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 Pop

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 […]

Alkaline Trio: Is This Thing Cursed?

Alkaline Trio have a sound and stick to it, a kind of organic punk that’s melodic and riffy, lacking the sharpness of bands like Blink 182 but rolling along pleasantly. They’re one of those bands that developed a devoted fanbase and saw no reason to change their sound. The band has been doing other stuff […]

Idles: Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Bonkers but brilliant is this second album from punks Idles; the spirit is that of an angry person in a serious demo carrying a witty sign that gets in the Guardian. The sound is thunderous, tribal punk — imagine Nick Cave sounding like John Lydon with early Banshees as a backing band — but the […]

Sean McGowan: Son Of The Smith

This came as a download and we thought it was Shane McGowan, drunken Pogue; we were not expecting the “cor blimey guv’nor” sound of the latest everyman poet McGowan clearly hopes to be. McGowan is a cross between sturdy man of the people Frank Turner and young voice of the streets Jamie T. His band […]

Vomit: Punk Rock Past and Present

Vomit are something of a miracle. At best average when they formed in the heady days of punk — though they had lots of energy — they reformed a few years ago for a laugh and a couple of nostalgic gigs for their mates, and just never stopped. They gig all over the country and […]

The Flaming Lips: Scratching The Door

This album is tracks recorded by The Flaming Lips’ original line-up, which featured Wayne Coyne’s brother Mark on vocals. It includes the band’s first and second cassette demos and a self-released EP, and it’s surprisingly decent. The added fun for fans of a certain age is guessing the English bands the Lips were into when […]

Black Water County: Taking Chances

You’ve heard Black Water Country before, at least if you’ve heard the likes of The Pogues, Levellers and Dropkick Murphys; the sound is not original, but it’s so high energy it makes us feel exhausted just listening to it. We imagine that, live, they spent a lot of time jumping about and spilling beer. Black […]