Image

Reviews

Music reviews of bands and artists from Rockhaq

Live Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – London Alexandra Palace, 5 October 2019
10
1 month 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.
Read More

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.
Read More

Album Review: Steely Dan – Gaucho
10
3 months ago

Album Review: Steely Dan – Gaucho

Speaking about Aja, Steely Dan’s sixth album, guitarist Dean Parks said of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, “perfection is not what they’re after, they’re after something that you wanna listen to.” No other quote encapsulates the music of Steely Dan better. Indeed, on Aja, as evidenced by its sales, they really did find something you wanna listen to and, arguably, found perfection. It is what Parks said next that hits true poignancy in regards to Aja’s follow up: “… we would go past the perfection point until it became natural.” 1980’s Gaucho is evidence of what a Steely Dan album sounds like when it stops just before perfection- the sound of a band desperately striving for flawlessness but ending up with a finished product on the wrong side of their goal.
Read More

Album Review: The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
10
3 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.
Read More

Album Review: David Byrne – David Byrne
8
5 months ago

Album Review: David Byrne – David Byrne

In 1994, listeners got a tantalisingly brief glimpse at the real David Byrne, one they would have to wait a decade to witness again. On his self-titled album, Byrne raised the veil slightly; just enough to let his most personal song writing to date into the world.
Read More

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.
Read More

Album Review: The Horrors – Primary Colours
10
7 months ago

Album Review: The Horrors – Primary Colours

Ten years ago this May, a highly stylised gothic punk outfit released their second album. In all honesty, back in May 2009 nobody expected much from this motley crue of mudbloods, bar the odd throwaway goth-punk radio-friendly two-minute pop single. It’s a crying shame that they suffered the same fate as countless other acts who have the creative foresight to inject a strong style into their image. The many striking qualities in their debut album Strange House ended up being cruelly overlooked by about 90 per cent of music critics in 2007.
Read More

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.
Read More

Album Review: Massive Attack – Mezzanine
10
8 months ago

Album Review: Massive Attack – Mezzanine

I’ve been meaning to review this album for several years now and laughably missed my own deadline to cover it in time for its 20-year anniversary in late 2018. For Massive Attack’s Mezzanine it’s a case of better late than never, though. Like a number of other 1990’s British albums that have gone on to be regarded as all-time classics, it was released to little fanfare or drama. But Mezzanine is a sleeping beast that has well and truly withstood the ravages of time.
Read More

Single Review: Carly Rae Jepson – No Drug Like Me
8
9 months ago

Single Review: Carly Rae Jepson – No Drug Like Me

2015’s stunning Emotion was one of the best pop albums of the decade. It was a perfect mix of breathless hooks, simple narratives and underhand bitterness, lifting to something of cult status amongst fans. Since then, Carly Rae Jepson has kept us fans waiting; teasing us with 2017’s Cut to the Feeling and 2018’s Party For One… she’s been playing a long game.
Read More