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Holding Absence - Holding Absence

Når jeg skal anmelde nye kunstnere, prøver jeg altid at snuse lidt rundt på nettet for at få en fornemmelse af, hvad for musikere, jeg har med at gøre. Da jeg lavede øvelsen med Holding Absence blev jeg lidt urolig, for hverken deres homepage eller den officielle Facebook side siger noget om bandet ellers dets baggrund – her går det mere om at vise videoer og linke til bandets officielle community – det lugter langt væk af idoldyrkelse; et indtryk der kun forstærkes af de officielle billeder af bandet. Det skal selvfølgelig ikke bruges mod de fem unge mænd fra Wales; de skal kun bedømmes på deres selvbetitlede debutalbum, som blev indspillet fra februar til august 2018.

Men ak, her er der ikke mange lyspunkter, for mage til intetsigende musikalsk produkt skal man lede længe efter. Presseteksten fortæller, at man inden indspilningen udskiftede begge guitarister, men jeg fristes til at spørge hvorfor - i de fleste numre hører man ikke meget til de seksstrengede. Når de endelig er der, giver de sammen med keyboard musikken et anstrøg af Nu-Metal, men kan ikke skjule at Holding Absence ikke har ret meget at byde på rent musikalsk. Deres absolut vigtigste medlem er sangeren Lucas Woodland, som har en både stærk og varieret vokal, som fortjener at arbejde med langt bedre materiale, end tilfældet er på albummet her – Han trækker helt alene 1 stjerne i bedømmelsen.

Nej, bandets hovedformål er at få pulsen op hos teenagepiger, og med mindre man tilhører dén gruppe, bør man gå langt udenom Holding Absence. Jeg sagde LANGT!

Tracklist:
1. Perish
2. Your Love
3. Like A Shadow
4. You Are Everything
5. Marigold
6. To Fall Asleep
7. Monochrome
8. A Godsend
9. Last Of The Evening Light
10. Purge
11. Wilt
Samlet spilletid: 47:50

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Settle Your Scores - Better Luck Tomorrow

Settle Your Scores er fra Cincinnati, Ohio, hvor bandet startede i 2014. To år senere udsendtes det første album, ”The Wilderness”, og nu, hvor der igen er gået to år, sender de album nummer to på gaden: ”Better Luck Tomorrow”.

Selv om der er tale om et ret nyt band, sender albummet mig tilbage i tiden, nærmere bestemt til begyndelsen af 00’erne, hvor DR sendte Boogie listen hver lørdag eftermiddag. Her kunne den danske ungdom se videoer med tidens musik, og det var ofte bands som The Offspring, Green Day og Good Charlotte der præsenterede poppede og ufarlige version af Punk.

Netop i den boldgade befinder Settle Your Scores sig, for hovedparten af deres musik er velegnet som soundtrack til en ubekymret teenage sommerferie med fester på stranden og langt til hverdagens udfordringer. Blandingen af catchy melodier, rene vokaler og enkelte hårde guitarer passer perfekt ind i stilen fra de ovennævnte navne, og hvis ikke det var fordi, at Settle Your Scores ind imellem viser tænder, ville jeg stemple albummet som uden berettigelse og give det bundkarakter.

Men netop fordi numrene ind imellem viser kant, er de ikke uinteressante. Især sangeren Christian Fisher bidrager med ret ondsindede brøl flere steder, men også rytmisk kommer der ind imellem metalliske toner ind over. Afvigelserne fra det kendte er små, men tilstrækkelige til at hive et OK og tre stjerner hjem.

Tracklist:
1. On the Count of Three
2. Zero Hour
3. Growing Pains - Throwing Blame
4. Dead Man Stalking
5. Keep Your Chin Up and Your Expectations Down
6. Stuck in the Suburbs
7. Rise Fall
8. Off / On
9. No Ragrets
10. Your Teeth vs. the Pavement
11. Valar Morghulis
12. My Reason to Come Back Home
Samlet spilletid: 38:01

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Settle Your Scores - Interview with Christian Fisher

The young Pop-Punk band Settle Your Scores from Cincinnati will release their new album "Better Luck Tomorrow" tomorrow, the 13th april, through SharpTone Records. We had a talk with the singer Christian Fisher about the new album. 

 

Hello. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album. Could you start out by introducing yourself and tell us what part in the band you have?

Christian: Thank you! I’m Christian and I’m the singer.

 

Why did you choose this title for the record?

