#Review: Afterlife – Breaking Point ūüĆ°


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Hopeless Records - SmallerAfterlife are a metal quartet from West Palm Beach, Florida, consisting of Tyler Levenson (vocals), Andrew McGuire (guitar), Tristan Edwards (bass) and Luke Walkinshaw (drums). Since signing to Hopeless Records, the band are now putting out their debut album, Breaking Point. Here’s what we have to say about it…

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The album bursts into life with serious tenacity, in the form opening track, ‘Sacrifice’¬†– a song laden with creepy vocal effects (somewhere in the same vein as Marilyn Manson) and come¬†served up with a huge dose of angry, metal instrumentation.

From there, the album takes off into a flurry of metal-induced fury and it’s clear throughout, that the production quality of the record is impeccable. Not only is it a great quality record but there are a lot of layers to the tracks, making¬†it interestingly chaotic, in parts. Unfortunately though, in places it feels like there is more style over substance and that the production and intricate instrumentation outweigh the lyrical content. For example,¬†‘Giving Back The Pain’ is a great song for crowds to mosh to and it has a certain commercial quality to it, but I hate to say it – lyrically, it is bordering on cringe-worthy. It’s clear what they’re trying to achieve, but I’m just not feeling it.

That’s not to say it’s all bad, by any means.¬†‘Throat’¬†has some quirky, downward spiral sounds and a catchy melody to it that is actually reminiscent of the early¬†Eminem track, ‘Kim’, though the lyrics attempt to be profound but end up somewhat disjointed.¬†‘Breaking Point’¬†focuses on getting angry to the point that you snap and the¬†motion of the chorus vocal is pretty captivating, while¬†‘Holding On’ has this brilliant bass-line leading into the track (and underpinning the chorus) with a well-written rap-style verse and an understated melody leading into the chorus, that make for a brilliant listen.

‘Grey Sky’ has¬†a wonderful melody to the chorus line, ‚ÄúWhere did your mind go?‚ÄĚ that you can’t help but love¬†– it’s gritty and raspy and really captivates the lyrical content about being trapped in your own dark thoughts.

The band’s performance throughout, is brilliant and¬†Tyler Levenson‘s¬†screaming is incredible – he has a great singing vocal too.

Possibly the best tracks on the record have to be¬†‘Karma’,¬†which is¬†a really great angry anthem to blare out when you just want someone to get what they deserve. ‚ÄúTry to run, try to run, try to hide, Karma‚Äôs coming for you bitch‚ÄĚ – I mean God, it just oozes rage! And¬†‘Broken Home’ – the album doesn‚Äôt really let up on the anger front until this track, where suddenly it seems to get a little lighter in tone and whilst the subject is sad and there‚Äôs still a little grunginess to it, it‚Äôs not so fuelled by hatred and dark screaming – it‚Äôs more honest and self-reflective. It’s quite possibly the best track on the album.

As far as Hopeless Records releases go, this is not your typical release from the label – it’s a lot heavier but undoubtedly, it will have an appeal to corners of the metal market. In fact, it‚Äôs got elements of rap merged with metal, like Linkin Park meets Rage Against The Machine, but just not quite as well-crafted.

That all being said, the band’s performance throughout, is brilliant and¬†Tyler Levenson‘s¬†screaming is incredible – he has a great singing vocal too, but the frequently-used, rap-style verses just don’t quite make the mark (lyrically and stylistically) – perhaps as the band continue to mature, they will grow lyrically too.

I’m sure there will be a lot of support for this album, particularly from fans of Hopeless Records and perhaps those who’ve begun to venture more into the metal realm, from the softer, pop punk genre. However, for the band’s next release, I hope they¬†will work on their lyrical content to match the great instrumental performances.

Rating

2.5


‘Breaking Point’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/breaking-point/1435412838


Breaking Point on Spotify

Throat (Official Music Video)

Holding On (Official Music Video)

Sacrifice (Visual)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s new album? Is our review fair? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#Review: Dashboard Confessional – Crooked Shadows


   

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Dashboard Confessional are¬†an American rock¬†band from Boca Raton, Florida, led by frontman, singer and principle songwriter, Chris Carrabba. Since their debut album release, back in 2000, the band have gained a massive, loyal following and are now releasing their seventh album,¬†Crooked Shadows. Here’s what we have to say about it…

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It’s been eight years since the band’s last album but Chris Carrabba and the rest of Dashboard Confessional are back with a new studio album, however this one has just 9 tracks, making it more of a mini album. Also, traditionally known to be a fairly emo band, this album sees them venturing into slightly newer territories.

