Tuesday, 23 December 2008

New Found Glory - 'Listen to Your Friend' single review

New Found Glory's more recent material (mainly Catalyst and Coming Home) hasn't been bad, but it's been different and has turned a lot of fans away from them. However, 'Listen to Your Friends' could easily bring those fans back. Even though these guys have been together for ten years now and are definitely no longer the youngsters they once were, this song is full of all the teenage-angst that made us love their early material, especially fan-favourite, 'My Friends Over You'. While it is less punk rock than New Found Glory used to be, their pop punk side shines through and makes this one of the most catchy tunes of 2008. 'Listen to Your Friends' gives great hope for their new album, 'Without a Fight', to be released in March 2009 on Epitaph Records, and will hopefully bring back the old fans as well as gaining the band many new ones.

You can check out New Found Glory at www.myspace.com/newfoundglory

"I consider myself to be a dance orientated act."

It's not often that young musicians are taken seriously, but 17-year-old Oli Sabin of Unicorn Kid fame is definitely someone you should check out. Making amazing electronic dance music that instantly catches your attention he's not something to be missed. "I consider myself to be a dance orientated act. When composing I take a lot of influence from house and hardcore dance styles, I try to create those sounds whilst still maintaining the chiptune aspect of my music." According to Wikipedia, chiptune is "music written in sound formats where all the sounds are synthesized in realtime by a computer or video game console sound chip,
instead of using sample-based synthesis." Taking many other styles into account Unicorn Kid is full of blips and bleeps that probably shouldn't work, but that make something completely out of this world.

As good as Oli's music is, does coming from Scotland make it harder for him to get heard? After all, when you think of Scottish music the first bands that come to mind are probably something more like Biffy Clyro and Glasvegas than any dance artists: "Scotland actually has been home to several other chiptune artists before me,most notably Sabrepulse and Firebrand Boy, who I played with in Summer 2008 on the Chiptune Alliance Tour." If Unicorn Kid's version of chiptune is anything to go by, these guys are probably worth checking out aswell;
chiptune seems to be one of the happiest styles (if you can call it that) of music and something worth keeping an eye out for.

Oli has a double B-side single coming out in January called 'Lion Hat': "[It's] my first release through a record label... with 'Lion Hat' and two B sides 'Goodbye' and '8 Bytes'. The tracks were produced entirely at home by myself." A lot of artists are into self-production these days as it means having an extra skill and also making a little more money on the side, so it's always nice to know when someone who makes such good music can do this as well. It is slightly more predictable for electronic artists to do this but it never ceases to amaze, with the amount of time and effort actually put in."The digital release is due out January 8th and the physical CD will be out February 2nd." You can also look forward to a video being released along with the single: "I shot the music video for 'Lion Hat' in East Kilbride at Popmorphic Studios. It was filmed using
polymorphic technology, a groundbreaking new method of filming. It allows the user to edit variables such as the angle you view the video at, which band member you look at, and the graphics shown. You can see examples of this at www.popmorphic.com" Unfortunately, Oli can't tell me any more about the actual video so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for it in January.

Dance music seems to get a bad reputation sometimes, but Unicorn Kid might just be able to change your mind.

You can check out Unicorn Kid at www.myspace.com/unicornkid

Monday, 22 December 2008

You, Me and Everyone We Know - 'So Young, So Insane' EP review

You, Me and Everyone We Know seem to like giving away free stuff, which isn't something that a lot of bands do very much, but this is the second time they've done it so there's no way I was going to turn it down. In traditional You, Me and... style, 'So Young, So Insane' starts with a brilliant opening track that makes you want to get up and dance. "I Can Get Back Up Now" is a
fun-loving track that pulls you into the EP, making sure you won't give up on it any time soon. Second track 'Could It Be Sunstroke?' has almost the same effect, with a great rhythm to ensure your feet start tapping. However, the key change at the end of this song makes me cringe a little - it can only remind me of awful mainstream pop music. Third track, 'A Symptom' is less
up-beat and it's tone seems to bring a negativity to the album and reminds you of a slow night in a metaphorical diner - not really something you want to hear after two very upbeat songs. But the vocals on this are brilliant,very 1950s-esque. Next two tracks, 'Colourful Language' and 'Sometimes We Have Too Much Fun'bring back the fun side of You, Me and... and we see their obvious passion about making great melodies and positive tunes to make you smile. Final track, 'Happy Birthday' starts off slow but, soon enough, we hear those brilliant You, Me and... vocals, amazing melodies and foot-tapping rhythms that we know and love. This EP is brilliant. I would suggest that You, Me and Everyone We Know start selling their EPs, as they could probably make a lot of money out of them, but then we wouldn't be getting epic music for free, would we?

You can check out You, Me and Everyone We Know and download the EP for free at www.myspace.com/youmeandeveryoneweknow

Pop punk at it's best

Paige are a 5-piece pop punk band from Hertfordshire who've been together for about two years. "It started off with just Lewis and Alex as an acoustic band but then they got more members so the band could play shows. So far we've played all over the UK." Paige are definitely a band you should listen to. With influences like Relient K, Jacks Mannequin and Hit the Lights, they make happy pop punk that has great rhythms and awesome melodies.

"[The fact that pop punk is getting a lot bigger] is good. [we've] always loved it and it's never got the respect [we] think it deserves, but people are slowly starting to listen up, which [we] think is amazing." the band tells me. With bands like Paramore and You Me At Six getting more coverage these days it's no wonder pop punk is getting more respect. The bands who play good music are getting heard so, finally, the lesser known ones get a foot in the door. Paige are a good example of these lesser known, epic pop punk bands as the passion they radiate is obvious in all of their songs.

Paige are currently focusing on writing their debut album and will hopefully be
touring the UK in February.

You can check Paige out at www.myspace.com/paigeuk
Photo by James Ellis - www.jamesellisimaging.co.uk

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Get yo' butt to this:

Finally on Facebook!

Just search for Belfast Calling and you'll find me at the top of the list!

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

This Years Confession - 'Meant to Be' single review

'Meant to Be' reminds me of many bands - Fighting with Wire, Funeral for a Friend, maybe a little bit of Biffy Clyro somewere in there as well - but this song doesn't sound like a copy of any thing these bands have done before. It lures you in and then grabs you by the neck and pulls you right into the centre of thrashing guitars and passionate vocals. To be fair, the lyrics don't stand out as anything shockingly new or different, with broken relationships beinga popular topic for the majority of songs, but the music itself is enough to make you forget the cliche of a broken heart and see the sheer talent This Years Confession obviously have. Second song on the single, 'My Habit', isn't the traditional second-song-on-the-single song - basically,you don't regret buying the single because of this song. It catches your attention just as much as 'Meant to Be' and has epic lyrics to go along with the music. 'Meant to Be' is definitly worth the money, and This Years Confession are definitly a band you should keep an eye on over the next year.
You can check out This Years Confession at www.myspace.com/thisyearsconfessionofficial