’t feel right for me to carry on blogging as if nothing major has happened.  Plus, I think it is important for as many people as possible to bring attention to issues surrounding suicide, in the hope that others could find help and support.

When I first heard the news, it’s safe to say that the first emotion I felt was complete shock.  Although Chester made his demons known to everybody through his lyrics, nobody expected that he would succumb to them at the relatively young age of 41.  A friend sent me a Facebook message expressing her shock, and I immediately started scouring the web for more sources, desperate in the hope that it was all a massive hoax, and that Chester would tweet his surprise at the apparent news of his demise.  I then heard the news broadcast on the radio, and I knew it had to be true.

Chester Bennington was the voice of my teenage years.  I was convinced I was an outsider and a freak, and to escape those feelings, it was Linkin Park that gave me comfort.  I was the stereotypical Linkin Park fan, who would blast Hybrid Theory, Meteora and Minutes To Midnight in her headphones to hide from the rest of the world.  As the band’s sound evolved, my music taste changed with it, and I started to enjoy the more electronic sounds of Living Things and A Thousand Suns.  Earlier today I listened to The Messenger and felt myself relating the lyrics to Chester’s passing.

To me, Chester’s passing is on a par with the passing of Robin Williams back in 2014 – both men were childhood heroes that stuck with me into adulthood, and I think it’s safe to say that the world is a little bit darker without them in it.  All I can say is that Chester Bennington was an incredible songwriter and a voice for the downtrodden, and he will be sorely missed.

If you’re in the UK and you are struggling with depression, anxiety or pervasive negative thoughts, you can seek help via Mind, Samaritans, your local NHS mental health services (though there are often lengthy waiting lists) or the registry of private counsellors.  Remember that you are not alone, and that you are deserving of help and support.

20543611_10155508291161788_5548312576254218047_o

altrocklife’s birthday music haul

Good afternoon altrocklifers! After taking a month out to focus on job hunting, I’m back with another blog update.  Last month I celebrated my 22nd birthday, and what better way to celebrate than to go and spend lots of money in Lush and HMV?  I decided against detailing all of the products I bought in Lush, as they were almost all items I’ve spoken about on this blog before, so instead I decided to go over all of the music I bought, and how I’m enjoying listening to the albums so far.

Young Guns – Ones and Zeros

ones_and_zeros.jpg

I reviewed this record back when it was released in 2015, and I wasn’t massively excited about it back then.  I think I was comparing it to their previous record, Bones, too much, which meant I wasn’t able to appreciate Ones And Zeros for what it is.  I’ve listened to this album in my car a few times, and I’ve really enjoyed driving along to it – it’s a solid record in its own right, and I’d recommend anybody who wasn’t sure about this album back in 2015 to give it another go.

The Amazons – The Amazons

amazons-album.jpg

I couldn’t resist picking up The Amazons’ debut album: over the past few months their tracks Black Magic and Junk Food Forever have had regular appearances in my Spotify daily mix, as well as getting a decent amount of airplay on BBC Radio 1.  This record is a really solid debut album, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it.

Lorde – Melodrama

135e9ae4d19e7816e0ffdd9a95922a0c.1000x1000x1.jpg

Anyone who knows me knows that I am basically in love with Lorde.  She’s got a beautiful voice, creates great electronic music, and comes across as a total babe in interviews.  I knew during my first listen of Green Light that Melodrama was going to be an incredible album, and I was right!

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal-Blood-How-Did-We-Get-So-Dark.jpg

I loved this album when I reviewed it in June, so I absolutely had to buy a hard copy so I could listen to it on my daily commute.  Hook, Line & Sinker has become one of my favourite tracks of the year so far.

Imagine Dragons – Evolve

f94a69ca1a23d8ab4acd5b2c71aa0b64.1000x1000x1.jpg

Imagine Dragons are like a gift that keeps on giving.  It’s been just over two years since they released their second full-length album Smoke + Mirrors, so for the band to put out another record so soon is no mean feat.  This album probably has the most electronic influences of their entire discography, but it’s still a solid album, and I really enjoyed my first listen.  I’m looking forward to hearing more of it over the coming weeks.

The Pretty Reckless – Who You Selling For

prettyrecklesswhoyousellingcd_0.jpg

I also enjoyed this album when I reviewed it last year, so I was excited to buy a physical copy and stick it in my car.

Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound

lta_safeinsoundcover.jpg

I wasn’t completely enamoured when this record was released earlier this year, but much like The Amazons, I’ve heard a number of tracks from this album on my Spotify daily mix, and slowly but surely Safe In Sound has grown on me.


What do you think of these albums?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.