Saturday, 4 July 2015

Album Review: True Brew by Millencolin

Millencolin have finally released a new album. Titled True Brew this was their first since Machine 15 came out all the way back in 2008. After hearing a couple songs played live at their Slam Dunk appearance I was very excited to hear the new album. Here's what I thought about it.

True Brew starts with a song named Egocentric man. Within the first few seconds of the song it feels like Millencolin have never been away, with their trademark sound instantly making me nostalgically think of all the time I spent listening to Millencolin when I was a teenager. Nikola Sarcevic has one of my favourite voices and it's something that really helps Millencolin stand out next to most of their contemporaries. The second song Chameleon sees the band go down more of a pop punk route, similar to Home From Home, personally my favourite Millencolin album. As you might expect it's a catchy track that will have the listener singing a-long in no time. On my first listen of True Brew Autopilot Mode was the stand out track. The song has some really interesting melody changes throughout the track. Quite a clever trick, showing that in fact the band are not in Autopilot Mode and are happy to change things up. Bring Me Home is another stand out track on True Brew and has another very catchy chorus. The song, which some great harmony work down the back straight is about gettng through difficult times and helping your friends do the same.

The fifth song Sense and Sensibility was the lead single for the album. This is a melodic song about trying to see two different sides of an argument but not being able to when you really don't agree with a view, the example in this song is racism. Obviously this is the right way to be, racism should never be tolerated or accepted. This song is followed by the song True Brew. True Brew is a really positive song about living for the moment and not worrying about how things will turn out. I love the lyrics in the opening verse that go "Life's Too Short Not To Give It A Try, Try Your Wings, Find Out If You Can Fly." The seventh song on the album is another song with a strong positive message. Called Perfection Is Boring, I'm sure that you can have a good guess what it is about. There is a great bass line played towards the end of the song that leads towards one final uplifting chorus.

Wall Of Doubt starts in a sombre mood with some keyboard playing before the band joins in. This was a great way to start the song, especially at the halfway point of the record. An excellent way of keeping the audience's attention. The song is about staying in a relationship despite not really knowing why you are together. A really interesting topic for a song that you don't often here. Something I Would Die For is my least favourite song on the record. It's far from a bad song but it doesn't really seem to go anywhere and never really grabbed my attention when I was listening to it. I did however really enjoy the next song Silent Suicide. The track is only a minute and twenty seconds long but it managed to get everything done in that time. The music here really takes me back to the skate punk sounds of the 90's. A very nostalgic song.

Man Of 1000 Tics is another song where it is far from a bad song but kind of feels like filler compared to the rest of the album. It's quite a up-tempo song that just feels kind of directionless. The penultimate song, Mr Make Believe is a song I really love though. Sounding like a throwback to Pennybridge Pioneers era Millencolin, the production doesn't sound as crisp and clear as the other songs on True Brew and this really gives the song an extra bit of life. I'm not really sure if it's about having a friend who is a bad influence on you, the friend that will also encourage you to be someone that you're not or it's about having a split personality, the good guy and the bad guy. Either way it's one hell of a tune. True Brew finishes with a song named Believe In John. This song laments the modern day culture that on a whole is quite self obsessed and selfish. The band does anyone still believe in helping people and love? This is a great way to end the album, it's a positve message and it does make you think about the choices you make in your own life.

Other than a couple of songs that did feel like filler True Brew has to rank amongst some of Millencolins best work. For me Sweden's greatest ever band with always make me feel nostalgic when I hear them whether or not it's brand new material or something from their first album, Tiny Tunes. If you are an old school fan of the band or you're hearing them for the first time True Brew is definitely an album to check out.

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Now listening to Timepieces & Heart Shaped Locks by Darko

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