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The Amazing
In Transit

Being a glass half full kind of guy I'm going straight for the jugular in stating that the Amazing have made one of this years best albums and interrupted it with one of this year's most horrible tracks. After a near perfect example after near perfect example of their lovely atmospheric shoegaze rock they decide to break things up a bit with a s...view item »

Erika Wennerstrom
Sweet Unknown

Thank God. Heartless Bastards haven't actually broken up. Front woman Erika Wennerstrom has just gone solo for a bit. Don't panic - once her solo career hasn't worked out she'll be back with the band.  What she does here is create an album of enormous heartland rock that benefits from some pr...view item »

Bombino
Deran

With admirers including Stevie Wonder and Robert Plant, the Niger guitarist Bombino clearly has some serious chops. His pioneering ‘Tuareggae’ sound remains in good nick on his latest LP, and his wide travels and range of influences lead to plenty of unusual songwriting choices on ...view item »

Deer Tick
Deer Tick Vol. 2

It’s been four years since their last record, and now Rhode Island based Deer Tick drop two at the same time, each showing a vastly different side of the band’s persona. Vol. 2 is highly energised and raucous garage/punk rock. 10 new tracks that’ll get you up and at ‘em. LP and CD released throug...view item »

Deer Tick
Deer Tick Vol. 1

Four years since their last record, Rhode Island based Deer Tick drop two at the same time, each showing a vastly different side of the band’s coin. Vol. 1 is their more stripped back, mellower acoustic side. 10 thoughtful, engaging tracks for the lazy, lonely afternoon.LP and CD released through Partisan....view item »

Tender
Modern Addiction

Debut album from London based indie pop duo Tender. Made up of James Cullen  and Dan Cobb the pair craft emotionally explosive pop music that excels at juxtaposing upbeat and melancholic themes, with Roosevelt esque basslines and groove matched with up close heart wrenching...view item »

Baby In Vain
More Nothing

Some awful part of my late teens/early twenties is laid out on 'More Nothing'. The bit where I hung around soundchecks or saw middling indie rock bands playing support sets in cavernous rooms to disinterested people. Baby in Vain have everything that your local '93 era indie noise merchants had in spades. A bit of Lush...view item »

The Black Angels
Death Song

The Black Angels are so deep into the world(s) of modern psych-rock music that two of their members are the founders of Austin’s Levitation Festival, regarded the world over for his high calibre psychedelic music. Needless to say, their band are fantastic purveyors of the genre, and Death Song, their first album i...view item »

Cigarettes After Sex
Cigarettes After Sex

Again, why would you call a band that? Terrible terrible name.  I’d be surprised if this album is being talked about in ten years time and it’s all because of that name. The album actually isn’t as good as other similar records by Mazzy Star, Low and ...view item »

Idles
Brutalism

Brutalism is the latest thirteen-track release from Idles. A powerfully written and politically driven collection of music that packs a punch aimed at the current political climate in the UK. It is hardcore and punk, so what do you expect? Described as ‘ a deadly serious indictment on popular culture’ that i...view item »

Violents and Monica Martin
Awake and Pretty Much Sober

The first full-blown and full-length collaborative release of Violents and Monica Martin. Awake And Pretty Much Sober (a high bar to set eh?) is a pop album made by two electronic natives, sifting samples, instruments, vocal harmonies and much else into a set of bright and compelling songs. Awake An...view item »

Middle Brother
Limited Edition 10”

Middle Brother are something of an alt-country supergroup, mixing the main songwriters / singers of Dawes, Delta Spirit and Deer Tick into one powerful trio. So much voice! The straightforwardly-titled Limited Edition 10” is pressed as a picture disc, and is exclu...view item »

Craig Finn
We All Want The Same Things

Though he was and is the Springsteen-ish narrator in one-track-mind rockers the Hold Steady, Craig Finn's solo work shows a different side to his character albeit with his barfly persona still intact. Finn is still telling tales of stuff that goes on in his Minneapolis/St Paul neighbourhood pairing his observations with lovely i...view item »

Emel
Ensen

This record is going to take you apart a bit. A record of non-stop rock intensity from Tunisian songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, it is loud and ferocious and full of cliff-end faceoffs. Listening to the record’s sorta title track, “Ensen Dhaif”, killed me a bit: a looping guitar line sorted out by a burst of distortion and disgruntl...view item »

Holy Sons
In The Garden

When I saw that this was made by the drummer in Grails and Om I recoiled in horror thinking I was going to have to deal with some of Robin's 'experimental' music' but this is pretty much one of the straightest things I've heard all week. Emil Amos has made countless albums under this moniker ...view item »

Flock of Dimes
If You See Me, Say Yes

I kinda forgot Wye Oak existed but I don’t see why my complacency means they shouldn’t carry on with their artistic pursuits, so let’s celebrate Flock of Dimes, the new solo project from the indie pop band’s Jenn Wasner. If you listened to Wye Oak you probably already know how well they could...view item »

