Monthly Archives: December 2013

Living Deäd Lights – Black Letters Album Review

After the successful release of their 2010 Dead Edition EP, a European tour in 2011 and now being taken on by former Guns & Roses manager Doug Goldstein, Los Angeles rockers Living Deäd Lights announce the worldwide release of their debut full album, Black Letters (GB Sound Label).

Living Deäd Lights is singer/guitarist Taka Tamada, originally from Kyoto, Japan, lead guitarist Alan Dämien from Hollywood, bassist Martin Kelly from the Republic of Ireland and drummer Nick Battani from Austin, Texas.

The album is due out 27 January 2014 and will be lead by the first single/video This Is Our Evolution which was released back in November. Alan Dämien explains the story behind This Is Our Evolution: “We all go through so many circumstances that define who we are. Most people have a good idea about what they want in life yet they have no idea how they’re going to achieve it.

“We all get hung up on bad habits, life events and become comfortable in our own skin. This song was written to wake people up and help them find themselves, to learn how to make whatever changes within themselves they need to evolve and move forward.”

Black Letters was recorded at The Hobby Shop Recording Studios in L.A. It’s a collaborative effort by Fred Archambault (Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones), David Spreng (Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper) and Tom Baker (NIN, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie). Living Deäd Lights have an unbending faith in rock n’ roll and Black Letters is hypnotic in its indulgence.

The album consists of twelve songs that hit a pure, raw core of confession. They frame destruction yet leave the audience with a boundless sense of possibility and hope. The riffs are slashing, destructive yet beautiful.

Alan Dämien continued: “Everything is about real life for us…Hopefully we’re able to convey the ideas in a somewhat poetic story format. We want our music to be artistic, intelligent and interesting; to reflect our life experiences or situations. We want people to be able to see themselves in the songs and for our music to help them evolve through whatever situation they’re going through. What’s art without a point?”

Living Dead Lights

Living Dead Lights

Starting track I’ll Be Your Frankenstein is in your face and certainly introduces this band’s rock energy. It starts with crashing drums and screams and this chaos continues throughout the song. The chorus, “I’ll be your Frankenstein….Don’t ever tell me how to think/Don’t ever tell me how to live/You’d better lock your doors and never let me in” portrays Tamada’s ability to sing with the amount of angst that’s needed for this type of rock band. His vocals are gravelly, passionate and energised even if sounding slightly strained. The vocals are on the brink of being screamed rather than sung but this is OK – it suits. I’ll Be Your Frankenstein has been produced in such a way as to build an atmosphere and set a scene. Listening to this song makes you feel like you’re watching part of a movie with the police surrounding a house, talking to the criminal through a megaphone. I’ll Be Your Frankenstein includes the sound of sirens and crackly talking in the background which all adds to the effect.

It’s Drowning In My Veins has a catchy sing-a-long chorus, “Well I’m drowning all the way/Just to hear the children sing/’Cos you drained my heart so where do we go?/Well it’s drowning in my veins/And I’m trying to find a way/’Cos you broke my heart so where do we go?” The angry music and vocals seem to somehow cover up the hurt felt by the singer – it’s as if this band is putting on a hard face by singing aggressively but in fact they are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. Perhaps these are the boundaries they are trying to break down – producing music that everyone can relate to no matter your exterior.

Everybody is more melodic than the previous tracks on Black Letters. It starts with the normal chaotic guitars and drums before simplifying to make the vocals the prominent instrument, “When on holiday medicated/She’s gone crazy/It’s a heartache and a horror show/She’s seen more than you’ll ever want to see…Freak out/Freak out/Everyone says can’t we all love another/Freak out/Freak out/Everyone waits ’til we all start over/All the world and crazy people/In all the world you’d think you’d know that”. The lyrics in this song narrate a heart-wrenching story about love loss in a horrid, dark way. The drums seem to have three stages in this track – during the verses the beat is offbeat, during the pre-chorus the drums break down to build dramatically for the chorus. The drums add variety and layers to this track.

Vacant is the ballad track of the record. It starts with a piano composition before the drums and guitars come in in true Living Deäd Lights style. The chimes in the background introduce drama and depth to this track. The lyrics are interesting as well, “Say what you want to be/And why won’t you let go?/Say what you want to say/I don’t have the time/Don’t tell me you’re God of me/I’m not on your side.” Tamada’s vocals are much softer on Vacant allowing him to show a different side to his talents.

