Thursday, 21 October 2010

Formed in 2006, The Intersphere are a German quartet, playing a brand of progressive-punk that’s becoming something of a recurrence for the country, producing the likes of Tokio Hotel which occupy much the same territory. There’s a breezy sense of freedom on “Interspheres, Atmospheres”, an absence of put downs, metaphors, and thinking; it all flows in its eccentric atmosphere, and the German quartet really do steal the limelight from their rivals because of this.

Even though The Intersphere are outside of their native tongue, their sound hasn’t been lost in translation, as when they plunge into dreamy instrumentals, the music speaks for itself. There is an edge to these German headbangers too. “Prodigy Composers”, hits on an energetic, punk-rock plateau, along with track “Snapshot” providing much the same muscle. However, The Intersphere are golden when in their proggy chaos. Tracks like “Right Through Me”, and “I Have A Place For You On Google Earth”, are weightless in full flow, imitating an energetic high of rocky progressions, and lows full of downstream spacey atmosphere, that never reach too deep into darkness, but certainly mellow out.

The Intersphere are close to 30 Seconds to Mars in their pop pedigree, side with Muse in their rock pedigree, and space out like King Crimson among their proggy archives. This is definitely nothing great, but may as well be an essential for any prog rocker, and equally just as important for anyone in the mainstream.

7/10 Powerplay issue #126

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Rockburn are a four piece from Scotland, hailing to have ‘the balls’ to play all out rock’n’roll in a society wrapped by the complexity of production. Hats off to them, they certainly entertain in ways only great rock’n’roll can, with none of the same-old blandness this critic was expecting when reading their opening PR line, “classic rock’n’roll with a 21st century twist”. The results of the EP are ballsy, and to a greater degree stellar, when you think of modern rock enthused with ‘the next big production’, hiding behind the pillars that gizmos and producers often place.

As pools of talent go, this one’s deep, as Rockburn flaunt compelling rock’n’roll reminiscent of the 70s period, written in their own likeness. There’s nothing slack jaw whilst the numbers flick by, but this is extremely well executed rock, and a great reflection of the times. “The Last Stop” is a mash up of country and blues, which makes their sound more widescreen than what was initially expected. The vocal sides by the great Robert Plant comfortably, with Rockburn vocalist Stephen Baxter groaning like one of the best in the business.

Rockburn may lack that edge to elevate them into the stars, but enjoy this while it lasts; this is as honest and super-smooth jiving as you’d get, in 2010.

7/10 PowerPlay issue #126

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Jayce Lewis journey to fame was shown on a BBC fly on the wall documentary, “Big in India”, highlighting live performances across India and a repetition of those live gigs only three months later, due to massive attendance. This, along with the release of his single “Icon” has landed him a five year deal with EMI Asia, true to the cliché of bedroom distro to rockstar (well, in Asia, kind of).

The Welshman may be big in India but he’s certainly not of that country, and his record reflects this with a hyper, modern vibe to his sound, so much so that it veins in cyber-rock (otherwise labelled ‘tacky’ in the UK). He combines metal, and electronica throughout the entire album, with enough ingredients either way to side with each genre, and tips the iceberg on an industrial alp. His tracks have much akin to Fear Factory, (minus the angry vocal) and are just far cheesier, with much greater commercial appeal. “Solitaire” is a muscular affair, with guitar chugging, throbbing dance pulses, and a tribal drumming style. With that said, the entire album can live in that description – and it’s redundantly repetitive. “Astral Halo” is an excellently written number, featuring synthetic vocal harmonies throughout, and waters down on the electronic element, which is welcome change.

Jayce Lewis self-titled debut is overcooked for the UK, but will certainly raise eyebrows in its niche. Don’t worry about Asia; it’s going to be kicking back to every second of this.

6/10 PowerPlay issue #126

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Monday, 11 October 2010

Daggers Drawn may be circulating the underground, but their debut will surely elicit a wide spread enthusiasm. There are passages within the six numbers that are reminiscent of Gojira and Machine Head, but that certainly doesn’t mean these Plymouth headbangers are copycats.

One of the most refreshing things about the EP is how it’s full of ambition, right from get-go. DD combine progressive, technical, and death metal influence throughout all of their numbers, though even if sections are rough around the edges, or needlessly haywire, all remains plausible. “New World Order” in particular combines all of their grains together most fluently, and highlights exciting prospects waiting.

7.5/10 Metal Mayhem UK

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