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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:07 pm

NIN's 'Downward Spiral' is bloody excellent. Best concept album (because oh yes it is) ever. I bought the fancy 'Deluxe' version (mainly so I could get the mental 'closer to god' remix of er, 'closer' and 'dead souls' from The Crow soundtrack and other odds and sods) a few years back and love it. I used to have it on cassette too, which was shite because most of the album was crammed onto side one, leaving you with acres of blank tape on side two. If you're feeling fruity, check out 'Further Down The Spiral' which is a scary sounding remix album (your enjoyment will depend on your love/tolerance of Aphex Twin style weirdness, although Charlie Clouser's remixes of 'Ruiner' and 'Heresy' are proper 'why weren't these massive in clubs?' dancefloor work outs)

Never got into EBTG. I only found them interesting when they got remixed. I think there's a decent remix album of their stuff out there somewhere (also '90s, so it's not rubbish/ weird '80s extended mixes or 'owt).

Vampire Weekend...a band with a name more interesting than they are. See also Teenage Casket Company (not teenage. not a company. and no caskets involved)

Roisin Murphy 'Hairless Toys' (2015)
Mercury nominated (ooh stroky beard) third album which is a lot less four to the floor dance than the excellent 'Overpowered', but is still a great. Its kind of dark and bloopy sounding, like a stoned Ruby (the band, not the gem). It is a bit coffee table in places (hence the Mercury nomination - might as well say 'voted for by right thinking Guardian readers'), but worth checking out if you liked Underworld's 'dubnobasswithmyheadman' and Sabres Of Paradise 'haunted dancehall'.

Mark Ronson 'Uptown Special' (2015)
How does Ronson turn this stuff out? He's the least cool person in the world and he drops this perfectly formed sounding slab of mid-'80s Jam and Lewis type stuff. Watched his Glasto set on the beeb that year and was impressed. The Bruno Mars single is front and centre, which is a bit of a shame (or it would be if it wasn't one of the greatest singles of the last decade), as the rest of the album does kind of blur together.

Epica 'The Holographic Principle' (2016)
Loud and overwrought symphonic metal that sounds like an orchestra in a tornado. It's very BIG sounding and lacking in any kind of subtlety and seems in an awful hurry to get somewhere (despite being 72 minutes long), which leaves no room to breathe. I think I enjoyed it, but I was also left with the feeling that Lacuna Coil and Nightwish do this kind of thing better. Should be good live though!

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Post by Auntie Slag » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:42 pm

Wow, you’re a proper NIN fan! Perhaps my only claim to fame is that I read about them in a computer magazine back in ’88, by a guy who was into them, Fields of the Nephilim, Skinny Puppy and Front 242. And yeah, that Vampire Weekend is probably the most useless CD I’ve ever bought!

Carole King ‘Tapestry’ (1971)

I bought this 2 years ago, and only now am I getting into it. Its that generation’s Alanis Morrissette, but without so much of the angst, a lot more groove and a really nice attitude. A good album as long as you’re in the mood for it (even if that does take years). I quite like the idea that albums only come into their own at a certain future point in your life. I’ve got that in spades right now for Nirvana’s Unplugged. The sound is so damn good in that!

Leftfield ‘Rhythm and Stealth’ (1999)

I got this ONLY for the tremendous Beast Machines ‘Phat Planet’ tune. The rest doesn’t really do anything for me apart from maybe ‘Afrika Shox’. I count that as a real shame because I was hoping I’d get into Leftfield in a big way, and it annoys me when I just don’t get it. But yeah, its all rather humourless I’m afraid.

Pulp ‘His n’ Hers’ (1994)

Shouldn’t really be writing about this one because I bought it just to have my own material copy of the incredible ‘Babies’. Everybody knows ‘Do you remember the first time’, but I haven’t listened to the rest. Much like the statement above about Carole King, I’m harbouring a hunch that Pulp’ll sweep my off my feet at some future date, and I’ll love them 25 years too late, which seems to be a stupid curse.

