Hello friends, welcome to The Listening Booth where I ramble incoherently about what I’ve been putting into my ears. This week we’re going into an old favourite as The Boss comes to town followed by some perfect summer listening and a young hardcore band trying to keep their name in the spotlight. Sound good? I certainly hope so.Continue reading
Hello friends, it’s WrestleMania Weekend which means that as you read this, I’m probably drunk and watching Swoggle fight a giant panda, but that hasn’t stopped me listening to music! So, take a seat in the Listening Booth and dive into what I’ve been plugging into my ears this week.Continue reading
Hello friends, pull up a chair, crack open a beverage and get comfortable in The Listening Booth because I’m about to do some rambling. I’ve realised that if you were coming to these articles looking for actual reviews, you’d often leave sorely disappointed. They’re closer to extended therapy sessions where I try and capture my emotional response to an album. I’m telling you this because that approach is horrifically self-indulgent, so if you aren’t interested, I don’t want to waste your time. Otherwise, this week we’re diving into a new release from Blood Youth and a couple of oldies from Mineral and PJ Harvey. Enjoy!Continue reading
Music That Is Good is back for round two, as I’ve had a delightful musical week, listening to great album after great album. Today I’m bringing you some post-hardcore, a bit of tech metal and a power trio. If that doesn’t sound like a party you want an invite to then you’re probably in the wrong place. So, I’ll stop jibber-jabbering and get down to, well, jibber-jabbering, just about the topic rather than whatever is in my head.
I like a lot of things about Enter Shikari. I like the fact that they are an innovative band who are willing to take risks. I love that they stand up for what they believe in and I think Rou Reynolds is smart and articulate. Even when their politics go a bit Standard Grade Modern Studies and ‘fuck the man’, I tend to agree with the general point. The only problem is, I’ve never got along with their music.
Music can be turned to many uses. It can be for pure entertainment, to make you laugh with joy and dance around a room or it can subtly influence your mood. Dig deep down inside you and unlock emotions that you didn’t know you had. Then it can be wielded the way that Stray From The Path use it. Like a sledgehammer to the face.
Hardcore is a simple genre. I love it, but it’s true, and its punk roots are still strong in that regard. However, even simplicity can be tinkered with and over the last few years, there has been an influx of bands who use hardcore as a base. A base from which they can branch out into other genres. A big part of this is melding hardcore with its metallic brothers but not in the vein of the million identikit metalcore bands that roam the planet. Instead, these are actual hardcore bands with actual metal influences.
The way to approach a Rancid album in 2017 is very different to the way you would have approached one in 1997. You can no longer expect genius, and you need to figure out exactly what you need to make you happy. It’s not going to be And Out Come The Wolves… and after the disappointment of …Honor Is All We Know and Let The Dominoes Fall, merely good might be enough. A couple of great punk tracks could be all we need.
If you were to guess what a side-project from members of Converge and Cave In was to sound like you might hit on something close to Wear Your Wounds the album released by Jacob Bannon earlier this year. It’s a dark and unsettling piece of music and while you’d struggle to call it heavy in the way you do Converge, it most definitely is. What you wouldn’t expect, is Mutoid Man.
Us Brits do a hell of a lot of things right when it comes to music. Punk, metal and rock and roll, we have it all. However, if there’s one thing that America nails and we don’t, it’s skate punk bands who discover feelings and get all earnest on us. Which sounds like an insult but is intended as nothing of the sort. There’s something about America’s long roads and tiny towns that breed bands like The Wonder Years and The Menzingers that we just don’t have here. Or at least we didn’t.