Rival Sons - Leeds Met, 13.04.13
Rocks latest rising stars Rival Sons have certainly created quite a buzz and are shooting up the rock ladder to bigger venues at a rapid rate. A mere 18 months ago, the quartet made their first visit to Leeds to play to 120 people on one of their first visits to the UK. Fast forward that 18 months and we find ourselves watching them at the Leeds Metropolitan University. Where next, the new arena Leeds is expecting?
Starting the night are Ulysses, whilst they’re fairly enjoyable through some catchy riffs, their music fails to capture your full attention until their final song (the name of which I didn’t catch). The Graveltones follow receiving a great reaction from the audience, however, those familiar with The White Stripes may notice similarities so close to the duo, that originality appears to have gone out the window.
On to the evenings main event and one by one the the Californian boys stroll on stage to mesmerise tonight’s enthusiastic gathering. Kicking off with the irresistible You Want To, the crowd instantly get involved, clapping and dancing along, hooked on every beat the band produce. The set features a great mix of the groups catalogue with earlier tracks receiving a slight revamp to keep older fans on their toes. Torture contains an extended, dreamy break down section before bursting back into the main vocal melody. Slower tracks Jordan and the beautiful Sacred Tongue showcase Jay Buchanan’s mesmerising voice, and whilst he is a little under the weather tonight, his charming tone still has the audience under his spell. After dedicating Face Of Light to his son back home, the group leave to deafening cheers for one of the shortest encore gaps I have ever experience. Drummer Mike Miley had barely set foot off the stage before he reappeared to assume his position behind the drum kit for an energetic solo ending on a comical cymbal tap. Back for the bold Burn Down Los Angeles, the night ends on Soul, complete with Jay’s small speech about the importance of staying true to yourself.
As Jay said ‘It may not sound like the record, but it sounds like tonight,’ and everytime you catch the Rival Sons, the experience is a special one.
Obsessive Compulsive - Seculo Seculorum
For their second album Obsessive Compulsive have joined the ever growing legion of musicians who are using direct to fan platforms. In this case Pledge Music was the site of choice and after a rocky initial couple of months they reached their target and Seculo Seculorum (Latin for ‘Forever and Ever’) was go and thank God for that. I would like to think that this album would have emerged in one form or another even if their pledge campaign hadn’t been successful but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been the same and that would have been a crime.
With Seculo Seculorum, Obsessive Compulsive have made an album that borders on genius and is definitely a contender for album of the year (yeah I know it’s only April, it’s that good). Opening with a trio of hook filled riffalicious barnstormers, namely ‘Sick Sick Sick’, ‘Regurgitate’ and ‘Stamp Your Own Path’. Each with an unobvious melody and tricky rhythms, if these songs don’t make you pay attention you’re already asleep.
It’s on ‘Jardim Gramacho’ however that Obsessive Compulsive really show us what they’re made of. The song sees the band slow things down and with it’s spooky melody and soaring chorus it also sees the band shine. The pace is upped again for ‘Nail In My Coffin’ before we get a double whammy of ominous beauty that is ‘Float’ and ‘Soul Sucker’.On ‘Soul Sucker’ in particular singer Kelii’s vocals have a chance to let rip ranging as they do from lush harmonies to throat shredding rage filled howls.
Next ‘Things Clean And Unclean’ uses the standard quiet verse loud chorus template to fantastic effect and ‘Fight Or Flight’ muscles in with some lovely meaty riffs and a brilliant melody. As all good things come to end so must this album but it does so in the best way possible. Penultimate track ‘No Logo’ is a big ball of vitriol and punk attitude, declaring at is does that they won’t sell their soul to the corporations, and because of Pledge Music they haven’t had to. Featuring a tour de force performance from the whole band they could have stopped their and no-one would have complained but they don’t. What they do is surprise you and pull ‘Swallow The Sound’ out of the bag. The most restrained track on the album, it begins with a lone guitar and Kelii giving an astonishing vocal performance. It’s a cleverly arranged track that ebbs and flows and fair leaves a lump in the throat. It’s an amazing feat when the lyrics are sparse and the music deceptively simple but it works brilliantly.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, this album might not have been made without the fan funding model and that would be a shame. This album is crying out to be heard, but it when it comes out in June and say hello to your new favourite record.
Toadstool - The Visitors
With a list of huge greats as their influences, Toadstool utilise a little bit of everything. From the blues hooks on the guitar to the glam edge to Alex Macaskill’s vocal, combined they create enchanting, intriguing tracks.
From the punchy opening riff of The Visitors, Toadstool rope you in with bold choruses, neat guitar work and charming vocal melodies. Something To Prove features a tasty groove, a nod to their Zeppelin influence no doubt, as well as a striking guitar solo which leads into a tense build up into a ferocious finish. The vocal line and guitar of Blood Of The Sand bounce off each other in playful, catchy style whilst the heavier, snappy opening to Last Night On Earth has a distinctive Sabbath feel. Containing a compelling middle section held together by a bewitching riff, Last Man On Earth also displays Nick Ingram’s guitar skills with stunning solo that rises above the vocal commanding your attention.
Toadstool’s clever use of varying techniques merged together form tracks which sound pleasantly familiar, yet completely new at the same time; they’re sure to reel you in.
Sabbath to premiere new track on CSI??
Black Sabbath are set to perform a brand new song from new album 13 on the final episode of the current season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, premiering Wednesday, May 15 on CBS.
Producer of the show, Don McGill said the band approached them… “When we first heard that Black Sabbath was interested in premiering a song on CSI from their first studio album in 35 years, we were all really excited. So many of us are longtime fans. And seeing as the album is titled 13 and this is the finale of CSI‘s Season 13, it seemed like the perfect match. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Sabbath have also just announced that they are to set out on a European tour later this year in support of the album. The dates are:
Nov 20: Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland
Nov 22: Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 24: Telenor Arena, Oslo, Norway
Nov 26: Forum, Denmark, Copenhagen
Nov 28: Ziggo Dome, Holland, Amsterdam
Nov 30: Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany
Dec 2: Bercy, Paris, France
Dec 5: Fiera Arena, Milan, Italy
Dec 7: 02 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
Dec 10: 02 Arena, London, UK
Dec 12: Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Ireland
Dec 14: Arena, Sheffield, UK
Dec 16: Hydro, Glasgow, UK
Dec 18: Arena, Manchester, UK
Dec 20: LG Arena, Birmingham, UK
Tickets for the UK leg are on sale this Friday (12.04) at 9am! Don’t miss this one!
Stone Sour - House Of Gold & Bones Part 2
After a blinding first part, the second half to Stone Sour’s story has arrived, can it match it’s predecessor?
The haunting melodies of Red City open this chapter, luring you into a false sense of calm before descending into heavier territory and a brutal vocal. Followed by the addictive riff and catchy beats of Black John, the irresistible groove is not a characteristic associated with the group but works extremely well. Part 2 is just as relentless, each track commanding your undivided attention. Stalemate is a great example with a soaring chorus matched by a ferocious riff; always keeping you on your toes with what’s around the next bend. Do Me A Favour is a proper foot stomping rock track with a brash chorus and bold rhythms, adding further to the musical growth of part 1, exploring new territories with their sound. The beautiful The Conflagration features delicate guitar accompanied by military drums patterns and swelling string sections, topped by a soulful delivery from Corey Taylor. Ending on the title track, it is powerful, electric and a compelling finisher.
Stone Sour won fans with their heavy, striking sound and continue to grow and expand by injecting new elements to their music resulting in diverse, captivating albums.
Songs I’d Recommend: Black John, Do Me A Favour, The House Of Gold And Bones.