Saturday, 5 February 2011

EP REVIEW: The Lost Audio - Self Titled

South London Funk/Rock quartet The Lost Audio recently dropped a copy of their new self-titled EP on the proverbial Wildfire desk and we were all too happy to sit back, crank up the stereo and see what all the fuss is about!

Recorded at Ruff Rockers studios and mastered at Metropolis in Chiswick, the first thing that hits you about this EP is how professional it sounds. This is radio-ready stuff!

Listening to the first track ‘Straight and Narrow’ you are straight away hit with a funky guitar riff that is immediately impressive. This blends nicely into a bouncing drum beat and smooth bass lines. A nice contrasting bridge in terms of feel and tone leads into a rocking chorus that no doubt sounds fantastic live. This is a band you NEED to see live.

This is followed up by ‘Eye For An Eye’ with has a groove led introduction which quickly slides into the more familiar smooth funk territory for the verse. What hits you next is a complete contrast, a hard hitting, overdriven guitar ridden thumping chorus, which will have you nodding your head whether you like it or not! One thing this band does very well is the mixing of the different musical styles - one moment you are being captured and floating away on some smooth basslines and guitar riffs, the next you are banging your head to the heavy choruses.

‘Shine’ showcases the band’s rock, funk and jazz influences, flitting between them throughout the song. But not in a messy way, oh no, it just sounds like how it’s “meant to sound”, with smooth transitions between each segment to create an effortlessly complete song. With riffage seemingly inspired by the Velvet Revolver camp, hard hitting bouncy drums and a popping bass on this lends a great foundation for the vocal lines. And what great vocal lines they are! ‘Shine’ showcases singer Ben’s vocal abilities, going from soft vocals to powerful chorus lines.

And now to my stand out track ‘Burning Bridges’. With a simply fantastic introduction reminiscent of the great grunge acts of the 90s, it slowly builds and builds throughout the verse, with the drums becoming more and more frantic until it hits you. Hard. As it breaks with a fantastic vocal note from Ben, you are suddenly immersed in a grunge/rock riff that would intimidate the most well-established of bands. This pace and power is continued throughout the rest of the song, building a brilliantly crafted rock/grunge song. In honour of this, please find ‘Burning Bridges’ below this review for your listening pleasure.

One thing to give special mention to (and not just because I’m a guitarist) is the appropriate use of guitar effects here. There’s no over the top distortion, overbearing reverb or imposing delays. A lot of time was clearly put into the effect sound to give each of them, from the overdriven sounds of ‘Burning Bridges’ to the smooth jazz tinged verses of “Shine”, an authentic, complimentary feel.

All in all, The Lost Audio are definitely a band to watch. Their songwriting is tight and concise, with enough hooks to keep you listening but not to cheapen the overall sound. These are 4 guys who obviously appreciate a broad range of music, from funk to rock to hip-hop, and bring in great elements of each to form their sound. I highly recommend you listen to the EP, it’s streaming free on their ReverbNation page ( and is well worth the time. And once you’ve done that, see them live. That’s an order. Albeit a very gentle one…

The Lost Audio will be playing a very special gig headlining a Cancer Research charity fundraiser on the 2nd April @ Scream Lounge Croydon.

EP REVIEW: Bad Sign - Exit

A well-established Croydon band in their own right, Bad Sign are a band on the way up with a strong fan base, an intimidating tour schedule and, now, an EP which is set to take your metalley little eardrums by storm.

First track ‘Unknown’ has a grungey recorded-in-a-cellar sound (in a good way). A moody, undulating start, with carefully picked out melodies and a clear, raw vocal swings suddenly into a straight up rock chorus that moves you suddenly from mild depression to a sort of rock-based elation. After a discordant breakdown, Bad Sign suddenly go all punk on yo’ ass, ending ‘Unknown’ with a section of dirty riffage that you feel the need to throw your hair and/or arms around to, ending suddenly and schizophrenically with some muted scratching sounds (perhaps attempting to leave the cellar).

‘Existence’ feels like a more straightforward rock song. Muscular riffs and steady but uplifting vocals, this is a far less complex song than it’s predecessor, but definitely not worse off for it.

Third track ‘Eclipse’ has a spaced out trippy feel to it, which lurches between melodic and relaxed to soaring and hard-edged. Vocalist Joe, despite being obviously more comfortable with a growling tone, experiments very prettily with a high note that shows off his vocal abilities and sparks a kind of musical adrenalin rush that really makes this track stand out.

‘Inertia’ is, frankly, stunning as a quiet melody compliments a hushed, almost underlying vocal. This contrasts with a huge chorus that sounds like it’s from a different song, but somehow works being all mixed up with effects-laden riffs and squeals and all held together with a steady drum beat that lends a feeling of completeness to a song which otherwise might not have had the same impact. This is musical heroin, full of extreme highs, crashing lows and the desperate need for more.

