Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hearts Of Oak - New England

"Country shoegaze" is the genre apparently, therefore Hearts Of Oak should score highly with me as they combine two of my favourite things in the musical world so lets see... Well there is certainly a very alt.country feel to much of this, its laid back and rootsy but also often with a vein of menace looming behind proceedings.

"Well lit highway" is a great psychedelic rock track, the vocals very Bob Dylan (albeit before Bob lost his voice) with some tasty wall of noise. Hearts Of Oak have a fairly retro late 60s and early 70s sound in many ways but updated sonically and technically for the now, and it sounds very fine indeed. "Lovers ain't easy" could be a late 60s Dylan song that went missing. "Grey riders" is a very appealing reflective track that stretches off into an effect laden soundscape.

I'm not sure about the "country shoegazer" label but there are elements of both especially on tracks like "Grey riders", but lets not get too hung up about labels. Its really good music, all the description you need really.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lily Allen - its not me its you

One of the few intelligent faces in modern pop Lily Allen's second album scores with inventive and often highly catchy melodies and witty wordplay. "Everyone's at it" on endemic drug use and "The fear" on the insecurity and emptiness of the vacuous life of a micro-sleb are great tracks and a brilliant way to open proceedings. Some of the other songs are a bit filler-ish or just plain poo but "22" on the fear of getting "past it" is another star track. Star quality album and artist too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blackbird Raum - swidden cassette

Released on the cassette indie Erode Releases (don't worry its also available digitally) this album is a wonderful slice of folk thrash or root punk or just good music if you prefer. Blackbird Raum are a US group who formed out of a squatter community in California. Living without electricity and much else they began playing folk (as you do) mixing it with other styles like ska, indie and punk and this is the result.

It is often chaotic but the band sound like they are having a blast as will you. "Rubicon drawn" is a perfect example of their genre splitting and/or creating style mixing folk dance and bluegrass with a punk energy.