Rebelution: Free Rein

This is reggae, but the sunny, chilled music reminds us most of Jack Johnson; music for lighting a fire on the beach after a hard day’s surfing. Then sinking some beers and saying dude a lot. Rebelution are new to us but the internet informs us they’re big in the States. Their first full-length album, […]

Military Wives Choir: Remember

It’s probably an act of sedition to criticise this, not that we want to. It’s a commemoration of the end of WWI, and opens with The Poppy Red, inspired by the poem We Shall Keep The Faith (“Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields / Sleep sweet — to rise anew! / We caught the […]

Cruising With…. Jane McDonald

Ahoy,  shipmates! Trying to rate this on musical terms is as pointless as a bookie’s pencil. There is no pattern to the songs — the set-list goes from Ultravox’s Vienna to Frozen’s Let It Go, and takes in Mambo Italiano and Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet. Eclectic, to say the least. To call the covers […]

Anton Eberl: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

We imagine this is the sort of CD that Classic FM loves, classical-sounding classical music that’s uplifting but not too fearsome; it makes for nice background music while you’re working. Not that Eberl is bland: he was a contemporary of Beethoven and knew Mozart, who may even have taught him. He later toured with Mozart’s […]

Murray McLachlan: Innovations, Music for Two Pianos and Percussion

Other critics have called it “excellent” and “hugely impressive” but we found this is a little intimidating for its early plays: The Rite of Spring but on steroids. The playing is technically impressive, and the sound is bracing and enervating, but it’s a programme that’s challenging and powerful, if not harsh. Obviously, another pair of […]

Alan Hovhaness: Wind Music

This album has reportedly been in the British classical album chart, so some of you already like this. We never look at the charts: they’re either bands only three students have ever listened to (indie charts), remixes of mediocre tunes featuring Someone Famous (pop) or various guitar works from John Williams and Four Seasons from […]

Ray LaMontagne: Part Of The Light

We’ve not heard much of LaMontagne — who was famously inspired to write music after waking up one morning to the radio playing a Stephen Stills song — since his debut Trouble, which was folk-based reflections on life and death. It sold 500,000 copies but we guess his subsequent albums did less well: his second […]

Vomit: Punk Rock Past and Present

Vomit are something of a miracle. At best average when they formed in the heady days of punk — though they had lots of energy — they reformed a few years ago for a laugh and a couple of nostalgic gigs for their mates, and just never stopped. They gig all over the country and […]

Addie Brik: I Have A Doctor On Board

Brik remind us of Kate Bush, not just for the voice, which is not quite as squeaky but is Bushesque, but for the variety of the sounds she produces. And for the way her biography is casually littered with celebs. Just like Bush, who had a family friend who knew David Gilmour of Pink Floyd […]

Jack Carty + Gus Gardiner: Hospital Hill

Hospital Hill is Jack Carty and Gus Gardiner, whom we could claim to know all about, if we lied. Never heard of them. Carty won the 2010 acoustic singer-songwriter of the year award at the National Music Oz Awards, while Gardiner was with Australian rock band Papa vs Pretty. Despite being limited by us never […]