The Punk Archive aims to be the only blog you'll ever need for reviews and news on the punk, ska, reggae and alternative music scenes. We will review music from the past, present, and future, looking at CD, vinyl, mp3 and hitting as many gigs as we can handle, as well as keeping you in the loop with the goings-on in our scene and interviewing as many bands as we can. Please enjoy the blog and feel free to send any comments or feedback to us via email to , or by visiting our Twitter at , or our Facebook at You can also find us on Instagram: just search for @thepunkarchive.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Skints: FM

Artist: The Skints
Title: FM
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 9th March 2015
Reviewed By: Dan Stoten

Change can be uncomfortable, regardless of size or scale. It's often a pain getting used to that new mobile you thought was such a good idea at the time. It's awkward wearing those new shoes for the first time. On the other hand, though, it's usually great fun getting to grips with a new James Bond.

None of these changes are bad things necessarily. It's just that they can all take some time to get used to. They typically come good and you feel comfortable and happy with them. It's just that initial period that feels somewhat...well, different.

It's for this very reason that I am finding it a bit more tricky than usual to give a truly rounded opinion on FM, the third full-length from East London reggae upstarts The Skints. I've been fortunate enough to have been listening to the album since early February, but I still don't feel I've adapted to it enough to justify it with the review it deserves. It's similar to how I felt with the latest record from A Day To Remember (Common Courtesy), where it took me a full nine months to 'get' the album and for it to register itself as one of my favourites.

For me, FM is a very different album from The Skints. One of the things I've always loved about the band are their 'real' sound. It's always been a very authentic sound: one in which you can absolutely hear the raw edge to some of the instrumentation, one in which you can genuinely hear the strings on the bass / guitars, the keys on the piano and so on.

FM seems to move away from the raw, indie feel to a more refined, studio sound. There's a far more rounded, a far less authentic feel to the instrumentation. It's perhaps a little less analogue, a little more electronic.  It does feel that far more work has come from behind a set of decks as opposed to from the massive amount of instruments The Skints are famous for.

This could well be down to Prince Fatty's role as producer for the record. There's no doubt that he has also added extra layers to The Skints' sound (which most certainly add to the commercial viability of the record as well as the overall polish), and in the most part they are excellent additions. They're just different. They, alongside the massive extra helping of polish, just take a little more getting used to, especially for someone who has been following The Skints since their inception, and who adores the sharp, punky edge to their earlier records.

The collaborations on FM are downright brilliant and instant hits. MC Horseman is slowly beginning to make a name for himself on the UK circuit, and rightfully so. He is one of my favourite UK MCs and is in fine form here, his vocal combining perfectly with the Prince Fatty-influenced reggae grooves. Tippa Irie also features prominently, adding a strong variation in MC styles which fits with the varied genres throughout the whole of the record.

So, on to the album itself. It's a concept album up to a point: a 'radio broadcast' from an imaginary London station, and features four 'shows' from that channel. The shows take us through sub-genres dancehall, ska, grime, reggae and punk, all of which influence the tracks following in some way. It's a good idea having listened through the album as one about thirty times: it works well, adding a good level of structure to the album but equally not requiring the listener to only play the songs in the track-listing's order. FM has a good level of pick-up-and-playability, which is to it's credit.

The album kicks off with the first of four mini 'broadcasts' before launching into This Town, a video for which has been released already. It's one of the strongest songs on the album, with a brilliantly rolling and deep bassline, added to some old-school dub influences. Horseman and Tippa Irie feature here too: to me, it's got echoes of reggae sound systems from the 70s/80s, where you had a number of MCs on top of the same, ongoing reggae rhythm. This Town is both bouncy and energetic and a good opener to the album.

In The Night comes next, and is one of the only tracks on FM in which The Skints display their punked-up roots. At just under three minutes, a lazy electric guitar rips across the previously sedate, hypnotic reggae groove. Up until Horseman interjects on this track, though, it's largely forgettable for me. It's so exceptionally laid back and floaty that it doesn't deliver on the punch I'd usually expect from the band.

Next up is Come To You, a delightfully perky track which you can imagine would sound absolutely incredible with a vinyl crackle overlaid. Marcia's vocal is at it's most beautiful here, drifting seductively over a deliciously sweet upbeat ska sound. It's a warming track, one for a late summer's evening at the beach.

The Skints have also covered Black Flag's My War on the album, and it's a triumph. It's a juggernaut of a track, this, one which plods on determinedly, slow, deep, heavy. Jamie Kyriakides' vocal, as brilliant as it's ever been, is absolutely stunning here, adapting the song perfectly. From this slow, plodding track, the album puts out another 'broadcast' and jumps into Friends & Business, a catchy, energetic ska number. To me it sounds as if it has soul influences, with a smattering of Motown thrown in for good measure: it'll be a quality skanking track live. It's one of the more stand-out tracks for me at this point.

Where Did You Go? is next, and I'm afraid it's a fairly bland one for me. The lyricism across the whole of FM is, as you would expect from the band, absolutely on point: well pitched, socially conscious and intelligent. For me, lyrically, Where Did You Go? is somewhat weaker than I expected, the chorus in particular showing a lack of sparkle. As an overall song, it's decent enough if fairly generic.

I'm a massive, massive fan of Tazer Beam, however, the next track on the record. This is one which wouldn't sound out of place on a Prince Fatty record, and one which rumbles through the speakers superbly. Josh and Tippa Irie's call-and-return, line by line vocal here is quite simply masterful; add it to the dubbed-up, somewhat simplified reggae backing track and you've got a five-star track. Easily one of the highlights to the album for me, and a track which sounds a little purer.

One of the things I was looking forward to most about FM was to finally, finally, get my hands on a physical copy of The Forest For The Trees, a track the band have been playing live for some time now, and one which has almost brought tears of sheer joy to my eyes at times over the past year. Seeing it on the track listing here, it was the song I flipped to first before listening to any of the rest of the record.

For me though, everything I was discussing at the start of this review is ensconced perfectly in the four minutes, seventeen seconds of The Forest For The Trees. Live, this is a pure, simple, and analogue song, and one which is all the better for that. Here, though, it's one to which various elements have been added, including some instantly brilliant parts (such as Josh's vocal halfway through), and some which take a little more adapting to. Again: I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but it just is a pretty large change for a band who have relied heavily on instrumentation in the past.

There are three further songs on the record, and two more 'broadcasts'. I'm not going to talk about them specifically; suffice to say the rest of the review sums up some of the key points about them.

This has without doubt been one of the harder reviews I've written over the past two years. I am in absolutely no way saying FM is anything other than a very, very good record. There are elements here that are instantly outstanding, and instantly provide that brilliantly joyful feeling The Skints have a knack of invoking. Equally, if FM is your first experience The Skints, then you're going to absolutely love it. It could quite easily form the soundtrack to many summers.

What I am saying, though, is that this does represent a change in sound and direction from The Skints, and does show them maturing as a band. There's a distinct possibility that, for old-school fans, it could take a little more getting used to than may be expected. I'm fully aware of, and fully support the need to keep music moving forward, keep sound maturing, and keep bands fresh. In FM, The Skints have done that, to their absolute credit, and should be applauded for it.

All I'm saying is: give it some time. You'll like it now. You'll love it in six months.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Live: Fightstar

Headliner: Fightstar
Support: Shapes, More Dangerous Animal, Moose Blood
Where: Institute, Birmingham
When: 23rd February 2015
Reviewed By: Jamie Kerr

Bit of a last minute decision this one. I was debating whether to go purely for the main support act but couldn't justify going for that reason alone, but a bit of persuasion on the morning of the event and my mate calling in a favour meant I ended up going anyway.

I seem to be forming quite a habit for missing the first support band at gigs I attend recently. God forbid should the first support band on any gig I go to be someone I really want to see. So my apologies to Shapes. Next up are More Dangerous Animal who are apparently ex-Brigade, which means they're Charlie Simpson's brother's band. Their sound is just straight-up alternative rock, quite generic in all honesty but they showed signs of promise with their heavier songs. Saying that, it was quite a lacklustre performance from them and I think they were just happy to be out on the road, as I'm assuming that they haven't been together very long. I don't think it's unfair to say that they're most likely on the bill due to their singer being Simpson's brother, which is nice that he's helping his new band out. There was a bit of an awkward moment though when the crowd were asked "Who saw us when we were here as Brigade?" I don't think I heard anyone cheer. I'm not sure if they will have made a huge amount of new fans tonight but the offer of a free copy of their EP will have helped their cause.

Moose Blood are on soon after and are the main reason I'm here. I reviewed them on their headline tour last month when they were in town and they were hugely impressive with their mix of emotional, honest and heartfelt songs. They delivered much of the same tonight but unfortunately it fell on deaf ears. I was expecting a large part of the audience to be as buzzing to see them as I was, and whilst I did see a few people singing along, it wasn't as many as I thought. Moose Blood were spot on and played a tight set consisting of Pups, Bukowski and I Hope You're Miserable but the crowd just didn't get it. A lot of people were chatting away or staring down at their phones. I just about managed to resist the urge to tell them to shut the fuck up and pay attention. It was just the wrong audience for the band, but they didn't let that put them off. I think they already knew they would be fighting a losing battle. At the risk of repeating myself, I'll just quickly reiterate that Moose Blood are a brilliant band and I hope that when they get more mainstream attention. Those that didn't give them the time of day tonight will wish they had.

It's been a long time since I've been quite so apathetic about a headline band. I never really got Fightstar. It wasn't the whole 'Charlie from Busted' thing that put me off, it was more that their appeal seemed to be for people who liked alternative rock but the kind that the radio and magazines told you to like. Heavier music that isn't offensive and for people who don't actively seek out lesser known bands in the same genre, basically. But either way, as I've enever seen them before I had to give them a chance. They open with Paint Your Target which to my surprise, I seem to know almost every word of. To my knowledge, I only knew this and one other song but as their set continues with War Machine and We Apologise For Nothing, it turns out I know more than first thought. And even more surprisng, they were pretty good. I was anticipating quite a drab performance; I don't know why but they actually put on a good show and sounded impressive. 

Fightstar are a lot heavier than I thought and it came as a pleasant surprise. I'm still not blown away by them by any means but they're better live than I expected. The crowd were certainly up for it with sizable mosh pits opening up, although watching people slamdance in the middle was quite awkward. Many songs that I hadn't heard before pass before we come to Palahniuk's Laughter. Excuse me for following the mainstream, but it's probably their best song. ‘Where it all began’ as Charlie recalls, ten years ago. I exited just before their encore as I had to get back early but found myself leaving pleasantly surprised. Fightstar put on a better show than I thought but they're still not quite my cup of tea. The band I originally turned out to see were the ones that did it for me tonight.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Oh Captive: Two Mirrors

Artist: Oh Captive
Title: Two Mirrors
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 23rd March 2015
Reviewed By: Jenny Lane

Ever since their second EP Twin Mirrors landed in my inbox, I've been struggling to escape from the clutches of the appropriately named Oh Captive. No need for duct tape and dark basements here: this is a record that cheerfully manhandles you away from whatever you're doing, pins you down and holds you in place with hook after hook of harmony-infused heavy rock. It's ridiculously catchy and running away is somewhat pointless: Oh Captive aren't gonna let you go that easily.

Opening track Recover quietly lures you in, a delicate intro invoking a false sense of calm as frontman Tim Kelly's vocals float plaintively over a sparse, spiky guitar line courtesy of Curtis King. And then BANG! (Or rather KICK/SNARE...BANG! I do like a good KICK/SNARE/BANG drum entrance. Timeless!) Like a wallop round the head with a blunt object, the full force of the four piece kicks in and we have Oh Captive doing what they do best: bright, breezy rock with Tom Hitchins' superb snaking bassline in the verses calling to mind early Incubus and a pre-chorus that won't leave you alone. It's easy to see where the Biffy Clyro comparisons come from when the chorus arrives dripping with dreamy, impassioned vocals and harmonies. 

Before you've had a chance to recover from Recover (sorry), drummer Chris Hill is here to batter you into submission with the insistent, thumping intro of second track Motion/No Motion before you're plunged almost immediately into another soaring chorus: equally catchy but very much built of the same bricks as the one before. Luckily a rather nifty half-time riff turns up midway through to stop things getting too formulaic. 

