ECHOSEVEN – Single Review: “I Am the Tree”

When I last featured New Brunswick, Canada-based alternative metal rap group ECHOSEVEN on this blog this past May, it was to review their explosive debut single “Everything”. Both they and I were pleasantly surprised when the review received hundreds of views, especially given they were a relatively new band and this was their first single. They quickly followed in June with a second single “Gunnin”, a melodic and introspective rap-rock ballad. On September 30, they dropped their third single “I Am the Tree“, a more traditional metal rock sounding track.

In the five months since I wrote about them, ECHOSEVEN has undergone a few changes in lineup, with a new second guitarist and bassist. The band now consists of Stefanie Roy on vocals & guitar, Darrell Vautour on rapping vocals, Justin Larracey on guitar, Allon McCall on drums, Dylan Osmond on guitar, and Mike Brooks on bass. About the new single, the band explains: “‘I Am the Tree’ is about not letting your demons win. It’s about realizing your past and present life may not be perfect, but when it comes to persevering, you have the strength of a lion.”

The song storms through the gate with a juggernaut of Metallica-esque shredding that continues unabated, serving as the relentless driving force propelling the song forward. Into this sonic mayhem the band embeds a throbbing bass line, then tops things off with more guitar, furiously pummeling drumbeats and a deluge of crashing cymbals to create an intense wall of sound. Stefanie’s deep, smoky vocals have a rather subdued feel that contrasts sharply with the dynamic instrumentals. At first they seemed almost too low-key for the heavy music, but the more I listened to the song, the more appropriate to the lyrics they felt. No screaming is necessary to convey the strength and perseverance described in the powerful lyrics:

When all the smoke clears, I will show myself in truth
Without restraint, I’ll smash the disbelief right out of you
No walls can block my way I’ll crush them all in turn
Faced with the eyes of hell, I’ll make your evil burn

Caressed by guiding light, I’ll face my pain with dignity
and if I fall I will fight
I know no misery, I know no secrets to this life
For I am strong – I’m the tree.

I charge unto the path and none stand in my way
just try and catch me, I’ll reveal my sharpest claws again
my roar will echo through the mountains and the sky
Crowned like a lion, I will let your blood run dry

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YARD OF BLONDES – Single Review: “Do You Need More?”

From humble beginnings in France as a folk pop duo making mostly acoustic music, Yard of Blondes have faced some of the same challenges and struggles as many young artists and bands experience since relocating to Los Angeles in 2014. Now a four-piece, they’re finally on an upward trajectory and making a name for themselves with their exciting and edgy style of alternative rock. The band is comprised of the hard-working French-born singer/songwriter and guitarist/vocalist Vincent Walter Jacob and bassist/vocalist Fanny Hulard, guitarist Burak Yerebakan, originally from Turkey, and Northern California native Forrest Mitchell on drums.

I’ve previously featured Yard of Blondes twice on this blog, first in July 2019 when I reviewed their marvelous bilingual single “Je veux danser tout l’été”, along with two alternative versions, then again this past February when I reviewed their single “Lowland”. (You can read those reviews by clicking on the links under “Related” at the end of this post.) Now they’re back with “Do You Need More?“, the third single from their forthcoming debut album Feed the Moon, due for release early next year. The single and album were produced by Billy Graziadei (Biohazard, Powerflo), mixed by Michael Patterson (Nine Inch Nails, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Faith No More).

In a recent interview with music blog TrueStyleMusic, Vincent provided some background on “Do You Need More?”: “It was one of the first songs we wrote for our upcoming album, and it’s the song we always play first at our shows. It’s a song that seems very straight forward, but it evolves into a more complicated piece as Fanny is adding more and more layers of vocals, and as we end up breaking the installed routine with some surprisingly heavy bridge. Regarding the lyrics, it’s also a tricky song. It feels like a love song at the beginning, but it’s actually a toxic love story where one gaslights another, and it ends up with kind of a Stockholm syndrome situation.

