Friday, 22 January 2016

#539: Milk Teeth - Vile Child

With two genre-swapping EPs under their belt, a full length was never far away for Gloucestershire punks Milk Teeth. Building on the foundations laid by 'Sad Sack' and 'Smiling Politely', 'Vile Child' is 12 tracks of '90s nostalgia that segues from punk, post-hardcore, grunge and emo with wild and wilful abandon. It's a staple of Milk Teeth, a band who, rather than having not found their niche yet, simply refuse to settle into one. Unfortunately this is somewhat of a double-edged sword for the band, particularly where 'Vile Child' is concerned.

#538: MONEY - Suicide Songs

Given its title, you'd be forgiven for assuming that MONEY's second album 'Suicide Songs' was a dour or morose record - even the artwork lends itself to such assumptions. Depicting a shirtless Jamie Lee, knife poised above his forehead, it’s a sombre scene that reflects a sombre title. Even during those several crucial first listens, 'Suicide Songs' remains an album that feels intensely miserable.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

#537: Guadalupe Plata - Self-Titled

Taking their name from the patron of their home-town, the virgin of Guadalupe, it’s of little surprise that there’s something transcendental about the eponymous new release from Spanish trio Guadalupe Plata. Fusing together the musical traditions of their native country with delta blues and anarchic psychedelia, pressing the play button is somewhat akin to the ingestion of peyote.

#536: Big Ups - National Parks (single review)

With a teaser trailer and single dropping just before the Christmas madness kicked in, it was only a matter of time until New York punks Big Ups reared their ugly heads once again. True to expectations, just six short weeks later, the band are back with both a new single and with the confirmation we’ve been waiting for; album number two.

#535: Explosions in the Sky - Disintegration Anxiety (single review)

Taking Texan post-rock stalwarts Explosions in the Sky on the merits of a single track is not just difficult; it’s nigh on impossible. Such is the band’s propensity for the progressive, each cut works best when viewed within the context of their respective albums. Given that it’s been five years since the band released any non-soundtrack material however, we’re just pleased to see them make a return - and what a track to return with.

#534: False Heads - Steal and Cheat (Single Review)

When 25 Hour Convenience Store unleashed The Jacques on to the world at the start of the year, people sat up and took notice. Coming from the label owned by Libertines’ stickman, Gary Powell, it was unsurprising that the band, as fresh-faced as they were, drank from a similar pool of hedonistic indie oikishness that The Libertines did. And now it seems, almost exactly a year later, 25 Hour Convenience Store have gone and done it again.

#533: Federico Albanese - The Blue Hour

Managing to encapsulate in an album that fleeting period of transition between day and night is no easy feat, but it's something Federico Albanese has managed spectacularly. With The Blue Hour, the Milan-born, Berlin based 'piano poet' has crafted an album as elegant as it is melancholy, in which the lasting impact is only matched by each track's transience.

This review was originally written for Drowned in Sound. Click here to read in full.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

#532: Catching Up With...Morning Smoke

It goes without saying that in this line of work there’s certain bands who you will cross paths with time and time again. Sometimes this isn’t a good thing, but more often than not, being able to watch a band’s progression, and in some cases help that progression, is a major perk. One band who I’ve come across on more than a handful of occasions, are Brighton’s Morning Smoke.

This feature was originally written for Louder Than War. Click here to read in full.

#531: Introducing...Thyla

Harboring a nuanced elegance that belies the band’s short time together, Brighton’s Thyla are one of the new guard of British bands that take their influence from ’90s. And while they might well have been tarred with the grunge label early on, those tracks available online are a far cry from the weight and angst we’ve come to associate with the genre.

#530: Cage the Elephant - Tell Me I'm Pretty

When Cage the Elephant emerged from Kentucky in 2008, they were never going to break boundaries. Their eponymous same-year debut took elements of blues and classic rock and infused them with the rich southern flavours of their native state. In comparison, their second album  harboured a woozy, college rock vibe reminiscent of The Pixies, but in short, neither had given fans a real taste of the band's true personality, just a hint of it beneath a layer of aesthetic appropriation.