Andy Hunter featuring Beth Bullock – “Spiral”: Andy Hunter is back with his 5 song Glow EP, which has the best of all his worlds. This is a song with all female vocals and a noticeable verse/chorus structure, hearkening back to his Colour full-length. The singing does feel a bit restrained, but the song is a nice break from the dubstep influenced EDM culture that has infected society. In many ways, this electronic song feels like a bit of a throwback to older Eurodance. It isn’t the most memorable song, but it works and should stand out within the Andy Hunter discography.
Righteous Vendetta – “This Pain”: The hardcore band on Red Cord Records treads into the radio-rock territory, in a move that mostly works. The occasional double bass and a lone scream are all that reminds listeners of the band’s roots. This song is certainly better than average when it comes to radio rock, but it remains to be seen exactly where the band plans on taking their craft. This is exemplified in one moment in the song where some distortion leads us to believe the band is heading into a breakdown before simply transitioning into another chorus. It is a definite “Fooled ya!” moment. I give kudos to their vocalist for being to transition between clean and rough vocals well, too.
No Doubt – “Settle Down”: The new wave quartet is back with their first new song in about a decade. I much prefer Gwen Stefani in her role as a frontwoman – she sounds so natural in this song you wouldn’t have thought a decade had passed since her band did something of significance. ”Settle Down” sounds like the next step in the band’s evolution. It is smart new wave influenced rock. It carries elements from the album Rock Steady without the cringeworthiness of “Hella Good” or “Hey Baby.” The song doesn’t quite soar the way you would expect a comeback anthem to, but it gets the job done. Watch the music video here.
Number One Gun feat. Stephen Christian – “Disappear”: The dream team of Jeff Schneeweis and Stephen Christian has finally happened! The two tenor-voiced rock singers complement each other well in what is a return to form for Number One Gun. The band did release some good material when it was the solo project of Jeff, but it never quite matched up to Promises of the Imperfect. Now, NOG is back with all original members and they sound great. ”Disappear” carries that trademark infectious pop rock with a touch of melancholy (or maybe it’s more emo?) that made its way into more recent NOG records.