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Reviews

Music reviews of bands and artists from Rockhaq

Album Review: Idles – Brutalism
9
3 months ago

Album Review: Idles – Brutalism

By  •  Reviews

With a title like Brutalism, you could be forgiven for expecting a sonic assault from Idles. Despite what the name of the album might suggest, the Bristol five piece’s debut album doesn’t dip its toes into the hardcore and metal genres. Instead, the title seems to be in reference to subject matter, which deals with the current state of the country.
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Album Review: XTC – English Settlement
10
3 months ago

Album Review: XTC – English Settlement

Almost exactly three and a half minutes into Runaways, the first track on XTC’s magnum opus English Settlement, the guitars become hushed and lone piano notes drop as if into oblivion. It’s one of many moments of sheer brilliance that litter all of the fifteen songs on the record. They act as lily pads in ponds of circling 12-string guitars, off kilter drum patterns and pan-optic lyrics.
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Album Review: Mac Miller – Swimming
8
3 months ago

Album Review: Mac Miller – Swimming

By  •  Reviews

During the summer between leaving college and heading to university, I ended up taking a paper round out of boredom and desperation for money. That lackadaisical summer was spent pedalling around Leicester, delivering newspapers and exploring my taste in music for the first time ever. The biggest revelation was that I enjoyed rap and hip-hop, which was born from my discovery of an up and coming artist called Mac Miller.
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EP Review: Sick Ones – Find Energy
10
3 months ago

EP Review: Sick Ones – Find Energy

By  •  Reviews

Hardcore punk. When you hear those words, what do you think of? Some may think of tiny venues with insane mosh pits and sweat trickling down the walls. Others may think of hardcore legends such as Black Flag, Bad Brains and Misfits. When I hear these words, after having seen them support Dead Kennedys at the 02 Academy in Oxford, all I can think of is Sick Ones.
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Album Review: Hobo Johnson – The Rise of Hobo Johnson
7
3 months ago

Album Review: Hobo Johnson – The Rise of Hobo Johnson

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I found Hobo Johnson via a friend on Facebook, who had been tagged in the comments section of a Lad Bible post about his single Peach Scones (I can’t stand the page, but I guess I should be grateful for the recommendation). Like everyone else in the comments section, I couldn’t decide whether it was a joke or not; and if it was, whether we were laughing at Hobo Johnson or whether he was laughing at us. I still don’t know.
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Album Review: Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
9
3 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: New Order – Technique
10
4 months 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
5 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
6 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
7 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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