For reasons well documented that we are not going to touch on here, notverynicecream (Hassle Records) the sophomore record from Bristolian avant-garde noise merchants Phoxjaw, finally sees the light of day some six months after first scheduled. And focusing solely on the music, is this a record that was worth the wait? In a nutshell … Yes!
From the album title alone, it is evident that The Used are just as sincere in their art as they’ve always been over the last two decades. Nine albums deep into their career, the emo quartet have graced us with the blunt Toxic Positivity (Hassle Records). The record calls out the detrimental mindset of suppressing negative emotions, addressing how it worsens one’s mental health over time due to ignored bottled-up feelings.
From the double hit release of Late Teens in 2018 & Wasted Energy the following year, Press Club demonstrated with ease their ability to become punk’s latest act to look out for. Unfortunately, as with so many other bands, their plans were postponed due to the global pandemic. With the return to normality, the Australian band were able to finally perform this new material across the globe. Now, three years on from the release of their sophomore release, the band sets their sights on new horizons with Endless Motion (Hassle Records) a culmination of the tormentous past few years.
The concepts and the all too real, bleak experiences of mental hardships and loss of loved ones will be well known to many people and additionally to many people we know. For Stake, these have been the fuel for the band since their inception (previously under the Steak Number Eight moniker), a vehicle for vocalist/guitarist Brent Vanneste’s grief and anxiety.
Following the release of their debut album The Language Of Injury in 2019, Ithaca quite rightly found themselves labelled as one of the new up and coming buzz bands in the UK’s Metal scene. The album was a furious slice of post-hardcore / metalcore, full of great riffs and powerful vocals delivered by singer Djamilla Boden Azzouz, which saw them saw them gain comparisons with the likes of other heavy, strong bands including Svalbard and Employed To Serve. Continue reading →
The development and progression from Jake Oni’s 2016 debut, the tech metal minded Ironshore to second offering Loathing Light is something quite notable. Always technically proficient, Oni has made the most of his exposure to a host of successful musical others (for one, he worked with Mark Morton on the latter’s solo record), and their class has rubbed off. That isn’t to say that ONI is reliant on the guest interventions and mentorship and guidance of others, more to say that the eponymous mastermind has become the proverbial sponge, moving on his ability to write engaging, memorable metal tunes, with the emphasis on energy, and setting a series of barbed aural traps to ensnare both the willing victims and the unwitting.
People growing up in the internet age have access to a wider range of musical styles than ever before. As a result of that, at least in part, music scenes have become less tribal — artists and fans don’t cling on so doggedly to one style and are often comfortable to extol, say, Napalm Death and Billie Eilish in the same breath.
Music reviewers are inherently sceptical and often contrarian creatures, so when an artist arrives carrying plaudits from the grandees of heavy music, it’s hard not to default to cynicism. You’d be especially forgiven for hanging onto that cynicism with both hands when metal’s own great soothsayer, Lars Ulrich, adds his own recommendations to the mix – Ulrich labelling Arctic Monkeys as his favourite Metal band in 2012 still raises some serious questions about his take on the heavy music zeitgeist.Continue reading →