Sunday, March 25, 2018

Singles Roundup: Amorphis, Stryper, & More

It seems like there has been a constant stream of new songs being released by bands of note, both for good and for bad. Even though it hasn't been long since the last time, let's run through some new singles.

Amorphis - The Bee

Here's an unusual one for a single. This prog-death number gives us riffs that sound like Avantasia, truly gutteral growls, melancholy melodies, and at least four distinct sections that rotate outside of the usual verse/chorus structure. It's a bit challenging, and it's quite a statement. The previous Amorphis album was very good for the style, but this already sounds like a step even further. I don't know if the record can live up, but this track is remarkable.

Stryper - Sorry

If you remember, the first Stryper single for their new album was the most god-awful (pun intended) song of their career. As bad as that was is as much a return to form this one is. We get your ultra-basic Stryper song here, with the bare-bones riffs and Michael Sweet's simple melodies. There isn't a single thing about this song that isn't prototypical at this point, but it works well. It doesn't excuse their massive mistake, but it earns back most of their good will.

Dokken - It's Another Day

I've never understood why people still care about Dokken. Judging by this song, the first recorded by the classic lineup in two decades, I still don't. Don sounds old and tired, and the rest of the band goes through the motions of their 80s rock that they already have several other outlets for. And since no reformation is going to be lasting, it's a one-off that has little reason for being. It's passable, but not much more.

Pearl Jam - Can't Deny Me

These grunge veterans have, over the years, turned into a classic rock band, which is where they are as we approach their first new album in several years. This song continues in their recent tradition of making perfectly acceptable, yet somewhat bland, rock and roll that serves mostly to keep their touring business alive. They haven't recorded a vital song in quite a while, and this is not it. One might have thought their outspokenness would have resulted in a political song to rouse the masses, but instead we get a supposed self-empowerment song that doesn't have enough oomph to get the job done. It's pleasant, but it doesn't make me excited to hear more.

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