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Phoxjaw

Phoxjaw - Royal Swan (Album Review)

If you go to the “List of rock genres” page on Wikipedia, you’ll find a whopping 249 entries. That’s how subdivided heavy music has become. What started in the ‘50s as loudness designed to piss off your parents is now a mangled family tree, full of categories so esoteric that, sometimes, only one or two bands can fit into them.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Tuesday, 07 July 2020

Haim

Haim - Women in Music Pt. III (Album Review)

It’s become customary with each new music video to take a stroll around Los Angeles with the Haim sisters. On some occasions they dance, strut and vamp, at other times they walk with quiet purpose. Contained within each vignette is a sense of getting outside yourself and clearing your head, capturing the essence of the wide-ranging tangents contained within ‘Women in Music Pt. III’.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 03 July 2020

Nadine Shah

Nadine Shah - Kitchen Sink (Album Review)

Never one to shy away from contentious subjects, Nadine Shah’s excellent 2017 album ‘Holiday Destination’ tackled the migrant crisis on its way to a Mercury nomination. Her fourth album, ‘Kitchen Sink’, addresses traditionalist beliefs like the expectation to raise a family, and ageism, from her perspective as a woman in her mid-30s.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 02 July 2020

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways (Album Review)

The opening moments of Bob Dylan’s 39th album, the 70 minute ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’, are mellow, unassuming and basic. As ever, though, his voice and its musical accompaniment are quite separate beasts. Once he delivers the opening lines of I Contain Multitudes, chasing a few drawn out, plain notes, it all begins to make sense.

Written by: Spencer Lawes | Date: Thursday, 25 June 2020

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher (Album Review)

The last time a leap year occurred, Phoebe Bridgers was in her early 20s. She was unsigned, and she had never left the United States. In a recent interview she recalled writing a list of goals she wanted to achieve by the time the next one rolled around. It included releasing three albums, touring the world, and visiting Ireland.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Lamb Of God

Lamb of God - Lamb of God (Album Review)

Photo: Travis Shinn Some people love meat and potatoes. Boiled, baked, mashed, sautéed if they’re feeling adventurous–but nothing too exotic. Beef gravy, thank you. Lamb of God’s self-titled eighth album is meat and potatoes. And that’s fine–the Richmond five-piece made their name worshipping at the hulking groove metal altar of Pantera. To call anything they’ve done experimental would be a stretch.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 22 June 2020

Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels - RTJ4 (Album Review)

If there’s a basic statement to be made about Run The Jewels, it’s that they’re really, really, good. Their fourth album is no exception. ‘RTJ4’ was released online for free, like ‘RTJ1’, there was an option to donate to charity (in this case, the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defence Program) like ‘RTJ2’, and it came out ahead of schedule, like ‘RTJ3’.

Written by: Rhys Thomas | Date: Monday, 15 June 2020

Muzz

Muzz - Muzz (Album Review)

Photo: Driely S. The use of the term ‘supergroup’ is too common these days. The members of Cream, widely considered to be the band that spawned the label, had pedigree behind them. But that standard has slipped in the intervening 50 years, and it’s now thrown at any side project that pulls together a few familiar faces.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Sports Team

Sports Team - Deep Down Happy (Album Review)

Emerging from a haze of industry buzz, with a youthful core of die hard fans behind them and rapturous live notices in hand, Sports Team have plenty of outside interference to contend with on their debut album. But ‘Deep Down Happy’ approaches the job gamely, pairing festival-ready shoutalongs with Kinks-style middle England proselytising.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 09 June 2020

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga - Chromatica (Album Review)

“This is my dancefloor I fought for,” Lady Gaga sings with unbridled conviction on Free Woman, the fifth track on ‘Chromatica’. She’s certainly not wrong. Candidly navigating depression and her attempts to shoulder its burden in the spotlight, the chameleonic pop icon’s sixth album builds upon the triumphant reclamation of her internal battles to heart-swelling effect.

