After months of radio silence following the departure of original lead vocalist Danny Worsnop in January, Asking Alexandria have returned with a new singer and a new song.
Denis Shaforostov (formerly of Down & Dirty and Make Me Famous) taking over vocal duties seems to herald a new start for the band, as "I Won't Give In" sounds fresher and freer than AA's previous releases. Even with the harsh screaming that the band is known for, the sound overall feels more like willingly jumping into a pool of cold water than being drenched in a violent rainstorm.
If the new single is an indicator of Asking Alexandria's future, it's brighter now than ever before.
When Twenty One Pilots burst onto the scene in 2012, it wasn't just their aggressive, spoken-word, hip-hop influenced pop rock that made people stand up and take notice. It was the stage presence of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, the manic shows, the exploding energy, the height-scaling and death-defying of every single show, that really grabbed their audiences.
Coming off of their first label-backed debut, there were (as always) concerns about a sophomore slump (despite Vessel not being their first album, only their first after being signed to Fueled By Ramen). But every concern has been alleviated, evaporated, and disintegrated, as Twenty One Pilots debuted a new single and video tonight that is both musically and visually visceral.
'Fairly Local' is the first single off of the forthcoming album Blurryface (due May 19) and it is dark and dense and at the same time tears the weight from your shoulders. Like Oli Sykes if he had gone the route of hip hop.
Twenty One Pilots are a shining example of what modern musicians can be if they stay honest and make the music that is in their blood and their bones and their fingertips, and I'm counting down the days until May.
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A few months ago, we got a hint of Mat Devine's new work with Wrongchilde when we heard "Falling In Love Will Kill You," featuring Gerard Way. With fans chomping at the bit after first exposure, we've now had the chance to hear Gold Blooded in its entirety. Like falling slowly through icy water, the sound seeps into your veins and coats them in the grey mist that hisses above the ground before sunrise. And your arteries slowly fill with gold, and your whole body starts to glow, and the album name becomes incredibly appropriate and you get very embarrassed by your tacky metaphors no matter how accurate they are.
"Just Call Me Crash" is a standout on the album, not a violent, sudden impact, but a slow motion intoxication of sunlight hitting your skin or a wave breaking above your head. It's the crash of surf, not the crash of cars. And if the album as a whole is the ocean, then "Crash" is the current, driving the sound in churning patterns across your skin.
Gold Blooded is like having the sun rise slowly in your chest and flowers bloom down along your arms... like having the ocean spray your feet and mist curl around your ankles. Listen and let the world open up inside of you.