Monthly Archives: December 2013

The CD Critic’s Top 5 Albums of 2013

5: The Invisible Way – Low

Low’s 10th studio-album released was a delightful treat titled ‘The Invisible Way’. The album showcased in equal measure the band’s own style of slow-alternative rock music, as well as new ideas that hadn’t been attempted by the band before. The result was an album that was quintessentially their own, whilst also sounding new and exciting. Once again, we were offered gorgeous layers of harmonic vocals accompanied by the most delicate of instrumentals. The album offered a wonderful balance of old and new Low, bringing with it a style that was nearly impossible not to fall in love with. Each album by Low offers something that is a little unusual or inaccessible, and ‘The Invisible Way’ is no stranger to such formalities. What makes the album work well is how each track offers brilliantly towards the overall album, giving it the wonderful character that is titled ‘The Invisible Way’. Low even combat their previous criticisms on some of their earlier records, by producing an album that contains in equal measure both uplifting tracks and downbeat tracks, giving the whole overall effort a nice range in styles and presentation. It’s an album that easily allows for repeated listening, making it one of Low’s best albums thus far in their very rewarding discography.

4: Reflektor – Arcade Fire

The hype surrounding Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album effort nearly caused the album to have expectations that the band would have been unable to achieve. Lucky for them, Arcade Fire knew exactly what they were doing, and ended up releasing the incredibly exciting and pumped-up ‘Reflektor’. The album saw Arcade Fire progressing their style once again, adding in new techniques and ideas that helped elevate their already existing strengths. Though the album itself might be classified as being a little too long, it is one that keep offering and offering as it progresses along the two discs of material. Everything seems to work on ‘Relfketor’, including the guest appearances by the likes of David Bowie and such, who don’t retract from Arcade Fire themselves, but instead help add more to the music. Everything Arcade Fire do well, from their song-writing to their lyrics, seem to have been pushed forward and forward until it sounds even better than before. Considering the strength of each individual song, the instrumentals put in place for the tracks and the lyrics that present the well-chosen themes and ideas of the album itself, it seems both the album’s length and hype are all completely justified.

3: Dalmak – Esmerine

On Esmerine’s fourth studio album, (and second album released by Constellation Records), the band offer up one of their most interesting and insightful records titled ‘Dalmak’. The album sees Esmerine combining their own style of music established in Montreal with styles of music originating from Istanbul, creating a record that blurs together genres, styles and techniques to create a very beautiful album experience. Everything Esmerine attempt comes together in fine style to create a gorgeous album experience that is arguably one of the best releases to have come out of Canada this current year (along side other brilliant albums of course). What makes the album work is how Esmerine have attempted to expand what makes their style work, and incorpoate other techniques and ideas to create something new and exciting. It could so easily have gone wrong for Esmerine, but the band manage to make everything work in such a way that it creates a wonderful album experience, where every song flows through brilliantly. There’s an inaccessible element to the album no doubt, though those who enjoy music that is that little bit different and is highly creative will find a lot to enjoy from Esmerine on ‘Dalmak’.

2: The Next Day – David Bowie

The announcement of David Bowie’s first album in over 10 years of inactivity was a huge surprise to everyone earlier this year. The release of ‘The Next Day’ saw Bowie back on top of the music industry, with the album being a phenomenal return to music. There was nothing on ‘The Next Day’ that was out of place, or ill-fitting in any way whatsoever. ‘The Next Day’ was simply another knock-out album by one of music’s most revered song-writers. It helped show that Bowie still has it in him, to produce an album that can easily be enjoyed, and that he can still write great music even in his old age (or older age). ‘The Next Day’ was a punchy and fast pop-rock album that featured brilliant instrumentals that helped support Bowie’s phenomenal lyrics and vocal style. It’s arguable that the album itself isn’t nearly as good as some of Bowie’s most beloved albums in his career (such as 1972’s ‘The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders Fro Mars’ and 1977’s ‘Heroes’). What matters though is how Bowie wasn’t trying to make an album to out-do his previous efforts,but instead jut make another album full of strong material. Bowie easily pulled this off, and now ‘The Next Day’ goes down as one of 2013’s best albums.

