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Album Ratings 2015
Objectivity 80%

Last Active 12-15-17 7:04 pm
Joined 03-06-08

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Average Rating: 3.33
Rating Variance: 0.45
Objectivity Score: 80%
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5.0 classic
Arcade Fire Funeral
Arcade Fire's influential 'Funeral' is the landmark when it comes to a greater widespread acceptance of indie rock. From the front half's heartfelt & personal concept to the latter half's captivating diversity, the affecting & ultimately inspiring lyrical symbolism makes it an exquisite & compelling listen. The effortlessly layered melodies emanating from a multitude of instruments & vocal techniques are deceptively catchy, while the ambitiously grand & cinematic crescendos are extremely memorable. That one of the best albums of the decade turned out to be a debut LP is a phenomenal accomplishment. Recommended Tracks: Crown of Love, Wake Up, Power Out, Rebellion (Lies) & Laika.
Def Leppard Hysteria
Setting new standards in remaining loyal to a band member by retaining one-armed drummer Rick Allen, Def Leppard released their biggest & best album in 1987s 'Hysteria'. Containing the greatest 4 song sequence in musical history, the glam stomp of 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' is ably backed up by power ballad 'Love Bites', rocker 'Animal' and the harmonized vocals of 'Armageddon It'. While the 2nd side does not quite match up, it still betters similar tracks from phenomenal predecessor 'Pyromania'. Enduring, influential and a classic in every sense, 'Hysteria' is quite simply one of the greatest albums of all time! Recommended Tracks: Pour Some Sugar On Me, Love Bites, Animal, Armageddon It & Hysteria.
Emery ...In Shallow Seas We Sail
After ruffling a few feathers on 2007's 'I'm Only A Man', Emery do more than return to form on their 4th LP '...In Shallow Seas We Sail'... They deliver the album of 2009 & one of the finest post-hardcore releases ever! A much more mature & polished outfit than in their formative years, they craft each song with a strong attention to detail. Containing absolutely no filler, each track has multiple hooks, yet there is still a raw & passionate feel to it all. The dueling clean vocals & intricate yet melodic guitar-work is especially impressive. Recommended Tracks: A Sin To Hold On To, The Smile The Face, Churches and Serial Killers, Cutthroat Collapse & Piggy Bank Lies.
Living Colour Vivid
Living Colour's 'Vivid' not only contains one of the greatest songs of all time ('Cult of Personality'), but the combination of musical talent & original fusions of sound make the entire album truly classic. The quality of songwriting & musical diversity evident on 'Vivid' is akin to that of a veteran band, not one making their debut. Meshing the super-tight rhythm section with Vernon Reid's thrilling guitar-work & Corey Glover's striking vocals, 'Vivid' is not only an even & consistently impressive LP that should appeal to a wide audience, but it is one which has stood the test of time. Recommended Tracks: Cult Of Personality, Open Letter (To A Landlord), Desperate People, Middle Man & Which Way To America?
Metallica Metallica
Following their most ambitiously complex release yet, Metallica bravely switch tack on their self-titled 5th LP - more commonly known as 'The Black Album'. It pays off too; winning a Grammy award, selling 30+ million copies & rising to the top of the charts! Crisply produced by Bob Rock, the quartet's thrash-metal roots are divisively pared down in favor of a tight, groovy & melodic metal sound which influentially brought the genre into the mainstream. Any minor flaws can easily be forgiven for the sheer amount of classic tunes contained within. Recommended Tracks: Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam, Nothing Else Matters & Sad But True.
Muse Absolution
Muse's best album is an absorbing listen from start to finish, with the English trio wrapping the ambition of their previous LP within an accessible package. From the synth-heavy pseudo-opener to the hooky 'Time Is Running Out', & from Hysteria's killer riff to sublime motivational cut 'Butterflies & Hurricanes', it is all perfectly executed & without filler. Then there is 'Stockholm Syndrome', which coherently combines everything that is great about Muse. It's a tell-tale of the whole LP as they move effortlessly from frenetic hard rock to sparse ballads without missing a beat. As with all classic albums, many fantastic tracks undeservedly get forgotten on this huge step forward which is thoroughly recommended no matter what your taste in music!
Rise Against The Sufferer & the Witness
'The Sufferer & The Witness' is a sensational album which delivers energetic, passionate & accessible punk rock. Rise Against have achieved the difficult task of not selling out their origins, yet furthering all facets of their music to become a little more mainstream through improved production levels and choruses. It is often difficult not to shout along with lead vocalist Tim McIlrath or be drawn in by the extremely effective lyrics. With many highlight tracks, and what could be the best trio to "ever" close out an album, Rise Against deserve all the success they achieve following this release. Recommended Tracks: Survive, Ready To Fall, The Good Left Undone, Prayer of the Refugee, Drones & Roadside.
Streetlight Manifesto Somewhere in the Between
Streetlight Manifesto fans didn't think the ska punk ensemble could top their debut, but the septet have done so with 'Somewhere in the Between'. Refining their upbeat genre-leading formula, everything is tightened up, with barely a wasted second & absolutely no filler. The addictive horns return, as do the dynamic song arrangements & Tomas Kalnoky's engaging lyrics. With improved backing vocals & production, the infectious hooks are given a further shot of fun, making 'Somewhere in the Between' a crowd-pleasing classic. Recommended Tracks: The Receiving End of It All, Watch It Crash, Somewhere in the Between, Would You Be Impressed? & Down Down Down to Mephisto's Cafe.

