Album Review: Liam Gallagher – As You Were

23 years on from the release of Definitely Maybe, Liam Gallagher is still seen as a legend in the rock world. He revolutionised the genre in music, and while not quite achieving as much success in Beady Eye, his post-Oasis supergroup, he still amassed a strong and loyal fanbase. Now, in 2017, he is making his first foray into being a solo artist, and I’m excited about it to say the least.

The first few singles did a lot to raise this excitement as well; ‘Wall Of Glass’ is a massive callback to the incredible sound that Oasis created in Definitely Maybe, one of the best debuts of all time. On the other hand, ‘For What It’s Worth’ shows a lot of maturity and growth, taking that signature sound and pushing it further with a soaring chorus and orchestral instrumentation.

And this record is as good as those singles suggest. Gallagher has taken the sound he has created as part of Oasis and Beady Eye, and then pushed it even further, adding a slower, more mature edge to it. At times it’s simpler, using mainly just an acoustic guitar, and occasionally it’s much more complex, using orchestral sounds and horn sections, but either way, it works. For example, ‘You Better Run’ is a catchy, danceable track with a great rhythm, whereas ‘Paper Crown’ is slower, more sombre and reflective. ‘Greedy Soul’ has a huge, Oasis-esque sound, and is one of the highlights of the record. A slower cut is ‘Chinatown’, but it doesn’t suffer for it, and the fingerpicked guitar sounds great.

Some people might think there’s no place for a rock star like Liam Gallagher in 2017, but they’re wrong. If anything, we need him even more, to inject a bit of old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll energy into everyone’s lives. In fact, this album has everything you’d expect and more; pushing towards a newer, more mature sound. This could just be one of the best debuts of the year.

Best songs: Wall Of Glass, For What It’s Worth, Paper Crown

Score: 7/10


Album Review: ROAM – Great Heights & Nosedives

I loved ROAM’s last album. It showed a very talented new band making their first steps into the music world. It was a little rough around the edges. but what else can you expect from a new band? I feel like rather than taking away from the record, it made it even more charming. And the band definitely know how to write hooks, and big ones at that. But from a great debut like that, where do you go? Do you give the fans more of what they want and expect, or do you try and refine your sound and writing skills. This album is definitely more of the latter, and here’s why.

It’s evident that the band have improved massively from the beginning of the first song, ‘Alive’. The production has improved massively, with everything sounding crisper and clearer than anything the band have ever released before. Their writing is also much improved, proven by the fantastic ‘The Rich Life Of A Poor Man’, which contains probably the best chorus the band have ever written.

Other great songs include ‘Playing Fiction’ and the slightly slower ‘Curtain Call’, which is absolutely anthemic. There are some missteps however, as ‘Guilty Melody’ doesn’t sound quite right, while ‘Left For Dead’ is a little too generic for me. These do little to deter listeners though, as the rest of the songs are not only just catchy, but great quality too.

This is an album of two halves really, and while the first half is fairly middle-of-the-road other than a few songs, the second half really shows how far the band have come. The hooks are better, the vocals are refined but powerful, and everything sounds much clearer. Best of all though, everything just sounds bigger. Where the first album was a rough collection of okay songs with great hooks, this feel so much more like an album from an accomplished band, who really know what they’re really doing. If you’re looking for an album to warm you up as winter approaches, this is it.

Best songs: The Rich Life Of A Poor Man, Curtain Call, Scatterbrained

Score: 7/10

Is Pop-Punk Getting Stale? Part 2

So after the first part of this piece, which was a rather critical look into the world of pop-punk, I think a more positive point of view is necessary. So here is a list of pop-punk bands who are really pushing boundaries and doing things right at the moment.

Neck Deep

Neck Deep are one of the most popular bands on this list, and for good reason. Their brand of pop-punk is catchy, energetic, and while it does adhere to a lot of pop-punk conventions, it is far from generic.

Listen to: In Bloom, December, Nineteen Seventy Sumthin’, Where Do We Go When We Go

As It Is

As It Is sound very different from any other pop-punk band, mainly due to their choice of using a lot of clean guitar sounds as well as the distortion. The vocals have an interesting dynamic too, thanks to having one English and one American singer. Not only this, but their new album (okay.) contains songs from all over the pop-punk spectrum, from the very poppy to the dark and sinister.

