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Reviews

Music reviews of bands and artists from Rockhaq

Album Review: New Order – Technique
10
2 weeks ago

Album Review: New Order – Technique

The cover of New Order’s 1989 release, Technique, depicts a cherub upon a gradient of pinks and purples. Peter Saville, New Order’s long-time sleeve designer suggested, retrospectively, that this was to reflect the hedonism of the time, an ode to the drug-fuelled excess of the 1980s. While this may be true, the striking cover can also be seen as a break with the past. New Order’s previous covers had been somewhat muted, the monotone cover of 1985’s Low-Life, the brazen aluminium of 1986’s Brotherhood, even the pops of colour in 1983’s Power, Corruption and Lies cover seemed subdued somehow. The music reflects this. Similarly, the music held within Technique reflects its cover – a break with the past in favour for an embracing of all the musical touches New Order had previously only hinted at; a complete celebration of dance.
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Album Review: Foxygen – Take The Kids Off Broadway
10
1 month 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
2 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: Green Day – American Idiot
10
3 months ago

Album Review: Green Day – American Idiot

By  •  Reviews

In 2001, after their least commercially successful album Warning had been released, pioneers of pop-punk Green Day hit the studio again to record their follow-up album, with the working title of Cigarettes and Valentines. Sadly, towards the end of the album’s recording, all the demo recordings were stolen by an unknown culprit. Rather than re-recording all their songs from memory, Singer Billie Joe, Drummer Tre Cool and Bassist Mike Dirnt decided to start from scratch. Hence, American Idiot.
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Album Review: Jack White – Boarding House Reach
9
3 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
5 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: The White Stripes – Elephant
10
5 months ago

Album Review: The White Stripes – Elephant

By  •  Reviews

Despite their marriage and divorce, the dynamic duo known as The White Stripes has done it again! At  London’s Toe Rag Studios in 2002, they worked hard to produce an album full of songs that would define the band forever. Whilst listening to this masterpiece, I was blown away by the immense variety of this incredible work of art.
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Album Review: MGMT – Little Dark Age
8
6 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
6 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
7 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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