BURN DOWN THE DISTRICT – EP Review: “This Is Not The End”

Burn Down the District band pic

UK metalcore band Burn Down the District is aptly named, because their music leaves a charred path of destruction in its wake. The Chesterfield, Derbyshire five-piece released their debut EP This Is Not The End in October 2016, hell-bent on melting our faces off. Making this ferocious music are Dean Roberts (Guitar), Roy Shaw (Guitar), Dan Wilkinson (Bass), Paul Whibberley (Drums) and Steven Navin (Vocals).

The guys waste no time launching a full-frontal assault on our ears with the brutal first track “Burn.” With two guitarists and a bassist, they deliver a relentless onslaught of razor-sharp wailing riffs and pummeling bass, aided and abetted by Whibberley’s thunderous drums. Navin displays jaw-dropping vocal power as he screams at the top of his lungs: “We will burn it down! You can’t see the whites of, the whites of their eyes!”  The distorted guitar fadeout, which lasts nearly half a minute, is freaking awesome.

There’s no letup in the ferocity of the proceedings as we segue to “Flocks.” This track is a beast, with scorching jack-hammer riffs and Wilkinson’s bone-crushing bass. At this point, I’m wondering how it’s possible that Navin has a shred of vocal cords left as he wails: “I am so tired of flying in flocks! Give me my freedom, it’s all that I’ve got!

The title track “This is Not the End” offers up more savage intensity, with merciless guitars and speaker-blowing drums. Roberts and Shaw lay down some mind-blowing power riffs as Navin screams the lyrics about refusing to give up, despite everything appearing hopeless: “This is a fucking wasteland! Grab my hand, give me a hook. This is not the end.

This Is Not The End is a must-have for fans of serious metalcore, though with only three tracks it leaves us wanting more. That said, I hope the guys will bestow upon us some more brutal gems for our listening pleasure – and soon!

Connect with Burn Down the District:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream or purchase their EP on Bandcamp

MANIPULANT – Album Review: “Eclectro”


As someone who cannot sing, play an instrument of any kind, nor read or compose music, I never fail to be impressed by people who can do those things, especially when they do them well. Even more impressive is when people create music that’s completely original and innovative, leaving me wondering how their minds ever came up with those sounds and melodies in the first place.

Such is the music of Manipulant, an imaginative and, dare I say brilliant, multi-instrumentalist/composer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Born David Speakman, Manipulant creates “scientific sound spaces” – as so perfectly described on a few of the tracks on his superb second album Eclectro, which dropped in June. Following up on his 2016 debut album Méthode de Narration,  Manipulant once again utilizes hypnotic rhythms, dark synths and unconventional instrumentation on Eclectro to tell his stories. And this time around, he’s joined by British chilled trip-hop artist Stoneygate and Italian Astrophysicist Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, who provide unusual and mesmerizing backing vocals for some of the songs.


The mysterious-sounding “Run” kicks things off with strummed electric guitar and spacey synths, then a powerful throbbing bass line and strong drum beat take over,   accompanied by bursts of crashing cymbals and a retro 60’s surf guitar riff – the kind Dick Dale or The Ventures played back in the day.  In her sultry, almost whispry vocals, Stoneygate sings the bleak lyrics: “World is changing. Ominous sky. The rats are hiding. The birds are silent. Seems we’ve lost our way. Sides are bickering. / Jump back, turnaround, run.”

As Manipulant explained in an excellent interview with the blog Keepsmealive, he wanted the song to be “Something dark and driving. It needed to try to capture the mood I was seeing around me in the aftermath of the U.S. elections and some of the chaos that was happening elsewhere in the world.” I think he succeeded quite well; take a listen:

Methodical” has the kind of thumping dance beat that immediately goes for the hips, and I love it! The far-off echoed vocals, many of which are not understandable, lend an otherworldly vibe to this infectious track. Things turn ominous again with “Doctor, I Need Your Expertise,” in which the beautiful Dr. Terenzi – ‘Goddess of Acoustic Astronomy’ – speaks in her own tribute song. Opening with a menacing buzzsaw sound, Manipulant asks “Dr. Terenzi, where are you?” Her echoed, sci-fi sounding vocals add to the track’s eerie vibe as she says “You are listening to real sounds, scientific sound spaces,” while a pounding beat continues throughout the track.

