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The Wombats – Emoticons

Over the course of the past 9 years since The Wombats debut album they’ve been the fun indie pop band you listened to when you were in your early teens but latest single ‘Emoticons’ off this year’s Glitterbug shows that the band are taking a different direction.

‘Emoticons’ still has the classic Wombats hooks, lyrics about the cruelty of the opposite sex and catchy chorus but it’s a slow burning synth pop track with a chorus that you’ll be singing to yourself for weeks on end.

Callum McCormack @McCormackCallum

7.0/10

Born Of Osiris – Goddess Of The Dawn

Tech metalcore at one of its weakest, ‘Goddess Of The Dawn’ showcases not only lacklustre and monotonous guitar licks but also a poor vocal delivery.

Starting with a fairly heavy intro that is heavily undercut by watered down choruses and cringe worthy shout singing. Once the track is in full swing the full extent of how bland this track really is with dreary melodies and mind-numbingly weak chugs. Vocals are underwhelming and are just barely audible over the mess of guitars.

Shamefully the once great Born Of Osiris have gone from powerful deathcore to tech-metal for tweens.

Rory Kelly @rorykelly93

3.5/10

Joss Stone – Molly Town

Moving away from the soul power of The Soul Sessions, ‘Molly Town’ brings in some elements of ska/reggae which supported by Joss Stone’s powerful, room shaking voice takes her to a new level.

Having a notable following for being a soul singer this track has for certain taken a left turn compared to Stone’s early cover work with ‘Super Duper Love’ or ‘Fell in Love with a Boy’. This could be a new direction that Stone is following and from this track she has the right voice for the job as well as the band that are backing her.

Matt Smith @MatthewJamesSmi

8.5/10

Bomba Estéreo feat. Will Smith – Fiesta (Remix)

Pitbull? Is that you? No, just possibly the most disappointing thing to come from Will Smith yet. ‘Fiesta (Remix)’, a group effort from the Fresh Prince star and Colombian tropical electro band leaves you a little stumped as to what Will thinks he’s doing.

Featuring lyrical genius such as “Get me a beer-a/Oh yeah” and ‘No gassing me/I’m a Tesla” it’s hard to give him any artistic acclaim for this thankfully short feature. The song itself sounds like anything else you’d hear at Oceana on a Friday night: a classic irritating drop, four to the floor, nothing new.

Maddy Hardman @PseudoAgatha

4.0/10

Megadeth – Fatal Illusion

Megadeth are back, the tortured remains of Super Collider are no more. With revitalised energy and a nod to the original cult albums Fatal Illusion is 4 minutes of pure thrash metal.

In typical Megadeth style the lyrics focus on dystopian themes, hence the name of the forthcoming album Dystopia yet they are delivered with self belief, something vocalist Dave Mustaine has lacked in recent years. With current Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler involved, this era of Megadeth may well live up to and beyond its expectations.

Jack Webb @A_Double_Jack

8.0/10

Lady Gaga – I Want Your Love (CHIC Cover)

A pop giant covering a disco classic; surely that’s something into which any normal person can get their teeth stuck. Right?

The song, recorded to premiere Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer ’16 collection, is a great cover of what isn’t really truthfully or honestly a good song. CHIC fans of the world, if you are true to yourself you can agree. Lady Gaga though, with the vocal chords she used for that Tony Bennett shit being employed, belts out the repetitive lyric over Nile Rodgers’ updated track which is of an insanely good quality.

Whether or not reading the YouTube comments of ‘LittleMonsters’ defending their fair Lady’s every move is more entertaining the song, this cover’s still brilliant and yes; any normal person will like this.

Harry Smith @HarryfromCJE

8.0/10

Miley Cyrus – Hands of Love

The 2013 album Bangerz saw Miley Cyrus cultivating the notoriously sexual persona that has gained her much negative press of late; yet new track ‘Hands of Love’ serves as a stark reminder that Cyrus is more than capable of producing a greatly spirited ballad.

A rousing Gay Rights anthem from the upcoming film Freeheld, ‘Hands of Love’ acts as an emotional ode to the struggles for freedom. Cyrus hints at themes of unity, love and identity – her wide-ranging vocals effectively displayed and musical aptitude utilised. Experimental tones and explicit imagery done away with, Cyrus provides a strongly sentimental delivery in her latest LGBT tribute.  

Ash Valentine-Wells @AshValentine7

6.5/10

Killing Joke – Euphoria

36 years into their career Killing Joke are still releasing material on par with their classics and sounding mostly fresh whilst doing it. ‘Euphoria’ is a multi layered affair with nuances towards an 80s pop atmosphere, with vocalist Jaz Coleman peppering in occult style lyrics beneath a shifting bass.

Driving and lightly distorted guitars are the focus of the overall sound but mixed with some of the most lifeless drums to grace a record it fails to work to its intended extent. With an overly flat soundscape ‘Euphoria’ is one for the purists.

Jack Webb @A_Double_Jack

4.5/10

Drake feat. Beyoncé – Can I

Two of the most successful artists in the R&B genre have teamed up to produce their new single ‘Can I’, which was unfortunately leaked before the release date. They are not strangers to teaming up, back in 2013 the two got together for Beyoncé’s self titled album but this sound has taken a more chilled vibe with the lazy vocals and repetitive beat. Never mind they are two of the most successful R&B artists as they have produced something rather bland. The track begins with an interesting mix of Drake’s rapping and Beyoncé’s thicker vocals – if that’s what you want to call saying Can I? Baby” on repeat but it starts off promising.

Though some may find it characteristically catchy, you still expect some progression to take place but it doesn’t. The vocals stay the same, the beat stays the same and by the time the track hits the middle you begin asking yourself “can I just turn this shit off now?” Although you can imagine people standing in a club just nodding their head to the simplistic beat, this track could have been something more but yet again repetition has won in the world of R&B/pop and has lead to another generic and predictable track.

Samantha Maule @SamanthaMaule

4.0/10

Selena Gomez – Me & The Rhythm

Thus far, releases from her upcoming second solo album Revival find Selena Gomez successfully navigating a major junction that inevitably features in the careers of all Disney brats. Launching herself from the PR cannon to reinvent as a sophisticated pop diva in a Taylor Swift-esque manner, Gomez releases third Revival single ‘Me & The Rhythm’ as a mature club dance track.

Unfortunately it lacks any real interest, even failing to hit the mark on the lust and sex theme, sounding far too disengaged for “Everybody wants to get some” to be inclusive of Gomez herself. With Charli XCX-style vocals, Kylie-influenced funky synths underneath, and a spoken verse the long lost twin of that in Gaga’s ‘Dance In The Dark’, ‘Me & The Rhythm’ places the starlet firmly in grown-up pop territory. The kind that all sounds the same.

Minnie Wright @VerifiedMinnie

5.0/10

Arca – Soichiro

With Arca’s debut full-length Xen comfortably claiming a spot as one of the best albums of 2014, hopes are high for follow-up Mutant. No official release date has been set as of yet but the artist has promised “late fall” and the sharing of ‘Soichiro’ seems to confirm this.

Heavily echoing Arca’s previous experiments with texture and space, the track does raise concerns about a possible lack of progression; however, change comes from the toning down of Arca’s abrasive palette and a shift of focus towards building atmosphere and forward-momentum. An intriguing first taste, bring on the full dish.

Ben Hindle @the_z_word

7.0/10

Birds in Row – “O’Dear”

‘“O’Dear”’, the first single from upcoming record Personal War, follows a lengthy break from 2012s You, Me & the Violence, an incredibly intense and overwhelming listen. Birds In Row now appear somewhat restrained but increasingly emotional; the delicate guitar lines that run throughout the track emphasise the fragile vocals, every crack or rattle building an anxiety.

This accumulates with a closing minute of the trio coming together, orchestrated to absolutely destroy an already tender listener. Ending with cathartic and repetitious screams alongside punishing tones, you can’t help but feel something for what will no doubt be a very fulfilling record.

Bill Waters @WillJMW13

9.0/10

Panic! At The Disco – Victorious

Joining Fall Out Boy on the arena rock route, “killer king” Brendon Urie paints a picture of limelight and celebration through upbeat vocals layered over bright synths in their newest single.

Flamboyant and fabulous, ‘Victorious’ flaunts minor chord progressions and fast paced verses to perfectly mash the sound of the band’s last two albums creating a tune that is most definitely party ready.   

Kaitlyn Ulrich @k_ulrich23

7.5/10

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