Albums of Note... Tasked with the tricky mission of releasing an album that stood up to their back catalogue, after several years in the wilderness and a brief spell of time on the reunion circuit, Suede have finally released Bloodsports. Rather than opting for replicating one of their previous albums, they have amalgamated elements of all five of them.
They’ve not lost their distinctive, Bowie-obsessed sound and Suede will forever have one foot in the Britpop era but with Bloodsports they have achieved what few can manage: to come back after a lengthy hiatus, ties unsevered, water under the bridge and still get back to making a quality album and reclaiming their mark on the British landscape.“Bloodsports then, is exactly the album that Suede needed to make. It is loud, aggressive, uncompromising and absolutely, defiantly Suede. Nobody else could have written these songs. Suede have done the almost impossible task of simultaneously looking back at the past while planting a foot firmly into the future.”
Pitched somewhere between The Killers and the Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids have returned with much of the same kind of material that they showcased on their first album. Dear Miss Lonely Hearts is a little bit “Cold War Kids by numbers” and although they’re pretty adept at what they do, if they just stepped out of their comfort zone for a moment, they could surely achieve much greater heights.
“The album's sure fire highlight is Jailbirds, a jaunty rocker, with a fat bass line and a noisy breakdown reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age. This song offers something a little different and breaks the slight monotony of the rest of the album.”
The new wave of psychedelia has swept up Unknown Mortal Orchestra into its sea of eternal hip-ness and II sees the band expanding on their eponymous debut to create a tapestry of invention and historical reference. The resultant album is a near-perfect summer soundtrack.
“At times an adventurous voyage of discovery, Nielson and co. concocting long and winding passages via the spirit of Hendrix and Garcia all the time casting one eye on the future as they go. What makes 'II' even more of a sumptuous melting pot is that almost every one of the eleven pieces contained within it find themselves bursting with a pop-tinged zeal sadly lacking in many of their equally feted peers works.”
A Week in Video... Vampire Weekend return with new material and ahead of the release of their next album Modern Vampires of the City on May 6th, will be releasing a double A-side, on hand-printed vinyl. The two tracks, ‘Step’ and ‘Diane Young,’ are poles apart, stylistically. The former is more akin to the Vampire Weekend with which we are familiar, though they have taken on a duskier hue, with a more retro sound, accompanied by a black and white video, super-imposed with the lyrics, in bold white text. ‘Diane Young’ is accompanied merely by a burning car and sees VW mining an unfamiliar (for them) vein of rock ‘n’ roll, quite unlike their previous output and all the more intriguing for it.
Playing out like a gritty coming-of-age drama, Noah and the Whale’s ‘There Will Come A Time’ doubles up as a trailer for the forthcoming movie Heart of Nowhere – also the name of the band’s next album. The film is directed by Charlie Fink, the frontman and will screen on May 6, 2013, close to the album’s release. The song’s message, about knowing that some day you’ll need your friends, is reflected in the video's images of kids sharing a shady night out and branding each other with homemeade tattoos.
Released on Communion Records, Three Blind Wolves’ ‘In Here Somewhere’ video is an off the wall mixture of live footage, shot in a church and a series of bleak shots of two men in a pub. One of whom appears to have an oversized Lego head upon his shoulders. A mix of US country rock and Scottish folk Three Blind Wolves have recently returned from tour with Frightened Rabbit and will shortly be hitting the road alone.
Robin Thicke drafted in the help of his heavyweight pals T.I. and Pharrell for ‘The Thick Of It.’ Oh and he also managed to draft in the help of a group of models, too. Styled in monochrome, with a slash of red here and there (usually on the models’ lips), this is a slick and classy take on modern soul. Until now, Thicke has been hidden by the shadows of his celebrity acquaintances. Could ‘The Thick Of It’ be the track he needs to bust him into the limelight?
Music in The News... Beyonce is BACK, ladies and gentlemen. And boy, has she caused a stir. If you thought she created a furore over that whole lip-synching at the inauguration debacle, well you just wait and see the reactions to Mrs Carter daring to swear on one of her records. Beyonce received criticism from all corners, including Keyshia Cole and Rush Limbaugh, but we’re certain Bey won’t let the naysayers keep her down.
Early sketches of an Amy Winehouse statue, due to be unveiled in Camden in 2014 have been revealed online on the artist’s website. By no means the finished article, the images still give fans a good idea of what to expect from the bronze memorial.
A record number of tickets were sold for the David Bowie exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert museum. Over 47,000 people snapped up pre-sales tickets to make sure they didn’t miss out on the comprehensive look back at Bowie's life and career, including his costumes, hand-written lyrics and other memorabilia.