Review Roundup: Alkaline Trio, Paramore, Metric, Chevelle, David Guetta, Dizzee Rascal, Plasticines…
The roundup this week draws back a bit, while touching base with a freshly baked single from Chicago’s Alkaline Trio. Yet not only back, but across the ocean. Expect more international singles from here on out.
Alkaline Trio – This Addiction
The Chicago trifecta have been revving up for their upcoming album, This Addiction, since parting ways with Sony and joining Epitaph. Moreover, they brought back the classic producer Matt Allison, who helped craft their dark yet partly-cloudy punk sound. This Addiction is straightforward and follows the formula, and yet Skiba’s voice never sounded this good. Lyrically, it brings back the classic not-too-serious wordplay that got the band where they are.
Alice In Chains – Your Decision
Acoustic, but unlike “Over Now” and “No Excuses”, the latest from the greatest rock revival of 2009, Alice in Chains, builds upon the heavy landscapes permeating Black Gives Way To Blue. The acoustic guitar works, with many thanks to Sean Kinney and Mike Inez to create this iron-like suppression that only lets the bright strumming and William DuVall out. Now that this is done, and successfully at that, I’d love to hear them attempt the aforementioned, looser acoustic sounds of the past.
Breaking Benjamin – Give Me A Sign
“I Will Not Bow” was well-rounded, and served its purpose to reintroduce Breaking Benjamin. “Give Me A Sign” pulls the attention back to the days of “Rain” and “Sooner or Later”, mostly resembling the latter. The modern day balladry of Breaking Benjamin is able to top the heavyweights Nickelback’s transformed arena rock without sacrificing rock sensibilities to do so.
Chevelle – Letter From A Thief
The second single off Sci-Fi Crimes, following “Jars”, is a personal recounting, drawing from stolen equipment experiences. While the lyrics are compelling, the single stays well within the shadows of comfort without lurking out. Here’s to rooting for “Shameful Metaphors” or “Roswell’s Spell” as a follow-up.
David Guetta – Memories (feat. Kid Cudi)
The Man on the Moon loosens himself more than any track save “Day ‘n’ Nite” off his debut to help out David Guetta on his phenomenal One Love. The French DJ is more than a powerhouse, somehow combining the energy in all those nuclear reactors dotting the countryside into single after single. He broke into U.S. radio earlier with Kelly Rowland, and with this current French single that was sent to a few stations he could top the U.S. pop charts even without Will.i.am and NYE.
Dizzee Rascal – Bonkers (Produced by Armand Van Helden)
“A heavy bass line is my kind of silence.” The Dutch-sounding-but-American house producer Armand Van Helden took London’s Dizzee Rascal to number one in the United Kingdom. Back in the day, he was on the forefront of the short-lived grime movement before switching to hip-hop. The transition to this was quite dramatic, and he’s shown he’s not crazy for doing so.
Florence + the Machine – Kiss With A Fist
Florence Welch broke the surface in early 2008 in the UK before finally breaching American shores with this phenomenal single. Raucous and rocky, the classic free-wheeling kind with a voice and lyrical wit to match. Why America took upon Katy Perry and Lily Allen but waited so long on her is beyond me…
Metric – Gold Girls Guns
Metric burst out into our borders back in the Canadian indie rock surge of 2004 and 2005, and has dug into our speakers and televisions while others faded. While not as pop catchy, the beats are driven so hard by Joules Scott-Key it threatens to melt the pavement over Emily Haines’ radio-refreshing voice.
Paramore – Brick By Boring Brick
The fact that Paramore can continue to balance pop melodies with legit pop punk is remarkable enough. That each successive single can pick and choose from a case of these elements without sounding worn and tired is equally surprising. It is not as strong as “Ignorance”, but more memorable than “Decode” could’ve hoped to be.
Plasticines – Barcelona
Okay, first of all, a picture with JAGUAR LOVE?! Un-be-liev-able, and pretty great might I add for obvious reasons. Annnnd review time.
People are queuing up to rave about this Parisian quartet of filles, especially after Butch Walker produced their About Love to guarantee pop comparisons left and right. While they are not anywhere close to Pink or Avril Lavigne, they attempt to channel the 1960’s punk down to the jackets. “Barcelona” is standard overall, safe I’d say, and I hope their second single has the teeth to back up these bébés rockeurs. Anaïs, on drums, steals the spotlight revolving around these Parisians this time. (Though Louise takes the video with the Rickenbacker alone, seriously!)