Introducing… Citizen Death!
Another band representing how fantastic the Glasgow metal scene is, Citizen Death have been together since late 2007 and have since brought out an EP, Generation of Digression.
The talented foursome have been added to the ever-growing Mayhem Underground roster and from what I’ve heard so far, they’ll be perfect for it. They are tight, they are absolutely bursting with talent; each song is played with the precision of true professional musicians.
If you’d like to check them out, go to their Reverb Nation page (http://www.reverbnation.com/citizendeathuk) and keep an eye out for my review of their EP and hopefully a live review!
Picture courtesy of band’s Facebook page.
Colours to Shame - Colours to Shame EP
Colours to Shame are a Metal band from Glasgow- however, they may not be a metal band as you know it…
Their experimental sound sees them following in the footsteps of Dillinger Escape Plan, Protest the Hero and Meshuggah. I had the good fortune of seeing them fairly recently and picked up their self-titled EP. Their live performance was striking, frantic, compulsive and convulsive entertainment- but do the recordings do it justice?
As its an EP, and Has only 4 tracks I am going to just take it blow by blow!
- Brianpepperspray [0:41]- Letting us know what we’re in for, the band’s penchant for jerky “stop-start” rhythms becomes apparent in this 41 second introduction. Inclusion of vocals seems somewhat redundant.
- The Crushed Ruby *standout Track* [7:47]- The track opens in a grand fashion with the guitar leads soaring. However where this song really shines is in the chorus, it is catchy, and a respite from the harsher vocals is welcome( not that they aren’t well executed- they are) It’s similar in sound to Buckethead, I find- and this sound would not sound out of place on his 2004 release Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, with it’s dissonant sections providing an unsettling feel. The softer interlude section also prevents this song from feeling overbearing and self indulgent, and the more melodic sections minimise the risk of people being alienated from this song.
- Dead above Ground [4:14]- A stab at a more straight-laced modern metal effort, but it is not without its quirks. In this song, it appears to be less about technique, and more about songwriting, and that makes it a compelling listen. They lead guitar and rhythm guitar parts compliment each other very well whether creating a complex counter melody or delivering that all important rhythmic punch. I’ve never put much stock or held much of a candle for “pig squeal” vocals- They appear in the latter stages of the track, and I must say that this song isn’t doing much to help the case any. To each their own I suppose.
- In Search of Sasquatch [7:29]- I’ll admit- the title of the song had me drawing breath. It’s one thing for a band to be able to take itself less seriously, but the amount of ridiculous, puerile, and plain daft song titles out there is astounding. Thankfully, this song -musically- is a good listen; it’s catchy and once again has the technical prowess to back it up. I do find the “stop/start” sections becoming tiring and awkward listening as this album goes on, it’s a good technique, but sometimes it just seems so redundant and over the top. It once again makes use of a clean interlude, but this one is far better utilised and appears at a more unexpected time, which is interesting. I also love the unsettling chord/ arpeggio choices, which create mixed musical feeling in the listener- it is also reprised in the dying seconds of this solid track.
In Conclusion:- The band have the skill, and from watching them I know they have growing presence- but I do have my reservations. They play tightly and show prowess in the demanding style that getting yourself noticed in this field of metal requires, but sometimes I feel it’s at a bit of a consequence to the songwriting. Showboating is all well and good, (and as a lead guitarist I can without a doubt attest to doing it,) but when it’s at the extent of being a detriment to the song itself, maybe a bit of pruning and shaping is necessary. I’d say they are on the right track with Dead Above Ground, as it is concise, yet still contains many of their style elements.Overall The Crushed Ruby Is a better song- but including two tracks over 7 mins in length on your EP doesn’t seem like a recipe for wide appeal. I don’t want to sound overly harsh, because there is good material here and it is worth the listen, but I stand by my comments here.
This band shows real potential, but it’s really important for them to use it wisely.
Lost Persona - Lost Persona
A progressive metal four-piece from the West of Scotland, Lost Persona have recently taken a break from beasting the Glasgow small venue circuit, entering battles and playing a number of shows. And at each show they entrance the crowds with their precise and melodic style.
Their well-earned break is to work on new material for a forthcoming EP. However, Lost Persona Have a debut self-produced album under their belt, which is what I turn my attention to in this article.
As the word “Progressive” often suggests, the songs are not exactly understated, with three tracks clocking in at over the 10-minute mark. However, let not those with a touch of an Attention-deficit approach to music turn away just yet. These songs are full of thought, with numerous issues are tapped into- Including recession, distrust of government, religion, and environment to name only the obvious- some are more candid, such as the echo of self-dissatisfaction and regret heard in the enigmatic lyrics of Rear View Disorder. Frontman Tony Dunn has a voice which helps to set this band apart from other Glasgow acts: The harsher vocals have a genuine presence and angst to them, But the clean vocals really soar. His guitar collaborator- brother Chris- assists in provision of the driving riffs and soulful clean sections, and also takes the brunt of the lead sections. The intricate yet solid basslines and technical drumming (of Gareth Dunion and Connor Anderson respectively) make this band one not to miss.
Musically it is a sound effort. In addition to the more intricate parts in the longer songs, it does venture slightly from the progressive in shorter efforts, to a more melodic metal driven sound. A good example of this is in the first part (titled Alternate Intentions) of four-part epic The Awakening. In addition, this track contains a guest vocal from none other than our fellow LTMDTT writer Tom McConnell, which contrasts Tony’s parts well.
That said, it does have areas where I have to criticise (constructively of course) The one main bugbear for me on this record is the lead distorted guitar tone, which is a little over-saturated with distortion and as a result sounds thin. This can be a difficult thing to gauge when recording, but is unfortunately recurrent throughout the album. The clean lines are beautifully polished in stark contrast, and going from a harp-like picked section, or one subtly accented with flanger and delay- to the “Grizzly-Adams” fuzz is a bit of a jump. This can be a bit of a detriment to the song’s flow.
Do not let this discourage you from going to see them live- this record does not give them full justice. Since recording this they have honed their skills more, and in addition there are usually no tonal issues at gigs whatsoever. The fuzz is confined to the cd itself, but it is still well worth picking up at a show.
Standout Track- Blood on your Hands. This song has, for me, the most replay value- if it comes on, I cannot skip it. The theme for this song is a distrust in politics- something a vast majority of us can relate to! The song builds and layers itself in intensity up to a bass solo, catchy breakdown, climactic solo and powerful harmony section that really resonated with me. You can really imagine bigger crowds getting involved in the final repeats of “There’s Blood on your Haaaaa-yands” and I can only hope that such a bright future is in store for them.
In Conclusion:- The only thing understated about this band is their name reputation as yet. I hope that in the months and years to come, Lost Persona may become a more prominent name in Scotland and furthermore in UK Prog. Metal as a whole. They certainly have the ability. They certainly have the hooks, they certainly have the songwriting potential. If they continue to polish themselves and spread their banner as wide and as far as they can, they will draw in the volume of listeners they crave; and dare I say deserve. They have already converted us, so reader, let your own ears do the walking while this music does the talking, listen to the record. But see them live, and you may find- To borrow lyrically from 5th track “A Fool and His Money”- that they have you by the balls.
Mayhem Underground Roster: Perduramo
Guitar loving trio Perduramo are an interesting, grunge band hailing from Glasgow. Great for any prog rock, grunge or rock loving fan, Perduramo are a confident band who have played plenty of gigs and due to their recent addition to the Mayhem Undergroud roster will no doubt have plenty more to come.
Listing Tool, Mastadon and Kyuss amongst their influences, Perduramo are a band for anybody that feels the current grunge scene is lacking a certain something- Perduramo ARE that certain something!
Check out their Myspace for music, news and more information http://www.facebook.com/Perduramo
For fans of
Mayhem Underground Roster: Insomniac
Insomniac are a brand spanking new thrash band from Glasgow. Starting out in only July 2010, Insomniac are a band determined to get themselves heard and don’t do anything by halves!
Listing Slayer, Testament and Metallica amongst their influences, Insomniac are a no-holds-barred band who have been recently added to the Mayhem Underground roster. I wish this band the best of luck for their career ahead and would urge any metal fan out there to go see these guys asap!
To check out their Facebook for more info, music and news go to http://www.facebook.com/InsomniacGlasgow
For fans of
Mayhem Underground Roster: Let’s Play God
A band whose sound is as bitter as lemons, Let’s Play God are every hard metal fan’s fantasy band. Starting out just over two years ago, Let’s Play God have worked hard to get their unique sound heard by as many people as possible.
Creators of Mayhem Underground, Let’s Play God are an ambitious, balls out bunch with no intention of getting anywhere but the top. Listing Metallica and Machine Head amongst their influences, there is no doubt that these metallers will blow your mind at any performance!
Playing THIS FRIDAY at the Mayhem Underground launch, Let’s Play God are a band that are not to be missed!
For music, news and more information go to http://www.facebook.com/LetsPlayGod
For fans of
- White Zombie
- Fear Factory
Mayhem Underground Explained.
So, if you by some miracle have missed me writing about Mayhem Underground, this is an explanation about what it is and why I am a strong supporter of it. If you have noticed and still want more info, I urge you to read on, this is a fantastic cause and anybody who cares about the music industry will definitely be on board with this. At the moment, Mayhem Underground needs all the support it can get and anybody who gets involved will be making a huge difference.
One of the biggest problems I’ve found with small gigs with unknown bands is that a lot of the time, bands leave after they’ve played and take their fans with them. Not only is this incredibly disrespectful, it’s moronic: the opportunity to see potentially fantastic bands is being mindlessly thrown away and as Scarcinogen guitarist rightfully stated, “you’re never going to expand as a band if you only have your friends coming to see you”.
Mayhem Underground was started by people who want to change the face of the Glasgow (and surrounding) music scene. They believe that music, especially rock and similar genres should be a community, not a competition. Mayhem Underground aims to start a new music scene, one that promotes bands together. It’s currently a non-profit organisation that offers promotion, great gigs with great bands and fantastic opportunities to reach out to new audiences.
The way it works is, a band is put on the roster and is offered chances to work with similar bands. The line-ups will always change which will make the reaching out to new audiences possible. No band can leave after they’ve played or they’ll be dropped off the roster, that way every band, even the last band of the night gets the attention they deserve.
There is NO reason this venture shouldn’t work out if everybody communicates effectively and nobody takes it for granted. This is exactly what so many bands have been waiting for. Every band that deserves more than 10 people watching them will get this chance, they’ll get noticed by Glasgow rockers and hopefully by record labels as well.
The first Mayhem Underground night is this Friday (the 22nd) in the Vale bar Glasgow. It is set to be a fantastic night with What’s The Damage?!, Scarcinogen and Let’s Play God playing. For more information and news on upcoming Mayhem Underground nights go to http://www.facebook.com/mayhemunderground
"If we all work together, we can create mayhem!"
Do not let this night pass you by!
Mayhem Underground Roster: A Machine Devine
A Machine Devine are an exciting new band from Edinburgh. Describing themselves as “Technical Metal”, A Machine Devine are set to have a fantastic year. They already have a pretty impressive Facebook following and owe that solely to their fantastic twist on modern metal. A band that needs to be heard to be believed.
Their recent addition to the Mayhem Underground roster has already got me excited, not a band to be missed I reckon! Experimental at it’s very best.
Check out their Facebook for gig listings, music and more information
For fans of
Run Up To Mayhem Underground.
In preparation for Mayhem Underground, I interviewed the first three bands to ever play it, What’s The Damage?!, Let’s Play God and Scarcinogen.
First off is the Let’s Play God interview.
Give me a little info about your band, how did you meet, where did the name come from?
Well the band actually got together a couple of years ago. From what I gather the guys had been playing around the Glasgow circuit for a while before settling on a final line-up. It was in 2010 that we all came together to get the line-up we have now. Gregg (the guitarist) joined in January and I joined in May 2010 to play bass. The band was originally put together by Rob (Vocals) and John (Drums). It was Rob who came up with the name. I don’t get hung up on the name too much though it’s there to interpret whatever way you want. Since our first gig back in November we have done loads to get ourselves out there and we have progressed really fast considering we’ve not even been together a year yet. We have played all of the major venues in the Glasgow area, we’ve just released our demo album called 2011 and are ready to do a tour down in England. So it’s a really exciting time for the band at the moment.
Are you excited for Mayhem Underground? I know it was started by one of you so can you give me a brief outline of what you hope to happen with it?
Yeah I’m really excited about Mayhem Underground, when I started it I just wanted bands to work together to put on great nights. I’m so sick of playing to venues full of people that either walk out after their friends’ band has played or even worse the bands leave too! I love metal, I love live bands and I love being in that environment but when I came to Scotland it seemed that everyone was in their own little clique and that sucks because we all want the same thing. Instead of working against each other with this “my bands better than your band” attitude, why don’t we pay respect to everyone and hear everyone and play gigs together and become a community again? A community is what I want to come from it. I want all the bands to know each other put on electrifying gigs that actually have people move their ass. Let’s just cause so much “Mayhem” that we bring metal back to Scotland properly.
Is the metal scene in Glasgow important to you? Why?
Absolutely! At the end of the day this is our home. Glasgow means so much to all of us on so many different levels and its very important for us to be involved in the metal scene in Glasgow. We are friends with a large number of the bands in Glasgow and beyond and with Mayhem Underground as a tool we want to expand that as much as possible.
Tell us about your best/worst gigs
Wow tough question. Well we haven’t had any gigs that I would say are our worst. There are always things that can happen outside your control when performing live and sometime these setbacks can push you down a negative road but we are about being positive and working in a positive environment. We’ve had some great gigs along with great bands and we have fond memories of all our gigs. My favourite gig hasn’t happened yet because I’m always waiting for the next one!
Which bands would you say influenced Let’s Play God?
There have been a lot of influences on the band, we all come from such different backgrounds and have such a wide variety in our taste of music. A few bands we all have no arguments over are Pantera, Machine Head, Motorhead, Metallica, Slipknot, Rob Zombie and Fear Factory etc. but there is also other artists that have influenced us in different ways such as stage presence, style etc that aren’t necessarily in the metal genre. I personally have cut back on a lot of the metal music I listen because I don’t want it to influence me when I’m writing. Generally we are just influenced by what’s around us and we try to keep it as real as possible.
Thank you to bassist Chris for taking the time out to do this!
Capitol’s Metal Night, Glasgow.
You may or not remember my review of these guys a month or two ago. I was immediately taken with Lost Persona and their music, they are an exceptional band with fantastic potential so, naturally when I went along to Capitol’s metal night I assumed I was in for a treat.
Lost Persona are admirably professional. I watched as they worked together to make sure their (unfortunately short) set was done the best it could be in every sense.
The atmosphere in Capitol was somewhat excitable, it was a Saturday night, spirits were high and the only real problem was that there were not many people there. This especially irritates me when bands are as good as Lost Persona. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: they deserve a bigger stage with a bigger audience.
Nevertheless, the four piece gave us a show that won’t soon be forgotten. Their chemistry is advantageous to them in many ways, they are airtight, they are confident and it’s enjoyable to watch them.
Opening track The Exhibition was fantastic, it established the mood for the evening perfectly and made way for “Grudge Harbour”, a gutsy, refreshing helping of metal at it’s finest. Lost Persona are unceasingly fantastic and I really struggle to fault their performance. A band I’d happily see time and time again.
They finished the set with show-stopping “A Fool and His Money” in which the words “now we have you by the balls!” are roared out to the crowd and they couldn’t be more right.
Lost Persona will be playing this Thursday coming (21st April) at Capitol for the What’s The Noise Battle of the Bands semi-final.
To catch them on Facebook go to http://www.facebook.com/lostpersonascotland
Trust me you do not want to miss these guys!
For fans of:
- Machine Head
Sintonic had the confidence and the stage presence to pull off this gig well but I think front man Paul Spiers’s dithering about on stage and pointless jokes entertained the crowd more than the band’s actual performance.
While I can’t fault any member’s technical ability, I can say that it’s hard to believe that this is a band that communicate well, the set is messy and awkward, nobody seems particularly into this band and I can’t blame them. The band cancel out each other- every instrument seems to cancel out another, even vocals.
An uncomfortable performance from a band with a lot of promise. Sintonic need to work harder on becoming a unit instead of each trying to showcase their own personal talent. I’d see them again but not for a long time yet, they need to be a lot more comfortable around one another.
For fans of:
- As I Lay Dying
- Bring Me The Horizon.
Lost Persona photo courtesy of Charly Gee!