The keyboards employed on 'Skinny Grin' make way here for Chris Sharkey's guitar. Vocals are given the push too, while Ruth Goller takes over on bass. The unfeasibly afro'ed Sebastian Rochford still occupies the drum stool, and Peter Wareham once more strafes with his saxophone. The end product is rock and roll of the best sort - dirty and belligerent but tuneful. Music college clearly had zero effect on these musicians' partiality to the Stooges.
It's been a very long time since since I last heard three consecutive tracks as uplifting as 'Living with a Tiger', 'Gratitude' and 'Have another Go'. Play these first thing in the morning, especially 'Gratitude' with its… Read more
Harmful have been around since the last millennium but are little known outside their native Germany. Most of 'Sis Masis', their sixth album, is raw, bludgeoning, heavy and direct; I can think of few other trios that make such a racket. Fortunately, the brutality is tempered by melody and alternative rock stylings, rather in the manner of Queens of the Stone Age (but without the inconsistency of that band's 'Lullabies to Paralyze'). Some bands might have opted for barked vocals on the heaviest tracks, but Harmful have resisted the temptation. There is an air of sadness and frustration about the music and the lyrics, and it appears to be genuine: vocalist Aren Emirze is of Armenian… Read more
Blues-punk? Garage rock 'n' roll? Whatever you care to call it, this is ferocious stuff. Gallon Drunk know their way around rhythms and here they fire off basic blues ('Put the Bolt in the Door'), bossa nova ('Night Panic Bossa'), borderline hard rock ('Bad Servant'), shuffling funk ('On Ward 10') and all manner of hybrids. Their other forte is atmosphere, which they conjure from swampy, echoing production; deftly timed squalls of sax, harmonica and feedback; James Johnston's ability to sing like a man possessed and (last but not least) squalid, sleazy, lyrical matter. If you don't like it raw you'd better keep a safe distance.
Not a pop album, then (if you want more melody and… Read more