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EP Reviews

EP Review: Gaffa Tape Sandy – Family Mammal

After months of hard work in the studio, Gaffa Tape Sandy have finally let their second EP Family Mammal loose to critical acclaim.

Their instant hit Beehive is unleashed on us right from the get-go, with the band’s proven formula of catchy hooks and razor-sharp instrumentation winning over fans only one song in.

My Desperate House is a boisterous number, a classic full throttle garage rock track brought to the fore by the raspy vocals of Kim Jarvis.

When it comes to songwriting there’s really no competition when it comes to this trio, and Meat Head and Headlights prove they are really at the top of the game. Meat Head‘s intense, passionate message of equality and the mental health awareness in Headlights shows why the band resonates with so many people.

Dinner Jacket shows off a more gentle side to their sound, with Catherine Lindley-Nelson’s vocals really shining through as the track rounds off with a thunderous finish.

One of the four tracks released before the EP was So Dry, a track which was inspired by “the people who really, really annoy us” but packs an absolutely killer chorus.

Ever since they starting touring this track back in 2017, Turnstile has been a fan favourite and it’s great to see it finally getting a studio release. Drummer Robin Francis sets the pace of the track with ease whilst the playful dual vocals combine perfectly throughout.

Rounding off the EP is the vociferous Kill The Chord, it’s rock’n’roll sound packs an almighty punch with Lindley-Nelson’s vocals shining once again.

Every track is as infectious as the last “banging tune” and it’s hard not to be begging for more after this. Gaffa Tape Sandy are one of the most exciting bands out there, and after this showing it won’t be long until they hit the big time. Oh, and I’d hate to have to write a setlist for them now.

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EP Reviews

EP Review: Salvador – Salvador

Framlingham-based indie band Salvador have just recently released their self-titled debut EP, consisting of five great tracks.

Ordinary Love opens the EP and just three seconds in, the vocals set the mood of the song making it instantly feel indie. The tightness of the instrumentals shows the bond of the band and the strength of emotion is shown almost immediately. Low bass tones and fun guitar riffs made me listen for more. The lead vocals seem effortless, he has a way of authentically telling a story in his songs which is fresh to see from such a young and new band. Although the song isn’t fast, it is heartfelt. The shifts in tone creates for a more uplifting chorus, leading into the guitar and drums to progress and build on the emotion of the song. I was captivated throughout, and it’s easily my favourite song on the EP.

Slow Down starts with pretty and slow guitar riffs and then vocals and drums join. It is easy to listen to, with lower mood and tone and a calm aura surrounding it, a small contrast from the first track.

The vocals in Gum Disease are the main focus for the first 30 seconds and then the slow guitar melody and subtle drums join, this song is more angsty than the others, making it both beautiful and sad.

Pink leads in with bright guitar tones and rhythmic drums, leading into awesome vocals. Synths make this track more upbeat, amongst troubled lyrics. The one-line then a drum beat midway, makes the song more intense. There is a short, funky guitar interlude which livens up the track, leading into a repeated chorus, making the track a catch.

Fever, the last track on the EP, opens with picked riff giving off Sam Fender vibes. The vocals are lower in tone and slower. Fever has a message about broken relationships and is lower in mood to finish the EP off. The drumming on this track emphasis the passion and pain in the vocals, with a guitar melody playing throughout.

The whole EP is Indie fuelled emotion, with moody instrumentals and passion. I loved it.

Written by Moe Noble.

Salvador play The 545 at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday 26th April at 6pm alongside Underline The Sky, KeloDown, Substation and The Daze. Tickets are available on The Apex website.

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EP Reviews

EP Review: KYANOS – Lost In Blue

Ok so picture it now – it’s late 2017, maybe early actually, actually probably not. It’s like roughly late 2017. I’m at a gig in Bury St Edmunds’ The Hunter Club and a certain bass player from KYANOS approaches me drunk. He rambles for a while as I try and make out what he’s saying… turns out that KYANOS are planning a big release in the form of a rather large sized EP. Cut a year and a half down the line, many rumours and a couple of single releases later, we have today – the release of Lost in Blue.

