Monday, 21 April 2014

Embers of Eden - Varsity - 13th April 2014

Embers of Eden are a Plymouth based female fronted hard rock band formed by two ex-members of Carnival of Crows:- Alex Dumbiotis (Vocals ,Guitar) and Oli White (Guitar); they are joined by Matt Avery (bass) and Chris Harding(drums). Whereas Carnival Crows' influences were blues related, Embers of Eden influences are definitely metal.

The oEsterjam gig is the first gig as a band and if they were nervous it did not show as they played flawlessly. The set kicked off with the incendiary "Call To Arms (Revolution)" which is both brutal and beautiful in equal parts and is so memorable it should be recorded and released as a single.

Musically they combine big metal riffs, powerful drums, throbbing bass with intricate guitar work topped off with Alex's smooth singing voice cutting cleanly through the intense soundscape. They have clearly been influence by early Metallica as well as modern bands such as Sevendust, Bullet for My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold and Halestorm.

The set was consistently solid with tracks from the instantly catchy "Hate Me" to the heavier frenetic "Pull Me Under", and softer edged "Bleed". The changes of pace kept the set vibrant and exciting all the way through.

The band threw in a cheeky cover of Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind", which with female lead vocals was more enjoyable than the original.

The band have obviously put a lot of time and effort working on the new songs, which feature very incredibly complex guitar work.The songs are very catchy and despite being heavy are accessible even to those who are not fans of the bands influences.

If you get a chance to see the band in and around Plymouth's venues, take it, as it won't be long till someone recognises the talent on display and they will be playing much larger venues.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Review of "Heartless Machine" by Flatcat

Flatcat are a punk pop band from Bruges, Belgium (yes they sing in English) consisting of Dieter Meyns (vocals/guitar), Alexander Jonckheere (Bass / Backing Vocals), Wim Luyckx (Drums) and Dirk Luyckx (Guitar).

Heartless Machine (7.5/10) kicks off with high octane but politically incorrect "Butterface" a song which sounds like it was penned by Fat Mike from NOFX. The song features a punk attitude and a stuttering chorus.

When "Loose Tongue" starts the familiarity is comforting, three chord-ed punk pop with epically catchy chorus. The title track has a more grungy sound like Sugarcult, with more down-tuned chugging guitars than the rest of the album.

The quality of the album is consistent whether it be the old school punk stomp of "What To Say"; the heavier coming of age song "The Maladjusted" or the Taking Back Sunday-esque catchy "Take Shelter".

The album slows down for the semi-acoustic, "The Great Escape" which sounds like The Get up Kids and features a more atmospheric soundscape. Ending on the contemplative "All Anchors" a song about despair and accepting your own fate the album never fails to maintain the listeners interest.

The album is chocked full of shiny guitars, chugging riffs, solid drums, dark lyrics and a sense of fun which permeates the whole record. Flatcat are treading a well-worn path with "Heartless Machine", but their meticulously crafted take on American punk rock is enjoyable, entertaining and memorable. Fans of bands such as Blink 182, The Get Kids, Green Day and Bad Religion will enjoy this album lots..

Purchase you copy here

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review of "Revolt" by Amaryllis released 12th May 2014


Amaryllis is a female fronted five pieces from London consisting of Sante Moonie (Vocals), Alex Whiteford (Guitar), Daniel Harris (Guitar), Alex Osborne (Bass) and Michael Mann ( Drums) the band have toured with Elliot Minor and The Dirty Youth.
Revolt (8) kicks off with “Kings” and the squeal of feedback launching into a high register riff, followed by an undertow of chugging guitars, later joined by lead singer, Sante’s melodic voice.

Sante vocal attack changes for “Stand Down”, half chanting, half singing the politically charged lyrics with passion. The song has a feel of slower paced female fronted Rise Against, building up to its thunderous ending.

