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Artist Spotlight: cleopatrick

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New rife rock middle-ages mafia.

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Fresh, bold and stark-raving mad, cleopatrick are a worthy accompaniment to murder.

Not a murder in the ordinary sense of the word, no. The murder of a genre we once knew as rock – a genre which had become far too complacent with the drip-tap of pop trickling through its cracks. The Ontario best-buddies hard rock duo are becoming the known from the unknown with their blistering slap-in-the-face boom that makes Royal Blood‘s new music work of Limbo sound like a pansy. Although dressed as the fashionable duo – similar to those as Royal Blood and the White Stripes – their music has a beautiful sense of youth, hostility and freshness that we’ve not really heard before.

Hoping to collate their work into a debut album this year – rather than the feral singles we’ve received so far – they’ve forewarned us not only to watch this space, but to start chipping away their mark within the rock halls of fame too, as they’ll soon be entering them.

Anarchic favourite hometown, explosive GOOD GRIEF, shrill-thriller of youth and doom-and-gloomy sanjake, top the bill of the band’s extent to writing future-cult classics – and we can only imagine there’s room for more.

Rock duo have known each other since they were 4.

More importantly, they have shown us they can’t just create quick-biters worthy of four minutes or so – but can create the dirty lingering types, too. Divining inspiration from the likes of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, belly button blues is an instant favourite that tops the lot for me.

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My friends are wasted
And I don’t even care
I’m in my basement
Texting girls that aren’t even real
My youth is gone and I know it

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youth, cleopatrick

After hearing their most recent, THE DRAKE, which was released in early March this year, we can certainly expect their debut in the coming months – especially after picking up so much traction after their first EP via “14” in 2016.

Pulled straight from the archives of an old hometown gig they played, THE DRAKE‘s official video perfectly showcases the rampant display of their telling of a high-school bully story.

It’s all quiet in the cleopatrick camp for now … but we’ll hear the notorious thumps de thumps soon I’m sure.

Keep up to date with Cleopatrick HERE

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Ben Howard – ‘Collections from the Whiteout’ Album Review

Striking the distance between the strange and the curious, Collections from the Whiteout draws everlasting collaborations – but holds its own with Howard still prevalent as the inventive singer-songwriter.

If I told you that Aaron Dessner of The National had a major hand in producing and spinning his thoughts into Howard’s fourth successive album, you’d instantly understand it’s thought-process. A simply inventive piece of studio production, it merely avoids the dooming darkness that we saw on predecessors Noonday Dream and I Forget Where We Were, and brings a new intriguing oddity to his writing work.

Despite lacking its consistent catchy flings that we saw in amicable favourites Keep Your Head Up and Only Love, from his loveable debut, Every Kingdom back in 2011 – the elusive narratives, rustic thrills and heart-ache guitar pangs from Dessner make it an album worth writing about.

As he careens from his original path of the folk/vocal combo and instead diving into a distortion of electronics, it just tells us more about what kind of singer-songwriter Ben Howard is. Compelling, inventive and simply unafraid to embrace change.

With single stand-outs few and far between – as it’s best as a collectiveSorry Kid, Crowhurst’s Meme and Finders Keepers are some of my favourites from the 14-track album. With themes less thought-provoking but rather taken straight from snapshots of news articles, the album is rife with collaborations and inspiration from seven co-collaborators who all have a hand-in making Howard’s next masterpiece.

While it may veer away from Howard’s original sound and sometimes veer off too much, it still manages to keep itself grounded allowing Ben to still flourish in moments of bitter-sweet beauty. While it’s a saddening moment to not hear Howard again flex his own acoustic compassion and folky vibes from Every Kingdom, just the musical journey alone he is undertaking is good enough for me.

Other album reviews for this month:

Kings of Leon’s When You See Yourself

Aloe Blacc’s All Love Everything

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Kings of Leon – ‘When You See Yourself’ Album Review

Tennessee-bred quartet draw up eighth studio album that replaces swagger for subtlety that strengthens over time.

Reprising their roles as emphatic titans in the rock music industry, they have returned from their 2016 album, WALLS with their eighth release, When You See Yourself in early March of 2021. With less temper and angst to it than most other records compared to Find Me and Waste a Moment on their previous, it is ultimately fashioned with progressive playing, delicate sentiment and glossy productive finish.

Unfortunately – while this record is a blissful listen – it carries itself with not a lot of substance. Whilst dirty guitar hooks are present in pre-single, The Bandit and halfway-down-the-list Stormy Weather, the album soon becomes lost in itself and an intermingling of songs folding into one another seems to happen. For a while, while listening to this album, I did seem to forget where I was, who I was listening to and would often take a step back and play the record again. Nevertheless, it is still a confident and mature direction from the rock quartet that no doubt stamps their mark on their triumphs they have had throughout the years they’ve been active.

