Tag Archives: alternative music

New Music Mondays: Five Finger Death Punch, Panic! At the Disco and Much More!

A STACKED week of new music from the rock and metal world this week. Join us in checking it out!

Five Finger Death Punch: AfterLife

Okay, let’s get the controversial one out of the way first. I know that if I give this band and album any praise at all y’all will disagree, and that’s fine, I’ve made peace with it. But underneath the Monster guzzling, Drywall and partner punching Kyle energy, there are some damn talented musicians. Heck, ANDY FUCKING JAMES guitars for them these days, the talent is there. And their first couple of albums were honestly fantastic. I haven’t heard the new singles or much after Wrong Side of Heaven as they began to bore me, but hopefully this album brings them back to their roots more!

Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. It’s nowhere near as bad as people will make it out to be, it’s still okay. It’s just incredibly generic radio metal. The riffs are still phat and fun and the production is still up there with some of the best. And of course James shreds some of the best highlights of the album. The issue, much like with most of their music, is Ivan’s lyrics. The angsty, angry, juvenile writing is really something a man in his 40s should have grown out of by now. He has a great voice still and is clearly good at writing catchy, huge vocal melodies and choruses, they’re just dampened considerably by the lyrical content. If they were a bit deeper or had more to them or had changed at all in the last decade+, I feel like this would be great.

‘Times Like These’ was an okay ballad and the title track is okay. But for every good track on the album, there’s a ‘Roll Dem Bones’ or the utterly terrible ‘Judgement Day’. Honestly, the good was few and far between and this was a really tough listen. I was bored way before halfway through. It’s such a shame because their thrash-Slipknot sound and attitude of Way of the Fist was fantastic and they have yet to get close to its quality. It’s a pretty slow album all-round, actually. The biggest praise I can give it, I guess, is that it’s somehow easy-listening metal. But still, it’s the worst album I’ve heard from them, of the five I’ve heard. 3/10

Panic! At The Disco: Viva Las Vengeance

Brendan Urie and friends (it stopped being Panic! years ago) are back with the follow-up to their massive 2018 album Pray For the Wicked. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of this band at their rock peak, I always preferred Fallout Boy, but I like a few tracks here and there. Heck, even ‘High Hopes’ isn’t bad as far as earworms go, just incredibly overplayed. With how poppy the singles have been so far, I feel like they’re going to be the same.

While a terrible album opener, the title track is a fun, Vegas-inspired pop-rock song. That’s pretty much the entire story of the album, if I’m being honest. And I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing. It’s not bad music at all, just a tad boring. It’s okay chilled out pop ‘rock’, but it’s a far cry from ‘I Write Sins not Tragedies’. It is pretty much musical music, which is exactly where Urie wants to be. Honestly if this was a musical I’d probably enjoy it a lot more than I do. Brendan is still one of the best vocalists alive today, but outside some pretty basic instrumentation behind his voice, that’s all there is to this album.

‘God Killed Rock And Roll’ is maybe the highlight of the album, but that’s because it’s so obviously and unapologetically Queen that it’s almost laughable. It’s a good album and I wouldn’t turn it off if it came on again, but it’s not really my sort of thing. 5/10

Demi Lovato: HOLY FVCK

It took Demi adding one of the most acclaimed rock guitarists currently in Nita Strauss in order to go back to pop punk. However, that was a relatively new addition so maybe this had been in the works for a while. Either way, a minute into the album and it’s already better than anything else she’s ever done. That riff for FREAK is tasty and for once the awful Yungblud doesn’t even overstay his welcome on a guest slot.

I’m so glad artists of this ilk, the latest being Avril Lavigne, are returning to this rock-inspired sound, and that a new generation is stepping up to join them. Hopefully it starts to lead towards more rock in the mainstream again. Plus, hopefully P!nk comes back to join the style soon too!

This album is fucking incredible, by the way. This is the album she should have put out after her return from rehab last year. Its full of emotion and a look into her thoughts and feelings about her past few years. And musically it’s catchy, radio friendly and, most importantly, ROCK. The genre that (kinda) introduced the world to her, and she returns with a vengeance. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the album art seems pretty similar to The Pretty Reckless’s last album, it’s clear that album’s inspired this one quite a bit. There’s nothing to really complain about anything, aside maybe the bloated track listing, but the album is that well paced that it doesn’t really even matter. I can’t believe I’m putting this but 8.5/10, it really is that good!

I Prevail: TRUE POWER

Another band I feel like I should have given more time to before now. It’s metalcore and has everything I should like in a band. I have one of their tracks on my Spotify (Gasoline, I think) and do enjoy it. So, I’m excited to sink my teeth into this album.

Truthfully, this album is a bit of a mixed bag. I liked when they got heavier on tracks like ‘Body Bag’, ‘Fake’ and ‘Judgement Day’. However their lighter stuff didn’t do much for me and their pop-punk, clean choruses almost felt a little… generic? I feel like that’s not the right word but I can’t think of a better one. I feel like I’ve heard them before. And some of the rap didn’t do it for me either, while some parts of it really did. Overall there was enough to keep me coming back, and plenty of it has made our playlist. 7/10

Soilwork: Overgivenheten

This was all over the place in the best way. So much so that I had to listen to it multiple times through over the weekend in order to just compose my thoughts. Sometimes melodeath, sometimes prog, sometimes power metal, sometimes straight up Scorpions-style hard rock, this had a bit of everything.

Having said that, everything they do sounds great. The heavier, epic opener into the lighter, clean-centric following track did a great job of showing what the band are about right from the offset. From there the quality stays, as does the variety. ‘Electric Again’ is one of my favourite tracks on the album, as is ‘Is It in Your Darkness’. No two songs are alike, especially when next to each other on the album, a fantastic display of songwriting prowess and honestly made for an insanely fun listen. Every track is good, not just the highlights, and this is an album I’ll be listening to a lot going forward! 8/10

The Chats: Get Fucked

Unapologetically punk as FUCK. Basically The Sex Pistols but with actual talent. I don’t even know what else I can say about it, it’s that straightforward an album. It’s punk, if you like the genre, you’ll like this. I’d struggle to even pick some highlight tracks as, due to the style, they all sound pretty similar. However, the album is so concise at 27-minutes that it never overstays its welcome. Good stuff! 7/10

Silversun Pickups: Physical Thrills

This was not what I was expecting, but I have no idea why. I’ve seen the name floating around for a good few years and always associated them with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead. And guess what, this was exactly like those two bands. I guess I was simply expecting a little more, however foolishly. I’m not really a fan of either of the aforementioned bands, and I can’t get into this much either.

