Month: September 2014

Indiana – No Romeo

Album, Music, Reviews September 19, 2014

Originally published and still available on The Girls Are (19/09/14).

In less than a year, electro pop singer-songwriter Indiana (formally known as Laura Henson) has emerged from the abyss of obscurity and successfully unveiled herself as one to watch. With a string of well-received releases behind her (stomping club anthem ‘Solo Dancing’ ranking highest), the Midlands songstress has built up an impressive following in quite a short amount of time. A slot on Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record Of The Week’ made sure of that, along with festival appearances across the country.

The hypnotising intro of album opener ‘Never Born’ lures the listener into a false sense of security before intensifying into a foreboding Bjork-esque urgency, with Henson angstily stating “I’m gonna make you wish you were never born”. As the sequence progresses, the intense emotional baggage scattered throughout the album becomes paramount; from the aforementioned fury to brazen defiance, moving to vulnerability and seductive confidence. The range of sentiment woven into No Romeo illustrates Indiana as a more emphatic artist, one whose craft is only heightened by the sonic dexterity of her music.

With the album’s use of melodrama, electric guitar riffs (hoorah!), rippling synths and sultry beats, its evident this Nottingham novice is determined to prevent becoming yet another link in the electronic music chain. Elsewhere, the balladry of ‘Blind As I Am’ shows off Henson’s impressive vocal range, whilst the minimalist yet gritty ‘Bound’ disrupts the warm semi-industrial fusion of ‘Play Dead’ and textured pulsation of most recent single ‘Heart On Fire’.

For a debut album, No Romeo is surprisingly accomplished. The vocal performance is staunch and the accompanying arrangements are enjoyable, though glitchy pop takes over towards the end, leaving tracks ‘Calibrated Love’ and ‘Only The Lonely’ borderline redundant when compared to the darkly emotive earlier efforts. Henson evidently has a clear vision for her moniker, and Indiana, hand in hand with No Romeo surely has some of the resolve it takes to fight her way through the sea of her contemporaries.

Alt-J – This Is All Yours

Album, Music, Reviews September 17, 2014

Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (17/09/14).

It may have only been two years since they clasped their Barclaycard Mercury Prize, but it feels far longer since we last heard fromAlt-J. The now three-piece – who amicably parted ways with bassist Gwil Sainsbury early this year – were unexpectedly propelled into that smug little nook between being a ‘serious music lover’s gem and a commercially successful band. Their winning of the annual award threw their debut album An Awesome Wave into the shopping trolleys of many a casual listener and stockpiled the band a staggering (in this day and age) 300,000 plus sales in the process.

With Damon Albarn once describing the winning of the Mercury Prize akin to ‘wearing a dead albatross round your neck for eternity‘  it begs the question of whether Alt-J will manage to eclipse the success of their first album with the expectation of their second. In their time away, experimental contemporaries including Wild Beasts and Everything Everything have both produced stellar albums with the electronic expanse of Present Tense and the schizophrenic Arc; as such, much rests on the shoulders of This Is All Yours, and with the gears of the press machine already turning Alt-J are about to get caught up in its momentum whether they choose to or not.

If ‘Intro’ is anything to go by, This Is All Yours may prove to be a sonically meandering tale as implied by the vocal ticks, wails and lushly exotic sounds that comprise the four-minute opener. It serves its purpose well, as what follows is a succession of songs that ricochet between soothing lullabies and the buzzing charge of a band at times surprised by the sounds that they have managed to create. Songs such as ‘Arrival In Nara’, ‘Choice Kingdom’ and ‘Warm Foothills’ reveal a persisting penchant for folk that slinks beneath the often opposing barrage of noise of tracks surrounding it, and whilst these songs may be beautiful in their own right, they pale in comparison to the uncanniness of those beside.

The chimes of ‘Nara’ opens the door to a vast swathe of sound, one into which the listener is propelled further by the cavalry rumble of recent single ‘Every Other Freckle’. Underpinned by a static hum and decorated with mournful horns and beeping synths, this central component has singer Joe Newman weaving metaphors to veil his more exacting desires in his often intangible words. The lure of ‘The Gospel Of John Hurt’ is similarly complex, the hushed tones gaining all trust before abruptly switching to tribal beats and soaring vocals to create a weirdly rhapsodic experience.