1: Push The Sky Away – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ fifteenth studio album ‘Push The Sky Away’ is easily the band’s most subtle masterpiece. The album saw Nick Cave & his bad seeds take a few steps back, and take a more reserved approach to the presentation of the music on ‘Push The Sky Away’, resulting in a highly beautiful and moving album full of haunting instrumentals and incredibly literary lyrics. The album featured a different style of music than what was on previous Nick Cave albums, with the only similarities possible being the band’s 1997 release of ‘The Boatman’s Call’. ‘Push The Sky Away’ featured the most delicate of pianos and violins that helped push the music at a very slow pace. The album works on many levels, with it being one of Nick Cave’s most creative releases thus far, as well as his (arguably) most interesting. Although the tone of the album is downbeat to the point of being inaccessible to an extent, it is still an album that easily warrants repeated listening, to those who are able to cope with such sustained melancholy. Each track contributes brilliantly to the overall scope of the album, being both great stand-alone songs, and great songs as part of a complete album package. For a Nick Cave album, ‘Push The Sky Away’ is a little unexpected, but highly rewarding.

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Pодина – Stefan Christoff & Osama Shalabi

родина - album cover

Montreal-based pianist Stefan Christoff combines forces with Shalabi Effect & Land of Kush’ Osama ‘Sam’ Shalabi, to create their latest collaborative effort. The collaboration of both musicians results in their latest album effort titled ‘Pодина’ (Rodina). The album sees Christoff combining his own jazz-orientated style of piano with Shalabi’s playing of the Oud, to create a very intimate and incredibly creative album experience. Made up of two tracks, with two solo interludes from the two musicians, ‘Pодина’ is an incredibly rewarding album experience that seems to shake the boundaries of truly conventional music.

The combining forces of Christoff and Shalabi results in a perfect match of two musicians. Both Christoff and Shalabi offer an incredible amount on ‘Pодина’, with both performing their own individual instruments to perfection. The music present on the album is nothing short of beautiful, with the sheer talents of the two musicians coming through in phenomenal style. The album sees the two musicans collaborating on two different tracks that both span over ten minutes in length, giving both Christoff and Shalabi ample opportunity to express themselves, and the themes and ideals being presented by the music itself. Both the two compositions offer an incredible amount in terms of music and creativity, and both contribute towards the overall album brilliantly. The two solo compositions also offer a beautiful insight into Christoff and Shalabi’s own personal styles and nature. What’s wonderful is the partnership between the two musicians, who spend the whole album contributing towards the album’s experience, both working together, rather than for themselves.

If any criticisms are to be found on ‘Pодина’, it is arguably in the difficulty the album presents. The album is musically wonderful, though it’s at times, very hard to really understand what it is that Christoff and Shalabi are presenting when it comes to their music. It’s arguable that the two solo compositions are easier to understand, but even then, are we really understanding it at all? It gives ‘Pодина’ a very complex and deep nature that can be hard to penetrate, and the only real answer available is the ones that come from Christoff and Shalabi themselves.

‘Pодина’ is at times a complex album, though it is also one that can easily be appreciated in a musical sense. Although the album features very deep themes and natures that run throughout the album. There’s a wonderful personal nature being presented by Christoff and Shalabi that makes the album a very intimate yet enjoyable experience. It’s an album that is perhaps not the easiest one to get into, though it is one that delivers in many aspects. ‘Pодина’ is a brilliant combination of two incredibly talented musicians, and we can only hope that the two will one day partner up again and once again write more beautiful music.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Vardar River Song
  • To Sophia
  • One Oud
  • Along Treska

Stefan Christoff & Sam Shalabi’s latest album ‘Pодина” is out now and can be purchased at: http://howlarts.net/rodina

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What If EP – Jessica Clemmons

The latest release by song-writer Jessica Clemmons titled ‘What If’ offers up an incredibly personal musical experience that touches upon some very close themes for the song-writer herself. The latest release features five new tracks, all surrounding similar themes of love and relationships (to varying different degrees). The overall experience of the EP itself isn’t one that is designed to wallow in the melancholy nature of the themes (as many song-writers do), but instead present it in a way that is enjoyable to most. The result of ‘What If’ is an EP that is easily accessible, and incredibly enjoyable in both lyrical and musical terms.

