All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
Youthful though they all may still look and act, as they prepare to release their seventh studio album ’Last Young Renegade’, All Time Low are nearing what has to be considered tried and tested veteran status. They’ve been undisputed kings of the new generation of pop-punk for years and it’s always seemed like when, rather than if, they would crossover and dominate the pop mainstream as well.
With an evolved, more pop and melody focused sound, already showcased by singles ’Dirty Laundry’ and title track ’Last Young Renegade’, some outrageously infectious vocal hooks and a slick cinematic feeling campaign to boot, Baltimore’s finest are going all out for just that. This is shaping up to be their most important and career defining album to date. They may not be pop-punk anymore, but with Alex Gaskarth writing world beating pop gems, who cares. (DW)
‘Last Young Renegade’ by All Time Low is out now on Fueled By Ramen.
Hundredth – RARE
Continuing the apparent trend of genre-hopping (see Paramore, Linkin Park, Suicide Silence) is Hundredth. With founding guitarist Alex Blackwell returning last summer, the South Carolinians have decided to head in a new direction on album number four, ‘RARE’.
With the admittance of having grown bored of playing melodic hardcore, ‘RARE’ sees the quartet fully embracing a washed-out, shoegaze-esque indie rock sound. As heard on ‘Neurotic’ and ‘Suffer’, Hundredth have certainly shed their hardcore skin with intriguing yet promising results. It’s certainly going to divide opinions once released, however ‘RARE’ shows a band with aspirations to deliver a record that will extend their longevity. It’s an aim all bands should have. (SR)
‘RARE’ by Hundredth is released on 16th June on Hopeless Records.
Mutoid Man – War Moans
Mutoid Man is the lightspeed rock n’ roll side project of Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky and Converge’s Ben Koller, whose 2015 debut album ‘Bleeder’ was a highly melodic and stripped-down affair from two musicians who deal in expansive and chaotic soundscapes on the regular. Essentially, it let two of hardcore’s most serious musicians let their head down and have some fun.
Follow up ‘War Moans’ appears at a surface to be a continuation of that punk rock frolicking found on their first release, demonstrated on buoyant lead single ‘Melt Your Mind’ and the camp undertones of ‘Kiss of Death’. However, the grandiose nature of ‘Bandages’ shows the Mutoid men integrate the progressive glory of their main bands into their side-project.
Either way, one thing a Mutoid Man album guarantees is a multitude of memorable riffs to scrape from your speakers into your skull and any riff that a group with this much talent behind it can create is worth your time and energy to jam to. (AD)
‘War Moans’ by Mutoid Man is out now on Sargent House.
CKY – The Phoenix
CKY are back and returning to the roots with new album ‘The Phoenix’, their first since 2009. Times may have changed and music may have evolved but CKY sound as current as ever without doing much in the way of change. Revisiting a writing process that helped gain a fan base of unrivalled loyalty, ‘The Phoenix’ is truly triumphant. There’s no rust to shake off here as the band settle into a new format now performing as a three-piece.
With ‘Days of Self Destruction’ already doing the rounds as well as follow up single ‘Replaceable’, it’s fair to say this is not an accurate representation of what CKY have been up to. ‘The Phoenix’ is eclectic, bringing a healthy mix to the table but at its core this is a rock and roll record that doesn’t let up. With ‘The Phoenix’, CKY are sure to capture the imaginations of the existing ‘CKY Alliance’ as well as finding a whole new generation of fans ready to accept CKY, not only as a band but as a way of life. (JH)
‘The Phoenix’ by CKY is released on 16th June on Long Branch / SPV.
Bukowski – grow up. give up. let go. EP
Hailing from the increasingly musical hotbed of Australia comes Bukowski. The Melbourne quartet’s debut EP, ‘grow up. give up. let go.’ promises to be an exciting blend of emo and pop-punk, taking its cues from fellow countrymen Trophy Eyes, as well as Brand New and Citizen.
Recent single, ‘You’re Probably Gonna Hate This’, is an energetic introduction to what Bukowski have to offer; impassioned vocals combined with tight, soaring instrumentation. While ‘twothousandandseven’ and ‘Brood’ showcase a more intense, emotive side to Bukowski. Don’t be surprised if they’re not part of the next wave of Aussie bands to breakout. (SR)
‘grow up. give up. let go.’ EP by Bukowski is released on 15th June on Penultimate Records.
Words by Dane Wright (DW), Sêan Reid (SR), Andy Davidson (AD) and Jay Harrison (JH).