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Campbell: Latest releases end in disappointment

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“The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit” by Dune Rats

Released: Feb. 3

Genre: Pop-punk

Australian natives Dune Rats aren’t very well known in America, but are stars outside. With their carefree surfer vibes and raspy screeches, the band remains fairly monotone, similar to the American band The Orwells. Both bands have a 90s skater rock sound, but the difference is noticeable. The Orwells tend to write about serious topics like suicide and mental health, but for the Dune Rats, songs like “6 Pack” – which is literally about their brother buying them beer and living in their parent’s basement – sets the band apart. Maybe Dune Rats are trying to be funny and cool, but after a song about weed, (“Never Gonna Get High”) I’m pretty much over this album. The band ultimately has the potential to be really rad and end up at summer festivals like Vans Warped Tour. But after three songs, you’ll probably want to turn it off. There is only so much of the screeching vocals you can handle before you wonder if you will stop listening first or if his vocals are going to give out before then.

Rating: D-

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“Heavy Fire” by Black Star Riders

Released: Feb. 3

Genre: Rock

After Thin Lizzy called it quits in the mid-80s and after many small reunions, longstanding guitarist Scott Gorham decided to re-group the band in 2010. Out of this re-grouping came Black Star Riders, which has featured two other Thin Lizzy members. On their latest record, the Black Star Riders continue creating music that pays homage to a classic rock sound, but steps up the excitement from their Thin Lizzy days. Although the band seems to be trying to recreate the classic 80s rock sound, it comes off as stagnant and dull. When Kiss and ACDC are still around, why do we need newer bands to attempt to recreate those same sounds? Sure, half of the band are original members of a 70s power group, but in a time period where listeners need their attention to be grabbed within the first 10 seconds of a song, these are not the types of songs that are going to do so. “When the Night Comes In” features a gospel choir in the background that is not only an odd choice, but also kind of off-putting. There are plenty of newer bands out there that are able to create a basic rock sound, but the Riders differ from these groups because they haven’t created anything unique or interesting in order to standout.

Rating: D

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