Saturday, 19 November 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, Nov 2016 Vol.II

ANTAEUS – Condemnation
In-your-face, relentless blastbeaten black/death metal, no trendy shit, no holds barred, only for the sick. (8)


Danceable Jewish/Eastern European/dub musical hybrid by Firewater & Gogol Bordello musical collaborators. (7)

CHELLE ROSE – Blue Ridge Blood

You don’t mess around with this tough Tennessee chick, she sounds like she’s actually chewing you right now and is about to spit you out. (7)


Writes a couple of decent tunes but ruins them with that fucking Auto-Tune shit all over the vocals, adds some filler, makes hipster critics go ecstatic for some reason. (6)

METALLICA – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

For a band that knows it passed the point where its past will always be more important than its future 20+ years ago, this is a fine album. (8)

MIRANDA LAMBERT – The Weight Of These Wings

Ambitious double album by Lambert, arguably country music’s biggest contemporary female star since Taylor Swift went pop. It’s her break-up record and it’s beautiful. (8)

NAIM AMOR & JOHN CONVERTINO – The Western Suite And The Siesta Songs

Not so much actual songs but more like musical vignettes with a distinctly spaghetti western flavor, from Calexico drummer and French-born Calexico friend. (7)

OTROS AIRES – Perfect Tango

I first discovered this band on a trip to Argentina in the 00’s when electrotango was all the rage and I quite liked them back in the day, but their sound hasn’t aged well. (6)

SOLANGE – A Seat At The Table

The younger Knowles releases stunning, brave R&B album addressing issues of race, gender and empowerment with aural nods to classic 70’s soul. This is not “Beyonce’s kid sister”, this is Solange. This is better than Frank Ocean’s album. (8)


Doom metal. The best riffs ever. Really annoying vocals. (7)

SUPERJOINT – Caught Up In The Gears Of Application

Competent, aggressive sludgy hardcore from Anselmo’s other other band. (7)

THE HOLD STEADY – Almost Killed Me/Separation Sunday (Remastered Deluxe Editions)

I’ve said it again and again that this is the greatest rock band of their generation. If you missed them the first time around, their first two albums were just re-released with bonus tracks. (8) / (8)

THE PACK A.D. – Positive Thinking

Canadian female garage rock duo blend White Stripes-style enthusiasm with Nirvanaesque melodies. (7)


Prog band has fun with mashup album blending Radiohead with Beck and Phil Collins, Metallica with Gorillaz, Motorhead with Ween, Ted Nugent with the Beastie Boys etc. And it works! (8) 

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions Of Iron Maiden

It’s funny for about two songs. (5)

Friday, 4 November 2016

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, Nov 2016



I played this back-to-back with a compilation titled “I’m A Freak Baby: A Journey Through British Heavy Psych And Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72”, and couldn’t tell the difference. (8)

CROWBAR – The Serpent Only Lies

Crushingly heavy sludge/doom, no surprises. (7)

DEATHSPELL OMEGA – The Synarchy Of Molten Bones

The sound of demons unleashed from the fiery depths of hell ripping your flesh to shreds. (8)

KORN – The Serenity Of Suffering

Maybe it’s a generational thing but I never managed to fully appreciate what these guys do. That being said, this is probably the heaviest Korn record ever and it’s actually listenable. (7)

MOBY & THE VOID PACIFIC CHOIR – These Systems Are Failing

20 years after “Animal Rights” Moby revisits his punk rock side with an album chock-full of relentless drum machine beat programming, distorted guitars, old-school synths and gang vocals. (7)

PELANDER – Time (6)

TESTAMENT – Brotherhood Of The Snake

With Hoglan-DiGiorgio-Skolnick in the fold Testament have completed the circle to become THE sanctuary for unemployed thrash metal virtuosos and with their best line-up ever they release another high-class album. (8)

ULCERATE – Shrines Of Paralysis

Cataclysmic, dissonant technical death metal makes for truly uneasy listening. (7)

Ψ.Χ. – Το Φως Το Αληθινό

Part of the appeal is trying to figure out if this is funny or scary. (7)


ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO – Burn Something Beautiful

What is this guy? Is he alternative rock? Is he country/americana? He’s collaborated with Ryan Adams, Tony Visconti and Chuck Prophet, he’s Sheila E.’s uncle, his backing band on this album includes REM’s Peter Buck and assorted members of the Young Fresh Fellows, the Decemberists and the Fastbacks. Oh yeah, and this rules. (8)

DEFUNKT – Live At Channel Zero

Underground sexagenarian jazz/funk/punk heroes and major influence on the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Living Colour still kick it on live album. (7)

KACEY MUSGRAVES – A Very Kacey Christmas

The only Christmas album you’ll need this year is by country music’s nerdy semi-star Musgraves – some standards wonderfully executed, some originals that deserve to become standards, some fun weird cover choices (Alvin & the Chipmunks, Gayla Peevey’s 1953 novelty track “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”), and a reggae duet with Willie Nelson. (8)

LEONARD COHEN – You Want It Darker

He’s 82 and he sounds like he’s saying goodbye, with his best album in decades no less. (9)

MAVERICKS – All Night Live Vol. 1

Picture the best poolside party ever – you’re in Miami and there’s an awesome live band playing a kind of wild, kick-ass rockabilly/country/latin/ska hybrid, it’s 1:00am and you’re drinking margaritas and dancing the night away with a gorgeous Mexican girl who whispers in your ear that she likes you. The Mavericks are that band. (8)

MIKE DOUGHTY – The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns

Soul Coughing mainman moves from New York to Memphis and this reflects on his sound, now more singery-songwritery than hipstery. (7)


Gritty kick-ass desert funk from Mauritanian songstress on what is possibly the World Music album of the year. (8)


Sardinian trumpeter Fresu is obviously a Miles Davis disciple but seasons his jazz with a distinctly Mediterranean twist. “Eros” is a collaboration with Cuban pianist Sosa and a nice after-hours soundtrack. The centerpiece of the album is a fantastic cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” featuring Natacha Atlas. (7)

SARAH McLACHLAN – Wonderland

 Sorry Sarah, I love you but Kacey’s Christmas album is much better than this sentimental fodder. (6)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Lazarus (Original Cast Recording)

 Bowie classics re-imagined as Broadway musical and sung by theater pros for a sequel to “The Man Who Fell To Earth”. Also includes the master’s own last recordings, three unreleased tracks from the “Blackstar” sessions. (8)