Interview :: Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid)

“I can go to the bathroom if I want” – Andrew Neufeld

It’s rare we get this good a weather in the North of England. Well, England in general really. We caught up with Andrew Neufeld, vocalist and former guitarist of Comeback Kid. The Canadian hardcore outfit were taking advantage of the Manchester sunshine before their gig at Academy 3 so, opting to stay outside, we discussed the benefits of smaller shows, collaborating with other artists, a possible reunion for Figure Four (Neufeld’s other band) and asked the ultimate superpower-based question.

Check out the video below. Shot and edited by Dicking Around Productions (which also happens to be us!).

Gig Review :: Rival Schools – Manchester Academy 2 (16/04/11)

© 2011 Natalia Balcerska Photography

“Needless to say, I made sure to get hold of the new album when I got home.”

The back of Academy 2 is somewhere I hadn’t been in a while. It wasn’t nice to be back. I’ve come to realise that it’s not the greatest of venues, but I was going to enjoy myself regardless. The band had just started as we (that’d be me and Ian) wormed our way into the sea of people. It was warm, claustrophobic and, for a short arse like myself, quite hard to see. Still, we were here to see Rival Schools. It was awesome.

This being a co-headline tour with And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead there was a lot of people there seemingly uninterested at what Walter and co had to offer. I can’t say anything AYWKUBTTOTD (it’s even long as an acronym!) are a band I could care less about. Not that they’re bad, I just don’t know their stuff and, much like Rival Schools will have been to many a crowd member, they were the ‘other’ band on the bill – a band we didn’t stick around to see.

Rival Schools’ hour-long set started off great. After opening with ‘Wring It Out’ the guys went straight into two tracks from United By Fate to get us all warmed up. After all, their new album, Pedals has only been out for a moth or so. This wasn’t a bad tactic, as it seemed to make everyone that little bit more receptive to these songs the majority appeared not to have heard previously. Needless to say, I made sure to get hold of the new album when I got home.

The set itself was really tight and the band played really well. Walter owned the stage and really drew me in. The guy really knows how to put on a performance; the whole band does. During a break in the set a someone in the crowd starts shouting towards the stage, asking the band to play a cover. I forget what they said, but it made the guys start playing Bon Jovi’s ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’. An odd, but fun inclusion to the set without a doubt. ‘Used For Glue’, a fan favorite, closed the set and this being a co-headline deal there was no encore.

Rival Schools really put on a great show. I wasn’t doubting that they would, I just didn’t think they’d play with such intensity. The hour they got wasn’t enough. I hope to see them back in the UK sooner rather than later.

Gig Review :: Thursday – Manchester Academy 3 (20/04/11)

© 2011 Jodie Weatherley

“…an abundance of sweat drenched mother fuckers who’d just experienced what could easily be one of the best gigs of the year.”

We (me and Barlow) almost didn’t make it into the gig: being totally broke on the night one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen are playing is never a high point in life. Luckily we have some good friends in high places who finagled us in for free. I would once again be watching the New Jersey kings, Thursday.

We arrived just in time to see the majority of Attack! Vipers! set, which was a relief because the previous times I’d attempted to watch them I’d either been late or had some form of previous engagement. I’ll say this about the Vipers, they were nothing like I expected them to be. Being part of the ‘Southsea punk scene’ I was expecting to be seeing something a bit less…let’s say brutal. But this was by no means a bad thing, after I got over the initial shock of just how hard and heavy they were I found myself drawn to the front of the crowd, or as close to the front as I could get, seeing as, vocalist Joe had decided to do the first half of their slot in the centre of the crowd. This confused a lot of the audience who were unfamiliar with the intimacy of UK underground bands, but pretty soon everyone was digging it. The room wasn’t even close to full capacity, but I imagine Attack! Vipers! captivated the majority of the people watching.

We decided to take a trip to the bar during Circa Survive’s set. I have nothing against the band and I have a lot of respect for Anthony Green and his work in The Sound of Animals Fighting but, unfortunately, the band he was playing in that night were not my cup of tea.

After the bar break it was back to the gig, and as soon as the lights went down I shot the front-right side of the stage in anticipation. Thursday soon appeared on stage and the crowd just lost it. The first three songs were all from new album No Devolución and even though they went down really well, there was a feeling that only the newer, or more hardcore Thursday fans were singing along to every word; the albums release having come only 8 days prior to tonight’s show. As much as I was enjoying the new material I was aching for something off their initial LP’s. With no chance of a Waiting classic sneaking in, I kept my fingers crossed for a good amount from the other two.

“Ten years ago we released an album called Full Collapse, so we thought we’d play the entire record tonight. Is everyone cool with that?”

Everyone wasn’t cool with it, they were fucking ecstatic.

The band blasted through the album, start to finish, with only the odd break to address the crowd or remember which song was next on the album (it had been ten years) with a great intensity which left this participant, who at this point had dumped his bag and glasses and was firmly pressed at the stage front being the filling for a sandwich consisting of a young girl and a sweaty meat head, absolutely drained of all vocals, energy and bodily fluids.

After the start to finish of the record, the band left stage, returning momentarily to end the show with another new song Turnpike Divides, a homage to their home town of New Jersey. The band left and so did the crowd, an abundance of sweat drenched mother fuckers who’d just experienced what could easily be one of the best gigs of the year.

Gig Review :: My Chemical Romance – Nottingham, Trent Fm Arena

If you’re reading for anything but an amazed writer, I would stop reading now. My recent attendance to My Chemical Romance’s ‘world contamination tour’ performance has left me nothing but in awe of an amazing, inspiring band.

The night started with English band Lost Alone who, although they managed to get about half of the audience to chant back their name, didn’t really get many jumping. However they could fare well with a slightly more fickle ‘scene’ audience

The second act to come on was welsh screamo band The Blackout. From the first song, these set a fairly high marker. In contrast to Lost Alone they seemed to have the audience from the word go, despite calling them all “boring bastards”. Never have I seen a support act have the whole standing area of the arena kneel down for half a song.

Then was the turn of My Chemical Romance. Of course with the new album, most theatricality has been stripped down but there was still room for big screens projecting images from the new album, exciting the audience more and more. Predictably the band opened with ‘Na Na Na , Art Is The Weapon’, using the voice of ‘Dr Death Defying’ (as heard on the ‘Danger Days’) and a giant fire curtain dropping to reveal the band. The evening was packed with explosive music from the New Jersey group. MCR managed to maintain a good balance of new and old material, pleasing all fans. The musicianship from Ray Toro, Frank Iero and Mikey Way was outstanding and although they didn’t interact with the audience during the  gig, still conveyed such commitment to the art. High lights included ‘ Welcome To The Black Parade’, ‘ Mama’ and encore track, ‘Bullet proof heart’.

Though the band were of gold standard from the first chord, the most gripping song  for me, was performed by just Gerard Way, a pianist and a song entitled ‘Cancer’ from the third album. It needed no pyro or costume to have the entire audience fixed, just a spotlight and a singer, with such passion for his art. Midway through the song both Way and the piano paused for about two/ three seconds,  at which the whole arena was silent, it must  be one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever witnessed, to see an audience of primarily teenage, screaming fans to be so captured in the music.

Coupled with Gerard’s Way’s humility and the professionalism of the band, the groups cult following left my ears ringing with so much faith in the sheer power of not just live music but music in its entirety.

By Choo Cooper

Album Review :: The Get Up Kids – There Are Rules

The Get up Kids have been extremely influential to many bands in the emo genre. After starting the movement the band distanced themselves from the scene and actually spoke out against the state of the scene they started.

After a few years hiatus, this Kansas City band have come back with their fifth full length studio album. The band has definitely focused on an indie rock sound and stands on its own with an entirely new style.

The lead track, ‘Tithe’ comes in with a great synth line that grabs you right from the start. While, the lead singer, Matt Pryor still sings with his distinctive sound, the whole rest of the album is different. With a quick tempo and unexpected changes in sound throughout, the song is a great lead into a fantastic album.

The lyrics show that the band has matured with the same style of raw emotion they had on previous releases but with a more grown up sound. The band shows that they’re now an adult group and have definitely distanced themselves from many of the bands they inspired. Having been compared to bands like Fall Out Boy, it’s likely best that they’ve avoided that scene.

