Texan music maestro and electro-pop sensation Matthew Dear returns with his new release, tentatively entitled Beams. His fifth studio effort is an easy listen, but it still remains true to the dance-music roots that Dear has made so much effort to stick to.
Spending a few years in Detroit, well known for its contribution to techno music, Dear’s retro electronic influence is clear. His is an available yet nostalgic brand of music, certain to appeal to a wide audience. This ease of access has apparently held Matthew Dear in good stead over the years, and Beams is set to be no exception. It’s a dynamic and psychedelic record, with a lot of strange sounds in the background that might raise an eyebrow or two on first listen, but in the long run, it’s definitely a grower. Beams doesn’t really know where to sit – there’s music not unlike to club and dance tracks, vocals not unlike David Bowie or even Marilyn Manson, and percussion in the background that wouldn’t sound out of place at a Stomp show. Despite all of this, though, Beamsis on the whole quite pleasant to listen to.
The 70s and 80s influences that Dear is so famous for relaying are clear. Uplifting synth sounds are used in conjunction with some great padded bass lines that make tracks sound not unlike Eurythmics, darker Vangelis or any similar 80s electro-pop act. It’s a throwback; nostalgia for anyone who was in their teens in 1986. It’s also an interesting, new direction for the younger listener open to new genres. Above all Beams is an accessible, reflective album that has both clear influences and clear talent.
There aren’t many issues. This is the kind of music that is very clear on what it’s meant to sound like: the ‘does-exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ kind of approach. That’s all very well, but if the music is no good the plan is irreparably flawed. Happily Matthew Dear’s music is good, so this approach only helps his success. The only real problem is that the nostalgic techno might be dismissed as ‘unoriginal’ by more cynical listeners.
Overall however this is another success for Dear. It’s not like he isn’t used to it, but apparently it’s not gone to his head, because he’s still making great music. In terms of this album, it’s just as catchy and just as accessible as it would be if it were to come out in 1985, and that, it seems, is the point.
Release date: August 27th 2012, Ghostly International
Read the original article here: http://www.drunkenwerewolf.com/2012/08/21/matthew-dear-beams/
With a tagline like ‘a savage colossus of sound’, anyone in their right mind would be eager to listen to the new single from electronic/rock artist ‘Hooray For Earth’, entitled ‘Never’. Released on September 24th, first impressions are that it’s going to be filling dancefloors everywhere the minute it’s released. But is that really the case? It’s certainly not David Guetta type music, put it that way.
It’s an uplifting, synth-heavy release, with a catchy vocal line and electronic-strings in the chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place if a listener was surrounded by a lot of people, flashing lights and lasers. But it’s not necessarily a club-anthem just yet. The drums don’t pulse almost painfully in the ears, as is the standard for a lot of dance music, and the focus on the vocals is higher than in a lot of club music, which focuses more on bass.
Problems – it might not actually be popular with the clubbers among listeners, purely because it’s not pure club music. That’s a bit unenlightened, though, and for every listener who dismisses ‘Hooray For Earth’, there will be ten who fall in love with them.
So it’s slightly different, but still fits into the dance scene. The most important thing is that it’s good. It’s like club music without the headache, and rock music with an added electronic twist that makes it slightly euphoric. It’s got a little bit of everything, and certainly does fit into that tagline – ‘a savage colossus of sound’ very well.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/08/hooray-for-earth-never-24-09-12-memphis-industries/
Four piece rock/indie band Damn Vandals release their latest record, a full length studio album entitled Done For Desire. Out now, this album follows up on their last EP called Beautiful Mind, which was released in February this year. Done For Desire therefore has a lot to live up to, because the EP received rather good and passionate criticism from the press.
The best way to describe Done For Desire in one phrase is ‘pure rock and roll’. From the outset, it’s filled with low, buzzing bass guitars which punctuate some excellent guitar work and half-sang, half-chanted vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Arctic Monkeys album. Therefore, it’s fair to say that Damn Vandals are really onto something here. Done For Desire is jammed full of groundbreaking, feel good rock and roll, filled to bursting with a groovy, crunchy sort of sound. It’s almost as if the backbone of each song is designed to be a bass guitar with a fair amount of electronic-sounding distortion added to it, with the other musical elements surrounding to create a fuller, busier ambience. It’s a revolutionary, unique and groundbreaking sort of sound, a shift in the indie-rock genre that really has the capacity to become the standard sound of the future.
Damn Vandals’ style of music is therefore a bit of an enigma. It squeezes itself in between heavy rock and roll and indie music. In fact, whilst some parts might sound rather like tracks such as Brianstorm, again by The Arctic Monkeys as mentioned before, the key thing to notice is that not all of it does. Instead, it builds on a sound that’s already made famous and improved on it, making it familiar and easy to listen to, and yet fresh at the same time.
There aren’t really any problems with it, either. Perhaps the unenlightened listener might assume that Damn Vandals are ‘just another indie band’ and that Done For Desire is ‘just another indie album’, which might reduce listener numbers slightly. Not that Damn Vandals should really care about this, they’re making fantastic music, which will appeal to a great number of people.
So overall, then, Done For Desire is a fantastic album. It’s not heavy, it’s not light. It’s not grunge, it’s not rock. It’s just feel-good music, and it’s great. Keep a close watch on Damn Vandals, they’ll be back very soon.
Read the original article by clicking here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/08/damn-vandals-done-for-desire-out-now-sexy-beast-records/
Hertfordshire is getting a bit of a habit of producing excellent bands. First Enter Shikari appear out of St. Albans, then The Subways out of Welwyn Garden City. Now, it looks like the musical county is at it again, with Welwyn Garden City based metallers Thousand Autumns cooking up a big storm. Their latest EP, entitled Chasing Boatsis out now for the public to get hold of, and it looks set to be a huge release for the band.
Chasing Boats kicks off as it apparently means to go on. And to use exactly the right word, it kicks off hard. It’s a hefty-yet-melodic sounding EP, chock full of almost metal-core type sounds with throaty screams and overdriven guitars everywhere. There’s some really great sounding instruments, heavy, thumping basslines, uplifting, sing-along choruses and riffs that actually have the ability to really strongly remind a listener of now broken-up metallers Disturbed on the one hand, but with faster, more full-sounding choruses and more meaningful song construction. In other words, by the time the listener gets to the end, with the endless chants of ‘I’m chasing boats!’ they feel as if they’ve come a long way from the opener, despite the EP only being short. And that takes real production talent.
There aren’t really that many problems with this record, either. The vocals could use a small amount of work, because the clean singing voice sometimes comes across as a little bit thin, and it has a slight tendency to sit in the background of the music, underneath the guitars as if they’re not meant to be in the foreground. Apart from anything else, though, that’s a slight production hitch that has absolutely nothing to do with the music itself, and therefore it shouldn’t be assumed that this is a musical issue. It isn’t.
So overall, Chasing Boats is a successful, heavy and yet melodic EP that’s sure to be popular. Hertfordshire seems to have pulled it off again, producing a metal band of the highest quality and with the highest prospects. Keep a close eye on these guys, there could be another Enter Shikari in the pipeline.
Read the original article here: http://planetmosh.com/thousand-autumns-chasing-boats/
The latest gothic rock band to emerge from the depths of Scandinavia, Finland to be precise, are The 69 Eyes, a band that adds another name to a long legacy of rock and metal bands from the snowy country. Their latest release, a full length studio album imaginatively entitled X is out this coming September, and is being ruthlessly promoted by a vicious and immersive PR campaign.
X is on the whole, good, solid gothic rock. It’s rock which has a definite classic, anthemic groove to it, and that sounds a little bit like a less extreme version of Lordi, especially less extreme due to the lack of the comedy aspects that Lordi possess. Vocally, the sound is a little unorthodox but works well with the hefty distortion of the guitars in the background. Musically, X has a nice amount of variety, the distorted, overdriven guitars aren’t too much and don’t weigh a listener down, and there is a nice amount of changes between heavier sounds and lighter, cleaner parts that break the songs up nicely.