There are times where this album is hard to love, but like a Pandora’s Box of secrets, with every exploration there is more and more to find in the depths of This Is All Yours. It is best encapsulated however in the digressive nature of ‘Hunger Of The Pine’, the track beeping, rattling and purring its way into false climax after false climax. At its best,This Is All Yours can be considered a textured masterpiece, one that pushes away all doubts of relevance and will no doubt succeed in crossing the traverse between underground staple and chart success (a point that is best epitomised in the Miley Cyrus sample in the latter track). With so many sounds clamouring for a prime position, it is a testament to Alt-J that they have somehow managed to placate each and every one into submission, and in doing so have created a innovative spectacle.

Read more of my writing on Gigslutz.

HEIDEMANN – Orphan EP

EP, Music, Reviews September 17, 2014

Originally published and still available on The Girls Are (15/09/14).

A quick Google of the words ‘Heidemann’ and ‘singer’ leaves you with information and images of a talented and striking vocalist. It is important to note, however, it is Karmin singer Amy Heidemann who is more likely to appear in your search results. Whilst the lovely Amy is, no doubt a talent, in this instance, she is not the Heidemann we require. The woman of our quest (after much traipsing around in cyberspace) is the mysterious musician Monika Heidemann; an electro-pop pixie with a love of leopard print and an unabashed penchant for the 1980′s.

Heidemann has fled from former electro project Xylos in order to take full control of her debut solo effort, Orphan. The EP, co-produced by Sal Principato of LIQUID LIQUID and Jim Orso (formerly of Holy Ghost!) takes the listener on a time travelling escapade to the 1980′s over four delectable musical nuggets. In tracks such as ‘Another Life’, the New Yorker combines lush electronica with deliciously exotic beats to create something that sounds authentic to its time of influence whilst sounding relevant today. Rippling synths are intensified by a resolute, voltaic wobble before giving way to a spoken segment that emulates a young Madonna.

Elsewhere, the Brooklyn songstress showcases her vocal prowess in the frantic energy of ‘Well Well’; her strong, tuneful voice ricocheting between whispers and howls, whilst a cover of ABBA’s ‘The Visitors’ furthers the sense of nostalgia. Despite this delightful display, it is ‘Swords’ that shines brightest. With its stomping beat, ascending synth refrain and addictive pop hook “I could love you into the ground”it is definitely a track that propels Heidemann forward as an artist to listen out for.

Given Monika’s current status as a hidden entity who manages to subvert the power of Google, the release of Orphan shows real promise of breaking through that veil and grabbing herself some exposure as an underground solo artist. Whilst the record is by no means challenging or experimental, it is a fun offering of ’80s infused pop. With electronica continually on the up, now is the time to make a mark on this field and this Brooklyn lady has made quite the impression.

SCENE THIS? – Antonio Paul… On Australia

Features, Music, New Music September 17, 2014

Originally published and still available on CLAMOUR (14/09/14).

The land Down Under may only be a hemisphere away, but when it comes to music it could easily be an entire world apart. It is a rare stroke of luck that throws an Australian artist into the hubbub above the equator, most recently the likes of psychedelic hippies Tame Impala and Pond, singer-songwriters such as Gotye and electronic experimentalists Jagwa Ma.

It is evident that up in the North we have only begun to scratch the surface of the densely rich musical habitat that is Australia (and New Zealand, but we’ll save that for a later date). Keen to know more, CLAMOUR asked eclectic indie duo Antonio Paul to shed some light on the scene and what makes them tick as a band.

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‘The Australian music scene is divided up into the separate capital cities of Australia, the Melbourne and Sydney scenes being the most influential and prominent due to their higher population and providing the most opportunities for musicians.’ Marc Antonio reveals. Despite being situated on the West Coast of Australia – at opposing ends of the epicentre of all of the action – the band have cooked up a flurry of excitement over the past few years with a succession of EPs, the most recent of which being Modern Daze, an effort which sees them gathering exposure in the U.S and now too, the UK. Building on the sound of its predecessors, the EP of five songs combines the classic sound of the band’s alternative pop with a new experimentality most potent in the understated dub elements of the title track. ‘Funnily enough the dub feel was unintentional. I left the demo of the song open so we could write the guitar part in the studio, but a prominent guitar track didn’t seem to fit in with the style, so we emphasised on the powerful drum track and underlining bass groove’.

