#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

‘Bang Bang’ (Official Video)

‘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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#Review: Prides – A Mind Like The Tide, Pt. 1 (EP)


   

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Prides are a Scottish indie band who originally formed in Glasgow, in 2014, as a three-piece. The act is now comprised of Stewart Brock (lead vocals and keys) and Callum Wiseman (guitar, keys and backing vocals). Since releasing their debut album, The Way Back Up, in July 2015, the pair have worked hard on creating their next release; a two-part album, starting with this, the first half, A Mind Like The Tide – Pt. 1.

A Mind Like The Tide, Pt. 1

The EP opens with ‘Every Story Of Mine Is A Story Of Yours…’ – led by an ethereal synth, the track builds beautifully to a quite cinematic climax comprised of chest-rumbling bass notes, Stewart’s trademark crooning and a collection of people speaking the title of the track, repeatedly. This is surely going to become the song which opens the set for the pair’s live performances, for the foreseeable future and it’s easy to see why…it’s just oozing with atmosphere!

Overall, this EP is an eclectic mix of songs, from the unashamedly feel-good pop qualities of lead single ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ to the slightly more chaotic and almost grungy moments found in ‘Sweet Time’. I particularly love the energy and catchiness of ‘You’re The Drug’ (which could easily be another single), whilst both ‘A Wilder Heart’ and ‘I Know That I Can Change’ are emotionally charged and ascend to euphoric climaxes. My only criticism of the EP is the fact that ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Live Without You’ feels a little like an interlude (though it’s still a track which remains true to the essence of the band). That, paired with the opening track being more of an intro, you’ve essentially got 5 brilliant, new, sing-a-long tracks. It’s still a great release though and I’m certainly left intrigued to hear the second part of the album, around March next year.

The quality of the production throughout is remarkable and it’s a really comprehensive collection of tracks. Towards the end of ‘You’re The Drug’ there is an incredible break in the beat and just when you think it’s going to drop back in (as is predictable in so many songs), it doesn’t…it keeps you waiting and I love the originality of this! The calming, break in ‘Sweet Time’ is bewitching and melodic with it’s acoustic guitar, synths and falsetto vocals, right before it kicks back in to the heavy guitars and punchy chorus. Lastly, the delicate way ‘I Know That I Can Change’ begins with it’s atmospheric sounds and gradually becomes a massive stadium-filling anthem – it is just the perfect way to close the EP.

This is undoubtedly a brilliant release from the pair and certainly doesn’t disappoint. It may have been a couple of years since their debut album but it’s clear they have spent time working on their songwriting and developing their style. It’s also nice to see that despite a string of stand-alone singles, they haven’t just piled them onto this EP, to pad it out. It’s a beautiful release, crafted with major love and fine attention to detail.

Rating
4


‘A Mind Like The Tide, Pt. 1’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/a-mind-like-the-tide-pt-1/id1295669547


‘A Mind Like The Tide, Pt. 1’ on Spotify

Let’s Stay In Bed All Day (Official Audio Video)


Hopefully you have enjoyed our review of Prides‘ latest EP release! What are your personal thoughts of the EP? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media and don’t forget to share this think. Thanks 😀


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#FeelGoodFriday: Maroon 5 – ‘What Lovers Do’ featuring SZA


   

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Maroon 5 are gearing up to release their sixth album in November this year (2017) and with a series of new singles since their fifth album, V, this is the latest to be released from their upcoming LP.

‘What Lovers Do’ features American singer SZA in addition to Adam Levine‘s trademark falsetto vocals, tied together with house-style synths and upbeat drums and handclaps. It’s got a great summery vibe to it and it comes right at the end of the season to give us one more mood boost before autumn sets in.

The singles the band have been releasing have had a real R&B tint to them and it sure excites me for their upcoming album.

*UPDATE* The music video has emerged online and as I suspected, it’s epic! Great visuals and superb use of CGI effects throughout, albeit in quite a cheesy way, but it’s certainly humorous and fun.

What are your thoughts on the band’s latest summery jam? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track you’d like to suggest to us? Please leave your thoughts or song recommendations in a comment or hit us up via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘What Lovers Do’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-lovers-do-feat-sza-single/id1274373328


#FeelGoodFriday: Against The Current – ‘Runaway’


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Against The Current are a pop rock band from New York, who have been gathering an online following since their formation in 2011.

The trio have only recently released their debut album, In Our Bones, and it’s intense! It’s jammed packed with anthems; a stunner of a debut release!

One of the tracks from the album is ‘Runaway’ which has just about every #FeelGoodFriday vibe going – it begins with the thumping bass drum and Chrissy’s chorus vocals fading, straight into the verse. The guitars are punchy and the chorus is seriously addictive. It is just an awesome song and really is going to make your day!

What do you think of Against The Current? Have you already heard of them? Are you a fan of this song? Please share this link on your social media and spread the word and don’t forget to recommend your #FeelGoodFriday songs to us too.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Runaway’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/runaway/id1086315368?i=1086315645


#WildCardWednesday: MIAMIGO – ‘PotLuck’


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MIAMIGO are a dark, mature indie-pop duo from our very own hometown, Brighton!

‘PotLuck’ confidently conjures up images of sun-kissed urban-bordered beaches in an American city, with its intriguing blend of 80’s sounding, funky guitars and slightly off-key synths. It’s already got me anticipating the summer, with this uplifting sound. I definitely want to hear more from these guys!

The pair are gathering quite a bit of support right now (and quite rightly so!) and have just announced they are going to be the support on the Hurts European tour. Good luck with the tour lads and keep pumping out the awesome tunes!

What do you think of MIAMIGO’s sound? Have you heard their other songs? Please show your support for them and share this link on your social media accounts with the #WildCardWednesday hash tag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘PotLuck’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/potluck-single/id1081390977


#WildCardWednesday: Rams – ‘Take It Back’


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RAMS are a pop-rock trio who began in Denver, back in 2004, not long before Ben Wysocki and David Welsh joined the Grammy-nominated band, The Fray. Singer Aaron Espe went on to have his own solo career, whilst the other two enjoyed their success as a part of The Fray.

The three would get together and write music and even when The Fray were taking breaks from touring, they would get together to write and record.

It’s only now, after more than 10 years in the making, that RAMS has come into fruition with their debut EP. Their music is unique as the hooks sit beautifully atop dreamy melodies created by a culmination of electric guitars and synths. I want big things for these guys!

No music video has arisen yet, but we’ll keep you posted on this.

What do you think of this trio’s sound? Are you intrigued for me, like we are? Please share the love for RAMS on your social media accounts!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Take It Back’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/take-it-back/id1078083840?i=1078083843