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ALBUM: Dr Dre – ‘Compton’

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It’s pretty damn depressing that the bulk of under-20s – hell, maybe under-25s – will primarily recognise the name Dr Dre as the one attached to a terrible brand of headphones. Few men in history have contributed as much to the world of hip-hop as the good doctor, who’s produced as many classic records as […]

ALBUM: Buried In Verona – ‘Vultures Above, Lions Below’

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Adversity breeds good metal. It’s always been the case that difficult personal circumstances make for heavy music of a higher calibre, simply because of the nature of the genre. Buried in Verona may have lost more than half of their members since last year’s ‘Faceless’, but they’ve come out of the transition stronger than ever […]

ALBUM: Being As An Ocean – ‘Being As An Ocean’

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There’s a latent statement that comes with self-titling an album. It’s an effective way for an artist or band to communicate that this is their definitive work, the yardstick to compare their other records to and the truest expression of their identity – admittedly this becomes muddled if they self-title more than one of their […]

ALBUM: August Burns Red – ‘Found in Far Away Places’

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Few bands in music, let alone metalcore have followed that maxim as closely as August Burns Red, with no detriment to their commercial success or the relative reverence they receive within the scene as a result. One knows what one is going to get with an ABR record, […]

ALBUM: Citizen – ‘Everybody Is Going to Heaven’

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For close to a decade now, Brand New’s ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’ has stood as the gold standard for the thinking man’s emo. It’s a record so immaculately crafted, so gorgeous in its anguish and uncompromising in its emotional pull that it’s hard for bands of a similar flavour to escape […]

ALBUM: Muse – ‘Drones’

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“Going back to our roots” and “stripping back our sound” are common claims for established bands to make, often a decidedly calculated attempt to placate fanbases who inevitably prefer older material to the more recent (either as a genuine response to decline in album quality or to show how “dedicated” a fan one is. Quite why […]

SINGLE: Parkway Drive – “Vice Grip”

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On the basis of their back catalogue, one would be forgiven for writing off Parkway Drive as a (admittedly thoroughbred) one trick pony. Though fourth album ‘Atlas’ did push into some previously unpushed directions, it remained rooted in low-end-driven mosh n’ roll metalcore. The scope of their songcraft has expanded as the band’s stock has risen, […]

EP: Underdog Champs – Picked Last’

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Striking a balance between pop punk and post hardcore is nothing new, but the new ‘Picked Last’ EP from VA-based group Underdog Champs eschews the traditional points of fusion in favour of a more loose approach. Bouncy opener “Love Songs” is an almost entirely traditional slice of emo-inflected punk pop with a borderline-meta approach to […]

ALBUM: Twenty One Pilots – ‘Blurryface’

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It’s always pleasing when a band comes along that manages to completely defy genre parameters, even if the resulting product is a bit too obtuse to be enjoyable. Unbeknownst to many Twenty One Pilots have been doing this since 2009. Fuelled by Ramen debut Vessel was their first point of exposure for many, and won […]

ALBUM: Silverstein – ‘I Am Alive in Everything I Touch’

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Few are the bands that reach the peak of their powers thirteen years into their existence, but that was the case with Silverstein and their conceptual magnum opus ‘This Is How the Wind Shifts’. A refocusing of their energies rather than a significant shift in musical direction, it was as confident and meaty a body […]