Monday, 30 May 2011

Review #32: Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde

I really wish I had written 'Dye It Blonde'.
It shows that there still are bands out there who diverge far away from the mainstream and play music that they like playing. Glamrock really is glamorous when the 'Smith Westerns' make an album. It's not your usual glamor, but its perhaps better than diamonds and money. It's natural glamor. You know, the natural, amazing guitar riffs that these genii create. 'Weekend' has one of the best riffs I have ever heard, but it is the end of the album that shows the bands true flair.
There isn't much more to say really. Listen to it. It is wonderous!

Best Tracks: 'End Of The Night', 'Only One', 'Smile'


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Review #31: Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

This is a beautiful piece of music. It is no wonder that bands such as 'Fleet Foxes' or 'Mumford And Sons' have become huge. It is purely because they seep talent from their veins!
'Helplessness Blues' clearly shows how 'Fleet Foxes really aren't one trip ponies and they are here to continue making music that is as beautiful and effortless as it gets.
But. And this is a big but.
They haven't gone anywhere since the first album. It sounds exactly the same as 'Fleet Foxes'. The lyrics, the chord sequences, the riffs... Need I go on? Its not that I have a problem with this, it's that I would have hoped to see some progress in the way that they band approach the music. However, I very much respect the way they are completely about the music, with it being their only focus.

Best Tracks: 'Montezuma', 'Battery Kinzie', 'Grown Ocean'


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Review #30: Times New Viking - Dancer Equired

Well, that was weird...
I am still not entirely sure what I just experienced. It seemed to be a man, and a woman, singing over each other. That is right isn't it? Did they have any songs before they entered the studio. Maybe it's improvised. Yes! That must be it.
Well done 'Times New Viking'. Wonderful improvised album.
I do hope it is improvised or I, and them, will be looking very silly right now.

Best Tracks: Any. Each one is just as weird as the next.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Review #29: Airborne Toxic Event - All At Once

Another one for the landfill site? I think so!
This has absolutely nothing on their stunning debut. 'The Airborne Toxic Event' is one of my favorite unsung albums, and I still regularly listen to it two years after its release.
'All At Once' on the other hand is not very good at all. His slightly out of tune voice in the first record was beautiful. It is what I felt made the record that much better. However, on their second outing his voice seems to have got more out of tune and it really doesn't work. He still has a distinctive voice, but not for a good reason anymore.
It seems that the best songs on the album are those that are either very similar to the tracks on their first record or the numbers that are very different like 'Welcome To Your Wedding Day'. The majority of the album, however, seems as if they have created a record whilst they have become stuck half way through 'Changing' into their new selves as their song suggests. Or maybe this is what they were going for, and the song 'Half Of Something Else' describes this.
I cannot say I would recommend this to anyone. Go listen to their debut.

Best Tracks: 'All For A Woman', 'Welcome To Your Wedding Day', 'Half Of Something Else'


Review #28: Dutch Uncles - Cadenza

This album doesn't deserve the hype it has been getting.
It is a good album; 'Candenza' is a wonderful opener and a great single, but the album as a whole just doesn't do it for me. The tracks don't seem connected, with no strong underlying message, which is the idea I got that they were trying to put forward through the album.
So, basically I understood that they were trying to get a message across, but I didn't understand what the message was.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Review #27: The Wombats - This Modern Glitch

So. I have been waiting, what? 3 years for this? Good job its amazing isn't it!
Matthew Murphy can write a song. He can write many. Each as good as the rest. Which is exactly what album number two shows for the Liverpudlians/Norwegian.
'This Modern Glitch' is made of 10 tracks that are probably some of the catchiest songs you will ever hear. Each track could easily have been a charting single, and the genius of 'Murph's' synth riffs astound me.
'I'm a man of simple taste no whiskey or caviar' and 'Take me as I am, or not at all'. The lyrics easily compare to that of the 'Arctic Monkeys', with every word being magical.
The only problem with the album is that there are only 10 songs!


Monday, 16 May 2011

Review #26: Metronomy - The English Riviera

I'm still not entirely sure I like this album yet. I find it almost haunting. The pure simplicity of it being simple amazes me.
When the album started I immediately thought that I was going to have to give it a bad review, as i felt it was a very weak start. However, it grew on me as I progressed through the tracks, almost when I didn't want it to and by the time I reached track 4, 'The Look', I was completely captured in the sound. I felt that this was the pinnacle of the album, and the point where the album's meaning became blurred. I'll let you make your own mind up on its meaning, but it's a decent record.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Review #25: Jamie Woon - Mirrorwriting

Post-dubstep seems to be having the effect dubstep had on lazy people. 'Jamie woon', like 'James Blake', has really taken the new style with both hands, and songs like 'Lady Luck' could perhaps be some of the best the genre will ever see.
'Mirrorwriting' is a wonderful piece of work, which was a huge surprise, as I saw Jamie supporting 'La Roux' last year, and I wasn't impressed. Perhaps the genre doesn't work live, or that he has really improved in the meantime, but this really impressed me.
One of my favorite elements of his work are the lyrics. 'Walked when I shoulda ran. Ran when I shoulda walked.' are brilliantly simple, yet effective, which is the element that the whole album radiates.