The song is a rampaging beast, storming through the gates like a bat out of hell with furious riffs of grimy guitars and a thunderous barrage of explosive rhythms. Fanny’s throbbing bass line propels the song forward while Forrest keeps pace with his pummeling drumbeats. Meanwhile, Vincent and Burak are busy laying to the airwaves with their aggressive, intertwining guitars, delivering chugging riffs of shredded distortion that threaten to blow out the speakers. Vincent and Fanny’s expressive vocals rise to the occasion, becoming downright feral in the chorus as they wail “Do you need more? Do you really need more? Gimme, gimme, gimme some more! I want it all!” Finally, everyone spent, the song fades out in a hum of reverb.

If the three singles released thus far – “You and I & I”, “Lowland” and “Do You Need More?” are any indication, Feed the Moon is guaranteed to be a terrific album.

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Purchase:  Bandcamp / Amazon

ORTARIO – EP Review: “Playing With Fire”

Ortario is an alternative hard rock band from the South Wales Valleys, a region rich in musical heritage, as I’ve written about several artists and bands from that bucolic corner of the country. I’ve been following Ortario for more than four years, and first wrote about them back in March 2017, when I reviewed their debut EP A Place Called Home for The Symphony of Rock blog. (You can read that review here.) Comprised of Chris Clark (vocals), Jamie Thomas (bass), Scott Lloyd (guitar), Mark Lloyd (guitar) and Nathan Lewis (drums), the band released their self-titled album Ortario in April 2018, followed that December by Live, featuring live versions of seven of their best songs.

On September 4th, Ortario returned with their second EP Playing With Fire, featuring five hard-hitting bangers that see them exploring a harder rock sound. As the title suggests, the songs address themes of duplicity and mistrust, and the damage it can cause in relationships. There’s an interesting little story behind the artwork for the EP, as explained by the band: “The matchsticks that appear on the front cover of the EP actually spell out ‘Ortario’. The lettering seen is taken from the old Welsh and primitive Irish alphabet called “Ogham”, which dates back to the 3rd century. The medieval inscription was primarily used on tombstones and stone monuments. Examples of this alphabet can still be found in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.”

The guys get right down to business with the opening track “Losing Control”, blasting through the speakers with a furious onslaught of thunderous distortion and pummeling rhythms. Chris has a perfect voice for their style of hard rock – powerful enough to keep up with the intense instrumentals, while retaining a heartfelt vulnerability that beautifully conveys the pain and despair described in the lyrics. He laments of having to lose a piece of himself along with his self-esteem in order to keep his deteriorating relationship alive: “So I guess I better swallow my pride. But oh, I just want one more go. I know I think I’m losing control. And I don’t want to see the end. Not long ago you were my friend. And everything that we shared, I would never think it’d end this way.

Ortario continues on their relentless sonic rampage as they launch into “Save the Day”, delivering frantic riffs of gnarly guitars and smashing drumbeats. “The Fall” follows suit, as Scott and Mark’s dual guitars slice through the airwaves with a barrage of jagged, buzzsaw riffs, while Jamie drives the rhythm forward with his propulsive bassline and Nathan aggressively beats his drum kit into submission. 

“Time and Space” opens with a melodic intro of gently strummed guitar, accompanied by measured percussion and vocal harmonies lasting around 30 seconds before the song erupts in a storm of shredded guitars and thunderous percussion. While I do love the guys’ hard-driving sound, I also like when they scale things back and show their softer side. I would have enjoyed hearing an entire song played in the more acoustic style that the song opened with. That said, “Time and Space” is a highly satisfying badass rocker with some fine reverb-soaked guitar work.

They close out the EP with the hard-rocking “Sunrise”, featuring more of their signature blistering riffs and massive, speaker-blowing rhythms. The chiming guitar and Chris’s echoed vocals in the bridge add a bit of enchanting beauty, quickly followed by a final blast of distorted guitar to close things out with a bang.

Playing With Fire is an explosive little fireball, delivering 17 minutes of unrelenting hard rock grooves. The five members of Ortario really know how to kick ass, and if you like rock music that’s heavy, aggressive and loud, you will enjoy this EP. 

