ALBUM REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. No Devotion – Sumerlands – Smith, Kotzen – Snow Coats – Voyager


 

No Devotion – No Oblivion (Equal Vision)

With an understated class that is a prevalent trait that underpins the second album from No Devotion, a collective featuring Geoff Rickly (Thursday) and Lee Gaze and Stu Richardson (ex-lostprophets), ‘Starlings’ is the gentle breath of life that ushers the album in; lush swathes of synths underpinning an emotive and earnest chorus that could have been taken from the Deftones more reflective moments. Rickly sets a stall out espousing vulnerable confidence and exceptional quality from the outset, before second track ‘No Oblivion’ shows the other side of the bands arsenal with synth motifs dancing around guitars and quasi-industrial beats, and nods to Nine Inch Nails in one of the more abrasive tunes. Continue reading


EP REVIEW: Have Mercy – Have Mercy


After the worldwide lockdown began in March 2020, Baltimore indie emo quartet Have Mercy decided to throw in the towel for the band four albums deep into their career. Seeing the world through a fresh lens, frontman Brian Swindle’s life then took a whole new turn. After getting sober and engaged, he started writing songs that would reintroduce the band and their growth through some of the craziest years in recent history. The new self-titled EP via ZODHIAC Records showcases Swindle’s progression with a more upbeat sound.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Dance Gavin Dance – Jackpot Juicer


 

I like a good challenge. Every so often, I fire up my ol’ NES and give Battletoads another go. I don’t think I will ever complete the hoverbike level but I still manage to have a good time. So when my editor suggested I review the new album by Dance Gavin Dance, a band that is far outside my usual fare of extreme metal, I happily accepted the challenge.

I must be a sadist.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Deaf Havana – The Present Is A Foreign Land


Musical progression and development has been a constant and key part of the story of Deaf Havana. From their post-hardcore beginnings, through flirtations with pop-punk, Americana and classic rock, more overt pop music, and indie, the other constant anchor has been the quality of the song-writing of James Veck-Gilodi. As time and tides have drifted by, and the bottoms of many a bottle have been pointed to the sky, Havana has become less of a “band” and more of a working name for a close duo.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Faim – Talk Talk


 

It seems The Faim sprung out of nowhere back in the middle of the last decade. Playing festivals all over the world, like Reading & Leeds, Lollapalooza, etc with their gleaming bright take on pop-rock anthems. Now, several years on and with their first album already under their belt; the next big step for the band is where to go from there to make their name a household name. Getting in various different producers to cement themselves in the scene, it’s clear they’re taking on this mission in strides. Unfortunately, it’s not a complete success.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Puppy – Pure Evil


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


ALBUM REVIEW: Short Stack – Maybe There’s No Heaven


Australian pop-rock trio Short Stack have put out their fifth studio album Maybe There’s No Heaven (UNFD), using it as a means to tell the story of their career ups and downs and love lives since their debut Stack Is The New Black in 2009. Though it has its faults, punchy choruses and exhilarating instrumentals come and go to keep it worth hearing more. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Bastille – Give Me The Future


Success came quickly and early for UK indie pop quartet Bastille, topping the album charts in their home territory with their 2013 debut. Top 5 accomplishments followed for each subsequent album; a run the band is looking to continue with their fourth album, Give Me The Future (EMI), a release that arrives with a fair dose of expectation. Predecessor, Doom Days, critically, didn’t hit the heights of the band’s first two full-length outings, but the lead-off singles from …Future gave assurance that all was back on track.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Diamante – American Dream


We have all missed shows and big tours this past year, but as we turn a promising corner, it’s only appropriate to have some fresh stadium-style Rock to accompany our reemergence.

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ALBUM REVIEW: ÆGES – Drømmen


Los Angeles-based act Æges is a genre-defying group of guys that are turning heads in multiple music scenes. This budding band has flourished in the last few years because they have a remarkable ability to avoid being pigeonholed. Now, this ear-catching gang is ready to independently release their fourth full-length album, Drømmen (Self-Released). The animation and spirit presented on their last release, Weightless (Another Century), which came out in 2016, is taken to a deeper level on this new record. They are showcasing their exploration of new energy by making some real, heartfelt pieces. Continue reading