Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Another Snow Patrol Single Gets First Play

The new single from Snow Patrol, This Isn't Everything You Are, will receive its first play tomorrow night (Wednesday 28th September) at some point after 19.00 (GMT) on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show.

The single is the second one taken from their upcoming album, Fallen Empires, due out 14th November (the single is due out the day before, digitally). It follows first single Called Out In The Dark, out now.

Friday, 23 September 2011

New Kele Single Debuted Last Night

Kele's new single, What Did I Do? (feat. Lucy Taylor) debuted on Radio 1 last night. You can see the video below.

The song is the first single taken from his upcoming EP, The Hunter, due out October 31st. More details here.

New Twang Album

This has been old news for a while, but it has somehow slipped past me. The Twang's new album, currently untitled, is due for a January 2012 release. The band have released a song, Paradise, as a free download if you 'like' their page on Facebook. The album is the band's third, following Love It When I Feel Like This (2007) and Jewellery Quarter (2009).

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Album Review: The Whip - Wired Together

I discovered The Whip by chance - a recommendation from The Sunshine Underground, if I remember correctly - back in the early days of summer when not much new music is scheduled to come out, and they had a five-track sampler available on their website, featuring all the even-numbered tracks from the album. On first listen, I thought it was alright, but nothing really stood out to me. Now, listening to those same tracks with the odd-numbered ones turning up, I don't know how I ever thought that.

There's all sorts of brilliant ideas floating about on this album, from the heavy, dirty dancefloor fillers to the lighter, less grounded songs that you can still move to. So let's take the heaviest first.
This bunch unfortunately contains the two songs that are probably my least favourites: Shake and Metal Law. The former isn't quite as inventive and stunning as much as the rest of the album, and tends to go on a bit long, but no matter, the chorus is basic but brilliantly done. The latter, on the other hand, is far too repetitive, even though it seems that it was done to describe the repetitiveness of band life: the key lyric is "Get up. Go to work. Do the gig. Go to bed." This is repeated well over twenty times while nothing insanely different is added to the mix in the background, but even when something different kicks in ("This is my metal law, you take it all and I want some more") it just doesn't really excite you as much. And now I've just realised I've typed out the entire lyrics to the song! (Minus all the repetitions)

But still in this same category, there are some bangers too. Intensity does exactly what it says on the... tin? It's the title track of sorts (well, it has the lyric 'wired together' in it) and it's one to get people moving and it all comes together fantastically in the chorus. Riot is the best one on offer, with its simple but powerful chorus of "It's just another riot!" set to make the crowds go wild - such a shame this band isn't better known, because this is huge.

So, leaving the heaviest, we move down a level to the lighter, more poppy songs. Secret Weapon ebbs and flows perfectly, with a catchy synth riff being the highlight; Movement takes ideas from 80s/90s disco with its memorable piano intro that runs throughout the song - this one is another dance-y track of a completely different origin than that of the likes of Riot and Intensity. Also hanging around is the album's closer, Slow Down, which is an epic seven-minute journey which seems to go a lot faster than that - it's the best way to close the album, and when the lyric "When two worlds collide, love will feel no pain" turns up, you want to smile. Not just because of the lyric, but because of the way it's sung, and the music that's playing behind it - it's one of the greatest moments on this album.

Remaining then are the album's opener, Keep Or Delete, which builds up slowly, gradually rising and rising, starting with an atmospheric synth as the vocals kick in - then soon we get drums, bass and the whole shebang before it shows off its epic chorus. Then there's Master Of Ceremonies, a song that sort of sounds like it's building to something huge but never quite makes it there. But once you've got around that, it's still a force to be reckoned with. Unlike the rest of the album, this song sort of shuts down a bit when it gets to the chorus, giving it an atmospheric vibe that The Whip seem to have effortlessly mastered here. Last but nowhere near least is Best Friend, a tune that begs for a video with crowds jumping in slow motion (or is that just me?). Lyrically, it sounds like it's about meeting a girl in a club and becoming her 'best friend' for the short time that you know her, and it's so basic and simple, yet so effective.

Ultimately, the band have created a poppy album with huge choruses and brilliant music to go with it. Whether you're looking for the heavier songs more suited to moshpits, etc. (like Riot) or lighter songs to sort of nod your head along to and let it wash over you (like Best Friend), this album has you covered from the slowly building up brilliance of opener Keep Or Delete, to the epic beauty of Slow Down.


FAVOURITE SONGS: Riot, Best Friend, Slow Down

Album Review: Kasabian - Velociraptor!

