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Vol. 40

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Live Reviews

Slam Dunk Festival

Temple Newsam, Leeds

Sunday 28th May 2023

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SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL NORTH – LIVE REVIEW

Rock fans know that festival season is upon us when we get to the late May Bank Holiday weekend and Slam Dunk Festival brings rock and punk fans to Hatfield and Leeds.

This year that journey takes a little longer for some due to traffic issues, probably borne out of the fact that both events are sold out. Leeds in particular feels like the Temple Newsam is bursting at the seams today.

Queues are unimaginably long for merch, toilets, food or anything else, but thankfully the music (and weather) is very much on point!

We start the day in the ‘Knotfest’ tent for rising metallers Heriot, who attract a decent sized early crowd. That crowd is treated to a blistering set of gloriously heavy goodness and a spirited performance from a band on the cusp of bigger things.

It’s then a short walk over to one of two outdoor main stages, the ‘Amazon Rock Scene’ stage, where we will spend most of our day today. Taking this stage next are VUKOVI who absolutely own the stage and showcase their superb new album, ‘NULA’. Singer Janine is able to hold the audience in the palm of her hand and orchestrate the first truly great set of the band.

Logistically the event may be remembered for the wrong reasons, but musically today is fantastic, with that set from VUKOVI one of many that will live long in the memory for all the right reasons.

Thinking, we’ll go for a quick wonder around, it’s clear that nothing will be quick today, but we do catch a glimpse of girlfriends who are very impressive for the time we can stay. Soon though we must head back down the hill to catch Trash Boat.

This is a band that has grown significantly in almost every sense of the word over the past few years. Their latest album, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’, was one of the most surprising of 2021 as the band took their sound to new heights. Today they use the stage to bring many of these tracks to life and the crowd are clearly appreciative of another excellent performance.

Trash Boat are followed on stage by Holding Absence who have just announced that their third album, ‘The Noble Art of Self Destruction’, will be out later this year. Their set today is a good mix of old and new including brand new single, ‘False Dawn’ and fan favourite ‘Afterlife’, which gets a monumental response from the passionate crowd.

Soon enough it’s over to Wargasm who are becoming one of those marmite bands where it’s almost cool to hate them. The energy and ferocity that they put into their show however can’t be denied and whilst the energy levels for some of the crowd starts to sap, the band push through with tracks such as ‘Backyard Bastards’ and ‘Spit.’ getting everyone back moving.

We then head over to the other end of the festival site (very slowly) to the ‘Kerrang’ stage where the tent is overspilling already ahead of Boston Manor. The band are on top form right now and have every person singing along to their gargantuan anthems. As they conclude their time on stage with ‘Halo’ you can’t help but think that Boston Manor deserve to be absolutely huge.

It’s a blast from the past next as Slam Dunk keep up their track record of reformations with Kids In Glass Houses. Playing their first shows in almost a decade the band focus their set on ‘Smart Casual’, which will be getting a re-release later this year. Songs like ‘Saturday’ and ‘Give Me What I Want’ still have it and so do the band who fly through the set like they’ve never been away.

Sticking to the same stage we are soon graced by PVRIS who deliver another really good performance which features a well structured setlist. Lynn Gunn leads the trio through a selection of their popular tracks with ‘You and I’ and ‘My House’ both getting big audience responses. The band will return with their fourth album in July, and new track ‘Goddess’ goes down very well today complete with guest spot from Charlotte Sands.

We are at the business end of the day now and up next on stage are Billy Talent who are able to deliver a pure masterclass in how to make the most of a shortened festival set. Banger, after banger, after banger as the band deliver suckerpunch after suckerpunch. The crowd reciprocate the bands energy and by the time the set finishes with ‘Red Flag’, the band have done enough to claim the band of the day moniker!

In the clash of the headliners, we opt to head to the ‘Dickies’ stage for punk icons The Offspring. The band have an endless stream of hit songs, and tonight the band focus more on their back catalogue then they did at Hatfield yesterday.

Their covers section in the middle feels a little too much considering their short time on stage but nobody can deny the final run of tracks which provides a great end to a packed day both musically and in terms of the volume of people on site!

