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Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending (Album Review)

The most telling thing about the early 2000s post-punk revival was its lack of staying power. Razorlight, Maxïmo Park, the Futureheads and countless others came flying out the gates, but by the end of the decade they had more or less faded out. You could cite over-saturation, or cycles in trends, as the reason behind that, but much of it had to do with the style's limited scope.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Rhye

Rhye - Blood (Album Review)

Photo: Genevieve Medow Jenkins Rhye’s music unravels gently, each song blossoming like a slowly unfurling flower. The Canadian vocalist and composer Milosh - who’s now riding solo alongside a live band following the exit of collaborator Robin Hannibal - attempts to communicate ethereally, reaching out soul to soul.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Tuesday, 13 February 2018

AWOLNATION

Awolnation - Here Come The Runts (Album Review)

On 'Here Come The Runts', Awolnation’s third full album, Aaron Bruno’s ever-changing band of miscreants have leaned into powerful dirges that offer up spiky vocals alongside noisy riffs and textural switcheroos. It’s a fine turn from a band who typify a certain brand of metropolitan West Coast rock.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 12 February 2018

Field Music

Field Music - Open Here (Album Review)

That the Brewis brothers are now fathers to young children is evident on ‘Open Here’, and parenthood has given Field Music a brand new way of experiencing the world, its politics and its stereotypes.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 09 February 2018

Hookworms

Hookworms - Microshift (Album Review)

Hookworms’ third album, ‘Microshift’, represents a change for the Leeds outfit. Here they emerge from beneath the mysterious shroud they previously adopted, with layers of fuzz evaporating and frontman MJ’s vocals, for once, clearly audible above the noise.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 08 February 2018

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake - Man Of The Woods (Album Review)

Justin Timberlake’s fifth solo album combines country music with funky pop and, despite some real high points, the result is a good case study in the why people don’t generally try that particular genre fusion.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 08 February 2018

Bat Fangs

Bat Fangs - Bat Fangs (Album Review)

Listening to Bat Fangs’ self-titled bow could feel like taking inventory. After all, its shelves are overflowing with rock staples: chunky riffs, driving drums and snotty hooks. But the duo - guitarist Betsy Wright, lately of Ex Hex, and Flesh Wounds drummer Laura King - consistently make them feel vital, alive and, perhaps most importantly, fun.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 07 February 2018

Beth Hart And Joe Bonamassa

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa - Black Coffee (Album Review)

Natural chemistry, be it as a friend, lover or creative collaborator, rarely fades over time. Often, it grows exponentially stronger. That’s undoubtedly true of blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa and vocalist Beth Hart. It may be nearly five years since the pair last lit up some classics on ‘Seesaw’, but they’ve returned as though it was yesterday. The hitch, though, is that ‘Black Coffee’ is an uneven album that doesn’t quite do their combined talents justice.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 06 February 2018

The Spook School

The Spook School - Could It Be Different? (Album Review)

There is strength in vulnerability on the Spook School’s third album, ‘Could It Be Different?’. And it’s more than just a rush of power chords that fills the listener with enthusiasm. Over fuzzy feedback and infectious guitar hooks, the band reveal their fears and hopes about politics, relationships and their own selves.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Tuesday, 06 February 2018

Machine Head

Machine Head - Catharsis (Album Review)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Those lines, spat out by Robb Flynn over 20 years ago, still ring truer than a shotgun blast.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 05 February 2018

Joe Perry

Joe Perry - The Sweetzerland Manifesto (Album Review)

There are few things scarier than an Aerosmith song with Joe Perry on lead vocals, which makes the prospect of him fronting an entire album decidedly terrifying. But, let’s assuage those fears early. On ‘The Sweetzerland Manifesto’, as with most of the guitarist’s solo offerings, he’s roped in some guest singers to deliver exactly the kind of record you’d expect from such an old school gunslinger.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 05 February 2018

Migos

Migos - Culture II (Album Review)

On Migos’ 2017 album 'Culture', the trio delivered a mean, lean study in trap, with massive hits that announced the Atlanta trio as hip hop’s next big thing.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 02 February 2018

Starcrawler

Starcrawler - Starcrawler (Album Review)

Photo: Autumn de Wilde It’s difficult to create something new. Every week the musical landscape changes, with more new releases and riffs dropped into an already vast industry that is only getting bigger. The question remains: how can you be heard above the noise?

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 01 February 2018

Nils Frahm

Nils Frahm - All Melody (Album Review)

When German minimalist composer Nils Frahm first emerged in the mid-2000s, he was often lumped in the same category as modern classical pianists Olafur Arnalds and Ludovico Einaudi. While such comparisons did him no disservice – both musicians are wildly gifted – Frahm’s penchant for drum machines and glitchy production betrayed his more left-field ambitions.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Thursday, 01 February 2018

Marmozets

Marmozets - Knowing What You Know Now (Album Review)

The north of England has given us a great many weird and wonderful things over the years. With the release of Marmozets’ second LP, ‘Knowing What You Know Now’, that list has grown a little bit longer.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Porches

Porches - The House (Album Review)

On ‘The House’, Aaron Maine explores the loneliness of the bedroom producer. Taking the synth-pop sound of his last album, ‘Pool’, and moving the dial a few degrees to a colder temperature, we find Porches in a much more isolated place as Maine reveals personal fragility.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Django Django

Django Django - Marble Skies (Album Review)

Django Django are an odd band. Even within the amorphous boundaries of art-rock it’s still quite difficult to put a finger on what exactly they are. It’s even more difficult to imagine when precisely the right time is to listen to their music. In a field in the middle of summer, perhaps? Flatcaps donned, glowsticks grasped?

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Monday, 29 January 2018

Tribulation

Tribulation - Down Below (Album Review)

Photo: Ester Segarra Netflix used to be rubbish. Remember? Then slowly, surely, surreptitiously, so sneakily, it became the irresistible, sexy, sleek bastard it is today. Tribulation are a bit like Netflix.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 29 January 2018

Glen Hansard

Glen Hansard - Between Two Shores (Album Review)

It was never going to be easy for Glen Hansard to top 2015’s ‘Didn’t He Ramble’. The Irish troubadour’s second solo effort, following his time with angst-ridden rockers the Frames and haunting balladeers the Swell Season, saw the singer-songwriter at the peak of his creative powers. Although there’s been a drop in quality, and his trademark lyrical panache isn’t close to its evocative best, ‘Between Two Shores’ is still teeming with delightful moments.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 26 January 2018

The Xcerts

The Xcerts - Hold On To Your Heart (Album Review)

Behind the mainstream’s back, the Xcerts have been refining their craft with each release. On their fourth record, ‘Hold On To Your Heart’, they repeatedly showcase their speciality: anthems that make you want to punch the air like John Bender at the end of The Breakfast Club.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Friday, 26 January 2018

 
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