No life stories. No pointless babbles. No Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or One Direction. Just pure indie, rock, alt and metal.

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW!

abiheartsmusic has officially been closed! However, pop on over to my new blog at http://alternativemusicpress.tumblr.com.

I’m going for a much more professional feel with this blog so it should be a good change for everyone. I am also taking other writers on board on a voluntary basis so drop me a message through the contact tab on my new blog if you’re interested in music and writing.

It’s been a great journey but it’s time to move onwards and upwards and I hope you all follow me on this transition to a new page.

Abi xx

abiheartsmusic is moving!

So…it’s been a bit of a rocky road for abiheartsmusic. I moved from an old blog a while back and ever since it has been a serious struggle to build up my readership. Part of this is probably down to the fact that this blog isn’t too professional.

1) It’s on Tumblr (that should say it all).

2) I’m the only writer.

3) The title isn’t all that catchy.

4) It’s never updated.

This is all the more reason for a time of change. I am currently in the process of setting up a new blog and will make sure I link all my old readers to it when it’s up and running. I will be looking for co-writers so if you’re interested, drop me an email at abigailsuter@hotmail.com.

Love you guys :) <3

Festival Review - Leeds Festival - August Bank Holiday 2012

Although the Leeds crowd spent the weekend wet, muddy, tired and Green Day-less, the northeners still managed to make it a bank holiday weekend to remember. Fuelled by large quantities of alcohol, possibly some illegal substances and most of all the music, the festival-goers brought Leeds another year of success despite the ever-increasing ticket prices.

After a night of new and upcoming talent on the BBC Introducing stage, the main stage opened on Friday with Leeds’ own alt-rockers, Pulled Apart By Horses. Accompanied by fans rewinding their mental age to about six and diving into puddles, the day on the main stage continued with the likes of Bullet For My Valentine. Their heavy riffs and metal attributes were contrasted by the alternative and indie anthems of Kaiser Chiefs and The Black Keys. Meanwhile at the NME/Radio 1 stage, the tent was being filled with psychedelic garage music brought to us by The Horrors. If you weren’t under the influence by now, you damn well felt like it thanks to their trippy experimental sounds and rather odd stage presence. Ending the Friday on a high with a massive two and a half hour set, the mighty Foo Fighters headlined the main stage. Two days later at Reading, Dave Grohl named it as their “last show for a long time.” Queen fans were also graced by the presence of Roger Taylor’s son took the drum stool of Taylor Hawkins while Hawkins moved to lead vocals for ‘Tie Your Mother Down’.

Saturday brought a rapid drop in the well-known diversity of the festival. The Hives really set the ball rolling on Saturday while commanding the overfilled NME tent to sit down in the squelchy mud. Strangely enough they happily obliged to the lead singer, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s, requests. This could have been due to the outstanding performance that the Swedish garage-rockers put on. Other than The Hives, Pop-punk and experimental indie dominated the second day of the festival with thousands of teenage fangirls rushing to watch Angels And Airwaves, You Me At Six and Paramore on the main stage. Lead singer of Paramore, Hayley Williams pulled one of these crazed fangirls on stage to sing with her to ‘Misery Business’ at the end of the set and, whether you like Paramore or not, it cannot be denied that this was a nice touch to the performance. This was followed by the legendary Robert Smith and co. as The Cure entered stage. Their gloomy reputation and career-spanning set unfortunately didn’t impress the younger generation which made up most of the spectators. Five or six songs into the set the crowd began to disperse and the typical northeners headed back to the bar to resume their aim of getting completely and utterly rat-arsed. The remaining few plodded over to the NME/Radio 1 tent to see the experimental indie five-piece, The Maccabees, who gave a mediocre performance.

