This week heralds the long awaited return of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Of course, we have seen plenty of Nick Cave over the last few years, with 2010’s Grinderman 2 album and his soundtrack work on Metamorphosis and Lawless (both 2012 releases) but Cave’s fans have been waiting since 2008’s Dig, Lazarus Dig! for new output from the Bad Seeds.
As with many of Nick Cave’s album releases, Push the Sky away has been rapturously received (can this guy do no wrong, we wonder?), with a 4/5 review in The Guardian, a similarly effusive 9/10 from NME and a generous 8.0 from Pitchfork. There’s no huge departure in sound here; Push the Sky is very much what you will have come to expect from a Nick Cave album. Luckily, what we have largely come to expect from a Nick Cave album is sublime song structuring, insightful lyricism and quality musicianship – all of which are delivered on Push the Sky Away.
For much of 2012, you couldn’t get through a day without catching a glimpse of the Emeli Sande epidemic, sweeping across the nation. She was everywhere. On TV, on radio, on adverts, on the Olympics, at the Brits, in all the magazines. Her debut album, Our Version of Events sold a million copies in the UK alone and now, the Sande ball keeps rolling, with the release of her new Live At Royal Albert Hall album.
The album was recorded in November last year and includes songs from the album, as well as a cover of Nina Simone’s ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ and two new songs, ‘Enough’ and ‘Pluto,’ due for release on her second album.
British pop-ravers Hadouken! return with their third album, Every Weekend, released via Surface Noise Records. A trailer for the album, released on YouTube revealed a minimix of the tracks. The band have lost none of their bombastic, video-game style rave sound and are clearly sticking to their full-throttle aggressive new rave sound. Their last two albums, Music For An Accelerated Culture (2008) and For The Masses (2010) were both top 20 hits; Hadouken! will be hoping that their UK fan-base hasn’t yet tired of having its collective head blasted off by their abrasive synth sounds.
Danish hardcore punk band Iceage release their second album this week. You’re Nothing sees the band maturing in sound, though their songs remain drenched in nihilism. Iceage have been together since they were young teenagers and their views on race issues have often brought them negative attention. Whether or not the band still harbour their seemingly racist tendencies remains a grey area. the album has split reviewers. NME raved about it, awarded it 9/10. Pitchfork gave it a thumbs up, with 8.6, whereas the Guardian’s reviewer deemed the album too sloppy to be worthy of such praise. Australia’s Collapseboard site hinged their own review on the band’s tendency to flirt with fascism. Love them or hate them, Iceage will find themselves a lot better known with the release of You’re Nothing.