Reviews

Reviews

Our latest album reviews, grouped by highest-scoring, lowest-scoring, most read and most recent.

Top-rated albums this month
86%

Weeping Rat

Tar

Weeping Rat - Tar album cover

Tar has been an insane surprise for me. Even though the album was released back in December, I did not notice Weeping Rat until Handmade Birds announced that they were going to release the album on vinyl with an additional five bonus tracks! Weeping Rat comes from Australia, and even ...

85%

The Brokedowns

Life Is a Breeze

The Brokedowns - Life Is a Breeze album cover

The Brokedowns have come a long way. That’s not to say they were torchbearers of suckitude earlier, but early reviews of the band were festivals of namedropping and comparisons to various Midwestern-tinged punk groups. On Life Is A Breeze, those RIYL days of yore can go straight into the Springfield ...

Worst-rated albums this month
51%

Rancid

Honor Is All We Know

Rancid - Honor Is All We Know album cover

For years I was the biggest Rancid fan. The first record I didn’t buy on its release date was B-Sides & C-Sides, and that’s because I already had the songs. I was an unapologetic completest. As the post-2000 records have been coming, I became an apologetic completest. I bought the ...

60%

Various Artists

Clockwork Orange County: The Rise of West Coast Punk Rock

Various Artists - Clockwork Orange County: The Rise of West Coast Punk Rock album cover
Video/DVD Review

Detailing the history of southern California punk of the late 1970s and early ‘80s and in particular, the scene that revolved around the legendary Cuckoo’s Nest club which hosted live music shows, the 2012 documentary Clockwork Orange County: The Rise of West Coast Punk Rock! (which earlier had been released ...

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Recent reviews

Our most recent reviews, organised by date.

51%

Rancid

Honor Is All We Know

Rancid - Honor Is All We Know album cover

For years I was the biggest Rancid fan. The first record I didn’t buy on its release date was B-Sides & C-Sides, and that’s because I already had the songs. I was an unapologetic completest. As the post-2000 records have been coming, I became an apologetic completest. I bought the ...

60%

Various Artists

Clockwork Orange County: The Rise of West Coast Punk Rock

Various Artists - Clockwork Orange County: The Rise of West Coast Punk Rock album cover
Video/DVD Review

Detailing the history of southern California punk of the late 1970s and early ‘80s and in particular, the scene that revolved around the legendary Cuckoo’s Nest club which hosted live music shows, the 2012 documentary Clockwork Orange County: The Rise of West Coast Punk Rock! (which earlier had been released ...

82%

Pharaoh

Negative Everything

 Pharaoh - Negative Everything album cover

Pharaoh’s debut full-length, Negative Everything, is an absolutely crushing release. The New Jersey three-piece play a blend of doom, sludge, hardcore, and crust that is generally slow, sometimes fast, never predictable, and always heavy. The record’s opening track, “Recease,” starts with a slow, chugging, unaccompanied guitar and effectively sets the ...

86%

Weeping Rat

Tar

Weeping Rat - Tar album cover

Tar has been an insane surprise for me. Even though the album was released back in December, I did not notice Weeping Rat until Handmade Birds announced that they were going to release the album on vinyl with an additional five bonus tracks! Weeping Rat comes from Australia, and even ...

73%

Foxygen

...And Starpower

Foxygen - ...And Starpower album cover

Since the first time I heard the dewy-eyed lyric, “I caught you sipping milkshakes in the parlor of the hotel,” I’ve been somewhat smitten with the psychedelic princes behind Foxygen’s screwball absurdum: moody-broody Jonathan Rado and Kevin Barnes incarnate, Sam France. Following the release of their hugely successful breakout album, ...

72%

Foo Fighters

Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways album cover

With their newest release, Sonic Highways, we aptly find Foo Fighters at an apparent crossroads and no longer content to write and record music in a traditional fashion. Sonic Highways is an album conceived and written as a companion piece to the HBO series of the same name, and directed ...

85%

The Brokedowns

Life Is a Breeze

The Brokedowns - Life Is a Breeze album cover

The Brokedowns have come a long way. That’s not to say they were torchbearers of suckitude earlier, but early reviews of the band were festivals of namedropping and comparisons to various Midwestern-tinged punk groups. On Life Is A Breeze, those RIYL days of yore can go straight into the Springfield ...

