Von Hertzen Brothers back in the studio

Von Hertzen Bros Studio Crop 640x360

The Von Hertzen Brothers are back in the studio, laying the groundwork for their sixth studio LP.

Mikko, Kie and Jonne Von Hertzen are working on what will be the follow-up to 2013’s Nine Lives with producer Garth Richardson. Randy Staub will be handling the final mix.

Frontman Mikko Von Hertzen says he’s thrilled to be working with a “thrilling top-of-the-line team.”

“For the past five years we’ve been working hard on building an international setup. Now the collective feeling is that we need to up it a gear and just go for it,” he says.

“From the outset, the idea was to find a producer who has a vision and thus something concrete to offer our music. With Garth, things clicked from the first meeting. What was really encouraging was his enthusiasm for our new material.”

Says Richardson of the Von Hertzen collaboration: “Working with Von Hertzen Brothers is a dream come true. This is a record that will be on everyone’s iPod, phone and turntable. Turn it up loud and get ready to rock – they’re going to tear it up!”

Last year the band picked up the Anthem Award at the Progressive Music Awards for their track “Flowers and Rust.”

You can watch the official video for “Flowers and Rust” below:

Von Hertzen Brothers are hoping to release the new LP in 2015.

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Under The Skin: The Passion of Skin Back Alley

NIN 003

It doesn’t matter how hard you try to avoid it, sometimes life is gonna’ get in your way. At those times, it’s important to be mindful of the concept of acceptance. Some things you just aren’t going to be able to change, and you have to do your best to navigate them, learn from them, and move on.

To cut a story short, I was unexpectedly forced to look again at what I write here at Skin Back Alley this weekend; why I do it, what I want to achieve with it, and how best to go about doing that.

As well as checking in on my own internal values, motives and goals, I sought some external input, too. What does Skin Back Alley look like from an outside perspective?

One message came back and stuck in my mind: essentially, hold back on the superfan vibe; people will see you as a shill or a suck-up if you don’t make them fight for space on your site, or if your reviews are largely positive.

So I mulled that over for a while and bounced it around with other aspects of what I do here and why I do them; things that I do out of choice, and some that are a simple consequence of circumstance.

And I came to a conclusion.

I’m not at all inclined to hold back on any vibe that suggests that I am a fan of the styles of music I write about. The simple fact is I AM a fan of that music. I am very passionate about it. That and the best quality writing. For goodness sake, I love both so much that I’m trying to make writing about that music WHAT I DO. I think that’s part of what makes Skin Back Alley different.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t write blindly or without insight in to what I am hearing; I won’t write thinking “If I do x, y band will love me.” In short, I’m not about to give a favourable writeup to something that is shit, regardless of whether it is in a genre I love. I mean what I say in the “About” section of this site. Skin Back Alley is not about personal prejudice.

But it is about PASSION. The writing WILL reflect that.

As for being a shill? Well, if you’re cynical enough to think that, then bollocks to you. That says more about you than it does about me or Skin Back Alley. The simple fact is that Skin Back Alley doesn’t have a vast swathe of staff writers to call upon (yet!) Therefore I do have to carefully select what gets covered in order to do it justice; in order to write with PASSION and INSIGHT; in order to write with Skin Back Alley’s brand values at the forefront of my mind.

I want Skin Back Alley to be a professional space, of course I do. I want it to have integrity. I want it to be seen as somewhere that fans and bands – indeed any and all people who are passionate about the music that I am passionate about – can come and engage and share in that passion.

I DO value this space; more than most things in my life. Do I expect anything from fans or bands in return? Well, I want them to value themselves and their music in the same way first; then I want them to value Skin Back Alley too, respecting why it was founded and what they’ll find here should they come.

You like Skin Back Alley? Great. Tell me. You don’t like Skin Back Alley, feel free to tell me that too! You want to use some of what I’ve written somehwere else or in your marketing or PR materials? Ask me! Credit me! I’ll probably say yes!

I want engaging with Skin Back Alley to be a mutually beneficial experience for ALL.

Rock HornsMaybe you think that’s all naive bullshit. Maybe you’re right. But until such time as I am proved wrong, I’m going to ensure that Skin Back Alley continues to do what it set out to do, and become what I have intended for it to become.

I hope you’ll join me.

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Watch! Bi:Lingual release video for debut single “Subject Number”

Bi-Lingual Live Shot

UK rap/rock crew Bi:Lingual have released the official video for their debut single, “Subject Number.”

Earlier this month Skin Back Alley were moved to describe the song as “…a tempestuous assault on the senses with the burning sting of a box of pissed-off hornets.”

