Skip to main content

Rewind, Replay, Rebound by Volbeat - Album Review

The one word I would use to describe this album is schizophrenic. For most of the first half it alternates between superbly enjoyable, if not especially original melodic hard rock, and at times risible parody. 
Starting on a high with the Stones/INXS/Killers mash up of "Last Day Under The Sun", (which was one of my picks of the best music released in June as an advance single), before flipping into "Pelvis On Fire" that, along with a title that even Justin Hawkins of The Darkness might baulk at, also has Elvis impersonating "Uh-uhs". Talk about about sublime to ridiculous!
Back to the sublime, (if still confusing stylistically), again with the next track, "Rewind The Exit". Starting off with a great 1980's style metal riff before becoming a Coldplay style indie rock anthem. It the reverts to the metal riffing again after the bridge before the solo, back to the indie rock before riffing out to the finish. Hope you're all keeping up, and this is just one song!

Punk pop is the order the day next up on "Die To Live", and completely forgettable before turning back to indie rock with "When We Were Kids" which could easily be "Chasing Cars 2: Euro Rock Edition", were it not for bizarrely becoming Dream Theater for the instrumental middle section. Enjoyable, if again,showing the influences a little too clearly.
Back down hill again with "Sorry Sack of Bones" which sounds like a cartoon theme song before the ghost of "Summer of '69" introduces "Cloud 9" that opens up into soaring anthemic rock. Unusually this album is far more consistent in the second half and "Cheapside Sloggers" continues the split personality with singalong and thrash metal sections before "Maybe I Believe" takes the groove of The Black Crowes version of "Hard To Handle" and merges it with riffs that echo The Pixies "Where Is My Mind?". 

"Leviathan", along with the opener is the other centrepiece track on the album, and from here it continues in much the same vein to the end. I defy you to listen to the first few bars of "The Awakening of Bonnie Parker" and not think you're about to hear a Phil Spector produced pop classic. It isn't that, but again it is highly enjoyable and melodic hard rock. 
"The Everlasting" flips between a Metallica-like deep cut before switching to soaring melody for the chorus. "7:24" brings things to a driving and melodic close.


It might seem that I am being overly negative about this album, so I should reiterate that there is much to enjoy here. However, the negatives stand out so clearly precisely because of the rest of the album has such a joy and fun to it. The word melodic comes up again and again in my descriptions of the songs, so the core of something great is there. Maybe a different producer might have conjured up a better balanced album overall.

With some judicious pruning it would be one of the ultimate good-time Saturday night albums. As it stands it falls short of that, and is only recommended in edited form. Cut tracks 2, 4, and 6 and you would be left with an 11 track album of thoroughly enjoyable hard rocking goodness. 

"It's the last day under the sun...."

Comments

Popular Posts

Eraserland by Strand Of Oaks - Album Review

A new album from Tim Showalter which, barring a final misstep, hits all the Americana, (and more), marks. This album is heartfelt, sleazy, uplifting, classic and referential all at the same time whilst still pointing forwards.

The beginning is inauspicious. "Weird Ways" starts out like a standard Ryan Adams ballad, but takes off halfway through in a way that reveals the pedigree of the other musicians on the album. After hearing this track I thought it sounded like the aforementioned Mr Adams playing with My Morning Jacket(MMJ). The reverb drenched sound kept rearing its head and a little research revealed that, minus main man Jim James, they were the backing musicians on the album . No wonder I kept hearing them! As a band who has produced much that I like this was a good thing. 

After "Weird Ways" heads for the stars we stay there with "Hyperspace Blues" which is one for fans of Jason Pierce's Spiritualized, and sounds just as a song with that title s…

On The Line by Jenny Lewis - Album Review

Arriving with positive notices and an all-star supporting cast that includes a former Beatle in Ringo Starr, a former Heartbreaker in Benmont Tench along with renowned players like Jim Keltner, Don Was and produced by Ryan Adams it would be easy to dismiss such a description as too good to be true.
However, sometimes it is okay to believe the hype..
The 4th solo album from Jenny Lewis is an example of the old adage that misery makes for great art, and is another entry into the canon of great break-up albums.
It is crammed with catchy melodies, expert playing and excellent, if sometimes just a little too cool for school, songwriting. Right from the very start with "Heads Gonna Roll" the sweetness of the melodies is leavened with a perfectly judged dose of underlying menace and bitterness.
Mention has to be given to the Hammond solo from Benmont Tench on this track. The tone is deliciously fat and filthy in the best possible way.
"Wasted Youth" continues with a ridiculous…

Tuscaloosa by Neil Young & The Stray Gators - Album Review

Shakey's live archive releases continue apace, coming after the excellent "Songs For Judy", (full review here) and the even better "Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live", (full review here). 

