Friday, 24 February 2012

Zen Motel - Cranked EP (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock


01 - Soul on Fire

02 - Nobody but You
03 - The Pit
04 - Down and Out
05 - The Witch

Zen Motel return with a five trck Ep and all that I can say is where have you been guys , we've missed you!
In their own words the Ep includes, "soul on fire(the first tune dario showed me and how he got in the band, he wrote it, so he sings it)....nobody but you (been around for a while, a paean on smoking)....the pit (another dario tune with lots of swearing!)...down and out (originally written for a movie called 'torn flesh) ...the witch (the sonics classic re worked in zen style)".
the most commercial track on here is Nody But You, with Soul On Fire and The Pit being angst filled high octane workouts.
A great Ep well worth checking out,
Welcome back guys!
rating - 10/10
Its a great Ep and has well wetted the appitite for album number three!

Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock


01 – Tattoo

02 – She’s The Woman
03 – You and Your Blues
04 – China Town
05 – Blood and Fire
06 – Bullethead
07 – As Is
08 – Honeybabysweetiedoll
09 – The Trouble With Never
10 – Outta Space
11 – Stay Frosty
12 – Big River
13 – Beats Workin'

Mr. David Lee Roth returns to the Van Halen fold after an absence of, well just too many years, but is the resultant album worth the wait? Can it possibly live up to their pre 1984 exploits?

Well in short yes. . A Different Kind Of Truth is a great mix of that 1984 style of writing with a whole load of “the rest of their career” thrown in for good measure. It’s a very, very well thought out and clever album indeed. But if the rumors are true then that may be down to the fact that most of this album is made up from old leftover outtakes from years ago, so technically, Eddie and Dave haven't really written any new material, just polished off some old ideas, but all the same it’s a great album!

Eddie delivers what the fans of each of his incarnations of the band have come to expect over the years with a splendid ease. David Lee Roth's vocals seem as good as they have ever been, fitting somewhat awkwardly over the top of the instrumental works just as they did in the old days.

I have never really been a big fan of Van Halen, do not know why, I just never clicked with them, and to be honest I do prefer Sammy Hagar as a vocalist, but this album just seems to click together well. Production wise it is a sterling job, but for some reason this album tends to remind me of Wolfsbane in their more polished moments!

Stand out tracks for me include:

You And Your Blues, She's The Woman, Bullethead and China Town

Worth checking out!

Rating 9/10

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Therapy? - A Brief Crack Of light (2012)

Genre - Alt-Raock / Brit Rock / Hard Rock

Track listing -

01. Living In The Shadow Of The Terrible Thing (3:57)
02. Plague Bell (4:12)
03. Marlow (4:36)
04. Before You, With You, After You (3:32)
05. The Buzzing (3:39)
06. Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder (4:08)
07. Ghost Trio (5:20)
08. Why Turbulence (3:33)
09. Stark Raving Sane (2:37)
10. Ecclesiastes (5:43)

Therapy? along with many of the other leading lights of the mid 1990's Brit Rock scene such as The Wildhearts, 3 Colours Red, Terrorvision, and Honeycrack knew how to merge beautiful pop sensibilities with heavy riffs, something thankfully Therapy? have never forgotten! The result a special dynamic to their sound, leaving it almost ageless.
A Brief crack Of Light, seems to see the band finding a new wave of inspiration, as there just seems to be be something more refreshed about this album. From the opening track, and lead single, Living In The Shadow Of A Terrible Thing, the band sets the standards extremely high. Its a cracking track, heavy yet strewne throughout with enough pop sensibilities to make Bruno Mars envious!
Therapy? have always managed to mix agression with a certain amount of funk, and this new album is no exception, its Therapy? through and through. 10 cracking tracks, 9 rockers / stompers and one err, well not really a ballad, but a dreamy little closer of a track in the form of Ecclesiates.

A Brief Crack of Light proves that Therapy? have plenty of life in them yet, they still seem to be full of great ideas and more importantly songs.
Highlight tracks include,
Living In The Shadow of A Terrible Thing, Get Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder, Marlow, and Ecclesiates
A welcome return for one of my teenage heroes!

Rating 10/10

Pulled Apart By Horses - Tough Love (2012)

Genre - Post Hardcore / Hard Rock / Alt-Rock

Track listing -

01 – V.E.N.O.M.
02 – Wolf Hand
03 – Shake Off the Curse
04 – Epic Myth
05 – Some Mothers
06 – Night of the Living (I’m Scared of People)
07 – Wildfire, Smoke & Doom
08 – Bromance Ain’t Dead
09 – Give Me a Reason
10 – Degeneration Game
11 – Everything Dipped In Gold

Leeds based rockers, Pulled Apart By Horses unleash their second album upon the world, and boy its a great album!
Filld with high energy raw power, the songs have a very punk edge to them, but there is more to them than that, you can hear the Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin and Motorhead influences working along side this punk rawness, and unlike the bulk of the other "post hardcore" bands that Ive come across, these guys really do know how to write a bloody good song! Just check out Wolf Hand, Epic Myth or even the stunning opener VENOM! This is what I think sets Pulled Apart By Horses aside from many of the peers, yes there is plenty of angst and agression in their sound, but its tempered with the perfect ballance of melody and even dare I say thoughtful lyrics!
Night Of The Living almost has a proggy New Wave feel to it, its a great song, and just one of the many.
When you first hear the album it kind of bowls you over, its sheer power and attitude, but give it another listen or two and the songs start to relveal themselves to you all the more.
Tough Love is the perfect follow up to the bands 2010 debut, heavy and uncompromising, yet filled with well crafted songs, in fact a great second album!

Rating 9/10

The Zico Chain - The Devil in Your Heart (2012)

Genre - Alt. Rock / Post-Grunge / Hard Rock

Track listing -

01. Evasion
02. The Real Life
03. New Romantic
04. Mercury Gift
05. A Thousand Splendid Suns
06. Our Evil
07. Case #44PQ_110807
08. Black Turns White
09. Perfect High
10.More Than Life
11. I Am The Silence

The Devil In Your Heart is the fist adrenalin soaked new album from London alt-rockers, Zico Chain set for release on 2nd April 2012.

I had never heard of these guys until this album, err dropped in my lap to review, and I must say it has completely taken me by surprise and blown me away, how the hell have I let these guys slip under my radar!
Not knowing much about the band I will just talk about the music, and how do you describe the perfect blend and balance of pure adrenaline soaked aggression and melody? I think The Zico chain are a pretty darn good example!

Opening with the high octane Evasion, this album gets off to a great start, next up are two guaranteed crowd-pleasing anthems in the form of The Real Life and New Romantic, the latter of which has hit single written all over it! Mercury Gift keeps the standard flown high before moving into the excellent A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Our Evil picks the pace up again, another great high octane stomper, whereas Case #44PQ_110807, slows things down a little, using atmospherics more than aggression to get its point across, showcasing the bands diverse song writing talents. Black turns White and Perfect high continue the high standards before the band unleash their power ballad in the form of More Than Life, a truly atmospheric and great song!
The album closes out with I Am The Silence, ending the album in the same way in which that they started it, a great high energy rocker.

11 tracks and not a bad song in sight! This album is all killer and no filler simplez!

Very highly reconmended!
Rating - 10/10