There’s a high number of strengths on ‘What If’, making it a great EP experience, and one that seems to stand out in Jessica Clemmons’ already enjoyable discography. The EP’s themes and nature gives it a great flow, presented brilliantly by the alternative-country style that Clemmons’ uses for her music. At the forefront of the music though is (rightly so) Clemmons’ own voice, which sings the themes of the songs with such sincerity and conviction. It’s an EP release where everything combines together to create a highly enjoyable experience where there is little that’s truly wrong. If any errors are to be found on ‘What If’, it would be in how the presentation of the five individual songs all follow very similar constructs, offering very little variety as the EP progresses. Considering how much works on the EP, it’s a shame that it doesn’t go that little extra mile to make it a brilliant experience that offers an incredible amount. The EP certainly manages to draw up interest in Jessica Clemmons, but it is questionable whether each and every technique present on ‘What If’ would work in a full-album experience.

There’s enough present on ‘What If’ to simply make it a very enjoyable EP experience. There’s a good number of talents Clemmons’ possesses which comes through in her music in such fine form. The overall EP experience comes across as such a sincere and genuine effort to present something personal. It’s an idea that so easily goes wrong or comes across as fake by so many artists, but Clemmons herself hits the mark in brilliant style. ‘What If’ certainly drums up interest in Clemmons, and certainly makes us question what will she come out with next.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Love Like That
  • She Ain’t Me
  • What If
  • Single Tonight

Jessica Clemmons’ latest EP ‘What If’ is set for release in 2014. 

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Ordinary EP – Young Peculiar

The bouncy electric style of the youthful group Young Peculiar offer up their latest EP release ‘Ordinary’, following on from their self-titled release. The new EP features the same charged indie-pop style that the band have utilized to their own advantage, and results in an EP experience that is simply fun and enjoyable. Each track contributes towards the overall EP experience which all combines to create a simple yet enjoyable experience that is full of youth and enjoyment. There might be an element that Young Peculiar aren’t exactly pushing much out in terms of their style, but they have managed to create a very enjoyable experience that is sure to both please old and new fans.

There’s a number of enjoyable elements that Young Peculiar feature in their music to help give it the strengths that it presents. There’s certainly a good amount of talent coming through in the songs, presenting Young Peculiar as a young band who have a good idea of what it is they want to achieve. There’s an element of smartness in the music itself, with the presentation of the instrumentals and lyrics coming out in fine style, giving the whole EP a good character and shape. It’s enough to propel Young Peculiar forward a few notches, at the very least putting them a little bit above the average ordinary band within the indie-pop genre. What doesn’t work on ‘Ordinary’ is how the music itself seems to follow the same formulaic conventions and structures as many bands prior to Young Peculiar.  There’s little being offered here that is incredibly new or interesting, with doesn’t really do much for Young Peculiar. It feels that the band should be pushing themselves much more to produce an album of material that is really true to themselves, rather than just letting the conventional techniques of their genre speak for their music. As a band, they certainly seem capable of doing so, considering how much that does work on ‘Ordinary’.

It might not be anything truly special, but there is at the very least a very enjoyable style on ‘Ordinary’ which gives it its appealing elements. Young Peculiar come across as a band that knows how to have fun and enjoy themselves, whether through creating pop-tracks or more somber tracks. There’s a good amount of talent present on ‘Ordinary’, giving Young Peculiar that little bit of edge that works in their favor amongst the genre they’ve utilized for their music. We can only hope that Young Peculiar really push themselves in their future releases.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Who Are You
  • More Curious Than Certain
  • Eyes For You

Young Peculiar’s latest EP ‘Ordinary’  is out now.

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Live At Rome Olympic Stadium – Muse

After the release of yet-again, another polarizing album, Muse embarked upon another phenomenal world tour titled ‘The 2nd Law World Tour’. To all those who sadly were unable to witness the tour in action, Muse have offered up a remedy to soothe the nerves, with the release of the DVD/CD pack ‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’. On the album-version, Muse offer 13 live renditions of some of their biggest songs, all of which feature an incredibly electric performance from the highly popular band. The CD is certainly an enjoyable treat for Muse fans, though it seems to be highly flawed, in that it doesn’t really offer a great deal to people except for the fact it’s simply live renditions of tracks.

There’s certainly appealing elements to ‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’ though, in terms of it being a full-album package from the band. The main appeal of the album is how the live renditions of some of the tracks from 2012’s ‘The 2nd Law’ sound much better in a live environment. The album also features the somewhat typical tangents that Muse feature in their live shows, with Bellamy going for extended guitar solos and manic riffs that aren’t originally featured on the original recordings. The whole performance is incredibly charged and pumped up, with a few tracks being highly enjoyable treats from the band. In particular, we now arguably have a proper version of ‘Knights of Cydonia’ featuring ‘The Man With The Harmonica’ opening, which wasn’t featured on Muse’ previous live album ‘HAARP’.

‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’ is certainly enjoyable, but when you look at the core of the album itself, it doesn’t seem to be offering much else than just live tracks. There doesn’t seem to be enough of Muse really pushing the music and giving it enough flair to justify a live album release. It’s also a horrible shame that the track-listing of the CD cuts out some real treats that are present on the DVD version instead. The CD version features no ‘Plug In Baby’, no ‘Time Is Running Out’ and no ‘Feeling Good’, which have all been featured on the DVD instead. Considering how much the DVD offers (the main bonus being the visual performance by the band), it really makes the CD album incredibly superfluous.

It seems that Muse have actually offered up a rather disappointing album package with ‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’, which doesn’t justify itself as an album release. Fans looking for a great live album from Muse will find more joy with their previous live album release of ‘HAARP’, which is arguably their best live album release thus far. When it comes to ‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’, fans of Muse will find the DVD much more rewarding than the album package, which is simply a rather disappointing album experience.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Panic Station
  • Knights Of Cydonia
  • Explorers
  • Uprising

Muse’ latest live album/DVD ‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’ is out now.

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Existence Is The Sound Of Love – Jimmy Davis

Upcoming British Rap-artist Jimmy Davis presents his latest full-album effort titled ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’. On his latest album Davis delves deep into his own personal roots, creating poetic lyrics about his own life experiences and his own situations. On ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’ there is a very (obvious) British element running through, though in particular, a working-class British element that gives Davis his edge in his own writings. There’s a few interesting tracks on the album, that are certainly passionate and suck the listener into the story Davis is creating. It seems though that ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’ is weighed down by a number of tracks that don’t really do anything for Davis, and feature certain elements and techniques that don’t add anything either.

When ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’ works, it is easy to see the appeal of Jimmy Davis as a Rap-artist and performer. There’s an incredible passion in Davis’ lyrics that ring out through his performance in each song. When Davis is performing tracks that are of a deep and personal nature to himself, it is hard not to get sucked in and enjoy or appreciate what is being presented by the performer. It helps keep most of the album interesting and listenable, and certainly showcases Jimmy Davis’ undeniable natural talent as a performer. There’s a few comedic moments on the album as well that help to lift the mood somewhat, contrasting with the more darker moments that the album presents.

Although Jimmy Davis is certainly a very talented performer who has a lot going for him, it seems that he’s missed the mark on ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’, and has unfortunately produced an album that struggles to retain the listener’s interest. A lot of the songs feature unnecessary techniques and ideas, most notably the use of female singers for the chorus, which seems to feature in half the tracks on the album, despite it actually adding very little to the music itself. At times, it feels like it’s detracting from what should be the forefront of the music, Jimmy Davis himself. The whole album feels a little clustered, with too many ideas being pushed in, and not enough natural talent being present in the songs.

There’s a number of enjoyable tracks on ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’, with a large number presenting the undeniable talent that this upcoming artist has. It seems though that as an album package, there’s too many kinks and errors that prevent it from being a strong and worthy album. So much of it seems easily avoidable, as if all Jimmy Davis had to do was shave off a few of the weaker songs, polish the remaining ones and inject more of his own personality into the mix. It’s not an utter failure of an album though, and at least there are a number of enjoyable tracks on the record. At the very least it’ll be interesting to see what direction Davis will take in the future, and how his new life experiences will translate into any new material he decides to record.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • This Is England
  • A Prayer
  • An Invitation To Love
  • Brumsdale

Jimmy Davis’ latest album ‘Existence Is The Sound Of Love’ is out now.

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Liminal – Exivious

The second album by self-described instrumental prog/fusion metal band Exivious features (as they so rightly describe) a brilliant medley of incredibly charged up progressive instrumental music. On ‘Liminal’, many elements, styles and genres all come together to create an incredibly hectic and utterly mad listening experience, that is yet accessible and enjoyable to those who enjoy music of the instrumental rock genres. For the most part, it’s incredibly enjoyable, with there being some form of well-thought out method to the ever increasing madness of the album’s individual tracks.