Check out the video below to see why:

“Subject Number” is available for pre-order now via Itunes

Find out more about the band at: Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube

Bi:Lingual are about to embark upon an extensive UK tour, playing:

August
2nd – Carpe Diem, Leeds
4th – Subject Number Single Release
5th – The Keys, Middlesbrough (supporting DZ Deathrays)
9th – The Globe, Newcastle
14th – Roadhouse, Manchester
15th – Ryans Bar, Derby
26th – The Islington, London
30th – The Lomax, Liverpool (International Music Festival)

September
11th – Zombie Shack, Manchester

October
4th – The Crown, Middlesbrough (Guests at RISE Wrestling)

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EXCLUSIVE! Bi:Lingual stream “Subject Number” radio edit

Bi-Lingual Live Shot

Occasionally a new band comes along with a song that slaps you upside the head with it’s passion and urgency; it makes you want to shout about it from the nearest rooftop and demand that a record label throw a wedge at it in order to make sure it’s heard; it inspires thoughts of immediately embarking upon a fevered run through the streets, yelling in people’s ears to stop what they’re doing and get with the programme. “Why are you not listening to this song? Right now?!”

Bi:Lingual are one such band, and their debut single, “Subject Number” is one such song.

Let it speak for itself via our exclusive first stream of the song’s radio edit. Click below:


It’s perhaps easy and inevitable to talk about Rage Against The Machine at this point; early adopters of the band certainly seem to be doing so. But put those thoughts out of your mind. Bi:Lingual share their rap/rock DNA, but there we’ll call a halt. These guys are a beast all of their own.

Listen carefully to Dylan Teague’s flow. It’s lyrically sharp and delivered with pin-point accuracy; yet it lays waste with the eruptive fire of a Pompeii-scale paroxysm, particularly in that roar of a chorus. It seems to these ears, too, that the particularly British pronunciation draws more on the styles explored by the UK rap and hip-hop scenes; and in the way that they rip the global talent-show trend a new arsehole, the lyrics spun in the sphere of UK grime.

The instrumentation is equally unyielding in it’s blistering incalescence; a tempestuous assault on the senses with the burning sting of a box of pissed-off hornets. The rhythm section of Aaron Lythe on bass and Stephanos Louca on drums throw it down with funk and groove that, when bolted firmly to the hardcore guitar snarl of George Louca, is blistering and thrillingly bolshy.

And, bugger me, that guitar solo! Eye-popping? Yup! Mind-boggling? You bet. Matt Bellamy eat your motherf**king heart out. And you, Chris Wolstenholme!

At this point, I would apologise for the profanity. I’m not usually prone to it. But to my mind Bi:Lingual are that good that I need to make a point. Why don’t you make one too, and buy the bloody single.

– oOo –

The full version of “Subject Number” is available for pre-order now via Itunes

Find out more about the band at: Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube

Bi:Lingual are about to embark upon an extensive UK tour, playing:

July
23rd – The Showroom, Hartlepool
30th – The Fenton, Leeds

August
2nd – Carpe Diem, Leeds
4th – Subject Number Single Release
5th – The Keys, Middlesbrough (supporting DZ Deathrays)
9th – The Globe, Newcastle
14th – Roadhouse, Manchester
15th – Ryans Bar, Derby
26th – The Islington, London
30th – The Lomax, Liverpool (International Music Festival)

September
11th – Zombie Shack, Manchester

October
4th – The Crown, Middlesbrough (Guests at RISE Wrestling)

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The Reasoning postpone album release, UK tour going ahead!

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UK prog rockers The Reasoning have postponed the release of their new album.

Announcing the delay of their fifth LP until 2015, the band indicated that they were doing so in order to take advantage of recording and production opportunities that had come their way.

The Reasoning’s autumn dates around the UK, titled The Great Escape Tour, will be going ahead however, with performances of the band’s debut album, Awakening, in its entirety.

Said bassist Matt Cohen: “After the whirlwind experiences of the past couple of years, we’re going to take some extra time to really develop and embellish this new piece of work, and craft it to its very richest potential.

“This is going to be a big financial investment for us – outsourcing the recording of drums and, for the first time, vocals, to some big studios. We’re also in talks with several mix engineers, both here and on the other side of the Atlantic.”

Regarding the tour, Cohen said: “”The shows will feature Awakening in its entirety and will also showcase some brand new material.”

The delay of the new album means that it’s release will coincide with the band’s 10th anniversary.

The Reasoning will play:

24th of Oct: Talking Heads, Southampton
25th of Oct: Venue 2, London
30th of Oct: The Duchess, York
31st of Oct: Railway, Bolton
1st of Nov: CF10, Cardiff
2nd of Nov: Robin 1, Bilston

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