This week we take a look at four of the hottest new releases as another cracking summer of rock gathers pace.

There’s the second album from US heroes The Gaslight Anthem and some old school thrash courtesy of the mighty Korzus.

We check out rising stars of the UK metal scene Envy Of The State and review Download stars Anarbor. The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang

It’s been two years since the world fell in love with The Gaslight Anthem. Their hearty, Springsteen-esque rock and roll has won them fans in every corner of the world and with the unparalleled success of 2008’s The ’59 Sound they had something to build on.

It was always going to be a hard act to follow and the quartet has managed it with American Slang. Make no bones about it, this isn’t another carbon-copy of ’…59 Sound’ – it’s a more immediate album and has more of a heart-on-the-sleeve feel than ever before.

Frontman Brian Fallon has essentially bared his soul, once again, on this record and is perfectly displayed on the excellent tracks Bring It On and The Spirit of Jazz. Gaslight have moved away from reminiscing on the past that was all too clear on ‘. ..59 Sound’ and have look more toward the future and is summed up with the line in Old Haunts “God help a man who says if you’d have known me when/old haunts are for forgotten ghosts”.

The haunting warbling of Fallon’s voice is perfectly accompanied by the weaving guitar of Alex Rosamilla contributing to what may well be Gaslight’s best album and with songs like Orphans and Stay Lucky few could argue against it.

American Slang is the Gaslight writing a new chapter in their career. It is the progression from ‘…59 Sound’ that the band needed and this could well be the album of 2010. Thomas Walsh

rushonrock rated: 10/10 Cooking On Gas

Anarbor – The Words You Don’t Swallow

Now when a band bills themselves as being “genre-defying” they have a lot to live up to.  Arizona’s Anarbor profess to challenge the stereotype that surrounds pop-rock at the moment and with their debut album The Words You Don’t Swallow they aim do that.  Sadly they haven’t completely achieved it.

This album is a straight-up pop album but has all the elements that Panic! At the Disco or Fall Out Boy would be proud of.  This album is full of catchy songs and despite being a predominantly unspectacular album Anarbor show glimpses of good song writing.

Opening track Contagious has crunching riffs where single-in-the-making Let The Games Begin has all the catchy elements needed for a good pop song.  Going To Jail has the swing element that Panic! brought to the party when they first burst onto the scene and Gypsy Woman screams of a Fall Out Boy influence.

The album is let down by disappointing closing track Useless which sees front man Slade Echeverria persistently whining through the duration and then ends with an almost Disney-esque solo.

Anarbor aren’t a band that is going make you sit up and make you forget everything you ever knew about pop-rock but they are essentially good for what they are.  They aren’t “genre-defying” they are just another pop-rock band to add to the many others already out there.  However, in fairness, The Words You Don’t Swallow is a commendable first attempt. TW

rushonrock rated: 6/10 One To Follow
Envy Of The State – Soundtrack For Your Life
This is very accomplished, highly polished metal from a band which wears its commercial heart on its sleeve. Had this come out of the USA then these boys would be dubbed the new Avenged Sevenfold – as it is their Maiden meets Lostprophets vibe is bound to catch on pretty soon.
Interestingly there are influences way beyond the bands mentioned above – the 80s-centric riff on Lives Collide is straight from Def Leppard circa 1987 and the vocals are often akin to Gun and former Little Angels’ frontman Toby Jepson if he really rocked out.
From the off, with the blistering Rags To Riches (Riches To Rehab), Soundtrack For Your Life is bursting with confidence and the sooner this lot are gauged on a big stage in front of a feisty festival crowd the better. On record they already sound like the next big thing but the jury is out on whether tracks like Take Over The Radio and Devil In My Eyes will cut the mustard live.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 Soundtrack For Your Summer
Korzus – Discipline Of Hate
This is thrash metal the way it was always meant to be as Korzus crunch chords and spout forth the kind of aural aggression once reserved for crowds new to the genre in the famed Bay Area.
The opening tune and title track sets a pretty foreboding scene – coming across as a mix between a Terminator soundtrack and Kill Em All-era Metallica. It’s massive, meaty metal and it makes you want to skip to the next track and the one after that.
Every song here is good and some are great. The two minutes and 44 seconds of 2012 are focused and frantic while My Enemy is like a military march gathering pace with every second.
None of the songs here clock in over four minutes and so while we lack a true epic there’s never a dull moment. It’s a well structured, well thought out and well heavy record which demands to be played live. We’ll be keeping a close eye out for Korzus and hitting the front row as soon as they head our way.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 Korzus Of Approval