4.5 superb
12 Stones 12 Stones
Playing the kind of post-grunge/nu-metal hybrid that pro-wrestling fans love, young Louisiana bred outfit 12 Stones impress on their uplifting self-titled debut LP. While nowhere near ground-breaking, the quartet find the almost perfect balance of shouty agression & melodic hooks. Pretty much all tracks are ready for radio, yet many of them are also destined to be a release valve for some adolescent angst. While repetition does eventually set in, it is a by-product of an amazing consistency, since there is practically no filler whatsoever on this sincere & exciting release. Recommended Tracks: The Way I Feel, Broken, Fade Away, Crash & Home.
Agent Fresco Lightbulb Universe
Iceland's Agent Fresco get their career off to an almighty start with the 6 track 'Lightbulb Universe' EP. All kinds of genres coalesce over these 24 minutes, with the talented quartet dipping their toes into all kinds of rock; It's progressive, jazzy, mathy & just flat out awesome. To top it off, the stunning vocals of Arnor Dan Arnarson are a pleasure to behold, adding a haunting atmosphere to proceedings. An engaging, involving & genuinely exciting EP, only closer 'Tape End' did not go on to make the band's just as good debut LP 'A Long Time Listening'. Recommended Tracks: Eyes of a Cloud Catcher, Above These City Lights & Tiger Veil.
Agent Fresco A Long Time Listening
Following a superb taster EP, Icelandic prog-rockers Agent Fresco excel again on debut LP 'A Long Time Listening'. The quartet explore even more forms of rock here, ending up sounding like a hybrid of Dredg, Mew, Muse & The Mars Volta. Creative, complex & innovative, the twists & turns are intricately layered & meticulously detailed. Each band member shines throughout, but special mention must be made of Arnor Dan Arnarson's mesmerizing voice. It's overlong at 66 minutes, but the amazing thing is how genuinely melodic & accessible this behemoth of a record is. Recommended Tracks: Eyes of a Cloud Catcher, A Long Time Listening, Paused, Above These City Lights & Anemoi.
Alkaline Trio Crimson
After a long career of consistently excellent albums, Alkaline Trio amazingly betters them all with 'Crimson'. While the LP is their most accessible & produced yet, it still contains all of the band's trademarks; dark clever lyrics, alternating vocals, catchy razor-sharp guitar riffs, propulsive drumming & fantastic bass-lines. The real surprise is the growth & experimentation on display, which sees elements such as keys & strings used successfully. If anything, placing its highlights at the beginning of the disc is Crimson's main flaw. Recommended Tracks: Dethbed, Burn, Time To Waste, Mercy Me & The Poison.
Alter Bridge Blackbird
Well & truly leaving behind the Creed legacy, Alter Bridge forge forward on their 2nd LP 'Blackbird'. Continuing to play an aggressive form of hard-rock, the real strength of this Michael Baskette produced album is how much melody is incorporated into it. Mark Tremonti's driving riffs & exciting solos again stand out, but there is a sense of stronger song-writing from a cohesive band here... Especially on opener 'Ties That Bind' & the 8 minute title track. It may be a little overlong, but that doesn't stop 'Blackbird' from being a superb release & AOTY contender! Recommended Tracks: Ties That Bind, Blackbird, Come to Life, Before Tomorrow Comes & Break Me Down.
Amy Macdonald This Is The Life
Gorgeous, mesmerizing, ravishing, enchanting & stunning... And that's just Amy MacDonald's voice! At only 19 years of age, the talented Scottish singer-songwriter & guitarist has delivered a debut LP loaded with fantastic acoustic melodies. The musical backing (which also includes keys, strings & even trumpets) is predominantly upbeat, yet MacDonald's strong self-assured vocals seem effortless in keeping pace & delivering perceptive, mature lyrics. The infectious title-track & multi-faceted 'Let's Start A Band' are the highlights, yet there is absolutely no filler & practically every track has the potential to be released as a single.
Anberlin Cities
The first 3/4 of Anberlin's 3rd LP 'Cities' consolidates on its predecessor's excellence; up-tempo catchy rock highlighted by Stephen Christian's exceptional vocals & interesting lyrics. There is also the majestic acoustic ballad 'The Unwinding Cable Car', as well as an infusion of occasional synths. The final 3 tracks however, lift the album to a brilliance that one could never have imagined. First it is the gorgeous 'Inevitable', then the amazing 'Dismantle. Repair.', and finally, the breathtaking choir-assisted '(*Fin)' closes things off on the highest of highs and what may be the song of 2007. Wow... Just wow! Recommended Tracks: (*Fin), The Unwinding Cable Car, Dismantle. Repair., Godspeed & Inevitable.
Anberlin New Surrender
While 'New Surrender' may not quite reach the individual heights of 'Cities', it is arguably more consistent with absolutely no filler. There are more of Stephen Christian's exceptional vocals & interesting lyrics, and more of Anberlin's up-tempo catchy rock. This time around, there may be more of an emphasis on the "catchy" side of things, with even a song about breaking hearts having a contagious upbeat feel to it. Yet, it is tracks 8-10 - a feel-good & uplifting trio of epic proportions - that really defines 'New Surrender' and makes it another winner from a dependable band that may be able to do no wrong. Recommended Tracks: Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights), Haight St., Disappear, Breaking & The Resistance.
Anberlin Vital
'Vital' is Anberlin's aptly titled 6th LP, where the dependable Floridian quintet return to producer Aaron Sprinkle to successfully capture the essence of their live sound on record. Explosive, energetic & passionate, this is heavy without sacrificing any of the band's melodic hooks. Stephen Christian's majestic vocals are matched by the blazing guitars & pounding drums, while the infusion of synth flourishes not only adds depth, but somehow assists the aggressive tone. From the tremendous opening one-two punch to the epic closer, this consistent LP is a supremely rewarding listen. Recommended Tracks: Little Tyrants, Self-Starter, Desires, Someone Anyone & Type Three.
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Displaying a deft balance of personal intimacy & grand accessibility, Arcade Fire deliver another superb LP with 'The Suburbs'. The Montreal septet include greater diversity & inspirations on this well produced & densely layered album where effortless melodies seemingly appear from nowhere. The absorbingly honest theme of questioning reminiscing, results in a mature (almost parental) LP which may not appeal to teens & should therefore age strongly. At 64 minutes it could have done with some editing, but otherwise 'The Suburbs' deservedly fuels more "world's best band" talk. Recommended Tracks: Ready to Start, The Suburbs, Sprawl II, Suburban War & We Used to Wait.
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
"Anticipation has the habit to set you up for disappointment..." is an ironical opening lyric to the Arctic Monkey's debut LP. Thankfully, the hype surrounding these 4 teenagers is warranted, as this is an exemplary album that contains excellent songwriting & strangely charming vocals that combine near-perfectly with very good musicianship. It results in a great sound that will have you rocking, tapping your toes & singing along. Furthermore, this album is fun, which means it almost has a character to it in itself. Recommended Tracks: I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, When The Sun Goes Down, The View From the Afternoon, Riot Van & Mardy Bum.
Balance And Composure/Tigers Jaw Split
Continuing to mature & improve, Balance and Composure have recorded 4 brilliant tracks for their split with fellow Pennsylvanian outfit Tigers Jaw. Displaying their usual affinity for quiet/loud dynamics, detailed song structures & climactic build-ups, the musically accomplished quintet continue to blur genre boundaries with their combination of punk, rock, indie & emo. Highlighted by raw, intense vocals that deliver emotion-packed lyrics, this deceptively melodic 18 minutes is as ambitious as it is passionate, and as varied as it is cohesive. With hardly a wasted moment, the sky is the limit for this exciting band. Recommended Tracks: All 4.
Bayside Bayside
On their self-titled 2nd LP, Bayside take a huge step up from their debut. Subtly polishing up their sound while also retaining the raw edge, the Long Island quartet likewise tone down their morbidly self-loathing lyrics without eradicating their passion, relatability & descriptiveness. More importantly, 'Bayside' brings the hooks, with a succession of memorable sing-alongs & guitar lines that are extremely well-crafted to enhance lasting value. Sure, it's front-loaded, but that is because the 1st half is flawless! Recommended Tracks: Blame It On Bad Luck, Devotion and Desire, Montauk, Tortures of the Damned & They Looked Like Strong Hands.
Billy Talent Billy Talent
Once Ben Kowalewicz's screeching vocals are overcome and any pop discrimination is put aside, there is too much on offer here throughout Billy Talent's self-titled debut LP to not enjoy it. Whether it is by the catchy choruses, relatable lyrics, fist-pumping sing-alongs, tight musicianship or all of the above, it is near impossible not to get hooked. Quite simply, this is one hell of a fun punk album. Recommended Tracks: Try Honesty, The Ex, Nothing To Lose, River Below & Line and Sinker.
Birds Of Tokyo Universes
'Universes' sees Birds Of Tokyo find their natural sound by taking the soaring melodies & guitar-driven hooks of their debut and building upon them with greater atmospheric soundscapes & punchier vocals. The first half of the LP is likely to contain the album's singles with a number of polished & catchy songs. The latter half sees the band lean much more towards the experimental & progressive. It all results in one hell of an enjoyable listen that proves Birds Of Tokyo are no longer a side-project. Recommended Tracks: Silhouettic, Broken Bones, Wild Eyed Boy, Armour For Liars & Head In My Hands.
City and Colour Sometimes
'Sometimes' is the impressive debut LP under the City and Colour moniker for Alexisonfire singer/guitarist Dallas Green. As side-projects go, this may top them all, with the Canadian seamlessly moving from hectic post-hardcore to calming acoustic pop-rock. With only sporadic glimpses of keys, strings & percussion, this isn't much more than an acoustic guitar & Green's voice... But what a majestic voice it is, as it lulls you into Dallas' heartfelt world of love & loss. And while there is a lack of variety, the songs are strong enough to make up for that. Recommended Tracks: Hello I'm In Delaware, Comin' Home, Save Your Scissors, Sometimes (I Wish) & Sam Malone.
City and Colour The Death of Me
Pieced together whenever Alexisonfire singer/guitarist Dallas Green had some spare time, 'The Death of Me' EP is one hell of a genuine revelation. Containing 6 of the 10 tracks that would go on to constitute City and Colour's superb debut LP 'Sometimes', Green's majestic voice is placed atop sparse acoustic pop-rock to fantastic effect. Variety may be at a premium, but the captivating narratives & wordplay counteract that, and then some. With literally no filler, this 31 minute release is worth a listen for fans of practically any genre of music. Recommended Tracks: Hello I'm In Delaware, Save Your Scissors, Sometimes (I Wish) & Like Knives.
Conditions Full of War
Recalling heavier Anberlin, under-rated Virginian band Conditions step up on their 2nd LP 'Full of War'. Losing nothing for guitarist Jason Marshall's departure, the quartet deliver more explosive & passionate rock that contains impressive vocals & relatable lyrics. Hard-hitting drums & soaring guitar lines punctuate consistently anthemic choruses, and while some excursions into mainstream-rock need work, they are still strong & add variety. Considering that Conditions raised funds to have this LP released, one can only hope that 'Full of War' solidifies the band's future. Recommended Tracks: Skeleton, Love Elusive, Every Day Is a New Life, Descent of Man & Walking Separate Ways.
Def Leppard Pyromania
While showing more than a few snippets of potential on 'High N Dry', it was on the influential 'Pyromania' where Def Leppard and producer "Mutt" Lange reset the boundaries of how accessible metal can be. Equally filled with tight musicianship, infectious melodies and anthemic choruses, the use of layers of harmonized backing vocals is especially impressive on this LP which contains barely a filler track. Thoroughly recommended to pretty much anyone... No matter what their taste in music is. Recommended Tracks: Photograph, Rock Of Ages, Foolin', Too Late For Love & Rock Rock (Till You Drop).
Fanfarlo Reservoir
Following a string of singles, the debut LP from London-based chamber-pop/indie-folk outfit Fanfarlo doesn't disappoint. Self-released, yet expertly produced by Peter Katis, 'Reservoir' impressively finds a familiar & accessible middle ground between heavy-hitters Arcade Fire, Beirut & Grizzly Bear! Think of an instrument & it's probably here, as lush, soaring orchestral arrangements merge with prominent horns, folksy flourishes & a superb rhythm section, to create a series of glorious, meticulously crafted melodies. Consistent & without filler, this is an outstanding achievement. Recommended Tracks: Ghosts, Harold T Wilkins, The Walls Are Coming Down, I'm A Pilot & Fire Escape.
Fightstar One Day Son This Will All Be Yours
Not resting on their laurels, Fightstar mature & progress on 'One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours'. Another consistent effort, this LP continues to prove that the English quartet are experts at combining raw aggression & slick melodies. This time however, they do so in a more diverse & ambitious fashion. From the Muse-like piano & synths of 'Floods' to the strings of 'You & I', and from the full on metal of 'Deathcar' to the perfectly placed female vocals of the closing ballad, this is one hell of a satisfying release. Recommended Tracks: Floods, Unfamiliar Ceilings, I Am the Message, Deathcar and You & I.
Fightstar Be Human
Fightstar deliver another ambitious LP with 'Be Human', this time adding orchestral arrangements to their blend of aggression & melody. It works a treat, giving the album a cinematic feel that proves the quartet's songwriting maturity. Diversity also exists; ranging from the offbeat ('Whisperer') to pop ('Mercury Summer'), and from dance-rock ('Tonight We Burn') to metal ('Damocles'). Without a filler track, it is the anthemic 'The English Way' & epic 'War Machine' which stand out, the latter's chill-inducing finale being the musical moment of 2009! Recommended Tracks: War Machine, The English Way, Colours Bleed To Red, Whisperer & Chemical Blood.
Florence and the Machine Ceremonials
Bringing along her soaring, ethereal voice, flame-haired Florence Welch leads her Machine back for their 2nd LP 'Ceremonials'. Unapologetically more sumptuous & grandiose than its captivating predecessor, the usual cavalcade of instruments & fantastic rhythms are once more evident. More cohesive than 'Lungs', Paul Epworth's huge-sounding production initially muffles diversity & lacks restraint, but 'Ceremonials' turns out to be a real grower. It is ultimately a winner too, due to its bewitching nature, stirring highlights, rousing climaxes & alluring vocals. Recommended Tracks: What The Water Gave Me, Shake It Out, Spectrum, No Light No Light & Heartlines.
Foals Total Life Forever
The greater ambition & maturity evident on Foals' 2nd album 'Total Life Forever' could not have been foreseen by anyone. While it may not be an especially immediate LP, its slow-burning qualities turn what initially may seem a little messy, into a satisfyingly cohesive release. From the measured beginning of opener 'Blue Blood' all the way through to tense closer 'What Remains', the Oxford quintet continuously take your breath away... No more so than on the 7 minute epic behemoth that is 'Spanish Sahara'; a bona fide song of the year contender. Recommended Tracks: Spanish Sahara, Blue Blood, This Orient, What Remains & 2 Trees.
Foo Fighters The Colour and the Shape
Overall, the Foo Fighters have clearly aimed for wider appeal with their second release and achieved it successfully without selling their soul. More proficient and expansive than their self-titled debut, while also containing lyrical growth, 'The Colour and The Shape' shows a professional outfit at work as even the little things such as padding out 4+ minute songs is more efficient here. While there are a couple of misses on the album, they tend to be short and the strength of the highlight tracks more than make up for that. Quite simply, this is the Foo Fighters best LP. For more detail, see my review of the 10th anniversary edition of the album. Recommended Tracks: Everlong, Monkey Wrench, My Hero & Hey, Johnny Park!
Foo Fighters The Colour and The Shape (Expanded)
Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
Jam-packed with fidgety angular guitar hooks, catchy sing-along choruses, witty satirical lyrics and harmonic vocal melodies, this is an exciting and vibrant debut album that consistently excels and contains no filler. Furthermore, through the band's charisma, it has that certain X-factor which one cannot help being wowed by. A deserving winner of the 2004 Mercury Music Prize and thoroughly recommended for listeners of all kinds of musical styles. Recommended Tracks: Take Me Out, Darts of Pleasure, Michael, The Dark of the Matinee & This Fire.
Givers In Light
Not renowned for indie-pop, Louisiana has produced an extremely promising talent for the genre in Lafayette's Givers. Their debut LP 'In Light' takes you on a trip around the musical world, with subtle Cajun & funk influences differentiating the band from the pack. With all 5 members being multi-instrumentalists & a brilliant boy/girl vocal dynamic, an expansive array of sounds & influences are apparent. Creative & experimental without sacrificing accessibility, 'In Light' is without filler & begs for repeated listens to explore its numerous layers, rhythms & melodies. Recommended Tracks: Meantime, Up Up Up, Atlantic, Noche Nada & Ceiling of Plankton.
Jimmy Eat World Bleed American
This album can best be described with 3 adjectives: "Catchy", "Sing-along" & "Memorable". Taking the more accessible aspects out of their previous very good LP 'Clarity' & amping them up a further notch, Jimmy Eat World lay their melodies over strong & often interesting instrumentation. There is arguably not one filler track amongst the 11 songs here and the variety of emotions & styles are impressive throughout. In fact, 'Bleed American' is quite simply the best of its kind in the pop-rock (or power-pop) genre. Recommended Tracks: Bleed American, Get It Faster, The Middle, Hear You Me & Sweetness.
K Sera The Cantos
Following a promising - if inconsistent - debut EP, Sacramento rockers K Sera take a major step up on 'The Cantos'. Playing a genre-bending mix of everything from indie-pop to progressive rock, this eclectic - and mildly experimental - group own a satisfying penchant for theatricality that recalls 'Absolution' era Muse, The Dear Hunter & Panic At The Disco. Crunchy riffs, thunderous drums & spellbinding piano complement Mike Caswell's dynamic vocal range, while the band have a knack for melodic hooks. To top it all off, there isn't a bad track among these 7. Recommended Tracks: Young Forever, ...And So It Goes, Me Before Women and Children & Advice: Save Yourself.
Lana Del Rey Born to Die
Under the pseudonym of Lana Del Rey, 25 year-old Elizabeth Grant makes a huge impact on her heavily hyped LP 'Born To Die'. Owning an alluring lower register, the dramatic singer-songwriter finds a captivating middle ground between modern & retro, as samples add a hip-hop flavor, while string arrangements give off a lush & cinematic baroque vibe. Both accessible & unique, the album may be front-loaded & contain some dubious lyrics, but it's just best to ignore the flaws & hype, and allow yourself to be drawn in by this magnetically sensual New Yorker. Recommended Tracks: Off To The Races, Born To Die, Video Games, National Anthem & Radio.
Lana Del Rey Lana Del Rey
Under the pseudonym of Lana Del Rey, 25 year-old Elizabeth Grant makes quite an impact on her self-titled EP. Released 3 weeks before her heavily hyped 'Born To Die' LP, this 18 minute sneak-peek arguably contains the best 4 tracks from that album in a more appropriate order. Owning an alluring lower register, the singer-songwriter somehow manages to find a middle ground between modern & retro, as well as being both accessible & unique. Samples add a hip-hop flavor, while string arrangements give off a baroque vibe... It all results in a captivating appetizer to what will surely be a fruitful career. Recommended Tracks: Off To The Races, Born To Die & Video Games.
Local Natives Gorilla Manor
LA indie-rock quintet Local Natives seamlessly combine multiple components in brilliant fashion on their debut LP 'Gorilla Manor'. Sublimely executed, the band's hooky guitar lines, soaring vocal harmonies, lush strings, worldly percussion & terrific keys all play vital roles. Best of all is Matt Frazier's insistent, propulsive drumming which is pleasingly mixed front and center. Relatively catchy & accessible, song structures are still dynamic with many a tempo switch. The placement of the 4 singles may suggest front-loading, but this is extremely consistent with only the slower 'Cards & Quarters' resembling filler. Recommended Tracks: Sun Hands, Airplanes, Camera Talk & Wide Eyes.
Lostprophets Start Something
Lostprophets refine everything that made their debut so hit & miss, and deliver an album of 2004 contender with 'Start Something'. From the energetic opener to the experimental closer, the Welsh sextet superbly balances aggression & melody. The turntable/synth components subtly complement the sound this time, while Ian Watkins goes from Mike Patton impersonator to one of the best vocalists going around. The anthemic 'Last Train Home' was the smash hit, but this fun, catchy & rocking LP is so deep that almost every song could have been one. Recommended Tracks: Last Train Home, Burn Burn, Make A Move, I Don't Know & We Still Kill the Old Way.
Manchester Orchestra Simple Math
After putting the "rock" back in indie-rock, Manchester Orchestra return in majestic fashion on 'Simple Math'. An even fuller sound is evident here, with intricately layered arrangements being complemented by a strings ensemble & occasional horns. Both within songs & between them, the balance of vulnerable intimacy & tense power is expertly crafted, with Andy Hull's intensely captivating vocals begging to be crooned, & then screamed, along to. With only the closer approaching filler, this is another superb & consistent release from this prolific & evolving Atlantan quintet. Recommended Tracks: Mighty, Simple Math, Virgin, Pale Black Eye & Pensacola.
Mayday Parade A Lesson In Romantics
Mayday Parade capitalize on the promise of their debut EP & follow it up with a sublime full-length release in 'A Lesson in Romantics'. Returning strengths are passionate dual vocals, catchy sing-alongs, song-writing depth & sincere lyrics, but the Floridians build on that with extra hooks, craftier melodies, slicker production, stronger guitar riffs & punchier drumming. Furthermore, the sextet prove their diversity with piano ballad 'Miserable At Best' suggesting there may be something beyond the pop-punk genre in the band's future. It all adds up to a suberb debut LP with no filler. Recommended Tracks: Miserable At Best, When I Get Home..., I'd Hate To Be You..., Jamie All Over & Jersey.
Metallica Master of Puppets
Looking to subtly refine superb predecessor 'Ride the Lightning', Californian quartet Metallica hit pay-dirt with 3rd LP 'Master of Puppets'. The final LP to feature bassist Cliff Burton, this relentless riff & solo extravaganza sees the outfit satisfyingly evolve their song-writing skills, as well as improve vocally & lyrically. Incorporating progressive tendencies into their technical brand of thrash-metal, these 8 tunes present 55 minutes of muscular aggression & melodic speed. So for the 2nd time in a row, Metallica produce a landmark release without filler. Recommended Tracks: Disposable Heroes, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Battery & Master of Puppets.
Metallica Ride the Lightning
Released almost a year to the day since their debut LP, 'Ride the Lightning' displays monumental evolution for young thrash metallers Metallica. Everything from the vocals to the song-writing, and musicianship to the lyrics has improved, even if some exuberant flair has been sacrificed. Surprisingly diverse, the Californian quartet approach their ambitious objectives with confidence, infusing their sound with an intricacy that leads to both greater atmosphere & melody! With no filler among its 8 tracks & 47 minutes, this is undoubtedly a landmark release. Recommended Tracks: Fade to Black, Creeping Death, Ride the Lightning & For Whom the Bell Tolls.
My Chemical Romance The Black Parade
My Chemical Romance improve all facets of their sound, but go one step further by taking a brave risk on their 3rd album 'The Black Parade'. Thankfully, it pays off as this theatrical rock-opera of sorts works excellently due to how well it brings together all forms of rock music. At worst, there has to be something here that is liked. At best, there is not a bad track amongst this lot. Providing hooky & anthemic sing-along accessibility to their rockers, MCR also provide vibrancy & positivism to what are essentially dark & depressing subjects. An "Album of 2006" contender. Recommended Tracks: Welcome to the Black Parade, Famous Last Words, I Don't Love You, Teenagers & How I Disappear.
Parades Foreign Tapes
No matter what your musical tastes, do yourself a favor and let 'Foreign Tapes' win you over. Searching for weaknesses on this debut LP by Parades is a difficult task, with the Sydney art-rock quartet masterfully juxtaposing multi-faceted indie, ethereal dream-pop & even complex post-rock. This self-produced album ebbs & flows brilliantly, and exudes a spontaneous nature which lessens predictability. Vocally resplendent, 'Foreign Tapes' is all the better for Rebecca Shave's guest contributions. An exciting album of 2010 contender. Recommended Tracks: Marigold, Loserspeak In New Tongue, Dead Nationale, Hunters & Lung Full of Light.
Rise Against Appeal to Reason
Bettering 'The Sufferer & The Witness' was impossible, but with 'Appeal To Reason' Rise Against have consolidated themselves at the top of the punk/melodic hardcore pack. While there is a want to head towards mid-tempo numbers, songs are still far from tame & include the same base punk rock aesthetic as always, just in a more melodic & slickly produced package to enhance accessibility. Filled with rollicking fast-paced numbers, memorable moments & hooky vocals, there is not a bad tune included and the mosh-worthy 'Savior' could be their best track yet. Recommended Tracks: Savior, Collapse (Post-Amerika), Hero Of War, Re-Education (Through Labor) & Kotov Syndrome.
Senses Fail Still Searching
With the addition of guitarist Heath Saraceno & producer Brian McTernan, Senses Fail step up to the big leagues with their 2nd LP 'Still Searching'. Energetic from the start, the album sees the New Jersey quintet mature dramatically to improve their vocals, lyrics & musicianship. The 2 singles 'Can't Be Saved' & 'Calling All Cars' are phenomenally catchy, while some surprising experimentation with dynamics on the LP's 2nd half work a treat. With next to no filler, this is an unforeseen Album of the Year contender! Recommended Tracks: Can't Be Saved, Calling All Cars, Sick or Sane, The Priest and The Matador & Still Searching.
Senses Fail Still Searching (Deluxe Edition)
Story of the Year In The Wake Of Determination
While their debut LP seemed too compromised, Story of the Year just do what they enjoy on follow-up 'In The Wake of Determination'. With a greater reliance on the dual guitar attack of Ryan Phillips & Philip Sneed, the genre of choice here appears to be hard-rock, with a lashing of punk through Sneed's backing vocals. While heavier than its predecessor, the most impressive aspect of the album is its ability to remain so melodic, with many anthemically catchy vocal hooks. So check your head at the door & have a fun, hard-rocking time. Recommended Tracks: We Don't Care Anymore, Five Against The World, Take Me Back, Taste The Poison & Sleep.
Streetlight Manifesto Everything Goes Numb
New Jersey ska punk collective Streetlight Manifesto do more than just bring the fun on debut LP 'Everything Goes Numb'. While energetically up-tempo, the dynamic song arrangements provide depth & allow tunes to run past 4 minutes. A quality rhythm section provides a solid base, but the vibrant, addictive horns shine brightest, resulting in a multitude of varying melodies. Meanwhile, Tomas Kalnoky's mile-a-minute raspy vocals deliver perceptive lyrics & many a sing-along refrain. With next to no filler, this is a landmark release that transcends genre boundaries. Recommended Tracks: We Are The Few, Everything Went Numb, A Better Place..., Point/Counterpoint & Here's to Life.
Streetlight Manifesto Everything Goes Numb Demo
Predominantly formed from the remnants of Catch 22 & One Cool Guy, New Jersey ska punk collective Streetlight Manifesto show a glimpse of the quality that was to come on their 4 track 'Everything Goes Numb Demo'. With killer bass-lines & innovative drumming, the rhythm section would normally be the standout, but it is the array of horns which provide a diverse set of atmospheric melodies that truly captures attention. All 4 tunes would rightly go on to make the band's seminal debut LP & it is interesting to see the slight differences, especially the shorter versions of the opening duo. Recommended Tracks: We Are The Few, Everything Went Numb & Point/Counterpoint.
The Academy Is... Almost Here
Following on from their rather disappointingly derivative and wordy self-titled EP, The Academy Is... show pop sensibilities beyond their years on debut full-length release 'Almost Here'. No matter which way you look at it, this is one hell of a hooky & impressive album without a bad track to be heard. It is catchy pop-rock at its very best. If there is justice in the music world, The Academy Is...'s time is NOT "Almost here"... It IS here! Recommended Tracks: Slow Down, The Phrase That Pays, Down and Out & Attention.
The Blackout The Best in Town
During a year in which many post-hardcore heavyweights released albums, they may all be upstaged by 6 young Welshmen. The secret to The Best In Town's success is that The Blackout have combined heaviness with catchy & accessible melodies. While the energetic dual vocal dynamic still exists, the band has matured & progressed in almost every facet of their craft. They are not looking to push the boundaries of post-hardcore, but simply perform the genre better than the majority of their peers. Immensely enjoyable & crowd-pleasing, this is a surprise A.O.T.Y contender. Recommended Tracks: Save Our Selves, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, ShutTheF*ckUppercut, Top Of The World & The Fire.
The Classic Crime Phoenix
'Phoenix', the 4th LP from Seattle alt-rockers The Classic Crime, is undoubtedly their magnum opus. Opening up the band's sonic palette, the sheer growth in the depth & variety of both the musicianship & songwriting is exemplary. The album's mid-section is absolutely gorgeous, as the near-seamless juxtaposition of old & new works a treat. You can hear the blood, sweat & tears dripping out in every meticulously layered piece of instrumentation; every emotional heart-on-sleeve climax; and in every dark & brooding - yet uplifting & relatable - lyric. 'Phoenix' is the album of 2012! Recommended Tracks: Heaven & Hell, Beautiful Darkside, Let Me Die, The Precipice & You and Me Both.
The Dear Hunter Red
The most focused & consistent of all 9 EPs in 'The Color Spectrum' collection, the 'Red EP' highlights what The Dear Hunter can do when pulling back their progressive tendencies & playing straight-ahead alt-rock. The sound is reminiscent of a band like The Foo Fighters, where passionate anger & driving melodies combine seamlessly to result in a near faultless 14 minutes worth. The bass-driven 'Deny It All' is best, perfectly showcasing the guest vocals of Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull, who provides just the antidote to anyone claiming this effort lacks variety. Recommended Tracks: Deny It All, I Couldn't Do It Alone & A Curse of Cynicism.
The Dear Hunter Violet
Certain to be a favorite amongst fans of The Dear Hunter, the penultimate of 9 EPs which make up 'The Color Spectrum' collection is the one which most resembles the sound of the band's previous releases. Filled with piano, strings & imaginative storytelling, the 'Violet EP' is progressive leaning indie-pop which gives off a theatrical broadway vibe. Meticulously arranged & fantastically catchy, front-man Casey Crescenzo really shows off his pipes here, just begging for the listener to sing along. Could this be a hint at what 'Act IV' will sound like or will the final EP be more of a pointer to that direction? Recommended Tracks: Too Late, Lillian & Mr. Malum.
The Dear Hunter White
On top of being amazingly cohesive over its 36 tracks, The Dear Hunter's 'Color Spectrum' collection ends on a superb note with the 'White EP'. Combining almost every sound, instrument & musical style of the previous 8 EPs, none of these 4 tracks feel forced despite cramming so much into their 4 minute durations. Everything is so perfectly balanced that you can't help but feel that this is a maturing band that has now entered the next stage of their career. From the majestically delicate vocal harmonies to the inspiring lyrics; the 'White EP' is moving, yet ultimately exhilirating. Recommended Tracks: Home, Lost But Not All Gone & No God.
The Gaslight Anthem The '59 Sound
Nostalgic LP's that whisk you off to another time & place are rare, but the absorbing storytelling on The Gaslight Anthem's superb 'The '59 Sound' does. Strangely relatable, each endearing song drips with sincerity & emotion, while this consistent album is cohesive in moving from fast-paced sing-alongs to gorgeous ballads. Combining blues, punk & Americana rock, every track contains hooky guitar melodies, with some cuts growing their own character over time via subtle tempo switches. It's upbeat 3 singles begin the LP perfectly, with the anthemic 'Great Expectations' being a song of 2008 contender. Recommended Tracks: Great Expectations, Old White Lincoln, The '59 Sound, The Patient Ferris Wheel & Here's Looking At You Kid.
The Graduate Only Every Time
Jam-packed with killer refrains, seldom has there been an album as instantaneously infectious as The Graduate's 2nd LP 'Only Every Time'! From the opener's gang vocals to the closing sub 3 minute epic, the band has improved in every facet. The shimmering effects of the dual guitars weave value-adding textures, while frontman Corey Warning handles the gentler moments impressively. Containing an X factor which spotlights its strengths & hides its weaknesses, 'Only Every Time' is a fun & catchy LP without a wasted moment. Recommended Tracks: Don't Die Digging, Pull Me In, All At Once, For The Missing & Stuck (Inside My Head).
The Jezabels The Man Is Dead
To think that 'The Man Is Dead' is the debut release from Australian outfit The Jezabels is astounding, since everything about its 5 tracks suggests the work of mature veterans. All 4 band members contribute terrifically, as gorgeous piano melodies combine seamlessly with hooky indie-pop guitar & surprisingly heavy drums. And then there is the marvelously expressive vocal range of Hayley Mary, whose peaks & troughs assist the Arcade Fire like build-ups. Ambitious, always enthralling & without a weak song, this spellbinding 20 minutes is one hell of an astonishing achievement. Recommended Tracks: Be A Star, Disco Biscuit Love & Unmarked Helicopters.
The Jezabels Dark Storm
With their 3rd EP in 20 months, Australian quartet The Jezabels deliver another 5 consistent tracks on 'Dark Storm'. As meticulously crafted as its predecessors, all of the band's captivating characteristics return: the sweeping piano, relentless drumming, angular guitar &, of course, Hayley Mary's enchanting vocals. While the deceptive pop nous of 'Mace Spray' is the EPs highlight, the opening & closing tracks may well be its most telling revelations, with the maturing outfit using space to create greater atmosphere. All in all, another fantastic EP from a very talented group. Recommended Tracks: Mace Spray, Dark Storm & She's So Hard.
The Jezabels Prisoner
Far from rehashing their 3 superb EPs, Aussie quartet The Jezabels use the long-play format to fully explore the boundaries of their sound on debut LP 'Prisoner'. The eye-opening organ & synths of the opener, the catchy melodcism of lead single 'Endless Summer' & the cinematic 'Long Highway' propel this captivating album to great heights. With all 4 members working double-time to compose near flawless music, 'Prisoner' is the rarity of a debut LP adding to an already superlative discography. The Jezabels are just getting started & the sky may be their only limit. Recommended Tracks: Endless Summer, City Girl, Horsehead, Deep Wide Ocean & Prisoner.
The Rocket Summer Do You Feel
The one-man band that is The Rocket Summer just keeps on improving with 24 year old Texan multi-instrumentalist Bryce Avary reaching a new peak on 3rd LP 'Do You Feel'. Containing no filler whatsoever & an abundance of hook-filled melodies, Avary's feel-good power-pop has never been this upbeat or infectious, nor has his sound ever been so full. Finally comfortable with his range, Avary pushes his passionate vocals into a more soulful direction here, while his lyrics continue to mature. Quite simply, power-pop doesn't come any better than this! Recommended Tracks: Break It Out, So Much Love, So In This Hour..., All I Have & High Life Scenery.
The Rocket Summer iTunes EP
Released as a preview of sorts for The Rocket Summer's upcoming 3rd LP, the 'iTunes EP' is an exciting look into the maturing of a potential superstar. It may only be 4 tracks & 18 minutes in length, but the 1st 3 tunes here are as upbeat & addictive as anything that Bryce Avary has put out to date, while pushing his vocals into a more soulful direction adds an even greater pop sensibility. He tops it off with a fascinating choice to cover the Colin Hay (Men At Work) ballad 'I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You'. Wow, talk about a taster to make any power-pop fan salivate! Recommended Tracks: Break It Out, So Much Love & So In This Hour...
TRUSTcompany The Lonely Position of Neutral
Call it dated nostalgia, call it repetitively formulaic, call it whatever you want... TRUSTcompany's debut LP 'The Lonely Position of Neutral' hits a sweet spot when it comes to finding a fan-friendly median of nu-metal, hard-rock & alt-metal. Utilizing engaging quiet/loud dynamics, Kevin Palmer's always melodic vocals switch from ominous whispering to anguished screaming in a heartbeat. As consistent an album as you will find, practically every single word here is crafted to sing along to, especially the infectious choruses that just keep on coming. Recommended Tracks: Downfall, Deeper Into You, Falling Apart, Hover & Figure 8.
Twin Atlantic Vivarium
Taking cues from fellow Scots Biffy Clyro, Glaswegian rockers Twin Atlantic follow up the promise of their debut EP with the superb 'Vivarium'. Consistent, catchy & accessible, yet diverse & unpredictable with key changes & stop-start tempo switches, 'Vivarium' contains more soaring, yet technical, guitar melodies. The distinctive Scottish brogue of Sam McTrusty (the best name in music) also returns, as do the quirky lyrics & attention to detail. While 8 tracks at 33 minutes is an odd length, it suggests quality over quantity for this exciting quartet. Recommended Tracks: What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?, Audience and Audio, Human After All & Lightspeed.
Van Halen Van Halen
The self-titled debut LP from Californian quartet Van Halen is one of the most innovative & influential rock albums of all time. Melding classic rock, metal, punk, blues & pop, a tremendously under-rated rhythm section helps to highlight Eddie Van Halen's stupendous guitar-work. Its 1st side is full of classics & while front-loaded, there is absolutely no filler. The lyrics may not be the greatest & David Lee Roth's charismatic vocals suit some songs more than others, but this fun & exciting release deserved to sell 10 million copies. Recommended Tracks: Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love, You Really Got Me, I'm The One, Runnin' With the Devil & Feel Your Love Tonight.
Van Halen 1984
Just as Van Halen looked to be diving into obscurity, they produce what may be their best album to date in '1984'. The quartet's 6th LP - & final with David Lee Roth - is pure entertainment without filler. To mark the occasion, DLR provides his best vocals yet, while Alex Van Halen's drumming also reaches new heights. Most striking is Eddie Van Halen's prominent synths, which pleasingly do not impede his astounding guitar-work. It is this combination of hard-hitting rock & infectious pop melodies which made '1984' a groundbreaking crossover success that deservingly sold over 10 million copies. Recommended Tracks: Panama, Jump, Hot for Teacher & Top Jimmy.
Van Halen 5150
'5150' marks the beginning of the much derided "Van Hagar" era, as Van Halen's 7th LP is the 1st to feature new front-man Sammy Hagar. While the sound, themes & tone has changed since the replacement of David Lee Roth (& producer Ted Templeman), the Californian hard-rockers match their groundbreaking previous effort with another 3 hit singles & an entertaining supporting cast. With a greater emphasis on synth & a number of power ballads, many longtime fans were disappointed... But those who judge this album in isolation will realise that it is a tremendous release. Recommended Tracks: Dreams, Love Walks In, Why Can't This Be Love, Get Up & Best of Both Worlds.
Yellowcard Southern Air
A combination of all of their previous releases, the fact that there is something for everyone on Yellowcard's 8th LP 'Southern Air', makes it their best album yet! Every one of the Floridian pop-punk quintet's signature elements are here: The abundant hooks, exquisite violin melodies, endearing vocals & hard-hitting drumming. It results in an immediate LP that is packed with catchy & upbeat summer anthems; whose mature, relatable & poignant lyrics will prove to be timeless. Nostalgic in an uplifting fashion, there is absolutely no filler on this superb release. Recommended Tracks: Awakening, Always Summer, Ten, Surface of the Sun & A Vicious Kind.

4.4 superb
Captain, We're Sinking The Future Is Cancelled
The biggest surprise of 2013 comes in the form of 'The Future Is Cancelled'; the 2nd LP from Pennsylvanian quartet Captain, We're Sinking. Best described as punk with flourishes of emo & post-hardcore, the technically accomplished music is not only intense & emotional, but deceptively melodic. This is despite the captivating lyrics which contain lashings of melancholy, as delivered by the dual vocal attack of Bob Barnett & Leo Vergnetti. Containing no filler, this powerful album not only builds well to individual climaxes, but progresses cohesively as a whole. Recommended Tracks: A Bitter Divorce, Annina We Will Miss You, You Have Flaws, Here's To Forever & Brother.
Too Close to Touch Nerve Endings

4.3 superb
Hands Like Houses Unimagine
Just 16 months after their debut LP, Aussie post-hardcore act Hands Like Houses step up on 'Unimagine'. Showcasing greater diversity, this James Paul Wisner produced album is consistent & contains no filler. Trenton Woodley's soaring vocals return, as do the subtle electronics, hooky guitar melodies & catchy choruses. Musically, the sextet are undoubtedly tighter, even if the intricacy of their playing has been toned down a little. Pleasingly, Hands Like Houses have successfully evolved by refining their weaknesses, while maintaining their strengths. Recommended Tracks: Shapeshifters, A Tale of Outer Suburbia, Introduced Species, A Fire on a Hill & No Parallels.
K Sera Collisions and Near Misses
Following 3 impressive EPs, Sacramento rockers K Sera further evolve on their debut LP 'Collisions and Near Misses'. Expertly produced by The Dear Hunter's Casey Crescenzo, this meticulously crafted record is both immediate & a grower. Epic & ambitious - yet refined & controlled - this theatrical album is delivered so cohesively that it's difficult not to fall engrossed. Guitars, piano & a dynamic rhythm section coalesce with Mike Caswell's strong vocals to result in a melodically hooky mix of indie & progressive rock. K Sera could very well be as big as Muse one day! Recommended Tracks: Dream Like I Do, Near Misses, Ambien, St. Peter & True Enough To Be Interesting.
Local Natives Hummingbird
Following their superb critically acclaimed debut, LA indie-rockers Local Natives do not disappoint on 2nd LP 'Hummingbird'. Produced by The National's Aaron Dessner, this album is less vivacious & immediate than its predecessor, instead choosing to be introspective & emotional. While the dynamic instrumentation returns, it's performed in a deft & subtle manner that compels & rewards further listening. Furthermore, the dual vocal harmonies of Kelcey Ayer & Taylor Rice take a step up here, providing a handful of spine-chilling moments that are worth the price of admission alone. Recommended Tracks: Breakers, Black Balloons, Wooly Mammoth, You & I & Heavy Feet.
NF Mansion
On his major label debut 'Mansion', it's difficult not to compare Nathan "NF" Feuerstein to fellow Michigan rapper Eminem. A metaphor for the 24 year old's mind, he tackles a number of issues in authentic, vulnerable & thought-provoking fashion. Raw & intense, NF's flow is impeccable, with a haunting & cinematic musical backdrop. Versatility is key here, with Feuerstein being able to spit rapid-fire rhymes or sing his own hooks, allowing the 3 featured vocalists to add genuine variaton. "When I write, I produce passion" is an understatement on this triumphant revelation. Recommended Tracks: All I Have, Mansion, Wake Up, Intro & I'll Keep On.
Streetlight Manifesto The Hands That Thieve
'The Hands That Thieve', the much-anticipated - & delayed - new LP from New Jersey ska punk ensemble Streetlight Manifesto is thankfully worth the wait. The septet don't mess with their winning formula, only subtly adding extra influences & slowing down tempos. While 2 or 3 tunes seem composed for nothing but a sing-along (both a pro & a con), the mid-section highlights are worth the price of admission alone. It may well be the least effective of the band's 3 LPs of original material, but that's not a slight for this talented & consistent outfit. Recommended Tracks: The Littlest Things, If Only For Memories, With Any Sort of Certainty, The Three of Us & Your Day Will Come.
Strung Out Transmission.Alpha.Delta
Six years after their previous album, Californian punk rockers Strung Out release their long-delayed 8th studio LP 'Transmission.Alpha.Delta'. A sort of encapsulation of their entire career in one record, there is no great reinvention here, but the balance of modern & nostalgia is undoubtedly satisfying. As pacy as ever, the technically proficient quintet showcase some marvelous guitar leads, while Jordan Burns' drumming is always on point. Slickly produced (by Kyle Black) to emphasize its melodic qualities, this consistent & cohesive LP is up there with the bands best! Recommended Tracks: Go It Alone, Tesla, The Animal and the Machine, Black Maps & Rats in the Walls.
Westkust Last Forever
Following a promising but rough around the edges EP, Swedish band Westkust impress on debut LP 'Last Forever'. Playing an up-tempo combination of shoegaze, post-punk, noise-pop/rock & even surf rock, the quintet's secret weapon is melody (a trait not usually associated with those genres). Despite the fuzzy wall-of-noise guitar distortion & some awesome bass-lines, this album is extremely accessible & immediate (again, not usually associated with the aforementioned genres). The boy/girl vocal dynamic of Gustav Andersson & Julia Bjernelind is the cherry on top of this succinct 33 minute revelation. Recommended Tracks: Swirl, Jonna, Summer 3D, Drown & Another Day.

