Following my review of Leif Vollebekk’s latest album, Stay Loose PR asked me to check out another band on their roster. This time it was Bristol based duo Meadowlark with their latest EP, Nocturnes. I think it’s safe to say I was hooked immediately.
Blending psychedelia with a dash of romanticism, Jaghana are inviting us on a journey, all the while holding us in their charming caress. Debut EP Forest Behind The Dream opens with an enticing rhythm in the immediately energetic bass line, that lays underneath the hazy croon of Johnny Smyth. It’s infectious, but it barely scrapes the surface of what is to come.
Jaghana kicks off with a mysterious and looming tone, featuring an instrumental intro that progresses into sharper tones accompanied by hazy, barely there vocal tenors. The title track curves through the air and holds a certain sex appeal. It’s almost as if it’s playing hard to get, enticing the listener in to the EP without giving too much away. It’s quite a peculiar thing, to have vocals that are so broadly powerful, yet ring delicately through the ears, and that’s what makes Johnny Smyth’s sound stand out. Continue reading
Striking a balance between dreamy symphonies and sharp intergalactic rhythms, Brooklyn band Corbu create a sound that on the surface is relatively simple. Delve a little deeper however and that simple little tune becomes a little more intricate and elusive. Upcoming EPEverything You Imagine Is Real is an array of bouncy synths on top of captivating guitar melodies. Continue reading
As It Is are a fresh faced pop punk group from Brighton fronted by an American singer offering a dynamic in vocals against their otherwise typically pop punk sound. The band are set to tour the UK throughout February before releasing new EP, This Mind Of Mine on March 17th.
Though there is still a strong market for pop punk it seems that any group put under this genre seem to be doing the same thing. While this can be said for As It Is, This Mind Of Mine offers the promise of something a little different. The four track EP opens with ‘Bitter Broken Me’ and it couldn’t be more pop punk if it tried. The rough around the edges aesthetic is certainly in place however a hint of harmonic vocals throughout offer something a little easier on the ears. It is the same technique that makes following track ‘Horoscopes’ a worthy song. Coarse the vocals may be, but rounded off with a melodic charm they display a kind of teen angst that put them into context. The distinction between British and American accents create an alternative twist on the song that for the most part works in making the EP stand out from the norms of pop punk.
Third track ‘Can’t Save Myself’ displays more mellow vocals and this time the combination of different accents don’t quite complement each other until you get to the chorus and even then the vocals are slightly weak. Rather than letting the band down however, this adds to the rough cut feel of the EP. In fact the let down in this song is the ending, built up by the anticipation of a fast paced middle-eight, we are left with a retreat to the sound of the verses before, thus offering no sense of progress.
Final track, ‘Relive This Story’ begins with a mere whisper of vocals overpowered by guitar, a technique that could be improved with a more enticing set of music. Though this song starts as a delicate closing track, the rough vocals creep their way back in, giving us that ending that the previous track was missing as well as the twist to suggest that As It Is can push themselves beyond the pop punk stereotype.
This Mind of Mine is undoubtedly your typical pop punk EP, you have your rough vocals, no over production and a little sense of self hatred. What it is lacking is a unique perspective of the genre to put As It Is above similar groups but perhaps that is yet to come.