This week's album: Billy Talent - Afraid of Heights (release: July 29, 2016)
As ‘Afraid Of Heights’, the fifth album from Billy Talent, begins there is tension in the air and a number of inquisitive grumblings. Does a band that some think peaked in the early ‘00s have enough to say to sustain another spin around the block?
Here, the answer is a resounding yes. With Alexisonfire drummer Jordan Hastings stepping in for Aaron Solowoniuk, who’s had to take a step back due to a relapse of MS, Billy Talent kick things off by tackling gun control head on with Big Red Gun, on which Ben Kowalewicz sings: “I’m gonna shoot, shoot, shoot, no matter what the cost.” He then declares: “Pride is a weapon in your hand.”
With ‘Afraid Of Heights’ Kowalewicz wanted to write a record “about struggle, both within ourselves and within the society we live”. With the title track tackling issues of trust and songs such as This Is Our War exploring a nation racked with fear and lacking in compassion, Billy Talent have checked all the boxes, and thrown in some irresistible singalongs to boot.