RAYNE ‘Complex By Design’ REVIEW

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Alternative rock band, RAYNE released their seven-track album early December that’s pushing the alternative boundary to its limits. The three piece from Sunderland have an exceptional flare for creativity, proved throughout the entirety of Complex By Design. The album is an experience for your musical preferences, bringing new and unique touches to the norm and overall bringing a fresh sound to the scene. Comples By Design is produced spectacularly with crisp and fluent audio showcasing each of the instrumental elements that makes RAYNE’s album a contender in the line-up for rising bands from the UK.

The opening track, ‘Subject A’ has a very authentic feel, and is a brilliant introduction to the adventure RAYNE is about to take their listener on. With the drums and guitar introducing a vintage style piano sound, RAYNE brings you instant hits by indulging in a very vintage style of play appealing to not only the new-generation of kids exploring their interests, but giving those late 80’s and 90’s fans something to enjoy. It’s a very shooting star sort of track, but the surreality of RAYNE doesn’t end there – in fact, the tracks following offer variations of musical exploration. ‘Dolorous’ gives a very anthem-like chorus, whereas ‘Love Live Learn’ is one of RAYNE’s slower pieces, with a very uplifting undertone. ‘The Great Burden’ is a prime example of the ingenuity of RAYNE. Heavier in tone, it’s a track that captures emotion within seconds and as the chorus rolls in and the instruments change their notes and tones, ‘The Great Burden’ becomes a somewhat motivational and combative. The album is compiled of tracks matching emotions, making Complex By Design a refreshing listen for every occasion.

With only three members, it’s astonishing to believe that everything heard on this album is the mixture of talent they all have to bring forward into their music. The creativity and hard work that the men behind RAYNE have put into their latest release is an exciting entry into this new and upcoming band. The limits are endless, and RAYNE is more than willing to push forward with their imaginations, giving us an exciting, fresh and genuine taste of what’s achievable if we work hard at it.

You can listen to ‘Complex By Design’ over on Spotify or SoundCloud. Follow them on Facebook for updates.

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ONE STATE DRIVE Releases Official Music Video for “Ouchtown, Population You Bro!”

Pop-punk Oxfordshire boys, One State Drive recently released the official music video for their 2017 single ‘Ouchtown, Population You Bro!’ (WHICH YOU CAN CHECK OUT HERE!) Working alongside the likes of Bert and Eric from Chunk! No Captain Chunk! at Alias Studio, One State Drive are truly letting their talent and potential shine.

Within seconds of the opening frames, there’s a heavy punch of pop-punk attitude hitting you like that morning coffee – and it doesn’t reside for the duration of the track. They’ve 0008636003_10even got that punk rocker personality a match with a video filled with dick joke Easter eggs and an inflatable T-Rex getting up to all kinds of no good. It’s fair to say that One State Drive posses the right components to fit the ever expanding world of pop-punk and the like. The video in itself is comedy gold, with genuine moments of laugh-out-loud material, and no matter how much you see those giant inflatable T-Rex’s doing silly things on the internet, nothing is quite tickling as seeing one driving down an idyllic road of vibrant shrubbery and scenery with it’s head hanging out of a bright red Ford Fiesta.It’s actually quite heartbreaking watching Suit-and-Tie get bullied by a T-Rex in what’s probably the worst day of Suit-and-Tie’s life. We feel for him, we really do – even if T-Rex has tapped into our schadenfreude mentalities. One State Drive are more than just jokesters making entertainment music videos, though. They have some real potential and a hard-hitting sound of pop-punk that really feels like it resonates the old-school sounds of New Found Glory sprinkled with a pre-December Underground AFI, and all that aggression inside the late 90’s pop-punkers.

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Outta Peak ‘Loveproof’ Review

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Originating from the exotic land of Italy, Outta Peak have done what they can to make a wholesome, dedicated band. Since their formation in 2010, the quartet have experimented frithelessly with music and shows, growing at an alarming rate and finding their sound. 2012 marked their first release of “Never Forget Never Regret.” Their first release, sang in Italian and English, consists of songs such as “Megan Fox,” and “Hate Your Goodbye.” Bass boosted, lively and charismatic with drum breaks and energised guitar riffs, “Never Forget Never Regret” started their journey to where they are today.

OUTTAPEAKFast forward to now, Outta Peak have released their latest album Loveproof. They’ve evolved since their early releases, developing a certainty in their sound and portraying a brilliant sense of growth. There’s a confidence in their music know, and as the album plays “Dear Christy,” the band’s current direction has taken it a notch heavier, but keeping it just as lively. If there’s anything the band has stuck to since their first release, is their ability to play vivaciously and to create perpetual music.

Outta Peak have an exceptional understanding of creating songs that stick with it’s listeners. “All In My Head,” is a brilliantly composed song and easily one of the album favourites. It’s a song that forces clapping, and with a memorable chorus, a bit of a sing along. There’s a few songs like this on the album, such as “Dirty Blankets,” and “Rest In Pieces.” The guys have truly mastered the creation of chorus’s that get you riled up and ready to scream at the top of your lungs.

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Loveproof is a full length, 43 minute album comprised of a plethora of songs that will most likely strike a chord with anyone. Now residing in Sheffield, UK and signed to Human Hearts Records from Arizona, USA, Outta Peak have some big plans for their future. Currently putting on shows around the UK and reaching areas such as Glasgow and Swansea, Outta Peak’s motivation is far stretched and full of passion.

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and stream their album Loveproof below on Spotify.

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Penelope Tree “The Scenes You Create” Review

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Bands such as Real Friends, Modern Baseball and Boston Manor have recently mixed emo with pop punk, bringing sad boys into fashion and lunging us back into 2002 where a different generation of emo was thriving, and everyone quoted Taking Back Sunday in their personal messages. Taking their chances in the field of modern day emo, Penelope Tree are an asset to any playlists featuring bands from The Story So Far, Microwave and The Wonder Years.

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Forming in 2015 in the city of Buckinghamshire, Penelope Tree have fearlessly put their thoughts and emotions on the line for their music. Released in 2016, The Scenes You Create arrived on the music scene at the right time to make maximum impact. It’s a four track EP, featuring some real worthy anthems such as “A Night Like This,” and “Restless.” It’s a lyrically beautiful EP, and has talent being shown musically, lyrically and chemically. The band works well together, with each instrument adding a certain element to make it special. The vocals are charming, pulling on your emotions throughout.

The first track, “The Way You Fall Asleep,” is a perfect example of the musical talent that the guys behind the sound of Penelope Tree have. The sound of the guitar, overlapped by the vocals is somewhat laid-back and relaxing, with the kick coming from the crashing of the drums. There’s every bit of relatability in The Scenes You Create, and it feels like the mature voice in a crowded room of pop-punkers. Penelope Tree work tirelessly, interacting with fans as much as they possibly can, putting on shows and making sure that everyone’s straight up having a good time. They show a copious amount of dedication, and The Scenes You Create is a perfect example of what they’ve already achieved, and an exciting stepping stone to what’s next.

Check them out on FACEBOOKTWITTER and INSTAGRAM and keep up to date with their whereabouts!

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The Reckless, The Brave “Out Of Time,” EP Review

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Work is slow. The only people walking through the center are zombified from the early morning commute – from the long week of work, and from those all too many drinks last night. It’s a Saturday, the only ones looking alive are the teenagers that are out early to make the most of their day before the evening gradually inches it’s way into Sunday. The weekend’s are too quick, compared to the 5-day working week. If only there were some way to spice up such a tedious morning. My only entertainment is the corner in which we sneak our phones and the bluetooth speaker, and for a Saturday morning, my phone isn’t going to be much fun considering the Friday alternative scene in Cardiff. It’s just pictures of kids eating their breakfast, or watching some creepy kids television show. I listen to the same playlist of music over and over again, so I decide a change.

My listen list, full of bands formed by friends, students and people with a passion for music is a long list to choose from. I settle for The Reckless, The Brave. I stalked their facebook not long ago, and was drawn in by the term “hard-hitting pop punk.” Pop punk is always spicy enough to turn dull to excited, or at least in my experience at least. The six track album starts with “Hard To Breathe,” and it keeps it’s promise. There’s so much energy that I instantly feel invigoration.

Forming in 2014, the band’s patience and hard-work over the two years have paid off, massively. Their EP, Out Of Time, was released mid July in 2016 and has some serious tunes. “Hard to Breathe,” is infectious, lurking at the back of your head until you listen next. The lyrics are memorable, causing involuntary singing, head movements and foot tapping. Side effects include superfluous air guitar motions. You’ll be pretending you’re in a pop punk band whether you like it or not. Through one listen, I was a guitarist, bassist and a drummer. Despite the temptation to sing into the brush handle as I sweep the work floor, I’m not that great of a singer, and I won’t try my chances in public, but I know what I’ll be singing to later.