Well, it doesn't seem that long ago that I had just bought my copy of Kasabian's last album, the incredible West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, a psychedelic record filled with a whole world of interesting and different sounds, including massive tracks like Underdog, Fast Fuse and Fire that will go down as some of the band's best. And so here comes Velociraptor!, an album that, for the most part, ditches this style and moves away from power through massive guitar riffs and smashing drums - and instead moves towards a slightly more restrained, melodic design. Gone are the days of their trademark crowd-pleasing sing-along (or shout-along, mostly) choruses. Well, almost:

Days Are Forgotten is a brilliant first single that follows their old style, perhaps only slightly ruined by the nails-on-chalkboard style "aaaah"s that pop up occasionally, but with a huge chorus that evokes the Kasabian of old. Velociraptor!, the title track, despite being the shortest track on the album, is huge, the band at their best. It twists and turns and smacks you round the face - a real tour de force, definitely the best on the album despite its rather basic "Velociraptor, he's gonna find ya, he's gonna kill ya, he's gonna eat ya" chorus. Switchblade Smiles, the first track showcased back in June, is another highlight - there's a slightly more bearable scream from Sergio Pizzorno, but it still knocks the song down a level or two, and it's got a nice, big electronic vibe to it. The only other track that really follows this classic Kasabian style is Re-wired, which does not quite match up to anything they've done before, and sounds very slightly underwhelming considering the band's back catalogue - it's still a good song though, but I don't see it getting as big a reaction as, say, LSF, Empire or Underdog. In fact, having said that, I can't really see many tracks from here doing that either - maybe Velociraptor! - but then again the band should be commended for doing something different to what everyone labels them as.

So, now we've had a look at old Kasabian, let's look at the best of the new stuff. Let's Roll Just Like We Used To is a brilliant opener despite being the polar opposite of their previous album openers. It flows fantastically, and has the whole strings and brass treatment turning up here and there. It sounds big and cinematic, like the music playing over the opening credits of a film, particularly in the chorus. La Fee Verte takes its cues from the Beatles and does so excellently, and has a great, melodic chorus to go with it. It takes a bit of the psychedelia emphasised on West Ryder... and re-uses it to great effect. As does Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm), the longest thing they've done at six minutes dead. As the name may suggest, there is a slightly Eastern vibe to it, and like Let's Roll... it flows well, and the chorus is yet again completely different but no less great because of it. Then there's I Hear Voices, which sounds like something that could have been on their first two albums yet somehow it's still new and exciting. It's a very electronic song, guitars are sparse, if not non-existent. The chorus doesn't smack you round the face, but it might provoke a few sing-alongs at gigs. Oh, and it includes the line "They hunt for rabbits just like Yosemite Sam". Kudos to Kasabian for putting that in there.

The other three tracks, unfortunately, fall slightly short of the incredibly high mark the band have set. Goodbye Kiss is the best of the trio but still, it's nothing that sends shivers down your spine. Even after a few listens, it's showing no signs of growing. The chorus alone is good, but the rest of the song drags a bit and doesn't show off any marks of pure musical genius like their earlier stuff. E;sewhere, Man Of Simple Pleasures is the most uninteresting one on here, again there's nothing to make you go 'Wow!' and Neon Noon is an underwhelming closer, its dreamy, restrained design just going on a little bit too long; despite the occasional moment showing some promise in both these songs, they never really deliver. Still, compared to a lot of music these days, this is better. Kasabian have yet to put a song on an album that makes me go 'No. This is awful, I'm not listening to this." but when your previous songs include bangers such as Club Foot, Cutt Off, LSF... (the list goes on, and I've not even finished going through the first album!) the result drops below the mark.

It's good that Kasabian have made an attempt to break free of their 'lad-rock' label, and it's good that they decided to try for something more melodic and with more musical diversity, but unfortunately it's not something that I think suits them. Maybe time will change my mind, but after nine or ten listens, I think it's not improving much. However, there are sparks of promise - There are three fantastic classic-Kasabian tunes that, although they don't match up to some other songs, really are exciting, some of the best stuff released this year. The new style, however, ends up being very hit-and-miss, and I started to get a little weary of the album pretty much after I Hear Voices (the only real song I like beyond that point is Switchblade Smiles). But when it does hit, it hits really well.


FAVOURITE TRACKS: Velociraptor!, Switchblade Smiles, Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm)
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACKS: Man Of Simple Pleasures, Neon Noon

Friday, 16 September 2011

Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires


01. I'll Never Let Go
02. Called Out In The Dark
03. The Weight Of Love
04. This Isn't Everything You Are
05. The Garden Rules
06. Fallen Empires
07. Berlin
08. Life-ning
09. New York
10. In The End
11. Those Distant Bells
12. The Symphony
13. The President
14. Broken Bottles Form A Star (Prelude)

The first single was Called Out In The Dark, released September 5th. The EP contained Fallen Empires, the title track from the album.

