This week I’ve managed to gain an early listen to Sadcult’s latest song “Sleep”.
But before we get into the song itself, let’s talk a little about who Sadcult are, shall we?
Sadcult are a 3-piece band made up of Sam Newland on guitar and vocals, Pete Critchell on Bass Guitar and Chad White on drums. From dynamic vocals to thick guitar riffs, this band encapsulates the sharp edges of alternative and grunge, not just “reviving” the subculture, but making something of their own from it. For a band made up of just 3 members, they can certainly make some noise. Now onto the song!
The song starts off with a drum machine looping a simple beat whilst the electric guitar plays a riff over the loop. After a couple of seconds, we hear the vocals come in really softly, almost like a loud whisper. It’s the perfect approach considering the song itself seems quite chilled out and mellow, and having a loud screaming vocalist for this section would just feel out of place. However, the mellow dreamy nature of the track doesn’t last for long.
The chorus kicks in and it turns what was a mellow track into a lovely sounding grunge anthem. Again, so many artists think just because their instruments are loud, that the vocals have to be shouted into a microphone to really get the message across. It shows some discipline which I think is something that goes under the radar. Again it’s probably not something that is seen as ‘Rock n Roll’, but if bands didn’t have some form of discipline then we wouldn’t get such a huge influx of great music.
My favourite part is the bridge section of the song. The drums start opening up and pounding and there’s a really awesome but simple guitar solo. Simple is not an insult either. Some of the best guitar players in the world have often agreed on simple is better. You could have a super fast and technical solo, but it could easily be seen as just noise and not really add anything to the track. Where as this solo is just enough to keep the flow going, but also add that little something different to keep the listener engaged. Finally, the track ends how it started. With a simple drum machine beat, mellow guitar and the whisper of the singer.
Great effort Sadcult. I always love being surprised and that’s exactly what you guys did. Simple but effective.
Written by Jack Saunders
I usually do these reviews for artists who are fairly local and are unsigned. But, I thought since it’s a new year, I’ll start expanding my reviews to artists and songs that are a bit bigger than just the South West of England and are from my favourite artists who inspire me. So, today’s review is on a song that has just been released today (01/01/2024) and is called “run away girl” and is by Alice Merton.
Now a bit of background about Alice. Merton is a British-based German-Irish-Canadian singer-songwriter. She achieved mainstream success with her debut single “No Roots” in 2017, and has since released two albums. Her debut album “Mint” was released in 2019, and her latest album “S.I.D.E.S.” was released in 2022. Her music is described as alternative rock & pop rock, however the song we’re talking about today is what I would class as indie pop. Now onto the song!
The song starts with a plucky synth progression, almost similar to “Bad Habits”, with the distant sound of Alice’s vocals repeating “oh-oh”. Then we’re thrown into the first verse which has a really grooving bassline with some great drums and some synth’s swirling around in the background.
“Run away, girl, don't you ever look back. There’s a hole in the sky with your name in the cracks. So run away, kid, watch it all unfold, You gotta cut ‘em loose to find your home.” A really powerful first verse. I can’t help but feel as if Alice is writing about herself in the third person. Alice has admitted before that she’s struggled with identity and a sense of belonging, due to her parents regularly relocating to different countries, and as such, leaving her feel as if she has no concrete home.
Another lyric I really love is ‘The sirens scream down every road. While the signs light up “This way to gold”’. It’s a really clever way of saying she's struggling with the mixed signals that life throws. One element is warning her, don’t come down here, stay away, whilst another element is saying this is the path to your dreams. I think we’ve all experienced something similar at some point in our own lives.
Onto the chorus. I really love it! The great thing about Alice, is all of her chorus’ make you feel something. I basically binged her entire discography on a train back from Penrith last year after seeing her live at a festival. I think she’s the only artist where I've liked all of her work. I’m a massive fan of Ed Sheeran, but there's a few of his songs which I will skip every time, or the song just doesn’t make me feel anything. But I don't feel that with any of Merton’s songs. And especially not this one. Her sound and vocal delivery really reminds me of the indie giants “The Killers”. You can tell that she’s heavily influenced by them, and she’s not afraid to let that show in her work. But it’s still fresh and new. I don’t listen to the song and say to myself she’s trying to make a Killers song. It’s the structure, the instrument arrangements, the way they both let the bass and drums drive the track rather than a guitar. And they both know how to make a really uplifting chorus! “So I cut the shackles and changed my name, and I shed my past like skin on a snake”, it's a really weird phrasing, but weird in a good way. It’s not a common phrasing you hear in modern pop songs. Of course there are thousands of songs about running away from who you used to be and trying to find yourself. But the phrasing of shedding the past like skin on a snake is so different. It’s clearly not a past that Alice looks back on fondly, which is why she describes it in such a brutal and blunt manner.