65%

The Dead Milkmen

Pretty Music for Pretty People

The Dead Milkmen - Pretty Music for Pretty People album cover

The Dead Milkmen were always an idea band. A band who sparkled or fizzled depending on that idea, with some songs brilliant and others that made you dream they’d invent a music format where you could skip to the next song with the simple push of a button. Some things ...

75%

DRLNG

Icarus EP

DRLNG - Icarus EP album cover
200 Words Or Less

The tight and bright 2014 Icarus EP marks the debut of the indie pop quartet that originally recorded as Plumerai under their new name of DRLNG. Despite the group’s billing in some press materials as a shoegaze-inspired project, I noticed much more inspiration coming from the world of cheerful French ...

75%

Hiss Tracts

Shortwave Nights

Hiss Tracts - Shortwave Nights album cover

It’s not so surprising that 2014’s Shortwave Nights, the debut album from Canadian duo Hiss Tracts, sounds similar not only to Godspeed You! Black Emperor music of the late ‘90s but also the two Set Fire to Flames albums: band member David Bryant collaborated on both those aforementioned groups while ...

70%

Bad Kisser

Bate Kush

Bad Kisser - Bate Kush album cover

Bate Kush, the second short release from a side-project of drone and ambient musician Foie Gras known as Bad Kisser, presents the listener with a conundrum. The EP has eight extremely noisy and lo-fi tracks, only two of which last more than ninety seconds. Honestly, the brevity of the songs ...

81%

Various Artists

Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones/Witxes - Split

Various Artists - Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones/Witxes - Split album cover

When it comes to minimalistic ambient and dark jazz it does not get much better than these. Two great acts from France coexist within this split album. The Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones can be considered a legendary act, with a résumé of high quality albums such as their ...

67%

Eureka California

Crunch

Eureka California - Crunch album cover

When I hear the phrase “indie rock,” I think of about 4-5 things: Pavement, The Pixies, maybe Weezer, glasses, skinny guys, and bizarre instrumentation or time signatures. Some of that (queue the ‘90s references there) is due to my age, as the former part of that description is a bit ...

79%

The Murder City Devils

The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again

The Murder City Devils - The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again album cover

Reunited bands have a tendency to disappoint. Maybe their hearts aren’t in it the second time around, maybe they’ve changed as artists and individuals, or maybe the expectations of a rabid fanbase are impossible to meet.Whatever the case, let’s put aside our memories of In Name and Blood, their last ...

70%

Strawberry Runners

P-Sides Demos

Strawberry Runners - P-Sides Demos album cover
200 Words Or Less

Gloriously imperfect and scratchy, the P-Sides Demo by Denver, Colorado’s Strawberry Runners starts off with “Slip In.” Initially sounding like melodramatic ‘50s pop with a folky undercurrent and sauntering rhythm, the piece works towards a climax of triumphant guitar and jangly background noise. Singer Emi Knight provides a melodic focal ...

75%

Poppy Ackroyd

Feathers

Poppy Ackroyd - Feathers album cover

Classically trained musician and collaborator of Hidden Orchestra, Poppy Ackroyd, follows the neoclassical path that started off with her debut album, Escapement. In her first full-length Ackroyd was bringing piano and violin on the spotlight and creating tremendous atmospheric music with her melodic ideas. Her collaboration with visual artist Lumen, ...

80%

Cross

Pyre

Cross - Pyre album cover
200 Words Or Less

Made up of one half of Sweden’s Masshysteri (vocalist Robert Hurula and drummer Erik Viklund), Cross play dark and grimy music that seems indebted to the almost primal, noisy garage rock of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The group’s loud, sinister, and chaotic 7” debut Pyre makes up for what it ...

70%

Oruga

Blackened Souls

Oruga - Blackened Souls album cover

Oruga’s sludged out sound is deep, dirty and disgusting and the French quintet move through massive pits of despair to crawl through the filth and head towards the inevitable end of debut full length Blackened Souls. Their sound has slowly been evolving since the release of a well-received demo in ...

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From the archive...

Hammer Bros.

The Kids are Dead

5.9 / 10 Hammer Bros. - The Kids are Dead album cover
200 Words Or Less

I'm getting too many records that sound exactly like The Kids are Dead. It's another moshy metal crossover type hardcore album that is sweeping VFW dance floors all over the ...

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