Apocalyptica – End of Me (feat. Gavin Rossdale)
2008 brought the Finnish metal Stateside through Corey Taylor’s and Adam Gontier’s contributions to Worlds Collide. The seriousness devoted to creating cello-driven metal music is undeniable, and continues through Gavin Rossdale. A step back musically from “I’m Not Jesus,” “End of Me” effortlessly tops the reviving single from Bush. It’s nearly indistinguishable too from his band, as the trio of cellists are subdued albeit during the bridge.
Flyleaf – Chasm
Lacey Mosley and Flyleaf have made the world forget Evanescence with “Chasm.” With a searing, biting voice that coincidentally soothes, “Chasm” revives the 2005 self-titled debut strength after a near Paramore-esque “Again” lead single. She doesn’t dilute herself on the track, and neither does Sameer Bhattacharya, Jared Hartmann or the others. A radio sophomoric slump is no where to be seen thus far.
Godsmack – Love-Hate-Sex-Pain
“Whiskey Hangover” and “Cryin’ Like a Bitch!!” were forgettable, with topics that drop expectations before even listening. And I did listen, but forgot them because of that. “Love-Hate-Sex-Pain” raises The Oracle back to the forefront with a fantastic follow-up that could have been on Awake or Godsmack thanks to the pacing. It’s intelligently complex, and Sully Erna’s hypnotic drones are what set the Lawrence, Massachusetts hard rock band apart long ago.
KiD CuDi – Erase Me (feat. Kanye West)
“Erase Me” brings Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager to the forefront of anticipated hip-hop releases this Fall, more than Kanye dare I say. The barebones drums and guitar production from Jim Jonsin zeroes in on Cudi’s unparalleled textured voice. West’s contribution confuses at parts, though it feels like a friend’s opinion given to Kid Cudi’s futile efforts. It’s about time this single hit radio.
Superbus – Mes Defauts (iTunes France)
To me, Superbus has been France’s No Doubt; picking up much of their absence and running with it. Jennifer Ayache carries herself as Gwen used to in the coy, free spirited way that has since shifted thanks to superstardom. Appearing on their tenth anniversary compilation, “Mes Defauts” follows “Apprends Moi” and “Nelly” but with an IV-drip of organ. The playful organ and the vocal asides make up for a subpar guitar which merely accompanies Jennifer’s singing. “Ça Mousse” was the only single to capture my ear where it felt musically cohesive while this one pushes towards that direction, but needs some oomph to get there.
We Are Scientists – Rules Don’t Stop
“Rules Don’t Stop” has their familiar indie pop layered vocals in the most straightforward single from We Are Scientists. Something ‘ehh’ happened to Keith’s vocals. However Andy Burrows is the saving grace, coming over from Razorlight and lending some gattling drumming that pulls everyone else along.