The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Posts by Ed Biggs

REVIEW : Peace – ‘Happy People’ (Sony / Columbia)

by Ed Biggs British guitar acts making second albums don’t have a particularly great record of late, but surely a band as joyously, air-punchingly upbeat as Peace might be able to dispel such fears through their sheer optimism, right? Sort of. In Love took a carefree approach, the equivalent of throwing paint at a blank canvas and creating a masterpiece in the process. It wasn’t terribly original, but its joie

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CULT ’80s: The Smiths – ‘Meat Is Murder’

by Ed Biggs If Rough Trade had got their act together sooner, The Smiths’ chart positions might have reflected the true extent of their popularity. If you didn’t know anything about them and looked at the commercial performances of their singles and albums, you’d never guess that it was the body of work by the most significant British guitar act arguably since The Beatles. Just two of their 18 singles

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REVIEW : The Districts – ‘A Flourish And A Spoil’ (Fat Possum)

by Ed Biggs Philadelphia’s The Districts set the heart of many an indie fan a-flutter this time last year at SXSW, with their smart, sophisticated take on rock. Though all of the members are still in their teens, their first couple of singles felt like a quick journey through the annals of rock and indie history, with a magpie approach to sound and style that suggested that they had very

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REVIEW : Two Gallants – ‘We Are Undone’ (ATO Records)

by Matthew Langham With a back catalogue of over fourteen years’ experience and now on their fifth studio album, San Francisco-based Two Gallants are one of the most consistent US rock duo’s over the last decade, in comparison to many of their US compatriots. Since their debut release The Throes back in 2004, they are a band who have been better received stateside rather than across the pond; their biggest

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REVIEW : Aphex Twin – ‘Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2’ EP (Warp)

by Ed Biggs Richard D. James returned under his most notorious moniker Aphex Twin last September, sending musical connoisseurs and internets forums into meltdown. His reputation had grown enough in his thirteen year absence to land him an appearance in the UK Top 10, but Syro drew some (very minor) criticism from some quarters. Superb as it was, it didn’t give the impression that James was really pushing himself or

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CULT ’80s: Hüsker Dü – ‘New Day Rising’

by Ed Biggs Of all the great American indie groups of the 1980s, it’s perhaps Hüsker Dü who are the most underrated. While R.E.M. became global megastars and Sonic Youth, Minor Threat and Black Flag became acclaimed names that most people will have at least heard of if you mention them, the Hüskers remain comparatively overlooked. Which is unfair, because they did at least as much as anybody else to

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REVIEW : Pond – ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ (Caroline)

by Lauren James In retrospect, you’d have Nick Allbrook would have to be crazy to have stepped away from the Grammy-nominated Tame Impala, but while his former band is lapping up the plaudits, he’s the one busy making the music. The Perth multi-instrumentalist is able to stamp his personality much more effectively on his own project Pond, which celebrates its sixth album in as many years. Man It Feels Like Space Again is

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REVIEW : Fall Out Boy – ‘American Beauty / American Psycho’ (Island / DCD2)

by Matthew Langham Fall Out Boy’s four year break ended in 2013 with their fifth LP Save Rock And Roll. Two years on and their new record defines how the music industry has changed since their biggest single ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’, almost ten years ago. Considering the length of their hiatus, it is difficult not to admire the band’s longevity and very loyal fan base. Between playing festivals, they

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REVIEW : Enter Shikari – ‘The Mindsweep’ (Ambush Reality)

by Ed Biggs Where to begin with Enter Shikari? A band that in essence seeks to marry post-hardcore and happy hardcore and any genre they happen upon in between, they won the John Peel Innovation Award back in 2007, possibly because their brand of ‘electronicore’ was adjacent to the then-popular ‘nu-rave’ movement. Their combination of confrontational politics, extreme sound and mind-boggling arrangements is hard going at the best of times,

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REVIEW : Gaz Coombes – ‘Matador’ (Hot Fruit)

by Matthew Langham Making up one third of Oxford Britpop band Supergrass, Gaz Coombes is a million miles away from his indie roots on his second solo album, Matador. His 2012 solo debut record Here Come The Bombs saw him cut ties with his prank-happy lyrics in pursuit of a more serious side to his persona, but the follow-up makes another leap forwards in the development of his career. It

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