Album Review / Swans – The Glowing Man

WHEN: 17.06.2016Swans - The Glowing Man
WHERE: Young Gods Records

Trilogies are usually very difficult to perfect. In my lifetime I’ve witnessed some excellent examples of the perfect trilogy (Back to the Future, LOTR) as well as a huge amount of poorly attempted ones (The Matrix, Iron Man and The Hangover movies). I do struggle to recall many trilogies occurring in the world of music however – obviously this is a feat that could only be attempted by Swans. Arguably the greatest behemoth in music today, Swans have been around longer than I have but have forever churned out solid efforts of how to produce sounds that dances gleefully at the extremes of music. Michael Gira and co have come together for the final time with new record ‘The Glowing Man’ symbolising the end of the band’s current incarnation, and a very worthy end to a scintillating trilogy of records.

The previous two records – 2012’s ‘The Seer’ and 2014’s ‘To Be Kind’ – were responsible for pushing Swans into the spotlight as the band determined to push the envelope as far as possible. With the new record boasting a timespan of over two hours and eight songs full of heavily layered and mind-warping instrumentation ‘The Glowing Man’ is certainly a record worthy of succeeding those, and as a way to say farewell.

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Pile / A Giant Dog / Album Review

WHEN: 06.05.2016A Giant Dog - Pile
WHERE: Merge Records

It goes without saying that Dogs are the greatest animals in the entire world. I have a dog called Susie and despite being deaf and seemingly unaware of everything in her surroundings she’s the sweetest little nugget I’ve ever known. A Giant Dog are another dog I’ve come to known and with their new album Pile, I think I love them too. Anything that starts off with opera singers is surely going to be great.

That’s right, A Giant Dog kick off their new album with Intro, a minute of pure opera at its most unexpected. This is quickly followed up with Creep, a track that abruptly enters the listener into a world of hard rock riffs and a ton of volume thrown behind it. It’s full of layers of sound that fortunately have some stellar production which means we’re able to hear all of the guitars and the drums and the bassline – which by the way adds in a solid groove amongst the distortion. Continue reading “Pile / A Giant Dog / Album Review”

A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead \ Album Review

WHEN: 08.05.2016Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
WHERE: XL Recordings

Bloody hell it’s arrived. After performing a disappearing act that proved to be almost perfect and suddenly dropping two singles – causing me to publish an article complete with a Buzzfeed-esque title – Radiohead have returned to the music scene with the release of new album A Moon Shaped Pool. With The King Of Limbs proving to be a rather stuttered follow up to the fantastic In Rainbows I was a little bit sceptical about this new record, but fortunately it is one that stands up tall beside the 2007 release.

The first two singles – Burn The Witch and Daydreaming – kicks things off by laying down the foundations and setting up the overall sound of the record. The former offers a heavily layered sound complete with strings, synth and bass which come together to produce a rhythm that’s overwhelming with urgency. Thom Yorke also provides the drawling vocal we’ve all come to love and it’s a great way to get a record started. Daydreaming is a much more sombre, longer affair with some beautiful piano chords performed alongside some watery synthesisers which seem to flood the airwaves just enough to realise that there are no drums present. It’s a beautiful tune. Continue reading “A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead \ Album Review”

2016: Good Albums \ Pt 5

GOOD ALBUMS is a series in which I essentially take on the role of an archaeologist who has embarked on a constant excavation into the vast array of the music industry and sporadically reveal all of the results I deem to be, at the very least, pretty good. It’s a series that allows me to give props to those who have created music that hits me in all the right places pretty sharpish without having to take the time to rustle up a full blown review, which is good because I am a very busy boy these days. Please enjoy what is PART FIVE of the Good Albums of 2016 series, and do all that liking and sharing and all that fun stuff if you want.FOTL - The Peace And Truce...

The Peace & Truce Of Future Of The Left by Future Of The Left | Music is a great way to reveal your feelings without actually turning into a crybaby bitch. Sometimes you can play some happy sunshine pop to fit your happy little sunshine mood and other times you can play some aggressive hip hop for when you’re feeling like a straight up G. Future Of The Left creates music that allows you to display all your best “I hate you and everything in the world ever” moods and their new album is just another excellent dose of that.

Much like the excellent How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident, FOTL’s new record recreates a lot of the off-kilter, pummelling punk sound that made that record so thick with layers upon layers of disjointed and gritty instrumentals. The vocals are bizarre, strained, pained and accompanied with some cult like backing vocals that make you feel slightly unnerved. These are performed on top of an array of heavily distorted guitar riffs that sound murky beyond belief, altogether creating an energy and a listening experience that’s simply superb. Excellent record.

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You + Me by New York Tourists \ Album Review

WHEN: 08.04.2016New York Tourists - You and Me
WHERE: Native Music Ltd

New York Tourists is a four piece band and this is their debut album You + Me. I’ve been looking forward to this album for quite some time now and I’m so glad it’s finally here. Since hearing the excellent single Call last year I have been hooked by the quartet’s knack for combining all kinds of elements to make this case of Alternative Rock sound funky. Let’s get dancing.

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Stay True by Mock Suns \ Album Review

WHEN: 08.03.2016Mock Suns - Stay True
WHERE: Good Behaviour Records

Mock Suns are a quartet from Philadelphia and this is their third studio album titled Stay True. Way long ago in the Blogger days I checked out the lead single Friday Night and absolutely fell in love with it. I believe it was the second the piano tune drifted into my lugholes that immediately had me falling for it, and the way it maintained this laid back positivity kept me seduced throughout. Hopefully this level of casual seductiveness sticks around for the duration of this record because then I would be guaranteed to put out tonight.

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New Waters by Kid North | Album Review

WHEN: 11.03.2015Kid North - New Waters
WHERE: Tsunami Addiction

Kid North is a three piece band from France and this is their new album New Waters. These guys have been tickling the hairs in my ears with their delightful singles Gold and Rip Tide and now the record’s out I’m excited to jam the entire thing into my eardrums. If you’re a fan of sugary sweet pop music mixed with strong electronic elements and even a slight hint of heaviness then I highly recommend that you check this record out.

Gold kicks off the record with a couple synth beats that immediately produces a sunny instrumental and puts a smile on your face. Kid North add to this upbeat intro by throwing a thick layer of sketchy guitars on top which adds some much needed grit which prevents the sound from becoming a little too sweet. The track blossoms into a superb little number as the trio deliver some M83-esque vocals and melodies which accompany the synthesiser sounds perfectly. Geometrical then follows suit by equalling the sunny quota with an instrumental that focuses more on the guitars as the band deliver a sound that’s rooted with indie guitar riffs and basslines that offer a hint of texture and groove to the mix. Great song.

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