Review: Fight through the blizzard of scrupulously meta promotional activity surrounding it and you'll find a record that deconstructs the bombast Aracade Fire have become known for, reveals the vulnerability behind the stadium sheen and offers a treatise on modern day superficiality and consumerism. Moreover, it makes a sterling job of all three - joyfully disco-inflected, poppily uplifting, stylistically adventurous and bolder than every before, this is a band who can reference ABBA and Bowie irony-free in a ditty about information overload and somehow get away with it - a bunch of eternal square pegs with emotional wallop and deft melodic skills at their disposal, constantly in search of musical worlds beyond empty rhetoric and grandstanding gestures.
Review: It can be hard to believe that The Cribs have been treading the boards for thirteen years now, such is the eternally youthful demeanour, and despite this being their sixth album their songwriting is as vivid and their ire as incandescent as ever. Their first for a major label after splitting with Wichita, 'For All My Sisters' is produced by Cars legend Ric Ocasek, a perfect choice to marshall their sparky selection of incisive powerpop ditties. Yet it'd be impossible to smooth out the rough edges that give this band their unique character, and it's the combination of rough-and-ready delivery and sparky melody that makes this another high spot in The Cribs' storied career.
Review: 32 years on from the release of their debut album Speak and Spell, Basildon's finest drop their 14th full length. While there are echoes of their eyeliner-wearing, synth-bothering futurist past (see the glitchy "My Little Universe" and early New Order-ish "Broken", where Dave Gahan sings about 'dreaming of the future'), for the most part Delta Machine finds them in grinchy synth-rock mode, presumably shaking their fists at passing youngsters like a gang of grumpy old men. Thankfully, they're still capable of great things - "Soothe My Soul" has echoes of "Personal Jesus" - and there's enough to suggest there's some life in the old dogs yet.