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Anne-Marie (w/ Leah Kate, DJ Evissimax) Puts on Theatrical Pop Display at Manchester’s AO Arena [Photos]

Pop favourite Anne-Marie puts on a theatrical pop display as her “Unhealthy” Tour comes to Manchester AO Arena. Check out the photos here…

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Anne-Marie in Manchester, photo by Frank Ralph Photography

With a high-energy set of pop-punk tracks from Californian Leah Kate and a great set from DJ Evissimax beginning proceedings, the crowd was well and truly warmed up for the main attraction, one of the UK’s most loved artists, Anne-Marie.

As a writer of some of the catchiest tunes to bother the charts, a prominent judger of up-and-coming talent on The Voice and one of the UK’s best pop artists, it’s a shame to see Anne-Marie’s Unhealthy Club Tour become more of a West-End theatre performance than an all-out electrifying pop concert.

What she has that sets her apart from most of the mind-numbingly boring and dull music that can be found in the charts nowadays is a brilliant self-deprecating humour, a great personality, and an honesty that many others lack.

Starting sitting on a stool throughout the opener, “Alarm,” she was engaging and got the show off to a great start, but by the third song, she was perched atop a multi-mattresses bed in a replica of a teenager’s bedroom that was in desperate need of redecorating, and that’s where things became a little too theatrical.

It was a good show, but with the lack of a live band, it missed the energy and excitement that it potentially could have had – which could have raised the entertainment to a much greater level. The fans in attendance had assured that the shiny tatt sellers outside would have a great Christmas by buying all the pink cowboy hats and light-up tiaras, and they looked great as they came to life during the show.

With 20 songs split into 4 acts and plenty of costume changes, there was something in each act that stood out, such as the fantastic “Ciao Adios” crowd favourite “Rockabye” or encore “Psycho” – but throughout, the show suffered from peaks and troughs.

It’s fantastic to see someone like Anne-Marie succeeding and going from playing some of the smaller venues in Manchester to the biggest – but perhaps this was a case of crafting a performance specifically for big venues rather than putting on an Arena-sized show that could have been incredible.

Album News

Bayside Announces ‘There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive’ Due April 5th

Esteemed punk act Bayside is thrilled to announce their forthcoming album ‘There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive.’

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Bayside, photo by Will Buckley
Bayside, photo by Will Buckley

Esteemed punk act Bayside is thrilled to announce their forthcoming album, There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive. The highly anticipated record serves as a follow-up to their dynamic 2019 release, Interrobang, and features tracks from the previously released The Red and The Blue EPs as well as six brand new songs. These new songs see the band continue to captivate with a mix of introspective storytelling and a powerful blend of punk, rock, and metal. There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive is set to leave an indelible mark on the music scene, solidifying Bayside’s position as one of the most influential bands of their generation.

Fans can stream Bayside’s haunting new single “The Devils” and can pre-save/pre-order There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive, out digitally on April 5th and physically on May 10th.

On the new single, frontman Anthony Raneri shares:

“We just wanted to write a ripper that keeps you on your toes. The chant was a melody that I kept humming to myself when I was walking my dogs. I put some words to it and we were going to use it as a bridge. We loved it so much we thought the song had to start that way.”

Fans can hear new music live for the first time on Bayside’s forthcoming North American headline tour. The Worse Things Than Being Alive tour, kicking off on April 3rd in Pittsburgh, features support from Finch, Armor For Sleep, and Winona Fighter.

Raneri adds:

“We’re so excited to be touring with a couple of real pioneers in this genre. It’s been close to 20 years since we played a show with either band. So excited to finally run it back.”

Additional stops on The Worse Things Than Being Alive tour include Baltimore, Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and more. Tickets, including VIP packages, are on sale now at: www.baysidebayside.com.

Bayside ‘There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive’ album artwork

Bayside ‘There Are Worse Things Than Being Alive’ album artwork

Tour Dates:

April 3 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Roxian Theatre
April 4 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
April 5 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
April 6 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
April 7 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl
April 9 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Heaven)
April 10 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
April 12 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
April 13 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
April 14 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
April 16 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
April 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
April 19 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
April 20 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
April 21 – Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre
April 23 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
April 24 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
April 26 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Union Events Center
April 27 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
April 29 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
April 30 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
May 1 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
May 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall +
May 4 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 +
May 5 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner +

+ – Indicates no Winona Fighter

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Album News

Dream Pop Artist ellakate Launches Debut EP ‘Illusion’

Ellakate debuts new EP ‘Illusion’ – a 5-track musical milestone that guides listeners through a range of emotional trials and tribulations.

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ellakate, photo courtesy of ellakate
ellakate, photo courtesy of ellakate

Emerging pop sensation ellakate unveils her highly anticipated 5-song EP, Illusion – showcasing several of her previous fan favourites, including “Dry” and “I’m Yours.” Combining elements of pop and alternative pop, ellakate invites listeners on a profound journey, delving into themes of mental health, toxic relationships, coping mechanisms, addiction, loneliness, obsession, and burnout.

Illusion is a compilation of songs that intricately narrate the journey of using unhealthy coping mechanisms to alleviate negative emotions. From grappling with burnout and boredom to seeking solace in intentionally volatile relationships, each track unveils a different facet of the human experience. Through poignant lyrics and emotive melodies, ellakate’s EP serves as a testament to the illusory comfort provided by these mechanisms, ultimately leading back to the same feelings of emptiness and loneliness.

“This EP is a group of songs that are all unique in style, yet cohesive in story. Each song conveys a different emotion, taking you on a sonic journey. From the upbeat, fun vibe of “Dry” to the eerie theatricality of “I’m Yours”, and the stripped-back vulnerability of “Illusion”, there’s something for every listener to connect with.”

Reflecting on the creative process, ellakate expressed her deep attachment to Illusion, a culmination of over a year’s work. Delighted with the final product, she explored various sounds to convey emotions while aiming to offer solace to listeners grappling with similar experiences. She believes the EP resonates with themes of burnout, obsession, and heartbreak, hoping to reassure her audience that they are not alone.

Ella Greenbaum, artistically known as ellakate, is an alternative pop singer-songwriter born, raised, and based in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up with musical parents and a knack for creating and performing, ellakate found a passion for music that went beyond forcing her brothers to listen to her melodies as a child. “When my dad first explained what the song “Brandy” by Looking Glass was about, I discovered the magic of storytelling in songwriting. I have been singing and making up songs for as long as I can remember,” said ellakate about her innate talents. She has written hundreds of songs since her childhood exploring topics that coincide with the journey of growing up and finding love, filling piles of notebooks in her room with song lyrics. ellakate’s songs recount stories and experiences that may have not happened to her but are inspired by events that have impacted her.

Her voice has been compared to a “young Sara Bareilles,” showing her vocal prowess – honest and sensual, with a hint of innocence. Her sultry vocals mixed with her haunting, bold, and romantic sound are reminiscent of artists like Billie Eilish, Fiona Apple, and Lana Del Rey. ellakate is a breath of fresh air in the musical climate, writing exactly what we’re all thinking and spinning it in a mature yet cheeky way.

Ellakate 'Illusion' EP artwork

Ellakate ‘Illusion’ EP artwork

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Alternative/Rock

The V13 Fix #004 w/ Darkest Hour, Glitterer, LowLives and more

From pop to metalcore, experimental grindcore to indie, each week The V13 Fix will bring you a roundup of all the new music worth hearing…

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The V13 Fix

Welcome to the latest The V13 Fix our weekly round-up of some of the best albums, singles and EPs to drop in our laps/inboxes this week. From pop to black metal to experimental pop to punk rock, there is something for everyone in this mix of new music. Check out and support all the bands and labels if you like what you hear and if there is a particular album you like, make sure you head over to Spotify and check out one of our specially curated playlists where there is more great new music added daily.

Alternatively, if you’re in a band or want one of your bands considered for inclusion get in touch. While we can’t guarantee every album or EP we receive will be included, there are still plenty of other ways we can support you.

So, without further ado, sit back, plug in your headphones and get this week’s V13 Fix of new music…

Crossfaith
Zero’ [Single]

When Japanese genre-smashers Crossfaith exploded onto the scene with their brutal, electronic-laced metalcore, the world sat up and paid attention. Well, after twelve months regrouping, the band are back with this new single, a massive statement that they’re ready to pick up where they left off but with a new energy. This new slice of heaviness from the band is packed dangerously full of pulsating electronics and pummelling metalcore. Equally as explosive as it is anthemic, “Zero” heralds a new chapter from the band who, after hitting the reset button twelve months ago, have returned with a vengeance.

Pick up your copy of “Zero” from here.

Darkest Hour
Perpetual | Terminal
MNRK Heavy

It’s incredible when you realise that Perpetual | Termainal is the tenth album in the rollercoaster career of US metalcore/metallic hardcore mob Darkest Hour. Spirit and dogged determination has kept the band going to this point and it is a theme which provides the heartbeat of this savage collection. Guitarist Mike Schleibaum explains: “The record’s theme centers around the duality of survival while embracing rebirth,” and, hearing the band hurtle through each of the eleven tracks, Perpetual | Terminal certainly feels like the sound of a band who have been reborn. An uncompromising, unrelenting metal assault, Perpetual | Terminal highlights exactly why heavy music would be worse off without Darkest Hour in it.

Pick up your copy of Perpetual | Terminal from here.

Morta Skuld
Creation Undone
Peaceville Records

Now, even though the new wave of modern death metal bands is doing a sterling job in keeping the flag flying high for the genre, sometimes it’s nice just to take a trip back into some of the old-school bands. Having formed in Milwaukee in 1990, Morta Skuld are still battering away with their latest offering from the death metal stalwarts indicating no sign of slowing down. For fans of the likes of Obituary, Morbid Angel and Deicide, the band expertly combine groovy moshy sections, blastbeats with swamp born vocals. Creation Undone isn’t metalcore, it’s not deathcore, there are no symphonies, this is just straight between the eyes brutality.

Pick up your copy of Creation Undone from here.

M.U.T.T.
Dirty Deeds
Quiet Panic

M.U.T.T. are a trashy punk rock band straight from the gutters of the San Fransisco punk rock scene. There isn’t much you need to know about the kind of punk rock M.U.T.T. peddle except that it comes devoid of airs and graces. Taking a route one approach, M.U.T.T’s punk noise is covered in snot and packed with attitude. Formed from the ashes of Culture Abuse, the project has moved on from the more rock and roll stylings of their debut album, Bad To The Bone, into more trashy waters. Offerings like “Downtown Boy” come with a suitably unpleasant sneer plastered across their face and, while this EP might a fairly brief listen, M.U.T.T pack plenty of bite into those eighteen or so raucous minutes.

Pick up your copy of Dirty Deeds from here.

Gen & The Degenerates
ANTI-FUN Propaganda
Marshall Records

Alt-punk collective Gen & The Degenerates tattoo their principals proudly onto their debut album. Written to a backdrop of disaster, tragedy and misfortune, ANTI-FUN Propaganda comes from a world of late nights and early mornings, sexuality, gender politics and mortality. It’s a punk rock album at its beating heart but, as vocalist Gen puts it, comes with a humourous approach and a love of dirty disco pop. Lyrically, tracks like “Famous” may come from a dark, bleak place but, as the video for “Big Hit Single” highlights, there is a wry smile and a sense of sarcasm nipping away at the subject matter to make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact that, while a quick look outside your window will show a world imploding on itself, it’s important to enjoy what time we have while we’re here.

Pick up your copy of ANTI-FUN Propaganda from here.

Glitterer
Rationale
ANTI-

Following his previous band Title Fight ceased touring, lead singer and songwriter Ned Russin needed a creative outlet. The creative outlet soon manifested into what originally started out as solo project but, six years later, has blossomed into a fully-fledged band and the release of their fourth album, but debut as a full band, Rationale. An album with a sound deeply entrenched in the DC hardcore and indie rock scenes, Rationale is a rowdy listen packed with jarring indie guitars and slick pop melodies with the cohesiveness paying testament to the fact that Russin has found bandmates who share his creative vision.

Pick up your copy of Rationale from here.

Hands of Kalliach
Corryvreckan
Prosthetic Records

Spawned from the minds of Edinburgh, Scotland husband and wife duo have blended together melodic death metal melded with Scottish folk music to create an album that is a work of art. The title of the album is inspired by enormous whirlpool, Corryvreckan, which lies between some of the western isles of Scotland. As harsh yet as beautiful as the inspiration behind it, Corryvreckan is a jaw-dropping piece of work. Soaring passages of melancholic Scottish folk music crash into brutal death metal, like two perfectly matched components. Through the folk music, the pair capture a drama and the emotion that can only come from being truly living and breathing it. When matched up with the extremities of the death metal scene, the end result is utterly majestic.

