Posts tagged Glam
It’s time to complete the countdown of DoesItRock.nets favourite albums of 2012…
10) The Darkness – Hot Cakes
There was much excitement here at DiR.net when news broke that the brothers Hawkins ‘were gettin’ the band back together’. Live they’re still a hoot, enigmatic and brilliant as ever…but I didn’t expect how good their return LP would be. Yes its cheesy, yes it’s full of glittery glammed guitars but who cares, its The Darkness! Their tongue is still firmly in cheek, but thankfully far from the overly druggy themes of album #2. Hot Cakes is smothered in big fun romps of incredibly catchy guitar fueled genius.
9) Corrosion Of Conformity – Corrosion Of Conformity
This album has been the revelation of the year. Blending both metals deep and sludgy riffs with the angry attack and unrelenting energy of no hold barred punk, CoC have a label unto themselves. Masters of their own genre, this album riffs like a lumbering dinosaur on rocket skates shifting erratically from stoner grooves to thrashed palm muted chugs. The slow/fast dynamic has never been so apparent, or so finely executed within the abundance of cracking heavy rock tunes.
8) Foxy Shazam – The Church Of Rock And Roll
Another DiR.net favourite, the boundless oddity and eccentric songwriting of Foxy Shazam was restrained somewhat on this years gospel themed offering. By anyone else’s standards though, they are still totally bonkers. Assisted by Justin Hawkins on production duties the Darkness man influences the more driving rock tunes here, producing the finest uplifting pop-rockers of the year. Their pop aspect is hugely enjoyable and with a emotional dose of beautiful balladry, this album has much to recommend and explore.
7) Torche – Harmonicraft
It’s been a while in coming, but critics have finally caught up with the point that big rock can be beautiful too! These stoner rockers with progressive ambitions have created both huge and expansive head throbbing titans that have a catchy edge. Strong trippy vocals and lumbering guitars demand your attention, but it’s as they add the pop spice into their concoction, their potent drug of rock pleasure is complete.
6) Orange Goblin – A Eulogy For The Damned
Relentless onslaughts of wave after wave of earthshaking power chords dominate the hard rocking album of the year. These veteran Stoners have crafted a album packed with gigantic melodies, infectious de-tuned riffs which you just want to blast out at 11 obliterating all in their wake. In among the plodding systematic bass lines lie a raft of vengeful vocals and a burning urgency for chaos. Monolithic Stoner rock has had a good year in my books.
5) The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
Another album of the highest order has only served to push Gaslight towards becoming the most essential band on the planet. Still burning with passion and pride, Fallon’s lyrics are as beautiful and tale telling as ever bouyed by the driving yet understated retro guitars. They have carved a good balance here between slow emotive balladry and uplifting road songs with one foot in springsteens shoes to raise the spirits and fists skywards. A great album which both satisfies both old and newcomers alike.
4) Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
The odd out out in this years top ten comes courtesy of the fantastic folk icon, The Tallest Man On Earth. On this LP he channels a fragility which is both heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure. His simple guitar melodies, however low key, are incredibly hard to shake and are iresistably matched to this lo-fidelity record of lyrical and emotive beauty. However nasally, dylan’y and seemingly un-romantic his voice resonates, the delicacy of the fraught verses is in itself an un-expected triumph. An honest and true album of stunning proportions.
3) Halestorm – The Strange Case Of…
In 2013 there was only one lady of Rock and Roll, her name is Lzzy Hale. This powerhouse vocalist and guitar slinger is responsible for some of the most catchy pop rock of the year, some of the biggest rock anthems and definitely some serious girl power attitude. Melodies galore and more sing-a-longs than a cockney pub piano this is a joyous album of high octane guitars and driving attack wrapped in a pop package that’s hard to resist.
2) Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Anthemic indie rockers Japandroids have struck gold with their combo of raw rock power, polished production and ear for a massive chorus. Producing one of the best indie albums for years, these songs set sights for the sky with sweeping reverbed guitars and lo-fi vocals blasted with euphoric bliss. From the first pulsating soaring anthem to the last Celebration Rock is pure quality, all killer, no filler. An A* lesson in indie rock which captures both heart hearts of the pop fans, the passion of the rock acolytes and the minds of the indie crews.
