Wednesday, 26 August 2009

New Music Review: Bon Jovi

We Weren't Born To Follow is taken from Bon Jovi's latest album The Circle due for release in early November. The band had barely been off the road from performing their Lost Highway Tour before they began writing again for this new record, which is promised to be more rockier and edgier than it's Nashville-influnced country-tinged predecossor. And in a nut case, it is simply Bon Jovi sticking to what they are good at; the formula they are comfortable with and know will do well amongst their loyal followers. That is not to say though that this is a bad thing, because the band have certainly got a kick ass rock song in this. Jon's sneering vocals hide his true age (now nearing fifty) as the track sounds like it might have been taken from their 2005 release Have A Nice Day with it's big chorus and light-rock-big-stadium feel. I think all that the track is missing is a signature Sambora solo, but that's to not to say it's any less of a great song; what Sambora does perform fits perfectly. The guitar work in the choruses is progressive and melodic; with its shimmering and gleaming post-production touches, whilst it sits back strumming ghostly chords just once every four beats in the verses. Tico Torres is living up to his 'hit-man' alter ego as he pounds his way with a precision only experience can bring, settling for an almost tribal feel throughout the verses whilst opening up in the choruses. Said choruses of course are bound to be a hit with the New Jersey quintet's fanbase in their promised stadium tour throughout 2010 but I can't see it taking over the charts much here in the UK. The guys know who their fans are and don't have anything new to prove to anybody anymore; they're doing what they're doing for the love of it and they know how the fans will respond.
Bon Jovi have never been the critic's favourite band, and I think the left-turn apparent in their previous album will be over-looked as critics will probably favour the critical 'they've have taken it easy' approach which the band have recently adopted every other album. Philanthropist and charity worker Jon Bon Jovi cannot help but be affected with what he donates his hard-earned millions to, and this is ever-more apparent in his lyric writing as he finds his politcal pen and gives the working man a song to sing that he can believe in.
Radio friendly; yes. Stadium friendly; yes. A great move and a great song. In short, it sounds great; another classic Bon Jovi anthem with cool lyrics and a real fist-clenching chorus that will be rising above the rooves of stadiums in the UK come the summer next year with the classic remedy of 'let me hear ya say yeah yeah yeah' and I for one can't wait.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

New Music Review: Taking Dawn

Skimming through the 'music issue' of my favoured glossy yesterday, I came across a section entitled 'The only ones to watch'. The article selected six different artists from as many genres, picking those who are about ready to hit the big time and if you were to start name-dropping now, you'd look pretty cool come winter. I've selected the metal entry, Taking Dawn, to write a short review about their track, 'Endlessly.' The guys hail from Las Vegas and are busy recording their debut album, having signed recently to Roadrunner Records (Nickelback, Slipknot, Trivium) whilst being dubbed '80s hard rockers for the Myspace generation'. You heard them here first (hopefully).

Something fresh, something different; certainly what our current music industry is in dire need of. The new wave of 80s-inspired dance/pop acts taking over our airwaves this summer has been a sure fire hit on the popular festival circuit, but we are in need of a slightly different 80s revival. And this is where Taking Dawn step up. Endlessly smacks of a forgotten 80s metal scene, these kids grew up listening to their forefathers of rock; Skid Row, Guns n Roses, Bon Jovi and the like, and have certainly put a fresh spin on the genre nearly 30 years on. The often-wailing guitars of front-man Chris Babbitt and his aide Mikey Cross sit perfectly atop the riff-heavy verses and the many layered, harmoniuos vocal lines of the whole band throughout really give it that 80s pinch. Alan Doucette's drums are simple; sitting nicely at the back of the mix like they should be; none of this fancy over-the-top stuff that's all too apparent in the young metal scene. He provides the back beat and nothing more. Lead singer Babbitt's vocals compliment the band's sound brilliantly with their raunchy, gutty rock edge reminiscent not just of modern metal saviours such as Hinder, but also tipping their cap to a hint of Axl Rose. Defintely worth a listen if you're in need of something fresh with that retro edge. Endlessly is taken from their debut album, the 'Taking Dawn Digital EP', due for release in November this year and you can access a free download of Endlessly here.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Techno Dreams, Or So It May Seem.

I didn't think it would feel weird to have the clutches of my laptop back within reach but, after just three weeks without internet access, the small, compact keys beneath my fingertips feel almost alien to me. Strange, for someone who has used a computer almost every single day for the past six years. Alas, we now have a phone line and an internet connection in the flat. And I haven't really missed tracking everything and everyone's actions as much as I thought I might do. The novelty is wearing off slightly, I feel I won't be as addicted as before. It is though one of the safer addictions to fall victim of.

What this post is really saying is that I'm back in touch with the technological world and will continue now to maintain this blog. Glastonbury really does feel like an age away. I've always been a Country boy and the mere though of living in a City was a reality I'd rather ignore however, contrary to my previous fears, Southampton already feels like home. Moving day was swift (would have been far swifter had it not been for the too-large sofa which would not squeeze into the too-small door frame. Cue a dismantling operation followed by a trip to B&Q followed by a reinvention) and everything had a home after just two days. It hasn't taken long to find my way around and I feel accepted here already. I'm too excited for words ahead of the thought of starting uni, and am willing the final few weeks away eagerly. I have friends visiting on Thursday and I can't wait to show them around my new home town. That's not to say I've forgotten all about Glastonbury, I'm just a little glad to be somewhere that I don't see the same face twice. Small towns are perfect for young children and the older generation, but I've got some living to do and a city is the only place to be.