The aptly titled Anthems, the debut album from newly minted English/American rockers Pure Love (ex-Gallows frontman Frank Carter and ex-Hope Conspiracy guitarist Jim Carroll), cares little about its own past. A complete overhaul, both musically and lyrically, this is what happens when two emerging torchbearers of 21st century hardcore punk decide to make a mainstream rock album. Falling somewhere between the fat, compressed pop-metal of Andrew W.K. and the Darkness, the kick drum-heavy spank of Electric-era Cult, and the muscular, blue-collar swagger of post-Mommy's Little Monster Social Distortion, Pure Love never pretend that they play anything other than straight-up, windows-down commercial rock. That said, it can be a lot of fun, and despite all of the radio-ready architecture and positive vibes being emitted, Carter's commanding howl remains as powerful as ever, and Carroll's surging, melodic guitar work suggests a less anarchic rock & roll upbringing. In fact, just forget about records like Grey Britain and Orchestra of Wolves altogether; when it works, as is the case with the instantly likable first single, "Bury My Bones" ("I'm so sick of singing about hate/It's never gonna make a change"), the propulsive Manic Street Preachers gallop of "Handsome Devils Club," and the unapologetic arena style Brit-rock of "Beach of Diamonds" and "Scared to Death," it runs like a stallion, but for fans whose allegiances lie with Carter and Carroll's previous incarnations, the engaging but jarring Anthems will probably prove awfully hard to digest.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger