EP REVIEW: Full of Hell and Nothing (split) – When No Birds Sing


 

 

On paper, this makes perfect sense. A collaborative effort between Full of Hell and Nothing stand as two of the most creative outliers in their respective genres, and the mission statement of When No Birds Sing (Closed Casket Activities) is to fuse the juxtaposition of their varied sonic palettes. Brace yourself, as Full of Hell is the overpowering force when the album opens.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Pierce the Veil – The Jaws of Life




Thanks to TikTok trends resurrecting decade-old (and older) pop-punk and emo hits and spreading them like wildfire to a new surge of listeners, there has been a nostalgic Noughties emo revival. Between the majorly sentimental lineup of the When We Were Young Fest and bands like My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Thursday, Blink-182, Sunny Day Real Estate, and others, snapping out of hiatus and flooding stages once again, it should come as no surprise that Pierce the Veil is rejoining the ranks.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Narrow Head – Moments Of Clarity


 

With their third outing Texas-based Narrow Head have created a body of music that if you were there, will well and truly spin you back in time to the mid-nineties. And if you weren’t there but nonetheless love the alternative rock sound of the time, then you’ll also find yourself intriguingly transported back to the era when baggy clothes and dirty scuzzy guitar riffs were the sign of the times. And on top of that Moments Of Clarity (Church Road Records) may well be considered a classic today, was it released some 25-30 years ago amongst the influences that it clearly wears on its sleeve.

 

And the record stands out today, as it lulls you into a sense of security before changing style and introducing heavier elements where the band sounds on their peak for me, before then throwing in a highly experimental closer. So the album opens with ‘The Real’ and a fuzzy grunge riff, with the vocal of Jacob Duarte sounding somewhere between an early Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, and an early Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan. There is a lighter nineties indie alternative rock style to the sound, which continues into ‘Moments Of Clarity’ invoking memories from the likes of Weezer, Placebo, and The Lemonheads. It’s clear from the first couple of tracks that Narrow Head can write one hell of a catchy riff with highly engaging vocal hooks, and then on ‘Sunday’ they introduce a Deftones-esq riff which more than hints at what’s to come.

 

‘Trepnation’ kicks like a mule with dirtier down-tuned guitars and a heavy chugging bass, and my attention has well and truly been captured by the change in tone. ‘Breakup Song’ is melancholic with a lovely entwine between the main riff and a rolling bass, while ‘Fine Day’ is another sweet heavy cut with crunching guitars.

 

On ‘Carline’ Narrow Head reverts back to the more melodic feel of the album’s first quarter, but from here it changes tact once again with the darker muddy sounding ‘The World Sunday’ and the explosive ‘Gearhead’, which slams into a late-nineties era Deftones style, with Duarte channeling a shoe-gaze Chino Moreno vocal. And with the first screams on the album laid down before a furious outro of impressive drumming and heavy distortion … More of this, please!

 

 

And the band delivers on ‘Flesh & Solitude’ with the further subtle use of screams in amongst the heavy intoxicating music with a beautiful outro of avant-garde percussive cacophony. The aptly titled ‘The Comedown’ follows with lush strumming and kind of a Pearl Jam flavour, which gradually builds to the climax of ‘Soft To Touch’ where a mischievous guitar line perfectly plays over electronic beats. I love the way this album twists and turns from the indie rock style into a heavier alternative beast, before turning full circle and then going completely leftfield with the use of electronica. And these changes in tone create a real album experience which should definitely be absorbed as one. This is where rock music needs to be, for me, in 2023.

 

Buy the album here:

https://www.runforcoverrecords.com/artists/narrow-head/products

 

8 / 10

ABSTRAKT_SOUL_

 


The Night Flight Orchestra Books “The Aeromantic Experience” Tour Dates


Pop Metal Supergroup The Night Flight Orchestra have booked an extensive tour of Europe for 2022. The band is comprised of members of some of the foremost artists in rock and metal (Soilwork, Arch Enemy, Mean Streak) and for over a decade have made their name making toe-tapping covers, fun albums, and energetic live performances.

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ALBUM REVIEW: At The Movies – The Soundtrack of Your Life Vol II


I think we have to be clear from the start… At The Movies will not be for all of you. Mastermind behind this all-star Heavy Metal film soundtrack covers machine (yes, for the uninitiated, this really is a collective who work remotely together to re-do songs from Hollywood soundtracks) Chris Laney, guitarist of The Pretty Maids, is very clear that the purpose of ATM was a group of friends “looking for something to have some fun with (during lockdown)… asking ourselves all the time… can we get away with this?”

And so they set about reinterpreting hit songs from movies. But not the rockier songs, for where would be the fun and bile-induction in that? While Volume I – re-released at the same time to partner its sister act (#SorryNotSorry) – focused on the eighties, The Soundtrack Of Your Life Volume II (Atomic Fire) bites the bullet and rolls down its jacket sleeves, musses up its hair a little and steps into the world of the Hugh Grant RomCom and takes on some of the nineties movie megahits. For better or for worse. Continue reading


Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1: No Past. No Future. No Sun.


To fans of a certain age, this is the album they have been waiting all year long for. If you were in Smashing Pumpkins’ camp over say Nirvana, or Pearl Jam, congrats you were a “grunge kid”. Not to describe the music in such banal terms, but pop culture is gonna pop, you know? In the mold of alt-rock giants like Sonic Youth, Billy Corgan’s brainchild never wanted to set limitations on the music, only that it reflects the entire kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions. Sure, band reunions are a dime a dozen today, but there is an undoubted mythos of Billy making a new album with both James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlain. With Corgan on bass over exiled D’arcy Wretsky (boo) and Jeff Schroeder contributing on guitar, it was unclear what kind of results to expect. Yet, this new era, the old-school band definitely had some tricks up their sleeves for Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1: No Past. No Future. No Sun. (Martha’s Music/Napalm Records). Continue reading


Metal Hammer Reveal Their List Of ‘The 100 Best Metal Songs Of The 90s’


In the latest issue of Metal Hammer magazine, they revisit the 1990’s, and look back at some of the biggest bands, songs, and albums that came out during the decade. Today they’ve revealed their list of ‘The 100 Best Metal Songs Of The 90s’ online, and it’s sure to get people talking. Continue reading