Wednesday, 29 June 2016

#582: The Gotobeds - Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic

​For a record steeped in off-kilter post-punk and chaotic garage rock, Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic retains a surprising amount of pop sensibility, providing it with an accessibility other records of its genre lack. ​Despite this, it’s still a record that clatters and cavorts with wilful abandon; the deranged Frank Black vocal yelps the perfect accompaniment to the screeching guitars.

This review was originally written for Line of Best Fit. Click here to read in full.

#581: Drowners - On Desire

With their 2014 self-titled debut LP, New York's Drowners proved that they really were children of the Big Apple. Entrenched in the jangle and fuzz we've come to expect from NYC garage pop, it was a record that embodied the effortless cool and sexual ambiguity synonymous with the city. For all its plus points, however, it was a record that also oozed familiarity, casting aspersions as to whether such well-trodden aesthetics would hold up on their inevitable second LP.

#580: Amber Arcades - Fading Lines

Taken on face value, ‘Fading Lines’ might appear nothing more than a paint-by-numbers indie-pop record. Built around the genre’s trademark ephemeral melodies and dream-like production, it’s awash in a familiar, textural haze. Spend some time with it however, and what once felt familiar and somewhat fleeting insidiously starts to take root, revealing a staggeringly pretty debut release, which under the surface harbours a wonderfully understated intelligence.

#579: Less Win - TRUST

While Copenhagen’s Less Win peddle post-punk - a genre entrenched within their city’s musical history - they’re absolutely an international band. Comprised of an Australian, Polish and Spanish musicians, their respective cultures are matched in diversity only by myriad influences.

#578: Deerhoof - The Magic

San Francisco’s Deerhoof have never been a band interested in convention and conformity. Unpredictable, erratic and anarchic are all words which could be used to accurately describe them. In spite (or often because) of this, they’re a band that have received almost universal critical acclaim over a twenty-two year career.

Monday, 27 June 2016

#577: Blink-182 - California

Growing up, the music of Blink-182 was never more than the press of a play button away from me. Yes, it was juvenile and simplistic and even at times, glaringly misogynistic, but to a ten year old on the cusp of puberty, it was music that opened doors and provided me with an identity.

Friday, 17 June 2016

#576: Introducing...Loco Ono

Excellent name aside, London-based Loco Ono are a band that should be on your radar. Harbouring a lo-fi aesthetic (and flirting with almost every genre that entails) what little of the band’s material is available online segues through C86 jangle pop, imposing shoegaze and biting riot grrrl with effortless ease. Rather than causing the material to feel disjointed or fractured however, a heavy fuzz blankets the production of each track, providing an idiosyncratic link between the varying moods.

#575: PAWS - No Grace

There’s no denying that being in a band can take its toll on the members. In a time where artists rely on tours more and more to make a living, being away from home for weeks at a time isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Something Glasgow’s Paws found out first hand. Rather than turn their negative emotions inwards however, imploding underneath the strain as often bands do, Paws came to the collective conclusion that when shit hits the fan, you go big, or go home.

This review was originally written for Line of Best Fit. Click here to read in full.

#574: Steve Gunn - Eyes On the Line

With 2014’s Way Out Weather, American troubadour Steve Gunn continued the great songwriter tradition of allowing your surroundings to seep into your art. No stranger to travel, the result was a record that conjured pastoral images, open vistas, rolling hills; a bucolic lifestyle brought to life through deftly plucked strings. For Gunn though, the journey continues even when the recording stops, and now two years later, he finds himself in a different environment.

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

#573: Two Sides to Every Coin - Catching Up With Mutual Benefit

With his debut album ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’, Mutual Benefit’s Jordan Lee proved himself to be a deeply personal lyricist. Dripping with DIY sensibilities, it was a record both vulnerable and warm-hearted. Though his circumstances have changed  significantly since then, the vulnerability that went in to that first record can still be found now, three years later on its follow-up, ‘Skip A Sinking Stone’.