#WildCardWednesday: Firing All Cylinders – ‘What Is Love’ (Haddaway Cover)

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I am a huge sucker for 90s dance classics, so when I saw that Firing All Cylinders had done a metal version of ‘What Is Love’ by Haddaway, I was all ears. The Californian metallers toyed with the idea that initially started as a joke but we are happy they went with it!

If you don’t know the song by title, you will certainly know it by its opening synth hook. ‘What Is Love’ charted across the world in 1993, but by no means set it on fire, however, it has become a cult classic along 90s music fans. Firing All Cylinders have kept the essence of the track by keeping that oh so recognisable synth motif almost exactly as it sounds on the original, but have brought their own metal chug and groove underneath.

Personally I love it, but I know it will divide a lot of people. It’s not the first time we’ve seen metal bands do this to beloved pop songs, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. 90s dance just seems to lend itself well to this kind of thing. However unlike others, I feel the band have not strayed too far away from the original that it is not recognisable. There are no heavy breakdowns, no guttural screams just a homage to a classic.

The video really stretches the idea of what love is. The original video had a slight dark feel to it (for the 90s anyway), but Firing All Cylinders have taken it about 1,000 steps further. It’s dark, it’s ritualistic and involves sacrifice and is probably more what fans of the band would expect.

We aren’t too fussed by the video, but the track is definitely worth a listen for all you 90s dance cross metal fans out there!


What are your thoughts of this metal band’s cover of the 90s dance classic? Do you have a cool cover for #WildCardWednesday to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Rob Manhire
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‘What Is Love’ can be downloaded off Apple Music now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/what-is-love-single/1505584706


#Review: Reel Big Fish – Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! 💃🏽


   

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Reel Big Fish are a ska punk band from Orange County, California. They have had many members over the years, with Aaron Barrett (lead vocals, synths/keyboards and guitars) being the only member left from the original lineup. However the sextet also comprises of John Christianson (trumpet & backing vocals), Derek Gibbs (bass guitar & backing vocals), Matt Appleton (saxophone & backing vocals), Lucky LaPenta (trombone & backing vocals) and Edward Larsen (drums). Since their debut album in 1995, the band have been through a major label (Jive) and come out the other side, to establish their own independent label, with a heap of album releases in between. Now, the end of 2018 marks the release of the band’s 9th album, Life Sucks… Let’s Dance! Here’s what we have to say about it…

Reel Big Fish - Life Sucks...Let's Dance.jpg

There are some albums that you can just stick on and relax to, lie in bed and get lost in, or have an easy Sunday morning with. Not this one! Reel Big Fish have crafted another hugely successful record that just begs to be skanked out to!

Life Sucks… Let’s Dance! sets a much happier tone than their last release, Candy Coated Fury (2012), and there is even a sense of a renewed purpose to the band, evident across the record. The song subjects are generally quite tongue-in-cheek, ranging from the bizarre and witty (‘Bob Marley’s Toe’) to the sarcastic and even outright cheeky (‘Bleached Thang, Baby’). One thing is for certain; their outlook on life seems pretty damn chirpy and while listening, all you want to do is dance along from start to finish!

Good vibes run throughout the album and the songwriting, brilliantly diverse instrumentals and top-notch production result in a record that you can’t help but fall in love with.

Barrett states, “Recording the album with this line up was really fun, we all get along really well these days and everybody was excited to make a new record. Everybody had lots of great ideas and really got creative with everything and I really think it shows.” And he’s right; it does! The excitement they felt about recording this album, clearly emanates through to the listener.

Their outlook on life seems pretty damn chirpy and when listening, all you want to do is dance along from start to finish!

It’s so damn hard to narrow it down but some of the best tracks on the record are, ‘Pissed Off’ for its humour and incredible overlapping vocals at the end, ‘Tongue Tied And Tipsy Too’ with its frantic, grungy and very punk guitar riffs, making it a massive moshable anthem and ‘Bleached Thang, Baby’ which is a sassy track with sexy guitar licks throughout – it’s very skankable, chaotic and just makes you want to let loose. The guitar riff at the end is sensational too!

That’s not to say there aren’t other hugely loveable tracks too, the title track, ‘Life Sucks… Let’s Dance’ is a big-hitter; ‘You Can’t Have All Of Me’ has some stunning vocal harmonies at the end, ‘In Love Again’ contains country-like vocals and guitar slides; ‘Another Beer Song’ is a humorous account of getting drunk to get over someone; ‘Ska Show’ is just a damn good song and ‘Walter’s Highlife’ is an uplifting instrumental track that brings the album to a close nicely.

