Fifteen years after their last major hit (‘Calling America’) and subsequent break-up, Jeff Lynne revived Electric Light Orchestra. The move seemed to come from necessity, since his own recording in the interim (‘Armchair Theatre’) was not as successful as many predicted it would be. It was by no means a flop – and Lynne, too, achieved critical and commercial success as a member of Traveling Wilburys in the wake of his former band – but it seemed that any recordings made with the bespectacled and bearded Brummie at the helm (supergroups notwithstanding) stood a far better chance of acceptance if the ELO moniker came attached.
This second release from Finnish black metallers Enthring is an interesting affair. Sometimes more symphonic than flat-out grindy, the multi-layered aspect of their music is strongly evident from the very first notes and although comprising just three tracks, it gives a broad enough glimpse into their craft without becoming overbearing. Provided, that is, you’re not averse to the occasional bit of extreme metal, in which case, this just won’t be for you.
Glance at the band logo for this fledgling Brazilian band and there’s every chance you’ll assume they’re called Southern and you might expect something along the lines of Black Stone Cherry. A closer look and that stray and somewhat mysterious L appears, but there’s no soul on offer here either. As you can probably guess from the band photo on the sleeve – a design that conjours up memories of 7”s with DIY wraparound artwork – we’re in very retro metal territory with this demo quality release. In fact, ‘Rock You Till Die’ [sic] is so unashamedly old school metal with a capital M, you might even think these three guys had been in a coma since 1984.
Wisconsin’s Normal Fox bill themselves as sounding like “the best summer you ever had”. The music doesn’t always instantly have a summery feel, but there are times throughout their 2013 EP release ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t Change Anything’ where the four musicians sound like they’re having a fantastic time playing music – and that in itself is probably enough to justify such claims, no matter how you’d personally choose to soundtrack your own (hopefully) sun-filled vacation time. On the surface, they sound like just another alt-rock/emo band, but as these five songs clearly demonstrate, at least one member of the band has broader musical interests than first appears.