Jesse Dayton: Mix Tape Volume 1

This is a song of covers, except Dayton puts a twangy spin on them, muscular country meets rock ‘n’ roll. If you always felt your favourite tunes would be improved by deep country guitar licks, this is for you. We won’t pretend to have heard of him. We guess he’s big in the US, as […]

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 […]

Scott Lavene: Broke

This little gem of an album is a cross between 70s David Bowie, 80s Dury and modern day punk/alt poets such as Beans On Toast or even Frank Turner, with a bit of Sparks thrown in. We’ve never heard of Lavene before: in an interview with musicmusingsandsuch.com he said: “I’m an Essex boy. I make […]

Holy Moly and The Crackers: Take A Bite

This lot are one of those bands that are fundamentally a live band, playing raucous (but tight) gypsy / dance rock. Imagine Mumfords with a brass section and disco high-hats. And personality. Regulars at Rode Hall’s Just So festival will have seen many such a band — indeed, Holy Moly and The Crackers were on […]

Gary Clark Jr: This Land

We knew we’d like this when we read the reviews. We’re not fans of formulaic music genres so we liked some bits of Gary Clark Jr’s music but not the bits where he settled down into what he’s known for, rock blues. He’s a fantastic guitarist but rock blues is rock blues and does tend […]

Fontaines DC: Dogrel

We read some profiles from Ireland before listening to this Dublin band; the Irish Press loves them and hails them as the next global hit for the city. This is partly because the band is so Dublin — “Dublin in the rain is mine,” the vocals bellow within seconds of the opening song Big (as […]

Skinny Lister: The Story Is…

Skinny Lister are one of those good-time live bands, all punky folk catchiness and entertainment; we saw them live at Rode Hall’s Just So and they’ve recorded at Newcastle-under-Lyme, although they’re not local. It’s three tracks in before Skinny Lister hit the sound we were expecting, the first three songs all showing a new pop […]

The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Poor Until Payday

  The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band do one thing and do it well, playing their old-fashioned country blues at 250 gigs a year from bars to festivals. The Rev plays authentic guitars, too: a 1930 steel-bodied National, a 1934 wood-bodied National Trojan Resonator and a 1994 reproduction of a 1929 Gibson acoustic, while drummer […]