(((O))) Category: Reviews

Therapy? – Cleave

What were once albums full of youthful angst, now have transitioned seamlessly into frustrated adulthood and middle age and a “haven’t got time for your shit” attitude…

Gazelle Twin – Pastoral

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 – Love In Shadow

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.

Beak> – >>> review

The world needs more weird stuff that is not only perplexing but also easy to like and actually fun to listen to.

Ben Chatwin – Drone Signals

An even more minimalist partner album to Staccato Signals, Drone Signals sees Ben Chatwin oozing in icy atmosphere once again, even if it fails to reach the same heights.

Altopalo – frozenthere

It’s progressive in the best possible way, which is to say, complex, beautiful, and devoid of masturbatory self-indulgence. Pop but not pop. Slow but short. Deconstruction without coldness.

Uniform – The Long Walk

Tracing a line that crosses chaotic punk, scuzzy industrial and commanding noise-rock, particularly given the shortened recording time, could easily end in disaster, yet The Long Walk blurring of genre boundaries and sustained sense of crushing doom is managed with a finesse that reveals a growing mastery of both atmosphere and texture.

Vennart – To Cure A Blizzard Upon A Plastic Sea

Whilst not quite as immediate as some of its predecessors best, the album is a love letter to stadium rock and classic Prog – where any meandering and experimental noodling is soon brought into focus with Vennart’s mastery of chorus and melody.

Brant Bjork – Mankind Woman

It doesn’t become too political and lose its calm laid back vibe, more like it just wants everything else in the world to be as cool and laid back as this record is.

Four Seconds Ago – The Vacancy

Periphery electronica side project that doesn’t hold the interest.

Hekla – Á

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.

A Forest of Stars – Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes

Existing fans will love this. If you are not familiar then you really need to dip a toe in the festering waters of Victorian England, may the lord have mercy.

Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses

Another heavenly collection of heartfelt songs that embellish an already stellar back catalogue of greatness.

Alejandro Escovedo – The Crossing

The musical excellence presented on The Crossing simply accentuates the potency of Escovedo’s lyrical message, making this album probably one of the strongest musical/lyrical statements this year.

From the Bogs of Aughiska – Mineral Bearing Veins

New full-length Mineral Bearing Veins mixes Irish folkloric spoken word, noisy ambience, field recordings, harsh chaos and black metal in a dense and unique brew.

The Eye Of Time – Myth II: A Need To Survive

Here we have an album that shifts from jubilant hip hop instrumentals into the depths of a funeral dirge before ascending into a post-rock pomp.

Clutch – Book of Bad Decisions

There is no such thing as a bad Clutch album, but Book of Bad Decisions is easily one of their greatest efforts.

A-Sun Amissa – Ceremony in the Stillness

A very well-crafted album of deeply intelligent guitar music.

Homunculus Res – Della Stessa Sostanza dei Sogni

Della Stessa Sostanza dei Sogni is a dream-like adventure that has the listener encounter more and more scenarios and parallel doors to be opened.

MMMD – Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse

These are not sweet sounds of hope and survival. This is the grainy submission of Begotten. The clawing hands of wretched scum. The swallowing of black tar and the breathing of piled earth.

Argos – Unidentified Dying Objects

While listening to their fifth album, I could hear some mixtures between symphonic and medieval influences, mellotrons, guitars, and with the sounds soaring through the skies, Argos is taking the listener on a magic carpet ride from start to finish.

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