Monday, April 24, 2017

Rough Trade Album Club - April 2017 Pack

April's album was a bit of a surprise. After two growers we received the Big Moon debut, Love int he 4th Dimension, which is a no nonsense indie rock album. Is it good? very! out of the eleven tracks (there are four bonus tunes tacked on to the end but they ruin the record's pace) ten of them can be singles. Not one dull moment and it's a lot of fun. The cd came with a bonus disc and has a terrific cover of Madonna's Beautiful Stranger. 8.5/10 I also got Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales' collaboration, Room 29, A concept album about events which have taken place in hotel Chateau Marmont's room 29., which is famous for it's grand piano. in fact the album itself was recorded there as well. Jarvis Cocker's lyrics on this album are funny and Chilly's playing is excellent. It is a perfect collaboration and so are the end results. 9.5/10 Last was Here Lies Man's self-titled debut. Apparently it's an Antibalas side project and there are elements. Maybe it's a bit rougher but I like it and there's a lot of musical twists and turns. 8/10 Upcoming: May: Mac DeMarco June: London Grammar

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rough Trade Album Club: March 2017 Pack

So this is my second pack from the new Rough Trade Club. As I said before subscribers receive one album and it's up to us to choose the rest. I am stick with the three cd format as it is perfect for my budget. I am noticing that the main cds chosen are growers and March's was no exception. This time it was Holly Macve's Golden Eagle,, Macve is a country musician in a the grand old tradition of Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn.She has the minimalist approach with the yowly voice. Personally it took a while for me to get used to the record but once it clicked, it was on constant rotation. Personally what I liked were the deft touches - despite the minimal approach, there is orchestration but used sparingly and it works well. A solid album 8/10. The bonus disc of covers was a nice accompaniment. The other album was Sleaford Mods, English Tapas. This is totally in my comfort zone as I'm a big fan of the band and the move to Rough Trade Records suited them. I like the way they mix beats with spoken word, although frontman Jason Williams does sing on a couple of tracks. Although they have not compromised their sound, you do feel that there are ambitions to push the sound further. The music is more energetic and clubby. I feel that English tapas may be a turning point for the band. It's also a great introduction to Sleaford Mods if you've never heard them before. 8.5/10. The last album is Grandaddy's Last Place. Again I was in my comfort zone. I'm a huge fan of that sort of orchestral pop in That sort of Sparklehorse/Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev vein and Grandaddy forms part f that clique. This new album is not a return to form, rather a very good, strong album that Grandaddy fans will like a lot. Lyrically the band were always strong but the lyrics in last place are superb. Musically ti is good but the band have done better. 7.5/10. Upcoming: April - Big Moon??? May - Mac DeMarco?? June - Goldie?? London Grammer???

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rough Trade Club: February 2017 Pack

So as stated last month, I will not be receiving three cds chosen by the club. I will just receive one core cd and then I can choose as many as I like. As it takes me forever to soak in an album, I will stick to buying an extra two as that was good for me and is still within my budget. The core album was a reissue - Lift to Experience's The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads. At first I was a bit wary as it is a double album with seven minute songs but after a bit I grew from ambivalence to playing it every day! The album came with an ep of LTE songs done acoustically by lead sing Josh T. Pearson. It is indeed a classic and, although not an easy listen it is very satisfying and something outside of my comfort zone. 9/10 The other two cds I bought were: Horse Thief - Trials and Truths 8/10. This is totally within my comfort zone. A short snappy collection of catchy, slightly country-ish indie. A pleasant listen and it's a good way to pass a bus trip. 8/10 Sampha - Process. I had high hopes for this one as I kept reading great reviews, however the current pair of headphones I have distort electronic beats so I have to turn off the bass on my discman, which makes everything sound flat. I haven't heard this on a good stereo yet so I'm not sold, I just need better listening gear and the lushness will overtake me. I like the melodies though. 7/10, but could be an 8 later on. One thing I do like about this new system as that it is now difficult to predict the next month's batch. Here's my guess March - The Big Moon April - Here Lies Man May - Mac DeMarco

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rough Trade Album of the Month Club January 2017 Pack

Ah so it's the last 3 cd pack i'll get from the club. From now on we'll receive one cd. A bit sad and this month' selection was a bit weak. Core album: Elinor Rose Dougall - Stellular + Bonus cd. 7/10. It's a solid pop record. Nadine Khouri - The Slated Air. 7/10. It's ok. Singer/songwriter Big Fresh - Life Dollars. 7.5/10. Pleasant west coast style pop. Next up: February: Lift to Experience March: The Big Moon

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rough Trade Album of the Month Club December 2016

So there are big changes for the club. As form February I will not be receiving 3 cds, rather 1 cd and the magazine. I am a bit bummed but it also means that I get a bit more freedom when choosing some more albums from the 10 monthly cds. So I admit I did not have enough time to absorb this month's pack due to my busy schedule and being sick did not help either. Core album Thee Oh Sees - An Odd Entrances + bonus cd. 7/10 Proggy garage. It's ok but this years A Weird Exits was better. Slowcoaches - Nothing Gives 7/10 - fuzzed up indie pop - yay!! Angelina - Vagabond Saint - 8/10. My fave of the month. Groovy country.