Motion City Soundtrack- So long, farewell. 

Ever since I heard the news, I knew I wanted to address the sad issue of Motion City Soundtrack calling it a day, but I wasn’t quite sure how. 

This is going to be a very personal post that I am almost reluctant to write, but it’s worth it to acknowledge the band I owe everything to. 

Let’s start at the beginning. How I first got into Motion City Soundtrack. Well, when I was in high school I used to play guitar in the music rooms as often as I could, break times, lunch times, after school, whenever possible. It was in those music rooms where I first heard MCS, actually though the drummer of As It Is, Patrick Foley.  He was playing the beat to Everything is Alright and little 15 year old me was just like ‘WHAT IS THAT?!’ And so, I went home and bought Commit This To Memory and alas, my love affair began. 

After falling in love with CTTM I went backwards in time to I Am The Movie and discovered the delightful pop rock quirkiness of songs like Capital H and My Favourite Accident. Soon after this Even If It Kills Me was released and I went to see them for the first time at London, Astoria. This is where the obsession really kicked off, and I’m so grateful it did. 
The difference for me between Motion City Soundtrack and every other pop punk band that came and went over the years, is that MCS seemed to get more relevant and more pertinant in my life the older I got and the more experiences I went through. Their lyrics just seemed to get more meaningful the more I understood them and more relatable the more things that happened in my life. Unlike other bands that I listened to from the pop punk scene at the time, although I suppose they were never truly part of that scene and were an entity all of their own.

I really don’t want to turn this post into a blog about my life, but Motion City Soundtrack and in particular, Justin Pierre’s lyrics have become such an important part of my life for so many reasons. Dealing with social anxiety, smoking and drinking too much and being in a damaging relationship for years, amongst other issues, led to me constantly seeking help from my self help therapists at every hurdle. They have a song for everything, every issue I go through, every emotion I feel. I feel like Justin Pierre is one of the most honest and relatable lyricists out there and the thought of them finally calling it a day still hurts my heart. 

One of the things I love most about MCS is the ability to have the happiest of melodies and beats to some of the most significant lyrics I’ve ever heard. Take Everything is Alright, one of their most loved songs, with lyrics like ‘I used to rely on self-medication, I guess I still do that from time to time. But I’m getting better at fighting the future, “Someday you’ll be fine..” Yes, I’ll be just fine.’ Sometimes music can be the best form of medication and having someone literally tell you everything is alright is sometimes all you need. Another one of my favourite lines is from Even If It Kills Me, ‘For the first time in a long time, I can say that I wanna try, to get better and overcome each moment in my own way’. Another song that just helps me when I’m feeling anxiety taking over, I listen to this and it just makes me feel better. It gives me positivity when my fucked up thoughts take over, as do so many of their songs. I could go in to detail with lyrics from most of their back catalogue but I won’t be that boring and will move along. 

But it’s not all so depressing, songs like Capital H, Time Turned Fragile and Pulp Fiction amongst others are just filled with catchy melodies, great choruses and just heaps of fun. MCS have all the charisma of Weezer, with more lyrical depth and it seems so unfair that they have been forgotten about and left behind. 

Their live shows, always impeccably good, Justin’s voice always carries well, the band are always tight and solid and again, so much fun and it’s such a shame that they only have a few live shows left. They’re a band that should have gotten much further, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a scene where it’s often about being ‘sellable’ and maybe MCS don’t meet that criteria appearance wise for magazines ect and it’s a shame people don’t open their ears more instead of their eyes. 

I could honestly ramble on for days about why this band mean so much to me, this doesn’t even scratch the surface. Basically Motion City Soundtrack have been my crutch and will continue to be. Their music helps me in a way that I have never experienced with any other band. I truly believe Justin Pierre is my lyrical soul mate and I will never stop loving this band. I am devestated that it has had to come to an end for them, but wish them all the best in the future. 