Amerikan Eyes is an anthemic, lighters out song. The beginning lyrics, “Anything we want/Anything we do/Know we got to fight for just one chance/I never wanna choose/Living in the past/Still we should imagine what we can/We’ll remember how to find just who we are/In the shadows of Amerikan eyes.” Amerikan Eyes has elements of Dashboard Confessional in it – the vocals, the pace, the rhythm all leak Dashboard. Once again, Tamada shows the true abilities of his vocals – he shows passion, energy and soulfulness which is sometimes lacking in the heavier rock tracks.

Ghosts & Saints is the last song on Black Letters and is a pleasant surprise, Living Deäd Lights definitely left the best until last. Ghosts & Saints is a completely acoustic number with a slight blues influence. It’s perfect – Tamada’ vocals sound as if someone else has stolen the microphone. There are breath-taking harmonies blended with beautifully crafted guitar riffs and percussion.

Living Deäd Lights have produced a fantastic, energetic and solid debut album. There is angst, anger and aggression on most of the tracks – they really do seep rock out of every pour of their bodies but some of the songs do sound similar. It can be hard to distinguish when one song ends and another begins. They could do with a bit more variety. That’s why tracks like Vacant, Amerikan Eyes and Ghosts & Saints really stand out on Black Letters because they start in a different way from the rest of the songs which burst straight through the speakers with full drums, bass and guitar.

Living Deäd Lights accept no boundaries. Thunderous, stirring, melodramatic, always compelling, they have chosen to follow the seductive path of their instinct while preserving the vital spark of individuality that sets them apart.

Black Letters will be released on 27 January 2014.

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The Calling Card Release New Compilation Album, You’ve Got A Lot To Learn

Welsh band The Calling Card have collected all of their demos from their first album, Everything You’re Not, as well as demos for new songs and have produced a 21 song compilation. The compilation is titled, You’ve Got A Lot To Learn and is now up for free download on bandcamp. The title comes from the lyrics for the first song the band ever recorded, Weight Of The World.

The new 21 song compilation contains classics from Everything You’re Not such as Weight Of The World, Lets Stay Young and Cross My Heart among others while also introducing new tracks Caligula, Neon Lights, We Are Just Kids And We’re Never Giving Up, Day In/Day Out, Hayley’s Got Me In A Spin, Someone’s Watching Me, Stop The Sun and We’re Not Anywhere. There is also the odd live or acoustic track or remix.

The Calling Card

The Calling Card You’ve Got A Lot To Learn album artwork

Caligula is a heavy rock number whereas Neon Lights is a pop song with uplifting acoustic rhythm guitar and a happy, summery drum beat. It will make you feel good, especially in the gloomy winter weather. It’s a song about returning home, “Run away/Run away from the city…Take me up/Little space ship/Take me up/On your runaway train/Take me up/In your little black car.”

We Are Just Kids And We’re Never Giving Up is a solemn new track comprising of Benj’s vocals and rock ballad music while Day In/Day Out sees The Calling Card return to their Blink 182 style pop/rock. Hayley’s Got Me In A Spin brings back their summery, acoustic sound perfect for a love song. Someone’s Watching Me is particularly heavy for The Calling Card, focusing primarily on rock guitar riffs which are slightly overpowering.

Stop The Sun is your typical The Calling Card song while We’re Not Anywhere sees them try their hand at a slow, meaningful and lyrical song. This is the equivalent of Everything You’re Not’s Lost @ Sea. Benj’s vocals are soft, emotional and coherent. It’s a welcome surprise near the end of You’ve Got A Lot To Learn.

Not only have The Calling Card released this new demo CD but they are also going to be releasing a new track, one per week for every week of 2014. It’s all going to be collected at the end of the year under their new album titled 52. Just like the demo album, You’ve Got A Lot To Learn, it’s all going to go up on bandcamp and YouTube and will be completely free for everyone. Watch this space in 2014 for more details.

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Inherit The Stars Announce January 2014 Tour Dates

Sheffield’s emerging alternative/metal-core outfit Inherit The Stars are excited to announce details of their debut tour in January 2014. Titled the Ground Zero tour, the band are set to bring their explosive sound to venues across the UK.

Inherit The Stars

Inherit The Stars

After kicking off their opening night with a headlining home town show at The Leadmill in Sheffield, Inherit The Stars are then joined for the remaining dates by UK alternative rockers Circle Of Reason who shall be releasing their Theme Amongst Thieves video single in January.

Inherit The Stars are most recognisable for their powerful riffs, lulling string arrangements, adrenaline-filled synth lines and anthemic choruses. Boasting a debut album produced/mixed by Jim Pinder at Treehouse Studio (Fightstar, Rise To Remain, While She Sleeps), We Were Made To Walk The Skies was digitally released in May 2013 and earned positive attention from rock/metal critics for their genre pushing sound which takes elements of post-hardcore and alternative rock gelled with metal and a dose of punk pop. Equally championed by alternative rock and metal press and radio around the world, Inherit The Stars released three video singles as part of their apocalyptic themed Orbis Trilogy.

2014 shall see one of Britain’s fast rising young rock bands take on a series of UK tours and release new material in the summer.

You can catch Inherit The Stars live on the following dates:
Sat 18 Jan – The Leadmill, Sheffield
Sun 19 Jan – Kraak Gallery, Manchester
Tues 21 Jan – Three Tuns, Gateshead
Thurs 23 Jan – O’Reilly’s, Hull
Fri 24 Jan – Lounge 41, Workington
Sat 25 Jan – Woolpack Live, Doncaster
Tues 28 Jan – BCB Radio (Live session), Bradford
Wed 29 Jan – Hennigans Bottombull, Bolton
Fri 31 Jan – Bank Top Tavern, Oldham

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Bring Me The Horizon Announce Tour Support And Extra Dates

Bring Me The Horizon have announced Issues, letlive., and Northlane as tour support on The American Dream Tour with Of Mice & Men as special guests. Letlive. will play February 3–19 and March 6-30. Northlane will play February 21-March 4. Issues and Of Mice & Men are on all dates.

The American Dream Tour has sold out shows in several markets including Chicago (two nights), Worchester, Toronto (night one sold out, second night added), New York (two nights), Philadelphia, Albany, and San Diego (night one sold out, second night added). The band has also added a date in Sayreville, NJ on February 26 at Starland Ballroom and a special Southern California date on March 22 in San Bernardino at the inaugural Self Help Festival with A Day To Remember, Of Mice & Men, Issues, letlive. and more. Additionally, Bring Me The Horizon will play their first ever Hawaii show in Honolulu on April 2 with local support.

Sheffield-based Bring Me The Horizon has had an exceptionally notable year. Their critically-acclaimed, Terry Date produced and David Bendeth mixed album Sempiternal was deemed by Rolling Stone as “appealingly aggressive” and “the year’s most accomplished metal albums” according to NME. Respectively, the band blazed the covers of both Alternative Press and Kerrang!. The album has garnered many accolades in 2013, their biggest year yet and going strong into 2014 with Sempiternal, reaching number 15 on the Billboard Hard Rock Chart with 34 weeks on the Billboard Top 200.

In support of Sempiternal, Bring Me The Horizon took their notoriously epic show to the Warped Tour main stage where lucky attendees witnessed the band bring the album to life. Those in the UK were taken by storm with Bring Me The Horizon’s headlining Reading and Leeds show-stealing performances and recent two night stand at London’s Brixton Academy.

Fans left wanting more are in for a treat as the hardest working metal band will return to the US in early 2014 for a headlining tour. Of Mice & Men will join as direct support with Issues, letlive., and Northlane as well.

If one thing is certain, one of the biggest metal acts of 2013 Bring Me The Horizon, is prepping to take 2014 by storm. Band members Jordan Fish, Lee Malia, Matt Kean, Matt Nicholls and Oli Sykes are ready for it.

Tickets for the tour are on sale now and moving fast. Fans are invited to purchase by visiting: http://www.bringmethehorizon.co.uk/.

