Fancy a night out? Of course you do. For sheer value for money alone, you’ll be laughing with Steampunk Record’s tour, which is entering the stage where everyone will be firing on all cylinders. On offer is a smorgasbord of musical offerings, from the demented cabaret of Feline and Strange, the grizzled rock of BB Blackdog and the highly-recommended The Wattingers. With a burlesque host and an extravagant lightshow to boot, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re going to make an album, you might as well throw everything at it like Homerik have. A New York three-piece, seemingly supplemented by, a cast of thousands, from female sopranos to players of ethnic instruments (in fairness, it’s not actually clear who the guitarist in the band is), they have the friendly, symphonic gushing of Nightwish; the quasi-Egyptian doomsaying of Nile and the tongue-in-cheek portentousness of Ghost or Mercyful Fate. It’s somewhat startling on first listen, and not entirely successful but repeated listens reveal a band with a lot of ideas, who perhaps need to cut back on the quantity and concentrate more on the quality.
The lead track, which we are promised a video for at Halloween, A Song of the Night Part 1, is a case in point. At over seven minutes long, it lacks nothing in ambition but spreads every elements of their arsenal to the limits…sadly to the point of snapping point. The orchestral backing is impressive in concept but is somehow more Casio keyboard than lush strings, while the heavy sections are somewhat clunky. Worse, the threat of a second part and beyond, just fills you with the dread of a band taking themselves far too seriously and no-one having the guts to say ‘stop’.
It’s well worth sticking with Homerik though – Curse of the Black Nile, which far from an original idea (an ancient cannibalistic curse features within the lyrics), does at least pack in oodles of atmosphere and shows a band with real power in their ranks, something which they release too infrequently. Best of all is Wendigo, the opening screams and slow build of chest-bursting percussion giving way to some top-notch atmospherics. A real blood-chiller and a great indication of what Homerik have to offer in the future, hopefully.
Grunge meets metal-core in Dead Days ‘Daggers’ and the results are clear, fresh and undeniably catchy. Heavy, chugging guitars hold down and define the mood of the song right from the get go giving Travis Marc’s vocals the solid foundation and space they need to really shine through, and shine through they do. Constantly on the verge of breaking, Travis manages to be subtle and nuanced with texture and style whilst still retaining a strength and passion that comes across as true, authentic and frothing with the bitter sweet energy of youth. His range is also impressive, delivering the chorus with a smooth, anthemic tone before spitting “take them from me” right at you.
The bands solid craftsmanship doesn’t stop there though as the lead guitar work is thoughtful and well placed, showing a real respect for the craft. This culminates in a solo that brings to mind the virtuoso work of Avenged Sevenfold guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance. It’s dual guitar and pinch harmonic galore!
The influence of the 90s is clear here also with a sound reminiscent of grunge greats such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. However, what makes Dead Days special is how they’ve reinvigorated this sound and style with an energy that is fresh and relevant today. Taking lessons from some of the more melodic metal and pop punk bands of the 2000s such as A Day To Remember and New Found Glory, Dead Days have perfectly captured the energy and the attitude of Grunge and cleverly made it their own.
Keep an eye on Dead Days and get more of the good stuff here…
Never really exploding in a meaningful commercial sense, shoegaze and the various off-shoots came and went in the blurry fog of drowsy feedback, only to rear its head politely in the sound of the stoner rock movement which sprang up in the early 90s.
It seems that only this year bands and reintroduced themselves to the echo-heavy, guitar-pedals-on-overdrive glorious sludge of the original 80s ethic of play it loud and play it long. Sweden’s Pink Milk have been one of the first bands to take this to its very limits, the twosome evoking dark huddled cultists groaning in windswept valleys.
Their forthcoming album, Purple, collects their single Detroit and achingly affecting cover of Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love is together with their deafening tracks recorded in both English and Swedish. Check out their videos and soundcloud and get ahead of the game.