From this date forward Guitar Planet will be serving up the tracks you need to hear, each and every week. From classic bands remerging from the shadows to hungry newcomers trying to make their name, Guitar Planet will be right here, giving you the low down on the week’s essential listening.
No one doubts the brilliance of Led Zeppelin, but at this point, with no reunion on the horizon, shifting the latest in an endless stream of reissues has become a thankless task. Mercifully, as Page and Plant prepare to re-release their 1969 self-titled debut, they’ve offered their loyal fans a mouth watering live cut from the Paris Olympia.
Originally broadcast on French radio, the performance is masterfully chaotic. The power chords plummet and crunch as the band forge a maelstrom of desperate symbol crashes and frayed screams – you can practically hear the straining of their sinews. It all builds to a wild Jimmy Page solo and is anachronistically dynamic; super concerts wouldn’t become a reality for decades, and yet, Zeppelin sound both better drilled and more animalistic raw than your typical 21st century stadium fare.
Mastodon have pretty much done it all in a relatively short space of time. They’ve released imposing and monstrously detailed onslaughts (Leviathan, Blood Mountain), prog metal that retains its ambition without losing its direction (Crack The Skye) and, in 2011, they delivered killer hooks and bombastic riffs (The Hunter).
“High Road” is the first taste of their soon to be released sixth album, Once More Round The Sun. It sees the boys further refining and smoothing out their sound, adding outrageous arena friendly vocals to the kind of bruising riffage we tend to associate with Metallica. It’s slick, it’s big, it’s strangely celebratory; this is the sound of a technically accomplished band embracing the limelight.
Many of our readers will already be familiar with The Amazing Snakeheads, but if you were sitting on the fence waiting to see if the hype turned tangible, then I’m happy to report it’s time to drop your defences and embrace “Here It Comes Again”.
The Amazing Snakeheads sharpened their teeth on the road and the brutalistic angst of their sweat soaked, throat shredding, performances inform every inch of their debut album Amphetamine Blues. Clearly influenced by Nick Cave’s various projects, The Snakeheads supply primal and deranged sexual thrills, but behind the fearsome façade lies an array of tight rhythms and a delicious sense of swing.
Is there a supergroup going that doesn’t feature Flea? The Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ legendary bassist certainly keeps himself busy, but his new project, Antermasque, couldn’t be any further removed from the moody postures of Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace.
Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez round out the three-piece who have been depositing tracks online in the last few weeks. “4AM” is Guitar Planet’s standout cut, it’s a sleek and sexy effort that rides a sleuthy baseline and sees the Mars Volta boys getting out of their own way to deliver the straight ahead thrills we always secretly knew they were capable of.
Indie magazines haven’t cornered the market on hype bands, rock and post-hardcore bloggers have been waving the banner for Marmozets for quite sometime. “Why Do You Hate Me?” matches the spunky, daggering, vocal flair of Hayley Williams to a more bruising and frankly demented arrangement. Tired post-hardcore tropes are evident (except wah-ooooohs) but the marriage of a wonderfully gnawing English accent to some accordion-caving-in guitar flourishes make for a genuine thrill.
Baltimore’s Bad Seed Rising have just been signed to Roadrunner Records and it’s easy to see why. “Hey Kid” is a big, hooky, chart ready rock song. Whether the mainstream has any interest in some slick glam stomp and lockstep guitarwork remains to be seen, but “Hey Kid” remains preposterously catchy. The vocals might be too American Idol for some, so be warned. Nevertheless, it’s good to see a young band showing some ambition.
Enter Shikari renew their archly political assault while expanding their sonic horizons on The Mindsweep.
Brutish, brazen and ungodly satisfying, Royal Blood rode a barrage of chugging bass grooves all the way to the top of the charts in 2014.
Opeth may preach exclusively to the converted, but to overlook the Swedes’ staggeringly consistent brilliance is foolhardy.
Soothing and sorrow-laden in equal measure, Lost In The Dream by The War On Drugs left Guitar Planet speechless.
Guitar Planet has had a love/hate relationship with Slash since Velvet Revolver split, but it remains impossible to deny his freewheeling riffs and slippery solos.