Album Reviews

Gary Numan


Gary Numan Intruder Album Cover
Gary Numan – ‘Intruder’

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‘Intruder’ has been teased since mid-2019, with Gary Numan debuting the title track on his ‘(R)evolution 40th Anniversary’ tour. The wait is now finally over and has most definitely been worth it!

Numan has been undergoing something of a renaissance for a good few years now and everything about ‘Intruder’ just goes to punctuate that. This is very much Numan at the top of his game.

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From album openers ‘Betrayed’ and ‘The Gift’ to the finale of ‘When You Fall’, there is quality in abundance. This is a record that sucks you into it and holds your attention through its ambient peaks and troughs.

‘Intruder’ is typically lyrically and thematically dark as typified by the title track. Numan delivers a philosophical assessment of a possible future apocalypse which feels all too relevant these days.

Whilst other artists at this stage of their career are happy to rest on their laurels, Numan still has his creative juices flowing. He clearly isn’t ready to join the nostalgia circuit and his efforts are being rewarded.

It’s no coincide that he is enjoying his best chart positions in years and is about to embark on his biggest tour in just as long. Numan will be headlining Wembley Arena for the first time since 1981. That is over 40 years ago.

Gary Numan – ‘Saints And Liars’

With ‘Intruder’, Gary Numan is once again showing his ambition both artistically and vocationally. The likes of ‘Is This World Not Enough’ and ‘Saints And Liars’ will sound atmospheric at Wembley. There is a reason that Numan is enjoying the success he is. After all, to use an old football analogy – form is temporary but class is permanent!

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Read our review of ‘The Ides of March’ from Myles Kennedy

Album Reviews

Myles Kennedy

The Ides of March

Myles Kennedy Album Cover The Ides of March
Myles Kennedy – ‘The Ides of March’

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Nobody should be shocked anymore at the quality of output from Myles Kennedy. He has set a high benchmark with his work with both Alter Bridge and Slash. He then produced a stunning piece of art with his debut solo album, ‘Year of the Tiger’. Therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise where this review is heading!

The disbelief perhaps comes with that Kennedy has once again managed to capture magic. With his output stretched between various projects, you could actually forgive him for the odd misstep and maybe that time will come. But ‘The Ides of March’ certainly isn’t that time.

Myles Kennedy – ‘The Ides Of March’

Despite featuring a more expansive and traditional to Kennedy sound, the record still manages to showcase Kennedy in a different way to his well known day jobs. What sets Kennedy apart is how he has now solidified a third project at a high standard. His role with Slash now far outstrips the use of the phrase side-project. Now his solo work has also reached the echelons of a main project.

It will be interesting to see how Kennedy splits himself into three going forward, but clearly his solo work now will be seen in an equally accomplished light. The likes of the titular ‘The Ides of March’ are magnificent and elevate this album to magnum opus proportions.

Listen to ‘In Stride’ on our Spotify Hot List!

There is a real good mix of sounds on this album which together encompass Kennedy’s various alter egos.  You could say that ‘The Ides of March’ acts like a greatest hits record, just without any of his established hits. What is meant by that is that this album would be the perfect introduction to Kennedy and the work that his astonishing voice has soundtracked.

In conclusion, ‘The Ides of March’ is Myles Kennedy at his very best, which as we know is very good indeed. The biggest challenge for Kennedy going forward will be to keep up his track record for quality.

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EP Reviews


Salem II

Salem Salem II Album EP Cover
Salem – ‘Salem II’

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Last Autumn saw Creeper singer Will Gould debut Salem, his new project with Matt Reynolds. After much acclaim the band return with their latest EP, ‘Salem II’.

The EP is a short but sweet punk rock bop, which has all the vibes of the early Creeper EP’s. It captures Gould at his very best and grows the seeds sown by Salem’s debut EP. With this EP, they become something bigger than a side-project. They feel now like an entity that will continue growing and provide another creative outlet to those involved.

