Archive for the 'Album Reviews' Category


Album Review – Arctic Monkeys: AM

Arctic-Monkeys-AMThe Down Lizzo:

This is normally the part of my reviews where I give some background and context of who and what the band I’m reviewing is.

I feel like a bit of an idiot in this instance though because are you seriously telling me you don’t know who the Arctic Monkeys are?

Who are you man?! Seriously, what the fuck are you doing on this site? You take a wrong turn on the way to 2OceansVibe? Get out from under that rock man! Christ, you’re missing all the good stuff!

Now that that’s sorted, let’s get into the meat and bones of this album, shall we?

Those of us who are familiar with the Arctic Monkeys will also be familiar with the fact that this band is incapable of releasing a dud album.

Don’t take my word for it though, read this article which says that the band have made Official UK Album Chart history as the only indie-released act to release five consecutive albums at Number One on the UK Albums Chart.



More impressive than that however is the musical journey that this band has gone through. Few bands come to mind that are as doggedly determined to surge forward in terms of the evolution of their sound as the Arctic Monkeys.

As I’ve noted in previous reviews, they could have comfortably continued releasing borderline bubblegum-pop indie albums like their first two, started loping off into the sunset around album number five and disappeared from the music altogether and that would have been just fine.

Instead they pretty much overhauled their entire sound with their 3rd album, the Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) produced Humbug in 2009. Overnight they changed from sarcastic indie kids to dark, brooding desert rockers, a change that lost them a big portion of their original fanbase and lead to a lot of people saying Josh Homme had “ruined” the Arctic Monkeys.



I love Humbug, but even I’ll admit that Homme’s influence was a bit too strong on that album. He has a way of seeping into every project he’s involved in and leaving an unmistakeable mark on everything he touches.

In contrast, 2011’s Suck It And See felt like the band was trying to reconcile who they’d become with who they were. The results were a record that showed a lot of promise – lighter in tone than Humbug, it still had some pretty psychedelic moments and saw the band letting rip with a couple of monster, 70s era riffs in tracks like “Brick By Brick” and “Don’t Look Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”.

It’s that direction that the Arctic Monkeys have explored fully on AM and in doing so have found a sound that, while it borrows heavily on 70s rock is still so distinctly theirs that it’s no wonder the new album is topping charts the world over.



Sick Tracks

It starts slow, deliberate, hand-clapping, bass drum thumping beats, there is space, fucking football fields of the stuff, they let it breathe, they are in absolutely no rush to blow your fucking mind. That’s “Do I Wanna Know?”

And sure, why not drop everything except the bass, drums and vocals for half of the second verse? It fucking works because Alex Turner is one of the best crooners in rock music today – fact.

“So have you got the guts? / Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts / Simmer down and pucker up / I’m sorry to interrupt it’s just I’m constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you…”



From there they land “R U Mine?” like a fucking sucker-punch right to the teeth. Matt Helders lands drum beats and fills like H-bombs, Jamie Cook and Turner wield their axes with brutal precision and don’t get me started Nick O’Malley’s menacing bass guitar, it’ll give you goosebumps brother. It’ll haunt you in your favourite worst nightmares.

But again, that fucking space, galaxies of it. So much room in the track, they don’t give a fuck about trying hard, they aren’t out there to ram 160bpm monstrosities down your throat. They play the right notes at the right times. It’s simple and it fucking works.

But it’s when the song reaches the 2:30 mark that it finally hits home that Turner and pals aren’t here to fuck around. Everything cuts out except Turner’s vocals. Everything. How many rock bands are doing that in the second fucking track on the album?! NONE of them have the fucking stones to even think it, let alone make it so.



The payoff when the band drops back in is so goddamn beautiful it’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear, nodding your head, tapping your feet and saying “Fuck yeah…”

“One For The Road” (one of two tracks that the band collaborates with Josh Homme on) creeps, slinks and haunts at every bend. The subtle guitar-picking melody in the second verse will come back to you the next time you’re out late, headlights burning through the darkness, nothing but broken thoughts for company.

Then there’s “Arabella”, sexy as hell, everything beautiful and dangerous in the world rolled tightly into a  psychedelic ballad, brought to life by Turner’s exceptionally fucking brilliant lyrics.

“My days end best when the sunset gets itself behind / That little lady sitting in the passenger side / It’s much less picturesque without her catching the light / The horizon tries but it’s just not as kind on the eyes.”



“I Want It All” is a track The Black Keys wish they’d written. Turner trades his baritone for a falsetto and knocks it out the fucking park. The solo in this song rips through the ether like a comet, leaving a trail of fiery debris streaked across the night sky.

They innovate with “Fireside”, they trip out on “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”, they throw a piano into “Snap Out Of It” for an instant timeless classic rock song with a hundred times more swag than the legal limit and they tie it all back together with the slow, sultry “I Wanna Be Yours” – a perfect closer to an album that is like nothing you will hear this year, or the year after that, or the year after that.

Should You Give A Shit?

For the love of all that is holy, buy this album. It’s the OK Computer of the ‘10s.

Here’s “I Want It All”:



Final Verdict: 9/10



Album Review: Son

522131_451431511600690_380813415_nThe Down Lizzo:

I got a hold of the Pretoria-based band Son’s self titled debut album a few weeks back through my main man Guitar Jon who happens to be the bassist for the band and I must say, personal affiliations aside, the guys have put together an impressive debut by anyone’s standards.

While their sound is undoubtedly rooted in the 90s, there’s enough breadth to their songwriting and raw musical talent in frontman, guitarist and vocalist Heinrich Van Heerden, bassist and backing vocalist Jon Pentreath and drummer Keegan Oxley-Oxland to keep things interesting.

There’s also a healthy dose of blues, slide guitars and southern rock in their material which also helps define their unique sound.

Sick Tracks:

As far as album openers go, “Kitchen Tiles” rates right up there with a track like Live’s “Rattlesnake” in terms of grabbing your attention and setting the scene from the get-go.

Slow, brooding and moody, the haunting slide guitar and husky vocals from Hein induce an almost trance-like state that snaps shut like a bear-trap as the drums and bass guitar kick in.

“I don’t want to hold your hand” has some of the most epic drumming this side of Soundgarden’s “Spoon Man” (Keegan is no slouch behind the kit, his beats and fills are tight as a nun’s… moral code) not to mention some truly face-melting moments when Hein shreds the hell out of his guitar.



“Reflection” is also a winner. The verse riff is pure hook – lean, mean and oozing sex, the track builds to another fret-shredding climax only to simmer down and come apart in a squall of bass and scattered drum beats.

The best track on the album by a country mile is “Think It’s Time”. From the first few slow opening notes it’s immediately apparent that we’re dealing with a different beast altogether here.

And what a beast it is. Hein coaxes these tortured, distorted wails from his axe like a demon lover. He takes his sweet time while Jon shadows him on bass, laying down slow and steady basslines like a canvas for Hein to splash paint over with reckless abandon. It truly is a thing of beauty.



The album takes a far more introspective turn after that point. The band give the songs some room to breathe and the results are immediately noticeable. What starts off as an album crackling with frantic, wild energy simmers down with the epic slow-burners “Deep River” and “Let Me Be Your Man”.

The closer “Interesting Times” is brutal in its honesty and poignant in its simplicity. Hein flips his vocal tone switch from “Jack White” where it’s set for most of the album to “Leonard Cohen” for this last track, a perfect end to an intriguing debut.

Should You Give A Shit?

Considering the calibre of a lot of other South African bands that are enjoying a shitload more popularity than Son is at the moment, the answer to that question is dead simple – yes, you should give a shit.



Though tracks like “When I Need You” and “My Body” are literally bursting with energy and will no doubt get the crowd jumping when Son throw down live, I found the slower tracks more interesting and a lot more indicative of what this band has to offer.

If this band has the stones to keep fighting the good fight, I’d bet my bottom dollar that the follow-up to this debut is going to be a massive game-changer in every way.

That’s not to say that their self-titled debut is anything to shrug off, it’s a solid album that you can listen to in its entirety on the band’s Soundcloud page, but my gut feeling is that this is just a taste of what this band can do.

Here’s “Reflection” to give you guys a taste of what Son are capable of:



Their official album launch is on the 29th June, for all the details, check out Son’s Facebook page here.

Final Verdict: 7/10



Album Review: The Bedroom Hour – Themes

ThemesThe Down Lizzo:

I’m the world’s biggest music snob. I don’t know how it happened, one day I just woke up and I was just this snobby arsehole when it came to music, like the worst hipster you know multiplied by 1000.

As such, there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than discovering a talented band before they release their debut EP / album.

In the case of The Bedroom Hour, a five-piece post-Britpop / alternative rock band based in London I got in there from ground zero whilst visiting the UK last year and have stayed in touch with the guys ever since.

Today is the official launch of their debut EP Themes, a polished six-track taste of what The Bedroom Hour are capable of and, having gotten my filthy mitts on a pre-release copy a few weeks back, I was seriously impressed by not only this band’s musical chops, but also the production value of the EP which is a shit-ton better than other bands I’ve latched onto early in their careers.



Sick Tracks:

The Bedroom Hour’s biggest strength as a band lies in the fact that they aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, but rather carve out a sound that is distinctly theirs from some of the greats who have gone before them.

Musically they share a lot of ties with a band like Coldplay and weirdly enough, some of guitarist Rob Payne’s bright, ethereal riffs even reminded me of U2’s early stuff, before they became gigantic wankers.

“Tyrannosaur” was the first track that made me sit up and take notice. It comes on with a Clash-like bassline and builds to a sweeping synth crescendo verse while frontman Stu Drummond’s powerful vocal melody takes centre stage as he intones the line “You’ll scare everyone you ever loved away”.



Another thing that struck me about this band right from the get-go was their expert use of space in their tracks. Nothing feels forced, contrived or like they’re trying to impress for the sake of it. Instead they give their material the room it needs to breathe and leave you to draw your own conclusions.

It’s a breath of fresh air in an era when artists are becoming obsessed with pioneering obscure genres whilst bludgeoning audiences to death with hooks and riffs that we’ve heard a thousand times before.

“X Marks The Spot” (which I’ve posted below) is another stand-out track. It’s a stadium sized anthem, a love song that soars effortlessly above the trite, cliched emotional slop that is all too prevalent in the material we’re bombarded with through commercial TV and radio.



The EP closer “Slow Motion Cinema” resonates with longing and a sense of deep and profound loss. It pulls no punches as Drummond’s vocals build towards the glimmering ray of light that is the simple chorous line “I close my eyes to see slow motion cinema / The time of our lives captured on camera.”

It’s a track that hints at so much more, both in terms of it’s subject matter and in terms of what The Bedroom Hour has to offer as a band.

Should You Give A Shit?

Are the Kennedy’s gun-shy? Hell yeah you should give a shit. I have a feeling deep in my bones that, given a year or so, The Bedroom Hour are going to be pretty huge in which case you definitely want to be one of the snobby music arseholes like your Tiger pal who got in from Day Zero.

Here’s the video for “X Marks The Spot”. If you want to get your hands on the EP, it’s available from iTunes as of today.



Final Verdict: 7/10



Album Review: Atoms For Peace – Amok

f6f069cfThe Down Lizzo:

Back in 2006 Thom Yorke released his solo album The Eraser, a weird collection of quirky melodies, complex time signatures and flawless production that made for some really compelling listening.

So much so that he started recruiting band members so he could perform the material off the album live.

It wasn’t an easy task, Yorke knew he needed exceptionally skilled musicians who would understand the subtle nuances of his music and bring his material to life onstage, paying special attention to the complex, intertwining melodies that define his body of work.

So yeah, naturally he chose Flea.



As it turned out though, the pairing was a classic example of an idea that was just crazy enough to work.

After jamming The Eraser tracks live together along with long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and Joey Waronker (the ex-drummer of, wait for it, RE-fucking-M) Flea and Yorke jumped into studio together and started working on new material and that, boys and girls, is how Atoms For Peace was formed.

Sick Tracks:

I’ll say this about Amok, if anything, it’s a grower. Don’t expect wonders the first time you listen to it. It’s like that quiet dude who sits in the corner of the office not really saying much to anyone who you pretty much dismiss completely the first time you meet him.

Then over time he starts opening up and you realise he’s this total enigma, this creepy, quirky, strangely fascinating person who is 45 years old and still lives with his mom.



