Reviews

The surprise with this album is how impressions garnered from the zesty electro-rock single with a punch ‘Assassinator 13’ and its squelching predecessor ‘Like It Or Leave It’ were so far off the ticket. We thought infuriating insistence, nagging computer-generated aural intrusions and a bratty flailing were order of the day. We liked their style but saw a short shelf life and were unsure of their capabilities. But what we get here, when taken in its entirety anyway, is actually Continue Reading

Reviews

Don’t talk to me about rap and rock hybrids – I just don’t wanna know. So let’s move on… Debut album ‘X-pressions’ and 2002’s ‘Built From Scratch’ proved beyond a reasonable doubt that turntabilists Roc Raida, Mista Sinista, Rob Swift were an innovative enough force. And although you got your fair share of Linkin Park fans grabbing a copy from the shelves, it has to be said that all three albums move way beyond the indelicate melding of rock and Continue Reading

Reviews

Sprouting the kind of fusty, precious mushrooms that only the moist warm conditions of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Simon and Garfunkel and Elliott Smith could possibly engender, spring North Carolina’s own pastoral anti-hooligans, Kingsbury Manx. And what a winsome and inoffensive little cluster of talents they are. Fronted by singers and guitarists Kenneth Stephenson and Bill Taylor, Kingsbury Manx are your above-average country, folk, psychedelic crossover. At times dark, at times wistful, at times caustic, at times surreal you’d be Continue Reading

Reviews

If 2004 is shaping up as a pop mirror to 1995, which increasingly it seems it is, then we’re still missing the top line equivalents of your Blurs, your Pulps and your Oasis’s. We’re pretty much sorted up to Supergrass/Elastica (Franz Ferdinand/The Libertines), and the lower sandpit filled with the likes of S*M*A*S*H, These Animal Man and 60ft Dolls back then is reaching capacity these days with the likes of The Ordinary Boys, Delays and now Razorlight. Hell, we’ve even Continue Reading

Reviews

Badly Drawn Boy has never changed, not once throughout his 3 album career (or 2 depending on where you’re counting from), not one little bit, no sir. He just writes more songs – when he has enough he puts a record out. And that’s that, no real fuss, or so it would seem. The artwork is about as close to a new concept as he gets, and yet again this record does have some fine imagery courtesy of partner-in-crime and Continue Reading

Reviews

Viv’s new album ‘Flawed’ feels like the upside of a Dave Grohl mood swing – happy,earnest and direct. It’s a collection of tub thumping indie pop; four minute sing-a-longs infused with sensitivity and driven by crunching guitars and big choruses. Although the San Francisco five piece’s second album contains the occasional echoes of Blink 142 and Foo Fighters et al,  it never feels derivative, simply another (excellent) addition to the grunge-pop genre. We begin by tumbling into ‘Friends’, a celebration Continue Reading

Reviews

Sometimes it’s not enough to write great music. Sometimes you need something else; a statement, a sound bite, a fistful of anarchy, a remorseless desire to impress, a knack for crossing boundaries and a propensity for stirring the interests of the press with sheer, unapologetic awkwardness. In fact, it’s often what you are by accident that rewards you the most. And then there’s that propulsive belief within critical circles that music must always be new and exciting; that it must Continue Reading

Reviews

With a sprawling ragbag democracy of communal spirits to rival The Polyphonic Spree, Sweden’s The Concretes arrive on our shores to assuage our agitated post-punk souls with their undulating waltzes and a plentiful cup of gentle bonhomie. Formed in Stockholm in 1995 by central girlie Concretes, Lisa Milberg, Maria Eriksson and Victoria Bergsman the band cut their first EP in 1999 before following it up with a firmer collection of tracks for the ‘BoyYouBetterRunNow’ in 2000. Grabbing three instruments at Continue Reading

Reviews

For an album that starts by spectacularly ripping off Roy Budd’s early seventies masterpiece, ‘Carter Takes A Train’ as well as deploying more than the occasional Ennio Morricone signature it’s surprising that Glide writer, producer and all round sonic entertainer, Will Sergeant has even heard of a computer, let alone used one. But used one he has – not just on this album – not just with this band – but with a broad and masterful range of weird and Continue Reading

Reviews

Even if there’s no solid emergent mainstream genre raising above all others this year (aside from perhaps the gaining pace of Britpop nostalgia), it is becoming a year when some are nudged overground by the accessible work of select bands. Hope Of The States smartened up post-rock’s appearance surprisingly well earlier this month, and now The Killers follow through on the promise of two pristine singles by taking the dark slicing 80s synth-pop of The Faint, giving it a giddy Continue Reading