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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Reviews: The Temperance Movement, Imperial State Electric, Killcode, The Atlas Moth (Reviews By Paul)

The Temperance Movement: A Deeper Cut (Earache Records)

It’s hard to believe that it was only two years ago that TTM released White Bear, the superb follow up to the band’s stunning debut. A Deeper Cut is a more mature and polished album, demonstrating a development in the song writing whilst retaining the gritty raw feel of that first release. Now an established Academy size act and having spent time with several of those Southern bands like Blackberry Smoke, it’s unsurprising to also hear confidence and a slight change in their sound at times, such as Love And Devotion, a track full of Southern boogie stomp. First single Built-In Forgetter confirms that the band have retained their high energy tempo whilst the beautiful mellow title track allows time for Phil Campbell to remind us of his quality spreads further than the raucous foot tapping rock ‘n’ rollers. With new guitarist Matt White and drummer Simon Lea now fully embedded alongside Campbell, Paul Sayer and Nick Fyffe, A Deeper Cut signals that TTM, for some time one of the hottest live acts in the UK are now also one of the best on record too. 9/10

Imperial State Electric: Anywhere Loud (Psychout Records)

I had never heard of Imperial State Electric. Anywhere Loud is unlikely to increase my desire for improving my knowledge of the band. Not that there's anything wrong with this intensely energetic live release, recorded at sold-out, shows in Madrid, Stockholm and Tokyo. I’m just not a huge fan of the Americana style throw away sound that the band pump out with ease. It’s perfectly crafted; a mix of Springsteen, Cheap Trick, The Gaslight Anthem and even The Beatles, so it’s unsurprising that the Japanese love this Swedish four-piece. The band are prolific, with five albums since their formation from the ashes of The Hellacopters in 2010.

With Nicke Andersson, Tobais Egge and Dolph De Borst all swapping vocal duties, and stirring performances of their most beloved songs, the 23-song set is perfectly listenable and at times their straying into punk fringes, such as Reptile Brain perks the interest. Favourites include Throwing Stones, Uh Huh, All Over My Head, an intense rendition of The Dead Boys’ classic Sonic Reducer and an equally boisterous version of The Kids’ anthem This is Rock ‘n’ Roll. Snippets of Sabbath and Zeppelin infiltrate the set to instant impact. I can’t knock it but it just doesn’t spark the interest. 7/10

Killcode: The Answer (Self Released)

The New York five-piece’s latest album combines southern infused rock & metal with modern day vocals to deliver supercharged anthems, dipping with throwaway hooks beloved of Godsmack, Sevendust and the like. The Answer has a huge guitar sound, some driving rhythms and several tracks that you could break the speed limit to. Tom Morrissey’s lead vocals are typically over the top, as you’d expect from any band from the Big Apple.

There’s a touch of RATM on the opening of Shot, with some slicing guitar from Chas although the melody is soon more radio friendly than angry political rage. The obligatory ballad Own It Now is passable although these never do anything for me. Much more impressive are the big hitting Pick Your Side and the pounding Slave. The closing track Put It Off is however, another ballad which brings a disappointing finish to a decent album. 6/10 

The Atlas Moth: Coma Noir (Prosthetic Records)

I must admit, I absolutely hated this release. The fourth album from the post-metal outfit from Chicago, who formed in 2007, was marred by the screaming vocals in the first two tracks which completely obscured the quality of the musicianship. Reviews are of course a personal view and I know many will love this type of metal. For me, I was unable to relate to it at all. Probably unfair to provide a rating when I switched it off after two songs. 0/10 (Editor added score for continuity)

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