Some people are really going to love this week’s New Music Mondays. There is a lot of softer rock making it up, with just a couple of HEAVY bands thrown in towards the end. Honestly, it’s quite refreshing. I love metal, but having a more chilled out week this week is nice. Come relax with me as we check it out!
Deaf Havana: The Present is a Foreign Land
I was under the impression these were more rock than this. I knew the name from friends in childhood and thought they were either indie-pop-rock or more of a hardcore pop-punk band, but a lot of this was just Ed Sheeran with slightly more instruments. Or at a push slow British country anthems. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not exactly alt rock like their Wiki suggests. Tracks like ’19dreams’ and ‘Going Clear’ were definite highlights and good ballads, but I feel like I already know what this band is about and don’t have much desire to check out much more. 6/10
Senses Fail: Hell is in Your Head
Like a modern adaptation of My Chemical Romance. The bands eighth release is a similar blend of heavy pop-punk and post-hardcore styles like their previous ones, but still feels at least interesting. It’s okay, but none of it quite stood out to me enough for me to latch onto and enjoy. It all sounded pretty similar too so I couldn’t even come up with some recommendations for highlight tracks. Check out the opener and if you like it, you’ll probably enjoy the whole album. However, for me, this gets a 5/10
Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp: 18
Yes, Captain Jack Sparrow, conquerer of the mighty Amber Herd, made an album with rock music legend Jeff Beck. And I’ll tell you what, it’s fuckin’ weird. At least for the first half. Opening on an instrumental folk-rock track, it is then followed by a slightly-vocal-led industrial rock/metal track, which is then followed by a piano ballad and then a country/blues track. See, it’s wonderfully all over the place. Unfortunately it falls into soft rock pretty heavily after that and by 2/3s of the way through the album I’d kinda lost interest, but man if that first third wasn’t one hell of a fun roller coaster. Depp is clearly a big fan of Beck and wanted to incorporate More rock bands need to catch me off guard and keep me guessing, please! 7.5/10
Yours Truly: is this what i look like?
I’m struggling to work out whether to compare this more to old-school Paramore or modern pop acts like Olivia Rodrigo and GAYLE. It definitely has some old-school pop punk elements in there and feels a little heavier than the pop names I have mentioned, but also feels closest to Machine Gun Kelly’s recent bastardisation of the genre than anything else. I’m glad it’s a short album as I found myself getting bored of this after only the first three tracks, unfortunately. Not even You Me At Six could save my interest. It was good but incredibly samey after just a track or two. 4.5/10
Black Midi: Hellfire
This is weird. I don’t think I get it. The chaotic math/jazz/indie rock was at least one of the most interesting listens for me on this list so far, but that doesn’t quite equate to high quality. I preferred the faster, slightly heavier stuff like ‘Welcome to Hell’ and ‘The Race is About to Begin’ over the slower tracks. However, it is more in a Primus, Mr Bungle type of morbid curiosity. I appreciate what goes into writing them but I wouldn’t exactly listen to it on the regular. 6.5/10 just because it was one of the most interesting albums I’ve listened to in quite some time!
Interpol: The Other Side of Make-Believe
Another slow rock band releasing a slow album. I nearly didn’t even include it in this list as it was pretty boring for me to listen through. However, I have covered similar bands before so felt like I had to at latest mention it. If you like music like Joy Division and Editors, I’m sure you’d also enjoy this. But it isn’t for me at all. I need my music with a little more umph and intrigue. It might be an okay background album but after a generally slow week this week, this didn’t help! 3.5/10
…And You Will Know us From the Trail of Dead: Bleed Here Now
The Texan alt-rock band put out their 11th studio album last week. It’s more R.E.M. inspired soft rock music, but at least feels like some of the more enjoyable in this style I have heard recently. The emotion felt from the vocals in the chorus of ‘Penny Candle’ won me over, and then came that riffing and soloing in ‘No Confidence’. FINALLY, SOME RIFFS THIS WEEK. Both tracks are definite highlights for me, as is the punk AF ‘Kill Everyone’. A good but far too long album (22 tracks across 75 minutes) that has some definitely high points. Heck, the prog masterpiece ‘Taken by the Hand’ is another HUGE highlight. 7/10
Hissing: Hypervirulence Architecture
The blackened death metal band suffer the same fate as a lot of its counterparts: terrible vocal production. Why do black metal bands believe it sounds good to record through a potato? There were some good riffs scattered through here and some dynamic songwriting, but not nailing the vocals always puts me off somewhat. An album for the heavy fans for sure, but it’s not really my sort of thing. 3.5/10
Death metal with some of the best riffs I’ve heard this year, Deathbringer bring it (yes, pun intended) on their long awaited sophomore album. The drummer deserves heaps of praise too for his insane work throughout the album and while I struggled to understand the vocals for the most part, they were fitting and pretty fun. ‘Per Aspera’ and the insane ‘A Place to Exist’ were personal highlights for me! 7/10
Rain City Drive: Self-Titled
Formerly Slaves, the band’s fifth album and first after the rebrand is fantastic. the experimental pop-rock sound is still relatively under-explored, especially in the mainstream, but these guys fly that flag very well. Tracks like the opener, pop-centric ‘Cutting it Close’ and the heavier ‘Ophelia’ but show off the band’s range on this album and provide some fantastic highlights. However, if you like the poppier, hook-oriented side of rock, you’ll LOVE this whole album, like I did. The most enjoyable album for me this week by quite a margin. 8/10
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