Lacey: Outlaws

1150198_621261974573853_700273049_nAlternative pop/rock seems to be everywhere at the minute, piercing its way into mainstream radio station playlists and filling up the local music scene not just in Nottingham, but all over the country, so it’s a hard genre to break into. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a little more needed to creating a Lower Than Atlantis-style masterpiece than just throwing together a pair of guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and choosing who can hold a tune best – you need originality and a real love for the music you’re creating. As listeners, we can tell if a band’s loving what they’re doing or not, from their gigs, social networking and promotion, but most of all from their tracks.

This band needs no introduction, kick starting the EP with passionate vocals which could be compared to a mix of You Me At Six and Mallory Knox. If I didn’t know they had relatively just set off on the road to fame, I could’ve been fooled by their skilled song writing and layered vocals formed in a hauntingly beautiful manner on the opening track, Hometown. That sort of technique generally takes years of attempts to master, but in this EP, it’s perfect; the continued repetition of the one line “who said that I’d go quietly?” is understated and subtly brilliant. What a way to start!

The second track, Contender, feels like it has the potential to be a timeless emotion fuelled ballad, up there with the likes of Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, although some of the backing – especially the drumming – feels like it belongs in a Bastille track. Either way, it’s a big change from the first track, and shows on the band’s capabilities fantastically. Definitely one to get the crowd waving their arms in time to at a live show.

The pace picks up again with Burning Out, a song that very much reminded me of Taking Hayley’s Circles. This song is an absolute corker, cleverly fitted together verses and a chorus that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs and feel a part of something. On many levels, that’s what music’s all about – feeling a part of something and a connection with not only the band, but with the people you’re sharing the music with. This song is going to be an absolute hit, with the perfect criteria for a single and an all time favourite.

It feels like in the last track there’s a lot more focus on the guitar and drum backing, and the bridges show this off. It’s so easy to cop out and just focus on incredible lyrics but Lacey clearly put the effort into every aspect. This past year there’s been a lot of attention on Nottingham’s music due to Jake Bugg, and although they’re not in the same genre, I think Lacey have the potential to get just as far as him, if not further!

Rating – 5/5
Pre-order the EP (out Friday 13th September) –
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Twitter – @LaceyOfficialUK

Those Who Seek: Because Really, We’re Just Animals

coverOut of Manchester bursts the up-and-coming heavy pop punk band Those Who Seek with their long awaited debut EP, Because Really, We’re Just Animals. After hearing their first released track (plus music video) Run From Me back in June, I had high expectations for the rest of their music. Prior to the EP’s release, the band promised it would be “full of variated genres”, which pretty much hits the nail on the head. Has is been worth the wait? Definitely!

Many bands fall into the trap of including breakdowns in their music simply because it suits the genre they’re aiming for, or even worse, because they realised after performing the tracks live that they need a pause for breath. Either way, it means the breakdowns are tacky and badly done. It’s becoming harder to find bands that can actually pull them off well, but thankfully, I think I’ve found one. In their first track, Look To The Skies, Those Who Seek include a breakdown which is positively beautiful, and could probably put a few bigger bands to shame – seriously. If that’s not enough to keep you listening, I don’t know what is.

When I first watched the video for Run From Me, there was a comment saying that Matt (Clarke, vocals) was trying too hard to sound like Josh Franceschi (You Me At Six). The more I listen to the track, the more I can hear where Josh’s influence has rubbed off on the vocals, but I can’t see how it could be classed as a bad thing. The track’s memorable chorus and passionate vocals make the perfect formula for a radio-ready single and fan favourite. Warning: it will get stuck in your head.

Sex Won’t Fill Your Heart and Veritas Occulta struck me as being mostly influenced by older Deaf Havana tracks (post- and with Ryan Mellor respectively), based on the mixed vocals. More so than the other tracks, the final two show off the band’s ability, and live up to the claim of “variated genres”.

Overall, I’ve only one complaint – there’s too much variety (is that possible?!). This band have so much talent, but it can’t all have justice done to it in a four-track-EP. Shame about that, really, as there’s some phenomenal instances that feel like they could be… overlooked when there’s so much going on at once. I’m sure this is nothing that couldn’t be fixed with an album though… I’m not hinting at anything! Personally though, to say this is their debut work, I’m more than impressed. It’s overwhelming.

Rating – 4/5
Download the EP –
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Twitter – @thosewhoseek_uk