30 December 2012

Conan - Monnos

I really should keep my big mouth shut.  I really really really should stop saying, OK I will listen to x,y & z.  If only for my sanity.  But then again, life would not be as fun. So enough of the moaning and onto this very strange release.  This band were born on the banks of the Mersey in Liverpool, and have fuck all to do with the Beatles.  Sabbath and Amplifier worship is their gods and they have it all on show.

Now the only reason I listened to these guys is one of the forums I go to - The Damnation Festival - was doing their end of year run down and people were putting their suggestions in, with one of the lads saying & I quote - Criminal lack of love for the Conan album on this forum - which sounded like a challenge in my eyes.  So I went to listen to the album on Spotify, expecting to be slightly judgemental and to say "it's alright".

Oh my deity - whose existence I sometimes doubt! This is too late for this year's polls, but it would have been right up there with the best of them.  How did this one slip by! Basically, what you'll hear is a very bass heavy, Sabbath/St Vitus worship group who have taken it to the next level.  6 tracks long, just a shade under 40 minutes and it does rest - no ballads, no heartfelt tender moments, no 80 million note guitar solos. Just doom, sludge, stoner metal which will have every one of those groups in metal heaven looking at the pretty colours which come through their mind.

Now, this is obviously not for everyone - I cannot see many Rhianna fans rushing out to purchase this, but it is not meant for them.  It is meant for the select group of people who want to lose their hearing for an hour or so, it is for the people who do not want to conform to the agenda which is handed out at the beginning of rock school.  These guys are not in it for the radio time or magazine covers of the popular press, they are in it for the music which is second to none in this field. 

I really do think if I had heard of this earlier, Blacklister might have had some harder competition. As it is, I have an early candidate for album of the year 2013 (albeit being released in 2012).  If this is your cup of pish, check it out now. You will not be disappointed.  And the next time I moan about my workload I will put this on to remind myself that I do this for the love of finding new stuff and rediscovering old stuff.  Thank you Conan, you've restored my musical faith in ways I could never have known.

10 out of 10 - This is proof there is a God

You can buy from here for a lot

You can buy from here for less

You can listen to on Spotify on here

29 December 2012

I have a mountain of work.....

To say I have a mountain of new stuff to review is an understatement, so - for today and before the New Year - I will put up a list of some of the delights I will be listening to for you, and if you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment:

Metallica - ...And Justice For All
Raging Speedhorn - Raging Speedhorn

Ben Folds Five - The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Vol 6
Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica
The Finn Brothers - Everyone Is Here
Ginger - 555%
Biffy Clyro - The Vertigo of Bliss
Nekromantik - Fairy Catcher

The Divine Comedy - Bang Goes The Knighthood
Amanda Palmer - Theatre Is Evil
Stone Sour - House of Gold & Bones Part 1
Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell
Godflesh - Streetcleaner

And that is not even a 10th of what I have to get through.....

Hope you all have a great new year


Current listenings - Look up!!!!!!

Oxbow - An Evil Heat

Some people are terrifying. Not that they are nasty, just they are just plain scary. Eugene Robinson the vocalist of Oxbow is just plain scary. He is straight as a dice, does not flinch in his belief about his music and likes to fight. One of my friends corresponded with him via email and said it was one of the best things that has ever happened to him.  If I was offered the chance to meet these guys, I would probably decline as I would not want to say something stupid and end up a puddle on the floor.

Formed in 1989, this is the 5th studio album by the four piece from San Francisco, California. Did I start here for any reason?  No, not really - just went for the cover which interested me the most.  Musically it is a harsh record. A primal statement of aggression, pain and anger - this is not for the weak at heart or for people who have no interest in feeling uncomfortable whilst listening to music.  It is a challenging, engaging record.  Never does it stray from it's purpose of demanding the listener to give it any more than their full attention. If your wanting a happy sunny record about your girl and the good times, you are in the wrong place and about to have your sunshine bubble exploded.

Over 8 tracks and 42+ minutes, you are invited to sample in a world which is quite frankly both fascinating and a complete nightmare.  When songs like "Stallkicker" start to get quite, you start to worry where the next punch is going from. "S Bar X" is just a vision of hurt and agony which gives this writer a headache trying to think of worlds to describe how awesome/terrifying this truly is. Stand out track for me is "Sawmill" it just comes in such a way that by the time your trying to escape, there is nowhere to go but forward and give into this vision that does not give a fuck if your there are not.

Not as I have sort of hinted at heavily, this is not for everyone - and I don't think the band would have it any other way.  There is not one compromise on here, not one inch given, this is their vision, their statement and their property.  And I am so glad that bands like this exist, I wish that more of them had the ability to make some money out of it (seriously, if your thinking about getting any stuff by these guys, purchase it from them on the link below). Because if they cannot eat, there will be a day when they cannot make these ghastly nightmare-ish visions that both take you to heights that you did not know and the places where you did not wish to tread.  Approach with care, and be thankful when you get what is going on.

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase here

You can purchase directly from the band here (Much better idea)

You can listen to here on Spotify

The Mars Volta - Amputechture

So whilst I was doing the 1st blog today I had this on in the background.  Was asked to do it ages ago, but it had slipped my mind.  Maybe it was on purpose, an automatic response to the Volta.  Not that I have any great aversion to them, I actually do like what they do.  It just their albums are just usually so epic and long.  I have never had an easy listen to one of their albums yet.  My first experience was when I was having a relax and I was locked in fear by the end of it, mainly because it was fantastic but mostly as it was not what I was expecting.

The was the third release from the natives of El Paso, Texas.  They were formed out of the remains of At The Drive In, when the two main members - Omar Rodríguez-López & Cedric Bixler-Zavala - got sick of the garage rock that had led to ATDI's fame and at their peak they pulled the rug and formed The Mars Volta.  Still rock, but as far away as you can get without an acoustic guitar.  The only reason these guys are not from the 60's is because time travel is still not possible going backwards. 

With guest guitarist John Frusciante (ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers), they crafted a 8 track piece of wonder here.  In comparison with their first two albums, it is a much easier listen.  Now that is not to say it is without it's freak out moments - they are still plenty of them - it is just a lot easier on the ears. All the tracks fit together like a well formed tailor suit and the shiny footwear that has been polished by a craftsman.  However, this is still an release which is going to have the people who dislike this music kept in their boat, and their fans wanting more like a blood crazed vampire on a diet of black pudding lolly sticks.

