Saturday, 4 June 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, June 2016




THE LOUDER STUFF

ARCHITECTS – All Our Gods Have Abandonded Us

For post-Meshuggah chugga-chugga this is actually pretty decent. (7)

FATES WARNING – Theories Of Flight

Either you get it or you don’t. (10)

JORN – Heavy Rock Radio

Great track selection, plays like Wisconsin’s coolest jukebox in 1986 or the most drunken karaoke night ever. (7)

KATATONIA – The Fall Of Hearts

Turn off the lights, turn up the volume and let the darkness engulf you. Fuckin’ Katatonia. (9)

MELVINS – Basses Loaded

The usual Melvins wackiness with a twist: Rotating bass players – Krist Novoselic, Trevor Dunn, Jared Warren, Jeff Pinkus, Steve MacDonald and Dave Crover handle the low end on two tracks each. Did I mention it’s heavy as hell? (7)

NO SINNER – Old Habits Die Hard

Second album by blues rock band elevated above mediocrity only thanks to Colleen Rennison’s powerhouse voice. (6)

SKYCLAD – A Bellyful Of Emptiness: The Very Best Of The Noise Years 1991-1995

I’m going to be revisionist about this: They always were a bit of a one-trick pony even by heavy metal standards and Walkyier’s clever wordplay often lost out to his weak, barked delivery and a flat production that has certainly not withstood the test of time. Right, bring on the torches and the pitchforks. (7) 

SUMAC – What One Becomes

I got a headache, but it’s a good headache. (7)

THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM – Monolith of Phobos

Psych-pop duo consisting of Primus mainman Les Claypool and Sean Lennon whose abstract guitar playing is more Yoko than John. (7)

THE LIVING END – Shift

Semi-hard rock the Aussie way, tough and catchy just the way I like it. (7)

THE SO SO GLOS – Kamikaze

Old school punk rock that owes quite a bit to the Clash. (7)

THRICE – To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere

This is much better that any melodic post-hardcore band’s ninth album has any right to be. (8)

 

THE OTHER STUFF

AUSTIN LUCAS – Between The Moon And The Midwest

This is top-notch country music that rocks with the best of ‘em by a guy who started out as a punk rocker. The great Lydia Loveless makes a cameo here. (8)

BOMBINO – Azel

Yet another Tuareg bringing the Sahara’s desert blues to the west, this one’s a guitar virtuoso and significantly more upbeat compared to the Tinariwen benchmark. (8)

CAR SEAT HEADREST – Teens Of Denial

This guy wasn’t even born when Pavement, Guided By Voices and the Pixies ruled college radio, but he does an excellent job capturing that era’s spirit. (8)

DANIEL ROMANO – Mosey

Romano goes way beyond countrypolitan for his third album and writes some gorgeous 60’s-influenced pop hooks, then shoots himself in the foot with the cheesy cheapo synthbrass orchestration. If he’d been born 50 years earlier and had Lee Hazlewood’s studio budget, “Mosey” might have been a masterpiece. (7)

ERIC CLAPTON – I Still Do

It’s an Eric Clapton record in 2016, what did you expect? (6)

HARD WORKING AMERICANS – Rest In Chaos

Back in 1994 I saw Todd Snider live and called him “the future of rock ‘n’ roll” but he turned out to be a world champion underachiever instead. That being said, his new band –a meat ‘n’ potatoes rock supergroup of sorts featuring a couple of Widespread Panic members– just released a stunner. (8)

MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD – Soulrocker

A kind of pop-reggae/EDM hybrid with a strong spiritual message. I liked Franti more when he was a Gil Scott-Heron-inspired angsto-political activist. (6)

NATACHA ATLAS – Myriad Road

Atlas throws jazz into her multi-culti western/middle eastern mix and ends up with an album that makes for wonderful late night listening. (8)

PAUL SIMON – Stranger To Stranger

Simon’s in top form here, both as a composer and as a storyteller. (8)

ROBERT ELLIS – Robert Ellis

This is so weird, I listened to this back-to-back with the new Paul Simon album and it turns out it sounds exactly as if a younger Paul Simon did a country album. (8)

THE HIGHWAYMEN – The Very Best Of

Sometimes the sum is lesser than its parts. (7)

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