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Album Reviews

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:48pm

9

 

Tamil Rogeon is an accomplished composer, violinist and producer. On this intricate album which was recorded in Rio, Melbourne, Paris, London, and Los Angeles, Rogeon sonically captures the tragedy of a real-life shooting that occurred in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
 
Rogeon is clearly a supremely talented and highly energised individual as he wrote the music and many...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:46pm

5

 

Former-Stooges member James Williamson and Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek re-interpret four songs Williamson co-wrote in the ‘70s, using only acoustic instruments.
 
Tek’s doing the lead vocals on this disc, and his voice is absolutely fine. But considering that Raw Power has truly demented vocals, these renditions sound quite smooth, which quickly becomes quite...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:44pm

10

 

It has been seven years since Gorillaz finished recording The Fall. After numerous accolades and truly one-of-a-kind tours, the band slid into a lengthy sabbatical. Now Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar) Russel Hobbs (drums) and 2D (vocals) have returned with their latest album Humanz. The recording comes via London, Paris, New York, Chicago, and Jamaica, to add a...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:42pm

8.5

 

Amaru Tribe refer to their style as Oceanic Cumbia, and there's realistically no better way to describe the delights of their debut album – a tightly interwoven offering of South American and Oceanic instrumentation wrapped around groovy, contemporary bounce. The tracks evoke the essence of reggae, R&B, alt-rock, dub and pop – often twisting direction once or twice in...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:40pm

8

 

In a recent interview, Adelaide born and bred Allday revealed his desire to work only with people he admires, and to never make music based on album sales – and after listening to his second LP, Speeding,it’s clear he’s achieved both wishes.
 
While staying to true to his signature style, Allday croons mellow yet meticulous musings about love and life for...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:39pm

9.5

 

Sun City White is an album you’d imagine listening to while cruising down a desolate American desert highway with the windows down in your black Cadillac. The LP weaves through subgenres, alternating between hard, dirty rock tracks and slower, melodic blues and roots ballads, all with a sprinkle of Texas flavour.
 
Fukushima Blues kicks off with a jumble of...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:37pm

8.5

 

Having refined their dark and light sound, Damage And Joy presents a delicious slice of brain pop for a new generation of The Jesus And Mary Chain fans. Ten years into their second coming, this is the first release of new material for nearly two decades. Clearly, the Reid brothers are not willing to go quietly. Amputation features their trademark fuzz and crackles of...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:41pm

8

 

The Remains packs one hell of a punch. The EP begins with All That Remains, a loaded track bursting with a heavy drum beat, hard-edged melodies and a clunky bassline. Frontwoman Kris Killriot’s beautifully raw and raspy vocals are delivered with a cool approach that manages to make even the screamed components seem marginally indifferent. This recurring theme makes the album...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:37pm

9

 

Destrends have created a distinctive reputation for themselves, infusing their music with a creative mixture of new wave sounds from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, along with a trace of gothic hysteria.
 
Opener Jack is layered with thrashing drums and streaking guitar blended with Matt Savage’s deep, dramatic vocals. The lyrics overlay the song with a comical tone...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:36pm

1

 

There have been plenty of old school legends throwing out new music of late and they've been pulling it off, reviving genres of the glory days and touring with massively popular reception – but Depeche Mode is not one of these bands.
 
Trying to rehash the electronics of the ‘80s with opener Going Backwards, the track rings out with the lyrics of a disgruntled,...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:35pm

9

 

With their sophomore album, Bad//Dreems sound as dusty as ever but with a little more fire in their belly. Johnny Irony is an instant pub classic; hard and fast, with enough lyrics to shout along to when you’re half-cut. Mob Rule has been copping a fair beating on radio but the energy never fades. Blood Love is full of frustration, while title track Gutful will resonate with...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:34pm

8

 

It's no surprise the Skegss boys are consistently on tour because with the easy-breezy, catchy hooks in Holiday Food it's the kind of release that caters for all palates and needs to be ceaselessly enjoyed.
 
The weather is cooling off but summer doesn't stop. Amidst the autumn changes, Spring Has Sprung bounces around with upbeat vibes and promises of positivity...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:33pm

9.5

 

DAMN. was kept in shrouded in mystery. The album name and track titles withheld, and suppressed until a convenient leak served to generate hype. Days before the albums due date all songs were also leaked and downloaded by rabid fans.
 
Unscrupulous downloaders hidden behind VPNs rushed to forum boards to speak of Kendrick Lamar’s new album – each comment adding...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:58pm

6

 

Snippets of recent British stadium fillers such as Coldplay, Keane, Oasis and Elbow can be heard whilst the darker elements of Editors or Frightened Rabbit and ‘60s psychedelia  also share some airtime.
 
The EP’s four tracks are a clear attempt to condense this large, widescreen rock sound into easy consumable pieces. The Night Café clearly expect, or at least...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:56pm

7

 

Five years on from their last release, Infinity Overhead, comes Minus The Bear’s sixth LP VOIDS. Known for their smooth indie-rock guitar licks and for having song titles longer than Panic! At The Disco, Minus the Bear continue to live up to the hype, albeit a little toned down in parts.
 
Starting off with the bittersweet Last Kiss, the album promises more of...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:55pm

7.5

 

It’s clear that Hate hold nostalgia for the pagan beliefs that pre-dated the spread of Christianity to Slavic culture, as well as hatred directed at the spread of Christianity.
 
The hatred manifests through the relentless energy of the album. Tremendum is largely guitar-driven, with tremolo guitars of black metal heritage presenting a wall of sound,...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:49pm

7

 

Who cares about 2007, anyway? The eighth decade in the so-called ‘noughties’, it’s notable for little more than John Howard’s electoral defeat, which ushered in a decade of government prevarication, kindergarten-quality social media debate and cheapskate crystal egos.  2007 is to 1968 as fish-oil supplements is to Owsley’s acid.
 
But Jimmy Chang seems to care...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:46pm

8

 

Given its startling title, one might imagine that Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness is a slow slog through some distinctly difficult thematic territory. Certainly it’s true that Mann has earned her reputation as a peddler of grief, and her best songs are underpinned by a heady dose of the distraught. But even when the singer/songwriter is at her most moribund, she never seems to...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:43pm

9

 

Following up a fantastic album is a task that may seem intimidating to many, however Future Islands have managed to pull it off with The Far Field. Lead single Ran provided a taste of things to come, and the rest of the album has matched the high expectations it created. The upbeat sound with haunting lyrics that Future Islands have so masterfully made their own shines...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:25pm

7.5

 

Diet Cig embodies a remarkable mix of fun, quirkiness, intensity and melancholy. Sixteen is the perfect example. Opening with the line “When I was sixteen, I dated a boy with my own name… it was weird.” This could come across as a novelty but feels sincere coming from lead singer Alex Luciano. Then that punk-riff tempo change turns it into something immediately catchy and...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:24pm

7.5

 

Lektrk’s debut album sees the Melbourne trio find their feet, blending elements of French house, disco, funk and deeper sonic textures into a sound all of their own. Opening track Whagastalk is what Daft Punk might have sounded like if they were human and embraced the organic. I Like takes that to another level, bringing funk and South American percussion.
 
...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:23pm

8

 

Hot 8 Brass Band are a collective of New Orleans-based musos who’ve taken the second-line band tradition – mixing up jazz with funk, soul and hip hop – and run with it. Although they’ve been around for 20-plus years with a revolving lineup (tragically, members haven’t just retired or moved on to other projects, numerous players have been shot dead, including in incidents of...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:21pm

9

 

Citizen kicks off with a bang, streaking guitars carry Bridge’s growls, send listeners into a frenzy. Colourwave begins with a gritty guitar, effectively paired with a swirling synth sound, but soon enough the heavy breakdown erupts and that’s when we know Northlane mean business. Bridge’s vocals in the chorus are infused with emotion, but this is only the beginning, because...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:20pm

7

 

Real Estate have a neat little niche carved for themselves, which they continue to serve up with latest release In Mind.
Despite a change in the band’s lineup, Real Estate are not looking to completely reinvent themselves. They rarely deviate from their classic recipe of folksy harmonies and guitars with a breezy kind of sadness, and it’s impossible to deny they do...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:20pm

8

 

The Cactus Channel and Sam Cromack deftly fuse elements of modern soul and quietly soaring widescreen indie pop rock on this addictive EP. Like UK band The Maccabees, this skilled combo whip up a cinematic sound that is both immersive and uplifting.
 
Ironically on I’m Not Ready To Relax the band generates a deeply relaxing groove that complements the chilled out,...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:19pm

9.5

 

Planning For Burial’s recent release, Below The House, shows a notable refinement for one-man band Thom Wasluck’s spacious blackened slowcore. While at times there appears to be a return to previously used pacing and chord progressions, Below The House’s strength comes through reworking these sounds.
 
One of the album’s main strengths comes from Wasluck’s...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:55pm

8.5

 

The New Pornographers have undergone metamorphosis since their last release with two long term members departing the band. Unobtrusive, the blend of three strong vocalists works well and builds a strong foundation upon which the band can rely for their consistent entry onto the North American charts. Whiteout Conditions doesn’t indicate that there will be any change to this...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:54pm

9

 

If there was ever any doubt from the more sceptical of critics as to the musical abilities of Steel Panther, these opinions are blown out of the water with new release Lower The Bar.
 
Steel Panther’s X-rated tendencies and flirtatious filth is still present lyrically, but they’ve done the opposite of what the album title suggests – Steel Panther have risen the...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:53pm

7.5

 

Someone at work referred to me as a hippy the other day.  I contemplated a bullying and harassment charge or even criminal defamation, before settling with an empty threat to illustrate my offence.  “Call me a hippy again and you’re dead meat,” I retorted, invoking the empty schoolyard language of my (not-at-all hippy) youth.
 
But as my once-hippie wife reminds...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:51pm

7

 

Exanimate sounds like the work of hairy Swedes with names akin to IKEA furniture – but it’s not. These guys are from Melbourne, though the melodic death metal they peddle is indebted to the Gothenburg scene of the mid ‘90s. If you’re a fan of At the Gates, In Flames, et al. pull up a chair and get acquainted with your new favourite melodeath crusaders.
 
They’ve...

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