Lyrical Poem – Dio

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Holy Diver, Holy Diver. The Last in Line with whom I Speed at Night. Who is Hungry for Heaven and whose Angry Machines seek to be Killing The Dragon.

 

Master of the Moon I ask of thee your Strange Highways, whose home be of Egypt (The Chains Are On).

 

Oh Holy Diver, Holy Diver. Lock Up the Wolves for the Sacred Heart. Stand Up and Shout, for you be the one true King of Rock and Roll. Whom despite your Mystery, We Rock, even though you be The Last in Line and the Rainbow in the Dark to your Rock ‘N’ Roll Children.

 

Hunter of the Heart, All the Fools Sailed Away but we remain to bring Shame on the Night, like the Gypsy who has Evil Eyes, is Invisible and will only Dream Evil. I Could Have Been a Dreamer, but I chose to become one with my Fever Dreams, despite some saying I be Losing My Sanity.

 

Holy Diver, Holy Diver, I await for you to awaken, for I Scream“Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll!”

 

~ Illisuve Man

 

The concept of a lyrical poem is to take an artist and write a poem consisting mostly of their song titles, to either get across what the artist’s views were or create a whole new narrative for their music. Each lyrical poem acts not only as a poem in its own right but also a crash course of the artist in question.

Album Review – "We Slept At Last", Marika Hackman

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I’ve been a fan of Marika Hackman’s English folky sound for some months now, and I’ve been anticipating her debut ‘We Slept At Last’ to be the ultimate dreamy album. It’s somewhat different to what I usually go for, but it’s beautifully crafted and Marika Hackman is probably my favourite artist in this kind of genre.

The album kicks off with ‘Drown’, a track with beautiful guitar melody and ghostly vocals, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon vibe, or if you just need to chill, this album is the one. Poetic lyrics accompany the whole album, such as ‘you can polish me for hours/but I’ll always look best in your head’, sung on the lead track ‘Drown’. The writing of this album is very clever (I felt like I was reading Shakespeare and I am in no way an English Literature buff!).

Animal Fear’ is a track that I’ve been enjoying for quite a while, and it’s one of the most upbeat on the album. I’d describe this track as quirky folk, and although it also has some pretty heavy lyrics, I feel like this track is the most fun that Marika has on the album and the change of tempo is appreciated after tracks ‘Skin’ and ‘Claude’s Girl’. Other tracks such as ‘Monday Afternoon’ build on Hackman’s own harmonies with woodwind instruments and strings, which the album needed as it can feel a little samey at times. It’s a really nice addition to the tracks. Although I’ve categorised Hackman as ‘folk’, ‘We Slept At Last’ is much darker than what you would expect. Track ‘Undone, Undressed’ reflects this – it’s very slow and hard to get into and I’m not 100% sure that I’m a fan of it.

My favourite track on the album is probably ‘Ophelia’. The lyrics are much more prominent and its plodding guitar melody matched with these is really appealing. I find that the track builds more than other tracks on the album. ‘Ophelia’ is a sweet love song and one that I’d recommend to listen to from the album.

‘We Slept At Last’ from Marika Hackman is all-in-all a beautiful album; its dreamy melodies and intense lyrics make the album sound so atmospheric. Though I’d suggest that at points it is slightly ‘samey’, ‘We Slept At Last’ is an album I’d recommend to anyone as its arty nature is so captivating. It was even my Valentine’s present from me to myself. Enjoy!

 

~ Ceri-Ann Hughes

Album Review – "Rock Or Bust", AC/DC

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There’s an argument to make that AC/DC’s approach to songwriting is the most successful in the history of popular music. Every album they’ve recorded draws from a beefed up treble-heavy take on blues rock based on big chords and bigger choruses, and since 1980’s legendary ‘Back in Black’ album they’ve been untouchable at the top of the hard rock mountain. Because even though every record they’d made before it and have made since is transparently cut from the same musical cloth, they’ve all come with a handful of incredible songs it’s impossible for the primal human brain to connect to.

 

‘Rock or Bust’ makes no attempt to differentiate itself from its predecessors and doesn’t suffer a smidgen from that, in fact standing head and shoulders above the other AC/DC albums of the 21st century thanks to its reined-in, filler-free 35-minute runtime. It’s also, despite the lack of chief songwriter and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, a perfect channelling of the band’s immortal strengths – the perfect fusion of melody and hardness, a youthful vigour that the decades of their existence has not diminished, and simple chemistry. No prizes will be won for variety, but there’s enough to maintain the listener’s interest, from the belligerent call and response of “Dogs of War” to a headlong charge on “Baptism by Fire”.

 

Lyrically, the lewdness and single entendres may not be to everybody’s taste particularly delivered by a group of this vintage, but Brian Johnson sounds as energised and ever and somehow gets away with it. The music could never be described as complex, but it shows a mastery of the base elements of songwriting that may never be bettered. ‘Rock or Bust’ may well be the last AC/DC album the world gets, and it’s thus appropriate that it’s as single-minded and uncompromising as anything in their discography. No matter how many imitators continue to spring up in their wake, their like will not be seen again.

 

~ Michael Bird

Album Review – "Smoke + Mirrors", Imagine Dragons

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The difficult second album. It’s one of the great challenges in the career of any band with aspirations to reach the top of the mountain, particularly if they’ve put out a debut as well received as Imagine Dragons’ ‘Night Visions’ was. With singles as immediate and anthemic as “Radioactive” and “Demons” it could only ever have been a resounding success, but inevitably gave the young band a mountain to climb when it came to crafting a follow-up. Not that it seems to have deterred them – ‘Smoke + Mirrors’ is a supremely confident collection of songs that lives up to and surpasses the best of the Imagine Dragons back catalogue.

 

Far more nuanced and unorthodox than many critics have given it credit for, the album spans myriad genres often within the context of single songs. There are times when this means the record feel’s a tad lost, and the folkier elements of admittedly huge-sounding single “I Bet My Life” and deeper cuts “It Comes Back to You” and “Trouble”. But at its peak this is an enthralling experience; on the one extreme there’s the hip-hop-sass of “Gold” and crunching oriental pulse-charger “Friction”, on the other the lovely ballad “Hopeless Opus” and immaculately produced title track. Producer Alex da Kid indeed deserves plaudits for drawing out the best of the group again and again.

 

Set to top the bill at some of the country’s vastest arenas on their upcoming tour, Imagine Dragons have filled their arsenal with songs of the appropriate enormity with this new album. ‘Smoke + Mirrors’ may very clearly be geared towards accessibility, but has enough of an edge and significant textural shading to avoid vanilla banality. In other words, the band could have become just another Coldplay clone and laughed all the way to the bank. Instead, they’ve cemented their own identity and recorded a damn good album to boot, and it’s hard to not respect them for that.

 

~ Michael Bird

Album Review – "Happy People", Peace

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Peace are a band renowned for their wild live performances and hard work, so it’s no surprise that that they’re already onto album #2. ‘Happy People’ is a statement of the band’s influences and their experimentation with new sounds since their 2013 debut ‘In Love’, and I think it’s a really sophisticated album.

The album kicks off with ‘O You’, a track which to me sounds like it reflects on the musical styles of the ‘60s era. The whole album actually gives me a Beatles-y vibe, but this song especially. You can really hear Peace’s influences, more than you could on their previous album and the track’s defining catchy riff makes it a cracking opening track to set the tone of the rest of the album. Track 4 on the album, ‘Perfect Skin’, is one of my favourites as it’s catchy and doesn’t require much attention when you listen to it. When I saw this track at Peace’s album launch in Kingston it was obviously a stand-out crowd-pleaser so I reckon this will be one to watch out for at festivals this summer.

The album’s title track, ‘Happy People’, takes a slightly slower melody with a brilliant bassline and layered guitars. It’s the kind if track that gives you goosebumps when you see it live and really listen to the lyrics. I personally feel like ‘Happy People’ is a beautiful choice for a title track and probably deserves more credit than it gets on this album.

If I’m being completely honest, ‘Someday’, a track nestled in the middle of the album, really doesn’t appeal to me. It’s the slowest song on the album and the start of it somehow reminds me of something that a band such as Green Day would write (really not good in my eyes). To be fair, the chorus of the song is actually not too bad and the track was surprisingly beautiful live. It’s the most acoustic track I’ve ever heard from Peace, but I must say that I don’t see how this track could ever match up to other slower offerings from the band such as the beautiful ‘California Daze’ or ‘Float Forever’.

‘I’m A Girl’ is the heaviest track that Peace have ever put out and it’s bold, brash nature and carefree lyrics really stand out on the album. Whilst it’s tailored for crowds and rowdy mosh pits (I can’t wait to rock out to this one at festivals!), ‘I’m A Girl’ makes the biggest statement on the album for me, in terms of things I’ve never heard from the band before and how they are put together in a track. This track outlines the album’s new sound and hopefully is an omen for things to come.

‘Happy People’ is closed with ‘World Pleasure’ which is a track that I feel is one of Peace’s most defining tracks to date, alongside other older tracks such as ‘Bloodshake’ and ‘Follow Baby’. It’s 6 minutes and 23 seconds of brilliant layered guitars and retro vibes and THAT bassline. The way the bass takes the lead in this track is something I’d love to see more from Peace, and other bands in their music. For me, this is the best track on the album by a mile!

Overall, ‘Happy People’ is a great offering from Peace as it shows changes in the way the band are composing their songs and mixing their styles – it’s in no way samey to their other albums like so many are. Though I have to say that ‘Happy People’, whilst great, still has not lived up to Peace’s first EP, ‘Delicious’, which is one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. Though, of course I will still have ‘Happy People’ on a loop for the foreseeable future. More tracks like ‘World Pleasure’ please, Peace!

~ Ceri-Ann Hughes 

Pick Of The Week – "Let It Happen", Tame Impala

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This week Tame Impala revealed that they are back, so of course I’ve been celebrating this to the soundtrack of their brand new single. ‘Let It Happen’ is 7 minutes and 59 seconds of absolute genius. It’s as synthy as predicted and is filled with as many riffs as you can handle. The lyrics are warbled over the psychedelic vibes of the track, whilst the track also brings a dance-y vibe to it – so even if you’re not big into the psychedelic vibe this track has something to offer. I’m a massive fan of Tame Impala’s albums and I feel that this track incorporates everything a Tame Impala fan would love about the band – it’s absolutely a magnificent work of art. Any song that can keep me interested for 8 minutes deserves to be my pick of the week! After the release of this track, Tame Impala are definitely at the top of my ‘bands to see’ list – I hope you’ll be as hooked on this track as I am!

~ Ceri-Ann Hughes

Pick Of The Week – "All The Sad Young Men", Spector

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Spector have been under the radar for the past couple of years since their debut album ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’, but they’ve burst back onto the scene with their latest single ‘All The Sad Young Men’. I feel like it’s a homage to the ‘80s with excessive synths, and this absolutely complements the band’s style. I can’t get enough of this track and its tongue-in-cheek lyrics such as ‘no, nothing ever really started with a kiss’ which is an ode to The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’. Big synths are my thing at the moment, so this track is one to be played really loud. I can’t wait to see what subsequent tracks will follow – a deserved pick of the week!

~Ceri-Ann Hughes

Check out “All The Sad Young Men” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlfsI4UD4ZE

Album Review – "Everything Is Fine", Hawk Eyes

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It has been three years since Hawk Eyes’ last full length release “Ideas”. However, despite receiving almost universal critical acclaim in the mainstream music press, the album only sold modestly. This eventually left the band without a major label, forcing them to adopt the more DIY approach in their following EP “What Is This”.

 

I have very much enjoyed all of Hawk Eyes’ offerings to this date, so was really looking forward to getting my hands on “Everything is Fine”. On first listen I was not entirely sure of how much I liked it, due to how different it was from their previous releases. Initially the album lacked some of the manic energy from songs like “Hollywood Sweatshop” and “You Deserve a Medal” from “Ideas”. Despite this, upon further listens the album began to grow on me and I found I very much enjoyed the new approach. While being a little tamer than Ideas perhaps, most of the heaviness is still there and the focus seems to have shifted slightly to making the songs more concise and cohesive.

 

The band’s signature guitar sound is back and better than ever in my opinion: their continuing work with producer Andy Hawkins is really paying off, his touch giving the album some of the best guitar sounds I have heard in a long time. This is particularly apparent on tracks “The Trap” and “More Than a Million“. The drums and bass are also clear and well placed in the mix and serve the songs very well thought the album.

 

Vocally the album is not a huge departure from their previous work, which for me is a good thing as I have always enjoyed Paul Astick’s vocal style and the lyrical content found in Hawk Eyes’ back catalogue. They continue exploring themes of disillusionment with modern society, as well as some songs with what I would assume were slightly more personal themes. I would think of it in terms of following similar themes to much of the alternate music of the early 90’s, something that really excites me since I’m a fan of the time period.

Despite my initial reservations I really like “Everything is Fine” and think that I will be listening to it for a long time to come just like I did with “Ideas”. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of alternate rock or metal as the band has such a unique and distinct sound that I think they are well worth giving a try and “Everything is Fine” is a great place to start.

 

~ Robert Appleton

Live Review – Marmozets, Electric Ballroom, 19/02/15

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Every so often a band comes along that makes you question why everybody else settles for musical mediocrity when they could strive for so much more. Marmozets showed promise from the moment they burst on the scene, fresh-faced teenagers spitting venom in every direction. But last-year’s debut full length The Weird and Wonderful raised the bar not just for them, but British rock as a whole, and it’s off the back of that that they’re headlining a rammed Electric Ballroom (one of the finest clubs in London) to a totally partisan crowd.

 

Before the main course comes two starters of very different quality, the first of which is steak. Belgian sludgy-post-metal quartet Steak Number Eight to be precise, who immediately impress with their often-instrumental bludgeon. Frontman Brent Vanneste has an impressive howl on him when he lets rip, but for the most part it’s the thick, ripping groove riffs that course through their music that seem to make a big impression on the already surprisingly full room. There’s an unusual accessibility to them that makes their half hour on stage a resounding success – and frankly any band that end a song called ‘Dickhead’ with “banana!” screamed repeatedly deserves plaudits. They fare far better than the bizarre Thought Forms, whose long-winded droning loops fall largely on deaf ears and provoke little more than polite applause. In comparison to what came before and the thrillingly direct headliners, the lack of energy results in a damp squib of a set.

 

Not that anybody stood a chance coming on before Marmozets. Opening with your best and arguably most popular song is a risky move, but as soon as ‘Move Shake Hide’s opening riff pours out of the speakers, the Ballroom is electrified into action. For the next fifty minutes, a thousand people lose themselves in reckless abandon to a soundtrack of apocalyptic rock ‘n’ roll – and this really is rock ‘n’ roll, as easy to dance to as it is to kickstart a mosh pit, many of which carve open the Ballroom’s floor this evening. From there it’s a thrill ride that takes in everything from dizzying mathcore on ‘Vibetech’ (for which even the breakdown is a sing-along moment for the crowd) to gorgeous atmospheric post-rock yearning in a passionate ‘Back to You’. A symbiotic relationship is established between the band on stage and the audience, each feeding off the energy of the other.

 

It’s easy to forget in this maelstrom of energy how capable and talented the musicians that make up Marmozets are, intricate riffs and unusual guitar parts adding an extra dimension to their white-knuckle punk rock rush. Worth singling out for praise is drummer Josh Macintyre, who has the unenviable job of keeping the perfect chaos together in a coherent rhythm, a job he does seemingly effortlessly. His sister Becca seems somewhat lost for words between songs, perhaps overwhelmed by the crowd’s adulation, but while singing she’s a commanding presence and her ability to flit between beautiful clean singing, a towering wail and of course feral screaming is unparalleled. Highlights come thick and fast – ‘Is It Horrible’ is as deliciously scuzzy live as it is on record, for one. “Hit the Wave’ boasts a chorus so huge it would better fit arenas than this small room, but perhaps best of all is the thousand voice singalong to now-established anthem “Captivate You”.

