Author: Jon Watson

Wild Beasts - Limbo, Panto

Wild Beasts - Limbo, Panto

Review of Wild Beasts debut album Limbo, Panto released through Domino Records. There's a brief sleevenote on this debut album by Wild Beasts that fair set my teeth on edge. "The four boys of Wild...

Review posted on 4th August 2008

Tindersticks - The Hungry Saw

Tindersticks - The Hungry Saw

Review of Tindersticks album The Hungry Saw.It's hard to believe that Tindersticks have been around for so long - more than fifteen years in fact, and this is studio album number seven. The joke always...

Review posted on 4th August 2008

Spiritualized - Songs in A&E

Spiritualized - Songs in A&E

Review of Spiritulized's album Songs in A&E.The first thing I should point out that this is the most sumptuously packaged CD I have ever been sent to review. Now, I know that's never the main...

Review posted on 4th August 2008

iLiKETRAiNS - We Go Hunting

iLiKETRAiNS - We Go Hunting

Review of iLiKETRAiNS' single We Go Hunting. Anybody fancy an up-tempo number (relatively speaking) about the Salem Witch Trials? Just the thing for a balmy summer evening, surely? Oh, go on. Here's an opening line...

Review posted on 4th August 2008

Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down In The Light

Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down In The Light

Review of Bonnie Prince Billy's album Lie Down In The Light. He's nothing if not prolific, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, aka Will Oldham, straight outta Kentucky with an acoustic guitar and a handful of friends to...

Review posted on 4th August 2008

Stars - Midnight Coward

Stars - Midnight Coward

StarsMidnight CowardSingle ReviewPound for pound,Stars might just be the best pop band on the planet right now, and ‘Midnight Coward’ is a nice little snapshot of their best side, even if it's not their best...

Review posted on 6th May 2008

Nick Cave - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

Nick Cave - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsDig, Lazarus, Dig!!!Album ReviewThis CD came embossed with the direst warnings against piracy I have ever seen. It wasn't exactly wrapped in barbed wire, but it did take me a...

Review posted on 6th May 2008

MIT - Coda

MIT - Coda

MITCodaAlbum ReviewMIT seem to be German teenagers armed with machines and a delighted glee in being given access to a recording studio. This is a good thing: if they were British, they'd have all rushed...

Review posted on 6th May 2008

Black Francis - Svn Fngrs

Black Francis - Svn Fngrs

Black FrancisSvn FngrsAlbum ReviewA seven-track mini-album from Black Francis, eh? One of those happy occasions where your humble reviewer looks forward to banging the CD in the machine, turning it up to rattle-the-windows volume and...

Review posted on 6th May 2008

Billy Bragg - Mr Love and Justice

Billy Bragg - Mr Love and Justice

Billy BraggMr Love and JusticeAlbum ReviewSomething of a dual celebration is marked by this release, coinciding as it does with Bragg's fiftieth birthday and him reaching the milestone of twenty-five years as a performer. That's...

Review posted on 6th May 2008

Beach House - Devotion

Beach House - Devotion

Beach HouseDevotionAlbum ReviewHailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Beach House are Alex Scally and Paris-born Victoria Legrand (the latter the niece of French film composer Michel Legrand, it says here) and this would appear to be their...

Review posted on 6th May 2008

Kyte - Kyte

Kyte - Kyte

Kyte Self-titled Album Review So, 2008 is yet to take real shape. The possibilities stretch before us, unknown. How apt, then, that the first CD I get to review is by a band I know...

Review posted on 20th February 2008

Cass McCombs - That's That

Cass McCombs - That's That

Cass McCombs That's That Single Review Oh dear. After last week's introduction to Vampire Weekend, perhaps the thing I least wanted to hear this week was more diluted, vague Afro-pop references presented in a vaguely...

Review posted on 20th February 2008

Von Sudenfed - The Rhinohead

Von Sudenfed - The Rhinohead

Von SudenfedThe RhinoheadSingle ReviewAfter the disappointing cancellation of Von Sudenfed's Leeds gig (I didn't quite burst into tears, but my lip did quiver for a few minutes), consolation arrives in the form of this single....

Review posted on 4th December 2007

The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

The Weakerthans Reunion TourAlbum ReviewA quick look at the lyric booklet that accompanies this rather nicely packaged CD screamed 'concept album!' in several alarming ways. So I alerted the relevant authorities, put the dog handlers...

Review posted on 4th December 2007

The Human Value - Push and Pull

The Human Value - Push and Pull

The Human ValuePush and PullAlbum ReviewNow here's a stinker if ever there was one. I very nearly didn't make it past track one, which is uninspired, stylised, vaguely Goth-ish plod rock of the worst kind....

Review posted on 4th December 2007

Gallows - Starting At The Rude Bois

Gallows - Starting At The Rude Bois

Gallows Starting At The Rude BoisSingle Review Irony being what it is, I perhaps shouldn't be surprised that this CD came into my hands just a few days after the death of Paul Fox, guitarist...

Review posted on 4th December 2007

Efterklang - Parades

Efterklang - Parades

Efterklang Parades Album Review My previous brushes with Efterklang have left an impression of some very studied, considered music that's perhaps a little impersonal and cold at times. I have no such reservations about 'Parades',...

Review posted on 4th December 2007

Caribou - She's The One

Caribou - She's The One

CaribouShe's The One Single Review Formerly Manitoba, Dan Snaith's now using the moniker Caribou. 'She's The One' has some very obvious echoes of The Beach Boys in the vocals. There's a hypnotic sampled 'do-do-do' backing...

Review posted on 4th December 2007

Animal Collective - Fireworks

Animal Collective - Fireworks

Animal CollectiveFireworksSingle ReviewReleased to coincide with Bonfire Night, I was looking forward to this single, having heard and read a fair bit about Animal Collective, pretty much all of it positive.I have this theory that...

Review posted on 4th December 2007

Dave Gahan - Kingdom

Dave Gahan - Kingdom

Dave Gahan Kingdom Single Review Dave Gahan has been peddling his doomy electric sleaze-tinged pop for a good long while now, and listening to 'Kingdom' I'm wondering whether there's really much point any more. His...

Review posted on 24th October 2007

Pram - The Moving Frontier

Pram - The Moving Frontier

Pram The Moving Fontier Album Review 'Space rock' is a very loaded term, conjuring as it does an image of hairy middle-aged (or older) men playing interminable prog epics to an equally hairy and largely...

Review posted on 24th October 2007

Celebration - The Modern Tribe

Celebration - The Modern Tribe

Celebration The Modern Tribe Album Review The little bits I'd read about Celebration regularly namechecked Nick Cave and The Birthday Party, so it was something of a surprise to hear 'Evergreen' coming out of the...

Review posted on 24th October 2007

Robert Wyatt - Comicopera

Robert Wyatt - Comicopera

Robert Wyatt Comicopera Album Review There are very few superlatives still left to write about Robert Wyatt. He's never going to sell boatloads of records, and the chances of him having another hit as big...

Review posted on 24th October 2007

Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth

Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth

Young Marble GiantsColossal YouthAlbum ReviewA confession: every review pile brings a reissue of some sort, and usually I don't expect much from them. This one, however, is a rare gem. With Young Marble Giants not...

Review posted on 3rd September 2007

The Envy Corps - Rhinemaidens

The Envy Corps - Rhinemaidens

The Envy CorpsRhinemaidensSingle ReviewYounger readers might find this difficult to credit, but there was a time when Primal Scream wore Paisley shirts, had pudding-bowl haircuts, and peddled jangly, psychedelia-lite pop songs. It was about the...

Review posted on 3rd September 2007

The Black Keys - Just Got To Be

The Black Keys - Just Got To Be

The Black KeysJust Got To BeSingle ReviewMay the good Lord spare me from more drums/guitar duos. I've got nothing against them per se, but when it's a vehicle for lack of imagination rather than having...

Review posted on 3rd September 2007

Taken By Trees - Lost And Found

Taken By Trees - Lost And Found

Taken By TreesLost And FoundSingle ReviewHurrah for Scandopop! Isn't 'Sick And Tired' by The Cardigans one of the best pop records ever made? Superbly crafted, winsome and coy, yet knowing at the same time. It's...

Review posted on 3rd September 2007

Eugene McGuinness - The Early Learnings Of Eugene McGuinness

Eugene McGuinness - The Early Learnings Of Eugene McGuinness

Eugene McGuinnessThe Early Learnings Of Eugene McGuinnessAlbum ReviewIs it just me, or is there a surfeit of these alt.folk/electronica types at the moment? Round every corner lurks a bedroom musician, it seems. And the latest...

Review posted on 3rd September 2007

Dinosaur Jr - Crumble

Dinosaur Jr - Crumble

Dinosaur JrCrumbleSingle ReviewI never dreamed all those years ago, laughing my head off at the unhinged majesty of 'Freak Scene', that one day I'd be sat here describing Dinosaur Jr as 'venerable'. But venerable they...

Review posted on 3rd September 2007

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Album of the Week: 25 Years Since 'Cure for Pain' by Morphine

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The Struts - Body Talks ft. Kesha Video

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The Distillers Release First New Music In 15 Years

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Jamie Oliver and 8 Other Celebrities Who Risked Their Lives in the Name of Heroism

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