About Nathan Brooks, Author at The Rockhaq Community
In 1997, I had not yet been born. I will never live in a world where everything – from schools to houses to pockets – isn’t filled with computers. Still, I’m no stranger to techno-paranoid media. Film, TV and music still love to warn us about tech, from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror to Arcade Fire asking “what if the camera really do take your soul?” on their 2013 album Reflektor. The difference is, now we consume it through devices that know our favourite restaurants, daily commutes and exact location. In other words, Radiohead’s third album OK Computer may be 20 years old, but in 2017, it’s more relevant than ever.
The album name Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is essentially synonymous with ‘masterpiece’ now. The Beatles’ eighth studio album has been credited with many things since its release fifty years ago, from elevating music to art status to creating the entire rock genre. Of course, with anything this acclaimed there’s a backlash. Many people have concluded that 1966’s Revolver is their true magnum opus. Others have entirely dismissed Sgt. Pepper’s, such as Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention with their 1968 parody album We’re Only in It for the Money or Bob Dylan, who accused it of being “indulgent”. It was even voted the 7th most overrated album in the world by a 2005 BBC listener poll.
Supergroups are interesting ideas, but they’re often short-lived. Frequently, the members are each the creative force behind their respective bands, inevitably resulting in clashes of egos. Fortunately, Eric Pulido of Midlake’s new indie supergroup BNQT, consisting of Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Fran Healy (Travis) and Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), have already lowered the bar by labelling themselves “the poor man’s Traveling Wilburys”. The thing is though, as shown in their debut release Volume 1, they’re not half bad.
Pond have a lot in common with Tame Impala. Both are neo-psychedelic rock projects from Perth, Australia. Both have recently progressed from fuzzy guitar driven music towards more synth oriented sounds. They’ve even shared members over the years, including Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker, who’s also been Pond’s producer since 2012’s Beard, Wives, Denim album. Yet they sound incredibly different. Parker’s project combines psych rock with gorgeous, melodic and intricate songwriting. Pond, however, freely serve up bonkers, disjointed and indulgent psychedelia. Their seventh studio album The Weather is no exception.
Despite being barely seven years into their career, Australian septet King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are already one of the most prolific bands in neo-psychedelia. By the end of 2016, they had eight albums to their name. By the end of 2017, they’re planning to have five more. Flying Microtonal Banana is the first of these and it’s easily the most fascinating record they’ve put out so far.
Californian indie rock duo Foxygen is vocalist Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado. That’s excluding the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd, Brian and Michael D’addario of the Lemon Twigs and the forty-piece orchestra who’ve also joined them for their latest studio album Hang. Their previous studio effort – the sprawling …And Star Power – was regularly underwritten, poorly recorded and sloppily performed, never justifying its 82-minute length. Hang, however, barely exceeds 32-minutes, yet it packs significantly more of a punch.
Album Review: David Bowie – Blackstar by Nathan Brooks
My original intent was to review the new Childish Gambino album, but, as January 1st 2017 creeps ever closer, I feel it’s only appropriate to look at the final record from one …
Album Review: Nicholas Allbrook – Pure Gardiya by Nathan Brooks
Immigration has been a controversial topic for a while, but thanks to the combined forces of the refugee crisis, Brexit and Donald Trump, the debate is more heated than ever. …
Album Review: Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge by Nathan Brooks
I don’t get on well with modern progressive rock. Contemporary prog bands appear to have little interest in actually progressing rock. Instead, they’re content with recording uninspired attempts to relive …
Less is more; a saying found in fortune cookies from Chinese takeaways across the country. Evidently, Yes don’t eat much Chinese food. After scoring two home runs in 1971 and 1972 with Fragile and Close to the Edge, Yes felt it was time to go bigger. Literally bigger. In 1973, Yes released their sixth album Tales From Topographic Oceans, boasting a staggering 81 minute running time. Nearly double that of Pink Floyd’s legendary album The Dark Side of the Moon, and monstrous compared to the mere 37 minutes of Close to the Edge. But is bigger better? And if less is more, is more less?