Friday, 17 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Hi guys, this will be my last blog post of the year......well I only started this blog a couple of months ago but yeah last post of 2010. 2010 has just been an awesome year for music; lots of new and up coming bands I have listened to, bought lots of great albums and the gigs have been amazing. I'm sure I will see a lot more in 2011 from bands I now know about from this year; new EPs/albums and more live shows. I also know what new material from bands I have loved for a long time to look forward to as well; new albums from Nightwish, Within Temptation and Black Stone Cherry, gigs from Sonata Arctica (hopefully), Black Label Society and hopefully many more.

Thanks so much for reading my blog; I also would love thank the boys from bands In Darklight, Requiem For The Dead, More Than Conquerors and Jenna's Revenge for posting my reviews on their newsletter/website/Facebook page etc.

I'll leave you with some of what I think the best Christmas songs EVER!!!!! Merry Christmas from Tuomaslotte and see you again in 2011 with more reviews of fantastic music.












Thursday, 16 December 2010

Grinspoon - Alibis and Other Lies

I originally wasn't going to review this album but from the beginning it just had me hooked so I had to write about it. First off opening tracks Black Tattoo and Choir Boy were just fantastic; great rhythm, catchy melodies and cleverly written lyrics. The song Choir Boy reflects on how a lot of musicians start out either in a choir or an orchestra and this song says a lot on how they're expected to sing songs of Jesus, religious things etc but then rebel. I love those stories in songs. As well as fast paced energetic tracks that keep you awake first thing in the morning before you go to work there were the nice acoustic songs such as Minute By Minute and Leave It, bring a much more tranquil vibe to the album. I also admired how closing track Find Your Own Way had a sort of outback theme going on with the western style beat, harmonicas and ear friendly happy chords. This works since this band are from Australia. I'll be seeing these guys at The Wedgewood Rooms next year so looking forward to that; by then I will have all their songs to listen to on the day of the gig. What I like to do on the night of a gig; have the band/s I'm seeing playing non stop on my iPod whenever I can that way the songs are fresh in my mind.

Stand Out Tracks:  Choir Boy, What You Get and Leave It

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Orias

This post is about Swedish Orchestral metal heads Orias, I had heard their song Out In The Wilderness that won first place in a competition taking place on Tuomas Holopainen's official website. I decided to listen to this composition, there was definately a haunting vibe and it definately reminded me of the dramatic side of nature. I love those songs that were influenced by nature, being a lover of the great outdoors myself. Northern Europe has a lot of it. Right now listening to heartfelt Last Tear via MySpace showing these guys are very versatile with their music and I've only heard two songs by them; I'm very much hoping they release an EP and make a trip to the UK.

For fans of:  Nightwish and Tarot

Click here for more info about the band

Tuomaslotte's Best Live Shows of 2010

This year I saw quite a lot of local gigs which is nice since you're not spending so much money for an big arena gig and trying to get to the venue somewhere that seems like a distant land to you. Here they are in chronological order :D

Lostprohets @ Southampton Guildhall 26/2/2010 - I have been a fan of Lostprophets since Liberation Transmission so I was estatic when I heard they will be coming to Southampton Guildhall to do a live show; even though me and my cousin were seated we still had an awesome time listening to the music. When favourites such as It's Not The End Of The World, Burn Burn and Town Called Hypocrisy we were singing a long like mad. I was suprised but mega chuffed that they performed my ever favourite Lostprophets song Can't Catch Tomorrow. I've just found that one of the support acts were Kids In Glass Houses; after seeing a fantastic live set from them I hope to hear more from them. Hope to see Lostprophets again real soon.

HIM and Dommin @ Bournemouth O2 Academy 18/3/10 - I will say now I am a massive fan of the goth rock scene; dark lyrics with haunting melodies that send shivers down your spine I just love it. Anyways I went to this gig by myself but when I entered the venue I completely forgot about that since I loved warm welcoming vibe the O2 Academy brought; I went to buy some merchandise first before finding the best possible spot to see the bands. Once I did the lights went down for the first band Dommin were due to play first; I had only heard a few songs by Dommin that I really loved so I was looking forward to their set. The smoke made their entrance mysterious, which say a lot about the band, soon the drums were heard; the opening song New was about to play. This entrance was definately one of the best I had seen; they then played one favourite song after another. My Heart Your Hands, Tonight and personal favourite Dark Holiday all performed beautifully. Their closing number I Just Died (In Your Arms Tonight) was just fantastic; the whole crowd were singing along. Waiting for HIM patiently my excitement was gradually buiding up; those particular moments where you are waiting for a band you love to come on stage just make you realise how much you actually love the band. Suddenly the last went to down; my excitement was almost ready to be released. A love song from the 50s played which at the end of HIM appeared and the first few bars of Like St Valentine were heard. From that I knew HIM were well underway. It was truly a wonderful wonderful set; they played classics such as Kiss Of Dawn, Wings Of A Butterfly and Funeral of Hearts along with new album ones such as Heartkiller, Scared To Death and Love The Hardest Way. It was during HIM's set I had met the band Dommin which was amazing; they were so lovely and down to earth. This was definately a magical concert with two brilliant bands.

The Bon Jovi Experience @ The Brooke; Southampton 14/8/10 - This was a couple of months after I had seen Bon Jovi at The O2 Arena. I thought this was a great way to spend a night out with the girls; a lively warm venue, a bar and a band playing tribute to world wide superstars who still rule the earth today with anthemic hits since It's My Life, You Give Love A Bad Name, Bed Of Roses and the show stopper Livin On A Prayer. The lights went down and the girls started to scream, it was as if Bon Jovi were appearing on stage since the frontman looked so much like Jon Bon Jovi. One anthemic hit after another this night will definately be one I will never ever forget.

