Jim White: Misfit’s Jubilee

The Press release calls Mr White an “ever-elusive Americana maverick,” famous for his “dark ruminations on all things Southern”.This new album is varied, from White calling like a circus barker to a stadium-friendly song that wouldn’t sound out of place in a U2 set.The album opens with a fake tannoy train announcement but Monkey In […]

Neil Young: Way Down In The Rust Bucket

Young is now 75 and more likely bang out a well-meaning but average political album or release an archivally relevant but otherwise pedestrian live album, but this was recorded way back in 1990 at what sounds like a warm-up gig for the Ragged Glory tour, his 18th studio album. If you’re a Young fan and […]

The Messenger Birds: Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually

The Messenger Birds follow in the footsteps and The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Royal Blood, two blokes making a lot of noise (“That’s not a rock band, that’s just two guys!” they cite “some guy named Kevin” as saying on their Bandcamp page). Like Jack White, they’re from Detroit, Michigan. The album opens […]

Eagles: Live From The Forum

We’ve never really been massive fans of Eagles but you’d have to be a miserable wretch not to like this new double album recorded live at the impressive Inglewood venue, practically a homecoming gig for the band. Someone who saw Eagles years ago complained to us: “It sounded just like the records”, which is perhaps […]

Arcade Messiah: The Host

We first came across Arcade Messiah years ago, when we had a double (?) CD to review; we thought it was the career-end of a US cult prog band but they must have been very early releases from Arcade Messiah, and now we feel bad. Particularly as he gave this album away.Arcade Messiah is one-man […]

My Grito presents … Mas Alto! A Charity Compilation

This is in a good cause and is a more-than-decent album. The cause: sadly not a local one but still good: the album is raising cash for No Us Without You, a US charity providing food security for undocumented back-of-house staff and their families. “Undocumented hospitality workers are the backbone of the hospitality industry,” says […]

Narrow Head: 12th House Rock

This is a more than a decent album; while they’re not exactly not derivative, they’re also not dull and do sound themselves rather than anyone else. The sound is a grungy shoegaze, all pretty heavy, though they can do melody. There’s also an air of slacker about it. Part of the appeal is the live […]

Asylums: Genetic Cabaret

Asylums first album Killer Brain Waves was great: heads down no-nonsense rock played fast and tight but with lots of melody and a nice DIY ethos about it; a good band having fun. They obviously did ok out of it (and the second, which we missed) and this new one sounds more expensively made … […]

Biffy Clyro: A Celebration of Endings

This is Biffy’s ninth album and possibly the most approachable: all the early roughness has gone, along with most of the pomp and theatricality of the later stuff. It’s just (just!) a classic melodic rock album; some heavy moments, but more reliance on melody. It’s a positive and upbeat album, too, and pretty well instantly […]

Pottery: Welcome To Bobby’s Motel

This a fine album, interesting and meaty, with added cowbell for those who feel modern music lacks such percussive adornment. The title track kicks it all off, opening with a frantic snare roll and then the speeded-up soundtrack to a Tarantino movie, lots of tom toms, psychedelic guitar and a voice-over about dreams, then, after […]