Black Country Communion

Black Country Communion - IV (Album Review)

Is there anything less final than an acrimonious rock ‘n’ roll break up? Hell froze over and the Eagles reformed. Axl Rose and Slash have reconciled in this lifetime and it surely won’t be long until Oasis stop looking back in anger and reunite. Cynics, or possibly realists, will cite money as a key factor in those instances, but Black Country Communion’s return likely won’t reap any kind of financial whirlwind. As such, this is one truce motivated by friendship and music. And boy, does it show.  

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Metz

Metz - Strange Peace (Album Review)

The current political climate has been a spark of inspiration for many musicians. A growing number have written lyrics that call attention to important issues, while others have less directly alluded to more general concerns. Metz, though, have bottled up all that anxiety in order to sell it back to us in the form of their third album, ‘Strange Peace’.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Monday, 25 September 2017

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters - Concrete and Gold (Album Review)

Setting aside the fact this boundary-pushing release from the Foo Fighters is already being praised and pilloried in equal measure, you have to applaud Dave Grohl. Well aware of the creative coma many stadium headlining bands slip into, he’s spent the last decade trying to make sure his gang don’t follow suit. Such artistic restlessness has largely been successful, so why does ‘Concrete and Gold’ flatter to deceive?

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 22 September 2017

Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari - The Spark (Album Review)

“Enough. Our next album will bring our message to the masses. I want to reach as many people as possible. We will give this everything. No more self-indulgence. We’re coming for you narcissistic pop. We will replace you.”

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 22 September 2017

Emily Haines

Emily Haines - Choir of the Mind (Album Review)

Since the late ‘90s, Canadian songwriter Emily Haines’ creative output has seen her release solo records as Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, as a member of baroque pop collective Broken Social Scene, and with indie stalwarts Metric.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 21 September 2017

Gary Numan

Gary Numan - Savage: Songs From A Broken World (Album Review)

Despite three successive UK number one albums between 1979 and 1980 and over 20 top 40 singles, Gary Numan’s legacy tends to boil down to the same two songs: Cars and Tubeway Army’s Are ‘Friends’ Electric?.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 21 September 2017

Ariel Pink

Ariel Pink - Dedicated To Bobby Jameson (Album Review)

Sometimes it’s not clear whether Ariel Pink is a genius or a talented fool. Perhaps he’s both. Something that is readily apparent, though, is that he is a master when it comes to making intricate, considered tracks sound lo-fi and off the cuff. Therein seems to lie the secret of his appeal.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Slotface

Sløtface - Try Not To Freak Out (Album Review)

Photo: Martin Høye  ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ would be a great soundtrack to a teen movie, if it wasn’t already accompanying the lives of a group of young Norwegians in a punk band called Sløtface.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Rostam

Rostam - Half-Light (Album Review)

Since Rostam Batmanglij officially went solo in January of last year, the New Yorker has been busy. A production CV that already boasted work with Frank Ocean and Solange Knowles has added RAC, Haim and indie dreamboy du jour Declan McKenna, and while his debut solo album ‘Half-Light’ features music that has been released over the past six years, it is clearly the result of intense studio workshopping.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Arcane Roots

Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns (Album Review)

There’s something special about Arcane Roots. Upon the release of their mini-album, ‘Left Fire’, six years ago, the press pushed, shoved and slapped each other to cover them. They wanted to proclaim ‘I got to them first! I uncovered this hidden gem!’ before dumping them just as quickly. The usual.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Queens Of The Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age - Villains (Album Review)

Now approaching the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut, Queens of the Stone Age have largely jettisoned the brooding stoner rock core that dominated their early albums. On their seventh studio LP, ‘Villains’, the echoes of classic rock remain but they have been coated in a dance-funk infusion introduced by Mark Ronson.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 18 September 2017

Prophets Of Rage

Prophets of Rage - Prophets of Rage (Album Review)

Here’s the Prophets of Rage recipe: Rage Against the Machine without vocalist Zach de la Rocha, Chuck D and DJ Lord of Public Enemy, B-Real from Cypress Hill. Looks a right mess on paper, right?

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 18 September 2017

Jonny Lang

Jonny Lang - Signs (Album Review)

Whether you’re Walter White post cancer diagnosis, Michael Douglas’s D-Fens stuck in traffic or the most mild-mannered person on the planet, everyone has a breaking point. In the case of Jonny Lang, who’s been moulding his beloved blues into fresh new shapes for two decades, this follow up to 2013’s genre-busting ‘Fight For My Soul’ finds him blowing a proverbial gasket. It’s a thrillingly primal album bleeding with anger, defiance and exasperation.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 15 September 2017

Alvvays

Alvvays - Antisocialites (Album Review)

When you sound like Alvvays do, it can be hard to find room to move. On their self-titled debut, the Toronto band navigated a rich world of gauzy reverb and longing indie-pop melodies so successfully that it immediately became difficult to imagine them doing anything else.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 15 September 2017

Death From Above

Death From Above - Outrage! Is Now (Album Review)

No, it’s not a typo. The 1979 is on the scrapheap and Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger are sticking with the name Death From Above. Whether James Murphy and DFA Records have anything else to say on the matter is a question for another day, because first we have ‘Outrage! Is Now’ to deal with.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Thursday, 14 September 2017

The National

The National - Sleep Well Beast (Album Review)

Album seven from the celebrated miserablists in the National finds the band sticking to the same winning formula of gloomy, reflective melancholy. But its outside influences do vary from the usual personal, introspective themes dispensed through their lyrics, co-written here by Matt Berninger and his wife, the editor Carin Besser.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost - Medusa (Album Review)

Perhaps the name ‘Now That’s What I Call Doom’ is being saved for a greatest hits package but, really, Paradise Lost embody that title on ‘Medusa’. Their 15th full-length is a masterclass in the art of depressing, downtrodden doom metal.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Cats In Space

Cats in Space - Scarecrow (Album Review)

Photo: Cats In Space Facebook On a mission to resurrect the classic rock stylings of ELO, Queen, Boston and numerous golden oldie acts, Cats in Space craft the kind of tunes ‘70s and ‘80s kids will adore, ‘90s kids will despise and noughties kids will ignore. Now, if you think that sounds like a group who are shamelessly indulging their childhood fantasies, you’re not wide of the mark. But if you also believe the results will offer little more than a third rate pastiche, prepare for a wonderful surprise.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Sparks

Sparks - Hippopotamus (Album Review)

Sparks are an acquired taste. Joyously idiosyncratic and defiantly throwback, their 23rd album, ‘Hippopotamus’, showcases the arty quirkiness that long-time fans love while driving home their fundamental creative philosophy: classically informed songwriting infused with a camp, fun intellectualism.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 11 September 2017

The Cadillac Three

The Cadillac Three - Legacy (Album Review)

If ever an album was perfectly titled it’s this third effort from the Cadillac Three. Although primarily referring to the band’s musical lineage and the mark they want to leave behind as people, it’s a surprisingly personal record that enriches their catalogue with the kind of depth and variety that builds true artistic legacies.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 08 September 2017

 
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