PANAMA KINGS + HAVE HEART + ALL GUNS BLAZING +THE BRONX
NEW MUSIC STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND
HANG THE BASTARD LONDON GANG REVEALS ALL ON TOUR RUMOURS!
BREAKTHROUGH BANDS OF 2009
Lower than Atlantis
PLUS! EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BURY YOUR DEAD THE PERFECT EXCUSE ALL GUNS BLAZING THE GET UP KIDS BRING ME THE HORIZON CENTURY MEDIA
FEB 09. ISSUE 34. £2
O! Merry New Year! We do hope you guys are continuing the excessive carnage of December into the first months of 2009. We certainly are. I think I speak for all readers when I say that Resolutions NEVER work. Can you honestly say you have gone past February with one of those rule type self depreciating nonsensical lies? Thought not. So basically, we have promised ourselves to go to as many shows as possible this year and document it for all to intake. Luckily, you need not worry about who is going to be the undergroundunder-dog because we have compiled
a list already. Turn to page 6 for the best in fresh sounds and get geeked up on artists before the mainstream laps it up. On page 4 Hang The Bastard get passionate on subjects you are dying to know the truth to. All I am going to say is things are on the up - definitely a band to keep your eyes on. Just for you guys we have also hooked up with the very rad people responsible for The Perfect Excuse to give one lucky reader a chance to win VIP tickets to see them at your desired venue. This means access all areas! WRECK AND ROLL Y’ALL!!
Welcome to STRIFE
Clare Halls Editor
5 - Round Up Your monthly guide to news straight from the underground. Find out who is currently in the studio, the latest scenes, the hottest labels and bands about to smash it up. 6 - Profile The first exclusive interview and shoot with fast rising London band Hang The Bastard. We get down and dirty with the bassist, Lianna, who spills the beans on their recording plans and tour antics. 8 - Reviews A collection of reviews of the sickest live shows across the UK! Featuring: Emmure, Have Heart, Panama Kings and... err, Dodgy. Even more fresh new music is rated from Sheffield’s finest: Bring Me The Horizon & the third attempt from The Bronx. We do like to spoil you. 10- Breaking 2009 is set to be mental. And here is the evidence: a run down of the bands we think are going to fully pillage your village over the coming year! 12 - Comp This month we have backstage passes to see the South West’s best kept secret. Swipe yourself some exclusive VIP tickets to see The Perfect Excuse on their March tour! Totally worth a shot. HTB - All aboard!
Round up Label Focus:
ALL GUNS BLAZING
South West metallers are on the up since signing to Rising Records. Drummer Tom Pepler said of the decision: “We know we can trust Rising to look after us. They have a lot of experience with our kind of band and you can see the level of music they release from their current roster. We’re also pretty good mates with Trigger The Bloodshed so watch this space for a possible collaboration!” All Guns Blazing go into the studio to record their debut July this year. Meanwhile, for tunes and updates check out their Myspace: www.myspace.com/allgunsblazinguk
STRIFE is pleased to announce that our favourite Alaskan boys are returning for a courageous 27 date U.K. tour in April with support from Poison The Well and Gwen Stacey.
THE GET UP KIDS
Rumours of The Get Up Kids reforming have been confirmed. James Dewees has said that the band are back together and getting ready for a tour planned for April.
Tension is rising between bands and promoters in the North. Manchester venues persistently offer bands shows but with the catch that they must bring at least 50 people with them. The Scam’s guitarist. Anthony Costello said: “How are we supposed to build up a fan base as an unknown band with rules like this? It’s hard enough to get noticed as it is!”
For two decades now, Century Media has been picking out the best in largely unnoticed alternative talent. However, as an independent label some of their artists have experienced the success that their mainstream counterparts would die for. Literally. The newest additions to their already booming roster are the invincible Architects and Devil Sold His Soul, both of which have already made an impression through non-stop tour schedules, technical musicianship and their alluring enthusiasm. Bring on more CM!
Devil Sold His Soul
BURY YOUR WHAT?
STRIFE WENT FOR A CATCH UP WITH BURY YOUR DEAD DURING THE FULL BLOWN CHAOS TOUR. WERE YOU THERE? SEND US YOUR COMMENTS! How was 2008 for Bury Your Dead? Myke Terry: Tumultuous, to say the least. We have experienced some pretty high highs and also suffered some pretty intense lows but altogether it has made our band much stronger. What kind of musical impact did your van accident in September have on the group? MT: I think that it made the band a lot stronger - we realised who we were and if we could survive nearly being killed as a unit, there wasn’t anything else that could hold us back. You have toured with some pretty rad bands. Who would be on your dream tour? MT: Hmmm... Slipknot, Disturbed, Nirvana, Justin Timberlake? Haha!
