Klaxons - Children of the Sun

klaxons
When these guys first exploded onto the scene in around 2006, it felt like they could go on to be as big as they wanted to be. The sky seemed the limit for their tripped-out yet accessible sound, and with a litany of ready-made hits packed into their debut album, the signs were good after the first hurdle. Sadly, their second album landed in 2010 to much less fanfare, a situation which was worsened by the poor product they released – they’ve been missing from music ever since, with very few asking where they might be.

Their first album was a perfect medium between jagged indie and crowd-pleasing pop, and the second probably leaned to heavily on the former. Having returned with the disco-funk stylings of There Is No Other Time a few days ago, it looked like there the catchy, more pop-driven style had wrestled most of the control back, but Klaxons have thrown up another switch with this second effort.

It’s got hallmarks of a mid-90s Britpop anthem, evoking memories of Blur and the like, with a midtempo pace held together by a mesmerising and almost military percussion line, accompanied by crunching guitar work that really does throwback to the early and mid 90s era of British indie. It’s a definite switch in direction, but it works purely by being fairly unique in today’s scene, and it’s a positive step by the band in recovering some of their lost audience. Expect more soon, as the new album lands this summer.

SKATERS-Deadbolt

There isn’t a damn thing wrong with recapturing that Californian punk/skater vibe, especially given that I’m part-way through a rediscovery of the punk genre. SKATERS bring those sounds right back to the fore, blending them with a sense of British indie that will surely give them a much more universal appeal.

It’s energetic, loud and fast-moving, but remains all of those things without compromising on catchy melodies, watertight instrumentation and a sense of wholesome fun. Both the percussion and guitar work is edgy, gritty and progressive, moving from consistent calmness in the verses through to sudden explosiveness in the hook, giving the track a very natural anchor point and allowing the vocals to rely more on a drawn out, singalong delivery and less on lyricism. The vocals follow a similar path too, opting for a grungy, downbeat style in the verses that contrasts well with the pop-punk and indie crossover found in the rousing hook.

You can easily imagine cutting loose to this on your favourite sticky dancefloor (I’ve never been to a rock/indie club that isn’t sticky), and that should give it every chance of making a big impact. No idea when the single is released, but the debut album arrives next February.

Kings of Leon-Mechanical Bull (Full Album Stream)

kings-of-leon-mechanical-bull
With the album set for release next Tuesday, the increasingly-popular ‘week early album stream’ idea is adopted for Kings of Leon’s latest, with the full preview now available on iTunes.

The 11-track effort (13 on the deluxe) features the two enjoyable singles released in the last two months, which demonstrated the versatility they’re capable of, and the possible diversity on this album. Being recorded entirely in Nashville, you’d rightly expect the folk overtones of Come Around Sundown to still play a part in this, and that’s most certainly not a bad thing. Give it a go below, and pre-order if you’re sufficiently satisfied.

Kings of Leon-Mechanical Bull

Arctic Monkeys-Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You

Their AM album lands next Tuesday, and in advance of its release they let this effort loose, one that didn’t make the final cut for the LP.

If you enjoyed Do I Wanna Know?, you’re likely to be a fan of this too. It oozes the same glam rock fundamentals, with sleazy, grinding guitar work that’s actually remarkably similar to the aforementioned single (which may even be the reason they cut the track). It moves along at a much quicker pace than that track though, driving along courtesy of more urgent, head-nodding percussion work that carries those slimy guitar plucks forth at a good rate, whilst it’s also far more instrumentally-driven- there are several spots whereby the production is allowed plenty of space to breathe, which works well throughout. The vocal contribution is still enjoyable though, with Turner’s mellow, relatively easygoing delivery combining with the instrumentation’s seedy qualities to good effect, and finishing off what is a generally strong effort. Available on iTunes now.

Kings of Leon-Wait For Me

I referred to this single’s predecessor as rather frenetic and cacophonous. The same most certainly won’t be said about this follow-up, the second release from their upcoming Mechanical Bull album. Sidenote: Supersoaker also had a video released today, which you can see here.

