Tag Archives: album

ALBUM REVIEW: Dusk For Dawn (Cazadero)

15 Sep

Cazadero are named after a town in California, and describe themselves on their Bandcamp page as ‘dabbling in Western pop.’ It’s as good a description as any, and the California feel is definitely something that runs through the album – not in the way that brings to mind convertibles and episodes of The OC, but more in the way of gold streaked sunsets and warm summer nights.

‘Dusk For Dawn’ opens with ‘Ones I’ve Never Liked’, which is sadly the weakest song on the album. It feels disjointed and stops and starts, never quite flowing and serves only to be mildly alienating and inoffensive. There’s no real hook and the jangly guitar chords which work so well through other songs seem to be missing some sort of spark. It’s an amateur campfire song – campfire without the atmosphere needed to pull it together and give it some sort of definition.

It’s a pity, because the follow-up is ‘Roads’ – ironically the best track on the record. The lyrics are from ‘Roads Go Over On’, a JRR Tolkien poem, and the inspiration is audible even without that knowledge. ‘Roads’ is a song which needs you to lay back and listen; it’s full of promises and dusty highways and old men drinking whiskey in saloon bars. The jangly guitar works well here, creating a lovely hazy feel and the most important part aside from the atmosphere is the fact that it’s so uncomplicated. Cazadero avoid the trap that most new bands fall into of adding needless instrumentation and effects and simply let ‘Roads’ speak for itself. And it speaks of hazy, atmospheric nights and lone wandering by day.

‘Still Life’ is the next track, and one that lives up to its name yet again. It’s more relaxed and the vocals have a Tom Waits growl to them, with the female backing vocals providing a lovely contrast. Cazadero keep the lack of complication and fit the parts together neatly – it’s simple but that’s not to say it’s easy. Simple can be difficult to do, and ‘Still Life’ pulls it off with ease. ‘I will turn you inside out’ promise the lyrics, and manage to make it the kind of promise you want to be fulfilled.

While the vocals on ‘First Time’ dip a little too low at times, it serves as a testament to how well the songs manage to differ from each other, without ever becoming generic or losing the sense of cohesion in the album. There’s a lovely atmospheric feel running through the album and it creates an imagery that a lot of records don’t; a few moments listening and you’re lost in an indulgent Tolkien tinged world.

‘We’re Alright’ is the album closer, and the first fifty seconds or so feel like a practice or misstep. The song could do without them, but once they’re over it’s a lovely closer and concludes the record nicely. If you long for dusty roads and horseback rides, then you’ll struggle to do a lot better than ‘Dusk For Dawn.’

ALBUM REVIEW: The Vaccines Come Of Age (The Vaccines)

8 Aug

The Vaccines have only been around since 2010 but they’re already raring to go and release their second album. After debut album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ hit our headphone only last year, the band didn’t rest on their laurels but instead toured and then jumped right back into the studio.

Follow up album ‘The Vaccines Come Of Age’ has already come under criticism from being released too soon, but is that really such a bad thing? I take an early listen to the album and let you know what I think of each track…

Read it here.

ALBUM REVIEW: Body Faucet (Reptar)

29 Jun

Athens band Reptar want you to like them, they really do. And they try to make it so easy – their cutesy 90s band name, quirky songs and a sunshine soaked debut album mean you find yourself really wanting to like them back. Which is why it feels more disappointing than usual that ‘Body Faucet’ is just… average.

Read the rest here.

ALBUM REVIEW: Electric Cables (Lightships)

27 May

Gerard Love is obviously best known for Teenage Fanclub, a band once hailed by Kurt Cobain as the best in the world. The thing about Teenage Fanclub is that Love was just one third of the songwriting team, so his summery contributions were given edge and teeth by the remaining two-thirds; Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley. Here, Love is given free rein to indulge his twee side.

Read the rest here.

ALBUM REVIEW: The Shallows (I Like Trains)

24 May

While a nod to the fact that The Shallows is based around the concept of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book is in order, the latest album from I Like Trains really should be viewed as standing alone. The theme, of course, is heavily linked to the novel – the idea of the internet changing the way we think is something that runs through both, although I Like Trains choose to interpret this with darkly moody tracks.

Read the rest here.