Albums/EPs

ALBUM: Deaf Havana – Meet Me Halfway, At Least

Release Date: January 19th, 2010
Label: A Wolf At Your Door Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/deafhavana

Rating:

Has the UK really run so low on ideas that American imitation pop-rock has become the closest thing we have to new music? The hyper machine rallying behind Deaf Havana is growing increasingly deafening but these 11 tracks make it all sound like a big noise over nothing.

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ALBUM: Alesana – The Emptiness

Release Date: January 19th, 2010
Label: Fearless Records
Website: www.alesanamusic.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/alesana

Rating:

“The emptiness will haunt you” claims the album’s intro. How tragic then that just 20 seconds later any chance the band had of creating some kind of atmosphere or momentum is killed dead by weak, flaccid vocals and hilariously poor screaming. The music itself is okay if fairly passable, but it’s clear that the majority of the blame for this album’s failings falls squarely at the voice boxes of the serial microphone abusers on display here.

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ALBUM: 30 Seconds To Mars – This Is War

Release Date: December 4th, 2009
Label: Virgin / EMI
Website: www.thirtysecondstomars.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thirtysecondstomars

Rating:

Actor/musician Jared Leto and co. have taken almost five years to release the follow-up to their hugely successful sophomore album ‘The Beautiful Lie’ – an album which stapled the alternative rock group firmly into their scene, and gave them a tough potential to exceed against when creating the follow-up. The close of 2009 brings that, in the form of ‘This Is War’.

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EP: Above The Underground – We Are The Party

Release Date: November 18th, 2009
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/abovetheundergroundmusic

Rating:

Claiming to be “the party” is a very bold and forward statement for any band to make, especially one as unknown as Above The Underground. Speaking of which, the band’s name itself is exactly the same, stating that they are above all other underground acts. Surely this isn’t the aimed intention of the Middlewich pop-punkers, and debut EP ‘We Are The Party’ is definitely a 5-track capable of partying along to.

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ALBUM: Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions

Release Date: November 9th, 2009
Label: 14th Floor Records
Website: www.biffyclyro.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/biffyclyro

Rating:

Our first taste of the album came with the release of ‘Mountains’ in August ’08; originally planned as a non-album song, but in the end finding its way onto the contents of ‘Only Revolutions’, with powerful vocals and an uplifting chorus, it’s a taste of things to come on the new album.

Stand-out songs on the album include opening track (and recently released as a single) ‘The Captain’. Starting off with foot stamping and whooping before the spoken word lyrics from Simon Neil come in, it has an almost nautical sound to it, like an old chant you’d hear on the high seas in something like ‘Pirates of the Carribbean’… I guess that comes from the name being ‘The Captain’, something tied in with the promotional video for the song which has the band performing on a pirate ship.

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ALBUM: blessthefall – Witness

Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Label: Fearless Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/blessthefall

Rating:

blessthefall caused a stir in the post-hardcore scene in 2007 with their debut full-length, ‘His Last Walk’. The Arizonian five-piece were rumoured to be the “next big thing” and were offered support slots on numerous tours as well as making headlines due to the departure of then vocalist Craig Mabbit – who left for personal reasons and then joined Escape The Fate. Two years later and the boys are back with their sophomore release, looking and sounding better than ever. Now signed to Fearless Records and armed with new frontman Beau Bokan, the band are once again on top form and have created a superb record. ‘Witness’, quite simply is a hundred times better than the quintet’s previous material, or as Bokan chose to describe the new album “‘His Last Walk’ on steroids”.

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ALBUM: AFI – Crash Love

Release Date: September 29th, 2009
Label: Interscope
Website: www.afireinside.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/afi

Rating:

Yet another twist in the sound thrown at us today by AFI, the long time horror punk band have gone more alternative rock in the past few years. ‘Crash Love’ is no different, this album offers some fast bits mangled in with the slow bits, some heavy bits to mix in with the soft bits, and overall,is a decent album. Sounding more along the lines of Placebo these days rather than The Misfits it is hard to judge this album by simply comparing it to previous efforts.

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ALBUM: Baddies – Do The Job

Release Date: September 28th, 2009
Label: Medical Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/baddies

Rating:

After a busy touring schedule last year and securing a solid fanbase, Baddies will hope that their debut studio album ‘Do The Job’ will do exactly what it says on the cover.

Baddies spit, spew and hurl through the majority of the album trying to bring something new to the table, succeeding in songs such as ‘Open One Eye’ and ‘We Beat Our Chests’; carefully planned songs with catchy pop hooks over an indie arsenal of almost artful guitar playing and ferocious drumming.

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ALBUM: Brand New – Daisy

Release Date: September 22nd, 2009
Label: DGC/Interscope
Website: www.fightoffyourdemons.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/brandnew

Rating:

Every time Brand New release a new album, their style progresses a bit further down the road of experimental rock and conceptual themes. Their biggest change happened between the release of debut ‘Your Favourite Weapon’ and sophomore effort ‘Deja Entendu’, switching from emo tinged pop-punk to a more emo tinged indie rock. From that point each album has slowly but surely moved away from emo themed lyrics to the conceptual lyrics we see today.

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ALBUM: The Casino Brawl – Shades; Directions

Release Date: September 7th, 2009
Label: In At The Deep End Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thecasinobrawl

Rating:

‘Shades; Directions’ is the debut effort from northeast hardcore/metal quintet The Casino Brawl. The lads got together in 2006, and soon after forming shot to local success with their 2006 EP ‘Save Yourself From The Gates Of Hell’, and again with their second EP ‘Small Town Split’, both of which received rave reviews. Due to the success of their first two releases, it became important for the band to prove themselves once again through their debut album, ensuring themselves a firm and deserved place in the UK metal scene.

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