Monday, 10 November 2014

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - November 2014


The Louder Stuff

AT THE GATES – At War With Reality

Just like Carcass a year earlier, At The Gates makes a comeback that can’t possibly top their past crowning achievement but is still a very welcome return. (8)

FOO FIGHTERS – Sonic Highways

We love Dave Grohl on principle but come on, you know there’s no compelling reason to listen to this more than once. (6)

MACHINE HEAD – Bloodstone & Diamonds

Heavy fucking metal! (9)

SPIDERS – Shake Electric

Kick out the jams, brothers and sisters! (8)

THE SKULL – For Those Which Are Asleep

Trouble spin-off featuring 3 ex-members of that band but not the two main songwriters, actually sounds better than the expected “Trouble minus the songwriting” easy pun. (7)

WHILE HEAVEN WEPT – Suspended At Aphelion

Interesting cross between epic doom metal and John Arch-era Fates Warning prog, but the supposedly discreet “carpet” of keyboards in the background is actually quite distracting. (7)

 

The Other Stuff

GARTH BROOKS – Man Against Machine
90’s superstar, the man who singlehandedly elevated country music to Bon Jovi-levels of popularity and arena bombast, comes out of retirement with his first album in 13 years: A bit heavy on the power ballads but still quite enjoyable. (7)

MARIACHI EL BRONX – Mariachi El Bronx III

What probably started out as a joke (a hardcore punk band with a mariachi alter ego?!?) is now a full-fledged project with three solid albums under its semiprecious stone-studded belt. A tip of our sombrero. (7)

NUDE BEACH – 77

They used to sound like a punk band pretending to be Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Now they sound like Cheap Trick pretending to be Big Star, which is even better. (8)

RESTORATIONS – LP3

For fans of The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady and Hot Water Music. Shall we call this stuff AOP (Adult-Oriented Punk)? (7)

RUN THE JEWELS – Run The Jewels 2

Fuck, this is fierce, chock-full of ferocious beats and fiery raps. Not being much of a hip-hop aficionado myself I can’t come up with obvious points of reference, all I can say is that THIS.SHIT.ROCKS. (9)

SABINA - Toujours

Ex-Brazilian Girls singer releases her first solo album and sounds like a funky 21-st Century Nico. One extra point for being hotter than a Dubai sidewalk in July. (8)

TAYLOR SWIFT – 1989

The transformation from America’s country sweetheart to the world’s queen of pop has now been successfully completed. I liked the in-between step much better. (6)

THE CRY! – Dangerous Game

Power pop is supposed to be fun, not bloody annoying. (4)

THE KINKS – Classics: The Best Of

If Beatles>Oasis then Kinks>(Blur+Pulp). P.S. All the hits are here. (10)

THE SECRET SISTERS – Put Your Needle Down

The Secret Sisters are very obviously sisters and sound a lot like brothers: The Everly Brothers to be precise, or rather like a meta-version of them as seen through the swampy Misissippi eyes of producer T-Bone Burnett. Fantastic. (8)

TV ON THE RADIO – Seeds

Another solid effort from TOTR, a band that personifies intelligent early 21st-century rock music better than anyone else. (8)

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