The second full week of the year brought with it a few more albums than the first. Four, to be exact, from four very different bands. From pop-metal to alt-rock to the earliest form of NWOBHM, we have it all for you this week. Let’s jump right into the new music, shall we?
Somehow on their 11th studio album now, Christian pop-metal band Skillet have been pumping out a steady stream of great music for over a decade now. Despite the stigma around being a Christian rock band, I have always been a fan of them, since I first hear ‘Monster’ back in the day.
For those of you who are familiar with the band, it’s no Awake, but it’s also an improvement on Victorious. For fans of the band, it is exactly what you would expect. catchy duelling vocals from John Cooper and Jen Ledger, steady verses and huge, soaring choruses. Highlights include the opener, both singles (‘Standing in the Storm’ and piano ballad ‘Refuge’) and ‘Beyond Incredible’. It’s US radio-rock through and through, but it’s damn catchy and I’ll find myself jamming with this for mobths to come. 7.5/10
Genre-hoppers Underoath are back with their ninth studio album and first since 2018. I have to admit that I’ve never quite ‘got’ them. This album definitely changed my opinion. The opening track, ‘Cycle’ (featuring the ever confusing Ghostmane), and ‘Take a Breath’ are all definitely highlights to me. Heck, even tracks like ‘Thorn’ appear to embrace the changes to the scene Spiritbox are bringing in. There are lesser quality tracks too, like the boring ‘(No Oasis)’ and the overly long-titled third track, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. A heavy, alt/industrial metal album from a band I have clearly slept on until now. It won’t be for everyone, but damn do the heavy parts go in HARD and it’s overall a great listen. 8.5/10
Blood Red Shoes: GHOSTS ON TAPE
The English alt-rock duo have made quite the name for themselves over the last decade, with their last three albums all charting around the 50 mark in the UK. I haven’t heard much of their previous stuff, but the quality of this should push them to even greater heights.
From the awesome slow-build of the opener (though it didn’t go anywhere) through wonderfully 80s tracks like ‘MURDER ME’ and ‘I AM NOT YOU’ to the suitably epic closer, it’s a great alt/indie album. Not all of it is perfect, but overall it’s a damn enjoyable 40 minutes of music! 7/10
Magnum: The Monster Roars
22 studio albums across nearly four and a half decades. Clearly Magnum are doing something right. A band that I respect the hell out of without listening to a great deal of their stuff. This album once again proves that I should listen to them more.
While not nearly as heavy as I imagine they were considered in their day, the album is old-school metal through and through. It all has a very epic feel to it thanks to the keys being so prevalent, and it makes every chorus when the distortion kicks in feel that much bigger and heavier. Highlights include ‘Remember’, ‘No Steppin’ Stones’ and ‘Your Blood is Violence’. 8/10
And there we have it, another week of fantastic rock music! As always you can keep up to date on all of our work from our Facebook here. Until next week!
Guess who’s back! The first content from us of 2022 and of course it’s the fan favourite, New Music Mondays! We couldn’t leave this behind in 2021, especially when there are so many more amazing albums slated to be released in the next 12 months.
So, what lucky singular album and artist gets to say they were the first band for NMM 2022? check them out below…
Twin Atlantic: Transparency
Scottish alt-rock band Twin Atlantic have been going a lot longer than I imagine anyone but their die-hard fans realised. Now on their sixth studio album, the band have been going solid for nearly 15 years. While I have only ever heard a couple of tracks by them, namely the banger that is 2014’s ‘Heart and Soul’, I would say I’m a fan of the band, even if I know very little from them. They always felt a little too far under Biffy Clyro’s shadow for me to give much time to it, unfortunately.
This was not what I was expecting.
Leaning a lot heavier into the alt side of things, it feels more like a pop album than a rock one. It’s closer to the KoL/Imagine Dragons style of US pop-‘rock’ than anything I have heard from the band before. The tracks themselves aren’t actually that bad, but it was such a shock to the system expecting something a fair bit different to what I got. Tracks like ‘One Man Army’ and ‘Dance Like your Mother’ stand out as rock/early 2000s British pop mashups, like a heavier Scissor Sisters. In fact, the latter track is by far the highlight of the album, what a bop.
