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It's so nice to have Mudhoney back. With some alt-rock and grunge bands trying to “change with the times” and alienating a lot of older fans with that ambition (see Jane's Addiction, Alice In Chains and The Melvins) and others trying to act like 1993 wasn't almost twenty years ago (see Soundgarden and the Smashing Pumpkins), it's nice to have a band with a bit of history in it making new music which feels new, but doesn't forget that history....

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Friday, 12 April 2013
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By 1995, the alt-rock scene in Seattle was already well on its wat to falling apart from exposure and the evils associated with it. By then, Kurt Cobain was dead, in-fighting, substance abuse and a general sense of dissatisfaction had started to dissolve Soundgarden from the inside out, Pearl Jam was fighting with Ticketmaster (and suffering from substance problems much more quietly) and Alice In Chains' vaunted excesses were beginning to catch up with them as well. It wasn't a...

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013
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At sixty-eight years old, Eric Clapton is admitting he's an old man. That's the message I get from Old Sock, his latest studio release. As I listen to it, I picture Clapton in a rocking chair on the porch (probably in some sunny clime, like the cover photo), strumming his guitar and singing some songs. Almost like he's celebrating his retirement. It's not just the standards (songs older than Clapton himself) which dominate this CD that put that image in...

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Monday, 08 April 2013
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If ever a record embodied the possibility of a new wave of dream-pop music manifesting somewhere in the music spectrum, it would be on Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO – The Besnard Lakes' fourth album. In listening, those who experience the record will have to admit that there is exactly nothing tangible about it – no instrumental part moved forward directly to present itself as the focal point of attention and the vocals do not offer any of the lyrical...

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Sunday, 07 April 2013
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Let's hear a cheer for being playfully malign! The Stranglers had been basically out of commission for the better part of a decade (sure – they could still pull a crowd, but they were losing creative steam quickly after issuing their Coup De Grace in 1998) or on the 'Memory Lane' circuit at most but now – with a dark but giddy spring in their step – The Stranglers are back on their game with their seventeenth full-length album, Giants....

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Saturday, 06 April 2013
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Well, I think I speak for everyone when I say I'm relieved we got a new Bronx album this year. I first saw the Bronx about ten years ago in San Diego opening for Lagwagon. Lead singer Matt Caughtran proudly announced before they came out, "We saw it was going to rain earlier, so we didn't think the show was going to happen, so we all did a bunch of drugs." I was intrigued. The Bronx then proceeded to blow...

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Friday, 05 April 2013
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Hiya junky,So I dunno if you heard about dis, but I got excited about it feraminit. If you ain't noticed, ol' fi' dollar Billy got ridda a buncha the busted-ass links inna dead zone thit's called The Leak on Ground Control. The way he wis sayin' it, he wis gonna give me da whole section all ta myself an' turn it inta one great big, SWAGGY marketplace're somethin'. Yr. ever-lovin' Don Loder wis gonna make it beautiful, but it didn'turn...

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182
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Thursday, 04 April 2013
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How long has it been since Depeche Mode released an album that you happily told people was essential listening, dear reader? For me, it has been fifteen years; for me, the last truly inspired moment that Depeche Mode enjoyed was the moody, gothic assault of Ultra. On that album, Depeche Mode hadn't broken down quite yet; Dave Gahan's drug problems hadn't become creatively problematic yet, and Martin Gore hadn't succumbed to his penchant for letting his navel-gazing nature dictate his...

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Tuesday, 02 April 2013
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The hardest albums to review are the ones which are only “half good.” Trying to critically evaluate an album that goes completely in one direction or the other ('good' or 'bad') is always preferable because there's an economy in it; if it's possible to unilaterally paint an album one color, it's possible to be succinct. If a record has close to an equal number of 'good' and 'bad' tracks though, it's guaranteed to take longer to work through because the...

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Tuesday, 02 April 2013