Thursday, 19 November 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - Mid-November Update

ADELE – 25
Dear music industry,
If this bunch of soppy piano ballads is
your last hope then you better kiss your ass goodbye.


Burdened at birth with a name like Anna Michaela Ebba Electra Von Hausswolff the poor child had no choice but to grow up a goth. (8)

ERIC CHURCH – Mr. Misunderstood

If country star Church’s previous album “The Outsiders” was his Bon Jovi moment then “Mr. Misunderstood” is his John Mellencamp. (6)

JEFF LYNNE’S ELO – Alone In The Universe

ELO is very MOR and FYI I was BBB. (5)

GRIMES – Art Angels

It’s not a bad pop record, but “weird/unique” does not necessarily equal “great”. (7)

MATTHEW SWEET & SUSANNA HOFFS – Completely Under The Covers

Between 2006 and 2013 Sweet & Hoffs released 3 albums covering their favorite songs. Now in Box Set format with a 4th disc featuring bonus tracks, this plays like “Children Of Nuggets” or a mixtape you made for someone you really, really like. (9)

QUEEN – A Night At The Odeon

It’s Christmas 1975, “A Night At The Opera” has just been released, and Queen are playing live at the Hammersmith Odeon fronted by a Freddie Mercury who’s more camp than a boy scout jamboree. (10)

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, November 2015


BEACH SLANG – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

Anyone remember what great bands Jawbreaker and Hot Water Music were? Don’t you just miss that 90’s melodic punk when you were 20 years younger and allowed to get away with loving the escapist stuff? (8)

BILLY GIBBONS & THE BFG’S – Perfectamundo

ZZ Top guitarist explores his funky Cuban side, has lots of fun and shares it. (7)

EVIL BLIZZARD – Everybody Come To Church

UK post-punk/space rock band with metal influences and two gimmicks: a) they wear masks and b) they’ve got four bass players. Imagine Hawkwind as covered by Killing Joke jamming with PiL and a couple of extra bassists. (7)

REVENGE – Behold.Total.Rejection.

Revenge’s black metal still sounds more like grindcore than anything else. This is so ridiculously chaotic and extreme you can only admire the dude. (7)

VHOL – Deeper Than Sky

Supergroup consisting of Yob, Hammers Of Misfortune and Agalloch members explore their technothrash side on an album that totally rules and will kick your ass, seriously. (8)


COASTERS – Christmas With The Coasters

60 years after their first single, 10 years after the last original Coaster left the group (and this world) and with the longest-standing current member having joined in 2001, the best they can come up with an absolutely crap Christmas album full of cheap Casiotone synth brass and string sounds, no doo-wop harmonies, and a sax player who wouldn’t be worthy to clean the spit out of King Curtis’s mouthpiece. As a huge Coasters fan I am simply devastated. (1)


Gorgeous country blues record highlighting Foucault’s sharp songwriting skills and well-worn voice backed by all-star band featuring Lucinda Williams’ guitarist, Morphine’s drummer and Booker T’s bassist. (8)

KINKY FRIEDMAN – The Loneliest Man I Ever Met

The original Texas jewboy, a very funny author but also the Frank Zappa of country and the man who gave us anthems like “How Can I Tell You I Love You (When You’re Sitting On My Face)”, “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Asshole From El Paso” is back with a much more somber (somberer?) album. Includes a duet with Willie Nelson and stripped-down versions of songs by Tom Waits and Warren Zevon. (7)

KISS THE ANUS OF A BLACK CAT – To Live Vicariously

In the age of bad band names this is probably the worst band name of them all. In any case gone is the Current 93-like apocalyptic folk of previous KTAOABC works, this sounds like early 80’s Fad Gadget industrial/electronica and it sort of sucks. (5)


Impressively strong album by the British rapper who favors smooth flow and atmosphere over vocal pyrotechnics. (8)

Friday, 23 October 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - Oct 2015


