Saturday, 12 September 2015

Short Attention Span Record Reviews - Back To School 2015




THE LOUDER STUFF

AGAINST ME! – 23 Live Sex Acts

Totally live, warts and all, no overdubs, Laura Jane Grace & Co put on a hell of a show leaving you breathless and proving that the punk spirit still burns inside. (8)

CHRISTIAN MISTRESS – To Your Death

Heavy fucking metal the way it should fucking be. (8)

GRAVE PLEASURES – Dreamcrash

Grave Pleasures have risen out of the grave of Beastmilk, but offer slightly less pleasure. (7)

MAD SEASON & THE SEATTLE SYMPHONY – Sonic Evolution

Live recording with Chris Cornell and Duff McCagan filling in for the two dead guys: It would’ve ruled if it wasn’t for the fucking orchestra. (6)

RABBIT RABBIT – Rabbit Rabbit Radio, Vol. 3: Year of the Wooden Horse

Husband and wife team (un)known for their work with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and featuring a bunch of noisy guitarist guests start out with an avant-garde experiment and end up with a bunch of weirdly Pixies-like gems. (8)

SLAYER – Repentless

It sounds like Slayer and it looks like Slayer, all the signifiers are in place, yet somehow
it doesn’t feel like Slayer without Hanneman. But maybe it’s just me. (7)

THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS – The Southern Surreal

Another eclectic southern gothic mix of punk, rockabilly and country. Party time! (8)

TONY VISCONTI & WOODY WOODMANSEY’S HOLY HOLY – The Man Who Sold The World, Live In London

Tribute band led by Bowie’s original rhythm section from 1970, on stage, kicking ass. CD1 is “The Man Who Sold The World” album performed in its entirety, CD2 is other selections from Bowie’s 70s repertoire. Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory does a passable Bowie and Marc Almond makes a special guest appearance on a chilling “After All”. This has Bowie’s seal of approval so who are you to argue? (8)

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS – The Night Creeper

Releasing “The Night Creeper” around the same time as Ghost’s “Meliora” is like offering a choice between brussels sprouts and lobster for dinner, and only vegans would choose this. (5)


THE OTHER STUFF

BEIRUT – No No No

Beirut’s melancholy pop worked fine for a couple of albums, but sounds much less exciting today. (6)

CHRIS CONNELLY – Decibels From The Heart

Always had a sweet spot for this cult early 90’s figure who, when not singing in 25 different industrial bands with assorted members of Ministry and Killing Joke, creates lush solo albums like this one which sounds like a cross between David Bowie and Marc Almond. (7)

CRAIG FINN – Faith In The Future

How can you NOT like an album with song titles like “Maggie I’ve Been Searching For Our Son”, “Sarah, Calling From A Hotel” and “I Was Doing Fine (Then A Few People Died)”? As a storyteller the guy’s Dylan, Springsteen and Waits all rolled into one! And the tunes are great even without the Hold Steady’s epic rock bombast. (8)

GIL SCOTT-HERON – Small Talk At 125th And Lenox (Re-issue)

His 1970 debut sounds quite different from the jazz-funk Scott-Heron became known for – this is militant spoken word, raw black poetry straight from the streets of Harlem, with just a couple of percussionists providing minimal instrumentation on most tracks. Re-issue of the year. (10)

JEFFREY DEAN FOSTER – The Arrow

Great tunes, catchy choruses, beautiful production, a sound that’s hard to categorize but might remind you of everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Fleetwood Mac, what’s not to like? (7)

JOAN SHELLEY – Over And Even

Shelley’s songs will make you dream of mountains, rivers, forests and a life you never had, city boy. (8)

JULIA HOLTER – Have You In My Wilderness

Holter’s orchestral/baroque pop is quite unique and hard to describe, all I can say is that this is gorgeous. (9)

MADDY AND TAE – Start Here

Pop-country music’s latest sensation come across as a hybrid between Taylor Swift and a teenage version of the Pistol Annies. (7)

NILS FRAHM – Late Night Tales

A strong addition to this exciting compilation series, modern classical composer Frahm goes for an eclectic mix that moves with ease between Vladimir Horowitz, Boards Of Canada, Miles Davis and Colin Stetson. (8)

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