Bearcraft: Fabrefactions

This is a peculiar album, in that we can’t make our minds up. At first we thought it started off strongly and tailed off to be rather forgettable, yet track nine turns out to be a proper earworm. It’s electronic pop with pretentions to grandeur that means it’s more than just electronic beeps with a […]

Narrow Head: 12th House Rock

This is a more than a decent album; while they’re not exactly not derivative, they’re also not dull and do sound themselves rather than anyone else. The sound is a grungy shoegaze, all pretty heavy, though they can do melody. There’s also an air of slacker about it. Part of the appeal is the live […]

Mulo Francel: Crossing Life Lines

As the artist, we’ve got to give Francel the benefit of the motivation behind this album (which is noble): the German saxophonist, clarinettist and composer was touring the Czech Republic and Poland, and met loads of nice people, leaving him wondering how he could personally deal with the suffering caused by his grandfathers’ generation? Did […]

Jack Henderson: Where’s The Revolution

If the injustices of the world leave you feeling helpless because there’s so much wrong and so little you can do, we can offer a small action you can take – buy Jack Henderson’s new album.Henderson sounds as if he’s a jobbing musician who does well – his biography says he’s played with the likes […]

Monkey See Monkey Do: The Night Out

They’ve self-released this, so if you like folk and are missing your favourite folk club, you should buy it on principle. Happily, it’s also good; they play folk that sounds modern and traditional at the same time, and tells a good tale. It opens with Pound A Week Rise; we Googled the lyrics and it […]

Murray McLachlan: Gregson: Complete Piano

This is an appealing collection of piano pieces. It takes in different styles and sounds, and ranges from the intimate to the more extravagantly romantic, but it’s got a definite charm throughout. It gets off to a cheery start with An Album For My Friends, 11 pieces written for friends and showing a love of […]

Pete Judge: Piano 2

Kicking sand in the face of under-achievers everywhere is Pete Judge, a professional trumpet player with the jazz / rock quartet Get The Blessing, but who can play more than one instrument, in this case the piano; this is a collection of tunes he wrote for another band he’s in, Three Cane Whale. It’s a […]

Ward Richmond: Highly Meditated

This charmer of an album is both interesting – Richmond has been in bands for years but now reflects on getting sober, becoming a father, yoga and meditation – and melodic. The first song is either nihilistic, or about some kind of meditative revelation. Before the music even starts he’s telling us: “I’m thinking about […]

Asylums: Genetic Cabaret

Asylums first album Killer Brain Waves was great: heads down no-nonsense rock played fast and tight but with lots of melody and a nice DIY ethos about it; a good band having fun. They obviously did ok out of it (and the second, which we missed) and this new one sounds more expensively made … […]

Robin Stevens: Prevailing Winds

This is a mostly enjoyable mixed bag of short works; you probably won’t like them all but it’s a diverting collection of music. In his sleeve notes, Stevens says that composing miniatures such as presented here can be liberating: if it doesn’t work, it’s less time wasted. They also add to a composer’s technical skills, […]