Crooked Little Sons single review

Track Title: Snake


  Crooked Little Sons have followed up their smashing single ‘Noosepaper’ which caused a number of people to stand up and take notice of this emerging band from Devon. This new track continues to follow the direction the band have been heading and establishes the type of sound that has made them an exciting band for the future.


At this current time the music world is experiencing a massive wave of Post Punk, with it’s dominating bass notes and with lyrics that are confrontational but need to be heard. Crooked Little Sons have picked up their surfboards and challenged this wave with there own brand of old school punk which can not and should not be forgotten.


Crooked Little Sons have a purer old school guitar driven punk with lyrics that come out of nowhere to slap you in the face. ‘Snake’ is fast, energetic, and a short shot of adrenaline that lasts for under 2 minutes 30. It’s always great when a band gets right down to business from the first note to the last, leaving you without a chance to take a breath.


The track has punchy guitars that engulf the song, punk is done right when the listener can pick up the chant of the record and gives you the opportunity to blare it back to the band, ‘Snake’ is aggressive with a great trashing hyper tempo. If you like bands like The Stooges, Sonic Youth, and New York Dolls, this is a band for you. Crooked Little Sons don’t need to bite their nails as we can say this track is a banger and deserves it 4 out of 5 Hooks.


Written by Kess Anthony 


4 out of 5 Hooks 

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Busted Single REVIEW: Radio

 

As soon as we heard Busted were making a comeback and releasing their new single, Radio, we hoped our radios would be broken. This is partly because we never got the craze first time around and 13 years later it seems a little cringe worthy watching three men in their 30’s pretending to be teenagers. We’ve grown up with Busted but they seem to have done very little growing with their sound.


The other reason is because like most of Busted’s other tracks it’s Charlie Simpson’s rustic voice which is their saving grace, you’ve got to feel sorry for Charlie his strong sounding voice deserves a song with better lyrics and music than Busted’s current offering. James (Bourne) seems to have slipped into the background, with Matt (Willis) and Charlie  taking the majority of the vocals, which begs the question do the two main members really need their backing singer?


The band have also seemed to have left their guitars at home for this track and gone with a sound which most generic pop acts have harnessed recently. Maybe this is Busted’s way of showing us a different more developed style or maybe they are showing a willingness to adapt to where the money is in the industry.


‘Radio’ is very much a pop track with a catchy chorus, but it's pushed on you so much, you can find it tedious after a few listens. No matter what we say here at Off The Hook Music this track will over excite boy band fans and harden the views of Busted’s die-hard fans, and all they really want is more of the same.


This is a song which that will be totally forgotten by the year 3000 and more than likely by the end of 2019.


2 out of 5 hooks


Written by Kess Anthony 

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Crooked Little Sons Music Video REVIEW

Music Video: Noosepaper

  

During a time when the Establishment are in chaos and a tirade of fake news is shoveled in your face, anarchy will ascend. So welcome Crooked Little Sons and their track “Noosepaper” explaining how we feel in a punk anthem.


This song is a short sharp pleasant shock to the body system, guitars and drums, loud and fast, oozing with anger. After the track finishes there is a need for more of this wonderful trashing sound, this is a musical arrangement worthy for any punk fan.


When Josh Bessant's trashy tones screams the lyrics, "No No I won’t read it, No No I won’t believe it". The words are so identifiable to everyone who comes across the main stream media in their daily lives.


But read this from Off The Hook Music and believe it Crooked Little Sons and Noosepaper is a little bit special and you must hear it.


We present you the video to this review (https://www.facebook.com/466162570094203/posts/2156556697721440/), because Crooked Little Sons aren’t just about the music they also have a visual image which is confrontational and a delight to watch. Try and defy me and say this isn’t a way to win an argument.


Crooked Little Sons are cocky, addictive and furiously fun and for anyone who has nothing on tomorrow night and is in the Bridgwater area you can witness this craziness up front and personal as this band plays live at The Cobblestones.