It’s dark, moody prog rock with just enough of a commercial edge that it could be considered radio-friendly. I wasn’t a fan of some of the artier tracks, but then songs like ‘Sacred Together’ and ‘Hereafter’ were so good it made me almost forget how much I wasn’t fussed by the rest of the album.

Conan: Evidence of Immortality

Heavy prog doom metal from the UK, this feels like the most ‘true metal’ thing I’ve ever listened to. When the opening track is 10+ minutes long, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Unfortunately, that ride is pretty slow and takes a while to get to any fun sightseeing locations. I’m a fan of doom, but the same riffs repeated for two minutes or more don’t do much for me. The vocals help breakup the repetitiveness of the tracks a little, and the scream is very good. But it wasn’t enough to hold my attention for too long.

I remember seeing them a few years ago at a small venue my old band played at and remember enjoying them live, so maybe that’s what I need. Seeing music live helps it translate a lot better, being surrounded by likeminded people and having it all much louder and seeing them play it etc. Until I can make it down to one of their gigs, however, I feel like I can only give this a 4.5/10. Sorry guys.

Thundermother: Black and Gold

A controversial band next, at least in the UK underground rock scene. The NWOCR band return with their fifth album, looking to shake some of that negative energy off them, and honestly it’s very good.

Opening track ‘The Light in the Sky’ sets a great stadium-filling sound and precedent that continues throughout. The title track is mid-tempoed, catchy awesomeness and the riff for ‘Raise Your Hands’ is sleazy greatness. The soft, almost jazz rock ballad ‘Hot Mess’ is another massive highlight of the album too, as is the Thunderstruck-esque ‘I Don’t Know You’.

It’s all massive, catchy, radio-friendly hard rock, and it’s great. Some bands you can just tell from their sound and songwriting that they’re going to be massive, and these are definitely one of them. I could easily hear this opening for amassive stadium tour like GnR or the Crue/Leppard one, it’d go down a storm. I can’t praise this enough. 9/10

Hammer King: Kingdemonium

We checked this out already and loved it. Check out the full review and score here.

Lillian Axe: From Womb to Tomb

The first new album to be released by the band in over a decade, it’s not as black metal as the album title suggests it is. If anything a lot of it channels more soft/prog rock sounds than the ‘hard rock’ they are. While the opening track sounds ELO-like, the second goes in a completely different direction and goes full Dream Theater. I actually quite like the prog sound they go for for the most part, but it is so very DT I might as well just be listening to Octavarium. There’s some fun riffs none the less and the vocals are powerful and fit the music well. Good stuff, but nothing that I haven’t heard plenty before. 6/10

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New Music Mondays: Arch Enemy, Hollywood Undead and More!

Some great new music in both the rock and metal worlds this week. Let’s waste no time, let’s look at some!

Arch Enemy: Deceivers

For a band that contains the guitar god Jeff Loomis, Arch Enemy definitely don’t get a lot of praise. Yes, I know their more recent stuff after Alissa joined isn’t a lot of peoples favourite stuff by the band but honestly, the singles for this album have been great and if they are anything to go by, it should be fantastic.

I can confirm it is indeed, in my opinion, fantastic. Alissa has one of the most effortlessly powerful screams in the game today, and the introduction of more cleans to their sound adds a great commercial range to the band. It’s (almost) radio-friendly death metal, which is a damn impressive genre if I do say so myself. And while Loomis doesn’t have a huge amount of writing credit for the album, his lead and rhythm playing is incredible and shows that he is stuill very much at the top of his game.

‘Handshake With Hell’ is an amazing single and the perfect way to open the album. ‘Deceiver, Deceiver’ is a good balls-to-the-wall follow-up but it’s the stadium-filling ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ and ‘House of Mirrors’ that are the real highlights of the album. This heavier take on European power metal that bands like these and Parkway Drive are doing these days is controversial but, in this writers humble opinion, amazing. The whole album is great and a really good jumping off point for anyone who wants to get into the heavier side of metal. 9/10

Hollywood Undead: Hotel Kalifornia

What a 180. I never got Hollywood Undead even back in the day, but then I don’t think I was their target audience. But then again I’m a fan of RATM, Fever 333, Hyro The Hero, Linkin Park etc, so I don’t really know why this didn’t click for me. I think it’s more the 2edgy4U lyrics, it comes across as rather cringy.

It wasn’t quite as bad as some of their older stuff. There were hits of decent riffs in the likes of ‘CHAOS’ and ‘Alone at the Top’ (by far the saving grace of the album), and there are plenty of big choruses. But then there are tracks like ‘Ruin My Life’ and ‘Trap God’ that are just terrible. If you are a fan of the band I am sorry for most likely offending you, but I found this hard to get even halfway through this album. I’m going to leave it here otherwise I’ll continue to be negative. 3/10

The Goo Goo Dolls: Chaos In Bloom

Yes, they’ve done more than ‘Iris’. This was actually a pretty good album. A combination of Matchbox Twenty, the slower Aerosmith tracks and a surprising amount of Britpop. Tracks like ‘War’ and ‘Going Crazy’ were personal highlights for me, but the whole album was decent. Don’t go in expecting much more than slower, ballady pop-rock, but if that’s your thing than it’s a good album for just relax to or have on while you’re doing other things! 6.5/10

The Halo Effect: Days of the Lost

In Flames in everything but name alone, The Halo Effect’s debut album is okay. I have to admit that I never quite ‘got’ In Flames outside of a track or two, and this didn’t do much for me either. Everyone is clearly very good at what they do but nothing gripped me or stood out to me at all. It’s all pretty samey and that sound just doesn’t make me want to listen to more. The closest thing to a track I enjoyed here was ‘A Truth Worth Dying For’, and that’s probably because it’s basically a Trivium song. Sorry guys, I feel like I’m going to catch some flack for this. 4/10

Check out some more death metal here.

