Album Reviews

The Kooks

10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark

Follow us on Social Media


The Kooks have been busy celebrating their seminal debut album, ‘Inside In/Inside Out’, on recent tours, but they are a nostalgia act just yet!

New record, ’10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’, is the group’s sixth studio album, which isn’t the most prolific discography but is on par with most of their contemporaries. What the band has done however is deliver consistency with each of their previous efforts showcasing their talents well.

Over the course of these releases The Kooks have evolved sonically and the differences between that debut and this latest release are clear. ’10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’ features the bands now signature expansive sound and bursts straight to life with opening track ‘Connection’.

The Kooks – ‘Connection’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

At just over half an hour this isn’t a long album, which I feel helps it maintain the listeners attention. There is much ground broken on the record, now that you’re really expecting or wanted experimentation from The Kooks in 2022. That said there is enough here to fend off that nostalgia scene for a little longer.

The band do appear to have found their groove which is far removed now from the sound that broke them into the mainstream. Of course, those songs still exist and feature heavily in their live shows but if you are expecting another ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ from The Kooks you’ll be disappointed.

Expectation therefore is key when approaching ’10 Tracks to Echo in the Dark’, something which the slightly ostentatious title does assist with. This was never going to be the so called “classic” Kooks sound.

That’s not a bad thing though and this isn’t a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, it just needs a little perspective. The album isn’t a bad way to spend half an hour, but it won’t leave much of a lasting impression either.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Neck of the Woods Festival with headliners The Kooks

Album Reviews

Deaf Havana

The Present is a Foreign Land

Follow us on Social Media


The entire career of Deaf Havana has been rather stop/start with vulnerabilities and insecurities often holding back; ironically though it’s also those same traits that have made the band such essential listening in the past.

The band has had many highs but their previous effort, ‘Rituals’ and the touring that followed saw the band perhaps at their lowest. The band clearly had high hopes for the record and hoped the pop direction and polished visuals would contribute to their greatest successes, only to be demoralised when the album fell flat and the bands momentum actually faded instead of escalated.

Watching some of their final UK shows on that album cycle, it was clear there were issues. The passion appeared to be gone and it felt as though the band were simply going through the motions. It was not really a surprise then at the end of last year that James and Matthew Veck-Gilodi revealed that the band had planned to split in early 2020.

Instead the duo announced that they were now the only remaining members but that new music was coming. That new music comes now in the shape of the bands sixth studio album, ‘The Present is a Foreign Land’.

It’s been a turbulent musical journey from their post-hardcore debut, through their folk rock and alt rock albums to the pop sound of ‘Rituals’. The first question for me was, which Deaf Havana would appear on this album, and secondly would whichever version appearing be any good?

Deaf Havana – ‘Going Clear’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

The brutally honest lyricism of their finest work presents itself instantly on the opening track, ‘Pocari Sweat’, and their peak ‘Those Countless Nights’ vibe comes out on early highlight, ‘19dreams’. Soon enough some of those folk influences emerge, before the pop sound makes its presence known also.

The answer to that first question clearly being, E. All of the Above! This certainly feels like a fresh start for the band, a new beginning, but one that recognises just where they have come from.

On the second point of quality, this is leaps and bounds ahead of the poorly executed experiment that ‘Rituals’ felt like. This feels more like the band that many tipped for huge success. The pop sensibilities are here to stay but they have been intertwined with the sounds that made you fall in love with the band.

Whereas ‘Rituals’ felt forced, ‘The Present is a Foreign Land’ feels like the natural evolution of Deaf Havana. This band is far too good to disappear, so let’s be glad that they’ve emerged from this latest change still with important things to say!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Pearl Jam live at BST Hyde Park

Album Reviews


Planet Zero

Follow us on Social Media


Shinedown’s stock continues to rise album by album, with their previous effort, ‘Attention Attention’, being the first to crack the UK Top 10. They just performed a huge main stage slot at Download Festival and later this year they will headline Wembley Arena for the first time as part of a UK Tour.

Yes, their trajectory in the UK finally appears to be matching that of their homeland so it would be a good time now for the band to release a top quality album wouldn’t it?

