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Porridge Radio

Porridge Radio - Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky (Album Review)

Having made it their business to explore a wide range of the emotions that exist on the human spectrum, Brighton-founded indie outfit Porridge Radio are no strangers when it comes to expressing themselves through music. 

Written by: Rebecca Llewellyn | Date: Thursday, 26 May 2022

Harry Styles

Harry Styles - Harry's House (Album Review)

How many truly global pop stars has the UK produced in the past 10 years? Ed Sheeran is one, Adele is another and you can certainly make a case for Dua Lipa.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Bears Den

Bear's Den - Blue Hours (Album Review)

Photo: Bennie Curnow The major driver behind Bear’s Den’s fourth album ‘Blue Hours’ is depression. Both Andrew Davie and Kevin Jones have suffered recently, and acknowledge the stigma and reluctance to speak out about mental health, a particular issue among men. ‘Blue Hours’ is a reference to an “imaginary space you get into at night” to “process difficult things”—it is awash with lyrical torment but the songs are stunning and strangely uplifting.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Cave In

Cave In - Heavy Pendulum (Album Review)

Photo: Jay Zucco You’d be forgiven for thinking 2019’s ‘Final Transmission’ was exactly that for metal visionaries Cave In following the loss of bassist Caleb Scofield. Thankfully, that wasn’t to be the case. On their first proper studio recording since 2009 they deliver plenty of what made fans fall in love with the band in the first place, as well as offering a memorial of sorts to their late bandmate.

Written by: Will Marshall | Date: Monday, 23 May 2022

The Waterboys

The Waterboys - All Souls Hill (Album Review)

There’s something not right when an artist can burst onto the scene almost 40 years ago and then disappear without actually going anywhere. Logistically, Mike Scott may have gone from Scotland to Ireland but he’s still churning out music with The Waterboys, and there’s a whole cache of it available from after their 1980s heyday. ‘All Souls Hill’ takes his albums, including solo efforts, into the late teens, but how many of them do you know? Criminally, it’s likely to be few.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 20 May 2022

The Black Keys

The Black Keys - Dropout Boogie (Album Review)

Photo: Jim Herrington The Black Keys’ 11th studio album ‘Dropout Boogie’ picks up where their covers LP ‘Delta Kream’ left off: entrenched in a classic rock ‘n’ roll sound as opposed to the more expressive ‘Turn Blue’ and even ‘El Camino’. Within their portfolio, this means the vibe points firmly towards rekindling the sound of the band's early records ‘Rubber Factory’ and ‘Thickfreakness’.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 19 May 2022

The Smile

The Smile - A Light For Attracting Attention (Album Review)

Photo: Alex Lake Things in Radiohead land take time. The five members are releasing albums less and less frequently, pursuing solo albums and side-projects before they (hopefully) one day return to their acclaimed band.

Written by: Tom Morgan | Date: Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Florence and the Machine

Florence + the Machine - Dance Fever (Album Review)

Photo: Autumn de Wilde When you witness Florence Welch pirouetting around the stage like a woman possessed, it’s immediately apparent such expressive dramatics are being driven by a deeper, more profound force. The singer’s performances have always been fuelled by a roiling internal narrative, something she explores in savage detail throughout this unflinching and revealing song cycle.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (Album Review)

Photo: Renell Medrano Few artists are immune to the odd blunder or downturn in form, but there are a select few who are seemingly unable to produce anything besides sheer brilliance. Kendrick Lamar’s latest, the often staggeringly impressive ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’, offers further evidence of his membership in this elite club.

Written by: Tom Morgan | Date: Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Halestorm

Halestorm - Back From The Dead (Album Review)

Imagine, if you will, that someone managed to bottle every last drop of anger, frustration, uncertainty and fear from the last few years. Halestorm have then downed that volatile brew and immediately stormed into the recording studio, making a take-no-prisoners fifth album that, but for a few drunken wobbles, unleashes a barrage of anthemic pop-metal that screams catharsis from every note.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 16 May 2022

Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby - This Is A Photograph (Album Review)

Kevin Morby’s latest album comes from a place of uncertainty. Having watched his father collapse at dinner earlier in the day, the singer-songwriter found himself flicking through photos in the basement of his family home. His father recovered, but this jarring moment sparked the examination of life and death found throughout ‘This Is A Photograph’.

