Slam Dunk Festival Adds More Bands To It’s 2021 Lineup

Slam Dunk Festival 2021 has announced a bunch more bands for this year’s event.

Added to the lineup are Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Alkaline Trio, Funeral For A Friend, Hellogoodbye, Capdown, Loathe (pictured), and As It Is.

They join headliners Sum 41 and Don Broco, as well as Escape The Fate, While She Sleeps, We Are The In Crowd, NOFX, Knuckle Puck, and more!

Festival Director Ben Ray says: “We’ll be celebrating Slam Dunk Festival’s 15th Anniversary in September and I’m so happy these newly announced artists will be joining us! Although the re-opening date has moved to July, we are even more confident that the festival will go ahead this year, thanks to the positive news from the test events and the rapid vaccination program taking place. With the overwhelming support shown by our fans who have kept a hold of their tickets and those who have bought tickets recently too, we know how important it is that we do our best to deliver a brilliant show this September.”

Slam Dunk Festival 2021 will take place on 4th September at Temple Newsam Park in Leeds, and the following day at Hatfield Park in Hatfield.

EP Review – NO:IR – Are We Really Alive?


Since their debut in 2019, Bristol-based Nu-Metal five-piece NO:IR have evolved their sound from their hardcore roots to create a modern fusion from a host of genres. They take deep inspiration – and their name, from Film Noir, often characterised by cynicism, intricate plots and existential philosophy. 

Conveying themes of depression, anxiety, ego, addiction, distrust and unity, Are We Really Alive? sees NO:IR examining their own identity; holding up a mirror to the band’s own anxieties and addictions and questioning their honesty and integrity.

“Reality has become distorted as media manipulates people to behave a certain way, compliance is natural and identity is fragile. We have become distracted by the high intensity and anxiety of modern life and our own individualism and honesty has been lost to trends and conformity”, the band state.
Prior to the release of the EP comes their next single and accompanying music video Spineless, due for release June 1st. The track explores the anger and frustration around trying to navigate through the intensity of misinformation and difficulty finding your own identity while authority wants to dilute authenticity.

“‘In the face of the ones who don’t give a shit, in a space and a place where we don’t exist, we’re down for the fight we will resist’ shows a distaste of how people like us (alternative personalities, creatives, musicians etc.) are overlooked, and how we are a very strong group of individuals who will resist being mistreated. ‘There’s venom in my veins, a new drug to numb the pain’ is a nod to the culture of musicians taking substances just to ‘numb’ overwhelming feelings or personal accounts of facing addiction”, explains lyricist Evvi.

Opening the EP up with ‘If this is living’, it’s a creepy and alluring stretch of atmosphere in the exact calm before the storm you’d expect before descending into chaos.

Next up with ‘Demons’, the reveal is a catchy, pointing and damnned good blend of genres to bring out the heavier aspects of the band into full force to bring about inspiration and honestly quite awakening. It’s a mix that on paper shouldn’t work particularly well but works in harmony with each other. Plus, the ending of the track maxes up the creep factor to give off a true spine chilling vibe to the maximum.

With Spineless, it’s a little bit of a misnomer in that it’s anything but. What it is however is a ferocious and hard hitting track from start to finish and one you don’t want to stop for anything. Twisting through the time signature, the styling changes up a little in Spineless where it’s anything but. It delivers a ferocious and hard hitting track from start to finish that sets up the tone for future moshpits that won’t stop.

Benefitting from the runtime it currently has, Phantom offers up a little something different. Taking a step down from the previous tracks and opting for a more vocally clear and mellow, it’s a perfect breather for the EP while still keeping in with the bands ethos and builds on what you heard previously in ‘Demons’. It’s exactly what you need to be listening to right now with the tone leading to hardly a moment of reprieve.

The same can be said for ‘I Need U (Like I Need A Hole In My Head’ as the vocal stylings are working in tandem to show how far the band can reach and how moving the track is. This is what I’ve missed about the scene in recent years where it’s only as effective as the people utilising it.

