Exclusive: Life On The Sideline EP announcement, music video premiere

Since releasing Honesty Is A Dying Breed two years ago, Life On The Sideline has remained active on the road and is now ready to unveil its upcoming EP, Never Settle. To kick things off, we're premiering the music video for the band's new single, "Echo", which tells the sad story of a young girl reminiscing times spent with her deceased partner. While not a pop punk song per se, it's as catchy as one with an infectious chorus that you'll inevitably get stuck in your head. The band's sound could be compared to that of Transit's and The Early November's. Fans can pre-order the EP on iTunes and CD here, before it's released on June 7th. […]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Brigades - "Crocodile Tears" EP

Release InfoBrigades - Crocodile Tears EP (Re-Issue)
Release Date: March 6th, 2014
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
Buy: CD/vinyl/merch

South Carolina hopefuls, Brigades, have emerged again through a smoke of inactivity, after the bold action of self-releasing their debut LP, 2012's The Last Laugh. Now yielding the spirit of rejuvenation that can be expected in circumstances where smaller acts are suddenly recruited into the ranks of the independent scene's large label behemoths (in this particular case, Pure Noise Records), Brigades, reflecting a new glow, sought to cover a broader range of ground with their recent EP, titled Crocodile Tears.

“Whipstaff Manor” opens the record with an angst-ridden pinch as an initial step of the protocol to waken listeners. The song is tied together by a cloud of bitterness that grows from every audible hard rock chromatic riff, which accentuates the perplexity that has claimed vocalist Darren Young when he says "There's so many shadows in this home; it’s so hard to pinpoint which ones are our own...".

Following on from “Whipstaff Manor”, the first single, “The Writing On The Wall”, smoothly sits within the tracklisting, carrying the explosive energy of the former, emulating the endearing qualities of Brigades' songwriting ability to compose an anthemic presence within the folds of melody. It’s a no-brainer that “The Writing On The Wall” would be an ideal first single, as it showcases one of the most memorable choruses on “Crocodile Tears”.

Brigades have recreated a distinct sound (in comparison to the easycore-influenced effort, The Last Laugh), which could be seen an amalgamation of the alternative rock/post hardcore sound that was prominent during its explosion in 2004-2005. However, Brigades have moulded the sound into a shape of integrity that also brandishes the influences of modern melodic hardcore, which appears to fuel the rhythm section throughout the record.

Sonically, the title track is the most ambitious, showing all of the band's elements, culminating in a melancholic repeated refrain of "You've earned your strife upon other men's blood. Go shed your crocodile tears in the mud", which causes your own blood to boil and simmer as you hear the fatigue and frailness in Young’s voice.

The second single, “Small Time Crooks”, is a chance for vocalist Darren Young and co-vocalist/guitarist Charlie Jackson to spur each other onto a towering height, evoking conviction for the "...anthem of embezzled love", which they yearn to express. Unfortunately, “Traditions” appears as the only hiccup on the record, where the song doesn’t even manage to scrape the target point set by the former tracks. Although, “Traditions” allows the band to utilize a darker range of sounds that involves a distinct calibre of southern hard rock tones, the band never seems to deliver anything in the similar degree of artistry (sonically and lyrically) as the other tracks.

“Glass Casket” is the finale on “Crocodile Tears”, serving the last concoction of morbid imagery, laced with acrobatic vocals and a thick pulp of hard rock bends that act as a nucleus floating in the middle, which will leave you in a haze and stupor and compel you to play “Crocodile Tears” is its entirety again.

1. Whipstaff Manor
2. The Writing On The Wall
3. Crocodile Tears
4. Small Time Crooks
5. Traditions
6. Glass Casket

RIYL: Thieves, Carridale, Armor For Sleep


More reviews by Aaron Akeredolu