4 out of 5 Hooks


Written By Kess Anthony 


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Black Lakes Single Review: Dissident

Release Date: 8th February 2019

 “Some good old, head nodding, alternative rock” - Off The Hook Music Reviews


Black Lakes have all the ingredients to deliver some good old, head nodding, alternative rock. If like me, you grew up on a diet of Kerrang in the early noughties, then you will find much to like about their sound. It puts you in mind of a whole host of bands whose patches were sewn onto my ridiculously baggy ‘Bleubolt’ jeans. If this is blowing away some cobwebs in your memory then Black Lakes are well worth checking out. Dissident, the second single from their debut EP is a great place to start.


Beginning with an interesting, almost oriental, arrangement of guitars and programmed drums, ‘Dissident’ quickly breaks into a big chunky riff backed up with pounding drums with some nice work on the snare. The opening guitars return as the vocals kick in and it really should be stated that vocalist, Will Preston has a great voice for this kind of music. Whether on a gruffer growl or the more melodic, Preston’s delivery is certainly among one of this bands many strengths. From here the song is driven by a catchy chorus that will rattle around your head for hours after listening.


At this stage it would be fair to say that this is not the most original work but there are plenty of reasons to think that as Black Lakes grows in confidence that their sound will grow with them. If they could start to incorporate the intriguing sounds that feature at start and end of  ‘Dissident’ more fully into the song as a whole, then this would certainly make it stand out.


If alternate rock is not your thing then this will not be the song to change your mind but if like me you love something that is catchy, heavy and dark then give Black Lakes a go. You will find a band that is already much accomplished and well worth keeping an eye on.     


Four hooks out of five!


Written By Jimmy Rock

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China Bears Single Review: Stay for good

Release date: 22nd March 2019


China Bears are an indie four piece band based in Buckinghamshire but this band originally formed in Somerset in 2015 when twin brothers Ivan and Frazer Proctor decided to make music together and now with Dean McCaw and James Zealey adding their musical talents to the band, China Bears have dropped their new single ‘Stay for good’, so let see what’s it’s all about.


The track starts with blistering guitars that takes you by surprise and you begin to realise you have caught up with the record but just at that moment, the track calms right down to a rhythm which introduces Ivan’s voice and mellowed tones.

Ivan then gently pulls outs catchy lyrics which makes your ears pay attention to the record’s words about struggling to get over a break up and lyrics like “Oceans between us on unsettled seas” allows this record to be an Indie display with great momentum and layer of upper tempo and slower beats blinding into one another successfully.


During the song there are a couple of sudden bursts of spiky guitar from Frazer and James which comes out of nowhere which are a nice contrast from the quieter moments within the song, the structure of the record comes from the a good base drum beat from Dean throughout the song. 


At the end of the track China Bears strip the song back to just the vocals of Ivan which allows a sadness to bleed out of the lyrics, then a fitting end appears with a smack of guitars to bring the curtains down on Stay for good. Great track!


3.5 Hooks out of 5


Written by Kess Anthony 

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LAVDE single Review: Facts not feelings

Release Date: April 9th 2019 it's out now

Lavde's debut single 'Facts Not Feelings' lyrical story is matched by its musical development. A slow-burning start that breaks through midway along is ambitious progressive rock done with a modern touch. 


A gentle and spacious opening means that you can really get drawn into the lyrics. The build up of the song also describes the build towards a possible romance. The second phase is underscored by some rapid electronic percussion before Pink Floyd-esque guitars sweep in and land on a repeated guitar hook that ascends towards the heavens. 


This opening salvo makes me curious to hear more. There is clearly talent and ideas here that promise much much more!


3 out of 5 Hooks


Written by Matt Nicholson 

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CLT DRP Single Review: Speak to my

Release Date: Out now 3rd of May

CLT DRP are an exciting electro punk trio based in Brighton who have been spending most of their time out gigging and perfecting their unusual sound. Now Annie, Scott, and Dauphine are ready to unleash this well crafted sound, in the form of their new single ‘Speak to my’.


