Saturday, 8 May 2010

Reviews

Will's website's just put up three more of my reviews. Read below, or click the artist names to link right to the site:

Attack! Attack! - "Not Afraid"

Crashing in with a crunching guitar riff and relentless bass-line, these four Welsh boys have already honed their craft when it comes to writing a catchy and simple refrain. 'Not Afraid' is their second album’s teaser single and it does well to whet the listener’s appetite, with Fall Out Boy-esque lead vocals, an almost nauseatingly positive ‘believe in yourself’ message and a sing-a-long hook that will worm its way into your mind.

Working within the structure of your average pop song, Attack! Attack! do exactly that by pushing those limits to breaking point: if there’s one thing these four can’t be accused of, it’s a half-hearted approach to big dynamic builds and a fat chorus. Clocking in at just over three minutes, the song keeps it short and sweet without losing impact. Those with a love for alt-rock with a punk sensibility polished to a more mainstream sheen will find it hard not to shout along to the “Hey! Hey! Hey!” hook here.

3 out of 5 stars

Released on 3rd May 2010 by Atticus Black.


The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - "Love Turns To Hate/Sushwep"

Irritatingly long name aside, this Brighton-bred psychobilly quintet prove they still know how to capture and ooze drama on their first major release since 2005. Squealing guitars swell over a dark and somewhat foreboding four-to-the-floor kick drum intro as the band ease into 'Love Turns To Hate'. This is baroque-rock that Panic! At The Disco wish they could have accomplished in their career so far. Cleverly linking the chorus’ vocal hook with a nifty guitar lick running in the background gives the song’s refrain an effortless-sounding lift and sears the title in the listener’s head.

With “la la la” backing vocals delivered without even a hint of poppy sweetness, these five guys prove that being a Brighton band doesn’t have to mean categorising oneself as either indie or metal. The song marks a strong comeback, with B-side 'Sushwep' launching into two and a half quick minutes of high energy art rock with a gypsy twist. Think Gogol Bordello crossed with The Cramps and you’re close.

4 out of 5 stars

Released on 10th May 2010 by Black Records/No Death Records.

A.F.I. - "Beautiful Thieves" (ps: weak comeback alert)

A promising introduction leads this now well-established four-piece into a slightly muddled pool of trite story-telling that overall fails to grab the listener’s attention. Considering their punk background and past credentials, AFI have left a fair amount to be desired with this single from 2009’s 'Crazy Love'. Instead of commanding centre stage, 'Beautiful Thieves' generally rides along a flat-line plateau and turns into background music about a verse in.

Redeemed partially by a middle eight breakdown reminiscent of We Are Scientists’ 'The Scene Is Dead', this track technically contains all the right elements for a pop-rock hit but lacks staying power. The soaring chorus is only a few steps away from making an honest impact, but is let down by facetious lyrics that few non-diehard AFI fans would be willing to shout along to without feeling either embarrassed or just a bit silly.

2 out of 5 stars

Released on 12th April 2010 by DGC/Interscope Records.

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