I ask you this, what kind of music would you expect from a band whose members are named M Shadows (vocals: real name, Matthew Sanders), Zacky Vengeance (rhythm guitars: real name Zachary Baker), Synyster Gates (lead guitars: real name Brian Haner) and Johnny Christ (bass: real name Jonathan Seward)?
And with a band name like Avenged Sevenfold or A7X as the fans know them, one can rightfully assume metal. And metal that is not speed or extreme but more on the melodic side, kind of Metallica-esque riffs and vocals coupled with the dark and gothic imagery one has now come to expect from the genre.
Those familiar with the band and their music might appreciate this one, but I wasn’t much impressed, sadly. And while the playing and all is good, the songs suffer froma lack of identity and seem archaic at times.
Poor Boy Records
One time pretty boy from one of the biggest pretty boy bands of the ’80s, Poison comes out with his third solo album and kind of hits the mark. It’s the classic sound that’s kind of pop-country-rock meets Bon Jovi (another contemporary).
Lots of distortion guitars that remind one of the Poison sound (in case, fans remember). But largely forgettable songs here, and I think Bret knows that as well. Why else would he throw in a version of Every rose has its thorn, one of Poison’s biggest hits? But redeeming factors do surface in songs like Nothing To Lose (featuring Miley Cyrus) and Rock N My Country, just about.
The follow up to the excellent 2007’s Neon Bible has been three years in the making and rightly so. Arcade Fire have been one of the best indie bands of the last five years. A band in control of their creative juices who construct songs and, by extension, albums like an architectural edifice that at once awes and intrigues you.
Their musical choices are exquisite and often leave you unsettled. Indie bands very often tend to go off the rails halfway through an album, ending up with a weak second half, thereby inducing much fatigue in the listener, but this is not the case here.
And although this is a mammoth 16-song album, it flows seamlessly through each song. If you have to listen to one album this week, let it be this one.
Café Del Mar – Various Artists
Who would have thought that a small bar in the south of Spain would become this musical brand juggernaut. Café Del Mar (café by the sea) opened in 1980 and specialised in playing chilled out ambient music when it came into fashion in the late ’80s-early ’90s.
And since 1994, began a series of compilations that have since featured some of the biggest names in electronic music. Dreams is an off-shoot of the straight up Café del Mar series and goes into an extra chilled out ambient zone that keeps you floating.
The artistes are largely obscure to the layman but the music is a perfect blend of songwriting and musicianship that rises above the ambient. This fourth volume double disc set is perfect for those rainy evenings.