Monday, 5 March 2018

#681: Brian Fallon, O2 Ritz, Manchester

No stranger to stages of any size, Brian Fallon has been record and releasing music under various guises since the tender age of 17. Best known for his work as frontman of The Gaslight Anthem, yet harbouring a litany of other credits under his belt, both before and after, the native New Jersian has been turning heads and inspiring devotion in his fans almost from the word go.

#680: Happy Accidents - Everything But The Here And Now

Much like its predecessor, Everything But the Here and Now is a record built around everyday experiences and anxieties. But while 2016’s You Might Be Right was a deliciously DIY affair, its follow-up feels fuller, and more expansive, something that stems from a number of factors.

#679: The Front Bottoms, The Albert Hall, Manchester

A little over a year ago I reviewed The Front Bottoms’ previous UK tour. The New Jersey-based trio played Manchester’s O2 Ritz as part of their Back On Top tour – a choice of venue I was slightly sceptical of given its capacity. Thankfully my scepticism proved unfounded, and the band went above and beyond in delivering what was arguably one of the best shows of 2016, right at the end of the year.

#678: Lemuria - Recreational Hate

Opening their fourth album Recreational Hate with the spindly meanderings of “Timber Together” was a brave move from New York’s Lemuria. A far cry from anything that proceeds it, it’s lo-fi bedroom pop at its most twee, and does little to suggest that the next 25 minutes would be any different.

#677: Will Varley - The Spirit of Minnie

Already able to count the likes of Billy Bragg and Frank Turner amongst his fans, Will Varley is one of the UK’s fastest rising folk songwriters.

#676: Dashboard Confessional - Crooked Shadows

“Every album is personal, but as this album was coming together I realised…that ‘personal’ did not necessarily mean ‘mine.’ Suddenly, ‘Me’ became ‘We’ and that realisation was empowering, comforting and terrifying all at once,” says Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba about ‘Crooked Shadows,’ the band’s highly anticipated eighth studio album. But while said realisation might well be a recent one as far as Carrabba is concerned, as far as their fans go, that’s always been the case.

#675: Leon of Athens - Xenos

Conveying the depth and nuance of ‘Xenos’ in a little over 150 words isn’t easy. The third album from Greek musician Leon Veremis, otherwise known as Leon Of Athens, is a record interested in estrangement, displacement, politics, and one hinged on Europe’s refugee crisis.