Track Review: Help Me Anytime You Want // Paul Holden

Paul Holden has a fascinating backstory. As well as previously fronting The Talkabouts, he has played shows with The Bluetones, The Pretenders, and China Crisis. He covered ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon in front of 10,000 people at the M & S arena as part of The Number One Project for charity. There is an air of mystery around Paul’s journey because he suffers from a rare muscle condition called Nemaline Myopathy. But that hasn’t stopped him from releasing a new song, ‘Help Me Anytime You Want’, which is out now on all available streaming platforms.

Paul wears his influences on his sleeve. On ‘Help Me Anytime You Want’, he brings out a baggy bassy sound that recalls The Farm and Happy Mondays. The stomping drums give way to a Britpop-style guitar that makes the song uplifting. The swirling synth dominates the song, adding an air of psychedelia, and this compliments Paul’s beautiful dulcet tones.

‘Help Me Any Time You Want’ is a stunning track that is a perfect warm-up for his new EP Say It to the Sun, which comes out on 19th August.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track review: Lost // Azu Yeché

Azu Yeché is a rising talent with an incredible voice. What is also great about him is how much melody he puts in his songs as well. They remind you of summer, and have an easy going nature that a lot of people can relate to. He releases his brand new song ‘Lost’ on Friday 8th July, and it is another beautiful effort.

The track starts off with a chilled out drumbeat and them morphs into a relaxing summery banger. The piano and trumpet are beautiful because they bring a calm feeling to the listener. Listening to the song makes you think of the beach and putting your troubles behind you.

When Yeche sings: “I don’t wanna be lost”, it shows that there is anxiety that a lot of people face. This is very understandable because when you’ve been locked away for so long, the idea of facing a large group of people can be overwhelming in itself. So this lyric is very relevant in more ways than one. The songwriting is top notch and is an example of what Azu Yeché can achieve in the future.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Album Review: A Hill to Die Upon // Mental Cruelty

Mental Cruelty are a death metal band from Germany. Formed in 2016, they have just released their new album A Hill to Die Upon in May. The band enlisted producer Sky Van Hoff (Kreator, Rammstein) to work with them on the album. This results in an album that is full of brutal riffs and pummeling deathcore action. It has you on the edge of your seat throughout.

On hearing this album, even though the deathcore influences are still present, there are also orchestral arrangements. You notice this on ‘Ultima Hypocritica’ which is the first song to introduce these elements. And it works. There is everything on here, catchy riffs, disgusting screams, and huge strings which would suit a battle scene.  

‘Eternal Worship’ is another song that shows the band’s versatility because it contains some filthy vocals, and the instrumentation is heavy. The orchestral bits work very well, however one criticism is that there’s no space in the mix, so the sounds are a bit muffled.

Overall, A Hill to Die Upon is an album packed with brutality and fierce instrumentation. It shows that their sound is very diverse, and is a solid listen.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: I Don’t Believe (In the Summer Of Love) // Gabriel’s Dawn

Gabriel’s Dawn is an up and coming band from the Midlands. Formed in 2020, They blend folk and indie-pop effortlessly, and are back with a new song, ‘I Don’t Believe (In the Summer of Love).’

The song is a wonderful splash of summer. The soft vocals are beautiful, while the guitar reminds me of The Coral. There are some big hooks in this song that work because they keep the listener on their toes. It would sound great in a big outdoor venue with the sun beaming down on you.

The production on ‘I Don’t Believe (In the Summer Of Love)’ is astonishingly good. It’s polished, clean, and all the sounds are balanced beautifully. I hope that this leads to bigger things for Gabriel’s Dawn in the future. A new dawn, indeed.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: Fame // Margot

Margot are a South London based band consisting of five friends. Their sound is inspired by jangle pop, while also having feel-good qualities that boost your mood. They released their brand new song  ‘Fame’ last month.

‘Fame’ is a great song because it is dark and haunting. Atmospheric guitars and a disco drumbeat dominate the song, which works well because it could get the listener grooving. However, the lyrics take a darker tone entirely. Because they are about the culture surrounding reality TV. I think it captures the atmosphere really well because it focuses heavily on how it’s overrated and portrays a misleading representation of reality.

