#Review: Against The Current – Past Lives 👁


   

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Against The Current are an American pop rock band from New York, who formed in 2011. The band is made up of Chrissy Costanza (lead vocals), Dan Gow (guitars) and Will Ferri (drums). The band are notable for regularly posting covers on YouTube as well as delighting fans with original tracks too. In 2016, after signing to Fueled By Ramen, the band released their debut album, In Our Bones. Now, 2018 sees the band releasing their second full-length record, Past Lives. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Against The Current - Past Lives.jpg

This stunningly diverse and charming record opens with the almost haunting ‘Strangers Again’, dealing with getting over a relationship and cutting ties. The guitar line is dreamy and the vocal breakdown towards the end is a rather quiet and personal moment that really draws you in. It’s a brilliant way to open a record; it doesn’t go in all guns blazing but instead captivates the audience with its beautiful soundscapes.

Next is probably the best track on record, ‘The Fuss’. With Daft Punk-esque, 80s synths, funky guitar rhythms and one hell of a catchy chorus, this is a track you will just want to play really loud and dance like mad to!

Other significant songs include: ‘I Like The Way’ – a track all about new love that almost reaches EDM territory with its strong piano line. It’s something you might expect from the likes of Sigala‘s Easy Love or Sweet Lovin’; ‘Voices’ is a slightly more grungy offering about being self-conflicted and trying to ignore the internal voices (which is reflected perfectly with whispering backing vocals) – it’s very Paramore meets Fickle Friends, whilst ‘Scream’ is a rather floaty and dreamy song – for some reason it evokes images of the perfect all-American family from the 1960s (no idea why!) It’s an uplifting yet subtle track; I keep finding myself going back for more.

‘Personal’ has a Taylor Swift-like quality to it and the production is incredible – the vocal harmonies sit beneath the rest of the production in the chorus, but it’s truly enchanting. ‘P.A.T.T.’ (short for Pretty All The Time) is an out and out female empowerment anthem – it’s fast-paced, punchy and relatively simplistic but the message is fun and powerful about girls feeling like they should be allowed to be themselves without having to look “pretty all the time”…calling all, “Girls!”

It’s an impeccably well-crafted record which has very successfully merged the boundaries between dance, pop and rock music, with a sprinkling of 80s vibes on top.

Lastly, ‘Friendly Reminder’ is another notable song, it’s certainly an album track rather than a potential single but the use of a phaser effect on the vocals and an epic clap-along chorus towards the end make it really stand out…again, there’s a big 80s vibe to it.

What Against The Current manage to do so well throughout, is take you on a journey with them; when they’re soaring high, you’ll feel all the sparks of excitement with them brought about with big synth sounds, intense beats and tons of reverb but equally when melancholy reigns, you’ll feel their heartache too.

Whilst I could say something about every track on the record, I won’t – you just need to experience it for yourself. I really can’t recommend this highly enough…the only reason it didn’t get a 5 is because there are one or two less stand-out, album-fillers but even those are pretty damn good. It is very much an album which marks a band that have found their feet; they’ve created something wonderfully catchy yet utterly credible with sincere lyricism, interesting melodies and top-notch production.

It’s an impeccably well-crafted record which has very successfully merged the boundaries between dance, pop and rock music, with a sprinkling of 80s vibes on top; it’s difficult to pigeonhole this band…in a good way! It’s a truly exciting time for the band; this will certainly make waves in the genre and undoubtedly pave an exciting path for their future!

Rating
4-5


‘Past Lives’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/past-lives/1425108766


Past Lives on Spotify

Almost Forgot (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s sophomore release, Past Lives? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#Review: ROAM – Great Heights & Nosedives


   

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ROAM are a British pop punk band from Eastbourne, consisting of members Alex Costello (vocals), Alex Adam (lead guitar and backing vocals), Matt Roskilly (bass), Sam Veness (rhythm guitar) and Miles Gill (drums). The band formed in 2012 and since then have performed on the Warped Tour ’16, signed to Hopeless Records and have now just released their second album, Great Heights & Nosedives.

