Late nineties, early noughties nu-metal giants Papa Roach have been quiet for the last few years. It’s a shame, too, because they had a real flair for writing instantly recognisable, catchy music. In fact, almost everyone into metal has heard their anthem Last Resort, so it’s great for music fans to see that they’re back on the scene with a new, full length studio album, entitledThe Connection.
From the off, it’s plain to see that Papa Roach are back with a vengeance, and they mean business. The first song on the album (after the slow, vocal-less Intro) is called Still Swingin’.Obviously, the band believe they’ve still got it, and it’s also plain to see that Swingin’ they definitely are.
What’s really strange (and yet fantastic) about it is that it still sounds like the Papa Roach that we all know and love, and yet the sound itself has matured away from the nu-metal image that the band had before. It’s still really rather heavy, but it has much less of a ‘muddy’ quality to the music than before. It’s as if the band have changed their sound just enough to fit in with the style of metal music that’s around today, but it doesn’t feel like they’ve done this to just ‘fit in’. The choruses are suitably epic, uplifting and soulful, there’s even some well placed synthesizers in the backgrounds giving great effect (Wish You Never Met Me). The guitars are still very distorted, but easily audible, giving a great, warm tone and the bass is still exactly the same quality that Roach ever had – excellent.
Vocally, there’s more tune to it. The Connection is a lot more lyric based than older Roach,there’s more vocal harmonising than before, and the lyrics feel much more emotive and thoughtful than they ever did. This is a great move for Papa Roach, who have obviously aged and their music has clearly changed to reflect that very well.
It’s not like there’s any issues with The Connection, either. Fans of the older Papa Roach will have grown up alongside them, and will be mature enough to take these changes as they come. New fans of Papa Roach who might have been too young at the time will be introduced to a great band through this album, and a new generation of fans will learn to love them, so it’s not like even the differences on this album will cause them to lose fans. If anything, they’ll gain them.
So overall, Papa Roach have played their cards exactly right with The Connection. It’s got a little bit of everything, a lot of old Roach sound but with a lot more of a mature flair than they ever had, and it looks like they’re set to be taking the metal charts by storm.
Papa Roach. Still Swingin’? Definitely.
Read the original article here: http://planetmosh.com/papa-roach-the-connection/?preview=true&preview_id=65619&preview_nonce=03569adfc3
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/
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/
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
Newcastle based indie-rock band The Longsands are making quite a name for themselves. From putting out their own singles in 2009 to releasing a full length studio album in June 2012, working with the ex-producer of The Whoand Eric Clapton, and supporting The Jam, The Longsands have come quite a way in the last three years. They’re at it again, too, with this, new single entitled Worlds Collide, out August 2012.
Worlds Collide packs a heck of a lot into the time it has. The entire song manages to build itself up to a huge climax without the listener actually noticing that it’s happening. In fact, it’s a very technically good song, with strong ties to musical conventions and, what some might call, the four-chord approach to writing a song. Not that this is a bad thing, people do it because it works.
The first impression one gets when listening to this track is a likeness to rock band Matchbox 20, with an inoffensive, soft approach to indie rock, with the pitter-patter of drums punctuating through softly played guitars and bass, with a strong vocal track singing emotive and meaningful lyrics in a passionate way. It’s very good, very well written. Vocally, the lyrics are strongly driven by the passion of the vocals, which works well because there would be no point in singing meaningful and deep lyrics in a non-meaningful way. The remixed version is much softer, and still great if not even better to listen to, and sounds even deeper and more meaningful than the original.
The other track on this single, Never Turn Your Back on the Sun, is just as musically talented as Worlds Collide,and shows the slower, softer, more acoustic side of the band. This is good, it shows in just two tracks that The Longsands aren’t restricted to making one style of music, but have a good amount of musical range. The song in itself is great to listen to, with almost cockney sounding vocals and a great, soft acoustic guitar in the background of the song, just enough for it to work very well.
Overall, Worlds Collide is another triumph for the Newcastle five-piece. The Longsands write passionate, moving music and do it the way they want to. The great by product of this is that listeners seem to love it at the same time! More of the same, please.
