Hello, and welcome to the very first edition of Strictly Rock, where I will be covering anything and everything from within, you guessed it, rock music; the most vague genre going. With this in mind, expect a mixed bag as I take you through this week’s big news, key releases, live reviews or whatever else I fancy rambling about come the end of the week.
Arguably the biggest news this week is the addition of 14 bands to the bill over at Download Festival. Subheadlining for The Prodigy, Metallica, and Black Sabbath at Donington this June will be Biffy Clyro, Soundgarden, and Chase and Status. Intentional or not, Download supremo Andy Copping seems to have gone for a far more accessible line up than we have become accustomed to seeing from the festival, and while this may enrage the “Download is a metal festival” (wrong) and the “Machine Head to headline” (also wrong) crowds, it may turn out to be very intelligent bookings in an attempt to reinvigorate a festival that has become somewhat stale of late.
Also joining the bill at Download are Machine Head (in a realistic position), a rare UK appearance for Tenacious D, You Me At Six, Trivium, Lamb Of God, Devin Townsend Project, Devildriver, Little Angels, Anthrax, Ugly Kid Joe and August Burns Red.
Elsewhere, party animal Andrew WK has announced his first UK Tour in four years and plans to play debut album I Get Wet in full. The dates and venues (now upgraded due to popular demand) are as follows:
Tickets go on sale this Friday (January 27th) at 9am and chances are you’re gonna have to be quick.
More tour news now and Sum 41 have been forced to pull out of the upcoming Kerrang! Tour Sponsored By Relentless Energy Drink. Yes, that is it’s actual name. What a mouthful. The band blame a back injury to front man Deryck Whibley for the cancellation amid fears he could find himself in a wheelchair.
Kerrang! were quick on the ball with a replacement however, announcing that The Blackout will step in to take the stage with letlive., While She Sleeps, and New Found Glory. While they’re not an ideal replacement, the organisers should be commended for finding a big name on such short notice, given that the tour kicks off in around 2 weeks.
Album of the Week?
As far as new releases go, Enter Shikari’s A Flash Flood Of Colour has been causing arguments-a-plenty on Strictly this week with people seemingly split 50/50 on whether it’s a masterpiece or a steaming turd. Where do I stand? Precariously on the fence, it’s solid if not spectacular, though being preached at through your stereo does become tiring long before the embarrassing intro to “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi”.
Other releases include Frank Turner’s newest compilation The Second Three Years, and efforts from The Big Pink, and Tribes.
However, none of these do enough for my very first awarding of album of the week, that dubious honour goes to Minnesota’s own, Howler, and their debut album America Give Up. Already drawing comparisons to The Strokes, the album is not going to stop that idea from being reinforced and Is This It it is not. That said, it’s a very commendable effort and for the most part a cracking little album. It’s also up on Spotify, which is always a bonus. Either way, it gets my stamp of approval and is Strictly Rock’s album of the week.
That’s a wrap for the first Strictly Rock, leave any opinions and insults in the comments box below and I’ll catch you all next week.