Thursday, 30 June 2011

Review #50: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

I struggle to find faults with the 'Arctic Monkeys'. They really are at the top of the game, and they have been ever since their 2006 debut 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'. But now we are in 2011 and 'Suck It And See' is far away from their early records.
If you take their first LP as one end of the spectrum and 'Humbug' as the other end, 'Suck It And See' fits slap bang in the middle. It mixes the energy that 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' had, and the dark beauty that was 'Humbug'. 'Don't Sit Down 'Cause Ive Moved Your Chair' is such a great track. The opening riff brings back memories of 'Crying Lightning' and when the full sound kicks in, 'Favorite Worst Nightmare' is brought to mind. I really believe that 'Suck It And See' is a large amalgamation of everything the 'Arctic Monkeys' have released previously.
However, there are a few elements that have never previously been seen inside an 'Arctic Monkeys' CD. The first is perhaps the melodies that Alex Turner blares out. 'Black Treacle' and 'Brick By Brick' are melodically brilliant tracks and show just how much a band can change in as little as 5 years. Perhaps fueled by his recent solo outing on the 'Submarine OST',  these are easily some of the standout tracks of the album.
But perhaps the more surprising change is the almost summer feel to some of the songs. 'Hellcat Spangled Shalalala' wouldn't be out of place on a beach in the Bahamas and 'Reckless Serenade' isn't too far behind it.
One thing that hasn't changed is most definitely Alex's ability to write lyrics. 'Her steady hands may well have done the devils pedicure'. They aren't just waffle like the majority of band's lyrics these days. They mean something. They mean a lot. Alex seems to be able to craft words into anything he wants to. His lyrics are almost poetry, which he references in the track 'Suck It And See' with 'I poured my aching heart into a pop song, I couldn't get the hang of poetry'. It seems that writing lyrics come as easily as breathing does to the Sheffield frontman. Even lines such as 'Library pictures of the quickening canoe' are clearly deep and meaningful lines, even as ambiguous as they are.
Yes, the 'Arctic Monkeys' matured for 'Humbug', but here is when they become seriously good.

Best Tracks: 'Black Treacle', 'Library Pictures', 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'


Next Review: Tom Vek - Leisure Seizure

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Review #49: Le Butcherettes - Sin Sin Sin

Who are they again? Le Butcherettes? Well, they are very good.
I would say, that if 'Paramore' were a good band, then this is very much what they would sound like. With their in your face vocals, the in your face melodies, and the in your face drum beats. It is quite in your face.
Though this isn't a bad thing. Having this hard exterior means 'Le Butcherettes' can really display their strength through music. They get straight to the point with what they have to say and tracks such as 'I'm Getting Sick Of You' and 'All You See In Me Is Death' highlight this factor of their music. It is almost as if 'Le Butcherettes' have an element of surprise, yet you know exactly what is round the corner!

Best Tracks: 'Henry Don't Got Love', 'The Leibniz Language', 'I'm Getting Sick Of You'


Next Review: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Vanguard #2: The Heartbreaks

I disagree with the 2003 book 'Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places To Live In Britain'. Putting Morcambe at number 3 was a silly idea. Clearly, they should have waited a few years for 'The Heartbreaks' to come along, and take Morcambe off the list.
However rubbish Morcambe may be, 'The Heartbreaks' really counter that with their waving vocals and their indie riffs, smashing their sound. They really are incomparable. Their sound is so unique.
In fact, it is so unique, I actually have absolutely nothing to compare them to. Please excuse me while I go listen to their individuality.
Okay, so. I have figured that they remind me of a very early 'Arctic Monkeys'. Purely because they were so different to anything before them, and whilst they were growing through the hype they still kept true to themselves. Although they haven't reached this hype yet, I am pretty sure it is just around the corner!

