21 July 2018

Sleep - The Sciences

Much like Fight Club, if you're into Sleep then you don't need to talk about Sleep.  If you've never heard of Sleep, then the first thing you must learn is not to talk about Sleep.  If this is your first time experiencing Sleep, then you have to stop and start at the beginning.  You have to listen to Volume One, Holy Mountain, Dopesmoker (aka Jerusalem) and The Volume Two EP straight away, as well develope a mind that can endure sonic sludge attacks that can go on for hours at a time.  Basically, Sleep is the sort of band that people who love Sludge and Doom Metal adore, a lot of people pretend to know and bemuse everyone else.  But one thing for sure, you'll never find a casual Sleep fan.

To hell with the rules, I've got a review to write here! The Sciences is the first album from Sleep since they reformed, it was recorded at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California, with Sleep producing the albums themselves.  Release on Third Man Records, The Scientists received great acclaim upon its release on 20th April 2018.

For The Sciences, Sleep have adhered to the old "if it's not broken, why fix it" adage.  Everything that makes Sleep amazing the first time around is back on display.  Black Sabbath obsession - check.  Songs about drugs (especially cannabis) - check.  A guitar tone that can saw down trees - check.  Songs that drone on for an eternity - check.  This is exactly what fans of Sleep wanted, this is what the band wanted, so everyone is a winner, right?

The answer is a resounding yes from me, but with a 'but' hanging over it.  I adore every song on here, from "The Sciences" to "The Botanist", with my personal favourite being "Sonic Titan".  Each song is an ocean for the rest of humanity to lose all sense of self, to be swept away with a sonic boom. The 'but' I refer to is that some people will struggle with this, as they would struggle with Waheela, The Chewers or Sunn 0)))). 

Is that a bad thing?  No, not at all.  It's designed for a specific audience, it's not for the masses.  Somethings are not meant for mass consumption, somethings are meant to be experienced by just a few who are will to explore. I would also say this is an album that is best listened rarely, where you can listen to it as a whole.  The Sciences is an album that is better listened to as a whole, from beginning to end in one glorious wall of feedback and noise.  In terms of their discography, this is a worthy edition that will be discussed and debated for years to come.  Hopefully, there is also more to come, all hail Sleep.

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

Top track - Sonic Titan

You can purchase The Sciences on Amazon here.

You can visit the Sleep website here.

You can follow the activities of Sleep on Facebook here.

You can stream The Sciences on Spotify here.

You can stream The Sciences on Deezer here.

You can stream The Sciences on Tidal here.

Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!

OK, OK, I'm reviewing it, I'm reviewing it!  If only to stop the requests (it was on the list anyway), I've brought forward my review of the sixth studio album from New York City Post-Punk act, Parquet Courts.  It seems as if the world has gone gaga for these guys, but they're not in the mood for giving out more than they require.  Their social media presence is none existent, which feels little strange in this day and age.  It has become the social norm for bands to be on every platform, but not for these cats.  This alone makes them stand out from the crowd, which is hard in a crowded market. 

Produced by Danger Mouse and recorded at Electric Lady Land (New York) and Sonic Ranch (Tornillo), Wide Awake! is a deliberate attempt by Parquet Courts to release an album that is out of their comfort zone.  I suppose it's an admirable ambition to challenge oneself, to strive forward in a different direction.  My experience of Parquet Courts is limited if I'm honest, a few songs here and there is the depth of my exposure to their work.  But what I've heard before has never sounded bad, so now it's time to look at Wide Awake!

Wide Awake! is an album which contains a few different facets of sound.  There is out & out Post-Punk on tracks such as "Total Football" and "NYC Observation", there is Dream/Power Pop on "Mardi Gras Beads", there is a Funky Indie Pop turn on "Tenderness" and a whole ocean of noise in between.  Each song has a different recording value, capturing the desired sound that the band was aiming for.  When you listen to each song on its own, they sound really good and you want more of that style.

With that being said, Wide Awake! feels like a compilation album in places, the mixture of styles giving this polished album an uneven feeling.  That disjointed style comes across a little anarchic and without clear direction, and not in a good way.  I can get on board with chaos, I love going from genre to genre like a musical bigamist.  But on Wide Awake!, it can be overpowering at times.