It’s a much more laidback affair, pulling in wistful guitar plucks and slow-paced, chunky percussion for an easygoing, relatively mellow backdrop, but one that still has a good level of intensity and vibrance in the right places. That arrives via the combination of the bass work and the aforementioned percussion, which fills out every corner of the soundscape with great skill, whilst the instrumentation step-up for the hook is also a notable high point. There are several other transitions too, and for such a dynamic instrumentation, credit has to go to the vocal work for providing the relaxing consistency that ties the track together into that smooth package, with the performance suitably scaled back in places to allow the naturally-calming guitar work room to breathe, and equally Caleb’s work is amplified a little in precisely the right places.

Whilst their albums and tracks have a tendency to vary in terms of style, this carries the sound of a band who are at total ease with this laidback direction, and frankly it’s the one that suits them best for me. Album arrives on 24th September.

FIDLAR-Cocaine ft. Nick Offerman (Video)

When a music video features Nick Offerman, and is hosted on Funny or Die, you know it’s going to be pretty fantastic. It helps that the track itself is pretty lively too. This is NOT safe for work/kids/when your parents are in the room etc.

FIDLAR serve up a thoroughly energetic backdrop, combining aggressive vocals, punishing guitars and powerful percussion into a track that’s entirely relentless throughout. There are no breaks-this one just keeps coming at you with its throwback brand of punk that’ll evoke memories for many of punk’s most recent renaissance at the turn of the century. It’s a fun yet angsty listen that will certainly be a good addition to libraries in need of a bit of new school punk to liven up a summer playlist.

The video will keep you coming back for more though, and it’s beautifully simple. Nick Offerman gets fired from his job, and ends up getting drunk in an alleyway and urinating across the city of Los Angeles. That’s pretty much it. There are gratuitous penis shots, cars being cleaned with urine, and plenty more. Worth a watch for its sheer ridiculousness, though be warned- it might make you want to pee (everywhere).

Kings of Leon-Supersoaker

Their sixth album, Mechanical Bull, arrives on 24th September, and the band have let loose the first single from that upcoming LP. Their previous album was certainly one of my favourites from their back catalogue, with its distinct Americana influence making for a thoroughly excellent listen from start to finish, and hence my expectations for this album are rather high.

They’ve allowed some of the aforementioned sound to seep into this one a little, though as with their previous albums, there’s still a sonic alteration that has its own distinctivity. That comes via the sharp instrumentation, which does away with the gentler, more subtle stylings of many tracks on Come Around Sundown, and instead operates in an intense, upbeat manner that combines fast-paced guitars and relentless percussion into a near-cacophonous soundscape. Whilst it’s not necessarily easy on the ears, it is a fun, uplifting listen that’s perfectly suited to a summer day, and feels far more positive and youthful than previous works- that upbeat quality extends to the vocals too, with Caleb’s vocals incorporating a more free, expressive nature that combines well with the frenetic backdrop he’s supported by.

It won’t penetrate the mainstream as some of their previous lead singles have, but I’d imagine it’ll satisfy those who enjoy their work beyond the radio hits. Available now.

Phoenix-Trying To Be Cool (Video)

In addition to a genius live performance of the track by the band, the video also sees two film crews tackling the impressive task of continuously swapping shots every twenty-five seconds. While one camera shoots, the other prepares the next shot; like a relay race, the cameras must pass the baton to each other to begin the next shot once twenty-five seconds are up, meaning if each camera is not set up, the video itself cuts to black.

I’m sure many don’t care about the technical aspects of videos, but the above is a pretty creative shot concept, and one that backs an already-impressive track. The song is wonderfully upbeat, combining bubbly melodies with chunky percussion and energetic guitar work for a summery, bright backdrop that’ll set you right up for a sunny day (and apparently, we’re getting some this weekend). The vocal output capitalises on that bouncy soundscape, with a melodic performance that focuses more on harmony and lengthened vocals instead of overbearing lyricism or excessive emotion-it’s a decision that makes the synergy between production and vocal much smoother.

The video is a very fun watch, with several funny and unexpected goings on matching up to the upbeat vibe of the song, with a particular highlight being vocalist Thomas Mars’ Gob Bluth moment (2:20, for the impatient). A feelgood audiovisual that should definitely brighten your day. Available now.

Bloc Party-Ratchet

Ratchet really came together whilst we were on tour in 2012. We started slipping it into the sets at the start of this year just to try it out and the reactions were insane. We knew we had something special.

