Friday, 31 January 2020

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, February 2020

ALGIERS – There Is No Year
Not sure if “gospel punk” is a genre since there’s probably only one band doing it, but Algiers have already reached album #3 and it’s their darkest one. (7)


Irish psychedelic folk singer-songwriter on promising 60’s throwback debut. (7)

BEACH SLANG – The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City

Nobody embodies the true, hopelessly and unrealistically romantic spirit of rock ‘n’ roll in 2020 like James Alex, and nobody can beat his heartbroken/drunk gutter poetry except perhaps Craig Finn. (8)

BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE – Patchouli Blue

Noir, cinematic jazz for after hours listening. (8)

BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – Bonny Light Horseman

An indie folk supergroup of sorts, they sound like an unplugged Grateful Dead without the boring jamming. (8)

COLIN STETSON – Color Out Of Space (Original Soundtrack)

Sax and violins for a horror movie based on a story by HP Lovecraft and starring Nicolas Cage. (7)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS – The Unraveling

Politically charged heartland rock from one of the best bands around. (8)

EMINEM – Music To Be Murdered By

I suspect that people who get upset at Eminem are the grandchildren of people who were getting upset at Lenny Bruce. Political correctness is killing art, and if rapping is an art form then Eminem is its fuckin’ Michelangelo – “Music To Be Murdered By” is not his Sistine Chapel ceiling, but it’s still a Michelangelo. (8)

EZRA FURMAN – Sex Education (Original Soundtrack)

Soundtrack to Netflix show about teenage angst, featuring new songs plus tracks from previous Furman albums. Furman is one of the top songwriters in the rock game right now, so check this out. But, dear Ezra: The plural of “octopus” is “octopuses”, not “octopi”. (8)

GILL LANDRY – Skeleton At The Banquet

Sad songs make me happy, and Landry’s rugged baritone makes the songs sadder and me happier. (8)

JORN – Heavy Rock Radio II: Executing the Classics

Jorn Lande ventures slightly outside his comfort zone on this new collection of covers – in addition to the expected 80’s Bryan Adams-Foreigner-Deep Purple-Dio karaoke he does so well, he also competently tries his hand at AOR transformations of tunes by Don Henley, Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel. A pleasant listen, as always. (7)


If you thought all country songs were about truckers, beers and broken hearts, think again: Allen, another Guy Clark disciple like Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell, sings about Houdini’s existential crisis, Brecht characters, and the circus coming to a vampire-infested town. Features a Texan all-star band. (8)

THE HADEN TRIPLETS – The Family Songbook

The three daughters of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden release fantastic album touching upon Americana, country, jazz and folk. The vocal harmonies are out of this world. (8)


Available on streaming platforms, color vinyl or limited edition 180-gram black vinyl, this is a show celebrating the hell-raising Kentucky band’s 25th anniversary. RYIL the Reverend Horton Heat and other lunatic rednecks. (8)

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, January 2020. But mostly 2019 leftovers


BLOOD INCANTATION – Hidden History Of The Human Race
A strong death metal album by a band on the rise, extremely technical/proggy with complex song structures. These guys can certainly play their socks off but personally I prefer my death metal a bit drier and more straightforward, this is drenched in reverb and the fretless bass/harmonizing guitars combo, while certainly differentiating them from the masses, also takes some of the edge off. (7)

FRANK TURNER – Show 2000: Live At Nottingham Rock City

Turner’s 2000th live show recorded in December 2016 and now officially released on audio and video is a true rock ‘n’ roll experience – the guy’s got more perfect singalongs than you can count. (9)


Scottish hard rockers release double CD with disc 1 a “greatest hits” type collection and disc 2 a covers album. Some really good stuff here from a band that deserved to be bigger but had its career set back by grunge. (8)

KACEY MUSGRAVES – The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show

Soundtrack of an Amazon Prime Christmas TV Special, with country star Musgraves preparing for a Christmas party while famous guests/friends (from Lana Del Rey and Leon Bridges to Kendall Jenner) pop in and out for duets or skits. The duets are nice but most of the skits are awkward/unfunny, the laugh track is extremely annoying, and it’s already past Christmas as I had neither time nor enough new releases to update the blog on time. (6)


As this old video demonstrates this is quite possibly the only true heavy metal band in the whole universe and as such they’re above criticism. (11)

SCORN – Café Mor

Dub/industrial noise from Mick Harris’ Scorn, returning after a decade of absence. Annoying sounds, and I mean that in a good way. (7)


Sons of Dream Theater? Sons of Rainbow more like it. (8)


Black Friday release on limited 10” milky clear vinyl, including four digital singles available on physical format for the first time. For fans of “the world’s greatest bar band”, a must-have companion to the “Thrashing Through The Passion” album released in earlier in 2019. (8)

THE POLICE – Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings

I really, really, REALLY dislike Sting but the truth of it is, The Police was a killer rock band and this box set (their five studio albums remastered plus a sixth disc of b-sides) proves it – go beyond the #1 hits and you’ll realize that for “Every Breath You Take” there’s also a “Synchronicity II”. (9)


This is better than anything recorded by 75-year old rockers has any right to be and one of the strongest pure rock albums of 2019, even though the last thing I ever needed to hear was Daltrey’s voice Autotuned. (8)