Lay It on the Line/Arizona – Split

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Lay It on the Line/Arizona
Split
Fire Engine Red

South Londoners Lay It on the Line have been garnering attention in the underground scene for their progressively edged melodic hardcore, and on this latest release, a split with Belgian up-and-comers Arizona, they again raise the bar. A band whose songs regularly recount real life tales, sometimes personal. And here they sing about their friend, a man named Ben Gardner who was brutally murdered by three thugs in Sutton in 2010. It’s a horrible story to read and one indicative of the ugly side of drunken society here in the UK. It doesn’t get too much more personal than that, and LIOTL don’t let him down with a thoroughly furious performance. There’s a palpable sense of rage and anger about what happened, that pores right out of their music and through your speakers. These are their two longest songs to date, having thrashed them out a little faster on previous releases, and it’s a definite sign of a band that are already maturing into quite an outstanding outfit.

Arizona are a Belgian screamo band – now there’s a tag I haven’t used in a while. The long, long titles matched only pound for pound by US death metallers Nile were a source of frustration for me when younger, where expectation would often be left flat as it seemed such lyrics were just for show amid a cluttered scene. Maybe time away from all that has served me well. Maybe its my old age – I’m only 28, pushing 29, but part of me continues to mellow. In any event, I don’t find anything wholly inspiring or original about Arizona but at least they make a good fist of producing some quality to back up those huge song titles, with an anthemic and slightly bruising ‘I Knew A Girl Called Pandora, Never Got to See Her Box Though’, and an acoustic version of ‘I’m Not A Superhero, I’m a Latter Day Saint’ which sees the band briefly masquerade as lounge lizards while making their reflections.

Both bands are streaming the EP via their respective Bandcamp pages. Lay It on the Line offer it from zero on a name-your-price scheme, while Arizona are selling it for €5, and with their tracks sandwiching Lay It on the Line’s. The choice is yours, but you could do worse than give the EP a listen and a denomination in your currency of choice.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Lay It on the Line/Arizona’ from Lay It on the Line here (name-your-price)
Or through Arizona here

Stream it below:

Lay it on the Line official site
Facebook
Bandcamp

Arizona Facebook
Bandcamp

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Cape Canaveral – Scrapbook

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Cape Canaveral
Scrapbook

This week, Kerrang! magazine is running an article about ‘The amazing untold story’ of emo, featuring the bands who rebelled for a generation, yadayada. While Kerrang! aren’t specifically to blame for the ruination of the genre, they are fallible, in my eyes, in their evident failure to support the UK underground during the genre’s promising growth, an untold story in itself. What would a bit of national pride done for a band like Cape Canaveral, who recently released ‘Scrapbook‘, a collection of their material released during their active years between 1998-2006. You may have caught them live supporting the likes of Hundred Reasons, The Copperpot Journals, Garrison and more besides. There were probably many other factors at work that caused them never to get that break, as with so many bands below the surface.

Still, ‘Scrapbook‘ is a fantastic reminder of the true spirit of emo, bearing all the hallmarks of its classic 90’s/early 00’s era, with a sound often compared to acts such as Buffalo Tom, Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate and indeed, comparable to Jimmy Eat World too. The first half of this compilation is fantastic stuff, and not half a reminder of the sound that accompanied my teenage years, my initial forays into rock and metal. Tracks such as ‘The Way Home (Homesick Song) and ‘Martian’ show a real drive that existed about this band, and ‘The Last Song Ever’ is the emo anthem that never was, with the line ‘you can call it sorrow/you can call it what you want/cos I don’t give a damn any more‘.

I can’t say my enthusiasm holds for every track, as the odd track doesn’t do anything for me in any sort of reactionary sense. But at least Cape Canaveral were never in the process of following the dilution of the genre, and in a style so heavy on feelings and confession, they were as honest as anyone in the business, and for the most part, ‘Scrapbook’ is a collection of a talented band not fully realised.

The UK used to be awash with these bands, substance over style, not the other way around. If emo had a return to its roots, maybe I could overlook its porous image. This is a free release, and though I kind of grew out of this scene and admittedly railed against its metamorphosis, I wouldn’t mind a return to these halcyon days. I’m sure you wouldn’t too. So go check it out, and stop by the band’s MySpace page too, which is still open with a blog section chronically their journey, the praise they received and more. Those days of past are worth reliving.

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Scrapbook‘ here
Stream it below:

MySpace
Facebook
Bandcamp