False Advertising – Self titled review

FALSEADVERTISINGWhen someone mentions ‘Manchester’, iconic ground-breaking bands including The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Chemical Brothers, and arguably alternative music founders The Smiths pop into your head. Now False Advertising want to join the list of credible groups originating from the city, and join the list of bands that people will remember by the next generation. Forming two years ago, the group’s members have kept a low profile, working hard to produce their debut. Since finally unveiling songs online three months ago, Manchester has held its breath in anticipation for a full album, and the wait is almost over, with their self-titled effort scheduled for release on the 4th September.

Unfortunately, the first two tracks of False Advertising, although not necessarily weak songs by no means, are in my eyes a poor decision to open a debut with. First track Breaker does deliver a dark brooding mysterious sound, but vocal, from Jen Hingley, and instrumental alike create a sound all too commonly afflicted with the grunge genre, and ultimately it falls more into the mould of album filler rather than a lead track. Similar words can be expressed about Another Mention – the addition of distortion experimentation works, but overall the track is relatively limpid and I wasn’t wooed by it either.

Don’t let an average beginning put you off the rest of the album; third track Wasted Away turns the fortune of False Advertising’s debut around, and ensures that listening to it isn’t a waste of your time. With a chord sequence almost identical to Lived A Lie by You Me At Six, the riff is catchy, and to new listeners is the perfect introduction to the band. Wasted Away is a leading album track that should have been. Dozer awakens you to a riotous sound which is perfect chaos – screeching guitars and a sneering whip of “it’s not your fault” provides one of the highlights of the album, and hails similar to striking songs from growing grunge prowess Wolf Alice. Following track I Don’t Know again incorporates distortion into Chris Warr’s vocals as he for the first time take command of lead vocals, a smart move which proves far from rebarbative.

Although False Advertising falter on track All Of The Above due to its feckless sound that as a consequence leaves its fate no more than album filler, the album ensures a swift recovery with tracks Cold Shoulder and No Good, laced with dramatic bass from the brainchild of Josh Sellers that draws you into the songs. Jen unleashes rueful emotion on Only Way, vocals that craft a sincere grunge ballad. Finish Line, ironically named as it is actually only the penultimate song, instantly reminded me of a criminally underrated song you find pre-installed on new smartphones, and becomes your own little musical highlight secret. Eventually the finish line is reached with closing track Something Better – with an infectious chorus and enticing guitar melody, it’s a song which is the best possible the album could end by.

Despite a slow start and occasional stumbles, in the end False Advertising is a grunge victory, and ends on a high. It may not propel them to the heights of Manchester’s finest just yet, but it will win them a league of fans.

You can stream the album below.
False Advertising by False Advertising

Best Years interview

BESTYEARSCOVERRecently I reviewed the sophomore EP Drop Out from the pop punk outfit which I loved, and now you can read why they always wanted to make pop punk music, their career highlight, and if they would make music for a Christmas soundtrack…

What pushed your decision to leave ‘reality’ as mentioned in your press release, and fully focus on committing to the band?      
Every band any of us have ever been in had either not worked or run itself into the ground, we all knew that if we dropped everything and focused properly that we could make something of ourselves this time round and so far we’ve done exactly that.

Was pop punk music always the genre you wanted your music to fit in, and for future releases do you want to stay close to the sound you have developed, or explore different sounds?
When we started this was the initial idea, I would like to say “yeah this is what we’re going to do for the rest of our career and it will never change from pop punk”, but you never know what’s going to happen. For now we’re loving it and we want to make a dent in the scene by attempting to bring pop punk back to its roots instead of every band trying to sound like The Story So Far.

What has been the highlight of your band career so far?                                                                                    For me (Ed) I would say playing our first ever show at the Camden Barfly with As It Is which was completely sold out! I’ve seen plenty of bands there over the years and it was pretty surreal. Also having a chance to play with some of my favourite bands from my childhood (Man Overboard).

Where can you imagine the band in a year’s time?
I imagine us still as strong as we are now, even better friends and hopefully smashing it with our newest release… maybe even touring Europe or further. Who knows.

If you were to describe the ‘unique selling point’ of listening to Best Years, what would it be and why?
We’re not trying to be anything we’re not; it’s all natural and we intend to keep it that way. We just want to have fun ourselves and also make sure everyone else does too.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
Dream collaboration would probably be with Good Charlotte/The Madden Brothers, that would be insane and we would be blown away by it I think!

Have you as a band experienced any setbacks – if you have, then how did you learn to deal with them?
We experienced a bit of a setback with being able to afford new gear to gig with and stuff like that, and with only one of us being able to drive it kind of makes it harder to transport all of us and our gear to gigs, but it’s all fun and we have a good time in the Corsa.

If each of you was placed on a desert island, and could only take one album each with you, what would it be and what are the reasons behind your choice?
Joel – Yung Lean / Unknown Death (2002), as it is one of the most emotional albums of all time and would be perfect to listen to for the rest of my life in perfect solitude.
Holland – Transit / Young New England because it has my favourite track of all time on it and it sums my life up perfectly.
Ed – Alt J / An Awesome Wave because I don’t think I could get bored of it and it’s a very chilled and easy to listen to album.
James – Anything by the Foo Fighters they’re the kind of band that really make me think about the important things in life.
Berzins – Slipknot / self titled so I would have a good soundtrack to end my life to and I could also throw up those God damn horns – am I right?!

Would you ever consider making a Christmas-themed track, or contributing your talents to a film soundtrack?
Yeah definitely if it was for the right kind of thing and we all felt comfortable doing it – I guess that would be cool! We’ve had friends who have done some film soundtrack work and it hadn’t worked out that well for them but I guess we would try it.

If you weren’t in the band, what would your dream career be?
Joel – Film/ Multimedia Camera work.
Holland – Navy / Military / Air Force.
Ed – Touring Guitar Technician.
James – Rubix Cube factory worker.
Berzins – Ralph Lauren model.

Drop Out EP by Best Years will be released on the 28th August, and you can listen to Overrated below.