Bloc Party are set to release a new 5-track EP on 13th August, The Nextwave Sessions, before they (supposedly) go on another hiatus following the conclusion of their upcoming tour. And yes, this single is titled after one of hip-hop’s favourite terms in the last 18 months. The instrumentation is upbeat and punk-driven, with a ton of funk in the guitars that takes the edge off their otherwise jagged nature to turn this into a hugely-infectious effort. Kele’s vocals are the key component in adding that addictive vibrancy, combining sarcasm, irony, and general fun into a heavily-inflected, likeably-eccentric style that bounces along that instrumentation well.

It’s a clever video too, paying direct homage to four of their previous visual works (Octopus, Hunting For Witches, Little Thoughts and Helicopter, for those interested), but doing so with progressive levels of distortion that warp the videos into psychedlic, downright weird outcoes. Whether it’s morphing Kele’s face into something rather monstrous or just filling the screen with pure pixellated chaos, it’s both trippy and light-hearted in equal measure, and hence it fits the audio rather well. Look out for that EP on 13th August.

Metz-Can't Understand

metz
After a hip-hop heavy fortnight, it’s about time something landed that’s non-rap and capable of destroying eardrums. Adult Swim have grabbed Metz to do just that, as the third part of their ‘Singles’ series.

There’s very little complication here. The guitars are thoroughly intense, with a power and drive that engulfs almost everything else the song offers, leaving a small amount of room for the percussion to sit in, and backing the vocals right into a mumbly, barely-audible corner. At just under three minutes long, it’s one you’ll get a rapid adrenaline kick out of, whether it’s cranked up loud in the car or at the gym. Stream below, or download here at Adult Swim’s place.

Arctic Monkeys-Do I Wanna Know?

My relationship with their music is tenuous at best. Like most people, I bought into them when they first emerged, but unlike those who’ve stuck by them and hailed them as the second coming of The Clash, my interest waned significantly with each album.

But they’ve reeled me back in here. The guitars are driving, the percussion is crunching and Turner’s mostly dropped the over-reliance on his Northern accent to add vocal character- for all I know, these things could have happened 2 albums ago in truth, but I’m aware of them now and the combination of it all is suitably impressive. There’s a sleazy, Americana vibe to some of the long, drawn-out guitar work, particularly towards the end of the verses and in the second half of the hook, whilst the relatively gentle vocals on the first half of the hook have a retro, atmospheric quality that seems to drum up a 70s sound; generally it’s an effort that traverses comfortably across several rock and indie styles, and does so to very good effect.

If there’s more of this to come, then I’m most certainly sticking around to see what their next album (rumoured for release this year) is going to deliver. Until then, grab this on iTunes now.

Foals-Bad Habit (Video)

Another release from their fantastic Holy Fire album, and as they did with their previous visual offering, they’ve hooked up with the masterful Nabil Elderkin to deliver this one.

Whilst this wasn’t necessarily one of my favourite tracks on the album, it’s by no means a bad track either and still remains one of the LPs stronger efforts. It’s well-suited to a summer release too, a vibe which is played on in a rather extreme manner, as Yannis traverses a hot, arid desert setting in pursuit of his lady of interest. Unlike their previous video release, this is one that’s less about a direct ‘storyline’ in the video and seemingly more about its visual splendour and implied messaging From the expansive sandy landscape through to the various effects employed throughout, which range from spontaneous sprouting of vegetation through to sandstorms and ground cracks, it’s an impressive clip that has a very cinematic feel. Of course, the eventual disintegration of his surroundings points towards either an illusory world or a gradual breakdown in his relationship, and either way it’s a digestable undercurrent that’s visualised smartly. If, for some reason, you haven’t already, be sure to grab the Total Life Forever album now.

Stone Temple Pilots-Out of Time ft. Chester Bennington

stone temple pilots
Chester has a one-of-a-kind voice that we’ve admired for a long time. We know Linkin Park will always be his priority, but we thought it would be cool to try something together.

