Plague Vendor: By Night

One for lovers of a clattery racket, By Night is perhaps louder than their last one and, although more textured, definitely not for the tender of ear. But they have a good sense of melody and fondness for dance that keeps the album civilised. More or less. Opener New Comedown clears out the cobwebs, the […]

Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith

This is an album that falls between pop and blues. It’s like one of those visual illusions, where upside down plates suddenly flip to the right way round. In this case you’ve got to see it as a pop album rather than blues; it sits a little uneasily until you do. There’s a mix of […]

Slowthai: Nothing Great About Britain

Rapper Slowthai attracted alarm from a certain sector of the UK recently, holding up a (fake) severed head of Boris Johnson. When it’s satirical tv show Spitting Image it’s satire and Shakespeare is art, but, alas poor Slowthai, a kid from Northampton is outrage. We’ve had this album for a while and not reviewed it; he’s […]

Black Futures: Never Not Nothing

This is their debut and it’s a mighty album; possibly not to everyone’s taste but mighty nonetheless. They’re a duo but it’s a massive sound, with pounding drums, massive riffs and fat bass. The sound is somewhere between Biffy Clyro, Nine Inch Nails (the NNN on the cover looks suspiciously like NIN) and a screamo […]

Caravan Palace: Chronologic

Caravan Palace is a French electronic music band based in Paris. They play electro-swing, which is as it sounds; possibly more popular on the Continent than this side of La Manche. Electro-swing combines swing and jazz mixed with modern dance. It can be an acquired taste; Mr Scruff and Jurassic 5 have written electro-swing tracks. […]

Rod Melancon: Pinkville

This is an album we’ll be savouring after the review is done; it’s a quality album and very interesting (interesting always being the best thing about music). Melancon plays swampy, dirty American blues (at least on this, we’ve not heard of him before but this is his fourth release). Imagine Nick Cave and the Bad […]

Native Harrow: Happier Now

This is a really good album. It’s greater than the sum of its parts: the tunes are ok, her voice (Native Harrow is Devin Tuel — nearly Devon Tool, of which a harrow could be an example, though we doubt that’s why she picked the alter ego) is ok and the general air is of […]

Yonaka: Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow

The sleeve of this asks the right question: Y? Why would you buy this over the slew of more interesting albums out there? On the plus side, Yonaka are British (Brighton) and have produced a stadium-sounding album of workmanlike slick tunes somewhere between power pop and pop punk. They make a lot of noise, work […]

Neil Young and Stray Gators: Tuscaloosa

It’s unlikely to win any new fans but it’s a good Young album for old ones. Tuscaloosa features The Stray Gators, Young’s band between 1971-73, playing five songs from Harvest, not long released. His self-titled debut and After The Goldrush also supply tracks. Young is on top form, the band knows his moves and he […]

Allusinlove: It’s Okay to Talk

Allusinlove is a weird name and the first part remarkably easy to misread as a bottom-related synonym, but they’re from Yorkshire, where they allus talk like that. They used to be called Allusondrugs, which after a misread would suggest imminent arrest at Bangkok airport. (This anus punnery was maybe funnier when we first wrote it). […]