New Device @ The Edge Of The Wedge; Portsmouth 15/9/10 - One of my bands of 2010 and hope to see more of in the new year; this gig was my second time seeing them after an outstanding set at The Soul Cellar in Southampton. Wondering down a lonely street trying to find this intimate cosy venue was definately worth it; it was this night where I watched and listened to the south's best up an coming bands. With the likes of MG & The Juggernaughts jumpy, bouncy guitar solos, Toxic Shock's sucessful debut, The Light Divided's melodic, heartfelt tunes and New Device's energetic performance were all enough to make this gig one of Tuomaslotte's best live shows of 2010.



In Darklight @ The Hobbit; Southampton 8/10/10 - Another one of my bands of 2010; seeing them at the same Soul Cellar gig as New Device and loving what they had to offer I went to any gig I could get to. This one will always stick out in my mind as being one of the best with their fresh indie boy look and sound. I loved this enjoyable set of alternative, experimental rock songs that you can just hum to and it's amazing these guys also took a few minutes to sign the album I had bought along. Along with other bands from their record label Angry Badger they are one of the south's best up and coming bands; I think this gives them a great start for 2011. 

Dear Superstar @ The Joiners; Southampton 10/12/10 - I wrote a review about this recently; I meant it when I said this was the best gig of 2010 for me. Everything about this gig was just amazing; the lively warm atmosphere, each band performed a distinguished performance and a lot of pleasant people. It was also at this gig where I saw a sight that will definately make history of fans ways to get the attention of bands; the ultimate mosh pyramid, a human pyramid made up of those crazy rockers who moshed to Jenna's Revenge.

Jenna's Revenge - Top Hotel

I bought this CD at Dear Superstar's gig at The Joiners; it happened to be the CD lauch band of Porstmouth rockers Jenna's Revenge so I bought their new one Top Hotel. Opening track June '79 was very very intriguing; it opened with some sort of orchestral intrumental, meaning when the heavy distorted guitars kicked in it did catch me off guard. The wide variety of different styles in their music also kept my ears pricked; you had very jumpy Van Halen/Led Zeppelin like songs such as Take Your Chances and Mentally Hilarious, you also had the more bluesy and softer tracks such as Hold Together and Lego Man. I must say I was incredibly touched by the song Lego Man; I loved how this ballad was about love but not between a boy and girl but between a child and his toy it nearly made me cry. The piano and vocal part also was a beautiful touch. 

Whether it was a distorted energetic song or a heartfelt ballad the album has every single element of old skool metal. The catchy guitar riffs, spine chillingly great vocals and Led Zepplin like guitar solos; can definately see these guys at the O2 arena in a few years time.

Stand out Tracks:  June '79, Glad You Came and Lego Man

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Tuomaslotte's bands of 2010

Here's a post dedicated to the bands that have become my favourites this year, in no particular order here they are:

New Device:  This year a friend told me these guys were to support Bon Jovi at the O2 so she sent me their video for the song Takin Over, which I loved. I decided to download the album from Amazon; I had seen reviews about these guys saying they sounded like Guns 'N' Roses, Van Halen etc and I thought 'Wow great influences there'. The album was so so good, unfortunately I missed them at The O2 but I got to see them twice this year locally in Southampton and Portsmouth. They put on a fantastic live performance, lots of energy and passion behind it; also they are possibly one of the nicest bunch of guys you could ever meet. Looking forward to the new album guys. 

Jettblack:  I was in my looking for new bands to listen to mode and came across these guys. I think it was via the video for Two Hot Girls; it made me feel awesome, the song is energetic, sexy.....basically so darn good. This song is on their debut album Get Your Hands Dirty; which is one of my albums of 2010. Their live performance at The Joiners was just incredible; most of the songs sounded amazing live, most of their stage moves reminded me a lot of a stadium rock band and finishing with Dangerzone was definately a great suprise. They are also a lovely bunch when I met them at the bar afterwards.


Poets Of The Fall:  My friend Charlotte (a.k.a Marcolotte) sent me the song Lift by this band via Facebook; liked it so so much that I downloaded the song. I listen to this song at least a few times every day; I downloaded the rest of the album which was also incredible. Marko's voice is truly wonderful, his voice emphasises with the emotions in the songs very well. My favourites by this band are Dreaming Wide Awake, Lift, Illusion and Dream and Carnival Of Rust. Carnival Of Rust particularly since it has influenced me greatly with the story I am writing for part of my course at university. The video is very surreal and powerful like a lot of their other videos.
 


In Darklight:  I first saw these guys at The Soul Cellar with New Device; they were the first band to play and was entirely impressed. So impressed that I immediately signed their mailing list after the show and pre-ordered their debut album; loved the album as I've mentioned in previous posts. Also sparking up a great friendship with these guys too; we've kept in touch and I have been to more of their shows ever since. I have seen them four times in the past few months (no I don't want a medal :P) Hope to see more of them next year and looking forward to the new EP.

Heaven's Basement:  I decided to give Can't Let You Go a listen, which I loved a lot so I downloaded the rest of their EP. The songs that stood out for me were Fear Of Getting Off, Executioner's Day and Graduation; these particular songs were incredibly catchy. Bit like 80s metal songs you hear a lot. Unfortunately missed these guys at The Joiners due to the fact I found these guys way after that hopefully they'll do a UK tour next year.

Dommin:  If I'm right Dommin were the first of my 2010 findings back in late January early February and have been a favourite of 2010 ever since. I started to look for this band's music when I heard they were to support HIM on their UK tour; the first thing I do when I find out the support band. It's straight to YouTube, type the name of the band in the 'Search' box and you click on the first link. This particular first link lead me to My Heart Your Hands; the first enticingly haunting song I listened to by this band. With that in mind I found more and more of their songs, all of which I really loved. They put on such a spell bindingly brilliant live performance too, in my opinion they were a bit better than HIM but I'm glad I walked out of Bournemouth O2 Academy a Dommin fan that night. I also had the opportunity to meet them too; they didn't mind me coming over more than once. All such lovely guys; hope to see them in the new year.

