New Music Mondays: Foo Fighters, Avenged Sevenfold and Much More!

An absolutely MASSIVE week for New Music Mondays this week. From huge, stadium-filling bands to amazing offerings from upcoming artists, there’s a little bit for everyone. Check it out with us!

Foo Fighters: But Here We Are

Possibly the second or third most important Foos record, behind their first two. Following the devastating and far too early passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins, it threw the band into a state of flux mid-tour. Questions circled for months around the state of the band and if they’d continue. So, when they announced not only will they be continuing, but announced a new album and dropped a single in April, the world rejoiced. And, what’s more, that single, ‘Rescued’ was/is so good. Like, maybe the best track they’ve put out in over a decade, good.

Lyrically, it’s fantastic and devastating. Just like their self titled debut, Dave Grohl uses his writing to try and cope with losing one of his best friends. The fact that he’s made a collection of radio-rock tracks that are catchy, anthemic and genuinely brought a tear to my eye on multiple occasions while sat at work doing this review is a real testament to his talent.

Meanwhile sonically, it’s so nice to hear the band go back to their rockier sound. While I don’t mind some of their lighter stuff like Sonic Highways or half of In Your Honour, I wasn’t really too fussed with their last release (not Dream Widow, that album slapped and was br00tal). Landing somewhere around One by One but also combining together elements of practically every album that proceeds it, this feels like an epic conclusion. God I hope it’s not.

Honestly, it’s impossible to pick highlight tracks. I think I’ve liked every single one on my Spotify as I listened through. 10 tracks and 50-minutes of pure awesomeness. Foo Fighters have not only returned, but come out with their best album since Wasting Light, and one of the best albums of 2023. 10/10. Taylor would be proud.

Avenged Sevenfold: Life is But a Dream…

I’ve been dreading about writing up this album for weeks. They were one of my favourite bands in my teen years. However, the singles did nothing for me upon their first release, and I wasn’t anywhere near as impressed with The Stage as some others were. Still, I am trying to come into this was as open a mind as possible.

I initially planned on doing a full-length review for this, but honestly it’d go on for hours. This is all over the place. It’s most certainly the most prog the band have ever gotten. The band wear their influences on their sleeve more than ever before too, be it Pink Floyd, Rush, Alice in Chains or modern day pop and hip-hop. I would say it comes with varying degrees of success, but honestly they do every sound pretty damn well.

But that’s my main personal issue with the album, it simply isn’t the Avenged Sevenfold I want to hear. But, that’s okay. I had my time from WTK to HTTK. They’ve done the more commercial music that’s gotten them to headline status, and now they’re writing whatever they want, whatever comes to their head. And as I said, this is all written well. It’s messy, it’s chaotic and it’s weird, but it somehow works so well together. Heck, sitting down and listening to the album front-to-back, it works very well as a collection and made me enjoy the singles a lot more.

And I think that’s the only way to really listen to this album, sat somewhere dark for an hour with a good speaker system or headphones. It doesn’t have a standout track or two like Nightmare or City of Evil does, but it’s a collection of tracks meant to be listened to together. It’s just a shame that none of them feel like they really kick into that top gear and match up to even some of their lesser old singles. As much as I appreciate what they’re doing, I really wish we’d get a Nightmare II already. So, for an album, I’m going to give it 9/10. However personally, it’a more like a 4/10

P.S. this video is fucking SICK!

Rancid: Tomorrow Never Comes

The kings of ska-punk themselves are back with their 10th studio album. The first thing I noticed was how short the album was. 16 tracks but only 29-minutes long, with not a single track going over three minutes. That’s punk as shit. The band also have no chill with the album, blasting through every short track with little slowing down or breathing room. It’s all typical, great Rancid and I love every second of it. It’s fun, bouncy and uplifting, despite some of the lyrical content.

However, the length is also my only slight issue. While I love that every track is short, sweet and to the point, I also feel like a few of them could have done with a little more room to breathe. Heck, one of the singles, ‘Don’t Make Me Do It’, is just 58 seconds in length. It’s great, but I’d have loved more of it. Still, I’d prefer this over an hour long slow-ass country album! Tracks like the title one, ‘It’s a Road to Righteousness’ and ‘Magnificent Rogue’ are all big time highlights. 8.5/10.

Kenny Rodgers: Life is Like a Song

The posthumous album from the country legend is the first studio album released in a decade. At 10 tracks long, it features eight previously unreleased songs recorded between 2008 and 2011, but were never released. The other two, along with the rest of the tracks, were carefully selected by his widow as they were deeply personal tracks to Kenny. These include ‘Tell Me That You Love Me’, duetted with the queen of country Dolly Parton herself, and ‘Goodbye’. Both are fantastic tracks, but I found myself enjoying the others more.

Opener and single ‘Love is a Drug’ is a dark, rock-inspired stomper and definitely a highlight of the album. ‘Am I Too Late’ is a fantastic ballad and duet with the amazing Kim Keyes. ‘Catchin’ Grasshoppers’ is a beautiful traditional country song and another massive highlight. It’s an amazing album and it’s a real shame they weren’t released before Kenny’s passing so he could have done them live. 8/10.


