Our Latest Record / Concert Reviews:

Iceage – Plowing Into The Field Of Love

iceageSome traditions are born quickly. What about the one where we vow to cold-shoulder the new album of the dubious Danish post-punks Iceage and it still ends up in our year-end list. Last year we had to admit at the last minute that You’re Nothing was nailing, exposing a refined sense of melody, without in any way compromising its rawness and anguish. Iceage ‘can slow down the pace way below punk standards and even throw in a piano and the result is no less ominous.‘ we wrote about a year ago. With Plowing Into The Field Of Love they take doom to the next level, proving that they can even take an ebullient and lively genre like rockabilly and turn into music that would have Johnny Cash turn in is grave. I’m talking, of course, about the band’s self-celebrating drinking single The Lord’s Favorite. A rambunctious break of style that is executed with such confidence and poignancy, it’s thrilling. The song is the highest peak between slightly lower peaks, each of which protruding proudly above the clouds that separate Iceage from post-punk’s mortals.

As Iceage stray further from post-punk’s mandatory forms with each album, the effect is increasingly disorienting. “We have this way of playing together that doesn’t really leave us with any choice: Like we are on the verge of falling to pieces.” singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt explained on the release date of Plowing Into The Field Of Love. The album title reflects the way the band diligently murder their own melodic delights, with Rønnenfelt’s atonal growl either lagging behind or rushing in front of the music. Amid the cacophony it’s the small details that emphasize the beauty in decay. For instance, the melancholic piano chords and surprising percussion on How Many, the moody organ on the Nick Cavish goth-Ballad Stay and the fiddle-picking on another great drinking song titled Abundant Living, on which Rønnenfelt sounds a lot like The Pogues Shane MacGowan. Perhaps the most surprising song on Plowing Into The Field Of Love is Against The Moon, an unambiguously majestic croon song, with Rønnenfelt almost conforming against a background of rueful brass: thrilling. Ice would be disgusted if they find out that they are part of a tradition, but then disgust is their muse.

TV On The Radio – Seeds

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Sometimes a single song can ruin a band for me. Usually a monumentally shitty hit single is the culprit, but very occasionally it works the other way around: a song that makes such a big impression on me that it pales the rest of the band's … [Continue reading]

Jett Rebel – Hits For Kids

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The buzz surrounding Jett Rebel has been echoing around for over a year now. Two adequate but far from sensational EP's hardly justify the excessive attention given to Jett Rebel a.k.a. Jelte Tuinstra, a 23 year old musician from The Hague. … [Continue reading]

Zoot Woman – Star Climbing

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Back in 2001 Living In A Magazine by Zoot Woman was my first acquaintance with synthpop retro. Before that there must have been other bands that were rediscovering the mysterious charm of analogue electronics, but this was at time that a horrendous … [Continue reading]

Nouveau Vélo – Nouveau Vélo

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As jangly and reverberant as Nouveau Vélo sounded on their impressive 2013 EP Daze, so clean and sprightly they sound on their full length debut. It takes some getting used to for those who, like me, were quite taken by the lingering slumber rock of … [Continue reading]

Alt-J – This Is All Yours

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Alt-J's debut album was one the most succesful and critically acclaimed alternative albums of 2012. It seemed that the Fuzz were about the only ones who couldn't quite grasp what all the..eh..fuss was about. Sure, An Awesome Wave was an album of … [Continue reading]

Martin Carr – The Breaks

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In their video review of the Breaks, The Guardian justly call Martin Carr one of the great lost figures of 90s alt-rock. He wasn't lost to me though. I've always kept track of the main songwriter of the scandalously undervalued Boo Radleys who … [Continue reading]

Ballet School – The Dew Lasts An Hour

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We did not know what to make of Berlin-based three piece Ballet School last January at Eurosonic. The band's hyperactive singer Rosie Blair scared us with her undirected joy. Guitarist Michel Collet seemed a goth guitarist who had accidentally … [Continue reading]

Merchandise – After The End

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Here's one for the year lists, well mine anyway. The fourth album by Tampan band Merchandise combines the meandering sprawl of The War On Drugs with the cathartic gloom of early Smiths. After The End is an album of dense instrumentations, complex … [Continue reading]

Sun Kil Moon – Benji

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My first introduction to the music of Mark Kozelek dates back to the year 2000 with the release of his solo debut the EP Rock 'N Roll Singer. Especially the outstanding hushed AC/DC covers impressed me enough to look into Kozeleks past discography. … [Continue reading]