Well, within a couple of tracks it’s pretty clear that their seventh studio album, ‘Planet Zero’ is just that. With 20 tracks, including 7 short interludes, and sitting at just shy of the 50 minute mark, I did have my trepidations, but the album simply breezes by.

Shinedown – ‘Planet Zero’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

Everything that has got Shinedown to this point is present with thronging guitars and soaring vocals met by moments of melancholic captivation. This is also an expansive album however with the band continuing to explore the further reaches of their signature sound.

This means that there is a pleasing familiarity to the album whilst your interest is routinely piqued. The themes on this conceptual release are highly relevant, daring and thought provoking which engages the listener from the beginning with ‘No Sleep Tonight’ and ‘Planet Zero’; all the way through to the records climactic run of ‘Daylight’, ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’, ‘Army of the Underappreciated’ and ‘What You Wanted’.

This is the second album to be produced by bassist Eric Bass following ‘Attention Attention’ and that dynamic appears to work well for a band who have always appeared direct and assured in their self-belief and faith in their artist approach.

‘Planet Zero’ is peak Shinedown and the album does exactly what the band need it to do at this point in their career. They may be seven albums in now, but the future remains very bright for this empowering band.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Rival Sons live in Norwich

Album Reviews

Nova Twins


Follow us on Social Media


Nova Twins have been slowly building their fanbase with impressive support slots and festival appearances. In February 2020, you know just before the world stood still, the duo released their debut in ‘Who Are The Girls?’.

Despite the difficulties for music promotion over the next year or so, stock in the band has only risen with their debut album a critical success. The quality of that first album helped to back up the hype that had begun to surround Amy Love and Georgia South.

Now, the duo are unleashing their sophomore album on the world as they continue to lay the groundwork for stardom.

The potential for this band is unlimited with their genre-defying sound making them a true crossover act. Fans of various musical types will find comfort in ‘Supernova’, which sees Nova Twins once again delivering a slice of action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled, electro-punk groove.

Nova Twins – ‘Antagonist’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube!

Single, ‘Antagonist’, is straight in your face and sets the tone for what’s to come from the rest of the record. ‘Cleopatra’, ‘K.M.B.’ and ‘Fire & Ice’ are highlights but there really isn’t a bad track on ‘Supernova’.

The duo are clearly growing in confidence with every record, and this album is a timestamp of a band transitioning from having potential to delivering the goods.

If you like music with attitude, passion and ferocity then this album and Nova Twins are most definitely for you. ‘Supernova’ really is a half hour of power and it will do nothing but continue to push this incredible band on their upwards trajectory!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Nova Twins supporting Bring Me The Horizon live in London

Album Reviews

Def Leppard

Diamond Star Halos

Follow us on Social Media


With their huge American Stadium Tour on the horizon, Def Leppard have returned with their first new album in seven years. ‘Diamond Star Halos’ is actually only their 12th studio album since their inception some 45 years ago.

The band certainly hasn’t been prolific then, and there has been some mixed results amongst those 12 albums from the sublime and iconic, to the flat and forgettable. How then will this new release stand up?

Well, it starts off very well indeed with ‘Take What You Want’, ‘Kick’ and ‘Fire It Up’. I’d say that ‘Kick’ is up there with the catchiest songs of their career, which is a high compliment indeed.

Def Leppard – ‘Kick’

Listen to ‘Kick’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

I’ll note now the length of the album, sitting at just over an hour, and admit straight away that this feels too much. Cutting a few tracks to get the album around the 45 minutes mark would benefit the overall ease of consumption a lot.

Sonically the album is something of a throwback to their past glories and more than just a doff of the hat to their influences. Whilst this leads to some enjoyable moments, it also sees the band linger a little too long in others.

This is a difficult album to review, because there are plenty of high points and not many bad parts to pinpoint; it just feels bloated. It’s around twelfth track, ‘Angels (Can’t Help You Now)’, that I really begin to sap and feel the album needs to wrap up, but I’m daunted when I see that there is another thirteen minutes left!

‘Diamond Star Halos’ is worth your attention and patience, it is a solid album from a band with nothing to prove. I just feel with a few tweaks to the tracklist it could’ve been a great album.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Ricky Warwick live in Norwich

Album Reviews

Liam Gallagher


Follow us on Social Media


The resurrection of Liam Gallagher has truly been an incredible thing to witness. Anyone placing bets on Liam becoming one of the largest solo acts in the UK following the dissolution of Beady Eye would have gotten more than a few sideways looks.

But… that is exactly what has happened with Gallagher selling out arenas, festivals and huge outdoor shows consistently over the past five years. He has two solo number one albums to his name, and now you’d be a fool to bet against him gaining a third with new record, ‘C’MON YOU KNOW’.

There is no doubting the iconic status that Gallagher holds, but what he has achieved in recent years will change his legacy forever for the better. Out from the shadows of Oasis and his brother, Liam has shocked many with the way he has carried himself musically and personally.

A new generation of fans has discovered his iconic voice, not just for his past successes but also for his current output and that is a beautiful thing.

His first two solo albums have been more than solid, whilst sticking closely sonically to what his has always been known for. ‘C’MON YOU KNOW’, however sees Gallagher opening up musically to incorporate wider influences.

Liam Gallagher – ‘Everything’s Electric’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube!

Perhaps not genre-bending in the truest sense, as the album is still rooted in familiar territory, but this is the most diverse collection of songs to feature Liam’s name. Perhaps slightly ironic given his jovial jousting at his sibling, although I do doubt there is any scissor playing present here.

The singles have been well selected and in fact the likes of ‘Everything’s Electric’ and the title track are literally the standout tracks. The rest of the album is once again solid and task achieving but perhaps slightly underwhelming in the grand scheme of things.

What saves this album from mediocrity and raises it to the standards expected is the diversification. This is perhaps the most interesting album of Gallagher’s solo career, if not the best in quality. What is does do is once again prove the critics wrong and demonstrate that Gallagher is a viable solo artist.

More than that he remains one of the biggest names in the industry and somehow retains relevance some thirty years into his career. Gallagher is remarkable and of course iconic!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Fatherson live in Cambridge

Album Reviews

The Black Keys

Dropout Boogie

Follow us on Social Media


Flashback almost 10 years ago now and the already well established The Black Keys were on the cusp of real superstardom after the incredible success of ‘El Camino’. Then the disruption began.

Whilst touring follow up album, ‘Turn Blue’, drummer Patrick Carney dislocated his shoulder and several shows were cancelled. Once that tour concluded the band went on an extended hiatus, returning in 2019 with ‘Let’s Rock’ to somewhat of a whimper.

A covers album followed last year, and any momentum the band still had seemed to dissipate. Neither, ‘Let’s Rock’ or ‘Delta Kream’ were bad albums, but neither lived up to the high standards and expectations of the band.

On now to March this year and a fantastic single, ‘Wild Child’ peaked interest again. Could The Black Keys rediscover the magic that established them as one of the biggest and best live bands rock bands on the planet?

The Black Keys – ‘Wild Child’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

Well, here we are in May 2022 and we now have their eleventh studio album, ‘Dropout Boogie’, and thankfully that special touch seems to have returned. ‘Wild Child’ and fellow single, ‘It Ain’t Over’ open the album superbly and remind fans just why they fell in love with the band.

Yes, this truly is a clichéd return to form for The Black Keys, who have seemingly benefitted from returning to basics. This is a simple yet effective hard rock stomp capturing the elements of blues and garage rock that helped define their sound.

Billy F Gibbons featuring track, ‘Good Love’ is another highlight, but really there isn’t a bad song on the album. Carney and Dan Auerbach have their synchronicity back, and fans have The Black Keys back on top form.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Muse live in London

Album Reviews


Pure Evil

Follow us on Social Media


London rockers Puppy offered great promise on their debut album, ‘The Goat’, back in 2019. Now the three-piece return with sophomore offering, ‘Pure Evil’, so how does this album hold up against its predecessor?

Well, from the very beginning the bands trademark sound remains intact as they produce a unique crossover of grunge and metal with a pop bow on top. Intro ‘Shining Star’ leads into single ‘The Kiss’ as the album very much picks up where ‘The Goat’ left off.

Puppy – ‘The Kiss’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

That’s certainly not to say that there isn’t progress made on ‘Pure Evil’. Somehow the riffs feel meatier yet the melodies sound poppier as the band stretch the differing ends of their rock and roll rainbow.

In doing so the end result may well be a pot of gold. Well perhaps not literal gold, but definitely musical gold. The likes of ‘My Offer’ and ‘…And Watched It Glow’ show that Puppy maintain their power to craft strong singles; but it’s the overall quality on show that cements the band as one of the finest purveyors of new rock music.

As the album comes towards a close, the band deliver more examples of the maturity in sound reached since their debut. ‘Angel’, ‘Shame’ and ‘Glacial’ give ‘Pure Evil’ a stunning ending and leave you ready to hit play again.

Puppy have managed to back up their fantastic debut with another album packed full of sublime alt rock that further establishes the band as amongst the best young rock bands around.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of October Drift live in Norwich

Listen to ‘…And Watch It Glow’ from Puppy on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

Album Reviews



Follow us on Social Media


The career of Fozzy is a very unique one, but the trajectory of the band both in terms of quality and professional growth is simple. The group’s career progression has been driven by the continued advancement in quality of their musical output.

2017’s ‘Judas’ took the band to new heights, with major thanks to the success of the title track. Now five years on the band are back with their eighth studio album, ‘Boombox’, and looking to maintain that positive ascent.

The album starts well with the singles ‘Sane’, ‘I Still Burn’ and ‘Purifier’. These tracks had already given a strong inclination of what to expect from the album as a whole, and they provide a fine opening run for listeners.

Fozzy – ‘Sane’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

Over the past 20+ years Fozzy albums have transformed from all covers, to a mix of covers and originals, to originals with a couple of standout tracks, to finally in recent years fully developed pieces of work.

‘Boombox’ continues this trend, and flows well with the bands signature sound taking centre stage with a few ebbs and flows mixed in to keep things interesting. ‘Army of One’ and ‘Ugly On The Inside’ particularly add something a little different into the mix.

Speaking of adding surprises into the mix, the band continues to throw in occasional cover versions and ‘Boombox’ features a surprisingly fun version of ‘Relax’ from Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Fozzy have no doubt proven many doubters wrong over the years, and thankfully for their fans there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Eight albums in and the band feel like they have reached the peak of their powers, although you wouldn’t put it past them to keep on getting better.

On ‘Boombox’ the band show again that the likes of single ‘Nowhere To Run’ are no longer outlying standouts but they are now the normal standard for Fozzy.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of The Treatment live in Cambridge

Album Reviews


Back From The Dead

Follow us on Social Media


Halestorm sing “…In my redemption, I’m my own redemption…” on their new track, ‘My Redemption’.

The band may not be in need of redemption but their upwards trajectory has appeared to be stalling recently. Let’s not talk about flattening curves however as we’ve heard enough of that over the past two years! But certainly momentum has been slowing for the band.

The band has built a solid and very dedicated fanbase over the past decade or so, but have they hit their peak? Well, they certainly never died, but with their fifth studio album, the band are ‘Back From The Dead’ as it were!

Halestorm – ‘Back From The Dead’

Find Full Pelt Music on Youtube

Yes, living up to the name of the album, new life now breathes through the band as they deliver some of their best work to date.

The album starts out strong with the title track, ‘Wicked Ways’ and ‘Strange Girl’; and the quality never really drops. Whether rocking hard on the likes of ‘The Steeple’ or captivating on ballads such as ‘Terrible Things’ or album closer ‘Raise Your Horns’, this is Halestorm on top form.

It has obviously been an appalling couple of years and many bands have struggled or seen their momentum hit during this time, but with ‘Back From The Dead’, you feel that Halestorm have caught the ball rather than dropping it!

The band will be returning to the UK for an Arena tour with Alter Bridge this December and you feel , with the reset button pushed, that the band are ready to live up to their potential and sit atop the throne sooner rather than later.

Rock most definitely isn’t dead (sorry Gene), and neither are Halestorm!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Ghost live in Birmingham