The Monochrome Set reissue

The Monochrome Set – Love Zombies

The Monochrome Set were a breed apart from the other outfits in the UK post-punk scene they grew out of. For starters, they were nowhere near austere or gloomy enough; if anything, they seemed to be having fun. Released in February 1980, debut Strange Boutique established many of the band’s signature motifs right off the bat. The groovy 60s sound, the snappy hooks and the … Continue reading The Monochrome Set – Love Zombies

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen – 18 Tracks and more…

By Bruce’s standards, the 1990s were lean, ending with a clear-out, 18 Tracks, all but three songs drawn from 1998’s Tracks boxset. Since one was a 1990 version of The Promise, a fragile outtake from 1978’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and another the slow-burning The Fever, it at least proved a useful reminder of his talent. The new millennium, though, began with the … Continue reading Bruce Springsteen – 18 Tracks and more…

Happy Mondays

Happy Mondays – Squirrel and G-Man and more…

Shaun Ryder is nobody’s fool. He spent a large part of his imperial years pretending to be an oaf. Unlike many other drug casualties of the punk wars and ecstasy years, he’s matured into a sanguine and avuncular figure. But has the music survived quite so intact? Most people’s entry point to the band came with Kinky Afro and Step On, both of which appear … Continue reading Happy Mondays – Squirrel and G-Man and more…

Electronic – Electronic

Electronic – Electronic

Previously released on heavyweight vinyl in 2015, Rhino’s new pressing is oddly timed: Electronic turns 30 next year. It also downgrades the album to regular vinyl, though at £17 it’s at least much cheaper, too – including for a limited white vinyl pressing. The other difference is, for some reason, substituting the sleeve’s original (and definitive, if you ask me! — Ed.) orange landscape for … Continue reading Electronic – Electronic

Tommy McCook And The Supersonics – Greater Jamaica Moonwalk Reggae

Although billed as a Tommy McCook album, what actually unifies this 1969 collection of commercial reggae is producer Duke Reid. Soundsystem rival to Studio One’s Clement Dodd, Reid was producer of the classic ska and reggae released on his label Treasure Isle, and then later on Trojan in the late 60s and early 70s. We kick off with John Holt’s gently soulful Stealing Stealing, then … Continue reading Tommy McCook And The Supersonics – Greater Jamaica Moonwalk Reggae

The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers

There’s no more joyous album opener than the “1-2-3-4-5-6!” with which The Modern Lovers announce Roadrunner. To appreciate the visceral beauty of this 1976 classic, listeners don’t need to know that it was effectively a compilation of early demos released two years after the band had split. Most of its nine tracks had been recorded by John Cale in 1972, before Richman became the cuddly … Continue reading The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers

The Bluetones – Science And Nature/The Singles

By the arrival of their third album, Science And Nature in 2000, The Bluetones were lost in the wilderness between Britpop and The Strokes. Seemingly aware the charts were no longer a priority, they got fantastically indulgent. Pin-sharp melodies were still here, but this time they were cloaked in punky fractiousness (Zorro, Mudslide) or claustrophobic country-rock (One Speed Gearbox, Slack Jaw). A superb self-destruct record, … Continue reading The Bluetones – Science And Nature/The Singles

Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and…

In 2019, when Stereolab have returned from a decade-long hiatus to play live shows to rapt fans, it’s easy to assume the band were always feted alt-rock heroes. In truth, they took a while to establish themselves in a 1990s world when the idea of mixing up French pop, easy listening, the Velvets, woozy synths and the motorik beat of Neu! was something that set … Continue reading Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and…

The Lightning Seeds – Jollification

Ian Broudie’s musical CV was already impressively well stacked before the emergence of The Lightning Seeds in 1989. Jollification, though, represents the moment it all went right for the Liverpudlian songwriter and producer with the endearingly wobbly voice. Broudie’s softly reflective tones and expert knack for a winning chorus made Lucky You, Change and Marvellous unforgetable 90s anthems, and the good news is they’ve aged … Continue reading The Lightning Seeds – Jollification

The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed 50th Anniversary

BUY YOUR COPY OF LET IT BLEED NOW The final Stones album of the 60s, Let It Bleed was also their last on Decca, meaning Allen Klein’s estate have one last chance to go to town on the catalogue. With the exception of the In Mono albums collection, Let It Bleed is by far the most lavish package ABKCO have assembled: an 80-page book, three lithographs and … Continue reading The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed 50th Anniversary