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ALBUM REVIEWS | the AU review
AU ABROAD

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ALBUM REVIEWS

Album Review: The Mountain Goats - Beat The Champ (2015 LP)

Have you ever teared up over an album about professional wrestling by a bunch of dads? Well, you're about to. The Mountain Goats are back with Beat The Champ, an album that's ostensibly about professional wrestling and is actually about life, growing up and watching children being born and all the messy, gritty stuff that happens when your heart beats.

Album Review: Laura Marling - Short Movie (2015 LP)

After a little time away from music-making, Laura Marling is back with her fifth studio album, Short Movie. Songs written in Los Angeles, but recorded in London, this album seems Marling’s most personal to date. There’s less weaving of intricate tales and personas, and a lot more, well, straight up Marling. On Short Movie, Marling - who’s been famously private about her personal life since she burst onto the music scene in 2006 - has, in her own way, bared her soul, and it’s one of the many things that makes this record a downright winner.

Album Review: Julian Casablancas & The Voidz - Tyranny (2014 LP)

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz is yet another venture for The Strokes' frontman, with their debut album Tyranny, appearing to be a progression from Casablancas' solo 2009 record Phrazes For The Young - full of dark, sinister, synth and bass heavy tracks.

Album Review: Alison Wonderland - Run (2015 LP)

Alison Wonderland - Run

Sydney’s Alison Wonderland may have the most original pun-based name in music, but in many ways the creativity stops there. The cello-playing, DJ’ing, electronic music-creating blonde has just dropped her debut album Run, although whether or not the title is appropriate is very much up for debate.

Album Review: Macatier - This Boat Is Definitely Sinking (2015 EP)

This Boat Is Definitely Sinking, the third EP from British singer-songwriter Macatier (aka Dan Brown) is... kind of a nothing EP. That's not really necessarily a bad thing – there are kernels of something good here, but they need to be polished up to a higher shine to go anywhere.

Album Review: Circa Waves - Young Chasers (2015 LP)

Young Chasers is the energetic first album from British surfy-pop-rockers Circa Waves. The band formed in the sunny seaside town (jokes it’s England) of Liverpool in 2013 and has had a swift rise to fame since then. The lads have already made it to our shores playing Splendour in the Grass last July and supporting The 1975 on their last Australian tour in January.

Album Review: Falling In Reverse - Just Like You (2015 LP)

Falling In Reverse have just released their most recent LP Just Like You. Since their controversial single, “Alone”, Ronnie Radke and his fellow band mates have gotten quite a following with their stylish direction in the post-hardcore scene and have been turning heads since their early days with “The Drug in Me is You”. Unfortunately, the band’s image has not been well-respected in the past but who’s to say there isn’t at least one track that can’t be enjoyed from the record? It’s a hard ball game to play but it doesn’t hurt to give this record a try either.

Album Review: Marina And The Diamonds - Froot (2015 LP)

Marina And The Diamonds' third album, Froot, is a continuation of the new wave, operatic indie-pop sound from her previous two albums. It's expansive and theatrical, kind of a spiritual descendant of Kate Bush. Like Bush, Marina And The Diamonds (real name Marina Diamandis) trades in sweeping, spacey weird-girl synth pop. They're songs that feel like grainy video-tape footage of English moors at dusk.

Album Review: Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (2015 LP)

After 2 years of generous buzz, the arrival of Courtney Barnett's debut LP is her chance to leave a mark on music lovers the world over with her lackadaisical indie blues. Despite her warnings of disappointment in 'Pedestrian At Best', the album succeeds. In fact, with glowing reviews from international press and Ellen Degeneres proclaiming Barnett as her new favourite artist, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit was a success before it was even released.

Album Review: Shifting Sands - Beach Coma (2015 LP)

As soon as I heard Shifting Sand's debut album Beach Coma, I immediately assumed that lead singer Geoff Corbett was a white guy with blond dreads. He doesn't have dreads, incidentally, but Beach Coma sounds a lot like he should. Take from that what you will.

Album Review: Sleeping With Sirens - Madness (2015 LP)

Sleeping with Sirens have explored their pop rock dimensions on another level with their newest album Madness. Since their last release, the band have further explored something different from their usual scope of music and this will surely have old and new fans divided. It’s hard to move past the heavy sounding, in-your-face back catalogue offered in their earlier albums, With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear and Let’s Cheer To This. It’s a sure enough reminder that the new record holds the essence of what the band used to be but you’ll feel as though something is lacking in its entirety.

Album Review: Hellions - Indian Summer (2015)

Indian Summer, the latest release from Melbourne hardcore punk trio Hellions, is one of the biggest sounding releases of the year so far… but a big sound doesn’t always mean a complete and original sound. Indian Summer is an interesting album because while it's clear what the group were trying to do – make a loud, thrashing album – the question still remains as to whether or not the outcome is quite as good as it could have been.

Album Review: Orla Gartland - SXSW (2015 EP)

20-year-old Irish indie pop songstress Orla Gartland is playing SXSW this year, and she's released a four-track EP (handily named SXSW) to celebrate it, made up of tracks from her other records. Gartland is experiencing a kind of groundswell of popularity in the UK and European indie pop scene, but her cheerful, Irish-burred synth-pop hasn't really made it over here in a big way yet.

Album Review: Great Good Fine OK - 2M2H (2015 EP)

Great Good Fine OK continue to prove over and over again that they are the most badass, smooth stylers in the world of dance and indie-pop. Following the release of their debut EP Body Diamond last year, I made a point to mention that there’s little room for mistakes in an EP like there is in full length albums, and they smashed it out of the park with a pretty-much-perfect collection showcasing a natural ear for catchy song-writing. In 2015, they’re up to their old tricks as they return with a killer new EP entitled 2M2H (an abbreviation of the title track “Too Much To Handle”), set to come out in Australia on March 16th.

Album Review: Karl Kling - Self-Titled (2015 LP)

If you’ve listened to Synth-pop artist Karl Kling here in Australia, like me, it’s most likely as that featured player from the RAC album Strangers. You would be forgiven for that one. Karl is not big by any means, not yet. But as usual, that’s what makes his self-titled debut album so exciting. It was released earlier this month and going off the kind of influences he’s been hanging around, I couldn’t wait to wrap my ears around it.