Highlights of this album – Black is a great tune, with a real classic 80’s rock vibe to it and a great sounding mix where all the instruments are as effective as the others. The album reaches one of its most epic points on Redwhich is a real epic, stadium-feeling song.
As an entire album, it’s imaginative and epic sounding, with plenty of uplifting rock choruses and sing-along vocal tracks, especially on If You Love Me the Morning After, which keeps the retro feel going and could almost be lifted straight off of a Bon Jovi album.
Problems? Well, only a few, but there definitely are some there. The vocals sometimes sound a little absurd, in an almost ironic but still rather daft way – especially at the beginnings of Tonight and Black. The singing here is ridiculously deep, almost as if the singer is mocking other metal singers by imitating them. This is the only main issue, though, and the music itself is extremely well performed and, despite being metal and heavy, rather relaxing to listen to. It sounds like something one might listen to on a late night, long distance drive.
So overall, X is a great all round album that can make for some really enjoyable listening. It’s got a little bit of nostalgic, classic rock feel to it, yet somehow it sounds modern and new. Once a listener can get over some of the most absurd vocal lines and appreciate them for what they are, this album could be one of the highlights of a metal-head’s listening year. Definitely one to watch out for when it’s release.
Read the original article here: http://planetmosh.com/the-69-eyes-x/the69eyes_x/
Well Muse have been quiet for the last couple of years. 2009 saw the release of their last album, The Resistance, and since then? Not a lot. Not until now, because they’re back. The band first made an appearance at the London 2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, which pre-empted a resurfacing from them, and now the British supergroup are releasing a single ahead of their sixth studio album, entitledThe 2nd Law. Entitled Madness, this song is the medium through which Muse have chosen to rear their heads again, and it has to be said, it’s very different.
There was a bit of a scare a couple of months ago when listeners got a preview of the new Muse through YouTube and were worried. “Oh no!” came the cries, “Muse have gone dubstep!” Well, it looks like those claims have become a bit of a reality. Madness is slow, electronic, pulsing, thudding dance/dubstep. It does, however, have a lot of redeeming features. It is very, very progressive and yet somehow very classicMuse. It’s definitely catchy, it has a great, pulsating beat to it, and vocally it gets listeners singing along with the endlessly repeated “m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-mad, mad, mad” (it looks daft when it’s written down) even if they don’t like the song.
The best thing about it, though, is that Madness builds up in a very satisfying way. It sneaks up on a listener and manages to explode into an epic finale section at about three minutes in, without anyone listening actually noticing it’s coming until it happens. It’s clever, and from then on until the end, the song becomes fantastic.
It’s well titled too because it does seem to epitomise feelings of madness (especially if listened to through large headphones) in musical form. The drums pound very heavily on listeners ears, and there doesn’t seem to be any guitar work that isn’t smothered in chaotic-sounding effects so much it no longer sounds like a guitar, except for a brief (and well played) solo. As always with Muse, the bass work is phenomenal. Hats off to Chris Wolstenholme, again.
The vocal work sounds very familiar, very typical Muse, which obviously it would do. But, it also sounds suspiciously like a bit of an ode to Queen. This reviewer wonders if that’s deliberate. Do Muse fancy themselves a bit of a new Queen?
By releasing it ahead of, The 2nd Law, an album due for release on October 2nd 2012 (clever.), Muse are playing a dangerous game, because this is a very love/hate kind of song. Fans of the old Muse, where the main instrument was a guitar rather than a synthesizer (Origin of Symmetry) aren’t going to like this song. At all. But that’s not the point, is it? Muse are moving on, experimenting with new sounds, and expecting the true fans of their music to come along for the ride. As well they should. It’s different from the Devon rockers, but not necessarily bad. Muse are drawing a line under their older material and beginning a new phase of their musical career. And we as listeners should all watch with interest, these guys aren’t done yet.
