Sunday, January 22, 2012

Monday, September 27, 2010



So, apparently some people are still coming to this blog since I still get emails about it so I thought I had to clear things up a bit. Let me tell you first, your emails please me. Obviously as you can see I quit doing this, for several reasons. I really didn't have enough time to keep it updated, because of work, school and let's be honest, also because of my social life. Several personal issues also prevented me from getting on the Internet to update this and also to write reviews I said I would, so I would like to apologize to the bands/labels that contacted me and never got what they asked for, I really couldn't do it. I'm sorry.
I now work for the French website Alternativ News, which keeps everyone updated about the whole alternative/punk/hardcore/emo/screamo/indie/whatever scene. They were already posting some of my reviews and interviews on their site but I'm now working full-time for them. I post news, write a lot of reviews about every genre possible but especially hardcore since I am the only fan of the genre over there, live reports and I especially do a lot of interviews. Bands like Anberlin, Chiodos, Yellowcard, The Gaslight Anthem, Rufio, Converge, Crime In Stereo, Title Fight, The Wonder Years, La Dispute and many others already accepted to answer my questions. The website is obviously in French but ALL the interviews are also posted in English so you English-speaking readers can still enjoy our little chat ups with your favorite bands !
I'm also doing a radio show in Bordeaux, the French city where I'm studying. It's called Cruise Control (hopefully you'll get the reference), I'm doing this with three other friends who I put on shows in Bordeaux with, we joke around but mostly we play punk/hardcore stuff. If you're fluent in French, you can listen to it here every next Tuesday, from 9 to 10 P.M. (French time). You can check out our past shows and playlists on Facebook.

Alright, that's all, thanks to all of you who came over to read my reviews and/or interviews, I really appreciated. Hopefully I'll be doing something in English again soon !
Go to shows, support the scene and let's keep it alive and vibrant. See you soon !


P.S.: You can keep in touch with me on Facebook or
Bands/labels can now contact me at romain.alternativnews(at), I don't use dailymusicreviews(at) anymore. Keep in mind all the reviews will be in French, though !

Monday, March 08, 2010


Hey everyone,
Those past few days have been slow for the blog as I've had a few exams and a very busy schedule (not only during the day, to be honest with you). This will continue in the next weeks as I am leaving for a few trips in Europe and won't be able to post anything. I will go back to write reviews as soon as I can. Bands can still email me at dailymusicreviews(at) but I won't be able to reply before this weekend. Thanks for your loyalty and see you very soon!


Monday, March 01, 2010

Four Year Strong - Enemy of the world

Four Year Strong have produced a little revolution in the world of pop-punk with their sophomore record 'Rise or die trying'. Not that they created anything: pop-punk with breakdowns isn't in any way their invention, but the way they've overlayed the energy and catchiness of the genre with a few fashions borrowed from hardcore, the whole added to thick poppy synth lines inspired a flood of bands who desperately tried to re-create this "poppy hardcore", "easycore" or whatever you want to call it. After the lukewarm reception that welcomed their cover album last year, everyone was lying in wait for the Worcester, Massachussets five-piece. Two years and a half and countless tours around the world after the success of 'Rise or die trying', the bearded crew is back with 'Enemy of the world'.

The evolution is blindingly obvious. Four Year Strong have refined their sound, removed the excess to come back with something smoother and more focused. There's less sugar, less hardcore gimmicks, less double bass, less synth as well. With less cheese and less breakdowns for the sake of breakdowns, the band from now on fully deserve to be taken seriously. It doesn't mean they have lost their fun side though, all you have to do is to have a quick look at the artwork and the song titles to make sure of it. But their sound is more polished and elaborated (the unbelievably addictive single 'Wasting time (Eternal summer)' is easily one of their best compositions), they've experienced more harmonies, more constructions, taken more risks and thus we find a few songs that would have less fitted on the previous album, such as 'On a Saturday' or the sad 'One step at a time', maybe the weakest on the record. With 'Find my way back', its soft vocals parts and its Set Your Goals tones, the band have even given a try to the hyper melodic and potential radio single track and have succesfully passed the test. This song could have been the best pop cover off 'Explains it all' if it actually was a cover. You can rest assured however, you will find everything you love about Four Year Strong on 'Enemy of the world': the vocal tandem Dan O'Connor/Alan Day at its best ('Flannel is the color of my energy'), keyboardist Josh Lyford's screams ('On a Saturday'), gang vocals by the dozen ('Nineteen with neck tatz') and memorable mosh parts ('This body pays the bill$'). Four Year Strong remain a breakdown factory, the one on the incredibly powerful opener 'It must really suck to be Four Year Strong right now' (a quote from Alternative Press's review of Set Your Goals' latest album) competing with what stood until now as their best ever on 'Heroes get remembered, legends never die'. And even if the poppier tracks will definitely work less live, some numbers will be instant fan favorites in the pit: 'What the hell is a gigawatt?' is a good reminder of 'Rise or die trying', except they took every element to a higher level, with the breakdown being the act's heaviest moment to date (with a featuring of Reign Supreme's Jay Pepito). The work on melodies is remarkable and you'll find some of the best choruses the band have ever written in 'Find my way back', 'This body pays the bill$' and 'Enemy of the world'. The grandiose final that is the latter song takes all of these elements back in a last energy and brothership epic assault that wonderfully closes the record. I also recommend you to check out the b-side 'Cavalier' off the 'It's not the size of the 7''... It's how you use it' vinyl single, it is even better than most of the songs that made it to the album and its trashing cymbals-led break will for sure turn your room upside down.

