FOUR PLAY: TWANG DJ’S MONTHLY ALBUM REVIEW
Every month Twang go through the best new releases and – as ever – this month there have been a bunch of records to get lost in. To make it a bit easier for everyone involved, they do the hard work and pick out the top four albums at the moment – to create: Four Play! In no particular order…
ROLLING BLACKOUTS Coastal Fever – ‘Hope Downs’
The debut album from Australian quintet Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is thirty-five minutes of upbeat contemporary indie. With the three lead singles making up the front end of the album, the first track, ‘An Air Conditioned Man’ continues their speedy, unique riff laden music. Followed by ‘Talking Straight’ & ‘Mainland’ the album sucks you straight in.
After releasing two six track EP’s since formation, in a relatively short space of time, surely the songs that would typically make up that debut album had already been used. Don’t be daft. With three singer-songwriters in the bands, it becomes clear that the creativity in the band is coming from many different avenues. Despite this though, the themes in the songs seem intertwined, and displays how tight the members are.
It is some feat in this era of music to make a record that has this much power, with such a simple formula at its core. It is incredibly hard to pick stand out songs from this album, it’s a modern day masterpiece that deserves all the recognition it is getting. Proving that despite what the pop charts might be championing, guitar music that is this good is never really going to go away. – Andy
RBCF return to the UK this autumn at Manchester Academy 2 on Friday 19th October
Aydio – ‘Inversion’
The best electronic music evokes deep emotion in you, even though there is no lyrics to orchestrate and pull on your heart strings. Aydio manages to capture your attention on almost every track of ‘Inversion’, this is not to say it’s a melancholic piece, not in one bit.
The opening track ‘Surface of Revolution’ starts smartly enough but breaks and cascades into soaring beaut. About 2 minutes in, you know you are dealing with an elite level album. There is no, what you would class as discernible beat on there. ‘Taurus’, lets strings dive and echo throughout the song, but then on ‘Sonrisa’ (the next track), he compensates with a heavy 4×4 beat interplayed with filtered flamenco-guitar sounding riffs.
Reading an interview with him, the man behind Aydio – Adam Harper – doesn’t have a set way to build music and draws his influence from all types of world music. This shines through loud and clear in his music. You feel a suggestion of an instrument in every track and you could maybe identify a country, but which country that may be, you can never quite pin it down. I compare this to Caribou, not because it sounds the same (because it doesn’t), but because it’s electronic music that you can daydream to, get surges of positivity to or completely break your heart to. But you’re not exactly sure why. – Mal
Miles Kane – ‘Coup De Grace’
Is it too early to start calling Miles Kane a legend of Brit Rock & Roll? Maybe so, but he is certainly on his way. His third solo album ‘Coup de Grace’ is a fierce tirade of his trademark tunes; interspersed with glam rock offerings. His last musical release was on behalf of The Last Shadow Puppets and this time round he has teamed up with pal Jamie T and Lana Del Rey for his solo release. With those names at the helm, how could it possibly go wrong?
Where his TLSP bandmate, Alex Turner, took the Arctic Monkeys down a more crooner and lounge-esque path, ‘Coup De Grace’ plays right into the hands of those that love a chorus to sing-a-long to and to lose themselves at sweat drenched gigs.
His formula hasn’t changed particularly, with the guitar riffs and melodies flowing like they have on his other records. This is classic Miles Kane, but the key album moments come on the slower, moodier, glam tracks. Lead single ‘Loaded’, was where Miles worked with Lana Del Rey and it produces a euphoric chorus, depicting the trials and tribulations of an ending relationship.
‘Coup de Grace’ is the albums highlight, a rolling bass walks through the tracks intro, before the echoing lyrics explode into the chorus and funky guitar come to the fore. ‘Cry On My Guitar’ has Bolan written all over it, a real true pounding drum beat hammers home throughout the whole track.
This will be a certified instant hit with the core Miles Kane supporters. His love for his craft is what makes it spectacular. Trialling the songs in small venues and intimate gigs all around the UK shows how much passion he has for just playing his music to the fans. He states on Twitter ‘Keep it simple and real and you can’t go wrong’. Never a truer word spoken.
Clearance – ‘At Your Leisure’
We have always been admirers of smart snappy roilling guitar music. Underlining that very fact is our review of Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever’s album this month. Well please allow me to wade in with another.
I happened across another review of this album and it centred on what the reviewer perceived as blandness, which I feel completely misses the point. Sure the tone of this album remains the same as the previous one, the effects of the guitar and the pitch of Mark Bellis’s vocals remains the same as it always has. And it’s also true when a band takes this approach, you definitely don’t get the soaring peaks and troughs you get with other albums. But when an album in its entirety is this good, then the gamble has paid off handsomely.
The album cracks along, the opener ‘Chances are’ immediately drags you in with bright jangly guitar and warm understated vocals. The tone is set. I interpret this album entirely as consistently, subtlety brilliant. If you are a fan of bands such as Quilt or Ultimate Painting, then you will appreciate this album. I haven’t stopped listening to the album and it really does gets better with each listen. Trust me. It’s a great little album to have in your collection to turn to when you need a smile putting on your face. At your leisure indeed. – Mal