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Hop Along

Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog (Album Review)

Photo: Tonje Thilesen When confronted with an empty canvas, there’s always a temptation to fill every inch of it; to purge yourself of ideas, to remake and remodel. On their second album, ‘Painted Shut’, Hop Along didn’t have that option. Their time in the studio came with a full stop attached to it, so they had to work fast and clean. The dense, layered approach of their debut, ‘Get Disowned’, was set aside in favour of economical indie-rock songs that had the happy byproduct of pushing their melodies, and Frances Quinlan’s remarkable voice, to the fore more than ever before.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 12 April 2018

Eels

Eels - The Deconstruction (Album Review)

The term ‘auteur’ is derived from cinema criticism, and describes a director whose personal vision can be seen in every part of their films; from script, to music, to set design, and so on.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 12 April 2018

Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis - Isolation (Album Review)

Photo: Felipe Q Nogueira Kali Uchis may well possess one of the keenest new intellects in pop. Her debut album, ‘Isolation’, is a veritable smorgasbord of chart joy, combining funk and soul revivalism, synth-pop and Latin tropicana with a stunning degree of cogency and verve.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 12 April 2018

Hinds

Hinds - I Don't Run (Album Review)

The party is over on Hinds’ second album, ‘I Don’t Run’. Their debut celebrated late nights and drunken hookups, but this release sees the band get truthful about their emotions as the partying and one night stands get tiresome.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke - Find A Light (Album Review)

Ask any fan of Blackberry Smoke which of their albums best represents their sound and they’ll probably go into a tailspin of deliberation. The Georgia quintet may be southern rock stalwarts with an easily identifiable sonic imprint, but they always gift each record its own unique signature, tellingly spicing their musical stew with fresh flavours.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Weeknd

The Weeknd - My Dear Melancholy, (Album Review)

This week in music marketing news, the Weeknd branded his new release, ‘My Dear Melancholy’, a ‘six track album’ as opposed to an EP. Whatever.

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

The Longcut

The Longcut - Arrows (Album Review)

Seven years is a long time, but that’s precisely how long it took Manchester’s the Longcut to ensure their new album, ‘Arrows’, was as sharp as possible. In fact, it took three attempts to get there, because the first two were scrapped. That means that what we have before us is actually the third version of their third studio album. Is it third time lucky all round, perhaps?

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2018

30 Seconds to Mars

Thirty Seconds To Mars - America (Album Review)

Thirty Seconds To Mars have a habit of tapping into the musical zeitgeist. Their self-titled debut capitalised on the fallout from nu-metal at the start of the millennium, while their breakthrough, ‘A Beautiful Lie’, rode high on the emo wave of mid-2000s. More recent releases - ‘This is War’ and ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams’ - followed the trend of infusing anthemic guitar music with outsized electronics.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Monday, 09 April 2018

Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy - Clean (Album Review)

According to Soccer Mommy, guitar music is dead as a mode of pop. And that’s something that makes Sophie Allison’s music so intriguing. Her honest lyrics, about the insecurities of being a young woman, come across like a sweary Taylor Swift after a couple of pints of cider with Ed Sheeran. But she has no designs on the top 10. Her style of music places her firmly in the alternative world, where a voice such as hers has traditionally had to work harder to be taken seriously.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Monday, 09 April 2018

The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years - Sister Cities (Album Review)

Photo: Jonathan Weiner When listening to ‘Sister Cities’, it's often hard to believe that the Wonder Years are pop-punk veterans. The Philadelphia band's sixth studio album is a true mark of their progressive style, elegantly closing the door on the thrashier sounds of their youth. Their 2015 release, ‘No Closer to Heaven’, began the transition into a darker chapter, but here they really hit a musical peak.

Written by: Katy Westaway | Date: Friday, 06 April 2018

Rick Parfitt

Rick Parfitt - Over and Out (Album Review)

Photo: Heiko Roth Due to the immediate swell of reverence that accompanies a musician’s death, posthumous releases and objectivity rarely go hand in hand. When evaluating Rick Parfitt’s posthumous solo LP ‘Over and Out’, then, it helps if you have never served as a denim clad lieutenant in the ‘Quo Army’. And, from a neutral perspective, there’s a lot of praise to afford this swansong from Status Quo’s Telecaster-bashing blonde.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 06 April 2018

Frankie Cosmos

Frankie Cosmos - Vessel (Album Review)

Frankie Cosmos’s Greta Kline is a prodigious talent. Her first two albums married gnarly New York indie with unvarnished, millennial heartbreak. Her third - ‘Vessel’ - develops that aesthetic with increased lyrical confidence and musicality. One suspects that if some of these songs were presented differently, they might make the charts. But that's not really what Frankie Cosmos is about.

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

The Voidz

The Voidz - Virtue (Album Review)

Perhaps Julian Casablancas peaked too soon. The huge cultural impact of the Strokes’ 2001 debut, ‘Is This It’, meant that by the time his songwriting had blossomed - on 2006’s ‘First Impressions of Earth’ - many had tired of their sound and gone elsewhere.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 04 April 2018

The Boxer Rebellion

The Boxer Rebellion - Ghost Alive (Album Review)

The Boxer Rebellion have a knack for racing out of the blocks on their albums, often turning in an early trio of heavy hitters. The opening stages of ‘Union’ and ‘Promises’ were breathtaking, but on album six, ‘Ghost Alive’, we have a different beast entirely. This time, everything’s a little more refined.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 04 April 2018

George Ezra

George Ezra - Staying at Tamara's (Album Review)

‘Staying at Tamara’s’, George Ezra’s second album, has been accompanied by the kind of major label fanfare that suggests the British singer-songwriter is here to stay.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 29 March 2018

Courtney Marie Andrews

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain (Album Review)

Photo: Laura E. Partain   During the early part of her career, Courtney Marie Andrews released a string of under the radar folk albums. If those formative LPs were her caterpillar phase, then 2016’s ‘Honest Life’ began an artistic metamorphosis that’s culminated in ‘May Your Kindness Remain’, a soulful, gospel-tinted record where she’s blossomed into a butterfly.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 29 March 2018

David Byrne

David Byrne - American Utopia (Album Review)

David Byrne is feeling buoyant. Despite all that is wrong with the world (and the USA in particular), he is choosing to answer it with relentless positivity. The title ‘American Utopia’ isn’t exactly tongue in cheek; Byrne is clearly not happy about the way things are going but is certain that we can get to the bottom of the problem.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Sunflower Bean

Sunflower Bean - Twentytwo in Blue (Album Review)

Sunflower Bean practically asked for the ‘saviours of rock and roll’ label with their 2016 debut, ‘Human Ceremony’, a collection of spunky tunes evoking the golden days of psychedelia, glam and shoegaze. Hell, their guitarist was even a dead ringer for a young Bob Dylan.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Jack White

Jack White - Boarding House Reach (Album Review)

While Jack White has never been the most kempt figure, his music has always possessed meticulous attention to detail. The fact his long-running blues-rock band the White Stripes wore strictly colour coordinated outfits only reinforces the perception that he's a rigorous self-editor with a penchant for regimentalism.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 26 March 2018

Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus - Historian (Album Review)

Photo: Dustin Condren Lucy Dacus doesn’t primarily see herself as a songwriter. But the success of her debut album, ‘No Burden’, particularly the track I Don’t Want To Be Funny Anymore, led her to contemplate the responsibilities of her new role. This is, in part, what led her to call her second album ‘Historian’.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Monday, 26 March 2018

 
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