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

ones_and_zeros.jpg

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

amazons-album.jpg

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

135e9ae4d19e7816e0ffdd9a95922a0c.1000x1000x1.jpg

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?

Royal-Blood-How-Did-We-Get-So-Dark.jpg

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

f94a69ca1a23d8ab4acd5b2c71aa0b64.1000x1000x1.jpg

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

prettyrecklesswhoyousellingcd_0.jpg

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

lta_safeinsoundcover.jpg

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.

Advertisements

News: Enter Shikari announce November UK/EU tour with Lower Than Atlantis and Astroid Boys

Fans of Enter Shikari woke up to some awesome news this morning: the St Albans four-piece announced a massive string of UK and EU tour dates to take place in November and December this year.  This will be their second arena tour, following their tour in February 2016, where I was lucky enough to see the band perform at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – you can watch my video review of the gig here.

As well as this, yesterday Enter Shikari dropped a new track, Supercharge, featuring grime/rap artist Big Narstie and produced, in part, by frontman Rou Reynolds.  You can listen to the track here:

This tour is even more exciting because of the support acts. The alternative rock lads Lower Than Atlantis and up and coming Astroid Boys will be joining the band on the tour, and I think that’s an excellent combination of acts.  Enter Shikari are well known for blurring the boundaries between the genres of rock, rap, nu-metal and electronic/dubstep, so this combination of support bands is sure to get the crowd hyped and ready for the main event.

Pre-sale for the UK leg of the gig went on sale earlier this morning, with general sale starting on Friday.  Here are all of the dates – make sure you pick up tickets if Enter Shikari are hitting up a venue near you:

UK leg:

  • 16/11 – Liverpool Arena
  • 17/11 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
  • 18/11 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
  • 19/11 – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
  • 21/11 – Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
  • 22/11 – Brighton Centre
  • 24/11 – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
  • 25/11 – Alexandra Palace, London

EU leg:

  • 29/11 – Afas Live, Amsterdam, NL
  • 1/12 – Den Atelier, Luxembourg, LU
  • 2/12 – Elysee Montmartre, Paris, FR
  • 3/12 – Cologne Palladium, DE
  • 5/12 – Mehr Theatre, Hamburg, DE
  • 6/12 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DK
  • 7/12 – Huxleys, Berlin, DE
  • 8/12 – Proxima, Warsaw, PL
  • 11/12 – Vienna Arena, AT
  • 12/12 – Tonhalle, Munich, DE

Are you hoping to see Enter Shikari on their November/December tour?  What do you think of their latest track?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Review: Safe In Sound

Lower Than Atlantis are a British four-piece rock band who are celebrating ten years since their formation this year.  It seems fitting, then, that Friday marked the release of their fifth studio album whilst still riding the wave of success following their self-titled fourth record.  Hype for Safe In Sound began back in August of last year with the release of  Work For It, and excitement built steadily until the album dropped this week.

Jumping straight into the review, it’s obvious from the first track that more effort has gone into post-production on Safe In Sound than on the band’s previous records. A number of tracks feature either autotuned or artificial echoed lead or backing vocals, or programmed drums or clap sound effects.  Plus, Boomerang is probably the most heavily produced track in Lower Than Atlantis’s discography. Overall I think these added electronic elements have paid off: they certainly help each individual track to stand out from the rest of the record, and the end result is an extremely polished album with few rough edges.

However, the band’s ability to write catchy choruses and creative riffs layered with guitar solos has not been compromised.  Drummer Eddy Thrower has taken his playing to the next level, with a number of inventive drum fills peppering the record.  Another thing that hasn’t changed over time is lead vocalist Mike Duce’s signature velvet-smooth voice.  Lyrically the record still discusses similar themes to previous records, which shows that even though their sound might have changed slightly, Lower Than Atlantis are still, at their core, doing what they do best.

My Safe In Sound highlight is by far Work For It.  It’s probably the heaviest track on the album, and it’s whoa-ohing chorus is perfect for crowds at gigs and festivals to shout back at the band.  I also love the lyrics to Could Be Worse, which discuss every day stresses and struggles that everyone listening can relate to.

The last few tracks of the record seem to lose their way a little bit.  I Would and Money are tracks chock full of lyrical cliches, and to me it feels like there wasn’t a massive amount of thought or effort put into the songwriting.  I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore is a pretty downbeat track, which seems out of place on the record.  Thankfully, Safe In Sound ends on the high note of A Night To Forget, a great party track with an uplifting chorus.

