Pushing Her Guitar To The Summit – Single Reviews.
Green Day – Here Comes The Shock.
Every time a band with superstar credentials comes along and releases a new single or album, there is a sense of anticipation. Green Day is one of those band’s that has created some pop punk wonders in their time at the top, excelling with records such as the irreplaceable Dookie LP and the ground-breaking American Idiot opus. But, in recent times, the Californian outfit has become a band lost in a slump. Last year’s album Father Of All was a sheer disappointment, a record which offered nothing in terms of ingenuity or musical muscle. New single Here Comes The Shock goes along the same lines, with lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong sneering at the world like an angst-ridden teenager. Lyrically it is one Armstrong’s weakest write ups, and musically, those riffs have been done to death. This harsh assessment is relevant, with Green Day now a band that can play and write what they want, but we all want to see a more productivity, more of a passionate resolution. Come on, this outfit has created some stompers, even on some of their most obscure and muddled releases. But Here Comes The Shock is a colossal misstep.
The Offspring – Let The Bad Times Roll.
Another massive act, another questionable song. There is no doubting The Offspring’s influence on the scene. The band’s prior records including Smash and Americana are staples, but after all the wisdom, mediocrity can creep in. Let The Bad Times Roll is not an ingenious punk song. It is a disappointing stab at pop dramatics. Lead singer Dexter Holland sings about the end of the world, in an annoying manner which will alienate long-time fans. Crafted to shock, it carries too much baggage, but musically the riffs offer some pleasing factors, lyrically it is not worth noting.
Belvedere – Good Grief Retreat.
Proudly wearing the badge of the underground, Belvedere notch up another song that is worthy. The act batter down the barricades and play their hearts out with sheer urgency on new single Good Greif retreat. It is bashful and unapologetic, striking and searing, epitomising punk rock in its organic state. The riffs are monumental, and the solo serves to brighten up the world. Classy and loud, it purposely flies the flag for DIY punk, and you know what, it is the best kind, music that helps us dance for unity.
Wolf Alice – The Last Man On Earth.
Wolf Alice does not need to show light or talent, but on their new single The Last Man On Earth, the act blows minds. It is one of the most courageous and complex songs that band has ever created, with beats and piano laden layers. The song rises and creates another dimension, one original and thought provoking. It emerges from the most vulnerable soul too, and lead singer Ellie Rowsell, sings beautifully and elegantly. Lyrically, it is monumental, poetic, and decisive. Wolf Alice is back and gearing to elevate even further.
Julien Baker – Heatwave.
Supremely talented and not afraid, Julien Baker strikes again. The singer/songwriter dazzles with her single Heatwave, pushing her guitar to the summit, delivering layers, and profoundly placing words into the frame. Her words, poetic and searing provide the listener with an insight and snapshots. And it is only a matter of time before this young star shines like a million streetlamps. She is that good.
Hear all of the above and more on “Tuned Up’s New and Nifty”: