Thursday, 30 October 2008

Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns review

If there was one word to describe this album it would be ‘epic’. A Hundred Million Suns shows us how Snow Patrol are just getting better as they go with more immense songs that almost jump up and down in your stereo and that bring tears to your ears. Opening track, ‘If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It’ grabs your attention with the slow start and then the build up that Lightbody and co. always do so well. Debut single ‘Take Back the City’ fits in well with the rest of the album and slower tracks such as ‘Lifeboats’ and ‘The Golden Floor’ remind us of the older Snow Patrol days of ‘When It’s Over We Still Have to Clear Up’ but also add something a lot more new and fresh to the mix. ‘Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands’ kills any opinions that these guys are just another generic indie/rock band, with a punchy chorus and the excitement felt while Lightbody sings his heart out and the guitar riffs clearly drive this song. If you’re looking for another ‘Chasing Cars’, you definitely won’t find it on this album; but in its place you will find ‘The Planets Bend Between Us’. This song is what really makes this album so ‘epic’ – heartfelt lyrics filled with imagery and a slow but moving melody show how important music really is to this band. Sixteen minute long final track ‘The Lightning Strike’ is certainly something new and interesting for Snow Patrol but they pull it off well and make it the perfect ending to a brilliant album. The Snow Patrol boys have clearly put a lot of work into this album and they’re going to have a tough job when the time finally comes to start working on the next one - but we know they can do it.

You can check out Snow Patrol at
'A Hundred Million Suns' is now available on Polydor.

Monday, 27 October 2008

"It's simple music."

Some of you may remember the song ‘Goodbye (I’m sorry)’ by And Then I turned Seven. It was a song written to try and get inside the mind of a suicidal person and then letting people know they didn’t need to suffer alone. Do you remember it now? If so you might be surprised to know that lead singer, Dane Schmidt, now has a solo project, Jamestown Story. “That whole suicide thing on the bridge was put in because we didn't want people to hear the song and think it was ok to use suicide as a way to fix something, ‘cause it’s not. If that wasn't in there, some people would interpret it like that. Though I feel it was a weird thing to put in at that time, I'm glad we did ‘cause I've gotten a lot of responses from people who were on the verge and called that number and it made a difference. It's really amazing."

Nowadays, Dane’s music is taking a different path. With influences such as Blink 182, Dashboard Confessional and John Mayer the music he makes is simply described as acoustic pop: “it's simple music, most of it at least. It’s supposed to be more lyrically driven, making the lyrics stand out over the music I guess. Not that I'm an amazing writer, I've just always written that way.” Songs like ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ and ‘I Miss You’ have beautiful melodies and heartfelt lyrics that will knock you off your feet and send you to a place that gives you butterflies in your stomach and shivers up your spine, while ‘Don’t Say No’ is easy listening pop music that brings a smile to the face.

With new EP, ‘Love vs. Life’, out on November 11th, where does Dane hope the future will take him? “I’d love to be doing what I’m doing in a few years, making a living off of doing what I love to do! Fortunately, that’s what I'm doing now, so I'm working my ass off to keep it that way!”

'Love vs. Life' is released on November 11th.
You can check Jamestown Story out at

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

"We're just here to hang out and eat pizza, and maybe drink a beer or two and talk about rock music."

“The Almost is a band that Aaron didn’t even think would become a band,” Dusty Redmon (guitarist) tells me, “He recorded the record and put a band of awesome dudes together.” The Almost, as you may already know, are Aaron Gillespie’s side project, and so far they’ve been pretty successful. You might think that the fact that Aaron is already in UnderOath would mean that the rest of the band get ignored, but this isn’t the case at all: “Aaron is definitely the most recognizable face in our band,” Dusty tells me, emphasising that it’s actually been beneficial to them, “I think UnderOath has given us a lot, with them being open to helping us out and letting us tour when we need to, and giving us a pretty established fan base from the get-go.”

By now, if you are a fan of The Almost, you will probably have heard their debut album, ‘Southern Weather’, so you might be trying to figure out who this band sound like, right? You’ll be hard pushed to find something, because even the band themselves can’t put their finger on any specific musical influences on this record: “I think the main influence on "Southern Weather" wasn't really any certain bands, but more so about a lifestyle and an upbringing in the southeast part of America. It's a killer summer-time record that makes you [want to] drive around with your windows rolled down. As far as the new songs go, we're just trying to write the biggest, baddest rock songs that Led Zeppelin and ACDC didn't.”

From listening to The Almost’s album it’s clear, on songs such as ‘Amazing, Because it is’ and ‘Dirty and Left Out’, that they’re Christians, but do people completely ignore their music because of this? “I don't think our beliefs really turn away TOO many people. I'm sure there are stubborn people out there, but that's ok. We're cool with people who believe different things than us. We're just here to hang out and eat pizza, and maybe drink a beer or two and talk about rock music.” In a day and age when people very seldomly show the normal side of a religion and focus on extremes, it’s always good to see the people who don’t take part in end of the world cults or suicide bombing.

So what’s next for The Almost; a line-up change? “Kenny is getting married, and has decided to leave the band. He's just not into touring at all, which is understandable. We've all dealt with these types of situations for a while now, so we sort of saw it coming. Kenny's a cool dude, and we wish good things for him in the future.” But will this cause problems for the band at all? “We're lucky to have an amazing drummer as a singer in our band, so the song writing and recording process won't be hindered. For the live setting, we've got a few friends ready to help us out and get behind the kit... We're really excited about what's coming up, for sure.” And so are we.

You can check The Almost out at
Their debut album, 'Southern Weather' is now available on Tooth and Nail Records.