Review: Broken Machine (Deluxe)

Nothing But Thieves are one of my favourite British bands at the moment.  Their debut self-titled album exploded onto the alternative rock scene in 2015, and the band have seen themselves rocketed towards more and more recognition and success.  To be fair, any band that’s ever opened for Muse has to be pretty special.  Nothing But Thieves released the first single for Broken Machine back in May; you can watch the video for Amsterdam below:

And now, on to the album.  Broken Machine begins with the incredible grungy drum and bass-led intro to I Was Just A Kid, which helps to set the tone for the rest of the album: this band are unpredictable, and I love their experimental sound.

Second single Sorry is one of the slower tracks on the record, but fans of Nothing But Thieves’s debut will know that this band like to keep their listeners guessing.  The chant of “I’ve waited for this, I’m ready for it” contrasts with the apologetic nature of the song, suggesting feelings of redemption.  It’s followed by the album title track, with electronic-sounding drums and a looping backing vocal which then explodes into an unexpected riff at around the 1:10 mark.

Potentially one of the most experimental tracks on the album, Live Like Animals, is also one of my favourites.  Vocalist Conor Mason experiments with more spoken lyrical delivery, and the crunching riffs are matched by buzzing synths.  By the second chorus, I was ready to get up and start dancing – I can see this track going down well at gigs and festivals.

Hell, Yeah is a change of pace, bringing down the mood slightly with it’s chilled, acoustic instrumentals and Mason’s high, wailing voice and silky delivery on the chorus.  This is followed by the equally down-beat Afterlife; Philip Blake’s bass is undulating and adds a slightly creepy, supernatural vibe to the track.

I reviewed the deluxe version of the album over on Spotify, which features an extra four tracks, including an acoustic version of Sorry and a piano version of Particles.  I really enjoyed the two new tracks, and I’m always a sucker for an acoustic version of a heavier song, so if you are too, I’d definitely recommend picking up the deluxe version of Broken Machine.

I know I already mentioned this, but I thought it was worth reiterating that Nothing But Thieves are probably one of the best British bands currently putting out music.  Their combination of electrifying riffs, dreamy synths and strings, complex and emotional lyrics, and Mason’s bewitching voice is unlike any other band out there at the moment.  If you enjoyed their debut effort – and let it be noted that I don’t trust you if you didn’t enjoy it – then you will definitely also enjoy Broken Machine.  

Highlights: Live Like Animals, Particles, Get Better, Particles – Piano Version

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altrocklife album haul: 06/06/16

Hey altrocklifers and welcome to my blog’s triumphant return! Over the past nine months I’ve essentially been a hermit due to the final year of my university course keeping me extremely busy, so unfortunately updating this blog had fallen by the wayside. But fear not! Now I’ve finished university I’ve got a lot more free time, so altrocklife is being revived.  From now on the blog will focus much more on music news and reviews rather than fashion and lifestyle posts, and after today I’ll be changing my upload schedule, from Mondays and Thursdays to Wednesdays and Sundays.

So, what better way to kick things off than with a review of my recent musical purchases?

Gallows – Desolation Sounds

Ever since Frank Carter of The Rattlesnakes fame left the band in 2011, Gallows seem to have dropped off the radar a bit; their 2012 self-titled album as well as Desolation Sounds didn’t get much attention. However, I think the album is dark and raw, and I absolutely love it. I bought it a couple of months ago and I’ve been listening to it pretty regularly since then.

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

If I’m ever in the mood for more indie guitar-led tracks, Wolf Alice’s first LP is my album of choice. My Love Is Cool has a great mix of chilled, acoustic tracks and more upbeat ones.

PVRIS – White Noise

I know I’m super behind the times here: White Noise has been out since 2014 and I only picked it up last month. Of course I already knew and loved the singles St. Patrick, My House and Fire so buying this album was definitely a safe bet.  If you’re after strong female vocals and synthy rock, this is the album for you.

Band Of Skulls – By Default

Band Of Skulls are one of my favourite bands, and to be honest I didn’t even realise they had a new album coming out until I spotted it on the shelves of HMV the other week.  It’s absolutely fantastic and definitely their best album yet.

Foals – What Went Down

Foals’ latest album is heavier than their previous efforts, and I’m a big fan of the slight shift.  Singles What Went Down and Mountain At My Gates are brilliant tracks, and two of my favourites on the album.

