This is the sixteenth in our Mayhem Virgins series and it features Leeds band Astoria. The band is made up of Vinnie Smith on vox and lead guitar, Luke Etchells on rhythm guitar, Alex Mawson on bass, and sticksman George Grady. They released their first single “Where The Light Lives” in May 2021. It has been described as an alt.rock ballad and it certainly has those qualities. Above that, it is a very open, emotional, and soulful tune. There are not many rock songs that bring a tear to my eyes, but this one does. The band says that the song “was intended as a love letter to a friend, although written years too late“. It sounds like there is a whole gamut of emotions driving its creation. Follow up release, also from last year, was “The Snow”, coupled with what in the olden days would have been a b-side “(Don’t) Turn Around”. Astoria sound like a band that really knows where they are and where they want to go. “The Snow” is an anthemic rock track that is cinematic in scope Vinnie’s vocals are stunning here and the riffs are huge. Meanwhile, I think the rhythm section is on fire. This is probably my favourite Astoria track at the moment. “(Don’t) Turn Around” sounds rougher and harder than their other tunes, like Cast taking a shot at metal. This is a band for the 21st Century, one that may help to see us through troubled times. I can hear in them the potential to become one of Yorkshire’s finest rock bands, maybe even one of the UK’s greatest bands! You can catch them headlining live at the Lending Room in Leeds on Friday 15th July, click here for tickets.
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