Powderhead – Don’t Let Them Win

Don_t Let Them Win Cover

Powderhead – Don’t Let Them Win
Self-Released
Running Time: 40:10
Release Date: 14/04/2018
Review by Paul Monkhouse
7/10

One of the great things about writing for a site like this very one is that we absolutely love supporting the many underground bands in the country alongside the many established bands. It’s seems as though every week a new talent pops up and is ready and raring to compete with the big boys. Far from rock being dead (as some naysayers have it) I believe that the scene has some incredible bands coming through. Sure, things have changed seismically over the past few years but that hasn’t stopped the hungry young guns hitting their local pubs, clubs and festivals forging a name for themselves the hard way. Every town in the country has some incredible new artists absolutely ripping it up on the live scene and vying for that one big breakthrough. Social media might have killed record sales as they were known but it’s such a force for good as by the click of a mouse you can discover amazing talent on your own doorstep. Such is the case with Powderhead…

Formed in Cambridge, Powderhead have just released their first album “Don’t Let Them Win” and it’s a rough-edged gem full of snotty attitude and firey riffs. Reminding me of some of the more D.I.Y. releases of the NWOBHM (but with better production) it snaps and snarls through ten tracks of hard rock that is given a bit of a punk feel by lead singer Helen Johnson. Like the brilliant Pearler, here is another band that has a very ‘street’ feel to it that takes the best elements of primal hard rock and mixes with it with a real swagger.

Opening track ‘Mad Phil’ sets out their intent from the off with its punk feel that changes just before the chorus as it throws into the mix some classic rock guitar that has a touch of Metallica. The sinewy twists in the tracks are a thread that runs through the album as each track throws in the odd tempo change which shows more of a freewheeling style of writing rather than a contrived attempt to do something different. Admittedly some of the little turns don’t pay off in the way they should, particularly in a couple of the chorus’s where it tends to lean heavily of melodies that are meant to catch the ear but rather seem a little out of place but it’s a small criticism. ‘Take It’ starts off with a hook laden chant before ripping into some furious fretwork accompanied by a banshee scream as it charges into a confrontational statement that takes no prisoners.

Much of the album features some terrific hard rock that takes elements from the 80’s and 90’s bands like Saxon, Pantera and Megadeth and injects it with the venom of 70’s punk. It’s not all fury though as one of the outstanding tracks happens half way through the album giving a real change of pace in ‘Forgotten Line’, the album’s sole ballad. Far from being something that is thrown in just for the sake of it, the track is a welcome change from the full-on tempos and adds some real colour to the CD. Not only does it really let Helen’s vocals shine but contains an epic and soaring guitar solo by Jack Lawson.

The album finishes in fine style with the real ‘one two punch’ of ‘Kick and Scream’ and ‘The Butcher’ that are powered by some sterling work on the drums and bass topped by some more vicious fretwork and grab you by the throat vocals. As a debut it’s not perfect but time will mean the band continue to grow in their song writing and arranging skills, adding more razor-sharp edges to their material as indicated by what is an impressive full-length debut.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Mad Phil
02. Take It or Leave It
03. Cut it Loose
04. Super-Sized Stoner
05. Toxicate
06. Forgotten Line
07. Sycophant
08. Wrapped
09. Kick and Scream
10. The Butcher

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/powderheadband

https://www.instagram.com/powderheadband/
https://powderhead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGzKELbhkUMSem1KmsPk6BQ

 

Powderhead Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Wrestling – Ride On Freaks

ride on freaks coverWrestling – Ride On Freaks
Inverse Records
Release Date: 14/09/2018
Time: 47:21
Reviewer Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

Wrestling are a Heavy Metal band from Oulu, Finland and “Ride On Freaks” is their debut album. From the very first track ‘Let’s Get Born’ you’re on an epic ride of frantic drumming, the tempo is crazy, and the guitar riffs keep this track as fast at the end as it was from the start.

The band consists of guitarist Risto Nyman, vocalist Tommi Saha, and drummer Janne Kela, the original old school metal band members, who have been joined by bassist Riku Rousu and guitarist Pekka Moilanen, making this a complete, well mixed metal band. All members have played in other bands for years and you can tell, from this album, that their talents blend well together, making them the band they have become, with each having something to “bring to the table.”

There is a definite Ozzy Osbourne hint to the sound, which is great especially in the track ‘Venom Makes Me Stronger’ but there is also a touch of punk and a lot of speed metal. You will definitely not be bored with this album at any point. The vocals, which hit notes I didn’t think possible by a metal singer, are intense and the guitar riffs, especially in the track ‘Kitsch In America’ are insane.

Then comes the track ‘WrestleMania VI.’ Having spent many years forced to watch wrestling on television thanks to a son who was and still is crazy on it, this track takes you right back to those good old days. It’s a power driving, body slamming song which any wrestler would love to have as their walk out track. In fact, it is a salute to the late wresting hero James Brian Hellwig, otherwise known as “The Ultimate Warrior” and, wow, it really does him justice. The lyrics were co-written by Antti “Rota” Junttila from the band FM2000 and is mostly spoken but it easily transports you back to those days of watching the wrestling and all the carnage that went with it.

Some tracks are seriously 80’s metal, but this is not a bad thing and composer Risto did actually write some of the lyrics back then. There is a hint of Motorhead with the gruff voice and fast guitars and, like Motorhead, this sort of metal is timeless and just brilliant.

Wrestling certainly give it all in this album and then a little bit more. “Ride On Freaks” is such a great album and once you think you have it figured out, they completely change the direction of it. The vocals that change from gruff and low to insanely high, the drumming that goes 100 miles an hour and such awesome guitars, really take this album to a whole different level. You are shattered just listening to it, it’s that insane.

The final track is very dark and very deep. Its inspiration was taken from the mass suicide that took place in Guyana in 1978, given the name “Jonestown Massacre.” There have been several songs about this but not from this point of view and this moody, dark track makes you think, but hey that’s what tracks are for, to provoke thoughts so well-done guys.

Overall, I love this album. “Ride On Freaks” is a blend of crazy, dark, fast, brilliant metal. The guys have so much talent and mix it up so there is not a chance that you will not be left wanting more. I seriously love this album.

The album was recorded at Anvil Road Studio and mixed and mastered by Harri Eksyma (Earmore Studios)

TRACKLISTING:
01-Let’s Get Born
02-Surreal Killer
03-Venom Makes Me Stronger
04-Kitsch In America
05-Drunk And Alone
06-Wrestlemania VI
07-Beyond The Limits
08-Feels Like Midnight
09-Driving All Night
10-The Solution To All Your Problems
11-See Delight

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/wrestlingband

https://wrestlingheavymetal.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy40IQ2BGEAt-p1vO8tc-gQ

 

promo pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Interview with Chris LoPorto, Vocalist for Can’t Swim

Can_t Swim

Interview with Chris LoPorto, Vocalist for Can’t Swim
Interview by Stephen Moss

Hi Everyone , Rick Here,

On 1st December our, Stateside, guest reviewer Stephen Moss went to see US rock band Can’t Swim play a gig at the (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. Whilst he was there he also managed to do an interview with vocalist Chris LoPorto. I’d like to thank Stephen and Andy Jansons at JM Pressphoto Agency for sending us the interview and, of course to Chris for answering the questions!

 

Stephen Moss: “Your uncle was a famous drummer and you played drums in many bands. When you took the role of lead singer and guitar player, did you find yourself overly critiquing the drum lines because you had so much experience as a drummer, or did you give your drummer the freedom to make their own lines?”

Chris LoPorto: “I recorded the drums on our first release. Now, Danny and I split the drumming duty when we record. But i’m not a control freak in any way, whoever is playing drums for us live, I always tell them to add their own spice to the parts.”

Stephen Moss: “How has your writing style evolved since you first released your Death Deserves a Name – EP?”

Chris LoPorto: “I think I have a better idea of what I want Can’t Swim to be now. I know what we can and cannot do. Also, it’s far more collaborative, we are a band who make records together, not just myself making demos on a laptop anymore.”

Stephen Moss: “It’s been said, “Music can cure things medicine can’t.” For many song writers, writing is therapeutic and it’s a way to help themselves. What’s it been like to hear stories and talk to people who use your music as a therapy treatment to help them cope with their life?”

Chris LoPorto: “It’s lovely and something I never thought would happen. Gives me a sense of purpose and pushes me to work hard at this band. It’s a realization that it’s not just loud rock music, if a person can feel better about their situation hearing about what I’ve been through, that’s a very special thing.”

Stephen Moss: “When you’re playing on stage and you hear the crowd singing your songs, are you able to take a second and soak that in or are you focused on the chords and the next lyrics?”

Chris LoPorto: “My job is very easy on stage, I can totally focus on the crowd and take it in. I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.”

Stephen Moss: “When writing songs, do you write the lyrics first or the music first?”

Chris LoPorto: “Depends. Usually the music and melody come first. Then i’ll write words to fit the melodies. I like for the vibe of the music to inspire the lyrics.”

Stephen Moss: “You had said before that some of your songs are first done on acoustic guitar. Is there any plans on doing an unplugged album?”

Chris LoPorto: “Oh jeez, I hope not hahaha.”

Stephen Moss: “You guys do a great live show, any plans for a live album or a cover album?”

Chris LoPorto: “I don’t think so, no.”

Stephen Moss: “If you could pick one band to tour with past or present, who would it be and why?”

Chris LoPorto: “Drake. I listen to his records a lot and he seems like a friendly guy.”

Stephen Moss: “Are you a sports fans?”

Chris LoPorto: “I’m not.”

Stephen Moss: “As someone from NJ, I have to ask…Taylor Ham or Pork Roll?”

Chris LoPorto: “Go veg, save the planet.”

Stephen Moss: “I spoke to Jesse from 10 Years and he said “I’ve been all around the world but there’s something special about coming to Knoxville because it’s home.” You guys have also toured around the globe. Is it still special coming back to Jersey?”

Chris LoPorto: “It’s funny, we started the band so abruptly, we don’t have much of a hometown feeling when playing NJ. it’s great to see friends and family but, we’ve probably played Nebraska just as much as we’ve played NJ.”

Stephen Moss: “So far, what’s been your favourite city to play a show in?”

Chris LoPorto: “Orlando.”

Stephen Moss: “What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened on the road?”

Chris LoPorto: “I’ve spent 3 years of my life looking at interstates.”

Stephen Moss: “As a band, what are some of your goals?”

Chris LoPorto: “We don’t really get too caught up in that stuff. We love what we are doing now and just want to do it more often. Getting a chance to play shows and make records is something we don’t take for granted.”

Stephen Moss: “Your tour schedule is crazy busy! Many shows are played back to back. How are you able to give 100% each show?”

Chris LoPorto: “Coffee! A lot of coffee!”

Stephen Moss: “I wish I was kidding but, every time I wear your shirt people ask me if I can swim. It’s a clever name because then I have to explain to them that it’s a band and we end up having a conversation about your band. So, I have to ask you, Have you learned to swim yet?”

Chris LoPorto: “Certainly not. Don’t plan on it either cause I can’t think of what else to call the band.”

Stephen Moss: “Will you be putting more of your videos on Apple Music?”

Chris LoPorto: “I have no idea. I don’t even have a smart phone.”

Stephen Moss: “I’m asking for selfish reasons but, there is a beautiful venue in Jersey City called “White Eagle Hall” or “Maxwells” in Hoboken where Nirvana played. Do you guys have plans to play any North Jersey gigs?”

Chris LoPorto: “Do they still do shows at Maxwells? I would love to play there, hook it up.”

Stephen Moss: “Do you guys still keep in touch with Andrea? (ex Can’t Swim drummer and long time friend) If so, any plans on having her be a special appearance and drum on a few tracks or shows?”

Chris LoPorto: “Totally, she played drums on two tracks of our newest record.”

Stephen Moss: “Did you guys have an epiphany moment where you realized, “Hey, we can do this full time.” Like, at what moment did you realize that this band had something special?”

Chris LoPorto: “When we first got signed, tours quickly started rolling in and we didn’t even have a chance to ponder if we could do it or not, we just had to. I think i’m still in that mind set almost like the alarm is going off and i’m rushing to make it to work on time.”

Stephen Moss: “When preparing for this interview, I was talking with a very good friend of mine named Melissa. Her favourite band is Taking Back Sunday. I asked her if she had the opportunity to interview Taking Back Sunday, what would she ask? She said two things, 1) “Can I be your best friend?” And 2) “Can I touch your hair?” Hahahaha. This made me think, what’s some weird things that you’ve been asked during an interview?”

Chris LoPorto: “If someone asks me if I can swim or if pineapple belongs on pizza, I’m probably going to quit the band.”

Stephen Moss: “Thank you for your time. I’ll see you at your next show in Jersey/NYC.”

Chris LoPorto: “Likewise. Be well and thanks for doing this.”

CHECK OUT CAN’T SWIM AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
https://www.cantswimmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cantswim/

https://www.instagram.com/cantswim_/
https://cantswimmusic.tumblr.com/

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephen Moss and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Can’t Swim – (Le) Poisson Rouge, New York City – 01/12/2018

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/12/17/cant-swim-le-poisson-rouge-new-york-city-01-12-2018/

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Stephen Moss. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Can’t Swim – (Le) Poisson Rouge, New York City – 01/12/2018

Gig Advert

Can’t Swim
(Le) Poisson Rouge, New York City
01/12/2018
Review and Pictures by Stephen Moss

Can’t Swim is a new band from Keansburg, NJ. Their first studio album was released in 2017 and called “Fail You Again” and they are signed to Pure Noise Records. This is the same record label that signed Four Year Strong, Hawthorne Heights, Senses Fail, State Champs, and The Story So Far. The sound of Can’t Swim’s music is similar to those bands. If Punk and Grunge had a baby, it would be Can’t Swim.

This was my second time seeing Can’t Swim perform live. Just like the first time, it was a sold out crowd! The band is coming off the recent release of their second full length studio album, “This Too Won’t Pass.” The album was released on November 16, 2018! Just 15 days after this release, they performed in Manhattan. As the band play songs off this new record, the passionate, sold-out crowd sing along to the lyrics, not missing a beat.

Can’t Swim weren’t headliners, so they had a short set list. They were one of the bands opening for Seaway, an Emo band from Canada and only played seven songs. Those seven songs were a nice balance of old fan favourites, along with new songs.

The setlist was as followed:

1) Your Clothes
2) Sometimes You Meet The Right People At The Wrong Time
3) What Have We Done
4) My Queen
5) Come Home
6) Congratulations, Christopher Hodge
7) Stranger. (Yes, they ended their set with their biggest single, ‘Stranger’)

The band had incredible energy! They are currently on tour and many nights they play back to back, yet they show no signs of fatigue while performing. Every single member was full of life and passion. As you can tell from my pictures, their performance was powered by emotion.

Before and after the show you could find the band in the crowd listening to the other performing acts. The band were also very willing to talk to their fans. They even agreed to an interview with me that I’ll be posting soon.

Can’t Swim’s music is so good that one of the members of the other opening bands was wearing a Can’t Swim T-Shirt.

I can’t stress enough how awesome this band are live! If you haven’t heard of them, check them out on the links below and definitely make plans to see their show.

If you’re new to the band here is a Can’t Swim starter pack of songs to listen to first:

1) Come Home
2) Stranger
3) Right Choice
4) Way It Was
5) What’s Your Big Idea?
6) Even In Death
7) My Queen
8) Molly’s Desk
9) One Shot
10) Your Clothes

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/cantswim/

https://www.instagram.com/cantswim_/

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/this-too-wont-pass/1436085762

Can't Swim Live Pic by Stephen Moss

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Stephen Moss and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Stephen Moss.

Deadheads – This One Goes to 11

 

HRR_593_Cover.indd

DEADHEADS – THIS ONE GOES TO 11
High Roller Records
Release date 26/01/2018
Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond
Running time: 38:00
6/10

I confess to having never heard of Swedish four-piece, Deadheads, although “This One Goes to 11” is their third album. Labelling themselves as ‘energetic rock and roll’, this band are all that and more; this album is eleven tracks of frenetically paced, good time rock which was fairly infectious to listen to.

The first track, ‘Black Out’ gallops along with brattish guitars and a thumping pace and although it was light on lyrics with a repetitive chorus, it certainly stuck in my brain for a while after listening.

I found a punkish element to next song, ‘Don’t Mind The Ghost’, which featured a simple hook and echoing vocals; in fact, pretty much all of the songs had a punk feel to them, with some nice keyboard/piano work showing on ‘Manic Mondays’.

The pace slowed a little with ‘Too Lost To Be Found’, which had a real vintage flavour to it and was one of my more favoured tracks on the album. I particularly liked the last track, ‘Status Low’; it wasn’t vastly different to the other songs, but I enjoyed the lyrics and the key changes made it feel a little less mad and ever so slightly more laid back.

I think if you take the time to listen to this album five or six times in a row, you will probably find nuances and changes from song to song; just listening to it twice through, it sounded kind of samey in places.

Quality and production-wise, the sound is a little muffled on some tracks – whether that was intentional, I’m not sure, but it was a bit irritating in places. Deadheads have been touring on and off in Europe, so perhaps they will be popping up on the UK festival circuit next year. I’d make a point of catching them live if I can; the songs are infectious and carry a certain amount of punk groove, so it would be interesting to see how that translates onto a live stage.
TRACK LISTING
● Black Out
● Don’t Mind The Ghost
● Somebody Along The Way
● Manic Mondays
● Too Lost To Be Found
● The Plan
● Instant Control
● 2 Steps Before The Fall
● Lucifer
● My Time
● Status Low

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/deadheadsband
http://www.deadheadsband.com/

 
Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.