February

Unknown Mortal Orchestra//II

Is this just like a new genre now? Psychedelic indie rock fronted by high-pitched men? Because I swear it seems like a rule now that all psychedelic bands now have to follow that template.

The latest entry to a genre that seems to be entirely made up of Tame Impala and slightly inferior rip-offs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra inject some folk and soul elements to a sound that is slower and more laid-back than their already extremely chilled compatriots. It’s a distinction that allows them to stand out slightly more than the competition, but ultimately they still just leave you thinking ‘God, Lonerism was great, I’ll listen to that instead’.

Manage to resist the temptation and you’ll be rewarded by a pleasantly sedate, calming bit of psychedelic rock, although not one to leave you particularly blown away. It suffers from some slow down later on (i.e. after that seven minute long ‘sonic exploration’) but is nothing if not solid.

This is music for those cool, sort of hipster gadget ads that alternate being all minimalist and louche and showing various ethnic people hanging out on a rooftop staring at a cat video.

B

From The Sun, So Good At Being In Trouble, No Need For A Leader

Nick Cave//Push The Sky Away

Alas, proof that all good things must come to an end – and that they usually end with a whimper rather than a bang. Nick Cave and co’s late career renaissance has finally ground to a quietly depressing halt. Album opener We No Who U R(what’s so difficult about just spelling it properly?) tells you right from the off that the garage rock of Dig Lazarus Dig! is very much gone, replaced by atmospheric, gothic crooners. What it doesn’t tell you is that, with the exception of that opener, it generally doesn’t come off.

Cave said something vague about the album being about Wikipedia or something. Ignore that. The album isn’t about that. That would be interesting and new, but instead the album is as dull as it is unoriginal. You’ve heard this album before – thousands of times even – and you don’t need to hear it again unless you are among the most devoted of all Bad Seeds devotees.

Cave can still tell a tale with deep-voiced bravado, and the Bad Seeds can still create the kind of apocalyptic, haunting atmosphere that they’ve done for decades, but none of it ever really goes anywhere. And when it does it generally goes back.

Is the album terrible? No. Is it relaxing and generally pleasantly inoffensive? Yes. Is it good then? Ehhh…

C+

We No Who U R, Jubilee Street, Water’s Edge

Villagers//{Awayland}

A-

See full review here

My Bloody Valentine//m b v

A

See full review here

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