Reviews

Reviews

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

Top-rated albums this month
91%

Marillion

F.E.A.R.

Marillion - F.E.A.R. album cover

For a Marillion fan, a new album isn’t just a release – it’s an event. And as far as events go, on an ascending scale from a co-workers 30 day alcohol-free chip celebration, to a close cousin’s Harry Potter themed wedding, to the birth of your new baby, FEAR is ...

88%

Big Eyes

Stake My Claim

Big Eyes -  Stake My Claim album cover

As much I knew I’d like this record after spending some time with Almost Famous and seeing the band live a few times, I was hesitant to review it. There are certain sounds I have trouble describing. So while I enjoyed Almost Famous, it had this hard to summarize element ...

Worst-rated albums this month
70%

American Football

LP2

American Football - LP2 album cover

American Football are the sort of band that shouldn't have attracted so much attention. When they first properly emerged in 1999, a copy of their eponymous debut in hand, they were still playing small college bars around the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their album cover was so low-key it ...

70%

Various Artists

Fatso Jetson / del-Toros Split 7”

Various Artists - Fatso Jetson / del-Toros Split 7” album cover
200 Words Or Less

Given that it's a split release between a well-established group and one making its U.S. debut, the best thing about 2016's Fatso Jetson / del-Toros 7” may be how well its two tracks play alongside one another. Self-proclaimed “godfathers of the desert rock scene,” California's Fatso Jetson kick off the ...

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Recent reviews

Our most recent reviews, organised by date.

71%

Brain Tentacles

Brain Tentacles

Brain Tentacles - Brain Tentacles album cover

Three great musicians of the extreme/experimental metal scene meet up to as Brain Tentacles. Bruce Lamont of Yakuza, Dave Witte of Discordance Axis and Aaron Dallison of Keelhaul, do not need much of an introduction, but their new project certainly does. The band's debut album, coming out through Relapse, shows ...

75%

Bullnette

Bullnette

Bullnette  - Bullnette  album cover

I discovered This Is My Fist at the tail end of the band’s run, which was unfortunate in that I didn’t get to experience new material or live shows. Throughout that band’s material, vocalist Annie Saunders was the clear standout in the group, her ability to make a message connect ...

85%

White Lung

Paradise

White Lung - Paradise album cover
200 Words Or Less

Since the 1980s, Vancouver, B.C. has always had a thriving punk scene, but the new millennium came in like a reaper and scythe, decimating live music venues until there was virtually nothing left. So, in true DIY fashion, performances began in the underground parking garage of the Emily Carr Institute ...

85%

Shallow Cuts

Empty Beach Town

Shallow Cuts - Empty Beach Town album cover

Sometimes I want to add a lot of back story, my own perspective coming into a record. While that certainly shapes the experience, sometimes you have to let it stand for itself. Shallow Cuts tie into a number of other bands: Dan Padilla, Madison Bloodbath, The Gateway District, Dear Landlord, ...

80%

Coathangers

Nosebleed Weekend

Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend album cover

A lot of the bands I listen to have gotten older and slowed their productivity so it’s nice to realize that The Coathangers are already releasing their fifth album even it’s already been a decade for the Atlanta-formed trio. On Nosebleed Weekend the band takes a bit of a curve ...

70%

American Football

LP2

American Football - LP2 album cover

American Football are the sort of band that shouldn't have attracted so much attention. When they first properly emerged in 1999, a copy of their eponymous debut in hand, they were still playing small college bars around the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their album cover was so low-key it ...

77%

Esben and the Witch

Older Terrors

Esben and the Witch - Older Terrors album cover

Taking their name from a well-known Danish fairytale, the trio from Brighton entered with confidence the alternative rock world. A series of EPs and three full-length records, with Violet Cries and Wash The Sins Not Only the Face especially standing out, has led the band down an interesting road, as their ...

78%

SURVIVE

RR7349

SURVIVE - RR7349 album cover

S U R V I V E, the experimental synth quartet from Austin, rose to fame quite fast when it became known that two of its members contributed to the score of Stranger Things, a hit sci-fi/horror series on Netflix (just in case you have been living under a rock.) ...