On first listen, the sinister undertones of “Default” and the slow build and subtle, haunting melodies of “Judge, Jury And Executioner” will probably stand out above the other tracks on the album as both subscribe to a more conventional song structure and actually have hooks.

The album closer “Amok” also stands out once you get past the irritating percussion and the 4 minutes it takes for the song to get going.

The rest, I dunno. Even after repeated listens nothing has really grabbed me on this album.

It feels like an album of ideas more that actual riffs and hooks and while I can appreciate what they’re doing from an intellectual standpoint and dig the complexity of the tracks on this album, given another week or two and I don’t think I’ll ever listen to it again.


Should You Give A Shit:

I strongly suspect I might be too stupid to “get” what the big fuss about this album is. The songs don’t really progress as much as they sweep slowly back and forth like waves lapping the shoreline at low tide.

You can play the entire thing from beginning to end in the background and I can almost guarantee that when it’s finished you’ll emerge from this vague shuffly-beats-induced trance with almost no recollection of anything you’ve just heard.

“Huh,” you’ll say. And life will carry on.

Also, where the fuck is Flea?! Seriously, if I hadn’t been told he was part of Atoms For Peace, he’s the last person I’d think was laying down the wonky basslines on this album.

Anyway, here’s “Default” in case you’re interested:



Final Verdict: 6/10



Album Review: Beast – Smoke, Swig, Swear

399565_255570204554672_322631886_nThe Down Lizzo:

On a nameless, murky night at Carfax In Joburg I stood utterly transfixed watching Inge Beckmann strut like Marla Singer on acid onstage with the other members of Lark.

It was like she was conjuring the elements, whipping them up into a maelstrom of human limbs thrashing in syncopated unison. It was a wonder to behold.

After she’d finished performing I ran into her in the crowd and drunkenly confessed that she was the sexiest woman I’d ever seen play live. So when I heard she’d formed Beast with the legendary Louis Nel and Rian Zitsmann from Taxi Violence and Sasha Righini from The Plastics, I had to get my hands on their album.



It wasn’t easy. As badass as the name “Beast” is, there are at least another two bands that share the same name (one being a Korean boy band. Siff). All I was able to find was the video for “Fill The Hole” a track in which Beckman’s singing takes on an almost cat-like wail that had me wondering whether she’d taken things a little far with her new band.

Then via a lucky coincidence I tracked Beast down on Twitter and downloaded their full debut Smoke Swig Swear and, one listen in, I was nodding my head, utterly transfixed and grinning from ear to ear.


Sick Tracks:

Jesus, where to begin? The eight tracks on Smoke Swig Swear are packed with a ton of thumping, seething, meaty hooks and “fuck yeah!” moments that tease like a stripper and kick like a mule.

It’s not often I lump this kind of praise on an album, but I’d almost say that every track on Smoke Swig Swear will melt your fucking face off.

First off, this is a band of only bass guitars which Nel and Zitsmann wield like twin sledgehammers, lending the album this deliciously dark tone throughout that crawls under your skin and makes a home for itself.

Add Righini’s dextrous, awe-inspiring work behind the kit you have a band that is basically ALL rhythm section. These guys play so tight you’d need a crowbar to separate their beats and riffs from one another. It’s filthy, mutant blues laced with everything that was cool about rock music in the 90s.



The album opens with “Fill The Hole”, the album’s most abrasive track by far. It’s a baptism by fire, it’s the band dialing shit up to 11, breaking you in hard and fast as Beckmann wails “Draw a hand / Draw the dead / Draw a heart / Draw a head / Lift the hand / Raise the dead / Eat her heart / Roll her head”.

“Airport Deport Abort” is sheer songwriting genius. With a bassline reminiscent of Bjork’s seminal “Army Of Me”, this track lurches with thinly disguised malice – it’s complex, expertly arranged and custom built to prove beyond doubt that this band is not here to fuck around.

“Walls” starts out pensive and quickly builds to a frenzied climax as Beckmann sings “I’m in the well / I’m in the black garden / Rolling down a hill / Pulling gunk out of your mouth again”.



