The best albums of February 2019

1: Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

Rating: 8/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

2: SPC EPO – Fifteen

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Bandcamp

3: The Specials – Encore

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

4: Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

5: Modeselektor – Who Else

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

6: Ladytron– Ladytron

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

8: Boy Harsher – Careful

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

9: Health – Vol4 :: Slaves Of Fear

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

10: Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

7: The Young Gods – Data Mirage Tangram

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

22 February releases – Reviewed and rated

Electronic music takes centre stage this week with some fantastic work from Teeth Of The Sea, banging techno from Modeselektor, acid influenced psych rock from The Young Gods and a majestic EP from Snow Palms.

Teeth of the Sea - Wraith album cover

Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Snow Palms - Everything Ascending EP cover

Snow Palms – Everything Ascending (EP)

An epic blend of dance, electronica and neo-classical that works together seamlessly

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Modeselektor - Who Else album cover

Modeselektor – Who Else

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

The Young Gods - Data Mirage Tangram album cover

The Young Gods – Data Mirage Tangram

Nice mix of industro-psych rock with some serious acid effects going on at times. Highly intriguing.

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

Drenge - Strange Creatures album cover

Drenge – Strange Creatures

Buzzsaw bass, squelchy synths, and post-punk guitars make for an at-times absorbing, but ultimately patchy album.

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

Du Blonde - Lung Bread For Daddy album cover

Du Blonde – Lung Bread For Daddy

A darker, grungy indie work that begs for your attention.

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

Pom Poko - Birthday album cover

Pom Poko – Birthday

Bouncy pop punk and indie rock with a strong Japanese influence in its styling. Certainly worth a couple of listens.

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

Feels - Post Earth album cover

Feels – Post Earth

Enjoyable enough indie-pop-rock but not going to set the world on fire.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Desperate Journalist - In Search Of The Miraculous album cover

Desperate Journalist – In Search Of The Miraculous

Indie-rock with a tinge of post-punk/Cure to it.Friendly on the ears but a bit standard and probably taking itself too seriously.

Rating: 5.5/10

Listen on Spotify

Sleaford Mods- Eton Alive album cover

Sleaford Mods– Eton Alive

Likeable, but very samey. Bar the caustic lyrics, the songs fail to take you anywhere musically.

Rating: 5.5/10

Listen on Spotify

Gary Clark Jr. - This Land album cover

Gary Clark Jr. – This Land

Blues-rock with the odd bit of synth thrown in. Acceptable but nothing more.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

New Music Friday 22 February – What to listen to

Looking forward to some heavy post-punk guitars from Drenge this week, alongside a new album from Sleaford Mods and a bit of techno from Modeselektor, among others. I’ll pick out the best to review during the week and report back.

Drenge - Strange Creatures album cover

Drenge – Strange Creatures

Listen on Spotify

Sleaford Mods- Eton Alive album cover

Sleaford Mods– Eton Alive

Listen on Spotify

Modeselektor - Who Else album cover

Modeselektor – Who Else

Listen on Spotify

Teeth of the Sea - Wraith album cover

Teeth of the Sea – Wraith

Listen on Spotify

Feels - Post Earth album cover

Feels – Post Earth

Listen on Spotify

Du Blonde - Lung Bread For Daddy album cover

Du Blonde – Lung Bread For Daddy

Listen on Spotify

Pom Poko - Birthday album cover

Pom Poko – Birthday

Listen on Spotify

The Young Gods - Data Mirage Tangram album cover

The Young Gods – Data Mirage Tangram

Listen on Spotify

Desperate Journalist - In Search Of The Miraculous album cover

Desperate Journalist – In Search Of The Miraculous

Listen on Spotify

Gary Clark Jr. - This Land album cover

Gary Clark Jr. – This Land

Listen on Spotify

Snow Palms - Everything Ascending EP cover

Snow Palms – Everything Ascending (EP)

Listen on Spotify

15 February releases – Reviewed and rated

Electro-pop featuring strongly again this week, with Ladytron and Methyl Ethel producing some impressive stuff. Those with a predisposition to punk-pop should check out Lazybones while hip-hop fans will enjoy Czarface meets Ghostface. However trip-hop shoegaze epic Fifteen from SPC ECO wins out. Sample playlist below, though the album of the week isn’t on Spotify yet.

SPC ECO - Fifteen album cover

SPC ECO – Fifteen

A beautiful blend of shoegaze and trip-hop from former Curve member Dean Garcia and his daughter.

