Xander & The Keys are an indie-rock band based in Bournemouth, they have been together since late 2013. Since then, they have experienced lots of success as their time together continued and they are now signed to MBM Management.
Today, I will be giving my thoughts on their latest release “The First Marker.” Overall, I think that the record is really solid, the band are very tight which is to be expected giving how long they have been working together, the lyrics and the riffs are extremely catchy and it is clear that each member of the band is very skilled on their instrument.
I can certainly see why MBM have chosen to work with Xander & The Keys and I must say that considering how much work the band did whilst they were self-managed, I can only imagine what’s going to happen now that they are under the wing of a fully fledged management company!
The First Maker drew me in instantly from the first note, I was expecting great things and I can safely say that I was not disappointed. However, I do feel that some of the lyrics are too repetitive, this could be down to personal taste but, for me, there is a very thin line between creating catchy songs and just repeating the same line over and over again and calling it a chorus. This is not to say that the songs aren’t brilliant, I just feel that this is something that the band should work on for their next release.
Listen to The First Marker HERE:
Follow Xander & The Keys on social media
From the town of Reading hail, The Final Clause of Tacitus. Likened to a mixture of Rage Against the Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, they play hard aggressive rock intertwined with moments of serenity and a heavy sprinkling of Funk.
In the first 6 Months of gigging they have already started making a name for themselves with their explosive energetic performances, which saw them gaining support slots for such acts as ‘Crazytown’, ‘Electric 6’ and the ‘Kamikaze Test Pilots’, and also securing spots at the Readipop and Willow festival..
So, say no to the everyday norm and remember why music excited you all over again, and let’s get funked up!”
When I asked these guys for a bio, the above is what I received, I would normally re-word it but that bio truly described them and their music so I’ve left it as it was.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve always loved the combination of rock and funk! These guys really pull it off too, it can take a bit of getting used to if you’re not a Red Hot Chilli Peppers fan. However, if you have listened to the Peppers then you’ll notice the heavy influence within The Final Clause of Tacitus straight away.
One thing that immediately grabbed my attention was the skill of the musicians, the riffs they were pulling together were insane! They didn’t overshadow eachother either, everything seemed to fit perfectly within the mix and it made the track even better. I’ve heard so many bands over the last month or so of me doing these reviews and I have to say that by far, these guys are the tightest!
Exceptional groove, exceptional musicianship and just an all round exceptional band.
I certainly see a lot of potential in these guys, and it’s clear that other industry people do too. There is a gap in the industry market for the sound that T.F.C.O.T are creating and I hope that they get as far as possible! I’ll certainly be looking out for these guys and you should too!
You can listen to one of their songs “7 Years” here:
T.F.C.O.T on Social Media
Danny Mortimer is a young singer songwriter from Elgin. He has been playing with local bands for nearly 10 years, he first picked up the guitar not long after finishing high school. Danny has played in bands such as: Exit, Side-effects, Next Question, Fat King George and Christie Row.
Now looking to break out into the industry on his own merit, he has released an E.P. Danny sent me one of the tracks, entitled “Stay With Me”.
One thing that instantly grabbed my attention for this track was the insanely catchy guitar riff, I believe that this riff is what makes the song. The musician’s that have been used on this track are also of very high standard, very tight and not too over-bearing when married up to Danny’s lead parts.
The vocals are okay, but I feel they could’ve been more powerful. This is because of the lyrics within the song (which are great). I just didn’t feel that the lack of power in Danny’s vocals matched up to the power of the lyrics. There was a brilliant guitar solo to round off the track, which I feel was the perfect way to end it.
Overall, Stay With Me is a great track, it has all the elements of a hit. I just feel that it needed a few little bits to be tweaked here and there. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the track because I definitely did and can see Danny coming along leaps and bounds within his career, he is definitely a name to watch out for!
Listen to Stay With Me HERE:
Follow Danny Mortimer on social media:
Jack Clarke is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from SevenOakes in Kent. Despite his young age, he has already made a big impact on the local music scene by performing at various venues in Kent and London. Jack also once held a weekly residency at the Zed Music Cafe in Sevenoakes.
He is currently in the process of working on his debut E.P. which is highly anticipated by many. He has been writing original material, one of these tracks is named “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” This track is one of the most beautiful and relaxing combination of music and lyrics I have ever heard, I can definitely see why Mr. Clarke has received the kudos he has from promoters and music press alike. For such a young lad, he has a certain charm about him that you just can’t help but fall for.
The combination and blend of the instruments that have been used on this record falls nothing short of perfection. Literally everything within in the mix is where is should be, vocals and guitar at the front, with the rest of the band sitting comfortably in the background.
If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t expecting something so well thought out (lyrically and musically) to be produced from someone of 18 years old. It’s music like “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” that restores my faith in the music industry, with each strum of the guitar and utterance of a word, I became more and more entwined within Jack’s genius.
This young man is going to go far, that’s one definitive conclusion I’ve drawn from listening to just a few tracks on his Soundcloud page.
You can take a listen to “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” here:
Useless Cities are an Indie band from London. They started their journey together in one of the most unique ways I’ve ever heard of: by rehearsing in a disused public toilet!
From this, after 12 months of solid work, Useless Cities were making their name and their sound known on the circuit, slowly taking over in the local music scene. Now, they have gone on to receive University and local radio airplay and been praised by various music bloggers. They then went on to record their first E.P. at Gravity Shack Studios which is what got them the success they are experiencing now.
I can see why! If I’m being completely honest, it did take me a while to get used to their sound and the first track I heard didn’t exactly blow me away. However, I decided to keep going down the list of tracks and see if there was anything there that caught my attention. I am definitely glad I did! After searching, I found their track “To Be Ruined”, this one struck me as a winner straight away.
The blend of all the instruments works perfectly, most indie bands have no idea about the concept of levels, so every instrument is fighting against the others which creates a muddy sound. The story is completely different with Useless Cities. To me, it feels like the collective sound is melting through the speakers, I likened it to the sensation you feel when you try melting a piece of chocolate on your tongue. These guys are truly unique and with a new release, music video and mini tour in the works, I know that I’m going to be seeing Useless Cities’ name in lights very soon.
Listen to To Be Ruined here: