Wills and the Willing–Dream in Colour–Review

Ian Wills has always had somewhat of a ‘revolving door policy’ on his critically acclaimed band Wills & The Willing. Each of his first two albums featured an almost entirely different line-up, including Jessie Wood (Reef), Rachel Wood (Cirque de Soleil), and guest vocals from the likes of Tom McRae., Harry Collier, & Liane Carrol. Now with a brand new line-up and a bigger, more accessible sound for his third album ‘Dream In Colour’; Wills finally believes that he has settled on a definitive band line-up and has an inspiring set of new songs that will help take the band to a much wider audience. With their brand new album “ Dream in Colour”, Wills and the Willing have crafted a timeless audio journey that flows seamlessly from song to song with stories bursting to be told. It’s spoken word with an Indie twist and tons of punk attitude. At first listen Ian Dury springs to mind but The Wills take it to a different level. The music is so epic, dreamy and laced with walls of euphoric sound it’s almost reminiscent of The Beach Boys on acid on holiday with a sonic and dreamy Beck, but then there are […]

Green Day – ‘Revolution Radio’ Review

Billie, Tre and Mike put their 2012 meltdown behind them on an album as strong as anything they’ve done since ‘American Idiot’ As falls from grace go, Green Day’s 2012 chastening was one for the ages: hubristic overreaching, self-inflicted exhaustion, an excruciating public meltdown leading to a raft of postponed tour dates and an entire trilogy of underwhelming albums that laid bare the scorched-earth extent of their burnout. What lit the match, however, may have been nothing more than a misguided surfeit of ambition. After two decades at the top of their game, Green Day seemed to believe it was no longer enough to simply be a band that released albums; they had to be a behemoth that made statements, even ones as unwieldy and confounding as ‘¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!’. Every great downfall deserves a redemption, however, and with ‘Revolution Radio’, Green Day now have theirs. There’ll be no Broadway musicals made of this album, no think-pieces devoted to unpicking its politics or meaning, but as a simple collection of songs, it’s as strong as anything they’ve come up with since 2004’s ‘American Idiot’. Thematically, Billie Joe Armstrong has said the album is about making sense of our chaotic times, […]

Lady Gaga – Joanne

Eight years have flown by since Lady Gaga exploded onto the international stage with her RedOne produced, Colby O’Donis featuring and RedOne/Akon co-written debut single Just Dance. Almost instantly she became one of the most talked about and sought after pop icons. As she toured the world and thrilled her Little Monsters with her message of self-belief, anthemic pop songs and thrilling outfits, Lady Gaga’s profile exploded to the point of implosion. With her third studio album, Artpop, taking her identity exploration to an extreme, many fans felt they had lost their sense of connection with their champion. Her response, sensibly, was to take a step back and re-focus her energies on her own goals. After a brief exploration of jazz standards with the legendary Tony Bennett for her fourth studio album, she returns with her long-awaited fifth studio album, Joanne, and a reported foray with country pop. First things first, Joanne may have country undertones, but this is no country album. This is Lady Gaga at her most personal and insightful. Stripping away the experimental edge that was so harshly over criticized on the actually rather compelling Artpop, Lady Gaga delivers a record that shines a light on the […]

Theatre of Hate–Westworld – Cherry Red Records (label)

In the crazy creative world of the early 1980s, there were times when several genres merged to great effect. For example, the likes of Japan developed a unique New Wave sound, using the best elements of 70s Glam with the fresher New Romantic. Other bands came and went almost as quickly as David Sylvian’s Japan, but didn’t leave the same influential soundtrack. Perhaps harshly, Theatre of Hate can be put in that latter bracket. Westworld was their only album and combined raw punk elements with a more produced, expansive, slightly self-indulgent sound. Formed after the demise of The Pack, Theatre of Hate featured the unique vocal of Kirk Brandon, alongside Stan Stammers (bass), guitarist Steve Guthrie, drummer Luke Rendle and, as if to typify the era, saxophonist John Lennard. Westworld was the band’s only album, with the follow-up never seeing the light of day before Brandon went on to form the poppier, but just as angry sounding, Spear of Destiny. At the time, the album was seen by some fans as a disappointment. Produced by The Clash’s Mick Jones, it came after several independent singles that had created a buzz, as well as raucous live shows. The album though lacked […]