Album Reviews

Planet Fatale

The Cycle Repeats

Planet Fatale The Cycle Repeats Album Cover
Planet Fatale – ‘The Cycle Repeats’

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Planet Fatale formed from the ashes of various Cambridge based bands, and on their debut album, ‘The Cycle Repeats’ a phoenix rises!

It’s all too easy these days for new metal bands to sound… well, generic. This album is a breath of fresh air that manages to avoid such pitfalls. You can certainly hear some clear influences on the record, but they are enveloped and honed into an assured, confident sound that acts as a statement of intent from a band ready to take the metal world by storm.

Planet Fatale – ‘Break For You’

From opening track ‘Talking To Myself’ and fellow single ‘Break For You’ through ‘Shotgun Riders’ and ‘Fight Club’ there is a undercurrent of considered fury. This helps set the tone for an album designed to get your head banging and your foot tapping.

Listen to ‘Talking To Myself’ our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

Whilst most definitely and defiantly a heavy metal record, there is a poppiness to the songs that makes then very moreish. It won’t take long for listeners to be lured into this spiders web of hard hitting goodness.

It can be all too simple to stick with what you know and not try anything new, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. This album is certainly worth your time and Planet Fatale have set themselves a high standard for future releases.

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We recently spoke with singer Hels Johnson for the ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast, where we discuss ‘The Cycle Repeats’ and their upcoming tour plans. Be sure to check out our chat here or watch the video edition below.

‘Discover’ New Music Podcast – Episode 5 – Planet Fatale

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’ from Iron Maiden

Album Reviews

Miss Vincent

A Funeral For Youth

Miss Vincent A Funeral For Youth Album Cover
Miss Vincent – ‘A Funeral For Youth’

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Isn’t it time that we put to bed that tired argument that rock is dead? Rock is thriving, rock has evolved and rock is producing a steady stream of new school bands ready to take over the world.

You may not see every band plastered on billboards or represented in mainstream media but dig deep and there is fantastic new music being produced. Just listen to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and you’ll hear the depth of talent on offer.

One band that has made such an impression as to feature not just once but twice on the Playlist; first with their single ‘Gravity’ and recently with their track ‘Rosaline’ is Miss Vincent. Now with the release of ‘A Funeral For Youth’ we have a full length album to sink our teeth into.

Miss Vincent – ‘Rosaline’

It’s evident very early that the two aforementioned tracks aren’t standout tracks. They are catchy, vibrant single quality tracks for sure, but the rest of the album is just as good!

Superbly crafted and elegantly presented, Miss Vincent have captured magic on their debut album. ‘A Funeral For Youth’ is a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future.

Check out our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast!

It’s rock, but not as we know it! Well, not recently anyway. This is an album that hits the perfect balance between capturing the essence of what we call rock music, whilst managing to manifest a sound digestible to mainstream audiences.

On the opening track the band sing “…this gravity is keeping me down…”, well it’s going to take an immense force to hold this band down, because they appear set for the stars!

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Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

Album Reviews

Manic Street Preachers

The Ultra Vivid Lament

Manic Street Preachers The Ultra Vivid Lament Album Cover

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Having formed way back in 1996, Manic Street Preachers have gone on to have a decorated and celebrated career which has seen the band change and evolve over time. We have seen the band go through various phases in their career with their current era being one in which the band do whatever they want to do.

They have had hit making era’s, angry periods and experimental times and now they have taken elements from each and produced their fourteenth studio album, ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’. If any band has earned the right to do as they please then it likely is Manic Street Preachers. That isn’t to say that they have tuned out or are resting on their laurels, just that they clearly have nothing left to prove.

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That is perhaps, other than their undoubted musical ability. Whether writing angry punk or delicate pop, this band has always created pieces of beauty. It’s no surprise therefore that ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is full of intricate melodies, captivating rhythms and enchanting refrains.

Manic Street Preachers – ‘The Secret He Had Missed’

There are songs such as ‘Orwellian’ and ‘The Secret He Had Missed’ that standout but in general this is a record to be savoured as a collection as opposed to cherry picking single tracks. The days of mega hits may be gone for the band, but they have plenty of those already.

Manic Street Preachers have earned the moniker of icons, they have enjoyed incredible success and now have the right to create whatever type of album they want. ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ is an enjoyable listen and the band clearly still has something to say!

Read our review of ’21st Century Love Songs’ from The Wildhearts

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Check out our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast

Album Reviews

The Wildhearts

21st Century Love Songs

The Wildhearts 21st Century Love Songs Album Cover
The Wildhearts – ’21st Century Love Songs’

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After so many chaotic on again off again years, The Wildhearts feel like they are now at the peak of their powers. Whilst the talent in the group has never been in question, many people will still have been surprised by the excellence of their 2019 comeback album ‘Renaissance Men’. With the band also firing on all cylinders live, it feels like the band are making up for lost time.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that the follow up to ‘Renaissance Men’ is already upon us. Again, we also shouldn’t be surprised then at the quality of that album! ‘21st Century Love Songs’ continues the momentum that the band has built up and capitalises flawlessly on their knack for writing catchy rock songs.

The Wildhearts – ‘Remember These Days’

From the opening title track through ‘Remember These Days’, ‘Splitter’ and the whole album, this is an unapologetic, brash, hearts on sleeves belter of a record. It cries for the volume to be turned up and the inhibitions to be turned down. This is a drunken party album that captures the current world climate perfectly.

Listen to ‘Sort Your Fucking Shit Out’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

You’ll unwittingly find yourself singing along to these impassioned songs at the top of your lungs; which really is the ideal remedy after what everybody has been through over the past year and a half! ‘21st Century Love Songs’ is a medicinal and cathartic release from The Wildhearts that is made for screaming aloud in a hot sweaty music venue.

It really is time to stop being surprised by the quality in this band, after all the diehards have known for a long, long time what the band can offer. It’s just now perhaps everyone else will wake up to the fact.

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Read our review of Frank Turner live at Coda, Colchester

Album Reviews

Iron Maiden


Iron Maiden Senjutsu Album Cover
Iron Maiden – ‘Senjutsu’

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Iron Maiden are a legendary act that have earned the right to do things their way. Generally their way is very well prepared. Plans are set out some times years in advance. Album release schedules, touring schedules etc are meticulously planned out as the machine that is Maiden rolls on.

Recent years have been disruptive to this routine however, firstly with the delays to the release and tour of ‘The Book of Souls’ due to the cancer treatment undertaken by frontman Bruce Dickinson. Then with Dickinson fit and well and the band enjoying the highly successful ‘Legacy of the Beast’ tour, a global pandemic hits!

Iron Maiden – ‘Stratego’

Tour plans again are torn up and replanned, then torn up again. Now with the world praying it’s on a better path, live shows are again scheduled and the machine is coming back online. So, despite still having some ‘Legacy of the Beast’ dates to fulfil, the band are back with their seventeenth studio album, ‘Senjutsu’.

With the album clocking in at over 80 minutes, clearly this isn’t an album aimed at winning over new audiences. Indeed Iron Maiden already have a dedicated and well established base of listeners. For those fans this album is another treat. It is Iron Maiden doing exactly what you’d expect Iron Maiden to do.

Listen to ‘The Writing On The Wall’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

That being said, whilst this is a typical Maiden release it isn’t the album you’d suggest if asked to pick an album to introduce somebody to the band. In fitting with recent releases this is a feature length record that deserves to be listened to as a whole. You certainly won’t find any short and sweet, radio friendly unit shifters on here.

Again, this is a band with a plan, a well oiled machine that knows its place. ‘Senjutsu’ is safe and collectors will welcome it into their set. There isn’t a bad track here, but there aren’t any that particularly jump out either.

It will be interesting now to see how many tracks make their way into the live show moving forward. Given we said that the album stands as a whole, perhaps full album shows are deserved here. One way or another these songs will come to life and as always with this band will take on new life once unleashed live.

