Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

It would be too easy to expect more from Skeleton Tree than it actually contains. What with the accompanying documentary film, plus the added reporting of his recent personal difficulties, the sixteenth album Nick Cave has made along with The Bad Seeds inevitably appears cloaked in some very gothic drapery indeed. The accidental death, during the … [Read more...]

Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People

After over a decade of writing music reviews for various sites and magazines I can still get surprised, like when I hear something that I should have heard quite some time ago and that only filtered its way through the media to me quite recently. Only last week Bowling For Soup's "Punk Rock 101" came on the radio and I jumped out of my chair to … [Read more...]

Giant Sand – Chore Of Enchantment (reissue)

As one of the most aptly-named albums in Giant Sand’s vast discography, 2000’s Chore Of Enchantment is a testament to forging magic out of adversity.  Widely-regarded as one of the best – if not the best – in the group’s sprawling canon, Chore is a kaleidoscopic collection, like R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People, against which everything before and … [Read more...]

Tears Of The Moosechaser – “A Lonesome Fog”

I suppose if Tom Waits wasn't born in California but rather underneath a moonshine still in Kentucky then you'd have Tears Of The Moosechaser. It's that sporadic, bouncy, wild man vibe that is track three, "A Lonesone Fog" off of Songs For A Sinister Woman. Like a death ring the track chimes in and the tale begins. "Sleeping medicine to pass the … [Read more...]

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Let Love In, Murder Ballads, The Boatman’s Call & No More Shall We Part (CD/DVD reissues)

Having spent the bulk of the past year indulging guttural libido and swamp-rock urges with his Grinderman side-project, Nick Cave is reportedly back at the ‘day-job’ in preparation for a new regular long-player with the full Bad Seeds line-up.  So whilst he knuckles down to write his next musical chapter, here comes another window of opportunity to … [Read more...]

Giant Sand – Blurry Blue Mountain

Although released to approximately coincide with the 25th anniversary and reissue of the band’s Valley Of Rain debut LP, Howe Gelb’s latest album with Giant Sand is – in typical contrary form – far from being a magnanimous celebration or ex-member reunion affair that some might have expected.  In fact, it’s a rather subdued set, picking-up where … [Read more...]

Tracy Bonham – Masts Of Manhatta

Tracy Bonham is highly regarded as a songwriter, musician and performer, one whose violin has backed prominent artistes such as Juliana Hatfield, Aerosmith, Eels, some of the musicians she has either written for or recorded alongside, and assisting her in the recording of her 4th album are some of Tom Waits drinking buddies. So I find myself forced … [Read more...]

Nathan Lee – Risk Everything

There isn't much anyone could tell Nathan Lee about either life or living it.  A writer and performer since his teens, his resumé is an ongoing tale of highs and lows, from lucrative publishing deals and business success to sleeping in his car, and back up and down again. "I sing to broken people because I am one" quotes his press release, while … [Read more...]

The Quincy Blaque Trio – Uneasy Listening Music

Where did Quincy Blaque and his trio come from? This man with the secret agent-sounding name has formed one of the most impressive new bands of the past five years under everybody's radar. Uneasy Listening Music is exactly what any artist would want out of a debut record. Well, huge sales and tons of money would be nice, but artistically, the … [Read more...]