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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:59 pm

Pulp are magnificent, and I get where you're coming from. I liked them when they were active, but it's really only a decade or so down the line that I've realised how brilliant they were. They were one of the greatest bands of the Britpop era, but they're not an immediate listen, outside of the singles. I can highly recommend their last album, 'We Love Life', which is absolutely glorious. 'His 'N' Hers' I prefer over 'Different Class' (their most accessible album) and I've really got into 'This Is Hardcore' over the years, which is a tough and pretty bleak listen.

Never -and I cannot stress this enough- listen to anything they put out between 1981 and 1990 . There is a reason they spent a decade not getting anywhere.

Carole King is cool. My mum had that album on 12" and I loved it. I was a strange child. With terrible hair. Ah, hair. I remember it well...

Oh, Leftfield. Their '95 debut is excellent and their second one is ...its like a box of Black Magic chocolates committed to record, really. And whilst 'Phat Planet' means Beast Machines to you, it means that perishing wanky Guiness advert about horses and surfing or somesuch. Do like 'Afrika Shox' and 'Swords' though.

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Post by Auntie Slag » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:05 pm

Oh yeah, the Guinness advert: "Like tick follows tock like tick follows tock". That just popped into my head after all these years. Total Recall (and that may even include the Colin Farrell version).

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Back to the reviews!

Post by Auntie Slag » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:14 pm

Belle and Sebastian ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ (1996)

God, what a stupid name for a band! That’s what I always thought, and I dismissed them from that point on. In the intervening years I remember always whistling the end theme to Channel 4’s ‘Teachers’ and wondering who did it.

When I found out recently, I spotted this album in a shop, gave it a go, and have been in love ever since. Well, I say that… only I don’t seem to like anything post 2003 when they started including too many instruments. I like it when its just Stuart playing his guitar and singing softly, like with ‘Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying’.

They also win a special place in my heart for having a tune that gave me a feeling like love at first sight, that old 'getting hit by a lightning bolt' feeling, and that’s ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’. The woman who sings on that one, her voice is just so... daaaayamn!

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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:47 pm

That's Monica Queen, formerly of Thrum.. who had a dreadful name and I can't remember if they were any good. I don't know if she's still singing. I hope so.

Always found BAS a bit twee, personally, and was much more into contemporaries The Beta Band.

Taylor Swift 'Reputation' (2017)
After '1989', this is ... a very clincal, calculated piece of pop that's clearly designed to maintain Taylor's mainstream appeal. It's fine, arena filling pop, but lacks any soul. It is cheering to see that Right Said Fred have contributed to one of the songs on here, though.

Trivium 'The Sin And The Sentience' (2017)
I like this!Its, sharp precise sounding metal. Whilst I'm sure long time fans won't like it, the singing rather than barking is great and really helps drive things along. I don't mind growling and shouting, but it's good to have a bit of light and shade.

Pete Tong And The Heritage Orchestra 'Ibiza Classics' (2017)
More of the same from Pete Tong (whose name I can't say without hearing his old Radio 1 jingle 'Pete Tong got power!' in my head) and the Heritage - dance tunes with proper strings. I love this stuff though. The orchestra bring a lot of warmth to ye olde club classics, and Seal reprises his vocal for 'Killer' and still sounds, well, Killer. Good work fellas!

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Post by Auntie Slag » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:33 pm

Public Service Broadcasting ‘The Race For Space’ (2015)

Public Service Broadcasting take audio recordings from the BBC archives, usually of a particular time or event and set them to music. I was hooked when I saw the video for ‘Go’ on BBC Breakfast News one morning. Then I heard it on the radio a few times and it was so good, so gripping; the story of the Apollo mission in a song!

Sounds like a bit of genius, right. And it is at first. But then I bought previous album ‘The War Room’ all about the second world war. And I heard some songs from their most recent effort ‘Every Valley’, telling the fall of the Welsh mining communities… and the songs across three albums all start blending into one another, remarkably so on their latest album, which sounds like they’ve re-used the same rhythm and beats from previous tracks. And all of a sudden their USP sounds a bit old hat, especially in light of hearing older bands of previous decades who’ve done much the same thing but with more style, more panache AND musicality.

