Categories
Album Reviews

Soft Play

Heavy Jelly

Follow us on Social Media

SOFT PLAY – HEAVY JELLY – ALBUM REVIEW

Given the regular criticism for modern punk’s over-reliance of cliches, it’s either fitting or ironic depending on your viewpoint that we are going to reel out a few in this review for new Soft Play album, ‘Heavy Jelly’.

The first cliché is that of reinvention, after all your probably still acclimatising to calling the band formerly known as Slaves by their new moniker Soft Play. Credit apparently goes to Bob Vylan for pushing the band over the line on a decision talked about for years – that of changing their troublesome title.

After an extended period of inactivity which saw many questioning the future of the duo, Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent reconvened and announced their return in December of 2022, before returning to the stage last summer.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR PUNK’S DEAD
Soft Play – ‘Punk’s Dead’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

The rebranding of the band saw polarised opinions from fans which is addressed brashly in the albums second track, ‘Punk’s Dead’. Whilst delivered with tongue-in-cheek vitriol, the track acts as a palate-cleanser for the band and resets the relationship with the fans still on board – the next cliché being that this track really kickstarts this new era for the band.

That raging swagger continues into the likes of ‘Act Violently’ and ‘Isaac Is Typing…’, as the band reminds us that they’ve got teeth to go with their playful sound. Indeed, another cliché to pull out is that this feels like a back-to-basics approach from the duo which sees ‘Heavy Jelly’ become the closest release in terms of visceral energy to their heralded debut, ‘Are You Satisfied?’.

You could say then that this is a much-feted return to form, but the cliches are wearing a little thin now! Unlike this spectacular album, which is just half an hour long, with only finale, ‘Everything and Nothing’ breaching a runtime of over circa three minutes. The slimline approach helps to increase the feeling of vitality which exudes from your speakers as you take in this thoroughly enjoyable record.

It’s great to see Vincent and Holman working together again and with ‘Heavy Jelly’, they’ve put down a significant marker for their future output!

Share this review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

Travis

L.A. Times

Follow us on Social Media

TRAVIS – L.A. Times – Album Review

‘L.A. Times’ represents the tenth studio album from Scottish indie heroes Travis and it finds the band in fine form, instantly reminding the listener why they fell in love with the band in the first place.

Releases from the group may be more sporadic these days but the songs crafted by messrs Healy, Payne, Dunlop and Primrose still captivate as distinctively as ever. Indeed, over the course of the ten tracks on this album, you’ll pick up on elements of their best work alongside a stronger feeling of showmanship.

Those added bells and whistles help to ensure that these songs, recorded as per the title in Los Angeles, feel fresh and different whilst maintaining that reassuring familiarity. Lead single ‘Gaslight’ being a good example of how the foursome have taken their standard sound into more ambitious sonic territory.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘GASLIGHT’
Travis – ‘Gaslight’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Described by Fran Healy as their most personal album since, ‘The Man Who’, you can genuinely hear how these tracks mean that little bit more than most their recent output. Healy in particular sounds more present with his trademark voice able to infiltrate your own consciousness with renewed gravity.

There is an interesting cross-pollination of the meaningful and the light-hearted both musically and lyrically over the course of the album and that makes for an engaging listening experience. The title-track which closes out the record is probably the most interesting song that the band have created together, and shows that they still have the ability to amaze.

The likes of ‘Alive’, ‘Bus’ and ‘Raze the Bar’ will stand the test of time and the album as a whole is up there with the likes of ‘The Man Who’ and ‘The Invisible Band’. It’s a pleasant surprise to know that some three decades into their career, Travis can still create a little magic.

Share this review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

Kasabian

Happenings

Follow us on Social Media

KASABIAN – HAPPENINGS – ALBUM REVIEW

Playing a surprise set at Glastonbury Festival last weekend, Kasabian reminded the world that despite obvious line-up changes they remain a viable proposition live. Since said line-up alteration however, they’ve still yet to truly convince fans that they can also produce the goods on record – not at least in the way that fans want.

Therewithin lies the wider issue facing the band. Any act experimenting with their sound will always face backlash from fans reticent towards change, but when you remove an iconic singer and reshuffle the deck that scrutiny is bound to reach unfair levels.

It’s important therefore to not try and assess ‘Happenings’ against the first six albums, because through sentimentality and rose-tinted glasses anything new will always fall short and the cold reality is that the same would probably be true even with the original line-up.

More relevant therefore is how does ‘Happenings’ stack up against 2022’s reinvention record, ‘The Alchemist’s Euphoria’? We described that record as a cleansing album that reset the story for the band stating, “This album does what it needs to do to shore up the ship, but it almost leaves you now asking what’s next?”

WATCH The video for darkest lullaby
Kasabian – ‘Darkest Lullaby’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Well, what’s next is a ten song collection with a runtime of nearly 28 minutes dead, which means it’s a succinct and to the point album designed to capture their live energy on record. Frontman Serge Pizzorno has discussed writing this album from the perspective of how the songs will sound live, and the early songs on the album all will translate well on this front.

‘Darkest Lullaby’, ‘Call’, ‘How Far Will You Go’, ‘Coming Back To Me Good’ and the previously released ‘Algorithms’ will all fit into a modern Kasabian setlist with ease and from that standpoint it’s mission achieved for Pizzorno and co.

That said and returning to the earlier point – there are no big hitters on this album. No song that you instantly hold up as on par with their early hits. That however is an impossible measuring stick and shouldn’t take away from the fact that this is another decent if unspectacular showing for this new look version of Kasabian.

If you forget the past, and only focus on the now then you’ll find this to be a short, sharp fling of upliftingly fun dance-indie tunes. If however, you long for indie-rock anthems you’re better off looking into the new breed of indie rock band presently emerging.

Share our review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

The Warning

Keep Me Fed

Follow us on Social Media

THE WARNING – KEEP ME FED – ALBUM REVIEW

The Warning have been building a hardcore fanbase going back a few years before the world shut down. It’s since the world opened back up however that the Mexican trio have really taken off. Every show, whether it be a headline sell out, huge support slot or massive festival opportunity, has been seized with both (or all six) hands!

Now the sisters are preparing for world domination with their all-conquering fourth studio album, ‘Keep Me Fed’!

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘Burnout’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

With six of the twelve tracks already out prior to release, anticipation was high for the record and the remaining half more than meets the expectations set. In fact, if you were going to sit down to write a modern rock album with enough pop sensibility to become a crossover success, then ‘Keep Me Fed’ would be about as perfect as you could get.

We already knew that there were a plethora of strong singles on this record, but when the album as a whole hits as well as this does you have to take note. Often the hype just isn’t really justified, but with The Warning it feels like they are only warming up.

‘Keep Me Fed’ is the ideal album to jump on the bandwagon with because fans old and new will thoroughly enjoy what the trio have captured.

Share our review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

Imagine Dragons

Loom

Follow us on Social Media

After releasing an enormous 32 song double album in 2022 that ran to an absurd 1 hour and 42 minutes, Imagine Dragons are back already but this time they’ve slimlined their approach.

New album, ‘Loom’, sits with just nine tracks and a runtime of just 28 minutes, which makes it instantly more accessible as a collection. ‘Mercury Acts 1&2’ of course did include some of those standard issue Imagine Dragons mega hits, but on a whole was just too much.

‘Loom’ does instantly feel an easier listen which shouldn’t be a surprise, nor should it be a surprise that another huge hit has already been identified with ‘Eyes Closed’ fairing very well on the airwaves.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘EYES CLOSED’
Imagine Dragons – ‘Eyes Closed’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Beyond more of the same however the record just doesn’t hit any different. The group were groundbreaking and have carved out a incredible niche for unnaturally successful pop songs, alas now they feel like reruns of Friends!

We’ll always happily listen to their music, after all we know all the words, we know how the story goes, we feel… comfortable. That said, we also know that there are many more fresh and relevant acts that we could go and check out.

Imagine Dragons have become another band that it’s easy to belittle and poke fun of. They’re a band for people that aren’t “in to” music, but hey at the end of the day I’d take their bank account over mine any day. Equally I’d take their talent with it!

This isn’t a great album, but it’s not a bad one either. It’s not the worst the band have made and it’s not the best…it is just what it is.

Share our review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

Mt. Onsra

Sacred Time

Follow us on Social Media

Mt. ONSRA – SACRED TIME – ALBUM REVIEW

Fate can be a strange thing! For Simon Allen and Russell Cleave, fate (and a pandemic haircut!) would reunite two old bandmates some 20+ years since they last made noise together.

Mt. Onsra was born, and a remotely recorded debut album emerged as the world remained shut down. Almost immediately though, the duo set about creating an even bigger follow-up, which this time around could (mostly) be made in-person.

That sophomore record is now here! Entitled ‘Sacred Time’, the album bursts into life with epic introduction ‘Emergent’. Having grabbed your attention, the duo ensures that over the following eight songs you remain immersed within their massive sound.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘EMERGent’
Mt. Onsra – ‘Emergent’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

From the melodic to the brutal, the expansive and ambitious sound of the album is mesmerising. Each track will take you on a beautiful journey of sonic discovery and with a run time of just over half an hour, you’ll be eager to relive that trip multiple times.

As the duo continue to reconnect and discover where their second journey together is heading, their second record acts as a pertinent marker in time. This is the sound of a band ready to explore the art of the possible and capable of making an indelible mark!

Share our review on Social Media

Watch Episode 50 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Mt. Onsra

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 50 – Mt. Onsra

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine

Categories
Album Reviews

NOTHING MORE

CARNAL

Follow us on Social Media

NOTHING MORE – CARNAL – ALBUM REVIEW

NOTHING MORE return with their new seventh album, ‘CARNAL’, which follows quickly on from 2022’s ‘SPIRITS’.

There has always been something special about the group, and this collection continues to set them apart from their contemporaries. If for no other reason than for the care and attention to detail that goes into their art which is truly admirable.

From the artwork, to the tracklist and the subtle little touches of magic that exude from each track, NOTHING MORE are a band that takes great pride in what they unleash and rightfully so. Each record thus far has mixed deeply insightful lyrics with an intensely powerful sound, and ‘CARNAL’ very much sees them doing what they do best.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘IF IT DOESN’T HURT’
NOTHING MORE – ‘IF IT DOESN’T HURT’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Exhibit number one can be the absolutely gargantuan ‘IF IT DOESN’T HURT’, which is as anthemic as it gets. Further evidence can be taken from their carefully crafted collaborations with Eric Vanlerberghe (‘HOUSE OF SAND’), Sinizter (‘STUCK’) and David Draiman (‘ANGEL SONG’), which all work well individually and as part of this record.

But the true proof of their incredible love and passion for what they do comes on the rest of the tracks. This isn’t a case of a big hit, some random features and a load of filler. Every second counts on ‘CARNAL’, every note adds gravity and every lyric means something.

Existing fans will savour every moment of this album, and with some ragers capable of cutting through to the mainstream, this may be the record that opens even more eyes onto the magic of NOTHING MORE!

Share this review on Social Media

Check out our two Podcasts!

Categories
Album Reviews

The Mysterines

Afraid of Tomorrows

Follow us on Social Media

THE MYSTERINES – AFRAID OF TOMORROWS – ALBUM REVIEW

The Mysterines made a big impression with their superb debut album ‘Reeling’, which finished second in our Album of the Year list in 2022. Eighteen months of heavy touring later, including a prestigious slot opening for Arctic Monkeys on their stadium tour, and the band have grown their audience exponentially.

Time then to strike while the iron is hot, and release a carbon copy of that first record? Not on your life! In their short career, The Mysterines have already shown a fierce desire to explore their creative capabilities and that has been evident in the progress between breakout EP ‘Take Control’, ‘Reeling’ and now their sophomore record ‘Afraid of Tomorrows’.

Heading out to Los Angeles with revered producer John Congleton, the band have commented that Congleton sold himself by stating his opposition to replicating ‘Reeling’. Eager to push themselves, the band dove into these sessions and ended up with an abundance of songs, with only the most engaging making the cut.

Opening track ‘The Last Dance’ in particular proved a catalyst for what was to come and it’s fitting that the song welcomes listeners to the journey that this album will take them on. The band have always felt like a throwback and the limited amount of pre-release singles has been refreshing. It means when listeners dive into ‘Afraid of Tomorrows’ they are doing so with a great sense of intrigue.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘LAST DANCE’
The Mysterines – ‘The Last Dance’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

It’s also liberating that as the album progresses through the likes of ‘Stray’, ‘Another Another Another’ and ‘Tired Animal’, care has clearly been put into the tracklisting to make this album flow like a singular piece of work and not just a randomly collected group of songs.

That cohesion makes this a truly enjoyable record that epitomises the ambition of these four talented musicians. With singer Lia Metcalfe still holding a hypnotic hold over the listener with her powerful vocal delivery, the music provides the perfect balance and enables the groups sound to expand beyond expectation.

‘Afraid of Tomorrows’ really is quite magnificent and will have fans of the band looking forward to the future and the wonders which this incredible band will create!

Share our review on Social Media

Check out our free digital weekly Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

Bon Jovi

Forever

Follow us on Social Media

BON JOVI – FOREVER – ALBUM REVIEW

Anyone would love to have had the career that Bon Jovi have had, but their journey through different eras is something future music historians will view with great perplexity. How many times can a band be written off only for them to reinvent themselves and prove all their doubters wrong.

Whether it’s early glam rock Jovi, soft rock Jovi, hard rock Jovi, ballad Jovi or country Jovi, Jon Bon Jovi and his merry men keep moving whereas their contemporaries pack up or stay put. During a career which has turned them into one of the biggest bands of all time, they’ve also become one of the biggest targets of all time!

An American U2 if you will, the group will be the butt of jokes from your mates, but they’ll be the first in line for tickets and screaming the lyrics to ‘Living on a Prayer’ whenever they come to town. Reviews, quite rightfully of late, have also always been quick to lament the efforts of one of the most enduring acts past few decades.

The title of their new album, ‘Forever’, feels like another proclamation that they aren’t going anywhere despite recent vocal issues trending and their latest albums being highly maligned by most commentators.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘LEGENDARY’
Bon Jovi – ‘Legendary’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

The first thing to note about the record is that Mr Bon Jovi himself sounds in fine fettle and as such the many sing-a-long inducing choruses all sound stadium ready. The second thing is that musically this sounds like peak Bon Jovi, as the band almost go back to basics.

Thirdly, it’s worth admiring that all of those genres listed above are present and, to use another tired cliché, the sound of this album could be referred to as career-spanning! This means that there really is something here for fans from all eras of Bon Jovi and that they don’t do any of these eras a disservice with their offerings here.

‘Forever’ could be a much needed career reset once again for a band with an astonishing work-rate. Indeed, you wouldn’t put it past them to simply go on forever after all. This may not be up there with a ‘Slippery When Wet’ or even a ‘Have a Nice Day’ but it’s a damn sight better than their most recent efforts!

Share this review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!

Categories
Album Reviews

Royal Republic

LoveCop

Follow us on Social Media

Royal Republic are one of those bands that people might struggle with until they see them live on stage. Thereafter they’re guaranteed to be fully converted into the madness that this obscenely catchy party band.

Of course, a band needs songs to play when they are on those stages and Royal Republic are back to grow that arsenal with their fifth studio album entitled ‘LoveCop’. A naturally absurd name for another over the top, all out disco rock release!

The ten tracks on this album may just be their most diverse set yet, despite all heavily capturing that funky style that has typified their sound to date. Indeed, this is a continuation of their previous work, but it’s more than that as the band expand on the retro elements of their music with some sublime 80’s-esque pop hooks lifting these new tracks even higher!

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘AIN’T GOT TIME’
Royal Republic – ‘Ain’t Got Time’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Never afraid to let it all hang out, it’s great to see the group playing with their sound enough to keep things fresh, whilst maintaining their signature aura. ‘LoveCop’ is made for the dancefloor and it will be impossible not to dance along to the likes of ‘My House’, ‘Boots’ and ‘Ain’t Got Time’.

Equally the likes of ‘Lazerlove’ and ‘Electra’ bring something a little different to the collection which keeps it moving nicely. All in all, with a runtime of 35 minutes, the album flies by and provides the band with more than a handful more songs to draw from when they capture your attention from the stage, just as they will at Download!

Share this review on Social Media

Check out our free weekly digital Magazine!