THE MURDER CAPITAL – GIGI’s recovery – ALBUM REVIEW
With their debut album, 2019’s ‘When I Have Fears’, The Murder Capital fully thrust themselves in the burgeoning post-punk scene and gained themselves a dedicated fanbase in the process. A lot has happened in the intervening years but now the group are back with their all so important sophomore album, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’!
This second record certainly sees the band stretching their legs and testing the boundaries of their art. Expansive and explorative this is a delicate yet decisive collection of songs which brims with belief.
WATCH ‘The stars will leave their stage’ on youtube
This is undoubtedly a brave sonic adventure undertaken by a band confident in their ability to conjure magic and assured by the acceptance of their audience. The album slowly leads us on the journey that the band has creatively been on over the past few years.
It’s methodical yet loose, meticulous but elegant, and therefore has no real standout moments. The album as a whole is the standout moment as The Murder Capital evolve into something very special indeed.
Already identified as a great hope, now it’s clear to all that The Murder Capital are not to be slept on as they endear themselves with their triumphant second album!
BLACK STAR RIDERS – WRONG SIDE OF PARADISE – ALBUM REVIEW
It hasn’t been an easy road for Black Star Riders, formed from the backlash against the idea of the last incarnation of Thin Lizzy creating new music. The group has proved all doubters wrong with their subsequent output – four albums of undisputed rock and roll class, and ten years of effortless cool, delicious riffs and belting melodies.
Black Star Riders have long established themselves as a credible entity in their own right and that’s despite numerous line-up changes testing their resolve. The biggest line-up change however came in 2021 with the departure of guitar-slinger extraordinaire Scott Gorham. Gorham was integral to the formation of the group and his departure leaves singer/guitarist Ricky Warwick as the sole remaining original member.
With Warwick firmly at the helm though, the band retain the heart and soul of their signature sound and presentation. Warwick’s career renaissance may have started in Thin Lizzy, but Black Star Riders allowed him to rediscover himself and unleash his natural talents back on the world.
New album, ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’, may be another new beginning but it’s also a continuation of the essence of Black Star Riders. That signature sound remains firmly and passionately intact, and Warwick’s distinguished vocals remain front and centre issuing that iconic battle cry as only he can!
Those famous riffs remain also as the album presents the perfect stable yet evolutionary prose that acts as the necessary statement to show that sans Gorham, this band remain a powerful force with a prosperous future.
Fans have a fifth album of pure rock and roll majesty, which still owes all to the faith that the initial cohort placed in themselves. They knew they had something special and now ten years later, the world knows it too!
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!
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!