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Yours Truly – Afterglow EP

Afterglow has allowed Yours Truly to broaden their horizons, and they will do great things off the back of this EP. Afterglow rocks and rolls its way into our hearts.

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They are the pop-punk darlings from Sydney, Australia. They are UNFD’s hottest new signing. They are Yours Truly, and they are here with their new EP Afterglow. Yours Truly have taken off in the last year, and have capitalised on that by jumping on tour with Between You And Me, playing a movement inducing set at Unify Gathering, and performing in one of the headline slots at the brand new US Fest in Sydney. They will also be joining huge Australian act Hellions on their upcoming tour, and are firmly set to continue to smash it once Afterglow is released. 

Afterglow rocks and rolls its way into our hearts with opening track “Circles”. An empowering song about rejecting female stereotypes, this combines the passionate vocals and lyrics with the ear-catching instrumentals to form an all-round good song. The powerful vocals of Mikaila Delgado match the tone of the lyrics completely, as she is clearly sick of being treated differently due to her gender, and comes across as being full of emotion, particularly with frustration and determination.

“The way you act ain’t right, and I’m over it / Frankly I’m just sick of it, what makes me different to you?”

The instrumentals are already showing that Yours Truly have taken a step up with their sound. Everything sounds much more polished, and it’s clear they have each poured their heart and soul into this EP.

The upwards momentum continues with “I Can’t Feel”. A particularly rock sound is evident throughout, with deep grindy riffs shredding constantly behind the fore-fronted vocals. The chorus is immeasurably catchy, and is held up by the toe-tapping and head-nodding bouncy verses that are a mainstay of “I Can’t Feel”. This all leads up to the climax of the song, which features a hard-hitting key change, taking everything to a harsher and harder level for the final chorus. As if revving an engine, the guttural guitars move into sixth gear and bring home “I Can’t Feel” cleanly and quickly. 

The next song, “High Hopes”, was originally released in January of 2018, and is currently sitting on 3.1 million views on YouTube, as well as 1.5 million streams on Spotify. This isn’t a coincidence as it is a phenomenal track. Super catchy and exploring themes of ambition and disappointment in people, the future pop-punk anthem powerfully plants itself in your mind where it will relentlessly play on repeat for days to come. 

Heading now into uncharted territory, (every song before now had been pre-released as a single), we get carried away by “Delusional Paradise”. Dreamlike guitars open it up, before taking your hand and guiding you into the slow rocking verses. Lightly revving guitars and mesmerizing vocals make up the chorus, where this soft and harmonious section of the song makes you sway, surrounding you with the smooth waves of sound. The rest of the song is kicked up a notch, as the appearance of Between You And Me vocalist Jake Wilson features throughout the rest of the track. Jake’s vocals add a sense of harshness to the song, and while that happens Mikaila steps up her own intensity to meet it. “Delusional Paradise” ends with a huge sounding bridge and a faster and even bigger final chorus, and closes out a bloody good rock song. 

Finally we have the closing track, “Afterglow”. Mikaila’s vocals welcome us with a sense of sombreness. Soft and matching the slow guitars, she apologises for what she did, before the rest of the instrumentals kick in. A melancholic riff dominates, before proceeding into the much faster and heavier verses. Then as if they leap off a cliff, Yours Truly fly above the clouds with this fantastic chorus. Unbelievably catchy and powerful it is noticeable just how much they have pushed themselves vocally and instrumentally. “Afterglow” is the strong closer that this EP needs, and is a showcase of everything Yours Truly have to offer, as is the entire EP.

Afterglow has allowed Yours Truly to broaden their horizons. They have expanded on their original straightforward pop-punk sound, and have added in aspects of rock, alternative, and heavier music to their sound. It all comes together to form this terrific sound that Yours Truly varied around throughout the entirety of Afterglow. “High Hopes”, “I Can’t Feel”, and “Circles” have already done very well, but there is no doubt in my mind that the other two songs off the release will take off just as much, if not more. 

Yours Truly will do great things off the back of this EP, and I can’t wait to see where they stand in the scene in a few years. 

(UNFD Central)

Reviews

Alice Cooper – Breadcrumbs EP

Few frontmen of rock will ever be as enigmatic and as timeless as Alice Cooper

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Alice Cooper Breadcrumbs

For a large number of Alice Cooper fans who didn’t experience everyone’s favorite snake-adorned shock rocker at the height of his powers through the ’70s, most probably were introduced to Cooper through 1989’s hair-metal infused generational breakout album Trash. That was at least, my introduction to Vincent Furnier, at the age of 9 years old, seeking for something to satiate my love of hair metal and shock rock. Trash was everything Bon Jovi’s New Jersey was- big, radio-friendly- but had that added sense of danger and darkness that didn’t come with the pretty side of hair metal. However, as sure as songs like “House of Fire“, “Bed of Nails“, and the ubiquitous hit “Poison”, are still great today, long-time Alice Cooper fans know that Cooper is at his most enthralling is when he taps into his garage rock lineage, cut from the same mold that was paved by bands like the MC5.

