Held By Horses: In History

Held By Horses is a quintet from Chelmsford in the UK which is starting to turn heads their way with strong and impressively delivered rock music. The Essex female fronted band now builds on their already rising stock with the release of their new EP In History. Consisting of five songs which grab attention and feed the desire for vibrant and well crafted songs, the EP without arguably bringing new startling detours in the direction of rock music, leaves one fully satisfied and looking forward to watching and hearing the future of this promising band.

Forming in the opening weeks of 2011, the band soon had their debut EP rampaging in ears and since have lit up stages alongside the likes of Mallory Knox, Mystery Jets, Johnny Get The Gun, and Our People Versus Yours. Produced by Dan Lancaster (Lower Than Atlantis, Mallory Knox), In History is their next impressive step in a steady rise as the band works their way to the fore of national recognition.

To swiftly get the obvious comment out of the way when listening to the EP, it has to be said the surface sound of the band though impressive is not groundbreaking. With other great emerging bands such as Leopards, Never The Last Breath, and Hitchcock Blonde to name just three treading the same field of sound, there is a familiar feel across them all. This makes initial impressions less dramatic then maybe is deserved and only with a closer inspection does the craft and skill of the individual come out as with Held By Horses. The trouble for bands is how many have that intent and patience? Saying that though, the band does have an emerging style which is maybe more suggested right now but it is there and destined to evolve ahead.

The release opens with You Win Some, You Lose Some. It is a song which initially under whelms with the main reason being that the vocals of Harriet Reynolds are lost within the mass of the music. It is like she is veiled but thankfully as the rest of the EP explodes in the ear her great voice and delivery is allowed the clarity to shine and hit home with vigour and passion. The song itself is a pleasing if not adventurous companion and certainly keeps one happy to check out the rest of the release.

The following Little Water is soon putting the opener in the shade. Immediately the vocal harmonies sweep one up in their charms and the incisive groove which follows has one eagerly ready to feast upon the song. The early sonic grip leads into energetic guitar play from Kyle Ginn and Will Smith which switches from a more expansive wash back to the tighter acidic groove and back throughout. Lively and persistent the song is sure to be an explosive live favourite and sets the release on track to ignite deeper pleasures.

As great as the previous track is the best song on the release steps up next in the fiery shape of The Last Word. Featuring the vocals of Renz Byrne from Never Means Maybe alongside Reynolds, the track is a feisty rampage of dusty melodics speared by thumping rhythms from drummer Scott Dillon. The muscular bass lines of Charlie O’Halloran under pin the smouldering guitar melodics and hooks perfectly to give a depth to the stirring breath of the song but it is midway when Byrne joins Reynold that glorious sparks fly, their union dazzling and impossible not to be enamoured by. The song is mighty in power and emotion, and of all the songs shows the depth of promise within the band and their writing.

     Down And Out has the envious job of following and does a fine job, the song a thumping treat of energies, air scorching melodics, and captivating vocals. It leads one keenly into the closing Virtues, another song which only has good thoughts going its way. Lively with a Paramore pop rock kiss to its attack, the song ticks all the boxes to leave one smiling. Inventive and impressively delivered it makes a strong end to a more than decent release.

In History is a strong and pleasing release showing a band finding impressive form and promise. Yes the release does not really standout on its own amongst many other similarly fuelled bands but one senses that will come. Held By Horses ensures the company of the EP is gratifying and enjoyable, really all that ever matters surely.

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RingMaster 15/09/2012

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Johnny Get The Gun – Never Far From What We Know EP

Recently Essex rock/pop punk band Johnny Get The Gun released their new single containing two tracks that came from their Never Far From What We Know EP released earlier in the year. Because of the quality and overwhelming infectiousness of all songs concerned we are going to look at the EP to kill both birds with one review. In a year that has seen the glorious rise of rock lined pop punk infused with additive melodies, incessant riffs, mesmeric hooks, and sing-a-long choruses with the likes of Top Buzzer, Innercity Pirates and Max Raptor, the quartet of Johnny Get The Gun stand to the fore with music that gives something extra not only to the ear but the day, their sounds igniting impulses and the heart.

The band started in 2007 instantly gathering eager support and acclaim for their energetic and impressive live shows and even greater attention once their 2010 self-titled mini album and this EP unveiled their charms to a wider array of ears. With an album in the pipeline it is only a matter of time before the band explodes in to a bigger arena and further infatuation from a swelling mass of new fans.

The EP starts as it means to go on, revealing songs of anthemic ease, beckoning hooks, and compulsive melodies all wrapped in an eagerness and originality that cleverly is fresh and at the same time recognisable, like unknown friends turning up to brighten the day. Good As It Gets strolls in on a confident beat and throbbing bassline backing the instantly magnetic vocals of Wayne Lightowler  before exploding into a furnace of passionate riffs and emotive energy. As he proves throughout the release Lightowler is a stunning vocalist that employs and delivers all the emotion of the lyrics and energy of the music with stunning effect. The song is pop punk at its finest, a track that pulls one in eagerly to become part of and join in with the addictive chorus.

Hills & Knives takes over with a less instantaneous pull but as equal in quality and engagement. The guitar of Jack Lawson less crazed but more soulful and sensitively creative lies well amongst more great basslines from Joe Williams and the ever strong and powerful drums of Jamie Abela, the drummer able to play with unbridled aggression or a more delicate attack with equal skill and ability. The song is an impressively structured piece of songwriting with again Lightowler and his vocals taking a great track up a level, his voice finishing off a fine song with a glorious topping of emotive attachment.

Third track Lead Hearts follows on with more passion preferred over a direct punk attack though with driven riffs and enthusiastic energy it rumbles with a deliberate intent to excite the ear. The change of pace within it is smooth and as touching as the vocals, both switching seamlessly from stoked energy and back again to end on a stirring climax.

The final two tracks are the ones that make up their glorious recent single. In The Middle is a deceiving track, it reels the listener in with more infectious hooks and sweet sounding melodies that accumulate in another greedy siren like coaxing of the senses. What it does not make clear despite its delicious sound is how it will stay and linger long after it finishes, days in fact, the chorus and melodies repeatedly playing in the head to open the day and end its light. With a mix of Jimmy Eat World and Dommin sound wise the song is a triumph, a success similarly attained by closing song Take It.

Dynamic and consuming the track is not afraid to openly show its intentions to tease and entertain. With a voracious appetite the crashing and frenetic guitars uncork their pumped urgency as each member leaves nothing in their creative tank. The song is a non-stop burst of energy that leaves one spent by its end though the band do help out with a melodic respite for the listener to take a deep breath before the explosive ending.

Johnny Get The Gun makes music that flaunts its addictive melodic wares wantonly whilst inviting investigation of its deeper creative veins, the band melodic puppeteers of the finest nature. With their album planned for release early 2012 now is the time to sample their contagious pop punk sounds.

RingMaster 17/10/2011

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Johnny Get The Gun – Take It

This year has already been spoilt with the additive melodies and rock/pop punk of the likes of Top Buzzer, Innercity Pirates and Max Raptor, bands that infect with their incessant riffs, additive hooks and sing-a-long choruses, music that is a siren to the heart. Now we can add another band to this elite group of melodic puppeteers in the shape of Johnny Get The Gun.

Since their beginnings in 2007 the Essex quartet has been gathering in the acclaim, especially for their recently released self-titled mini album and an EP plus their energetic and impressive live shows. Now with their debut album planned for release early 2012, the band let loose their new single ‘Take It’ on 31st October, a release that leaps eagerly into the ear with anthemic ease and complete delight. Produced by John Mitchell (Enter Shikari, You Me At Six, Funeral For A Friend) the two tracks that make up the release are audio bliss working on the senses with tantalising sounds, both teasing with every absorbing and playful note.

Take It’ opens up with a throbbing bassline from Joe Williams, his resonating slaps alongside the firm beats of drummer Jamie Abela inviting the vocals of Wayne Lightowler to enter the fray. Lightowler’s vocals are emotive and urgent matching the energy of the track and lyrical content as the song raises its pace. Jack Lawson brings his crashing and frenetic guitars to build up the sound and energy before the song neatly slips into mellower moments when it manages to hold back its bounce and eagerness to play with the ear, this of course does not happen for long and soon the song explodes back with its enthused attack. One of those songs that it is impossible to not find oneself joining in with, the track and melodies play in the head long after the sound has finished.

The same applies to the other track making up the release ‘In The Middle’. Equally as engaging as its partner track it has a slightly more subdued attack but still intently pumped and anxious to please. The sound is a mix of Jimmy Eat World and Dommin, as much from the vocals as the sound though to be fair. It is pop punk at its finest, rock ‘n’ roll that is as satisfying as it is creative and energised. 

With a UK tour starting in Manchester on 21st October, their impending album and this immense single, Johnny Get The Gun are on the verge of making a deep and glorious mark on rock music in the UK and further afield. If music that flaunts its addictive melodic wares openly and wantonly in the ear is your flavour go investigate ‘Take It’ and Johnny Get The Gun at the earliest opportunity.

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RingMaster 09/10/2011

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