Weekly Capsule Reviews – 15/05/2016


This week: Wire, Rob Zombie, James Blake, The Field

Wire – Nocturnal Koreans (22/04/2016 – Pinkflag/swim ~ (self-released))

Still as hectoring as ever – many say this band is stuck in its old nervous self, yet the electronics are soothing and calming when the guitar doesn’t want to be. Colin Newman is as quietly cynical as ever, but his cynicism is well met with the calmed production and more arid state. Like it is any way they present their art, I will admit. (7/10)

Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (29/04/2016 – Zodiac Swan Records/T-Boy Records/Universal Music Enterprises)

In the spirit of silliness I enjoyed this little piece of disgraceful malevolence. The malicious lyrics are even funnier when you take out the over-produced vocal enhancements – he sounds like a country singer (“The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God”). Hopefully everyone will start fucking in a UFO – we might conjure up a nicer species on planet Earth. (7/10)

James Blake – The Colour in Anything (06/05/2016 – Polydor Records/Republic Records)

Everyone positively raving about an alt-folkster isn’t anything new, especially when it’s as drawn out as this. There was very little cohesion, and as competent as it is I couldn’t stand its weary drivel and its natural nature to remain bereft of anything worthy of something really new or enlightening in pop. Is it new-folk or new-pop? Trying to be neither, or trying to be both? The layered and loopy vocals on “Points” were attempting to add substance to nothing. And you know where that usually goes. Like ANOHNI, the voice tries to outdo some sections, yet HOPELESSNESS tackles issues with the spirit of uplifting beats in disastrous situations (“4 DEGREES”) when Hegarty decides to go along with it. Occasionally the beats here add a beam of light (“Timeless”), I will say. This is mostly doing something but saying nothing. (6/10)

The Field – The Follower (01/04/2016 – Kompakt)

Another one of these? Really? Repetitious beats galore, but not the very good ones. Just fine. I zoned out so much and when I zoned back in I realised I was only halfway through a near eleven-minute loop. The darkness I can imagine enjoying in a dingy club in the early ’90s. I hope that’s what he was going for. (6/10)


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