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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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

EP Reviews


American Noir

Creeper American Noir cover
Creeper – ‘American Noir’

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From their early EP’s and through their debut album and subsequent disappearance in 2018, Creeper have always been a theatrical and mysterious band. It’s this nature that has helped to cultivate an aura of excitement that has nurtured a passionate cult of a fanbase.

Following a longer than planned absence after that fateful London show in November 2018 the band were then greeted by a global pandemic. Lesser bands would have folded, but not Creeper. Instead fans were finally treated to the spectacular sophomore album ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’.

With touring not possible fans have been craving an opportunity to witness the glory of these songs live. Not resting on their laurels however, Creeper already have new music to present! Thankfully live music is now returning, because their new EP, ‘American Noir’ simply whets the appetite even further.

Read our review of Creeper at Download Pilot Festival

Creeper – ‘Damned and Doomed’

The EP bursts into glorious life with lead single ‘Midnight’ which demonstrates the continued evolution of the band into something bigger. ‘American Noir’ follows on perfectly from ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’ both sonically and thematically.

Listen to ‘Midnight’ on our Spotify Hot List!

‘America At Night’ and the incredible ‘Ghosts Over Calvary’ help to elevate this EP towards the best record that Creeper has released to date. ‘One of Us’ and ‘Damned and Doomed’ bring an end to a short but all so sweet collection of songs.

This is a stunning release from a band assumedly at the peak of their powers. But then, you should never assume with Creeper! On this trajectory those early predications of stardom remain on course.

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Read our review of ‘Salem II’ from Salem

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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EP Reviews


Seize the Power

Yonaka Album Review
Yonaka – ‘Seize the Power’

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Since arriving on the scene in 2017 with their debut EP, Yonaka have gained a much deserved reputation as a fierce live act and a stunning band willing to push boundaries on record. Their debut album, ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ showcased a band ready for huge things. After the events of the past year or so that release feels a long time ago, but it was only May 2019.

The pandemic has stifled the trajectory of many young acts, but Yonaka are leading the charge as we hope to return to some form of normality. With a string of quality singles in recent months, the band have ensured that they are on the tip of people’s tongues ready to conquer the world when live music returns. And if their recent performance at Download Pilot Festival is anything to go by, the band will do just that!

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Yonaka – ‘Seize the Power’

Discography anoraks can debate whether ‘Seize the Power’ is an EP or an album, but what we know is it’s 26 minutes of Yonaka at their best. Starting with the powerful ‘Ordinary’ this release is anything but ordinary! ‘Seize the Power’ and ‘Get Out’ demonstrate that the band are still able to mix catchy pop melodies with hard hitting beats to create a sound equally at home in front of mosh pits and dancefloors.

‘Raise Your Glass’ majestically captures the band in gloriously stirring mood before ‘Clique’ (complete with FEVER 333 appearance) packs an instant punch to rile you back up. ‘Greedy’, ‘Call Me a Saint’ and ‘Anthem’ then see out what is another high quality release from a band that thus far haven’t put a foot wrong.

Listen to ‘Call Me a Saint’ on our Spotify Hot List!

The future remains very bright for Yonaka and if they can keep releasing music of this quality then the world really is their oyster.

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Read our review of ‘No Gods No Masters’ from Garbage

Album Reviews

Paris Youth Foundation

How to Ruin Your Life

Paris Youth Foundation How to Ruin Your Life Album Cover
Paris Youth Foundation – ‘How to Ruin Your Life’

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In 2019, Paris Youth Foundation released ‘The Nights Are For Thinking About You’. That EP delivered a snapshot of the enormous promise that the band hold. Now after two turbulent years for the world, the band are here with their debut album, ‘How to Ruin Your Life’.

Taking the good work of that EP and building on it, ‘How to Ruin Your Life’ is bursting with soaring anthemic indie rock. This is certainly the sound of a band in their groove with the likes of ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’, ‘Tired of Loving You’ and ‘The Back Seat’ being songs that a band could build a career on.

Listen to ‘The Back Seat’ on our Spotify Hot List!

This record manages to encapsulate the sound that the band has nurtured over the past few years both on record and in the live setting. This band has a clear knack for writing music that grabs you and holds onto your emotions. Two tracks from their EP that make it onto this album, ‘I Can’t Keep up with Your Love’ and ‘You Haven’t Loved Until You’ve Lost’ are obvious examples of this.

Paris Youth Foundation – ‘I Can’t Keep Up With Your Love’

With ‘How to Ruin Your Life’, the band has been able to fulfil their early promise. They have delivered a masterpiece of an album. Now all being right with the world this will elevate their career to new heights.

This is an album that whilst very enjoyable on the first listen, no doubt has the ability to grow into one of your favourite albums of the year. Paris Youth Foundation may just be your favourite new band!

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Read our review of ‘Blue Weekend’ from Wolf Alice

Album Reviews



Beartooth Below Album Cover
Beartooth – ‘Below’

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Gone are the days that Beartooth were the hot new thing that everybody predicted for greatness. Their debut album ‘Disgusting’ was released seven years ago now and the band has since released two more solid albums.

This has solidified their position on the rock spectrum and has seen continued growth and evolution for the band. Now they are back again with their fourth album in those seven years. That’s quite prolific these days, so how does ‘Below’ shape up?

Straight out of the gates, it is very clear that this is Beartooth doing what they do best. ‘Below’ isn’t a sudden change in direction, it is full of the hard hitting riffs and impassioned vocals that shot them to stardom.

Listen to ‘The Past Is Dead’ on our Spotify Hot List!

The opening trio of ‘Below’, ‘Devastation’ and ‘The Past Is Dead’ make it clear that the band are on form. The tracks are up there with the best the band has released to date.

The quality continues to run throughout the entire record and there is very little ease on the throttle. ‘No Return’ and ‘Skin’ provide further evidence of what can be achieved through what is clearly a successful formula for the group.

Beartooth – ‘Skin’

Main man Caleb Shomo screams with a renewed energy that keeps the freshness to the bands sound. They may not be that exciting new band any more but they manage to remain exciting in this next phase of their career.

The bulk of the album lends itself to the live forum and it will no doubt cause the band some setlist headaches as they come to tour it. ‘Hell of It’ being an excellent example of this.

The album finishes with the doomy ‘The Last Riff’ as the band can rest assured of another job well done. Those early predictions for Beartooth still feel very much on track!

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Read our review of ‘Bodies’ from AFI