I could go on – I could wax lyrical about the soaring chorous of “The Grape”, the beautiful slow-build of “Man In Between”, the undeniable, bluesy rock ‘n roll badassery of “Smoke Swig Swear”, but this review would run on for days.

And then, after everything that is Smoke Swig Swear, the sheer agony and ecstasy of this undeniably powerful album, the band drops “Hand Of God” that lands with atom-bomb force as Beckmann sings “And all the idols will topple over / And the fair maidens will be reformed / And all the men will know their worth / When the earth implodes”.

Should You Give A Shit?

Fuck me, have you been reading this review?!?!

Get this album. Stab it directly into your heart like an adrenaline-filled syringe and sit tight as shit gets interesting.

Then, when you’re done falling sickly in love with this album, go out and watch them play live. Get the fuck off the 5FM bandwagon and wonder off the beaten path for a change.

Get their album. Unleash the Beast. Thank me later Winking smile

Here’s “The Grape” to give you guys a taste:



Final Verdict: 9/10



Treefiddy Review: Gerald Clark – Black Water

main-6The Down Lizzo:

Remember near the end of last year when I posted that badass stop-motion video for the track “Black Water” by Gerald Clark and wrote about how badly I needed that album in my life?

Well my prayers were answered pretty much the next day and before I knew it I was knocking back some smoky Double Black and tearing it up to this gritty, gutsy, killer blues album.

Black Water is how the blues were made to be played. It’s honest, unrepentant, wild and free and I loved every minute of it.

Take equal parts of Albert Frost and Dan Patlansky, throw in some Ray La Montagne for good measure and mix it up in a giant, bubbling cauldron of 12-bar blues and you’ve got Gerald Clark.

With a whisky-soaked voice that sounds like it’s straight from the Deep South and an arsenal of soaring, foot-stomping monster blues riffs, Gerald’s packing more than just an ace or two up his sleeve on Black Water, and he ain’t afraid to use ‘em.


Sick Tracks:

The album’s title track Black Water really is something else. It’s thumping, driving bass beats reminded me a little of the Kongos track “I’m Only Joking” and creates this perfect, sinister accompaniment to Gerald’s virtuoso slide-guitar.

It’s shit-kicking blues at it’s very best. A song about the bad ways of beautiful women. Sheer poetry I tells ya.

The album’s opening track “It Ain’t You” is a perfect taste of what to expect on the album. It plays out slow and steady as Gerald eases you into a world of unrequited lust, sin, vice, virtue and everything inbetween.

His vocals on “It Ain’t You” are a thing of wonder. He belts them out gritty as a rusted old freight-train on a one-way track to either salvation or damnation. Either way, it’ll get you hooked right from the get-go.



“Ain’t Going To Heaven” is also a great track. Gerald shifts gears on this one, going for a lighter, livelier, easy-breezy melody. I had a good chuckle at the chorous where Gerald sings “No I ain’t going to heaven / It’s the only place I’ll have to face her”. Hahaha! What a badass.

It’s not all hellfire and dirty, gritty, foot-stomping blues though. Gerald also lays down some sweeter melodies in quieter, more introspective tracks like the instrumental “Late Night Blues” and the light-hearted “Marry Me”, proving beyond a doubt that this man has some serious songwriting chops.

Should You Give A Shit?

Oh hells yeah you should give a shit! Goddamn! You should give two shits! Black Water has it all and whether you’re into heartfelt, badass blues or not, you’ll find a good couple of tracks on this album that will speak to you in one way or another.

To give you a taste of how sick this album is, here’s “Ain’t Going To Heaven” to sink your teeth into.

Dig it:



Head on down to Gerald’s Facebook page ( to stream more of his tracks or visit to order his album.

Final Verdict: 8/10



Treefiddy Review: Look Out Kid – Collide

Look Out KidThe Down Lizzo:

For starters, how long has it been since I last did an album review?!?! Useless!

To be frank, 2012 wasn’t a great year for music for me, I didn’t get properly stuck in and missed a lot of great albums that I’m scrambling to get my hands on as I write this. In the meantime, one of my readers sent me this one.

He’s more than just a reader though, Andrew Orkin is the guitarist for SA Band Look Out Kid and their debut album Collide is pretty much just what the doctor ordered for dreamy summer-day listening.