Read the original article here: http://www.bornmusiconline.com/muse-madness/
It’s a sensual, euphoric and mystical sounding song. It’s very well written, and it somehow manages to get going and get into the swing of the song without the listener ever actually noticing that it’s happened. It’s a really soft yet uplifting song, and with a title like The Swan of Meander, well titled as well. The guitars in the background are more to provide an almost twinkling kind of effect, rather than put into the track as a backbone to the music, which is different yet enjoyable to listen to.
The percussion in the background sounds very unorthodox, almost like a machine ticking over in a factory. It gives the song a nice antithesis to it, the juxtaposition of the lighter music and the industrial sounds create something rather sensual and, to use probably the wrong word, ‘full-sounding’.
The mainstay or backbone of the sound of this song is the strings. They’re ever present, yet ever so subtle at the same time. It’s cleverly done, because if one were to take them away then the whole song would fall apart completely, and listeners would notice that they’re gone. Yet, a listener actually has to listen out for them to even notice that they’re there. Excellent production.
Vocally, the singing is meaningful and really quite chilling. They’re easy to lose track of, though, as a listener might be caught up in the cacophony of sounds in the background, and they don’t really have anything special going for them to make them stand out. This might be the only issue with this single, though.
On the whole, The Swan of Meander is a pleasant and, to use one of the best words to describe it, interesting sounding single. It’s got a lot going for it, and pre-empts what should be one of the most meaningful and progressive albums of the year.
Lone Wolf is:
Read the original article here: http://planetmosh.com/lone-wolf-the-swan-of-meander/
Oxfordshire all-female rock quartet Evarose release their five-track EP Elements this year, and a listener can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them. They’re brilliant, extremely talented, excellent songwriters and fantastic musicians, and yet they’re still going to be compared to Hayley Williams as soon as Elements hits the shelves. That’s the curse of the female fronted band, brought about by the unstoppable Paramore-machine, and it’s a curse that Evarose cannot avoid. That’s not stopped them, though, and Elements is set to be released in the UK later this year.
When it comes to the music itself, Elements is energetic, uplifting and very talented. It’s mixed fantastically; all the parts of the music are clearly audible, and they’re all brilliant. Evarose can write a heck of a catchy tune, a perfect example being There’s No Such Thing as Something for Nothing. One of the best comparisons for them is actually a much heavier version of We Are the In Crowd, as they have a similar amount of punk type energy, but with a much heavier sound on their guitars. Possibly American rockersVersaEmerge might make a better comparison.
Therefore, the only issues with Elements are those that Evarose cannot control. Being ‘tarred with the same brush’ as Paramore is an occupational hazard of female fronted bands, and it’s fantastic to see that the Oxfordshire quartet aren’t phased by this at all. Instead they’ve made a great sounding EP, the way that they wanted to make it, without worrying about it, and that’s great to see.
So it’s fair to say that Evarose are on to something, something big. If they carry on this way, they’ll be bigger than Paramore in a few years. All they have to do is ignore the comparisons, carry on the way they’re going and keep making insanely catchy and great music. Fantastic.
Standout Track: There’s No Such Thing as Something for Nothing
For Fans Of: VersaEmerge, We Are the In Crowd, Paramore
Read the original article here: http://www.bringthenoiseuk.com/201208/music/reviews/ep-review-evarose-elements
When a potential (and, perhaps, unenlightened) listener, solely ‘acoustic’ music might seem like a moody, mellow and perhaps slow genre that, unless in the mood for, doesn’t make great mainstream listening. This is a misguided interpretation, and all it takes to prove it wrong is one artist to show that this isn’t the case. Enter acoustic quartet The Emerald Armada. They’re making some noise in the industry (and not just in a musical way), and from the quality of these three tracks, entitled Strangers, Everyone and I Don’t Mind, it looks like they’re going to end up in a great place.
From this record, its plan to see that The Emerald Armada clearly have a knack for producing great, catchy and talented acoustic music, which can easily put the preconceptions of the genre straight to bed. It’s not folk, it’s not rock, and it’s not even indie. It’s just catchy. In fact, it’s not only catchy, but its acoustic music that manages to kick up a great ‘party-esque’ atmosphere, almost effortlessly. It has a great, overarching ‘sprightly’ feel to it, a cheerful, spirited sounding take on the acoustic genre that makes it an appealing record to any casual listener.
Title track I Don’t Mind showcases this upbeat aspect of the music perfectly, with quick paced acoustic guitars and funky-orientated bass-lines that complement some excellent vocal work from the Irish lads. There’s an excellent use of both maracas and flute on Strangers, which ordinarily would pre-mediate a slower, more mellow song, but that knack that The Emerald Armada have of producing upbeat songs without even thinking about it kicks straight in again, and it’s another enjoyable listen.
Issues? Not really that many. Three tracks aren’t enough to give any sort of criticism, because they might be issues that are solved in other tracks, released on an EP or an album. The only real criticism to make is that the tracks should be part of an actual record, put together to form something tangible that’s more memorable to a listener. That’s not an issue with the music though, and clearly something that the band are working on. That goes without saying. Musically, all that’s left for this reviewer to say is carry on.
So, a talented and almost issue-less release. It’s a great set of tracks, excellently written, recorded, mixed and performed, with enough of a unique twist on it to make it memorable, and familiar sounding enough to make it appealing to a new audience. That takes immense musical talent, so it’s clear that The Emerald Armada have that in spade. Plus, if these tracks are anything to go by, The Emerald Armada are set to be a huge musical force to be reckoned with within the next year or so. Look out for them.
Read the original article here: http://chordblossom.com/musicreviews-emeraldarmada-strangers
20 Second Century, a punk-rock four piece hailing from Co. Down, are playing a dangerous game. Punk rock isn’t exactly on the rise, it could be argued that it’s a tired and overused genre, and should be consigned to the depths of history along with so many other past genres. That’s not stopped them releasing this, their latest EP, which is a definite attempt to revive the style and create something new out of it.
It’s an emotive sounding release, which gives it a slight edge over other punk music. It’s more heartfelt, with a definite passionate twinge lingering throughout the vocals, which are nicely placed in among the music (not too prominent, but not too lost in the sound either). Musically, it has a great sounding distorted, punky sort of crunch sound on the guitars, which complement half-sang-half-chanted vocals, a style made famous by punk bands such as Sum 41 (Still Waiting) and Blink 182 (Feeling This). The differences come in the pleasant lack of an over-accentuated American accent, which, whilst unavoidable, does become tedious in the aforementioned older punk style. The other pleasant and slightly different aspect is the ‘bassy’ quality the music has. That makes it slightly different, giving it an almost ‘electronic’ vibe, alongside the punk style. It’s a specific area to focus on when praising this album, especially when it has so much to offer, but it’s something that really stuck out all the way through that this reviewer kept noticing.
Areas to improve – the EP could be slightly longer, four tracks, whilst usually long enough for an EP, especially a debut one, isn’t long enough to showcase music of this style properly. It just doesn’t have the time to show off the vast amount of talent that 20 Second Century obviously possess. It’s just enough to whet the appetite of the listener, enough to make them think “wow, I really like this”, and then it’s over. The vocals could be placed slightly more prominently over the music as well. They sit well as they are, as mentioned before, but it might be good to have them slightly more in the foreground, to give the impression of the importance of them. There’s no point having that amount of emotion and passion within the vocals, and then not making them stand out.
So, it’s very clear to see from 20 Second Century’s EP that the energetic, jumpy sounds of punk aren’t quite dead yet, despite the eras of New Found Glory, Sum 41, Blink 182 and others arguably fading into the distant past. This reviewer thinks that a revival is perfect. The tired old style still has some gusto left in it, and 20 Second Century have put a twist on it that refreshes it and makes it interesting again. – Wonderful stuff.
Read the original review here: http://chordblossom.com/musicreviews-20secondcentury-selftitled
- Biffy Clyro – Opposites Album Review (Planetmosh Review)
- When We Were Wolves – The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same EP Review (Planetmosh Review)
- Alexisonfire – Death Letter EP Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- Lewis Watson – Another Four Sad Songs EP Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
- Parkway Drive – Atlas Album Review (Bring the Noise Review)
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