Albums/EPs

ALBUM: Paramore – Riot!

Release Date: June 25th, 2007
Label: Fueled By Ramen
Website: www.paramore.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/paramore

Rating:

Paramore have taken their old routine and formula, stuck it in a container, shaken it about a bit, and added a few more bits and pieces. When they spilled the contents back onto the table, they came out with second album ‘RIOT!’. They have again created a successful album, filled to the brim with cheery pop songs that make you want to jump off your sofa, grab a hairbrush, and sing along.

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ALBUM: The Paddingtons – No Mundane Options

Release Date: November 5th, 2008
Label: Mama Bear Records
Website: www.thepaddingtons.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thepaddingtons

Rating:

Punk rock had it’s strongest place in the UK back in the 70’s, with the rise and exposure to the likes of The Clash and Sex Pistols, bringing musical anarchy to the British masses. Nowadays, indie has taken a rise in the market too, quickly becoming a very mainstream genre with The Kooks, Babyshambles, and other similar bands coating the radio airwaves. The Paddingtons combine the old and new together, which in turn has produced their debut full-length, ‘No Mundane Options’.

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SINGLE: The Paddingtons – What’s The Point In Anything New

Release Date: October 27th, 2008
Label: Mama Bear Records
Website: www.thepaddingtons.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thepaddingtons

Rating:

It seems in music today that indie has risen and risen further into the mainstream of both youths and adults today, and lifting many bands from the dirt into the open, following the same fashion as punk rock in the 70s, and nu-metal in the late 90s/early 00s.

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SINGLE: Orson – Ain’t No Party

Release Date: October 15th, 2007
Label: Mercury
Website: www.orsonband.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/orson

Rating:

You probably already know American rock/indie band Orson for their hit single ‘No Tomorrow’, taken from their 2006 album ‘Bright Idea’. Skip forward to late 2007 and the band have relocated to London, and have very recently released their new album ‘Culture Vultures’ with a first single to promote it, ‘Ain’t No Party’.

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SINGLE: One Night Only – You And Me

Release Date: October 29th, 2007
Label: Vertigo
Rating: 2/10

Website: www.onenightonlyonline.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/onenightonlyonline

One Night Only profile

We all know that today’s modern indie bands, such as Kaiser Cheifs, The Kooks, and Bloc Party are different in many ways to the older generation of indie bands, like The Smiths and Joy Division. One Night Only are just one more of these newly generated indie bands, and with what ‘You And Me’ delivers, the boys have a little more work to do.

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EP: None The Less – The Way To Save Ourselves

Release Date: May 26th, 2009
Label: Irony Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/nonethelessonline

Rating:

Don’t you just hate common sayings and phrases that you understand but can’t really explain the meaning behind them? It’s a good thing though that the band None The Less who’ve used such a name actually sound the dog’s bollocks on their debut effort, ‘The Way To Save Ourselves’. Coming from Watford, the 5-piece are much like a really good, modernized, and hybridized blend of Motley Crue, Architects, and Fightstar.

Lead promo release ‘Define’ has a guitar that just churns you into the meat grinder of a song that is to follow. The workings of axe-wielders Owen Harvey and Joe Page compliment one another like custard and cake, but deliver like a sledgehammer upon a skull… in a good way though of course. Owen Harvey‘s screamed bridge is enough to send shivers down your spine and boil your blood too, sending the signal of rage to the brain. Vocalist Anthony Giannaccini‘s vocals are strong, and ooze a sense of swagger and honesty in ‘News Of A Cancer’, with lyrics like “It’s been eight days / Since I last played with fire” bringing the element of danger vocally and lyrically that the band perhaps subconsciously send across.

‘Four 4’s’ is a stand-out moment on the EP, showcasing all the strong points the band have at their disposal in their rock ‘n’ roll arsenal. The drums are fast-paced, the vocals are meaningful and melodic, the guitars are complex and sharp enough to cut through glass, and at times it’s even heavier than an elephant’s shit. If you only manage to capture one moment of this band’s material for whatever excuse you have, be sure to make this the one.

None The Less are a band which have much potential in their helms, and deliver a breath of fresh air amidst the often generic and clone-after-clone world of rock and alternative music today. ‘The Way To Save Ourselves’ is as polished as it is raw, and as brutal as it is melodic. Ultimately it’s just really fucking good!

Written by Zach Redrup

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SINGLE: The Noisettes – Don’t Give Up

Release Date: November 13th, 2006
Label: Vertigo
Website: www.thenoisettes.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thenoisettes

Rating:

With a chorus hook that gets stuck in your head more than gum does in your hair, The Noisettes return with their newest offering.

Following up on support slots with everyone from Mystery Jets to Babyshambles, ‘Don’t Give Up’ comes at you with a pissed off yet fun and enjoyable energy. You know they’ve got to be doing something right if they’re currently supporting Muse on tour.

Recalling the finer points of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the future looks promising for The Noisettes. We’re expecting bigger and better things in the near future.

Written by Zach Redrup

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ALBUM: New Found Glory – Not Without A Fight

Release Date: March 9th, 2009
Label: Epitaph
Website: www.newfoundglory.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/newfoundglory

Rating:

Long-playing veterans in the whole pop-punk game and at times considered the grandfathers of the genre, New Found Glory are still at it with their new full-length installment ‘Not Without A Fight’. They’ve done albums dedicated solely to covers of songs from movie soundtracks, and a hardcore punk alter-ego outfit, so surely it’s a good thing to know that they’re back on track as per usual now.

With this in mind, ‘Right Where We Left Off’ is a very fitting title to open the record, a slice of pop-punk that’s both fun and enjoyable, yet carried with a serious undertone – something these boys are more than qualified in pulling-off. ‘Don’t Let Her Pull You Down’ and ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ assures us that the classic gang shouts are present as per usual too, carried along with the technical yet digestable guitar riffs working around the fret board. Tracks like ‘Tangled Up’ and ’47’ deliver the band’s somewhat trademark infectiously catchy chorus lines, commandeered by vocalist Jordan Pundik‘s memorable and sing-a-long essenced voice-work. ‘Such A Mess’, with a chugging and heavy offering of punk, at times brushing against hardcore, yet still remaining melodic and accessible, and the repeated lyrics “Pull myself together, and let it out” could potentially getting caught in a loop around your head. At times though, it does seem like perhaps the album is a little lacking in variation, and not too far of a step away from past albums, a little too comfortable in safe territory; ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ having similarities to one of their past popular singles, ‘All Downhill From Here’. The strongest moment of the record is definitely ‘Heartless At Best’ – complete with a short yet rare guitar solo interlude, heartfelt lyrics, memorable sing-a-long sections, and properties that could well have you playing this track over and over again, this track has everything in it that makes a New Found Glory song good.

New Found Glory have definitely returned to their old roots again with ‘Not Without A Fight’. If the recent past of the band wasn’t a factor, then the lack of variation and experimentation could be seen as a flaw. But, after technically an extremely overdue absence of original material, and the highly experimental but mature nature of the latest studio album ‘Coming Home’, it’s refreshing to know they’ve not gone away from what they’re loved and respected for.

Written by Zach Redrup

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ALBUM: Napalm Death – Time Waits For No Slave

Release Date: February 2nd, 2009
Label: Century Media
Website: www.napalmdeath.org
MySpace: www.myspace.com/napalmdeath

Rating:

With the band’s career lasting for about 28 years now, with multiple line-up changes and now 14 studio albums with latest full-length release ‘Time Waits For No Slave’, you’ve got to be thinking that Napalm Death must be losing focus from their game. Recycling old stuff over and over again in their best attempts to create something new would be expected of a band at this stage and status. To an extent this is true, a band lasting this long would be miracle workers if they were able to produce an album without doing so. Regardless, ‘Time Waits For No Slave’ shows Napalm Death as heavy and intense as ever.

We’re thrown right into the audio mosh pit with ‘Strongarm’, a heavy metal/grindcore ridden package, sounding very much like an angry wild badger on both speed and cocaine who’s found some instruments. Infact, that description pretty much fits most of the album, as can be found with the furiousity in ‘Work To Rule’ and ‘Life And Limb’. Despite this repetitive nature though, somehow it gives off a sense of variation within each song that is subtle but apparent, whether it be the underlaying guitar melodicy in ‘Diktat’, or the gothic-like feel of ‘Passive Tense’. There is also, to some very distant extent, a somewhat sing-a-long moment (if you can even call it that) with the repeated chorus line in the track ‘Procrastination On The Empty Vessel’ which will surely be a heavily pushed fan participation track when performed live.

The thing with ‘Time Waits For No Slave’ is that no matter how anger-ridden, and intensely brutal it is throughout, it just seems that recycling old things and doing it all the same with the odd difference here and there isn’t going to cut it forever. But as said earlier, for a description on the overall sound, just think of angry wild badger that’s both speed and cocaine and has stumbled across some instruments.

Written by Zach Redrup

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ALBUM: My Passion – Corporate Flesh Party

Release Date: May 25th, 2009
Label: Mascot
Website: www.mypassion.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/mypassion

Rating:

My Passion are a dance punk quartet hailing from Southern England, who formed in 2005 after the demise of their previous band: a Glam Rock outfit named Shard. The hype around this band has grown in significance over the last few years, with the band being named as one of the acts for the Kerrang! Relentless Energy Tour 2010. Things seem to only be getting bigger and better for this lot.

The record launches straight in with an attack on the ears in the form of ‘Crazy & Me’, with Laurence Rene and John Be providing exciting, fast paced guitar riffs that get the adrenaline pumping and give the promise of more to come throughout the record. Rene‘s vocals are obviously heavily influenced from his Glam Rock past, however despite this definite edge they have on them; they still manage to provide a rather haunting and lilting accompaniment to the heavier instruments. The more subdued beginning to ‘Play Dirty’, the second track on the album is surprising; as I found myself expecting a less obvious transition into an equally upbeat second track like on so many records of this same genre. Instead, the opening bars feature the haunting, melodic lyrics “Let’s play dirty in the sand / Leave the body, take the hand / Fingerprint me in your life / I could kill my perfect wife”.

As the album progressed, I began to note they reminded me rather a lot of another band, and it wasn’t until the album had almost ended that I realised just who they reminded me of – My Chemical Romance. Whether you’re a lover or hater of MCR do not be put off by this album or band, as alike to MCR I believe this band are destined for great things and I think we’ll be hearing a lot from them within the next few years.

Tracks of note to listen to are definitely ‘Crazy & Me’, ‘Play Dirty’, ‘Winter For Lovers’ and ‘The Fabulous Blood Disco’ – a re-recorded version of one of their earlier songs, the lyrics of which feature heavily on the band’s merchandise, and is also how Rene himself describes experiencing the band performing live.

Overall this is a very well produced album, with several stand out songs and absolutely none that I would suggest you stay away from. This band may not be to everybody’s taste, but I do suggest that you at least give them the time of day. You may be pleasantly surprised, I know I definitely was.

Written by Lucy-Jayne Love

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