There seems to be a colour theme in the album covers for this month.
Shreddy Krueger – The Grieving (2013)
Rawr! Canadians can be angry too! (Though it’s probably because they’re not from Toronto ;P) This post-hardcore band from British Columbia delivers an incredibly well produced album, that’s relentlessly aggressive and tonally diverse. As with many of my new discoveries, there’s a story to discovering Shreddy Krueger. In the twilight of Sony Music Unlimited, I switched over to Spotify and after developing a library of what I considered a good representation of my musical tastes, I tested out their recommendations. Shreddy Krueger is the product of this test and I am pleased. The guitarist transitions between flowing melodies and crunchy metal chords seamlessly moving the songs between heavy and more musical sections along with the vocalist who makes similar transitions in his singing style. The band is really tight, guitar and drums are perfectly on beat and it makes some sections incredibly intense and spine shivering. It’s a fantastic album and one of my favourite heavy albums in recent memory.
Bomb tracks: Hazel The Apparition, Cut Throat, Violence
Tom DeLonge – To The Stars… Demos, Odds and Ends (2015)
As a long time Blink 182 fan, and a fan of DeLonge’s other work including Angel and Airwaves, and one of my all time favourite albums Box Car Racer, I was both curious and looking forward to what Tom had in store for potential pop-punk demos. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this to be honest; everything feels stuck somewhere between, well, all of those bands listed above. Songs like New World and Suburban Kings have these verses that sound as though they’d fit directly into a Blink 182 album and choruses that could go either way. An Endless Summer is perhaps the most intriguing with an intro that sounds pulled directly from an Angels album but then proceeds to sound like it would be right at home on Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. There are also sections of songs where Tom’s singing outside of his range as though it was intended for Mark to sing. And then there’s Circle-Jerk-Pit which literally is an alternate version of My First Punk song. It’s sad that we won’t get to hear these evolve into something more than demoes, and what they could be if the rest of the band had gotten their hands on them, but it’s still cool to hear nonetheless. Before I wrap this up: if you’re making a B-sides, don’t be a dick and put some filler ambient track on it like Landscapes.
Bomb tracks: New World, An Endless Summer, Suburban Kings
Dustin Kensrue – Carry the Fire (2015)
Finally. A proper follow up to 2007’s Please Come Home. This isn’t a selection of Christian praise music, it’s a good ol’ rock album. Dustin not only crafts an album that’s enjoyable to listen to, but it’s loaded with excellent lyrics that range from beautiful loves songs, to dark introspective songs, and everything in between. Carry the Fire starts strong with three incredible tracks, Ruby, Back To Back and Gallows, but has a brief lull of less than stellar songs with Death or Glory and In the Darkness. Going into the latter half, the really strong song I’ve been dying to finally hear a proper version of, Of Crows and Crowns, takes you to absolute bliss before closing out on the title track. While there’s nothing more I’d like than to hear Dustin sing with Thrice again, if he reduces the space between these solo releases, I can manage until they get back together in the studio.
Bomb tracks: Back to Back, Gallows, Of Crows and Crowns
Ryan’s Rockin’: May 2015 Spotify Playlist (sorry, Tom DeLonge isn’t available)