2 December 2016

Last day mega blast round up - Devin Townsend, Hey Hello!, De La Soul, Teenage Fanclub & more....




(I love this photo, posted by Keith Chandler of Sweet Sound Records and it makes me smile each time I see it).

So, basically due to lost time when I was unable to blog as I was having laptop problems, I have not been able to review every album I wanted this year up to today's deadline.  With this in mind, I cannot humanly review all the albums I wanted to in the time I have had left, I need to work, eat, love and be human; because of this, I am doing this one time only mega-blast short reviews so that these albums (if they make the mark), can be included in our end of year poll for the ATTIWLTMOWOS album of the year!  As I am low on time, I will crack straight on with it (each album will have a link to Amazon to purchase the album):


The Glaswegian band have made a career of taking their sound from the 60's era and making it their own.  'Here' is a relaxing record that works as well as a lot of their latter-day albums, it has not eclipsed 'Grand Prix', but they are not aiming for that these days.  A quality piece of indie/folk rock.

7 out of ten - This is good and well worth checking out.

Top track - Hold On

Hey! Hello! - Hey! Hello! Too!


This is the second version of this album after the drama of losing their original vocalist on the eve of its original release, causing an audition process that ended up with lots of vocalists fronting this Ginger Wildheart project.  Musically, it is pop rock with a bit of punch and huge anthemic riffs; lyrically, in places it is very poor and I say that as a Wildhearts fan.  The rotating vocalists cause the album to loss traction a lot and I think the original versions of these songs were better, I know I will get a lot of stick for this, but I think it is an alright album and I await the next Mutation project (which is my favourite version of Mr Wildheart) - please don't hunt me down.....

6 out of ten - Now, I see where you were going, but it is not quite there.

Top track - This Ain't Love

De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody....


I have been looking forward to this album for so long, but I have not had all the time I wanted to absorb everything about it.  It is one of those albums which will come together in my mind in a few years’ time as it changes in my mind every time I listen to it.  It is a brave and courage record, it is a record that demand attention and I will be looking into for a long time to come.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track - Pain (Featuring Snoop Dogg)

Devin Townsend Project - Transcendence


As always, Lord Devy is an artist who will always cause a stir at ATTIWLTMOWOS towers, he is a man who has one of the best voices in rock and can also sometimes be a little self-destructive.  On 'Transcendence' he is at his progressive best, crafting some of his best material and that is no understatement as his recent output has been of such a high quality.  This is an album that reminds me of his 'Terra' era music, I will have to come back to this and give it a full review.

9 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost perfect

Top track - Secret Sciences

Wilco - Schmilco


More laid back than 'Star Wars', Wilco have released an average alternative country/indie album that keeps everything running well, but it is not as essential as their previous releases.  But it is not a bad record either, just a decent one.

6 out of ten - Now, I see where you were going but it is not quite there.

Top track - If Ever I Was a Child

Billy Talent - Afraid of Heights


Doing exactly the same that they have done for all their career, nothing bad at all, but like AC/DC and co, their sound is very distinctive.  A good album, but not essential.

7 out of ten - This is good and worth checking out

Top track - Afraid of Heights

Enslaved - The Sleeping Gods- Thorn


Quite disappointing to be honest, after some top-quality albums this one comes across a little too weak and flimsy in places and nowhere near as dark as their other material.  Maybe it is time to leave the Enslaved name behind and they are not creating the same sort of sound for me.

4 out of ten - Well it is alright, but still...

Top track - Nordlys

A Tribe Called Quest - We've Got It From Here....Thank You 4 Your Service


Another album I have not had nearly enough time to fully explorer, but the brief time I have had with it has made me appreciate this band and that they are more than their hit single.  This is an amazing rap album, full of massive mic drop moments and it is one that I will have to come back to for a full review, top quality release.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track - Solid Wall of Sound

Tropical Contact - Xs


Loud, anthemic and OTT rock in the style of The Almighty, The Wildhearts, The Virginmarys and Terrorvision, this band are one of the best secrets of the UK rock scene and they need a bit more exposure.  It is not the deepest album, but it sounds like a hard rock fun rollercoaster!

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track - Hero Brigade

Ulver - ATGCLVLSSCAP


An album of live recordings and all of them sound as if they were created in the studio, the experimental metal/drone project is approaching perfection here and if this is them live these days, imagine how good their next studio record is going to sound.

9 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost....

Top track - Glammer Hammer

Steven Wilson - 4 1/2


More progressive genius from the Porcupine Tree frontman, it is not reinventing his own sound and for him it is quite short to be honest.  But it is a quality progressive rock album that still sounds fresh with each spin of the album.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track - Happiness III

Okkervil River - Away


After starting his project anew after family bereavement, Okkervil River Will Sheff has released a tour de force that is as heart-breaking as it is glorious.  The opening song is one that will stay with you till your days are over and this alternative country album is a lost gem in 2016.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart.

Top track - Okkervil River RIP

And there you have it, I think I will return to these albums in December to give them full reviews, as I feel like there is more to say about them.  Till next time dear readers......

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