The Maccabees - No Kind WordsGet ready, because the Maccabees are back! The five-piece from South London ended 2007 on a high after receiving huge praise for their debut album “Colour It In”, which NME hailed as “the best alt. pop record of 2007. No contest.”

A new album will be released in early May, but before that, as a taster, a new track hot from the studio has been released. “No Kind Words” is available to download now, and it seems that the band have had a change in direction.

“Colour It In” was filled with a breezy depiction of times as a child, including playing lego, going to swimming pools on Saturday mornings and teenage crushes. But if this new single is anything to go by, the new album will be much darker. Read more

Rise Against - Audience of OneAudience of One is the latest single to be released from Rise Against’s fifth studio album, Appeal to Reason. The Chicago rockers have already received rave reviews for their new album, which opened at number 3 on the American Billboard 200, making it their highest charting album so far.

If this single is anything to go by, I can see why. Straight away the powerful melody got my attention; it’s the perfect opening to a punk-rock song. Often I need a few listens to decide if I like a song or not, but we’re only 20 seconds or so into this track and it’s definitely a keeper.

Lead singer Tim Mcllrath’s strong vocals then join the party, and already this track has an anthem feel to it. The chorus picks up the pace with simple but effective guitar work and is complimented by Mcllrath’s powerful voice. It’s strong and dominating, and sounds best with the volume on full blast. Read more

AAR - Gives You HellAfter more than a three year wait which has felt like a decade, the All-American Rejects are finally ready to release a new album. Their 2005 record, Move Along really put the boys on the map, especially due to the success of songs like It ends tonight, Dirty Little Secret and Move Along.

The new album, When The World Comes Down is to be released later this month, and the first single is Gives You Hell, a track which has already done well in America.

As a Rejects fan, I’ve been waiting to hear there new material for a while, but the opening of the new song comes as a bit of a surprise to me. It’s a slow, drum-lacking beginning, not something that has come to be expected from the American rockers. Read more

People In Planes - Last Man StandingI’ve heard a lot about People in Planes without hearing any of their music, so I was glad when this CD came through my letterbox to review. The Boys from Cardiff are fresh from supporting The Stereophonics in America and Biffy Clyro in the UK, even if they have escaped my radar so far.

Last Man Standing is their new EP, which is being released in advance of their second album Beyond the Horizon. It’s a short, three track look into their talents, which I’m sure will leave you wanting more.

The EP titled Last Man Standing is the first track, and the beginning of the song certainly got my attention. Gareth Jones vocals are a bit different and stand out, and the dark, deep background music makes you picture it’s being made from some sort of dodgy alleyway. The song really bursts into life as it progresses, with the busty chorus fuelled nicely with a busy rhythm. Read more

Dorp - London Out ThereDespite only settling in London a few years ago, South African band Dorp have already started to make a name for themselves. “London Out There” is the group’s second single from new album “Humans Being”, and certainly has something unique about it.

There’s no hanging around with this song, straight from the whistle the fast-pace melody sets the tone and fuses fittingly with frontman Piet Bez’s dominating voice. It’s punchy with attitude, and occasional lashings of eletronica create an eerie feel as the song progresses.

If there is a negative, it’s that the chorus is slightly weak, but the rest of the music more than makes up for it. DORP are certainly different; they aren’t just another manufactured band. “London Out There” is the sort of sound that would be great at a live venue, it’s somewhere between a mix of techno-dance and funky rock. Read more

The FutureheadsThe new album has proved to be a success so far, but what can you promise fans who haven’t heard it yet?

The idea behind it is that it’s back to the blue print that we had for the first record, but it’s more straight forward and it’s simpler. And it’s played harder and faster and it’s louder than our previous albums.

How would you describe your style and who are your influences?

The fundamental elements of what we do are four part harmony punk rock band, where the live show depends on a lot of energy and a lot of crowd participation. As far as influences go, we put the band together in the beginning, because we loved the likes of Wire and The Clash and all that sort of post punk stuff. Now, because that’s all in your DNA, you get more influences from a story you read in the newspaper or a person you meet at a show.

You’re under your own record label now, is this a welcome change for you?

