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.

News: First half of 2017 ram-packed with fantastic UK tours

For those of you, like myself, who enjoy attending concerts, the first half of 2017 is set to be an amazing few months of live music.  These acts are absolutely fantastic, so if you manage to get tickets for a few of these tours your bank balance could end up being in serious trouble. Today I decided to round up some of the best tours coming up next year.

January 2017 – Avenged Sevenfold, dates here

This tour is the only tour on my list which I already have tickets for, and I am extremely excited to be able to see Avenged Sevenfold for the second time.  I’ll be attending the Nottingham date, and although I was already looking forward to the date, my excitement pretty much quadrupled after reviewing the band’s latest album, The Stage.

January 2017 – The Pretty Reckless, dates here

After reviewing the band’s latest record Who You Selling Formy love for The Pretty Reckless has seriously increased.  I’m hoping to be able to attend their Nottingham date on January 19th, because it promises to be a fantastic night.

February 2017 – Deaf Havana, dates here

I’ve seen these guys perform twice and I thoroughly enjoyed myself both times, so I’d love to make it a hat trick.  Again, I’d probably have to make the journey to London to catch these guys live, but it would be worth it!

February 2017 – Kings Of Leon, dates here

I’m really excited at the prospect of seeing Kings Of Leon live, considering how long I’ve been a fan of theirs.  Even if you weren’t a massive fan of their last two albums, their great live performances would make attending one of their shows worth it.

March 2017 – Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, dates here

Not wanting to rest on their laurels for too long, even though The Rattlesnakes have only just finished up a string of UK tour dates, the band announced this week that they’ll be touring yet again next March.  I’m gutted that they haven’t announced a Nottingham date, but I’m willing to make the trek to London to see these guys perform live.

March/April 2017 – Mallory Knox, dates here

I’ve been a big fan of Mallory Knox since their first mainstream success, and I really enjoyed seeing them perform live at Leeds Festival in 2014.  Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to see them live again since, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to attend either the Cambridge, or one of the London dates.  Plus, Lonely The Brave is one of their support acts, and I’d love to see them perform live again too.

March/April 2017 – Pulled Apart By Horses, dates here

Even though I’m a fan of this band, I have yet to see Pulled Apart By Horses live, so it would be great to see them next year.

April 2017 – You Me At Six, dates here

I really enjoyed You Me At Six’s latest single, Night People, so I’d really like to see them perform it live next year.  Plus, I’ve been a fan of the band for a long time, so it would be great to hear them perform some older songs alongside the new on tour.

Are you attending any of these tours?  Are there any other awesome tours planned for 2017 that I missed off this list? Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Review: Who You Selling For

New York rock band The Pretty Reckless have returned with their latest full length record, only a two years since the release of their album Going To Hell.  Hype for Who You Selling For started to build with the release of the first single – you can watch the video for Take Me Down here:

To me, this track was less heavy than the band’s previous releases and had some pop and even country vibes, so it definitely piqued my interest to hear what the rest of the album would sound like.

Immediately Who You Selling For takes a surprising turn, starting out with the piano-led introduction to The Walls Are Closing In/Hangman.  However the track quickly picks up with a lot of emphasis on bass guitar and the bass drum, and layered backing vocals give the track an atmospheric, grungy feel.

My impression that this album could end up sounding more pop than previous records was shattered by the second track, Oh My God, with its impressive guitar-led introduction and vocalist Taylor’s gravelly voice layered overtop.  The worry that The Pretty Reckless are turning into a pop band, thankfully, seem unfounded.  However, there are definitely country and blues elements to be found throughout Who You selling For, and these are most apparent on tracks such as acoustic-guitar led Back To The River.

Some of the songs that really stand out from the rest include the fantastic bassy groove of Prisoner, the riff heavy Wild City, and the chilled out Bedroom Window.  This record is made up of a strong collection of songs, most of which have enough individuality to stand out from the rest.  This mix forces the audience to really pay attention to what each song has to say.

Lyrically, to me, the album seems to take a lot of influence from more classic rock and metal.  Taylor sings about religion, young women heading to “the big city” and trying to avoid the vices and temptation there, and making deals with the devil.

To conclude, I reckon that fans of The Pretty Reckless will be pleased with the band’s lyrical maturity and progression of their sound over the past couple of years.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Taylor Momsen is only two years older than me, because her lyrics and rough-around-the-edges voice may suggest she’s older to those who know nothing about the band.  There’s definitely more to Who You Selling For than meets the eye, and I look forward to listening to the record a few more times to pick up on anything I missed the first time around.

Highlights: Oh My God, Prisoner, Living In The Storm, The Devil’s Back