ROAM - Great Heights & Nosedives Cover2.png

The band’s new record opens with the hard-hitting track, ‘Alive’, and doesn’t really let up from its high-energy, bounce-inducing pop punk for the majority of the album. It is undoubtedly a good effort from the band and a strong follow-up to 2016’s debut, Backbone, however it’s not really taking any great strides to revolutionise the already saturated world of pop punk.

Sadly, ‘Curtain Call’ feels a little like it’s trying too hard to be profound but slightly missing the mark, whilst ‘Home’ is quite a letdown – it really doesn’t finish the album in as strong a way as it started, with just a quick fade out at the end, making it feel like the band weren’t sure quite how to finish the track – I really expected some long and explosive grande finale.

This is an album which is undoubtedly going to sit well within a hardcore, pop punk lover’s collection.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great moments on the album too, such as the banger that is ‘Alive’, thundering guitars and mosh-inducing rhythm of ‘Left For Dead’, the grungy, fast-paced ‘Open Water and the varying tempos of the somewhat funky, ‘The Rich Life Of A Poor Man’, which overall, make it quite a thrilling record, however I still feel like it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. I find myself reminiscing some of the earlier days of New Found GloryAll Time Low and We The Kings and at points even Four Year Strong.

The album was produced by Kyle Black (who’s worked with the likes of State Champs, New Found Glory and Comeback Kid) in Los Angeles, California. This explains the authentic American sound to the record and might account for Alex Costello‘s pseudo-American accent throughout. Whilst this is synonymous with the genre, it’d be nice to hear an English-sounding pop punk band, just for a change.

This is an album which is undoubtedly going to sit well within a hardcore, pop punk lover’s collection…and it should; it’s a decent record. I just think that in order to really stand out from the masses of similar bands and achieve longevity in their career, they’re going to have to really push the boundaries of the genre on their next album; consider the likes of ParamoreFall Out BoyGood Charlotte and All Time Low.

Rating
3


‘Great Heights & Nosedives’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/great-heights-nosedives/id1270970229


Great Heights & Nosedives on Spotify

Alive (Official Video)

Playing Fiction (Official Video)


We really hope you’ve enjoyed our latest album review! What are your thoughts on ROAM’s Great Heights & Nosedives? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist


   

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It’s the 1st August and summer is in full swing! As such, I thought it was time to present you with our next playlist – #SummerSongs 2017 (following on from #SummerSongs 2015)!

This 30-track playlist has been lovingly crafted with over 100 minutes of summery songs, both new and old, that I really love and put me in a great mood and I hope it’ll do the same for you too 🙂

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Summer Songs 2017

#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist

This mammoth, tune-filled playlist includes the following summer anthems:

  1. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (Throttle Remix)
  2. OneRepublic – Rich Love featuring Seeb
  3. A R I Z O N A – Feed The Beast
  4. Jonas Blue – Mama featuring William Singe
  5. NEIKED – Call Me featuring MIMI
  6. Sigala – Came Here For Love featuring Ella Eyre
  7. Phats & Small – Turn Around
  8. Nevada – The Mack featuring Mark Morrison Fetty Wap
  9. Rita Ora – Your Song
  10. Anton Powers – Baby featuring Pixie Lott
  11. John Gibbons – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
  12. Zedd – Stay featuring Alessia Cara
  13. Will Joseph Cook – Plastic
  14. Miley Cyrus – Malibu
  15. Luis Fonsi – Despacito featuring Daddy YankeeJustin Bieber
  16. Calvin Harris – Feels featuring Pharrell WilliamsBig SeanKaty Perry
  17. Katy Perry – Bon Appétit featuring Migos
  18. Ke$ha – Learn To Let Go
  19. Disciples – On My Mind
  20. J Hus – Did You See
  21. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
  22. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
  23. The All-American Rejects – Sweat
  24. Club Drive – International
  25. Busted – One Of A Kind
  26. The Maine – Bitch Better Have My Money
  27. Life Of Dillon – Rocks
  28. Paramore – Forgiveness
  29. Sheppard – Geronimo
  30. Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams

I’ve gathered only the best songs which I hope will be the soundtrack to your summer – I want this summer to be one you’ll remember…for the best reasons! Check out the playlist on Spotify.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: Paramore – ‘Misery Business’


   

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As if Paramore‘s ‘Misery Business’ is a decade old already?! You might not believe it, but it is. This week, the track turned 10 years old.

