Bare Knuckle Parade – Diamond Eyes review

There’s a lot of pop-rock out there, and everyone wants their slant on it to sound a little different. They might be from Bath, but it seems that Bare Knuckle Parade have decided to go about it by making themselves sound a bit Australian. An unconventional move but one that works all the same.

Last Friday the five indie-rockers released their new music video for latest single, Diamond Eyes, the band’s first release since their debut EP, Iron Lungs. Quite frankly, the music video seems to be nothing more than the band jumping around in front of a bunch of cleverly placed lights for four and a half minutes. This trick has gone beyond being a cliche, it’s just straight up unoriginal, and a perfect way to lose my attention.

In itself, Diamond Eyes is catchy and fun, the big hooks are bound to be a hit to win over fans at a live show, and they’ve got a passion that claws its way through with every slightly raspy vocal. Every aspect of the song shows how much the band are capable of, but the video manages to let them down spectacularly – one look at the light shining across several shots of the drums and you’ve lost me.

Bare Knuckle Parade have already had a good clutch at the limelight, having played Glastonbury, Nass, and 2000 Trees festival, and an album seems to be in the pipeline. All I ask of the band is that they take the catchy creativity they have in their music and apply it to their music video.

You can listen to Diamond Eyes below.

Sunset Sons – Somewhere Maybe review

Four surfers formed a band to help pay their bills. Just two years later, they’ve been on tour with Imagine Dragons, sold out a headline show at London’s Scala, and are on the verge of releasing their debut album, recorded with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon) and James Lewis (Arctic Monkeys). It’s been something of a dreamlike whirlwind for Sunset Sons, but with the release of full length Very Rarely Say Die set for April 1st, it looks like things are only set to pick up speed.

Their latest video for Somewhere Maybe is another indicator for big things laying ahead of them. The spirit of wanderlust and living in the moment is captured beautifully from the vintage car and clothes to the windows down, wind in your hair, road trip lifestyle that every shot portrays. It’s compelling enough to make you want to get on a train or jump in a car and escape wherever you are – which is exactly what the band intended.

Drummer Jed Laidlaw describes the song as about being about “escapism”. There’s a carefree sense of recklessness in the track, and front man Rory Williams say of working with Jacquire King: “He encouraged us to experiment and there was a feeling of something special and original in the studio when working with him.”

Sunset Sons have perfected the indie pop sound of The Killers meets Circa Waves, or think The Mystery Jets with a bit more punch. Either way, their sound is too original to run the risk of plagarism, they’ve found a different angle to throw themselves into the world of summery pop, and they’re already making leaps and bound to ensure they’re set on sticking there.

On March 23rd the band begin a 14-date UK and Ireland headline tour around the release of Very Rarely Say Die on April 1st.

You can watch the video for Somewhere Maybe below.

Love|Less – The Lonely (Acoustic) review

For one reason or another, bands of all genres and sizes like to record acoustic covers of their own, and others’, songs. Sometimes, this is a fantastic choice and it works out wonderfully – the screaming success of This Wild Life’s cover of Sleepwalking is a perfect example of how well it can work out. On the other hand, these can often amount to nothing more than a bunch of people sat in a shoddily tidied living room whilst one plays their dad’s acoustic guitar and another sings at a low quality camera, the other members purely there to make up the numbers, waiting for their Spotify to raise enough money to record their next EP.

You’ll be glad to hear that Love|Less fall on the successful side of this line. Their acoustic version of The Lonely, a track which originally featured on their most recent EP Hollow Faith, is beautifully shot and recorded, and whilst subdued and minimalistic, it allows the focus – both visually and aurally – to rest on the music, not any flashing, over-done music video.

Every band has the “token acoustic track” – A Day To Remember have If It Means A Lot To You, Mallory Knox’s first album had 1949 – but this is the token acoustic track to trump them all. Love|Less have taken a huge, powerful song, and stripped it back to a personal, intimate song, whilst letting the feeling of solidarity still slip into the final refrains. Kudos.

The Lonely (Acoustic) is the first track to be released off their forthcoming The Acoustics EP, and was premiered with Already Heard, with further videos set for release throughout March. The London quintet traveled to Texas to record their most recent EP along with seventeen other tracks, a true testament to their hard work and dedication. It might be easy to brush this off as another band doing another acoustic cover, but I ask that you don’t do that.

You can listen to The Lonely (Acoustic) below.

As December Falls – When You Figure Out You’re Wrong, Get Back To Me review

ADFCOVERIt’s been almost a year since we heard new music from Nottingham quartet As December Falls, a female-fronted rock act with more attitude than the title of their new EP suggests. When You Figure Out You’re Wrong, Get Back To Me, produced by Arthur Walwin (Charlie Simpson/Emma Blackerry), was released today, featuring a new rendition of the last song we heard from them almost a year ago, Capture, alongside four brand new tracks.

In the best part of a year since Capture was released with a music video directed by Rolling Vision, the band have been picking up acclaim left, right and centre; most notably from Scuzz TV, making their list of top unsigned bands from 2015, and Aaron Phillips of Amazing Radio.

The band are heading out on tour in March in support of the EP launch.

Despite Capture having been reworked, there’s still a different vibe to the song in comparison to the rest of the EP, and on that basis I’d have chosen to open with it but the band clearly thought differently, kicking things off with the Mallory Knox-esque riffs of Everything You Say. It only takes ten seconds for the vocals of frontwoman Beth Curtis to break through, and by the time the first half minute has passed, they have you hook, line, and sinker. After such a promising start it’s no wonder As December Falls go on to smash out such a good chorus, a feature they hit high on with every track on the EP.

Current single Don’t Say A Word follows fast, seeing the band up the attitude with the snappy, attention grabbing hook, “Don’t say a word if you know you don’t mean it / ‘Cause I don’t need you”, and there’s an almost satisfying, sarcastic, bitterness that comes with the delivery of, “You’re just so goddamn clever”. As musically pleasing as it is lyrically, they keep up the punchy, bold pace through Capture.

The back and forth vocals of Things I (Don’t) Want and the chant worthy chorus of closing Always Set On Letting Go let As December Falls prove they can tick all the boxes of solid alt-rock, mixing just enough “radio ready” sound to pitch them on the fast track to success and enough bite to sharpen their elbows and let them push in front of the samey-sound rock bands that aren’t of such strong stuff.

In a scene filling with generic rock bands thinking they’ve got something going for them, As December Falls are proud to stand up and brag about the fact that they actually have.

You can watch the video for Don’t Say A Word below.

Ze Gran Zeft – Millennial Kids review

There seems no better way to crack open your new year than with some entirely off beat, quirky, bizarre, and straight up trippy music. On that note, allow me to introduce you to boundary pushing Ze Gran Zeft, a French 3-piece alternative rock outfit. In this sense, “alternative” means kicking and screaming and dupstep-heavy – oh, and featuring none other than Mopreme Shakur, Tupac’s elder brother.

Among kids born in the 80s and 90s, there’s more than a fizzle of pride – perhaps it’s due to the position of growing up and watching the TV move from a CRT to a flatscreen at a seemingly dreamlike, futuristic pace, having a childhood rooted in Lego but reaching toward touchscreen. In Ze Gran Zeft’s new single, Millennial Kids, this is the theme that’s covered with punchy, zappy, energy. Add a twinge of reggae influence and a crash of hip-hop and you’ve got a catchy, bouncy track with a video that plays up all those over used visual effects the 90s and 00s adored. It’s a nostalgic slice of in-your-face alt-rock.

Millennial Kids is the first single off Ze Gran Zeft’s upcoming album, #JOI. You can watch the video below.