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Handwritten combines the charm of Gaslight’s humble beginnings with an arena-filling production and musical direction.
The Gaslight Anthem’s fourth LP Handwritten is a natural progression for a band whose rise to the mainstream is nothing short of meteoric. The Jersey four-piece went from playing fifteen minute sets as an opener for punk shows to having Bruce Springsteen sing their songs in packed arenas in one mere album cycle.
@8 months ago with 1 note
#the gaslight anthem #handwritten #rock #album review #The '59 Sound #Senor and the Queen #american slang #punk #rock n roll #brian fallon #alex rosamilia #alex levine #ian perkins #album
And that’s precisely what Handwritten is - a reflection of their rise to success. With super producer Brendan O’Brian (whose modest resume includes Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen) behind the booth, Gaslight has never sounded so…big. Handwritten is less punk anthem circa The ‘59 Sound and more what “American Slang” strove to be though ultimately fell short of. While this IS a legitimate cause for concern about the band jeopardizing their overwhelming charm and sincerity in exchange for a major label makeover, it is very far from the truth.
It’s the complete opposite, in fact. For how high profile this record is, it is still a Gaslight record through-and-through. Singer Brian Fallon puts it best: “We were definitely trying to make sure the person who was on the other end of the speakers knew we were talking to them”. And there is not a single contrivance on “Handwritten”, from the sing-along-of-the-year “45” to the heartfelt “National Anthem” and everything in between there is a real sense that every track is organic, which really lends itself to the theme of the album. Its ability to simultaneously sound so big yet retain all the charm from their humble beginnings is undoubtedly the record’s strong suit. Give it a spin.
The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.
MO’s third full-length release is a confusing one until given a fully fleshed-out, detailed listen. “Mean Everything To Nothing” is the album title, and when taken out of that context it is but a grammatically incorrect fragment of a sentence. It is clearly missing the Subject, a vital component to any thought. Who, or what means everything to nothing? It’s intriguing and thought provoking. And therein lies the genius of the LP: It’s mysterious. Luckily singer Andy Hull explores the meaning behind the title through his lyrics, eventually allowing the mysterious phrase to blossom into a full thought-a moment of enlightenment for the listener when heard for the first time. It would be a crime to have such a potentially fulfilling and interesting theme go to waste if the music was not held to the same standards.
@9 months ago
#Manchester Orchestra #Review #Rock #ALbum Review #Music #Andy Hull #Shake it out #I can Feel a Hot One #Mean Everything to Nothing
A beautifully crafted idea with intelligent lyricism cannot stand alone unless the music behind it is just as beautiful. MO’s sound is cohesive, and anything but monotonous. Shifting from catchy riffs such as the one heard throughout standout album opener “The Only One” to the unexpectedly badass riff of “Pride” that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Spaghetti Western flick; Mean Everything to Nothing has outstanding and varied guitar work. As far as the instrumentals go, the lead guitarist Robert Mcdowell and drummer Jeremiah Edmond are the strongest players. The latter displays some of his best work in the album opener.
And then of course there are songs of the quintessential MO style in “Everything to Nothing” and “I Can Feel a Hot One”. Reminiscent of the highlights of their previous LP, the gentler, more depressing songs are where the band absolutely shines. Additionally Manchester Orchestra completely avoids a common problem that comes along with having a reasonably varied set of songs: fluidity and pacing. There are no abrupt endings to be found, and each song feels like the perfect build-up to what comes next. Nailing the aspect of arrangement within the album makes for a more immersive and overall enthralling listen.
But when it comes to albums that are considered “classics”, such high regard is only accredited to some intangible feature that transcends the standards of most other albums. In other words it’s a “spark”, whether that means a well-crafted theme coming full circle, or brilliance in an artistic vision being perfectly realized. Mean Everything to Nothing’s rating rests in the arms of the former. The album title plants a seed that, at the final two songs flourishes and reveals itself to be something as fulfilling as one could hope for in music. It’s a moment of realization and understanding for the listener that makes the fifty-three minute run time of the album more than worth the listen.
Link to my original post: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/47922/While-She-Sleeps-The-North-Stands-For-Nothing/
This is Hardcore music devoid of all the stigmas that bands like Bring Me The Horizon attached to it over the years- Ironically both bands are from the same hometown.
What do Def Leppard, Bring Me The Horizon and The Arctic Monkeys all have in common? Not much except the fact that they all hail from Sheffield, ‘The Steel City’ in England; A city well known for its production of steel over a number of years. However, the hardened and passionate reputation of the city’s steelworkers does not seem to translate well to the super-famous, and at times over-the-top bands mentioned above. Such a blaring inconsistency does nothing but prevent people from expecting a band like While She Sleeps to come from the same place. But WSS is strikingly representative of the place from which they came, and they have something to say.
While She Sleep’s debut album entitled The North Stands For Nothing is a hard-hitting, relentless hardcore album with a bare bones mindset when it comes to instrumentation (no electronics or overproduction to be found here). In fact, the band only ever lets up for the few piano driven interludes throughout. They provide necessary buildup as well as the just as necessary low points to accompany the aggressive highs of the album. This creates more of an experience as opposed to a mere collection of songs.
When it comes to song structure and instrumentation, WSS proves solid throughout, though with no real standout moments. It is refreshing not to see the overused verse-chorus-breakdown song structure, and in that respect WSS keeps it varied and interesting. Additionally, the arguably copious amount of breakdowns in the album is balanced out by a catchy guitar riff or unexpected shift. The drums however do not stand out whatsoever and don’t add much flavor to the sound of the band. Rarely does the album fall into monotony though, it is kept afloat by the solid instrumentation as well as the fitting vocal delivery.
The vocals prove to be the spark that allows TNSFN to make sense. The potentially lame line “I’m proud of the demon in me” is made absolutely believable when delivered by Lawrence Taylor’s impassioned voice. The fact that he sounds as if he truly means what he’s saying adds to the sincerity of the album as a whole. The lyrics are well written and seem to follow a loose political/geographical theme. Regardless the lyrics are undoubtedly intelligent and inspired.
The North Stands For Nothing by While She Sleeps is able to transcend both the stigmas of genre in which the band is grouped as well as the reputations of fellow bands from Sheffield. WSS is truly representative of the Steel City ethic and accurately turns its history into a sonic assault of sensible anger sans any lame lyrics or unnecessary decisions. The North Stands for Nothing, though with its faults in instrumentation, proves to be a strong album with lasting replay value and a lot of potential for future releases. Give it a spin.
@1 year ago
#Album Review #While She Sleeps #The North Stands For Nothing