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 […]

As Lions: Selfish Age

As Lions don’t so much roar as stride about cockily, following the alpha male around, not quite hard enough to take him on. (In more than one way: the band’s Austin Dickinson is son of Paul Bruce, the definite alpha male of British rock). It’s derivative and predictable, and never varies from its format of […]

Bob Webb: Tree Of Life, A Thirty-Year Anthology

The music industry (like books) is propped up by massive-selling stars — one Adele will keep an entire company in profit. (Beggars Group saw total operating profits jump 229.2% to £16.68m in 2015, courtesy of Adele’s 25, while 2011, when Adele’s 21 was released, saw the firm turn over £86.2m in revenue, with an operating […]

Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell: This Time It’s Personal

The original new wave poet and Strangler produce an album of their favourite tunes. Given that an early Stranglers classic was Walk On By it’s perhaps no surprise; what is a surprise is how good Cooper Clarke’s voice is; think Richard Hawley. Nearly as good as Walk On By is their cover of MacArthur Park, […]

Seasick: Steve Keepin’ The Horse Between Me And The Ground

This is undoubtedly Seasick Steve’s best album; the title aside it has no music hall showmanship about it — or at least no back of the cowboy wagon showboating — and it’s got depth and subtlety. Maybe Mr Wold is as sick of Seasick as we are, though it’s been an excellent career move. Though […]

August Wells: Madness Is The Mercy

August Wells is a duo, the Dublin vocalist and songwriter Ken Griffin and John Rauchenberger, a New York pianist. They’re one of those bands with cult superstardom written over them, thanks to the sumptuous arrangements and Griffin’s distinctive voice (baritone?). Griffin is of Irish bands Rollerskate Skinny and Favourite Sons, the former apparently being popular […]

Hawklords: Fusion

As this album’s first notes ring out, it’s like putting on Hawkwind’s excellent 1980 space rock album Levitation — psychedelic guitars, thumping bass and drum pounding on a par with Ginger Baker, who joined the Hawkwind for that album. Then the vocals come: Ron Tree is not Dave Brock, but this is a different band […]