Weekly Capsule Reviews – 06/03/2016


This week: John Cale, Charli XCX, Kendrick Lamar, Loretta Lynn, Hero The Band, Kano, Ray LaMontagne, NA, Esperanza Spalding, Big Ups, Miike Snow, Pinkshinyultrablast, Anvil, Violent Femmes

John Cale – M:FANS (22/01/2016 – Domino Recording Company/Double Six Records)

Another seventy-something diving into his ever-changing paradigm of twenty-first-century electronica. Most of us call it evolving. (8/10)






Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom (26/02/2016 – Vroom Vroom Recordings (self-released)) – (EP)

Adding her witticisms to the bubblegum exterior like a lot of the punks wished they could. (8/10)

Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered. (Compilation) (04/03/2016 – Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records)

Delicious demos from the man who represents African-Americans and the black community like Kanye wishes/thinks he does. (8/10)





Loretta Lynn – Full Circle (04/03/2016 – Legacy Recordings)

As defiant as any self-proclaiming loner in this loved-up world, and good on her after all these years. (8/10)




Hero The Band – BLEACH (01/03/2016 – Nova Love Records)

More electropop, more lovey-dovey proclamations, less guitar. (7/10)

Kano – Made in the Manor (04/03/2016 – Parlophone Records)

Even if anti-Anglophiles feel grime is futile, Kano doesn’t, and won’t. (7/10)


Ray LaMontagne – Ouroboros (04/03/2016 – RCA Records)

Psychedelic folk will like this folk psychedelia. (7/10)



NA – Cellar (02/03/2016 – Fade to Mind) – (EP)

Brings me back to 2010. Skrillex wouldn’t have been shaking in his boots back then. I don’t think he’d be now, either. But I don’t care. (7/10)

Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution (04/03/2016 – Concord Records)

With exceptional exception to the voice, no real hook to draw you in. Unusual with the current surrounds of what Generation Y like to call “contemporary jazz”. (7/10)

Big Ups – Before a Million Universes (04/03/2016 – Tough Love Records/Brace Yourself Records)

Slint fetish, Nirvana fetish, and all your noise fetishes into a nicely produced package. (6/10)

Miike Snow – iii (04/03/2016 – Atlantic Records)

Uninspiring dream and electropop. Sounds familiar. (6/10)

Pinkshinyultrablast – Grandfeathered (26/02/2016 – Club AC30)

Nu-gaze, shoegaze (whatever) was all the craze with the ’90s kids, and sometimes me too. Not quite this. (6/10)

Anvil – Anvil Is Anvil (26/02/2016 – Steamhammer)

Pirate metal is pirate metal. (5/10)

Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything (04/03/2016 – PIAS America)

The folk-punk legends’ first album in sixteen years. Maybe they should’ve left it a little longer. (5/10)

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