Music

Fall Out Boy: American Beauty/American Psycho

ELMARIE KRUGER

American Beauty/American Psycho is alternative rock outfit Fall Out Boy’s sixth studio album. With their prior albums producing a string of memorable hits, it is only natural for fans to expect that their sixth album would be no different. The Chicago rockers have delivered, with “Centuries”, the first single to be taken from the album, taking only a short time to reach Platinum status.

The album opens with a strong track entitled “Irresistible”, and from the get-go the listener knows that they can expect another explosive delivery from the band. Lead singer Patrick Stump’s clear, robust voice delivers the song’s clever, punchy lyrics without hesitation.

The album’s title track “American Beauty/American Psycho” was co-written by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame. This collaboration becomes clear in the track’s rushed, drum-driven melody.

The first, so far most successful and most recognizable single from the album, “Centuries”, samples Suzanne Vega’s 1987 single, “Tom’s diner”. The song has a Rome-themed music video featuring the band members as gladiators battling a Goliath figure. The song once again prominently features Stump’s powerful vocals and its commanding chorus is what makes it memorable.

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The Curious Incident: Penny Lonesome

TIAAN VAN DER WESTHUIZEN

The Curious Incident is an alternative pop band straight out of the UK, and they are everything you would expect from a British indie band. They conquered the hearts and minds of the local scene when they toured South Africa in November 2014 to promote their upcoming EP Penny Lonesome.

South African born lead vocalist Cavey Roberts has fallen in love with the Republic and, when asked about their tour, he said: “It was an absolute blast! We overcame loadshedding, wildlife on the highways and E-tolls to meet some of our favourite people in the world at our gigs. We played by candlelight, we played under electric lights, and have fallen head over heels for SA. We hope that our love [will] be reciprocated”.

The four-song EP is set to be released on 26 January and is well worth the wait. Their music sounds like a hybrid between local band Shortstraw and Manchester legends Oasis, with a hint of the Beatles.

The members of the band like radically different music types and in the end it produces a mash-up of styles. This diverse blend of taste really comes to the foreground in the EP, delivering a catchy mixture that you can’t help liking.

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The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg

ELMARIE KRUGER

After gaining much attention with the release of their debut album, Farm Photos, in 2009, Capetonian pop band Beatenberg have captivated listeners with their sophomore release, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg. The album covers a diverse range of genres and is sure to have fans keeping the majority of its songs playing on repeat for weeks on end.

The album’s opening track and lead single “Raphael” starts with a slow, house-inspired beat. The track is accompanied by a video that is meant to resemble watching a foreign film with subtitles, which suits the song perfectly. The track’s catchy, memorable chorus makes the first single from this album a guaranteed hit.

The first phrase that comes to mind when listening to the intro of the second track, “Beauty like a tightened bow”, is ‘rainbow nation’. The lyrics are a bit more in the vein of a traditional pop song, however, even though the melody suggests otherwise. This track makes for a perfect amalgamation of genres and styles, which seems to be one of the album’s aims.

“Chelsea Blakemore” is another of the album’s well-known songs. The bridge-and-chorus combination makes this track notable and gives it staying-power. The accompanying music that plays during the song’s chorus is reminiscent of the theme music of a 1980s television series, which further showcases the air of diversity on this album.

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Foo Fighters rock the city of gold

ELMARIE KRUGER

On Saturday 13 December alternative rock group Foo Fighters filled the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg with thousands of excited fans. This was the Foo Fighters’ second show during their stay in South Africa, following their Cape Town performance the previous Wednesday.

These two shows marked the band’s first ever performances in South Africa and it also served as the starting point for their Sonic Highways World Tour. “Tonight you are our guinea pigs,” lead singer Dave Grohl said about the tour kicking off in SA.

The opening acts for the evening were Jo’burg rock quartet BLK JKS and UK indie rock group Kaiser Chiefs, who donned Kaizer Chiefs F.C. jerseys for most of their performance.

The crowd erupted into a united cheer as the Foo Fighters opened their three-hour set with their Grammy award winning song “All my life.” Other highlights of the performance included “Monkey wrench”, “Learn to fly”, “Walk”, “The pretender” and “Times like these”.

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Disclosure CODA Africa

KOJO ESSAH


CODA Africa is an afro-electric music group made up of leader and vocalist Zami Mdingi, violinist Galina Juritz, cellist Carol Thorns and saxophonist Judy Brown. The group creates songs that cross a wide span of genres.

Their new album Disclosure encompasses a collection of tracks that, for the most part, are successful in creating a fusion of different genres, but with a few missteps. The album opens off with a dubstep track, “Go insane”. CODA Africa’s take on dubstep is an interesting one, choosing to sacrifice the intense, bass-heavy production that is usually heard in favour of a simple, light production sprinkled with strings from the cello and violin throughout the track. The next track, “Luvuyo”, sees the vocalist singing about her regrets and wanting to make things right with her significant other. The upbeat tempo successfully contrasts with the rather sombre lyrics, making this song different from others with the same lyrical content. 

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