TRACK BY TRACK: ‘We Were Once Lost’ by COVE

This is a track by track guide for ‘We Were Once Lost’, the debut album by Kent metalcore mob, COVE.

 

Recorded with producer Oz Craggs at Hidden Track Studios, ‘We Were Once Lost’ sees COVE succeed in their aims of writing ‘heavy, riffy music, with big choruses that make you grab your friends in the middle of a mosh pit and sing along’. Featuring thudding, muscular grooves and stomp paired with ferocious roars aplenty, COVE’s debut is a ‘post-metalcore’ powerhouse: evoking Ruin/Hollow Crown era Architects, whilst also drawing from the gene pools of Defeater and While She Sleeps. Bruising riffs and urgent, desperate screams give way to moments of melodic, textured respite, before plunging back into the abyss again. COVE already leaps and bounds ahead of their would be peers.

 

This being our first release meant that a lot of the songs were written without a game plan, and just written for the sake of writing songs we wanted to hear. Often we’d listen to music of other bands and hear parts we liked, normally the dynamic or tempo and get inspired by that. A lot of the earlier songs were written on computers with programmed drums and were often guitarists Ben and Pete trying to write the most complicated stuff they could, whereas the later written material has more of a live aspect taken into account. The aim became to meet in the middle and write songs that were not only fun to play live, but also had parts that were interesting to the listener. About 60% of the songs were written before our drummer Jack and our vocalist Sam joined, however they both helped create finished product enormously.

 

When it came to recording we didn’t want the sound to be too polished. A lot of us listen to emo/punk/grunge/hardcore bands, so we wanted something that still sounded organic and not too overproduced and metal. Even though some of the actual guitar parts would be classed as ‘metal’), we wanted to keep the sound raw like hardcore bands. This meant no over editing, and choosing recording takes that were not always ‘perfect’ but had more feel to them, something producer Oz Craggs is great at.

 

TRACK 1: …

This was something we used to jam out in rehearsals and start our set with, it’s not so much of a track but rather an intro to get us pumped to play, it rolls straight into the next track.

 

TRACK 2: NO PLACE

This is the oldest track we have musically. In fact, the EP is actually mostly ordered chronologically. The main riff features an odd time signature that was written by accident quite a while ago. We wanted to keep the song flowing though so had a punky fast paced straight chorus. This song also features probably the most melodic middle section on the entire EP. Lyrically this track was written about people who are ignorant to things they don’t understand, specifically subjects like heavy music. As a result, they never truly listen to find meaning or substance, but merely hear and make judgment from that. The songs has points of anger but also vulnerable parts demonstrating the emotion in this music. Playing this song personifies the meaning and the passion is translated in the performance.

 

TRACK 3: DEAD SEA

This is probably the most chaotic song on the EP. Guitarists Pete and Ben have always liked how bands have used harmonics in riffs, which inspired the main verse riff. It also takes influence from a lot of earlier Architects albums, with discordant harmonies and runs, which can be heard in this song before the end breakdown. This was the first track lyrics were written for and the song that actually introduced our vocalist to COVE as we were looking for a singer at the time. Sam later listened to the track and wrote the lyrics within a day. It’s about a certain breed of people that seem to bring everyone down around them, but failing to realise they are their own downfall. It packs a hell of a punch live.

 

TRACK 4: BURIED

This song was musically influenced by the song ‘The Void’ by a band called ‘Last Witness’. The main riff was something we all thought was really cool. It was slow and sludgey, groovy but also so heavy. We wanted to write something like that, where the riff was the hook in the song. It’s probably one of our favourite songs to play live because the riff is so fun and the end breakdown gets such a good reaction. Sam took lyrical inspiration from a time in which he was working a job where he was surrounded by people with little to no aspirations in life. They would choose this menial job over personal opportunities or chances to truly live. All around people were digging metaphorical holes to dead ends and he wanted to say something about it.

 

TRACK 5: SONDER

This was originally an interlude, a lot of us listen to bands like More Than Life, and other melodic hardcore bands that have really melodic sections that build in intensity. Originally planned as just an instrumental piece, we all loved the lyrics that were sang over it in a rehearsal and so we thought it deserved to be turned into a full song. This was the first song we recorded in the studio and it was finished very quickly, simply due to the raw emotion involved. They are about the one person you know will be there if/when the weight of life gets too much and for Sam that person is someone he hold close.

 

TRACK 6: FOUND AT LAST

The basis of this song was written in 2014 before the band had even started! However the song got chopped and changed and eventually sounded nothing like the original idea for the song. The beginning riff is probably collectively one of our favourites and it was one of the last to be written musically. The lyrics in this track site the EP’s name, ‘we were once lost’. As a band we all closely relate to this song as its about pushing boundaries, taking risks and stepping into the abyss without a second thought. For us all this is COVE. Our vocalist Sam moved from his small hometown to London, to pursue his love of music and this song speaks that action. It’s a song of unity and was written to sing along to live.

 

TRACK 7: AN HONOUR

This was the last song to be written on the EP, it was written randomly in a day by guitarist Pete. As soon as he wrote it he rang up our drummer Jack and told him we needed to book in another day to demo as this song should be the single (even before the lyrics had been written). I think collectively this is our favourite song, it has a wide range of dynamics and big anthemic choruses, something the band want to look towards more for future material. The instrumental and vocal came together so naturally and goes down well live as an in your face ear and eye opener. The message is to simply make people aware of the many wars which still rage on today killing millions of innocent people all for nothing and I will scream for the weak voices that are victims of this modern day travesty.

 


 

You can check out COVE here:

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You can get a copy of ‘We Were Once Lost’ here.

You can watch the video for ‘An Honour’ here.

TRACK BY TRACK: ‘Towers’ by Towers

This is a track by track guide for ‘Towers’, the self titled debut EP from melodic rockers, Towers.

 

The entire concept of Towers is something which vocalist/guitarist Mark openly reveals is rooted in his mental wellbeing. ‘I went through a tough time last year with personal and mental issues. Music was the only thing that kept me going through it. I started writing these songs during that time, and once I recorded them I had made a lot of progress with myself. It was basically therapy for me!’. In fact, all of Towers’ members: comprising of guitarist Dan, bassist Matt and drummer Jamie share this motivation, as Mark explains ‘We do it for the love for music, we love playing music, writing music and we are all best friends. That’s really it! It’s that simple. If we don’t write music we go crazy. Trust me.’. The tracks certainly are anthemic, brimming with emotion, infectious harmonies and an overriding sense of positivity. Easily drawing comparisons to the likes of Deaf Havana, Thirty Seconds To Mars and Biffy Clyro, the band cite influences ranging from Jimmy Eat World to Sigur Ros. Since the EP has been released on September 30th, the band are pleased to discuss it.

 

TRACK 1: TITAN

This track punches you straight away and is probably the most all round ‘Towers’ track we have done so far. It’s full of energy, with an epic ending. Beginning life as a song Dan wrote, Mark just added vocals. However, Dan was never happy with how the song started… so it has about 5 different intros in demo form. This was one of the 1st songs we wrote, so lyrically it’s all about starting a new band. Like all of the songs, we recorded with Jonny Renshaw (who is also in Devil Sold His Soul) at Bandit Studios. All the songs were mapped out and we slowly added more layers to each song. This features Signals’ Ellie Price, as we wanted something different to this track. Most Towers tracks are meant to be uplifting and there is usually a resolve to a problem stated in the start of each song. As a result of recording with Jonny, each track sounds massive, we are so happy with how they all sound. Especially Ellie’s performance in this track.

 

TRACK 2: OTHERSIDE

Originally intended as an acoustic track, this is our rock ballad and probably the most melodic of the 3. It forms a very emotional and honest portrayal of mental illness that Mark has gone through first hand. Taking around 2 weeks to complete, it was born from a time when he was at his lowest point of depression and anxiety. Living alone in Milton Keynes, he decided to write it as something to look back on, to realize how far he would come, knowing he was about to seek help in dealing with his problems. In his own words ‘It’s saying everything I was unable to say to anyone at the time.’. When it came to tracking, it was a challenge for the rest of the band to get their heads around as it was their first time hearing it! But it has become a firm favourite amongst some of them now. Live it’s hard to sing, as it’s so deeply personal and packed with layers to consider… but it’s a challenge we love to put into a live setting.

