Collateral – ‘Collateral’

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Collateral – ‘Collateral’
Roulette Media Records / Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Running Time: 34:35
Reviewed By Paul Monkhouse
8/10

The rock scene has seemingly never looked healthier and 2019 has seen some absolutely incredible new albums emerge this year. This trend looks to continue well into 2020 with the release firstly of the Anchor Lane debut album and this, the first full length offering by Kent four-piece Collateral in February. Already making a big impression on UK and global audiences with slots at Camden Rocks, Ramblin’ Man and an appearance alongside Jon Bon Jovi, these South East rockers are amongst the most hotly tipped bands for future superstardom and this self-titled release shows exactly why they’re getting so much attention.

The songs on the album are huge and have such lofty ambitions to be played in stadiums but, unlike many who have come before, their strongest weapon in the fight is their talent and drive to succeed. Despite all the big, singalong anthems and flamboyant image, it’s not all empty glamour and glitz as beneath the noise and gleaming chrome of the surface lies a real blue-collar heart and recaptures the spirit of when Bon Jovi and their ilk were at their peak.

The album kicks off with the single ‘Mr. Big Shot’ and it’s a giant slab of commercial hard rock that mixes in some really 80’s elements ranging from classic American AOR to some almost New Romantic undertones and a pinch of ELO. Full of great guitar work from Todd Winger and epic vocals by Angelo Tristan, the track drips with tongue in cheek innuendos and a huge sense of a band having a ball in the studio. More monster riffing and vast melodies power along paeon to the modern music industry ‘Promiseland’, it sounds like the sleazy lovechild of AC/DC and, should have been huge, USA rock legends Giant as it snarls and purrs, leading to a superb solo by Winger. The band dust off their cowboy boots as the Southern Rock feel of ‘Merry Go Round’ brings images of swirling dust devils and shimmering desert heat to mind as they effortlessly turn their home county ‘Garden of England’ into the American Midwest. Close your eyes and you can feel the sun beating down and the dry mouthed feel that is desperate to be administered an ice-cold beer. Without doubt, one of the greatest strengths of the band is to conjure up that sense of time and place in a very tangible way, transporting you to a time when hair was big, and choruses were even bigger. This is no aping of the classic bands of that era but a contemporary take on the type of rock music that made Bon Jovi et al kings of stadiums, the production by Sean M Kenny bringing out the best in the material whilst giving it a thoroughly modern sheen.

‘In it for Love’ exemplifies this approach as it perfectly balances the pounding rock driven by rhythm section Ben Atkinson on drums and Jack Bentley-Smith’s bass alongside such a great, dynamic song that will have you singing along in no time. With its instantly catchy “woooh oooh oooh” gang vocals during the chorus and another fret blazing solo ‘Lullaby’ has already become a live favourite and should be blaring out of every car radio across the Atlantic, such is its perfect suitability for the American market.

Also finding its main inspiration the other side of the ‘pond’ is ‘Midnight Queen’, the band tilting their Stetsons to a more AOR meets Country Rock feel that sounds like it might have been written by Richard Marx and Vince Gill, the opening line the name of a huge hit that Marx wrote for Vixen and it shares that same sense of space, the focus on the songwriting, not the flash.

Those waiting for the heartfelt power ballad won’t be disappointed as ‘Get Back to You’ ticks all the right boxes, Tristan pouring his heart out as he longs to return home whilst the song proves it’s more about quality and quiet than drama school overemphasis.

Having stated their love for the aforementioned Mr. Jovi, the band expressed their intent to write something that captured the spirit of tracks like ‘Always’ and this certainly will see a sea of mobile phone lights (nobody is allowed lighters at gigs these days) held aloft in tribute. The pace picks up once again in the spot on, commercial pop rock of ‘Won’t Stop Me Dreaming’, a song that contains a tough streak of steely determination laced through its supremely candy coated and instantly addictive shell. The album ends with ‘About this Boy’, another country tinged track that once more heads more to the massive and lucrative Nashville scene than the heavier end of their material. Whilst a meatier number may have been more fitting, the song is still imbued with that Transatlantic feel that may well find the band gaining ground both in their home country and in the United States given the growing market here and the already titanic base there. Always doing things their way, Collateral continue to push forward, and this album shows just how far they’ve grown and where they’re heading. The stadiums of the world are beckoning.

Track Listing:
1 Mr Big Shot
2 Promised Land
3 Merry Go Round
4 In It For Love
5 Lullaby
6 Midnight Queen
7 Get Back To You
8 Won’t Stop Me Dreaming
9 About This Boy

Links:
https://www.collateralofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/collateralrocks/

https://www.instagram.com/collateralrocks/

 

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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.

EMQ’s with HER DESPAIR

Her Despair Logo

EMQ’s with HER DESPAIR

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based Gothic Rock band Her Despair! Huge thanks to Vocalist ‘J’ for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We are HER DESPAIR – a six piece gothic rock band based near London UK, formed 2015. We comprise of myself, J, singing, Dan and Jord playing guitars, Vikki on bass, Lee behind the drums and Toby on keyboards. In 2015 we released our debut album “Hymns For the Hopeless,” followed by 2018’s “Mournography” EP. November 22nd of this year saw our most exciting release yet – “Exorcisms of Eroticism.”

How did you come up with your band name?

Originally it was going to be Tears of Heaven, then As She Drowns in Her Despair, but that felt quite lengthy. It was shortened to HER DESPAIR, and that felt right as an overall title for what I was attempting to achieve.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from the UK and there’s a great scene here, with plenty of bands on both an underground and “mainstream” level. We’ve found that people in the North respond to us particularly well, where there’s a very strong Goth scene.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

“Exorcisms of Eroticism” was released on 22nd November, and we’re really looking forward to sharing it with the assembled congregation. The release is the dark and dramatic collection of six new gothic rock anthems from HER DESPAIR. Designed to unravel the mysteries of the theologic and the erotic, each song is set to a storm of symphonic instrumentation; providing the perfect soundtrack for your sorrows.

