The Pulse – December 2019/January 2020

Another month, another set of tunes to review. Took a little musical break over Christmas and New Year, but still managed to fit a bit of new music in. As always, this is music that is new to me, not necessarily a new release (though a lot of these this time are new releases).

Danko Jones – A Rock Supreme

One of my absolute favourite rock songs is, unashamedly, ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness. There’s something about it that channels Queen, comedy and rocking riffs into one neat package. It’s glam, it’s probably a bit dated, but it’s great.

And this similar feeling of fun-rock-tinged-nostalgia is what I get with Dank Jones’ aptly named album ‘A Rock Supreme’. There are shades of Boston here, splashes of Wolfmother, and definitely flicks of The Darkness. It all makes for a rather entertaining journey through the rock cliches of love, being in a band, and rock n’ roll as a genre.

There’s nothing groundbreaking here, and the album does become a bit dull with repeated listens, but it’s a slick rock ride through a time now gone – one where rock music was for fun, and nothing else. Worth a spin.

Green Day – Father of all… (motherfuckers)

Released in September 2019, this single only just made its way to my ears when I saw a poster for the newest Green Day album (titled the same as the single). It’s frantic, funky, energetic, and a pure joy to listen to. Reminds me most of something from The Black Keys, with thumping drums, bass, and enjoyable octave-backed guitar riffs. Short and sweet, and certainly superb.

Tame Impala – Lost in Yesterday (single)

From their upcoming album Slow Rush, this track takes influences of Michael Jackson, Beach House, and even Empire of the Sun to a degree, to create a rock-disco hit that is certainly set to be one of the best tracks of 2019 already.

It’s a comparison I’ve made a few times before, such is the respect that is needed for the artist I am about to mention, but I get Bibio vibes from this track. Lost in Yesterday would have fit perfectly on the Currents album, but that fact only sparks feverish excitement in me that the upcoming Slow Rush will be just as memorable.

The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do

Haim fans, take note: there’s a band on the block who can give Haim a run for their money. But don’t hate, celebrate. I’ve been looking for someone to blend Haim with The Pixies and hints of old-school disco, and The Big Moon might be the answer.

Poppy, yet soulful and enchanting, it’s an album I didn’t see coming, but one I am glad for. Small gripes still exist though, with the lyrics becoming pretty tiresome and vague after a while, and I’m not totally on board with some of the song structures themselves (though perhaps that’s the point on a song like ADHD?)

With that said, The Big Moon are a band to watch, and certainly one to check out. Now for dreaming of a Haim + The Big Moon supergroup tour.

Sasha Sloan – Older (single)

Older release here, coming in 2018, but something a friend recommended after a discussion about Haim (mentioned above). I can see the similarities, but also the differences. Sasha Sloan produces something here a little more thoughtful and sensitive; reflective and deep.

Perhaps a little too sugary and melodramatic, but who the hell am I to judge? There’s a lot of heart here, and the simplicity of the song ironically allows layers of complexity to come through. A solid effort.

Justin Bieber – Yummy (single)

Look, before I start, it’s an easy target. But it’s also new so, as a musical journalist (yeah right), I have a responsibility to review this absolute pile of steaming turd. Of course, I’m not part of the target audience for Justin Bieber, but this song is far from Yummy – it’s a disgustingly cliched, sweet, lazy piece of pop music.

The thing is that Bieber took years off to make a serious comeback, and this is the comeback. It’s beyond terrible; it’s embarrassing. It is a pungent, dire example of the most drab excretion of entertainment, devoid of any real individuality or redeeming qualities. A complete waste of internet bandwidth, let alone anything else.