The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Reviews

REVIEW: Drinks – ‘Hermits On Holiday’ (Heavenly / PIAS)

by Ed Biggs Tim Presley has been one of the busiest names in indie over the last decade or so. A member of cartoon punks The Nerve Agents and then his own project Darker My Love, he’s also been a short-term member of The Fall (on Reformation! Post-TLC) and released six albums in five years under the name White Fence. Drinks is a collaborative effort with curious Welsh siren Cate Le

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REVIEW: AUTOBAHN – ‘Dissemble’ (Tough Love)

by Ed Biggs Leeds’ pysch-rock / post-punk resurgence has really begun to yield impressive albums over the last couple of years. The scene’s biggest names Eagulls and Hookworms have both produced quality records celebrated in these pages since 2013, and now a second wave of intense, guitar-toting young men has followed in their wake, including Forever Cult and AUTOBAHN. That Kraftwerk-aping name is a bit of a red herring – you

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REVIEW: Frank Turner – ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ (Xtra Mile Recordings)

by Matthew Langham Now onto his sixth studio album, the ever-consistent Frank Turner returns with more of his politically-infused punk/folk/rock crossover which has seen him amass a devoted fan base over eight years. His Glastonbury midday performance this year was prime example of his broad appeal and one which I will admit helped to banish a heavy hangover. His passion for music is patently obvious and his arena shows are now

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REVIEW: Don Broco – ‘Automatic’ (Sony)

by Ed Biggs Proving that critics have absolutely no impact on record sales, Bedford’s slick alternative rock outfit Don Broco’s critically slaughtered Priorities performed well in the charts back in 2012, reaching an eventual high of Number 25. Their inoffensive ‘Busted meets Biffy’ melding of chart-bound tunes to loud, vaguely metal aesthetics has been done to death over the last twenty years, but clearly it’s a formula that still has a

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REVIEW: Dr. Dre – ‘Compton’ (Aftermath / Interscope)

by Ed Biggs When his former colleague Ice Cube dropped the news at the end of July that Dr. Dre was imminently going to release a new album, the internet promptly lost its shit. Having done so much to sculpt the sound of hip-hop as we know it today – through N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton in 1989, which provided the genre’s Sex Pistols moment, his solo debut The Chronic in 1992,

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REVIEW: Mac DeMarco – ‘Another One’ (Captured Tracks)

by Ed Biggs Canadian-born indie troubadour Mac DeMarco became the toast of the indie underground in 2014 with Salad Days, a breezy album of bedroom song sketches that benefitted from sounding spontaneous and demo-like. He’s following it up with a brace of mini-albums in the form of Some Other Ones (consisting entirely of instrumentals) and Another One. It’s not explicitly personal in the same way as Salad Days – by all

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REVIEW: Health – ‘Death Magic’ (Loma Vista)

by Ed Biggs Los Angeles’ electronic noise-pop outfit Health have experienced commercial success that they almost certainly couldn’t have anticipated over the last few years. Though they haven’t released a proper studio album since 2009’s Get Color, their 2012 soundtrack for Rockstar Games’ blockbuster shooter Max Payne 3 has sold in excess of four million copies.

REVIEW: The National Parks – ‘Until I Live’ (Groundloop)

by Ed Biggs Utah seven-piece band The National Parks found modest success with their 2013 debut album Young, with a certain compositional simplicity in tracks like ‘Helsinki’ and ‘Wind & Anchor’ that showed a natural knack for the intricacies of folk music. For their sophomore effort Until I Live, lead singer Brady Parks has said they’ve attempted to lean in a more populist direction without entirely abandoning the sound of their

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REVIEW: The Maccabees – ‘Marks To Prove It’ (Universal / Fiction)

by Lauren James For some reason, I’ve always associated The Maccabees with indie dance club hooliganism. After a gruelling recording process, they’ve dropped their fourth release – and it wasn’t an easy birth. Written and recorded solely in the band’s small London studio, Marks To Prove It may as well be named after the paranoid wall etchings of a mental patient holed up in a cell. “It’s tough because you’re not

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REVIEW: Lianne La Havas – ‘Blood’ (Warner Bros)

by Ed Biggs Following her well-received 2012 debut Is Your Love Big Enough?, an album of spritely, largely acoustic numbers, British-born singer Lianne La Havas has been plotting her next move carefully in order to find a different home for her versatile voice. Over the last three years, she’s been getting in touch with her Jamaican and Greek roots to produce Blood, an album seeking to channel that sense of mixed

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