Paramore have undergone an evolution of sorts since they formed in 2004. Growing from a small-town, female-fronted five piece, the band have gone on to sell over 7 million records to date and won a multitude of prestigious awards along the way. It seems almost inevitable that everything they touch turns to gold; their addition to the Twilight only aided their stratospheric rise.
The fifth single to be lifted from gold-selling Brand New Eyes is Playing God. Lyrically, the group seem to have grown immensely from their previous efforts- obvious angst is eloquently crafted within lines like “You don’t deserve a point of view, if the only thing you see is you”. That said, the track does not immediately scream ‘single material’. The finger-picked intro and rich melody create a slow-burning emotional fusion that, while creating a solid album track, does not leave a lasting impression on the listener as their previous singles have done. Playing God marks the quintet’s musical departure into new territory- one clearly influenced and somewhat driven by the Twilight saga that has garnered a host of new fans. Bound to be a fan favourite, it’s hard to see Playing God duplicating the chart success of its predecessors, yet the maturity of the song is testament to Paramore’s credibility as extremely talented songwriters.
Not Advised – ‘Right Now’
Southampton quintet Not Advised have begun making considerable waves within the UK scene, especially with support slots from bands such as You Me At Six and Set Your Goals under their belts. Their album, After The Fight, received rapturous reviews from critics, and latest single ‘Right Now’ is their all-out chance to sit up and make the rest of the country listen.
A foot-tapping, fast-paced guitar intro leads its way into frontman Jim Thomas’ smooth vocals. A bridge of charging drums and gang-vocals confirm what many have previously thought: this is pop-punk in the newest, most British form possible. Blending elements of indie rock, tremelo guitar breaks and self-affirming lyrics, Not Advised have produced a track that encapsulates their fresh and upbeat sounds into a perfect 3-minute package. Granted, it may not be the best single choice the band could have made- a quick skim over the album suggests the anthemic ‘Jane Says Left’ would have been better suited to the title- but it most certainly proves their weight as a credible and exciting new addition to the UK music scene. Watch out for this band in the next year, as they’re clearly destined for the big leagues.
Young Guns – ‘Weight of the World’
In the past 12 months, Young Guns have exploded from the UK underground scene in to the public eye. Riding on the success of their debut album All Our Kings Are Dead, their latest single Weight of the World follows a string of successful releases.
The track, having previously featured on EP Mirrors, was tweaked and tucked in to a well- polished offering- frontman Gustav Wood described the band as “perfectionists… we could do the song a little more justice if we only had a tiny bit more time”. Weight of the World is an ambitious, anthemic number; a biting tremolo guitar intro leading way into a soaring chorus. It lacks the grit that its previous incarnation possessed, yet the crystal-clear production and stunning musicality quickly make up for it. It seems quite evident that the perfectionism that drove Young Guns has paid off, as the single is destined for both commercial success and fan recognition.
Canterbury – ‘Calm Down’
Hampshire based Canterbury have been a band since 2005 so there’s no excuse for new single Calm Down to be a sloppy effort. After five years it’s time to prove that they’ve got it together and are ready for bigger things.
Calm Down kicks off promisingly enough with a catchy drum beat and indie dance style guitars before taking it up a notch and layering subtly echoey vocals over the top. By the time the chorus hits the song has worked up up to full energy with driving drums and crashing guitars behind the catchy vocal melodies. The vocals on Calm Down are distinct, solid and, best of all, completely lacking in that whiney faux-American accent that far too many British pop-punk bands seem to be adopting.
It’s not generic but there’s a since of familiarity even upon the very first listening; Calm Down is so radio ready and effortlessly catchy that it seems ludicrous that no one else thought of it before.
fun. – ‘Walking The Dog/Be Calm’
If there was ever an award for ‘Most Appropriate Band Name’ then my vote would most definitely go to fun. (Yes with a wee ‘f’ and a full stop at the end. Get it right.) It’s impossible to listen to their double A-side single Walking The Dog/Be Calm without feeling the urge to break out into a glorious song and dance. (Although I’ll warn you now that attempting to hit the high notes during the bridge of ‘ Be Calm’ is near impossible).
In journalistic terms, it’s hard to liken their sound to that of any other band because it is their unique flair that makes fun. so appealing. However, what I can tell you is that ‘Walking The Dog’ is perfect for a group sing-along in your car/kitchen/bedroom, complete with the mock microphone of your choice. ‘Be Calm’, on the other hand, is an inspirational anthem with a twist; fusing strings, guitars and trumpets together to create fanfare of wonderment, making you feel like you can achieve anything in the process (Just don’t try an sing-along whilst you try to complete coursework in the library. Trust me.)
To put it in the simplest of terms – I love fun. With their debut album Aim & Igniteset to drop on May 31st, there is no doubt that fun. are going to being the soundtrack to the summer of 2010.
‘Walking The Dog/ Be Calm’ will be released on limited edition 7″ vinyl on March 29th. For more details and tour dates checkout myspace.com/fun.
We The Kings – ‘Heaven Can Wait’
Heaven Can Wait is the first single to be taken from Smile Kid, the forthcoming sophomore album from Florida’s finest, We The Kings. With a chart topping debut album already under their belts, the pop-punk quartet are back and better than ever with this new offering. Energetic and utterly addictive, Heaven Can Wait has an instant feel good factor with an infectious chorus that has you reaching for the repeat button as the final chords fade from your speakers. With shades of previous fan favourites Skyway Avenue and Check Yes Juliet running through it, this is a track about the wonders of care free, young love which We The Kings deliver with the high-spirited zest that powers their live shows.
Vibrant and enthusiastic, We The Kings are brilliant at what they do and if Heaven Can Wait is anything to go by, Smile Kid is set to be packed with as many fun-filled, pop-punk albums as its predecessor.
Young Guns – ‘Winter Kiss’
The devil you know is better than the ghost you don’t,
So I sit and the scan the frequencies, watch the falling snow…”
Take a quick glance back over the past 12 months or so and it’s easy to see why High Wycombe based Young Guns have become one of the most talked about, unsigned bands of recent times. A dedicated touring schedule has seen them appear alongside Lostprophets, Taking Back Sunday and Fightstar, as well as managing to squeeze in appearances at the Download, Sonisphere and Slam Dunk festivals. Consequentially, debut EP Mirrors was snapped up by a dedicated fan base and with over 4,000 copies sold since its release back in June, the band are currently on their fourth pressing. As frontman Gustav Wood explains, the band have chosen to show their thanks in the form of a free song; “we wanted to release the new track as a free download-only single, because we wanted to give something back to those that have given us so much, it’s the least we could do after such a great year.”
This free track comes in the shape of Winter Kiss, a heavier and slightly more mature departure from the band’s previous material. Opening with an atmospheric string arrangement, the song then kicks in with sporadic guitar riffs and a pounding drum beat. A melodic piano peppers the chorus, giving the song a melancholy edge, reflecting in the lyrics. A haunting gang vocal lurks in the background (“I will let you down; to love me is to drown“), driving home the overall feeling of the song – isolation; restlessness.
Ending with a heavy guitar fading into piano keys, ‘Winter Kiss’ certainly shows a movement in song writing capability from Young Guns and hints at what is still to come from this promising band.
‘Winter Kiss’ is availabe for free download HERE and you can check out the video below. Young Guns are currently on the Kerrang! Relentless Energy Drink Tour with All Time Low, The Blackout and My Passion. Check out the band’s MySpace for dates and ticket info (www.myspace.com/youngguns).