Music: MURDER AND THE MOTIVE by Those Damn Crows

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I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for the debut album from Bridgend, South Wales five-piece Those Damn Crows. Thankfully, on October 5th, Earache Records released their album, Murder and the Motive. The delay was certainly worth the wait: this album is great. It’s interesting that it did take so long for the album to come out, though: the music video for “Fear of the Broken” (the final track on the album) was uploaded to YouTube on June 8th, 2015! “Blink of an Eye” (my favourite song on the album) got a video in September 2016.

My “review”, for want of a better word, is simply this: Those Damn Crows are damn good. If you’re a fan of any kind of rock music, then I think you’ll like this band. Loud guitars, great vocals and hooks, I’m really glad I stumbled across them. Continue reading

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A Selection of Recent New Music Videos…

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Just wanted to share a selection of new music videos from some of my favourite bands. As I was writing the post, I realized that many of them I saw most recently at the big rock/metal concert they hold in Toronto every two years or so. Continue reading

Upcoming: RESIST by Within Temptation (Spinefarm Records)

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Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation return this year with Resist, their first album since 2014’s Hydra. A band I have been listening to for decades, I’m really looking forward to it (they are one of the bands whose new music I pre-order immediately). Continue reading

Music Recommendation: NOTHING MORE

NothingMore-TheStoriesWeTellOurselvesRecently, I feel like I’ve become rather unadventurous in my music taste. There are a handful of bands whose albums I will always buy — for example, In Flames, Trivium, Within Temptation, Five Finger Death Punch, Asking Alexandria, and Sia — regardless of whether or not I don’t find the albums particularly compelling (I realized recently, for rather random reasons, that 2011 was a bad year for some of my favourite bands). In this respect, I adhered to Chuck Klosterman‘s truism that music fans (apparently especially men) “have a weird sense of loyalty toward the bands they like; they sometimes view record buying as a responsibility,” regardless of  the quality of the album.

Few bands, however, have recently had such an immediate impact on my listening habits than Nothing More. Earlier this year, I stumbled across the video for the band’s “Don’t Stop” (below), and I haven’t been the same since. That’s a rather grand statement, to be sure, but the band’s latest album The Stories We Tell Ourselves is phenomenally good. I’ve since gone back and picked up their previous albums, as well. Continue reading

Music: “Alone in a Room” by Asking Alexandria (Sumerian Records)

Just wanted to share the latest music video from Asking Alexandria, one of my favourite bands. Taken from their latest, eponymous album, it’s also one of their best songs. Just an all-round fantastic band. Could listen to their latest album and From Death to Destiny any day of the week and still love them.

Follow the Band: Website, Twitter

Music Review: AMERICA by Thirty Seconds to Mars (Polydor)

30SecondsToMars-America“Your ears start bleeding” when one cranks modern music up to 11, Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto observed to Rolling Stone‘s Brian Hiatt. He has a point — modern music production methods tend to lean towards loud, busy and highly-compressed recording. “It used to be pleasurable to crank up Zeppelin or Nirvana to 12 in your car,” he continued. “Now everyone would complain — it’s so piercing, so bright.”

This observation struck me as a little odd coming from Leto: Thirty Seconds to Mars is one of the most melodramatic, cinematic rock bands working today: pretty much the whole of their This Is War album, for example, is operatic and bombastic. The concern about modern production, and the “brightness” of contemporary songs is popular among ‘purists’ and classic rock fans — it’s common to see comparisons of sounds wave graphs (which I admit is extremely nerdy) of Beatles recordings with those of recent singles. This concern seems to have informed Thirty Seconds to Mars’s America throughout. Continue reading

Quick Music Review: CATHARSIS by Machine Head (Nuclear Blast)

MachineHead-CatharsisI’ve been a fan of Machine Head’s music since 1999’s The Burning Red — an album that divided long-time fans of the Oakland bruisers’ earlier albums (1994’s Burn My Eyes and 1997’s The More Things Change…). I’ve loved most of their output ever since. During my undergraduate years, I was also lucky enough to interview drummer Dave McClain at a Roadrunner Road Rage gig in Newcastle, when I was running my music fanzine (the sadly-defunct-but-fondly-remembered MWRI. While I’ve found their previous couple of albums very good, I don’t think they did much to move the band forward. With Catharsis, however, Machine Head have done a lot to reinvent their sound while at the same time staying true to their thrash/metal roots. Continue reading