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

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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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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

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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

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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

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Elder Island – The Omnitone Collection

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

Rating: 6.5/10

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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

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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

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Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

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

Rating: 6/10

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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

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Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

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

Rating: 5/10

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Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti

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

Rating: 4/10

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Album review: Health – Vol 4 :: Slaves of Fear

Health - Vol 4 :: Slaves of Fear album cover

With their fourth studio album Vol 4 :: Slaves of Fear, LA industro noise rock trio Health have produced a dark, brutal and bruising piece of work that just about avoids becoming completely head crushing thanks to a lightness of touch on the vocals and atmospherics.

Right from the off, bar the distant sound of banjos wafting in on the wind, you are bludgeoned with immense crashing drum beats that rather take your breath away. Initially in Psychonaut this takes the form of more traditional ‘bashing the hell out of some skins’ drumming before later morphing into some seriously heavy dub from a drum machine.

There are some heavy guitar riffs in here too, but what saves this track – and the album in general – from being too overpowering is the soothing and listless vocals from Jake Duzsik. Drifting somewhere between emo and pop, his fragile high-pitched tone provides vital relief from the portents of doom that surround.

This format continues on Feel Nothing, which has some heavily processed Ministry-like guitar work balanced out by Duzsik’s vocals. There are elements of EDM at play here too in what is a much more beat driven number.

God Botherer slows down the pace slightly, but not for long as what was a more sedate track suddenly doubles up the tempo and brings the noise – to maximum effect.

Black Static provides a slower heavy stomp, reminiscent in some ways of the recent Bring Me The Horizon album amo, while Loss Deluxe plunges its dance beat into some murkiness, allowing the vocal track to temporarily come to the fore.

There are some straight out Industrial head bangers in here, such as The Message and Strange Days (1999), but we also get some heavy RnB influenced beats in tracks like NC-17 and Rat Wars.

Single and title track Slaves of Fear, is probably the best effort of the album. It’s the first time you get a recognisable bass guitar line chugging along as well as some classic soft-loud moments, with the track building to a momentous crescendo.

Final track Decimation sees a much calmer, ballad-like ending to the album, and by that point you may well need a bit of relief.

This album won’t be for everyone, but if you are a fan of Nine Inch Nails or Ministry, then it’s well worth a crack.

Release date: 08 February 2019

Rating: 7/10

Standout track: Slaves of Fear

For fans of:

  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Ministry
  • Bring Me The Horizon

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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)

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LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions

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Mercury Rev – Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited

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International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop

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Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

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Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

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Elder Island – The Omnitone Collection

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Health – Vol 4:: Slaves of Fear

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Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti

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Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

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