#Review: ONE OK ROCK – Eye Of The Storm 🌪

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ONE OK ROCK are a Japanese rock band who formed in Tokyo, in 2005. The band currently consists of Takahiro Moriuchi (vocals), Toru Yamashita (guitar), Ryota Kohama (bass), and Tomoya Kanki (drums). Since forming, the band have played many different styles of music, from alternative rock to emo and even post-hardcore to their most recent, pop rock style. In 2016, the band signed to Fueled By Ramen, releasing their eighth studio album, Ambitions, featuring collaborations with Avril Lavigne5 Seconds Of Summer and Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low). This year, (2019) sees the release of their ninth studio album (although only their third US release), Eye Of The Storm. Here’s what we have to say about it…

one ok rock - eye of the storm

From the very start of Eye Of The Storm, it’s clear that ONE OK ROCK have made a conscious departure from the previous, emo, alternative rock and post-hardcore incarnations, favouring a much more pop-led sound. That’s not a bad thing though, as this is a brilliantly-crafted pop powerhouse of a record, that is sure to further cement their position as one of big players in the pop rock genre (alongside label mates like Panic! At The Disco and Against The Current. In fact ‘Eye Of The Storm’ and ‘Worst In Me’ are almost an obvious transitioning from their old sound to their new, blending their alternative rock roots with their new, more synth-driven pop elements.

There’s a real passion and raw talent to singer Takahiro “Taka” Moriuchi‘s vocals throughout the record too, as he explores the full extent of his vocal range, pulling off some stunning falsetto notes, intertwined with soaring choruses and exquisitely long-held notes.

‘Stand Out Fit In’ is testament to this – it’s very much an anthem about embracing people’s differences, with the goosebump-inducing, falsetto lines, “They yell, they preach, I’ve heard it all before. Be this, be that, I’ve heard it before.” It’s definitely a track that’s going to capture the hearts of many!

It’s actually very hard to pin-point just a few favourite tracks but ‘Push Back’ is wonderful for its gang vocal harmonies, like a modern-day Queen track. The descending melody echoing throughout the song is truly captivating too. ‘Wasted Nights’ is all about making the most of your life and enjoying each other’s company and the line, “Let’s live like we’re immortal, Maybe just for tonight, We’ll think about tomorrow (yeah), When the sun comes up,” is poetic, conjuring up nostalgic imagery and the underlying gospel vocals are stunning. The video only makes the track even more epic too (see below)! Even ‘Change’ – there’s definitely something a little boyband about the song (like 5 Seconds Of Summer meets One Direction), with the synth-sounding guitar lines, but the melodies are passionate and the message is poignant, positive and uplifting, “Hey, You know it’s not too late for us to make a change, You gotta listen to your heart what does it say? No matter how much we might bend, we will not break.”

It’s great to see that after nine albums in thirteen years, a band can still find ways to push themselves to adapt and grow, and be completely unafraid to try new directions.

That’s not to say there aren’t other special moments throughout the album; ‘Head High’ is definitely a pop track and whilst there isn’t much depth behind the lyrics or songwriting on it, it’s certainly catchy! ‘Letting Go’ really stands out for being so unique to the rest of the record – a calm little, acoustic-led track that is so beautifully understated, dealing with getting over a relationship and coming to terms with it. ‘Unforgettable’ has some definite dance music vibes to it, with the intense drum beats and whistling in the chorus, but with guitars thrown in. It’s quite a unique blend of genres.

‘Giants’ leads from delicate verses into a big chorus and has a strong Take That vibe to it, whilst ‘In The Stars’ adds a little vocal diversity with Kiiara featuring on the track, accompanied by a military-style beat.

‘Grow Old Die Young’ is a perplexing track though; it has a strong melody in the chorus but certain elements of it are very mediocre – a synth sound which doesn’t really fit the song and then there’s the lyrics, “I want the cause of my death, to be amazing sex,” which is honestly pretty cringe!

The album actually draws to a powerful close with ‘The Last Time’, led by a really strong chorus melody, topped off with a raspy, scream-like vocal that just knocks the record out of the park, right at the last second.

Eye Of The Storm is an interesting release for the band, as it’s their most commercial-sounding release to date, meaning it’s very palatable, for a broad range of listeners and is certainly bound to pick up a lot of new fans along the way. However, it could be argued that elements of depth and sincerity about their songwriting have been somewhat lost, rendering some of the tracks a little forgettable.

The drastic change in sound is definitely going to be felt by fans of their previous release, Ambitions, as some of the more emotive lyricism and raw instrumentation, has been exchanged for top-rate production values but at its heart, it is clearly still a ONE OK ROCK album.

That said, it’s equally great to see that after nine albums in thirteen years, a band can still find ways to push themselves to adapt and grow, and be completely unafraid to try new directions, and for that, this album should be admired. It’s a great record, with some banging tunes on and I can’t wait to hear what the band do next!

Rating
4


‘Eye Of The Storm’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/eye-of-the-storm/1441817576


Eye Of The Storm on Spotify

Stand Out Fit In (Official Video)

Wasted Nights (Official Video)

Change (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s ninth studio album, Eye Of The Storm? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or join the conversation via our social media.


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#Review: You Me At Six – VI


   

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You Me At Six are an English rock band from Surrey. Since forming in 2004, the band have enjoyed various successes with all of their albums (except their first) reaching the Top 5 of the UK Album Charts and their fourth album, Cavalier Youth, reached Number 1! Now, 2018 sees the band return with their aptly-named sixth studio album, VI. Here’s what we have to say about it…

You Me At Six - VI.jpg

One thing is for certain, this band are superb at adapting their sound and have continued to evolve throughout their already pretty lengthy career. Their previous album, Night People, received rather mixed reviews suggesting it was a rather disjointed effort – although credit to them for trying something new! However, this is all about to change with VI!

The album bursts into life with the very gritty and rather explosive ‘Fast Forward’, which sees Franceschi screaming, “Pour some gasoline on,” with his trademark gravelly voice. The track has highs and lows in all the right places – prominent, grungy synths make this a strong album opener…think U2 but heavier!

Next to follow is the hugely atmospheric, stadium-filler, ‘Straight To My Head’ with 80s-style synths, strong bass lines and an incredibly catchy, chant-able chorus – possibly the best track on the record.

There is a distinctly indie meets disco sound across the album too. Lead single ‘3AM’ epitomises the vibe of the record; like something by The KillersThe Maccabees or even Bastille maybe, with a running rhythm to the vocals, whilst ‘Back Again’ is possibly the most pop-like track on the album, seeing Franceschi using his falsetto – a great, feel-good track.

They’ve once again diversified their sound, kept it fresh and refused to stick to a sound that’s previously brought them success.

Possibly the weakest songs have to be ‘I O U’ – a bass-led affair that feels disjointed in places; it’s quite experimental, in that it changes pace and sound throughout. Also, ‘Predictable’ is quite similar to something by Arctic Monkeys; it’s a little droning and not particularly memorable. Whilst ‘Pray For Me’ is a wonderfully euphoric song but throughout feels like it’s going to a place that it never actually goes.

‘Danger’ instantly grabs your attention with a beat that starts almost identically to Toni Basil‘s ‘Mickey’, but quickly demonstrates it’s much more edgy than that. It’s an upbeat track with some incredible, diverse vocals – a really strong track!

Probably the most controversial song on the album, is closing track, ‘Losing You’ – it builds beautifully with some captivating vocal effects and all-consuming reverb on the synths and guitars. It is bound to be a real mixed-bag with the fans.

It has to be said that You Me At Six have done a superb job with this record – they’ve once again diversified their sound, kept it fresh and refused to stick to a sound that’s previously brought them success. They’re a band that press forward and continue to grow and VI clearly shows that the band have made an album they wanted to make – for that, they should be very proud.

Rating
3.5


‘VI’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/vi/1380831965


VI on Spotify

3AM (Official Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrELmjpktYE


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s…? Are you as much of a fan as us? 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: Trophy Eyes – The American Dream 🇺🇸


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Hopeless Records - SmallerTrophy Eyes are an Australian pop punk band consisting of John Floreani (lead vocals), Jeremy Winchester (bass guitar & backing vocals), Andrew Hallett (lead guitar), Kevin Cross (rhythm guitar) and Blake Caruso (drums). To date, the band have released 2 albums and an EP through Hopeless Records and this, The American Dream, is their third full-length album. Here’s what we have to say…

Trophy Eyes - The American Dream.jpg

The American Dream has a much more mature sound to it than either of the band’s previous releases. It’s somewhere in the vein of Sugarcult‘s Lights Out and You Me At Six‘s Cavalier Youth with some of Thirty Seconds To MarsThis Is War epicness thrown in.

The first track, ‘Autumn’, launches the album with a life-spanning and reflective tune that whilst it doesn’t quite burst into frantic action like so many other pop punk albums, sets a more impressive tone for the rest of the record.

Next comes ‘Something Bigger Than This’, a rather emotive track about being something more than we perceive and how life will make more sense at the end. It’s not crass or overly indulgent in insincerity like so many other bands – this feels real and honest.

In my opinion, ‘Friday Forever’ is by far the best track on the record – from it’s frantic, guitar-driven verses, to its suspenseful build-up into the powerhouse that is the chorus, this track just bursts at the seems with euphoric pop punk at its best. This is definitely a track to keep on repeat!

From epic choruses to emotive lyrics and powerful, pained vocals to punchy guitars, The American Dream is an album that will drive this band forward in their career.

