ROCKTRONICA FROM LONDON AND BRIGHTON UK.
(IAM)WARFACE is an Electro Rock band formed in London and Brighton in 2015 consisting of Matt Warneford, Lou Matthews, Mike Smith and Adam Stanley. The name is a metaphor for their own style of bombastic high-energy music. (IAM)WARFACE has taken the pop route, but keeps it dangerous with a fusion of 80’s style vocals, abstract guitars, moody layered synth riffs and pounding drum beats. (IAM)WARFACE have been influenced by many peers such as DEPECHE MODE, GARY NUMAN, KASABIAN, Muse, Big Black Delta, Nero, Queens of the Stone Age, Tears For Fears, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Keys and MGMT. Debut EP "Say My Name" released oN APRIL 2016.
Never before will you have heard a sound as distinguishable as the one in this single. (IAM)WARFACE have almost definitely been brushing up on every genre out there at the moment to throw it into one, five-minute sonic force. This huge mix between early Muse hysteria, straight to nuances of Pendulum, well at least what Pendulum would sound like if they had more thought process behind their songs.
With ‘Say My Name’, it’s safe to say that you’re completely entitled to listen to it and think, “What the fuck is going on”. There is all sorts featuring in (IAM)WARFACE’s latest single. But the best thing about all of it, is that it’s business as usual for the band. It would appear that they love to question everyone’s preconceptions of genre.
‘Say My Name’ is either intentionally overtly hipster, or the band are actually just that mad. Given their aesthetics across their socials, it would be safe to assume it’s a case for the latter. There is an inexorable rock star ethic, about this band. While they have indulged heavily in the new age of effects, left, right and centre,the backbone of this band comes from a gnarly snarl, and a back-to-basics distorted guitar.
You will love, ‘Say My Name’:
Wow. Pretty aggressive. This one pins you to the wall until you scream out that you love it (which, most probably, you will). Stuttering, burbling sound effects open it up, followed swiftly by driving electronic beats and a huge drum beat. The vocals soar and coast across the dirty, in your face instrumentation. Backing vocals suddenly lend an air of haunting beauty, allowing for a moment of euphoria. It doesn't last long. Several seconds later, the chorus explodes in a frantic race of yelping vocals, streamlike synthesisers and those earth shattering drums as a dirty bassline grinds its way through a barrage of "woo-ooh" vocals. It's dark and aggressive, but incredibly fun and easy to dance to.
The lyrics are hilarious, gleaning light on a wit that's as sharp as the music's hooks, including "watch out, we're heading for a comedown; sucking your thumb if it makes you feel happy". The bridge is incredibly tight, filled with drum rolls and heavenly backing vocals before the chorus slams back to earth with a grimy fist shake. It's got you by the throat, but you don't want it to let go. Similarly to 'Say My Name', there's an instrumental breakdown at around the 3 minute mark. This one consists of weird blips and hums, complete with crashing cymbals and a voice floating over the top, repeating, "hello? I can't hear you very well." Trippy. A wah wah cuts through the confusion, circling and wavering as the drums become heavier and slower and a sharp synthesizer splices the music like a chainsaw. Beautiful, utter chaos. Howling backing vocals rise and fall for a couple of seconds before everything disintegrates, leaving behind that heavy drum beat.
At 5 minutes, this one's a bit more epic and out there than 'Say My Name'. Is it good? Judge for yourself.
My first 4 followers on Twitter were myself and 3 of my friends. The 5th follower was (IAM)WARFACE. I’m interpreting that as an omen that “The Music Omnivore” is a good idea, because this guy is fucking fantastic. Finding cool new music is one of my favourite things. That being said, he already has 23K followers, so I’m clearly not leading the parade here.
Here’s the bio blurb from his website…
(IAM)WARFACE is a solo Electro Rock band formed in Brighton in 2015. The name is a metaphor for his own style of bombastic high-energy music, which he calls “dark avant-garde electro rock”. (IAM)WARFACE has taken the pop route, but keeps it dangerous with a fusion of 80’s style vocals, abstract bass, moody, layered synth riffs and pounding drum beats. (IAM)WARFACE has been influenced by many peers such as Big Black Delta, Nero, Eminem, Queens of the Stone Age, Zeppelin, Yeah yeah yeahs, Black Keys, MGMT and the Beatles and has played in gigs across the UK, from Brighton to Scotland. He is currently writing and recording his album ATOMIC WHITE GOLD that is due to be released in the summer.
This guy has a pretty clear vision, I think. You don’t come up with a description like “dark avant-garde electro rock” without knowing exactly what it is that you’re going for.
I understand and respect that original artists hate being compared to other artists, but for the sake of enticing you to give (IAM)WARFACE a listen, here’s what my ears are hearing (aside from what’s mentioned in his bio); a bit of Muse groove and also some NIN influence. I’d also give Gerard Way a nod in that (IAM)WARFACE also seems to be a pretty talented graphic artist. He has the audio/visual category locked down. There’s just so much potential for this guy to be huge.The instrumentation is electronic, but the music is rock. It’s a cool meshing of things I wouldn’t normally expect to mesh. The music is pulsing with snotty grooves. It comes from the hips. That’s where all great rock comes from, in my opinion. Leave the “from the heart” bullshit to Celine Dion or whoever. (IAM)WARFACE is in it to fuck shit up. It’s music to crash your car to.