Regarding the Kraftwerk-inspired EDM track “Marshmallow Fabrik,” Manipulant explained to Keepsmealive “I think many of us carry on as if we are living in a marshmallow factory. Everything is in order and it’s all fluffy and delicious. We don’t focus on things outside of our own space. We continue on with blinders as long as our personal factories keep producing things that make us happy.” Here, echoed voices spoken in German are accompanied by unusual synths that almost sound like a huge snorting alien animal.

Faulty Tap” is a 30-second instrumental interlude that begins with a loud drip, followed by pounding industrial-sounding synths to create a mood that Manipulant explained  “was an extension of the frustration of “Run” put into something as simple and maddening as a leaky faucet.” The organ takes a starring role on “jusq’à la mort nous sépare (The Organist).” It’s a reworking of “The Organist” from his first album, and the French title translated is “until death separates us.” The track is uptempo, with playful synths and a rapid but delicate drum beat that belies the rather somber lyrics, spoken in his echoed vocals: “Oh I’m worried, I have a bad feeling about this. You must understand, as a fellow organist, when I’m thwarted I become agitated. You’re not in control here. I’m in control here.

Next up is the one-minute long dirge-like interlude “Requiem for the 11th Earl of Sandwich,” which Manipulant explained represents the death of civility – Earl being ‘nobility’ which symbolized ‘civility.’ The mood abruptly shifts on the hauntingly beautiful instrumental “N / A / B / C / F“, which is a reworking of another track “Not All Birds Can Fly,” from his first album. (By now it’s clear that he loves strange and unusual song titles, but I digress…) The key instrument on this track is the sublime piano, accentuated by soaring synths.

Powerful throbbing bass and modulated buzzing synths make a return appearance on “The Doctor Meets 808.” And once again, Dr. Terenzi’s echoed vocals add to the eerie vibe, as she repeats the line “So you are listening to real sounds, scientific sound spaces,” as well as other lyrics. The track is essentially a reworking of “Doctor, I Need Your Expertise,” only with much heavier extended bass, as suggested by the ‘808’ in the song title.

Fiorella Terenzi
Dr. Fiorella Terenzi

Eclectro is one of the most unusual and sonically amazing albums I’ve heard in a long while. At times disturbing, and other times gorgeous, it’s a brilliant, meticulously crafted album that Manipulant should be proud of. Another thing he – and we fans – are proud of is his winning a third place WIGWAM Online Radio Award for Best Indie/Alternative Act of 2017.

To learn more about Manipulant, check out his Website

Connect on: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream:  Spotify / Soundcloud

Purchase Eclectro on: iTunes / Bandcamp

Top 20 Songs for August 27-September 2, 2017

1. THE MAN – The Killers (3)
2. CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU – Spoon (1)
4. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (4)
5. RUN – Foo Fighters (5)
6. EVERYTHING NOW – Arcade Fire (7)
7. HIGH – Sir Sly (6)
8. THE WAY YOU USED TO DO – Queens of the Stone Age (9)
9. HOLDING ON – The War on Drugs (10)
10. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (8)
11. ONE OF US – New Politics (12)
12. THE NIGHT WE MET – Lord Huron (13)
13. LIGHTS OUT – Royal Blood (11)
14. UNFORGETTABLE – French Montana, Swae Lee (N)
15. COLD LITTLE HEART – Michael Kiwanuka (16)
16. DIG DOWN – Muse (17)
17. SO TIED UP – Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs (N)
18. LITTLE ONE – Highly Suspect (N)
19. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (14)
20. LOVING YOU IS SO EASY – Wide Eyed Boy (N)

PROJECT – EP Review: “Purge”


I discovered Welsh rapper Project a few months ago when he contacted me about his new EP Purge. At the time, I had a huge backlog of reviews that I’d already committed to write, but at long last I’m finally getting around to reviewing Purge. I must state up-front that I find a lot of today’s rap and hip-hop music to be dull or uninspiring, but Project’s music is brilliant on every level.

