Live4ever has already showcased well over 200 breaking artists during 2014, and now we’ve dipped back in to New Tunes Guide highlights, track reviews, Presents features and video premieres to revisit just 25 of the many brilliant tracks to have passed through our radar section so far this year.
Live4ever’s Essential Listening is here to share, not preach! An interactive celebration of rock and roll where your favourites can contribute. Make sure your stand-out tracks of the year so far get a deserved mention by leaving a comment below.
We’ve had veterans dipping into the solo world, seasoned mainstays releasing some of the best work of their career and, always most excitingly, brand new bands unleashing truly impressive debuts. 2014 has been undoubtedly another strong year so far, and Live4ever has once again picked out just a handful of albums for us all to revisit and reflect on as an all-too fleeting summer homes into view.
The variety is striking; from the ‘true joy and genius of great punk music’ found in OFF’s ‘Wasted Years’, to the ‘haunting, tragic air’ of ‘I Can Learn’, and the majestic under-the-radar first release from Vikesh Kapoor which dispays ‘the real America, its majesty and pride never so honestly depicted’. All this and much more is waiting in the latest edition of Live4ever’s Essential Listening series.
Live4ever’s Essential Listening is here to share, not preach! An interactive celebration of rock and roll where your favourites can contribute. Make sure your stand-out albums of the year so far get a deserved mention by leaving a comment below.
Never underestimate the power and potential of a lo-fi garage-rock-revival duo; to do so would be foolish if listening to …And the Hangnails‘ latest gem ‘You & I’.
A tune about wrestling with yourself, combating the uncertainties you face when that glance in the mirror is unsure of what’s casted back. Combine those ideas with loud, guttural guitars and a bombastic drum explosion, and the results are quite magnificent.
‘’We don’t have a record label’’ says Eddie Gossein. ‘’Well, maybe we don’t need one,’’ replies Nader Mansour.
This is The Wanton Bishops. A duo that, despite delving into new and unorthodox ways of promoting and publishing their music, are fascinated by the old-school blues roots of the delta. This untainted sense of tradition has given them a new outlook on how the music industry operates. They’re a garage-rock revival couplet with a brain wired for the present, while their fingertips and hearts bleed with a love of the past.
Never one to shy away from combining politics, punk and hip-hop iTCH, the former frontman of The King Blues, is currently supporting the campaign for his debut solo album ‘The Deep End’, released on March 24th this year through Red Bull Records.
As a street poet and suburban punk by both day and night, the LP predictably sees iTCH showing no reluctance or resistance to propagate his message of peace, love and anarchy amongst the people, the proletariat. At the 2014 South By Southwest Festival, we managed to catch up with the sharp-suited and equally sharp-tongued musician; starting our chat by looking at the nature of the music industry as it is now, in the 21st century. Get ready for iTCH to show just why he’s one of the most passionate and compelling artists around today.
What is punk nowadays anyway?
Just a throwaway tag for any band with pointy, gel-encrusted hairdos, and trousers that refuse to say hello to a faraway striped-socked ankle? Or anything just that bit too quick, that bit too loud, to be labelled ‘indie’? What is indie nowadays anyway..? Probably best to leave that for another time and place.
If what first started rushing out of the doors of New York nightclubs, and from an expanding London pub scene in 1976, came shuddering to a miserable end before it was barely out of nappies, its most famous protagonist staring into middle distance on a dank San Francisco stage, feeling cheated by the world, then surely there can’t be any authenticity left, nearly four decades on from an untimely demise.
Well, Missouri brothers Dee, Isaiah and Solomon appear to be navigating that particular problem by coming up with a new definition all of their own.
The easy way to describe burgeoning garage rock duo Slaves would be to lump them in as another guitar and drum combo that either sprouted up from the seeds of the White Stripes’ expansive post-millennial influence, or flowered under the arena-ready dominance of The Black Keys.
In this case, that simply isn’t true. Whereas the beginnings of those two groups were both steeped in reconfigured blues riffs, the sort of energized racket that Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman are unleashing as Slaves is undoubtedly more Sex Pistols than Son House. Throw in the fact that Holman handles the lead vocals whilst also standing behind a skeletal kit with no kick drum, and any comparison to early-aught revivalism suddenly becomes as antiquated as Jack White’s coffee maker.
Hailing from the South East England county of Kent, Vincent and Holman have refined their sound over the past four years into a tense mixture of damaged hardcore, pummeling proto-grunge and old-school British street punk. Vincent’s guitar lines are all equally thick and menacing, while Holman’s upright drumming style is as unhinged and heavy-handed as the desperate gasps that strain each shout-along chorus.
Live4ever recently met up with The Sunshine Underground to talk about the fascinating story behind their forthcoming self-titled album.
It’s been four years since the release of ‘Nobody’s Coming To Save You’, and so much has changed in that time for the band. The new record has been a true labour of love for both them and their fans, who have helped to fund its recording via a Pledge Music campaign. And to repay this support the band have focused on producing their most ambitious album to date. In doing so they travelled to Sheffield to work with widely renowned producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, MIA), set up their own label and after many hints and nudges, finally fully embraced their long-held passion for dance music.
We spoke to frontman Craig Wellington to discuss how all these changes have impacted on their already distinctive sound, and to find out what drove them to explore these exciting new directions.
When it comes to having a strong work ethic, there are few bands who can match The Crookes, the South Yorkshire quartet who, in the last four years, have played everywhere from Accrington to Austin.>
Live4ever caught up with the band at the end of a hectic week of shows during SXSW, during which they talked to us about the recording of third album ‘Soapbox‘, half naked women and machine gun-toting locals…
“Are you serious?,” quips frontman and lead guitarist Russell Marsden. “Your photo of us near an alleyway dumpster made it into Teen Vogue? Was the headline ‘Derelict’?”
Trying to add any depth to a witty, off-the-cuff reference to Zoolander may be stretching things a little, but there really is something ‘derelict’ about Band Of Skulls; making dirty, down and out, guttural rock sound glamorous isn’t just something any band can do, but Band Of Skulls are far from being just any band.
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