Anthems

AnthemsFrank Carter started off his career in Gallows, an English hardcore punk band who quickly made their name as being wild, unruly and one of the most energetic live bands in the world. This made his decision to leave all the more shocking; how could either party continue? Carter cites ‘musical differences’ as his reason for leaving, and while Gallows busied themselves with a self titled third album, recruiting former Alexisonfire guitarist/singer Wade MacNeil as their new frontman, Frank got together with ex Hope Conspiracy guitarist Jim Carroll and formed his new outfit, Pure Love, featuring a wild step away from his hardcore roots.

First song She(Makes The Devil Run Through Me) sounds very Oasis, showing Carter’s vocal abilities outside of screaming his lungs out. Bury My Bones, the first single as well as the first music we heard from this band, has a riff that rivals The Darkness’ I Believe In A Thing Called Love. This song also starts to explain the reason for Frank’s departure from Gallows with the line ‘I’m so sick of singing about hate, it’s time that I made a change’. While it sounds like he sings the word ‘chair’ instead of ‘yeah’, this is nonetheless the first ‘anthem’ that the album title suggests. Other anthems on this album include Beach of Diamonds and Handsome Devils Club; the songs demand to be played live. While there are a couple of exceptions; ironically the song Anthem is a bit slap-dash, it nevertheless shows  off Frank’s previously unknown vocals.

Pure Love’s debut album is solid throughout; it flows smoothly into each song. It caters to the stage, with many sing-along moments. It may be bland at points, but overall Anthems is definitely an album that, in today’s X Factor culture, will help to change perception, it being a cohesive rock n roll album from start to finish.

Incandescent

IncandescentA New Tomorrow is a four-piece rock band formed in London in 2009. Having moved up to London together, they have been ‘writing music as surely as they breathe and eat‘, combining the ‘roughness of rock with melodic, emotional vocals. Their debut EP, Incandescent, was released in June 2012.

Brighter Than the Sun is a track that features a drum beat that will smash your face in, a guitar riff that could be called cliche, but locks in perfectly and stripped down vocals from a frontman who has clearly found their niche. This is a song that can be visualised with an entire crowd singing along, with a nice mix up of soft and heavy keeping things from getting boring.

Love Utopia is a passionate, classic rock sounding track that showcases the ‘emotional vocals’ as well as the sheer range of vocals that frontman Alessio Garavello is capable of, with some moments sounding almost as high as Justin Hawkins. The sheer simplicity of this track is what makes it, this is clearly a band that knows that you can simplify songs and still have them as good as they can be.

What They Can’t Steal From You continues the intensity prevalent throughout the EP, adding in an increased punk edge, with frantic drumming and bass that will get you in a mosh pit as soon as you physically can. Overall this is probably the most stand out song on the EP, mostly for its raw, emotion intensity that will go down incredibly at one of their shows.

A New Tomorrow have only been together since 2009, yet they already have a legion of fans after releasing a 3 track EP. Their blend of punk rock intensity and modern rock’s songwriting prowess creates a unique blend of sounds that may not be perfect, but give them a couple more years and they are certain to be London’s hottest young band. I think it’s safe to say we can expect big things in A New Tomorrow’s future.

 

 

Manifesto Part 2: We’re All In The Gutter

itchItch’s first solo release, Manifesto Part 1: How To Fucking Rule At Life (my review of which can be found at https://musinkreviews.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/how-to-fucking-rule-at-life/), showcased a step away from the musical style of his last band, The King Blues. He went from ska/punk/reggae to a blend of punk, hiphop with elements of dubstep infused with his angry and overtly political lyrics, creating a unique sound that the British Music Scene has been sorely missing. Now he’s back with his second EP: Manifesto Part 2: We’re All In The Gutter.

