The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Ed Biggs

REVIEW: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Quarters!’ (Heavenly)

by Matthew Langham The elaborately named Australian psychedelic rockers King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard have approached their new record with a different variation of psych-rock following the success of 2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz. The four-track album Quarters! owes much more to jazz-psych sound in comparison to their all-out drug-inspired previous effort. The brakes are off for King Gizzard and, at ten minutes and ten seconds long per track

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REVIEW: Holly Herndon – ‘Platform’ (4AD)

by Matthew Langham Cards on the table here – I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve never really taken to electronic artists who solely use laptops – particularly in a live setting. I’ve often thought the physical art of making music and mixing has instead been removed by the laptop. For all I know they could be doing anything while pretending to DJ – I guess I just like

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REVIEW: Brandon Flowers – ‘The Desired Effect’ (Island)

by Ed Biggs As Pitchfork’s Jeremy Larson has already pointed out, it’s hard to get a handle on Brandon Flowers as a pop star precisely because so much of his career has involved playing at being a pop star. As lead singer of The Killers, he’s rummaged through the dressing-up box of music to be, variously: new-wave Brandon (Hot Fuss); Springsteen Brandon (Sam’s Town); glam Brandon (Day & Age); and Bono

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CLASSIC ’00s: Gorillaz – ‘Demon Days’

by Ed Biggs It’s strange to think an album by a fictional band could have such a sizeable impact, but the 2005 album Demon Days by the animated group Gorillaz, the brainchild of Blur singer Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett, helped to shape the direction of pop music today. For all its undoubted creativity, the project’s self-titled 2001 debut ultimately felt a tad sterile, like a laboratory experiment with a

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REVIEW: Paul Weller – ‘Saturns Pattern’ (Parlophone)

by Matthew Langham Paul Weller; ‘The Modfather’; the changing man – he’s back with his twelfth solo album Saturns Pattern, and it’s pretty far removed from the classic Weller sound. So much so that this literate and passionate artist has forgotten to include an apostrophe in the title, which refers to the persistent hexagonal cloud formation around the planet’s north pole. The nine-track album encompasses the experimentation taken from records

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REVIEW: Hot Chip – ‘Why Make Sense?’ (Domino)

by Ed Biggs I must admit, I find it slightly surprising that Hot Chip have remained together long enough to make a sixth studio album. Groups with this many creative individuals within them – singer Alexis Taylor with his solo album Await Barbarians; Joe Goddard’s side project The 2 Bears; Al Doyle and Felix Martin with their project New Build, which released a record just six months ago – tend to

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REVIEW: Mini Mansions – ‘The Great Pretenders’ (Fiction / Electromagnetic)

by Ed Biggs To listen to the glorious, classic pop stylings of Mini Mansions, you’d never guess that it was a Queens Of The Stone Age side-project. But it’s hardly surprising, given the highly eclectic nature of that group’s last album …Like Clockwork, that their members should be indulging in such varied musical disciplines. QOTSA bassist Michael Shuman set up the group in 2009 with guitarist and co-vocalist Tyler Parkford and

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REVIEW: Chastity Belt – ‘Time To Go Home’ (Hardly Art)

by Ed Biggs One of the most promising new American indie acts of the decade, all-female four piece Chastity Belt have moved up in the world with their second album, and their first for a national independent label. Formed in the small university city of Walla Walla, WA, they fit neatly into a lineage of intelligent indie from Northwestern America dating back to Sleater-Kinney and Beat Happening. Rather than stick with

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REVIEW: The Tallest Man On Earth – ‘Dark Bird Is Home’ (Dead Oceans)

by Ed Biggs Even at a time when folk is as prominent in the wider pop scene as it’s been at any point since its heyday, Kristian Matsson (a.k.a. The Tallest Man On Earth) still manages to seem like a man out of time, of a different era altogether. It’s not only that he never resorts to the cynical stomps, handclaps and “whoa-ohs” of his contemporaries who cynically use folk as

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REVIEW: God Damn – ‘Vultures’ (One Little Indian)

by Ed Biggs Highly acclaimed by Kerrang! magazine and backed by a fiercely devoted fanbase in their hometown of Wolverhampton, the ferociously loud duo God Damn unleash their debut album after three years of admirably hard work. Taking their cues from classic heavy rock and indie influences ranging from Nirvana to Neutral Milk Hotel, their powerful yet complex sound is all the more impressive when you consider they’re just a guitarist/vocalist

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