CLUTCH – Psychic Warfare

Crunchy classic hard rock drenched in tongue-in-cheek machismo, just the way I like it. And I still want the funeral home promo shirt Neil Fallon was wearing at that CBGB’s gig in 1995. (8)

CORRECTIONS HOUSE – Know How To Carry A Whip

Sludgy avant-garde noise by a supergroup including members of Neurosis, Eyehategod, Yakuza, Minsk etc. Uneasy listening. (7)


Poor man’s Mr. Bungle on second post-comeback album that won’t win them any new fans but will keep the loyal ones happy. (7)

HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES – Hollywood Vampires

Alice Cooper and a bunch of his famous living friends (Johnny Depp, Joe Perry, Slash, Duff, Brian Johnson, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl of course) pay tribute to his famous dead friends (Keith Moon, John Bonham, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Marc Bolan) by covering their songs. (7)


Legendary post-punk band still kicks ass – this one’s among their heaviest and most metallic. (8)

MONSTER MAGNET – Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)

A Monster Magnet release is like a blowjob, even a bad and totally unnecessary one is pretty good and very welcome. (11)

PROTOMARTYR – The Agent Intellect

Gloomy, depressive, catatonic post-punk for fans of The Fall and Pere Ubu. Not my cup of tea, but still (7)

SATAN – Atom By Atom

This is EXACTLY the kind of heavy metal that people who hate heavy metal hate. (8)

SHINING – International Blackjazz Society

More industrial than either black metal or jazz, “International Blackjazz Society” sort of sounds like a heavier Nine Inch Nails featuring Ornette Coleman on sax and amphetamines. (8) 

SUPERSUCKERS – Holdin’ The Bag 
Even when their country alter-ego takes over like it does on “Holdin’ the Bag”, the Supersuckers remain a top-notch middle-finger flippin’ punk rock ‘n’ roll band. Plus there’s a duet with the lovely Lydia Loveless. (8)

Jack White sits behind the drum set, lets his pals do the Page and Plant impressions for a change. (7)

WITH THE DEAD – With The Dead

I really miss Cathedral but on the other hand Electric Wizard is vastly overrated. (6)


BLITZEN TRAPPER – All Across This Land

Reliable folk-rock band always releases solid 7’s. This one is more rock- than folk-leaning. (7)

BOTTLE ROCKETS – South Broadway Athletic Club

Wikipedia calls them “contemporary storytellers from Middle America” and in my book that’s a high compliment. Try to imagine a mellower Replacements doing Springsteen tunes and you’re halfway there. (8)

CORB LUND – Things That Can’t Be Undone

There seems to be a limitless supply of nu-country singers coming out of Canada, and Lund is one of the more entertaining ones. (7)

DARLENE LOVE – Introducing Darlene Love

In case you need an introduction to 74-year old Darlene she is one of the Great American Voices of the last six decades and this album is a triumph, with pals like Bruce Springsteen providing the songs and producer “Little” Steven Van Zandt doing a fantastic job at emulating Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound with an E Street Band twist. (8)


The Soulsavers’ dusty rock/trip-hop hybrid sounded much better before with Mark Lanegan behind the mic than it does now with the Depeche Mode dude. (6)

ELECTRIC SIX – Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die!

Discopunkmetalcomedy from Detroit, I have no idea why I decided to listen to their 11th album after ignoring the previous 10 but it was time well wasted. (7)

FLANGER – Lollopy Dripper

Electronica/jazz hybrid duo commuting between Berlin and Santiago De Chile is back after a long hiatus. This is a fun album that fans of Amon Tobin will enjoy immensely. (8)

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE – Electronica 1: The Time Machine

Electronica pioneer returns with a collaboration album, inviting all his children (Air, Vince Clarke, Moby, Massive Attack) as well as some of his peers (Laurie Anderson, Pete Townshend, Tangerine Dream). But I need some funk in my dance music and JMJ wouldn’t know funk if it bit him in the ass. (6)


