Alternative music reviews

November 19, 2006

Kerrang! New Breed

Filed under: reviews — @ 11:30 pm Comments (3)

The magazine Kerrang! has just released a double CD. Called New Breed it features “bands you know and bands you’ll need to know”. I began to write this review by mentioning how good ¡Forward Russia! are. My first thought was that I would see if anything came up to their standard. What was scary was that the following track by The Scare sounds like another great Leeds band – except that they are from Australia. And then I began to make a few notes about the outstanding tracks…

I realised that I was about to make a post the length of a novel by one of the Russian masters. There are 41 tracks and I was goingto talk about at least 20 of them. I thought I had my finger on the pulse of young alt-rock bands but I was very much mistaken. I have barely scratched the surface although I could easily name another 20 bands that could/should be included. The music is all about loud guitars and often anthemic songs. With all of these bands together I realise that there is no need to have separate genres for hardcode, punk, Metal, or even Emo. It’s been nearly forty years since something recognisable as Rock music began and most of these bands will have grown up being aware of a sample of the history from Hendrix onwards and have not been influenced from just a single arm of development.

My natural preference is for the CD with lesser known bands on. I still think that ¡Forward Russia! come over best, but their position of dominance is not out of reach of Scary or Left Side Brain. As for the better known bands, there is just so much good stuff as well. I had heard plenty about Panic! At The Disco (they have been touring with The Dresden Dolls in the US) but I just assumed they were just a US teen ‘punk’ band. In fact they are really good on the evidence of the track Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off that mixes pop sensibility with considerable bite musically and lyrically. The Automatic and Alexisonfire also come bursting out the mix as something quite special.

Kerrang! New Breed is one of those very important compilations – one that you listen through from start to finish. I will be bringing it out whenever I need a good headbanging session in future years. I also think this double CD settles an argument for me. There are plenty of ‘old’ people who claim that there is no decent music today. They hark back to their youth and say everything was better then. Well, I remember Guitar Rock in the 1970s with the greats like Led Zeppelin, Nazareth, Silverhead, Alice Cooper, and Deep Purple. Please believe me, I have the evidence, there has never been a better time for hard rocking guitar bands than right now.

I will end this review here. I’ve go to go and type 25 names into MySpace to follow up on what I’ve been listening to.


  1. Emo, screamo, pop?

    Many of these bands are about as relevant in the rock scene as Take That, Boyzone et al – that’s not to say that they are totally without merit, but to declare them “bands you’ll need to know” is probably stretching it a bit. That said, what it the target demographic for Kerrang these days? 13-14-year old children?

    If it gets kids into “proper” rock music then great, but give me the likes of Opeth, Mastodon, Isis, Sunn, Cult Of Luna, Khoma, Porcupine Tree, Oceansize, Katatonia, who are all pushing the boundaries of their art in some way or other, any day. You may even find that Kerrang! agrees with me on that one 🙂

    An asymmetric haircut does not make a musician. A popstar maybe…

    Comment by Daniel — November 20, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  2. hahahaha I’ve just realised that my last post read like “if it’s not got 10 time changes in it, it’s shit”, which is not strictly true 🙂

    Comment by Daniel — November 20, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

  3. That would be a contrast to my credo of any more than two chords is showing off.

    Actually there’s only a few tracks on the CD that come from the Emo area – most are good solid rock.

    Agreed there are no boundaries being broken by these bands (except FR maybe) and nothing original sounding. I didn’t get round to talking about that because I am no longer sure where I stand on demanding that every band must do something never attempted before – good job really because String Driven Thing just contacted me this morning and I am very excited about them making a new album after 30 years.

    Comment by Cool Noise — November 20, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

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