Collide is a melting pot of all the best elements folk, country, jazz, gospel and blues has to offer which makes for an album of polished, sultry jams that’s effortless to get into.


Sick Tracks:

“Collide” was the first track on the album that really spoke to me. A paradox of simple melodies woven together in complex arrangements, it calls to mind some of The Decemberists’ calmer, gentler tracks before building to a lush, Arcade Fire-styled bridge that showcases this band’s dextrous songwriting.

Like its name, “Safe House” provides comfort in the perfect synthesis of Orkin’s bluesey steel strings, jazz maestro Thembinkosi Mavibela’s amiable double bass and acclaimed jazz and gospel singer Zarcia Zacheus’s gorgeous, lilting vocals.



“Fish To Find” is also a winner. It’s a break-up song without all the cliched over-sentimentality that plagues similar tracks backed by melodies that sound like what Jack Johnson might write if he ever decided to release a Jazz album.

Should You Give A Shit:

Look, make no mistake this is not the kind of music I normally go for, which is a compliment in itself. There is only so much destructive stoner / desert / psychedelic / indie / folk / rock one man can listen to before something drastic happens.

Sometimes you gotta take it down a notch and that’s when I’ll spin an album like this. Something calmer, something classier, something you can chill out to that doesn’t bludgeon your eardrums to hell and back.



So kick back and dig “Collide” below and if that sounds like something you could dig, check out the band’s Bandcamp site here to download the album.



Final verdict: 7/10



Treefiddy Review: Silversun Pickups – Neck Of The Woods

12027_01The Down Lizzo:

Silversun Pickups carved out an interesting sound with their first two albums that hovers somewhere between 90s alt rock and 00’s noise pop.

The result was some pretty intriguing, broody material that, for all it’s shoegazing tendencies, also delivered a solid, satisfying punch to the gut when it needed to.

Not so much on the band’s third album, Neck Of The Woods, which features all the epic build-ups and breakdowns this band is known for, but very little of the gutspa that made their previous two albums awesome.

In a sentence, it’s an album of stadium-sized ambitions crippled by chronic stage-fright.

Sick Tracks:

Having said that, there is still enough solid material on this album to warrant a listen, just don’t come with the expectation their first two albums created and you’ll probably find a few gems if you scratch around a little.

The warm guitar tone and frantic riff on “Mean Spirits” grabbed me from the get-go as did the way they tear the ass out of the chorous.



I also appreciated the fact that they save one of the best tracks for last – “Out Of Breath” builds slowly to a machine-gun stuttering drum beat in the chorous before wandering off and losing focus somewhat.

“Here We Are (Chancer)” is a nice change of pace and might be the only song on the album they give some space to breathe.

Should You Give A Shit:

I really don’t know how to answer this question, which I guess is a kind of answer in itself.

With most songs clocking in at the 5 minute mark, a lot of the songs are drawn out way longer than they should be.



Add the mid-tempo pace of 70% of the material on this album and the result is an album that limps along, getting lost in an introspective, other-thought structural muddle of competing melodies.

It’s all snarl and no teeth, sadly.

Here’s “Mean Spirits” so you guys can decide for yourselves:



Final verdict: 6/10



Treefiddy Review: Pepe Deluxe – Queen Of The Wave

220px-PepeDeluxe_WikiThe Down Lizzo:

Regular readers of this site will know that once in awhile I delve into some truly weird, obscure shit when it comes to music.

I do this because when you listen to truck loads of new music constantly, sooner or later it all starts to sound the same and you need something to act as a defibrillator for your brain.

Enter Pepe Deluxe who I found courtesy of the killer music app I mentioned this morning – “Band Of The Day” (get it now, thank me later).

This Finnish band dropped their fourth studio album Queen Of The Wave at the end of January and it’s more eccentric than your buddy’s weirdo uncle who wore foil hats and got arrested every other week for painting his balls green and running naked through the zoo.


Queen Of The Wave is a concept album that blends psychedelic funk, 50s surf rock, soul, trip-hop and opera with a couple of Victorian harpsichords, Tesla Coil synths and Mellotron waterphones thrown in there for good measure.

