Profile for www_stateofemergency_net > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by www_stateofeme...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,303,242
Helpful Votes: 143

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
"www_stateofemergency_net"

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
pixel
The Terror State
The Terror State
Price: £9.70

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: The Terror State (Audio CD)
What is the order of the day? That is easy, it is; wonderful & controversial artwork, liner notes and lyrics from a band who are ready to hit home with the most political album of 2003. The song titles range from the clever; ’Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.), to the cringingly clichéd; ‘You Can Kill the Protesters, But You Can’t Kill the Protest’. This says a lot about the music you find on this record. While it is catchy and accusing, some of the lyrics are a little too tired. A little like Papa Roach – ‘Angels & Insects’ with its heavy borrowing from the film/book ‘Fight Club’. Album opener; ‘Turncoat’ is not one of these songs however and bristles with allegation as it powers along its strong bassline. The same goes for ‘Rank-N-File’ with its militaristic styling; ‘I’m standing with the rank and file, I’m marching with the underground’. It does however dabble a little too much in the whole brothers in arms ethic, leaving it sounding a little too cutesy for its own good.
Anti-Flag must be commended for going down this route in such a politically volatile time with the Bush administration in full swing, (despite the obvious wound licking as the very public criticisms flood in from all nations alike). One of the bravest songs for an American band to release at this time was the cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘Post-War Breakdown’ with it’s lyrics not only challenging those in power but anyone who believes in the ‘American Dream’, a subject many Americans still have much faith imbedded in.
This is a surprisingly catchy album, with plenty of pulsing little guitar licks and chanted vocals. If you hadn’t really heard of Anti-Flag before you could be forgiven for presuming they were a hardcore band. This is not the case as they mix the political structures and writing of first wave punk rock with the catchy new wave of TV friendly bands of the last 5 years. This allows them to create a sugar coated arsenic pill of music that goes down deceptively easily. With lyrics like; ‘The people united, will never be defeated’ from ‘One People One Struggle’ they are literally playing to a brick wall. This is because although what they say is very true and people are yet to realize it. In this cynical age anything so obviously dripping of camaraderie is frowned upon or simply laughed off.
On ‘Mind The G.A.T.T.’ they successfully use samples of speeches by authority figures, giving that feeling of a war being broadcast straight from your stereo. In fact if they had been able to get hold of some 2-way radio broadcasts of soldiers communicating in battle or field reports that would have been a very pleasing and atmospheric addition. People often need a problem thrust in their face to notice the true gravity of it. A recent Panorama documentary regarding friendly fire on journalists and allies followed such a path and in my mind was very successful. ‘The Terror State’; although full of weighty concerns, appeals strongly to that youthful sense of rebellion we all share. That said; even when that fails there are plenty of catchy hooks here to capture your heart again and again.
Standout Tracks: ‘Turncoat’, ‘Post War Breakout’, ‘Mind The G.A.T.T.’ & ‘Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.)’.


Billy Talent [U.S. Version]
Billy Talent [U.S. Version]
Offered by The Music Warehouse
Price: £8.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
Canadian quartet Billy Talent; have been plunged into the spotlight this year via Atlantic Records. They received less than substantial acclaim for their single; 'Try Honesty' which hit our screens in the form of a heavily rotated video. Strangely, (despite its distinctive catchiness) they still appear to be far more underground compared to label mates like; Simple Plan. This evidently means that Billy Talent's year may well be 2004.
The frontman Benjamin displays a fantastic vocal ability in range and flare as well as uniqueness. His vocal style is one of the band's most outstanding features. However, it is a prominent feature - much like a large penis. So while it may be impressive to the right person it could also alienate the less 'accommodating' listeners out there. Songs like; 'Living In The Shadows' demonstrate their keen ability to write driving, forceful songs without the distortion level required by their peers. The vocal trade-offs are complimentary, especially in the chorus of; 'don't you tell me, what you think is right, when your living in the shadows'. The vocals soar and twist occasionally emulating styles any where from Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols) to Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden).
Their single; Try Honesty soothes and teases with it's catchy tentative verse before blustering into the expressive but never out of control chorus. This album constantly seems ready to tip over the edge at any moment. The vocals soothing but screeching in equal measure; yet they always remain in control of their songs. This is an album that you will initially need to half force yourself to listen to. At first I found it abrasive and confusing. However, given the opportunity it will become a life long partner; if you don't wear it out by the obsessive repeated listening it will receive from you.
There are darker songs to be found amongst the glistening guitars on offer here; 'The Ex' & 'Standing In The Rain' are somber, sharp and wry musically and lyrically. With lines such as; 'So I sat in my room for 27 days, no she never called, I had something to say!' from 'The Ex' and '...my room has become my hearse....my pride these men have taken it from me.' From 'Standing In The Rain' a song written from the perspective of a prostitute; Dark and thought provoking.
Billy Talent are a witty, accusing band with a razor sharp tongue and edgy sound. You can find this style of memorable writing on; 'River Below'. This is by far the most interesting song on offer here. It delves deep into the mind of your average Joe exploring his reactions and thoughts beyond those even his best friends would be aware of. The line; 'Into the river below, running from the inferno, you'll all think I'm insane, but you'll all know my name' says it all. There are a couple of songs that tangle and become overly confused, without ascending to a high point or thoughtful structure. 'Prisoners Of Today' is an example of this. While the guitar is colorful, the song is lacking in hooks or structure and falls onto the sharp rocks of a lackluster chorus.
I can honestly say that you would be hard pushed to find anything as ingenious and unique as this self titled release. It froths and boils with tempered aggression and intelligence. The catchy hooks are all there and ready to be discovered in choruses and break downs all over the record. A good place to start your exploration would be the chorus of; 'Line & Sinker'. If you are looking for something emotive and gifted, without ever being the musical equivalent of an easy date; then this record is essential for you.
Standout Tracks: 'Living In The Shadows', 'Line & Sinker' & 'River Below'.


Dinosaur Sounds
Dinosaur Sounds

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: Dinosaur Sounds (Audio CD)
While fairly far removed from the complicated ska and fast paced vocals of the original line-up - this record offers more than a few solid surprises. The thickly produced and often surprisingly heavy guitar work and Latin style horns create a very punchy, fuzzy sound; that is neatly topped off with the appealing yet unremarkable vocals. Opener ‘Rocky’ is just that, as it bristles with hard guitars and quick fire horns. ‘Please go away, won’t you leave me alone’ manifests as the record’s first and most memorable line to instantly sing along with.
There is a distinct Mexican flavour throughout, with songs such as; ‘Beguile The Time’ demonstrating this new found sound well. ‘Whine Stained Lips’ possesses the incredibly catchy chorus of – ‘9 miles to happiness, I know that cos I’ve been there before…I’ve got something to live for’. There is a strange concoction of various styles from metallic punk, to ska, to a show tune finale towards the end of; ‘Motown Cinderella’
The most outstanding musical journey here has to be the complex but delightful; ‘Chin Up’. The ska infected verses are uplifting whilst the chorus is edgy and melancholy. Then just when you thought this was going to be a simple, verse, chorus, verse structured ska/punk song: the band launch into a potent and ferociously captivating breakdown. ‘Dripping Faucet’ offers up a wonderful dose of cheerful Latin horns and a fine mix of - danceable ska; perfect for a relaxing beach soundtrack.
Despite this record’s uplifting properties it often moves even further from the genre that spawned it by including flurries of emotion, frustration and hurt. This works on some levels, however - to a ska fan these may detract strongly from the album’s plus sides. ‘Regression’ is one of the tracks that make up the slightly weaker end to the record. It is fast paced yet ultimately rather dull and lifeless. There is little creativity left by the final stretch of the album. However they take a final steroid fuelled leap towards the finish line with the multifaceted yet intriguing, horn filled instrumental; ‘Lamont’s Lament’.
This is a gratifyingly solid punk album with hints of ska, rock, Latin flavours and metallic riffs. While it may only occasionally dazzle you with creativity – ‘Chin Up’; there are enough moods on offer here to make the half an hour listening time more than worthwhile.
Standout Tracks: ‘Wine Stained Lips’ & ‘Chin Up’.


Pistols at Dawn
Pistols at Dawn
Offered by punkermentality
Price: £7.98

3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: Pistols at Dawn (Audio CD)
Now on first listen Consumed’s latest offering ‘Pistols at Dawn’ comes across as a fairly generic punk record, but don’t be fooled these gentlemen know their punk musicianship each track is filled with kinetic, pumping rhythm and ever evolving guitar licks that keep you glued to the speaker. All I can really say is that this album never stops ‘moving’ it is literally travelling; perhaps ‘taking you on a journey’ would best describe it. Another noticeable difference to most punk offerings of late is the lyrics, these would and could be associated with a metal outfit; A genre that tends to leave its lyrics rather open ended in their meaning. That is compared to punk bands who tend to be fairly self explanatory and no deeper than they need to be. This in it’s self is not a bad thing but it is refreshing to see a change. I think this outfit is more in the vein of ‘Alkaline Trio’ and similar artists such as ‘Boxcar Racer’. Than 'Goldfinger' and 'Sum 41'.
This is quite an angry record but also a pensive and melancholy one too. It has many layers that work in harmony to make this entire album flow. The great thing about it is that as it progresses through the tracks you fell like you’re getting somewhere. It feels like a story and at the end you will be satisfied with a conclusion. Thats right! A good old fashioned ending without the cash in open ended ‘ready for the sequel’ finish that Hollywood loves.
I wouldn’t state that this was a hardcore record. But I would say it isn’t a straight up punk record either. I sit hear and I can hear so many metal influences. Especially in track 11 ‘Out On Your Own’ with its ‘power ballad’ chorus and progressive guitar riff throughout. I would have to say that this track is the best on this record. It is truly fantastic. I would say that if it didn’t have an instrumental 13th track that is really beautiful.
This album presents a complex and astounding listen.
Now what I would recommend is that you check this CD out because it won’t be for everybody but for the people that will suite it. You will really love it. So try and pick up a golf records sampler or go to the Consumed site and get a couple of mp3’s and see. It will definitely be worth your while. In fact this album has the power to make you a fan of a whole new style of music.
Standout Tracks: ‘Not Today’, ‘Home Again’, ‘Hello Sailor’, ‘Out On Your Own’ & ‘A.O.T.’


Hot Blood
Hot Blood
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: £5.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: Hot Blood (Audio CD)
‘Hot Blood’, Bluebird’s eagerly awaited follow up to their critically acclaimed debut ‘The Two’ has been lovingly self-produced and carefully mixed by Joe Baressi (‘QOTSA’, ‘Weezer’) and it sure as hell shows, his increasingly famous sound is once again showcased on this record which is bursting with soaring crescendos and twinkling verses that swirl around you, immersing you in their magic but as soon as you are mesmerized; you are hit, as if by a pint glass hurled passionately at an unwanted support band with an attack of guitars and pounding rhythms that endeavour to knock you this way and that in their search for a hard surface that may withstand their brute force.
It is certainly hard to describe this bands sound, they are similar and at the same time different to a million bands and yet they push their head above the canopy with their sheer inventiveness and attention to improvised detail. For as we all know improvisation allows music to be an ever evolving entity. Not leaving a song stuck at a certain point of creation, set in stone, forgotten by time.
On first listen this could be confused with the newest craze in alternative music, ‘Garage Rock’ prominently featuring bands like ‘The Datsuns’. The fact is that once you have reached about track4 this first impression seems so completely ridiculous that you’ll laugh at yourself for the early comparison. This album is so much more than the sum of its parts, in-fact this band seem to be the proud owners of a ‘trans-genre machine’ allowing them to cross every boundaries and literally fill their unique and beautiful recipe with an astronomical number of ingredients and influences.
If you ever find that you have grown bored of this CD, which I really doubt unless you are already boring or you are going on a mission into deep space with this and a small monkey for companionship. So if ever you find yourself in these situations then why don’t you try and find all the different influences, no matter how small on this CD. You may have guessed by the invention of this task that it would be no mean feat to explore it to that extent.
It seems that every riff is borrowed, yet wholly brand new. This record will seem so familiar yet so revolutionary that you will look on it in the same ore as bands like ‘nirvana’, ‘QOTSA’ or ‘Soundgarden’. All I can really say is that this promotional copy is not leaving my stereo for quite some time. So take a hint and go and get yourself a copy so that you can say; ‘Bluebird? Yeah, I had their album before they were huge.’ That is how sure I am that they are going to explode onto the music scene and once the dust settles so many other artists will have been obscured that all that will matter is who remains.
Standout Tracks: 'Beautiful Believer', 'Better Day', 'Underwater Fire' and 'Slip Inside'.