‘Liminal’ features a terrific medley of mad hectic styles and ideas which are all presented in a bizarrely coherent way. It seems Exivious have found their own niche within the instrumental rock genre by fusing it together with a great number of ideas and styles and presenting it as their own form of fusion music. For the most part, it’s incredibly mad, with there being some similarities to how certain jazz performances are presented. It’s here that we find the main appeal of Exivious’ music though, with there being a great amount of substance beneath the layers of mad rushing instrumentals. For the most part, it is all rather heavy and manic, but it is certainly creative and arguably easily enjoyable by fans of the post-rock genre.

Many of Exivious’ efforts come off brilliantly on ‘Liminal’, with their style and presentation being one of their main strengths. It seems though that whilst there is a good number of strengths to Exivious’ style, it does come with a few limitations that is present on their latest album. It seems that Exivious’ main problem is that a lot of the tracks on ‘Liminal’ follow the same structure of having manic instrumentals that don’t quite follow the rhythm of the music in any real way. A lot of the songs on ‘Liminal’ also sound simply too similar to each other for the album to have enough strength to be classified as an incredibly strong album. It seems that a lot of techniques and ideas are repeated and re-used, giving the album an almost stale quality as it progresses along each track, giving it also a somewhat disappointing element.

A lot of the efforts on ‘Liminal’ do come across in a strong light, and it is certainly presented as an album with a lot of character. Exivious have a lot of talent under their belt, and the crazy elements injected into each song presents the whole album as an interesting and enjoyable release. ‘Liminal’ is certainly flawed in places, with certain ideas and techniques not coming across as strong as Exivious might want them too, but as a whole there is most likely enough here to at least please some fans of post-rock and instrumental rock genres.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • One’s Glow
  • Alphaform
  • Triguna
  • Immanent

Exivious’ latest album ‘Liminal’ is out now and can be purchased at: http://exivious.bandcamp.com/album/liminal

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Antigravity – Ummagma

For Ummagma’s sophomore album effort, following up from their self-titled debut effort, the band present ‘Antigravity’, featuring a more mature style of music than what was present on ‘Ummagma’. For ‘Antigravity’, Ummagma offer up more of their dreamy pop-styled alternative music, similar to what was present on the first album, though all sounding more progressed. There’s an element that ‘Antigravity’ offers a little less of a diverse album experience than the band’s debut effort, with specific musical styles not being present on the new album, though what is present on ‘Antigravity’ is all interestingly progressed and thought-out.

On ‘Antigravity’, Ummagma offer up a more meticulous album experience. Each track seems to follow more strict rules than what was present on the debut album, which results in a very strong album that flows brilliantly. Each track contributes towards the overall album’s feeling, each being relevant to the presentation of the album itself. At the forefront of everything though is the sheer quality of how great everything sounds. The musical style of Kretov still combines brilliantly with McLarnon’s vocal styles, with the duo’s natural chemistry coming through brilliantly to present the strengths of the songs. Everything seems well thought-out, with specific care and attention to how each song contributes towards the overall album’s presentation. For the most part, it all works well and helps present ‘Antigravity’ as a very strong album.

As enjoyable and strong as ‘Antigravity’ is, it seems to fall ever so slightly flat at certain moments, with the overall album not really sounding as interesting as the band’s debut effort. There’s a number of great tracks on ‘Antigravity’, but for the most part, they’re all contributing towards the whole album, and sadly don’t sound as interesting as stand-alone tracks (unlike the highlights from the first album). The particular weakness comes in the album’s first half, which seems to open the album up to a somewhat sluggish pace, before it all really gets going.

Although there’s an element that it might not be as good as the band’s debut album ‘Ummagma’, ‘Antigravity’ does contain a good number of strengths of its own that helps make it a great album in its own right. It contains a number of strong working elements that wasn’t present on ‘Ummagma’, which suggest that the band are really thinking about progression, and are trying out new ideas and elements to help progress themselves as a band. Perhaps one or two ideas need fine-tuning here and there, but at least Ummagma have managed to utilize enough strengths to present ‘Antigravity’ as a good strong album.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Colors
  • Beautiful Moment
  • Autumnmania
  • 1+1=3

Ummagma’s latest album ‘Antigravity’ is out now and can be purchased at: http://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/antigravity

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Ummagma – Ummagma

Lush elements of the dream-pop genre combine in fine style with alternative-rock and progressive rock techniques to make up the debut album by Ummagma. The self-titled effort by duo Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon makes for what is simply an incredibly enjoyable and easy-listening experience. On ‘Ummagma’, the duo offer up a brilliant range of musical styles and techniques, all encompassed and presented in a dream-pop style that makes for a very smart and enjoyable album experience. There’s a great number of ideas being showcased on ‘Ummagma’, many of which work brilliantly to give the album a brilliant character and shape.