What results is a foreshadowing of a maturing progression of sound that proves exciting in a bland environment of ‘oh, there’s that sound again’ pop. It is also very addictive, and Antonio Paul are not an act that intend to be pigeon-holed any time in the near future. ‘We are always expanding our sound by disregarding limitations and going against perceived genres and expectations’ says Antonio. ‘ [It is] a trait that could be our biggest downfall, but it’s the very thing that keeps us interested and motivated. Our songs are stories and in order to give life to the stories we have to consider the best genre or sound to deliver the message in’.

Such a variety of taste in regards to genre is exactly what the pair have rounded up for their playlist showcasing the best of Australian music. Comprised of the energetic I Heart Hiroshima, the delicate folk of The Middle EastThe Jezabels’ howling euphoria to name but a few, musicians of Australia prove to be an eclectic and talented bunch. It begs the question then, why do so few Australian musicians make it onto the UK and U.S airwaves?

‘I was talking about this the other day with my girlfriend,’ says Antonio. ‘I mean, the Australian sound is a combination of UK, American and a dash of French. In Australia we are extremely trend dictated – we go through bands and artists at a fast pace – but I personally feel that in the UK your artists tend to have a sense of timelessness and prestige about them.’ Perhaps it is the fickle nature of the Australian charts that seldom allows Aussie artists any career longevity and, as a result, fails to nurture them into marketable talent overseas. A shame then, given the isle is a hot bed of diverse creativity as showcased below.

‘My favourite band of all time is Death Cab for Cutie, and I think we sound nothing like them, which make me sad,’ laughs Antonio. ‘I’ve always wished we were one if the those “real” bands that has a musically intellectual alternative sound and a moody/mysterious persona, but i feel ultimately you’ve just got to be your authentic self and follow whatever comes naturally.’

View Antonio Paul’s playlist of the best new music in Oz plus their opinions on each over at CLAMOUR.

Karen O – Crush Songs

Album, Music, Reviews September 13, 2014

Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (12/09/14).

When the rock goddess that is Karen O revealed some months ago that she was going it alone, it raised more than a few eyebrows of music fans around the globe. What did that mean for Yeah Yeah Yeah’s? Would it be but a glorified solo project that merely milked the band’s previous work, or would she unveil a new sound that would stamp her as a one person creative power force to be reckoned with?

As we sit in the present, much of the above has solidified into something more clear cut. Despite Yeah Yeah Yeah’s returning with their fourth album Mosquito in 2013, O has been moving independently of her band mates for the past ten years, collaborating with musicians for a number of film soundtracks – including covering Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and contributing ‘The Moon Song’ to Spike Jonze’s Her, to name but a fewAs far as this solo-outing – entitled Crush Songs – is concerned, glorification appears amiss, with O sitting on this collection of songs for at least four years, the tracks slated as being written between 2006 and 2010. Her creative and reactionary output for a bunch of crushes within that time period, Crush Songs marks a time where O “wasn’t sure that [she’d] ever fall in love again” and as a result, the nature ofCrush Songs is akin to peeking in your best friend’s diary.

Whilst Yeah Yeah Yeah’s are known for being a lo-fi band, on Crush Songs O presents the bare bones of embryonic demos, offering odes to loves gone by. Counting us in with hushed whispers, the tracks twine between melancholy and – occasionally – fleeting pop undertones. As is the nature of the album, the majority of what occurs is very primitive, with O softly strumming her guitar whilst overlaying her unique and identifiable croons. Album opener ‘Ooo’ sets an apt tone: slow in tempo, reminiscent, and with an underlying sadness or angst, as is the case with the album’s first single, ‘Rapt’. There is some longevity to be found in ‘Visits’ thanks to O mixing up the template with a drum machine loop and additional sounds, and in a similar vein, ‘Day Go By’ feels lighter than its siblings despite its lyrical longing.

That this collection of demos has not been re-recorded acts as a novel sentiment for the crushes that O once held. In retouching these tracks, much of the immediacy of her emotions in writing them and – as a result – how she presented them in that instance would have been lost with the crush that died. These are bedchamber songs (not counting the more ballsy ‘Native Korean Rock’) and much like her desires, many of the tracks on this album are incredibly brief, with the majority not crossing over the two minute mark. This, as well as their incomplete state, makes the album feel very fragmentary and occasionally lost, meandering its way through snippets of sound on its quest to find a purpose. Perhaps that is the point that O intends to make however; her passions for potential suitors were not intended to last, and as such, the demos of Crush Songs are unlikely to stand the test of time. Treat it as a fractured encounter, and you will leave with your heart intact.

Read more of my writing for Gigslutz here.

Interview: The Scenes

Features, Music, Q+A September 12, 2014

Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (10/09/14).

The Scenes are a Finnish rock band with an eclectic collection of songs tucked into their repertoire. A swift run down their Soundcloud drags the listener through the rowdy, yet cinematic clamour of ‘City Of White Blankets’, the meandering ‘Anorexia Is Boring’ and densely experimental tracks such as ‘Hunters’. This is a band that is hard to pin down – but Gigslutz tried. Guitarist Miki Liukkonen took a pit-stop to answer some of our questions.

Hello there! Where do we find The Scenes today?

I’m not really sure what that question means, but here we are in Finland, working on our third album and getting ready for our next lengthy tour in UK.

You are a Finnish band, but you are about to go on a UK wide tour supporting punk legends The Specials. How did that come about?

X-Ray Touring Agency, who we are working with, asked if we’d like to tour with The Specials and we said “yes”.

Are you nervous about touring with such an iconic band?

Yes.

You’ve also recently supported Bo Ningen and played festivals such as The Great Escape, Live At Leeds, Dot To Dot and Liverpool Sound City, building up an impressive live reputation. What can newbies expect from your live show?

We always strive to give our best, but that’s really what everybody is saying about their live performances. But I mean, our shows are always so full of energy that it’s almost repressive, not only for the audience, but to us also. Every show must be played like it’s your last, and one day, I think, if things go in right direction, that is what will happen.

Have you had any unusual touring experiences?

No, all our touring experiences have been ridiculously normal, drinking and breaking stuff (well, not always). It would be much more unusual if we didn’t do anything but sit in our tour bus, solving Sudokus.

Your music is rather diverse. ‘Hunters’ and single ‘Anorexia Is Boring’ are very different, so what inspires your sound?

Art in general, everything that’s good. In particular me, Konsta (singer) and Matias (bassist) are crazy about films, painting, novels, poetry. It’s just creativity that inspires. To be honest it’s much harder to find any bands that I can consider as ‘art’, that make music that makes you think ‘Wow, that’s something I haven’t heard/thought before, this is something new’. The first thing you got to do if you want to achieve anything that could be described as ‘meaningful’ is to never think that you have achieved anything, and always try and find something new. Reiteration and habit are the worst enemies that artists can have.

Read more of the interview over at Gigslutz.

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Antonio Paul – Modern Daze EP

EP, Music, Reviews September 12, 2014

Originally published and still available on CLAMOUR (07/09/14).

As is the curse of many a musician bred on the southern hemisphere, the quest for international recognition is often one comprised of potential, a dash of luck, and a fair bit of hustling. In the case of Australian duo Antonio Paul – with the hustle already grafted and their potential in hand – all they have left to cash in is their luck.

Antonio Paul - Modern Daze EPWith a firm following in their homeland and a storm brewing in the U.S, it is the turn of the UK to soak in their brand of eclectic indie-pop. Over the course of five songs, the duo – comprised of Marc Antonio and Michael Paul – shift from prospective chart hits to left-field pop; whilst the likes of ‘Ariel’ and ‘Made In China’ may be a tad too pop-punk for some, tracks such as the youthfully anthemic ‘Trash Party’ (complete with spoken word) and the glitchy and mellow social commentary of ‘Coloured Screens’ could easily morph (ironically) into a TV show soundtrack of the near future.

However, in listening it is quite clear that the nucleus of this collection is the EP’s title track, ‘Modern Daze’. Mixing understated dub, echoey vocals with a rumbling bassline, Antonio Paul have crafted a deliciously smooth and addictive slice of subtle and sophisticated pop, that succeeds in paying homage to their earlier work whilst pushing their sound forward into a more mature and individual direction. As a song, ‘Modern Daze’ is what marks Antonio Paul as an exciting find, and pins them down as what could possibly be a sign of pop to come.

Royal Blood – Royal Blood

Album, Music, Reviews September 12, 2014

Originally published and still available on CLAMOUR (29/08/14).

