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Oct 15th

New Jimmy (Eat World) may not be for everyone

By Yuda

Jimmy Eat World have gone a bit soft recently.

That's not something I'm complaining about. In fact, 2007's "Chase This Light," the band's last full-length, is one of my favorite albums of that year. If Jim Adkins and crew were still as high-strung as they were when they released "Bleed American" - has it really been nine years? - I'd be a bit concerned.

"Invented," the latest entry in the rock quintet's catalogue, is enjoyable albeit more subdued than what you're used to hearing from Jimmy Eat World.

"Heart is Hard to Find," the album's first track, sets the mood for most of the record. Lyrics full of self-reflection and a bleakly optimistic outlook on the future dominate most of the band's music, and "Invented" remains consistent in this manner.

What differs this time around is that instead of delivering hard riffs and catchy choruses, Jimmy Eat World conveys these reflections with somber melodies.

They've grown up a bit and it shows.

"My Best Theory," the album's second track and first single, sounds more like the Jimmy Eat World we're used to. It evokes a mood highly reminiscent of 2005's "Futures." This quality makes it stand out against the rest of the album, which, admittedly, makes it my favorite track.

"Coffee and Cigarettes" and "Littlething" are two other tracks that really stand out, but the rest of the music on the disc just doesn't strike the right chords. The band's more laid-back sound may exhibit their growth as musicians, but it doesn't sound like Jimmy Eat World.

This is where it gets a little murky.

Those who were impressed by the more subdued "Chase This Light" will love "Invented." Hardcore Jimmy fans will also flock to this release, but those who have loosely followed the band's career may be left a bit disenchanted.

The album lacks a hard-hitter like "The Middle," "Futures," or "Here It Goes." Instead, it lays out a mellow path and doesn't stray far from it, "My Best Theory" being the only song on the disc that really got my head bouncing to the beat.

I'd definitely advise streaming a couple of the album's tracks before committing to it. Listen to "Heart Is Hard To Find," "Movielike" and "Littlething" to get a sense of what "Invented" is all about.

At the very least, download "My Best Theory." It's the one track that'll tide you over until the band inevitably releases a return-to-form album.

Eder Campuzano
Oct 14th

MeltgSnow is the latest metal band from Singapore to make waves overseas

By Yuda

Generally speaking, fans of heavy metal music don't care about geographical boundaries. That's probably why metal bands from Norway can have hits in China, and this means that even Singapore metal bands like Rudra, Bhelliom, Wormrot and Impiety have made their mark outside our shores, even though they may be a little under the radar for local audiences.

Well, another Singapore metal band, Meltgsnow, had its debut album released in the United States back in 2003 and recently, the band's sophomore effort - Black Penance - has been released both locally and overseas, with the band due to undertake a tour of Australia at the end of October, sharing the stage with Australian rock band The Eternal.

Their second album has been a long time coming. According to vocalist Dannie Hamid aka Lord Insanity, the band "had many problems with the change of musicians due to commitment issues". As a result Black Penance took seven long years to record.

For metal fans, however, it has been worth the wait as Meltgsnow has employed greater melodic sensibilities than most modern metal outfits, choosing instead to draw from the gothic doom rock of pioneers Black Sabbath and the sonic pyrotechnics of Judas Priest.

Conceptually, the dark themes are the norm with unlikely inspirations drawn from the Bible. 

"I was raised in a Catholic church and school when I was a kid and till today, even though I am not a Catholic or Christian, with respect, I do like to use the Bible as a source of inspiration as it contains a lot of personal mishaps and many learning journeys," said the singer. "The concept of Black Penance is like a 'black book', whereby you pen and confess your sins into. I wrote these songs with visions of such betrayals, vices, wicked lusts and evil intentions that require a self-repentance."

Black Penance is a more inclusive album than appearances would suggest, and should easily appeal to metal, goth and indie rock fans with equal measure. In addition, the band hope to "open up avenues to more diversified listeners and to also perform at more festivals overseas" with this release.

But even as it seems that Singapore metal bands can flourish overseas, the question remains: What about the Singapore metal scene itself? 

Said Lord Insanity: "The scene is slowly growing again and getting some form of recognition from media coverage. Also with many new and younger quality bands that are coming up, I really hope that we will be able to get those much needed venues that allow us musicians to showcase our talent to the hungry fans here." 

MeltgSnow's Black Penance is out now.

- TODAYonline 
Sep 15th

Linkin Park, 'A Thousand Suns' (Machine Shop/Warner Bros.)

By Yuda

Rating: 6/10

Linkin Park's fourth studio album (and second collaboration with producer Rick Rubin) contains plenty of aggressively arty material that might surprise fans of the megapopular rap-rock outfit: "Wretches and Kings," for instance, chops up spoken-word sound bites in a Bomb Squad style, while "When They Come for Me" layers post-NIN dance-punk synths over a tribal drum groove. Still, the most unexpected track on the boldly conceived A Thousand Suns might be the disc's acoustic closer, "The Messenger," in which Chester Bennington flexes a tender camp-counselor croon.

