Howie Payne: Mountain

Payne was previously in The Stands, short-lived melodic rockers treading the same ground as The Thrills and The LAs. We found their appeal, like that of The Thrills, limited. This album was recorded over four days. Most of the songs were done in a couple of takes, giving it a relaxed, live vibe. While he […]

Jamie Lawson: Happy Accidents

Lawson, who is 42, was the first artist to be signed by Ed Sheeran’s record label Gingerbread Man Records. He and Ed were mates back in the day. Top marks to Sheeran for loyalty but he’s never going to sign a death metal band: his acts are going to sound like him. (As far as […]

Michael Korstick: Dmitri Kabalevsky, Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas

The sleeve notes say Dmitry Borisovich Kabalevsky, born in St Petersburg on 30th December 1904, achieved international success with music such as his Second Symphony (1934). He came behind Prokofiev and Shostakovich and along with Khachaturian in the “big four” of Soviet music. The First Sonata (1927), which opens this CD, is among Kabalevsky’s earliest […]

Son of Dave: Explosive Hits (By Other Artists)

The other week we reviewed SoD’s latest album Music For Cop Shows, which is good, but we made a couple of points with which he disagreed, and he contacted us over Twitter. To call him grumpy would be like calling Donald Trump orange; it might be an act and he might well be sat at […]

Joana Serrat: Dripping Springs

Not quite as intense as the Felice album (see elsewhere) this is still very good, and has a few standout moments. Vocally she sounds a bit Lana Del Rey but with a richer sound. The music is dreamy Americana that’s a little unvarying, rescued by a couple of outstanding moments that give the listener a […]

Falter Bramnk: Glassical Music

You want experimental? Try this, an album based on the sound of glasses rinsed with hot water. You’ve all done the washing up and heard odd noises from the glasses as the water/air cools and dries. If you stuck a mic close enough, presumably the different shapes and sizes would produce different sounds. You might […]

Blitzen Trapper: Wild and Reckless

A friend in the States introduced us to Blitzen Trapper’s debut album. We gave him Mumford and Sons’ debut in return and for some years we’ve thought he got the better end of the deal. Blitzen Trapper were worthy if not dull, and their second album did little to change our mind. But this is […]

Rob Keeley: Twists and Turns

Skittish is the word for this CD from Keeley. This is partly because of the pairing of instruments such as clarinet and harpsichord (which create a sound different to what one normally hears) but also because of the music itself, which skitters about like a giddy rabbit in a summer’s field. The sound is somewhere […]

The Head: Space

The most interesting thing about this is the punnery in the title. As for the rest, The Head, brothers Mike and Jack Shaw, joined by Jacob Morrell, all from Atlanta, play the right notes at the right time, and make a noise that approximates to melodic stadium-pleasing rock. Except it’s a bit duller. This is […]