There’s an underlying belief that interim releases are merely disappointing cash-ins comprised mostly of filler and cast-off material. A strong title track usually followed by cover versions, demo versions, live cuts or songs simply not worthy to make it onto a full length record. A theory to which Hollywood based five piece Black Veil Brides clearly do not subscribe.
Nearly forty years have passed since vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy first teamed together, settling on the moniker of The Cult for their musical entwinement, and, while it has been a partnership that has to endure critical and commercial highs and lows, come 2022, and Under The Midnight Sun (Black Hill) their eleventh album, the epithet that class is permanent has rarely rung so true. Continue reading →
Since relaunching Bush in 2010, the Gavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor partnership (Traynor taking on the right-hand role in the band once Rossdale resumed performing under the Bush banner in the stead of the retired Nigel Pulsford) have, in an understated way, added to the band’s legacy, producing five albums, and a slew of consistently decent tunes.
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 →
The HU and their joyful rock laced with Mongolian folk condiments rode into our collective consciences with 2019’s brilliant The Gereg, establishing themselves immediately by managing to produce something new, yet simultaneously neither novelty nor cheesy despite its requisite ingredients. A skilful piece of musical chef-ery indeed. Second time around, the HU have sought to refine things a little, less bold in some of their choices, yet with an eye on producing something more palatable to more people now that the attention has been piqued.Continue reading →
It doesn’t seem more than a riff or two ago that Five Finger Death Punch was on the cusp of being the biggest thing in Metal (heavy, groove, mainstream or otherwise). The Wrong Side of Heaven… collectives weren’t even cooling in the racks before flying off the shelves, and the band’s touring ethic saw them upgrading on venue size each time around, building a reputation of power and excellence, and a setlist to shame all but the legends. Continue reading →
It feels like day 666 of blazing sun in the year of our dark lord 2022, as Satan’s domain continues to take control and roast our planet (climate change, what climate change?), yet finally, and oh so sweetly timed as we hit holiday season, in the words of The Undertones ‘Here Comes The Summer!’ And, boy, do we have the perfect sunshine accompaniment in the form of the beer-and-beach party punk rock of Beddy Rays and their self-titled, self-released debut. And the aforementioned Undertones smash isn’t a bad place to start in terms of the style and sound of this joyous album teaming, like rock pools with crustaceans, with ear-worms and great tunes. Continue reading →
Making it clear from the outset that vibrancy (and guitars) are a key element of their third album, Pale Waves kick off Unwanted (Dirty Hit) hurtling straight into a vocal and guitar-strummed combo two-line tease of what is to come throughout the album. While opening track ‘Lies’ may spend most of its run-time stripped down to a funking bass and drum pattern playing under Heather Baron-Gracie’s catchy vocal lines, it flashes enough of a smile to let us know the six-string grin is back. Continue reading →
Patience is a virtue. And, no, this isn’t some flippant or patronising reference to Oceans of Slumber “finally fulfilling the potential shown on their first album”, because they fulfilled that already from the off and especially on their third / self-titled release a couple of years ago. I mention it because the benefits and, yes, virtues of Starlight and Ash (Century Media) may not be immediately apparent. Continue reading →
The contradictions of crafting an album using the very technologies and processes the band had previously railed against are but one small element of the complicated and interesting layers that make up Artificial Devices, the self-released second full-length composition of London duo Andrei Alan (guitars/bass/programming) and Chris Bevan Lee (keys/vocals/programming) collectively known as The Ever Living (I promised myself no Mumm-ra comments, but here I am in the intro… I can’t help it, every time I see the band name…).