We Came From Wolves – Ruiner review

If you play word association with the genre of “Scottish rock”, Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic are bound to leap out of people’s mouth first. Recently there’s been a breakthrough wave of acts following in their wake – think The Xcerts or Fatherson – and We Came From Wolves are just as deserving to be on the same “commendable Scottish rock” roster as them.

2015 saw the band release their debut self titled album, selling out their album release show at Glasgow’s ABC2, and going on to win the Scottish Music Alternative Award for Best Rock/Alternative. This year is set to see them grow further, with a highlands tour locked in to coincide with the release of their next single, Ruiner.

The penultimate track of the album, frontman Kyle Burgess describes Ruiner as: “A frank and bleak self-assessment of a dark period in my early 20’s. The song battles the realisation of pain you are causing others through selfish choices and lifestyles, and opens up to the failures in my life at that point.”

Ruiner is a choppy ocean of sound, the staccato riffs that welcome the song setting you up for rough ride in terms of the bleak subject matter. Burgess’ calm vocals guide you through the storm whilst the self-deprecating lyrics themselves turn out to be as dark as first suspected, but on a dark night there is some hope among the collective, hinted optimism of the gang vocals which pinch the song’s close. There’s no rush in the song, each second though out with a deliberation that is paramount to the smooth execution of the track and safe passage through the storm.

 

Ruiner will be release on March 18th.

The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Long Live Happy Birthday review

TWIABPAIANLATDLong Live Happy Birthday will be the latest release from Connecticut “emo” band The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die on March 25th. This two track EP comes soon after the release of their very good sophomore album Harmlessness, and it’s clear to see that these two tracks here could’ve easily fit in somewhere on that record.

In fact, these were written at the same time as the album, so it might be better to treat these as bonus tracks rather than a completely different project from the band, albeit a good way to get a release of a new 7” EP out there.

That’s not to say these tracks aren’t different though, perhaps more grand than what was on their last album. On Harmlessness, the band slightly drifted from the post-rock leanings of their debut and went with a more emo indie rock driven album, similar to the 90s emo bands like American Football, Sunny Day Real Estate and a more recent band like Death Cab for Cutie, also.

The vocals were more upfront and vibrant, even if at times a little corny, but that does tend to come with the emo package. And I’d say we definitely get more of these Death Cab for Cutie-isms on this EP here as well, perhaps a post-hardcore version of Death Cab. Katamari Duquette being the better of the two, and surprising much heavier than what the band has previously released, which only works in their favour as the track builds into an epic crescendo and only leaves me wishing the track was longer to see where how far they could have taken this.

The track bursts into its most passionate moments when the refrain comes throttling in: “Away with god, away with love / Our hands are tied and stepped on.” Even More Forever moves at a slower pace and feels like it’s taking a little long to get somewhere, but the lyrics do keep you interested, like much of this band’s music, they still manage to keep an atmosphere sticking with you throughout. The lyrical poignancy of their last album really flourishes on this EP, and it’s interesting to see where there’ll take this approach in the future.

Lisbon Kid – Sunburst review

LISBONKIDWith the first signs of summer starting to crop up, it’s the perfect time to start wallowing in as much new electronica music as you can find. The debut single from Danny De Mantos and Rui Da Silva, together known as Lisbon Kid, is a promising beginning to the season of sun and music. Sunburst is the first single to be taken off the pair’s forthcoming self-titled album, which is set for release on April 22nd, and the track was premiered on Ministry of Sound last week, where you can read what they made of it.

It’s almost easy to see why the pair were recently signed by Wall of Sound – a somewhat eclectic label home to the likes of The Human League, Aeroplane, Propellerheads and many more – from the experimental moments of the track that fade in and out of a shower of electronic pops.

Sunburst lures you in with an ambient, aimless drift that matches the total contentment of the summer hot weather, a perfect tie-in with the track’s title, and this is maintained in an almost hypnotic undertone, always feeling a moment away from becoming a steel drum anthem. Electronic beats build and dazzle the sound, but no matter how elaborate the track becomes, I can’t quite shake the feeling that it would be incredibly apt for a Mario Kart soundtrack.

Three and a half minutes in, the track slips into another level of hypnotic dip, raw instruments seeming to crop up among the sound. Although the base of the track is undeniably, fantatsically, captivating, it’s the bolder, brighter, forefront of the song that I’m left to question. A few listens proves it’s a promising earworm, but in equal parts it becomes rapidly irritating for the lack of variation.

That said, Sunburst is fun and individual, a summer-fueled splash of colour on any bleak sky – a song bound to annoy you, but that you’ll stick on repeat regardless.

You can listen to Sunburst 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.

OTHERKIN – Love’s A Liability review

With all the same reckless abandon that Slaves crashed their way into the scene with, Dublin rockers OTHERKIN are elbowing their way to the tip of people’s tongues. After their debut single AY AY received a brilliant reaction from the world of music, they’ve continued to pull out the punches with their latest round of releases – songs 20 To 11 and Love’s A Liability. Despite only forming a little over a year ago, the quartet are well on their way to making a name for themselves with their debut EP, The 201, out on November 13th.

Three and a half minutes of unapologetic power and brutal energy pump this song along, winding things up with a guitar solo that you’ll inevitably find yourself replaying repeatedly, and eventually getting out the air guitar for. Trust me on this one. Love’s A Liability presents itself as a single that knows what it is, what it wants, and exactly how it’s going to go about getting it. What more could you want?

You can listen to Love’s A Liability below.