Photoseptic

Photoseptic are an emerging quartet in the Alt Rock vein based in Leeds. Their brand of melodic juxtapositions combined with a young energetic vibe places them at the forefront of talent in the area.

Comprising of Danny on vocals and guitar, Ben on bass, Danny on guitar and Blaine on drums, Photoseptic defy convention by crafting alt rock songs that are just at home in your dad’s car. Being heavy and almost pop and maintaining credibility is difficult but on the strength of their material they have pulled it off.

They have a decent catalogue of material on Spotify and the 2019 sing Every Drop is well written and performed with energy. The vocal performance is particularly strong with good variations in tone and a deep guttural scream. A reinforcing percussive element supports the threatening guitars.

Check the Playlist Photoseptic Complete for the full picture on how they have evolved and their versatility. These are a band to keep your eye on and I hope they realise their obvious potential. They just need to get on some high profile shows.

Tracklist:

Mayday
Sick To Death
Until My Lungs Dry Out
My Favourite Hand Grenade
Let’s Go
Mayday (Acoustic)
Tattoo
Everydrop

I like sayings, superstitions and traditions. They stick in the mind to be retrieved randomly at unforseen intervals. Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck. How about finding a bag with £100k of used, unmarked and non sequential bank notes? That’s a real find, just like this next band.

Blame The Sacred are a Doncaster based quintet with a proven track record with their successful first single Edge Of Tommorrow. They have had widespread and consistent airplay most notably on Planet Rock.

The Path is a mature and striking debut EP from a band that appear to be musically way beyond their years. The quality of the songs is staggering. I have had several listens to the pre-release and trying to pick a standout track is impossible.

This beast opens with a short instrumental track simply titled Intro. And what an introduction it is, a daunting post apocalyptic sound that builds both tension and uncertainty.

I Walk Alone is the first vocal track and it dominates from the start. It’s heavy, almost stoner with a sub doom edge and lyrically strong.

The next track is Hollow Ground and this takes a subtler, more emotional approach. Its both grinding and gentle with searingly emotive guitars. It’s actually quite beautiful and a real highlight.

Fourth track Home opens with a driving riff, nice mutes and chugging rhythms. This is lyrically engaging and will pull you in easily. It would be right at ‘home’ on any radio station and is a strong contender for a future single release.

Six Shots Of Hate is a building slayer of a track with yet another outstanding vocal performance. The chorus is absolutely brutal and will be a killer in front of a live audience.

Path closes with another instrumental called Statim Finis which has ghostly echoes of the intro but with whirling progressive guitars.

Blame The Sacred are without a doubt a phenomenal and talented band. To put out something so polished and, to be fair, so damn good is nothing short of amazing. The vocal performance is stunning, showing a range of emotion and raw power. Musically, everything fits and everything works. Throughout I personally heard references as diverse as Disturbed and Slipknot, yet equally shades of something Eddie Vedder might compose.

Truly, a hard band to categorise. The accomplishment is there to be heard, just don’t try to pigeon hole them as they transcend all genres. If they went to Hogwarts, the sorting hat would have a melt down. Let’s just call them a damn fine hard rock band.

The Addiction

Friday night. Is it the end of the week or the start of the weekend? Are we seeing off five days of drudgery or preparing for a couple of days of well earned relaxation? Well, Friday 21st February was a special night and for two reasons. One it was my first visit to The Imperial in Mexborough and two, more importantly, it was The Addiction’s first true headline show.

Tonight was an evening comprised of four acts, each bringing their own brand of rock and metal. The appreciative audience was made up of fans, promoters and the curious. This was a who’s who of local talent which promised a hell of a lot. But could they deliver?

Openers Firegarden were a frenetic three piece delivering a mix of the melodic and the progressive. Power riffs, intricate picking and solid rhythm woven through a set of both instrumental and vocal tracks.

Second set was provided by Steal The City, a quartet from Sheffield who hammered the room from the off. Furious headbanging anthems, one after the other with lots of smoke and strobe lighting. These were very well received judging by the audience reaction. They were fast, they were heavy and they were vibrant.

