Author: Nick Gale Page 3

Yngve And The Innocent - Draw A Line

Yngve And The Innocent - Draw A Line

Yngve & The Innocent are the folk-pop equivalent of a Cheese String. There's nothing inherently awful about them, and they have some redeeming qualities, but at the same time they're a little too bland and...

Review posted on 10th February 2011

Chali 2Na - Fish Market Part 2

Chali 2Na - Fish Market Part 2

Back in the day, before the likes of Outkast, Eminem, Kanye and Jay-Z succeeded in extending their appeal beyond hip hop's traditional fan base, before producers like Timbaland, J Dilla and Madlib found themselves feted...

Review posted on 10th February 2011

Malachai - Return To The Ugly Side

Malachai - Return To The Ugly Side

For better or worse, it isn't 1995 anymore. This essential fact seems to have escaped Malachai, whose new album is an unabashed recreation of a sound last fashionable fifteen years ago: trip-hop. It's all here:...

Review posted on 27th January 2011

James Blake - James Blake

James Blake - James Blake

More than a decade after the slow, dark and deep electronic sound now called dubstep began to develop in the dirty bedsits of penniless but forward-looking electronic artists, it finally has something close to a...

Review posted on 27th January 2011

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Sam Beam's impressive mess of wild, pointedly unstyled facial hair suggests an approach to personal grooming inspired equally by Will Oldham and Chewbacca, but in most other respects the songwriter, who records as Iron &...

Review posted on 27th January 2011

XM-3a - Bad Robot Man

XM-3a - Bad Robot Man

This splendidly ridiculous nine minutes of rumbling progressive metal is further evidence that we should all be taking heavy rock music very seriously again, precisely because it's stopped taking itself so seriously. The lyrics to...

Review posted on 5th January 2011

Various Artists - Woolly Jumpers

Various Artists - Woolly Jumpers

Woolly Jumpers is an appropriately named album, and not just because it's a compilation of music associated with the French record label Wool Recordings. The contributors, after all, give every impression of being (ahem) a...

Review posted on 5th January 2011

Ratatat - Neckbrace

Ratatat - Neckbrace

The star of Ratatat's 'Neckbrace' is its funky bass. It struts along in a cocksure manner, suave and smooth, forcing the rest of the track to keep pace. If you met it on the street,...

Review posted on 5th January 2011

N.E.R.D - The Best Of

N.E.R.D - The Best Of

This compilation collects some of the best songs recorded by talented rap-rock trio N.E.R.D.. The key word here is 'some'; only songs from the period they spent signed to Virgin are included, so there's no...

Review posted on 5th January 2011

Various Artists - Matador Today (2008-2010)

Various Artists - Matador Today (2008-2010)

Pavement. Mission of Burma. Guided By Voices. Yo La Tengo. Sonic Youth. These are bands have who helped shaped the sound of American indie during the eighties, nineties and noughties, and at some point in...

Review posted on 5th January 2011

Esben And The Witch - Violet Cries

Esben And The Witch - Violet Cries

Esben And The Witch have been garnering press accolades for a while now, and it has been suggested that the release of Violet Cries, their debut album, could propel the band into the commercial and...

Review posted on 4th January 2011

James McCartney - Available Light

James McCartney - Available Light

Being the son of a revered, wealthy, and world famous former Beatle must have its advantages. One imagines that James McCartney, son of Paul, has never had to haul his guitar around Britain's toilet circuit...

Review posted on 22nd December 2010

Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy OST

Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy OST

They started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy. The words of Milhouse from The Simpsons will ring in the ears of anyone listening to Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack. On...

Review posted on 22nd December 2010

Black Eyed Peas - The Beginning

Black Eyed Peas - The Beginning

You'll be familiar with 'The Time (Dirty Bit)', the ubiquitous chart-topper which opens The Black Eyed Peas' new album. It's an embarrassing mess of Auto-Tuned vocals, cringe-worthy rapping, and keyboard-demo beats. It unashamedly quotes from...

Review posted on 22nd December 2010

British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall

British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall

British Sea Power don't do small or subtle. They make statement indie, macroscopic music which aims for the stars. It's hardly surprising that the band have played gigs inside the Arctic circle and on top...

Review posted on 8th December 2010

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

It's probably best to be upfront about this: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy isn't a great album. It's a good album, and interesting album, and a brave album, but it isn't a classic. Anybody who's...

