Review: The UK's Arliston Release Debut EP 'Hawser'

By: Norman Hittle

UK-based Arliston has just released their debut EP Hawser October 5th. The EP embodies the dirge-like marriage between folk and hip-hop made popular by bands such as X Ambassadors, with nods to greats like Radiohead and The XX.

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The band consists of George Hasbury (keys/guitar/backing vocals), Jordi Bosch (drums/synth/backing vocals) and Jack Ratcliffe (guitar/lead vocals); a group of East Londoners who initially got together in the flickering halogens of the London underground under the name “Hawser” and through a period of eight months of trials and fallout with former bandmates, eventually came out the other side as Arliston.

Although it was meant to be their band’s name, Arliston admits Hawser is an unwittingly fitting title for the EP because of the band’s connection to its roots; the rope which moors them to the past, but also pulls them forward, out of failure and (hopefully) into some degree of success.

Keep up with Arliston from across the pond on their Facebook and check out their new tunes on their official website.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Beyond Bridges Release Debut Reggae Rock Record 'On My Mind'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Colorado’s Beyond Bridges have released their debut EP On My Mind. The reggae rock four-piece, who are based in Pueblo, have made quite a name for themselves in the Colorado reggae scene over the past year. They’ve shared stages with bands like Trevor Hall, The Wailers, HIRIE, and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds, and at their live shows, have developed a loyal following who are referred to as their “coconuts.” Comprised of Tony Garcia (guitar/vocals/bass), Kai Furuto (guitar/vocals/bass), Adrian Hernandez (guitar/vocals/bass), and Kyle Spinuzzi (drums), Beyond Bridges are an act who hold true to spreading positive vibes with their music, and this is evident on their debut EP.

On My Mind starts off with the record’s title track, which captures you with soft reggae sounds before enveloping your ears into harder rock elements. This is the song the band released as their debut single a few weeks back, and it has an uplifting, beachy quality to it with strummy strings and marked, offbeat percussion. It totally belongs on your 2018 summer playlist. “Bad Medicine” follows suit, and has the almost opposite construction- it starts with heavy rock riffs and a thick bass line before opening into more mellow sounds. It also has metal-esque guitars sprinkled throughout that will make you wanna headbang.

Beyond Bridges. 

Beyond Bridges. 

“The Great Beyond” holds down the middle slot on the five-track EP, and is a short, all-instrumental soundscape song. It’s a tune that feels like it might be played first in a live set, used to plant the night’s vibes before pulling in the audience with a real burner. “NSQS” is next, and its chorus is made to sing along with: “when you go/the world moves so slow/and when you go/I feel so alone.” It’s catchy and tells the most straightforward story lyrically on the record.

Furuto, Garcia, Spinuzzi, & Hernandez.

Furuto, Garcia, Spinuzzi, & Hernandez.

On My Mind closes with “Black Widow,” a super groovin’ track which incorporates classic reggae guitar sounds while maintaining a gritty rock edge. You’ll find yourself boppin’ your head along along for the first 1:18, which is purely instrumental. From there, this one jets into a heavy rock song, fit with stretchy string solos and echoing vocals. Beyond Bridges recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced the entire record live with Matt Herrera of Last Leaf Audio & Design.

Said member Adrian Hernandez about the band’s debut release, “We are excited about this release because we are finally getting some music out for our followers to share and enjoy with the ones they love. On My Mind is a raw interpretation of Beyond Bridges since each song is made entirely of live takes. That means whether or not you are listening to us in your car or at a show, we will truly sound like us. We love that transparency because as we move from one album to the next, our followers will hear genuine growth. We hope they can really feel the time and love we promised to put into all of this.”

I feel the love- do you coconuts? Give Beyond Bridges’ On My Mind a listen above and catch the band live at Brues Ale House this Wednesday, March 21st for their release show.

Keep up with Beyond Bridges here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Nate Barnes Dives Deep On New Solo Project Plutinos

By: Julia Talen

Having toured and played with musicians and bands such as Rose Hill Drive, Ryan Bingham, Pete Townshend, and Matisyahu, Nate Barnes has set out on his own with his musical project Plutinos. Listeners can pick up on subtle influences, from the rock’n’roll of Rose Hill Drive to the mellow, singer/songwriter qualities of music by Ryan Bingham in Barnes’ new record, but Plutinos dives deep, proving Nate Barnes as a musician with his own sound and vision. Barnes has written, performed, and recorded all of the music on the EP, and each track incorporates a plethora of Barnes’ musical skills encompassing a wide variety of rock genres, from psychedelic, to indie, lo-fi, classic, and everything in between. Simultaneously, verse content explores the nuances of breaking the mold and becoming yourself after trying to fit into others’ boxes.

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The first track off the self-titled EP titled, “Out of Touch,” draws listeners into the disorientation of feeling “out of touch” with reality and with yourself. The guitar and bass are strong, and symbols thrash as we drop into the tune. Barnes’ voice is hazy and distant, rounding out the harder rock’n’roll instrumentals while also playing on the theme of feeling mixed-up and frustrated, “floating in the wicked sea” of “false hope, broken dreams” and feeling “out of touch.”

The second track, “Dream is Lost,” juxtaposes the first, with a slower more reflective tone. The tune opens up with language that conjures vague but evocative imagery with phrases like “slowly fades away” and “edges blur” denoting dreams, memories, and lost feelings. The instrumentals in this track mirror the sung lines, and the tune feels abstract and lulling.  Echoing and ethereal “ooo’s,” which we got a taste of in the first track, accompany the repetitive refrain in which Barnes croons, “the dream is lost.” His vocals are so echoey they are almost hollow, hovering over the resounding and meandering guitar that takes us through this misty, introspective track, which mourns the loss of a real, true dream, forgotten from getting caught up in a fantastical illusion.

