Teen rockers the world over will be overjoyed to learn that Bullet For My Valentine are releasing their fourth studio album. The Welsh band are arguably one of the most successful metal bands of their generation, though they may not be winning over too many new fans with Temper Temper. The band decided to write the album in the recording studio, rather than taking pre-written songs with them, as they had done before. The result, however, has fallen flat, for many critics. It seems that the rage and fiery emotion you’d expect (especially with song titles such as ‘Breaking Point’ and ‘Riot’) isn’t quite as prominent as we have come to expect.
Their last two albums, Scream Aim Fire (2008) and Fever (2010) were both top five hits in the US and in the UK and its likely that the band’s fiercely loyal, young contingent of fans will stand by them, regardless of the opinions printed in UK papers such as The Guardian.
There's an almighty retro feel oozing through Mobile Chateau, the self-produced third album from Californian-born singer-songwriter Matt Costa. Moving on from the more contented, happy-go-lucky material found on earlier releases and away from a style frequently compared to label-mate Jack Johnson; with Mobile Chateau, Costa ploughs '60's influences into his writing with intent and conviction.
It's regrettably near-impossible to listen to Mobile Chateau as a contemporary release because, bar a few exceptions ('Mobile Chateau', 'Painted Face'), it is so firmly rooted in the past; everything from the psychedelic organ tones ('Idol') and crunchy guitar sounds to the retro vocal backing harmonies harks back to the '60's. Though a bland, plod-along opener, 'The Season' establishes Costa's intent to reminisce to music of years gone by; glimmers of the likes of The Kinks and The Doors are immediately blatant in its' production, writing and instrumentation. Later, the piano-led easy, retro-pop track 'Drive' bears great resemblance to Brian Wilson's writing, especially in its Beach Boys backing vocals which also feature throughout the album. In an ambitious attempt to develop his work, Costa includes scratchy string backings but unfortunately they're barely audible over the echoing vocals and crunchy accompanying guitar and piano noise.
Continue reading: Matt Costa, Mobile Chateau Album Review