The first song, Diplomat, starts of with a simple, chugging punky riff, before Itch’s rapping kicks in. The line ‘That’s fucked up like British teeth’ seems to say everything that Itch feels the ‘system’ has become while simultaneously lampooning the cliché so lovingly given to this country. As the song kicks into the chorus, that dark, twisted techno beat that we all loved on his first EP makes a return, fissioning out the chugging riff seamlessly. Another standout lyric, ‘I wont lay down for your amusement’ pretty much sums up Itch as a person; a person that we have come to idolize as a symbol for the oppressed and the working class.

Gutter Stars takes its cue from Oscar Wilde’s famous quote ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars’. This is a quote that has been expanded into a song. This song also adds strings to the list of experimental sounds Itch has been used. It also paves way for  a heavy guitar riff as the backing for a rapped verse, the two genres fitting in with some obvious classical influences flitting throughout this song.

Next up is Soul. A dancey song, Itch throwing his intense vocals into the mix, it’s difficult to place this song in any particular genre, yet when the chorus kicks in, it becomes incredibly catchy. There seems to be an air raid siren in the back, with piano that sounds similar to Panic! At the Discos The Ballad of Mona Lisa.Itch repeatedly sings ‘My one redemption, baby I got soul’ with the music building in intensity before suddenly dropping to soft acoustic before briefly rising again for the end.

The last song on this EP is Like I’m Drugs. Possibly the closest to a commercial song that Itch has ever written, female vocals sing ‘Take me like I’m drugs’ through the chorus, before dropping into psuedo-dubstep with Itch rapping his insightful lyrics over the top. This would be the song that a lot of fans might accuse Itch of ‘selling out’ on, and while you can see why they would say that, the fact that Itch has done all of this on his own and released it for free will completely cut these accusations down.

There is more and more experimentation with everything Itch releases, and with a recently announced headlining London show as well as a successful supporting tour with Awolnation, Itch is clearly loving every minute of it. As with everything Itch has ever released, the true stand out moments are the lyrics, which never fail to inspire his audience. This is certainly an EP that deserves a lot more recognition that it probably will get, but hopefully Itch’s first solo album (due out in spring) will burst into the mainstream and revolutionize public perception of this amazing artist

Dogs Eating Dogs EP

Dogs Eating DogsBlink 182 are a band that haven’t got much left to do in their career. They’ve had classic albums, classic songs, become legends and pioneers of a genre, they’ve also had a bitter falling out, a hiatus culminating in a reunion after drummer Travis Barker miraculously survived a plane crash. Their 2009 reunion was one of the biggest news stories of the year, both in and out of the music world. Then came their latest album, 2011’s Neighborhoods, which the band recorded separately, sending each other pieces of songs online. Unfortunately, this album turned out to be, for want of a better word, terrible. It had one, maybe two songs worth listening to, and the fact that it was recorded with each band member in a different part of the world only added insult to injury, obviously beign disconnected and patchy. Fast forward a couple of years and Blink 182 have left Interscope Records and are continuing as an independent band, subsequently releasing their newest EP, Dogs Eating Dogs.

The first single off the EP, Boxing Day, is a holiday themed song, perfectly showing the difference that simply being in the same room while recording can make. It may not be the the best song on the EP, but definately shows the fans what they were missing on Neighborhoods. The other songs, at times, sound like +44 (Mark Hoppus and Travis Barkers other band) and Angels and Airwaves (Tom Delonge’s other band) as well as Blink and every other Blink related side project. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact it shows the band’s maturity as well as a healthy degree of diversity added.

The first song, When I Was Young, plays off of both Hoppus and Delonge’s duelling vocals that shaped the band’s signature style and sounds as though it could have existed in the past on the band’s untitled album. The next song, the title track Dogs Eating Dogs, gives Mark Hoppus the opportunity to take on lead vocal roles, a decision that doesn’t happen enough. This track fills the quota, both vocals, the ‘Delonge Accent’, Travis Barker’s insane drumming abilities and, above all, catchy hooks and melodies.

