A nice mixed bag of releases arriving across the desk this week to check out, our pick of the week being the new one from Ceremony which comes out this Friday. It’s called ‘Zoo‘ and you should grab it. Also impressing, and out this Friday, Sydney’s Between The Devil and the Deep with their debut album ‘Paper Spine‘. Melbourne’s Deep Heat serve up their infectious EP ‘Low Lights‘ too and we bounced around a little to the new Hit The Lights album ‘Invicta‘, and still can’t make up the mind on the new fun. album ‘Some Nights‘, will the novelty get old fast? See below for our thoughts on each of the releases.
CEREMONY – Zoo [Matador / Remote Control] Instores Friday 2nd March
After releases with Deathwish and Bridge Nine, Ceremony now present their debut for the Matador label, and it’s a ripper. On this one they take lead from the punk sound of days gone by and mix it in with ahint of the modern era and serve up a powerful album. It’s aggressive and in your face, without being too much of a beast. They have very much paved their own path soundwise over the years and this time is no different, while you can clearly hear various influences shine through, the extra touch of their own they throw in works a treat. It may not hit you right away, but don’t you worry, it will at some point. ‘Brace Yourself’ is one of the many highlights with ‘Nosebleed’, ‘Citzen’ and ‘World Blue’ not far behind. Probably one that will most appeal to the older audience, but it’d do no harm for the younger crowd to be getting into a band like these guys. Add it to your ‘pick up this week’ list.
DEEP HEAT – Low Lights [Independent] [Get It On CD]
Four piece Melbourne outfit playing catchy raw punk influenced rock. The male / female call and response type vocals work a treat in their sound. It’s frenetic, but still easy enough to give the old foot a good tap along to. The production suits the style well and you get a nice mix of buzzing guitars, raw vocals and thumping drums. The energy is bouncing out of the speakers, I can only imagine that each live show would be just like a cool house party. It’s refreshing to hear something that sounds like you are right there watching the band, not littered with studio effects. I can’t really pick a stand out, each track stands up on it’s own, and when together, all fall into place and the 21 minutes zips past and you are ready to press play again. Highly recommended. Now, who brought the beer bong?
HIT THE LIGHTS – Invicta [3 Wise / Sony] [Get It on CD]
One for the pop punk faithful, the third full length from the Ohio outfit. Previous releases never really held my attention, nothing stood out from the pack and it was all a bit ‘heard it all before’. They have stepped up their game on this one though. It’s a very polished sound, and progress has certainly been made, perhaps it was the writing sessions with guys from The Starting Line, Yellowcard and New Found Glory. The opening three tracks are crackers, the next three are quite solid too, then it’s about this point in the album where it began dragging a bit, becoming a touch samey and lacking the spark that really stands out at the beginning. Maybe it’s my pop punk tolerance being shortened these days. Either way, they’ve made the step forward they needed to, they’ve served up a handful of solid tracks, and I’m sure anyone right into this polished pop punk sound will enjoy the album.
fun. – Some Nights [Fueled By Ramen / Warner] [Pre-Order on CD]
The best of songs, the worst of songs. This album has both. Enjoy the good songs while you can, I’m predicting this one will get old fast, very fast. The stand out tracks are great, but you can bet some of them are going to be overplayed and probably give you that same feeling of wanting to throw something at the TV everytime a bloody Potbelleez song comes on. Maybe not that bad, but close enough. The thing that ruins this album is the excessive tinkering on a few of the tracks, and in particular the horrible vocal effects in certain parts, it is an instant mood killer. Nate has an amazing voice, and definitely doesn’t need to mess with it, it just sounds plain tacky, ‘It Gets Better’ and ‘One Foot’ are those “quick, where’s the skip button’ type tracks. The title track, ‘We Are Young’, ‘All Alright’ and ‘Carry On’ are brilliant pop tunes, ‘Why Am I The One’ is another highlight, but the gap between those and the rest is large. Love it or hate it, it’s going to be a huge album, I just don’t think it has enough to be one we’ll care about in six months time one the initial gloss wears off.
BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP – Paper Spine [Independent] [Get It on CD]
After a handful of EP’s, splits and singles, Sydney’s Between The Devil And The Deep finally arrive at their debut album. Feels weird saying that given they have been around quite a while now. They’ve mastered the whole post-hardcore sound and serve up 40 minutes of such variety that if it were a showbag, it’d be sold out first day of the show. The fault of many bands doing this sound is they tend to stick with the basic formula and not step too far away from it, which generally bores the shit out of me after a few songs. Not these guys though, they keep you on your toes for the entire album. It’s appealing enough right from the get go, but I get the feeling it’s quite a grower as well. They’ve captured the live energy well and I’m sure the tracks will hit a whole new level on the stage.