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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Reviews: Staind, Jane's Addiction, Michael Monroe, Savage Messiah

Staind: S/T (Atlantic)

Alternative metallers Staind return with their new album and it's more of the same the angst ridden, bitingly political, lovelorn alt-metal that made them famous in the early 2000's. However unlike the popular tracks like Outside and It's Been A While Staind have always had a heaviness that has more akin with Deftones and other 'proper' metal bands. This album is no exception with tracks like Paper Wings, The Bottom and opener Eyes Wide Open all having heavy bass driven riffing and almost shouted vocals from Aaron Lewis. The rest of the album mixes genres with Wannabe veering into nu-metal territory and Throw It All Away and Something To Remind You harking back to the angsty ballads that Staind have always done so well. This is continuation of Staind's career and will not win over anyone who has a dislike for them, however those who have like alt-metal and heavy tracks with intelligent lyrics will enjoy this album every time they play it. 7/10

Jane's Addiction: The Great Escape Artist (Capitol)

This is only Jane's Addiction’s fourth album, mainly due to the fractured nature of the band. With the major factors of the band returning they release an 'interesting' fourth album. Starting out with Underground which is almost Sisters Of Mercy electro-Goth, the only give away is Perry Farrell's distinctive vocals. This trippy electronic vibe continues for the first 5 songs which all have quite disturbing lyrics and dark overtones. They are well written and performed, with the production being excellent but they are not really Jane's, there are elements of Radiohead, Muse and even U2 which makes the beginning of this album a very interesting listen. Only on Twisted Tales and Ultimate Reason do we get closer to 'classic' Jane's with Navarro able to flex his guitar muscles. Fans will see the album as just another part of Jane's Addiction's on going experimentation but rock fans may see something a little bit out of their comfort zone. Well performed if a little ill-conceived album. 6/10

Michael Monroe: Sensory Overdrive (Spinefarm)

The former Hanoi Rocks singer returns with his first solo album since 2003 and it is a cracker Monroe himself calls it "the best album of his career" and it's hard to disagree with him. With a backing band made up of former members of Hanoi Rocks, The New York Dolls and the irrepressible Ginger from the Wildhearts Monroe has assembled a stellar motley crew on this solo flight. The album itself is heady mix of glam, punk, sleaze and good old fashioned rock and roll and with Ginger writing or co-writing nearly all of the tracks there is a striking similarity with Ginger's day job in the Wildhearts, not that this is a bad thing. Monroe’s voice is on top form and the band are all excellent providing every track with excellent hooks and rocking rhythms. Monroe also handles the Saxophone and harmonica on some of the more bluesy tracks. Some of the highlights are opener Trick Of The Wrist, Bombs Away and Debauchery As A Fine Art which features and is co-written by Lemmy. This is a fantastic rock and roll record that should be bought immediately. 9/10

Savage Messiah: Plague Of Conscience (Earache)

This is Savage Messiah's third album and it will be released in January 2012. This is a free copy that is available at: http://www.earache.com/misc/downloads/savagemessiah/. The album is chock full of thrash/speed metal tracks that are both modern and classic, looking back as well as going forward. With elements of Megadeth, Metallica and even Priest (especially in Dave Silver's vocals) this third album is a rip roaring, fret melting, thrash album that will appeal to all fans of metal. The drumming is excellent and the dual harmony guitars are present throughout. The first two tracks Plague Of Conscience and Six Feet Under The Gun are modern sounding with elements of Trivium and modern thrashers before third track Carnival Of Souls is a superfast head banger. Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt is an ominous, dark heavy track which explodes into the speedy Architects of Fear. The band are able to mix up the tracks meaning the album does not get boring it also features one epic in the shape of The Mask Of Anarchy which has Metallica written all over it. A stonking album from a very fast rising British metal band. 8/10

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