1) Accept – Stalingrad
Heavy Metal!!! Yeah right on, Accept have recreated the glorious 80’s scene with this their second comeback LP without founding vocalist Udo. He is not missed one bit as the guitars let rip with riff after head spinning riff, thundering hooves of melody across this monumental record of unadulterated rock and roll attack. Powerful high pitch vocals and lightning guitars are let fly at every angle taking of string old school grip on your metal head. Epic and colossal, Accept have bridged this hard rocker into trad metal and so rightfully sits proudly on the iron throne of 2012.
Roll on 2013!
Honourable Mentions: Sharks – No Gods, The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past, Screaming Females – Ugly, Blood Command – Funeral Beach, Coheed & Cambria – The Aftermath: Ascension, Baroness – Yellow & Green
Click here for the top 25 as a Spotify Paylist
How does the follow up to doesitrock.net’s 2010’s Album of the Year shape up in 2012?
Foxy Shazam – The Church Of Rock And Roll
Foxy Shazam have taken their foot off the gas on their latest LP, leaving post-hardcore and rip roaring glam-rock sprawled over the trail. Hence it’s no great shock to hear that their latest album curbs the highly energised oddball glam-pop prevalent on releases. As a result the tempo has been significantly reigned. Yet they have made up for this by producing a fine collection of super sing-a-long pop classics with eclectic songwriting and equally varied melodies.
This slackening of pace has given their melodies a chance to sit back, take a breath and enjoy the spotlight. Resulting in a much more focused pop record that falls ever further into the Mercury valley of Queen with its accompanying classic rock guitars and jaunty piano’s circling ‘The Church Of Rock and Rolls‘ vocal centric ideal. The Churchy theme is prevalent throughout with the recurrence of religious track titling, soulful Gospel backing vocals and confessional lyrics (see ‘The Temple‘, ‘The Streets‘, ‘Forever Together‘ respectively).
From the instant the guitars properly kick in, it’s clear as day that Justin Hawkins has played a huge part in his role as producer. The guitar tone is almost identical to his in-limbo band Hot Leg, no bad thing as it’s just so stonkingly rock and roll! The Hawkins brothers influence doesn’t end there either. The Guitar work on the excellent driving rock anthem ‘Last Chance At Love‘ could easily be a lost forgotten The Darkness classic, especially when Nally lift his fine falsetto skywards…it’s strikingly similar, yet definitely different.
Throughout this record the vocals are the centrepiece, with Eric displaying a fine range of smooth croons , anthemic chorus lines and window smashing pitch changes. Maintaining innovating melodies, rarely sticking to a certain style, or mood, or instrument ensures this album never gets tiresome as it’s forever on the move. Exhibit A, Holy Touch: a big gospel romp-a-stomper, Exhibit B, Wasted Feelings: full of dynamic guitars, cool vocal effects and trumpets, Exhibit C: I Like It: vocal centric with bombastic melodies.
So a more laid back Foxy have re-surfaced, but all the delightfully odd characteristics, bonkers eclecticisms and natural born melody making abilities that made them so addictive in the past, are still here for all to enjoy. My only gripe would be the final few tracks do not stand up to the quality of what came before it.
TCORAR is first and foremost a great little pop record, with hard glam-rocking tendencies spontaneously wrangling for the control switch. An early treat for 2012!
DoesItRock Overall Score: 8.5/10
Listen to Foxy Shazam – The Church of Rock and Roll now on Spotify!
Short & sweet album reviews that never miss the point…
Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
After a suprisingly great debut album of 80’s pop metal harking power rock that was far better than it ought to be, the flying Finn’s are back with more hairsprayed pop-rock antics. They’re huge arena sized rock is chock-a-block with overly emphasized Def Leppard songwriting aspirations, Bon Jovi’s hair and Van Halen keyboards to complete their full house of 80’s rock influences. But whilst the debut was fun, packed with memorable melodies and great sing-a-long moments, Animal Attractions stubles and falls on it’s make-up strewn face. This is mainly because it feels just too much like a mashup of melodies plucked from the aforementioned 80’s heavyweights. From the duh-duh-duh-duh’s on Dirty Dreams (Cutting Crew – I Just Died in Your Arms), the keyboard’s on Hot (Van Halen – Jump) and the vocal harmonies on Animal Attraction (Def Leppard – Animal) show that these songs barely classify as ‘new’. There are some cracking tunes regardless, such as Speedin’, but yet I’m always left wondering “Haven’t I heard that before?”. If you love big fun 80’s compilations you’ll find much to love here. But if you already own one…chance are, you “have” heard this album before.