Saturday, 25 April 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - May 2015

BLUR – The Magic Whip
“My Terracotta Heart” is admittedly a pretty good song, I find most of the rest of the album a bit boring. But then again I’m prejudiced because I never could stand these fucking Kinks wannabes. (6)

Stetson and Neufeld have already worked together in Arcade Fire, but on this collaboration they go for some beautiful minimalistic post-classical sax and violins. (8)

FAITH NO MORE – Sol Invictus
Probably closer to “Angel Dust” than to any of their other work, “Sol Invictus” is a fully respectable comeback and a true treat for the fans. (8)

JIMBO MATHUS – Blue Healer
This is a perfect album, combining cranked-up swampy stompin’ southern rockers with soulful country & gospel tearjerkers and REAL songwriting that would make Springsteen, Van Morrison and Tom Waits proud. Most fun I’ve had this year with my clothes on: Jumping around my living room pumping my fist anthemically in the air to the sounds of “Ready To Run”. (9)

LILA DOWNS – Balas Y Chocolate
Her most political album yet, dealing with her troubled country’s political and social issues and combining traditional Mexican rhythms and instrumentation with modern western pop elements. Of course, the main attraction remains THAT voice. (8)

METALLICA – No Life Til Leather (Remastered)
The drummer can’t play, the singer can’t sing and all the riffs are NWOBHM rip-offs. (10)

The reverb is back, the prog leanings are gone, this is straightforward psychedilic-lite roots rock that leaves you with the impression that you’re floating a couple of inches above ground. You won’t ever get the choruses to “Believe (Nobody Knows)” and “Big Decisions” out of your brain without highly specialized surgery. (8)

POISON IDEA – Confuse & Conquer
Hardcore punk veterans, favorites of everyone from Pantera to Nirvana, make a crushing return. I could tell you stories from when I saw them live at the Melkweg in Amsterdam in 1993, but then I’d have to kill you. (7)

RUN THE JEWELS – Record Store Day EP
Sort of patchy effort by the hip-hop duo, definitely not as impressive as last year’s killer album. (6)

SARAH GAYLE MEECH – Tennessee Love Song
Nashville girl who’s got more tattoos on her than Riker’s Island prison, a Hell’s Angels convention and the NBA combined but sings sweet country songs like a cross between Loretta Lynn and Rosanne Cash. (7)

TOM RUSSELL – The Rose Of Roscrae
A two-and-a-half-hour long, 52-track folk-rock opera should at best be a hit-or-miss affair by default, but there are no misses here. Definitely the year’s most epic and ambitious album, if not the flat-out best. (9)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Whatever Nevermind: A Tribute To Nirvana's Nevermind
Some bands (Torche, Kylesa, Cave In) play it safe and stick close to the originals, others (Young Widows, Boris, Nothing) tend to be more adventurous. Either way, U can’t touch this. (-)

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - April 2015

ANNE McCUE – Blue Sky Thinkin’
Wild and wonderful Aussie girl guitar rocker who has previously also written the best love song ever now goes for a Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz sound with solid results. (7) 

CALEXICO – Edge Of The Sun
I admit it, I can’t be objective with these guys, OK? Their unique brand of americana/mexicana never fails to trigger something weird really deep inside me, and right now I happen to live in the desert so the effect of their new album is doubled. (16) 

DAVID CORLEY – Available Light
Singing drunken poetry scribbled down on beermats like the bastard son of Tom Waits and Lou Reed, Corley’s got our late-night soundtrack covered for a month or two. (8) 

DREAMLONGDEAD – Arise Howling Darkness Of Cyclopean Masonry & Non-Euclidean Geometry
If you’re into doom/death metal then you should hear this album now or else Cthulhu will come and kick your ass. (7) 

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
This album sounds like the end of the world. (8) 

Now I know why deadheads take drugs: This stuff is impossible to listen to while sober. (4) 

J.D. McPHERSON – Let The Good Times Roll
Wow. Just, like, wow. Who is this guy? Where did he come from? How can he play this 50’s Sun Studios-type rockabilly stuff sixty years later and sound so fresh? Party album of the year! (9) 

JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION – Freedom Tower No Wave Dance Party 2015
Nevermind the “2015” in the album title, this is pure 1995 deconstructed rock ‘n’ roll NYC style. (7) 

KATATONIA – Sanctitude
Live, semi-acoustic reworked versions prove beyond all reasonable doubt that these guys are not just about mood and atmosphere but have really written a whole bunch of stunning songs in the course of their career. (8) 

MOTHER’S FINEST – Goody 2 Shoes & The Filthy Beast
Funk metal grandma Baby Jean and grandpa Doc still want to shake some booty, and sometimes they manage. (6) 

PRODIGY – The Day Is My Enemy
It’s loud and abrasive and stupid and immature, just what you’d expect from The Prodigy. (7) 

RED BARAAT – Gaadi Of Truth
Indian brass band party music, NYC-style. Sort of sounds like a Goran Bregovic soundtrack if the dude had been born in New Delhi and was actually talented. (8)

SONICS – This Is The Sonics
Yes, those Sonics, “Psycho”, “Strychnine” etc. etc. Their first album since 1967, and it’s good. (7) 

SUFJAN STEVENS – Carrie And Lowell
I know I’m supposed to really like this album but sorry, it mostly reminds me of that scene in “Animal House” where Belushi smashes the serenading folkie’s guitar to smithereens. (6) 

ZU – Cortar Dodo
Noisy as hell, heavy as fuck, no guitar, practically no vocals, just a killer rhythm section and a screeching saxophone. This rules. (8)