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 […]

Fontaines: DC A Hero’s Death

We’re often not impressed with bands billed as “the future of rock” but we can make an exception for Fontaines DC. This new album is special; so good it had us singing – SINGING – to one track about three plays through. That literally never happens. It only seems 10 minutes since their debut album, […]

The Psychedelic Furs: Made Of Rain

The Furs were British (formed in London in 1977) but are most famous for an American movie, when John Hughes used Pretty In Pink for his film of the same name. We can’t be the only people who know them for that one tune. They “went on hiatus” after finishing touring in 1992 and although […]