ALBUM REVIEW: Jared James Nichols – Jared James Nichols


 

Critics who claim Rock And Roll is dead have not listened to Wisconsin native Jared James Nichols’ self-titled third album (Black Hill Records) which is filled with twelve pieces of evidence to the contrary. Nichols is known for his signature pick-less style and is one of only four global ambassadors for Gibson Guitars, which certainly sets expectations high for what you are about to experience.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Mammoth WVH – Mammoth WVH (Deluxe Edition)


 

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.

 

Buy the album here:

https://found.ee/MammothWVHDeluxe

7 / 10

THOMAS THROWER

 

 


EP REVIEW: The Guitar and Whiskey Club – The Guitar and Whiskey Club


 

As the nights get darker, trees have lost their leaves and there’s a “nip” in the air, you could do worse than retreat into your man cave with a guitar and some whiskey, or even The Guitar & Whiskey Club’s new self-titled EP (Orchard / Sony).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Boston Manor – Datura


 

Not even a year on from their last EP, Boston Manor is back with their fourth full-length album, Datura (Sharptone Records). Over the past five years, the band has made a name for themselves by upping the ante with each release. Anticipation is high for Datura to see what the quintet can create next, with news of the band delving deeper into concept albums for the release, this is raised even further.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bush – The Art of Survival


 

Since relaunching Bush in 2010, the Gavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor partnership (Traynor taking on the right-hand role in the band once Rossdale resumed performing under the Bush banner in the stead of the retired Nigel Pulsford) have, in an understated way, added to the band’s legacy, producing five albums, and a slew of consistently decent tunes.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Pistols At Dawn – Ascension


 

Hot on the heels of last year’s four-track EP Nocturnal Youth, comes Pistols At Dawn’s latest album Ascension (JFL Entertainment). The Atlanta-based quintet’s sound is alternative-influenced hard rock, and their newest one Ascension is a promising if patchy, display of heavy grooves and soaring choruses with a brooding atmosphere. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Pale Waves – Unwanted


 

Making it clear from the outset that vibrancy (and guitars) are a key element of their third album, Pale Waves kick off Unwanted (Dirty Hit) hurtling straight into a vocal and guitar-strummed combo two-line tease of what is to come throughout the album. While opening track ‘Lies’ may spend most of its run-time stripped down to a funking bass and drum pattern playing under Heather Baron-Gracie’s catchy vocal lines, it flashes enough of a smile to let us know the six-string grin is back. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos


Seven years after their previous, eponymously titled, album Def Leppard are back with Diamond Star Halos (UMG). It is a long gap between records and right from the off their trademark arena-ready hard rock is in full swing in ‘Take What You Want’ – with it’s crunching chords and touches of On Through The Night. The first three tracks conform to their trademark sound, with the seventies-inspired, glam stomper ‘Kick’ one of the highlights – they have compensated for the familiarity by stuffing it full of hooks. ‘Fire It Up’ is a hard rocker with a slinky little riff and daft and hackneyed lyrics designed purely for a singalong.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Halestorm – Back From The Dead



While it’s damn near time to call a moratorium on the “bands affected by the pandemic” introduction to review pieces, it does seem particularly prevalent to do so in reference to Halestorm, for whom life on the road seems such an integral and core part of who and what they are. That isn’t to say that a fifth album wouldn’t have been coming around now, just that the circumstances and unplanned quiet time wouldn’t have dictated the methods of its creation.Continue reading