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Pale Waves

Pale Waves - Who Am I? (Album Review)

The desire to dress up mainstream pop music as something different—something more dangerous or provocative—has been around since the penny dropped that rebellion shifted units. Pale Waves’ 2018 debut ‘My Mind Makes Noises’ ran headlong into this dynamic and faltered: for all the eyeliner and goth stylings the LP fizzled once its anodyne hooks failed to scratch beneath the surface.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 17 February 2021

God Is An Astronaut

God is an Astronaut - Ghost Tapes #10 (Album Review)

Photo: Brian Meade Since their 2005 breakthrough, ‘All Is Violent, All Is Bright’, God is an Astronaut have been ambassadors for the immense possibilities of instrumental songwriting, imbuing their sound with prog, metal, krautrock, and elements cribbed from symphonic and choral music.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Slowthai

Slowthai - TYRON (Album Review)

Photo: Crowns & Owls How do you demonstrate edginess without scaring the audience? How do you avoid cancellation after public transgressions? What price will you pay for authenticity? On his second album ‘TYRON’ Slowthai attempts to answer some of these questions.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight (Album Review)

Photo: Danny Clinch Foo Fighters are currently in the middle of what might be termed a band’s tricky period—the kind of zone that successful groups, conscious of not wanting to repeat themselves, often enter to freshen up the established formula. Unfortunately, most artists who venture into that territory end up producing divisive results that scream mid-life crisis from every ill judged note. Are the Foos any different?

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 15 February 2021

Black Country New Road

Black Country, New Road - For The First Time (Album Review)

Black Country, New Road have arrived at their debut LP on the crest of a wave of contradictions, balancing often difficult music with simmering hype and seeking to render songs that would appear to exist in their most essential form as live freakouts.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 12 February 2021

Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams - FLOWERS for VASES / descansos (Album Review)

The second solo outing from Hayley Williams feels like it almost wasn’t made for an audience. Throughout ‘FLOWERS for VASES / descansos’ there is the sense that we have been invited to eavesdrop on a private reckoning: here Williams is combing through her past out loud while setting it to a soft, yet rarely sparse, soundtrack.

Written by: Emma Wilkes | Date: Thursday, 11 February 2021

Weezer

Weezer - OK Human (Album Review)

Rivers Cuomo knows that you can’t escape yourself. On Weezer’s ‘OK Human’ that fact is particularly intrusive. Here one of the most talented, brain-achingly frustrating songwriters of the past 30 years slips into the mouldering duds of the talented, brain-achingly frustrating songwriters who inspired him: experimenters and purists such as Brian Wilson and Nilsson.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The Telescopes

The Telescopes - Songs Of Love And Revolution (Album Review)

Photo: Tapete Records Plying their trade for over 30 years, the Telescopes have covered a lot of ground since the release of their shoegaze-centred debut ‘Taste’. Having veered this way and that throughout their discography, we never quite know what to expect from a new record, but at the core there will likely be a substantial amount of noise and fuzz, often arranged in multiple layers.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 09 February 2021

The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes - ...are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings (Album Review)

Photo: Joseph Yarmush After a year dominated by a killer virus it’s probably justified to welcome an album based around death with a sense of scorn and discontent. But to do so in the face of the Besnard Lakes’ sixth studio effort ‘The Besnard Lakes are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings’ would be a colossal mistake.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 05 February 2021

Goat Girl

Goat Girl - On All Fours (Album Review)

Photo: Holly Whittaker South London indie band Goat Girl produced a grounded post-punk debut back in 2018. Now, with Speedy Wunderground maestro Dan Carey on production duty, they have taken up psychedelia to portray both a broken world and a utopian vision.

Written by: Matty Pywell | Date: Wednesday, 03 February 2021

Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams (Album Review)

‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ is a stunning debut. Possessing a voice that is strikingly beautiful and quietly bold, here Londoner Arlo Parks shines. Riding a wave of hype and early-career critical praise, she has delivered a batch of songs that ensure such attention will continue to grow. 

Written by: Rebecca Llewellyn | Date: Tuesday, 02 February 2021

Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson - The Future Bites (Album Review)

When Steven Wilson’s last solo album, 2017’s ‘To the Bone’, posed the very real threat of topping the UK charts, there was an explosion of press buzz that led to a rather unsavoury moniker. “The most successful British musician most people have never heard of,” became a common phrase in the papers. It was bizarre, because the LP the ex-Porcupine Tree star was promoting would soon break the top five in eight countries.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Monday, 01 February 2021

You Me At Six

You Me at Six - SUCKAPUNCH (Album Review)

Photo: Daniel Harris The charts are always welcoming to a rousing, anthemic banger, and You Me at Six know that all too well. The Surrey quartet's seventh LP ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ is a charged and provocative album perfectly suited to achieving that goal.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Thursday, 28 January 2021

Kiwi Jr

Kiwi Jr. - Cooler Returns (Album Review)

Indie-rock is full of carefully disguised traps designed to ensnare posers and almost-there tribute acts: bands can be too clever, or too dumb, sound too much like their influences, or sound too little like themselves after a couple of records. By accident or design Kiwi Jr. stray into these crosshairs all the time, but whenever the moment to pull the trigger strikes they ricochet off into some other thing entirely.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Lande Hekt

Lande Hekt - Going to Hell (Album Review)

‘Going to Hell’, the debut solo LP from Lande Hekt, displays all of the songwriting nous that has made her one of the most reliable practitioners in UK punk with her band, Muncie Girls. Melodically savvy and scalpel-sharp lyrically, she has transferred that skillset neatly to a batch of songs that skew gauzy and reserved in comparison to the chunky power chords of her day job.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Monday, 25 January 2021

Rhye

Rhye - Home (Album Review)

Photo: Emma Marie Jenkinson For Rhye’s fourth full-length album, Canadian singer-songwriter Mike Milosh has leant into dreamy disco, delivering a record of effervescent melodies and sticky beats. It’s a good LP that manages to be versatile and listenable despite never quite achieving liftoff.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 22 January 2021

Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs (Album Review)

If there’s one word that encapsulates Sleaford Mods’ ‘Spare Ribs’, it’s ‘bleak.’ A 21st century plague has intensified the worst qualities of this island and in case this wasn’t kick-in-the-balls obvious, vocalist Jason Williamson plainly spells it out for us in his characteristic Midlands sprechgesang. 

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Emma Ruth Rundle

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - The Helm of Sorrow (Album Review)

In June 2018, esoteric label Sacred Bones began its Alliance Series: an ongoing adventure involving two unrelated labelmates banding together and seeing what manner of unpredictability they can cook up. The range began when noise-rock enigmas Uniform and the Body joined forces for the acerbic ‘Mental Wounds Not Healing’. 

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Shame

Shame - Drunk Tank Pink (Album Review)

The bug-eyed intensity of Shame’s breakthrough is the sort that can be weathered by time, and set upon by the mundanity of everyday life. They confront that reality on their second album, ‘Drunk Tank Pink’, in a manner that suggests they will never be a group for whom half measures will suffice.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Monday, 18 January 2021

Kacy and Clayton

Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams Plastic Bouquet (Album Review)

Photo: Janelle Wallace Collaboration is a complex process, even between artists who share a mutual admiration for one another. But on ‘Plastic Bouquet’, the Canadian retro-country duo Kacy & Clayton combine with silken-voiced Kiwi artist Marlon Williams to startling effect. They play off one another with lived-in certainty and a mode of melodic expression that feels as though it has been beamed into the present day from a radio station stuck in the early 1960s.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2021

 
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