It all kicks off with ‘We Fight’, which is an all-out, scream-it-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthem for anyone and everyone that’s got something to fight for…or against, whilst ‘Heartbeat Here’ is a mellower, acoustic, crowd pleaser that is just begging for an audience to chant along with it. ‘Catch You’ and ‘About Us’ have some simply stunning yet powerful vocal harmonies, epic choruses and great, subtle use of synths. Then there’s ‘Belong’ (a collaboration with Cash Cash) – this is the most unique track on the album, and sees the band take on a much more modern sound (almost venturing into Maroon 5 territory). On first listen, I actually felt like it was almost confusing the direction of the album a bit, but it’s actually become one of my favourite tracks on the record…plus it provides a welcome change in vibe at the midway point. However, I’m certain that this track will be divisive amongst fans and that many will not like tropical-house feel or over-produced nature.

Crooked Shadows is very much an album that has something for everyone – it demonstrates that they aren’t afraid to update their sound with the times.

There are also couple of slower, more emo-style, heartstring-pullers, ‘Open My Eyes’ and the almost ‘Time Of My Life’-esque (Green Day), ‘Just What To Say’ (featuring Chrissy Costanza) that expose Carrabba’s raw emotion and vulnerable lyric-writing abilities. Whilst the title track, ‘Crooked Shadows’ and ‘Be Alright’ are big, rock-out songs.

Crooked Shadows is very much an album that has something for everyone and whilst it’s probably never going to quite live up to the fans’ love of A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, it really is a fantastic new release and a great comeback record. It demonstrates that they aren’t afraid to update their sound with the times. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it’s just a shame that there aren’t more tracks.

Rating


‘Crooked Shadows’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/crooked-shadows/1334380586


Crooked Shadows on Spotify

We Fight (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Dashboard Confessional’s seventh studio album? Do you agree with our rating? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings about it with us on our socials.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Flo Rida – ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ & Cash Cash – ‘Take Me Home’

Flo Rida & Cash Cash¬†are gracing our #Two4Tunesday¬†post this week; both¬†amazing tunes…so enjoy!

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There is no doubt about it, Flo Rida has made quite the success of himself! He’s collaborated with handfuls of artists and amassed over 75 million downloads worldwide!

His latest release, ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’¬†has got that funk vibe thanks to Earth, Wind & Fire bassist, Verdine White. The chorus hook is by hip-gyrating, line-blurring,¬†Robin Thicke. This song makes for an interesting sound for Flo Rida, since he’s normally renowned for his pop/club bangers.


‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’¬†is available on iTunes right now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-dont-like-it-i-love-it-feat./id995403219


Flo Rida¬†– ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ featuring Robin Thicke & Verdine White


Cash Cash Banner

Cash Cash are an EDM trio made up of brothers¬†Jean Paul Makhlouf and Alex Makhlouf, alongside Samuel Frisch. The group ¬†started as more of a pop-rock band (think Forever The Sickest Kids) but have completely morphed into their current producer/DJ outfit. They have remixed some big-name artist’s songs, including Katy Perry’s,¬†‘Birthday’¬†and Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Catch My Breath’ as well as¬†release several of their own albums and a single in tribute of Michael Jackson‘s passing.

One of their most recent songs was¬†‘Take Me Home’ featuring Bebe Rexha¬†and its electro-house sound is truly infectious. It may have been released in 2014, but I’ve recently rediscovered it and am still loving it now!


‘Take Me Home’ can be downloaded now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/take-me-home-feat.-bebe-rexha/id807417251


Cash Cash¬†– ‘Take Me Home’ featuring Bebe Rexha

And that’s it for¬†this week’s¬†#Two4Tunesday! Have you got¬†two songs you’re¬†loving right now? Leave¬†your comments below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Set It Off – ‘Why Worry’

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Set It Off are a pop-punk band from Florida. The band are known for their use of synths to enhance their pop punk sound and more recently, their use of an orchestral element (although these are usually programmed, rather than traditionally recorded instruments).

The band recorded a music video (which can be seen below) featuring many of their loyal fans, in the congregation.

Set It Off have also recorded a cover of Ariana Grande’s¬†‘Problem’¬†which was featured on Fearless Records’¬†Punk Goes Pop 6.

Are you a pop-punk fan? Please leave a comment below with any similar tracks you might have for us!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Anberlin – ‘Impossible’

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This¬†#WildCardWednesday track is the first single from Anberlin’s fifth studio album,¬†Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place. I’ve chosen the song because Anberlin, in the UK, are relatively unknown band but accomplished so much throughout their 12 years together.

Formed in Florida in 2002, the band had a total of 7 studio albums (plus one expanded re-release) before disbanding towards the end of 2014.

The reason I have chosen this particular song is not solely due to the beautiful composition of the song but also the cinematic slow-motion shots of the accompanying music video. The video contrasts the nature of the song well and some of the patterns created by the (what I assume are) ball-bearings are quite stunning. A real masterpiece.


This track is taken from Anberlin’s,¬†Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place album, which is available to purchase on iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/impossible/id391965438?i=391965440


What do you think of the song and video together? Are you a lover of it? What song would you choose for this week’s #WildCardWednesday? Please share the link on your Facebook and Twitter.

Matt – Muzik Speaks