Friday, 28 August 2009

reviews: andrew wk, on histories of rosenberg, mcintosh ross

a load of record reviews have been added to the skinny's website. these are the ones with the words and opinions of me >>>>>

(to stop there being one maaaaasive post i'll split em into sets of three or so...)

On Histories of Rosenberg - On Histories of Rosenberg (**)

With Am I Awake’s echoing guitar and plaintive cymbal ripples, On Histories Of Rosenberg waste no time establishing their serious-but-conventional intentions. Danger Danger tightens the tempest, but it’s too mono-dimensional for its howls to register as anything other than iffy Biffy. Overall, the closest comparison is Sparta, i.e. the plain tofu to Mars Volta’s intergalactic, Blumenthalian space-banquet - which sounds overly harsh till you add the caveat that Sparta were pretty good at what they did, just not exactly eyebrow-raising. Rosenberg are sporadically thrilling, and the (very) occasional surprise – the glockenspiel on Leave Us Here for example – proves they’re not coasting. But they’re also derivative and lacking definition; luckily, two elements that should improve over time.

out 7th september

Andrew WK - 55 Cadillac

A four-letter acronym – SSPI – adorns the cover of Andrew W.K’s latest. Super-Sweaty Party Initiator? Swell Solo Party Incubator? There are a few possibilities, but the P’s got to stand for Party, right? Wrong. Mr Wilkes-Krier instead humbly presents his Spontaneous Solo Piano Improvisations. That’s right – a man known for aural testosterone like Party Hard, Party Till You Puke and Party (You Shout) and, more recently, a kid’s television show entitled Destroy! Build! Destroy! (in which children are given – I shit you not – rocket launchers), has decided his new venture should consist of eight unstructured, unembellished piano ad-libs with nary a bloody nose or chugging guitar in sight. If you’ve previously dismissed him as a lunk-headed rock-gonk then you might be surprised by his piano proficiency, but novelty chutzpah aside, it’s difficult to recommend such an anachronistic project to even the most avid acolyte.

out september 7th

McIntosh Ross - The Great Lakes (***)

Deacon Blue have been relatively quiet since 2001 - a gig here, a best-of there. It's tempting, therefore, to imagine Ricky Ross and co spending their downtime sailing up the west coast through villages and towns on that ship called Dignified Retirement. With The Great Lakes, the band's twin voices (and husband and wife) Ross and Lorraine McIntosh have instead taken a more rewarding route, tackling a solo-project staple oft-favoured by mature musicians - the stripped-back Americana record. They've gone the whole hog too, recording in Los Angeles and chucking in banjo and crooning harmonies aplenty, but it's a shame they've allowed their once-distinct accents to melt into American drawls. That aside, this is a rich reminder of a brace of under-celebrated talents - wholly unoriginal perhaps, but ebbing with pedal-steel cries, laissez-faire melodies and late night tears. So pour a sour mash whiskey and get yourself reacquainted.

out september 28th

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