The Mercury Prize isn’t much to get excited about these days. Despite its judges’ best efforts, it’s an increasingly predictable marketing tool for a more upmarket demographic than the Brits.
Ariel Pink’s latest outing with his band finds him scaling the foothills of musical competence on tracks like “Farewell American Primitive” and “Only in My Dreams”.
The Hives' fifth album has been five years in the making. It's the time it takes to make a classic, the natty rockers tell Gillian Orr
This is the one. You may remember, in 2009, the clamour of critics lauding The Horrors for – shock, er, horror – actually making a good album with their second effort, Primary Colours. I was practically a lone sceptic, sulking and tutting on my own in the corner.
Just because it was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage doesn't make Wasting Light garage-rock, even if it was captured on analogue tape by Nirvana producer Butch Vig.
When you forget where you are, you know you've been touring too hard and too long. "We're Band of Skulls, and you are... the Forum?" says frontman Russell Marsden nonchalantly, as he casually sweeps his long blonde hair out of his eyes. The momentary doubt never reaches confusion; this trio is far too rock'n'roll for that.
This album came about in 2007 when Da Gatorra, eccentric Outsider musician and inventor of his own hybrid drum machine/guitar gadget (the Gatorra), was visited in Sao Paulo by one of his biggest fans, Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys.
Jack White has effectively become the American equivalent of Damon Albarn.
If you're only gonna have one trick, make it a good 'un. The Gossip's template – Beth Ditto's almost absurdly soulful vocals set against an urgent rock-disco backing – hasn't altered significantly on their Rick Rubin-produced fourth album.
Uninitiated TV viewers moved to investigate who that scary wrinkly man is pimping car insurance in the ad breaks will be doubly baffled when they find out that his latest album is a collection of understated French jazz, retro ragtime and neo bossa nova.
Getting involved in fisticuffs with your former mentor, who also happens to be one of the heroes of the garage rock scene, may raise your profile, but when it becomes the one thing everyone knows you for – as happened when The Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer was attacked by Jack White of The White Stripes in 2003 – then it is unlikely to prove a recipe for long-lasting success.