Review: Stylish and sultry in a way that's guaranteed to have time-honoured national stereotypes flying around within moments, Liminanas are a French two piece whose unique sound blends garage-driven psych with the French pop and ye-ye they grew up on - as damaged stylistically by Serge Gainsbourg, thus, as by The Brian Jonestown Massacre. 'Malamore', their third album to date, takes these influences and constructs a rich and seductive sound that's both cinematic and kaleidoscopic in appeal. Not even a guest appearance by Peter Hook on 'Garden Of Love' can stop these exquisitely arranged and sweetly debauched ditties from being possibly the most chic sound you're likely so stumble across after the midnight hour this year.
Review: It's been a while since we last heard from Swedish combo Little Dragon. Aside from a few remix singles, they've not released anything of note since acclaimed 2014 full-length Nabuma Rubberband. While that set was apparently something of a struggle to complete, Season High - their fifth album in total - feels spontaneous and life affirming. With James Ford handling production duties, the album offers a gleeful romp through hook-laden, high quality synth pop with nods to the likes of Prince, Pet Shop Boys and Janet Jackson along the way. Of course, there are a few chunks of skewed electronica thrown in to mix things up, but these are nowhere near as thrilling as their unashamed pop works.
Review: After almost a decade in the making, the prayers of punk rockers across the globe have been answered with the release of "Hit Stains", the long awaited singles compilation from rock'n'roll saviors Livefastdie. All the hits are here and then some, twenty cuts over two sides.
Legendary tunes like the autobiographical "Guitar Star" from their 2005 debut. Life lessons such as "Not A Dog" and "Thought You Could Steal My Beer". The songs that set the internet on fire: "Pissing On The Mainframe" and "Webshits And Blah Blah Blahs." Odes to archaic technology ("Dawn Of The VHS"), patriotic anthems ("Forged in Flames"), punches in the face ("Bang It's War"), kicks in the dick ("(He's Got) Pecker Breath"), all flavours and varieties of punk rock'n'roll, here in one handy 12" package providing maximum value for those of you too broke and/or stupid to have kept up with their deluge of seven inch and cassette releases.
It's a well-known fact that Livefastdie almost single-handedly kept punk rock alive in post-Y2K New York City, a time when posing was fashionable and pussyfooting was par for the course in the Big Apple. Camero Werewolf and his band of brothers saved their city and in doing so also gave us hope across the rest of America, across the rest of the world, a shining beacon of pizza, vomit and guitar shredding reminding us that punk rock did not die with GG. As long as there are men bold enough to write songs like these and tough enough to execute them the dream will never die. Pick up a copy of "Hit Stains" and be reminded of the inspirational powers of rock'n'roll.
Review: Catherine and Gerald O-Connell's work as Lives Of Angels quietly and subtly helped to define a whole generation of post-punkers for the greater part of the 1980s. Much like other luminaries of the scene at the time, the couple have remained in the shadows of time, highly praised by the collectors but barely ever cited by the mainstream, and if that's not punk then we don't know what is. Dark Entries are doing the honours of course, and the imprint have managed to license a whole bag of previously released and unreleased material, the former from a bunch of dusty cassettes which are now going for gold on the second-hand market. This was the era of the drum machine, and these 11 tunes are all carried by that unmistakable analogue swing, at times harsh and leaning into something tech-minded, and at other times playful and quirky, a tendency which defined this outfit and the time in which they operated. What a record; this is another Dark Entries monster.
Review: Quiet revolution seems to be the driving force of this sophomore set from lauded trio London Grammar. Lyricist and vocalist Hannah Reid has expanded her subject matter a little, though angst and love lost are still her major concern. Her delivery, too, is a little gentler, something presumably party inspired by the band's warmer and dreamier musical outlook. There are a few heartfelt sing-alongs, of course, but for the most part Truth is a Beautiful Thing is a more considered and voluptuous excursion.