Public Service Broadcasting, I still like them; they’re just not as clever as I thought they were.

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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:45 am

Yeah, bit of a one-trick pony, PBS. Shame really, but I don't know how you'd move what they do on. You start jungling that cut 'n' paste stuff up, you'll sound like a Bill Bailey skit.

Haim 'Something To Tell You' (2017)
Decent follow up to their debut, has that same mid '80s era Fleetwood Mac sheen going on. Good tunes, good vibes, good times. Not really much more to say!

Goldfrapp 'Silver Eye' (2017)
Since 2014's 'Stories Of Us', Goldfrapp seem to have found a happy middle ground between their full on dance sound and their whimsical electronic folk. This is a good thing, as you're less likely to have the kind of jarring lurch you had between 'Supernature' and 'Seventh Tree'. This is a much lighter and less introspective album, and has a nice sort of noodly, prowling sound. Lovely.

Gorillaz 'Humanz' (2017)
This is awesome. Sounds like the future. This would have made a great soundtrack to Blade Runner, it has that feeling of being something that informs a sort of grungy, technological world where things aren't quite what they should be. What I like most about Gorillaz is that they've yet to put out a duff album (although that is because the line-up of 'humanz' helping out changes with each outing) and that this is just light years away from Albarn's old band. To the point that I think this is why Blur's last album didn't work for me - Albarn has moved on and that felt like a step back from the radical departures he's made since forming Gorillaz.

Dua Lipa 'Dua Lipa' (2017)
Good, confident pop music. It is really, really good, and I like it. There's just that sort of homogeneous sound to it that all pop music has these days (see also Jess Glynne, Arianna Grande etc etc); production turned up to 11 on all fronts? Check. Singer with that sort of boxed in sound to her voice with a crack in it? Check.

Myrkur 'Mareridt' (2017)
Easily one of my favourite records of last year. I love her beguiling mix of folk and black metal. This is slightly more accessible than her first album, but pushes the sound a littler farther out of the gloom. Kind of like walking into a clearing in a forest to do some celtic carry on. Fab.

Scream Of Sirens 'Run For Your Life' (2017)
Thumping classic rawk (think Motorhead, Judas Priest, Girlschool) that doesn't feel so beholden to the past that their sound instantly dates them. Opener 'Run For Your Life' feels a bit clumsy and drunk, but once you get past that,the rest of this 8 track mini-album is excellent. Great live band too!

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Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:57 am

PJ Harvey 'Hope Six Demolition Project' (2016)
Good companion album to 'Let England Shake', and one that is as good a snapshot of what it's like living in England right now as any other snapshot. Of course, I might be reading far too much into this.

3 Teeth 'Shutdown.exe.' (2017)
Brilliant, yet highly derivative, industrial metal. As with a lot of bands of this persuasion, they're somewhere between NIN and Ministry and don't veer too far from that territory. It's still a great listen though.

Echo & The Bunnymen 'The Killing Moon - The Singles 1980 - 1990' (2017)
Cheap round up of the Bunnymen's singles from when they were relevant (cheeky). Got to say, I don't like 'The Killing Moon' myself. Or rather, I'm fed up of it being the go-to song for The Bunnymen. 'The Cutter' is much better. As is pretty much everything else on here - they did do more than one song radio...!

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Post by Auntie Slag » Tue May 08, 2018 9:14 pm

Pet Shop Boys 'Discography' (1991)

Got this at a car boot sale for a quid on Sunday. In terms of style l think I'm very 80's... Patrick Bateman powersuits, greed is good, Reaganomics Lambourghini (I love Roger from American Dad).

This is brimming with top tracks now lampooned by Flight of the Concords and others, but I love them; West End Girls, Let's Make Lots of Money, Domino Dancing, Being Boring, Suburbia, Rent, Its a Sin... just superb.

Years ago I missed the chance to see them perform tiny shows around the country. Just the two of them performing in small clubs/bars with synths and a mic. Opportunity missed, but this still sounds like a crisp, ironed five pound note.

Donkeytastic!

