With the release of their latest studio album, ‘Dinosaur’, Theory of a Deadman continue a streak of releasing a new album every three years that started back in 2002. That self-titled release feels a long time ago, because it is! 20+ years in fact, but as we arrive at album number eight, Theory of a Deadman feel more relevant than ever.
The band have always been rather marmite, you know – you either love them or hate them. They’ve been maligned by many doubters over the years but through this they’ve still managed to amass an impressive catalogue of hits.
There has always been an element of juvenility to their lyrical content but for those that enjoy the band that has been a large aspect of the charm of the band. On ‘Dinosaur’, the opening song and title-track of this record, you’re instantly struck by the maturity and seriousness of the subject matter.
Thematically and sonically, this album is the straightest and most genuine and mature offering from the Canadians yet. Both the simple hard rock formula on the heavier tracks and the standard approach to the more melodic moments suits the album well.
Whilst overall you get a more grounded Theory of a Deadman, there is also plenty to occupy the fans of the over the top nature of their past work.
On ‘Dinosaur’ it may well be that a band who are always having their identity questioned have found their true sound. This is indeed an ideal mix that will satisfy fans old and new, and demonstrate that unlike the subject matter of the lead single, there is plenty of life left in these old rockers yet!
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
Where else could we start this week other than with Glastonbury Festival and their initial 2023 line-up! We now know that Elton John will be joined in headlining the Pyramid Stage by Arctic Monkeys and Guns N Roses!
Also playing over the weekend will be Alt-J, Blondie, Manic Street Preachers, Nova Twins, Royal Blood, slowthai, Texas and Legends Slot filling Yusuf (Cat Stevens).
It was a good week for festival fans this week as our News Report continues with this stunning line-up from 2000trees Festival!
The absolutely stacked line-up now features added American Football, Eagles of Death Metal, Electric Six, Employed To Serve, Joy Formidable, Tigercub and Black Honey.
The full line-up also hosts the likes of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Hundred Reasons, Skindred, Deaf Havana, Rival Schools, Bob Vylan, Empire State Bastard, Holding Absence, Kid Kapichi, Cancer Bats, Dream State, LostAlone, Witch Fever, Blackgold, Guise, Mimi Barks, Pet Needs, Press To Meco and many more!
“For us, seeing fans just as excited about the bands lower down the line up as they are about the bigger artists is what 2000trees is all about, and this announcement is no different. Heriot and Kneecap were big personal highlights from 2000trees 2022, so to be able to have Heriot return to smash the Main Stage and Kneecap bringing the carnage to the Forest Stage is going to be something special! And there’s still two headliners to come sooner than you might think…” – Festival booker James
Leicester’s The Long Road festival returns in 2023 with a line-up including Jon Pardi, Blackberry Smoke and many more.
Commenting on today’s announcement, TLR’s Tennessee-born Creative Director Baylen Leonard said: “We’re delighted to announce the first wave of artists for The Long Road 2023. Our festival is about offering a unique, inclusive experience for our visitors, with amazing music, great food, and a welcoming atmosphere. Our line-up reflects the very best in Country and Americana music today, and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to Stanford Hall for what is going to be a truly unforgettable bank holiday weekend.”
Also this week, pop disruptor Ashnikko announced her hotly anticipated world tour and debut album ‘WEEDKILLER’, which is out June 2nd.
Speaking on the announcement Ashnikko states “My bioluminescent heart is glowing. My post-apocalyptic fae world is here for you to journey into. My wings have been ripped out, but I’ve built them anew using WEEDKILLER machine parts. I am the one sent here to eliminate you, WEEDKILLER.”
This week saw Underoath return with their brand new single, ‘Let Go’, which you can check out above.
In discussing the song, the band said, “This is actually the first song we completed after recording (last year’s) Voyeurist. It took a few different forms but we got it to a place where we knew this is what it should be. It’s about letting go of whatever trauma or demons that might be holding you back. As hard as it is to make those decisions sometimes, I feel like we can never grow without stepping out of those toxic environments.”
DMA’S have this week shared their latest single, ‘Something We Are Overcoming’, which you can listen to above.
The track comes ahead of new album, ‘How Many Dreams?’, which is out March 31st.
“‘Something We Are Overcoming’ started as a moving ballad about perseverance but quickly morphed into a trancey anthem of a side quest that is slightly but steadily DMA’S. We hope you like it.” – DMA’S
Brighton’s snake eyes have shared new single, ‘no one is truly cool’, and you can check out the video above.
Commenting on the new single, vocalist Jim Heffy says: “I met a bloke in a band I like at a festival after separately having a really lovely chat with one of their bandmates. he was stand-offish and, to be honest, a bit of a prick, giving proper ‘too cool for school’ vibes. the whole exchange left a bad taste in my mouth.”