4.2 excellent
Alter Bridge Fortress
Atlas Losing Grip Currents
Swedish punk rockers Atlas Losing Grip ambitiously expand their sound to include melodic hardcore & multiple metal sub-genres on 3rd LP 'Currents'. The technically proficient quintet then take the additional step of producing a nautical concept album over 14 tracks & 66 minutes! While overlong, it gives the band extra opportunity to showcase variety, with some catchy choruses that often recall Rise Against. Versatile guitar-work is backed by some stunning bass-lines, while the meaningful lyrics & striking vocals from Rodrigo Alfaro are always on point. Self-indulgent? Maybe. Epic? Definitely. Awesome? Hell, yes! Recommended Tracks: Sinking Ship, Nemesis, Cast Anchor & The Curse.
Attalus Into the Sea
Bring Me The Horizon That's the Spirit
Broods Broods
Life on Repeat Blacklisted
London Grammar Metal & Dust
London Grammar If You Wait
Mallory Knox Asymmetry
State Champs The Finer Things
The Wonder Years The Greatest Generation

4.1 excellent
Bayside Cult
Biffy Clyro Opposites
Black Veil Brides Wretched and Divine
Farewell Fighter Challenges
Fightstar Behind the Devil's Back
Florence and the Machine How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Foals What Went Down
I the Mighty Satori
Icarus the Owl Icarus the Owl
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience
Los Campesinos! No Blues
Mike Mains and The Branches Emergency
No Devotion Stay/Eyeshadow
Our Last Night Younger Dreams
Red Of Beauty and Rage
Too Close to Touch Too Close To Touch
Young Lions Burn

4.0 excellent
10 Years The Autumn Effect
10 Years Division
A Loss For Words Returning to Webster Lake
Abel (NY) The Honest Love
Abel (NY) Make It Right
Adele 21
Alexisonfire Crisis
Alexisonfire Old Crows / Young Cardinals
Alkaline Trio Maybe I'll Catch Fire
Alkaline Trio From Here To Infirmary
Alkaline Trio Goddamnit
All Time Low Put Up or Shut Up
All Time Low The Party Scene
Alter Bridge One Day Remains
Amy Macdonald A Curious Thing
Anberlin Never Take Friendship Personal
Anberlin Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place
Arcade Fire Neon Bible
Arcane Roots Left Fire
Arctic Monkeys I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Arctic Monkeys Leave Before The Lights Come On
Arctic Monkeys When The Sun Goes Down
Arctic Monkeys Brianstorm
Balance and Composure I Just Want To Be Pure
Balance and Composure Separation
Bastille Laura Palmer
Bastille Flaws
Bastille Bad Blood
Bayside Acoustic
Bayside Shudder
Bayside Live at the Bayside Social Club
Bertie Blackman Secrets and Lies
Biffy Clyro Puzzle
Biffy Clyro Only Revolutions
Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot
Billy Talent Billy Talent II
Birds Of Tokyo Day One
Bombay Bicycle Club The Boy I Used To Be
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
Bon Iver Bon Iver, Bon Iver
British India Guillotine
Broadway Calls Good Views, Bad News
Built to Spill Keep It Like a Secret
Canterbury Thank You
Canterbury More Than Know
Canterbury Saviour
Canterbury Dark Days
Cinema Sleep Make Your Way
Circa Survive Blue Sky Noise
City and Colour Live
City and Colour Bring Me Your Love
City and Colour Live at the Orange Lounge
City and Colour Little Hell
Closure in Moscow The Penance and the Patience
Closure in Moscow First Temple
Codeine Velvet Club Codeine Velvet Club
Coldrain Nothing Lasts Forever
Conditions Conditions EP
Conditions You Are Forgotten
Conditions Fluorescent Youth
Courage My Love For Now Acoustic Sessions
Craig David Born to Do It
Dananananaykroyd There Is A Way
Dashboard Confessional The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
Dashboard Confessional Dusk and Summer
Dead Letter Circus Dead Letter Circus
Dead Letter Circus Next In Line
Dead Letter Circus This Is The Warning
Deaf Havana Meet Me Halfway, At Least
Deaf Havana Fools And Worthless Liars
Editors The Back Room
Editors An End Has A Start
Eisley The Valley
Emery The Weak's End
Emery We Do What We Want
Envy On The Coast Lucy Gray
Fair to Midland Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True
Fair to Midland Arrows and Anchors
Fanfarlo Let's Go Extinct
Fang Island Sky Gardens EP
Farewell Fighter The Way We Learn
Fightstar They Liked You Better When You Were Dead
Fireworks We Are Everywhere
Fireworks All I Have To Offer Is My Own Confusion
Florence and the Machine Lungs
Foals Antidotes
Foals Holy Fire
Foo Fighters Wasting Light
Forever Came Calling Contender
Promising Californian pop-punk outfit Forever Came Calling hit the ground running with their debut LP 'Contender'. Kicking off with 2 short filler cuts, the album soon hits its stride with an energetic New Found Glory influenced style that throws hooks at the listener from every direction. Originality & diversity may not be priorities here, while the 24 minute duration does raise some eyebrows. Yet, these youngsters perform with a confidence & convinction that produces tremendous results... And they should only get better when they learn to fill out their sound & experiment with dynamics. Recommended Tracks: Ides, Front Porch Sunrise, Dead Poets Honor & Contender.
Foster the People Foster The People
Four Year Strong Go Down In History
fun. Aim and Ignite
fun. Live At Fingerprints
Funeral for a Friend Tales Don't Tell Themselves
Funeral for a Friend The Young And Defenseless
Funeral for a Friend Welcome Home Armageddon
Funeral Party The Golden Age Of Knowhere
Future of the Left Travels With Myself And Another
Gabrielle Aplin Home
Gallows Gallows
Gates The Sun Will Rise and Lead Me Home
Gates You Are All You Have Left to Fear
Givers Givers
Go Radio Do Overs and Second Chances
Go Radio Lucky Street
Halestorm Live in Philly 2010
Hard-Fi Stars Of CCTV
Hey Rosetta! Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on
Hey Rosetta! Seeds
Hey Rosetta! Hey Rosetta!
Holy Esque Holy Esque
House Of Heroes House Of Heroes
House Of Heroes Say No More
House Of Heroes The End is Not The End
House Of Heroes What you Want is Now
House Of Heroes Suburba
House Of Heroes House Of Heroes Meets The Beatles
House Of Heroes Cold Hard Want
House of Pain Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again
HRVRD The Inevitable And I
I Am the Avalanche I Am the Avalanche
I Call Fives I Call Fives
I the Mighty Karma Never Sleeps
I the Mighty Hearts & Spades
I the Mighty Connector
Icarus the Owl The Spotless Mind
Icarus the Owl Qualia
Icarus the Owl Love Always, Leviathan
Icarus the Owl Pilot Waves
In This Moment The Dream
Ivoryline Vessels
Jack's Mannequin Everything in Transit
Jack's Mannequin Dear Jack
Janelle Monae Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase
Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid
Japandroids Celebration Rock
Jimmy Eat World Futures
Junior Battles Junior Battles
K Sera The Cantos: II
Kids in Glass Houses Dirt
Kill Hannah Until Theres Nothing Left Of Us
Ladyhawke Ladyhawke
Last Dinosaurs In A Million Years
Life on Repeat As I Grew
Life on Repeat Struggle + Sleep
Lily Allen It's Not Me, It's You
Quite possibly 2009's biggest surprise, Lily Allen presents a more mature & relatable side to her character on 2nd LP 'It's Not Me, It's You'. While retaining her trademark cheeky & clever lyrics, there is greater consistency on this release, which is also more musically varied than her debut. Furthermore, Allen has been able to iron out her previously annoying tendencies. With only a couple of low points, nearly every track could be released as a single. It is great to see a young pop artist improve on her deficiencies from one album to the next. Recommended Tracks: The Fear, Fuck You, Everyone's At It & Who'd Have Known.
Little Comets Worry
Living Colour Time's Up
Local Natives Sun Hands
London Grammar Strong
Lostprophets Liberation Transmission
Lostprophets look to consolidate on their trans-Atlantic success by poppifying their catchy hard-rock on 3rd LP 'Liberation Transmission'. Slickly produced by Bob Rock, they tone down their aggression & musical technicality, but this can be overlooked when you have tracks like anthemic sing-along 'Rooftops' & melodic 'Can't Catch Tomorrow'. Even the non-highlights are made memorable with infectious choruses. It needed more variety to match 'Start Something', but with so many involving call & response vocals, it's another enjoyable fist-pumper of epic proportions. Recommended Tracks: Rooftops, Can't Catch Tomorrow, 4:AM Forever & Everyday Combat.
Lostprophets The Betrayed
Lower Than Atlantis World Record
Lowtalker People Worry About Everything
Madina Lake The Dresden Codex
Madina Lake The Disappearance of Adalia
Make Do and Mend End Measured Mile
Make Do and Mend Everything You Ever Loved
Mallory Knox Pilot
Mallory Knox Signals
Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything to Nothing
On 'Mean Everything To Nothing', Manchester Orchestra put the "rock" back in indie-rock. Right from the beginning, a fuller rock sound is apparent & it holds up the few relatively less memorable cuts here. Meanwhile, lead vocalist Andy Hull seamlessly moves from passionate screams ('Shake It Out') to catchy sing-alongs ('I've Got Friends'), and from desperate howls ('100 Dollars') to emotional storytelling ('I Can Feel A Hot One' & 'The River'). A pleasing step up, this is a consistent & mature LP from an accomplished band. Recommended Tracks: I've Got Friends, Shake It Out, I Can Feel A Hot One & The River.
Marianas Trench Fix Me
Marianas Trench Masterpiece Theater
Marianas Trench Ever After
Marianas Trench Face The Music
Marina and The Diamonds The Family Jewels
Mayday Parade Mayday Parade
Melanie Martinez Dollhouse
Menomena I Am The Fun Blame Monster!
Metallica Kill 'Em All
Metallica ...And Justice for All
Metallica Death Magnetic
Mike Mains and The Branches Home
Mike Mains and The Branches Calm Down, Everything Is Fine
Barely known Michigan based indie-rockers Mike Mains & The Branches follow up their excellent debut LP with terrific 2nd LP 'Calm Down, Everything Is Fine'. Funded through PledgeMusic, this engaging & accessible release is well produced by Relient K guitarist Matt Hoopes. Employing a wide array of instrumentation, the band have also enlisted the services of ex-Paramore drummer Zac Farro to good effect. Dynamic & versatile, the distinct & borderline unique vocals of Mike Mains are arresting, as he goes from restrained to intense in a heartbeat. With many a lyrical nugget, this is a tight & consistent 38 minutes worth. Recommended Tracks: Noises, In The Night, Take It All & Burn.
Moneen The Red Tree
Motion City Soundtrack Commit This to Memory
Motion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life
Motion City Soundtrack Go
MS MR Candy Bar Creep Show
Muse Showbiz
Muse Black Holes & Revelations
Mutemath Mutemath
Mutemath Reset
My Chemical Romance Live and Rare
My Chemical Romance The Black Parade: The B-Sides
My Chemical Romance Number One
My Chemical Romance Number Three
Naughty By Nature Naughty By Nature
Naughty By Nature 19 Naughty 9: Nature's Fury
Neon Trees Start a Fire
Of Monsters and Men My Head is an Animal
Of Monsters and Men Into the Woods - EP
Off With Their Heads From the Bottom
Off With Their Heads Hospitals
Off With Their Heads In Desolation
P.O.S Audition
A genuine revelation, P.O.S. shows on his 2nd LP 'Audition' that he is one hell of a talented & interesting rapper. With lyrics that are both witty & political, P.O.S. sets his impressive vocal flow over the top of an excellent mix of electronic & live instrumentation (including guitars, strings, bass & horns), and holds interest throughout on this consistent & deep release. Furthermore, despite being far from a mainstream rapper, he has a great knack for a hook, which really tops this album off nicely. Recommended Tracks: Stand Up (Let's Get Murdered), Bleeding Hearts Club (MPLS Chapter), Paul Kersey to Jack Kimball & Half-Cocked Concepts.
P.O.S We Don't Even Live Here
Paloma Faith Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
Paramore Riot!
Paramore Brand New Eyes
Passion Pit Manners
The fun debut LP by electro indie-poppers Passion Pit could well be the happiest, most euphoric album of all time! It's impossible to stay still during the catchy 'Little Secrets' & 'The Reeling', both of which are topped off by a children's choir. The eccentric 'Sleepyhead' has hooks which defy description, while other cuts include accomplished live drums. Michael Angelakos' falsetto & the overly peppy nature will annoy many, but where 'Manners' trumps the debuts of similar acts MGMT & the Klaxons is in its lack of filler. Fantastically produced, this is the feel-good LP of 2009. Recommended Tracks: Little Secrets, Sleepyhead, The Reeling & Let Your Love Grow Tall.
Passion Pit Gossamer
Phrase Clockwork
Pierce the Veil Selfish Machines
Pierce the Veil Collide with the Sky
Pink I'm Not Dead
Pink M!ssundaztood
PVRIS White Noise
Queensryche Condition Human
Ra Ra Riot The Rhumb Line
Real Friends More Acoustic Songs
Red Innocence and Instinct
Red Until We Have Faces
Red City Radio Spinning In Circles Is A Gateway Drug
Rise Against Siren Song of the Counter Culture
Rise Against Endgame
Rise Against The Black Market
Saosin Translating the Name
Saosin Saosin
Save Your Breath Vices
Search The City A Fire So Big The Heavens Can See It
Search The City Ghosts
Secret And Whisper Great White Whale
Secret And Whisper Teenage Fantasy
Senses Fail The Fire
Senses Fail Follow Your Bliss: The Best of Senses Fail
Senses Fail Family Tradition
Set Your Goals This Will Be the Death of Us
Shapes and Colors Apparitions
Sharks No Gods
Silversun Pickups Swoon
Sleeping With Sirens If You Were a Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack
Sparks The Rescue Sparks the Rescue
Spokes Everyone I Ever Met
State Champs Overslept
Steel Train Steel Train
Stone Sour Come What(ever) May
Stone Sour House of Gold and Bones - Part 2
Strange Talk Strange Talk - EP
Streetlight Manifesto Keasbey Nights
Sum 41 All Killer No Filler
Sum 41 Go Chuck Yourself
The All-American Rejects Move Along
The Automatic Not Accepted Anywhere
A genuine "love it or hate it" LP due to the background yelping of keyboardist Alex Pennie, this debut by a young Welsh quartet combines brit-pop, rock, electronica & punk! Some will see it as fun, others irritating. Some will think it consistent, while others will feel it has no variation. I'm on the positive side due to its catchiness and the fact that no song stretches out past 4 minutes. After 5 great tracks, the middle section does lag a little, but it then picks up again with its final 2 cuts. Now... "What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster, is it a monster?" Recommended Tracks: By My Side, Monster, That's What She Said & Raoul.
The Black Keys El Camino
The Classic Crime Albatross
The Classic Crime Seattle Sessions
The Classic Crime The Silver Cord
The Classic Crime Vagabonds
The Cooper Temple Clause See This Through And Leave
The Dangerous Summer War Paint
The Dear Hunter Act II: The Meaning of, & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
The Dear Hunter The Color Spectrum
Allowing listeners to sample the complete collection of 'The Color Spectrum', this 11 track release cuts the running time down from 144 minutes to just 42. Including at least 1 track from each of the 9 EPs, this compilation flows remarkably well considering the diverse array of musical styles showcased here. It is that cohesion, as well as their representation of the various colors, which these tracks have been chosen for, since they are not necessarily the best each EP has to offer. There's still plenty of quality though & it does make for an intriguing preview of the main event. Recommended Tracks: Deny It All, Home, Lillian & But There's Wolves?.
The Dear Hunter The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)
The Dear Hunter Orange
The Dear Hunter Yellow
The Format Interventions and Lullabies
The Format Dog Problems
The Format EP
The Fratellis Costello Music
The Gaslight Anthem Sink or Swim
The Gaslight Anthem American Slang
The Gaslight Anthem iTunes Session
The Gaslight Anthem Handwritten
The Getaway Plan Requiem
The Graduate Anhedonia
The Graduate Sea Legs
The Jezabels She's So Hard
The Joy Formidable The Big Roar
The Joy Formidable Roarities
The Killers Hot Fuss
The Killers Sam's Town
The Maccabees Given to the Wild
The Maine Pioneer
The Menzingers Hold on, Dodge
The Rocket Summer Hello, Good Friend
The Rocket Summer You Gotta Believe
The Sleeping What It Takes
The Starting Line Say It Like You Mean It
The Starting Line Based on a True Story
The Story So Far Under Soil and Dirt
The Story So Far What You Don't See
The Story So Far/Maker Split
The Subways All or Nothing
The Sun and The Sea Vega
The Swellers Ups and Downsizing
The Swellers Good For Me
The Tallest Man on Earth The Wild Hunt
The Tallest Man on Earth There's No Leaving Now
The Weeknd House of Balloons
The Weeknd Echoes of Silence
The Weeknd Kiss Land
Thera The Aftermath
Thera If This is the End
Thera From the North
Thrice Major/Minor
Thursday Full Collapse
Thursday Common Existence
Thursday No Devolucion
TTNG Adventure, Stamina and Anger
Turbowolf Turbowolf
Twin Atlantic A Guidance From Colour
Twin Atlantic Free
Van Halen For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Van Halen Van Halen II
Van Halen Fair Warning
VersaEmerge Fixed at Zero
Walk the Moon Anna Sun
Walk the Moon The Anthem
We Are The Emergency Seizure (EP)
We Are The Emergency Whispers and Fragments
We Are The Emergency Rations
We Are The Ocean Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow
We Still Dream Oh, Snap!
We Still Dream Therapy
We The Kings We The Kings
Westkust Junk
WU LYF Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
XXI Inside Out
After the passing of screamer Eric Gentry, A Feast For Kings rename themselves XXI & switch their sound from metalcore to alt-rock on their debut LP 'Inside Out'. It's a style that suits the Kentucky quartet, with their melodic sensibilities being a genuine strength. Ex-drummer Carson Butcher especially impresses on lead vocals; able to successfully lend some emotional angst to the relatable lyrics. It's far from innovative & could have done with a little more of the progressive lead guitar lines from their EP, but this is ultimately a consistent debut with some satisfying shout-along moments. Recommended Tracks: Say It Again, All I Want, Wasn't Enough & Hanging By a Thread.
Yellowcard Ocean Avenue
Yellowcard Paper Walls
You, Me, And Everyone We Know Party For The Grown and Sexy
You, Me, And Everyone We Know Some Things Don't Wash Out
Young Guns All Our Kings Are Dead
Young Guns Mirrors
Young the Giant Shake My Hand
Young the Giant Young the Giant

3.9 excellent
Alessia Cara Four Pink Walls
Anberlin Lowborn
Bastille Pompeii - Remixes
Bastille Haunt
Beautiful Bodies Battles
'Battles' is the rather exciting debut LP from Kansas City based trio Beautiful Bodies. Playing a lively & energetic brand of dance-rock, the band undoubtedly have a knack for explosive & infectious choruses. Former Get Up Kids & Gratitude drummer Thomas Becker (who doubles on guitar here) helps give the sound a solid back-bone, while Alicia Solombrino's vocals have sufficient range to suit each tune. It's fairly front-loaded & the band need to work on restraint & diversity, but ultimately this is a very enjoyable debut with next to no filler. Recommended Tracks: September 1973, Lies, Capture & Release & War Inside Your Heart.
Bebe Rexha I Don't Wanna Grow Up
Biffy Clyro Black Chandelier
Boston Manor Driftwood
Bring Me The Horizon Sempiternal
Broadside Old Bones
It may not contain anything that you haven't heard before, but Broadside's debut LP 'Old Bones' could well contend for the best pop-punk record of 2015. The themes may be cliched, yet the lyrics are eminently relatable & wrapped up in impressively mature songwriting. Ollie Baxxter has a voice just made for the genre, while the dual guitar attack & driving drums are both notably versatile. All the while, infectious hooks are everywhere, with some songs feeling as if they have 2 choruses. Add sufficient diversity & you have a tight & concise 34 minutes worth that is a very enjoyable listen. Recommended Tracks: Human Machines, Coffee Talk, Come & Go and A Better Way.
Cinema Sleep Truth For The Seeker
Following the excellent 'Make Your Way' EP, Ohio rockers Cinema Sleep return a year later with their debut LP 'Truth For The Seeker'. Looking to create something distinctive within well-worn genres, the quintet's sound takes in post-hardcore, alt-metal & radio-rock. Passionate vocalist Brady Reis has a diverse range, and while there are still some awkward transitions, the musicianship is impressive - especially the propulsive drumming & melodic guitar leads. 1 or 2 tracks fall a little short, but ultimately this is an exciting debut LP from a talented band. Recommended Tracks: Judging Glances, Inside My Hands, Empty Words & Collapse.
Daisyhead/Have Mercy Split
Dayseeker Origin
Foreveratlast Ghosts Again
Four Year Strong Four Year Strong
Frank Turner Positive Songs for Negative People
fun. Before Shane Went to Bangkok: Fun. Live in the USA
Janelle Monae The Electric Lady
Knuckle Puck Copacetic
Melanie Martinez Cry Baby
My Chemical Romance Conventional Weapons
No Devotion Permanence
Of Monsters and Men Beneath the Skin
The 1975 The 1975
This Wild Life Clouded
Twin Atlantic Great Divide
Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City
Wearing Scars A Thousand Words
Combining both classic & modern metal influences, UK act Wearing Scars impress on their debut LP 'A Thousand Words'. Hard rock & metalcore are also explored on this 50 minute release, but there are no harsh vocals. The soaring voice of former Mutiny Within front-man Chris Clancy fits the band perfectly, while the proficient musicianship is headed by some searing Andy James guitar solos. Diversity of song structure is unfortunately at a premium, so the album does get a little samey... But there is next to no filler & many addictive choruses mean there is definitely some crossover potential here. Recommended Tracks: Become Numb, Butterfly, Waiting For the End & I Could Never Say.
You, Me, And Everyone We Know I Wish More People Gave A Shit
Zella Day Zella Day
Zella Day Kicker