The Amazing
Ambulance

This album is just distracting. I’m sorry. That’s what it is. It sounds uncanny in too many instances, barreling between the exact act it’s accidentally mimicking at the flick of a switch. The Amazing are an epic tour-de-force of a rock band, crafting meandering but worthwhile pop songs out of lush, stormy psychedelia: what the...view item »

Ages and Ages
Something to Ruin

Heart lifting pop that sounds like it was recorded in your front room. It wasn’t. It was captured by Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock’s studio, but the personality of this record is it’s strength. Acoustic indie pop filled with gleeful melodies and laid back choral vocals done by all of the ban...view item »

Nico Yaryan
What A Tease

Welcome to… the grass. There is… an indie guy. He is… strumming. Why are you… leaving? Nico Yaryan, drummer for Hanni el Khatib, begins ‘What A Tease’ by overlaying strummy strum acoustic guitars with synth glare and a lament for someone called Gloria. He ever-so-fucki...view item »

Eagulls
Ullages

Ah yes, the “we’re moody post-punks now” career path. Iceage did it. Ceremony did it, harder. Now it seems Eagulls would like to slightly up the ante on their on their pre-existing indie punk and make it that bit more goth. &l...view item »

Lontalius
I'll Forget 17

It isn’t too easy getting attention in the music business when you are 18 years old and living in New Zealand, but Eddie Johnston aka Lontalius seems to have managed it, with attention paid by Ryan Hemsworth, Lorde and the Red Bull Music Academy. I’ll Forget 17...view item »

Lumerians
The High Frontier

I was well into Oakland stoner quintet Lumerians’ previous album on Hands In The Dark, as was our boss man Phil, so my day of high quality releases to review continues apace as I dive headlong into the mystical chunterings and otherworldly grooves of their ne...view item »

Made Of Oak
Penumbra

Penumbra is the solo work of Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso, in which he can fully explore his beat-centric side. Made Of Oak is only his debut EP, but it shows off an intuitive approach to electronic textures, with chunks of sound flying around left right and centre, above sturdy beat tra...view item »

Dilly Dally
Sore

Dilly Dally were formed by Canadian high school friends and self-taught guitarists Liz Ball and Katie Monks who bonded over a love of Nirvana and Pixies. Thier debut album Sore, as you’d expect from their influences, melds '90's guitar noise with pop sensibilities and a touch of...view item »

Sylvan Esso
HSKT

This is not a person but the combination of Amelia Meath and Nicholas Sanborn, whose debut album of the same name came out last year. An electro-popping treat, the record’s dusty drum loops and honest bluesy vocal delivery was best summed up by single HSKT, presented here in many forms. An extended version of the original kicks things off,...view item »

Torres
Sprinter

Sprinter is the second album by Torres, AKA Mackenzie Scott. It is the follow up to her 2013 eponymous debut which won critical acclaim from all the right places. The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter tends towards the darkness with the depth of her lyrical subjects and the way she performs them. Sprinter i...view item »

The Amazing
Picture You

Here I am to save the day. The new Six Organs of Admittance album has destroyed at least three pairs of office ears so far this morning, the cries and yelps from those affected suggests something drastic has to be done. Putting a record on by a band called The Amazing is surely a surefire help. They’re called The Amazing right? How can the...view item »

Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso

The beats sounds like rusty toy car’ bells making music when they were nostalgic for their time in the countryside. And then the vocalist sounds like she grew up in a big house, and spent her life singing about what the world looked like, and had these elaborate dreams and fantasies about an outside world she’d never seen, ...view item »

Eagulls
Eagulls

Eagulls are a rare thing, a band that live up to it’s hype. Some of you may not agree, they weren’t an easy sell for me either, at first, but it’s hard to deny Eagulls debut. Not only do they take reference from a much loved period of post-punk’s history but they do the period proud too. More importantly, there’s tu...view item »

The Dismemberment Plan
Uncanney Valley

I always feel a certain sense of ambivalence and trepidation when much loved bands dust off their equipment and reunite several years after their initial success, although there are a surprising amount of ‘90s greats actually making a decent fist of it at the moment - some, like Dinosaur Jr, ...view item »

Deer Tick
Negativity

Deer Tick take their indie-rock round the full-length block for a fifth time on Negativity. As sure as night follows day, indie-rock bands will eventually end up sounding like Neil Young. Or so the saying goes. Vanessa Carlton turns up on a track to ram it tearfully home. On CD ...view item »

Guards
In Guards We Trust

A great set of songs with a great vocalist to boot. The beginning of "I Know It's You" sounds like a Passion Pit song remixed with mainly guitars instead of synths, the vocals make me think of what MGMT might have sounded like if they decided to rock out (check out the guitar break on that song). On another note, the track order leaves a little ...view item »