'Enemy of the world' is the logical step up that fans were waiting for. A more focused and rafined Four Year Strong leads to songs not blending together anymore and impresses by their effectiveness. The production is huge and so is everything on this record: choruses, gang vocals, choirs, breakdowns, blasting guitars and pounding drums. Only the synth is quieter, but it's for the best. Kids can stop worrying, their latest favorite band was not a one-shot and this third album is showing a cloudless sky for Four Year Strong. Now put your dance shoes on and prepare to sing along.


Recommanded if you like:
New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, A Day To Remember
Check also:
BannerHill, Can't Bear This Party!, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!
(Decaydance/Universal Motown, 2010)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Artist Vs Poet - Favorite fix

Take the review I posted for The Rocket Summer's new album:

"I'm gonna be very unprofessional today. Which isn't bad, as I'm only a blogger. I don't have much to say about The Rocket Summer. Bryce Avary's one-man band doesn't inspire me much. My feelings for his fourth full-length 'Of men and angels' are the same as those I expressed for his previous EP (which songs are included on the album). If you liked, you'll still enjoy, if you didn't, he won't get a new fan with this one. Contender for ugliest artwork of the year, though."

Replace "Bryce Avary's one-man band" and "The Rocket Summer" with "Artist Vs Poet", the link for the previous EP with this one, and you get my review for Artist Vs Poet's debut full-length. Artwork dissing included.


Recommanded if you like:
Forever The Sickest Kids, Sing It Loud, The Summer Set
Check also:
A Bird A Sparrow, School Boy Humor, Racing Kites!
(Fearless Records, 2009)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bomb The Music Industry! - Adults!!!... Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!! (Digital EP)

Another digital EP from the most famous totally DIY punk band today, Bomb The Music Industry!, another free record to download on their label's website (feel free to donate, as always). In case you didn't already know, the Baldwin-based collective got everything there was to get about how music should work.

Not only is this band respectable for everything they do for both their fans (all their shows are all ages and under $10) and the state of the music industry (free discography, revolutionary way to deal with merch), but they also make great music. This new EP is no exception, offering 7 new songs (including a Nintendo-like electronic interlude) filled with everything you like about Bomb The Music Industry!. Especially if you like the fast Bomb The Music Industry!. The opener 'You still believe in me?' is the band at its punkest, with a fast instrumentation, Jeff Rosenstock providing great vocals, as off-tune as always, and lyrics about drinking. Their ska side is to be found on 'Planning my death', filled with horns, and 'The first time I met Sanawon', whereas keys are put forward on the upbeat 'Slumlord'. Closer 'Struggler' is particularly representative of the band's crazily wide musical horizon as it starts as a slow song with acoustic guitar and trombone before speeding up to get full-band and heavy, Rosenstock screaming: "I don't wanna go outside / 'Cause I might have a terrible day". The only slow-paced song is actually the moody 'All ages show' dealing with the punk scene.

Bomb The Music Industry! is a mess, but a very fun mess. They always use a dozen of instruments as well as a dozen of musicians and all of that makes them sound like they're out of this world. Catchy, eclectic, original, easy to relate to, this band never ceases being entertaining. This new EP doesn't prove me wrong, especially when you know it was written and recorded in five days. The collective belongs to that category of band who you will be very enthusiastic and proud to support, especially since they don't ask you to.


