GoldWater – Warpath (Single Review)

From their hometown of Leicester, the lads of GoldWater are known for their foot stomping music. Their latest single “Warpath” just cements that fact to be 100% true.

GoldWater Live Photo

The track is drowned with a blues structure, but it’s the big gospel vocals that situates the song with a natural hip hop essence. This essence definitely makes the band a bit out of their comfort zone but it’s always great to see artists explore different aspects of music. The song deals with a shrug of the shoulders like attitude that the heavy, distorted guitar riffs compliment really well. As a whole, I’m really liking the punch this song gives. I’m not a huge fan of the production as there are parts where I can hear what the singer’s exactly saying, but I think that’s definitely what the band wanted with this song. The song has a sense of confusion which just builds making it feel strange and if there’s a problem that hasn’t been solved in the story. I like this a lot as it leaves the audience asking questions. The band’s live shows cause quite a stir with their lead singer stomping through the crowd delivering the preach like lyrics and it’s great they include this factor in their studio work too. GoldWater are definitely a band that you don’t want to miss if you’re into psychedelic blues.

FACEBOOK:  www.facebook.com/goldwaterleicester

WEBSITE: www.goldwatermusic.com

MUSIC: www.goldwatermusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Score – 3.5/5

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Crosslight – Road to Recovery (Review)

Distorted guitars, harsh bass lines and drum patterns, Crosslight‘s music is full of angst. The band formed in early 2016 and have already toured around the UK. As well as playing shows, the band have spent a lot of time in the studio recording their debut album “Road to Recovery.”  The album was released on the 6th May 2018, and I’m finally getting round to sitting down and reviewing it. Crosslight are energetic and so passionate about their work and it completely shines through every word and chord. Their live shows showcase their talent to audiences through the ages and it certainly leaves people wanting more. The band consists of

The first track, “Recovery” begins with what sounds like a heart monitor in a hospital, sneakily involving the background noise of a waiting room. Before we know it, the song transitions into track number two; “Run Into Flowers.” This song has had a really good reception so far from fans with reaching over 1,000 plays on Spotify. Lead singer, Charlotte’s voice compliments the song also sounding heavily influenced from Hayley Williams of Paramore. Musically, the track is fast and upbeat, giving the album a good start off. Hopefully the momentum sticks all the way throughout. I find the guitar tone slightly a bit generic and not very creative for a pop metal song, but it still suits the song well. If you’re a fan of the nu-metal scene in the noughties, you probably will like this track.

“Clockwork” tells the story of what feels like a battle with a mental illness with this lyric indicating the struggle; “I’ve had enough, I’ll rid the curse be normal again.” Metal is hard to not fall into the category of sounding all the same because of its aggresion and similar rhythmical guitar patterns, but Charlotte really draws you in to listen to the story. I feel that the repetition of this track makes it actually more original.

The fourth track on the album, “Time Wasted” is a bit more electronic to begin with, adding another influence into Crosslight’s inspirations. It’s a short song which adds strength to embark on the next song “Karma.” Now, this song is heavy and deals with angst from, well, karma. What goes around comes around honey, we’ve all gone through it, wherever we’re watching someone go through karma or going through it ourselves. I find that the song itself has the same attitude of shrugging your shoulders, it’s simply put as a care free nature of “Whatever!” The chorus lyrics aren’t quite the normal, metal lyrics you’d get, it’s more of an Avril Lavigne tone which is really different. “You run around oh so careless honey, karma’s gonna catch up soon, I’m done with you.” The rhythm is slightly different compared to the other tracks on the album, but it still has a similar vibe to it all. Strongest track on he album so far for me.

“Fighting for What? falls into the same attitude as everything else so far, and as a listener, I’m longing for another influence in the band’s music to make it slightly more original. The drums are so programmed which makes the song feel forced. I think the band were definitely aiming towards an angry, powerful album instead of the music actually being more felt, which is definitely not a negative thing, it’s just a personal preference. I really admire the band for striving for something and getting the product done the way they wanted it.

Overdriven bass played by Daniel begins the next song “Poison” which creates a tone that Chris Wolstenholme defines in Muse. I feel that the song doesn’t dynamically go anywhere, it stays the same throughout. I’d really like to hear Charlotte sing different phrases/tones to make the songs slightly more interesting, but saying that, I do like the angry attitude in her voice. At the very end of the song, it’s really interesting how everything just completely stops and there’s just a slightly delay that comes after from Charlotte’s voice making it sound confusing as if there’s more to come, but there’s not… clever.

“100,000 Miles” begins with a ukulele which was very unexpected seeing as the album is so angry. The song does have a rhythmical metal sounding guitar part by Luke come swiftly in after the first verse, making the band go back to their roots. I think the band tried to make this a folk-metal track with the soft string instruments sitting in the back, but it doesn’t work as well as planned I personally think. I’ve noticed that in most of the songs on the album, it feels very stiff and mixed to the grid making it sound somewhat robotic. This is used a-lot in heavy metal music as it does add more power to the songs.

A heavy prog-esque riff dominates “Submerge” and automatically I thought to myself “this is more like it.” The tone is scary and makes you instantly want to move in someway, wherever it may be a foot twitch or a head bang. The guitar tone sounds similar to the sound that Queens of the Stone Age implicated on Songs for the Deaf, which is always a great compliment. I like how the band bring their own flavouring to this prog based song. It’s definitely my favourite on the album for sure.

“Just a Kiss” features Amal Birch, a freestyle rap artist. The song definitely has an influence of what Jay Z captured with 99 Problems; the rap rock element. The rap itself from Amal feels a bit too fixed and I really wish it was a bit more loose. The words are really well thought out though and fit the topic well. With the programmed drums, it’s just not quite as powerful as this song should be. I could be completely wrong about the drums being programmed, but the mix sounds like they have been edited quite a lot. I’m sure this song live will be really great to listen to with drummer, Joe, laying down some juicy drum fills. I feel that the topic of the track is about simply having a kiss with someone in, maybe a club, well that’s what it sounds like.

