Eagles of Death Metal
Death By Sexy
(Antacidaudio/ Rekords Rekords)
The Eagles of Death Metal return for their second album, due to hit stores on April 11. Their new single, “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News),” is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant sea of rock and roll. Listing their musical influences as Parliament, The Stooges, Marvin Gay and James Brown, the Eagles conquer the true sound and meaning of rock, making the saying, “sex, drugs and rock and roll,” ring true once again. Jesse “the Devil” Hughes, vocalist and guitarist, and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Hommes, vocalist and drummer, deliver on this single, with the help of cameos by Jack Black of Tenacious D, and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and, formally, Nirvana, guitar riffs that are rumored to blow the clothing off anyone who steps in their paths. If the Eagles’ new single is in any sort of way a window into the Death by Sexy album, this is a must-own for the summer. True rock and roll you can dance to.
Nine Black Alps
Everything Is, by British foursome Nine Black Alps, is a short and sweet record of twelve indie rock tunes. About 35 minutes in length, the album is composed mostly of light, fun, radio-friendly songs, which at first seem like they might not be particularly different from any of the other musical acts of the genre that have been gaining popularity these days. But with songs like the slow and melodic “Behind Your Eyes,” and “Intermission,” which allows singer Sam Forrest to showcase his soft and soothing vocal skills and the group’s range, the Nine Black Alps illustrate that they are more than just your typical indie rockers. The tracks are relatively short, but well crafted and composed, though it would be nice to have a few more mellow ones to balance out the rest of the faster paced musical pieces.
-Stephanie Ng Wan
(100% Womon Records)
Whenever a Hollywood actor decides to give singing a try, people always tend to view their musical experiments with apprehension and suspicion. As Wicked Wisdom’s lead, Jada Pinkett-Smith attempts to topple any preconceived expectations you may have of her, and helps churn out ten hard rock tunes on their self-titled album. Unfortunately, the lyrics are sometimes a little too repetitive and simplistic, and it’s hard to get over the fact that both her singing style and the musical feel of the tracks sound too much like the distinctive sound of Rage Against the Machine. When Pinkett-Smith isn’t growling, she demonstrates that she does have a pretty good voice, but the band still needs to work on finding a unique approach to make it truly their own. Whether or not the band succeeds at performing these songs live is definitely something worth looking out for.
-Stephanie Ng Wan
The Red Tree
Remember this name: Moneen. The Toronto four-piece is about to be thrown into a whole new dimension with the release of their new full-length The Red Tree. Their debut on Vagrant Records is the perfect blend of emo and punk-rock: a true gem. Moneen throw out the traditional and make room for experimentation on their new opus, showcasing their great songwriting skills. The Red Tree is filled with technical guitar riffs and enchanting melodies. The record’s last track, “The Song I Swear I Would Never Sing,” is a beautiful piano composition that proves the band is truly multi-talented. Songs like “The Frightening Reality Of The Fact That We Will All Have To Grow Up,” show they can compete with the best in their genre, and are able carve a niche for themselves. Moneen is definitely one of Canada’s finest.
The Old Soul
The Old Soul
(Hand Of God Records)
The Old Soul’s self-titled album is a refreshing look at pop music. It isn’t stereotypical, mainstream pop music; it’s pop music because it’s happy, exciting, and light. This band isn’t afraid to push boundaries with instrumentals either. In some songs, you may hear an accordion, a saxophone, whistles, or piano. Luca Maoloni, The Old Soul’s main man, has had much of his music compared to Brian Wilson’s. You will also detect a similarity to Phish as well. This collection of music is an enjoyable foray into what pop music should be like: a carefree, light, yet carefully put together sound.