 

TRACK 3: COULD HAVE

In short it’s a summery, catchy as fuck rock song! Technically it is the oldest Towers track, written around 2 years old and originally intended for a previous band. Following a refining process, which saw it have 4 chorus ideas before we settled on this one. It was a hard song to get right! Thematically it’s all about dwelling on things you never did and where you may be in your life if you had done them, echoing Mark’s feelings at the time as he dealt with personal issues. We love the harmonies on this track, which were a last minute addition during tracking. We also added a lot of extra instruments to this song, such as shakers and acoustic guitar, so it was great to record. It’s so much fun live, such an upbeat track to play with a lot of varied parts to it.

 


 

You can check out Towers here:

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Towers have released the self titled debut EP, which you can purchase here.

And you can watch the video for ‘Could Have’ here.

REVIEW (ALBUM): ‘Lost Ritual’ by Raging Speedhorn

This is a review for Lost Ritual, the 6th album from ‘sludgecore’ kings Raging Speedhorn.

 

The album kicks off in style with the glorious headbanger of a single that is ‘Bring Out Your Dead’. We then move into ‘Halfway To Hell’, an example of how something as simple as a lone bass guitar can signal to you that shit is about to go down. Track 3 (a.k.a. ‘Motorhead’) is another certified crowd pleaser, with the chorus evolving into gang chant that you’ll find it difficult not to join in with. ‘Evil Or Mental’ begins in a somewhat similar way to ‘Halfway To Hell’ but it is by no means a rehash. The albums fourth song is a stomping anthem that contains yet another example of the bands eye for a chorus that an audience will throw itself into. The slower tempo continues into the next song, creating a sludgy 6:36 epic ‘Ten Of Swords’. At points the vocals are reminiscent of Phil Anselmo’s work in Pantera. Speed soon picks up again with the hard rocking ‘Dogshit Blues’, a track that seems almost designed for getting down and dirty in the pit. The next track, ‘The Hangman’, is a good blend of what could be seen as the two different sides of Speedhorn, the pit ready rockers and the sludgy dirge fiends. Around the 3 minute mark, the band drops in some ‘Boris The Spider’ style vocals helping drive home the darkness of this song. Despite being just under 3 minutes long, ‘Shit Outta Luck’ manages to bring forth all the images of circle pits, shout alongs and headbanging the rest of the album contained and meld them into one song. Comin’ Home continues the album ‘wind down’ (although this being Raging Speedhorn, little winding down is actually done), being another track you can picture yourself moshing along to. The album ends on the aptly titled ‘Unleash The Serpent’. Aptly titled due to the variety of vocal styles on show, ranging from almost whispers (which bring to mind some kind of giant reptile… perhaps Jörmungandr?) to good ol’ fashioned Speedhorn chorus shout. Its’ weighty riffing perfectly pummels the album to a finish. In short, Lost Ritual is a solid album of meaty metal tunes that truly showcases Raging Speedhorn as a mighty riff machine that you’d have to be made of stone not to move in some way to.

 


 

You can check out Raging Speedhorn here:

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You can pick up a copy of the new album (alongside many other merch items) here.

INTERVIEW: Neon Hitch

These questions were answered by ‘gypsy pop’ artist Neon Hitch.

 

How would you describe your sound?

The answer to that used to be a lot easier when I was doing more straight forward dance pop, but now that I’ve really started to find myself I have become a lot more experimental with my music. I would say my most recent creations have been a lot more urban gypsy free flow, story teller vibes, with catchy hooks that everyone can sing along too.

 

How has your music evolved over the years?

My music evolves as my mind does. We learn along the way, so as I grow so does my music. Every lesson learned for me is just a new lyric and a new story to tell.

 

Is there any kind of theme to your music?

#Freedom.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

It’s always different, it depends on what is inspiring me at the time. I might have just had a break up, jumped in a cab crying, wrote the lyrics first in my head and then found the chords for it later. Or I could just be feeling really good when I hear a beat, jump in the booth and freestyle whatever my subliminal mind wants to say. I can’t control it when a song comes into my head, I just have to allow it to flow in whichever way it is meant to.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist so far?

