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ALBUM REVIEWS | the AU review
AU ABROAD

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ALBUM REVIEWS

Album Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness - Self-Titled (2014 LP)

Andrew McMahon is 32, and so far he's been involved in three different long-running musical projects; beaten cancer; and is responsible for at least one song that, if you owned a hair straightener and a pair of black skinny jeans at any time between 2001-2008, featured heavily on all your mix-tapes. He's best known for Something Corporate, pop-punk/emo wunderkinds of the early 2000s, but his second project Jack's Mannequin, a more pop-focused, piano-driven mostly-solo project, had a really good first album with Everything In Transit and a pretty strong following.

Album Review: Ben Lee - Love Is The Great Rebellion (2015 EP)

You would be forgiven for thinking that Ben Lee is a bit of a one-hit wonder. His 2005 hit “Catch My Disease” was undoubtedly massive, and perhaps too massive given that nothing he has done since has matched the level of popularity that the now 10-year-old earworm managed to reach. You would also be forgiven for not knowing that his new studio album Love Is The Great Rebellion is his eleventh. Yep, eleventh. So why haven’t we been hearing about everything that Lee has been doing? Some would say it’s because nice, respectable love songs just aren’t popular anymore, while others would attribute it to his quiet nature; not wanting to make too much of a fuss or anything like that. Whatever the reason, it’s the future that matters, and a future with this album is a good future...

Album Review: Dawes - All Your Favorite Bands (2015 LP)

Winter time is the season where you’re prone to feeling down and uninspired. There’s only so much gloomy weather you can handle and this affects the way you work and your mood. It becomes a groveling chore to even get out of bed because of the unforgiving cold that is felt through your skin. Suffice it to say, Dawes’ latest offering, All Your Favorite Bands brings warmth and encouraging light to your gloomy days of the winter season.

Album Review: Josh Groban - Stages (2015 LP)

Josh Groban has already proven himself as a capable theatre performer, playing Anatoly Sergievsky in Chess at the legendary Royal Albert Hall along with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the West End Chorus. So perhaps it's of little surprise that Stages, his seventh album, is full of songs from the world of musical theatre. It's the album the fans (or "Grobanites", as they like to be called) have been waiting for and the one Josh most wanted to make.

Album Review: The KVB - Mirror Being (2015 LP)

With a handful of impressive LPs and EPs to their name, London duo The KVB have just released their first full length instrumental album Mirror Being on Invada Records. I remember that they first piqued my interest back in 2013 when they toured Australia with the Brian Jonestown Massacre and was so blown away by their performance I submerged myself in their back catalogue straight away.

Album Review: Shamir - Ratchet (2015 LP)

“I am not fine art, I am the doodle in your copybook: simple but never posed,” reads one of the statements Shamir posted on Tumblr in support of debut album Ratchet. Appropriately, the cover of the album features a doodle of the artist himself, surrounded by Haring-esque swirling lines. At twenty years of age, Shamir is enthusiastic to share his insights, but he never intends for it to be at the expense of fun. And the fun is not lacking: the dance-pop record effortlessly incorporates elements of rap, nu-disco and future-pop, leaving no room for a dull moment.

Album Review: Oslow - It No Longer Concerns Me (2015 7'')

Oslow, a small alternative post-punk band from Western Sydney have moved from strength to strength with It No Longer Concerns Me. This is their Double A-side 7” follow up to the EP Days Are So Bright Now. Recorded over a weekend in a small studio located in an unassuming Coogie lane-way, the expanded soundscape and nuanced composition build on the foundations of their earlier EPs. With a reputation for sweaty, amped up and passionate lives shows the boys channel their Emo influences and energy into a succinct, milestone as they prepare for a debut album.

Album Review: Saskwatch - Sorry I Let It Come Between Us (2015 LP)

There’s been a fair bit of press recently regarding the lack of females on festival bills. And being fair, the news coverage is just. However, over the past years, the rise of female vocalists and bands has only headed in an upward trajectory. And Saskwatch’s third studio album Sorry I Let It Come Between Us, fronted by vocalist Nkechi Anele, is another prime example of the quality material being released by acts with female members.

Album Review: Young Guns - Ones and Zeros (2015 LP)

UK-based alternative rock band, Young Guns are in my opinion, underrated in the scene of music they are already in. To see them go at great lengths with their last two studio records while maintaining a loyal fanbase is an achievement itself. The last time I saw the band live was back in 2012 when they were supporting Tonight Alive in their Sydney show at Manning Bar, replacing US rock band, The Dangerous Summer. Before this last-minute change was made, I was already aware of how incredible their music was and I can tell you now that Ones and Zeros has that same continuum of expertise; the genuine and uplifting songs that create an atmosphere which lighten the spirits of those that need it most. It instills a pathway for progression and creativity that reflects a quality album.

Album Review: Harley Young & the Haymakers - Flinders Parade (2015 LP)

Flinders Parade is the latest release from Harley Young and the Haymakers and it pays great homage to the band’s hometown of Brisbane, in particular to the suburb of Sandgate and its surrounding areas. From the title of the album- Flinders Parade is the foreshore street looking across the water in Sandgate to the opening track “Margate GF” you know this album is going to be full of Brisbane references and it will bring a sense of nostalgia to people who grew up in Brisbane but it’s also a nice way to introduce the city to those who haven’t visited.

Album Review: The Wombats - Glitterbug (2015 LP)

The Wombats have been a little quiet of late, however with the release of their third full length studio album Glitterbug they have certainly come rushing back into the spotlight. In this release, The Liverpudlians have mastered the Alt-Pop genre creating track after track of catchy goodness. When it comes to writing a killer riff, this band has got it covered and then some.

Album Review: SOAK - Before We Forgot How To Dream (2015 LP)

Prodigious, honest, and Irish. No, I’m not describing Enya. The artist who fits these three adjectives more than comfortably is SOAK, the teenage, tattoo-bearing vocalist and guitarist from Ireland. Having seen her perform on her solo tour under the ‘Heavenly Sounds’ banner earlier in the year, I looked forward to hearing her debut album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, in full (both in length and sound). And put simply, it was worth the wait.

Album Review: Daniel Johns - Talk (2015 LP)

Most people know Daniel Johns as the frontman from the grungy 90s rock band Silverchair who are Australian rock royalty in their own right. During his two decade career Johns has experimented with different sounds including the techno project as one half of the Dissociatives and after a quiet eight years Johns has finally released his debut solo album Talk.

Album Review: Alpine - Yuck (2015 LP)

Melbourne's Alpine sound kind of like a band that would play at The Bronze in early seasons of Buffy. That's what their second album, Yuck, sounds like to me anyway. There's a band that plays in the second season, which is apparently Cibo Matto, that Alpine especially sound like. It's bubbly, fluid indie pop that kind of shifts around in your head while you're listening to it. Yuck sounds spacey and sparse but well designed, like the musical equivalent of a really well curated modern art museum. It's brightly coloured and asymmetrical pop that occasionally gets a bit self-involved, but for the most part it's really lovely indie club kid pop music.

Album Review: Fatboy Slim – Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars Reissue (2015 LP)

2015 marks the 15 year anniversary of Fatboy Slim’s album Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. The reissue of the album doesn’t just include the original CD with 11 flashback tracks such as “Talking About My Baby” or “Mad Flava”. This release also includes a bonus second disc featuring previously unreleased remixes by Chemical Brothers and Josh Butler just to name a few.