Album Review: Eat Defeat – I Think We’ll Be Okay

Leeds’ Eat Defeat have created a true pop-punk gem, with a positive take on mental health struggles.

Review by Mark Bartlett.

Leed’s based pop punks Eat Defeat were already arguably the UK’s greatest unsung pop-punks, and I mean pop-punk in the classic Drive Thru record’s/Warped Tour sense rather than the diluted squash of the countless Neck Deep-alike easycore contenders. Their last EP Time And Tide, which was released through Umlaut Records, was a shining example of modern UK pop-punk. Their 2nd full album I Think We’ll Be Ok, expands on the promise of Time And Tide in terms of song composition (and recycles one song and a Japanese release exclusive track from it) and adds superior lyrics and a strong uniting album theme.

I Think We’ll Be Ok is their first release for Bearded Punk records and features some pretty gorgeous, colourful artwork that nicely sets the tone for an album that tackles tried and true topics such as depression, anxiety and the complexities of relationships, but all wrapped in a sugary exterior and an ultimately optimistic place.

First track A Little Less Than Ok sets a high bar immediately with an utter sharknado of melody attacking you from every direction. Lovely guitar textures abound and there’s enjoyable harmony and rich, crunchy and full production here in spades. ‘I can’t break out of this mental state’ sets up the lyrical conflict of the album pretty perfectly.

Second track Duvet Day, is as concise a statement as can be at 41 seconds but no less affecting; the lyrical sentiment, “You’ll take this duvet away from me when you pry it away from my cold, dead hands,” is one a lot of us can easily relate to. Continue reading “Album Review: Eat Defeat – I Think We’ll Be Okay”

Four Days Following A Wilhelm Scream On Tour [Column]

Sarah spent a long weekend following melodic hardcore legends, A Wilhelm Scream, on their UK tour with Darko. This is her personal account of the sweatiest weekend of the year.

Article by Sarah Williams. Images from Cold Front Photography, taken at The Star & Garter, Manchester.

It’s sweltering. I’m screaming. There’s a crush of bodies all around me, elbows and fists and softer parts, heaving and desperately scrabbling for space. Every surface is slick with sweat. I turn around just in time to catch a boot to the face, as singer Nuno Pereira is hoisted above the pit, trailing the mic cable, still belting the lyrics out.

He circles above the crowd before being gently propped back onto the the stage, where he immediately bounces back to scream out the chorus. I’m crushed against the edge of the stage and, when I look up, he’s literally dripping a waterfall of sweat straight on to all of us in the front row.

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It’s the longest, hottest day of the year, and the air feels ripe with anticipation for the chaos that A Wilhelm Scream bring on tour with them, unleashing raw, unbridled energy on stage every single night. This 5-piece melodic hardcore whirlwind have journeyed from their hometown in New Bedford, Massachusetts for a month-long tour, beginning with 7 dates in the UK with Shout Louder faves Darko.

I’ve been known to go to absurd lengths for the love of punk rock and this weekend will be no exception. Taking every chance to see one of the world’s most incendiary live bands, I decided to catch them in Manchester, Norwich, London and Stafford. Fortunately, I managed to convince Tree (of MPF/Anarchistic Undertones fame) to join me, so I wasn’t alone for the ride.

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Friday: Manchester

Manchester’s show at the Star & Garter is unquestionably the best gig I’ve been to this year (and I’ve seen Propagandhi twice). Perhaps it’s the intense heat. Perhaps it’s the crush of friends at the front. Perhaps it’s the insanely good performance from one of my all time favourite bands…  or perhaps it was the excitement of knowing I get to do it all again for the next three days. Continue reading “Four Days Following A Wilhelm Scream On Tour [Column]”

[Interview] Level Up Festival: Ska-punk is Alive and Skanking in South London

We had an in-depth chat with the collective of promoters working on the UK’s best ska-punk festival.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Now in its second year, London’s Level Up Festival is proof that ska-punk certainly ain’t dead. Last year was a sold out skankstravanganza, but 2018’s line-up is even more exceptional, featuring the likes of Random Hand and Lightyear as headliners. In terms of DIY-level festivals, this by far the biggest and best ska-oriented event, taking place at New Cross Inn on July 20th – 22nd.

The event is an unusual collaboration between three promoters, bringing three distinct tastes to their bookings. Paul and Mike Smith who run Be Sharp are London based, with Paul spending his days as the Events Manager at the up-and-coming New Cross Inn. Chris Fishlock runs Bristol-based Fishlock Promotions, known for booking DIY all-dayers, including the well-known Fishstock event. Finally, Jason Berden brings his influence all the way from Belgium, where he also books the incredible El Topo Goes Loco Festival. We spoke to all of them, to get an in-depth insight into Level Up Festival.

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L-R: Paul Smith, Jason Berden, Chris Fishlock, Mike Smith

Level Up festival is looking incredible this year! Tell us what we can expect.

  • Paul: Some of the best bands in the world and happy faces. Last year was one of the most positive events I’ve been involved with, and that’s mostly down to everyone that travels from all over, purely to have a great time. The floor will be fine too.
  • Jason: Some old legends, such as Lightyear or Random Hand, making their return, as well as some of the best upcoming bands of the UK ska scene. I also added my fellow Belgians in Koala Commission to the Saturday bill, to show our island friends that the mainland scene is as strong as ever before!

Continue reading “[Interview] Level Up Festival: Ska-punk is Alive and Skanking in South London”

Win 2 Tickets to Brakrock Ecofest

Head to our Facebook page to win two tickets to one of the best fests Belgium has to offer.

We have two combi tickets to giveaway for Brakrock Ecofest in Belgium, including camping passes. The festival takes place on August 3rd and 4th and features some brilliant bigger punk acts alongside some local favourites.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply head over to the Shout Louder Facebook page and tell us who you’re most excited to see on the bill. You’ve got until Wednesday 18th July to enter!

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Brakrock takes place in a small park on the banks of the river Nete in Duffel, a small Belgian town between Antwerp and Brussels. Why call it an ‘ecofest’? Ecofest means eco-friendly: The people behind Brakrock take pride in being a very, very, very eco-friendly festival. They’ve even won awards for it. Continue reading “Win 2 Tickets to Brakrock Ecofest”

Aerial Salad vs. The Raging Nathans [Interview]

Jamie Munro quick-fires questions at Josh Goldman of The Raging Nathans ahead of their UK tour.

Later in July, The Raging Nathans and Aerial Salad are heading out on a killer European tour, taking in 15 dates around the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, inluding Wonk Fest and Rebellion.

The Raging Nathans are a punk rock collective out of Dayton, Ohio, featuring members of The Queers, The Dopamines and The Slow Death, who’ve been going since 2007. They released their second album Cheap Fame through Plasterer Records in April. It’s 13 tracks of melodic, up-beat punk rock, reminiscent of mid-90s Green Day and the golden era of pop-punk rock. Frontman Josh Goldman also heads up the awesome US label, Rad Girlfriend Records.

They pair perfectly with Mancunian Green Day / Jawbreaker wannabes Aerial Salad, who bring catchy pop-eque punk your way, loaded with a lot of fresh, Northern attitude. Vocalist / guitarist / all round handful of a human being, Jamie Munro, is a regular contributor to Shout Louder – if you want to laugh till your jaw hurts check out our recent podcast with him.

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Josh and Jamie getting intense

Shout Louder was recently offered the opportunity to interview Josh on the tour. Reluctant to pass up this marvellous chance for a chat, but with very little time on our hands, we asked Jamie from Aerial Salad to interview him for us. We knew, we’d regret this…

Jamie: Who did 9/11?
Josh: The Jews? Just kidding. My people wouldn’t do that.

Jamie: What your favourite European food?
Josh: Over the counter Tylenol with codeine.

Jamie: What’s a clacker?
Josh: I’ll take you somewhere sometime and show you.

Jamie: Josh, when you were in middle school, what was the worst thing that happened to you?
Josh: Letting a man tattoo me for $20 because he wanted some ecstasy.

Jamie: What’s B1505 about?
Josh: My Grandmother dying and her apartment, that we spent time in when we were kids in New York City. Continue reading “Aerial Salad vs. The Raging Nathans [Interview]”

Shout Louder’s August 2018 Playlist

Listen to our Spotify playlist for all of August’s hottest tunes!

This August Shout Louder’s keeping quiet whilst we all go rock out at Brakrock Ecofest and Punk Rock Holiday! We’ve still got time to share all of our favourite tunes with you, though. These are our hot tips for August 2018, enjoy!

P..S. Clowns, Astpai and The Penske File are all touring the UK in the next few weeks – go catch them live!

Symphony of Distraction: Skate-punk, zebra-stripes and dollar-store artwork [Interview]

Bicoastal American skate-punk Symphony Of Distraction shed some light on their new album and their iconically bad artwork.

Article by Alan Corcoran.

Symphony of Distraction are a skate-punk quartet from New York via California, who deal in songs that storm out of your speakers like a sugared-up Tasmanian devil. They’ll leave you dazed with a melody in your head for days.

The band have recently released their second full length album, Horse, on Less Talk, More Records and Interpunk. I talked with guitarist and vocalist Jay Stewart about the writing and recording of the album, that iconic artwork and we may have gotten into jazz piano a bit too…

Congrats on the new album Horse. Are you happy with how it turned out?

Thanks! Yes, we’re happy with how it turned out. We would not have released it until we had it in a place we were happy with. We don’t have any set deadlines or anything like that so we can take our time with it.

How did this one come together by comparison to Call It Off, John?

The biggest difference with how this one came together is that I live 3000 miles away from everyone else in the band now. On the previous albums, we lived relatively close to each other for the majority of the recording process so we could just work on it whenever we wanted. This time we did all of the tracking in Brooklyn over a couple of weeks or so. This mainly changed how Steve’s songs came together because he had to have his songs in a more completed state before we started recording.

What gear did you use this time?

We are not gear heads at all. We use whatever we have around. All of the bass on all 3 records was recorded on a $79 piece of shit bass I bought 10 years ago. We’ve used the same SM58 for the vocals on all 3 records that I’ve probably had for 15 years. It’s fun to try to get good sounds out of shitty equipment.

When mixing, I’ll revisit the SecondShot records I did with Ryan Greene since it gives me a really professional recording reference that I was the singer on.

Symphony of Distraction Live

This album seems to have a little more experimentation in guitar sounds; I’m thinking of Once and Future and United Failure for example… was this a conscious decision or did it just come from messing around with pedals?

We use a lot of computer plugins for that kind of stuff. I’m not a good enough producer to know exactly what I want something to sound like when we’re recording so we do a lot of DI which allows me to mess around with sounds later. It also saves time during the tracking process. Continue reading “Symphony of Distraction: Skate-punk, zebra-stripes and dollar-store artwork [Interview]”