New Music Mondays: Def Leppard, Wilco and More!

A fairly quiet week for New Music Mondays this week, with one huge release and a few smaller ones. I do just also want to give a huge shout out (because typically we don’t cover cover albums) to Mark Tremonti sings Frank Sinatra. I have to admit as much as I love the guy, his vocals never did anything for me… until now. He suits the swing style so well, and I’d love to hear more of it! 10/10

Now, on with the article.

Def Leppard: Diamond Star Halos

The glam legends’ 12th album and first since 2015’s Self-Titled, Diamond Star Halos looks to continue the bands string of high-praised modern albums. I remember checking out their last album back when it came out and liking it, and honestly, this one is no different. The opening track and most recent single, ‘Take What You Want’, has a fantastic, surprisingly heavy riff running through it and some catchy vocals to match. Meanwhile following it up with the other single, modern glam anthem ‘Kick’, shows both sides of the band immediately.

However, it does immediately show how front-loaded the album is. ‘Fire it Up’ and surprising country ballad ‘This Guitar’ are also good (with Alison Krauss doing fantastic at the harmonies), but the album does start to dip a little from here. It goes from Theatre of Pain to Generation Swine pretty quick. Still, the fact that they are still sounding this good at their age is something to admire, they very much have still got it. 7/10

Wilco: Cruel Country

The remaining members of Uncle Tupelo have officially been going four times as long as their original band this year. In those near 30 years they have released 11 (now 12) highly praised albums. Cruel Country looks to continue that run.

As a big country fan, I loved it. It’s simple, down to earth but a damn enjoyable listen. At times it gives off some big Randy Numan vibes, while other times I even get Velvet Underground/Lou Reed. It’s not much more than vocals and acoustic guitar, some simple, quiet drums and bass coming in behind it too. However, it’s good music to just sit down and chill out with. The title track and ‘Hearts Hard to Find’ are personal highlights. My only one criticism is that it’s 21 tracks. The style is great, but it definitely gets a little much in 77 minutes. It could have done with changing things up a bit or trimming the fat. Still, 7.5/10

Decapitated: Cancer Culture

Time for a heavy one. The Polish death metal band put out their eighth studio album last week, and it’s about as heavy as you’d expect. The title track didn’t do much for me but ‘Just A Cigarette’ was fantastic. It gave off pretty heavy Machine Head vibes, like Unto the Locust Machine Head, which I’m a big fan of. Heck, they even have a track featuring Robb Flynn, and it may be my favourite track of the album. It was weird to hear him go completely clean to begin with, him being almost unrecognisable until he added a little harshness, but it sounded great and fit the track well! The track featuring Tatiana of Jinjer was also great too, and adopted some definite Jinjer influence musically. It does say something when the best two tracks are featuring and somewhat emulating other artists, but the whole album is good all round really! 7/10

Cabin Boy Jumped Ship: Sentiments

My friends were big into these guys during our teens so I have probably heard a few of their songs, but they never really did much for me. I have to admit it took me a little bit with this new album too, as ‘Demons’ was kinda meh. However, ‘War’ was fantastic, as was ‘Golden’. The electronic sounds work so well both adding to the heaviness and the lighter parts. And both the clean and harsh vocals are fantastic. It’s definitely another album for the heavy fans, but has some damn catchy, uplifting clean choruses in there too. I’m not 100% sure if this style is the ‘in thing’ still or not, but this is a good album regardless. 7.5/10

Simon McBride: The Fighter

A fantastic blues album that I had the pleasure of reviewing just the other day! Read it and see the score here.

The Melbies: Songs for Harambe Pt. 1

Okay so first of all, of course, dicks out for Harambe.

Now with that formality out of the way… this album was a lot of fun. Punk always seems to be the optimal sub-genre for comedy music, and this album demonstrates that perfectly. Whether it’s the tribute to our fallen lord and saviour, calling out the latest Indiana Jones movie or a track based around Hulkamania itself, the album has plenty of entertaining (if outdated) subject matter. There is the odd brief timing issue here and there, but I imagine that is part of the charm of the DIY punk album this album has the feel of. No matter what though it is a fun album and one I’d love to see live! 8/10