Along with their range of clothes for Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Guernsey/Lincoln based clothing brand Anything Goes Apparel teamed up with Wildcard Clothing to put together a sampler of some of the music that (loosely) inspired their designs.
Much like their previous sampler, Anything Goes Volume Three, there is a mix of current rock styles on offer from tech-death metal to indie from bands spanning the UK and Channel Islands.
Things start off with some metal-edged rock from Surrey four-piece Hearts Under Fire who display a fairly generic but ultimately enjoyable sound with Knots. The melodic side of their sound is tempered nicely by buzzsaw guitars that, topped with female vocals, make for a very listenable experience that could easily be a crossover success.
Next up come Lincolnshire’s Kill The Ideal with Higher which has a similar metallic guitar edged pop-rock sound to it, albeit in a bit more of a forceful style. Mixed in with this is a good dose of the kind of hard indie rock that was coming out of the UK 10 years or so ago and there are clear undertones of Reuben and their ilk in Kill The Ideal’s sound. This makes for a combination that sounds like it could make for an immense live show and on record is equally as enjoyable.
Belfast’s Mireau turn up the heaviness on the sampler with Dead Famous. While their Facebook describes them as “rock/hardcore” I’d push things further than that as, to me, there is a tech-death-metal side to proceedings, with the beatdowns of the hardcore/metal crossover genre mixed in. With a message hidden in the music and some nicely contrasting sung passages alongside the growls, this makes for another fine listen, though certainly with less crossover appeal than the preceding tracks, but for that it feels all the more ambitious.
The Silence fall into a genre really pioneered in the mainstream by Paramore and their sound fits nicely alongside those now megastars more vibrant earlier work, with a bit more chugging guitar adding The Silence’s own flair. With a nice combination of punk bounce and rock swagger Broken Pieces is a punchy highlight of the compilation.
Gainsborough’s They Say Fall deliver some real heaviness on Eris Quod Sum combined with some raging post-hardcore that manages to be at once brutal and emotional with a melancholy tone laced through the vicious, buzzing guitars and backing vocals, although it ultimately feels like part of something bigger than just the single track can provide.
Last of the Light Brigade bring a more traditional slice of Brit-style indie rock to the disc with Familiar Places, taken from their Last Laugh album. As with most of the band’s songs they come with a real sense of authenticity in Tyler Edmond’s lyrics, backed up with some excellent musicianship that should really be capable of getting a whole room bouncing and moving – this feels like Kaiser Chiefs’ I Predict A Riot should.
From Bedrooms To Backseats feature Anything Goes’ own Martyn Brown on drums and this is their latest single Breathe Deep. While the song itself is the kind of pop-infused metalcore the band have made their name with, the production of this track leaves it feeling lost and murky alongside the other tracks on the disc, for something with a little more clarity, if you like the sound of this, I’d recommend you check out their Bow Down EP.
Jersey boys The New Tusk return to the Anything Goes sampler with another slice of punky indie in Uncomfort. Again the production here isn’t the best which might lose something of the song, but at the same time I was left with the feeling that maybe this lo-fi edge actually suits the style the band are looking for as it lends it a realness and immediacy that might be lost if it sounded a bit glossier. Fuzzy, shouty fun, but with some musical substance mixed in there too.
Chasing Cadence by contrast are all big guitars and big gang vocals on Heartstrong. Their metallic pop-rock seems custom designed, again, to get a room moving and shouting along with the band as they’re just melodic enough to have that appeal but with an underlying tone of the heavy in the shredding, high frequency distorted guitars.
Static Alice present a much more mellow, straight up rock, vibe than the rest of the songs here and are something of a welcome break with King Kong from their debut, The Ghost of Common Sense. This is modern rock at its poppiest and continues to demonstrate something of the appeal the band have that sees them gigging almost constantly in Guernsey.
Horsebite (Tales of Extraordinary Sadness) from Jersey’s Hank Chinaski is a mixed bag of sounds. As the title suggests this isn’t too cheery a number but presents a band with a lot of musical ideas. With clean melody lines coming from guitars while vocals shriek in anguish it suddenly switches to fuzzy, overdriven guitars and clean vocals and back again. In all it reminds me somewhat of a grungier version of The Used at their most emotional.
Lifejacket bring catchy indie-punk to proceedings with Merrick from their debut album Lets Get This Out Of Our System And Move On. Their sound is one that manages to combine a pop sensibility with the dark heart of some of the harder ends of indie and throws a bit of a message in their for good measure all wrapped in a neat package that is hugely engaging and infectious.
Another Guernsey band, Subversion, bring some more pop-rock to proceedings on Mystery. Unfortunately a hyper distorted guitar tone runs over the top of everything detracting somewhat from what sounds like it could be a fine, Foo Fighters-esque bit of crossover rock.
Britpop, indie four-piece The Mithered start We Do What We Want with the line “We don’t follow the rules” and is certainly true in sense of stylistic composition here. The track veers from The Police-esque ‘reggae’ to jangly indie that never quite coalesces into a genuinely enjoyable song – but more power to them for throwing everything they possibly can into one track!
The disc is rounded off by Raptor Shack with Demons from their debut EP, The Wild. Demons is a punchy pop-metal track captures something of the band’s youth in Guernsey and shows them at their best as raspy vocals mix with tight playing and some great melody alongside what is the closest I think you can get to a pop beatdown.