Sunday, 13 August 2017

Short Attention Span Record Reviews Aug 2017 - Summer Vacation Edition

Spiritual children of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the original roots rock/americana band. (7)

ARCADE FIRE – Everything Now

Transition from overrated indie rock brats to bad disco clowns successfully completed. (5)

DALE CROVER – The Fickle Finger Of Fate

Melvins drummer on solo album has some fun experimenting and fooling around in the studio. Non-essential. (6)

DEAD CROSS – Dead Cross

Dave Lombardo and Mike Patton play hardcore. What more do you need to know? (8)

DREAM MACHINE – The Illusion

Great occult/psych-rock revivalist album, organ-driven, sounds like an Iron Butterfly/Atomic Rooster/Doors/Electric Prunes hybrid. But they make a big fuss about tuning to A=432hz instead of A=440hz so they should cut the pretentious crap. (8)

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN – The Killing Moon: The Singles 1980-1990

Hated them since I was a teen.  Decided to give them another chance now that I’m older, wiser and with a wider music taste palette. Still hate them. (-)


Solo, mostly acoustic blues record. I prefer him when he’s rockin’ backed by the Destroyers. (7)

HACRIDE – Chapter I: Inconsolabilis

Solid EP by underrated French band, Gojira contemporaries who have also moved way beyond their death metal/Meshuggah roots. Fun fact: Half the band are touring members of Carpenter Brut. (8)

HARD WORKING AMERICANS – We’re All In This Together

Not to be confused with The Americans (see above) but, yeah, spiritual children of Creedence Clearwater Revival, the original jam band. This is a live album, if you liked last year’s “Rest In Chaos” then you should definitely check this out. (7)

LANA DEL REY – Lust For Life

Now that everyone has realized Lana Del Rey is just a persona/character like Alice Cooper, can we all agree that Lizzy Grant writes pretty decent pop songs and releases great singles? Too bad about the album filler though – like her previous works, “Lust For Life” would greatly benefit from being 3-4 songs shorter. (7)


Jack White-endorsed country singer-songwriter drops surprise EP. Good stuff, firmly in the Loretta/Dolly vein. (8)

MELVINS – A Walk With Love & Death

If you’re not already a Melvins fan then don’t bother with this one. If you are a fan then you know the only real surprise on a Melvins album is who’s playing bass, and this time it’s Steven McDonald from Redd Kross. This is a 2-disc set, album 1 (“Death”) sounds like a Melvins album, album 2 (“Love”) is the soundtrack to an experimental film directed by Jesse Nieminen and it sounds like the soundtrack to an experimental film (i.e. pretty much unlistenable). (7 Death/4 Love)

NINE INCH NAILS – Add Violence

This EP features Reznor’s most “commercial”/accessible material in ages, except when it features his noisiest. (8)

RANDY NEWMAN – Dark Matter

If you only know Newman’s music from the Pixar movies he scores then you’re missing out on a great, weird songwriter and a master of irony and satire who can also pull your heartstrings: Before you’ve stopped LOLing over a song like “Putin”, here comes another one like “Wondering Boy” to make you cry. (8)

SHABAZZ PALACES – Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star / Quazarz Vs. The Jealous Machines

Is this art-rap? Is it prog-hop? Dunno how to label them, but they definitely sound like no one else on their two new albums released simultaneously. (7)

SHEER MAG – Need To Feel Your Love

Thin Lizzy-influenced classic hard rock with lo-fi production and hi-fi ambitions. What I don’t get is why everyone talks about Tina Halladay’s voice, this reviewer finds her delivery rather grating. (6)


The vibe of this one goes back to the more commercial, “Stupid Dream”/”Lightbulb Sun” Porcupine Tree era (1999-2000), and that’s fine. (7)

THIS IS THE KIT – Moonshine Freeze

Interesting song structures, charming melodies and rich instrumentation make for a delightful little pop-folk record. (8)

TOM JONES – Live On Soundstage

CD/DVD package from a recent show in Chicago, featuring special guest Alison Krauss. A mix of tracks from his 3 excellent most recent albums and re-imagined older classic hits, with the psychedelic latin-rock version of “Delilah” an obvious highlight. (9)


Sturgill Simpson protégé but more traditional-sounding, this is pure old-school country music with the exception of “Universal Sound”, the closest Childers gets to Simpson’s cosmic meditations and coincidentally (?) the album’s best track. (7)


In case you’re not familiar with the concept – “Late Night Tales” is a series of artist-curated compilations, with curators being asked to put together the ultimate late night mix. BADBADNOTGOOD do a decent job but this is not as great as the Cinematic Orchestra and Nils Frahm ones. (7)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Soul of a Nation: Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power (Underground Jazz, Street Funk & the Roots of Rap 1968-79)

Of course this compilation opens with Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and includes mind-blowing tracks by Roy Ayers Ubiquity, Oneness Of Juju etc., but it’s certainly incomplete without The Last Poets. Great stuff anyway. (8)