Warbringer | “Shellfire”
Warbringer are one of the few rethrash bands getting it right, and songs like this are why. The band claims this is the fastest song in their catalogue, and it’s hard to argue. This motherfucker sprints from the outset. Even with the atmospheric break in the middle, this is nonstop redlining madness. They don’t fuck with their death metal-tinged thrash formula often enough, but this is fun anyhow.
White Reaper | “The World’s Best American Band”
Until now, White Reaper’s basically been a garage punk Cars. It seems now they’ve embraced more of the standard classic rock radio rotation: If you’ve wondered what White Reaper doing a Grand Funk impression would sound like, here’s your answer. Based on this and previous single “Judy French,” it sounds as if The World’s Best American Band might sonically follow “Ohh (Yeah)” from the band’s debut EP (which I enjoyed). This is easily the most pop-flavored (and most produced) song they’ve ever released.
John Frum | “Presage of Emptiness”
Debut single from the prog-metal supergroup. The band consists of the former vocalist for The Faceless, DEP’s bassist, John Zorn’s guitarist, and Intensus’s drummer. It’s got everything you’d expect: lurching liquid bass, tech-death riffs that’ll knock you on your ass, tumbling drums, and ’90s death metal vocals. Also, the solo is flashy without devolving into guitar wankery (thankfully). Given its members, I’m curious to see what else this band has to offer.
Lorde | “Green Light”
Lorde’s comeback single contains the lyrics, “But I hear sounds in my mind/ Brand new sounds in my mind”, and apparently those sounds are a mish-mash of club EDM synths. This is sugary to be sure, but this is Lorde so it’s oddball-sugary. Yet, none of this stops “Green Light” from being fantastic, and it’s easily the most anthemic (musically, anyway) song of her career. If you’re gonna borrow from Top 40, this is how you do it.
Bush | “The Beat of Your Heart”
Bush’s last single was boring and largely forgettable; this is slightly better. The melody is an improvement and the chorus actually works, but this isn’t anywhere near the quality of their early work. Meanwhile, Gavin Rossdale sounds like he’s bored with Bush; given their last few records, I don’t blame him. This would fit perfectly right in between Matcbox 20 and Ed Sheeran on an adult contemporary station. Pass.
Coldplay | “Hypnotised”
Nope. Guess again.