Once again, the next song doesn’t really go anywhere, and sometimes when that happens, it doesn’t take me to a place. Whereas songs that have a strong momentum all the way through, it makes people shift to another place where they can really relate to the song. Saying that, in “B.A.C.K”, you can feel the energy that the band bring in their music, they really do live for this stuff. One thing that people look for in new bands are charisma, talent & passion, Crosslight certainly do have that.

The guitars in “Kingdom is Mine” aren’t quite quantised to the same tempo as the drums in some parts making the guitars sound unfinished and sort of out of time. This song is once again nu-metal down to a tee. I feel the influences behind this song are Halestorm and Evanescence with all three bands having a strong female vocal. I like the path that the band go down with their music but like I’ve said before, it’s not really my personal preference to listen too.

Next up is actually an acoustic number, Charlotte sings “Drive On” with an American twang making it show that her voice is versatile and can sing through genres. This folk number feels slightly forced still and the harsh drum editing is more obvious than before as this song is so soft. I feel that the cymbals being played, more a less constantly make the song sound a bit messy. Overall though, the song is sweet and is also the longest track on the whole album.

The last track on the album “I’m Not Done” isn’t really a stand out track as much as the last of an album should be. The song does cover the band’s genre as a whole and connects the songs altogether to fit a nice pattern for the album. If you’re a fan of My Chemical Romance, The Used, Tonight Alive, then you should definitely check Crosslight out.  The band cover a wide range of influences in their music and make them fresh. The songs are good and the talent shines. Interested to see where the band may take their music in their next releases…

Favourite Tracks: Recovery, Run Into Flowers, Clockwork, Time Wasted, Karma, Submerge.

Score: 6.5/10

https://www.facebook.com/crosslightband/

https://www.crosslight.band/

Meme Detroit & Institutes live at The Night Owl, Birmingham – 5th May 2018 (Review)

I went to see Meme Detroit with support from Institutes live on the 5th May at the Night Owl. I know both bands personally so it was nice to go and do a feature on both. Institutes brought their theatrical side out with the theme tune of the Avengers signalling their first track. Gareth’s vocals were constantly on point as each song progressed. I know Gaz personally, like I said, and I know how much he likes Star Wars, so I really wasn’t surprised to see a Star Wars mask on the stage while they played, just constantly staring into our souls. With their set featuring tracks like We See Colour which was aggressive, it was nice to hear tracks like Not Alone with the whole arrangement of the song being delicious. I must say, the bass line in the verses for this track is so fragile but delicate. Their stand out track for the show was Golden Egg with the lead guitar going through what seemed like a midi synthesiser pedal, the song had so much power. Top performance from the boys, will definitely be checking them out again for sure. 

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Whereas for Meme, the girl sure does bring attitude to every track the band plays. Meme released her debut album back in 2016 and has been causing quite a stir round the Birmingham music scene for quite a while. With influences drawn from 90’s grunge, 80’s synth pop and indie rock, Meme’s distorted music is big. Her live set included big songs “With You” featuring Love Transcends All Again, a real powerful love song about being in love with “love.” The band, of course, featured the latest release, Soc Med Junkies which is about social media as a whole and how it controls us. I must say, the songs are really quite good, but at the gig, some guitar parts were drowned so much in fuzz and distortion that it was hard to understand the songs fully. Saying that, the band as a whole (Barney Such on Drums) and Ross Adams on bass) created an energy that filled the whole room. Just a shame that I had to leave early.

I asked Meme some questions to get a better feel of what her music/influences involve.

“I was sat aimlessly scrolling one day through my news feeds and suddenly found myself feeling really heavy-hearted and down. I realised it was due to all the negative sh** that I was reading and watching on my screen. It was a bit of a light bulb, “what the f*** am I doing?” moment so I switched off my phone, grabbed my guitar and notebook and started writing to put my time to a much happier/more positive activity.”

 

“Thanks! Yeah, the 80s thing came from a composition briefing for a film soundtrack. I’d never really done anything like that before so decided to give it a go and ended up really liking what came out. So much so, we released it. Influence wise, it’s hard to say as my influences range from all sorts. Due to my family’s generational hand me down box of vinyls: Bands/artists such as The Beatles, Bowie, Bob Marley, MJ, Foo Fighters, to At the drive in, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Death from above. I’m well into dance and old skool hip hop also. If something stirs an emotion in me, whatever the genre, I’ll dig it. Guitar writing wise, however, I guess I could probably say my biggest influences are Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Billy Corgan and although she’s a bassist, Pixies’ Kim Deal’s simplistic yet genius playing style inspired me from a very young age.”

 

What has been your favourite gig you’ve played so far? What’s the weirdest gig you’ve played?
“My favourite gig so far has to be when we played the main stage at Silverstone.
It was just an awesome buzzing atmosphere. The Sun was setting in the distance and in that moment as we were playing out, it just felt so right. It was almost like an out-of-body experience ha. The weirdest gig I’ve played is probably The Treehouse sessions in Birmingham. I wasn’t sure what to expect as when you get there, you have to go through someone’s house and you get taken into the back garden. You go through this wooden door at the bottom of the garden (it was like Narnia!) and suddenly you’re in this full on production room with monitor screens and crew everywhere. Then you get taken through to the performance area and it’s literally a tiny treehouse with a gorgeous intimate seating area & bar below for the audience. The whole thing was filmed for their channel with an interview that took place in this ace yurt. It actually ended up being more awesome than weird in the end!”