Friday, 16 June 2017

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, June 2017

CAPTAIN BEYOND – Lost And Found 1972-1973
The demos for their debut (a serious contender for 1973’s Album of the Year) plus a previously unreleased song from the same era, a treat for fans, nerds and archivists who won’t mind the four-track recording hiss. (-)

CHEAP TRICK – We’re All Alright!

The four uptempo tracks opening the album are the best 12 minutes of rock ‘n’ roll you’re likely to hear in 2017. Much better than just Alright. (8)

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT – The Nashville Sound

Have you seen that pic of Isbell with Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton? It’s not that he’s in good company, it’s the other two guys who are in good company. (8)

LILA DOWNS– Salón Lágrimas Y Deseo

Downs delivers her feminist manifesto whilst the sonic background behind her shifts between different Mexican music subgenres such as mariachi, cumbia, danzon, rancheras, son, even rock. And, That Voice! (8)


Probably the strangest, most unsettling music you’ll hear this month, from a VERY English folk musician who sounds medieval and postmodern at the same time, sort of like a Geordie Captain Beefheart leading the Incredible String Band. (8)

SIKTH – The Future In Whose Eyes

They’re described as progressive metal or as the forefathers of djent, but they’re basically Korn with a hint of Dillinger Escape Plan. (7)

SONGHOY BLUES – Resistance

Damon Albarn-endorsed refugees from North Mali record fantastic album, infusing their Sahara blues with James Brown funk, Fela Kuti afrobeat, even a couple of Queens Of The Stone Age riffs and an Iggy Pop cameo. (8)

STEEL WOODS – Straw In The Wind

Exciting debut album by southern rockers in the Blackberry Smoke mold – and league. They also cover Black Sabbath and invite Lindi Ortega 💙 for a guest vocal slot. (8)

STEVE EARLE & THE DUKES – So You Wanna Be An Outlaw

Earle has been there, done it, smoked it, drank it. He’s done time in prison, got married 7 times, won Grammies, shot heroin, kicked the habit. He’s got people like Willie Nelson and Miranda Lambert guesting on this album and he does a great redneck Led Zep impression on “Fixin’ To Die”. If you think you won’t like this album because it’s “country” just listen to the thing, OK? (8)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – The Glory Days Of Aussie Pub Rock Vol. 1

They’re all here (except AC/DC due to licencing rights difficulties, but you will hear unknown Vanda/Young-produced bands with very young Young brothers as session guitarists). Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil, The Angels, Divinyls, Men At Work, Sunnyboys, Boys Next Door, The Saints, Split Enz, Icehouse, Church, Lime Spiders, Baby Animals, Screaming Tribesmen, Rose Tattoo... 4 CDs, 91 tracks, fantastic liner notes. Buy! (9)

WILLIE NILE – Positively Bob

Ten jangly, rocking covers of Bob Dylan songs. If you always thought that “The Times They Are-A-Changin’”, “Blowin’ In The Wind” etc. are great compositions but could use an electric kick in the butt, well, Willie delivers. (8)