Uniklubi:  Another band from Finland that have stood out to me this year, they sing in their native lannguage that does not stop me listening to them. I love the melodies these guys produce; they are very very versatile whether it'd be a mellow acoustic track such as Kukka or a hauntingly heavy track such as Huomenna. Finland's metal heads are also well known for being incredibly gourgeous; in my eyes anyway but of course it's not about the appearances it's about the beautiful music they write.


We Are The Fallen:  I am always interested when there is a female fronted metal band on the scene, I can't stress how big my respect is for female musicians. Considering the music industry particularly rock is usually male dominated so it's brilliant to see female faces in the picture. Anyways this band popped up on Dommin radio on Last.FM and loved the song that played; I think it was called St John, immediately downloaded the album from iTunes. Carly Smitheson's voice has more beauty than a priceless diamond sitting on a velvet cushion behind glass in a jewellery shop, it complements well with the heavy distorted guitars and in the softer tracks an elegant piano. Hope they travel across the pond to the UK sometime.

Dear Superstar:  I saw that these guys were to play a gig at The Joiners so I listened to Brothers In Blood; to be honest I didn't really like it at first but after hearing the track a few times it grew on me. Heartless is a great album; Brink Of Destruction, Signposts to Bedpost and Live, Love Lie were few of many tracks that I loved on that album. Like Heaven's Basement and New Device these guys were influenced by 80s rock giants and I could hear the same kind of melodic guitar riffs and easy on the ears vocals. Their energetic live performance will also be something that will stick out in my mind definately and lovely lovely guys. Hope to see them in the new year and look forward to the new album.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Dear Superstar @ The Joiners; Southampton 10/12/10

It was suprising really; on my way to The Joiners Radio 2 was playing in the car. It was a jungle themed hour so there were songs from The Jungle Book and others about hippos and crocodiles yet after to listening to it I still felt in the mood to rock. I has also finished Santa's helper duty so I was feeling particularly estatic about this particular gig since two of my favourites were to be there.....Dear Superstar and Jettblack.

I arrived at The Joiners when I heard the first band Ancient Shamans playing so I went through to the stage area. I could tell a lot of their songs had Native American influences behind it and to put that with AC/DC like guitar riffs and Black Stone Cherry style vocals is just incredible; titles such as Wild Horses and intrumentals that reminded me of the film Pocohontas. Vocalist/Bassist Sam Ashton could easily be the next Micheal Balzary a.k.a Flea from the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers with his killer bass playing skills. Overall great set and truly energetic performance.

Ancient Shamans homepage

Now I had only heard one sample on MySpace by Jenna's Revenge and liked it; so I was intrigued what they had to offer. Jumpy, fun and melodic guitar riffs were only just the beginning to this band's remarkable set once vocalist Sic was heard the set was complete. His passion and energy reminded me very much of Jack Black; he even sounded like Jack Black as he sang. At this point the crazy rockers started the mosh pit, which I got caught in....well joined in with. It happened to be Jenna's Revenge CD Launch tonight as well which was more than perfect; as you can guess I bought their new CD that you will see a post about soon. Oh one more thing I must mention is that during the last few minutes of this performance a pyramid of moshers was made; this was definately an epic sighting in my rock gig encounters and hopefully will see again.


Jettblack were the band I was looking forward to seeing the most that night; excitedly waiting whilst they performed sound checks, I don't think being hyper from drinking a pint of Diet Coke calmed me down either. Once the sound checks had been done and they were in starting performance position the chants started; 'JETTBLACK! JETTBLACK! JETTBLACK' was heard throughout The Joiners particularly from the crazy moshers. After successfully opening with Slip It On Jettblack were well under way. I bought their album back in October so I was looking forward to most of the songs being performed; the anthems Two Hot Girls and Get Your Hands Dirty were performed to the utmost perfection and Not Even Love bought a tamer tone to the evening. Closing the set with a cover of 80s anthem Dangerzone which was requested by the fans was just fantastic. They definately brought a stadium like vibe to a small music venue and meeting them afterwards was just an awesome experience; they were more than happy to sign a picture,be in a photo with me and just generally chatting. I shall definately be hoping to see them live again in the new year.


I hadn't heard much from Manchester hard rockers Dear Superstar until only recently. I was at the bar when they were performing soundchecks and talking to two lovely girls I had met during Jettblack's set. I heard the first chord Dear Superstar's opening song and rushed in; the music area wasn't full of many people as Jettblack but in some ways that was a good thing. Straight to the front to get the best possible photos, not feeling claustrophobic and interaction with lead vocalist Mickey Satiar (who I had met at the bar earlier....lovely lovely man). Watching him on stage he definately owned it with his energetic prescence and charisma; it was also so wonderful to know that a song means that much to the artist when they performed the ever epic Live Love Lie. I thought sounded better live than on the CD; they also performed a lot of new ones from their upcoming album, which will be released next year. Anthems of the night Brink Of Destruction and Brothers In Blood were definately performed very very well too, got the crowd energetically showing appreciation by singing along and jumping to the music. Overall Dear Superstar definately pulled off a rather outstanding set; a lot better than I thought they would be. I met the rest of Dear Superstar afterwards; Amadeus (WHAT AN AWESOME NAME), Benj and Stew, wonderful guys who I had a photo with. I didn't care that they were sweaty....I love sweaty rockers :P. Unfortunately didn't get to meet Adam but hopefully next time. Look forward to seeing you in 2011 guys and can't wait for the new album.


This night reminded me why The Joiners is my favourite music venue in Southampton; all the bands that night created a lively, energetic atmosphere with lots of love and it's one of few venues I've been to where every band gets the crowd moving. It certainly happened last night and in all honesty this was definately the best gig of 2010. This is the first post I have added photos to.




