Things slow down considerably on Live Fast Don't Last, with more fragile, vulnerable vocals ensconced amongst moody guitars before dropping into...yep, you guessed it, another MASSIVE, Bring Me The Horizon-esque chorus. These boys do catchy lighter-waving, soft-metal anthems really well. They've also got a mean way with middle eights: the one in this song is absolutely sublime and be prepared for your neck hair to stand up and refuse to sit down again. This one finishes with a huge, staggering riff, the kind which really separates seasoned head-bangers from novices in gig situations. (Just follow the person in front. If you're not sure....don't stand at the front. Here to help.) 

EP closer and title track Two Mirrors is a big, surfy blast of summer, duelling guitar lines racing with the ever-energetic rhythm section into the inevitable, harmony-drenched chorus, which drops nicely into half-time again and ending on a riff that I wish had gone on for longer. But short and sweet seems to be the way this band are going: I was rather saddened to find out whilst researching that their EP launch (at the Golden Lion Tap in Barnstaple, March 20th) is also to be their last ever show. A real shame as there is such great potential in this band. I certainly wasn't ready to be set free just yet! 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Live: Enter Shikari

Headliner: Enter Shikari
Support: Fatherson, Allusondrugs, Feed The Rhino
Where: Civic, Wolverhampton
When: 18th February 2015
Reviewed By: Jamie Kerr
Photos By: Jamie Kerr

Feed The Rhino
I can't quite decide how I feel about sold out shows. On the one hand you know that getting a drink and a good spot is going to be a nightmare, but you can almost certainly guarantee that you're on to a winner when however many thousand others have turned out to see the same bands. A gig like this one needs a lot of energy to be a good 'un and you could feel the anticipation was high in the Wolves Civic tonight. I really like this venue even though I frequent it very rarely. The main reason being that the commute along the M6 is a right ball-ache. And tonight was no different meaning I completely missed Fatherson who were first up (sorry chaps) but managed to catch the tail end of Allusondrugs.

Feed The Rhino
I must admit I am totally guilty of not checking them out beforehand, so I went with a completely open mind. Knowing the other bands on tonight, I was expecting distorted guitars, plenty of double kick drums and a heavy dose of screaming. However, this was not the case. The best way to describe Allusondrugs for me is that they're a mix of Nirvana and QOTSA, with a tiny sprinkling of Brand New. Personally I was never a fan of grunge, nor QOTSA and generally thought Brand New were alright at best. As I am not a big fan of their influences they unfortunately failed to leave much of a lasting impression on me, and it was quite a static performance from the band. But if you are a fan of grungy rock'n'roll, then they're the band for you. I've seen their name on several festival line ups already this year, so there's clearly a demand for them.  I just hope the next time I see them they might inject a bit more energy into their performance.

Feed The Rhino
Feed The Rhino, on the other hand, were anything but static. Before they had even properly begun, vocalist Lee Tobin is already getting up close and personal with the crowd and continued to do so during a highly impressive performance. You know when a frontman emerges topless from the start you're going to get an energetic performance and that's exactly what Feed The Rhino delivered. There's a certain air of nu-metal in their sound with elements of hardcore punk, Cancer Bats immediately spring to mind of the latter genre comparison. There is a softer side to them with Tides, which is a fantastic piano led ballad and proves they aren't all about the noise. A sea of phone torches light up the room before the rest of the band come back in and normal service is resumed. All in all it's a very impressive show from a band that's on the up, another band you'll see more of when festival season is with us. Definitely a worthy support for the main event.

You can feel the excitement growing for the headliners, especially with minute by minute announcements. They're out bang on time, opening with The Appeal & The Mindsweeper I, an absolute belter of a song to open with: the perfect mix of dischordant guitars and the usual electronic samples and effects that they have become known for. It has to be said that Rou Reynolds is one of the finest frontman in British music right now, possessing a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm. He's a definite crowd pleaser in all the right ways. Climbing up the left hand balcony on a ladder was a nice touch, making those having to view from up top know that they aren't forgotten about. Their set was heavily dominated by songs from their latest album including The Last Garrison, Anaesthetist & Myopia but they also re-visited previous hits Juggernauts and Mothership, both with remixed intros that were very well executed. The beauty with what they do is their ability to mix up their songs and throw in unexpected interludes, meaning their set is anything but predictable. Quite often the view from the balcony was like looking down on a rave with near enough the entire room jumping in unison and multiple circle pits erupting at any given time. I didn't expect anything less having seen them several times before: it's impossible to be still at a Shikari gig.

As they leave the stage before coming back for their encore, I've never known a crowd use lyrics as a way of calling a band back out. "And still we will be hear standing like statues" rings around the room before they reappear. Dear Future Historians….shows that there's more to Enter Shikari than just post-hardcore and electronics, with Reynolds showing off his musical abilities sat at a piano rather than having it play at the press of a button. For me it was something of a low point as it dragged on for a good six and a half minutes but I'll forgive them as it gave the band and the crowd a well deserved break. I was holding out for a couple more songs from Take To The Skies which so many people including myself loved, but they never came. However when listening to it on the way home and comparing to The Mindsweep, you can see how far they have come with their song-writing, making their first album seem quite primitive to where they are now. 

Enter Shikari have always stayed true to their sound, continuing to bridge the gap between post-hardcore/metalcore (or whatever you want to call it) and electronic music. I had lost interest in them somewhat in recent years but they have rekindled my love for them. They have developed a more technical and well thought out sound with their latest offering and continue to show that they are one of the most diverse bands this country has to offer. You really have to see them live to fully appreciate what they do.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Fashion Week: Prêt-à-Porter

Artist: Fashion Week
Title: Prêt-à-Porter
Format Reviewed: MP3 
Format Released: 23rd February 2015 
Reviewed By: Rania Watts 

New York based Fashion Week release their haute couture album Prêt-à-Porter on February 23rd with eight frenetically riddled tracks. The band comprises of three individuals who had previously been in a number of different bands which include: Josh Lozano from Jarboe, Cobalt and Family, Carl Eklof of Victory at Sea, Lidia Stone and Inswarm, and also including Oscar Albis Rodriguez who brings his experience from A Great Big World, No Way and Nakatomi Plaza to this tremendous body of talent. I would like to also mention that in 1998 Josh Lozano passed away leaving Eklof, Rodriguez and Lozano's widow Catherine Lust to shepherd over any new content after 1998. 

I am a Generation X individual so it was not only the melodies which fitted well with me, but the strong lyrics housed within too. Prepare yourself for battle music: battle does necessarily mean war but anything that you have to equip yourself with throughout life's challenges. The musical armour protective shield of Prêt-à-Porter will leave you feeling immersed in strength and able to conquer anything. 

Furthermore, I wanted to add obviously the musicality is going to be quite strong as all three members that comprise Fashion Week come from a solid musical background. Amidst all the devastating guitar distortions, rhythmic beating of the paradiddles on percussion and the screeching vocal lies the genius of Fashion Week's rock, punk and grunge-influenced sound. 

After reading this review I want you to close your eyes and contemplate waking up in the morning in a bad mood, on your way to a job that you utterly despise. As you make your way to the door to lock it behind you, the frustration and anxiety start to build as you come to the realization of facing your day. Now, before you depart either arming yourself with an MP3 player, phone or even a still working portable CD player (basically anything that can play music) with Fashion Week loaded for your index finger to reach for the play button. These 8 tracks are all you will need to endure before even laying one toe at work...  

Since I started listening to Prêt-à-Porter I must admit I think I sprained my neck with all the necessary head-banging that accompanied me while I wrote. So worth the pain!

Circus Of Boom: Whistler's Green

We sent Ben Chapman off to the first of Boomtown Fair's eight Circus of Boom events in Bristol, featuring 3 Daft Monkeys, John Langan Band and The Firepit Collective...