R.I.P Motion City Soundtrack, thank you for everything. 
Their last ever UK tour dates are as follows:

02 Institute 2 in Birmingham- Thu, 18 Aug 2016

Kentish Town Forum, London- Fri, 19 Aug 2016

02 Ritz, Manchester- Sat 20 Aug 2016

Issues – Headspace Review 

After emerging onto the scene with their R&B/metalcore fusion filled self titled first album, fans across the globe were waiting in anticipation of what Issues had to offer with their sophomore album Headspace. Remaining true to their eclectic sound, Headspace brings a mixture of influences. Ranging from all ends of the music spectrum, think nu-metal meets Justin Bieber meets metalcore. 

Kicking off with the first single off the album The Realest is one of the stand out songs off the album. The funky, nu-metalesque bass offerings of Skyler Acord are a stand out feature of the song and continue much the same throughout the album. It’s groovy, it’s heavy, yet it’s poppy and bouncy. There is no one way of defining this band. With strong choruses throughout the album, songs like Yung and Dum and COMA provide a huge sound with anthemic sing-a-longs.

Flojo kicks things off with some turn table spinning and has some serious nu-metal vibes, once again greeted by a huge chorus with massive grooves. Followed by Hero, both songs are possibly lyrically addressing the pressure put on the band throughout their career so far, with lines like ‘In a mental prison, searching for my big break. I need less attention on all of my mistakes’. The band have a way of addressing interesting topics and through the mixture of delivery from Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn, the two contrasting sets of vocals pair together brilliantly. 

Blue Wall is possibly Issues heaviest track to date. Addressing the issues of police brutality one of the stand out lines being ‘Caged like animals, wound up and released with their badge. Brutalize our streets, savages how many have to die to put an end to crooked swine’. This insightful song shows another side to Issues, one with more seriousness and cultural relevance. 

Followed by Someone Who Does, this song appears to be a song for all the kids with broken homes who don’t have good relationships with their Dad’s. Again, they deliver some really passionate lyrics that come across really genuine and heartfelt. It’s a brutally honest song and you can feel the emotion throughout it. 

Personally, before this album was released, I was a fan of Issues main ‘hits’ such as Hooligans, Mad At Myself and Stringray Affliction but had never really given Issues the time of day and listened to their back catalogue fully. Since the release of Headspace, a killer show at Koko and a huge set at Slam Dunk they are quickly becoming one of the most interesting bands around at the moment in my opinion. This new album is original, interesting and passionate. Give it a listen.

Crown The Empire announce new album info

Crown The Empire have announced their third full-length Retrograde.

Andy Leo, one of the band’s vocalists states “This album has been an accumulation of ideas, lessons and observations about who we are as a band and how we see the world…It’s taken 5 years for us to grow and really nail down a sound that doesn’t fit the status quo of what people are expecting from us. We’ve reinvented ourselves and we hope you enjoy the ride.”

The album is due out on July 22 via Rise Records

The track listing is as follows:

1. SK-68
2. Are You Coming With Me?
3. Zero
4. Aftermath
5. Hologram
6. The Fear Is Real
7. Lucky Us
8. Weight of the World
9. Signs of Life
10. Oxygen
11. Kaleidoscope
12. For Days
13. Mercury

Slam Dunk Overview 2016

In its ten years of delivering one of the most exciting festivals in the UK alternative and pop punk scene, Slam Dunk didn’t fail to deliver in 2016. Selling out throughout the weekend at Slam Dunk North, Midlands and South and with festivals crumbling all around the UK, Slam Dunk seems to get stronger each year. Bringing a strong line up on 8 different stages, with the likes of Moose Blood, Panic! at The Disco, Issues, Memphis May Fire, New Found Glory, Every Time I Die, Young Guns and heaps more, we take a look at some of our highlights of the weekend and what makes Slam Dunk just so special.

Starting the day with Moose Blood. An emo filled, melodic, heartfelt band who get the crowd going immediately with massive sing-a-longs with songs like Boston and Bukowski starting the day off right. They had the luck of being the first band of the day and being right by the entrance, meaning a huge crowd gathered quickly and they quickly became one of the most enjoyable bands of the day. Filled with emotion and passion, Moose Blood have released two singles off their upcoming sophomore album Blush, due for release in August. It may be one of the most anticipated albums of the year, pulling in big attraction from BBC Radio 1 and it’s easy to see why. As they played Slam Dunk you can feel that something big is going to happen for this band, and with a sellout gig at Koko towards the end of the year, we can expect big things from them in 2016.

