#Review: Story Of The Year – Wolves


   

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Story Of The Year first captivated my attention with their debut album, Page Avenue, back in 2003. Since then the band have had a string of albums, been involved in a whole host of side-projects, taken a hiatus, reformed and run a successful PledgeMusic campaign, which all lead to this, their sixth studio album, Wolves.

SOTY - Wolves.jpg

The album opens with the title track, ‘Wolves’, which sounds like some sort of background, cinematic sound effects from a horror film, before leading into the intense, fast-paced, gang-vocal-packed song, ‘How Can We Go On’, which perfectly represents the band’s roots in alternative/hard rock. From there, the album weaves its way brilliantly throughout a whole range of powerful, thrashing, metal-like songs and emotionally-driven, rock ballads that you just can’t help but want to belt out loud.

One thing’s for certain; the band have truly poured out their honest feelings and inner-most emotions into every track on this record. It’s also the band’s first album to be recorded in pieces, across several, separate locations, meaning they could really afford to take their time to focus and perfect the sound they wanted to achieve. The album title, Wolves, was chosen to embody the concept of life circling you and closing in on you, just like a pack of wolves.

Some of my favourite and most stand-out tracks on the album have to be, ‘Bang Bang’ (dubbed “a fast-paced, electro-infused rager complete with a catchy chorus” by AltPress), ‘Youth’ (which is a short guitar track that feels anthemic beyond words), ‘I Swear, I’m Okay’ (a synth-driven ballad-esque belter), ‘Can Anybody Hear Me’ (probably one of the catchiest tracks on the record and a real sing-along tune) and ‘Like Ghosts’ (which is just epic and in places the use of synths remind me a little of the Stranger Things theme – this song was born to be in a movie).

Undoubtedly, the quartet have demonstrated how committed they are to making what could well be the best album since their debut.

The record was produced by Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, New Found Glory, Acceptance) and mixed by none other than Tom Lord-Alge and J Hall – which probably explains why it sounds particularly epic! It soars to incredible heights and tantalises the melancholic heart-strings in all the right places.

Undoubtedly, the quartet have demonstrated how committed they are to making what could well be the best album since their debut. It’s an inspired body of work that shows off a real depth to their songwriting and evolution in their style. They have managed to record a soundscape of vulnerability, fear and anxiety and present it in a really exhilarating and cohesive body of music. This is certainly an album not to be missed.

Rating
4


‘Wolves’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wolves/1300989796


Wolves on Spotify

Coming tomorrow. 

‘Bang Bang’ (Official Audio)

‘I Swear, I’m Okay’ (Official Audio)


We hope you’ve enjoyed this review of Story Of The Year’s latest album! What are your thoughts about it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: YONAKA – ‘Bubblegum’


   

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YONAKA are a fantastic Brighton-based band who consist of Theresa Jarvis (Vocals), George Edwards (Guitar), Alex Crosby (Bass/Keys) and Robert Mason (Drums). The band refer to themselves as ‘Dark Alt Pop with heavy riffs’ and I couldn’t agree more; their latest track, ‘Bubblegum’ fuses electro-pop vibes with grungy guitars and it’s all topped off with Theresa‘s vocals (which I find have similarities to Charli XCX).

The video has just been released and it really depicts just what YONAKA are all about – it’s visually intriguing and oddly artistic; what more can you expect from a Brighton-grown band eh?!

You must check out this wonderful song and accompanying video – it’s well worth it!

What are your thoughts of this up-and-coming band? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or chat to us about it via social media, using the #WildCardWednesday hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Bubblegum’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bubblegum/1289319076?i=1289319088


#WildCardWednesday: Thirty Seconds To Mars – ‘Walk On Water’


   

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Thirty Seconds To Mars are back! Their latest single, ‘Walk On Water’, is the lead single taken from their forthcoming fifth album.

The track looks at the current state of America and serves as a cry for unity from the nation. Jared Leto himself said, “It’s a song about freedom, about persistence, about change and about fighting for what you believe in.”

It’s an interesting change to their sound but somehow still maintains that epic, stadium-filling edge to it. In parts, it is reminiscent of Adam & The Ants‘Prince Charming’ but with a modern twist – this single has got me hotly anticipating their new album.

No music video has been released, as yet, but the lyric video is stunning in its own right – all the footage used within it, was filmed on a single day (July 4th 2017) in the USA. Over 10,000 people submitted footage of a single day including 92 of our professional crews. A very small selection of that footage was used but the band will be using the rest, as part of a documentary film (directed by Jared Leto) that will be a companion piece to the band’s new album.

