Opposites, the new double album from Biffy Clyro is massive. The Scottish power trio is everything a rock band should be—heavy, ambitious and unapologetic. Opposites is packed with equal parts head bang and soaring sing-a-long melodies. They have built on their sound (and success) of Only Revolutions to deliver the most satisfying rock record of the year.
Over a year ago The Organ Beats teased us with their double single release “Mish Mash.” The two tracks hit harder than anything on 2009’s Sleep When We Are Dead and signaled the Waltham, MA based band were ready to make the leap as the area’s next great rock band. Well, not much happened after that in the months after. A few gigs here and there, Noelle’s solo EP, but not much else from The OBs.
Until now. Goldenheart, the sophomore LP from The Organ Beats just dropped and the wait was well worth it. Over ten crushing tracks, the band flexes their power pop muscles like everyone in The Expendables combined. The songs are bigger and heavier and the production work sounds awesome. There’s no doubt that the band is refocused and ready to dominate.
The secret weapon on this album is the addition of lead guitarist Alex Fiorentino. He nails all of his solos (see: “Don’t You Ever Feel Like Dying?”) and really fills out the group’s sound on songs like “Living Without You” and “Don’t Wake Me Up.” Fiorentino also takes on some keyboard parts and allows Noelle to focus on rhythm guitar and vocals. The backbone of bassist Mikey Colocouris and drummer Danny LeBlanc have stepped up their game and provide the driving force behind tracks like “Song Long” and “Get Up!”
The only (very minor) criticism of the album is for Noelle. She has an amazing voice and we know what she is capable from past releases. For some reason she keeps the majority of her vocals in the lower part of her register for most verses. There’s nothing wrong with this–it works quite effectively on tracks like “Last Goodbye” and “Hold On.” But she rarely cuts loose and wails for someone with killer pipes. She often dials it up for the choruses, but that only makes me want to hear more all-out performances. Maybe it comes too easy and her angelic tone and control is mistaken for lethargy. I have been wrong before.
The success of Goldenheart, along with pretty much every other project Noelle has been involved with, is the contrast of the music and her voice. She’s not a powerhouse like Pat Benatar or pure sugar like Belinda Carlise. Her vast range and expert delivery sets her apart from any cliched comparisons.
With tight songwriting, slick riffs and hooky melodies, The Organ Beats have found the recipe for success.
Filed under Albums, Music
I love The Darkness’ new album Hot Cakes. (Hell, I’ve loved all of The Darkness’ records, especially the commercial flop One Way Ticket to Hell…And Back. Seriously, listen to that record. The lyrics, as the Brits say, are rubbish, but the music slays on every track). With Hot Cakes, the band has delivered exactly what the world has come to expect–walls of guitar, cheeky humor and insane vocals. Simply, the record rocks in a way few others have done in quite sometime.
Over at Grantland, Steven Hyden has a great article on The Darkness, irony and how they exist in the modern music landscape. Basically, in America we view The Darkness simply as a novelty act. Blazing riffs! Glass-shattering falsetto? These guys can’t be serious! Sorry sanctimonious music nerds, they’re not a joke. They’re just British. And English fans still appreciate good old fashion, ass-kicking rock and roll.
In the U.S. music has become so segmented and genre-within-genre specific that unless you can please a niche audience, you’re band is nothing. Mainstream rock is dead in the States mainly because there aren’t any good bands around. The only relevant band that I can think of the rips on stage every night and still puts out quality records: Foo Fighters. You know where the Foos are huge? England. (Watch they’re Wembley concert film NOW).
You see, America has bastardized rock and roll so much in the last twenty years that when a band like The Darkness releases “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” everyone thinks it’s a parody and that the band is just taking a piss at those who came before them. People laugh because they think the band is in on the gag with them. Possibly, but just because a band may have a sense of humor doesn’t dismiss their talent.
Irony has gotten out of control in America. People wearing ugly t-shirts from Goodwill and growing ridiculous mustaches and liking music (or beer) because others think it’s lame needs to stop. (And one would argue that’s not even the definition of irony! Ask Alanis). Anyways, I love The Darkness because they fucking rock and Justin Hawkins has the best pipes since Freddy Mercury. I don’t care what critics or hipsters or my friends think. If you can’t take The Darkness seriously, then obviously you take yourself way too serious and you have no idea how to have a good time.
This song is dedicated to Al Davis, Bo Jackson and Tecmo Super Bowl. The final song in the #8 Combo Plate series.
Music and lyrics by N. Evans
Produced by N. Evans at Third Bedroom Studio
Additional instrumentation and production by R. Little
Mixed and Mastered by R. Little
I miss when rock was rock. Unpretenious, un-douche, un-Nickleback. This collection of songs harkens back to the Sunset Strip and Aquanet. Cruising for girls and hanging with your friends at the mall. Fast Times meets Sixteen Candles.
The original demos were written in Garageband then over a year later they were remastered in Logic.
All music and lyrics by N. Evans
Produced and recorded by N. Evans at Third Bedroom Studio
Mixed and Mastered by R. Little
Additional production, percussion and guitar by R. Little