Review: Breaking from their exceptional soundtrack work of late, the infallible Scottish post-rock behemoth Mogwai have returned to the studio for their ninth full-length. 'Every Country's Sun' is a whirlwind album whose sheer impact hinges on its powerful use of contrast, most likely evident of their recent film and television score work. Passages of atmospheric calm give way to loud cascading floods of aggression without sounding trite, forced or clumsy, and a more polished use of electronics further accentuates the band's tonal variety. From the spatial futuristic opener 'Coolverine' to the album's grinding and mechanical climax, 'Every Country's Sun' feels like a score for a film not yet made, following all the highs, lows, twists and turns of narrative told by a band continuing to showcase their deft and controlled writing.
Review: Arriving from the fertile UK DIY/underground scene, Sacred Paws are proof positive that even a 345 mile separation can be overcome by inspiration and musical chemistry. Formed by Trash Kit/Shopping member Rachel Aggs and Golden Grrls' Eilldh Rogers, this vibrant and joyful duo have created an album removed from the more punky realm of their origins, with buoyant hi-life guitars, ecstatic brass and kinetic rhythmic interplaying perfectly to cheer up this gloomy January.
Review: Straight outta shoegaze central, Oxford UK, since 1989, Swervedriver have been providing us with smoothly distorted guitars, vocals of refreshing reverberation and just those hints of angst and melancholia to get you through the decade. Future Ruins, like a lot of post and alt-rock to hit the shelves these days has touches of nihilism abound, although it's no secret Swervedriver have been offering this atmosphere for aeons longer than most. For fans of bands like Dinosaur Jr. yes, Swervedriver's latest effort remains firmly within the grungey and pastel confines of shoegaze, and with the genre's hey day missed so much but so many, it's never a pain to revisit the glory days of motion picture soundtracks.