3.8 excellent
Agent Fresco Destrier
Arcade Fire Reflektor
Arcane Roots Blood & Chemistry
Arctic Monkeys AM
Beach Slang The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel
Blitz Kids The Good Youth
Another in the growing batch of hook-filled alt-rockers coming out of England, Blitz Kids hit their straps on 3rd LP 'The Good Youth'. Slickly produced by John Feldmann, the now quartet deliver a number of infectious sing-along anthems with gang vocals around every corner. Front-man Joe James has the perfect voice for this sound & somehow delivers the overly uplifting lyrics in non-cheesy fashion. With practically every track geared for radio airplay, it's not exactly innovative & there's still some work to do on the ballads, but this is ultimately an enjoyable album that serves its purpose. Recommended Tracks: Run For Cover, On My Own, Roll the Dice & Sometimes.
Braids Deep In The Iris
Brigades Crocodile Tears
CHVRCHES Every Open Eye
Circa Waves T-Shirt Weather
City and Colour The Hurry and the Harm
City and Colour If I Should Go Before You
Dance Gavin Dance Instant Gratification
Dayshell Dayshell
Dead Letter Circus The Catalyst Fire
Deaf Havana Old Souls
Emery You Were Never Alone
Fanfarlo The Sea
fun. Selections & B-Sides From 'Aim & Ignite'
Lana Del Rey Honeymoon
Lorde Pure Heroine
Lydia Run Wild
Seven years on from their cult hit 'Illuminate', Arizonan indie outfit Lydia continue their progression to a slightly poppier sound on 5th LP 'Run Wild'. Co-produced by Aaron Marsh & Colby Wedgeworth, the band use a variety of techniques to fill out their deceptively layered soundscapes. Meanwhile, out front, one can't help but be drawn into the lyrics by the distinctive soothing vocals of Leighton Antelman. A tight 36 minutes worth, this is a consistent & cohesive record that may not be immediate, but seems to grow on the listener with each subsequent listen. Recommended Tracks: Past Life, Georgia, The Sounds In Your Dream & Riverman.
Mayday Parade Monsters in the Closet
Mayday Parade Black Lines
Meg Myers Sorry
Mew +-
Miles Kane Give Up
Miles Kane Don't Forget Who You Are
My Chemical Romance Number Five
Neck Deep Life's Not Out To Get You
Nordic Giants Build Seas
Off With Their Heads Home
Pentimento I, No Longer
PVRIS Acoustic
Ryn Weaver Promises
Silverstein I Am Alive In Everything I Touch
Speaking The King's Carousel
With a sound that flits between post-hardcore, metalcore & alt-rock, Californian quintet Speaking the King's show promise on their debut LP 'Carousel'. Expertly produced by Steve Evetts, the anthemic qualities to most of these 10 tracks impress, as melodic choruses soar along to Bobby Burap's lead vocals. The metalcore elements of the record are the weakest pieces of the puzzle, with some songs simply forcing harsh vocals or chugging breakdowns. It's all far from innovative, but if you check your head at the door, this is a fun & energetic 35 minutes worth. Recommended Tracks: Motion Sickness, City Lights, Choke & Close to Impossible.
Stone Sour Meanwhile In Burbank...
Super Water Sympathy Hydrogen Child
The Dangerous Summer Golden Record
The Darien Venture A Kite, A Key and A Storm
The Dear Hunter Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
The Early November Imbue
The Getaway Plan Dark Horses
One of the more unexpected turns of 2015 is The Getaway Plan's 3rd LP 'Dark Horses'. Independently recorded & released, the Melbourne rockers have made absolutely no compromises whatsoever on this mature & extremely ambitious album. Expansive soundscapes, unpredictable song structures & rather dark lyrics make for an absorbing listen for the most part, although the record is undoubtedly overlong at 62 minutes. Difficult to rate since not everything hits the mark, the whole is better than the sum of its parts here, on an LP which the quartet have clearly poured their blood, sweat & tears into. Recommended Tracks: Exodus, Battleships, Last Words & Landscapes.
The Story So Far The Story So Far
The Story So Far/Stick To Your Guns Split
The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Madness
The Wonder Years No Closer to Heaven
The Words We Use Entitlement
Tove Lo Truth Serum
Tremonti Cauterize
We Still Dream Something to Smile About
Years and Years Y and Y

3.7 great
AFI Burials
Alessia Cara Know-It-All
Alkaline Trio My Shame Is True
Alkaline Trio Broken Wing
As It Is Never Happy, Ever After
Bastille Laura Palmer
Beach Slang Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?
Beach Slang Broken Thrills
Brigades Our Lives Unfold
British India Controller
Recalling excellent debut 'Guillotine', Melbourne rockers British India continue their rebuild on 4th LP 'Controller'. Delivering more urgent, raw & catchy garage-rock, the quartet incorporate some welcome diversity & greater dynamics here; with improved use of pacing, build-ups & song structure. Declan Melia's yelping vocals remain & there's nothing overly technical about the instrumentation, but this is a genuine step forward for the band. It's just a shame that the momentum of the 1st 6 tracks cannot be maintained through the final 4. Recommended Tracks: I Can make You Love Me, Summer Forgive Me, Twice Inna Lifetime & Plastic Souvenirs.
Charli XCX True Romance
After repudiating her true debut LP & releasing 2 mixtapes, 20 year old English singer-songwriter Charlotte Aitchison (aka Charli XCX) unleashes 'True Romance'. While many tracks have already been heard, the voice behind Icona Pop's hit 'I Love It', delivers an impressive array of dark electro-pop that should be both critically & commercially successful. As modern as it is retro & as catchy as it is unique, the multi-layered production lends itself to repeated listening. It's overlong & a little repetitive, but otherwise this is a promising album from a talented new artist. Recommended Tracks: Nuclear Seasons, So Far Away, Set Me Free & You're the One.
CHVRCHES The Bones of What You Believe
Circa Waves Young Chasers
Coldrain The Revelation
Courtney Barnett how to carve a carrot into a rose
Daisyhead The Smallest Light
Dayseeker What It Means To Be Defeated
Dead Letter Circus Stand Apart
Editors The Weight of Your Love
Eidola Degeneraterra
Falling With Style Lost and Found
Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Funeral for a Friend Conduit
Future of the Left Human Death
Gallows Desolation Sounds
Hawk Eyes Everything Is Fine
HRVRD From the Bird's Cage
I, The Lion Run
Kids in Glass Houses Peace
Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence
Lorde The Love Club
Man Overboard Heavy Love
Meg Myers Make A Shadow
New Years Day Malevolence
No Devotion 10,000 Summers
Pure Love Anthems
Real Friends Maybe This Place Is the Same and We're Just Changing
Red City Radio Titles
Rudimental Home
Ryn Weaver The Fool
Following her excellent 4 track EP, Californian singer-songwriter Ryn Weaver returns with more indie-leaning electro-pop on debut LP 'The Fool'. Stretching her versatility to extreme levels, Weaver's chameleon-like voice echoes the likes of Florence Welch, Fiona Apple, Lorde & Amy MacDonald. The same can be said of the slick production backing her, which adds everything from folk to glitch to her repertoire. As impressive as that all is, it feels a little too manufactured for a young artist still searching for her true sound. In the meantime, this album remains a fascinating - if flawed - listen. Recommended Tracks: Promises, Octahate, Traveling Song & The Fool.
Sasha Siem So Polite
Save Your Breath There Used To Be A Place For Us
Shapes and Colors On Display
State Champs The Acoustic Things
The Escape The Mark We Leave Behind
The Ongoing Concept Handmade
The Swellers The Light Under Closed Doors
Under-rated Michigan quartet The Swellers don't target reinvention on 5th LP 'The Light Under Closed Doors'. Settling into their style, the hard-working punk-rockers do sound a little rawer here, without sacrificing their hooky melodies. Extremely lean at just 30 minutes in length, the band bleed authenticity with not a gimmick to be heard. Glorious guitar lines, an accomplished rhythm section & detailed song-writing add to the relateable lyrics & passionate vocals. So, while this is a bit predictable to be their best LP, it is another consitent addition to The Swellers' discography. Recommended Tracks: Big Hearts, Favorite Tune, Great Lakes State & Friends Again.
The Tallest Man on Earth Dark Bird Is Home
Tobias Jesso Jr. Goon
Vance Joy God Loves You When You're Dancing
We Are The In Crowd Weird Kids
You Plus Me Rose Ave.
You, Me, And Everyone We Know Dogged
Young Lions Blue Isla
Following their excellent debut LP 'Burn', Australian rockers Young Lions look to step it up on follow-up 'Blue Isla'. Much more ambitious in scope than its predecessor, intermittent choirs & gang vocals add a huge, anthemic feel to proceedings. Both a pro & a con, this album also dials down the tempo & aggression in order to spotlight more atmospheric soundscapes. In truth, 'Blue Isla' doesn't quite match up to 'Burn', but it's still a very solid & consistent LP and, most importantly, a learning curve which should serve the young quintet well down the track. Recommended Tracks: When Will We Be Free?, Tearing Us Apart, You Are & Knowledge is Power.
Young the Giant Mind Over Matter

3.6 great
Against The Current Gravity
As It Is This Mind of Mine
Beach Slang Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street
Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You Tomorrow
Boston Manor Saudade
Brigades Indefinite
British India Nothing Touches Me
Continuing on from where their maturer previous album 'Controller' left off, Melbourne rockers British India consolidate their new sound on 5th LP 'Nothing Touches Me'. Almost totally eschewing the youthful angst of yesteryear, the quartet are deceptively catchy here, but not superficially so. It's the instrumentation which does most of the grunt work, despite being far from innovative... There's always a hooky guitar riff here or a value-adding bass-line there. It's far from the album of 2015, but with barely any filler, 'Nothing Touches Me' is a great solid LP. Recommended Tracks: Suddenly, Wrong Direction, Nothing Touches Me & Blame It All on Me.
Broadway Calls Comfort/Distraction
Some 4 years after the excellent 'Good Views, Bad News', Oregon pop-punk act Broadway Calls return with their Bill Stevenson produced 3rd LP 'Comfort/Distraction'. Recalling early Green Day, the trio strive for that genre sweet spot between raw & gritty and fun & catchy. There's some promising maturity here, but it tends to blunt the quality of the hooks. The lessened dual vocal dynamic is one reason, even if the band lose nothing in terms of fantastic bass-lines. It may not best its predecessor, but this is another technically accomplished release from an under-rated group. Recommended Tracks: Bring on the Storm, I'll Be There, Lucky Lighter & Surrounded By Ghosts.
Broken Bells After The Disco
Cage The Elephant Melophobia
Calling All Cars Raise The People
Coldrain Vena
Courtney Barnett sometimes i sit and think, and sometimes i just sit
Dead Sara Pleasure to Meet You
LA rockers Dead Sara look to consolidate on the promise of their debut with follow-up LP 'Pleasure to Meet You'. The distinctive raspy wail of Emily Armstrong returns in full force, with the attitide-filled singer now displaying a more versatile range. Still taking cues from blues, grunge & classic rock, the quartet are still a little too derivative for their own good, but the tight musicianship (especially Chris Null's bass-lines) is still impressive. A relatively consistent album, one gets the feeling that Dead Sara are still capable of better. Recommended Tracks: Mona Lisa, Blue Was the Beautiful You, LA City Slum & Something Good.
Diamond Youth Nothing Matters
Distance and Divide Searching in the Dark
Elle King Love Stuff
Recalling the likes of Duffy, Adele & Amy Winehouse, raspy singer-songwriter Elle King (the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider) simultaneously impresses & disappoints on her belated debut LP 'Love Stuff'. While taking a cue from the late 2000's soul-pop explosion, King adds blues & country to the mix to carve out her own accessible niche. Slickly produced by the likes of Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker & Jacknife Lee, the best tunes here are thrilling. Not everything works, however, and while King does come off as genuine, it's a shame that her trademark humor is stifled. Recommended Tracks: America's Sweetheart, Under the Influence, Ex's and Oh's & Last Damn Night.
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes Rotten
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes Blossom
Funeral for a Friend Chapter and Verse
Future of the Left Love Songs For Our Husbands
Gerard Way Hesitant Alien
Idlehands Dena Mora
Heavily - to the point of distraction & concern - indebted to the sound of Circa Survive, San Diego rockers Idlehands simultaneously impress & frustrate on their debut LP 'Dena Mora'. Like the aforementioned comparison, this feels like one very good song done over & over again. Intricate guitar lines and Johnny O'Hagan's high-pitched voice dominate, while hooks float in & out without truly taking hold. A back-loaded record, the highlights here have some variety, with the trumpet & guest vocals on 'Mellow Christ' standing out. The lyrics will also prove divisive, bordering on nonsensical at times. Recommended Tracks: Floor of Tradition, Mellow Christ, Dena Mora & Nomad Motto.
Kate Boy Kate Boy
Kodaline In a Perfect World
Cheekily dubbed Snowplay for their likeness to both Snow Patrol & Coldplay, Irish quartet Kodaline should take such comparisons as a compliment. Their debut LP 'In a Perfect World' shows proficiency beyond their years, with 11 consistent tracks that utilize inspiring, anthemic hooks over mostly disconsolate lyrics. It's not exactly musically challenging & their influences are obvious, but the slow builds into arena-baiting crescendos are difficult to dislike. Best of all is Stephen Garrigan's touching falsetto, which - along with some impressive backing harmonies - is an instrument in itself. Recommended Tracks: High Hopes, Love Like This, Pray & All I Want.
Last Dinosaurs Wellness
Lorde Tennis Court
MS MR Secondhand Rapture
Following a magnetic teaser EP, New York based darkwave outfit MS MR simultaneously impress & disappoint on their debut LP 'Secondhand Rapture'. A brooding, gothic & gloomy affair, the duo's versatility also means that it is a hooky, soaring & melodic record. The ominous sounding musical arrangements (courtesy of Max Hershenow) make fantastic use of rhythms, electronics & strings, while Lizzy Plapinger's mesmerizing vocals alternate between sensual & sinister. The main issue with this front-loaded release is that one could argue that the 4 returning EP tracks aren't bettered here. Recommended Tracks: Hurricane, Dark Doo Wop, Bones & Think of You.
Newsted Heavy Metal Music
Nordic Giants Dismantle Suns
Old Again Broken People
OneRepublic Native
Real Friends Put Yourself Back Together
Red City Radio Red City Radio
River City Extension Deliverance
Culling themselves down from an octet to a quintet, it's a more focused River City Extension on their 3rd LP 'Deliverance'. The New Jersey indie-rockers still mix genres like it's a necessity, but it's the meticulous arrangements here that really catch the ear, with many including some absolutely stunning melodies. Not everything works, with most tunes still wandering a little too much, but the loose thematical concept revolving around self-doubt tends to keep the band - & more importantly lead vocalist Joe Michelini - in check over this 41 minutes worth. Recommended Tracks: Something's Gotta Give, Ohio, White Blackmail & Man of Conviction.
Rx Bandits Covers EP
Search The City Flight
Seaway Colour Blind
Sins The Sky Is Falling
Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time: B-Sides - Part 1
Smallpools Smallpools
Spraynard Mable
The Almost Fear Inside Our Bones
The Dear Hunter Migrant
The Joy Formidable Wolf's Law
The Maccabees Marks To Prove It
The Maine Forever Halloween
The Ongoing Concept Saloon
Tonight Alive The Other Side
Turbowolf Two Hands
Veara Growing Up Is Killing Me
Voices from the Fuselage Odyssey: The Destroyer of Worlds
We Are The Ocean Ark
Years and Years Communion
Youngblood Hawke Wake Up

3.5 great
10 Years Feeding the Wolves
10 Years Minus the Machine
12 Stones Anthem For The Underdog
12 Stones The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
A Loss For Words Webster Lake
A Loss For Words The Kids Can't Lose
A Loss For Words These Past Five Years...
A Loss For Words No Sanctuary
A Loss For Words Such Gold split
A Loss For Words Before It Caves
A Rocket to the Moon Greetings From...EP
A Rocket to the Moon The Rainy Day Sessions EP
A Rocket to the Moon That Old Feeling
A Tale of Two Cities Have Heart
A Tale of Two Cities New Horizons
Abel (NY) Lesser Men
Against The Current Infinity
Alesana The Emptiness
Alkaline Trio Good Mourning
Alkaline Trio Alkaline Trio
Alkaline Trio Hell Yes
Alkaline Trio Remains
Alkaline Trio Agony and Irony
Alkaline Trio I Lied My Face Off
Alkaline Trio Damnesia
All Time Low So Wrong, It's Right
All Time Low Three Words to Remember in Dealing With The End
All Time Low Don't Panic
Alter Bridge AB III
Anberlin Blueprints for the Black Market
A debut which displays enormous potential, 'Blueprints For The Black Market' sees Anberlin searching for their niche sound somewhere in between hard-edged rock & pop-punk. The quintet is at their best when at the heavier end of the spectrum ('Readyfuels' & 'Glass to the Arson'), however they occasionally pull off the hybrid sound near-perfectly (the catchy & memorable 'The Undeveloped Story' & emotional 'Cadence'). Even when the album leans towards generic pop-punk, Stephen Christian infuses hooky melodies and provides some moments of brilliance through his commanding & distinct vocals. Recommended Tracks: The Undeveloped Story, Readyfuels, Cadence & Glass To The Arson.
Anberlin Lost Songs
Seriously, it has to be considered showing-off when a band can put a song as great as the majestic part-acoustic/part-electric opener 'The Haunting' on a B-Sides, Covers & Rarities compilation. Elsewhere on 'Lost Songs', Anberlin display their usual brand of catchy rock, as well as some interesting covers (from the likes of Bob Dylan, Depeche Mode, Radiohead & The Smiths). Furthermore, a few of their classics have been acoustically stripped down to varying degrees of success. With 19 tracks & 70 minutes worth, this is a deep & enjoyable compilation that will predominantly appeal to fans. Recommended Tracks: The Haunting, Downtown Song, Enjoy The Silence & A Day Late (acoustic version).
Anchor & Braille Felt
Anchor & Braille The Quiet Life
Aranda Not The Same
Arcade Fire The Arcade Fire
Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys Fluorescent Adolescent
Arctic Monkeys Suck It and See
As It Is Two Track
Atlas Genius Inanimate Objects
Balance and Composure Only Boundaries
Balance and Composure The Things We Think We're Missing
Bastille Overjoyed
Bastille Bad Blood
Bastille Flaws - Remixes
Bayside Sirens & Condolences
Bayside The Walking Wounded
Bayside Killing Time
Bayside Covers - Volume 1
Beirut Lon Gisland
Beirut Elephant Gun
Beirut The Rip Tide
Beth Ditto EP
Biffy Clyro Infinity Land
Billy Talent Watoosh!
Billy Talent Billy Talent III
Billy Talent Dead Silence
Birds Of Tokyo Birds Of Tokyo
Blessed by a Broken Heart Pedal to the Metal
Blessed by a Broken Heart Feel The Power
Blessthefall Witness
Blessthefall Awakening
Bloc Party Silent Alarm
Bloc Party Intimacy
Bloc Party Four
Blood Red Shoes Box Of Secrets
Blood Red Shoes Fire Like This
Blood Red Shoes In Time To Voices
Bombay Bicycle Club I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose
Bombay Bicycle Club A Different Kind of Fix
Bombay Bicycle Club How We Are
Bon Iver Myspace Transmissions
Braid/Balance and Composure Split
Braids Native Speaker
Braids In Kind // Amends
British India Avalanche
Broadway Kingdoms
Broadway Scratch and Sniff
Broadway Calls Toxic Kids
Broken Bells Broken Bells
Built to Spill Perfect from Now On
Cage The Elephant Cage the Elephant
Calling All Cars Hold, Hold, Fire
Calling All Cars Dancing With a Dead Man
Canterbury Heavy In The Day
Canterbury Calm Down
Captain, We're Sinking It's a Trap
Captain, We're Sinking The Animals Are Out
Captain, We're Sinking With Joe Riley
Cassette Kids Nothing on TV
Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer
Charli XCX You're the One
Cherri Bomb Stark
Cherri Bomb This Is the End of Control
Circa Survive The Inuit Sessions
Circa Survive On Letting Go
Circa Survive Appendage
Circa Survive Violent Waves
City and Colour The MySpace Transmissions
Cloud Control Bliss Release
Coldrain The Enemy Inside
Coldrain Final Destination
Coldrain Fiction
Coldrain Through Clarity
Coldrain Until the End
Colony House Colony House EP
Colour Color The Farther We Go
Courage My Love Becoming EP
Courtney Barnett The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Craig David Trust Me
Dananananaykroyd Hey Everyone
Dance Gavin Dance Happiness
Dance Gavin Dance should be proud of surviving numerous line-up changes to record their best album to date with 3rd LP 'Happiness'. A strong 1st half sees technically proficient guitar-work successfully balance a jazzy progressive nature with a melodic dance-rock vibe. All the while, dual vocalists Kurt Travis & Will Swan work very well together. Highlights 'Carl Barker' & 'Happiness' also make this DGD's most accessible release yet. The album's 2nd half experiments with all sorts of dynamics and, while a few targets are missed, satisfyingly adds variety to the mix. Recommended Tracks: Carl Barker, Happiness, Powder to the People & NASA.
Dashboard Confessional Summers Kiss EP
Dashboard Confessional A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar
Dashboard Confessional So Impossible
Dashboard Confessional Alter The Ending
Dead Letter Circus Aesthesis
Dead Sara Dead Sara
Def Leppard High 'n' Dry
Def Leppard Adrenalize
Def Leppard Retro Active
Django Django Django Django
Dommin Love Is Gone
Don Broco Big Fat Smile
Don Broco Priorities
Dustin Kensrue Carry the Fire
Eisley Room Noises
Eisley Combinations
Eisley Marvelous Things
Eisley Laughing City
Eisley Deep Space
Eisley Like the Actors E.P.
Eisley Telescope Eyes E.P.
Elle King The Elle King EP
Ellie Goulding Lights
Ellie Goulding Halcyon
Emarosa Emarosa
Emeli Sande Our Version Of Events
Emery The Question
After their impressive debut LP, Emery unsurprisingly concentrate on their melodic strengths here on follow-up 'The Question'... The aggression has been cut back & the rougher edges have been polished up. This assists the energetic & catchy tracks (especially the hooky 'Studying Politics' & offbeat 'Listening to Freddie Mercury'), yet leaves other moments feeling a little sterile. Overall however, there is a likeable consistency evident, while the dual (sometimes tri) vocal attack is always an attraction. Recommended Tracks: Studying Politics, Listening to Freddie Mercury, Playing With Fire & The Terrible Secret.
Emery While Broken Hearts Prevail
On EP opener 'The Smile, The Face', Emery deliver a statement of intent. A powerhouse of a song, it is their best since 'Walls'; a perfect blend of aggression & melody that is memorable from the get-go. Thankfully, 'While Broken Hearts Prevail' is not a one track EP, as the next 3 cuts blend Emery's trademark characteristics without outstaying their welcome. There is still some work to do as can be seen on the slower closing duo that don't quite get the mix right, however Emery are very much back on track here. Recommended Tracks: The Smile The Face, Edge of The World & Say The Things (You Want).
Envy On The Coast Envy on the Coast
Envy On The Coast Lowcountry
Eric Hutchinson Before I Sold Out
Escape the Fate There's No Sympathy for the Dead
Escape the Fate Dying Is Your Latest Fashion
Estelle Shine
Estelle The 18th Day
Fair to Midland Inter.Funda.Stifle
Fanfarlo Rooms Filled With Light
Fang Island Fang Island
Fang Island Day of the Great Leap
Fang Island Major
Farewell Fighter The Winning Team
Fightstar Grand Unification
'Grand Unification' begins excellently with the same strengths that made Fightstar's debut EP so great; aggressive & passionate dual vocals, intricate guitar lines, a tight rhythm section & an appealing knack for melody. This time it's a little more polished & chorus reliant, but that is a neutral factor. Being critical; there is a mid-section lull, and despite some attempts at dramatic tempo switches it does get a little samey by the end. Yet, this is still a very accomplished & promising debut full-length release. Recommended Tracks: Grand Unification Pt. I, Waste A Moment, Paint Your Target & Hazy Eyes.
Fireworks Gospel
First Aid Kit The Big Black & the Blue
First Aid Kit The Lion's Roar
Foals Hummer
Foo Fighters In Your Honor
Foo Fighters There Is Nothing Left to Lose
Foo Fighters Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Forever Came Calling HopE.P.assion
Forever the Sickest Kids Underdog Alma Mater
Forever the Sickest Kids J.A.C.K.
Foster the People Torches
Foster the People Supermodel
Four Year Strong Rise Or Die Trying
Four Year Strong Enemy of the World
Four Year Strong In Some Way, Shape, or Form.
Foxy Shazam Foxy Shazam
Frankie & The Heartstrings Hunger
Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
Franz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Free Energy Free Energy EP
Free Energy Stuck On Nothing
From First to Last Aesthetic
From First to Last From First to Last
fun. Daytrotter Session
fun. Some Nights
Funeral for a Friend Hours
Funeral for a Friend Memory and Humanity
Funeral for a Friend See You All In Hell
Future of the Left The Plot Against Common Sense
Future of the Left Man vs. Melody
Future of the Left How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident
Gabrielle Aplin Never Fade
Gabrielle Aplin English Rain
Gallows Grey Britain
Gavin Castleton A Bullet, A Lever, A Key
Gavin Castleton's concept EP tells the life story of it's lead character in reverse, with each track titled a particular year. Starting in 2054, this is not a happy story as a relationship break-up, drug issues & job loss are detailed. Over deceptively intricate music, Castleton's vocals alternate between anguished singing & spoken word, both of which successfully convey the mood of the situation & his age at the time. A lot of information needs to be absorbed & repetition does come into play towards the end, but with the EP lasting 20 minutes it's never over-bearing. Recommended Tracks: 2038, 2045 & 2031.
Gin Wigmore Holy Smoke
Girl Talk Night Ripper
A huge step up for Greg Gillis, 'Night Ripper' is arguably groundbreaking in the way that it layers multiple samples over each other & together to form a brand new piece. Even when the tracks aren't special in isolation, there are often moments of genius like KRS-One over Aerosmith, Notorious B.I.G over Elton John, and Sophie B Hawkins over Panjabi MC. The album is strangely front-loaded though. Or is it simply because the replay value of mash-ups is inherently low? Also not helping is that the vocals too often lean towards hip-hop. Still, reliving blasts from the past that are so well put together is darn fun. Recommended Tracks: Minute By Minute, Once Again, Hold Up & Bounce That.
Girl Talk Feed the Animals
Go Radio Welcome to Life
Go Radio Close the Distance
Gotye Like Drawing Blood
Gotye Making Mirrors
HAIM Forever
HAIM Days Are Gone
Halestorm Halestorm
Halestorm ReAnimate: The CoVeRs
Halestorm Hello, It's Mz. Hyde EP
Halestorm The Strange Case Of...
Pennsylvanian hard-rockers Halestorm showcase their split personality on 2nd LP 'The Strange Case Of...'. Once more playing mainstream-leaning hard-rock, Howard Benson's production may be too polished this time around, slickening up Lzzy Hale's vocals to the point of detracting from her raw power. Conversely, one cannot deny the sheer catchiness evident here, as well as the band's admirable attempts to diversify their theoretically dated & generic sound. What made the band/label place 3 ballads consecutively mid-album - & exclude bonus track duet 'Private Parts' - will remain a mystery. Recommended Tracks: I Miss the Misery, Beautiful With You, Love Bites & Mz. Hyde.
Halsey Badlands
Halsey Room 93
Handguns Anywhere But Home
Handguns Don't Bite Your Tongue
Hands Like Houses Ground Dweller
Hard-Fi Once Upon A Time In The West
Hellogoodbye Would It Kill You?
Heroes For Hire Take One For The Team
Heroes For Hire Lights Out
Heroes For Hire Life Of The Party
Hey Rosetta! Plan Your Escape EP
Hidden History Mysterion
Hit the Lights Invicta EP
House Of Heroes The Acoustic End
House of Pain House of Pain
HRVRD Animals EP
Hyro Da Hero Birth, School, Work, Death
I Am the Avalanche Avalanche United
I Call Fives First Things First EP
I Call Fives Bad Advice
Idlehands Common Soul
Imagine Dragons It's Time
Imagine Dragons Continued Silence
Imagine Dragons Night Visions
Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons
In Every Breath Distrust
Ivoryline There Came A Lion
Ivoryline The Life You Have
Jack's Mannequin The Glass Passenger
Not as immediate as the band's debut, 'The Glass Passenger' sees Andrew McMahon trade in "witty" and replace it with "mature" following his successful battle with leukemia. While the hooks & melodies are turned down, the album is definitely a grower if given the chance. But while there really is not a bad track amongst the 13, the majority of them do not demand repeat listens. Thankfully, this is balanced off by 'The Resolution', which is not only the band's best song yet, but a song of the year contender. Recommended Tracks: The Resolution, Spinning, Drop Out - The So Unknown & American Love.
Jack's Mannequin People and Things
Janus Red Right Return
Janus Armor
Janus Nox Aeris
Japandroids Post-Nothing
Jessie Ware Devotion
Jet Get Born
Jimmy Eat World Clarity
Jimmy Eat World Invented
Jimmy Eat World Damage
Jonathan Boulet Jonathan Boulet
Considering he wrote, recorded, produced & played almost every instrument on his self-titled debut album, 21 year old Sydney-sider Jonathan Boulet has quite the future. Filled with feel-good vocal harmonies & toe-tapping rhythms (he is the drummer for Parades), this LP is perfect for a mild summer evening. Boulet falters a little in the mid-section where he tries to be a touch too experimental, but ultimately this is a strong debut whose highlights are catchy indie-pop gems with an earthy difference. Recommended Tracks: A Community Service Announcement, 321 Ready or Not, Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die & Continue Calling.
Junior Battles Idle Ages
K Sera The Machinist
Kadawatha Agape
Kaiser Chiefs Employment
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kasabian Kasabian
Kasabian West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
With Chris Karloff's departure, guitarist Sergio Pizzorno writes every song on Kasabian's 3rd LP 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum'. This is a positive since it makes this their most focused & consistent release. Kudos also goes to hip-hop producer Dan The Automator, since the haphazard hit & miss nature of previous efforts is predominantly gone, and even the most psychedelic tracks remain accessible. Lyrical & originality issues mean it's no album of the year (what were you thinking Q?), although the addictive 'Fire' contends for song of '09 honors. Recommended Tracks: Fire, Where Did All The Love Go?, Underdog & Fast Fuse.
Katy B On A Mission
Kerrie Roberts No Matter What
Kerrie Roberts Once Upon A Time
Kid Astray Back to the Ordinary
Kid Astray Home Before the Dark
Kids in Glass Houses Smart Casual
Kids in Glass Houses In Gold Blood
Kill Hannah For Never & Ever
Kisschasy Hymns for the Nonbeliever
Kodaline Kodaline
Ladyhawke Anxiety
Lana Del Rey Paradise
Last Dinosaurs Back From The Dead
Lights The Listening
Lights Saviour
Lights Acoustic
Lights Siberia
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory
Lisa Mitchell Welcome to the Afternoon
Lisa Mitchell Wonder
Little Comets In Search of Elusive Little Comets
Little Comets Adultery EP
Little Comets Life Is Elsewhere
Living Colour Stain
Living Colour The Chair in the Doorway
Los Campesinos! Sticking fingers Into Sockets
Los Campesinos! Hold On Now, Youngster...
Los Campesinos! Romance Is Boring
Los Campesinos! Heat Rash #3
Los Campesinos! Heat Rash #4
Lostprophets Weapons
Lower Than Atlantis Far Q
Lower Than Atlantis Punk on the Covers
Lower Than Atlantis Changing Tune
Lowtalker The Marathon
M-Phazes Good Gracious
Madina Lake From Them, Through Us, To You
Madina Lake's heavier brand of pop-punk may not be the most original sound, but their debut album 'From Them, Through Us, To You' is a fun listen on the back of a number of supremely catchy tracks. The 4 singles are infectious standouts, but they are well complemented by 'Now or Never', 'Stars' & the more post-hardcore leaning 'True Love', which all contain anthemic components that are high on the sing-along factor. The band is not as convincing when they attempt to branch out ('River People' & 'Morning Sadness'), but they predominantly know their strengths & never outstay their welcome. Recommended Tracks: Here I Stand, House of Cards, Pandora & One Last Kiss.
Make Do and Mend Bodies Of Water
Make Do and Mend Part and Parcel
Man Overboard Real Talk
Man Overboard Noise From Upstairs
Man Overboard The Absolute Worst
Man Overboard Dahlia
Man Overboard The Human Highlight Reel
Man Overboard Man Overboard
Manchester Orchestra I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child
Manchester Orchestra You Brainstorm, I Brainstorm, But Brilliance...
Manchester Orchestra 5 Stories
Manchester Orchestra Nobody Sings Anymore
Marianas Trench Marianas Trench
Marina and The Diamonds The Crown Jewels
Marina and The Diamonds Electra Heart
Marina and The Diamonds Froot
Matt and Toby Matt And Toby
Mayday Parade Tales Told By Dead Friends
Mayday Parade Anywhere But Here
Mayday Parade Valdosta
Meg Myers Daughter In The Choir
Menomena Friend And Foe
Menomena Mines
Metallica Reload
Metallica Some Kind of Monster
Metallica No Life 'til Leather
Metallica Beyond Magnetic
Metric Live It Out
On 'Live It Out', Metric use a louder & more pronounced guitar attack in combination with the band's usual new-wave tendencies. It works well too, since James Shaw puts together some genuinely hooky guitar melodies. The LP is a little inconsistent & some of the slower cuts lack appeal, but even then the enchanting & almost mysterious voice of Emily Haines makes those tracks interesting & worth a listen. The 2 clear highlights are the supremely catchy 'Monster Hospital' & the quiet/loud dynamics of 6 minute opener 'Empty'. Recommended Tracks: Monster Hospital, Empty, Handshakes & Glass Ceiling.
Metric Fantasies
Two tracks into 'Fantasies', you get the feeling that this could be the album of 2009. 'Help I'm Alive' & 'Sick Muse' are a fantastic opening duo that are alluring & super catchy (both vocally & musically). There are memorable tracks elsewhere, but there are also some overlong cuts that are too complex & atmospheric for their own good. When Metric concentrate on writing hooky melodies from their synth-pop/alt-rock concoction, they are something special. Unfortunately, when they don't, the replay factor is low. Thankfully, there are more hits than misses here. Recommended Tracks: Help I'm Alive, Sick Muse, Gimme Sympathy & Stadium Love.
Mew No More Stories
MGMT Oracular Spectacular
MGMT Time to Pretend
Miami Horror Bravado
Miami Horror Illumination
Miike Snow Miike Snow
Miles Kane First Of My Kind
MNEK Small Talk
Moneen Are we Really Happy with who we are Right Now?
With dual vocals that occasionally stray towards whiney emo, Moneen reminds of early Taking Back Sunday on their 2nd LP. However, there is more ambition at play here with their energetic pop-punk sound being stretched in all directions through tempo-switching & experimental song structures. Furthermore, the above-average lyrics concern more than just the usual stereotypes of the genre, while Chris Hughes' guitar-work is super impressive. Some songs are a little too rough around the edges & over-length is a concern as many songs begin to blend into each other over 51 minutes, but this is a very good LP that hints at the potential for greatness! Recommended Tracks 5, 2, 8 & 9.
Moneen Hold that sound EP
This 4 track EP gives a sneak peek at Moneen's upcoming 4th album. There is adequate reasoning for it to exist, as it seems as if they have undergone a change in sound if the title track is anything to go by. Gone are the whiney vocals and in their place are a plethora of smooth melodies & soaring musical harmonies that appear to be targeting a mainstream audience. Elsewhere, the frenetic nature of 'Madness!' may remind of prior works, but is a rather unremarkable song. Finally, 2 gentle acoustic tracks show the band's sincere side and come up trumps, with the simple - yet memorable & recitable - chorus of 'The Way' especially impressing. Recommended Tracks: Hold That Sound & The Way.
Motion City Soundtrack Even If It Kills Me
Motion City Soundtrack Making Moves
MS MR How Does it Feel
Mumford and Sons Sigh No More
Mumford and Sons Babel
Muse Origin of Symmetry
Mutemath Spotlight
Mutemath Armistice
Mutemath Odd Soul
My Chemical Romance Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
My Chemical Romance The Black Parade Is Dead!
My Chemical Romance Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
My Chemical Romance Number Two
Natalia Kills Perfectionist
Naughty By Nature Poverty's Paradise
Neon Trees Habits
Neon Trees Picture Show
Never Shout Never Indigo
New Young Pony Club The Optimist
Newsted Metal
Old Again Grey Sky State of Mind
P.O.S Never Better
Panic! at the Disco A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
Panic! at the Disco Vices & Virtues
Papa Roach F.E.A.R.
Paramore All We Know Is Falling
Paramore The Summer Tic
Paramore Singles Club
Passion Pit Chunk of Change
Passion Pit Kindred
Phrase Babylon
Pierce the Veil A Flair for the Dramatic
PMtoday And Then The Hurricane
PMtoday In Medias Res
Ra Ra Riot Ra Ra Riot EP
Ra Ra Riot The Orchard
Razorlight Up All Night
Real Friends Everyone That Dragged You Here
Real Friends This Is Honesty
Real Friends Three Songs About the Past Year of My Life
Red End of Silence
On top of the alternating angsty & melodic vocals of traditional nu/alt-metal, Red has the ability to write a good hook, whether it be via a catchy chorus, a hard-hitting riff or the inclusion of piano & strings arrangements. The latter component is their secret weapon, and while over-used, it is an effective one. Vocalist Michael Barnes has a strong voice which also conveys emotion well, whether the piece is hard & fast, or soft & slow. The LP is front-loaded, but the stripped back closer ends things on a surprising note. An impressive debut with genuine crossover potential. Recommended Tracks: Lost, Let Go, Breathe Into Me & Already Over Pt 2.
Red City Radio To the Sons & Daughters of Woody Guthrie
Red City Radio The Dangers of Standing Still
Rise Against Revolutions per Minute
Rise Against The Unraveling
Rise Against Join the Ranks
River City Extension Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger
Robyn Body Talk
Royal Republic We Are The Royal
Royal Teeth Act Naturally
Rx Bandits Mandala
On 6th LP 'Mandala', the RX Bandits predominantly ditch the horns and add more keys to their creative, technical & progressive brand of rock. Initial signs are favorable with opening rocker 'My Lonesome Only Friend' being a highlight. Unfortunately, the remainder of the 1st half is not as immediately gripping as their previous album & comparatively struggles without the X-factor of the horns. Thankfully, the LP's latter half is its strength, with great variety & some stunning individual performances, especially from vocalist Matt Embree & drummer Chris Tsagakis. A grower of an album that is ultimately rewarding. Recommended Tracks: 1, 10, 7 & 3.
Ryan Star Last Train Home
Ryan Star The America EP
Saliva Every Six Seconds
San Cisco Awkward
Saosin Saosin EP
Saosin The Grey
Saosin In Search Of Solid Ground
Sasha Siem Most of the Boys
Save Your Breath Recover
Say Anything Say Anything
There may not be a songwriter as consistently witty & humorous as Say Anything's Max Bemis. The "manorexic" whose "hair cannot commit to one popular genre of music" rearranges song structures, while filling the band's self-titled 4th LP with hilarious pop-culture references. Efficiently refining their most outlandish characteristics without sacrificing variety, consistency or any of their one-of-a-kind attributes, this is the sextet's most catchy & accessible release to date. From the captivating opener to the infectious refrain of the closer, Say Anything have delivered another stellar LP that satisfyingly balances mature progression & crowd-pleasing quirkiness. Recommended Tracks: Crush'd, Mara and Me, Less Cute & Ahhh... Men.
Say Lou Lou Lucid Dreaming
Senses Fail Let It Enfold You
Senses Fail Let It Enfold You (Deluxe Edition)
Senses Fail Life Is Not a Waiting Room
Senses Fail Renacer
Shapes and Colors Hold Your Breath
Sharks Show of Hands
Sharks Shallow Waters
Sharks The Joys Of Living 2008-2010
Sharks Selfhood
Sick Puppies Dressed Up as Life
Silversun Pickups Carnavas
Silversun Pickups Seasick
Simple Plan Still Not Getting Any...
Skrillex Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
Skunk Anansie Paranoid And Sunburnt
Skunk Anansie Wonderlustre
Sky Ferreira As If!
Slaves Routine Breathing
Sleeping With Sirens With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear
Sleeping With Sirens Let's Cheers to This
Sleeping With Sirens Feel
Snakadaktal Snakadaktal
Sparks The Rescue The Secrets We Can't Keep
Sparks The Rescue Eyes to the Sun
Sparks The Rescue Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With
Spokes People Like People Like You
State Champs Apparently, I'm Nothing
State Champs Around the World and Back
Steel Panther Feel the Steel
Steel Train Trampoline
Stone Sour Audio Secrecy
Stone Sour House of Gold and Bones - Part 1
Story of the Year Page Avenue
Despite attempting to reach too many targets with an invariable sound, Story of the Year impress in being able to deliver a number of aggressively catchy melodies on their debut LP 'Page Avenue'. Clearly a front-loaded album - with its best quartet of tracks arguably being the first four - the St.Louis quintet alternate from post-hardcore to hard-rock, and from pop-rock to metalcore in searching for their true sound. The memorable highlights on offer here suggest a band with genuine crossover potential, but a little more streamlining & imagination will be required first. Recommended Tracks: Until The Day I Die, Anthem of Our Dying Day, And The Hero Will Drown & In The Shadows.
Story of the Year The Black Swan
Story of the Year The Constant
Strange Names Strange Names
Strange Names Use Your Time Wisely
Strange Talk Cast Away
Streetlight Manifesto 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I
Such Gold Misadventures
Sum 41 Does This Look Infected?
Sum 41 Motivation
Sum 41 Half Hour Of Power
Sum 41 Does This Look Infected Too?
Surfer Blood Astro Coast
Surfer Blood Tarot Classics
Surfer Blood Pythons
Taking Back Sunday New Again
Taking Back Sunday Taking Back Sunday
Tenacious D Tenacious D
Terrible Things Terrible Things
The 1975 Sex
The 1975 IV
The Academy Is... Santi
The All-American Rejects The All-American Rejects
The All-American Rejects When the World Comes Down
The All-American Rejects The Bite Back EP
The Almost Southern Weather
Underoath drummer/clean vocalist Aaron Gillespie does a Dave Grohl & not only writes every song for this side-project, but practically plays every instrument too. It's a resounding success as the harsh sound of his main band is toned down to a more conventional rock feel. Where Gillespie really shines is his ability to create hooks. The catchy & memorable 'Say This Sooner' has numerous, as does the Amazing Grace re-working 'Amazing Because It Is'. While there is no filler, a few too many tracks do unfortunately blend into each other though. Recommended Tracks: Amazing Because It Is, Say This Sooner, Southern Weather & Everyone Here Smells Like A Rat.
The Almost Monster EP
Released 4 weeks prior to The Almost's 2nd LP, the 'Monster EP' is a promising teaser due to the strength of its 5 tracks. 'Hands' is a radio-ready highlight with its winning piano line, jangly guitars & super infectious sing-along chorus, while B-Side 'Birmingham' adds a punk influenced chant. Conversely, the opening acoustic half of the 6 minute title track re-explores the occasional country vibe given off on the band's debut, before satisfyingly breaking out into an instrumental jam. The remaining 2 cuts are not distinctly memorable, but each has a hooky chorus similar to Southern Weather's album tracks. Recommended Tracks: Hands, Monster & Birmingham.
The Big Pink A Brief History of Love
The Blackout We Are the Dynamite
The Blackout's debut full-length release threatens to run off the rails early with some bland, lazy & uninspiring guitar-work, but eventually delivers another impressive slice of fun, infectious & melodic post-hardcore. The dueling vocalists are once more in action on cuts like 'Spread Legs Not Lies' & 'Prepare For A Wound', while the polished production brings out the Welsh sextet's more accessible side elsewhere ('The Beijing Cocktail' simply oozes hooks). A semi-epic orchestral closer then hints at the band's maturity & ends things off nicely. Recommended Tracks: Spread Legs Not Lies, The Beijing Cocktail, Prepare For A Wound & Life and Death In Space.
The Blackout The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!
The Blackout's debut EP is nothing you have not heard before, but with hardly a filler track it ticks all the boxes for a young band. From the metalcore like aggressive opener to the dual clean approach of the middle duo, the Welshmen are equally as proficient when it comes to vocals, musicianship & songwriting. They are at their best however, when performing a melodic & very accessible brand of post-hardcore - as heard on lead single 'Hard Slammin' - where Gavin Butler's catchy vocal melodies are well complemented by Sean Smith's manic & energetic screaming. Recommended Tracks: Hard Slammin', I'm A Riot? You're A F**king Riot! & Fashion Conscious Suicide.
The Blackout Hope
The Cab Glitz and Glamour
The Cab Symphony Soldier
The Damned Things Ironiclast
The Dangerous Summer If You Could Only Keep Me Alive
The Dangerous Summer Reach for the Sun
The Darien Venture Indications
The Darien Venture The Back to the Future EP
The Dear Hunter Act I: The Lake South, the River North
The Dear Hunter Act III: Life and Death
The Dear Hunter Branches
The Dear Hunter Black
The Dear Hunter Green
The Dear Hunter The Migrations Annex
The Feeling Twelve Stops And Home
The Felix Culpa Sever Your Roots
The Felix Culpa SoSo Remission
The Format Snails
The Format And Now I Hope You're Alright - Live in California
The Fratellis Here We Stand
The Fratellis The Flathead EP
The Fratellis We Need Medicine
The Gaslight Anthem Señor and the Queen
The Gaslight Anthem Live at Park Avenue
The Getaway Plan Other Voices, Other Rooms
The Graduate Horror Show
The Graduate The Evergreen EP
The Graduate Every Other Time
The Holidays Post Paradise
Filled with indie-pop tunes that carry vibrant, percussion-heavy rhythms & just a touch of electro, Sydney quartet The Holidays have released a real summer album that seems to have come straight from a tropical island in the Caribbean. It's not exactly the most innovative LP ever & it does run out of steam towards the end as the band attempt to experiment a little more with darker sounds. Yet, with catchy melodies & suitably relaxing vocals, 'Post Paradise' still makes for an extremely promising debut LP. Recommended Tracks: Golden Sky, Moonlight Hours, 6 AM & 2 Days.
The Horrible Crowes Elsie
The Jezabels The Brink
The Joy Formidable A Balloon Called Moaning
The Joy Formidable The Big More
The Maccabees Colour It In
The Maccabees Wall of Arms
The Menzingers Chamberlain Waits
The Menzingers On the Impossible Past
The Morning Benders Talking Through Tin Cans
The Pretty Reckless Light Me Up
The Pretty Reckless Hit Me Like A Man
The Rocket Summer Calendar Days
The Rocket Summer Of Men and Angels
The Rocket Summer Of Men and Angels: B-Sides
The Script The Script
The Sleeping Question & Answers
The Sleeping The Big Deep
The Starting Line Direction
The Story So Far While You Were Sleeping
The Story So Far 5 Songs
The Subways Young For Eternity
The Subways Money and Celebrity
The Subways The Subways
The Sun and The Sea Nightfalls
The Swellers Beginning Of The End Again
The Swellers My Everest
The Swellers Running Out of Places to Go
The Tallest Man on Earth Shallow Grave
The Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird
The Temper Trap Conditions
The Used Artwork
The Weeknd Thursday
The Wombats A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation
The Wombats Jump Into The Fog
The Wonder Years Won't Be Pathetic Forever
The Wonder Years Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing
The Words We Use Morals
The World Is a Beautiful Place... Whenever, If Ever
There For Tomorrow There For Tomorrow
There For Tomorrow A Little Faster
There For Tomorrow Pages
Thirty Seconds To Mars A Beautiful Lie
This Century Sound of Fire
This Century Hopeful Romantic Sampler EP
This Century To Love and Back - EP
This Century 2007 EP
This Century Look What We Made
This Century Acoustics EP
This Providence Our Worlds Divorce
This Providence The Bright Lights
This Providence The Sunday Best
This Wild Life Heart Flip
Thursday A City By the Light Divided
Tonight Alive All Shapes & Disguises
Tonight Alive Consider This
Tonight Alive What Are You So Scared Of?
Tremonti All I Was
TRUSTcompany True Parallels
TRUSTcompany Dreaming In Black and White
TTNG This Town Needs Guns
Twenty One Pilots Three Songs
Two Door Cinema Club Tourist History
Two Door Cinema Club Beacon
Two Door Cinema Club Four Words to Stand On
Valencia We All Need A Reason To Believe
Valencia Dancing With A Ghost
Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
Van Halen OU812
Van Halen Women and Children First
Van Halen A Different Kind of Truth
Veara What We Left Behind
VersaEmerge Perceptions
VersaEmerge VersaEmerge
Just 6 months after the release of 'Perceptions', VersaEmerge return with yet another very good 17 minute EP that sees their sound evolve with more electronica added to the mix. Keys/synths play a large part in 4 of the 6 tracks, yet it is the remaining 2 cuts which impress most; 'Past Praying For' is simply very catchy, while a re-recording of 'Clocks' takes on a more acoustic feel & sees it go from average to fantastic. This self-titled EP is a marginal improvement on 'Perceptions', if only for the lack of multiple interludes. VersaEmerge are well & truly ready to release their debut album now. Recommended Tracks: Past Praying For & Clocks.
VersaEmerge Another Atmosphere Preview
Versus The World Drink. Sing. Live. Love.
Versus The World Homesick/Roadsick
Wale Attention Deficit
Walk the Moon i want! i want!
Walk the Moon Walk the Moon
Walk the Moon Tightrope
We Are The In Crowd Guaranteed To Disagree
We Are The Ocean We Are The Ocean
We Are The Ocean Cutting Our Teeth
We Are The Ocean Go Now And Live
We Still Dream Chapters
We The Kings Smile Kid
We The Kings Somewhere Somehow
Weezer Hurley
William Beckett Winds Will Change
Wolfmother Cosmic Egg
WU LYF Heavy Pop / Concrete Gold
Yeasayer Odd Blood
Yellowcard Underdog
Yellowcard Lights and Sounds
Yellowcard When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
You Me At Six Take Off Your Colours
England finally contributes something worthwhile to pop-punk with 'Take Off Your Colours', the debut LP from teenage quintet You Me At Six. While fun & consistent, the straight-forward 1st half is a little too derivative of many U.S bands. Yet, it accentuates the more diverse latter half which displays both maturity & potential. Despite the predictable lyrical themes, the songwriting is above-average and longer cuts such as acoustic ballad 'Always Attract' and closer 'The Rumour' (complete with sing-along finale) show a knack for ambitious song structure. Recommended Tracks: The Rumour, Always Attract, Jealous Minds Think Alike & If I Were In Your Shoes.
You Me At Six Sinners Never Sleep
You, Me, And Everyone We Know Things Are Really Weird Right Now
You, Me, And Everyone We Know So Young, So Insane
You, Me, And Everyone We Know A Great Big Hole
Young Guns Bones
Young the Giant Remix EP
Youngblood Hawke Youngblood Hawke

3.4 great
10 Years From Birth to Burial
Air Review Low Wishes
Alesana Confessions
All Time Low Future Hearts
And So I Watch You From Afar Heirs
Andrew McMahon The Pop Underground
Antarctigo Vespucci I'm So Tethered
Antarctigo Vespucci Leavin' La Vida Loca
Aurora Running With the Wolves
Be The Wolf Imago
Bloc Party The Nextwave Sessions
Blood Red Shoes Blood Red Shoes
Braids Flourish // Perish
Breaking Benjamin Dark Before Dawn
Cloud Control Dream Cave
Courage My Love Spirit Animal
Courage My Love Becoming
Daisyhead I Couldn't Face You
Distance and Divide Distance and Divide
Don Broco Automatic
Eisley Currents
Empire Of The Sun Ice On the Dune
Escape the Fate Ungrateful
Flo Morrissey Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful
Halestorm ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP
Halestorm Into the Wild Life
James Arthur James Arthur
Jessie Ware If You're Never Gonna Move
John Newman Tribute
Man Overboard Heart Attack
Marianas Trench Something Old/Something New
Muse Drones
My Chemical Romance Number Four
Never Shout Never Acoustic EP
Never Shout Never The Xmas EP
Nordic Giants A Séance Of Dark Delusions
Phases For Life
Press to Meco Affinity
Red Release the Panic
Royal Teeth Glow
Ryan Star Animals
Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
Sparks The Rescue Truth Inside the Fiction
The Bunny The Bear Acoustic EP
The Bunny The Bear A Liar Wrote This
The Delta Riggs Hex.Lover.Killer
The Maine Imaginary Numbers
The Maine American Candy
The Wonder Years Manton Street
Twenty One Pilots Blurryface
Young Guns Ones and Zeros

3.3 great
A Feast For Kings Hell On Earth
A Rocket to the Moon Wild & Free
Asking Alexandria From Death to Destiny
Beta State Glass
Birds Of Tokyo March Fires
Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe
Blood Red Shoes Water
Fall Out Boy American Beauty/American Psycho
Frankie & The Heartstrings The Days Run Away
Have Mercy/Somos Split
Hellogoodbye Everything Is Debatable
Hit the Lights Summer Bones
I See Stars New Demons
I, The Lion Tides and Tales
Imagine Dragons The Archive
Jeff Rosenstock We Cool?
Jessie J Alive
Katy B Little Red
Kid Astray Easily Led Astray
Love and Death Between Here And Lost
Man Overboard Passing Ends
Man Overboard/Senses Fail Split
Marianas Trench Astoria
Paloma Faith A Perfect Contradiction
Paramore Paramore
Pick Your Poison No Holds Barred
Pyogenesis A Century in the Curse of Time
Ryan Star A N G E L S + A N I M A L S
San Cisco Gracetown
Sianvar Sianvar
Smallpools Lovetap!
The Japanese House Pools To Bathe In
Vinnie Caruana City By The Sea
William Beckett Genuine & Counterfeit

3.2 good
Alesana Decade
As It Is Blenheim Place Acoustic
Blessthefall Hollow Bodies
Free Energy Love Sign
Little Boots Nocturnes
Miami Horror All Possible Futures
Mideau Way With Words
Senses Fail Pull the Thorns from Your Heart
Sleeping With Sirens Madness
Surfer Blood 1000 Palms
The Mowgli's Waiting for the Dawn
The Pretty Reckless Going to Hell
Two Door Cinema Club Changing Of The Seasons
You Me At Six Cavalier Youth

3.1 good
Anna Calvi One Breath
Antarctigo Vespucci Soulmate Stuff
Anthony Raneri Sorry State Of Mind
Boston Manor Here/Now
Hunter Hunted Ready For You
Kodaline Love Like This
Kodaline Coming Up for Air
Kodaline One Day
Little Boots Working Girl
Milk Teeth Sad Sack
Orianthi Heaven In This Hell
The Blackout Start The Party

3.0 good
10 Years Killing All That Holds You
12 Stones Potter's Field
12 Stones Beneath the Scars
A Loss For Words Motown Classics
A Rocket to the Moon On Your Side
Adele 19
Aiden Nightmare Anatomy
Aiden Conviction
Aiden Some Kind of Hate
Airbourne Runnin' Wild
Airbourne Black Dog Barking
Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls
Alabama Shakes Alabama Shakes
Alesana On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax
Alesana A Place Where the Sun is Silent
Alex Turner Submarine OST
Alexisonfire Watch Out!
Alkaline Trio This Addiction
Alkaline Trio For Your Lungs Only
All Time Low Nothing Personal
Amy Macdonald Life In A Beautiful Light
Anchor & Braille Anchor and Braille
Anna Calvi Anna Calvi
Anthony Raneri New Cathedrals
Arctic Monkeys Humbug
Asking Alexandria Reckless and Relentless
Bahamas Barchords
Balance and Composure Acoustic
Beach House Teen Dream
Beach House Zebra EP
Beirut Gulag Orkestar
Beirut The Flying Club Cup
Beirut March of the Zapotec/Holland
Birds Of Tokyo This Fire
Black Veil Brides We Stitch These Wounds
Black Veil Brides Set the World on Fire
Blaqk Audio CexCells
Blaqk Audio Bright Black Heaven
Bloc Party Four More
Blood Orange Coastal Grooves
Bombay Bicycle Club Flaws
Bon Iver Blood Bank
Braids Set Pieces
Brand New Daisy
No-one can ever accuse Brand New of making the same album twice and 'Daisy' could be their greatest divergence yet! Often loud, aggressive & grungy, this divisive LP is intentionally raw, wild & messy. It works when the deceptive melodies reveal themselves & the quintet get the soft/loud dynamics right, but as a whole it comes off feeling only solid & a little unmemorable. It is not helped by atypical impersonal lyrics & too little method to the madness. The initial effect is jarring, then it grows, but ultimately 'Daisy' settles as a disappointing & over-ambitious experiment. Recommended Tracks: At The Bottom, You Stole & Vices.
Brandon Flowers Flamingo
Breaking Benjamin Dear Agony
Breathe Carolina Hell Is What You Make It
Broadway Gentleman's Brawl
Broadway Calls Broadway Calls
Broken Bells Meyrin Fields
Built to Spill You in Reverse
Built to Spill There's Nothing Wrong with Love
Built to Spill Ancient Melodies of the Future
Carolina Liar Wild Blessed Freedom
Catcall The Warmest Place
Circa Survive Juturna
Coldplay Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
Coldplay Mylo Xyloto
Courage My Love For Now
Courtney Barnett i've got a friend called emily ferris
Craig David Slicker Than Your Average
D.R.U.G.S. D.R.U.G.S.
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Dark Night of the Soul
Daniel Merriweather Love & War
Dappled Cities Zounds
Dashboard Confessional The Drowning
Dashboard Confessional The Swiss Army Romance
Dashboard Confessional The Shade of Poison Trees
David Guetta One Love
Deaf Havana It's Called The Easy Life
Def Leppard On Through the Night
Def Leppard Yeah!
Def Leppard Songs from the Sparkle Lounge
Eisley Fire Kite EP
Eisley Head Against the Sky
Eliza Doolittle Eliza Doolittle
Emarosa This is Your Way Out
Emarosa Relativity
Emery I'm Only A Man
Empire Of The Sun Walking On A Dream
Eric Hutchinson Sounds Like This
Escape the Fate Situations
Escape the Fate Escape the Fate EP
Escape the Fate Escape the Fate
Estelle All of Me
Evermore Dreams
Fair to Midland The Drawn and Quartered EP
Fireworks Adventure, Nostalgia, and Robbery
Fireworks Bonfires
First Aid Kit Drunken Trees
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters
Forever the Sickest Kids Television Off, Party On
Forever the Sickest Kids Forever the Sickest Kids
Four Year Strong Demo
Four Year Strong It's Our Time
Foxy Shazam Introducing
Foxy Shazam The Church of Rock and Roll
Framing Hanley The Moment
From First to Last Heroine
Funeral for a Friend Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation
Future of the Left Curses
Gabriella Cilmi Lessons to Be Learned
Gabriella Cilmi Ten
Gabrielle Aplin Acoustic EP
Gallows Orchestra Of Wolves
Gallows Death Is Birth
General Fiasco Buildings
Goodbyemotel Wish Your Way
Gypsy and the Cat Gilgamesh
Halestorm One and Done EP
Handguns Angst
Hey Rosetta! Plan Your Escape
Hey Rosetta! Red Songs
Hit the Lights This Is a Stick Up...
Hit the Lights Skip School, Start Fights
Hit the Lights Coast to Coast (EP)
Hit the Lights Invicta
House Of Heroes The Christmas Classics
Hunter Hunted Hunter Hunted
I Call Fives Someone That's Not You
Imagine Dragons Hell and Silence
Imagine Dragons Hear Me
In Every Breath Awakening
In This Moment A Star-Crossed Wasteland
In This Moment Blood
James Blake CMYK
James Blake James Blake
James Blake Enough Thunder
Japandroids Lullaby Death Jams
Japandroids All Lies
Japandroids No Singles
Jay-Z and Linkin Park Collision Course
Jessica Mauboy Been Waiting
Jimmy Eat World Chase This Light
Jon Fratelli Psycho Jukebox
Jon Fratelli The Magic Hour
Junior Battles Hotel Bibles
Kaiser Chiefs Off With Their Heads
Kasabian Empire
Kasabian Velociraptor!
Katy B Danger
Kerrie Roberts Kerrie Roberts
Kids in Glass Houses E-Pocalypse!
Kill Hannah American Jet Set
Kill Hannah Wake Up The Sleepers
Kill Hannah Here Are The Young Moderns
Kisschasy United Paper People
Kisschasy Seizures
Klaxons Myths of the Near Future
Kodaline High Hopes
Lady Antebellum Need You Now
Lady Antebellum iTunes Sessions
Late of the Pier Fantasy Black Channel
Laura Jane Grace Heart Burns
Lead Hands Lead Hands
Lights Lights
Lily Allen Alright, Still
Linkin Park Meteora
Lisa Mitchell Said One to the Other
Little Boots Hands
Little Comets Jennifer And Other Short Stories
Little Red Midnight Remember
Living Colour Biscuits
Living Colour Collideoscope
Los Campesinos! We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
Los Campesinos! All's Well That Ends
Los Campesinos! Heat Rash #1
Los Campesinos! Hello Sadness
Love and Death Chemicals
Madina Lake Attics To Eden
Madina Lake World War III
Man Overboard Before We Met: A Collection of Old Songs
Man Overboard Hung Up On Nothing
Man Overboard / Transit Split
Manchester Orchestra Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind EP/DVD
Manchester Orchestra Fourteen Years Of Excellence
Menomena Moms
Metallica St. Anger
Metallica The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited
Metallica Load
Metallica The Unnamed Feeling
Metric Synthetica
Metronomy Nights Out
Metronomy The English Riviera
Metronomy Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe)
Miike Snow Happy to You
Miles Kane Colour of the Trap
Milk Teeth Smiling Politely
Moneen The World I Want To Leave Behind
Motion City Soundtrack I Am the Movie
Muse Random 1-8
Muse have always been ambitious and that fits right in with releasing (if only in Japan) an 8 track EP of B-Sides and live cuts after only one LP. Individually, most of these songs could have slotted in as album tracks on 'Showbiz', but as a whole they only result in a good solid package and nothing more. Only for diehard fans of the band, Muse's usual traits are on show here; The tempo-switching 'Host', the hooky guitar riffs of 'Coma' and the distorted vocals of 'Agitated'. Yet, it is the slower and haunting near-instrumental of 'Forced In' which stands out alongside the live version of the under-rated 'Filip'.
Muse Hullabaloo Soundtrack
Muse Muse
With 3 of this EP's 4 tracks being later re-recorded for their excellent debut LP 'Showbiz', the 16 minute 'Muse EP' is a nice little summation of the English trio's early potential. Many of Muse's strengths are on show, including Matt Bellamy's falsetto vocals & attention-grabbing riffs, as well as a talented knack to pull off effective quiet/loud dynamics. However, to suggest that this is much more than a taste of things to come would be going over the top, since the 3 'Showbiz' tracks were not highlights of that admittedly even album, and eventual B-Side 'Coma' is just another good solid track. Recommended Track: Cave.
Natalie Imbruglia Come to Life
Naughty By Nature 19 Naughty III
Never Shout Never Yippee EP
Never Shout Never Time Travel
New Young Pony Club Fantastic Playroom
Newton Faulkner Hand Built By Robots
Of Machines As If Everything Was Held In Place
OK Go Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky
OneRepublic Dreaming Out Loud
OneRepublic Waking Up
Orianthi Believe
Orianthi Fire
Orson Bright Idea
Owl City Maybe I'm Dreaming
Owl City Ocean Eyes
Paloma Faith Fall To Grace
Paramore The Only Exception
Pink Funhouse
Pink The Truth About Love
Real Friends Acoustic Songs
Rev Theory Light It Up
Rev Theory Truth is Currency
Rise Against Rise Against 7"
Romantic Rebel Romantic Rebel
Ryan Star 11:59
Saliva Back Into Your System
Saliva Cinco Diablo
San Cisco San Cisco
Saving Abel Bringing Down the Giant
Senses Fail From the Depths of Dreams
Set Your Goals Mutiny!
Set Your Goals Burning At Both Ends
Skrillex My Name Is Skrillex
Skrillex Bangarang
Skunk Anansie Post Orgasmic Chill
Skunk Anansie Stoosh
Sky Ferreira Ghost
Sonny Moore Gypsyhook
Sparks The Rescue Hey, Mr. Allure
Steel Panther Balls Out
Steel Train For You My Dear
Stone Sour Stone Sour
Stone Sour Demo
Such Gold Stand Tall
Such Gold Pedestals
Such Gold A Loss For Words split
Sugar Army The Parallels Amongst Ourselves
Sum 41 Chuck
Sum 41 Underclass Hero
Sum 41 Screaming Bloody Murder
T-Pain Rappa Ternt Sanga
T-Pain Thr33 Ringz
T-Pain Freaknik: The Musical
T-Pain Revolver
Tenacious D The Pick of Destiny
Terrible Things Pre-Transmission
The 1975 Facedown
The 1975 Music For Cars
The Academy Is... From The Carpet
The Academy Is... Fast Times at Barrington High
The Academy Is... Lost In Pacific Time: The AP/EP
The All-American Rejects Kids in the Street
The All-American Rejects Flatline EP
The Almost Monster, Monster
The Automatic This Is a Fix
The Big Pink Future This
The Cab Whisper War
The Cab Drunk Love
The Dear Hunter Indigo
The Dear Hunter Blue
The Format B-Sides and Rarities
The Fratellis The Fratellis EP
The Killers Day & Age
The Killers (RED) Christmas
The Killers Battle Born
The Maine The Way We Talk EP
The Maine Can't Stop, Won't Stop
The Maine Good Love: The Pioneer B-Sides
The Menzingers A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology
The Morning Benders Big Echo
The Mowgli's Love's Not Dead
The Mowgli's Sound the Drum
The Pretty Reckless The Pretty Reckless
The Rakes Capture/Release
The Rakes Klang
The Rocket Summer The Rocket Summer
The Rocket Summer The Early Years
The Rocket Summer Life Will Write The Words
The Script #3
The Starting Line With Hopes Of Starting Over EP
The Starting Line Make Yourself at Home EP
The Summer Set ...In Color
The Summer Set Love Like This
The Sun and The Sea Demo EP
The Swellers Vehicle City Blues
The Tallest Man on Earth The Tallest Man on Earth
The Temper Trap The Temper Trap
The Wombats This Modern Glitch
The Wombats Glitterbug
The Wonder Years Get Stoked on It!
The Wonder Years The Upsides
The World Is a Beautiful Place... Formlessness
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures
There For Tomorrow Point Of Origin
There For Tomorrow The Verge
This Century No Way Out
This Providence This Providence
This Providence Who Are You Now?
This Providence Brier
Thursday War All the Time
TTNG Animals
TTNG Hippy Jam fest
Turbowolf Covers EP Vol. 1
Valencia This Could Be A Possibility
Vampire Weekend Contra
Vampires Everywhere Kiss The Sun Goodbye
Van Halen Diver Down
Van Halen Balance
We Are The In Crowd Best Intentions
We The Kings Party, Fun, Love & Radio
Wild Beasts Two Dancers
William Beckett Walk the Talk
Yeasayer All Hour Cymbals
Yeasayer Fragrant World
Yellowcard One for the Kids
Yellowcard Still Standing
You Me At Six Hold Me Down

2.9 good
Editors In Dream
Eskimo Callboy Crystals
Little Boots Business Pleasure EP
Metric Pagans In Vegas
Natalia Kills Trouble
The Mowgli's Kids In Love
VersaEmerge Neon

2.8 good
As It Is Blenheim Place
Panic! at the Disco Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!
The Story So Far Songs Of
Thirty Seconds To Mars Love Lust Faith + Dreams
This Century Biography of Heartbreak
We The Kings Friday Is Forever

2.7 average
A Million Pieces Supernatural
Birds Of Tokyo Anchor
Butcher Babies Goliath
Imagine Dragons Smoke + Mirrors
Ra Ra Riot Beta Love
Sick Puppies Connect
The Summer Set Legendary
The Used The Ocean Of The Sky
These Hearts Yours To Take
Upon Wings Afterlife

2.6 average
American Authors Oh, What a Life
Never Shout Never Sunflower
Saliva In It to Win It (Promo)
Skrillex Leaving
The Bunny The Bear Stories