The battle between freedom of art, and conformity.

 

Do you have a favourite song to perform live?

That’s tricky to say. I haven’t gone out and performed the new music from ‘Anarchy’ really yet but I feel like it will be my favourite so far because it’s the most honest work I’ve done, so it should be easy to portray on stage.

 

What was your first job?

Hmm… I did have a normal job once when I was a teenager, I worked in a pizza shop for a week! That felt like a job. But every other job I’ve had hasn’t really felt like a job, from face painting and stilt walking at the age of 6 to now creating music, they all are just things that I love so it’s hard to call them a ‘job’.

 

What is the first gig you ever went to?

Apart from all the live bands I’ve seen at festivals I grew up at, the first deliberate show I went to was The Spice Girls! I went with my dad and observed everything about the show in awe… I really think that was when I realised what I wanted to set out and do on my journey.

 

What would like to be reincarnated as?

That’s an awesome question. You know what, I really enjoy being myself and I know none of us are perfect, like I said we learn along the way. And I think by the time your time is up you are finally fully wise. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a second chance at being yourself?

 

You have recorded a lot of covers in the past, but which was your favourite one to work on?

I really liked bringing a visual to my covers, it helps bring them to life. They were all a lot of fun, but I would say ‘On My Level’ was my fave.

 


 

You can check out Neon Hitch here:

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She also has a new album called ‘Anarchy’ available at all good retailers, as well as features on soon to be released tracks from Nytrix (‘When Will I See You Again’) + Jason Parris and My Buddy Mike (‘No Warning’).

REVIEW (LIVE): Icarus Fell

This review was conducted at the Icarus Fell/Massmatiks/Tilt Back show at The Horn on the 23rd of April 2016.

 

Despite not being the most ‘popular’ band on the bill, the boys of Icarus Fell play like they easily could be. Facebook likes to paint a deceiving picture and they draw in the biggest crowd of the night. They kick off their set with an instrumental number, which provides an apt introduction for the evening ahead. Not long into their set, disaster strikes in the form of vocalist/bassist Cameron Owden’s microphone cutting out. What could’ve so easily knocked them off kilter didn’t seem to dent the young bands confidence too much. Whilst the microphone issue is fixed, they charge on through their set without so much as a brief pause. They continue to show just how well their sound works instrumentally (albeit this time unintentionally): the guitar, bass and drums just keep driving forward. By the end of the song, the vocals are back and normal business can resume. Icarus Fell conduct an auditory rampage throughout The Horn, the weight of the riffs pushes your head down and before you know it, you’re banging your head along! Their powerful set does a great job of advertising their new EP ‘Concrete Desert’ with four out of the seven songs appearing on the record (Fool, Sticks And Stones, Burnt At Both Ends and Gasoline). ‘Gasoline’ is an accurate demonstration of what Icarus Fell aims to do, and that is to rock your socks off.

 


 

You can check out Icarus Fell here:

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Details for the bands upcoming gigs:

June 19th – Northampton @ The King Billy (NMF16 Rock Stage)

July 21st – Milton Keynes @ The Craufurd Arms

INTERVIEW: 2far2jump

These questions were answered by Alistair Hynes, vocalist of Surrey pop punk band 2far2jump.

 

How did the band get started?

Rupert already knew Aaron before I joined, they used to play around together on cover songs and wanted things to move forward, I was also looking for a band in the area so I got in touch with them and it just worked.

 

Where did the band name come from?

Rupert thought it was a cool name and bought the rights to it and all the domains before suggesting it to us, but we liked the name enough to go with it anyway… I guess it is pretty unique and works with our sound.

 

How would you describe your music?

To throw a basic label on it, I’d say alternative/pop punk and kinda mainstream but we really just write what we feel and let people decide what they want to call it.

 

Describe your song writing process.

Rupert or one of the other guys usually comes up with a track, and I shape it to work well lyrically with the vocals. I put vocals to it on a demo and we show it to whoever in the band hasn’t heard it then they add their element in the studio and it goes from there really, getting a little tighter each time we play. We tend to get songs sorted pretty quickly.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

At the moment it’s probably Aspirations, I love playing all of them though. It kind of depends on the crowd on the night.

 

Who is your favourite musician/band?

At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Real Friends and Knuckle Puck. I love so many bands though. PVRIS are another one.

 

Is there an artist that you feel is underrated?

When it comes to unsigned bands I think a lot of them need to find out who their target audience is and who they want it to be, and work on advertising more to get
in front of the right people. Not enough bands seem to do that and I’ve always been up for helping other bands succeed. Yeah it can cost money but I’m not gonna remember my balance being £30 higher or whatever, what I will remember is succeeding with another band and playing shows together.

 

What was your first job?

I’ve never had a ‘proper job’ for more than like a month. I believe that if you work on something you love more and get paid less to do it, in future you’ll end up being paid more to do less.

 

Is there one thing that you couldn’t live without?

Probably green tea or sushi.

 

How do you find juggling your solo career alongside your time with the band?

Pretty easy at the moment, I love being productive and we’re currently working on our debut EP as a band whilst I’m currently working on my debut EP as a solo artist. It’s just with my solo thing I’m doing everything at the moment like production and playing almost everything you hear on the tracks. It’s nice cause you have more control over it when you’re doing a whole project yourself. I set the record label up i’m putting my stuff out on too.

 

What does the bands’ current schedule look like?

We just put out our third single ‘A Place To Run’ and we have a music video for ‘Starlight Estate’ coming out real soon! Then we’re booking a string of shows across the UK and starting promo for our debut EP. We have a photoshoot tomorrow, that could be cool as we could do with new promo pics! The last we did were kinda crappy and it was freezing. These new ones should look sick though.

 

And what can we expect from the soon to be released video for ‘Starlight Estate’?

Me sitting in underpasses, looking homeless… nah but really there’s a lot of driving shots and footage of me walking around my friends estate at night. The songs about travelling and having lots of temporary places to reside. It also has us playing in front of huge light box with shots of us travelling overload.

 


 

You can check out 2far2jump here:

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2far2jump are playing at Asylum in Chelmsford on the 4th of November, for which further information can be found here.

INTERVIEW: Revocation

These questions were answered by David Davidson, vocalist and guitarist of technical death/thrash metallers Revocation.

 

How would you describe your style of music?

The core of our sound is death/thrash, but there’s also a strong progressive influence as well.

 

What would you say the main message behind your music is?

I don’t think there is a singular message behind our music, it can mean so many different things to different people it’s a bit too hard for me to distil it down to one main theme.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

It all starts with a collection of riffs that I think fit well together. From there I start working out the arrangement in my head and eventually record a rough demo on my computer. Then I’ll send that demo to our drummer Ash so he can get familiar with the structure. Once we get in a room together, we start jamming through the parts until everyone is up to speed and then I’ll make some little tweaks here and there or the other guys will make some suggestions of ideas to try out arrangement wise. After all the parts feel solidified I’ll start working on lyrics, solos and melodies to complete the song.

 

How do you decide your setlist for shows?

We usually start a group text thread and bounce different songs off each other. Generally we’re usually all on the same page so it doesn’t take us too long to lock down a setlist.

 

Do you have a favourite show that you’ve played?

That’s a tough one seeing as we’ve been touring pretty solidly for the past few years. One show that sticks out in recent memory was a festival in Colombia called ‘Manizales Grita Rock’. There were about 14,000 people there, so that was a pretty unique experience since I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big before.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Currently, ‘Madness Opus’.

 

What is your craziest tour story?

We were on tour with Darkest Hour and Periphery a few years back and I was trying to get Misha to stage dive since he had never done it. I tried to assure him that it was totally safe so I went off and dove into the crowd. The first time the crowd caught me and rested me safely on the ground, the second time however things didn’t quite go as planned and long story short the back of my head hit the concrete floor and I ended up in the ER with eight staples in my head. After all that I’m not surprised that Misha never followed my lead!

 

Does anyone in the band have any bad habits?

We all used to party a little too hard on tour, but we seem to be mellowing out as the years go by.

 

If you could go back to the beginning of the band, would you do anything differently?

No, I like to thank of any mistakes that we’ve made along the way as a learning experience.

 

And finally, any advice for young bands or people thinking of starting a band?

Try to find your own voice and be creative.

 


 

You can check out Revocation here:

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