Thursday, 9 December 2010

Tuomaslotte's Best Music Videos of 2010

This post is dedicated to the best music videos of 2010;

Dommin - My Heart Your Hands:  This song is haunting and beautiful; the theme in this song matches the video very well. The symbolism of a girl pulling a red scarf out of where his heart should is very very strong and one of the highlights of the video; the manakins coming to life was also very effective, I think the manakins could be symbolising ex lovers or women who have had their hearts broken. I loved the gothic mansion setting for the video I thought it was the right place to suit the song.

HIM - Scared To Death:  My favourite song on HIM's 2010 album Screamworks:  Love In Theory and Practise; when they were to release a video promoting this song I was very excited. The white paper triangles were so so beautiful; it may have been showing purity in the video; I like the way the video is shot too. I studied Moving Image for two years so I was taught how to make a film and all the camera angles so I loved the interesting angles the video uses to keep the viewer watching.

Tarja - I Feel Immortal:  I must say I'm not a massive fan of Tarja's solo stuff, she does have a beautiful voice and respect her greatly but there's some of her songs that sound a bit bland and mundane. This video however matches this song perfectly. I love the seaside setting; a seemingly tranquil environment used to explore a topic we all hate going though....aging. The boy grows into an elderly man whilst singer Tarja stays the same age throughout; hence the title I Feel Immortal.

Kukka - Uniklubi:  Like Tarja's I Feel Immortal this video also explores aging but this time it's the band that ages. A young couple are tied together whilst the band play in front of them; while this is going on an hour glass's sands are running. This could indicate to how fast the band are aging whilst the young couple don't age at all; it's almost as if there are two different worlds in one room and I think that's what made the video.

Poets Of The Fall - Lift:  I feel this video is about 'outsiders' not being understood. Lead vocalist Marco is a prison convict in this video who realeases a moth from his grasp before being interrogated by the police investigators. He tries to explain something to them but they don't seem to understand; at the end of the video the nasty women ticks two boxes on the sheet one saying 'Illusionist' and another saying 'Dreamer'. Reading the comments for this video on YouTube the moth could represent them as an independent rock band being free to do as they please; the moths pinned to picture frames in the attick where the band are performing could represent bands signing to big major record companies suggesting their record companies own them like these moths pinned to the wall.

Poets Of The Fall - Carnival Of Rust:  This has become one of my absoulute favourite music videos this year; it's very Tim Burtonesque and surreal but it has such a powerful message. Vocalist Marco is a broken down clown doll in this video that a girl in a gas mask brought to life by putting coins in the machiene. It takes place at a very weird carnival with fire eaters, magic act and a ring toss game; by the end of the video the girl leaves the clown which upsets him. The most powerful part of the video is where the girl is walking away from this clown after winning a prize on a game; he sings 'Don't Walk Away' as she leaves him in despair. Wow making me cry just thinking about it.

Kristalida

I was also sent a MySpace friend request by Florida female fronted fusion metal band Kristalida; there's only samples but I can hear a bit of influence from other female fronted bands such as Leaves' Eyes, Tristania and After Forever. Great sounding band overall; hope to hear an album soon.

For fans of Tristania and After Forever

Triaxis

Cardiff female fronted metalheads Triaxis sent me a MySpace friend request today; I accepted of course. I listened to the first song Gates Of Damnation and immediately picked up Lacuna Coil/Megadeath type vibe from it which I like very much. They sound like Canadian metallers Kobra and the Lotus who I like as well; in a time where heavy metal bands come and go like buses since there is simply no room for them in the charts these days hopefully Triaxis will keep the UK metal ship sailing on the music sea.

For fans of Lacuna Coil, Doro and Kobra and the Lotus

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Stone Sour - Audio Secracy

Here the second one of the albums I would like to review; this one is different sounding to Jimmy Eat World being that this is Corey Taylor's other band, as most of us know he also fronts the band Slipknot both under the same awesome record label Roadrunner Records.

Anyway the piano intro was such a great way to build a spooky atmosphere to such the dark song Mission Statement; this song had a great chorus and bridge. Songs Hesitate and Dying showed a much softer side to the band; with mellow acoustic guitars and soft vocals. Miracles reminded me very much of their previous song Bother, which I loved a lot. Stone Sour never fail to impress with it's insane guitar solos and Slipknot like grunts. Overall a very deep heavy album with a lot of meaning.

Stand out tracks:  Audio Secracy, Mission Statement and Hesitate

Jimmy Eat World - Invented

Now I know I said I wouldn't review any more albums this year after I'd reveal my top 10 albums but I feel the two albums I have listened to really deserve recognition. This is the first out of the two.

Invented gets off to possibly the best start by combing the acoustic Heart Is Hard To Find with the heavier The Best Theory as the two opening tracks on the album. A lot of the songs on the album such as Higher Devotion had a Green Day/Red Hot Chili Peppers sound to it; meaning the vocals were very Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day and the guitar solo I got a hint Red Hot Chilis guitarist John Frusciante. Since I have a huge amount of respect for these bands these sounds earn the album brownie points. The start of Coffee and Cigarettes reminded me of an In Darklight song, I liked the rhythm and how the male and female vocals harmonise so beautifully. Although at some points of the album I felt some of the heavier songs sounded the same.

Overall a great album with so remarkable acoustic tracks.

Stand out tracks:  Heart Is Hard To Find, The Best Theory and An Action Needs An Audience

Friday, 3 December 2010

Tuomaslotte's top 10 Albums for 2010

I have decided to start an annual top ten chart for all the albums that make my year. For this post I am starting with the top ten albums that have been my personal highlights of 2010, so here they are in reverse order:


I really love this is album, it had me listening from beginning to end. I loved the unique approach to music and Skin does really have the most fantastic voice. The songs are also very cleverly written and it also has a Blondie/Paramore vibe about it. If you're a fan of dance indy and punk rock then this is the album for you.


