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About Nathan Brooks

Generally into more experimental music. Modern neo-psychedelia (courtesy of Tame Impala, Pond, the Flaming Lips and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard) was the first genre I got into. However, practically any rock from the '60s & '70s, be it the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Soft Machine, The Doors, Yes, David Bowie, or King Crimson, will suit me fine.
Latest Posts | By Nathan Brooks
Album Review: The Beatles – The White Album
9
1 day ago

Album Review: The Beatles – The White Album

By  •  Reviews

Where to start with The White Album? Even ignoring its historical significance, the sheer quantity of music it contains makes writing about it an unwieldy task. Consisting of 30 tracks clocking in at over 93 minutes altogether, The White Album is The Beatles’ longest by a significant margin. The word ‘sprawling’ might as well have been invented to describe this record. Inevitably, this makes it difficult to organise into a coherent review. In my Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band review, I’ve already branded The White Album their “overrated vanity project”. This was somewhat hyperbolic, but I still stand by the claim that The White Album is more of a mixed bag than many would admit. So, I think the best way to organise this review is to simply look at the songs in terms of quality.
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Album Review: Suede – The Blue Hour
8
1 month ago

Album Review: Suede – The Blue Hour

By  •  Reviews

Ever since reforming in 2010, ’90s legends Suede have been on an absolute roll. After re-establishing their place in the alt-rock scene with 2013’s Bloodsports, the band then moved slightly left field for 2016’s Night Thoughts, resulting in their most acclaimed album since 1994’s Dog Man Star. Now Suede are back to complete their comeback triptych with The Blue Hour. During its promotion, the band hinted this record would be an even deeper dive into their experimental side, embracing their typically dark themes with extra indulgence. Given the success this formula brought Night Thoughts, it was an exciting prospect. Few bands have been so consistently great this late in their career. Could Suede make the hat-trick?
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Album Review: Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
9
2 months ago

Album Review: Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

By  •  Reviews

And Nothing Hurt, the latest album from space rock veterans Spiritualized, finds frontman Jason Pierce in a difficult spot. Unable to afford a studio to record the whole project, Pierce’s first album in six years was primarily completed within his own home. However, I’d argue these are the aptest conditions for a Spiritualized album to be constructed under. Pierce’s work has always been about building something grand and uplifting out of a small and vulnerable situation. The juxtaposition of his delicate, shaky vocals against the huge, wall-of-sound instrumentals has always reflected this. In the same way, And Nothing Hurt sees Pierce transforming his house into the Royal Albert Hall.
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Album Review: Foxygen – Take The Kids Off Broadway
10
4 months ago

Album Review: Foxygen – Take The Kids Off Broadway

By  •  Reviews

On July 3rd 2018, following an undisclosed illness, the incredibly prolific indie artist Richard Swift tragically passed away. Swift has a substantial solo catalogue and has worked with a myriad of beloved musicians – such as The Black Keys and The Shins – so he will be sorely missed by innumerable music fans. For the most part, I’m not very familiar with Swift’s work. However, I have one very significant connection to him: he produced Foxygen’s Take The Kids Off Broadway, one of my favourite albums of all time.
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Album Review: Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino
9
5 months ago

Album Review: Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

By  •  Reviews

Much like their fellow indie icons MGMT, Arctic Monkeys had been away for a long time. Until this year, both bands hadn’t released an album since 2013 and their fans were getting decidedly restless. However, whilst MGMT used their latest album Little Dark Age to revive their synth-pop roots, Arctic Monkeys have returned with a completely new sound. Jettisoning any traces of the post-punk revival they were born out of, Arctic Monkeys’ sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino leans heavily into space age lounge music. Alongside an aesthetic inspired by ’70s sci-fi and frontman Alex Turner sporting a beard, this a bold new direction for the band. Does it pay off?
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Album Review: Jack White – Boarding House Reach
9
6 months ago

Album Review: Jack White – Boarding House Reach

By  •  Reviews

Last year, Britpop veteran Noel Gallagher shocked the music world with Who Built the Moon? his surprisingly unconventional third album under the High Flying Birds moniker. The album wasn’t that experimental, but Gallagher is so notoriously conservative that even something vaguely different was a pleasant surprise. Jack White, the former guitarist for garage rock icons The White Stripes, is not as conservative as Gallagher. However, since going solo, White has stayed relatively close to his comfort zone. His second album, 2014’s Lazaretto, lavished up the instrumentation a little, but it still retained White’s same old indie/blues-rock sound. This year, however, White is back with Boarding House Reach. Ever since he started recording his third solo album, White has hyped up its weirdness. Even so, no one was fully prepared for how wild it turned out.
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Album Review: Pulp – This is Hardcore
10
8 months ago

Album Review: Pulp – This is Hardcore

By  •  Reviews

In 1995, reluctant Britpop icons Pulp released Different Class, a disco deconstruction of the class divide propelled by the smash-hit lead single Common People. Soaring to the top of the charts and winning the 1996 Mercury Prize, Different Class firmly placed Pulp into the Britpop big league. Not long after, the movement fell apart. Genre pioneers Suede had already distanced themselves from Britpop with 1994’s expansive Dog Man Star and in 1997 Blur pursued more experimental sounds on their self-titled album.
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Album Review: MGMT – Little Dark Age
8
9 months ago

Album Review: MGMT – Little Dark Age

By  •  Reviews

The great irony of MGMT’s already greatly ironic single Time to Pretend is the success it brought them. Despite skewering the rockstar lifestyle and pop music itself, Time to Pretend was the first of three surprise hits from the American indie duo. Three hits they’ve been running away from ever since. Their debut album, 2007’s Oracular Spectacular, spent its second side immersed in freaky, jagged psychedelia.
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Album Review: Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin
9
9 months ago

Album Review: Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin

By  •  Reviews

With the advent of CDs and digital downloads, the significance of making a double album has diminished dramatically. Nowadays, artists can flippantly string together 90-minute projects and it’s no big deal. In fact, the reaction to an album that long is frequently an exhausted groan. Whilst there’s always been the risk of a double album running out of steam, it’s so easy to make one these days that artists regularly stretch out 40-minutes of content for the sake of it. Prolific American garage rocker Ty Segall is changing that.
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Album Review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup
8
10 months ago

Album Review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup

By  •  Reviews

They actually did it. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – the famously mad Melbourne psych rockers – put out five studio albums in 2017. Released on New Year’s Eve, Gumboot Soup – the fifth and final record – made it into last year by the skin of its teeth. I’ll admit, I was sceptical about this one. Their previous album, the incredible Polygondwanaland, already felt like the year’s creative peak. As a result, I was concerned the final release was going to sound like a hastily tacked on extra.
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