REVIEW: Ed Harcourt – ‘Furnaces’ (Polydor)

ed_harcourt_furnacesby Ollie Rankine

In the cut-throat world of pop music, it’s common knowledge that talent doesn’t always equate to record sales. On countless occasions, the system that drives popular music has laid waste to numerous musicians, each unjustly thwarted by their music’s lack of palatability. Continuing to battle the affliction of commercial viability is London singer-songwriter, Ed Harcourt whose now 16-year-long career is yet to generate a legitimate hit. Continue reading “REVIEW: Ed Harcourt – ‘Furnaces’ (Polydor)”

PROFILE: An Introduction to Red Hot Chili Peppers

They’ve travelled a long journey from cock-in-sock-rocking, party animal funk-punks to stadium-filling, radio-friendly millionaires in three decades, and their longevity and cultural relevance to consecutive generations of fans is matched by very few.

by Hannah Binns

Having just released their 11th studio album The Getaway, more than 32 years after their first performances together, Red Hot Chili Peppers have been consistently successful at what they do for so long that it’s easy to forget just how many changes they’ve been through – musically, physically, spiritually – over three decades. Continue reading “PROFILE: An Introduction to Red Hot Chili Peppers”

REVIEW: Frank Ocean – ‘Blonde’ (Boys Don’t Cry / Def Jam)

This year we’ve had records from Beyoncé, Radiohead, Kanye West etc. but in the midst of the global icons, a superstar introvert has released the most important album of the year and his second masterpiece in a row.

frank_ocean_blondeby John Tindale

FINALLY! The most anticipated album of 2016 is here. Back in 2012, Frank Ocean changed the musical and cultural landscape with Channel Orange, a genre-bending blend of masterful lyricism and hypnotic melodies that made him the hottest name in pop. Continue reading “REVIEW: Frank Ocean – ‘Blonde’ (Boys Don’t Cry / Def Jam)”

REVIEW: Scott Walker – ‘The Childhood Of A Leader’ OST (4AD)

scott_walker_the_childhood_of_a_leader_ostby Ed Biggs

Having recorded some of the most resolutely imposing and challenging music of the last two decades, Scott Walker has gone from poster boy pin-up from his days in The Walker Brothers at the end of the ‘60s to one of the most respected experimental artists in the business in an impressive and unlikely career arc that’s lasted over half a century. Continue reading “REVIEW: Scott Walker – ‘The Childhood Of A Leader’ OST (4AD)”

REVIEW: Thee Oh Sees – ‘A Weird Exits’ (Castle Face)

thee_oh_sees_a_weird_exitsby John Tindale

Thee Oh Sees are an oddity in a music industry which trudges along with the same formula of an album every two years and songs fitting the mould of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus etc. Thee Oh Sees, now on their 11th album in eight years, are the band that tears up the rulebook to create their own cosmic landscape and in A Weird Exits, it works wonderfully. Continue reading “REVIEW: Thee Oh Sees – ‘A Weird Exits’ (Castle Face)”

REVIEW: of Montreal – ‘Innocence Reaches’ (Polyvinyl)

PRC-317-COVERART-newby Ollie Rankine

Maintaining audience interest has always played a vital role in the development of a formidable artist within popular music. Having seen figures such as Prince and Bowie repeatedly distort everything from base sound to artistic character, methods of keeping mass attention focussed, or even hooking outsider interest, continues to be expanding in ideas. Continue reading “REVIEW: of Montreal – ‘Innocence Reaches’ (Polyvinyl)”

REVIEW: Rae Sremmurd – ‘SremmLife 2’ (EarDrummers / Interscope)

rae_sremmurd_sremmlife_2by John Tindale

In a world where Kanye West and Chris Brown grab the spotlight, it is Atlantan brothers Khalif ‘Swae Lee’ Brown and Aaquil ‘Slim Jxmmy’ Brown who are beginning to attract a few headlines of their own. Continue reading “REVIEW: Rae Sremmurd – ‘SremmLife 2’ (EarDrummers / Interscope)”

REVIEW: Wye Oak – ‘Tween’ (City Slang)

wye_oak_tweenby Ollie Rankine

To release an album under the premise that its content is a jumble of handpicked out-takes from previous studio endeavours can too often be nourishment for our scepticism. Fears spanning from artistic stagnation to digging up second grade material can cloud fan anticipation. Continue reading “REVIEW: Wye Oak – ‘Tween’ (City Slang)”

REVIEW: Blossoms – ‘Blossoms’ (Virgin EMI)

blossoms_blossomsby Hannah Binns

Blossoms have been busy blooming this year, with numerous sold out shows across the country as well as making it onto BBC’s Sound of New Music list at the start of 2016. The release of their self-titled debut album Blossoms earlier this week, at the peak of summer and festival season, is just the icing on the cake for the Stockport quintet, sending them into the mainstream headlights in their attempt to find fame and the culmination of two years’ worth of well-received singles and EPs. Continue reading “REVIEW: Blossoms – ‘Blossoms’ (Virgin EMI)”

REVIEW: Dinosaur Jr. – ‘Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not’ (Jagjaguwar)

dinosaur_jr_give_a_glimpse_of_what_yer_notby John Tindale

If anything has been shown since the third coming of Dinosaur Jr., it’s that they haven’t missed a beat since the three-piece’s ‘golden era’ in the late ‘80s. 2007’s Beyond was a mature record full of floating melodies, the following Farm (2009) and I Bet On Sky (2012) were dazzling in their experimentation. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dinosaur Jr. – ‘Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not’ (Jagjaguwar)”