Nathan Barnes.

Nathan Barnes.

Up next is “Trying To Be,” which traverses the relentless pressures of fitting into conventional molds or boxes you think you should be in. The guitar and drums are heavy, again contrasting Barnes’ hazy vocals, which feel slightly more clear in this song. The lyrics are relatable, talking about social media’s influence on people “trying to be” something they’re not, and the tune, quite catchy, makes this one a stand out.

In “Falling Away,” the track opens with a more rustic guitar before Barnes layers his now signature “ooo’s” that haunt and echo with a bass and drums that reverberate. There is a beautiful bridge in this one, almost as if we come to a reckoning in this EP’s story of self-destruction while trying to fit in, where Barnes’ sublime guitar reminds me of something in a Sigur Ros song. Listeners get lost in this tune as it ebbs out and we wake up to the final track.

“Hand in Hand” is a hopeful send off to forge forward from the messiness of life with support so you don’t fade into illusory societal conventions and pressures. The verses sound like Tame Impala- psychedelic and deliciously dreamlike- yet the refrain, which builds, reminds me of the rawness that the Dum Dum Girls cultivate in a variety of their tunes.  A few bridges bring in that interesting, experimental, and ethereal guitar soloing similar to the previous track, highlighting how this holistic album weaves vocal and instrumental themes throughout, keeping it cohesive.

This record “venture[s] into uncharted wates… to dive deep,” as Barnes’ explains, like the mythological creatures named after the trans-Neptunian plutinos, who are associated with an underworld. Barnes’ self-titled EP feels hypnotic, raw, and contemplative. He has taken his experience playing with other bands, elevated it, and created something that is true, authentic, original, and definitely astronomical.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Alternative Punk Rock Group American Blackout Debut 'Yeah So What' EP

By: Jura Daubenspeck

The gifts just keep on coming this holiday season with today’s release of the newest 'Yeah So What' EP by alternative punk rock group American Blackout. Hailing from Fort Collins, CO, members Craig Miller (vocals/guitar), Damian Schoenecke (guitar), Ross Dougherty (bass) and Gus Mircos (drums) have been anticipating this release for almost a year. Needless to say, the band is excited for today’s debut, so we sat down with frontman Craig Miller to get the scoop on American Black’s new music and more. Here’s our chat:

The 'Yeah So What' EP is your third and final release of 2016. How long have you guys been working on this for?

For a while now. We released our first single “Pants on Fire” last January, and just released “Shots Fired” in September, so [the whole EP] has been about one year in the works. We recorded all five tracks at The Spot Studios, recording two at a time, then recording one last song to finish it up. Lately we’ve been getting it all packaged, mastered, and ready for release.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

American Blackout. Photo Credit: Studio Ardesco.

There’s been quite a bit of hype leading up to this release, with little sneak previews, bundles, and free giveaways. How have people reacted so far?

Everyone seems pretty excited about it. We’ve received really good reviews on the singles. We just previewed our title track, “Yeah So What” yesterday, which is our favorite song to play live. It’s upbeat and high energy, which is perfect because we get down at our live shows.

What can fans expect from this new EP? What kinds of sounds and influences are embedded in it? Any themes?

What I like most about it is that it’s a little bit of a deviation from our last EP, Summer’s Gone. It’s a much more matured sound and a lot less “poppy.” The last EP focused a lot more on relationships, whereas Yeah So What is more raw and edgy, especially “Shots Fired.” Our lyrics have matured and our sound is a bit more gritty. As always, we’ve got a clean, crisply produced sound from working at The Spot Studios, but [this new release] just ended up being more energetic rock’n’roll versus pop. We like the direction it’s going in.

Listen to American Blackout's new Yeah So What EP:

Are there any special guest features on this release?

No guest features. One major difference is that this EP was recorded with our old drummer Jason LaBella. We have a new drummer now, Gus Mircos, who will be playing at the EP release show with us. We’re grateful to have worked with Jason, and are excited to have Gus with us now.

What was the creative process behind this release? Any particular reason why you’re aiming for an end of year release VS a new year release?

An end of the year release was just how it ended up happening with the availability and materials. Our last full-length release was in January 2015, so we are due for another one. Also, December is a great time to go out, given the holidays. Regarding our creative process, we’ve been writing a lot, and have been picky about what songs we wanted to record and what songs we wanted to included. We’ve been much more selective, starting with a basic idea, gathering new ideas, and continuing that effort until those ideas materialize into a song.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

AB. Photo Credit: Talia Lezama.

Will there be a tour to accompany this release? Any holiday pit stops you plan to make?

Our EP Release Party is this Saturday, December 17th at Downtown Artery. Then we’ve got a series of shows in late January, including a show at The Moxi Theater. We plan to hit the road in March 2017, working our way through the Southwest, California, and Nevada.

Finally, as an alternative punk band in Colorado, where do you most find your niche?

We’ve been able to make a lot of friends in different genres of music. We love playing with Wiredogs, who will also be playing at our EP Release Party this Friday along with I Am The Owl. We like playing with those guys quite a bit. We met so many different bands through the SpokesBUZZ program and we have played with many other genres, like the Gasoline Lollipops, who are more bluegrass/folk. We like to mix it up and tailor our sets to the other bands’ styles. That’s what’s great about the Colorado music scene: everyone likes to work together, meet new people, and experience new styles of music.

Keep in touch with American Blackout via their Facebook, Instagram, and website. And be sure to grab your tickets to their EP Release Party this Saturday, December 17th!

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.