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For Kings of Leon, their legacy drives a hard bargain and majorly wins over your opinion for such a delicate studio album.

While it does seem to lose itself on rare occasions, it is a blissful listen with its glossy textures, playful guitar song-writing and exact ambiguity that was present on some of their first records like Because of the Times and Come Around Sundown.

Favourites from the 11-track selection include When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away, A Wave and Golden Restless Age.

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TYPHOONS: The Evolution of Royal Blood

Mike Kerr [left – bass/lyrics]
Ben Thatcher [right – drums]

After Royal Blood recently announcing the coming of their third studio album … TYPHOONS … set to be released on the 30th of April, the Brighton duo have been just as straight-talking with their music since 2013 …

but how has their music evolved over time?

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“We’ve feel like we’ve made our favourite album.”

– Mike Kerr, BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds, in talks about the third album, 2021

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The Origins: Out of the Black (2013)

I remember the moment when Out of the Black came on the radio in 2013 from this band no-one had really heard of before. And, I was blown away.

It was a unique moment. A hard-hitting, and high-spirited youthful duo with a unique sound to their name. A tailored technique to make a bass play like that of an electronic guitar – like, what? It was absurdly cool to think of such a thing, and for it to work, too. They burst onto the scene in glorious fashion due to their unique playing and compelling songwriting first airing on local stations within Brighton, then before they knew it, they were playing on Radio 1.

They then kept on coming. From Out of the Black, we were lurched into a frenzy with Figure It Out in 2014, and then we completely lost it when we were told an album was going to be released in the same year.

In anticipation for their debut album, Royal Blood, the single, “Figure it Out” managed to go platinum with a total of 600,000 sales of the song itself.

Then, of course – it came.

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The Debut: Royal Blood (2014)

The debut self-titled album hit the shelves in spectacular fashion, trailblazing the way for creative and unique ways to share the love of heavy, hard-hitting rock to the fans – and was an instant success. Not only did it Chart Number 1 here in the UK, but was also known to be the fastest-selling UK rock debut album for 3 years. landing them an impressive scoring of achieving platinum twice.

Apart from the pre-released singles of course, their notably-shattering singles “Come on Over“, “Little Monster” (for that drum part) and “Loose Change” from the album brought the whole thing round to a stupendous close for me. But then again, you can’t really pick this album apart song-by-song, because the whole thing is quality.

In just less than a year of the album releasing, the band were playing headline shows to packed anthem crowds and sharing stages with Foo Fighters and Iggy Pop in 2015. Which I went to, of course! What a throwback.

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The Sequel: How Did We Get So Dark? (2017)

Just as raw and aggressive, their second album soon followed after in 2017, ‘How Did we Get So Dark?‘ which painted a more dismal mood to their music than the last.

With honourable mentions including, Lights Out and I Only Lie When I Love You, their second album not only solidified their desire and willingness to pump out more ecstatic songs but also allowed them to reach new boundaries musically than what they ever did with the debut.

Along with the improve rate of the production, their confidence as lyricists and song-writers improved massively, as the depth of their songs made us delve deeper into the plethora of how talented these pair were. With Don’t Tell and Sleep straying off from the beaten path, their exploration widened and gave us a more mature album, if you like. Although not as commercially successful as the first, they had evolved as commercial music artists themselves.

Will we it be the same in their third album?

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Into the Third: TYPHOONS (2021)

Since 2017, it’s safe to say the pair has been keeping themselves on the down low and out of the spotlight. That was until they announced in late September 2020 of their lead single, Trouble’s Coming, that was set to be placed on an album in the near future sometime soon.

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“I think we set the bar so high for this one … we wanted to really make something that we felt that was better than anything we’d ever made and yet, simultaneously felt fresh.

We didn’t want to come back with an album that could’ve been a mix of our last records – there’s something that just felt gross about that and it wouldn’t of been creatively satisfying.”

Mike Kerr, BBC Radio 1 Future Sounds, 22/01

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With the sheer bass and velocity along on the song to bring out the stanky face, it was a worthy choice to announce the Brighton boys they’re back.

When you compare this single to their debut, it shows how much they were initially holding back from their debut. This simply just implores that these two have become more well-rounded musicians surmounting themselves for an equally-impressive third album, and I can’t wait for it.

And now? Now, they’ve finally announced their third album, TYPHOONS, set for release on the April 30th. On the 21st of this month, they also announced the next self-titled single, Typhoons – which is just as hard-hitting and resounding as Trouble’s Coming.

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“It felt more confident as well [talking about the making of Typhoons], like we knew the world we were in and the parameters of it”

Mike Kerr, BBC Radio 1 Future Sounds, 22/01

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With these two singles you can see their confidence, maturity and sheer attitude has shifted into creating something better than they have ever created before.

Regardless what I say about their music evolving though, whether it will take the title from the debut is another story. It’s certainly going to be difficult to top that one.