I find myself sort of in both camps at different times, when in the mood for the Volta I find them uplifting and wonderful.  When not in the mood I want to lock them in a trunk and throw it into a black hole which I hope does not have it's exit point in the loft of my mind.  Today..... I am in the mood, but as this is not over challenging it is not the album for me.  But it has made my choices for the rest of the day slightly easier, and possibly the rest of the locals ears recoil in horror.  If you are new to the Volta, come to this album later.  It is not a bad album, just not a challenge.

6.5 out of Ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

Ta-da!!! The first review top 50

Hope you all had a good Christmas/whatever the local customer is for you.  It has been sort of a self imposed downtime here at ATT Towers, got some really good albums to review over the next week or so, and was actually enjoying spending time with the family and such thing. However, time to get back in the saddle.  To start with I will put up the first Top 50 reviews based on the score they received.  If you have not read the original review you will be able to find it on the blog (Or by clicking the on the link - read them!!!!!).  Keep the suggestions coming in, I have a few to be put up over the next few day and would like some more.  I would also like to thank Chris for his Waheela review and their will soon be another guest reviewer on here as well.  No, feed me music!!! - Eddie

P.S. - As the Batman symbol marks do not actually count in a way, they will drift to the bottom; however, this does not mean they are crap, just unmarkable).

50 - Frank Zappa - Civilization Phaze III (Batman Symbol, so sort of out of it - but at 50)
49 - Black Spiders - Sons of The North (1) 
48 - Koop - Kopp Island (1.5)
47 - Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday (2.5)
46 - The Twlight Sisters - She Loves You (3)
45 - Tori Amos - Night of Hunters (3.5)

44 - Weather Report - Sweetnighter (3.5) 
43 - Future of The Left - Last Night I Saved Her From Vampires (3)
42 - Crashland - Glued (4) 
41 - Machine Head - Unto The Locust (4)
40 - Officer Jones & His Patrol Car Problems - Memorial (4.5) 
39 - Lana Del Rey - Born To Die (4.5)
38 - The Union - The Union (5) 
37 - The Jesus Lizard - Shot (6) 
36 - The Futureheads - The Chaos (6) 
35 - The Night Marchers - See You In Magic (6) 
34 - Nutmeg - The Trigger (6.5) 
33 - Jessie Ware - Devotion (6.5)
32 - Gallows - Orchestra of Wolves (6.5)
31 - Descendents - Everything Sucks (6.5) 
30 - The Afghan Whigs - Black Love (6.5)
29 - Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire (6.5)
28 - Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers (6.5)
27 - Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka (6.95)
26 - Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks (7)
25 - Jurassic 5 - Jurassic 5 (7) 
24 - Amen - We Have Come For You Parents (7) 
23 - Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die (7)
22 - The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania (7)
21 - Regina Spektor - Far (7)
20 - Waheela - Lost Murray (7) 
19 - Every Time I Die - Hot Damn! (7.5) 
18 - Def Con One - Warface (7.5) 
17 - Elton John - Caribou (7.5)
16 - Iggy & The Stooges - Raw Power (8)
15 - Mastodon - Blood Mountain (8) 
14 - Zen Guerrilla - Shadows on The Sun (8) 
13 - The Muppets - The Muppets OST (8) 
12 - Coachwhips - Bangers V Fuckers (8) 
11 - Far - Water & Solution (8)
10 - Ghost - Opus Eponymous (8.5) 
 9 - Clutch - Clutch (8.5) 
 8 - Waves on Canvas - Into The Northsea (8.5) 
 7 - Hail Social - Hail Social (8.5) 
 6 - Ginderman - Grinderman 2 (8.5) 
 5 - Prince - The Gold Experience (9)
 4 - Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allejujah! Don't Bend, Ascend!' (9) 
 3 - Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk (9.5)
 2 - Catherine Wheel - Adam & Eve (9.5) 
 1 -  Ben Folds - Rockin' The Suburbs (10) 

Here is to the next 50.......

24 December 2012

Blacklisters - BLKLSTRS

Sometimes something comes along that should be getting more praise than it deserves. Sometimes something comes along that does not any praise at all.  Then you have the something that comes, gets the praise - but does not get the public or the imagination.  I'd heard of this band before hearing them.  Some reports were good, some were very critical - so being a curious chap I went to find out what was happening....

From Leeds these four very angry men have come to drink your drink, take your significant other, dethrone you as the leader of your gang and that is just for starts. This has more in common with Helmet, Hog Molly, Melvins and Nirvana. It is a very retro album in a way, but it also looks forward as well.  Starting with the brilliantly titled "Clubfoot By Kasabian" it never really gets any less intense even in the quieter moments like "I Can Confirm That Ruth Abigail Holmes Is Not Dead and Is Planning to Make a Movie About Her Life" and "Nice Garden".

Usually after this point I try to give a slightly negative thing to sort of balance out the review. Try to see if there are any flaws or if there is anything that could have been improved.  But I cannot think of anything I would change about this album or that I don't like.  I love "Swords". I love "Ask Yourself a Question if the Answer Is Go Fuck Yourself". If it was not for Ginger doing his best Frank Zappa impression - "Trickfuck" would have been my best song of the year.  It is just as near a perfect album as I have had the pleasure to hear all this year.

I did get to catch these guys live at the Damnation Festival in Leeds - if you like metal, make a point of going next year - and these guys had been on the road with Pig Destroyer.  I'm guessing that they had been trying to match Pig Destroyer on the drinks front as the lead sing looked like someone had just pissed him some eyes.  They looked knackered, broken and yet they pulled out an astounding performance - and that was on a bad day! This band are ones to watch for me, they deserve the praise and I hope they get to go far as they are just a little gem in a sea of mediocre.  I deliberately left this off the first 50 to be fair to the other albums and also because I wanted to put up my albums of the year.  It is an album that needs to be heard.  Well, what are you waiting for......

10 out of 10 - This is proof that there is a God.

You can purchase from here (MP3 Only)

You can purchase from here as well

You can listen to on Spotify here

Merry Christmas.....

