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


ALBUM REVIEW: Simple Plan – Harder Than It Looks


The very nature of Simple Plan’s hotly anticipated sixth record, Harder Than It Looks (Self-Released) is actually doubly prophetic. The French-Canadian fourpiece have kept it rather simple indeed since they hit it big with ‘I’d Do Anything’ way back in 2002. Not known as a hugely poetic or introspective lyrical band, the pop punkers instead let the music do the talking in all its springy, bobby greatness. That’s not to say the means by which to achieve this is easy, hence the album title.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: Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings – Sometimes Y


The worlds of Country and Hip Hop don’t often meet, but Country Rocker and producer Shooter Jennings and acclaimed rapper Yelawolf have teamed up to create their eponymous debut as a duo Sometimes Y (Slumerican). As you would expect from such divergent backgrounds, Sometimes Y is an eclectic record that is largely rock but takes many a wide and varied detour.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets to My Downfall


Whether you know him from his decade-long rap career, role as Felix in Birdbox, spot-on portrayal of Tommy Lee in The Dirt, comedian Pete Davidson’s BFF, or Megan Fox’s new beau, Machine Gun Kelly, born Colson Baker, has left footprints across the entertainment industry. Hot off a summer full of home-recorded covers and his first MTV Video Music Award, MGK takes another step in a new direction with his fifth studio album, Tickets to My Downfall (Bad Boy/Interscope), wearing his heart on his sleeve for 13 tracks (and 2 interludes) of pop-punk magic. Most fittingly, the new release was executively produced by Blink 182’s Travis Barker, who Baker first collaborated with last summer on “I Think I’m Okay,” along with Brit bud Yungblud. It’s no surprise the album sounds as if it could have been born during the early-2000’s pop-punk heyday. Though TTMD is a change of pace from MGK’s typical style, it does not fully abandon his roots, highlighting a multitude of hip-hop guests and beats, party songs, and pop anthems. In fact, he has consistently cited various rock acts as influences, so it was only a matter of time until he fully submerged himself in the genre.

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Royal Republic – Club Majesty


They say fashion and pop culture are cyclical and this old adage is at work again with the current ’80s revival, with the recent Goonies-esque vibe of Stranger Things and IT, the Motley Crue film The Dirt and the Spielberg explosion of colour that is Ready Player One. As well as Muse‘s retro love fest Simulation Theory and the wonderfully abundant AOR cliches of The Night Flight Orchestra. From this colourful decade, Swedish rockers Royal Republic have drawn inspiration for their fourth album Club Majesty (Nuclear Blast Records).Continue reading


I Prevail – Trauma


With the numbers they put up with debut LP Lifelines and the warm reception they received at Warped Tour, I Prevail clearly has designs on going mainstream. How grand are these designs? Well if Lifelines was them knocking at the door of stardom, Trauma (Fearless Records) is an urban assault vehicle demolishing the front gate and making its way through mainstream America.

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Hoobastank – Push Pull


Who can forget Hoobastank’s 2003’s Grammy nominated hit ‘The Reason?’ The band, which hails from Agoura, Calif.—the neighboring suburb of Los Angeles that brought you Incubus and Linkin Park—hasn’t had the same success since the release of their second album by the same name. They have released three studio albums since, toured with Velvet Revolver, opened for Creed’s reunion tour in 2009 and found themselves back on the Billboard 200 chart with 2012’s Fight or Flight (Open E). Teaming up with producer, Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5) the quartet is back trying to stay relevant with Push Pull (Napalm). Continue reading


All That Remains – Madness


I’m pretty good at separating the art from the artist. James Woods’ political leanings aren’t my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to change the station whenever Videodrome or Casino comes on. I can ignore his tweets and enjoy the work. That’s the approach I took with All That Remains’ latest, Madness (Razor & Tie).Continue reading


As Lions – Selfish Age


While it is unrealistic to expect the son of a world-renowned musician to naturally sound like (or even want to sound like) his father, the fact is, when your last name is Dickinson, people are going to judge you based on preconceived notions. Author Joe Hill knows all about it; his father is master horror storyteller Stephen King, and when Hill started out, he intentionally took on his mother’s maiden name (bad pun, sorry, couldn’t resist) to avoid the inevitable comparisons to his old man.Continue reading