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The Mystic Gribbitt

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Dark As Night
Dark As Night
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Uplifting, 7 April 2016
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This review is from: Dark As Night (Audio CD)
It is a mystery that Nahko Bear and his collective Medicine for the People are still a hidden treasure as their album Dark As Night is simply breathtaking, both beautiful and uplifting at the same time with Nahko Bear laying his soul bare with his poetry and he can also sing, stunningly. There is no genre to define this awesome album as to pigeonhole it would go against everything this group stand for. There are a lot of different styles on offer and each one is effortlessly pulled off by this enlightened group of troubedours.

This album makes your soul sing and even after one listen all the songs feel so familiar that it could easily have been a part of your life for a long time. Starting of with "Aloha Ke Akua" which opens with a gentle acoustic lilt and Nahko gently singing before it kicks off into a feel good romp with mind expanding lyrics which has you singing the joyful chorus on the first listen. Other stand out tracks include "Warrior People" which sees Nahko head deep into a reggae vibe, with this song Nahko appears to channel the spirit of Bob Marley yet makes it his own. The potent "7 Feathers" is also another standout yet there are no weak tracks in this 12 track collection which mysteriously has remained hidden since its release yet an album this stunning stands tall against the soulless chaff which dominates todays music scene. If you want to listen to a damn fine album then do yourself a favour and buy this, I thoroughly recommend you do and you will thank yourself when you do and then wonder why it took so long to get it, this album really is Medicine for the People, take it and feel good :)

The Physical World
The Physical World
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The original bass and drum duo returns..., 15 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Physical World (MP3 Download)
The original hard rocking bass and drum duo are back and what a comeback it is. Death From Above 1979's debut "You're a Woman, I'm a Machine" was a blast of visceral flesh stripping drum and bass that it's taken them a decade to return with a second album, but the wait, even though it's been a long time, has been worth it.

With all the hype pointed towards Royal Blood and their debut, released two weeks before, The Physical World appears without any fanfare even though it outshines Royal Blood's debut, which is no mean feat considering how powerful their debut is.

Opening up with the frantic "Cheap Talk" which sets the tone for the rest of the album, intricate, fast, hard in your face drum and bass. There is no let up to the pounding drums and brutal bass on this album, each track seems to surpass the previous one in terms of intensity, simply put, this album rocks and rocks hard.

The bass playing is simply incredible as is the drumwork and this time the vocals are clearer than on their debut. This is an album which demands to be played loud, the tracks form a whole, complete (if not short) album with "Trainwreck 1979" being incredibly catchy and possible the standout track, though "Government Trash" gives it a good run for it's money as does the closing track "The Physical World" which is possibly the most experimental the duo have taken their music.

Hopefully it won't be another decade before Death From Above 1979 return with a third album but until they do this and their debut will do very nicely. :)

Sick Octave
Sick Octave
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sick Octave - A modern classic which should become an all time classic., 4 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Sick Octave (MP3 Download)
Amazingly enough I'd never heard of Young Knives before a couple of weeks ago when I saw them open for The Flaming Lips in Edinburgh! I was impressed enough with their live performance, which was intense coupled with some songs which I really got into straight away so I thought I'd check out their album and I can't say that I'm disapointed at all, in fact since getting it Sick Octave has pretty much been on constant.

