Weekly Capsule Reviews – 27/03/2016


This week: Amon Amarth, Charles Bradley, Glitterbust, The Range, Baauer, Nada Surf, Robert Pollard, SBTRKT, ZAYN, The Altered Hours, Young Thug

Amon Amarth – Jomsviking (25/03/2016 – Metal Blade Records)

Their first “concept” album – some viking lad wants to marry a lovely viking lady, can’t, kills a viking lad by mistake, has to flee, and swears revenge to win the viking lady back. Sounds like all Scandinavian death metal to me. (7/10)

Charles Bradley – Changes (01/04/2016 – Daptone Records/Dunham Records)

One of the most unlikely music stories you’ll ever see/hear. Hard roads, hard life, hard graft, and a hard voice to go with it. Charles loves his US self, he loves love, and he loved/loves those hard times. James Brown is hard to come by these days, and so’s Black Sabbath. (7/10)

Glitterbust – Glitterbust (04/03/2016 – Burger Records)

I did enjoy this piece of experimental irritation from the duo of malcontents. Even the vocal sounds, too. (7/10)

The Range – Potential (25/03/2016 – Domino Recording Company)

Everyone was raving about this – it begins with the “I-nearly-didn’t-make-it-but-in-the-end-I-did” spiel, like all wannabe electronic heroes should start their albums. Some classy beats lie within like “Florida” and “Skeptical”, but the samples are mostly weak and lack cohesion. That doesn’t stop it from being your stereotypical nice listen though, does it? (7/10)

Baauer – Aa (18/03/2016 – LuckyMe)

Our “Harlem Shake” hero returns with his debut album. Will the curse of that Internet explosion hang over him forever more? (6/10)

Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are (04/03/2016 – Barsuk Records/City Slang)

More emo-isms with plenty of melody, plenty of adorable jangle, and plenty of bite. (6/10)

Robert Pollard – Of Course You Are (25/03/2016 – Fire Records)

The Guided by Voices frontman offers up some good hearty rock songs. And he’s never afraid to show off that voice of his, whether we want it or not. (6/10)

SBTRKT – SAVE YOURSELF (25/03/2016 – SAVE YOURSELF (self-released)) – (Album Project)

A surprise project out of nowhere from UK post-dubstep aficionado Aaron Jerome. Not much of a shock or a surprise it turns out to be. (6/10)

ZAYN – Mind of Mine (Deluxe Edition) (25/03/2016 – RCA Records)

A solid effort from One Direction outcast, Zayn Malik. The shy falsettos are not akin to the extrovert content for the most part where I would like some more bite in the middle as an accoutrement. Yet this is definitely a more, forgive me, “edgy” approach to what One Direction are/were conjuring up. Shielding it from the echelons of a higher grade is the slightly skewed and confused subject matter – “He won’t love you like I would” meets “I just want to watch you when you take it off” – merged with the introvert falsettos and extrovert proclamations. Go for the deluxe edition. (6/10)

The Altered Hours – In Heat Not Sorry (29/01/2016 – Art for Blind Records/Penske Recordings)

Cork’s very own swooners of doom. Adding everything to the current music pot – post-punk revival, dream-pop, neo-psychedelia – and breaking each of these elements down leaves you in a state of awe over the drab and unholy nothingness of their requiem. Disappointing – they’re good live and their early output was more playful. Check out “Sweet Jelly Roll”. (5/10)

Young Thug – Slime Season 3 (25/03/2016 – 300 Entertainment/YSL Records/Atlantic Records) – (Mixtape)

This is the final instalment of the Slime Season series. I’m Up didn’t tickle my fancy at all and neither does this. At times the beats are interesting but the sad state of affairs is the beats are always more interesting than this guy’s words of wisdom. His proclamations legitimise the opinions of the gangsta rap critics out there. Why? Well, just listen, he lines up the stereotype beautifully. And if he thinks his overwhelming myriad of corny content is worthy of dozens of mixtapes, he better think again. (5/10)


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