When you hear their first record (released back in 1995) you can hear just how much this band have evolved, to become the well-loved, polished party anthem machine they are today! Regardless of whether you are a long-term RBF fan or new to the genre, there’s no way you will be able to stop yourself dancing manically to this record and easily picking up the lyrics to sing along with! 23 years and 9 albums later, this band are still going strong and showing no signs of stopping…bring on album 10!!!

Rating
4


‘Life Sucks…Let’s Dance!’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/life-sucks-lets-dance/1442723388


Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! on Spotify

You Can’t Have All Of Me (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Reel Big Fish’s latest album? 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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#MellowMonday: No Rome – ‘Do It Again’

 


 

   

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No Rome is a recent, electro, synth-pop signing for London-based label, Dirty Hit (also home to the likes of The 1975 and The Japanese House). In fact, his upcoming EP, RIP Indo Hisashi, was produced by none other than The 1975‘s Matty Healy and George Daniel.

The first single to be taken from the upcoming release, is Do It Again. It certainly has a very similar vibe to that of his label mates, with its echoing vocals, atmospheric and cascading synths and richly textured production.

There’s no doubt that with this team behind him, No Rome will be about to embark on an exciting new phase in his musical career and I expect to be hearing a lot more from him in the months to come.

No music video has been released as yet, but I’m sure when one emerges, it’ll be artistic and mesmerising, if some of his photo shoot pictures are anything to go by.

What are your thoughts of this up and comer? Do you like his similar vibes to The 1975? Have you got a #MellowMonday 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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‘Do It Again’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/do-it-again/1384849862?i=1384850054


#MellowMonday: Scott Quinn – ‘Run’


   

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Scott Quinn is a Yorkshire-born, soul-synth multi-instrumentalist, whose latest track is captivatingly beautiful with its shimmering synths and passionate vocals.

‘Run’ oozes heartache and despair, tackling the emotionally-driven subject of trying to help and support someone who’s not in the right place to be helped but is already on the path of self-destruction, leaving a trail of demolition in their wake.

Quinn has spent time in the studio, working with the likes of JONES & SG Lewis and has recently toured Europe with Aquilo. All this comes ahead his first, big, headline show at the Camden Assembly on June 20th (tickets available here).

No music video has been released as yet, but as always, we’ll keep you updated if/when one emerges.

What are your thoughts of this intriguing singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #MellowMonday 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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‘Run’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/run-single/1364500851


#FeelGoodFriday: Marianas Trench – ‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’


   

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Marianas Trench (Brighton show review here) are a pop rock band from Canada, who formed in 2001 and is fronted by the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Josh Ramsay.

To date, the band have released four full-length albums and in 2017, the band released this incredibly catchy, pop-infused, synth-driven anthem, ‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’. No details of a new album have been mentioned as yet, but with a strong single like this, surely one must be in the pipeline?!

The video (below) is pretty funky with all its neon-ness too.

What are your thoughts of this funky pop rock band’s latest single? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday 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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‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rhythm-of-your-heart/1318994448?i=1318994466


#Review: Geowulf – Great Big Blue


   

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Geowulf is a duo comprised of members Star Kendrick and Toma Banjanin, originally from Australia. They started writing music a few years ago and released their first track, ‘Saltwater’, in July 2016, which now features on their debut album, Great Big Blue. Here’s what we had to say about it…

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Self-described as ‘Beach Pop’, this album is exactly that; it’s hypnotic, easy listening music with a brilliant blend of laid-back guitars, floaty vocals, subtle synths, down-tempo beats and all-round melancholic vibes.

This album is Americana through and through and could quite happily be the soundtrack to a lazy afternoon around a Californian pool-side or whilst hitting the open road in a big convertible, wind through your hair, driving down an American highway. It has a strong resemblance to some of Lana Del Rey‘s music too…just with a slightly more light-hearted feel to it.

Great Big Blue is hypnotic, easy listening music with a brilliant blend of laid-back guitars, floaty vocals, subtle synths, down-tempo beats and all-round melancholic vibes

Prior to its release, the album enjoyed several successful singles but some of biggest highlights on the record include; ‘Sunday’, which is a beautifully mellow ballad, setting the tone for what’s to come (plus the opening lyric gives the album its title), ‘Saltwater’, is slightly more up-tempo with a real summery warmth to it, ‘Get You’, has an almost African rhythm, topped off with Star’s long, drawn-out notes, whilst ‘Drink Too Much’ is probably one of the most conventionally pop tracks, with a tongue-in-cheek look at how drinking a little more than you should, whilst on a night out, can land you in trouble when you get home, with the simplistic yet honest lyrics; ‘Coz I get myself in trouble when I drink too much, Think too much, And you’re somehow on my mind when I drink too much, Think too much.‘ At face value, it sounds cheerful and uplifting but when you listen to the lyrics, it’s a real oxymoron to the sound.

On first listen, the songs tend to blur a little into one, however it’s after a few plays through that you can begin to detect the differences between each track and truly admire Star’s euphoric vocals, Banjanin’s stunning melodies and understand the complexity behind the simplistic-sounding, psychedelic production, appreciating just how much time and effort must have gone into producing Great Big Blue. I have to say, whilst I really did enjoy this record, from start to finish, it is not necessarily an album that you will want on repeat for weeks on end; it’s a very good album but will it stand the test of time? Sadly, I’m not convinced.

Rating
3.5


‘Great Big Blue’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/great-big-blue/1316527015


Great Big Blue on Spotify

‘Saltwater’ (Official Video)

‘Don’t Talk About You’ (Official Video)

‘Get You’ (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Geowulf’s debut album! What do you think of it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or hit us up via our social media to talk about it.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Prides – ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ & Matrix & Futurebound – ‘Light Us Up’ featuring Calum Scott


   

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Prides – ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’

Prides (check out our interview here) have just dropped their latest single, ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ which is taken from the forthcoming album, A Mind Like The Tide (out next year). The album is actually being split into two parts, with Part 1 coming October 27th 2017.

The track sees the duo release a song which keeps to their trademark, synth-pop sound and it’s catchy as hell…I can’t wait for the rest of the album!

The audio video is below but no official music video has emerged yet, but we’ll keep you updated on this.


‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lets-stay-in-bed-all-day/id1268816597?i=1268816600



Matrix & Futurebound – ‘Light Us Up’ featuring Calum Scott

Matrix & Futurebound are an electronic duo who have just teamed up with ex-Britain’s Got Talent contestant (and incredible vocalist) Calum Scott.

The track has a summery vibe to it and Calum Scott’s passionate, ascending vocals weave their way beautifully throughout the uplifting instrumentation. It is a true anthem and begs to be sung at the top of your voice or pumped loudly through your car speakers. It’s a true feel-good track – I can’t get enough of this.

No music video has been made for this track yet either, but we’ll keep you updated on this.


‘Light Us Up’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/light-us-up-feat-calum-scott-nick-talos-remix-single/id1244764883


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Christine And The Queens – ‘Tilted’


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Although Christine and the Queens released ‘Tilted’ back in the UK in 2015, it seems like the perfect #MellowMonday track to kick off this week!

The song has had a few different incarnations but ‘Tilted’ is the one which found success in the UK, reaching the Top 20 of the UK charts when it was released.

The way Héloïse Letissier (Christine and the Queens) combines music, art, performance and videography is stunning – the translation of the song to the performance in the music video is astounding; a real masterpiece to behold.

What are your thoughts of this cool, quirky and intriguing track? Please leave your thoughts or own #MellowMonday suggestions in a comment below or via our social media, using the hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Tilted’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/tilted/id1167547148?i=1167547374#


#FeelGoodFriday: Daniel Powter – ‘Delicious’


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Check out our interview with Daniel Powter!

Daniel Powter is finally back with new music! He’s literally just released his first new single in four years, today, in the form of the rather funky pop tune, ‘Delicious’.

The song sees Powter using his fantastic, trademark vocal style but with a rather more synth-driven sound behind it and we couldn’t be more excited to have him back. It looks as if this could be signs of a new album from the unique and catchy singer/songwriter.

No official music video has been released yet, but we’ll definitely keep you updated on this!

What are your thoughts of Daniel Powter’s newest release? Are you as excited as we are about the thought of a new album from him? Please share your thoughts or own suggestions for a #FeelGoodFriday track in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Delicious’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/delicious-single/id1187916657


#FeelGoodFriday: RALPH – ‘Something More’


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I’m completely new to RALPH (aka Raffa Weyman) but I’m already a fan!

Having recently been introduced to the songstress, I have been captured by her unique sound and the way she combines uplifting 70s/80s disco synths with funky pop beats and her contemporary vocal style; she’s bound to gather a huge audience, quickly.

She has stated that “‘Something More’ was inspired by Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show ‘Master of None’. The show honestly narrates the existential issues faced by young adults now. Consumed with social media and dating apps, we’re obsessed with the idea of something more or someone better, often leading us to sabotage the good things we have.”

Her honest lyricism and tempting sound make for a real auditory treat – this one’s definitely a great song to kick start your weekend! #FeelGoodFriday at its best!

No official music video has been released (that I can find!) as of yet, but of course, we’ll keep you updated on this.

What are your thoughts on this newcomer? Have you heard any of her previous releases? Has this song got you excited for more? Please share your thoughts or own #FeelGoodFriday choices in a comment below or hit us up via our social media accounts.

Have a great weekend guys!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Something More’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/something-more-single/id1135404978