There are two songs available online now entitled ‘Pandaemonium’ and ‘The Exorcism’ (which includes a superb accompanying music video directed and filmed by Scott Chalmers), both of which came as instant downloads upon pre-ordering the release from our Bandcamp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clqrj6rftJA

Who have been your greatest influences?

Our greatest influence are the Sisters of Mercy, with other particularly inspirational artists being Rammstein, HIM, My Dying Bride, Staind and so on.

What first got you into music?

I grew up listening to my parents vinyl collection so I’ve always been surrounded by music. Many of those artists I still listen to frequently today – Elvis, Meat Loaf, Led Zeppelin, Abba and many more. I began to discover my own taste in music from the age of about 12, first getting into 2000’s metal and then branching off into far darker territories after I discovered Goth music.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

It would have to be Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters of Mercy. Always the inspiration!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
There are some amazing goth festivals within Europe that we would love the opportunity to play, such as M’era Luna or Wave-Gotik-Treffen. We’re very much looking to branch out in 2020, so performances such as those would be very high on our wish list.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

We love you eternally – the best is soon to come…

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Pete Steele from Type O Negative or David Gold from Woods of Ypres!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the songwriting process, and hearing the idea gradually become the reality in the form of a full song. It’s cathartic, and also very exciting to compose new material and see where the creativity takes you. I can’t necessarily think of much that I hate, but sometimes the long journeys can test my sense of humour.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The fairly limited experience I’ve had of it so far hasn’t been so bad. Having said that, the individuals who seem to care nothing of the art but only the money could take themselves elsewhere, and that might be a good change.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Floodland” by the Sisters of Mercy

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl for the art and crackle, CD’s for a simpler collection, streaming for convenience.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Personally, I think our best show was Darker Days Festival earlier this year. A fantastic event all round, and we got an incredible response from the audience.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I like to think something creative still, maybe writing a book.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Andrew Eldritch, Jim Morrison, Pierce Brosnan, Bram Stoker, Jesus Christ

What’s next for the band?

Our main focus right now is the release of “Exorcisms of Eroticism.” The plan for 2020 has yet to be revealed, but all will become clear soon. I’ve started putting a few ideas together for some more new songs, so who knows what may come.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Our main website is Bandcamp, where we sell our music in both physical and digital formats, plus our merchandise. Socially we use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, plus a few others such as Soundcloud. We love interacting with fans online, their messages of support are always appreciated.
https://herdespair.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/herdespair/
https://twitter.com/herdespairband
https://www.instagram.com/herdespairband/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVZhKFjVsq1Wpbruy-dryuw

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Biscuit!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks for the questions and the coverage!! “Exorcisms of Eroticism” is out NOW and is our best release yet. We thoroughly hope you enjoy how dramatic it is.

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.

EMQ’s with ASHEN REACH

Ashen Reach Logo

EMQ’s with ASHEN REACH

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Liverpool based Hard Rock band, and also ‘Ever Metal band to watch out for’, Ashen Reach ! Huge thanks to Guitarist Paddy Cummins for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

I’m Paddy and I play lead guitar, but more importantly, we are Ashen Reach! We sort of bridge the gap between hard rock and metal most of the time. We play intense, heavy hitting rock and metal but there’s definitely a softness that shines through too occasionally. There’s something for everyone really! We’ve changed and evolved a lot from the very first incarnations of the band really, musically and personnel-wise. Jess, our drummer, is the only original member of the first gigging line-up, which was then under a different name. From starting as a very old school classic 70’s rock vibe, the band evolved going through different members who brought different vibes and influences until you eventually arrive at what is before you!

How did you come up with your band name?

Our band name was inspired by a video game called Sea of Thieves that Jess and I play. One of the islands you can visit in the game is called ‘Ashen Reaches’. It’s a volcanic island that regularly spews out lava and giant boulders. It’s also littered with geysers that shoot scalding hot water up into the air. It’s a very dark area of the in-game world and the overall atmosphere is very misty, but with lots of glowing yellow/orange/red areas. ‘Ashen Reach’ sounded cool to our ears, had a bit more effectiveness and was a little slightly different, but also captured the punch and aggression we put into our music.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re all from around Liverpool in North-West England. The rock and metal scene here isn’t as strong as we’d like it to be. There are lots of great rock and metal bands from around here 100%, but when you tour and play in other parts of the country and see the support for this type of music and how much more it’s pushed by people involved in putting on rock shows, there’s a lot more to be done here I think on a wider scale. But there are bands in these genres coming out of the Liverpool area, so while that is still the case, there is hope!

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

Our latest release is our brand new single ‘Tear It Down’! It is available on all the usual online streaming services and stores; Spotify, iTunes, Google Play etc. And our music video can be viewed on YouTube or on our Facebook page.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luS1IcgZadc

Who have been your greatest influences?

We have so many influences as individuals, all varying. However, we share a lot of common ground and often enjoy and appreciate the differences we have in what we love. Our greatest influences, those who we’d say have directly affected how we sound include the likes of; Alter Bridge, Killswitch Engage, Black Stone Cherry, Van Halen, Tesseract and Dorje, to name a few. We draw inspiration from everywhere though. Be it dance, classical, techno, blues, 80’s pop, wherever there is melody really.

What first got you into music?

It’s difficult to say really as music is such a big part of life, all over the world for almost everybody. From when you’re born, you’re pretty much surrounded by it. It’s in your car on the radio, it’s in TV, films, video games, shops. I think you pick up on it from a very young age and the power of melody and beats together can have a profound effect on us as people. It can directly affect your mood, take you back to a place in your mind or a time in your life, it can give you goosebumps. These are things that you can’t fake. It’s very special and an amazing thing that we have as people to share.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

That’s tough really, there are so many amazing artists out there. It really depends on the nature of the collaboration. It’d be amazing to have someone like Myles Kennedy or Dan Tomkins sing on a track, or to have somebody like Guthrie Govan or John Petrucci play a solo in one of our songs. Although anything these people can produce, we’d struggle to replicate live for sure!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Personally, I’d have to say Download really. It’s not only a huge festival but having been so many times, seeing so many great bands and having so many amazing memories from being there, being a part of somebody’s festival experience in that way would be unreal. There are lots of other festivals that would be amazing though. Wacken, Hellfest, Rock am Ring, Graspop, Sweden Rock, to name a few.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think we’ve ever really received a gift from a fan, not that I can recall. Maybe someday we’ll have some interesting stories to tell of strange items we’ve taken ownership of, but not at this very moment unfortunately!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you is the biggest thing, for the ongoing support especially in this past year. A year in which we’ve had big ups and downs! It’s really been amazing and please continue to support, share our stuff and show others what we’re bringing to the world. We have a dream to really succeed in this and it won’t be possible without the help and support of people who enjoy what we do and those who believe in us as much as we believe!

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

It’s hard to pick one really. I think the obvious one is Dio. He had such a huge impact on so many artists and is so universally loved and appreciated for what he did for the genre of heavy metal. Jimi Hendrix as well! What he did for guitar players and that whole world was incredible. Not many people can honestly say they’ve impacted something as much as Jimi did with guitar. Prince is another one, one of the most underrated guitar players ever. An honourable mention would be Tom Searle, founding guitar player and songwriter from Architects. Some of the songs he wrote, especially towards the end concerning his stance on coming to terms with death. It’s very powerful stuff, harrowing and raw.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love bringing ideas to life. We recently recorded ‘Tear It Down’ which we’ve just released, but we also recorded another song called ‘Prey’. The music for that song has been around in one form or another for years, long before the advent of this band. Being in the studio with such an amazing group of people, bringing something from my brain to life and building on it and making it as massive and epic as I ever could’ve hoped! It’s incredibly rewarding. I’ve never really been a lyricist, but I’ve never had to be in the projects I’ve been involved with. My focus and passion has always been on riffs, solos, structures, chord progressions, arrangements and all-round guitar-based stuff. Collaborating and being more involved on the lyric writing front has been very interesting and super fun, alongside the other members. Branching out and using the other members as something to lean on whilst exploring a new area of creativity is brilliant and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do so.

There isn’t really anything I hate about being a musician. I suppose hoping that one day, people will hear you and a grander scale and appreciate your art and the time you’ve spent honing your craft can be daunting and almost get you down sometimes. Through fear of it potentially never happening, I guess. I think everybody wants to be appreciated in some regard in life, particularly for something they’ve invested and sacrificed so many countless hours, so much money and effort into. However, we are doing everything we possibly can to make our dreams a reality and we are very hopeful!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I’m not sure what I’d change really. As with all industries there are many positives and negatives. One thing about the industry that has a positive and a negative side, is the ability to get your music all over the world via the internet. The advent of social media and streaming services mean that it’s easier than it’s ever been to make your music accessible and available to people. Or it should be. The problem, however, is that there are so many bands, so many artists, all doing the same thing. It’s extremely saturated in places like Facebook and Instagram and that makes it a lot harder to stand out. Those sites aren’t necessarily aimed or geared towards musicians or artists either, which means you must find a way to stand out amongst other content too, like clickbait ‘news’ sites, memes or cat videos!

Obviously, the problem with streaming on things like Spotify, is that artist gain fractions of income via listens of Spotify. Of course, as a consumer it’s brilliant! Free, or a £10 monthly subscription for premium, and you can listen to all the music you want by anyone who has music up there, all at your fingertips. Streaming also takes some of the magic away from buying music. Going to the shop, buying a record in a cool enclosure with artwork and info and possibly goodies! Vinyl has made a bit of a comeback recently which is cool, but overall, I think music has less value to people these days, generally. As with anything with such accessibility and surplus, it’s not as intensely sought after. Unless you have a dedicated group of proper fans, people who will defend you and who swear by what you produce, anxiously awaiting new music and tour announcements. There will always be those people who love and appreciate it what goes into it of course, and they are the people who allow bands to do what they do. It does mean however, that artists make most of their income nowadays through things like touring and merch sales. This in turn, means if you’re an up and coming band, recently signed and being pushed by a label, you’re more than likely not going to see much of your home for the better part of 3 or 4 years. Family is the most important thing in the world and being away from them for extended periods is always difficult, but as with anything, to be successful requires some sort of sacrifice in one area or another.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

One of the standouts of all my favourite albums is, “Fortress” by Alter Bridge. I remember being in high school, and being so insanely excited for the release, more so for any other album before. Every song on it, is amazing. Nowhere does it even hint at the idea of filler. Every song is a strong as the last if not stronger and front to back it’s huge, powerful and had all the movement any great album has. “One Day Remains”, “Blackbird” and “ABIII” were all incredible so they had some work to do following all of those. They went above and beyond all my expectation with it to be honest. For me, the songs are still as amazing now, as they were when that album released and for me, it’s still their strongest overall album they have written.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

As a consumer, downloads 100%. You can enjoy the glory of your favourite artist, without moving an inch! It’s still fascinating and amazing thinking about how we’ve harnessed and developed technology and the power of the internet.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I’ll have to insist on 2 and say that easily, the best gigs I’ve played were the 2 Russian dates with Bullet For My Valentine. I mean, to play alongside such giants of the metal genre, in such a wonderful and interesting country. And to a total of over 12,000 people! It was incredible. The fans were unreal. Warm, welcoming, excited to see us even though they had not come specifically for us. They were everything we could’ve wished for and we went down a storm with them. We met tons of them afterwards, took pictures, signed things. It felt so strange having people ask for photos and signing and things like that, but the whole adventure was amazing. From the gigs, to the sightseeing and exploring St Petersburg and Moscow! I will cherish those memories forever. I can only hope we can experience it again in the future.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

