Spring is in the air (sort of) and with it comes a wealth of new music. This month is frankly a hectic month for new releases and when it came to picking out our “must hear” releases, we were overwhelmed with what is on offer.
Nevertheless we’ve somehow picked 17 releases that you should be very excited about in the coming weeks.
The Hotelier – Goodness
Back in 2011, The Hotelier released debut album ’It Never Goes Out.’ Since the release of breakthrough record ’Home Like Noplace Is There,’ The Hotelier have become noted as one of the greatest emo bands of this generation, so the stakes are high for the next one, ’Goodness.’
This 13-track album is set to have a warmer, lighter feel than the previous two; it represents a journey towards feeling more positive, learning what is right, and what is good. Fans patiently await the release, with confidence that it will prove to be an incredible next step for Massachusetts quartet, The Hotelier.
’The Piano Player,’ along with ’Soft Animal,’ can give you an insight into what to expect. We can still see the poetic lyrics and feel the sentiments behind the song-writing, but the impressive progression evident here is away from darkness, as opposed to towards it. (LJ)
‘Goodness by The Hotelier is released on 27th May on Tiny Engines Records.
Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Ever since storming the scene with ‘Lost Forever / Lost Together’, Architects have been riding the crest of a wave. They’ve returned to glittering form once before, but ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ is crunch time for these lads – a prime opportunity to prove their worth beyond that comeback.
‘A Match Made In Heaven’ makes for a phenomenal, explosive teaser to an intensely hyped follow-up. Its towering celestial tone suggests this is the blood-boiling era Architects have built towards, as ‘Gone With The Wind’ proves no delicate affair – their trademark intense production and ethereal atmospherics loom over proceedings just as expected. With even crisper instrumentals and more gut-wrenching vocals than before, you’d be forgiven for thinking Architects couldn’t set the bar much higher. But they have. (AC)
’All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ by Architects is out on 27th May on Epitaph Records.
Pierce The Veil – Misadventures
There’s not much that compares to the furore around a new Pierce the Veil track. Except, of course, the furore around a new Pierce the Veil album, which is on a whole other level. If the reception to ‘Circles’ is an indicator of anything – and it’d be a pretty safe bet to say it is – the San Diego troupe’s fourth record ‘Misadventures’ is going to be something truly special.
It’s already right up there with the contenders for best album art of the year, and musically we’re not expecting anything different. With ‘Texas is Forever’ verifying that the quartet haven’t lost any of their edge, it’s easy to get the feeling that this is going to be a record that a lot of people struggle to take off repeat for quite a considerable amount of time. (AL)
’Misadventures’ by Pierce The Veil is out on 13th May on Fearless Records.
Motörhead – Clean Your Clocks
Nothing could have prepared the metal realm for the loss of the presumably immortal Lemmy Kilmister. In the aftermath, the band outright declared that Motörhead would cease to exist alongside its iconic frontman, to ensure fan’s memories of the band would infinitely remain under the brim of his hat.
‘Clean Your Clocks’ is the live album and DVD of two German shows in November 2015, on what would become their final tour. A poignant time capsule of the band’s last setlist and signature microphone placement, this sorrowful release speaks volumes of their longevity and the persistence of Lemmy right to the very end. Suspending the history of heavy metal’s most recognisable name in permanent stasis, it’s as if he’s still here now. Raise a Lemmy and don’t forget the joker. (AC)
’Clean Your Clocks’ by Motörhead is out on 27th May.
Real Friends – The Home Inside My Head
Known for their fast, riff-driven jams and honest, angsty lyrics, Illinois sad-boys Real Friends have established themselves as one of the biggest names in new era pop punk ever since the release of their EPs ’Everyone That Dragged You Here’ and ’Put Yourself Back Together.’ They brought out their debut studio album ‘Maybe This Place Is the Same and We’re Just Changing’ in July 2014 on Fearless Records which has slightly smoother vocals and a more mature sound.
Fans are now anxiously anticipating the release of sophomore album ’The Home Inside My Head’; but from what we’ve heard of it so far, it’s looking like it’s extremely good news.
New single ’Scared to Be Alone’ proves an evolution of sound for our sleepy-eyed, bony-kneed 5-piece. We’re expecting this new record to be far heartier with stronger vocals and a more harmonious tone. Make sure to catch this one. (LJ)
‘The Home Inside My Head’ by Real Friends is released on 27th May on Fearless Records.
DevilDriver – Trust No One
Fans of DevilDriver had been cast out to dry for the last three years, as frontman Dez Fafara reignited Coal Chamber. 2013’s ‘Winter Kills’ continued a legacy of throat-pounding metal that thrives on the chaos of a live environment thanks to their die-hard fans, and despite the glacial years in between, ‘Trust No-One’ is not about to call time on that reputation.
While some lament the loss of their momentum as a band alongside the departures of their original drummer and guitarist, the noodling and punchy vitality of first single ‘Daybreak’ is testament to their endurance. This is a band settling back into an old, comfortable armchair – albeit a little taped together in places, it still holds that romantic vitriol that beckoned from day one. (AC)
’Trust No-One’ by DevilDriver is out on 13th May on Napalm Records.
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
Back in August, when our favourite Philly 4-piece Modern Baseball announced that they would be cancelling their AUS tour in order for vocalist Brendan Lukes to focus on making steps towards positive mental health, fans had only positive wishes to send. So, earlier this year when the news came of a third LP, we were thrilled to hear of Lukes’ improvements and quite frankly stoked for this album.
MoBo recently released an epic, heart-breaking 17-minute documentary – see below – that follows their memorable journey as a band and the difficult journeys taken by members Jacob Ewald and Brendan Lukes in battling with their mental health.
‘Holy Ghost’ is a product of dual song-writing; it will be a transformational Ewald/Lukes split that will encompass themes both recognisable and alien. Expect more than infectious emo anthems in this panoramic, spectacular next chapter for Modern Baseball. (LJ)
‘Holy Ghost’ by Modern Baseball is out on 13th May on Run For Cover Records.
Death Angel – The Evil Divide
May 27th sees the release of the eighth studio album from seasoned thrashers Death Angel, who back in 1990 were staring down the barrel of global success, having been signed to Geffen for the release of their classic album ‘Act III’. However, a near fatal accident cut short their ascendency and led to a ten-year hiatus. Nevertheless, since reforming and making a few changes to their line-up, the band has gone on to release a series of albums highlighting the quality of their brand of bay area thrash.
Despite the doom-laden overtones of their name and a penchant for super fast riffing, they have succeeded in retaining an ear for melody and the willingness to crossover which first set them apart. Teaser tracks, ‘Cause for Alarm’ and ‘The Moth’, are a good indication of the consistently high standard material on offer and ‘The Evil Divide’ looks set to be another quality addition to their catalogue. (EL)
’The Evil Divide’ by Death Angel is out on 27th May on Nuclear Blast Records.
Making Monsters – Bad Blood EP
There’s a bit of a buzz about this alt-rock quartet from Derry, whose first single ‘Better’ is already racking up the views and picking up airplay. They seem to have been doing all the right things, playing stacks of live shows, getting some good support slots with the likes of Young Guns and taking their time to allow their sound to mature.
The result is the ‘Bad Blood EP’, their third, which is set for release on May 13th and is definitely one to look out for. The band makes a fine racket, with a heavy alternative sound and well-arranged tunes, and in Emma Gallagher they have an extremely gifted vocalist. Watch this space. (EL)
’Bad Blood EP’ by Making Monsters is out on 13th May.
Lacuna Coil – Delirium
Despite a couple of personnel changes since the recording of 2014’s ‘Broken Crown Halo’, Lacuna Coil are back with their eighth studio album, ‘Delirium’, to be released on May 27th. Judging from ‘The House of Shame’, the first track to hit the ether, the Italian goth metal veterans have taken a step further down the path of dark and heavy, whilst somehow managing to maintain their commercial appeal.
If the track’s power and energy are anything to go by, the new album holds promise, and with a heavy schedule of touring also lined up, the band seem intent to continue building on their already considerable success. (EL)
’Delirium’ by Lacuna Coil is out on 27th May on Century Media Records.
Lonely The Brave – Things Will Matter
Surely one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2016 is the second slab of arena-sized rock from Lonely The Brave. ‘Things Will Matter’ drops on May 20th, the best part of two years since the top twenty platter ‘This Day’s War’ put the five-piece from Cambridge on the map.
If the first few tracks to surface from the new album are anything to go by, things look promising, LTB having added a slightly harder edge to their signature sound. The first video ‘Black Mire is an epic-sounding slow burner, with a dark heaviness to the guitars, while ‘What If You Fall In’ highlights the band’s atmospheric intensity; looking good then. (EL)
’Things Will Matter’ by Lonely The Brave is released on 20th May on Hassle Records.
Zoax – Zoax
You’d be hard pressed to meet a lovelier group of guys on the British rock scene than Zoax. In the past we’ve found them great to watch live, a pleasure to talk to and an absolute joy to listen to. With the release of their self-titled debut album – now less than a fortnight away – it’s unlikely that there’ll be much change on any of these fronts.
Past EPs ‘XIII’ and ‘Is Everybody Listening?’ have showcased just what the band are capable of, but recent album tasters ‘The Bad Blood’ and ‘Roses All the Way’ seem to be the calling cards of a different Zoax. The leading tracks have made the new record a much more interesting affair, and we can’t wait to hear just what the quintet have been up to these past months. (AL)
’Zoax’ by Zoax is out on 13th May on Century Media Records.
Band of Skulls – By Default
In 2014, Band of Skulls unleashed ‘Himalayan’, a record that turned out to be so easy to love and would raise the Southampton outfit’s stock on considerably in the months that followed – a Sonisphere main stage slot and headline set at 2000 Trees were signs of just how well the album had gone down. It wasn’t an undeserved success either – previous records ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ and ‘Sweet Sour’ both came packed full of standout tracks and Band of Skulls have proven with their first three albums to be nothing if not consistent.
With ‘By Default’, the trio will be aiming for lightning to strike a fourth time, and it’s hard to come up with any reason why it couldn’t. New track ‘So Good’ is a thumping taster of what’s to come later this month when ‘By Default’ drops, and it’s certainly got us hungry for more. (AL)
’By Default’ by Band of Skulls is out on 27th May.
Sonic Boom Six – The F-Bomb
Sonic Boom Six have always been more than capable of grabbing attention with their music, and new album ‘The F-Bomb’ is unlikely to buck that trend. Even the image of vocalist Laila K on the cover has got people buzzing due to the niqab she’s wearing.
It would be nice to think that sooner rather than later the simple image of a band member in religious clothing won’t be as big of a statement as this is, but right now it sets the tone for what is likely to be a record with a hell of a lot to say. Such is more than characteristic by now for the outspoken ska-punk veterans, and if ‘No Man No Right’ is any indication, the record will kick some serious arse musically as well. (AL)
’The F-Bomb’ by Sonic Boom Six is out on 28th May on Cherry Red Records.
Tiny Moving Parts – Celebrate
From post-hardcore oddballs to math-infused indie-rockers, Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts have really hit a rich seam since the release of their scratchy full-length debut, ‘This Couch is Long & Full of Friendship’. Now the trio are back with ‘Celebrate’ and, just like their bobblehead effigies on the video to ‘Entrances & Exits’, they’re primed to go stratospheric.
Early signs are promising too. You’ll be hard pressed to pick a favourite from the technical triumph of ‘Common Cold’ or the fist-in-the-air anthem of ‘Headache’. There’s little change in sound too – both cuts are unmistakably Tiny Moving Parts – yet they sit alongside their finest songs to date. Get ready to celebrate… (RM)
’Celebrate’ by Tiny Moving Parts is out on 20th May.
Sad Blood – Legion of Gloom EP
London sad punks Sad Blood were one of our 50 to watch in 2016 – and so far, the emo trio haven’t let us down. If you’ve seen a DIY emo show in London at any point this year, chances are you’d have seen George Phillips’ crew doing their thing, and while they’ve been branching out, hitting places like Southampton and Brighton, it’s all been leading to the release of second EP, ‘Legion of Gloom’.
The follow up to last year’s excellent ‘Ultimate Worrier’ (yes, they’re wrestling obsessed. And pun obsessed…) promises more heartfelt sing-alongs and lyrical insight. With cuts such as ‘Heavy Petting Zoo’ showing growth in every department, ‘Legion of Gloom’ should push the up-and-coming punks far beyond the niche they’re currently in… (RM)
’Legion Of Gloom’ by Sad Blood is out on 6th May.
Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties – Bittersweet 7"
Dan “Soupy” Campbell, frontman of Philly pop punk legends The Wonder Years, first announced his solo project Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties in May 2014 on an introduction video. By July, his debut album ’We Don’t Have Each Other’ was released featuring nine solid, heartfelt tracks from the perspective of persona Aaron West, and a bonus cover of ‘Going To Georgia’ by The Mountain Goats.
’We Don’t Have Each Other’ is a concept album that recounts the worst year of the fictitious character’s life, where he battles with suicidal thoughts following a divorce, addiction and his father’s death. ’Bittersweet’ is a 3-track EP that continues the story; Aaron is still going on living, but likewise still acutely suffering.
’67, Cherry Red’ gives us an insight into the less woeful, but more bitter, resentful tone of the EP. Although considerably short, this next chapter of the story will certainly be worth a listen. (LJ)
’Bittersweet’ by Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties is out on 20th May on Hopeless Records.
Words by Lucy Jones (LJ), Rob Mair (RM), Antony Lusmore (AL), Edward Layland (EL), and Ali Cooper (AC).