Yesterday’s Gone came next and as expected delivered an energetic performance of whiskey soaked hard rock with elements of the blues and some stoner rock. The guitars were ripping and the audience were drawn into the vocal performance. They could be mistook for headliners though tonight belongs to one band only.

No introduction is required for The Addiction, their distinctive brand of hard rock for the masses always delivers the goods. They are a tight unit musically but not at the expense of humour or audience engagement. The Addiction are a hard working band who take pride in what they produce and it shows, from popular original material to classic rock staples, they’ve put together a strong setlist.

Cut The Wire was a crowd pleasing opener, the successful follow up to their debut release My Sweet Valentine. Everyone was into the energy from the off and the guys were buzzing off it. This was going be a special night and then they moved straight into It’s Alright. Game on.

What followed was an hour plus set of good time rock ‘n’ roll with guts, attitude and a truck load of style. Adam Methven is the archetypal front man, great voice, cool vibe and a damn good guitar player. He played a distressed signature Vintage in the Les Paul style, its his look.

Speaking of guitars, David Scott Lees absolutely tore it up tonight on lead. His Gibson Les Paul is just a part of him, a mix of rapid picking and tapping, bends and melodic solos, he is just ridiculous. Buy him a drink.

Of course, without a solid beat nothing is truly cohesive and though he’s tucked away at the back, Oliver Slepowronski handled the sticks with power. He’s seems like a pretty quiet guy but when he sits on that stool he pounds the skins hard. In conjuction with guest bassist Sam Williams, from Derby’s These Wicked Rivers who worked his Rickenbacker tirelessly, we had the formula for the perfect night of live music.

People heaved forward for Saints and Sinners, it’s an awesome song which deservedly leads us on to the epic Kiss classic Love Gun. It brings the house down and rightly so. So have we finished? Well not quite. With the application of a lot of shouting, screaming and whistling we get the true set closer, My Sweet Valentine. It’s just brilliant.

So let’s conclude. Banging setlist, check. Great venue, check. Kick ass support, check. At one point, as Adam stands simply surveying the crowd there is only one applicable quote. Veni vidi vici.
I came, I saw, I conquered.

Adam Methven

The Addiction are a well respected hard rock band with a great pedigree and a solid fan base. Known for their exceptional live performances and chart topping streaming tracks, they will soon be out on their second tour with Marco Mendoza of Thin Lizzy and The Dead Daisies. Natural front man and guitarist Adam Methven took time out of his busy schedule for this interview.


