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| 9 August 2019 | Reply

Label: OK!Good Records

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Rating: 88%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are times when I am introduced to new music and there are times I am introduced to music from bands that are new to me.  The latter happened recently when I was forwarded an email regarding the newest release from The Parlotones.  The latest release, China, is their eighth… yet the first exposure I have had to them.  After spinning through the disc, I dug it enough that I had to write a review of this 14-track collection. Disc opener “Antidote” grabbed me from the first listen and I was hooked.  The pop-rock sensibility of this track is contagious.  The musical accompaniment is fun without being simple and the vocals are layered goodness that is listener friendly and an overall good listen.  “Leave A Light On” is another cool track that has a great pop vibe woven into its musical fabric.  The vocals are great and the guitars in the mix really enhance the sound of the track.  This is one of my favorites on the disc and I seem to enjoy it more with each listen.  “Whole of the Moon” is a track that I had to listen to a couple times before I could wrap my head around it.  The music is consistent and the vocals are on point with other tracks here, but it sounded different than the rest… I still cannot put my finger on the difference.  The shift in sound at the bridge is interesting, but works on this track.  “Only The Good Die Young” has a cool cadence than seems different from other tracks, but fits within the parameters of the disc as a whole.  The chorus is contagious and seems built for live performance.  The musical accompaniment is keyboard heavy, but mixes well with the vocals and drums / percussion.

“Can You Feel It?” starts off slowly and builds through the intro and into the verse.  The song has a heavier texture to it, thanks to the deeper bottom end.  The vocals are crisp and lead the charge through the chorus.  The song has a great groove that seems to ebb and flow as the song weaves between verse, chorus, and the bridge.  “Downtown Love” is another track that unfolds slowly, but scores major points for the guitar and keyboard swirl in the mix once the song gets going.  If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was pulled from the Butch Walker catalog.  The layered vocals leading throughout the song as depth and help the song stand out.  “Young & the Guilty” opens with a spoken part that morphs into a guitar driven rocker that seems to shed the pop sensibility.  The song takes on a sound and feel as if the band was listening to the classic album Bat Out Of Hell during the writing process.  “Welcome The Wonderful” is a keyboard-driven rocker that lends itself to some mild interplay from the guitars, while the vocals dance lightly across the mix.  The song has a Cure-ish vibe to it at times and couldn’t be further from it during other moments.  “Keep Reminding Me” is an acoustic charged track that features a cool blend of acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards that go full-on piano throughout.  The vocals are crisp and are more emotionally charged than most of the tracks here, which lead you to listen just a little bit closer than on other songs.

“Beautiful Life” opens with some guitar and a guitar that site prominently in the mix.  The tribal feel woven into the musical accompaniment grabs your attention and the chorus is catchy enough to keep you engaged once you get to that point in the track.  “For Now” has a heavier sound than most tracks, but don’t mistake that to mean this is a heavy track.  The guitar work is great and the vocals are perfectly matched sonically to the blend of guitars, bass, and drums.  Combined with the previous track, this is a great one-two combination that tie together the different vibes of the disc.  “Twilight Years” has a different feel to it than other tracks on the disc, even with some of the same musical footprint as the other songs.  The guitar work is a little more up front in the mix and seems to struggle with the vocals for control of the songs sound.  The percussion on the breakdowns sounds good and fills some of the void.  “I Feel Over Nothing” starts off like a cool punk rock track with feedback and some guitar distortion, but soon shifts gears and becomes another pop-rock track that benefits from the drums, guitars, and some great vocals that dance across the music during the verse and leads the charge on the chorus.  Disc closer “Goodbye to the Show” takes us out on a different sound, with an orchestral type intro that leads into a piano and vocal duet that then morphs into a full band piece at the chorus.  This track is different from others, but is a welcome redirection that ends the disc on a high note.  This disc seems to pull sounds and textures from other discs and artists in my collection, but that is what makes it even better in my opinion.  I love when a band isn’t afraid to reflect some of their influences in their own music.

Tracklisting: Antidote – Leave A Light On – Can You Feel It? – Beautiful Life – For Now – Downtown Love – Whole of the Moon – Young & The Guilty – Twilight Years – Welcome The Wonderful – Only The Good Die Young  – Keep Reminding Me – I Feel Over Nothing – Goodbye To The Show

The Parlotones Lineup: Kahn Morbee (vocals/guitar) – Neil Pauw (drums) – Glen Hodgson(bass/keys/backing vocals) – Paul Hodgson (lead guitar)






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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