Saturday, 23 March 2013

New Artist Alert: Another Lost Year

Hailing from Charlotte, NC, Another Lost Year are 'creating an empire' in the alternative hard rock/metal scene which has seen the quintet share the stage with the likes of Almost Kings and Pop Evil whilst completing a vast nationwide tour across many states.

Lead single 'War on the Inside' is taken from 2012's album 'Better Days' which is introduced with lo-fi vocals and a nice picky guitar part which soon makes way for a trudging metal-ballad feel. The production is crystal clear on this track, as the band drive their way steadily through the first verse complete with wailing siren-like guitars in the background and a super rock vocal that reminds me a mix of Creed and Hinder. I can imagine this being a real belter live; it's got the perfect tempo balance between ballad and rocker which will confuse audiences across the Country: do we lift our lighters or headbang?! An extended guitar section leads flawlessly into the bridge before making way for the final double chorus, led effortlessly by the lead vocals. It's a great rock track that finishes just as strong as it starts, and one that I'm sure is bound to stir even more excitement for this very talented band.

Be sure to keep in touch with the band via their Facebook page for everything Another Lost Year, from tour dates to album availability. The EPK for the band, which kicks of with War on the Inside, is featured below. Enjoy :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

New Artist Alert: Dear Stars - Hero In Our Eyes

Glaswegian rockers Dear Stars are the latest band that When We Were Beautiful is proud to feature. The quintet cite Kings of Leon, The Killers, and Mumford & Sons as influences of their sound, and there's definitely a nice marriage of these quite different bands evident in debut single 'Hero in our Eyes'.

It's a driving intro with a chugging rhythm section that really pulls at the time signature, whilst the stretching high guitar part adds a nice sonic balance, accompanied by Stereophonic-esque backing vocals. The track settles into the verse, with a squelchy, solid bass and 16s on the hi-hats holding everything together, providing a lot of space for the vocals in the mix which sound great. Everything opens up again in a rather catchy chorus and there's a nice lead line on the guitar that reminds me of Fortune Faded-era Chili Peppers. The second chorus bleeds into an extended guitar/backing vocal section before collapsing into what I assumed was a slightly empty bridge section but was in fact the outro. Although the track comes in at just under three and a half minutes, it felt like we could have gone around the chorus again; predictable perhaps, but there's always as much give as there is take in a band/listener relationship. That said, it's great to break the mould and the song is in no way lesser for having done so; it's an anthemic rocker that I'm sure sounds even better live.

Be sure to keep up to date with the band via their Facebook page, including how to get hold of the single and where the guys will be playing next. In the meantime, take a listen to Hero in our Eyes for yourselves below. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New Artist Alert: Alexander

The newest recruits to the I Am Mighty Records family are Alexander, 4-piece indie rockers from Newcastle. The band are set to release their debut album 'Say Hello' in the coming months but for now, their first single from the record will have to be enough to whet your appetite.

'You Lost Yourself', for which you can see the video for below, is a good indie-rock tune, primarily guitar-led but with some obscure drums and heavy-laden backing vocals helping to carry it along. The chorus relies on crotchet-stabs in the guitars to take the rhythm as the drums are a little less structured, and it's nice to hear the guitars open up after the second chorus. The video is simple yet effective, if likely to leave you feeling a little dizzy, with a cool concept that's done really well but it perhaps wouldn't have gone amiss to feature a change of scenery at some point. That said, this is secondary to the song itself which is a classic indie track; it's simple with no real surprises but tight and current nonetheless.

You Lost Yourself is available for download from iTunes here, along with an acoustic version of the track, and you can keep up to date with Alexander by visiting their official website. Ahead of the album release, the band will be out on the road later this month, and you can catch them in the following cities:

March 22/Rippon, The Matrix
March 24/Leeds, The Library
March 25th/Glasgow Ivory Blacks
March 26th/Edinburgh, Electric Circus
March 27th/Newcastle, Think Tank

Check out the video for yourself below. Enjoy :)

Monday, 11 March 2013

Beat MS

I have been blessed with a healthy body and the gift of music, and thought I could combine these to set-up a fundraising initiative to raise money for the MS Society.

My aim is to take part in a 12-hour drum marathon on Friday 29th March 2013, in which I must always be playing, and invite local (Somerset, UK) musicians to donate some time to come and jam with me throughout the day. Chicken Shed studios, the home of Glastonbury Drums, have kindly donated the use of their studio complete with an extra drum kit, amps, and a PA system for the day, so all I need is some willing friends and musicians to keep me company and for people to dig deep to support this worthy cause.

The physical pain I experience will only be temporary compared to those who struggle with MS and face it on a daily basis.

I have set up a Just Giving page which allows people to donate money safely online, and also has my contact details for people to get in touch with me about taking part on the day:

Many thanks for your time, and I hope that you will be interested in helping to raise awareness of my cause.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

New Artist Alert: Stereoboy - Naked

Introducing electro indie pop artist Stereoboy, a Portugese duo with an agenda to create an all new kind of interesting pop with electronic vibes and guitar fuzz, to help reinstate and inspire the ideal of real garage bands and home tape-recording.

Stereoboy's debut album is set for release in April this year via PAD, and the band's first single, Naked, is available for download now. Naked is a free-floating slow-burner of a track, introduced delicately with an affected guitar-led ostinato before an electro groove helps the listener finds their feet. The track builds progressively across just over four minutes of music, as an unnerving chord change signifies the introduction of the sparse, dual-layered vocals. Musically it's rather repetitive but effectively so; it's a late-night lose-yourself sort of song signifying the transition at the party from chaos to calm. As it says on the tin, fuzz-guitar takes us into the thickest part of the track towards the end, still building cacophonially, before the music reaches a peak and everything falls over the edge of the waterfall and we're left with a quick-fade of a revisit to the intro section.

Have a listen to the track for yourselves below, and be sure to download the album when it's released. For now, keep up to date with all things Stereoboy by visiting the band's Facebook page. Enjoy :)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

New Artist Alert: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbours - Good Light

Hailing from Tennessee, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbours fuse authentic country, pop, and folk flavours to create a rich and organic sound. Citing influences such as Tom Waits, Tom Petty, and Wilco, and with 75,000 record sales under their belts, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbours are enjoying a casual stroll to the top, having shared the stage with the likes of The Goo Goo Dolls and The Avett Brothers.

Good Light, the band's sixth album, was released at the end of last month and provides music fans with "an abundance of Americana rock". The title track, and the album's lead single, kicks off with a wailing harmonica to set the scene, driven by great country-guitar licks, a grooving rhythm section, and some mandolin for good measure. It's an easy-listening, foot-tapping country ballad, with a whirling organ hiding at the back of the mix throughout verse one, before some great three-part harmonies lift the chorus and take the listener exactly where they expect to go. There is, of course, nothing wrong with a little predictability; the recipe has served the genre well for many years in the past and will continue to do so for many years in the future, and Drew Holcomb & The Neighbours are taking advantage of a resurgent musical genre whilst showcasing a real awareness in their songwriting abilities. We are treated to flashes of solos from the harmonica, organ, and electric guitar in turn throughout the extended musical interlude before the bridge makes way for a stripped down chorus, and we're left with one last run around the chorus and a harmonica-led outro. The track is appealing and radio-friendly and, for fans of the genre, is sure to be welcomed with open arms.

The album Good Light was released on 26th February through Good Time Records and Magnolia Music, and a US tour is set to follow. For more information on the record, tour, or anything else Drew Holcomb & The Neighbours, be sure to visit the band's official website. You can enjoy the official music video for Good Light below. Enjoy :)