Slam Dunk is a trusted brand these days and musically they’ve delivered once again, but there are undoubtedly some logistical issues that need to be fixed. Perhaps they’ve once again outgrown their homes and need to find bigger accommodation, one thing is for sure though and next May will again see a packed line-up heralding the dawning of a new festival season.

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Read our review of The Offspring live in London

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Features

The Year In Review 2021

The Year In Review 2021

Full Pelt Music looks back on 2021 for our Year In Review

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2020 was a year that we all wish we could forget. Could 2021 be any better? Well, it started off just as the previous year ended; with the live music industry on its knees. Lockdown restrictions still ruled out any live in person shows, with even socially distanced shows initially outlawed.

Come late spring, things began to look up and a number of “test” events were planned. We were lucky enough to attend the Pilot Download Festival and the euphoria of being amongst fellow music fans in a field can’t truly be put into words. Things were looking up!

Live music would eventually make a full return but sadly as we write this The Year In Review 2021 feature, the sector is once again holding its breath waiting for the Government to take action. Alas, true normality may still be a long way off, but for a few months this year we got to feel alive again.

That alone elevates 2021 above 2020, but there is plenty more to unpack. We recently undertook our now annual countdown of our top albums of the year over on our social media. 2021 was a truly exceptional year in terms of album quality. Those musicians kept in lockdown last year certainly found their creativity and compiling a list of the top 50 albums of the year was highly competitive.

Read our Album of the Year 2021 feature

In our The Year In Review 2021 article, we will be revealing our end of year award winners. As with last year we will announce our Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Artist of the Year, Gig of the Year and Festival of the Year.

This year however we have an additional award to hand out. 2021 was a big year for Full Pelt Music, our first full year in existence. We’ve grown and we’ve enhanced our focus on new music. We launched initially our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify through which we highlight the best up and coming artists.

We also launched not one but two Podcasts this year, including the accompanying ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast where we truly shine the spotlight on your new favourite acts. As such, this year we will also be awarding the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Before we get to those awards though, let’s run you through a few of our highlights this year. First of all, as mentioned we also launched The Full Pelt Music Podcast this year. Fittingly our inaugural guest was Frank Turner, the winner of both our Gig of the Year and Artist of the Year awards in our 2020 Year In Review.

Across the Podcasts this year we’ve had the pleasure to talk with Press To Meco, Beans On Toast, Miss Vincent, Planet Fatale, Mercutio, Light By The Sea, Freddie and the Fabs, The Damned Few, Project Renegade, Icarus and Smoke! Be sure to check out these conversations, and also to Subscribe on Youtube or wherever you listen to your Podcasts. After all, we will have plenty more for you to enjoy in 2022.

The Music Industry has seized on the opportunity to entertain this year both live and on record. We’ve reviewed 66 albums, 2 festivals and 27 gigs in 2021 as fans have been treated to incredible releases and some truly stunning live shows. Again, perhaps the enforced break has allowed creativity to breed innovation.

So with that in mind, let’s work through those award catagories!

Album of the Year

As we’ve already referenced, the pure quality of releases this year made compiling our Top 50 Album of the Year List very tricky. It was hard work but we did it, and you can read the full list here.

The quality is demonstrated best by last year’s winners IDLES only reaching a still respectable number 7. The winner however had to be ‘Blue Weekend’ from the incredible Wolf Alice who continue to go from strength to strength. After three stunning albums, there is no ceiling for this band and we can’t wait to catch songs from the album live in 2022.

Winner:

‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice

The Contenders:

‘Written & Directed’ by Black Honey, ‘Typhoons’ by Royal Blood, ‘Seize the Power’ by Yonaka and ‘Transmute’ by Press To MECO

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES

Single of the Year

We move on now to our award for the Single or Song of the Year. This year has again seen us locked down for considerable amounts of time and many will have sought solace in Playlists such as our Spotify Hot List.

In selecting our track of the year we considered which songs we’ve come back to time and time again, which songs remain as fresh now as they did on first listen and what songs simply just resonate on a different level.

