Album review: Servers, ‘Everything Is OK’

Servers Everything Is OK coverArtist: Servers
Album: Everything Is OK
Our Verdict: 9/10
Release date: 19th August
Find it at: Amazon
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

The UK’s Servers deliver their outstanding second album

In 2014 Servers delivered their stunning debut album Leave With Us, a rough-hewn thing of dark beauty that seemed as though it had been cleaved from the bowels of the earth itself. It was at once both a damning vision of the future and a commentary on a shared shadowy, feudal past.

At the time of its birth, it might not have been clear to anyone except Servers themselves quite how prophetic Leave With Us would turn out to be. In the 2 years since its release it is perfectly possible to argue that the world has spiralled down into ever more confusion and unrest. The continued rise of the political far right; ever widening gaps between the super-rich and the poverty stricken; terrorist atrocities driven by inward looking governments, war, ideological disparity and religious fundamentalism; everything about Leave With Us and its examination of cults, control, chaos and a lack of reasoned, critical thought now seems like it was a highly prescient and insightful harbinger of what was yet to come.

It’s the perfect time for Servers to return with their follow up then, the aptly – and deeply ironically – titled Everything Is OK, unleashed on the 19th of August via Undergroove Records.

The next chapter in the band’s assault on the world of heavy music is heavy indeed. It is immediately apparent from opening track “Spells” that the songs presented here are more dense, layered and crushing than the band’s previous efforts. The rhythmic thrum of Ant Nettleship’s drumming coupled with Lee Wilde’s quake-inducing bass are gripping in their intensity.

That weightiness carries through into the album’s themes. Obsession, social conformity, civil and political upheaval, the tools by which we create and accept our own oppression, the means by which we might finally break free from all of the above: they might not be new concerns for Servers, but the nuance with which they are explored and the real-world context into which they are presented makes them all the more urgent and vital.

The increased might hasn’t come at the expense of Servers’ sonic identity, though. Everything Is OK marks out this group of South Yorkshire’s finest as being remarkable for the way in which their songs are immediately recognisable as their own. Be it a particular descending chord progression, THAT guitar tone or Lee Storrar’s momentous vocal delivery, Servers have unparalleled auricular distinctiveness.

Servers 2016 - Mark Latham Photography
Photo: Mark Latham

With the new material comes progression, too. Tracks such as the hugely impressive and excoriating examination of one man’s paranoia-induced existential crisis that is “My Friends Are Enemies”, or album closer “Into The Grave”, foreground new electronic tones and textures that work brilliantly as part of the wider musical tapestry. Whether they are providing ominous choral overtones, introducing a particular melody or adding a glitch-ridden and gnarly air of dreadful menace, they exist only to serve the songs and illustrate Servers’ untouchable songwriting craftsmanship.

And Everything Is OK really does demonstrate how finely honed the band’s writing skills are. Rather than gimmicks or quick and easy payoffs that lose their fascination in double-quick time, the album is one that reveals many of its details gradually. As immediately pulse-quickening as much of the music here is, the collection is an expert lesson in the thrill of slowly building tension followed by epic release, and a testimony to how paying attention to the smallest of details provides some of the greatest and most rewarding results. Be it the lead guitar break that comes just shy of four minutes into “I Will Make You”, the slow-burn beginning and towering coda of the Charles Manson referencing “Unconditional”, or the unexpected but perfectly judged harpsichord intro to album centrepiece “Codes”, Everything Is OK proves Servers to be one of our nation’s greatest and most under-sung heavy songwriting units.

Peers? There’s something of Swedish heavy metal titans Ghost’s stately metal elegance about Everything Is OK, and yet it’s not without a sense of fun or humour. The synth-led opening bars of “Into The Grave” recall Tool’s calliope intermissions on their landmark 1996 album, Aenima, for example. And whilst Servers never venture into their extended progressive explorations, there’s also something of Tool’s rhythmic dynamism to Storrar and Co’s new material. Queens Of The Stone Age and Killing Joke are surely influences, too.

But it would seem perverse to spend any more time making comparisons in relation to a band that stand squarely on no-one’s feet but their own. Servers are one-of-a-kind; a unique prospect in British metal, and in Everything Is OK they have created a more than worthy successor to their already impressive debut; an album of subtle progression, devastating thematic heft and breathtaking heavy music.

The track listing for Everything Is OK is:

Servers Everything Is OK cover01. “Spells”
02. “My Friends Are Enemies”
03. “To Hell With You”
04. “Unconditional”
05. “Our Lady of Bad Counsel”
06. “Codes”
07. “I Will Make You”
08. “Recklessly Extravagant”
09. “Bodies in the Ground”
10. “Into the Grave”

Servers will launch ‘Everything Is OK’ on Friday the 19th of August at Barnsley Rock & Blues. Support on the night comes from Hands Off Gretel, Awooga and Fear Lies. Tickets are available on the door priced at £5. Doors open at 7:30pm.

Connect with SERVERS at:
Facebook: facebook.com/ServersUk
Twitter: twitter.com/Serversband
Web: www.serversband.co.uk

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SERVERS share new track ‘Spells’ ahead of album release next month

Servers 2016 - Mark Latham Photography
Photo: Mark Latham

SERVERS have shared a brand new track, “Spells.”