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Bandcamp

Ladytron - Ladytron album cover

Ladytron – Ladytron

Some outstanding numbers in this electro-pop, new wave release. Greater consistency, or trimming some of the excess fat, could have seen it with a much higher rating.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Lazybones - Bang! Bang! EP cover

Lazybones – Bang! Bang! (EP)

An immensely fun power punk pop blast that shows great promise from this Brighton trio.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Czarface - Czarface Meets Ghostface album cover

Czarface – Czarface Meets Ghostface

Some smart hip-hop in this collaboration from Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and Czarface, which also features another member of the Clan.

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

Methyl Ethel - Triage album cover

Methyl Ethel – Triage

A competent and sometimes entrancing album from the Australian art rockers, but suffers from inconsistency.

Rating: 6.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Pye Corner Audio - Hollow Earth album cover

Pye Corner Audio – Hollow Earth

Rich electronic dreamscapes with elements of tunes and the occasional beat thrown in, reminiscent of Boards of Canada at times. Much prefer their other incarnation as Head Technician

Rating: 6.5/10

Listen on Spotify

Perfect Son - Cast album cover

Perfect Son – Cast

More 80s-influenced electronic work here. There are some great tracks, but the album feels somehow a little soulless.

Rating 6.5/10

Listen on Spotify

Theon Cross- Fyah album cover

Theon Cross– Fyah

Some nice recollections of last year’s Sons of Kemet album ‘Your Queen is a Reptile’, in which Cross’s Tuba work played an integral role, but Fyah just make me want to listen to that again.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Swmrs - Berkeley's On Fire album cover

Swmrs – Berkeley’s On Fire

Straight out indie rock that is hugely enjoyable to listen to, but at the same time instantly forgettable.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Piroshka - Brickbat album cover

Piroshka – Brickbat

Something of a 90s indie supergroup, featuring former members of Lush and Elastica, and feels firmly rooted in that era. This album struggled to provide more than the occasional moment of interest.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Stats - Other People's Lives album cover

Stats – Other People’s Lives

Dance and pop with the occasional bit of funk. Singer sounds a bit like Gary Newman at times. Doesn’t set the heart racing

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Yann Tiersen - All album cover

Yann Tiersen – All

Piano-heavy neoclassical work with the occasional bit of electronic noodling. Paints some nice textures but falls far short of being a masterpiece.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

New Music Friday 15 February – What to listen to

Some enticing pieces this week to get your teeth into, including Pye Corner Audio, Ladytron and Sons of Kemet’s Theon Cross. Watch out for more reviews coming your way in the week.

Pye Corner Audio - Hollow Earth album cover

Pye Corner Audio – Hollow Earth

Listen on Spotify

Ladytron - Ladytron album cover

Ladytron – Ladytron

Listen on Spotify

Theon Cross- Fyah album cover

Theon Cross– Fyah

Listen on Spotify

SPC ECO - Fifteen album cover

SPC ECO – Fifteen

Listen on Bandcamp

Czarface - Czarface Meets Ghostface album cover

Czarface – Czarface Meets Ghostface

Listen on Spotify

Lazybones - Bang! Bang! EP cover

Lazybones – Bang! Bang! (EP)

Listen on Spotify

Piroshka - Brickbat album cover

Piroshka – Brickbat

Listen on Spotify

Swmrs - Berkeley's On Fire album cover

Swmrs – Berkeley’s On Fire

Listen on Spotify

Perfect Son - Cast album cover

Perfect Son – Cast

Listen on Spotify

Stats - Other People's Lives album cover

Stats – Other People’s Lives

Listen on Spotify

Yann Tiersen - All album cover

Yann Tiersen – All

Listen on Spotify

Methyl Ethel - Triage album cover

Methyl Ethel – Triage

Listen on Spotify

08 Feb releases – Reviewed and rated

Here’s last Friday’s new releases ranked in order of quality, along with some review links and a sample Spotify playlist. Rock most definitely won out this week.

Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

An intriguing blend of heavy riffing psych/stoner rock and 50s swing puts Yak ahead of the pack this week.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Flat Worms – Into The Iris (EP)

A six-track, 16 minute adrenaline rush from the La post punk (mostly punk) three piece.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Health – Vol 4 :: Slaves of Fear

This industro noise rock trio provide a delicious onslaught to the senses, tempered only by some delicate vocals and atmospherics.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Elder Island – The Omnitone Collection

Atmospheric electro-pop with shades of Florence + The Machine.

Rating: 6.5/10

Listen on Spotify

International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop

Enjoyable 80s tinged pop-dance romp bringing back memories of the Human League.

Rating: 6.5/10

Listen on Spotify

LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions

Some ‘live’ versions of old classics, some new tracks and new covers. Nice, but not astounding. Probably one for die-hard LCD Soundsystem fans.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

A healthy dose of fired-up alt-rock from one of the scene’s veterans.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited

Couldn’t get to grips with this one. Occasionally pleasant but mostly dull.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

Pleasant enough solo singer-songwriter material, but nothing to make it stand out in a crowded field.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti

A promising start that drifts off into dirge-like squeaks and all round dull randomness.

Rating: 4/10

Listen on Spotify

New Music Friday 08 February – What to listen to

This week sees new releases from LCD Soundsystem, Mercury Rev, and Flat Worms. I’ll let you know how I get on with them during the course of the week.

Flat Worms – Into The Iris (EP)

Listen on Spotify

LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions

Listen on Spotify

Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited

Listen on Spotify

International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop

Listen on Spotify

Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Listen on Spotify

Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

Listen on Spotify

Elder Island – The Omnitone Collection

Listen on Spotify

Health – Vol 4:: Slaves of Fear

Listen on Spotify

Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti

Listen on Spotify

Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

Listen on Spotify

01 Feb releases – Reviewed and rated

Here’s my view on what were the best albums released last Friday 1st February. There’s a fair few links to my fuller (though still not too long) reviews here too. There’s also a Spotify sample playlist so you can make you own mind up about the artists.

The Specials - Encore album cover

The Specials – Encore

The kings of Ska return to put the world to rights – and don’t we just need it.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Boy Harsher - Careful album cover

Boy Harsher – Careful

Strong on ominous, brooding 80’s electro pop. If you liked the music in Stranger Things, you’re on to a winner with this.

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Finlay Shakespeare - Domestic Economy album cover

Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

A fine slab of acid-infused electro pop that shows great promise for a debut album.

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Cherry Glazerr - Stuffed & Ready album cover

Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready

A competent and mature third effort from the LA post-punk trio.

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

White Lies - Five album cover

White Lies – Five

An enjoyable if unremarkable 80’s-influenced indie, post-punk opus with pop sensibilities. Reminiscent of so much but unable to build upon it influences.

Rating: 6/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Unloved - Heartbreak album cover

Unloved – Heartbreak

Invoking the spirits of Motown and dreamy 60’s french pop while injecting a touch of modernity. Some really nice moments interspersed across this album.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Spielbergs - This Is Not The End album cover

Spielbergs – This Is Not The End

Indie punk with a touch of early R.E.M around the sides. Pleasant enough, but not pulling up any roots.

Rating: 5.5/10

Listen on Spotify

Girlpool - What Chaos Is Imaginary album cover

Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

A punk band exploring new indie direction – unfortunately not entirely successfully.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

Beirut - Gallipoli album cover

Beirut – Gallipoli

Indie-folk with added brass. Strong overtones of The Smiths in both vocal and musical style. Doesn’t fare well by comparison.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

Ian Brown - Ripples album cover

Ian Brown – Ripples

A plodding effort from King Monkey that aspires to classic Roses, but falls far, far short.

Rating: 4.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Within Temptation - Resist album cover

Within Temptation – Resist

Over-the-top goth metal with symphonic overtones. No doubt would do well as an ‘alternative’ Dutch entry on Eurovision. A worthy successor to Lordi.

Rating: 4/10

Listen on Spotify

New Music Friday 01 February – What to listen to

Another glut of new releases to work through. Of today’s debuts we see the likes of Ian Brown, The Specials and White Lies offering up some fresh material. I’ll review the best through the coming week and rate them all as I go along.

Ian Brown – Ripples

The Specials – Encore

White Lies – Five

Cherry Glazerr – Suffed & Ready

Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

Beirut – Gallipoli

Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

Boy Harsher – Careful

Within Temptation – Resist

Unloved – Heartbreak

Spielbergs – This Is Not The End

The best albums of January 2019

January’s normally quite a slow month in terms of new releases, but there were some great albums making their debut. Here’s my view on the best of the month – and a playlist to boot!

1: The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

Rating: 8.5/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

2: Julia Kent – Temporal

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

3: Lorelle Meets The Obselete – De Facto

Rating: 8/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

4: Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

5: Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

6: Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

7: Buke & Gase – Scholars

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

8: Balthazar – Fever

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

9: Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

10: Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify