Best of 2016 Playlist

April 15, 2016

Speed Reads: Babymetal, Weezer, The Summer Set

And here's another "Speed Reads" for you! Second on this month, we may write full length reviews for these albums in the future. But for now, we just want to get something out there. So for SR #5, we're reviewing Weezer's "The White Album", Babymetal's "Metal Resistance", and The Summer Set's "Stories for Monday" . To buy each respective album on iTunes, click the links below. 

To read our previous entry in our "Speed Reads" series, please click this (link). 

Babymetal - "Metal Resistance" (8/10)

Summary - "Shattering genres, and our minds" 

Imagine if Black Sabbath had a baby with Avril Lavigne's song "Hello Kitty". That's Babymetal in a nutshell. A fusion of pop, dance, electronic, and yes metal that will blow your fucking mind. As they say, haters gonna hate. Because this record isn't meant to be taken seriously, or have some deeper meaning. It's just a great listen. We like how Jon Hadusek of Consequence of Sound put it, "The resulting album is an amalgamation of pop and metal styles - from shredding Maiden influenced power metal to techno Pantera grooves...

The cute choruses fit in with any other J-pop song. But the mind melting guitar riffs and breakdowns sound like something straight from Killswitch Engage's latest album. Lead single, "Karate" is definitely a must listen to. Even if you're a skeptical metalhead, just listen. Because the fast guitar riffs, and the deep bass would have you think this was coming from any other heavy metal band. Then you get, "The One", a true metal power anthem that can only be done justice performed in a giant arena. You won't hear another album like this ever, so do yourself a favor and listen. In a word, this record is weird. But we can't help but enjoy it. 


Weezer - "The White Album" (7 to 7.5/10)

Summary - "Grab a cannoli, drive down to your nearest beach, and get ready for some summer earworms" 

Weezer's 10th album (yes it's already number 10), is what we've all been waiting for. A return to the good old days. Weezer have, thank whatever god there is, abandoned their desire to crossover into the mainstream. They're back to the basics with their new album. Though you wouldn't have thought so upon hearing the record's first two singles. 

"Thank God for Girls" and "Do You Wanna Get High", were released this past fall, to varying degrees of success. The latter of the two is the best, and also closest thing to "Hash Pipe" you'll get. But neither single leaves that much of an impression. Album opener, "California Kids", is something straight from the Beach Boys' heyday. Full of summer vibes, a whiny solo, and a methodic guitar riff. It's definitely catchy and sweet, but not that interesting in the long run. The best part is the "Damn Daniel" refernce at the end. 

Most of the album is just catchy and sweet. The band don't stray out of their comfort zone, sticking to what they do best. Writing 90s era crunchy alt. rock, indie tunes. The record returns the band to their 90s roots, full of that classic "California sound" and the indie feels that make you all warm and fuzzy inside. We weren't expecting much from this album after hearing "Thank God for Girls", so with expectations low we really enjoyed this one. That being said, Weezer have yet to put forth anything that wows us as much as their debut or "The Green Album" has. Still, this is the best album of their "modern era" thus far. 


The Summer Set - "Stories for Monday" (7/10)

Summary - "They probably should have ended it" 

They're about as much a rock band as One Direction. Except The Summer Set didn't breakup (ya we said it). This is a veritable guilty pleasure band. Because unless you're a tween girl then you shouldn't be too proud to say you listen to TSS. The album has bright spots, but overall is just standard pop you get when turning on any mainstream radio station. There's little difference between The Summer Set and Maroon 5. At least Brian Dales is easier to swallow than Adam Levine. 

However, this doesn't make this a bad album. We just went in with high expectations. This is the kind of record you'll be playing all weekend. It's got, dare we say, good vibes. Dales puts his best foot forward, and delivers half-hearted vocals. Seriously, it sounds like he's not sure he even wanted to continue recording the tracks. There's plenty of emotion, yes, but is it the right kind? No. Ultimately what this boils down to is a band who are still on the fence about disbanding, and an album that reflects that. You still get all the feel-good moments found in previous albums, and we have to commend the production for being less "squeaky" than "Legendary". But that's all you get. A group of artists writing and performing songs that, we feel, they aren't that into. Long story short, if you're searching for a feel good listen with some touches that recall the late 70s, and 80s, pick up "Stories for Monday". 

To read out reviews of singles, "Figure Me Out" and "Missin You" click these respective links.