Life is a cabaret, old chums, with the scintillating Take Back The Night (Sumerian Records). A power-packed, credulity-stretching showcase of strong, strong pop-rock songwriting and arranging courtesy of Starbenders; this album is full of punky attitude and thrusting ambition.
There is a beauty in simplicity. An elegance in thought and form pervades Silent Skies’ Dormant (Napalm Records). Where life is bombastic and loud and aggressive, Tom S Englund and Vikram Shankar provide respite. Harkening back to the singer-songwriter genre of the seventies, Englund and Shankar create a landscape of the sublime. Dormant is a beautiful flight through light and love.
Ayron Jones delivers blockbusting, heartbreaking, beautiful, and bluesy rock ‘n’ roll on Chronicles Of The Kid (Big Machine/John Varvatos Records). “I came for the title,” he sings. “I got a word to my rivals.” The verdict? If it’s a matter of survival, this kid’s still standing.
There’s something romantic and cinematic about adopted New Jersey (via Norway) songwriter Luke Elliot’s third album, Let ‘em All Talk (Icons Creating Evil Art) over and above the wistful storytelling. ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’, all film-noir meets spaghetti western vibes with its orchestral flecks, feels torn from an as-yet-unwritten Tarrantino follow-up to Django Unchained, or perhaps the lead single to the debuting next James Bond, while ‘William Tell’ could have been one of the musical interludes from Black Mariah’s club in Luke Cage (Netflix version).
Marvel Studios just released their latest film in The Marvel Cinematic Universe,Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.3. As is the trademark of all of director James Gunn’s movies, music plays a prominent role in the fabric of the film itself. In addition to using Rainbow’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” in the trailer, many songs from 1970s to the 2000s figure prominently in the movie including an unplugged version of Radiohead’s “Creep,” Faith No More’s first hit from the 1980s “We Care A Lot,” Beastie Boys’s “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” and many more. The film was written and directed by Gunn, and features an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Will Poulter, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Linda Cardellini, Nathan Fillion, and Sylvester Stallone. In the film, the Guardians embark on a mission to protect Rocket Racoon (Cooper) from the High Evolutionary (Iwuji). The score and soundtrack are both out now! Continue reading →
Live Nation /Ticketmaster have come under fire in recent years for what many concertgoers and bands decry as price fixing and artificially inflating ticket pricing, and scalping/reselling. The brand has been under investigation by the US Government after a major public outrage by fans after ticket fiascos such as Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and recently Blink-182. Live Nation has been the past recipient of irefrom metalheads after proof of collusion with bands to create a resale market with major bands, such as Metallica, causing a major embarrassment for the band. In their rebuttal to the case being made against them (one of which is that they hold an unfair monopoly on the entire concert industry) they claim they are not unfair and entrants into the field for ticket sales have caused them to defend their brand. Check out Live Nation’s response to the investigation below. Continue reading →
Often reserved for debut releases, eponymously titled albums usually tend to herald a band’s emergence into a more public consciousness. A proud declaration of intent that relies solely on a name. However, a title-free album released further down the line can just as easily foreshadow a lack of creativity or imagination. This isn’t always the case, of course, and thankfully, the latest full-length from German symphonic act Beyond the Black stands as one of their strongest records to date. Confident and enthralling, Beyond the Black (Nuclear Blast) sees the Mannheim metallers acting as a quartet for the first time, the band choosing to use session musicians since the departure of bass player Stefan Herkenhoff last year.
They say (well, Turisas did, which is probably as unlikely a band to reference in the introduction to a review of a solo album by the vocalist from The Menzingers as you’re going to get) no good story ever starts with drinking tea. But, maybe, just maybe this one does. For the journey of Don’t Go Throwing Roses In My Grave (Epitaph Records), the first solo album from Gregor Barnett begins with the premature closing of one adventure and the unplanned void of returning home to… no plans. Just peace, quiet, solitude, and, well, whatever hot drink of choice our man from Pennsylvania chooses to imbibe the morning.
Legendary musician and political activist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,Bruce Springsteen’s band, and more have teamed up for his own SiriusXM channels and podcast, in a new collaboration. The deal includes all-original content that spans three new streaming music channels and a new additional weekly show beginning March 2, and an original podcast, beginning March 3. The content hand-crafted by Morello includes streaming music channels that are part of SiriusXM’s Xtra Channels offering, which has expanded even more since its debut of 100 curated music channels in early 2019. Morello’s music channels will amplify the intersection where music and activism collide, a wide range of heavy metal music, and will explore his personal influences and musical collection.
Ghost Cult stalwart, mainstay, and truly valued senior writer Mat Davies blesses us with his top twenty albums of the year, plus some thoughts on the year that has been, and that which is still to come… Continue reading →