Posts Tagged ‘album review’

Gid Sedgwick – “Ochos” Album Review

June 16, 2018

Why why why do I like this?  Reasons I should not like it include that I’m not the biggest modern pop fan… that it kinda reminds me of electronica (which can be pretty boring compared to the sound of unrefined undiluted noisy electric guitars, or the techno of my youth).  It kinda reminds me of 80s sound I hate (I love some 80s pop records, detest others… it’s the darker stuff I tend to hate).  But I do really like it.

It’s chilled electronica, well produced, just works.  Opening track Ochos features one of my favourite things in music – when the singer tries to fit far too many syllables into each line.  It’s not just Ochos to be fair, it’s a bit of a habit Gid Sedgwick has and I love it.  Call Em Up is probably the most laid back track on the album… nice enough but probably my least favourite.  Maybe it needs something a bit more edgy in place of the piano?

Back to form on Paper Clip… so laid back, so little to it, so right.

Two Up To The Rich is back to the too many syllables thing in a big way… it’s kinda the sweet spot between singing and the lyrical flow that a rapper might employ.  Great track when it kicks in.  Substance Sustenance… so laid back, so little to it, so right.

All the songs are pretty damn catchy, not least Hearing You So Well.  WTF do I know about music?  Nothing.  I do know, however, that getting this much energy into a song is a pretty impressive achievement, especially given I can’t identify quite how it’s there.

Born Bored Kids could almost be Aphex Twin, in it’s fucked up beats (massively compliment), but this is pop.  The stuttery synth sound works perfectly.

Saw something on the NME website that compared Gid to The 1975, M83 and The Weeknd.  I did some checking, by reference to two songs each from each band –

The Weeknd Call Out My Name is fucking shit compared to anything on Ochos.  The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk “I Feel It Coming” ditto.  Gid’s vocal style is infinitely more interesting, and Gid’s music much less obvious.

The 1975 – Give Yourself A Try has a really cool repeated guitar riff, but other than it’s so nothingy.  And the singer of The 1975 comes across as one of the biggest twats on the planet, totally unlike Gid.  Girls – drop that Mustang from the video – it is a legal requirement of bands to be better than this if they wanna play Mustangs.  It’s kinda OK, but lacks a depth that Gid has.

M83 – OK, I admit it, I only listened to one song and my brain tuned it out totally so I can only assume “boring shit”.

Album on Spotify here –

Follow Gid here –

Interview With Gid here –


Space Church – Songs To Punch Nerds To

September 4, 2016

I’ll be honest, when I first listened to “… Punch Nerds… ” I wasn’t very impressed… it seemed to lack the maelstrom of heavy quasi-psychedelic fury that I’d taken from seeing them live.  On second listen I was absolutely loving it.


If a band blows me away with a sonic assault – like Space Church can do live – I’ll just go with it.  But if they don’t then I get thinking, and I like to understand where the band’s coming from, what they’re trying to do.  And – to make this into a a weird geography analogy – whilst Space Church are coming from a country I know and love, their home town is actually a little bit off the beaten track and I’ve never really even been close.  I don’t know the local customs.

Overall I think the three key points to take from the album are these.

(1)  They love Slint, the overall vibe and feel.

(2)  They really don’t give a fuck – musical tangents are not to be feared by Hopkins, Markwick and Nixon.  There is practically nothing about this album what makes me think there is any sort of agenda beyond making the album that they wanted to make.

(3)  Whilst they don’t sound like Sonic Youth they do have that old SY ability to make music which is clearly in no small part experimental, whilst also just ticking along in a really pleasant, easy-on-the-ear way.  A band that sound even less like Space Church who share this ability are Fugazi.  I like Fugazi.  Not that all the music that any of these bands make is easy on the ear, just that they can do it and do it well.

[Author’s Note – Slint are a band I’m only just starting to get my head around, and I am only doing so because Space Church class them as an influence.]

The guitars at the start of Ships are really nice.  Really nice.  They get less nice (but as great if not greater) after a couple of minutes when the drums decide to turn the song upside-down and shake the change out of the guitar’s trouser pockets.  Definitely a stand out track.  If I say I like the first bit best, then the middle bit next best, and the last bit last best it sounds like the song gets worse, but it actually gets better as the minutes pass.  How does that work?!?!?

Punk spirit.  Post-punk at times, definitely, but theirs is a very American sound.  I’m thinking the stomp of Snowballs.  A song that fades out to sitars and trumpets.  Go work that one out.

The guitars at the start (not the very start) of from (Don’t Let) Cuba In are the sort of rock n roll that I have heard described as proto-punk thing that I love, hitting the perfect balance between rocking and falling apart.  Proto-punk?  Do I mean proto-grunge, this kinda reminds me of Flipper?  This song breaks the mould by not completely changing half way through, though it does come close.

Banjo Song starts with nice bass, then drums and a fairly clean, low key guitars, and then spoken vocals.  Then something else happens then there’s one of those guitar lines Phil does that kinda mixes alt with a dollop of something much more classic rock, gives a nod and a wink, and is simultaneously utter class and a total piss-take.

