Videocean Single Review: On Your Own

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3.5 Hooks out of 5

Kasador Single Review: High Rise

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3.5 Hooks out of 5

Crooked Little Sons Single Review: Snake

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4 Hooks out of 5

Fade Awaays Single Review As They Do

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3.5 Hooks out of 5

Learn to Lie Single Review: Feel

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4.5 Hooks out of 5

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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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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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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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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Sinclair Single Review: Prada Glow

Release Date: 19/07/19

  

Sinclair first grabbed our attention back in February when we were at The Fleece, Bristol ready to watch headliners Area 11, but before they even started we were absorbed when Sinclair hit the stage with their track ‘Palms’, a pleasant and well-crafted song. So a few months later when we received a message from Sinclair that they had a new track, ‘Prada Glow’, they wanted to share with us we pounced at the opportunity to listen. The days of their “indie on a come down” style have come to pass, and we have been introduced to a style of Indie-Rock-Pop which is so crisp, fresh, current, and intriguing. It’s simply fantastic. 


The four piece playing out of their base in Bristol are; Liv Weston, Jordan Round, Rafael Martins, and Jonathon Poulton. They have been busy hidden away in the recording studio developing new material and in the process formed a sense new identity which is apparent in their new sound and artwork for the record ‘Prada Glow’. All of those hours working hard has been more than been worth it as Sinclair will catch a lot of new eyes and ears with this new record.


‘Prada Glow’ starts with a menacing guitar intro which sets you up for the tension to follow, and this is only built on as Liv sings the lyrics “How much are you paying your preacher” sending sinister waves across through the track. They have managed to effortlessly mould multiple tempo changes into the record which makes the whole song absorbing as you don’t know what’s around the corner. When you don’t think it could get any better the verse throws in a flair of techno rock making everything you listen to have an edgy stance that engulfs you fully.


When you listen to the whole track you realise that Sinclair has found a trademark vibe to hold firm to and mature into something special. With catchy lyrics like “won’t find god in the gutter” you sense that this track could get even better when played live with a crowd chanting the lyrics back to the band.

  

For me this is a near perfect track and shows great signs of things to come, Sinclair seems to have evolved into a confident band with something every special in their grasp and I can only hope that they continue down this road and fully embraces this new sound.


4.5 Hooks out of 5


Written by Kess Anthony 


Photo by @dominika_scheibinger

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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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Hurtsfall Single Review: Lucid

Release Date: 19th July 2019

   

Emerging from the leafy heart of Nottingham, Hurtsfall have  delivered a jewel of a debut single; ‘Lucid’. Hurtsfall formed in 2017, with  three band members Mike Sinclair, Jamie Laws, and Dave Perkins, but it was not  until January 2018 when the final piece of their crown was found with Sam  Harrison-Emm adding his vocal talents to the mix.


‘Lucid’ was the natural choice for the band to pick as  their first single as it is well established and staple of the bands live set  list. You get the feeling that because this track has had decent exposure and  time to mature it has become polished enough to enjoy its time in the  spotlight.


It is a dark post-punk track with an easy manner, which  allows for a dance feel to creep in and influence the tempo of the record. The  instrumental sounds add a settled free flowing layered texture to the song  which allows the haunting gothic tones of Sam’s voice to come across clearly  as a focal point of the track.


Fans of ‘The Cure’ and ‘Savages’ will easily find a place  for ‘Lucid’ in their Spotify playlist as Hurtsfall have developed a sound that  takes the amazing qualities of these two band and blends them together to make  a unique sound of their own. The great thing when listening to this track is  the sense that this is only the beginning of the journey for the band. It is  an exciting and solid track with a clear vision of the direction of where the  band are headed. We are sure there will be more good material to come from  Hurtsfall which will grow from this first track!


3 out of 5 Hooks 


Written by 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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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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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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MPA Single Review: Outta your mind

Released on 17th March 2019

MPA is a young man at the age of 22 from London, MPA has a wide range of influences which finds their way into his sound. A muti instrumentalist who writes,  records and produces all his own material so lets find out about his new single. 


‘Outta your mind’ starts with an easy flowing guitar riff which would find itself at home in a Supergrass track, a steady paced drum beat provides a backing soundtrack for the lyrics which then arrive at the forefront of the record.


When MPA introduces himself with the words ‘Outta your mind’ you instantly feel a retro vocal display wave wash over you, this track is an easy and relaxing listen which gives you access into MPA’s private world.


The lyrics are the focal point of the song over instrumental expression, at just 2 minute 18 seconds the shortest of track doesn’t allow much opportunity for instrumental progression. However, MPA is a storyteller and he successfully carries the track with strong lyrics, such as “restring your ideology”, “trepidation at your door”, and “that you’re no longer relevant”. 


MPA certainly had us nodding along with interest on this one and its is well worth a few minutes out of your day to listen to. Check him out!


3 out of 5 Hooks


Written by Kess Anthony 

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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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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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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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Bring on the night Single review

Single Name: Fake Royalty

  

'Bring On The Night' have operated under a number of previous guises but have re-launched to challenge themselves afresh and reignite their love of making music. 


They are twin brothers Joe and Alex, who operate from a flat in Manchester and are solely responsible for what's served up here; new single "Fake Royalty". Underneath the smooth surface of this second single "Fake Royalty" there's a dark pumping heart.


Heavy bass notes offset a nursery-rhyme piano line. It's an immersive experience, ultimately lifted by the discordant guitar riffing during the middle eight.


So musically, this is an accomplished piece of work indeed. But it's brooding sound gives texture to a powerful story of lost friendship. Joe and Alex describe meaningful relationships being dropped in the empty pursuit of superficiality.


By the sounds of their first offerings, 'Bring On The Night' are successfully making something fresh; an indie sound that belongs in 2019”. Anthemic but pensive - I found this an enjoyable listen that improved with listens.


3.5 out of 5 Hooks


Written by Matthew Nicholson 

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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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32 Tens Single Review

Single Name: What's going on?

 

Hailing from Warrington this likable bunch from up in the North West bring you dark, indie, pop rock. They love the music they produce and we love it too. The latest delight from ‘32 Tens’ comes to you by a single called ‘What’s going on?’ The simple answer is a great tune!


The lyrics, sang in rich indie tones, are filled with raw heartfelt emotion, you feel the pain and confusion radiating from this track. For all intents and purposes there is a story behind this song and it is a page turner. The indecision and angst described in the sentiment ‘And if I ever had a clue, I’d still be sitting here just wondering... what’s going on? is both oddly relatable and profound.


The verse is so catchy you will find yourself singing along after only one or two playbacks of this song. But it’s not all about the lyrics, the musical arrangement is brilliant. The ramping up of the guitar and drums is thumping throughout the track and blends so importantly with the lyrics. There’s a middle 8th which rewards you with a flashy guitar solo and breaks the track readying you for another go of the verse. All together we have an anthem which is worthy for any indie listener in 2019.


This is simply a must for any music lover’s playlist who is worth their salt, check it out!


Written by Kess Anthony   

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Kaiber Koi single review “Archaic wave”

  

Kaiber Koi haven’t wasted anytime getting their sound out to the world, with only three gigs under their belt Kaiber Koi have found a track to present to listeners as a hint of their identity.


This means the Manchester based band has only just started their journey and this track is a good start on that journey, Kess Off The Hook Music feel this song is an important beginning for Kaiber Koi which allows them to build on to newer fresher sounds.


Archaic Wave is a lengthy track at 6 minutes and 26 seconds, which means this isn’t a song for the radio but a track for fans of progressive rock and metal alike.


We love how this track is guitar driven like taking a ride on a fast high speed wave which provides you with an instant guaranteed adrenaline kick.


The level change with the vocals during the verse is a pleasant addition, then a middle eighth which builds on a good guitar solo and brings you to a climax of the last minute of the track, you find yourself enjoying the sound of the rushing wave just before you land on solid ground.  


The lyrics aren’t for the faint of hearted and they can be confronting but this is what a band like Kaiber Koi are made for, daring you to let the music engulf your body and take over your ears.


Written By Kess Anthony

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Cyan Kicks single review

This song kicks in with a powerful rush to your veins.” Off The Hook Music Reviews

Single Name: Tide Wave 

Release Date: 11/January/2019  


Hailing from Finland, the ascending Cyan Kicks are on single number five and the album is tantalisingly close. And as you might expect from a song whose main refrain goes "Hit me like a tidal wave!", this one kicks in with a powerful rush to your veins. 


The thunderous claustrophobia of the chorus is nicely balanced by a more serene and spacious verse. And during the breakdown you're able to kick back to the surface before that chorus thrashes you one last time.


Also offering a nice counter balance is the live instrumentation with more synthetic effects. But though the production values are high, the whole thing is underpinned by an impressive melody. 


Mainly written by lead singer Susanna Aleksandra and guitarist/producer Niila Perkkiö; the pair have described how their songs production develops almost simultaneously to its melody and lyric: " it’s crucial for us to start building the soundscape right from the start (and) drive it towards our vision." 


All of which ensures - for a band so new - Cyan Kicks big sound is close to being the finished product.


Written by Matthew Nicholson 


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