Avoiding where they came from has shown to be the best thing for this newly mature band. Experimenting in only good ways, the band has grown up much like their original fan base. This is a new great direction that hopefully the band can continue.

Get Yourselves A Free Track From The Get Up Kids

Seeing The Get Up Kids play at The Dog and Partridge pub in Bolton was one of the best parts of last year. The new stuff they played that night was fantastic and I’m eagerly anticipating the new record. It’s only a few days away now, but you can donwload the track ‘Pararelevant’ right now.

The Get Up Kids’ new album There Are Rules is released on January 28th and you can expect to see a review here very soon.

Click here to get your free track.

EP Review :: Well Wisher

If you never thought a “Happy-go lucky” emo record would ever exist. Well it does. This is it.

Well Wisher made their Moon and Back debut in “Going Underground” and now they are back with their long awaited E.P. Four slices of dulcet post-hardcore, with heartfelt lyrics and corny song names. Truly a deadly combination.

This release doesn’t wait around, before the first second elapses on opener ‘Fill Me, Filmy’ the listener is already drawn into the tornado that is Well Wisher. Though probably not intentional, there are a lot of catchy line within this song. Vocal lines like, “I dragged the ocean, under seven leagues of shit,” will surely have a bunch of nerdy comic book reading virgins damaging their vocal chords at future Well Wisher shows.

The intensity decreases momentarily for the most part of second track ‘Pegwarmers’ (what is with these song names?) This track is more reminiscent of early 90’s “emo” which the band clearly draw from heavily for inspiration. The musicality of the band can not be shunned, the guitar riffs are intricate and draw the listener into the darker depths of the sound. As much fun as their is within the band and their music, it is clear they are not just “fucking about,” there is more talent in the art these five guys make then in any other band I have seen in the past few years.

‘Tops Off’ would probably be the single if there was one released. It is the most accessible and ‘poppy track’ on the record, but this is by no means a low point on this four track E.P. Quite the contrary. With a heavy feel of the band Cursive, the third instalment will definitely be a crowd favourite if it is not already. A great sing along track that would easily have been at the forefront of a music scene now unfortunately pushed further underground.

The E.P ends with ‘White Krunk’, a great finale which twists, turns and tickles the cochlea of any who listen. It builds into a mass insanity of beautiful noise and is the perfect end to a bloody good E.P. I was afraid the closing words of the review would be something along the lines of, “it doesn’t quite catch the atmosphere of their live shows,” how wrong I was.

Spot On.

Be sure to check out Well Wisher on MySpace. You can download this EP from their BandCamp.

Going Underground :: Well Wisher

This weeks musical cavaliers are, Manchester-based, Well Wisher.

I first heard of the band Well Wisher, working with vocalist Michael Cahill who, in his eternal drunken wisdom, once imparted on me a piece of advice I will take to the grave:

“People need to realise to early 90’s emo music was the best kind of music ever and just start listening to it again.”

It was something along those lines, anyway. This band is exactly that; ‘Emo’ music at it’s best. Reminiscent of sounds before the My Chemical Romancers, before Jessie Lacey and before TBS lost John Nolan and became audio diarrhea.

Well Wisher’s greatest strength isn’t on record, (not that the recorded stuff isn’t wicked!) but during their live shows. They have such an incredible dynamic, you’d think watching Black Flag was a laid back gig. There is humour, great audience interaction and such raw energy in every members enthusiasm for the music they play, not to mention some D.I.Y stunts throughout the set.

Luckily, and the reason this has come out a little earlier than planned, WW are playing at the Oxford this Thursday 29/07/2010 along with half a dozen other awesome bands. No words I write could describe just how cool it is to watch this band play, you can only truly believe it first hand. With such great live sets and an upcoming E.P (which the band aim to have out by late August, if any band was gonna bring back a music scene that truly deserves reviving, Well Wisher are your men.

I give them 5/5 Special Brews, with bonus points for being so damn old school.

Details of Thursdays gig can be found via this link:!/event.php?eid=126357054069516&index=1

You can listen to Well Wisher via their Myspace which can be found at: