1. Fear (CD) ~ Marillion
British rock band Marillion, founded in 1979, have, over the course of 17 albums, become one of the most commercially successful neo-progressive rock band of the 1980s and are still one of the most outstanding representatives of their genre. As the first of their peers, Marillion have started to embrace the potential of the Internet for both their commercial approach and to interact with their audience. They have sold more than 15 million albums.
This, the band s eighteenth studio album, features 5 brand new tracks consisting of 17 parts - and the feeling within the band themselves is that they may well have produced their best ever work. Marillion has certainly not mellowed with age: Whilst the album title itself is certainly provocative, it s not meant to be offensive. The title itself features as a line in the track The New Kings and is delivered as a plaintive falsetto. Steve Hogarth said, "We've used 'F E A R' as a title with some relish, but only as it shows that we haven't shied away, but it's said with sadness. There are two basic impulses behind human behavior: Love and Fear, and all the good stuff comes from love".
F E A R sees the band taking on the big themes but they do not see it as their place to preach to people. The New Kings looks at the ravening beast that modern capitalism seems to have evolved into, El Dorado examines the notions of political entitlement and the modern challenges for the UK, The Leavers examines the impact of a transient life on the road for those constantly waving goodbye. The job is simple, says Hogarth, "We use the amazing privilege of having both a platform and an audience to encourage people to look in the mirror and ask themselves the big questions by doing just that ourselves".
The album artwork shows the acronym F E A R embossed on a gold ingot, and the songs themselves bear the hallmark of true quality.
2. Head Carrier (CD) ~ Pixies
For the first time since their very early days, the Pixies spent a total of six weeks in pre-production, writing, arranging and rehearsing a plethora of songs. Between the band's late-80s/early 90s touring schedule and delivering an album once a year, there simply wasn't time for more than a day or so of fleshing out their music before recording started.
'This was a wonderful luxury, for us to have the time to be able to really work these new songs out,' said Pixies drummer David Lovering. 'By the time we started recording, we all knew the songs backwards and forwards, so it took half as long for us to make this album as it did to make 'Indie Cindy.' And it was great working with Tom...he started with us in pre-production and played a big part in keeping us focused on making the best music we could.'
In addition, the band - Lovering, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Black Francis and guitarist Joey Santiago - officially welcome bassist Paz Lenchantin to the Pixies' permanent line-up. Lenchantin has been the band's touring bassist since January 2014, and played an integral part in the recording of Head Carrier. Her cool and dreamy soprano can be heard singing lead on the track 'All I Think About Now.'
All songs were written by the Pixies apart from 'All I Think About Now,' which was written by Francis and Lenchantin.
3. Hometown Life (CD) ~ Sully Erna
2016 release, the sophomore solo album from the Godsmack vocalist/guitarist. Composed by Sully on piano and acoustic guitar and produced in his New Hampshire studio, Hometown Life offers a departure from the tribal, world music feel and experimentation on 2010's Avalon; the new album's ten songs are more accessible, sonically and musically precise. A personal, confessional, raw work which takes yet another stylistic left-hand turn from the music he has created as frontman for the multi-platinum rock band Godsmack, Hometown Life offers a wide-ranging glimpse of Erna's eclectic musical tastes.
4. World Gone Mad (CD) ~ Suicidal Tendencies
Twelfth studio album (and first in three years) from Venice Beach legendary hardcore punk band, Suicidal Tendencies. The band's current lineup features frontman Mike 'Cyco Miko' Muir & Dave Lombardo, co-founder of Slayer, on drums. Touring in fall with Megadeth followed by headline dates for the rest of 2016.