In terms of the music itself, like The Killers, Alice uses some really cool synth lines to lift the chorus along with the funky bassline and dance drums. The way it lifts gives you this sense of freedom and joy. The shackles of the past have been cut, and now's the time to run free towards this new chapter.
I’m sure as you can tell, I am a big admirer of Alice’s work. It just feels like with every new release, you can hear how she’s developed as a person, and musician. It feels like progression, and it feels like you are also moving forward, and I think that’s a feeling that everyone enjoys. Maybe that's why I love the song so much?
If you’re looking to discover some new music this year, then I cannot recommend this song enough. It’s definitely a genre i’ll be delving into more, both as a listener, and a musician.
It’s not very often that I get to review a dance song. Even more rare that I review the person we’re talking about today who is none other than Mr Antix himself - Frazer Mitchell!
The track is called “We Came To Boogie” and it’s much different than most of the mainstream dance music that we hear in the charts. Rather than relying on catchy lyrics, Frazer lets the beat do all the talking for him. But before we dive into the track a bit deeper, let’s find out a bit more about Frazer.
Frazer Mitchell is a DJ & producer based in Weymouth, Dorset. He’s mainly affiliated with the EDM genre, however he did achieve some mainstream success when he uploaded a cover of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero”, which earned him a #1 on the Amazon Download Charts. Frazer has headlined and performed at many festivals throughout the South; including North Dorset 7s Fest, Yeovil Beer Fest, Home Farm Fest, Party In The Park, and has supported other artists such as Dave Pearce, Sash, Judge Jules & N Trance. He is also the founder & director of Antix Music Network - An ever growing support network for the South West music scene. Now back to the music!
What I love about “We Came To Boogie”, is how it fuses two different genres and sounds, into one. The song starts with your typical dance beat and has a plucky piano riff looping around with some vocals echoing around in the background. After a while, the beat fades out and here is where we hear the second genre come in. And surprisingly, it’s very Latin America influenced, with some bongo’s replacing the dance beat, and a mariachi band’s trumpet playing over the top of the funky bongo beat. You feel like you’re in somewhere like Mexico or Brazil in the heat of a traditional Latin Fiesta celebration. I could very easily imagine the party atmosphere with locals doing the Cha-Cha in the streets, the children hitting a Piñata and “We Came To Boogie” filling the town!
After a few run throughs, the mariachi band is replaced by a really nice deep house beat that takes you from the streets of Mexico, into a vibrant night club, or even a boat party being held in the warm waters of the Gulf. It’s two genres that I feel are the perfect combination. Both sections are all about rhythm, dancing and just having a great time. And that’s exactly what I could imagine people doing when they hear this track!
I really enjoyed this one. It’s energy, it’s vibe, the combination of the two genres, it’s just got that party atmosphere about it. Definitely a track to put on if you’re trying to get in the mood for a night out on the town.
Rizen are back!! I said at the end of my last review that I didn’t think that would be the last I hear from Rizen, and I’m certainly glad I was right. The band is back with another track from their 2023 album “Ex Cinere” and it’s called “Freeway”.
If you missed the last review of Rizen, then allow me to briefly introduce them to you. Rizen are a 80’s rock influenced band made up of the quintet of Adrian, Brian, Chris, Mikey & Josh. We previously reviewed their song “Chicken Little” which I really liked. It made me feel like a kid again listening to Guns N Roses in the back of a car with my dad. But enough about last time, let’s talk about the song that we’re reviewing today which is called “Freeway”.
What I really love about this song is its energy. I love songs that give me a memory or some kind of vision, and in this case, it’s driving along the hot American desert with no one else but you, some friends, an old convertible and this song that makes you want to put your foot down and enjoy the moment. Now I’ve never done that myself, but it’s really not hard to put yourself in that situation. Those are the kind of songs that I really enjoy.
The song itself starts off with a distorted electric guitar playing a riff that to me, reminds me of Matt Willis’ song “crash”. After a few run throughs, we hear the bass introduced along with a kick drum slowly come in, before building up to the main beat. What I like about the buildup is i could easily imagine Rizen gracing the stage to a group of screaming fans, as the lead singer asks the crowd “are you ready?!”. The chorus is also really nice and catchy, even if you don’t know the lyrics, after a few listens you find yourself singing along with the song. “Until the sun goes down, we roam from town to town, out on the freeway”. I really like it, the melody is perfect, it’s catchy, and as I’ve said before, it gives you that image that we see so often in movies. The open road, a car full of friends, and a great song to accompany it, and that song has to be “Freeway”.
