Album review overview: The Vaccines, Jan Bang and more

Photo (c) Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Dozens of new albums arrive at Maxazine’s editorial staff every week. Way too many to listen to them all, let alone review them. It ensures that too many albums are left behind. And that’s a shame. That is why today we post an overview of albums that arrive at the editors in short reviews.

Polis – Unterwegs I

The German art/hard rock Polis is influenced by, for example, Uriah Heep and Epitaph. The live album ‘Unterwegs I’ was recorded during two different concerts. “Tropfen” has pleasant, extended instrumental parts. The sound is a bit dull but well distributed over the headset. Both the minimalist parts and the tempo and volume changes are well-sung and played. The harmony singing is especially beautiful in “Gedanken”. “Die Einsamkeit” has never been released on CD before, but it is immediately captivating. The new “Das Erste Leuchtfeuer” is less impressive. The beautiful, sensitive “Eine Liebe, Tausend Leben” is even more so. The live version of “Danke” (with cool Hammond playing) is more atmospheric than the studio recording. The fantastic epic “Sag Mir” has a surprising structure, the audience notices their passion for song and music. “Blumenkraft” has several unexpected twists, such as a cappella singing. You don’t hear an encore, so the CD ends somewhat unexpectedly. (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (8/10) (Progressive Promotion Records)

The Vaccines – Pick up full of Pink Carnations

The Vaccines are a British rock band formed in 2010. They are known for their energetic and infectious indie rock sound. The band consists of singer and guitarist Justin Young, guitarist Freddie Cowan, bassist Árni Árnason and drummer Yoann Intonti. Their debut album “What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?” was released in 2011 and quickly became a success, with hits such as “If You Wanna” and “Post Break-Up Sex”. Now the sixth album is titled “Pick-Up full of Pink Carnations”. Ten old-fashioned sounding tracks that do not stand out above the parapet. Time has caught up with this band very quickly. Too bad somehow. You don’t have to get this album if you’re not a real fan. (Jan Vranken)(6/10) (Super Easy)

Jan Bang – Reading the Air

Jan Bang is a professor of electronic music at the University of Agder in Norway. He is also one of the well-known producers and pioneers in electronic music in the fjord country. With “Reading the Air”, Jan Bang has released an oppressively beautiful album. It is a vocally-oriented solo album, his first since 1998. The album features lyrical compositions surrounding Bang’s voice, keyboards and electronics, and is reinforced by a talented team, including vocalists Anneli Drecker, guitarist Eivind Aarset, bassist Audun Erlien and drummer Anders Engen. The lyrics were written by Erik Honoré and are about loss and transience, with a hint of hope and reconciliation. The album is co-produced and mixed by Erik Honoré and will be released on the new Punkt Editions label. The concept of “Reading the Air” is derived from a Japanese concept that means ‘understanding the situation without words’ or “sensing someone’s feelings.” With elements of dreaminess and depth, this album promises to provide an enchanting listening experience for Jan Bang fans. Highly recommended to try this weekend. (Anton Dupont) (8/10) (Punkt Editions)

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