The title is so apt for Wyldlife's debut album. It’s always time for rock and roll and these guys make sure to bring it to you. It’s hard to find this sort of fun, honest garage rock anymore. Everyone wants to be miserable or deep or angst-ridden. Why can’t we just have fun? That’s what I feel like these guys are asking now.
There are only two types of songs on Modern Vampires Of The City; those which are exceptionally good and those which are adequate in the context of the album.
In the Replacements' song 'Alex Chilton', Paul Westerberg declares his love of a certain under-appreciated band of '70s power-pop pioneers by declaring “I never travel far, without a little Big Star,” before letting loose with a melodic guitar solo that could have come straight from the fingers of Chilton himself. A quick listen to the debut album from Brisbane indie-pop trio A Cartoon Graveyard reveals that they too have surely studied at the college of Chilton: the ridiculously titled The Men Who Stole Your Horse Are In The Woods With My Friend is full of '70s pop melodies, catchy choruses, lo-fi riffs, and enough goofy lyrics to put even the most snobby music fan at ease.
Sam Amidon is a folk singer, multi-instrumentalist and interpreter of songs, both old and new. Amidon has made a career of releasing records made up of his own unique interpretations of other people’s songs. Some drawn from the folk tradition, others from distinctly more commercial outlets; his latest album, Bright Sunny South, alone contains both a Mariah Carey and a Tim McGraw song.
It’s been 10 years since Natalie Maines said 11 words regarding George W. Bush and singlehandedly ripped the American country music scene apart. On stage with the Dixie Chicks at Shepherd’s Bush Theatre in London, Maines told the crowd that they were “ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas”. What was meant to be a throwaway comment (even if it was serious) soon saw the incredibly popular group boycotted from Country Music radio; protests broke out outside their concerts, and the group received numerous death threats. They inadvertently spawned the urban dictionary phrase ‘to be Dixie Chicked’. Their next release (2006’s Taking The Long Way) was fiery, lead by the furious single “I’m Not Ready To Make Nice”. It was a seminal record, and a landmark in musical history.
In theory, this should appease all my little musical fetishes. A Nightmare Before Xmas mixed with Wednesday 13 with a sprinkle of Misfits. Sadly this record fails to ignite the camp horror desires in me. It comes across as mere childish, Scooby Doo lite mystery horror that takes the camp out of the campiness and the fun out of horror rock.
Heaven in this Hell is the fourth solo album from Australian artist Orianthi, and it is one that sees her meld her years in pop and rock in an attempt to show off her impressive skills. And while she does manage to show just why she’s been playing lead guitar for and with the best of them lately, with her serious shredding skills getting a show on every track, she hasn’t quite succeeded in the creation of a cohesive album. There are some great songs, and every song shows her to be a truly talented musician, but in the end Orianthi produced a genre-jagging rollercoaster that was created with all the wrong tracks.
With a career spanning several decades and many genres of music, he defies classification. Of course he is most well-known for his work with The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson (describing himself as a victim of Wilson's buffoonery), but the fact he has worked with artists as diverse as Rufus Wainwright and Skrillex is often overlooked. All hail, it's the return of living legend Van Dyke Parks with his first album since 1995.
‘Not another indie-pop-rock album!’, I hear you exclaim. I’d suggest you stop rolling your eyes however and sit up and take a listen, because Walk The Moon aren’t messing around with their self-titled album.
Los Angeles Duo Michael David and Tyler Blake came to attention producing high profile remixes for acts including Phoenix and Holy Ghost. In 2009 they released breakout hit 'I’ll Get You', a bullet of pure pop joy that featured guest vocals from Jeppe of Junior Senior fame. Four years on and they have produced their debut album. While a four year layover is pretty standard fare in electronic music, there’s an expectation for something new, or at least a refining of their core sound.
No one ever said country music was actually dirty. The lyrics may be full of torn shirts and jeans, drinking whiskey in dusty bars, and tearing down the highway in a Chevy truck, but the aesthetics of the modern country record are seamlessly polished. Lady Antebellum have been delivering shiny cuts of country rock for two records now, and their third, Golden, comes as a solid, if slightly predictable, release.
Breakthrough US quintet The Neighbourhood released their much acclaimed debut album, I Love You, late in April and have scored some pretty sweet gigs off the back of it.
Abbe May is like a fine red wine, dark and smooth. Now add a handful of gravel to the glass, and the smoothness becomes a harsh sip of sex appeal. Abstract I know, but May’s new ‘concept’ album Kiss My Apocalypse demands ‘out of the box’ descriptions. Following on from 2011’s Design Desire, the LP presents a beautiful darkness that carries on throughout.
Legendary songwriter and former Creedence Clearwater Revival front man John Fogerty revisits some of his classic CCR songs with collaborations with some of today's best country rock artists to breath new life into these timeless tracks.
I’d forgotten about Benga to be honest. I remember his hit “Night” with a fellow friend, Coki, but other projects had distracted me from him. But it’s nice to check back in on an old favourite and see he’s been busy. So what's he been working on? Chapter II was a two year project for Benga and at last it’s been released...