They’re back: Matchbox 20

Matchbox Twenty have been around for 15 years, but the adult rock group has only released three studio albums up to now. More Than You Think You Are, last of the three, released nearly a decade ago. Yourself or Someone Like You, the 1996 debut album, spawned hits like Push, 3 A.M. and The Real World. The sophomore album Mad Season (2000) and its follow-up (2002) included the smash hits Bent, If You’re Gone, Disease and Unwell. After featuring on Carlos Santana’s Smooth, Rob Thomas released two very successful solo albums …Something To Be in 2005 and Cradlesong in 2009. Along the way, Matchbox Twenty issued a collection of new songs, including How Far We’ve Come, and their greatest hits, entitled Exile on Mainstream.
At long last, Rob Thomas and co. return with a new album North, scheduled for a September 4th release. The band worked on their fourth in Nashville last summer. With many different songs to choose from, the guys pinned down 12 tracks and 2 bonus songs. The album’s first single She’s So Mean hit radio in June. She’s So Mean sounds as fresh as their first material and proves Matchbox 20 are to last. A welcome return!

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Burrows on his own

Busy Bee Andy Burrows dropped a new solo effort about two weeks ago: Keep On Moving On. Once the drummer of Razorlight, Andy was responsible for writing some of the band’s biggest hits, including the No.1 hit America. Burrows also released material with Editors frontman Tom Smith and for his own project I Am Arrows, besides which he is also a full time member of We Are Scientists.
This song is part of a solo album Andy is working on, set for release later this year. Burrows’ Debut single on Distiller Records If I Had A Heart dates from September last year, but if you take a listen, the new single is far more promising.

Ain’t no Bugg

British singer songwriter Jake Bugg is starting to make a name for himself. Bugg showcased on the BBC Introducing stage at last year’s Glastonbury Festival. When you listen to his work, and his distinctive sound, it will come as no surprise that Bugg’s biggest influences were the likes of Bob Dylan, Oasis, and The Beatles. Last month Jake performed as one of the guests on Later… with Jools Holland. Following his debut Trouble Town, the second single Country Song  was used in a UK beer advert.  Already down to his third single, Lightning Bolt is currently climbing the UK Singles Chart. See what you make of Jake Bugg.

BBR on Letterman

Earlier this week The Black Box Revelation got to play live on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman, to promote their latest album My Perception. BBR became the very first Belgian band ever to play on the show. About a year ago Jan and Dries singed a contract with American label C.E. Music. That might have influenced the guest list a little, as the label is financed partly by Letterman’s firm. Nevertheless, they are on a road to somewhere.

Unconventional dEUS

Antwerp based rock band dEUS breaks away from all conventional ideas about promoting a new album.
Last night they unveiled a brand new album, Following Sea, without prior notice, not long after the release of their previous LP Keep You Close, only a mere 8 months. The band members worked on the new material the past few months in all secrecy, and had some tracks left over from the previous recording session. Material that good it had to be shared as soon as possible. Why spend weeks of preparation and promotion, and count down to an official release date? In 2012 one can do things differently. The album will hit stores next week but is already available on iTunes. Watch the video for the first single Quatre Mains below. Tom Barman mixes spoken word in the style of Serge Gainsbourg with a catchy chorus, all in French. Great opening track.

Sigur Rós brings Valtari

Sigur Rós will be dropping their new album Valtari (=Streamroller) May 28th, their sixth studio recording and first since 2008. During this hiatus Sigur Rós members focused on family life, while front man Jónsi delighted the world with his solo effort Go, accompanied by a stunning tour. Previous release was the concert film Inni, and last year Jónsi also delivered the score for We Bought A Zoo.
The new 8-track record, of which three are completely instrumental, will be more ambient inspired. Front man Jón Þór Birgisson -aka Jónsi- described the sound of the new record as ‘floaty and minimal’. Following the more pop oriented Með Suð í Eyrum við Spilum Endalaust, Valtari is more back to basics. The artwork reflects the character of the set as a whole. Don’t expect a roller coaster though. Lacking highs and lows, you still get extremely beautiful unparalleled mix of spellbinding pop and classical.
Ekki Múkk, a first single taken from the set, was released on 10″ vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day. Varúð is the official lead single.
The band will be playing in Europe again late summer. They are headlining the Rock en Seine festival in Paris, and will play two sold out gigs in Amsterdam. New dates will probably be added to the current schedule.

Headphone play Gold on the Ceiling

The Black Keys are enjoying a second successful single taken from their 7th full length El Camino. Gold on the Ceiling is a worthy follow up to Lonely Boy. For the Studio Brussel cover sessions the band Headphone took on the Keys’ song. Headphone’s version might just be as successful as the original. Sometimes the cover -almost- outshines its original.
Saturday 21st is Record Store Day. StuBru is releasing an exclusive Vinyl for the occasion: a compilation of Live recordings played during their late night show Select. This cut will unfortunately not be included. Enjoy it here.

Picture Perfect World

Gossip unleashed their new single Perfect World a few days ago, title track taken from the band’s forthcoming album. Initially the band started working on the new set with Mark Ronson, until Brian Higgins aka Xenomania was called in.
Since the trio’s debut in 2007, Standing in the Way of Control, they have taken different routes, not just sticking to punk rock. Beth Ditto’s superb solo venture, with dance duo Simian Mobile Disco, also proved very successful. The new song doesn’t have apparent guitar riffs but simply reverts to keyboard and a rhythmic drum roll. Focus is still on the energetic chorus. Brilliant all the same. Summer’s here.

Revelation: The Black Box

The Black Box Revelation have their 4th album out, My Perception, and are about to embark on a world tour. Before leaving their home country, they stopped by Studio Brussels Radio on Friday to play a cover of Lana Del Rey’s latest Born To Die. Their energetic guitar-driven sound works well over the lyrics. That’s what a good cover should be: your own. At the other side of the weekend, the clip on YouTube already has over 8000 views. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

Jesus Christ

dEUS kick off the second part of their Keep You Close-tour this week. The current single Ghost has scored really well the past few weeks, earning extensive airplay. An official video is now also available, to help promote sales. Quite a different league, compared to the previous post.
Director at work:  Saman Keshavarz, a 25 year old American with Iranian roots. The screen play depicts Jesus descending down to earth, disguised as a skateboarder. Along the way he converts disciples to find their way to the Skate Lord, turning water into wine and a beer can into a bunch of hot dogs. No harm done so far. Things start to turn a little sour after a patch of hot sex, when a nasty gang of thugs come along. The mind-blowing (you can take this literally) twist already provoked some negative reaction. Not sure if this piece of film does the brilliant song (and album) any justice. Mind, this is not a video for the faint hearted.