Will Preston

Albums

Stone Gods – Start Of Something EP

by on Apr.25, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

Stone Gods 1It’s been a long time since “The Darkness” faded off into the rock backdrop, leaving a trail of annoyingly catchy hits and images of a naked Justin Hawkins burned into our memory. If you remember that Justin was joined by his brother Dan in the band, you may also remember that after the split, Dan went off with the other members to form the rock outfit “Stone Gods”. Justin on the other hand has tried the same formula again with “Hot Leg”, but that’s a review for another time.

Anyway, back to “Stone Gods”. Distancing them from the glam rock image that made “The Darkness” the butt of a few jokes, Dan’s new band have just about established their new sound, like a flag on the music scene. Sounding like a raw “Def Leppard” with a punk edge, it’s not hard to like their new EP “Start of Something”. Uplifting and driving, the title song follows the typical power ballad pattern that has worked for a lot of bands in the past.

Whilst not being as rocky as their previous efforts, this song still does the job of making you sway along. Included in the EP, there are chilled acoustic versions of 3 songs from their debut album. A nice little taster that will keep you going until the next album

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The Answer – On And On single

by on Apr.20, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

The Answer

Awwww...

Alerting you with a guitar ringing out, already you know that this track is going to end rocky. It starts pretty rocky too. Think of that AC/DC style of rock and I probably don’t have to go on about how the song sounds, but that would be boring. It seems that there is an uprising of these rock reviving rebels keeping the dying genre of old school hard rock riding round the highway to hell. Bands like “Airbourne” and “Wolfmother” see no shame in playing a style of music that is listened to by many of our dads.

Age debate aside, the sound is coming back and “The Answer” are bursting out of your speaker’s telling you that rock has never died. It’s hard not too believe; this is the liveliest sound today. So much screaming soul and gritty guitaring make this a perfect song to put on repeat whilst doing something vaguely exciting and rebellious. It’s about time some music with a bit of testosterone came back into the scene after hearing such dull music recently. I couldn’t imagine “Coldplay” or “Arctic Monkeys” coming up with an energetically rocking tune.

The drums are tight, the vocals grab you by the ear drums and the guitaring leaves you bobbing your head like nodding like it’s trying to remove itself from your shoulders. “The Answer” have brought proof that the rock resurrection is upon us.

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Rise Against – Audience Of One single

by on Apr.15, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

Rise Against - Audience Of OneI feel like such an old man when these new American bands get talked about around my social groups. They’re all a bit of fun right? Here’s a band with some interesting views on the world; well with a name like “Rise Against” you can expect some kind of cutting social commentary. This new single “Audience of One” plays like a tired song. The tune is too predictable and progression through the song just seems like a boring and mundane affair.

It tends to follow the pattern of bands today that write the same paint by numbers material that all ends up sounding the same, almost blurring together like a large unoriginal blob. “Nickelback”, I’m looking at you when I say this. I admit, that this isn’t my main choice of music, but I’ve heard some great material from this band, so it’s a bit sad to see an act that showed a bit of promise go down the same dull path that has consumed other young acts in the past. “Green Day” and “Offspring” are fine examples.

Are they trying a more radio friendly approach to spread their message, or have they just run out of ideas and can’t help but write songs, no matter how sleep inducing they may be? Hopefully, this will just be the cashing in single that helps the sale of an album with an impressive track listing, but that’s unlikely.

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Pet Shop Boys – Yes

by on Mar.29, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

Pet Shop Boys - YesAnother return of an old group from the eighties, although they never really went. The new album “Yes” has brought the “Pet Shop Boys” back into the public eye, but nothing much has changed. In fact, it’s strangely familiar. The recent trends of popular music have turned a full circle back to the eighties, with bands like “Empire of the Sun” expressing the wonders of cheesy synthesisers and delicate vocals. Maybe it is the popularity of the retro eighties style that has opened the window for the “Pet Shop Boys” to climb through and take advantage of the current trend.

Anyway, back to the album. Despite being heavily synth based, “Yes” includes a good amount of variety. “King of Rome” has a delightful lounge jazz quality to it, “Beautiful People” sounds like a futuristic song from the sixties, with more disco orientated flavour provided by “Vulnerable” and “More Than a Dream”. It’s a hard album to hate, but even harder to love. Simplistic song writing combined with a mysterious atmosphere make this new effort a nice album to relax to, but it’s probably not the most exciting thing you’ll hear this year.

A perfect album for relaxing to this summer, Sunday drive or for use in an ironic Quentin Tarantino torture scene; only I can’t imagine anyone cutting their ears off during this album.

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The Answer – Everyday Demons

by on Mar.25, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

The Answer Everyday DeomonsHow long will it be until another great blues rock band comes along? When will we encounter another great no-nonsense rock band? No need for more questions: here is “The Answer”. In the true spirit of rock, this outfit wastes no time with deep music. It’s short and to the point.

These new rockers are bringing the old style of rock music back to its blues roots that too many bands today have forsaken in the name of radio friendly garbage. A true and honest blues edge shimmers around this band and the new album “Everyday Demons” is proving that rock can deliver you powerful music to your front door first class. Opening with the bouncing glory that is “Demon Eyes”, it’s hard not to like the sound of this new band. Fans of early “Whitesnake” and “The Black Crowes” will be right at home with such tracks like “Too Far Gone”, with it’s straining blues vocals, and the single “On and On” that pays tribute to the classic rock sound not heard since the Seventies.

Barely any of the tracks stray from hard rock style. “Why’d You Change Your Mind?” fools you with its slow and calm start that lulls you into a sense of relaxation before kicking you out of your chair with a boot made of rock. The album never fails to raise a smile and a fist. Perfect for old school rockers of all ages.

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Pet Shop Boys – Love Etc. single

by on Mar.24, 2009, under Albums, Review

“Are they still going?” was the first thought that shouted inside my brain upon seeing the colourful CD cover. Being an appreciator of Eighties music, I felt ashamed at myself for not knowing about this new release. Returning to their roots in synthesiser driven pop, the new single doesn’t sound too different from a lot of acts today. “Goldfrapp” and “Empire of the Sun” both owe their electronic sound to bands from the eighties like the “Pet Shop Boys”.

In a way, it’s nice to observe this full circle that see’s them coming back into the mainstream, almost as if their seats are still warm. In terms of the songs atmosphere, you could bludgeon a wall with it. It’s just so thick. The cosmic sounding melody echoes through your mind, accompanied by swaying synthesised strings. There’s a lot of musical hypnotising with many things going on in the background. The robotic beat keeping this delightful chaos in order, of course. The smooth vocals suit the music as a seductive tour guide through this wonder, with occasional chanting in the background.

Whilst keeping the retro eighties sound, the song retains certain modern production values that would easily appeal to today’s audience. A great start to what will be a successful comeback.

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