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Post by Tetsuro » Wed May 09, 2018 2:49 pm

Dancing Fantasy "Worldwide"

This purchase most certainly influenced by vaporwave. Smooth jazz, very much a break from the usual faster-paced italodisco that I've been listening to for the past year or so.

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Post by Auntie Slag » Wed May 16, 2018 6:30 pm

The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967)

This sucks. I had a music teacher in school who insisted on teaching us music via The Beatles. Sounds brilliant, right? All it did was give me an unhealthy association/hatred for them.

Then I watched Backbeat, then I heard some of their earliest stuff and I thought it was quite impressive. Seems it was the more psychaedaelic, trippy stuff that wasn’t my bag.

Last week I decided to give it another try, bought this (again for a pound) on the justification that if the album is awful, at least it contains Ringo’s ‘With a little help from my friends’, which I could pay 99p alone for on iTunes.

And yep, the rest of the album is a big old bunch of arse. Yes, there’s Lucy in the Sky, For the Benefit of Mr. Kite etc. But I’m cold to all that nonsense. I’d definitely be in the Stones camp.

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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Wed May 16, 2018 7:57 pm

See, I like SPLHCB, and keep meaning to pick up the fancy 50th anniversary version that has 'Strawberry Fields' on it. I think I like the album because you can hear echoes of it in acid house, rave and early '90s pop music (Dee-Lite, Betty Boo etc etc). Er, or at least I can.

ooh! Pet Shop Boys! I love all their early stuff on that '91 best of, when they sounded like New Order. Not so much the later oddball disco they went for.

@Tetsuro - what is vaporwave?

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Post by Auntie Slag » Wed May 16, 2018 8:01 pm

Oddball disco, that is EXACTLY the right term! I’d apply that to 90’s Erasure stuff, too (love their early work right up to about 1990).

OooooooooOOoooooOooooo, sometiiiiiiimes!

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Skyquake87
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Post by Skyquake87 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:22 pm

haha I was listening to Erasure's 'pop' best of recently, it's brilliant. 'Chorus' , 'Blue Savannah Song' and 'Love to Hate You' (LOVE that one especially the way it thumps and stomps along) are all aces.

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Post by Tetsuro » Thu May 17, 2018 8:52 am

Skyquake87 wrote:@Tetsuro - what is vaporwave?
It's kind of hard to describe. It's supposed to harken back to the kind of music you'd find in industrial videos or corporate lounge music with a heavy emphasis on evoking a certain nostalgic feel and it has a specific art style associated with it, with oldschool CGI and the kind of art design you'd find on the cover of a turn of the 90's software packaging - but lot of it is just 80's pop/disco songs slowed down, heavily reverbated and looped a lot and simetimes with that "behind the wall" effect phased in and out. It's also a weird genre because it peaked pretty much the instant it was introduced and then became a joke. Some of this is actually enjoyable, but a lot of it just has the bare minimum of effort put into it.

If you want to check some of it out, this is definitely the best place to start - and end, because like I said, most of it is just kind of lame.

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Latest Music Purchases.

Post by Mr_Hi_n_Mitey » Sat May 19, 2018 7:43 pm

Skyquake87 wrote:NIN's 'Downward Spiral' is bloody excellent. Best concept album (because oh yes it is) ever. I bought the fancy 'Deluxe' version (mainly so I could get the mental 'closer to god' remix of er, 'closer' and 'dead souls' from The Crow soundtrack and other odds and sods) a few years back and love it. I used to have it on cassette too, which was shite because most of the album was crammed onto side one, leaving you with acres of blank tape on side two. If you're feeling fruity, check out 'Further Down The Spiral' which is a scary sounding remix album (your enjoyment will depend on your love/tolerance of Aphex Twin style weirdness, although Charlie Clouser's remixes of 'Ruiner' and 'Heresy' are proper 'why weren't these massive in clubs?' dancefloor work outs)

Never got into EBTG. I only found them interesting when they got remixed. I think there's a decent remix album of their stuff out there somewhere (also '90s, so it's not rubbish/ weird '80s extended mixes or 'owt).