Jul 7th

Local Music Scene IGNITE! Once Again

By Yuda

One of the most highly anticipated local music events annually, IGNITE! 2010's line-up promised one hell of a gig and the delivery easily exceeded expectations! 

Jul 3rd

IGNITE! 2010 Day 2 - 3rd Jul 10, Saturday

By Terence

Be part of the crowd for a rocking good time!
 Coming to day 2, it starts from 3.30pm all the way to 10pm and just take a look at the band line up, its going be non-stop solid entertainment.
  • Plain Sunset
  • Zero Sequence
  • Meza Virs
  • Fish Tank
  • The Analog Girl
  • Pervy Boy
  • Jammerz Arena

These homegrown bands have established themselves beyond local ground and some of their achievements have been most inspiring.

However, what is really important is that they are all coming together on day 2 of IGNITE! 2010 to give us their very best tunes. So all we can say is that, you have to be there.

If you need some orientation to boost your enthusiasm, the videos below are for your enjoyment:

 Plain Sunset:
 The local veteran band, familiar to many, loved by many is here once again to give us an awesome good time. They have toured around extensively in Asia and even to New Zealand and their music has been expectedly well liked across the borders and their achievements include having 5 of their tracks featured in Star World's Heroes Season 2 promotional.

Zero Sequence:
Known  for their highly charged music, this 7 piece, very talented band blends music of different genre together fine-tuned to their very own style. You cant really expect what is coming from them, you just have to be there to hear them; you would be captivated by their impressive musical capabilities.

Meza Virs:

Alright, coming to the much awaited metal band, to metal fans you would simply love them, to non metal fans you would love them just as much. Yeah but beware of moshing lurking at every corner for sure. Its just the time to get all wild.

See you all at Republic Poly @ the Lawn, you wont want to miss it!

Jun 29th

Scissor Sisters' album ‘Night Work,' reviewed by Allison Stewart

By Live4MusiC

At their best, sparkle disco champs Scissor Sisters bring to mind the result of a one-night stand between Erasure and the Killers. Their self-titled '04 debut was a synth-pop bacchanal; on its too-somber follow-up, "Ta-Dah," gloomy meditations on fame and death gate-crashed the Sisters' perpetual Studio 54.

The group's third disc, "Night Work," restores the balance between gravitas and camp. Sprawling, profane, in love with satiny retro disco, dance floor excess and itself, "Night Work" has no end of nostalgic pop gems both great ("Sex and Violence") and small ("Harder You Get").

Even Sir Ian McKellen gets in on the act, contributing a spoken-word passage to "Invisible Light" that recalls a non-scary (all right, maybe a little scary) version of the rap Vincent Price did on "Thriller." "Whose laser gaze penetrates the sprawling theater of excess and strobe lights?" McKellen intones, Britishly. "Invisible Light" appears, rather awesomely, to be about a gay robot ("Invisible light/Shoots from your eyes"), although it probably isn't.

The disc peaks with "Any Which Way," an optimistic, unrelenting boogie featuring the memorable suggestion: "Take me any way you like it/In front of the fireplace/In front of your yacht/In front of my parents." Say what you will about Scissor Sisters -- they don't play hard to get.



-- Allison Stewart

Recommended Tracks:

"Any Which Way," "Invisible Light" 

May 6th

Singapore Grindcore Band Album Reviewed by Ultimate-Guitar!

By Yuda

Sound: Quick off the mark, Earache are dealing with Insect Warfare’s coming and going by picking up another fresh new grind act and giving them the re-release treatment, distribution perks and all. The lucky winners are Singaporean outfit Wormrot, whose 2009 debut ‘Abuse’ will shortly be hitting the world’s various nooks and crannies. They’ve been wedged into a comfortable (...depending on how you look at it) mould indeed, but it doesn’t pay to be too original in a genre like this, and ‘Abuse’ is an effort to reach the front of the pack, rather than an effort to stray off and form a new one. 

For a straightforward 20 minute face-grating exercise, the performance is surprisingly tight, and the mix surprisingly accessible – the absence of bass guitar is hardly noticeable and the mix is the sort that you rarely hear from anyone but the biggest names in grind. The fact that many of guitarist Syid’s riffs are so easily recalled despite the fact that they are rarely repeated more than a few times is staggering, and there is an underlying substance to a lot of the groovier tracks, in particular ‘Freedom To Act’, which sounds like Panteraafter snorting several kilograms of cocaine. // 8

