Tyler Bryant, Von Hertzen Brothers and more: the best new rock albums this week
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Von Hertzen Brothers and Supersonic Blues Machine are among the best new rock album releases you can pick up this week
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown - Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
"The band cast their net wide here, reflecting Bryant’s own ricocheting journey from there to here. The menacing Jealous Me, brilliantly, sounds like no one so much as the Arctic Monkeys twanging their way around the southern states of the USA in the back of a pick-up truck. Don’t Mind The Blood is an electric-glam stomper that chugs along with the unassailable confidence of a band who know they’ve nailed it. The singer’s got the perfect everyman voice – not too hot, not too cold, not too tricksy. But he’s got enough of a catch in his throat to stamp his individuality on the rebel-without-a-care romp Backfire and Weak And Weeping, the latter a tale of woe set to a blazing boogie soundtrack."
Von Hertzen Brothers - War Is Over
"There’s something liberated about this album; a sense that they’re not trying to follow anyone’s standards but their own. Six of the 10 songs here are over five minutes long, with the title track running over 12 minutes. The keyboards are bolder and more prevalent, and Kie plays some of his strongest, flashiest lead guitar work. Seemingly they’ve kept the confidence gleaned from New Day Rising, and mixed it with their adventurous roots. There’s a hint of ELO in the bittersweet melody shifts of Frozen Butterflies and on the title track. Soft touches of jazzy piano mix with understated harmonies in the beautiful, pensive Who Are You. Blindsight and others start modestly then grow into huge-sounding epics. Indeed even poppier numbers) such as The Arsonist seem to be something slightly oddball, but escalate into something bigger, harder and more triumphant."
Supersonic Blues Machine - Californisoul
"They do like their big-name guests, eh? For the second Supersonic album, the trio have grabbed Eric Gales, Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, Walter Trout and Billy Gibbons. But Californisoul is so good that it does not rely on any heavy-duty contributions from outsiders to make it one of the best blues-style albums of 2017. Supersonic Blues Machine have groove, soul and style. Fabrizio Grossi has the sort of voice that tells of late-night bars with too much of the rye passing his lips, Lance Lopez plays guitar as if imbued with the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Duane Allman, and Kenny Aronoff swings behind the drums."
Anti-Flag - American Fall
"Anti-Flag believe passionately in the ability of music to fundamentally alter lives, big hooks or no big hooks, pop-punk or straight thrash. American Fall is their eleventh studio album since the band formed in 1996, and there’s no compromise, no backing down. The anger keeps churning, the hooks keep building."
Blues Pills - Lady In Gold Live In Paris
"Lady In Gold Live In Paris does a grand job of recreating the old days. Inevitably it’s signature song Devil Man that takes the honours, but elsewhere the band sensibly keep things punchy; only one track, heavy-duty groover Little Boy Preacher, tops the seven-minute mark."
Stereophonics - Scream Above The Sounds
"Six of the Stereophonics’ reassuringly consistent nine albums have topped the UK chart, so as they hit double figures it’s easy to take the band for granted. It’s easy too to forget that Kelly Jones’s strangely affecting rasp combines swagger and the pathos of struggling everyday folk. Always rueful, sometimes self-lacerating but never treading water, Scream Above The Sounds should dispel a few Stereophonics misconceptions."
Peter Hammill - From The Trees
"During his first three decades or so, Hammill often sang of the pain, anger or melancholy caused by lost love. From The Trees sees him reflecting on those changes that seem to set in after passing 60, questioning his lost youth and asking why all that energy wasn’t sometimes put to better use. Girl To The North Country reaches back to folk scene beginnings (‘She was once your lucky star, you went and let her down so hard’), while My Unintended is ‘the letter I never sent’, capturing these uncomfortable moments when traumatic episodes or bad decisions of decades ago suddenly jerk into sharp focus, to be re-examined as if they can still be put right."
Kansas - Leftoverture Live & Beyond
"Kansas already have multiple concert albums to their name, but this latest release offers plenty to distinguish it from the pack. It’s the first live release featuring new vocalist Ronnie Platt, who joined in 2014, and over a marathon two-disc set, the group play 1976’s Leftoverture, the album that made them stars, from start to finish. Song selections favour their classic 70s releases, going back as far as Journey From Mariabronn from their debut, although they tackle three cuts from 2016’s The Prelude Implicit, which fit comfortably among the hits."
Deep Purple - A Fire In The Sky
"This 3CD version delves deeper into Purple’s past and covers 40 songs, including at least one track from every studio album through 2013’s Now What?!, while the triple album boasts 27 tracks from the band’s back catalogue."