New Music Mondays: Porcupine Tree, Alestorm and Much More!

Another week packed with new music, from rock to metal. However, before we get into it this week, a couple of surprise honourable mentions.

We typically don’t cover EPs on this article, but y’all would hate me if I didn’t mention Spiritbox’s new stuff. It’s good. Better than their album, in fact. Also, while not strictly rock so I omitted it from an official entry, Jack Johnson’s new album is fantastic so go check that out!

Porcupine Tree: CLOSURE/CONTINUATION

A band that I have struggled to get into for years, there are actually one or two tracks here that I found myself enjoying a lot! The heaviness of ‘Rats Return’, especially that fantastic guitar riff, had me loving it throughout. And how can I not praise the bass in the opening track? Unfortunately it’s not all good. Tracks like ‘Dignity’ and ‘Of the New Day’ still bore me to tears. However, they’re not bad songs, just too slow and long and repetitive for me. If it’s going to prog, it better at least have highs and lows and plenty of changes, not just all slow lows. But I didn’t hate it, which is an improvement at least! 5/10

Alestorm: Seventh Rum of a Seventh Rum

Due to this particular review, I very nearly gave this album a 10/10. However, I wanted to at least maintain some integrity as a journalist. Objectively, it’s good. Not great. Not as good as their last couple of albums. Just good. I remember reviewing the last one (I think I gave it an 8) and saying I enjoyed the comedy songs more. I feel somehow the exact opposite this album. The lyrics for ‘Cannonball’ come across as massively childish and immature while ‘P.A.R.T.Y’ (while massively catchy and fun), does feel a tad… Fortnite. It just feels a bit like they are running out of clever ways to make the joke, meaning it’s getting a little old. Meanwhile, tracks like ‘Under Blackened Banners’ and the title track are fantastically catchy and well-written. And of course the latest entry into the ‘Wooden Leg’ saga is awesome, too. It’s a shame nothing quite came close to ‘Treasure Chest Party Quest’ this time, but it’s still a damn good pirate metal album. 7/10

Alexisonfire: Otherness

I’ve never ‘got’ this band. I don’t think I ever will. I know they have a pretty huge following, but this style of post-hardcore just sounds like a mess to me. While I can appreciate the ingenuity, the vocals rarely sound like they fit with the instrumentation, and the clean and harsh vocals don’t fit together at all. Some tracks have an alright riff but they’re all pretty simple, reminding me of the latest You Me At Six album. I couldn’t find a song that found myself enjoying, as much as I hate to say it. So, don’t kill me, but this album gets a 3/10 from me.

Coheed and Cambria: Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind

A band I know I’d love if I just had the time to listen to them past the ICONIC riff of ‘Welcome Home’. The band is full of fantastic musicians and songwriters and they even release graphic novels to help tell the stories of their albums. How am I NOT a massive fan already?

The bands infectious blend of pop, punk, prog and metal is on fantastic display throughout this entire album. The insanely catchy choruses of ‘Comatose’ and ‘Love Murder One’ are definite highlights, and of course it’s impossible not to talk about the masterpiece that is ‘Shoulders’. However, I would recommend you listen to the album back to back to really get a full appreciation of it all. It really is an amazing concept album and damn, I need to fully check out the rest of their back catalogue. 8.5/10

Weezer: SZNZ: Summer

The second of four albums this year, one to represent each season. This one is a vast improvement on Spring, feeling more like a classic pop-punk Weezer album. And honestly, most of the tracks are good. ‘Lawn Chair’ is weird and makes no sense, but the following four tracks are all fantastic. And on a seven track album, that’s a very good sign. While I wouldn’t say any of them feel that ‘summery’, I am definitely enjoying the album! Hopefully the other two are this good too, because I’d say this is as good as Van Weezer last year, and I LOVED that album! 8/10

Nervus: The Evil One

Google told me this was a punk band. Google got my hopes up and lied. It’s indie, with a slightly more rock/80s pop leaning than normal. Nothing more. That’s not a bad thing per say, but I was a little disappointed and, thus, bored by what I heard. Tracks like ‘Drop Out’ and ‘Rental Song’ are okay, but nothing we haven’t heard huge amounts of times before from other bands. I’d happily listen to this in the background as a chilled-out album while I’m busy, but concentrating on the album meant I got pretty uninterested after a few tracks. 4/10

Petrol Girls: Baby

I don’t see the appeal of bad female vocals in punk bands. In fact, let me re-phrase that. I don’t see the appeal of bad vocals. It just reminded me a lot of Wet Leg and Otoboke Beaver, two bands I cannot stand, hence the first sentence. The music behind the vocals is okay and inoffensive enough, but I cannot get past the awful vocals. It made it feel like it was going on forever when in fact I’d only gotten two tracks in before wanting to turn it off. I pushed through, but it doesn’t get any better, sadly. More power to you if you enjoy this, we’re clearly very different people! But sadly, this gets a 2/10 from me.

Saor: Origins

It’s Iron Maiden with a choir or growls over the top. I would take that as a compliment but at the same time, I’d rather listen to Maiden. I’m not sure what it was, but something here just didn’t quite click with me. I enjoyed it from a musical standpoint, but the vocals didn’t really much for me. Far less offensive than the previous entry in this article, they were definitely listenable, they just didn’t give me anything memorable. There was no big chorus or dirty scream or impressive high note. The only thing that seemed to stand out on this album were the riffs. Hence why I’d prefer to listen to Maiden or a folk rock band, someone that can do this just as well while also adding a second element to their sound. ‘Fallen’ is a bop though, even for that outro alone! 4.5/10

RXPTRS: Living Without Deaths Permission

I’ve reviewed this album already. It was fucking awesome. Check out said review here.

Paganizer: Beyond The Macabre

The death metal Swedes released their 12th studio album in 23 years last week. Firstly, that’s some impressive work ethic. Second, it’s impressive that it’s still of damn high quality. I know death metal isn’t for everyone and I’m only a beginner really with the genre, but everyone involved played their part very well. ‘Meatpacker’ was a particular highlight to me due to its crushing riffs and some very good ‘bleh’s. An album worth checking out if you’re into the heavy stuff! 7/10

And there we have it, another stacked week of new music! Tune in next week as always and keep up to date on all of our content from our Facebook here.