Sunday 7 February 2010

Band Of Skulls – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

Band Of Skulls – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

Baby Darling Doll Face Honey is a laid back, retro-esque album which is a strong debut. Guitars are used well melodically, especially on the first track, ‘Light Of The Morning’, where the guitar line runs in parallel with the vocals. The jagged, bluesy timbre of the instrumentation adds character to the songs, turning them from folk music tunes into more expressive pop masterpieces. Highlights include ‘Patterns’ and ‘Blood’, which are both full of attitude. The combination of male and female vocals is something that makes this album stand out, especially on ‘I Know What I Am’, which is incredible catchy. While a few of the tracks are just pleasant background music, overall, this is a record that really captures the spirit of alternative rock music in an accessible way.

Monday 1 February 2010

Hadouken! - For The Masses

I know it has been a while, but I have actually been writing all this time! Here is a review of the new Hadouken! album:

Hadouken – For The Masses
The latest offering from crossover band Hadouken! is quite simply not up to the same standard as debut Music For An Accelerated Culture. Album opener ‘Rebirth’ displays the band’s attempt to step up their game, including a choir and Prodigy-esque electronic tones. Unfortunately, this falls flat and sounds fairly hyperbolic. Having set the tone for the rest of the album, the songs that follow are incredibly repetitive and the lyrics lack any of the social cynicism that made Hadouken!’s debut stand out. The pedestrian nature of lyricist James Smith’s words meets the turgid instrumentation in an entirely underwhelming amalgamation.

While some of the tracks could pass for club music, when compared to older material such as first single ‘That Boy That Girl, they pale in comparison. The intelligence and social commentary that was a major part of the band’s older songs is clearly missing, with tracks like ‘Evil’ and ‘Mic Check’ merely sounding like attempts to emulate Dizzee Rascal. The youthful energy of the band is still there, with a darker, more atmospheric edge to many of the songs. Despite the lack of direction in the lyrics, the band members display technical competence and their effort should be admired. They may have improved as musicians, but is remains a shame that there is nothing with the same wit and tenacity of songs like ‘Liquid Lives’ to make For The Masses a record worth buying.

I also did a spot of gig photography last week:

Lots more here: