As hoped, this week turned out to contain some fantastic releases, though there were some disappointments on show too. FEWS managed to scoop the highest rating of the year so far, but kudos also to Snapped Ankles and Little Simz for some highly impressive albums.
While She Sleeps – SO WHAT?
Classic metalcore from the Sheffield band. Nothing new here but it is exceptionally well executed.
Lonesome Shack – Desert Dreams
Edgy country blues and urban folk rock that is a lot better on the ear than you might expect from that description.
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard – Yn Ol I Annwn
More interesting than normal Doom Metal, thanks to the female-led harmonics keyboards and occassional strings on show. Ultimately, it lacks enough variety in its bread and butter guitar riffs to be a great album.
Sebastian Plano – Verve
Some very delicate and emotive tunes on show in this neoclassical work, but there’s a lack of balance to the album as a whole. It feels like it needs something else to lift it to another level.
Mansionair – Shadowboxer
High production values on this debut from the Aussie indie-electro group. A bit too poppy and polished but some good moments.
Test Dept – Disturbance
In theory this should be right up my alley as classic industro-rock, but perhaps it’s a bit too earnest for its own good.
Sundara Karma – Ulfilas’ Alphabet
Some evidence of Arcade Fire and The Killers on this pop friendly album. Quite an enjoyable experience but not hugely memorable.
The Japanese House – Good at Falling
Etherial pop from solo artist Amber Bain. Inoffensive and occassionally pleasant, but unlikely to leave a massive impression on you.
Tom Walker – What a Time to Be Alive
What you’d find if you went looking for Rag n’ Bone man or Ed Sheeran in the centre ailse at Aldi. Can’t believe he beat IDLES to a Brit.
Pond – Tasmania
The eighth studio album from Australain psych-rocker fails to raise even an eybrow of interest. Tame, familiar and done better elsewhere. Yawn.
Weezer – (Black Album)
Weezer invoke the spirit of Spinal Tap with their own black album. And this pretty insipid effort prompts me to quote one of the ‘Tap’s most famous reviews… ‘Shit sandwich’.
Here’s a playlist of all of the above should you wish to take a deeper dive.