SEVEN albums in and the Washington state band may have just made the album that transforms them from being a relatively hidden gem here into something the masses finally get to know about. Or maybe not. Although they’ve filled Sheffield’s O2 Academy before now, they remain largely a US success. At their heart is a songwriting ethic that has the ability to scale mountains, without conceding intelligence, and much of Dirty Work combines increased snyth work with rich, luscious production to make for a fulsome listen that sits well with past endeavours.
All Time Low Dirty Work (DGC Records)
NOT to be confused with the hit single by boy band The Wanted (oh the perils of internet music purchasing), this is the major label debut for a pop punk band formed as high school students in 2003. Three albums in, singer-guitarist Alex Gaskath teamed with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo to pen party-starting lead single I Feel Like Dancin’, suitable intro for a sound that rocks, romps, bounces and grins, maybe sees the quartet upping their game a notch, but mostly sticks to their limited popcorn punk roots.
Journey Eclipse (Frontiers Records)
THE Glee-fuelled revival of these US giants courtesy of Don’t Stop Believin’ prompted a rash of tribute bands and two years of touring. But here comes the hard part... providing new songs to complement a past since discovered by a new generation. Founding guitarist Neal Schon is on form and describes their 15th album as one of their best. Certainly it is one of their rockiest and Arnel Pineda sounds uncannily like original singer Steve Perry, but lyrically Eclipse is often flawed – ballad Tantra resembles a Lloyd Webber West End number.