18 November 2017

2017 Round Up Review Part 12

Welcome to a round up review!  Similar to the Round-Up posts I put up earlier in the year, I’m going to be posting some bullet point reviews, sort of akin to the one's that you get in magazines, short and to the point.  I complete my first one of these reviews around last Christmas, mainly due to the volume of albums that were still left to review at that time of year, the lack of time to review them all and this is happening for similar reasons. Basically, there is only so much time available to a one-man team, I cannot complete the full detailed blog that I usually post on here, as I need to work to feed myself, look after my lady and generally keep a roof over my head.  So, the list of albums that I want to review, promised to review, need to review has grown beyond my control.  At any given moment, it tends to hit north of 100 with ease and going forward, I will need to get that down with these sorts of blogs.  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.

Prong – Zero Days

Prong seem to be on a resurgence these days, coming back each year with a top draw album.  Zero Days keeps up that fine vein of form with riffs that sounds like battle cries, bass that could bring down any door and a drumming performance that is best described as manic.  It is a great metal album, nothing more and nothing less.

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

Top track – Zero Days

Powerflo – Powerflo

If you like groove and rap metal, Powerflo might be one of your best albums of the last ten years.  This sounds like the band found a copy of the Judgement Night OST, and they are using this as a template for their sound.  For what it’s, they sound alright, but for me it is a sound that has been going for so many year, and this doesn’t bring anything new to the scene.

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

Top track – Resistance

Saint Etienne – Home Counties

Home Counties is a poor record, it’s a reminder of the fate which comes to all people, that youth will one day be replaced by the desire to find danger in other ways.  So, are there any positives at the end of it all?  To be honest, not really and I take no pleasure in writing those words. Home Counties is not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, that right is still reserved for the latest Liam Gallagher album.

2 out of ten – If only there was some quality control.

Top track – Out of my Mind

Lonely Robot – The Big Dream

Lonely Robot released one of my former colleague’s favourite albums back in 2015, with their first record Please Come Home.  Out of my Mind continues in a similar manner to its predecessor, it is a slice of modern progressive rock with all the thrills and spills of the genre.  It is a good record, but for me it feels a tad restrictive in places.  There is more to come from this act, but as of right now, it feels as if they need to let go of something, as if they are holding back.  Maybe that is what the cover is hinting at, only time will tell.

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

Top track – Symbolic 

Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage

Some supergroups have a weight of expectation laid upon them which is impossible to meet, I think that’s what has happened with Prophets of Rage on their self-titled debut.  You have members of bands which have defined both rock & rap coming together, their collective fan bases are obviously gonna be expect something amazing.  Prophets of Rage could be perceived as a victim of the previous success of the band members previous projects, you might be expecting too much from it.  However, the issue with this one is that it is average, middle of the road Alternative Rock that is locked in a time warp.  The messages are on spot, the delivery is not.

4 out of ten – Well, it's alright, but still....

Top track – Hail to the Chief

Jessie Ware – Glasshouse

We find Jessie Ware in a new place with Glasshouse, a change in her family situation have given her a new perspective on life.  This is a mature third album from Ms. Ware, it feels as if the personal touch has been added to the record here and it is rather good.  This is a surprise as it has more producers and songwriters than in the average army unit.  For me, Jessie Ware has released a great pop record here, I think family life suits her, she has also bucked the trend of bad multi-producer albums! 

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

Top track – Selfish Love

Hanging Garden – I Am Becoming

Helsinki natives Hanging Garden specialise in doom laden metal, with massive riffs, OTT vocals and growls to scare the dead back to life.  There is nothing subtle about I Am Becoming, they have gone for broken with songs like “Our Dark Design” and “From Iron Shores”.  For me, it is a decent, if not spectacular doom record which have some good moments.  Sadly, it is forgettable as well, which is not what you want from a doom album.

4 out of ten – Well, it's alright, but still...

Top track – From Iron Shores

Dead Cross – Dead Cross

In the space of ten songs, which include a bizarre cover version of the Bauhaus classic “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, Dead Cross have created a unique record, where each song is an intense rollercoaster ride which does not let up from beginning to end.  When you play Dead Cross, you play it to as a primal release that you experience with it.  Once you start with “Seizure and Desist”, it is probably best to power all the way to “Church of the Motherfucker”.  This is not to get it all over with, just because it is an album that works perfectly as a whole and not as a load of individual tracks.  Dead Cross is not the sound of a “Supergroup” – it is the sound of lunacy made flesh.  I adore it for all the right reasons and it makes me so happy when it is on, this probably tells you more about my state of mind than I care to admit.

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

Top Track – Divine Faith

Gary Numan – Savages (Songs from a Broken World)

The older Gary Numan gets, the more relevant he becomes to modern industrial music.  For instance, the Horror’s most recent album is basically a Numan album in disguise (this is a compliment by the way).  But Mr Numan cannot be accused of resting on his laurels, if anything in recent years he has released his most amazing work.  A lot of people might go back to his early 80’s work, but it seems as if his eyes are still looking towards the horizon.  On Savages (Songs from a Broken World), the ground work which was started on Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) is explored in further detail, with the theme of global disaster and emotional ruin being considered.  I love “My Name is Ruin” and “What God Intended”, but I really could have named any of the tracks from this album.  Long may this rich vein of form continue for Mr. Numan!

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

Top track – My Name is Ruin

Anna of the North – Lovers

Lovers is the debut album from Norwegian Dream-pop act, Anna of the North (aka Anna Lotterud), it has been a long time coming as the first single from this album in 2016.  I have heard a lot of people raving about this, and I cannot say it’s a poor album.  However, it is not the second coming of Miike Snow in female form, it is a simple and well-crafted Dream-pop album.  However, as nice as the songs sound when they are on, I struggle to remember much about them afterwards.  For a pop album, that is worrying.  The exception to the rule is “Someone”, that song is a fantastic pop number.

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

Top track – Someone

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