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Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Album Reviews

The Joy Formidable

Into the Blue

The Joy Formidable Into the Blue Album Review
The Joy Formidable – ‘Into the Blue’

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The Joy Formidable – those who know, know! This is a band that has been consistently putting out quality music for well over a decade now. They’ve had big support slots with the likes of Muse and Foo Fighters and have garnered critical acclaim with each release. It just seems that still not enough people know!

For the groups dedicated fanbase their fifth studio album, ‘Into the Blue’, represents another glaring example of their talents. Packed full of delicate yet dark, melodic yet powerful rock numbers those already in the club will revel at a collection of some of the bands best work.

Listen to ‘Interval’ on our Spotify Hot List!

‘Chimes’, ‘Sevier’ and ‘Interval’ help to steer the record in a direction that has seen big results for contemporaries of The Joy Formidable. The fact is this band will be quoted as influences for many new young alternative rock bands troubling the charts. But is it a case of always the bridesmaid, never the bride for this band?

It feels criminal that the bands highest charting album was their debut, ‘The Big Roar’ which reached 31 in the UK Album Charts. ‘Into the Blue’ sounds like a contender of an album from start to finish. Listening to the record you wonder whether if the name of the artist was a more popular one just how successful the album would be.


That is to say that ‘Into the Blue’ deserves to trouble the very top of the charts. Instead it will likely be another cult-like release hailed by collectors and connoisseurs but glossed over by the masses. This is a shame because this is another very good release from a band overdue commercial success.

Those who know, know. Now on their fifth studio album however, it’s time for those that don’t know to educate themselves on The Joy Formidable.

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Read our review of ‘Pressure Machine’ from The Killers

Album Reviews

Press To MECO


Press To MECO Album Review Transmute
Press To MECO – ‘Transmute’

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‘Transmute’ is the third studio album from Press To MECO and their first since the departure of bassist Adam Roffey. With this being their first line-up alteration since their 2011 inception, what impact might this change have?

Well, by the time you get through ‘Another Day’, ‘Smouldering Sticks’ and ‘A Test of Our Resolve’ it’s clear that the addition of Jake Crawford from ACODA has only made the band stronger.

Press To MECO – ‘A Test of Our Resolve’

The trio completed by Luke Caley and Lewis Williams have always been a hidden treasure of the British rock scene, but with ‘Transmute’ you sense they may not be hidden much longer! After all, it would be criminal to ignore an album this good.

Press To MECO have always had a knack for creating ferocious yet catchy songs and this album is packed full of tasty rifftastic bangers. Existing fans will certainly find familiarity on ‘Transmute’, but the record also comes with a sense of evolution. There is a maturity and growth in evidence on a record that seemingly captures the band at their very best.

Listen to ‘Gold’ on our Spotify Hot List!

As the album concludes with a run of ‘Gold’, ‘Way to Know’ and the stunning ‘Hesitation’ you realise just how glorious and majestic the band can sculpt their art. You probably also realise that you now can’t resist hitting play again. ‘Transmute’ sure has a feel of a record that will be on repeat for the foreseeable future.

So, going back to that opening question and what impact the line-up change would have? Thankfully this record maintains all that was great about the band but also elevates the band to another level. Nobody likes change, but sometimes change is for the better!

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Read our review of ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ from Trash Boat

Album Reviews

The Killers

Pressure Machine

The Killers Pressure Machine Album Cover
The Killers – ‘Pressure Machine’

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The Killers truly are a one of a kind, unique, beast of band. One that has reached a level whereby they can pretty much do whatever they want. So why on earth wouldn’t they write and release a concept album based on singer Brandon Flowers’ childhood in rural Utah?

Yes this album isn’t your typical Killers album – if there is such a thing? A band not afraid to experiment and always able to capture their mood; The Killers are always evolving. This record is brought on by the pandemic both creatively and due to scheduling (the band are yet to tour their previous album, ‘Imploding the Mirage’).

Check out Full Pelt Music on Spotify!

