Thursday, November 7, 2013

Punk Goes Christmas - Review

Punk Goes Christmas is the 14th compilation by Fearless records under the "Punk Goes..." banner in which punk bands cover a certain area of music. It used to be punk bands but since Punk Goes Pop 2 it's been more of the metalcore, pop-punk, electro band variety. Punk Goes Pop 4 & 5 had the same type of bands on the entire album so they got repetitive and bland. Looking at the tracklisting for Christmas it's a bit more varied, with up and coming bands (Real Friends, Man Overboard), pop-punk vets (Yellowcard, New Found Glory) to the fun Issues and Set it Off who put a new twist of Christmas songs. At first glance this album would put off fans of the heavier side of the usual Punk Goes collection but with it being Christmas themed you can't really expect heavy bands to be all over it.

Positive: As previously stated the bands this time around are pretty varied in style, thank god. Starting with New Found Glory I expected it to be an upbeat pop-punk song but it's acoustic and actually really well done. A lot of the bands seem to have went the sad-Christmas feel instead of the traditional happiness that comes with the holiday and it's a good twist. Man Overboard's song is one of the best as it puts a twist on Christmas and reinventing how grateful we all should feel with what we have. The Real Friends track is fantastic as well. The Issues cover of an N'sync Christmas song is how you'd expect it, full of fun that you can feel listening to it. Set it Off's "This Christmas (I'll Burn it to the Ground)" is fun, funny and a blast to listen to. Jason Lancaster's "All I Can Give You" is, you guessed it, a sappy acoustic/piano track but as always, it's awesome. Yellowcard and Crown the Empire's tracks are great too even though Crown the Empire stepped outside of their comfort zone and still made it work. All Time Low's "Fool's Holiday" was pretty enjoyable too which is surprising 'cause I haven't liked any of their recent stuff.

Negative: The album kinda fails in its mission, where it doesn't really put me in the Christmas spirit. While that doesn't diminish the quality of the songs it kinda just falls short on amping you up for Christmas. William Beckett's rendition of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is the most traditional and while it's good it's nothing more than the standard song. The Ready Set and The Summer Set's songs are just too poppy for my taste and they don't do much for me, they're not necessarily bad but I won't revisit them again. Outside of those few things the album is pretty good.

Overall: With only a few songs being duds the album puts the Punk Goes on an upswing after the last couple had been pretty bland. It's an enjoyable listen with more to offer than you would think and is worth the listen.

Number of Tracks Kept: 9/12

Rating: 7.5/10

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of the Last 5 Years

Strictly albums, no mixtapes or EP's. 2008-2013

MIXTAPE MENTIONS: Joey Bada$$ - 1999, Big K.R.I.T. - 4evaNaDay, Tyler, the Creator - Bastard, Logic - Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever

10.) B.o.B - B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (2010) - B.o.B blew up on the scene with his debut album which mixed rap with pop and some alt-rap in a perfect mixture. This album is superb, especially once you dig deeper than the singles.

9.) Tyler, the Creator - Goblin (2011) - Tyler got huge off of his "Yonkers" video but there's a lot more to this kid than eating cockroaches, Bastard may be a better example in showing his skills off but Goblin is a monster of an album that is influencing the new wave of rappers coming up.

8.) Childish Gambino - Camp (2011) - Donald Glover came out of nowhere with this debut, coming off a decent buzz from mixtapes he created a conceptual album that even more impressively is performed entirely by him, no features. He can spit, storytell and is lyrical out of his mind.

7.) Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music (2012) - You knew this was gonna be a classic as soon as the first track, "Big Beast" came on, featuring Bun B, T.I. and Trouble it's a monster track that obliterates everything in its path. The pairing of Killer Mike and El-P seems so natural that they dropped an album that put Mike back on the map and put El-P even more on the map than he already was.

6.) Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels (2013) - Speaking of Killer Mike and El-P, they transform into a duo with El-P on production and vocals, with Killer Mike complimenting him on vocals as well. A free album, it's in the running for Album of 2013, the production is on point and just when you thought Mike and El couldn't vibe together any better, they sound so natural going bar for bar over a killer beat. They're chemistry is as good as Big Boi and Andre 3000's, no I'm not exaggerating.

5.) Kendrick Lamar - Section.80 (2011) - Before GKMC Kendrick dropped his debut album for TDE that foreshadowed his explosion into the mainstream. Section.80 is the album to show someone who says that hip-hop is dead. It's real, lyrical and damn does Kendrick know how to rap. There's not a bad thing about this album.

4.) Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of Day (2009) - Cudi's debut album is nothing short of marvelous. With spacey beats, the voice of a god and some deep, introspective lyrics, Cudi is mesmerizing. Features ranging from Chip tha Ripper to Kanye and Common, Cudi puts together what is sure to go down as a classic, if it hasn't already.

3.) Macklemore x Ryan Lewis - The Heist (2012) - Macklemore has become the "Thrift Shop" and gay support guy. It really sucks because this album is beyond amazing, the depth in his lyrics is unfathomable. Never have I praised a producer so much (besides El-P) as much as I praise Ryan Lewis, he picked a sound that worked with Macklemore and they hit a grand slam with it. This album has the first hip-hop instrumental that I fully enjoy and will listen to endlessly ("BomBom"). I can't say enough about this album.

2.) Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city (2012)- An album doesn't get called the modern Illmatic for nothing. This concept album is so tightly knit, with every single song applying to the overall story. Kendrick achieved the impossible in rapping about real things, with elite skill and somehow being able to break into the mainstream. We may look back in 20 years and say this is the most important album since Nas' Illmatic and Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP. Kendrick is near holding down "real" hip-hop and putting out spectacular music while doing so.

1.) Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) - What's a hip-hop list without Kanye? I can't describe how good this album is, it's impossible. You can't compare it to another album either, it sounds so different than anything else Kanye or anyone else has done. Kanye went ahead and made an artistic hip-hop album which focused on content and it shows. The closest we have to a perfect album in the last 5 years. This album could go down as top 10 hip-hop albums of all time. Once you get passed Kanye's image in the public eye and dive into his music, he never lets go and MBDTF is the best example. With long, anti-mainstream sounding songs he still was able to produce a commercial and critical smash and the album is here to stay for a long time.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King

Overview: Hail to the Kings indeed.

