This week marks the release of a few highly anticipated albums by critically acclaimed artists. From the British pop group Arctic Monkeys to the Canadian punk sound of F—– Up, there is certainly a varied offering of albums this week.
Scene & Heard takes an early look at the music that should soon be making its way onto your iPod -from four music acts that couldn’t be more different.
F—– Up – “David Comes to Life”
For their third full-length album, Toronto hardcore group F—– Up have created a concept album that involves the fictional English town of Byrdesdale, a love between working-class David and Veronica and an invasive narrator straight out of “Our Town.”
The album’s incredibly ambitious narrative mostly succeeds and the closing tracks “One More Night” and “Lights Go Up” are genuinely potent – although listeners should keep liner notes close by. Lead singer Pink Eyes’ impassioned bark is still fully in place, but the swirling guitars and sweet female vocals of “The Other Shoe” are as catchy as F—– Up has ever been.
While not everyone may stay involved for its entire 78-minute running length, “David Comes to Life” remains a pleasingly grandiose hardcore statement in the vein of HskerD’s classic “Zen Arcade.”
– Jimmy Geurts
Arctic Monkeys – “Suck It and See”
Following up their previous album “Humbug,” the Arctic Monkeys are proving they have remarkable staying power for a band that rode into the music scene on a wave of hype and only a few singles.
“Suck it and See” continues the band’s descent into darker, moodier songs and melodies – moving away from the lighter pop sounds of early albums like “Favourite Worst Nightmare.” On tracks like “Brick by Brick” and “Black Treacle,” the band displays their typical tongue-twisting lyrics, but with a lot more groove.
It’s always a treat when a new Arctic Monkeys album is released because as they continue to grow as a music act, their songs become stranger, craftier and better overall.
– Benjamin Wright
Sondre Lerche – “Sondre Lerche”
If you go into the new Sondre Lerche album with a ton of expectations, they will certainly be met, for the most part. Lerche was behind acclaimed albums like 2007’s “Phantom Punch,” and delivers the same sort of effortless pop music that made his previous work such a success.
With tracks like “Go Right Ahead” – which sounds like a great ’80s-era Elvis Costello and the Attractions song – and the enchanting “When the River,” Lerche makes a bid for pop dominance.
While Lerche isn’t often heard outside of college and independent radio, it’s hard to believe that the accessibility of this album won’t open him up to a number of more fans.
– Benjamin Wright
Frank Turner – “England Keep My Bones”
An entirely different kind of singer-songwriter, Frank Turner came from a British punk background before releasing acoustic solo music and eventually signing to Epitaph Records.
“England Keep My Bones,” Turner’s third Epitaph release, focuses heavily on his country of birth in tracks such as “Wessex Boy” and “English Curse.”
The album is far more highly produced than early releases like “The First Three Years,” but the heavy instrumentation is well-employed enough on songs like “I Am Disappeared” to still warrant a look.
– Jimmy Geurts