Peppered with pop-punk peppiness and just the right amount of attitude, this is a triumphant offering from The Idol Dead. Tension And Release was launched as a part of a hugely successful campaign on Pledge Music, which surpassed all goals and totalled at a mighty 211% of the band’s initial target. Despite labelling this as ‘the difficult fourth album’, it is tight, refreshing and sounds effortlessly written.
Springing into life from the get go, opening track Happy Now is laden with harmonies and slick guitar riffs, boasting a particularly catchy chorus. This is swaggering hard rock with a feelgood factor: from Black Dog Down (possibly the most chipper song about depression ever written), right down to the final ballad, Sympathy Bullet, which darts between lilting guitars and pop punk hooks.
Yet there’s just enough grit to keep the album from being too cheerful. The angst-ridden verses of Heart On Sleeve contrast nicely with the hooky chorus, whilst the snarling riffs and sleazy basslines makes Clear Lines stand out as one of the album’s highlights.
The Idol Dead slide effortlessly between genres, combining sleazy hooks, bombastic guitar licks and hooky power chords. Ultimately this is an upbeat album, with enough hard rock to give it an edge. Perfect for a road trip playlist.