Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Techno Fan's First Play

The new Wombats single, Techno Fan, will get its first airing on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show on Thursday around 19.30.

It is the third song to be released from their upcoming sophomore album, This Modern Glitch, after first single Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) and free download Jump Into The Fog.

Monday, 29 November 2010

An Introduction To Best Of 2010

Yeah, that time again. Unless a surprise album is released in December (I heard Gorillaz had plans to, but I doubt it) I have the top 25 albums I got this year (I got 28 this year, and I haven't really listened to three, so it wasn't hard picking! - Eminem's Recovery, Fenech-Soler's self titled debut record and Broken Records' Let Me Come Home were the ones I haven't got round to listening to yet - so even if one turns out to be amazing, it won't be in the list).

This is just an introduction to the countdown, as I like talking about this stuff. Sad, I know.


Overall, I was disappointed by what was released in 2010, despite there being some brilliant ones. Of the bands I knew about, a few bands whose albums I was anticipating produced some poor follow-ups compared to their last efforts (I count 4), whereas other albums that I wasn't expecting much from exceeded my expectations (I count 5).

I also took an interest in quite a few new artists' albums (I count the artists releasing debut solo records as new artists, mind) - 7, to be exact - and also discovered 6 new bands for the first time.

That makes 22 in total, so the other 3 albums in the top 25 w.ere bands I knew before and released albums that were pretty much what I was expecting.

Finally, out of 25, I discovered 14 new bands (although 2 were solo albums from bands I already knew of) and listened to 11 follow-ups that I knew were coming, not all of which were as good as I wanted them to be.

Despite 2010 being quite a bad year for the music I like, looking at my list of bands planning to release new albums in 2011 is exciting, as if most (ideally all) of these bands deliver on their next albums, 2011 is going to be hard to pick a top 25 for...

The 'Music Madness Best 25 Albums of 2010 Countdown' will begin on 1st December, with #25, working its way down until Christmas Day, revealing my favourite album of the year. I know many people will disagree with it, but I've played the songs on it a ridiculous amount of times and I'm not bored of it at all. That said, if I stuck it in with the albums of 2009, I would place it around #5 or #6. But it's 2010, and it's #1. So if you can be bothered to check which albums I enjoyed this year, check back here from December 1st to the 25th!!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Preview Five Songs Off Ritual

Preview Strangers, Peace And Quiet, Holy Ghost, Turn The Bells and Bigger Than Us (although we've already heard it) here. The songs sound AMAZING.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Album Review: Heretics - Heretics

Album: Heretics
Artist: Heretics

It's a crime that this band isn't better known - this debut album is full of songs that have potential to be huge. After hearing loads of songs the band posted on various sites (I heard versions of 7 of the 10 songs before the release), it was great to hear the final recording along with three new songs, two of which are the best the album has to offer.

A forty-five second intro, which builds anticipation for the album ahead, and then starts to segue into the second song. But that's all it does, and in my head I count it as part of the next song, which is...

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
This is one of the best on the album. An industrial-sounding beat runs its way throughout the whole song, whilst the vocals reign over everything. The way the chorus joins the rest of the song is brilliantly done, and some clever rhyming makes its way in ("One last moment of bliss, a kiss, and then now into this abyss") before the song calms down with an almost ear-piercing synth line, comes back for another chorus, and then finishes in spectacular style.

Don't Be Late
This one sounds slightly darker, yet is as big-sounding as the previous song. "Don't be late she cried, but now my hands are tied" goes the chorus, which had me singing along by the time the last chorus came in. But then again, I had heard it before...

We Could Leave
This was my favourite before I heard the newer tracks, and it sounds slightly more powerful on the album, with the guitars being turned up a bit. Its beat and synth line make it a very catchy affair. Once again, the change-over from verse to chorus sounds brilliant, and the deep vocal shines out as one of the best things on the album.

Count Down The Time
A slower, calmer song to take a break from the first few tracks. Or is it? After two minutes of a synth line that gets a bit repetitive at times while the vocals reign supreme yet again, it takes a turn for the massive (yet again) as we are told "we can sleep well tonight." The second half is definitely better than the first here.

"I'm not content with what I have" is the opening lyric of this song about consumerism and our overwhelming desire to buy and buy 'til we have no money. And even then, after we have no money! ("No more overdraft, I'll use the credit card" goes the song). The lyrics are getting a bit more topical - which is good for this band, as they seem quite good at it. The tune itself isn't much to write home about, but it's still a decent song.

Finally, a new song! (excluding the first track, which isn't really a song) Definitely one of the best on offer here. A glacial synth opens the song, then comes the beat, and then some really powerful guitar work, then more drums come in, then another synth line over the top... building up and up, before the verse calms things down, before the chorus of "Time, you never draw the line." The chorus is actually probably the weak point of this song (unlike the earlier songs) as it is repetitive and wears out quickly. Nevertheless, this is one of the two standouts of the album.

