Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Night Verses - Out of the Sky

I became a huge fan of The Sleeping after hearing their album Questions and Answers, but the loss of their guitarist following that album, as well as a continuation of some poor production that seemed to plague the band throughout their career (which was a huge shame) eventually led to me becoming disheartened and disinterested in the band and I barely even noticed when they called it a day.

Enter Night Verses, singer Douglas Robinsons 'new' band with their debut EP Out of the Skywhich is free to download from their website. But what do they have to offer? Are they just The Sleeping MK II? Is Robinson just some one trick pony?

The answer is yes, and no.

Obviously with a vocal as unique as Robinsons it becomes nearly impossible not to compare Night Verses with his previous band but there's something different here, a sense that vocally perhaps he feels more able to experiment between his emo-friendly sung vocal and a raspy shout that was barely audible throughout The Sleeping at times creating some fantastic vocal overdubs throughout the EP.

Musically the band are a strange one to pin down. Opener From The Shadows Where I'm Lowstarts with an almost electronica feel to it before erupting into a catchy emo-rock guitar riff but just as you think the band might be emo-lite they pluck out from thin air a phenomenal guitar riff in the bridge and some empowered howling that will regardless of genre get every alternative music fan nodding along in satisfaction. Other stand out track Be Happy With Yourself, I'm Staying Here In Hell once again uses an electronic element throughout it with guitar work reminiscent of the brilliant Kaddisfly (RIP) before erupting into a brilliant heavy chorus with another fantastic guitar riff. And to top it off this song has hand claps, and what song with hand claps is really bad?

So, Night Verses, the new The Sleeping? Not really, no. If we're going to compare, then Night Verses are better. The Sleeping often felt like they were fighting to try and not be in the scene that they were lumped into. Night Verses while vocally obviously have similarities, are an extremely intelligent band with inventive guitars that explore face pounding riffs and erethral melodies that bands like Pink Floyd would probably be proud of. To top this off they have a rhythm section to actually die for and you can see why Robinson chose not to take a break from music and put his faith in this band.

Night Verses; a rock band? An experimental band? An alternative band? Who cares...they are freaking good and if this EP isn't top of every magazines best free releases list for 2012 then I am going to boycott journalism full stop.

4 / 5


Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Dead Wretched

All of us musicians have been there before, you spend years in a band perfecting your sound and working up a fan base only for it all to go 'tits up' before you really reach what you see as your potential. But there can be some benefits to this, after all, if Kurt Cobain hadn't died would we have ever seen Foo Fighters? If At The Drive-In hadn't imploded, would we have ever seen The Mars Volta or Sparta?

The Dead Wretched are on the cusp of releasing their debut album Anchors Down and are hoping that they are seen more as a super group than a weak attempt born from former bands Shaped By Fate and Boy's With X-ray Eyes. "The great thing about coming from different bands is that when we all come together everyone has a different perspective or opinion to offer," says bass player Scott Edwards, "this band is definitely different from previous bands any of us have been involved in. We've all learned from past mistakes and grown as people and musicians over the years."

Anchors Down, a confident and hard hitting first attempt at a long player certainly shows a band who are confidently at the height of their playing prowess eager to not waste any time with EPs, "When we started writing the songs they all came together so quickly that before we knew it we had more than an album's worth of material." Having heard the album it seems clear that this is a move that could be set to pay off with ten pounding metalcore tracks that give a nod to the American scene whilst maintaining the bands individual identity. Edwards is eager to quash any idea that The Dead Wretched may be some copycat band though, "There are some amazing American bands out there at the moment that we're in to but we haven't doctored our sound to replicate anyone else's," says Edwards before challenging the bands metalcore tag, "I think that if an album is good in itself it can't be restricted by a genre, if it's good, people will respond to that. We didn't set out to make a metalcore album hopefully people will pick up on that when they hear it.

Guided by manager Ryan Richards (of Funeral For A Friend fame), you would think that the band would be eager to sign to an established label but this isn't the case being the only artist on new label Believe Revolt's roster. "Signing with a label was something we put a lot of thought and consideration into, we didn't want to just settle with anyone. We'd worked with Gary and Tom who started the label in the past and decided this was the way to go."

After hearing Anchors Down I happily delved out a four out of five mark for the debut album. Let’s hope that the brave decisions to record an album before EPs and release it on a new label pay off and others get to hear what a great band and upcoming band Wales' The Dead Wretched truly are.