Albums/EPs

ALBUM: Breathe Carolina – Hello Fascination

Release Date: August 18th, 2009
Label: Fearless Records
Website: www.breathecarolina.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/breathecarolina

Rating:

Breathe Carolina are one of those bands (if you can call the duo a band) that are hard to fit into just one category – their mix of pop, rock and electronica has seen them be defined as ‘crunk’, ‘crunkcore’, ‘screamo dance’ and a hell of a lot of other things. Strangely enough though, it’s that random combination of sounds that has gained them a pretty nifty fanbase that is growing each day. ‘Hello Fascination’, is the band’s sophomore album and is pretty much everything I expected it to be – screams, catchy choruses and dance music more apt for a night club.

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SINGLE: Bloc Party – One More Chance

Release Date: August 10th, 2009
Label: Wichita
Website: www.blocparty.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/blocparty

Rating:

So not quite ‘Helicopter’ or ‘Banquet’ or even ‘I Still Remember’, is it? Bloc Party‘s latest one-off non-album single offering begins with a bouncy piano loop refrain that wouldn’t be out of place in the early 90s, in pretty much every vocal house song made during that time. It is this refrain, meshing nicely with the usual rhythmic pulse that Bloc Party are well known to provide, that makes this such a good song.

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SINGLE: The Chemists – A Love Like No One Else

Release Date: July 27th, 2009
Label: Distiller Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thechemistsuk

Rating:

With only 728 friends on MySpace (at the time of writing) and 3 mediocre at best previous singles, we would have thought The Chemists was the sort of band that could only improve and come back with a very different new single.

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ALBUM: August Burns Red – Constellations

Release Date: July 14th, 2009
Label: Solid State Records
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/augustburnsred

Rating:

A lot of hopes were riding on ‘Constellations’ – the third instalment from the Pennsylvanian Christian metalcore quintet – as this was either going to be an album that proved they still have what it takes, or one that showed that they were gradually losing their grip on the genre they have pioneered for so long. Luckily for the five-piece the latter doesn’t even come into the equation, as on first listen the band are just as good as ever, if not better.

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ALBUM: Arsonists Get All The Girls – Portals

Release Date: July 14th, 2009
Label: Century Media
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/agatg

Rating:

Arsonists Get All The Girls are back on the scene with third full-length ‘Portals’, and show what they are capable of with the release of their best work to date. The Deathcore band from Santa Cruz, California have been through a heck of a lot in their four years together; tragically losing bassist Patrick Mason on the day after his 21st birthday and then vocalist Cameron Reed leaving after “receiving a message from God”, but they are still going strong with Jared Monette taking up vocal duties and Jaeson Bardoni picking up from Mason.

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ALBUM: Billy Talent – Billy Talent III

Release Date: July 13th, 2009
Label: Atlantic
Website: www.billytalent.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/billytalent

Rating:

Canadian rock band Billy Talent return after 3 long years with their eagerly anticipated third studio album, ‘Billy Talent III’ following up on the success of 2006’s ‘Billy Talent II’. When the band entered the studio, even they themselves must’ve been surprised by the well received praise and popularity of their previous album, which managed to reach the number one spot in Germany and Canada, and had also gone on to win a Juno award for ‘Best Rock Album of the Year’. So, surely the band would win our hearts over again this year?

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ALBUM: All Time Low – Nothing Personal

Release Date: July 7th, 2009
Label: Hopeless Records
Website: www.alltimelow.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/alltimelow

Rating:

Pop-punk has always been a genre spawning favourites for young teens everywhere; Fall Out Boy, Paramore, You Me At Six, the list goes on. Now the torch has been passed onwards to a new group on young hopefuls, All Time Low. Their next full-length ‘Nothing Personal’ is sure to be an album played in bedrooms across the world, and force young girls and boys to plaster their walls with posters of the 4-piece.

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ALBUM: Alexisonfire – Old Crows/Young Cardinals

Release Date: June 19th, 2009
Label: Vagrant Records
Website: www.theonlybandever.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/alexisonfire

Rating:

Canadian five-piece Alexisonfire hold a prominent place in the current post-hardcore scene. Their self-titled debut in 2002 was proof to everyone that this genre was more than enjoyable when done correctly and also set the bar high for the swarm of bands that were to follow. The quintet went onto release two more albums, ‘Watch Out!’ and ‘Crisis’, both of which were impressive and highlighted how the Canadians could reinvent their sound but still keep the structure and style that their fans loved. Their latest release ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’ unfortunately does not stick to the band’s tradition.

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ALBUM: Brokencyde – I’m Not A Fan… But The Kids Like It!

Release Date: June 16th, 2009
Label: Suburban Noise
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/brokencyde

Rating:

As a critic for this website I am obligated to write objectively about any piece of music I am asked to release, and yes, I intend to do that here. I am also obligated to talk a little about the release – so this is the second album by ‘crunkcore’ band Brokencyde, containing reworked versions of old ‘hits’ as well as a bunch of new material.

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ALBUM: Daniel Merriweather – Love & War

Release Date: June 1st, 2009
Label: Columbia
Website: www.danielmerriweather.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/danielmerriweather

Rating:

You know, I was more than ready to go on a cynical diatribe about this album. More than happy to. With British (popular in Britain, anyway) music being populated by mass marketed wimps with bittersweet lyrics and daytime radio-friendly acoustic guitars, I was more than happy to write-off Daniel Merriweather in the exact same way. You know the wink wink ‘hip-hop’ collaboration, the popular singles, the mostly fashionable haircut and faux-soul vocal. It’s all there for Mr. Cynical Critic to spit at before going back to salivating over late 80’s American indie rock three people outside of himself has heard of. I was this close… then I made the mistake of listening to it.

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