1 July 2017

2017 Album Review Round Up Part 3

Welcome to a round up review!  It is the first of many I will be releasing over the next few weeks, think of them like the bullet point reviews you get in magazines, short and to the point.  I did one of these last year before Christmas, mainly due to the volume of albums that were still left to review at that time of year and this is happening for similar reasons.  There are many reasons for this, the biggest reason of all is time.  Basically, there is only so much time a one man team has available to do the details blogs that I usually post on here.  So, the list of albums that I want to review, promised to review, need to review has grown.  At the moment, it is hitting north of 100 with ease and I need to get that down as there are some other releases that are coming and they need my attention as well.  Now, I will be breaking these round ups down into batches of ten, they will be minus the normal link to purchase of stream the albums (due to space) but you will be able to find these online very easily (legal links, remember - this is not that type of blog).  I will be using the same introduction to each of these blog, if only to save more time.  Thanks for reading - Eddie.

Aimee Mann – Mental Illness

It has been five years since the last release from the deep voiced siren of Richmond Virginia, which can be a lifetime in some circles.  Upon my first listen of ‘Mental Illness’, I was disappointed to be honest as it was not even subtle in its deliver for me.  So, I put this record to the side and after giving it time to sink in, it has turned out to be the right choice for this album.  It is a superb record full of deep pools of depression, heart break and that fantastic voice that has aged so gracefully.  So, dear Aimee - Please do not leave it so long next time…...

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

Top track – You Never Loved Me

Miss May I – Shadows Inside

Miss May I deal in metalcore, loud guitars, screaming verses and clear chorus section, all without messing with the metalcore formula, making a decent noise.  But they also do this without bringing anything new to the table either, which means that for an outsider to the genre it will sound like every other release and to the faithful it will be lapped up with vigour and love.  It is not my cup of mead, but I have heard a hell of a lot worse.

5 out of ten – Not for everyone, but played well

Top track – Casualties

The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody

They have returned, as crazy as ever and as outlandish as you would expect.  But this time they have created an electronica moment to add to their bizarre backdrop and it sounds as mad as you would expect.  However, it is not an easy listen by any stretch of the imagination, in fact at times I have had to step away from it.  At other times, I have got into the sound and it has been superb, it is a marmatite record and one which deserves this mark.

Box of kittens
– This cannot be marked, so here is a photo of a box of kittens

Top track – There Should Be Unicorns

Soulwax – From Deewee

Soulwax have come a long way from their original roots, which is in no small part to their alternative career as 2manydjs.  This has had an influence on Soulwax who went from clever alternative rock to machine-esque dance outfit, it is the music that has given them a career and longevity, so it is easy to see why they picked it.  From Deedee’ is a good album, but it is not a classic album. There is too much filler on the record for my liking and it is not an album to listen to outside of its natural environment.  Basically, it is an album that works best in the dark, in club where the bass is loud and the people are dancing.  Even then, it might be a hard on to love.

5 out of ten – Not for everyone, but played well

Top track – Missing Wires

At the Drive-in – In.ter.a.li.a

When a band returns, sometimes you dread the album that comes with that reunion.  Thankfully, At the Drive-In avoid the chasm of self-fulfilment and release an angry and brutal comeback.  It is as if they never stopped in the first place.  It is not the most essential album that they have released, but that is not the point here.  It is just a good record, they sound like they still have a lot to offer and that is more than some bands achieve during the first part of their career, let alone their second. 

7 out of ten
– This is good and worth checking out

Top track – Incurably Innocent

November’s Doom – Hamartia

November’s Doom are a band when the name suits the band 100%, you could not get a better description for them than November’s Doom either.  Everything is heavy on this album, not one ounce of light in the whole album and no wasted motion either.  Their own brand of doom laden metal is so loud, so heavy that it should come with a health warning.  If you like your music to sound like Paradise Lost, early Anathema, My Dying Bride and Pallbearer, this is the next band for you.

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

Top track – Plague Bird

Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea

You know exactly what you are going to get with an Alestorm album, it is a metal album about pirates and it is done with craftsman precision.  There is nothing different on here to their other albums, but it is the same as Viking metal/Folk metal and all other niche genres – you are not in it for the originality, you just want songs that sound familiar and fun.  And boy is fun, oh my deity is it fun, but do not expect anything ground breaking either.  So, take this mark with a pinch of salt (and a large rum) and show the colours!

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

Top track – To the End of the World

You Me At Six – Night People

Formed in 2004, You Me At Six have been riding a wave of good fortune if the truth be told.  Each of the studio albums have hit no lower than number 25 in the UK charts, ‘Cavalier Youth’ reached number one and ‘Night People’ hit number 3!  So, they are obviously doing something that hits the sweet spot for a lot of people, but I have not really paid attention till this album.  Musically, it is a post-grunge/punk effort with some decent tunes, a feeling that they are the current rock crowd equivalent to Feeder and a lot of energy added to the mix.  It is a solid album which does enough to keep your interest, but nothing more than that.

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out

Top track – I Swear

Mark Lanegan – Gargoyle

It feels like we have been here before with Mark Lanegan, there is such a familiar feeling with ‘Gargoyle’ that I had to check that it had not been released beforehand.  The man has a brilliant voice, that is beyond reproach and anyone that says otherwise is wrong.  But I have not been able to get into this album in the same way I have with other releases, there just seems to be something missing to make it the magical experience that you usually get with a Mark Lanegan release.  Not bad, but not great either.

6 out of ten – Now I see where you were going, but it is not quite there

Top track - Beehive

Pile – A Hairshirt of Purpose

Pile’s last album ‘You’re Better Than This’ is a journey into noise and DIY attitude punk, an unbridled album that does not give two fucks about what anyone things and is heading in a direction to fuck knows where.  ‘A Hairshirt of Purpose’ continues that journey, but they have changed direction with a reduction in noise and an increase in the strange interludes that give the mix a crazy, harsh and bizarre feeling.  It is a fantastic record – approach with care.

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

Top track – Leaning on a Wheel

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