Owen: 4 years since their last release and Rival Sons have come out swinging with 8-tracks of their huge classic rock sound. DARKFIGHTER mixes influence from so many other genres, exploring aspects of soul, psych rock, and more, all the while maintaining their anthemic blues rock. Buchanan’s vocals prove to be more and more impressive with every track. The range he shows off in ‘Bright Lights’ compared to the more aggressive wailing on tracks like ‘Guillotine’ is clear evidence of the rare and pure talent he has. DARKFIGHTER feels like a brilliant return for the LA group and forms a 2-part project, with the second album Lightbringer being released later this year. After the success of their previous work and the time taken for this project, expectations were high, but the group have without doubt met these expectations.

Buckcherry: Vol. 10

Owen: Buckcherry are one of those bands where you know what you’re in for from the start. If you want some well executed generic US rock, then you’re probably already familiar with the group. 10 studio albums is a milestone for any band, but their greatest strength has always been their live performance. Vol. 10 tracks will no doubt stand tall during these sets. However, away from environments such as festival fields or frat parties you start to notice the fine line between hard rock heroes and dad rock Buckcherry walk. Closing the album with a cover of Summer of 69’ was a brave choice; popular with dodgy karaoke bars and wedding bands it feels out of place on a milestone album like this.

Not bad but exactly what you’d expect it to be. Distinctely average. 5/10

Jelly Roll: Whitsitt Chapel

Jelly Roll’s transition from hip hop to country rock has been a fun one to listen to, and it continues masterfully with his whopping 18th studio album. ‘Halfway to Hell’ once again continues the trend this week of phenomenal album openers, while ‘Church’ chills things out perfectly. Then we reach the incredible ‘The Lost’, which is one of my favourite tracks in all of country and southern music this year. It reminds me of a more ballady Black Stone Cherry track; I love it.

The track featuring Brantley Gilbert was okay, but another real highlight was ‘Unalive’ featuring the one and only Yelawolf. Yela is so fucking good on the track. I loved the HARDY/Kid Rock blend of hip hop, rock and country, not just on this track but throughout the whole album. I’m honestly shocoeked he isn’t bigger than he is, though I’m sure this album will help him get there! It’s an aquired taste for sure, but I definitely have it, so I’mma give this a 8.5/10

King Voodoo: Hex City

We’ve already covered this album! Check out the full review here.

Gloryhammer: Return to the Kingdom of Fife

Returning with their first album in four years and after an… interesting… few years that saw some controversy and line-up changes, can Gloryhammer return to their seat towards the top of the power metal world?

In short, no. Or rather, I’m not that much of a fan of it, any who. And I hate to single out one key part or person, but Sozos Michael just doesn’t have a powerful enough voice to carry the band. When compared to Thomas Winkler’s tenure with the band, he just doesn’t quite have the power and confidence to fit with the music behind it. Bassist The Hootsman and his harsher vocals work well still, but there is just something about Sozos that doesn’t fit. The songs in general are fine, nothing special, which also doesn’t help.

Overall it’s fine. However, with the quality of power metal releases over the last couple of years, as well as Winkler’s solo album under Angus McSix (find our review of it here), it just doesn’t measure up. 4.5/10

Endless Exam: Voice of Passion and Agony

The debut album of the power/industrial metal band who have only exploded onto the scene this year is pretty damn solid. It’s epic right from the offset with ‘The Voice’, it giving off heavy rock opera vibes. The album is really well arranged and put together, too, definitely going for the epic storytelling feel that I got from it. Tracks like ‘I Ain’t Your Toy’, ‘Wildride’ and the anthemic ‘Consealed Truth’ are all personal highlights. It reminds me a lot of bands like Ward XVI and Death Ingloria, that theatrical hard rock/heavy metal sound that tells a story throughout. It’s something I’d definitely LOVE to see performed live. The whole band are massively talented, too, from the playing to the soaring vocals to the songwriting. 8.5/10

DIETH: To Hell and Back

The debut album of former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson is finally out. After much media hype, I was excited to check it out! Also, as a basssist myself and a big thrash kid, Ellefson is a pretty big inspiration of mine.

It’s considerably more heavier than Megadeth, that’s for sure. It’s death metal, in case you couldn’t guess from the name. However, it’s very good death metal. It’s probably a bit paint-by-numbers for more die-hard fans of the genre, but I found myself enjoying it for the most part. Also, it’s hard not to find lyrics like ‘Don’t Get Mad… Get Even!’ a little cheesy and childish. However, tracks like ”In the Hall of the Hanging Serpents’ and ‘Heavy is the Crown’ were fantastic.

It’s hard to say much about it as it’s practically exactly what you’d expect from a basic death metal album. Especially one written by a guy nearly 60. 7/10.

Killhall: Skullsplitter

More thrashy death metal now too with Killhall’s debut record. Honestly, it does it ten times better than the previous album on this list, too. I hate to compare, but given that I am listening to one after the other and both are on the heavier end of the spectrum, I’d take Killhall over Dieth any day.

I haven’t heard a more perfect opening track than ‘Delirium tremens’ in a while. It’s heavy, brutal, quick and yet still has a melodic, almost metalcore chorus with a soaring, catchy clean vocal melody. Meanwhile the harsher vocals throughout are still pretty catchy and have a melodic edge to them even though they are pretty aggressive. It gives off Throwdown vibes and I’m all for it.

It’s honestly really hard to pick highlight tracks from this too, as I loved it all a lot. It’s exactly up my sort of street when it comes to heavier music, and the band definitely have a new HUGE fan in me. It feels like early Trivium, which I do not say lightly. Check this out if you’re into metal at all, as you’ll find something to like. Every track is amazing, so I’mma give it a rare 10/10. These guys are gonna be huge.