Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

The first rock act to win the Critics’ Choice prize at the Brits in its 11-year history, Geordie singer Sam Fender worships Bruce Springsteen and shares his ability to empathise with emotional frailties, describe everyday dramas too often overlooked by songwriters and wrap it all up into bloody massive four-minute anthems. Fender is already progressing superbly. Past singles such as the catchy Friday Fighting are … Continue reading Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles

Kaiser Chiefs – Duck

Last time out, on 2016’s Stay Together, one of this generation’s finest singles bands worked with pop production powerhouses Xenomania. It was an underrated experiment, self-sabotaged by releasing worst song Parachute as its lead single. Returning to work with regular producer Ben Allen could have been a retreat into a safety net. True, you’re never too far from Ricky Wilson yelling “Hey!” But the Kaisers … Continue reading Kaiser Chiefs – Duck

Lawrie Duckworth – Wonderful Terrible Things

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending Lawrie Duckworth’s weekly slot at Barton Street Wine Bar in Bath, no doubt you’ll have been equal parts charmed and dazzled by the man’s stunning musical range. Suggestions are made by boozy onlookers; scream for something and chances are it’ll get played. Whatever he ends up performing – Elvis, John Denver, Billy Bragg, Harry McClintock, Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Lawrie Duckworth – Wonderful Terrible Things

The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears

Like Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital are championed by IDLES and sing in an unfiltered, impassioned Dublin accent. Sure, Don’t Cling To Life and More Is Less prove they too can do excellent scabrous punk, but there’s a roaming spirit here which suggests The Murder Capital may soon become something very special indeed. Gabriel Paschal Blake’s dark basslines bring a Joy Division depth to Green … Continue reading The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears

Drab Majesty – Modern Mirror

On their latest record, LA outfit Drab Majesty have stuck to their well-honed oeuvre of darkwave electronica peppered with moments of synth pop and dark dream pop, but have also combined it with a lyrical exploration rooted in Greek mythology. While the heavily electronic and often futuristic sound of the band may seem at odds with such historical subject matter, the two combine in complementary … Continue reading Drab Majesty – Modern Mirror

The Golden Filter – Autonomy

Where many eager to incorporate club music into pop end up merging both, Anglo-American couple Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman often switch from one to the other, making Autonomy an uneasy, intense experience. With its throbbing bass, echoing piano and nocturnal imagery, Coercion sounds like late-80s Depeche Mode, with the simplicity of its unsettling synth melody worthy of John Carpenter, while Infinity begins like Underworld, … Continue reading The Golden Filter – Autonomy

New Order + Liam Gillick – ∑ (No, 12K, Lg, 17mif): So It Goes

There are plenty of New Order live albums based on the classics. Recorded at 2017’s Manchester International Festival, So It Goes concentrates on the lesser-known, with Shellshock and Bizarre Love Triangle the only huge tunes among 18 tracks. No matter. Shorn of artist Liam Gillick’s visuals, you can still appreciate the delight New Order take in dusting off All Day Long from Brotherhood and Technique’s … Continue reading New Order + Liam Gillick – ∑ (No, 12K, Lg, 17mif): So It Goes

Mini Mansions – Guy Walks Into A Bar

There’s an overwhelming sense of familiarity to this record. From the Arctic Monkeys-esque opener, the album invites spot-the-influence moments: a Beatles melody here, a Devo-esque rhythm there, a touch of Elliott Smith elsewhere. This wouldn’t be a problem if the sense of familiarity wasn’t further emphasised by the generic approach of their rock band shtick. While it’s a clear shot for something more pop-heavy from … Continue reading Mini Mansions – Guy Walks Into A Bar

Ty Seagull – First Taste

  The ever-fecund Ty Segall returns with yet another new album which, if you include his work with White Fence and a live album, is his fifth LP released in just over a year. One thing that is as predictable as Segall’s workrate is his ever-changing moods; from glam-stomping rock one minute to Neil Young-esque acoustic the next, he’s an artist who very simply documents … Continue reading Ty Seagull – First Taste

Soundgarden – Live From The Artists Den

Back when the sound of Seattle took on the mainstream, Soundgarden were the heavyweights of delectable downbeat anthems. However, in 1997 the band went on hiatus for 16 years, before reconvening for sixth album King Animal. Captured in action at LA’s Wiltern, Live From The Artists Den finds Chris Cornell and co in fine form. As fan favourites (Flower) and deep cuts (Blind Dogs) wrestle … Continue reading Soundgarden – Live From The Artists Den