Born Jake Brimble and based in Cardiff, Wales, Project draws inspiration from hip-hop artists such as Tech N9ne, Atmosphere, Macklemore and Hilltop Hoods. Melding sweeping orchestral instrumentals with bass-heavy hip hop beats and gritty riffs, he creates music that’s edgy and melodic, something I find incredibly appealing when it comes to hip-hop. He’s also an exceptional wordsmith, penning authentic and deeply personal lyrics that address relevant topics such as ambition, relationships, loss and substance abuse. With his nimble, rapid-fire rapping style, he delivers those lyrics with an energy and passion that’s electrifying.


Project released his terrific debut EP Rectify in July 2015, which was well received by DJs, music critics and fans, and followed up with Purge, which dropped at the end of May. The EP features five tracks, all of which are excellent. The hard-hitting first track “Vocalise” perfectly exemplifies his dynamic music style. Opening with tinkling piano, xylophone and resonant strings, a strong bass-driven hip-hop beat soon kicks in, and Project raps the poetic lyrics that speak to his struggle with making it as a rapper:

You see I need that sweet release
So give me a greasy beat with a fat-ass bassline
Now that’s my kind of treat
Don’t give a fuck about what anyone else is doing
I’ll just keep on spewing verse after verse til my brain feels like I’m abusing it.
I’m losing it. I just cant stop
All the voices in my head are talking about is hip-hop
I’m rhyming in my sleep when I should be counting sheep
Has this shit gone too deep, am I a broken fucking freak?

The instrumentals become more complex as the song progresses, with scratching added, along with chorale-like backing choruses that he heavily uses to dramatic effect on most of the tracks. Those soaring choruses are expertly blended with haunting strings, electric guitar and a thumping bass line on “Him” and “Energy,” the latter of which also features a marching band-style drumbeat and some lovely piano keys in the outro.

Project’s skillful use of disparate and contrasting instruments and technique is beautifully represented on the superb “Aftermath.” The track starts with a mournful church-like organ riff and delicate xylophone, then explodes with nu-metal guitar riffs and thumping bass. Backed by an ominous chorus, Project’s fast rapping really showcases his amazing vocal dexterity. The song lyrics seem to address the replacement of his identity as a person with that of his rapper persona:

I put the pistol to my head, the moment we said goodbye
I pulled the trigger even quicker and to my surprise
I stood up took my pulse but I was still alive
Jake was no where to be seen. I’m the only one survived

The dark video shows Project singing the song inside an abandoned graffiti-covered church.

A standout on the EP is “Midnight Rush,” a powerful and rather painful song about acting in a careless and self-destructive manner while under the influence of alcohol that results in tragedy :

I got a chip on my shoulder, better knock it off
‘Cause if I push too hard I’ll have to pay the cost
I can’t see through the flames of froth
I shoulda took my chances when the coin was tossed
Ah fuck it, let’s have another ball
What’s the worst that can happen when you hit the bomb?
If I’m gonna get pushed then I’ll just push back
Talk shit get punched maybe catch a bitch slap
That’s a given, but I’m invincible

The track is quite melodic, with an R&B feel and soulful backing vocals by Sophie Adams.


Purge is an exceptional sophomore effort from Project that provides further proof of his amazing talents as a composer, lyricist and vocalist. He’s currently working on his third EP, which he states will take more of an organic musical approach, and I can’t wait to hear it.

Connect with Project:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream his music:  Spotify / Soundcloud / YouTube

Purchase:  iTunes

THEY CALLED HIM ZONE – Single Review: “Death Drive/I Like Noise”

Death Drive Art

I’ve been revisiting a number of artists that I previously featured on this blog, and my latest is the Bradford, UK dark wave/psychedelic/electro-pop band They Called Him Zone. Formed in early 2016, they quickly released their debut EP Miami, then followed up with a stellar mini-album Crow Swan Wolf in February 2017, which I reviewed. Now they return with a double single “Death Drive / I Like Noise,” released today, the 25th of August, through their label Ambicon Records.

They Called Him Zone consists of Mik Davis (lead vocals, drones and production),  Steve Maloney (guitar, backing vocals and production), and John Bradford (keyboards and percussion). For these songs, they were joined by Cat McLaughlan who provided backing vocals. In describing their sound, sometimes the band’s own words offer the best explanation: [Our music] “combines sultry electronica with chewed-up, modulated guitars, evoking rain-drenched, neon-daubed streets, proscribed chemicals, and black-clad malcontents wearing mirror shades after dark. And it’s always dark where they come from…

They Called Him Zone 2

Both songs seem to address our darker sides. Lead track “Death Drive” evokes a shadowy netherworld of lust and danger with its hypnotic beat and harsh industrial synths. Maloney’s gritty and sometimes wailing guitars amplify the sense of foreboding, while in a rather menacing monotone, Davis sings the lyrics that seem to speak to an addiction – whether it be drugs, sex or some other obsession:

We’ve become so cold, playing out in the rain,
Waiting out for June, you make me cold sweat…
My body shakes when I’m with you, I feel no pain…
The death drive.

The equally dark video for the song was produced by Bradford-based Twenty Twenty Films, and features alternative models Zombie Cat Girl and Miss Gerrish, and method actor Mark Morris.

The B-side “I Like Noise” is a short track with a fast, repetitive beat and pulsating synths that deliver a post-punk psychedelic feel. Like the music, the lyrics are minimalist, and my guess is that they’re about numbing one’s pain by engaging in pleasurable but dangerous or taboo activities:

I like pills, I like noise, I like thrills, I like toys…
I like girls, I like boys, I like machines that make noise…
I like noise, I like, noise, I like machines, that make noise…
I tried love, I tried hate, I tried pain…

Both songs are brilliant, further demonstrating that They Called Him Zone is a cutting-edge band who pushes boundaries to create music that’s distinctive, mesmerizing and always provocative.

Connect with They Called Him Zone: Facebook / Twitter

Stream their music on  Soundcloud and purchase on Bandcamp

NOREiKA – EP Review: “BoXaRoX”

NOREiKA is Peter Noreika, a singer/songwriter from rural western New York state, near Buffalo. He started out his music career as a guitarist for a few heavy metal bands, but eventually quit the business to become gainfully employed, get married and start a family. As is often the case, however, Noreika never lost the music bug, and after his young son one day asked him why he couldn’t stay home and play with him, he decided to make a change and get back to doing what he loved, which was writing songs and playing music. And though he still had a fondness for metal rock, his sensibilities now leaned more toward acoustic and folk rock.

Peter Noreika

Noreika released his debut EP METACOUSTiFOLK in 2015, and followed up a year later with Throw the Switch to Begin, which I reviewed almost exactly one year ago – and you can read here.  Now he returns with his third EP BoXaRoXwhich dropped today, August 25. Departing from the fuller sound of his previous EPs, he strips down the music to the bare essentials of just guitar and vocals. When I asked about the unusual EP title BoXaRoX, Noreika explained that it was a possible band name he’d once considered years ago. When trying to come up with a name for the new EP, he remembered BoXaRoX and decided it was the perfect name for his mascot – a “beer-drinking, guitar-playing pterodactyl” – that he was using for his EP cover art. I think the cover art and title are both perfect!


The first thing that strikes you about Noreika’s music is the fullness of the sound, given that it consists of only an acoustic guitar and his urgent vocals. This is immediately apparent with the opening track “Who’s Right.” He strums his guitar with an assertiveness that matches his powerful vocal delivery of lyrics about finding truth through honest communication:

I’m right, you’re right, Everybody come along 
Talk it on over and we’ll find out who is wrong 
I’m wrong, you’re wrong, Everybody sing this song 
Talk it on over and we’ll find out who is right.

What Makes You Smile” is a positive, uplifting track about recognizing the little things that can bring joy and make life worth living – like a box of puppies and kittens.

Find your reason to give. You will see its the way to live 
There is a brighter side. Keep it up and you’ll hit your stride 
Think of things that warm your soul 
Puts a smile on your face and makes you whole 
Like a box, a box of puppies and kittens. 

Noreika makes an emotional plea for love and acceptance on the hard-hitting “Notice Me.” His fervent vocals are pretty intense on this track, as is his guitar playing.

Why don’t you notice me. Am I so hard to see 
Why don’t you notice me. I fade to black and disappear 
I’ve got so much to say to you. Believe me when I tell you that its all true 
Look in my eyes read between my lines. All of my love is for you.

The catchy “Shwoop Dibby Dibby” is a lighthearted ode to a loved one, in which he employs crazy words to describe the depths of his feelings for her:

Love comes round that’s more than real.
When I can’t define, or think of the line, I speak from the heart.
The silly words that I say, mean the world to me in every way 

Shwoop dibby dibby whoop baloo, Shmluega Magluega means I love you.

The nimble guitar riff on this track is terrific. In fact, Noreika’s guitar work on every track is outstanding, making his music a real pleasure to hear. So give this EP a listen and see for yourself!

Connect with Peter:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream his music:  Spotify / Reverbnation / Soundcloud

Purchase:  Bandcamp / iTunes / Amazon

SORRY ESCALATOR – Single Review: “Generation Winter/Streetcorner Absurdity”

SRYESC artwork

I love discovering new indie bands who make interesting music that leaves a strong impression. And when they have a fun, quirky name like Sorry Escalator, it’s an even bigger treat. Originally from Middlesbrough but now based in Leeds, the UK band was created in 2012 when guitarist Ryan David Welsh and his drummer friend Sean Graham joined forces to become, as they state in their bio: “a noise-rock duo, playing odd shows to a room of around four people.  In the fall of 2013, the sound scientist Shaun Lockwood turned up to track lead guitar at a demo recording session above a bar in Middlesbrough, and he’s never left their side since. Their sound, originally comprised of swelling walls of noise, feedback and whispered vocals, slowly gained rigidity and more poppy elements started to seep into the sound. After several line up changes the band finalized its form, influenced by everything both ugly and beautiful about life and sound.”

Sorry Escalator

Sorry Escalator now consists of Ryan D. Welsh (Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals/Lyrics), Sean Graham (Drums), Shaun Lockwood (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) and Jamie Hogg (Bass). Their eclectic music style can be categorized as alternative psychedelia/shoegaze, along with elements of alt-punk, grunge and experimental rock. But whatever it’s called, what’s clear is that their sound is like no one else’s.

They released a self-titled debut EP in 2016, and this past April, released a double A-side single “Generation Winter / Street Corner Absurdity” through the new independent label Imagination Engine Records. The label also made the songs available on a limited edition cassette tape. Interestingly, both tracks are almost exactly the same length, at just a few seconds over five minutes.

“Generation Winter” immediately hooks you in with a nifty little bass riff before fuzzy shredded guitars take over, accompanied by Graham’s drums pounding out the hypnotic driving beat. The guitars are mesmerizing, giving the track a retro psychedelic surfer vibe, and I love the occasional bits of distorted guitar reverb. Welsh’s monotone vocals are somewhat overpowered by the music, making them difficult to understand at times, but they fit well with the overall psychedelic feel.

The biting lyrics speak to the current political situation in the UK, but can also be applied to the craziness going on in the U.S.:

Look out your window what do you see?
People frying up in their misery.
Your folk devils, they don’t wash with me.
Your politicised red herring. You spit out your bile,
We run a mile, your wry smile, so so so so fucking vile.

We are waiting ever so impatiently.
Weathering the storm till we can spread our wings.

You broadcast your insincerity.
Red top hacks, lobbyists and daylight thieves.
With their brown paper envelopes they rush to the bank.
Laughing, laughing cash in hand. Stay asleep in a fire.

We are waiting ever so impatiently.
Weathering the storm till we can spread our wings.

You fail to notice we are listening.
You fail to notice you are blistering.
It’s just a matter of time, just a matter of time, just a matter of time.

We are waiting ever so impatiently.
Weathering the storm till we can spread our wings.

