Jimmy Eat World – Integrity Blues
The emo rock pioneers, Jimmy Eat World, return with their ninth studio outing – ‘Integrity Blues’. Besides the somewhat forgettable ‘Invented’ from 2010, the Arizona quartet are one of rock’s most consistent bands and ‘Integrity Blues’ looks set to follow that trend. It also sees them working with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, M83, Tegan and Sara) for the first time, who worked with the band early on during the writing process.
With two singles already out in the open, ‘Integrity Blues’ promises to maintain JEW’s natural evolution while subtly introducing new ideas. ‘Sure and Certain’ carries itself with a familiar anthemic trait that Jimmy Eat World has honed throughout their 20+ career. While, ‘Get Right’ showcases the bands sturdy, rock side with Jim Adkins’ somewhat distinctive vocals serving as the focal point.
With every record consisting of a well-balanced mix of substance, sensitivity and infectious hooks, ‘Integrity Blues’ has the potential to be another worthy addition to an influential discography. (SR)
‘Integrity Blues’ by Jimmy Eat World is released on October 21st on RCA Records.
Green Day – Revolution Radio
After a tumultuous few years of cancer battles and rehabs, Green Day are set to return this month with their 12th studio album, ‘Revolution Radio’, their first since 2012’s triple release of ‘¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!’, which met with mixed reaction.
They seem to have taken a more organic approach this time around and as front man Billy Joe Armstrong"this time it’s just the exact opposite and [we] just sort of let life roll out and then see what happens". Apparently, Billy was also inspired by issues surrounding America’s pervading gun culture, with first single, the rip roaring ‘Bang Bang’, getting inside the head of a mass shooter. Title track ‘Revolution Radio’ is similarly charged and equally energetic, while the quirky punk ballad ‘Still Breathing’ is resoundingly personal.
Sounds like one of the biggest bands in the world are back to their best and will be releasing one of the biggest albums of the year then – roll on October 7th! (EL)
‘Revolution Radio’ by Green Day is out on October 7th on Reprise Records.
Korn – The Serenity of Suffering
According to frontman Jonathan Davis, Korn’s 12th studio album, ‘The Serenity of Suffering’, is in a similar vein to their 2002 classic, ‘Untouchables’. Apparently there has been a conscious effort to make the heaviest album possible, with a more subtle approach to the use of electronica.
Lead off singles ‘Insane’, which is, er, insanely heavy and the dark frustrations and swirling chaos of ‘Rotting in Vain’ certainly sound as if they have fulfilled that promise and are on top form. There is everything that made them the genre defining, chart topping giants that they are, yet it all sounds fresh and invigorated; ‘Serenity’ promises to be another massive release. (EL)
‘The Serenity of Suffering’ by Korn is released on October 21st on Roadrunner Records.
Sum 41 – 13 Voices
So the year of former pop-punk greats returning with new albums to reclaim former glories rolls relentlessly on. This time it’s the turn of Sum 41, who’re back with 3/4s of their original lineup and their seventh studio album ’13 Voices’. And regardless of the results, that the band and Derryck Whibley are even in a position to do that after his well documented health and alcoholic problems is great to see.
The Canadian former skater boy idols are working with independent pop-punk heroes Hopeless for the release, but don’t be thinking that means that we’re immediately in for a throwback to the snotty all out pop-punk sound of the their early smash hits. The cuts from the record we’ve heard so far, particularly ‘War’ and ‘God Save Us All (Death to Pop)’ , suggest more of the darker, brooding approach of ‘Chuck’ and ‘Underclass Hero’. Still, compared to the distinctly more miss then hit of 2011’s ‘Screaming Bloody Murder’, we’re excited for a recapturing of even that sort of form. (DW)
’13 Voices’ by Sum 41 is released on October 7th on Hopeless Records.
Balance and Composure – Light We Made
It has been a testing 12 months for Balance and Composure. Having taken a lengthy break following a troublesome touring schedule which saw them involved in a severe van accident, the band have reconvened for album number three – ‘Light We Made’. With their former rehearsal space sold, the quintet moved to the nearby borough of Tullytown to write around 100 new songs. After chopping down the list, ‘Light We Made’ is 10 offerings of the next stage of Balance and Composure.
It sees them exploring new sounds and styles, bringing in electronic elements and crafting sophisticated and layered as shown on recent singles ‘Postcard’ and ‘Spinning’. While, ‘Afterparty’ and ‘Call It Losing Touch’ sees guitars ringing out as they take a familiar etheral, alt-rock route.
Balance and Composure have always shown their intention to progress and develop beyond their emotional alt-rock roots, and ‘Light We Made’ looks set to arrive with plenty of intrigue and promise. (SR)
‘Light We Made’ is released digitally on October 7th and physically on November 4th on Big Scary Monsters.
PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries
The name PWR BTTM may not be all that familiar here in the UK, but to say they’ve started causing something of a stir on the other side of the Atlantic would be putting it mildly. The Brooklyn duo of Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins, who identify as queer and prefer to be referred to using gender neutral pronouns, have built a reputation for performing spectacular live shows that sees them swap frequently swap instruments (between drums and guitar) while swathed in glittery makeup.
But don’t be thinking this is all about boundary pushing stage attire or a purely LGBT message. Musically PWR BTTM bring a glammed up, high camp Weezer style indie pop that’s as tender and infectious as it is acerbically witty and playful. And a year after its release stateside this month sees their debut album ‘Ugly Cherries’ arrive in the UK. Expect deftly expressed anecdotes of life lived joyfully and defiantly outside the norms in sprawling guitar pop that’s enthusing, dramatic and deceptively technically proficient. Check out the likes of ‘I Wanna Boi’ or ‘West Texas’ and prepare to dive headlong into a bewilderingly off-kilter party that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. (DW)
‘Ugly Cherries’ by PWR BTTM is released on October 7th on Big Scary Monsters.
