Weekly Capsule Reviews – 05/06/2016


This week: Kristin Kontrol, Whitney, The Kills, The Strokes, Ladyhawke

Kristin Kontrol – X-Communicate (27/05/2016 – Sub Pop Records)

Dum Dum Girls lead gal showing her Siouxsie Sioux niceties with a dance sprinkle. The guitar is that of the early-’80s indie scene she loves so dear. Kind of sounds like Dum Dum Girls, really. There are some nostalgic goodies in here – “Show Me” is watery (very) X-Ray Spex, “X-Communicate” is dance-floor Madonna, “Face 2 Face” is Gang of Four less the rickety and clangy production (the first three Gang of Four albums, that is). (8/10)

Whitney – Light Upon the Lake (03/06/2016 – Secretly Canadian)

What I love most about this is its authenticity. More optimistic than Big Star and more down-to-earth than any of these indie folksters. I hear the Eagles less the pretensions, and I hear fun. Did I just say that? Me? (8/10) [Dorney’s Top Records of 2016: #7]

The Kills – Ash & Ice (03/06/2016 – Domino Recording Company)

The number of instruments which Jamie “Hotel” Hince is “playing” is off-putting. But the drums stand out as they meticulously attempt to glue and consolidate the over-meticulous production. The rhythm section stands alone yet tries its best to keep flow with the monotone noise. It does it brilliantly and upped the grade. (7/10)

The Strokes – Future Present Past (03/06/2016 – Cult Records) – (EP)

I get why you don’t like it, I really do. And I question why I semi-like it myself. The change in direction is needed but maybe not as crass as “Drag Queen”. The vocals are grating and the guitar is sickly overworked. In fact that goes for the rest of the EP. But there’s something about Casablancas’ effervescent baritone vocal concoctions that are almost disgustingly refreshing among the mess, even in that remix, which funnily enough is my favourite track on the EP. Problem? (7/10)

Ladyhawke – Wild Things (03/06/2016 – Polyvinyl Recording Co.)

Making choons she thinks are too sophisticated for the ten-year-olds yet playing the stereotype anyway. She seems to know what the modern-day “enlightened” ones like to sing about—love and lads with shed-loads of money. Heard it before, too often. (5/10)


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