Yeah, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done, because it’s fifty percent less people who come and steal the rider at the end of the day! Truthfully ever musician is a control freak and it’s easier to keep an eye on things when you’re on the label. Read more

Dorp - Humans BeingSouth African rock band DORP are not your ordinary kind of band, with two members of the band originating from Cape Town, one from Paris and another from London, it’s fair to say that in geographical terms they’re pretty diverse. Their music is diverse as well, with political tones in their songs, pop themes, lashings of electronica and elements of rock, it’s hard to categorise them as a band, which is a positive.

Their new album ‘Humans Being’ is a 13 track insight into their talents, and new singles ‘Cops and Robbers’ and ‘Pigs Do Fly’ are the opening tracks on the disc. ‘Cops and Robbers’ is a decent enough introduction, with simple melodies combined with occasional electronica which produces a great sound, and the chorus is a hit. It’s not groundbreaking stuff but is a good tune, and Prodigy spring to mind when thinking of comparisons. ‘Pigs Do Fly’ is a faster paced song, with soft drums used as a backdrop to the vocals with short guitar riffs complimenting the song. Again this is a fair effort, but both of the opening two songs are lacking a bit of aggression, it’s easy enough to listen to but if anything is a bit dull. Read more

Voodoo Six - Feed My Soul‘Feed My Soul’ is the new single from heavy metal rockers Voodoo Six, who have already supported rock icons Iron Maiden, Metallica and Guns n Roses since forming in 2003. The band previously released their debut album in 2006, called ‘Feed My Soul’, but have now re-released it under a new name of ‘First Hit For Free’ after a record label change.

The opening of the track is great; a mesmorising solo guitar riff layered with punchy drums to boom into the song, it really works nicely. It’s a quite heavy sound as expected, but isn’t as thrust into your face as some of the bands of the same genre. Lead vocalist Henry Rundell makes his mark on the song with his strong and dominating voice, backed by neat drumming and random guitar riffs.

The chorus of ‘Feed My Soul’ is the best thing about the song, with Rundell’s voice to the fore and strong instrumentals in the background complimenting him perfectly. Voodoo Six certainly seem like they’d be a great live act, and when the song moves off into a brilliant guitar solo comparisons with one of the bands they cite as their heroes, Guns n Roses, spring to mind.

The single also comes with a bonus track, ‘Jam the Sun’, which is another nice little look into the bands talents. It’s a part acoustic version, which shows a softer sound to the band which many heavy bands struggle with; Voodoo Six however pass with flying colours. When the song does progress with the introduction of drums and more dominating guitars, it only helps to bring the song on and fits in like clockwork.

It’s really refreshing to see that Voodoo Six are actually a British Band, and I think they could go far. With a lot of music today sounding the same, this is a band that is different, and sounds more like the rock of the eighties. I’m not a big fan of heavy rock, but I’m definitely going to be listening around for more of Voodoo Six.

Weezer - TroublemakerPopular Californian rock band Weezer are back with their sixth studio album, Weezer (The Red Album). The band has already had success with the new record with debut single ‘Pork and Beans’ proving a hit, and the latest single ‘Troublemaker’ is anticipated to do just as well.

I’ve never really been a huge fan of Weezer, but I’ve got to admit I do like some of their classics like ‘Buddy Holly’, ‘Beverley Hills’ and ‘Hash Pipe’, which got me quite looking forward to hearing their new stuff. Unfortunately I don’t think this song does Weezer justice compared to their past material.

From the start of ‘Troublemaker’ you can tell it’s a Weezer song, with a decent guitar introduction followed by the familiar vocals of lead man Rivers Cuomo, all mixed together with a steady if not spectacular beat. It’s not the start of the song that’s the problem, it’s the chorus. All the good Weezer songs have a catchy and dominating chorus, this one doesn’t. If anything I found the chorus repetitive and boring, with “I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker… I’m a troublemaker, not a double taker” played simultaneously over a dull melody. It’s a bit the same as past efforts, and not as good to be honest. Read more

After the success of their debut album, Not Accepted Anywhere, Welsh rockers The Automatic return with their second album, This is a Fix. “Steve McQueen” has been chosen as the first single of the new record, and if it’s a sign of things to come the band could be onto a winner.

The song is about the late American actor Steve McQueen, for the younger of you out there. With the infectious chorus of ‘I was the teenage Steve McQueen’, I’m sure you’ll be singing along to this one after the first play. It’s got anthem written all over it, and is pretty easy to follow. Read more