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CultureShock (89)

William Matthews is a well known singer-songwriter and bonafide TV addict since the age of 3. He is a avid reader and consumer of all things music, pop culture, political and spiritual related. 

Monday, 19 March 2012 04:40

Valentiger...Oh, to Know

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Every so often you hear that album that makes you completely fall in love with a genre again. Lucky for me Valentiger have made that happen with their album, ‘Oh, to Know’.

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The Sun Explodes is a five piece rock band that fuses several styles of rock with electronic to create their distinct sound. Their debut album ‘Emergence ’ is welcomed with open arms in my eyes. It is fresh and exciting in all the right places. Some might say that they have similarities with the likes of Enter Shikari, this is true and they have the potential to rival them.

Friday, 24 February 2012 12:16

Band: Atlantis Album: Atlantis Rating: 10/10

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Leicestershire lads Atlantis, release their EP ‘Atlantis’ and they truly are in a league of their own. They mix hardcore, passion and in your face music to create eight neatly compact songs of pure music adrenaline. Singer Jones is one the most talented vocalists I’ve heard in a long time with his versatile ability to switch from gritty screams to powerful vocals instantly.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 18:29

Band: mylittlebrother Album: Nosedive Rating: 7/10

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mylittlebrother have released their emotion filled EP ‘Nosedive’. It is a is very Beatle-esque bunch of songs, letting the listener become immediately familiar with its tone and sound. The band have taken their influences, added their own style and have created something not to be taken lightly. What makes it even better is that it isn't only one style, at times it can come across slightly folksy adding a more poetic side to the songs.

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Grey Goes Down are a three piece alternative punk band from Nottingham, who together form something that's one of a kind. Their debut album 'Love Letters to Rock 'n' Roll, will take listeners back to a time where music was about the music and nothing else. The vocals can be compared to early Green Day and at times vaguely reminiscent of the late Kurt Cobain. The music is simplistic yet powerful and the two go hand in hand to create a catchy grunge fused punk vibe.

Thursday, 09 February 2012 07:48

Artist: Young Guns Album: Bones Rating: 10 out of 10

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Young Guns are one of those bands that can’t seem to do any wrong. Talent seems to ooze out of every aspect of them and sometimes it’s easy to forget that their new album is only their second.

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It isn’t often you hear electro genres mix with the metal genre, but when you do it sounds something like Enter Shikari. The band has recently released their third studio album ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ and it is as politically charged as ever. It is full of chunky metal riffs and beats from various genres including dubstep and electronica. Usually you wouldn’t expect these to mix very well, and on paper I wouldn’t consider this music that good; but there is something special about this band. Maybe it is their passion for music, which can be seen in the energy they put into their songs. Perhaps it is their meaningful lyrics that question our society and the governments that run it. Whatever it is it works for them and music fans are grateful for it.

Monday, 16 January 2012 02:30

The Black Keys

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Since The Black Keys arrival in 2001 the music scene has been gifted with something new and refreshing. If the saying ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ applied anywhere, then it would apply here, as they have to stuck to what they are good at and built around it. Releasing their seventh studio album El Camino at the end of 2011, these guys have flooded their listeners ears with dirty guitar riffs, distorted vocals and whiskey fuelled songs that we have all become familiar with.

Saturday, 31 December 2011 08:05

The Best of 2011

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2011 has been a strange but wonderful year for music. We have seen the musical world take a far more dark and gritty turn, with some artists pushing it to the limit with what the say and talk about in their music. Here is a list of the albums I have rated the best.

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X Factor finalist Olly Murs is back with his sophmore album, and it's easy to say that he is back with style. Having already released a hit record the previous year, he has definitely returned with something to rival it.

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Having been around for more than a decade Coldplay have become one of the most successful bands on the planet, in that time they have released four astonishing albums that have set the bench mark for British alternative rock.

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After spending nearly two decades in Oasis it is hard to imagine Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds debut album ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ sounding any different to Oasis or being anywhere near as good. To my pleasant surprise it was. The record contains ten short sweet tracks of that classic Brit-Pop sound, which pushed Noel into the superstar fame, with a modern touch to it.

Whilst being recorded, it was said that some of the songs on the album had the potential to be as big as Oasis’ big hits. After listening to tracks such as ‘Stop All The Clocks’ which is one of the strongest tracks on the album it is easy to see why this statement had been made; it has the potential, with the right exposure, to be as big of a hit as ‘Wonderwall’ was. The record itself still has a very strong sounding resemblance to Oasis, there is something about it however that makes it it’s own, separate from Noel’s past projects. It is full of catchy riffs, memorable lyrics and good composure that makes up good music.

The key element to the CD is the range of instruments used during the songs, there is this constant build up during the verses which leads to this sort of explosion on the chorus making them very powerful and easy to remember. The main negative unfortunately, which is probably the biggest negative in todays music in general is the length of the album, it does feel slightly too short, and it leaves you wanting to hear more.

If you are a fan of Oasis or any Brit-Pop than I would recommend you give this album a listen. It is also a CD to have in your music collection as this is the first release Noel has made since his departure from one of the biggest bands on the planet, Oasis.

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Ben Howard was once referred to as so unique that he will make you feel like he is the original troubadour. Whilst that may be a hugely sweeping statement, I find it hard to argue with, he seems to almost be an upbeat Nick Drake. Having released two EP’s already gaining an ever growing fan base his debut album ‘Every Kingdom’ was greeted with high anticipation. It was no surprise that the CD was truly fantastic, everything from the soulful voice, which has a very distinct sound and I feel makes the album, to the lyrics on tracks like ‘Old Pine’. The song that really leapt out at me in front of all other songs in ‘Black Flies’, there is something about its slow slightly dark feel that completely hypnotizes you.

Technically the CD matches up to its expectations as well, bringing that finger picking folk sound to the songs and the way the album has been composed truly does give the whole album a completely original and unique sound. It isn’t too often in songs where you can clearly hear every single instrument being used but you can with this, which is just another plus.

There are no real negatives to this album. There are several songs on the record which have been on EP’s; but those songs have been altered slightly adding a new element to them.

I would definitely recommend you give this album a listen if acoustic music is your thing, and even if it isn’t you will most likely be pleasantly surprised. This really is one of the greater releases of the year and is not one to be missed.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 23:11

Artist: Ed Sheeran Album: + Rating: 7 out of 10

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Ed Sheeran is without a doubt one of the most hyped UK artists around at the moment; with the recent release of his debut album ‘+’ there was some serious expectations to live up to.

When I first listened to the album I wasn’t that impressed, it seemed like he had given up some of his quirky style to get the album made, and also a lot of the tracks on the record were already well known, so it seemed to lack anything that new and exciting. On the second listen however I was blown away. The vocals on tracks such as ‘Give Me Love’ are comparable to those of Damien Rice and the lyrics in ‘Kiss Me’ are some of the most poetic songs I’ve ever listened to and stood out as my favourite on the album. What I liked most about the album was the fact that even though there are tracks that have been floating around for a while he has completely reinvented the songs to make them brand new ‘U.N.I.’ and ‘Wake Me Up’ are just a few examples. This man has the poetic ability and guitar skills of Jason Mraz, whilst creating love ballads that can relate to listeners of all ages.

However he isn’t a one themed musician, he covers varying subject matter from love songs, to up beat songs to the more serious ‘The A Team’ telling the story of a young homeless girl who was pushed into prostitution, he even does a version of the old Irish folk song ‘The Parting Glass’.

If you are a fan of the acoustic troubadour then this is definitely an album for you. He is your traditional acoustic singer/songwriter with a twist.

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