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The Murder Capital

Gigi’s Recovery

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THE MURDER CAPITAL – GIGI’s recovery – ALBUM REVIEW

With their debut album, 2019’s ‘When I Have Fears’, The Murder Capital fully thrust themselves in the burgeoning post-punk scene and gained themselves a dedicated fanbase in the process. A lot has happened in the intervening years but now the group are back with their all so important sophomore album, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’!

This second record certainly sees the band stretching their legs and testing the boundaries of their art. Expansive and explorative this is a delicate yet decisive collection of songs which brims with belief.

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The Murder Capital – ‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’

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This is undoubtedly a brave sonic adventure undertaken by a band confident in their ability to conjure magic and assured by the acceptance of their audience. The album slowly leads us on the journey that the band has creatively been on over the past few years.

It’s methodical yet loose, meticulous but elegant, and therefore has no real standout moments. The album as a whole is the standout moment as The Murder Capital evolve into something very special indeed.

Already identified as a great hope, now it’s clear to all that The Murder Capital are not to be slept on as they endear themselves with their triumphant second album!

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Black Star Riders

Wrong Side of Paradise

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BLACK STAR RIDERS – WRONG SIDE OF PARADISE – ALBUM REVIEW

It hasn’t been an easy road for Black Star Riders, formed from the backlash against the idea of the last incarnation of Thin Lizzy creating new music. The group has proved all doubters wrong with their subsequent output – four albums of undisputed rock and roll class, and ten years of effortless cool, delicious riffs and belting melodies.

Black Star Riders have long established themselves as a credible entity in their own right and that’s despite numerous line-up changes testing their resolve. The biggest line-up change however came in 2021 with the departure of guitar-slinger extraordinaire Scott Gorham. Gorham was integral to the formation of the group and his departure leaves singer/guitarist Ricky Warwick as the sole remaining original member.

With Warwick firmly at the helm though, the band retain the heart and soul of their signature sound and presentation. Warwick’s career renaissance may have started in Thin Lizzy, but Black Star Riders allowed him to rediscover himself and unleash his natural talents back on the world.

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Black Star Riders – ‘Riding Out the Storm’

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New album, ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’, may be another new beginning but it’s also a continuation of the essence of Black Star Riders. That signature sound remains firmly and passionately intact, and Warwick’s distinguished vocals remain front and centre issuing that iconic battle cry as only he can!

Those famous riffs remain also as the album presents the perfect stable yet evolutionary prose that acts as the necessary statement to show that sans Gorham, this band remain a powerful force with a prosperous future.

Fans have a fifth album of pure rock and roll majesty, which still owes all to the faith that the initial cohort placed in themselves. They knew they had something special and now ten years later, the world knows it too!

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The Subways

Uncertain Joys

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THE SUBWAYS – UNCERTAIN JOYS – ALBUM REVIEW

It hasn’t been a smooth road for The Subways to arrive at the release of ‘Uncertain Joys’, their first new album in eight years. Recent years have seen change, change in the world, change in the band and change in their personal lives.

For change on all those fronts, you could also read turmoil. The pandemic after all has played a role in the tumultuous world we all inhabit, this combined with the departure of drummer and founding member Josh Morgan from the band and a period of personal growth for front man Billy Lunn (including a stint at University) has left an uneven path to tread for a constantly underappreciated band.

Thankfully though, the band are now ready to unleash their new era on the world. Drumming stability has been returned with newcomer Camille Phillips now joining Lunn and fellow original Charlotte Cooper, a tour is lined up and ‘Uncertain Joys’ is here!

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The Subways – ‘Black Wax’

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Yes, The Subways are back, which is exactly the sentiment I feel listening to the record. I’ve always felt that The Subways are both a fantastic rock band and also a superb pop group, with their songwriting able to harness the power of rock with the elegance of pop with aplomb. That ability clearly remains intact, perhaps even amplified! The elongated writing process for this album maybe the reason but this is a truly eclectic collection from the band.

Musically vibrant yet lyrically vulnerable, you can feel the love and care put into this album by its creators. Whether leading us into battle on ‘Fight’, taking aim at social media on ‘Influencer Killed The Rock Star’ or getting deeply personal on the title track or ‘Incantation’, the quality of songwriting remains intact but again it seems to have even greater depth.

A difficult period for the band has no doubt passed, and while other bands may have called it quits, The Subways have emerged an even stronger entity. ‘Uncertain Joys’ is a supercharged dose of classic Subways that is more than worth your time.

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Jamie Lenman

The Athiest

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JAMIE LENMAN – THE ATHIEST – ALBUM REVIEW

Wow. Ever sit and think to yourself that a certain artist’s latest work has hit upon something special? Well, that’s the feeling we get from listening to ‘The Athiest’, the new solo release from Jamie Lenman!

Having seen the campaign for previous album, ‘King of Clubs’, seriously disrupted by the pandemic, Lenman has emerged from these troubled two years with a masterpiece of an album.

‘The Athiest’ sees a change in direction from Lenman, whilst maintaining his charm and sound of previous records. There is a delicateness and vulnerability to this new material which opens it up as his most accessible work yet.

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Jamie Lenman – ‘Talk Hard’

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‘Talk Hard’ is an absolute banger of a song, which leads the album by example. Perhaps his most singly single yet, we dare you not to lose yourself in that catchy as hell chorus. Fellow single, ‘Lena Don’t Leave Me’ is further evidence of the pop-esque songwriting on offer on this album.

This is a deeply personal record for the iconic Lenman, as both lyrically and musically he stretches himself further than ever before. Equally, there is plenty here which will be familiar to old school fans, creating a perfectly blended mix for fans old and new to enjoy.

It’s great to see an artist earn a freedom in their career to explore themselves without the pressures of the industry. Lenman has seemingly arrived at this point and the results are spectacular.

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The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 13 – Jamie Lenman

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Disturbed

Divisive

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DISTURBED – DIVISIVE – ALBUM REVIEW

For people who love to hate musicians they’ve probably never listened to, today is the day! You can rejoice because today delivers new albums from both Nickelback and Disturbed!

Many of the same issues we just identified in our review of that Nickelback album also relate to Disturbed. One big criticism being the ‘by numbers’ approach to their releases, each album a clone of the previous, and that may well be true.

Still, its horses for courses, odds are if I’m hitting play on a Disturbed album I’m after some simple, relentless metal that allows me to sing-along and punch my fist in the air. If I’m after straight rock I’ll go for Foo Fighters, something a little softer then its R.E.M., a bit of indie rock then I may revisit Oasis, radio rock then hey I’m headed for Nickelback!

Well, you get what I’m getting at. If I’m listening to Disturbed, it’s because they’re what I want to listen to. So, how do you review an album by such a divisive band? It certainly helps when they name that very album, ‘Divisive’.

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Disturbed – ‘Bad Man’

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Opinions will naturally differ on any new Disturbed album. Ultimately, does it deliver for the bands fans? Does it hold up to their previous work? Does it get those fists pumping and voices singing?

Undoubtedly, the answer to all of the above is yes. Everything that you’d want from Disturbed album is here and the band are still doing what they do and they are doing it well!

So there you have it, if you already like Disturbed, check out this album it’s very much for you. If you don’t like Disturbed, why are you reading this review, the chances are that there is nothing I could write that would change your mind on the band!

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Nickelback

Get Rollin’

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NICKELBACK / GET ROLLIN’ / ALBUM REVIEW

Love them or hate them, and for most it’s one or the other, but Nickelback’s success is incredible. Commercially one of the biggest acts on the planet, the bands creative consistency also should be admired.

Whilst the standard Nickelback formula is one of the cited reasons for the hysterical hatred of the Canadians; if you ignore the repetitive stock sound of their back catalogue and focus on craftsmanship, consistency and catchiness than you really should admire their ability to constantly churn out quality music.

‘Get Rollin’’ is the groups tenth studio album and again from the moment you press play you are greeted by an onslaught of radio-friendly hard rock with foot stomping, head nodding, fist pumping, rifftastic, sing-a-longs throughout.

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Nickelback – ‘Skinny Little Missy’

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Depending on your viewpoint of the Nickelback blueprint then there either isn’t a bad track on the album or there isn’t a good one! But we encourage you to listen to ‘Skinny Little Missy’ without stomping your foot, nodding your head or humming along to that catchy tune.

The inevitable stories and memes are already making the rounds as the band promote ‘Get Rollin’’, with the focus so often diverted from the fact that actually the band has released another solid album.

Either way you look at it, Nickelback will be in the public eye, you either love them or hate them and as such you’ll either love this album or hate it!

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Deux Furieuses

Songs From Planet Earth

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DEUX FURIEUSES – SONGS FROM PLANET EARTH – ALBUM REVIEW

It takes bravery to be overtly political in the music industry these days, heaven forbid musical acts reveal their views and endanger those vital social metrics. deux furieuses have never shied away from addressing socio-political issues, so given the turmoil of the past few years, there should be no surprise that new album, ‘Songs From Planet Earth’, broaches many such subjects.

The duo have spent time recently playing with Brix Smith (The Fall), alongside Debbie Googe and Jen Macro (My Bloody Valentine). Experiences such as this continue to help harness their talents and focus them into the creation of powerful and daring work such as ‘Songs From Planet Earth’, which is the bands third album together.

In any chosen field, experimentation, shared experiences and learning opportunities combined with repetition and endurance are a pathway to evolution, progression and craft mastering. That maturity is borne out on this album.

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deux furieuses – ‘Bring Down The Government’

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Album opener, ‘Isolation Days’ is a slow burning number which gradually ramps up and gently welcomes the listening to the experience which follows. ‘All We Need Is Sanctuary’, builds on this and really pulls you in before ‘Bring Down The Government’ grabs you by the arms and gives you a shake!

The album then takes you on a sonic and thematic journey through many of the issues facing the world right now. Thought provoking and brutally honest, the subject matters on offer are a truly depressing reflection on the state of humanity right now. What ‘Songs From Planet Earth’ does however is offer hope; a glimmer of optimism that the power is in our hands to make positive change.

On this album, deux furieuses, capture not just a snapshot of society’s ills, but a snapshot of where they are artistically. Whilst the former is rather distressing, the latter is a band near the peak of their musical powers.

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The Hunna

Self-Titled

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THE HUNNA – SELF-TITLED – ALBUM REVIEW

The Hunna have been perennial contenders for superstardom since their hugely successful debut album, ‘100’, released back in 2016. Two further albums have followed with neither 2018’s ‘Dare’, nor 2020’s ‘I’d Rather Die Than Let You In’ able to elevate the band to that next level.

It’s a harsh reality of the music industry that the opportunities to truly breakthrough are severely limited these days. Even modern day success stories are never likely to reach the levels attained by their predecessors. It must also be said that audience attention spans are more akin these days to that proverbial goldfish.

That is a callous but pragmatic view on casual music fans. Dedicated, hardcore music fans however are a different animal all together, they are able to engage longer and deeper with the acts that deserve it. That is no doubt why The Hunna have been able to garner such a passionate and dedicated fanbase.

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The Hunna – ‘Trash’

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This deep philosophical insight into the depravity of the music industry comes not from a random thought, but from the impactful opening to The Hunna’s self-titled fourth album. Single, ‘Trash’, is an abrasive punk rocker taking aim at the pitfalls of the industry. The storming track takes firm aim at the darker aspects of the industry that most artists are fearful to call out.

That sets up the album spectacularly, both sonically and lyrically, as the band are both honest and unashamed. From soaring pop ballads, to indie hits, all out rockers and everything in between, this is a diverse collection that represents well everything The Hunna have been and everything that they want to be.

There are moments that those goldfish will enjoy (albeit temporarily), and there is certainly plenty on this album for the diehards to sink their teeth into. The Hunna are a band that continue to grow and evolve, and this album ensures that they are as relevant now as they were back in 2016!

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Asylums

Signs of Life

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ASYLUMS – SIGNS OF LIFE – ALBUM REVIEW

Southend rockers Asylums have been one of the best kept secrets in the music world since arriving on the scene with 2016 debut, ‘Killer Brain Waves’. Two more albums have followed in 2018 and 2020 with the band continuing to grow sonically and put themselves on the cusp of mainstream success.

Now, the prolific group return with their fourth studio album, ‘Signs of Life’, prepared to conquer the world once again!

Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios (in the room that Queen recorded ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ no less), with the revered producer Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild), you can sense that level of creative genius running through this superb collection of songs.

There is a real diverse palette of genre-bending output spread across an album that rocks hard, has indie mainstream appeal and leans into some off the cuff influences as well.

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Asylums – ‘Instant Coffee’

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Whilst tracks such as ‘Instant Coffee’ and album opener ‘Scatterbrain’ are instantly gratifying just like those much needed early morning gulps of caffeinated goodness, every track on this album deserves attention.

In fact, there is so much here to sink your teeth into that you could describe this album as a real smorgasbord of music.

From start to finish ‘Signs of Life’ is a joy to listen to and is most definitely Asylums at their very best. Perhaps it’s finally time that the secret gets out and Asylums make an indelible mark of this hyperactive industry!

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Architects

the classic symptoms of a broken spirit

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ARCHITECTS – THE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS OF A BROKEN SPIRIT – ALBUM REVIEW

Just 18 months removed from their stunning and evolutionary ninth album, ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’, Architects are back album with their tenth album, ‘the classic symptoms of a broken spirit’!

Momentum is certainly on the bands side, so striking while the iron is hot, the band are right to release their follow up so soon after such a well received record. This is borne out through the substantiated quality of this album.

A dud of an album at this point could be a momentum killer – see ‘Temper Temper’, so this is a calculated risk from the band. That calculation however was right with them clearly knowing the quality of the music they had.

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Architects – ‘deep fake’

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The album is straight into the action on opener ‘deep fake’, and manages to keep a relentless pace throughout the next forty plus minutes. There is no dip in either ferocity or excellence as the likes of singles ‘tear gas’, ‘when we were young’ and ‘a new moral low ground’ demonstrate.

The depth on this album is truly impressive though as beyond the singles you still have tracks as good as ‘spit the bone’, doomscrolling’ and ‘all the love in the world’. In reality there isn’t a bad track on another superb offering from one of heavy music’s biggest hopes.

They may now be ten albums in, but over the past three, Architects are shown their development and progression to something much bigger than their beginnings. Their upcoming tour with Biffy Clyro will introduce them to an even more diverse audience, and as they continue to break the mainstream and pickup fans, the world very much is their oyster!

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