“It’s called... ‘The New One’!” announces Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody, promoting his indie supergroup Tired Pony’s second album The Ghost Of The Mountain with a suitably schmindie level of marketing skill.
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Friday 15 July 2011
Twenty-five years ago, Lifes Rich Pageant found R.E.M. metamorphosing from what was effectively a turbo-charged folk-rock cult indie outfit into a proper rock band capable of filling stadia.
Sunday 03 April 2011
Nothing in Diane's previous albums of guitar-led psych-folk will have prepared listeners for the poppy direction that has come with enlisting her husband and father to her backing band and luring Scott (REM, Nirvana) Litt out of "retirement" to produce.
Monday 07 March 2011
Sunday 06 March 2011
R.E.M's 15th album could trade places with almost any of the previous 14.
Friday 04 March 2011
R.E.M., by bookending the album with the ringing guitar drone of "Discoverer", are suggesting Collapse Into Now has a conceptual unity absent from their recent albums; and certainly, the recurrent themes of conclusion, starting over and rebuilding do lend it a muscular sense of purpose. That muscularity finds its musical equivalent in the rock heft of tracks like "Alligator_Aviator_ Autopilot_Antimatter" and "All the Best", although it's the more tender songs, such as "Überlin" and "Oh My Heart", which are the standouts, recalling Automatic for the People. The latter track, with its waltzing accordion, has a distinctly European flavour, while elsewhere the presence of mandolin/bouzouki folk-rockers like "It Happened Today" and "Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I" marks a welcome return to a more varied textural palette.
Friday 28 January 2011
Friday 28 January 2011
Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (below) once authored a book celebrating the old-fashioned cassette mixtapes, so, appropriately enough, when his band put out a newfangled online mixtape, it was accompanied with the graphic of a cassette tape, its spools spinning as the music plays.
Sunday 16 January 2011
Kicking off with a Dylanesque blast of harmonica, the Decemberists reveal their new intent right up-front.
Sunday 11 July 2010
Tired of penning consoling-arm-around-your-shoulders Coldplay-esque anthems with Snow Patrol (and hearing "Chasing Cars" on US TV shows, perhaps), Gary Lightbody sought a new "country" direction that reflected his love of Wilco, Smog, Calexico etc. M Ward, Zooey Deschanel and REM's Peter Buck all chip in.
Friday 02 July 2010
The first of their three albums to secure a UK release, The Black Dirt Sessions finds US indie combo Deer Tick mining a rich vein of Americana in which life is presumed to be a losing game, though not necessarily unworthy of celebration.
Wednesday 21 April 2010
Kicking-off a summer tour with two intimate and sold-out nights at the ICA, Nada Surf's frontman, Matthew Caws, sets the tone when he appears holding a tiny milk jug. "They didn't have any cups left," he says, with mischief in his eyes, as he takes a dainty sip from his "carafe".
Sunday 25 October 2009
"This is not a show" we are told before a note is played. And it's true – this "experiment in terror" finds REM "rehearsing" new material and playing old favourites in front of a select audience.
Friday 23 October 2009
Most live albums are fairly disposable artefacts, intended primarily as souvenirs for those who attended the shows, and usually consisting of an act's most recent album along with a few of their greatest hits from which the life has been gradually worn away through repetition.
Friday 09 October 2009
Ironically, while younger bands strive to revive the sound and mood of Joy Division, Bernard Sumner's subsequent career has sometimes seemed like a desperate flight from his earlier group.
Thursday 08 October 2009
Roddy Woomble's various side-projects, along with the diminishing returns of the group's last few albums, led to rumours that Idlewild were on the verge of splitting up.
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