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Back to the 2000s: Avril Lavigne’s “Bite Me”

For this week’s singles review, it seems we are discussing the fashionable return of Avril Lavigne. In a bid to stay majorly relevant among the revitalised punk scene that is happening right now, Sk8er Boi punk-queen has since signed with Travis Barker’s DTA Records, and released snap-and-heel single of “Bite Me” in quick succession.

Since becoming more than acquainted with rap-punk protege Mod Sun, Lavigne has since eclipsed her days of bittersweet melodies – which comes with growing up – and entered the territory of angsty pop-punk yet again because it’s come full circle and returned in emphatic fashion.

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Nothing says the revitalisation of a genre than rekindling one of the old flames that was at the forefront of it all at the start of the 2000s. Certainly, the combination of Lavigne and Barker is a worthy team to bring it all back. Nostalgia for the ages.

Anyone up for sticking on MTV again?

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The Power of Cover: Are Tribute Bands Overrated?

Why do we go to live music tribute shows? We do we fork out – almost the same monetary equivalent of that as an original act – our hard-earned money to sit and listen to a mildly generic and a poorly modified version of a band we actually like?

If we loved that band so much, we would go above and beyond to obtain gig tickets for that actual band, right? Of course, there’s complications that arise with this one. Many bands don’t exist anymore as collectives and so tribute acts are the closest thing to seeing the real thing. Of course, I get that whole-heartedly.

Now, this may be coming from a wealth of experience seeing shoddy remakes of tribute bands, but I have never seen a tribute act that has blown me away and I’ve sat there thinking to myself, “damn, that’s impressive.” Which to me, is a real shame. Either weak vocalisation or misshapen band set-up leading to a wall of noise are often the most common factors to tribute travesty.

But the underlying problem with that is, do we need to? This snobby expectation we get from ourselves is perhaps expecting it will be in any way like the real thing. Hence why we’re all left disappointed well in actuality – we should really just enjoy the celebration of a band that everyone loves in that room. Even if it’s just for a few hours. Above all, it’s a truly fantastic sight to see where both musician and fan are the same person – and there’s no stage between them. Then, it becomes just an extravagant karaoke sing-along to those songs we have all loved and enjoyed over the years.

Also, there’s been moments where tribute bands have been operating far too close to the truth. There has been many occasions where the original artist or band have actively sued the tribute band for copying their get-up so much that fans were purchasing tickets for the tribute act – under the presumption that it was tickets for the original songwriter. Obviously, this lies a bit down to the management teams and of course, the dense consumer fan-base that aren’t doing their research properly, but it makes me wonder if the original musicians and artists themselves appreciate tribute acts and what they’re about, or if they think they’re money-sucking leeches into someone else’s creativity too. Many artists have publicly honoured their tribute counterparts for the work they do and inspire, while others .. well others sue.

Of course however, the names that tribute acts associated themselves with are simply fabulous. The likes of Antarctic Monkeys, Lez Zeppelin and Blobbie Williams spring to mind on this subject. We also have the likes of Fell Out Boy and The Black Charade who we saw last night at the 02 Academy Leicester. There’s a real sense of creativity, passion and admiration for some of the greatest tribute acts in the world. It’s completely shoddy and lazy to earn a reputation and money off of someone else’s musicianship, in my humble opinion, but it’s fun in every sense of the word, above all else, right?

Either way, let me know your thoughts on cover bands, tribute acts or anything “COPYCATS” below and we can have a good old natter (or argument if we butt heads…)

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Nothing But Thieves – “Moral Panic” Album Review

Amidst a worldwide pandemic, indie-alternative favourites Nothing But Thieves screech out what we’ve been asking ourselves throughout this turmoil of tyranny with …

MORAL PANIC.

Mixing the collusive works of elusive alternative rock with the freeing styles of pop, Nothing But Thieves have risen to crucial acclaim from such singles like Amsterdam and Sorry which were both drawn from their eponymous album, Broken Machine in 2017.

Now, returning where we have often needed new thoughts of power more now than ever, the works of Moral Panic is a crucial element of social prowess reflecting thoughts, feelings and strong emotions on a bereft society. Where moments of morality are questioned with Can You Afford to be an Individual? and Is Everybody Going Crazy? – there are also moments of some sort of hope tucked away with Impossible and Real Love Song.

Although not as technically challenging or as emphatic as the fan-favourite of Broken Machine, Moral Panic is certainly a lockdown album spurred on in the moment with an expulsion of energy, belief, anger all brought to life.

With their eclectic collection now summarised in a complete collection – with works incorporated from their second EP from the same project, Moral Panic II – it is a worthy listen whatever the time of day you find yourself at.

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Grandson’s Until I Come Home: Singles Review

Reclaiming the title of incorporating elements of all kinds of eclectic genres, grandson returns in spectacular fashion with a collaborative side-hustle with Until I Come Home. This comes after his debut album of Death Of An Optimist in 2020. The darkened urgency of Dirty and Identity took the Canadian/American alternative artist, Jordan Benjamin, to new heights.

Another artist to blossom further from the trappings of COVID lockdown, grandson has harnessed a young and keen following ever since his glorified work of blood//water that has now amassed almost over 400 million streaming listens. With his next chapter featuring the addition of Two Feet, will we see more exciting charting artists to come? Worth a listen.

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MUSIC UNITES: Support the Buskers This Christmas

Hey folks. Whether you were immersed in the magnificence of Netflix’s special production of Tick, Tick … Boom! or merely enjoyed the presence of Adele’s sultry voice again in your ears, I do hope you had a pleasant – and somewhat relaxing – weekend.

This Sunday, I thought I would jump on here for a brief moment to give a shout-out to those buskers making walks through town that bit more beautiful this Christmas. Whether it be a beautiful rendition of Silent Night on a violin, a holistic choir collective or simply the indie favourites of Britpop bought to life once again, I wish for you to stop and bask in the music right there in that moment. Far too many of us seem frustratingly busy to stop for a mere 30 seconds, listen and move on. Of course, there’s always the bulk of loose change in your pockets, too … Whatever you think of those buskers, they are a key component in the bustling life of towns, cities and villages – and have been for years. Especially at a time of giving and appreciating those to us, send some love over to one of those buskers you see everyday on your way home from work. Plus, have you ever tried to strum nylon strings, or attempted to sing acappella in the freezing cold? No me neither, but I wouldn’t want to try it.

Do what you can for this Winters’ season, folks. For the love of music, have a crackin’ Christmas.