Category Archives: Album Review

Album Review | Breaking Orbit – The Time Traveller

Review by Billy Geary
Sydney four piece Breaking Orbit’s debut album The Time Traveller has been a long time coming, with a name change and some member shuffles preceding its release. The wait was certainly worth it, though. The Time Traveller has blown anything done by any other Australian progressively minded band out of the water, save for maybe Karnivool’s Sound Awake and Cog’s The New Normal. However, Breaking Orbit do things slightly differently, placing a heavy emphasis on the tribal and percussive elements in their sound. The result is a debut album of monolithic proportions.

The familiar amalgamation of heavy alternative and progressive genres is certainly apparent, however hints at tribal music and some dabbling in electronic samples ensure The Time Traveller stands out as a record in a vastly oversaturated scene. Opening track ‘Echoes’ is a slow burner with thudding bass guitar, soaring vocals and a distinct touch of post rock influence, immediately showing the band’s diversity. This trend continues throughout the record, with each track offering a different side of Breaking Orbit to the listener. Instrumental track ‘Machiguenga’ is the perfect example of this, featuring an array of tribal percussive instruments and flute passages.
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Album Review: Marilyn Manson – Born Villain

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Born Villain is the eighth full length album from Marilyn Manson and has been deemed as the “comeback” and its fourteen tracks definitely reflect the reinvention. It is unique, catchy and offensive, all elements that definitely emulate the colourful frontman.

Born Villain is a great album, and I dare say one of the best from Marilyn Manson. The album tells a story and the fourteen tracks have a clear beginning, middle and end. It has the usual shock tactics so iconics of the band with confronting lyrics, such as Pistol whipped with “You look so pretty when you cry. Don’t wanna hit you but the only thing, between our love is a bloody nose/a busted lip and a blackened eye”. However some of the songs portrayed a more personal side and definitely had depth. ‘The Gardener’ which opens with Marilyn Manson whispering “I’m not man enough to be human but I’m trying to fit in and I’m learning to fake it” seems to be autobiographical and has a fantastic dance party on acid vibe.
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Album Review: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Here

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have returned with their brand new second full-length album ‘Here’. The album is melodious, magical and yet sleep inducing. Having big shoes to fill after the popularity of their first album “Up from Below” (2009) and their hit single, “Home” they have made some distinct changes, some for the better and alas, some for the worst.

‘Here’ channels a relaxed 60’s vibe, with sing-a-longs, acoustic guitars and simple rhythms. It certainly hasn’t been as catchy for me as “Up from Below” and I was silently disappointed with how ‘tame’ it was mostly. With the opening track “Man on fire” frontman Alex Ebert singing “I want the whole damn world to come dance with me” and with the upbeat rhythm, I was anticipating an album that I could actually dance too or have something to really get into. Maybe it’s just me, but I did find it too smooth throughout after “Man on fire”; this wasn’t a particularly bad thing it just made more for background music and not something I would particularly go out of my way to listen to.

That being said they did have some high points for me, and ‘Mayla’ was definitely one. It was hypnotic and soothing, I just wanted to close my eyes and drift away. Its sweet ‘Kumbayah’ campfire sing-a-long quality was definitely something I could have on repeat if I just wanted to kick back and relax.

Jade Castrinos definitely has more of a primary singing position on ‘Here’, where she takes the lead on one of my preferred tracks, “Fiya Wata”. The track has more of a classic-rock sounding vibe in comparison to the rest of the 60s folk-rock sound on the album.

Ebert and co. have hinted at a third album coming out this year, and that the second release of 2012 with be the more ‘celebratory of the two’. Hopefully, we can expect another album with a bit more oomph. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are quirky and lovable, they may not appeal to the masses but ‘Here’ was pleasant sounding and didn’t have any ugly bits. I’d say I wasn’t completely won over but I’ll definitely have a listen to their upcoming material.


Review by Sibel Kutlucan

Album Review: Cradle of Filth – Midnight in the Labyrinth

By Meghan Player
Cradle Of Filth have always been known for their signature take on the dark wave, gothic metal sound and grandiose theatrics. Latest offering, ‘Midnight in the Labyrinth’ – an orchestral selection of the bands first four albums – is no exception.

Opening with a glorious string section of sweeping, melodic sound ‘A Gothic Romance [Red Roses For The Devil’s Whore]’ pulls the listener into an album that not only celebrates the band, but reinvents the tracks that once pounded through your headphones.

‘The Twisted Nails of Faith’ sounds almost as if it has come straight from a melodramatic, theatrical musical – with striking strings, stirring vocals and choirs intertwining with frontman Dani Filth’s narrative growl.
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Album Review: The Delta Riggs – Talupo Mountain Music Vol.II

By Meghan Player
After the success of their break through track, ‘Counter Revolution’, The Delta Riggs bring their contagious and energetic take on rock & roll to their new EP, ‘Talupo Mountain Music Vol. II’.

Self-produced and cut in a single live session, the band blast through your speakers – from opener, [the aforementioned, ‘Counter Revolution’], to the downright funky, swinging sounds of ‘Used To Be My Baby’.

‘Money’ draws from the mid 60s, early 70s rock and roll that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a Led Zeppelin album. The infectious chorus and relatively simple tempo of the track would make any listener feel the need to get up and dance.

Following track ‘Mary’ blends a smoother, mellow and sexier sound than the previous offerings – demonstrating not only the bands unique style and personality, but their ability to transition and move between amazing sounds and melodies.
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CD Review: Gemma Ray – Island Fire

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Gemma Ray sparks a flame in the hearts of everyone with her brand new album Island Fire (Shock Records). With her recent visit to Australia to play Peats Ridge Festival, the alluring pop-noir songstress has intrigued audiences and built up her Australian fan base, whom won’t be able to stop listening to the infectious melodies of Island Fire!

It is easy to understand why Gemma Ray has become one of the UK’s most independent and critically acclaimed female musicians with a listen to her unique sound that resonates throughout Island Fire. Ray effortlessly creates beautiful tunes with her vintage pop vocals and her fantastic song writing. This fantastic harmony of a sweet pop sound, with the hint of yester-year in the melody on “Put your brain in gear” is a clear indication of Gemma Ray’s presence as a fantastic musician, and definitely is a highlight of the album for me.
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CD Review: Silverstein – Short Songs

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Short Songs by Silverstein is anything but boring.

The 22 track album, which runs for just under 20 minutes, is composed of songs and punk covers which all fall under the 90 second mark. Whilst unique and upbeat, it can seem a bit fanatical and fervent at times and often it felt like a few of the songs were too abrupt (which is understandable when you try to keep a song under the minute and a half mark). Warning, the album is not for the faint hearted, and it isn’t something you want to listen to when you want to kick back and relax.

Short Songs is definitely short, fast and louder than anything Silverstein have produced in their previous five albums and the Canadian boys definitely have taken a unique risk with a number of elements. Short Songs features guest vocals from Tim Mcllrath (Rise Against), Chris Hannah (Propagandhi) and Mike Hranica (The Devil Wears Prada), just to name a few.
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CD Review: The Summer Set – ‘Everything’s Fine’

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
The Summer Set’s new release lives up to its title, “Everything’s Fine”, as it isn’t horrible but it’s not great either. For me, it’s just fine. It does have its high points and alas, it also has its lows.

Everything’s Fine is the second full length from the Arizonian quintet and it delved further into the ‘pop’ territory that was hinted at in Love Like This (released 2009), which had more of a pop punk sound. The Summer Set worked with ‘super-producer’ John Fields, who has previously worked with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Jonas Brothers and Switchfoot, for Everything’s Fine and this was definitely reflected throughout the album.

It’s easily to understand the popularity surrounding The Summer Set, with their sweet sounding melodies and their catchy lyrics. These elements for me really shone when teamed with acoustic guitar on “Mona Lisa” and “About a girl”, a unique choice for the album opener.
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Like Moths To Flame – When We Don’t Exist | Album Review

Review by Billy Geary

The problem with Ohio metalcore group Like Moths to Flame’s latest effort When We Don’t Exist is that it brings literally nothing new to a genre already more stale than that piece of cake that’s been sitting on the bench for the last couple of weeks. The passion and energy is bleedingly obvious in the music, but so is fact that the bands song writing is in desperate need of an overhaul.

When We Don’t Exist seemingly takes every single metalcore stereotype possible and rolls it into one big wall of sound. Excessive amount of breakdowns? Check. Angry, tough guy vocals/lyrics? Check. Awkward clean vocals in the chorus? Check. We’ve literally heard it all before. You could pick any one of the album’s 11 tracks and find the same things. Take ‘GNF’ for example, featuring the inspired lyrics of ‘I don’t give a fuck about the way you’re feeling’ before the guitars take the listener into another open string chug fest.
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Laura – Twelve Hundred Times | Album Review

Review by Billy Geary
In a day and age where music is being created at such an alarming rate world wide, it is rare to find music of a quality that literally stops you in your tracks. It is even rarer to find said music being created by five humble individuals in your hometown, however, Laura are most certainly doing that at present. While there has been a large amount of outstanding post rock released this year, Twelve Hundred Times will ensure Laura remains in the forefront of people’s minds.

Described by most as an incomprehensible wall of sound, Laura’s moody brand of post-rock is exactly that. Their third album, Twelve Hundred Times, builds on their back catalogue and is essentially a natural progression of the band’s sound. Opener ‘Visitor’ kicks things off in a decidedly mellow fashion, with the band building a beautiful soundscape through the use of strings and keys before a wall of guitars consumes the final minutes of the track. Single ‘This Grey Earth’ follows in a similar way, with whispered vocals adding an extra dimension to the song.
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Uneven Structure – Februus | Album Review

Review by Billy Geary

If our friends on the other side of the globe the French are known for one thing, it most certainly isn’t for their music scene, let alone experimental metal. With their debut album Februus, French metallers Uneven Structure are about to change all of that. Combining the atmosphere of bands like Pink Floyd with the intensity of Meshuggah, the French sextet have created an album that is both brutal and beautiful, often at the same time. Continue reading Uneven Structure – Februus | Album Review

The Bon Scotts – Kids in Counterfeit | Single Review

Review by: Victoria Nugent

  It may come as surprise to listeners to discover that The Bon Scotts do not specialise in AC/DC covers, but instead ramshackle folk pop tunes that are quite catchy. Now that oft repeated but necessary disclaimer is out of the way, let me tell you about the infectious sounds spun by this Melbourne group with multiple vocalists and a mish mash of instrumentation.

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Album Review | Every Avenue – Bad Habits

Review – Sibel Kutlucan
Every Avenue have returned with their brand new album, Bad Habits, which packs a punch and will definitely remain on repeat. The quintet hailing from Michigan had a reputation to uphold after the success of Picture Perfect (released 2009) and I was a little anxious to listen to Bad Habits; not wanting to sully their past tracks that I had grown fond of, but at the same time wanting to hear more. In the end I gave it a listen and I was glad I did!
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Stray From The Path – Rising Sun | Album Review

Review by Billy Geary

Rising Sun - Stray from the PathRising Sun – Stray from the Path
  New York hardcore quartet Stray From The Path have been around for quite a while now, with their past albums only ever hinting at the bands potential. Rising Sun however, changes all of that, delivering 30 minutes of excellent hardcore done right. Despite being their sixth album, Rising Sun shows that while the band’s sound hasn’t changed much over the past few years, Stray From The Path remain relevant due to the sheer passion and energy they bring to the music. Rising Sun’s strength lies in that while it sticks to a relatively stringent formula, it is more often than not a winning one, demanding attention for the entirety of the record.

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Ladytron – Gravity The Seducer | Album Review

Review by Natalie Salvo
By now fans of Ladytron will be well-acquainted with their parallels to Roxy Music. The English quartet were named after the latter’s song; two members once posed as Roxy-like pinups for their remix album “Softcore Jukebox”; and there are certainly elements of the glam pop sound permeating their music. But while the group had previously aligned aspects of themselves with the latter’s frontman, Bryan Ferry, on album number five, “Gravity The Seducer” they seem to be taking a leaf out of his former bandmate’s book (and later solo work), i.e. Brian Eno and his famed atmospherics.
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