Album of the Week – Four Year Strong – Rise or Die Trying

Good lord this album is just a pure slice of pop-punk gold

Celebrating it’s tenth anniversary Four Year Strong are currently re-releasing the album on exclusive print runs as well as touring the world in celebration of the album…and boy does it deserve it.

The album that arguably put Four Year Strong on the map, it’s jam packed with everything I would say makes a top pop-punk album: Big riffs, Catchy Choruses and Gang Vocals .

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Now it’s no secret i’m a sucker for big riffs and this album has them by the fist full, Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die; probably the most known track from the album; is the prime example, from the opening of the song to the break down in the middle, it’s everything what gives the band it’s identity so much so they have named a song Beatdown in the Key of Happy. There are so many more examples I may as well just write out the tracklist for the album.

Catchy Choruses is something Four Year Strong never fail to come up with, Bada Bing! Wit’ a Pipe! Is a prime example of their ability to come up with a chorus that you just want to learn straight away to be able to sing it every time, Maniac (R.O.D.) Is just another example of a sing-along chorus that incorporate gang vocals so perfectly.

I wouldn’t go as far to say this is Four Year Strong’s best album in their collection but it’s good fun and it felt only right to honor it on it’s 10th anniversary, if you’re one for collecting vinyl then this is one you definitely need to add to the collection.

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Album of the Week – Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight

One of their most under-rated albums from their catalogue.

This for me is a little bit of a tribute to Chester and to Linkin Park. This website was made after the shocking news of the passing of Chester Bennington and I, personally, have been looking for a reason to write about it, although so much has been said, it’s still fresh in minds and memories, especially after the video of Linkin Park doing Carpool Karaoke 6 days before his death.

Just a quick point on the case of Mental Health, don’t be afraid to reach out, don’t be afraid to admit there is a problem. It’s okay to not be okay.

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Minutes to Midnight came four years after the stormer of an album Meteora. It was Linkin Park’s first steps into moving in a different musical direction and if you go through the album start to finish, it feels like it goes from one song sounding like the usual Linkin Park we all love, to a new Linkin Park which it gradually introduces you to.

It’s the perfect way to gradually go on to something new, many bands just release a new album, go out to say they wanted to try something new and the whole album from start to finish is completely different to their previous. It’s always a bold move that should be respected but for some fans it makes it harder to follow. For Linkin Park however, this album felt like the perfect combination of new and old.

Tracks like Bleed It Out, No More Sorrow and of course What I’ve Done feel like the Linkin Park we all know and love, these are songs that would fit on to Meteora and no one would bat an eye. Amongst these though you have tracks like Shadow of the Day, Hands Held High and Valentine’s Day; songs that explores a different side to LP, a more sensitive and subtle side to the band. Comparing these songs to tracks from Hybrid Theory feel like you are listening to two different bands, both good, both different.

Minutes to Midnight feels like it almost slipped under the radar, What I’ve Done was huge on it’s release, especially as it was part of the Transformers soundtrack which was the big summer release of that year, but the rest of the album feels like it went by almost unappreciated. Admittedly, it had tough acts to follow from Hybrid Theory and Meteora but you get a sense of the evolution of the band that should be respected.

Album of the Week – Deaf Havana- ‘All These Countless Nights’

The second Album of the Week comes from Deaf Havana who have had a long and interesting journey.

In 2013, the alternative rock band, released one of the most captivating albums of the year – “Old Souls” – and are back again, years later, with “All These Countless Nights”.

Behind the scenes problems with management and finances nearly put an end to Deaf Havana all together in 2014, but these tough times ended up forming the band’s most meaningful album yet.

The album kick-starts with an upbeat song Ashes, Ashes that dabbles with the overall theme of the album.

Happiness and Like A Ghost are two songs that are softer alternative rock songs it allows the listener to take a breather from the usual Deaf Havana upbeat tone, while they can play it heavy or gently glide on the likes of ‘Fever’ and ‘Sing’.

One of my favourite songs from the album is England thats brings a different tone which is on the more funk side, this is definitely a song anyone can dance too, but it is also a song with a gentle message.

Check out the album below:

“All These Countless Nights” is written perfectly and as per usual, Deaf Havana provides provides a mixture being upbeat, grooving vibes and soft, gentle tracks.

Each individual song will end up speaking to your heart because when I first heard this album it got me thiking and I was unable to press pause.

It’s creatively different, and beautifully pieced together, it’s a big step forward for all the members of the band so grab your headphones and enjoy.

Check out Deaf Havan’s latest video release here:

Album of the Week – Enter Shikari – The Spark

The first ever Album of the Week comes from the latest release from genre bending band Enter Shikari. Their return to the spotlight comes with their fifth release and probably the most refined yet different from the band yet, to the point when genre bending no longer accurately describes them.

The Spark feels more personal, and more defined, with songs like ‘The Sights’ and  ‘Take My Country Back’ reminding me of the Enter Shikari we all know and love but then songs such as ‘Rabble Rouser’ and ‘Shinrin-yoku’ introduces you to a different side to the band that isn’t often heard yet still work with the context of the album.

Check out the album below:

The band themselves often went out to say that this album was different to others, but they could say that before each of their albums, as part of their appeal is the constant evolution of their sound, taking different tones from album to album, but all still getting across their beliefs and messages clearly.

Check out Shikari’s latest video release here: