CD Reviews


Spookyland - Beauty Already Beautiful

Spookyland is the band you bond over with a stranger who’s about to change your life while you’re queuing for the bar in the small hours… and if they’re not, then where have you been, and who else would you’ve been talking about? Since the magnetically pessimistic quartet first put out their debut single, The Silly Fucking Thing, back in May 2014, we’ve reveled in feeling like our...

Feelin’ Dirty? Brightly Writes About Sex, Death, Privilege and Ball Sports on Rugby

After spending most of the long weekend listening to Brightly, I just want to say that if he were a religion, I would like to pledge allegiance to it. Brightly’s music is filled with heavenly goodness, he has consistently soared to new heights with each of his releases. This time he has reached a new ultimate height with Rugby: audio climax. Brightly comes across as some sort of technological wizard...

The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You’ve Come To Expect

Hold on – is this calendar accurate? How is this possible? How could eight years have crawled by so fast? Were it not for the rigours of modern timekeeping, I would refuse to believe it. The ceaseless torrent of fear, noise and grim tidings has made these last hard eight feel like an endless death march, a torrid struggle from second to second that would not, cannot, shall not yield to the sweetest pleas for...

Pretty City - Colorize

Since their arrival in 2012, Pretty City have gained a reputation for offering up an ever-shifting hybrid of rock – ranging between shoegaze, indie, psychedelia and classic rock. The first full length release from the Melbourne outfit remains true to form; Colorize throws up an array of styles and influences. Pretty City shake up a mean cocktail on Colorize. Stadium appeal, personality...

Gabe Dixon - Turns to Gold

“You might a thought I've been runnin' but I've always been comin' back to you. .” Dixon sings on “These Wheels,” one of the standout tracks on his latest album. The deep human impulse to love and be loved is often at odds with our equally strong yearning to be free. And the songs on Turns To Gold try to find balance at this emotional nexus point. It's part of Dixon's considerable charm...

Southern Halo - Rewind

One of the feel-good Country singles of 2016 is going to be “Rewind” by Southern Halo, the trio of teenage sisters whose remarkable harmonies put them in the company of Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town. Written by Catt Gravitt (Jana Kramer), Gerald O’Brien (Martina McBride), and rising country artist Chancie Neal, “Rewind” is a perfectly-crafted Country-Pop song that rivals anything...

Mt. Mountain - Cosmos Terros

It’s long been lamented that for practical and commercial purposes the album format is dead or at least in irreversible decline. But Cosmos Terros is a reminder of what a great album can be. It’s not just a compartmentalised commercial package, but a single artistic statement and an immersive sonic organism. Like the sprawling expanse of Sleep’s Jerusalem, Mt. Mountain’s debut album...

Joe Bonamassa - Blues of Desperation

It is now hard to believe that as recently as five years ago, guitarist Joe Bonamassa was largely unknown. But with his albums hitting No. 1 with such regularity, the top chart position seems to be an afterthought now. Such is the case with his 17th release, “Blues Of Desperation.” The project is once again helmed by producer Kevin Shirley. While some tracks have a little sheen on them...

Mark Harrison - On The Chicken Sandwich Train Live

Mark Harrison is an English acoustic guitarist with his heart and soul in the Deep South of Mississippi, The Delta and the blues in general. The title of this, his latest release, comes from the vittles many old black musicians and share-cropping migrants carried on the long rail journey North to the anticipated riches of Chicago and other northern cities where developing industry offered...

Eric Bibb & North Country Far with Danny Thompson - The Happiest Man In The World

Eric Bibb may have good reason to be the Happiest Man in the World, with top quality music seemingly pouring from the guy on a regular basis. This is his second release inside twelve months, following hot on the heels of the highly acclaimed Lead Belly's Gold which featured French harp-man Jean Jacques Milteau and was released on the same label (Stony Plain in USA).

Glider Pilots - Some Where Out There

For many of us, the thought of writing music with a sibling, let alone spending copious amounts of time with one is about as unappealing as having no Wi-Fi for a week. But up in Far North Queensland brother / sister duo Ben, and Samantha Hope have been making the seemingly impossible work – writing, producing, and making subtle synthy waves as folky dream pop pair, Glider Pilots.

Sex On Toast - Ready

Sex On Toast seeped into the consciousness of many Australians years ago with their wet dream inducing self-titled debut LP. Busy making their rounds on the tour circuit, the Melbourne 10 person crew have left listeners frothing for more of their infectious, sultry tunes. After spending two years carefully crafting their second coming, their latest treat for us is presented in...

Jimmy Pinchak - Blue on Arrival

Good blues albums are more numerous than you might think. The genre is small, admittedly, but there’s lots of talented players across the world still drawn by the music’s allure. Jimmy Jax Pinchak divides his creative life between work as a television and feature film actor while wowing West Coast crowds with The Jimmy Jax Pinchak Band. Songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist, Pinchak has...

Four Genre-Breaking Artists Shine on New Sets

Four noteworthy ensembles are breaking new ground across a wide range of genres, while a new documentary celebrates the electric guitar. Artist: GoGo Penguin. Title: Man Made Object (Blue Note Records). You might like if you enjoy: Vince Guaraldi Trio, Robert Glasper Trio, Brian Eno. Tell me more: Manchester, UK-based trio GoGo Penguin crafts soundscapes as lush and exciting as any young ...

Day Wave - Hard To Read

Day Wave’s latest EP ‘Hard to Read’ is a gentle pulse of a record, one that shimmers slowly into frame, ticks over dreamily for some twenty minutes or so, and waves farewell sleepily as it recedes from view. Its five songs play comfortably within their areas of expertise, each one introducing a new wrinkle while remaining true to the band’s relaxed yet propulsive sound. At times it can be perhaps...
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