Boris: Heavy Rocks

The Japanese experimental band put out their third Heavy Rocks album in which they explore the rock and metal genre. It’s weird. Like as an experimental art piece I get it, especially if they are constantly exploring different genres. However, I cannot envision myself listening to this much more after this review. Tracks like the early-Nirvana-inspired ‘My Name is Blank’ and the almost Black Metal ‘Question 1’ are as close to highlights as the album has. None of it is bad, it just feels like exactly what it is, a group of people deciding “lets make a rock album, that could be cool!”, instead of wanting to write the genre their entire lives, like most in rock have. 4.5/10

Thee Oh Sees/Osees: A Foul Form

The alt/punk rock band put out a lot of music under various different incarnations of the band name, though it would always be similar. Somehow, while always writing music within the rock genre, this channelled as lot of the same energies as the previous album for me. I’m not quite into the experimental side of rock as some people so if you love this, I can understand why. However, this is not for me. At least it’s a short album, as I’d gotten bored by the fourth track and it changed very little in the final six tracks. 3.5/10

Pale Waves: Unwanted

Leaning harder into the pop elements over the rock or indie ones of their sound, I almost didn’t cover this album. Then I remembered I’ve already done the likes of Avril Lavigne and Stand Atlantic so I might as well! And, to tell you the truth, this album is better than half the others this week. The slow build of ‘The Hard Way’ won me over, and tracks like ‘Alone’ and ‘Only Problem’ are other great highlights of the album. It’s just catchy, inoffensive pop-rock, and it was enjoyable to listen to. Yes, I’m going to score this higher than Halo Effect, and I’d also probably put it above most In Flames albums too. Sue me. 7/10

Norma Jean: Deathrattle Sing for Me

Time for some of the dirtiest metalcore I’ve ever heard. It grew on me more and more the more I listened. I pretty much had a breakdown face for a full 53-minutes. ‘Spearmint Revolt’ is one of the best metalcore tracks I’ve heard period, never mind just this year. That riff is CH0NKY. ‘Aria Obscura’ is also packed full of great, heavy riffs while having a more radio-friendly edge. But honestly, this whole album is worth a listen. Even if you’re not typically into heavy stuff and screaming, there’s enough commercial edge to ease you in. 8.5/10

Seventh Storm: Maledictus

A more thrashy version of pirate metal, like a heavier, more serious Alestorm. I fucking love it. Right from the offset, this had me hooked (pun intended) and I loved it from start to finish. And, it’s another example of an utterly fantastic debut album, something that has happened a lot in recent weeks. It’s somehow an amagamation of bands like Alestorm, Machine Head, Amon Amarth, Disturbed and even some Behemoth in the riffs. It’s a fantastic blend of styles and really has something for everyone. The opener and ‘The Reckoning’ are personal favourites of mine, but again the whole album is fantastic. The only thing that could possibly put people off is the song lengths but honestly, the band does so much per track it’s easy to get lost and not realise seven minutes have been and gone. 8.5/10

Carrion Vael: Abhorrent Obsessions

The melodeath band round out this week’s New Music Mondays with a brutal album. It’s heavier than a lot in the genre, definitely adding in a lot of extreme and blackened elements. Still, tracks like ‘The Devil in Me’ and ‘Disturbia’ are great. A good album for anyone who’s into quick, heavy music! 7/10

Dig Lazarus: ‘I’m always amazed when someone knows the words!’

Another of our Call of the Wild festival interviews, this time with the amazing Dig Lazarus. Check it out as we talk about their last year or two and their future plans!

How was the gig? Sounded good from our end!

Fantastic! That sounded good?! It looked good from our end. It’s pretty daunting playing a Sunday morning after a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But it was great, plenty of people showed up!

How’s the festival season going so far?

Heretic was wicked. It kicked off the festival season. It’s good to finally be at an outdoor festival, especially with the weather like this. The clouds parted for us so we took the jeans off immediately and put the shorts on!

What’s it like being a part of this underground rock/NWOCR scene?

It’s amazing man, it’s great to be in the circles we’re in. We have great management in RPM Management, but even outside that every thing we do like this it kind of crosses over and we know people and can hang out with people… it’s fantastic. I think the British rock scene is so good, that these festivals happen and that we’re a part of it. There are so many line-ups that we’re honoured to be a part of. All the HRH stuff as well. The bands and the fans are all really into it. It’s great to be a part of it.

You can meet someone who’ll say ‘oh yeah, we met you at such and such festival like three or four years ago’.

And how would you say the scene is looking these days?

We’re getting there. When the first lockdown happened we were midway through a tour so everything got took away from us that we had planned. As it did for every band. You’ve just gotta try and rise above it and come back stronger, right? The first tour back we did after lockdown was supporting The Virginmarys. It was so good to be back out. Fans wanted to come back out and see live music again, they were begging for it. And we can provide that!

Check out our previous interview here.

You guys put out an album last year, it seems to have gone down pretty well?

Yeah definitely, we’re stoked! I’m always amazed when someone knows the words. We had a good tour with Virginmarys in support of that album and it’s just kinda snowballed from there. Like to come out to these places and people say they’ve been listening to the album non-stop in the car, that’s amazing to hear.

And are you guys writing again already?

Absolutely. We never stop writing. We’re going back into the studio to finish album two, half of it’s done. But we’re also toying with the idea of doing this heavier EP. Just four song EP just to get it out of our system. We don’t want album two to be so far away from album one but we have these songs that we like that are a bit heavier. I turn up to practice and I can hear it through the walls, playing something filthy. But it sounds awesome.

I think that’s a good thing for bands to do. It opens us up to being able to support other bands. We don’t want to just be a part of the NWOCR scene. It’s great to be a part of, but we can then step away from that and do a stoner gig. That’s the dream!

Speaking of, have you got a dream tour?

I mean dream tours can go big… Kiss! Queens of the Stone Age! We were influenced by a lot of bands and in that sort of circle I think Eagles of Death Metal would be doable. I think we could do that, we know Jesse, he’s on the album.

But bands like Scruffy Bear, I love that band. I’d love to go on tour with them. We like nice people. There’s no rockstar persona or ego, leave your ego in the van, just go on stage and play. Like Ryder’s Creed, we’ve known them for years so it’d be good to get out on tour with them.