Some of the other, most notable songs include: ‘More Like You’ which is certainly a crowd-pleaser, with its “woah ohs” but has the added depth of scream vocals; ‘You Can Count On Me’ is a definite summer anthem with its massive crescendo and satirical look at band life with the chorus hook, “Some of my friends sell drugs but I just sell sad songs to the ones who feel alone”; ‘Broken’ is a beautiful, ballad-esque track that has a understated yet very catchy chorus – a brilliantly-written track that’s very different to some of the other tracks on the album and ‘Lavender Bay’ feels very nostalgic with mellow, melodic verses and a big gang-vocal chorus singing about how the band won’t rest until they’ve “made it” with the addition of a key change!

The album has a beautifully rich and diverse tone to it – ‘A Cotton Candy Sky’ is an intensely dark and haunting song that feels a little out of place but it’s eerily captivating whilst ‘Tip Toe’ is a great little ballad.

‘I Can Feel It Calling’ is a monumental track, coming in at over 6 minutes in length and going through a range of sounds and displaying a variety of influences, bringing this stunning album to a wonderful close.

This is certainly an album you’ll have on repeat as there’s just so much to love about it! From epic choruses to emotive lyrics and powerful, pained vocals to punchy guitars, The American Dream is an album that will drive this band forward in their career, taking a slightly new direction but picking up new fans along the way. 2018 should be an exciting time for the Australian quintet!

Rating
4-5


‘The American Dream’ is out 27/07/18 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-american-dream/1382478709


The American Dream on Spotify

Available Friday 27th July 2018.

You Can Count On Me (Official Music Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs_7y0ToBcU


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s latest album, The American Dream? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: The Used – ‘The Bird And The Worm’


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‘The Bird And The Worm’ was the first single to be released from The Used‘s third studio album, Lies For The Liars. The song was the band’s highest charting single at the time, reaching #9 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

This song is epic with its heavy post-hardcore guitars and Bert McCracken‘s unique vocal style. The way he uses his voice is remarkable – such a talent to be able to blend screaming vocals with singing so seamlessly.

The music video is quirky and cool too but then you’d expect nothing less from The Used.

Do you remember this song? Have you got a different, favourite song by The Used? Or another song you’d choose? Please leave your thoughts or #ThrowbackThursday suggestions in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Bird And The Worm’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-bird-and-the-worm/id254115609?i=254115685


#ThrowbackThursday: 30 Seconds To Mars – ‘From Yesterday’


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30 Seconds To Mars are so much more than a band – they have pretty much set up their own die-hard cult following that has captured the interest of so many!

‘From Yesterday’ was the third single released from their album A Beautiful Lie and it was released 10 years ago!

The song is so powerful and all-consuming with passion and feeling that it’s just immense to listen to. The music video is incredible too! Two versions were made a full-length 13-minute epic and a 4-minute edited version. It is also believed to be the first music video ever shot, in its entirety, in China.

I LOVE THIS SONG…and in fact this band!

What 30 Seconds To Mars song would you have chosen? Or would you have chosen a different #ThrowbackThursday song? Let us know in a comment below or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘From Yesterday’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/a-beautiful-lie/id712205560


#WildCardWednesday: Scott Stapp – ‘The Great Divide’


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Scott Stapp is known for being the lead singer of the American, post-grunge band Creed, but in 2005, he released his debut solo album, ‘The Great Divide’.

This song is the title track of the album and marked the start of his own solo journey, after the 2004 split of Creed.

I like this song a lot because although it has its heavy moments during the choruses, the verses have an almost Irish, folk feel to them, and I think the sound is really interesting.

Do you know this song? Have you heard it before? Are you new to it? What do you think? Please share your #WildCardWednesday choices with us and share this link on your social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Great Divide’ is available for download on iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-great-divide/id970370871?i=970370883


#Christmas #WildCardWednesday: The Used – ‘Alone This Holiday’


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It’s Christmas!!!

…in just 2 days!

This week, as it’s Christmas, I’m going to post a themed track, as usual, but am adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day.

Every day this week, you can expect 5 new tracks to be added to the playlist (based on the theme that day), which means by Christmas Day, you should have a special 25-track Christmas playlist! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify 🙂


 The Used – ‘Alone This Holiday’

The Used are known for being a post-hardcore/screamo band and back in 2005, the band released a Christmas song, as a B-Side to their single, ‘I Caught Fire’.

This song is definitely not your traditional Christmas tune, but it’s a good one and makes the perfect #WildCardWednesday track! Bert McCracken‘s vocals are just incredible, as usual!

Also added to the playlist today:

  • OneRepublic – Christmas Without You
  • Echosmith – I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  • Owl City – Kiss Me Babe, It’s Christmas Time
  • She & Him – Sleigh Ride

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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