Articles by Jared Dix
SAVAK embrace the idea of rock ‘n’ roll as wide ranging tradition to which they’re happy to belong, even if it may have run its course. As they see it there are still good times and good tunes to be had. It’s a winning blend of classicism and iconoclasm.
It’s a further refinement of the approaches on last year’s Some People Really Know How To Live and Total Shit! with improved results. Definitely more shine than shit.
The council’s gonna fucking regret ever tangling with us because we’ve got a lot of people backing the campaign and they’ve got such bad publicity in the last week I think they’re already regretting it.
They sound fantastic, loud and sharp, there’s a natural sense of rightness in the way the songs unfold that makes them seem simpler than they really are.
Full of songs that mirror lived experience, that carry emotional truths with a dash of sharp wit, wrapped in pleasing melodies – that’s still one of the best things pop can do.
Arriving handily just in time for Hallowe’en Faces is like a slasher movie binge, a ride through the haunted house soundtracked by some tense, wary noise rock.
Pleasant indie strums float a clipped RP voice hymning the Titanic’s impressive scale. There’s a sweet descending chord pattern and a processed chorus of voices that seem to carry the ship forwards. It sounds exactly like a Public Service Broadcasting record and the template they’ve been using so far is now looking a little worse for wear.
You Won’t Get What You Want is an intense and breathless ride through dark and unfamiliar neighbourhoods. Honestly, if you liked their last album and you wanted a new one then, despite protestations, this pretty much gives you what you want.
Snatches of world beating tunes bleeding through the squalls of noise and weirdness.
Driving drums, twisting, squalling electronics and saxophone skronk. It’s hypnotic and uplifting, wave after wave of glorious churning sound.
Pro Rock is a full strength jolt of gleefully dumb fun, a clattering headrush of fluorescent nonsense, superhuman drum battery and ridiculous table top electronic wizardry, hardcore party music.
Two lengthy ambient drones from two giants of the genre working together for the first time
Hecker is an extraordinary artist able to mould and sculpt sound in remarkable ways. Konoyo sees him again balance a wide range of emotions and textures into a beautiful, mysterious whole.
As the leaves turn and the temperature falls this record is as comforting as pulling on a jacket you’ve not worn since spring and as pleasing as finding £10 folded up in the pocket.
Faces Of Earth swerves any expectation of draining dirge and dances about cackling to itself, spitting fortified wine into the fire.
Pastoral is an intuitive interrogation of the national psyche, a compulsive repetition, ancient myths and cheap tv heritage, a panic attack in Poundland. It’s not an easy record, it’s short on catchy choruses and you can’t dance to it but it is really quite brilliant.
SUMAC have arrived at a wonderfully effective blend of long form structures and free improvised passages. They’ve harnessed that spontaneity to their own road map and found their way to their best record yet.
Á is a collection of dreamlike, beat less, vocal and theremin duets that explore its possibilities. Hekla summons an impressive range of sounds from bass drones to high end bleeps via smooth melodic arcs and mostly avoids the sinister clanger whistle and wobble of her instrument’s b-movie pigeonhole.
There Is No Elsewhere takes their unique blend of neo classical, electronica and post rock moves to new heights and broader horizons. It’s both more ambitious and more accomplished, a quietly astonishing record destined for discerning end of year lists.
Sonnborner, the 20th full length studio album from Aidan Baker’s doom-drone duo Nadja finds them pushing out at the edges of their usual ambient doom with mostly pleasing results.
The idea that Mogwai will one day make a really bad record seems to have faded away. They’re only human, surely that day must eventually come? It only makes sense, but we’re not there yet. ‘We’re Not Done’ indeed.