Album Reviews

Arctic Monkeys

The Car

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Arctic Monkeys are undoubtedly one of the biggest, most talented bands on the planet. They have very much earned the right to do whatever they want musically… but wow.

How do you follow up an ill received, lacklustre, bloated, flop of an album such as ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’? Well if you are Arctic Monkeys, you double down and again ditch your signature sound and attitude to release another collection of boring lounge pop dirge.

Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Ain’t Quite Where I Think I Am’

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It’s difficult to write a balanced review of new album, ‘The Car’ in all honesty. If everybody is honest with themselves, this is not the album we wanted from the band this time around. Although I’m sure that many old school fans would love a return to the sound of their first two albums, that was never going to happen.

But after the enormous success of generational release, ‘AM’, which appeared to be the perfect middle crowd, ‘The Car’ just sucks the enjoyment out of this once formidable band. This stubbornness from the band has though, as we said earlier, been earned. It’s their well earned right to record and release the music that they want to.

It just makes you wonder what happened to that rock ‘n’ roll, eh? You know that rock ‘n’ roll, that singer Alex Turner said just won’t go away, that will never die and there’s nothing anybody can do about it! Well after these past two albums, you can’t help but wonder did Turner think to himself – challenge accepted!

If you enjoyed ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, congratulations, you will also very much enjoy, ‘The Car’. It demonstrates just how musically talented and dexterous the band are. If however that last album wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t even bother hitting the play button on ‘The Car’!

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Album Reviews

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Return of the Dream Canteen

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Just 6 months ago Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first record having reunited with iconic guitarist John Frusciante. It was something of a surprise therefore, in July, when the band announced another new album, ‘Return of the Dream Canteen’ would be coming.

Well, that album is already here and it’s time to see whether the band were correct in saying it isn’t just a b-side record. Now, for context it should be noted that these songs were written and recorded during the same Rick Rubin produced sessions that spurned ‘Unlimited Love’.

Given that album ran to almost 75 minutes and 17 songs, and this album runs to 75 minutes and 17 songs, those were some hefty recording sessions!

The worry here, before even pressing play is that ‘Unlimited Love’ felt a handful of songs too long. In reviewing that album we also commented; “this feels like four old friends reconnecting and testing the waters”. So again, is this more of the same?

Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘The Drummer’

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The first half of the album harks back to some of the bands earlier funky and psychedelic work and is very digestible with time moving quite quickly. Sadly as the album progresses into the depths of its 17 songs, time does start to lag and the songs all blend in together.

I would agree with the band that this isn’t a b-side record and is of similar standard to ‘Unlimited Love’, unfortunately that means that again it feels too long. Cutting four or five tracks would greatly improve the album, and just picking the 12 best songs from across the two albums would’ve given us a superb return from the band.

Instead we have two lengthy albums full of good yet uninspired songs with a splattering of single quality tracks mixed in. On the positive side this is an easy listening album that you could happily work away to with it on in the background.

Ultimately this is one for the diehard fans to enjoy, but it won’t do anything for the casuals, which really makes it feel unnecessary!

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Album Reviews

Alter Bridge

Pawns & Kings

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What an incredible story Alter Bridge are when you sit back and think about it; forming from the ashes an enormously successful band, with a relatively unknown but highly talented singer, with said singer even later auditioning for Led Zeppelin.

That singer then joining the legendary Slash for a new project and the original act briefly reforming; and then both the singer and guitarist of this band pursuing very successful solo careers. There is even a Frank Sinatra covers album in the mix now, but throughout all this Alter Bridge have remained ever present and ever evolving.

Now regrouped again, the band have bestowed upon us their seventh studio album, ‘Pawns & Kings’. Despite all the distractions, this continues their record of a new album every three years having started that pattern with debut album, ‘One Day Remains’ back in 2004 – which is somehow almost twenty years ago!

During this time the band have delivered many hits and a few misses, but this album feels important. The band have established themselves in rocks arena filling ranks, but haven’t shown any measurable growth in a decade or so. Whilst charting reasonably well their previous two albums have met mixed reviews and it does seem like Alter Bridge need an injection of momentum.