To learn more about Ortario, check out their Website  

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New Song of the Week – AMONGST LIARS: “Burn the Vision”

Since forming a year ago from the breakup of the bands Saint Apache and Katalina Kicks, Amongst Liars have become one of the most exciting indie acts on the British rock music scene today. Incorporating a dynamic mix of alternative rock, grunge and punk, they play a melodic and fierce style of aggressive hard rock that’s earned them a loyal and passionate following, me included. Last February, they released their spectacular debut single “Over and Over”, then followed in May with their appropriately-titled beast of a track “Wolf Machine”. (You can read my reviews by clicking on the links under “Related” at the end of his post.) Now they return with their third single “Burn the Vision“, an explosive banger which I’ve chosen as my New Song of the Week.

Based in the Brighton/Eastbourne area along the southern English coast, Amongst Liars consists of four highly accomplished musicians Ian George (lead vocals, guitar), Leo Burdett (guitar, backing vocals), Ross Towner (bass, backing vocals) and Adam Oarton (drums). While they don’t consider themselves a ‘political band’, they certainly don’t shy away from expressing their opinions and anxieties about what’s happening in the world. Band vocalist Ian George explains. “We’re not preaching at anyone or trying to change the world. We’re just saying these are the things that affect and concern us.”

In response to the ongoing political divisiveness over the past few years, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 global pandemic, a number of artists and bands have been inspired to write songs addressing those thorny issues, and Amongst Liars have been among the most outspoken. On their previous single “Wolf Machine”, Amongst Liars called out inept and ineffectual governments led by power hungry politicians. “Burn the Vision” shines a spotlight on those who have sought to profit from the misfortune of others by distorting the media with fake news to spread their own narratives and lies. The band explains: “‘Burn the Vision’ is basically about all things messed up in the world at the moment – people acting for personal gain and media distortion – no matter what side of the spectrum you are on. We all burn a vision in our heads through consumption of targeted fake news.

Well, the guys unleash their arsenal of sonic weaponry to deliver a furious onslaught of thunderous riffs and crushing rhythms befitting the searing lyrics. Amongst Liars are all great musicians, adept at pushing their respective instruments to the limit to create an explosive wall of sound, and here they excel quite nicely. Working in tandem as a force to be reckoned with, Leo and Ian shred the airwaves with jagged riffs and fuzz-coated distortion, while Ross and Adam drive the powerful rhythm forward with an intense bass line and pummeling drumbeats. It’s a thrilling, pulse-pounding ride from start to finish!

Ian summons his inner beast on vocals, nearly spitting the lyrics as he rails against a despicable leader I assume to mean Donald Trump, continuously feeding us lies: “We bow to the lies of a president / We fall to the word of the free / All down to the voice of a millionaire / That’s not so clear to see.” Ian continues with his verbal assault, fervently pleading for people to stop believing the lies and start thinking for themselves: “Burn the Vision, don’t turn / Let us decide, all for the right, stop all the lies / Not for the memory / Burn the Vision.” Regular readers of my blog know I detest President Trump, so these lyrics strongly resonate with me.

With the assistance of Josh R Lewis and Robert Ruardy, the guys have produced a powerful video to bring the song to life. “We wanted a strong visual for this, so the video plays on this idea and is tongue in cheek, featuring a man stuffing himself with junk food and fake news – the idea that people become pariahs of their own consumption.” The video shows the aforementioned couch potato sitting in a darkened room, gorging on food and watching TV while the band performs the song nearby. Ian is also shown portraying a TV news anchorman and reporter. No matter how hard he tries, the man is unable to turn off his TV or change the channel, indicating that he’s become a prisoner of both the TV and fake news.

Watch this brilliant video:

Like for all their singles, the terrific surreal artwork for “Burn the Vision” was created by the inventive artist Pierre Engelbrecht.

Follow Amongst Liars:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream “Over & Over:  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music
Purchase:  Google Play / Amazon

BLIGHT TOWN – Single Review: “Argument Bargument”

Blight Town

Blight Town are a relatively new five piece alternative/math rock band based in Nottingham, England. Formed just a little more than a year ago, the band consists of brothers Jake (vocals) and Sam Hough (guitar), Will Emmerson (guitar), Scott Taylor (bass) and Joseph Smith (drums). Together, they combine elements of progressive, math, pop and metal rock with powerful instrumentation, complex time signatures and a dramatic mix of screamo and melodic vocals to create their unique and wildly explosive sound.