As of 16th September, seven songs have been played live: Called Out In The Dark, The Weight Of Love, This Isn't Everything You Are, The Garden Rules, Fallen Empires, New York, Those Distant Bells.

The album is out 14th November.

Snakepit First Play

Enter Shikari's new single, Snakepit, is set to have its first play on Monday 19th September, on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show - it'll probably be the "Hottest Record" so I imagine it will be played around 1930 GMT.

The single is due out the day after, digitally, and is the first single off their upcoming third album, due early next year.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Kele Announces New EP

Kele Okereke, frontman of Bloc Party, has announced a solo EP to be released October 31st. The EP is entitled The Hunter and follows his debut album The Boxer. The tracklist is:

01. What Did I Do? (feat. Lucy Taylor)
02. Release Me
03. Devotion
04. Goodbye Horses
05. Cable's Goodbye
06. Love As A Weapon
07. You Belong To Someone Else

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Coldplay - 30 Seconds Of Paradise

Here is a YouTube link leading to a preview clip of the new Coldplay single, Paradise, due out Monday.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Coldplay Announce Mylo Xyloto Tracklist

Coldplay have announced the tracklist for their upcoming fifth album, Mylo Xyloto. The album page about Mylo Xyloto on this blog is here.

01. Mylo Xyloto
02. Hurts Like Heaven
03. Paradise
04. Charlie Brown
05. Us Against The World
06. M.M.I.X.
07. Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
08. Major Minus
09. UFO
10. Princess Of China
11. Up In Flames
12. A Hopeful Transmission
13. Don't Let It Break Your Heart
14. Up With The Birds

Fallen Empires Release Date?

Some sites have Snow Patrol's sixth album up for pre-order with a release date of 7th November. This remains unconfirmed, however.

The first single, Called Out In The Dark, was released 4 days ago, along with the album's opener / title track Fallen Empires, and two B-sides.

Preview Velociraptor!

Go here to preview 30-second samples of Kasabian's upcoming fourth record, Velociraptor!, due out 19th September.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Enter Shikari To Release New Single

Enter Shikari will release a new single, Snakepit, on 20th September. The single is the first single from their new album, which is untitled at the moment. This means Quelle Surprise will probably not be on the album, and therefore is a standalone single similar to Destabilise.

The album is due towards the end of the year.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Snow Patrol - New Songs Update

A few songs from Snow Patrol's upcoming sixth album, Fallen Empires, have turned up (2 studio versions and 5 live versions); collected for you here along with 2 B-sides. They have also played a song called The Garden Rules, but a version of this has not been found yet. (EDIT: Found one! - it's featured in the list below)


CALLED OUT IN THE DARK (first single)

FALLEN EMPIRES (opening track on the album)





THOSE DISTANT BELLS (played in the acoustic set, so unknown if this is how it is on the album)

SIGNS OF LIFE (alternate title is The Weight Of Love)
Embedding disabled by request of the video's owner, link here

Embedding disabled by request of the video's owner, link here


THIS ISN'T EVERYTHING YOU ARE (my personal favourite)

Other songs that might feature on the album are Unspeakable Things, Life-ning, All I Wanted From Life, West Of Here and I'll Never Let You Go.

We also know the final track is titled Broken Bottles Form A Star (prelude); the full version of which will open the seventh album, which is apparently already finished! (Two-part album? Yes please...)

Paradise First Play

Coldplay's new single, Paradise, off their forthcoming fifth album, will get its first radio play at 07.50am (GMT) on Radio 1 on 12th September, the same day that it is set to be released as a single.

The album it is from, Mylo Xyloto, is due out 24th October.

Album Review: Ladytron - Gravity The Seducer

Ladytron are an interesting band; constantly coming up with something new for each album (this one being their fifth) and despite being such an electronic-based band, the sound remains very warm and human rather than cold, robotic and detached. For this album, they've let go of the heavy, industrial powerhouse sound that dominated fourth album Velocifero, and gone in the opposite direction completely - the songs are ethereal, very atmospheric and aren't really grounded by bass or huge drums as on the last record. The album's opener, White Elephant, is a case in point with its beautiful synth melody and the ethereal vocals of singer Helen Marnie; a definite highlight of the album.

