Friday, 13 January 2017

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, Jan 2017

From the swampy bayou scream of “Ready To Die” to the psychedelic pop gem “Little Movies”, from the nostalgic country rock of “Memphis Rain” to the jokey loser anthem “Hard Life”, Tasjan mixes is up like a glammier, funnier Sturgill Simpson. Love this! (9)

AFI – AFI (The Blood Album)

I successfully managed to avoid any contact whatsoever with AFI for 20 years. A couple of spins of this unspectacular goth-tinged pop-punk by 40-year olds pretending to be teenagers proves I was probably right. (6)

BANGLES – Ladies And Gentlemen... The Bangles!

Vinyl release of compilation initially released in digital format a couple of years ago, includes all the early stuff before the band got signed to Columbia Records and turned pop, when they still were a kick-ass Paisley Underground-associated garage band. (9)

DROPKICK MURPHYS – 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory

Toned down, slower tempos, more real singing rather than the usual beloved “drunks screaming in your face”, lackluster songwriting, overall rather disappointing. At least there’s a fun cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. (6)

GONE IS GONE – Echolocation

Metal supergroup featuring members of Mastodon, At The Drive-In, Queens Of The Stone Age and a soundtrack composer (!). Heavy, ambient and well-executed but going nowhere, really. Includes a Portishead cover. (6)

KATE TEMPEST – Let Them Eat Chaos

Tempest’s spoken word is not exactly hip hop, it’s poetry with beats and it perfectly encapsulates what it’s like to be young and angry in London today. (8)

KLEZMATICS – Apikorsim

Klezmer revivalists still going strong after 30 years of Jewish party tunes and gorgeous melancholic ditties. (8)

NINE INCH NAILS – Not The Actual Events

Short but certainly not sweet, this 21-minute EP is gnarly and aggressive and leaves the listener wanting more. Reznor’s got more stuff coming out in 2017, we’re looking forward. (7)

RUN THE JEWELS – Run The Jewels 3

RTJ drops new album unexpectedly on Christmas day and suddenly makes all year-end “best of” lists obsolete. (9)

RYAN ADAMS – Prisoner

I love “Heartbreaker” and “Gold”, I really like a lot of other stuff this guy has done over the years, but “Prisoner” is a bit boring and lacking in the hooks department. (6)

THE DEVIL MAKES THREE – Redemption & Ruin

Fantastic covers album – the band combines bluegrass, country, Delta blues, rockabilly, ragtime and jug music to transform classics by Muddy Waters, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt etc. Also featuring A-list guests like Emmylou Harris, Duane Eddy, Tim O’Brien and Jerry Douglas. (8)

THE HOLD STEADY – Boys And Girls In America (Deluxe Edition Reissue)

Because this, now with bonus tracks. (10)

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