With this year’s “Meow The Jewels” Run The Jewels supposedly released the best album utilizing
cat meowing sounds ever, but considering Newsom’s voice I think this one tops it. (8)

SHANTEL – Viva Diaspora

Albums like “Disko Partizani” and “Planet Paprika” were highly entertaining, but Shantel now goes all-out Greek and ends up sounding dangerously like Sarbel. (6)


Acoustic folk, as English as it gets, sounds ancient and contemporary at the same time. Very interesting debut. (8) 

TOM JONES – Long Lost Suitcase
3rd “Tom Jones acting his age” album with Ethan Johns in the role of Rick Rubin, and it’s just as entertaining as the previous two. (8)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - Sep 2015 Part III


BOYSETSFIRE – Boysetsfire

Fierce but melodic post-hardcore heroes release a fantastic album, almost as good as “After The Eulogy”. (8)

DEAFHEAVEN – New Bermuda

Hipster metallers take it easy on the post-rock atmospherics this time around focusing on their black metal side, still look like altar boys. Sounds much better the third time you play it, ask me again after three more spins. (7)


Περνάμε καλά κι αυτό βγαίνει στον κόσμο. (7)

GRAVEYARD – Innocence & Decadence

Enough already with the fucking 70’s worship. (6)

HORISONT – Odyssey

Did I say fucking 70’s worship? This is for fans of Uriah Heep, Rainbow (1st album only), Thin Lizzy etc., but the singer’s no Dio or Byron and the lyrics are no Lynott. (6)

KYLESA – Exhausting Fire

Kylesa have been gradually instilling their southern groove metal  with more melody, and this is their most melodic album yet. (7)

MUSTASCH – Testosterone

Hook-laden, good-times hard rock from the band with the best band name ever. (7)

MY DYING BRIDE – Feel The Misery

Dude, will you lighten up already? (7)

SABBATH ASSEMBLY – Sabbath Assembly

More metal than the weird religious cult stuff they did before but still, if you play this backwards make sure you’re holding something you can kill goats with. (6)


They keep changing singers more often than I change underwear (i.e. approximately once a year) and now Daniel Tompkins is back. If you liked the previous ones you’re gonna like this one as well. (7)

VI – De Praestigiis Angelorum

Members of Antaeus, Aosoth and Aborted create unholy black metal racket and make Deafheaven look like altar boys – oh wait. (8)


CHRIS CORNELL – Higher Truth
Listening to a Cornell solo album in 2015 is like stalking an old girlfriend from 20+ years back on social media, you secretly hope that she might still be able/willing to give you pleasure but it won’t happen buddy plus you’re an idiot. (6)


Deep blues cuts by Big Joe Turner, Blind Boy Fuller, Leadbelly and others interpreted by the brothers from the Blasters. (7)

DRUNKEN PLAYER – The Bible And The Blues

Hillbilly barstool poets mix it up with blues, doowop, rockabilly, and country gospel. (7)

JOHN GRANT – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

Pure genius. (9)

LANA DEL REY – Honeymoon

Lots of style and quite a bit of substance, so far this is probably Del Rey’s best set of torch songs for the terminally hip. (8)

MERCURY REV – The Light In You

Outsider pop cult heroes return after a 7-year hiatus, not much has changed in the meantime. (7)

PATTY GRIFFIN – Servant Of Love

Fantastic veteran Americana songwriter and former Robert Plant collaborator/love interest expands her sound with some jazz and Middle Eastern elements. Simply beautiful. (8)


He actually manages to make a Taylor Swift album sound like a Ryan Adams album. (8)


Great bluegrass sextet, made famous for backing comedian Steve Martin (an excellent banjo player) and Eddie Brickell on their musical adventures, hold their own on this fun album inorporating folk, blues and pop elements to their sound. (8)

THE NECKS – Vertigo

Minimalist experimental jazz trio, one 44-minute improvisation, induces trance state but could be challenging for those with short attention spans. (8)

