To showcase the very best of the local music talent that can be found in the Sussex area, SQ has called upon its correspondent, Andrew Nicholls. Every month, starting from now, he will listen to and review tracks submitted through our Soundcloud account and display the best of what our coastal county has to offer, online for the world to see.
This is part two of October’s showcase featuring Dirty Leaves, Rosales, City Of Ashes, from Afar, State Your Name, Lost In Vegas, For Marla, We Sink Cities, Loose Lips, and Chemical Smile.
Dirty Leaves – Death Music
With vocals that share a slight similarity with Ian Curtis of Joy Division, a steady, catchy beat, and guitar riffs that at times seem to spin musically “Death Music” is an infectious song with creative lyrics. The song’s middle section makes the listener want to move about and as it is joined by exquisite solos and more of that spinning guitar a final push is made towards the track’s last part, and sadly the song comes to an end.
Rosales – Falling
There are a lot of ways to describe this song by Rosales. You could say that at the start it sounds a little like Kenny Loggin’s theme of the 1984 film “Footloose”, or you could say that it mixes rock music from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s with more modern music by bands like The Libertines and The Strokes in the most perfect way. Vocally it’s catchy, a philistine might tell you that it’s dated, they would be wrong.
City of Ashes – The Art of Opacity
Post-rock City Of Ashes are one of the best bands to come out of Eastbourne in recent years, and their song “The Art Of Opacity” from their EP When Black Fuels Blood, with its poetic lyrics, fantastic drumming, and machine-like start is probably their best song to date. Built to be played live its opening, with its whining guitars and punk inspired drumming, harkens to a dark and distant future. As the song gets going it sucks you in, and you can’t help but instantly love it.
From Afar – A Nosebleed Send-Off
Beginning as though the volume is gradually being turned up From Afar are launched into action after a few seconds by a chime that signals an assault on the ears. With a sound that resembles bands like System Of A Down and Deftones the lyrics are delivered by powerful shouts, fast singing, and sweetly delicate melody. From Afar’s song “A Nose Bleed Send Off” is as good musically as it is vocally, with instruments working together both in unison and separately they carry the vocals with breakdowns, hardcore style riffs, and pounding beats.
State Your Name – Save Yourself
A rattling bassline opens this song as drums and guitars smash and drive the listener to sinister sounding and distinctive, clear vocals. A steady drum beat lies at the heart of this track which has a macabre charm and gets very catchy very quickly. A great band to see live State Your Name are not ones to miss.
Lost in Vegas – Gypsy Lady
With a Hendrix style opening solo “Gypsy Lady” by Lost In Vegas is real, ballsy rock’n’roll. Though quite a low quality demo the simple and uncomplicated nature of this song, both musically and vocally, allows its more intricate parts, its solos and final movement, to shine. Reminding the listener of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience this is a song for all generations.
For Marla – Flowers
With a distinct 80s sound “Flowers” by For Marla is polished and professional, so much so that you assume you’ve heard it before, with elements that bring bands and artists like The All American Rejects, Joy Division, The Cure, and Morrisey immediately to mind. “Flower” has catchy, quite depressing lyrics that seem to be about losing love. They stay with you.
We Sink Cities – Nut Up or Shut Up
Begining with the sound of rain, which drags things out a little, “Nut Up Or Shut Up” by We Sink Cities, who put on an awesome visual performance at The Eastbourne Extreme Battle Of The Bands, is a powerhouse of a track. With screams, harmonies, and melodic vocals the band combine vocal sounds to make their words explode above a warzone of crashing drums, and limb tearing riffs. A song that creates a visual image as well as a mental one it comes alive. I had high hopes for this track; it didn’t disappoint.
Loose Lips – Drive Away
Definitely my favourite track on this half of the playlist, “Drive Away” by Loose Lips is the perfect example of British Rock. Comparable to bands like The Who and Biffy Clyro, with exceptional vocals carrying well written lyrics and an inoffensive rock sound, “Drive” is a song with a wonderful voice that should be an anthem. Powerful song writing lies at the heart of this track, and with other great songs in their repertoire we’ll clearly be hearing more from them.
Chemical Smile – Everybody Loves You
The vocals in “Everybody Loves You” by Chemical Smile are forceful, the catchy, poetic lyrics are at times nearly yelled, and that’s what makes them stand out. With simple, yet tuneful guitars, and clever drumming the instrumental section of the band take a bit of a backseat in this track, but for good reason. A superb song.
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 decided to open things up and make it a double-header. 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 only means it couldn’t be included this time round. This month honourable mentions must go to: Benbo – If You Feel Emotional, Mariann Saar – Just Try, and Low Kill – Pushing Back The Fear. We didn’t have the space to include them – but we strongly urge you to check them out.
Originally published, with tracks, here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/10/sq-soundcloud-showcase-october-part-2/