5 May 2021
Band: THE CORAL (Hoylake, Merseyside, England
Active: Since 1996, this year 25 years / 10 studio albums (so far)
Album: CORAL ISLAND – double LP
Released: 30 April 2021
NME‘s verdict: “This bold and nostalgic double album from the legendary Merseyside indie experimentalists features their most adventurous writing so far… Sprinkled with the sound of distant seagulls and Hawaiian guitars for good measure, along with vivid storytelling, it’s a bold move for The Coral to come out with something so intricate at this stage of their career, even taking the time to pen an accompanying book. But immerse yourself in this heavily themed epic and you’ll be rewarded with a nostalgic trip that showcases some of their most adventurous writing to date. Full review: here. Score: 4/5.
Turn Up The Volume: Just like with the brand new Teenage Fanclub album the overall feeling is that The Coral keeps on coming up with the same melodiousness as, let’s say, their 5 previous longplayers. Mind you, many feel-good, mellow and sepia-colored tunes, but nothing to get really excited about. A single album would have been a better idea.
Singles: Faceless Angel / Lover Undiscovered / Vacancy
– FACELESS ANGEL –
– LOVER UNDISCOVERED –
– VACANCY –
THE CORAL: Facebook
25 April 2021
Band: DINOSAUR JR.
Who: Longtime slacker rockers from Amherst, Massachusetts
Active: 1984–1997, 2005–present / 12 albums (so far).
New album: SWEEP INTO SPACE – 12th LP
Released: 23 April 2021
J Mascis: “I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy, so I was trying to get some
of that dueling twin-lead sound. But the recording session was pretty well
finished by the time things really hit the fan. When the lockdown happened
in March, that meant I was on my own. But it was cool.”
Pitchfork: “Against steep odds, the Western Massachusetts noisemakers’ classic
lineup has made more records in the 21st century than they did in the ’80s, and
unlike Pixies, they’ve achieved a kind of lineup equilibrium that eluded them the
first go-round… Featuring co-production from Kurt Vile, the classic trio’s latest
reunion album is their breeziest and most melodically generous yet.”
Turn Up The Volume: This could easily be one of their 90s albums.
Same fuzz, same buzz. Still slacking like in the early days. Too familiar
for my liking.
Singles/clips: I Ran Away / Garden
– GARDEN –
– I RAN AWAY –
Stream/buy full LP…
DINOSAUR JR.: Facebook
24 April 2021
Band: FEAR FACTORY
Who: Veteran wellheads from Los Angeles (different line-ups over the years)
Active: 1989–2002, 2003–2006, 2009–present / 10 albums (so far)
Album: AGGRESSION CONTINUUM – 10th LP
Out: 18th June – Order info here
Dino Cazares (co-founder/guitarist) about the new LP: “This record is one of my
proudest achievements. There were a lot of personal struggles, sacrifices, and legal issues involved. But through passion determination, lots of hard work and not giving up the fight,
it’s finally ready for the world to hear. I felt that I needed to prove myself once again as I always try and make each record better than the last. Listen, and understand! This album is pissed! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are hooked. You must fight to survive in the Aggression Continuum.”
Also on Spotify…
FEAR FACTORY: Facebook – All Albums
22 April 2021
Band: THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
Who: Indie folk-rockers led by founder
and singer-songwriter John Darnielle
From: Claremont, California, US
Active: Since 1991 / 20 albums (so far) /
Latest: Getting Into Knives (2020)
New album: DARK IN HERE – 20th LP (third in 18 months)
Cover artwork: Walpurgis Night in Bergslagen, Grandgärde in Dalarna
by Swedish painter Anshelm Schultzberg – 1896 – from the collection
of the Swedish National Museum.
Out: 25th June via Merge Records – Order info: here.
Peter Hughes (The Goat’s multi-instrumentalist): One of the words that
John (Darnielle) used when we were talking about the direction for ‘Dark in Here’
was “wild,” which I liked a lot. Not wild in the sense of abandon—these aren’t those
kind of songs. But wild in the sense of something undomesticated, untamable. Wild
like the immutability of nature, the way it will take back any piece of untended space
as its own…. Wild like the whale; like a powerful animal. Or a virus—the beast that
awakes, emerges from a forest, and stops the world. You can fight the calamity all
you want, but either way, it’s going to demand your surrender.
A moody beauty…
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: Facebook
(photo: Jade Wilson / received via Silver PR)
12 April 2021
Band: GUIDED BY VOICES (Dayton Ohio)
Who: Imperishable and terrifically productive
veteran rockers, 33 albums in 38 years!
Active: 1983– 2004, 2010–2014, 2016–present
Album: EARTH MAN BLUES
Out: 30 April 2021 – Order info here
Info: “A magical cinematic rock album, full of dramatic and
surreal twists and turns. Lyrics and liner notes trace the growth
of young Harold Admore Harold through a coming of age and
a reckoning with darkness. Vivid scenes appear: snapshots of
youth, fantastical nightmares, unknown worlds.”
Maestro Robert Pollard told Rolling Stone: “ It’s a collage
of rejected songs. I combined some of them and created new
arrangements. Others I just left the way they were.”
Singles: Free Agents / Trust Them Now
– FREE AGENTS –
Speedy 2-minute, riff-fueled stunner that
razzles and dazzles as if nothing else matters.
– TRUST THEM NOW –
Full-steam-ahead rocker that sticks
after 3 seconds. Hail hail GBV!