“Refreshingly batshit” is the term that comes to mind…

Sick Tracks:

“A Day And A Night” was the song that got me into Pepe Deluxe. The bassline is sicker than a TB-ridden vagrant and, with the possible exception of the uncalled for arpeggio bridge halfway through the song, it’s kept pretty lean and mean throughout.

“Go Supersonic” is also pretty easily accessible and moves dextrously from a somewhat frantic Victorian-era verse into full-on Austin Powers 70s Tokyo girl-group, catchy-as-hell chorous.



The album opener “Queenswave” is also a great track. Faux synth bird calls are layered over a meaty bassline which is backed up with some nice, punchy drums. It’s atmospheric stuff and sets the tone nicely for the sheer musical indulgence to follow.

I also liked the slimey opening riffs of “Grave Prophecy” and the haunting sparsity of “In The Cave”, which is played on the largest instrument known to man, the Great Stalacpipe Organ. Built across 3.5 acres of Virginia’s Luray Caverns in the early ‘50s, this instrument delayed the release of the album by two years because the organ had to renovated.



They wanted to play it on the album that badly.

How batshit is that?

Should You Give A Shit?

At the risk of having my credibility as a music reviewer utterly destroyed, I’m going to say yes, you should give a shit.

They might be a bit bonkers when it comes to the way they arrange the tracks on Queen Of The Wave and they do have a tendency to go balls-to-the wall when it comes to dialling up the theatricality of their music, but there’s no denying that the production of this album is on a level I’ve seldom, if ever, heard before.

It’s ambitious, it’s gaudy, it’s complex, it’s bizarre and it isn’t for everyone, but it’s also a lot of fun and, because it’s so complex, it offers something different with every listen.

Here’s “A Day And A Night” to give you a little taste:



Final Verdict: 7/10



Treefiddy Review: Blood Red Shoes – In Time To Voices

BloodRedShoesInTimeToVoices600Gb150312The Down Lizzo:

Blood Red Shoes’ first two albums, 2008’s Box Of Secrets and 2010’s Fire Like This were packed with huge, aggressive punk-pop hooks that surged with energy and kicked like a mule.

Now this Brighton-based duo are branching out with In Time To Voices on which, singer/guitarist Laura-Mary Carter and drummer/vocalist Steve Ansell tone things down considerably.

It takes some getting used to, and fans of their acerbic brand of punk-pop will find the album lacking the punch-to-the-gut force of Box Of Secrets and Fire Like This, but to be perfectly frank another album like the first two would have buried this band as surely as Billy Talent’s last effort buried them.



It’s the golden rule of writing albums. Find a sound that works with the first one, hone that sound on the second and change it on the third. In Time To Voices follows this formula and in doing so, breathes new life into this band.

Killer Tracks:

The first single off In Time With Voices, “Cold” is definitely one of the finest tracks on the album. From Ansell’s throbbing double bass pedal drumming to Carter’s lurching power chords, it’s a track that smacks of grungey goodness with a healthy dose of anthemic pop-punk thrown in for good measure.

The tension in the verse of “Lost Kids” builds quickly, exploding in the chorous with Carter and Ansell singing “Let it all come undone / cut it down, down to none”.



“Night Light” wanders into full on Smashing Pumpkins Ava Adore territory. It’s a track rich with acoustic melodies interwoven with melancholy piano parts that really drive home the chorous line “It’s the ghost you made of me…”

“Stop Kicking” and “Slip Into The Blue” are both tight, deceptively infectious tracks that Carter and Ansell play like hidden aces near the end of the album.

Their vocal interplay has never sounded sweeter than it does on In Time With Voices. Ansell in particular has taken on more of the vocal duties which, considering how intense his style of drumming is, might not have been the best call for their live performances, but I’ll reserve judgement on that one until some kind benefactor and reader of this site sponsors a flight to the UK so I can watch them live.


Should You Give A Shit?

Are the Kennedys gun-shy? Of course you should give a shit! It’s a crying shame how many people don’t give a shit about this band.

My advice is buy all three of their albums so you can track just how much this band has blossomed on In Time To Voices and then let’s have this conversation again.

In the meantime, here’s “Slip Into The Blue” to get you in the mood.



Final verdict: 8/10