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Single reviews: April 2012

We've listed singles/EPs/demos in order of star rating. Best first.

Reviews by Joe Geesin, Jason Ritchie, Pete Whalley, David Wilson

INSTILL The Hooligan Factor (Fudgeworks)

Instill were formed in the deep south, well Bournemouth, back in 2008. This is the band's second EP release and it is one of best packaged CD's I have seen, they have put a lot of time and effort into the sleeve design which includes a full comic strip on the inside cover, impressive stuff. Question is though are they all show and no go?

It turns out that the band pay the same amount of attention to the musical content as to the artwork and the 5 tracks on offer are excellent.

Opener 'Guestlist' sets the scene well, the band's sound is like a cross between Black Stone Cherry and Nickelback in parts, but with an original stamp put on it and lyrics to make you smile.

The band describe themselves as 'comedy metal' and they certainly live up to that billing lyrically.

The 5 tracks follow the cover comic strip featuring the adventures of 'Captain Pedalo', but when it comes to the music the band are deadly serious.

There are some cracking riffs and cleverly constructed melodies through the disc, I especially like the way the band have included bits of the Sailor's Hornpipe into the riff for the track 'Captain Pedalo', clever stuff.

This is a cracking EP in all respects and Instill deserve a lot of success on the back of it. I would recommend you give it a go. *****

Review by David Wilson

GRACE Stealing Kisses

Another fresh faced young band looking for success and this four piece Grace may just edge a very crowded musical field. This lead track of their EP has a Status Quo approved guitar riff running through it and wait until you hear the harmonies on the chorus divine and then some. Like any good single it gets better on each listen and certainly leaves you wanting to hear more by the band. ****½

Review by Jason Ritchie


A tricky one, this 4 track ep from London based songwriter / producer Stillman - a short progressive concept piece about the state of our nation in 2012. The PR Blurb would have us believe it combines 'floor shaking riffage, serpentine basslines, loping funk rhythms and soaring melodies'. And to be fair, that's not very wide of the mark.

Difficult to pigeon hole, the set has a late sixties underground experimental feel wearing Rush and Floyd influences (amongst many) proudly across the four tracks on offer. It's vintage, but contemporary and demonstrates succinctly that prog ain't dead, dying or on this showing, even seriously injured.

Give Stillman a decent production budget and a fair wind and there's tender shoots of life here that could blossom into something much grander. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

THE LIGHTS Days Don't Get Me Far Enough Away

The Lights have found favourable reviews at GRTR! with their steady flow of single releases, although somehow we seem to have been overlooked when their debut album 'Teenager Of The Century' was released last year.

'Days Don't Get Me Far Enough Away' is their first release since signing to Birdman Records and finds the band in rude health with a bright and breezy folk / pop number.

Liz Shiels takes the vocal spotlight on this one, subtly underpinned by the harmony vocals of co-front man Shaun Kelly. It should only enhance their growing reputation. A cross between The Beautiful South and The Coral. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

HIEROSONIC The Media Taught You That (Soundmine Musicworks /Membran)

New single, from the band's new album, this is underground rock at the mainstream /trendy end. Indi guitar rock/pop meets alternative with punchy vocals and a slight jangly touch. Plenty of attitude, but not enough melody to warrant three versions, least of all an instrumental version.

This is more NME or Q rocking out than quality GRTR material. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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