ANOTHER LOST YEAR – Alien Architecht

Another Lost Year - Alien ArchitechtNew music, new bands, new albums by old bands. To finding out about those is like an elixir of life for me. I know that to many people in my age, new music isn’t of any interest and they’re content to only listen to the music they grew up with, but I would go crazy to be stuck with only my old records. Don’t get me wrong, no matter how much I dig a new band or a new record, I always go back to the stuff I grew up with, the classics in my collection. No band will ever top – or replace – bands like Sweet, Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple etc. but for a music nerd / freak like me, I just can’t get enough of new music. To review albums comes in handy when I want to discover new music – the download links I have been given have opened my eyes to music that I probably would never had found out about otherwise. Since I’m an old-school guy, I still love to buy albums – both CD and vinyl – so this has affected my wallet as well – yes, I do buy records I get for free if they are good enough. Take this band, for instance – Another Lost Year. I can guarantee that hadn’t I got hold of that link, I would never have known about them. Why? Well, all of you who reads my reviews knows that I have issues with band names – and this is a name I don’t like. Another Lost Year is an album or a song title, in my book, not a band name. Shallow I know, but I’m working on that. So this little link made me check them out. ALY are band hailing from the U.S. – Charlotte, North Carolina to be more precise – that consists of four guys (Clinton Cunanan – lead vocals and guitar,  Adam Hall – bass, Jorge Sotomarino – guitar and Nathan Walker –  drums) and since they formed in 2011, they have been on the road with bands such as Candlebox, Hinder, Saliva, Dope and shitloads of others and they have recorded one album – Better Days (2012) – prior to this one. This album was released back in June in the U.S. but have finally found its way to Europe now, release date: August 12.  Musically, it’s probably pretty easy to guess in which genre they are playing just by looking at the bands they have shared the stage with – modern metal / hard rock, would by my guess.

The first track, titled just “Intro” – very imaginative – is just a spoken word with some background music, but it’s still pretty cool. The guys have the guts to give their native country’s government a well-earned kick in its lower private areas – a clear case of “I love my country so stop fucking with us!!!” The first “real” track is called “Wolves” and kicks itself into motion after a bit of “…Wake Up!” chanting at the end of the intro. It’s a modern hard rocker that would fit perfectly on modern rock radio – heavy, dark, yet melodic and radio friendly. That kind of music is usually not my kind of hat, but I like it anyway. “Bastard Sons” comes with a great guitar riff that is air guitar addictive. The tune reminds of Shinedown and it is a good song, very catchy but it’s not very original, it sounds just like a lot of the stuff that is on rock radio these days. “Trigger Finger” is a pop song with a rock arrangement. It has a really nice melody but the song never lifts and I’m stuck waiting for the punchline throughout the song. “The Best Is Yet To Come” is a modern hard rock ballad, it’s heavy but still a bit on the cheesy side. It’s not bad, actually it’s very memorable but in all honesty, this could be any band that is on rock radio which makes me lose interest after a while. There is also some annoying auto-tune all over it which doesn’t help. “Run The Tank Out” is a decent modern hard rock song, very American sounding, that goes nowhere – it’s in one ear and out the other and I don’t remember squat after the song has ended. “This Is Life” reminds me a lot of Papa Roach. Again, it’s not bad, but it lacks identity – pop that tries to be rock. The first track that makes me go “GREAT!” is called “He Took Beautiful Away” and is a brilliant little pop pearl that is running on acoustic guitars for the most with a catchy melody and a great arrangement – the first song to break the mold here. “Memories” – another ballad – is another really good song. I’m thinking a mix of Hinder and 3 Doors Down here and since the tune is really catchy and has all the ingredients for airplay, this could turn into a hit if they release it as a single. “We All Die Alone”, on the other hand, is an ok song – the chorus is very sticky – but at the same time it feels like nothing more than a poor man’s Shinedown. “On And On” starts out as a conversation with music in the background but once it starts it reveals itself as a pop/rock song where the verses are better than the chorus – the verses makes promises the chorus can’t keep. The closing track “Holding On – Letting Go” is also the album’s big down fall, a very underwhelming song. I keep waiting for something to happen but in the end it feels like watching paint dry – not the best way to end an album!

So, will the download link make me go out and buy this album? Well, not this one, I’m afraid. It’s not a bad album per se and the record sure has it’s moments, but to me most of this album sounds just like every one-hit wonder I hear when, on rare occasions, I actually listen to the radio instead of CDs in my car. Yes, it’s well produced, well-written and the guys are all very competent musicians – singer Cunanan is really good, but they lack identity – a thing that is crucial in a genre where there are so many bands that sounds the same. Still, the good songs promises potential and if the guys concentrates on finding their own sound there is probably a very bright future ahead of them.

6/10

Tracklist:

1. Intro
2. Wolves
3. Bastard Sons
4. Trigger Finger
5. Best Is Yet To Come
6. Run The Tank Out
7. This Is Life
8. He Took Beautiful Away
9. Memories
10. We All Die Alone
11. On And On
12. Holding On – Letting Go

 

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