Nb.: The picture is not the actual artwork, it is made of all the eight different covers (one per musician) plus the artwork for the single 'Struggler'.

Recommanded if you like:
The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches, Big D And The Kids Table, High School Football Heroes
Check also:
Chotto Ghetto, Infamous Jake & The Pinstripe Mafia, Rick Johnson Rock And Roll Machine
(Quote Unquote Records, 2010)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Interview: Fair

Fair's new album has finally arrived and it meets everyone's expectations (review here). The band's guitarist Erick Newbill took some time to tell me about the recording of 'Disappearing world', his side-project and touring. Read the interview by clicking "Read more".

Enter Shikari - Tribalism

Already a new album? No my friends, just a collection of b-sides, remixes and live songs. But Enter Shikari also decided to record two new songs to increase the album's interest.

The first new song is 'Tribalism', a synth-led track showcasing another change in direction, the English four-piece going further towards experimentation than they already did on 'Common dreads', with the part sung by Chris Batten even having a Depeche Mode vibe. The verses are a bit boring at times but the song benefits from an excellent chorus, dynamised by a faster rhythm and back-and-forth vocals. The breakdown is good as well, fairly heavy with big gang vocals and Rob Rofle smashing his drums. The funny yet deep lyrics about humanity are worth checking out. 'Thumper' is a more traditional Shikari song, full of breaks and energy and featuring a great vocal performance. The drums are a bit disappointing compared to the guitars but the nasty synth line will put everyone straight. The 6-minute b-side 'All eyes on the saint', a tribute to the band's hometown St Albans's hardcore scene, is an average b-side despite its original construction and the live cover of Faithless's 'Insomnia' is a bit weird as they really turned it into a metal song, so you'll hear moshing guitars mixed with a very cheesy pop synth line. They also included the 2008 single 'We can't breathe in space, they just don't want us to escape' (originally demoed in 2005), in my opinion of the best songs the band have ever written, so it's great to see it finally being able to get the exposure it deserves. It has everything the rock Enter Shikari are good at: crazy guitar notes, impressive vocals, energetic drumming, sing-alongs and a nasty breakdown. The keyboard only really comes at the very end, creating a gorgeous atmosphere like the band have rarely done and it is such a shame the version included on this album is the radio edit, as the original 6-minute song's soaring end is incredible. Next is the remix part, starting with Nero's version of 'Juggernauts', a good chilling tune with a great drum'n'bass beat. The same song then becomes a quite good dubstep track in the hands of Blue Bear, member of True Tiger. When it comes to The Qemists, they gave 'No sleep tonight' both a heaviness and an appeal for the clubs that the original didn't have. The only unreleased remix on the record is the drum'n'bass take on 'Wall' by Welsh DJ High Contrast, who turned it into a good anthem for clubs but nothing worth adding to your iPod's Shikari library. The only annoying moments are to be found on the second half of the album when come three other remixes of 'No sleep tonight', one of them being a boring dubstep remix only including the chorus's vocals (Mistabishi), another an upbeat club song (singer Roughton Reynolds' DJ alter-ego Rout) and the last one an experimental dance mix not having much to do with the original (LightsGoBlue). They're not really bad, but hearing four takes on the same song is a bit tiring. Closing the album are three live songs, transcribing well the intensity of the band's live show and if you dig it, I'd recommend you to check out both of their live bootlegs, one of them accompanying the pre-order for 'Tribalism'.

The new songs are worth buying the release if you're a real fan of the band (even if in this case you probably already own a lot of the other tracks on vinyl as they were b-sides of singles) but if you aren't, just buy them separately on iTunes. Definitely better than Bring Me The Horizon's attempt, but really not essential.


Recommanded if you like:
The Prodigy, Pendulum, Chiodos
Check also:
The Qemists, Exit Avenue, Rout
(Ambush Reality, 2010)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Rocket Summer - Of men and angels

I'm gonna be very unprofessional today. Which isn't bad, as I'm only a blogger. I don't have much to say about The Rocket Summer. Bryce Avary's one-man band doesn't inspire me much. My feelings for his fourth full-length 'Of men and angels' are the same as those I expressed for his previous EP (which songs are included on the album). If you liked, you'll still enjoy, if you didn't, he won't get a new fan with this one. Contender for ugliest artwork of the year, though.