Pick up your copy of Corryvreckan from here.

Job For A Cowboy
Moon Healer
Metal Blade

For fans of iconic progressive death metal outfit Job For A Cowboy, it’s been almost a decade since new music was last heard from the band. Having teased for a number of years, the band are now back with their follow-up to 2014’s Sun Eater pretty much picking up where the 2014 album dropped off. Unsurprisingly, Moon Healer is the kind of album you really need to invest your time and effort into to really appreciate. Skim over it and you’ll find another incredible album in the Glendale’s musical armoury. Dig under the surface and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world which thematically picks up the story from Sun Eater while musically delivers it in a tightly woven package of complex, experimental, progressive death metal.

Pick up your copy of Moon Healer from here.

Austrian Death Machine
Quad Brutal
Napalm Records

Ten years since their last outing, Austrian Death Machine are back with Quad Brutal, their first album for new home Napalm Records. Formed fifteen years ago by As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, the Arnie-inspired neck-wrecking death machine is back reinspired and reinvigorated. Joined by a bunch of friends from across the metalcore scene including members of Ov Sulfur and Wolves At The Gate, Lambesis is back with another full-throttle, adrenaline-fueled metal feast. With more muscle than your typical weights room, Quad Brutal is just pumped-to-fuck, beefed-up metal. There’s nothing fancy about this. No need to put your brain into gear, Quad Brutal is just here for when another couple of plates on the end of that bar just doesn’t seem enough.

Pick up your copy of Quad Brutal from here.

Royal Tusk
Altruistic
MNRK Heavy

To date, Alberta, Canada three-piece Royal Tusk have gigged with a veritable Who’s Who of Rock from Slash to Halestorm while, during the pandemic, frontman Daniel sang on viral at-home collabs with Stone Sour, In Flames, and Mastodon. Listening to the hard rockers third album and you can probably pinpoint all of those inspirations seeping through the thumping anthems. Full of hard rock bangers like “Fire In Your Veins” and “The Death of Common Sense” to “Hated”, Altruistic has the perfect blend of melody, singalong choruses and power. Of the album, bassist Sandy MacKinnon says “I really hope you want to blast it in your car and headbang” and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy Altruistic than that.

Pick up your copy of Altruistic from here.

Borkanagar
Fall
Century Media

Honouring commitments delayed by the pandemic means that it has been almost five years since we have heard a new full-length album from Norwegian progressive folk/black metal band Borknagar. Reading into the whole process the band go through to write an album though, you do get the feeling Fall would have taken as long pandemic or not. An unrushed, flawlessly-crafted peice of work, Fall sounds like Borknagar frontman Øystein G. Brun has worked tirelessly to ensure that every moment of this album plays out like a story. Blast of grim, violent black metal weave through epic passages of progressive rock and folk to tell a tale of survival. Heading towards their third decade, Fall feels like the Norwegians are still riding at the top of their game.

Pick up your copy of Fall from here.

Mother Mother
Grief Chapter
Warner Music / Parlophone

It’s fair to say that 2021’s album INSIDE catapulted Canadian indie rock troop Mother Mother to new heights. Piling up an incredible 300 million streams for said album Grief Chapter has some task ahead of it. The ninth album of their career finds the band at their most energized despite it focusing, lyrically at least, on themes of death and mourning. This is an album that transcends genres not only over the course of the twelve tracks but, as demonstrated on the brilliant opener “Nobody Escapes” or the stomping “Normalize”, many times within songs. An album which may come from a morbid place lyrically, by the end, will have you well and truly hooked.

Pick up your copy of Grief Chapter from here.

Lowlives
Loser’ [Single]
Spinefarm Records

It’s the year 2000 and Wheatus earworm “Teenage Dirtbag” is rapidly becoming one of the biggest hits of the year. An anthem for misfits, outcasts and losers, it’s a song we hold close to our hearts even 24 years later. Now, West Coast alt-rockers have gone and written their own version. A wonderfully hopeful slice of slacker rock, “Loser” has an almost pleading air to the chorus while the melody is lifted straight from the grunge/alt-rock 2000s. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming debut album, Freaking Out, so don’t worry if you’re going through that misfit phase because Lowlives have got your back.

Pick up your copy of Freaking Out from here.

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