Wednesday, 16 May 2018

It's been 14 years since their last album but finally A Perfect Circle return...

It's difficult to say musically what Eat The Elephant sounds like but the sound does seem very in tune with the Emotive album from all those years ago. I suppose an more airy, less dense version of Tool is the best I can do

First single, The Doomed, was a bold, funereal-like march in which we are told that all there is to look forward to is being screwed over by the rich and powerful. Disillusioned is a melancholy lament about the world's technological obsession.

So far all very APC and then they slap you out of your complacency with the wonderfully off kilter So Long and Thanks for all the Fish. From namechecking the Douglas Adams book and including references to dolphins this track practically bounces along like a playful Cure (Think Friday I'm in Love). The line about the death of childhood heroes - "Willy Wonka, Major Tom, Ali and Leia have all moved on" is genius. Never has a song about the impending apocalypse sounded so fun

I also have to mention the amazing artwork which is the best of the year so far

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

May have found the best album of the year so far....

Over a couple of EP's and singles Bryde has built up to her debut album, Like an Album

Nowadays singer-songwriter means the trite, over polished likes of Ed Sheeran but this is raw guitar led rock. The opener Brave is my favourite track of the year - A study in being told to keep smiling after heartbreak. The ending where the spoken monologue overlays the chorus is very reminiscent of Under the Gun from the Sisters of Mercy

Less is full of squalling guitar which given airplay would have students pogoing in every Uni Bar across the country.

A couple of tracks are taken from the earlier EP's including the beautiful Transparent which should have closed the album. The ballad like Steady Heart is one track too far (album's should always be 10 tracks long...)

Desire does what it says in the title and is the soundtrack to (not so young) lust and if you get to see the video, it's amazing

Considering Sarah plays everything apart from the drums this is a phenomenal effort from a very talented artist

Monday, 23 April 2018

April is turning out to be a very busy month for new releases....

Winterfylleth have taken one of those left turns that can completely alienate a metal fan base (Think Paradise Lost with their Host album)

The Hallowing of Heirdom is an totally acoustic collection of English folk. Slightly choral in places with strings and not a black metal grunt in sight. The songs are based on poems by Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh and various Anglo Saxon myths.

This should appeal to anyone who liked the seminal Liege & Lief. The only difference is Fairport Convention approached traditional folk by adding electric guitars and Winterfylleth  have approached the same goal by removing all their electric guitars

The albums lacks a bit variation but it's a bloody good folk album from an unexpected source

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Bands of a certain vintage always have a few tricks up their sleeves to prolong a career....
  • First is tour a classic album in full, record the tour and release a live album
  • Second record a covers album, usually of "songs that inspired us.."
  • Finally record an acoustic album of your hits
The Levellers have finally succumbed to the third option and bring us We The Collective. This seems a bit odd as the band are fairly acoustic anyway and this sounds like their Drunk in Public persona that they occasionally take out live

As with all these type of albums it's rather hit and miss....Subvert sounds like a muscular version of Kitty Jay (by Seth Lakeman) but with lyrics advocating direct action protest. Exodus works remarkably well with an orchestra and the spoon playing percussion in One Way is rather inspired

Dance Before the Storm doesn't work as it's no different to the original and Liberty Song lacks the urgency that makes it a live favourite

There are a couple of new tracks of which Drugs Bust McGhee is the best - a tale of undercover policing which begins with "I stole my name from a dead baby"

Still a band that works best in the live arena

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

So the NME has finally given up and will no longer be printed..... Can't say that I'm in any way upset by that. The snobbish indie ink rags had no appeal to me even as a student and derided most of what I enjoyed (metal, goth, etc.).

The Levellers summed up how I felt in the lyrics to 100 years of solitude:

"The NME was nothing to you,
And the Maker well the maker of who?"

Monday, 5 March 2018

I can fairly well guarantee you won't hear another album like this all year.... The first album from Gwenno was sung all in Welsh and now for the follow up, Le Kov, it's all sung in Cornish

The strangeness of lyrics makes it all a bit other worldly and the woozy psychedelic atmosphere of the music heightens that feeling

The vocals on the opener are all breathless and seductive, almost dragging you in. Track 4, Eus Keus?  is what would have happened if Kraftwerk had grown up in Truro

It all gets weirder as it goes along - Daromes y'n Howl is a sort of kosmiche rag time

It's a very hard album to review and will probably be one you love or hate but early indications are it will be the former

Monday, 15 January 2018

Time to consider what may be on it's way in 2018....

Firstly the definite releases: Gwenno has a new album out in March and this time it's all sung in Cornish(!), Blueneck are confirming a new album this year and the live album from Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas is due in April

Next are the possibles: A debut album from Bryde is very probable, A Perfect Circle have teased with a few singles so a full album may be imminent and a new Amorphis album is mooted

Finally the serial offenders:
  • Julianne Regan - Demo's were uploaded to Bandcamp 18 months ago and nothing more
  • Eldritch promised an album if Trump was elected 15 months ago
  • Fish has been promising Weltschmerz for over 2 years (but at least he has a title !)
  • It's now been 13 years since Mourning Sun so that new Nephilim album should be out soon