Friday, May 25, 2018

Singles Roundup: Ghost, Primal Fear, Alice In Chains & Pale Waves

It's been a few weeks since we last delved into the promotional waters, which means we've got a new batch of singles to talk about, pushing some big name albums. Let's see what we have this week:

Ghost - Dance Macabre

The poppiest song Ghost has ever written, this is the song from "Prequelle" that is going to break through and get airplay. I've already heard people griping that it isn't rock enough, but that's the whole point. Ghost is trying to be subversive by using rock and satanic imagery to make supposed metalheads swallow music they otherwise never would. Along with "Rats", this is an indication that the new album is going to pick up where "Meliora" left off, and continue Ghost's climb towards being the biggest rock band in the world. Really good stuff.

Primal Fear - Hounds Of Justice

Everyone's favorite Judas Priest clones are back, and they still sound like Judas Priest. They have long been a generic heavy metal band, and they don't deviate from that one iota. They make a good business off delivering safe music we've already heard, and that's what this is. There isn't anything surprising about this track, but it's melodic enough and heavy enough to do exactly what it wants. I get tired of entire albums, but they can be fun for a song here and there.

Alice In Chains - The One You Know

I liked their comeback record, and then didn't care at all for the follow-up. If this single is any indication, we're headed back to the former, which is most welcome. Jerry Cantrell builds this song from basically one chord, and despite never letting the song drift away from that simplicity, he and the band have fashioned a song that latches on. The riff is so simple you can't forget it, and the harmonies in the chorus are what make Alice In Chains work. It's not quite "Check My Brain" as a single, but it's close. Well done.

Pale Waves - Kiss

I don't know if this is a tease for the album that was hinted could still arrive this year, or if it's a place-holder between the EP and LP, but it's another winner. Pale Waves have mastered that style of what I call 'Daria rock', that updates the depressing alternative of the 90s with the sheen and polish of modern dance. They do it again with this song, bouncing along on a rhythm while the detached vocals sound like Taylor Swift's emo conscience. There isn't the shift in tone the band hinted at before the EP was released this year, but that's not a problem. More of this is still very much welcome.

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