Let's not sit and pretend like you don't know who Avenged Sevenfold is. To my generation (I'm 19), we remember them for "Bat Country" as that was their first huge hit. Looking back I still love that song but back in 2005 I didn't realize how much more there was to the band. City of Evil is an incredible album, that's less of an opinion, more of a fact by now. 2003's Waking the Fallen has grown to become my favorite album of theirs, it's heavy as shit while showing us the catchiness that we would come to love on later albums. If you know me and have talked to me about the band, you know I'm not the biggest fan of their self-titled album, it gets an "okay" in my book and for me, the low point of their discography. The band came back with a vengeance with 2010's Nightmare which was a cross between Waking the Fallen and City of Evil and was a surprisingly good album.

The Positive: First off, cause this is important, the riff in "This Means War" is godly. It wasn't until a friend told me that I realized it sounds pretty similar to Metallica's "Sad But True" which is one of my favorite riffs. Now I wasn't too big on the lead single and title track when it came out but it seriously grew on me. "Requiem" is probably my favorite song, with a choir singing the intro and M. Shadows singing to the same melody, it goes back to the haunting days of Waking the Fallen where they had an evil sound to them. "Heretic" continues the creepy atmosphere with Shadows speaking parts of the verses, the chorus isn't the best but the rest of the track holds it together. A7X has always, in my opinion been good at doing slow songs, "Warmness on the Soul", "Tonight the World Dies" and "Fiction" are some of my favorites from the band in general and "Crimson Day" on this album joins them. "Coming Home" has a very Iron Maiden-esque sound to it; from the riff to the way Shadows sings over it, I could see Bruce Dickinson soaring over this track on one of Maiden's newer albums. "Planets" is a monstrosity of a track, I don't know how to explain but the song just sounds huge, like watching planets collide into each other, that's what this sounds like, and it's a great sound. Lastly, I enjoy the opener "Shepard of Fire" but I don't think it should've opened the album, it's mid-tempo and doesn't pump you up for the album, but upon further listens, the song is great. The bonus track is worth buying off of iTunes, "St. James" is pretty killer, I wish it was on the standard, store-bought edition but I'll pay the $1.29 for it and so should you.

The Negative: They hit a homerun with "Crimson Day" but they hit a single with "Acid Rain", I find it rather boring, the chorus is pretty solid but what's built around it falls flat for me. Reworked it could be better, maybe they'll rework it and do it acoustically, that could work, but overall I wasn't big on the song. I'll keep it for now to see if I can hammer it into my ears. "Doing Time" is really the only track I can say I fully don't like on this album, it's just cheesy and doesn't offer much. We're used to A7X doing rather complex things but this song seems very basic to me. I was a little disappointed that M. Shadows didn't scream on this album since it made a return on Nightmare. I guess it wouldn't really fit with any of the tracks except maybe "Requiem", it doesn't hurt the album though, just don't expect them.

Overall: This album is one you need to listen to more than once, on my first listen through I only like 2 songs, I've now listened to it 4/5 times and it's grown on me immensely. The album is somewhat a simplified version of what we're used to as the songs are very riffed based. Pretty much it's like an Iron Maiden album from the mid 80's (Powerslave or Somewhere in Time) in that the guitars shine when they're meant to while the vocalist soars over the instruments, all the while the rhythm section is tight and holding it all together. This isn't the best A7X album but it's not even close to their worst. It's better than I expected it to be and I'm very happy that it is.

Number of Tracks Kept(Including Deluxe): 10/11, with "Acid Rain" still pending, so possibly 9/11.

Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Top 10 Bands of the 21st Century

This is the DEFINITIVE list of the top 10 bands of the 21st century.

- The band's official debut album must've come out on or after January 1, 2000.
- The list is any genre although it pretty much ended up being all metal.
- That's it.

10. Parkway Drive, is a band who's 2005 debut crushed the metalcore scene and since then have released 3 albums that have all been different but have all been great with last years outing, Atlas, solidifying their spot on this list. Debut: 2005's Killing With a Smile.

9. Revocation, some may argue that they're too low on the list, some may argue that they haven't been around long enough to prove themselves. The truth is they released their debut in 2008 and have since released 3 albums and 1 EP which is an extremely good output. Each album has been better than the one before and in 20 years we may look back at Revocation in the 2010'S as we look at Pantera in the 90's. Debut: 2008's Empire of the Obscene.

8. The Black Dahlia Murder, Unhallowed debuted this now beloved death/black metal bands sound which was perfected on 2007's Nocturnal. Now 6 albums deep, Dahlia has proven over and over again that they are modern death metal and one of the biggest bands doing it today. Debut: 2003's Unhallowed.

7. Whitechapel, while Dahlia are the masters of modern death metal, Whitechapel are without a doubt the masters of deathcore. Making brutality somehow catchy is no easy feat as few other bands in the overpopulated genre have done it but none of have done it nearly as well as Whitechapel. 4 albums in, with a 5th on the way, the band is heading the deathcore movement with no competition. Debut: 2007's The Somatic Defilement.

6. Avenged Sevenfold, broke onto the scene back in 2001 and released their 6th album earlier this week. They may be one of the lighter and commercial bands on the list but albums like Waking the Fallen, City of Evil and Nightmare make the band a can't miss band of the century. Debut: 2001's Sounding the Seventh Trumpet.

5. Senses Fail, the odd man out on this list, they came out back in '03 and have been dominating the depressing/emo/metalcore world ever since, with the monster album Still Searching, the band has been on an incline ever since with the bands latest release, Renacer, leading right now in my "Album of the Year" list. Debut: 2004's Let it Enfold You

4. Killswitch Engage, barely making the cut with their debut being released in 2000 the band has seen 2 singers, 1 on their first 2 and most recent and the other(pictured) on the 3 in between. They saw a huge rise in popularity with 2006's As Daylight Dies and with the exit of Howard Jones and the reentry of Jesse Leach the band released Disarm the Descent earlier this year that brought the band back to their heavier than hell roots. Debut: 2000's Killswitch Engage.

3. Trivium, releasing their debut in 2003, I didn't discover the band until 2007, 2 years after their breakthrough album, Ascendancy. The band perfected their sound on Shogun and In Waves and are now looking to release their 6th album later this year. Debut: 2003's Ember to Inferno.