To see the musical moniker of your current creative outlet morph onto the UK’s biggest year’s end list – the BBC’s Sound of … poll – must, no doubt, be conveyed with acute trepidation, especially if your band is dubbed ‘rock’s last hope’ in a swamp of predominantly mainstream electronica, R’n’B, wet ballads and acoustic acts. It is enough to make a rock purist sob, and as they pinned their hopes on Royal Blood – the only act on the list that has their guitar plugged in and the dial amped up – ‘alternative’ magazines were quick to be the first to muscle the band up to the mantle. Both the weight of media promise and the expectation of peers and punters can often seep into hyperbole, and for a band that has ascended far quicker than any could have foreseen, the pressure is on for Royal Blood to rise to the challenge that has befell their fates.

Royal Blood album

What the critics apparently found appealing in the Brighton duo they sure have in spades. As is wise in such a situation of high rotation, the pair – vocalist and bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher – make quick work of their singles, with ‘Out Of The Black’, ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Figure It Out’ done away with in raucously rapid succession. Whilst these tracks succeeded in stomping Royal Blood’s name through press-spheres like a baby Godzilla, what follows proves that the band potentially have more longevity than many could have hypothesized. Their arena sized anthemic rock gives way to a shockingly blues-tinged sound, albeit one that is coined by the mating of a bass and a menagerie of mystery guitar pedals; you can almost hear them humming. This gives birth to a surprisingly eclectic journey; ‘You Can Be So Cruel’ squawks and murmurs around its frisky rhythm before being sucker-punched by the sullenly enticing ‘Blood Hands’, and the pop cannonade of ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ is a barrage worthy of hitting repeat.

Whilst creating such a full-bodied sound akin to bands more than double their number does carry an irrevocable novelty, it is also the ball and chain for which Royal Blood must contend. Getting a squealing riff out of a bass guitar – such as in ‘Careless’ – is undeniably impressive, as is the tone, however there is only so much variation that a rhythm section can concoct. Whether intentionally or not, Kerr often plays parallels with modern-day ringmaster of blues, Jack White and whilst it would be crass to dub Royal Blood a poor man’s The Dead Weather, they carry a mainstream accessibility that is far less threatening than the bizarre auteurship that White conveys. There are moments, most prominently in ‘Loose Change’, where it is possible to completely forget that you are listening to Royal Blood and not White himself as Kerr barks and bites his way through three minutes of scuzzy blues.

There is something about being a two-piece that sees the band in question either remaining a novelty or instead be considered with an impressive gall. In setting themselves this challenge, Royal Blood put up an incredibly impressive fight, and whilst they may not be innovators of a new alternative movement, this is moody and chundering rock at its most belligerent. Give it your time of day.

Field Report – Marigolden

Album, Music, Reviews September 8, 2014

Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (08/09/14).

Album artwork, in purpose, provides the listener with a vision to the symbolic meaning of the composition they are about to absorb. With that in mind, a searchlight pointing in the opposite direction from its missing suitor sets a rather melancholy tone for Field Report‘s second album, Marigolden.

The band, creatively led by Christopher Porterfield – the one time affiliate of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon – compiled an impressive collection of well known fans following their self-titled 2012 debut, including touring with Counting Crows and Aimee Mann, being championed by Mark Eitzel and Richard Thompson and having their songs covered by the legendary Blind Boys Of Alabama. However, with such inherent praise comes a certain level of expectation, and therefore it is customary of any self-respecting band to partake in a voyage to isolation to seek inspiration. Being cocooned in the womb of a seemingly never-ending Ontario blizzard (which saw the band only pause to pile firewood into the stove) gave Porterfield – of which “Field Report” is an almost pun-worthy anagram – time to mull on his troubles and the riddles of his life. As a result, Marigolden combines his anxiety over loved ones, distance and the passage of time with minimalist composition to produce a piece of work that is worthy of the stark, disparate and arresting surroundings from which it was birthed.

The sombre introspection of Porterfield is potent from the off in the steady rhythms of ‘Decision Day’, his lyrics weaving echoey tales of the tribulations of love and marriage, before unexpectedly lurching into the radio-friendly tones of  ‘Home (Leave The Lights On)’. Touring for such long periods of time no doubt takes its toll, with Porterfield remarking on the aforementioned song that he is “Waking up every day just a little bit changed”, and this personal detour down a route of life unknown is a recurring one throughout Marigolden. As such, the gravelly, yearning tone of Porterfield’s voice and his meandering parable entwined with the delphic harmony of the music makes ‘Pale Horse’ positively heart-wrenching.

