Category Archives: Album Reviews

Album of the Month / Whales In Cubicles – Death In The Evening

wic cover

I have been waiting to write a review of this album for over two years now, but mostly, I’ve been waiting for the day to finally blast this record out loud in its full beauty. And today is the day when Whales In Cubicles‘ debut Death In The Evening officialy comes out, so excuse me if this review might sound a bit personal, but as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been a huge supporter of the London based 4-piece ever since I first saw them live at the Green Door Store in Brighton a couple of years ago. I immediately fell for the band’s raw sound and a unique realness in their music. There was a real heart in the music then and there is a real heart in it today. I have seen Whales play at various venues in London and Brighton a number of times, and with each experience of watching them rocking the stage, nevertheless the line up, my admiration towards their sound and lyrics grew closer with each time. And now, I am extremely proud to see the guys finally unleash the beast of a debut record extraordinaire for everyone to hear.

Death In The Evening dazzles with ten remarkable tracks and each one of them carries its own message. The record kicks off loud and clear with an opening killer riff in Yesterday’s News,  followed by We Never Win – a striking favourite of a tune that shows off the outspoken songwriting of the lead singer Stef Bernardi. Things slow down with the hypnotizing All The Pretty Flowers and most definitely one of the greatest tracks produced by the band. Strong melodies, fierce guitars and a true lyrical mastermind flow through the whole record and whether you’re taken to the heavier side and let your hair down with Golden Medal and Disappear, having a sing along to Nowhere Flag or simply absorb the intense beauty of Across America, Wax & Feathers, I knew It and Find Your Way; the fact is you will find yourself surrounded purely by a raw, mind-altering music mastered by one of the best and realest bands to hit the current UK music scene. So don’t you dare thinking that honest guitar music is dead because you have it right here in front of you. So go on, don’t be shy and grab yourself a copy. Death In The Evening is a must in everyone’s record collection.

Buy ‘Death In The Evening’

www.whalesincubicles.com

Album Review / Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Guest Review By Brendan McGroggan

Transgender_Dysphoria_Blues_The last time I saw Against Me! live was in June of 2012. It was Laura Jane Grace’s first tour and the place was full. Their set that night was absolutely incredible, and a good portion of it was new material. Really, really killer new material. Not only that, Laura Jane was the happiest lead singer I have ever seen. I mean, her grin was ear to ear the entire set, and her voice was epic.

After waiting a year and a half since that night for their new album, I can tell you, it was more than worth the wait. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is here. It is the first great album of 2014 and the most powerful punk rock record I’ve heard in a long time.

Since Tommy Gabel became Laura Jane Grace, the music of Against Me! has changed, becoming even more revolutionary and outspoken than before. In the opinion of this fan, better. This change, inspired by Laura’s change, and fueled by a pure punk rock engine, birthed something truly remarkable on “Transgender…”. It’s as if the album is a molten fire punk rock fist smashing through the icy waterfall of hate that breeds ignorance. I’ve heard albums that speak out before, but this one takes it to a whole new level.

It’s Laura Jane Grace, not Buch Vig, as producer on the album and it’s obvious that she knows what she’s doing. James and Laura’s guitars sound like punk rock jet engines, the drums remind me of echoes from a war machine, the bass destroys, and the vocals are nice and loud. NOFX’s very own Fat Mike even played bass on two of the songs, with Laura Jane playing bass on the others.

Atom Willard (RFTC, Angels & Airwaves) plays drums on “Transgender..,” and has recently become AM!s official drummer. His chops are noticed right from the start of the first song. After several options were considered, Atom was clearly the right person to join Against Me! on drums. He has that Against Me!-style animal inside of him, the one that comes out when he performs, both on the stage and in the studio.

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When you hear the lyrics to the opening song, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” you will know what I mean when I saw the band’s new direction is revolutionary. The lyrics pull no punches and neither does the energy. Though Laura Jane doesn’t swear much on the record as a whole, when she does, it sounds absolutely warranted and more than appropriate.

Songs “True Trans Soul Rebel” and “F***mylife666” are up next and both appeared on the TRUE TRANS EP released in June of 2013. They were great then, but it’s really something to hear them with a full band.

“Dead Friend” also appears on the album. Again, I’ve been waiting to hear this song specifically on a record for the last year and a half. Again, I was not disappointed at all. Anyone who’s lost a friend will want to hear this song. In it’s morbid nature is pure beauty. Any friend you have in heaven knows these lyrics are how you really feel about them being gone.

“Two Coffins” is an acoustic number that comes toward the end of the album. After hearing “Dead Friend,” this acoustic ballad is welcoming to the ears. The two songs are opposite sides of the same emotional coin. “Two Coffins” also, in its morbid nature, holds pure beauty. “How lucky I was to see the way that you smiled at me. Your little moon face shining bright at me. One day soon there’ll be nothing left of you and me. Two coffins for sleep.” Laura reminds us again, life is short.

The album ends with “Black Me Out,” which is perhaps the most powerful song on the album. The guitar line is so inspired, erasing any doubt of the talent behind Laura’s songwriting. It sounds like another song that was raised on the acoustic guitar, before being unleashed by the full Against Me! beast. When the last hum of distortion goes quiet, you might want to hit “repeat all” to take the ride again. I know I did, many times.

