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Reviews Written by
The Wolf (uk)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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Mangy Love
Mangy Love
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Melancholy, 27 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Mangy Love (Audio CD)
Classy songwriting. A determinately down-beat approach. Well-wrought instrumental foundations.
If this kind of thing is up your boulevard then you'll love Cass McComb's new album 'Mangy Love'.
He has a mordant sense of humour and a way with a good tune. His voice isn't the finest on Planet
Pop but it does the job more than well enough. He snarls his way through 'Rancid Girl' especially well.

Top Tracks : 'Bum Bum Bum' (nothing to do with bottoms at all) which ambles along nicely on the back of
some particularly fine fluid guitar playing; 'It', a curious confection with its wide-screen choral arrangement
and 'I'm A Shoe' which trudges along languidly in a melancholy mood like the ghost of a lost and lonely cowboy.

No frills. No affectation. A singular vision. All good stuff.


Sledge
Sledge
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Bullfrogs and Bouncy Bass Lines, 27 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Sledge (MP3 Download)
London-based producer Erka Chinbayer's new five track EP 'Sledge' slips and slides
along very nicely. You can dance to it (well, most of it!). The beats are strong. He's more
interested in rhythm than melody, although there is the occasional instrumental decoration
to lighten the load ('Spray' has a tinkly keyboard sample which shines through an otherwise
abrasive arrangement). The flatulent bouncy bass synth lines are especially entertaining.

Top track? It's a toss-up between the somewhat menacing 'Fire Power' and final number 'Void'
which seems to have acquired a belching bullfrog for company somewhere along the way!

File under intelligent techno.


Films
Films
Price: £9.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Lovely, 27 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Films (MP3 Download)
Let me tell you about Johnny Sands because I really do thing you should know
a bit about him. He’s a newbie to me. ‘Films’ is his debut album. It’s wonderful.

Mr Sands is a singer/songwriter from America. He plays lots of instruments and
his voice has a gloriously raw and unadulterated quality. The project has a home
made ambience about it. Nothing too complicated. The final results are stunning.

Top tracks : ‘A Friend’, a plaintive, strikingly tender composition, beautifully sung;
‘Dice Man’, in which the spirit of Robert Zimmerman watches smiling from the wings;
‘Turn Me To Gold’, taking its time to weave a very particular kind of enchantment and
final number ‘Wolves’ (of course!) which has a slight whiff of ‘Norwegian Wood’ about it.

Mr Sands has succeeded in keeping things simple so I will endeavour to do so too.

‘Films’ is one of the loveliest things I have heard this year.


Amnesty (I)
Amnesty (I)
Price: £9.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Beautiful, 23 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Amnesty (I) (Audio CD)
Since our last encounter with Crystal Castles vocalist Alice Glass has jumped ship
and new recruit Edith Frances has scurried on board to take her place but we need
not be concerned. Captain Ethan Kath remains very much in charge of his machines.
Be reassured, too, that the ensemble still has the power to both disturb and confound.
Their fourth album, ‘Amnesty (I)’, is a compelling testimony to their facility to stir us.

The opening spook-fest 'Femen' paves the way to a tidy little nightmare with its glitchy beats
and haunting, quasi-choral, manipulated vocal entreaties. It’s a wonderfully moody idea.

‘Fleece’ kicks-off with a magnificently abrasive synth riff and some difficult-to-decipher lyrics
which, with a bit of research, seem to point to a particularly twisted emotional entanglement.

ABBA it ain’t but ‘Char’ comes about as close as CC have yet come to writing a pop
song. It gets a bit more torn and twisted in the middle but the surprisingly sweetly-sung
melody either side of it is actually rather lovely. ‘Sadist’, too, shows further evidence of
Ms Frances’s journeys backwards and forwards to fairyland in the pretty jingly sections.

Hell only knows what’s going on in 'Teach Her How To Hunt' but I suspect it involves
a swamp, thorn bushes, big sticks and a multitude of impossible-to-imagine creatures.

There are a few of cracking dance-centric raves in the mix too. The thundering monolithic
beats of ‘Enth’ have power enough to blow you out of your socks. Poor Ms F doesn’t really
stand a chance of staying afloat in the midst of this delirious mayhem, although she howls
valiantly for all she’s worth! ’Frail’ is truly not frail at all especially when heard back to back
with the equally muscle-bound ‘Concrete’. All three tracks are built for Rabelaisian revelry!

The concluding invention ‘Their Kindness Is Charade’ is a perfectly charming idea, even when
the tenderness gets swept away, on two occasions, by a dense wave of sonic pandemonium.

I’ve loved them from the beginning. I see no good reason in this fine work to stop loving them now.


Lash Back
Lash Back
Price: £5.94

3.0 out of 5 stars Six Glimpses Of Hell, 20 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Lash Back (MP3 Download)
I wouldn't advise putting Sanford Parker's six track album 'Lash Back' on at your next party.
Chances are your guests would shrink away into the corners of the room, spontaneously
combust, or very probably leave. It's loud. It's nasty. It's chilly/chilling stuff. I'm never quite
sure what kind of situations in which it would be most appropriate to listen to music like this.
I can't imagine wanting to be alone with it and even less certain about who I might share it with.
Having said this Mr Parker's work has energy in abundance and the power to confound expectations.

Broadly I'd classify it as industrial-electronica of an especially dark and nerve-shredding varietal.

I would find it impossible to recommend any one particular number above another, so I'll share a
few thoughts about the first and last. Opening track 'Psychic Driving' is a big, beastly behemoth of
a thing, taking no prisoners, lumbering around in a suitably stark and grimy post-apocalyptic landscape.
The concluding piece, 'Sheep Slaughter', has a deeply embedded martial beat running through it,
supporting a dastardly array of booms, scrapes, crashes and strangulated quasi-animalic howls.

It's not my idea of fun at all but I am nevertheless able to admire our host's sustained nihilistic vision.

At Your Own Risk.


Songs About My Wife [Explicit]
Songs About My Wife [Explicit]
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Twisted Kind Of Love, 20 Aug. 2016
New York playwright Justin Kuritzkes' album 'Songs About My Wife' is amongst the week's most singularly
bizarre releases. Whether or not the songs are actually about his wife may or may not be the case.
What I can say is that it made me laugh. A lot. The tunes are actually rather good but the words are
very funny indeed. Clever too. Over and above all this Mr Kuritzkes can sing. Terrifically well as it happens.
His voice is a curiously soulful instrument and he also possesses an impressive falsetto. Tantalising stuff.

Top tracks : 'Dance All Night With My Wife', a wonderfully cheesy bit of disco-heaven worthy of Frank Zappa;
'I Slept With A Man', a deliciously articulated confessional; 'F*** Your Blood', rude as hell but the beats are as
infectious as ebola and 'Dance Us Back To Life', a very dark story indeed wrapped up in a really lovely melody.

Twisted doesn't even come close but I love it to death!

Destined to be one of my Top Ten albums of 2016.


Bad Love (EP) [Explicit]
Bad Love (EP) [Explicit]
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Kind Of Bad Love, 18 Aug. 2016
Sway Clarke was born in Toronto but now lives in Berlin. His five track EP 'Bad Love' shows
great promise. His voice is very good indeed. It has a nice rasp in it. The three songs 'I
Don't Need Much' and its variant 'I Don't Need Much - Pt. 2' and 'Deepak Choprea' all
deal with some of life's (his?) grittier moments. 'Tangerine' is a very mellow and pretty thing
indeed but it's the title track 'Bad Love' which really got my talent-alert-antenna twitching.
What a dark but beautiful thing it is. If there is such a thing as soul then you'll find it here.

This is a stunning vocal performance by any standards known to man or beast.

I am quite certain that we shall be hearing more from Mr Clarke if he stays on the rails.

Don't miss this one.


Subaquamarine
Subaquamarine
Price: £9.90

4.0 out of 5 stars A Musical Rattle Bag, 17 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Subaquamarine (MP3 Download)
There’s a hour’s worth of interesting music on Audioglider’s new album ‘Subaquamarine’.
Producer Roberto Sodano is highly skilled at generating rich sonic tapestries from layer
upon layer of densely-textured harmonic electronic sound, held in place by a solid rhythm
section and enlivened here and there by distant, half-heard vocal intrusions and occasional
limpid electric guitar lines. The cumulative effect, given that, rather like Sigur Ros, the melodic
content of his inventions evolve slowly out of relatively simple thematic components, is
nevertheless a startlingly affecting formula. I found myself more than a little enthralled by it all!

I’ll comment on four tracks in an attempt to describe what sort of things are going on here.

Things kick off brightly enough with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, it’s simple four-chord motif held in
place by a clickety-clackety rhythm but thickening-up considerably, in an arch like structure, as
the piece progresses : a deep reverberating male voice repeats an unintelligible incantation; jangly
guitar embellishments chime; percussion becomes more prominent; synths shimmer and sparkle,
until it eventually reduces again by degrees, winding back full-circle to its more humble origins.

‘The Keymaster’ is a sustained and high spirited loopy groove (although the vocal loop steers
perilously close to tedium) which you could more than likely dance to were you thus inclined.

‘Driver XVX’ has a bit of fun with itself playing about with some looser reggae-flavoured beats.

‘Ocular Overkill’ has a whole bunch of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic ideas going on
simultaneously but somehow manages to achieve sonic coherence by a hair’s breadth.

‘Subaquamarine’ is a bit of a musical rattle bag but intriguing and entertaining nonetheless.


BLOOM Absolute Matcha (30g)
BLOOM Absolute Matcha (30g)
Price: £11.88

3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Opportuni-tea, 16 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Green tea has been imbibed for centuries in Japan, both in ceremonial contexts and for its
purported health-giving properties. The NHS UK website includes an interesting article
('Green Tea : The Elixir Of Life Or Just Hype?') which gives a balanced view about the possible
benefits of drinking matcha regularly based on available research. It's worth taking time to read.

I've tried this particular product for the purpose of a review five times; whisking the prescribed amount
into hot (but not boiling) water. It has a curiously creamy texture and looks a little bit like pond weed
in the bowl due to its vivid green colour. It tastes a tad bitter in a new-mown grass kind-of way.

Here's a thing though. Maybe my senses are playing tricks on me but I experienced a very slightly
fishy smell and taste going on in the background. I'd be interested if any other reviewers did too?

If you're a believer you'll doubtless love it. As a "superfood" sceptic I'm somewhat less than convinced;
although the old adage that "If it tastes bad then it's good for you" may well have something going for it.

An interesting opportunity but one which I am unlikely to continue to pursue.


Gas - Jeans Mitch, Uomo, Grigio (Steel Gray 1948), 34
Gas - Jeans Mitch, Uomo, Grigio (Steel Gray 1948), 34
Price: £62.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Lightweight Cotton Jeans, 14 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: GAS Men's Mitch Jeans (Apparel)
Grey lightweight cotton jeans. Button fly. Well made. Good fit.
Look great with or without turn-ups. Straight leg but not too tight.

I like them a lot.

Recommended.


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