Sunday, 16 November 2014

Album Review: United by Disconnect Disconnect Records (Comp)

Compilations are fantastic. Not only are they a great way to find your new favourite bands without spending lots of money on whole albums but they are also an excellent way for bands to get exposure. Recently the fine folk who run Disconnect Disconnect Records in London put out a new Compilation titled United with the purpose being to give more exposure to some of the great UK bands in the punk and underground scene and there are a lot of really great bands in there. Here is my review of United.

Progressive thrash band Almeida begin the party in great fashion. These guys are incredibly skilled musicians and play some really technical guitar riffs that you don’t hear from your average punk band. One of my favourite bands in the scene, Brighton’s River Jumpers are up next with the song All Our Histories. Their sing along pop punk is infectious and will get lodged solidly in your head for a long time. The Hook Line Riot are one of the most underrated bands in the country, their heartfelt punk rock never fails to get me smiling and tapping my feet. Waiting Room Exit shows you what to expect from this Cheltenham based group, smart intelligent lyrics and top class musicianship. Scottish pop punks The Murderburgers are no doubt one of the biggest success stories to come out of our scene. This Ramones-core band have toured all over Europe and recently supported Alkaline Trio in the States. Bottler have put out one of my favourite releases of the year with their EP Smithereens. They play some brilliantly written melodic punk and this track Pleasuring Her Majesty is no exception. Empty Lungs are an example of finding your new favourite bands on compilation, prior to this I had never heard of the amazing Belfast band. This hook filled punk rock will have rooms of people singing at the top of their lungs. The first quarter of the compilation is concluded by melodic skate punks Mug. Another really underrated band, Mug really know how to write a catchy tune.

The second quarter of United is kicked off with some hardcore punk courtesy of Dead Neck. Fast, frantic punk rock music with an unbelievably good vocal, Dead Neck are up there with the very best in what they do. Landmarks change the pace of the compilation drastically with their upbeat pop punk. This is better than any of their American counterparts; I’m expecting big things for this band. Leeds band The Human Project are one of the most talked about bands in the scene, and for good reason. This is hardcore hook filled punk rock at its best; these boys are great live as well as on record. No Contest are a band from Grimsby who play fast and hard. Combining hardcore and skate punk these gentlemen make me really want to see them live. I imagine its great fun! Scottish pop punks Yeah Detroit are another band proving that the UK does pop punk as well as anyone in the world. I like how the music is more of the hardcore sound of punk but is combined with some nice, clean vocals to create a great sound. Creeper are definitely a band to look out for in 2015. Born out of the ashes of the fantastic Our Time Down Here Creeper have taken things up a level. If you miss early AFI you should definitely check out Creeper, absolutely amazing band. The second quarter, or first half of United is completed by Mixtape Saints from Leamington Spa. This is some slowed down soulful story telling punk rock that will have instantly grab your attention and take you away to another place.

Fast rising Essex hardcore skate punks Giants kick off the second half of United with a bang. Giants have everything you want in this type of band in their locker, a seriously tight rhythm section, some really interesting guitar riffs and perfectly delivered vocals. The Doublecross is a solo project from Jonathan Greenwood from the band The Modern Farewell. The Doublecross play some wonderfully crafted sing along punk rock similar in sound to The Gaslight Anthem. Scottish punks First Step To Failure mix just about every sub-genre of punk rock to create a sound all of their own. They are a refreshingly unique band. Guildford based band Darko are one of the stand out bands in a scene over flowing with amazing bands. Sounding like A Wilhelm Scream and Strike Anywhere’s love child Darko hit you hard and fast and you won’t forget about them for a long time. Ducking Punches change the sound of the record completely with their take on the folk punk genre. Front man Dan Allen (who also provided artwork for the album) writes some of the best and most honest lyrics around. Hellwinners are yet another band on United who could easily become my new favourite band. Great accessible punk rock which is fully of hooks tograb your attention and excellent lyrics to sing along to the Brighton based trio. Pop punks Mike TV are now veterans of the scene. Inspired by early 1990’s Lookout Records bands such as The Mr T Experience, Green Day and Screeching Weasel  Mike TV pack their songs with catchy choruses and harmonies the Beach Boys would be jealous of (probably not, but it’s a nice thing to say about a band).

Fights And Fires describe themselves as a rock and roll/hardcore punk rock band. This track, maps pounds along at a steady pace with Phillip #1’s gravelly vocals really carrying the melody of the song. Teeside progressive post-hardcore band Taller Than Trees really stood out to me on first listen. Normally I’m not massively into this type of punk rock but there is something about it that I really loved. Eat Defeat are a band that I really have a lot of time for. Combining the best bits of skate punk and ska punk these Yorkshire lads write some excellent songs. Their latest release It’s Always Sunny In Yorkshire features three songs about looking on the bright side if things aren’t going your way. Southpaw from Slough are an emo band influenced by The Get Up Kids, Sunny Day Real Estate and You Blew It among others. Moose Blood are currently leading the way in the UK emo world but judging from the strength of this track (Skin & Bone) it won’t be long before Southpaw are thought of in the same breath as the boys from Canterbury. Harker are a band I have heard about for ages but never listened to them before I listened to United. They are brilliant! The combination of acoustic guitars with an electric band makes them offer something quite different to most bands and the singers vocals really stand out. The last act on United is The Lion And The Wolf, another one that I’ve heard of before but never really listened to. The name is deceiving; The Lion And The Wolf isn’t actually a band but a solo artist by the name of Thomas George. This music is slow and gentle compared to the rest of United but doesn’t feel at all out of place. Thomas George is a musician with the ability to really captivate an audience, a wonderful talent.

This last paragraph is supposed to summarise United and encourage you to go check it out. Really I think all I need to say is if you have ears you should check out this excellent release. There is something for everyone here. United does a fantastic job showcases a small portion of the amazing bands that fill up our scene. Great work Disconnect Disconnect Records.

Now listening to Some Town In Northern France by Zatopeks

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