Music reviews of bands and artists from Rockhaq
There’s so much that can be said about Blink 182’s career. The scrappy trio of pop punk pioneers went from small clubs and basements to forgers of a whole new sub-culture. But there is an area of their career that doesn’t seem to spend much time in the spotlight. Their Self-Titled album.
This year I got the opportunity to go to Canada. However one of the reasons why I’m in Toronto this summer is because of one band: Muse. A lot of my friends called me ‘crazy’ for travelling across the world to watch the Teignmouth space-rock trio perform for the ninth time. Muse are one of the few bands that I will keep going to see every time they announce a tour. This is because of the monumental shows that they put on.
I’ve always admired the complexity of jazz music. It’s one of those genres that constantly keeps me on the edge of my seat due to the intricate techniques that are involved, such as complicated time signatures, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s Unsquare Dance is one of the tunes that epitomises why jazz is such a cool but underrated genre.
In recent years some bands have become fascinated with the concept of replacing the letter ‘A’ with ‘V’ in their names. Massachusetts electro-rock trio PVRIS (pronounced Paris) are one of the bands that have got on board with this rather bizarre trend. Initially starting out as a hardcore rock band, their debut album White Noise sees them in a completely different light.
The Australian psychedelic septet King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are just as audacious as their name suggests. They have ten albums under their belt, spanning half as many years and incorporating twice as many genres. Garage rock, punk, prog, surf rock, jazz fusion, folk and Anatolian rock are merely a sprinkle of the sounds they offer. With Murder of the Universe, their second release of 2017, King Gizzard drastically move away from the relatively relaxed sounds of Flying Microtonal Banana. In its place is a conceptual, spoken word, doom metal/acid rock rampage.
Back in the summer of 2012 my life was complete when The Rockhaq Community awarded me tickets to see Blink 182 live. To this day I still feel like it’s a debt I can never repay because of how special that night was to me. Seeing those three pivotal figures perform right in front of me reminded me how important they were in my teenage years. Songs such as Feeling This gave me a taste of what rock music was all about.
Seven years ago I got the opportunity to see Green Day live at Wembley Stadium and it absolutely blew me away. Green Day will always be one of the most important bands in my life. Last year Amrita Garcha wrote a review on Green Day’s album American Idiot. It really drove the message home for me in terms of how important American Idiot’s role was for pop punk music in 2004. At the age of 15 I was still developing my obsession and appreciation for the rock genre and I remember the impact American Idiot made on me. It gave me an insight into the relentless nature of punk music.
In 1997, I had not yet been born. I will never live in a world where everything – from schools to houses to pockets – isn’t filled with computers. Still, I’m no stranger to techno-paranoid media. Film, TV and music still love to warn us about tech, from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror to Arcade Fire asking “what if the camera really do take your soul?” on their 2013 album Reflektor. The difference is, now we consume it through devices that know our favourite restaurants, daily commutes and exact location. In other words, Radiohead’s third album OK Computer may be 20 years old, but in 2017, it’s more relevant than ever.
Depeche Mode have always held a very special place in my heart. Whenever I listen to their music I have very fond memories of my time at college. During this part of my life my music technology teacher introduced them to me by recommending their 2001 album Exciter. After doing extensive research into Depeche Mode’s discography, my life was never the same again as I learnt to love and appreciate the electronic music genre.
The album name Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is essentially synonymous with ‘masterpiece’ now. The Beatles’ eighth studio album has been credited with many things since its release fifty years ago, from elevating music to art status to creating the entire rock genre. Of course, with anything this acclaimed there’s a backlash. Many people have concluded that 1966’s Revolver is their true magnum opus. Others have entirely dismissed Sgt. Pepper’s, such as Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention with their 1968 parody album We’re Only in It for the Money or Bob Dylan, who accused it of being “indulgent”. It was even voted the 7th most overrated album in the world by a 2005 BBC listener poll.