But Listen: 153: Ghost Twin – Plastic Heart

I swear that as a reviewer, things are getting harder to define.

What do I mean? The crossing of genres, the meshing of styles, is becoming so common as to make established genre descriptions almost defunct, and this is making the job of those of us that still write about music very much more difficult. Read more “But Listen: 153: Ghost Twin – Plastic Heart”

Into the Pit: 197: Summer Nights in Small Venues

For many, gigs in the heat of summer evenings are a tough sell, particularly in small venues (outdoor, festival shows of course are a different matter entirely). However, the summer is paradoxically a busy time for indoor shows, and two came up this week on consecutive evenings, and they were very different. Read more “Into the Pit: 197: Summer Nights in Small Venues”

But Listen: 152: 3TEETH – <shutdown.exe>

The cliché of the second album. It gets raised every single time, by just about everyone, but is it really a thing? I guess it depends on what happens with your first. If your first album isn’t great, though, will you have a chance to make a second? This second album expectation only really comes in after a first album that is either brilliant or simply shows promise. Can the artist build on what they’ve already done, or will they be a one-trick pony, forever destined to be remembered for the first and that’s it? Read more “But Listen: 152: 3TEETH – <shutdown.exe>”

Into the Pit: 196: Skinny Puppy: O2 Forum Kentish Town, NW5: 30-May 2017

The announcement of a European Skinny Puppy tour earlier in the year (“Down the Sociopath Too Euro 2017“) was, I have to say, a bit of a surprise. It has been seven years since their last UK appearances at least, and in the meantime they’ve released the excellent Weapon – but that was four years ago – and only last year cEvin Key was recovering from cancer surgery. Read more “Into the Pit: 196: Skinny Puppy: O2 Forum Kentish Town, NW5: 30-May 2017”

The Rearview Mirror: 009: Cubanate – Brutalism

I can’t remember whatsoever when I first heard Cubanate. It was in my early teens, and was either Body Burn or Oxyacetalene first. And then lots more Oxyacetalene, as it was everywhere for a time. I do remember picking up the single for Joy in the rather awesome Badlands record shop in Huddersfield, though. You know, back when every reasonable-sized town had at least one great record shop, maybe even two. For a while Huddersfield didn’t even have an HMV (it’s re-opened since, in a smaller unit). Read more “The Rearview Mirror: 009: Cubanate – Brutalism”

Into the Pit: 194: Sunn O))) – Barbican, London – 21-March 2017

I rather wondered, after the first time I saw Sunn O))) live, whether I could physically stand going a second time. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, it was just that the after-effects were like nothing I’d ever experienced after a gig. Read more “Into the Pit: 194: Sunn O))) – Barbican, London – 21-March 2017”

Tuesday Ten: 279: Tracks of the Month (January 1997)

Over last year – to mark twenty years since I began writing about music – I ran a series of posts looking at the music I was buying and listening to in 1996 (and that was released that year), partly to jog my memory and partly to dig into my formative musical influences a bit, too. Read more “Tuesday Ten: 279: Tracks of the Month (January 1997)”