It feels as if it has been a long, long time since Puppy released their debut album, The Goat to the world – although the pandemic may have something to do with that considering it has only been three years. When the album was first released, the trio stunned us with an eclectic mix of heavy sludgy, grungy riffs combined with even more eclectic vocal harmonies you’d find somewhere on a Weezer or a Wheatus release. The combination of the two has allowed the band to access the best of both worlds, appearing on some heavier lineups, while still being able to go onto support acts like Creeper. Whether the three-piece will be able to keep this up with their sophomore release is another matter.Continue reading
On the latest episode of Doc Coyle’s (Bad Wolves, God Forbid) The Ex-Man Podcast, he interviews Bias and former Korn drummer David Silveria (pronounced Sil-vera). Doc and David discussed his new band Bias, the origins of Korn, their rise to success, his battles with injuries, Korn and Nu Metal as a cultural phenomenon, and much more.
Woah! SHINING (the Norwegian BlackJazz Munke(b)ys) have got some balls. While Rock and Metal fans are often the most obsessive and loyal of supporters, woe betide a band who undergoes a misplaced style change; when heroes embark in a new direction that isn’t just left at the traffic lights but involves a radical transformation, it’s not unknown for a band to split and lose an audience, sometimes irretrievably. Make no mistake, Animal (Spinefarm) is one such move.Continue reading
It’s hard to fathom that Good Charlotte has been around for over twenty years – it doesn’t seem that long since the Maryland natives were the one band to really thrive in the pop-punk MTV explosion of the early 2000’s with the very successful The Young and The Hopeless (Epic/Daylight). They’re released a number of hits since then, the Madden brothers took time off for a side project, got married to Hollywood darlings, and came back with 2016’s Youth Authority (MDDN) to much praise from old fans, and not so much from others.
It has been ten years since The Sound of Madness well and truly smashed Shinedown through the glass ceiling into the higher echelons of mainstream, modern Rock. A perfect storm of energetic heavy, alternative Rock riffing with a distinctive edge and a series of absolutely huge songs, all headed up by a top tier vocalist, Brent Smith, whose earnest lyrics and distinctive delivery helped set the band apart. Amaryllis kept things ticking over, adding more anthems to the live set, as the band headed into Threat To Survival (all Atlantic) on a high, and ready to diversify.
There has been a certain inevitability about the de-Rocking of 30 Seconds To Mars’ sound. They have always embraced electronica as being as integral to what they are as the guitars, bass, and drums, with Jared Leto’s distinctive tones up-front and centre. If 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams (Virgin) advanced matters, progressing things from flirting with pop and electronics to full on stepping out, to (painfully) extend that metaphor, America (Interscope) is the lavish engagement party, as the band walk confidently off into the sunset hand-in-hand with modern, mainstream and minimalist pop-sensibilities. Continue reading
Cast your misconceptions aside; it’s fine, you don’t have to pretend you don’t have them, I know you do. Yes, it’s Scott Stapp (wasn’t he the guy from Creed who ended up out ‘there’, homeless and bankrupt and blah blah blah?) and, yes, it’s Bumblefoot (wasn’t he the guitarist in Guns n’ Roses when they were shit and blah blah blah?) and aren’t they uncool, and all that other bollocks that clouds the judgement and blah blah blah becomes far too important for far too many people…?
And, to quote the immortal… So fucking what?Continue reading
It may be all too easy to scoff at bands that come from that America specialty of post-grunge hard rock acts following the likes of Nickelback, bands often cited as lowest common denominator rock and metal. What this does overlook is the genuine talent that does come through in this style, and at the very least that they do sometimes bring some great songs (even Nickelback have some anthems, don’t deny it). Relative unknowns in the UK and Europe, Pop Evil are big news in their native USA and are beginning to make some waves across the Atlantic (a pretty well received Download Festival main stage slot is a good start), and with good reason.
Pop Evil have always been a little bit different from the crowd they find themselves in, with a bit of an exploratory streak beyond their peers, whilst not proving wildly unpredictable or hard to follow. On this, their 4th effort Up (eOne Music) proceedings are immediate and huge from the start but also have an underlying sense of atmosphere, almost veering on eerie and morose at times.
Opening with lead single ‘Footsteps’ is a statement of intent, displaying the album’s new found positivity in comparison to its predecessor’s gloomy tone, as its instant chorus and metallic crunch embed themselves firmly into your head. Not that it lapses after this as throughout, each song proves strong, if not as memorable as others. Even the obligatory ballad ‘If Only For Now’ has a darker feel opposed to the sugar coating that many would do. Leigh Kakaty’s vocals prove heartfelt and genuine and certainly match the band’s colossal, if somewhat unoriginal, sound.
This kind of stadium ready contemporary rock is certainly not for everyone’s taste and it very rarely sets the world alight in the sense of reinvention or necessity, and whilst Up doesn’t entirely buck this trend it certainly further evidences Pop Evil’s prowess and their edge above many of their peers. With a greater sense of atmosphere than many similar bands and an ear for a good tune, these guys have proven themselves as one of the strongest in their field. Big things await.
The alternative rock scene seems to be at a loss recently, with many bands releasing ‘new’ albums that sound exactly the same as everything that they have ever released. As the genre was originally meant to contrast against mainstream rock music, it is easy to see exactly why so many people are complaining about it at the moment. However, an exciting new alternative rock album has just been released in time for summer… Cue Imbue (Rise) by The Early November. The dictionary definition of imbue is ‘to inspire or permeate with a feeling or quality’, and that is exactly what the New Jersey quintet have managed to achieve with their fourth studio album.
Opening track ‘Narrow Mouth’ is a toe-tapping and spine-tingling rock anthem; the unique melody of the song makes it extremely catchy and impossible to get out of your head. Lead singer Ace Enders’ vocals sound strangely nostalgic yet beautiful, which enables the interesting lyrical content to shine through perfectly. To put it simply, ‘Narrow Mouth’ is a breath of fresh air in a so-called ‘dying’ genre.
‘Boxing Timelines’ is the first single that the band have released from Imbue and it is easy to see why. The romantic lyrics appeal to the masses and the guitar riff is simplistic yet effective. The chorus is infectiously catchy, which seems to be a reoccurring feature on the album. The happy-go-lucky anthem has the perfect summer vibe which provokes happy and nostalgic emotions from the listener.
It is easy to see exactly why The Early November have described Imbue as ‘the most natural and fitting album’ that they have ever created: every song flows perfectly into the next, despite each one sounding completely different. Don’t let the laid-back nature of the album fool you though, as it is easy to hear the passion oozing out of every track.
It definitely would not be an over exaggeration to call Imbue one of the best, if not the best album that The Early November have released. It is clear that their hiatus, along with their other ups and downs, have made them a much more dedicated and sophisticated band. Many bands would shy away from talking about their past, however, The Early November have learnt a lot from their experiences and they have become much stronger.