2.5 average
3OH!3 Want
3OH!3 Streets of Gold
3OH!3 Omens
3OH!3 SHT: From The Vault
5 Seconds of Summer Somewhere New
A Rocket to the Moon Summer 2007 EP
Aaron Gillespie Anthem Song
Aiden Rain in Hell
Alesana Try This With Your Eyes Closed
Alesana Where Myth Fades to Legend
All Time Low Dirty Work
Allstar Weekend Suddenly
Allstar Weekend Suddenly Yours
Allstar Weekend All the Way
American Authors American Authors
Architecture In Helsinki In Case We Die
Architecture In Helsinki Moment Bends
Arctic Monkeys Five Minutes With Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?
Asking Alexandria Stand Up and Scream
Bahamas Pink Strat
Bayside Long Stories Short
Beach House Devotion
Beirut Pompeii
Black Veil Brides Rebels
Blessthefall His Last Walk
Bloc Party A Weekend in the City
Bluejuice Problems
Bluejuice Head of The Hawk
Bonnie McKee Bombastic
British India Thieves
Butcher Babies Butcher Babies
Cage The Elephant Thank You Happy Birthday
Caleb McAlpine Science Fiction
Capture Live Life
Carolina Liar Coming to Terms
Chelsea Grin Evolve
Children Collide The Long Now
Children Collide Theory of Everything
David Guetta Pop Life
The title of David Guetta's 3rd LP says it all as the French DJ infuses more pop into his house music. For the most part, it ends up as an awkward & forgettable mess, full of overlong & repetitive beats made for clubs. However, 'Pop Life' gets by satisfactorily on the back of its standouts where the house/pop combination works near perfectly. U.K Top 10 hits 'Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)' & 'Love Is Gone' are 2 such examples, while Cozi's alluring voice on 'Baby When The Light', Juliet's captivating contribution to 'Do Something Love' and Tara McDonald's feel-good vocals on 'Delirious', add more than passing interest. Recommended Tracks: Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away), Baby When The Light & Love Is Gone.
Def Leppard Slang
Def Leppard Euphoria
Def Leppard X
Eagle and the Worm Good Times
EAT ME RAW All My Friends
EAT ME RAW Mushroom
Electric Six Fire
Eliza Doolittle Eliza Doolittle (EP)
Emarosa Corsets Are Cages
Emmure Speaker of the Dead
Eric Hutchinson Moving Up, Living Down
Escape the Fate This War Is Ours
Eskimo Callboy Eskimo Callboy 2010
Eskimo Callboy Bury Me in Fucking Vegas
Evermore Truth of the World: Welcome to the Show
Fair to Midland The Carbon Copy Silver Lining
Forever the Sickest Kids The Weekend: Friday
Four Year Strong Explains It All
Framing Hanley A Promise to Burn
Funeral for a Friend Seven Ways To Scream Your Name
Funeral for a Friend Between Order And Model EP
Future of the Left Polymers Are Forever
Gavin Castleton Home
Goodbyemotel People
Handguns MMIX Summer Tour EP
Hard-Fi Killer Sounds
Hellogoodbye Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
Hit the Lights Until We Get Caught
House of Pain Same As It Ever Was
HRVRD The Interpretations
I See Stars 3D
I See Stars The End of the World Party
I See Stars Digital Renegade
James Blake Klavierwerke
James Blake Air & Lack Thereof
James Blake Love What Happened Here
Jason Castro Jason Castro
Jessie J Who You Are
Jet Shine On
Jet Shaka Rock
Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Kids in Glass Houses Trust Issues with Magicians
Lady Antebellum Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum Own the Night
Lady Antebellum A Merry Little Christmas
Linkin Park Minutes to Midnight
Little Red Listen To Little Red
Lmfao Sorry For Party Rocking
Los Campesinos! Heat Rash #2
Lostprophets The Fake Sound Of Progress
Lower Than Atlantis Bretton
Miranda Cosgrove Sparks Fly
My Chemical Romance The Mad Gear and Missile Kid
Natalie Imbruglia Counting Down the Days
More of the same acoustic pop with a slight indie-bent from Imbruglia, who is still looking for her next 'Torn'. Admittedly, she comes damn close on shimmering lead single 'Shiver', which is clearly the best track here. Elsewhere, there are the usual safe & inoffensive - but likeable - songs that have been her hallmark. Occasionally, the tracks verge into blandness, but the poignant piano ballad 'On The Run', the quirky Daniel Johns (Silverchair) written 'Satisfied' & the up-beat 'Sanctuary' just make 'Counting Down The Days' a passable LP. Recommended Tracks: Shiver, On The Run & Satisfied.
Naughty By Nature Iicons
Never Shout Never demo-shmemo
Never Shout Never The Summer Ep
Never Shout Never Never Shout Never
Never Shout Never Harmony
Nothing Rhymes With David Beard Logic Riddles
OK Go Ok Go
OK Go Oh No
Owl City Of June
Pink Can't Take Me Home
Pink Try This
Razorlight Razorlight
Rev Theory Justice
San Cisco Golden Revolver
Sick Puppies Tri-Polar
Silversun Pickups Pikul
Simple Plan No Pads, No Helmets... Just Balls
Simple Plan Simple Plan
Skrillex More Monsters and Sprites
Snow White's Poison Bite Snow White's Poison Bite
Snow White's Poison Bite The Story Of Kristy Killings
Soulja Boy The DeAndre Way
Steel Panther Hole Patrol
Steel Train Twilight Tales From the Prairies of the
Steel Train 1969
Stone Sour Demo CD
T-Pain Epiphany
The Academy Is... The Academy
The All-American Rejects Same Girl, New Songs
The Almost No Gift To Bring
The Bunny The Bear If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...
The Cab The Lady Luck EP
The Cooper Temple Clause Kick up the fire.....
The Cooper Temple Clause Make This Your Own
The Getaway Plan Hold Conversations: special edition
The Killers Sawdust
The Maine ...And a Happy New Year
The Maine Black & White
The Ongoing Concept Arrows Before Bullets
The Rakes Ten New Messages
The Script Science & Faith
The Sleeping Believe What We Tell You
The Snowdroppers Too Late To Pray
The Summer Set Everything's Fine
The Summer Set Love the Love You Have
The Swellers End of Discussion
The Ting Tings We Started Nothing
The World Is a Beautiful Place... Josh Is Dead
The World Is a Beautiful Place... Gig Life
The World Is a Beautiful Place... Demo 2010
These Hearts Elephant in the Room
Thirty Seconds To Mars 30 Seconds to Mars
Thirty Seconds To Mars This Is War
Titus Andronicus The Airing of Grievances
Titus Andronicus The Monitor
Vampires Everywhere Lost in the Shadows
Wes Carr The Way the World Looks
Wild Beasts Limbo, Panto
Wild Beasts Smother
William Beckett What Will Be
William Control Silentium Amoris

2.4 average
5 Seconds of Summer She Looks So Perfect
Abandon All Ships Malocchio

2.3 average
Eskimo Callboy We Are The Mess

2.2 poor
The Bunny The Bear Food Chain

2.1 poor
Snow White's Poison Bite Dr. Gruesome And The Gruesome Gory Horror Show

2.0 poor
10 Years Into the Half Moon
3OH!3 3OH!3
Abandon All Ships Abandon All Ships!
Abandon All Ships Geeving
Abandon All Ships Infamous
Aiden Our Gangs Dark Oath
Aiden Disguises
Airbourne No Guts. No Glory.
There are not too many positives to speak of concerning 'No. Guts. No Glory.', but thankfully - on this Standard Edition of the album - they did not include any of the 5 bonus tracks which were later released on the Special Edition. See my review of the Special Edition here: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?reviewid=36190
Alexisonfire Alexisonfire
Allstar Weekend The American Dream
Architecture In Helsinki Places Like This
Asking Alexandria Under the Influence
Beach House Beach House
Black Veil Brides Sex & Hollywood
Blessthefall Blessthefall
Blood on the Dance Floor Anthem of the Outcast
Blood on the Dance Floor Clubbed to Death
Blood on the Dance Floor Bad Blood
Breathe Carolina Hello Fascination
Capture Capture the Crown
Capture Til Death
Chelsea Grin Desolation of Eden
Chelsea Grin My Damnation
Craig David The Story Goes...
CrashDollz CrashDollz
Def Leppard The Def Leppard E.P.
Editors In This Light and On This Evening
Emmure Goodbye to the Gallows
Emmure The Complete Guide to Needlework
Emmure Nine Eleven Zero Four
Emmure Demo '05
Emmure Felony
Emmure Slave to the Game
Evermore Real Life
Foo Fighters One by One
Foxy Shazam The Flamingo Trigger
From First to Last Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count
Girl Talk Unstoppable
Halestorm Don't Mess With the Time Man
Halestorm Breaking the Silence
Hinder Take It to the Limit
Hinder All American Nightmare
Hinder Welcome to the Freakshow
In This Moment Beautiful Tragedy
James Blake The Bells Sketch
Jeffree Star Beauty Killer
Jeffree Star Cupcakes Taste Like Violence
Kill Hannah The Beauty of Sinking Ships
Kris Allen Kris Allen
Lady Gaga The Cherrytree Sessions
Lmfao Party Rock EP
MGMT Congratulations
Millionaires Rated Xmas
Miranda Cosgrove About You Now
My Chemical Romance I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
Never Shout Never Me & My Uke
Never Shout Never What Is Love?
Never Shout Never Melody
Panic! at the Disco Pretty. Odd.
Papa Roach Metamorphosis
Razorlight Slipway Fires
Rise Against This Is Noise
Saliva Blood Stained Love Story
Saliva Under Your Skin
Saving Abel Saving Abel
Saving Abel Miss America
Scouting for Girls Scouting For Girls
Short Stack Stack is the New Black
Simple Plan Get Your Heart On!
Skip the Foreplay Nightlife
Snow White's Poison Bite Drama Through Your Stereo
Soulja Boy iSouljaBoyTellEm
Sparks The Rescue Stumbling Skyward
The Automatic Tear the Signs Down
The Bunny The Bear The Stomach for It
The Galvatrons Laser Graffiti
The Maine Stay Up, Get Down
The Summer Set Meet Me on the Left Coast
These Hearts Forever Ended Yesterday
These Hearts Mistakes and Second Takes
These Hearts Nada Demo
Thursday Waiting
Vampires Everywhere Hellbound And Heartless
Van Halen Van Halen III
We The Kings Sunshine State of Mind
William Control Noir
William Control Novus Ordo Seclorum
Yellowcard Where We Stand

1.5 very poor
A Rocket to the Moon Your Best Idea
'Your Best Idea', the debut LP from Massachusetts native Nick Santino (aka 'A Rocket To The Moon'), is one of a growing number of releases which could broadly be placed under the genre of bedroom electronica. Containing simple beats & keys, there are also heavily auto-tuned vocals which are extremely annoying & reduce what sincerity there is in the cheesy lyrics that are straight out of a teenagers diary. Worst of all is the deliberate pacing of this predominantly hookless album, which fails to switch gears & results in 'Your Best Idea' getting very boring well before its overlong 42 minute duration expires. Recommended Tracks: 54321 & I'll Be Your Sunset.
Aiden Knives
Following their push for mainstream recognition on 'Conviction', Aiden return to their horror-punk roots on 4th LP 'Knives'. The restoration of this harder, faster style suits the band musically, since it covers up their lack of originality & technicality. Unfortunately, it is background noise to repulsive frontman Wil Francis, whose childish, attention-seeking lyrics cross the line into being offensive. The curse-ridden, hateful, violent & anti-religious diatribe is thoroughly tasteless & makes 'Knives' sound repetitive, even at a laughable 26 minutes in length. Recommended Tracks: Let the Right One In & Scavengers of the Damned.
Airbourne Ready To Rock
'Ready To Rock', the independently released debut by AC/DC worshippers Airbourne, is a simple, derivative, formulaic, overlong & repetitive mess that sorely lacks decent production. Filled with ridiculous lyrics, this is the type of music that would work better live at the local pub after a beer or nine. Joel O'Keefe is both the band's main strength & weakness since his guitar riffs & solos are acceptable, but his mundane - almost deadpan - vocal delivery removes much of the energy required by hard rock. Recommended Tracks: When The Girl Gets Hot (The Love Don't Stop) & Stand and Deliver.
Airbourne No Guts. No Glory. (Special Edition)
While formulaic, dated & derivative, Airbourne's previous LP 'Runnin' Wild' was likeable, harmless & fun. Follow-up 'No Guts. No Glory.' is a measured & calculated release which is anything but likeable, since the carefree nature & all of the fun has been drained from the band. There are no ballads, practically no experimentation & very little variety, as Airbourne write the same song over & over. Lyrics are repetitive, choruses are not memorable & the 5 bonus tracks on the Special Edition plunge to deplorable depths. Listen to 'Back In Black' or 'Pyromania' instead. Recommended Tracks: Raise The Flag & Armed and Dangerous.
Architecture In Helsinki Fingers Crossed
There is indie-pop, there is twee pop & then there is eccentric Melbourne octet Architecture In Helsinki. Often sounding as if it would better suit Sesame Street, bizarre debut LP 'Fingers Crossed' would not be as bad if they did not take themselves so seriously. Sounding embarrassingly amateur at times, the alternating male/female vocals are deliberately off-key, meaning the album quickly grates. Credited for including over 30 instruments, the mix of organic & electronic music is great in theory, and some arrangements are decent, but ultimately 'Fingers Crossed' is just too annoying. Recommended Tracks: Souvenirs & The Owls Go.
Asking Alexandria Life Gone Wild
No, no, just no. Sure, it's better for English metalcore quintet Asking Alexandria to experiment on a 6 track EP rather than on a full-length release, but practically nothing works on 'Life Gone Wild'. The 2 Skid Row covers are nondescript & drag all the emotion out of the originals. The demo of '...Cowboy King' is useless, while the 2 remixes are repetitive & completely out of place. Finally, new cut 'Breathless' isn't anywhere near the best from their forthcoming 2nd LP. I understand this is meant to be a grab-bag release, but the lack of cohesion here is deplorable. Even fans of the band may struggle with this 23 minute EP. Recommended Track: Breathless.
Blessed by a Broken Heart All is Fair in Love and War
Before they incorporated glam-metal influences into their music, Montreal sextet Blessed By A Broken Heart were a straight-up Metalcore outfit... And NOT a very good one. Debut LP 'All is Fair in Love and War' is an unfocused effort, where the band seemed very confused... It is no surprise that their sound drastically changed come album #2. Amateurish clean vocals take a back-seat to Hugh Charron's indecipherable growls (that mask the christian lyrics), while the music is standard genre stuff apart from some solid guitar melodies. And guys, no-one wants to hear you recite the alphabet! Recommended Tracks: Another Day/Another War & Somekind of Wonderful.
Blood on the Dance Floor EPIC
Blood on the Dance Floor had no right to release a 3rd album, let alone get ambitious & have it contain 22 tracks! Yet, relative to their horrendous back-catalog, 'Epic' actually begins well enough with a greater emphasis on singing, even if that also means more auto-tune. Unfortunately, over the 76 minute duration, the Orlando electro-pop duo fall back into bad habits, especially when it comes to the sexually explicit lyrics. This album's lowlight comes on the terrible 'It's On Like Donkey Kong' with "My cum's so chunky, it's like an Oreo McFlurry". That should put you off your Maccas kiddies. Recommended Tracks: Sugar Rush & Lovestruck.
Blood on the Dance Floor I Scream I Scream
Following 2 horrendous albums, it didn't seem possible that Orlando electro-pop duo Blood on the Dance Floor could release anything worth listening to. However, their 5 track EP 'I Scream I Scream' almost pulls it off... & not just because it is only 17 minutes long. Nothing seems to have changed on abysmal opener 'Scream For My Ice-Cream', but while 'Up All Night' & 'Miss Bipolar' are simple & repetitive, both are rather decent... & surprisingly have choruses that contain actual singing! It's nothing to get carried away with though, as there are still some shocking lyrics, off-key vocals & standard techno beats. Recommended Track: Up All Night.
Blood on the Dance Floor All the Rage
Blood on the Dance Floor just keep churning releases out, as their 4th LP 'All The Rage!' sees the Orlando duo tone down the explicit lyrics & concentrate on performing catchy electronica heavy tunes. In addition to some value-adding guest vocals, the production has definitely improved here, resulting in a couple of tracks actually having some kind of crossover potential. In most cases, however, songs will be brought down by one awful component or another. And then there is the absolute trash like the ode to video games that is 'Star Power' & the pirate-themed stand-up comedy act 'Yo Ho!'. Recommended Tracks: P.L.U.R. & Dark Dreams.
Blood on the Dance Floor Evolution
Releasing their 5th album in just 50 months, it appears that electro-pop outfit Blood on the Dance Floor will not be going away any time soon. While a case could be made that this is their best release to date, that really isn't saying much... Sure, there has been gradual growth since their horrid initial output, but all the duo seem to be doing here is masking their numerous deficiencies as best as possible. Dahvie Vanity's vocals remain awful, the guest vocals are unconvincing & 4 spoken word interludes are extra cheesy. To make matters worse, this overlong 56 minute LP is rarely fun & catchy. Recommended Tracks: Rise & Shine and Hollywood Tragedy.
Breathe Carolina It's Classy Not Classic
Breathe Carolina jot down everything they like about music & then attempt to create an original sound on debut LP 'It's Classy, Not Classic'. It's a shame then that the Denver based duo don't share similar tastes, since the result is a gimmicky clusterf*ck of unmemorable electro-pop that is contradictorily backed by awful screaming. The beats are decent but way too repetitive, while only 3 or 4 choruses are actually catchy. The fact that both the clean & screamed vocals are heavily filtered through vocoder seals the deal on this horrible album that lands in between target audiences. Recommended Tracks: Put Some Clothes On & The Birds and the Bees.
Chelsea Grin Chelsea Grin
Ironically named after a method of torture, Utah deathcore act Chelsea Grin aren't exactly a pleasant listen on their self-titled debut EP. With all 5 tracks here sounding like one endless breakdown, diversity is not high on the agenda. Vocals consist of horrid pig squeals & cookie monster growls, both of which are unintelligible. And the less said about the violent & misogynist lyrics, the better. There are flashes of potential in the dual guitar work, but the young quintet seem to intentionally steer away from expanding on these moments. Even at just 14 minutes in length, this is a chore to sit through. Recommended Tracks: Crewcabanger & Cheyne Stokes.
Craig David Signed Sealed Delivered
To reignite his career, Craig David has decided to change his target demographic by releasing a covers album of soul & Motown era classics. David has no chance of bettering the originals (by the likes of The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding & The Temptations) & is far too respectful to make the songs his own, as the arrangements are unimaginative. The one wholly original track is dated & predictable, while the LP as a whole is misguided, uninspiring & desperate. David may have just signed, sealed & delivered the end of his career. Recommended Tracks: One More Lie (Standing in the Shadows) & I Wonder Why.
Crazy Frog Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits
Originally - & aptly - named "The Annoying Thing", novelty pop act Crazy Frog came together via a number of collaborators, but was ultimately marketed by ringtone provider Jamba/Jamster. Amazingly, its debut LP 'Crazy Hits' went top 10 in several countries. Basically, it's some stock-standard covers of dance-pop hits, with added studio session vocals as well as annoying & loud "Ba ding ding ding" sounds courtesy of the frog. Some of the instrumentals are passable in isolation, but almost an hours worth of this just becomes a repetitive chore to listen to. Numerous versions with slightly differing track-listings don't help. Recommended Tracks: Axel F & Popcorn.
Crazy Frog Everybody Dance Now
We hadn't heard from him in 3 years... He faced legal trouble due to genitalia exposure... And rumors surfaced that he had gone broke. But fear not, Crazy Frog has returned from hiatus with his 3rd LP 'Everybody Dance Now'. It's pretty much more of the same, with the usual chart hits given the euro-dance treatment & some "Ba ding ding ding" froggy vocals. While it still recalls those "Not by Original Artists" compilations from the '80s, this feels a little more listenable than its predecessors due to greater diversity, cover modifications & a better choice of session vocalists. It's still pretty bad though. Recommended Tracks: Safety Dance & Just Can't Get Enough.
Design the Skyline Nevaeh
Most infamous for their signing with Victory Records & subsequent horrendous demo 'Surrounded By Silence', young Texan deathcore outfit Design The Skyline don't exactly significantly improve on debut LP 'Nevaeh'. While there are some musically interesting moments scattered here & there, the songwriting is extremely haphazard & all worthwhile ideas are used up come the end of track 6 (the decent instrumental 'Reverie'). More strikingly, the three-way vocal attack is atrocious, with even the rare clean vocals failing to add much melody. And just to think: It took 7 of them to make this album! Recommended Tracks: Break Free From Your Life & Reverie.
EAT ME RAW Eatmewhileimhot!
Back in 2008, Missouri native Cristofer Ingle was still deciding whether to play cutesy acoustic pop-rock individually or loud post-hardcore with a bunch of buddies. The latter outlet was initially called Mister Owl, but later changed their name to Eatmewhileimhot! Well, if their 3 track 10 minute self-titled debut EP is anything to go by, it is clear why this is seen as Ingle's side-project to Never Shout Never! Playing a generic & predictable brand of post-hardcore meets metalcore, the sextet bring absolutely nothing new to the table, as sub-par screams awkwardly clash with boring breakdowns & some occasionally atmospheric synths. Recommended Track: coughKIDcough.
Emmure The Respect Issue
While their previous releases weren't great, deathcore act Emmure hit new lows on their 2nd LP 'The Respect Issue'. As usual, too many tracks bleed into each other, while the quintet's use of breakdowns has grown to epidemic proportions. Reducing the melodic aspect of their sound from what was already a low level is an error, while Frankie Palmeri's vocals lack the passion of their debut LP. Worst of all, Emmure drop to new lyrical lows on 'Tales From the Burg' & 'Sound Wave Superior'. 'Chicago's Finest' is good, but other than that, the best thing about 'The Respect Issue' is Kurt Angle being on the cover. Recommended Tracks: Chicago's Finest & Rough Justice.
Emmure Eternal Enemies
Hinder Extreme Behavior
Deserving the negative critical response they have received, Hinder perform simple and dull pieces that remind one of a 3rd rate 1980's hair band. This is evident from the very beginning of this one-trick pony debut as the music performed here is so mind-numbingly simple that there is no point even attempting to listen for any kind of variation. When they do attempt some variety on 'Room 21', the band show their true colors and completely botch it. Furthermore, the lyrics contained on this LP range from repetitively themed to sexist! Recommended Tracks: Lips Of An Angel & Shoulda.
James Blake Order/Pan
You know how your parents say "so this is the so-called music you kiddies listen to nowadays"? Well, what they are actually doing is admitting that whoever you are listening to is performing music. Such a statement would not be offered regarding James Blake's 10 minute instrumental release 'Order/Pan', since this minimal effort is more akin to sound; random or otherwise. 'Order' is overly sparse, repetitive & without melody, while 'Pan' at least has more variety which allows a dark, mysterious atmosphere to prevail. Even then however, little replay value exists. Maybe the 2 tracks are intended to be played simultaneously, but who can really be bothered?
Jimmy Eat World Stay on My Side Tonight
Predominantly including remade versions of some songs that were left on the cutting room floor during early recording sessions for the 'Futures' LP, 'Stay On My Side' is basically an EP full of average album tracks. Sure, it is interesting to a point and has good length for an EP since it is 27 minutes long, but the quality of each of the tracks simply does not stack up with Jimmy Eat World's usual quality. Recommended Track: Over.
Kesha Animal
Jumping on the Gaga/Perry dance-pop bandwagon, Ke$ha's bratty & auto-tuned half-rapping/half-singing debut LP 'Animal' is 1 step forward, 5 steps back. Even on the admittedly catchy singles, there are cringe-worthy portions & never is the whole song infectious. She attempts variety with some slower cuts, but has neither the talent nor sincerity to pull them off. The main deterrent however is the awful & trashy lyrics, which are irresponsible considering the target audience. 14 tracks over 45 minutes is just too much, while 'Stephen' & 'Dinosaur' are Worst Song of 2010 contenders. Recommended Tracks: Tik Tok & Your Love Is My Drug.
Lmfao Party Rock
'Party Rock' is the debut LP from LA hip-pop/electro-hop duo LMFAO. Aimed at the lowest common denominator, this immature & juvenile release is admittedly fun on occasions... Unfortunately, it is way too overlong at 46 minutes, with the latter half particularly boring. Including some atrociously corny rhymes (EG: "Casio" & "Dancefloor"), almost every song begins with "I walk into a club..." It's difficult to tell how seriously they take themselves, but this is too generic to be a good club release and too offensive & unfunny as a novelty album. How it was Grammy nominated will remain a mystery! Recommended Tracks: Lil' Hipster Girl & La La La.
Lou Reed and Metallica Lulu
What looked a strange pairing on paper turns out even weirder on record, as 69 year old art-rocker Lou Reed collaborates with thrash-metal band Metallica on 'Lulu'. Basically, it's Reed rambling away with often vulgar - always nonsensical - lyrics, while Metallica play in a repetitive & mis-matched fashion behind him. It kind of begins intriguingly, but any decent idea is exhaustingly turned into aimless drivel soon enough. Delivering very little melody or diversity, it's bewildering that these 10 tracks last 87 minutes! It's not the worst album ever made, but 'Lulu' does make 'St. Anger' sound like a classic! Recommended Tracks: Brandenburg Gate & Dragon.
Metro Station Metro Station
The fact that the annoyingly catchy electro-pop of 'Shake It' could be the best song on Metro Station's self-titled debut LP says it all. 31 minutes of simplistic lyrics aimed at teenage girls, it is more an exercise in trying to be cool. The guitar-work is non-existent, while the band struggle with any variety. The vocals are the main issue however, with even the ok tracks ruined by an awful & embarrassing verse or bridge. Take the one step forward/two steps back of 'Now That We're Done', whose decent synths & break-up lyrics are undone by ill-fitting vocals & a ludicrous "everybody get down" refrain. Recommended Tracks: Shake It & Now That We're Done.
Millionaires Cash Only
It is not saying much considering how horrible their first 2 EPs were, but I'll give bratty trio Millionaires one thing: They have improved. More club-ready & better produced than their previous releases, the most noteworthy aspect of their 3rd EP 'Cash Only', is that the choruses are actually catchy this time around... Annoyingly catchy, but still catchy. While the vocals are more auto-tuned than ever & the lyrics continue to ply the same juvenile themes, they have thankfully wound back the unsubtle nature of their act to something approaching listenable. Don't get me wrong though, it's still pretty bad. Recommended Track: Stay The Night.
Millionaires Tonight
Foul-mouthed Californian tramps Millionaires have unfortunately decided to release a full-length album... & it's fair to state that 'Tonight' was not worth the wait. Delivering more Ke$ha inspired electro-pop, Melissa & Allison Green (now a duo after Dani Artaud's departure) spout out offensively juvenile lyrics that are filled with profanities concerning sex, money, drugs & alcohol. There's a couple of catchy choruses when they concentrate on (auto-tuned) singing & not some horrible form of rapping, but with little variety musically, 'Tonight' soon becomes extremely grating. Recommended Tracks: K Thx Bye & One in a Million.
Miranda Cosgrove High Maintenance
While passable debut LP 'Sparks Fly' overcame her weak voice by focusing on simple & catchy pop-rock, 17 year old actress turned pop star Miranda Cosgrove does not make a successful transition to electro-pop on follow-up EP 'High Maintenance'. As soon as she splurts out "So what if I break a few glasses, kick a few asses" on the awful title track (a corny Rivers Cuomo duet), you just know this release is more a money-grabbing product than an intriguing comfort zone breaker. Closer 'Sayonara' (which doesn't even sound like her) is the only track to make an impact, with the other 4 being boring dime-a-dozen hotch-potches that remove all of Cosgrove's charm.
Saliva Survival of the Sickest
On this LP, Saliva attempt to return to the song structures & styles from their best album to date 'Every Six Seconds', and combine it with the mainstream rock apparent on follow-up 'Back Into Your System'. However, the quality in practically every aspect of their performance has diminished. Disappointingly bad, this is a poorly produced combination of uninspired music, mostly terrible vocals & headache-inducing lyrics, which only fuels the fire of naysayers who suggest that Saliva are derivative, dated & posturing wannabees. Recommended Tracks: Two Steps Back and Rock & Roll Revolution.
Scene Kidz Fuq-N-Es-Kay
Indiana natives Scene Kidz are yet another group of teenagers who think that releasing some sort of crunk-rap/electro-pop hybrid is doing someone a service. For the most part, their debut LP 'Fuq-N-Es-Kay' (get it?) is filled with mediocre tracks that have practically no merit. However, on rare occasions, they do show a decent ear for melody, and the 3 distinct vocalists at least add some variety. Most importantly, Scene Kidz do not take themselves too seriously & it helps that 'Millionaires' is the only truly unlistenable tune here. Still, if I was these kids, I'd start working harder in school. Recommended Tracks: Hater Monkeys & Copy and Paste.
Scouting for Girls Everybody Wants To Be On TV
Crikey! I didn't think Scouting For Girls could get much worse than their self-titled debut LP, but they have indeed regressed on 'Everybody Wants to Be on TV'. This is due to the over-production & use of auto-tune occasionally used which sees them come off as Metro Station meets Westlife! And then there are the lyrics... Good God! 'Posh Girls' & '1+1' are woefully cringe-worthy, while 'Famous' & 'Little Miss Naughty' aren't much better. It is a bit of a shame too, since the 2 bookends are almost likeable with their effective combination of strings & piano. Recommended Tracks: This Ain't A Love Song & Take A Chance.
Sick Puppies Fly
Understanding that they needed to change direction, these young Aussie rockers steer away from any kind of rap-rock hybrid on this transitional EP. And while they show glimpses of potential & finding their sound, Sick Puppies still cannot cover their weaknesses as inconsistent vocals, little depth and too much repetition plagues the 'Fly EP' throughout. Recommended Track: Fly
Sick Puppies Welcome to the Real World
This young Australian trio seems to be having some fun and enjoying themselves, but that doesn't always translate well to the listening public. Rock-Rap has not dated well for any band and Sick Puppies were nowhere near the top of the genre circa 2001 when this LP was released. In fact, when a young & immature vocalist with a thick Australian accent is taken into account, 'Welcome To The Real World' ends up being rather cringe-worthy. Recommended Tracks: Nothing Really Matters & Do You Know.
Skrillex Make It Bun Dem After Hours
Following the release of 4 EPs, not only does Sonny 'Skrillex' Moore further delay his debut LP, but he presents us with the bane that is a remix EP. The LA producer has dealt up many a remix previously, but they were usually of his stronger tunes. Here, however, he takes 'Make It Bun Dem After Hours' - his mediocre collaboration with Damian Marley - and stretches it to 7 tracks & 28 minutes worth of what is essentially the same song. There's nothing catchy & melodic here, nor does the infusion of reggae suit Skrillex. The closing 'Alvin Risk Remix' is the best version, while in searching for diversity, the 'French Fries Remix' is absolutely horrible.
Soulja Boy Souljaboytellem.com
Under the pseudonym of Soulja Boy, Mississippi based rapper DeAndre Way delivers a master class in how to stretch 1 tune out to 14 tracks on 'Souljaboytellem.com'. With only the choral slogans (usually repeated ad nauseam) to distinguish each song, the 17 year old clearly has high schoolers in his sights, with everything from the beats to the lyrics being mind-numbingly simple. Kudos must be given to Way for self-producing most tracks & the record is in fact listenable (if overlong at 49 minutes)... But it's so infuriatingly repetitive that you have to wonder how on Earth this album sold 1 million copies! Recommended Tracks: Crank That & Don't Get Mad.
The Bunny The Bear The Bunny The Bear
A bunny walks up to a bear and screams "Wanna start a band"? Unfortunately, the bear is scared by the death growl of the bunny & replies in the affirmative, resulting in this self-titled debut LP by The Bunny The Bear. Fronted by dual vocalists who wear bunny & bear masks, the Buffalo sextet play a brand of post-hardcore that relies heavily on synths & keys. In truth, there are some decent ideas & melodies scattered around, but they are buried beneath fairly poor production & a handful of horrid tracks. This was probably one of those times when a band should have begun their career with an EP instead. Recommended Tracks: Lust Touch Seed & Leaves.
The Feeling Join With Us
Yet another British band with an impressive debut album crashes & burns on their follow-up, as The Feeling get far too ambitious on 'Join With Us'. They do not have the musical talent nor songwriting skills to keep many Bowie & Queen-influenced cuts from coming off like children's songs! Any attempt at emotion comes off as rather bland, while the stabs at quirky pop miss the mark, despite an occasional catchy moment. In the future, The Feeling would do well to recall the K.I.S.S principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Recommended Tracks: I Thought It Was Over & The Greatest Show on Earth.
Waking the Cadaver Beyond Cops, Beyond God
While they really couldn't sink any lower, it still surprises that New Jersey quintet Waking The Cadaver show improvement on 2nd LP 'Beyond Cops, Beyond God'. Of course, it is all relative, with this album simply being easier to endure than its predecessor, via improved production & more varied vocals... Despite the frog croaks & pig squeals continuing to exist. It's still tough to comprehend the ridiculously violent lyrics & repetition does sink in well before this half hour is up, but at least a more traditional death-metal leaning sound means that every track doesn't sound exactly the same. Recommended Tracks: Sadistic Tortures & Suffering Upon Revenge.
Waking the Cadaver Real-Life Death
Much - and deservedly - maligned New Jersey quintet Waking The Cadaver continue to brutalize our ears with their 3rd LP 'Real-Life Death'. It's really just more of the same amateur'ish death-metal, with some tweaks here & there that don't necessarily have a positive or negative effect. Even at just 29 minutes in length, this 8 track album is repetitive & soon becomes rather headache-inducing. More indecipherable vocals, more atrocious lyrics & more recycled riffs are par for the course. Ultimately, this is better than their debut LP & at about the same quality as predecessor 'Beyond Cops, Beyond God'. Recommended Tracks: Business As Usual & Life Lesson.
William Control Hate Culture
To begin William Control's debut LP 'Hate Culture', Wil Francis states "I do not want you to like me". Request granted! Sounding unlike his main band Aiden, Francis' bizarre curse-filled side-project delves into electronica, with everything from synth-pop to industrial explored. It's all infused with his usual gothic tendencies that include consistently cringeworthy lyrics. In fact, he stoops lower here as the sleazy sex & death themes become repulsive. It's not unlistenable to & there are some decent synth melodies, but this is ultimately a failed experiment. Recommended Tracks: Beautiful Loser & Cemetery.
Yellowcard Midget Tossing
Six years before Yellowcard released breakthrough album 'Ocean Avenue', a very different sounding band recorded their debut LP 'Midget Tossing'. As can be gathered by the immature album title, the then novice sextet were very young. Furthermore, future vocalist Ryan Key had yet to join the band, with Ben Dobson's raspier vocals matching the punk sound exhibited here. While there are moments where you can make out the musicianship potential under the amateur production, 'Midget Tossing' is ultimately a rather poor punk release with the intriguing idea of throwing in occasional violin parts. Recommended Tracks: Sue & Me First.

1.0 awful
Basically the Best Band Ever You Wish You Were as Cool as Us
For every credit there must be a debit, and as much as the internet has helped artists get their music out to the public, the downside is that any idiot with a microphone can now upload their junk & call it an album. If you like the sound of a couple of kids making random noises, cracking unfunny jokes & playing out of tune instruments, then you will like Basically The Best Band Ever's debut LP 'You Wish You Were as Cool as Us'... You'd also be totally crazy. None of this is music, none of this is funny, and it is a genuine chore getting through its 31 track, 40 minute duration! For the 1st time ever, I have no recommended tracks!
Basically the Best Band Ever This Is Our Second Album and it Cost Us A Lot...
Where are the parents of these children when you need them... Shouldn't they be making them do their homework or something? On their 2nd LP 'This Is Our Second Album and it Cost Us A Lot...', the kids develop an affinity for hip-hop... & Will Smith's 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' (since it appears in 3 forms here). They even manage to rope in some dude named Elephant Man for a couple of guest appearances. The only other difference compared to their debut is that it's about 10 minutes shorter, which is at least a positive. There aren't many others, so you have to take what you can get! No Recommended Tracks, because it's all fuckin' awful!
Blood on the Dance Floor It's Hard to Be a Diamond...
It was difficult to imagine Blood on the Dance Floor recording an album even worse than their debut, but they have managed to pull it off on follow-up 'It's Hard to Be a Diamond in a Rhinestone World'. At least some of the debut's latter-half tracks showed an inkling of promise, but practically every song here is genuinely worthless electro-pop. More horrid vocals are this time accompanied by a greater use of awfully misplaced screaming, while the lyrics just keep getting more ridiculous: This LP's lowlight being "I'm So Fresh I Got The Keys To The Bakery... I Got You Wetter Than Hurricane Katrina". Recommended Track: Do You Want to Be a Superstar?
Blood on the Dance Floor Let's Start a Riot
The best thing you can say about 'Let's Start a Riot', the debut LP from Orlando electro-pop duo Blood on the Dance Floor, is that it is good for a laugh. While the techno beats are occasionally decent, they are rather standard & don't make up for the rest of the package, which contains some of the worst vocals you will ever hear. The bottom of the barrel however are the shocking, often sexually explicit, lyrics which are filled with simple, corny rhymes like "Stop the hate, congratulate. You know my name, so eat some Cake". Maybe the worst thing about this album is that it has the gall to go on for f*cking 45 minutes. Recommended Track: Libertine.
Blood on the Dance Floor OMFG Sneak Peak
After displaying a modicum of promise on their previous 'I Scream I Scream' EP, Blood on the Dance Floor return to their horrid ways on 'OMFG Sneak Peak'. A preview of sorts for the Orlando-based electro-pop duo's upcoming 'Epic' LP, the dated & uninteresting beats are back, as are the seemingly intentional awful vocals. Worse still, the want to tell us about their infatuation with head-jobs is ever-present! Elsewhere, the lyrical nadir is "I'll throw a dildo in your grave, party up and start a rave". The best thing about this EP is that it is mercifully short at just 11 minutes in length. Recommended Track: It's Happening.
Crazy Frog Crazy Frog Presents More Crazy Hits
Almost every year, a novelty pop act succeeds to the point of being heard in epidemic proportions. In 2005, that act was Crazy Frog. So it's no surprise that 11 months later, it's creators have released yet another LP of cheap covers; unimaginatively titled 'More Crazy Hits'. If anything - & unbelievably - this is of lower standard than its predecessor, since the song choices are even less inspired. Furthermore, the tunes overly rely on vocals, meaning it all comes off like a karaoke session without the drunk humor. The female vocalist(s) are especially weak & who would have thought that 'I'm Too Sexy' could get any worse! Recommended Track: We Are The Champions.
Crazy Frog Jingle Bells Last Christmas
In order to capitalize on the improbable success of the novelty pop act known as Crazy Frog, its creators quickly follow up a debut LP with a Christmas themed EP. Well, kind of, since a cover of MC Hammer's 'You can't Touch This' is inexplicably added to perennial carol 'Jingle Bells' & Wham's 'Last Christmas'. Since the LP's better tracks were instrumentals, these vocally reliant tunes are predictably dire. Amateurishly produced & rather cheap sounding, one would not be surprised to hear any of these songs coming out of a battery operated children's toy... Which pretty much spells out the target audience here. Recommended Track: Last Christmas.
Dot Dot Curve Til the Wheels Fall Off
'Till The Wheels Fall Off', the dreadful debut LP from Indiana-based duo Dot Dot Curve, has practically no redeeming features whatsoever. Containing a combination of awful unintelligible screaming & headache-inducing auto-tune, even the beats are stock-standard. Any semblance of catchiness stems from repetition, while ridiculous, expletive-laden lyrics sink any area of promise. It's no coincidence that the best 3 tracks all feature someone else. Hell, this abysmal album makes other crunkcore releases sound ok... And even makes Spanky's original band Scene Kidz sound like Radiohead! Just horrendous. Recommended Track: Boys Pop The Bottles.
Dot Dot Curve Everyday Is Halloween
Those hoping a shorter tracklist & (18 minute) running time would help Dot Dot Curve are unfortunately mistaken, since 5 track EP 'Everyday Is Halloween' is just as horrendous as their debut LP. Showing practically no advancement from 'Till The Wheels Fall Off', the Indiana duo even recycle some of their own beats & themes. More atrocious wounded animal like screaming... More horrible headache-inducing auto-tune... More boring computer programmed beats... More profane cringeworthy lyrics. It's just an unlistenable mess, and it's a wonder that Standby Records even considered distributing this garbage? Recommended Track: Device.
Dot Dot Curve Your Ears Will Bleeping Bleed
I think we may have found the very bottom of the barrel folks! I mean, I know Dot Dot Curve warned us with the album title, but your ears could actually bleed if you make it through the 40 minutes of pure torture that is the Indiana duo's 2nd LP. Released only 7 months after their horrendous debut album, this poor excuse for music will have you reaching for the mute button quick smart. Apart from the half-decent hip-hop cut 'Thr3e1se7en', 'Your Ears Will Bleeping Bleed' reaches new lows when it comes to vocals, beats & especially lyrics. Quite simply, this is as atrocious & unlistenable as "music" gets! Recommended Track: Thr3e1se7en.
Dot Dot Curve I'm Still Here
It's pathetic when your best album is still downright awful. The fact that Dot Dot Curve's 3rd LP 'I'm Still Here' is not entirely unlistenable is a bonus, but that does not make it good in any way. Basically, you will be reaching for the "skip" - not the "stop" - button. To give DDC some credit, they wisely incorporate more hip-hop into the mix here & are less reliant on Spanky's horrible screaming. What drags the LP down whenever there is a semblance of anything promising are the ludicrous & profane lyrics. Without purpose, this is an annoying & easily dismissible album that is not worth anyone's time. Recommended Track: What the Future Holds.
Released as a preview of sorts for Eatmewhileimhot's upcoming debut LP 'xALBUMx', 3 minute EP 'xXBurritoXx' showcases 2 of the worst tracks from that horrible album. Uncomplicated breakdowns, abhorrent growls & ridiculous pig squeals make even this brief duration a chore to get through! One really has to wonder why the Cristofer Ingle led outfit decided to change tack from the moderately catchy A Day To Remember style pop-punk of the 'All My Friends' EP to this garbarge! Hell, this dross makes the quartet's main band (Never Shout Never) sound like The Beatles... Oh, maybe that's the objective of this crap! Recommended Track: Neither.
Listed as the debut "album" for Missouri outfit Eatmewhileimhot!, 'xALBUMx' really stretches the definition at just 8 tracks & 15 minutes in length. Even worse, it's a dismal 15 minutes worth, with the heavy side-project of Never Shout Never delivering a predictable & somehow repetitive take on metalcore. Apparently intended to be an ironic & fun parody of a cliched genre, practically none of this shines through, since the instrumentation is made up of simplistic breakdown after breakdown, while both the vocals & lyrics are atrocious. Any hint of promise usually disappears within 15 seconds on this horrendous release! Recommended Track: xVAMPIRESx.
Girl Talk Secret Diary
By definition, a "glitch" can never be a good thing, can it? So lord knows why anyone in their right mind would think that the musical genre of glitch could be a positive. This 40 minute album bleeps, skips and scratches its way through ten tracks of absolute garbage. A 6 minute Master P and New Kids On The Block collaboration may cause seizures, while 'Fun Have To' & 'Time To Get Glamorous' are headache inducing. Dizzying & unlistenable to at times, 'Secret Diary' also includes annoying switches in volume. This should have remained a secret!
I See Stars Green Light Go!
If I had to choose one word to describe the electronica-influenced post-hardcore debut EP from Michigan quintet I See Stars, it would be "garbage". It sounds like the product of four 12 year old kids being given electrified instruments for Christmas & then just banging away at them incessantly. Occasionally, their teenage brother unconvincingly screams at them to stop, but the kids can't understand a word he is saying, so they continue on "playing". Shoddily produced, any melody to be found on this excruciating 20 minutes comes incidentally through feedback! If I had to pick a best track, it would be the vocoder-filled 'Save the Cheerleader, Save the World'.
Jeffree Star Plastic Surgery Slumber Party
If his debut EP 'Plastic Surgery Slumber Party' is anything to go by, then the self-proclaimed "Queen of MySpace" Jeffree Star should have stuck to his day-jobs (make-up artist, fashion designer & model) rather than branch out into music. Performing generic electro-pop, the androgynous singer is more intent on lyrical shock value, with 'Ice Cream' & 'We Want Cunt' being especially cringe-worthy on this mostly un-catchy 17 minutes worth. Picking a lyrical lowlight is difficult, but it's either "Enter my construction zone & make me moan" or "I wanna boy like me but hotter to eat me out like Jeffrey Dahlmer". Recommended Track: Eyelash Curlers & Butcher Knives.
Millionaires Bling Bling Bling!
Californian electro trash-pop trio Millionaires should have called themselves "Contraception", since they are enough to put anyone off parenting. Showcasing everything that is wrong with youth culture, these girls make Ke$ha seem sophisticated with their foul-mouthed tirades concerning sex, money & alcohol. Beginning as a MySpace experiment, their 13 minute debut EP 'Bling Bling Bling!' is filled with amateur vocals, where the closest thing to a harmony is a cheesy rhyme. It might not have been so bad if any of it was funny, but instead its immature, juvenile, terrible, irritating, hideous, etc, etc, etc... Recommended Track: I Like Money.
Millionaires Just Got Paid, Let's Get Laid
Alright, who let these trashy, no talent little girls make another EP? Then again, their suggestively titled 18 minute 2nd EP 'Just Got Paid, Let's Get Laid' pretty much rehashes their debut release, with 3 of its 5 tracks reappearing here. Better production values are evident, but this is still sub-standard electro-pop with unoriginal & repetitive synth work & beats. Worse yet, the vocals of the Green sisters & Dani Artaud show no signs of progression, while the bordering on offensive lyrics are still as subtle as a sledgehammer. These girls seriously need to get grounded with no access to a computer! Recommended Track: I Move It.
Short Stack This is Bat Country
Good God, 'This Is Bat Country' is awful. Young Aussie band Short Stack attempt to evolve & fail miserably. Complete with a sophisticated new look, the trio ditch the electro pop-punk of their debut, in favour of some kind of gothic electro-rock. Think MCR meets 30StM meets Twilight! It all ends up a terribly misguided & overlong mish-mash where dark brooding themes like bats, werewolves, vampires & dying young merge with "Cherry Cola"! Shaun Diviney's vocals are horrendous, while even the one-dimensional catchiness of its predecessor is missing. The best thing that can be said about this album is that it will make you laugh. Recommended Track: Planets.
Waking the Cadaver Demo
Crikey (or should that be "croaky")... Can an expert on amphibians please discern whether it is a frog or toad on vocals here! Playing what is apparently known as deathcore, New Jersey quintet Waking The Cadaver are in a word: Atrocious. There really isn't a single redeeming feature about either of these 2 tracks, which practically sound identical to each other. Horribly produced, there is repetitive guitar chugging, mis-timed drums &... ugh, those (for want of a better word) vocals spouting unintelligible lyrics. I'd much rather hear Kermit sing 'Rainbow Connection'. This headache-inducing EP is 5 minutes too long & it doesn't even last 5 minutes!
Waking the Cadaver Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler
As if their 5 minute EP wasn't enough, New Jersey deathcore quintet Waking The Cadaver felt the need to stretch their garbage out to 5 times that length on debut LP 'Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler'. I'd love to say they have improved, but that would be a lie. It's the same repetitive riffs & breakdowns fronted by the same indecipherable vocals of "The Human Frog" Don Campan. Of course, it's a positive that you can't understand him, since the song titles suggest that the lyrics revolve solely around crude & offensive woman bashing. If forced to choose a recommended track on this abomination of an album, it would be 'Type A Secretor'.

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