Our winner is an incredible track from the fantastic album ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO. ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ ticks all of the criteria and also sounds absolutely massive live.

Press To MECO – ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’
Winner:

‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ by Press To MECO

The Contenders:

‘My Town’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ‘Afterlife’ by Holding Absence, ‘Midnight’ by Creeper and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ by Frank Turner

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud

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. Last year we gave the award to Frank Turner for his incredible work for the #SaveOurVenues campaign through his Independent Venue Love series.

This year our winners are a band that also dabbled with livestreams during that first lockdown. This year however has been a hugely important year for Biffy Clyro. A new album, ‘A Myth of the Happily Ever After’ came hot on the heels of last year’s ‘A Celebration of Endings’. It’s another quality album from a band that continue to deliver consistently great music.

The band also had a huge impact on the live music scene this year. Firstly, the band rode to the rescue by stepping in as late replacements for Queens of the Stone Age to once again headline Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Secondly, the band played huge outdoor shows in Cardiff, Glasgow and Margate to help signal the return of live music after around 16 months of lockdown. Highlights of both their Reading and Glasgow performances aired on the BBC.

Lastly, the band played a completely sold out and very intimate ‘Fingers Crossed’ Tour across the UK. Their shows this year giving fans an opportunity to witness songs from not one but two albums live for the first time.

Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt / Unknown Male 01’
Winner:

Biffy Clyro

The Contenders:

Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Creeper and Wolf Alice

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner

Festival of the Year

Festivals made a belated return from lockdown restrictions in late summer, although the majority of the usual seasons events were still cancelled. For our Festival of the Year however we can’t look anywhere other than the special event that laid the groundwork for all events to return, the Download Pilot Festival!

Back in June the Government test event was the first opportunity for music fans to camp in a field and rock out for three days. The camaraderie and atmosphere this situation created, combined with the uniquely intimate Download layout and line-up made for a once in a lifetime experience.

British bands took centre stage and delivered an incredible weekend of music; with bands and fans both desperate to experience live music again. Thanks to all involved we can hopefully experience a full fat Download Festival again this summer.

Read our review of the Download Pilot Festival!

Winner:

Download Pilot Festival

The Contenders:

Reading Festival and Lost Evenings

Previous Winners:

2020 – Wild Fields Festival

Gig of the Year

Last year’s winner of Gig of the Year was a socially distancing outdoor affair, this year however true live music returned! Picking a winner this year is difficult because the pent up frustration of lockdown on both musicians and fans vented fully across some amazing gigs.

We reviewed 27 of those shows this year and there were some very special moments amongst them. The winner however must go to Bring Me The Horizon who stormed the O2 Arena with You Me At Six and Nova Twins in tow.

The night was a massive middle finger to any remaining doubters and the band solidified themselves not just as arena fillers but as festival headline ready. Fitting therefore that they have recently been revealed as headliners for Reading & Leeds Festivals next year.

Read our review of Bring Me The Horizon live in London

Winner:

Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena

The Contenders:

Creeper @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Idlewild @ Electric Brixton, The Offspring @ Wembley Arena, Biffy Clyro @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Vukovi @ Norwich Waterfront Studio and Royal Blood @ Norwich UEA

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner @ Nottingham Arboretum

‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year

Our final award is a new award for this year where we shift focus on to the future. Having launched our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast this year we wanted to honour an act that we have featured and for whom the future is bright.

With their debut album ‘A Funeral For Youth’ cracking our top 20 for the year, Miss Vincent take the inaugural ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Miss Vincent – ‘Rosaline’
Winner:

Miss Vincent

The Contenders:

Planet Fatale, Dead Nature and Thumper

So, it hasn’t been a usual year again, in fact at times it has been just as hard as 2020. 2021 has however reminded us of what we were missing. Stunning new music, incredible live shows and a return to some normality (nobody say ‘new’ normal!), make 2021 a year that will live long in the memory for many reasons.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2021 feature and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good one!