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - Back To School 2015


AGAINST ME! – 23 Live Sex Acts

Totally live, warts and all, no overdubs, Laura Jane Grace & Co put on a hell of a show leaving you breathless and proving that the punk spirit still burns inside. (8)


Heavy fucking metal the way it should fucking be. (8)


Grave Pleasures have risen out of the grave of Beastmilk, but offer slightly less pleasure. (7)


Live recording with Chris Cornell and Duff McCagan filling in for the two dead guys: It would’ve ruled if it wasn’t for the fucking orchestra. (6)

RABBIT RABBIT – Rabbit Rabbit Radio, Vol. 3: Year of the Wooden Horse

Husband and wife team (un)known for their work with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and featuring a bunch of noisy guitarist guests start out with an avant-garde experiment and end up with a bunch of weirdly Pixies-like gems. (8)

SLAYER – Repentless

It sounds like Slayer and it looks like Slayer, all the signifiers are in place, yet somehow
it doesn’t feel like Slayer without Hanneman. But maybe it’s just me. (7)


Another eclectic southern gothic mix of punk, rockabilly and country. Party time! (8)


Tribute band led by Bowie’s original rhythm section from 1970, on stage, kicking ass. CD1 is “The Man Who Sold The World” album performed in its entirety, CD2 is other selections from Bowie’s 70s repertoire. Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory does a passable Bowie and Marc Almond makes a special guest appearance on a chilling “After All”. This has Bowie’s seal of approval so who are you to argue? (8)


Releasing “The Night Creeper” around the same time as Ghost’s “Meliora” is like offering a choice between brussels sprouts and lobster for dinner, and only vegans would choose this. (5)



Beirut’s melancholy pop worked fine for a couple of albums, but sounds much less exciting today. (6)

CHRIS CONNELLY – Decibels From The Heart

Always had a sweet spot for this cult early 90’s figure who, when not singing in 25 different industrial bands with assorted members of Ministry and Killing Joke, creates lush solo albums like this one which sounds like a cross between David Bowie and Marc Almond. (7)

CRAIG FINN – Faith In The Future

How can you NOT like an album with song titles like “Maggie I’ve Been Searching For Our Son”, “Sarah, Calling From A Hotel” and “I Was Doing Fine (Then A Few People Died)”? As a storyteller the guy’s Dylan, Springsteen and Waits all rolled into one! And the tunes are great even without the Hold Steady’s epic rock bombast. (8)

GIL SCOTT-HERON – Small Talk At 125th And Lenox (Re-issue)

His 1970 debut sounds quite different from the jazz-funk Scott-Heron became known for – this is militant spoken word, raw black poetry straight from the streets of Harlem, with just a couple of percussionists providing minimal instrumentation on most tracks. Re-issue of the year. (10)


Great tunes, catchy choruses, beautiful production, a sound that’s hard to categorize but might remind you of everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Fleetwood Mac, what’s not to like? (7)

JOAN SHELLEY – Over And Even

Shelley’s songs will make you dream of mountains, rivers, forests and a life you never had, city boy. (8)

JULIA HOLTER – Have You In My Wilderness

Holter’s orchestral/baroque pop is quite unique and hard to describe, all I can say is that this is gorgeous. (9)

MADDY AND TAE – Start Here

Pop-country music’s latest sensation come across as a hybrid between Taylor Swift and a teenage version of the Pistol Annies. (7)

NILS FRAHM – Late Night Tales

A strong addition to this exciting compilation series, modern classical composer Frahm goes for an eclectic mix that moves with ease between Vladimir Horowitz, Boards Of Canada, Miles Davis and Colin Stetson. (8)

Friday, 4 September 2015

Mixtape #4 - Baby That's Rock 'N' Roll 2015

Δεν έχω Σποτιφάϊ, δεν δουλεύει στο Ντουμπάϊ (I'm a fuckin' poet and I didn't even know it). 