GUIDED BY VOICES: Facebook
2 April 2021
Band: GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Who: Wayward enigmatic, and experimental
collective from Montreal active since 1994.
New album: G d’s Pee at STATE’S END! – 7th LP
The follow-up to 2017 LP Luciferian Towers.
Release: 2 April 2021.
Press statement from the band: “This record is about all of us waiting
for the end. all current forms of governance are failed. this record is about
all of us waiting for the beginning.”
NME says: “The Montreal experimentalists have bottled our turbulent moment with an idiosyncratic slab of noise that gives way to moments of pristine beauty… Godspeed You!
Black Emperor’s seventh album ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’s END’ is the soundtrack to a society on
the edge of all-out war, of the push-and-pull between total doom and inextinguishable hope for something better…‘STATE’S END’ is a tumultuous record for tumultuous times, but there’s a piece of galvanising beauty for every moment of crushing dread. For all the gunshots and explosions in the background, there are church bells and birdsong too. Godspeed’s new album articulates dark times, but it also presents the countermovement with breathtaking power.”
Full review: here. Score: 4/5.
Turn Up The Volume: A fitting soundtrack for a funeral. The funeral of humankind. The funeral of the planet we, ourselves, destroyed. Somber and apocalyptic. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia. Repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. One word: Götterdämmerung!
Song titles (take a deep breath):
1. A Military Alphabet (five eyes all blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First of the Last Glaciers / where we break how we shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY) 20:22
2. Fire at Static Valley
3. “GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze / cliffs’ gaze at empty waters’ rise / ASHES TO SEA or NEARER TO THEE
4. OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook
Stream/buy (digital version) here…
26 March 2021
Supergroup with Mike Patton (Faith No More),
Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard) John Stanier (Helmet)
and Kevin Rutmanis (Melvins/ex-Cows)
New album: TONIC IMMOBILITY – fifth LP
Release: 26 March 2021
KERRANG! says: “This is an album that’s compelling and will leave you
hanging onto your headphones to see what’s coming next. Of course, it’s
helped massively by the fact that Mike Patton has the type of voice that
could recite a bus timetable and make it seem genuinely interesting.”
Turn Up The Volume: Loudmouth Mike Patton and his mates had
7 years to load their batteries for this new head-banging LP. Let your
dog out and prepare your poor ears and your poor speakers for some
scream-your-lungs-out slam dunks by this bulldozing hit team.
Singles/clips: Dog Eat Dog / Business Casual
– DOG EAT DOG –
– BUSINESS CASUAL –
New albums in the pipeline…
23 March 2021
Artist: Gary Anthony James Webb aka GARY NUMAN
Started his triumphant career in 1975 as the frontman of
Tubeway Army. He celebrated his 63rd birthday on 8 March.
Album: INTRUDER – his 19th (!) longplayer
Out: 21st May 2021 – Order info here
Gary Numan: “Intruder looks at climate change from the planet’s
point of view. If Earth could speak, and feel things the way we do, what
would it say? How would it feel? The songs, for the most part, attempt to
be that voice, or at least try to express what I believe the earth must feel
at the moment.”
Single: title track..
GARY NUMAN: Facebook
Numan and his daughter in Belgium, 2018 – pic by Turn Up The Volume
21 March 2021
Band: ROYAL BLOOD
Who: Blues-rock tandem out of Brighton, UK
who entered the arena with big time bravado
back in 2014 with their self-titled debut album.
Album: TYPHOONS – 3rd LP
Release: 30 april 2021. Order info here.
Singles: Typhoons / Trouble’s Coming
– TYPHOONS –
– TROUBLE’S COMING –
ROYAL BLOOD: Facebook
20 March 2021
Bands: Vice Squad, The Insane, The Expelled, Chaos UK, The Expelled and many more
Album: RIOT CITY: COMPLETE SINGLES COLLECTION – THE SOUND OF UK 82
4 CDs – 119 songs – 4 hr 44 min
What: “Brings together every single side released by Bristol punk label Radio City,
plus the 1982 Riotous Assembly compilation album as a bonus.”
Key band: Vice Squad
RIOT CITY: Info
Artist: LANA DEL REY
Album: CHEMTRAILS OVER THE COUNTRY CLUB – her 7th LP
NME says: “The star follows up her career-high ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell!’ with another stunning album, one the aches with meditations on fame and romance… It’s a reminder that, more than just being influenced by the likes of Joan Baez and Stevie Nicks, she’s now on a par with them. Lana Del Rey is at the peak of her game – just don’t expect her to come down anytime soon.” Score: 5/5.
Key single: Let Me Love You Like A Woman
Stream album here…
LANA DEL REY: Facebook
Band: BLACK HONEY
Who: Stupendous indie rockers from Brighton, England
led by the charismatic Izzy Baxter Phillips
Album: WRITTEN & DIRECTED – 2nd LP
NME says: “The Brighton band’s follow-up finds them coming into their own and, like any great movie, offsets hard-hitting scenes with more tender moments… If Brighton’s Black Honey have always had a touch of the cinematic about them, then ‘Written And Directed’ finds them going blockbuster. Bigger and bolder than their self-titled 2018 debut, their second album has its teeth bared and snarling, ready to soundtrack frontwoman Izzy B. Phillips’ reckoning with those around her, the patriarchy and herself… ‘Written And Directed’ is a thrilling step up from a band quietly coming into their own. Score: 4/5.
Key single: Run For Cover
BLACK HONEY: Facebook