2. Mastodon, the band transformed themselves from their sludgy 2002 debut, Remission into their 4th album, the prog masterpiece that is Crack the Skye. The band sounds like 2 different bands while still sounding like Mastodon, something most bands can't do. 2011's The Hunter was yet another departure for the band, leaning away from the concept album and into more single song structure. Mid-2013 the band is one of the biggest in modern metal and it's clear to see why, each of their albums have brilliance laced within them and they would be the number 1 if it weren't for the behemoth of a band that took the spot. Debut: 2002's Remission.

1. Lamb of God, this is where the criteria comes into play, yes they had an album out in 1999 but it was under the name Burn the Priest. OFFICIALLY the band released their debut, New American Gospel in 2000. The band's breakthrough was in 2004 with Ashes of the Wake and even more so in 2006 with Sacrament. Somehow the band kept improving and released their (in my opinion) masterpiece in 2009 with Wrath. Off of those 3 albums they would make this list, but their debut, 2002's As the Palaces Burn and 2012's Resolution catapult the band into being my number 1 pick for the top band of the 21st century. They have earned the label of "Pure American Metal". Debut: 2000's New American Gospel.

Honorable Mentions: Rise Against, A Day to Remember, Sum 41, Silverstein, Bullet for My Valentine(pre-Temper Temper, Every Time I Die and The Sword.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sworn In - The Death Card

Overview: Three Fucking Cheers

Sworn In is an Illinois hardcore/deathcore/metalcore (I'm not entirely sure what to label them) band that formed in 2011. In 2012 they released their first EP, Start/End which I enjoyed but thought there were things that could've been done better. The band released the song "Let Down" which I absolutely love and got me pumped for the album.

The Positive: The album absolutely kills, it's undeniably brutal. From the get go you're in for a 40-minute session of being kicked in the balls and punched in the face simultaneously and as soon as it ends all you can say is "Thank you sir, may I have another?" There are breakdowns and surprisingly a ton of riffage, and good riffage at that. The vocals are pretty nuts too, his highs are shrieking and his lows sound like the stereotypical ultra-Christian idea of what Satan sounds like. Some of the phrases he screams with such passion and in some instances, velocity that it's impossible not to get into. On to the songs, what separates Sworn In from the plethora of bands in this genre is good songwriting. They take a cue from Parkway Drive and use breakdowns to accent the song instead of building an entire song around a breakdown which is what it seems 95% of bands do now. "Hypocrisy" is a crazy good standout with great lines. The band is great at writing one-liners that stick in your head all day. For example, "So take your necklace off and put a fucking noose in its place."(From "Hypocrisy"). "Dead Soul", "A Song for the Nameless", "Snake Eyes", "Deadpan", "Three Cheers", the short but super sweet "Bitter Blood" and "Death" are the rest of the tracks that I have as standouts that are fantastic tracks. These tracks alone are better than some albums that have been released this year.

The Negative: While the lyrics aren't exactly riveting they're brutal and get you pissed like they're supposed to and that's all they need to do. Also the interludes "Senseless" and "Mute" work as nice breaks if you're listening to the album all the way through as I did a few times and they tie the songs together pretty well but besides that they don't do much for me. I haven't decided how I feel as the intro "XIII" and the closing track "Return (Heartless)", the intro is good and sets the album up pretty well but I don't see myself listening to it besides that. "Return (Heartless" is a solid track but I'm not feeling it entirely.

Overview: It's a great debut album that's not perfect but who's album is these days anyway? The Death Card is hopefully the first album in a long career for the band. It won't win any "album of the year" but it's a damn good album. Sworn In are poised to become one of the standout bands in a genre(s) overrun with generic bands.

Number of Tracks Kept: 10/13

Rating: 8/10

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Asking Alexandria - From Death to Destiny

Overview: From Great to Bad.

Asking Alexandria are a metalcore band from England who's latest release is their 3rd full-length. Back in 2009 they released their debut Stand Up and Scream which defined what has become known as "risecore", "sumeriancore" and "crabcore" and spawned countless bands who imitated the album, Attack Attack!, Woe, is Me, I See Stars, to name a few. Looking back on the album it's incredibly generic but something about it still feels fresh and all of its imitators have yet to be able to do the album as well as Asking Alexandria did. Their sophomore album Reckless and Relentless was a change of pace stylistically that I hated at first but since 2011 it's grown on me a bit and while not as good as its predecessor it's a solid album. Which brings us to album number 3. The stylistic change is even more prevalent on this than before. I would bet that if you showed someone that's unfamiliar with the band a song from their debut and a song from this album, they would think it's 2 different bands. Danny Worsnop's vocals are unrecognizable. His screams are way less harsh and his cleans are worse, yet better because I think the band finally used his voice instead of using studio magic.

The Positive: The band is starting to find what they want their sound to be which is respectable. The opener "Don't Pray for Me" is a great opening track minus the obnoxious minute and a half barely audible electronic intro which would've been better off as it's own track so you can just skip it. The 2 singles, "The Death of Me" and "Run Free" are some of the strongest tracks on the album as they have catchy choruses and heavy verses. "White Line Fever" is one of my favorites on the album which a great chorus and for once on this album pretty good lyrics. "Moving On" is a completely cleanly sung song that I really enjoy, for me the band is 2 for 2 when it comes to cleanly sung songs(the other track being "Someone, Somewhere).

The Negative: As I said, the annoying intro to the opening track. "Killing You" is an abysmal track with an abysmal chorus. "Creature" flat out sucks and the band completely misuses Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage fame on the track "Until the End". The main issue with this album is the choruses, they're just not good. Outside of a few tracks the choruses really drag every song down instead of elevating and hooking you. Though I enjoy the songs I enjoy there's really nothing special at all about them, they're just solid songs.

Overall: It's an album that's just kind of there, there are good tracks, okay tracks and bad tracks. The band really seems to be trying to get away from the genre that they almost single-handedly created. There is nothing from Stand Up and Scream that is still with the band now, I think I counted 4 breakdowns, maybe. Now that the band is really finding the sound they want hopefully they'll put more into creating songs that are better and hopefully this album is a stepping stone in a discography that could be better. But, sadly as of now this album continues the downward trend of the band's releases. If you hated their debut, you may like this better, if you loved their debut, chances are you won't enjoy this nearly as much.