I think you can tell how much I enjoyed this song. It was a completely different vibe compared to the previous song we reviewed from Rizen; “Chicken Little”. And I cannot commend Rizen more for keeping things fresh and interesting like they did with “Freeway”.
Another banger, Rizen. Looking forward to what you have lined up next!
Written by Jack Saunders
We have just opened a small shop space within The Emporium, situated on Prince's Street in Yeovil.
A great place to sell our Antix hoodies, mugs, coasters, t shirts, and even teddy bears.
We are also opening it up to other local bands and musicians; if you have merch you would like us to sell in our little shop space in the Emporium, or our online store (coming soon), #GetInvolved and contact one of the team today.
This December, Yeovil based guitarist and guitar teacher Jamie Witt is giving you the chance to win an Aria Pro II electric guitar, and all the essentials.
All you have to do for a chance to win is donate £1 or more to your chosen charity (Jamie suggests School In A Bag, the charity behind Home Farm Fest) and send him a screenshot with your donation.
The deadline is 20th December, so get in quick for your chance to win.
A big thanks to Martin at Yeovil Guitars for helping with the guitar pack.
For more about what Jamie does for the community, check out his Music For Yeovil page, as well as his guitar tuition page.
We’re back again with some more new music!! And this week, we’ve got a new band to talk about. Let me introduce you to Rizen. Rizen are a band who have been around since 2018. They are made up of members Adrian, Brian, Chris, Mikey & Josh. The band are heavily influenced by 80’s rock & roll which is definitely something I can hear in the track we are talking about today called “Chicken Little”.
Now I have to admit, when I saw that I was reviewing a song called “Chicken Little”, I was expecting some kind of comedy song. It brought me back to my childhood to be honest and made me think of the 2005 film, also called Chicken Little. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong, and more happier!
The track starts off with the sound of rain fall and a thunderstorm before what I think is a guitar, begins to play a really nice dreamy progression, similar to the start of Adele’s hit “Set Fire To The Rain”. Just before the minute mark however, the 80’s influence well and truly kicks in full force with a wall of distorted guitars and pounding drums leading us nicely into the chorus.
The vocals open up into a really powerful growl, similar to Axel Rose from Guns N Roses, as the lead singer belts out the chorus for all to hear. I really think the band have done a super job of taking that 80’s influence and incorporating it into their original music. In my opinion, if you heard this track on the radio, you could easily be fooled into thinking that it’s a song deep from the 80’s rock catalogue.
As we reach the two and a half minute mark, we get a really brief but still amazing guitar solo, reminiscent of one that you would hear Slash rip into on a Guns N Roses record. Again, perfectly embodying that 80’s classic rock feel. I personally think 80’s rock is one of the harder genres to replicate, especially with all the modern day technology making everything sound so clean and clear. The gritty nature and sound of the 80’s is something that is tried too often, but just lacks that kick. But Rizen have done it perfectly!
This was my first time reviewing Rizen, and I can definitely say it won’t be my last. I love hearing these new submissions come through, but I especially love it when it’s a song that I can see myself listening to in my own time, and I can safely say that “Chicken Little” has made that list.
Solid submission Rizen, keep rocking out!
Written by Jack Saunders
It’s been a while since we’ve had some new music to review, but we’ve finally got some in the form of Lizzie’s latest single “Tiptoe”.
Since we last reviewed Lizzie, she’s been going from strength to strength, showcasing her talent overseas performing in Canada and Spain just to name a few. And now she’s back with a brand new track!
The song starts with the distant sound of a piano playing a really nice and already catchy chord progression. After a couple of seconds, we hear Lizzie come into the track and start us off with the title of the track “tiptoe, got to be quiet”. It seems to me that “tiptoe” is a Halloween themed song, but what I like is it’s not the usual Halloween song which is all about ghosts and the undead. It still sticks to Lizzie’s roots of pop and catchy hooks.
There’s also a mention of “got to run as fast as you can, don’t let him get to you. Keep running and running, there’s no turning back”. I’m definitely getting a Halloween vibe! But again, it can’t be compared to a song like ‘Thriller’. Its much more lighter, it’s more modern, but has the same catchy hook to it. What I also love about this line is how it could be perceived as two different meanings. We’ve talked about the Halloween theme, so it could be Lizzie warning you to run away from a ghost or ghoul. However, it also feels like Lizzie is having some sort of internal dialogue, telling herself not to look back and keep moving forward, away from this person. Almost as if it’s an ex partner, or just someone who she knows isn’t good for her. She’s trying to stick to her guns and leave this person behind for her own good. Really great writing in my opinion.
Another great song in the discography of Lizzie, who continues to go from strength to strength, and is firmly knocking on the door of the big time.
Nice work Lizzie, keep up the good work!
Written by Jack Saunders
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network