Following the release of singles So High and title track to the EP Lost in Blue, this release really sees KYANOS come into their own and produce a sound that continues to excite and sooth at the same time.

EP opener How Much? sets the tone for the record, showing us just where they plan on taking us over the next 7 tracks. Providing signature KYANOS reverb soaked lead guitars that drive each section into the next. Perhaps one of the more traditionally structured songs we’ve heard from the band, moving between hook and verse for the first half of the song. This is then brought to a holt as the tempo increases and the band show us a stranger side to them. To me this shows that the band aren’t going to give us an EP confined to musical boundaries, as the synths kick in I know I’m glued to my earphones for the next 20 minutes.

The EP continues to move at KYANOS’ own pace as what was our first taste of the EP ‘So High’ plays us all into the most blissful sleepy daydream, singing the words “CLOSE YOUR EYES AND DRIFT ON BY” into our comfy daydream. We’re soon woken up by lo-fi instrumental Dive Into My Mind’s Eye, Gently, urging us to groove as drums beats and bass lines lock in tightly. The synth sounds on this particular track remind me of early Nineties house music, perhaps what’s helping me want to dance?

Title track Lost in Blue is up next, a personal favourite of mine. The track takes us on a journey through hooks in vocals and lead guitars good enough to give, well, actual pop music a run for its money? We’re soon transported to that familiar daydream state and the band shows us their more articulate side with interweaving jazz parts and tempo changes keeping us on our toes.

A change in feel again with Hit The Snooze, a slightly different side to the band than we’ve seen before. Delayed hand claps, swirling synths and a spoken word-esque vocals makes me think KYANOS have taken a leaf out of King Krule’s book? Regardless, lyrically I believe this is a shining moment for frontman Sam Golding, keeping the apparent themes of dreaming and the sea that the record has given us so far but also a different quirk to the lyrics we’ve not seen before.

Final two tracks Sunrise and Dopabean are perhaps two of my favourite in terms of their musical ability and genius over all. Sunrise is another slice of original KYANOS pie. Sweet yet soft melodies playing around with each other with a tight rhythm section that’s solid yet shows intricate jazz playing. Not only this though, it also has what appears to be a song inside a song as towards the end of the track Golding sings the melody and lyrics to So High over the top of the track. At this point it starts to become clear that perhaps the reoccurring themes in the record might be a concept? A breaking the forth wall kinda thing. Although that may be some Black Mirror shit I’m rattling on about.
Finally we have Dopabean, starting the sound of a radio skipping through stations, each time landing on a different track in the EP; this progresses into an acoustic track that appears to be a different track altogether from Dopabean itself. Leading me more into the conclusion that this EP is very self-aware and confined in a concept. As this section ends we hear a riff not to dissimilar from that of something an indie-rock band might produce. This then heavily progresses into a full blown ‘KYANOS does The Flaming Lips’ vibe that makes the perfect closer to what has been an incredible EP.

Top musical talent, top song writing and incredible production (p.s it’s self produced by the way). I’m new to the blog so not sure if we do ratings? Marc, do we do ratings? I don’t care! 10/10! TOP WORK.

Written by Harry Dale.

KYANOS are playing the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival all-dayer alongside SINK YA TEETH, THE GLITTER SHOP, PET NEEDS and THE CATCH on Saturday May 4th at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds.

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EP Reviews

EP Review: SLOW KING – Infinity Bang

Slow King is an indie-electronic monarch I’ve only just discovered through a new EP titled Infinity Bang which released a couple months back.

On the whole, it certainly delivers that alternative singer-songwriter aesthetic. 21- year-old Jacob Powlett is undoubtedly a very talented musician and producer and this EP shows an impressive scope of genres, including lo-fi hip hop to indie to even dancehall, coming together in a really smooth and quite tasty package.

My favourite songs on Infinity Bang are definitely Show Me and Shallow. The drums on both track sound really solid and I feel the guitars on Show Me are well played and give me 90’s hip hop vibes in the verses. I think that comes from the jazz-styled articulation of the finger picking, giving the track some deep groove and a head-bobbing sensibility. I also really like the super sticky chorus that has been stuck in my head whilst writing this review. Powlett sings “show me what you want” harmonized with various layered auto-tuned backing vocals, creating this really cool group effect making you want to sing along.

Then moving onto Shallow, which is a lo-fi instrumental, seeming to be cut from the ‘beats to study to’ playlist-cloth. I really like the change in the drums at the 1:45 mark, turning into a more aggressive kind of dancehall rhythm. Slow King has a great ear for arrangement and definitely knows how to manipulate the space and texture within his tracks, creating something atmospheric but also danceable at the same time.

I love the side-chained synth and sweet bass tone throughout Hearts, which was the lead single off the EP accompanied with a pretty sick music video. However, I feel the vocals in the track are missing a certain level of attention and they wash over the track leaving little impact. I’m not sure if it’s the distorted vocal effects or just not getting enough takes to truly capture Powlett’s singing chops… But in my opinion, the final vocal parts in this particular track leave a lot to be desired. This is my one true gripe with Infinity Bang though, as the rest of the EP is really quite impressive.

Written by Sam Harrison

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EP Reviews

EP Review: GrassRoof – GUYAKA

GrassRoof are Cambridge based music students, mixing their own magic formula of psychedelic-indie-pop-rock into one huge epic sound. These Cambridge Band Competition finalists have shown time and time again that they are just as electrifying on stage as they are in the studio.

Their latest release Guyaka is no exception, giving us four new tracks and a fantastic live version of Microdosing Matt With Acid. This is the second EP release we’ve seen from GrassRoof in recent years, their last being Tadpole which dropped just last year. Despite the relatively soon release they have still managed to construct an equally unique and original sound as their first EP, and continue to play packed out shows around Cambridge and beyond.

Guyaka eases into the GrassRoof experience with Microdosing Matt With Acid. This first track is all about atmosphere and isn’t afraid to take its time setting the tone. With deep booming drums and everything soaked in reverb, I can’t help think of a shirtless Dave Gilmore ripping a melancholy solo in a Roman amphitheatre like in Echoes with Pink Floyd. What makes this track for me is their ability to subtly control the dynamics; the electrifying vocals and heavy drum tone lead the track to psychedelic indie ecstasy, only to seamlessly return to the appropriately penned lyrical hook of the first section of the song, “I’m excited”. Needless to say me, and my neighbours, have been listening to this track on repeat.

The second track Tadpole takes less time to introduce itself. A few bars of choppy guitar and a few bars of hi-hat and then you’re thrown in the deep end. This track is a free for all blend of 80s disco synth, funky fresh bass and a vast, effortless guitar section all held together by a rock-solid drummer. This track to me, is quintessential GrassRoof, taking us to the psychedelic stoner disco and throwing the doors wide open.

Spiral Anna takes us on a slightly different journey. It kicks off with a dreamy shoegaze-esque guitar riff, slowly acquainting us with the feel of the track. The drums accompany with some light cymbal ornamentation and then the bass comes into accent the first two notes of the bar giving some depth and a punchy rhythm to the floaty overlapping melodies. What stood out to me in the first section of this track is the unique style in the tone of vocalist James Turnbull; the lyrics and pitch are so reminiscent of 80s prog that Geddy Lee might have well of written the parts himself. It then kicks off into a heaving rocking jam, interluded with an uber tight acid rock solo from drummer Ben Parker, and screeching psychedelic guitar distortion lathered all over it. Tasty. 

The last track on this ep is BLine. A solid, slow polyrhythm from parker sets the pace, being joined shortly after with a funky 80s arpeggio synth from keys section Rayne brown. This band have a remarkable ability to flow from one epic section to another in a perfect hivemind unison, rising and falling between floaty funky acid riffs. This track captures the essence of so many legends in music history, and perhaps wouldn’t have been out of place on my dad’s record player 20 years before now, but the magic GrassRoof formula stands on the shoulders of giants to bring a cutting edge new sound to the Cambridge scene.