New Music Mondays: Amon Amarth, Soulfly and More!

You know what’s happening by now. Lots of new music from ten awesome bands. Lets check them out together down below!

Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army

Scandinavian Viking metallers return with their 12th studio album, and once again it’s awesome. However, the first thing I noticed was that the fantastic single ‘Put Your Back into the Oar’ that was released earlier this year did not make the album. An unfortunate omission as it’s a great track, but so are the others that made the album’s cut. It’s a concise nine tracks of great death metal. The opener sets the scene perfectly while the title track is simply awesome. However, tracks like ‘Heidrun’ and ‘Find a Way or Make One’ are definite highlights of the album. And of course, the collab between them and Saxon, aptly titled ‘Saxons and Vikings’, is as amazing as you’d expect it to be. While I do have to admit I did prefer the bands last two albums over this one, it’s still a great album I’ll be listening to a lot going forward!7.5/10

Soulfly: Totem

A band that I really should listen to more given how much I like Sepultura, Soulfly have now released a whopping 12 albums for me to catch up on. The groove/death metal band go hard right from the opening track, ‘Superstition’, and to little surprise also go hard through all ten tracks. It shares similar characteristics to the previous album in that both are a similar genre and draw on their culture for inspiration (though Max doesn’t do it as much here as he used to). However, I do think Amon Amarth did it slightly better. Soulfly definitely have the more aggressive edge to their sound, but I found the catchier element of AA funner and ultimately more enjoyable. I know I shouldn’t compare the two bands, and tracks like ‘Souring the Vile’ and ‘Ancestors’ are great, but it’s hard not to when both come out on the same day. Maybe it would translate better live for me! 6.5/10

The Interrupters: In the Wild

We don’t have enough ska on this site, or in the music scene in general any more, so I am so glad The Interrupters are flying the flag for the fourth wave of ska. The Distillers-inspired band have put out three of the best punk albums of the last decade in their short career, and look to continue their streak with this one. Starting out punky it soon goes full ska with the awesome ‘As We Live’ (anything with Tim Armstrong is awesome). The rather silly ‘Raised by Wolves’ gives way to the fantastic lead single, ‘In the Mirror’, and the album is off to a fantastic start.

My only issue with this album is how bloated it is. I love the band and genre as much as the next guy, but 14 tracks is a lot for a ska album. However, having said that, each song is amazing, so I don’t know how they’d have cut any as I wouldn’t be able to choose which to get rid of. The tracks are short enough too, the album is still less than 45-minutes long. I guess it’s just my easily distracted brain wanting slightly ore variety when listening to so many tracks at once. Still, every track on the album is awesome, especially ‘Love Never Dies’ featuring the criminally underrated Skints. Check this out, as it really is a fantastic album, and definitely continues their winning streak! 9/10

Dub War: Westgate Under Fire

Skindred mastermind Benji Webbe’s original band have been on and off active for the last eight years now, but their first new music release in 24 years is a pretty massive deal. The reggae punk-rock works just as well with the political subject matter that ‘Blackkk Man’ explores as it does the slightly lighter subject matter of Skindred’s lyrics. For anyone who isn’t as familiar with the band, it’s more closely related to Public Enemy, Suicidal Tendencies and even Wildhearts than the heavier riffs that Mikey Demus brings to Skindred. However, tracks like ‘Vibes in the Place’, ‘Mary Shelley’ and ‘Fun Done’ are all awesome. A good album and a great return from a band that should have gotten further the first time round! 7.5/10

Psycroptic: Divine Council

The death metal Aussies put out one hell of an eighth studio album last Friday. I cannot get over how fucking incredible the riffs are throughout the entire album, and just the guitars in general. Joe Haley is another criminally underrated guitarist, creating a dream album for those into the rhythm side of the instrument. Just check out ‘A Fool’s Errand’ to hear what I’m talking about. The rest of the band are fantastic too, the drummer working overtime throughout and all the different screams fitting the genre perfectly and being amazing. This is the sort of death metal that I love and holy crap, what an album. At just nine tracks and under f40 minutes, it’s also compact and concise awesomeness. Check this out, you won’t be disappointed! 8/.5/10

The Flatliners: New Ruin

The punk/almost post-hardcore band released their first album in half a decade last week. I wasn’t familiar with the band before writing this review and, honestly, I’m not sure how to feel about the album even after listening to it all. It wasn’t bad at all, it just felt like nothing really stood out to me. It reminds me of this year’s Static Dress album in that it’s a genre that I should LOVE, but for some reason it just doesn’t resonate with me the way I thought it would. However, the more indie-like chorus for ‘Rat King’ did have me singing along pretty quick and is definitely a highlight o the album. 6/10

Abbadon Incarnate: The Wretched Sermon

This at least wins the award for best album artwork of the week. It’s fuckin’ awesome. As for the music, it’s impressively fast death metal. Like, if thrash and death had a baby and then gave it speed. It’s a lot of fun. However, I did find myself loosing track of which song was wihich rather quickly, they all blended into one. Outside of the more up and down, longer ‘Isolation and Decay’ it was all rather samey. It was still a good listen and worth it for anyone who’s into the heavy stuff, but it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. 6.5/10

StormbounD: December

Check out our full review of this awesome album, alongside it’s score, here.

Grave Bathers: Rock’n’Roll Fetish

The stoner/doom rock band’s debut gives us more riffs than 99.99% of other albums combined, so it feels. The band seem like the second coming of The Sword, something that the industry has needed ever since said band released High Country. ‘Ghost ‘Em All’ pens the album in spectacular fashion and perfectly encapsulates what the band is about and going for It’s amazing. The rest of the album is just as spectacular, too. Again though, and I feel like a broken record at this point, it’s a damn long album. 12 tracks spanning 81-minutes is a lot, even if given the genre it’s a little more forgivable than others. However, the sheer talent of the bands playing and songwriting on display means that even at the insane length of the tracks, it is still one hell of a great listen. No highlights again here, all the tracks are great. 9/10

Devil’s Paradise: Post Mortem

17 tracks for 80-minutes of music. What is it about this week and really long albums? It feels like the bands are cottoning on to how many albums I listen to to review a week and are taking the piss a bit now!