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Categories
Features

Album of the Year 2021

Album of the Year 2021

We countdown our Top 50 Albums of 2021

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2021 has been another tough year to live through. There have been some signs of normal life, for example the return of live music, but we end it as we started with true normality a distant memory.

This year has however been a stunning year for new music releases. Yes, lockdown musicians and the odds are their creativity will take over. In Full Pelt Music’s first full year of existence we have reviewed 65 albums and the quality of those releases has been exceptional.

Last year we counted down our Top 20 albums of the year, with a special Advent Calendar countdown on our Twitter. This year we have expanded! Our 2021 countdown has taken place across all our social platforms, and has listed our Top 50 albums of the year!

With that social media countdown completed, it’s now time to compile our completed Top 50 in one place. So let’s get started!

Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there are stunning moments spread throughout the album”

Read our review of ‘Lo! Soul’

Check out:
Roddy Woomble – ‘Architecture in LA’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there are plenty of songs on this album that rate amongst the best that the band has produced”

Read our review of ‘Waiting For Good Luck’

Check out:
The Treatment – ‘Rat Race’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“Garbage are an incredible musical force”

Read our review of ‘No Gods No Masters’

Check out:
Garbage – ‘No Gods No Masters’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“we have thrashing guitars, thumping drums, bizarre lyrics and plenty of bells and whistles to emphasise his brilliantly quirky musicianship”

Read our review of ‘The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy’

Check out:
Rob Zombie – ‘The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“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!”

Read our review of ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’

Check out:
The Offspring – ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“this is an artist pouring all of their self into their creation and discovering magic”

Read our review of ‘Watch Me Break Apart’

Check out:
Dead Nature – ‘Watch Me Break Apart’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“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”

Read our review of ‘How to Ruin Your Life’

Check out:
Paris Youth Foundation – ‘The Back Seat’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“remind you how gloriously heavy yet anthemic the band can get”

Read our review of ‘The Bitter Truth’

Check out:
Evanescence – ‘Use My Voice’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“it won’t take long for people to stop and take notice of this great young band”

Read our review of ‘Fractured Party Music’

Check out:
Pet Needs – ‘Toothpaste’
What we said:

“this is Volbeat at their very best”

Read our review of ‘Servant of the Mind’

Check out:
Volbeat – ‘Shotgun Blues’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“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”

Check out:
Rise Against – ‘Nowhere Generation’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“anybody that had any doubts about the natural talents of this group of musicians, they should now acknowledge a new force”

Read our review ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’

Check out:
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“over the top, outlandish, brash and most of all fun, the album not only lives up to but surpasses all expectations”

Read our review of ‘Van Weezer’

Check out:
Van Weezer – ‘Hero’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“quality continues to run throughout the entire record and there is very little ease on the throttle”

Read our review of ‘Below’

Check out:
Beartooth – ‘Skin’
What we said:

“another very good release from a band overdue commercial success”

Read our review of ‘Into the Blue’

Check out:
The Joy Formidable – ‘Into the Blue’
What we said:

“a middle finger up at the haters”

Read our review of ‘Still Sucks’

Check out:
Limp Bizkit – ‘Dad Vibes’
What we said:

“a delicate masterpiece from a songwriter of the highest level”

Read our review of ‘The Hole Around My Head’

Check out:
Will Varley – ‘Pushing Against Us’
What we said:

“an enjoyable listen and the band clearly still has something to say”

Read our review of ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’

Check out:
Manic Street Preachers – ‘The Secret He Had Missed’
What we said:

“up there with the best that Beans On Toast has released”

Read our review of ‘Survival of the Friendliest’

Check out:
Beans On Toast – ‘Humans’
What we said:

“it really is time to stop being surprised by the quality in this band”

Read our review of ’21st Century Love Songs’

Check out:
The Wildhearts – ‘Remember These Days’
What we said:

“the extravagance of the band is what makes them great and thankfully their 7th studio album has it in abundance”

Read our review of ‘Motorheart’

Check out:
The Darkness – ‘Jussy’s Girl’
What we said:

“for their tenth album the band has set out to create their masterpiece”

Read our review of ‘Coral Island’

Check out:
The Coral – ‘Change Your Mind’
What we said:

“a strong debut album that lays the foundations of what will likely be a long and successful career”

Read our review of ‘W.L.’