So yeah, it is the time and words of that nature - I hope you all have a great time if Christmas is in your culture.  If not, I hope that your world is as good as it can be. Reviews will be put up in a slightly less messed up way soon and thank you for reading.

I would be saying "Be Good" at this point, but I am the last person to say that. ;-)


Currently 5 listenings:

Faith No More - Live In Brixiton
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Good Son

Blacklisters - BLKLSTRS
Spector - Enjoy It While It Lasts

Hey Hello! - TBC

23 December 2012

Top 100 albums that have rocked Castle A.T.T.I.W.L.T.M.O.W.O.S - Non-blogged

Ok, so as I mentioned in an earlier blogs I am going to put my favourite songs and albums (on this blog) that have rocked my world this year.  Now some of the more eagled eyed out there will note whilst going down this list that some of these albums (and songs on the other one) were not new releases in 2012.  Well, that is because they were not.  The main view I have here is that the album (or song) has to have been of relevance to this year, purchased or acquired by myself.  Next year when I do this I will also include albums I have blogged, but this year it is a little too late for that. However, I might do the first 50 in some sort of chart - oh I am a change-able beast! ;-) So, without any further interruption, here is the 200 tracks that have rocked this place:

100 - 8stop7 - In Motion

 99 - The Get Up Kids - Eudora
 98 - Radio 4 - New Song & Dance
 97 - Crowbar - Equilibrium
 96 - Gang of Four - A Brief History of The 20th Century

 95 - Fink - Biscuts For Breakfast
 94 - Arson Anthem - Insecurity Notority 
 93 - Cancer Bats - Dead Set On Living
 92 - Attention - Everything Takes Forever
 91 - James Iha - Let It Come Down
 90 - Send No Flowers - Juice
 89 - Eels - Electro-Shock Blues
 88 - dUES - Worst Case Sceanrio (Deluxe Edition)
 87 - Royal Talons - Royal Talons
 86 - No Use For A Name - All The Best Songs
 85 - Verve - Forth
 84 - Attention - Tattered Youth
 83 - Easy Dub All Stars - Dark Side of The Moon
 82 - V/A - Mojo Blues Rolling Stones
 81 - V/A - Let's Roll

 80 - Six Organs of Admittance - Live Acoustic Set
 79 - Death Grips - No Love Deep Web
 78 - Minotaurs - Eat Yr Hate
 77 - Aerosmith - Aerosmith
 76 - Crackout - This Is Really Neat
 75 - Depeche Mode - Speak & Spell
 74 - Kowloon Walled City - Turk Street
 73 - Hank Williams III - Ghost To A Ghost
 72 - Officer Jones & His Patrol Car Problems - Memorial
 71 - Paul Simon - Graceland (Remaster)
 70 - Live - Throwing Cooper
 69 - Luke Haines - Outside/In
 68 - Archeticture Of Helsinki - In Case We Die
 67 - The Jesus Lizard - Shot
 66 - Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
 65 - Dan Le Sac - Spaces Between Words
 64 - Darkthrone - Circle The Wagons
 63 - Everytime I Die - Hot Damn!
 62 - Morrissey - Ring Leader of The Tormentors
 61 - Sunn O))) Meets Nurse With Wound - Sunn O)))) Meets Nurse With Wound
 60 - A Silent Film - The City That Sleeps
 59 - Morbid Angel - Illud Divium Insanus (Remixes)
 58 - MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
 57 - Descendents - Everything Sucks
 56 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Nocturama (Remastered)
 55 - Zech Marquise - Getting Paid
 54 - Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Ame
 53 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus Dig! (Remastered)
 52 - Lana Del Ray - Born To Die

 51 - The Jesus & Mary Chain - Upside Down
 50 - Coachwhips - Get Yer Body Next To Mine
 49 - Explosions In The Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
 48 - Sick of It All - Yours Truly
 47 - My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures
 46 - Radiohead - In Rainbows
 45 - The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
 44 - Muse - The 2nd Law
 43 - Kusari Gama Kill - Control
 42 - J Mascis - Several Shades of Why
 41 - Elton John - Breaking Hearts
 40 - The Black Keys - El Camino
 39 - Dire Straits - Private Investigation
 38 - Godflesh - Streetcleaner (Remastered)
 37 - Soundgarden - King Animal
 36 - Hey Hello! - TBC
 35 - Cavorts - Times Told
 34 - 2nd Gen - Irony Is
 33 - Genesis - Selling England By The Pound
 32 - Dire Straits - On Every Street
 31 - Rush - Snakes & Arrows
 30 - Running - Running LP
 29 - Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones
 28 - Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (Deluxe Edition)
 27 - Whla - Lost Murray

 26 - Maybeshewill - I Was Lost But For A Moment
 25 - Hog Molly - Kung Fu Cocktail
 24 - Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
 23 - Wodensthrone - Lost
 22 - Save The Vulture - Album One
 21 - Rival Schools/Onelinedrawing - Split EP
 20 - Down - Down I V Part 1: The Purple EP
 19 - Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
 18 - The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come
 17 - Kiss - Kiss (Remastered)
 16 - Prince - Sign O' The Times
 15 - Volbeat - Beyond Heaven/Above Hell
 14 - Coachwhips - Bangers & Fuckers
 13 - William Elliot Whitmore - Animals In The Dark
 12 - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything's Getting Older
 11 - Warm Digits - Keep Warm With The Warm Digits
 10 - The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania
  9 - The Brain Jonestown Massacre - Aufheben
  8 - Napalm Death - Ultilrain
  7 - Godspeed You! Black Emporer - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend, Ascend!
  6 - Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay

  5 - Wodensthrone - Curses
  4 - Therapy? - A Breif Crack Of Light
  3 - Ginger - 555%
  2 - Frank Zappa - Yellow Shark
  1 - Blacklisters - BLKLSTRS

So that is it, an album that was released in 2012 actually made the top! Also, all but one of the top 10 was a 2012 release as well!!! Now that is a turn up for the books! Will have the top 50 of the blog reviews (based on review marks) up very shortly! At least before Christmas Eve. :-)

22 December 2012

The Muppets - The Muppets OST

So here is the 50th review - as chosen by my lady wife and it is possibly a view into my mind that not many people that know me will be surprised at - for the people that don't, it is a insight into my mind.  This is the most recent Muppets soundtrack.  A mixture of original material written by Bret McKenzie (of Flight of The Conchords fame), it is as it says - the music that was used in the movie, plus some dialogue from the movie.