Alter Bridge – ‘This Is War’

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‘Pawns & Kings’ may well be just what the doctor ordered. Starting out fast, heavy and soaring, the band set the bar high with ‘This Is War’, ‘Dead Among The Living’ and ‘Silver Tongue’.

‘Sin After Sin’ and ‘Stay’ then demonstrate that evolution we mentioned. Myles Kennedy as a vocalist and Mark Tremonti as a guitarist are often ranked as amongst the best in their fields. In recent years the two have proven themselves well equipped in each other’s departments and on ‘Pawns & Kings’ the two show just how far their dexterity has come.

Throughout the second half of this album, Alter Bridge maintain the quality that has perhaps tapered off on recent albums. This isn’t a token effort with a handful of quality singles. This is an old school Alter Bridge album which shows the cohesion that made sophomore album ‘Blackbird’ such a success.

The story of Alter Bridge is truly unique and it’s a testament to the talents of those involved that this far into their career, even with multiple side projects, they can still deliver a album as magnificent as this!

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Read our review of ‘Marching In Time’ from Tremonti

Album Reviews

October Drift

I Don’t Belong Anywhere

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October Drift have spent the year slowly building towards the release of their second album. A steady stream of superb singles has signalled what was coming and now ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’ is here and fans are in for a real treat.

The band continue down the euphoric path they set with their 2020 debut ‘Forever Whatever’. That year of course was a show stopper for most bands and many new acts were lost to the pandemic.

Thankfully, October Drift have emerged not just intact but firing on all cylinders. ‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’ is an incredible achievement considering the restraints in which it was written and recorded. The difficult past two years are referenced on tracks such as the hauntingly beautiful ‘Webcam Funerals’, but there is much more do dissect on this album.

October Drift – ‘Webcam Funerals’

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‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere’ finds the band again in a reflective mindset but this time they are analysing the world around us. This is a sombre yet uplifting record packed with intensity and controlled ferocity. There are tender moments, brutally honest lyrics and a constant visceral sonic onslaught.

You can feel that the band has poured everything into this album, and that work pays dividends with a stunning collection of songs. Pre-release singles such as ‘Airborne Panic Attack’ and ‘Insects’ promised something great and ultimately October Drift have delivered something very special indeed!

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Watch Episode 10 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests October Drift

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 10 – October Drift

Read our review of ‘NULA’ from VUKOVI

Album Reviews



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After more than a decade of scratching and clawing, momentum is finally behind VUKOVI as they release their third album, ‘NULA’. Both of this albums predecessors, 2017’s self-titled debut and 2020 follow up ‘Fall Better’ have felt like breakthrough moments only for momentum to stall.

In the aftermath of their debut, two members departed and soon after ‘Fall Better’ was released, the world stopped for the pandemic that derailed so many bands. Thankfully VUKOVI are one band that have made it through and have new music to show for it!

Top tier live shows and a slew of promising singles have rebuilt that all important momentum and now ‘NULA’ is upon us to surely push the band to the next level. The stars finally appeared aligned but there is one all important deciding factor remaining – is the album any good?


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Ominous opening ‘DEPATURE’ instantly sucks us in and prepares us for the journey we are about to embark on. ‘TAINTED’ and ‘LASSO’ then lock the listener in and ensure they are going nowhere.

Musically immediate and fearless, ‘NULA’, feels like a statement in every sense of the word. Pre-release singles ‘SLO’, ‘I EXIST’, ‘KILL IT’ and ‘HURT’ all set what could’ve been an unattainable standard for the album as a whole. Thankfully the remaining tracks and the cohesiveness of the album manages to maintain and elevate that standard.

Whichever way you want to look at it this is the statement we suggest is it – sonically, thematically and in relation to the viability of the band. The album finishes with a statement of a song in ‘XX’ to really drive the message home.

What message? Well amongst other socially important ones, the fact that the time is very much now for a band long overdue sustained success!

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Album Reviews


The End, So Far

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There has always been a mystique surrounding Slipknot, from their early days as unknown masked maniacs through to present day’s constant speculation on their future. The latter was fuelled further by the title of their seventh album, ‘The End, So Far’.