Recommanded if you like:
Jack's Mannequin, Augustana, Waking Ashland
Check also:
The Morning Of, Ace Enders And A Million Different People, The Morning Light
(Island Def Jam, 2010)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Angels & Airwaves - Love

may have reunited, it didn't stop Thomas Matthew DeLonge Jr. to continue his space odyssey with his friends of Angels & Airwaves, releasing their third album for free on Saint Valentine's day. Hate them or love them, you can't say the four-piece haven't created their own signature sound, no matter how prominent the influence of a band starting with a U and ending with a 2 appears to be. Well, if you disliked the two first albums of DeLonge's more-ambitious-than-the-moon project, 'Love' will unfortunately have the same flavour as watching 'Notting Hill' with a box of chocolates, alone on your couch for Saint Valentine's day.

From the very start of the 'Chariots of fire'-like intro of the record, fans will indeed feel home. For their third full-length, Angels & Airwaves have kept the same sound and grandiloquent aesthetic that captivated fans - and pushed others away. 'Love' is grandiose, as every Angels & Airwaves album, full of metaphors on love and space, echoey guitars and huge drumming. Same slick production, same low-key soaring guitar lines, same mid-tempo hooks, same drum beats (despite a very good work from Atom Willard), same stretched vocals, it's 'We don't need to whisper' and 'I-empire' all over again. I guess we can't reproach them for having found their signature style, but on a pure musical level, you feel like you've heard all of this before. The main riff of 'Shove' sounds just like the one on 'Distraction', 'Epic holiday' reminds 'Everything's magic' and the majestic 'The adventure' comes to mind when hearing the back sample of 'The moon-atomic (...Fragments & fictions)' and the rhythm of 'Some origins of fire'. The transitions between songs are totally flowing, indeed you won't even notice it when the second track skips to the third. It could backfire the band as the limits between the songs are so blurry and the compositions so similar that you may feel like you've been listening to one single song that would have lasted 54 minutes. Thus, the changes on 'Love' are to be found in the details. If you scrutinize the band's new delivery of arena rock anthems, it appears a few things have been modified since the last album. First, it seems that Tom DeLonge has almost abandonned the vocal fuss he put much effort into on the previous records, if you override the "Yeah, hey, hey, hey, ho" on 'Soul survivor (...2012)'. Despite some obvious Auto-Tune moments, his voice also seems more natural (keep in mind we're still talking about Angels & Airwaves, though) and less suffocated by effects. One very noticeable difference however is the increase in the use of synth on the album ('Clever love') which, despite not providing any unforgettable moments, adds something more. But the best moments are to be found when the guitars deviate from the twinkling effect layers they usually are swallowed by, like on 'Epic holiday' or the amazing 6-minute long 'The flight of Apollo', which energetic riffs and different construction manage to maintain the listener's interest all the way through the song. Angels & Airwaves try so hard to build atmospherical moments that when a real riff comes in it always end up being noteworthy. When they pick up the pace on the very unsurprising single 'Hallucinations', which reminds the average level of their previous album, it actually works well. 'Young London' is a success, its intro being one of the best moments off the record, if only the main riff wasn't that reminiscent of AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck'... DeLonge can also revive the attention of the listener when he actually decides to sing and it's a shame he doesn't do it more often. His main fault is however and with no doubt his terrible lyrics. Vague, common and abstract, they're just as cheesy as the title of the album, the lowest level of songwriting being reached at the very end of the album when on 'Some origins of fire' he decides to open the world's eyes with the chorus lines absolutely ruining the song: "We are all love / And love is hard / So here's my heart". And as you could tell reading this review, the song names aren't less ridiculous. So lots of cheese on this album, but if starship romances is your thing, you'll always find what you want in Angels & Airwaves.

'Love' isn't bad. It's a good music album, that gets credit for at least proposing a universe. Let's not forget that the band (or dare I say their frontman) decided to give the album away for free and that's always a respectable decision. Many will find it repulsive and neverending, reproaching the band with laying it on thick. Yes, Angels & Airwaves stick to the pompous/fascinating image and sound they have created. I personally think that it's now in their own interest to try something new and maybe to focus on capturing more energy and variation, as it seems they've already experienced everything when it comes to dreamy and spacey atmospheres. At the end of the day, the group of four astronauts certainly didn't make it up for all of DeLonge's cocky declarations and have a hard time creating songs really memorable for their own sake as they kind of all rely on each other but 'Love' is a good and pleasing experience, that will satisfy every fan of the band.


Nb.: You can download the album for free here.

Recommanded if you like:
30 Seconds To Mars, U2, Muse
Check also:
Dead By Sunrise, SafetySuit, Beta State
(Self-released, 2010)