Saturday 26 November 2016

Jimmy Eat World - "Integrity Blues", Released 21 October 2016 via RCA Records - ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Eat World - "Integrity Blues"
Released 21 October 2016 via RCA Records

I have been following Jimmy Eat World for the best part of 20 years at this stage. Their music has been important to me and has accompanied me around the world and thru the various milestones that one can have during his life. Not too many bands can adequately fit the bill of the emotion roller coaster but JEW can, and for that reason this is very unique in rock business.

So what’s the new JEW album (released on October 21st) like? Hang on, will you. There is no rush. You got to delicately click on the first title or open the CD if you have gone for that option. Well, the first track is 'You With Me' and it is a gentle introduction to a superb album from the Arizona quartet. This album is probably the best one they have released in 10 years. Not that the previous ones were not good, but this one has a togetherness cachet.

It was encouraging to hear acoustic versions of 'Sure and Certain' and 'Get it Right' prior to the album being issued and the studio versions don’t disappoint. They have become JEW classics in their own right already, if I judge by the reaction of the crowd at a recent concert in Dublin. 'Pass the Baby' is innovative (not Radiohead like) and alternates different atmospheres with its reflective mood until one minute before the end when it concludes more nervously, a title which is becoming my favourite of the album.

'You are Free' and 'The End is Beautiful' are equally strong titles - very mature, beautiful arrangements. I like the lyrics from Jim, especially on 'Integrity Blues' which is not one the strongest tracks. If you don’t push toward 'Pol Roger', that’s alright. It is a weak and forgettable song; albeit the only one on a brilliant album.

It’s solid, tense, emotional reflective and nervous. Jimmy is still hungry and has not finished to eat the world. Don’t miss them on stage. They are one of those rare bands who almost sound better on stage than they do in studio. And when you know the quality of their productions... I let you imagine...

Overall: Not to miss.
If I was to pick 3 only: Get it Right, Pass The Baby, Pretty Grids
Live Test: A cut above - a different league!!!

Review by Pascal Derrien

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Metallica - "Hardwired... to Self-Destruct", Released November 18, 2016 via Blackened Recordings - ALBUM REVIEW

Metallica - "Hardwired... to Self-Destruct"
Released November 18, 2016 via Blackened Recordings

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct is number one in a staggering 57 countries, Top 3 in 75 countries and Top 5 in 105 countries so I suppose this review will probably not make any difference. But here is my take on the new album from Metallica!!!

I was introduced to Metallica via a k7 demo. I think it was four tracks, long before they were even signed by a label. I went to see them supporting Motorhead in Europe when they released Kill Em All in 1983 and like for many of my generation the first decade of the band’s activity was a defining moment not only for us as a generation but also for the music industry. Fair to say that by and large Metallica redefined the rock-hard business and revolutionized the foundations of trash metal. They are as important as Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones for that matter and their influence has been felt way beyond the boundaries of head banging music only.

Then we all grew up and evolved. The band made a few mistakes and some hard-core fans did not forgive them. Metallica made some attempts to readapt themselves but failed short on a few occasions (St Anger/Lulu). Death Magnetic gave hope but most of us had low expectations, some had even written the band off. BIG MISTAKE.

2016, Hardwired....... to Self-Destruct is the album I am reviewing. A 3 CD version including a live section composed mainly of titles from the first albums except one track. The same title Hardwired....... to Self-Destruct is opening the ball and damn it is good. It is not mind blowing but the shortest title is punchy, the riffs are elegant, the voice is James all over and the production is excellent. From that point onwards:

The Stand Outs: Hardwired, Moth into Flame, Now That We’re Dead , Spit Out the Bone, Here Comes Revenge. The Latter is a real song, not a succession of riffs or break. James voice evolves in softer territories at times and this is showing a direction that personally I would have liked to see on more tracks. Kirk’s soli are creative and sharp and incisive while the bass player is doing a fantastic job to support the ensemble in a very efficient if not innovative manner.

The Not So stand Outs: Halo On Fire, Confusion and Atlas Rise are good and solid titles but it is a bit awkward to hear Metallica copying Metallica in some parts of the three songs. Personally, I kind of think Kirk and Robert should have been more involved in the crafting of the album. Lars and James creativity clearly show some weakness and the innovation boundaries are quickly meet on those two tracks.

The Average: The four studio tracks on CD3 are forgettable and add marginal value. Lords of The Summer is more palatable with the video back up but I don’t understand why those titles have not been kept for B-sides or rarities. I find When a Blind Man Cries relatively painful. On CD2 Am I Savage and ManUNKind are good titles in their own right but don’t really suffer any comparison with the stronger titles from whom they come across as a pale version of them.

Now we should be grateful to have the pleasure of having a strong Metallica album to rejoice our ears. Metallica is still as relevant as ever, however we should not be stuck in a time warp and expect them to recapture an era which is long gone.

As far as I am concerned I am already looking forward to the next chapter, hoping it won’t take 8 years that time around.

Welcome back Metallica!

Overall: The best effort in more than 20 years
If I was to pick 3 Only: Hardwired..., Spit Out The Bone, Homes Revenge
Live test: I have never been disappointed

Tracking Listing

Deluxe Edition (Digital Download & CD): Disc One Hardwired Atlas, Rise! Now That We’re Dead Moth into Flame Dream No More Halo On Fire

Disc Two: Confusion ManUNkind Here Comes Revenge Am I Savage? Murder One Spit Out the Bone

Disc Three (Bonus): Lords of Summer (2016) Ronnie Rising Medley When a Blind Man Cries Remember Tomorrow Helpless (Live at Rasputin Music) Hit the Lights (Live at Rasputin Music) The Four Horsemen (Live at Rasputin Music) Ride the Lightning (Live at Rasputin Music) Fade to Black (Live at Rasputin Music) Jump in the Fire (Live at Rasputin Music) For Whom the Bell Tolls (Live at Rasputin Music) Creeping Death (Live at Rasputin Music) Metal Militia (Live at Rasputin Music) Hardwired (Live in Minneapolis)

Review by Pascal Derrien

Monday 21 November 2016

THE FRANKLYS hit the road with AIRBOURNE on November UK Tour & unveil new single and video for ‘Castaway’

The Franklys play rock 'n' roll the way it’s meant to be - loud, raw, dirty, fast and furious, and they open up for the Australian rockers Airbourne on five of their UK dates this week. “We can’t think of a single thing coming out of Australia that we don’t like, including this band, so pretty sure we’re gonna get on just fine. Might have a bit of competition with the hair though as they sure have some healthy looking locks!”

To celebrate the tour, The Franklys release the first single from their forthcoming debut album; the frantic and blistering ‘Castaway’ on December 2nd. The full-on video supporting the single “was a no-brainer, as ‘Castaway’ is a live song. We have mixed clips from different shows we’ve done over the year, also introducing our newest member Lexi Clark.”

“We have finally managed to transfer how we sound live on to a record. We have worked with plenty of different engineers and producers in the past, but no one has really been able to capture the rawness from our live show.” Recorded and mixed with producer Sean Douglas, the result is thrillingly clear and direct.

The Franklys play a mixture of garage, heavy rock and punk and provide their audience with an action packed live show full of energy, frenetic guitar riffs and a swarm of blurred hair. Their debut album will hit stores in spring 2017, and until then they are going out to do what they do best, with the promise to those attending the Airbourne dates to “expect some bad neck-pains the day after from waaaay too much head banging”.

November UK Tour dates: Mon 21st Birmingham O2 Institute w/ Airbourne & Crobot Tue 22nd Leeds O2 Academy w/ Airbourne & Crobot Wed 23rd Newcastle O2 Academy w/ Airbourne & Crobot Thur 24th Glasgow Barrowlands w/ Airbourne & Crobot Sat 26th Manchester O2 Ritz w/ Airbourne & Crobot

The Franklys: Jennifer Ahlkvist Fanny Broberg Zoë Biggs Lexi Clark

SCHILLER - New Album "Future" Out December 14 on OK!Good Records

Photo Credit: Philip Glaser

Critically-acclaimed electronic-pop artist SCHILLER is excited to announce his highly-anticipated new album FUTURE, which is slated to be released December 16, 2016 both digitally and physically on OK!Good Records.

Future is the ninth studio album from the multi-Gold and Platinum-certified project created by electronic musician, producer and composer Christopher von Deylen, better known as Schiller. Full of emotional, electronic-pop, his new album has been met with gratuitous praise, going straight to the top of the German Pop album charts and giving him his fifth #1 album in his home country.

Schiller describes the album as a movie soundtrack, taking listeners on a sonic journey through moods, feelings and landscapes. Mixing intoxicating and exciting sounds with timeless intensity, each song on Future has its own cinematic quality to experience.

With Future, Schiller has embarked on a wonderful journey of musical and spiritual discovery. Written while traveling back and forth between the pulsing metropolis of Los Angeles and the infinite openness of the Mojave desert, Von Deylen was inspired to create a “gravity free” album by matching his grand instrumental tracks with an impressive and diverse lineup of guest vocalists. Featured artists include Kéta, Emma Hewitt, Tawgs Salter, Sheppard Solomon, and Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia. With their dedication and passion, they have become an integral part of the musical expedition of Future.

Schiller is thrilled for the next chapter of his music with Future, stating: "I am looking forward to an exciting journey with you." Future will be available December 16, 2016 via OK!Good Records both physically and digitally.