Archive for May, 2013

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Optional Rubber Duck –The River Run Sessions – EP Review

This is my two track EP review for Maidstone’s pop punk masters Optional Rubber Duck.

Jackie Chan – The first track on the EP is named after a martial arts legend and what a track this is. The lyrics are hilarious with the most put downs I think I have ever heard in a single track for example ‘can you smile for me please, cos I know it seems quite hard, you don’t deserve to hold my hand or even a Christmas card’. The vocals are clear and crisp and the guitars are full of pure distortion. The chorus is very memorable and catchy ‘you’re giving me a mental cramp, taking more than you can, you dance like a retard and your real name is Jackie Chan, GO JACKIE GO!’. Straight after the chorus comes the famous guitar riff which was also used on the Vapours track ‘Turning Japanese’.

The bridge of the song is a fast loud wave of distorted power chords played swiftly until its back onto that familiar chorus again, a real enjoyable track.

My Kingdom – This track starts off with some palm muting on the guitars but then blasts out to a great sounding solo overlay which for me is the memorable part of this track. The vocals sing about blood, sweat and tears shed to be king of a kingdom. In my opinion this song lacks a few hooks compared to the previous track but then I guess that does place the bar pretty high as it is a great track. There is some great guitar work on show here and the drummer doesn’t miss a beat.

Midway through and we get the bridge which starts with the bass going solo only for the other instruments to build up to the last verse and chorus. The song then uses the old fashioned style of fading the song out which I haven’t heard for some time but it’s a nice change.

All in all the two tracks sit nicely beside each other. The song writing is clever and well written. For me it’s just a shame the second track is not as strong as the first one but even still these guys rock and definitely know how to write a good punk song.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find Optional Rubber Duck on Facebook 

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The Kimberly Steaks – Cleavers/The Kimberly Steaks spilt 7” – Track Reviews 

The Kimberly Steaks are a punk band from Glasgow, Scotland. This is my review of their three track EP.

The first thing I will have to say about this EP is the length. This is an extremely short EP with three tracks clocking up about three minutes in total, which is shorter than many single tracks I have reviewed. There is a reason for this however. These guys play fast, incredibly fast; it’s definitely high adrenalin stuff. The vocalist does extremely well fitting the words into tiny spaces with just enough room to take a breath.

The first track is called ‘No Brainer’ and is really just a twenty second introduction with the song going straight in at one hundred miles per hour, this really is speed punk. Next comes my personal favourite on the EP ‘Fix My Head’ which begins with a great fiddly guitar overlay intro and then it’s back to the break neck speed again. The chorus is a catchy one with a repeat of ‘I just need a little time to fix my head’. A shout out must go out to the drummer because with beats beating played this fast he must have a real strong pain barrier. The final track on the EP is called ‘Lonesome Surprise’ which again starts off with a catchy little guitar introduction. The chorus on this one is very similar to the previous track with a repeat of ‘It’s a lonesome surprise’ sung various times. The repeats of words like this on choruses make it easy to sing a long and sticks in the mind.

To summarise this EP I would say The Kimberly Steaks really know how to play fast. The instruments gel perfectly and the singers voice suits the style perfectly. The only downside is that the songs are played so fast its sometimes difficult picking out the lyrics in the songs. The EP is over very quickly but if you like your punk played at high tempo then you will definitely be pressing repeat a few times.

Dan Martin Brown
@DanMartinBrown

Punk/Pop Punk Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find The Kimberly Steaks on Facebook 

Buy their digital album on bandcamp 

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EP Review – The False Flag Agenda by 44 Fires

44 Fires – Corporate Lies (not from this EP)

From the hornet buzz of guitar that kicks off lead track “Army Beside Me” it is obvious that London based Hard Rockers 44 Fires have a bee in their bonnet and are not afraid to shout about it!  The main guitar riff brings to mind Tom Morello in its deceptive simplicity and with  powerful  grungy chorus it’s a well-timed call to arms for the disaffected.