Number of Tracks Kept(Including Deluxe Edition): 7/14

Rating: 5/10

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We Came As Romans - Tracing Back Roots

Overview: We Came As Romans continues to trace half albums.

We Came As Romans are a metalcore band formed in 2005 and Tracing Back Roots is their third full length album. Now WCAR has always been kind of an odd band for me, I don't love them, I don't dislike them either. For both of their previous albums I've liked about half of each, looking back I like their debut, To Plant a Seed more than their follow-up Understanding What We've Grown to Be. So when this album was announced I wasn't excited for it but I was interested in hearing it, especially after "Tracing Back Roots", the album opener dropped and absolutely kicks ass.

The Positive: The band really stays in their lane without straying too much away from what they're good at. Screaming, catchy choruses and some breakdowns thrown in for good measure. This album is definitely more clean/melodic vocally driven which is good when it's pulled of well. The track "I Survive" is fantastic with the Aaron Gillespie of The Almost feature complimenting the song so well and I have to say this song may already be one of my favorite WCAR songs. "Ghosts" is a heavy hitting song that hits all of the right spots and exhibits what makes WCAR great when they want to be. "Present, Future, Past" continues that trend and is balls out heavy with some surprisingly good lyrics from the band. "Never Let Me Go" is a near completely cleanly sung song but still works and ends up being a good song, somewhat surprisingly. "Through the Darkest Dark and Brightest Bright" is a song about the band, they even say "this is our song to remember all of the places we have been" and on it's face it's a pretentious song but they get a pass because the song is pretty enjoyable.

The Negative: "Fade Away" is the only song I can really call 'bad', it's uninteresting and shows how cleanly sung songs can fall flat. The other 4 tracks aren't bad per say, they're just not good. They suffer from what for me, can be known as the WCAR syndrome where one half of the album completely outdoes the other half. In this case it's the first half winning the battle with 5 of the first 6 songs making it into The Positive while 4 of the remaining 5 make it into The Negative.

Overall: The band did alright, this may go down as my favorite of their 3 albums but don't let that fool you, that accolade really isn't saying much as I didn't totally love their first 2 albums anyway. If you're a WCAR fan you'll most likely enjoy this album, if not, this probably won't convert you but I'd give it a shot. At 11 tracks and clocking in at 40 minutes it's a pretty short album, there are 2 bonus tracks on the Target version but I haven't heard them so my rating does not cover those but knowing WCAR, I'd probably like 1 of them and not the other. There are better metalcore bands and albums out there but this one deserves a listen.

Number of Tracks Kept: 6/11

Rating: 6/10

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Green Day - Uno, Dos and Tre.

Overview: 1 band, 3 albums, 37 songs, what could possibly go wrong?

NOTE: This is going to be a rather large review as it is a review of a trilogy of albums. I'm going to be doing each separately in a shorter manner if possible.

First up is Uno which is by far the poppiest of the 3 which isn't bad.

The Positive: Damn near the whole thing, this album recaptured what has always made Green Day a great band, good, fun, catchy music that you can sing to any day of the week. While none of the songs on the album are very deep lyrically, it's an incredibly fun album. "Kill the DJ" is beyond catchy considering the chorus consists of singer Billie Joe Armstrong telling us to "kill the DJ, kill the fuckin' DJ". "Carpe Diem" and "Fell for You" are probably my other 2 biggest standouts.

The Negative: "Troublemaker, I don't know why but I'm just not feeling this track very much, besides that, that's it.

Number of Tracks Kept: 11/12

Dos is probably the most experimental of the 3 diving into acoustics and even some hip-hop.

The Positive: Possibly my favorite track of the trilogy, "Amy", a beautiful acoustic track who's lyrics are phenomenal. "Nightlife" is probably a Green Day fans worst nightmare as it features a female rapper on it. Fortunately the chorus is too catchy to be real and her rapping isn't bad and the song works in the weirdest way possible. "Fuck Time" is an enjoyable song that could've been on Uno because it's light and poppy.

The Negative: I feel bad calling them "negative" because really the songs just don't stand out, they're not bad just not too great either. The intro track "See You Tonight" is okay but would've worked ten fold had it been an outro track after "Amy" instead of being ahead of "Fuck Time".

Number of Tracks Kept: 8/13

I expected Tre to be more or less the "leftovers" album but it's actually a stronger album than Dos.

The Positive: The opener "Brutal Love" is a fantastic song as is the closer "The Forgotten", both slower tracks but are incredible. "99 Revolutions" and even the 6 and a half minute "Dirty Rotten Bastards" are both songs that demonstrate how great Green Day can still be.

The Negative: The biggest negative for me is the song "Drama Queen", written presumably for his daughter he sings about her being old enough to bleed now, it just comes off as very creepy. A few of the other tracks are rather forgettable but nothing too bad.

Number of Tracks Kept: 9/12

Overall: The trilogy was a lot of music in a very short amount, it was kind of an overload but after being able to let them sit and listen to them, I'm glad that I did. You have the standard poppy album(Uno), the experimental one(Dos) and the one in the middle(Tre) and together as a trilogy they work very well. There's something here for everyone. If I were the band I'd release a Quatro, actually they did but it's a documentary so I'd release a Cinco that is pretty much a greatest hits of the trilogy in a 1 pack cd for the casual fan that doesn't want to spend the money on all 3 cds. These are good, enjoyable albums that deserve to be in the Green Day fans cd collection.

UNO Rating: 9/10

DOS Rating: 7/10

TRE Rating: 8/10

Total Number of Tracks Kept: 28/37

Trilogy Rating: 8.5/10

Kanye West - Yeezus

Overview: Yeezus Christ.

Yeezus is Kanye West's 6th studio album coming off of the heels of the Watch the Throne collaboration with Jay-Z. Kanye tried something new by announcing the release date a month prior to the release and giving no singles to radio. Kanye being Kanye still debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. This album sees the production going in a more electronic style while Kanye returns to using AutoTune as he did on 808s & Heartbreak which isn't entirely welcome. As always with Kanye, each album is incredibly different from each other, with the arguable exceptions of The College Dropout and Late Registration. Now, anyone who knows me knows that my favorite Ye album is 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy so I was kinda hoping this would be MBDTF, Part II but it's not.

