New Music Mondays: Skindred, Mammoth WVH and More!

Another week that while not big, promises some high quality new music across plenty of genres! Let’s check it out together!

Skindred: Smile

Joe: This album has been a long time coming. The bands first full length release, I remember hearing them playing ‘L.O.V.E.’ back at Download in 2019. I imagine Covid was a big factor in the delay. However, if anything it’s made the hype for this even greater. That, and the steady flow of singles released over the last nine months, has made this one of the most anticipated albums of the year.

Somehow, it lives up to the insane hype.

It’s an incredibly varied album, ranging from metal to reggae to club vibes to slower, almost dark indie stuff. Honestly, my only real complaint is that they opened the album with ‘Our Religion’. It’s a good track, but a weird one and an odd choice for an opener. However, the immediate crowd favourite ‘Gimme That Boom’ has already gone down as one of Skindred‘s best tracks ever, and the infectiously catchy ‘Set Fazers’ is another great track to follow it. Things slow up a tad after that, yet ‘Life That’s Free’ and ‘If I Could’ still have some heavy, huge moments and some of the best lyrics on the album.

Then we have to talk about the aforementioned ‘L.O.V.E.’. It’s somehow both completely left field yet exactly what you’d expect from the band. It’s a positive, all out reggae track, and it’s amazing. ‘This Appointed Love’ is going to be an underrated gem too, as it’s one of my favourite tracks on the album. And the closer, ‘Unstoppable’, is another typically Skindred banger.

Honestly, I could gush over this album for hours. For a band that typically ‘aren’t an album’ one, this is by far their best. It’s full top to bottom with bangers and everyone should check this out immediately. 10/10, it really is that good!

The Front Bottoms: You Are Who You Hang Out With

Charlotte: The Front Bottoms’ You Are Who You Hang Out With is their sixth studio album to tackle on an array of emotions mixed with punchy riffs, melodic ambience and infectious drum beats – all to create a beautifully chaotic album. Juxtaposing heavy yet meaningful lyrics with an upbeat and poppy sound works as the band have produced an album of anthems – from strong opener Emotional to Brick. Bonus points for having a song titled Batman. 8.5/10

Mammoth WVH: Mammoth II

Charlotte: After a period of touring after the success of their debut album, Mammoth WVH’s second album takes the band to elevated heights with a fresh stream of rock classics. Mammoth II feels like an album anyone could listen to – whether you have your roots set in rock or not – you move from broody and dark to melodic and pop. I recommend this album for anyone experimenting with their rock music tastes and looking to get into the genre. Mammoth WVH has produced an album enjoyable for everyone whilst remaining loyal to their original, rich sound. 8/10

Brett Young: Across The Sheets

Owen: Across The Sheets is a lacklustre collection of stereotypical Nashville trash country-pop. The album is brief at 8 tracks, with the last two tracks consisting of a re-recording of a previous release and a poor attempt at a Tim McGraw cover. Not knowing much about Young I looked into his story a bit, only to find it as uninspiring as this album. A failed college baseball career sent him into the arms of mainstream Nashville poster boy. Opening track ‘Dance with You’ feels like a purposefully written wedding song; expect to hear it in heavy rotation on that scene. As for the rest of the album, I’d believe you if you told me this was an original soundtrack for a low-budget US Rom-Com.

Overall, things are just too polished and predictable with Across The Sheets. I struggled to find any redeeming qualities in this album but I might not be his target demographic with this one. Clearly there is an audience for Young somewhere. Mum-friendly country radio stations come to mind! 2/10

Teenage Wrist: Still Love

Max: So this is not the standard genre that I review. However, after the latest Nothing Nowhere album, I started to listen to them. This album is a perfect introduction to them I think. There is a murky feeling that carries across the entire album that feels like it will consume you. There are some songs that I found were easier to listen to and some that took me a couple of listens to get used to but in the end, I don’t think that there was a single song that I didn’t like. This hidden yet beautiful feeling across the entire makes it rewarding to listen to every song multiple times. Overall, this album is almost perfect and fully deserves an 8/10.

Any Given Sin: War Within

We’ve already checked out this amazing album. Check out our review of it here!

Crypta: Shades of Sorrow

Joe: The Brazilian death metal women are back with their sophomore album. Two things stood out immediately to me: the atmosphere and the drumming. The intro track leading into ‘Dark Clouds’ sets the tone for the album perfectly, the band showing exactly what the listener is in for throughout. And then there’s Luana Dametto, who is one of the best and most criminally underrated drummers out there today, and showcases that perfectly on this album.

There are plenty highlight tracks on the album, too. ‘The Outsider’, single ‘Trial of Traitors’ and ‘Lift the Blindfold’ are all massive highlights of a truly stellar death metal album. These ladies are very much the future of the genre, and they have proved it with this release. 8/10

Dun Ringill: 150 – Where the Old Gods Play – Act 1

Joe: So, this was weird in all of the best ways. It’s like more folky, radio-friendly black metal. That’s literally the only way I can thin k of explaining it. It’s got that epic darkness of black metal while still maintaining fairly clean vocals and a focus on riffs that can be attributed back to the likes of King Diamond or even Mastadon. It’s honestly hard to pick out a highlight as it feels like something that should be really listened to in full. Preferably in a dark room by yourself, really. It’s a really interesting blend of styles that works fantastically, but has to be heard to be believed! For the heavy fans here, check this out! 8/10

The Crawling: All of this For Nothing

Joe: The doomy death metal band returned with their third album this past Friday. If you know anything about the two sub-genres of metal, you’ll know exactly what to expect here. None of it was bad by any stretch, but it did all feel ever so slightly formulaic. Tracks like the opener and ‘A Light We Cannot See’ were great, but nothing new. However, I have to admit I really enjoyed the slower burn ‘Bound to the Negative’. It’s probably my favourite track on the album due to it’s proggy feel.

It’s most likely not an album I’d listen to in full very often. However, it’s a great collection of songs and I’m sure if you’re more into black metal you’d love this. A couple of standout tracks earn this a respectable 7/10!