Not a bad album at all, and if you’re into your alt/indie rock it’s definitely worth a listen. 6.5/10
And there we have it folks! Just one this week but it definitely starts to ramp up again towards the end of the month. And it was a pretty decent album to kick things back off with, too! Until next week!
Did you enjoy the article? Find more New Music Monday’s here or keep up to date on all of them from our Facebook here.
It’s about time we had some thrash on this list, right? The German band have been going on and off for over four-and-a-half decades at this point, releasing a total of 16 studio albums. Their latest, Too Mean to Die, is awesome. From the balls-to-the-wall intro track to the more glam-oriented ‘Overnight Sensation’ to a couple of slower tracks, Accept show their wide versatility an awesome song writing. I believe I gave it an 8/10 upon its release!
Volbeat: Servant of the Mind
Very much a return to form for the Danish metallers. After a lighter, rather lackluster previous album, Servant of the Mind returns the heaviness and shows that Volbeat very much still have it. Highlights include ‘Becoming’, ‘Wait a Minute my Girl’ (I can’t believe it still keeps growing on me), ‘Sacred Stones’ and the awesome ‘Shotgun Blues’. 8.5/10
Inglorious: We Will Ride
Another return to form, in my eyes. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Inglorious’ second and third albums, but damn if their fourth offering isn’t awesome. Tracks like ‘Messiah’, ‘Medusa’ and ‘Cruel Intentions’ are all amazing, showing off a more mature, slightly heavier side of the band. I hope this is their sound moving forward as they are back on track to be Britain’s breakout rock band in a few years! 8.5/10
Of course this made this list. It had to, it’s Gojira. The band that are yet to put out a bad album keep that streak going with Fortitude. Epic, crushing riffs combine with an at times slightly more radio-friendly sound and vocal delivery to make this one of the best metal albums of the year. Tracks like ‘Amazonia’, ‘The Chant’ and ‘Sphinx’ are all a must to check out if you are into the heavy stuff! 9/10
Evanescence: The Bitter Truth
A band who always leave pretty substantial gaps between their albums, this one felt worth the wait. The album highlights a band that now feel confident in their sound for the first time in a while. Tracks such as ‘Yeah Right’, ‘Use My Voice’ and the hauntingly beautiful ‘Wasted on You’ are all massive highlights, the but the album is arguably full of highs. 8/10
Iron Maiden: Senjutsu
Talk about a band comfortable in their sound. I have been a massive fan of the band for most of my life and am a big advocate of their 2000s albums. This is another corker. Be it the shorter ‘Stratego’ or the longer epics of ‘Death of the Celts’ and ‘Lost in a Lost World’, there is a LOT to love on this album. While for some it may be a bit of a slog, 81 minutes across two discs, it is well worth the listen. It may be one of my favourite albums from the band, or at least up there in the top five! 9/10
A band that have been quietly putting out stellar albums over the last 20 years or so, Chevelle may have topped them all with Niratias. From the opening note to the closing one, this was incredible. The best album they have ever done, hence why they got a 9.5/10
Trivium: Court of the Dragon
Somehow the best album they have put out in years, even though I have now said that about their last three. Sin and Sentence was great, Dead Men was amazing and then Court of the Dragon somehow tops them both. With tracks like the title one, ‘Shadow of the Abattoir’ and ‘The Phalanx’, this very well be the best album the band have ever done. It’s at the very least my favourite by them, even beating out Shotgun. 9.5/10
The Pretty Reckless: Death By Rock and Roll
An album that has definitely grown on me, TPR’s fourth studio album is actually damn good. I (Joe) was pretty harsh on it upon its release, while Charlotte was a big fan, hence thejoint review. Even the singles have grown on me, as well as the lighter album tracks, making it a pretty solid, well rounded album. The band have really come into their own with this release and it shows in a big way. I’d happily bump the score up to a 7.5/10
Ice Nine Kills: Welcome to Horrorwood
My album of the year, and a perfect album based on my review score. I stand by it, too, and anyone who tries to tell me otherwise can fight me. From the four singles of the album to blistering tracks like ‘Ex Mortis’, ‘Rash Decision’ and the insanely heavy ‘Take Your Pick’, it is a 50-minute long masterclass in metal, and once again feels like a genre of its own. After Silver Scream was so hard to top, I thought for sure this would be a comedown, but it somehow builds on things even more. I’ve seen nowhere near enough love for this album from the mainstream press, while fans are crying out for them to be massive. 10/10
What did you think of our list? Do you agree with them all? Did we miss any? Let us know over at our Instagram here.
So with the end of the year fast approaching and a whole host of albums already announced for the next (a few of which you can check out here), we thought it was about time to look back on the last year and how amazing it has truly been for rock music. While the live music scene is still a little stop start, there have been some tremendous studio releases over the last 12 months. Heck, we’ve reviewed a lot of them! So, given that it is still 2021 for another week or so, we thought it was only fitting to bring you a list of 21 of the best rock albums of 2021.
P.S. these are in no particular order, given that we couldn’t really decide on one together!
Offspring: Let the Bad Times Roll
A return after nearly a decade from the pop-punk icons saw a real return to form, too. With fantastic singles like the title track and ‘Coming For You’, the band felt reinvigorated for the first time since Rise and Fall. Add into it a great, stripped back rendition of ‘Gone Away’ and you have an awesome album! It got a 7.5/10 from me!
Florida Georgia Line: Life Rolls On
Okay, so technically not a rock album (there may be more), bro-country mega-stars Florida Georgia Line released a damn solid album this year. It’s just rock enough to qualify for this list and while yes, it’s mass produced radio-country, just watch the video below and just try to tell me it isn’t catchy. Check out the album if you like country at all! I gave it an 8/10
Unknown Refuge: From the Darkness
Our good friends from Unknown Refuge put out their debut album this year, and it was amazing. It was straight forward heavy metal with just a tinge of metalcore and it worked perfectly. From ‘To the Light’ to ‘Battle Hymn’ to ‘Palace Walls’ the album is brimming with awesome stuff, hence why it makes this list with ease! It’s an 8/10 from me!
Jerry Cantrell: Brighten
Another album with slight country leanings, although it is definitely more rock than FGL. The Alice In Chains guitarist has always had leanings towards this style of music, just look at Jar of Flies. However, I would argue this does it even better than that record. Cantrell’s vocals sound as fantastic as ever and really fit with the lighter, blues-drive music. An awesome record for any light rock fans out there! It got a whopping 9/10 from me!
Foo Fighters: Medicine at Midnight
A definite grower for me. The album came out before Overtone became a thing but there is a review of it floating around on my laptop still. It received a pretty harsh 4/10 from me, when in actual fact I’d probably bump it up to a solid 6.5/10, maybe a 7 at a push. My main critique at the time was that it wasn’t as heavy as I like Foo Fighters being. I think that still very much stands, but there are still some good tracks on here regardless, like the fantastic one below!
Bullet For My Valentine: Bullet For My Valentine
The title for most creative album title they will not be winning, but for comeback of the year this is definitely up there. It’s a return to heaviness for the Welsh quartet after a commercially panned lighter previous album, and it works perfectly. Highlights are the singles but honestly there isn’t a bad track on it. I gave it 8/10
Florence Black: WEIGHT OF THE WORLD
Another smaller band that put out a phenomenal debut album this year. Welsh NWOCRers Florence Black showed the world this year that they have what it takes to be the next big thing. Tracks like ‘SUN & MOON’ and ‘ZULU’ are amazing and a big reason why it got an 8.5/10 from me!
Rise Against: Nowhere Generation
It should surprise no-one that the modern-day punk icons Rise Against put out another great album this year. The veteran band have been on a fantastic run of albums all the way back to 2004s Siren Song, in this writers opinion, and Nowhere Generation adds to that lineage very well. Tracks like ‘The Numbers’ and ‘Forfeit’ really show off the bands range, and while it is a formula and sound they use every album, it has somehow not yet got old.
Bo Burnham: Inside
Another album that is not at all rock, but how could I exclude it? For anyone who is a fan of music, comedy or drama I cannot recommend watching the Netflix special enough, but the music in of itself is fantastic. The story of Bo finally feeling confident enough in himself after a 5 year absence in order to perform again and then locks himself alone in his small pool house for months on end, slowly going from confident, wacky and glad-to-be-back comedian to a manic depressive terrified that the world will still judge him is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s hilarious, heart-breaking and mesmerising all at the same time. See this out and watch it ASAP, even if you’ve already seen it before. 10/10.
The flag-bearers of a new wave of nu-metal, Tetrarch put out their second album earlier this year. Unstable is full of huge riffs, catchy vocal melodies and enough breakdowns to keep even the heaviest of metal fans going. If they keep going like this they will be one of the biggest bands in the future of metal, hence why I gave them an 8/10.
Thunder: All The Right Noises
Whoever says they don’t like Thunder is lying to you. The band have put out some of the best glam/sleaze rock out there, they just had the disadvantage of hitting their peak in the UK in the 90s. However, I would put All the Right Noises up there with Backstreet Symphony, it is really that good. Tracks like the opener, ‘Destruction’ an ‘You’re Gonna be my Girl’ are infectiously catchy and some of the highlights of a solid album. Check this out if you liked any of their other stuff! 8.5/10
2021 was a massive year for rock music. As the world came out of the pandemic (for the most part) and people could get together again, we got a massive slew of fantastic rock and metal albums being release, from the start of the year right on through to the end. From huge bands like Iron Maiden and Gojira to some of the smaller bands, it has been an impressive, high-quality year for music. A lot had been highly anticipated albums given that most had been pushed back a year.
However, next year doesn’t look like it’ll be any different. With a slew of albums already fully announced as well as many that are teased, hinted at or don’t have a set release date, next year definitely has some stuff to get excited about. We thought we’d give you a brief rundown of some of our favourites and list our most anticipated albums of next year. Check it out and let us know which you can’t wait for the most!
But first, a few honourable mentions: Billy Talent, Slash, Placebo, Anthrax, Ghost, Megadeth and Stereophonics.
Avenged Sevenfold: Untitled
An album that has been teased for a good year now, yet outside of the fact that it is coming we know very little about it. The follow-up to 2016’s masterful The Stage, whatever they have up their sleeves it will most likely be completely different to what came before but equally awesome. It has been so long since we have seen much activity from the band at all, especially here in the UK, so a new album has been on the wish-list of fans for a few years now!
Another album announced but not yet titled or dated, but at least this one has its first single out for it! ‘Back From the Dead’ was a fantastic re-introduction to the band, and their first new music since 2018. While the only other hint of a release date is ‘early 2022’, that if anything only adds to the anticipation. The band did some fun stuff on social media leading up to the single dropping, and you’ve only got to imagine they’d do the same for the full album, too.
Stone Broken: Revelation
Time to throw in something that’s actually all confirmed, don’t you think? British hard rockers Stone Broken are set to return with their third studio album 15th April. If it’s anything like their last two, their fans are in for a treat. The band are yet to release any tracks from it, but we are waiting rather impatiently. I’m sure when they do it will surely be awesome, too!
Even sooner than that is the release of the nu-metal originals 14th studio album, Requiem. Arriving at the very start of February, we have gotten a taster of it already with ‘Start the Healing’. It’s a fantastic track, though the band have a lot to live up to after 2019s The Nothing. The band have been on a run of form as of late, ever since The Paradigm Shift really, so there is no reason to think this is going to be anything less than great. We can’t wait to hear it!
Frank Turner: FTHC
Another February album, punk-rock mainstay Frank Turner is releasing his 9th studio album on the 11th. While his last album was a little slower and stripped-back, focusing more on acoustic stuff, from the sounds of the lead single this one brings him right back to his rocky sound. I am personally very excited, the man writes lyrics better than almost anyone, so this is easily one of my most anticipated albums!
Another album that has an announcement of being finished and out by early 2022 with no release date or single penned is the follow-up to 2018s Attention Attention. This is an interesting one for me, as anyone who knows me knows I have not been a fan of the last couple of Shinedown albums. However, with Brent promising a return to a more basic, rock-oriented sound, they definitely now actually have my attention (yes, pun indented). If they put something out akin to their first four albums, I could see it as an early album of the year contender easy.
Animals As Leaders: Parrhesia
How could I not include this album after the insane song and video they put out for it a couple of months back (below)? The instrumental, experimental metal band have always been at the forefront of incredible musicianship, but this looks to be taking things to an even higher level. And LOOK AT THE DANCING GUYS? HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS?
Zeal & Ardor: Self Titled
A band that I had not even heard of before getting a subscription to Primordial Radio, I now cannot escape them or get enough of them. The Swiss avant-garde metal band are set to release their third album on February 11th (busy day, I know), and I for one cannot wait. They may not be for everyone, but their interesting blend of styles makes for one hell of a listen!
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Untitled
Another one that has been teased is the funk/pop-rock legends’ 12th studio album. After their last album, The Getaway, felt like a rather large dip in quality, the return of their former guitarist and song writing aficionado John Frusciante to the band after a decades absence has sent the hype for this album through the roof. The last album he was on, Stadium Arcadium, hit #1 in 10+ countries. Can they replicate that success again with this release?
Slipknot: Look Outside Your Window/Untitled
A cheeky wildcard entry to finish off, I know. Yep, that’s right, not one but TWO new Slipknot albums could hit shelves next year. While they put out a single a month or so ago and Corey had spoken about how the whole album is nearly done, a release date has not yet been confirmed. Look Outside Your Window, however, is even more intriguing to me. An album of B-sides from when they recorded All Hope Is Gone (one of my favourite albums from the band and the first tour I saw them live on), it’s the half of the album that was lighter and more experimental than the rest, hence why it didn’t make the cut. The album has been spoken about since AHIG’s 2008 release, with various plans for release over the years. Will it finally see the light of day next year? Man, we hope so!
And there we have it. Were there any we missed? Let us know on our Facebook here if we did!
alt metal(?) band Dead Romantic have been gathering a lot of momentum over the last year or so, even with limited shows and a delayed album release. However, with a huge UK headlining tour planned for February and the album still very much on the horizon, they are going to be a massive breakout band of 2022. Before the band manage to hit the road, we got the chance to sit down with frontman Dan about their upcoming plans and much more!
So you guys put out your debut album earlier this year, right?
Well, to be honest everyone thinks that the album is out but the album’s not out yet! We’ve released four singles from it now that we’ve done videos to and then we release an extra little single just before the first single came out just as a little teaser/taster sort of thing. We’ve been forced to put the album back two or three times now. Various different reasons but one of them is that we want to tour the album. We want to release it when we can play it for people and experience it with them. We couldn’t do that so we thought ‘what’s the point in putting it out now?’.
It is set to come out next year. I’m pretty damn sure it’s going to come out next year.
I’ve seen that you guys have a tour set up, I assume it will be just before that, fingers crossed?
Whether it’s before that or after I’m not sure. We’ll definitely be releasing a single before the tour in February. We’re doing pretty much top to bottom of the UK. There’s a Scotland and Wales date and then six others throughout the UK. We’ll definitely be releasing a single but the album might not come out until the summer.
Is there a theme running through the album or is it more individual tracks?
It’s definitely not a concept album. It’s not like everything goes together. The theme is generally just experiences. It’s kinda cliche to write about your life and experiences and all that sort of stuff, but the things you’ve been through mould you as a person. There’s some stories in there that could mean a certain thing to some people whereas when I or Mike were writing it it meant something completely different to us. But that’s cool, that’s what music is.
There are a lot of different stories on the album about mine and Mike’s and our shared experiences.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
I would describe it by saying go and have a listen!
We’ve been described as a few things. Metal, emo, pop-metal, pop-rock. I suppose it falls in the alternative/metal space. We’re between rock and metal but with that sort of poppy hook.
Will this be your first major tour as a band?
Yeah, this is our first UK tour and we’re going around as a headliner which is pretty sick! We didn’t really expect it but it’s awesome! Kilimanjaro are very involved in promoting some of the dates on the tour which is overwhelmingly great for us, to be able to work with people at a certain stature. We’re essentially a baby band, I think we’ve played four shows. Because of lockdown and stuff we just couldn’t get out. When we were finally able to get out and play again it was quite short notice for us to get some dates booked. So February’s going to be great for us!
For me personally it’s my favourite part. I love playing live. Nothing beats a live show, so I’m looking forward to it.
So you’ve been pretty involved in the music scene with singles and gigs. How would you say the scene is right now? Is it recovering?
