Friday, 4 August 2017

#652: Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile to the Surface

Anyone with even a passing interest in Manchester Orchestra can tell you that their disposition isn’t the sunniest. That doesn’t mean to say they’re a band who thrive on miserabilia however, merely that they understand exercising their demons through the medium of music is just as cathartic for their fans as it for themselves.

#651: Blink 182, Castlefield Bowl, Manchester

Photo by Lee Hammond

Every so often, a line-up comes around that’s so perfect one can’t help but wonder if it hasn’t been put together specifically for oneself. Tonight is one of those occasions. With Blink-182, Frank Turner and The Front Bottoms all having played important roles at some point in my life, this wasn’t a line-up I was going to miss.

This review was originally written for Line of Best Fit. Click here to read in full.

#650: Childhood - Universal Light

Second albums being notoriously difficult might be something of a cliché these days, but clichés wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t an element of truth to them. As such, Childhood’s decision to move away from the swirling psychedelia of their debut, towards the sleek, soul-inspired sounds of ‘Universal High’ is an interesting one.

#649: Waxahatchee - Out in the Storm

With self-doubt and self-deprecation acting as the cornerstone for much of Waxahatchee’s previous material, it’s a welcome, somewhat overdue surprise her fourth album ‘Out In The Storm’, should see Katie Crutchfield harbouring more confidence and self-belief than ever before.

Monday, 17 July 2017

#648: Life, Oh Life, Oh Life

Going back even to before American folk legend Woodie Guthrie emblazoned his guitar with the slogan ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’, musicians have been using their platform as a means to speak out against political and social injustices; acting as mouthpieces to those who otherwise wouldn’t have their voices heard, or providing a way to reach out to disenfranchised demographics.

#647: Introducing...TUSKS

While lazy comparisons might well lump London’s TUSKS in with the likes of London Grammar, look past the electronics and bold female vocal, and a vastly different aesthetic reveals itself. While the aforementioned deal in grandeur and bombast, TUSKS opt for a less is more mantra, resulting in organically evolving soundscapes that are as beguiling as they are beautiful, yet always subtle in their delivery.

#646: Arms & Hearts - Too Much Sleep, Not Enough Dreams (EP review)

While it feels almost impossible to go anywhere in Manchester without rubbing elbows with one of the city’s singer/songwriters, very few do little to distinguish themselves from the ever-growing masses of ‘Wonderwall’ covers and trilbies. Fortunately, there are those who manage to keep their heads above the water in what’s often a sea of mediocrity.