This year’s Kerrang! Award winners for Best British Band release average 3rd studio album.
A simultaneously relaxing and exciting album from Dutch stoner/psychedelic 3-piece, Sungrazer.
Thrash legends make a blistering return with their 10th studio album.
For a new Mancunian rock band, bringing out a debut is normally a difficult process; yet one that happens in droves. If, however, that band is actually a successful old band, minus one member, it’s a walk in the park. Though Different Gear, Still Speeding was set for scrutiny and controversy from the offset, Liam Gallagher and his tribe of merry men have, surprisingly, exceeded themselves.
As a plethora of female artists dominate the charts, another joins the party in the form of Jessie J and her recently released debut, Who You Are. Much like everything else in the music world, it’s divided our writers into opposing camps where, on the one hand, this new pop sensation deserves the ever-expanding success thrown her way. On the other, Who You Are is a painful attempt to be different, rendering her another generic pop princess.
Ten is the new album from the Manchester Aid to Kosovo organisation, with all proceeds going to community projects and the construction of the Manchester Peace Park in Kosovo. Marking the tenth anniversary of their first compilation, Cohesion, this second release is an assortment of gems from Manchester’s alternative and indie music scene; compiled by The Travelling Band’s Jo Dudderidge.
With their latest effort, this all-female trio from Brooklyn seek to surpass their ordinary, hastily executed kitsch in pursuit of a more exploratory sound. Emerging from the noise-pop scene of New York that has manufactured the equally derivative Crystal Stilts, the Vivian Girls have reveled in their unpolished and hurried style, stubbornly sticking to their uncompromising, primitive clatter. In Share the Joy these achingly hip darlings of Pitchfork, in some ways succeed in going beyond their familiar C86 like jangles.
Build a Rocket Boys! is Elbow’s fifth album and follow up from their 2008 Mercury award-winning The Seldom Seen Kid. The Brit-Rockers still pedal their guitar-orientated brand of melancholy, but this time have swapped cynicism for nostalgia.
After 2008’s insanely popular In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy were always going to struggle to follow up with an album that packed the same punch and ability to fill the dance floor. The Australian quartet’s third instalment provides us with a more serene landscape in which, whilst still maintaining the summertime bounce and sunshine appeal of old, also offers a more experimental insight into the path the band may now take. After due consideration, this path appears one I do not want to hear much more from.
Apparently, if Swedish songstress, prolific hipster go-to girl and all-round drama queen Lykke Li “ever got as big as Madonna”, she “would want to run away and die”. As charming as this news is, her message, loud and clear, is that the Top 40 simply isn’t for her. She doesn’t need chart figures or sales numbers, especially not when she is producing material on the level of quality of sophomore effort Wounded Rhymes.
The Vaccines have been tipped to be one of the biggest bands this year – even featuring in the BBC’s Sound of 2011 – yet it has been hard not to be sceptical of their success due to the contacts they apparently have at their disposal. The vocalist Justin Young used to be flatmates with Marcus Mumford and the guitarist, Freddie Cowan, is the younger brother of Tom from the Horrors, which could suggest that they have the potential to be another over-hyped pop outfit. However, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? suggests that they also have the talent to compliment their address book.
News of the eagerly anticipated final Streets album release has excited fans, hearing claims that Mike Skinner had returned to the high standards of ‘Original Pirate Material’ and ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free.’ Once again Mike Skinner has produced a fresh and impressive album, reminiscent of the early work that made him the success he is. Many feel that it is definitely not his best album, perhaps third in line, and I would have to agree. Whilst this may seem harsh, this still gives Computer and Blues ample high praise.