In terms of a career, I don’t think I’m old enough or busy enough to know really! I’m only 22 and I’m not making a living as a musician yet unfortunately. I’ve been learning about site engineering for several years now. Basically, working on sites as a chain man under a few different engineers! If I didn’t do it all the time, I ended up forgetting little things as losing my confidence. I haven’t been doing it long enough or consistently enough to engrain the information in my head. I knew a lot about it, enough to do the job, and I certainly didn’t think it was beyond me. The issue was definitely with myself and the confidence/trust I had in myself to get it right. The job is very independent and comes with a lot of responsibilities. There is nobody to check your work, in fact you’re doing a lot of the checking and supervising as well as making sure all your calculations are spot on. The work was never consistent enough really to boost my confidence to where I felt I could make the jump up to doing engineering myself. With the introduction of robot instruments and handheld units to operate them, there is less and less need for a chain man. Between that and band commitments I didn’t really have tons of opportunities to work. I’ve recently started a new job with a bit more consistency and stability so hopefully this works better in the meantime! In terms of hobbies I’d be doing if I’d never picked up a guitar, I’ve always wanted to learn to paint. I love Bob Ross and his style and how he creates such amazing pieces so quickly.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Another tough one really! I think I’d have to invite; Derren Brown, Frankie Boyle, Myles Kennedy, David Attenborough and Elon Musk. All for completely different reasons of course, but I think they would all be equally amazing to talk to and all have interesting stories to tell.

What’s next for the band?

Next for the band is writing for our upcoming album, “Homecoming”. We recently played our single launch show for ‘Tear It Down’, and our first gig back as the new line-up. It was amazing and it felt so good to be back on stage. The crowd were brilliant, and some came from far and wide to see us, which was massively appreciated! Now that is behind us, we’re going to continue writing and preparing for the recording early next year, doing a bit of gigging in the meantime. We are super excited for what’s to come and we hope there are some of you out there as excited as we are!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Mostly Facebook for us! That is our main area of effect, there and Instagram. We pushed our new music video the most, through Facebook. Mainly because of the fact people don’t have to follow a link. Our society now is so revolving around the premise of instant gratification and we were worried people wouldn’t be bothered with clicking a link, as opposed to the video already being there to view. Additionally, videos usually auto-play on Facebook, so people don’t even have to click at all. The less steps the better really. It worked though and we got up to and above 21,000 views in a little over a week which is utterly amazing, especially for a band at our level! For anyone interested you can find us at:
https://www.facebook.com/ashenreach
https://www.instagram.com/ashenreach
As for our music, that can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFlbbAaHImz5Vuedd6h0EIA
and all big streaming services such as Spotify, iTunes and Google Play etc.

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I think they are definitely more like a cake, than a biscuit. They have a softness and a squishiness that biscuits, such as digestives, just don’t have. Honestly though, they are their own thing altogether really.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you! Thank you for your time and your questions, and to anyone who takes the time to read this. Hopefully I’ve managed to spark some sort of interest in what Ashen Reach are doing and what we’re all about and hopefully we’ll see you soon! \m/

 

Ashen Reach Promo Pic

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.

EMQ’s with PLASTIC BARRICADES

Plastic Barricades Logo

EMQ’s with PLASTIC BARRICADES

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based Alternative Indie Rock band Plastic Barricades! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Paul Love and I play drums, shakers, spoons, cowbell, tambourine, and the occasional woodblock so you could say I’m a multi-instrumentalist. Most people choose only the last three syllables though…

We are PLASTIC BARRICADES and THAT has been the nom de plume of Dan Kert for a while now. He wrote all the songs on this album and the last album. I helped. He’s also an accomplished race car driver. I make a mean pan of stew. It’s a good team.

How did you come up with your band name?

Voodoo. We kept popping chickens like fortune cookies until one gave us the right answer.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

I’m from Liverpool and I live in Paris. Dan is Estonian and lives in London. London is London and it has an enviable metal scene. I couldn’t really say about Liverpool, We’re more hard rock and northern soul people and Paris is big on gypsy jazz and accordions. Estonia is Nordic so I can safely presume that they’re born in drop C. Shout out to Opensight (the band, not the eye charity). They’re my favourite London metal band. You rock, Red!

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our Latest release is called “Self-Theories”. It’s an album we’ve been writing, recording and mixing in a 2x4m wooden shed in a secret location. It’s pretty chill and has some cool moments, but our big intention was to make something reeeeeally earnest. I don’t mean deliberately lo-fi or anything pretentious like that. We really tried to make the best sounding record we can, but we made it in a shed. Apart from mastering, a BV, one keyboard loop and some handclaps everything was written, played, recorded and mixed by Dan and I. It’s been an incredibly rewarding and refreshing experience. The first single is ‘One For The Road which came out on 1st October 2019 accompanied by a video by our MVP, Elina.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C54IrBXeFHM

Who have been your greatest influences?

I can’t answer for Dan (actually, I will make an attempt in a moment) but I’ll list some of mine: The Beatles, James Brown, Michael, Quincy Jones, Nirvana, Sting, The Mars Volta, The La’s, Radiohead, Slayer, everyone Rick Rubin has worked with, Led Zeppelin and my mentor James Earp. Dan loves Radiohead, Nirvana, Oasis, Death Cab for Cutie, early Muse, early Coldplay and etc. We love songs.

What first got you into music?

When my dad brought home the final Beatles single when I was 6 years old. I fell in love. I’m not that old, it was released in ‘95. Look it up! My dad played drums so I had the opportunity. I was incredibly lucky and continue to be.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Either Jacob Collier or Justin Bieber! Yeah. I know. I’m not trying to be controversial I just think they’re both incredibly talented and continuously put out fun, inventive and genuinely moving music. Particularly when it comes to collaborations! Jacob Collier with the Metropole Orchestra, Snarky Puppy, the LPO: all amazing. He’s a legit arrangement genius. My favourite Bieber tracks are all collaborations. He brings out the best in songwriters like Julia Michaels and Ed Sheeran and producers like Skrillex. Go listen to ‘Love Yourself’. That song is the biggest fuck you since McCluskey’s ‘Gareth Brown Says’. “My Momma don’t like you and she like everyone.” COLD.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I haven’t been to a UK festival in years because they’re poorly run, they stink, they’re expensive, the sound’s crap and most of the bands get a pittance. Some have been genuinely dangerous… but I’m a miserable auld git. I like little festivals in places like the Netherlands and Norway. My top number one the best festival I ever did play was Piknik in Parken in Oslo. Little, friendly, surrounded by tripped out statues of gangs of babies fighting adults. There was a really communal backstage area with great food and all the artists hung out, Dungen played and then we went skinny dipping in Oslo fjord at midnight in the summer solstice. If I ever have to go to Glasto again it’ll be too soon.
I don’t know… Burning Man?

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Handmade socks depicting scientists. They were really good socks to be fair, and very thoughtful. The fan knew I love me some science. Still have ‘em and still wear ‘em.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Don’t idolise people for expressing a shared experience. We’re all the same, musicians just have the ability to express their feelings with soundwaves. They don’t have any special insight. Just enjoy feeling connected another human being through the medium of air vibrations. It doesn’t have to get weird.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Awww man! My first thought was Cobain, but he probably march right back out again because he didn’t want to be here. My second thought was Lennon but… I don’t think I’d want to meet him. I think we’d clash because I can be a bit too opinionated too. My next thought was Bonham. I would love to meet him and I think he’d have learnt from his mistake and probably lay of the booze. He seemed like a big sweetheart that really hated being away from home. I’d like to pick his brains on a couple of his licks. Then I’d feel guilty about not picking George Harisson (number one bestest Beatle, he wrote everyone’s favourites and didn’t act like the big I AM) or Prince (My mrs’ favourite) or Bowie (me Mum’s favourite). Final answer? James motherfucking Brown!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the freedom I have. I love that I can be with free jazz nerds at a squat in Lewisham one night and the next night I’m having dinner with a Billionaire in Mayfair and then I fly out to a gig in Denmark and everyone appreciates the same thing. It’s really beautiful. Everyone from the poorest to the the richest; we’re all the same and we’re all just products of our environments. Nobody’s really that different from each other. Doesn’t matter how much money you got, you’re still gonna love the Gypsy Kings. I hate being afraid to look at my bank account. Yes, I love doing what I love but my family also loves food and shelter.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Consolidation of rights and royalty distribution! The amount of different types of rights and royalties and collection agencies is crazy and there’s no centralised place of registration or a way of hard-encoding this information into the audio file itself. The whole system is so anachronistic. I’ve had work stolen from me and released and never received a penny. There’s a lot of crooks and they hide in the cracks. A friend of mine found out he was missing a load of royalties from a publisher and the guy actually claimed he didn’t pay him because he thought he was dead!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Smile” by Brian Wilson. The 2004 version! What a sound. What a band. From the use of bass harmonica to the vocal harmonies and Van Dyke Parks’ lyrics! An absolute masterpiece and a massively overlooked work! Way better than any Beach Boys stuff. That album got me introduced to the love of production and arrangement.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Downloads! Easily! A lot of people don’t know this but our hearing is actually digital (sorry audiophile nerds). We have a bunch of different hairs and each vibrates and produces and electric signal and this signal goes through a process of encoding to pass to the other regions of the brain. It is digital. 44.1khz 16 bit encoding is higher fidelity than our own hearing. Vinyl warps, cassettes break and CDs skip and they’re all heavy. Digital all the way!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

There’s been so many. I’ve been really blessed. Some of them sound like fever dreams and some just sound like lies. Ancient ampitheatres are always enjoyable.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Sound Engineer! Does that count? Non music related… I don’t know, I would have studied physics otherwise. I’d probably be designing trading algorithms for unethical bastards with big wallets.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

That I don’t personally already, I presume? Trump, Bannon, Scaramucci, Johnson annnnnd Gwyneth Paltrow. Can’t stand the first four, but I’m betting that would make me look really charming and intelligent in comparison.

What’s next for the band?

A Hot Wings interview… I wish (one day I will taste the sweet taste of those spicy spicy fame wings).

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4XMzKbdDQLpa36cYrISsO7
https://www.instagram.com/plasticbarricades/
https://www.facebook.com/plasticbarricades
https://soundcloud.com/plasticbarricades

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Cake! Biscuits are hard or chewy. Jaffa Cakes are neither and contain the word “cake”.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Plastic Barricades’ new single ‘One For The Road’
https://youtu.be/C54IrBXeFHM
Romantic and honest, gloomy and curious, melodic and melancholic, Plastic Barricades chronicle life in the troubled yet fascinating XXI century, asking questions and trying to find answers. Inspired and influenced by almighty Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Oasis, Coldplay, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Placebo, Nirvana and many others, the band loves to experiment with styles, sound and approach.
Based in North-West London, Plastic Barricades are Dan Kert on guitars, keyboards and vocals and Paul Love on drums. Debut album “Mechanics of Life” was released in September 2017 and is available on Spotify. Sophomore album “Self-Theories” out early 2020!

 

Plastic Barricades Pic

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

EMQ’s with SUBSET

Subset Logo

EMQ’s with SUBSET

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based Fuzz Rock band Subset! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Subset, play guitar! We started in 2009 and toured a lot.

How did you come up with your band name?

We wanted something that sounded good, didn’t care much about the meaning.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

UK, massive and weird.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

A single called ‘Radenoid’ part of the”Phwoar!” album.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Youth, festivals, musicians we admire.

What first got you into music?

Women!

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Theresa May.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Download fest, so that we can show people u don’t need to be angry all the time to roll.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Drawings, they do go weird.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Never give up

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

The Dog and Bounty Hunter guy

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Enjoy most: hear bands on phone wanting to support us.
Hate most: cocky bands who have released only 1 EP and done 3 gigs

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

That likes count on social media.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Nickelback’s 1st album “I Finally Got Laid”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

streaming #binge!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Paris 2016 100 peeps!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Tax adviser at HMRC!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Rick
Morty
Pingu the Roll
Dick Cheney
Dick Tafon

What’s next for the band?

