Category Archives: Album Review

Album Review | Cold War Kids – ‘Hold My Home’

Reviewer: Wezzy Cruze
CWKIn the past decade, there’s been a dynamic shift in the way the music industry works. With more music based reality television shows taking the primetime slot, and contestants being handed record deals like they’re going out of fashion, we’ve seen the indie bands being placed on the back burner – some going bust, some barely hanging on. So one question remains: Whats the key to an indie band staying afloat in a world dominated by generic, autotuned, reality show produced popstars?

With a change in the line-up consisting of two new members joining the team and a brief stint with a side project called French Style Furs, Long Beach indie-soul rockers Cold War Kids return to the fold with their fifth album release, ‘Hold My Home’.
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Album Review | Bear’s Den – ‘Islands’

Reviewer: Wezzy Cruze

Bears Den
Folk rock, or folk music in general, has a lovely and delicate way of popping up every now and then, pushing aside the likes of Katy Perry, Macklemore or other popular mainstream artists and taking a place high on many music charts around the world. And there is no denying that when a folk song makes its way there, that people get on board with it. Case in point, ‘Little Lion Man’ by Mumford & Sons, ‘Skinny Love’ by Bon Iver, or ‘Ho Hey’ by The Lumineers etc. I’ve made my point…

Andrew Davie, Joey Haynes and Kevin Jones are three gentlemen who are likely to join the ranks of their folk music peers, as their band, Bear’s Den, release their debut album in October, ‘Islands’.
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Album Review | FLYING COLORS – “Second Nature”

Review by Peter Coates
FCAlbumThe second album from progressive rock “supergroup / side-project” Flying Colors is released in Australia on October 3rd 2014 and perpetuates the initial basis for the band, formed in 2012, of seeking to combine virtuoso progressive rock musicians with a melodic pop singer / songwriter, and see what happens.

The musicians are all enormously experienced and influential heavyweights from the modern and progressive rock world, featuring Steve Morse (Deep Purple / Kansas / Dixie Dregs) on guitars, Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard / Transatlantic) on keyboards, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater / Transatlantic / Adrenaline Mob / Winery Dogs) on drums, and Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs / Satriani / Vai) on bass – with Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev) providing the songwriting and vocals.
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Album Review | JOE BONAMASSA – Different Shades of Blue

Review by Pete Coates
JB-DSOBJOE BONAMASSA – Different Shades of Blue
Release Date – 12th Sept 2014
J & R Adventures Records

Joe Bonamassa has produced an extraordinary range of blues and rock music in his career – whether as a solo artist, or in the blues rock fusion work of Black Country Communion. The common threads of all his work lie in the distinctive voice, and the pure but often slightly scuzzy guitar riffs, with the clean solos reminiscent of Gary Moore and Carlos Santana.
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Album Review | Anathema – Distant Satellites

Review by Wanda Hill
Distant Satellites – AnathemaSixty minutes of floating on beautiful melodies, intense emotion and powerful composition can be yours when you decide to listen to Distant SatellitesAnathema’s 10th studio album. This UK progressive rock band have carved their own unique blend of uplifting yet contemplative music that continues to inspire and attract new fans around the world. Their style has grown to embrace new influences while never really straying far from original inspirational sources such as Pink Floyd.

Distant Satellites features ten beautifully crafted songs that explore a range of states of being and experiences using sublime instrumentation, harmonies and vibrant vocals. The song’s transition well from one to another, providing continuity and an extremely pleasurable listening hour.
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Album Review | The Jezabels – The Brink

JezabelsWhen The Jezabels’ released their debut LP Prisoner in 2011 it quickly received critical acclaim. The success of Prisoner elevated the band to new heights, and with that raised success came extensive touring – both nationally and internationally.

In January 2014, The Jezabels’ will release their new album The Brink, and a solid offering it is. Recorded in London and produced by Dan Grech-Marguerat (Moby, Scissors Sisters, Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, The Vaccines, The Kooks), the band have refined elements of their sound and strengthened the clarity, bringing a more natural live show feel to the album. Moving through soaring highs and delving brooding lows and back again, the album seems to reflect the bands inner space and mindset. Introspective, romantic, reflective.
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Album Review: Alex Lloyd – Urban Wilderness

Review by Natalie Salvo
It has been five years since Alex Lloyd released a solo album but in that time he had a break like John Lennon. He was busy caring for his brood of children (he now has four) and was busy writing music for other acts (like Passenger) plus producing and working on soundtracks (including collaborating with the Pigram Brothers for the Mad Bastards OST). This period – like much of his career – has been a rich and varied one and this is also the most striking element on his sixth studio record.

Urban Wilderness was written in a piecemeal fashion with one of the tracks dating back as far as 2008. It covers his time spent living abroad in Queens Park in the UK and his return home to the Central Coast in 2012. The title hints at being lost in a sea of uncertainty and this is reflective of Lloyd’s initial mindset with regards to returning to solo music. This changed though, when he shared his demos with artist and producer, Shane Nicholson (who is famous for his collaborations with his then-wife, Kasey Chambers). Nicholson pushed Lloyd and insisted that he had an album and the rest is all history.
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Album Review: Madre Monte – “Raza:Madre”

Review by JOSE EDUARDO CRUZ
Melbourne has been responsible for constantly producing great bands over the years. Madre Monte upholds this responsibility alive and well with their latest EP Raza:Madre.

