Here’s the Line-up:
Joshua Elkington – Vocals/Guitar
Phil Crawford – Guitar/Vocals
David Bicheno-Samways – Drums
I recovered this from their Facebook page, so I’m not sure if this is a recent change or what not…
Tuff Swami – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Respected Desperado – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Insane Ninja – Guitar
Tuff Professional – Drums
Tuff Commander – Bass
So, having heard this music:
This is the second band from Portsmouth that I’m reviewing to date (the first I believe was Forest Floors). The bands songs seem very pop oriented, and I enjoyed listening to them very much. Elkington and Crawford have a good ear, Like Bono/Edge. The lyricism in this music was commendable, showing I wasn’t listening to amateurs. Samways also has a good rhythm, but very technical (the reason I say that their band is pop-structured). Samways follows a very specific drumming pattern, but his strongest song appears to be “Maybe It’s You”.
The whole album is a set of hard rock hits… with milder tracks like “Waves” giving a breath of fresh air. Eight steady tracks with VERY well written, down to earth lyricism. Elkington sounds different in each song, usually the element of vocally (mood-setting). However, I will say this:
The songs ARE goof. The lyrics ARE brilliant. But the melody is very “poppy”, particularly when in sync with Elkington’s vocal style (I.E, T.R.B). Correct me if I’m wrong; perhaps that’s the sound the band wants… but same goes for the Disney channel. I advise they be cautious with the melodic strategy they’ve taken on as their signature sound (or learn the same lesson Journey did pre-Steve Perry). A lot of child friendly bands have adopted this sound, and following in such a pattern could result in being taken less seriously. Fortunately, having a stronger ear for lyrical content and instrumental experience, it would be safe to say that this band is on the right track, and at least the sound isn’t conforming to mainstream/popular demand.
Mind that the band does have a sense of hollow sound to them. I noticed in the actual Bandcamp page, no Bass player is identified (though one is on the Facebook page). The lack of a bass player (assuming the lack of credit means there was none), means that the songs might come across as being a bit flat sounding, even with a steady guitar rhythm.
Quotes from unspecified reviews, regarding the band’s first release (taken from their Facebook page, no source verified):
‘Honestly the most exciting up and coming band I’ve heard in a long time’
‘A much bigger future awaits them.’
‘More hooks than a school cloakroom’
‘The birth of a band that have more potential to burst through and wreak havoc than a lion at a fun fair!’
‘First impressions – wow’
‘Simply thumping rock n roll at its best’
‘Slice of irresistible rock n roll’
‘Certainties for big things’
In the long run, these young guys seem to have what it takes. They’re different (if you think along the lines of mainstream-induced expectations), and they have drive. I was a huge fan of a pop-styled hard rock band, and I see that potential in these guys.
As for this piece of work, I would love to sit back and watch these guys grow and embrace a unique sound with their original music. They sound like they put effort into writing this music (unlike today’s musicians), and I really would love to look forward to a new release.