Vanguard Excitement: 8/10

'I Didn't Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You'
'Liar, My Dear'
'Jealous, Don't You Know '

Next Sunday's Vanguard: Pegasus Bridge

Review #48: Death Cab For Cutie - Codes And Keys

'Death Cab For Cutie' remind me very much so of a lump of cheese. Maturing with age, adding to its texture, taste, smell. You name it, 'Death Cab For Cutie' have got better at it.
They have really outdone themselves with 'Codes And Keys'. Yes, it may be similar to some of their previous work, and yes they seem to have gone down the same route as 'Jimmy Eat World' as they have grown older, but why change when you can keep making records like this. Maybe another album the same would be too many. However 'Codes And Keys' is almost too relaxing. Even if I did have a problem with it, I wouldn't be able to express it purely because I am just too relaxed. In fact. I am too relaxed to even finish this review.

Best Tracks: 'Some Boys', 'You Are A Tourist', 'Unobstructed Views'.


Next Review: Le Butcherettes - Sin Sin Sin

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Review #47: Three Trapped Tigers - Route One Or Die

You have to be in the right mindset to enjoy an album so raw as this. And as I type, I am not in this mindset. I find it difficult to listen to instrumental music at the best of times, but this is way to much for me.
Album opener 'Cramm' sounds like it could fit on a 'Dragonforce' album, and I believe that I have completely missed the point of what 'Three Trapped Tigers' were aiming for. Not though my own fault, I am hasten to add. It really doesn't make sense to me, as to what they were hoping to get out of the album.
The lack of vocals, and length of each track means the album drags on, almost as if 'Three Trapped Tigers' were getting off a train to wonderland. Yet they got stuck in the door. It's not great, but it's not horrific either. So they have nothing to worry about. They just need to make something decent next time. 

Best Tracks: I want to say none, but 'Ulnastricter' has a good name


Next Review: Death Cab For Cutie - Codes And Keys

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Review #46: Cults - Cults

If 'Cults' were a band, they would probably be the best band in the world. Oh wait. They are a band! There was me thinking they were Gods.
This is such a fine debut from the New York pair. The glistening vocals and tremendous musicianship can be seen clearly on 'Cults'. 'Abducted' is such a brilliant start to the album, showcasing 'Cults' ability to make an indie track that sounds so refreshing in new. To me, they feel like a warm summer breeze brushing past your body. Not harsh enough so it is rammed in your face, but hard enough to let you know that they are there.
'Cults' have a bright, lightweight sound, which is exactly what the American music scene is missing. With British music taking 2011 with both hands, it is time for bands like 'Cults', to stand up, and show us that our overseas partners aren't just as quiet as we thought!

Best Tracks: 'You Know What I Mean', 'Oh My God', 'Never Saw The Point'


Next Review: Three Trapped Tigers - Route One Or Die

Monday, 20 June 2011

Review #45: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

I'm sorry, but I have many bones to pick with this 'Gaga' character. Firstly, why does she feel the need to add 'Gaga' into the majority of her songs. Take 'Judas' for example. 'Judas, Jude-ah-ahh-ahh, Judas, Gaga'. I mean, there are plenty of words that rhyme with 'ahh'. Baa, car, far, tar, par, la, ta-da to name just seven. Yet she still feels the need to state her name. Again. And Again. Plus! The lyrics 'Judas, Jude-ah-ahh-ahh, Judas, Gaga' aren't even mildly interesting or worthy of any merit in any way shape or form.
The second bone I am going to pick at, is that the array of songs on her second LP generally not being anywhere near as catchy as those of 'The Fame'. It seems that she only had a limited number of good songs/lyrics, and they all went into her debut. Gaga seems to be losing some of her eccentricity to a critical public. Her clothes aren't as shocking as they used to be. All her songs now sound the same leading them to becoming tedious and repetitive. As well as all her songs now sounding the same leading them to becoming tedious and repetitive.It also that she is slowly loosing the ability to speak. As I said with 'Judas', she is just using noises and her own name. Moreover, all her songs sound the same leading them to becoming tedious and repetitive.
The third and final ossified carbon branches that I am going to sift through, are her failed attempts to stretch out to other genres. 'Americano' is appallingly bad. I mean, what is she on about. It is just too far from her tree. She has lost sight of her melody tree, and ended up in Spain. 'Sheiße' is just as far in the other direction, this time in Germany, yet this has the plus side as I cannot understand a word she is saying. She does drag on a bit. You know she does...
But apart from that, I have no other worries. Just those few small things. Oh hang on. That's everything.

