Album Reviews

Twin Atlantic


Twin Atlantic
Twin Atlantic – ‘Transparency’

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It’s a new year, so there is a lot of that “new year, new me” stuff in the air. It’s actually awfully tempting to start this review by saying “new year, new Twin Atlantic”, but that’s far from the truth. The band’s sound has naturally evolved over their last few albums and arrives here and now with their sixth studio release, ‘Transparency’.

It certainly does feel far removed from their early material, but it isn’t as giant a leap as it somehow feels from their 2020 album ‘Power’. There has been a certain flamboyance to their music ever since ‘Great Divide’ elevated them into the mainstream, and yes that flamboyancy is turned up to 11 on this album.

Twin Atlantic – ‘Bang On The Gong’

Pre-release singles ‘One Man Party’ and ‘Bang On The Gong’ unashamedly pointed to the direction of this album and the complete collection definitely doesn’t fail to deliver on the promised lavishness.

‘Transparency’ is short and to the point which suits this statement of an album well. It wouldn’t be fair to say that until now Twin Atlantic have been playing by the rules, but with this album they have certainly thrown off the shackles. The album has the feel of a band comfortably letting loose.

Listen to ‘Dirty’ from Twin Atlantic on our Spotify Hot List!

The results are very intriguing and will illicit reactions one way or the other. Some old school fans may not feel comfortable with the direction of ‘Transparency’, and that’s fine, but there is plenty here for those that have followed Twin Atlantic’s recent trajectory.

There are elements of all eras of the band here, but they are all accentuated on this ambitious record to create a splendiferous symphony of lavish pop rock. So, old school fan or first time listener, sit back and let Twin Atlantic take you on a short, sharp journey of wonder!

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Album Reviews


Servant of the Mind

Volbeat – ‘Servant of the Mind’

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Volbeat find themselves at an interesting point in their career, well, as far as the UK is concerned. Of course the band is huge in Europe, but where do they fit in over here?

They’ve steadily worked their way up festival bills and played larger and larger venues, but will they reach the arena filling, festival headlining status they enjoy elsewhere? They felt on the cusp prior to the release of 2019’s ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ but a slightly lacklustre response to that album and a global pandemic stifled their progress somewhat.

Now, they return with their latest album, ‘Servant of the Mind’, with another chance to make that leap. Whilst ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ wasn’t a momentum killer of an album that many bands in the rock scene have suffered from in recent years, it also didn’t propel them any further. So the ultimate question now is can ‘Servant of the Mind’?

Listen to ‘Wait a Minute My Girl’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

If the early singles, ‘Wait a Minute My Girl’ and ‘Dagen Før’, were anything to go by then that answer would be yes! The album jumps straight in with ‘Temple Of Ekur’, ‘Wait a Minute My Girl’ and ‘The Sacred Stones’ setting the tone for the next sixty plus minutes of music.

Another single ‘Shotgun Blues’, ‘The Devil Rages On’ and ‘Say No More’ all then act to reassure that yes, this is Volbeat at their very best. The thrashing swagger of the guitar work that launched their career is front and centre in all its glory, and the songwriting is able to latch on to create some new classics for the bands arsenal.

Volbeat – ‘Shotgun Blues’

Always a force to be reckoned with live, these tracks will instantly enshrine themselves as fan favourites when the band next take to the stage.

This album certainly finds the band at their relentless best and even as it reaches its latter stages there is plenty to retain your interest. The deluxe version of the album will set you back some 80 minutes of your life, but it’s time well spent.

On the evidence of this album, Volbeat will be pushing themselves further up those festival bills and any lingering doubts can now be dispelled. How could we ever have doubted this band!

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Album Reviews

Beans On Toast

Survival of the Friendliest

Beans On Toast
Beans On Toast – ‘Survival of the Friendliest’

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As per tradition, Beans On Toast is back with a new album for his birthday in which he provides social commentary on the events of the past year. This year sees him in a positive mood with the release of ‘Survival of the Friendliest’.

That positivity is a breath of fresh air in a world that, as the man himself sang, has gone crazy. This is an album exploring the possibility that things can and will get better, after all as the song says ‘Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed’!

Working with the main man on this record are Blaine Harrison and Jack Flanagan of Mystery Jets. The collaboration works perfectly and helps the music match the positivity of the lyrics, creating an infectiously upbeat tone to the album.