Monday, 9 May 2011

Review #24: The Pigeon Detectives - UP, GUARDS AND AT 'EM!

Oh, my beloved pigeons. Where have you gone?
You cannot really get more landfill indie than this. It seems it seems as if they have put no effort into it, almost as if they thought their first two albums were good enough, and released this because they were bored. Probably just as bored as I am reviewing it.
Anyone see the game last night? Good wasn't it. Was quite enjoyable I must admit.


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Review #23: Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes

What a pleasant surprise. I was expecting some hardcore techno, or some weird spiritual music looking at the cover, but inside i got this relaxing blend of just about everything. They do say you should never trust an LP by its cover art. Don't they? Anyway this is tremendous. Faris Badwan has outdone himself and created a new band that is just as good as 'The Horrors'. There are of course elements of the horrors in the music, but it still sounds completely fresh.
I had the feeling that I was listening to the soundtrack of 'The Never Ending Story' as it seemed like some fantastical story.
A truly brilliant effort. Every second was a wonderful surprise.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Review #22: The Human League - Credo

No one told me 'The Human League' were back. But part of me wishes I hadn't found out. I can only imagibe how good those 'Human League' eighties days were, and I'm sorry, but they are over hyped if this was similar to what they were like.
It just doesn't catch you in the way 'Dare' does, especially with 'Don't You Want Me'. There is no stand out track on 'Credo' that makes you think 'Woah!, they've still got it'. It's more of 'Okay, what's next', it keeps you wanting more, but that's because there wasn't enough there in the first place.


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Review #21: Glasvegas - EUPHORIC///HEARTBREAK\\\

This is beauty in music.
This album had such an affect on me it is unbelievable. I sat in silence for an hour afterwards, not even moving. The lyrics (when you can understand them) are truly enchanting. 'Heartbreak, I'm not holding your hand anymore, Why cant you understand?'. Anyone who can write words like that deserves some sort of award. James Allen's voice, albeit impossible to understand, has something mystical about it.
The best track on the album is 'Dream Dream Dreaming'. The transition into it from 'Stronger Than Dirt' is wonderfully archaic compared to the rest of the album. 'There will be no holding back, now I'll tell you a feeling, Tonight when I see you, When I'm dream dream dreaming'. James Allen said in a recent interview that the album is 'Like A Dream', and I am very strongly inclined to agree with him.
The Irony of 'Euphoria, Take My Hand' and the lyrical genius of 'The World Is Yours' are the other highlights of the album.
But despite all this. It was the final words of the record that hit the hardest. James' mother telling his son 'But before you change for me, Change for you'. I think it is clear to see that Glasvegas have created one of the best albums of this decade at least, and this should get the recognition it deserves. Beautiful.


Monday, 2 May 2011

Review #20: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

What a horrible album. It just makes you want to leave the room. And cry.
And what are the lyrics! 'You look so hard in fishnets and leather'. What. I mean... What!
I'm sorry. This cannot be anyone's type of music. Surely no one can enjoy this, can they?
The one decent song on the album 'Heart In Your Heartbreak' is completely ruined by the vocals. How could any record company let this be released? It must be self released. I'll look now.
It's not!
Slumberland! Get new artists.


Review #19: Panic! At The Disco - Vices And Virtues

The '!' is back, and half the members left, including the main lyricist, leaving just the drummer and Urie. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, somehow, they have managed to create a rather impressive album.
Whether it's luck, or that they are actually talented. I don't know. But I'm not complaining. It was a very good hour of my life.
The first track 'The Ballad Of Mona Lisa' is very very very good. Almost too good. It's a song about everyone having that bit of evil inside them, and you get that feel from the rest if the record too. It's a completely different outlook to 'Pretty Odd', which had the feeling of lightness, and carefree about it. But this opposite view, works just as well.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Review #18: Cage The Elephant - Thank You Happy Birthday

Oooh, this is proper angry music. Properly angry now. Gets your blood boiling. I love it. Listening to it just makes you want to punch something. 'Indy Kidz' especially. Really, really.... wow.
I'm literally speechless. Compared to their debut, this is so much better, and 'Cage The Elephant' was a good album. It's not hardcore screaming or anything like that. It's the mixture of the mental vocals, that sound like he's take 40 paracetamol and his liver has just exploded, so he just shouts occasionally, and the awesome riffs lining every song.
However, you do get the occasional calm song like 'Shake Me Down' which is actually musically really quite clever.
So here we have an angry band with some musicality. They should be pleased with themselves. It's no wonder this got to No.2 in the American album charts. America is clearly an angry country.


Review #17: The Strokes - Angles

I think you would agree with me in saying that the strokes sat down one day, and said to each other 'Fancy making another album?'
And with that, they made another album. A good one at that.
It's no 'Is This It', but It's better than their other attempts. I don't think they wanted to go back to their roots. They just wanted to make a decent album people would listen too, that they enjoyed creating. Of course I may be completely wrong and compared to what they wanted, this album is as useful as a rubber duck made of francium. What do I know?
It is a good listen though, they have clearly taken time over it, as it has a good quality finish to their sound, and they play some pretty good riffs too. Have a listen. Why not?