Last September (2019) they released their terrific debut single “Jejunum”, and on August 8th they returned with “Argument Bargument“, the cheekily-titled second single from their forthcoming self-titled EP, due out later this year. The band states that the song is “A wistful retrospective on the transient nature of modern relationships and the lengths we will go to in order to rationalise our lived experience.”

The song opens with an enchanting strummed electric guitar that gradually becomes enveloped in wobbly reverb, piquing our interest as to what’s about to ensue. Suddenly, our ears are hit with a burst of chaotic gnarly riffs, throbbing bass and aggressive drumbeats as the song evolves into a rousing, melodically complex and discordant banger. Amid some lovely guitar noodling that punctuates the otherwise tumultuous proceedings, Jake’s vocals gymnastics are a thing of wonder as he either sweetly croons or scarily screams the lyrics. At first listen, I found his screamo vocals a bit off-putting, but after a few listens they grew on me to the point where I cannot imagine the song sung any other way. The contrast between his smooth and harsh vocals nicely complements the sense of tension and discord expressed in both the electrifying music and lyrics.

“Argument Bargument” is a brilliant song, and if it and “Jejunum” are any indication, their EP is sure to be  a winner.

Yeah, been throwing pennies down a wishing well
“Oh, what the hell?” I thought
I always knew that I would wish you well
You never wanted an argument, well now you’ve got it
And that’s why they call me the cynicist

Yeah, it’s so quiet
When you go to sleep
But we retire
We get busy, getting busier

Were not leaving, didn’t expect you would show
(Sore eyes, dead brain)
I’ve been reading, I think I’m losing control
(Sore eyes, dead brain)

You know I’d appreciate
Being kept in the loop
Yeah, you know I’d appreciate if somebody could tell me
Why what I did was so wrong

Don’t try to ghost me
‘Cause you don’t see through me
It’s beautiful
It ends too soon

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FACE OF STONE – EP Review: “Sex, Guns, Race and Money”

Face of Stone3
Marc Palmer & Brad Schecter

Face of Stone is a Los Angeles-based collaborative music project of songwriter, guitarist and producer Marc Palmer and singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brad Schecter. Each has years of professional experience both as solo artists and with other bands. Marc has been a musician for over 30 years, also serving as lead guitarist for venerable Grammy-nominated L.A. band The Busboys. Brad was previously in Scarred and Blue Embrace, and has also released music as a solo artist, including his acclaimed debut album Live Your Dreams in 2015 (read my review here). With Face of Stone, they combine Marc’s talent for writing hard-hitting guitar-driven melodies and bringing them to life with his prowess on the six-string, and Brad’s talent for penning compelling lyrics, vocal melodies and harmonies, as well as his strong vocals and musicianship. Their mission is to produce their own unique brand of metallic hard rock.

After years of hard work and a few setbacks along the way, Face of Stone has at last dropped their long-awaited EP Sex, Guns, Race and Money, released on the 4th of July via their label Black Grunge Records. The EP is not only hard-hitting and dark, but also socially and politically relevant, exploring subjects like political unrest, sexism, the struggles and mental abuse of love gone wrong, as well as larger themes of biblical significance, and the illusion and slow death of the American Dream.

Kicking off the EP is “Hurry Up and Wait“, an interesting track with a long, musically complex and dramatic intro that borders on progressive rock. After a minute or so, a darkly beautiful melody settles in, highlighted by Marc’s intricate layered guitars and a relentless onslaught of crashing cymbals. Brad’s powerful, resonant vocals express a sense of exasperation as he laments about what seems to be our overall lack of control over the external forces that affect our lives: “Shiny objects don’t just mesmerize. more times they often lie. Too bad it doesn’t matter what we give or if we try. We find out what’s important, hopefully before we die. Through all the pain and sorrow, hurry up and wait.” I especially like the soaring vocal harmonies in the final chorus.

Continuing on a similar theme, “United Shutdown (Sex, Guns, Race and Money)” is a scathing attack on the political and economic forces that have gained power by dividing us and force-feeding us an endless stream of lies and hate. The song is kind of a metal rock answer to Public Enemy’s classic “Fight the Power”, with lyrics strongly advocating us to take back the power: “See what pawns we have become. Surrendered our power, must be undone. Only you can seek the truth. Fight back now or forever be used.” Once again, Marc dazzles us with blistering guitar work as Brad’s commanding impassioned vocals drive home the urgency of the lyrics.