Review posted on 8th December 2010

Diplo - Blow Your Head

Diplo - Blow Your Head

Globe trotting DJ, producer, and dance music minor celebrity Diplo has taken it upon himself to introduce an international audience to the dark, tense, bass-fixated British dance genre known as dubstep. He's the man responsible...

Review posted on 8th December 2010

Wire - Red Barked Tree

Wire - Red Barked Tree

Wire's career started with a remarkable three year purple patch. It's not just that 1977's Pink Flag, 1978's Chairs Missing and 1979's 154 were great albums; they were also remarkably different albums. Pink Flag was...

Review posted on 8th December 2010

Robyn - Body Talk

Robyn - Body Talk

It must be tempting, if you're a pop star, to treat your album as an afterthought. Once you've released a couple of successful singles, a lot of people will go out and buy your record...

Review posted on 8th December 2010

Stereolab - Not Music

Stereolab - Not Music

It's now eighteen months since Stereolab took an indefinite hiatus from making music. Many fans reacted to that news in the same way they would react to the end of long relationship, their initial sadness...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

We Are Enfant Terrible - Wild Child

We Are Enfant Terrible - Wild Child

We Are Enfant Terrible make ghastly, dead-eyed electronic pop which is almost certainly destined to be the soundtrack to fashionably soulless hipster parties across Europe this winter. 'Wild Child' and 'Flesh 'n' Blood Kids' are...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

The Wind-Up Birds - Courage, For Tomorrow Will Be Worse

The Wind-Up Birds - Courage, For Tomorrow Will Be Worse

The Wind-Up Birds make articulate, aggressive, and determinedly northern indie rock. They place the spotlight firmly on their wordy 'singer', who isn't especially interesting in doing much conventional singing, instead alternating between relating the verses...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

Nelly - 5.0

Nelly - 5.0

Guess who's been top of the Billboard charts more than any other rap group or artist? It isn't Tupac, or Eminem, or Lil Wayne. It isn't Outkast. It isn't, despite the hullabaloo surrounding his new...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

Jane Weaver - The Fallen By Watchbird

Jane Weaver - The Fallen By Watchbird

The Fallen By Watch Bird really shouldn't be very good, for several reasons. For a start, it's a concept album based around a fantastical/ridiculous tale of magic, romance and death. There's two lovers, you see,...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

The Guilty Hands - Razor

The Guilty Hands - Razor

Guilty Hands write songs about serial killers, doomed soldiers and sex in graveyards, but manage to do it without sounding like a bunch of pasty goths. That's an impressive feat, and this is an impressive...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

Friends Electric - Golden Blood

Friends Electric - Golden Blood

Friends Electric's new single, 'Golden Blood', is a slick slice of dance-pop. Too slick, in fact: anything which could conceivably provoke or even engage the listener has been methodically smoothed out of existence. What remains...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

Brontosaurus Chorus - Owls

Brontosaurus Chorus - Owls

Twee-pop bands have always been interested in writing songs about childhood, but they've mainly portrayed it as a time of simplicity and innocence, a time before sex and death and responsibility. Some groups were playing...

Review posted on 23rd November 2010

The Scientist - Blasts Dubstep Into Outer Space

The Scientist - Blasts Dubstep Into Outer Space

Over the course his illustrious career, dub reggae experimentalist Scientist has won the world cup, saved the world from vampires, encountered Pac-man, taken dub into another dimension, fought space invaders, and become the heavyweight dub...

Review posted on 10th November 2010

Andrew Bird - Useless Creatures

Andrew Bird - Useless Creatures

Andrew Bird has always been a restless musician, hopping frantically from genre to genre. In recent years though, his dilettantish dabbling in everything from swing jazz to folk rock has been given a certain unity...

Review posted on 8th November 2010

David Bowie - Station To Station

David Bowie - Station To Station

What is most shocking about Station To Station - besides perhaps the sheer quality of the songs, which are amongst the best David Bowie has written - is how cohesive it sounds. Despite (as he...

Review posted on 8th November 2010

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From Cindy Lou in The Grinch to hard rock vocalist in The Pretty Reckless: The incredible career of Taylor Momsen

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Getting Closer to God: The greatest Nine Inch Nails covers of all time

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