I’d love to hear (IAM)WARFACE with elite production and engineering. That’s not to say it isn’t already good. It is. But it could be great if Reznor or Butch Vig or somebody like that got their hands on it. The two tracks I posted below are big time arena anthems. They’d sound great at concert volume.
Some of his stuff – like Trigons – is too ravey for my taste, but all-in-all (IAM)WARFACE has been a fantastic listening experience for me. I’m completely addicted to FIGHT!!!
Like Lenny Kravitz, Hawksly Workman, and Prince, he works solo in the studio (his basement, probably). I feel like having other people would disturb the flow and ruin everything. Some people needed collaborators. Some people don’t.
Infusing each listening with abstract guitars, frontman Matt Warface can’t help but resemble a more roughened up and pierced Matt Bellamy. Taking inspiration from Muse themselves, the four-piece tread the line somewhere inbetween Queens of the Stone Age and Tears for Fears with sultry guitar layered over a pounding drum beat that rings in your ears maybe a bit too well.
Diverting into a bit of punk it seems, ‘Fight’ cements the band in the thing they do best – performing fiery rock laced with a lot of passion and a little principle. (IAM)WARFACE define a band that can fill out a venue in an instant as long as the audience has a pure love for a new and alternative rock sound.
Demonstrating the contrast they can create both vocally and musically, ‘Golden Army’ offers a fusion of 80s riffs and a synth-soaked backing. Followed by a branching out into a 7 minute long electronic experiment, closing track ‘Trigons’ illustrates their influence of the American band MGMT.
Their own style regarded as “bombastic high-energy music”, their tracks come packed with futuristic but loaded guitar sounds and a drumming thunder enough to evoke God’s footsteps. As the EP works its way through the handful of songs showcased, it leaves a weird feeling of just how well the different talents in the band are proven.
Formed only a year ago, this Electro/Synth/Rock/Pop/Industrial quartet are as adventurous with their sound as the genre-clash implies. They're as much Industrial Britpop as they are 80s synth-rock.. but it really works. Matt Warface, Lou Matthews, DJ Ted Fresh, Chris Judd and Mike Smith have a lot to be proud of here and with the launch of the EP on 20th April, they'll be one to watch out for.
The title track of the EP is an absolute belter. From the off-set, it a track that would be as at home in a Lock-Stock movie as it would on the playlist of every gym-goer in the country. The regular use of open hi-hat and fat drum sound makes this a song to strut to while the simplistic riff is more than complimented by snarling vocals and a foot-stomping, catchy chorus. You can almost see Vinny Jones cocking a shotgun as it crescendos. It's as though Nine Inch Nails and Placebo had a baby - and it's pissed off. Honestly, one of my favourite tracks of the year.
"Fight" kicks off with an instrumental stomp reminiscent of Daft Punk's Robot Rock. Once again, the band just proves their ability to write catchy yet credible anthems. A wailing guitar almost siren-esque plays over the gritty lyrics of the verse while the chorus serves as a rousing, adrenaline pumping motivator. While the band's influences are clear, they're incredibly skilled in retaining their own identity. "Fight" would fit like a glove any of Muse's albums and (IAM)WARFACE deliver it with such venom and conviction that the rock-giants might just be a little bit jealous it's not.
Golden Army is a different sound. The band's love of 80s electro-pop is incredibly clear here. Bass and drums combine to form a driving rhythm that would make Survivor proud while vocals are adventurous, playing with falsetto but maintaining all of the attitude that really helps bring their sound to life. This band have range and aren't afraid to tackle their influences head-on. In doing so, they're bold and brave and because of that, it really comes together and produces something quite refreshing and unlike anything I've head in a long while. A great track to add to the collection of this impressive act.
The final track, Trigons really shows the bands eclectic style off in full force. A much more electronic outing. It's a track with real ambience and, being a 7-minute instrumental, is a departure from the other 3 tracks. Trigons reflects many of the qualities of hit from Massive Attack and just goes to show how unabashed (IAM)WARFACE are in creating the kind of music they love to listen to. That, I think is the key here. This is a band of talented musicians, with a catalogue of influences and they're tipping their hat to all of them.
While Trigons isn't my favourite track on the EP, it's arguably the most intriguing as it truly shows that this band are a live-wire of creativity and they aren't afraid to break long-established, tried and tested formulas to create something diverse and innovative. It's executed here on this 4-track EP with as much subtlety as it has bravado and as a genre-crossing, era-spanning experience, it's really something to behold.
The EP is exciting, arrogant and eclectic. An absolute must-listen for anyone rock-minded, anyone who grew up listening to Britpop or 80s synth pop/rock or just anyone who likes to hear something different.
I've been lucky enough to have a listen to some of the other new material which may or may not form part of a future full-length album. If they can put something together as strong and diverse as this, they may just be one of the best bands you're never heard of.
When I first heard the epic new single “Say My Name” from the UK alternative/electronic rock band (IAM)WARFACE, I was hit by an atomic blast of music greatness. The kind that instantly blows you away, leaving you speechless and covered with goosebumps. I LOVE THIS SONG!
The exhilarating track begins with a snarling guitar riff, then explodes into an inferno of speaker-blowing drums, big synth chords, bombastic bass and thunderous shredded guitars. Band front man Matt Warneford practically shrieks the opening lyrics, backing himself up with distorted, soaring choruses. He then alternates those high-pitched vocals with smoother but urgent, impassioned phrasing.
The song is four and a half minutes long, yet seems over in an instant – always a sign of an incredible song. Take a listen, and turn the volume all the way up!