“Prophecies” is harder edged track with bouncy guitars which complement Sante’s call & response verses and catchy “woah” chorus. “Goodbye”starts with a beautiful guitar solo before, Sante’s multi tracked, laid back vocals are set perfectly to the swirling guitars.
The EP ends on the beautiful semi acoustic "Strangers in August", a song reminiscent of “High and Dry” by Radiohead. Amaryllis have proven with this release, that they can produce a set of lyrically intelligent songs with stunning guitar work, interesting musical passages and unique vocals. This band is a must for fans of Funeral For A Friend, Tonight Alive, Deftones, Biffy Clyro and You Me At Six.

Revolt will be released on the 12th May 2014.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Review of "You'll Find A Way" by Out For Tomorrow - released 5th May 2014

Out For Tomorrow are a 5 piece alternative band from Bristol who have previously toured with Lower Than Atlantis and Deaf Havana. You’ll Find A Way (9/10) is their first full length album after a previously releasing a well received EP.

The album kicks off with "White Noise" and the sound of a ticking clock and slowly building guitars, before the epic bassline and pounding drums kick in. A barrage of guitars starts before the dual layered vocal attack commences propelling the track to a singalong soaring chorus.

The album has everything from the rock and roll dance-able swagger of the lead single "Give Me A Reason"; the straightforward punk tinged "Your Shining Star" to the chugging post hardcore thump of "Strike A Match".

Musically the band sways between melodic punk pop to post hardcore; think a more melodic Funeral For A Friend or a harder edged Jimmy Eat World. The ever present throbbing bass provided by Lee Mcgarel is a joy to listen to acting as a driving force of the album. (check out "Give Me A Reason" and "If I Have You" when the track falls away to uncover a succulent bassline)

The album takes a breather for “You Belong to Me” a tightly crafted interlude showcasing lead singer, Ben Lumber's amazing voice to a sparse musical accompaniment.

The band uses vocal harmonies frequently on various tracks, which gives the album a depth and sense of passion.

The album ends on the beautiful "Take My Place" a slower paced song with echo ladened guitar and vocals; lyrically the song is about moving on from a long term relationship. 

The album is crammed full of bright shiny guitars, melodic vocals, intelligent lyrics and thumping basslines. This is a must for fans of Funeral For A Friend, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World and Natives.  You’ll Find A Way is released on the 5th May 2014 and is available for pre-order here:-

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

oEstro Jam Charity Gig , Varsity Plymouth Embers of Eden Headlining.

Varsity will be hosting a charity gig on the 13th April 2014 in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Embers of Eden will be headlining the gig with support from Say It Like It Is, Run Against The Crowd, Walking With Spiders and Seeking Yesterday.

All of which are female fronted rock bands so if you are a fan of Lacuna Coil, The Dirty Youth, Paramore, Tonight Alive and Halestorm you will be well catered for. Even if you have never heard of any of the bands listed come down as it will be a great night.

Last month we covered Embers of Eden and Say It Like It Is in our Plymouth Rocks features - check it out here

then get yourself down to Varsity to not only see great live music but support a worthy charity. The music starts from 7pm......

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Review of "Last One Standing" - I Divide released 14th April 2014.

I Divide are a five piece, South West, hard rock band consisting of Tom Kavanagh, Henry Selley, Josh Wreford, Kristen Hughes  and Dave Mooney.

Last One Standing (9.5) kicks off with the single, "Follow Me", and lead singer, Tom singing to an electronic backing before the rest of band kick in. The song serves as a statement of intent, crunchy guitar, screaming lead guitar and a chorus so catchy it will take days to leave your head. The song edges towards an epic crescendo, which if played too loud could cause irreversible damage to speaker equipment.

The second single, “I’m Not Leaving” showcases Tom’s amazing vocal range and passion which he instills in to every word. The heaviest track on the album is “Monster In Me” with it's potent downtuned guitars which could peal paint off walls and thundering drums. Tom's voice is comparable to the lead singer of Trapt with a glass like smoothness which cuts perfectly through the mix of heavy guitars.

The album slows down for the semi acoustic intro of “Cold At The Bottom” before the song switches gear and showcases some amazing harmonies and fleet fingered guitar work. “Living In A Hurricane” features a strong pounding beat and guitars which run away with the song before they are reined in for another epically memorable hook and throbbing bassline.