Next on the main stage, Young Guns. Whirling through a collection of songs from their back catalogue, they quickly remind us how many strong songs they have. With anthem if sounds and massive choruses, they reel in the crowd and play a flawless set made up of songs such as Bones, Winter Kiss, Weight of The World and Memento Mori. Their later albums reminiscent of HIM mixed with PVRIS goes down a treat amongst the fans at Slam Dunk. Having been quiet for a while Gustav Wood states the band have been writing a new album, due out later in the year, another band to watch in 2016 if their Slam Dunk set is anything to go by.

Later on in the day we are greeted by Hacktivist. A nu-metal, rap/grime fusion, Hacktivist are one of the most interesting bands of the day. With songs like their self-titled track Hacktivist and Elevate they bring a mixture of heavy music with a mixture of singing and rapping with political and relevant lyrics. With elements of Issues and Enter Shikari, this band have their own defining niche sound, a great addition to the line up.

Malory Knox hit up the main stage going through songs such as Shout At The Moon and Beggars, big tunes with big choruses, singer Mikey Chapman does his best to get the crowd involved. Their poppy alternative rock back catalogue goes down a treat and Lighthouse provides one of the most memorable sing-a-longs of the day.
New Found Glory. They are like the daddy’s of Slam Dunk. Having played several times over the years, and being one of the genre defining bands of pop punk, a lot of the bands that have played Slam Dunk over the years owe it all to New Found Glory. They sail through a solid back catalogue of songs and the massive crowd response to songs like Hit or Miss and All Downhill From Here prove that they can still deliver one of the most fun and most loved pop punk shows out of all the bands of that genre.

Next up, Issues. One of my favourite bands of the day, fusing together a mixture of genres, these metalcore/pop/screams/nu-metal geniuses play a stormer of a set, highlighting the massive tunes they have collected in their short time on the scene. Songs like Life Of A Nine and Stingray Affliction from their first record bring the mosh pits and sing-a-longs. Songs from the new record Headspace feature the insane slapping bass skills of Skyler Acord who nails it with the likes of The Realest and COMA. Ending with fan favourite Mad At Myself and Hooligans it’s clear to see that this is a band just getting started but could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and be selling out massive arenas in no time at all. With anthemic choruses with just the right amount of screaming and aggression, this band are a perfect fusion of genres to appeal to mass audiences. Very fun and energetic, it’s exciting to see what is to come from Issues in the future.

Last for the day, the main stage is hit with Brendon Urie’s Panic! At The Disco. Let me start with saying that this was the band I was looking forward to most throughout the day, and although they played a set full of hits, there was something unsettling about the amount of backing track used throughout their set. And I couldn’t help but notice when the backing track wasn’t playing, Brendon’s vocals were not as strong as you are made to believe. Although he can do a belter of a high note, that seems to be his main trick, throwing it randomly in their breaking up the sub-par vocals that surrounded it throughout the verses. Mostly joined by crowd participation and backing tracks in the choruses, these bits sound deceivingly perfect. I don’t want to be overly negative to Panic! As they are truly one of my favourite bands, but there was something about the falseness of this performance that just got to me. Still, saved by songs like Time to Dance and I Write Sins Not Tragedies, these are high energy songs with all the nostalgic fun factor. The new album Death of A Bachelor also has a solid collection of fun songs such as Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time and Crazy = Genius bringing particular highlights to the set. Brendon sails through a collection of songs from the album and the crowd have an absolute fantastic time, including myself. They are so fun and charasmatic, but there’s something so manufactured that just became so apparent during the set which was really unsettling. Still a fantastic entertaining band to watch, with a massive collection of songs that are perfect for a festival like Slam Dunk, just perhaps not the most genuine performance of the weekend.
Overall, once again Slam Dunk has delivered one of the most fun and exciting weekends with a mixture of bands that bring in a community of young rock fans and all its subgenres together. The best of pop punk, post-hardcore, metalcore, pop rock, ska, and so much more. It’s easy to see why Slam Dunk had survived the last 10 years and continues to have sell out weekends. When the line ups are always as diverse and awesome as this, well, here’s to another 10 years!