The takeaway point I've reached with Wide Awake! is that Parquet Courts are a beautiful band who can turn their hand to any style and make it there own.  If they focused on one of the styles that they've showcased here, this album would have been an out and out classic.  Because they've gone genre to genre like a social butterfly, it's merely a decent record.  However, it's still a listenable album and not without charm or merit, it's just a little too confusing for its own good.  I'll still be checking out their back catalogue as well, so I suppose Wide Awake! has at least perked my interests in Parquet Courts.  File under - these guys warrant further investigation, but this is not quite there.

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

Top track - Tenderness

You can purchase Wide Awake! on Amazon here.

Parquet Courts don't have an official website or Facebook page; but they do have a Wordpress page, which you can find here.

You can stream Wide Awake! on Spotify here.

You can stream Wide Awake! on Deezer here.

You can stream Wide Awake! on Tidal here.

Florence + The Machine - High as Hope

High as Hope is the fourth studio album Florence + The Machine, it's also the first album to be reviewed by myself instead of my good lady (you can read her reviews of the previous F+tM releases here).  After three well-received studio albums, Florence Welch can now be seen as a mainstay in the Indie Folk/Pop scene.  She is adored by millions, whilst simultaneously receiving a lot of criticism as well.  For everyone who says she has a voice of an angel, there is another who says she sings too loud.  To give my two pence worth, I find her voice charming, but I have wished at times that she approached some songs with a gentler feeling.  I say this so you can understand my point of view about High as Hope, as I approach this review.

High as Hope was released on 29th June 2018, it was recorded in various studios around the world, including Beacon House in Los Angeles and 123 in London.  It was co-produced between Ms Welch and American producer Emile Haynie, who has previously worked with Lana Del Rey, Bruno Mars and many more.  It has been three years since How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and times have changed.  F+tM can no longer be seen as the plucky underdogs that brought "Dog Days Are Over", those days are long gone.  As they release their fourth studio album, the level of expectation is huge.  Especially for an act which has their previous three albums topping the UK charts.  The only thing that kept High as Hope from repeating the same feat, was the juggernaut that is The Greatest Showman OST.

So, how has High as Hope turned out?  First things, the approach to High as Hope is exactly what I was hoping for, F+tM have finally learnt that you don't need every song to be the most important anthem in your life!  There are gentler moments on High as Hope.  The best examples of this new approach are the lead single "Sky Full of Song" and "No Choir".  Yes - they have builds, crescendos and such things, but they are also gentle and fragile.  It's something that has been missing from the previous F+tM releases and it's a joy to hear.

But do not fret dear reader, the anthems are still there, it wouldn't be an F+tM album without them.  Songs like "Hunger" and "Grace" are the big hitters and will sound luscious when performed live.  But the overarching feeling of High as Hope is emotions, especially emotional release.  There is the sound of regret ("Grace"), they deal with suicide ("The End of Love"), eating disorders ("Hunger"), there is the delightful "100 Years".  All of these combine to bring High as Hope together in a beautiful package.

On the flip side, it could be argued that this album feels too safe without the anthemic feeling to every song.  To be honest, that's fine by me.  It's about time for an album from F+tM that feels gentle, that soothes the spirit and aids in the healing process.  It is because of this feeling of connection and love that I have fallen under the charms of this record.  Is it one I would play every day?  Not really, but it's one that I admire and respect.  High as Hope is not the Florence + the Machine album people might have been hoping for, but it's the one that they needed.

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

Top track - 100 Years

You can purchase High as Hope on Amazon here.

You can visit the Florence + The Machine website here. 

You can follow the activities of Florence + The Machine on Facebook here.

You can stream High as Hope on Spotify here.

You can stream High as Hope on Deezer here.

You can stream High as Hope on Tidal here.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever hail from Melbourne, Australia, they were formed in 2013 and their current line up consists of Fran Keaney (vocals, guitar), Tom Russo (vocals, guitar), Joe White (vocals, guitar), Joe Russo (bass) and Marcel Tussie (drums).  I first heard them when I was researching for songs to play on my radio show, Attention Please on NE1FM.  The first song I heard was “French Press”, taken from The French Press EP (2017).  This was a fantastic number, reminding me of The Brian Jonestown Massacre with their love of Power Pop jams.  The French Press EP has since become a bit of a cult classic, one which seems to grow in stature all the time.  Hope Downs is their debut album, released on 15th June 2018 via Sub Pop Records.  From all corners of the globe, the praise for this album has been deafening.  The only way it could possibly be more scene is to add two-man buns and a beard to the cover photo, as it seems like the hipster press are falling over themselves to sing it praises the loudest.  For me, I’m just hoping for something on it as good as “French Press” on it. So, how has it turned out?

