Skinny Lister: The Story Is…

Skinny Lister are one of those good-time live bands, all punky folk catchiness and entertainment; we saw them live at Rode Hall’s Just So and they’ve recorded at Newcastle-under-Lyme, although they’re not local. It’s three tracks in before Skinny Lister hit the sound we were expecting, the first three songs all showing a new pop […]

Calva Louise: Rhinoceros

Who remembers The Subways? They’re still going (playing with the legendary Die Toten Hosen in Germany this summer), but long ago disappeared into their fanbase. They were a fun rock pop band, most notable for having a couple who split romantically but carried on the band. After an initial bursting on the scene they settled […]

Thrice: Palms

Thrice are supposed to be punk — or at least post-hardcore, a genre derived from hardcore punk — but it’s as much like punk as a marmoset is a halibut. This is pure rock and singer Dustin Kensrue has a powerful voice, not unlike Chris Cornell; in fact, in places this is more like Audioslave […]

Architects: Holy Hell

There can be few better genres to deal with tragedy than loud metal, and grief suits the music of Architects. This is the band’s first album since the death of guitarist and songwriter Tom Searle, twin of drummer Dan, and the death dominates the album. Subtle it’s not, in any sense of the word, which […]

Basement: Beside Myself

Basement sound like they’re from California but this slick emo / rock band are actually from Ipswich. Their music is a commercial take on the old emo sound — it reminded us of now-defunct Farewell My Enemy and bands of that ilk — who set the scene for bands such as Jimmy Eat World, My […]

Estrons: You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough

This is billed as punk but it’s somewhere between indie — proper early indie, when it was an approach and not a genre — and rock. If they could be accused of lacking the genuine feel it’s because they can play their instruments far too well (“The Damned can play three chords, The Adverts can […]

The Blinders: Columbia

It’s been a good year for lovers of scuzzy yet intelligent punk, first Idles and now this (shame they added the “The”, they could start a trend of single-name bands). Idles have an earthier sound, Blinders’ opener channels The Shadows covering a Cossack dance, with a retro swampy guitar sound. The shouted vocals are not […]

Powersolo: Bo-Peep

This is one of those odd albums that some people will love, most people will hate (“Has someone been stabbed in there?” a person passing the Review Corner asked as it played). Powersolo is Kim Jeppesen and the Press notes, which try and make him seem like an enigmatic man with no name, say the […]

Penguins Go Pop: 20th Century Popo

This is an album we wished we’d heard 30 years ago — it’s one of those albums you love in your youth, and ever more it remains a musical comfort blanket. It’s not quite garage rock and it’s too layered to be called DIY, but there’s an endearing homemade quality to it. This is not […]

Henge: Attention Earth

We lamented over people complaining about the lack of new music in the Sons Of Bill review but Henge is an even better example: they’ve invented, or lest re-invigorated, a whole genre of music. It’s music like you’ve never heard before but it’s also instantly likeable. The basic sound is space rock, though as it […]