The closing day of Leeds took a while to kick off but when it did, it was absolutely mind-boggling. Despite the poor performance put on by the post-hardcore four-piece, Enter Shikari, the main stage was redeemed by indie giants, The Vaccines. After just two years on the music scene, the Londoners took to the main stage being upgraded from the NME/Radio 1 stage after last year’s festival. Despite scepticism over whether they could handle the largest stage at the festival with a potential 90,000 capacity, The Vaccines hit the spot with many wetsuit-clad fans singing along. While Florence from Florence And The Machine babbled on about “embracing yourself” and acting higher than a skydiver on ecstasy, Yorkshire brothers, The Cribs took to stage in the NME/Radio 1 tent. The three-piece filled the tent with fellow northerners while lead singer, Gary Jarman, sported his usual bowl cut and skinny jeans and somehow managed to look cool. Finally, we reach the end of the fourteenth annual Leeds Festival. Who better to receive the honour of closing it than the one and only Kasabian? Despite much debate in whether they were up to headlining a festival in their current stage, they bested the Foo Fighters and The Cure in stage presence, outfit choice and possibly even performance. The turnout was the biggest yet as the festival-goers united for one last gig. Busting out several covers of artists such as Oasis and Fatboy Slim, they prove to be  one of the few bands who can pull off doing covers as part of a live set and the extensive crowd sing-along donning skeleton masks in true loyalty to the band. Frontman, Tom Meighan pays tribute to Neil Armstrong by pointing at the moon which resulted in many confused faces as this was the first they’d heard of his death having been isolated from the rest of the world for four to five days. The indie-rock five-piece ended on the eponymous ‘Fire’ and a rather baffling cover of ‘She Loves You’ by The Beatles which faded out into nothing causing queries of “is that it?”

Another year over and time for Bramham park to have a rest and re-grow it’s grass. The bar has been set high for Leeds 2013 and now it’s time to see whether the line-up lives up to expectations. However, there’s another six months before said line-up is released so in the mean time, we’ll have to sit and wallow in our post-festival blues.

Check out the Leeds Festival Facebook page.

Single Review - Madness by Muse

Muse. Practically everybody has heard of them (if not you’ve been living in a cave (forgive the Muse pun) for a long time). They’ve earned countless awards for their live performances and have sold several million records. They’ve built up quite the reputation yet their new album has been subject to much debate after the release of Survival and Unsustainable.

Today at 19:30 on Radio 1 their new single Madness officially premiered following an extensive premature leak of the track. The single is named as the first single to be taken from the new album, The 2nd Law, despite Survival and Unsustainable being available to the public. Initially, the track opens to a steady beat with an electronic voice stuttering “ma ma ma ma ma ma madness”. This is exactly what it says on the tin…madness. We’ve come to expect pretty much anything from the Devon trio with the exception of this. 

The track then moves focus onto Matt Bellamy’s soothing vocals and in this case it is nothing powerful yet it soon becomes rather catchy. After a minute or so of the indifferent rhythm, it begins to seem a little on the dull and repetitive side. However, towards the end, the track reverts back to the extraordinary and energetic Muse we know and love. 

It’s all down to opinion but, at the end of the day, you should not expect Muse’s usual high standards from this single. It is clearly lacking something and is likely to cause disappointment amongst Muse fans. Luckily, the end brings hope. Now it is just a waiting game for the release of The 2nd Law to see whether the disappointment shall be justified.

Check them out on Facebook or their website

Album Review - Bright Light, Dark Eyes by Animal Confession

When you’re listening to music you don’t always want that finely-tuned, over-produced, polished to perfection sound which is churned out by countless numbers of artists these days. Sometimes you wish you could revert back to the good old days of Nirvana and Soundgarden where everything seemed a little rough around the edges. 

Ontario trio, Animal Confession, fulfill this need bringing you something that is far from perfect but in a way, strangely satisfying. Their debut album Bright Lights, Dark Eyes, tears away at every convention of 21st century music to bring you heaps of nostalgia.

The opening riff of Drown In You is straight to the point as it plunges you into what sounds like the climax of the track. I found myself double checking I’d actually pressed play from the beginning of the song only to yield the same result. After getting your head around this unusual start, the song becomes significantly more tame with a steady drum beat backing Andrew Gharib’s raw vocal work. There are certainly faults but for the opening to a debut album, it’s not all that bad.

