Parlour – self-titled

Recently I've had cause to speculate on exactly what I can and can't accurately describe as post-rock. With so much music being made that seems to emphasise its ambient rather than actual rock influences, or that contains recognisable and often utilised influences of previous years, then inevitably elements of predictability begin to make their … [Read more...]

Spectres – Dead

Having already been trailed with a 2-track 12” in the autumn, now we finally get to hear the full fruits of Spectres inviting forefathers, fans and fellow-travellers to decapitate and drag last year’s debut Dying album into the ghoulish afterlife that is Dead. It almost goes without saying that as remix albums go this is far from being a … [Read more...]

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling

One thing that happens in the music industry with some regularity is that bands tend to release albums in the autumn, rather than in the summer months. Looking over the half dozen or so upcoming releases presently occupying my in tray and wondering which of these I wanted to write about I picked on Unravelling despite its release not happening … [Read more...]

Dean McPhee – Son Of The Black Peace

Even for a relatively experienced critic, sometimes describing – let alone judging – music can be like nailing jelly to a wall.  Certainly, someone who falls into this hard to nail-up category is West Yorkshire’s solo electric guitar man Dean McPhee.  Trying to unpick and trace what makes his muse work – and work so well – is a tough ask when this … [Read more...]

Rick Rizzo & Tara Key – Double Star / Eleventh Dream Day – Riot Now!

With its sheer volume of releases and increasingly vinyl-centric tilt, it’s arguable that the current workings of Chicago’s pioneering Thrill Jockey label are straining fans’ finances as well as running the risk of over-supply and quality-control lapses. No such concerns can, however, be raised when a less-prolific elder statesman on the books … [Read more...]

Chemikal Underground Records

15 years is a long time in the music world. In 1995, it was possible to argue that indie music was undergoing one of its periodic lows, at least in the UK. Britpop had conquered the mainstream, the best known bands of that moment all owed their success to the intervention of major labels or, like Creation, had found themselves promoted to major … [Read more...]

Goonies Never Say Die – In a Forest Without Trees

In a Forest Without Trees offers nothing new, but die-hard fans of instrumental post-rock might savor the few finer points that fringe this debut from English band Goonies Never Say Die. First, the songs are well written and played with care. Second, the guitarists hit on some fine tones, and their use of effects is meaningful and vital. But, for … [Read more...]

The Black Drumset – S/T

The ninth song on The Black Drumset’s self-titled debut album has a running time of 4:29 and consists of nothing except the sound of rain, with a few loud, booming thunderclaps echoing in the background for good measure. I choose to point this out at the beginning of my review because the track does a good job illustrating the ridiculousness of the … [Read more...]