This week on March 15th, Kvelertak brought their Norwegian blackened punk metal, with all its head banging and hair swinging goodness, overseas with the North American release of their self-titled album. Kvelertak have been nationally acclaimed, winning the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammys, while “Mjød”, one of their singles, is pumped over BBC’s airwaves and getting much deserved love and recognition throughout Europe.
Propelled by their newest release, Whitby’s favourite metal-heads are making huge waves with their brand of tech-rock insanity. “C’est La Vie” is the first single from the forthcoming Scurrilous, and it hints at a broad, grandiose album; shedding Protest’s fledgling punk/hardcore roots and embracing the prog-rock future.
The Foo Fighters are back! After three and a half long years, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have finished their seventh studio record Wasting Light due out April 12th. Grohl kept busy during the hiatus with the ever awesome supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, so we should cut him a bit of slack shouldn’t we?
“Hesitate” is a fine song for what it is, but it’s just a little disappointing that Taylor and Stone Sour don’t try a little harder in the originality department.
Sixx AM, the side band of Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, is back with a new album due out this Spring. Sixx AM turned into a surprise hit for Nikki and his new band mates, largely thanks to the hit single “Life is Beautiful.” It’s been over three and a half years since the release of the band’s debut album and like its predecessor, the new album This is Gonna Hurt is a companion soundtrack to Sixx’s second book, the follow up to the very successful first edition of “The Heroin Diaries”.
Finger Eleven has been one of the best Canadian rock bands for several years now. They’ve consistently released solid albums and have developed a very strong following in the US and overseas. They’ve sold millions of records and have been together now for over twenty years, not bad for a band from freakin’ Burlington, Ontario.
Beady Eye (aka Oasis lite) is the brand new British rock group fronted by none other than former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher. Noel and Liam beat the crap out of each other one final time in Toronto in 2009 which has led to Oasis (minus Noel) carrying on the rock n’ roll dream while Noel is pursuing a solo career. The group’s debut record Different Gear, Still Speeding is due out at the end of February with the album’s first single “The Roller” just hitting the streets.
It’s quite unfortunate, but it’s taken the mainstream until 2010 to give any notoriety to The Black Keys. The Keys have been releasing records for years and slowly but surely have chipped away to the point where they’re now three time Grammy nominees and a platinum selling artist. From start to finish the album Brothers is an absolute blues rock-infused trip that will keep you coming back for more and more. The duo might not win any awards for originality, but they sure will for their stripped down and funky blues riffs.
For seven long years the world longed for a new album from Cake and their prayers were answered at the start of this year with the release of Showroom of Compassion. Believe it or not, the release of new album celebrates twenty years of Cake, although the band wasn’t active much during the seven year hiatus. Showroom of Compassion is classic Cake, but with a slightly different sound and more piano playing via Cake leader John McCrea.
Is This It was seminal, epochal, and renowned worldwide, but The Strokes have yet to find that garage-rock perfection since their early years. They came close with 2003’s Room on Fire and 2006’s First Impressions of Earth, but it’s never been quite the same. So with a forthcoming album titled Under Cover of Darkness, anticipation is rampant but tentative.
Despite the dubious name choice, Antillectual deserve credit for being one of those European bands who manage to play American punk rock better than most American punk rockers (Millencollin reign as the undisputed kings). And despite the cookie-cutter political stances being thrown at you like bricks, Antillectual manages to bring a decent musical backdrop for their outspoken politics.
Annabel came forth with a new EP, Here We Are Tomorrow, at the end of 2010 and “The Forgetting of Names and Faces” is the standout track. The bright, ethereal pop sensibility of this Ohio quartet shines through for two minutes and fifty-two seconds like a shimmering blue ocean off an exotic coastline. And right now, in the middle of a chilling North American winter, this song plays like the answer to our collective prayers.
“For You, and Your Denial” is the first single off Yellowcard’s much anticipated new album When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. This new single, the first for the band in three years, was released on January 18th and is a great indicator of what’s to come.
Vancouver’s Carpenter is bright and infectious while remaining committed and conscientious. Known for covering the struggle of local Canadian farmers, Carpenter focuses effort on a niche which few dare, or even bother, to invest. Their latest album, Sea to Sky, begins with the boisterous “Mean Things”. Dealing with the typical alt-rock subject of relationship troubles, Carpenter doesn’t delve into their agro-DIY ethics on this track, but they offer up a decent song regardless.