There are a few songs that evoke older Ladytron ever so slightly, such as Mirage or Ace of Hz, but on the whole, it's all new and improved. There are a few instrumentals here - Ritual (possibly the heaviest sounding song on the album), the epic, cinematic Transparent Days and Aces High, which is just a redesigned Ace of Hz without vocals. Despite being a good tune on its own, maybe it should have been left off, especially considering that what comes before it - 90 Degrees - is the sort of song you'd imagine closing the album, what with its floaty, atmospheric vibe and what I think is Marnie's best vocal on the album.

Speaking of vocals, the band's Mira Aroyo is relegated to a lot of backing vocals, which is for the best on this album, as she fits some of the band's darker, heavier songs far better than Marnie, but as this album is not like that, she only gets lead vocals on two songs, Moon Palace and Altitude Blues - the latter is more spoken word than singing, whereas the former is probably the best thing they've ever done, with some fantastic imagery in the lyrics and a real sense of epicness throughout.

Elsewhere, we have: White Gold, a slow, minimal song based mainly on drums and vocals with a synth occasionally rearing its head in the verses, whereas the song feels fuller during the chorus. A fantastic synth melody that crops up a couple of times later in the song feels slight underused, however. Also, we have Ambulances, a darker, sadder song with several "aaah..."s and harmonising, but it's all restrained until the last 30 seconds, when the drums smash their way in to send this one out in style. Lastly, Melting Ice has a slightly Pet Shop Boys vibe to it in places, and is another highlight, with a brilliant chorus with the lyrics "Passing clouds hold onto shadows, pouring light on ancient shipwrecks...".

A lovely, warm, melodic album that is powerful without resorting to smashing drums (much), but instead takes its power from its sheer beauty and its magnificent lyrical imagery, particularly on Moon Palace and 90 Degrees. Maybe one track too long, however (Aces High, I'm looking at you).


FAVOURITE TRACKS: White Elephant, Moon Palace, Melting Ice
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACKS: Altitude Blues, Aces High

Hear Gravity The Seducer Now

You can hear Ladytron's fifth album in full on Spotify now, here.

If you don't have Spotify or the stream doesn't work (it didn't for me initially), go to Ladytron's official YouTube page to hear 10 tracks from Gravity the Seducer (Altitude Blues and Aces High aren't up at the time of posting). EDIT: All songs are now up there.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

New One Night Only EP?

There are rumours that One Night Only will release a new EP in November this year; I haven't seen anything concrete yet. It is unknown whether it will feature new songs or not. If it does feature new ones, it is possible the songs are Games, Long Time Coming and Night On Earth.

After their fantastic second album, I cannot wait to hear more...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Whip - Wired Together


01. Keep Or Delete
02. Secret Weapon
03. Shake
04. Movement
05. Intensity
06. Riot
07. Metal Law
08. Master Of Ceremonies
09. Best Friend
10. Slow Down

The album is released September 19th.

To hear six tracks (1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10) from the album, go to the band's official website.

Blog Update: Reviews

Whilst this blog is mainly to do with getting information about upcoming albums and other stuff, I like to write the occasional review, just to jot down some thoughts about the album.
I used to write track-by-track reviews, but due to lack of time to write down all that, I will only be giving a rating, shown on the Reviews tab, and maybe a short overview occasionally.

The idea behind how I rate the albums is listed below; although it won't always work!

0.5 - Utterly, utterly awful album. Will never listen to it again, will get rid of any copies I have, will wonder what possessed me to give it a go. (Never given an album this before, but there's a first time for everything)

1.0 - Awful album. Likely I bought it on the basis of one song, and that song wasn't brilliant to begin with. Will never listen to it again.

1.5 - A very bad album. Maybe has one or two very small redeeming qualities, but unlikely to be heard again.

2.0 - Not a good album. Showed potential at some point, and may have a few good songs, but won't get much beyond 2 or 3 listens.

2.5 - Average. Enjoyed parts of it, but replay value is limited, or maybe just half the songs are good, half of them are bad.

3.0 - Reasonable. Has sparks of greatness, but for the most part, fails to really stick.

3.5 - Good. Enjoyable listening, but has nothing jaw-dropping or particularly stunning. One or two tracks lacking.

4.0 - Very good. I give this rating and above only when I like every song, but at this level, there's nothing that will have me repeating the album for years to come, but I enjoy it for the most part, and will probably play it a lot until it gets boring.

4.5 - Excellent. Could play it for many years to come and it wouldn't get boring. Songs are great to listen to, and probably has some fantastic moments.

5.0 - Outstanding. Every song is great, and if I had to pick just one to listen to, all of them would be contenders; there are none that I'd think about skipping for even a second. I give this rating more than most reviewers, and mostly for albums that reviewers wouldn't dare give full marks, but there are just some albums I can't fault in terms of what I like listening to.