Billy Talent are an iconic punk rock band from Toronto, Canada consisting of members Benjamin Kowalewicz (vocals), Ian D’Sa (guitar), Jon Gallant (bass) and Aaron Solowoniuk (drums). After several years of groundbreaking success since their first self titled release Billy Talent, they follow up with their fifth studio album Afraid of Heights. With the band taking a more deeper and politically driven approach to their songwriting, their sound remains as instantly recognisable and anthemic as it has ever been.
The album features some trademark Billy Talent songs such as the title track “Afraid of Heights”, “Big Red Gun”, “The Crutch”, “Time Bomb Ticking Away”, “Horses & Chariots” and “Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats” being my favourites at the moment. Personally, I’d really like to hear the band experiment with synths more as they do in “Horses & Chariots” on future releases, it really blends nicely with D’Sa’s clean guitar tone and Kowalewicz’s voice. “Louder Than the DJ” is the only track that I really can’t get into, it kind of feels like it was just thrown in there as some kind of statement against the current popularity of electronic music overtaking the interest of rock.
Afraid of Heights is yet another solid release from a band that are yet to make a mediocre album. Billy Talent already have an outstanding back catalogue and whilst they’re first two albums (Billy Talent and Billy Talent II) will probably always be the most loved, Afraid of Heights will be just as well received by their fans and critics alike.