Saturday, 20 February 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, Feb 2016 Vol. II

Nashville royalty (Lee Ann Womack’s daughter) releases debut album, labels her sound “garage country”, comes across like a grittier Pistol Annie. Her stepfather/producer is Miranda Lambert’s producer too if you thought that was a coincidence. (8)

BIRDS OF CHICAGO – Real Midnight

Gospel-infused Americana by husband- and wife-led roots band. Check it out if you liked Rhiannon Giddens’ 2015 album. (7)

BLACK QUEEN – Fever Daydream

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato indulges his love for 80’s synth-pop, The Human League, New Order, early Depeche Mode etc. (7)


This is what Eric Clapton would sound like today if he was American. And could still write songs. And remembered what a good cover version sounds like. And played slide. And was female. Err, actually this is not like Eric Clapton at all. No seriously, hear how Bonnie totally owns that INXS song. (8)

CHUCK RAGAN – The Flame In The Flood

Americana soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic videogame by the guy most loved for his work with melodic hardcore heroes Hot Water Music, sounds like Hot Water Music played with acoustic guitars, mandolins and pedal steels. (7)

THE CULT – Hidden City

It’s The Cult. (7)

DR. LONNIE SMITH – Evolution

I love Lonnie Smith’s thick, meaty organ. Wait, that came out very wrong, I’m talking about the Hammond, OK? Because “Evolution” is just a great funky jazz record built around Smith’s rich Hammond sound. (8)

IGGY POP – Post-Pop Depression

Iggy Pop/Josh Homme collaboration is a sum lesser than its parts. (7)


Iggy reads Walt Whitman poems while soft but threatening electronica plays in the background. Very interesting. (8)

KANYE WEST – The Life Of Pablo

This year’s most anticipated love/hate album is basically just a glorious mess of braggadocio and self-loathing. (7)

LONG RYDERS – Final Wild Songs

Comprehensive box set spanning the whole career of alt-country prophets the Long Ryders (the Paisley Underground’s version of the Byrds). Have I ever told you that “Looking For Lewis & Clark” is the best song of all time every time I hear it? (8)

LUTHER DICKINSON – Blues & Ballads, A Folksinger’s Songbook: Vol. I & II

North Mississippu All-Stars mainman releases stripped-down solo southern blues album featuring A-list guests like Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell and others. (7)

MAVIS STAPLES – Livin’ On A High Note

Legendary septuagenarian soul/gospel singer follows the trend of older artists still at it, attempts to approach a new audience by having people like Nick Cave, Justin Vernon and Neko Case write her songs. Warning: It still sounds like soul/gospel, not like Nick Cave. (7)


A welcome addition to the Rotting Christ canon, especially for fans of their latter period (Season Of Mist, 2007– ). (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

You know I rave about the “Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels” compilation series chronicling the rise of country rock’s stars in the late 60’s and 70’s right? Well this is the dark side folks, a fine collection of country rock one-hit wonders, no-hit wonders, boozers and losers you’ve never heard of, but you should. (8)

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