Demi, Billie, Taylor and more released new music in April, but none of them made our highlights, read on to see who did make the cut.
April 2021 may have been one of the coldest in 60 years, but there were still enough hot releases to warm our hearts and fuel our fires. Taylor Swift released the first of six albums that she is set to re-record with her version of Fearless, Demi Lovato made a welcome come back with her seventh album, Dancing with the Devil... the Art of Starting Over and Wolf Alice delivered an incendiary second single, Smile, from their forthcoming album, Blue Weekend. Lana Del Rey, on trend with the colour palette, announced she would release her second album of the year, following up Chemtrails Over The Country Club, with Blue Banisters on July 4th. Olivia Rodrigo released a strong follow-up single to her huge hit, drivers licence whilst Billie Eilish dropped one of her weakest singles in years. Rapper DMX sadly died after suffering a heart-attack and AJ Tracey flouted CoVID rules as he attempted an eventually abandoned meet-and-greet, but none of them made our top five. Here's who did.
H.E.R. - Photo credit, Chris Pizzello, PA Images.
H.E.R. - Fight For You.
If I'm honest, the last album I listened to was 2008's Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace, and while it fulfilled my then teenage need for Californian punk rock, it never made quite the lasting impression of Americana era Offspring.
Continue reading: The Offspring - Let The Bad Times Roll Album Review
Why has pop-punk made a 2020s resurgence?
As pop-punk makes a resurgence in this peri-pandemic age, it seems only right that The Offspring have picked this time to drop their first album in 9 years, appropriately titled Let the Bad Times Roll. Plus, they've also announced that they are set to hit the road with The Hives in November, touring across the UK and Ireland.
The Offspring performing live in 2019 / Photo credit: Slavomir Kubes/Czech News Agency/PA Images
We can't help but feel extreme late-90s-early-00s nostalgia with the return of The Offspring; a feeling that's only heightened with the likes of Machine Gun Kelly's pop-punk album Tickets To My Downfall, not to mention Yungblud, Travis Mills and Nick Gross' new project Girlfriends, and Avril Lavigne's collaboration with Mod Sun Flames.
Continue reading: The Timely Return Of Pop-punk Veterans The Offspring
The Offspring star Dexter Holland graduates from the University of Southern California.
Just because someone is famous for making angsty rock music doesn't mean they can't have a super serious geeky side to them too. The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland is crushing stereotypes by landing a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology because he wants to help people living with HIV.
Dexter Holland at Bravalla Festival 2014
The 51-year-old singer and guitarist (whose real name is Bryan Holland) graduated with his Ph.D from the University of Southern California yesterday (May 11th 2017) after submitting his research into the molecular structure of the HIV virus.
Contactmusic team up with lighter manufacturers Zippo in Download ticket giveaway.
Download Festival at Donington Park is one of the UK's most eagerly anticipated rock events so if you want to win a pair of tickets for this year, look no further!
We've partnered with one of the most recognisable brands in the world, Zippo, in a new competition where winners can bag two weekend guests tickets for the 2014 event which this year sees Aerosmith and Linkin Park among headliners. Winners can enjoy a weekend of guest camping and exclusive access to the guest area.
Continue reading: Win Tickets For Download Festival 2014 With Contactmusic And Zippo!
Even when reaching their commercial peak with novelty anthem 'Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)', California punk veterans The Offspring never strayed far from a particular sound - and their ninth studio record doesn't see them make the leap. In other words, fans will be satisfied and those never interested won't be converting now.
Straight off the bat with 'The Future Is Now' you get the sort of riffs and energy that have long served The Offspring well, something that continues through the likes of 'Turning Into You' and 'Dirty Magic', which are just a couple of examples of perfectly acceptable if not thrilling guitar tracks. Whether the AOR moments are a reflection of the band's advancing years is debateable, but the title track 'Days Go By' and 'All I Have Left Is You' prove to be uninspiring if nothing else. Of greater interest is 'Cruising California (Bumpin' In My Trunk)', which probably doesn't sound too appealing if only described as an uncomfortable attempt by Dexter Holland to rap through his vocals. However, the track is actually a very slick pop record and lyrics aside could easily be the sort of chart-topper produced by the likes of Katy Perry. It's an enjoyable break from the guitar assault, as aside from this it is very much a case of business as usual for this outfit.