ALBUM REVIEW: The Early November – The Early November


New Jersey Alt-Rock stalwarts The Early November are back with the obligatory step in every artist’s career – the self-titled album (via Pure Noise Records). Now just a duo, frontman Ace Enders and drummer Jeff Kummer, The Early November seventh record is a distillation of their signature, emo-meets-pop-punk style of alternative rock with its crunchy guitars, polished hooks and introspective, angst-filled lyrics. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: New Years Day – Half Black Heart


New Year’s Day helped pave the path for today’s female-fronted nu-metal bands who balance hard rock aggression with pop hooks. Having emerged from the days of Myspace, they have refined the weighty grooves of that era to transcend the bandwagon of their peers. This is largely due to frontwoman Ash Costello. On Half Black Heart (Century Media Records) Costello’s voice finds more piercing power. She knows how to pack a punch without resorting to screaming. This helps their songs avoid the modern rock formula that is wearing thin. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Phoxjaw – notverynicecream


 

For reasons well documented that we are not going to touch on here, notverynicecream (Hassle Records) the sophomore record from Bristolian avant-garde noise merchants Phoxjaw, finally sees the light of day some six months after first scheduled. And focusing solely on the music, is this a record that was worth the wait? In a nutshell … Yes!

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Dirty Nil – Free Rein To Passions


 

Ah, the age-old balance between the jagged, dirty edges of rock and the polish, apparently, required to make a commercial success of this left of mainstream universe we all inhabit. Get it right, and radio and playlists and such stardom-related “things” await… yet, to play that game too much and for too long is to risk losing the soul and joy that is at the heart of the art that got you there in the first place. So, seemingly as a response to the more contrived, collaborative, and involved process that led to their predecessor Fuck Art, alternative rockers The Dirty Nil have given themselves over to their natural instincts, indulging a Free Rein To Passions (Dine Alone) on their fourth album.

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