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!
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.
Upon his departure from Betraying The Martyrs, vocalist Aaron Matts was quick to reveal his next project ten56.. With the world and the music industry still in the midst of the pandemic and all the uncertainty that would bring, some may have questioned the logic in leaving an established entity to start afresh at such a time.
Clearly Matts would’ve required a great deal of faith in what he had lined up and over the past year or so that faith has paid dividends with ten56. taking the scene by storm and notching up some seriously impressive streaming metrics. A debut EP and a run of live dates have been well received and now ten56. are ready to capitalise on all that momentum with new EP ‘Downer Part.2’.
This EP is a full frontal assault on the senses with Matts’ ferocious vocals taking centre stage and underpinning the progressive sound of the group. ‘Downer Part.2’ certainly feels like a breakout moment for a band already breaking out. Yes, over a period just under twenty minutes, Matts has shown the world just why he had such faith.
Only time will truly tell, but at this point you’d have to put money on ten56. becoming one of the biggest metal acts of the next decade!
It’s been another big revival year for the music industry following the pandemic years, and it’s been another year of growth for us at Full Pelt Music! We’ve reviewed 67 albums, 7 EP’s, 6 festivals and 38 gigs in 2022 as some level of normality or even stability has returned to our industry.
That said, there are still many issues facing the industry with livelihoods, venues and organisations at risk for a plethora of reasons. Whilst government action is required in many places, what we as fans can do is support the industry with our money. Times are tough for us all, but purchasing an album, buying a t-shirt, nabbing a ticket and grabbing a drink whilst at a gig does so much to support the industry that we love.
In our now annual end of year awards we’ll be giving out seven hotly contested awards looking at both the recorded and live sides of the industry. Adding to our well established Album of the Year award this year will be the new EP of the Year award. We’ll also once again be revealing our Single of the Year. All awards have seen fierce competition, as once again it’s been a high quality year for new releases.
On the live side of things, we’ll announce both our Gig and Festival of the Year awards. This year of course provided our first full calendar of music since 2019! We were able to witness many great performances this year and we can’t wait to share with you are favourites.
Lastly we’ll look at the artists who’ve had special years as we award our Artist and ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year awards. So without further ado, let’s work through those award catagories!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
It has been a truly magnificent year for album releases and getting a spot anywhere in our Top 50 was hard enough but in particular the Top 10 was incredibly tightly fought. You can read the full list here.
‘IMPERA’ from Ghost was able to take the crown this year but any of the top 10 could’ve taken that spot. ‘Reeling’ from The Mysterines in particular would likely have won in any other year, but the majesty and magnificence of ‘IMPERA’ proved unbeatable.
‘Impera’ by Ghost
‘Reeling’ by The Mysterines, ‘FTHC’ by Frank Turner, ‘Skinty Fia’ by Fontaines D.C. & ‘The Price of Life’ by Bob Vylan
2021 – ‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice 2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES
EP OF THE YEAR
For the first time this year, we are separating EP’s out of our main award and giving them their own pedestal. That alone is the truest compliment to the quality of EP’s on offer this year.
Again, all EP’s in our top 5 are worthy of the number one spot, but it’s ‘coming of (r)age’ from As Sirens Fall that pips it. Catchy as hell single, ‘heaven (spat us back out)’, helps elevate the release to be crowed our first ever EP of the Year.
‘coming of (r)age’ by As Sirens Fall
‘False Start’ by James and the Cold Gun, ‘SCP’ by Oakman, ‘Tyrants’ by IOTA and ‘BLACKGOLD’ by BLACKGOLD
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
We look now at our Single or Song of the Year. In considering the award this year we’ve considered the ear worms that have stayed with us after live performances. We’ve also pondered which songs instantly struck a chord and created a buzz of excitement for the albums and live shows that would follow.
Songs which fell into both of these considerations competed for the award and it was again a tight decision, but ultimately for us this year ‘Dangerous’ from The Mysterines has not just ticked both boxes but also remained on heavy rotation throughout the year despite being an early arrival in 2022. That’s why that track is our 2022 Single of the Year!
Check out the winning single below:
‘Dangerous’ by The Mysterines
‘Talk Hard’ by Jamie Lenman, ‘Compliance’ by Muse, ‘Wicked Ways’ by Halestorm, ‘Spillways’ by Ghost
2021 – ‘Test of our Resolve’ from Press To MECO 2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud
FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR
2022 was the first full festival season since 2019 and what a return it was. All eyes were on Glastonbury once again, British Summer Time curated a stunning line-up, Download Festival breathed fire and 2000trees was able to remind everyone what’s so great about smaller festivals.
Our winner this year though is Reading & Leeds who went big, sold out and delivered an action packed weekend even with the huge loss of Rage Against The Machine amongst others. Always a perennial contender for this award, 2022 felt like the year the event reclaimed its identity.
Glastonbury Festival, British Summer Time, Download Festival, 2000trees Festival
2021 – Download Pilot Festival 2020 – Wild Fields Festival
GIG OF THE YEAR
We’ve reviewed many gigs this year but in reality there could only ever be one winner. Rammstein’s tour is less of a concert and more of an experience; one that everyone, fan of the band or not, should experience at least once.
Beyond that there was still some incredible, top tier gigs in 2022 and our contenders are all worthy of glory, but Rammstein are currently on a whole different level.
Royal Blood @ O2 Arena, London, Ghost @ Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, Muse @ Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, London, The Killers @ Carrow Road, Norwich, The Hella Mega Tour @ London Stadium, London, Creeper @ Roundhouse, London, Idlewild @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, London
2021 – Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena, London 2020 – Frank Turner @ Arboretum, Nottingham
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Previous winners Frank Turner and Biffy Clyro have done so by delivering incredible feats, far above the norm.
This year was a big year for many acts, but we’ve gone for Bring Me The Horizon as a band that have had a career-defining twelve months. Long tipped as festival headliners at a major event, many felt that the time would never come for one of the best live bands on the planet. Big releases, sold-out tours, no matter what the group did they never seemed to be given that torch, that is until this year!
Watching Bring Me The Horizon step up and headline at Reading & Leeds this summer felt like a real moment, not just for the band but for the whole scene. For any metal band, let alone one once considered so unfashionable to headline the biggest festivals in the UK is massive.
Already announced to finally headline Download Festival in 2023, 2022 will forever be linked for Bring Me The Horizon to taking that final career-defining set. Throw in their genre-defying collaboration with Ed Sheeran, 2022’s Artist of the Year had to be Bring Me The Horizon.
Bring Me The Horizon
Ghost, Rammstein, Biffy Clyro, Muse
2021 – Biffy Clyro 2020 – Frank Turner
‘DISCOVER’ NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
As a publication we always want to put new music at the heart of what we do, and that’s why our final award is perhaps our most important! Our ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year is awarded to the act we’ve chosen to highlight on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast who we feel has made the biggest impact this year.
At the beginning of 2022 we put the spotlight on new Colchester act PET NEEDS as they continued to promote their debut album, ‘Fractured Party Music’. From that point on the band never looked back with a world tour, a second album (‘Primtime Entertainment’) and a sold out hometown show all under their belts.
They even found the time to become the first (and only at the time of writing) band to progress from our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast and appear on The Full Pelt Music Podcast! Yes, fighting off some stiff competition for the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award in 2022 is PET NEEDS!
BERRIES, As Sirens Fall, Oakman, James and the Cold Gun, Daytime TV, MOSKITO
2020 – Miss Vincent
So, that’s it! Another year in the record books, it’s been another difficult year and it has again been particularly tough on the music industry. That said, we’ve had a full year of live music for the first time since 2019 and the creative juices remain flowing with some absolutely stunning new releases over the past twelve months.
Below you can enjoy some of our favourite gig photos of the year courtesy of our wonderful photographer Denis!
All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music
We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2022 and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2023 is a good one!
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.
‘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.
Watch Episode 13 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Jamie Lenman
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’.
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!
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.
WATCH ‘SKINNY LITTLE MISSY’ FROM NICKELBACK ON YOUTUBE
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!
Download Festival reveals 20th Anniversary line-up
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
We start this week with festival announcements and where else could we start other than the monster 20th Anniversary line-up announcement from Download Festival!
Extended to four days this year the event will feature two unique headline sets from Metallica, the return of Donington icons Slipknot and a well deserved top billing for Bring Me The Horizon.
Other big slots are taken by the likes of Alexisonfire, Architects, The Distillers, Disturbed, Evanescence, Ghost, I Prevail, Parkway Drive, Pendulum, Placebo, Simple Plan, Ville Valo and Within Temptation.
It doesn’t stop there and also playing will be the likes of The Blackout, Fever 333, Kid Kapichi, Nova Twins, Seether and Witch Fever.
In celebration of their 40th Anniversary, James have announced a new UK ‘James Lasted’ Tour complete with 22-piece orchestra and gospel choir!
Tim Booth says “There are a number of great bands who have been around for 40. But to get here and to be having the best time of our lives. To be part of a supportive loving family that still has something to say and new ways to say it. To be turned on by every gig and song. To fall in love over and over again, Groundhog Day, with our bandmates and audience. Damn. That’s time well spent.
We should have recorded the orchestra tour first time round, as many of you have reminded us. Well, we’ve done it now. And here comes the tour. The Orchestra and Gospel singers expand our palette, heighten the tenderness, heighten the celebration and, despite their numbers, somehow leave us feeling more naked and raw. It will be different, probably each night, because we are James and Joe knows how to dance with us. And because you are different, each night. Please leave your phones behind, come and play in the moment.”
Jim Glennie says “Has it really been 40 years? In some ways it feels like yesterday and in others, many lifetimes. I’ve lived a blessed existence, being in a band I’m supremely proud of with musicians that would grace any stage. A family of brothers and sisters, willing to support each other musically and emotionally. We are bloody minded and independent to the core. Uniquely challenging, always pushing ourselves into the new and taking risks collectively and individually, looking for transcendence. With love, trust, and acceptance we grow. Somewhere in a parallel universe, James are the biggest band on the planet. Here’s to another 40 years.”
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris will once again be taking British Lion on the road in the UK next January. Joining them for these shows will be Coney Hatch and Airforce.
Steve Harris comments, “We’re excited to be touring the UK again especially as we’ll be visiting many places we’ve not had a chance to play before. It’s fantastic that we’ve got long-time friends Coney Hatch coming over from Canada to join us. We had great fun when they were our special guests on the British Lion Canadian shows in 2018. And we’re happy to have our old mates Airforce back out on the road with us too. Everyone is really looking forward to this tour and we can’t wait to see everyone.”
Rockers Dirty Honey have announced a UK/EU Tour taking place early next year.
Prior to the tour, in January 2023, the band are set to release a brand new, re-recorded version of album track ‘Heartbreaker’.
“Some songs really come to life after they’ve been performed a bunch of times. You can really see an audience react to a line being sung a certain way or a riff grooving that you didn’t think of while recording in the studio. Over time we realized the song took on a new life on the road in both North America and Europe and we wanted to capture that energy….” – Marc Labelle, vocalist of Dirty Honey, talking about Heartbreaker 2.0
We move our News Report on now to the best new releases from the past week and we begin with Skindred!
The group this week announced new album, ‘Smile’, will be released August 4th. The band also shared new single, ‘GIMME THAT BOOM’, which you can check out above.
The track is based on a frustrating encounter lead singer Benji Webbe had with an overfamiliar fan.
“I was out shopping one day and I could hear someone building up asking me for a picture,” Webbe recalls. “The person didn’t care who I was with or what I was doing – they just wanted their picture. In this day and age, people want you and they expect to get you on tap, constantly giving you that ‘boom’ so they can get their Instagram Likes up. It’s important to remember that people can’t give you that ‘boom’ all the time. People think because they follow you on social media, they own you.”
Ahead of their UK Tour next month, The Dead Daisies have released new single, ‘Born To Fly’, which you can listen to above.
“Doug & I got together in New York earlier in the year and worked on a riff that I had written previously. Doug had a chorus that just fitted, we messed around with the melody and came up with the name ‘Born To Fly’. This is a straight-up rock song. For me it’s literal, I was born to fly. However we’re all born to fly in our own way.” – David Lowy
This week saw REWS share new single, ‘The World That Left You Behind’, which you can check out above.
“Ah! I’m ecstatic about finally releasing this song!! It’s got so much energy, riff’s for days and a great message!! I wrote it with a great friend of mine from NI, Cahir O’Doherty (New Pagans). It is a song that journey’s through how we can support those people in our lives who get carried away with negative thoughts and feel utterly lost and alone. Hopefully the song will provide a nice audio net for people to fall into at times of need, so they know they aren’t alone!” – Shauna
Dissonants have shared their huge new single ‘Grave Mind’.
‘Lyrically, Grave Mind is more conceptual than our previous work. I wrote the track from the viewpoint of someone on their deathbed looking back on their life and wondering if, now that it’s over and coming to a close, they can be happy and at peace. For this track we wanted to draw less from our own experiences and look at concepts such as mortality and happiness, and how one can affect the other’. – Frontman Benjie Allen.
M(h)aol – ‘Asking For It’
M(h)aol will release debut album, ‘Attachment Styles’ on February 3rd. This week they shared new single, ‘Asking For It’.
On the track singer Róisín said, “I wrote it initially in 2016 then revisited it in 2020. I was shocked by how much internalised victim blaming there was in the lyrics. I rewrote it, then we recorded it and it was released to raise money for Women’s Aid in 2021. The album version is a lot angrier than the 2021 one and almost satirical insofar as it’s highlighting how ludicrous the notion of anyone ‘asking for it’ is.”
Chasing Kites – ‘Shiver’
Bath-based indie-rock four-piece Chasing Kites return with their fourth single ‘Shiver’.
Speaking about the writing process, vocalist and lyricist Matt Donnelly explains, ‘’Shiver came together extremely quickly. I’d had the lyrics lying around for a very long time and felt they fit perfectly with the sonic side of the track when the melody was written. As we built on the skeleton of the song, our aim was to take us back into the realms of indie rock through powerful injections of energy in the choruses, while maintaining our commercial sound throughout.’’
Watch Episode 21 of our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast with guests Dissonants
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!