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22 April 2008 @ 05:29 pm
042208 The Presets - Apocalypso

I don’t think anyone can resist this dynamic dance-punk duo even if they wanted to. Not even Odysseus, for all his craft, would refuse to give in to this epic call to the dance floor and considering he resisted the nymph Calypso for seven years, that’s saying something. Who knew they rocked so hard down under?

The dynamic Australian electro duo, Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, follow up their 2006 release, Blow Up, with this ass kicking throwback that smacks of a Depeche Mode-esque new wave dance-punk electronica. And it’s not just because Julian’s vocals remind me of none other than David Gahan. Listen to any track, particularly “Together” and you’ll know what I mean. Dance-punk, electro, electronic, new wave, the conglomeration of miscellany genres (derivate, granted, but a medley nonetheless) is merely testament to their dynamism, important in this explosive wave of electro prefixed music.

Further allusions to Greek myth aside, the first track, “Kicking and Screaming” does indeed drag you into the album with such immediacy that you hardly know what happened to you – head nodding, and ass just aching to jack-up the dance floor. The second track, a deeply raw electro grunge (more genre mish-mashing, I know) called “My People”, is a song that just completely overwhelms your mind and body. If you hadn’t completely surrendered after “Kicking and Screaming” then you’re more than likely to be claimed by this track. If not, then you’re just hopeless and should leave the dance floor. “This Boy’s in Love” and “Yippiyo-Aye” are also notable tracks, especially the former, possible one my favourite. And for those who want more of that Depeche Mode new wave should definitely check out “Anywhere” and “If I Know You”, a song with an intro reminiscent of a synth-pop ballad you would hear on a school dance episode of classic Degrassi.

For some unabashed, unfettered fun – to unshackle yourself from life and let loose – The Presets “Apocalypso” is just the means to afford you that liberating transcendence. Whether a sibylline DJ is clever enough to play “My People” in a club or you’re strutting your stuff across your home with a box of ice cream in hand to “Yippiyo-Aye”, Apocalypso is simply hands down a remarkably amazing piece of work.
04 February 2008 @ 05:36 pm

For his second album, Alexisonfire guitarist and vocalist Dallas Green presents a rather weak and mellow sophomore effort. It is most certainly not up to par as was his debut Sometimes, which produced several number one hits including Save Your Scissors and Comin Home. The album sounds more like a soundtrack to a folksy indie movie than the rather subtle and ethereal songs we're used to getting from Dallas.

The first two songs are a quite low-key and soothing beginning to the album, but the mood suddenly changes with The Death of Me. Dallas brings some new instruments to light on the tracks, giving the tone and harmonies of the songs sound folk-like.  Body In A Box offer a quirky melody with harmonica's and the likes. Sleeping Sickness kicks in with the most variety of instrumentals presented on the album, and it promises to be the most prominent single compared to the other tracks. It's also the only track that offers a voice other than Green's. Gordon Downie pitches in for a verse and chorus fill-ins. The newly added harmonica, banjo and percussion backups on the record definitely show a diversification for the musician.

Though the distinctly sounding album offers a few surprises here and there, overall the album becomes a little repetitive and uninteresting. On a positive note Dallas still produces note-worthy lyrics. He gives listeners depth and meaning with each song, proving his skills as a lyricist are perceptive. And this is why the album is definitely worth the listen.

24 January 2008 @ 01:02 am

Scream. Aim. Fire. Nothing short of a progressive start to the year for British metal-heads Bullet For My Valentine. The quartet will be releasing their second full length on January 28 and there is already buzz all over the internet on dedicated fan sites and blogs alike. 4th World takes a closer look at what this band has to offer after the relatively successful The Poison.

BFMV kick off the new album with a blistering track tentatively entitled ... Scream Aim Fire. It's a fast-paced track through and through with wicked drummage and hard guitars. Eye of the Storm follows just as quick with equally as much kick as Scream Aim Fire. Tuck brings grungey vocals which sound layered and give the two songs arena show echo-effects. Melodic solos fill in bridges making the songs almost text-book BFMV. Hearts Burst Into Fire, the first of two love songs on the album, couples a relatively fast-tempo beat with harmonic guitars and slowed down vocals. Waking the Demon is comparably one of the few songs that offer duel-guitar solos like that of Avenged Sevenfold's City of Evil. Disappear, Deliver Us From Evil and Take It Out On Me all share a fast-paced drum beat with the adding of hard rock guitar riffs from Tuck and Padge. Say Goodnight slows the fast-tracked album for the first 2 and half minutes of the song before picking up again. End of Days and Last To Know kick back into the blistering pace offering nothing less, nothing more than which has already been heard on the album. Forever and Always is a classic end to the fast-paced themed album, giving the fans a personal connection to the classic BFMV and arena rock sound.

It's difficult to appreciate the band's growth simply because the songs breeze through this album however, Bullet have definitely proved their metal and certainly the future seems to be bringing an evolution of sorts for this band. They have hardened their sound and as a result produced a better album than The Poison which offered an emo/metal selection of songs. Fans are certain to embrace the new Bullet album and with a tour well on it's course already, and a follow up slot on the Taste of Chaos tour, they are ready to take this album out.
22 January 2008 @ 02:11 pm

Fortress is the latest effort from Protest The Hero; the quintet will release their sophomore effort on January 29. There are ten tracks on this compilation as there were on Kezia, the previous album. The band has stuck to their signature sound on Fortress but have advanced their artistic barriers by including melodic piano and guitar work.

Bloodmeat is the first single off Fortress and it certainly has the most kick on the entire album. It starts off with a signature PTH riff and gets right into the heavy, fast paced drumming from Moe Carlson. The Dissentience features heavier guitars and rockin screamage. Bone Marrow and Spoils show the classical side of PTH, as they conclude these songs with harmonic piano work. Sequioa Throne, Limb From Limb, Spoils and Wretch show Miller and Hoskin's abilities as infinite with extreme riffage on these tracks. They're very Dragonforce-inspired, or that's at least what comes to mind. Palms Read is diversely interesting in that it hints at a bit of Danny Elfman inspired interval. The album concludes with Goddess Bound and Goddess Gagged, both with extremities of intertwined drumming and complicated guitar work. Lyrically, Arif Mirabdolbaghi has created an interesting way to approach PTH albums. As with Kezia, there's an ongoing story line within each song, continued one after the other. "The ten tracks are split into three sections." says Mirabdolbaghi. ""This album is nothing to be intellectualized. All talk of wonder, pathos and optimism (blindfolded) aside (hink). I feel it’s a very natural progression for us. A natural progression into further obscurity."

All in all, sticking to their guns, fans of PTH will be pleased with Fortress. Here, take Arif's word for it: "I am of the belief a lot of the people who work for us were hoping for a stab at a more commercially viable album, however we wrote what we wanted without linear boundaries and created something less commercial than ever. Some fans of the band will hate it. And some people who hate the band will love it. All others can rot." So there you have it, PTH on their new album and they don't care whether people like it or not.