Disaster is the most Angels andAirwaves influenced song, with spacey guitars and a lessened pop punk outlook. Hoppus and Barker luckily manage to hold their own throughout, allowing for that Blink essence to seep through. The last song, Pretty Little Girl, shows the band pushing their limits, as they have been since they reformed. This song also features rapper Yelawolf, possibly brought in by Travis, for a 30 second slot that doesn’t quite fit with the rest, but isn’t necessarily a major downside.
Dogs Eating Dogs shows Blink 182 in a new phase of their career, independent and working to recapture the magic of their formative years with the maturity and knowledge they have now. They may have been forced to mature, but that doesn’t mean that ‘classic’ Blink is dead. It has simply been regenerated as the band age, and while this EP isn’t the best thing Blink 182 has ever released, its definitely better than their last album.

Temper Temper

Temper TemperTemper Temper, the new album from Welsh metallers Bullet For My Valentine, checks all the boxes for the next stage in the bands life. While they readily admit that the title of the record is due to in-band tensions, they refused to let it tear them apart and instead threw themselves into the recording process

The first two songs off the album, singles Temper Temper and Riot, were both solid choices to preview this record, showcasing their unmistakable twin guitar riffs and revitalised drums. With Riot’s vocal melodies, it’s clear that they have an anthem or two on this album.

This album flows perfectly from one song to another; the theme of anger staying prevalent throughout. P.O.W. starts off sounding like it belongs on Bullet’s début album, 2005’s The Poison, and slowly moulds itself through each phase of their career, and Dirty Little Secret having more style changes than any other song they’ve ever recorded.

Dead To the World, the album’s moodiest track, seems to be placed at  the right time to keep the listener a break from the onslaught that is the rest of the album. The last track on the album, Livin’ Life (On The Edge Of a Knife) is one of the more energetic tracks, ending on a high note for both the listener and the band. Special mention has to go to Tears Don’t Fall Part 2, the ‘sequel’ to their 2006 single, Tears Don’t Fall. Starting with an almost tongue-in-cheek scream of  ‘Let’s go again’, referencing Part 1 and acknowledging the return, this song sounds just as heavy as its predecessor, but with the added maturity of 6 years on the road. The two songs meld together perfectly, each adding a different storyline.

This album is obviously written for the stage, and also showcases some of their best work. Bullet are truly back, both revitalised and hungry for more. With a tour and festival appearances booked, 2013 will prove to be the biggest year for Bullet For My Valentine.

Opposites

 

OppositesRiding high on the success of their last album, 2009’s Only Revolutions, the last 4 years have been kind to Scottish band Biffy Clyro. This includes arena tours, supporting British rock giants Muse at Wembley Stadium, main stage slots on the festival circuit, culminating in their first headline festival appearance at Sonisphere Festival in 2011. Now, with Opposites, Biffy Clyro are looking to cement their status as one of the biggest bands in the world with a double album filled with stadium rock-esque tracks.

The first ‘album’, unfortunately sounds like its full of filler, most songs skimming past with no deviance from a formula that Biffy have adopted in recent years. This is the same formula that the band have used to gain crowds of fans and mainstream appeal, yet they seem to have completely forgotten their roots. This is apparent on the song Black Chandelier, a song that is perfect for airplay, but lacks any passion.

The second disc, luckily has a certain variation from the first. Stingin’ Belle, the first single off the album, has a sense of urgency to them, incorporating bagpipes into it whilst maintaining that ‘Biffy’ sound. This is what the whole album should be; recognizably Biffy Clyro with added intensity. The next song, Modern Magic Formula, continues this idea while Spanish Radio introduces mariarchi horns, which eventually fade, along with the bulk of the creativity.

While Opposites may not be the creative output that many die hard Biffy fans are wishing for, it is nonetheless guarunteed to give them a place with other stadium rock bands of the age. a song like Stingin’ Belle is going to get a crowd jumping and singing along; coupled with earlier hits, there is no where for them to go but up. Unfortunately the fact remains that they should have cropped it down into a single album, the double album idea giving off too much filler. Hopefully on their next album, they’ll return to their creative earlier years, wherein every will rise up and shout as one ‘Mon The Biff!’