Lyrics and Singing: I think it’s fair to say that vocalist Arif and drummer/yelper Fit have not been gifted with the greatest diction known to man, but lyrics are available for those of us without superhuman interpreting skills. They are, more or less, your standard rebellious grindcore fare – fighting the system, fighting the mainstream (thanks to a classy cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s ‘Rich’) or...fighting just about anything else. The vitriol can be fairly convincing at times, although the dramatic opening sample - what sounds like a heroic freedom fighter pressing for equality against a suppressive police force - is just a melodramatic university student who was ejected from the library because he couldn’t show ID. Still, it’s the musical fury that does the job, and the vocals do their bit with style. // 7

Impression: There is a distinct possibility that Wormrot will actually turn out to be the major players in grind that their label are declaring that they will be – the riffs are buzzing, the chemistry is natural and there’s a handful of truly devastating tracks which, encouragingly, don’t rely on just one strength, instead proving that each aspect of this band has the potential to deliver more blasts, more savage guitar sounds and, if there’s any justice in the world, more Yeah Yeah Yeahs covers. // 8

- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2010 

May 5th

Xanadoo - Black. Death. Grind. Shit!

By Toh

Black. Death. Grind. Shit!
Full Length
Thrash Metal/Crossover

Black. Death. Grind. Shit! is Xanadoo’s latest output and the band’s debut full-length album. Consisting of 8 tracks, this album clocks under 30 minutes, of which 6 are tracks that are re-recorded versions of their previous 2 demos, Blood is Dirt and This Demo is Shit.

The album opens with an instrumental track, World of Xanadoo, which is one of the 2 new tracks on this album. The other new song is Subterranean Hemorrhoid which begins with a slick guitar solo, somehow the riffs after that reminds me of some of Iron Maiden’s riffs (something like 2 Minutes to Midnight) with Xanadoo’s own touch.

As with the previous albums, their lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, often having other meanings behind what may seem to be random ramblings. Production quality is very polished, if you are a fan of the previous 2 demos mentioned (Blood is Dirt, This Demo is Shit), it might take a bit of getting used to. Personally, on first listen the guitars sounded too loud, almost drowning out the vocals compared to the previous recordings where everything was loud, but just nice.

Zak’s vocals are reminiscent of Kreator’s Mille Petrozza (at least to me!). If you have already heard This Demo is Shit, the performance on this album is an advancement of his vocal styling, on some songs it sounds almost like he’s spitting out the words in fury! Some of the solos on the songs are also changed and improvised, adding a different touch compared to the originals.

Another thing that was noted as well was how the re-recorded songs sounded like sped up versions of the original songs (most almost shortened by half a minute!). For example, Blood is Dirt’s original run length was 4:06 but on the album it clocks at only 3:36. The speedy guitar solos, bass lines and drumming all blend into a fury of music that is this Black. Death. Grind. Shit!

I particularly loved the album art and visual concepts, which was a cut-and-paste one; somewhat similar to the album art concept of This Demo is Shit, only taken to another level. Throughout the album, lyrics written by the band were torn out and pasted on a black background, such as Shiva’s trademark Death logo on the Plague of Mankind’s lyrics, sometimes making it hard to find each of the band member’s mark on my copy of the album (signed in silver marker)!

Overall a fun and enjoyable listen, highly recommended for fans of crossover/thrash metal and of course fans of Xanadoo’s previous outputs. If you haven’t heard of Xanadoo, then as the band mentions, "Get this album because it contains songs from both our previous demos!" But if you want to hear for yourself how they have progressed, grab both their previous demos as well!

Xanadoo on MySpace.

Originally written for Heavy Metal Tribune

(c) Heavy Metal Tribune 2010
Apr 15th

Slash: Slash

By Yuda

Slash has roped in many of his accomplished and famous mates to create an album that is often inspired but at times weak.

Recorded over two years, it's quite an achievement to get so many big names - covering a wide range of musical styles - on one record, from pop starlet Fergie to grumbling rock icon Lemmy of Motorhead.

However, the diverse line-up of singers makes for an uneven album that moves from the country rock of I Hold On (with Kid Rock), to overwrought acoustic beauty Saint Is A Sinner Too (with Rocco Deluca).

The galvanising feature is Slash's unique mix of laid-back yet gutsy guitar shredding and solos, especially on the album's surprise highlight,By the Sword, with Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale adding a sprawling and psychedelic element, and Dave Grohl's instrumental stomp Watch This Dave.

The tracks with true legends - Iggy Pop, Lemmy and Ozzy Osbourne - are solid, if predictable. Iggy prowls and postures all over We're All Gonna Die, Ozzy is at his solo best rather than Black Sabbath best onCrucify the Dead, and while you've heard Lemmy's tale of drug-addled chaos on Doctor Alibi many times before, it's a welcome respite from wimpy Gotten (with Maroon 5's Adam Levine).

It's the Slash/Stockdale-type pairing the album needs more of, because as the two songs with Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy are testament to, much of it falls into the "good but not that memorable" classic rock category.
- NZ Herald 

Mar 30th

Timbre Rock & Roots-The Fray pics

By Mohammed Shah
Pics of the fray are up!! Go to my facebook!! Heres the link!!