New Release Roundup 24th November 17

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?: The latest album from NG is a big departure from his previous two solo efforts on the surface, but you quickly realise it’s not that out there. Lead single ‘Holy Mountain’ is catchy, but it sounds like a Ricky Martin covering something The Vaccines’ last album. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that is the standout track on the album. It’s A Beautiful World sounds like your standard Noel track but without any of the punchy rock production that made his 1st album so successful. Following that, a long run of forgettable tracks – and that’s it. As you weren’t. 40%

Morrissey – Low in High School: It’s a shame that this album is so poor and obviously fuelled by his personal opinions and general dickery, because his voice is still there and sounds great. No real standout tracks on this album at all, with the lead single ‘Spent The Day In Bed’ becoming more and more irritating every time I hear it. Compared to his briliant ‘World Peace Is None Of Your Business’ album, this is uninspired and drab. 20%

Craig David & Bastille – I Know You: I wasn’t expecting too much from this, but rather than having a big, cheesy arena-sized banger of a chorus, this track opts for a minimal beat drop. It’s alright to be fair. 66%

One Bit & Noah Cyrus –My Way: A great, fun dance track from elecronic duo One Bit, with Noah Cyrus providing a great vocal performance. Wouldn’t mind this becoming a big hit. 70%

The Orielles – Let Your Dogtooth Grow: Another super track from Halifax indie group The Orielles. Very excited for their debut album now. 85%

Dua Lipa x Initial Talk – New Rules 80s Remix: It was a banger to begin with, but this remix has elevated it to pretty much perfect pop. 80%

Rae Morris – Atletico: A really well produced, catchy pop single from Rae with a v good vocal performance. 75%

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Tramlines 2017 Review

FRIDAY

Opening up the main stage for this year’s Tramlines were local band Liberty Ship, who definitely deserved that big slot, providing an upbeat set of crowd-pleasing indie rock that kicked things off proper.

Following on from Liberty Ship were Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic.TA9.JPG

Drawing a big crowd fairly early on, Twin Atlantic were one of the tightest acts of the weekend, kicking their set off with ‘Whispers’ from last year’s GLA album.

After a few songs from them however, I had to dash over to the Devonshire Green stage to catch US Hip Hop Legends The Pharcyde. PS2.JPG

One of the most high-energy, fun sets of the weekend came from The Pharcyde.

Getting the crowd moving and making noise on every song, and Bootie doing his part from Dirty Harry by Gorillaz was one of my highlights of the weekend.

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Closing the Devonshire Green stage on Friday was Mercury nominated grime legend Kano.  Alongside an incredible live band, Kano performed cuts from his latest album, Made in The Manor alongside some old favourites. Many big grime acts have someone else to fill in the gaps when they need to take a breath bars, but Kano did not need that at all, effortlessly spitting even through the rain.

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SATURDAY

Saturday was wet. But that didn’t stop Sheffield. The first act of the day for me were the ever-brilliant Estrons.

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As punchy as ever, Estrons delivered a great set to an upbeat Dev Green crowd despite the threatening weather, with big hitters ‘Make a Man’ and ‘Drop’ getting the slightly damp crowd moving.

Next up were another act that I had seen a few times before, and knew that they would be great; Spring King.

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I was expecting a good crowd for Spring King, but they had the liveliest crowd of the weekend, with most songs ending up with a mosh pit, much to the delight of Tarek and co.

After a short, very wet interlude, it was time for the Saturday night headliners, Primal Scream.

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A large amount of people had left before Primal Scream had even started, the weather was that bad. But those who braved the rain knew they had made the right decision as soon as the opening of ‘Movin on Up’ blasted out across the Ponderosa. A greatest hits set in the biggest way possible, massive track like ‘Loaded’, ‘Rocks’ and ‘Come Together’ did their best to shake away the clouds.

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SUNDAY

Having mostly dried off from the night before, it was out to the main stage for Akala.

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Akala drew a massive crowd for 3 in the afternoon, bringing his fire from the booth to the Tramlines main stage.

