Tag Archives: Rock

Have Screaming Issues With Issues? Try Slaves

TAWAAESlavesNot being particularly down with the kids (who would’ve thunk it?), I haven’t always been on the ball about artists that are actually worth paying attention to that everyone else has been. Following my overdue rant about Deezer, I was loading up some more artists I hadn’t heard before to give a listen to whilst I walk to work in the mornings. It was pretty much choosing at random (because as I previously stated, what the fuck else am I going to go on?). One such artist I happened to select was Slaves, the album called Through Art We Are All Equals. Based on the cover art and album name I was actually expecting a post-rock/metal act. Instead I got a djent-y (naturally), soul influenced (yes, you did read that right) alternative rock, and I am totally hooked. Must’ve listened to it about 5 times in a row yesterday, and it’s currently playing as I write this.
I’ve never heard of the vocalist before, but he seems to be popular with youths on Twitter and has a habit of getting kicked out of bands for being a drugged up douche bag. But you can overlook that for the fact that he’s one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard. Honestly, his vocals are phenomenal and it’d be very easy to sell the album on that alone. Thankfully, the album has enough ideas and memorable melodies to make it an all-round win (funnily enough, it actually has Tyler Carter from Issues guest on one of the tracks).

Check out one of the singles below.

Also, if anyone can tell me who the bloody hell the vocalist reminds me of I’ll give them … no recognition whatsoever but inside I’ll be grateful.

Review: Anathema—Distant Satellites

coverAnathema have been one of my favourite bands for a while now, principally because they seem intent on pumping out masterpiece after masterpiece, especially counting from A Natural Disaster onwards. After Weather Systems, probably my favourite album of the past two years, the expectations on what the new album would be like were mixed. On the one hand, their winning streak suggested it was going to be similarly brilliant. On the other, I was quite ready to be spectacularly let down by a slip up. Hey, even great musicians make mistakes.

Like Septicflesh’s preview of Titan, I wasn’t overwhelmed with This is going to be another perfect release. Like Titan, their choice of single to preview, in this case ‘The Lost Song, Pt. 3’, felt odd. Unlike Titan, however, once you listen to the whole album, the song makes a lot more sense. It fits. Admittedly, it’s still not the greatest track on the album, but it works very well within the mood of the album as a whole.

To get it out of the way, I’m not sure it’s quite as good as Weather Systems, but it is still VERY. GODDAMN. GOOD. It’s more of a moodier piece; lots of piano, more of a reliance on subtlety and nuance than the more obvious contrasts on Weather Systems. That’s not to say you don’t get the big guitars and soaring vocals (and, as always, the vocals are faultless; I could listen to Lee Douglas for the rest of my days and never tire of her voice), but the album as a whole has a more melancholic tone. It doesn’t beat you over the head with it, it’s more a poetic exploration; I think the track ‘Ariel’ makes for a nice summary of the album.

Distant Satellites is very noticably an Anathema album, using the style they’ve grown into over the past couple of albums since their ‘comeback’, though I think it’s most comfortably recognised as the spiritual successor to A Natural Disaster. The tracks ‘Firelight’ & ‘Distant Satellites’ remind me a lot of ‘Are You There?’, though I’m not entirely sure why. The album generally would have really suited the venue they played in their recent live release, Universal, come to think of it; an ampitheatre beneath the stars (surely playing live anywhere else after doing playing in that sort of environment would just feel like a comedown?).

Despite the mood being more focused than their previous release, it never gets dull or repetitive. Their lyrics can get a little … not clichéd, more simple; they won’t blow anyone away is what I’m getting at. They’re not terrible, it’s just that if you were going to find a fault in the album, that would be the most obvious area to come under fire. But I never got the sense of ‘Haven’t I heard this song earlier?’, or ‘Really, another piano then guitar kicks in job?’, which is always the risk you run when you go for one over-arching mood; it’s difficult to stretch out an emotion for an hour or so without it seeming gratiuitous.

Anathema’s latest is a fine addition to their catalogue, and one that I will undoubtedly be listening to a lot this year, as well as shoving it in my Top 10 for this year in December.

9/10

Wo Fat; Rock For Your BBQ

WOFAT-cover-e1399485513778Curiously, not everyone shares my taste in music, and as such what to play at a BBQ (or any social event for that matter) is something of a bone of contention. I want to listen to something with a punch, but not everyone wants to burn flesh to the sound of the latest Aborted album (I know, right?). So if you’re looking for a compromise, try Wo Fat (incidentally, this might count as one of the weirdest musical endoresements of all time). Their latest release, the five-track ‘The Conjuring’, came out June 16th, so I’m a tad slow on the uptake with this one, but you should definitely go check it out.

Their sound is BIG, a bit like the angrier bits of Kyuss; a true pummeling of everything that makes stoner rock fantastic summer music, perfect for booze, smoke, and too many burgers.

Talking of BBQ, the Tour de France passed directly outside my house today (whereupon I discovered an interest in cycling for all of … this weekend) and as such, much beer and BBQ has been had this weekend; because of this, ‘The Conjuring’ has been seeing decent rotation on my playlist at the moment, and it should make an appearance on yours at some point too.

Pick up a copy HERE, where you can also stream track 4, ‘Beggar’s Bargain’.

Looking For Some Exposure?

If you’re a struggling metal band looking for some exposure, what better place to get it than at a sham wedding?

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