www.list.co.uk/music Record Reviews Music
Thom Yorke, Muse, Bon Iver, Death Cab and Lykke Li and others contribute to a standalone sampler (chosen by mood music maven Alexandra Patsavas of Grey’s Anatomy infamy) in a rare application of merchandising hype to a deserving product. Thankfully a fixation with the undead isn’t necessary to enjoy it. (Suzanne Black) FOLKTRONICA/ INDIE POP ZOEY VAN GOEY The Cage Was Unlocked All Along (Chemikal Underground) ●●●●●
Originally self-released back in May to limited exposure, this debut album from eclectic and endlessly imaginative Glasgow-based Canadian, Irish and English boy-girl trio Zoey Van Goey deservedly gets a second, bigger bite of the cherry after being picked up by Chemikal Underground. The band’s frothy indie pop tendencies are best encapsulated by the janglesome ‘Foxtrot Vandals’, produced by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch. ‘We All Hid in Basements’ – a tale of love on the eve of the apocalypse that builds into a crashing, widescreen rock out – and twinkling folktronica gem ‘Sweethearts in Disguise’ are just two more standouts among many on a wonderful and wonderfully realised record. (Malcolm Jack)
FOLK POP RODDY HART Sign Language (Vertical Records) ●●●●●
Rosie Nimmo Lazy and Mellow (Kick My Heels) Comparisons with Sandy Denny and Dory Previn are big claims to make but are not unfounded on the evidence of this solo debut for Edinburgh’s own Nimmo, a haunting collection of spare, subtle songs meditating on the magic and trials of life. Devendra Banhart What Will Be (Warner Bros) Less random and scattergun than his previous efforts, Banhart’s major label debut is a sun flecked collection of woozy acoustica; part Laurel Canyon dreaming, part psychedelic folly, part Latin jaunt.
Sharon King Reckless Angels (Birnam) The third album from King – whose intimate, affecting songs are set somewhere between the mountains of the highlands and the plains of the American mid-west – charges various members of the Scottish folk scene to provide instrumental augmentation for her beautiful melodies.
Cuddly Shark Cuddly Shark (Armelodie Records) Art school hillbillies is perhaps the finest description of a band we’ve heard all year and this vitriolic debut album from the Scottish trio lives up to the claim, a disjointed mix of 50s rollers and 00s rockers barbed with general lyrical gnarliness. Mr Hudson Straight No Chaser (Mercury) Enthusiastic endorsement from Kanye West and Jay-Z can’t stop this album of electropop slickness from feeling like the slightly underwhelming little brother to West’s 808s and Heartbreak.
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mixing duties and Eddi Reader lending some backing vocals, it’s clear that this law graduate has melody and heart on his side but he tips the scales too heavily with an hour of music that could have been happily trimmed to create a tighter collection.
Comparisons to Dylan and Springsteen are doing him few favours, but there’s no doubt that Roddy Hart has got a killer record in him. This is a decent step towards that. (Brian Donaldson)
METAL SLAYER World Painted Blood (Mercury) ●●●●●
Being pretty much the complete package when they started, California’s Slayer are attributed with inspiring an entire generation towards replicating their heads down, relentless thrash riffage. The problem with that is that over the years, these originators feel compelled to do the same. This means that while a raft of their bloody offspring pull their sound in various new and inventive directions, the godfathers seem to be retreading old ground. There are flashes of virulent magic here for sure, ‘Hate Worldwide’ and ‘Psychopathy Red’ reinforce the brilliance of the foursome’s playing, while ‘Playing With Dolls’’ arpeggiated doom suggests a willingness to experiment, but for the most part, their highly compressed, intense maelstrom remains a dynamic, if familiar thrill. (Mark Robertson)
INDIE JULIAN CASABLANCAS Phrazes For The Young (Rough Trade) ●●●●●
The List is quite frankly gagging for a new Strokes record . . . it’s been three years ferchrissakes. But until we get one, Julian Casablancas’ debut (easily the Strokes-iest sounding of each member’s solo projects so far) will do nicely. At a mere eight tracks long, it’s damn short, but oh how sweetly it soars.
Opening strongly with the gritty riff-propelled ‘Out Of The Blue’, the frontman wittily croons ‘I know I’m going to hell/ in a leather jacket/ at least I’ll be in another world/ while you’re pissing on my casket’ as a melange of swoon-some synths and duelling guitars crowd around an utterly infectious melody – leading nicely into two of the album’s further highlights; brilliantly pop-tastic effort ‘Left & Right In The Dark’ and stomping single ‘11th Dimension’.
‘4 Chords of the Apocalypse’ and ‘Ludlow Street’ take things down a notch; the former’s bluesy piano paving the way for an acoustic sway- along complete with, umm, playfully discordant banjo solo. Casablancas goes folk eh? Who’d have thought it? But the standout is still to come, and it slams out of the speakers in the form of the gloriously deranged ‘River of Brakelights’; as attacking keyboards and monstrous riffs drive an off-kilter and compelling headfuck of a backing track, while the frontman gives the most wildly emotional vocal performance of his life. Goosebumps! It’s up to ‘Glass’ and ‘Tourist’ to close proceedings, in a rather more subdued, and really quite beautiful electronics and brass-tinged fashion, and although we could certainly have done with a few extra songs tacked on at the end here, the Strokes singer leaves us thoroughly giddy and, as ever, craving more. (Camilla Pia)
port warehouse as metaphor for the constant mixing of Colombian with European traditions. Her fruity voice leads a sensational young band (many of them family) of resonating tambur drums, various guitars and exuberant brass riffs. Peter Gabriel and WOMAD picked up on her early on, Gabriel Garcia Marquez took her to Stockholm when he won his Nobel Prize, and in 2006 WOMEX gave her a Lifetime
Achievement Award. All of which propels Totó ever onwards but never detracts from the spectral beauty of her music. (Jan Fairley)
FILM SOUNDTRACK VARIOUS The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Atlantic) ●●●●● They could stamp any old trash with the Twilight brand and have a hit, which is why the soundtrack for the second film in the
rabidly followed teen vampire series is such a lovely surprise. Eschewing the gothic histrionics of the books, the soundtrack offers a subtle and accessible mix of new artists and elder statesmen of the current alt. music scene. The man who played in front of the Queen as part of the Scottish Parliament’s tenth anniversary bash gets some help from the Glasgow pop aristocracy on this, his second studio album. With Stephen Lironi on