The influx of Colombian migrants into Australia over the last decade has seen an outpouring of cultural exchange, in particularly, musical exchange that it is beginning to fit seamlessly into the Australian musical landscape. Madre Monte formed in Melbourne, but their origins begin in Cali, Colombia, and it is from here that this beautiful music takes its cue. What makes this release so special is that Madre Monte mixes English and Spanish lyrics quite easily making their music very accessible to the wider Australian music audiences.
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Album Review: Los Chavos – “Supermeng”

Review by JOSE EDUARDO CRUZ
Canberra based Latin ska/cumbia outfit, Los Chavos, deliver their first long play and follow on in the great tradition of Australian Latin bands like Watussi and San Lazaro. Whilst this release is completely in Spanish, don’t let that deter you from picking this outstanding Australian Latin release. Supermeng is a mature release that reflects the evolution of Los Chavos as an experienced outfit. There are slight influences from Manu Chau, Calle 13 and Juanes which will delight every Latin music lover in Australia. Supermeng starts with an upbeat “Carlos Calvo” and builds up hitting a crescendo with a good paced merengue “Como Puedo”. The closing track “Reina” is a soulful exploration of love which closes an excellent debut for Los Chavos.
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Album Review: Karnivool – Asymmetry

Review: Billy Geary
When Sound Awake was released in 2009, Karnivool began to receive acclaim on an international scale, with the record’s more expansive sound resonating with fans of progressive music worldwide. It was a huge step forward for the band when compared to their debut, signalling their establishment as one of Australia’s most innovative bands. Appropriately titled, Asymmetry sees the band change tack again – moving towards a sound of dissonance and adventure, while still retaining the melody of their past releases.
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Album Review: Jericco – “Beautiful in Danger”

Review by JOSE EDUARDO CRUZ
Debut albums are always difficult to execute for they lay out the musical platform for all aspiring bands and send out a clear statement of what the band is about. Whilst an average debut may not necessarily mean the end of a band, it can set their progress backwards. As a debut album Beautiful in Danger does not set Jericco back at all. In fact it does the complete opposite. Jericco fits quite nicely into the Australian progressive rock genre that has been pioneered by a handful of other bands. This debut cements their place amongst those bands and begins the slow process of becoming a top Australian band. The album sounds simple enough, but the devil is in the detail. Critical examination of every track reveals that simplicity is a difficult process to accomplish. Heavy drum sections coupled with bass lines that hook listeners achieve the desired outcome of getting everyone dancing.
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Album Review: Deep Purple – “Now What?!”

Review by Carl Dziunka
When you list the great names of rock music from across the decades, Deep Purple has got to be hovering close to the top. Blasting out rock numbers for more than 40 years they have certainly found the formula for success. Releasing the long awaited new album; this comes 8 years after the Rapture of the Deep album released in 2005; the magic is still as strong. With a title like Now What?! it makes you wonder whether the band is thinking that they have done it all. Well actually, they probably have. The current line up works well together and this can be heard from the new 11 tracks that they have laid down.
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Album Review: Björk – Bastards (Biophilia Remixes)

By Natalie Salvo
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that Björk is an artist that never fails to be eccentric and interesting. Last year’s Biophilia album was a sprawling, mixed media affair where the music was released as an album alongside shows, educational projects and a special app for every single song. In 2012, Bastards draws together remixes of virtually all of these tracks.

Björk has acknowledged that these particular remixes took the listener somewhere else. The cuts were all chosen by the fine lady herself, because she says they contain much sturdier legs to dance on thanks to their rather heavy reliance on synths and beats. These particular songs have all been offered on the Internet as downloads at different times and this release collects them together in a handy but rather unnecessary package.
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Album Review: thenewno2 – thefearofmissingout

By Natalie Salvo
thenewno2’s debut album sounded more like Beck than the output of Beatle progeny. The comparison to the Fab Four was inevitable as the project is the brainchild of Dhani Harrison (son of George Harrison). And while Dhani looks and sounds like his famous father, the music actually falls on the opposite end of the musical spectrum. Again, Harrison has teamed up with his friend and famed engineer, Paul Hicks (son of The Hollies’ Tony Hicks) and it’s clear the two share their tastes in modern music.

Their sophomore effort, thefearofmissingout is generation Y to a tee. The concept is a contemporary problem used to describe an individual’s restlessness at wanting to do it all (no doubt a product of seeing their friends on Instagram and Facebook at exotic locations and doing all sorts of exciting things). It means you don’t want to miss a thing, whether it’s going to the next party or meeting the next guy or gal and this often manifests itself as an awful lot of indecision.
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Album Review: Chance Waters – Infinity

review by Helen Brown
The art of blending hip hop with a multitude of genres is on the rise and has recently been done by Bliss & Eso and East Londoner Plan B. The latest to be inducted into the fold is Chance Waters, a Sydney hip hop artist with a social conscience.

From crumbling societies and the end of the world, to the joys of young love, Chance Waters has collaborated with the likes of Kate Martin, Lilian Blue and Bertie Blackman among many others to produce Infinity, an album peppered with indie folk, bluesy guitars, piano organs and catchy heartfelt lyrics that fluctuate between bleak and hopeful.

‘Conjure Up A Fire’ is a stand out track reminding us that we have the power to make a difference, that we should never follow the masses and never be afraid to find our voice.
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