Review Roundup: Stone Temple Pilots, Tiësto, Nickelback, Chiddy Bang, Puddle of Mudd, Skillet, Linkin Park and 2Cents

2CentsGet What?
Given the following review’s mentioned tendency, 2Cents leans towards the harder end of the speed vs. heaviness spectrum. They cite Pennywise as influences, heard in the perfect start/stop ability perfected by their fellow Los Angeles musicians. Think “Bullet With A Name”, but with cliffhanger precision.
5.9

Bullet For My ValentineYour Betrayal
Alternative music has had a notable shift in the noughties from hard rock to that drifting, pop-influenced indie sound. Who’s been sacrificed? Hard rock and metal bands. Thankfully “Your Betrayal” wakes the listening public back up, hitting as much as “Tears Don’t Fall” without giving you the chance to breathe.
7.6

Chiddy Bang – Opposite of Adults
Originally released way in the early days of 2009, now officially part of The Swelly Express, the newfound take on MGMT‘s “Kids” is massive. Making it on Radio 1 in the UK, the Philadelphia duo didn’t do much to the original except layer it in inescapable rhymes over already unbeatable rhythms. If “Flash Delirium” has you down, just go back to the simpler times through Chiddy Bang.
8.1

Linkin ParkNot Alone
Written for Haiti relief efforts, it’s hard to review something intended for a beneficial effort. However, it’s safe to say this single is far more creative, far more cohesive than “We are the World” and its auto-tune mishmash. “Not Alone” runs very similar to “Shadow of the Day” in tone while electronic embellishments give it excellent texture towards the end.
7.6

NickelbackThis Afternoon
Wait. Huh?

Exact reaction to the first time the latest (and hopefully last) single off of 2008’s Dark Horse. Not knocking the album, but it’s time to move on and release a serious new album. The acoustic rock’n’roller is on the steel-toed bootstraps of “Shakin’ Hands” (which is practically the same as “Rock Star” in my Nickelback opinion), and is the finest single since “Side of a Bullet” and “Someday.” It breaks the rip-roaring, supercharger surge they have been using for years. It’s a breather, and a damn fine one at that. Thank you, Nickelback.
8.2

Puddle of MuddStoned
“Spaceship” crashed harder than Edgar’s spaceship in Men In Black, taking off promisingly before the chorus just stuttered. With the second off of Vol. 4, it brings us to something more along the lines of Come Clean‘s riffs without truly distinguishing itself (“Psycho” just attained it). Third time’s the charm, we hope.
5.9

SkilletHero
Linkin Park-esque guitarwork (see the intro) and female vocals that instantly beckon Hayley Williams, Skillet’s “Hero” stands out dramatically from anything off of Comatose and Awake. Moreover, the focus on Korey Cooper abruptly turns the spotlight towards the Memphis post-grunge act-even with high profile releases from the similar Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin this year.
7.7

Stone Temple PilotsBetween the Lines
You expect drugs given Scott Weiland, but not outright on the first single since 2003’s acoustic rendition of “Plush” and “All in the Suit that You Wear”. It is a simple reintroduction of STP into the world, yet the handclaps and dreamy guitar twangs are something unexpected. Upbeat, albeit the questionable lyrics (seriously…it had to be about drugs?), the first single in seven years is welcome but demands more to be heard.
6.1

TiëstoFeel It In My Bones (feat. Tegan & Sara
Although currently only charting in Canada, the Netherlands’ pivotal house producer Tiësto’s most recent single off the phenomenal Kaleidoscope is a perfect blend between pop and alternative radio. On one hand, you have the house production that gave Kelly Rowland a massive boost through France’s David Guetta. On the other, you have the best female voices in indie and alternative music in Tegan & Sara. Regardless of the differences, you have the same undeniably addictive nature of the beat.
8.6

Thoughts?