The song is lifted from the band’s new album, Everything Is OK, scheduled for release on the 19th of August via Undergroove.

Servers drummer Ant Nettleship says of the new song: “”Spells is about a point in time when you realise you’ve been blinded by outside influence for too long and it’s time to wake up. Everything is OK!”

The band’s taught and sinewy brand of dark and evocative rock n’ roll has seen them hone their craft with appearances at the likes of Guilfest, Hammerfest and touring in support of LA metal legends My Ruin. Their debut album, Leave With Us, also bagged Skin Back Alley’s 2014 Album Of The Year accolade.

Check out “Spells” below.


Servers are set to spend the rest of 2016 gigging and touring, announcing the first in a string of dates to promote the release of their album, as follows:

02nd Jul: Sanctuary Rock Bar, Burnley
09th Jul: BeanFest, Rotherham
16th Jul: Coalfields Festival
19th Aug: ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW, Barnsley Rock and Blues
16th Sep: Sheffield, O2 Academy2

The track listing for Everything Is OK is as follows:

Servers Everything Is OK cover01. “Spells”
02. “My Friends Are Enemies”
03. “To Hell With You”
04. “Unconditional”
05. “Our Lady of Bad Counsel”
06. “Codes”
07. “I Will Make You”
08. “Recklessly Extravagant”
09. “Bodies in the Ground”
10. “Into the Grave”

Connect with SERVERS at:
Facebook: facebook.com/ServersUk
Twitter: twitter.com/Serversband
Web: www.serversband.co.uk

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography

SERVERS announce new album and tour dates for 2016

Servers 2016 - Mark Latham Photography
Photo: Mark Latham

South Yorkshire’s kings of cult, Servers, have announced a new album and tour details for 2016.

Everything Is OK will be released on the 19th of August via Undergroove Records and is the follow-up to the band’s previous studio album, Leave With Us, Skin Back Alley’s 2014 album of the year.

“Wild, dark times are rumbling towards us as a human race,” say Servers. “We don’t have the answers, we are as afraid as you are. Everything is not OK! The world has gone to shit. Terrorism, politics, consumer greed, war and poverty are everywhere but we‘re force-fed by the media and organised religion that everything is OK and we’ll somehow get out of this. We won’t, not this time and your only chance to survive this is to collaborate, join together as one, forge a position of trust in a world where there is none and leave with us.”

A vociferous call to arms from the Northern rockers, Everything Is OK comprises 10 brooding tracks that unleash a healthy dose of melancholic beauty with equal amounts of haunting disposition, sonic drama, captivating hooks and 43 minutes of mood-building tension, succinctly enveloped by vocalist Lee Storrar’s evocative, untouchable vocal delivery.

Comments bassist Lee Wilde: “For this album we wanted to take the whole Servers concept to the next level, deeper and darker. There’s still the cult insight behind the songs but we tried to get deeper into the minds of those that operate in cults and look at the largest cults of all, like the mainstream media and organised religion in all its forms, looking at how they affect our everyday lives.

“There’s a darkness there,” he adds, “a sinister shadow in the background and we’re force fed that everything is ok and that it’s all going to work out in the end. Our view is that people need to wake up to this, to stop believing all the propaganda they are fed and as Servers we can show we are aware and look for the answers together.”

Servers are set to spend the rest of 2016 gigging and touring, announcing the first in a string of dates to promote the release of their album, as follows:

02nd Jul: Sanctuary Rock Bar, Burnley
09th Jul: BeanFest, Rotherham
16th Jul: Coalfields Festival
19th Aug: ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW, Barnsley Rock and Blues
16th Sep: Sheffield, O2 Academy2

The track listing for Everything Is OK is as follows:

Servers Everything Is OK cover01. “Spells”
02. “My Friends Are Enemies”
03. “To Hell With You”
04. “Unconditional”
05. “Our Lady of Bad Counsel”
06. “Codes”
07. “I Will Make You”
08. “Recklessly Extravagant”
09. “Bodies in the Ground”
10. “Into the Grave”

Connect with SERVERS at:
Facebook: facebook.com/ServersUk
Twitter: twitter.com/Serversband
Web: www.serversband.co.uk

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song | Live From Los Angeles – Tairrie B. Photography

SERVERS to release Claustrophobia EP in September

SERVERS band shot

UK rock band SERVERS are to release a new EP next month.

Claustrophobia is slated to come out on the 15th of September via Undergroove Records, and will feature the song “Claustrophobia”, lifted from the band’s debut album, Leave With Us.

In addition, it will feature the band’s cover of Madness’ song “Lovestruck”, recorded in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The full tracklist for the EP is as follows:

1. Claustrophobia
2. Bodies in the Ground
3. Lovestruck – (Madness Tribute Cover) in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust
4. Universes and Supernovas (The Ride) – Remix by Gez Walton (ex Ghost of a Thousand, current Earthtone9) & Mark Flannery.

Meanwhile, following a successful run of gigs in Scotland, SERVERS will play in support of LA metal band My Ruin on the 21st of August at their show at The Fleece, Bristol. My Ruin are about to embark on their UK-wide The Sacred Mood Tour, their final set of UK shows.

You can watch SERVERS’ official video for their track “Claustrophobia” below, and read Skin Back Alley’s 5/5 review of the band’s debut album, Leave With Us, here.

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