Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Music review round-up: Killswitch Engage and The Dead Weather

Killswitch Engage: Self titled- The boys of Killswitch Engage have had a pretty busy decade, producing four albums in the past eight years or so. For a heavy metal band, that's pretty fantastic.

What we have in their latest self titled offering is the perfect example of a three-star album. There's not a single bad track anywhere on the list, nor is there anything particularly memorable. In truth, you could take the tracks from all of Killswitch's most recent albums, shuffle them up and rearrange them into "new" albums, and you would never know the difference.

I'm sure this sounds like I'm complaining, but other than the fact I would like to see the band blow my mind with something revolutionary, they are easily one of the most consistent groups in the genre, or music as a whole for that matter.

Standout tracks include "A light in a darkened world," "Lost" and "This is goodbye."

The drums are heavy and driving, the guitar solos almost soar, and lead vocalist Howard Jones never ceases to impress me with his powerful howls and equally powerful melodies.

If you like Killswitch Engage or melodic metalcore, this is a solid par for the course.

The Dead Weather: Horehound- At some point in the near future, I completely expect Jack White to slip into an exhaustion coma. The dude who brought you The White Stripes and The Racontours is at it again, this time with the supergroup The Dead Weather; comprised of lead singer Alisson Mosshart (The Kills), guitarist Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), bassist Jack Lawrence (The Racontours) and, of course, drummer and backup vocalist Jack White.

Surprisingly, all three of White's projects have a distinct enough sound to warrant their existence and The Dead Weather are violently battling for a top spot on my list.

If the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are dirty rock, then The Dead Weather are dirty blues. The music is great, songs often dance in an out of tempo, creating a bit of complexity, and Mosshart has just the right amount of gravel in her voice to create a dark, smokey jazz club atmosphere you might have a hard time wanting to leave.

When the group's first single "Hang you from the heavens" hit the radio, I was a little hesitant to jump on board. Single number two, "Treat me like your mother," though, convinced me to give the album a shot. This, along with "60 feet tall," "So far from your weapon" and "Will there be enough water" are my top picks on an album I can happily listen to, from start to finish, over and over again.

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