Weekly Capsule Reviews: 04/06/2017


This week: ∆ (alt-J), Death Grips, Damien Dempsey, IDLES, Outsider Yp

∆ (alt-J): RELAXER [Infectious, 02/06/2017]

A meaningless “House of the Rising Sun” cover aside, this is pretty tasty stuff. Back-to-basics initiated within their normally overworked (and still-existing) canon, RELAXER is an easier digest. Joe Newman’s cartoon reggae is still as laughably plausible as the serious emulators who think they’re doing the paradigm justice. “Hit Me Like That Snare” is the sexiest they’ve been, “Last Year” is as dejected as they’ve been, and “Adeline” could be as competent as they’ve been. (7/10)

Death Grips: Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber) (EP) [Third Worlds, 22/05/2017]

Still the jibber-jabber coincides within their reckless attraction and still we listen. The electronics add an edge of cohesion, actually. Check 4:52 to 7:19. (7/10)

Damien Dempsey: SOULSUN [Clear/Sony, 26/05/2017]

It’s refreshing to hear someone singing in their own accent, even if it is the intonation of a Dub… I jest. Imelda May decided to go back to her roots and chug out her Dublin diction as well (perhaps that I’m less enthused about). A positive working-class stiff who doesn’t blame his flaws and the flaws of Ireland on the Black and Tans nor the ones still lingering around for the glory days of Britannia past. That still doesn’t prevent a sing-song about them anyway. (7/10)

IDLES: Brutalism [Balley (self-released), 10/03/2017]

Soft hardcore-ists with as much decorum as they’re actually exuding and a blatant disregard for the punks they pretend to sound nothing like. And when I was waiting on bated breath to find if “White Privilege” would be a virtue-signalling exercise or just a social commentary on the platitude as a whole, I’m not sure what we got. Acquiescing to a friend’s “need” for action, Joe Talbot decides to piss in the sink as a warm-up. I’m confused. So are they. (7/10)

Outsider Yp: Alone // Insane // Alive [Outsiders Ent (self-released), 30/04/2017]

A few dreg tracks at the end he can’t have back, so be it. Not anywhere near Mark Mavambu’s first time out; last year’s four-track EP—under the now defunct moniker of Young Phantom—In the Moment was my introduction to the Angolan-Kerryman-Corkman. That was bereft of a lot (maybe originality) and had something (maybe trap-from-Ireland originality). Here his production chops are the highlight, not the liberal subject matter or, most certainly, the flow. The words, full of the usual—college wasn’t for me, stop being racist, et cetera, et cetera. At the moment, he’s refreshing. Not just because it’s something not seen every day for our little island, but he doesn’t go on and on about how he’s one of our adopted own. Some of our diverse, multicultural-ites love to spout it. I won’t mention any names… (7/10)


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