There is an amazing record getting a physical release this week in the form of the Big Blue Ball projects’ self-titled LP. The album brings together almost 18 years of open-studio recordings at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios in Wiltshire. A collaborative effort, featuring names like Natacha Atlas, Jah Wobble, Tim Finn and Sinead O’Connor, helmed by Gabriel and Karl Wallinger. The music itself is like the entire catalogue of Real World records, a mix of superb instrumentation and strong, haunting voices all melded together onto one LP. So impressive is the end product that it may have a shout for album of the year.
Sigur Rós return with their fifth LP, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, translated as ‘With A Buzz In Our Ears We Play Endlessly’. Expect the usual melodic epics, bursting with slow burning crescendos and, for the first time, an English language track. This is a good, rather than great, album but definitely warranting further investigation. It’s streaming on last.fm and their Myspaz.
Canadian quintet Wolf Parade unleash their follow up to 2005’s Apologies To Queen Mary with this fantastic effort. A real mix of accessible stuff, such as the track provided here (via SubPop), and the more experimental gear, it’s a record that bears out repeated plays.
There’s an old saying that runs along the lines of “talent imitates, genius steals”, and two of these three records prove that saying is completely bunk. For the new albums by Aussie group The Presets, and the sophomore record by Infadels, are completely derivative yet only someone with a complete lack of cognitive functions would call their creators geniuses. Some tracks of The Presets record are alright, just nothing special. Universe In Reverse is just fucking dreadful, I mean their debut was bad (it lasted all of three days in my record collection before it was unceremoniously flogged on ebay) but this ramps the shiteness to a new level. Rabble-rousing tosh. White Denim provide some much needed respite on our second-tier releases this week with the accomplished Workout Holiday. A noisy, DIY-sounding record, this treads ground that is well worn, but manages to find its own charm and niche.
Releasing their second album this week are London’s Semifinalists, whose debut was solid if unspectacular. Graceful indiepop with decent vocals. Heron Recordings, home of The Beep Seals claims they sound like “pure pysch-slacker pop”, and who am I to disagree? I’m also not going to disagree with the world’s best record shop, Norman’s, who have named They Came From The Stars as owners of album of the week. I’ve included it here as it is basically demented bastardpop. Check out the Myspaz, the sound is pretty spectacular.
The Rascals are the Arctic Monkeys’ best mates, and to be honest that is the only reason I can think they got a record contract. Deltasonic are the offending label, the band sharing a Merseyside heritage with their lead names The Coral. Unlike them, or the Monkeys they have no spark of originality and no charm. Bland indie-rock for the lads. As, unfortunately, is Yeti’s effort. Yeti feature former Libertines bassist John Hassall who aptly shows that he wasn’t the creative driving force in the Libs. And finally this week we end with live mavericks Cage The Elephant. For all the hype surrounding their gigging prowess the record is stodgy sub-Stooges schtick.
You can vote for your favourite release of the week over in the left sidebar!
The results from the last poll were:
=1. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
=1. Lykke Li – Youth Novels
3. My Brightest Diamond – A Thousand Sharks Teeth
Filed under: Releases | Tagged: Big Blue Ball, Cage The Elephant, Infadels, Semifinalists, Sigur Rós, The Beep Seals, The Presets, The Rascals, They Came From The Stars I Saw Them, White Denim, Wolf Parade, Yeti | 3 Comments »