In all seriousness though, this was fantastic. Another great debut album (even if some of these tracks have been out nearly a decade already), making a whopping three in the same day! They remind me a lot of one of my favourite newer bands this year, South of Salem. I really hope this combo of Misfits style goth-punk and modern-day sleaze sticks around and continues to get bigger, because it’s a fantastic sub-genre. This does have a little more of a US radio rock edge to it too (think Burn Halo, Soil etc), especially on the slower tracks like ‘Ghost’. There’s also a handful of slower tracks that sound like Avenged Sevenfold when they they to sound like GNR. I love all of it, these ballads or the heavier, faster goth-sleaze tracks.

There are plenty of highlights from the album, a handful of which made our playlist. This is DEFINITELY worth checking out, these guys are gonna be huge. 9/10

And there we have it, an absolutely fantastic week for new music, a lot of it coming from the youngest bands on the list. Rock music is in an incredibly strong place right now with the next generation coming up, and I cannot wait to see where they all go from here!

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New Music Mondays: Whiskey Myres, Dance Gavin Dance and More!

You should know the dealio by now. New music from nine awesome bands. Let’s get straight to it!

Whiskey Myres: Tornillo

The southern rockers returned with their sixth album this last week. I was a HUGE fan of their last couple of albums so this one had a lot to live up to. I think Tornillo does just that. Tracks like ‘John Wayne’ and ‘Feet’s’ perfectly encapsulate what the band are about in terms of sound and style, and are hugely catchy and fun to boot. But, fun quick country or ballad, the band are such good songwriters that it’s all incredible and arena-filling without it being the modern day country cheese. This band deserve to be massive, and I really hope they start getting the love and praise they should over here now country is starting to take off big. A damn hard album to beat in this genre this year! 9/10

Beddy Rays: Self-Titled

The Aussie rockers put out a damn fun indie-drenched album on Friday. For a debut album too, it’s fantastic. The band have been putting out music for five years already, but putting out a full length release so consistent first time is always impressive. Tracks like ‘Week on Repeat’, ‘Sort it Out’ and ‘Sobercoaster’ are all excellent highlights. However, honestly if you are into the more indie side of rock, you’ll enjoy every track on the album. Good stuff! 8/10

Dance Gavin Dance: Jackpot Juicer

Controversy aside, this band has always been a collection of insanely talented musicians, and that is on full display again with this album. It’s an hour of post-Tool math post hardcore craziness, and I found myself loving it. Will Swan is a criminally underrated Guitarist and both Jon Mess and Tilian Pearson handle the duel vocals perfectly. The album also acts as a fitting tribute to longtime bassist Tim Feerick, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Tracks like ‘For the Jeers’ and ‘Cream of the Crop’ are fantastic, but yet again this whole album is great. 8.5/10

Check out more (kinda) math rock here.

Krisiun: Mortem Solis

Time for some Brazilian death metal. The band’s 12th studio album opens going hard and doesn’t let up once. It’s a brutal assault to the ears in the best way. If you are a fan of the heavy side of metal you’ll definitely get enjoyment out of this. Tracks like ‘Serpent Messiah’ and ‘Temple of the Abattoir’ are awe3some. The guitaring is a real highlight, Moyses Kolesne being another underrated player. However, the only negative I had was that nothing really stood out. It was all solid, but it just sounded like your typical straight-up death metal. That’s completely fine, but I’d love a bit of variety in it at times! 6.5/10

Funeral Chic: Roman Candle

The old-school biker sludge/hardcore metallers returned with their third studio album last week. Opening on the interesting, slower, great ‘Made in America’, the pace soon picks up with ‘Spit and Crawl’. The pace flits between the two styles throughout, sounding like anything from Metallica to Rob Zombie to Misfits. The whole album is awesome, every track being just as good as the last. I also love it when the band lean more and more into the sludgy edge the have, there being some great riffs and breakdowns here. My only ever so slight criticism is that the vocals could have been slightly higher in the mix. 7.5/10

Stick to Your Guns: Spectre

Hardcore punk and metalcore often go hand-in-hand, but I’ve not heard it done quite as masterfully was I have here. From the opening track you get a clear indication of the bands impressive signwriting skill, blending together anger and aggression with huge, anthemic choruses. They remind me of a heavier A Day to Remember, inspired by metal instead of pop punk. Everything from the clean and harsh vocals to the quick drums and guitars to the insane breakdowns, all of it was fantastic. It’s a modern heavy-lover’s dream while still having arena-filling earworms to get them plenty of new fans from the more mainstream audiences. I honestly can’t pick highlights from this, a lot of it made it onto the playlist. An album I’ll be listening to a lot over the coming weeks and months. 9/10

Bastions: Majestic Desolation

The first album released by the band in 11 years, The band make the most of showcasing their talent after so much time off. The band go HARD on this album, combining elements of black metal and hardcore together well. It’s not really my thing, and the tracks did all blend together a little when I listened to them, but I can definitely appreciate the talent and songwriting skill of the band. I’ll give it a 5/10, though I’m sure bigger fans of the genre would give it much higher!

Belphegor: The Devils

It’s blackened death metal. If you like the genre, like I am starting to, you’ll love this. It takes all the good parts from black metal but adds fun stuff too like riffs and good production. And this is a band very clearly near the top of the genre where songwriting is concerned. Tracks like ‘Damnation’ and ‘Kingdom of Cold Flesh’ are awesome and definite highlights! 6.5/10

Cats in Space: Kickstart the Sun

The AOR/power Prog rock space lovers are back with their fifth album. It’s pretty great if you like this sort of thing. Fantastic instrumentation, amazing vocals and harmonies and some good lyrics. I again cannot help but compare them to the awesome Night Ranger, and that is definitely a compliment. My only slight issue is that it does all seem a little similar. I was much more than happy to listen to the album all the way through, but the tracks blended together a little and I’d struggle to name them if it weren’t written in front of me. A different sound, feeling or timing would have been nice somewhere! Still, there is plenty to love from start to finish! 7.5/10

And there we have it, another surprisingly awesome week! As always keep up to date on all of our content from our Instagram here.

The Bastard Sons: ‘We’ve basically finished writing and recording all of the music for an album!’

The next Call of the Wild interview had us talking with the rhythm section of Phil Campbell and the bastard Sons , Tyla and Dane! Check out as we talk about the bands future release and touring plans and if they had any advice they could give to smaller bands!

So firstly, what’s it like touring with Phil?

Well he sleeps a lot. You’ve just got to wake him up when he needs to be woken up. Lots of toilet breaks. Not a lot else, it’s not that exciting really!

You know he’s our dad, right?! Just in case.

He enjoys a pasty from a service station. Or a tin of macaroni cheese as I found out last night. Which he doesn’t cook!

And you guys have just finished a Motorhead tour, right?

Yeah, it was cool! We’ve been talking about it for a while. We kinda knew it would go down well, there’s definitely a thirst for that music even though we’ve always played around half and half. It was a different vibe. Physically more challenging for me, being a drummer, too! But yeah, it’s been amazing. Every gig has been incredible.

It’s been a couple of years since the last album, are you writing again?

We are. We’ve basically finished writing and recording all of the music for an album. Joel (vocals) has done maybe half of it and then we had to start touring. Damn touring is interrupting our touring process! But hopefully after today we can get into it a little but this is the start of our festival season now.

It’s the busiest summer we’ve ever had. Three years worth of festivals crammed into one. So we’ll have to try and squeeze in some vocal sessions during the summer. We don’t want to rush it so it will probably be out early next year. Because of Covid the demand for vinyl production is nine months delayed.

What’s it like, comparatively, preparing for your own gigs to a big festival or supporting the likes of Guns’n’Roses?

Well, you have a shorter set when you support! The Guns’n’Roses show we’re on at like 5pm for 30 minutes, so we can drink more alcohol afterwards. Festivals logistically are more difficult. Sometimes you’ve gotta fly from one play to another at stupid’o’clock in the morning because it’s the only option, and then you’re really tired for the rest of the day then. You’ve gotta make it happen somehow.

Have you got any advice for bands that are just starting out?

Yes! Lots of advice!

We’ve all come from small bands. Prior to this we’ve all done the toilet circuit; supporting, touring, playing to nobody, we’ve done all that. And we learnt a lot from being able to do that. The way I see it is even if you’re playing a gig in front of no one, it’s still a free band practice. It’s more practice getting used to playing in a live environment.

Obvious tips for if you land like a local support slot for a band like us or someone else. Be prepared to use your entire backline. Bring all of your gear, or as much as you can. Load in when someone says you can and start setting up your drumkit straight away, off the stage of course. Try not to make noise, the headline band are probably sound-checking.

And a really important thing: your most important task is to play your set, don’t overrun your time, like if you’re told to finish at eight, aim to finish at one minute to eight, and then your own priority is to get your stuff off the stage as quickly as possible. People might want photos or whatever, do that later. Get your stuff off the stage and then the headline band and their crew will think you’re great. They’d be more inclined to get you back again.

Spilling drinks on stage? no. If you do, wipe it up. Don’t expect other people to do it for you. You’d like to think that’s obvious but apparently not. Even going on a couple of minutes early just to allow time if you have a technical issue or break a string or something. Just so you don’t have to cut any songs and can still finish on time!

Things like that are just little things we’ve learnt over time. It’s really important to conduct yourself well in a gig situation. Even if it’s just the promoter that gets good feedback, they’re going to ask you back. It obviously helps if you can bring a few people who are wearing your shirts and stuff as it’s like ‘oh okay, they’ve sold a few tickets’.

Did you enjoy the interview? Check out more of them from our YouTube channel here.

New Music Mondays: Jack White, Oceans of Slumber and More!

Welcome back to New Music Mondays, where we take you through all of the new releases in the rock and metal world once a week. This week is pretty heavy, so strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride!

Jack White: Entering Heaven Alive

The former White Stripes frontman’s second album of 2022, on first listen I have to say I preferred the previous one. It’s not a bad album by any stretch, but Fear of the Dawn was much more of a rock album, which I prefer over the folk pop-rock of this album. It felt to me like where the Beatles would have gone later in their careers, than what I was hoping for. There are definitely some highlights and epic moments. ‘All Along the Way’ is incredible and I think getting just a bit bigger or having a grander payoff may have put it up there with one of my favourite tracks of the year. Outside of that though, it all felt pretty steady and a little boring. 6/10

Oceans of Slumber: Starlight and Ash

All info I found online about this band called them a prog metal band. I heard very little metal here. This was a rock album. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still a very good album. The opening track is somehow both chaotic and methodical and builds up beautifully for the ending crescendo. ‘The Lighthouse’ has a country/americana feel to it, but still being dark and heavy enough to fit in with the band. You’ll find both on our 2022 highlights Spotify playlist here.

However, after five or six tracks the same plodding pace does get a little old for me. I very much get that it’s their style and it’s very good, but some variety would have been nice. Each track individually is awesome, but the album as a whole dragged for me a little. If you like it awesome, and I really wish I could, but I can’t give it any higher than a 7/10

Witchery: Nightside

The extreme Swedes are back with their eighth album. It’s everything you can expect an extreme metal album to be, fast, aggressive and full of dark, insane lyrics. It’s great. ‘Don’t Burn the Witch’ had some fun dynamics in with the emphasis on the bass. And a track called ‘Popecrusher’ should really speak for itself. The lyrics are so exretreme that it almost gets a little comical. I mean ‘A Forest of Burning Coffins’ is hard to take seriously. A lot of fun if you’re into the heavier side of music. 7/10

Karl Sanders: Saurian Apocalypse

An interesting one up now. Usually playing tech-death with Nile, Karl’s solo stuff is more on the folk side of the Egyptian/ambient style. It being his first album in 13 years and only third overall makes this an intriguing release. It was definitely intriguing, to put it lightly. I don’t often listen to this style and it wouldn’t really fall into the rock category, but it’s somehow still heavy. It’s not exactly something I would listen to often, but man can I appreciate the art and time it would have taken to write it. It really did take me on a journey, and I loved every second of it. Plus, the guitaring is INSANE. If you have the time, find this and check it out! 8/10

