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Mass Gothic

Mass Gothic - I've Tortured You Long Enough (Album Review)

Photo: Addison Post Mass Gothic. ‘I’ve Tortured You Long Enough’. Sounds like the project of some perpetually sad emo band, doesn’t it? On the contrary - this is dirty, guitar-driven synth-pop at its finest.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Thursday, 06 September 2018

Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog (Album Review)

Named after an ominous volcano near Seattle, while acting as a tribute to the music scene that shot them to prominence in the early 1990s, ‘Rainier Fog’ is Alice In Chains’ third record since reforming after the death of frontman Layne Staley in 2002. Erupting with flavours old and new, it’s a classy effort that demonstrates exactly what master craftsmanship looks like. So why is it difficult to shake the feeling something’s missing?

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 06 September 2018

Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed? (Album Review)

Photo: Jonathan Weiner Perhaps we place too much stock in being surprised - or at least in the pursuit of something shiny and new to entertain us - because we often laud ambition and apparent boundary-pushing at the expense of craft. After all, why should we be impressed by the execution of dog-eared blueprints?

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 05 September 2018

Interpol

Interpol - Marauder (Album Review)

Photo: Jamie-James Medina Having dispensed with the anagrams following the release of the excellent ‘El Pintor’ four years ago, Interpol’s sixth album ‘Marauder’ is the subject of a production shift. Not since 2007’s ‘Our Love To Admire’ have they employed an outside producer, so it’s somewhat surprising to find Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, the Flaming Lips) at the helm here.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 04 September 2018

The Kooks

The Kooks - Let's Go Sunshine (Album Review)

Photo: Andrew Whitton The UK indie boom of the early noughties produced some genuinely great bands, with Arctic Monkeys, the Libertines and Bloc Party all exploding onto the scene. Many of them are still going strong today, having maintained at least some semblance of cultural relevance and commercial success.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Monday, 03 September 2018

Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing - Indigo (Album Review)

‘Indigo’ is the fourth album from L.A.-based dream pop troubadour Jack Tatum as Wild Nothing and it comprises 11 skilfully written tracks that directly ape ‘70s and ‘80s British art rock - in particular Roxy Music.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 31 August 2018

Dan Owen

Dan Owen - Stay Awake With Me (Album Review)

Courtesy of a period that saw commercially-minded, and often painfully bland, singer-songwriters dominating the airwaves, the very label is enough to inspire a healthy amount of cynicism these days. But Dan Owen’s debut album is a stellar example of how the genre can, in the right hands, be both radio friendly and artistically satisfying.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 30 August 2018

The Lemon Twigs

The Lemon Twigs - Go To School (Album Review)

Rock operas are a risky business. If you pull it off, maybe with your own ‘Tommy’ or ‘Quadrophenia’, you’re forever heralded as a genius. If you fail, and produce something as aimless as it is pointless, you’re marked for the rest of your career as something of an overblown bore. Well, the Lemon Twigs have accepted the challenge. And in true Twigs fashion, it’s completely and utterly bananas.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Thursday, 30 August 2018

White Denim

White Denim - Performance (Album Review)

Photo: Pooneh Ghana The late summer bank holiday is gone and the leaves are beginning to brown. It’s a time for reflection and calmness before we drag ourselves into the long autumnal evening.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Justice

Justice - Woman Worldwide (Album Review)

It's hard to shake the feeling Justice have become victims of their own success. The French house duo's debut '†' felt perfectly timed when it dropped back in 2007, its combination of fist-pumping hooks and chunky synth lines announcing them as natural heirs to Daft Punk's throne. 

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Trevor Powers

Trevor Powers - Mulberry Violence (Album Review)

Photo: Chris Schoonover As Youth Lagoon, Trevor Powers released three albums of neo-psychedelia embellished by indie flourishes and experimental Americana. Having shed that persona, the Idaho musician is back with ‘Mulberry Violence’, an album of distinctive colour and textuality that operates as a kind of soundscape-happening along the lines of Arca, Perfume Genius and - at a pinch - Anohni.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie - Thank You For Today (Album Review)

First, some housekeeping. ‘Thank You For Today’ is Death Cab For Cutie’s first recording without guitarist and producer Chris Walla, which is something that could have hung heavy over the release. But to his bandmates’ credit his departure, and the addition of Dave Depper and Zac Rae to the line up, hasn’t sent things into a skid. Here the indie-rock lifers have newfound energy and, as a result, their ninth album is by and large an uplifting experience.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Friday, 24 August 2018

Mitski

Mitski - Be The Cowboy (Album Review)

Photo: Bao Ngo In a recent interview, Spike Lee pushed back on a question about his new film, BlacKkKlansman, being a comedy. “It’s not a comedy,” he said. “[...] it’s not a new phenomenon to have humour in very serious subject matter.”

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 23 August 2018

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - Sweetener (Album Review)

‘Sweetener’ is a 15 track, pop-centric fourth album from Ariana Grande. While no direct reference is made to the events or emotions she experienced following the bombing at her Manchester concert in the spring of last year, here she stands as a mature woman characterised by strength and self-confidence. What resonates is a sense of calm.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Mac Miller

Mac Miller - Swimming (Album Review)

Few artists have managed to pivot as effectively as rapper and producer Mac Miller, at least in the eyes of his peers. The Pittsburgh-born up-and-comer's 2011 debut 'Blue Slide Park', a hipster-friendly party rap album in the vein of Asher Roth, was as disposable as it was inoffensive.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Slaves

Slaves - Acts of Fear and Love (Album Review)

Whether it’s because they’ve pricked the ears of primetime Radio 1 DJs, or because they’ve signed to one of the biggest record labels in the world, or because their songs spout trite counterculture messages, the likes of which any 16-year-old has already heard too many times, Slaves always come across as punk-lite. It’s been said that they’re punk for those who don’t really know what punk is, and their new record, ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, proves that maxim still rings true.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Oh Sees

Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (Album Review)

On their 21st full length album, ‘Smote Reverser’, John Dwyer’s constantly evolving gang have served up a psych-rock record of head-banging machismo. As on 2017’s ‘Orc’ - also released under the Oh Sees banner - he has employed the dual drumming unit of Paul Quattrone and Dan Rincon, with frenetic, thrilling results.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 20 August 2018

Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana - Rituals (Album Review)

The intro to Deaf Havana’s ‘Rituals’ is a short ambient piece called Wake but, in truth, they might well have kicked things off with John Williams’ ominous theme music from the film Jaws. Having turned their back on everything that made them one of Britain’s finest young bands, the five piece have totally and utterly jumped the shark here.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 20 August 2018

Jake Shears

Jake Shears - Jake Shears (Album Review)

Photo: Greg Gorman Jake Shears’ debut solo record is a sprawling smorgasbord of musical flavours that should remind listeners of his band-leading and songwriting expertise. It’s an album bristling with confidence and brio that develops on his work with Scissor Sisters while isolating and identifying Shears’ own distinctive voice.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 16 August 2018

Miles Kane

Miles Kane - Coup de Grace (Album Review)

No matter how much Miles Kane might like to think of himself as a solo act, the fact remains that he’s always struggled to emerge from the shadows of his more revered pals. He’s scored two number one albums with The Last Shadow Puppets, but those have to be viewed in the context of Alex Turner’s contributions. Of his own material, how much do you remember aside from a couple of chanty singalongs?

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Wednesday, 15 August 2018

 
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