The Positive: There's some good Kanye on here still, his final verse on "Blood On the Leaves" is absolutely nuts and cements the song in as my favorite on the album. The beat by electronic duo TNGHT(check out their EP) is a banging beat that makes you want to go absolutely crazy. "New Slaves" and "Black Skinhead" take a close second with great beats and classic Kanye rhyming over them. "Guilt Trip" is an odd song with an extremely weird hook but it's infectious. I also think that Cudi was underutilized on the track but his voice is still always a welcome sound. "I'm in it" is hysterical in my opinion with my favorite line being "Eating Asian pussy, all I need is sweet and sour sauce" I still crack up every time I hear it. The closing track, "Bound 2" is a love song, yes a Kanye West love song, and it just works. It's a great song and it shows a side of Kanye we haven't really seen before but I'm hoping we get to see more of, possibly on the rumored Yeezus II?

The Meh: "Send it Up" and "Hold My Liquor" are incredibly middle of the road. The beat on "Send it Up" is a great beat but it's not done justice. "Hold My Liquor" is so mediocre it's ridiculous. The added vocals of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame is welcome but the vocals from Chief Keef aren't. "On Sight" is odd as well, hard hitting electronic beats with Kanye riding over them sounds good on paper but as an album opener it kind of falls flat but it's just good enough to stay out of the negative.

The Negative: One song, "I Am a God". It's a bragging track but it doesn't live up to a God-like stature. Kanye follows the line "I am a God" with "hurry up with my damn massage", it's very underwhelming, as is the entire album. I usually enjoy when Ye brags because he's good at what he does but this one just does not hold up.

Overall: I listened to this at least 6/7 times fully through before coming to a verdict on how I felt about it. Kanye is Kanye's worst enemy, his ego gets in his way. His past albums make us hold him up to a higher standard as many would argue that 2 maybe even 3 of his previous 5 albums are modern hip hop classic(The College Dropout, Late Registration and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). Yeezus fails to live up to the standards previous set by the rapper, we've come to expect more from him. If you're gonna make a rap album and only have 10 tracks you better make damn sure that those 10 tracks can make a great album.

Number of Tracks Kept: 7/10

Rating: 6/10

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Top 10 Albums of 2013, So Far...

Any genre, any artist. These are my top 10 favorite albums of the year so far.

10. Killscreen - Non-Fiction EP, a great pop-punk EP that's all around good.

9. Silverstein - This is How the Wind Shifts, a wonderfully cohesive project.

8. Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Experience, a solid R&B album that is artistic and enjoyable.

7. Logic - Welcome to Forever(mixtape), a free album from rapper Logic that is pure gold.

6. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels, Killer Mike and El-P back again and tearing this up, plus it's free!

5. Kid Cudi - Indicud, this over time has become a favorite for me lately, I love it.

4. The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation, they finally released an album that I love a lot, this album is awesome.

3. Black Sabbath - 13, a fantastic metal album from the creators themselves.

2. J. Cole - Born Sinner, if you read the review, you know, this album impressed me beyond reason.

1. Senses Fail - Renacer, what can I say? Senses Fail is one of my favorite albums, I love this album like you can't understand.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"J. Cole - Born Sinner" Review by Dom

Overview: A sinners album sent from Heaven.

J. Cole is a rapper from North Carolina and Born Sinner is his sophomore effort. As with Mac Miller, I've never been a big fan of Cole but with Cole it's more because I've never really listened to much from him. I've heard "Work Out" and "Who Dat" before this album but for some reason I was interested in this album. I wasn't expecting to like this, if anything Cole was already in the negative for me cause outside of his verse on "They Ready" by DJ Khaled with Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar on I had never been impressed by him.

The Positive: "Villuminati" starts it off with a band which has Cole going hard with a Biggie sample mixed in for good measure. He tackles his struggles, homophobia, the Illuminati among other topics. "Power Trip" is the lead single from the album, while commercial sounds great with a great beat and hook sung by Miguel. "Runaway" and "Rich Niggaz" are definitely standouts for great reasons. "Forbidden Fruit" is a song I'm still not sure about, I like the song but at the same time, what's the point of featuring Kendrick Lamar if he's just gonna do the chorus and not a verse? Especially when the two of you say you have a collaborative album in the works. "Crooked Smile" is an ode to women in a positive light. "Let Nas Down" and "Born Sinner" are both amazing songs, the beat on the former is beautiful and the story on it is told so well. Since I have the deluxe I'll talk about those as well because they're worth it. "Miss America" is a great song and the second single, rightfully so. "New York Times" features 50 Cent also only on the hook, I'm okay with this because 50 has definitely fallen off quite a bit with his verses. We've had a few tastes of Street King Immortal and none of it was too impressive, except Em's verse. One of my favorite tracks on the entire project is the final song on the deluxe edition: "Sparks Will Fly" and I get why some people won't like it. It's a love song about staying with a girl to smooth out the rough patches instead of throwing in the towel. His verses are great and the hook sung by Jhene Aiko is beautiful.

The Negative: "Chaining Day". Seriously, that's it. If I'm nit-picking, the beats and production are good but nothing is too stellar. The only song for me where the production really shines is "Let Nas Down" with a 90's sounding beat updated for 2013. The beats aren't bad, they're there and they're good, most importantly they allow Cole to flow over them without him getting lost in the beat.

Amount of Tracks Kept (Including Deluxe Edition): 18/21

Rating: 9/10

"Mac Miller - Watching Movies With the Sound Turned Off" Review by Dom

Overview: Easy Mac with the cheesy raps comes through.

Mac Miller is a rapper from Pittsburgh who gained a lot of buzz through various mixtapes and his huge single "Donald Trump". This is his second album following 2011's Blue Slide Park. I've never been a big fan of Miller, I like some of the features he's done, his XXL cyhper verse was pretty crazy and I had yet to find a song of his that really captured that energy. I do enjoy "Donald Trump" and "Frick Park Market" for what they are but outside of that I'm not a fan of Miller.

