In part two of our excitement-building series of articles, we turn to the ever-varied world of music. Prepare yourselves as This Is Entertainment brings you five CDs from five fantastic artists, which you really should be physically unable to wait to buy (/illegally download*).
Feeder – Generation Freakshow (26 March)
The kings of British mainstream rock, this release marks the trio’s eighth studio album. To have been going strong, admittedly with varying levels of chart exposure, since 1991 is no mean feat for a band in this day and age. The fact that the band have name-checked classic release Yesterday Went Too Soon as an influence is a very good sign, placing the album somewhere between the energetic rock of the album and the more radio-friendly Comfort in Sound. The fanbase will stick with them no matter how it turns out, but since the group had a back-to-basics release with 2010’s Renegades, it’s likely this album will give a single or two which will make its way to the airwaves, which is where Feeder truly shine. As always with the band this won’t just be ‘more of the same’, and lead single ‘Borders’ gives us some idea of where the style is pitched as well.
Muse – The 2nd Law (September/October)
After a stellar performance as 2011’s Reading and Leeds festivals – quite literally with a complete run-through of their rock opera crown jewel Origin of Symmetry – Muse show no signs of slowing down. Countless Best Live Act awards have been thrown their way over the years, despite frontman Matt Bellamy’s notorious shyness on stage, as well as wins for their recorded material even as recently as last album The Resistance. Of course, this is with good reason, the last album saw a departure from the rocky side to embrace the piano, will Matt throw out some more killer riffs which rival the likes of ‘Knights of Cydonia’ and ‘Citizen Erased’ with this latest release? If bassist Chris Wolstenholme is to be believed, the new album will be “radically different” from previous releases. Whatever form it takes, it will be sure to be something magical and certainly an experience not to be missed.
A band which refuses to take the UK charts by storm despite acousto-rock perfection, Matchbox Twenty have been treading water for a while now, with their last full album, More than you think you are, first on sale back in 2004. Since then the band have released a greatest hits complete with new tracks, and lead singer Rob Thomas has released two solo albums. With Thomas clearly the driving force in the group, having written all the songs up to the new tunes on their greatest hits compilation, it’s fair to take his latest solo release, cradlesong, as an example of where the groups sound might progress to. So far the news is that recording has been done, even the tracklist has been tweeted by the band, but there is still no solid release date. Thomas has been keen to stress a mantra of “getting it right”, since he feels the band are now beginning to get on in years – “Realistically, how many more times do we get? So we’re going to really make this record the one we want it to be.” With Thomas’ singwriting still on board it’s hard to see how this could go wrong. The band’s first collaborative single – ‘How far we’ve come’ – was the most upbeat and catchy song of their career, which can only bode well for more tunes put together as a unit.
Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour (16 January)
Just days to go before another injection of British hardcore. The band have been releasing one-off tracks for a couple of years since second, and far superior, album Common Dreads. This up trend is relentless, with the band’s subsequent releases ‘Destabilize’ and ‘Quelle Surprise’ filled with passion and plenty of noise. The teaser posted on the band’s YouTube channel hints at an album filled with a mixture of melodic hardcore and heavy screamo, with plenty of keyboards and killer riffs thrown in for good measure. Undoubtedly the most original band to come out of the UK for a while, this group is something to be proud of. The blend of catchiness with stop-start electronica sections carries through from their first hit ‘Sorry, you’re not a winner’, and while occasionally a bit much all in one go, the band command attention on the stage. All signs point to this power extending to their latest CD as well.
Lostprophets – Weapons (2 April)
A band which undeniably Welsh from the second you see them take to the stage, it’s remarkable how they manage to mask even their British-ness in their recorded releases. After a severely delayed fourth album, Betrayed, the band are looking to claw back platinum sales with this release, last achieved with second album Start Something. The first single from the album, ‘Better of Dead’, is a more rap-influenced tune than fans might be used to, achieving a sound closer to Linkin Park at their height, but still full with plenty of rock might. With their last effort proving a tad inconsistent, this album should hopefully land right on the mark with all the tracks delivering what fans have come to expect – rock with attitude.
The inevitable comeback album:
The Offspring (TBC) – After a fantastically received performance at Reading and Leeds, The Offspring deserve to reclaim the punk rock crown. The band are often imitated and have diminished over the years to join Green Day in American punk’s has-beens. With chief song writers Dexter Holland and Noodles still in the line-up, there’s no excuse for them coming up with something irresistible. Since they went into the studio again last September to finish up a brand new CD, 2012 could well be their year. It’s been four years now since their last album, and they are far from the heights of Conspiracy of one, but the time is right for them to remind us what they can do.
*Illegal downloads are bad, don’t try this at home kids
James Michael Parry