26 November 2017

2017 Round Up Review Part 14

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 ones 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 or 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 blogs, if only to save more time.  Thanks for reading - Eddie.

Pvris – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

I wish I could make up my mind on Purvis, they just don’t sit right in my mind.  Musically, this is classed as Pop Punk, but I personally think the punk needs to be removed from All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell.  This is a heavy pop album, with some good tunes in the mix, but it’s not doing anything that I have not heard before, it is incredibly middle of the road and it's not life-changing for me.  It’s not bad, just not the sort of thing what I am into.

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

Top track – What’s Wrong

Stereophonics – Scream Above the Sounds

Scream Above the Sounds is the tenth album from the Welsh rock outfit, this album has been produced by the band themselves and there is very little on here that is appealing to me.  It’s the sound of a band going through the motions to tour, created just for this tour and then it will probably be resigned to the memory of their core fans.  If ever there was an album that screamed “old man rock”, this is it and not in a good way.

1 out of ten - You're really touching the bottom of the barrel with this one

Top track – Caught by the Wind

Diablo Blvd. – Zero Hour

I found Diablo Blvd. when I was looking for music for my radio show, Attention Please on NE1FM and I was pleasantly surprised by Zero Hour.  It’s a great metal album, with a little Euro-twist to the sound with a lot of clean vocals where sometimes you would expect screams.  “Sing from the Gallows” is a favourite of mine from this album. There is a traditional vein of Metal deeply embedded on this record, but one that isn’t afraid to add new flavours to their sound.

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

Top track – Sing from the Gallows

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers

If you don’t know by now what you are going to get from a GY!BE album, then you are far behind the program.  Instead of the usual four songs, the album is split into eight tracks, two single songs and the record are two suites.  To be honest, though, you need to listen to them all in one go.  This isn’t the easiest of records I have heard from GY!BE, but if they ever released an easy album I would probably cry.  But there is also a lack of focus compared to their last material, but even a vague GY!BE album is a good record.

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

Top track – Fam/Famine

Movements – Feel Something

Emotional punk outfit Movements feel like a band that would have been given a lot of grief a few years back when Emo started to hit a decline, which is a shame as they have that right balance of raw emotional lyrics and good, old-fashioned Post-Hardcore Punk to make a sound that gives Emo a new perspective.  Sounds like “Daylily” and “Colorblind” are examples of Movements at their best, but this will be for the purists only.

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

Top track – Dayily

HAIM – Something to tell You

I do love a good pop album, I love it when pop music is done correctly.  Sadly though, Something to Tell You isn’t a good pop album, it’s not even an average one, it's an awful one.  Where once there was a promise of some decent pop, some glorious harmonies, there’s mediocrity.  It’s such a shame to be honest, as their vocals are still spot on, if not somewhat synthesized.  Fill under, abandon ship.

1 out of ten –
You're really touching the bottom of the barrel with this one

Top track – Want You Back

GWAR – The Blood of Gods

If you’ve ever heard the legendary GWAR before, you really don’t need to read any further.  The Blood of Gods is a fun metal album, one which keeps things incredibly silly and OTT - exactly what you want from a GWAR record!  This isn’t a long review, but it doesn’t need to be.  I love it for its theatricality, I love the crazy nature of the music, but I have no illusions about this record.  It is fun, flat out fun!

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

Top track – Crushed by the Cross

Foo Fighters – Concrete & Gold

You know what, I like the Foo Fighters, I think it’s the closest I get to an Achilles heel in my musical collection.  Sure, they have released some turkeys and they are now reaching that stage where they can now be viewed as a Dad rock band, but I don’t have a problem with Dave Ghrol and it seems to be very hipster to slag him off, just because he is an in-demand musician and all-around nice guy.  Now, Concrete & Gold isn’t the second coming of The Colour & The Shape, but it’s their best work since that album.  I love “Run”, I find that riff to be infectious, I think that “Arrows” is a great song, I even love “Dirty Water”.  It isn’t a perfect release, “The Sky is A Neighborhood” for instance is a stinker of the highest order, but this is a good album for me.  File your complaints to the nearest wall, I like this one.

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

Top track – Run

The Darkness – Pinewood Smile

You know what you are gonna get from a Darkness album before you press play – big riffs, huge drums, high vocals that only Mariah Carey and bats can hear, and the lyrical depth of a lustful teenager.  Pinewood Smile does nothing to change this appeal, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?  They have upped the retro-Classic Rock feeling more than ever before on this record, but this is playing to their strengths, to be honest.  It is a fun album; the music is good, and it will either please you or send you mad, with the Rock world spinning on regardless.

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

Top track – Japanese Prisoner of Love

Quicksand – Interiors

Interiors is an album that I have been looking forward to for a long time, it’s also an album I had given up hope on every hearing.  It has been twenty-two years since their last release, Manic Compression, and there is something wonderfully familiar about the sound of this record.   There is a nostalgia to the sound, a feeling that this could have been recorded all those years ago, but it has just been unearthed recently.  It’s beautifully crafted with a sound that takes you back, it also took a few goes to make sense to me.  But it is worth the effort, here is hoping that another album does not take as long to release.

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

Top track – Cosmonauts

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