It’s been seven years since The Rolling Stones last unleashed any new output on their adoring public.
Seven years, granted, in a career that has now spanned across fifty, but seven long years nonetheless.
Anything released by a band that has been on the go for so long is understandably met with trepidation by even those who pride themselves on having the most open mind. Can still hold a tune? Does still have the wherewithal to recognise a good lick?
Don’t worry. This is The Stones.
It’s a damning indictment on today’s mainstream musical circuit when the phrase ‘18-year-old up and coming star’ conjures images of Justin Bieber or any number of X Factor warblers, striking fear into the very soul of any self-respecting music lover.
This in mind, it’s only natural for anyone unaware of Jake Bugg to perhaps be a little wary upon approach. But fear not non-Beliebers, this young chap is the real deal.
There’s been a fair degree of reluctance to unleash Muse’s feverishly anticipated sixth studio effort, their first since 2009’s ‘Resistance’, before the public release on October 1st.
Perhaps it’s because of the lukewarm reception that greeted official Olympic oddity ‘Survival’? Or the general confusion that lead single ‘Madness’ invoked upon its debut last month?
Either way, the covert operation as a whole suggested what Muse were waiting to unleash on the world was either a creative work of behemoth artistic proportions or a clusterfuck so bad that they wanted to hide it from any unsuspecting consumers until it was too late.
So which is it?
Cast your mind back to 2005 and the inundation of skinny jean bedecked strummers churning out nice little radio friendly ditties and enjoying meteoric success, only to vanish from the public eye faster than a Big Mac at a Weightwatchers meeting.
See the Guillemots, The Pigeon Detectives, Boy Kill Boy, The Bravery, The Hoosiers, the….. well you get the idea. Just a handful of players from a cast of thousands who have beautifully illustrated that while fly by night success is by no means without its perks and instant gratification, originality of some description is the key to longevity.
So after the widespread teenage adulation and abundance of “this year’s festival must see” clichés that followed the release of 2010’s debut ‘Tourist History’, the pressure is firmly on Two Door Cinema Club to produce a follow up that would appease the oh so fickle indie scene. An unenviable task by anyone’s standards.
Putting whatever personal opinions you have of Muse to one side just for one brief moment, it would be difficult for anyone to accuse them of being mundane.
Since their inception Matt Bellamy and co. have steadily evolved from vehement searing guitar rock and roll in breakthrough showstopper ‘Origin of Symmetry’, lurching ever closer to mellower and more radio friendly waters right up until 2009’s oddity ‘The Resistance’, never conforming merely to just one genre and splitting both critics and fans into two distinct camps along the way.
In an era when identikit indie-by-numbers groups are churned out on an endless production line, flanked by radio friendly manufactured X Factor tripe and a plethora of r&b wanabees, isn’t it refreshing when a young band produce something original?
Well, original may not exactly be the correct choice of wording when it comes to Dollface. Their music is, after all, instantly identifiable most prominently with the likes of Cheap Trick, peppered with more than a few not so subtle nods to Springsteen.
Pure feelgood Americana.
Love them or loathe them, and the jury’s very much still out on that one, Guns N Roses were a once in a lifetime band that typified yet simultaneously reconstructed an entire generation’s attitude to rock music.
Those five Sunset Strip degenerates sat atop the very apex of their genre for some five years before Kurt Cobain’s grunge juggernaut rolled into town and delivered the mother of all onslaughts.
But Guns’ legacy was never forgotten.
That is why, 25 years after ‘Appetite For Destruction’ first ruptured eardrums the world over, any whiff of output, creative or otherwise, the former Gunners emit is met with a lingering interest on both a critical and public level. Duff McKagan is off exploring his punk heritage with Loaded, Steven Adler has become something of a morbid curiosity as years of drug and alcohol abuse have taken their toll, and we all know what Axl has been up to.
And then there’s Slash.
Little over two years ago, Cult frontman Ian Astbury boldly declared that his band would never again release a new album, ostensibly disillusioned with the music industry and opting instead to churn out a series of ‘capsule’ format EPs featuring only a handful of new tracks to appease their hardcore following.
Whether this was the genuine stance of one of rock’s most enigmatic figures or simply a delayed reaction to the largely tepid response from critics and fans alike that met their last full output, 2007’s ‘Born Into This’, is a question that only Astbury himself could answer with any kind of clarity.
After all, his notoriously unpredictable, occasionally outright bewildering behaviour throughout the band’s 30 years has led those in the know to take most of his comments with a pinch of salt these days.
Fear not, this isn’t the return of Little Britain’s Dennis Waterman caricature. Simply a condensed and abridged version of how Fifth Nation’s second full length album came to fruition.
The Brooklyn duo have actually been around for some 3 years now, but thanks largely to their natural inclination to tour only on their native side of the pond their name is still met with shrugged shoulders and raised eyebrows whenever it is uttered by those in the know on these shores.
More’s the pity for the United Kingdom, for when the word is spread, you can bet your bottom dollar these two are set for big things.
Incubated in a 60s haze, rejuvenated in more recent years to some extent by the likes of The Flaming Lips, Porcupine Tree and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, it is a crude but often wonderfully preposterous musical Marmite that only the admirably brave or mercilessly foolish would attempt to cross over to were it not already their natural inclination.
So into which category does Richard Hawley fall?
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