And another thing.  It helps when there is nothing about a band that’s a bit crap.  Individually the guitar, bass and drums are all interesting at worst, superb at best.  I have no idea the range of Phil’s vocal talents – he pretty much sticks an almost spoken vocal style with added yelps and screams… it all works well and there’s ain’t no sign of the dodgy just-about-singer who ruins many a band.

Chlorine is not a song.  It is a bassline, some bonkers drums and a bit of scratchy feedback.  It is also Breaking Bad.  Chemistry teacher plus drugs.

Glue Factory lollops along under some superbly understated by unhinged drumming with some proper lazy guitar noodling, then the spoken word bit, then repeat.  Then the Miami 1980 part… why am I even trying to describe this.

That’s it, not every song can get a paragraph.  In the unlikely even that you really need more going on in an album than I have talked about above then you’ll likely find it in the song that has the most punk and most ambient moments on the album, or the longest song on the album.

Don’t expect pop songs, they are nowhere to be seen in this desolate post-rock landscape.  And it does give a feel of wide open desert, maybe at dusk… which is weird cos really the album is a lot more like a bustling City with all sorts of weird and wonderful (but mainly weird) people, some loud, some quiet, entering and exiting your life in quick succession.

Its overtly yet low-key batshit crazy.  It is fucking nuts, but in a quite understated way.  WTF.

If you like post-rock, or old school US alt-rock, or just weird shit, then buy this record.  And check ’em out live.

Buy it on Bandcamp

Review: Future Of The Left “Travels With Myself and Another”

August 15, 2009

Review:  Future Of The Left “Travels With Myself and Another”

Excellent, heavy, alternative rock band release second album.  Features all their numerous qualities, but sounds relatively weak on first listen.  Quick grower however and proves to be a great second effort.

Or I could take slightly longer over this review I suppose.

A slightly spooky riff fades in against a hi hat; drums and rim shots come in gently and WHAM, “Come on, Rick, I’m not a prize, I’m not a cynic or one of those guys”, and the fun really starts.

Blasts of distorted guitar chords spit out then chime towards orbit.  Drums fill the gaps, Falkous shouts.  Songs lack much of the familiarity that nods to a traditional rock heritage would supply.  Short riffs repeat as they might in techno, or like a sample might loop.

The lyrics combine nonsense (to the listener at any rate), humour, politics, wordplay and anger.   They know how to give a song a title.  “Drink Nike”, “Lapsed Catholics” and “The Hope That House Built” all, I think, deal with religion, which to my mind is politics.  The latter is one of the highlights of the album.  A childishly simply riff is joined by some sort of stalking psychobilly, before it turns into a military stomp, interrupted only by another, this time distorted, child’s riff / scale “Come join, come join our hopeless cause, Come join, come join our lost cause”.  Verse two invites us to “re-imagine God as just a mental illness”

Sure, they’re not totally original – ripping off McLusky is outrageous – but they are pretty unique.  Ugly unique.

Synths when they appear do not take the music in easier directions, rather they ratchet the noise up when the guitar refuses to do so.  The backing vocals are spot on.

I am Civil Service” picks the pace up again, and the riffs stay simple as fuck, until the chorus, which is a hint that FOTL could be a normal band if they wanted to.  Just about the only hint we get.

Land Of My Formers” is in many ways a particularly belligerent version of Krautrock.  Fuck, this shit is mean as hell, but it’s life affirming with it.  This is the sort of stuff, along with Misifts and Black Flag that can guide me through the morning rush hour, safely, sanity intact, ready to face a day at work

It ain’t chilled vocals about a sunset on Ibiza that makes the next track less aggressive than many of the others.  When Future Of The Left ease off it is generally a reduction in the volume (height by width by depth, not loudness) of the guitars, as on “You Need Satan More Than He Needs You” rather than any fundamental change in tempo or vocal style.   “That Damn Fly”, though, actually has a guitar line that doesn’t seem to want to kill you.

After the revelation that “Emma’s mum and dad use plastic knives and forks” they kinda hint at the sort of track that the Stranglers might have written 30 years ago, a big compliment by the way, with a couple of interplaying keyboard lines.

After an almost-acoustic guitar riff starts “Lapsed Catholics”, it is joined by the vocals –

Whose prison break is the most impressive?
I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go Tim Robbins in Jacob’s Ladder.
Such patience, such verve and poise,
But wait a minute, shit, that’s the wrong film.
Morgan Freeman would roll in his grave, if he were dead,
Which he nearly was, if you believe the hysterical gung-ho Technicolor crapfest
That is Sky News, or Murdoch live, or whatever the hell the devil calls himself.
Sky News, or Murdoch live, or whatever the hell the devil calls himself

But just before you’re ready to think that they’re going soft a keyboard riff ups the ante, the drums kick in and, not-metaphorically speaking, it quite literally happens, all hell breaks loose.  20 seconds of acoustic and vocals and the fun’s over and you’re ready to GO TO TRACK ONE.

Jerky, aggressive, loud, big, fun, serious.  Catchy, addictive.  I don’t care what you want, this is what you need.