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As the album moves on to “About A Girl,” the listener gets a real sense of the modern take of pop punk. The vocals, are the main component of that vintage feeling, but  it’s the instruments that are able to switch between styles. “About A Girl,” is one of the lightest songs on the album, but still filled with that punk energy. There’s something myspace-esque about the third track, “This Is Me.” The idea of stumbling upon a new bands page, and hearing their featured song start to play. It’s got a very archaic feel. Almost like before the pop to punk ratio went 7:3. A modern day, and punkier Kids In Glass Houses if you will. The album varies in the pop punk direction the band has taken – there’s heavier moments complimented by light pumps. It wins the right to be dubbed as the EP’s anthem track. Fifth track “Out Of Time,” might argue that, being the EP’s titled, it’s the rightful owner of the EP’s anthem. And it’s close. It’s a huge song and has a tantalizingly mesmerizing guitar’s working side by side. It’s all brought and held together by a break in the song where it the light truly shines on the work that the guitarist’s are doing to bring this masterpiece together.

“I’m Going Insane,” is lyrically a personal favourite – it’s flowing and catchy and overall a switch-up from their thematic style. It’s a very emotionally driven song, with optimism laced between each note and every drum beat. Every song recorded for this EP is important in it’s own way, but “I’m Going Insane,” feel like the most fluently played and confidently handled song. It’s  captivating, for many reasons, including the subtle bass boosting the song’s depth. The final song, “Fade Out,” sums up the whole EP.  Song after song latches itself onto your cerebrum with every note floating through your ears. In a swift conclusion, The Reckless, The Brave have achieved a modern take on early pop-punk with Out Of Time, and with plans to tour Europe over 2017, they’re going to see a lot of fist pumping.

 

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Lighten Up Laura ‘Acting Your Age’ EP Review

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It’s late and there’s no chance of any sleep soon. There’s too much caffeine in my system to lay my head down on the pillow and drift away. My brain is wired and my thoughts are mismatched – time for a distraction. An EP that’s been recently recommended is Lighten Up Laura’s Acting Your Age. Instead of opening the link to SoundCloud, I try my luck with Spotify, and luckily, the EP is the first on the list. Bingo. I press play and get introduced to the band instantly with the song “Take Your Shirt Off (It Looks Better When On Me).” The caffeine that’s been laying somewhat dormant until now starts sending buzzes and jolts of electricity around my body. This is not a band that requires a second listen to ensure you like what you’re hearing. It hooks you in straight away with sophisticated guitar, and laid-back, relaxing vocals that have a hint of angst and agony. “Take Your Shirt Off” feels like a public display of intimacy, like the guys have ripped open their chests to share their fears and desires in confidence.

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The intimacy can also be seen in the track “Apart From,” which is slower than “Take Your Shirt Off,” but still holds a great amount of power and emotion within the instruments. The EP starts to quicken its tempo in the the song, “Missed The Boat,” and you can start to see the music fit in with their self description of “Unnecessarily loud and fast-past ramblings” as seen on their facebook page, and I think they’ve pretty much got it spot on.  It’s not every day you come across a band with hinted undertones of Placebo, Foo Fighters and Incubus all in one. In fact, I believe whatever genre a person was to favor, Lighten Up Laura have the ability to adhere and appeal to most with their unique and well constructed sound. “Plactecine” takes a different feel, but still holds on to that emotion that Lighten Up Laura hands out in abundance. The song is heavily complimented by the bass, giving the song the overall positive and upbeat attitude.

LUPSHIRT“Unnecessarily loud and fast-paced ramblings.” 

With the mixing and help of Neil Kennedy at The Ranch, who has seen names such as Creeper and Moose Blood, and George Gallivan engineering, Acting Your Age is the first EP release from the band. Lighten Up Laura is a combination of students studying performance and production courses at Southampton Solent University. The jointed faces behind Lighten Up Laura are not only dedicated but willingly putting themselves on the front-line, showing clear passion and dedication for the band. Lighten Up Laura doesn’t have years to compare and contrast, with “Chewed Up,” and “You,” being released as standalone singles earlier this year. Although, there are major differences and similarities. Both independent singles are musically beautiful and showcases their originality, but Acting Your Age feels more concise, with clear direction and a firm grip on their distinctive sound. The bands influences range across various genres including Moose Blood, Lower Than Atlantis, Baston Manor, Lonely The Brave and ABBA; Acting Your Age is not only a wonderfully compiled showcase of their talents but they have made their mark on the Southampton scene, and a genuine stepping stone into a fast-paced and ever-changing industry.

