Albums/EPs

ALBUM: Kele – The Boxer

Release Date: July 21st, 2010
Label: Wichita
Website: www.iamkele.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/kele

Rating:

Bloc Party‘s Kele Okereke is the latest in a line of charismatic frontmen to go solo while bored of whatever it is his band is doing. He follows in the footsteps of the likes of Maximo Park‘s Paul Smith, Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke and to tenuously completely my apparent fantasy band, Big Boi of, erm, OutKast. His first album is ‘The Boxer’, unfortunately not an album of Simon and Garfunkel covers as I had originally dreamed, but an in places ‘Intimacy’ soundalike with less guitars and stuff.

Musically Kele wanders between dubstep, IDM, grime, electronic rock and various other genres sometimes all within one same song (see: ‘On The Lam’). And his music is indeed, unlike ‘Intimacy’, very good. The beats are fun, dark, trancey and harsh, and again unlike ‘Intimacy’ in all the right places. His vocal delivery is also excellent, but what really lets him down are his lyrics, which without fail will fall somewhere between ‘insipid’, ‘cringeworthy’ and ‘please can anyone provide a cyanidetini?’.

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EP: Francesqa – We Lived

Release Date: July 19th, 2010
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/francesqa

Rating:

Ever since their appearance at Slam Dunk Festival 2010, the buzz for Kerrang! Introduces stage contest winners Francesqa has been off the charts. Almost over night it was like no-one knew who they were to them being played on Scuzz and Kerrang! TV along with a stream of new adoring fans. Their debut EP ‘We Lived’ is their first step into the mainstream rock world, and understandably they’re playing it safe.

Following an airstream similar to that of You Me At Six, ‘We Lived’ is a 5-track long package of catchy pop-rock that tugs at your heartstrings from start to finish. Yes, nothing new is on show here, but it’s got the right forumla to get you moving, and the right sound to be heralded as an upcoming Radio 1 “new find”.

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ALBUM: In This Moment – A Star-Crossed Wasteland

Release Date: July 9th, 2010
Label: Century Media Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/inthismoment

Rating:

The LA five-piece are hardly working a new market here, US “metalcore” bands being abundant as they are, and even with the less common female lead singer aspect, In This Moment have to work hard to stand out from their crowd. They do pretty much get there, however.

The guitar work is standard but good; tight Killswitch-like guitar lines such as those in ‘The Promise’ work very well. The drumming is also more than competent, and the band is super-tight for maximum impact; the opening stabs of ‘Blazin’ are a pleasant punch in the face, and lead single ‘The Gun Show’ sees some badass fills break up the almost comedically stalwart beat.

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EP: Lydia – Assailants

Release Date: July 20th, 2010
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/lydia

Rating:

When a band announces their split before their then automatically final release, it turns into less of a record and more of a eulogy instead, and much more focus on the song meanings and lyrics is an inevitable outcome from this too. Lydia‘s farewell bid to the world of music ‘Assailants’ is very much a final cleaning of the slate and letting those final feelings out to their fans before diappearing amidst the rest of those who stopped before them.

With member after member leaving the band running up to the release of ‘Assailants’, the demise of Lydia was an inevitable occurance, but in doing so remaining member Leighton Antelman‘s moaning vocals have never been more sincere in the band’s 7 year career.

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EP: Lights – Lights.Acoustic

Release Date: July 20th, 2010
Label: Underground Operations
Website: www.iamlights.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/lights

Rating:

We probably all best know Lights (and that’s her legal name now) for her electo-poppin’ bubbliness with tracks like ‘Ice’, ‘Second Go’ and ‘Savior’ almost sweet and chirpy enough to even give cavities to your cavities. Take a step back though and listen to her songs free from eletronics and studio magic, straight down to the core essentials and you’ll notice in ‘Lights.Acoustic’ that there’s a little more on offer from the Canadian starlet than you may be aware of.

Stripped down (and we’re talking musically, though undoubtedly many male adorers out there would hope for something different), album songs like ‘River’ and ‘Saviour’ are just as inviting, and arguably more real in their basic acoustic form than they are in an electronic package.

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ALBUM: Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare

Release Date: July 27th, 2010
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Website: www.avengedsevenfold.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/avengedsevenfold

Rating:

If you’re wondering what a midlife crisis might sound like if it was recorded, it’s the album ‘Nightmare’. I don’t think there’s been an album yet that has managed to incorporate as many heavy metal clichés whilst being serious about the music they produce. Avenged Sevenfold have been slowly changing their sound for the past few years, getting ever so slowly yet surely worse with every release they put out. If it wasn’t for the fact they are all clearly talented musicians this would just be un-fucking-listenable to. However I digress, let’s get to the meat of this album.

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ALBUM: Eatmewhileimhot! – xALBUMx

Release Date: July 27th, 2010
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/eatmewhileimhot

Rating:

Since when has putting an ‘x’ at the start and end of a word instantly made it more hardcore? Eatmewhileimhot! take the idea of that to the extreme by doing that to the name of their ‘album’ and with every single song title too. It doesn’t stop there though, as this band take the ideas and principles of what makes a hardcore band and hardcore music classified as so, and push it until it’s silly.

They’ve tried far too hard though, resulting in an ‘album’ that’s under 20 minutes in length and not at all funny or ironic in the slightest sense. It’s clear this isn’t a serious effort, and that’s absolutely fine and acceptable if you do that well. Eatmewhileimhot! are far from funny at any single moment throughout ‘xALBUMx’, and more accurately are just simply ridiculous.

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ALBUM: Shadows Chasing Ghosts – The Golden Ratio

Release Date: August 2nd, 2010
Label: Small Town Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/shadowschasingghosts

Rating:

On the verge of getting to that stage where they’re gonna be “the next big thing”, Shadow Chasing Ghosts are yet another attempt at the UK’s answer to bands like Alexisonfire, Finch, Chiodos, etc. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you can put your own brand on it, but with debut ‘The Golden Ratio’ it seems that Shadows Chasing Ghosts fall just shy of the mark.

Now before this becomes mistaken for a whole “they’re just jumping on the bandwagon” rant, it should be noted that even though this isn’t anything new or original what they do is far from terrible. Their hooks are melodic and memorable, their riffs are distorted and as dirty as a porn star, and their songs are built for both your stereo and the live setting.

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ALBUM: The Acacia Strain – Wormwood

Release Date: July 20th, 2010
Label: Prosthetic Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/theacaciastrain

Rating:

Before I started even listening to this music I’ll set it our plain and simple, I’m not a huge fan of this band by a long shot. I don’t really have a reason for this other than I find their music rather boring and dull. Anyway, I shall try to not let my personal inhibitions get in the way of this, so onwards and upwards as they say.

This is now their fifth studio album in a rather up and down career of member changes and band “beefs” (mainly Emmure), and you can certainly tell that all of this has burned onto vocalist Vincent Bennett‘s mind with his disgusting and vile, laced in misanthropy, and soul destroying lyrics. Continuing with the theme of the down tuned guitars ready to bring forth the ‘brown noise’, it is without doubt heavy as the sin cast forth from the throat of Bennett.

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ALBUM: While She Sleeps – The North Stands For Nothing

Release Date: July 26th, 2010
Label: Small Town Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/whileshesleeps

Rating:

Hailing from the mighty Steel City (Sheffield to all you non-BMTH fans) While She Sleeps are a band who’ve been doing the rounds on the underground circuit for a couple of years now, and are steadily building up a reputation to go along with it. Having played Ghostfest in Leeds earlier this year they’re about to hit the heights with the release of their debut ‘The North Stands For Nothing’.

Sticking to the proverb of don’t fix what isn’t broken, they mix technical guitar picks and melody that could charm a blue tit, with the ferociousness of fellow hardcore and metal acts such as Architects and Bring Me The Horizon, and in doing so have produced a very enjoyable release. The opening album titled track ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ starts very much sounding like Architects‘We’re All Alone’, but from then on is where the comparisons start to end.

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