Werewolfs – So Yeah, We’re Werewolves

(c) 2010
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


Werewolfs ...So Yeah, We're Werewolves...…So Yeah, Were Werewolves. Just from the band name you can tell that they’re one of them overly confident metalcore band that are oh so popular right about now. From Colorado, there’s not much to know other than they had a bit of a break, then reformed late 2010. Werewolfs was released in December, and is a re-release of their Cadavers EP and also features demos from 2008.

The album opens with an intro track full of noises straight out of a horror movie sound effect library. Then the screams, on ‘Majesticadaver’, scare you out of your skin as soon as they’re registered in your brain. By screams I mean vocals, if that’s what you wanna call them. The instrumental side of it is chaotic, with pretty much no structure whatsoever. There’s a slight hint of Every Time I Die to them, only slight. Don’t get too excited.

‘Jenny From The Blockadaver (Undead Version)’ starts with the typical chugging Hardcore guitar riff, joined by electro/keyboard sounds, think Enter Shikari. There’s a very long intro- 1 minute, as opposed to none at all on the first track, but not much difference from the track before it. It’s clear now that it’s going to be hard to tell one song from the other.

Straight into the screams again on ‘Anachronisticadaver’. The feral instrumentals continue onto this one, making it hard to tell where one track ends and the next begins. ‘Sunshine Friends/ Dr. Jurassic Park (demo)’ kicks off with a deeper scream- kinda like Candace from Walls Of Jericho. Then the insane, screechy yelps re-emerge. Damn. Gang vocals are added to the mix of out of tune wailing on the chorus of, this, the first of 2008’s demo tracks on this record.

‘Majesticadaver (demo)’ sounds the same as the mastered version, just not as polished. What you’d expect from a demo. Oh, and it’s 4 seconds longer. One demo track that’s better than the mastered version (and most of the other songs for that matter), is ‘Anachronisticadaver (demo)’. It actually has some structure to it. Again with the pointless empty 1 minute intro on ‘J- Dahm’s Bromance (demo), which is a shame because it is one of the best songs on the CD. There’s a pause in the middle of it, then it starts back up again, who knows if it’s two tracks in one. ‘Scott Beowolf (demo)’, the final track, is an epic electro instrumental piece. Well, until 2 minutes in when the yells kick in. That’s all it is, yells. No words, just yelling for over a minute. And this still counts as music how exactly?

…So Yeah, to sum it up, this compilation of an EP and demo tracks is essentially 25 minutes of deranged, unsettling noise. Which is pretty much the definition of math-core. So enjoy! I suppose.

–Frankii

Promises – Hopeless Sons

(c) 2010 Pee Records

Queensland, Australia’s Promises have only been playing together as a band since January 2010, but have still managed to get into the studio, and get signed to a label. This, their first EP, was written and recorded in two months. A week after they’d finished recording, they were signed by independent label, Pee Records.

Right from the beginning it’s clear this isn’t going to be true, old-school hardcore. Realistically, it’s metal- whether the band or the fans like it or not, that’s the truth. Yeah they’ve got the image right, but their sound is nothing like the original heroes of hardcore.

As soon as the vocals kick in on opener ‘No Story Left Untold’, the thing that strikes you is Zaca’s, unusual style. Though it’s not unusual in a good way. He seems to struggle in between the traditional hardcore scream/growl and normal, albeit angry, singing. It becomes unbearable at times, with the voice changing so frequently, with each word comes the ups and downs of growls and singing.

Then there’s ‘Flint Soles’. Only certain bands can pull off really short songs (Agnostic Front’s ‘Victim in Pain’ or Good Riddance and their ‘Overcoming Learned Behaviour’ for example) and even they aren’t as short as this one. It’s not even like it carries on into the next song, or is an outtro to the one before it- it’s just 19 pointless thrashy seconds.

Instrumentally, they’re adequate. Just the typical (so called) hardcore, nothing out of the ordinary.

The drastically varying track lengths add to the disappointment of this CD too. It’s so hard to tell whether this is meant to be heavy, fast hardcore, or verbose metalcore, it’s like even the band don’t know.

Unfortunately, this type of music is becoming increasingly popular the world over, with scene (destroying) kids thinking they know decent music, when they really don’t. If you’re a fan of real hardcore (Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All or even Black Flag, etc.) stay clear of this band.

-Frankii

Ubermanoeuvre – Burn This

(c) 2010 Spartan Records UK

Ubermanoeuvre are a five-piece band, from South East London, UK. They have been compared to Rage Against The Machine and Enter Shikari, to name a few, and dub their own style as high energy rock.

There’s so much going on, and so many differences between each track, that it’s only fair to mention (nearly) every one.

Kicking off this, their debut album, is the title track, with an electro intro, leading into a hip-hop (with underlying synths) verse and shouty chorus, I guarantee you will never have heard anything like this before. And it will be a total mind fuck. There’s so many different elements to the one song, but don’t dismiss it yet.

Track two, ‘If I Were You (I Wouldn’t Be Me)’ opens with a very brief piece of acoustic guitar, then it’s straight into the (quite heavy) thrashing guitars. There’s also a creepy keyboard riff, adding an eerie element to the track. Even though there’s not as much going on, it’s still hard to place under a specific genre.

‘Call To Arms’ marks another change in sound, this one’s more emo, but still electro. Think HelloGoodbye meets Taking Back Sunday- cheesy cheerful, but screamo. Adding to this is the piano breakdown and the screamy choruses.

Track four, ‘Apathy Loves Company’ is one of the catchiest on the record. It’s still really odd, but by now you’ll have got used to the sheer weirdness of it all. Track five is more guitar driven, which suits them more, but then it’s back into the crazy mix with ‘Never Bring Your Girlfriend Flowers’- jazz piano under a hip-hop beat. But, somehow, it works. ‘9am: Monday’ is more hip-hop-y, with a emo/screamo chorus.

Then there’s track eight and 10, (‘Now! That’s What I Call Karma, ‘2378’) that are more downbeat and simple hip-hop rock.

As it’s so unusual compared to anything you’ll have ever heard, it’s impossible to really sum it up- so just check it out and decide for yourselves.

But, to recap, Ubermanoeuvre play screamo- electro- hip-hop, with synths- a- plenty.

There’s way too many dashes in that last sentence.

–Frankii

 

Hellyeah – Stampede

Rating: ★★★★☆

The true meaning of a supergroup, Hellyeah comprises of members of Pantera, Mudvayne, Nothingface and Damageplan. Their self-titled debut took the rock world by storm, entering the US Billboard charts at number 9 and going on to sell over 365,000 copies in America alone. Their new offering, Stampede, has the potential to do the same.

From the off, it’s clear the roots these guys came from. The whole sound is very much reminiscent of Pantera in particular (possibly because Vinnie-Paul not only drummed on the album, but produced it too), as well as it’s other predecessors, but has a hint of a new edge to it. Likewise, it’s evident that this isn’t just going to be a well created metal masterpiece, but also a brilliantly catchy record. An instant favourite for any fan of real heavy metal.

As obvious as the members talent is from their previous work, it’s still showcased flawlessly on this record. The title track is a prime example of this, and is sure to be a huge hit at this years festivals with its distinguished chorus, perfect for crowd sing-a-longs. Another stand out track is the partly acoustic ‘Better Man’, this time for different reasons. This one is the absolute epitome of what a rock ballad should be, heartfelt (the lyrics tell the story of growing up with an alcoholic father), but still has attitude.

Of course, as with any old-school metal album, there’s going to be the element of sleaze. Some get it wrong, and end up sounding awfully cheesy, whereas some, including Hellyeah, get it spot on. The sexy touch stands out mostly in the suitably titled ‘Pole Rider’. The subject of this song is clear, so it’s only right that it should have a downright dirty sound.

Probably the best thing about this album, is the diversity. It shows the full capabilities of these musicians by differing from their previous work, as well as each track being different from all the others. Yes, it is mainly solid, guitar thrashing, drums crashing metal, but there’s also some slower songs, as well as a ballad. Take note, young bands, this much variety should be expected of any album, no matter what genre.
Hellyeah show talent in their lyric writing abilities as well, stepping it up a notch after their debut was criticised for having repetitive lyrics.

Hellyeah are just all round great musicians, they can pen some good words, and have mastered how to write amazing music with clever intricacy, but without the need for long, drawn out guitar solos. Hopefully, they’ll bring back proper heavy effin’ metal!

–Frankii