ALBUM REVIEW: Observe the 93rd – Eternalism


Aesthetically Pennsylvanian duo Observe the 93rd sound like a pop-rock band tailor-made for blasting out catchy bombast from a stadium. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Temic – Terror Management Theory


With an expansive sound and members whose past jobs include Devin Townsend, Haken, Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress and The Neal Morse Band amongst others is Temic. The idea for this project was first suggested back in 2017, but various touring commitments and a pesky pandemic meant it came to naught until now. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Fearing – Destroyer


 

Do you like to dress in black? Do you prefer a solitary pint of cider in the back of a smoky bar? (the smoky part might be hard to fashion in this day and age) Do you favour wearing a trenchcoat? Do you feel in a state of perpetual ennui? Maybe you are a Berliner! Or perhaps you’re a member of a Darkwave band… maybe both! 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Pomegranate Tiger – All Input Is Error


 

On All Input Is Error (Self-Released), Canada’s Pomegranate Tiger (aka prog multi-instrumentalist and accomplished composer Martin Andres) takes a topical AI concept and runs with it. Does he win the race? Yes, in the end – even if the final fate of humankind is ultimately unknown (there are no lyrics, you see, so you can make up your own mind, all you creatives out there). 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Urne – A Feast On Sorrow


 

London-based three-piece Urne announced themselves with the stylish Serpent & Spirit, one of the standout Metal debuts of 2021, and a gloriously dismal collection of songs that unashamedly paid homage to an influence of classic eighties Thrash Metal, mixed with an intriguing blend of traditional rock and melodic death metal. 

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REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. Church of Misery, Witchskull, Altar of Oblivion, Wytch Hazel, Yawning Man, and Tigercub


 

Nearly thirty years of diving headfirst into the void, and Church of Misery are back with Tatsu Mikami once more giving worship to the Blackest of Sabbath’s, acolyte to ‘The Riff’ and servant to the retro groove once more on Born Under A Mad Sign (Rise Above). Joined once again after a twenty-five-year absence by original vocalist Kazuhiro Asaeda, there is a fine sense of anticipation about the Japanese doom merchants seventh full-length. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Subways – Uncertain Joys


 

Following the departure of drummer and founding member Josh Morgan, and an eight years gap between albums, comes The Subways fifth offering Uncertain Joys (Alcopop! Records). A lot has happened during this time, the dreaded c word notwithstanding, frontman Billy Lunn took three years out to study English at Cambridge University. The personal and personnel changes refreshed the band, with the introduction of synthesisers and pop to their brand of indie rock resulting in a textured and more interesting sound.

 

‘Love Waiting On You’ is a jolly little number with effervescent flourishes of synth, a great marriage between crunching chords and an upbeat pop melody. The title track is a triumph, with a bouncy melody straight from the pages of eighties pop, eased along by the silky smooth backing vocals of bass and keyboard player Charlotte Cooper. It is not just a collage of synths though, as in ‘Lavender Amelie’ they are in the background and complemented by a lush acoustic melody and a soft, XTC style hook. 

 

They are still moments of no frills rock n’ roll, but it is tempered by the lighter moments and stands out all the more for it. The loud love letter to music ‘Black Wax’ blows away the cobwebs, with its punchy, almost primal riff reminiscent of Muse’s big rocker ‘Psycho’. The brash ‘Fight’, about standing up for the oppressed, is a spikey little number with a punk-like simplicity. ‘The Devil and Me’ motors along thanks to its nimble bassline and the propulsive drum beat of new member Camille Phillips. This is followed by the measured pace, alternative sound and subdued melancholia of ‘Joli Coeur’ – showcasing the balance on show and the progress made since the simpler, meat and potatoes like indie of their self-titled album eight years ago. 

 

With Uncertain Joys, The Subways have come on leaps and bounds, mixing bold synths and bouncy pop to their straightforward Indie Rock to great effect. 

 

Buy the album here:

https://linktr.ee/thesubways

 

8 / 10

THOMAS THROWER

 


ALBUM REVIEW: Valley Of The Sun – The Chariot


Valley Of The Sun transport us to a desert vista with their hard-hitting, classic blues rock fourth album, The Chariot (Ripple Music)  The topographical downside is a straight-ahead tendency to skim the surface of the sand without revealing psychological depth or any hints at complicated thinking below.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Bastille – Give Me The Future


Success came quickly and early for UK indie pop quartet Bastille, topping the album charts in their home territory with their 2013 debut. Top 5 accomplishments followed for each subsequent album; a run the band is looking to continue with their fourth album, Give Me The Future (EMI), a release that arrives with a fair dose of expectation. Predecessor, Doom Days, critically, didn’t hit the heights of the band’s first two full-length outings, but the lead-off singles from …Future gave assurance that all was back on track. 

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