Such composition and musicianship is, at times, easy to overlook in the humble wake of Porterfield’s influential presence, however the talents of Travis Whittey, Shane Leonard and Ben Lester marry to shape an intricate and emotive set of songs best quipped as cinematic minimalism. Together they combine skittish drumming, pensive plucking and tidal synths to create sourly emphatic tracks that often ascend to what can be considered art instead of mere songs. Pieces such as ‘Cups and Cups’ (which addresses Porterfield’s alcohol addiction with lyrics such as, “So I followed the river underground and drank it up”) and recently unveiled number ‘Wings’ levy a certain experimentation in both structure and sound, whilst ‘Michelle’ is a moving and sombre ode to the plight of an estranged lover.

It is this penchant for experimenting and pushing the conventions of their genre that make Field Report soar above their contemporaries, for in the non-linear structure of their songs and their combining electronic elements with the often repetitive and deep-rooted sentimentalities of folk – it being such a closed genre – they have breathed new life into style that can be very static. This, united with Porterfield’s talent for creating enchanting lyrical poetry (among the many, “Soaring close to God until his love melts my wings”) creates a beguiling and textured sound that enchants with the tales it weaves.

More of my Gigslutz articles can be found here.

The Vines – Wicked Nature

Album, Music, Reviews September 7, 2014

Originally published and still available at Gigslutz (01/09/14).

To announce your return from a three year lapse into obscurity with a double album seems quite a galling and somewhat overblown affair, yet that is precisely what Aussie band The Vines have done with their sixth album, Wicked Nature. Whilst its unexpected birth may well be a stunt that almost any PR cohort would relish, its inception definitely raises the eyebrows of fans, casual listeners, critics and cynics alike.

At a sturdy twenty-two tracks long spread across two discs (or playlists, for the more digitally inclined amongst us), it can definitely be considered a hearty labour of love for the Sydney three-piece and in particular vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and founding member Craig Nicholls. A recent interview with DIY would report that ‘if [Nicholls] didn’t have music [he doesn’t] know what [he] would do’, and on the journey through Wicked Natures, his desire and need to create becomes more than apparent.

There is a spasmodic and almost restless urgency through which the band whittle through the tracks and ideas that comprise this opum, with many of these songs being swift two minute bangers. Disc one is a full-throttle affair; from the chugging riot of opening track ‘Metal Zone’ to the 90s infused grunge of ‘Ladybug’, the bluesy ‘Killing The Planet’ to the rollicking title track, it quickly becomes apparent that The Vines are on form with their new efforts. Taking a trip to the second disc – which gave Nicholls the opportunity to exclusively flex his production skills – sees a remarkable change of tone, with the trio eschewing their heavier guitar sound for poppy sing-a-long anthems such as ‘Reincarnation’ and ‘Love Is Gone’, which sit alongside slumberly, chilled out numbers including ‘Truth’, ‘Slightly Alien’ and the whimsical ‘Clueless’.

It is an impassioned effort, one that is heartening given the four previous albums – which followed their 2002 breakthrough Highly Evolved – failed to leave a stamp in the press and on the majority of passionate music lovers. Despite this, there are some very obvious gripes to be had. Most prominently, it is far, far too long. There are strong and enjoyable moments to be had across both discs, but a tactic of ‘cherry-picking’ the best efforts from both to comprise an album of standard length (potentially with bonus tracks) would have been a far wiser decision to call. Whilst disc one is a high energy affair, many of the tracks do merge into a formulaic sequence that ultimately becomes forgettable, and whilst disc two succeeds in showing a different side to The Vines, in its entiretyWicked Nature feels like it is comprised of two completely different bodies of work.

As the tracks of Wicked Nature tick over, it gets to the stage where the listener feels as if trapped in a Vines-vortex, one that is crammed with rowdy nineties-tinged guitars and ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’. It is a mid-nineties groundhog day, and whilst this may be an incredibly fun detour for lovers of a riotous slice of rowdy rock, it would certainly be wise not to overindulge all at once.

Read more of my writing for Gigslutz here.