The Positive: By far, the opening track is one of the best songs he's ever written. It's introspective, deep and rather lyrical. "I'm Not Real" which features Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt is a great track as well. "Bird Call" is produced by Clams Casino who usually produces spacey, getting high beats as clearly evident in the 5 tracks he produced on A$AP Rocky's Live. Love. A$AP but on this he produces a banger in which Mac sounds so comfortable over. His flow sounds a lot better on this album over every other Mac song I've heard. A complaint he receives a lot is that he's boring with a monotone voice, while that's not entirely false he stays mostly fresh on this album and strays from being too boring aside from a few songs. The production and beats on this are pretty solid featuring Mac Miller, Pharrell Williams, Earl Sweatshirt, Clams Casino, Flying Lotus, The Alchemist and Chuck Inglish among a few others. The all together make the album sound cohesive and not just a collection of tracks.

The Negative: Some of these tracks are rather boring and just not good. Unsurprisingly all of the tracks I don't like have no features, just Mac on them. "Avian", "S.D.S', "I Am Who I Am (Killin' Time)", "REMember", "Youforia" and "Claymation" are these tracks. They're boring and unimaginative. Luckily for him, there's 19 tracks(including deluxe edition" so these negatives don't drop the rating too much.

The Features: One of the biggest reasons I checked this out was because of the features on it. Ab-Soul shows up on "Matches" and tears his verse to absolute pieces. Action Bronson appears on a 6-minute track that you wouldn't think would work but somehow it does. ScHoolboy Q and Jay Electronica kill their verses on "Gees" and "Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes", respectively. Finally Tyler, The Creator shows up on the deluxe edition on the track "O.K." and just comes through with a classic Tyler verse that's just great. Unfortunately for Mac his features outshine him. He did his homework and got some underground guys with buzz and brought them on and they brought their A-games. I think the biggest thing is the change in voice from Mac to anything else.

Overall: Not a bad album by any means, I don't know how much I'll be returning to it though. The features really came in and did their thing and probably saved this project from being abysmal. There's guys that can carry an album by themselves and Mac Miller is not one of them.

Number of Tracks Kept: 13/19

Rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Black Sabbath - 13" Review by Dom

Overview: 13 is Sabbath's lucky number.

13 is legendary metal band Black Sabbath's 19th studio album and the first with original singer Ozzy Osbourne back in 35 years. This is the first studio album released under the Black Sabbath name since 1995's Forbidden, the band released an album in 2009 under the name Heaven & Hell with the late great Ronnie James Dio handling vocals. This is being advertised as a reunion album but it's not full, the band has Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler but is missing drummer Bill Ward. Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine fame handles drums as a "guest musician" on the album.

The Positive: Pretty much everything. Iommi's riffs are as good as ever, possibly better than anything he's written in quite a long time. Ozzy, who I thought would sound awful, as he has on his solo albums for the past decade sounds as good as he did in 1970. You would never know Wilk was behind the drum kit if he wasn't in the credits, he blends into the Sabbath mold perfectly. For this album I HIGHLY recommend buying the deluxe edition, the Best Buy one if you can. The standard holds 8 songs and with the deluxe you get an extra 3(4 at Best Buy) and are they worth the extra money. "Zeitgeist" was the first track to really make me say wow, it's an acoustic-ish, slower song but it's performed fantastically, Ozzy sounds great on it. "Age of Reason", "Damaged Soul" and "Dear Father" probably have the most monstrous riffs on the album and are some of the best in the Sabbath catalog. Most of the songs on the album are on the longer side with all but 5 tracks reaching over the 5-minute mark. In total, including all 4 bonus tracks the album comes in at an hour and 12 minutes which is damn long, especially in this decade. Luckily for the band they give you amazing songs and the album never really dulls down.

The Negative: The single, "God is Dead?". While it's not a bad song, it was a bad choice as the lead single for the album, as it's slower and just under 9 minutes long. I would've chosen "Live Forever" as the single, it's a 4 and a half minute song with a killer riff that just plays amazingly. The opening track, "The End of the Beginning" is a little lackluster as well, it's slower but it does pick up but the song doesn't do much for me. I really wish the 4 bonus tracks were just part of the standard album because they really deserve to be as they're just as good and some are even better than the tracks on the standard edition. The lyrics can be a bit corny occasionally but not to an unbearable degree. Besides that, this album exceeded any expectation I had for this album.

Overall: This album is great, definitely deserving of the Black Sabbath name. 13 is definitely a top 10 Sabbath album, maybe in time a top 5 but their catalog is so impressive that cracking the top 5 would be near impossible. If I had to describe the sound I'd say it's a cross between the instrumentation and heaviness of Dehumanizer along with classic Ozzy vocals. If you're a fan of Sabbath than you should already have this, if you like metal, get this, if you don't maybe this will convert you. The album is that good. The band that invented heavy metal came back in 2013 to show that they still got it and that the world still loves classic sounding metal, proven by the fact that 13 is the bands very first number 1 album in the US> Congrats to the band for that and thank you for this album.

Number of Tracks Kept: 10/12

Rating: 9/10

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sister Blog - The Perks of Being a Cinephile: A Film Review Blog

Hey guys, just a quick message to let you know that I will be starting a sister blog for my film reviews. I've wanted to do one for a while and it's time I finally do so.

You can find it at I'll also put a link up on Facebook.

This doesn't mean I'll stop with the music, I currently have J. Cole's Born Sinner and Black Sabbath's 13 in the works. After that I'm planning on doing Kanye's Yeezus and possibly Mac Miller's new album. Also the Green Day trilogy is going to happen, just please understand it's a lot of music to digest and to try to condense into one review but I promise I am working on it!

Thank you for the support!

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Falling in Reverse - Fashionably Late" Review by Dom

NOTE: I had 2 ideas for the overview and couldn't decide so I'll post both.

Overview 1: Unfashionably Late for the rap-metal fad.

Overview 2: What the fuck happened?

Fashionably Late is the second album from metalcore band Falling in Reverse. This album comes off the heels of 2011's The Drug in Me is You which I thought was a pretty good album. Vocalist Ronnie Radke is formerly of Escape the Fate recording only their 2006 debut, Dying is Your Latest Fashion and then being kicked out after getting jail time.