One hidden gem is “27 Down” featuring lead singer of Anavae, Rebecca Need-Menear, which surely should be the next single.The album has an urgency which pulls the listener through each song and on to the next.

The album ends on the brooding “Look At Me Now” which lyrically, is response to all the bands critics and a great way to end a superb 11 tracks.  Production wise the album is immaculate and every track is well thought out and engaging; a true tour-de-force.

Buy this if you are looking for a solid hard rock album full of memorable songs, electronic flourishes, crushing guitars, stomping drums, silky smooth vocals and a unique personality. A must for fans of Funeral For a Friend, Trapt, Sevendust and Chevelle.

Last One Standing is released on the 14th April 2014.

You can pre-order the album from 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review of Heaven's Basement - White Rabbit, Plymouth 29th March 2014

Heaven's Basement are a four piece UK band who perform a modern take on old school hard rock.

Their intro music was  A Perfect Circles – “Counting Bodies Like Sheep“ and unsurprisingly they launched into the anthemic “Welcome Home”. The band had a full array of coloured and powerful spotlights which created amazing backdrop to their performance.

The band were in full swing powering their way through heavy hitters “Fire Fire” and “Heartbreaking Son of A Bitch" ; the audience singing every word and enjoying every second of amped up guitar noise.

The Aerosmith swagger of  “Straight To Hell” gave way to the bluesy "Nothing Left to Lose" to the full on punky “I Am Electric”, before anyone knew it we were halfway through the awesome set. 

Lead singer Aaron left the stage leaving the microphone in the capable hands of Sid to play Paranoia inviting the audience to join in with the words.
Aaron returned and the whole gig slowed down for a tear jerking performance of their ballad “The Price We Pay” which also showcased an amazing bassline ; the crowd were given time to recover from the frenetic pace of the gig.
The highlight of the show was “Jump Back” which during the epic guitar solo , Aaron jumped in to crowd and surfed his way to the bar before being wrenched back by the overzealous security; rock and roll stuff indeed.  The band ‘ended’ the main set on "Reign On My Parade" a non-Filthy Empire track which had a Gun and Roses feel to it.

The band momentarily left the stage and amidst chants of “basement” before returning for an encore which started with an rousing cover of the Rolling Stones “Jumping Jack Flash”. The gig ended on the amazing “Executioners Day” with its intricate guitar solos, QOTSA-like bassline and soaring chorus.  This gig proved not only how vital Heaven’s Basement are to the UK rock scene but how vital The White Rabbit is to the Plymouth rock scene.

Review of Glamour of The Kill - White Rabbit, Plymouth 29th March 2014

Glamour of The Kill are a four piece hard rock band from Yorkshire who have previously played the White Rabbit with Yashin.

When the band strolled on stage the first thing that was noticeable is that they look the part leather jackets, lots of black and tattoos. Lead singer and bassist Davey is incredibly photogenic and captivated the audience with his amazing stage presence. 

The band launched into “Break” which combines heavy riffage and machine gun drumming; before Davey strapped on his bass and launched into "Supremacy".The band had an infectious metal attitude combined with a skill for writing catchy songs leaving the audience in awe of the power on display.

The highlight of the set was the epic "Second Chance" with its tight chugging guitars and catchy "whoa" refrains. The sound balance was perfect meaning you could hear every riff, bass note and word even when drummer Ben was pounding the drums like a man possessed.

As a curve ball the band played an awesome cover of “Love Gun” originally by Kiss a song so simply infectious it had the band chanting the words within seconds. The set was consistently tight with most song being played from their brilliant 2013 album "Savages" including "The Only One" "Live for The Weekend" and "A Freak Like Me".

The band finished their set on "Feeling Alive" an undeniably catchy party anthem which seemed apt as the band were in the mood for partying inviting everyone to drink till 2am when their tour bus was leaving.

Glamour of the Kill came, they played and they conquered the White Rabbit with their amazing technical playing and awesome showmanship. This is a band that can put on a real rock show; expect to see a lot more of this band in future.