What can we expect from your next release? MT: We are working on new material right now. You can expect even crazier material than the last record with more thrash and more groove. It will be a party on CD. It would make the year complete if BYD did some kind of collaboration with Will Smith on record (Will Smith and his wife jammed on stage with the band during Ozzfest in 2005). Will this EVER happen? MT: We would love to do that! Maybe that is something we could work on making happen! What do you think of the current hardcore scene at the moment? Are there any major differences between the UK and US? MT: I think that the lines between hardcore and metal are getting blurred. It’s turning into a fashion show or a popularity contest... However, I think that music is music in the US and in the UK there really isn’t any difference any more. And finally, do you agree with the slaughtering of Santa?! MT: Yes. If you find him, chop his arm off and send it to me, I will pay you.
HANG THE BASTARD
“ALL WE WANT TO DO IS
Above: Lianna takes charge of business
close to conquering the London metal scene, everyone aware of these troopers is wondering when Hang The Bastard are going to get a break. Here, they tell us their plans for the year ahead.
In just ten months, Hang The Bastard have come an extraordinarily long way: from just another unknown metal band to a tight knit group of musicians whose determination has no end. Last year was awesome for them and it looks like they are set for a killer 2009 too. “We played so many shows last year, went to UK & Ireland for our first tour and recorded. The first year as a whole band was pretty successful so now we’re just looking forward to what this year has to offer!” says bassist Lianna Davies. “Planned so far we have a bigger UK tour and we’re actually the support for Ringworm which is starting this weekend at Camden UInderworld. We are all very excited about that!” Amid all the live noise the North London based crew are documenting their new material too, releasing new recordings which will go towards a self released LP or split record – with who is still undecided, but you can bet it will be fierce as ever. They also “plan to go to Europe and hopefully play a few festivals”. Noting this proposal puts a mighty large grin on the members of Hang The Bastard.
The next release will not be unfamiliar to current followers at all because the band are so proud of the sound they have formed over time they have been playing together they don’t see the need to make any major alterations. They don’t want to go all Lost Prophets on us; they just do what they do best. “We just play whatever we feel like. It is obviously slightly progressive because we’re progressing and growing as a band but it’s not dissimilar to before. We like our sound want to keep stuff as it was. We think we bring all our influences together which makes us more unique than other generic bands”, says vocalist Chrisopher Barling – known to all but his Mother as Barlow. This straight up attitude is echoed in the personalities within the band too and the fact that there is a lady in the band makes no difference to the way they function. When asked if she felt like there was any different treatment towards Lianna for being female she replied: “Yes and no. I have heard that there have been things said about me on Internet forums but to be honest I don’t ever go on those things and I don’t really care. Sometimes I do wonder if people watch us just because there’s a fermale in the band but I at the same time I think people see past it. I’m not a bad musician or have just put in the band for a bit of eye candy to attract male audience members or something. I am passionate about my music and about what we do. The most imporatant thing to us is touring, all we want to do is tour.”
emmure, islington, london
REVIEWS The last appearance Emmure made in the UK had little impact: the venues were relatively small, there was hardly any build-up and they came as a support. Oh how times change. This time around, at least in London, the floors opened up, the crowds were bouncing in sync to the hardcore beatdowns and everyone was generally just having a great time. How people can be discriminatory towards metal and hardcore is beyond belief – what is not to like about technically advanced, fast paced and passionate music? This band proved tonight that they are up among the greatest in the ranks of alternative ideals and music, taking along every single person in the crowd watching them too.
Frontman Frankie Palmeri paced and sprung up and down the stage, constantly switching positions with the guitarists to keep eyes alert as well as ears. As they charge into ‘10 Signs You Should Leave’ its dissonant pinch harmonics and doomy breakdowns against blast beats and 2step rhythm set the crowd into overdrive. The live show Emmure showcase is a release of tension that ends all too soon. During occasional clean vocal parts, the
audience sang along hinting at a high degree of dedication with fans firmly grounded here as well as in their homeland, the US. It is no longer a novelty for kids to see American and Australian bands because there are so many hard touring bands circulating. Tonight though, the crowd are given a whole new experience – non-stop passion through the notion of metal.
Have Heart, The Phoenix, Manchester The Manchester hardcore scene is evidently alive and fully aflame. The Phoenix provided the perfect venue for one of the most thrilling shows Oxford Road has seen in a long time. Completely immersed in the music, in a decent turnout not one person was left feeling still defeated by the end of the night. Carpathian riffed and rocked through their brand of Aussie hardcore punk like pros. Persistent touring has ensured that they can go anywhere and make a lasting impression – largely due to the fact that vocalist Martin Kirby engages and stays on the floor with the crowd for the majority of the set. The vicious beat downs and aggressive vocals that shaped Cruel Hand’s set proved a winner with the crowd as they got more involved.