'twas Hell Said Former Child
'twas Hell Said Former Child
Offered by Empor-online
Price: £8.36

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
Belvedere create a melodic, percussion driven experience that is sure to get the listener all riled up while maintaining an element of calm and beauty in the form of the lead and vocals. This is am album chock full of time changes that will shatter your concentration and allow it to reform anew. It is very unlikely that anyone could listen to this and not pay attention to it. Their sound is an odd mix of the newer ‘Sum 41’, ‘The Vandals’ and ‘Near Miss’, with elements of ‘Alkaline Trio’ to really add variety.
Tracks like: ‘Excuse Me…’ & ‘Two minutes…’ are vibrant 3 minute offerings of fast paced and shimmering punk rock. The vocals are seamlessly traded off one another to form what could only be described as a sonic onslaught of melody and anger.
With lines such as: ‘Let me tell you about aggression, let me tell you things that Don Cherry won’t say.’ Suggest that these young Canadians are out to tell the truth and are not afraid of how far they have to go to make people listen. This is an admirable trait in such a youthful band.
Their sound is sometimes slightly brash but unmistakably large. This record has the same mannerisms and mightiness of an overproduced and over funded Alt. Rock record without all of the generic structuring and the use of ‘Pro Tools’ on every track.
These gentlemen have the opportunity to become a rather big and inspirational act. Their sound is different enough to make them occasionally a little inaccessible. That said I have no doubt that they will many fans during their live shows, as this would only improve the overall bite of their customary (and rather complex for the genre) musical arrangement and sound.
This record is for a lot of different people in a lot of different moods. It presents an inspirational yet fun style of punk with just enough originality to make you remember who Belvedere are in this flooded market. The most important thing to remember is that this is a great album; not only for its own merits, but in comparison to it’s contemporaries also.
Standout Tracks: ‘Excuse Me Can I Use This Chair’, ‘Two Minutes For Looking So Good’, ‘Cellophane Coffin’ & ‘And You Thought The Doctor's Probe Hurt’.


Attention! Blah Blah Blah
Attention! Blah Blah Blah
Price: £9.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
Atom & His Package is as funny as it is eclectic. If 'Custom' had been more of a comedian and less of a romantic with a hint of punk then this is what would have been created instead of 'Fast'.
The similarities of these two artists don't end there. Atom much like 'Custom' composes and plays practically every instrument on this album. Each track is like a tiny little journey into the madness and lateral thinking of Atom. This is not just a comedy rock record. In fact it isn't at all. This fact is reinforced by the notes he has written in the liner sleeve before each song explaining the thought processes behind each varied track.
This is no 'Tenacious-D' rip off album; this guy is the real deal and has been around the world doing shows in many countries. Each time he experiences success and gains new fans. He has just gained a new one and I haven't even witnessed him live yet. This album is not only funny and clever it is actually surprisingly musically sound. It has flowing and varied riffs and intelligent programming. Not to mention bouncy keyboards and frenetic bass lines.
It can sometimes be a little heavy on the keyboards. That said. The sheer number of instruments in this record can usually distract you from any irritating sections. There are a few tracks like 'Out to Everyone' that do require you to use your CD skip button. On this occasion only to the next track which is all about stopping smoking. This could be a real non starter on most records but Atom pulls it off well with a melancholy tint.
With many albums they tend to decrease in quality and enter into the territory of filler towards the end of them. This offering totally goes against all of those preconceptions and actually improves towards the end with songs like; 'I Am Downright Amazed At What I Can Destroy With Just a Hammer'. This is the most musically exciting track on offer here and it very good.
I had never really though of punk as an 'easy listening' / 'Kick back and relax' kind of genre until now. This is a happy bouncy record but without the adrenalin of 'Ska'. It can also be pretty but without the pessimism of 'Emo'. As suited to a party as to a night in alone.
Standout Tracks: 'I Am Downright Amazed At What I Can Destroy With Just a Hammer', 'Moustache TV', 'Lying To You' & 'The Palestinians Are Not The Same As The Rebel Alliance, Jackass!'


Austral Alien
Austral Alien
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £9.27

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: Austral Alien (Audio CD)
Alchemist first came to my attention when watching a mountain biking video. It took me a long time to track down who they were. So; to see a review of their latest album appear in 'Kerrang!' I was pretty excited for them. They are an Australian metal band with a really tribal sound that puts 'Soulfly' to shame. With plenty of melodic, spiritual moments and powerful, but often thankfully spoken rather than shouted vocals they offer up a spicy slice of spiritualist metal. 'You landed your ships on a foreign land, discovered worlds you didn't understand, a world of creatures you have never seen, flora and fauna beyond your dreams' from drum led opener 'First Contact' demonstrates the beautiful yet deadly atmosphere they can create with their expressive use of heavy and lighter structures within their songs.
'Alpha Cappella Nova Vega' sees the band surrounding themselves in warm and luxuriant lead melodies and strong bass lines. This is carefully balanced by the almost chanted vocals of Adam Agius as the song picks up pace and delivers the listener into the warmth and delight of the next song. If you don't pay careful attention at points then this can descend into slight drudgery but with the right mindset and focus when listening can make this is a really inspiring record. Tracks like; ' Backward Journey and the potent, pounding 'Letter To The Future' show the scope and intrigue Alchemist can create with synth-like effect laden bridges give way to huge guitar explosions and insistent drumming.
'Austral Alien' would definitely require some investment of time to truly appreciate its sound and scope of creativity. They are perhaps too atmospheric for those true metal fans out there and may appear slightly too alien to the punk or rock fans that inhabit the world. Given time I think that both parties could unite with a great appreciation for the moods and feelings this record creates for the listener. With such beautifully considered album artwork with a positive eddy of bright colours and fitting images show that this is not your customary brooding, pessimistic metal outfit. Roy Torkington is not only a fine guitarist but also has a gift for graphic design.
There is an obviously strong connection with the environment being dealt with and expressed here making them really do stand out as an insightful and moving band. There are also times when this is quite reminiscent of 'Soul Fly' brand of tribal influenced rock. But musically it excels to a far greater degree with the amazing drumming throughout and with such a strong bass structure for the guitar to work its magic around. It is nice to find a band that can create such a mood and atmosphere as the ones in evidence here. You can imagine all manner of scantily glad men dancing around campfires with face paint and masks in the midst of some fertility ritual.
Standout Tracks: 'First Contact', 'Alpha Cappella Nova Vega' & 'Backward Journey'.


Aggropop Now
Aggropop Now
Offered by OUT OF PRINT
Price: £8.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: Aggropop Now (Audio CD)
This is an interesting release indeed! German punk outfit Terrorgruppe are welcoming their 10th anniversary and this compilation represents ten years of active and extensive touring from them. This is not however a Terrorgruppe compilation, of live or rare tracks this is a massive two CD affair featuring over 50 tracks from over 50 bands, some small, some internationally famous. The connection you are wondering about is that all of these artists have toured with Terrorgruppe in the last ten years.
Each track, quite often rare, or out of print; has been contributed by the likes of: Guttermouth, Nofx, Beatsteaks & The Bouncing Souls to name some of the more renowned acts. Some of the lesser known artists include: Mad Sin, Bambix, Muff Potter & Lost Lyrics.
There is rarely a noticeable drop in quality going from an international artist to a small European one. There are of course a few tracks that are slightly unpleasing but over all this is a surprisingly good collection that will really introduce you to some excellent new artists!
The artwork is very pleasing, coupled with the title all coming together to create an amusing parody of Vietnam war movies including ‘Apocalypse Now!’. Well drawn and original artwork is often one of the most important elements of a release. In this digital age good substance to a release will increase its appeal to be owned, in it’s entirety. This is certainly one such album.
I feel it would be far to long winded to talk about all of the artists on each of these CD’s so I will simply highlight some of the more excellent tracks and perhaps a few of the rather disappointing ones.
CD 1: features a great opening track from The Movement this is certainly a choice moment and really gets this compilation going on a high note. This compilation is well arranged as this first disc contains far more accessible songs than the second CD but by the time you have been introduced to the lesser known artists you will be ready to enjoy the second disc. Some other excellent songs include Guttermouth’s ‘Vacation’ and Bambix’s ‘Truckstop’; one of the best songs gracing this compilation. A let down song would definitely be ‘No Need’ by Germ Attack, very unoriginal punk rock with far too many old style leanings that just do not ring true in this day and age.
CD 2: is slightly more European and is quirkily entertaining with tracks such as: ‘Skateboard Uh Ah Ah’ from Disaster Area one of the funniest and more unique songs I have heard in ages! There are certainly some slower melancholy moments from Wilde13 and Spitfire to keep you swaying along with their infectious Ska leanings. This is generally speaking a rather contemporary punk collection but this only makes the more unique songs dotted throughout even more exciting. Believe me there are song real gems in here. One of the more dire tracks come from the Donots who may have been seeing some success of late but in my eyes are very undeserving compared to some other artists who have a far better grasp of song writing and structure.
In a market flooded with compilations this is a rather incredible find. Far more rewarding that your average Punk-o-Rama compilation and with such character, history and ability to aid the listener in discovering some really excellent and vibrant artists without bombarding them with too much ‘filler’. This is certainly an incredibly arranged, yet very contrasting island in the sea of useless compilations. All of this while still telling the story of a very well respected German punk outfit.
An insightful and worthy purchase, far more than the sum of its parts!
Happy anniversary Terrorgruppe!
CD1 - Standout Tracks: The Movement – ‘Waiting’, Guttermouth – ‘Vacation’, Bambix – ‘Truckstop’, She Male Trouble – ‘Killin Keeping Her Alive & Beatsteaks – ‘Yeah, Fuck Yeah!’
CD2 - Standout Tracks: Terrorgruppe – ‘Aggropop’, Disaster Area – ‘Skateboard Uh Ah Ah’, Spitfire – ‘Chto Takoe, Kumpelbasis – ‘Albtraum’ & Schrottgrenze – ‘Licht Aus!’


