Album of the week (10 May): USA Nails – Life Cinema

USA Nails - Life Cinema album cover

The fourth album from noise rockers USA Nails is only 25 minutes long, but during that time they manage to pack in a hell of a lot of riotous bass and crashing guitars. While hugely enjoyable, I got the feeling that the album was kept deliberately short in order to preserve our hearing and mental health.

From the off with Creative Industries we are presented with a bass line that demands your attention and all-consuming, wildly distorted guitars that just don’t quit until the very end. It’s quite an oppressive, head-pounding experience, and probably not one for those who are looking for a gentler introduction to the world of post-punk.

Singer Steven Hodson also does a sterling job shouting his way through the album, but you get the feeling he is just trying to make himself heard over everything else that’s going on.

At points when listening to this I did catch myself thinking, ‘Wow! This is intense’ and there isn’t much, if any, let up in that intensity. There are times, such as on standout track Work Drinks when the guitars take a slightly lighter touch and the approach of the bass is different – that’s as close to a moment of respite as you get. Similarly, title track Life Cinema, with its mantra of ‘Tune in and turn off’, offers a bit more structure that gives you something to grab on to.

By the close of the album, which finishes with a humorous 8-bit take on Life Cinema, you are left exhausted and elated, but also slightly relieved.

Release date: 10 May 2019

Rating: 8/10

Standout track: Work Drinks

For fans of:

  • Christian Fitness
  • Prettiest Eyes
  • Crows

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29 March releases – Reviewed and rated

Due to very forseen delays in being able to both listen to new music and write about it, this is the rather delayed ratings from 29th March. It’s a shorter list than normal as I’m trying to do two weeks at once.

Playlist at the bottom.

Lower Slaughter – Some Things Take Work

Album 0f the week. Heavy, raucous, clever. A right rollocking riff-tastic grind and a worthy successor to their brilliant debut ‘What Big Eyes’.

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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Zefur Wolves – Truth Is In The Stars

Droning, drawly alt-indie rock with some pop undertones. A satisfyingly languid assault on your senses.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Brutus – Nest

Math-rock and metal from this Belgium trio that has distinct resemblances to Rolo Tomassi, and there’s no great shame in that.

Rating: 7/10

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White Denim – Side Effects

Another competent piece of work from the Texan alt-rockers. Not sensing any particular new direction in what they do on this album, but what they do, they do well.

Rating: 7/10

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The Underground Youth – Montage Images Of Lust & Fear

Elements of the Velvet Underground in this and the Berlin/Manchester post-punk band have some distinct resemblence to fellow Germans Die Nerven, who featured highly on my albums of the year list for 2018 with Fake. This doesn’t quite reaching the heights of that album but definitely worth a listen for fans of Bauhaus, Nick Cave and Joy Division.

Rating 6.5/10

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Show Me The Body – Dog Whistle

American style punk with a touch of nu-metal. A bit sludgy and tough going at times.

Rating: 6/10

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Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.

22 March releases – Reviewed and rated

Here’s a brief run down of what was release on 22nd March

Playlist at the bottom.

These New Puritans – Inside The Rose

Album of the week. Another great piece of work from Southend’s Barnett twins

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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Zeal & Ardor – Live in London

A great introduction to this blistering gospel/death metal act. There’s little in the way of audience interaction but a lot of good, tight music. Sound quality could be better.

Rating: 7.5/10

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L.A. Witch – Octubre (EP)

Dark, brooding 60’s influenced psych-rock-pop that’s well worth 15 minutes of your time.

Rating: 7/10

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Crows – Silver Tongues

Initially disappointing debut from this heavy post-punk outfit. Was growing on me by the end. One to return to

Rating: 6.5/10

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Apparat – LP5

Note of interst from the German electronic musician, but it feels like the album never really goes where you expect it to.

Rating: 6/10

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La Dispute – Panorama

Some interesting moments on this from the American post-hardcore band, just not enough of them.

Rating 6/10

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Ibibio Sound Machine – Doko Mien

Some nice squelchy and funky sections in this, but overall not quite my cup of tea. Fans of Nile Rogers might appreciate.

Rating: 5.5/10

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Sleeper – The Modern Age

Clearly haven’t moved on much from their nineties hayday. Perhaps they should have stayed there.

Rating: 5/10

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Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.

New Music Friday 22 March – What to listen to

Not sure if I’m in a mood this week but didn’t unearth a huge amount of releases of interest this week, but the new one by These New Puritans looks promising. There’s a debut album from Crows, who are supporting the fabulous IDLES on tour this spring and a live album from the genius Gospel/Death Metal crossover that is Zeal & Ardor. 90s indie-rock stalwartsSleeper also return with their first new album in 21 years.

Playlist at the bottom.

These New Puritans – Inside The Rose

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Crows – Silver Tongues

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Zeal & Ardor – Live in London

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Sleeper – The Modern Age

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L.A. Witch – Octubre

Listen on Spotify

La Dispute – Panorama

Listen on Spotify

Apparat – LP5

Listen on Spotify

Ibibio Sound Machine – Doko Mien

Listen on Spotify

Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.