Finally, ‘Exit’ completes the EP with another more conservative song built to rock you, and everyone you love. This has a traditional rock feel to it, somewhat reminiscent of, and excuse my language, Nickleback. But old school Nickleback before Chad Kroeger disappeared completely up his own bottom, with those raw riffs, heavy but accessible beats and aggressive vocals.

Bad Sign are a band that may be popular as of now, but haven’t garnered nearly the attention they deserve.

This EP should ensure they get it.

Don’t believe me? Well firstly you can go to hell, then check it out yourself.

Eclipse by badsignband

Friday, 4 February 2011

VIDEO REVIEWS: Deprevate - Our War

Continuing our pledge to push unsigned bands of all genres, we recently took some time to watch this video from Croydon metallers "Deprevate". The track is “Our War” and it’s bloody fantastic.

The first thing that sprung to mind was how professional the video looks. The band obviously put a lot of time into this (as shown by their "Making of" video which can be seen at their facebook - link below). It's refreshing to see this kind of effort put in and it really impresses. Other unsigned acts take note! A good video is worth its weight in gold. The fact a video itself weighs noting is not important, its the saying that counts. Anyway, back to the review...

We love the pure rawness of the song, the thrashy yet not over the top guitar riffs, the pounding drums and the, strangely for metal nowadays it seems, audible vocals! No guttural roars here, just clear and crisp vocal lines. This doesn’t detract from the overall power of the song, it definitely enhances it. Throw in a decent solo and you've got yourself a killer song.

Having been lucky enough to catch Deprevate at a live show a few months ago, we can also say they are fantastic live, putting on a great show and the crowd loves it.

We highly recommend keeping an eye on these guys, if they want it, they sure as hell can get it!

Visit Deprevate On Facebook

Watch "Our War" here:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

ALBUM REVIEWS: Dave McPherson – The Hardship Diaries

Dave McPherson’s long-awaited debut album The Hardship Diaries is due for release in March 2011 (“debut?” you say. Yes, those were EP’s and hush, Mummy’s talking now) and to start it off with a bang he has launched a PledgeMusic campaign to help fans get involved in a more special way than just buying the album on its release.

PledgeMusic is a website that allows artists to release their music aside from the traditional record label route. It’s funded by the fans, and allows them to not only be a part of the release, but to get VIP privileges ahead of the album, help out a nominated charity, and feel all warm and fuzzy in their rock ‘n’ roll hearts.

In Dave’s case, he has pledged a percentage of any money made to Save The Children (, as well as lots of yummy gifts and incentives for pledgers along the way, including VIP access to gigs, lots of signed Dave-centred paraphernalia, the chance to have a song written about you, iPods, hats and T-shirts (oh my!) and just about anything else you can think of.

It comes at a price, of course, but you will get the album before it is released (in your FACE non-pledgers) and a regular series of updates which include song lyrics, photos, videos and music downloads of new tracks, plus some of the oldies for those of you feeling nostalgic.

The £8 lowest pledge (just the album and updates) still gets you a further 18 tracks so far (that’s before the album), which include some of Dave’s extensive back catalogue, music from the similarly acoustic (and fab) Hadleigh Ford, Marc Halls and Gazz Marlow, and intensely heavy electro side-project Centiment amongst others. There’s still a way to go before pledging ends so current pledgers can look forward to yet more goodies to come over the next few weeks.

Album-wise, new tracks "Winter: Hibernation" and "Spring: Hearts Need Blood" are a strong indication that The Hardship Diaries will be a bit of a treat, bringing in the stripped down power of old favourites Glass White Flag and I Don’t Do Requests, and mixing them with a ballad-y lovefest feel to keep you a little bit moist around the eyes because of that cold you’ve totally had coming on for ages. And it’s sort of windy. And something definitely just flew into your eye.

There are still a number of days left to pledge so, if you can spare a tenner and like what the man does, it’s more than worth it.

Below we give you "Hearts Need Blood" off The Hardship Diaries for your listening pleasure. 

Spring - Hearts need blood by Dave McPherson

SINGLE REVIEWS: The Fuegos - Against The World

The Fuegos are an indie-tastic band of boys from Carshalton.

Against The World is their first studio recording, and a great indication of the kind of sound to expect from them. It’s kind of Hard-Fi meets Bloc Party with an electronic balls-out sound to it that just screams party anthem for those who prefer their music with a bit of an edge.

Beginning with synths and a rock-drawling vocal the song quickly moves into a strong rhythmic pulse, all relaxed-but-sexy melodies and Arctic Monkeys riffs. A breakdown towards the middle allows for that arms in the air Indie Club thing and builds up a tension for the slightly faster-paced second act during which we get a really gritty riff which strengthens up the song as a whole and makes the whole song more of an exciting ride.

Ending suddenly, to a storm of drums and guitar, Against The World is an accomplished and exciting track that promises to be fantastic both live, and accompanying an album which is sure to carry a party-for-the-cool-kids vibe throughout.