Best Tracks: 'Hair', 'Born This Way', 'Scheiße'


Next Review: Cults - Cults

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Vanguard #1: Life In Film

'Life In Film' aren't like other bands. They are truly something special! Ever wondered what beauty sounds like? Ever wondered what a dream sounds like? If you have, then listen to Sam Fry's voice. It encapsulates you. As if you were just a puppet listening to his voice.
This is just added upon by the wonderful riffs that grace their tracks that aren't to dissimilar to that of 'Two Door Cinema Club'. It's a wonder why they haven't been signed, however this just adds to their magic and my excitement.
'The Idiot' shows how they can portray beauty in more way than one. The lyrics 'Life In Film' use are just as bewitching as Sam's voice. 'Love is wasted on you, and you don't have a clue' are such an engaging accumulation of words. 'Life In Film' astound me!
If they don't make it big, I will riot.

'The Idiot'

Vanguard Excitement: 9/10

Next Sunday's Vanguard: The Heartbreaks

Review #44: Cloud Control - Bliss Release

'Cloud Control' really have made bliss here. If you were to buy a can of bliss at the store, when you were to open the lid, you would find 4 people waving up at you who go by the name of 'Cloud Control'.
Truly tremendous. The mix between the soothing vocals and the tranquil guitars is just... well. Bliss!
It sends shivers down my spine when I think of how bands like this will never get the recognition they deserve.
They won't win any awards. They won't gain any critical acclaim. They won't advance in sales. They won't even reach particularly large venues to play at, however much they deserve it.
So for now. Let's keep them as our little secret...

Best Tracks: 'Ghost Story', 'Gold Canary', 'Hollow Drums'


Next Review: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Review #43: Pete And The Pirates - One Thousand Pictures

I'm confused.
Can this guy sing? Didn't think so. I don't have a problem with what he is doing. In fact, I often prefer someone who cant sing singing over someone who can sing singing. I mean someone who cant sing shows rawness that someone who can sing can't show purely because they can sing.
Confused? So you should be!
But to me he just sounds like a Eric Idle getting worse at singing; and lets be honest, we thought that was impossible.
But don't get me wrong, 'Pete And The Pirates' are decent. This is proper pirate music. All the 'Ooh Arghs' and the 'Pretty Pollys'!
Only Joking, they have completely lampooned me. I was expecting washer boards and eye patches. Except I ended up with this. Men singing some sort of indie with well... Eric Idle.
P.S. It is actually good. I was just a bit miffed that they weren't actually pirates!

Best Tracks: 'Little Gun', 'Washing Powder', 'Blood Gets Thin'


Next Review: Cloud Control - Bliss Release

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


From this Sunday I will be reviewing a fresh new band, little of you will know about. It will be a weekly update under the name 'Vanguard' and will include a wide range of bands. Hopefully interesting and exiting new acts, that you will enjoy listening too!

Review #42: Young Legionnaire - Crisis Works

There's something about 'Young Legionnaire'. They aren't your average angst band. The seem obliged to attempt to make you feel sorry for them, because they have turned to heavier genre than their original bands.
However, there is something oddly appealing about the music they create.
Angst music is usually the result of a bedroom bash from a group of snotty nosed, apathetic teenagers with nothing else to do with their endless amount of time.
So perhaps it's this more mature form of angst that makes the album work as it does. The added experience pushes 'Young Legionnaire' away from your average angry men, and adds the to the few deluxe angry men.