10 gifs tour in major UK cities including Dudley

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Spotify and YouTube
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6H7U0QOkNsE55eRX30R8qV
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2mYSTzM7r6QFghka4kdXyg
https://www.facebook.com/subsetband/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jellyfishes!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Yes, big support to your blog and website, love!

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

EMQ’s with HOOBY AND THE YABBIT

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EMQ’s with HOOBY AND THE YABBIT

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Yorkshire based Rock/Roots/Blues/Acoustic trio Hooby And The Yabbit! Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Ian Hawkins for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi, I’m Ian Hawkins from Hooby and the Yabbit; I play the guitar and sing/ write songs for Hooby. I was in a cover band but started writing my own songs, ended up building a studio to record them, then I got a band together in 2016 and we did a few gigs and festivals.

How did you come up with your band name?

Hooby and the Yabbit are two of my daughter’s childhood friends. I decided they needed an adventure so now they’re immortalised through this project.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

UK. To be fair, I can’t speak for the whole country but local to me was the Snooty Fox venue, some of your readers might know it but that’s gone now. I’ll be finding out what it’s like now soon though as I also play drums with some mates of mine, banging out Judas Priest, Sabbath, Motörhead, and the like, We’re looking to play live.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?

It’s a four track ‘taster’ EP available on CD or download through Bandcamp. We have a blues rock/ rock and roll vibe going on.

Who have been your greatest influences?

A mixed bag really. On guitar Gibbons, Hendrix, Gilmour but I love acoustic music as well hence Led Zep/Page. All the old blues guys as well. I could go on all day here. Zappa, not just because of his music, his political stance as well! We could do with him around right now I think.

What first got you into music?

I studied piano as a kid but then binned it. I then discovered the Beatles when Lennon was killed, right after that I heard the Ace of Spades and went to see the ‘Heads at Leeds. That was it; bought my first bass and 35 years later I’m still going.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Famous person would be Will.i.Am or somebody. Just to see what crazy stuff came out.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

God knows! Silverstone Classic race meeting maybe, or the Grand Prix – I’m a major petrol head by the way – or do a solo spot at WOMAD.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A pint probably, though my wife would say my children – and they are pretty weird.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Stick with us – it’s gonna be good.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Me. In about 50 years just to see if the whole shooting match has disappeared under the ocean yet – then I’m off again. Or my friend and many others Stu Page just to see his silly face again

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Things I like: Drumming, getting free drinks and stuff, and sleeping in on Monday morning. Things I Don’t Like: Drummers, having to buy my own drinks, and getting out of bed. At! All!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Move it to a different universe where money doesn’t exist, and nobody gets old.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Blackfoot – “Highway Song”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Oh man?! Vinyl and then vinyl! Also vinyl… Think I have some vinyl around that I like as well. It’s shit though because it’s so trendy now it’s really expensive to put it out on that format. I’m gonna get our next one out on wax cylinder instead.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Two gigs in Central America with a Pink Floyd tribute I used to run – 2,000 people going absolutely bonkers. When they all sang the choruses they were nearly drowning out the PA.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Fuck knows. The only other thing I’m good at is driving and getting drunk – not a good combination.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The whole crew of Red Dwarf including Holly – lagers/sneakers in fridge, the whole lot

What’s next for the band?

We’re looking for gigs in this country, Europe and a new release is due this year.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

https://hoobyandtheyabbit.com/
https://hoobyandtheyabbit.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/hoobyandtheyabbit/
https://twitter.com/HoobyYab
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4MhNUUZ2UPBRkWXw1yEFSJ
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNkJZXskU2-zV-TtjQCc9xw

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They’re all gone, that’s what they are – if I start on them, that’s it

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Rock on, all of you, and the very best of luck! Cheers, Hooby.

 

Hooby And The Yabbit Pic

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

Soldier – Storm Rider EP

Storm Rider EP Cover

Soldier – Storm Rider EP
Starhaven Records
Release Date: 12/08/2019
Running Time: 15:49
Review by Paul Monkhouse
8/10

It’s incredible to believe that Soldier are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and, much like some of their other contemporaries from the NWOBHM era, they still have an awful lot to offer as this three track EP ably shows. Whilst the band have had more line-ups than the Met Police, founding member and original guitarist Ian Dick has found himself a perfect combination of talent to power them on and keep the name and music very much alive. Having somewhat sadly decided not to gig this year (but who knows what the future holds) this new release is a perfect indicator of the force they still harness but also acts as a perfect introduction to newcomers of this seminal band.

The title track ‘Storm Rider’ kicks things off in fine style with its insistent riff, powered by the guitars of Dick and Miles Goodman. This has elements of some of the best of that initial rush of creativity and fire from forty years ago but also gives it a great, modern sound. There was a real song-writing skill that a lot of the bands of that heady era, like Saxon, Praying Mantis, Diamond Head and Samson, had and this is very much the case here as their ear for a melody as well as something that has that visceral excitement comes through on every track. Singer Richard Frost has been a real find and has a voice that’s perfect for the material, his vocals having both power and a honeyed tone to them. The guitar solo at the end of the song is all you could hope for and leads nicely into a fade before the second song, ‘R.N.R.’, kicks in.