Red & the Black
Red & the Black
Price: £23.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars www.stateofemergency.net, 12 Feb 2004
This review is from: Red & the Black (Audio CD)
Agent 51’s third record, produced by the talented Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank) represents a rock and roll outing in the same vein as; The Supersuckers & Sugarcult. While ‘The Red & The Black’ offers a far grittier sound than Sugarcult’s ‘Start Static’ - it retains the catchy hooks and smooth vocals.
Opening with the cowboy rock of; ‘American Rock & Roll’ that features lines like; ‘We are American rock and roll, here we go, I’ll breathe this disease down in my soul’. This album is punctuated with a few instant highlights that, after repeat listens will be joined by nearly the entire track list. The highlights include songs like ‘Raised By Wolves’ with it’s kinetic yet subdued chord progressions and fabulously imaginative storytelling: Demonstrated by lines such as; ‘I don’t know why the darkness comes, I don’t know what is in my blood, you see dawn and I see dusk, I was raised by wolves.
‘Loaded’ is a fast paced thrill ride with a hearty breakdown and lyrics awash with male bravado. Also if you have been missing the presence of lead guitar in much of the music these days, fear not: There are licks and solos aplenty throughout. This record certainly does suffer from the production issue that requires it to be played at a higher volume to receive the full detail of the music. So, once you find the optimum listening volume; you will be blown away. The undulating lead featured in the verses of ‘Kiss Of Death’, coupled with the hedonistic, dirty rock sound of the chorus make for a sleazy and satisfying number.
One of the main standout tracks is – ‘She’s My Heroin’ with its intriguing play on words as the lyrics switch seamlessly between describing a drug habit and a lover. Its bouncy acoustic verse and fast paced pre-chorus are exciting and juxtaposed. The intro/post chorus is reminiscent of Sugarcult’s ‘Hate Every Beautiful Day’. While I would say that the first half of the album is possibly superior, it is not by much. The catchy and melancholy punk sound of ‘Aim High’ and the super satisfying structure of; ‘Kinda Like Murder’ showcase the vocalists keen ability.
The incendiary; ‘Air Raid’ is dark and tense, yet is heavily let down by a predictable and dull chorus. Whereas ‘In Love With The Devil’ is a groove laden, blues infected, laid back rock masterpiece. One that explores the evil that seems to inhabit much of the female race. Lines like; ‘This one is for the girl who is always spending, this one is for the girl who never showed up to her wedding, but six thousand miles away my heart is mending, I rolled the dice, I paid my price and that is my happy ending’. This goes to show that Agent 51 are in touch with more than a few styles as they slip from punk to blues to country and western styled acoustic rock. With the latter style featuring most in the relaxed, pessimistic and atmospheric; ‘Disappear’.
This record was a real surprise to me. I had heard –‘She’s My Heroin’ and while I enjoyed it thoroughly - I never expected such a unique sound coupled with the complimentary mix of styles. This album possesses a real mass appeal as it exudes honey coated, yet rasping vocals, fabulous imagination, great structure and a sleazy Wild West edge; not executed this well since the Supersuckers were in their prime.
Standout Tracks: ‘Raised by Wolves’, ‘She's My Heroine’ & ‘In Love With the Devil’.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7