This collection of short reviews features several releases from over a month or two back that I’ve been meaning to get around to. Well, finally, I’ve knocked some of them out. Some great records to be found below! — by Nathaniel Lay
ALKALINE TRIO – My Shame Is True
[Epitaph Records] – Verdict: 9.5/10
The really great thing about the new A3 album is just how much of a flashback appeal it has. Fans from the days of Goddammit will find that My Shame Is True has a lot of old school shine to it that is reminiscent of the band’s earlier material. Kicking off with “She Lied To The FBI”, Alkaline Trio reel in the listener with their light and honest punk/rock that made them so memorable back before they were famous. The record only gets better from there, bringing in new elements and influences along the way. For example, “I Wanna Be A Warhol” sounds like a lost +44 song, and “I, Pessimist” plays fast and hard like Rise Against (and even features Tim on guest vocals). My Shame Is True is essentially hit after hit. This is the best A3 record in fuckin’ years.
DARK NEW DAY – Hail Mary
[Pavement Entertainment] – Verdict: 7/10
Having never listened to this band before, it was nice going into it knowing it featured members of several good hard/rock bands, such as Evanescence. Hail Mary is about what I expected, considering where these guys had come from originally. The music here is all quite solid, whether you’re more interested in the heavier writing (“Goodbye”, “Saddest Song”), the lighter stuff (“On My Way”, “Dear Addy”), or the in-between/anthem-like tracks (“Simple”, “Outside”). Now, hard rock hasn’t been my cup of tea for years, but Dark New Day are doing it justice. So if this genre is your thing, chances are high you will love this record.
SHAI HULUD – Reach Beyond the Sun
[Metal Blade Records] – Verdict: 9/10
Believe it or not, I’ve never listened to Shai Hulud before this record. For whatever reason, I always thought they played that deep, guttural metal I can’t stand. Instead, they are very much hardcore in their presentation: fast, aggressive, hard-hitting, and memorable. Reach Beyond the Sun was quite the surprise, as a result. Shai Hulud have instantly gone up on my list, making the top 10 hardcore acts killing it right now. After the somewhat disappointing recent release by Stick To Your Guns, I think it’s safe to say Shai Hulud have even surpassed them with this record.
AUTHORITY ZERO – The Tipping Point
[Hardline Entertainment] – Verdict: 9/10
Like the days of Siren Song by Rise Against, The Tipping Point has a very strong punk rock fuel that makes the songs both memorable and fist pumping. While tracks “Undivided”, “For the Kids”, “Struggle”, “Lift One Up”, and “Today We Heard The News” feature the best moments of The Tipping Point, the album is a fantastic ride from start to finish. This is probably the best Authority Zero have been, so pay attention.