Palisades: Reaching Hypercritical

The alt-metal band are bringing back a lot of early-to-mid 2000s nostalgia for me, so if that is your scene stop what you are doing right now and check this out. Between Three Days Grace, Skillet, Linkin Park and Drowning Pool, it draws together a lot of sounds that I love. From the very first track to the last, this was all incredible. The singles have made it onto our playlist but honestly that doesn’t do enough justice to this album. Each track, album or single, is fantastic. I have nothing more to say, every track is a highlight, Check this out! 9/10

Ashenspire: Hostile Architecture

And now for some prog-doom. And I’m not going to lie, it went almost completely over my head. This was like a mess of a whole lot of sounds and vocals and strings with rather meh punk vocals over the top. Old Gwar is about the closest thing I can think of to compare it too, and I didn’t get that either. Don’t get me wrong though, I like the sentiment behind the concept of the album. It just doesn’t really sound good to me. I’m really sorry guys. Though I will admit the vocals sounded a little better when they were just spoken instead of shouted, I felt like I connected with the emotion more. but still, 3/10

Patient Sixty-Seven: Wishful Thinking

A fantastic album that I’ve already reviewed! Check it out here.

Hatriot: The Vale of Shadows

Zetro’s (the best Exodus frontman, fight me) between bands project, we have since had the last now two albums without him and instead have bassist Cody Souza on vocals too. While not quite as good, you can tell he’s trying to emulate the same style and does a decent enough job. The album itself is pretty base level thrash, being quick, awesome riffs, fast drumming and crazy solos. Thankfully the vocals don’t take as much of a backseat as some other thrash bands. All you have to do is check out the different screams in ‘The Hate Inside’ to hear some truly awesome vocals. This album had some awesome moments, with ‘Verminous and Vile’ and the title track both also being highlights. 7.5/10

Nicolas Cage Fighter: The Bones That Grew From Pain

The metallic hardcore band released their much anticipated debut album this past Friday. It’s another that goes to 10 immediately and stays there throughout. Opener ‘Grey Eye’ shows you exactly what the band are about and what you are in for, and it’s great. It’s definitely an album for the heavy fans again, like much of this week is. But if you are into that late 90s early 2000s heavy vibe, you’ll definitely love this. Ten tracks filled with aggression and anger that’ll definitely get your head banging! 7.5/10

Imperial Triumphant: Spirit of Ecstasy

A band that I never really ‘got’. I remember seeing the picture of them in the Sons of the Harpy masks everywhere a few years ago and ended up checking them out. It just sounded like heavy noise to me. I get that some people crave that originality and so the weirdness is appreciated, but I will happily hold up my hands and say give me a radio-rock chorus any day of the week. I like the brooding atmosphere created with some of the quieter moments, but otherwise it’s a little too heavy for me. 3.5/10

Wishful Thinking: Are Patient Sixty-Seven the Future of Metalcore?

Patient Sixty-Seven are a metalcore outfit from Perth. Their debut EP, Home Truths, immediately put the band on the map, and their debut album looks to continue that same momentum. I found this band through social media a few months ago and have been eagerly anticipating this release. Without further ado, let’s get into this!

Opening on part two of ‘Stay Paranoid’, the first part being on their previous release, was a fantastic way of maintaining a fun narrative and continuity. A quick, distant build launches into a HUGE metalcore riff, the screams fittingly heavy over the top. It builds in some clean vocals around the growls for the chorus, adding a catchy element to it all. Outside of these momentary reprieve though this is a damn heavy track. It’s a fantastic way to set the pace at the start of an album.

This leads into one of the main singles of the album, ‘Scattered’. It opens on a great, slightly slower guitar riff, setting a mid-tempo pace. Dropping down a little for the verse; the more hardcore-style scream is awesome, especially with the odd clean gang vocal in between. It reminds me a lot of old-school metalcore, a heavy verse and pre building to a massive clean chorus. It only makes the chorus feel catcher and even bigger, enough to easily fill an arena. I was hoping for some sort of breakdown between the second and third choruses but instead we got a short bridge and stripped back chorus part. It was good, but felt a little basic in this day and age. Heck, this was a single though, and it’s definitely more of a radio-friendly structure! Playlisted!

Check out another metalcore review here.

‘Fatebringer’ picks up the heaviness and pace again immediately with an amazing riff between the guitar and bass, the drums working overtime to keep up. The harsh vocals sound great over the top of it, giving off almost death metal vibes. Even despite the heaviness, it still heads into one of the catchiest choruses on the album by the second time round. I LOVE all the different vocal styles on this album, it all fits the situation perfectly and all sound so good. But saying that, everyone involved is massively talented. Another awesome, playlisted track.

‘Try Hard’ plays around with the structure a little. It opens on the catchy, clean chorus vocals before heading into most of the screaming and djent-ish riffs after. I’m not sure why, but the cleans here remind me quite a lot of Gerrard Way’s style. Maybe it’s the melody? As a big MCR fan, I love it. Plus, when it gets heavy, it gets HEAVY. The low screams in this were incredible, especially when they were surrounded by more extreme style ones. The synth was also a nice touch to this, adding so much to the sound and atmosphere. Patient Sixty-Seven have managed to draw together each different phase and sound metalcore has gone through over the years and moulded it all together beautifully.

Time for the ballad, ‘Feel Alive’. Opening straight into clean vocals and a clean guitar chord progression, it’s already a huge change of pace to the rest of the album so far. We get a scream or two when it gets bigger around the choruses, but it still fits perfectly. The chorus itself is another arena-filler too, huge and distorted guitars providing a fantastic backdrop for the catchy clean vocals.

Guest vocalist Kellin Quinn fits in well in the second verse, too. His voice, while I wouldn’t have recognised it without reading it was him, is so beautifully clean that it worked well with the balladier track. The dynamics are fun in this track too, dropping down and exploding back up at the perfect moments. We even get a guitar solo to close, and a great one at that. This is how you write a metalcore ballad, and I can’t get enough of it. Playlisted.

I’ve heard lead single ‘Wayfair’ a few times now, heck, it was the track that drew me to the band in the first place, and I still find myself loving it more and more with each listen. From the heavy opening riff to the multiple different, brutal screams through to the catchy clean chorus, this is everything I want from a metalcore track. The breakdown is awesome, the riff being both technical and heavy. And we get another good guitar solo behind the final chorus. I have nothing negative to say here, this is another awesome track. Playlisted.