For fans of:  Blondie and Paramore
Stand out tracks:  You Saved Me, It Doesn't Matter and Would You? 


This album right here became known as the start of a great friendship I now have with this band. To be completely honest the kind of rock on this album wouldn't have originally been my first choice. When I listened to it in fact it was very different to what I was expecting, I really liked the opening track What's Happening? (now my favourite). I also liked the cool sci fi like sounds these guys used, I hadn't heard it anywhere else before so it was nice to hear a new sound. Can't wait for the new EP boys.


 
For fans of:  Idlewild and Jimmy Eat World
Stand out tracks: What's Happening?, Leave Me Here and In Control (Of Not Being In Control)


This particular band are a perfect example of why you should not judge bands by their appearance. When I saw Grog the lead vocalist for the first time I was intrigued by her myterious Japanese anime goth look and thought the genre would be some heavy screamo that would be hard on the ears...not that I would have minded that. I was wrong of course; the music was very melodic and the vamperic like vocals from Grog added the mystery behind the album. Of course she is the bass player too; she was phenomenal at that and thanks to this album she is one of my favourite musicians now.


 
For fans of:  The Birthday Massacre and I Am Ghost
Stand out tracks:  Mercury, Hearts Are Too Hollow and If Wishes Were Bullets

7) Paramore - Brand New Eyes

Originally not being the biggest fan of Paramore, I had only heard songs such as Misery Business and CrushCrushCrush that I liked very much. Some of my friends really love this album so I decided to give it listen. It was certainly a great cure for travel sickness on the way to Gloucester. The first song Careful being particularly spectacular and my personal favourite track on the album; I listen to that song at least five times a day :P. With Haley William's beautiful voice enticing me every step of the way; her voice works on any track whether it being a nice heartfelt slow track such as The Only Exception and Misguided Ghosts or a very energetic track such as Ignorance. Overall a truly amazing album, although it's official release was last year this album was a highlight this year.


For fans of:  Fall Out Boy and No Doubt 
Stand out tracks:  Careful, Playing With God and The Only Exception


I had only discovered these guys this year at a recent gig at The Joiners this year and thought they were phenomenal so I purchased this album. If Kurt Cobain with grunge pioneers, Nirvana, had listened to this I'd say he'd be proud; this album proves that grunge rock, an epic genre (possibly one of the best) still walks this earth. If you like Lostprophets and Nirvana then this album is really for you as lead vocalist does sound a bit like Ian Watkins in some of these songs.


For fans of:  Lostprophets, Nirvana and Foo Fighters
Stand out tracks:  Long Distance, Strength In Numbers and This Body Is In Danger


This was one of few female fronted rock bands that caught my eye this year and it's thanks to this album. Carly Smitheson's enticingly beautiful vocals, brilliant guitar solos and haunting melodies really make up this album; the poetically written songs also have the power to touch feelings and empathise with people. The use of orchestral instruments also earn it Brownie points.

For fans of:  Evanescence and Lacuna Coil
Stand out tracks:  Sleep Well My Angel, Without You and St John


Engery, sexy male vocals from Jon Dow and Will Stapleton singing some the most epic tunes of all time are the secret ingriedents that make Get Your Hands Dirty so awesome. Usually I have to listen to an album more than once to get into it but I knew I loved this band at the first listen. Reasons why I like this album is because most of the songs make girls feel great about themselves; particularly heartfelt War Between Us, the acoustic version of this song is beautiful. I will be seeing these guys live in less then a few weeks, I am looking forward to it very muchly since most of these will sound great live.

For fans of:  Dear Superstar and New Device
Stand out tracks:  Get Your Hands Dirty, Chasing Love and Two Hot Girls


It's quite hard to choose a top three when you have so many favourites you want to put here but this album here is definately top three material. Like Brand New Eyes this album's official release was last year, however I found it this year and has been a great album find in 2010. Being that they were to be supporting Bon Jovi this year I decided to download this album off Amazon. I decided to listen to it on the bus to town after I had finished my last A Level exam so I was feeling pretty chuffed anyway. This album boosted my good mood; Make My Day was the perfect way to open the album with its catchy guitar riffs, clear crisp vocals from Mr Daniel Leigh and the band's positive, energetic approach to music. Can definately listen to this album from beginning to end and have the biggest grin on my face; even the heartfelt love ballad In The Fading Light has the power to put a smile on my face.


For fans of:  Guns 'N' Roses and Van Halen
Stand out tracks:  Make My Day, You've Got It Coming and On Fire

2) Dommin - Love Is Gone 

I'd be lying if I said this album wasn't a highlight of 2010, Los Angeles goth rockers Dommin win 2nd place of my top albums this year. Dark haunting melodies that just send shivers down your spine and powerful, unique vocal work from Kristopher Dommin are what make this album truly remarkable. Whenever I play this album it's like I'm put under a magic spell that puts me in a trance that makes me forget reality.



For fans of:  HIM and Lacuna Coil
Stand Out Tracks:  My Heart Your Hands, Dark Holiday and New 

1) Indica - A Way Away

It was incredibly hard to pick a number one album for this year, I chose this one for a number of reasons. I had heard about Finnish five piece pop/rock girl group Indica via Nightwish when I heard Erämaan Viimeinen that featured Indica's charismatic, fairy like vocalist Jonsu. This lead me to songs such as Ikuinen Virta and Vuorien Taa, from then on Indica became one of my favourite bands. When I heard they were going to be re-recording some of those songs in English I was very excited so I immediately preordered this album. Kicking off with the ever mysterious Islands Of Light (orignally Vuorien Taa) this was a wonderful to start the magical journey this album takes you on. Beautiful poetical lyrics, musical arrangements that make you feel like part of a film and me as a listener can just use your imagination to visualise what could be going on. Some of these songs sounded better in English; Scissor Paper Rock (orignally Ikuinen Virta) had a more rocky vibe to it and In Passing (originally Valoissa) had so much more mystery behind it. This album is one of so many reasons why Finland has had such an outstanding reputation for music.

