7 July 2017

2017 Album Review Round Up Part 9

Welcome to a round up review!  It is the last of many (9 in total to date, will be doing something like this later in the year) I have 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.

New Found Glory – Makes Me Sick

One of the elder statesmen of Pop Punk are back with their ninth album, but there is very little that has changed from any of their albums if we are honest.  They have the same tunes in the same places, the same beats and it is all very similar – but I could not give a shit.  Yeah, it is not ground breaking and I have been down on other bands for doing similar.  But the difference is that New Found Glory are good at what they do, they are the AC/DC of Pop Punk.  If it ain’t broke, do not try to fix it.

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

Top track – Party on Apocalypse

Pulvis Et Umbra – Atmosfear

Pulvis Et Umbra are a band we have reviewed before, I really feel bad about this one being in here, but needs must.  ‘Atmosfear’ is the sound of one man raging against the world, creating a dark mirror for humanity to gaze into and see the beast that stares back at them.  It is a black metal experience with hints of death metal and a great production job, not the sort of thing I would listen to everyday, but still a well performed album with some great songs.

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

Top track – Atmosfear

Splashh – Waiting a Lifetime

Mixing dreampop, psychedelic indie and fuzzy, warm guitar tones, ‘Waiting a Lifetime’ is a strange album upon the first listen.  To be honest, it is a strange album after many repeats.  It is a decent album with some really good moments such as ‘Looking Down to Turn Away’ and ‘Come Back’, but there are too many missed opportunities on this album, where tracks sort of fizzle out into nothing.

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

Top track – Come Back

Paul Weller – A Kind Revolution

For a man who has made a career out of changing from record to record, his later career has resembled a parade of records that all have a similar feeling.  Paul Weller has been there, done it and now he is making the music he wants that is mixing Northern Soul and Rock, but there is little here which will excite anyone outside the faithful.  A decent record, but hardly essential in the same breath.

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

Top track – Nova

!!! (CHK, CHK, CHK) – Shake the Shudder

Indie Electronica legends !!! (pronounced CHK, CHK, CHK) have been going since 1995 and are based all across the USA, they have been releasing acclaimed album that have set the dancefloors on fire.  ‘Shake the Shudder’ is an average album, as if it has been created by people who have parted so hard and taking some many uppers that they have reached the part where the body is tired, but the soul still wants to party.  It has energy, but it does not feel natural, there is no fluidity in their motion on this album and it just seems as if the party is drifting away from them. 

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

Top track – Dancing is the Best Revenge

John Garcia – The Coyote Who Spoke to Tongues

The voice of Vista Chino, Slo Burn and of course, Kyuss has come back with an acoustic based stoner album, one which has energy within its heart and a gentle feeling in places as well.  It shows that not all stoner needs to have a million amplifiers with their volume turned up to full.  It is a tad long, but that is a personal thing and it does not take anything away from the quality of the songs.  It is a great record, one that keeps on giving and reminds you (as if you needed it) of how good John Garcia can be.

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

Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Revival

Yet another synth/electronica band on this list, based in Brisbane, Australia, Vancouver Sleep Clinic is the pseudo name of Tim Bettinson, an Ambient singer & producer.  This is the debut album under the Vancouver Sleep Clinic name after eight singles and one EP, it is a moody little blighter that feels like a party where everyone is on a downer.  But it is an interesting album, the moody demeanour is a perfect antidote to the need for bright and bash pop that is the current vogue of the airwaves, you need the dark so the light can shine.  It is an enjoyable debut album, just approach with care and with the need for some reflection.

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

Top track – Empire

Can’t Swim – Fail You Again

It is sort of a relief to listen to a heavy, emotional punk album that does not have a synth involved and it is just a loud, cathartic release.  Sometimes you just need music that acts as a catalyst to that emotional escape, sometimes it needs to be loud and shouty and this is a good example of how to do it right.  With a sense of danger and a little bit of emotional upheaval, the band have created a solid debut that gets better with each listen.

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

Top track – One Shot

Gorillaz – Humanz

I always seem to be going against the tide with Gorillaz, they have always left me a little cold in places and whilst they have always been able to release one tune that is a world beater, their albums have always been hit and miss.  ‘Humanz’ does not reverse this trend, if anything it accentuates the issue and shows that whilst you can have all the guests in the world, it does not mean everything will come together.  Also, Gorillaz is a multi-media project, it means that when you are listening to the album that you are only getting a small part of the project.  It is a bit too long, a bit too flat and it also feel censored for some reason as well, no idea where I am getting that feeling and it still leaves me cold.

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

Top track – Momentz (Featuring De La Soul)

T.S.O.L. – The Trigger Complex

T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) are a legendary band in some circles, a name which is treat with reverence, awe and respect.  If I was to list all their achievements, this would be a full blog and a long one at that, ‘The Trigger Complex’ is a mixture of hardcore punk with a hint of goth, a slice of emotional punk (not emo, they are different styles) and a no-nonsense style that has always made T.S.O.L. a great band.  There is a retro feeling here, it is not looking at what is popular and trying to replicate it.  I like that, they are following their own path and long may they continue.

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

Top track – Sometimes

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