Last Lungs

Lancashire post-rock lovelies Last Lungs agreed to sit around a table for a little chat about their tour, plans for the future, and an unexpected favourite track for the journey home [clue, it’s at the bottom of this entry ;)]

The interview can be found right here

A little slice of their stuff is right here :

Oh, and for a treat, as played on their van home…

((This interview took place at the New Continental, Preston))

UndeReview – Next Stop Atlanta "Next Stop Atlanta EP"

Next Stop Atlanta

Truth be told, the pop-punk scene didn’t half trip itself down the steepest of hills just as things appeared to be breaking out into very interesting times. Maybe the need for mainstream foot-tapping melodies over-balanced the logistics necessary in ‘keeping it real’, the fashion equivalent of bringing two north-facing magnets together?

Next Stop Atlanta
take to the stage with this history – albeit not personal – putting its hand on their shoulders. For the best part of their EP is reimagining the past, remembering how everything was and could have been. This is the photo album flick-through which doesn’t involve awkwardly skimming past elderly relatives in bikinis or parental units in states of undress. Smiles and relief all round, not least in the familiar surroundings of breakfree choruses lifted above melodic free-for-alls and snappy surf guitars.

To British ears this could seem positively garish, so thankfully the lyrical content has melancholy and regret whisked into the generally over-familiar streetsmart attitude. Unlike the kind of throwaway “songs with no meaning” referenced in the brilliantly catchy “I’ll Catch Fire”, there are substantial, heartfelt moments throughout, strides away from the playground lowlights from recent years.

Opener and typesetting nightmare “fourteennineeightseven” has more bounce than Freejumpers let loose in a multi-storey, all layers of vocal and runaway drums and the much maligned stop/start ending. In short, these are top songs more “Deathcar” than “Ticket Out of Loserville”.

Lesser publications would make issues aplenty with NSA’s female singer, who speaks assuredly from the heart without vocal trickery or (and here’s the thing) an accent from the Emo Stageschool. When asked to soothe worried souls (“When Perfection is Key”) or put the record straight (“You, Me and the Dance Flaw”), her authenticity far outshines any audacity.

That could well be the best summary for the EP; polished production, and tasty little guitar breaks which are superb and conventional in almost equal measure. There is no threat of history sticking out its leg anytime soon, there’s clearly a lot of Next Stop Atlanta to go round only hinted at here. A fine EP and much promised, even if the ambition of the band name may be a while off yet…

Next Stop Atlanta on MySpace, Twitter and Facebook

Make Me King – "The Whisper is the Hint"

Make Me King are a five-piece pop-punk types from Lancashire, whose take on the ubiquitous genre is particularly sharp. Long since a style given up for dead – oh lovely, another hand-clapped chorus – this fresh take should pique the most cynical of interests. It’s the theory of sour milk – everyone loves milk, tea drinkers or not, it’s the threat of the contents being sour which leads us all to give the bottle its surreptitious sniff, however involuntary. These lads are not the bad stuff, they’re fresh from the fridge refreshing.

And so before I hijack any more Rafa Benitez quotes on milk….

….I’ll start with “If You Can’t Be Good, Don’t Get Caught”, zipping and tip-toeing through an interchange between pointed ska and pop-punk, and throughout a variety much more surprising and mature than you’d first expect. The interplay and production quirks sprinkle through “Every Truth or Dare” (with its hint of blues in the vocal melody) and the stripped “Wake The World”.

There is particularly dangerous territory in these parts, because all groups have to do is time-signature-switch once too often and they’re trapped in Lost Prophets Hell; but follow the melody fairies down the lane with too many skips in the step and there’s the Fightstar comparisons hanging off every branch like torn sheep’s wool. Fair play to Make Me King for knowing how much of each influence to hat-tip whilst strutting along with their own confidence. It’s unfortunate that the title track is the weakest here, though with so many reasons to be cheerful it’s likely whispers will become shouts before long.

Make Me King’s “The Whisper is the Hint” is available on Riot Pop Records