82%

Metallica

Hardwired...to Self Destruct

Metallica - Hardwired...to Self Destruct  album cover

8 years. Jesus. That’s the same length of time as Barack Obama’s two-term administration. That’s the entire lifespan of an 8 year old child. That’s too goddamn long between albums, is what it is. Yes, Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett and Trujillo have finally returned with a new album – Hardwired…to Self ...

70%

Various Artists

Fatso Jetson / del-Toros Split 7”

Various Artists - Fatso Jetson / del-Toros Split 7” album cover
200 Words Or Less

Given that it's a split release between a well-established group and one making its U.S. debut, the best thing about 2016's Fatso Jetson / del-Toros 7” may be how well its two tracks play alongside one another. Self-proclaimed “godfathers of the desert rock scene,” California's Fatso Jetson kick off the ...

80%

Arms Aloft

What a Time to Be Barely Alive

Arms Aloft - What a Time to Be Barely Alive album cover

Midtempo punk sounds like such a boring idea.And sometimes it really is.But when it works, it’s hard to top. The chords are still powerful and concise, the frustration and fury still present, but it’s more tempered when the tempo drops down a bit and more powerful when it rises to ...

80%

Oathbreaker

Rheia

Oathbreaker - Rheia album cover

Starting off with an unusual combination of crust, hardcore and black metal, Oathbreaker have evolved significantly since their debut album, Maelstrom. The follow-up album, Eros/Anteros saw a further evolution of their sound, with post-metal elements beginning to populate their palette. This slightly eased the connection between hardcore and black metal, ...

82%

Various Artists

Oneida & Rhys Chatham - What's Your Sign?

Various Artists - Oneida & Rhys Chatham - What's Your Sign? album cover

Collaborations in the experimental music domain always bring something interesting to the table. Oneida is a great experimental rock band, encompassing elements of noise rock, psychedelia and krautrock, as a method of crafting a diverse sound. Having released a plethora of records, mostly through Jagjaguwar, they are now putting out ...

78%

Johann Johannsson

Orphee

Johann Johannsson - Orphee album cover

The Icelandic composer has risen magnificently in the last few years due to his works within the film domain. A prolific artist, Johannsson has contributed with scores for some excellent recent movies, including The Theory of Everything, as well as his frequent collaborations with visionary director Denis Villeneuve, in Prisoners, ...

91%

Marillion

F.E.A.R.

Marillion - F.E.A.R. album cover

For a Marillion fan, a new album isn’t just a release – it’s an event. And as far as events go, on an ascending scale from a co-workers 30 day alcohol-free chip celebration, to a close cousin’s Harry Potter themed wedding, to the birth of your new baby, FEAR is ...

79%

The Blind Shake

Celebrate Your Worth

The Blind Shake - Celebrate Your Worth album cover

I’ve covered The Blind Shake for most of their career so far. Over that time it’s been a steady growth often focused on syncopated and rhythmic rock: forceful, punchy, and precise. The kind of rock that you can set your watch to, while still angry and striking a deeper chord. ...

85%

Various Artists

Okkyung Lee & Christian Marclay – Amalgam

Various Artists - Okkyung Lee & Christian Marclay – Amalgam album cover

OK, here we are dealing with an absolutely stunning collaboration. In a live setting, cellist Okkyung Lee, an excellent improviser who has worked alongside artists such as Jenny Hval, Swans, John Zorn and Cecil Taylor, and Christian Marclay, a visual artist and composer, master of turntablism, meet to create an ...

88%

Big Eyes

Stake My Claim

Big Eyes -  Stake My Claim album cover

As much I knew I’d like this record after spending some time with Almost Famous and seeing the band live a few times, I was hesitant to review it. There are certain sounds I have trouble describing. So while I enjoyed Almost Famous, it had this hard to summarize element ...

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From the archive...

Real McKenzies

Off the Leash

6.0 / 10 Real McKenzies - Off the Leash album cover

What the world needs is more Dropkick Murphys, or perhaps something just different enough to spawn a new sub-subgenre. Unlike Dropkick Murphys, The Real McKenzies hail from Vancouver and parlay ...

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