Best Tracks: 'Numbers', 'Chapter, Verse', 'Mortgage Rock'


Next Review: Pete And The Pirates - One Thousand Pictures

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Review #41: Psychedelic Horseshit - Laced

I'll tell you what. 'Psychedelic Horseshit' sounds exactly like the name suggests.
It sounds like a multi-coloured horse turd making music, if a multi-coloured horse turd could make music.
It really does amaze me what people release these days as 'music'. On 'I Hate The Beach' he just starts coughing. I know musicians like to make their statement, but there is a fine line between making a statement and having a disease. Who ever got ill from going to the beach anyway? You would get scurvy if you didn't take fresh fruit with you, but that is only if you plan on staying longer than 4 months, and if you plan that, then your probably in 'Psychedelic Horseshit'! So I see the logic. But scurvy doesn't make you cough, it makes you feel like you have no energy and you bruise easily, like a banana. So, I still am clueless what 'I Hate The Beach' is on about. And the rest of the album...

Best Tracks: 'French Countryside', 'Laced', 'Another Side'


Next Review: Young Legionnaire - CRISIS WORKS

Friday, 10 June 2011

Review #40: Friendly Fires - Pala

I find it horrific when a band creates a tremendous debut, but then their follow up just does not match their previous LP in any way. It often seems like they have lost all creativity they had, and often leads to a break-up!
So, It's a bloody good job that 'Friendly Fires' have done the exact opposite to that, and have created an album that not only matches that of their first attempt, but in many ways it is even better!
For example, the bass line on 'True Love' just made me stop dancing around! It mesmerized me. Whereas I didn't feel like this from their first album. However, they are both similar in the sense, that I couldn't stop dancing to either album.
Just like 'Austra', 'Friendly Fires' have taken a genre that was getting a bit boring quite frankly, and added their own spice to it! Except this time, it's samba drums!
Let me share a secret with you, 'Friendly Fires' are here to stay!

Best Tracks: 'Live Those Days Tonight', 'Hawaiian Air', 'Hurting'
p.s. It says best tracks, but I could have easily also chosen 'Running Away', 'Pala', 'Show Me Lights', 'True Love', 'Pull Me Back To Earth', 'Chimes' or 'Helpless'! Not 'Blue Cassette' though. I didn't like 'Blue Cassette'.


Next Review: Psychedelic Horseshit - Laced

Review #39: Austra - Feel It Break

Absolutely magical. You really cannot fault these Canadia's first LP. 'Feel It Break' is the beautiful combination of electronic master-riffs and the outstanding operatic voice of Katie Stelmanis!
I sound like I'm advertising it! Maybe I should be, it really is that good.
'Lose It' is such a simple yet mindbogglingly amazing! I really believe that this really is the height of electronic music. It astounds me as to how artists in this day and age can still create such fresh and delightful music. They have managed to take a genre, where everything was starting to sound the same, and put their own completely new take on it. It's hard to do that, and get it right, but 'Austra' have done it with complete brilliance.
Another tremendous element of 'Austra' would be that whatever their lyrics say manage to fill you with happiness. It takes some doing to get this feeling running through people. So, I would have to say that 'Austra', are basically, amazing!

Best Tracks: 'Lose It', 'The Choke', 'The Villain'.


Next Review: Friendly Fires - Pala

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Review #38: Mona - Mona

I was really impressed with 'Mona's singles, 'Listen To Your Love' and 'Teenager'. So, after hearing people really slate this album, I was prepared to enter the listening process with a completely open mind, looking for a saving grace for the Americans.
But there wasn't one! There really isn't. To tell the truth... It is utter rubbish, if I'm being polite.
It seems as if 'Mona' have gotten ahead of themselves, thinking they were about to embark on a world arena tour, and created some blaring rock music to go with it. The only problems being that they aren't going on an arena tour, and it's not very good anyway. But other than that, brilliant album 'Mona'!

