Guy Wampa and Justin Percival: Ammut

We played this several times knowing nothing about them. It’s slick and commercial; the singer (a Wampa or a Percival, we know not) sounds like the Canadian K-os (released some slick hip hop a decade ago, including Crabbuckit and Love Song), with smooth soulful vocals, and music to match. And despite being electronic, it’s a […]

Betsy: Betsy

“The new Cher” say some of the reviews, and that’s not just the sound. The feel of the whole CD harks back to an era when a woman could have a ship’s gun between her legs and not get mocked on social media. The sleeve art is Betsy wearing tight tops in a garage-based scenario […]

Blancmange: Unfurnished Rooms

It’s always amazing that, no matter how forgotten the band, there are people who still love them. As far as we were concerned, Blancmange had a couple of hits way back   —  Living On The Ceiling was the biggest — but at the time we just thought “Meh”, even with that song’s attempt at getting a […]

Re-TROS: Before The Applause

Re-TROS were formerly known as Rebuilding The Rights Of Statues and, for entirely sensible reasons, have shortened it for this new album. They’re one of those Chinese bands (or Korean, or whatever) we sometimes get to review, copying Western rock but with the addition of quirkiness — something always gets lost in cultural translation. The […]

Amadou and Mariam: La Confusion

There’s world music and there’s world music. There’s the rootsy world of earnest music fans, which is played by traditional artists who are probably seen as traditional in their own lands. Then there’s the world music that the owners of internet radios can listen to: music that’s played for (say) Africans to listen to as […]

Prince: Purple Rain

Is this deluxe reissue of Prince’s classic album worth getting? Doh. Of course it is. The album contains classics such as When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy, and this remastered version comes with recordings “from the vaults”, single versions of the album tracks and a live DVD. Fans of Prince who bought the album […]

Pet Shop Boys: Release

Although we were fans of Pet Shop Boys back in the day (and have seen them live, the Review Corner males being the lone representatives of straight men in Manchester Apollo) we’ve missed their latter albums so this, the first in a series of re-releases, was welcome. The Review Corner’s pet PSB fan says this […]

Tiny Magnetic Pets: Deluxe Debris

This lot are from Dublin and the reviews we read (it’s a small city, they all seem to know each other) talk of their Krautrock influences, Bowie’s Berlin albums and Gary Numan but, in reality, none of it is that dark or original. What it is, is Hotel-era and later Moby, except without his budget. […]

Black Grape: Pop Voodoo

Surprisingly this is really good and captures the groove of the excellent Black Grape debut, 1995’s It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah. The opener Everything You Know Is Wrong—Intro sees Mr Ryder give the listener both barrels of his endearing daftness as he monologues about the world: “Hillary’s an old bird who —-s up on her […]

Klyne: Klyne

We’ve waited a long time for an electro/dance/pop album as good as CagedBaby’s* 2005 Will See You Now … and we’re still waiting. We had high hopes for Klyne, as the early tracks we heard were good. Like Cagedbaby, they were pleasant pop tunes played electronically and with edge and coolness. Obviously, the early tracks […]