Liar Liar: He Said She Said EP

With more bounce than Tigger in a trampoline factory and as endearing as Justin Bieber losing his voice, the debut EP from UK pop punks Liar Liar is one melody fest riding a wave of unbridled energy and impressive craft. The He Said She Said EP treats the ear to four bombs of power pop which easily please and ooze immense promise for the future. The release shows the band has still to find its own distinct voice but with a quartet of more than solid hungry companions within its cover, the EP is one contagious ball of energy and charm to fully engage with.

Sheffield based and formed at the very beginning of the year, Liar Liar with a clutch of well prepared songs in their armoury was soon thrilling audiences locally and across their county, successful shows which saw them gain a swiftly growing fan base and support slots with the likes of Paige and Summerlin. Taking the summer to work on and record their debut, Liar Liar unleash a vibrant and basically impressive release which will put the rest of the country on alert for their  promising and enjoyable sounds.

As soon as opener Heart Attack gets into its stride you know you are in for a ride which sounds like a blend of You Me At Six, New Found Glory, and The All-American Rejects, the latter a band you can quite easily see Liar Liar forging a creativity like in the future, not necessarily in sound but in style and imagination. The song saunters along at the beginning, the vocals of Joe Daniels strong and confident whilst his guitar play and that of Jake Lawton lays an energetic and eager breath to the track. The track soon explodes into surges of feisty and charged energy and pace with firm jabbing rhythms from drummer Jack Dudill (who has since left the band) and the gnarly bass of Liam Bates adding their weight to fire up the enthusiasm even more, the track becoming an anthemic and infectious treat.

It is a strong and compelling start easily matched by High N’ Low. The guitars immediately are gnawing at the ear with slightly abrasive yet inviting tenderizing riffs before the beats make their presence known. The track soon settles into another overall even paced attack though once more offering elevated moments of power. As melodies roam around the song with accomplish and eagerness alongside great harmonies between Daniels and Bates especially for the thumping chorus, the track hits all the right spots. Yes the song and release arguably does not stand a million miles from many other bands but whether those others have raised as great an impression and satisfaction from their first introduction as Liar Liar do, is to be doubted.

Lyrically the songs focus on relationships which have faltered or gone wrong and the aftermath, which makes for a release certainly easy to relate to for all though there is no moment where a track stands and feels sorry for itself, all a fast and keen confrontation of catchy hooks and melodies within a frame of pulse racing energy. People Never Change is a potent song driven by thumping beats and the great disgruntled bass sound of Bates, one of the biggest highlights on the release. Emotive and reflective, the track is a less explosive but still as intense affair bursting with group choruses and inventive hooks. Probably of all the songs, this is the one which more than hints at the imaginative and even more adventurous song writing one expects ahead, the song of all, the one which drew The All-American Rejects comparison.

    It Doesn’t Take A Hero closes up the fun with a flood of biting riffs and flowing harmonies shaped by pounding rhythms and again raging passion and energy. It is a fine end to a high quality and consistent release. It pumps its fist and ignites the heart from start to finish to leave one feeling energised, so ok sound wise the band has a little way to go stand alone but for pleasure giving they lack little. Liar Liar is a band you can only see rising to great heights and offering even greater moments in the future.

RingMaster 03/11/2012

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Kids We Used To Be: And We Would Have Gotten Away With It Too… EP

The And We Would Have Gotten Away With It Too… EP is the debut release from Liverpool pop punk band Kids We Used To Be. Released through Like Records it offers four tracks dripping promise for a band still in evolution. With a hardcore vein bursting through their songs the band whilst not laying down deep scars of originality leaves one anticipating great things ahead once they find their true selves in their sound.

Taking their name from one of their influences Alexisonfire and their song Old Crows, Kids We Used to Be is barely a year old, being formed in the Summer of last year. Consisting of vocalists Ste McEvatt and Carl Gunning, backed by the musical prowess of guitarists James Cremor and Lewis Gardner, bassist Mike Higgins, and Lee Berrill on drums, the sextet use additional flavours from the likes of The Wonder Years, Set Your Goals, Alexisonfire, and Man Overboard, to forge their own not yet distinct but flavoursome sound, the band feeling like one still in transition. They have in their relatively short time already lit up stages alongside bands such as Polar Bear Club, Paige, Kyoto Drive, The Story so Far, Man Overboard, and Decade and set themselves as a band to certainly keep an eye on, something the EP does nothing to suggest otherwise.

30 Down opens up the release with a firm hand of striking melodic strikes and cruising riffs. Gruff brawling shouts going as vocals enter the affray and are fair if unspectacular in what seems to be a growing need for bands to employ this aspect against clean vocals which here are very agreeable and add a balance to their coarse counterpart and the track itself. The song itself is a bruising encounter without unleashing a barrage of aggression which works well with the melodic enterprise from the guitars.

The following Hey Aqualung litters the ear with feisty riffs and firm rhythms in a regular pop punk approach. Again the dual vocals dominate the song predominately though it is no reflection on the strong songwriting and sounds which without being the most imaginative easily satisfy and keep the attention fully engaged. The building crescendos throughout work well and add extra intrigue to what is a good song with an anthemic edge.

By this point the rough vocals feel in need of variety to be honest, the idea of using the twin attack in pop punk is a different aspect but someone simply screaming in the ear is at times too distracting. Against music which at the end of the day is not the most intensified and violent personal taste leaves one to hope there is a reassessment in that department, not a removal but a better definition and diversity.

The best song by far on the EP is Nothing Good Happens After 2AM, a song which alone shows why the suspicion that Kids We Used To Be has a definite strong future ahead is so strong by the end of the release. Easily infectious the song is the most inventive and imaginative track. With the punk urgency which is to an extent lacking elsewhere and a predatory air to its muscular riffs and thumping beats, it shows a band in complete unison and at the top of their current skills. Whether the song is new compared to the others or recorded at a different time we cannot say but in every aspect it is better, in creation, individual delivery, and production. This is the lead song and should be a single to really set the band off on a decisive rise.

Completed by a demo version of Man, I Hate Your Friends which again offers strong assumption the band will make a bigger mark ahead, the And We Would Have Gotten Away With It Too… EP is a more than decent introduction with one song by itself declaring Kids We Used To Be a band who will grab our attention often as they develop. Right now the EP is well worth some of your time, Nothing Good Happens After 2AM worth a persistent entertaining.

RingMaster 30/06/2012

copyright RingMaster: myfreecopyright

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Actions! : South Of The Water single

Since receiving the promo for the debut single from UK power pop band Actions! the band has announced its demise due to personal commitments of its members. Despite this South Of The Water is easily worth checking out as the band bid their hello/farewell on a bit of a bang rather with two songs that displays much promise for what one suspects could have been a rather notable pop punk styled band.

The band started in the opening weeks of 2011 though bassist Mat Wilson and guitarist Ryan Stuart had played together from Year 9 in school and alongside drummer Laurence Mosley since 2008 when he jammed with their previous band. With the addition of vocalist Emily Cracknell last year Actions! became a complete and focused entity.  Taking open pop punk influences from the likes of Blink182 and Amberlin as well as the pop styling of a Jessie J and Pink the quartet has developed a sound which is tight, energetic, and eagerly accessible,  the single suggests the band were still yet to find their completely distinct sound but with rhythms that pump up the blood, guitar melodies which easily draw attention, and the excellent rich vocals of Cracknell  the band was easily one of the more interesting and promising pop driven rock bands to emerge in the UK, as successful supports slots with bands such as Inme, Skindred, Paige, and Not Advised proved.

Released May 21st, the two songs making up the single were recorded  at the beginning of the year and more than deserve firm attention  even if the band are no longer a breathing creature. The song South Of The Water opens with a slow enchantment from the appealing and impressive vocals of Cracknell with a subtle melodic guitar in company. As the emotive bass of Wilson steps into view with the firm and punchy beats of Mosley alongside, the song spreads its wings and pulls one into a vibrant blend of impassioned guitars and flavoursome guitar driven rock. It is Cracknell that lights up the song most, her delivery and great voice well formed and captivating. The song does not explode within the ear but swarms around and warms up the senses with a fine all round display of craft and intent.

The second track on the release is a more direct pop punk energised pleasure. One Minute Smile dances and beckons with simple riffs that spark and again excellent vocals which lead every aspect of the great song with an assured belief and confidence. As with the first the song does not stand atop a hill of originality but satisfies and entertains with an accomplished ease and ability which is just as full and pleasing.

With essences of Paramore as apparent as previously mentioned references the band fit alongside the likes of Me & The Mountain and Hitchcock Blonde in promise, sound, and creativity. That promise is strong and unmistakable from this their debut and departure so it is a shame we will not get to watch and hear a great band evolve into one suspects would have been something even more special.

     South Of The Water is a fine single that deserves plenty of attention and will leave many upon hearing it with disappointment that this is all we have from Actions! to enjoy.

RingMaster 08/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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