Made Up Lost Time by Kevin Garrett | EP Review

Kevin Garrett

The past few years have been a wild ride for musician Kevin Garrett, from releasing his debut EP “Mellow Drama” in 2015 to GRAMMY nominations, festival performances and shows with acts such as Mumford & Sons and Alessia Cara, and dropping his debut LP “Hoax” last year. Kevin has returned with his newly released sophomore EP, “Made Up Lost Time.”

The opening track “Tell You How I’m Feeling” really shows Kevin’s talent as a vocalist through a soulful performance that provides good melodies in the verses, and the harmonies in the chorus add more to the performance. The vocals really shine on the following track “Keep You Waiting” as well, as they bring a memorable pre-chorus that helps build up the song really well to its chorus. 

“Can’t Come Back” is on the much softer side, and the piano fits perfectly on the track. The melodies on here are really good as well and the song makes a great ballad overall. Lead single “Gone Again” is on the more upbeat side, bringing a rhythm as catchy as the melodies, and closing track “Factor In” is also a bit slower and is one of the most memorable and well-written songs the EP has to offer.

“Made Up Lost Time” is a soulful and memorable sophomore EP from Kevin Garrett.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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5 Seconds Of Summer’s “CALM” album review

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5 Seconds Of Summer are a band that I’ve been an avid fan of for several years. I’ve been listening to them for a large majority of their career as a band, and since I first got into their music way back in 2013, I’ve seen the evolution of their sound, from their more pop punk-tinged self-titled debut LP (as well as its follow up “Sounds Good Feels Good), to the much more pop leaning and chart-topping third album “Youngblood.” The band have experimented with new influences and started to refine their sound even more with each release, and “CALM” sees them continuing to do so.

“CALM” seems to draw a bit of influence from those poppier elements on “Youngblood,” especially with its more upbeat tracks. A lot of the singles, as well as another track towards the end of the album, expanded upon those influences and combined them with the newer influences and overall sound on “CALM.” Lead single “No Shame” brings intriguing melodies that are as catchy as the riffs that lead the intro and verses, before a bigger chorus where Calum and Ashton’s instrumental performances really shine, as well as Luke’s impressive vocal range. “Old Me” is very memorable musically, and lyrically, it’s a more reflective track that discusses growing up and the lessons you learn along the way as you get older and move forward in life. The irresistible choruses of “Easier” and “Wildflower” really embrace the poppier influences in the band’s sound, and the well-written “Not In The Same Way” instantly became a fan favorite with its extremely catchy composition from start to finish.

The band showed early on that they were experimenting with some darker composition through the captivating single “Teeth” that dropped last year, which really allows Calum to show off his talent as a bassist and is easily the most rock influenced song found on the record overall. The experimentation continues in a couple of other songs on the record, such as the opener “Red Desert,” which begins with a chorus of beautiful vocal harmonies from everyone in the band (and those harmonies return in the chorus), and “Thin White Lies,” with some softer percussion and really catchy riffs and melodies throughout.

The band also incorporated a lot of softer moments on this record, including the acoustically driven closer “High,” with some additional vocal harmonies that help emphasize the vocal performances even more, “Lover Of Mine,” which adds some piano in addition to the acoustic guitar, and “Best Years” and “Lonely Heart,” both of which are on the softer side for the most part before leading up to huge, explosive and anthemic choruses that make the songs even more memorable than they already are.  

5 Seconds Of Summer have created another fantastic record that not only shows further experimentation within their sound and more of what the band is capable of musically, but also shows them refining and honing in on their signature sound even more throughout twelve really solid tracks.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Have Mercy Final Tour 2020 | Photos + Review

Have Mercy have been a very important part of the emo, alternative and pop punk music scene, and after a decade of music and touring, they announced they have decided to break up, and that they would do one final North American tour.

Glacier Veins started the show off strong with a very captivating performance. The band has such a good stage presence and looked like they were having so much fun performing their set. The set-list primarily consisted of songs from their newly released debut LP, “The World You Want To See,” including upbeat songs such as “Talk,” “Feel Better Now,” and “Everything Glows,” as well as some slower ones like “Driveway.”