 
For fans of:  Nightwish, Finnish Music
Stand Out Tracks:  In Passing, Islands Of Light and Scissor Paper Rock


Thursday, 2 December 2010

So much snow

Hey guys, listen I know it's been a while since I posted last. I've been working on two posts that display Top 10 albums and gigs of 2010; which is why I haven't reviewed anything for now. Also I have the most awful cold at the moment so haven't been feeling like my usual exciteable self but I will have these 'Top 10' posts finished this month.

Enough about me, aren't you just loving all the snow. I'm looking out of the window and it looks like something you'd see on a Christmas card.....it's so so beautiful. I may go later on to see my ickle baby cousin later, make the most of it :) It's not often we get snow here in the UK. 

Oh and by the way, this blog has a Facebook page now for gig photos and I've just decided to post 'Tuomaslotte's song of the week' starting tomorrow :)

Join on Facebook

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Lordi - Babez For Breakfast

I love Lordi so I was looking forward to listening to it but I was a little bit dissapointed this time. I thought most of the songs sounded the same with the same chord sequence and rhythm, this wasn't their best album for me. I still prefer Monster Show to this one, but there were some of the songs that made it not so bad. Rock Police was a very hard rock 80s sounding track with a keyboard solo rather than a guitar solo which I thought was awesome. Call Off The Wedding showed a side of Lordi I had never ever seen before so that was a great suprise for me too; they have never had any kind of ballad on their albums before. I like the anarchy behind Give Your Life for Rock and Roll, apparently Lordi are all Christian and them being in a rock band maybe considered a sin but they don't give a damn. I like that. Overall verdict, not their best album but then again not the worst album in the world.

Stand out tracks:  Call Off The Wedding, This Is Heavy Metal and Give Your Life for Rock and Roll

KT Tunstall - Tiger Suit

I had listened to Eye To The Telescope very breifly and quite liked it but this singer wouldn't have been my first choice. So far albums I have reviewed on here I have listened to in the morning have given me an energy boost but this album was different. I loved KT Tunstall's laid back approach to this album; it was very different to Eye To The Telescope. The tracks that stood out to me had an exotic tribe vibe behind them particularly personal favourites Come On Get It and Fade Like A Shadow that were very upbeat. The songs Lost and (Still A) Weirdo reminded me of something from The Lion King which I really really liked, it was just a tranquil relaxing easy listening album. I would definately listen to it again if I just need to chill out.

Stand Out Tracks:  Madame Trudeaux, Fade Like A Shadow and Come On, Get It

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Skunk Anansie - Wonderlustre

I listened to this album as I did my morning errands before heading off to univeristy today. The first thing that caught my attention was Skin's bluesy sounding vocal work; it was like nothing I had heard before and that was one of the main highlights of this album. Songs It Doesn't Matter and You're Too Expensive were very intriguing to me; the vocals sounded very much like Blondie whilst the riffs reminded me very much of Paramore, particularly You're Too Expensive which sound a bit like Misery Business. You Saved Me, the ballad of the album, was very beautifully written; it also had quite an impact on me too, it was quite sad sounding and I could empathise with what was being said....it made me cry. There was also a few tracks that had an indie dance feel too, I found that with Feeling The Itch; I was dancing in my seat on the train to this :P

Apart from the odd track I may grow to like eventually, this was I thought a truly unique album. We had punk rock and a bit of indie dance, I have not heard a band that can experiment with two types of music in one album before....so they earn my respect :D

I also want to say thanks to musician and good friend Lou for recommending this album :)

Stand out tracks:  You Saved Me, It Doesn't Matter and Would You?

Monday, 22 November 2010

Tygerrs Lair

Last night I had posted a message on the Biz Zar Radio Facebook page to say to bands if they want to be mentioned on this blog let me know. So I got a reply from Tygerr Recchia-Nash saying to listen her band Tygerrs Lair, which she provides the lead vocals for, from there I decided to download some sample songs from their Reverbnation page to listen to on the way to university. When I heard the first growl in the song Repent I was personally hoping it wasn't going to be like that for the whole song; I like a bit of growling in music but not when it's all they do throughout but when I heard Tygerr's vocals I breathed a little sigh of relief :P I love how female vocals compliment against the death growls and in this song it worked very well. My personal song out of the three I downloaded was I, Immortal; I loved the dark lyrics in the song and there was some very powerful vocal work.

I am looking forward to hearing more from these guys, it would be awesome :)

For fans of:  Bullet For My Valentine and Eyes Set To Kill

Black Label Society - Order Of The Black

I wanted to know what these guys sounded like since they'll be playing at Southampton Guildhall in February and they are from Roadrunner Records; there are some great rock bands under that label such as Black Stone Cherry, Slipknot!, Within Temptation and my personal favourites Nickelback.

The opening tracks Crazy Horse and Overlord were a great way to open this album with it's dirty grungy guitar riffs and Zakk Wylde's old school heavy metal vocal work, these songs had an Iron Madien/Rob Zombie vibe about them that I liked. The ballads of this album were very poweful too, particularly Shallow Grave where they used more piano and less guitar; sometimes it's nice to hear rock bands use acoustic instruments for their songs, it's a great thing when you want to just relax. Speaking of acoustic January and Chupacabra suprised me a great deal, particularly Chupacabra since the whole album up until then had been quite heavy with electric guitars and drums it then turns into Spanish Flamenco guitars playing. I love Spanish guitar music so this was a very nice suprise. January bought a tear to my eye with it's heartfelt lyrics and soft acoustic guitar, making it my personal favourite on the album.

After hearing this album I will be listening to their older songs to see if there is a difference in the sound.

Stand Out Tracks:  January, Overlord and God Speed Hellbound

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Angry Badger Records is Universally Challenged 20/11/10

I was very much looking forward to this event; my main intention was to see In Darklight, who I had seen before and have become really good friends with. Southampton based Indie Rock record company, Angry Badger Records, has bred some fresh up coming rock bands from the south such as Timshel and Kodiak Jack. This event took place at the student union bar at my university so it was in a familiar envrionment where I didn't feel claustrophobic and a generally intimate, friendly atomosphere made me feel at home.

First up were In Darklight, who never fail to impress me with kick ass riffs and indie boy vocals did me proud once again. Starting the set off with songs I assume may be on the new upcoming EP, I could wrong in that department, one of which I had in my head all week; it reminds me of one my favourite songs by punk rockers Cobra Starship. They also earn Brownie points for performing my personal favourite off their debut album What's Happening? Speaking of personal favourites, I found a new one last night in the form of the song Break. I just love how bouncy the melody is and the lyrics are cleverly written.


Lost Morals were next to play, I recognised lead vocalist Jono Powell from the New Device gig at The Soul Cellar. I remember it was just him on his own since his band were called in at the last minute but he mangaged to pull it off by himself. Anyways last night it was great seeing him with his band Lost Morals, some of the songs I could have sworn I have heard on the radio before. Songs Get Down and She's A Policeman may have been my favourites, I really loved the poetical metaphor of She's A Policeman; a clever way to write about nosy exes :D In Darklight brothers Ben and Lou Sellers mentioned that they sounded like The Jam and Jono had Paul Wellar look about him; I immediately agreed, I could hear Paul Wellar's voice. I bought their EP afterwards, expect to see a post about it soon.


Pompey rockers Moody Tuesday were the next of Angry Badgers finest to play, they very much reminded me of The Who. One of their opening songs made me think of Pinball Wizard, one of my personal favourite songs ever so I was feeling quite excited. I had recieved invites to see them play in local places, which I may attend after seeing an enjoyable set from them last night. There was also a hint of classic rock and roll with a hint of modern day indie, a bit like The Who mixing with Radiohead. There will be an album release as well which you will see me buy :)

http://www.myspace.com/moodytuesdayhttp://www.myspace.com/moodytuesday

The last to play were The Rising, unfortunately I could only catch one song by this band since I had to catch the last train home so I couldn't stay for the whole set. I saw on their page they have an Oasis like sound and I found that description to be accurate after hearing the song on Cloud Nine, but I'll have a better insight of their music once I hear their EP.


http://www.myspace.com/therisingbanduk

Despite a few techinal problems with the sounds, the bands all played very very well and showed Angry Badger records has great new talent to offer. I must confess I used my own noggin to write this today, without notes. Last night I made the vital mistake a journalist should never make; leaving my Blackberry which I use to take notes about gigs and albums....well it's better then carry a big chunky notebook and it's more convient. Luckily I have quite a good memory :) 







 jhyg

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Hoosiers - The Illusions of Safety

I chose to review this album for our uni radio, for which I'm part of the music team. I decided to listen to it today and I was suprised; usually The Hoosiers wouldn't be my first choice of band to listen too but this album changed my mind. The opening track Choices I had heard before on the radio and it was the perfect choice (no pun intended), it was a great energy boost to keep me alert for a boring lecture at university. Through the song Who Said Anything About Falling In Love, I saw a more serious side to the band; I'm used to their happier side through songs such as Good Bye Mr A and Worried About Ray so this song suprised me the most and I loved that. Unlikely Hero reminded me of a night out in Reflex, which is an 80s themed nightclub in Southampton; it gave off a Duran Duran /A-ha vibe. Glorious reminded me of Queen's We Are The Champions, complete with the 80s synthesisers there was a hint of A-ha. Although songs Lover's In Head and Devil's In The Detail weren't as good as the rest of the songs on the album, even though I loved the Danny Elfman like intro for Devil's In The Details the main melody didn't flow for me.

Apart from those little things I loved the feel good 80s vibe behind the album, the songs were very catchy and that's always great too.

Stand Out Tracks:  Live By The Ocean, Giddy Up and Glorious

In Darklight - Dying To Confess

Here's another review I wrote on iTunes

The next big thing? 5 stars

I saw these guys support New Device at The Soul Cellar and thought they gave a great performance so I decided to buy their album. It was the perfect thing to listen to on the bus to Southampton one lovely sunny morning and I can personally say it was the highlight of my journey. What's Happening? was a perfect opener for the album and a personal favourite song of mine, I also loved the backing tracks introducing the songs too. In The Red had a big impact on me, bought a tear to my eye in fact....for some reason I could relate to the lyrics. I love the fresh new sound, not like any band I have heard so far.

Stand out tracks:  What's Happening?, In Control (Of Not Being In Control), The Human Race and In The Red

This album is availiable to buy or download now :)

Dommin - Love Is Gone

I wrote a couple of reviews on albums I had bought and this one I felt was one of my better ones.

A masterpiece 5 Stars

I saw these guys support HIM a few months ago and was blown away by their magical performance so I decided to buy their CD. I had listened to My Heart, Your Hands and Dark Holiday (my two personal favourites) so I was looking forward to hearing the rest of the album. I was not dissapointed at all, each song was haunting and beautiful. Kris Dommin has such a unique, powerful voice that matches the dark theme behind this whole album. I also loved how some of the tracks in between some of the songs i.e. Evenfall Hallow were used to introduce the next song in a wonderfully magical way that kept me listening at all times. Those who love dark, gothic rock you are in for a treat.

Stand out tracks:  Dark Holiday, My Heart Your Hands and Tonight

Sunday, 14 November 2010

We Are The Fallen - Tear The World Down

I found this band on Last.FM when listening to Dommin radio, so I thought I'd give their album a listen and I'm glad I did. I was enticed by Carly Smithson's beautifully haunting vocals; sounding very much like Amy Lee from Evanescence, I also got a hint of Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil in her vocal style that I liked very much. I also love it when bands, particularly when rock and metal is concerned, use orchestral music in their songs as well as the rock guitar, drums etc. because it adds a fantasy emblem to it, more dramatic. You can imagine all kinds of things going on to the music and it is just wonderful. The opening song Bury Me Alive reminded me very much of Evanescence song Going Under; maybe the fact three former Evanescence members Ben Moody, Rocky Gray and John LeCrompt being part of this band could be the reason. Not a bad thing of course, in a way it's like passing the torch to this singer. Ballad Sleep Well My Angel showed a softer side to the band, I thought it was so beautifully written and it my have become a personal favourite on the album. Overall a truly wonderful album with cleverly written songs and powerful melodies, I hope these guys are considering visiting the UK some time.

Stand out tracks:   Bury Me Alive, Sleep Well My Angel and St John

http://www.wearethefallen.com/

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Last FM

In the past Last FM has always done me proud when finding new bands to listen to is my main priority of the day, today has reminded why I love Last.FM so so much. There's very good thing you can do; type in the name of your favourite band in the search bar, click on the link to your favourite band and on their page you should find something saying 'Listen to [band's name] radio', the most amazing thing happens. As well as songs by your favourite band playing, songs by artists similar to them also plays. It is thanks to Last FM I have found some rather epic bands such as Kamelot, Like A Storm, Something To Burn, Cinder Road, Voodoo Johnson and right now Hell City Glamours. Seriously this is every music lovers treasure chest which I highly recommend you should use :D

Click the link below you will not regret it :P

Biz Zar Radio

This post is dedicated to a group I recently joined on Facebook call Biz Zar Radio and they specialize with rock and metal bands so this group is like a gold mine to me.

A group I had found on there were Washington rockers Zeroking, I loved their rough 'n' ready guitar riffs that reminded me very much of Deep Purple guitar duelling with Metallica....I frickin loved it. I also loved Andy Hought's husky vocals, you probably gathered by now I love husky vocals on guys I just think it's sexy :P 

I also loved OnOffOn's jazz/rock sounds in tunes Mardi Gras and Weekend In Montreal, the tune Weekend In Montreal did remind of my trip to Montreal last year in August and it gave off the same latino, exotic vibes. I helps me relax when I'm stressed :) 

Oh and of course if you want your band to get discovered then send either a video or an MP3 sample on to this group's page :D


Some seriously awesome stuff here, check this group out:


Click here to join this group

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Requiem For The Dead

Californian rockers Steven Juliano and Justin Mcarthey, originally from I Am Ghost have started a new band called Requiem For The Dead. Fans had been waiting for a song from them for a while and I can say as a fan the wait was worth it as they released a song for a free download. When I clicked the play button on the media player on my laptop I thought it was to sound similar to their previous I Am Ghost material, but I was wrong. It had a different sound, which I liked very much, hearing Steven's vocals had me reassured...he is one of my personal favourite vocalists and have huge respect for him. His clear vocals harmonized well with Kim Moreau's and Klaryssa Korolenkov's vocals, all of them very talented singers. What I also liked about this particular song is that it sounded like a very happy, energetic song but it also had very dark lyrics; that is very unique approach I think, it works :D This is possibly the third time I have listened to this song today and I am still buzzing, looking forward to the album you guys.

To download this song click the link below

The Longest Day - Album Sampler

These guys were one of the bands supporting Fight The Wire when I saw them last week, in their own unique way all the bands that performed that evening stood out in my eyes. They were the opening act, I was a little bit late as I heard them play from outside so I quickly went inside to escape the cold and to watch this band. Their performance was energetic and outstanding that I got their EP. Their EP was another good thing to wake me up on a freezing cold November morning at a carboot sale; along with Fighting With Wire and More Than Conquerors the genre carboot rock was born (courteousy of Fighting With Wire :P). I loved their clear vocals and catchy melodies, I hope to see another EP from them soon and to see them again.

For fans of Fighting With Wire, Bullet For My Valentine and Pearl Jam

Monday, 8 November 2010

Something Left Unsaid

This post is dedicated to a thrash metal band that hailed from the land of California, I found this band's page mentioned on a friend's Facebook so I thought I'd check them out and I'm glad I did. Their guitar riffs sound very much like Bullet For My Valentine, that with growly vocals is a great mix in this thrash metal potion. When I listen to this music, I am reminded of a gig with brutal mosh pit and a lots of sweaty rockers going absoulutely bonkers; not your average girl's idea of heaven but for me that is.

For fans of Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage and Avenged Sevenfold


Hover around for the link below:

What a great idea

One of my favourite bands, Dommin, has launched such a great idea for their next video for the song Closure; they want to get the fans involved by uploading videos or photos of themselves saying a hard goodbye to something they have given up or someone they have lost along with other ideas on their message board. I think many many people can relate to the pain in this song and this could possibly be the greatest emotional release.

I first came across Dommin when they were to support HIM on their Screamworks: Love In Theory and Practise Tour earlier this year and I was blown away by the song My Heart, Your Hands. I found a few more along with Love Is Gone, Dark Holiday, Tonight and of course Closure, so I was very much looking forward to their performance. They have a musical gift, they put on such a magical performance at Bournemouth 02 Academy and every time I listen to their album Love Is Gone I am somehow under a spell that helps me escape the horrors of reality. Dark but heartfelt lyrics, haunting melodies and Kristopher Dommin's enticing vocal work; the album has the whole package. I am also lucky to have met these guys too, so down to earth and friendly. They didn't mind me coming over three times for hugs, photo and an autograph.

Anyways, I think this is an absoulute wonderful way to get their fans involved. It's a remarkable way of giving something to those who showed their gratitude for their music and I cannot wait for the final outcome.

If you're a Dommin fan and want to know how you can get involved with this, click the link below for more info:

http://www.dommin.com/board_posts/closure-video?page=1