This album signals the end of their working relationship with Roadrunner which started way back in 1998. The purposefully triggering title however will leave fans wondering what the future holds. Promotional tactic, genuine end in sight, or just fun and games, perhaps not even the band themselves know.

What we do know however is that we have just shy of an hour of new Slipknot music to sink our teeth into, and as demonstrated by interesting album opener, ‘Adderall’, we also know this will be another divisive album for fans old and new.

Bands the size of Slipknot almost always become a victim of their own success. For some they can do no wrong, for others they can do no right. The reality, as is usually the case in life, is often somewhere in the middle.

Slipknot – ‘Adderall’

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‘The End, So Far’ is one of those albums. There are some stunning moments, some weaker moments, some songs built for their old school fans and some material so far removed from the realms of Slipknot that it may alienate portions of their fanbase.

Ultimately Slipknot have always been anti-establishment in terms of the music industry, and they remain so now even if they’ve become that establishment! Slipknot are going to do whatever they want to do and they’ve earned that right.

The question to ask here is perhaps if this (which is very unlikely) is the final stand of Slipknot, does this album do them justice. The answer is yes, there is more than enough quality on this record to ensure this isn’t in the bottom few of any ‘All Slipknot albums ranked’ lists.

Almost predictably at this point in their career, it’s also not going to trouble the top of that list; which brings us back around to that point of the truth often being in the middle! Fans just need to enjoy this album for what it is, and make the most of the band whilst they are still around.

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Album Reviews

The Snuts

Burn The Empire

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2021 saw The Snuts snag a surprise number one album with their debut, ‘W.L’. Since then the band has hit the road hard, touring all over and gracing plenty of festival main stages. If world domination isn’t their aim, then they may want to slow down!

Read our review of ‘W.L’ from The Snuts

That however is very unlikely to happen as the band return with sophomore album, ‘Burn The Empire’. This is a naturally important release for the band, and not just because of good old fashioned second album syndrome.

No, ‘W.L’, whilst a huge hit for the band was a collection of tracks from the bands career thus far, honed and crafted on the road. This is the band’s debut album in terms of writing and recording in a short period of time. This may then be the first true snapshot of the group’s talent and potential longevity.

The Snuts – ‘Burn The Empire’

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Starting with the politically charged duo ‘Burn The Empire’ and ‘Zuckerpunch’, it’s clear that this also signifies a shackles off moment for the band. Having recently also called out their own record label, clearly The Snuts have no fear, and that’s refreshing considering the often maligned, play it safe culture in music these days.

The themes that run through the album feel particularly relevant right now and the band certainly get credit for their open and direct dialect. They also deserve credit for their musical bravery, showing a willingness to experiment away from the lad rock that has got them this far.

For a band to grow and evolve they need that willingness to experiment and can be forgiven for the odd misstep, such as ‘Cosmic Electronica’, which doesn’t quite hit the spot that they were no doubt aiming for.

All too often when bands have a highly successful debut, subsequent albums only require a hit or two to add to the bands legacy with the rest of the album often instantly forgettable. ‘Burn The Empire’ definitely provides a handful of hits to bolster the setlist, but whilst there is the odd tedious moment the rest of the album also holds up well.

This album will do exactly what it needs to do for The Snuts, as they continue their momentum towards world domination. We’ve needed a new breakout indie band for a while now, and don’t put it beyond this band to be the one to do it!

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Album Reviews



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Editors debuted the single, ‘Heart Attack’, back in April with the announcement of Benjamin John Power joining the band. New album, ‘EBM’ was set for release and a number of subsequent singles have hinted that Power’s arrival on keys, synths and electronics coincides with a focus on such from the band.

Born in the indie landfill mid-noughties, Editors always stood apart and above from their contemporaries by infusing an electronic element into their dark guitar-centric sound. Throughout the next decade or so they’ve continually evolved with the times and that has seen guitars and synths swap places in the mix.

What has helped Editors both grow their audience and retain their core following is that they’ve done so well with quality music at the forefront. They’ve never abandoned their beliefs for the glory of chart success, but have found chart success nevertheless.

The shift of focus almost fully into the world of electronics hinted at in the pre-album singles is fully borne out on ‘EBM’. This is now far removed from the all out indie rock of debut album, ‘The Back Room’. It helps that the transition has been gradual and not the instant transformation that many bands have tried and often failed to enact.

Editors – ‘Heart Attack’

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‘EBM’ feels like an honest record from the band, in that this is clearly what the band want to be doing. Sonically this is Editors being themselves, after all they’ve never been the pandering type of band. For some of those indie rock fans that bought into the band early doors this may prove to be a step too far, but for those that have enjoyed the journey this is another collection of solid tracks.

Whilst some fans may be turned off, this isn’t a bad album. This also isn’t a great album. When you’re consistently unique, you eventually are bound to become generic. You either die a hero or see yourself become the villain. The tests of time will ultimately judge ‘EBM’ on Editors’ behalf, and I feel they are unlikely to be either cruel or kind. Again, when all your work is memorable, eventually parts of it become forgettable.

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Album Reviews

The Amazons

How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?

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Reading rockers The Amazons are back with their third album, ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?’.

The band burst onto the scene with their 2017 self-titled debut and quickly established themselves as one of the hottest young rock bands in the country. Follow up ‘Future Dust’ was far from a flop, but probably didn’t build on their momentum as well as they’d have hoped. It will be interesting then to see how ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?’ fares and what impact it will have, if any, on the group’s career trajectory.

The Amazons – ‘How Will I Know?’

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Making their name for out all arena rock anthems, this new record follows a path hinted at on its predecessor with a more melodic sound. Sombre and delicate, the harder side of the band only makes rare appearances as they explore their softer capabilities.

Whilst there will certainly be some fans slightly alienated by this, there will be many more that will welcome this change of pace; after all the band have successfully shown this side in past.

When we look beyond the aesthetics of the album, blinker ourselves from their past output and focus solely on the eleven tracks that make up ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?’, then we are looking are a superb record. A delicately crafted collection of melancholic glory!

Yes, The Amazons may be evolving before our eyes, but they are also proving themselves to be the future superstars that their debut album promised.

When we caught The Amazons supporting Royal Blood in arenas recently, we speculated that they would soon be headlining such venues themselves. With this album the band have ensured that trajectory remains.

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Album Reviews

Ozzy Osbourne

Patient Number 9

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After a ten year wait between ‘Scream’ and 2020’s ‘Ordinary Man’, Ozzy Osbourne is already back with new album, ‘Patient Number 9’. This is something of a miracle given the ongoing health concerns surrounding the iconic rocker, so it’s with a sense of relief that we press the play button.

The title track and opening campaign single, ‘Patient Number 9’ starts us off and showcases the first of many guests featuring on this album in Jeff Beck. Zakk Wylde, Tony Iommi, Mike McCready, Eric Clapton, Josh Homme, Dave Navarro, Robert Trujillo, Duff McKagan, Chris Chaney, Chad Smith and the late great Taylor Hawkins all have credits on this collaborators dream of an album.

Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Patient Number 9’

You may think that such an eclectic mix of stars would contribute to the album feeling disjointed and lacking cohesion. That would it turns out be an incorrect preconception as in fact the record flows well and is distinctively an Ozzy Osbourne record. That said each guest adds personal touches and influences and enables this to be some of Osbourne’s most diverse work.

The critical acclaim that adorned ‘Ordinary Man’ will undoubtedly bleed into ‘Patient Number 9’ with Ozzy Osbourne showing that there is life in the old dog yet.

The only possible criticism would be that perhaps at a little over an hour the record is a song or two too long, but ultimately at this stage of Osbourne’s career we should be grateful for everything we are able to get.

Question marks remain over his ability to tour again, but if ‘Ordinary Man’ and ‘Patient Number 9’ ultimately represent the finale of his distinguished career then Ozzy can enjoy his well earned retirement safe in the knowledge that his career finished as authoritatively as it began.

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