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The most mesmerizing aspects of Acting Your Age is the vocal range of Ollie Maxwell and the cadency and energetic drumming of Sammy Abecassis that really puts this EP together. It’s worth noting that the efforts placed into Lighten Up Laura by the whole band including guitarist Rory Smith and bassist Fred Devonport are what distinguishes them, because despite the outstanding components of Acting Your Age, what makes it special is the hard work and talent of all the members combined.

Keep up to date with Lighten Up Laura by following their FACEBOOK and TWITTER and take a listen on SPOTIFY.

 

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This Time Last Year “Count Yourself Lucky” EP Review

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Based in Leeds with the sole intention of combining a 2000’s-esque sound of Pop Punk and new-age emo, This Time Last Year have channelled their energy in to their latest EP, Count Yourself Lucky. Releasing across platforms on Friday the 7th of July, Count Yourself Lucky is an interestingly immersive mixture of songs showcasing the variable creativity that TTLY possess, and are willing to explore. Maybe they haven’t quite hit the 2000’s sound of pop punk, but they’ve mixed the old-school with the new; to simply summarise, Count Yourself Lucky is the love-child between Rancid and Real Friends. Two completely different genre’s that probably shouldn’t work… but totally do. The quartet have refused to conform to the generic genre of pop punk and stayed true to their influences and combining all styles together.

The EP is a total of five full songs and an intro. The intro that opens the EP is rather vague and leaves you rather unprepared for the upcoming songs. It does, however, highlight the rhythm of the band with the looped sound of guitar and unclear vocals on top. In fact, it’s a longer intro to the second song on the album titled Split Cell, instead of a standalone introduction to the EP. As soon as the intro ends and Split Cell begins, you hear the change of chord and introduced to the talent that the band has to offer. The vocals offer the band that unique punk-esque style, and truly shines through the change of composition for the chorus. The style the band have advertised themselves as isn’t something new to the scene, with bands aiming to create a more emotional side to the pop punk environment. What is new is the way the band have achieved emotion through their lyrics without portraying a sort of pity-party where they depict sympathy. The attitude of the music behind the words gives it that positivity and slight optimism that gets you up and moving rather than wallowing in your own sadness. It’s giving listeners the chance to really use this music in an everyday situation, rather than for certain moods.

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(Photos courtesy of Lexi Powell Photography)

The Last Straw is the song that really brings out that old-school feel. It’s the most punk feeling song on the EP, and offers that angst that all our inner anarchists possess. The band no doubt show clear signs of well-rehearsed and coordinated talent, but in the best way, The Last Straw feels disorganised. The quartet’s energy transmits through their instruments, confirming that they have so much more to give. A Thing Or Two reels the chaos back in and slows the EP right down. It’s a strong anthem for the EP, and is the best song to show the bands true chemistry and synchronisation. There’s not one instrument or member that takes the spotlight, but instead focuses on everything they have. Split Cell, whether intentionally or not cynosures on the vocals and guitars while second to last song, Post showcases the affect that the drums have on the overall sound, with precision rhythm throughout offering the attitude that it strives for.

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The EP can’t be specifically rounded up for individual fans of certain genres. There are copious amounts of bands that TTLY can appeal to, with last song 742 (cleverly named after The Simpsons residence, 742 Evergreen Terrace) feeling like a mixture of New Found Glory at the start and slowly combines similar sounds such as Modern Baseball and Boston Manor.

 

Overall, the Count Yourself Lucky EP is such a solid starting point for the guys of This Time Last Year in terms of their creativity and chemistry. The band show a lot of promise with this being their first EP, excitingly pulling interest from all different kinds of places, and on their way to making their own personal mark into the massive Leeds, and even unsigned UK scene. I mean, every band has to start somewhere, and This Time Last Year has given themselves an interesting and evoking starting point. It’s worth following and staying up to date on their progression and endeavours, because they’re definitely going somewhere, even if they’re not entirely sure where.

Visit the official This Time Last Year site here and check out their Facebook & Instagram for updates.

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