There’s plenty of music released every single month, and with each Monthly Music Roundup article, we share some quick reviews of several releases from throughout the month that we personally enjoyed and want to cover.
The Alchemy “Chemical Daydream”
I heard a lot about The Alchemy this month with the release of their album “Chemical Daydream. The more upbeat half of this album includes tracks like the anthemic and energetic “Take Me Alive,” one with a very strong vocal performance that delivers some interesting melodies throughout the song, the very catchy “Runaway,” which might be one of my favorites on the record, and the captivating opener “Diamond Bones,” letting the vocals and instrumentals (particularly bass and drums) show off in the verses and pre-choruses - respecti vely - and showing both aspects at their best during the huge chorus. This track, “Runaway,” and the very upbeat catchy, and riff-heavy “We’re All Just Criminals” all embrace the band’s rock and alternative rock influences, and the memorable “A Slave To Gravity” adds some pop, electronic and alternative elements into the mix as well. The slower side of the record features tracks like “Gateway Drug,” one with softer verses where the vocals show a little bit more than the instrumentation and deliver pretty memorable melodies, the much softer closing track “Chemical Daydream,” where the vocals show off in the memorable chorus, and “Intertwined,” incorporating some acoustic guitar and softer percussion in the beginning and some softer vocals in the pop-tinged verses. “Better The Devil You Know” is one of the biggest standouts in regards to composition, sounding a bit different compared to a lot of the rest of the record, and it also shows the rock-leaning aspects of the band’s sound once again. “Give Me The Sky” shows the same influences, and is one of the most well-written tracks on the album in terms of the songwriting structure and melodies. “Chemical Daydream” is a very interesting rock album and a strong debut.
I've heard a lot about Anavae, who just dropped their new album, “45.” The band combines a couple different genres, mainly styles of pop and rock, but some of these tracks lean more towards one side over the other, and a few of them are more rock influenced in particular. “Human” shows these influences through the instrumentation, especially the catchy guitar and bass riffs in the intro. “Shy Girls” has similar riffs in the beginning of the song, and is a bit darker compared to some of the other tracks on the record. The vocals and drums really show off in the verses before anthemic choruses come in. Catchy guitar riffs and captivating vocals lead the memorable “Smile,” and the fun and upbeat “Not Enough” mixes the harder instrumentals with some keys and synths in the beginning to show an example of how well the band mixes different influences and genres into their music. A couple of the songs on this record lean more towards the pop side: “Night” and “California,” which are both a lot softer, piano led and more pop influenced with the synths and percussion used throughout. A lot of this album shows a good mix of the pop, rock and alternative influences found on the record. “Skeleton” brings softer vocals at first before harder guitars and drums kick in later on, especially during the big post chorus, and “High” is very similar with the powerful and very impressive chorus where the vocals really shine. The upbeat “Never Want To Love Again” and even more energetic “Dirt” bring pop influenced verses and rock influenced choruses, “Afraid” brings really catchy instrumentals, and “Hold On” mixes pop and rock perfectly throughout the entire song, especially in its massive chorus, where those influences really collide and the vocals show off even more. “45” is a memorable record with a perfect combination of pop and rock.
Written By Wolves “Secrets”
I really liked the singles Written By Wolves had dropped before the release of their album “Secrets,” and the rest of the album really impressed me. The rock influences show through quite a few of the songs on the album. “Let It Burn” has a huge chorus that blew me away from first listen with the captivating vocals, and the song only gets better as the vocals get louder and the instrumentals come in more. The lead single “Tell Me What You’re Running From” brings a lot of energy all throughout and harder instrumentation to accompany a chorus of vocals in another massive chorus, and “Something To Save” has a similar chorus that really lets these influences show with the harder instrumentals and raw vocals. Despite being a bit slower than these other few tracks, “Lucky Stars” still shows the same influences and allows the vocals to show off a ton as well. The more pop leaning influences show in a couple of the remaining tracks, mainly the introductory track “Start The Fire” in the vocals (which bring some great melodies and harmonies), the darker, alt-rock tinged title track “Secrets,” one of the most interesting tracks on the album, and the closing track “Forever & Always,” with piano and softer guitar parts in the intro, and similarly softer verses where the vocals show off. A lot of the tracks on this album show a mix of not only these influences, but some other ones as well. “As Long As It Takes” and “Better Luck Next Time” are both two captivating tracks that show electronic and heavier influences in the beginning with a blend of synths and harder hitting instrumentals. “Demons” does the same, and while it leans more towards the pop and electronic side, there’s still some aggression incorporated through the added screams towards the end of the song. “Help Me Through The Night” mixes the pop rock, alternative and rock elements in the verses and huge, emotional chorus, “The Way Out” is more alternative rock leaning but adds some piano, synths and softer percussion into the mix, and “Be Careful What You Wish For” encompasses all of these various influences in those few tracks, ranging from electronic to rock to everything else in between that they incorporate into their sound. “Secrets” does a great job at combining so many different styles of pop and rock music and is a really impressive album.
Cliffdiver “At Your Own Risk”
Cliffdiver have released their sophomore EP, “At Your Own Risk,” which shows off a wide variety of influences in the pop punk and emo scene. “Elwood’s” brings a good mix of pop punk, emo and indie influences right away through the dynamic vocals and instrumentals that bring some catchy composition and overall interesting performances. The softer bridge contrasts from a lot of the track, bringing some cleaner guitars and a spoken word section, which fits very well on the track. The single “Are You Still Seeing Graig, The Orthodontist?” embraces the emo and math rock influences, brings tons of energy, some pretty catchy melodies, and even adds in some horns that fit surprisingly well on the song. “Alone In Your Apartment” has some great dynamics, balancing some softer sections and some much bigger ones, and the build ups between those keep you captivated and waiting to hear what happens next. “Cameron Diaz” is another upbeat one, but the acoustic guitar added makes it stand out amongst the other songs with a similar tempo. The vocals show off a lot more throughout the track, and the very memorable chorus is where the instrumentals kick in. The closing track “Lost In Ikea” is a lot more pop punk leaning, while still mixing in some other influences with the very impressive guitar riffs and anthemic chorus. “At Your Own Risk” shows Cliffdiver’s very unique sound and is a great sophomore EP.
Fake Figures “We Are The Dead”
Fake Figures have also released their sophomore EP, titled “We Are The Dead.” “Hole In The Sky” shows some punk and hardcore influences through the shouted and screamed vocals in the verses and bridge and the energetic instrumentals throughout. “You’re Distant” brings some harder hitting instrumentation in the intro, a mix of shouted and more melodic vocals in the verses, impressive vocals in the melodic and very memorable chorus, and an equally as impressive guitar solo later on. “Bury The Hatchet” is one of the most energetic tracks on here, continuing to show the punk and hardcore influences with that energy and more shotued vocals. The chorus brings unique melodies in the chorus that really fit well with the darker composition in the song and the band’s overall sound. “Gone Again” is a great combination of the band’s various influences, specifically rock, punk and metal, from the shouted vocals in the verses to the more melodic and extremely catchy chorus and the heavier breakdown later on in the track. “We Are The Dead” also showcases a few different elements and influences in the band’s sound with the piano that opens the song, the instrumentals and dark melodies leading it, and the balance of more melodic and aggressive vocals. Fake Figures mix a lot of different influences within rock and heavier music to create a good sophomore EP with “We Are The Dead.”
Weighted “A Better Place”
Weighted released their powerful debut EP, titled “A Better Place.” Opening track “Records” is softer at first, especially vocally, but the catchy guitars, bass and drums show off a lot during the verses, contrasting a lot from the softer vocals in those sections. This song is one of quite a few on this EP that really shows off the band’s emo influences, especially when the louder vocals and harder hitting instrumentals come in. “Brick & Gold” is a lot more upbeat in comparison, and while it’s the longest song on the EP, it has a lot to offer. It brings some darker guitars in the beginning, and the drums show off as much as these guitars do in the rest of the intro before the softer verses come in. The chorus brings harder hitting instrumentation and some raw, slightly shouted and screamed vocals, showing the band’s aggressive tendencies. Bass and guitar solos are added in later on, and the bridge in between brings some very captivating vocals and interesting melodies. The title track “A Better Place” is a pretty hard hitting song instrumentally as well, and while the vocals seemed a bit monotonous on first listen, the melodies they deliver are really catchy, most notably during the pre-chorus and chorus. The instrumentals bring so much energy, especially in the bridge, which builds up so well to the song’s powerful ending. Powerful is the perfect word to describe the closing track “One Last Time,” a track that’s on the slower side, but brings so much emotion, primarily in the huge choruses found on it. Weighted have created a very emotional and passionate debut EP with “A Better Place.”
Youth Illusion “Terms Of Submission”
I was pretty impressed when I first listened to Youth Illusion, and I can say the same thing about their EP, “Terms Of Submission.” “Better Off” brings some catchy instrumentals in its upbeat intro, followed by similarly catchy melodies in the verses and the very memorable chorus, where the vocals really stand out. This song shows off the band’s sound pretty well, combining the punk and alternative rock influences and really showing those influences in the vocal performances. “Cover Up And Die” is a major standout on the EP, leaning more towards the alternative rock side, bringing darker composition, and incorporating some very impressive vocal and instrumental performances. “Enemy” is also a bit darker, mainly with the riffs in the intro, and the drums help build that section of the song up before the vocals take the spotlight in the softer verses. The pre-chorus is very catchy, and the same can be said about the huge chorus on the track. Speaking of catchy, the closing track “Rebellion” has some catchy and very energetic instrumentation, and that (paired with the vocal style and performance) shows the more punk leaning influences in the band’s music. Youth Illusion have created an interesting and impressive debut EP with “Terms Of Submission.”