‘Survival of the Friendliest’ certainly continues the evolution of this talented artist musically, following the path of its recent predecessors. The accompanying arrangements beautifully showcase those trademark vocals. These songs are distinctively more radio-friendly then his early material.

Beans On Toast – ‘Humans’

Highlights from the album include ‘Humans’ and ‘Let’s Get Married Again’ but the record deserves to be listened to and appreciated in its entirety. We say that because, the collection of songs that comprise this album are up there with the best that Beans On Toast has released.

In a world shrouded in negativity, ‘Survival of the Friendliest’ provides a light in the darkness, a feeling of positivity that instils a sense of hope. Let’s face it, it’s going to take more than an album to change the world, but for forty minutes let Beans On Toast put a smile on your face!

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Beans On Toast recently joined us on The Full Pelt Music Podcast to discuss all things ‘Survival of the Friendlest’.

Audio options are here, or watch on Youtube below!

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Album Reviews

The Darkness


The Darkness Motorheart Album Cover
The Darkness – ‘Motorheart’

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What do you want from a new album by The Darkness? Justin’s falsetto singing? Dan’s riffs? The ferocious, driving rhythm of Frankie and Rufus? Well, the band are back with their new album, ‘Motorheart’ and it’s all in there!

Yes, ‘Motorheart’ delivers on every level of the Darkness-o-meter. There is the oddball witticism, the crazy stories, the inside jokes. The extravagance of the band is what makes them great and thankfully their 7th studio album has it in abundance.

Listen to ‘Nobody Can See Me Cry’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

The story of the band is as unique and colourful as their music, and it’s somewhat astonishing that they’ve reached a point in their career whereby they can say they’ve released seven albums!

A decade ago, nobody would’ve believed a third album possible. Their meteoric rise and subsequent fall from grace seemed to have them confined to the storybooks of rock n’ roll folklore.

Luckily for fans their one way ticket to hell did have that “and back” caveat and they made their heralded return in 2012. Five more albums now in the time since have solidified the bands credibility, if not restored their fame.

‘Motorheart’ continues a hot streak of acclaimed releases and will rightfully take centre stage for their upcoming live shows. ‘Welcome Tae Glasgae’, ‘Motorheart’, ‘It’s Love, Jim’ and ‘Eastbound’ will no doubt go down a treat for those in attendance.

The Darkness – ‘It’s Love, Jim’

Whilst their arena filling days may be gone, The Darkness still sell out large venues across the country and the reputation of their live shows combined with the nostalgia of debut album ‘Permission To Land’ could carry the band into retirement.

Luckily, the band don’t seem content to rest on their laurels and that work rate has now seen them release another quality album. ‘Motorheart’ is well worth your time, so, whether your a die hard or a nostalgia seeker, check it out!

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Album Reviews




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It’s a little over a year since IDLES released their magnificent third studio album ‘Ultra Mono’, but already their fourth has arrived. ‘CRAWLER’ was actually only announced on September 28th as the band dropped the lead single, ‘The Beachland Ballroom’.

So with minimal promotion and fanfare can this album continue the incredible hot streak that the band find themselves on? With just two pre-release singles fans will need to sink their teeth fully into ‘CRAWLER’ to find out, so let’s do just that.

The album starts with ‘MTT 420 RR’ and ‘The Wheel’ quickly establishing that this is definitely an IDLES album. That may sound silly, but following the initial singles there was an element of worry from some that the album may represent a significant departure from their much heralded sound.

Of course, it’s tricky for artists to evolve, with that especially true in the rock or guitar music world. Natural progression can often be seen as selling out by fans loyal to an artist’s early work, making it difficult not to alienate your audience whilst experimenting with your art.

IDLES – ‘Car Crash’

Again as we continue the album with ‘When the Lights Come On’, ‘Car Crash’ and ‘New Sensation’, it’s clear that IDLES have maintained the essence of what has brought them to this point. That said it’s also abundantly obvious that they haven’t been afraid to divert course. They are still on the same road but they have changed lanes.

This shouldn’t be a surprise though as they started to indicate this lane change on ‘Ultra Mono’. Keep doing the same thing and the band will be accused of simple IDLES-by-numbers output, but dare evolve their sound and they will be deemed to have sold out or some similar nonsense.

