DragonForce | “Curse of Darkness”
It’s not as whiplash-inducing as other DF songs, but it’s also not any kind of a surprise, either. At five and a half minutes, it’s a (relatively) manageable song, too. Naturally, the solo is flashy and little else, and the chorus is POWER METAL (!). What I’m saying is, you don’t need to hear this to know what it sounds like.
Suffocation | “Your Last Breaths”
First single from death metal vets’ eighth record, …Of The Dark Light, offers nothing special or any shocking reinvention here, just fantastically punishing NYDM. In this case, an ominously plodding opening leads right into a headlong sprint of brutality with guitar heroics. Newer death metal bands, take note: this is how it’s done.
DREAMCAR | “All of the Dead Girls”
Fun ditty from ’80s worshippers, complete with a bouncy bass line, playful guitar stabs, and Davey Havok’s come-hither vocals. Based on the three songs released so far, their debut LP should be an enjoyable, though likely superficial, romp through ’80s pop just in time for summer.
Linkin Park feat. Pusha T and Stormzy | “Good Goodbye”
Talk about playing it safe: this fits right in beside The Chainsmokers in terms of vapidity. On the plus side, Mike Shinoda surprisingly holds his own against two rappers who are out of his league even if neither is trying all that hard, so there’s that. Meanwhile, the blasé chorus makes the song fade into an already-crowded field of down-tempo EDM pop. Shinoda stated that “Good” is not representative of the record…yet, it’s a single. Take that how you will. Linkin Park can do better, and they should.
TLC feat. Snoop Dogg | “Way Back”
Their breezy comeback single is an attempt at throwback R&B in every possible sense (even lyrically: “James Brown and Michael J/ Like them high school parties”), though it’s less throwback than nostalgia worship. If I wanted to be reminded of how great CrazySexyCool is, I’d go listen to it, so I’m not sure why this exists. Serious question: Was anyone really clammoring for another TLC record?