When we arrived at the venue, the exterior wasn't really promising. But I soon both ate and washed down (with cider) my hasty words. As soon as we got in, it felt like a film set from Blazing Saddles. We explored the upstairs before any of the acts started, stumbling through a poker room, neglecting to use the hidden entrance until on my exit, which involved crawling through a tunnel hidden in a wardrobe, and looking through a window, seeing punters double-take as they arrived. The 'fancy dress compulsory' warning had generally paid off, and in keeping with Boomtown canon, the Ex-Mayor could be seen DJing between sets and looking shifty at it (having time travelled back to the wild west, in attempt to change the course of history and thereby regain Mayoral status, according to the 2014 festival's chapter).
View from the Poker room
The Firepit Collective opened the night, taking the stage in their core incarnation, Inner Terrestrial's Jay on acoustic guitar and Chezney Newman rocking an incredible sounding banjo with four pairs of strings, which turned out to be a bouzouki, though the group often bring on musical acquaintances and recurring guests. The Firepit Collective took to a sparse stage and with the stripped-back instrumentation, the aptly realised setting, and anticipative crowd, a suitable wild-west tension could be imagined and brought alive. Though the folk tones and textures were gentle, the playing was technically busy and comfortably melodic, with the set becoming increasingly intense with each new song and story or musician getting involved.
The Firepit Collective
Before long the impressive, impassioned harmonic cries heard during Bella Ciao and the highly welcomed arrival of fiddle player Maxine revealed the band's knack for ear-invading musicality alongside traditional folk with political edge, but with enough sweet melodic facets to suit all shapes and really get the crowd going. There was soon some excellent harmonica involvement and pleasantly the mouth organist wasn't shy to ice another layer onto the songs' vocal harmonies. Those and the way the rapid bouzouki's steely twang gave the music's tone an even more traditional feel that cut through the air, seemed to influence the changes, egg-on the other instruments, displaying nothing short of virtuosity whilst not stealing the show from the guitarist and vocalist's solid backing and narrative wailing. The Firepit Collective packed up, to much drinking and clapping.
The John Langan Band
It was nice to see that each band seemed to get a fairly long set and the crowd were glad that this applied to The John Langan Band, who played a set full of raucous gypsy swing-inspired folk with energy and humour. To the right of the stage a full-on double bass filled the corner, blasting out a great authentic sound. Winter Song stood out with its slow, heavy bass strut under some of the best violin work of the night. The percussion was provided by the guitarist, using a foot pedal for bass sounds and tambourine. The music was played with obvious enjoyment from the band and had a frank delivery that unnecessarily aided the music's invitation to dance. Some renditions of tunes contained odder themes that played on (or even confessed?) stereotypes such as falling in love with your own stepdaughter, luckily carried off with such charm and musical skill that it was, and often should be, only the music that mattered.
Three Daft Monkeys
Towards the end of the set, amid the movement was a growing sense of incremental frenzy that sometimes accompanies folk music, particularly in a live setting, where the rapid melodies and thumping rhythm sections can carry just as strong an impetus to make a crowd jump as the deepest programmed bassline or the most standoffish distorted heaviness. The dancing was more makeshift than your average moshpit and more based on drunken twirling or linking arms in parody. Three Daft Monkeys came on after and had no trouble continuing the reception, and by the end of their set had forced a willing crowd to engage in a theatrically swung sway. 
Excellently arranged songs, played casually and competently, Three Daft Monkeys were a pleasure to watch, providing some of the night's faster folk with plenty of Cornish lore influencing the lyrics: through dramatic stabs and its lengthy warbled refrain, Agnes the Giant Killer tells the story of a giant tricked into attempting to fill a bottomless pit with his own blood, examining the moral grey areas of traditional legends, set to a suitably manic performance. Perhaps odd going to gig and not seeing the first electric bass until the night's final act, its prominent lines had a traditional folk hop to them varied with cheeky features of heavy dub lines sneaking in, a funky tendency for chromatic fills, as well as a range of other influences. This combined with the glamorous fiddler's flowing riffs fashions a catchier folk with an upbeat spring in its step and unusual sense of theatre. Though the numbers in the band's title add up as a miscount, the canine-like relish of their bounding drummer's efforts was fully recognised. Wearing a set of drumming gloves alongside his wild grin, he slapped away at the kit like there was no tomorrow. And there sort of wasn't. It seemed odd that this lively wild-western apparition, having rocked up in the middle of Bristol out of nowhere, wouldn't be here after tonight. 
Despite the initial plans of an earlier opening night, the merge of Wild West and Whistlers' Green was pulled off with the help of three excellent bands and the experience of the immersive setting.

