Tag Archives: Indie Rock

We Are Scientists – TV en Francais

Given the fact that their single ‘After Hours’ from album Brain Trust Mastery did so well, getting them to number 15 in the charts, you’d think that their label might put a bit more behind We Are Scientists now. Whether it was a one-off or not is still a question up in the air, but their latest effort TV en Francais proves that they’re still happily doing what they do best.

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Hospitality – Trouble

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It’s not often fledgling indie darlings get a chance to spread their creative wings but Hospitality have taken their second album, Trouble, and used it bravely as a platform to explore something beyond their niche.

This album sounds like wings spreading, with a variety of landscapes on offer. ‘Last Words’ comes nearer the end of the album but is one of the stand out tracks, using organic piano against swelling synth much like Bon Iver on his second album, while opener ‘Nightingale’ is both brazen and hushed in equal measure, verging on blues rock akin to The Black Keys just as they broke a few albums back.

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Quasi – Mole City

The city of Portland, Oregon has produced some great bands over the last decade or so; The Thermals and Red Fang to name just two, and now Quasi are making waves as well. They’ve been going since the early 90s but haven’t yet made an impact over here, but all that could change with the release of Mole City.

Their time spent as Elliott Smith’s backing band can be heard, layered beneath everything they do, but they are not even remotely as mellow or melancholy. ‘You Can Stay But You Gotta Go’ begins the album as a rocket blasting off with a powerful melody to swing on and grizzly guitars to match, all of which draws you in. There are 24 tracks on this album, but with several tracks barely reaching a minute that might be a little misleading. This is actually a collection of concise bursts of indie-rock.

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Band Of Horses ‘Mirage Rock’ Album Review

Here is a band that stands at a very pivotal point in their career – with their fourth album Band Of Horses could have stormed the arenas with a grandiose effort or flopped in an attempt to rekindle their roots.

Instead they do neither, and it’s probably for the best. With Mirage Rock they haven’t moved on in huge leaps from their previous effort Infinite Arms. They still deal out the folk, Americana and indie in equal spades. It’s a pleasing sound and will warm the hearts of fans but won’t push them beyond on the popularity of the last album in the way a band like The Black Keys has.

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Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory – Album Review

Getting three albums in as many years out of a band these days is something of a miracle. With Attack On Memory Cloud Nothings are even managing to make artistic progression at the same time.

On first listen it seems as though Dylan Baldi has gone off the boil. Opener ‘No Future/No Past’ begins slowly, spiralling into yelling of the phrase “Give up, come to, no hope, we’re through”. It’s ominous and dark, not like him at all.

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Review: Coldplay ‘Xylo Myloto’

Released: Monday 24 October 2011

Chris Martin has been savvy is his promotion of this record. If you’ve avoided reading anything about him or the album then you’ve done well. He’s announced he was made to feel gay by Take That and confessed that he knows his lyrics are “a bit shit”.

        Well, as always they are a divisive band. You sort of know what to expect from these boys now and if you didn’t love them before you won’t start now. I have to say, however, that this time Brian Eno sticks his oar in a bit much.

        The album begins with vim and promise on ‘Hurts Like Heaven’. It’s streamlined and keeps a pulsing beat with galloping acoustic guitars. ‘Charlie Brown’ and ‘Don’t Let It Break Your Heart’ are the usual Coldplay fair of anthemic melodic rock with nothing new to offer.

        There is, however, a glimpse of the old Coldplay, the band who used to be at the forefront of a melodic indie movement – a time when they seemed to be a British R.E.M. but ended up morphing into a boring U2 style venue filler. ‘U.F.O.’ is that time-travelling moment in all its hushed acoustic glory, Chris Martin singing about a lack of direction and how life is tough with no pretension or pandering.

        In the middle of all this typical Coldplay gushing we get the added bonus of electronic meddling courtesy of Brian Eno. It lends the album a unique tone but seems slightly pompous and over the top.

        The ultimate insult on this album is what Chris Martin claims to be his favourite part: a duet with Rihanna on ‘Princess of China’. Without being drawn into a discussion about the R&B powerhouse, it’s clear she doesn’t belong in a Coldplay song, the vocals jar and it smacks of the band playing to idea of being all-encompassing.

While Coldplay aren’t spectacular, they are melodic and will no doubt put bums on stadium seats and hit number one. That does not make this album a triumph though. This kind of music will make some peoples ears bleed as they cry for something different.

(Photo credit: Onigiri4)

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