Written by: Matty Pywell | Date: Friday, 13 May 2022

Pink Mountaintops

Pink Mountaintops - Peacock Pools (Album Review)

Photo: Laura Pleasants Pink Mountaintops’ fifth LP is a product of the pandemic, with the conveyor belt of creativity caused by lockdown showing no sign of letting up just yet. The band has long been an outlet for Stephen McBean, who has a foot in two camps thanks to his ongoing work in Black Mountain. The difference between the two projects is generally reflected in Pink Mountaintops’ electronic experimentation running clear of Black Mountain’s rock roots. On ‘Peacock Pools’ those differences are cranked up.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 12 May 2022

Warpaint

Warpaint - Radiate Like This (Album Review)

Photo: Mia Kirby It is hard to maintain friendships over decades. Outlooks and priorities change, while the world moves around you, picking things up and putting them down in inconvenient places. It’s little wonder, perhaps, that Warpaint took six years to record their fourth studio album, moulding and crafting a release that develops their 2010s art-indie sound into something that feels fresh and contemporary.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson - A Beautiful Time (Album Review)

If any of us are fortunate enough to reach the grand old age of 89, we probably won’t be producing a late stage beauty of a record that, exuding heartfelt reflection and nostalgic recollection, imparts sage lessons as it embraces the inevitable journey into the next life.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten - We've Been Going About This All Wrong (Album Review)

Photo: Michael Schmelling Life-changing events can bring both joy and trauma in equal measures. Sharon Van Etten’s music has long investigated emotional extremes and her wonderful sixth album ‘We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong’ is driven by changes in circumstance and simmering hurt.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Soft Cell

Soft Cell - *Happiness Not Included (Album Review)

Music often needs to be understood on its own terms. You probably wouldn’t appreciate grime in a Buddhist temple, for example, nor would happy hardcore make a lot of sense at a funeral—there are semiotic codes to be considered and respected. That brings us to British synth duo Soft Cell, who are back with their first album in 20 years and their first tour since their ‘farewell’ gig at London’s O2 in 2018. Where do they fit?

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire - We (Album Review)

Photo: María José Govea Having been critical darlings throughout their career, Arcade Fire found themselves coming unstuck with the reception to their last LP ‘Everything Now’ in 2017. Win Butler has spoken of the response fitting a script: one that paints a picture of their greatness faltering before a comeback. In this story, ‘We’ is that return to form.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 09 May 2022

Toro Y Moi

Toro y Moi - Mahal (Album Review)

The seventh studio album from Toro y Moi, the chillwave producer and performer also known as Chaz Bear, has been five years in the making. ‘Mahal’ is a smooth cruise through the psychelia of the 1970s and ‘80s with stop-offs at skronky surf, yacht rock and bassy funk. In many ways, it’s a success.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 06 May 2022

Bloc Party

Bloc Party - Alpha Games (Album Review)

Photo: Wunmi Onibudo Bloc Party’s sixth LP ‘Alpha Games’ is one where Kele Okereke has attempted to write about “people in extreme situations making extreme choices”. He also claims to have ventured into new realms with his lyricism, and there is some truth to that even if this is a record inspired by a brave musical outlook that doesn’t always deliver the goods.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 06 May 2022

Kirk Hammett

Kirk Hammett - Portals EP (Album Review)

Photo: Ross Halfin It’s no secret that Kirk Hammett’s contributions to Metallica have been micromanaged for years amid the band’s mix of domineering personalities and  regimented work, but with every element of this debut solo EP under the guitarist’s assured command, he’s revealed an ability to spin dynamic stories through impressive compositional choices that bring his epic, cinematic visions to life.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 05 May 2022

 
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