Reviews

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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LIVE: Download 2009 @ Donington Park (12/06/2009)

Date: June 12th, 2009
Venue: Donington Park
Stages: Main Stage, Second Stage
Website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/downloadfestival

Rating:

Download Festival comes along for yet another year, and the opening arena day welcomes a host of mainly nu-metal styled bands to the stage aswell as two reformed bands. This is the start of what is going to be one of the best weekends of the year!

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LIVE: Baddies @ The Sugarmill, Stoke (04/06/2009)

Date: June 4th, 2009
Venue: The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: Heart Of The Sun, The Ritzz
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/baddies

Rating:

It’s always nice coming across bands that haven’t really made it yet, but look like they’re getting the support and attention where they could very well hit it. The thought of being one of few people to say “I saw them when they were in tiny venues and barely no one knew them”. Baddies are one such hotly tipped band, and in The Sugarmill venue where there are about 30 to 40 people maximum, you may question just when the word about this lot is going to get around.

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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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ALBUM: The Blackout – The Best In Town

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

Rating:

In 2007, Merthyr Tydfil mob The Blackout almost literally exploded onto the music scene. Debut full-length album ‘We Are The Dynamite!’ showed off everything the six-piece had to offer; the band’s ability to mix heavy guitars, clean vocals and screams went down well with kids everywhere (as well as making everybody wonder how the fuck Wales had so much musical talent popping up in recent years). The end result: the lads were able to venture out of those once restrictive Welsh Valleys and embark on numerous high-profile tours.

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LIVE: The Blackout @ Academy 2, Manchester (20/05/2009)

Date: May 20th, 2009
Venue: Club Academy, Manchester
Support: The Urgency, Hollywood Undead, Silverstein
Website: www.theblackout.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/theblackout

Rating:

On the horizon sits the release of Welsh’s post-hardcore pack The Blackout‘s second full-length release, entitled very confidently ‘The Best In Town’. But then again, since when is confidence always been a bad thing, especially when delivered with a reason to be so confident? It’s up to the 6-piece to deliver the reason tonight.

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SINGLE: Daniel Merriweather – Red

Release Date: May 18th, 2009
Label: Columbia
Website: www.danielmerriweather.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/danielmerriweather

Rating:

Daniel Merriweather follows up popular collaborations with the likes of Mark Ronson and Wiley as well as a top ten single of his own (‘Change’) with his latest snippet from the album ‘Love & War’, a dramatic tale of a breaking down relationship with a grander feel to accompany his slightly raspy vocal feel in ‘Red’.

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SINGLE: Ane Brun – The Puzzle

Release Date: May 18th, 2009
Label: Determine Records
Website: www.anebrun.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/anebrun

Rating:

Mainly subjected to a radio broadcasting a brimful of acts from either the UK or the US, it’s always refreshing to have acts from different parts of the world heard. It’s a shame that Ane Brun‘s recent single release ‘The Puzzle’ doesn’t set a good example for Norway and their popular music culture.

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SINGLE: Black Lips – I’ll Be With You

Release Date: May 18th, 2009
Label: Vice Music
Website: www.black-lips.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/theblacklips

Rating:

There are millions of acts out there with silly names, one of which is Black Lips. But names aside, the name of a performer or band shouldn’t determine the quality of their music – in this case however though it does gauge the quality of their latest single ‘I’ll Be With You’. The dreary vocal work and intended old radio quality recording just backfires entirely on their intention to create a sense of nostalgia; clearly taking the fact that the 80’s and 90’s culture is becoming popular once more.

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