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

Following the success of Collide With The Sky, Pierce The Veil had big boots to fill with the follow-up album. Misadventures is pretty fantastic, but I’m not sure if it tops their previous 2012 album yet.  I’ll be giving it a few more listens before I make my decision.

Now on to a couple of albums I picked up today and haven’t had the chance to listen to yet.

Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves

If you followed my blog last year and kept up with my ‘incredible tracks you need in your life’ series, you’ll remember that I featured Nothing But Thieves multiple times throughout those posts.  I’m a massive fan of this band, especially vocalist Conor’s fantastic voice, so I’m certain I’ll love the album. Itch was one of my favourite songs of 2015, which definitely bodes well.

Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor

Whilst I was a big fan of Panic’s first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, I stopped actively following the band not long after its release and the rest of their albums seemed to pass me by. However, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time caught my attention and I decided I needed to hear the rest of the album.

Lonely The Brave – Things Will Matter

I saw Lonely The Brave supporting Deaf Havana in December 2014, and they absolutely blew me away.  I haven’t got round to listening to their previous album yet, but I heard Rattlesnakes and Black Mire from the new LP and I really enjoyed both tracks. I can’t wait to get my teeth into Things Will Matter.

So that’s my summary of my recent album purchases. Are you a fan of any of these albums? What records are you looking forward to this year? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

8 incredible tracks you need in your life – August 2015

August was a month of great new releases. Here’s a round-up of the best tracks hitting the airwaves last month.

Simple Plan – Boom

If you want some unapologetic punk rock with a star-studded music video to accompany it, this is the track for you.

Shinedown – State Of My Head

State Of My Head is a pop influenced upbeat track, with a chorus that gets stuck in your head far too easily.

Bring Me The Horizon – True Friends

If the rest of Bring Me The Horizon’s next record, That’s The Spirit, is as good as True Friends, it is going to be fantastic.

Iron Maiden – Speed Of Light

For fans of classic metal, Iron Maiden’s new track is a triumphant return.

Parkway Drive – Crushed

If you’re looking for a track with heavy religious themes, Crushed is the track for you! It’s from their latest album IRE, due out on September 25.

Trivium – Until The World Goes Cold

Trivium have changed things up leading up to their next album Silence In The Snow, due out October 2.  Vocalist Matt Heafy has ditched harsh vocals to work on melodic ones, and they definitely pay off on this track.

Nothing But Thieves – Wake Up Call

I include Nothing But Thieves in most of my ‘incredible tracks’ round-ups, but that’s just because they’re absolutely fantastic, and Wake Up Call is no exception.

Eagles Of Death Metal – Complexity

EODM’s next record is due out on October 2, and this upbeat track is a great indication of things to come.

6 incredible tracks you need in your life – June 2015

Since I last wrote a post like this in May, a whole host of new, incredible singles have been released.  Here’s my run down of the best of the bunch.

Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes – Juggernauts

After Pure Love went on indefinite hiatus, I had no idea what to do with myself knowing there would be no new music by Frank Carter in the world.  Thankfully, his latest band has set things straight.

Slipknot – Killpop

Killpop is Slipknot’s latest single from their fifth album, The Gray Chapter.  You can read my review of that incredible album here.  Killpop was one of my highlights of the album, so I’m glad they’ve released it as a single and produced another of their creepy videos to go with it.

Have Mercy – Two Years

Have Mercy’s latest track from their new album A Place Of Our Own is a great track which tugs at the heartstrings.  I really like the combination of quieter, almost mumbled verses with the raw, powerful choruses.

Refused – Dawkins Christ

Following on from Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes’ latest track, June is turning out to be a great month for lovers of heavier songs.  The introduction to this song has a great atmosphere.

Nothing But Thieves – Trip Switch

I absolutely loved Nothing But Thieves’ previous track, Itch, and Trip Switch is just as good.  I also have a weakness for videos made up of clips from vintage films, so this video was right up my street.

You’re A Germ – Wolf Alice

I also have a weakness for female vocalists in alternative/rock bands, so if you do to, Wolf Alice are a safe bet.  I like how this track starts off slow, then surprises you with screeching guitar and crashing cymbals.

What do you think of these tracks?  Are there any great singles that I missed?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: River, RiverLonely The Brave

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.