Buzz Chart Single Reviews

Tame Impala

Apocalypse Dreams
Free Download
Modular People Records

tame_impala_apocalypse_dreams_artworkWhen Tame Impala‘s first EP dropped into my ears in 2008, those 5 tracks were played on repeat over and over again and I never managed to get bored of them do this day. I still get shudders when i hear ‘Half Full Glass Of Wine‘ but they were soon shut down when they released their debut album Innerspeaker dropped in 2010. It just didn’t feel the same. The anticipation from that first EP had spoiled my expectations and the full length disappointed me but turned on thousands more.

Today they have released their first offering of what is coming in October from the their second full length titled Lonerism, and now i’m right back their in the repeat phase once again; chomping on aural delights and swimming in their psychedelic, Australian haze that I was craving for. Put this new track in your pipe and smoke it today. i’m pretty sure this could well be some of their best work yet.

Apocalypse Dreams is out there from today as a free download, grab it from the widget below and note that tickets for their UK tour in October have been announced today too.

October 30 – Brixton Academy – London, UK
November 1 – Ritz – Manchester, UK
November 2 – Leadmill – Sheffield, UK
November 3 – ABC – Glasgow, UK

Album Reviews Buzz Chart Reviews

Kids & Explosions

Kids & Explosions
Shit Computer

First of all, and before you hear the inevitable comparisons from journalists that are somehow lazier than I am, Kids & Explosions does not sound like Girl Talk. The art of making music using the pastiche method of combining elements from existing pieces of music with other elements of existing pieces of music has become such common practice that people tend to confuse regular producers with mash-up artists, or worse, all of the above with Girl Talk. Rather than utilising nostalgic references and ADHD post-ironic pop culture twisters for the benefit of a party (like the Gregg Gillis’ frequently mentioned fraternity project, or 2manydjs), Josh Raskin has sat and watched that Four Loko-fuelled bandwagon roll away while piecing together ADD jams that favour melancholic glitches with expertly placed vocal samples that manage to evoke shoegaze textures and even post-rock build-ups every so often. The end result is a collection of songs that are at once listenable, memorable, bittersweet, quietly arousing and head-nodding.

Whether it’s when the layers of ‘Babies Of The Future‘ collide as RZA ‘brings the motherfucking…’ crescendo that refuses to conclude in a ruckus, or when ‘Swear Words‘ works as a comprehensive guide to exactly what the song title suggests over twee guitars we’re continuously presented with an oxymoron so obvious it would sound terrible if anyone else was making it. But it’s anything but terrible, and when album highlight ‘Use Your Words‘ builds from gentle piano and soft female vocal sampling to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s ‘oh baby I like it raw’ line, recontextualised into one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching things you could ever hear, you’ll be hitting the replay button more frequently than Josh has hit ctrl+v making the damn thing.

The album can be downloaded at whatever price you decree at Josh’s website. You can – and should – stream the album in its entirety there too, alongside suitably looped gifs.

Album Reviews Buzz Chart Reviews

La Dispute & Touché Amoré

Searching For A Pulse / The Worth Of The World
No Sleep Records

Two of the pre-eminent members in burgeoning Post-Hardcore scene ‘The Wave’, La Dispute and Touché Amoré release this brand new split 7”inch Searching For a Pulse / The Worth of the World. This pairing of some of punk’s most exciting young blood means expectations are set high, but the two bands meet them convincingly.

Touché Amoré kick off the split with I’ll Get My Just Deserve, which is boosted by the contributions of La Dispute’s distinctive vocalist Jordan Treynor. The ascending guitar melody injects the track with a great sense of urgency, which is just as well, as like most of Touché Amoré’s material the song is over in a flash. But it’s the vocal interplay between the two singers that is most impressive about the record’s first half, and although very brief, hints at the further potential of this collaboration.

La Dispute offer the weightier half of the release, which picks up where their immense 2008 debut left off. How I Feel is the heavier of the two tracks, working around up-tempo guitar riffs before breaking down into an epic shouting contest between the two vocalists. The 7”inch is rounded off by the slower paced Why It Scares Me, the record’s calmest offering which puts emphasis on Treynor’s lyrical sprawl. Whether or not you like La Dispute, or indeed this record, will ultimately hinge on what you make of Treynor’s melodramatic vocal style.

Personally I like a little melodrama in my hardcore, and few do it better than both La Dispute and Touché Amoré. As expected, then, this split is one of the year’s standout punk releases and promises much for the next full lengths from both bands.

Sleekly Lion

Album Reviews Buzz Chart Reviews


Outside The Box

So much has been written about Skream in the past couple of years that it’s hard to type words that don’t re-hash a multitude of already worn metaphors and showering of praise. However, the Croydonite producer who has spearheaded the rise of dubstep into the mainstream thanks in no small part to his remix of La Roux and subsequent release as part of Magnetic Man, deserves all the accolades he gets.

His second album, Outside The Box, holds a variety of styles and shows that he’s willing to go beyond what’s expected of him and branches away from dubstep, brushing with bass-heavy hip hop on 8 Bit Baby featuring Living Legends’ Murs. There are 2-step vibes on one of the stand-out tracks of the album How Real featuring the vocal talents of Freckles and even shades of Jungle on dance-floor banger Listenin’ To The Records On My Wall which is sure to be a set-smasher for a very long time to come.

Being able to mix the minimal style that made his In For The Kill remix so potent as he does on the tracks Finally [which features the red-headed Brixtonite] and I Love The Way in with the straight-up wobbling volume of Wibbler shows his dexterity and prowess around all things beat-led. Finishing the album with a track entitled The Epic Last Song could have been a good way to shoot himself in the foot, but the jump-up nature of it ensures that Outside The Box finishes on a huge high.

It’s not a perfect album, there are a few lapses, but even when a tune isn’t as great as those that surround it, the production skills of Skream are still to be marveled at. Who knows what’s next for him, but right now, this record is sure to get toungues wagging and feet pounding.