Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, March 2018



Just can’t make up my mind about these guys – I really like the albums when they come out, but then never play them again after about a week of repeated listens and don’t remember a single note and I’m pretty sure this is exactly what's going to happen with this one as well. But it’s not them, it’s me – if you don’t mind the occasional brutal vocal with your prog metal, you should definitely check it out. (7)

CARPENTER BRUT – Leather Teeth

The metal parts are OK but the drum machine and lack of dynamics (everything’s on 11, all the time) make them sound like a demo. Then you’ve got the bad Depeche Mode parts, and I hate even good Depeche Mode. (6)

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX – Horrific Honorifics

Band led by ex-Iron Monkey multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves release mini-album featuring a NoMeansNo cover. In addition to having great taste in covers and despite being called everything from prog to neo-psychedelia but mainly post-rock, to my ears they sound mostly like a modern-day version of the mighty and sorely missed The God Machine. (8)

JUDAS PRIEST – Firepower

Only the 10th best Judas Priest album but still their best in 27 years AND the best heavy metal release of 2018 to date. (8)

OCEANS OF SLUMBER – The Banished Heart

More gothic metal than progressive metal this time around. Not an easy one, it takes a few listens to get into, but it’s actually pretty good and the lady can really sing. (7)

PAINTED DOLL – Painted Doll

Power-pop/psychedelic-lite project featuring a death metal drummer (Chris Reifert). Very pleasant to listen to but a bit derivative – one song sounds like “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” which sounds like The Byrds, another sounds like “Love”-era The Cult which sound like a post-punk version of The Byrds, another sounds like the Kinks which sound nothing like The Byrds but still. (7)


Great songs, great lyrics, great production, best punk rock album of the year so far. (8)

SOLSTICE – White Horse Hill

True metalheads have waited 20 years for this album, and true metalheads will understand. Non-metalheads will be left scratching their non-metal heads. (8)

THE BELLRAYS – Punk Funk Rock Soul, Vol. 2

I’m a big BellRays fan and I still think they’re one of the best live bands in the world but I have to admit that ever since guitarist/songwriter Tony Fate dropped out, their recorded output has lost some of the Punk. (7)



Savage, primitive garage rock ‘n’ soul from the best live band to come out of Boston since the J. Geils Band. More punk than the latest BellRays, actually. (8)

CHRIS CONNELLY – The Tide Stripped Bare

I have a confession to make: Sometime around 1992 I wanted to be Chris Connelly, at the time when he was a prominent figure in industrial circles. I got over it. This sounds like Connelly himself never got over wanting to be David Bowie. (7)

HALEY HEYNDERICKX – I Need to Start a Garden

A stunningly beautiful, mostly acoustic debut album by this singer/songwriter/guitarist from the Pacific Northwest. No idea if this is her real name or a tribute to Jimi but her playing really does sound like Hendrix if he was a female folkie without the Marshalls, while the vocals are reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten. (8)


A great Tuareg desert blues band, like a funkier version of Tinariwen. (8)

J.D. WILKES – Fire Dream

Legendary Shack Shakers leader releases excellent solo album with a strong “Rain Dogs”-era Tom Waits influence. My man Jimbo Mathus co-produces. (8)


Canadian singer-songwriter explores her Creole/Haitian roots and comes up with a serious candidate for world music/pop crossover album of the year. (8)

THE HANGING STARS – Songs For Somewhere Else

It’s a bunch of Englishmen playing Americana, what do you call this, Britaniana? In 2018 they sound like they came from 1968. (7)

TITUS ANDRONICUS – A Productive Cough

2015’s “The Most Lamentable Tragedy”, a punk rock opera about bipolar disorder, was a masterpiece and made that year’s List. Βut this one’s a misstep – it’s fine to outgrow punk rock, but it’s not fine if you end up sounding like a Bob Dylan cover band consisting of drunken fratboys. (6)

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