Second track “Idiot” is slightly more strait-up rock with a metal edge.  It reminded me a little of Judas Priest for a modern era, spitting angst and venom in the direction of the subject.  Simple in execution yet effective and bound to cause many mosh pits to go crazy with its sing-along chorus.

“Freedom” finishes off the EP with an intro reminiscent of classic ‘Maiden’ before pushing into some seriously rocking power chord riffs.  A track full of suspenseful mood changes in the music and with a ball-crushing chorus, but the lyrics in the verses somehow seemed disingenuous with the rest of the sound.

A fine effort that will no doubt strike a chord with many and that promises great things for their forthcoming album

Stand out track; Army Beside Me

Score – 7.5/10

Mike Richardson

Metal/Rock Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find 44 Fires on Facebook 

Official Website 

 

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Generation Graveyard – Deleatist – Track Review

Generation Graveyard – Deleatist

Another review underway and this time it is Generation Graveyard – Deleatist. They call themselves a Death Punk band and I can totally see why! No holding back from these guys jumping straight in with a killer riff that is played throughout the song along with an almost thrashy feeling drum pattern that definitely woke me up this morning! The vocals are very similar to old Papa Roach so I got a nice blast from the past from this song! Never heard this genre before so more Death Punk please! I shall be checking out what else the band has to offer right away!

Tommy Rogers 

Metal Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find Generation Graveyard on Facebook

Buy new Mini Album here 

OPM European Tour – Beer Cart Arms – 27.05.13 – Review

  • OPM
  • Riskee and the Ridicule
  • Third Place Victory
  • Wheres Billy

A Monday evening on a bank holiday weekend and something a little bit special happened at the Beer Cart Arms in Canterbury.  OK, admittedly, more than a little bit special, something VERY special.  The Beer Cart Arms maybe a pub a little off the beaten track but its a great music venue with a fantastic reputation.  Below the Radar Events and Promotions often put on gig nights here but on this evening, they really pulled off an amazing gig.

OPM, yes you know them (Heaven is a Halfpipe) agreed to put on their only Kent gig on their European Tour with Below the Radar and a lot of people wanted some of the action.  Local band Riskee and the Ridicule were chosen as main support, followed by Third Place Victory.  The opening slot was put up for vote.  Bands names were put forward and other suggested and added to the voting list a few months prior then everyone was asked to vote.  The band that was chosen and won by a mile was Wheres Billy.  So there you have it… lineup confirmed and the tickets sold like hot cakes.

I’m not going to give a huge review on how the bands all performed on this night, as I would normally.  My usual reviews are a break down, band by band and an in depth review on how each of them performed.  This gig does not warrant this.  I’ll give some details on each band and a brief account of how they did but I’d rather focus more on the gig as a whole.  The atmosphere was so electric that I’d rather focus on the overall feel of the night.

Wheres Billy – A 5 piece Rock band from Tunbridge Wells, Kent and I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and review before (Beer Cart Arms – February 2013 Review).  It’s not hard to see why these guys received so many votes to open this gig.  Strong lineup, amazing songs and lyrics and always delivered with quality.  The band were on form as you would expect, with some comical moments of man hugs and snuggles on stage and free t-shirts and wristbands thrown out to the audience.  They started the evening with really strong and fun set and set the tone for the night.

1 Wheres Billy (10) - Copy

Third Place Victory – A 4 piece Rock/Pop Punk band from Thanet, I’ve seen them a few times now and reviewed one of their performances fairly recently (RokanRolla 01.03.13 Review).  I love this band and they guys but they have to be one of the most unlucky, accident prone bands out there!  This gig was no exception, the Beer Cart jinx returned with exactly the same problem as on their last gig there.  The amazing Jordan in his over enthusiastic jumping around whist playing his guitar managed to yet again pull over his head and break the output socket, rendering his guitar useless.  Did this stop him or the band?  Hell no!  He then decided he wanted to have a crack at being co frontman, much to the amusement of the band.  Not being able to sing hampered this slightly and he metal screamed his way through the last few songs with his fellow band mates falling round with laughter.  Fair play boys, you pulled it off and its always a pleasure to see you on stage!