Salem – ‘Keep The Thorns’

This is good news, as the band now has a lengthy UK tour planned. The songs on this EP sound as though they will become much bigger in the live setting. ‘Keep The Thorns’ and ‘Sweet Tooth’ particularly whet the appetite for those shows.

Each song on the EP is strong and as the record finishes on ‘Heaven Help Me’ you are left craving more. Purpose served then for ‘Salem II’ as Salem continue to genesis.

Listen to ‘DRACULADS’ on our Spotify Hot List!

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Album Reviews


Van Weezer

Weezer Van Weezer Album Cover
Weezer – ‘Van Weezer’

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Whilst the wait for ‘Van Weezer’ hasn’t reached ‘Chinese Democracy’ levels, the album felt almost mythical until now. The record was first announced by Weezer in September 2019! Since then the album has seen delays enforced by the pandemic. Along with a release schedule to coincide with the bands participation in the Hella Mega Tour.

With those shows now postponed until 2022 we should be glad that the band has followed through with the album’s release now. After all the band has already released one new album since ‘Van Weezer’ was announced! The surprise release of ‘OK Human’ in January saw the band in chilled mood.

Read our review of ‘OK Human’ from Weezer

‘Van Weezer’ is almost the polar opposite of ‘OK Human’ as the group channel their inner hard rockers. With a sound taking influences from many of heavy musics forefathers, Weezer evidence their dexterity with an uplifting homage to their heroes.

We called ‘OK Human’ an album to chill out to on a Sunday afternoon, but ‘Van Weezer’ is a party album through and through. The riffs and solos that comprise this album will have you bouncing around your living room with an air guitar in hand.

Weezer – ‘All the Good Ones’

This feels like a love letter to the bands influences, so much so that the likes of ‘I Need Some of That’, ‘Beginning of the End’ and ‘Blue Dream’ feature samples and interpolations of famous tracks from the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Blue Oyster Cult.

From the first mutterings of ‘Van Weezer’ back in 2019, you suspected it would be an interesting album. Over the top, outlandish, brash and most of all fun, the album not only lives up to but surpasses all expectations.

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Album Reviews

The Coral

Coral Island

The Coral Coral Island Album Cover
The Coral – ‘Coral Island’

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‘Coral Island’ is the tenth studio album from The Coral. Over the course of their near three decades as a group the band have consistently produced top quality music. Music that almost defies genre as the band embrace a plethora of influences to create what is undoubtedly The Coral.

Expectations for their tenth album therefore may have been mute. Realistically fans know from their track record that the album will be good, meaning that anticipation isn’t based in suspense. Well, that is until you know that for their tenth album the band has set out to create their masterpiece.

The Coral – ‘Faceless Angel’

‘Coral Island’ is not just another album from the band. Spread over two disks, this concept album stretches just shy of an hour. Twenty-four tracks including spoken word intervals, ‘Coral Island’ tells the story of a fictional town by the coast.

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You are sucked into this world as the band manage to demonstrate their dexterity whilst showcasing their careers evolution track by track. ‘Coral Island’ is a piece of art, and deserves to be heard as such, so it isn’t worth pinpointing particular songs. This album demands your attention and for a band now so far into their career this is some achievement.

Yes, the group have managed to create something very special indeed. Despite a career built on quality, it turns out that they can still up their game yet higher. It does feel fitting for The Coral that the bands tenth album may just be their best yet.

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Read our review of ‘Sweep It Into Space’ from Dinosaur Jr.

Check out The Full Pelt Music Podcast with Frank Turner

Album Reviews

Royal Blood


Royal Blood Typhoons Album Cover
Royal Blood – ‘Typhoons’

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Royal Blood shot to the number one spot with their self-titled debut album in 2014. They then repeated that achievement with their follow up, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ in 2017. Now in 2021, they return with their third studio album – ‘Typhoons’.

The question is can they once again hit the number one spot? In order to do so ‘Typhoons’ will need to match the quality of its predecessors. So, the real question becomes does this album live up to the high standards that the duo have set so far?

Royal Blood – ‘Trouble’s Coming’

Thankfully for both Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher the answer to that question is evident immediately as ‘Trouble’s Coming’ instantly gets your head banging and your foot tapping. The thunderous drums and ripping riffs that shot the band to fame are still here. In fact, it’s also evident early that whilst this is still very much Royal Blood there is clear evolution.

That’s not to say that they have changed direction, but certain elements of the bands sound are definitely amplified on ‘Typhoons’. The duo however manage to amplify these electronic elements without losing their rock attitude and resonance. Whilst the likes of ‘Limbo’ may feel out of place on their debut album, it doesn’t feel out of place in the bands catalogue. This is a testament to the duo’s ability to craft catchy hard hitting music.

Listen to ‘Limbo’ on our Spotify Hot List!

‘Typhoons’, ‘Boilermaker’ and ‘Oblivion’ are amongst the best that the band has produced thus far. On this album they have shown that they are no one trick pony and that their future remains very bright indeed. The band are already arena fillers and with this album they have continued a trajectory to be one of the biggest bands in the world.

Finally, let’s answer that question. Don’t be surprised when this album hits number one. It has the quality of its predecessors in abundance, whilst showing clear progression. It is most definitely a hit!

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Read our review of ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’ from Holding Absence

Album Reviews

Dinosaur Jr.

Sweep It Into Space

Dinosaur Jr. Sweep It Into Space Album Cover
Dinosaur Jr. – ‘Sweep It Into Space’

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‘Sweep It Into Space’ is the fifth new studio album from Dinosaur Jr. since their 2005 reformation, and they continue to justify their return. Recorded back in 2019 and delayed by the pandemic, ‘Sweep It Into Space’ is worth the wait for fans.

J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph have shown once again their knack for producing easy listening yet rough and ready rock music. With a little help this time from Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr. once again manage to capture the essence of the alt rock genre.

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There are luscious solos, beefy riffs and catchy vocals all stirred in with the punchy rhythm section. Listening to this album is evidence again of the influence that the band has had on American rock music. You can pick out many aspects that are core Dinosaur Jr. traits that are now standard fare for other such artists.

Dinosaur Jr. – ‘I Ran Away’

It’s difficult to pick out particular songs as highlights here as the whole album flows perfectly from beginning to end. The likes of ‘I Ran Away’ and ‘Garden’ do however provide a good flavour of what to expect.

With the band still able to produce records of this quality, it must be hoped that the second coming of this iconic band has no end.

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Read our review of ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’ from Greta Van Fleet

Album Reviews

The Offspring

Let The Bad Times Roll

The Offspring Let The Bad Times Roll Album Cover
The Offspring – ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’

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Was anybody craving a new album from The Offspring in 2021? Where would you set your expectations for such a release? ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ arrives some nine years since its predecessor ‘Days Go By’.

In fact the band have exercised a very sparse release schedule since their last Platinum record – 2000’s ‘Conspiracy of One’. With ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ just the fourth album in the last 21 years, how would this record size-up with their early material.

Listen to ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ on our Spotify Hot List!

The answer is teased from the outset with ‘This Is Not Utopia’, ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ and ‘Behind Your Walls’ capturing the energy of their biggest hits. Theories of a toned down The Offspring are quickly dispelled as the album shows little ease.

There is a maturity on this album that I’d liken to a Bad Religion model of teenage angst through the eyes of a wise old punk rocker. That brings a sense of relevance to the release that may have been missing had the band simply tried to mirror early successes.

The fact is that at this stage of their career The Offspring didn’t need to release an album. They have enough in their arsenal to coast through sell out shows and major festival slots. They could be forgiven for playing on nostalgia until they retire. They haven’t done that however. They have chosen to stick their necks out and release new music for the first time in a long time.

The Offspring – ‘Coming For You’

‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ is unlikely to reach the heights of ‘Conspiracy of One’, but somewhat surprisingly that isn’t down to its quality. This album will actually gain the band additional credibility and will sit very nicely with their back catalogue.

Was anybody craving a new album from The Offspring in 2021? Perhaps not, but actually in this messed up world we live in, maybe, just maybe, we needed it!

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Read our review of ‘The Bitter Truth’ from Evanescence

Album Reviews

Greta Van Fleet

The Battle at Garden’s Gate

Greta Van Fleet The Battle Of Garden's Gate Album Cover
Greta Van Fleet – ‘The Battle At Garden’s Gate’

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Greta Van Fleet erupted onto the scene in 2016 and their early releases solidified them as “ones to watch” and “the future of rock”. Their debut album harnessed this early promise and fulfilled exactly what was needed from it at the time.

Now as 2021 creeps into summer, the band return with their highly anticipated second album with many questions to be answered. Can they maintain the quality? Are they a one trick pony? Can they dispel the critics that they are Led Zeppelin copycats?

From their previous releases you know that the band aren’t afraid to be themselves, despite those comparisons to Plant and co. Whilst they have managed great commercial success they don’t appear to chase the mainstream as it were. Before even starting to listen to ‘The Battle At Garden’s Gate’, I clock the runtime of over an hour. I know that this will be a journey, but what will I find on the way?

Well, this is most definitely a Greta Van Fleet record! Their sound, unique or not, is distinctive and there is no escaping that here. This does however feel like an album whereby the group have made a conscious effort, perhaps not to escape comparisons, but to outgrow them.

Greta Van Fleet – ‘Heat Above’

‘Heat Above’, ‘My Way, Son’ and ‘Broken Bells’ welcome us on our journey through the evolution of Greta Van Fleet. These songs typifying what will follow, packed with delicious riffs and hauntingly powerful vocals.

The album flows well as it really needs to at this length. There is enough variation and distinction to retain your attention as the record progresses through the fantastic ‘Age of Machine’, ‘Stardust Chords’ and ‘The Barbarians’.

Listen to ‘Age of Machine’ on our Spotify Hot List!

For anybody that had any doubts about the natural talents of this group of musicians, they should now acknowledge a new force. This band are no longer the future of rock, they are now very much the present!

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Read our review of ‘Waiting For Good Luck’ from The Treatment

Album Reviews

Holding Absence

The Greatest Mistake Of My Life

Holding Absence The Greatest Mistake Of My Life Album Cover
Holding Absence – ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’

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Holding Absence – The Greatest Mistake Of My Life – Album Review

Holding Absence have come of age on their second album. As soon as you press play, you are welcomed by a more mature sounding band. By the time you finish listening you feel that the band may have just created their masterpiece.

The Welsh group has seen a number of line-up changes since their formation in 2015, with the most recent being the loss of bassist James Joseph at the start of this year. Oddly that means that there are now no founding members remaining in the group. This may be a problem that often befalls older acts of yesteryear, but rarely a child age band.

This is however the same group of members that released their self-titled debut album in 2019. Now returning with their follow up album, this is the group that should take the band into the future. And with a release like ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’ that future is set to be bright.

Holding Absence – ‘Celebration Song’

This is an uplifting, soaring effort from the band with ‘Celebration Song’ and ‘Curse Me With Your Kiss’ setting the tone early. That’s before the magnificent ‘Afterlife’ bursts out of the pack as the anthemic highlight of a very good bunch of songs.

Listen to ‘Afterlife’ on our Spotify Hot List!

There are moments of grandeur that harness the bands expansive sound spread throughout ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’. These help to capture a moment in time when a band takes a step up to the next level.

Holding Absence have been a band with great promise, now they are a band that has delivered on that promise. The world is there for the taking and you couldn’t go far wrong by betting on this band to capture it!

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Read our review of ‘The Bitter Truth’ from Evanescence