Read the original article here: http://www.poppedculture.co.uk/music-reviews/music-reviews/single-reviews/item/249-the-longsands-%E2%80%93-worlds-collide
Seattle band Minus the Bear are in the habit of making a lot of noise. Not just press or promotional, sit-up-and-look-at-us type noise, either, but instead really talented, musically creative type ‘noise’. Their latest album,Infinity Overhead, is out on August 28th, and is the perfect example of the American five piece’s brand of synth-pop-indie-rock (noise!) that this article is talking about.
The word ‘noise’ has bad connotations, so perhaps it’s best to explain its use in this context. Infinity Overheadhas a lot going on, all the time. It’s all fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a very ‘full’ sound. A noise. But a musical one. In more specific terms, this album has a definite ‘groove’ to it. It’s indie rock with a bit more of a funk-based feel to it, and the addition of synthesizers, whilst not completely original, is some of the most effective this reviewer has ever witnessed. They’re used sparingly, completely for added effect, and that’s how they’re meant to be used, rather than as a mainstay of the song.
Vocally, there’s a slight harmonizer effect on the lead vocal track, which gives it a great, deep feel and makes it stand out from the rest of the music in a great way. The lyrics themselves are well put together and well performed, sitting well on top of the rest of the music and giving the impression that they’re in control of the song. Musically, it’s well mixed. The guitars have a really satisfying crunch on them, especially noticeable at the beginning of Lies and Eyes.
There’s nothing really to improve on this album, either. Possibly, some of the songs sound a little bit busy and confusing, although it seems like this was intended. There’s nothing wrong with making a listener concentrate on where they are in a song though, so long as they don’t have to do it all the time. If anything, it makes the listener actually take notice of what they’re listening to, so in effect it’s actually a good thing.
This is a great album, it really is. The indie-rock idea might be getting a little bit tired, but Minus the Bear have managed to take it, make it their own, add some refreshing twists to it, and blast it back out again. It sounds enough to work alongside other indie bands, but is different enough to make it stand out from the crowd. It really is a well constructed, performed and recorded album. Fantastic.
Read the original article here: http://www.poppedculture.co.uk/music-reviews/music-reviews/album-reviews/item/248-minus-the-bear-%E2%80%93-infinity-overhead
Canadian four-piece Les Jupes are a bit of an enigma. It’s hard what to make of a band whose tagline is “Electrons. Crashing into other electrons.” No doubt this complete fragment of a sentence is meant to inspire some kind of deep, meaningful feelings within the reader. It might make more sense to look at their music to find out what feelings they inspire, actually. Happily,Les Jupes are obliging this request with their latest album, entitled Modern Myths.
The album kicks off in a rather sinister way, opening track Myth #3 (The Mountain) is a dark sounding track, with low bass notes and deep, threatening vocals. The odd thing is, though, the more one listens to it, the easier it gets to listen to. The same track, barely fifteen seconds later actually becomes really, really quite good. The bassline is so well into the mix that it does exactly what it’s meant to do, provide a decent backbone to the song and be audible without actually being over-present at the same time.
This theme carries on throughout the rest of the album, as well. There’s some really excellent use of synth instruments to create brilliant, atmospheric effects. There’s also twinkling, effective guitar work, sensual percussion and the bass carries on being fantastic the entire way through. Modern Myths has a bunch of variety going for it, as well, the second track, One Solemn Oath is completely different to the first track, starting the album off as it means to go on.
Issues – really not many. The vocals leave a little to be desired, as they can get a little monotone if listened to all in one go – in fact at some points they do sound like something out of an 80’s electronic band, possiblyKraftwerk. But, the flipside of this is that the vocal lines work really well sitting just on top of the style of music that Les Jupes make, so to change the vocal tracks would be to change the style and feeling of the music completely, which is far too much of a drastic change to ask the band to make.
So overall, Modern Myths is a progressive, emotive and extraordinarily creative album, an album that’s taken a clear amount of talent to write and put together. It’s a little specific, though, and might limit the appeal to a wider audience. For what it is, though Les Jupes have put together something that they can be extremely proud of, and for this reviewer, their next one can’t come soon enough. Fabulous.
Read the original article here: http://www.poppedculture.co.uk/music-reviews/music-reviews/album-reviews/item/247-les-jupes-%E2%80%93-modern-myths
- 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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