Overall this record is hit and miss, and although the hits do outnumber the misses, I had higher expectations for Lower Than Atlantis’s fifth record.  I think the band struggled to find the right balance between their rock/hardcore roots and pop influences, and because of that the record was slightly confused.  Safe In Sound was overall enjoyable, but I hope that their next record has a more cohesive sound.

Highlights: Long Time Coming, Work For It, A Night To Forget

8 incredible tracks you need in your life – January 2017

We’re now in 2017, and a new year means new releases.  January has seen the release of a number of great albums, including efforts by You Me At Six, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, As It Is, and the Dropkick Murphys.  There have also been a number of singles released over the past month, so today I’ll be giving you a rundown of the best tracks around.

Mallory Knox – Better Off Without You

Mallory Knox have released a couple of singles in the lead up to their third full length album, Wired, due to be released in March.  I love the rhythm of this track, and it has a powerful chorus which ties the song together.  I’ll be seeing the band alongside Lonely The Brave and Fatherson on their Wired tour in March, and I cannot wait!

Acceptance – Haunted

Acceptance is a band with a tumultuous past.  They formed in the late 90s and released a couple of EPs as well as a full length album, Phantoms, in 2005.  Not long after this the group disbanded, and its members took part in a number of other projects until they reunited in 2015.  The pop-rock group have released their latest single, Haunted, in the lead up to their second album due to be released next month.

Touché Amoré – Benediction

Post-hardcore rockers Touché Amoré released their fourth studio album, Stage Four, last September, and this track is their most recent single.  If you want emotive choruses and great drumming, this song is for you.

Lower Than Atlantis – Boomerang

This track has a heavy electronic influence, with programmed drums, synths, and autotuned introduction and vocals.  So far Boomerang stands out from the rest of the singles off of Lower Than Atlantis’s upcoming record, Safe In Sound, as the rest fit more comfortably with the band’s rock sound.

Dryjacket – Spelling Era

I featured another Dryjacket track, Two Toasters, in the November 2016 edition of …incredible tracks.  I really enjoy this band’s lighthearted sound, which is why I decided to feature them again.

Biffy Clyro – Flammable

It should come as no surprise that I’m a big fan of this track, the fifth single to be released from Biffy Clyro’s latest record, Ellipsis.  Although this album received mixed reviews from fans and critics, I think most will agree that this track is one of the closest on the record to their trademark aggressive proggy sound.

Breaking Benjamin – Never Again

It can’t be denied that Breaking Benjamin are a cornerstone of American heavy rock music, and have been for many years.  The video for Never Again was released this month, taken off of their 2015 album Dark Before Dawn.

Halestorm – Heathens (Twenty One Pilots cover)

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Twenty One Pilots, but I am a huge lover of Halestorm, so I knew Lzzy Hale and the rest of the group would be able to put their own spin on this track.  This single is taken from the third volume of ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP released earlier this month.

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

6 incredible tracks you need in your life – May 2015

Since my last post in March, so many incredible tracks have been released.  Check out my list of the best new music at the moment!

The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It

I’ve always liked The Maccabees, but they were firmly part of the poppier, less rock ‘n’ roll part of my music taste until now.  This track is a triumphant return for the band.

Don Broco – Automatic

This track has got me super excited for Don Broco’s next album, also titled Automatic and released August 7.

Lower Than Atlantis – Words Don’t Come So Easily

This track is one of the slower, more mellow numbers from Lower Than Atlantis’s self titled album.  If you feel like chilling out and you’re in the mood for some acoustic guitar, this track is for you.

Young Guns – Daylight

As much as I loved I Want Out and Speaking In Tongues, this track is definitely the strongest single from Young Guns’s upcoming album Ones And Zeros.

Neck Deep – Can’t Kick Up The Roots

This track hasn’t got an official music or lyric video yet, but if you’re in the UK you can listen to the track here via the BBC iPlayer (skip to about 33 minutes in).  Nothing like some unapologetic punk pop hot off the presses!

Nothing But Thieves – Itch

To me these guys sound very Royal Blood-esque, which is definitely a compliment.  The opening is super eerie and I love it!

What do you think of these tracks?  Can you think of any new releases that I missed?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.