BRING ME THE HORIZON TOUR DATES*

Feb 03 Orlando, FL – The Plaza ‘Live’ Theater
Feb 04 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live
Feb 05 Tampa, FL – Jannus Live
Feb 06 Jacksonville, FL – Brewster’s Megaplex
Feb 08 Mexico City, DF – Jose Cuervo Salon
Feb 10 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater
Feb 11 Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theater
Feb 12 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Feb 13 Denver, CO – The Ogden
Feb 14 Kansas City, MO – Uptown
Feb 15 Sauget, IL – Pops
Feb 17 Minneapolis, MN – Myth Live
Feb 18 Chicago, IL – House of Blues [SOLD OUT]
Feb 19 Chicago, IL – House of Blues [SOLD OUT]
Feb 21 Detroit, MI – Compuware Arena
Feb 22 Toronto, ON – Sound Academy [SOLD OUT]
Feb 23 Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Feb 24 Montreal, QC – Metropolis
Feb 26 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Feb 27 Worchester, MA – The Palladium [SOLD OUT]
Feb 28 New York, NY – Best Buy [SOLD OUT]
Mar 01 New York, NY – Best Buy [SOLD OUT]
Mar 02 Philadelphia, PA – The Electric Factory [SOLD OUT]
Mar 03 Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore Silver Springs
Mar 04 Albany, NY – Upstate Theater [SOLD OUT]
Mar 06 Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
Mar 07 Nashville, TN – War Memorial Auditorium
Mar 08 Memphis, TN – New Daisy
Mar 10  New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Mar 11 Houston, TX – House of Blues
Mar 12 Mission, TX – Las Palmas Race Park (Never Say Never Fest)
Mar 13 San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
Mar 14 Austin, TX – SXSW
Mar 15 Grand Prairie, TX – Quik Trip Park (South By So What?! Fest)
Mar 16 Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Mar 18 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
Mar 21 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
Mar 22 San Bernardino, CA – Self Help Festival (Nos Event Center)
Mar 24 Seattle, WA –  Showbox Sodo
Mar 25 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theater
Mar 26 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Mar 28 San Diego, CA – Soma [SOLD OUT]
Mar 29 Las Vegas, NV – Extreme Thing
Mar 30 San Diego, CA – Soma
April 02 Honolulu, HI – The Republik [BMTH only]

* all dates with Of Mice & Men unless noted otherwise
letlive. play Feb 3-19 & Mar 6-30
Northlane play Feb 21–Mar 4

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Tycho Announce News Of New Album, Awake, To Be Released In 2014

Tycho

Tycho Awake album artwork

Following a 2013 that saw Tycho bringing a sensory-rich live show to people around the world, Scott Hansen has been hard at work to the anticipated follow up to 2011’s breakthrough album, Dive. Tycho has now unveiled the artwork, track list and album details for Awake, the forthcoming LP out March 18 on Ghostly International.

The title track Awake premiered with Pitchfork this Autumn and listeners will notice the more organic, almost tactile elements of the track highlighted with layers of live instrumentation that serve to enhance the signature Tycho mood. You can hear the track on Soundcloud here as well.

 

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Parkway Drive Announce 2014 West Coast Tour Dates

Australian hardcore band, Parkway Drive have recently announced plans to make their triumphant return to North America for a brief run on the West Coast in support of the band’s latest release, Atlas. The tour will kick off Thursday 30 January in Phoenix, AZ and wrap up on Wednesday 5 February in Pomona, CA. Joining them will be Upon A Burning Body and Betrayal. Tickets are on sale now.

Recorded in Los Angeles with esteemed producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed, etc.), Atlas, which has recently gone Gold in Australia and Platinum on DVD, boasts some of the most up front and confrontational material Parkway Drive has ever released while at the same time taking several unexpected turns into lush sonic terrain, redefining their trademark sound while reinforcing their position as leaders in their field. The new record is positioned to be the most highly anticipated heavy album of the year and follows 2010’s phenomenally successful Deep Blue.

You can catch Parkway Drive live on the following dates:
Jan 30 Phoenix, AZ @ Nile Theatre
Jan 31 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
Feb 1 Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
Feb 2 San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
Feb 3 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
Feb 4 Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theatre
Feb 5 Pomona, CA @ The Glasshouse

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Introducing…Fever The Ghost

In their very brief existence, Fever The Ghost have already made quite an impression with their uncanny, spectacular live performances. While Fever The Ghost’s grandiose rush on the senses dependably transports audiences into their strange universe, what’s even more remarkable is how fully-formed their sophisticated sound arrives, cleverly weaving addictive hooks into their forward-thinking psych-pop pastiche. Fever The Ghost’s songs have that rare quality where you can go home humming them after hearing the band live just once with melodies that linger in the mind.

On their adventurous debut EP, Crab In Honey, Fever The Ghost not only delivers on that promise but also ups the ante making an expertly-crafted collection of interstellar pop with surprises lurking around every corner. Clocking in just under 20 minutes, Crab In Honey manages to pack in the ideas covering a wide range of sonic terrain while never drifting too far from their melodic centre. Easy to get into with inviting hooks, Crab In Honey grows more complex and deep with each successive listen. Think new age MGMT and you’ve got it.

Mastered by Bob Ludwig (David Bowie, Nirvana, Radiohead), Crab In Honey EP will be out January 21 on Complicated Game.

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