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Billy Talent - Billy Talent III

Billy Talent, Billy Talent III

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

CANADIAN four-piece Billy Talent return with another monsterish punk-rock album that thrives on its old-school approach to business and Ian D’Sa’s gutsy guitar riffs.

Produced by Brendan O’Brien (Rage Against The Machine, AC/DC, Mastodon), Billy Talent III opens as it means to go on, with an explosive guitar solo and some pounding drums, before careering into an emphatic Ben Kowalewicz vocal that menacinfly announces “I’ve got the devil on my shoulder” and “the hounds of hell are getting closer”. It’s a song that contains plenty of bite, rather like old-skool Green Day, with a pop sensibility of acts such as Red Hot Chili Pepper.

It’s followed by another album highlight, the former single Rusted From The Rain, which trades Green Day-style riffing with drooling vocals that scream out classic Guns N Roses. Littered with imagery, loaded with doom, it’s awash with things to admire for punk-rock fans and a towering anthem of its kind.

There’s a Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe to the opening guitar loops of Saint Veronika, which unfolds into another impressive offering complete with epic chorus, while Tears Into Wine drops in more melody, less aggression and rocks out in suitably rapid fashion. But then Billy Talent don’t really do slow, just as they don’t really do happy. This one begins with the volatile lyric: “The gun is loaded when the class is full, down the hatch and the trigger’s pulled…”

Elsewhere, White Sparrows opens with another mesmerising guitar intro from D’Sa that continues to run throughout the track, while Pocketful of Dreams employs a stop-start guitar loop over insights into consumerism and young love.

There’s a head-throbbing heaviness surrounding the meaty riffage on The Dead Can’t Testify, another downbeat tale that carries the whiff of death before it (a sort of anti November Rain), while the melody returns for the “whoa, whoa” laden Diamond On A Landmine, which plays up the bass and drops a more distinctly radio-friendly vibe. There’s even a hint of The Police’s Can’t Stand Losing You.

Nirvana fans might like to be somewhere near a mosh pit for the piledriver that is Turn Your Back, a real riot of energy, while Sudden Movement is infused with D’Sa’s impressive guitar work throughout – it’s a more deliberate heavy rocker, but a no less impressive one at that.

And finally, Definition of Destiny draws things to a suitably riotous close, with a slightly melancholy guitar slipping into something more heavy and emphatic for the inevitably pounding finale.

Billy Talent may not have achieved the lofty global heights of acts such as Nirvana [with whom they grew up with] and Green Day, but they’re one of the biggest bands in Canada and are worthy of considerably more international attention. This third album doesn’t aspire to anything fancy, but it delivers the goods in spades.

Download picks: Rusted From The Rain, Sudden Movement, Diamond On A Landmine, White Sparrows, Saint Veronika

Track listing:

  1. Devil on My Shoulder
  2. Rusted From the Rain
  3. Saint Veronika
  4. Tears Into Wine
  5. White Sparrows
  6. Pocketful of Dreams
  7. The Dead Can’t Testify
  8. Diamond on a Landmine
  9. Turn Your Back
  10. Sudden Movements
  11. Definition of Destiny

  1. Sudden Movement is really bad, take it off the download picks…and you should get a bit more information and listen to Billy Talent III a bit more too + stop comparing them to crap like Green Day…

    Tobi    Jul 18    #