Tuesday, 29 September 2009
There was once a time when InMe were at the forefront of British music with their debut album Overgrown Eden. Despite being what I would consider, immature nu-grunge, it was hugely successful reaching number 15 in the UK album chart at the time leading to Overgrown Eden being re-released. Their follow up, White Butterfly was overall, a huge step up, a rock record that was well crafted in every way and one that should have seen InMe not just adding to their success in the UK but branching out even further. It didn't happen and since, despite having a release in between (Daydream Anonymous), it feels like, to this reviewer at least, that InMe have fallen from the radar.
It's lucky for fans of InMe then, that Herald Moth comes into the forefront two years after its predecessor and initially see's InMe back in open sight gaining good reviews from Kerrang!, Rock Sound and being recommended in HMV's metal section.
The first thing notable about InMe is how much they have evolved. No longer the longhaired immature Nirvana wannabe's, they have slowly grown into a monster eager to please you with complex metal licks. They are no one trick pony though, don't expect your bog standard double bass frenzy covered with unlistenable screaming because Dave McPherson's vocals are stronger than they have ever been and that is showcased on the slower, more radio friendly 'All Terrain Vehicle' that see's InMe step away from their new Metal roots and into a completely different forest, epic and beautiful in its structure like you would expect from perhaps the likes of Kelly Clarkson. With new member, second guitarist Ben Konstantinovic, they have also managed to fill their sound out considerably and at times this can lead to chorus' sounding absolutely massive and also with the dual guitar tones, leads them to often sound a bit like Sikth which is no bad thing at all.
It's not all good though. Sometimes the technicality of the guitars plus its tone can border alongside cheesy and sometimes InMe's brilliantly unpredictable song structures and ideas just don't seem to work like on the strangely picked first single 'Single Of The Weak'.
Frankly though, that's being picky for the sake of it. This is a great album, a great British album and InMe should be a band that we celebrate, not ignore.... so buy this record right this second.
The Candle Thieves – The Sunshine Ep
The Candle Thieves, a happy go lucky two piece from Peterborough who specialise in a sickly sweet take on modern day pop with a sense of accessible quirkiness reminiscent of the likes of The Thrills at times.
The Sunshine Ep is best enjoyed in a garden with your best friends, lying back and catching the sun on the best of summer days and while England may have had a terrible summer this year, The Candles Thieves are here to make you remember those good summers past. The strength with this Ep, is its use of instruments that we don't always hear especially the nice touch of toy instruments that give an added brightness and sense of fun to an already poppy Ep. Backing vocals are ingeniously used in every track to fill the gaps, giving a sense of grandiose to every track but never taking away from the main vocals. The Candle Thieves aren't especially out there but what they do, works in a song format to the best of their abilities and lets be honest, they aren't Muse, they will never be epic and rocky and chances are, they probably won't ever be hugely popular but there was once a day when people gave their hearts to Hellogoodbye and The Candle Thieves work alongside that ilk but are arguably better at there craft.
So if you enjoy happy summery songs, then you won't go too far wide of the mark with The Candle Thieves, who are definitely an act to keep an eye on in the future if The Sunshine Ep is anything to go by.
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Sometimes, you can tell just by looking at a CD cover and listening to an artist for thirty seconds that you aren't going to find anything of substance. Lethal Bizzle falls under this practice and 'Going Out Tonight' is the single doing the rounds and quite frankly punishing my ears.
The first lines in 'Going Out Tonight' are "You want to play with the Bizzle" and "You wanna holla at the Bizzle", with this in mind, you can see where the song is going in terms of maturity and substance, quite frankly, a two year old could have written better opening lyrics. Musically, Bizzle follows that cliché late Friday night Radio One slot sound which involves distorted basslines driving the track as unmemorable 'lyrics' are spoken over. As always, melody is supplied in the form of female vocals cutting into the chorus, rocket science this song isn't, utterly rubbish it is.
Do you like to get off your face on drugs and booze as you attempt to dance and look cool? Do you like to put ridiculous things on your car that do not improve it in anyway? Do you enjoy winding down your window and playing music full blast as you shout at unsuspecting pedestrians? If I just described you, then chances are, you'll like this rubbish. If however, you actually have sense and enjoy substance in your music or at least an ounce of talent, then you'll be with me on this.
Lethal Bizzle gives urban music a bad name, just stop please.
Given the latest story doing the rounds at NME, the release of Lily Allens latest single '22' seems pointless if she no longer wishes to continue with music due to and I quote "Not being able to make money" with the 1.5 million copies of 'It's Not Me It's You' sold worldwide along with the sold out tours.
'22' is pretty much what you'd expect with Lily Allen, fitting in with the previous singles from 'It's Not Me, It's You'. Once again, we have an inoffensive bubble gum pop sound with Allens now frankly quite tedius social commentary on the constraints of growing up.
Everything on this song is slick and sickening, a flawless production, glossed up vocals and pop structures, this isn't anything we haven't heard from other acts and this isn't a change from any other song on Allens latest album. The days of Myspace demo's really are over as this shows how big an effort Lily Allen has made to become more accessible and mainstream, being so blatant in the hunt to sell records that it maybe is the only thing now offensive and out there about Allen.
I personally have nothing against '22' but there was once a time where I could respect Lily Allen for sounding alittle different and at least speaking her mind via the media: now when I listen to her music I can't help but feel wrong and when she is quoted in the media, I can't help but see daddies princess just having fun making a record.
In short, Lily Allen, if you hate music so much, move aside so EMI can sign a band that actually want to be musicians, want to challenge the industry and stop wasting our time.
The loss of a vocalist is difficult at the best of times. It often leads to disbanding or for most, follow up material that doesn't quite match up whether vocally or musically to the material previously released. Alice In Chains however, have a bigger job than most being one of the biggest bands of the Grunge era, achieving two number one albums and six Grammy Award nominations before the death of Layne Staley in 2002.
'Check My Brain' is the second single from the hotly anticipated new album 'Black Gives Way To Blue' with Alice In Chains now fronted by Comes With The Fall vocalist William DuVall and fans will be happy to know that DuVall is very much like Staley in his vocal delivery and with that in mind, not much has changed. 'Check My Brain' is very much balanced around an extremely cool guitar riff that makes it groove much like old Alice In Chains would, much like alot of old school grunge bands did and while this is not my cup of tea at all, I can see why any old-school rock fan would appreciate this because the talent and substance in this band still stand strong and personally, i'm hoping bands like Alice In Chains can come back and force music fans to look towards older bands to see where newer bands gain their influences.
So, to round it all up; If you liked Alice In Chains before or if you are into that older grunge rock sound but haven't found any new releases that are doing it to an exceptional standard, then check out 'Check My Brain' and the album 'Black Gives Way To Blue'. If however, you are like me and you aren't into this, then maybe it's best to stick to your Take Thats Greatest Hits album because this isn't offering anything groundbreaking from their previous material.