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 […]

Caiti Baker: Zinc

The PR for Australian singer Caiti Baker claims it’s a “really cool and classy mix of pop, hip-hop, blues, 90s R&B and neo soul”. It’s true that it’s classy, and it’s mostly cool, too, but the mix of genres is a weakness to our ears. You might disagree and singers such as Caro Emerald do […]

The Kooks: Let’s Go Sunshine

“Consider the lilies” said Brian in Life of Brian only for a member of his audience to heckle, “He’s having a go at the flowers now”. We feel the same about The Kooks; what can you say? The music might be bland but they’ve made a career and have got a strong fanbase who doubtless […]

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 […]

Gorillaz: The Now Now

We like Gorillaz as a singles band as much as the next primate, but have never really dug the albums, at least until this one. Probably because it’s low key, induces calm and doesn’t try anything too clever. Opener Humility is a gentle pop tune. It could have been made by any middle-ranking, decent chill-out […]

The Once: Time Enough

You can’t beat stereotypes and a cliché for the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) to which Newfoundland abuts is that everyone makes music. A bit like Shetland, where schoolchildren get free instruments. So knowing that The Once were Newfies meant we were expecting quality music, and quality it is. It’s firmly […]

Charlie Puth: Voicenotes

Puth is one of those people older music fans hate, but the kids love: he shot to fame via YouTube. His debut album Nine Track Mind was poor: “whimpers like a sick kitten” as Q put it. There’s no ailing kitties with this new album. It’s maybe not a mighty lion, but it’s certainly a […]

Blair Dunlop: Notes From An Island

All Dunlop’s albums we’ve had in the past have been good – you’re always guaranteed quality with Mr D – and we have seen him move from folk to pop, and Notes From An Island sees the move continue. It’s now more pop than folk, and more commercial. The tunes always seem simple (but aren’t […]