I’d like to think that it is. There’s a certain portion of the population that are still scared to go to shows, which is fair enough. I like to think I’m not a judgemental person, if you don’t want to go, don’t go. But there is also the flipside of that, the other portion of the population that’s so eager to get out and be amidst that. The shows we’ve played since lockdown have been pretty packed out, I think we sold out more or less all of them. People are just so eager and they’ve been starved of it for so long that they just want to be there.
I think it’s a little difficult for bands at the minute to get on bills, I think that’s one of the negatives. There’s such a backlog of shows that we’re struggling to get on bills. A lot of the festivals have been booked up now for nearly two years because of the backlog and being pushed back and it’s got to catch up with itself.
It’s so great to see people out again. I think it’s something they use as a release, too, going out to shows. No matter what music you listen to, going to a venue or club is such a release for people and I think after having 18 months of sitting inside being able to go outside and witness live music again and be a part of that culture and that world where everyone is so tight nit is almost therapeutic.
Did you enjoy our interview? Keep up to date on all of them by following our YouTube channel here. And, while it’s not out yet, you can read our review of the album here.
I did warn everyone that New Music Mondays would become drastically shorter as we got closer to the New Year. Even I wasn’t expecting it this fast, though! One album, and it’s one I’ve reviewed already as recently as Friday. However, it’s a damn good album, so I may as well talk about it again!
Assimilate: Suffer in Silence
A damn good second album from UK based alt-metal band Assimilate. It’s full of catchy hooks, huge riffs and even huger breakdowns. If you’re a fan of the genre, metalcore or just heavier music as a whole I would highly suggest checking it out. I’ve even gone as far as to link one of the tracks below so you don’t have to search very far! Check out the full album review herefor something more in-depth.
So yeah, not much else to say really. Check out the album, and keep up to date as usual on all of our content from our Facebook here. See y’all next week!
Dohny Jep are a self pop-rock band who have recently hit the UK underground scene with force. Having released a whopping 4 EPs throughout this year, the band have been working hard. (We reviewed their latest one, by the way, which you can check outhere). From the sounds of things they will continue to work hard next year too! We got the chance to sit down with them after their final EP for a quick interview. Check it out below!
So obviously your latest EP has just come out, how’s that gone down?
Yeah, it’s gone very well. We’re very happy with peoples responses to it! Much like the previous three we’ve put out this year we’ve slowly built a following and they seem to really dig most of the stuff we’ve put out. This one’s a little heavier than the last ones we’ve done. A lot of people have commented on that in a nice way. They’ve seen the progression throughout the year of how we’ve developed. And we did that deliberately, we chose for this one to be heavier than the other three. Sort of ease people into it.
With all four EPs coming out in one year, did you guys write it all beforehand?
We wrote a chunk all at the same time really. It was probably late last year.
It was sort of ongoing over a long period of time.
Yeah, late last year I reckon is when I remember we’d demoed an absolute bunch.
And then we kinda played around with orders and stuff. We were still re-writing stuff. So like the first EP was coming out and while we had the fourth EP technically written we were tweaking it as we were going. The main chunk of it was already done, we were just doing the details as we went along. Working to deadlines and stuff. The last one – we weren’t anywhere close to missing the deadline, but we had definitely done a lot more tweaks to some songs. ‘Floor Like Lava’ is two songs that we stuck together so we were still working all the details out.
I assume you planned it all out release-wise before it all, then?
Sort of. We had a kind of idea. I think we were originally put out a bunch of singles. Then the idea became to do them as EPs instead of standalone singles. Then the whole kinda floral thing that tied into each other and then our album, which is out on January 29th, has all four of those flowers in the same vase and we have all the 16 tracks as one collective release. That sort of idea kinda came in halfway through the year, something like that. But yeah, at the beginning of the year we were thinking let’s just release a shit load of singles and be in people’s faces the entire time so they get sick of us or love us, maybe both! But yeah, the full EP thing was decided just before we kicked it off really.
Also, it wasn’t not our decision but it was someone else’s suggestion to us. We’ve been getting advise from a bunch people and he’s sort of unofficially managing us at this point. Not that we don’t have anything to manage but we’re doing everything ourselves so far so he’s more of an advisory roll. He was like ‘well if you’re going to put out 12 singles at one a month, you could put it out as four EPs throughout the year and make a big deal out of it’. I think it was us who decided to jump it up from 12 to 16 because we had so many songs.
