Music reviews 3/21/14

The Birthday Massacre- Hide and Seek: One of my favorite goth bands. It’s always great to hear something by these guys, and this album is a great representation of why I like them: pulse-pounding industrial synth-backed rock with an emotive female singer, catchy hooks, and great effects. Pretty much every song is great, the energy levels are manipulated perfectly, and the songs all fit together well. If you mourn the loss of Evanescence from the annals of great gothic rock, definitely give this group a listen, you won’t regret it. 8.5/10

Anberlin- Vital: Ah yes, more Anberlin is always a good thing. While not their best album, Vital still showcases a sound that remains easily identifiable while evolving in small ways. This definitely lacks a lot of really strong, emotional standouts, at least when compared to their last few albums, but the wall of sound approach they have makes it decently coherent, even across slow, soft songs like “Innocent”. Well, I said that, but things pick up in a very subtle way in the second half. So yes, not their best album, and newcomers should check out Cities or Blueprints for the Black Market for a better view of them at their best, but I will always value an album with a strong ending than one with a strong opening and a weak ending. 8/10

Three Days Grace- Transit of Venus: I’ve always liked 3DG, but this time around, I’m not feeling it, which means either they’ve changed or I have. There’s just something lacking here: the music isn’t as intense and emotional, or it’s not as powerful, or… something. It’s still energetic rock with the same elements as their previous albums, I just don’t like it. I dunno. 4/10

Flyleaf- New Horizons: I pretty much know these guys from a single Rock Band track from a few years back. This isn’t a great album, but it’s got enough going for it that I don’t feel I’ve wasted my time listening to it. I appreciate that, it happens far too infrequently. Anyone who likes goth-ish female-fronted hard rock will definitely want to check Flyleaf out. 6.5/10

Aerosmith- Music from Another Dimension: Aerosmith is one of those bands that was really great once upon a time, and so I keep listening to them, despite the fact that every time they come out with a new album, it reminds me of how far they’ve fallen since their heyday and how much I wish they would stop making music and just rest on their laurels already. From the outset, this carries a distinctive Aerosmith feeling: the singing, the guitars, pretty much everything is there that would make you go, “Whoa, a new Aerosmith song?” if you heard it on the radio. Except it’s slower. Listless. Like they’re running on empty, just doing the same thing over and over. Still, I’m glad it sounds more like “Love in an Elevator” than “Just Push Play”. Unfortunately, that means it’s easy to forget just how old these guys are and pretend they’re back in form. If you’re a big fan of ignoring inconvenient truths and holding on to the past, this is the album for you. 5.5/10

About Present Perfect

I'm a goddamn pony.
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