Nine Volt Heart
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Nine Volt Heart

Bradford, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Bradford, England, United Kingdom
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Punk

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The best kept secret in music

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TEENAGERS. Don’t you just hate them? Swanning round the place in packs, in the pomp of youth, with their haircuts and on-trend clothes. Laughing at private jokes and speaking in a nonsensical argot that no-one over the age of 30 could ever hope to understand. Intimidating old people with how carefree and cool they are. The kids are alright? My arse!

Of course only roughly 90% of teenagers are actually grunting, monosyllabic idiots that deserve a damn good thrashing with your walking stick. The remaining 10% (check those mad maths skills) manage to display some real talent and application that is traditionally the preserve of actual adults, with their fully-formed brains. One such example is Nine Volt Heart, a group of Bradford tyros not yet old enough to vote, but who – rather than engage in the traditional past-times of their age-peers such as vandalism and masturbation – have chosen instead to pursue the art of ferocious, guitar-led garage rock. And to do it pretty well.

The Black Cat Demos is the band’s second EP, recorded in singer/guitarist Mikey Lord’s house during summer 2013. Opening track ‘KissKissKiss’ is a belter, a vicious, snarling slab of Stooges-esque rock n’roll. Noisy and unhinged, it features Lord bellowing lairy threats against an un-named adversary (“If you so much as breathe out of time/I’ll fucking strangle you”) as well as the utterly superb chorus lyric of “This is a protest/Against your very beliefs/This is a protest/Against your social disease”, a line that only a young idealist as-yet untainted by the cynicism of the modern world could pen, and quite refreshing it is too.

If the other two songs on the EP don’t quite live up to the opener, they’re still diverting and worthwhile. ‘Phantoms and Failing Engines’ marries a verse of simmering tension to a chorus of frenzied and somewhat ramshackle riffage. Final track ‘Very Much Alive’ starts life as a charmingly naïve love song, with Lord imploring “Let’s disappear together” before it goes all garage-rock nuts, with an enjoyably overblown coda.

Cumulatively, the effect of The Black Cat Demos is to give this old codger second thoughts about the merits of the youth of today. Let’s face it, they aren’t such a bad lot, generally. Maybe the kids are alright after all. - Hotel Amnesia


TITLE: What We Came For
BAND: Nine Volt Heart
LABEL: Unsigned
RELEASED: July 28th 2012

When I was e-mailed by Nine Volt Heart frontman Mikey Lord about the band’s EP, I was intrigued to see what a bunch of teenagers could produce. Sure I’ve featured some very young bands on the blog before and I always get really excited to hear the stuff they put out. Nine Volt Heart are a four-piece from West Yorkshire whose average age is 16-17. They describe their sound as “aggressive pop” and this is certainly a valid answer when attempting to categorise them.

Despite their youth, they’ve actually already been together for two years and the EP What We Came For was released last summer. Their music has some undeniable emo and punk influences embedded in it that feature heavily in their tracks with a fresh energy that runs through their veins. Indeed in some places, it is just a load of chaotic noise but their clever lyric writing and story-telling abilities are unmistakeable.

It begins with Scandalous and a dirty, messy guitar. The angsty vocals aren’t far behind and the American punk vibe is detected right away. Scandalous is definitely an anarchic anthem of the 70s and Mikey’s vocals have a tinge of west coast America to them. The instruments give way to the vocals on the chorus and we hear the nasally tone clearly. Riffs continue to scratch their way through the song, which has so much frantic energy while racing towards its finish.

Get Me Rita Hayworth is in a similar vein. There is a gig setting at the beginning with a crowd cheering before the catchy upbeat riff and steady drums. This time, the vocals take on a more emo stance reminiscent of Gerard Way in the early days of My Chemical Romance. An eerie sounding chorus sees the unpolished vocals go to notes you’ve never heard before and touches back down to a dark, bouncing solo around the two and a half minute mark. The backing vocals which feature intermittently throughout the song are almost like a ritualistic chant that is just thrown in for a tougher image.

The stand out song is certainly Pixie Wings (Sarah Starling), which brings it all right down to a chilled acoustic level. Mikey’s vocals have a more melodic quality while dragging along the ground like so many American emo kings do. The pretty guitar-caused blings in the second half of the song are perfect for setting an ethereal theme and although it kicks up again at the second chorus, it’s such a refreshing change from the other tracks on the EP. At the end, it breaks down into a section which exposes the vocals again before burying them in screeching riffs and loud drumming.

Ending on Aviate, which begins with a fuzzy instrumental which continues throughout and is joined by an angry vocal chance. There is a bit of You Me At Six in the riffs, which I really like and it shows that they can take on many different styles. Mikey’s lead vocal is more pop-punk than it has ever been and fiery energy that powers it transforms into a metallic instrumental. I also love how they have cleverly slipped in the title of the EP into the lyrics of Aviate -”Is this what we came for?” before finishing on a moshpit frenzy and throwing the curveball of an eerie piano at the end.

One reason I love this EP is because it raises questions about what kind of music it is. They have incorporated a lot of styles and speeds and even vocal abilities. Just in four tracks they’ve shown that they can do angry, lovesick and eerie, which is pretty impressive really. I love bands that have multiple facets and can keep coming back with something different. Yes, three out of four of these tracks are a little too shouty for me but they have a lot of variety and talent. - ShowMeSomethingDifferent


This quartet of teenagers from West Yorkshire, England are on their second EP and gearing up for a full-length release in the future. They play a blend of punk, rock and alternative all mixed together to create a very catchy and inviting sound that grabs you and won’t let go.

It all starts with the biting and venomous ripping tune “KissKissKiss” with angry lyrics and aggressiveness in the playing with the lyrics being spat out at the listener. “Phantoms and Failing Engines” starts off quiet and then bursts with power and the soaring of the vocals and the heavy guitar playing take you out to space with a blast of energy. Last song “Very Much Alive” starts off much in the same way, but is more of a slow burner and is a great ending to a short, but well down EP.

Most people think that teenagers are hopeless lay-a-bouts with no goals or ambitions, this lot prove that wrong. This is a great EP that shows the talent and proves that good music knows no age limit, from old to the young, quality come out loud and clear with these young guys. - Altered Frequencies


Discography

What We Came For - EP (Released 2012)

The Black Cat Demos - EP (Released 2013)

The Miracle Kids - ALBUM (Released April 2014)

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