Category: Music

Music reviews

Review: Animals Who Want To Be Other Animals (Standard English Dialect Version)

Caveat: A request to review KateGoes’ debut album Animals Who Want To Be Other Animals was met with an express stipulation from the band that they would sanction a review only upon the precondition that it be written in a (to quote) ‘geordie accent‘. Whether this represents a progressive female re-appropriation of the male critical voice or is a matter of ethics in indie music journalism is open to debate.

The Geordie version ran yesterday, and an standard English dialect version follows below the cut.

Continue reading

Review: Animals Who Want To Be Other Animals (Geordie Dialect Version)

Caveat: A request to review KateGoes’ debut album Animals Who Want To Be Other Animals was met with an express stipulation from the band that they would sanction a review only upon the precondition that it be written in a (to quote) ‘geordie accent‘. Whether this represents a progressive female re-appropriation of the male critical voice or is a matter of ethics in indie music journalism is open to debate. I will stress that any offence caused by the clumsiness of my aping of the Newcastle accent is wholly unintentional. It is worth noting at this juncture that in order for me to render the review in native dialect I have made recourse to a combination of translation software, academic research and personal observation. Thank you.

A standard English dialect version will run tomorrow. Continue reading

Review: Chemical Playschool 3 & 4

Chemical Playschool 3 & 4 - CD Edition on Terminal Kaleidoscope
Chemical Playschool 3 & 4 – CD Edition on Terminal Kaleidoscope

Edward Ka-Spel’s brilliance with The Legendary Pink Dots is to introduce us to isolated characters and then immerse us in their world-view through expansive and mysterious soundscapes. He begins with the most restricted, infinitesimal point of consciousness and then slowly expands it outward towards a state of ‘cosmic consciousness’ (to use the phrase of 1960s psychonauts). Musically, he often follows this template of expansion, with simple melody lines repeating and layering in increased complexity of texture. Much of the LPD’s music is an undertaking to help the listener (and perhaps composer) escape his/her own head. Lyrical phrases, musical motifs, album titles and themes recur across decades, but tonal shifts between albums are slow and subtle.  Hopefully, The Legendary Dots Project, like the Residents and Sparks projects before, will provide the keen reader and listener with a giddy entry-point into the Legendary Pink Dots’ musical world. Fulfil the prophecy! Continue reading

Review: Coochie Brake

Coochie Brake cover
Coochie Brake

So, we’re stealin’ the idea from the Sparks Project and doing one with probably even more records out there — The Residents!  And this time we’re changing it up a little bit — we’ve got two hardcore Residents fans in me and Rich, but Aila is, at best, a casual fan, who will be hearing about 99% of these records for the first time.  DANGEROUS!  So, enjoy, THE RESIDENTS PROJECT! Continue reading

Review: Basilisk

Legendary Pink Dots - Basilisk
Legendary Pink Dots – Basilisk

Edward Ka-Spel‘s brilliance with The Legendary Pink Dots is to introduce us to isolated characters and then immerse us in their world-view through expansive and mysterious soundscapes. He begins with the most restricted, infinitesimal point of consciousness and then slowly expands it outward towards a state of ‘cosmic consciousness’ (to use the phrase of 1960s psychonauts). Musically, he often follows this template of expansion, with simple melody lines repeating and layering in increased complexity of texture. Much of the LPD’s music is an undertaking to help the listener (and perhaps composer) escape his/her own head. Lyrical phrases, musical motifs, album titles and themes recur across decades, but tonal shifts between albums are slow and subtle.  Hopefully, The Legendary Dots Project, like the Residents and Sparks projects before, will provide the keen reader and listener with a giddy entry-point into the Legendary Pink Dots’ musical world. Fulfil the prophecy! Continue reading

Review: The Second Throne

April Larson - The Second Throne
April Larson – The Second Throne

My best friend Peter and I have radically different tastes. I tend to listen to music that is skittish and unresolved. I like choppy melodies, disorienting time signature changes and often, when I’m feeling boisterous, a lively skank beat. Peter, contrariwise, loves slow, immersive ambient soundscapes, with deep, vibratory drones and hidden, slowly-emergent intricacies. The music I like, you have to speed up to listen to. The music Peter likes, you have to slow down. We’re both deeply anxious people and while I like my music to mirror and reflect my inner-state of anxiety, Peter likes his music to reflect the outer-state of the world, in order to better harmonise his inner-state. Continue reading

The Residents Project Supplemental Edition: Talking Light: Bimbo’s DVD

Talking Light: Bimbo's
Talking Light: Bimbo’s

I’m glad to report that the era of terrible Residents live videos is OVER!  I think I’ve talked about it before, but for the longest time, it seemed that we were doomed to not have a good document of a Residents’ live concert.  My go to is when I saw them on the Demons Dance Alone tour, and it was one of the best shows I’d ever seen in my life…. but when the Demons Dance Alone DVD came out, it was one of the worst DVDs I’d seen — terrible, muddy audio, grainy footage taken from backstage — so the main video of an amazingly theatrical show was of the backs of guitar necks.   Continue reading

Review: The Plague & Beekeeping

Cassette Fighter - The Plague & Beekeeping
Cassette Fighter – The Plague & Beekeeping

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I’m friends with one-half of Cassette Fighter. (I’m a well-wisher of the other half… we just haven’t talked a whole lot or anything.  It’s not a drama thing or anything.  Sorry for being boring!)  That said, everything I say is true and what I’d say if I didn’t know any members of the band at all.  Also, a very close friend did the cover art.  So there’s that too.

I’ve been really digging The Plague & Beekeeping, the debut EP from Cassette Fighter.  I’m a sucker for synth-based music anyway, so I’m kind of predisposed to like this.  There’s a little bit of a Kumquat vibe here on the opening track, “The Big Hate” with its use of sampling to create a vocal track for a wonderfully dreamy track.   Continue reading

Review: Tolerance

Incan Abraham - Tolerance
Incan Abraham – Tolerance

Incan Abraham’s new album Tolerance comes out today on White Iris Records.  It’s a nice slice of indie pop, ranging from the kind of dreamy, drifting kind of sound, mingling of synthesizers and traditional instruments seamlessly.  Especially in the percussion, there’s a bit of the world music influence you can hear in bands like Vampire Weekend — but without the really weird production on the Vampire Weekend stuff that makes it sound like it was recorded in a warehouse.  Seriously, what’s with that? Continue reading

Review: Two Magpies

10003843_807088345987845_704564460_oQuimper has a new EP out today (free from their Bandcamp page), Two Magpies out on Soft Bodies Records, who also put out the outstanding Utility Music by Gyratory System. The two records aren’t very similar in sound, but they both are very similar in feel.  Both would be at home on Ralph Records, but where Gyratory System took the more experimental path, Quimper are a bit poppier.  Think perhaps Renaldo & The Loaf versus early Yello — both Ralph bands, but different paths in the same park. Continue reading