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Album Reviews

Posted 3 Jun 2013 @ 10:54am

It’s a classic East Coast rap album, but somehow I doubt it’ll be getting blasted from every car stereo north of New York’s 110th street this summer.

 

Kiwi beatmaker P-Money recently moved to New York, so naturally he had to make a classic East Coast boom bap rap record, with samples and guests straight out of 1993. Which isn't a bad thing – if you’re looking for an antidote to...

Posted 3 Jun 2013 @ 10:47am

Trouble Will Find Me is not an album for sunny afternoons or friendly gatherings, but as a soundtrack to rainy nights and lonely days it’s damn near perfect.

 

The National return with an album that is emotionally visceral and vividly resonant. Less angry than Boxer, but also less melodic than High Violet, Trouble Will Find Me makes its own place on the band’s musical spectrum,...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 11:23am

Pissed off, technical, unique. It's everything you love about Dillinger with a new coat of slick professionalism.

 

It'd be hard to dispute that New Jersey band The Dillinger Escape Plan have become – somewhat reluctant – flag bearers for the “mathcore” genre; it’s one that has followed the quintet since the release of debut album Calculating Infinity over a decade ago.

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Posted 31 May 2013 @ 10:30am

The period where punk crossed over into post-punk yielded some intense, exciting music, and London’s Savages mine that particular vein with gusto. 

 

While their sound is a powerful, stark lurch for the jugular, their love of director John Cassavetes helps to place them firmly into the more art-house camp of post-punk. (The fiery single ‘Husbands’ is named after Cassavetes’ 1970...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 10:26am

An accomplished achievement in mature pop, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here.

 

For her first album in six years, Alison Moyet says she ignored talk of target demographics and eschewed the advert jazz covers normally expected of middle-aged singers. Instead, she teamed up with producer Guy Sigsworth – a musical marriage she likens to that of her time alongside Vince Clarke...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 10:23am

Home is an excellent start for this ‘slashie’ bass music foursome, and they strike the balance of their multitude influences with effortless aplomb. 

 

UK outfit Rudimental stormed charts everywhere with feel good hit ‘Feel The Love’ ft. John Newman in 2012, and after a string of equally successful follow up singles, we finally arrive at their debut album, ‘Home’.  While there’s...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 10:18am

Volume 3 echoes another era – it’s nostalgic but the classic twist is freshened up with accomplished lyrics, youthful harmonies and M. Ward’s production lending the record a golden light.

 

Volume 3 is She & Him’s most well-rounded, thematically consistent release to date (A Very She & Him Christmas had a built-in theme already so it doesn’t count!). Zooey Deschanel’s...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 10:15am

Grownass Man isn’t pushing musical boundaries, but that was never its intention. It’s just a fun and well-executed ode to the blues, lost love, brews and your crew.

 

There is a rich and storied tradition of musicians coming together in so-called “supergroups”, to varying levels of success (see The Traveling Wilburys, Monsters Of Folk, NKOTBSB, etc.). Last year Justin Vernon of...

Posted 31 May 2013 @ 10:10am

Enthralling vocals and melodies – equal parts delicate and striking – are all in abundance on MS MR’s cohesive debut album, Secondhand Rapture.

 

Saying that pop duo MS MR have attracted A LOT of attention in a very short space of time would be an understatement. After seeing MS MR’s explosive set at Laneway Festival earlier this year, it’s easy to see why. Bold and confident,...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 4:40pm

These are not the sounds of an artist seeking anyone’s approval. Ghostpoet knows exactly how to dwell in a darkness flecked with light - everyone else needs to catch up.

 

Ghostpoet doesn’t seem to give two shits about comparisons and critical acclaim. The Brit’s 2011 debut Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam had everyone touting him as the next Roots Manuva, and even picked...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 4:24pm

It was never ever going to live up to its own inflated hype – after all, it’s impossible to be groundbreaking when you're trying to be sympathetic to a 30-year-old genre – but Random Access Memories is an intriguing beauty and a must for dance music fans with any concern for the history of the genre.

 

Random Access Memories is Daft Punk’s mega-expensive recompense for their...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 4:21pm

While fans of Mount Kimbie won’t be disappointed by Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, it never quite reaches the transcendent peaks of their debut.

 

Mount Kimbie's brilliant debut Crooks & Lovers helped define the 'post-dubstep' sound. While some American dubstep artists were competing for listeners’ attentions by seeing who could be the most aggressively irritating, artists...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 4:18pm

Delta Machine is one beautifully bleak, absorbing release in line with Depeche Mode’s best work.

 

Delta Machine, Depeche Mode’s 13th album, marks the end of an era – the completion of Depeche Mode’s trilogy of LPs with producer Ben Hillier. Their working relationship has culminated in a potent finale; Delta Machine is an engrossing release.

 

Typically, Delta...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 4:12pm

Turner manages to redeem himself towards the end of Tape Deck Heart with the dark droning of ‘Broken Piano’, which provides an interesting production-heavy alternative to the trusty four-chord formula, if nothing else.

 

This reviewer’s had myriad reasons to steer clear of Frank Turner. All of those involve various songs/records/gigs of his being ruined by the memory of some...

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 3:24pm

There is the hint that something big is coming for Beaches, and that’s probably no accident. 

 

There’s little hiding the fact that Beaches are one of the best guitar groups in Australia. The Melbourne five-piece’s rare live appearances are torrid affairs that draw in the listener with meaty washes of guitar sound, and then splutter-spit them unforgivingly out the other side....

Posted 17 May 2013 @ 3:19pm

Lip Lock doesn’t feature much of the street smarts or sass Eve made her name with. The album feels scattered which makes for a disappointing comeback after more than a decade.

 

In the 11 years since Eve’s last album, a lot has changed in the hip hop world and the music industry. She was the ‘First Lady’ of the Ruff Ryders crew (DMX, Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss) and one of the first...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 8:18pm

It’s a solid effort from Buchanan, who have clearly isolated their anthemic indie-rock sound and called it their own, in a powerful and tonally varied debut.

 

Single ‘Run Faster’, a triple j favourite of 2012 and easily one of the standouts on this debut is how you might remember Australian band Buchanan (pronounced ‘Bew-Cannon’). Human Spring, their debut album, is doused in...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 8:12pm

It takes only the best elements of rock and blues, and manages to fuse them into something ‘blues-rock’ wouldn’t sufficiently describe. 

 

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome you to the Australian Blues-Rock Revival, ceremoniously led by the brutal and bearded BROTHERS GRIM AND THE BLUE MURDERS; a world where your girlfriend is a ‘Wah-muuuuun’, and if your fictional daughter is...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 8:07pm

Like Clockwork is a welcome reminder that no one does stoner rock quite like Queens of the Stone Age can. Perhaps not their strongest effort to date, but the fragility and well-layered complexities make for a compelling return. 

 

While this record brings in yet another line up change for the Josh Homme lead outfit, it seems the crew assembled for Like Clockwork has paid off for...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 8:02pm

It is that collision of influences, that merging of genres, that almost jarring nature of the electronic and the organic that makes Weekend a splendid return for undergroundLOVERS.

 

Labelling this release a comeback album is a lazy and inappropriate statement; the band didn’t go anywhere, there was no bitter feud, they were just busy doing other things and music wasn’t at the...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 7:58pm

Hanging Gardens is a masterful bit of disco from LA’s finest, but it’s about three years too late.

 

The brilliant pool party staple ‘I’ll Get You’ was released by Classixx through Kitsune in mid-2009. It’s been almost four years and Classixx have finally got around to releasing their debut album. ‘I’ll Get You’ and their sundrenched disco remixes of Phoenix, Ladyhawke, Y∆CHT and...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 7:53pm

This soft sleight of hand, shifting the mood, is indicative of the subtleties that make Caveman such a rewarding band.

 

One of last year’s most underrated albums, for me, was Caveman’s debut, CoCo Beware. It didn’t get a lot of press, and when it did the reviews were middling. I could understand the criticisms of the Brooklyn band’s debut, which...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 7:36pm

Wait To Pleasure is a teasing, lingering and absorbing record with an unexpected depth. 

 

No Joy are undoubtedly shoegaze-y; the Montreal-based three piece owe Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine some serious props. But there’s a bit more going on beyond the feedback and vocal loops. There are elements of dream pop, along the lines of Asobi Seksu, but also an attitude that’s all...

Posted 14 May 2013 @ 7:31pm

Very few bands so far into their career make albums as evocative and diverse as More Light. Primal Scream’s last two albums had moments of brilliance but they were lacking as an overall experience compared to the group’s best work. More Light is truly a return to form.

 

It’s been five years between the release of Primal Scream’s 2008 album Beautiful Future and now, and almost a...

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