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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Bullet For My Valentine, Pat Green, Vintage Trouble, The Waifs and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, August 14, 2015

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Bullet For My Valentine



Grade: B

Give Wales' Bullet For My Valentine credit for not standing still. Over the course of its four previous albums the quartet has embrace and experimented with all sorts of hard rock and heavy metal flavors, sometimes to a fault as the comparatively cool fan reacting to 2013's broad-reaching "Temper Temper" indicated. But on "Venom," BFMV's first album since the departure of bassist Jason "Jay" James, the group gets back into the hard stuff stocking the 11-song set (15 on the Deluxe Edition) with blazing, double-time rages that let frontman Matt Tuck toggle between singing and screaming as he vents an angsty, defiant spleen appropriate to the rage in the arrangements. "Venom" is not without melody; both the balladic title track and the urgent "Hell or High Water" work in any mainstream context. But the meat of the album is furious fusillades such as "No WAy Out," "Army of Noise," "You Want a Battle? (Here`s a War" and "Pariah," all of which let Michael "Padge" Paget make his case in the metal guitar hero ranks. "Venom" isn't exactly a return to form, but it certainly presents BFMV the way fans prefer to hear it.

New & Noteworthy:

Brent Best, "Your Dog, Champ" (Last Chance): The Slobberbone and Drams frontman steps out on his own with an 11-song collection that continues to mine the influence of Southern literary sources for inspiration.

Chinx, "Welcome To JFK" (Coke Boys/eOne): The debut full-length from this Queens, N.Y., rapper features collaborations with Ty Dolla Sign, French Montana, Nipsey Hussle and others.

Pat Green, "Home" (Thirty Tigers): The Texas singer-songwriter`s first new album in more than six years features guest appearances by Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Delbert McClinton and Marc Broussard.

De'Sean Jones Septet, "Knomadik Reverence" (Detroit Music Factory): The debut outing by the Detroit jazz saxophonist, a veteran of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra`s Civic Jazz program and Michigan State University's music school.

Vintage Trouble, "1 Hopeful Rd." (Blue Note): The long-overdue national debut from the Los Angeles rock/soul/blue quartet that won friends opening for the Who, and will be out soon with AC/DC.

The Waifs, "Beautiful You" (Compass): Another harmony-laden outing from the Australian folk-rock quintet.

Also Out: All Walls, "All Walls" (Silver Side); Rayland Baxter, "Imaginary Man" (ATO); Buena Fe, "Soy" (Sony Latin); Kenyon Carter, "Game On" (CurePoint Media); Jon Cleary, "Gogo Juice" (IK7); Andgela Easterling, "Common Law Wife" (De L'Est); Finale, "Odds & Ends" (Mello Music); The Good LIfe, "Everybody's Coming Down" (Saddle Creek); Melanie Martinez, "Cry Baby" (Atlantic); Miracles of Modern Science, "Mean Dreams" (self-released); New Politics, "Vikings" (Warner Bros.) Todd Redfern Band, "Backdoor Hoodoo" (Blues Boulevard); Various Artists, "Wondaland Presents: The Eephus" (Epic); Emily West, "All For You" (Portrait)

From The Vaults: Tony Banks, "A Chord Too Far" (Esoteric Antenna); Dickey Betts & Great Southern, "Bottom Line, 1977" (Good Ship Funke); Grateful Dead, "Dave's Picks Vol. 15: Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN, April 22, 1979" (Deadnet/Rhino); The Muffs, "The Muffs" (Omnnivore); Linda Ronstadt, "A Party Girl in Dallas" (All Access); Ravi & Anoushka Shankar, "Live in Bangalore" (East Meets West); Steppenwolf, "The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection" (Real Gone)

Soundtracks: Blue Oyster Cult et al, "Bad Channels" (Full Moon); "Fantastic Four" (Sony Classics); Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, "Mistress America" (Milan); "TRue Detective" (Harvest)

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