From the moment go, Ummagma launch into a wonderful array of lush tracks that are simply wonderfully dreamy. The combination of Kretov’s talents as a musician with McLarnon’s talents as a lyricst and vocalist  both make for a brilliant partnership in music. The two utilize both of their own talents to make incredibly enjoyable music. ‘Ummagma’ contains a good number of strengths, with the album itself featuring a nice diverse range of specific styles. The album itself navigates along its journey, taking shifts and turns here and there in terms of musical style to make up a very interesting and easily-listenable experience. There’s a nice number of style as well being demonstrated on the album, all of which flows naturally though to present a strong album.

There’s few faults with ‘Ummagma’, which showcases a number of strong ideas and efforts from the band being pulled off in fine style. If any faults are to be found on ‘Ummagma’, it might be the within the few songs that ares simply too similar to each other for it to make sense on the album. Considering the wide range of styles and techniques being demonstrated by Ummagma, it doesn’t make a great deal of sense that a few of the songs should follow similar sounding structures, and demonstrate similar ideas to each other, especially considering how versatile the band really is. Ummagma luckily don’t do this enough for it to bring the album down, but it doesn’t warrant consideration.

Ummagma have certainly created a brilliant album experience on their self-titled debut effort. The lush melodies created by Kretov, combined with the wonderful vocals of McLarnon make a match made in heaven when it comes to their musical style. Everything sounds brilliantly polished and carefully considered, with their being very little that doesn’t have a place on the album. It seems Ummagma have a great thing going for them, and if they continue to do exactly what they’re doing, then it should result in more wonderfully enjoyable and gorgeous music from the band.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Upsurd
  • Outside
  • Rotation
  • J.S. Bach

Ummagma’s debut album ‘Ummagma’ is out now and can be purchased at: http://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/ummagma

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Dynamite Drug Diamond – Tang

The latest album by alternative-grunge band Tang titled ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ is a very enjoyable and intense experience of truly aggressive and angry music. Featuring noisy guitar riffs and positively strained vocals that present the (at times) visceral lyrics of the songs, ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ comes across as a very enjoyable album experience (or enjoyable in the context of angry music). It’s a brilliant indulgence into the angrier side of music, where the use of loud instrumentals and screaming vocals work well for the presentation of the ideas themselves. It seems Tang have a good thing going for them, with their utilization of the strengths of ’emo’ or ‘hardcore’ music working well for their own sound.

Although Tang may not be the best band of their genre, their latest album ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ certainly presents them as one of the strongest. Tang utilize a number of elements that easily go wrong on their latest album, and make them work well for themselves. There’s a good number of strengths on ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ that makes it an enjoyable and interesting album to indulge in at darker times. The technical aspects of the album seems to work well in many of the songs, with the instrumentals and vocal style sounding very strong. It seems most of Tang’s efforts on their latest album have been pulled off brilliantly, making ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ a very enjoyable album.

Although a good number of Tang’s efforts have worked well on ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’, it seems they miss the mark on one or two steps, most notably in the beginning of the album which seems to open the album up to a sluggish pace. ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ takes a little while for it to really get going, though once it does, the weaknesses’ of the album’s opening are instantly forgotten. The weaknesses of the album’s opening might hurt the overall album in one or two places, but it’s never enough to truly bring the album down in any real significant way.

Overall though, Tang have produced a great album, that certainly pushes them as one of the better bands of their genre. A lot of the techniques used by Tang on ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ have been tried by many bands prior to them, and it never seems to truly work. Tang on the other hand make it work well for their music, giving it a nice edge when it comes to music of this genre. ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ is essentially a brilliant sounding album that is a wonderful indulgence in angry pissed-off emotions. It’s certainly nice to hear music of this style done right.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Paint In Black
  • Eve Of Ceasefire Talks
  • Wrong Place Wrong Time
  • Roses Out Of Chaos

Tang’s latest album ‘Dynamite Drug Diamond’ is out now and can be purchased at: http://soberuprecords.com/store/

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