Christian: It’s a kind of a play on a joke we have amongst the band. We always say that we have terrible luck, and our history definitely reflects that. We’ve had money stolen from us, lots of vehicle troubles while on tour, and dealt with some shady promoters. We chose this title because it’s the turning point for our band. It’s our first signed release and hopefully, the start of some better luck!

 

When did you start working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?

Christian: Ricky had some of these songs in the works while we were touring on our last album, The Wilderness. Ricky has always been an active and brilliant song writer, so I think on his end he had fun writing it. I would say that from start to finish, including demoing, writing and recording it took about a year and a half from start to finish.

 

Where did you record the album, and who produced it? How did the cooperation go between the band and the producer?

Christian: We recorded with Johnny Franck via Johnny Franck Productions, ex Attack Attack and current frontman of Bilmuri. He’s a great guy and we had a blast with him!

 

Are you trying to express something through your music?

Christian: I think that all music is an expression of something, whether it’s a story or an emotional state. Ricky does a great job with this album expressing feelings of uncertainty and reflection on past mistakes.

 

You've already released the first song online for your fans to hear, how has the new material been received from the fans so far?

Christian: People seem to love it, which is always a great sign. We’ve had a lot of people saying it reminds them of the Drive-Thru Records era of pop punk, which is super humbling because we look up to those bands.

 

Who did the artwork and what is the idea behind it?

Christian: Jake Carruthers did the artwork. It sounds really cliché, but the art is based off of this super outrageous dream I had. In the dream I was walking down a dark alleyway with a light at the end of it. All the good luck/bad luck elements on the cover were in the dream. When I woke up, I immediately texted the band guys like “YO I HAVE AN ALBUM ART IDEA.” The rest is history.

 

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How would you compare the material on this release to your previous material?

Christian: This release is mostly pop punk, but there are a lot more elements from other genres present in these songs. There’s some rock, metalcore, and even an acoustic song on this release. It’s definitely more diverse than The Wilderness.

 

What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind new music do you listen to these days?

Christian: Ricky and Caleb were all about classic rock and pop punk, Pat and I were into metalcore, and Jeff used to be a rapper! We all came together with a common tase in heavy pop punk. We also love listening to metalcore on tour.

 

Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?

Christian: Ricky definitely drew some metalcore influences on some of these songs. For me personally, I can definitely hear influence from Wage War and Of Mice and Men in some of the heavier stuff on the album. For the pop punk tracks, he definitely draws from bands like Four Year Strong, The Starting Line, Etc.

 

In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far and what has been your biggest experience through the years?

Christian: I think the coolest thing we’ve done was play our hometown Warped Tour date in Cincinnati. Such an amazing experience. Hopefully, we’ll get to play large festivals like that sometime soon!

 

Could we expect any European tour and maybe see the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?

Christian: We would love to tour Europe, but we don’t have any concrete plans yet. Stay tuned!

 

What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?

Christian: For me personally, I would love to do a world tour with Underoath. They’re my favorite band of all time, and they’re finally coming back this year.

 

That’s all we’ve get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?

Christian: I want to say thank you for the opportunity to interview with you! Also, to all the pop punk fans reading this, please check out the album. Whether it’s streaming, buying, whatever. Any sort of support helps us and we appreciate it dearly.

 

We would like to say thanks a lot for your time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring.

 

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Savage Hands - Interview with Mikey

The young american band Savage Hands will release their new album "Barely Alive" on friday (march 2nd) through Sharptone Records, we asked the vocalist Mikey a few questions about the band and their new album.

 

Hello. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album. Could you start out by introducing yourself and tell us what part in the band you have? 
Mikey: Thank you so much! Hey guys. Mikey G here, the vocalist of the band.


Why did you choose this title for the record?
Mikey: The record is pretty dark, and represents some of the darkest times of our lives. I chose Barely Alive because that song in particular was probably the darkest time in my life. And I wanted that focal point to represent the mood of the entire record.


When did you start working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?
Mikey: We first started working on the album back in 2016 as just a project. We didn’t really know or understand what we wanted out of it, but we knew we wanted to create something organic and fresh. It was a long process. Between working and finishing school… we basically had only weekends to work with. Traveling from Maryland to Ohio which is a 7 hour drive. The writing process came naturally instrumentally, but the writing process lyrically was tough because I was literally ripping the words out of my mind that cause so much emotion in my life. It was if I was reliving some of those memories while putting it together. It helped me move on though.