The track starts with a thumping electromechanical beat, which instantly feels like something new and different. Then out of nowhere Annie starts to demand your attention with her comforting and emotive lyrics, which are used intelligently to draw the attention of the listener to the meaning behind the words. Lyrics like “Speak to my fat” and “you don’t own me” are stinging and raw statements for people to think about the gender equality message being driven home from the bands music.


When the track is steadily building its platform there is a blast of electro punk crashing around you and engulfing you in a sound which would be at home in the soundtrack of The Matrix, for those of you too young to remember, it is well worth a watch! Just like the film this track is refreshing and offers a new perspective to the real world and the voices that need to be heard.


After this intriguing musical salvo Annie goes back to the lyrics that underpin this track and immediately goes back to hitting out at an establishment view of how you should present yourself, this time directing the aim towards mothers with “Look at me now mum”. This is the realisation of a sound that is so current the genre hasn’t been created yet, and this is what makes CLT DRP so exciting. Keep it up!


4 out of 5 Hooks


Written Kess Anthony 

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Sum 41 Single Review

Track: A Death in the family

   

The title of Sum 41’s latest track, ‘A death in the family’  almost perfectly sums up how we feel about it. For a band we loved back in the  early noughties to produce such a poor track feels like the final nail in  their coffin. The track is hollow with a lack of energy and life, at a time  when the band needed to breathe new excitement and enthusiasm in to their  sound, they have found themselves nose-diving into the abyss. 


It feels like Deryck Whibley, Cone McCaslin, Tom Thacker, Dave  Brownsound, and Frank  Zummo don’t want to be here anymore and their making new records because this  is the only thing they are used to doing with their time. Gone are the well  timed guitar riffs and steady drum beats which used to trigger an instant  excitement of fuck whatever I’m doing today I’m stopping right here and  playing this track on repeat.  


The tempo of the whole track is too slow, the vocal  performance is the same, it is lacks the authority that grabs the listener’s  attention which used to be the trademark of so many Sum 41 tracks that have  gone before. The track is bordering on being a bit poppy with a half decent  drum display and then all of a sudden it just got worse, as a guitar solo was  forced on us, it is just a flat line moment to end the track, but I was glad  for it to end. Don’t let the pangs of nostalgia persuade you to buy this  record when then are so many new and exciting bands that could use your  support! 


1 out of 5 Hooks


Written by Kess  Anthony 

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Korn single Review: You’ll never find me

   

If we are honest, Korn fans have not really had all that much to get excited about in the last fifteen years or so. There have been odd rays of competence in the half dozen or so albums since their peak ‘Untouchables’ but nothing has really come close to lighting the fuse on the fireworks that were their early work.


Their newest track ‘You’ll never find me’ shows some signs that things may be heading in the right direction with a killer riff that gets just enough playtime to get your head nodding. Jonathan Davis has spoken recently about doing the vocals his way and taking his time to get them exactly as he wanted them to be, drawing on the darkness caused by the horrendous recent tragedy in his own life. In ‘You’ll never find me’ as Davis sounds on top form, delivering some of the best vocals that we’ve seen in recent years from one of the most unique talents in metal and breaking down into agonised shouts as the song draws to a close.


Davies has always been the spice of Korn but the engine room that drives the band has always been the guitars and bass of Head, Munky, and Fieldy. Its heartening to hear that after this unit can still crank it out sounding heavy as hell and whilst things have undoubtedly evolved, it still sounds definitively like Korn. If there is a disappointment, sometimes the drums whilst decent feel that they could just give that little bit more and they miss that occasional extra off beat hit on the snare. 


The song lacks the punch and heft in the chorus to be a classic and if this is the best that ‘The Nothing’ has to offer when the full album drops in September, then my excitement will quickly fade but for now there are plenty of signs that Korn’s next album is going to be worth checking out. 