Vampire Weekend...a band with a name more interesting than they are. See also Teenage Casket Company (not teenage. not a company. and no caskets involved)

Roisin Murphy 'Hairless Toys' (2015)
Mercury nominated (ooh stroky beard) third album which is a lot less four to the floor dance than the excellent 'Overpowered', but is still a great. Its kind of dark and bloopy sounding, like a stoned Ruby (the band, not the gem). It is a bit coffee table in places (hence the Mercury nomination - might as well say 'voted for by right thinking Guardian readers'), but worth checking out if you liked Underworld's 'dubnobasswithmyheadman' and Sabres Of Paradise 'haunted dancehall'.

Mark Ronson 'Uptown Special' (2015)
How does Ronson turn this stuff out? He's the least cool person in the world and he drops this perfectly formed sounding slab of mid-'80s Jam and Lewis type stuff. Watched his Glasto set on the beeb that year and was impressed. The Bruno Mars single is front and centre, which is a bit of a shame (or it would be if it wasn't one of the greatest singles of the last decade), as the rest of the album does kind of blur together.

Epica 'The Holographic Principle' (2016)
Loud and overwrought symphonic metal that sounds like an orchestra in a tornado. It's very BIG sounding and lacking in any kind of subtlety and seems in an awful hurry to get somewhere (despite being 72 minutes long), which leaves no room to breathe. I think I enjoyed it, but I was also left with the feeling that Lacuna Coil and Nightwish do this kind of thing better. Should be good live though!

I love industrial, dark ambient and just about all other forms of electrofunk, experimental and electronic (dance) music too. I enjoy all types of heavy metal, punk and rock 'n roll too. About the only stuff that I don't really care for are glitch music (?), danger music (?), any type of fascist music, modern-day 'gangsta rap', seapunk (?) and modern-day pop music. Other favorite types of music that I listen to are (chill/lounge) house music; classic disco, funk and soul; go-go music; folk/country/bluegrass; all types of classical and baroque/patriotic march/big band music and zydeco, blues and jazz - of course. My tastes are very diverse; I'm open to just about anything. Right now, I'm not really buying any music; I'm just listening to lots of stuff from folks on YOUTUBE like DeepSpaceHouse, DJ Dimsa, JaBig and the Jazz and Blues Experience. Everyone of these guys just keeps me going!
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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri May 25, 2018 12:55 pm

I'm getting my brother's spare LP player, meaning I've bought my first LP! Ziggy Stardust.

I have no idea how to play one of these things. What fun!
TRANSFORMATION: OVER...FINISHED
THE FINAL EVER SIMON FURMAN UK STORY IN MY LOOK AT ROTF 21!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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Post by Skyquake87 » Fri May 25, 2018 7:17 pm

That just makes me feel horribly old (albums play at 33 and singles, generally, at 45 rpm).

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Post by ganon578 » Fri May 25, 2018 8:50 pm

Managed quite a few purchases in recent weeks... it's been a long time since I've bought any new music! All rock stuff, most of which is from my home state of Michigan:

Ember - Breaking Benjamin: One of my wife and my's favorite bands. Really want to see them live sometime. Nothing groundbreaking, just good, solid BB.

Defy - Of Mice and Men: Didn't know anything of them until recently. They're opening for Five Finger Death Punch, who we're seeing live next week. This album is really good, if you like metalcore bands (which I do).

Lifelines - I Prevail: Bought this one a long while ago. Good metalcore group out of Southfield, MI. And they do a killer Blank Space cover.

Pop Evil (Self-titled): Another MI band, this time from Muskegon. Good clean rock music, but I hear a ton of different bands influencing this one, mixed with some typical Pop Evil stuff. Not too shabby.

From the Fires - Greta Van Fleet: MI band too, this time from Frankenmuth. If you like early Led Zeppelin, these guys are hard to not like. The lead singer's voice is almost a dead ringer for Robert Plant.

Vol.'s 1 & 2 + Rainstorm - Here After Six: A little known band from where I grew up in MI. Went to high school with these guys, and they're pretty good. A first listen seems like typical hard rock, but it grows on you with more listening.
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