After Akala’s short and sharp set, Loyle Carner took to the (very smartly dressed) stage.

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Launching into his set with ‘The Isle of Arran’, Loyle played a blinder of a set, getting a great reception from the main stage crowd. Witty lyrics with great delivery made for one of the highlights of the festival, with set closer ‘NO CD’ going off in a big way.

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After Loyle, it was back over to Devonshire Green for The Big Moon. tbm13.JPG

Starting off with ‘Silent Movie Susie’ before ripping through most of ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, The Big Moon were one of the best acts of the weekend.

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Closing Tramlines 2017 were Metronomy.m6.JPG

Despite it being another wet one, the main stage was rammed. ‘Back Together’ from ‘Summer ’08’ kicked off Metronomy’s hit filled set, with ‘Old Skool’ from the same album following that. The whole hour was filled with memorable synth lines that got Sheffield grooving in the rain, from ‘The Bay’ right through to closer ‘Reservoir’. The final, and best act of the weekend.

Overall, another great year for Tramlines. Very well organised with very friendly, helpful staff and one of the most diverse festival lineups I have seen this year.

97%

Amber Arcades- Cannonball EP Review.

This EP follows on from 2016’s brilliant ‘Fading Lines’ album and the quality of Annelotte’s songwriting and melodies hasn’t wavered.

A cover of a track originally by Nick Drake kicks off the project, with ‘Which Will’ being brilliantly interpreted; it doesn’t sound out of place with any of the tracks on this EP or her debut album.

Second track ‘It Changes’ is AA’s strongest track to date. Upbeat and punchy from the first guitar chord, the track is a burst of summery guitar goodness, with the vocal hook being one of the catchiest of the year.

‘Wouldn’t Even Know’ featuring ex-Coral man Bill Ryder Jones is another brilliant track, this one a lot more melancholic than ‘It Changes’, but in no way is it boring, with Bill’s vocals only adding to the track rather than feeling shoehorned in as a feature.

Title track ‘Cannonball’ closes off the EP with a slow, emotional track that really highlights the vocal performance from Annelotte. Overall this is a really, really strong EP that shows a lot of promise for any future releases from Amber Arcades.

 

97%

Best 3 – It Changes, Wouldn’t Even Know, Which Will

 

 

 

 

 

 

21/4/17 New Release Roundup 

Singles:

Paramore – Hard Times: Hard Times is the 1st single from Paramore’s upcoming album ‘After Laughter’ and is an upbeat, catchy electro-pop track. 80%

Lady Gaga – The Cure: This single was released after Gaga debuted it live during her Coachella headline set last weekend, and is another pop banger from the Lady, a return to that sound after her Joanne album. 84%

Ghostpoet – Immigrant Boogie: The first track from Ghostpoet since his 2015 album ‘Shedding Skin’ is another great piece of off-kilter indie pop, with Obaro’s vocals really shining against the dark production. 91%

Lana Del Rey & The Weeknd – Lust For Life: Another collab from Lana and Abel, the first being on The Weeknd’s Starboy album last year. An atmospheric, delicately produced track, with both artists’ vocals working well together. Standard from LDR. 77%

Marie Danielle ft. The Felice Brothers – Soldier: Marie has a nice voice, but this track is really cringey, with lyrics including ‘he was a son of gun’ ‘I know where I belong’. 20%

Albums & EPs:


Shamir – Hope: Hope is a surprise, free release from Shamir and it comes with an almost completely different sound than his debut album, ‘Ratchet’ from 2015. Short, Lo-Fi and indie-rock inspired, this is a departure from the overt pop of his past – it’s very very good. 87%


Maximo Park – Risk To Exist: This is the 6th full studio album from Newcastle’s indie faves, and proves they still have that clever songwriting along with catchy guitar based melodies that made their first album so successful. Risk To Exist has some great tracks, with ‘Get High (No I Don’t)’ being one of the best from the band so far. 90%