Despite the well-worn subject of a guitar slinging hero, the song is utterly irresistible and glories in an instant appeal that sounds just so good whilst treading that line between hard rock toughness and AOR. These guys put other artists of the genre in the shade. The epic ‘Little Big Horn’ is the sort of thing that Iron Maiden used to make when they were at the first, early peak of their career and at just over six minutes in length gives you time to really revel in its delights. It has both the style and subject matter of early Maiden but with a lot more polish as the guitars charge full pelt at you, vocals weaving the tale and the bass and drums (of Steve Barlow and Tim Churchman respectively) pound with precision. It really is a great way to end the E.P. and leaves you not only marvelling at the music therein but desperately craving more. Fortunately, there’s quite a back catalogue to explore and this release is a pure distillation of what makes Soldier’s brand of melodic metal so enduring. Here’s to the next 40..!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Storm Rider
02. R.N.R.
03. Little Big Horn

LINE-UP:
Richard Frost – Vocals
Ian Dick – Guitar
Miles Goodman – Guitar
Steve Barlow – Bass
Tim Churchman – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.soldiernwobhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/soldiernwobhm
https://www.youtube.com/user/SOLDIERNWOBHM1

 

 

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.

EMQ’s with Toronto Blessings

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EMQ’s with Toronto Blessings

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Barnsley, South Yorkshire Noise Rockers Toronto Blessings! Huge thanks to Vocalist/Bassist Rik for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hello I am Rik, I sing and play bass in Toronto Blessings. We formed when our previous band Cavorts went on hiatus. The core three members which were left formed Toronto Blessings. We wanted to try something new musically and have tried to move on from our heavier straight forward past. We wanted to make this band have a more unorthodox sound, but still keeping it hooky. We can still sonically smash your face in when needed, it’s just gets there a different way.

How did you come up with your band name?

Dale (guitarist) got the band name when he was reading a live review for the band Sleaford Mods. It said it looked like the singer was having a ‘Toronto Blessing’ he messaged us about using it for our name. It got three thumbs up!

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

We’re from England and to be honest I am not sure what the metal scene is like. I don’t really follow it. Local to us though you have While She Sleeps doing really well, but metal is a world away from what we do now.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?

Our latest single/video is for a track called ‘UvU’. It was written when I was in a dark depression and was struggling to tell people how I was feeling. I put everything into this song. We’ve had such a good response from it and people talking to me about similar feelings they’ve had too.

We have an EP called “Asleep” coming out later in the year. We’re looking forward to getting this out and people to hear tracks such as the title track ‘Asleep’. We’ve got plenty of new songs ready to record, which we can’t wait to track.

Who have been your greatest influences?

I think mainly my fellow band mates. We all seem to bring out the best in each musically. Bands we’re inspired by are Metz, The Jesus Lizard, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the banshees, Daughters, The Cure, Sonic Youth.

What first got you into music?

I’d say Guns n Roses. My mum bought me “Appetite For Destruction” when I was 8 years old. It totally changed my life! Before that I was listening to MC Hammer ha! Bands like Nirvana and Sick Of It All made me feel like you didn’t have to be amazing at your instrument to make good music. It became a more reachable goal for me to get into a band.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I would love to do a track with Robert Smith (The Cure) I just think he’s got the best voice. I can listen to The Cure all day every day. It would be interesting to hear his voice on one of our tracks!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Glastonbury, it’s the best festival I’ve ever been to. It’s so diverse and I think we’d go down a treat there.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Hmm! Not had a gift yet, let alone anything weird. I say bring it on.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for supporting us. Much love!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Lemmy!! Who else?

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

It’s just good to get in a room with your friends and turn up your amp. It’s the best release in the world playing and writing, just being creative. I don’t really hate anything anymore. Life goes so fast so I am just trying to enjoy every moment in this band.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

It is what it is really. It’s a complete mess in one way, but also music is the most available it’s ever been. I love finding new bands through Spotify etc. Music really is at your fingertips.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

I would say “OK Computer” by Radiohead. I was only really into heavy music before this album came out. It really blew my mind. Nothing was the same for me after, it expanded my musical taste and I haven’t stopped trying to listen to everything. I don’t care for genres, if something is good it’s good!

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl of course! Well it really depends where you are. If you’re in your car or on the go I’d say downloads. If you’re at home Vinyl win every day for me.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

The first one was really important for me. It was the first time that I sang a full set of songs. I’ve always just been the bass player! Toronto Blessings is the first band I’ve sung lead vocals in. It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I am an accidental front man/singer. But after this gig was done it proved that I could do it and I’ve not looked back.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Probably exactly the same but not being as creative! I still work 9-5 now, so I’d still be doing just that. I’ve made loads of friends for life playing in bands, so I guess I’d have a lot less friends too.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Thom Yorke, RuPaul, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry David and Lemmy!

What’s next for the band?

We’re gearing up to release our first EP “Asleep”. It should hopefully be coming out in October. At this stage it looks like we’ll be self-releasing it. We might put another single out before its release, we’ll see.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

We use all the usual. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube.
https://youtu.be/ltU595XUWyI
https://www.facebook.com/TorontoBlessings/
https://twitter.com/getblessed666
https://www.instagram.com/toronto_blessings/

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

A mini cake

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

If you’re suffering with depression or anxiety, speak out. You have more people who’ll help you than you know. All is Love.

 

Toronto Blessings Pic

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of 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.

Rebecca Downes – More Sinner Than Saint

More Sinner Than Saint Cover

Rebecca Downes – More Sinner Than Saint
Mad Hat Records
Release Date: 24/05/2019
Running time: 59:33
Review by Paul Monkhouse
10/10

The Midlands has always been a hotbed for musical talent. When you consider that the area saw the birth of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Magnum amongst world beating others, you can now add another name to that prestigious list: Wolverhampton based Rebecca Downes. Whilst she has been solidly touring with the likes of The Quireboys and (the aforementioned) Magnum and putting out great albums, this latest should see her most definitely promoted to the big league. “More Sinner Than Saint” mixes her blues rock styling with a hefty dose of AOR and this potent brew of balls and soul is so well written and produced that it stands head and shoulders above most of the releases this year.

‘Take Me Higher’ opens the album and immediately impresses with its huge sound and epic scope. The insistent guitar gives way to Downes rich vocals and swirling keys, leading to an absolutely hook filled chorus that will have you singing it for days. This is all covered in the sort of gloss that the very best of the classic 80’s rock songs boasted and is equally memorable. It should be pointed out though that this is not just an exercise in nostalgia but very much a modern album that will appeal to a wide audience due to the quality of the whole package, not just the echoes of the past. ‘Chains Fall Down’ impresses with its aching vocals, great playing by the assembled musicians and its superb, slowly building structure and ‘Screaming Your Name’ is incredibly passionate, a world-beating track dripping with real soul but eschewing any overwrought guitar soloing that so often plagues other big rock ballads.

Rocker ‘Hurts’ lets loose and is full of ballsy grit, revealing the more primeval rock ‘n’ roll side of Downes and co-writer and guitarist Steve Birkett whilst Magnum main man Tony Clarkin returns the favour of Downes appearing on their recent live album to play some beautifully fluid guest guitar on ‘Breathe Out’. Already a fan favourite live, ‘Wave Them Goodbye’ sees multi-instrumentalist Birkett not only play some great slide guitar but unleash his impressive vocal chops in this, the albums only duet. Whilst it is Downes name on the cover, her musical partnership with him is the key to their success as they complement each other in the same way that Jagger and Richards and Plant and Page mastered, the perfect combination of singer and guitarist and this chemistry is perfectly highlighted on the album.

The titular ‘More Sinner Than Saint’ is all you could want it to be, starting with a church organ this is upbeat song laced with dark lyrics captures something halfway between Fleetwood Mac and Heart in its big sound and delivery. King King’s Alan Nimmo guests on ‘If I Go to Sleep’ and it’s another, harder rocking tune that stomps its size 11’s all over you and mixes sweet female vocals with rougher male ones. Nimmo’s solo sounds huge and the fact that Downes and Birkett can call upon him and Clarkin to guest on this release speaks volumes and new Magnum keys player Rick Benton plays throughout, all adding their own magic to the recordings whilst not putting anyone in the shade. Here, the music is the thing and egos are left at the door.

‘Stand on My Feet’ transports you to the Deep South, swaying in the summer heat whilst the landscape shimmers and chrome glistens under a beating sun. For anyone who fell in love with Alannah Myles first album, there is so much to enjoy here and this track brings to mind that magnificent debut, all southern sensuality, road trips to New Orleans and long, cold beers. ‘Big Sky’ ups the tempo again from the languid pacing of the previous track and has a real bite and groove and the sort of production that Mutt Lange gave Def Leppard, Shania Twain et al. The album continues in such a strong vein and finishes with ‘In Reverse’ which features an absolutely sky-scraping vocal from Downes and the hugely powerful ‘With Me’. This closing track is probably the most affecting one of the album and ends it on an emotional high, a song of promise, hope and protection that is so intensely emotional that you may well find yourself with a tear in your eye at the end of it. All the very best music should move us is one way or another and in ‘With Me’ you have a classic love song that never falls into clichéd moments but genuinely touches the soul and shows that you don’t have to be loud to be powerful, eschewing bluster for genuine heart. In “More Sinner Than Saint” Rebecca Downes has made not just the album of her career so far but one that will stand the test of time as a genuine classic. Without any doubt, one of the finest releases this year.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Take Me Higher
02. Chains Fall Down
03. Screaming Your Name
04. Hurts
05. Breathe Out
06. Wave Them Goodbye
07. More Sinner Than Saint
08. If I Go To Sleep
09. Stand On My Feet
10. Big Sky
11. In Reverse
12. With Me

LINKS:
https://www.rebeccadownes.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaDownes/

https://www.instagram.com/rebeccadownesuk/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5lTgFnkkf5YMEy9v2p_WFQ

 

Rebecca Downes 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.

EMQ’s with SICK

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EMQ’s with SICK

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Liverpool, UK Speed Rock band SICK! Huge thanks to Drummer/Vocalist Luke Daley for taking part

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Luke Daley. I play drums and sing. SICK really have only been around for seven months. We tried to put a band together beforehand, but until last November we had incomplete line-ups and arguments over the band’s direction. Once we had Max join the band everything slotted into place. We’ve played over ten gigs in five months including two O2 Academies, and we have a major record coming up. It’s going great.

How did you come up with your band name?

I just thought it up. We needed something short and sweet.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

UK, Liverpool. The scene is small in Liverpool. There isn’t a rock scene in a sense of the bands around – not the audience. If you’re like us you have to, as standard, play alongside metal bands just to get gigs. That’s what we’ve had to do until recently.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

‘Close Call’ (Single). We have an EP in the works.

Who have been your greatest influences?

For me personally The Ramones!

What first got you into music?

I played FIFA 98 on the PS1 when I was about 6 years old, and I loved the soundtrack. Still a Blur fan.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

I’m not sure to be honest. We write music a certain way and it’s subject to whoever we’d work with. I could say I’d love to work with Saxon, but they might not fit us if that makes sense.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Download Festival. We’d do well there.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Actual money for a T-shirt!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Come see us live please!

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

The Ramones! Without a doubt!

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Playing mainly and the reward you feel when you write a decent song. I don’t like the travelling to and from gigs, but that’s pretty much a requirement in the music industry.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The focus on Rap and Dance music right now! I don’t like the fact that even though we are on the verge of a new subgenre (Speed Rock), SICK can be dismissed as just another rock band.

Name one of your all-me favourite albums?

Xentrix – “Shared Existence”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Downloads! Unless you can get me a phone that can take my 7″ singles, I’ll stick to downloads.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Probably one of the dates we did at the Arts Club or M2TM Merseyside. They were short and tight sets. Loved playing them and we seemed to get a good reaction.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Doing a teacher training course!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I don’t have dinner parties lol.

What’s next for the band?

Produce the EP and gig all summer. We’ll end up throwing that disc at record labels. Hopefully someone takes us on.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, YouTube, Soundcloud, Instagram etc.!
https://www.facebook.com/SickBandOfficial/
https://twitter.com/Sick_Band_UK
https://www.instagram.com/sick_band_official/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

They’re lovely.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks for interviewing me!

 

SICK

 

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