So for those born in the early 80s like myself, the initial foray into the world of Alice Cooper meant that you had to work your way back into this long-running discography to find the rich, often timeless work Cooper is best known for. In 2019 Alice Cooper himself is working his way back on his latest EP, the aptly titled Breadcrumbs. The 6-song EP finds Cooper revisiting music and artists connected thematically by what ties them all together- the Motor City. This Detroit-centric EP features Alice Cooper’s take on songs by Suzi Quatro, The Dirtbombs, Motown soul singer Shorty Long, and of course, The MC5 (the EP also features guest guitar and vocal work from Wayne Kramer). Included in the mix are a reworked version of the 2003 Alice Cooper song “Detroit City” and one new cut, “Go Man Go”.

On his reworked “Detroit City”, the song is given a rawer makeover, sounding far less produced than the original. Gone are the orchestral overdubs with the song relying more on the loud bluesy guitars- perhaps the way it was meant to sound. Suzi Q’s “Your Mama Won’t Like Me” stays fairly faithful to the original, but Quatro’s vocal sneer is replaced with.. well, Alice Cooper’s vocal sneer. MC5’s “Sister Anne” is almost as great as the original 1971version, with the added benefit of today’s production qualities.

The EP’s one new track, “Go Man Go”, is very much Detroit, and very much Alice Cooper. It’s rock n’ roll roots are coated with a little bit of rockabilly, a little bit of garage, a lot of attitude. Like this EP, the track should be a precursor of Alice Cooper’s anticipated next album. The hope is that he continues this work of keeping things dirty rock n’ roll as the results are more often than not, pretty great.

Few frontmen of rock will ever be as enigmatic and as timeless as Alice Cooper. Breadcrumbs is a noble effort meant to tease and build anticipation than satisfy your craving for all new Alice Cooper material. It’s done just that, hinting at what could be around the corner. On top of which it shows that there are few rock stars who will ever reach the status and longevity of everyone’s favorite rock n’ roll snake charmer.

(earMUSIC)

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Reviews

Goo Goo Dolls – Miracle Pill

The Goo Goo Dolls have always just written good music for people who cared only that the music was good

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Goo Goo Dolls Miracle Pill

One of the most remarkable things about the Goo Goo Dolls is their steadfast consistency amongst the ever-changing backdrop of popular music. Six years ago when they released Magnetic, I wrote that the band remained unchanged in the face of their supposed “waning popularity” in the eyes of pop culture and radio charts. It’s true that many of their contemporaries that made it big alongside them in the late 1990s are long gone, but for the Goos, they’ve quietly continued to be above everything else, themselves, just older, wiser, and continuingly more refined. Miracle Pill is their 12th studio album and is the natural progression from 2016’s Boxes. Like their previous release, Miracle Pill continues their musical evolution away from alternative rock to the more serene territory of adult contemporary. Sure, it may sound like a bad thing, but like everything the Goos have done over the past 25 years, it’s supremely confident and composed.

They may not write songs with the caustic bite like “Here Is Gone” anymore, but they have been finding comfort in the more introspective pop-strewn melodies found in songs like “Lights”. Similarly, in the new album’s lead single and title track, the Goos tap into bouncy, easy-to-digest pop empowerment. Songs like “Indestructible” show that the band haven’t put down their guitars just yet, constructing songs that are still fond of their alternative rock roots but have found comfort in grander, more expansive sounds.

The album’s best moments are when the Goo Goo Dolls unashamedly tug on the heartstrings like they’ve done so many times before. The quiet jangly nature of “Over You” does this particularly well, while the bigger, electronic-infused arena rock of “Lost” shows that this type of music is just done extremely poorly by bands like Imagine Dragons. “Autumn Leaves” is a throwback to the kind of songs found on Let Love In and Dizzy Up The Girl, sounding organic and wistful, while the closing of “Think It Over” is the kind of song they’ve been hinting at since Something For The Rest Of Us. It’s part quintessential Goos, but contemporary and timeless at the same time.

Credit to the Robby Takac songs of the album too- “Step In Line”, “Life’s a Message”- both some of the finest songs Takac has written. He is often cast in the shadow of John Rzeznik’s more recognizable sound, but on Miracle Pill, his work is the best its sounded since Dizzy.

The Ringer recently wrote a piece titled ‘The Goo Goo Dolls Were Never the Cool Kids, but They’re Still Standing’. I echoed these sentiments in that Magnetic review years ago, but if there was anything long time Goo Goo Dolls fans know is that the band were never concerned about popularity or being “cool”. The problem with being cool in music is that it fades. The Goo Goo Dolls have always just written good music for people who cared only that the music was good. Not much has changed in that sense, and really, that’s much better than being cool.

(Warner Bros.)

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