New Releases 30/08/16 – You Me At Six, Against Me!, Alcest

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You Me At Six – ‘Night People’

It’s been a quiet year for  Surrey’s You Me At Six, and with the band going social media silent for over a year and not performing it was obvious that they were working on something new. ‘Night People’ is the lead single from their follow up to 2014’s Cavalier Youth, Night People, due to be released early 2017.

‘Night People’ is nothing like what You Me At Six fans are used to. The band have ever further drifted from their pop punk/rock roots of 2008’s Take Off Your Colours to a sound that mimics that of Crystal Castles and Imagine Dragons.The lyrics lack any depth and meaning however there is something infectious about the melody and beat that results in you tapping your feet in time profusely regardless of your initial opinion of the track.

Overall, if this track and its oddly catchy beats is anything to go by Night People is going to be You Me At Six becoming more mainstream than ever (if that was possible). Is that a bad thing? Lets hope not.

4/10

Words by Sam Taylor

Alcest – ‘Oiseaux de Proie’ (Best New Track!)

After 2014’s Shelter saw Alcest fully abandon black metal for a whole record of shoegaze and dreamy post-rock, their new single ‘Oiseaux de Proie’ brings back brilliantly, beautifully refined elements of blackgaze back into their sound to stunning effect.

The eight minute song begins with a tom-led drum line and a dancing, atmospheric guitar lead before bursting into life with riffs that immediately bring a level of urgency that was largely left behind on Shelter. Alcest develop this track slowly but with meticulous precision – every new section elevates the song to huge, catastrophic moments or brings them down to another tense and engrossing build up.

Alcest seem more tasteful with their use of heaviness than many other blackgaze acts. ‘Oiseaux de Proie’ never seems to stop teasing with its creative and artistic use of blast beats and harsh vocals: these elements are used to simply add to the ebb and flow of the song as it builds slowly to its final stunning, blissful climax.

8.5/10

Words by Joe Gilbertson

Against Me! – ‘Crash’

Following the release of tracks ‘Haunting, Haunted, Haunts’ and ‘333’, Florida punk-rockers Against Me! continue to inch ever closer to the release of their seventh studio album, Shape Shift With Me. As a band who have always taken note of when it’s time to be serious and when to have a little more fun with their sound, latest offering ‘Crash’ shows the four-piece letting their hair down in a three-minute slice of brazen, bubbly punk.

With lead single ‘333’ presenting a contemplative and relatively austere tone, the track is a welcome contrast of epic proportions. Exploring themes of erroneous revelry and lamentable life choices, ‘Crash’ takes the signature pop-influenced punk sound of the band and crafts an irresistibly catchy and beautifully irreverent piece. If ‘Crash’ is a sign of things to come for the follow-up to 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, there’s absolutely no need to doubt the genius of Laura Jane Grace and co.

7.5/10

Words by Maddy Howell

A Day To Remember – ‘Naivety’

Since A Day To Remember announced Bad Vibrations, (due out this September) there seems to have been a new ADTR track every week and with each passing week and single the excitement dwindles out. ‘Naivety’ is the most unexciting to date, despite the fact the album is due out in a week.

It’s another A Day To Remember song about coming to terms with and hating growing up and all that usual whiny pop punk shite written by a bunch of guys who are closer to their mid-life crisis than they are to their youth. ‘Naivety’ is a textbook A Day To Remember song, following the basic format of tracks they’ve been releasing in and out for the last decade or so. It doesn’t even have a breakdown, which could have added some substance to this song.

Despite the negativity, as the song goes, its not the worst song in the world. If you ignore the lyrical side of things and focus on the music, it’s an encouraging, lively track. However,  A Day To Remember’s gimic is getting old and dismal now. It’s been four albums of similar content, mix it up for once.

3/10

Words by Sam Taylor

Truckfighters – ‘Calm Before the Storm’

The name ‘Calm Before the Storm’ is every bit as an accurate description of the new track from the Swedish stoner rock trio Truckfighters as ‘Desert Cruiser’ was of the opener from their 2005 debut. Where that song was a crushing and groovy ride through a desert in space, this is a much slower and more momentous affair. Constantly building in tension and anticipation through its eight minutes, the song feels more like a foreshadowing of a great album to come, rather than a great song in its own right.

That’s not to say the track isn’t great: it’s still as brooding and heavy as Truckfighters can be, but enshews exploding into intensity for longer builds of pressure that instead seem to bubble up with Ozo delivering fantastically pretty and haunting vocals. If the rest of the album delivers, ‘Calm Before the Storm’ looks to be the opening for one of Truckfighters’ best yet.

7.5/10

Words by Joe Gilbertson

Devin Townsend Project – ‘Secret Sciences’

The legendary Devin Townsend has dropped a second new track from his upcoming seventh studio album with The Devin Townsend Project, Transcendence. ‘Secret Sciences’ is an enchanting track and while it may not be as technical or progressive as others from the Canadian guitar giant, there are still luscious layers of music to be uncovered here. Starting with a haunting, dreamscape-esque intro before leading into a straightforward, clean-cut guitar work section, ‘Secret Sciences’ borrows the sound of the last Townsend release, Z².

After a simple but effective main riff, the song plunges into an epic chorus comprised of gigantic power chords before a spine-tingling guitar solo. Unlike a lot of other Townsend tracks, this is more about the atmosphere and feeling of the song rather than complex riffs and the technical elements of progressive music. Overall, this track is sleek and simplistic but has lasting impact.

7.5/10

Words by Megan McMillan

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