3 out of 5 Hooks   


Written By Jimmy Rock 





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Frauds Single Review: Putin's Day Off

Released Date : 5th July 2019


My ears pricked up within the first few seconds of ‘Putin's Day Off’ by Frauds with it's uniquely discordant riff. Frauds are a two-piece outfit who deliver pared back, riff based punk that hinges on a devastating and hilariously offbeat lyrics.


The band have supported both Slaves and Idles and this very much adds to their momentum. ‘Putin's Day Off’ addresses modern societies obsession with constructing perfect seeming lives. Frauds jests at subjects such as "protein-rich, vegan, gluton-free tofu dish" which are quicky and entertaining lyrics. Musically it builds into a thrashing and bombastic conclusion. The song, as with their previous singles, is best enjoyed alongside its equally fantastic and visually striking video. 


Frauds debut album was released in 2017 and this is the first offering from their forthcoming LP. Their sound is definitely evolving and I look forward to hearing their furious and bizarre slant on the world in 2019.


Written by Matt Nicholson


4 out of 5 hooks


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Sabella Single Review: Sow

Released on Friday 19th July 2019

 If you like some good old, clean cut, catchy guitar driven rock, ‘the Sow’ from Sheffield alternate rockers Sabella will be well worth your time. It is a tightly controlled, slow rock anthem, and everything about the song is well put together. 


The easy on your ears vocals, the clean but crisp guitars, or the well crafted imagery of the lyrics: “don’t reap before you sow…”It all adds up to a well thought out, radio friendly feel that grows and grows with each listen. The lead guitar also adds a nice little bit of spice, when allowed to take centre stage with a nice wailing melody that builds into a decent but mellow solo towards the end of the song. 


If you like things a little rougher around the edges then this may not be your thing, but if you have any sentiment at all for some nice accessible rock then Sabella are the one for you. Checking out some of their other songs shows that this is a band with some good variety with some pacey tracks such as ‘Hang me Dry’ and ‘Hard Enough’. 


Sabella also seem to be pretty active playing gigs in and around the Sheffield area, as well as some festivals. Be sure to check them out if you like what you hear and they are playing near you. ‘Sow’ is certainly a worthy addition to their set list and your ears will be reaping the benefits.


3 out of  5 Hooks 


Written by Jimmy Rock

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Raised By Hounds Single Review: Home

Released on 26th July 2019

Raised by hounds must have rediscovered the alternative rock bible before they picked up their instruments, warmed their vocals and found what could almost be described as the holy grail of sound which they have now polished into a sound that is kind of both New Wave and Old School with their new single ‘Home’.


Fans of bands such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Guns n Roses will find a place in their playlists for Raised by Hounds, with their sweet sounding guitar tones and soaring vocals this track would not sound out of place.


Smooth flowing riffs flowed out of the start of the track, shortly followed up by hypnotic sounding vocals which added together gives the ‘Home’ a huge atmospheric foundation to build on. Then the middle 8th arrives, it’s edgy and adds a new swing to things and is sharply followed by the chorus which bangs right into place.


Raised by Hounds have developed a polished track which is loud and proud with layers of different tones and tempo which keeps the record interesting throughout its 5 minutes 41 seconds of playtime. For some listeners who have become use to tracks fitting into 3 minutes for a radio, ‘Home’ may feel too long but why waste a good thing when it sounds so good.


‘Home’ blends energy filled guitar sounds with rustic vocal tones effortlessly together which allows Raised by Hounds to stand up and take ownership of this New Wave Old School sound. It feels like they’re making a statement about taking great elements of music gone by and making it present once again.


3.5 Hook out of 5 


Written by Kess Anthony

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Dramalove Single Review

Track Name: Lady MacBeth

Dramalove have had an amazing journey to get where they are with plenty of detours along the way, all of which has added to their sound and given them a sense of maturity since they formed back in 2007. They have bravely travelled around the world showing off their musical goods, with one particular detour which led to the semi-finals of the Italian X Factor, and now they are back with their single ‘Lady MacBeth’. The three piece alternative rock band who describes music like being held by the hand through a journey of personal discovery like none other could, and this is exactly what this track offers.