There’s some ambiguity, but it appears the fantastic Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has signed on to be Stone Temple Pilot’s new frontman. I’m not the owner of much STP material at all, but I appreciate their worth to the rock industry, and it’s good that this accquisition has them back releasing work; the combination is brutally effective. Out of Time is a roaring 3 minute ride, opening with relentless guitar work that rarely eases up in terms of sheer power and intensity, whilst the accompanying percussion is no gentle stroll either, tearing its own furiously energetic path through the track. By my reckoning, Chester’s one of the most versatile vocalists in music, and this uptempo, hard rock style doesn’t phase him at all, with a good delivery that doesn’t overcommit to the hard, angsty delivery in order to tame that dominating instrumentation with strong melody. The combination is frankly excellent, and it’s one that you’ll want to throw in the car immediately; you can stream it below, and download it for free here.

Deftones-Swerve City (Video)

Quite possibly my favourite song from their critically-adored Koi No Yokan album, and they’ve chosen to put together a good clip for it.

It’s a relentless piece, commanding attention from its very beginning with powerful, ear-rattling guitar blasts and intense percussion, with the instrumentation coming off as a great blend between industrial rock and melodic metal. It’s completely unrelenting with its driving nature throughout, and that consistency allows Chino’s vocals to really flourish, with harmonic and relatively gentle deliveries for the verses contrasting the sharp, angsty and anthemic work on the hook; their synergy with the instrumentation is thoroughly excellent, and makes this sub-3 minute effort feel like a much bigger, grander piece.

As a track I consider as prime driving music, it’s interesting to see the natural take they’ve gone for. Focusing solely on a woman riding a horse through the arid desert, their collective movement as they tear through the expansive landscapes makes for fitting viewing as far as the piercing style of the audio goes, whilst also combining well enough with it to create a somewhat mesmerising effect. It’s really quite an unfussy visual, but the fact that the hooks are timed with extended riding periods is a simple move that helps bring physical manifestation to the track’s forceful nature. Worth a watch, and most certainly worth throwing on whilst driving (legally) fast. Grab that album now.

Said The Whale-I Love You


A great slice of upbeat indie from the critically-adored Canadian 5-piece, taken from their upcoming I Love You EP, due on 18th June.

There are a great deal of influences in here, from late-90s punk and British indie through to modern-day pop, with the product ending up as a ridiculously infectious and altogether positive soundscape. The instrumentation has two distinct segments, with chunky, bassy verses of thick guitar strums and looped percussion creating a relatively calm effect that’s clearly building towards something; that happens to be the hook, which amps pretty much everything up, with a sharp jump in tempo, instrumental intensity across the board, and punchier vocals that all combine for a memorable chorus. It’s unquestionably the track’s highlight and key anchor point, and rightfully so, given the sheer passion and energy emanating from the song’s every pore during those short bursts, and the extended version of the hook is a fitting way to close the track out.

For a simple lyric video, it’s quite a fun watch too. Most of the work is done by the ever-changing backgrounds, which move in accordance with the music’s various transitions and changes, and hence it’s a nice visual accompaniment without being distracting. You can download it now, courtesy of the kind folk at COS.

Tribes-Dancehall

Prepare to feel good. Tribes have their sophomore album, Wish To Scream, landing on 20th May, and ahead of it they’ve let loose this anthemic, fantastically singalong single.

Opening with gentle guitars strums and a dash of piano, the track is abruptly joined by thicker instrumentation across the board, creating a deep soundscape that pretty much fills every sonic gap in the track for a wholesome, atmospheric experience. That’s built on with vocals that hover somewhere between classic punk, modern pop-punk and British indie, with the common factor being their infectious quality, both across the verses and the hooks, helped greatly by their desperate, relatively emotional delivery. The hook is the true anchor point of the track though, with the layered, melodic vocals having an addictive quality that doesn’t require a great deal of imagination to envision thousands singing along with it at: just as well, given they’ve got several upcoming festival appearances this summer.

It’s one of those tracks that will unquestionably captivate mainstream audiences at the sniff of an opportunity, and don’t be surprised if this ends up being one of indie’s big hits this summer. No news on a single release, but you can pre-order the album right now.

Zeus-Refusal To Die

Injustice-Gods-Among-Us
Did anyone ever play Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe? Honestly, it’s the only fighter game I’ve had on the PS3 that I didn’t either sell or trade for something else. It was undoubtedly a good concept and a good bit of multiplayer fun, with a loose semblance of a story that made relative sense, and it seems that’s inspired an all-DC game in a similar style. This definitely snuck under my radar, but I look forward to its release on 19th April.