‘Fame’ is a good song because it fuses relatable lyrics with a psychedelic edge. The guitar is catchy because it worms its way into your head, and the vocal delivery is emotional and honest.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: 2 Shots, No Chaser // Youthstar and Miscellaneous

Youthstar and Miscellaneous (who is from Chill Bump) have released a brand new song, ‘2 Shots, No Chaser.’ The song comes from a joint album and it’s very colourful. It gives off a party vibe with its electronic fused production.

The production is full of wobbly dubstep synths and hard-hitting drums. It reminds me of the weekend and nights out. While the instrumentation screams partying, the lyrics are much more grounded: “I will never put my feet down.” This shows that there is a lot of respect for the daily grind because there is a lot of humility in the lyrics. Listening to this song will help people stay grounded, while at the same time get them dancing. It’s very uplifting and will boost your spirits.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: Somebody // Azu Yeché

I was very impressed when I heard Azu Yeché’s song ‘Black Market’ back in 2019. It was rousing and uplifting with bits that were reminiscent of Michael Kiwanuka. He is back with a new song, ‘Somebody.’

A soulful groove dominates the song. It consists of a summery acoustic guitar which will lighten your mood. Yeché’s buttery vocals are very smooth,  but they also show off the vulnerable lyrics very nicely. The song is about how someone falls in love with the idea of who you are, therefore it is easy to create a persona to please the person.  It exposes these emotions in a relatable and irresistible way. The chorus of: “So you’re falling, so you’re falling for somebody” embodies these feelings into a catchy pop song that tugs at your heartstrings.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: A Woman’s Heart // Freya Alley

Freya Alley is back with her new song, ‘A Woman’s Heart.’ It is about not letting the past control you and finding a light in the darkness. 

A calm ambience dominates the song. You can hear the honesty and vulnerability as Freya’s voice glides through your ears.  When she sings: “Honestly, can’t you see I love you now”, she could be talking about her feelings as she opens her heart and mind.

I think this song is great because it shows how important it is to share our feelings and emotions. That is a unique selling point that people can relate to.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos    

Album Review: Hyperactive // One Morning Left

One Morning Left are a Finnish electronicore band who take inspiration from video game music and 80s hard rock. The band have won many fans and admirers because they’ve played shows with bands like Protest the Hero and We Butter the Bread With Butter. They are back with their fourth album, Hyperactive which is a amalgamation of genres.

When you first listen to the album it is a bit cheesy. The influences are all here: power metal, video game music. It’s ramped up to the ma and can seem jarring. However, give it time and you can appreciate how fun it is. Opener ‘Ruby Dragon’ has a catchy chorus which reminds me of Blind Guardian. The way they mi the breakdowns into this song is something I admire because it could bring them mass appeal.

My favourite song is ‘Sinners and Winners’ because it reminds me of an anime opening. The 80s- inspired guitar solo along with the lyrics about partying and “drinking your sorrows away” are very positive and tie in with a feeling of freedom. I really like ‘Ruthless Resistance’ too because it’s very melodic. The colourful synths will brighten up your day while Mika Lahti shows off his powerful vocal range.

Hyperactive is a very good album because it’s a ray of positivity that we all need in these difficult times. It’s great because it will bring people together. You’ll love this album if you’re a fan of Eskimo Callboy or Asking Alexandria.

Track Review: U Can’t Hide // RUMBLE

Production collective RUMBLE are back with a brand new tune. The song is called ‘U Can’t Hide’ and it is one of the sounds of summer 2021. It features Blackout Ja who is a prominent figure of the dancehall scene.

‘U Can Hide’  is full of energy with some slick production. It essentially asksyou to jump around and dance, which I think is brilliant because this year, we need some uplifting positive energy. It is a colourful song with an electric atmosphere, which helps improve the listeners experience.

I cannot wait to see what RUMBLE do in the future because this track has massive vibes that will improve your mood straightaway.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos