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We live in a world that, although it is largely alright for most, can make the average Victor Meldrew moaner type go red in the face and have a loud nervous breakdown in the fruit and veg aisle. With little annoyances like the police happily using water cannons on protestors while the rest of us suffer a hosepipe ban, our blood pressures don’t really stand a chance. We may as well just go back to bed, scream into our pillows, and cry into a pit of self loathing.
But for those of you who aren’t insane here’s the first part of our March Showcase featuring; Soul Sanctuary, Counting Flames, Hello Sunshine, The Badje, Rising Tide, Finding Grace, Arcadian Anthem, The Purple Bubble, Juno, Donna Fullman, Arthur & The Irrational and Vier.
Soul Sanctuary – Scars of You
It’s been a while since this showcase featured some hard-hitting, hard-playing metal. The kind of metal that features melodic choruses and hooks, air guitar riffs, guttural screams and soaring solos. The kind of metal that gets crowds jumping and heads banging but gets left out of the mainstream in favour of dubstep and (where’s the) rhythm ’N’(where’s the) blues. Hasting six-piece Soul Sanctuary’s track “Scars Of You” is exactly that; the kind of metal that’s fuelled by Pantera, Lamb Of God, and Killswitch Engage.
Influenced by: Lamb Of God, Pantera, Killswitch Engage, Threat Signal
Counting Flames – Of Satan
Another group of metal harbingers bursting into the showcase with the type of big man vocals found in Johnny Cash and Rammstein songs, Counting Flames from Hastings conjure up images of Harley Davidson’s and leather. Whether or not that’s right, “Of Satan” is a massive vocal orientated song that puts its music, made up of all the ingredients you’d normally find in the genre, well in second place.
Influenced by: Motorhead, Jimmy Hendrix, Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold
Hello Sunshine – Porcelain
The first we’ve ever heard of Hello Sunshine, “Porcelain” is as delicate as the material it shares its name with. Filled with quietly beautiful vocals and light but sweet guitar, it’s a nice cool down from the last couple of songs and really easy to listen to. Not dull or sleepy like a lot of similar music, “Porcelain” becomes catchy quickly.
Influenced by: Brand New, The Dangerous Summer, Finch, Jimmy Eat World, Frank Turner
The Badje – Shiva
Sharing its name with the sexy ice woman from the Final Fantasy series and the Hindu destroyer god, the short but very, very cool “Shiva” by Brighton’s The Badje pulls together and puts an original twist on obvious influences like rock’n’roll, soul, and psychedelica. With an air of almost exotic mystery throughout, “Shiva” is a harmonious treat for the ears.
Influenced by: 50s rock, soul, 60s pop
Rising Tide – Everything Has Changed
No one sane has ever described drowning as a good thing, but with such a complex arrangement of sounds throughout, and even a little pinch of Radiohead to be found within, it’s forgivable to want to be swept away by Rising Tide. “Everything Has Changed” is full of drive and replayability with distinctive, strong vocals, moments of knockout guitar, dancing keyboard, and well paced drums. Rising Tide state their influences as being bands like Arcade Fire and Foo Fighters. It’s easy to see how those bands factor into their sound, with the Montreal indie rockers adding an eccentric flair and Grohl’s boys bringing their anthemic touch.
Influenced by: Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters
Finding Grace – Building Blocks
Beginning with intricate guitar and a steady drum backline that moves into a folk rock sound, “Building Blocks” by Finding Grace seems like it needs a banjo in it somewhere. A little country and a little anthemic, the track is a quirky number with a barndance jig vibe topped by enviable vocals. “Building Blocks” is the kind of song that many people may, foolishly, pass by, but we love it.
Influenced by: Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Beirut, The Libertines, Johnny Flynn, The Maccabees
Arcadian Anthem – The Common Thing To Do
If you were to make an assumption about Arcadian Anthem based on their name you might expect a band with a lush sound filled with Incubus style production and mysterious vibes. You probably wouldn’t expect them to be a plain and simple punk band, but that’s exactly what they are. Vocally and lyrically the band are typical of their genre, with anti-establishment lyrics and Sex Pistols style backing shouts, but they have a slightly complex edge to much of the music they back it all up with, even teetering on the borders of metal at times.
Influenced by: Nirvana, Enter Shikari, Biffy Clyro
The Purple Bubble – Ice Cream
Anyone that’s aware of The Purple Bubble will know that “Ice Cream” is a complex track full of double meanings and unique perspectives without even listening to it. Jam packed with brilliant lines like “Love and marriage, love and marriage, goes together like cake and cabbage” – the track is a little reminiscent of The Vapours when they were turning Japanese and deserves to be just as much of a classic. A myriad of sounds with something new emerging in almost every bar, “Ice Cream” is gushing with flair and imagination.
Influenced by: The people around them, the sounds they like, their own individuality.
Juno – Rocky Road
Finalists in the Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands, Juno deserve their track “Rocky Road” to be included in this Showcase more than most. Filled with a clappable and toe tappable beat and catchy, singalong vocals, the song is really funky and well topped off with some great solos. Running all the way through “Rocky Road” is a well played and danceable blend of guitars and bass that give it a constant flow. Juno appear to have improved quite a bit since the competition in July; their vocalist’s voice has gotten crisper, and their overall sound has gotten much more mature.
Influenced by: Everything from Rihanna to Radiohead
Donna Fullman – By The Fire
The word “haunting” has been used to describe the vocal style of countless female singers, something that happens in this Showcase quite a lot, but the problem is that description, even if it is horrifyingly overused, is often quite apt, especially with this track by Donna Fullman. So at the risk of sounding like we’ve never heard of a thesaurus, we’re going to say that “By The Fire” is very haunting, so much so in fact that in such a simple way it chills the heart and soul completely, forcing the listener to give their full attention. Donna Fullman has an exceptional voice, it’s beautiful, and we’d love to hear more of it.
Influenced by: PJ Harvey, John Lennon, Stevie Nicks
Arthur & The Irrational – Hollywood Experience
Another track that would be easy to throw the word “haunting” at, “Hollywood Experience” has a sombre, melancholy feeling that would see it at home in an old tavern, perhaps being played by individuals that only Derek Accorah types would be able to “see”. Simple but musically and vocally rich for the ears, “Hollywood Experience” is deeper than most songs and is easy to get lost in.
Influenced by: Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush
Vier – Dead Soul Country
It’s easy to like Vier just for the fact that they’re an all girl metal band, after all for many guys there’s nothing sexier than a woman playing guitar, but with such narrow minded and misogynistic thinking it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture; these girls rock harder than most other bands on the planet, and have probably got bigger “balls” than most men. “Dead Soul Country” is metal at its absolute best, with slick guitar playing, great drums, and vocals that switch effortlessly between melody and power, and is an absolute triumph that deserves to be played as loud as possible, until the end of time.
Influenced by: Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones, Slipknot, Rage Against The Machine
This showcase is our attempt to show off some of the music we love in our local area. We received such a demand from bands to have their tracks featured that we had no choice but to open the Showcase. We only hope this popularity continues.
Obviously we couldn’t include everything, so if you’re reading this and your song isn’t here don’t be too disheartened, it could be included in the next edition!