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 […]

Sergeant Buzfuz: Fox Pop

At the end of last year, we reviewed Penguins Go Pop, a Norwich band led by local legend Richard Penguin, formed in the late 80s and reformed in 2013. They played catchy tunes telling quirky stories and were very much the DIY ethos of early indie, originally an approach and not a guitar sound. We […]

In This Moment: Mother

An odd album, this, “drawing on spiritual and philosophical ideas, they have created a concept that transcends cultural and metal boundaries” said one review, by which we think they mean (“we just regurgitated a press release”) “threw in some covers of huge songs to make an album to sell a few more copies”. We’ve never […]

Jon Anderson: 1000 Hands

The lad from Accrington hasn’t rushed this one: it’s an album he started 28 years ago. The title is a reference to the fact that numerous guest musicians perform, including Yes bandmates Chris Squire, Alan White and Steve Howe, as well as the likes of Ian Anderson, Steve Morse and Chick Corea. Thankfully the album […]

Sabaton: The Great War

This came out a while back but we forgot to review it (we bought it, so no PR company cares). While we remember World War I and the horror of the trenches in sombre fashion, Swedish metallers Sabaton evoke the glory of battle and the hot, red blood pumping in your veins; the lyrics don’t […]

Parachute For Gordo: Best Understood by Children and Animals

This is a great album, a clever ramshackle affair of what sounds like jams but is probably carefully arranged. The feel, if not sound, is somewhere between bands such as Ozric Tentacles and bands on the more stoner side (musically, anyway) such as Holy F–K or even Goat. You could also compare them to Explosions […]