Larry And His Flask: This Remedy

The most surprising thing about Larry And His Flask are that they’re not from the UK: their festival-friendly Mumfords-meets-Pogues drunken folk is akin to Brit bands such as Skinny Lister and Ducking Punches, but this crew hail from Oregon and not English suburbia. We guess they’re great live, a band for dancing and spilling beer […]

Death Cab for Cutie: Thank You for Today

We’re big fans of Death Cab but even we can see they’re on a downward trajectory. They started high and they’re always well above average — most bands would kill to be as good — but they’ve gone from masterpieces to pop tunes. Songs like the epic Transatlanticism, the title track of the 2003 album […]

The Beta Band: The Three EPs (Reissue)

Some years ago we went to the Green Man festival; we saw the best live band in the world, Flaming Lips, we saw Mumford and Sons and we even saw Gruff Rhys in wellies, but if you asked for one memory of the event it would be the solo set from Steve Mason, ex Beta […]

The Little Unsaid: Selected Works

The Little Unsaid is the work of John Elliott, who started recording in his bedroom and originally played all the instruments himself. This, as the name suggests, is an introduction to the band’s work. It’s intense stuff, mainly because of Elliott’s struggles with mental health (“The Little Unsaid chart(s) my journey from small, bewildered boy […]

Johnny Marr: Call the Comet

Marr’s career will always be like that of Orson Welles: his finest moment is behind him. Welles made Citizen Kane when he was 26, the millstone round Marr’s neck broke up in 1987 when Marr was 24. He’s now 54 and will never be as good as he was for those few years. Lucky for […]

Dos Floris: The Widowed Earth

This is an album that needs attention, probably on headphones; we tried listening while working and most of it just passes the casual listener by. Clearly, we stopped working and listened, as it is something worth hearing. It opens to the sound of a cassette player, perhaps suggesting something old school; or maybe just that […]

White Denim: Performance

This new album is high on having a good time, taking in soul, prog, blues and glam, if a little correspondingly low on memorable tunes and invention. The sound is somewhere between a classic 70s funk/blues rock band and T Rex, but it’s all pleasurable to listen to. The musicianship is high and the sound […]

Middle Kids: Lost Friends

Good news: Middle Kids will sound great at any festival you catch them at, with their lively indie pop that varies from song to song; you’ll not get bored and the music is all very familiar. Bad news: on CD it’s all a bit over the place and ultimately lets itself down because they lack […]

Lily Allen: Shame

While Ange Hardy sings about her personal experiences and expands this into wise advice on living, Allen sings about herself. There is a difference. This new CD charts her personal life: broken marriage, social media harassment and all. It feels a bit lightweight, and even the sharp lyrics are good only for the first couple […]