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Monday, 5 June 2017

#640: Maximo Park, Albert Hall, Manchester


For many, the fact that Newcastle’s Maximo Park are still massively active more than ten years since their inception is crazy. While so many bands of their era have either stagnated in to obscurity, or reached the dizzying heights of worldwide renown, theirs is a career of celebrated consistently, of which the 2000 people in attendance this evening are a testament.

#639: Mew - Visuals


Much like the country in which it was conceived, ‘Visuals’, the seventh album from Danish dream-poppers Mew, harbours an imposing nature concealed behind its inherent beauty. Written while on the road in support of previous release ‘+-‘, there’s a definite sense of the band attempting to, and succeeding in, capturing what frontman Jonas Bjerre refers to as a ‘creative peak’.

#638: At the Outside - Catching Up With Gnarwolves


Pop-punk has come a long way since the Descendents exploded on to the LA hardcore scene in the ‘80s, and these days, it has never felt more relevant. Now a far cry from irreverent humour, teenage angst, and, erm, fart jokes, pop-punk has grown up, and become more cathartic in the process.

#637: Gnarwolves - Outsiders


Three years have passed since Brighton punks Gnarwolves released their self-titled debut. In the scheme of things that might not so long, but the change in the band is more than evident. ‘Outsiders’, though harbouring the same energy and DIY ideals as its predecessor, is a record more nuanced, and more considered than anything the trio have released before.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

#636: Go Forth and Suffer for Your Art - Catching Up With The Smith Street Band


While it’s far from unusual for bands from overseas to find their footing in countries other than their own, their sense of national identity can often feel slightly diminished, watered-down somewhat, in an effort to maximise their appeal. Fortunately for Melbourne’s Smith Street Band, they embody an Australia that’s both stereotypical yet fitting of their generation.

#635: Diet Cig - Swear I'm Good At This


“I don’t want to make you feel nostalgic for something that never happened,” sings Alex Luciano on ‘I Don’t Know Her’, the penultimate track on Diet Cig’s debut LP. It’s an interesting sentiment, especially taking into account the ability of Swear I’m Good At This to make you feel just that.


#634: The Smith Street Band - More Scared of You Than You Are of Me


While Melbourne’s The Smith Street Band effortlessly craft images of a suburban Australia rarely experienced by those of us on the other side of the world, it’s not a sense of pseudo-exoticism that affords the band their resonance. Rather, it’s the familiarity of the scenes that play out against such a backdrop, and the emotional response to said scenes, that offer the appeal.