New Music Through Old Ears — Single Shots

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It’s time for a quick taste of new music as entertainment editor John Turnbull checks out new singles from Manc shoegazers The Happy Mondays, Aussie storytellers Amarillo.

All I Can See Amarillo

Formed by Raised by Eagles guitarist Nick O’Mara and singer/songwriter Jac Tonks, Amarillo have a stripped back sound recalling early Springsteen mixed with a dash of Sarah McLachlan.

Supported by the tight yet understated rhythm section of Trent McKenzie on bass and Alex Rogowski on drums, Amarillo are one of those little bands with almost unlimited potential.

Written as the band toured Western Australia and the Northern Territory and recorded at Yikesville Studios in Yarraville, new single All I Can See captures the emptiness and sparse beauty of the Australian interior.

It is at times beautiful and heartbreaking, showing that the distance between people in love can be greater than any physical separation.

Sample lyric: ‘If you could walk a mile in these broken shoes…’

Verdict: 8/10 — a heartfelt song from an artist to watch

Bang Bang Green Day

Formed in Berkley, California in 1986, Green Day have been at the forefront of the pop/punk movement for almost 30 years. Bang Bang is the first new release since Green Day’s three album Uno/Dos/Tre cycle and singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s subsequent breakdown, and the first single from upcoming album Revolution Radio, due out in October.

Immediately recognizable as a Green Day song due to Armstrong’s distinct vocal style, Bang Bang is a little heavier than tracks from the Uno/Dos/Tre era.

With lyrics addressing familiar themes of family breakdown and misplaced celebrity worship, Green Day can still write a more interesting song than most punk bands, so it will be interesting to see what the new album brings.

Sample lyric: ‘Daddy’s little psycho and mommy’s little soldier.’

Verdict: 6/10 — not the best Green Day song ever, but not the worst

Beautiful Thing The Stone Roses

Originally formed in Manchester, England in 1983, The Stone Roses were considered pioneers of the Madchester movement along with groups like The Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets. The original lineup included singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni, and only released two albums before breaking up in 1996.

The band reformed in 2011, then spent the next few years touring sporadically. Somewhat out of nowhere, they released new single All For One in May this year, their first new material in over 20 years.

This was followed up by Beautiful Thing, and it seems the Stone Roses haven’t lost a beat despite the lost decades.

Sample lyric: ‘There was no crucifixion, just lies to steal your mind.’

Verdict: 8/10 — if Ian Brown and friends can produce a full album of this quality we may well be about to witness the renaissance of the Stone Roses

Sucker For Pain Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons

Taken from the soundtrack to the much-maligned Suicide Squad movie, Sucker For Pain is a great song for fans of collaborations. Including not only the big names listed above, the track also features Logic, Ty Dolla $ign and X-Ambassadors, which is only slightly less contributors that Live Aid.

With themes that echo the darker original incarnation of the film (including the much-toned down abusive relationship between Joker and Harley Quinn) this song feels a lot like the movie — catchy at times, some interesting elements, but a bit of a mess overall.

Sample lyric: ‘I torture you, take my hand through the flames.’

Verdict: 6/10 — disposable fun

Enjoy what you've just read? John Turnbull's books are now available on Amazon and Kindle. For about the price of a cup of coffee you can take a journey deep into the disturbed psyche behind columns including Screen Themes, Think For Yourself, New Music Through Old Ears and JT on NXT. There’s supernatural thriller, Damnation’s Flame; action/romance, Reaper; black comedy, City Boy; and travel guidebook, Bar Trek: Europe. Check 'em out!

You can also follow John on Twitter @blackmagicjohn.

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