The final track, ‘Hollow’ which extends to several minutes amasses the best aspects of the entire EP. Starting off more atmospheric and then leading into he throbbing and bone rattling aspect of it’s heavier material, this can be a difficult thing to produce but doing it the way NO:IR have doing is just so freely entertaining which leads to a show stopping finale.

Overall, the EP is greatly produced and the ideas you expereince here within the genre bending are nothing short of excellent and ones we hope to see influence the bands own capabilities in the future.

Rating: 4/5.

Check out the EP via the following link.

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Band Interview Of The Day – Catching Mangoes

Welcome back to another edition of the band interview of the day! Who do we have for you today do you ask? That would be Catching Mangoes. They’re a trio based in South East England. They’re an exciting bands that’s come on Almost Anything’s radar recently so we sit down with them to introduce you right now! Let’s dive in!

  1. If could introduce yourselves for us, who are you?

We are Catching Mangoes, a five piece mid-level rock band from the South East of England. 

  1. How did you all meet?

Myself (George) and Dan met at primary school where we began our musical journey. We then met Max our drummer at secondary school and recently acquired the other two after realising we couldn’t play our new album as it should be with just 3 of us. They make up the quintet with another guitar and keys.

  1. How long have you been playing?

As a 3 we’ve been playing for around 5 years. As a 5 we’ve had 1 small gig so approximately 3 months. I predict we have a good 12 years in the bank.

  1. What three words would you use to describe the music you play?

Weird but cool

  1. What are your musical influences?

Our most recent album has been heavily influenced by 60/70s rock such as The Doors and Beatles but everyone has been influenced by the Beatles in some way right? More modern inspirations include The Lemon Twigs and Arctic Monkeys, especially their new stuff.

  1. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen during a show?

Someone once took a phone call in the middle of a set. We were playing after them. Think it’s fair to say it wasn’t a great gig.

  1. Being away from the stages since last year, where is the one place you’d visit when the restrictions are lifted?

We are storming the north in October of this year, including both Manchester and Birmingham. I’ve always wanted to visit/play in Manny so cannot wait for that. Friday 8th we’ll be there for anyone locals.

  1. What’s the one record you own but wouldn’t ever admit to owning?

Oof. I have a few James Blunt CDs which I often listen to and never get old I can’t lie. I’m sure there’s a few others out there with JB guilty pleasures but I’m happy to admit that haha….

  1. What have you been listening in the last few weeks?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley recently – his voice is mesmeric and his version of Hallelujah is surely the most beautiful tune I’ve ever listened to. I’m also a fan of Sticky Fingers who I’ve got back into recently.

  1. Are there any releases you have planned in the near future?

The 4th and final single from our upcoming debut concept album ‘Kevin’s Town’ is out on 24th June so keep ya eyes peeled for that! It’s called Bloom Orlando and you’re all gonna love it I’m sure of that. The full album will be out later this summer in August along with some lovely shiny vinyl so check our socials for them… Thanks for having us see you all soon xxx 

Check out Catching Mangoes via:

  1. If could introduce yourselves for us, who are you?

We are Catching Mangoes, a five piece mid-level rock band from the South East of England. 

  1. How did you all meet?

Myself (George) and Dan met at primary school where we began our musical journey. We then met Max our drummer at secondary school and recently acquired the other two after realising we couldn’t play our new album as it should be with just 3 of us. They make up the quintet with another guitar and keys.

  1. How long have you been playing?

As a 3 we’ve been playing for around 5 years. As a 5 we’ve had 1 small gig so approximately 3 months. I predict we have a good 12 years in the bank.

  1. What three words would you use to describe the music you play?

Weird but cool

  1. What are your musical influences?

Our most recent album has been heavily influenced by 60/70s rock such as The Doors and Beatles but everyone has been influenced by the Beatles in some way right? More modern inspirations include The Lemon Twigs and Arctic Monkeys, especially their new stuff.

  1. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen during a show?

Someone once took a phone call in the middle of a set. We were playing after them. Think it’s fair to say it wasn’t a great gig.