Dark Rocker” is a hard-driving kiss-off song to an old flame he’s fallen out of love with. Brad stated that he wanted the choruses to sound like a Trump tweet: “But something happened to you, I guess you just got old. You never left me, but you’re a dark rocker, not anymore. Sad!” Musically, the song features a frantic, pummeling rhythm that hits a sweet spot between punk, metal and rock’n’roll. Marc’s reverb-heavy distorted guitars are fantastic, and Brad’s colorful, spirited vocals are terrific as always.

Red Moon Sky” was the very first single released by Face of Stone back in April 2018 and it’s a belter. (You can read my review here.) The song blasts open with a barrage of raging riffs, chugging bass and pummeling drums, punctuated by tasty bits of distorted guitar that give the song added punch. Marc’s electrifying riff in the bridge is fire, and Brad’s raw, impassioned vocals bring chills as he snarls the lyrics that touch on the thin line between love and hate that can occur in a tempestuous relationship plagued by bad feelings and distrust: “Not one to deny what you need to feel fulfilled. Just not the one to do it. You’re not someone who is capable of change. No matter what, you stay the same.” The song spent more than four months on my Weekly Top 30 over the summer of 2018, and ended up at #50 on my Top 100 Songs of 2018 list.

The gorgeous “Through the Wildnerness” touches on the story of the Jews’ escape from Egypt. At first glance, it seems like a rather odd song choice in the EPs lineup, but the more I thought about it, I believe it fits in with the overall theme of seeking freedom from oppression. It’s a grandiose song of near-epic scale, with dramatic instrumentation highlighted by a haunting jangly guitar riff, and accompanied by a thunderous mix of chugging gnarly and distorted guitars, heavy buzzing bass and explosive percussion that make for an electrifying listen. Brad’s plaintive vocals are chilling as he sings “Hand of god, delivered us. He will guide the way home today. He brought us out of Pharoah’s land. Destroyed him with his hand.”

Sex, Guns, Race and Money is a great little EP that nicely showcases the immense talents of the two musicians of Face of Stone. There’s a lot of power and intensity packed into the EPs 20-minute run time, and if you like great guitar work and expressive vocals combined with exquisite songwriting, you will enjoy this record.

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New Song of the Week – AS SIRENS FALL: “Puppy Squad”

As Sirens Fall

As Sirens Fall is a charismatic and talented alt-rock band based in the northern English city of Leeds. Through their exciting, innovative and edgy style of what they call “aggressive pop”, provocative and entertaining videos, and theatrical live performances, including appearances at such festivals as Download, Bingley Music Live and Camden Rocks, they’ve grown quite a large base of die-hard fans over the past six years or so. The band consists of Mikey Lord (vocals), Will Truby (guitar), brothers Adam (guitar) and Jason Doveston (bass), and Bailey Roper (drums).

Beginning with their 2015 debut single “From Across the Waves”, As Sirens Fall have released a steady stream of singles and EPs, including The Hospital Party in 2016 and Where Lost Things Go in 2018. Their fantastically dark 2019 single “We Go Down Together” has been streamed over 108,000 times on Spotify. They dropped their latest single “Puppy Squad” on May 15, then followed with an electrifying video for the song on the 23rd that I love so much, I’ve chosen it as my New Song of the Week.

About “Puppy Squad”, Mikey states: “This song is about realising that I could stand up for who I am. I don’t have to fit in with people who make me feel small or unimportant. I don’t have to be a sidekick. Neither do you. Be you and turn it up loud til the very end. f ‘em up, puppies!” It’s quite honestly one of the most dramatic and exhilarating songs I’ve heard in a while, with in incendiary onslaught of wailing guitars, buzzsaw bass and eardrum-shattering percussion. Man, can these guys rock! Will and Adam shred their guitars nearly to bits, while Bailey smashes his drums like a wild beast, raising our adrenaline.

And speaking of beasts, Mikey’s vocals are downright feral as he screams and shrieks like a man possessed, raising hairs on the back of my neck. He’s sings at such a breakneck speed in spots that it’s hard to understand all the lyrics, but when he snarls “I’m tasting you before I come alive again” like a seductive vampire, it’s hard to not shudder just a little bit. In the song’s quieter moments, he croons in a purr that’s equal parts sexy and menacing when he sings: “And Lily looked at me from across the room and smiled. And I thought, ‘Ah honey, you’ll never understand what these creatures can do.’ And she looked at me deep, with those gorgeous baby blue eyes. And I laughed. And I said ‘Are you feeling alive, cutie pie?‘”

The soaring vocal harmonies in the chorus are really marvelous too. “Puppy Squad” is fantastic, and I love every single thing about it. Have a listen and like Mikey says, turn it up loud!

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NEVER APART – Single Review: “Hold On Hope”

Never Apart

Never Apart is a female-fronted rock band based in Coventry, England. Rising from the ashes of Operation Guillotine, who disbanded in spring 2019, Never Apart plays a hard-hitting style of rock, showcased by their November 2019 debut single “Damaged”. Comprising the band are Alice (Al) Clarke (lead vocals), Rhys Scott (rhythm guitar), Ben Ollis (lead guitar), Nathan Gummery (bass) and Jake Dalton (drums). Today, May 22, they’re back with their second single “Hold On Hope“, and it’s another banger.

The song storms through the gates with a barrage of gnarly guitars and pummeling drumbeats, then a strong, thumping beat kicks in and we’re off to the races. Ben and Rhys slice through the airwaves with chugging riffs of shredded guitars, while Nathan and Jake deliver a hard-driving rhythm with a deep, buzzing bassline and smashing drums, respectively. Though her singing voice is not terribly deep or powerful, Al does nevertheless have a commanding vocal style that’s well-suited to the band’s heavy sound. She nicely holds her own as her vocals rise and fall to match the intensity of the music, without ever being overpowered. As the song progresses, the music and her vocals build to a dramatic crescendo in the final chorus, then fades out with an extended reverb.

The lyrics seem to be about a woman struggling to free herself from an abusive situation or relationship.

Do you ever close your eyes and try to hide the pain inside your mind?
Do you ever long to be so far from this
Your life, it’s hard to hide what’s inside?
You’re the only girl in the lonely world
Fighting to be heard tonight, tonight

Do you ever fake your smile and dry your eyes because it’s all you know?
(Don’t know where to go)
You fell so hard, you fell so fast, your heart shattered like glass
In time it’ll pass
You’re the only girl in the lonely world
Fighting to be heard tonight, tonight

They beat you up, tired to the bone
Fight so hard to be so strong
Hold on hope, you’re not alone
Hold on hope, you’re not alone

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DRAWING ON SCARS – Single Review: “Pressure”

Drawing on Scars is an alternative rock music project based in Atlanta, Georgia. The creative brainchild of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Will Thacker, Drawing on Scars collaborates with guest vocalists from across the U.S. in the creation of ever-changing music in which the vocalists bring their own unique approach to each song. Generally, Thacker writes and performs all the music, and the different vocalists write the lyrics, which they then interpret in their own distinct style. The result is a music repertoire that always sounds fresh and delivers the unexpected.

Formed in 2012, the project produced an EP featuring seven artists, then went on hiatus in 2017, during which time Thacker formed the band Fieldcrest. He resurrected Drawing on Scars in early 2019, and began releasing a series of singles in quick succession. In August 2019, I reviewed his single “Rewrite”, which featured vocals by Jena Jones, and am now pleased to share his fifth and latest single “Pressure“. The track features dramatic vocals by Julian Michael, whom Thacker had worked with previously.

Once again, Thacker’s masterful musicianship is on full display here, as he wields his guitar like a jack hammer, pummeling us with an unrelenting barrage of jagged riffs. Solely responsible for all the instrumentation, he also does a superb job delivering a pulse-pounding bass line and heavy, thunderous percussion that create a massive wall of sound for Michael’s fearsome vocals. It’s a fairly short track, but sure packs a dynamite stick’s worth of explosive metal rock in under two and a half minutes.

Michael got the inspiration for his lyrics from imagery contained in the dark and surreal video, which was created a few years ago by animator Gabrielle Azi. He explains: “I wrote these lyrics during a time of self exploration and growth. I had joined the Army and experienced new relationships, all which required open mindedness and action while setting aside my fears and insecurities. The barrier in my way was mostly pride and narcissism, as it’s hard to be a genuine person when you weren’t brought up to be available to those sorts of things. This song is about how I forgot what it was like to be, in my eyes, that broken person. It’s about forgiving yourself, learning from mistakes, and overcoming trauma. While the implication of the lyrics may be about death and destruction, they have more of a subtle and less disturbing meaning. This contrast is to paint a picture of what it felt like, versus how simple it all really was. Regardless of what “Pressure” means to me, I want a listener to be able to heal and know that growth happens every day. We can’t change our outside world very often, but we can change how we see ourselves and our perceived worth. Most importantly, we can always treat ourselves and others better.”

I walked in line, I should be dead
Yet I felt the pressure grow
Saw it leaking out of my head
Thought it time for me to go

Cold, dark, lost and crying
He’s not one worth finding
I will never miss his face
Despite what we have found

I have forgotten what was said
There is more that I should know
Evil lying in my bed

Long road, old forgotten
Feet hurt, gross and rotten
I will never miss this place
No matter where this road is bound
He’s lying in the street but I still let him bleed

Sweet silky breeze, sweet silky dreams

I disregarded all my head
I am all I need to know
Auras filling out the edge
Time for this tired soul to go

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Stream their music:  SpotifyApple Music / Soundcloud / Reverbnation / YouTube
Purchase:  Bandcamp / Google Play 

AMONGST LIARS – Single Review: “Wolf Machine”

Amongst Liars

This past February, I introduced British rock band Amongst Liars to my readers when I reviewed their spectacular debut single “Over and Over”. The song has been streamed over 51,000 times on Spotify, and has spent more than two months on my Weekly Top 30. Based in the Brighton/Eastbourne area along the southern English coast, the band formed in September 2019 from the ashes of the bands Saint Apache and Katalina Kicks, and consists of Ian George (lead vocal, guitar), Leo Burdett (guitar, backing vocals), Ross Towner (bass, backing vocals) and Adam Oarton (drums). Drawing upon alternative rock, grunge and punk, they play a melodic and fierce style of aggressive hard rock. Now they return with their second single “Wolf Machine“, and it’s an appropriately-titled beast of a track.

While Amongst Liars don’t consider themselves a ‘political band’, they certainly don’t shy away from expressing their opinions and anxieties about what’s happening in the world. Band vocalist Ian George explains. “We’re not preaching at anyone or trying to change the world. We’re just saying these are the things that affect and concern us.” With that in mind, “Wolf Machine” speaks of “challenging those in a position of authority and power, not accepting that the hand that we’ve been dealt should define who we are, and calling out inept governments run by power-hungry politicians. The line ‘Bring down the wolf machine’ chanted throughout the song resonates with so many of our world’s population, who are tired of the ‘same old’ mentality.

True to their hard rock roots, the guys deliver a volley of furious riffs, crushing bass and smashing drums to create a thunderous wall of sound. All experienced musicians, Amongst Liars are adept at pushing their respective instruments to their limits to achieve the heaviest sound possible, without going overboard. The result is a relentless barrage of intense, chest-thumping grooves that are the very definition of rock. Then there’s Ian’s raw and powerful vocals that perfectly fit both the hard-hitting music and song message. He sounds downright feral as he snarls the searing lyrics.

Count your blessings watch the other run
No one to listen? learn your lesson?
Blame the government
Turn the summer, to the rain and cold
Keep it close to your heart
Cash your life in before it’s sold

Just you try and stop us
Time to lock and load, now we’re letting go
Don’t get me wrong, I never needed you
Chase your shadow
They bleed and die for you

In this desert, we are the trees
I’m waiting patiently, will you take me please
I’m alive, not sad to see you go
I hope we make it back
Before it’s overgrown

Just you try and stop us
Time to lock and load, now we’re letting go
Don’t get me wrong, I never needed you
Chase your shadow
They bleed and die for you

Yeah

Bring it down
Bring it down
Bring it down
Bring it down
Bring it down

Bring down the wolf machine
Bring down the wolf machine
Bring down the wolf machine
Bring down the wolf

The fascinating and provocative artwork for the single was created by Pierre Engelbrecht.

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