After the intro of 12345 the second track kicks in, ferociously, an electro groove drives the stunning Owls of Athens - a song which demands attention and screams to be played loud, very loud. The next track, We Could Be Blood is a masterpiece, opening delicately after the pounding Owls of Athens, sees the track build and build with some very clever wordplay by Henry. All Tied Up follows, another brilliant track with a catchy chorus which resembles early Pavement in the way the discordiant music hides a very catchy melody which gets in your head. White Sands follows, the opening line "What's that sound? Got to have some!", sums up how infectious this song is, really this is a five star album very lo-fi in recording but so catchy that it may be one of the best albums released and deserves to be listened to by anyone who claims to like music. Anyway, enough rambling on with the review, Something Awful follows next, a very dark track, which is claustrophobic in feel, a menancing violence as the victim becomes the aggressor after being pushed too far, possibly the albums stand out track, of which there are many to choose from. The ambient Preset Columns/Default Comets follows offering a reprieve from the darkness of Something Awful but still a subtle menance underlies the pretty ambience Young Knives have created. Bella Bella follows, using electronic meanderings to create a shoegaze classic, by now it becomes clear that not two tracks are the same on Sick Octave with Young Knives on top of their creative game. Marble Maze follows, which has the feel of early Public Image Limited in the way Henry sings the words over a post punk bassline a song which keeps building towards it almost two minute outro. Another Pavement-esque follows, a sycophantic beat carries Green Island Red Raw giving it a free-form jazz feel played on guitar, bass and drums making it possibly the most upbeat track on Sick Octave. The one minute proto punk Score follows, infectious in it's shortness which gives way to the absurdly good Bed Warmer, another epic track highlighting Young Knives ability to write and perform a catchy tune. The album's closer Maureen is the closest track to pop, though a disturbed pop which many left-field pop acts could only dream of writing, a fitting album closer for a fantastic album.

So, all in all Sick Octave is a modern classic, a truly fantastic British album by one of British musics hidden treasures, hopefully their Glastonbury appearance will open up more ears to this excellent band and sees more people fall in love with this album.

Peace Sword
Peace Sword
Price: £4.14

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Your Heart to The Flaming Lips, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Peace Sword (MP3 Download)
The Flaming Lips' second major release of the year, coming less than 6 months after The Terror see the band in a far more optimistic mood. Peace Sword is an EP as opposed to an album nevertheless it has a running time of over 35 minutes, which is longer than some albums. The six tracks contained here are all excellent, and some are up there with The Flaming Lips' classics.

Being a long term fan of The Flaming Lips I was always going to buy this, and indeed did on the day it became available. The sound is a progression from The Terror and this is a good thing as the direction The Flaming Lips have been heading in in recent years may have lost those who came aboard circa Yoshimi but has seen the band grow artistically and become one of the most pioneering bands in the history of music, those who choose to give up on The Flaming Lips after Embryonic have missed out on some of the best new music of recent years. Unlike their output of 2011/2012, which produced a few gems though quite a bit of chaff, 2013 has seen The Flaming Lips put out two collections of some of their strongest material, indeed with their recent live shows highlighting The Terror it's easy to see how happy the band themselves are of their most recent work.

Opening up with the Theme to the motion picture Ender's Game, Peace Sword (Open Your Heart) is an uplifting piece of sci-chedelica with The Flaming Lips exploring some of the themes of the movie which has to be one of the best theme songs to a movie to be released in a long time, which also works as a song all by itself. Next up is If They Move, Shoot 'Em, one of the five songs which aren't featured in the film but are inspired by Orson Scott Card's novel, which is the closest track in feel to The Terror which explores the central theme of the book that Ender is under the illusion that he is just playing a game rather than actually affecting real life. Next track is the stand out track, Is the Black at the End Good?, this is a bonafide Flaming Lips classic, a track which is both uplifting and pulls at your heartstrings at the same time, it is simply beautiful. Think Like a Machine, Not a Boy is next, swathed in sci-fi synths and gentle acoustics is a simple song about the empathy which Ender feels towards the Fornics (Buggers) which is twisted by the military in order to achieve their goal. Wolf Children follows, which is driven by a killer synthetic bass line before exploding into another uplifting psychedelic masterpiece. The final track is Assassin Beetle/The Dream is Ending, the first part is instrumental which builds sonically both in quiet and loud sections before going into the second part finishes the story whilst revisiting the start in an ourobouros way.

If you are a fan of The Flaming Lips then you will love this, if you've came across it and you have a broad taste in music then give it a go the chances are it'll get into your subconcsious like all great music does and you'll end up loving it. Another masterpiece from a band who keep delivering masterpiece after masterpiece, The Flaming Lips are a special and unique band who once you discover will change your life.
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