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The Church – Sydney – 6 December 2012

The Church Factory Theatre, Sydney 6th December 2012 The most remarkable thing about The Church, and there are many remarkable things about this enduring Australia band, is how better they get with age. Memories seep past of watching them just down the road, in what seemed for all intent and purpose their final show with guitarist

By | 2018-06-11T04:14:59+00:00 December 8th, 2012|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Chromatics – London – 6 November 2012

Chromatics Heaven, London November 6, 2012 On a night when everyone is locked in an US election day trance, American synth-noir act Chromatics were the alternative for those choosing pop over politics. As a band who've existed in various forms since 2001, their recent mainstream crossover was aided by the success of the film "Drive"

By | 2018-06-11T04:04:58+00:00 November 8th, 2012|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , |0 Comments

MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds

Ultra, 2012 [rating:6/10] "Pop music is a platform to say something. You don't have to only talk about parties." Interesting quote from ex-noise artist now shiny electropop-idol-in-waiting, Amanda Warner. Pop music has always been a platform to say something, but this shouldn't make you believe that Warner is positing herself as Lady Bono or worse, Lady

By | 2018-07-16T12:08:57+00:00 October 30th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Savages – London – 11 October 2012

Savages Electrowerkz, London October 11, 2012 Does anyone remember the post-punk explosion of 2005 when every second band seemed to be cribbing off each other's influences sheets, and labels with derivative names like 'Angular' and 'Artrocker' appeared, encouraging this rising monochrome wave? It was probably the first serious resurgence of post-punk since the 80's, but

By | 2018-06-11T04:08:59+00:00 October 28th, 2012|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

Merge, 2012 [rating:8.5/10] The concept of the ‘supergroup’ is relative and often abused. The formation itself is prone to suspicion, akin to selling out your bandmates in favour of some fresh thrills. Often it's the point in a band's career when the chief songwriter hits a stalemate or a stale state -- ie: the last

By | 2018-07-16T12:10:55+00:00 October 16th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Cat Power – Sun

Matador, 2012 [rating:7/10] Time and distance, be it geographical or emotional, have always been great assets to a songwriter. The ability to cease all activity, to step off the treadmill and get his/her shit straight, to let real life take precedence. In a career that's had its share of ups and downs, Chan Marshall has

By | 2018-07-16T10:36:12+00:00 October 7th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Echo Lake – London – 1 October 2012

Echo Lake + Evans The Death The Lexington, London October 1, 2012 To say that 2012 hasn't been the easiest of years for Echo Lake would be a sad understatement. The tragic loss of their drummer Pete Hayes coinciding with the release of their debut album was a crushing setback for this wonderful London band-in-ascendant.

By | 2018-06-11T04:18:31+00:00 October 2nd, 2012|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Wild Nothing – Nocturne

Bella Union, 2012 [rating:6.5/10] Jack Tatum thought he must've hit a goldmine when his 2010 debut album as Wild Nothing was so rapturously received with little to no preceding fanfare. This North Virginian native, and his album, Gemini, proved to be a beguiling release, a wistful summer-sounding, 80's referencing aside to the music of Tatum's youth. Full

By | 2018-07-16T10:39:00+00:00 October 1st, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Beth Jeans Houghton – London – 26 September 2012

Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny Kings College, London September 26, 2012 A little face paint and a rummage through the fancy dress chest has the potential to turn even the dreariest of live performances into something oddly comical and surreal, yet this is something Beth Jeans Houghton and her Hooves of Destiny

By | 2018-06-11T04:20:09+00:00 September 27th, 2012|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Various Artists – 15 Years Of Bella Union Records

Bella Union, 2012 [rating:8/10] 2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the birth of Bella Union, a record label started by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins that was created, initially, to release their own recordings with no obvious aspiration to challenge the big UK independents of the day, yet somehow wound up acquiring a

By | 2018-07-16T10:41:10+00:00 September 20th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Bob Mould – Silver Age

Merge, 2012 [rating:8/10] Alterna-rock statesman hot from bringing a little 90's Sugar to the 10's masses returns with shit-hot album. If that's all the convincing you need, you might as well stop reading now and give the man your money. But if you need a little more, here goes...  Given that Mould has spent the

By | 2018-07-16T10:43:05+00:00 September 18th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Walkmen – Heaven

Bella Union, 2012 [rating:8/10] From the outset, The Walkmen's seventh album Heaven ('seventh heaven' geddit?) does much to reignite interest in a band, who to be completely honest, have regularly under-performed on record (critically, backslaps all round, but commercially, nada) to the point where wives/girlfriends, etc, are sure to have said "when are you going to

By | 2018-07-16T10:45:41+00:00 June 3rd, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Beach House – Bloom

Bella Union, 2012 [rating:5/10] Since their self-titled debut in 2006, Portland duo Beach House have become a band synonymous with the 'dream-pop' side of contemporary music, a tag that suitably sums up Beach House's immaculate sound. Their debut and follow-up Devotion were snapshots of a band evolving, both primitive and delicate in instrumentation and style. It

By | 2018-07-16T10:50:07+00:00 May 17th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Dandy Warhols – This Machine

Beat The World, 2012 [rating:7.5/10] At this stage in their career, The Dandy Warhols stand as an infinitely renewable resource. With the major label shackles thrown and now releasing their own records, the only standards Courtney & Co have to meet is their own. This is often the point where casual fan and band shrug

By | 2018-07-16T10:49:10+00:00 April 28th, 2012|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Layabouts – Savage Behaviour

Homeless Records, 2011 [rating:5.5/10] To call Layabouts chest-beating/car-loving/girl-banging rock n' roll as being derivative is to say rock n’ roll is derivative of rock n’ roll. If you stay true to the message, the music you make is un-fuck-with-able. Spain’s Layabouts make the kind of music that only Europeans are capable of -- the totally

By | 2018-07-16T10:48:10+00:00 November 12th, 2011|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

HTRK – London – 24 October 2011

HTRK The Garage, London October 24, 2011 HTRK have always been a difficult band to love. Once you got used to their narco-minimalism and faceless anonymity that pervaded their artwork, you realised they weren't a band seeking attention, merely like-minded souls to tumble down their rabbit hole. They weren't looking for you, you were looking

By | 2018-06-11T11:00:05+00:00 October 26th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Lydia Loveless – Columbus – 30 September 2011

A couple of songs into Lydia Loveless’s evening set, and it’s difficult to tell where Lydia the singer ends and Lydia the person begins. It’s simply hard to imagine a woman like this, barely in her twenties, and standing a little over five foot tall in her boots, could be so worldly and explosive. And yet, there she is, muttering a string of f-bombs during a song break because she can’t get her guitar tuned quite right. The attitude, the weathered, sarcastic smile. The edge. That’s pretty damn tough to fake.

By | 2015-08-10T05:07:20+00:00 October 7th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

They Might Be Giants – Cleveland – 16 September 2011

On the surface, it’s a normal, sold-out show on a Friday night just north of downtown Cleveland. The fans stretch around the corner from the front door; ticket holders excited for the They Might Be Giants concert they’re about to see, and those without tickets hoping to catch a break when they get to the box office. But this is not a normal show, and this is not a normal audience. These are the geeks. The nerds. Die hard rock fans of a different shade of crazy, waiting for their musical heroes to serenade them with catchy pop songs tinged with dark humor and insightful counter-culture references.

By | 2015-08-10T05:07:29+00:00 September 24th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Austra – London – 6 September 2011

Having changed careers mid-stream from a piano-based singer-songwriter with a touch of the Regina Spectors to a Nico-esque bleach-blonde gothic siren, in Austra Katie Stelmanis has found the form to match the function. With a handful of impressive singles released either side of their Kate Bush meets Nine Inch Nails debut album Feel It Break, Stelmanis may have found her creative niche but she still has much to prove. On record, Austra cloak themselves in a throbbing monochrome blanket, but on stage their live show is more telling, more vibrant and commanding, as Stelmanis, flanked by a pair of interpretive dancers/backing vocalists, add any absent colour.

By | 2015-08-10T05:07:36+00:00 September 8th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Peter Murphy – Should The World Fail To Fall Apart

Cherry Red, 2011 [rating:5/10] While the other three members forged on with nary a breath to contemplate what lay behind them, it took the ex-Bauhaus frontman 3 long years to record his first solo album. Here Murphy’s path was a more cautious one, making tentative steps with ex-Japan bassist Mick Karn for their unspectacular avant

By | 2018-07-16T11:10:16+00:00 September 4th, 2011|Categories: Album Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Truck Festival – Steventon – 22-24 July 2011

Quietly, unassumingly, Truck Festival has become an annual celebration of all that is so very right about music. When the Bennett brothers witnessed the exploitative attitude of industrial sized events they didn’t just get mad they got even. Truck Festival was their baby and now in its fourteenth year it has blossomed into a rather lovely adolescent. Webcuts birthday boy Don Blandford was at Truck all weekend to report on the action, featuring appearances by: Graham Coxon, Lanterns On The Lake, Cashier No.9, Sarah Cracknell, Johnny Flynn, Edwyn Collins, Caitlin Rose, Mechanical Bride and Sea Of Bees.