Alternative music reviews

June 26, 2018

The Coathangers

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I have listened a few times to the Coathangers this year. I had them down in my ‘Okay’ category – in my area of interest but don’t quite work for me. So when a new album came out I gave it a listen. This is their fifth album and is called LIVE and is, you guessed it a Live album. It feels so different from their earlier albums where these songs first appeared and is a revelation to me. This is the way these songs always should be heard. The sparseness of the sound, the lack of production, and the energy of the live performance (see above as this is the actual album in video form) is just perfect. I think it helped that the first two tracks I heard had the drummer singing – her harsh voice is really exciting.

May 3, 2018


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A really exciting Audiotree episode.A kind of Post-Rock, Post-Punk, Post-Everything band. Fits perfectly into my strange female vocal category. Reminds me of Solar Race from back in the 90s.

April 19, 2018

Skating Polly

Filed under: new releases — @ 12:32 pm Comments (0)

This is probably the most exciting 40 seconds on the Internet at the moment. That vicious voice, the muscular guitar. I am eagerly awaiting the album

(The full song song Camelot is available on Spotify and is every bit as good as this extract promises)

April 17, 2018

Caitlin Canty

Filed under: new releases — @ 11:40 pm Comments (0)

I may have done a semi-diss on Folk Music in the previous post but American Country/Blues is something I am always listening to. This is because of my obsession with the narrative song and general songwriting craft. There are a number of artists that I like and listen to not because they are ‘my type of band’ but that they sometimes some up with near perfect examples of what a song can be. Kieran Kane, Gretchen Peters and Mary Chapin Carpenter are artists that have created some near perfect songs even though I perhaps don’t like all of their work. I can now add Caitlin Canty to that list not just for the featured song but also for the track River Alone from her new album Motel Bouquet.

There’s a simplicity in the song that only comes from hard work with the lyrics. But what makes this breath away is the slowness of the delivery. Intense.

Anna & Elizabeth

Filed under: new releases — @ 11:24 pm Comments (0)

I’m not a great fan of Folk Music. It’s all the trappings of the finger-in-the-ear and the funny Olde English accents that first put me off. The prejudice has carried over to American Folk but perhaps less so. There’s a couple of US Folksters Anna & Elizabeth that I’ve listened to on and off over the past year. Great voices and I always felt there was something different and special about them. Their latest album The Invisible Comes To Us is really quite special. The songs are re-interpretations of traditional Folk Songs – taken from the source. The arrangements are simple, evocative and makes the songs sound relevant and up to date.

April 15, 2018

Hop Along

Filed under: new releases — @ 9:13 am Comments (0)

Hop Along’s new album Bark Your Head Off, Dog came out a few days ago. I’m not sure how much I like the album as a whole as I need to live with it for a while, but it certainly is likely to feature on any best of this year list I do. It does contain some great songs like featured above. Frances Quinlan’s voice is obviously something special and when added to the adept lyrics and energy the song is delivered with, it produces a perfect moment. Worth dancing along with this one.

Tropical Fuck Storm

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I had only just found the Australian band The Drones when they split up a couple of years ago. Out of the ashes came Tropical Fuck Storm (not looking for radio play with that name). I haven’t found their two EPs to be of the intensity and brilliance of the Drones even though the core of the band is the same. Looks like they were just biding their time and preparing their new identity in preparation for the first album. You should get a website and find somebody to help you, visit their website to learn more.

This is a track soon to be available of 7″ and on the new album. It is a restrained commentary on modern life that builds up relentlessly, even tunefully at times. It’s like Gareth Liddiard has learnt to control his anger but is still expressing his incomprehension. Not a man to go on holiday with.

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