2 Third Place Victory (10) - Copy

Riskee and the Ridicule – A four piece band hailing from Ashford who describe themselves as: “RepRah, the sound of the modern day reprobate. Ska tinged rap-punk”.  This is a band with attitude, but not bad attitude, the right kind and needed to carry off what they do.  I saw them at the Beer Cart Arms support the amazing Imperial Leisure when they were on tour (Beer Cart Arms 04.12.12) and I do believe they will be doing so again soon in Camden.  I love what these guys do and they have so really loyal fans.  Fans who got their mosh on and cleared a huge space on the floor of the Beer Cart with their enthusiastic moves which spilled over onto the stage at times.  High energy and a set that gets me very excited when I have my camera in hand.  Guys, you smashed it!

3 Riskee and the Ridicule (60) - Copy

OPM – Shouldn’t need any introduction but they are described as:

Reggae / Hip Hop / Alternative

Straight out of Southern California, the reggae/hip-hop/rock sensations OPM hit the ground running more than ten years ago and are still running hard! From their first major hit and teen anthem “Heaven Is A Halfpipe” to their most recent single “Feel the Vibration (feat. Jim Perkins)” OPM has been writing hit-after-hit for more than a decade.

4 OPM (74)

Me I’ll say what an awesome bunch of guys.  Their performance ran over by around half an hour and the crowd loved it.  I’ve never seen so many people packed into the pub before and it was great to see.  The audience surged forward over and over, falling onto the stage at times which meant I ended up on the edge/side of the stage with the guitarist for most of the set.  They went out of their way to give me some great shots when all the paying photographers were battling it out to get photo’s.

Their set was a mix of originals (old and many new) with a few covers thrown in.  The heat and sweat generated told the story of what was happening out on the floor and the entire set was greeted by a sea of hands.  At points crowd surfing occurred with men being lifted high up to the ceiling and the atmosphere was pure electric.  The air literally felt charged and alive making your skin tingle and the hair on the back of your neck stand up!  I cannot put into words enough the energy, atmosphere and excitement contained in this pub on this night.  I can only hope that my words, combined with my photography will paint a better picture for you.  As always I’m only hosting a few photo’s from the night on here.  There are 227 in total over on the Facebook page and I urge you to go and have a look.  Oh and please give it a little like while you are there!

The end of the set they guys did a meet and greet and were only to happy to spend lots of time with their fans, having pictures taken with them, signing things.  Lots of merchandise was purchased and it was so good to see them milling around with everyone after.  An awesome bunch of guys, oh and I even got a hug from the vocalist and guitarist so all can’t be bad 😉 lol.

All in all an amazing night, an amazing gig and huge congratulations to Below the Radar for pulling this one off.  Also a massive pat on the back to all involved for making it such a success, the bands all rocked, everyone who helped out did an amazing job and the staff at the Beer Cart were amazing as always!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Find Wheres Billy on Facebook 

 

Find Third Place Victory on Facebook

Find them on soundcloud 

 

Find Riskee and the Ridicule on Facebook 

Official Website 

Their brand new single:

 

Find OPM on Facebook 

On Spotify 

Tour Dates etc 

 

As usual here follows a very small amount of photography from the evening.  For the full gigs photo’s please go to Facebook, this gig only (please give the page a quick like while there).

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics

Club Q – Ashford – Bank Holiday 27.05.13 Review

by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

  • Slam Cartel
  • Crashgate
  • Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barber
  • Jukebox Monkey

The second gig put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions at Club Q in Ashford proved a huge success.  By 7.30pm the floor was already filling up and by the time headline act, Slam Cartel hit the stage the place was very nicely crowded.  Lots of familiar faces but also many new ones filled the venue, proving that these nights are very much needed and wanted.

At this point I must mention that Bobb Pineapple was in attendance, having shared the stage with Rage Against the Machine, the night was hugely honoured!

Jukebox Monkey – A four piece Rock band from Kent.  I’ve now had the pleasure of reviewing them on a couple of occasions at different venues in Kent, and it’s always a pleasure.  Having reviewed before, I’ll post links here to the previous and keep this short, as going over old ground is never helpful… (Rokanrolla 28.02.13 Review – the main one to read & 25.04.13 Beercart Arms Review).  This gig was no exception and although there was a minor technical issue with sound, as always the guys blew both myself and the audience away.  This was an Ashford debut for the band and talking to the crowd they went down a treat.  A band with HUGE amounts of energy who always put on a fantastic visual performance as well as sound.  With all the hundreds of bands I have seen, their drummer, “Animal”(my nickname for him)  is still the most animated I have ever seen.   This is hard, loud rock, move yourself around rock; and I’m damn sure they will be playing more and more gigs in the coming months as momentum spreads.  If you like your Rock hard and energetic, this is a band for you!

1 Jukebox Monkey (27)

Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers – A four piece Rockabilly/Punk band hailing from Ashford that I’ve seen once before and was really looking forward to seeing again.  This band has attitude in abundance, but in the most endearing way (I’m sure they won’t particularly like me saying that!)  If you don’t believe me, head over to their Facebook page and read their “about” section and have a listen to some of the tracks on there!  I was asked a few times to describe them, awesome but favour the C word a lot, was what I came up with.  That’s both in lyrics but also in stage banter and there is much of that.  The lead vocalist is a real smart one, but in a way that actually really doesn’t offend.  He’s extremely comical and I’d dare anyone to take him on with a heckle, I’ve witnessed the snap back and humiliation that ensues, but with a witty tone.  Cheeky chap that can get away with almost everything I think.  Their sound… not something you will hear out on the scene very often.  The lyrics are hard hitting and to the point, they are not laced with messages; the message and meaning slap you full front in the face.  No mistaking what they are conveying to you here.  Their stand out song to me is always Faceache… it’s not for the feint hearted though so be warned.  I personally love this band, they have huge appeal to me but if you are easily offended, you have no business being anywhere near these lads!

2 Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barbers (17)

Crashgate – A five piece Rock band from Deal who have recently released their debut album which has been received exceptionally well.  It’s extremely well produced, coming out of Hidden Track Studios and produced by Oli Craggs from Feed the Rhino ,  which means that the quality is exceptional.  As is their live performance of the new material.  I reviewed this band recently at a Beercart Arms gig in Canterbury, where they performed again with Jukebox Monkey (25.04.13 Beercart Arms Review).  The performance at this gig was no exception, hugely catchy songs with deep, meaningful lyrics.  It’s evident they are all heartfelt and based on personal experience, as front man Craig will happily tell you.  His Welsh voice is unique and unmistakeable and his performance always draws the crowd in, wanting to be part of it.  A hugely talented bunch or musicians backing him and you have yourself something rather special.  I recommend you check these guys out, as for me, their live performance is always top class and showcases them to their utmost best.

3 Crashgate (33)

Slam Cartel – A five piece Hard Rock band hailing from around London and Kent.  Their debut album “Handful of Dreams” is released worldwide and currently receiving a lot of radio airplay.  It’s a rare thing to be able to go and see them at a local gig, as they tour all over the country and there was a large turn out to watch them.  It’s very clear these guys have a large fan base and as they hit the stage I knew this was going to be an entertaining set.  I’ve reviewed them once before at the Beercart Arms, so knew what to expect and to be on my toes with the camera (07.03.13 Beercart Arms Review).  Glancing down at the set list I counted 13 tracks and there was not a chance of this fitting into the 45 minute set.  I was right and they ended up playing for well over an hour and unfortunately due to the time of finishing, a lot of people had left by the end.  This is a hugely experienced band with a very unique sound. When they mentioned that the last song would be a brand new one, I was very interested to hear it.  The first song produced by the band  that they have all had a hand in writing.  This left me wondering if it would still have the same Slam Cartel sound to it.  It does, although I would say somewhat more intricate, due to each band member having brought their own abilities to it.  I’ll be interested in hearing what else they bring to the table in the coming months.  My only gripe with these guys is; as they go along they get so enthusiastic and turn their levels up.  By the end of the gig the vocals are drowned out to a degree with is a huge shame.  If you get a chance to catch them, do, as they rarely perform in the local area!

