Single Review – Royal Blood – I Only Lie When I Love You

A modern blues track with an accompanying video that sees the camera sweep between legs, before rolling around a drum kit – enhancing the singles crunchy percussive punch. No we’re not stepping back to 2003 but embracing all things rock duo with the hypnotically addictive new single from Brighton’s Royal Blood. Yes, there’s more than a little nod to iconic The White Stripes within latest single ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’ and not only within the video, directed by Pascal Teixeira, but some nasal-toned exclamations and a lethal focus on intensifying the simplistic power, and grit, of Mike Kerr’s distorted riffs and Ben Thatcher’s relentless percussion. The third single released ahead of second album ‘How Did We Get So Dark’,June 16 via Warner Bros, which was recorded in Brussels with producer Joylon Thomas and London with co-producer Tom Dalgety, as well as the bands UK tour, set to begin this August, where they’ll be joined by At The Drive In and Black Honey, ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’ is sure to get adrenaline pumping in anticipation.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – The Amazons – Raindrops

The Amazons have had quite the year, finding equal success in the hearty Junk Food Forever and the rampaging Little Something. New single Raindrops doesn’t reach the ferocity of the latter, but is also doesn’t match the contemplative lyrics of the former, finding footing in aggressive percussion and undulating riffs to pave way for Matt Thomson’s surging vocals. At the same time, it doesn’t have the same punchy power as either; it’s not as compellingly different, and though formidable Thomson’s voice beckons you to listen, it’s easy just to turn to something else. The tracks greatest asset comes within the final minute, in the thrashing instrumentalism, and the concluding roar of vocals. What comes before doesn’t have the same enticing fierceness, and may well be a mediocre filling track on the debut, released earlier this month.

Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Slowdive – Star Roving 

Reading’s finest Shoegazers are back with their first new song in over two decades with ‘Star Roving’. Now signed on to Dead Oceans, vocalalist and guitarist Rachel Goswell confirmed that an album was in the works and this single is the first product of it. Stylistically, it’s their sound and it still rings out with an energy that dozens of young Shoegaze groups fail to pick up on. Shoegaze is a hazy and washed out style, but who told this generation that it was slow and indistinguishable from its constituent parts? This song has a driving rhythm which only highlights the quality of the delivery. Certainly nothing to set the world alight, but a pleasant blast from the past. 

Owen Riddle 

Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect Review 


Sundara Karma, an indie band based in Reading, just came out on the 6th of January with their debut album “Youth is only ever fun in retrospect”.

Sundara Karma is composed of four young members. Oscar Lulu, vocals and guitar, Haydn Evans on the drums, Ally Baty, guitar, and Dom Cordell plays the bass. Together they are a refreshing mix whose sound remembers Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, The Wombat and Fleet Foxes.

Trough the 12 songs of the album is a kind of post-punk, beat-led, version of arcade fire. The singer, Oscar Lulu, sounds like Win Butler from Arcade Fire but with a strong falsetto. They have a characteristic big polyphonic sound, built on big guitars, big drums and arpeggiated guitars. The singer has a mesmerizing voice which makes you totally sink in into this album.

 

‘Loveblood’, personal favourite to play of Oscar and Haydn, is upbeat with a catchy refrain which makes you want to move to the strong, rhythmic drums and guitar combination.

Sundara Karma slow down a bit in their track ‘The Night’ which sounds a bit darker than the rest. It starts with a nearly pulsating sound which prepares you for a short drum session and then the whole song is characterised by a very present steady but subtle presence of the bass played by Cordell.

The song ‘Vivienne’ starts in a very interesting with a combination of only drums and guitar way and feels a bit of a power ballade with a strong chorus about a nearly toxic relationship with a disengaged girl and the need to feel alive.

‘Happy Family’ starts with a guitar melody which will be in the background troughout the whole track. Lulus’ voice starts out melancholic but the song, and voice, cheer up as soon as the bass and bold drums set in.

The track ‘Be Nobody’ has a steady, not too fast rhythm with a lot of repetition in melody and text which makes it almost hypnotising. This song has some Fleeting Foxes elements to it without loosing the influence from Arcade Fire.

‘A young understanding’ is a bit more rocky than the others, more powerful. It starts out with ‘Hold on tight, you’ve got a way to go’. It could be an anthem for who has changes ahead, which is typical for young people. The song slows down for a strophe in the second half where the words are stressed, nearly dragged out.

‘Flames’ has a refreshing sound, good melody and intriguing lyrics. People listened to it nearly 3,000,000 times on Spotify.
All tracks lyrics are open for interpretation and the meaning varies depending on who tries to explain the meaning. This band has the potential to fill up stadiums, no wonder their upcoming gigs are mostly sold out!

They have great potential but they still need to find that little something that makes them stand out from the crowd and they should elaborate their lyrics more. Some might argue, that some songs are a bit too similar to each other but they sure are moving in the right direction. 

Sundara Karma – Youth is only ever fun in retrospect = 7/10 

Lea Fabbrini