CD Reviews

Malcolm Middleton – Sleight of Hand

Sleight of Hand - Malcolm Middleton By Chris Peken Following the amicable split of Arab Strap a couple of years ago, Malcolm Middleton has continued on his merry solo way, following up last year's A Brighter Beat with Sleight of Hand. Arab Strap fans will be familiar with the down beat vocal style and the delightful […]

Saravah Soul – Saravah Soul

Saravah Soul ' Saravah Soul BY CHRIS PEKEN For all its dark, damp pubs, warm beer and lack of winter sunlight London has never suffered from a lack of cultural inputs. From the West Indian reggae that ignited The Clash to the current melting pot that has produced the likes of Nitin Sawney and M.I.A. […]

The Black Hollies – Casting Shadows

Casting Shadows ' The Black Hollies BY CHRIS PEKEN There is a particular fuzz guitar that first came to the wider public's attention via John Lennon's playing on Revolver, but had its roots in the psychedelic garages of the 60's. That is the sound of The Black Hollies in 2008. Take a trip in H […]

Morrissey – Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits - Morrissey BY Lachlan Jobbins Morrissey's star has been on the rise again for the last few years, with two UK number one albums and a string of top 10 singles. Now there's his Greatest Hits, featuring thirteen singles and two new tracks ' That's How People Grow Up and All You Need Is […]

Rubies – Explode from the Centre

Explode from the Centre ' Rubies BY CHRIS PEKEN The term 'explosion' would indicate some form of vicious expression of energy: 'to give vent to an emotion, suddenly or violently'. As such it's somewhat of a misnomer in terms of the Rubies, whose gentle funk, smooth folk and subtly danceable rhythms are anything but violent. […]

Plastic Palace Alice – The Great Depression

The Great Depression ' Plastic Palace Alice BY CHRIS PEKEN Making bold claims about reviving the art of the 'album' ' as opposed to the download/fileshare ' Melborne's Plastic Palace Alice choose to boldly reference Bowie's Hunky Dory, The Beatle's White Album and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds for The Great Depression - ambitious indeed […]

The Bell Rays – Hard Sweet and Sticky

Hard Sweet and Sticky ' The Bell Rays BY CHRIS PEKEN The departure of guitarist and songwriter Tony Fate prior to the recording of Hard, Sweet and Sticky has had a small but very tangible impact on The Bell Rays. Whist Fate had already contributed to the songwriting his absence during recording sees vocalist and […]

The Cassettes – Neath the Pale Moon

'Neath the Pale Moon ' The Cassettes BY CHRIS PEKEN As their name might suggest, The Cassettes inhabit a world that is somewhat out of step with the masses, and this is far from a bad thing. Fronted by Shelby Cinca, the son of Romanian refugees and featuring banjo, theremin, moog, saw and tables, The […]

Katheleen Edwards – Asking for Flowers

Asking for Flowers ' Katheleen Edwards BY CHRIS PEKEN Getting past the back cover picture that shows this Canadian singer-songwriter looking like an Amish Celine Dion took but an instant: the first instant she opened her mouth and sang. A gentler Lucinda Williams, a stronger Emmylou Harris and a woman who could/would be great friends […]

Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing

Street Horrrsing ' Fuck Buttons BY CHRIS PEKEN Not for the faint hearted are this Bristol duo of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power, collectively choosing to call themselves the Fuck Buttons (why not Power Hung I ask you'). You can forget melody; go straight past chorus and collect and earful of noise for your […]