Weekly Capsule Reviews – 13/03/2016


This week: Prince Rama, Adult Books, Poliça, Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place, Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, The Coral, The Feeling, Nicholas Krgovich, La Sera, Låpsley, Tiga, Brian Fallon, The 1975, Jeff Buckley, Dead Stars, M. Ward, Inverloch

Prince Rama – Xtreme Now (04/03/2016 – Carpark Records)

If all gimmicks were as gloriously mindless as this “now age” (yeah…) piece of postmodern pap wouldn’t the world be a better place? The naivety is hooky, catchy, and imperiously contagious. While the samples add nothing in terms of craft, their filler almost feels warranted. (8/10) [Dorney’s Top Records of 2016: #12]

Adult Books – Running from the Blows (04/03/2016 – Lolipop Records/Burger Records)

New Order meets Southern California. More New Order I will happily admit, and so should they. These little post-punk numbers will do nothing to ruffle the feathers of their predecessors on a truly authentic level. But as for the “post-punk revival” tag, they do a pretty good job at emulating what the 2000s kids think they do themselves. (7/10)

Poliça – United Crushers (04/03/2016 – Mom + Pop Music)

Ambient (sometimes), beautiful voice (always)… “political”… The low points are more often than not dull, but the high bits are interesting enough to keep you happy. I hear funk basslines, and I want more. (7/10)

Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place – You’re Doomed. Be Nice. (04/03/2016 – Temporary Residence Ltd.)

Not as gloomy as he thinks and probably wishes. I’d take him over Elliott Smith any day. (7/10)

Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm – Trance Frendz (04/03/2016 – Erased Tapes Records) – (Collaboration)

More Europeans attempting to infiltrate cyberspace. This time through a piano. (6/10)

The Coral – Distance Inbetween (04/03/2016 – Ignition Records)

I bet these lads wish they were as pretentious as Jim Morrison. Not portraying any type of inspirational verse from their Merseyside ancestry, they exude more of what early Spacemen 3 tried and successfully conjured up – loud riffs and hazy vocals. We already have/had Spacemen 3, though. (6/10)

The Feeling – The Feeling (04/03/2016 – Little World Records)

If you think they can’t rock think again, this proves you wrong. I was pleasantly surprised and found myself to enjoy their occasional Bruce Springsteen heartland Americana. Where are they from again? (6/10)

Nicholas Krgovich – The Hills (04/03/2016 – NK World Service/Tin Angel Records)

Pop or, forgive me, “jazz”? Contemporary “jazz” is so saturated in today’s world of kitsch nods to artists’ heroes people like me don’t know what actual jazz is [anymore]. Miles Davis? (6/10)

La Sera – Music for Listening to Music To (04/03/2016 – Polyvinyl Record Co.)

Country punks/pop-ites with head-voice triumphs and a smooth rhythm section. (6/10)

Låpsley – Long Way Home (04/03/2016 – XL Recordings)

Intelligence beyond her very young years, and good on her. We’ve heard it all before but I’ll give her time. (6/10)

Tiga – No Fantasy Required (04/03/2016 – Counter Records)

Deep hypnotism where you feel plenty aware of what he’s doing, and that’s nice. Not many as stylish or brash as this. When the vocals are at the forefront it’s flat, however, which is more often than I’d like. (6/10)

Brian Fallon – Painkillers (11/03/2016 – Island Records)

Anyone who states “I don’t wanna survive, I want a wonderful life” with casual and confident pomp is my kind of guy. Now move on to the music, Brian. (5/10)

The 1975 – i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (26/02/2016 – Dirty Hit/Interscope Records/Polydor Ltd./Vagrant Records)

Nuevo-soul and funksters with as much style and panache as any of the ’70s slicksters. That’s what we said last album, too. (4/10)

Jeff Buckley – You and I (11/03/2016 – Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings) – (Compilation)

Two Smiths covers won’t even sway me, even if this one only barely passes the averred maudlin perspective of the originator. (4/10)

Dead Stars – Bright Colors (04/03/2016 – Weird Tree Records)

Emotional less the emo and Green Day less the tunes and voice. I didn’t say I liked Green Day, though. (4/10)

M. Ward – More Rain (04/03/2016 – Merge Records)

Too obvious to make the link between the title and dreariness of the content, but you know me so I will – this is wet and sappy, and not in that sit-at-home-in-your-PJs kind of way. (4/10)

Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed (04/03/2016 – Relapse Records)

Done to absolute death. Drawn out, repetitive, and no atmosphere in the instrumentation. I’ve learned that this form of music has to have some sort of hook. (2/10)


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