At this point fists were starting to fly and t-shirts were coming off and although executed with strength and energy these bands were simply building up the anticipation for the unrivalled main band. While bands often associated in the same scene notoriously tackle serious subject matters for songs, Have Heart make fun of it and clearly have been along with the other bands during this tour. An on stage water fight between them not only steered the audience into overdrive but also raised the atmospheric bar that bit higher. This was no longer just a gig; it was a convergence of people and music.
Flynn: a man who likes to tackle things head on
With no restrictions, people treated the front of the stage as an adult assault course as Patrick Flynn roared through ‘Lionheart’. The passion behind the positive ethos of this band was fully employed by the audience and confirmed that this really is what they live for. Bridge Nine Records should be incredibly proud. How the place failed to fall to pieces during the headliners was staggering. Playing nothing less than a passionate showcase of belief and love, the succession of people swinging from the pipes in the ceiling only added to the heated intensity. Boston hardcore made a truly unforgettable impact tonight.
Panama Kings, Liverpool Barfly Three out of the four members of Panama Kings need longer T-shirts. Three out of the four members of Panama Kings are also multi-instrumentalists and if that does not indicate the calibre of songs to expect, the buzz currently surrounding them probably already has. It is by no means an unnecessary buzz either. They make lots of noise but the electronic-vocal alliance keeps it tuneful. They carry a certain confident swagger and damn rightly so. Writing songs with so many elements and being able to better them live is a great feat in this day and age and that is why this group will be one of the main contenders in the acts to follow in 2009. Their forthcoming single explodes into your face like a discordant ruckus followed by a twinkly little lick that leads in the all too catchy chorus. With the outburst done and dusted they get onto the synths that would not sound, with an increased tempo, out of place on a Simian Mobile Disco record. Niall Kennedy’s oxymoronic (in the sense that it is purposely uncontrolled) voice is irreplaceable in Children, essentially a
contemporary pop song with layers of syncopated sound scapes and effervescent duel guitars. The need to scream and groan at the end of some lines is somewhat endearing to hear and whether it is just a plead for air after a long mouthful, a vent for frustration or a musical decoration, the small crowd getting involved appreciated it. A large helping of charm plays a part in the Panama King’s set tonight and it is such a shame about the little number of people that came out to witness it. Dodgy. I dare you to think of a band with a more appropriate name. The atmosphere was awkward, they behaved like they were about to play a sold out arena and sound checked with their hoods up. Had their music been any good at all this might have scraped the barrel of acceptability. In reality however, this was a group of had-been middle-aged guys that wrote a couple of songs that could have been have heard on a sofa advert five years ago. Apparently they once sold out the Brixton academy three nights in a row. Brixton was once insane.
THE BRONX The bronx (III)
BRING ME THE HORIZON Suicide season
For a band hailing from Los Angeles The Bronx are somewhat modest. Forget the hype, straight-up punk rock has arrived and it is ready to raid your musical world. With this third eponymous effort, the gritty quintet follow the all familiar classic punk song formula with a glamorous tone and just enough hostility to demand the attention it deserves. ‘Knifeman’, the opening track on the record, proves just how influential Matt Caughthran’s vocals are to the structure of their songs. With simplicity being the band’s strongest suit they can be thankful that the creative ability behind the riffs and rolls compensates for the repetitive parts that make this record the most assertively alluring yet. Themes of new worlds and city nostalgia are common throughout, hinting that The Bronx would not be doing this had they not experienced the sights and sounds that the US provides them with. It is an indication they definitely do not need a major label for them to make a living doing what they enjoy and staying on White Drugs was clearly the right choice. This determination is echoed in ‘Enemy Mind’ – like their home town, The Bronx have a fondness for anything crude, filthy and criminal. Tales of escapism and insanity are
Panama Kings: The start of a pink revolution
frequently presented and it fits the screechy vocals and razor guitars ideally. The suspicious danger of over production has perhaps taken out some of the rawness that would certainly be present at a show. The biggest problem with this album is that it is over far too soon. Close to pushing thirty five minutes, at times it feels like they compiled songs together so hastily they forgot to add in an adequate amount of emotion to accompany the rush. Nevertheless, they cannot be faulted for keeping the continual pounding tempo and fresh ideas running, even if it does feel like it could and should go on for at least another half an hour. It is as if they intentionally got hearts racing to such an extent that when they stop bringing the mayhem it shocks the system. They are playing a dangerous game of hard to get. As Caughthran screams in ‘Past Lives’: “I am an addict. An animal!” so how this album will accompany their mariachi album, El Bronx, will be very exciting indeed. But for now these guys are just modern day punk rock criminals, and that is how they like it.