Epidemic is up next and as the first single to be pulled from the album, hopes are held high. I find that the verses hold a distinct 80’s feel to them which evolves into a more modern vibe for the chorus. I wouldn’t describe it as ‘hard-rock’ like the band label themselves, yet it holds all the power of this genre morphed into the style of Animal Confession.

Fade Away and Light My Way both possess similar qualities featuring a relatively gentle start and a gradual build to a fiery chorus. The fifth track on the album brings a change to Animal Confession’s clamorous tendencies. Burning Bridges shows the lads do indeed have a more sensitive side to them by conveying a sense of emotion to the listener. It shows a bit of diversity to their songwriting skills which is becoming more and more essential in today’s competitive music industry.

Love/Hate/Die might not be the most inventive song name in existence but the track itself happens to be the most experimental on the album added vocal effects and instrumental work which seems almost trippy. A Thousand Lies soon shocks you back to reality as the guitar takes control with intense riffs and dominance.

Let Me Out comes about as close to hard-rock as Animal Confession are going to get with its progressive bass-heavy kick off and weighty chorus. This is followed by a contrasting gentleness in The Last Time which borders on haunting.

Bright Light, Dark Eyes is stunningly closed with Wave Goodbye which does a good job of calming you down after a rollercoaster of diversity without sacrificing Animal Confession’s anthemic qualities. It’s chilled rhythm is just the remedy to the insanity of having your mind totally and utterly frazzled by the three-piece.

Despite the first track being a little mediocre and the album having a few faults scattered here and there, Animal Confession are truly onto something. Their experimental yet powerful sound is something that’s hard to come by and with a little polishing around the edges (but not so much that they spew out some autotuned rubbish), these guys could go far. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Check them out on their website here

Pendulum Announce Split

After ten long years in the music industry, Pendulum have decided to call it a day. The focus is now set to turn to Knife Party.

Rob Swire, lead producer and songwriter for Pendulum, announced on Twitter: “There will be no further Pendulum live shows. There are no current plans for a new album in 2013.” Although this makes it sound like the decision is not set in stone, Rob later tweeted: “Lol…wow, everyone loves things more when they’re gone, I guess.” This was posted in response to negative comments from the fans, some of who are a little cynical about Swire turning his attention to Knife Party.

Knife Party are a duo made up of Rob and former bass guitarist/DJ of Pendulum, Gareth McGrillen.

Swire reinforced rumours of a split in an interview with triple j, saying that it was no longer fun to be playing with Pendulum.

"The Knife Party thing is going so well we don’t really feel like going back to junior school anytime soon," he told triple j. "We’re having too much fun with this project. It’s also great because Pendulum, towards the end, sort of felt like we were doing it because we had to and that’s never a fun way to do music."

Muse - The 2nd Law

You’ve probably heard the news already if you’re a follower of Muse or ‘like’ them on Facebook but if not, the video below is pretty self explanatory.

Muse are no doubt one of the greatest bands still going today yet there has been much debate over this new album trailer. There is no doubt the theme surrounding the new album is typically Muse; economy, destruction and scientific encryptions. However, the dubstep at the end of the trailer has raised some concern amongst fans about the seemingly odd direction Muse are taking their music in.

Some fans are welcoming the change and are pretty open to the idea but others are saying that this will be the death of Muse. Whether or not this is actually a song featured on the album is another matter.

In the end, I guess we’ve got a very long wait until September to discover the truth.

EP Review - Socially Awkward by Never A Hero

Never A Hero are one of those bands that cater for every rock fan. Being the sort to listen to indie more than anything else, I was a bit sceptical to press play upon seeing their unusual punk image with the addition of masks. However, it was a pleasant surprise to hear the Suffolk five-piece making my low-end Macbook speakers sound a little less low-end.

Ok, so maybe ‘Socially Awkward’ could have opened with a little more power, but when you take into account it’s their first EP, it’s not all that bad. ‘Too Little Too Late’ sets the ball rolling with plenty of raw energy and more catchiness than a common cold yet the vocal work would have benefitted from added dynamism.

Any doubts are immediately erased in the following track as ‘From Heroes To Angels’ is truly a masterpiece in it’s own unique way. Combining clear influences of Hollywood Undead with vocals which are unusually reminiscent of The Midnight Beast in the verses, the track unexpectedly works incredibly well. Choruses are always intended to be the strongest part of any song yet Never a Hero take that to a new level with ‘From Heroes To Angels’. Just when you think it can’t get any better the chorus leaves you playing the contagious rhythm over and over again in your head for days.

'Trippin' On Speed' does exactly what it says on the tin. Your brain will be turned to mush within precisely four minutes and five seconds of it's crazy riffs and upbeat rhythm, plunging you into a musical high. This is followed by the hasty and bass heavy 'Say No More' which is a strong penultimate track to the EP.

The opening to ‘Diaries From Rehab’ provides a strong electronica basis to the track which is clearly the most experimental on the release. It is slightly more light on it’s feet than the other four tracks but this makes a refreshing change which keeps you completely and utterly entranced by Never A Hero’s unbelievable songwriting abilities.

Three years after their formation, things are looking promising for the newly-signed rap/rock outfit and they are definitely one to watch. Even though ‘Socially Awkward’ was released just one year after their formation in 2009, it’s brilliance is beyond question. Just think what they can do two years on from it’s release date.

Check them out on Facebook.

Single Review - I Prefer The Early Stuff by Winter Olympics

Guess who’s back? After a rather stressful end of year at uni I’m back with another review. Oh…and I’m back for good this time. 

Even though I don’t know most of my readers in person I do like to treat you guys as my friends so I’d like to take this chance to apologise for not being a good writer and posting regularly. I promise not to do it again! 

Abi x

Many bass players ago in the capital of England, a five-piece dance/indie/rock/whatever-else-you-want-to-classify-them-as band formed. 2002 was the year Bowman introduced themselves to the music scene later to be known as The Winter Olympics.

Three EP’s later and we arrive at the present day where The Winter Olympics have a steady lineup and have brought upon us their most recent single: ‘I Prefer The Early Stuff’.

The single opens with a simple yet full instrumental which is soon dominated by vocal work from frontman Andrew Wagstaff. His voice could be compared to that of Harry McVeigh (White Lies) except a little less on the depressing side of things. It comes as a shock to the system when the track hits the 40 second mark and brings a rush of adrenaline and a strong desire to jump up and down.

Although seemingly repetitive on the first listen, I highly advise sticking with this one. It’s definitely a grower and will soon reveal it’s true nature as a catchy 90’s style indie anthem that you’ll be singing along to 24/7.

Check them out on Facebook and get down to their FREE show at The Wheelbarrow in Camden tomorrow (30th May)!

EP Review - Episode

Since their formation in 2008, London rockers Episode have been busy building themselves an extensive back catalogue of original songs. Most other bands of their age offer little to no competition offering uncreative and mediocre covers of sub-average groups yet Episode bring their own ideas to the table.

The young four-piece have gathered quite the reputation with one song of their debut EP stretching to number one on the NUMU charts. The follow up to their 2010 debut boasts a significant amount of progress for the lads.

'Alien Is An Understatement' plays it safe opening the EP with a steady beat however this doesn't make it a bad track. In fact, it's quite the contrast and immediately shows you what Episode are all about. Although it needs a little work you can't really knock them when there are signed bands churning out material at a lower standard than this.

The keys on ‘Angel Of The North’ add a delicate sound which perfectly compliments Guy McIntyre showing off his softer vocal work. This track is truly stunning and shows that Episode cover a diverse range catering for most tastes.

'Drowning' provides a powerful conclusion to the EP with a steady yet strong build up which climaxes with an anthemic chorus. The lyrics show an emotional side to Episode's song writing skills as Guy belts out “I'm crushed as I'm reduced to tears.”

Episode are definitely heading in the right direction and are skyrocketing past other unsigned bands of their age. These guys are one to watch and with a little improvement could definitely go far.

Check them out on Facebook here.