Music Music reviews

On my stereo this week: Killswitch Engage, The Murder Capital & Eilen Jewell.

Killswitch – ‘I Am Broken Too.’

Having almost outlived every other band from the new wave of American heavy metal era, Killswitch Engage are surprising still going strong twenty years into their career. Their eighth full-length album Atonement is a real treat for metalheads, showcasing the raw power of Jesse Leach’s vocals and depth of their thrashed-out European guitar pyrotechnics. Guest appearance by former band singer Howard Jones and Chuck Billy round out a very cool collaborative effort by the guys. Though Killswitch Engage might seem guilty of revisiting the formulas that made them famous, honestly who cares when we should be embracing more bands like them. Check out I Am Broken Too as your starting point but then circle back to the album opener Unleash and The Signal Fire featuring guest Howard Jones on vocals.

The Murder Capital – ‘Don’t Cling To Life’.

The highly anticipated debut album of Ireland’s best new rock band The Murder Capital arrived this week with a resounding thumbs up from critics across the board. Everything about this Dublin-based post-punk band including their debut When I Have Fears comes across as sincere, sombre and engrossing, marking the next chapter of their exciting rise. When you consider that everything about their debut can be traced back to the suicide of a close friend, it’s not hard to imagine their messed up world. The melodic Don’t Cling To Life stands out as one of the best tracks of their album worthy of your attention.

Eilen Jewell – ‘Crawl’.

For well over a decade Idaho native Eilen Jewell has charmed the pants off her loyal fans as ”one of America’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices”. Well that’s what they say anyway. I’m new to Jewell and her eighth studio album Gypsy is my introduction to her country-folks blues leanings. So while I will need to spend a little more time listening to her music, I have to say I already really taken by what I’ve heard so far on Gypsy. From the personal to political, Jewell covers an array of territory as a songwriter; and its kind of cool that she concludes the album with a gorgeous little stripped-back acoustic track called Fear, where she tells us to seize the day and not fear be our guide. Incidentally, that peculiarity in her vocals everyone keeps going on about is pretty much spot on. It comes across as comforting like a welcomed old friend you haven’t heard from for a while. It’s almost like she stepped out of country music’s golden age and into our modern world. Musical standouts include Crawl, 79 Cents, Beat The Drum and Witness.

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