Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January Album Reviews

LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening (DFA, Virgin)




I can't believe this band has escaped me until now. This Is Happening is the third and purportedly final album from American singer songwriter James Murphy. The album was recorded over the course of 2009 and early 2010 in the famed Mansion. April saw the release of the first official single "Drunk Girls" with an amazing music video directed by the one and only Spike Jonze.

It's kinda dirty and a whole lot of fun - what more can you really ask for?


Gaslight Anthem - American Slang (SideOneDummy Records)




There was a lot of buzz before the release of the New Jersey groups third studio album. Singer sonwriter Brian Fallon wanted to move away from the "59's sound" that had lumped them into some kind of American revivalists box and what he delivered was just that.

American Slang is an awesome album, upbeat yet introspective without becoming blustery and self righteous. Ringing tones of Springsteen and driving as fast as you can are all over, it's tough as leather and as comfortable as worn in boots.



Against Me! - White Crosses (Sire Records)




Just showing that you can't keep a good thing down, Againt Me!'s 5th studio album was leaked online three months before it's targeted release date. Tom Gabel, vocals and guitar, responded by saying there was "no drama" and then posted the lyrics soon after.

The album itself is a much matured offering with the band being accused of "selling out" by some fans. Highlights include the title track "White Crosses" and "I was a teenage anarchist".



Bullet For My Valentine - Fever (Jive)

Being a fan of heavy metal gives me the Thor given right to be it's biggest critic and until now I have not liked BFMV. I thought they were lost in a sea of Iron Maiden inspired hair straightener. So it was with long teeth that I started to listen to their third studio album, Fever and I can say that I'm pleasently surprised.

Producer Don Glimor (Duran Duran & Rob Zombie) deserves honourable mention for his amazing guitar tones, the album hits hard and if sing along anthem rock is your thing then Fever will not disappoint. It's not my album of 2010 but it deserves a mention. Stand out track: "Alone".



Electric Wizard - Black Masses (Rise Above)




After 15 years, it's doom metals toughest act to follow brings us a juggernaught of an album. It's been described as a "down-tuned psychrock wall of sound" and an "ambient scarefest" but to me it's a lot more accesable than previous installments.

The Dorset based metalers remained true to their genre, grinding out cannabis and Lovecraft inspired doom tunes, it is not for the feint of heart. Black Masses is the bands 7th album and first with new bassist Tas Danazoglou.

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