The Las Vegas four-piece’s second album Smoke + Mirrors looks a dead cert to follow 2012 predecessor Night Visions into the upper reaches of the charts both here and in the US.
It’s a well-produced, well-played and melodic rock record which falls neither into the “alternative” nor “metal” camps, being careful to keep a foot in both at all times. There is even the odd nod to hip-hop, remarkably.
At its best it is outstanding. Single I Bet My Life is tailor-made for festival performances and very good it is too, while The Unknown embraces hip-hop full on and is all the better for it. On other tracks, though, they sound like no-one so much as Spinal Tap, which could have been avoided had they cut the track count from 21 on the double-CD edition, which fans will feel duty bound to buy, to a more manageable 11 or 12.
That way, the exceptionally good The Fall could have been the actual closer rather than the precursor to a full eight extra tracks.
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By Andrew Greenhalgh