Classic Rock Mag: “When you’ve built a reputation around taking it to the limit,
where do you go next? After two albums of high-intensity, febrile punk rock, you get the
feeling that Californian urchins Starcrawler were finding that to be a pressing question. Whirlwind frontwoman Arrow de Wilde has hinted that being stuck in top gear is beginning
to feel limited, while stage stunts such as spitting fake blood over the audience have
begun to “feel like a schtick”. Score: 3/5.
Henri Cash (guitarist): “We wanted to make songs on this record
for everyone. For people that weren’t just into punk rock.”
(Photo by Turn Up The Volume – 2018 in Brussels)
TUTV: Starcrawler promised a more varied, sonically, LP than the 2 previous ones.
But the new record is still filled, mostly, with classic retro rock jackhammers, but less punky and fierce than before, with echoes of West-Coast glam legends Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot (Roadkill / She Said / Stranded / True / Runaway) a couple of dream pop ditties (Broken Angels / Midnight) and a smooth candlelight closer Better Place. Except for a couple tracks, this LP is too mediocre to remember… in a week. Don’t believe the hype.
NME: “The group don’t preach their politics; ‘Get Fucked’ is simply a defiant
middle-finger to those in charge, as The Chats strive to offer moments of joy in
a world that seems very much against that mission.” Full review here. Score 4/5.
TUTV: These Australian kick-ass dogs have an unstoppable appetite for adrenalin
injected blitzkrieg slams, as we know, from their 2020 debut LP High Risk Behaviour.
A bulldozer of a record propelled by 70s punk-a-billy bricks. So far so good.
The bad news: with Get Fucked they just made a copy of the first one, but with lesser
top-notch tank tunes on. They keep on going to the same year – 1977 – for inspiration, musically and lyrically, which gets boring in the end, certainly when you sound exactly
like a 1977 band that fuck up their dad’s garage (they all did back then).
I don’t understand the jubilant press this trio’s get. But as long as everybody’s happy, I’m happy too. Although I’m sure that The Chats will stick their middle finger in my eyes and yell get fucked in my ears when they hear about this review.
Two years ago flamboyant frontmanTom Meighan left KASABIAN following personal problems. The announcement came via this statement from the band: “Tom Meighan is stepping down from Kasabian by mutual consent. Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behavior for quite some time, and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track.”
NME says: “The band’s seventh album – and first with Serge Pizzorno on the mic – is a space-inspired recalibration that still boasts old-school anthems aplenty. Kasabian have always been about having a good fucking time, and although this is understandably their most introspective record yet, it does point to euphoria ahead. Back in May, the frontman told NME: “This album was just us saying, ‘Let’s see what we can do – let’s see where we can take this’. On the evidence of this surprising, eclectic and intimate record – which still finds time for the anthems of old – the answer is: as far as they want to”. Score: 4/5.
TUTV: Without rock frontman Tom Meighan I guess the band’s mastermind Serge Pizzorno made/released the synth-pop-symphonic orientated album he already had in his head for a long time, but was afraid to share it under the old Kasabian banner – the rock gang. So here it’s now. And hats off to Pizzorno for doing the bold thing: not looking back at the good old rock days, and instead re-start with a new(er) sound, the one he would have developed some time, anyway. On the other hand, honestly, I liked the first Kasabian version better.
Band: PUSSY RIOT Who: The Russian feminist punk collective, of which members – including the main riot grrl and then 22-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – were thrown in jail for 2 years in Siberia following a guerrilla gig at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Before they were shut down they sangg their 40-second anti-Putin anthem “Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away”. It all happened 10 years ago. When they were released from prison they left the country and started to make outspoken records and to play remarkable gigs. And still do.
New album (actually a mixtape): MATRIARCHY NOW Released: 5 August 2022
The Guardian (British newspaper) says: “Ideology grinds against a kitsch, hypersexual aesthetic in the Russian rebels’ bizarre yet sometimes brilliant debut mixtape. Yet Matriarchy Now is rebel music in the context of Pussy Riot’s origins – a deliberate “sellout” of punk purity, and an up yours to conservative Russian society and the patriarchs of the Orthodox church – that shows Tolokonnikova’s artistic ambitions clearly extend beyond her undoubted heroism. After years of being asked about Putin, whatever music she puts out, the confusion, glee and revulsion these seven songs evoke should start a new conversation.” Score: 3/5.
Turn Up The Volume: Although Pussy Riot still is presented as a group, it’s actually
key member Nadya Tolokonnikova collaborating with R&B/rap/hip-hop artists such as
Big Freedia, Salem Ilese, Kito, Hudson Mohawke, Slayyyter, Phoebe Ryan, and others.
The new look Pussy act still rebels as they used to – with the war in Ukraine and
abortion – as the expected main issues. What’s changed is the sound. No more
punk yelling, no more riotous havoc.
Slowly, with new releases, Nadya Tolokonnikova moved to synth-pop/R&B territory.
It’s clear that she wants to reach a wider public to spread her messages further than
now. Top choice! For my taste, the new sonic direction is too mellow and too sugary.
But I’ll back PR as long as they kick political ass. FUCK PUTIN!
Artist: TY SEGALL
Musical Californian centipede entered the rock arena in 2004
and fabricated 14 studio albums (including the new one) so far.
New album: HELLO, HI Released: 22 July 2022 – order info here.
His 14th solo LP
Pitchfork: “The prolific songwriter’s latest is an acoustic detour, a quiet
soundtrack for overcast days… Ty Segall is an expert craftsman. The dead
space and repetition are what give the album its momentum, and the
ambling detours have an idiosyncratic charm that belongs entirely
to Segall.” Score: 7/10.
Turn Up The Volume: After dropping his previous LP Harmonizer last year, without
any warning Segall has already another one out. Now and then noiseniks need a break from turning up the volume and do a sort of acoustic, moody Neil Young thing. That’s what Segall tries here too. Unfortunately, the result is lukewarm. Come back soon Ty and keep on rockin’ in the free world again.
From the first spin on, this new one struck me as the best of the two. Its mellow, smooth, yet impassioned, and poignant soulfulness touched me directly. Bluesy reveries, bluesy lullabies, and bluesy introspections, and most of all bluesy top tunes. His best solo work ever? Could be. But first, a couple of listens more, to find out.
Rolling Stone says: “Entering Heaven Alive presents him as a flesh-and-blood creature, chewing over his past and future before a full moon transforms him in a different kind of beast.”
Paul Banks: “It definitely feels like us. It’s the heart and soul of our band,
like there’s a DNA to our sound. Another part of me thinks. This might be
super fucking different’.”
NME writes: “On ‘The Other Side Of Make Believe’, they’re still very much in a mid-career
purple patch. You won’t find any indie radio bangers like ‘Slow Hands’ or ‘All The Rage Back Home’, but instead a consistent and engaging tapestry of moods and textures… Far from a
total reinvention, but all adds up to a confident, rewarding and subtly adventurous new chapter for Interpol – or, as Banks sings himself on the aforementioned peak of ‘Toni’, “Still in shape, my methods refined”. Score: 4/5.
TUTV: It’s simple. Their 7th is their best since their 1st (Turn On The Bright Lights – 2002, turning 20 next month). In between, it felt like Interpol was searching for a new sonic identity. A trial and error journey with half great//half lukewarm longplayers.
But here their characteristic gloominess touches moony hearts again (definitely mine)
with their distressed musings in sound and content. No charged corkers this time, only sensitive and soulful melodies with moody shades for candlelight evenings.
Welcome back to twilight land.
Singles/clips: Gran Hotel / Something Changed / Toni
Spektor on her FB page: “What a crazy world it has been. And still is.
I’m just so glad it IS… cause knowing us humans, that’s not always a given.
I’m full of extra gratitude and love for the world these days. Just glad to
NME says: “As emotional as ‘Home, before and after’ is, there’s a playful, punk attitude to every experimental flourish. This is a colourful, energised collection of work from an artist who could comfortably stay in her own lane, but chooses not to. With twee, indie sleaze and ‘00s alt-rock all finding new footholds in 2022, Spektor finds joy in creating a world all of her own.” Score: 4/5.
Turn Up The Volume: Topnotch record. A pop opera backed by a symphonic orchestra. Every song enthralls. Every song is a Spektor fantasy about love, pain, about her heart and soul. She’s back in supreme style. Welcome.
Singles/clips: Up The Mountain / Coming All Alone / Loveology
– UP THE MOUNTAIN –
(Sublime pop earworm)
– BECOMING ALL ALONE –
(Symphonic mid-tempo lullaby)
Neneh Cherry has teamed up with some of today’s most exciting female artists for this allbum The Versions. The collaborative LP features covers from her expansive catalogue by an all-female line-up of musicians, including Sia, Robyn, Anohni, Greentea Peng, Kelsey Lu, Sudan Archives, Tyson and others.
Liam about the album: “I’m quite happy with the formula. All these people that go out
and do something different – good for them and all that, but if I like something, I just stick
NME says: “At once experimental and familiar enough to keep his stunning second act on course, ‘C’mon You Know’ finds Liam Gallagher having his cake and eating it – and there’s plenty to go round at this party. If he doesn’t overthink it, why should you? Turn off your mind, relax and bring the cans.” Full review here. Score: 4/5.
Turn Up The Volume: Liam says that he is happy with his rock formula. So nothing new? No, just a bunch of new songs from good to very good. As much as I love our kid I enjoy him the most when he’s a rock ‘n’ roll star on stage. That’s his habitat. That’s what he does best. Entertaining a crowd/choir of 50.000 in a green field. See you in Belgium in August, Liam, on a green field of course.
Singles/clips: Everything’s Electric / Better Days / C’Mon On You Know