‘Lady MacBeth’ starts with a strong distorted guitar driving the track from the front making an instant impression, the dramatic scene is then painted further by the addition of the drum beat and finally Diego comes out of nowhere with his vocals taking centre stage and allowing the instrumental sounds to form his backdrop.


The lyrics of ‘Lady MacBeth’ are so playful that you can feel the backstory of this track still twisting with the bands emotions to this very day. What is nice about this track is the amount of different layers which develop throughout, I found the spiky guitar notes during the chorus in the most intriguing layer of all.


If you like a band who are brave enough to explore multiple layers of sounds and tempo changes to form a background for the strong storytelling lyrics at the forefront of the record, then you have found your band in Dramalove.


3 out of 5 Hooks


Written by Kess Anthony  


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Terror Bird Single Review

Track Title : Feel like love

Terror Bird also known as Nikki Nevver, is a singer songwriter from Vancouver, Canada. She is known for her 80’s style sounds, this track has stripped back to deliver an intriguing record which poses the question of if it feels like love, is it really, the real thing!


The immediate feeling you get when pressing play on this track ‘Feel like love’ is an honest and intentionally minimalist record, which has an absorbing steady tone that provides a foundation for the lyrics to take centre stage. With a dominating piano notes added to the scene of haunting soft vocals filled with the torture of an story of a ill fated relationship with a man who has no intention of falling in love with the other person in the relationship.


If you want a record which paints a picture that can be very relatable with a laid bare raw track which would find its place alongside Kate Bush and Lana Del Rey in a playlist then this is the track for you.


3.5 Hooks out of 5

Written by Kess Anthony

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Funeral Lakes Single Review

Track Title: Forest Burns

  

Funeral Lakes, the duo of Chris and Sam, are partners in life and in their musical adventures. Formed in the spring of 2018 they have wasted no time in focusing their musical talents to release this single, ‘Forest Burns’ and are due to follow it up with a debut album later this year.


Recorded and produced themselves from their apartment in Vancouver, Canada, project has focused on expressing their disheartenment for millennial issues, such as climate change, and the lack of action from the Canadian government.


Listening to this track you are instantly absorbed by the fear and frustration which pours out, you begin to sense that this is a protest song trying to open people’s eyes to the concerns behind the lyrics. Their time on the streets protesting their opposition to the TMX pipeline has led to how Funeral Lakes present their sound.


The opening of this track has a haunting guitar beat that is ominous and dark, the tempo is steady throughout the song but it blends nicely with the meaningful lyrics. The highlight in the record is when the keyboard notes radiates out of the background and provides an extra layer to the song.


This is a great protest song which makes you sit up, take notice, and be aware of the issues around us that we don’t always have the time for us to focus on. But as well as that it is a musical treat that has just enough to pull away from it’s identity and be placed as a song you can sit down and listen to in a meaningful moment of reflection.

3.5 Hooks out of 5

Written By Kess Anthony

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Citrus Heights Single Review

Track Title: Weekend

  

Citrus Heights have given us a glimpse into the genre of Groove pop/Hip Hop with this single, ‘Weekend’. Their formula has been successful with their previous two singles ‘Vanilla' and 'Self-Obsession’ which has had air time on primetime platforms of ITV's ‘This Morning’ and on the BBC.


Citrus Heights are a fresh new band hailing from the outskirts of Leeds. Heavily influenced by Michael Jackson and Prince, their music, in my opinion, draws a combination of Bruno Mars, Madness, and Stevie Wonder which can’t be a bad thing! This track has a steady and interesting beat which allows the track to flow smoothly, while the vocals to transport you into a party atmosphere, that you can imagine would be a big hit in the clubs.


I wouldn’t exactly call the band a Hip-Hop group. Hip-Hop in my opinion is the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan and LL Cool J. Citrus Heights is more BubbleGum Pop with their own style and identity. They have a quite a bit of potential, and they come across as a band who just want to have fun with their sound and we’re more than happy to sign up to this sound!

3 Hooks out of 5

Written By George Rose