A bumper edition of the Singles Only feature today sees Dan take on ten new tracks. Get your teeth stuck into these.
Savannah Pope – Daddy Issues
If you were to listen to this track without knowing who it was you might think that Heart were back and recording new music. Savannah Pope is the latest in a long string of artists pushing their sounds back to when music was dirtier and sexier. Savannah’s vocals hark back to the 70s and 80s so hard that it’s only natural that some filthy riffs accompany her huge notes, though it’s the choruses where the track really excels, going catchier and in some areas sounding a bit ‘Rush’. This is a track pulling no punches while giving you a big old kick in the stomach. Music at it’s rawest.
Careering – Coughing
With a more modern sound than the previous track, ‘Coughing’ by Careering lacks the alliteration I was hoping for when first putting the track on. The British five-piece have released a track in ‘Coughing’ that is packed so tightly with energy that it feels the frontman explodes at least twice through the 150-second song. The vocal range on show here is impressive, ranging from fast, punchy one-liners to angry shouts but it is the bassline drumming here that make the track. They combine so perfectly that you can’t help but get your head bopping and your feet moving.
I’m No Chessman – Alive
Up next are I’m No Chessman with their latest track ‘Alive’. The Bournemouth based quartet have been taking 2018 by storm and using this track as evidence that is no surprise whatsoever. What initially sounds like a fairly standard rock song develops into one of the catchiest tracks you’ll have heard this year. Frontman Michael Rockett’s vocals are the key component in pushing this track from ‘also-ran rock’ to making I’m No Chessman a band that people will want to take seriously. Listening to this band you get the impressing 2000trees would be the perfect setting for their live track and if 2019 goes as it should it won’t be long until these guys are doing their thing on those sorts of stages.
I Cried Wolf – BRKN
British quintet I Crief Wolf have spent the last 18-months honing their craft ahead of a huge push in 2019 and ‘BRKN’ is the result of that time. The first thing to say is that if taking a year and a half out means you write track like ‘BRKN’ then more bands need to pack it in for a while. The opening 30-second instrumental is so well written and well produced it feels like this is the opening portion of a festival headliner, not a band still breaking out of the underground. Musically you can hear so many influences in the mix but still struggle to pin down a specific one and vocally it’s the same – though it does drift a little too close to M Shadows initially. I Cried Wolf are a truly exciting band that need and deserve all your help to burst out of the underground.
Sleepwell – 27 Club
’27 Club’ is a track not for the faint-hearted. Australians Sleepwell have written a technically proficient three and a half minute ode to the legendary club so many that has taken so many of the world’s best musicians. With an opening channelling bands like Touché Amoré with its post-rock vocals and harmonious music hiding behind a pacy drum beat, it’s easy to see that these guys mean business. Dealing with a subject such as the ’27 Club’ is no mean feat and one which could easily upset but Sleepwell have done it in a way that pushes your thoughts to not only those musicians lost at that age but loved ones of your own. No mean feat but one achieved with professionalism and respect.
Dead Friends – Torches
On the surface ‘Torches’ is a solid hard rock track from an American band that are starting to make some waves in their local scene. Dig a bit deeper though and you find that Dead Friends have written a track here about making the most of your life without needing to hit certain milestones. ‘Torches’ is a consistently fast-paced song that combines dirty riffs with higher-pitched vocals than you may have expected from the intro. The style feels like it would be perfect on a huge stage with a beer in hand in the sun at a festival.
DareDevil Squadron – Them
With an intro that has massive Ozzy vibes, ‘Them’ has an old-school metal feel to it, with a heavy tinge of grunge mixed in with it. If this track came out in the late 80s from a Seattle based band they’d probably be the biggest band in the world now. Vocally there are hints of Layne Staley and musically it’s almost a homage to the bands of that era. At almost six minutes long it does have the odd low moment though and the main one is just after the four-minute mark, thankfully that lasts mere seconds before back to the heavy goodness.
Amongst The Giants – Too Late
Another band writing songs with a sincere meaning behind them are Amongst The Giants with their track ‘Too Late’, a look at the American gun culture problems and the Parkland High School shooting in particular. The song is a modern ‘core’ track through and through with big riffs, winding guitars, dual vocals and breakdowns throughout but it’s lyrically that the track sets itself apart. ‘Too Late’ is repeated throughout and each time it’s hard not to think of those who have lost their lives. A moving track that makes you want to stand up and fight against those responsible.
Bare Jams – Fish Bowl
When you kick off your track with some ska goodness and then infuse it with some heart, soul and reggae then you’re on to a winner. Fortunately, that isn’t just random musings, Bare Jams are carrying the spirit of their reggae flagbearers and ‘Fish Bowl’ is the embodiment of it all. The song manages to be huge in places whilst being grounded throughout, the brass section certainly helps there. This track will rightfully appeal to a wide audience and Bare Jams could be on a sharp upward trajectory following the song.
Spirit Of The Wildlife – No Allegiance
Closing us out today we have Canadian rockers Spirit Of The Wildlife and their track ‘No Allegiance’. Fans of Bare Jams may feel an affinity here as the track sits somewhere in between the fast and frenetic world of pop-punk to the funky elements of ska, pulling it off without so much of a sideways glance to either genre. The bassline keeps the track moving on expertly and at just two minutes you’re left wanting a whole host more. The upbeat nature of the song is the perfect closure to today’s piece and one you should definitely give up 135 seconds too. You won’t be disappointed.
That’s this weeks singles reviews, please check out the tracks above and give them a listen in our embedded Spotify playlist below. Thanks for reading!