Tag Archives: album review

Case/Lang/Veirs – Case/Lang/Veirs (Nonesuch)

neko-case-kd-lang-laura-veirs-case-lang-veirs-supergroup-atomic-number-new-album-listen-640x640-640x640This self titled collaboration between Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs is a coherent, harmony laden surprise that plays to each members strengths while still managing to forge a group identity over it’s 14 tracks. Continue reading

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Felice Brothers – Life in the Dark (Yep Roc)

FeliceBrothers_LifeInTheDark_COVERThe wonderful Felice Brothers (2 real and several ‘adopted’) are back again, and the world is better for it.  Bringing with them is their own fairy tale version of America, a place that can no longer exist in this bitter world of shopping mall terrorism and the shakier foundations of a country bleeding pus in the Trump-era.   Continue reading

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Kongos – Egomaniac (Epic)

Kongos EgomaniacKongos are a family affair.  Brothers, in fact – the four sons of South African Sixties rocker John Kongos, who’s best known for his 1971 top 10 hit single, He’s Gonna Step on You Again.  Yes, the very song that was remade in the 90’s by Manc tripsters Happy Mondays (re-labelled Step On).   Continue reading

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The Gotobeds – Blood//Sugar//Secs/Traffic (Sub Pop)

gotobeds-bsst-900Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic is The Gotobeds’ sophomore album, and their first album released through Sub Pop Records. The album title sassily throws some shade at the Red Hot Chili Peppers, announcing pretty clearly that even though they’re continuing to break out of Philly, they’re not here for your rock star bullshit okay? The follow-up to their 2014 debut album Poor People Are Revolting does what The Gotobeds do best, jumbling the juvenile with the intellectual in a tour de force of ruckus, with varying amounts of structure. However, enjoyable as Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic can be, it’s reliance on its influences stifles creativity, plenty of pith not enough vision. Continue reading

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Broods – Conscious (Capitol)

broods-consciousTheoretically, I should like Broods, as I find the glittery grime and smart smaltz of  synth pop appealing. Like all genres, it has its tropes- artists such as Eurythmics, CHVRCHES, Phantogram, and Purity Ring have all created fantastic albums that are exercises in aural chiaroscuro. Each of these bands have the commonality of darkly angular beats colliding and intertwining with sweetly pure vocals. However, be it through something as simple as a rhythm change or as deep as lyrical content, each of these aforementioned bands have managed to maintain a sense of musical individuality. Continue reading

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Air – TwentyYears (Warners)

Air Twenty YearsNicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel are more than just the hippest foreign exchange students in the dorm.  Air’s clever hybrid of downbeat electronic, 1960s pop, and Gallic kitsch is in it’s own helium bubble of coolness.  Always has been.  And they’ve brought us all along for the ride, re-introducing us to long out of style musicians like Serge Gainsbourg, the antic electronic experimenters Perrey and Kingsley, the evergreen loungemeister Burt Bacharach, and synth wizard Tomita. Hell, they made skivvies and polonecks cool – if worn with a tweed jacket and good quality nylon beige slacks – ‘sansabelt’ and ‘action gusset’ compulsory.  Continue reading

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Jake Bugg — On My One (Virgin/EMI Records)

Jake-Bugg-On-My-One-500x500There’s a very fine line between an artist on the one hand evolving and on the other completely reinventing himself. On My One is the sound of Jake Bugg straddling that line, to intriguing effect. Continue reading

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Motörhead – Clean Your Clock (Warners)

Motorhead Clean Your ClockLemmy Kilmister’s untimely death left a huge hole the music world, that’s for sure.   Since I first saw them playing Ace of Spades on an episode of The Young Ones they’ve been a  joy to behold.  With his handle bar moustache, warts and high tilted mic and hard drinking, womanising grunt machine Lemmy was the sort rocker every 13 boy wanted to be.  In his late years he hadn’t changed a bit, perfectly preserved in the formaldehyde of the late 70’s metal. He was unique alright, with a larger-than-life persona who had legions of fans and friends.  This album is more than a testament to all that. Continue reading

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Helen Henderson – London (Ranui)

Helen Henderson LondonHelen who?  If you’re scratching your head, you’re not the only one.  Like many ex-pat Kiwis, Helen Henderson is one of those who’s lived life of a unique and enviable moments.  She’s now LA based but originally grew up in the Deep South. She’s best known for her album The Sonora Sessions, an urban country affair which came out in the early 2000’s and the dark but catchy Twisting Wind, recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Her music career has taken her to many places but it was her first big OE, in the late 1970’s, when she arrived in London with $20 in her pocket and a dream in heart, as the saying goes, that set it all going.  This month the songstress prepares to release an album of original songs material written and initially recorded between 1978 and 1980, when as a wide-eyed Invercargill teenager she first set foot in Old Blighty. Continue reading

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Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway (Warners)

red-hot-chili-peppers-the-getaway-ltdWhat do we expect from a new Red Hot Chili Peppers album? Boundless jumpy energy, heavy funk rock, with a beat you can mosh too? Well, if those are your expectations, then your frame of reference for RHCP is at least ten years out of date. Consider the following: The median age of a Red Hot Chili Pepper is 53. Guitar freak John Frusciante bowed out of the band over five years ago. Loudness producer Rick Rubin has been replaced by coolness producer Danger Mouse. Did you really expect their new material to be a harkening back to Blood Sugar Sex Magik? Continue reading

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M83 – Junk (Pod)

M83-Junk1Creatively speaking, it is rare that anything happens in isolation. Nostalgia, the desire to relive a moment, an aesthetic, a way of thinking, has ebbed and flowed throughout history. The last fifteen years or so, the indie music landscape has been largely indebted to the music of the past, as countless bands have referenced a myriad of genres and styles to mixed effect.  Anthony Gonzalez of French synth pop band M83 has made an entire career out of crafting well-textured delightfully nostalgic gems. Continue reading

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BRONCHO – Double Vanity (Dine Alone)

broncho“Doo, doo, doot-doot-doot-doot”

You may have heard these “lyrics” from Class Historian, BRONCHO’s catchy indie single from 2014. It’s one of those tracks that weasels into your brain, leaving you humming it throughout your day till you arrive at the point where you begin to hate it, but don’t let that soil your view of BRONCHO. Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma, the quartet has continued to develop their increasingly interesting sound of avant-garde garage rock (if that can be considered a thing) into something definitely worth your time. With almost non-stop touring through the years, BRONCHO has opened for bands ranging from Social Distortion to Cage the Elephant to Billy Idol. Continue reading

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (Flightless)

Nonagon-Infinity-itunes-4000x4000-640x640Nonagon Infinity has been crafted to be an album that can be played as an infinite loop. Pretty good for a band whose name will tongue tie you just trying to say it. Continue reading

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Methyl Ethel – Inhuman Spectacle (4AD)

Methyl EthelLike fellow Aussie psychedelic dream poppers Tame Impala, Methyl Ethel hail from Perth and mine similar territory on their debut Inhuman Spectacle. If anything, they are a bit more downbeat and less poppy than their Western Australian compadres. Continue reading

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Strange Little Birds – Garbage (Liberator)

Garbage Strange Little BirdsIt’s as if they never stopped – as if 4 years has passed like a flash since their comeback album Not Your Kind of People.  Irish dark femme Shirley Manson, drummer Butch Vig, bassist and guitarist Duke Erickson and guitarist Steve Marker pick it up where they left off setting up the tone for Garbage’s sixth album, Strange Little Birds Continue reading

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