“the fake cool guy thing can only go so far. no need for a fake personality. just be real, be yaself. even Keith Richards puts down the whiskey and cigs sometimes and watches ‘the last of us’ in his pants with a bowl of nik naks like everyone else.”
The official video for the track was created by the band’s drummer and visual director Thomas Coe-Brooker, who explains of the concept: “in keeping with the song, we thought it’d be fun to make a really cool looking video in the least cool of spaces – a family garage. kinda like when you’re having band practice as a teenager and you’re all really sending it like total bad asses…but ultimately, your mum’s seconds from bursting in to tell you it’s too loud and that your dinner’s ready. that, but with satisfying, nicely framed angles and dreamy in-camera long exposure, 90s style.”
Hell’s Ditch have shared new single, ‘Ghosts’, ahead of their debut EP, ‘Take Cover’, out March 23rd.
Vocalist Nick Davis explains: “Ghosts is about the hanging weight of the past, the present and the future. Capitalism puts a premium on individual success, which leads people to feel like their failing if they don’t achieve certain goals or milestones. It’s all too easy to plant trees, grow them, and then cut them down inside the confines of your own head. I wrote most of the lyrics while watching my cats seemingly stare at nothing on the ceiling”.
paradise fell. – ‘VICES.’
Alternative artist paradise fell has shared their debut offering ‘VICES.’.
“VICES. is a frantic confrontation of the irony; that something which kills us slowly, sets us free in the moment. It makes us feel alive. The bad habits we have are the only things that can save us from the drudgery of daily life. The very things that are killing us, become a cornerstone of our identity. They become familiar. They become part of who we are. A comfort in a chaotic world.” – paradise fell.
Hunch Power – ‘Eye for an Eye’
Hunch Power hits back with their new pacifist anthem, ‘Eye for an Eye’.
“I’d been wanting to write a pacifist song about revenge for ages. I was sure about borrowing Ghandi’s famous words for the title and chorus but I couldn’t find the right music to go with it. One day I remembered an old idea I never demoed and realised the music matched perfectly so I wrote new lyrics and the band loved it” – Singer Harvey Springfield
Def Leppard & Motley Crue bring Stadium Tour to the UK
Following a hugely successful joint jaunt across America, both Def Leppard and Motley Crue have announced that they are taking their tour across the world.
In the UK that equates to a Stadium/Festival tour in May and July next year including a hometown show in Sheffield and a date at Wembley Stadium.
“After finally getting back on the road and having a monumental summer tour in the US & Canada this year, we’re beyond thrilled to be bringing this massive stadium tour to major cities all over the world, and kicking off Europe in Sheffield where it all started for us 45 years ago. We’re looking to forward to seeing you out there, somewhere soon!” said Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.
“We had an incredible time playing The Stadium Tour in North America this summer and we truly can’t wait to take the show around the globe with The WORLD Tour in 2023. Crüeheads in Latin America and Europe: Get ready! We’re coming for you next and can’t wait to finally see all of you out there again next year!” Mötley Crüe said in a joint statement.
DMA’s also announced a new UK tour this week with the band on the road next April where they will finish up at Brixton Academy.
The band have also revealed that their fourth album, ‘How Many Dreams?’, will be out March 31st. You can check out new single, ‘Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend’ below.
Guitarist Jonny Took comments: “‘Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend’, we’ve all thought it, we’ve all felt it. This song is about letting go of the things that weigh us down and embracing the future with a sense of optimism. Stepping in the ‘Right light in the dark times’.”
Another band revealing a UK tour for 2023 this past week was Those Damn Crows. Fresh from touring with Monster Truck, the Welsh rockers will play a run of shows next February including a huge show at Swansea Arena.
The band will be releasing their new album, ‘Inhale/Exhale’, on February 17th.
Norway’s Sløtface this week shared new single, ‘HAPPY’, which you can check out above. They also revealed that a new EP is on the way in February next year.
Shea had the following to say about the new single and EP release:
“For this upcoming EP the main themes I’ve been exploring are really joy, happiness and all of the opposites of these feelings – what it means to feel happy or content. “Happy” is one of the first songs we finished writing together with the new band who perform the Sløtface songs live and also contribute on most of the recorded music. Tobias, our guitarist, came up with the riff, and he, Nils, Marie, Simen and I just jammed around that in the rehearsal space, which was a positive change after working in a studio setting for a lot of the other new Sløtface songs.
Lyrically, the song is very direct, simple and honest. I was working on how to write about the themes of the EP and thought I’d try saying it as simply as I could. I truly do just want to feel happy. And after a few years of soul searching as to what that could mean, this felt like the most direct way to express those feelings.”
