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Monday, 12 March 2012

Reviews: Bruce Springsteen, Primal Rock Rebellion, Red Fang

Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball (Columbia)

The man who both inspires and unites all American's whether Black, White, Latino, Republican or Democrat, returns with his most politically charged and passionate album in years. Drawing lyrics from the social and economic climate of the past few years, The Boss' everyman story telling is at full force from opener We Take Care Of Our Own which is a classic E-Street Shuffle (despite only some members appearing). However Springsteen brings other influences to the table with Irish folk: Death Of My Hometown, countrified the title track (dedicated to the now demolished Giants stadium) and also some hip-hop and electronic influences. This is The Boss at his most passionate, seeming angry in places. As far as great tracks they're hard to pick out just because of the sheer quality of the record, We Take Care Of Our Own is generic but fun, Shackled And Drawn is a politically motivated country rocker, Jack Of All Trades is a haunting protest ballad that features a guest guitar solo from Tom Morello, the title track is a racer and finally Land Of Hope And Dreams is powerful as it is poignant due to it being Clarence Clemons final performance. Wrecking Ball is the sound of The Boss going back to his roots and it makes you wonder why no-one has elected him President yet? 9/10

Primal Rock Rebellion: Awoken Broken (Spinefarm)

Formed by former SikTh vocalist Mikee Goodman and Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith. This unlikely alliance produces an even more unlikely album that draws influences from modern and classic alone. The key selling point is Mikee's schizophrenic vocals which range from a menacing scream to a Matt Barlowesque croon. The tracks as I said all differ in terms of style there is modern metal (No Place Like Home), RATM (No Friendly Neighbour), prog (Bright As A Fire) and spoken word rap (As Tears Come Falling From The Sky). Smith's guitar playing is stunning and varied (which has always been Smith's trademark in Maiden and his other side projects) he handles all the stringed instruments (and all backing vocals, most notably on I See Lights) with drums handled by another former SikTh man Dan Foord, also most of the tracks is the great Viola playing of Abi Fry who lifts many of the songs with her contribution (and does a Maiden rundown on No Friendly Neighbour). For those who are wondering whether Maiden features heavily well it's yes and no with it coming later in the album and mixed with Goodman's expansive vocal range it puts me more in mind of Iced Earth or Hell. A really good and different album that will appeal to fans of complex and modern metal. 8/10

Red Fang: S/T (Sargent House)

Originally released in 2009 Red Fang's debut has just been re-released (probably to coincide with their high profile support of Mastodon). This album is a collection of their first two E.P's. This Portland based band immediately state their intent on opening track Prehistoric Dog which has muscular riffiage and barking vocals from Bassist/vocalist Aaron Beam who sounds very similar to Viking Skull's Roddy Stone. This theme of heavy, hard rocking continues over the next two tracks with guitarist Bryan Giles' Josh Homme style vocal delivery giving a great harmony to the gritty vocals of Beam. Red Fang then open up a little on Humans Remain Human Remains which is a six minute stoner trip filled with atmospheric guitars and an overarching feeling of doom. Red Fang do share similarities with tour mates Mastodon but they have their own sound which has a slightly more punky edge to it especially on Good To Die. This is a good introduction to a band that are only going to get bigger as the years progress mainly due to their high profile support slots. Get the CD now. 8/10

2 comments:

  1. My review of primal rock rebellion
    http://rockeandobcn.blogspot.com.es/2012/03/primal-rock-rebellion.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't read it mate sorry

    ReplyDelete