 

Captivating is the perfect word to describe a brilliant set that concludes with consummate crowd-pleaser ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’ and absolute bedlam across the floor. What Marmozets bring to live music is unique and thrilling, and the quintet deserves far bigger venues to slay next time around. Their songs represent everything good about rock – they are exciting, unpredictable, uncompromising, adrenaline-charged and catchy as hell. ‘Weird and wonderful’ indeed, Marmozets are here to stay.

~ Michael Bird

Check Out Marmozets’ single “Move Shake Hide” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8ZPrdAwg3M

Album Review – "Twenty Three Years", Nessi

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Nessi Tausendschoen is an up-and-coming German artist. Her new EP was created with Canadian guitar player William MacKenzie, which was the first collaboration between the two artists in their respective careers. To add even more to the mix, they teamed up with various guest muscians like Harry Manx and Kevin Breit. The teamwork behind this EP resulted in a fantastic piece of work, described as a ‘minimalistic blend of jazzy, folky, rootsy tunes’. When listening to it for the first time I found all of these qualities and more; a beautifully mellow vibe with an almost dreamlike feeling to the blend of voice and guitar. I have to admit that heartfelt, acoustic music is not usually my cup of tea, but despite the inevitable cliche, ‘Nessi’ contradicts that completely. ‘Twenty Three Years’ is an EP I could listen to repeatedly, particularly when in a chilled-out mood as her vocals have such a calm and soothing feel. On the flip side, the tracks don’t get boring at all as the tempo changes intermittently especially in ‘just a line’ or ‘you’, keeping your attention with more upbeat moments between the gentle parts.

So far in her career, Nessi has been compared to the likes of Ellie Goulding or Paloma Faith but she has also been congratulated on not resorting to the ‘thoughtless lyrics’ or ‘high pitched trilling’ that modern female singers are frequently accused of. Overall the EP has been highly praised, especially for ‘Hush Hush’, her biggest single yet which is included. Personally I’m in complete agreement as it’s my favorite track on the EP: a perfect summary of her feminine yet powerful voice and collaboration of acoustic and upbeat elements.

 

~ Natasha Barrett

128.7 Hours Most Played Songs

 

It’s been a truly fantastic week at Insanity Radio in the past week – we pulled off our 128.7 Hour Marathon broadcast, which raised a whopping £1640.66 for Teenage Cancer Trust and Mary Frances Trust, marked the end of our transmission on 1287AM and brought together the most amazing team of presenters and producers in a truly fantastic feat of physical exhaustion, hysteria and a hint of Insanity. With all this in mind, I thought it might be interesting for everyone to know what our top played songs were during this marathon broadcast and the play count. Most of these should come as no surprise to anyone who was involved or who listened in, but it’s good to know nonetheless! Take a look here:most played 1287

Songs:

Am I Wrong? – Nico & Vinz

Hideaway – Kiesza

Waves (Robin Schulz Radio Edit) – Mr. Probz

Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon

Don’t Stop – 5 Seconds Of Summer

Don’t Look (Feat. Tanya Lacey) – Matrix & Futurebound

Fear & Delight – The Correspondents

Nobody To Love – Sigma

Extraordinary – Clean Bandit

Sinking Suspicion – We The Ghost

A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay

Gecko (Overdrive) – Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill

 

~ Adam

 

128.7 Hours Update

Hi all,

 

just a quick note to say that due to technical difficulties, we’ve had to change the dates around a little for the broadcast and will be starting later today, running from Tuesday 27th May to Sunday the 1st May – apologies if anyone dropped by to say hi!

Please do come and get in touch, tune in and donate – it’s going to be a great experience for all, while raising money for great things!

I’ll see you all starting tomorrow at 9am (or rather, you’ll see me!)

~ Adam

 

links here:

Listen to the broadcast here: http://tunein.com/radio/Insanity-Radio-1032-s8642/

Watch our shenanigans here: http://1287.insanityradio.com/

And donate here: https://mydonate.bt.com/teams/1287hours

^ to donate, click on either my name or Sarah’s name at the bottom right hand of the page, where you’ll be redirected to our separate pages to give money to whichever cause you wish!