Keep the curtains closed. Keep your kids at home.
Keep the curtains closed. Keep the kids at home.

Even more psychedelic is “Street Corner Absurdity,” with Lockwood’s crushing, reverb-heavy distorted guitar work being the dominant feature of this noisy track. Welsh’s jangly rhythm guitar and Hogg’s powerful bass add layers of sound to the mix, while Graham beats out the languid pace on the drums. The piercing guitar solo heard in the background that begins at around 2:55 and continues through to the end is terrific, adding emotional tension to the track. Welsh dreamily sings the lyrics about drug and alcohol addiction:

It’s a sign of the times, 
A daily prescription with no warning signs. 
You don’t question why you just sit and condone. 

As I walk down your street, 
Scripts and vodka bottles lie at my feet. Street corner absurdity, yeah it’s got to me. 

So tell me how things got this way? Forgotten now just like yesterday. Did you play by the rules? Or were you lead astray. 

Just take a look at yourself your throwing stones in your glass house. No thought to the madness while we burn out, yes, yet again. 

(Refrain) yeah I know 
(Refrain) but you, don’t.

Connect with Sorry Escalator:  Facebook / Instagram

Stream or purchase their music on Bandcamp

APOTHEON – EP Review: “Mechanically Consumed”

Mechanically Consumed EP

Hailing from the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado, indie band Apotheon plays some of the most complex and melodic death metal I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. Their music goes from face-melting one moment to captivating the next, sometimes within the same track. They create songs of incredible depth and intelligence, while still delivering bone-crushing riffs and brutal vocals that will satisfy the pickiest of death metal fans.

Formed in 2014, Apotheon is made up of five accomplished musicians – Reece Deeter (Vocals), Fernando del Valle (Guitar), Ian Burnside (Guitar), Ibrahim Jimenez (Bass) and Andrew Morris (Drums). All band members participate in writing the music, and the lyrics are written by Deeter. They released their debut four-track EP The Ascension in 2016, and in June of this year, dropped their second EP Mechanically Consumed.


The EP is rather unconventional in that it contains four new tracks – one instrumental and three with vocals – plus instrumental versions of the three, for a total of seven tracks. But even with only four original tracks, the three with vocals are all of epic proportions, two of them running more than seven minutes in length. As a result, the EP feels more like a full album in scope.

The opening track “Premonition” is just that: a brief but powerful instrumental that serves as an introduction to the dynamic and multi-faceted music stylings of Apotheon, and sets the tone for the three monster tracks to come. A repeating circular riff is backed by shredded guitars, hammering bass and percussion. At the one and a half minute mark, the track slows down as moody synths are added that replicate a harpsichord, strings and a xylophone, among other instruments.

The track scarcely ends before we’re hit with the full-frontal assault of thunderous riffs, bass and drums of “Tyken’s Rift.” Deeter growls his way through the seven-minute track, screaming the lyrics that speak to mankind’s need to rid ourselves of all the artifice and bullshit we’ve bought into:

The human mind can only take so much.
Break the rift or be trapped.
An unnatural state, awake amongst the drained.
So strange, so restless. Wake. Repeat

At song’s end, he wails “To break free, there must be release” as the instrumentals rise to a blazing crescendo.

The band’s skill at combining totally different rhythmic stylings into one song is beautifully demonstrated on “Mechanically Consumed.” The track starts off with a delicate synth and foreboding violin strokes, then suddenly erupts into a cacophony of wailing guitars, staccato breakdown riffs and Deeter’s screaming and guttural vocals. At the halfway mark, the track abruptly shifts to a melodic 50-second-long interlude, where keyboards, xylophone and percussion conjure up images of a macabre carnival ride, before death metal instrumentals and vocals return for the outro.

Shredded machine-gun riffs, explosive drums and bits of harpsichord dominate on the monumental “Flesh Machine.” Deeter fires off savage death metal growls at a jaw-dropping pace, a testament to his astonishing vocal dexterity and control. He screams the vivid lyrics about a life born not from a higher power, but from our own imagination:

An amalgamation of body parts lowered into the mold
The skeleton is slowly embedded, Installed, this is your vessel
Enter the flesh machine
Assembled, built around a luminous pilot
Light drowned by wet flesh
Senses activated. Nervous system brought to life
Spasms cause convulsions, vision online
An outside light source initiates birth
This is this is your life. Enter the flesh machine. Enter reality.

At 2:45 the tempo abruptly shifts into a soothing, dreamy soundscape of gentle guitars, percussion and sweeping synths. My take is that it symbolizes the hope of living the existence of our dreams. Then, just as quickly, at 3:38 it erupts into a barrage of machine-gun riffs, swirling guitars, battering-ram drums and Deeter’s brutal vocals admonishing us to take control of our own reality and create the life we yearn to have.

Connect with Apotheon:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream their music:  Spotify / Soundcloud

Purchase:  Bandcamp / iTunes / Amazon

DEAD ON ARRIVAL – EP Review: “Chasing Tides”

It’s back to the UK to shine my spotlight on metal rock band Dead On Arrival. The Derbyshire four-piece was formed in 2011, and consists of Jack Dughan (Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar), Ben Calver (Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals), Connor Woodward (Bass) and George Lathbury (Drums). Drawing on influences from some of their favorite bands such as Metallica, Machine Head, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon, the guys make aggressive rock that’s melodic, raw and in-your-face. As they state on their Facebook bio, “Our passion is to write, produce and release our own music and then play it live and LOUD.

Dead on Arrival
Photo by Pete Key

Dead On Arrival released a full length debut album From the Ashes in 2016, and now return with a terrific EP Chasing Tides, which dropped on August 18. The EP delivers four scorching tracks that clearly demonstrate the band’s growth, both in songwriting and musicianship. Their song lyrics address themes of dysfunction and betrayal within ourselves, our relationships and our government leaders, and their ferocious instrumentals perfectly convey the strong feelings expressed in the lyrics.

Chasing Tides

Vulture in the Waves,” released as a single in late 2016, kicks things off with an onslaught of shredded guitars, powerful throbbing bass and pounding drums – all hallmarks of the band’s hard-hitting sound. Dughan wails the lyrics that speak of someone wracked with guilt and tormented by his actions:

Oh I’m the vulture in the waves
Chasing tides to escape my mistakes
Because I couldn’t live on
Knowing what I’ve done
And I hide in the shadows
It’s the only way to survive

Hammering drums and blazing riffs continue unabated on the hard-driving “Inside” and “Corrupted World.” Calver’s shredded and distorted guitars are mind-blowing, and the bass so heavy I felt it in my core. On the latter track, Dughan implores, “This is a final call. We will stand tall and fight against this corruption.”

As if the first three tracks aren’t aggressive enough, the guys unleash their full sonic arsenal on the bombastic “Sickening Thing.” The frantic guitar riffs rain down like thunderbolts, and Lathbury attacks his drums like a wild beast, nearly blowing out the speakers – and my ear drums! Woodward lays down a face-melting bass line, and Dughans’ fiery vocals match the brutal music note for note. It’s my favorite of the four tracks, and really shows what these guys are capable of.

Connect with Dead on Arrival:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream their music on  Spotify and purchase on iTunes

Top 20 Songs for August 20-26, 2017

1. CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU – Spoon (1)
3. THE MAN – The Killers (4)
4. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (5)
5. RUN – Foo Fighters (6)
6. HIGH – Sir Sly (3)
7. EVERYTHING NOW – Arcade Fire (8)
8. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (7)
9. THE WAY YOU USED TO DO – Queens of the Stone Age (9)
10. HOLDING ON – The War on Drugs (14)
11. LIGHTS OUT – Royal Blood (11)
12. ONE OF US – New Politics (13)
13. THE NIGHT WE MET – Lord Huron (19)
14. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (10)
15. SILENT SUN – Morning Fuzz (12)
16. COLD LITTLE HEART – Michael Kiwanuka (20)
17. DIG DOWN – Muse (18)
18. SONG #3 – Stone Sour (15)
19. J-BOY _ Phoenix (16)
20. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (17)