Yeah, we just couldn’t really decide which ones we wanted to put out. We’re a big fan of our own stuff! Which is probably a good thing, to love your material instead of thinking ‘eh, it’s alright’. So you kinda need to be your biggest fan! So we thought fuck it, let’s up 16 out and make it as unrealistic as possible to achieve!
So would you consider the same format of EPs leading up to an album again?
We don’t really know yet. It’s been a very expensive year!
Yeah, the next one definitely won’t be like that!
We’re still in talks about exactly how we’re going to do next year, but I think the main plan for us is just to tour a lot on this years material. Because we weren’t able to tour from the get go we’ve lost out on a lot of things like festivals and whatnot. I think once the album is out in January it’ll just be gig gig gig and just get in peoples faces physically rather than digitally this time.
Have you guys got much of a tour booked?
The only thing we’ve got is our release show in January. We’re looking at the moment to lock down a booking agent and then… . Again the advice we got was to look to tour just before summer. Then, avoid summer because it’s the festival season. Unfortunately, because most of the festivals at the minute are re-bookings from the previous two years it’s unlikely that we’ll get a slot on those. Then, after the festival season, get out and do some more stuff.
But it’s all a bit up in the air at the minute. We’re just driving towards this album show and then we’re going to work out what we’re going to do once we’ve got that under our belt.
Generally, how would you describe your sound?
Every time I’m asked this I never really know what to say! I usually go for alt-rock or pop-rock, but more recently I’ve ben saying it’s ‘heavy pop music with riffs’. It’s guitar driven rock music, obviously, but vocally it’s quite hooky with catchy parts.
It’s sort of like a bit of everything for everyone. Especially with our earlier material. It’s got a lot of lighter elements and then this new EP is heavier so it sort of touches on a bit of everything.
Each EP has its own sound, really. You can still tell it’s us, from the first to the fourth EP, but there is a variation in influences. ‘Fade’ for example, which was on Shallow Is the Water. It’s a sort of similar sound to The 1975, which is obviously pretty light and poppy. But then you’ve got other tracks like ‘Control’ that are like early Don Broco. So it’s yeah, variations of influences throughout really.
Will you stick with the wide range of sound going forward?
I think some of the newer stuff we’ve been working on and getting produced has gone a little bit lighter than the last EP. We’ve kinda gone heavy, then we’re going to go light again for a bit, but we’re still in the writing process for that. We’ve got one song produced for the next thing but with no sight of when that is out we’re just being proactive and writing so we have something.
Get ahead of the game!
Exactly! So I might watch this back in six months and we’ve written a really heavy song and then this doesn’t make sense. But at the minute it’s gone a bit lighter, a little funky in places but ultimately it’s still pop-rock with riffs!
Even though you haven’t gigged too much, what would you say the state of the music industry is like right now?
I think digitally, because that’s the best way we can really talk about stuff, it’s skyrocketed. It’s done great things for music. Things like TikTok for example, which we are still very new to but are trying to understand and be one with the young people who know how to use these fucking apps. I think it’s been a great thing for music. For example Papa Roach, who are a super old-school nu-metal band, have been brought back into the modern people’s sights from going viral on there with a very old single of theirs. There’s probably loads of other artists that have either been discovered or rediscovered from TikTok.
So as far as social platforms and things it’s been amazing. I know there’ll be a lot of people out there saying that ‘that’s rubbish’ and ‘you still need to be able to buy CDs’ and people miss going to miss going to buy physical copies of stuff but the reality is that that time has gone and you have to go along with what is happening or you will get left behind.
So yeah, the music’s been great from a digital standpoint. As far as the live stuff, when we’ve played stuff it’s been busy and it’s been great and everyone’s been enjoying themselves, but we just need to do more of them!
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As we get closer and closer to the end of the year, we are finding less and less albums coming out. However, there is still some life in 2021 rock music. This week is the last big one before Christmas hits us. Four new metal albums (sorry rock fans) were put out and we’re here to check out all of them and let you know what we thought!
Volbeat: Servant of the Mind
One of the most promising metal bands of the last few years, Volbeat have never seemed to be given the opportunity they deserve over here. However as much as I loved Seal the Deal…, the band definitely seemed to plateau with Outlaw Gentlemen…. The band have promised this to be heavier than their last release, going back to their roots. From the more recent singles they at least do make that happen. This is the last big album of the year I wanted to review in depth so you’ll have to wait for an overall score, but I can at least tell you it’s better than Rewind, Replay, Rebound!
Devin Townsend: The Puzzle AND Snuggles
That’s right, the Strapping Young Lad alum has treated us to not just one but TWO albums this week. Both are very different albums, though. Snuggles is a seemingly never-ending soundscape of relaxing, almost ethereal-sounding 40 minutes. All the tracks run together perfectly and almost feel like one of those CDs you used to be able to buy if you struggled to fall asleep.
The Puzzle is a messier, slightly heavier affair. Neither were anywhere near what I had expected going into them, though. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Devin’s work to begin with but I at least appreciate tracks like ‘Hyperdrive!’ and ‘Daddy’. Both are actual tracks, not just a collection of sounds. I appreciate the attempt at taking bedroom-pop in a more rock/experimental direction, but I found very little redeeming in either album at all. It was a chore to listen to what I did, honestly. I’ll rate both together and give it a frankly generous 2/10
Of Mice and Men: Echo
Despite a turbulent last few years for Of Mice and Men, the band returned with their seventh studio album this last week. Despite having seen them at a festival a few years ago, I still know next to nothing about the band besides the odd passing song that a friend may have liked. But, coming into this almost completely blind, I have to say I was pretty impressed with this album. It’s nothing ground-breaking, simply good metalcore music. Highlights include the lead single, ‘Obsolete’, ‘Pulling Teeth’ and the albums title track. 7/10
And there we have it, the last big week of rock releases of 2021. We will still keep up with New Music Mondays, of course, as there are still a few albums yet to be released, but it’s rather slow for a few weeks!
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Over ten weeks in now and you guys are still enjoying it so it looks like this series will continue on! It looks to be becoming more sparse as we approach the end of the year, with not many bands wanting to release albums so close to Christmas and New Years. However, there are still a bit of new music coming out, with four huge albums being released last Friday. Without further adue, let’s check them out!
Black Label Society: Doom Crew Inc.
Ozzy’s part-time axe-man has established himself as an equally great frontman over the last 20 years or so that Black Label Society have been a thing. Now onto their 11th studio album, the band aren’t letting up at all! It’s an hour of stomping, heavy biker metal, and I love it. It’s maybe the best Zakk Wylde has sounded vocally, and there could be an argument made that soloing is up there with some of his best too. A band long and unfortunately overshadowed because of Ozzy, this new music deserves to push them to a higher status in the rock world. Whether it does or not is another story. Highlights include the opener, ”You Made Me Want to Live’ and the emotion filled closing track. 8/10
Lordi: Lordiversity – Superflytrap
Definitely one of the weirder albums I’ve covered here so far, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi put out a disco album last week. Yep, you heard me right. Let’s get weird. I have no idea why it happened, all I know is that I love it. I cannot even find words to describe it, I just urge you to check it out down below, then find the whole album. If anything should win Christmas #1 outside of Gypsy Pistoleros, it’s Macho Freak. It’s like slightly heavier ABBA. I’ll be listening to this album a lot of the rest of the year, and you should too! 9/10.
Cynic: Ascension Codes
Prog-metal band Cynic returned with their fourth studio album and first new music since 2014, Ascension Codes. While I understand the importance of the bands first release, Focus, to the prog-metal genre as a whole, I have to say that personally, I don’t get it. It’s the same with this album. Don’t get me wrong, they are all clearly very accomplished musicians, but there was nothing here that really interested me. Lead single ‘Mythical Serpents’ was about the best of the bunch, with the other single being a close second. Neither held my attention that long, sadly. For such an interesting genre usually, it didn’t captivate me at all here. A shame. 4/10
While being the winners of album artwork of the year (seriously, it’s a thing of beauty), Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy also put out an album that’s good enough to live up to it. From the HUGE opening barrage of the title track through the awesome ‘Dead World’ all the way to the closing track, ‘God of the Underground’, it’s a class in how to do death metal damn well. From start to finish, this was another awesome album, and my favourite death metal album of the year hands down. 8.5/10