A pretty hot package.
Sophie Bruce 2009-07-08
Billy Talent III is the unimaginatively named but imaginatively created third disc from the Canadian rock four piece. Multi-award winning in their home country, Billy Talent are looking to duplicate that success here after their last album Billy Talent II (notice a pattern?) was certified silver in the UK.
The band grew up with Nirvana and Pearl Jam – and it shows in their epic yet intimate song style. Their visceral approach is no doubt due in some part to the presence of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine producer Brendan O'Brien.
Much of the album's highs belong to Ian D'Sa and his brilliant guitar riffs (he has an equally brilliant quiff that would turn La Roux green). It seems like the guitar is king here: a 'Guitar Villain' special edition has a second disc with the guitar tracks removed and guitar tabs included so fans can play along.
There's much to like. Opener Devil On My Shoulder is the stand-out hit, with an epic riff and a real Anthony Kiedis vibe. The Dead Can’t Testify is like a modern day Bohemian Rhapsody with equally bonkers lyrics. And album closer Definition Of Destiny sits somewhere between the over-the-top fabulousness of Tenacious D and some classic Bon Jovi.
They definitely have lyrical style: take Turn Your Back, which has already been debuted during live shows. Kowalewicz drawls, ''You'll run, run away, but there's no place to hide / You're too late, so kiss your ass goodbye'' with both menace and sex appeal.
Billy Talent do have a tendency to ape other artists – Tears Into Wine sounds uncannily like The Stones' Paint It Black and Diamond On A Land Mine shares a guitar riff with The Police's Can't Stand Losing You. But both are great templates so that's nothing to sniff about.
In a nutshell, if you like melodic, upbeat rock with epic guitar riffs – you'll like Billy Talent III. Kowalewicz's vocals are sex on a stick and D'Sa and Gallant's guitar skills combined with Solowoniuk's drums make this a pretty hot package.