No.7- Anthrax- Worship Music
Sometimes it is very easy to get swept away with the hype surrounding a major new release from a band with a legendary status. A prime example for me was back in 2008 with the arrival of the brand new Metallica album Death Magnetic. At the time of its release you could not move for positive reviews and excitement for the album, and when it finally arrived on my doorstep and into my CD player I loved it, but over time I began to realise it was not as great as expected. There was a worry that Anthrax would do something similar here; it has been nearly a decade since their last studio release, and after an apparent trap door policy on vocalists which EVENTUALLY resulted in original singer Joey Belladonna taking the helm, expectations were very high. But would Worship Music live up to the weight of expectation? Thankfully, Worship Music is a stormer.
Admittedly the album sounds like it was intended for iconic front-man John Bush to be at the helm, with songs having a more commanding feel than the partly humorous and cartoon like (but undoubtedly classic) Spreading The Disease/Among The Living era; but Joey does an admirable job and gives perhaps his most furious performances. 'Earth On Hell' is a prime example of Joey showing his own character and yet filling the void left by Bush.
Of course Joey is the biggest talking point of the album, but that's not to take away from the rest of the band, who have written some of their best songs in a long time. The likes of 'Fight 'Em Til You Can't', 'Earth On Hell' and 'The Devil You Know' should become staples for the band if there is any justice. Sounding less like a thrash album and showing more signs of a classic rock sound (perhaps a result of Ian and Caggiano's The Damned Things project?), this is still undeniably Anthrax and thankfully they sound stable once again. May it continue that way.
Listen To: Earth On Hell, Fight 'Em Til You Can't, In The End
No.6- Vintage Trouble- The Bomb Shelter Sessions
First of all I do not claim to be an expert by any means in Soul and Blues music; as much as I enjoy artists of these genres, my critical knowledge of such acts is minuscule. That being said, since I first heard Vintage Trouble and The Bomb Shelter Sessions I have barely stopped listening to it. It is such a fun, danceable and believable album and deserves any recognition it gets.
Vintage Trouble are an LA based old school style Blues, Soul and Rock band, and despite this being their début they have gained quite a lot of new fans along the way, with appearances on Later...With Jools Holland and The Late Show With JoAnne Good, before some touring in the UK with the little known Brian May and Bon Jovi... not bad really.
One listen to this album will tell you why these guys have got such attention. Each and every song on here will put a smile on your face and have you dancing away like a loon before you know it. A sound firmly rooted in the very early and vibrant Soul sound, The Bomb Shelter Sessions sounds vintage yet fresh simultaneously. Each song is almost instantly memorable throughout. Frontman Ty Taylor is an absolute star as well, the perfect package of a beautiful voice and instant, natural charisma; find any live video as proof and see how much of a pleasure this guy is simply to watch on stage. A rather unexpected highlight for me admittedly, but Vintage Trouble have put out one of the catchiest and straight up fun and danceable albums of the year. Check this out. Now!
Listen To: Nancy Lee, You Better Believe It, Total Strangers