Thursday, 27 October 2016

Two short reviews for two short albums.....

To celebrate 20 years, Placebo have released a six track EP. First up is a cover of Life's What You Make It from Talk Talk. Sensibly it keeps the original guitar lines but replaces the deep mournful piano chords with big squelches of keyboard which sort of works.... The other big difference is obviously the vocals and you either enjoy the whine of Mr Moloko or can't stand it so this won't change any opinions. The nominal single is a new track called Jesus' Son which is a bouncy blast very reminiscent of what they sounded like circa Nancy Boy.  There are also two inconsequential B sides but the gems are two live versions of Twenty Years. This is probably my favourite Placebo track so one full live band version recorded in France and a piano led acoustic version recorded in Russia are all the reason I need to make this purchase

The new Winterfylleth album is only five tracks long but no covers or live tracks here. Where some extreme bands are off diversifying their sound (hello Opeth and Ulver) this is the sound of a band who know what their strengths are and are happy to stick with the formula. The title track, The Dark Hereafter, is only 4 minutes long and might even be considered an attempt at mainstream metal. Rapid drums, a hint of melody and almost straightforward. After that the tracks get longer, more complex and darker. Green Cathedral is a 13 minute epic, much slower and with some very interesting choral effects. A bit like Placebo though, you either like what this band does or you don't and this new album won't change your mind either way.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Saw a review claiming September 1991 was the greatest month in rock for new releases but I disagree - the last six weeks have been the best I can ever remember for releases.....

We have had (in order) - Myrkur, New Model Army, Marillion, Insomnium, The Mission, Winterfylleth, Alcest, Placebo and Shovels & Rope

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Album 18 and Marillion give us the F.E.A.R....

All Marillion albums are great (bar the woeful Somewhere Else) but it's been a long time since they released back to back albums I fully adore and now for the first time since Brave and Afraid of Sunlight we have that

The album consists of 3 multi part epics, a couple of shorter stand alone tracks and a coda which refrains an earlier track. The stand out track is four part The New Kings  which berates bankers, worries about Russian oligarchs and considers conspiracy theories of 9/11

This is being called an angry  and political album but it's a stately anger along the lines of King of Sunset Town from the first album with Hogarth rather than fist in the air calls for revolution.
(As an aside it's taken them a long time to catch up - NMA were singing about refugees in 2005 on Carnival and I was listening to Miserylab singing "too big to fail" in 2012 so well done on finally tackling the big issues)

Steve Rothery unleashes soaring guitar solo's throughout and album which is full of sumptuous keyboards. Lyrically this is up there with any post Fish album and musically there is a feel of Misplaced Childhood. Check out The Leavers v: One Tonight with the plaintive piano notes being picked out and the drum run up to the chorus - It's really just Lavender 2.0 !!

As ever with this preorder albums the packaging and artwork is magnificent  and worth the extra money

This month has to be one of the best ever months for musical releases and this is up near the top of the pile.