REVIEWS

Lou Reed – [Box Set]
REVIEWS

  Artist: Lou Reed Album: The RCA & Arista Album Collection (17CD box set) Label: RCA/Arista/Sony/Legacy Recordings The thing which really set Lou Reed apart from the other stars he was grouped with in the Seventies (including David Bowie, Iggy Pop and so on) is that he never once considered pandering to his audience – he always made them work for their enjoyment of his music. It could be said that making them work was the one consistent thread which...

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Sunday, 23 October 2016
Jack White [2CD]
REVIEWS

Artist: Jack White Album: Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016 (2CD) (Third Face/Third Man/Columbia/Sony Music) Over the last twenty years (yes yes yes – it’s hard to believe that it’s been so long), Jack White has worn many hats. In that time, he’s been a punk and indie rock-identified pop star, a blues and folky troubadour, an opinionated artist of music and opinionated record label owner, and an innovative composer who has reinvigorated the blues almost single-handedly – causing young audiences...

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Saturday, 22 October 2016
Great Apes – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Great Apes Album: California Heart Label: Asian Man Records It may have taken a few releases for the band to get the bugs worked out of their sound (they’ve already got one full-length album, one comp which collected a bunch of previously released tracks and a bunch of singles and EPs on top of that too), but Great Apes have truly found their magic on California Heart – their sophomore Asian Man-released album. That is not to say California...

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Friday, 14 October 2016
The Dean Ween Group – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: The Dean Ween Group Album: The Deaner Album Label: ATO Records/Cadence Ever since Ween announced its dissolution in 2012, the band’s fans have agonized over what might come next from founding members Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman and Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo. Some of them figured they pretty much had the group’s dynamic nailed; because Melchiondo was the huskier-voiced entity in the group and already had side projects like Moist Boyz on his resume, the lighter, more “songwriterly” material must...

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Mike Doughty – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Mike Doughty Album: Haughty Melodic (CD reissue) Label:ATO Records I must preface this review by saying that I have been a Mike Doughty fan for an incredibly long time. I first became a fan when I discovered Soul Coughing; at that time, I had grown tired of grunge’s (by then) floundering, poor self-image (the genre as a whole really had difficulty regaining its strength and composure after the death of Kurt Cobain) and was looking for something which was...

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Saturday, 01 October 2016
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – [Album]
REVIEWS

Artist: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Album: Skeleton Tree Label: Bad Seed Ltd./Kobalt/Sony Music Since he first broke free of the Birthday Party in 1984 and picked up with the Bad Seeds, Nick Cave has developed and honed an absolutely hypnotizing and disparate body of work (from angry and occasionally manic with Grinderman to soulful on The Boatman’s Call to a bluesy, rootsy and gothic beast on Murder Ballads and Abattoir Blues, and that’s really only the fastest. barest...

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Monday, 19 September 2016
Adam and The Ants – [2CD]
REVIEWS

Artist: Adam and The Ants Album: Kings of the Wild Frontier (35th Anniversary 2CD reissue) Label: CBS/Legacy/Sony Music While most critics maintain that The Ramones’ debut album and Nevermind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols rank as the two most important music and culture-defining artifactsin the punk rock pantheon, that’s really just a shortcut to thinking. The truth is that one particular album stands out as a subversive document which doesn’t overtly attempt to stand out from the pack –...

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Thursday, 11 August 2016
Descendents – [Album]
REVIEWS

The Descendents Hypercaffium Spazzinate (Epitaph Records) The differences in the performance and presentation of Hypercaffium Spazzinate from every other Descendents album are subtle but evident from the moment “Feel This” screeches in to open the album. There, while the tempo of the drums and guitar are precisely at the speed fans would expect them to be (at that of an over-caffeinated blur, of course), the tone in Milo’s voice has changed to reflect a different demeanor from that of any...

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Thursday, 04 August 2016
Misfits – [EP]
REVIEWS

The Misfits Friday The 13th EP (Misfits Records/Sony Music) While there’s no small part of this critic that wants to hang this band which calls itself The Misfits and dismiss them as heretics (I’ve done it continually for years), the truth is that I just can’t do it now. The truth is, the four songs which comprise the Friday the 13th EP are the best that the band has done in years; they’re dark but urgent and walk that ever-so-treacherous...

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Friday, 15 July 2016
Bipolar Explorer – [Album]
REVIEWS

Bipolar Explorer Electric Hymnal (Slugg Records) I knew what I was getting into when I said that I’d like to receive a free copy of this latest release by New York City’s BIPOLAR EXPLORER, I didn’t know how deeply into it I’d be going. My last contact with the band’s leader, Michael Serafin-Wells was last December and he mentioned that they had been working on some new pieces that were inspired by the time he’d been spending in a West...

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Sunday, 26 June 2016