The song was the lead single from the band’s second studio album, Riot!, and it peaked at Number 17 in the UK charts (the highest position the band received until that point). It’s an incredible, punchy, sing-along track that just makes you want to bounce around to it, wherever you are. Hayley Williams’ voice is just remarkable in it too.

The music video was fantastic too – it merged scenes of the band performing with high school clips involving a “bitch” pushing people around, hurting people and cutting off a girl’s hair, until the band give her a taste of her own medicine. It’s definitely worth a watch, so check it out below.

Do you still love this track, 10 years on? Are you still a fan of Paramore today? Have you got a different #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Misery Business’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/misery-business/id604804755?i=604804763


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Cyrus Bolooki from New Found Glory

With the recent release of their 9th studio album, Makes Me Sick, I had the opportunity to catch up with Cyrus Bolooki from one of my favourite pop punk bands, New Found Glory. We caught up about why the band chose the title for their latest album, which current song he’d like the band to cover, who he’d love to work with and which chocolate bar he’d be. It’s all here…


   

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Hey, how’s it going for you guys?
Going great, thanks for asking! We’re currently wrapping up our 20 Year Anniversary Tour here in the US and it’s been nothing short of amazing!

So you’ve just dropped your 9th album, ‘Makes Me Sick’ how exciting! Where did you take inspiration for some of the songs from? What’s the title of the record, in reference to?
As with pretty much all of our albums, the inspirations for our songs, both musically and lyrically, comes from within. Musically with this record we wanted to allow ourselves to explore any idea that had come to mind, which is where the extra layers of guitars and 80s-sounding keys come from, whereas on Resurrection we specifically went for a more stripped down sound and didn’t want to overdo any of the production with additional elements besides the core drums, guitar, bass, and vocals.  There was a lot more freedom this time around, which was a great feeling while writing and recording this album.

Lyrically, inspiration comes from everything around us, and you will notice a theme on this album where the beginning of the record starts out pretty critical of things going on in the world around us and relationships people may have, but by the end of the album the finger is actually pointed at the listener, challenging them to not always just criticize others without remembering to also look at themselves to see if they are guilty of the same things that they are pointing out about others. The title of the album, Makes Me Sick, is nothing more than a play on words, because we knew that it would be funny for people to literally say the phrase ‘New Found Glory Makes Me Sick’ even if they didn’t feel that way at all. It was to serve as a talking point, which is exactly what happened here!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
I honestly had been listening to a bunch of our old NFG material just before this tour, as on this tour we’re playing over 77 different songs from our first 6 full-length albums and quite a few that we had never played live before, so there was a fair amount of “refreshing” needed in order for us to pull all of this off!

Now you guys are no stranger to a cover, so if you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I’m sure this answer will get me in trouble because it’s bound to come back and haunt me at a later time, but I personally would love to put our own spin on ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ by Taylor Swift & Zayn. I think that song would have the heaviest chorus, especially if we sped it up in the verses and then slowed it down in the choruses, typical NFG style. Plus, Jordan’s voice is high enough to hit those notes in the chorus, right? But honestly I’m sure no one else in the band would agree with me on this, so don’t expect a cover of this anytime soon!

That’s hilarious! So, you have probably had the chance to work with many people over the years, but is there anyone you haven’t collaborated with that you’d really love to work with?
As a band as a whole, I think Green Day is the one band that we all collectively looked up to and took inspiration from at one point or another in our career, so an actually collaboration with them would be sick. I’d also love to see what would happen if we were to work with some of the huge producers of the 80’s and 90’s, like Mutt Lange (who produced Shania Twain and Def Leppard amongst others) or Bob Rock (Metallica’s Black album) or even Rick Rubin (who’s done everything from The Beastie Boys to System of a Down to The Dixie Chicks and plenty of others).

Other than music, is there anything else you guys are passionate about?
We all have various interests outside of this band. Jordan is a tattoo artist when he’s not on the road with us, Ian is probably one of the biggest baseball/sports fans and collectors out there, and Chad’s a huge movie buff. My passions vary from music production to even selling real estate, but I’m also very passionate about being a dad when I’m not on the road. Most of us in the band have wives and children, and we try as hard as we can to balance between family life and tour life, and although it’s one of the hardest things to deal with while in this industry, it’s also one of the reasons why we’re all able to still be doing this 20 years later, because we all understand and appreciate each other, both professionally and personally.

What really grinds your gears?
I’m a perfectionist, so that’s a good and bad thing, and I don’t like it when things don’t work out as I expect or want them to. Lots of [the] time that just puts extra pressure on me for no reason, but in the end I think it makes me better at what I do and I’d rather spend my life trying to be the best I can be rather than just letting everything coast by without caring if it’s good or not.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
I’ll answer this on behalf of everyone else. I didn’t see it but pretty much everyone else in the band recently saw “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and said it was amazing.

If a film was made about your lives, who would you want to play you?
That’s a hard question to answer, because you can go different ways with it…would I go for an actor who’s well-known for being able to perfectly translate any role they’re given (like Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio)? Or would I just settle for someone that looks like me (might be a stretch, but how about Robert Downey Jr.?). Actually, now that I’ve let my facial hair grow out in the past few years, I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan from The Walking Dead) would be a great person to cast for me…

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Butterfinger all the way. Snickers a close second.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t remember where I first heard it, but I have always followed the ideology that you should take chances and go for it if you think it’s right for you, because nothing’s worse than living with regret. I’ve been guilty of not only following that, but also ignoring that a few times, and it’s true that to this day I still regret certain things that I either did or didn’t do when now looking back I realize I should have given them a chance. Also, that’s how I ended up being in NFG. Not too long after we all got together, we were presented with a choice — do we continue to play shows and write music as a hobby, or do we put our “normal” lives on hold and really give this a chance to see what could happen? For me, that choice meant giving up scholarships and dropping out of school, much to my parents’ dismay, but obviously I made the right choice, and I remember telling myself that the opportunities we were going to have would probably never come to me again, so at that time it was “now or never,” and if I turned it down I would probably regret it for the rest of my life.


New Found Glory‘s releases are all available:


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#Two4Tunesday: Ryn Weaver – ‘The Fool’ & Ella Eyre – ‘Together’

This week’s #Two4Tunesday features two up-and-coming pop lasses, both of whom have a lot to offer the world of pop music and culture!


Ryn Weaver Banner

Ryn Weaver is incredible! Born Erin Michelle Wüthrich, of Argentinian/American decent, she has quickly become an internet success story picking up recognition from Charli XCX and Hayley Williams (Paramore)!

This sensational artist seemed to just emerge out of nowhere with her debut track, OctaHate, going viral. You may remember the original video where there was a little girl as her younger counterpart with some stunning imagery throughout. Sadly, Ms Weaver recently stated that she hated the original video and has since removed it online asnd replaced it with a new version in which she and her best friend have a food fight; it’s such a shame as the original video was one of my all-time favourites!

However, since then, Ryn Weaver has released her follow-up track, The Fool, which is also the title track to her upcoming album. Once again, the video is heavily incorporated with artistic imagery and makes for a really interesting visual accompaniment.

Ryn Weaver, as an artist, truly excites me; she not only produces interesting, unique and quirky pop songs but also visual masterpieces to accompany them, making for a fantastic re-defining of the word ‘artist’ in the music industry. I can’t wait to see what more she has in store for us!


‘The Fool’ is available to download from iTunes right now – please go grab your copy and show support for this incredulous artist – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-fool/id981136094?i=981136101


Ryn Weaver – ‘The Fool’



Ella Eyre Banner

Next is the latest release from Ella Eyre. Ella trained at BRIT School and came to recognition for her collaborations with RudimentalNaughty Boy, Tinie TempahBastille and DJ Fresh but since then has released a string of Top 20 hits, the most recent being ‘Together’.

This particular track has a fresh, summer feel with its calm verses and intense, drum and bass style choruses. This song confirms the incredible talent Ella Eyre has and that she deserves recognition for her talents.


‘Together’ is out now on iTunes, please go and download it – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/together-single/id978502227


Ella Eyre – ‘Together’


So here ends another #Two4Tunesday! Please remember to share the link to this post on your social media accounts and tell us what your two favourite tracks are right now. Thanks for the continual support!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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