4 Slam Cartel (1)

Oh and what of Bobb I hear you ask?  Well, when I left he was still rocking out in the corner!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

 

Find Jukebox Monkey on Facebook

Find Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers on Facebook 

 

Find Crashgate on Facebook
Buy their Album on Amazon 

 

Find Slam Cartel on Facebook
Official Website 

Here follows a very small amount of photography from the evening.  For the full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Alter Ego, The Cricketers, Dover 24th May 2013

GIGgle Pics Review by Mark Cridland

Right, where to begin? This is the first time that I’ve written a review for anything other than my radio show on DCR so bear with me.

We arrived at The Cricketers about 8pm expecting the band to be already set up as they have a reputation of being well prepared, only to see Dan Burvill, lead singer and Guitarist unloading the car, with nothing set up! Ah, well I thought, just a minor fault, at least they’ll have the set list ready for me to have a look at, but no. Niall, the bassist who is usually the organised one was busy writing the set list on a beer mat! How rock and roll is that? Anyway, they managed to set up and do a short sound check before having time for a beer and a smoke before the scheduled 9pm start time, I’d never expect any different from these guys, having seen them before whilst on a night off.

They kicked off the night with the classic Blacken The Name with the usual Alter Ego edge to it. Dan has admitted that he can’t reach the higher tones and so just does his metal “rahhh!” This is a sound coming from a guy who, as someone pointed out to me, looks like a modern day rock Smurf!

They went on to play the set which doesn’t seem to have changed in a while, although I was told that they now have a month off and are working on new material. They like to start their gigs with softer music, playing the likes of Danny California, London Calling, Teenage Kicks and my favourite from the first half, Through Glass. They really did this song justice and you could feel the emotion, as I write this I’m listening to the recording that I made of the whole night and I love this song!

The second half however started a bit heavier, including more music from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers; the one song that they have recorded, Calling In The Name of; and Dan’s favourite, a medley of Funky Bell Tolls and Higher Ground. It is so very obvious why this is one of Dan’s favourites as his voice really suits the style. Another song that got my attention was their version of Reef’s Place Your Hands. Now, I like this song and really hoped that they wouldn’t ruin it for me. I was to be pleasantly surprised. These types of songs are what Dan really can sing; he did struggle vocally in quite a number of songs which often required softer singing because his voice really doesn’t suit it.

Alter Ego (30)

I found no issues with Solomon’s drumming, apart from him getting incredibly sweaty and Niall is an amazing Bass player, very enthusiastic and at point it really did look like he was making love to his guitar, reminding me of the part in the movie ‘Full Metal Jacket’ where the marine recruits chant : “This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless” this analogy seems to suit the relationship that Niall has with his bass!

Towards the end of the night, they came to, in Dan’s own words, “the cheesy section of the gig”. Oh, no I thought, this is gonna go so bad. But, and it’s a big but, it was actually enjoyable. They played Baggy Trousers, Hey Ya, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sweet Home Alabama. All of which received the Alter Ego treatment with Dan doing his famous “rahh!” at the points that he couldn’t reach the notes required.

All in all a very entertaining Gig and I am looking forward to see what changes they make during their short break. It was just a shame that the original crowds dispersed as the night went on, I don’t think that the pub management had done much in the way of promoting the gig so people were just popping in by chance or passing by and heard the band playing so were intrigued by their sound. I couldn’t spot anyone who looked like they were there simply to watch the band perform.

Just to summarise, a good, entertaining night out but the band need to concentrate more on heavy rock to make the most of Dan’s voice. I shall certainly be going to see them at a future gig to see if they have evolved into the heavy rock band which is eager to get out from inside them.

Mark Cridland

GIGgle Pics Live Reviewer

Find Alter Ego on Facebook 

 

Here follows a very small amount of photography taken from the night.  For the full evenings photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions