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James

James - Living In Extraordinary Times (Album Review)

Listening to 'Living In Extraordinary Times', the thought occurs that indie-pop stalwarts James aren’t dissimilar to a shark. Such is the Manchester octet’s devotion to exploring fresh textures, with an insatiable forward momentum, that if they stop moving it’s likely they’ll immediately shuffle off to the great gig in the sky. Fortunately, if the band’s most recent output - and especially this effort - is anything to by, they won’t be playing chess with the Grim Reaper any time soon.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 08 August 2018

Wet

Wet - Still Run (Album Review)

Photo: Amber Mahoney Change is the primary fuel for Wet’s second album, ‘Still Run’. Different influences, locations and relationships all conspired to signpost a new direction for the band while still retaining the core elements of their sound.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Tuesday, 07 August 2018

Tony Molina

Tony Molina - Kill The Lights (Album Review)

On the face of it, Tony Molina appears to be a marketing executive’s worst nightmare.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 06 August 2018

Halestorm

Halestorm - Vicious (Album Review)

After somewhat dropping the ball on 2015’s polarizing ‘Into The Wild Life’, Lzzy Hale and band have rediscovered their rock ‘n’ roll mojo on a strong fourth album that, although never in danger of reinventing the wheel, delivers the kind of riff-heavy rock anthems and lighter-waving ballads that should satisfy the majority of Halestorm fans.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 03 August 2018

The Internet

The Internet - Hive Mind (Album Review)

Photo: Alan Lear It's been fascinating to track the Internet's transition from OFWGKTA side project to fully fledged neo-soul outfit over the past few years. Sure, the various members of the west coast jam band could always play assuredly, but their first two records were marred by the same juvenile lyrics and rigid production styles that held their ‘parent’ group back.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Thursday, 02 August 2018

All Saints

All Saints - Testament (Album Review)

In the late ‘90s, All Saints were the a moodier, more credible Spice Girls. Like East 17 to Take That, they catered for hungry dreamers who sought different, more edgy universes…as long as they were contained in the pages of Smash Hits.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 01 August 2018

Real Friends

Real Friends - Composure (Album Review)

Composure is something that you can lose or find, and it’s also the name of Real Friends’ third album. On this release the Illinois pop-punk band step up their game with high quality tracks that examine how people often feel one way but act another.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Wednesday, 01 August 2018

Underworld

Underworld & Iggy Pop - Teatime Dub Encounters (Album Review)

‘Teatime Dub Encounters’ is a new four track EP from art-rock icon Iggy Pop and British house surrealists Underworld. It’s a fun, joyous piece of escapism that reveals musicians in fine creative fettle, and also inconsistency when it comes to quality music craft.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa - Rolling Papers II (Album Review)

‘Rolling Papers II’, Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa’s sequel to his 2011 major label debut, stands as 25 songs of laid back beats and a heavy reliance on finger clicks, sampled bass riffs, 808s and synth effects.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 30 July 2018

Ovlov

Ovlov - Tru (Album Review)

There are several ways for records to stand out. They might say something meaningful, or push the boundaries of a genre. Others are so good at purveying a particular mood and atmosphere that they don’t need to do much else. Ovlov’s second album, ‘TRU’, is one of those.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Monday, 23 July 2018

Years and Years

Years & Years - Palo Santo (Album Review)

On ‘Palo Santo’, Years & Years’ Olly Alexander embraces his identity as both a gay man and a pop star. Within the genre, LGBTQ+ representation has sometimes been either invisible or problematic, and Alexander redresses the balance with an album that revels in its enjoyment of the format while utilising its gloss to reveal deep, complex emotions.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Thursday, 19 July 2018

Bodega

Bodega - Endless Scroll (Album Review)

Bodega are the art school kids who might sneer at you for Instagramming a picture at their show. They’re the ones who, after a convincing “this isn’t satire”, order their audience to check their emails during the next song. Bodega roll out lines like “I touch myself while staring at your chat text box” and “I use my computer for everything, heaven knows I’m miserable now.” Their message: we are dominated by consumer culture and technology is taking over our lives.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Monday, 16 July 2018

Tom Grennan

Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches (Album Review)

The guitar-toting singer-songwriter scene has become very crowded of late, with the likes of Ed Sheeran, James Bay and George Ezra all carving out their own patch of commercial radio real estate. Is there room for one more?

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Friday, 13 July 2018

Sons Of Bill

Sons of Bill - Oh God Ma'am (Album Review)

Almost everything you need to know about the remarkable transformation Virginia siblings Sons of Bill have undergone on ‘Oh God Ma’am’ can be gleaned from its album cover. An old-fashioned colour TV lies on the floor, smashed and surrounded by dirt, its shadow eclipsing the light. The screen shows a grinning, optimistic, all American kid, his image bisected by the shattered screen. The dream, as they say, is over.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 12 July 2018

Immortal

Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods (Album Review)

Not many Norwegian black metal bands can claim to be a legitimate part of popular culture. They’re not usually seen doing ‘What’s In My Bag?’ videos or hanging out with Post Malone. Instead, they’re in the forest. Being grim. Being evil.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Gorillaz

Gorillaz - The Now Now (Album Review)

To music lovers of a certain age Gorillaz remain an afterthought: a secondary project after Damon Albarn’s best work with Blur.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Drake

Drake - Scorpion (Album Review)

A common criticism levelled at Drake over the years is that his records tend to sound the same, but it’s a jab that misses the mark. While it's true that the Toronto megastar has developed a dependable formula, delivering introverted yet accessible rhymes over new school production, there's a clear distinction between his sonically expansive early works and his minimalist quasi-dancehall records of recent years.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 09 July 2018

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine - High As Hope (Album Review)

Florence and the Machine is a name that has become synonymous with OTT pop-rock and sweeping, ethereal elegance. Those turned off by Florence Welch’s banshee wail often overlook the fact that, whether she’s inhabiting a spare ballad or a busy, rousing soundscape, she steadfastly maintains a certain level of composure. This dynamic has worked in the past, but her new album proves that it’s a delicate one to maintain.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Friday, 06 July 2018

Jim James

Jim James - Uniform Distortion (Album Review)

Photo: Justin Tyler Close On Jim James’ third solo album, the My Morning Jacket bandleader has dispensed with indie psychedelia in favour of straightforward, gutsy rock tunes. The result is a record of tight musical elements, with a consistently radio-friendly sound, that falls flat when compared to more innovative releases by better rock songwriters.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 05 July 2018

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band - Come Tomorrow (Album Review)

Photo: René Huemer The phrase ‘make love not war’ perfectly sums up ‘Come Tomorrow’, a record that finds Dave Matthews Band veering away from their usual forays into genre-twisting jam band territory and socially conscious songwriting. Although musically and thematically less dynamic than past efforts, it is abundant with heart, soul and spirit as it strives to remind us that love, in all its various guises, is still alive in this crazy world of ours.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 04 July 2018

 
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