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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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

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