Don't miss the remaining Circus of Boom events:
21st February - ChinaTown, featuring Neville Staple, Counting Coins and Cut Capers:
27th February - Mayfair, featuring Molotov Jukebox, Electric Swing Circus and Big Swing Sound System:
6th March - Old Town, featuring Special Guests plus Tragic Roundabout:
5th April - KidzTown Easter Excursion:
10th April - Barrio Loco, featuring Mouse Outfit, Dead Players (High Focus) and Gardna:
19th April - TrenchTown, featuring The Skints plus special guests:

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Track-by-Track: The Jury And The Saints

We loved the forthcoming self-titled album from New Zealand punks The Jury And The Saints so much that we asked Jesse (lead vocals) to take us through each track...

Start Moving: This was a super fun song to write. It's basically about not getting down when things aren't working out how you want, you've gotta just make it happen. I had most of it written before taking it to the rest of the band at rehearsal and it all came together super quick. It starts the album off on the right foot and has become a live favourite already. We made a video for the song, which is coming soon, at a mate's Hawaiian house party: the perfect vibe for the song. 
Fever: This was written around the same time as Start Moving. It has a pretty similar vibe: getting psyched about good things happening and making every opportunity count. This was one of the first songs I recorded the vocals for in Germany and it was really different to what I was used to, they wanted me to sing clearer so people could understand what I was saying… I'm a bit of a mumbler. I remember doing about 58 takes of the line in the pre-chorus "I can feel it in my spine". I still couldn't get it so I ended up shouting it instead! 
Focus: The fastest song on the album. It was written about my boss trying to fire me. He was a real mind bender in conversations and really messed with my head. Luckily, he actually ended up getting fired and I kept my job which worked out just great! Focus is a super fun one to play live 'cos it starts out super hectic but then chills, it makes you feel pretty good in the end.
Monday Morning: This was the easiest song to write. I got most of it together in about five minutes and it was the last one we wrote for the album but it's my favourite. The lyrics speak for themselves, about the 9-5 drag most of us get caught up in and trying to break out of the mundane routines we fall into.
Freedom Fighter: This is an older song and really changed the direction of the band to the how we sound now. It is a pretty special song for us as it caught the attention of SPV in Germany and got us signed. If it wasn't for this song the album wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't have had any opportunities in new places we have now.
Knocking On The Devils Door: This is another older song but originally it was far from finished. I wrote the riff a couple of weeks before we left for Germany to make the album, just a recording on phone. When we got to the studio, we added heaps more to it: originally it was only about 1 min 38 seconds long and was over before it had really started. It's about people who want to change themselves but find themselved doing things they hate over and over.
City Lights: This song is about Queen Street in Auckland on almost any night of the week. It's about those fellas heading out for the best night ever and it turning into a bit of a nightmare: I guess this happens everywhere! We recorded this song in Auckland at York Street studio and our producer Alex mixed it in Germany.
Bust The Radio: Pretty self-explanatory lyrically! We had worked on this as a band for a while but it never really clicked, there was something about it we couldn't make work. It wasn't until we got into the studio with Alex and started working it finally came together.
Last Time: This one was written not long before we left to record in Germany. We were over there for almost seven weeks so it's kinda about leaving your family and realising sometime you take the most important folks in your life for granted. We only had a verse and a chorus when we started recording this and wrote the rest in the studio.
Brand New: This is a new version of the first song we ever released as a band, way back on our first ever EP which was super rough. It's a more produced version of the original. Our band has always been about staying positive and making the most of life, so Brand New represents this in song form.
Last Mistake: This song has been around as long as Freedom Fighter. It's about pop stars, and all the superficial stuff they sing about, wishing they would just stop spewing out filth and start singing about something worthwhile.
Make Our Mark: One of the harder songs to write, we went through about three or four different choruses settling on the final one. I had all these different parts of a song that in my head fitted together, and the struggle was working out how to make it happen outside of my head! The chorus is so high it destroys my voice every time I sing it: the rest of the song was so intense it had to be that way for the chorus to have that killer lift.

The Jury And The Saints is out 2nd March 2015. Head to for more information.