Album #43: Guided By Voices – Surrender Your Poppy Field

In my last review, I described The Men as “prolific” for bringing out eight albums in a decade. Making that claim seem pretty laughable, Guided By Voices just brought out their 30th album since 1987 – all the more astonishing considering the dry spell between 2004 and 2012. Last year alone saw Bob Pollard and his lo-fi legends drop three full length albums.

Album #42: The Men – Mercy

Bringing us their eighth album in ten years, The Men are probably a band who meet the definition of being “prolific”, even if their pace has gradually slowed to around an album every two years. Their sound has evolved someone over that time too, gravitating towards Americana and country, yet retaining the hard, punky edge of their earlier work.

Album #41: HMLTD – West of Eden

From what I’ve heard of HMLTD in the past, I’m not sure whether I like them or not. Their mix of guitar rock and EDM influences is pretty innovative and original, but I’ve found it hard to escape the notion that they’re trying a bit too hard. Plus their name makes them sound like some kind of financial advice company.

Album #39: Bambara – Stray

It’s difficult to talk about Bambara without making comparisons to Nick Cave/Birthday Party – the baritone vocals, the dissonant guitar, the dark and narrative style of lyrics. Despite that, they’re not a derivative band by any stretch, and I prefer to think of them as a soundtrack to some kind of post-punk Western that’s never been put together.

Album #38: Mush – 3D Routine

Sounding more like they’re from the sun-drenched suburbs of California or Texas than the cold and damp expanse of West Yorkshire, Mush’s debut is one I’ve been looking forward to. I really liked their Induction Party EP last year – a bit lo-fi and rough around the edges perhaps, but that’s no bad thing.

Album #37: Blankenberge – More

Last week, I was writing about how Japanese shoegaze/dream-pop has its own distinct sound. So too does Russian, come to think of it. Spearheaded by the likes of Aerofall and the wonderful Pinkshinyultrablast, the genre’s Eastern European offerings are highly sonic and layered but not usually very abrasive, often favouring electronics to guitars, with delicate female vocals buried within the melee.

Album #34: Duster – Stratosphere

While listening to Codeine on YouTube last week, as soon as the album finished, the site took me straight to a video of Duster’s 1998 debut Stratosphere. I’m still feeling a bit “slowcore” in this ongoing winter, particularly given Britain has been hit by one of the worst storms I’ve ever seen this weekend. So I thought, why not?

Create your website at
Get started