This is not an EP you can afford to miss.

Written by James D’Alessandro

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EP Reviews

EP Review: The Catch – How It Seems

One of the best indie bands in the area, The Catch are currently making a name for themselves with their ferocious live performances and awesome track releases. With their new EP How It Seems, they certainly don’t disappoint.

The EP follows on from the release of their two recent singles Tie Dye and Sort It Out which have both shaped the sound of their new work. The trio’s sound has really grown over the past year with more emphasis placed on heavy guitar riffs which are prominent in the opening single Hindsight which also features their trademark catchy chorus.

Drop The Act follows directly on from Hindsight, and it’s more of the same. An awesome indie rock track that instantly pulls you in with incredibly tight instrumentals to open the track and arguably some of the band’s best lyrics to date. The drop towards the end of the track is unexpected but it could be a real crowd pleaser at the live shows.

The title track How It Seems is a track which shows The Catch in a different light with a more gentle approach to their instrumentals and an emotional vocal performance. How It Seems is needed to differentiate from the powerful rock from before, though the second half of the track is the part of the song.

Recently released as a teaser single, Know You Won’t Try finishes the EP off with a bang. Their Bring Me The Horizon and Biffy Clyro influences really shine through on this track with even more intensely sharp guitar riffs and instrumentals.

These four tracks from the trio signals a change in their musical direction. More riffs, a heavier sound and honest lyrics are just three of the reasons why The Catch are one of the best local bands around. This EP is an essential listen.

We take submissions from bands in the East Anglia region, whether it be just one track or a full-length album. Send your music over to themusicblog42@gmail.com and we’ll consider it for a feature or full review.

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EP Reviews

Influx of Insanity: EP review

Influx of Insanity have become recent stalwarts of the local music scene, infamous for their prog rock sound, and the release of their self-titled EP proves why they’ll be around for a very long time.

Aged only fourteen years old, the duo have self-produced this collection of five brand new tracks alongside an acoustic version of one of their most revered songs. The EP is a studio version of tracks that were part of their BurySOUND and Cambridge Band Competition-winning sets.

Envious Souls is the EP opener, a track which builds up into a ferocious chorus which not only sounds awesome on record, but their live performances are also a pleasure to listen to. This has been a track that has always stood out live, and hearing the ‘studio’ version of it has made us love it even more.

Segued in between the heavier tracks on the EP are the psychedelic-inspired instrumentals of Unknown Entity and Kalinthapa. These tracks are more gentler and tranquil than anything the dynamic duo have released before, and shows a more versatile edge to their writing and instrumentals.

Violet and Season of Mist are two tracks that will stick long in the memory and are arguably two of the best rock songs you’ll hear all year. Violet‘s atmospheric guitar riffs from Dom Howard and Oliver Brown’s unique vocals builds up into an astonishing finale which will blow you away. Season of Mist shows off the band’s harder sound with more brutal riffs and intense vocals.

Go and listen now because this is an EP you HAVE to listen to.

INFLUX OF INSANITY launch their EP TOMORROW NIGHT (2nd Nov) at RAMPTON VILLAGE HALL. Support comes from LIMITED TIME and THE GOODS. 7:30pm start.

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EP Reviews

EP Review: False Hearts – Dirty Little Soul

Dirty Little Soul, the brand new EP Cambridgeshire rock band False Hearts, showcases their modern rock sensibilities and their harrowing melodic instrumentals.

With the EP only being the standard four tracks long, the female-fronted band have packed every punch into each track that are bursting to the seams with powerful riffs, tearing vocals and gritty instrumentals. Any fan of rock music will instantly love False Hearts.

Recently the band have played with many upcoming bands including Cambridge counterparts Hollowstar who themselves have had a phenomenal past few years, with the two bands flying the flag for the currently thriving Cambridge rock scene.

Not only do the tracks have such powerful, ear-catching instrumentals, they also have a deep meaning to them with the EP centered around “the murky waters of a troubled psych”, which is brought to the forefront of tracks like Break and Addicted To Pain.

