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Reviews Written by
Andrew Taylor "Andy" (East sussex, England)

Page: 1
Price: £11.68

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An album of two halves..., 19 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
Squarepusher's latest album Ufabulum... It came out about a year ago and I've been listening to it on and off since. As a whole. the album feels very much an album of two halves, split right down the middle, showcasing arguably some of his best work and some of his most uninspiring.
The first track feels very much like it's designed to be euphoric and uplifting, but it fails to strike any sort of a chord with me. The next 2 or 3 songs follow similar suit with soaring synth parts and catchy (annoying) melodies. All of these songs get a similar sort of review from me, the first half of the album honestly sounds like a cross between a soundtrack to the worst Sega Saturn Game you can imagine and the kind of background music you hear when the league tables appear on Eurosport's coverage of the bobsleigh. And I cant stress that enough. Even though there are enjoyable moments hidden in there, I always get those sort of images in my head. I was very much surprised to hear the track 'Unreal Square' make an appearance during the BBC's coverage of the Olympics last year... so I can only imagine a couple of their producers had a similar feeling towards those tracks that I did. It almost feels like those songs were designed for that specifically, which makes for a rather offputting listen as an album.
'Red In Blue' acts as a sort of quiet before the storm and a significant turning point. All remaining tracks feel somewhat darker, noisier, more atmospheric, more energetic, chaotic... It's like an entirely different album altogether. Some of it could be described as an uneasy listen, but in a way that feels way more exciting and uplifting than anything the first half had to offer. Definitely 'edge of your seat' music, and each remaining track has an entirely different way off getting that across.
The track 'Dark Steering' is probably among my favourite songs from last year, and the fact I still listen to that and the rest of Ufabulum probably doesn't mean it's a bad album, I just think it's a confusing release as I love some parts and hate others... If the tracks from 'The Metallurgist' onward had been released as 'The Ufabulum EP' I'd give that EP 5 stars... no question, and if that questionable first half had been released as it's own EP with some nice colourful cover art, I dare say I'd look at that in a different perspective. But Maybe I'm over-analyzing things.
So in all, some very very good stuff, and some uninspiring 'annoying' stuff, but I guess i do find myself with a similar opinion with regards to Squarepusher's discography. I absolutely love some parts of it, and some parts don't do as much for me. But in a way I'm glad he does release his albums in the way he does. I'd chose extremes of good and bad any day over a discography of complete mediocrity.

Crooked Timber
Crooked Timber
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return, 16 April 2009
This review is from: Crooked Timber (Audio CD)
Yet another addition to the extensive list of Therapy? albums, and a fairly good one at that. What I admire about therapy? is that each album reinvents the bands sound, bringing in fresh ideas. It would have been too easy to make another 3 Troublegum albums but they insist on pushing forward with a subtle experimentation which to me makes them more interesting to follow as a band at least...
This album's sound is alot darker than some of their recent stuff. The bass in particular sounds alot more prominent, very grinding sound. The drums bring that manic, snare-heavy sound (a forefront of Therapy?s music) to a new level, sounding more punchy than ever. The guitar sounds very deep and crunchy, but there are also alot of lighter sounds, almost reminiscent of Sonic Youth or something, giving more room for the bass and drums to work independantly.
There is a nice lot of attitude, some really mental grinding tracks, and a few slower, moody, almost sci-fi sounding songs which break it up a bit.
Crooked timber as an album, some of it works really well and is some of T?'s most progressive and rockin' stuff to date, other parts dont sound quite right to me. I'm not all that keen on the title track (they made a video for it and all), love the story behind it, it all explores what makes us human and the rest of it... but with the same powerchord strummend for what seems like the entirety of the song, i find it drags a bit, along with the 10 minute instrumental track.
'I told you I was ill', 'Somnambulist' and 'Bad excuse for daylight' are pretty much the best things ive heard in ages though.
I think even if this album doesnt strike something straight away its gonna be a grower, not immediately as easy to listen to as Troublegum or High Anxiety, guess its more like Suicide Pact... but its a great new direction for the band and represents everything that we love about them. It'll make you smile, bang your head, feel confused and awkward all at once.

We Love You All
We Love You All
Price: £11.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Metal - Cinema For The Brain, 26 Aug. 2008
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This review is from: We Love You All (Audio CD)
I first heard about this album through an advert in Terrorizer magazine and was really suprised by the music i was hearing. The metal genre seems to be becoming ever more embaressing and samey (at least in mainstream stuff) but its bands like this that bring back a real glimmer of hope and some originality to metal.
I was first suprised by the amount of different styles that all seem to blend seemlessly throughout the album. Within the first minute of 'Color Me Blood Red' you've already experienced some twisted guitar work, savage riffs, slap bass, and some unusual vocal harmonies. Alot of it certainly doesnt sound very metal, i wouldnt really know how to describe it, maybe a bit of a swing or a 1950s kinda feel to it, but its these mellower passages that change so quickly between the madness that makes this album unique. Psykup have 2 vocalists which both add up to a diverse range of vocal styles, an award also has to go to the funniest sounding high pitched screaming ever :P.
The song structures are more of a cinematic approach, by that i mean you never hear the same thing twice, that said there are definately alot of hooks and intersting things which will remain in your head for a while.
You can also feel a bit of a sense of humour to the whole thing, not that its supposed to be a funny album in any way but you can really tell the band members are having a bit of fun doing it, i guess some parts are almost reminiscent of some of the mad things Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad) comes up with.
I dont really know what else to add except that it really is a great album with some quality musicianship and something refreshing on the ears. The cover art is also a perfect representation of the music. I understand there is also a 2 CD + DVD version with a load of french tracks on it... never managed to track it down though.

Never Apologise Never Explain
Never Apologise Never Explain
Price: £7.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 April 2008
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I dont know what it is but theres just something i love about Therapy?, Weird maybe coming from someone who also listens to a fair bit of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Meshuggah, The Locust etc.
Never Apologise Never Explain is definately one of my favouites, it combines a bit of everything that is great from all of their previous albums. I admire the sheer catchyness of the songwriting and the band has alot of 'attitude'. Andy Cairns' vocals sound particualarly strong on this release and Neil Coopers snare heavy drumming style is excellent. The guitar is pretty grungy/punk-rock and most of the songs have a really good groove to them, the sound of an experienced alternative rock/metal band.
A few of the tracks are a little dodgey but dont really bring the album down at all as a whole.
Highlights for me: Rise Up (Make Yourself Well), Panic, Dead, Long Distance.

Ziltoid the Omniscient CD+CDE
Ziltoid the Omniscient CD+CDE
Price: £36.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this world, 13 April 2008
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I have owned this album for a while now, got it soon after it came out and its one of the few albums i keep going back to listen to. Devin manages to combine a great metal record with a tongue in cheek sci-fi comedy feel, think Strapping Young Lad combined with Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds and a comedy like Red Dwarf. It tells the story of Ziltoid (the ultimate 4th dimensional guitar hero) who invades earth in search of the universes ultimate cup of coffee, and he encounters all sorts of problems and kinda ends up searching for the meaning of life...

From start to finish the album has a pretty epic feel to it with Devin's trademark guitar sound and layers of atmospheric keyboards and vocal samples. The album starts off with chugging metal riffs and explores a slower melodic feel in 'solar winds', 'hyperdrive' has a kinda catchy alternative rock feel to it, before going back to metal. The singing is really good too, ranging from soaring clean vocals to "death metal" screaming. Each track has its own memorable hooks and you'll find yourself singing "...and the greys flood our memories" over and over.

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