Music

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An Interview with Mallory Knox’s Sam Douglas

Sam Douglas is one fifth of Mallory Knox, one of the British alt-rock’s current frontier bands. As the popularity of similar genre groups – Lower Than Atlantis, Young Guns and Twin Atlantic to name a couple – increases, Mallory Knox have found themselves on the front lines of a rapidly expanding genre. “We’re very privileged to be put in the same bracket as those guys. I’m so happy that people like Radio One and Reading/Leeds now put their faith in British rock music. There’s so much talent there and it keeps the other bands on their toes. You don’t want to be left behind, and I think that helps other bands step up their game – it does for us anyway”, Sam humbly explained. “It’s the strongest its been in my lifetime, since I’ve been doing it, and it’s about time that it happened”. (more…)

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Machine Head’s Bloodstone & Diamonds is a new metal jewel

Boasting 12 songs that last over 70 minutes in total, Bloodstone & Diamonds is the Machine Head’s longest album by over 10 minutes. On a first listen, it may all be too much to take in: the melodies may start to blend into one another, the various ripping guitar solos may become indistinguishable, and the band’s trademark aggression may seem diluted. In other words, it may come across as the trash metal equivalent of a sumptuous Christmas feast: it satisfies intensely, but leaves you stretched out on a couch promising yourself never to eat anything ever again. Yet the album’s triumph is that it is not simply long for length’s sake: it is also the most varied album of their 23-year career. (more…)

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An Interview with Oxford’s local Folk heroes Stornoway

Despite the misleading band name, Stornoway are one of Oxford’s best homegrown bands, and this month they are back to play one of its most impressive venues. The folk pop band will be celebrating the 5th anniversary since they last played the Sheldonian by playing it again on 5th November. And then again on 13th November. I spoke to Oli Steadman ahead of the show about how it all managed to come about. (more…)

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A perfect debut album; Alexander Hartley is blown away by Hozier’s self-titled first offering

What would the perfect debut album be like? Well, it would have to have a couple of slow ones, a couple of heavier ones, two or three catchy ones and the ‘One That Everyone Knows’. There would be variety, but also a distinctive flavour that you can recognise in each song. It would be well balanced and produced, expertly finding a balance between punctilious cleanness and the occasional blast of grunge. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt if the lyrics were thought through to a pitch of near-poetic intensity (and no, that doesn’t just mean throwing in the odd quote from Macbeth: I’m looking at you, Marcus Mumford). (more…)

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