Hope Downs is a short affair to say the least, coming in at thirty-six minutes and consisting of ten tracks.  It would be fair to say that the band have kept it short and to the point.  The fact that they have done this means that there is no overexposure to their sound, it's a relatively short, sharp album (in their particular style).  Hope Downs is a fast-paced album, full of youthful energy and lacking the trappings of experience.  Songs such as “Time in Common” and “Talking Straight” best represent this point, with a freedom that is refreshing.  Other tracks such as “Cappuccino City” and “How Long?” sound like dusk on a summer night, full of possibilities and mystery.  “How Long?” also reminds me a bit of Kurt Vile, with that droning quality that latches onto you and will not let go.

Because of its short length, Hope Downs leaves the listener wanting more.  To be honest, you almost wish that they had have added a few extra songs, which is a rare occurrence for me these days.  If there is one drawback, it would be that I would have like to have heard a tiny piece of variety to the album, just to add texture to this album.   Not that I’m complaining to be honest, RBCF have created a great record here, one that is cementing itself in my summer soundtrack.  I guess the only thing I’m worried about is Hope Downs turning out to be a summer romance in a way.  I have my doubts that it will it still hold its charms in the short light of winter if I'm honest.  But who knows on that front, that's a question for the future.  What I can say is that Hope Downs is a well-rounded debut full-length album, albeit a bit one-dimensional in places.

8 out of ten – Now, you have my attention as well as my money, time and heart.

The Chewers - Downhill Calendar

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about The Chewers.  Not because they've come back with a new record, Downhill Calendar.  No, I've been thinking about them as I've been missing some musical chaos in my life.  It's been over two years since their last album, Live at Exit/In and another year extra since Dead Dads (our reviews can be found here).  In that time, their absence has been growing in my heart.  Mainly because I need crazy in my life and The Chewers are up there with the most certifiable of them.  

From the first moment I heard them, I fell in love/was pulled into the mire by their tone, their images and their ability to be on the left-hand path of everything that was happening musically in the world.  Their ability to create music that sounds sinister and fascinating has always been their biggest calling card.  So, I've been awaiting another dose of The Chewers and finally, they've released it, how has it turned out?

Musically, Downhill Calendar is (for want of a better turn of phrase) a polished version of their unique sound.  Now, I'm not saying that they've toned down their maverick tenacity.  To be honest, if anything they've turned that up a notch or ten. However, you can hear the difference between Downhill Calendar and their previous releases.  The sound is clearer, crisper if you will.  The production behind the album is sharper, there has been a huge leap in confidence.  The best examples of this are evident on "Skin Stay Thin", "Frankie's Downhill Calendar", "Rat Belly", in fact - you can hear it on all eight tracks of Downhill Calendar.  With belief comes confidence and passion, The Chewers are showcasing everything that makes them special and unique on this album.

Are there any drawbacks?  Well, at this point I try to play devil's advocate and give a balanced opinion of a record.  But saying as The Chewers are slightly unbalanced, I don't think I'll bother.  Mainly because this is a brilliant album, with its maverick spirit that possess the trinity of Primus, the droning tone of Wahella (without the metal) and the originality of themselves, they are on a winner here.  Downhill Calendar is a neat package of noise, drone and bat crap crazy sound.  I cannot tell you how much I love this album, it's another joyful trip into the unknown and beyond.  Welcome back The Chewers, we've missed you!

10 out of ten - This is proof there is a deity

Top track - Frankie's Downhill Calendar

You can purchase Downhill Calendar on The Chewers Bandcamp page here.

You can purchase Downhill Calendar on Amazon here.

You can follow the activities of The Chewers on Facebook here.

You can stream Downhill Calendar on Spotify here.

You can stream Downhill Calendar on Deezer here.

You can stream Downhill Calendar on Tidal here.

You can stream Downhill Calendar on Tidal here.

18 July 2018

Addie Brik - I Have a Doctor on Board

Addie Brik is an American artist who currently resides in Scotland, she relocated to the UK in the late 90's and has been building a steady career after being found by Peter Gabriel via a demo many moons ago.  This discovery ended up (in part) leading to a deal with Geffen records, as well as collaborations/co-writes with artists such as Fishbone, Sugarhill Gang, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wendy & Lisa and many more.  To be honest, I only really heard about her when I received a press release from a PR company.  However, I have to say that I was impressed by the sound of the record, as well as the title.

I Have a Doctor on Board is her twelfth release (by counting the releases on her website), it was recorded in Glasgow, wrote in a small flat looking at the Firth of Clyde.  The album is based on conversations that Addie Brik had with an inventor and a lifeboat captain in Scotland, the record puts technology in a sailboat with songs about freedom, curiosity and community.   It is also influenced by the Scottish coastline which Ms Brik's calls home.  To be honest, I find that level of detail fascinating.  To have an artist research her work, submerge herself into the work with this details is something I applaud before I even look at the music.  But that is what we are here for, to look at the album and find out how it sounds.

Firstly, I could make some very lazy assumptions about this album by the first few songs.  Because of the use of multi-layered vocals on this album, it has a sound akin to Tori Amos/Kate Bush in places vocally.  But that would be disrespectful to Ms Brik, who has an individual voice which has a depth of its own and brings passion and warmth to these songs.  Once you start to look at this record without those preconceptions and comparisons to other artists, you free the record and it transforms into something else.

Next, you look at the music itself.  Broadly speaking, there is a mixture of folk, dream pop and indie on I Have a Doctor on Board.  Songs such as "Velocity Made Good", "Birding", "Cape Flyaway" (my personal favourite) and the much heralded "Belly" are fine examples of an artist in full control of her vision on this album.  Whilst I was listening to this before I read the press release in depth, you could feel a nautical theme to the album.  The songs can be as gentle, but suddenly turn violent, much like the sea.  You can hear that in each of the songs, it's embedded into the record.  I also love the ordering of this album, you can lose yourself for hours on end on this record, with each song wiping away the worries of the day.

Are there any negatives here?  To be honest, anything I put here would be superficial.  I would be looking for arguments which don't exist.  It is a gentle record, a calming and soothing album, one that has a strong will and passion underneath it.  Over the next few days and weeks, I'm going to make an effort to check out Addie Brik's back catalogue as this is a fantastic introduction to this artist.  I Have a Doctor on Board is an album that keeps giving after each spin, revealing more about itself all the time.  I might regret later on in the year not giving this a higher mark, but I do recommend you go out and purchase this now.

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

Top track - Cap Flyaway

You can purchase I Have a Doctor on Board on Amazon here.

You can visit the Addie Brik website here. 

You can follow the activities of Addie Brik on Facebook here. 

You can stream I Have a Doctor on Board on Spotify here. 

You can stream I Have a Doctor on Board on Deezer here. 

You can stream I Have a Doctor on Board on Tidal here.

9 July 2018

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

I think that regular readers of this blog might say I can be prone to what some might call “knee-jerk” reactions.  Some would also say it takes me an eternity to post anything, but that is down work life/blog life/real life balance.  But sometimes it’s best to take a step away from something you want to talk about, to let it breathe and expand in your mind.  I decided to do this with Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino.  The latest Arctic Monkeys record has been controversial to say the least, the critics and fans have been having a field day with it, loving and hating it in equal measure.  To be honest, the last time I saw a reaction like this was when Morbid Angel released Illud Divinum Insanus.  It has been that hostile in place, but it’s also been interesting to be outside the debate.

Cards on the table time - apart from a few songs, I’ve never been the biggest follower of the Sheffield lads.  They’ve always been a band that seems to be name-dropped by everyone and have the odd good tune.  But I’ve never thought of them as the saviours of rock ‘n’ roll, they just always been filed under “decent, if unimaginative” in my mind.  But you cannot say that they’ve played it by the book on Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino. If anything, the book is on fire and now it's anyone's guess at their next move.
For Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, they have pretty much-flipped styles and went lounge.  The noise indie kids of old are gone, in its place is a Las Vegas lounge and a few martinis on the side.  The first time I heard it, I thought it might be a joke album, a fake release to throw people off the scent of their new record.  But sure enough, upon checking it on various streaming platforms, they’ve gone and done it.

Firstly, I applaud this ballsy move.  No matter what I think of this record, good or bad, I love it when this happens.  When a major artist is ready to do something that sends them into the left field of their own sound, that's a joy to witness.  The nerves required for this sort of thing or gigantic, you can easily fuck everything up that you’ve worked for, so bravo for that.  Secondly, to release this sort of album in the age of clone pop, where sounding similar to the heard is a safe way to fame is difficult to get right.  One slip, you're done.  Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino has a lot of things going against it from the beginning.

Musically, the jazz lounge indie sound is passable, even interesting in places.  Take “Four out of Five”, it’s so stylistic that the ghost of Bowie is wondering how to add it to his next album.  “American Sport” is an example of a song which suits this style.  It oozes sophistication, finesse and style to the nth degree.

But this is not all fun and games, sometimes it feels very heavy fisted.  “The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip” sounds hammy as hell, the title track sounds as if singer Alex Turner is going to fall over his words at any given moment, “She Looks Like Fun” sounds forced and unnatural in places.  These might be growing pains if this is the permanent direction for the band, but they are being played on a grand stage, so they come under the microscope with greater clarity.  At times, Mr Turner seems to want to add a thousand words when a few words would have sufficed.  This leads to a feeling of overkill in places, as if the idea has been over thought and it feels a little jaded because of this.

Musically as well, I am prepared to admit the style of this album is not something I would reach for in the first instance, and this album has not changed that opinion.  I’ve not been so big on songs that sound like they could only be used in a Lounge or a Femme Fatale film, one that is in grainy black & white.  I don’t hate it, to be honest, it’s the most interesting record that the Arctic Monkeys have ever released.  It’s so many people talking, trying to say they either hate it or they were always a lounge fan.  At the end of the day, the album has gained a reaction and that's the endgame really.  But I still must give props for the Arctic Monkeys having the balls to releasing this record.  That is one hell of a thing to do and I respect them more for it, let's see if they have the courage to follow their conviction on their next record.

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

Ghost - Prequelle

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve always had a soft spot for the Satanic branch of the Salvation Army (my cheeky name for Ghost).  Their first three albums are three of my favourite hard rock records, they are full of OTT drama, attitude and a fanatical devotion to him downstairs.  Now, whilst I’m not a Satanist myself, the music of Ghost has always been on the mark.  But we find Ghost at a crossroads so to speak (this review might be pun-heavy, I’m sorry).  After the release of Meilora (you can read our review here), the band fell apart as their identities were revealed due to a court case between Tobias Forge and his former unnamed ghouls.  The court battle has been dirty, to say the least, accusations of unfair dismissal and claims of hire hands being thrown both ways.  For an outsider, it’s been entertaining, if not a little sad to witness a band tearing itself apart.

However, Forge has found himself some new unnamed ghouls to back him under his new persona, Cardinal Copia.  So, everything changed, but it's also the same?  Well, that is the question here.  At the very heart of this album, if they admitted or not, is a band trying to find its identity again.  They are also trying to prove that this is essentially a solo project for Forge and he can make the music without original members Martin Persner, Simon Söderberg, Mauro Rubino, Martin Hjertstedt and Henrik Palm.  This is a release that will either cement them or sink them, so which is it going to be?

Musically, Ghost have moved on towards the 80’s hair metal phase of their existence and away from that 70’s progressive sound, they started with.  “See the Light” could have been for the most part on a Whitesnake album, “Miasma” is a song that I fully expect to hear on the next Top Gun movie, “Witch Image” is Bon Jovi at their 80’s best.  They’ve changed their style, but to be honest, this was hinted at on their Popestar EP which was released in 2016.  It’s not their biggest jump, it’s been long coming, but the transformation from their earlier form is now complete.

And yet, I still find myself liking some of it.  “Miasma” might be an 80’s classic in the making, but it’s also one of the finest instrumentals you’ll hear outside of an old ELP record or Rush collection.  “Faith” has one of the most OTT introductions since “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” from Meilora.  Ghost are still masters of the macabre drama, shouting the praises of their father below as loud as possible.

I think the main thing here is, and will always be, to decide if the album is any good.  The answer to this is no.  Here are the pro’s: Ghost have not lost the knack of writing a great tune, even after losing four-fifths of their line up.  So that is a positive straight away.  Also, they use familiar riffs to their other material, so you never feel like it’s been a wholesale change.  Here are the con’s: they are further away from the horror of old, now they are at the commercial end of their journey.  The more shine that has been added, the more mystic that has been stripped away.  A band which is so heavily based in the acts of Satan tends to thrive under the macabre, so the commercial sheen will lose it some of its original fan base.  I don’t think for a moment that they care, but that is for time to tell.

Overall, Prequelle is a disappointment and that is really the end of it.   Ghost are starting to sound tired, the OTT lyrics now sound clichéd now, the joke is over.  To be honest, their journey should have ended with their spectacular live album, Ceremony & Devotion which was released last year.  That was a fantastic document of the band at the height of its power, this is purgatory.  There is nothing here which really warrant more than one listen, which is something I would never have thought I would have said about Ghost.  It’s not the worst album I've heard, it’s just soulless and lacking spirit.

5 out of ten – Not for everyone, but played well.

Top song – Miasma

Asylums - Alien Human Emotions

The word "retro" can be a very subjective thing.  One person's brand new and shiny is another's yesterday.  For me, Asylums are a retro band, creating a sound that I first heard in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Listening closely to their sound, I hear bands like Ride, The Charlatans, Sonic Youth, early Soul Asylum and others in their sound.  I’m not saying that Asylums have been influenced by these bands, but they share a sound palate with them at the very least.   There is also a slice of Power Pop to their tone, one which I have only heard with Teenage Fanclub (especially on “Homeowners Guilt”).  Based on the above, I could easily be very lazy here.  I could make cliched assumptions about the band, but I won't do that.  I like to give each act or artist an equal chance, which they fully deserve.  Each new band is trying to make their own way into the world, creating a new noise for themselves.  So, even if they sound like the bands from my youth, I’ve got to put that pre-judgemental away and look at this as a new piece of art. 

Alien Human Emotions is the follow up to Killer Brain Waves. It's an ultra-heavy indie album, one which is kicking against the pricks of the chart bothers.  With this sound, they are probably one of the only ways to rebel in popular music these days, by sounding slightly heavy in your chosen field.  Songs like “When We Wake Up” and “Napalm Bubblegum” are kick ass anthems for the jaded, they are not satisfied with how things are turning out.  There is a punk attitude with indie sensibilities, a winning combination in my book.  They can also slow things down, such as on the politically motivated “Homeowners Guilt” or the potent “Millennials” which sounds heavy and beautiful in places.  Also, ending track “The Company You Keep” is a brilliant piece, ending the album on a calming note and showing an understand of track ordering beyond their years.

The more I've listened to Alien Human Emotions, the further under the surface I've tried to go.  The main thing I keep coming back to with this record is the style of Asylums.  For me, the greatest strength of Alien Human Emotions could possibly be their biggest weakness as well.  To be frank, I am hearing a lot of heavy hitters on this record, a lot of talent as well. The songs on Alien Human Emotions are songs that other artists would kill for.  These are songs which are easy on the ear, with a little fuzz around the edges.  That's great and really speaks to me.  Yet there is also nothing here that creates conflict or another other than established parameters.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it makes me think about the future of Asylums.  It makes me wonder if (and this is an if) they ever released an album of just slower number, or changed style slightly, would their audience be onboard?

However, that is just me looking for a negative and trying to be balanced with this review a little.  Overall though, Alien Human Emotions is a blast for me, it’s one of those albums which sounds like the angry youth trying to make their own new noise.  Yes, for me it sounds like I've heard it before, but that does not mean it's not new for them.  I like the fact it's fuzzy, I like the noise, I like their style.  If Asylums do make a third album, I will be reviewing it straight away with eager interest.  Alien Human Emotions is a colourful piece of Indie/Punk/Power Pop.  With this record, they should have people jump around like loons at their show, as well as make grumpy old farts like myself reminisce as well.

8 out of ten – Oh, now you have my attention, as well as my time, money and heart

Top track – When We Wake Up

Past sermons

Greatest hits