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Buy Or Sell: Vaccines, Linkin Park, and The State of British Music

1. The Vaccines – “No Hope”

Hannah Watts: SELL

Despite my best efforts I’ve never been able to get into The Vaccines. Although I recognize that they write well thought-out songs with strong choruses, they fail to connect on a personal level, ultimately coming off as faintly devoid of any real depth and meaning.

This new song though, has a slightly different feel than their older material, but suffers from the same problem. The textured welling introduction initially sparks interest, but the following section featuring only guitar and vocals does nothing to disguise the pedestrian lyrics, and while the chorus stays with you after listening, it is in more of an irritating way than in the enjoyable way of “Post Break-Up Sex” or “If You Wanna.”

Siobhan Gallagher: SELL

I’ve never really been into The Vaccines, and whilst I’m prepared to give them a chance to see if they can live up to their hype, this track is certainly not going to win me over any time soon. Its poor production is one thing, but there is nothing there to attract interest from an insider and there is no emotional depth behind the song. It just sounds like a sub-standard Libertines track.

2. Pure Love – “Handsome Devils Club”

Hannah Watts: SELL

The best way of describing this record is watered-down Gaslight Anthem, which is not a compliment. There doesn’t seem to be anything of any substance beneath the overly polished production – it could definitely have benefitted from being more visceral and rough around the edges. Remarkably unremarkable.

Siobhan Gallagher: SELL

Frank Carter drops the screaming he became known for on past Gallows records, instead opting to be a working class hero in the vein of Weller, Strummer, Morrissey etc. A combination of The Smiths and The Clash it may be, but it’s not really interesting or remarkable, and could have been a bit more, as Hannah says, “rougher round the edges”, to make it more than the radio-friendly guitar music it is.

3. Linkin’ Park – “Lies Greed Misery”

Hannah Watts : SELL

I’ve been blissfully unaware of anything of Linkin’ Park’s output since about 2003 so needless to say this record took me aback slightly. It can only really be described as a mixture of electro-pop and nu-metal; a combination of genres that on paper sounds awful and on record sounds, well, awful. The verse is reminiscent of recent Jay-Z output, which is fine, but the chorus is uninspiring to say the least and the outro just highlights how much these two genres do not work together. I’m almost tempted to give it a “buy” because at least it has personality, unlike the Vaccines and Pure Love records, but taken on its own merit it’s a definite “sell.”

Siobhan Gallagher: SELL

I agree with Hannah’s comments. Mixing electro-pop and nu-metal sounds awful and, well it is just that, awful. The juvenile standard rapping is full of cringe inducing lyrics such as “you disrespect me so clearly, now you better hear me”, the type of thing you’d expect to hear in the playground between arguing school kids, whilst the screaming chorus is uninspiring and clichéd.

At least they are prepared to experiment though, I suppose.

Time to changes places, it’s Siobhan’s turn to go first:

4. British Music is Worth Celebrating in 2012

Siobhan Gallagher: SELL

Well that is a tough one to decide. I’m yet to be blown away by any new releases from British bands in 2012, save for 2:54, whose eponymous debut album has received rave reviews and will no doubt be a contender for awards come the end of the year. However, apart from that, no one else really sticks in my mind straight away. Although, we have only just passed the halfway stage of the year, so perhaps the second half will see more music worth celebrating.

Hannah Watts: SELL

There have been a couple of decent releases from UK artists this year (Paul Weller and Blood Red Shoes among others) but the only thing that has really stuck out for me so far is the new album by The Cribs. With regard to the second half of this year, we’ve got a new album by The xx to look forward to and should also get to see whether the new Muse album is any good (a definite point of debate given that recent trailer…). On the whole British music this year doesn’t seem to be better or worse than any other year so I wouldn’t consider it necessary to celebrate.

5. The Darkness – Every Inch of You 

Siobhan Gallagher: SELL

The quartet return with their first album in seven years, Hot Cakes, and this is the first piece (no pun intended) of that upcoming record. It is pretty much everything we’ve come to expect from The Darkness and it certainly won’t do anything to win over their detractors. Its clichéd, glam rock sleaze doesn’t really do anything interesting, and it’s a return we could have certainly done without.

Hannah Watts: SELL

In 2003 The Darkness were amusing, light hearted, air guitar fodder. Yes they were a joke, but they were in on it. In 2012 The Darkness are still laughing hysterically about that same joke that every one else got bored of ages ago and the result is just cringe worthy. The music is boring, the lyrics are self-serving nonsense, and I’ll agree with Siobhan in saying that The Darkness really didn’t need to come back.

 6. We Are the Ocean – Bleed 

Siobhan Gallagher: SELL

The latest track to be donned with Zane Lowe’s “Hottest Track in the World” tag, is this newbie from Loughton-based, We Are the Ocean. It is their first track to be released without their former vocalist Dan Brown, who has parted ways after five years in the band. It’s melodic, it’s anthemic, but it lacks of originality or anything to make them stand out from amongst their peers in a crowded market.

Hannah Watts: BUY

I find it interesting that lead vocalist Dan Brown has now left We Are The Ocean as while watching the band at Reading last year my main thought was that the additional vocalist had such a strong voice that it was a shame that he didn’t sing more. Although I wouldn’t describe this as the “Hottest Track in the World” like the easily excitable Zane Lowe, I do quite like this song. Yes it isn’t particularly original, but it has plenty to like about it, particularly the central guitar hook and it definitely warrants more than one listen. 

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Author: david

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