VRSTY’s own Joey Varela lends his vocals to this interesting, very good track. It is simply vocals, a basic electric drumbeat and some synths. Nothing more. However, the vocals are so full of emotions that it drew me in immediately. For what it is, a two-and-a-half minute essentially interlude track, it’s a masterpiece. Amazing stuff from Patient Sixty-Seven who seem to keep surprising me.

‘Damage Plan’ again heavy’s things up with an almost nu-metal riff running through it. There’s also a fantastic vocal highlight early on in the first verse with a simple laugh through them, adding so much more feeling and emotion to the words. It drew me in instantly to their meaning. Another amazing clean chorus breaks up the heaviness, the lyrics here being my favourite of the album. A great breakdown separates the choruses, it being so simple yet so effective. Another excellent song!

‘Fault Lines’ is a slow but heavy track, again almost bordering on deathcore with its heaviness. But, again, the chorus vocal melody gives off My Chemical Romance vibes, evening out the heaviness somewhat. The background stuff in this was awesome too, between the nice little guitar lead line, the synths and even some strings I think I heard at times. All of it give the track so much depth and intrigue, holding my attention in the palm of their hands. There is also the most perfect ‘bleh’ as it builds up into the final chorus, something I thought I’d hear a lot more of in this album.

Final track ‘Colours’ is another slower track, giving off similar energy to ‘Feel Alive’. Now, any long-time readers of Overtone know that I’m not the biggest fan of closing out with a slower track. However, the album has been so full on and heavy almost all the way through that it sits fine with me. That and the fact that it’s still fairly heavy in terms of music (and metal in general actually) that it works well. It has an epic finale feel to it and works well to close out the album. A good song to close a great album.

Overall: This was awesome. For a genre that is so up and down for a lot of people recently, this was it at its very best. Patent Sixty-Seven have all of the talent and songwriting ability to be the leading lights in metalcore for years to come, and they very much demonstrated it with this release. Fun and heavy while dripping with emotion, this album has a bit of it all. I cannot wait to hear where they go from here, and can only hope they venture out to the UK soon!

The Score: 8.5/10

Anchor Lane: ‘New music is coming!’

Another interview from Call of the Wild Festival, this time with the amazing Anchor Lane. Check it out as we talk about the bands new sound and where they want to go with it in the future!

How was the gig?

It was good fun! We enjoyed it. It was nice to play outdoors again. We did a couple outdoors last year, we did the Rock & Blues Custom Show in Derby and we did a secret festival which was a bit ominous at the time!

So, what happened to your bassist?

Up in Glasgow! Back home!

So we had a bassist and we’re still great pals. We were right in the midst of writing a new album and going on tour and so we gave him to option of if he was in or not. It’s totally fine but then was the time to say.

So now we run with the SPD and backing tracks, which are great. The sound engineer loved it, he said it’s so nice to have a band that’s not got that muddy bass on stage. It’s definitely been an adjustment!

Your name seems to be everywhere at the minute, is it nice to start getting that buzz?

Yeah it’s good! I think the thing is is that we’ve had a really good last six months or so going out with Wayward Sons and with Ricky Warwick and both were quite long tours. Like 10 dates each. So quite a lot of dates to actually go out and start getting a bit of a fanbase across the UK. We’ve had chance to do it in small bursts but now to get those opportunities for a band that are still starting out to get on with a proven touring band, it gets us in the conversation of bands that tour so it’s easier to get the next one!

You’re on a pretty gruelling schedule with your tour at the minute, right?

Yeah! It’s been a really really busy few months. There’s obviously a bunch of stuff that we can’t talk about. And fitting all the touring in between that has been a real slog. But this is what we want to do. I think that’s when you find if it is for you or not. It’s gruelling but it’s awesome. This is what we love doing, in a van travelling around and playing music, it’s great!

Check out our last interview, with Reckless Love, here.

Do you have any advice you could give for a band just starting out?

Learn to drive. Get your drivers licence as soon as possible. The amount of bands where none of them can drive and it’s like ‘what the fuck, how do you get your stuff there?!’ Some of them just get taxis which is insane, they’re not going to be making any money. It’s bad enough hiring vans! It’s one less obstacle, in which there are a lot in this industry.

Obviously you guys are (have at the time of writing), playing Download, what’s that like?

It’s terrific! Personally it’s a big dream of mine, it’s an iconic thing. I feel like technology has aged so quickly I remember I would get a copy of Kerrang! which had the announcement. Maybe I was just behind the times but yeah, then to have your own bands name on there is kinda crazy!

Obviously you’ve got Biffy Clyro and Iron Maiden and Kiss and all these other bands and their logos and then it’s like right at the bottom it’s Anchor Lane, fucking yeah!!

And you guys just did a live(ish) album, how did that come about?

We’ve got a friend who does amazing sound production, he actually did the bands first EP way back when. We wanted to do some live stuff so we thought why not put something together that keeps the ball rolling and shows that also Casino and is still relatively fresh we sound a wee bit different. We’ve got a different drummer, we’re playing some different tunes, we have different haircuts which makes it sound different so we just thought lets put something out. It’s one of my favourite things that we’ve done actually, it’s aesthetically pleasing, it’s very well lit of all things.

It caught a moment in time as well because it was the four of us and it was the last recorded thing we did with Mathew. I think he’d left about three weeks prior to its release. It was quite nice that we released it as the last sort of thing he contributed to.

And it’s also just hearing the album in a different way. It was fun to do, as well. Just to go in the room and play the songs.

And are you guys writing again?

New music is coming. That’s about it! That’s kinda the thing for us is we’ve got this new sound we’ve been developing and we’ve got a live show thought out and we’re very excited for it. We want to move forward with that so it’s coming soon. Hopefully we’ll have more to talk about at the end of this tour!

They’ve been going down really well, gone down a storm. Lots of people are enjoying them. It’s not like you need people’s approval, we wouldn’t put something out if we didn’t believe in it, but it’s always nice to see other people enjoying it too!

New Music Mondays: Deaf Havana, Senses Fail and More!

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

Check out another pop-punk review here.

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

Deathbringer: IT

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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