This time Neil treats us to excerpts from an Alabama show, (hence the title), from the 1973 tour previously documented on "Time Fades Away". Whilst a commercial success, the tour was fraught due to Young's grief over the drug-induced death of Danny Whitten that led to his masterpieces "Tonight's The Night" and "On The Beach", and his discomfort in translating his sound to the big arenas his success now found him playing. Neil has previously stated that "Time Fades Away" is his worst album. Those of us who have endured "Everybody's Rockin'" or "Landing On Water" might beg to differ....

Anyway another snapshot of that tour emerges here, and an altogether more lighter mood prevails. The autobiographical &…

Songs To Die To - Part 3

Continuing a series about songs death and dying. These are not necessarily songs that talk about the process of dying, rather as the title suggests, songs that I could imagine listening to on my death bed, or taking as consolation during or after a funeral. 

Morbid? I think not, as death is part of life. If we all talked about it a little more, maybe we'd cope with it better.

No 1: featuring "Land Of Hope & Dreams" by Bruce Springsteen here

No 2: featuring "Look On Down From The Bridge" by Mazzy Star here


With that said here's my next choice.


No 3: Gonna Be A Darkness - The Jayhawks

From their superb collection of songs that main man Gary Louris wrote with other artists, (full review here), comes this gem co-written with Jakob Dylan.


I love the extended musical introduction, starting with the mandolin, building with the bass and piano.It sets a lovely relaxed groove that hints at the sadness to come.
Louris and drummer Tim O'Reagan blend their voices beauti…

Songs To Die To - Part 4

Continuing a series about songs death and dying. These are not necessarily songs that talk about the process of dying, rather as the title suggests, songs that I could imagine listening to on my death bed, or taking as consolation during or after a funeral. 

Morbid? I think not, as death is part of life. If we all talked about it a little more, maybe we'd cope with it better.

No 1: featuring "Land Of Hope & Dreams" by Bruce Springsteen here

No 2: featuring "Look On Down From The Bridge" by Mazzy Star here

No3: featuring "Gonna Be A Darkness" by The Jayhawks here

With that said here's my next choice.

No 4: Everything Flows - Teenage Fanclub

This song is here less for it's explicit subject matter rather than the way it makes me feel.
Certainly the lyrics, "I'll never know which way to flow, set a course that I don't know" talk about journeying, searching and convey an ambiguity that could apply to a passage beyond this life.

This so…

Teenage Fanclub - at Kelvingrove Summer Nights Live Review

For my fifteenth time seeings Bellshill's finest live, a different venue. The restored Victorian bandstand in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. Given that any outdoor event in the West of Scotland is at risk of rain, it was unsurprising that the heavens opened as the support act, (one Nile Marr, son of Johnny, who was pretty good) and it was proper rods bouncing off the floor. Fortunately it dried up for when the Fannies took to the stage. Starting off with "I Can't Find My Home" from "Howdy!" before a welcome deep cut in early single "God Knows It's True", it was quite sedate for the first seven songs, the crowd all being pretty wet no doubt contributing to that. However once they launched into "Alcoholiday" the crowd surged forward and from then until the end it was business as usual for Teenage Fanclub in Glasgow; that being bouncing. We got a few new songs including the pretty decent new single "Everything Is Falling Apart", but…

Best Of A Bad Bunch - "Under The God"

It is pretty rare for an artist to have a sustained career without at least one barren period with a lack of commercial success, critical or fan acclaim. Some may only have one golden moment, and then struggle to hit the heights ever again. That doesn't mean that all they produce in those "lost" years is without merit.

Go here for part one featuring Neil Young.

I'm going to look at some of my favourite songs from these lesser known or ill regarded periods, continuing with a man who has had more than one period of both acclaimed and berated music, David Bowie.

Bowie had one of the greatest, in my opinion, runs of combined commercial and critical success from "Hunky Dory" in 1971 to "Let's Dance" in 1983. I'd accept the argument that you could include "The Man Who Sold The World"  at the start of the list, but for me it is with Hunky Dory that Bowie's golden run started. In that run, only stop gap covers collection, "Pin Ups&…