The best albums of February 2019

1: Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

Rating: 8/10 – Read full review

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2: SPC EPO – Fifteen

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Bandcamp

3: The Specials – Encore

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

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4: Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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5: Modeselektor – Who Else

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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6: Ladytron– Ladytron

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

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8: Boy Harsher – Careful

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

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9: Health – Vol4 :: Slaves Of Fear

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

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10: Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

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7: The Young Gods – Data Mirage Tangram

Rating: 7/10

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Album review: Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

Finlay Shakespeare - Domestic Economy album cover

Bristol resident Finlay Shakespeare has with his debut album Domestic Economy, produced a fine, meaty slab of electro-pop that draws heavily on 90’s acid house and techno influences. There are some choice cuts here, but it does feel like there is some excess fat that could be trimmed off the sides.

The album as a whole feels like a collection of dance remixes of 90’s indie tunes, and as such has its high points and fillers.

There are some fantastic pieces on here, such as the utterly yummy Dublin that leans heavily on a house beat while layering acid-like effects on top – all carried along by a delightful bass line. Opener LuleaĚŠ offers us a Blue Monday-style beat and a nice squelchy bass – beefing up Finlay’s rather thin vocal style.

Similarly, Benedict Canyon is pushed relentlessly along by choppy synths, electro horns and that classic 808 drum line. Monadnock brings more of a brooding menace alongside the acid hooks.

The album is far from perfect though. At points it starts to feel a little samey and the softer, slower tracks such as Perris and Pittville rely too much on Finaly’s vocals, which is probably the weakest element on the album.

This is a promising debut for Finlay and offers much promise. Not yet the finished article but I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.

Release date: 01 February 2019

Rating: 7/10

Standout track: Dublin

For fans of:

  • New Order
  • Orbital
  • Depeche Mode

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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