‘Pressure Machine’ is the signature of a band comfortable in their skin. It features snippets of the bands past whilst evolving further their more restrained and mature sound. If you are a fan of the band than this is another great addition to their catalogue; if you have been living under a rock and are new to the band then its appeal would diminish. Not due to poor quality (it’s very good!) but a lack of hit like material would turn off fickle newcomers.

You could say that with a concept album such as this that is a compliment. This record certainly feels like it needs to be heard as a whole, from start to finish. It tells us a story, and to just cherry pick tracks from it makes it lose its charm somewhat.

The Killers – ‘Quiet Town’

A simple fact is that The Killers have more than their fair share of hits, including one of the most iconic tracks of all time in ‘Mr. Brightside’. ‘Quiet Town’, ‘Runaway Horses’ and ‘In Another Life’ may not top any singles charts but they will certainly win hearts.

‘Pressure Machine’ is a connoisseur’s album, but let’s face it, the odds are the album itself will top the charts!

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Read our review of Frank Turner live at Coda, Colchester

Album Reviews

Trash Boat

Don’t You Feel Amazing?

Trash Boat Don't You Feel Amazing Album Cover
Trash Boat – ‘Don’t You Feeling Amazing?’

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St. Albans rockers Trash Boat have been growing steadily since their inception in 2014. ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ is the third studio album from the band and from the moment you hit play it feels like a statement from them to the world.

This album is a band taking the next step up and growing into something much bigger. Trash Boat are certainly a band that have earned their stripes and paid their dues. Many, many live shows have built a solid reputation and dedicated fanbase for the band.

Read our review of Trash Boat at Download Pilot Festival

That reputation and fanbase will almost definitely be growing significantly with this record providing a highly accessible yet punchy sound for listeners to sink their teeth into. ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’, ‘Silence Is Golden’ and ‘Bad Entertainment’ do exactly what you want an opening trio to do and suck you right in.

Listen to ‘Bad Entertainment’ on our Spotify Hot List!

The album progresses and continues to display the bands knack for writing seriously catchy songs. ‘Love Without Needing’, ‘He’s So Good’ and ‘Vertigo’ continuing the momentum before ‘Alpha Omega’ ramps up the intensity.

Trash Boat – ‘He’s So Good’

You almost wait for the quality to drop, but that doesn’t happen. Songs such as ‘Cannibal’, ‘Synthetic Sympathy’ and closer ‘Maladaptive Daydreaming’ ensure the second half of the album parallels the quality of the first.

With ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ Trash Boat have delivered their best work yet and they appear ready to lead the charge for British rock.

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Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

Album Reviews

Dead Nature

Watch Me Break Apart

Dead Nature Watch Me Break Apart Album Cover
Dead Nature – ‘Watch Me Break Apart’

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The creativity and passion of Tarek Musa in undeniable. The former Spring King frontman has formed a credible production career since the disbandment of that band. Not content to simply remain behind the desk however he is back behind the microphone for a new project.

The moniker of his new project is Dead Nature and now he has delivered his debut album, ‘Watch Me Break Apart’. It’s a record that bursts straight to life with its title track and showcases that Musa has ample talent to go with that creativity and passion.

Dead Nature – ‘Watch Me Break Apart’

The fantastic ‘Hurricane’ then shows the pop credentials of what is a genre-bending compilation. Clearly Musa has drawn not just from his past output as an artist but has also been influenced by artists that he has worked with and been inspired by.

Being a solo record you’d expect the album to represent Musa and his vision but ‘Watch Me Break Apart’ feels like it goes even further. This is an artist pouring all of their self into their creation and discovering magic.

The run of ‘Falling Apart’, ‘Red Clouds’ and ‘Rivers’ is stunning and helps to define a release that will define the future of a very talented individual. Musa clearly has a career path as a producer, but must balance that and let his creativity flow with Dead Nature. This project has legs and a very promising future.

Read our review of ‘How to Ruin Your Life’ from Paris Youth Foundation

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‘Falling Apart’ from Dead Nature features on our brand new ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify. Discover your next favourite artists now!

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