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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

Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest - Making A Door Less Open (Album Review)

Photo: Carlos Cruz Will Toledo could be labelled a genius for the route he walked alone before building a band to flesh out his ideas as Car Seat Headrest. We all love an underdog, and we found one in this nerdy looking bedroom musician who happened to be making some of the best lo-fi, low key indie-rock around. It’s an endearing story.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 05 May 2020

Umbra Vitae

Umbra Vitae - Shadow of Life (Album Review)

Supergroups. For every Audioslave, there’s a Brides of Destruction. For every Velvet Revolver, there’s a Rock Star Supernova. For every the Damned Things, there’s…almost any other Scott Ian side project.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Thundercat

Thundercat - It Is What It Is (Album Review)

Photo: The1point8 After his monumental 2017 effort ‘Drunk’ blasted Thundercat’s space-age, bass-led jazz fusion into the ears of hordes of new listeners, ‘It Is What It Is’ arrives as his most highly anticipated release to date.

Written by: James Lawson | Date: Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Trivium

Trivium - What The Dead Men Say (Album Review)

Kiddie metal. Kiddie metal. Fifteen years after their breakthrough with ‘Ascendency’; after touring alongside Slayer, Obituary, Gojira, and Annihilator; after working with Ihsahn, frontman of the legendary black metallers Emperor; after just releasing a single that opens with Matt Heafy screaming “Bloody corpses, broken bones reveal”, Trivium are kiddie metal.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Monday, 27 April 2020

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters (Album Review)

Fiona Apple’s fifth album, ‘Fetch The Bolt Cutters’, is the perfect lockdown gift. Each of its 13 tracks require time to unwrap, providing precisely what we need in these strange, uncertain times. This is a thrilling hour of music bursting at the seams with raw emotion, compositional brilliance and deft humour.

Written by: Spencer Lawes | Date: Friday, 24 April 2020

Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani - Shapeshifting (Album Review)

Photo: Joseph Cultice If a guitarist’s ability to blend together sublime melodies, virtuosity and a heavenly tone was rewarded with the kind of letters PhDs drag behind their surnames, Joe Satriani would have an alphabet trailing his instantly recognisable moniker. The six-string professor’s latest record is unsurprisingly full of those trademark skills, except this time he’s freshened up his songwriting with a chameleonic approach that sees him aping everyone from Van Halen to the Police. Highly entertaining, yes, but is the resultant material as strong as it could be?

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 23 April 2020

Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari - Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible (Album Review)

Photo: Derek Ridgers Over the course of almost two decades, Enter Shikari have risen from electronicore scenesters to arena headliners, building and maintaining a cult following along the way. Appealing to a wide range of ages and a diverse set of musical inclinations, while initially creating within a divisive genre, the band are pioneers who continually pose challenges with their left-field productions.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Laura Marling

Laura Marling - Song For Our Daughter (Album Review)

Photo: Justin Tyler Close As we reframe the way we live in light of the current global predicament it may be that our attention spans broaden for a time, allowing us to absorb art without instantly dashing off for the next quick fix. That doesn’t just mean consuming albums as full bodies of work, but truly listening to the artistry within marvellous records like this quietly magical effort from Laura Marling.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 17 April 2020

The Strokes

The Strokes - The New Abnormal (Album Review)

“And the ‘80s bands, oh, where did they go?” Julian Casablancas sings on Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus, a highlight from the Strokes’ comeback effort ‘The New Abnormal’. Take a look at your own album is the obvious answer—on the song in question, is it any coincidence that its staccato keyboard chord sequence mirrors that of New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle?

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 16 April 2020

Joe Bonamassa

The Sleep Eazys - Easy To Buy, Hard To Sell (Album Review)

Stepping down from his blues-rock throne to flex some seriously eclectic muscles, Joe Bonamassa’s new side project is a full-blown instrumental affair intended to pay tribute to one of the most underappreciated guitarists of all time: the late Danny Gatton. Proving that any musical endeavour will reflect the personality of its creator, Bonamassa’s strengths and weaknesses are evident on an album that, although full of wonderfully performed compositions, is let down by a lack of cohesion and unfocused execution.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Hamilton Leithauser

Hamilton Leithauser - The Loves Of Your Life (Album Review)

Hamilton Leithauser’s ‘The Loves of Your Life’ is a sometimes delightful set of musings on human nature, be it on close friends and family, or on more arbitrary observations like a seasoned traveller on a ferry (Cross-Sound Ferry (Walk-On Ticket)) or a Polish woman who sat next to him on a bench one day (The Stars of Tomorrow).

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Brian Fallon

Brian Fallon - Local Honey (Album Review)

Photo: Kelsey Hunter Ayres ‘Local Honey’, Brian Fallon’s third solo LP since cutting ties with the Gaslight Anthem, is his most studied, self-assured collection in some time. Its acoustic palette allows the warmth and gravel of his voice to take a turn in the spotlight, and he duly channels a decade of hurt and life lessons into an expressive all-round performance.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 09 April 2020

Empress Of

Empress Of - I'm Your Empress Of (Album Review)

Photo: Dorian Lopez Empress Of’s third album is a typically introspective and overtly sexual journey into electro-pop, standing ready for any sweaty indie disco dancefloor. Here Los Angeles musician Lorely Rodriguez draws on emotion and her environment, foregrounding her mother as an important influence in her development both as a woman and a songwriter.

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Wednesday, 08 April 2020

The Chats

The Chats - High Risk Behaviour (Album Review)

Photo: Luke Henery The Chats, like so many punk bands who came before them, appear to be too dumb to fail. Hailing from Australia’s Sunshine Coast, the trio’s debut album ‘High Risk Behaviour’ is a rapid-fire collection of short, sharp shocks that mainlines tossed off observational humour and charging lo-fi power chords.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 07 April 2020

Purity Ring

Purity Ring - Womb (Album Review)

Photo: Carson Davis Brown Conjuring a nostalgic world, Purity Ring's third LP, ‘Womb’, is home to the most intimate lyrics and sounds the Canadian duo have produced to date. In the five years since Corin Roddick and Megan James landed in the upper reaches of the Billboard charts with their second record ‘Another Eternity’, they have leaned into a more layered, ethereal style, and it’s a change that suits them.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 06 April 2020

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam - Gigaton (Album Review)

Photo: Danny Clinch  The sound of Pearl Jam’s engines roaring into life used to prick the ears of millions. Thirty years ago they soared on the cutting edge of grunge’s commercial explosion, riding the plaid wave to monster sales and similarly expansive live gatherings, but like so many of their peers they now exist in the crowded liminal space between nostalgia and creative restlessness.

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

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia (Album Review)

“You want what now looks like? Let me give you a taste,” Dua Lipa sings in a new wave drawl on the eponymous opener of her second album, ‘Future Nostalgia’. She then proceeds to deliver on that promise in style across a record that serves as a snapshot of the current pop landscape swathed in signifiers from previous eras.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 02 April 2020

Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud (Album Review)

Photo: Molly Matalon In the decade since she began performing as Waxahatchee, much of Katie Crutchfield’s catalogue has shied away from the country music that informed her childhood, assuming a darker, punkier sound more redolent of her former band P.S. Eliot.

Written by: Ben Gladman | Date: Wednesday, 01 April 2020

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens / Lowell Brams - Aporia (Album Review)

Dull is definitely not the word to use when describing ambient music. However, with no chorus hooks or poetic lyricism on hand, and an audience whose attention span is dwindling by the day, it’s sometimes a little too easy to get lost in the atmospheric noise and drift off into other, more focus-stealing thoughts.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Tuesday, 31 March 2020

 
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