Sunday, 10 April 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, April 2016


CHEAP TRICK – Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello
They’ve been called heavy metal, the American Beatles and everything in between, but they’re just a great rock ‘n’ roll band and 40 years after their debut they still deliver. (8)

DALEK – Asphalt For Eden

A welcome return after a 7-year hiatus, Dalek once again blends hip-hop and industrial noise in this dark, moody monster of an album. (8)

DEFTONES – Gore

Thank God for the 90’s. (8)

KAADA & MIKE PATTON – Bacteria Cult

Norwegian classical/avant-garde composer teams up with workaholic lunatic for another album filled with playful cinematic soundscapes. (7)

KEL ASSOUF – Tikounen

With one foot in the Sahara and the other in the urban jungle, Kel Assouf take Tinariwen’s Tuareg blues and turn the heaviness up a couple of notches. (7)

LINCOLN DURHAM – Revelations of a Mind Unravelling

This is a guy who describes himself as a “Southern gothic punk gospel revival one-man-band” and you know what, I think he nailed it. (8)

LOW FLYING HAWKS – Kofuku

Sludgy doom metal from Mexico featuring the drummer from the Melvins and some rather off-key vocals. (6)

MAMIFFER – The World Unseen

Husband/wife team of Faith Coloccia (Pyramids) and Aaron Turner (Isis) sounds like Hydrahead pretending to be 4AD. (7)

PETER WOLF – A Cure For Loneliness

I axiomatically declare that J. Geils Band is the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band that ever existed and this is a pretty decent solo album by their frontman. Includes a bluegrass version of “Love Stinks”. (7)

PROTEST THE HERO – Pacific Myth

Canadian progressive metal band explores new business model, releases subscription-based series of 6 singles though Bandcamp which, combined, make up this EP. It’s pretty great, just like everything PTH has released from “Fortress” onwards. (8)

ROBBIE FULKS – Upland Stories

Country/folk underdog releases yet another album full of compelling characters and interesting stories about his homeland. (7)

SAM BEAM & JESCA HOOP – Love Letter For Fire

Iron & Wine’s Beam and wonderful Californian songstress Hoop create collaborative duets album. This is pop songwriting at its best and the backing band features some of the best players in the world, like bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) and violinist Eyvind Kang. (8)

TIM HECKER – Love Streams

I always fall for this, I read a bunch of glowing reviews by Brooklyn hipsters giving 8’s and 9’s to some ambient minimalist avant-garde electronica shit and then spend valuable hours listening to it trying to figure out what the fuck they like so much about it. (6)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Dust On The Nettles: A Journey Through The British Underground Folk Scene 1967-72

Fascinating 3-CD collection chronicling the UK’s acid folk scene. You get the stars (Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span), you get the cult heroes (Comus, Vashti Bunyan), you get the obscurities, you even get a psychedelic cover version of “Ena Nero Kyra Vaggelio” retitled “Glass Of Water”. (9)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Southern Family

Hotshot Nashville producer Dave Cobb brings together some top country & Americana stars (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Brandy Clark etc.) and compiles excellent concept album about life in the American South. (8)

WILLIE NILE – World War Willie

Try to imagine Bruce Springsteen having never made it big – oh wait, that’s Southside Johnny. OK then, try to imagine Lou Reed being less of an asshole and having a better sense of humor, or The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn still holding steady 20 years from now – basically, Willie Nile distills the very essence of rock ‘n’ roll storytelling and you need this album. (8)

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