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About Nathan Brooks

Whilst I can appreciate any genre, my heart will always belong to psychedelic rock, thanks to bands like Tame Impala awakening my love for music.
Latest Posts | By Nathan Brooks
Album Review: Kanye West – Jesus is King
2
3 weeks ago

Album Review: Kanye West – Jesus is King

By  •  Reviews

There are few statements less controversial than the statement that Kanye West is controversial. Whilst known for stirring up trouble throughout his career, Kanye’s – to put it lightly – irreverent public behaviour has reached its pinnacle in recent years. Most notably, he’s an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump (who, just so we’re on the same page here, is a very bad person) and has said some remarkably awful things regarding slavery in particular. It makes one long for the days when the worst thing Kanye did was be rude to Taylor Swift.
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Live Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – London Alexandra Palace, 5 October 2019
10
2 months ago

Live Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – London Alexandra Palace, 5 October 2019

By  •  Reviews

Despite having been a fan since 2016’s Nonagon Infinity, before last weekend I had yet to see King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard live. The Aussie psych-rockers’ gigs are infamous for their energy and intensity and photos of injured limbs aren’t exactly infrequent posts on their Reddit page. On 5th October, the band played their biggest show yet at Alexandra Palace, selling out all 10 000 tickets for the London venue. One of those 10 000 was me, seeing not only Gizz for the first time but any band away from the safety of Leicester De Montfort Hall balcony or the polite middle-class crowd of Greenbelt Festival. Let’s just say I’d thrown myself in at the deep end.
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Album Review: Bon Iver – i,i
9
3 months ago

Album Review: Bon Iver – i,i

By  •  Reviews

Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver has always been driven by progress. His 2007 debut For Emma, Forever Ago began in minimalist isolation, rarely straying from the core combination of Vernon’s voice and acoustic guitar. Four years later, the self-titled sophomore album expanded into a more grandiose and atmospheric sound, propelled by a host of brass performers mixed elegantly into the compositions. Then, following several collaborations with hip-hop innovator Kanye West, Vernon released the audaciously experimental 22, A Million.
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Album Review: The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
10
4 months ago

Album Review: The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin

By  •  Reviews

The wonderful thing about The Flaming Lips is their ability to be profound without sounding pretentious. Unlike, for example, some of the prog-rock bands of the ‘70s, whose big themes often got lost in dense mysticism, The Flaming Lips remain down-to-earth. In recent years their personality has arguably become a little tacky and directionless, sounding more like a random quirky word generator than a band. However, at their peak, The Flaming Lips were able to ground their existentialism in accessible idiosyncrasies. Twenty years ago, they achieved this balance to perfection. Presenting life in all its beauty and heartbreak, with gorgeous melodies and lush instrumentation to match the richness of its themes, The Soft Bulletin remains the band’s crowning achievement.
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Album Review: The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
10
7 months ago

Album Review: The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

By  •  Reviews

In my last I review, I looked at The Velvet Underground’s self-titled album, an ahead-of-its-time masterpiece whose influence is still felt today. This time, I’m also looking at a self-titled album that just so happens to be an ahead-of-its-time masterpiece whose influence is still felt today. Released this week in 1989, The Stone Roses’ debut album is one of the most crucial records in the development of alternative rock. Reaching back to the jangle pop of the 1960s whilst forging the path for the Britpop-ers of the 1990s, The Stone Roses is an endlessly rich and arresting experience that left an unavoidable impression on the British rock scene.
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Album Review: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
10
8 months ago

Album Review: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground

By  •  Reviews

When asked what the best Velvet Underground album is, there’s a case to be made for (almost) all of them. With the exception of 1973’s Squeeze – which barely counts as a Velvet Underground album due to the lack of any original members – there’s a unique quality to all of their releases. Whether it’s the gritty innovation of their 1967 debut, the dark experimentation of 1968’s White Light / White Heat or the tuneful delicacy of 1970’s Loaded, there’s something in all of them to hail as genius. However, for me, there’s no question as to which album is their magnum opus. Simply titled The Velvet Underground, the band’s third album is a timeless masterpiece that sounds as contemporary on its 50th anniversary as it did in 1969.
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Album Review: Nicholas Allbrook – Wabi-Sabi-Bruto-Bruta
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10 months ago

Album Review: Nicholas Allbrook – Wabi-Sabi-Bruto-Bruta

By  •  Reviews

As the frontman of Perth-based psychedelic oddballs Pond, Nicholas Allbrook is a slick but edgy performer; with quirky melodies and rough vocals, he presents himself as a grittier sort of glam rocker. However, on his solo work, Allbrook is a very different character. Unrestrained, perhaps, by the poppier sensibilities of bandmate Jay Watson (a.k.a GUM) and producer Kevin Parker (a.k.a Tame Impala) Allbrook has carved a more experimental image. Whilst his darker ideas have started to seep into Pond’s music, especially on their latest record The Weather, Allbrook still saves the least conventional stuff for himself.
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Album Review: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
10
11 months ago

Album Review: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

By  •  Reviews

Animal Collective are not for the faint of heart. This is especially true regarding the experimental pop groups’ two most recent albums, in which they heavily indulged in some of their most left-field whims. 2016’s Painting With took their multi-layered vocal style to disorientingly elaborate heights, whilst 2018’s Tangerine Reef mellowed in slow and arguably somewhat stiff ambience. Both of these records were received with predictable ambivalence, despite personally holding some fondness for elements of them. However, there’s no doubting that Animal Collective are at their best when they restrain themselves. Or at least, when they’re able to focus their experimental tendencies into crafting great pieces of music. Ten years ago this month, Animal Collective released an album that perfected that approach. An album that followed in the footsteps of other experimental pop legends like the Beatles and (especially) the Beach Boys to produce something as beautiful as it is innovative. That album was Merriweather Post Pavilion.
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Album Review: The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
8
12 months ago

Album Review: The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

By  •  Reviews

In their review of A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, the latest album from Manchester pop-rock giants The 1975, NME dubbed it “the millennial answer to OK Computer”. At first, this claim seemed shockingly audacious, if not borderline sacrilege. How dare you equate an album – let alone an album by The 1975 – to arguably the greatest record of the ‘90s? To be fair, my experience with The 1975 had been rather limited. I’d come across their big hits and not thought much of them. Sure, there was a punky attitude that I guess could be appealing, but I couldn’t find much beneath the surface to appreciate. Now, however, they’re being compared to Radiohead and receiving perfect scores left, right and centre. Clearly, it was finally time for me to give them a chance.
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Album Review: The Beatles – The White Album
9
1 year 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.
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