Where did you record the album, and who produced it? How did the cooperation go between the band and the producer?
Mikey: The record was produced/recorded in Cleveland OH with Andrew Baylis. Some slight producing came from our at home producer Jesus Rivera. They both work with each other as well so it’s all a very good thing we have going on. Being able to write at home and then take it to the big studio helps out with time a lot.
Cooperation was awesome. We harnessed a very good friendship with Baylis from our older bands and continued on with Savage Hands.

Are you trying to express something through your music?
Mikey: yeah. We just want people to see the bad in their lives and be able to recover from it on a positive note through emotion, in whatever way they seem fit. “Deciding when you pick yourself back up is a choice you can make at any time”.

Since the release is only a few days away now, how has the response from the press been?
Mikey: So far it’s been really great and we’re not used to that so we’re very pleased and thankful. As I said previously... it’s been a long time in the making so seeing the response we have been getting is mind blowing.

You've already released the first two songs online for your fans to hear, how has the new material been received from the fans so far?
Mikey: just as we had hoped. Amazing. The younger kids love it, as well as adults. It’s got a well rounded boundary to it and is open for all ears and all music lovers.

Who did the artwork and what is the idea behind it?
Mikey: Omar Preciado. He is an amazing artist with a great perception of what we can ask of him verbally. We wanted to grasp the concept of like the nice guy finishing last. Being stabbed even though you’re reaching out a hand. Basically a “taken for granted” type of feeling. He NAILED IT.

How would you compare the material on this release to your previous material?
Mikey: Haha, a 100% turn around. We’ve never done anything like this.

What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind of new music do you listen to these days?
Mikey: a little bit of everything. My dad was into classic rock while my mom just listened to everything. I started getting into scene music like Taking Back Sunday, Silverstein, and From First to Last when I turned 13. Relating to the lyrics hard. Now I listen to a variety it all depends on what I’m doing. I like jamming slow Indy stuff when I’m driving, hip-hop while partying, and alternative rock or 90s rock while skateboarding like Highly Suspect then turning way back to Nirvana.

Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?
Mikey: Not really. I guess these bands accomplishments inspired us to work hard. But as for instrumentally or lyrically, no.

In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far and what has been your biggest experience through the years?
Mikey: our biggest achievement so far is actually seeing this offer through and signing the deal with Sharptone. It was a huge accomplishment in our books. We couldn’t happier with the home we’ve been given to develop our art.
Through the years we have all opened some exceptionally notable tours with nation acts such as I see stars, silverstien, and a bunch of others. Biggest show probably had a turn out of 700 people.

Could we expect any European tour and maybe see the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?
Mikey: Hopefully haha. As for how soon, honestly I’m not sure. It’s a personal dream of mine to travel. A lot of our label mates are across the pond, so maybe we can get something going soon.

What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?
Mikey: would have loved to play warped tour. We actually played our home state date back in 2015 when we were in a older band and I wanted to get back ever since. But we got cut short on that one!
A dream tour would be with Bring Me The Horizon, UNDEROATH, Sylar and Savage Hands. I feel like that is a pretty well rounded genre friendly tour!

That’s all we’ve get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?
Mikey: Thank you to everyone that supports Savage Hands. You are Savage Hands.

We would like to say thanks a lot for your time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring.

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Holding Absence and Loathe - Interview with Lucas and Erik

Holding Absence and Loathe just released a split EP "This Is As One" last Friday on the 16th febuary through SharpTone Records/Nuclear Blast, we asked a few questions to Lucas Woodland from Holding Absence and Erik Bickerstaffe from Loathe.

 

Hello. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album. Could you start out by introducing yourself and tell us what part in the band you have?

Lucas Woodland (Holding Absence): Hello! My name is Lucas, and I sing for Holding Absence.

Erik Bickerstaffe (Loathe): Thanks very much! My name is Erik, I sing and play guitar in Loathe.

 

Why did you choose this title for the record?

Lucas (H.A.): We wanted This Is As One to be a perfect collab between ourselves and Loathe. By combining both our slogans, “This Is Holding Absence, & Loathe As One” and then removing our band titles, it left us with something both ambiguous but meaningful. Much like the artwork, This Is As One could mean a number of things on first glance.

Erik (Loathe): As far as I'm aware at first the release was intended to be untitled, having the focus mainly on our band names. We just thought that considering both bands have their own mantras, it would be beneficial to include them in some way so we put them together to create 'This Is As One'.

 

When did you start working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?

