Tag Archives: new music

The Hammer Falls: The album to rocket Hutchinson into the Mainstream?

British blues/hard rock singer-songwriter Jack J Hutchinson has been on the scene for a few years now, plugging away and growing more and more. It seems to be paying off as he is suddenly everywhere. On festivals, radio stations, and across the country on his headline arena tour (which you can check out here). Everyone seems to be waiting for his new album with baited breath… and we got to check it out early! How is it? Read on to find out!

‘Straight to Hell’ opens the album as it means to go on, with a heavy, awesome riff that draws heavily from Jack’s 70s metal influences. It’s not long before Jack’s unmistakable, higher vocals come in over the top, following the awesome melody of the guitar. It then drops into a lower, ‘slower’ chorus. It’s an interesting choice, to drop down for the chorus instead of build up, but it works fantastically well here. It’s catchy and NWOBHM as fuck.

We get an utterly ridiculous guitar solo after the second chorus, the technicality and speed off the charts. It’s damn impressive, having inspiration from everyone from Tony Iommi to Slash to EVH, from what I could hear. It drops down to a solo guitar afterwards, playing some great chords. It builds up more and more with Jack’s vocals and drums, giving off surprisingly massive Soundgarden vibes. Then, a final chorus takes us home. This is how you open an album! Awesome and easily playlisted!

Jack J Hutchinson Official Facebook

The album’s title track is another that opens right into a fantastic wall of sound. The riff is infectiously good, even having some early Maiden in there. There are less dynamics to this song, the verse and chorus both being at the same sort of level. It’s a straight up rock track filled to the brim with huge riff after huge riff. The Maiden-style continues with the bridge heading into the guitar solo, but the solo is just straight up Kirk Hammett with all that wah. We then get another chorus again to finish off. This felt like more of an instrumental showcase song, and for that purpose I loved it! Great stuff from Hutchinson and co!

The lead single of the album, ‘Down by the River’, is a slightly steadier tempo. The riff is huge and epic but steady, and the verse drops down even more. Simple guitar, bass and drum playing gives the vocals more time to breath. It’s the opposite of the opening track too, building into a huge, catchy chorus over the top of the opening riff. The Black Sabbath AF riff that comes in after the second chorus is awesome, as is the bridge with the distorted vocals that leads to the final riff and chorus. The riffs have really been a highlight so far, a real old school feel to them. Three for three on good songs so far!

‘Angel of Death’ is sadly not a Slayer cover. It is, however, still a kickass song. Opening as more of a ballad with a clean guitar chord progression, it stays soft rock as Hutchinson delivers more great vocals for the verse. The whole track has a suitably epic aura around it, as all good ballads should, and it’s all really catchy. The lyrics stood out a lot this time too, filled with emotion and truth. The solo was slower too, giving the notes more room to breath. It was a fantastic change of pace after three balls-to-the-wall tracks, and another awesome one that makes the playlist!

‘Halo’ gets back to normal, hitting us with a huge, sludgy riff right out of the gate. The duelling vocals were a nice touch during the verses, with the ‘please’ being catchy and something that will be easy to get into live. Speaking of catchy, the chorus here is the catchiest on the whole album, not an easy feat considering it’s only three words. Another decent solo rounds out simple yet catchy track.

Lead single of the album, ‘Call of the Wild’ and ‘Gunslinger’ both feel pretty similar to a few of the other tracks on the album, from a review standpoint. Both are great, with the former having a catchy chorus and all of the vocals on the latter being catchy in one way or another, but outside of that I can’t think of much to single out.

The low, almost throat-sung vocals in ‘The Ravens Crow’ and the generally lower, sludgier nature of the track lends itself more to a Black Label Society kind of style. It’s biker metal, almost, and it’s definitely awesome. Not a lot to say about this track too but damn, it was great and makes the playlist!

Unfortunately ‘What Doesn’t Kill You…’ feels a bit of a dud compared to the quality of the rest of the album. I see what Jack was doing with it and it felt pretty reminiscent of the likes of Deep Purple etc, but it stood out among the rest of a heavy album, and not in a good way. Thankfully the closing track, ‘World on Fire’, more than makes up for it. It’s one hell of a closing track, filled with heaviness and catchiness and swagger while also dropping down for an awesome little Maiden-like portion in the middle. A fantastic end to a fantastic album!

Overall: I know I may be bias towards the more heavy side of rock music but I do believe this may be the best album Jack Hutchinson has done. From a song-writing standpoint it is off the charts good, with some catchy vocals and some of the best riffs I have heard in ages. We have the privilege of seeing Jack a couple of times in the next year, and I cannot wait to hear how these songs come across live. A star in the making!

The Score: 8.5/10

New Music Mondays: Skillet, Underoath and More!

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?

Skillet: Dominion

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

Underoath: Voyeurist

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

You should check out our Iron Maiden Review. You know you want to!

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!

Communication – Connection: 2022’s First Great Album?

Taenarius is the solo project of Benji Ryder. The metal guitarist has brought together Hamish Dickinson on the drums alongside a trio of guest singers to help bring his songs to life and to our ears. It’s heavy, it’s fun, and it’s an excellent first review for this site for 2022! Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Opening track ‘Riptide’ starts off with a bang, a huge chord and cymbal crash, showing off the heaviness and production of the album immediately. No holding back. It then soon rips (yes, I’m back guys) into a fantastic, groovy guitar riff. It is the first of four tracks to feature new Miscreant vocalist Miles Kent, and he does a fantastic job. His powerful, gritty vocals fit perfectly over the top of the awesome guitar work and steady drums. The harmonies on the pre and chorus were also great, the double-tracked vocals adding a layer of epicness to it all. It’s also massively catchy, the instruments opening up perfectly. Of course, knowing Benji, the guitar solo is awesome. Both technical but also emotion-filled and giving the notes time to breathe, the guy is one hell of a lead player. We then head into a final chorus and the great riff to close us out. A fantastic track to start us off!

Next up is the single, ‘Hypnotized’! Another huge riff opens this one up, even heavier and groovy than the last. Miles’ vocals fit even better here as well, dropping lower to match the guitars and bass. He even adds in a perfect scream at the end of each stanza. It also leads to another massively catchy pre and chorus. The gaps in the former and the harmonies in the latter are some of the catchiest stuff I’ve heard in a while. The solo was a lot more blues-oriented this time round, at least at first playing between the rhythm jabs. As the band kicked back in Benji let loose for another fantastic rest of a solo. We then again get a final chorus to take another great song home! This easily makes the playlist!

Rhys Davies takes the vocal duties on this next one, ‘Everything That I Am’. It opens on a bluesy riff, lighter but arguably more technical than the previous ones. Before long it blasts into the distorted, awesome wall of sound when the rest of the band join in. It was nice to have that shift in dynamic for a bit though! It’s a GREAT riff too. Rhys was the right choice for this song too, his vocals fit perfectly over the top of the faster but less chunky riffs. The guitar and vocal sound combine to almost give off a heavy grunge vibe to it. Think early Nirvana, Soundgarden, and even a slight pinch of Primus. The chorus isn’t as massive as the previous two but feels like the most straight-up rock of them all so far. The solo also fits the song’s style and energy perfectly, definitely heading for more of a Slash-feel. The album is three for three so far with awesome songs! This one will also make the playlist, if for nothing else than the amazing outro on top of everything else!

The other track to feature Rhys is another bluesy style song, ‘Thunder’. It opens pretty interestingly with drums and then a bass riff, but it’s the effect on both that felt interesting to me. Both were great, but both sounded rather far away or even muted slightly. It was a cool effect but I’m not sure if it was for me. The rest of the band kick in with the riff, adding LOTS of heaviness to it and giving it a southern, biker-like sludge. The riff carrying on between vocal lines for the verse was a great touch, keeping things heavy while giving the lyrics space to breathe. It then heads into a surprisingly uplifting, higher chorus, and I love it. The harmonies work perfectly on the vocals to create maybe the best, catchiest chorus on the album. The higher vocals in the double choruses were also awesome, even taking some inspiration from indie music by the sounds of things. It drops back down to just bass for a bit before exploding into an even heavier breakdown. Then of course, it leads to a sweet, sleazy solo. Said solo also acts as the outro of the track, it being a fitting, perfect ending to my favourite track on the album. Playlisted!

‘Tie Dye the Sea’ and ‘Primal’ are two more from Miles. Both are two more great tracks. The solo in the former is maybe the best on the album, while the main riff for the latter is my favourite riff on the album. It feels ripped right from a Black Label Society song, and honesty when the Talk Box came in it was honestly amazing. It gives it a real early 2000s metal feel to it. However, I find myself at a lack when it comes to other things to talk about with the tracks that I haven’t already said previously. Both are great songs in their own right and definitely have their standout moments, but are up against stiff competition on this album!

Finally, we reach the cover, sung by Stagefright’s own Richard Jinx, of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ballad ‘Simple Man’. It’s a great cover, capturing the heart and sound of the original while still being distinctive in its own right. It heavys it up just enough to keep it interesting and Jinx’s country-blues voice of course fits the track perfectly. It’s among tough competition when it comes to the best versions of this track, but it’s up there!

Overall: This was fantastic! What an album to start the year on! Seven fantastic tracks from Benji and his friends, and a great way to debut your solo stuff to the world. It’s a great, modern metal style that could catapult the guy far in this business, as it should!

The Score: 8/10

Did you enjoy our review? Make sure to check out more of them from our site here. Also, presave the album here!

New Music Mondays: Twin Atlantic!

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.

The 21 Top Albums of 2021

Accept: Too Mean to Die

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

The Review

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

Read the review here.

Gojira: Fortitude

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

The Review

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

The Review

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

Read the review!

Chevelle: Niratias

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

The Review

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 Review

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 the joint 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

The Review

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.

The 21 Top Albums of 2021

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!

Check out our review of the album here.

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!

Check out our interview with the guys here.

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

Read the review here.


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!

Review here.

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.

The Review

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.

Tetrarch: Unstable

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.

The album’s review

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

The 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2022

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!

Halestorm: Untitled

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.

Check out our coverage of the single here.

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!

Korn: Requiem

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!

Shinedown: Untitled

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!

Dead Romantic: ‘Nothing beats a live show!’

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.

Daxx & Roxane, Dirty Sound Magnet and Rules of Engagement on tour

First of all, what a line-up! Three insanely good rock bands on the same bill at a little venue in Nottingham – what’s not to love? Yes, it was a Sunday night, but there was still a damn good turnout.

Local openers Rules of Engagement took to the stage to a crowd of their own supporters. They blew the roof off the place with a variety of styles, the band could go from sounding like pretty heavy bluesy rock to Pearl Jam in seconds. It was in these slower, Pearl Jam-style tracks that I felt the band really came into its own. The heavier stuff was good, don’t get me wrong, but the band had more of a chance to breathe and show off with their more ballady material reminiscent of Black Stone Cherry. They also did a fantastic cover of ‘Dirty Diana’, the highlight of an overall great set!

Rules of Engagement’s Official Facebook

Next up, things got weird. Switzerland’s own Dirty Sound Magnet took to the stage. They immediately showed everyone that they are some of the best musicians around today. The level of playing from all three of them was off the charts, leaving my jaw hanging open frequently. They played some of the catchiest, if weirdest, psychedelic/stoner rock I’ve ever heard, and I loved every second of it (think psychedelic meets acid western meets space cowboy). They blasted through an impressive 50 minutes of some of their biggest songs, and I had a blast. Hopefully they’re over here again soon.

Then, the awesome Daxx & Roxane finally hit the stage. Having seen them once before at Rockin’ The Bowl (review here) we were excited to see them again. Opening on their popular classic ‘Ticket to Ride’, the band preceded to rip through nearly an hour of fantastic NWOCR track after track. Personal favourite ‘Heal’ was a particular highlight, as was their cover of the always-awesome ‘Superstition.’ The band have a unique sound, classic rock meets Jimi Hendrix with a healthy dose of that slower middle part from Metallica’s ‘Orion.’ It also helps that they are fantastic live. They bring crazy amounts of energy and stage presence to every gig. Either they have the best chiropractor in the world, or they have the secret to perfecting head banging without suffering neck injuries everyday. They are definitely ones to watch out for.

And there we have it, another fantastic gig from the IKE guys. They never fail to put on a good line-up, and all three of these bands put on one hell of a show – check them out.

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New Music Mondays: Assimilate!

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 here for 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!