Check out:
The Snuts – ‘Glasgow’
What we said:

“this is a stunning pop rock album”

Check out:
Pale Waves – ‘Fall to Pieces’
What we said:

“the album is laced with quality and shows the ease with which AFI are able to produce catchy songs”

Read our review of ‘Bodies’

Check out:
AFI – ‘Dulceria’
What we said:

“Iron Maiden doing exactly what you’d expect Iron Maiden to do”

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’

Check out:
Iron Maiden – ‘Senjutsu’
What we said:

“this is very much Numan at the top of his game

Read our review of ‘Intruder’

Check Out:
Gary Numan – ‘Intruder’
What we said:

“the signature of a band comfortable in their skin”

Read our review of ‘Pressure Machine’

Check out:
The Killers – ‘Quiet Town’
What we said:

“the very thing that identifies their sound is their lack of boundaries, their quirkiness and willingness to experiment”

Read our review of ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’

Check out:
Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt’
What we said:

“well crafted and superbly delivered album that is well worth your time and attention”

Read our review of ‘A Matter of Life & Love’

Check out:
Skinny Lister – ‘Damn The Amsterdam’

The quality of this year’s releases has been truly phenomenal as our opening 30 albums attests. The competition is extremely tight for the coveted top spot and that is clear throughout the prestigious Top 20 that follows.

What we said:

“a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future”

Read our review of ‘A Funeral For Youth’

Check out:
Miss Vincent – ‘Rosalie’
What we said:

“The Pretty Reckless have solidified themselves in the upper echelons of Hard Rock”

Read our review of ‘Death by Rock and Roll’

Check out:
The Pretty Reckless – ‘Only Love Can Save Me’
What we said:

“you are fully absorbed by the mix of heavy hooks and catchy sing-a-long pop vocals”

Read our review of ‘Dark & Beautiful Secrets’

Check out:
Normandie – ‘Hostage’
What we said:

“Trash Boat have delivered their best work yet and they appear ready to lead the charge for British rock”

Read our review of ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’

Check out:
Trash Boat – ‘He’s So Good’
What we said:

“there are moments of grandeur that harness the bands expansive sound spread throughout”

Read our review of ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’

Check out:
Holding Absence – ‘Afterlife’
What we said:

“the album attacks your senses and gets your feet stomping and your head banging”

Read our review of ‘When Life Was Hard And Fast’

Check out:
Ricky Warwick – ‘When Life Was Hard & Fast’
What we said:

“Trivium have well and truly earned their place at the top table of metal”

Read our review of ‘In the Court of the Dragon’

Check out:
Trivium – ‘Feast of Fire’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“a stunning release from a band assumedly at the peak of their powers”

Read our review of ‘American Noir’

Check out:
Creeper – ‘Midnight’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there is a real good mix of sounds on this album which together encompass Kennedy’s various alter egos”

Read our review of ‘The Ides of March’

Check out:
Myles Kennedy – ‘In Stride’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the power of this album doesn’t just lie with Bennett of course and the rest of the band have summoned even more power and majesty then before”

Read our review of ‘The Hope List’

Check out:
Lonely The Brave – ‘Bound’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the album really feels like a love letter to both the bands own history and the music of those that influenced the members”

Read our review of ‘Medicine at Midnight’

Check out:
Foo Fighters – ‘Love Dies Young’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“an album packed with rock club dancefloor fillers, designed to get you moving”

Read our review of ‘Sticky’

Check out:
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘My Town’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there are grandiose ambitions spread throughout the album with the band obviously striving for more”

Read our review of ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’

Check out:
Architects – ‘Animals’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“IDLES continue to be one of the most exciting and vital bands around”

Read our review of ‘CRAWLER’

Check out:
IDLES – ‘Car Crash’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“an album of pure, unadulterated, adrenaline-filled pop rock pleasure”

Read our review of ‘Amazing Things’

