This feature’s been away for a few weeks, but it’s back in full force this week as we celebrate our 500th post in 2 years of running GigRadar.
This week we have a whole host of new British rock, an astoundingly good new melodic hardcore track, a brilliant new Swedish melodic hardcore band, some punk rock from Quebec and a new tune from one of my all-time metal favourites for you to wrap your ears around.
Emp!re – Glue (Album)
The voice of Emp!re frontman Joe Green alone is reason enough to give the London quintet’s debut album Glow a listen. It begins in mesmerising fashion with the brilliant opener Colour Of Shame and continues to delight with track after track of delicious energetic rockiness and vocal mastery. Latest single Miss Fortune opens with a blast of guitars and a delightful singalong verse, then builds up gradually with stabbing guitars under drawn-out vocals towards a chorus of searing vocals.
On the album, guitarist James L’esteve says: “This album for us is about sticking together, being in this together, despite all the challenges. We have created music that we wanted to hear, carved the songs out of things and influences that we are excited by.”
Hey Gigantic – Fools (Single)
The London rockers’ second single of the year is a big brooding blast of alt-rock that slowly increases in intensity towards a rocky chorus. Produced by Neil Kennedy (Creeper and Milk Teeth), Fools opens up with a light guitar lick under laid-back vocals “As I stare I feel the change, I’m becoming what I hate, I’m not the optimist I was, And I feel hate instead of love.” Then the guitars drop down leaving the vocals “I can’t suffer, I can’t siuffer these fools, Fools fools fools, With nothing to lose” and kicks into a slightly heavier guitar riff under really cool looping drums. It gets gradually heavier towards more shouty vocals alongside a delicious looping guitar riff, driving drums and a chorus that’ll be stuck in your head for weeks.
On the track, frontman Jonathan Bateman told us: “It’s about trying to see the positives in society and the world around us, when all we’re being fed is the negatives. Sometimes it’s a fight to retain that feeling of youthful optimism and patience with people as we grow older, but it’s essential we do and keep an open mind.”
Forgotten Sons – Pennies In The Water (Single)
Rock fuelled with a Scottish accent really is one of the greatest things in music, isn’t it? Expect that in aplenty from Shetland – which is about as Scottish as can be – rockers Forgotten Sons, whose latest single Pennies In The Water offers plenty of that Scottish brawn.
It opens up with a light guitar intro that’s soon joined by echoey, distant vocals that end “Pennies in the water, Your dreams are going under.” A brief pause drops into a cool little riff and jauntier guitar chords through a more upbeat verse, and the song grows in intensity. There’s a really cool section of “Ooh-ooh” vocals over big guitar chords and driving drums, before the pace drops right down for two final cries of “Pennies in the water, Your dreams are going under.”
On the track, bassist John Valentine told us: “People are to expect a catchy and quirky song. We’ve been told its a bit of an earworm. A song that is difficult to get out of your head.” Speaking of which, if you like what you hear from this then go and give their track Leave The Light On a listen – it’s an absolute banger. And you’ll hear more from us on Forgotten Sons shortly.
VALUES – Alight (Single / Video)
Something nice and heavy now with a dose of crushing metal viciousness from Leeds melodic hardcore outfit VALUES and their latest single Alight. Huge high-pitched guitars kick things off then huge screamed vocals through the verse drop into throat-wrenching screams that give way to a fast-paced bridge. A slightly less shouty chorus follows then big singalong vocals dive into a huge solo and a big smash of screams followed by an insane breakdown of booming guitars. There are so many contrasts within this track, but they somehow make it work. Check it out below.
Set Before Us – Vitae (Album)
And continuing on the heavy theme brings us nicely to Stockholm metal outfit Set Before Us. Everything you need to know about this band is present in their superb single Ignite, which is an absolute assault on the senses. It opens up with intense screams “The stars in the night, They never will die, The light in the sky, That always will shine” over a pounding drumbeat that feeds into even heavier screamed vocals over massive pounding drums. A disgustingly good high-pitched guitar blasts in over driving, low-tuned guitars and relentless screams. A darting low-tuned riff takes over, then fast-paced looping guitars kick in over more screams.
It’s an absolute belter of a track from a brilliant debut album from a band that has truly mastered the art of fusing searing guitar licks with brutal metal riffs and screamed vocals. Another taster of this is Avalanche, which opens up with a big high-pitched looping guitar over chugging low-tuned riffs then an awesome riff feeds into a wild opening verse. A more melodic chorus features clean vocals over the seemingly never-ending high-pitched guitar loop and intense metal riffs.
And it just keeps on coming throughout the album, which offers intense, brutal metal as well as the occasional moment of delicious melody and huge guitar solos, like on third track Identity. I discovered these guys on Wednesday, and I’m already hooked.
Creature – Something More (Single)
Newcastle’s Creature, our New Band of the Week last August, are British grunge rock at its very finest. Latest track Something more opens up with a dirty grungy growl of guitars then a big riff that drops into a verse of wailing vocals over all manner of funky guitars and a filthy bassline. A huge atmospheric chorus follows with delicious high-pitched guitars following driving riffs and bouncy chords, before ending on a wild solo of guitar noise. Check it out in the stream below. The Creature chaps have put out a series of strong singles in the last 12 months, so here’s hoping for a second longer-form record to dig our teeth into shortly.
No Real Hero – The Forest (EP)
Something a little different now with an awesome punk rock EP from Quebec rockers No Real Hero. The EP announces itself with the lively Comfort In Sorrow, which opens up with the shouted vocals “You’ve got it going on, What’s good to you don’t mean shit to me, Don’t you feel alone, When each day goes by without feeling alive.” Fun stabby guitars follow then dives into a singalong bridge that flows into the opening chorus vocals over fast punky chords.
The EP’s penultimate track The Forest For The Trees has a real Billy Talent feel to it, with driving drums and fun diving guitars throughout under singalong punky vocals. There’s a heavier breakdown of chunky guitars mid-way through, then a pause for breath before it gradually builds towards a big smash of punky guitars and more lively vocals.
It closes in style with the fast-paced punk romp Red and Black. Impressive catchy vocals dominate with pounding drums and fun riffs throughout, as well as a nice little punky solo for good measure. We’re loving this EP, so go give it a listen.
Beartooth – Manipulation (Single)
Ohio’s finest purveyors of metal are back with another banger of a track. I’d loved Beartooth for years and couldn’t resist the urge to give them a shoutout here – especially to round out our 500th post in style.
Manipulation, which features previously released Disease as it’s B-side, features the trademark Beartooth pounding riffs alongside frontman Caleb Shomo’s engaging vocals, with a siren sound offering an occasional eerie backdrop. The standard Beartooth themes of angst and depression are present, as evidenced with the repeated cries of “This isn’t trust, this is manipulation.”