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Rhye

Rhye - Home (Album Review)

Photo: Emma Marie Jenkinson For Rhye’s fourth full-length album, Canadian singer-songwriter Mike Milosh has leant into dreamy disco, delivering a record of effervescent melodies and sticky beats. It’s a good LP that manages to be versatile and listenable despite never quite achieving liftoff.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 22 January 2021

Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs (Album Review)

If there’s one word that encapsulates Sleaford Mods’ ‘Spare Ribs’, it’s ‘bleak.’ A 21st century plague has intensified the worst qualities of this island and in case this wasn’t kick-in-the-balls obvious, vocalist Jason Williamson plainly spells it out for us in his characteristic Midlands sprechgesang. 

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Emma Ruth Rundle

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - The Helm of Sorrow (Album Review)

In June 2018, esoteric label Sacred Bones began its Alliance Series: an ongoing adventure involving two unrelated labelmates banding together and seeing what manner of unpredictability they can cook up. The range began when noise-rock enigmas Uniform and the Body joined forces for the acerbic ‘Mental Wounds Not Healing’. 

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Shame

Shame - Drunk Tank Pink (Album Review)

The bug-eyed intensity of Shame’s breakthrough is the sort that can be weathered by time, and set upon by the mundanity of everyday life. They confront that reality on their second album, ‘Drunk Tank Pink’, in a manner that suggests they will never be a group for whom half measures will suffice.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Monday, 18 January 2021

Kacy and Clayton

Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams – Plastic Bouquet (Album Review)

Photo: Janelle Wallace Collaboration is a complex process, even between artists who share a mutual admiration for one another. But on ‘Plastic Bouquet’, the Canadian retro-country duo Kacy & Clayton combine with silken-voiced Kiwi artist Marlon Williams to startling effect. They play off one another with lived-in certainty and a mode of melodic expression that feels as though it has been beamed into the present day from a radio station stuck in the early 1960s.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Viagra Boys

Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz (Album Review)

Photo: Marcus Wilen With the future of global democracy in a perilous, yet darkly comic, place, it’s probably a good time for a new release from Stockholm-based satirical edgelords Viagra Boys.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 12 January 2021

The Dirty Nil

The Dirty Nil - Fuck Art (Album Review)

The belief that rock music should be fun has taken its share of beatings over the years, humiliated by oafish novelty bands and dismissed by pseuds sitting atop intellectually satisfying record collections. But Canadian power-trio the Dirty Nil fervently believe that rock music should be fun, and that understanding is the cornerstone of their outrageously enjoyable third LP ‘Fuck Art’.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 05 January 2021

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney - McCartney III (Album Review)

By now we’ve become used to the idea of a lockdown album. But one from Sir Paul McCartney? Well, that is a lovely surprise.

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Wednesday, 23 December 2020

The Avalanches

The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You (Album Review)

Photo: Grant Spanier Twenty years ago, the Avalanches set out to showcase the boundless possibilities of sampling with their debut LP ‘Since I Left You’, repurposing fragments of old songs into cohesive new tracks with completely altered personalities. On 2016’s long-awaited ‘Wildflower’ they added guest performers including Danny Brown to the mix. Now, with ‘We Will Always Love You’ the Australian duo have turned their gaze upwards, beyond our skies.

Written by: Matty Pywell | Date: Thursday, 17 December 2020

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Evermore (Album Review)

​ Taylor Swift’s music has always walked in lockstep with its backstory: the Nashville star-in-waiting and born romantic breaking big, breaking bad, apparently always breaking up at the end of a telephoto lens. But ‘Evermore’ does away with a chunk of that preamble in much the same way as blockbuster sequels shot in tandem might.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty - Nightmare Vacation (Album Review)

Rico Nasty’s first full album is a punk-trap melange of squawking, whooping and spitting. With that barrage the Maryland wordsmith is sort of delivering on the early promise of mixtapes ‘Nasty’ and ‘Anger Management’, and while ‘Nightmare Vacation’ is inconsistent in quality, there is little doubt that she has what it takes to be a superstar.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Sigur Ros

Sigur Rós - Odin's Raven Magic (Album Review)

Photo: Eva Vermandel Behold, ye mortals! The end is nigh! But not because of a no-deal Brexit. This is ‘Odin’s Raven Magic’, the latest record from Icelandic post-rock masters, Sigur Rós. It’s an opera based on Norse mythology and ancient Edda poetry, and if you ever tried to envisage what the previous 26 words would actually sound like, fear not. You’re spot on. 

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 10 December 2020

Deafheaven

Deafheaven - 10 Years Gone (Album Review)

Photo: Bobby Cochran June 1, 2020 marked a decade of Deafheaven. It was on that date 10 years ago that the experimental black metal darlings made their first dent, emerging with their shimmering, untitled demo. Little did anybody know that their grassroots debut was the dawn for one of the 21st century’s most important metal bands.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Wednesday, 09 December 2020

Alex Maas

Alex Maas - Luca (Album Review)

This year has been a good one for new ventures from seasoned musicians. Among so many lowlights, 2020 has been home to fine debut solo albums from the likes of Andy Bell and Matt Berninger, while Alex Maas’s ‘Luka’ is another welcome aside from today’s continuing troubles. But, while his peers occasionally nodded to earlier work with their famous bands, ‘Luca’ does little to remind us of the Black Angels.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 08 December 2020

Gone Is Gone

Gone Is Gone - If Everything Happens for a Reason…Then Nothing Really Matters at All (Album Review)

Gone Is Gone have always been understandably wary of the ‘supergroup’ tag. Nowadays, the term invokes memories of showbiz flops like Damnocracy as much as it does a band like Temple of the Dog, and that kind of mainstream cash-in has always clearly been the last thing on this four-piece’s mind.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Friday, 04 December 2020

Palm Reader

Palm Reader - Sleepless (Album Review)

When we talk about new records the same set of cliches often pop up. Is it a complete about face? The result of a new blend of influences? Or perhaps a case of a band digging their heels in with the tried and tested sounds of the past? But such an approach simply won’t do for an album as exciting as Palm Reader’s ‘Sleepless’. Four albums in, these UK hardcore heavyweights have found their zenith.

Written by: Alex Mace | Date: Tuesday, 01 December 2020

The Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins - CYR (Album Review)

Photo: Jonathan Wein With each new Smashing Pumpkins release comes guarded excitement from long time admirers. Will they feebly rehash past triumphs and desecrate the legacy they’re loved for, or depart from it completely and risk the same outcome? Never ones to opt for the obvious route, with ‘CYR’ the band have delivered a third option. Here they head into unfamiliar territory while offering up subtle stylistic nods to their formative years.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Monday, 30 November 2020

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion - Good News (Album Review)

Megan Thee Stallion exudes overwhelming confidence, both on her records and IRL. Grabbing the world’s attention once again earlier this year, this time alongside Cardi B with the empowering anthem WAP, Megan warmed us up for the uncensored, high octane charge of her debut album ‘Good News’.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Thursday, 26 November 2020

Nick Cave

Nick Cave - Idiot Prayer (Album Review)

Back in the summer, as lockdown continued to bite, Nick Cave walked back into our lives with a streaming event that felt of the moment and also exemplary of his otherworldly ability to create an escapist space with his music. Through a series of intricate piano ballads captured at Alexandra Palace in London, Cave presented a medley of timeless classics that showcased a lifetime of graft and emotion.

Written by: Rebecca Llewellyn | Date: Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton - Starting Over (Album Review)

Photo: Andy Barron Chris Stapleton’s fourth record is a sterling example of why, when it comes to exhibiting the craft of a bona fide singer-songwriter, the album format always has and always will be king. ‘Starting Over’ is the kind of cohesive effort that makes you pity people who are content to download single songs with little appreciation for either the wider musical context or artistic intent.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 24 November 2020

 
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