Despite their stateside sounding name Lonely Dakota are a British quartet who formed at the tail end of 2015. With a few lineup changes and singles in between, including 2018s ‘Dead Stories’, this year saw the release of their debut EP End of Days (Self-Released) – serving up the kind of Post-Grunge that Shinedown and Seether built a career on. The plaintive melody and general melancholic aura of opening track ‘Victoria’ sets the tone for this five-track offering, emotive Hard Rock with radio-friendly sensibilities and a nagging sense of deja vu. Continue reading
Since his last album Proof of Life Scott Stapp has been through a lot of turmoil, battling addiction and depression. Six years down the line and new record The Space Between The Shadows (Napalm Records) charts his successful battle with his personal demons and the lessons he learned on the way. Continue reading
One of the biggest problems Earache Records faced in the nineties was in identifying a second-wave to follow on from their ground-breaking Death Metal and Grindcore revolutionaries; they had set an unreachable bar with their pioneers that, particularly with a rapidly moving undercurrent of a scene, continuing such a rich vein of form was nigh on impossible. Following their twenty-first century reinvention as a home par-excellence for the very best in Rock (of the Classic-tinged variety), they face a similar quandary… how do you follow-up Rival Sons, Temperance Movement, and Blackberry Smoke? Continue reading
When anyone thinks about Three Days Grace, instantly one thinks of 2003’s ‘I Hate Everything About You’. The song came out in emo’s prime and it fit so well. Ever since releasing their debut self-titled album, the Canadian quartet has stayed true to their three-year interval on releases. Continue reading
Weirds is not a heavy band. Or not heavy in the way that I’m accustomed to when reviewing God Dethroned or Suffocation. But on their début album, Swarmculture (Alcopop!) there is certainly traceable amounts of Hard Rock in Weirds’ diet. There’s also an abundance of post-Punk, synths, and even a dash of Blues in their musical makeup. Is this a case of too many cooks in studio? 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.
If we were to be perfectly honest, Nickelback have a lot to answer for (most of which the less said about the better), but biggest of all is the rise of the post grunge/alternative hard rock acts that USA seems to be able to churn out like a conveyor belt. Yes there the few worthwhile and genuine bands that came as a result (Alter Bridge being the best example) but are outnumbered vastly by the hordes of soulless, cookie cutter acts devoid of originality, deviation and substance. Step forward Las Vegas’ own Otherwise.
Latest album Peace At All Costs (Century Media) is yet another exercise in ticking all the boxes in the Fisher Price book of rock clichés. The typical harder tracks sit side by side with the obligatory softer, near acoustic ballads whilst lyrically it conveys the all too familiar matter of over compensating, alpha male vs forced emotional sentimentality.
Far from being the worst band in this arena of rock music however; with the occasional strong riff, especially the opening one in ‘For The Fallen Ones’ which has an Alter Bridge metallic vibe to it. Otherwise Peace… is a completely forgettable example of a modern day hard rock album with no imagination and even less heart and feel.
Los Angeles hard rockers Hidden Amongst Us have released their new EP, Parallel, this week and have decided to give it away FREE on Bandcamp. Mixed by Matt Hyde (Monster Magnet, Deftones, Staind, Slayer), is out now! Download it for FREE this week only at https://hiddenamongstus.bandcamp.com/album/parallel
Parallel is actually the bands’ second released this year, following an earlier EP in March. Self-described as a mix of Post-Grunge and Hard Rock, the band has already opened forOzzy Osbourne, Sepultura, Danzig, Sevendust, Machine head, Jesus Lizard, 30STM & Five Finger Death Punch.