It really is a hard balance to strike, but on ‘CRAWLER’ they have managed to do just that. This isn’t Dylan going electric, but it is a band stretching their legs. As the album moves on through ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘The Beachland Ballroom’, ‘Crawl!’ and ‘Meds’ you can’t help but imagine how huge these songs will sound live.

Listen to ‘The Beachland Ballroom’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Nobody really expected a new IDLES album so soon after ‘Ultra Mono’, but we’ve got one and ‘CRAWLER’ does exactly what it needs to do. As the band head towards their sold out tour next year, they now have four albums of incredible material to choose from.

The hot streak remains intact and IDLES continue to be one of the most exciting and vital bands around.

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Album Reviews

Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine Album Cover
Bullet For My Valentine – ‘Bullet For My Valentine’

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Bullet For My Valentine were the chosen ones, designated as metal’s big hope to take the genre into the future. They were tipped for festival headline slots and to carry the mantle that would inevitably be left by the Metallica’s of the world.

Well, that was the mid-2000’s and the album run of ‘The Poison’, ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Fever’ had them on the verge of achieving all that was foretold. Sadly, it hasn’t been smooth sailing since that point. Their recent headline slot at the Download Pilot Festival proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with onstage, so where did it go wrong.

The momentum killer appears to have been a very hit or miss output of recordings over the past decade. There have been some great moments but also far too many forgetful or even cringeworthy ones.

Line-up changes have also played their part, but the current line-up has been together long enough now to provide some stability on that front. So as this line-up releases their second album, ‘Bullet For My Valentine’, what does the future hold.

Listen to ‘Knives’ on our Hard & Heavy Playlist

The band can perennially play decent sized venues and festival slots, but if they want to take that leap and fulfil the prophecies they need to at least steady the ship. This album returns to the heavier and more aggressive sound of the bands formative years which certainly helps them.

Bullet For My Valentine – ‘Rainbow Veins’

Whilst there is a slight Bullet-by-numbers feel to the album, that comfort is what is needed from them right now. The likes of ‘Knives’ and ‘Rainbow Veins’ help to elevate the record and place it in the middle range of any ranking of Bullet For My Valentine albums.

Fans of the band will be happy with the album and critics of the band won’t have much to criticise. The ship has been steadied, now let’s see what the band do next.

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Album Reviews

Limp Bizkit

Still Sucks

Limp Bizkit Still Sucks
Limp Bizkit – ‘Still Sucks’

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The tumultuous career of Limp Bizkit has always included an element of surprise, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the bands long awaited sixth studio album gets a surprise release. Well, not a complete surprise as the band did announce its Halloween release a couple of days prior. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the album actually arrived!

This album isn’t the long feted ‘Stampede of the Disco Elephants’ and none of the singles said to be for that record feature on this one. This album entitled ‘Still Sucks’, finds the nu-metal icons in typically self-aware mood, and features their recent single ‘Dad Vibes’.

Limp Bizkit – ‘Dad Vibes’

So is this a more mature release from a band that thrives on chaos? Thankfully not! Whilst clearly the band are older there is still that immaturity to their sound. There is still plenty of fun to be had on this record although now the dad vibes shine through and the jokes are more dad jokes.

That’s actually just what is needed though considering that much of their audience will now be in that age bracket themselves. ‘Still Sucks’ certainly feels like it is designed to appeal to the bands existing fanbase and where they are now in life.

Whilst there is plenty of tongue-in-cheek self-depreciation on the album, the band appear of assured and confident disposition. ‘Still Sucks’ is Limp Bizkit doing what only Limp Bizkit can do, and doing it well.

Listen to ‘Dad Vibes’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

After such a long wait for a new Limp Bizkit album, the desire for such an album has no doubt waned. The band has always been a marmite band, you either love them or you hate them. ‘Still Sucks’ acknowledges this and sticks a middle finger up at the haters.

Did we know we needed this new Limp Bikzit album in 2021? No. Did we? Hell yes!

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Album Reviews

Will Varley

The Hole Around My Head

Will Varley The Hole Around My Head

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Folk troubadour Will Varley has once again sat with his acoustic guitar and plotted the creation of a collection of songs. His latest album is entitled ‘The Hole Around My Head’ and it finds Varley in typically defiant and reflective mood.

There is a real tenderness to this album however that finds Varley unafraid to address the vulnerability of life. It’s a sombre reflection of life, love and the world that we live in, as always crafted with care and designed to captivate.

Watch The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner

The likes of ‘Colour TV’ and ‘Dreamland’ will be held up to as standout moments, but the reality is that this isn’t the collection of songs we mentioned. ‘The Hole Around My Head’ is a singular piece of art that is perfectly melded together by Varley and deserves to be consumed in its entirety.

The name Will Varley is criminally underappreciated and the sad reality is that this album isn’t likely to trouble the very top of the charts. Put a name on the cover such as Ed Sheeran, James Blunt et al and ‘The Hole Around My Head’ is being touted as the best thing since sliced bread.

Will Varley – ‘Pushing Against Us’

There is an incredible pool of talent in this world that are plugging away and deserve a spotlight and Will Varley typifies this. ‘Live Again’, ‘Pushing Against Us’ and ‘The Lonely & The Brave’ close out an album of beautiful and powerful songs that deserves all the praise it will hopefully receive.

‘The Hole Around My Head’ is a delicate masterpiece from a songwriter of the highest level.

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Album Reviews

Skinny Lister

A Matter of Life & Love

Skinny Lister A Matter of Life & Love
Skinny Lister – ‘A Matter of Life & Love’

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Skinny Lister have spent the past decade building a solid following on the back of their fun-filled live shows. They have also managed to accumulate an impressive run of albums and now they return with their fifth studio album, ‘A Matter of Life & Love’.

What follows is another collection of tales, witticism and shanties which again capture the magic of the band on record. Whilst some acts with a live show as revered as theirs might struggle to trap that lightning in a bottle when putting music on tape, Skinny Lister manage it perfectly.

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From the very beginning the likes of ‘Shout It Out’, ‘Tough Stuff Like Us’ and ‘Like It’s the First Time’ showcase the unique Skinny Lister branded folk/punk sound that fans have come accustomed to. At the same time however, it’s nice to hear that sound evolving throughout the record.

This is a well rounded record that doesn’t just capture their live energy but also captures all the various influences that make up each element of their sound. It’s almost like this album is a statement from the band saying we are Skinny Lister and this is what we do!

Skinny Lister – ‘Damn the Amsterdam’

The album is also home to ‘Damn the Amsterdam’ their shanty single featuring The Longest Johns who will be touring with the band shortly. The title track, ‘Embers’ and ‘Bavaria Area’ are all worth a mention too, but it’s the album as a whole that once again highlights the talents of the band.

‘A Matter of Life & Love’ is a well crafted and superbly delivered album that is well worth your time and attention, so pour yourself a drink, put on your dancing shoes and have a little sing-a-long!

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Album Reviews

Don Broco

Amazing Things

Don Broco Amazing Things
Don Broco – ‘Amazing Things’

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As with many album releases in the pandemic era, the release of ‘Amazing Things’ from Don Broco has seen its fair share of issues. With the arrival date for the record already delayed once, the date of the physical release has again been delayed, but thankfully the digital release is now here.

This is the fourth studio album from a band that has grown naturally over the course of their career to the point of headlining Wembley Arena in February 2019. Continued momentum is essential for bands and the pandemic has played havoc for many.

Don Broco have a tour scheduled to happen imminently so the release of ‘Amazing Things’ now is very important for the groups trajectory. More important though is the quality of the album. After all we’ve seen poor albums completely kill the momentum of much heralded bands in recent years.

Don Broco – ‘Gumshield’

The long process of getting this album out has seen a number of tracks come out ahead of its release. ‘Gumshield’, ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’, ‘Endorphins’, ‘One True Prince’ and ‘Uber’ all whet the appetite and hinted at the quality and ambition of ‘Amazing Things’.

Listen to ‘Manchester Super Red No.1 Fan’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Thankfully for the band the preview, glimpses and hints all manifest themselves as an album of pure, unadulterated, adrenaline-filled pop rock pleasure. This is a fun collection of songs which all present as being built to be played live.

As you listen you can visualise the crowd reactions that the songs are bound to elicit. Far from being a momentum killer, ‘Amazing Things’ is set to push the band on to… well, amazing things!

Whilst that may be a cheesy pun, it fits, because Don Broco have always had a cheesy coolness about them. They may not take themselves too seriously, but the music industry should certainly take them seriously as the future of rock.

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