Listen to: Pretty Little Distance, Soap, No Way Out

State Champs

Similarly to Neck Deep, State Champs do stick to a lot of pop-punk conventions, but that’s fine when your music is so catchy! Honestly, this band has a knack for writing choruses like no other band on this list.

Listen to: Around The World And Back, Losing Myself, All You Are Is History


Despite being veterans of the scene, Blink-182 are still pushing and developing their sound to this day. Things had began to become stagnant with Tom DeLonge causing problems in the band, but now he’s been replaced by Matt Skiba of the Alkaline Trio, the band are back and better than ever. Their latest album, California includes some of their best work to this date, and the deluxe edition includes some incredible experimental cuts. They might just be the best pop-punk band of all time.

Listen to: 6/8, Misery, What’s My Age Again, Bottom Of The Ocean


Seaway just take pop-punk, instil it with as much life and energy as possible, and then put it out into the world. Their latest album, Vacation, is a blast of summery energy, and is one of the most fun pop-punk records I’ve ever heard.

Listen to: Lula On The Beach, Something Wonderful, 40 Over

New Found Glory

Despite their age as a band, New Found Glory are still making fresh, relevant pop-punk. There’s not much else to say other than it’s well produced, catchy, and doesn’t sound like any other band out there.

Listen to: Happy Being Miserable, Party On Apocalypse, My Friends Over You

Against The Current

I’m not sure whether I’d call these a pop-punk band any more, but I’m going to put them in this list anyway just because they make great music. They blend smooth pop melodies with pop-punk style and it works perfectly.

Listen to: In Our Bones, Forget Me Now, Fireproof, Paralyzed


The rest of this list wasn’t in any particular order, but I’ve definitely saved the best until last. Waterparks make catchy, entertaining and unique pop-punk better than anyone in the rock world. Every song is different and unique in a way bringing different ideas to the genre, and they are exactly what pop-punk needs at the moment.

Listen to: All of Double Dare; it’s too good to miss anything from it.

EP Review: Gabrielle Aplin – Avalon

I know this is a rock blog, but I can’t help myself but talk about Gabrielle Aplin’s new EP, Avalon. Ever since her debut album English Rain I have loved everything she’s put out. In her last EP, Miss You, she made a transition between her old, indie folk style of music, to a more mainstream pop sound. I felt like that would put me off, but she made the transition really well, especially in the fantastic title track. This new EP continues this trend, and I feel like it pulls it off perfectly. Here’s why…

Listening to this EP, you wouldn’t even suspect that Aplin’s previous music was any different to this, because it shows a level of style and confidence many artists take much longer to grow into. The musicality has taken a big step too, with the production sounding a lot fuller than any of her previous work. A perfect example of this is by far the best song on this album, ‘Waking Up Slow’. It feels like a bit of a bold claim to make, but I feel like this is one of the best pop songs of the year.

It’s not the only good song on the EP though, with every song offering something different, but equally good. Foe example, ‘Say Nothing’ is just a quality pop song, with a great chorus. ‘Used To Do’ is a guitar-led track which feels like a callback to Light Up The Dark, her last album. Last of all ‘Stay’ is a slow but full-sounding ballad.

I feel like with everything she releases, Gabrielle Aplin gets a little bit better, and this EP is no different. Each song is quality, but in a slightly different way, fitting together to make a diverse, but coherent EP. Whatever she creates next can’t come soon enough.

Best songs: Waking Up Slow, Used To Do

Score: 7/10

Album Review: Coldfront – Float Around

Coldfront are an up-and-coming pop-punk band from Ontario, Canada. Musically, they make energetic, but melodic pop-punk with a bit of a rougher edge than a lot of the band in the scene. At this point, alarm bells will be ringing in your ears if you know about my opinions on the state of modern pop-punk. But read on, because I have a bit of a different opinion on this one…

The first thing I noticed about this band was that their sound was a little more rough around the edges than your average pop-punk band. The vocals are very rough but also melodic, treading the line between intensity and melody perfectly. This is shown really well in the first song, ‘So Typical’, which has a really catchy chorus, but rough vocals that even break into a scream at one point.

Speaking of catchiness, this album has it in abundance. ‘Everything You Want Me To Be’ is one of the pop-punk songs of the year, whereas ‘It’s Hit Me’ is a two-minute bomb of energy. The album does blur a bit in the middle sections with songs like the title track and ‘Blame Me’ not quite hitting the mark, but that can easily be forgiven with the quality of the surrounding songs.

For a debut album, the sound and quality that Coldfront have created is really impressive. Over all, this is a great debut, and if you’re a pop-punk fan, you should check this out.

Best songs: So Typical, Everything You Want Me To Be, It’s Hit Me

Score: 6/10

Album Review: Citizen – As You Please

Citizen have made a release every couple of years for a while now. Their debut EP, Young States was released in 2011, followed by first album Youth in 2013 and Everybody Is Going To Heaven in 2015. True to form, this next album has come another two years later, marking not only the band’s ambition, but also their work ethic. Each album has marked a change in the bands style, slowly growing away from their hardcore roots and more into a newer, melodic sound. You wouldn’t usually expect that change to come easily to any band, but for Citizen, it has gone pretty smoothly so far, with each record improving on the last.

But as with every review, it is the here and now that’s important, and this, Citizen’s third full-length LP is impressive to say the least. It showcases some of their softest work, with a lot of heavier influences too. When you feel like the record is at its’ quietest, the silence will be punctured by thundering guitars and intense vocals, showing the band looking not only ahead, but favourably on their past. For example, ‘Discrete Routine’ starts off as one of the quietest songs of the record before slowly building up into an intense finale. And the great songs doesn’t stop there either, with opener Jet being a perfect example of what the band set out to do, with a perfect mixture of soft and harsh, and a great chorus. ‘In The Middle Of It All’ is also dark but beautiful, with an ending that made me check if my earphones were working. They were, it was just an effect of the song, and while I was thrown off originally, I think it works well.

The albums themes and lyrics paint an incredibly dark picture, but not in the way you’d expect. The album is disconcerting and moody, and the music helps to carry this sound along. In this way, the band don’t have to spell out how they’re trying to make you feel in each song, because the music is already taking you there. And when the music alone is conveying the mood, it means the album works! Of course by this point, that is abundantly clear. Citizen have gone even further with this album, and it has come off fantastically.

Best songs: Jet, The Middle Of It All, Fever Days

Score: 8/10

My Top 100 Songs: 20-11

20. Walking Disaster – Sum 41

This is one of the only songs I have genuinely got emotional watching live, and honestly, I don’t know why. There’s just something in this song that touches me, and I love it.

Find it on: Underclass Hero (2007)

19. When You Were Young – The Killers

I have loved this song ever since I first heard it, and will probably continue to love it for the rest of my life.It’s catchy, emotional, and by far some of Brandon Flowers’ best work.

Find it on: Sam’s Town (2006)

18. Starlight – Muse

The first Muse song I loved, this is an absolute anthem for the band. From the beautiful piano intro to the ‘Black Holes And Revelations’ refrain, this song just makes me happy.

Find it on: Black Holes And Revelations (2006)

17. Sic Transit Gloria (Glory Fades) – Brand New

This is one of the most unnerving, creepy songs I’ve ever heard. I love it because it takes a theme a lot of music talks about, taking a girl back to your house, and turns it on it’s head. It’s creepy, unsettling, and utterly brilliant.

Find it on: Deja Entendu (2003)

16. Pack Of Thieves – Enter Shikari

This is one of Enter Shikari’s more melodic songs and I love it. The chorus is intense, but full of melody, and it’s a testament to just how good this band is.

Find it on: A Flash Flood Of Colour (2012)

15. Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind

I’ve picked this song for no other reason than it just makes me happy. The melody and guitar blend together to make this the perfect singalong song.

Find it on: Third Eye Blind (1997)

14. Spanish Sahara – Foals

I first found this when I was playing the video game Life Is Strange. The song played through a tragic ending scene and this song was perfect for it, slowly building up into a beautiful crescendo. I listen to this when I’m sad and at least for the duration of the song, I feel a little better.

Find it on: Total Life Forever (2010)

13. When I Come Around – Green Day

This song has a special place in my heart because I performed it with my girlfriend at an open mic night, but I also thing it’s an incredible song. There’s something about the melody that just gets into your head, and stays there.

Find it on: Dookie (1994)

12. Getting Along – Royal Republic

Simply put, this is the most catchy song I have ever heard. The chorus is incredible, and it shows just how good Royal Republic are at writing great songs.

Find it on: Weekend Man (2016)

11. No Way Out – As It Is

As well as being incredibly catchy, the monologue in the middle of this song is incredibly emotional. Singer Patty Walters pours his heart out on this one, and it makes it one of the most raw, honest songs I’ve ever heard.

Find it on: okay. (2017)