Since this album began streaming for free on NPR, I have been listening to it on repeat at work. I highly recommend it to fans of punk rock (both old and new), all Against Me! fans, all fans of rock music, and anyone out there in the world feeling trapped. Set yourself free.

Pre-order Transgender Dysphoria Blues here.

www.againstme.net

EP Of The Month / The Diamond Noise – Do You Like Me Too?

The Diamond Noise return with a new EP extraordinaire named Do You Like Me Too?

The 5-track record is a step forward for the London based outfit, confirming the band’s expertism in producing a genuine rock and roll. The blasting guitars and majestic vocals collide together flawlessly within the exciting melodies and create a perfectly structured ‘diamond noise’.

Each song on the EP is a faultless musical piece and takes the listener for a superb ride. It’s loud, powerful and sexy as…

The first track Are You Ready? is a perfect opener and certainly gets you ready to rock with its blazing energy. Catastrophic blinds you with its storming guitars and drum beats and you’ll find yourself diving in the supreme sound. The title track Do You Like Me Too? (watch video below) stands out as a captivating and ambitious tune, and places the band into the category of rock and roll masterminds.

Hardly less impressive Higher Than (An Aeroplane) only adds to the record’s excellency and the fantastic Blue Champagne closes the EP with a marvelous effect on your music soul.

Do You Like Me Too? is a clear proof that rock and roll is still alive, running strong and with bands like The Diamond Noise around, it sure as hell won’t be vanishing any time soon.

MGMB have interviewed TDN a while back and you can check it out right here.

Links – iTunes, Facebook, Twitter

EP Feature / Soul Saboteur – Clip Your Wings

Soul Saboteur - Clip Your WingsSoul Saboteur are an alt-blues-rock band based in Manchester, who formed in November last year and have already managed to record an outstanding EP featuring four powerful tracks. Clip Your Wings is a strong and ambitious piece of a musical art, filled with effective melodies and the wowing vocals of James Stone, who’s excellent lyric writing adds to the special atmosphere, which this engaging music provides.

The title track Clip Your Wings sets the bar high with it’s bluesy guitar melody and the ‘Eddie Vedder like’ howls from singer James. The second track Medicinal Venom comes with a mind blowing vocal intro and straight away becomes your favourite. You realise that this band has created something very special here. Next song Dark After Dark impresses with its lyrics “I would have given my right arm for you, just to have held the hand that hung from it. Now more hangs from my neck than this bow tie…” and you feel the deep emotion running through this record from start to finish as Stranded (in the devils council) closes up with its intense and colorful blues vibes.

Listen to the whole EP here!

Links – iTunesWebsite, Facebook, Twitter

MGMB’s Top February Albums

February has been so good to us musically and provided us with some records worth shooting up the ‘Best of 2013’ lists.

Here are MGMB’s favourites:

THE VIRGINMARYS – KING OF CONFLICT 

The Virginmarys - King of Conflict

It’s been always pretty clear that The Virginmarys are going to deliver with their debut album King of Conflict. But what they’ve really managed is without a doubt one of the most exciting and mind blowing rock and roll records you’ll hear this year. Creating a huge storm in the music world, the album reached a well deserved second spot in the US iTunes Rock Album chart, and was also the Editor’s Choice album in the US. It’s been a thrill ride for the trio from Macclesfield and this is only the beginning. The UK tour has already started and it’s been selling out at the speed of light. The guys are also heading to America for a tour in April. With their dazzling rock and roll and a true passion that mirrors in each of their songs, The Virginmarys will take over the world before we know it.

www.thevirginmarys.com

PURE LOVE – ANTHEMS

Pure Love - Anthems

This album has been on repeat the whole month and it’s not going to change any time soon. Anthems is a record that simply makes you feel like you’re standing on top of the world. The songs are loaded with catchy melodies, Jim Carroll’s grand guitars and Frank Carter’s sincere vocals. The lyrics are encouraging and honest, and you’ll soon find yourself singing every word. Being fortunate to see Pure Love twice this month, I have to say that there is not so many bands out there, who literally give their everything to the audience, make them a real part of the show and take them for a very special, crazy and fun-filled journey.  Pure Love fully live and enjoy the live performances with people. It’s rare, it’s unforgettable and once you experience it, it will make you love their music even more.

www.therealpurelove.com

THE BRONX – THE BRONX (IV)

The Bronx - The bronx IV

The Bronx have returned with a new album after 5 years, which might seem like a long time to some people, but I don’t think any of the fans of this LA hard/punk rock group really mind. Why? Simply because this album is nothing short of extraordinary. The sound is heavy but embraces big melodies together with the insanely good vocals of Matt Caughthran. You can let go and scream along the lines with Matt and take in all the benefits of this perfectly mastered hard rock record that offers a great emotional release. I’ve seen The Bronx live this month and it was mental in the greatest way possible. This is a real example of heavy music providing a cure for any soul.

www.thebronxxx.com

NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS – PUSH THE SKY AWAY

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds deliver this hypnotic, dark and romantic masterpiece with Push The Sky Away, awaking the emotions of love, desperation, anger and everything in between. Its atmosphere draws you inside Nick Cave’s remarkable vocals and songwriting and the mellow, haunting melodies in the background. Whether you’re the lonely type or someone in love, once you put it on, it’s hard to resist its fascinating appeal and so damn easy to sink right in. It has this indiscribable magic surrounding it. This might as well be one of the greatest records written in 2013.

www.nick-cave.com