What are your thoughts of the band’s new direction with their latest single? Got your own #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Walk On Water’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/walk-on-water-single/id1272403862


#FeelGoodFriday: SafetySuit – ‘Perfect Color’


   

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Although they released their third, self-titled album last year (2016), SafetySuit are already back with a cracking new track, ‘Perfect Color’.

I have a lot of love for this band and this latest track is so uplifting and positive that it was just perfect for sharing on #FeelGoodFriday.

It’s a song that singer, Doug Brown, sings, “To the misfits and the freaks, to the outcasts and the geeks, to the weird kids that don’t care.” It is without a doubt, not just a fan anthem but a song that cries out to just about anyone, to belt at the top of their lungs. It’s an anthem that just about anyone can accept into their hearts as “their” song. The echoey, euphoric guitar riffs make for the perfect ascension to the already all-consuming chorus.

As for the lyrics – they’re a stroke of genius – the use of colours to tell the message is beautifully crafted. I can be certain that I will be singing this in my car, windows down, volume up!

No music video’s been released but the lyric video is pretty stunning – check it out below!

What are your thoughts of the band’s latest single? Are you a fan of this uplifting track? Got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Perfect Color’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/perfect-color-single/id1231624768


#Two4Tunesday: Clean Bandit – ‘Symphony’ featuring Zara Larsson & Linkin Park – ‘Battle Symphony’


   

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Clean Bandit – ‘Symphony’ featuring Zara Larsson

I’ve loved Clean Bandit ever since their monster single, ‘Rather Be’, which dominated the charts all over the world. Since then, they’ve had a string of other successful hits, including ‘Extraordinary’‘Tears’ and the equally successful, ‘Rockabye’. I genuinely feel that this latest single could well parallel the success of ‘Rather Be’ and ‘Rockabye’ with it’s beautiful orchestral sounds, outstanding vocals from the superbly talented Zara Larsson and the coupling of an emotionally-charged music video.

Clean Bandit are sure to release a follow-up to their debut album soon, judging by their releasing of new music recently.

The video has just been released and is tragically beautiful – it follows the love of a young, black, gay couple – I won’t say any more about the tragedy of it, but it’s definitely worth a watch below!


‘Symphony’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/symphony-feat-zara-larsson/id1210094024?i=1210094302



Linkin Park – ‘Battle Symphony’

Linkin Park are finally back but sadly it would seem that some people are not feeling the new sound! If you ask me, I think the band are showing an impressive diversity and ability to adapt themselves, not just regurgitate the same thing!

They recently released the stunning single, ‘Heavy’, featuring pop singer Kiiara, which is the first time the band have featured a female vocalist on an original song, for a studio album. Now they’re back with another contemporary track from their upcoming album One More Light‘Battle Symphony’. If these newest songs are anything to go by, I am incredibly excited about the new album – it should be set to be hugely different but utterly captivating. Bring it on!

No official video has been released yet but we’ll keep you updated on this.


‘Battle Symphony’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/battle-symphony/id1204427627?i=1204427655


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: Yellowcard – ‘Lights and Sounds’


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It was 10 years ago that American pop punk band, Yellowcard, released their single ‘Lights and Sounds’ from their album of the same title.

The song is fast-paced, intense and hard-hitting – it’s an incredible track filled with heavy guitars, rapid drumming and awesome, powerful vocals.

It’s sad to think that this year, 10 years on, the band are calling it a day and putting the band to rest, however this song is a testament to just how awesome and incredible the band are. They will be sorely missed – thanks guys for all the years of joy and music!

Have you got another favourite Yellowcard track? Which is your favourite album of theirs? Please leave your own #ThrowbackThursday tracks in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Lights and Sounds’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lights-and-sounds/id724535035?i=724535524


#ThrowbackThursday: Less Than Jake – ‘The Rest Of My Life’


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American ska-punk band, Less Than Jake, released their song ‘The Rest of My Life’ around 10 years ago now.

I love this song as it came out during my late teen years and it reminds me of a lot of those times. The song is very different to a lot of their previous releases as it takes on a more mature and mellower sound to their usual up-beat, fast-paced, in-your-face ska punk vibes.

The song was taken from the band’s sixth studio album, In with the Out Crowd, and was actually co-written with Mark Hoppus from Blink-182.

What are your thoughts on this track? Does it evoke any memories for you? Have you never heard it before? Please share your thoughts or own #ThrowbackThursday tracks in a comment below or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Rest Of My Life’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-rest-of-my-life/id153452833?i=153452985