Now the big selling point for this is how much you like The Muppets, the movie and (as one of the characters in the movie says) The Julie-Andrews goody-too-shoes entertainment.  If you are not a Muppets fan, or a Disney hater then this will not be for you.  You will need to find something else to make you feel warm inside - maybe Jeremy Jyle where you can view members of your family.  For the rest of us, this is a sing-along, comedy film, heart warming little album.

Songs like "Man or A Muppet" (the one that won the Oscar and rightly so), "Life's A Happy Song", "A Me Party" and the barber shop quartet of "Smells Like Teen Spirits" are just so singable.  I will admit this is a very marmite release - not everyone will want to hear the songs outside of the context of the film, and some of the extended songs are just not the as good - the films editing just made it much better. "Let's Talk About Me" just needed to be a little bit shorter even if it explains why the main bad guy hates the Muppets, even the full version of "Smells like..." does not work for me totally.  Also, the UK version is missing Gary Numan's Cars and it has Olly Murs on it! Wrong way wrong there, but that is just my opinion.

So this is for fan boys, girls and whatevers - If you fall into that section of the world, well done.  If not, well done. But life is a happy song when there is someone beside you to sing along. :-)

Here is to the next 50 blogs. :-)

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase from here

You can listen to here on Spotify

21 December 2012

Waheela - Lost Murray

Message from Eddie - This is the first of my guest bloggers reviewing the very heavy (very umble) Waheela. I take no responsibility for what is said. ;-)


I really, really wish I had have signed up for that creative writing course.....

The singer does not sound well. I am naturally very cynical with a black sense of humour, so I am trying not to turn this into a forum for my jokes.  From deepest darkest Gateshead (well 2 of them do anyway) formed in around 2010 (could have been earlier - fuck knows) this group of ne'er-do-wells try their best to free-form a mix of sludge-doom drone born out of the ashes of Jake Bannons nightmares. Let me put it this way, there shite... I mean the nightmares not the band. (See I told you I had a black sense of humour!!!)

Ploughing a similar musical furrow to North East England's drone merchants Marzuuran in places, with black metal vocals this one track provides a wonderful noisy catharsis to those who are able to handle it (I really deserve some funds for this!!!!). 25 minutes in length, it is at least twice as long as this review.  Whilst the recording is good, it is nothing compared to their incendiary live shenanigans. 

One of the two problems with reviewing this is that it is only one track! The other is that the Potts brothers owe me money for the earlier compliment..... Surprisingly half way through it get melodic, which comes as a big shock. Whilst this is good, go and see them live and expect the unexpected. 

Right there you go people, the review is done I must be off as I need the bog (toilet for our American cousins).

Peace, love and Chickens.

7 out of 10 - It is good for once in a while

You can request cd's from here and find out more about them here

You can listen and download here

Clutch - Clutch

I have a confes
sion about this band - for many a moon I did not get them.  They just did not do anything for me, I found them confusing as it was still I really should be liking but they didn't click.  I had compilations made for me by friends, lent albums spent hours listening to them and it was like trying to run through treacle - I was getting nowhere.  Even my wife liked them more than me which made my mates chuckle and as for her hand in marriage if I ever pass on. Nice to see that they care. ;-)  However, I always felt there was something more to come from these guys.

Hailing form Germantown, Maryland and basically touring for many a moon this was their second release in 1995 and at that time they were on the rise. This is still the band's biggest success in the US of A and is a good place for a newbie to start.  Opening with "Big News I" & "Big News II" it put the stall out from the start. This is a band who are not compromising what they do, they love their big riffs, grooving and thought provoking lyrics. "Spacegrass" is quite possibly the finest track on this album, but then again it is all there for the choosing.

To some people there is not much in the way of changing  on this album, but then they are missing what the point of this band is.  The point of them is to be drifting and coming in and out of focus.  It is almost early blues-esque and if these guys had have came out before Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath they would have possible been the blueprint for a lit of music.  The fact that they are still underground is mostly to their benefit as when they were on a "major" label, the company did not get them correctly.

It is by no means a perfect record, but it is a great record. The guitar solo on "I Have The Body of John Wilkies Booth" is one of the finest I have heard, the vocals of Neil Fallon sound as if they were delivered from a monster, not a man.  The team work of Tim Sult, Dan Maines & Jean-Paul Gaster just hinges on the right side of chaos. Even now the most OTT moments like "Tight Like That" seem almost funky.

When I said I knew there was something more to come from these guys, I was eventually proven right.  But not by them changing or releasing an album that converted me.  It was me that changed and accepted them.  If you like your rock on the heavy blues side of stoner, this is a perfect record to be played at any time of the day.  May the amplifier worship begin. 

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

Jessie Ware - Devotion

Another request for this one - from the same person who asked for me to listen to Nicki Manj. So as you can expect I am preparing myself for a little bit of a fall here. This is the debut album from Jessie Ware, an singer from the UK who had previously had success with SBTRKT, Joker, Katy B and Sampha.  This has been given lots of praise and in the recent HMV Poll of Polls (a poll which complies all the "big" music magazines polls to give an overall winner of the year) this album came in 6th.  For a debut it is quite a feat, but is it any good?

Now unlike most other reviews on here I have listened to this one for a bit longer, because my first reaction was incredible positive.  Not the sort of positive that says "Oh I know your the Messiah, I should as I have followed a few", but was not expecting to have the reaction that come.  Sometimes it feels like there is no much going on, but it all sorts of loops into one.  The songs are of a similar tempo - on the slow and more for swaying then for moshing.  To coin a phrase, this is a very good come down album after a night partying.

Stand out tracks "Running" "Still Love Me" and "Swan Song" are well crafted piece of pop which remind me of when I thought Massive Attack were the best thing ever.  Not all of the album works for me though, the title track is a bit of a mess with too much going on for change compared to the rest of the album, "Sweet Talk" also suffers from the same thing - it is almost as if her quieter moments are where she flies higher and somehow the album feels just a little bit too long in places when with a little bit of editing magic, it would have almost perfect. 

As a debut it is well crafted, in places mesmerising and also trying to bite off more than it can chew.  Which is a good sign as it means that the artist has ambition, a drive and will hopefully this will make the second album when it drops amazing.  This is someone to watch, and whilst this is by no means the finished product it is a good sign post of what should be to come.

6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

Koop - Koop Islands

Until yesterday I had not heard of these guys, they had not even touched my radar, deep space probes or any other form of musical searching devices.  From Uppsala , Sweden - this is trio of very strange individuals have crafted together 3 albums (of which this is the third) and a best of compilation and have been in downtime since 2010.  Musically, it is very strange - but everything that comes out of Sweden is always interesting to say the very least.

Now, I like my crazy music - even though Mr Zappa's Civilisation Phaze III got the Batman symbol as it's scoring mark, it was a fantastic record for me.  Koop are on a different sort of crazy though.  Coming from the Nordic end of the world you would expect some of that to be in the music slightly.  No, on this album it is almost as if I had stepped into a Salsa club where the drink are free.  Honestly, it sort of has an almost Caribbean theme about it, especially on "I See A Different You", "The Moonbouce" & "Let's Elope". Opening track "Koop Island Blues" has featured on a few video games and TV shows apparently (again, totally missed that).

For this sort of music you either have to be a fan of the Salsa/Jazz combo to even get close to it.  If your not you will feel frustrated and like time is going backwards.  For me, I am in the later camp.  Upon hearing "Koop Island Blues" it made me want to hear the rest of their work - upon hearing the rest of their work I am not really sure what these guys were trying to do.  "Beyond The Son" with it's flow passing and made talking about a letter he is composing in response to a letter he has received - but the repetitive drum and bass in the background make me want to turn off the album so badly, I was almost relieved once it had finished till I realised there was more.

Whilst this is not a work I would want to return to, I cannot say it is without it's own pieces of praise.  It is well played for what it is worth and it did try to make this cold dark North East England room a little sunnier in December.  But it is not the sort of thing I would recommend to anyone who isn't a hipster.  Music for the posing generation - Yes Jim, but not as we know it.  Sometimes even crazy should be left off the radar.

1.5 out of 10 - You really are touching the bottom of the barrel

You can purchase here

You can listen to on Spotify here

19 December 2012

Grinderman - Grinderman 2

I know, I know - I really should learn to review these albums in some sort of order. Never really been my style, so please forgive me this self-indulgence. Formed in London, this is the side project of Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunous & Martyn P. Casey who are all members of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.  The first album was made for songs that no longer fitted the sound of their main band.  After the success of the first album, they came back with this album.

Now when looking at a Grinderman album it is very hard not to compare it to the "Day Job" so to speak.  Whilst it is certainly more feral than latter day NC&BS albums it is not that far removed from some of Mr Cave's early work.  One of my friends made the bold claim upon first hearing this album (and the first one as well) "Never has a mid-life crisis sounded so good.  I'm actually hard pushed to disagree with that statement to be honest. It is a revisit to someones angry youth in someway, but with the added joy of hindsight.

Opening with the busting at the seems "Mickey Mouse & The Goodbye Man" and "Worm Tamer" it would seem as if the album is going to follow the end of the original album and be even more angry.  It was as if Mr Cave threw his type writer out of the window shouting "Fuck all these ballads, I want my guitar back!" and started to stomp, but then just like the original it shows that the beast also has a subtle side. Songs like "When My Baby Comes" and "What I Know" are stunning pieces of work with heart moving lyrics. Also the ending track "Bellringer Blues" sounds like it is being played at a tavern near the end of days.

The only real complaint I have about this is that it seems to be over too soon.  It is not the shortest album ever, at 41 minutes it is not the shortest album I have ever reviewed either.  It just seems to leave too early, but maybe that is the way it should be.  Leave the party wanting more before they turn on you.

For 9 tracks Grinderman show that they were a real band, not just a side show.  You may have noticed the word "were". At present they are on hold for a new NC&BS album which is coming next year.  Part of me is a little sad about that, as this album (and the first one) showed me that Cave & some of his merry men can be angry still, can also write a heart felt ballad and can be everything to all people.  If you like NC&BS, chances are you would have at least checked this album out.  If not, I compel you to listen/purchase the best mid-life crisis ever.  At least it's not a sports car and a wig, it is a man going down swinging before heading home.

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase from here

You can also listen to it on Spotify here

18 December 2012

Incoming message

Been megabusy today and will be tomorrow so will not have anything up for a few days. 50th post has already been suggested, thanks to those who made suggestions. Top albums of 2012 will be up shortly. Till I next put something up, hope you all have a good time.


Current listening materials -
Elton John - Breaking Hearts
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

The Jesus & Mary Chain - Upside Down
Sepultra - Roots
The Rye - Even As We Speak

17 December 2012

Top 200 songs that have rocked Castle A.T.T.I.W.L.T.M.O.W.O.S in 2012

Ok, so as I mentioned in an earlier blog I am going to put my favourite songs (on this blog) and albums that have rocked my world this year.  Now some of the more eagled eyed out there will note whilst going down this list that some of these songs (and albums on the other one) were not new releases in 2012.  Well, that is because they were not.  The main view I have here is that the song (or album) has to have been of relevance to this year, purchased or acquired by myself.  Next year when I do this I will also include albums I have blogged, but this year it is a little too late for that.  So, without any further interruption, here is the 200 tracks that have rocked this place:

200 - Frank Zappa - Scrutinizer Postiude
199 - Atom & His Package - 180LBS
198 - Scott Kelly - St. John The Gambler
197 - Get Up Kids - Suffrage City
196 - Deftones - Leathers
195 - Radiohead - Vegtables
194 - LFO - LFO
193 - Repeater - Orifice Origami
192 - Cancer Bats - Breathe Armageddon
191 - Soulwax - Children of The Revolution
190 - Paul Weller - Kling I Klang
189 - Ringo Deathstarr - Swirly
188 - Harvey Mason - Marching In The Street
187 - Millencolin - No Cigar
186 - Frank Turner - I Am Disappearing
185 - Kerbdog - Don't Even Try
184 - Attention - Whatever Gets Your Through
183 - The Hives - Hey Little World
182 - Campfire Girls - Make It
181 - Fink - Biscuts
180 - Melissa Auf der Maur - Taste You
179 - We Are Knuckle Dragger - Massive When Flaccid
178 - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
177 - Presidents of The USA - We Are Not Gonna Make It
176 - Rancid - Olympa, W.A.
175 - Death Grips - Artificial Death In The West
174 - The Allman Brothers - Whipping Post
173 - The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black
172 - Trent Reznor & Karen O - Immigrant Song
171 - High On Fire - Snakes of The Divine
170 - Cold Cave - Life Magazine
169 - Hole - For Once In Your Life
168 - Arson Anthem - Cops Shoot Coke
167 - Verse Chorus Verse - One Fine Day
166 - Backyard Babies - Ghost
165 - Waves on Canvas - Flowers of The Sun
164 - Sick of It All - Disco Sucks Fuck Everything
163 - Laxton Superb - The Sugar's Gone
162 - Rush - B2B
161 - Rossi Noise - Knives
160 - Velvet Acid Christ - Futile
159 - Deacon Blue - Chocolate Girl
158 - A - 6 O'Clock On A Tube Station
157 - The Black Keys - Mind Eraser
156 - Big Boys - Brickwall
155 - Soundgarden - Live To Rise
154 - The Smashing Pumpkins - Speed Kills (Live)
153 - The Stone Roses - Made of Stone
152 - Paul Weller - Dragon Fly
151 - 8Stop7 - Good Enough
150 - Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls - Stay Sacred, Stay Tuned
149 - Spector - Cherry Thunder
148 - Yeti Lane - Warning Sensation (Warm Digits Mix)
147 - Muse - Survival
146 - The Smashing Pumpkins - One Diamond, One Heart
145 - The Hives - Untutored Youth
144 - The Folk Implosion - Free To Go
143 - Therapy? - Stark Raving Sane
142 - The Wonderstuff - Blackberry Way
141 - Opeth - Slither
140 - Elbow - Fallen Angel
139 - Mogwai - Like Herod
138 - Dance Hall Crashers - Shelly
137 - Nightwish - Want My Tears Back
136 - The Wonderstuff - Far Far Away
135 - Manic Street Preachers - The Intense Humming
134 - The Wedding Present - Come Play With Me
133 - A Silent Film - One Wrong Door
132 - Beak> - Welcome To The Machine
131 - Godspeed You! Black Emperor! - Miadic
130 - Rush - Headlong Fight
129 - Carlton Melton - Where You're In
128 - Metallica - The Wait
127 - Social Distortion - Ring of Fire (Live)
126 - The Smashing Pumpkins - Quasar
125 - Manic Street Preachers - The Future Has Been Here 4eva
124 - The Hives - The Hives Introducted The Metric System
123 - Queen - In The Lap of The Gods (Revisited)
122 - Suede- The 2 of Us
121 - Medicine Hat - C'Mon Here
120 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Supernaturally
119 - Down - Witch Tripper
118 - Rush - Caravan
117 - Eels - Understated Salesman
116 - Revolting Cocks - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
115 - Elton John - Rotten Peaches
114 - Ghost - Stand By Him
113 - Far - Seasick
112 - New Order - Krafty
111 - Lost Prophets - Last Train Home
110 - Smash Mouth - All Star
109 - The Auters - Valet Parking
108 - onelinedrawing - Be Real
107 - ZZ Top - I've Gottsa Get Paid
106 - Coachwhips - Dancefloor, Bathroom
105 - Lana Del Ray - Summertime Sadness
104 - Dutch Uncles - The Ink
103 - Rival Schools - Where I'm From
102 - A-ha - Manhattan Skyline
101 - Therapy? - Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing
100 - Devin Townsend - Lucky Animals
 99 - Ginger - We Have Been Expecting You
 98 - We Are Scientist - Hoppipolla
 97 - onelinedrawing - Contraire
 96 - The Jesus Lizard - Skull of A German
 95 - Hey Hello - Lock For Rock (& Other Sporting Cliches)
 94 - Future of The Left - The Hope That House Built
 93 - Rival Schools - Small Does
 92 - Eels - Climbing Up To The Moon
 91 - 6 Organs of Admittance - Waswasa
 90 - Thomas Truax - One Piece At A Time
 89 - Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - From Above
 88 - Wodensthrone - Battle Lines
 87 - James Brown - Nighttrain
 86 - McLusky - Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues
 85 - Paul Simon - You Can Call Me All
 84 - Gotye - Bronte
 83 - Love - The Castle
 82 - Dire Straits - What It Is
 81 - Spitting Image - I've Never Met A Nice South African
 80 - Psy of The Dead - Brains
 79 - Lise & Gertrude - Bobby Brown (Se Upp For FuN)
 78 - RNDM - The Disappearing Ones
 77 - Far - Joining The Circus
 76 - Soundtrack of Our Lives - 20th Century Rip Off
 75 - Manic Street Preachers - It's Not Love (Just The End Of War)
 74 - Adele - Sky Fall
 73 - Beirut - Santa Fe
 72 - David Sylvan - Ride
 71 - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Wuthering Heights
 70 - Genesis - Dancing With The Moonlight Knight
 69 - We Are Augustines - Chapel  Song
 68 - Gotye - Somebody I Used To Know
 67 - Peter Sarstedt - Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)
 66 - Atom & His Package - I Am Down Right Amazed At What I Can Destroy With Just A Hammer
 65 - Less Than Jake - The Science of Selling Yourself Short
 64 - The Smashing Pumpkins - The Celestials
 63 - The Wedding Present - Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me)
 62 - Eric Church - Springsteen
 61 - Maybeshewill - Not For Want Of Trying
 60 - Pete Shelley - Homosapien
 59 - The Smiths - Paint A Vulgar Picture
 58 - Therapy? - Get Your Damn Hand of My Shoulder
 57 - Patti Smith - Until The End of The World
 56 - Nik Kershaw - The Riddle
 55 - Star Turn - Are You Affiliated (New Version)
 54 - Prince - Sign O' The Times
 53 - M83 - Midnight City
 52 - Zoey Deschanel - Hey Girl
 51 - Monsters of Folk - Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)
 50 - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - The Cooper Top
 49 - In Flames - World of Promises
 48 - Mercury Rev - Hercules (John Peel Session)
 47 - Porcupine Tree - Collapse The Light Into Earth
 46 - Gabrielle Alpin - The Power of Love
 45 - Ben Folds Five - Underground
 44 - Minators - Horseshoes
 43 - Ginger - Forget About It
 42 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Bring It On
 41 - Radical Face - Welcome Home
 40 - William Elliot Whitmore - Who Stole The Soul
 39 - Hey Hello - Black Valentine
 38 - Anthrax - Bare
 37 - Dance Hall Crashers - She's Trying
 36 - Frank Zappa - Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink
 35 - Tyr - Hold The Heathen Hammer High
 34 - Thin White Rope - Mother
 33 - Ginger - Lover, It'll All Work Out
 32 - The Lonely Island - Jack Sparrow
 31 - Ben Folds - Hiro Song
 30 - Kiss - Strutter
 29 - Dutch Uncles - Go Your Own Way
 28 - Korpiklaani - Bring Us Pints of Beer
 27 - Verve - Love Is Noise
 26 - Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks
 25 - Coldplay - Paradise
 24 - Dire Straits - On Every Street
 23 - Lykki Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone
 22 - The Killers - Runaways
 21 - Goat - Goatman
 20 - Public Enemy - Harder Than You Think
 19 - Calexico - Alone Again, Or
 18 - Erik Hassle - Hurtfull
 17 - Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
 16 - Gotye - Eyes Wide Open
 15 - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Yellow Submarine
 14 - Rossi Noise - Evil Inside
 13 - Ghost - Secular Haze
 12 - The Fall - Stephen's Song
 11 - Spector - Celestine
 10 - onelinedrawing - Always
  9 - Museum - The Law
  8 - Suzanne Vega - No Cheap Thrill
  7 - Jason Segel & Walter - Man or A Muppet
  6 - Frank Zappa - G - Spot Tornado (Yellow Shark Version)
  5 - Brian Jonestown Massacre - Panic In Babylon
  4 - Týr - Ride
  3 - The National - Trophy Wife
  2 - Blacklisters - Trickfuck
  1 - Ginger - Taste Aversion

So, there you have it.  Is there any there which fill you with disgust?  Is there any there that fill you with joy?  Is there any there which you have not got the faintest clue who they are what it sounds like.  Most of these will be on youtube somewhere.  As I hope you understand, I don't really have the time to link each one - but I know you will have fun finding them.  That is what they are meant for - finding,enjoying/hating and conversing about them. :-) PS - Yes, that is Coldplay - sue me. ;-)

16 December 2012

Ghost - Opus Eponymous

Sometimes a band comes out of nowhere with a concept so retro, so simple, so insane that it is just transcends into one of the most coolest things ever.  From Stockholm, Sweden - this band is formed by 6 people, the singer is called Papa Emeritus II, the remaining members are called The Nameless Ghouls.  They perform in dressed as monks with white masks on, Papa Emeritus II in a cardinal outfit and a skull mask.  Since first descending onto the world in 2010 they have been getting a mixture of praise and devotion with a sort of cult like following. Oh, and these guys like Satan.....a lot.....more than is healthy I feel.....ahem.....

To say this band is living in the past is a little bit of a mute point.  They do not so much live in the past, they embrace it, call it their own and have dragged it to the here and now.  With hints of Blue Oyster Cult, Mercyful Fate and others they tear the book on what rock should be a new arsehole.  Songs like "Stand By Him", "Con Clavi Con Dio" and "Prime Mover" just seem so powerful and hypnotic it is easy to see how these guys have drawn such acclaim from around the world.  Actually, not one of these tracks is bad - a little heavy on the Satan bashing to the point of almost being akin to a North American preacher with his own TV show, but I'm guessing that is the point.

In just under 35 minutes and nine tracks they show the world their take on behalf of the brotherhood of the fallen one, and sometimes it is a little but hammy.  But that is part of the charm, it is like the 70's horror films which were so simple that they became universally popular.  It helps that the music is amazing played out, because otherwise this would not have gotten anywhere. 

It is a stomp of an album, it will not be for everyone's taste and I don't think this band would have it any other way.  It is slice of the 70's for now, the hammer horror soundtrack that never was, the looking behind the curtain to a world that will make some feel uncomfortable.  I don't know if they will be able to carry the Nameless Ghouls thing on forever, but that is not a point to think about on this album.  Is it cool or not is not for me to say, I left that crowd many a moon ago.  But it is one of the most intriguing things I have heard for a long time.  For the prog and doom lovers out there.  This is for you......

8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

15 December 2012

Weather Report - Sweetnighter

A suggestion from the same guy that came up with the idea of me listening to Civilization Phaze III - sometimes I make rods for my own back.  For the people that do not know, Weather Report were a jazz fusion band that lasted from 1970 till 1986. This was their fourth album and was recorded within 5 days. That's how bands did it back then, none of this 4 years of recording and looking for the right notes, they would just put it down then tour for many moons.

Unlike the other album suggested by the same fellow, this is not as hard to listen to.  There is a sort of rhythm and time to it which makes it slightly easier on the ear. At 6 tracks and just shy of 45 minutes it is also not most longest of the Weather Report albums.  It is produced to a sound that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a 70's cop show.  Half the time that I was listening to it I was expecting some cops to drive up the back lane I can see from my window and knock over a pile of cardboard boxes which would just happen to be there.

Musically though this does not do much for me, having heard other of their stuff - including what the guy who suggested this calls the happiest song in the world "Birdland" - I feel that this is not an album I would go out of my way to hunt down again.  None of the songs are poor, far from it - they have a nice vibe once they get going.  But it is always once they get going and sometimes even then it is not enough.  This album is the equivalent of Sunday afternoon telly.  Easy to behold but you cannot for the life of you remember what you just witnessed.

So not one for setting the world alight or for a night out.  If you do not want to offend people with something that is too intrusive, this is your album - but you will have trouble remembering the title or if it was any cop.

3.5 out of ten - Not for everyone but played well

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

Nutmeg - The Trigger

For what is going to become a weekly thing I used spotify to find something I have not heard before by hitting randomly from one band to another 6 times.  This week I have stumbled across Nutmeg who come from Örnsköldsvik in Sweden.  Punk bands from the Nordic states always have something of an different vibe and feel about them.

Musically this has a lot in common with Refused, Dog Fashion Disco, Mr Bungle and even some funk bands.  Each song on here is short and to the point, not time for hanging around as they have another idea that has to come out and be played right now, right this second - because if they do not they will forget about it! It like a dog who is after your attention, they just keep on coming for more and more attention from you.

In just under 30 minutes I think there was a different style on each song with a mad man shouting over it all.  Not one song keeps the same - stand out tracks "Hollywood", "Oxygen", "Birthday" and "Mexico" are all a blast.  The thing about it, it goes a little too fast.  The band could have made the songs a little longer and it would not have hurt.  A few numbers, "Christmas Song" especially just seem to be there to try to lengthen the album a bit.  The whole album starts off so brightly, and ends nicely as well, but it is a little too hit and miss in the middle to be anything other than fun, but I feel as if there is a little more to this band than on show here.

The band do have another release which you can also hear on their bandcamp page which I have linked below, it might show some progression.  I reckon this is a band to see live and the album is for the memories of that night when you jumped around with a Mexican wrestling mask on with your friends.  A fun little album, but not quite enough for me.

6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

You can purchase from here

Or you could purchase from the band's Bandcamp page here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

Mastodon - Blood Mountain

When a band drops something that was part of their original identity, does that make them any less relevant?  This is a question I come to with this, the 3rd album from Mastodon who are originally from Atlanta, Georgia.  For their first two albums and earlier EP the vocals were more shouty and growling.  For this they started to actually sing and also made the prog element a little bit more central to the metal - but .

Musically this was a sonic shift in gears from Remission and Leviathan - this was the third album of their element series (Remission being Fire, Leviathan being Water, this being Earth and Crack The Skye being Air) it just seemed to get all the ideas correct.  Guest appearances from Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Josh Homme (Kyuss/Queens of The Stone Age), Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta/At The Drive In) & Isiah "Ikey" Owens (The Mars Volta) gave this a sort of different vibe, but not to the distraction of the album it's self.

Tracks like "Crystal Skull", "Sleeping Giants", "Hunters of The Sky" and the epic 22 minute long "Pendulous Skin" give this album more dimensions that the previous efforts (or the next album if the truth be told) and made this a monumental release.  Sounding as relevant now as it did back in 2006 it shows that you can actually be more than one thing to different (or the same) people.  They are a metal band, and a prog band and a sludge band. Changing the vocals did not change the band at all on this release, it made them stronger and because of that it made them into something more than what they were before. It moved them up a peg in the running order of things and even if the next release was not what I expected (will be looking at that again soon to see if I still feel the same about it), it made them a band to watch even more closer.

If you are new to Mastodon I would recommend starting with Remission and working towards this album, it is the best way to do it.  If you already have this, put it on again and enjoy the sound of a band with a purpose and a goal.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

Jurassic 5 - Jurassic 5

A name I have heard many many times, but until today had not even listened to.  Released in 1998, this is basically the bands first ep with some extra tracks.  This 6 piece released released four albums in total till 2007 when they split up after with the usual artist disagreement line.

As far as rap goes, it is is very much of it's time.  Now this is not saying that it is dated, it is just got that 90's vibe which is no longer around in the releases of today.  I do miss that feel so this is already a comfortable release for me.  Also, whilst they are obviously bragging as rappers do, they are not going along the "muthafuckingbitchhoesugargunclickclicksuckmydick" way of things.  There is more cunning clever lyrical rhyming going on here.  "Action Satisfaction" has some of the best beats and lyrics I have heard for a long time - pity it was released so many years ago and I have not heard it properly. Also "Lesson 6:The Lecture" is a beautiful assemble of many tunes and samples.  If you want to be a DJ, listen to this and try to figure out what is going on. It is brilliant, and the stand out track "Without A Doubt" could easily have some of the new king of rap wishing they had came out with that template.

For once I cannot think of anything to badly say about this, just over 35 minutes it is of a perfect length.  If this album was released today it would probably have vanished without a trace, thankfully it was an album that came out at the right time.  So it seems a little tame compared to other rap, it does not make it any less brutal.  If you want to see how it used to be done, you could not do much better than checking these guys out.  Sometime I wish I had gotten into bands sooner, this is another one of those cases....

7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

Def Con One - Warface

For me, these guys have been around for years - since 1998 to be exact - and this album is their official debut album.  They have been on the live circuit for many moons, but with other band commitments they just never released much.  With the title and cover art, you are left with little doubt that you are about to be listening to some seriously heavy metal - come on, not as if it is going to be an album of heart felt ballads and song about a lovely horse, is it.....

Now I am in a little bit of a weird place here - I do know a few members of the band, at least in passing.  So the thing I have to do here is be fair, and also not blow smoke up their arses if they do not deserve it.  Well, no really pressure there then. ;-)

Firstly I will go for the production - they have got this spot on, very crisp and of a high quality.  No one instrument has total control of the whole album.  Each player gets their own time to shine.  Whilst they are not reinventing the wheel here, they are playing some brutal metal on this album.  When you listen to the album, you can hear their influences very clearly.  Yet is this a band thing?  Sometimes band work because they sound like 'X' band.  These guys do that and have their own stamp on it as well. A very hard balancing act to do.

For me the stand out tracks are the stomping "Blood", the slow groove on "Hit List" is a medium paced burning of a track which a killer hook, "Hold On" is also another grower as is the title track of the album, but for me the gem here is "In Death".  There is moments which don't work as well for me, such as "Feeling Cold" but that is just me, when it comes to metal like this I like to to be heavy all the way through.  So what is my overall impression.

Overall I like this, I like it a lot.  Some of these songs have been going for a long while and it is a very strong debut album.  I hoping that this takes them onto bigger things, which has been happening with their various appearance in metal festivals up and down the country.  They (and the rest of us) will have to wait and see how the cards fall and other such things.  For me though, once this festive season is over I reckon I will be purchasing Warface.   So hopefully not too much smoke - might have to give all reviewing of albums from people I know to guest bloggers, this is too stressful. ;-)

7.5 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

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