These Words
This is the absolute best song on the album. The opening synth gives off a sense of sadness - before the verse, where the beat grows as we're led into the chorus of "These words of mine, when written down, never amount to much..." After another round of verse and chorus, sounding as big as the first time they came round, we take a break and hear "If one person listens to what I say, today will not be a wasted day...". Finally, after another rendition of the chorus, the final instrumental minute is the best way to close this up. Amazing song.

Unfortunately, Colour pales in comparison to the previous song, and is my least favourite on the album. It now sounds like it's all been done before. The album's songs do all sound very similar to one another, but the band manages to make them sound massive. However, this one is quite underwhelming. And at the end, it just ends abruptly, and just sounds slightly wrong. The only song on here that I'm not keen on, but not so far that I'd skip it on the album, it's still better than a lot of stuff I hear these days.

The final song is also new, and is up there as one of my favourites (excluding the hidden track). It's a slow affair, but the chorus packs a powerful beat, and the piano in the verses gives off another epic vibe. "Help me out, I can't do this on my own..." goes the chorus, and you can almost imagine that if it were played live, everyone would be waving their hands slowly in time to the beat. Every time the chorus comes in on this song, it gets bigger and bigger, and the way the song closes sounds like one of the biggest things the band has done.

(Hidden Track)
I don't like this turning up after Gardens being such an epic album closer - this seems like it would have been a good intro to the album. It has the deepest vocal of the album, and sounds like its just anticipating something bigger to happen. It's quite an underwhelming end to the album, so I tend to stop at Gardens. If it had been stuck somewhere earlier on it might have grabbed me a bit more.

So, overall, a fantastic debut album. The only songs I'm not too keen on are Colour and the hidden track at the end (mainly due to its placement), but the others all have a massive sound. Trust, These Words, Gardens and We Could Leave are the standouts of the album, but the others are up there too. It would have been even better if they'd stuck Safety Net on there somewhere, but I'm sure they had their reasons. The only other criticism I can make is that the sound doesn't change much, and so sometimes it does get a bit repetitive, but the songs themselves stand up well on their own.


These reviews have not been written by a professional reviewer, but are just one fan's opinions on the songs released.

Single Review: White Lies - Bigger Than Us

Single: Bigger Than Us
Artist: White Lies
From the album Ritual

The electronic pulse that kicks off White Lies' comeback single instantly signals the arrival of something epic, you know it instantly. Despite being underwhelmed the first time I heard it live, it grew on me, and hearing this studio version just adds to it. The chorus is absolutely massive, as singer Harry McVeigh's powerful voice declares "this is bigger than us!"

One of the first reviews I did for this blog was for White Lies' single To Lose My Life, and I gave it 10/10. But I think I was very nice in that aspect - if I reviewed it now I'd give it 8 or 9, and so despite thinking this new song is better than To Lose My Life, I am only going to give it a 9.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas Singles

The Killers, Coldplay and Hurts have all announced Christmas singles!
Here are the release dates:
30th November - The Killers - Boots
1st December - Coldplay - Christmas Lights
14th December - Hurts - All I Want For Christmas Is New Year's Day

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Wombats - New Album And Single

The Wombats' second album has been given a title: This Modern Glitch. It will be released 7th February 2011. It will be preceded by the single Techno Fan, due out 24th January, two weeks beforehand.

Two songs have already been released: Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) and Jump Into The Fog. The latter was released as a free download.

Other songs on the album will include: Anti-D (the first track), Schumacher The Champagne, Motorphobia and Perfect Disease. It is rumoured to be a 12-track album.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Bigger Than Us - First Play Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday 16th November, White Lies' new single Bigger Than Us will get its first play on Radio 1 at 19.30.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Courteeners Announce EP

The Courteeners have announced the release of the Electric Lick EP, which will feature two songs from their last album Falcon (namely Lullaby and Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips), along with a cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah's song Zero, and also two new songs. It will be available on the 6th December.

01. Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips
02. Three Months
03. Zero
04. Lullaby
05. Swear Down


A Change To Ritual's Tracklist

I think that White Lies' second album has had its tracklist changed, as websites offering it up for pre-ordering are saying Streetlights has been moved to track 5. The new tracklist is:

01. Is Love
02. Strangers
03. Bigger Than Us
04. Peace And Quiet
05. Streetlights
06. Holy Ghost
07. Turn The Bells
08. The Power And The Glory
09. Bad Love
10. Come Down

Friday, 12 November 2010

Preview Of Bigger Than Us

Here is a preview of White Lies' new single Bigger Than Us. It sounds amazing!

Monday, 8 November 2010

White Lies - Ritual


01. Is Love?
02. Strangers
03. Bigger Than Us
04. Peace And Quiet
05. Streetlights
06. Holy Ghost
07. Turn The Bells
08. The Power And The Glory
09. Bad Love
10. Come Down

The first single is Bigger Than Us, which will be formally released on the 3rd January.

The album will follow on the 17th January.

The first six tracks, The Power And The Glory and Bad Love have all been played live.

Previews of five of the songs are available here. The iTunes previews are available here.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New Enter Shikari Song

Only just found out about this, but here it is:

It is available on iTunes now.