Check out my album reviews for issue 108 of Smash Magazine, including Beartooth and Trash Boat.
Beartooth – Below Album Review
For their fourth studio album, Beartooth went big—stadium-level big—with twelve alternating metal and pop-rock tracks that could easily shake a hefty-sized venue to its core. (Just listen to “Dominate” and tell me you can’t perfectly picture the ebb and flow of the circle pit from sharp start to furious finish.) If you’re more into bangers that make you jump up and down with the crowd then “The Past is Dead,” “Skin,” and “I Won’t Give it Up” are for you. And if you want a nice instrumental transition to get you antsy for an encore, just imagine singer Caleb Shomo walking off the stage as the rest of Beartooth plays the album’s closer “The Last Riff.” This is a band squarely in their rock and roll prime, and now they have Below to further ignite their fans’ frenzy.
Trash Boat – Don’t You Feel Amazing? Album Review
I wouldn’t exactly call the new Trash Boat album, well… trash, but it’s far from treasure. For a band that was making headway in the UK/US punk/emo scene, they sure veered in an overly produced, oft times, butt rock inspired direction with Don’t You Feel Amazing. Many songs, including the album’s title track, lack any of the grit or intensity that made the band’s first two albums hard to ignore. In fact, many of these new songs you may prefer to ignore, like the obnoxiously repetitive “Alpha Omega.” Overall, the music and lyrics just feel like they were created simply to please the undiscerning mainstream, rather than crafted to stand on their own creatively, and it’s a bit of a letdown for a band that held so much promise. Only “Synthetic Sympathy” captures any of the band’s prior spark.