altrocklife’s birthday music haul

Good afternoon altrocklifers! After taking a month out to focus on job hunting, I’m back with another blog update.  Last month I celebrated my 22nd birthday, and what better way to celebrate than to go and spend lots of money in Lush and HMV?  I decided against detailing all of the products I bought in Lush, as they were almost all items I’ve spoken about on this blog before, so instead I decided to go over all of the music I bought, and how I’m enjoying listening to the albums so far.

Young Guns – Ones and Zeros

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I reviewed this record back when it was released in 2015, and I wasn’t massively excited about it back then.  I think I was comparing it to their previous record, Bones, too much, which meant I wasn’t able to appreciate Ones And Zeros for what it is.  I’ve listened to this album in my car a few times, and I’ve really enjoyed driving along to it – it’s a solid record in its own right, and I’d recommend anybody who wasn’t sure about this album back in 2015 to give it another go.

The Amazons – The Amazons

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I couldn’t resist picking up The Amazons’ debut album: over the past few months their tracks Black Magic and Junk Food Forever have had regular appearances in my Spotify daily mix, as well as getting a decent amount of airplay on BBC Radio 1.  This record is a really solid debut album, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to it.

Lorde – Melodrama

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am basically in love with Lorde.  She’s got a beautiful voice, creates great electronic music, and comes across as a total babe in interviews.  I knew during my first listen of Green Light that Melodrama was going to be an incredible album, and I was right!

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?

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I loved this album when I reviewed it in June, so I absolutely had to buy a hard copy so I could listen to it on my daily commute.  Hook, Line & Sinker has become one of my favourite tracks of the year so far.

Imagine Dragons – Evolve

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Imagine Dragons are like a gift that keeps on giving.  It’s been just over two years since they released their second full-length album Smoke + Mirrors, so for the band to put out another record so soon is no mean feat.  This album probably has the most electronic influences of their entire discography, but it’s still a solid album, and I really enjoyed my first listen.  I’m looking forward to hearing more of it over the coming weeks.

The Pretty Reckless – Who You Selling For

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I also enjoyed this album when I reviewed it last year, so I was excited to buy a physical copy and stick it in my car.

Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound

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I wasn’t completely enamoured when this record was released earlier this year, but much like The Amazons, I’ve heard a number of tracks from this album on my Spotify daily mix, and slowly but surely Safe In Sound has grown on me.


What do you think of these albums?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

7 incredible tracks you need in your life – February 2017

February is the shortest month of the year, but that doesn’t mean there was any shortage of great tracks released over the past few weeks.  Here’s my round-up of the best singles and music videos put out this month!

Knuckle Puck – Indecisive 

Chicago pop-punk band Knuckle Puck are returning with a new EP, Calendar Days / Indecisive, on March 17th, and this is one of the titular tracks.  The melancholy lyrics and acoustic vibes make it a perfect track to listen to with a mug of hot tea or coffee in this February weather.

All Time Low – Dirty Laundry

I’ll be honest and say that the first two thirds(ish) of this track didn’t inspire me very much, but the guitar solo leading into the final chorus turned Dirty Laundry around for me.  I’m looking forward to hearing their upcoming seventh studio album, Last Young Renegade, set to be released on June 2nd.

Cover Your Tracks – Striking Matches

Cover Your Tracks is a band formed from the ashes of a number of failed bands, such as Woe, Is Me, Decoder, and Cursed Sails.  The result is a great hardcore track with a smattering of electronic breaks and a catchy chorus.

Imagine Dragons – Believer

I’ve been a big fan of Imagine Dragons for a long time, and I really enjoyed their second full length record, Smoke + Mirrors, which came out back in 2014.  Believer has me excited for a potential third album on the way.

Taking Back Sunday – Call Come Running

This track is from Taking Back Sunday’s latest record, Tidal Wave, and I featured Death Wolf, another song from that album, back in the September 2016 edition of X incredible tracks.  I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve heard from this album, so Call Come Running definitely deserved a feature today.

While She Sleeps ft. Oli Sykes – Silence Speaks

To me, While She Sleeps has been an inescapable part of the British metalcore/hardcore scene, so to see them collaborating with Oli Sykes, one of the most recognisable front men in the industry, is a pretty big deal.  I’ll be honest and say that I never used to be a big fan of this band, but Silence Speaks has made me reconsider my opinion.  I look forward to hearing While She Sleeps’ upcoming third full length album, You Are We.

Pierce The Veil – Floral And Fading

Pierce The Veil’s Misadventures was released last May, and Floral And Fading is the latest single to be released from the record.  The video, set in an American 1950s bowling alley, is great fun to watch if only because of bassist Jaime Preciado’s afro.


What did you think of this month’s round-up? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Review: Smoke + Mirrors

As you may remember from my review of Imagine Dragons’ performance at Leeds Festival, I am a massive fan of the Las Vegas four-piece, so I was extremely excited when news of a new album began to circulate.

Smoke + Mirrors is the band’s second full-length studio album, and their gamble at self-producing definitely paid off.  After just one listen to the album’s first single, I Bet My Life, it became obvious to me that Imagine Dragons are becoming an unstoppable force in the music industry.

Their full-length debut had more electronic roots, with songs like the immensely popular Radioactive influenced by electronic rock and dubstep.

Smoke + Mirrors is obviously, from the first listen, far more rock ‘n’ roll than their previous offering, with more guitars and more authentic-sounding drums throughout.  If their last album was too pop or electronic for you, then this latest effort should be more up your street.  Check out I’m So Sorry, one of the heavier tracks on the album.

Whilst the band have obviously matured after months of touring in 2014, writing their latest album along the way, Smoke + Mirrors is still unapologetically Imagine Dragons.  This band demonstrate effortlessly that it is possible for a band to mature between albums and remain easily recognisable.

In the same vein as Night Visions, Smoke + Mirrors is a pretty hefty album, weighing in at almost an hour long.  And that’s not even including additional tracks on the deluxe version!  Say what you want about Imagine Dragons, but you can’t deny that their albums are consistently packed full of fantastic tunes, and well worth the money.

To conclude, if you loved Night Visions, then Smoke + Mirrors is a must-buy album for 2015.  If their debut album wasn’t your cup of tea, at least give it a listen, and you might find yourself nodding your head to the heavier tracks.

Highlights: Gold, I’m So Sorry, Polaroid, Friction