Adam thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.
No problem at all!
What first got you into music, more specifically guitar?
Well I’ve always loved music. My first real obsession was actually Michael Jackson believe it or not. I had every album as a kid. My parents weren’t really in to rock. I mean, my dad was a big fan of bands like Slade and T-Rex but he wasn’t really one to play records or anything. My mum loved the big diva singers like Celine Dion and that sort of thing, so I was always around music growing up but not necessarily what I’m in to now. Funnily enough, thinking back, some of my most favourite MJ tracks were more leaning on the rock stuff, Bad and Beat It, of course that track had Eddie Van Halen on the guitar and Slash played on Black or White, another favourite of mine.
So I think I had this natural thing about guitar music in me I guess.
I always liked the guitar because to me, the Les Paul through a Marshall is just THE coolest looking thing in music. It’s iconic isn’t it? I’m also of the age where Guitar Hero really had an impact on kids like me. It’s funny how many musicians, guitarists especially, my age who say a similar thing. I had a mad obsession for Guitar Hero Metallica. I didn’t have a mic stand so I would hang the Guitar Hero Mic from the light fitting in the middle of the living room and play the guitar, you know the white explorer one? and pretended I was James Hetfield. If you heard my vocals 8 years ago, you’d think I was in a Metallica tribute band.
So I think that was the start of me thinking, hmm.. I wonder if I could do this for real?
A lot of players are self taught, did you go that route or did you have tuition?
I am completely self taught, guitar and vocally, I’ve never had a lesson in my life. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing well, that’s for everyone else to decide, but you know, I can bang out a decent tune so I’m doing okay!
I think there’s something magical about teaching yourself to play the guitar, you know? I was late to the party compared to a lot of people, I was only around 18 when I started taking it seriously and thought, right, I’m going to do this, I’ve had 2 years off in the time between then and now too. But yeah, man I was horrific at the start. But the relief you get when you learn to do a certain thing, or play a certain riff, doing it the old fashioned way, leading by ear, it was so satisfying.. and still is, you know? I’m nowhere near my peak capabilities so I’m always learning, I think the best are still learning.
Do you remember the first song you ever learnt?
I think it was For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica. But when I got to a standard where I could play a bit and make some sensical tune, I was far too excited to see a song through to the end, I just wanted the riffs man! The riffs and the rhythms. But I do believe For Whom The Bell Tolls was the first song I finished front to back, lead included.
What do you remember of your first ever live performance?
Leading up to it was sheer, sheer.. terror, for the want of a better word. I was absolutely petrified. There will be people listening or reading to this or whatever, that completely understand this next statement. No matter how many videos on YouTube you watch for what artists say between songs, no matter how many live shows you watch, when it comes to it, especially when you’re first starting, it’s COMPLETELY irrelevant. You have to be in the moment, feeling it, the crowd, the sounds and smells, nothing can prepare you for doing it for real, other than doing it.
My first real show, I was 18, I played every song I knew how to with my little band, we didn’t have a bass player so we used 2 guitars and a drummer. Never dawned on us one of us could play the bass. I tell you something though, it was a decent turn out! Just to add some pressure.


Do you consider The Lost Days your first ‘proper’ band?
Yes and no. It was my first real experience of going out and experiencing the real tough, hard slog that the circuit really is. And being a band of early 20 somethings and even a teenager at one stage, man them working men’s clubs can be a hard place to be in. But I’m grateful for it, I appreciate everything that those times gave me and showed me. As has been said many times by people, it was essentially my apprenticeship, I was learning my trade, I was learning on the job. I would say it possibly was my first ‘proper’ band, but only in that we played over 300 shows in 2 and a half years. It was never what I wanted it to be and that is original, we did a lot on the club scene and pubs, and as I mentioned I’m grateful for it, but what I’m doing now with The Addiction is exactly where I want to be.
You’re obviously a natural performer, is being on stage what gives you the biggest buzz?
You are too kind! Thank you sir.
This is a bit of a yes and no too. Definitely, the biggest buzz is the live situation. But it’s not just the time on stage and man, I’d kill to be on stage every single night if I could. It’s yes being on stage and hearing your songs sang back at you, that is special, it’s feeling the energy of the crowd, that roar between songs, it’s little moments like that. But not only that, I love meeting our fans and friends we have made and are yet to make, I love having a beer with everyone, I love sharing the moments with people who make the effort to support us in what we’re doing, I love to give back to them in any way I can, if that means getting drunk and talking about their lives until 4 am, yes that has happened.. then I’m there man, I’ll forever be grateful of the support we receive, it never fails to astound me.
How did The Addiction come about, was it a natural progression from The Lost Days?
Sorry man I got a little deep there (laughs)
Well to be honest no, by the time The Addiction played it’s first show, only 2 of the members were from The Lost Days’ original line up. When two of them left, it was my chance to start this new thing that became The Addiction. But we were so popular as The Lost Days that our bookings were up until February 2019 and this was April 2018. So I gave it a lot of thought and luckily when we saw out our commitments, all the other guys were on board, later that obviously wasn’t the case, as the band is now again only two members from the band that ‘originally’ started The Addiction.
It’s a funny old game mate.
What were the circumstances that landed you the Marco Mendoza gig, that must have felt pretty special?
Ah, the Mexican.
The guy is a special person man, he’s a great human being, he has taught me so so much and not just about music. He’s meticulous, he’s a man who knows who he wants and I completely respect him for that. He’s been nothing but a great friend to me and the boys. The tour came about because I straight up asked him. We were not getting what we needed so I took things in to my own hands, I emailed him, I sent him some stuff I had done with The Lost Days, had a chat about it and 2 days later, boom, we were special guests on his UK Tour. To be offered the tour, not just a gig was amazing, none of us had ever been on tour before, I played a lot of shows, but never on a real tour.
We were welcomed by Marco and his band, which was Kyle Hughes, phenomenal drummer, and guitarist Tommy Gentry of Gun, a monster player. It was as if we had been on tour with them for months just a couple of days in.
So now, in 2020.. to be asked once again to head out on tour with him, which he personally called me and asked me, absolutely, we can’t turn it down. By the way, getting a phone call from Marco Mendoza at 2am is never not weird.
Incidentally, talking of feeling special, how did you end up getting sponsored by Vintage guitars?
Let me just say this, Vintage Guitars are incredible, they are incredible instruments and do not allow yourself to be told otherwise by elitists. I’m not contractually obliged to say that either.
But again man, I fully believe in, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I got in contact with the guys because I had played some of their guitars and really REALLY liked them. To me, they just feel right, exactly what I want from a guitar. So I called them up, spoke about the opportunities that were available and they asked what I was doing with the band at the time, because of course it’s a two way street, they can’t expect nothing back, they want to see what exposure I might add, completely get it.. so we hooked up and I got a deal with Vintage and never looked back, I also have deals with Dean Markley Guitar Strings, Xvive Effects and a few other companies that really believe in what we’re doing, also, I’ve got to give a shout out to our boys at Cloven Hoof Rum who really look after us too!
You’ve had 2 great songs out on streaming services. My Sweet Valentine and Cut The Wire were both well received. Do the band write together or does someone take the lead?
Yes! We have indeed, I was so happy when we got the first single out, we went on tour with absolutely no music out there, we had recorded it, but we didn’t want to rush the release. Which worked out just fine because the following we gathered from the strength of our live show alone was magical enough.
So when Cut the Wire hit #1 on the Amazon Charts and got a #2 Amazon Best Seller, can you imagine my reaction man? Wow.
But yeah, so.. up to now, I have done the ‘bulk’ of the songwriting, and I don’t mind that you know? Daisy (Guitarist) has written some great stuff that we just need to iron out, but whatever I’ve handed him to play lead on, dude he frightens me, he’s an incredible guitar player and I’ve never had a guitar partnership that works better than ours. But, we do have a bromance, we complete each-other on and off stage!
What was it that prompted the move to Forge?
Well, I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus here, but we weren’t getting what we needed for the pace that we have been moving at. We have so much coming up and I’ve been the manager of this whole thing too. So the top boy at Forge gave me a call and we chatted for a good hour or so, about where we were going, what we wanted to do and all of that, and we just shared the same ethics and ambitions, and that is what I want from anything I do in life where there are others concerned, is to share the same end goal, it makes everything easier. If you’re a football team, it’s easy, keep it out at one end and put it in at the other. You get enough shit in this business already, so everyone has got to be on the same wavelength, the same team.. so when I spoke to the guys and they did share that end goal.. it was a no brainer for us.
What can people expect from The Addiction over the next year?
More music, more shows, bigger shows, expect the same energy as you got when you first saw us, and then some.
2020 is going to be big for us, so strap yourselves in and join us. We are just getting started.
OK Adam thanks.
Anytime brother.

JOANovARC

Historically, Joan of Arc, or the Maid of Orleans, was known to be a famous warrior who led her men into battle. The truth is she was more a symbolic warrior who acted as a mascot for the troops. Nearly six centuries later, her namesake are leading the vanguard of women’s rock. JOANovARC are the four piece all female rock outfit you always wanted, the antithesis of the archetypal girl band.

Their 2019 eponymous album is bursting with anthemic war cries, each one building on the energy of the preceeding tracks. This is a release that delivers a heady mix of driving rhythms with a sweet and accomplished vocal tone, in a market sometimes saturated with brutalistic thrash which makes JOANovARC stand out from the crowd.

Make no mistake, there are no compromises and they are accomplished musicians but the band have managed to produce a solid radio friendly sound that would be equally at home on the festival circuit with great success. What they have recorded leaves me in no doubt these will be a great live band.

JOANovARC is eleven glorious tracks that you need on your playlist. Strong lyrical content and song structure portray a band with rock solid credibility. Stand out tracks for me are Down By The River, Jane, Slipping Away and Go home.

The future is bright for JOANovARC and it will be interesting to see how they develop their sound and musical direction. They certainly could go in a heavier vein but I think there is something of the blues in this band and I really hope they explore that. Both the local and national music scenes need more women who rock and this album certifies that JOANovARC certainly do.

Zakk Sabbath

It’s a dark night. The air is cold, clinging, and an unnerving atmosphere surrounds the gathering crowd. We all know why we are here.

The symbolic gates part and we shuffle towards the energy emanating from the theatre. The O2 Institute at Birmingham is hosting someone very, very special. A pitstop for merch and we await entry to the main hall.

The electricity is ramped up as metal DJ Matt Stocks takes to the stage and welcomes us all to the home of heavy metal to celebrate 50 years to the day, since the release of the self titled epic debut from Black Sabbath. A short set of epic rock and metal tracks drip feed our savage appetite as Joey Castillo drum sticks are tossed to the baying mass. Then it’s time…

Smoke fills the stage, lights dance around before dimming to simple purple hues. It’s dark, then suddenly chaos as the God of metal takes the stage, thrashing his head, swishing his kilt as his heavy boots step up onto the platform where the microphone resides. It’s on.

Set opener Supernaught twists and turns as the guitar neck dances in his hands, rapid riffs and ridiculous bends tear the place apart. It’s the relentless power, the sheer charisma as jaws drop wide open as Zakk slays Birmingham effortlessly.
Blasko is in the zone on bass, banging his head and begging on the crowd of pumping fists whilst Joey Castillo lays a heavy pounding on drums with the driving Sabbath sound.

This is a moment in music history as the band make their UK appearance to celebrate 50 years of doom! Classic Sabbath tracks, bang, bang, bang! The shredding is relentless, this man is a majestic machine of manic metal. The pace is frenetic with barely a pause, the Wylde Audio Beserker is played behind the neck and also with teeth, seemingly without effort. No one is this good.

Evil woman, Into The Void, they keep coming, each subsequent track heavier and more brutal. This is too much. Zakk ventures into the crowd on a few occasions for extended periods of hellish soloing and skull crushing riffs. The technical mastery is just ridiculous and we are all astounded. A brief pause is given to pay respect to Black Sabbath and sing Happy Birthday. The crowd is wild and the band appreciate it. By the time the set is wound up with NIB and the mighty War Pigs the curfew has already passed.

How can you possibly summarise and convey what has just occurred? You simply can’t. The heavens opened and Zakk split the earth slaying every band I’ve ever seen and more notably, probably ever will see. Utterly incredible.
Setlist:
Supernaut
Snowblind
A National Acrobat
Under The Sun
Tommorrow’s Dream
Evil Woman
Wicked World
Fairies Wear Boots
Into The Void
Children Of The Grave
Lord Of This World
Hand Of Doom
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
NIB
War Pigs

Eulogy

Memories are strange things. Sometimes they are vague and fleeting yet on other occasions they evoke strong images and emotions. Trying to concentrate on something spectral and bring it back to life can be elusive.

Eulogy are a three piece hard rock band from Cardiff and deliver a powerful classic sound with a modern twist. Memento Mori is a four track EP that has whispers of the past and it took me a few moments to place it.

Neil Thomas on twin vocal and bass duties has a familiar resonance that reminds me of Ronnie James Dio though he reins it in with subtle ease. Mike Williams slings his axe with machine precision executing some nice solos whilst percussion master Darran Goodwin lays a pounding from hell.

Memento Mori is a solid introduction for Eulogy who have recently signed to One Eyed Toad Records. Closing track Blood Red Skies is my highlight but you know these guys have a message to deliver and they’re coming your way soon. Be ready.

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