Άκουσα κάποιον τις προάλλες να λέει ότι το rock 'n' roll έχει πεθάνει και μου γύρισε το μάτι ανάποδα. Και αφού δεν έχω Spotify, είπα να καταθέσω τα αποδεικτικά στοιχεία για το αντίθετο the old-fashioned way: Mixtape.

Η συλλογή που έφτιαξα για εσάς ακολουθεί μια πολύ απλή λογική: 60-άρα (περίπου) κασέτα, μόνο κυκλοφορίες του 2015, όσο γίνεται πιο ομαλή ροή και πλήρης απουσία electronica, progressive black metal, dubstep, synthwave ή funkrockethnicedeliarap: Εδώ έχουμε μόνο μουσική απλή, οργανική, φτιαγμένη με μεράκι και αγάπη - όπως το mixtape μου δηλαδή. Καλή ακρόαση.


1. Ray Wylie Hubbard - Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'
Γερόλυκος που δε δίνει δεκάρα για το αν θα του κολλήσεις ταμπέλα ροκ, μπλουζ ή κάντρι αφιερώνει ύμνο στη Chrissie Hynde, τη Joan Jett και τις υπόλοιπες του συναφιού τους. Προσπάθησε να μη χορέψεις.
2. JD McPherson - Head Over Heels
Τέτοιον ήχο στην κιθάρα είχα να ακούσω από την εποχή του "Help You Ann" των Lyres. Και αυτά τα δεύτερα φωνητικά...
3. The Sonics - The Hard Way
Οι άνθρωποι είναι 70 χρονών. 70! Ακούστε με τι λύσσα διασκευάζουν Kinks κι ευχηθείτε να είστε κι εσείς έτσι στα 70 σας.
4. The Young Novelists - Singer-Songwriter
Αφού πιάσαμε cult ήρωες από τα 60's, προχωράμε σε μερικές σύγχρονες μπάντες που αναβιώνουν το Pebbles/Nuggets κλίμα εκείνης της εποχής: Οι Young Novelists μόλις έχουν βγει από το garage όπου προβάρουν το μεγαλύτερο hit που δεν θα ακούσει κανείς, ποτέ...
5. Imperial State Electric - Maybe You're Right
...Oι Imperial State Electric του Nicke Andersson θα μπορούσαν κάλλιστα να έχουν ηχογραφήσει αυτό το power pop διαμάντι με τις a-la Beatles αρμονίες κάπου στο Texas το 1966...
6. The Orange Humble Band - You Close Your Eyes
...Και οι Orange Humble Band παίζουν ακριβώς όπως θα περίμενε κανείς από μία μπάντα που περιλαμβάνει μέλη των Big Star, Posies και Lime Spiders.
7. Jimbo Mathus - Ready To Run
Αλλαγή ρότας με τον Captain Jimbo και το αγαπημένο μου τραγούδι από ένα από τα κορυφαία outsider άλμπουμ της χρονιάς. Αν δεν σου αρέσει δεν είσαι φίλος μου.
8. Tom Russell - He Wasn't A Bad Kid, When He Was Sober
Ο άνθρωπος έχει γράψει τραγούδια για τον Johnny Cash, έχει εκδώσει σε βιβλίο την αλληλογραφία του με τον Μπουκόφσκι, έχει πτυχίο Master's στην Εγκληματολογία, και μεταξύ άλλων έχει εργαστεί ως δάσκαλος εν μέσω εμφυλίου πολέμου στη Νιγηρία, ως μουσικός σε τσίρκο στο Πόρτο Ρίκο, και ως ταξιτζής στη Νέα Υόρκη. Για πες μου λίγο τι έχεις κάνει εσύ στη ζωή σου να δω κάτι; 
9. Jason Isbell - 24 Frames
Τι ωραίο!


