Review Roundup: The Bravery, Lady GaGa, Cavo, Sean Paul, Zaho, H.I.M., Megadeth, OK Go, Shaman’s Harvest, and Herzog

The BraveryHatefuck
Stir the Blood‘s lead single, “Slow Poison,” didn’t quite revive The Bravery as it should’ve. The beat lacked bite, a spark akin to “Unconditional” that “Hatef–k” (iTunes) manages to ensnare. It is dark, and danceable while driving its merciless lyrics deep.

A great follow-up to “Champagne,” the St. Louis hard rock outfit shook off the Buckcherry-ness of their radio presence with the more complex, more anthemic “Crash.” Lyrically, Casey Walker’s singing is beginning to set the band apart from other recent post-grunge groups, reminding me partially leaning towards Shinedown. It lacks the piston-pounding guitarwork Chris Hobbs charged with on “Champagne,” but I ain’t looking back with “Crash.”

H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty)Heartkiller
In spite of releasing Venus Doom in 2007, “Heartkiller” is the single follow-up to 2005’s “Killing Loneliness.” The goth rock Finnish have subdued the overt orchestrations, keeping the synths under the entire actual band. Thankfully, this makes the listener take them more seriously even as a ticking clock is inserted in silence. It’s a surprise they made it back, as Dark Light nearly seemed a fad at the time while “Heartkiller” is a rather solid revival.

Herzog – Paul Blart and the Death of Art
I am not so sure about who Herzog is, or where he comes from. His single came out of nowhere, fuzzed-up vocals, and guitars at a time when it’s being overdone and burnt out with garage rock bands. Instead of being a drain on your ability to resist punching “Next” with your head, Herzog gives an early Weezer-esque pop feel over Ben Folds-style vocals for a carefree, Harvey Danger-feeling rock single.

Lady GaGaTelephone (feat. Beyoncé)
“Telephone” ran past my iTunes when The Fame Monster was released and was easily eclipsed by “Bad Romance.” It all changed with the debut of the epic video that is one part genius, two parts hilarious in execution. The single was revived in relevance due to its music video, a rare feat for such a bizarre, calculated yet seemingly spontaneous (or vice versa) singer. It fails to reach “Bad Romance,” yet brings back the club dance vibe of “Poker Face.”

MegadethThe Right To Go Insane
Three years since “A Tout Le Monde” and several more since the memorable “Die Dead Enough” off of The System Has Failed, Megadeth’s back with “The Right To Go Insane.” Unlike “Of Mice and Men,” the only thing that is slow is the stalking, leadened guitarwork just behind Dave Mustaine’s foreboding vocals. “How will I face the day tomorrow? If I can’t make it through today” may in a few years lack the meaning it holds right now given the recession, yet for now, it’s release for everyone’s frustrations. We all need a good, metal solo to release some anger.

OK GoThis Too Shall Pass
Word went by that OK Go was having a trick of a time getting word out on Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, well…given that this is the second single off the album and no one heard the first, I’d say they’re back on the rails. With a newfound viral video making the rounds, “This Too Shall Pass” is finally bubbling up in alternative radio (at least Rock102One is getting on board). The over-the-top single, peppered by a punctuating piano and a stunted, muted kick drum gets you as close to “Here It Goes Again.” The gradual build-up, repeating “Let it go. It too shall pass.” makes it memorable, as opposed to “Do What You Want.”

Sean Paul – Hold My Hand (feat. Zaho)
Sean Paul’s unveiled the third single off his Imperial Blaze, yet it happens to be Zaho’s version that serves to be more memorable. The official U.S. version lacks the vibrancy, and feels just haphazard. Meanwhile, the Montreal-based R&B singer Zaho lends a second voice that share’s Sean Paul’s rasp and smooth delivery on the new version in France. The two extraordinarily complement one another, even though Zaho’s vocals are in French. Expect her second album later this year, a great addition to the summer’s first hit single in my humble opinion. [Normally I wouldn’t post the lack of video, however you currently cannot find this on U.S. iTunes. Consider it consolation for those without iTunes France accounts.]

All over the board this week, I know. If you’re not so sure on the Sean Paul feat. Zaho video, check out his original album version and compare the two for which is better.