Lucas (H.A.): We started work on the EP about 5 or 6 months ago. It’s no secret that Holding Absence are working towards a debut album also, so writing this release was quite unusual for us, as we had to snap out of the “Album” mindset we found ourselves in, and write 2 stand alone songs. In hindsight, we couldn’t be happier with the end products - Saint Cecilia and Everything are two songs we’re proud of, and also two songs we know wouldn’t fit on the Holding Absence debut record.

Erik (Loathe): We really enjoyed the creative process behind this record, we got to experiment with our sound more which is always what we get excited to do when it comes to working on new material for future releases. We started, I guess a few weeks before we entered the studio with writing the basis of the tunes but really filling them out once we got to the studio.

 

HOLDING ABSENCE

Holding Absence

 

Where did you record the album, and who produced it? How did the cooperation go between the bands and the producer?

Lucas (H.A.): We recorded the split in two separate sittings with our producer George Lever. Loathe went in during September (sadly we were touring with Young Guns at the time), and we recorded our songs in November. The release is a testament to how good our producer George is. He managed to take two completely different bands with completely different styles, recording in different sessions and have them somehow sit comfortably next to each other on the release. He is a huge factor in the completion of This Is As One.

Erik (Loathe): We tracked everything besides vocals at Middle Farm Studios which is a beautiful studio located around South Devon and worked with our friend George Lever. Working with George is great, our shared focus on every little detail hidden with the music is something everyone in the band enjoys. We worked hard alongside him to create a sound we've wanted to hear from our band for a while and we love the result.

 

Are you trying to express something through your music?

Lucas (H.A.): Holding Absence and Loathe are ALWAYS trying to express something through music - It’s why we chose to work together. As well as the underlying messages in the music, both bands definitely tried to showcase themselves here. Loathe showing a transition from their debut album, “The Cold Sun”, and Holding Absence laying all remaining cards on the table prior to the album release.

Erik (Loathe): As textbook as it sounds, through Loathe we are just trying to express ourselves, our influences and what would pretty much be the music we want to hear. Keeping it close to what we are naturally has been something we have recently rediscovered which is helping out a lot.

 

Who did the artwork and what is the idea behind it?

Lucas (H.A.): Dan Owen from Nemesis design did the artwork. As stated earlier, we wanted something very ambiguous that said everything and nothing.

Erik (Loathe): Daniel worked on the artwork for the entire 'This Is As One' release and killed it. Considering we are a very hands on band with any of our visuals or anything aesthetic related I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I think the artwork represents a statement of allowing the power of music do the talking, with how minimal the artwork is it and also the fact there are no names on the cover, it really highlights what both bands are about.

 

How would you compare the material on this release to your previous material?

Lucas (H.A.): Like I said earlier, we see Cecilia & Everything as the two parts of our band we were yet to show people. Between Penance, Permanent, Dream Of Me, Heaven Knows and these two, we believe we’ve set up quite a strong parameter to show people what our band is capable of in its earliest form.

Erik (Loathe): It's still Loathe, everything we release will always be Loathe. So that's something everyone can be sure of. We are just growing up with our tastes and influences changing constantly as we grow together as a unit, and each release is the band releasing what we are at that very moment. So this is Loathe at the moment.

 

LOATHE

Loathe

 

What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind new music do you listen to these days?

Lucas (H.A.): I grew up listening to lots of music - everything from Maroon 5 to Gallows. We all have very eclectic music tastes spanning from The 1975 to Meshuggah. Personally, these days all I listen to is Radiohead, The Cure and Brockhampton.

Erik (Loathe): I got into metal and heavier rock pretty early, starting with stuff on Guitar Hero 3 which would eventually lead to more "core" related artists and all that sorta stuff. But nowadays, I listen to anything that is good, a broad statement but I appreciate any musical effort and I can listen to most music and enjoy it like I would if it was a specific genre I liked.

 

Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?

Lucas (H.A.): To be honest, we tried very hard to not let our references for Cecilia and Everything be known. I’m yet to see any real “comparisons” in the comments to the videos etc.

Erik (Loathe): Not really, we take influence from a pretty specific set of artists primarily but like I said previously. With our tastes changing, influences can come and go.

 

In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far and what has been your biggest experience through the years?

Lucas (H.A.): I’d say signing to Sharptone was a really big life goal for all members of our band. We never imagine ourselves to be signed to a label - It’s a real honour. Playing Download festival last year is up there for us all, too.

Erik (Loathe): The highlight of my musical career so far would have been flying out to California as a band for the very first time. It was an extremely monumental time in my life as it was the birthing of what I've always wanted. Meeting our management, meeting our label and then to top it all of we performed at Slipknot's Knotfest Festival for our US debut show. It was mad, still is mad to think about.

 

What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?

Lucas (H.A.): Personally, I’d love to tour with Thrice, Deftones, Counterparts and in a dream world, Fugazi. I think for our bands’ sake, a tour with 30 Seconds To Marsor a My Chemical Romance reunion tour would be perfect for us.

Erik (Loathe): There are so many of those, but if right now I have to pick I would say performing alongside Meshuggah would be a great achievement.

 

That’s all we’ve get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?

Lucas (H.A.): Thanks to all reading, and those who’ve listened to our band too. We’re eternally grateful.

Erik (Loathe): Thanks for having me, it was a pleasure answering your questions. And to everyone reading who supports Loathe and what we do, thank you for everything you have provided us with so far. It means the world to us, peace.

 

We would like to say thanks a lot for your time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring.

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Currents - The Place I Feel Safest

Currents startede i Connecticut i 2011, og i løbet af de næste år udsendte bandet et par EP’er og en række singler. I 2015 kom Brian Wille til som ny sanger, og så var line-uppet klar til at tage det næste skridt. Bandet fik en kontrakt med Sharptone Records, som udsender debutalbummet “The Place I Feel Safest”.

Moderne Metalcore er kendetegnet ved en grundstamme bestående af en skrigende, brølende og meget aggressiv vokal; en tilsvarende ren udgave, som fremfører melodiske afsnit og ledsagende musik, som kombinerer tunge anslag med hakkende rytmer. Denne grundopskrift udgør grundstammen i samtlige skæringer på albummet, og det er kun små afvigelser i omfang eller fordeling, der udgør forskellene. Derfor skal man spidse ører for at finde dem, men de er der: Der er specielt god melodi i de rene passager i ”Withered”, flot guitarmelodi i titelnummeret og ”I'm Not Waiting”, ekstra højt tempo i ”Forget Me” og en stille start på ”Silence”. Så ja, forskellene er til stede, men de er meget små. Det gør albummet meget ensformigt, og det er ingen overraskelse, at det hele meget hurtigt bliver røvkedeligt. Det kan forsvares, at man som debuterende band ikke eksperimenterer vildt, men når man lægger navn til en udgivelse, skal den indeholde noget personligt. På det punkt fejler Currents stort, og hvis ikke der bliver rettet op, behøver de efter min mening ikke udsende mere materiale.

Tracklist:
1. Apnea
2. Tremor
3. Night Terrors
4. Delusion
5. Withered
6. Dreamer
7. Forget Me
8. The Place I Feel Safest
9. Silence
10. Best Memory
11. Another Life
12. I'm Not Waiting
13. Shattered
Samlet spilletid: 50:18

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Miss May I - Shadows Inside

Jeg kan godt li’ Hardcorens rå og voldsomme stil, men går samtidig ikke af vejen for en go’ melodi. På papiret burde Metalcore derfor lige være noget for mig, men alt for ofte er tingene ude af balance, så det hårde bliver nedtonet, og de forsonende melodier bliver for pæne. Sådan havde jeg det også, da jeg enmeldte Miss May I’s ”Monument” fra 2010. Nu er amerikanerne klar med et nyt udspil, som jeg har haft gennem anmeldermøllen.

Det starter rigtig godt, for åbningsnummeret ”Shadows Inside” buldrer løs med højt energiniveau som supplement til de rene omkvæd – her balancerer tingene, sådan skal det være! Desværre skal vi helt hen til det næstsidste nummer, ”Lost In The Grey” før der igen er harmoni mellem det hårdslående og det melodiske. I de resterende numre er der enten for lidt knald på det hårde, eller også overskygger de melodiske vokaler helheden, så de trækker energien ud af nummeret – værst høres det i ”Crawl” og ”Swallow Your Teeth”. Det er en smule irriterende, for intentionerne er gode nok; Miss May I har passager, hvor der er godt med kant i instrumenterne, men i sammenhængen fungerer de ikke. Derfor lykkes det heller ikke denne gang for amerikanerne at overbevise mig om genrens værdi, trods en meget lovende start.

Tracklist:
1. Shadows Inside
2. Under Fire
3. Never Let Me Stay
4. My Destruction
5. Casualties
6. Crawl
7. Swallow Your Teeth
8. Death Knows My Name
9. Lost In The Grey
10. My Sorrow
Samlet spilletid: 34:30

 

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