Showcasing the end of an era, Mimi Barks has shared her sinister new ear shattering single ‘ABYSS‘. The single will feature on her recently announced mixtape ‘DEADGIRL’ which is set for release in December 2022.
“‘From hatred for myself and the world, narcissistic & delusional aloofness and chaos in my brain, to self-growth through spirituality. From self-hailing to self-healing; this is the final dance for letting go of the past.
It’s the rebirth of a broken child, a DEADGIRL. Now reborn as a leader, as her own god; indestructible and inviolable.This is revenge.” – Mimi Barks
Void of Vision – ‘HELL HELL HELL’
Melbourne’s Void Of Vision unforgettably spiral headfirst into the the abyss with a brand new single ‘HELL HELL HELL ‘
“HELL HELL HELL is a brand new world of Void Of Vision that has definitely been hinted at or given a nod in previous work,” shares Void Of Vision vocalist Jack Bergin, “But this is where we truly get to showcase our own raw and explicit take on it. It’s been so insanely fulfilling to create, feeling so foreign yet strangely just as much at home within our discography alongside all our other works“.
“To let this creativity flow so effortlessly and be able to share this with the confidence we would alongside any other piece of work we share is truly a full circle moment for us,” Bergin continues. “Feeling as if we’ve been working to bury old material and leave it in the past and adding a whole new style for us into the mix at this stage has been almost therapeutic, challenging ourselves and pushing each other to new levels is now the norm for Void Of Vision and exactly where you’ll find the best material from Void Of Vision“.
SAFIRE – ‘OUT FOR BLOOD’
‘OUT FOR BLOOD’ is new solo artist SAFIRE‘s debut single and epitomises the singer’s rage and desire to shift gender dynamics.
On the sound that SAFIRE has honed, she tells us: “You can always expect me to be energetic and singing/screaming about something I feel passionately about. I’m all about female empowerment and my tracks are coming from that place. They are as much a reminder to me as they are a message to my audience! I want my audience to feel uplifted, empowered and strong and I write music in that frame of mind most of the time.”
With the pandemic taking a hold back in early 2020, Download Festival became one of the first major festival victims. It was perhaps fitting therefore that the small Pilot version of the event was the first step on the road back to normality last year.
That does mean though that as we head into Donington Park in 2022, it is the first fully fledged festival since the 2019 edition. After three long years, it is finally time for rock and metal fans to convene again on these hallowed grounds.
There are a number of changes this year to the layout of the festival but the best change is the installation of a strange golden orb in the sky. The usual brown flooring has also been painted green. Yes, goodbye Drownload and hello sunburn!
The main changes to the festival relate to the layout of the campsites, parking and transport hubs. Given these new changes, a little extra signage may have assisted seasoned attendees finding their way around, but in general the changes work well. There is a lot of walking required, however there always is at Donington Park however the event is laid out.
Once inside the area the setup is pretty standard if a little cut back with smaller stages, fewer food stalls and no wrestling or other extra areas. But, it’s Download and everyone is just glad to be here.
So then, on to the music! Opening the main stage on Friday are NWOCR favourites Wayward Sons who make the most of their short time on stage. They are quickly followed by Canadians Theory (of a Deadman) who also only have a short time to show their stuff. Thankfully for them they are able to call upon some festival-perfect material as the crowd sing along to ‘Bitch Came Back’, ‘Hate My Life’ and ‘Bad Girlfriend’.
Recently rejigged Bury Tomorrow follow on the main stage and bring the first real taste of heavy to the festival. The band are clearly honoured by the opportunity and try their best to win over the audience, with our first pyro of the weekend helping to add to the occasion. By the time the band leave the stage and a pile of bodies in the audience, the set has to be considered a success.
We go walkabout next and visit first the second stage for a man who has already played Download Festival with both Alter Bridge and Slash, Myles Kennedy. With two solo albums now to his name, Kennedy only grows his legacy with another top class performance.
Secondly we head to the Avalanche Stage for something new. American pop-punk band Meet Me @ the Altar have intensifying hype around them, and keeping with the tone of the day they are able to grasp this opportunity with both hands. Expect bigger things from the band in the near future.
As day one begins to draw to a close with catch two of Download’s house bands with Skindred on the main stage and Airbourne over on the second stage. Both bands attract big crowds, because fans know what to expect from them. High energy, entertaining rock shows are delivered by both as fans get to revel in what they have missed over the last three years.
Having delivered an incredible headlining performance at the Pilot event last summer, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes return to Donington Park next to headline the second stage. Carter and co show the crowd what they missed last year with another stunning performance. This band must be considered one of the best live bands on the planet and who would put it past them headlining the main stage in the future.
Download Festival after all needs to begin focusing on that next generation of headline acts, because many of the old guard are saying farewell. It is the ‘End of the Road’ for KISS, but not before one final triumphant showcase this year.
The band are able to deliver all the pageantry of a KISS show with every party trick played with precision. As the fans walk away with ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ stuck in their heads, the band have brought the party and night one is closed out in style.
Saturday morning brings a fresh day with the sun still shining bright, but early risers at the main stage are left waiting with opening act The Raven Age almost forty minutes late. When the band do arrive they are able to show their continued growth with a matured performance.
This delay subsequently leads to a 30+ minute lag on main stage times throughout the rest of the day which plays havoc with fans carefully curated schedules. It does mean however that we can head to the second stage and catch the energetic Cassyette who is capitalising on the momentum earned over the last year.
It’s then back to the main stage for the classic rock sounds of Those Damn Crows and Monster Truck. Both bands continue the impressive start to the festival. Clearly every act is out to cast off the shackles of recent years and make an impression.
Both of these bands leave the fans wanting more, which is all a band can do with these early festival slots. It’s probably a good thing then, that these two bands will be touring the UK together later this year!
Up next for us is one of the performances of the weekend from Holding Absence over on the Avalanche stage. With songs like ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Wilt’ seemingly made for festival crowds to sing along to, the band completely own the packed tent during their time on stage.
Shinedown are also a band that knows how to control a crowd, and they have a large crowd to play with next on the main stage. With a new album on the way, the band incorporate new tracks ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’ and ‘Planet Zero’ into their tried and tested, crowd pleasing set.
It’s then back to the Avalanche stage for another standout performance. This time it’s Creeper on the stage, the band again showing an innate ability to hold the audience in the palm of their hands. Creeper continue to grow and evolve and it will be interesting to see where the band head next.
We stick next to the Avalanche stage for headliners Funeral For A Friend. Perhaps it’s the fact that we’ve just witnessed two fantastic performances on this stage from Holding Absence and Creeper but something feels a little off for this set. It’s not a lacklustre performance as the band give it their all, but on a weekend full of great performances what is probably a really good one feels a little underwhelming.
There is never anything underwhelming however about Iron Maiden. The band are icons for a reason and their current stage show is possibly their best ever. With Maiden on form and a packed Donington Park in fine voice, this headline set was always going to be one for the ages, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Now onto Sunday morning, with hangovers taking hold, feet aching and stamina’s waning. It’s up to Wargasm to blow away any cobwebs as they open the main stage, and that’s just what they do. The band are developing into something of a marmite band, but there is no doubting the passion and energy that they put into every performance; and judging by the reaction they go down very well this morning.
Sidetracking from the music for a moment, we commented in our Neck of the Woods Festival review about the cost of food and drink this year. There are no surprises therefore that prices are high at Download Festival, but the quality on offer at that price is disappointing. Inflation is one thing, but shrinkflation begins to rub, and more than one meal this weekend leaves a sour taste in our mouth (figuratively and literally in one case!).
Well, if the amenities on offer are disappointing, thankfully the music isn’t. As we have said, the quality of performances this weekend is consistently high. Both The Velveteers in the Dogtooth tent and The Last Internationale on the second stage are fine examples of this quality from top to bottom.
Massive Wagons follow on the second stage and again appear on top form. As many bands have this weekend, they tailor their set list perfectly for their time on stage and it’s wall to wall bangers as the kids would say.
Tremonti next are more methodical as they display their technical prowess. Mark Tremonti and co are mightily impressive and the audience are equally receptive.
We shoot then across to the main stage where Rise Against are another band that fail to meet expectations. The band are an incredible force, but sadly today they struggle to translate from the stage for whatever reason.
Volbeat have no problems though as they are instantly able to grab the audience. They deliver a career spanning setlist to the delight of the field, which shows just why they have established themselves as potential future headliners.
We then find time to dart across to the Avalanche stage one last time as Trash Boat showcase one of the albums of last year, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’. Trash Boat have really come into their own and have the entire tent bouncing along.
Korn are the penultimate band to play the main stage this weekend and they make the most of their position with one of the best performances of the festival. The band are longtime Download Festival favourites and they evidence today just why that is.
There is another look at the future next as Yonaka pack out the Dogtooth tent. Those that have made the effort to catch the band are rewarded by an incredible performance from one of the most exciting young rock bands around.
Last but certainly not least with have Biffy Clyro who are one of the biggest rock bands in the UK, but seemingly another marmite band amongst regular Download Festival goers.
One thing for certain is that those that chose to the stay until the end are rewarded by way of a sublime headlining performance. Biffy Clyro are another level live act and tonight they deliver a superb closing show fitting of closing this event.
Consistent high calibre performances have encapsulated the return of Download Festival this weekend. The event has a special place in the hearts of its fan base and will celebrate next year with a special four day 20th anniversary celebration. We can’t wait!