Noisegate - From One to None Demo. Can you believe it, I think Andy first mentioned these to me, and then someone from the States asked if Id checked them out. Someone in the States! God, shows how far behind and out of touch I am. Anyway, whether youre christian, atheist or simply an alien, I thank your God that they did mention them. And if youre a fan of Pantera and Machine Head, then you should thank yours too. Simply put? I reckon that this demo blows the last Machine Head album, and the last few Pantera albums out of the water. Its the same mixture, the same brew, but the difference here is that Noisegate have remembered to include that vital commodity of songs. Ah yes, remember those. Anyway, four tracks on offer for your money, and its hard to imagine from the sound quality that its only a demo.
Cross To Bear starts things rolling, hitting in with a small groove before it kicks in. Remember that first time you heard the kick drums to Davidian. And you tried to mimic it. Dont tell me you didnt, cos I know youre lying. Well get ready, cos you can do a similar thing. And were off and running. Vocalist Nick does come across as a cross between Anselmo and Flynn, and you have to decide for yourself whether thats a good thing or not. Obviously in the context of this music, I think it is. Once has a monster riff running through it (I dont believe I resorted to that cliche), held together as a tight groove. Final track World of One uses the uptempo then grind it right down to a crawl approach. Sometimes that gets old quickly, but here it seems to work. I guess it comes down ultimately to the songs. Some effects are crap if the song doesnt work, other times it can be incredible.
Apparently, they hope to record another 4 tracks soon, and combine them together and release the CD. And you will support them wont you. They may be British, but once more, they are living proof that the UK does compete with the States, and come out unscathed.
You do want this, I know you do. So write to them, and send 3 quid, and it shall be yours.
Noisegate, 7 Marshall House, St Quentin St, Pleck, Walsall, WS2 9JB.
Website : http://www.jps.net/russellw/noisegate/
Opiate - Swimming demo. No, not a demo that swims, well, I dont think so, I didnt actually try that, but a demo called Swimming from this Birmingham band. Do we ever use first impressions? Well, if we did, which of course we dont, then Im expecting something Tool like (Opiate, Swim - as in learn to swim ah, you put the connection together.). So nows a little test to see if first impressions really are a wise choice. Er, no. Its a relavitvely straight type of metal, with some punk overtones. It seems to favour the approach of trying to play songs instead of effects, which means that although its not earthshattering, its at least a bit more honest than a lot of stuff. 6 tracks on offer for your money, the production is a little ropey, and the vocals arent wonderful, this is probably more a tape for those of you that like demos more than anything else. And theres nothing wrong with that of course.
Couple of quid I think, if I remember correctly.
Contact: Opiate c/o 3 Lutley Grove, Bartley Green, Birmingham, B32.
The Manges - tape.Picked this up at the gig. 10 tracks. There was a CD there, but this was cheaper, and cheap is my middle name. Dont know if its a demo, or just something thrown together to appeal to cheapskates like me who want something but are unsure of buying the CD. Ramones influenced punk with a good dose of plain and simple RocknRoll spirit. And Its funny, but nice listening to this and hearing the Italiana accenta cominga througha. Simple to listen to, theres nothing challenging here. Kiss Kiss Kiss is pretty cool, as is the Happy Days fixated I Wanna Be A Cunningham. Melissa Is a Rockabilly Rebel points towards the Ramones, and this is tied up by the cover of Time Bomb. One for lovers of The Ramones, punk or just fun rocknroll. Contact: The Manges, Andrea Caredda, Via XXVII Marzo 95, 19121 La Spexia, Italia.
Blow Holy demo - Youll have read a review of a demo by Varicus in the last issue. Well, this is the new one, except the name has now changed to Blow Holy. And its the only major change here. This still treads the road of Sabbath riffs, with that warm 70s guitar tone, married to techno drum beats. And it still sounds different. And it still works. First track, Psalm 666 feels like the drumnbass part of Pitchshifters Microwaved welded to an old rolling Sabbath riff, before giving in to the chorus chant of come on come on come on now fit in fit in fit in with the crowd Something BlowHoly are unlikely to do. The crowd will need to go to them.
This time though, you also get lyrics to afford you an insight into the mind of the strangely brown person that creates this. The vocals could be a little higher and clearer in the mix, as evidenent in Do As Your Done By but theyre on to something here. And maybe its all part of the masterplan, add a little sinister to the plot. Best of the lot on here is the closing track Scene and Herd, which seems to be an attack at the scene culture, where you do everything to fit in and just totally loose your own identity in order to be unique. Hmmm, now where do you think that sort of thing might go on? Nice one. How much other people are going to get in to this something is maybe debatable, but if you like a little adventure in your music, something a little different, and something which definitely doesnt feature a guest appearance by Fred Durst, then this could be your tape. Ask for the Varicus demo as well.
Contact: 44 Low Street, South Milford, LS25 5AS. £1 for 4 tracks. £2 if you ask for Varicus as well? Maybe.
web site - www.hermetic.force9.co.uk or e-mail - email@example.com
Rockit The Ups and Downs sampler tape - this isnt a demo as such, but it appears there is a club in London called Rockit, well thats their problem. Anyway, they were advertising a free 4 track sampler tape of bands that have played there, and so I sent and they did return and I now review. The only band from this that Id actually heard anything from before was Breed77, and it has to be said, that the track here, Downer, which is also one of the b-sides to the single, is their best yet. The general feeling of the Message single is very Pantera like, but live they show there is more to them than that, and this track highlights that potential, with vocalist Paul especially standing out, veering between Anselmo and Keith Caputo. Jnr Loaded are a band who come with very high recommendations from the Breed 77 lads, and they contribute the tracks Swimdowner. Theyre not bad, but another of the rap metal style bands, and at the moment, One Minute Silence are simply doing it better than anybody else. Good yes, essential, well, if they mix things a little more, then they may be. But one track isnt really enough to judge. Theyre playing Nottingham soon, so Ill have to try and check them out properly. Opening the proceedings are Kane with the track Get Up 52, which sees them alternating from a familiar groove to the all out rush of the chorus. Its a strong song, maybe the best one on here, and if its an indication of what they are capable of doing, then marks them out as ones to look out for. The final honours go to Zelig, and the only thing I know about them is that they had a track on a Kerrang! CD a while back, as the demo winners. But Ill not hold that against them. The track is called Download. A name like that makes you (ok me) think of computers (well, I work with them all day), and there is that feel to the song. Another electro-industrio-crossover sort of thing. Well, until the guitars finally crash in. Theres plenty going on in here. Production is a bit tinnier than I wouldve liked, but then Im no producer. A decent sampler tape, with four good bands, though ultimately I think the honours are shared between Kane and Breed 77, with an honourable mention to Zeileg.
Hang Ups - demo I actually received two demos from this band, and Im going to review one here, and the next in the next issue. It ensures that I have demos in every issue of YAZ, which is something I am aiming for. And besides, sometimes you have to keep a name visible to people, so that hopefully one day it will sink in and theyll take the chance on something. Anyway, the one Im reviewing this time round features three tracks of melodic punk style thing. First up is 2-4-6-Hate, an immediate and catchy opener. The next track, Wishin doesnt quite manage to follow it, before Tune In finishes things off on another upbeat note. Theres a bit of Wildhearts / 3 Colours Red style about some of the songs. Even if that is a cop out likeness to use. Its what many bands are doing, and if that is the particular morsel after which you sniff, then this is worth going that bit further and having a taste. Good production, though the drums are a bit too big in my opinion, and some good songs. Doesnt really stand out for me from a number of other bands, but thats maybe I feel like Ive ODed on similar stuff the last few years. But I did get a punk badge with it.
Contact: The Hang Ups, Flat 2, 15 Granville Gdns, Jesmond, Newcastle on Tyne, NE2 1HL. As ever, couple of quid.