3 July 2017

2017 Album Review Round Up Part 8

Welcome to a round up review!  It is the first of many I will be releasing over the next few weeks, think of them like the bullet point reviews you get in magazines, short and to the point.  I did one of these last year before Christmas, mainly due to the volume of albums that were still left to review at that time of year and this is happening for similar reasons.  There are many reasons for this, the biggest reason of all is time.  Basically, there is only so much time a one man team has available to do the details blogs that I usually post on here.  So, the list of albums that I want to review, promised to review, need to review has grown.  At the moment, it is hitting north of 100 with ease and I need to get that down as there are some other releases that are coming and they need my attention as well.  Now, I will be breaking these round ups down into batches of ten, they will be minus the normal link to purchase of stream the albums (due to space) but you will be able to find these online very easily (legal links, remember - this is not that type of blog).  I will be using the same introduction to each of these blog, if only to save more time.  Thanks for reading - Eddie.

Evilgroove – Cosmosis

Italian flavoured Nu-Metal with a bit of groove metal bass sound added to the mix, Evilgroove have created a standard, but well played album on ‘Cosmosis’.  It is not a record that is ground breaking, but it does what it set out to do (be a kick ass metal album) with ease.  Sometimes you just want an album that does what it says on the tin, 'Cosmosis' is that kind of record.  If you want some Nu-metal/Groove metal influenced sound, played very well and without sounding dated, this will hit the spot.

7 out of ten
– This is good and worth checking out.

Top track – I, The Wicked

John Mayer – The Search of Everything

I would be lying if I said that John Mayer had been on my radar for a long time, to be honest I only found out about him when researching for song for my radio show.  But upon hearing ‘Emoji of a Wave’ I was mesmeried, it struck me as a different type of pop song in this modern era.  It is an old school, singer/songwriter pop with a bit of everything mix in.  It is not reinventing the wheel, but he is re-creating a different era and adding so modern touches. 

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out.

Top track – Helpless

Algiers – The Underside of Power

Matador signed, gospel rock, indie, soul, noise, experimental hybrid Algiers have been on the receiving end of an awful lot of attention and on the evidence of ‘The Underside of Power’, it is much deserved.  The cocktail of sounds is on par with the strange noises of The Pop Group, the tone is aggressive and beautiful, they stalk like panthers on this album and they know how good they are.  A fascinating album, one of the best of this bunch.

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

Top track – Death March

Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

Pissed Jeans have always sounded as if they are a terminally pissed off band, ‘Why Love Now’ does nothing to change this feeling.  If anything, someone has said something or done something to make them angrier and this result is this terrifying album.  If I had time to give this a full review, it would be one of awe and terror as they have created one of the noisiest, hate filled and dangerous records of the year – welcome back Pissed Jeans, please don’t beat me up.

9 out of ten – Almost perfect, almost……

Top track – Ignorecam

Wednesday 13 – Condolences

The former frontman of The Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 and Murderdolls is back with another album that continues his horror filled punk metal, one that feels as if nothing has really changed over the years.  If you have heard any of Wednesday 13’s previous bands or albums, you will already know what to expect from this record.  It is not bad at all and it has its own audience, more power to them and with that being said, it is time to move on.

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

Top track – You Breath, I Kill

Circa Waves – Different Creatures

I had such high hopes for this album when I first put it one, it starts off so well with ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Goodbye’ and there is an energy to those songs which could rise the energy level in an empty room.  However, as the album goes on and after repeated listens to the album, all the charm and energy dissipates and it sort of sounds like a lot of posturing with little in the way of substance.  Not bad, but not good either.

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

Top track – Wake Up

Pond – The Weather

Pond are an Electronic Indie outfit from Perth, Western Australia deal mostly in dream pop, psychedlica and atmospheric soundscapes designed to melt the soul.  Sadly, the music comes across as slightly unfocused and without any real lynchpin for the sounds to circle around, thus creating a void that stretches throughout the album.  It is almost as if they have taken the script on how to write a song from MGMT and removed all the dynamic beats and focused on the synths only.  If they had a centralised vision behind the songs, it might be decent instead of sub par.

2 out of ten – If only there was some quality control.

Top track – Paint Me Silver

Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

Where once there was innovation, there is now comfort.  Where once there was new, there is familiarity.  This happens with all bands, it is impossible for it not to be the case for this might act as well.  As inevitable as it is that Goldfrapp have released a good album, it still sort of stings a little.  But just because we know what to expect from Goldfrapp, does not mean that it is past it or cliché.  All it means it that when those highs and lows are hit, there are no surprises, but there is always something magical about a Goldfrapp album.   A good record from a great artist, but one I have heard before.

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out.

Top track – Systemagic

George Morris – George Morris

Power pop is making a big comeback in 2017, it is the centre piece upon which ‘George Morris’ (both the artist and the album) is based upong, it is eteched into the heart of every song.  Overall, it is a well produced lo-fi album which has some big ideas that almost hits the heights of his ambition.  Naturally as with any Power pop album, there are some high points, some tunes which stick in your head long after it has finished.  But there is also a feeling of unease about the record, as if it knows that something does not feel quite right, that the unatural feeling of strangeness is really just branching too far from the starting point.  When an album start to sound like a problem, it falls down a bit like the recent Tame Impala record, there are too many clashes on here to make it the smoothest record I have heard and that is a shame.  But I applaud George Morris for having the balls to release this, to have his vision and to stay true to it, but the result is not quite there.  

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

Top track – One & Only

Fange – Pourrissoir

Fange deserve better than this short review, I am truly sorry for this but needs must.  Picking up where ‘Purge’ left off, Fange has created the beast incarnate with ‘Pourrissor’ and my deity, it is a loud motherfucker!  Sounding like the hinges have broken and madness is in control, the band blast through this album with a ferocious pace which combines sludge, amplifier worship, noise and good, old fashion metal – another stunning piece of work from one of the best underground bands out there.

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

Top track – Les Gémonies

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