Mastodon (Live Review – O2 Academy Brixton, January 27 2019)

Some records demand that you crank them up to such ridiculous extremes that your neighbours are practically guaranteed to come round and try to fight you – and Mastodon’s entire back catalogue fits into that volume-dependent category. Since my neighbours are actually pretty nice people, but also sadly fail to appreciate sludgy prog, I’ve not been inclined to inflict the likes of Blood Mountain, Crack the Skye, and Emperor of Sand upon them. For that reason, Mastodon’s main appeal for me up to this point has been based on professional curiosity, rather than Read more…

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Posted on 27 January 2019

Skunk Anansie – ’25Live@25′ (Album Review)

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I’m not normally a big fan of live records. With so many literally moving parts, and an almost endless list of things that can go wrong, a truly awesome live recording is a rare thing. With 25Live@25, Skunk Anansie have cherry-picked no fewer than 25 gems from across their entire career, and assembled them into a compilation structured as if it were a single live set.

Of course, Skunk Anansie have something of a reputation for great live shows – and so this collection’s quality is Read more…

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Posted on 17 January 2019

You Me At Six – ‘VI’ (Album Review)

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Learning and growing from past mistakes has always been a running theme in rock music, and You Me At Six are clearly determined to follow that path on VI. Having felt they’d lost their way on last year’s Night People, and fully aware of how quickly the winds of fortune can change in the music business, YMAS decided to Read more…

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Posted on 01 October 2018

Beartooth – ‘Disease’ (Album Review)

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Working under the Beartooth banner, Caleb Shomo has always been up for a fight. His opponent comes cloaked in shadow, has no concrete physical form, and has claimed far too many victims. Its name is depression, the Disease referred to by Read more…

Posted on 18 September 2018

Black Peaks – ‘All That Divides’ (Album Review)

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Some bands are born special. I first came across Black Peaks (then known collectively as Shrine) back in 2014, within a year or so of their initial formation, and it was obvious even then that these guys would go on to achieve big things. Fast-forward past their Closer To The Sun EP, 2016’s beautifully batshit debut album Statues, massive amounts of touring, and more than a few Read more…

Posted on 16 September 2018

Good Charlotte – ‘Generation Rx’ (Album Review)

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After a decade of slogging away as one of the most hated pop-punk bands of all time, Good Charlotte went on hiatus and returned with 2016’s Youth Authority. It was a decent effort, and recognised as such, a promising sign of lessons learnt and extra miles run while sweating blood in the name of self-improvement. At their best, Good Charlotte stood up for the world’s downtrodden misfits – and that positive stance is likely why Read more…

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Posted on 13 September 2018

Thrice – ‘Palms’ (Album Review)

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Thrice have always thrived on diverse creative approaches. Their on-record history has already taken in a set of post-hardcore classics (The Artist In The Ambulance), experimental compositional sorcery (Vheissu), and the all-encompassing masterwork The Alchemy Index. Since the latter epic saw the light of day, Thrice have never quite managed to Read more…

Posted on 12 September 2018

We Were Promised Jetpacks – ‘The More I Sleep The Less I Dream’ (Album Review)

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Here in the UK, two underground festivals stand far above the rest. Every July, 2000 Trees hosts a wealth of alternative bands whose music collectively tends towards the more commercial end of the non-mainstream spectrum, while a month or so later, ArcTanGent ushers about 5,000 people into its grounds for three days of niche acts – especially those fond of Read more…

Posted on 10 September 2018

The Dirty Nil – ‘Master Volume’ (Album Review)

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In 2018, humility has increasingly become a core value embraced and emphasised by guitar-based bands. Cool, calm, and collected confidence reigns supreme over arrogance and obnoxiousness, while mature self-assurance gets prioritised over forceful attempts to prove one’s worth. The Dirty Nil refuse to conform to that particular trend – and while nonconformity is obviously one of rock and roll’s most fundamental values, and they’re far from the first set of rockers to Read more…

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Posted on 08 September 2018

Vennart – ‘To Cure A Blizzard Upon A Plastic Sea’ (Album Review)

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Mike Vennart has a reputation for turning musical messes and chaos into moving, engrossing, living and breathing songs. With To Cure A Blizzard Upon A Plastic Sea, he’s at it once again. This album can be chalked up as another success, awarded the latest approving check mark on a list of long-playing releases that date back to his work with Oceansize and Read more…

Posted on 06 September 2018

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