Stax Classics Otis Redding / Sam and Dave

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some of the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. (Also see the Bookers and Carla Thomas) According to one review, Otis Redding arrived in […]

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood’s début did that clichéd thing of exploding on the music scene, literally and figuratively. Literally for the jaw-droppingly confident, Bonham-esque intro of the first song, Out Of The Black, distilling decades of rock from Zep to Muse in its opening moments. Figuratively, as they were held up as the vanguard of a new […]

Booker T and the MGs, Carla Thomas, Stax Classics

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. This week, we’ve got two to review. Booker T and the MGs were the house band […]

Various: Music from The American Epic Sessions

We thought Old Crow Medicine Show doing Blonde on Blonde live in Nashville was pretty cool but this is even better. The backstory is that it’s a television documentary on the early days of music. In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies took to the road to find new […]

Katalina Kicks: Vices

Just as there are people who like non-league football because of its grassroots nature (people playing for love not money) we’re pretty sure bands like Katalina Kicks have a ready audience for their no-nonsense rock. It’s a step above garage, and not quite as frenetic as Jim Jones (reviewed recently), just simple and direct rock. […]

Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind: Super Natural

We’re not sure whether to hail this the finest rock n roll album of the year (including the ones yet to come) or a cult classic. While there’s melody aplenty, Jones makes Motörhead sound like Abba (“Motörhead will make your lawn thrive”), and early Dr Feelgood as gentle as softly falling snow. It comes howling […]

Hunter and The Bear: Paper Heart

The Press release says this band are the “heroes British rock needs right now” and for once (music Press releases can be so gushing they make the Niagara Falls look like a park weir) it’s an understatement. Hunter and The Bear are unbelievably good and the band the whole world needs, never mind our small […]

Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night

You should all have heard this, or parts of it. It was the Mac’s second-best selling album after Rumours and some of the tracks are as well-known as the Rumours classics — Seven Wonders, Caroline, Tango in the Night, Little Lies and Family Man among them — so there’s not much to say on the […]

Hackney Colliery Band: Live

Whenever we’re down in the dumps in the Review Corner, we often play Rock With the Hot 8, by The Hot 8 Brass Band, a New Orleans outfit that blend hip-hop, jazz and funk. It’s not brass as you might expect if you’re a fan of Foden’s Band, and nor are there eight of them, […]

Vant: Dumb Blood

We like this because they sound like a band at all times; some of the songs may not be the best but they always work because the band works as a unit. Opener The Answer is a great first track, with feedback, swirling guitar and throbbing bass held together by a tight drum pattern; if […]