Written by: Sophie Williams | Date: Monday, 08 June 2020

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways To New Italy (Album Review)

Photo: Peter Ryle There is a push-pull dynamic at the heart of ‘Sideways to New Italy’, the superb second album from Melbourne indie-rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Binding it together are memories of home, snatched glimpses of loved ones, and the desire to remain connected, but the music itself is built for wide open spaces and stretches of blacktop.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 05 June 2020

The 1975

The 1975 - Notes on a Conditional Form (Album Review)

Since they first appeared with their self-titled debut in 2013, the 1975 have progressed from indie-rock boyband to global stars through the medium of catchy pop songs, bridging the gap between industry buzz and guilty pleasure.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 03 June 2020

Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Reunions (Album Review)

The act of revisiting one's chequered past isn’t for the faint of heart. Especially if, in the case of reigning Americana king Jason Isbell, your history of substance abuse led to some pretty dark days. Following three post-sobriety records that charted the Alabama songsmith’s recovery, ‘Reunions’ finds Isbell bravely venturing down memory lane, his characteristically personal, yet universally relatable, storytelling bolstered by a more accessible, polished sound.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Badly Drawn Boy

Badly Drawn Boy - Banana Skin Shoes (Album Review)

The return of any successful artist following a lengthy hiatus is likely to cause a spike in interest. But when it’s a previous Mercury Prize winner, then it’s guaranteed. It’s been eight years since Badly Drawn Boy’s ‘Being Flynn’ soundtrack was released and a full decade since Damon Gough’s last studio album proper, ‘It’s What I’m Thinking Pt 1 – Photographing Snowflakes’. So where’s he been, exactly?

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Rose City Band

Rose City Band - Summerlong (Album Review)

Photo: Jason Quigley When Rose City Band released their self-titled debut last year, it flew under the radar like a passing gnat. Perhaps that was because of the discreet presence of Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo guitar wizard Ripley Johnson. Had it been more widely known that this was another vehicle for his sonic walkabouts then its arrival might have been more widely heralded.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately (Album Review)

Photo: Camille Vivier The fifth Perfume Genius album is an exploration of sounds stitched together with Mike Hadreas’ usual bleeding edge tenderness. On ‘Set My Heart on Fire Immediately’ he draws inspiration from past strengths while indulging in a stylistic range and sense of sonic diversity that was merely hinted at on 2017’s critically acclaimed ‘No Shape’.

Written by: Spencer Lawes | Date: Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Charli XCX

Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now (Album Review)

Charli XCX’s ‘How I’m Feeling Now’ is an album for and of our time. It was made under quarantine conditions, with the producer isolated in her L.A. home with her housemates and boyfriend Huck Kwong.

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Monday, 18 May 2020

Kehlani

Kehlani - It Was Good Until It Wasn't (Album Review)

Since the release of her ‘Cloud 19’ mixtape in 2014, Kehlani has parlayed early hype and a start in TV talent shows into continued growth as a musician and songwriter, grappling with love and loneliness as the primary themes behind her work.

Written by: Rhys Thomas | Date: Thursday, 14 May 2020

Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams - Petals For Armor (Album Review)

Throughout her life, Hayley Williams has faced challenges, setbacks, and mental health problems. The Paramore vocalist’s debut solo album is as much about those circumstances as it is a compelling diary of learning how to dig out old roots in order to blossom anew. ‘Petals For Armor’ is an act of defiance, channelling a sense of vulnerability that is not a weakness, but a radical form of resistance.

Written by: Matty Pywell | Date: Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Diet Cig

Diet Cig - Do You Wonder About Me? (Album Review)

Photo: Emily Dubin Diet Cig's 'Do You Wonder About Me?' washes over the listener like a warm wave on a sandy beach. Running to just 25 minutes over 10 songs, it’s brimming with feel-good magic as the quirky grunge-pop aesthetic of the two-piece creates a lasting impression.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Thursday, 07 May 2020

 
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