Island based Acoustic-Folk Duo Church and Ivory recently released their debut EP Where Thou Art, That is Home recorded at Skinny Mammoth Studios and speaking of things mostly island related – it’s very much relatable to those growing up on the Isle of Wight.
With such a wide genre it’s easy to compare artists (or duos!) to similar artists, musically, but the actuality is that acoustic song writing is a very personal and unique process, and this EP shows exactly that. The EP is a mix of personal stories, nostalgic hindsight and both political and religious scrutiny – all accompanied by a simple and bouncy country soundtrack. Perfectly fitting, with just that latent hint of deep emotion behind the face value of nice simple singalong songs.
There’s a range of instruments in play, with obvious heavy use of acoustic guitar, but also banjo, piano and tasteful use of drums just to help give the songs more of a full sound (side note, the banjo intro to Mother’s Son has just a hint of twang which reminds me of the theme song for Scrubs -sorry) . The recording itself is very raw, without much fancy production tricks – you can even hear the swipes of strings whilst changing chords and the occasional fret buzz to again reinforce that intimate and humble atmosphere. However the layered harmonic vocals add real depth to the tracks, something that couldn’t be achieved in quite the same way if there were just one vocalist.
Each song has a definitive theme, though I’m sure there’s infinite possibilities for personal interpretation, so I won’t go too in depth for mine. But the album shows a clear progression throughout, making you think, making you reminisce. The EP ends on the soft and slightly more sombre All I Have which is a good place to leave it… and then immediately start listening from the start again.
Bad Wolf, Good EP? – Eyes Are Wild REVIEW
Eyes Are Wild are an Electronic Rock band based on the Isle of Wight, this is their first release – a 5 track EP. I’m really impressed with it and can’t wait to hear more. Check out my track by track overview/review below.
For fans of: Naked Fridays, Enter Shikari, Muse.
Chemical the opening track on the EP is exactly that. It begins softly, calmly, and draws you in with it’s simple chords under vocals intro – before unleashing a wall of synth, guitar and drums. Peppered with Queen-like harmonies to add some depth to the singing (which is a prominent feature throughout) and a constant high/low stop/start song writing style. It’s an interesting track which is easy to listen to and lays out the musical style and influences for the remaining tracks perfectly – providing plenty of moments to sing the lyrics back.
ICanSee is possibly the best title this song could have, if the point of a title was to allure you into a false sense of security and catch you off guard before attacking with heavy synth and aggressive guitar. This is a very electronic song, from the multiple synths and almost garage-like percussion – very modern. However, the dance in Classical Dance becomes pretty accurate when the song kicks into it’s pulsating main section, featuring powerful sub bass and some very Muse-like falsetto. It’s definitely one that gains further benefits from being played loud, and live.
The third track Rukus is where the heavier influences start to shine through feature a lot more crunchy guitar rhythm, and over driven leads. It’s a fun song that really goes all over the place in terms of vocals and instrumentals and that is nothing but a compliment – it’s fresh and chaotic. It culminates in a nice build up section before finishing on that very signature riff, which comes to grow on you over the duration of the song.
The penultimate track Alone is possibly my favourite song on the EP, due to it’s clear very METAL influences, with complimentary electronics, catchy vocals, and little audio effects and tweaks which help make this a very polished track. Also the main hook is super catchy and will get stuck in your head for sure. It’s got all the tropes of a great metal song (and it’s killer live). Check out the video below:
Finally the album ends with Puzzle, which is simply a well written song. It is constantly building up and messing about with the flow to keep things interesting, it has it’s heavy moments and more calm harmonious sections. Perfectly fading out ready to start the EP all over again.
Overall a very strong start for a debut EP and I hear they are working on new material already! Have a listen and definitely get down to a show next time you have the chance!
BaDow – In My Arms – EP Review
This is our review of BaDows third EP – In My Arms.
Intro – Epic intro with the classic BaDow sound blending seamlessly into track number two. Instantly sets the tone for the EP getting you slowly and meaningfully nodding your head with that grimace that only dirty, bluesy rock can give you.
Fess Up – Carrying on with the same riff from the intro track, Fess Up keeps the pace going asking you to ‘fess up’, ‘who’s that girl you’ve been talking to?!’. Slowing down for the middle of the track with a sweet breakdown before building back up to the finale ever so slightly hinting at a guitar solo.
In My Arms – Wait a minute… is this a concept EP? Is this track about the girl asking for a confession taking that guy back with an over optimistic view that everything ok ‘i wont look back’ but really theres a whole heap of doubt? Anyway, this is a seriously catchy track which delivers on that hint of a solo heard in the previous song.
Figure It Out This Time – All evidence points towards a continuing story here. I love a concept album. She’s moved on now…. This track has a much darker tone than the rest of the EP, reaching towards spiteful lyrics, dirtier guitar effects and a faster pace. Probably the most memorable track from this recording with its pulsing melody coursing through the song. Oh, and another solo. Thats whats missing from most local music – guitar solos.
Never Gonna End – Massive guitar riffs, great bass foundation and solid drums all topped off with that voice, a great end to a great EP. The breakdown and finale to this track too. Wow!
Ok, so overall this is a fantastic EP. More epic guitar riffs than before, solo galore, deep bass lines to compliment, outstanding vocals and drumming to boot. A well recommended listen and i highly suggest getting copies of their previous releases too.
Album: In My Arms
Release Date: 18th June
Location: Isle of Wight
Members: Bradley McGinty – Bass, Jodie Amos – Drums/Vocals, Sam Morris – Guitar
Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/Ba.Dow5
Bandcamp Link: https://badow.bandcamp.com/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/BaDowMusic
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDqToWLTPC6SKeg629daMnw
New-Retro-Pop-Punk | Caught In a Crossfire – EP REVIEW
We were lucky enough to catch Caught In A Crossfire last month at The Joiners in Southampton and were blown away. This week they released their brand new second EP ‘Lighten Up‘ with Coffee Jingle Records. Having listened to it through a good 5-6 times now I’ve managed to collect some (semi)coherent thoughts. Firstly the EP itself has a very raw sound, somewhat distant and very similar to that DIY sound on many mid-late 90s pop-punk albums. Once you adjust to this difference you begin to feel like you’re back in that era. The lyrical content is fun, a bit angsty and a little juvenile – exactly what you’d want and expect.
The opening song (and first single) Legacy begins with a great catchy riff – reminiscent of Blink 182‘s earlier stuff like Wasting Time or M&Ms. I may be biased, but playing this song loud, with the windows open on a sunny day feels like engineering the nostalgia of pop-punk days and playing Tony Hawks Pro Skater (did you here there’s a new one coming out this year?) mainly for the music. With the drums setting pace through the entirety of the song, matched later on by a pretty sweet, illusive, pop-punk guitar solo, before finishing off with a light-hearted little breakdown. It’s a brilliant song and I’d argue something that needs put on repeat a few times right now.
Forgive me for making direct comparisons again, but the parentally advised ‘Bat Shit Crazy‘ reminds me of Sum41 hits like Motivation and one specific bit like Fat Lip (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it). That’s nothing but the upmost of compliments – seeing as from my knowledge and impressions, recapturing (or never losing perhaps?) that old school vibe about this genre is something that Caught In a Crossfire are striving to preserve – as opposed to cleaner and more plumped up productions, adding more electronics to get rid of that ‘raw sound’ and make it sound more modern.
In a similar vein to the last two songs, track three ‘Screaming Out Your Name‘ starts with a nice little lead riff. Mixing up the pacing and vocal styles throughout the song it breaks up the EP a little and stops it from stagnating. The singing throughout is pretty solid, but theres moments when you can feel the stretch to keep it in tune – but, to criticise a punk song on whether it’s in key or not is like trying criticise fast food for being unhealthy – that’s not why you consume it. The abrupt ending only deepens my love for breaking the rules simply because you can.
The final song, always perfect grounds to try something new – and it certainly seems that way from the acoustic intro. However it’s quickly back to the winning formula. I’m sure if I really tried to, I could find some comparison to another classic with ‘Run‘ but honestly I think this song is the most Caught In a Crossfire song out of the whole EP and I’d love to hear more like this in the future. I can’t quite put my finger on why I get this impression, I think it just comes across as the perfect blend of influences, united creativity and enjoying making music.
All in all a great EP, and for £2.99 that’s only about 25p per minute of enjoyment – and you can listen over and over. Support local music and enjoy a light hearted, classic pop-punk-homage-soaked great new album.
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