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Live Reviews

LICE – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
LICE

The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
The Magic Numbers – The Old Market, Hove
The Magic Numbers

The Old Market, Hove
Amber Run – Green Door Store
Amber Run

Green Door Store, Brighton
Frank Turner – The Roundhouse, London
Frank Turner

The Roundhouse, London


Most Popular Articles

Album Reviews

Mt. Desolation - When the Night Calls

Mt. Desolation – When the Night Calls

While Keane frontman Tom Chaplin has been performing sappy Christmas songs during the band’s hiatus, other Keane members Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin formed the country band Mt. Desolation. Their first album, the eponymous Mt. Desolation, explored the worlds of blues and country with the help of members of Mumford and Sons, Noah and the Whale and The Staves to middling results. This time they’re going it alone, with the help of extended Mt. Desolation family Phil Renna, Fimbo and Philip Scott-Ilsoe, to create When the Night Calls, their first record in eight years, which, for the most part, continues the run-of-the-mill formula set by the first record. It’s more of the same from the duo: safe country-pop, dominated by themes of love, loss and independence. As a record, it’s not that it’s bad, it just seems to lack any sense of purpose or ambition.

Jo Passed - Their Prime

Jo Passed – Their Prime

Dreamy rock and roll hailing from Vancouver, Jo Passed have certainly been busy with their debut release. Their Prime is an 11-piece record which is able to simultaneously transport you from the most uplifting places yet concurrently combines its dreamy tones with far darker aspects of the human mind. Fronted by Jo herself, this is one debut which will leave an undoubted lasting impression for this band.

Snow Patrol - Wildness

Snow Patrol – Wildness

Mainstream indie favourites Snow Patrol have returned with their first album in seven years, following 2011’s Fallen Empires with Wildness. It finds the band, particularly frontman Gary Lightbody, delving into exceptionally personal ground as the band search for lucidity, affinity, and the true meaning, as Lightbody dedicates songs to his father, his godchildren and his friends. Seven years in the making, this feels like an intimate project, detailing and outlying the frontman’s life in the last decade in an emotional, yet surprisingly euphoric record, that has a lot more elasticity and resilience than you’d expect.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Putting on Sparkle Hard for the first time last week I felt this strange sense of comforting familiarity. As someone who was unabashedly obsessed with Pavement’s last album Terror Twilight at the tail-end of the 90s, checking out Stephen Malkmus in 2018 makes me feel like the prodigal son, welcomed home and treated to a smorgasbord of goodies that I really don’t deserve. This album is phenomenal in its scope, it seems a crystallisation of everything that was great about Malkmus’ idiosyncratic writing in Pavement, but taken to transcendent soaring heights. Just listen to those strings on ‘Solid Silk’, alongside the soft retro synth-flute tones – it’s an album that sounds like it could have been made during a different era within the music industry; when interesting progressive rock bands decamped to posh studios for months on end, labouring over their overdubs and drafting in session musicians of every sort to turn their acid-fuelled bonkers ideas into wide-screen epics of Sgt. Pepper proportions.

Charles Watson – Now That I’m a River

Charles Watson – Now That I’m a River

Charles Watson departs from Slow Club’s indie-pop sound on his self-produced debut solo album. Presenting us instead with sophisticated retro pop that borrows sonic chops from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and a bit of Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, whilst also looking further back to 70s folk and Americana for inspiration. Its mostly mellow and melancholic vibes are well suited to a lazy summer's afternoon, shading from the sun.

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

Courtney Barnett is back! The queen of observational slacker rock has taken a much darker turn on her second record, Tell Me How You Really Feel. The Aussie artist, who has released an album with Kurt Vile as well as touring with her girlfriend Jen Cloher in the last year, has released a record that sees her impassioned and as exposed as she’s ever been.

Ash – Islands

Ash – Islands

With just two records released in the past 10 years Irish rockers, Ash, have returned with their latest studio album, Islands. A nostalgic 12 track record which will transport you directly back into the era of naughties rock and powerhouse ballads. Ash have been going since 1992, but here they are proving that they still have a lot to say, arming themselves with the full power and ferocity of the electric guitar.

Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!

Before Wide Awake! was officially announced, Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage had stated that their new album would be full of “Rippers”. Parquet Courts’ typical sounds of underproduction have been swapped for something more stereo. Now we have the final product, does it rip? Indeed it does, whatever that means.

Beach House – 7

Beach House – 7

7 is the seventh album from beloved Baltimore indie duo Beach House. 7 supposedly puts a bookend on the band’s previous output, starting anew. The new refreshed Beach House won’t shock you with a change-up of style so much; instead 7 sees a looser style for the band with denser instrumentation and a relaxed attitude that is prevalent throughout the album.


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