Mechanical Bull – Kings Of Leon
Released 20th September on RCA
Gosh-darn this record is boring. It’s not awful, but at least awful would be interesting. There’s just nothing on here that stands out in the slightest; just the same old blues riffs (that were interesting when they were first played in the sixties) with the same old Bruce Springsteen impersonation of a voice.
I guess there are a couple of mildly interesting moments, but these brief peaks of excitement and emotional beauty are just rehashed so many times throughout the record until they too become horrendously dull.
Once again, it’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not anywhere close to being good. Can’t recommend.
NOTABLE CUTS: Rock City/ Don’t Matter/ Family Tree
TRASH: Beautiful War/ Temple/ Comeback Story/ Back Again
The Bones Of What You Believe – Chvrches
Released 23rd September on Virgin
The music on this debut is rather catchy and interesting in the way that it plays with the basic elements of electro-pop and its subtle tinges of industrial backing, but Lauren Mayberry’s vocals disappoint in their lack of force and the way the just blend into the background of almost every single track.
That aside the record is incredibly addictive and well crafted. This trio of hipsters obviously has the skills and the know-how to back up what they’re doing. I mean, I definitely haven’t heard straight-up dance floor pop this intelligent in quite some time, and it’s always nice to bring some smarts back into the charts.
I can’t comment on its ability to last. It may or may not depending on how the tides turn, but I hope it does and I hope some other groups decide take their lead from Chvrches.
Would definitely recommend.
Note: Revisit. There’s more to this record that can be gotten out of a first listen.
NOTABLE CUTS: We Sink/ Tether/ Lies/ Science/Vision/ Lungs
TRASH: Under The Tide
Days Are Gone – Haim
Released 27th September on Polydor
Pop/ Rock/ Alternative
Yet another debut album from a band who think they’re being too cool for school by making a semi-intelligent retro-pop record for an audience that doesn’t like pop music anymore. There’s nothing wrong with it at all, but I’m getting a bit tired of hearing eighties and nineties dance floor music replayed be hipsters.
The vocals on this one are strong, but the melodies on the whole are uninteresting, and the beats are catchy but I’ve heard them all before. Really it’s just an album that makes no real impression whatsoever. I will say, however, that when this band decide to put a little bit of emphasis on their rock and roll basis then there’s quite a bit of fun to be had (My Song 5 for instance is brilliant). It’s just unfortunate that these tracks are not the main fodder on this bland debut.
It might have been fun in the early nineties, but in 2013 it doesn’t quite make the grade. I will keep an ear out for the band in the future, however, because they sound like there’s a lot of untapped potential.
NOTABLE CUTS: The Wire/ Days Are Gone/My Song 5
TRASH: Forever/ If I Could Change Your Mind/ Don’t Save Me/ Go Slow
- Listen to Kings of Leon’s ‘Mechanical Bull’ (rollingstone.com)
- First Listen: Chvrches, ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ (wnyc.org)
- Kings of Leon forsake rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle (contactmusic.com)
- [Audio] Chvrches’ ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ album (electronicrumors.com)
- Kings Of Leon – ‘Mechanical Bull’ – Album Review (lucasfothergill.wordpress.com)
- The Kings of Leon’s Love is on Fire (ritani.com)
- Kanye West, Janelle Monae, Kings of Leon for new Later… With Jools Holland series (metro.co.uk)
- Review – Chvrches: The Bones of What You Believe (kaioticmusic.com)
- Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe (Review) (craigreviewsmusic.wordpress.com)
- 26 Things You Should Know About Chvrches, Your New Favorite Electro-Pop Band (buzzfeed.com)