This track is taken from the game’s soundtrack, and without question sets an intense, punchy (pun slightly intended) tone for what’s to come. The guitars are powerful and driving from the get go, coming in at mostly the same pace but with a couple of different pitches from the individual instruments, creating thickness and depth to the piece. It’s easy to imagine this backing an in-game fight scene: the guitars just keep coming at you, emitting tons of energy. The percussion keeps pace nicely, adding more pace to proceedings where required, whilst supporting the highlight guitar moments by stepping aside slightly. A consistently thumping and entirely unrelenting effort that will certainly liven up your day.

Weekend Riot Club-Things Are Looking Up Again (Video)

There’s a lot to like here. From the track’s progressive nature to the diverse influences on their sound throughout, and of course the striking visuals, this is a band with a refinement that belies their upcoming status.

The first half of the track sees the punchy guitars build in intensity slowly, whilst the vocals are also the beneficiaries of increased passion and frustration as the song grows, with the thumping percussion holding everything together consistently. For that section, it feels like alternative music with chunky guitars and a slight pop sensibility, before the second half explodes into life with aggressive vocals and an increased intensity across the instrumentation, which expands into any remaining gaps within the soundscape for a full, vivid production. There are hints of rock and hard country in the closing third, and it’s this section which will absolutely get the adrenaline flowing, making for a powerful conclusion to a polished, but certainly hard-edged piece.

The video features some unusual characters gambling, and there’s a loss of touch with reality that grows with the evolution of the audio, with the bizarre characters taking more prominence as the ‘regular’ player slips further downward. It’s all rather dark, but with an energetic twist via the sharp scene cuts to and from the lively band, and the whole package is an engrossing audiovisual. Plenty of potential, be sure to get the single here.

Limp Bizkit-Ready To Go ft. Lil' Wayne

limp bizkit
Whilst I can’t find it in the OTU archives, I’m quite sure Limp Bizkit had a bit of a false start last year when releasing their first song under the Cash Money label. There’s every chance I imagined that though.

In any case, this is being heralded as their proper debut single under the label, the first release from Stampede of the Disco Elephants. That album, the follow-up to 2011′s Gold Cobra, is due this year, and whilst they’re certainly not the force they were 10 years ago it’s not bad at all. The guitars are punchy, the percussion powerful and progressive, whilst Fred’s angsty delivery is as recognisable as ever, and with the catchy, anthemic hook, it’s pretty much the old formula recreated to good effect. The problem they’ll have is that it’s probably not rock enough for the rock heads, and too rock for the hip-hop heads; a tough middle ground, but for those of diverse tastes, this honestly isn’t bad at all. Energy, intensity and even Wayne sounds good on this crunching backdrop, it’s a high-octane affair that many seem to have hastily dismissed, but I’m all for it.

Savages-She Will

It seems as though their rise to popularity bypassed me, but Savages are on the brink of a massive breakout, and alongside appearances at huge festivals (Coachella, Parklife, Primavera), a lead single like this suggests they’re certainly coming out with all guns blazing.

With influences from vintage punk, modern-day alternative, night pop and more, the end product is a track that seems to constantly move between dark, moody segments and punchy, balls-out rock sections with fluid ease. That’s evidenced well around 1/3 of the way through, with the track descending into soft bass plucks, distant delayed guitar strums and a quiet but menacing percussion, before abruptly and briefly switching to a more jagged, piercing style, and back down to the smoother instrumentation once again. Things get turned up to maximum for the closer, with the edgier style remaining in place and growing in intensity, so much so that it almost seems like the only musical step upwards from there is into a hard rock/metal style, and the track almost threatens to follow that through. It’s skilful work by all involved to make the track feel more like a living entity in that regard, and this is well worth a listen for indie heads. Look out for the Silence Yourself album on 6th May.

Foals-Late Night (Video)

Holy Fire is one of the standout albums of 2013, and the latest release from the LP sees Foals hook up with the esteemed Nabil Elderkin for a fantastic video. Not safe for work, by the way.

Set in an Eastern European hotel, the camera work is excellent from the off with a slightly shaky view carrying its way progressively through the building; starting outside in cold conditions, the clip moves inwards to the band performing in a dingy bar, before moving through three equally human yet distinctly unique activities going on in the rooms above. There’s a heavy dose of realism here, and as the song grows in stature the actions and physicality of and focus on those scenes grows expontentially, with the couple’s sexual encounter increasing in intensity, the childbirth nearing its conclusion, and the asphyxiation coming to a sad end.

It’s a video that most will relate to due to the mortal nature of each activity, each representing three stages of life (procreation, birth and death) whilst the blood dripping from Yannis’ nose represents the tangible factor connecting all of those events, and everyone by extension. The grimy setting helps make those simple themes more engaging, whilst the powerful physical acting of all involved is also a huge contributor to that, building well with the highs and lows of the audio. As good a song as this is, the video pushes it into a new realm of excellence. Buy the album.

The Hotelles-Movie Reel

the hotelles
South London based indie rockers The Hotelles have every intention of becoming your next favourite guitar band. The single was produced by Cam Blackwood (The Horrors, Florence and the Machine, Hurts), and as opposed to the well received indie-pop of their previous releases, this single sees the boys sound takes a more mature direction whilst staying true to the angsty tone of the bitter sweet lyrics, taking inspiration from Orange Juice and Aztec Camera.

A talented upcoming trio. The track’s got elements of summery positivity, the angst and bitterness mentioned above, flashes of early-00′s punk and more; the combination makes for a versatile track suited to several listening scenarios, and that’s never a bad thing. The instrumentation is good throughout, with strong but not overbearing percussion anchoring things, the piercing guitars dominating the foreground with energy and intensity, and rough yet catchy vocals capping things off. A good listen from one of the better bands coming up in the UK indie scene, look out for the official release tomorrow.

JAWS-Friend Like You

jaws
It’s incredibly rare that I get to post music from any act vaguely near my hometown, but that changes with the newest release from the Birmingham-based band.

Wonderfully laidback with an injection of tenacity, the instrumentation blends delayed guitars with strong percussion and a touch of additional sample and effect for a backdrop that engulfs the soundscape, but not in a pushy or overly piercing manner. The vocal work acts skilfully as a tempering tool on that instrumentation, preventing it from escaping its confines and nudging it toward the easygoing, summery side of things rather than being carried away with the momentum of the backing work. The guitars and drums are allowed to cut loose a little for the track’s bridge, before heading back into routine accompanied by backing vocals, adding a further layer of atmosphere and scale to close the track out well. I don’t get to hear many bands from the Midlands any more, but this is about as good a track as I’ve heard come out of the region in recent times. Look out for the single release on 1st April, with the Milkshake EP following on the 22nd.

Wet Nuns-Broken Teeth (Video)

Sometimes, you need something a bit hard and grungy to get you through the day, and for the foreseeable future this will be it. Crunching drums, thick, piercing guitars and fiery vocals combine for an intense, energetic experience that would be perfectly suited to a spot of excessively fast driving (not that I’m condoning that…).

It’s one of those that seems to move at a mile a minute, despite not being all that rapid, such is the power and force thudding through this one, and coming in at under 2 and a half minutes it’s one fans will undoubtedly be hitting the repeat button on.

The video’s generally rather simple, and almost seems to contain rather than enhance the furious nature of the audio. Dark lighting and smooth, unhurried movements combine for a relatively easy watch, though added to well with flashes of sketchy animation, touches of strobe lighting and sharp cuts between band members. Definitely worth a go for those in the market for something a little harder, and it can be found on their Broken Teeth EP, due out on 18th February.

Frightened Rabbit-Today's Cross (Video)

A very fun video for a slice of good alternative rock from the Scottish fivesome, the accompanying audio for their popular The Woodpile single.

Admittedly, I might not have given this audio much of a chance on its own, but the sheer relatability of the video makes this an audiovisual treat not to be missed. Procrastinating heavily, the lead man (who is apparently Jesus!) continually puts off writing the ‘New Testament’ in favour of those pointless activities we’ve all found ourselves doing, from reading magazines to lame attempts at a workouts, to pretty much anything else but the task at hand. That is, of course, until he has a little sip of alcohol and lights up some drugs; then, things liven up. A one-man party ensues, and he pretty much knocks back out to sleep again.

Definitely a fun watch, and the lively, upbeat instrumentation throughout gives the clip a good backing point, blending well at the critical moments of activity. You can get the audio on iTunes right now.

Fall Out Boy-My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)

It’s been three years since their hiatus began (though it seems like less), but they’re back with the lead single from the Save Rock and Roll album, a title that will rightfully annoy many for various reasons.

I’m not sure they’re saving anything though as this is hit and miss. The verses are likeable, with Stump’s ever-versatile vocals creating anticipation and building towards the hook excellently, particularly on the short bridge where he really cuts loose, but it all seems to come apart on the chorus. Whilst the crashing backdrop is a nice hit of energy, it ends up being rather cacophonic quite quickly, and forces the vocals to retreat rather than anchoring the track around them as it should. It’s also a rather simple hook and whilst these guys do cross that pop line, their hooks usually contain more melody to make them listenable; using easy reptition here for a catchy chorus grates pretty quickly.

The video takes some of the pop edge off the track and instead setting itself in darkness with 2 Chainz (yep) commits all sorts of arson throughout, adding a gritty layer whilst pulling away at that shiny veneer, and working with the track’s inherent intensity. It’s an OK effort, but as is now tradition with FOB, expect the better stuff to be left for the album.

Foals-My Number (Video)

I do genuinely enjoy this song, and having admittedly slightly forgotten about it, this makes for a timely reminder with its accompanying album due out in just a few weeks on 12th February.

I gave the audio a glowing review last month, and hence I’ll not repeat that here, but those guitars remain s deliciously infectious as they were back then. Despite all of its upbeat stylings, there’s still something likeably stripped back about it, and that’s represented well in the video, which is focused mostly around a performance of the song. It also pans away to various goings-on in and around that show, from drunk (or related) youths hanging around the venue to a dance trio getting down outside, the latter eventually “making it inside” and undoubtedly livening up proceedings, though there’s a nice twist on that at the end.

It’s a very fun and mostly quite feelgood visual, with a simple and unfussy execution that reflects the key parts of the audio wellm whilst making for a welcome refresh of the song. Worth a watch, and definitely look to grab that Holy Fire album in a few weeks.

Jonny Debt-Prince of the Golden Horseshoe

jonny debt
Another inbox gem. One of the more diverse projects I’ve heard in months is Canadian upcomer Jonny Debt’s fantastic 11-track album, combining folk, country, hard alternative and punk into a surprisingly cohesive mix.

The guitars are insanely funky from start to finish, helped by their almost freeform nature in many tracks, the crowning glory of an instrumentation set that also includes some great variety in the percussion. Jonny’s vocals have to be versatile to keep up with the superb backdrops, and they don’t disappoint, with funny, lighthearted deliveries alongside more sombre, thoughtful performances, facets that extend to the ever-catchy songwriting too (tracks 6 and 7 couldn’t represent this dichotomy any better). That diversity will probably mean several will really love some tracks and hate others, but those of a more varied taste will enjoy this regardless. I skip over emailed albums like this on a daily basis, but I’m genuinely glad I gave this one a go. Do so yourself below.

Jonny Debt-Prince of the Golden Horseshoe

Travis Barker Recording Drums for Dogs Eating Dogs EP

Blink-182′s Dogs Eating Dogs EP was released today, a 5-track EP that’s been met with some very good feedback and even features a Yelawolf appearance. Sidenote: Angels & Airwaves also put out their Stomping on the Phantom Brake Pedal EP on their website too.

I’m yet to listen to either (though I plan on doing so after this), and if you’re in the same boat, this clip will get you excited. Travis’ drumming is at its insane best, full of sheer intensity, skill and an unerring accuracy that’s just frightening for a man moving his limbs at that rate. Not only that, but the brief snippets we get of each song suggests an incredibly diverse EP, opening with an Angels & Airwaves-esque track, followed by something a little heavier, and closing on a track that sounds somewhat darker. Travis’ YouTube feed also actually has streams of each of the EP’s tracks, so if you’re not yet committed to that purchasing decision, you can preview everything there. Grab the EP for a mere $3.99 (£2.40 for 5 new Blink tracks? Yes please!) over at Blink-182′s place.