John K Samson – Winter Wheat
While the Weakerthans hiatus continues – it’s nine years since ‘Reunion Tour’, and just over twelve months since a tweet by drummer Jason Tait said the band was “done” – John K. Samson remains one of the most inspirational songwriters around. ‘Winter Wheat’, the follow-up to ‘2014’s critically-acclaimed ‘Provincial’, is sure to provide further evidence of Samson’s exceptional turn of phrase and obsession with the minutiae of life.
Samson has always held an affection for writing from the perspective of other people (or things), be it about the scepticism facing the man who saw Bigfoot or the trials of hockey player Gump Worsley. ‘Winter Wheat’ offers more of the same lyrical content, this time painting pictures about the chaotic life of secret agent and art critic Anthony Blunt and the creaking branches of Winnipeg’s oldest tree. And, for those yearning for a conclusion to the challenges facing stray cat Virtute, there’s not one but two songs bringing the saga to a close. Throw in a response to Neil Young’s ‘On The Beach’ and you have one of Samson’s most eccentric, and potentially most engaging albums, to date. (RM)
’Winter Wheat’ by John K. Samson is released on October 21st on Anti-.
John K. Samson links: Facebook
The Lion and The Wolf – The Cardiac Hotel
As summer draws to an end and Autumn takes hold with its chilly conditions and drab hues, it’s a time of year that just seems to go hand in hand with getting lost in a heart warming (or in this case breaking) acoustic folk album or two. So almost right on cue our old mate Tom George, better known as The Lion and The Wolf, is back with ‘The Cardiac Hotel’ his first release on Xtra Mile Records.
We have to admit we were pretty chuffed to about this signing, and how does he respond? By making an album that’s properly wrecked with our emotions that’s how. Like some kind of evil guitar toting wizard that writes staggeringly beautiful songs with the sole intention of putting the listener’s feelings through the wringer a multitude of times. George has been creating stark, haunting and inescapable music for a while now, but here he’s really ramped up the scope, power and majesty of his writing and delivery. The fragility, immediacy and deftness of melody and narrative of ‘My Father’s Eyes’, ‘Hospital Floor’ and ‘Barstools’ will undoubtedly have the legions of Xtra Mile devotees quickly falling in love with Mr George. (DW)
’The Cardiac Hotel’ by The Lion And The Wolf is released on October 7th on Xtra Mile Recordings.
Red Fang – Only Ghosts
Portland’s Red Fang have accomplished a lot since the release of their 2009 self-titled debut. They’ve injected a new lease of life into the stoner rock genre, written some of the catchiest riffs of recent years and have managed to be the only band to use “Time to kiss your ass goodbye” as a lyric and make it sound cool.
Teaming up with producer extraordinaire Ross Robinson, (Korn, At the Drive-In, Sepultura) fourth full-length ‘Only Ghosts’ is set to be a sharper, more pissed-off sounding release than anything that’s come before. Both singles ‘Flies’ and ‘Shadows’ have displayed the band’s craft of writing high adrenaline and hook packed hard rock in full effect, but with intricate lead guitar work and soundscaping that has always put them on the same pedestal as the Mastodons and Queens of the Stone Ages of this world. With far more spite carried in the vocal interplay between Bryan Giles and Aaron Beam, ‘Only Ghosts’ could be the record that takes Red Fang beyond their reputtion of being the “fun” metal band and make them a real force to be reckoned with in that realm of complex, hardened songwriting. (AD)
‘Only Ghosts’ by Red Fang is released on October 14th on Relapse Records.
Wild Pink – 4 Songs EP
Wild Pink’s ‘Good Life’ EP was one of 2015’s undoubted highlights; a gorgeous, gently infectious slice of indie-pop blessed with sun-kissed melodies and just enough verve to leave you eager for more.
Now, John Ross’ beguiling indie rockers are back with another oh-so-short EP, ‘4 Songs’, that should build on their initial success ahead of next year’s anticipated full-length.
Early signs are monumentally promising, too. Single ’4th of July’ is a gorgeous, meandering cut, more cerebral and emotional in tone to the songs on ‘Good Life’, but no less enjoyable. In fact, it found itself competing with new songs by emo/math-rock heavyweights American Football and post-hardcore titans Planes Mistaken For Stars upon its release, giving both bloody noses in the subsequent fight for social media approval.
But then we also picked Wild Pink as one’s to watch back in January, and we always like being right… (RM)
’4 Songs’ EP by Wild Pinkis released on October 7th on Tiny Engines.
FOES – The Summit Lies Skyward
2016 has been a good year for debut albums but this one comes from deep under the radar. Liverpudlian four-piece FOES are poised to take the progressive rock scene by storm, trust me, keep an eye on this band. Newly signed to Basick Records, in what has turned out to be their most productive year as a band, ‘The Summit Lies Skyward’ promises to be a killer effort and a fitting follow up to critically acclaimed 2015 EP ‘Antecendence’, a swirling masterpiece of progressive, cinematic beauty that left listeners waiting eagerly for more. FOES can now expand their sound over a full release, whilst maintaining their ability to make the most complex ideas accessible and create big hooks from the unexpected.
Check out singles ‘The Everest’ and ‘Beautiful Fiction’ now to see what these bearded wonders are capable of, and ready yourself for a standout debut full length from a band you WILL be hearing a lot about in the next 12 months. (JH)
‘The Summit Lies Skyward’ by FOES is released on October 7th on Basick Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (SR), Dane Wright (DW), Rob Mair (RM), Edward Layland (EL), Andy Davidson (AD) and Jay Harrison (JH).