The Positive: Well, there ain't much. The title track is by far the best track on the album, a catchy chorus and Radke's vocals are on point. "Born to Lead" is another good track with the band shining over Radke for the first time in the band's history. Jacky Vincent (lead guitar) has an incredible solo which leads into a hell of a breakdown. "Champion" opens the album, the first 2 minutes are great and then Radke starts rapping, and while it's corny and unwarranted, it fits the song and Radke actually raps pretty well and the band rewards you with a killer breakdown for sitting through it.

The 'Meh': "It's Over When it's Over" and "Self-Destruct Personality", both tracks are alright, not bad, not good but just in the middle, also known as 'filler'.

The Negative: The other 9 tracks. Let's start with fan favorite "Alone" (please sense the sarcasm there). What a waste of a chorus, I love this chorus so much that I've tried convincing my ears that his rapping is bearable but dammit it's just not. It sucks, he says "White boy on the beat" like he's the first white rapper, I can rattle off 10 white rappers that could rap circles around Radke. These 9 songs, 7 of them are ruined 100% by Radke's shittastic "rapping". Ronnie Radke, you're not "shitting on rappers" and you're sure as hell not "crossing the line", you're just pissing off any fanbase you had. Please do not listen to this song, I beg you. "Bad Girl Club", this song is laughably bad, emphasis on the laughably. I want you to listen to this because you will laugh, literally. "Game Over" is his retarded way of comparing life to video games. "Keep Holding On" is supposed to be his 'heartfelt' track but after listening to all of the tracks beforehand, it makes no sense. Ronnie Radke is an asshat and he knows that, why try to mask it with this track? It's so bad. "Fuck the Rest", who woulda thought a song with that title would've been so light and fun sounding. That's okay, provided the song is good but GUESS WHAT, it's not. Radke says "this is song is for everyone that's had enough, this song is for you" but he sounds so insincere about it and like someone forced him to say it. The country-inspired "Drifter" is pure garbage. I literally can't run out of bad things to say about this album.

Overall: They messed up, how did the rest of the band let this happen, seriously? "Rolling Stone" is a great song, until Radke tears it to pieces and pisses on its corpse with his rapping. They should change the name of the band to "The Ronnie Radke Show" cause it's pretty clear he doesn't give a squirt of piss about the other band members. What happened to the emotion and the passion from tracks like "The Day I Left the Womb"? He's cocky and it doesn't work, comparatively Kanye West is also a cocky ass but his music stays amazing. Radke's ego brings him down and the music down extremely.

Number of Tracks Kept: 5/14

Rating: 3.5/10

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"For Today - Prevailer - EP" Review by Dom

Overview: For Today prevails with Prevailer.

For Today is a Christian metalcore band from Iowa who have been around since 2005. This is the band's 5th official release after last year's full-length, Immortal which was a great album. The sound they have now was perfected and solidified in 2010's album Breaker which featured guest vocalists from Stray From the Path and Close Your Eyes.

The band's sound is typical metalcore but with more proficiency on each member's instruments. There are 2 standouts with the band, one, their breakdowns are phenomenal, absolutely heart-stopping and hard-hitting. Secondly is vocalist Mattie Montgomery. His screams are absolutely crushing, yet understandable and most importantly, you can hear his emotion and passion within his screams.

Positive: This EP is contains 5 tracks, 4 brand new and 1 acoustic version of the track "Fearless" which was the lead single off of Immortal. Beginning with "Fearless", the acoustic version is good and it was a nice change of pace for the band but the original still trumps this version for me. Doesn't mean this version is bad, the original is just near perfect. My favorite track off of this EP has to be "From Zion", it's heavy, Mattie's vocals are fantastic and the breakdown is just gnarly. "Flesh and Blood" is also great, the band puts in just as much energy into this EP as they do into their full-lengths and it paid off for the band and definitely paid off for the fans. "Crown of Thorns" is a hard-hitting track as well, each song on here is worthy of being part of the For Today discography.

Negative: I'm struggling to find any bad things to say about this EP. It was too short? It's an EP I can't fault the band on that. The closest I can come to is saying that I wish that they picked a different track to interpret acoustically. At the same time, the acoustics on the track are beautiful as are the vocals.

Rating: 8.5/10

"The Purge" Movie Review by Dom

The Purge is a horror/thriller film directed by James DeMonaco; this is he second film he's directed. The only real notable name in this movie is lead actor Ethan Hawke who, as per usual, brings his A-game and knocks it out of the park.

The Purge is set 9 years in the future in a time where for 12 hours starting at 7pm March 21st and ending 7am March 22 all crime is legal. Crime, outside of those 12 hours is at an all time low, unemployment is at an all time low as well and many believe that this purge has saved the country. Now most horror movies have the one sensible person in the group and everyone else can't seem to tie their shoes without dying, in this film Ethan Hawke is sensible and his family are idiots. His son lets a stranger into their fortified house and never redeems himself, throughout the movie I was hoping that he would get killed.

Rhys Wakefield plays the main villain, who's name is never revealed. Wakefield does a fantastic job at being menacing, clever, creepy and overall is a great villain. I hope this role lands him more villainous roles because truth be told he could knock them out of the park.

The movie, as a horror movie, kind of failed, it wasn't very creepy or scary, only once was I scared. What scared me more was when my girlfriend would scream because she was scared. Once the strangers enter the house the movie turns into a cat and mouse game since both parties have guns it becomes fun to watch. Had they gone completely cat and mouse movie with some horror elements instead of the other way around this movie could've been a lot better. Instead we get a standard home invasion horror movie that fails to scare or live up to the fantastic set up which had a ton of potential.

Negative: It doesn't fail as a film, it does however fail to live up to the hype and deliver on the promise the set up gave us. It's not as bad as some have said but it's certainly not as good as some have said.

Positive: What the film gives us is a villain who is great at what he does, and an intriguing cat and mouse type movie which creates for a fun time at the movies.

Rating: 6/10

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Megadeth - Super Collider" Review by Dom

Overview: Should be called Average Collider.

Super Collider is the 14th album from thrash gods Megadeth. This is the bands 4th album in the last 6 years which is a pretty good amount of music coming out in a relatively short amount of time. To put it in perspective the band Tool has been around for 23 years and has released the same amount of albums.

Negative: For me, the band has kind of been on a downward slope, I loved 2007's United Abominations, 2009's Endgame was pretty good, while 2011's TH1RT3EN was lackluster. I heard the lead single which is the title track and hated it, the song is just plain bad. It's a poppy take on metal and it doesn't work at all for me. This album for me, the bulk of the tracks just blend together and don't stand out for better or worse. By now the Megadeth formula has been pretty standard lately, great guitarwork, Mustaine's trademark vocals, corny yet somehow cool lyrics and a great rhythm section to pull it all together. All of that is present on Super Collider yet somehow it still falls short. The band plays fantastically and Mustaine still sounds Mustaine-y. A complaint I've heard rather frequently about this album is that it's not fast-paced and thrashy, while that's true that doesn't mean it's bad. Slayer's Diabolus in Musica was slower and I personally love that album. Metallica's black album was slower and that brought metal to a whole new level. The difference between those albums and this one is that those albums were good. Mustaine's lyrics are cornier than ever and sound almost uninspired. The track "Off the Edge" made me laugh because he talks of how he's insane and the world is going crazy and it's funny because everyone knows he's crazy and he's acknowledging it now and it's comical, song sucks though. The cover of Thin Lizzy's "Cold Sweat" was odd, it's a decent cover, I prefer Sodom's cover of it and obviously, being a huge fan of Thin Lizzy, I love the original. Megadeth does it justice, but not enough to be a notable cover. Also this album title sucks really badly.

Positive: With all of that being said, this is still Megadeth and they still write some kick ass music. The opening track "Kingmaker" is a great track, one of the faster ones on the album. "Burn!" is a cornier track yet it works so well and it's a great song. David Drainman of Disturbed(yes, I know he has his band Device now but no one gives a shit about them) has a feature on the album, the track "Dance in the Rain" and being a fan of Disturbed I was looking forward to his guest spot and he delivered. The track is a good track without him, the band slows it down and builds it up to a killer solo and then Drainman's vocals and it cements the song together. Drainman doesn't use his typical Disturbed-style vocals(there's no ooh-wa-ah-ah), it's a darker sounding tone and it works with the song. "The Blackest Crow" is an interesting track, complete with a slower tempo and a banjo, you read that right. I don't love the song but something about it keeps me coming back. The final track that I have in the "positive" column is the song "Forget to Remember, it's a pretty good song, it's a midtempo track, it sounds like it should've closed the instead of the Thin Lizzy cover.

The band is fantastic, the riffs are great, Chris Broderick's leads are amazing, as are Mustaine's. Ellefson plays well but there weren't many standout basslines that we've come to expect from him. Shawn Drover's drumming is always great and he doesn't disappoint on this album either.

I really want another track like "A Tout le Monde" a nice slower track with a perfectly placed guest vocal spot(guest vocals not necessary though). I really think Mustaine and the band should take a little while off, they've been cranking out albums like crazy, which is good provided the music stays good. So I think they should tour for this album then maybe take the rest of the year off, from touring and writing, then play some festivals in the summer of '14, then maybe a sweet Winter tour then a few months off for the band from touring and writing again then after that maybe start writing, let everyone recharge their creative batteries. Just my opinion.

Overall: A decent album, definitely not as bad as Risk as some have called it. It's one of the worst Megadeth albums but with a discography the stature of Megadeth's that's not saying that it's really a bad album per se. It's worth picking up if you're a Megadeth completist, if not, check it out on YouTube first.

Rating: 6/10

"Escape the Fate - Ungrateful" Review by Dom

Overview: Escape the Fate make an un-great-ful album.

Ungrateful is the fourth studio album by metalcore band Escape the Fate and the third album with lead vocalist Craig Mabbit who was formerly the vocalist of Bless the Fall. This album sees the band at their heaviest since their debut Dying is Your Latest Fashion with singer Ronnie Radke in 2006.

With many fans being left disappointed after 2010's self-titled album this album cranks up the heaviness for better and for worse. In some songs the heaviness seems forced and not genuine. We all know that Mabbit likes to sing like an R&B star but it doesn't always mesh well. "Live Fast, Die Beautiful" talks of how girls try to take advantage of Mabbit's fame which is fine and dandy but who considers him famous? Altpress and people up to and around the age of 20 know who he is but he could walk down a street without anyone saying something to him. "Risk it All" is an interesting track, where, as the title states, they are risking it all but it makes me wonder what this "all" that they're talking about is. They just signed a new record deal with Eleven Seven Music who's roster boats the likes of Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool and Papa Roach. But what's really the question is: Do they think that this album is risking anything? The short answer is, it's not. It's a rather generic album, with heavy songs where you'd expect them(beginning and end), softer songs where you'd expect them(in the middle to break up the album) and not the most inventive lyrics. "One for the Money" is possibly the corniest and dumbest. The chorus consists of the age-old phrase that nearly everyone is familiar with, "one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go." What the band does to spice this chorus up is add a gratuitous amount of "motherfuckers" in it which just comes off lazy and idiotic. The bulk of the songs are just plain forgettable, not standing out for being good but also not for being terrible with the exceptions of "Chemical Love" and "Desire", those tracks just plain suck.

Now, the positives. The lead single, "Ungrateful" is a great track, it's heavy as hell, the chorus is well-sung and catchy and the lyrics are actually pretty solid. "You're Insane" is another good one, it's not as heavy but Mabbit's clean vocals really shine on the track and it also has a good solo in it, yes a guitar solo. "Fire it Up", the closing track of the album really fires you up(2 puns in this review is 2 too many). It's a great track with a great solo, chorus and a hell of a breakdown to close the track and the album itself. My other 2 positive standouts are "Until We Die" and "Forget About Me", both of which I wasn't crazy about the first listen through but after listening to the album front to back 3 times these songs really grew on me, with good vocals and not being as corny as some other tracks they truly deserved their spot on this album.

NOTE: I know there are 2 bonus tracks on the deluxe edition, I haven't heard them therefore I cannot comment on them.

Overall: This album isn't great, I'm not sure I could call it good either, it's a few steps up from their self-titled album and This War is Ours but doesn't even come close to touching their debut album. Ungrateful showed me that the band has the capacity and the potential to write some pretty good tracks and perform them well. Hopefully in 10 years we can look back on this album as the stepping stone that brought the band to make great albums. After their self-titled album I had given up on them, declared they'd never make good music again but this album proved me wrong and I'm happy that it did.

Rating: 4/10