Check out:
Don Broco – ‘Bruce Willis’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“Press To MECO have always had a knack for creating ferocious yet catchy songs and this album is packed full of tasty rifftastic bangers”

Read our review of ‘Transmute’

Check out:
Press to MECO – ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“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”

Read our review of ‘Seize the Power’

Check out:
Yonaka – ‘Call Me A Saint’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the duo however manage to amplify these electronic elements without losing their rock attitude and resonance”

Read our review of ‘Typhoons’

Check out:
Royal Blood – ‘Boilermaker’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“a rare talent that have now reinforced their passion and ability to create great music for anybody who wants to listen but without concession on their vision”

Read our review of ‘Written & Directed’

Check out:
Black Honey – ‘Believer’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“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”

Read our review of ‘Blue Weekend’

Check out:
Wolf Alice – ‘Smile’

Well there you have it! What a truly magnificent year for new music 2021 has been. What will 2022 have in store? Remember to discover the best new acts by following our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist’!

Stay tuned for our 2021 Year in Review coming very soon.

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Read our review of Creeper live in London

Categories
Live Reviews

The Offspring

Wembley Arena

Friday 26th November 2021

The Offspring

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THE OFFSPRING – WEMBLEY ARENA – LIVE REVIEW

As soon as The Offspring announced an arena tour with The Hives in tow, an evening of early 2000’s rock scene nostalgia was destined. With the walk down Wembley Way lit with Christmas lights, with festive music playing, a fantastic Friday night in London is in store. We just won’t mention the tube strike!

Whilst nostalgia is at the heart of the evening, we start off with something new, vital and refreshing. Bob Vylan are earning their stripes. They’ve jumped onto this tour straight from supporting Biffy Clyro last month, and they’ve just announced a headline tour for next year.

Our advice following their performance tonight is to get your tickets for said headline tour as soon as possible. Enjoy them in small venues while you can, because they belong on stages like Wembley Arena. Their politically charged punk ruckus is guaranteed to elicit a reaction one way or the other. Tonight the overwhelming majority are on board and the likes of ‘Pretty Songs’ and ‘GDP’ showcase a band with a big future.

Main support for this tour comes from The Hives, generally understood to be an incredible live act. Thankfully nothing has changed during the enforced lay-off of the past two years.

With their time on stage relatively short the band blast out their biggest hits such as ‘Main Offender’, ‘Walk Idiot Walk’, ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ and ‘Tick Tick Boom’ to the delight of the crowd. Our headliners will need to be at the top of their game in order to match the brilliance of The Hives.

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

Things start well for The Offspring with ‘Staring at the Sun’, ‘Come Out and Play’ and ‘Want You Bad’ immediately getting the audience riled up. A visually simple yet stunning stage show also helps to fill the huge space of Wembley Arena and make the band seem at home on such a stage.

Whilst that word nostalgia keeps coming up, The Offspring are actually touring a new album and up next two new tracks demonstrate the quality that the band is still putting out. ‘The Opioid Diaries’ and title track ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’ are received just as well as the older tracks ‘Hit That’, ‘Hammerhead’ and ‘Bad Habit’ that follow.

WATCH ‘LET THE BAD TIMES ROLL’ ON YOUTUBE
The Offspring – ‘Let The Bad Times Roll

The question of whether The Offspring can match or eclipse The Hives is already positively answered by the time we are treated to an incredible piano version of fan favourite ‘Gone Away’.

The closing run of ‘Why Don’t You Get a Job?’, ‘Original Prankster’, ‘(Can’t Get My) Head Around You’, ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’ and ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ is as good as it gets and vindicates the bands decision to play arenas on this tour.

The encore of ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’ and ‘Self Esteem’ is the cherry on the icing of a beautiful cake that is made from three superb performances from Bob Vylan, The Hives and The Offspring. This was a thoroughly enjoyable show, which celebrates both the present and future of punk rock.

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Categories
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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THE OFFSPRING – LET THE BAD TIMES ROLL – ALBUM REVIEW

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.

WATCH ‘COMING FOR YOU’ ON YOUTUBE!
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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