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

Nick Mulvey

Nick Mulvey - Wake Up Now (Album Review)

After leaving Portico Quartet, Nick Mulvey quickly set out the parameters for a successful solo run. His debut, ‘First Mind’, was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2014, six years after his old band made the shortlist with ‘Knee-Deep in the North Sea’.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 08 September 2017

Walter Trout

Walter Trout - We're All In This Together (Album Review)

Andy Dufresne said it best: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Walter Trout was helplessly engaged in the latter until a liver transplant saved his life in 2014, but since then he’s pursued the former with a ceaseless vigour. The blues-rock titan has grabbed his second chance with both hands and ‘We’re All In This Together’ finds him, with a little help from a star-studded cast of friends, continuing to do so.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 07 September 2017

OMD

OMD - The Punishment Of Luxury (Album Review)

Photo: Mark McNulty Having enjoyed a notable resurgence with 2010’s comeback album ‘History of Modern’, electronic pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark quickly followed it up with another worthy addition to their canon: 2013’s ‘English Electric’. This quick one-two defied expectations after some 14 years of radio silence.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 07 September 2017

Baby In Vain

Baby in Vain - More Nothing (Album Review)

As a title, ‘More Nothing’ is entirely misleading. The phrase denotes a lack of progress and suggests that Baby in Vain’s debut LP will follow closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, last year’s ‘For The Kids’ EP. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 07 September 2017

A$AP Ferg

A$AP Ferg - Still Striving (Album Review)

‘Still Striving’ is A$AP Ferg’s most defiantly ambitious work to date, finding the rapper making a play for A$AP Rocky’s crown.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Mogwai

Mogwai - Every Country's Sun (Album Review)

Anyone who attended Mogwai’s back-to-back anniversary shows in 2015 will tell you the same thing: magic was in the air. The Glasgow post-rockers returned to their home city to play two nights of tracks spanning 20 years of material and the grim weather outside ironically added to the spectacle.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Oh Sees

Oh Sees - Orc (Album Review)

The first thing one must do with a record by Oh Sees (or its multiple derivatives) is check whether or not it is an official John Dwyer project. The suspicion remains that the man himself may have lost track of the number of incarnations that this band has taken over the past 20 years or so.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Tuesday, 05 September 2017

LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem - American Dream (Album Review)

In 2011, New York electro-rock band LCD Soundsystem played their last gig at Madison Square Garden and promptly disbanded. In the intervening time, frontman James Murphy acted, composed, worked on the Despacio soundsystem. Then he started writing songs again.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 04 September 2017

Nadine Shah

Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination (Album Review)

One glance at the cover of Nadine Shah’s third album, ‘Holiday Destination’, gives a large clue as to what lies inside. The sleeve photograph, of a war-torn building in Gaza, could very well have been taken at any one of the battlegrounds that are beamed directly into our homes night after night. From the off, this is an uncomfortable, disturbing and occasionally terrifying listen.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 01 September 2017

A$AP MOB

A$AP Mob - Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy (Album Review)

Trap is a genre of hip hop that relies on its cheapness for effect. Cheap production, cheap drum sounds. Cheap sentiment told through cheap rhymes. In many ways, cheapness is the essential characteristic of trap music: it screams urban credibility thousands of miles from the million-dollar studios of Beverly Hills. It's music produced in dank bedrooms and on laptops between gigs.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 01 September 2017

Brand New

Brand New - Science Fiction (Album Review)

Everybody likes surprises, especially when they’re nice. Rumours about possible new material from Brand New have been circulating for years - along with speculation that they will split in 2018 - but that didn’t detract from the shock when ‘Science Fiction’, the follow up to 2009’s ‘Daisy’, appeared from thin air a couple of weeks ago.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Thursday, 31 August 2017

Liars

Liars - TFCF (Album Review)

Over 17 years and six albums, band members have steadily left Liars’ ranks. Following the lukewarm response to 2014’s dance album, ‘Mess’, Aaron Hemphill departed, leaving musical director Angus Andrew as the last Liar standing.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 31 August 2017

The War On Drugs

The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding (Album Review)

Photo: Shawn Brackbill After the unexpected adulation afforded to 2014’s ‘Lost in the Dream’, the War on Drugs suddenly found themselves on a whole new level. The praise was fully justified, with tracks like Under The Pressure, Red Eyes and the fantastic An Ocean In Between The Waves sending shivers down spines.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Ghostpoet

Ghostpoet - Dark Days + Canapés (Album Review)

There’s the UK hip hop scene, there’s the grime scene and then there’s Ghostpoet. Obaro Ejimiwe has always eschewed convention wherever possible, whether that’s through his garbled vocal delivery or his bleak, even atonal production choices. Most markedly of all, though, across three albums he has developed a cynical narrative style that’s entirely his own.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Fifth Harmony

Fifth Harmony - Fifth Harmony (Album Review)

Fifth Harmony are a Miami-based girl group who finished third in the American X Factor in 2012. They were subsequently signed jointly with Epic Records and Simon Cowell’s Syco Records and released two records before the departure of the charismatic Camila Cabello in December 2016. They quickly opted to continue as a four piece.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Rainer Maria

Rainer Maria - S/T (Album Review)

Photo: Shawn Brackbill If there’s one thing to be said about Rainer Maria in 2017 it’s that they can now be regarded as one of the most consistent indie-rock bands of the last couple of decades. In their pomp they held the simple belief – correctly in hindsight – that you could release a record every couple of years, tour it ruthlessly and gain a steady, passionate following.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Friday, 25 August 2017

The Sherlocks

The Sherlocks - Live For The Moment (Album Review)

The Sherlocks’ frontman Kiaran Crook recently spoke of his belief that the band could be new “pioneers” of guitar music. Let’s chalk that up to a poor choice of words. Pioneering anything these days is practically impossible and, given the band sound like a throwback to a time when their Yorkshire neighbours in Arctic Monkeys stormed the scene, revivalists is probably a more accurate tag.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 23 August 2017

 
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