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Album Reviews

The Killers

Pressure Machine

The Killers Pressure Machine Album Cover
The Killers – ‘Pressure Machine’

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THE KILLERS – PRESSURE MACHINE – ALBUM REVIEW

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’).

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‘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.

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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

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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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TRASH BOAT – DON’T YOU FEEL AMAZING? – ALBUM REVIEW

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.

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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.

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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

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EP Reviews

Creeper

American Noir

Creeper American Noir cover
Creeper – ‘American Noir’

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CREEPER – AMERICAN NOIR – ALBUM REVIEW

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

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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

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EP Reviews

Yonaka

Seize the Power

Yonaka Album Review
Yonaka – ‘Seize the Power’

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YONAKA – SEIZE THE POWER – ALBUM REVIEW

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

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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

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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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PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION – HOW TO RUIN YOUR LIFE – ALBUM REVIEW

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.

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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

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Album Reviews

Beartooth

Below

Beartooth Below Album Cover
Beartooth – ‘Below’

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BEARTOOTH – BELOW – ALBUM REVIEW

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.

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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

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Album Reviews

AFI

Bodies

AFI Bodies Album Cover
AFI – ‘Bodies’

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AFI – BODIES – ALBUM REVIEW

Californian rockers AFI have been around long enough by now to know how to put out a fan pleasing album. ‘Bodies’ is no different, catching the band in fine fettle. So, if you are looking for the band to break the mould then you’ll be disappointed!

If however, you are looking for the band to deliver yet another compilation of catchy, foot tapping dark pop rock anthems then you’ll be full up as ‘Bodies’ is a smorgasbord of everything that has made the band popular.

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AFI – ‘Dulceria’

The album is unashamedly AFI with ‘Twisted Tongues’, ‘Far Too Near’ and ‘Dulceria’ settling you into the ride. The album is laced with quality and shows the ease with which AFI are able to produce catchy songs.

Considering that the band released their first album way back in 1995, you could almost forgive a drop in quality from them. Instead you get some of their best moments on the likes of ‘Begging For Trouble’ and ‘Looking Tragic’.

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With ‘Bodies’ being the bands eleventh studio album, it is clear the band aren’t slowing down. If they can maintain the same level of output as they have thus far then they will surely be recognised as one of the most consistent bands of their scene.

AFI are timeless and now they have another record that showcases their innate ability to create magic. Long may it continue!

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Read our review of ‘Nowhere Generation’ from Rise Against

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Album Reviews

Garbage

No Gods No Masters

Garbage No Gods No Masters Album Cover
Garbage – ‘No Gods No Masters’

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GARBAGE – NO GODS NO MASTERS – ALBUM REVIEW

Over the course of their stop-start career, Garbage have achieved cult status. They have seen many ups and some downs but they have emerged surrounded by critical and commercial success.

Fans will have been delighted when the band announced their latest return with a new album entitled ‘No Gods No Masters’. The band whet fans appetites with singles ‘The Men Who Rule The World’, ‘No Gods No Masters’ and ‘Wolves’.

Listen to ‘The Men Who Rule The World’ on our Spotify Hot List!

These tracks evidently gave a good idea of what to expect. The album is darkly atmospheric which showcases the various guises of the band. It is politically charged in that it focuses on many of the injustices currently facing the world.

Garbage have certainly never shied away from making statement. ‘No Gods No Masters’ most definitely and defiantly makes many statements. Including an overall non-political one that Garbage are an incredible musical force.

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Garbage – ‘Waiting for God’

‘Waiting for God’ perhaps best captures the mood of the album. This isn’t a straight pop record, it runs deeper and demands your attention. There is no doubting the musical talents of those in the band and with this album they have certainly done the legacy of Garbage proud.

There is plenty here to get you moving and there are some songs which are crying out to be played live. Fans of the band will not be disappointed by this creation, and the band have further solidified their cult-like status.

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Read our review of ‘Intruder’ from Gary Numan

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Album Reviews

Rise Against

Nowhere Generation

Rise Against Nowhere Generation Album Cover
Rise Against – ‘Nowhere Generation’

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RISE AGAINST – NOWHERE GENERATION – ALBUM REVIEW

Rise Against have always been a vital band, unashamed to wear their hearts on their sleeves and fight for causes they believe in. With the state of the world at the moment, a new Rise Against album feels like a necessity.

The band consider if anybody is listening on ‘Talking to Ourselves’, and whilst those fighting the good fight may feel like banging their heads against the wall, the fact is voices are starting to be heard. On ‘Nowhere Generation’, the band cover both bases by getting your head banging and getting their voice heard.

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The album finds the band in typically angry mood and that is always a recipe for a great Rise Against record. From start to finish the album engages your brain and gets those feet tapping. Mission accomplished? Well, as far as releasing another quality album, yes! But, the battle won’t end.

Vitality shouldn’t be mistaken for relevance and whilst the band may have peaked commercially, they remain of utmost importance to a generation of music fans. Still, there are plenty of songs that will find a home in the bands hits catalogue.

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Rise Against – ‘The Numbers’

The likes of ‘The Numbers’, ‘Nowhere Generation’ and ‘Monarch’ are excellent songs and help ensure that the album is memorable. This album may be standard Rise Against, but that is exactly what we need right now in this chaotic world that we all live in.

Is anybody listening? They certainly should be, both for the music and for the message that comes with it!

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Read our review of ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ from The Offspring

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Album Reviews

Wolf Alice

Blue Weekend

Wolf Alice Blue Weekend Album Cover
Wolf Alice – ‘Blue Weekend’

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WOLF ALICE – BLUE WEEKEND – ALBUM REVIEW

The success of Wolf Alice has always had an air of inevitability despite their desire to do things their own way. Their success comes not from compromise but from confidence that their quality will shine through.

With the release of their third album, ‘Blue Weekend’, you will doubtless hear many superlatives thrown the bands way and rightfully so. The universal acclaim that will likely follow this album is deserved. Wolf Alice are a band that has somewhat defied convention and attained their reputation simply for the consistent quality of their music.

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Wolf Alice – ‘Smile’

‘Blue Weekend’ continues the evolution of the bands sound, entwined with experimentation and familiarity. The album is a rollercoaster, full of peaks and troughs, twists and turns, that leaves you wanting to hop straight back on.

This record feels like it comes from a band at the peak of their powers, but knowing this group, they will still have plenty more to come. As the band grow into bonifide superstars, they can do so knowing they have earned it. This album as a whole is magnificent, but the likes of ‘Smile’, ‘No Hard Feelings’ and ‘The Last Man On Earth’ will grace their set lists for years to come.

Listen to ‘The Last Man On Earth’ on our Spotify Hot List!

After three truly great albums, there is now no denying Wolf Alice their spot at the top of music world. ‘Blue Weekend’ manages to grow the bands sound without alienating what brought them to the dance. This is a special album and it deserves all the praise that it will no doubt receive.

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Read our review of ‘Written & Directed’ from Black Honey