Jamie Lenman has been an ongoing stalwart of the alternative rock UK scene since his early days in Reuben. Now with four albums under his belt as a solo act, Lenman has completely reinvented himself and sound to become one of the more eclectic acts England has to offer. After a cover album and a song featuring MC Illaman from Pengshui, where next, could Lenman possibly go? Well, it seems the solo artist has decided to completely disembark his traditional heavier punk rock sound to embrace more indie pop rock avenues with The Atheist (Big Scary Monsters).
Having a father famous in the same field as you must be a blessing and a curse – being the son of Diego Maradonna, Michael Schumacher,Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan helps get your foot in the door but are hard acts to follow. Eddie Van Halen was the best of the best and after his untimely passing in 2020, his son Wolfgang focused his energies on his solo project Mammoth WVH. His self-titled debut came out a year later, with Wolfgang playing all the instruments himself.
This deluxe edition comes with three extra tracks, the best of which is ‘Talk and Walk’ – a stomping rocker with a smooth, AOR chorus. As for the album, as a whole, it is a decent offering of arena-friendly hard rock, with alternative, Foo Fighters, and Alter Bridge influences. It starts off with ‘Mr. Ed’, a glossy alt-rock bruiser with a sweet chorus and a 4/4 rhythm, a fiery tip of the hat to his dad.
With its seventy-minute runtime you certainly get your money’s worth, from the punchy swagger of ‘Horribly Right’ to the crunchy guitars, short and sweet solo, and thunderous drums of ‘You’ll Be The One’ there is plenty here to like. The best ones are ‘The Big Picture ‘ and ‘You’re To Blame’ – the former is a hefty slab of metal with a pounding riff and a consummately crafted chorus, the latter a sharp alt rocker made for radio with a fiery solo. Not far behind is ‘Feel’ – a lively, Foo Fighters-like track powered with a sprightly drum beat and a restless rhythm.
It is not all thrashing guitars and distortion, he lets his softer and poppier side out occasionally – the lush guitars and the soaring vocal harmonies of ballad ‘Resolve’ offers a sweetly struck bit of variety. Alas the other moments do not quite reach these heights, with ‘Circles’ sounding like a humdrum version of ‘How Soon is Now’ by The Smiths and the polished pop punk of ‘Think It Over” belongs on the soundtrack to some nameless mid ‘00s teen movie.
A mid-’00surs aside, Mammoth WVH (EX1) is a relentless album full of loving made, hard and heavy rockers with a commercial sheen. It is full of attitude and energy, and a big chorus or two, but its length and well-worn stylings means it gets a bit generic at times.
Maryland rockers The Dangerous Summer‘s new record Coming Home (Rude Records) starts with the evocative title track – with its hypnotic piano riff and prominent Pixies influence. This is TDS’ sixth album, and it is a rockier affair than its three-year-old predecessor, Mother Nature.
Founded in 2019 in their hometown Milton Keynes the duo Torus, Sail (MNRK) is their debut EP and sees Alfie Glass play guitars, drums, and singing and Harry Quin on the bass and behind the mixing desk. Only four songs long, it is a promising debut offering up big and punchy rock with an alternative flavour to it.Continue reading →
Ghost Cult caught up with Everclear’s founder and frontman ArtAlexakis from the tour bus while on the road. We discussed the remaster and reissue of World of Noise – the 30th-anniversary edition of their debut album. We chatted about Art’s pre-Everclear roots in the DIY punk scene in the Pacific Northwest, and the label world with his earlier band Colorfinger and his own ShindigRecords, fast-forward to the World of Noise sessions, new and bonus track on the new edition of W.O.N., thirty-plus years of memories, and much more!
For those not in the know, Grey Daze is not a new band. It was Chester Bennington’s band before Linkin Park.The Phoenix (Loma Vista Recordings) is a re-imaging of songs of unreleased material Chester and Grey Daze intended to released, including his bandmates and friends such as Sean Dowdell, Mace Beyers, and Cristian Davis with help from Dave Navarro, Richard Patrick, and Bennington’s children. Bennington himself wanted to release the music before he died, bringing it to a wider audience. The band did just that using Bennington’s original vocals.
Two things remain certain when it comes to Texas pop-punk veterans Bowling For Soup: the band is wonderfully self-aware, and they remain the undisputed champions when it comes to bridges.Continue reading →
Less than one minute into the opening track ‘S.L.U.M.P.’, we are cast back to the heady days of the late nineties. Brit Rock is still around, though making way to a new breed of cats as the melodic punk of the US is becoming a strong bed-fellow with the slightly quirkier variant from the other side of the Atlantic, and bands like Ash, the multiple off-shoots from The Wildhearts, and more are spawning and bursting out and creating a scene. It was a fertile time of fun and creativity as the last vestiges of cardigans and sixth-form grunge cottoned onto the fun and febrile feel of a Cool Britannia.
I’m sure none of you will take too much umbrage if I begin this by noting that, as a collective, rock and metal fans have not always been traditionally recognised as being open-minded or welcoming of acts that embrace fun as a way of life. And that’s even with ‘No Mosh No Core No Fun’ not become a genre-wide approach. That isn’t to say that there aren’t successes – Devin has always been indulged his gastric and wacky fascinations, Mr Bungle have always defied any and everything, and others have long-since smashed down the irony door.Continue reading →
The pandemic and the many resultant lockdowns affected INTHEWHALE, with the depression, anger and uncertainty felt reflected on their new album Vanishing Point (Riot Records). An Alt Rock duo from Denver, with Nate Valdez on guitar and vocals and Eric Riley on drums and vocals, INTHEWHALE’s new album is a dark and angry serving of Grunge and Metal.