Imagine Dragons released their debut album, ‘Night Visions‘, on the same day as The Strokes’ fifth album, ‘Comedown Machine‘, and it seems the former have stolen the plaudits.
The Las Vegas quartet (ex-band member and lone female Brittany Tolman featured in the above image) had previously released a six-track EP, which received strong reviews and charted very high for a debut on the Billboard 200 at number 40. This should demonstrate why it is no surprise as to why this album is so good.
Throughout the album it is clear that other Las Vegas bands have influenced Imagine Dragons, most evident in ‘Hear Me’, which sounds incredibly similar to The Killers’ ‘When You Were Young’, with its Brandon Flowers-esque vocals.
‘Radioactive’ is vastly different, though, as it is fuelled with more atmosphere and passion, which is ideal seeing as it is the opening track. There are, however, two standout tracks in the 13 selected for the LP, ‘Bleeding Out’ and ‘Amsterdam’.
‘Bleeding Out’ is one of the more mellow and laid-back songs, whereas ‘Amsterdam’ focuses on its cleverly worded lyrics and abnormal rhythms.
‘Top Of The World’ is a song that has been creeping around the world very subtly without you noticing. It was featured on the FIFA 13 soundtrack after it was first used as the theme song to, recently cancelled, American comedy ‘Partners’.
Overall, the album is very solid and boasts an impressive lack of filler tracks, which are common on 11-plus-track LPs. ‘Night Visions’ is a very well rounded effort by the four piece.
‘Night Visions’ by Imagine Dragons – 8/10
So this year is quickly drawing to a close and I thought it would be fitting to write about who produced the album of the year.
2012 produced many great albums such as Muse’s ‘The 2nd Law’, The Maccabees’ ‘Given to the Wild’, Two Door Cinema Club’s ‘Beacon’ and Tribes’ ‘Baby’. These were just a few of the albums that graced the music world in a year that still places second to 2011 in terms of brilliant albums.
Despite this, though, there can only be one album of the year, and my choice is ‘Priorities’ by Bedford-born band, Don Broco, previously known as Club Sex and Summerfall.
‘Priorities’ is their first LP, following their debut EP, ‘Big Fat Smile’ which was released on 2011. The former was released on the 13th of August 2012, and peaked at an impressive number 25 in the UK albums chart.
Title track, ‘Priorities’, gets the album off to a flying start with high tempo guitar riffs featuring heavy chords as lead singer, Rob Damiani, tells of a man who has replaced his friends with a new love interest; something we can all relate to.
The feature point of the album, though, is the high quality backing vocals provided by drummer, Matt Donnelly, as his ability to harmonise with Damiani’ is second to none. Closing track, ‘Actors’, is a prime example of his singing ability and gives the drummer a platform to showcase his talents.
No two songs are the same, as ‘Priorities’ contains a variety of different sounds, of conflicting genres. Heavier songs like ‘Priorities’ and ‘Fancy Dress’ are reminiscent of the older style Broco, whereas ‘Whole Truth’ is a feel good summer hit, and ‘Yeah Man’ is a folky Mumford-esque tune. There is no need to worry about of the rest of the album, though, as it is filled with impressive and well-written indie tracks.
In my opinion, this was album of the year. Don Broco have found success in writing music that bridges the gaps between such different genres as indie and metal. With catchy hooks in every song, you will be listening to the album on repeat for weeks on end.
‘Priorities’ by Don Broco – 10/10
So my new ‘Artist to Check Out’ is Jacks mannequin
Jacks Mannequin started as a side project of ‘Something Corporates’ singer Andrew McMahon back in 2004. I had no idea who they were until at least 2009 when i saw them performing ‘The Mixed Tape’ on an episode of the freshly ended popular American sitcom ‘One Tree Hill’. They were on the episode partially for Leukaemia awareness and partially to promote their new album. Shortly before the release of their first album ‘Everything In Transit’ Andrew McMahon was unfortunately diagnosed with Leukaemia.
The band have 3 albums in their back catalog, with the probably most popular ‘the Glass Passenger’ this features tracks such as ‘The Resolution’ and ‘Annie Use Your Telescope’. The 3rd album was released late last year and it was called ‘People & Things’. Although they’re not a very popular band it takes nothing away from the talent that they are in possession of. With strong piano plain and a unique style of singing this band are different but they fit nicely between the pop and rock genres and in theory it does baffle how bands such as Jacks Mannequin get overlooked for things like THIS!
For a nice easy listening experience then give Andrew McMahon and co a try and see what good music can be.
But DEFINITELY listen to The Mixed Tape
Truly a magnificent song
Please Tweet this, Facebook it whatever it takes to get people reading and enjoying
So this is a new thing I’m going to bring to the table! Artist to check out is basically going to be at random intermittent points when I find a new artist that needs to be heard or maybe I’ve been listening to for ages but again need to be heard which is the case of John Frusciante.
John Frusciante is most well known for his inspiring work in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, performing on their most popular albums to date, not only was he the chilis guitarists for 5 albums but hes know for his work in Ataxia, with Omar Rodriguez Lopez and now his own solo work.
I first heard Johns music randomly on YouTube one time when I heard the song ‘Song to Sing When You’re Lonely‘ I was instantly scouring the internet to the find the album it was on. When i finally purchased the album I found all the gems it had on it like ‘Second Walk‘ and ‘Omission‘ (which features backing vocals from current Chilis guitarist Josh Klinghoffer) I eventually went further into his catalog of music and found all of his albums.
While some stuff is very expressive a lot is very passionate as well. His Shadows collide with people album is filled with lots of calming and chilled music where as the Empyrean has more progressive music. This brings straight on to news recently posted on his official website. He is to release a 5 song EP in July and a full LP in September which very exciting news as I see them being totally different from each other and his back catalog if his new song ‘Glowe‘ is anything to go by. It has guitar work that insinuates his usual tones but is described as progressive synth pop. Being a 1 minute 31 second song you are left waiting for much more.
He is definitely worth checking out, his guitar work is legendary and his vocals are strong beautiful at the same time!
Other worthy songs are Central, Ramparts, Ah Yom and Going Inside. Definitely check them out they do not disappoint
So i went to my second gig of the year this past Tuesday. Tribes were the band i went to see! I made the short trek to the Wedge in portsmouth to see these guys. A few months back they released their debut album ‘Baby’ after releasing several singles and EP’s. Unfortunately I missed the 2 opening acts ‘Sharks’ and ‘The Brute Chorus’ so I can’t comment on how good they were but i still got to see Tribes so all was well.
After 2 or so months of listening to their album consistently i knew all the songs ready for this. After a convincing start with the song ‘Whenever’ I knew this was going to be a good night! The next notable song came with the hit ‘Sappho’ this was nailed perfectly and sounded almost identical to the album. Other songs that really made the night were ‘Bad Apple’, ‘Walking in the Street’, ‘Nightdriving’ and finally probably their biggest song ‘We Were Children’.
It was pretty crazy how similar to the album they truly are. Singer Johnny has a very unique voice on the album so i had my doubts on whether he would be able to perform that way to. We Were Children was the particular example of this with Johnny pushing his vocal to the limits and giving a perfect performance.
The main disappointment of the night was how late they went on. Going on at 10:15 seemed like a little bit to late to go on but still didn’t spoil the night. A great point of the night was Johnny trying to get an audience member back in after getting kicked out. Unfortunately he wasn’t successful but it was great to see them caring about the fans that much.
Overall the night was great and these guys really pulled a good night.
I’m going to give the night an 8/10
Great crowd and the band had great interaction with them!
Next gig Incubus live in Brixton in June!
Follow Tribes @tribesband
Or me! @JoeBarber13
#You Know It Park Ranger
Ok so most of you may not have heard of this band but at the very beginning of last year NME were huge on this (previously named Brother) as you can see on their artist page on NME.
Up until they released their first album NME were bigging them up ridiculous amounts and i was all for that as i was loving their first 4-5 songs they had released for listening of the their fans. When they released their first album ‘Famous First Words’ NME came down on them like a ton of bricks ‘A disappointing, formulaic debut album’ was just one of their slating comments.
Being the cocky bunch that they are it’s no surprise people started to dislike them but if you look past their John Lennon Shades and outrageous shirts and focus on the music they write it’s actually not that bad and basically they’ve crawled up the list of my favourite bands with their attempt to revive guitar music.
Now they’re onto their second album that they started recording after they finished touring in 2011 (which they done several of!) they finally finished it in early to mid February. Shockingly enough just after 12pm on April 1st they sent a message out on their Facebook and twitter page that they were ‘Signing Off’ and thanking their fans for the journey. Following that they posted a video to a final song called ‘I don’t want to be loved‘. When the video was first released in the tags it said ‘F*** OFF NME’ probably as a this is payback for that review type of thing. Following that they also slated NME later on, on their twitter page!
NME then went and done a story on the on them splitting up which led me to believe it was actually true after all! Being April Fools Day n’all I just thought it was a joke but now I don’t know what to believe!
So after going to the trouble of recording a whole second album would you go and just scrap it and give your fans no explanation to why you’re throwing in the towel?!
So what do you think this is all about? A publicity stunt to get the second album to sell more by releasing it out of the blue, revenge to the NME?! for the destroying review they submitted?! Or a general falling out between the band?!
Personally I’m highly disappointed that they’ve done this with no explanation and left everyone high and dry with a singular song from the new album. Will they come back? Hopefully they do and hopefully it’ll be revenge on the NME as that’ll generally be funny!
What do you think? Reply in the comments below or follow me on twitter @JoeBarber13
I thought I’d do a quick intro post so you had a brief idea what type of things I’ll be posting about!
First of all I’ll be purchasing a lot of albums through the year to keep my ears full of fresh music! So be expecting plenty of new album reviews.
Secondly I’m a valiant gig goer so over the course of the year I will hopefully be going to a fair few! Especially after last years amount gigs attended ends up being between 30-40! So live reviews are also a huge possibility (be expecting a review on Tribes Live at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth around the end of April)
Thirdly I will be reporting interesting music news and what my thoughts are on it!
So you can expect this and certainly much more to come!!