Schemata Theory

‘Dry Lung Rhetoric’ Review.

This is a review for Schemata Theory, a brand new band from Reading, England who have released their debut album, ‘Dry Lung Rhetoric’. I received a polite message from a Mr Myles Dyer, one part of a six piece metal band, asking if I’d like to listen to his new album. Obviously, I agreed, as I love to hear new music and I’m glad I did, as this is a very interesting, thought provoking album and overall body of work.

The band are made up of the following members; vocalist Myles Dyer, lead guitarist Huw Roch, rhythm guitarist Mario Scinto and bassist Carl Quanstrom, who are the founding members and first met up in a previous band, but the addition of second vocalist Luke Wright and drummer Joshua Barretto made up and completed Schemata Theory. Myles and Luke are the creative force behind the band, with Myles writing the lyrics and Luke creating the melodies, but I’m pretty sure that each band member had creative input to form the bands overall sound which we hear on this album and all to good effect.

From my research, I know Myles studied and graduated Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire, which tells me he’s an intelligent guy. Had I not known this, the nature and material within this album, along with it’s lyrical content, themes and messages that run through it’s entirety, I would be forced to investigate a little deeper to discover what this album and bands philosophies are.

‘Dry Lung Rhetoric’ is an 11 track album, that’s available to listen to for free on both You Tube and Spotify. Interestingly, Myles is somehow connected to You Tube and has found success with his own channel that has amassed a healthy number of subscribers/followers in the years prior to this album. Some people will be aware of his views and beliefs through his You Tube broadcasts, but with music as a medium, he’s now hoping his voice will be heard, in the more commercially viable form.

I’m not going to delve into the meaning of each of the 11 songs, their titles being – ‘A Dark Dawn’, ‘Perish Or Prevail’, ‘Drones’, ‘Emergency’, ‘A Complex Slate’, ‘Six Into Three’, ‘Shredding Skin’, ‘Crisis Unveiled’, ‘Your Belief’, ‘A Brighter Future’ and ‘The Final Breath’, but their titles do give you an idea of what will be spoken in the songs. I will however give you an overall feel of the album and highlights for me.

Schemata Theory describe themselves as a multi genre metal band, however, I personally think they are a metal band that has allowed themselves to be more diverse and creative than just sticking to one speed of tempo and to call yourself a multi genre metal can be quite confusing! I’ve spent a week with this album, trying to understand it and it is a very well produced and creative album which earned my full attention. My first impression was that this band sound like the ever so popular Enter Shakari, minus the dubstep/drum and bass interludes, instead they are ever so much more metal. Thes two bands are however, similar as both speak of politics and the failings of modern day life. You could also liken Schemata Theory to Linkin Park, The Blackout and Lower Than Atlantis.

The album starts with a calm and melodic introduction, but by track 2 it soon works its way into a full on frenzy. It’s strange, from here on in as I feel as though I’m being read a poem, with the band giving the perfect backing music to suit the theme. I think the vocals from Myles are great, Luke’s vocals however, I found a little too monotone at times but certainly not in a way that would deter me from enjoying the tracks.

The track ‘Drones’ comes complete with a great line in it, ‘Look at me I’ve got a promotion, stressful but the pay makes it alright’ which really stood out to me, probably on some personal level, but this I accept is what the album is all about, personal issues and struggles in every day life.

Track 5. ‘A Complex Slate’ has been turned into the bands official video to accompany the albums release on You Tube. It’s a great, captivating video, that is well produced and I do like this song and leads me to believe that one of the great things about this album is consistency as the quality of the tracks remain constant or improve as the album goes on.

Track 7. ‘Shredding Skin’ is also a very good song, musically it has a great hook with the accompanying lyrics that questions if we are happy with the fact that life is pulling the wool over our eyes and leads us on into Track 8, ‘Crisis Unveiled’, which is probably my favourite track on the album and no, not because it’s an instrumental, but for the pure 9 minutes and 36 seconds of riffage! This is a real guitar anthem that reminds me of one of my most favourite bands ever, Metallica!

For me, however, Track 9 is the albums masterpiece, primarily it speaks of one mans struggle with the world. It’s a much slower song and probably more commercially viable, its most definitely worth a listen.

To sum up, this is a well thought out and executed first album from a very new band that will evidently do well through the help of the internet and a little bit of know how from the band members. Their material will reach anywhere with an internet connection and be heard by millions, but the test will be whether the people who listen to this album, share in the bands views, how successful this album will be, only time will tell. Maybe I’m looking too deep into this album nd its meaning and people won’t pick up on the views of the band, but that would mean that people are missing out on the bigger picture behind this album and the bands beliefs. I hope so for the bands sake, as I for one am keen to hear how this band develops and I’d be very interested in seeing them perform live.

Words by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Hitchcock Blonde

Five Pounds EP Review

Having never listened to London rockers Hitchcock Blonde before, I was very unsure what to expect. Gladly, I can say that I was more than pleasantly surprised! Their debut EP ‘Five Pounds’ is a six track, twenty two minute roller coaster, filled to the brim with hard hitting riffs, shattering vocals and pure rock and roll energy.

‘Five Pounds’ opens up with the smoothly crafted ‘Baby Knows Best’. The track is very reminiscent of American band Paramore and holds with it more vocal hooks than a fishing tackle shop! Here is a song that left me wanting more, luckily I still had another five to listen to!

Next up is ‘Buzz Kill’. A little softer than its predecessor but still lively and presented in true style. The pre-chorus is a smooth warm up for what comes next. Vocalist Ella Grace, subtly whispers the word ‘breathe’ before the entire band, featuring Drew Wynen (Guitar), Joss Nightingale (Bass) and Ben Davies (Drums) explode into the chorus! Definitely an anthem for a long car drive.

Track three sees a new development for this six song wonder of an EP. ‘Cutglass’ has a slightly darker tone whilst somehow still maintaining a bouncy upbeat groove! It did not however hit me as hard as the other songs on the EP, largely due to the lack of a catchy chorus, but that being said, I still found myself wanting to get up and dance and I was no means bored.

‘Sexy Like You’ rekindles the infectious memorable and ‘turn around touch the ground’ dance tone of the EP! The entire track is excellant, it will guarantee to leave your head spinning, not least because of it’s trippy (what sounds like) kazoo solo towards the end! Pure creative class.

The penultimate ‘Let It Go’ left me pondering, “are this band influenced by No Doubt?”. A song filled with ‘Don’t Speak’ resemblances is always a winner in my book. The brilliant inclusion of vocal harmonies in the chorus cements this band in the mind, there is not a trick missing so far. Sadly at this point I remembered that the EP was coming to a close, luckily there was still one track left. Could it bookend the debut in style?

The answer was a resounding yes! ‘Animals’ is by far the best track on the EP, the light at the end of the tunnel if you will. Stuffed full of riffs and even a raunchy lyric here and there, Hitchcock Blonde prove that they know how to write anthemic, psychedelic and down right amazing music.

In my opinion, ‘Five Pounds’ is nothing short of stunning!

Rating 9 out of 10

For fans of: No Doubt, Paramore, Royal Republic.

Track listing: 1. Baby Knows Best  2. Buzz Kill  3. Cutglass  4. Sexy Like You  5. Let It Go  6. Animal

Review by Adam Lavender