 

Young Culture was up next, bringing another really impressive set. This band brings something refreshing to the modern pop punk genre, and their live set brought a ton of passion and energy from start to finish. They performed all of the songs off of last year’s “(This Is) Heaven” EP (with the exception of “Never Changed”), as well as two older songs, “Party Girl” and “Pure Gold,” and their newly released single, “Holiday In Vegas.” 

 

Second to last was Fredo Disco. The band has so much charisma, especially lead vocalist Fredo Fosco, and they really engaged and captivated a crowd full of people who were very excited to see them perform. Their set-list included their two latest songs (“never tell u” and “harmony korine (the game)”), as well as several others from the project’s past few releases: “burnt and worn out,” “dad jeans,” and “jimbo” from 2019’s “Very Cool Music For Very Cool People,” “saturn suv” and “shower song” from 2017’s “school spirit,” and “Ghost Of Mariano’s” and “Frankenstein” from their 2018 EP “The Boredom Keeps Me Up At Night.”

 

Finally, Have Mercy took the stage to perform the last Denver, Colorado set of their career. Their set-list spanned from throughout their discography, from playing songs from their final record “The Love Life” (“Clair,” “Heartbeat,” “These Streets,” and “Dressed Down”) to classics in their catalogue (“Let’s Talk About Your Hair,” “My Oldest Friend”) and songs from the other albums and EPs that they’ve released from throughout their career: “Spacecrafts,” “Pete Rose And Babe Ruth,” “Two Years” and “Howl” from “A Place Of Our Own,” “Coexist” from “Make The Best Of It,” and “Hell,” “Levelhead,” “This Old Ark” and “When I Sleep” from “The Earth Pushed Back.” 

 

Every band on this lineup put on very impressive and captivating performances, and as a whole, this might have been one of my favorite shows I’ve attended in 2020 so far.

Photos + Review courtesy of Meg Langley | Instagram

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Dirty Honey w/ The Amazons | Rolling 7’s Tour | Photos + Review

Almost a year ago, Los Angeles based rock band Dirty Honey released their self-titled debut EP. The band have recently been on a headlining tour across North America in support of this release, bringing along fellow rockers The Amazons with them, and I attended the Denver, Colorado show.
Opening up the night was British rock band The Amazons. Their forty-five minute set consisted of eight songs, and each half of the set included songs from each of the two records in the band’s catalogue – “Black Magic,” “In My Mind” (my personal favorite song of theirs), “Junk Food Forever” and “Stay With Me” from their 2017 self-titled debut LP, and “25,” “Doubt It” “Mother,” and set opener “Fuzzy Tree” from last year’s album “Future Dust.” The band has a lot of charisma and a brilliant stage presence that really showed throughout their entire set.

Dirty Honey came on stage not long after for their headlining set. The band played their
self-titled EP in full (“When I’m Gone,” “Rolling 7’s,” “Heartbreaker,” “Down The Road,” “Scars,” and “Break You”), as well as their 2018 debut single “Fire Away.” In addition to playing all of the songs that they’ve released so far, they also added in two new songs, and played some impressive instrumental solos throughout the set, which allowed each instrumentalist in the band to show off their individual skills and talents. Similarly to The Amazons, Dirty Honey also had a really good stage presence, and did a really good job at engaging the ecstatic crowd.

Both bands on the Rolling 7’s Tour put on captivating and entertaining performances and
overall, it was an enjoyable night of rock and roll music.

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Belmont’s “Stay Up” Track Review

 

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Cover Art by Danny DeRusso

Belmont are a band in the pop punk scene that have been on my radar for quite a while. I really enjoyed their self-titled debut album that came out back in 2018, and more recently, the Illinois-based band have released two new singles – “Stay Up” and “By My Side.”

“Stay Up” is the latest track of the two, and the first one on this double single. Catchy guitar riffs reside in the intro, bringing some impressive lead guitar lines (which return later on) and a lot of energy during the verses. The chorus brings extremely catchy melodies and the overall vocal performance there really shows off the lead vocalist’s range as he hits some higher notes during this section of the song. There’s a bit of aggression added in the vocals after the first chorus, continuing into the second verse, and this plus the breakdown later on (where the bass really shines) are two examples of how the band trace back to their more aggressive pop punk roots a little bit with this song.

“By My Side” is the second track from this double single release, and was released late last fall when the band announced their signing with Pure Noise Records. The blend of synths and harder hitting instrumentation reminds me of some of the elements the band incorporated on that self-titled record, and feels like a perfect track to The verses show the darker composition on the track, the pre-chorus and chorus are really catchy, and both of those sections bring impressive instrumentation as well.

“Stay Up” and “By My Side” combine many musical elements from Belmont’s discography, and continue to show the different sides of their sound and the constant experimentation and evolution within it.

Spotify

Review by Megan Langley | Instagram

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The Starting Line & Chris Farren – Est. 1999 Tour Review

The Starting Line are a band in the pop punk and alternative scene that have now been around for twenty years, as of this year. To celebrate this anniversary and major milestone in their career, the band did several shows throughout the year, and I attended the Denver, Colorado show.

          Chris Farren opened the Denver show, and I’ve seen him live once before, when he opened for Free Throw back in September. He played a little bit of a longer set compared to the last time I saw him, and since his album “Born Hot” had been released in October, he incorporated a lot of newer songs into his setlist, including “Search 4 Me,” “Domain Lapse,” “Love Theme From “Born Hot,” and more. He also played older material, including one of my favorite songs of his, “Human Being.” Chris has a lot of charisma and passion that really shows through his live performance, and he puts on such a captivating live set overall. Some of the highlights from the performance were the signs behind him saying things such as “applause” and “guitar solo,” (as well as showcasing his original art), and the fact that he walked through the crowd and went up to the balcony to perform one of the songs.

Not too long after Chris finished his set, The Starting Line finally took the stage, and they played a variety of songs from throughout their discography. They played a large amount of earlier hits, such as “Up & Go,” “Almost There, Going Nowhere,” “Cheek To Cheek,”  “Left Coast Envy,” “The Drama Summer,” and “The Best Of Me” from their debut LP “Say It Like You Mean It,” and “Leaving” and “Greg’s Last Day” from their debut EP “The Hopes Of Starting Over.” The set also included songs from releases later on in their career, such as “Surprise, Surprise,” “Inspired By The $,” and “Making Love To The Camera” from “Based On A True Story,” and “Direction,” “Birds,” “Are You Alone,” “Island,” and “Way With Words” from “Direction,” as well as the three songs off of their 2016 EP “Anyways”: “Luck,” “Quitter,” and “Anyways.” One of the most interesting parts about this show was the fact that the vocalist would tell stories about the band’s history after every few songs, and would sometimes use those stories to introduce some of the songs they would play next. The stories discussed quite a few parts of the band’s career, from how they first got together to the process of making some of the music they incorporated into their setlist for the tour.

The Est. 1999 Tour was a very unique experience with two really great acts and I’m glad I got the chance to attend.

Venue: Summit Music Hall | City: Denver, CO | Date: 11/15/2019

Review by Megan Langley | Instagram

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Grayscale’s Nella Vita Tour 2019 ft Bearings, Belmont, & Rich People.

Grayscale are a band that have been on my radar for quite a while now. I first became a fan right when they signed to Fearless Records and released their single “Atlantic,” the lead single of their debut LP, “Adornment.” Since then, the band have been on numerous national and international tours, including the 2018 Vans Warped Tour, and this year, they did their first headlining tour here in the United States, in support of their newly released sophomore album, “Nella Vita.”

Opening up the night was New Jersey based Rich People. Three of the songs that the band played (“Fierce Grace,” “White Mark,” and one of my personal favorites of theirs, “Back Step (All The Real Girls”) are off of their most recent release, their 2018 album “Grace Session.” I love the raw emotion in this band’s music, but that is amplified even more in their live performance, which really impressed me.

Second on the bill was Canada based pop punk band Bearings. They primarily played songs off of their debut album, “Blue In The Dark,” such as “Where You Are,” “Aforementioned,” “Eyes Closed,” “Beautiful Places,” and the title track from that album. The band also included “So Damn Wrong” (one of their two recently released singles) and “Letters Home” from their third EP “Nothing Here Is Permanent.” Bearings brought quite a bit of energy throughout their whole set and were a lot of fun to watch.

Second to last was the Chicago based band Belmont, another pop punk band that have now become label-mates with Bearings, with their recent signing to Pure Noise Records. Belmont’s music leans more towards the more energetic and overall more punk influenced side of the pop punk genre, and they carried that energy into their live performance from start to finish as they played many songs from their self titled record (“Pushing Daisies,” “Hollowed Out”) as well as a few older favorites, such as “Overstepping,” “731” and “Convalescence.”

Finishing out the night was Philadelphia based band Grayscale, who have evolved their sound quite a lot over the years, and especially with their sophomore LP “Nella Vita,” which this tour was in support of. They played a handful of songs from that album, including singles “In Violet,” “Painkiller Weather,” “Old Friends” and “Baby Blue,” as well as a few others off of the album: “Just Right,” “YOUNG,” and “Twilight: My Heaven.” Grayscale have quickly become one of my favorite bands to see live and have impressed me each time I’ve seen them, and this show was no different.

 

Grayscale put on yet another impressive performance, I got to see Belmont, Bearings, and Rich People for the first time (and all their sets were a great first impression of their live performances), and overall, the Nella Vita tour may just be one of my favorites that I’ve attended in 2019 so far.

9/24/19 – Marquis Theater

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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2019 © The Camera Affect

 

Dean Lewis’ A Place We Knew Tour ft Scott Helman

I love discovering new music, and one way I’ve been doing so in recent months is through the radio. One of my favorite artists I’ve discovered through doing this is Dean Lewis, an Australian musician who’s gotten a lot of recognition over here in America not just from the frequent radio play of his smash hit singles “Be Alright” and “Stay Awake,” but also from the album that both of these songs are on, called “A Place We Knew.” The album dropped during the spring of this year, and in support of it, Dean headed out on a worldwide headlining tour, which I attended the Denver date of.

Opening up the night was Scott Helman, a pop musician from Canada that I’ve also become pretty familiar with recently, especially with his latest release, his EP “Hang Ups,” which was released in late 2018. He opened with the title track off of that, and continued to play a variety of songs from throughout his discography, such as “Ripple Effect,” “PDA,” and “Gaslight” from his 2017 debut LP “Hôtel De Ville,” and fan favorite “Bungalow” from his 2014 EP “Augusta.” Throughout his entire set, which was just his voice and an acoustic guitar, Scott showed the talent he has as a musician and performer.

About twenty minutes after Scott finished, Dean Lewis took the stage in front of 1,100 fans who were ecstatic to see him perform. He opened his set with the opening track off of “A Place We Knew,” called “Hold Of Me,” followed by an older song, “Need You Now,” and the title track off of “A Place We Knew.” His setlist was primarily focused on songs from that record, including hits like “7 Minutes,” “Waves,” “Stay Awake” and “Be Alright,” as well as others, such as “Straight Back Down” (one of my personal favorites off the record), “Time To Go,” and “Half A Man.” Dean puts a lot of emotion into the performances in his songs, and the same thing goes for his live set as well. I loved the emotion he put into every song and think that might have been my favorite part about his entire live performance.

Both of the acts on the A Place We Knew Tour put on very impressive and captivating performances, making the show a great one overall.

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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2019 © The Camera Affect

 

Miss May I & The Word Alive celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of “Monument” & “Deceiver” ft Afterlife, Rozu, & Thousand Below | Photos + Review

In the summer of 2010, two of some of the biggest bands in the metalcore and post-hardcore scene released what could arguably be some of the most important albums in their careers. Miss May I released their sophomore record “Monument” on August 16th, and exactly two weeks later, The Word Alive dropped their debut album “Deciever.” With the ten-year anniversary of both of these albums almost right around the corner, both bands embarked on a co-headlining North American tour to celebrate the occasion, bringing along Afterlife and Thousand Below to support them, as well as having some up-and-coming bands from certain areas open up their local date of the tour. 

Opening up the night was Denver-based metalcore band Rozu. Though their set was only twenty minutes, they put everything into their performance and put on a really good show. They played the four singles that they have out currently (“Dissolve,” “Divide,” “Faceless,” and “Anchor”), as well as an unreleased track called “Rue.”. The band’s metalcore sound showed through the energy and aggression found throughout their live set, and their performance overall really impressed me. 

Next up was Florida-based band Afterlife. The band dropped their debut LP “Breaking Point” back in January of this year, and primarily included songs from that in their setlist: “PSA,” “Throat,” “Broken Home,” “New Rage,” and “Giving Back The Pain.” However, they still made room in their set for an older track, which was “Vicious Cycle,” the title track from their debut EP of the same name. The band mixes elements from various types of rock, and particularly alternative rock and nu-metal, and that blend of influences showed really well through their set and the songs they chose for it. 

The third band on the bill was Thousand Below. The band opened the set with their latest single “Chemical,” which is one of the most melodic (and in my personal opinion, one of the catchiest) tracks that they’ve released so far. They followed that up with two more of my favorite songs of theirs, debut single “Sinking Me” and “The Love You Let Too Close,” the title track from their debut album that came out last year. The remainder of the set was filled with a few more songs from that album: “Vein,” which is one of the band’s most aggressive tracks and one that really got the crowd moving, “No Place Like You” and “Tradition.” The band has always stood out to me in the post-hardcore genre and their live performance was further proof of that. 

Second to last was The Word Alive, who began the set by playing their album “Deceiver” from start to finish in honor of the anniversary. This album in particular is one of their much more aggressive records, but also has plenty of powerful and memorable choruses and some meaningful lyrics, so as much as their set had the crowd moshing and surfing, it had them singing along for the hour long set. After those ten songs were finished, the band played some of their more recent tracks – “Trapped,” the lead single off of their 2016 album “Dark Matter,” “Misery,” a single that was released on its own awhile after the album dropped, and “Why Am I Like This?,” which is a song from their latest album “Violent Noise” and one of my personal favorites of theirs. 

Closing out the night was Miss May I, who played not only all the songs found on Monument when it first dropped, but also the tracks found on the deluxe reissue. After that, they concluded their set with three different songs that spanned from their entire discography: “Hey Mister” from “At Heart,” “Forgive and Forget” and “Shadows Inside,” the title track from their most recent release. They easily played one of the heaviest sets of the night, with people moshing and crowd surfing almost instantly, and put so much energy into their performance as well. 

This tour was my first time seeing all of these bands, and I loved it. Everyone on the lineup put on a great performance, and this tour was a great way to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of two important albums for this genre of music.

7/30/2019 – Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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YUNGBLUD w/ SAINT PHNX | Don’t Wanna Be A Loner Tour | Photos + Review

One of the most talked about artists in music right now is YUNGBLUD. Over the past few years, he’s released his debut EP and LP, as well as a live album, went on a large amount of dates on the Vans Warped Tour (as well as making an appearance at the Mountain View show for their 25th anniversary event), and did a few national tours supporting not only those releases, but also the singles he’s released so far this year, with this particular tour being in support of his song Loner. I discovered YUNGBLUD’s music about a year ago, after hearing so many good things about his songs and live performances, and quickly became a fan. I discovered SAINT PHNX (who would be supporting him for these shows) more recently, and really enjoyed the music from first listen. All of this made me even more excited about attending the Don’t Wanna Be A Loner Tour.

Opening up the night was SAINT PHNX. The Glasgow, Scotland based act kicked off their set with their debut single “Reload” and my personal favorite song of theirs, “Death Of Me.” In addition to incorporating many of their other songs in their discography (“Rise,” “Nunchuck,” and “Dead Man,”) they also fit in a new song in the middle of the set. The trio (vocalist Stevie Jukes, drummer Alan Jukes, and touring guitarist John Cargill) had a ton of energy and did a great job of engaging the crowd, especially during their more energetic songs.

Not long after SAINT PHNX finished, YUNGBLUD took the stage, opening with the title track to his debut LP “21st Century Liability,” followed by the fun and energetic “I Love You, Will You Marry Me” and “King Charles” off of his debut EP. As the set progressed, he continued to play more songs from that EP (“Anarchist”) as well as a handful of songs from his debut album as well (“Medication,” “Die For The Hype,” “Machine Gun”). Some of the highlights of his set were some of his slower songs – “Polygraph Eyes,” where there was so much emotion shown in that performance and everyone in the crowd was singing along, and “Kill Somebody,” where everyone made their cell phone flashlights pink to match the color scheme of the album. As well as playing songs from his past releases, he also played two of his newest hits – “Parents” and “Loner,” and included an unreleased song earlier on in the set. Frontman Dominic Harrison also brings so much energy, moving and jumping around on stage constantly, and the crowd of nearly a thousand people did the same throughout his set.

This was my first time seeing both acts live, and I was very impressed. I absolutely loved the energy and passion found during both live sets, I think it definitely makes both of their performances really stand out, and as a whole, it was a great show.

YUNGBLUD | SAINT PHNX

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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