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CKY – The Phoenix

Release date: 16th June 2017

Label: Entertainment One

When CKY announced a new album with an altered line up I was skeptical. I’m usually fine with lineup changes – Blink 182 survive to this day, Metallica and Iron Maiden are bigger than ever – but for some reason this one worried me.

When The Phoenix finally reached me I was relieved and impressed.  The album feels exactly how the title implies it will, it draws massively on the old output but puts a catchier, more funky spin on it. It has a lot in common with its predecessors without feeling like a copy.

Unknown Enemy in particular brings it’s inner 96 Quite Bitter Things to the fore but makes you want to dance instead of headbang. It’s a bold move from the skate punk legends and one which has paid off. The vocals are different, obviously, but similar to Blink 182 recently CKY have decided the best way to progress is to embrace the new lineup. After their recent tour had several venue upgrades it feels like this was a good choice.

Rating: 7/10

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Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth

Release Date: 19th May 2017

Label: Eleven Seven Music

How Papa Roach have remained relevant after the nu metal fad wore off is impressive. They’ve retained the rap style but have progressed their sound to incorporate more of a mainstream element – Think Fall Out Boy post reformation. The announcement of Crooked Teeth showed that this is not a band willing to rest on a huge hit in Last Resort and massive album in Metamorphosis, they’re pushing themselves still after all these years.

The album itself is top heavy in terms of heavier tracks and, for me, that is still where these guys are at their best. Break The Fall and the title track open the album well. Jacoby hasn’t lost any of his punchiness and the riffs are still heavy.

The album lost my attention slightly when it came to the more rap driven tracks though, and the inclusion of Machine Gun Kelly on a track compounded this. Overall, the album is not quite as good as their last effort, 2015’s F.E.A.R., but the openers will make welcome additions to their set list. The live tracks at the end of the Deluxe Edition make for a nice change though.

Rating: 6/10

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Sikth – The Future In Whose Eyes?

Release Date: 2nd June 2017

Label: Millenium Night

Starting with the kind of noise you feel would signal an air raid in a battle between man and machine, The Future In Whose Eyes? Is a triumphant continuation of form from Sikth on their first album since they reformed.

Having rarely been given the time they deserve by fans or the press, probably down to the complex nature of the music and the dual vocalists, they have persevered along their path of pace, power and eccentricity.

This effort, following the erratic but still strong Opacities EP from 2015, shows that if they can pick up the sort of press that their peers have received they could be a force to be reckoned with. Tours with Slipknot and Trivium suggests they’re starting to get the attention they deserve. Let’s just hope that the song Ship Has Sailed isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their winter tour should gauge where they’re currently at.

Rating: 9/10