The fellas hailing from ‘Steel City’ prove with their third attempt that they can do more than just pig squeel and get low with this progressive and well informed record. After creating enough Internet hype to launch the Olympics, these guys had an awful lot to live up to with their third release but since they managed to create something so articulate and addictive, it has to be said that BMTH have exceeded expectations. Effortlessly ripping it up and roaring through the ten tracks, vocalist and infamous front man Oli Sykes conquers all his past demons – including a very well documented court case – which is of course all done in jest, more or less. For an insight on said song, the title ‘No Need For Introductions, I’ve Read About Girls Like You on the Back of Toilet Doors’ should give an indication of the sly hostility that rears its feisty head throughout the album. For the metal core genre this record is incredibly easy to listen to: partly because of the strategic song and musical arrangement, partly due to the fact that they have introduced more clean vocals than ever before and entwined a host of new influences including, very clearly, Gallows and Parkway Drive. Opening track ‘The Comedown’ delves straight into the heavy groove, leaving behind the breakdown burdened teen angst on
previous releases for a more developed and mature sound. It is this clarity that begs to question where the line in between copycat antics and merely taking tips from bands they find inspirational. If this is their attempt to distance themselves from the stereotypical scenes the media often associates them with it has worked in their favour but a whole load of reinventing still needs to be done for the them to be capable of standing the test of time. Ultimately, Bring Me The Horizon are no longer just another Myspace band, they are a creative group of musicians making fresh and at times familiar noise to enjoy but they still need to push the experimental direction taken on Suicide Season if unique is what they are aiming for.
RAD! We want to hear fom you!
Send demos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
E V I T I N I DEF eakers of 2009 Br
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IN AT NO. 1
1 They have already toured the US and gained the prive lege of being on Guitar Hero but this year they have so much more to offer. A new album and a great helping of that infamous punk attitude will ensure these guys stand their ground as english representatives.
There is no denying that having a girl in a band adds curiosity for punters. But when she is the vocalist in an experimental grindcore band, you just wonder how such an aggressive range can come out the mouth of a dainty lady like Rolo Tomassi’s Eva. The word is spreading like wild fire and the band always happen to produce the goods to fulfil the wonder.
First and foremost - Blackhole are not a mini-Gallows, even if there are some blood ties. Hard work, a showcase of electric live shows alongside and continual touring has got them a solid load of followers in the South and people will no doubt continue piling up across the country.
2 architects In the next couple of months you will witness an apocalypse of metalcore ripping up the foundations of the Earth and reinstating the standard of noise of which many copycat bands will follow – predictably failing, miserably. Following the release of ‘Hollow Crown’ you will only be able to listen in awe and shake your head to the varying perfected tempos. Have a neck brace readily available. Seriously.
Sorry to be the ones to drop a bombshell, but put quite bluntly, you were lied to. Klaxons are not oh so lsst year, 2009 will be their platform for even more electro clash punk creative fusion. Lap it up while its fresh.
Everyone wants a piece of the action. Whether you heard the official reform announcement in December or not, Blur are going to be taking charge of the UK once again and it will be unavoidable. All together now... ‘WOOHOOOO’.
For a band that tour so much it is damn well about time they got a break, and now is that time. The pop-screamers have rightly landed themselves a headline tour with strong support from Bury Tomorrow. So what are you waiting for? Get involved! Purchase some tickets and get yourselves down to a show!
Lower than Atlantis
If Mcfly cranked it up to 11, got inked and dropped their major label ethos it would equal Lower Than Atlantis. These fine groomed beauties have BIG plans for the coming year. With a hot team of industry specialists behind them and a mighty label nothing can or will get in the way of them conquering yet more hearts across the UK.
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Search no further for your new chill out band. Packed with addictive hooks, pretty guitar licks and heart warming lyrics, these guys are not exactly what you might expect to come out of Wiltshire. Think again!
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Math-rock-pop in its finest form and also a major part of the tightest London-centric music scenes around at the moment. Banquet Records have once again prevailed. Hurrah!
Competition WIN VIP TICKETS TO SEE
THE PERFECT EXCUSE To win tickets for their march tour, answer the following question, and send with your name, age and location to Comp@strife.co.uk:
WHO HEADLINED DOWNLOAD 2008?
“Guys... Is it just me or does that tree look plastic?”