Best Tracks: 'Listen To Your Love', 'Teenager',  'Trouble On The Way'.


Next Review: Austra - Feel It Break

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Review #37: Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math

Okay. So let me get this right. An American rock band who sound like a parallel universe version of 'Snow Patrol', named after a collection of classically trained musicians from a Northern English city. I like it!
I must admit, I am partial to a bit of good quality music from an up and coming American band that isn't 100% manufactured or just power chords! (coughalltimelowcough).
'Manchester Orchestra' have this aura about them. Almost as if their music is exactly who they are as people. Philosophical beard wearers by the sound of it.
But on a more serious note they are very good musicians who have created a very very good record!

Best Tracks: 'Deer', 'Simple Math', 'Virgin'.


Next Review: Mona - Mona

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Review #36: Okkervil River - I Am Very Far

I think it is wonderful that a band, such as 'Okkervil River' can produce six albums, and still have that element of magic and beauty flow from their music. 'I Am Very Far', despite the grammatical malfunction in the title, really holds its self and portrays the band as people who really care about their music and what they stand for. 'Lay Of The Last Survivor' is a perfect example of the purity that they have. It's simple, relaxing, and refreshing sound feels almost like a breeze brushing past your face.
They don't try to push boundaries, or set benchmarks. They just add a breath of fresh air to their already established sound.

Best Tracks: 'Lay Of The Last Survivour', 'We Need A Myth', 'Your Past Life As A Blast'.


Review #35: Twin Atlantic - Free

I was really impressed with the Scottish four-piece's first LP, but for me this follow up, just does not cut it.
Its not as vibrant as 'Vivarium'. It doesn't possess the energy and vigor that they managed to express originally. 'Free' doesn't seem like something I would tell people about. I would much rather direct them to 'Twin Atlantic's debut.
Despite of this, I believe that they will gain greater success from 'Free' as it seems more commercial than their previous attempt. It will perhaps lift up their popularity, and they will start filling bigger venues, and then arenas, and headlining festivals, and generally taking over the world... But back on Earth, this album is no more than average really.

Best Tracks: 'Free', 'Crash Land', 'Eight Days'


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Review #34: Miles Kane - Colour Of The Trap

'Miles Kane', star of both 'The Rascals' and 'The Last Shadow Puppets', had pretty high standards to reach from his solo outing due to both previous records being rather good.
And I believe that he actually has reached great heights with his newest outing. The wonderful riffs he has created on tracks such as 'Inhaler' and 'Rearrange, really capture the essence of the new age of music coming out of Britain at the moment.
However, I believe that this is the best 'Miles Kane' will come out with. He has recently left 'The Rascals', and he is clearly the inferior member of 'The Last Shadow Puppets' to Alex Turner. I just don't think that he has it in him to create more than one decent album, as he comes across as someone who needs an extra push with his musical direction, as he will never push any boundaries alone.
Despite this, 'Colour Of The Trap' is a fitting album for what he needed to do.

Best Tracks: 'Inhaler', 'Come Closer', 'Counting Down The Days'


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Review #33: Wild Beasts - Smother

It amazes me how 'Wild Beasts' have managed to produce three LPs where every song is a joy to listen to. 'Smother' also happens to be their best yet, building on their magical foundations from 'Limbo, Panto' and 'Two Dancers'
One of my favorite elements of the band is their use of both Hayden and Tom on vocals. I feel that this variation gives extra depth to the album, and also shows how diverse they can be, whilst still keeping a strong grasp on their core.
'Albatross' is a prime example of how mesmerizing 'Wild Beats' actually are. There really isn't another band out there, that captures beauty just like they do. From their glistening riffs to their graceful lyrics, you find the pure essence of what music truly is about.
I believe that this is only the start of 'Wild Beasts' and that they will continue to get bigger, however I cannot see them ever getting the full appreciation they deserve. Purely because they are just too good!

Best Tracks: To appreciate the album, you will have to get them all!