Friday, 27 June 2014

George Ezra // Wanted on Voyage - Review

Having been included in the list for BBC Sound of 2014, it was clear that George Ezra would be a hot topic this year. His track 'Budapest' caught the ear of indie lovers, and is a favourite of many radio stations now. It's been streamed 15 million times with YouTube and Spotify combined - that's pretty incredible considering the song has been out six months, and came out of nowhere.


His whisky-deep soulful voice fills many a room on this debut album, as it did on the earlier tracks released prior to this album, on the 'Did You Hear The Rain?' EP. Now, he's just filled a tent at Glasto. Whilst many have done this before him on the eve of an album release, no-one has quite as silently as he has. No magazine cover, no startling news pieces or interviews. Just music. Which is great to see in a culture fascinated by arguments and controversy.

There's promise on this debut album, with velvet acoustic guitars, and creamy vocals from both George and the choir on 'Leaving It Up To You'. Whilst the album definitely fades towards the end, the mood changes. With it, a display of variety too, not often found on indie debut albums. If he has a good festival season, I can see big things happening for Ezra. Very big.


H x

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Linkin Park // The Hunting Party - Review

Fuck, they were not lying when they said this was heavier.

I LOVE it. I always was going to though, but there is little denying that this their best album since "Meteora". The synths are nearly all gone, and guitar is at the front of the mix again, along with screaming galore.

"Keys To The Kingdom" kicks off the album, with an uncompromising scream from Chester. Aggressive, distorted, and pure rock. The guitar that follows is distinctly heaveir than anything off their past three albums. "All For Nothing" has a fabulous feature from Page Hamilton, with an old school chorus from the band that first hit the main time with hits like "Papercut" and "In The End". The previously released "Guilty All The Same" is gloriously heavy, with a fantastic display of the bands confidence.

They had confidence to refine their sound for the mainstream over the previous two albums, to much critical and commercial success. Personally, I loved these albums as much as the others, as it revealed a different side to the band that no-one would have seen or argued for in their earlier days. Cheers, Rick Rubin.

But now, Mike talks slicker, the riffs are quicker, screams are louder and they rock harder on this latest effort, "The Hunting Party". This is a highlight for their gitarist Rob, who has in recent years been stuck in the background, rocking out every couple of minutes. Now, he is in the sights of the public, for everyone to see. There are more solos on the first half of this album than there have been in their first five albums. They are bloody good ones, too.

For a comparison, Serge's solos on their stupidly titled... whatever it is, they sound like he has just picked up the guitar. Noticeably lame compared.

If you thought Linkin Park were lying when that they were going to go heavier, you were wrong. They asked their teenage selves whether they would be happy with their last two albums, and they said no, so went about to adjust that. If you are undecided about the album, listen to their earlier stuff and then this.

This, is a true successor.

Enjoy the ride, it's bumpy, and refined.


H x