  1. Being away from the stages since last year, where is the one place you’d visit when the restrictions are lifted?

We are storming the north in October of this year, including both Manchester and Birmingham. I’ve always wanted to visit/play in Manny so cannot wait for that. Friday 8th we’ll be there for anyone locals.

  1. What’s the one record you own but wouldn’t ever admit to owning?

Oof. I have a few James Blunt CDs which I often listen to and never get old I can’t lie. I’m sure there’s a few others out there with JB guilty pleasures but I’m happy to admit that haha….

  1. What have you been listening in the last few weeks?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley recently – his voice is mesmeric and his version of Hallelujah is surely the most beautiful tune I’ve ever listened to. I’m also a fan of Sticky Fingers who I’ve got back into recently.

  1. Are there any releases you have planned in the near future?

The 4th and final single from our upcoming debut concept album ‘Kevin’s Town’ is out on 24th June so keep ya eyes peeled for that! It’s called Bloom Orlando and you’re all gonna love it I’m sure of that. The full album will be out later this summer in August along with some lovely shiny vinyl so check our socials for them… Thanks for having us see you all soon xxx 

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NO:IR Release New EP ‘Are We Really Alive?’


Since their debut in 2019, Bristol-based Nu-Metal five-piece NO:IR have evolved their sound from their hardcore roots to create a modern fusion from a host of genres. They take deep inspiration – and their name, from Film Noir, often characterised by cynicism, intricate plots and existential philosophy. 

With five previous successful singles under their belt, the band have amassed more than 100,000 streams on Spotify. Their innate blend of rap and metal draws on an array of influences including emo, hip-hop and dark pop. This has resulted in a signature re-imagination of the Nu-Metal sound. Following up on the release of their recent single Phantom comes their debut EP Are We Really Alive?, due for release June 18th 2021.

Produced, Mixed and Mastered with Josh Gallop (Phoxjaw) at Stage 2 Studios in Bath, their fearlessly creative debut EP sees the band spike their metal with a bunch of other genres, taking the listener on a journey through unrelentingly heavy riffs, eerie, expansive landscapes and pounding trap drums. 

Conveying themes of depression, anxiety, ego, addiction, distrust and unity, Are We Really Alive? sees NO:IR examining their own identity; holding up a mirror to the band’s own anxieties and addictions and questioning their honesty and integrity.

“Reality has become distorted as media manipulates people to behave a certain way, compliance is natural and identity is fragile. We have become distracted by the high intensity and anxiety of modern life and our own individualism and honesty has been lost to trends and conformity”, the band state.
Prior to the release of the EP comes their next single and accompanying music video Spineless, due for release June 1st. The track explores the anger and frustration around trying to navigate through the intensity of misinformation and difficulty finding your own identity while authority wants to dilute authenticity.

“‘In the face of the ones who don’t give a shit, in a space and a place where we don’t exist, we’re down for the fight we will resist’ shows a distaste of how people like us (alternative personalities, creatives, musicians etc.) are overlooked, and how we are a very strong group of individuals who will resist being mistreated. ‘There’s venom in my veins, a new drug to numb the pain’ is a nod to the culture of musicians taking substances just to ‘numb’ overwhelming feelings or personal accounts of facing addiction”, explains lyricist Evvi.

Check out the EP via the following link.

Checkout NO:IR via:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Foo Fighters Announce Disco Alter-ego Dee Gees, Detail Upcoming New Record

Foo Fighters have decided to go for a massive left field turn for their next record, and with it an alter-ego name of Dee Gees.

The band have announced the details of a new record called ‘Hail Satin’, which is set to be released on July 17th 2021 for Record Store Day as a vinyl-only release.

The record will feature four Bee Gees covers, a rendition of ‘Shadow Dancing’ by Andy Gibbs, and five live recordings of songs from their 2021 album, ‘Medicine At Midnight’.

You can check out the album cover artwork and full track listing below.

01.) You Should Be Dancing
02.) Night Fever
03.) Tragedy
04.) Shadow Dancing
05.) More Than A Woman
06.) Making A Fire
07.) Shame Shame
08.) Waiting On A War
09.) No Son Of Mine
10.) Cloudspotter

Bullet For My Valentine Announce Upcoming Self-Titled Record

Welsh metal quartet Bullet For My Valentine have announced the details of their upcoming self-titled seventh album, set to be released on October 22nd 2021 via Spinefarm Records.

Along with news of the upcoming record, the band have also shared a video for its lead single, ‘Knives’.

You can check out the new track below along with the album cover artwork, full track listing, and pre-order options.

01.) Parasite
02.) Knives
03.) My Reverie
04.) No Happy Ever After
05.) Can’t Escape The Waves
06.) Bastards
07.) Rainbow Veins
08.) Shatter
09.) Paralysed
10.) Death By A Thousand Cuts

Pre-orders are available from the bands official Webstore.

Heckyl Releases New Single, “Side Where You Slept”

“Side Where You Slept’ “is the third single in 2021 from Heckyl, the inner voice of experienced and  successful songwriter and producer, Luke Potter. It follows ‘Preacher’ and ‘Stranger’ that were both so  critically well received by Blogs and Magazines (CLOUT, Notion, Talk About Pop Music, POPMUZIK, A&R  Factory, Caesar Live N Loud etc.…) And both tracks were selected Record of the Day by that influential  music business site. 

Again self written, performed and produced in Luke’s Sweet Factory studio the song has a cool retro sound  that has been likened to Prefab Sprout (from the 80s) and, from today, The 1975 (without the guitars). Yes,  it’s chill, eclectic and has those catchy earworm qualities that all Heckyl songs contain together with ‘lost  love’ lyrics that people will identify with. 

With a number of highly successful releases under his own name and co-writes and productions for other  artists his songs have nearly 25 million streams on Spotify alone.

‘Side Where You Slept’ is available to listen to below.

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“Stand Up” And Cheer For Pop-Infused Hip Hop Artist & Producer Same As Me & New Single

In a love letter to a broken world, and in an effort to reunite us all, the Edmonton-born, Toronto-based singer/songwrtier, producer and rapper same as me is her own mighty mecca of music.

From the production, to the vox, to the rap, to the visuals, the artist takes creative command from every lyric she pens, every note in her insanely wide range, to every treatment of her videos. Unsurprisingly, the indie songstress from Hollywood North is getting picked up for what she’s putting down. And it’s a whole lotta – you got it – love.

Notably, Roy Hamilton III (former A&R of Capitol Records) has joined forces with same as me. And when society came to a staggering standstill, the pair knew it was time to produce something inspiring to give people hope. “In the midst of the Pandemic, when the protests broke out all over the world, Roy and I came together and knew we had to put my album aside and create a song that really spoke to this,” same as me explains. “I focused on ‘Stand Up’ because I didn’t feel comfortable soliciting my music in a time where people were just trying to survive — especially as I too was trying to do the same.” 

The creative process behind piecing together the track came from a combined brainstorming effort between her and Hamilton. The pair fleshed out the elements — a need for Gospel, a message of hope. same as me says she took songs by artists like Black Eyed Peas and TuPac for refuge and inspiration, and from that sprang “Stand Up”’s immeasurable chorus — which she demo’d in just a day. 

“If there was one positive thing that I had to say about the pandemic, it would be that it brought humanity’s problems to the surface for the masses,” same as me reflects. “The masses that may not have been fully aware or chose to ignore these problems; things like racial inequality, systemic racism and the destruction of the planet.”

‘We gotta stand up for each other,’ chants the message in the single; ‘We gotta show love to each other,’ it pleads. 

The song slips and slides between same as me’s flawlessly delivered bars and her powerhouse vox — including the high belt crescendo where the song piques in its commitment to resonate with the listener. A spellbinding medley of uniting together as people, as humans, as a group of colliding individuals who need some form of gathering in the throes of isolation, “Stand Up” works eloquently to become the tie that binds. 

The same care and attention were taken in the detail of the adjoining music video, same as me shares. “My initial video concept was to shoot outside showing different people and the beauty of multiculturalism but, due to the pandemic, the streets were empty. 

“We were all feeling the isolation of being alone, trapped at home, and I couldn’t imagine the isolation that the Black community was feeling,” she continues. “So, it made sense to have a very simple concept that was just me and two colours — blue and red — which represent peace/calm and panic/danger. 

“I hope that the viewer can appreciate the simplicity of the video with this metaphor.”

In a time where life seems devoid of hope, and the power to find light in the darkness seems to lessen by each passing day, same as me delivers on captivating the human spirit in its effort to survive. Its desire to make it through disaster. Its stamina to find the strength to “Stand Up.” 

Check out ‘Stand Up’ below.

Ryan Wright Releases New Single, ‘Happy Birthday (Go Fu** Yourself)

Virginia-based singer/songwriter/producer Ryan Wright creates songs that don’t make sense on paper–an ethereal, haunted voice singing angsty lyrics over confectionary, synth-driven hooks–and yet the results are at once timeless and timely. Wright’s arresting voice embodies an ancient, unnamable heartache. Her lyrics–at times profane, often tongue-in-cheek, occasionally devastating–reveal a searing wit and a sensitive heart. Wright’s songs speak to the kind of heartache that can only be experienced during one’s teenage years and yet the truth of her lyrics is universal and undeniable. 

Wright was born in the suburbs of Northern Virginia in 2002. She began writing songs and performing live alongside her singer/songwriter dad at the age of 11. By the time she was a teenager, she was working in the studio and on stage alongside some of her biggest musical influences. In 2019, she began co-producing her current EP with her dad Todd Wright and collaborator Ethan Mentzer (The Click 5), working to hone a sound that wears its influences on its sleeve while still maintaining an originality and authenticity that defines Wright as an artist. Her influences range from the classic (The Cars, Roy Orbison, The Smiths) to the current (The Killers, The 1975, Lana Del Ray) to the local musicians she grew up playing with and learning from. Her indie dream-pop has been compared to Lorde, Lennon Stella and The Japanese House.

Wright’s new single “Happy Birthday (Go Fuck Yourself)” showcases her trademark talent for combining sublime melodies with darkly humorous lyrics and production that borders on batshit. The juxtaposition of incongruous elements—pulsing 80s-inspired synths, dreamy vocals and bitingly jaded lyrics—only serves to bring each element into sharper focus. The harmonies shimmer against the driving backdrop of the synth rhythms. The ethereal voice gives each sardonic sentiment an edge of heartbreak. The song resonates with an empowerment that can only be found through embracing vulnerability. The result is a song that captures all the exhilarating contradiction that defines the teenage experience.

Her undeniably relatable lyrics are written about her everyday experiences, her innermost feelings, and her struggles, both universal and personal—everything from friend drama to being ghosted by boys to dealing with anxiety. Wright confides, “My songs are essentially my bottled-up emotions all being poured out in a way that makes them sound surreal. I wanted to make these very relatable experiences sound unfamiliar and strange–almost like listening to a soundtrack from an alternate reality.” Happy Birthday (Go Fuck Yourself)” is currently available worldwide, released via Handwritten Records.

Check out the track below.

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Travis McCoy Signs To Hopeless Records, Release Emotional New Track, ‘A Spoonful Of Cinnamon’

Travie McCoy has announced he has signed with Hopeless Records.

In celebration of the news, he’s shared a new single and video, ‘A Spoonful Of Cinnamon’ where McCoy explains:

“This song sums up my experiences through 2020 and honours people in my life that I had lost.

“There was a moment where I was getting weekly phone calls to tell me people I knew had passed away. I’m bi-polar and being isolated was a strong reason to relapse, but I didn’t, and I made it through. The year gave me a great song to pay tribute to the people I love.”

On the signing to Hopeless, he continues:

“Being myself and completely transparent throughout my entire career hopefully inspires everyone to do exactly the same. Hopefully all the trials and tribulations that I went through helped pave the way for the next generation.”

Check out ‘A Spoonful Of Cinnamon’ below.