The real highlight of the EP is Cynical Love, the band’s most recognisable track. The track’s juxtaposing chorus is not only awesome, but insanely catchy. A brilliant track to close a provokingly satisfying EP.

False Hearts are on the rise, and with gigs coming up around the region, the band are only going to get better from here on in. One of the best rock EP’s of 2018.

Listen to False Hearts on Soundcloud below!

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EP Reviews

EP Review: Enterlude – Enterlude

Last May we said that Enterlude are a band capable of writing “absolutely huge tracks”, and their debut EP proves our point.

Since their formation late last year, the quintet have really gone from strength to strength having owned their BurySOUND heat, supported Bessie Turner and played their biggest gig to date at The Apex. But with the release of their self-titled EP, the band have ultimately proved why they are one of the most exciting young bands in Bury St Edmunds.

The EP shows off the tracks that are a staple in their live performances, including the new version of toe-tapping electro-pop number Hurt Yourself and arguably the best track of 2018 British Dream.

Alongside the two previously released singles are three newly recorded songs. The  uptempo Flag and Ruins, which has a distinct The Black Keys sound about it, shows off the band’s unique synth-driven sound.

Though the real highlight is the last song of the EP Happy Being Miserable, a track with ferocious instrumentals and powerful, high-tempo vocals that rounds off an incredible collection of tracks.

With this EP under the belt and more music to be released imminently (Thinking Of You Too), expect a lot more from Enterlude over the next few months!

ENTERLUDE are playing the Washing Machine night on Saturday 17th November alongside GAFFA TAPE SANDY, FIGHTMILK, GOLDBLUME and BAD STONE! £5, 6pm!

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EP Reviews Track Reviews

Best Of The Rest – Part 1

It’s safe to say that these past few months have been slightly busy with reviews of the latest tracks and EPs from around the region, and a fair few releases have slipped through the net! So here is a brand new feature giving you a round-up of all the music we haven’t reviewed over the past few months…

Heathen – Bite The Bullet
After releasing debut single Eye In The Sky, which is still in the Cambridge 105 Unsigned Chart, Heathen released their full-length EP at the start of May. The band have used influences from the material they cover during their live sets to produce a great hard rock EP with some catchy tracks like Jaywalker and Two Wrongs. Heathen headline Homegrown Festival on Friday 8th June.

Noah Evans – See It Through
It’s fair to say that the local acoustic scene is really thriving at the moment after the recent brilliant Bury Songwriters Competition, and this great track from young star Noah Evans is proof that it is! A real feel good track with some great instrumentals and Noah’s smooth vocals makes this one of our songs of the year. Being only 13, it’s exciting to see what’s to come for Noah over the coming few years.

Asbestos – Monochrome
Bringing back the classic 90’s/00’s pop-punk sounds of Green Day and Blink-182, Asbestos  have produced a fun EP with memorable vocals and thrashing instrumentals that will be stuck in your head for weeks on end, the best track on here is easily the glorious Liar Liar. The band have already got a fair amount of gigs under their belt and have several coming up, go see them if you’re in the Cambridgeshire area.

Melody Causton – Another Voice
A soothing presence on a guitar-heavy music scene, Melody Causton’s Another Voice is a beautiful acoustic-folk number which is most definitely her best release to date. With fresh-sounding instrumentals and Causton’s sweet, rich vocals combining to make a track that is a delight to listen to. Melody has a few live dates coming up, so go to her social media accounts for more info!

In My Disguise – Alone With You
There’s some awesome rock music coming out of Ipswich at the moment, and In My Disguise’s second EP epitomises that. Clarity shows off a gentler side to the band before launching into the Royal Blood-influenced riffs of Sovereign and Inside Out, the title track is what you really need to hear though, a six-minute rock rampage that proves that this EP is one of the best releases this year.

The Music Blog 42 focuses primarily on local music from the East Anglia region. If you want to send in your solo/band’s music to be considered for review or a playlist feature, then send it to themusicblog42@gmail.com!