1. Pentagram - Earth Flight
Όλοι συνδέουν συνειρμικά τους Pentagram με τους Black Sabbath και ξεχνάνε τους Stooges και τους MC5. 
2. The King Khan & BBQ Show - Illuminations
Πιο lo-fi δε γίνεται. Πιο fun δε γίνεται.
3. Barrence Whitfield & The Savages - I'm A Full Grown Man
Νωρίτερα αναφερθήκαμε στους Lyres: Το μυστικό όπλο του Barrence (φωνάρα!) είναι τα δύο μέλη των Lyres στη μπάντα του. Α, και στα 90's ο Barrence είχε κάνει και 2 δίσκους με τον Tom Russell.
4. Vintage Trouble - Angel City, California
Καλά, όσο εσείς ψάχνεστε με τους Death Grips και τη Myrkur, αφήστε με εμένα να ακούω boogie.
5. Blackberry Smoke - Holding All The Roses
Νότιο ροκ μαριναρισμένο σε μπέρμπον.
6. Lindi Ortega - Run Amuck
Απλή και όμορφη ροκαμπιλιά από ένα κορίτσι που αγαπώ.
7. Whitey Morgan & The 78's - Waitin' 'Round To Die
Πλησιάζοντας προς το τέλος ρίχνουμε τους τόνους για λίγο με την καλύτερη διασκευή της χρονιάς. Ύμνος.
8. Mischief Brew - Lancaster Avenue Blues
Πανκ ροκ με κελτικό υπόστρωμα, για πολλές μπύρες. Όποιος ερεθίζεται στη σκέψη ενός New Model Army/Gogol Bordello υβριδίου εδώ θα βρει τη σωτηρία του.
9. Frank Turner - Get Better
Get better λέει αυτός, δεν ξέρω αν γίνεται καλύτερα. 

Κατεβάστε το Mixtape εδώ.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - September Preview


The Hellacopters go power pop. (8)

IRON MAIDEN – The Book Of Souls
OK. (7)

JOHN ZORN – The True Discoveries Of Witches And Demons
If you’re into prog then Zorn’s new instrumental ensemble will blow your mind to shreds, sort of like a jazz/metal version of Fantomas doing the weirdest rhythms King Crimson ever failed to come up with. (8)

Sounds like mid-90’s Ulver, exploring Scandinavian folklore through a black metal prism. Interesting in concept, somewhat lacking in execution. (6)

NILE – What Should Not Be Unearthed
Look, it’s a Nile album, OK? It’s fast, it’s technical, it’s crushingly heavy, you’ve heard it before, it’s Morbid Angel doing songs about ancient Egypt. (7)

THE SWORD – High Country
From the Thin Lizzy shuffle of “Empty Temples” to the QOTSA pop of “Seriously Mysterious” The Sword are not afraid to take risks and try new things here, and most of them work. (7)


The best garage punk blues/soul rock ‘n’ roll shouter you’ve never heard of is back with his toughest, most in-your-face album yet. Dig! (8)

Sorry, I don’t get it. I just don’t. (6)

HOLY SONS – The Fall Of Man
Better known as Grails/Om drummer, Emil Amos plays most instruments himself on this album that sounds like Pavement doing 70’s AM soft rock. (7)

MOCEAN WORKER – Mocean Worker
The kind of pleasant-but-sort-of-generic electrofunk you’ll hear blasting in beach bars across the universe. (6)

Maximo Park frontman in side project that sounds just like Maximo Park minus the hooks. (6)

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD – The Ruffian’s Misfortune
Is this rock, or is it country, or is it the blues? Dunno. Does it kick ass? You bet! (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels: The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock Vol. 5, 1972
The title is self-explanatory and this series just keeps getting better: Vol. 5 has The Byrds, JJ Cale, Townes Van Zandt, Ry Cooder, Kris Kristofferson, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Pure Prairie League, John Prine, Everly Bros, Rick Nelson, Dan Fogelberg, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band etc. (9)