2 July 2017

2017 Album Review Round Up Part 6

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.

Dirt Box Disco – Poppycock

Snot nosed punk with a pocket full of tunes that will make teenage boys laugh and other people sigh as it is childish humour (with a dirty mind).  Musically, it is a cross between the Backyard Babies, Wildhearts, Hannon Rocks and The Damned.  Lyrically, it is a bit of an emotional dead end (as if you would care) and I have a feeling that is the way they want it.  Take it with a pinch of salt, expect a shit storm of abuse if you say you don’t like it.  But if you get it, it will be like the first times you got drunk and everything was a laugh.  No-nonsense, partying hard punk & roll, does exactly what it says on the tin.

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

Top track – Punk Rock Riot

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN!

The true follow up to ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ arrived with a bang back in April 2017, featuring appearance from Rhianna, Bono from U2 and many more.  Kendrick Lamar once again proves why he is one of the most important artists in the world currently, dropping an album that is both a commercial and artist success.  It is another great hip-hop record, one that stands out from a lot of the current crowd.  But it is living in the shadow of ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, which is hardly surprising if we are honest.  It is a great record, playing it loud and let the bass rise with Kendrick supplying that stream of conciseness that is the hallmark of each of his records.

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

Top track – Humble

BNQT – Volume 1

BNQT is an indie rock supergroup, led by Eric Pulido of Midlake, is a collaboration between members of Midlake and Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Fran Healy (Travis), and Jason Lytle (Grandaddy).  It seems to be an escape for Midlake after they lost their original vocalist, Tim Smith.  There is a feeling on this record of fear, one which is on the run from the responsibilities of their day job, as if the fear of Midlake has stopped them from going back to that particular well.  Obviously, have so many different vocal styles makes it a patchwork album, one that does not gain any really consistency and it harms the album in a lot of ways.  I think that Alex Kapranos gives the best performance on the album, whilst other range from average and just flat out disappointing.  This album has the feeling of people trying to find their feet again and looking for a new adventure, it is well played and sounds good on a sunny day.  But overall, it has a shadow at its heart and one that they cannot escape from.

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

Top track – Hey Banana

Tim Darcy – Saturday Night

This is the debut solo album from the singer of Post-Punk outfit Ought, an act who I am sadly not familiar with.  I cannot remember what drew me to this, but the final result is that I have found a strange hybrid record.  There is a punk spirit to the music, there is an Americana streak at the centre of it sound and there is a bucket load of passion running through every beat of this album.  It is a strong record, one which showcases Tim Darcy as a new troubadour and someone I will be following with interest.  I also need to check out Ought at the same time as well.

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

Top track – You felt comfort

The Maine – Lovely Little Lonely

A pop punk band where the pop is more important than the punk, which is a fine thing when it is done right.  The Maine has some incredibly catchy tunes on here, they remind me of Set It Off from last year with their positive sound and upbeat percussions which act as a contrast to the lyrics which deal with broken relationships and the dark moments of people in their early twenties.  It is a good record, it does exactly what it says on the tin and the Maine are good at what they do.

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

Top track – Bad Behaviour

Suicide Silence – Suicide Silence

If you are naming an album after yourself, you want to make sure it is a special one.  I have never really been into Deathcore (Death metal mixed with Metalcore – to be honest, not much different to standard metalcore) and this album does not change that opinion.  The band have added an old school nu-metal tone to the record, one which has gone down incredibly badly with their audience and I am in agreement with them. Basically, it is a poor record which has some heavy moments, yet it has a tone that does nothing for anyone.  I can see why they tired to mix these two styles, but they might as well tried to mix oil and water.  It is just a poor modern metal record, nothing more and nothing less.

3 out of ten – It could have been better.

Top track –  Doris

Flobots – Noenemies

There is something reassuring that Flobots are still making social commentary, it means that some people are still watching and keeping a record of social inadequacies and taking people to task.  They are still making music that may not be for the masses, but that is not their purpose.  They are there to hold a mirror to society and show what is happening, warts and all.  It is a great record, one that gets better with each listen.

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

Top track – Blood in The River

Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life

This two piece folk/punk outfit have been wooing the world, featured in mainstream magazines such as Rolling Stones and generally getting praise from all corners of the global.  I can say with my hand on my heart, it has been rightly deserved and more power to the Japandroids.  They have an attitude which I can only compare to the likes of Frank Turner, it is punk at heart, free in spirit and they sound brilliant. This album feels like it has already travelled the world, it is ready for the next journey and it will keep on going to the next place it will call home.  It is a fantastic record, one which you will need to hear and play loud.

9 out of ten – Almost perfect, almost…...

Top track – North East South West

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

An artist I am asked a lot about, but who I really (until this moment) have not had an opinion on.  He sounds like a true troubadour in the style of early Elton John, Tom Petty and Ben Folds, his sound has folk elements and a shed load of style, sarcasm and attitude.  It is a grower as well, when I first starting to listen to this album, it started off as a 5 out of ten.  In the last month, that mark has rose to the mark below and I can see it getting higher if I am honest.  But as much as the man is mystery to me, thankfully his music is not and it is a gift that keeps on giving.

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

Top track – Total Entertainment Forever

Sam Patch – Yeah You, and I

From the mind of Tim Kingsbury of Arcade Fire, ‘Yeah You, and I’ is a quirky little indie album that does not fall too far from his main band, but has enough about it to give it a distinct electronica flavour and indie sound.  It is a decent record, better than your average release and will find its niche audience.  Sadly, I am not part of that audience, but I have heard a hell of a lot worse as well.

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

Top track – 100 Decibels

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