The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

What_A_Terrible_World,_What_A_Beautiful_WorldThe Decemberists have always been an overly literate band, for better or worse. Main man Colin Meloy seems to be on a mission to convince as many people as possible that he is the most poetic and insightful man to grace music. Albums by The Decemberists are revealed as monumental narratives, whether it be the Shakespearean-esque masterpiece The Crane Wife, or the overblown The Hazards Of Love. Unsurprisingly, The Decemberists commercial highpoint was 2011’s rustic The King Is Dead, which not only arrived during a newfound commercial appreciation for foot-stomping indie music, but as an album, The Kind Is Dead eschewed many of the lofty concepts and intellectual lectures of its predecessors, by instead embracing a down-to-earth, Continue reading

Viet Cong – Viet Cong

- Released: January 20, 2014 Flemmish Eye/Jagjaguwar

– Released: January 20, 2014
Flemmish Eye/Jagjaguwar

The self titled debut from Canadian post punk outfit Viet Cong is like an arctic landscape, it’s icy and monochrome, boundless and isolating. We were perhaps inadequately prepared for the album by its lead single, ‘Continental Shelf’, which was dropped in October last year. The track is undeniably an album highlight and is a clear display of the band’s uncanny ability to shift between moods at will during a single track, with a grinding, half-tempo hook, an aggressively angsty verse and a surprisingly upbeat, galloping chorus. However the three sections are distinct, the structure is still abundantly clear, almost predictable, clocking in at an easily digested three minutes and change; ‘Continental Shelf’ is controlled chaos. Continue reading

Mark Ronson – Uptown Special

Throughout his career, Mark Ronson has always projected the image of himself as the ultra-cool kid at the party. With the slicked up ‘rocker’ hair style and ‘50s movie star looks’, Ronson certainly looks the part for a classic rock star, despite being only a producer. Ronson is part of that rare breed of music producers that wish for their image to become just as, if not more, popular than the artist they are producing. The sheer fact that he has released four albums under his solo name (three with his face on the cover) supports this claim. Continue reading

2015, January to March – 10 Albums to get Excited About in the New Year

December tends to be a pretty dull month for new music, maybe everyone’s just too busy getting their Christmas on to bother, instead we’re inundated with ‘best of’ lists. Well, 2015 is upon us, and that means there’s a wave of new music on its way. Most of the upcoming albums of this year still have details unannounced (it is early days after all), but there are a good fistful that we’ve already got titles and release dates for. So, to get you keen for what’s coming at you in 2015, here’s the 10 albums I’m most excited for in the first three months of the year. I’ve also stuck some of my most anticipated ‘To Be Announced’ releases from a bunch of great artists on the end. Continue reading

Grizzlee Train – Come Back Around (E.P.)

There is something very interesting about the musical genre known as “Blues”. In the pantheon of popular music, Blues can rightfully be seen as the originator: The granddaddy of musical genres that took its kids R&B, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Jazz, on its knee to tell them tales of hardship, depression, comedy, sex, and of course, coolness. It is pretty fair to say, that without the Blues, the musical landscape would be far worse off. The interesting thing about the Blues is that it has been consistently prevalent in the history of popular music. While not often being the most commercially successful genre, it has stood the test of time fairly well, with musicians even to this day ready to champion its greatness. But can the Blues still be exciting and relevant in the radically pop-tastic world of 2015? Do the weatherworn clichés of trains, prisons, devious women, and firearms still hold credence? Continue reading