Friday, July 3

2009's Quarterly Review: April- June

. Friday, July 3

It's fair to say the last three months have been busy. With so many albums to get through let's crack on.

The Horrors defy all expectations.

'Stupid scensters with bad hair' The Horrors released the Geoff Barrow produced 'Primary Colours' in April and forced every critic in the country to listen to it accompanied with a steaming hot slice of humble pie. 'Primary Colours' is by far and away the best album released in 2009 so far. Esoteric and accomplished it brings light where once there was Cramps fuelled dark. The Horrors have always been a brave and confrontational unit and that transfers into this record, sure it takes some obvious and direct influence but great art is about looking to the past and transferring it to the future. The Horrors have done that and more- it will take a big effort to beat 'Primary Colours' in 2009.

It's Blitz!

When it comes to looking back over the past decade (as we will no doubt be forced to in 6 months time) then band of the decade could well be Yeah Yeah Yeah's. Over 3 albums and 2 EP's they have become a floor filling, tear duct welling tour-de-force that can't be messed with and It's Blitz! is perhaps their most accomplished work to date. Comprising all the components of a great YYY's album it has trashy glamour ('Heads Will Roll', 'Zero') heartbreaking Karen O moments ('Runaway', 'Skeletons') and maybe the best song of the year so far 'Hysteric'. An utterly perfect album.

Stepping up a notch

The Maccabees had the feeling of a band destined to be middle runners, 100% unjustified it would have been but in the great cull of landfill Indie 2009 they could so easily have been a casualty. Instead they came out fighting with 'Wall Of Arms' a gargantuan album with sonic reinforcement that almost matches the heart swelling sentiment that runs through every last second of their material. Produced by Coldplay and Arcade Fire co-hort Markus Dravs the stadium sized dynamics bleed through to The Maccabees touching indie pop to create a deep well of emotion that swirls and resonates beautifully. If they continue making steps up on this level the future looks bright for the Brighton 5 piece.

Hype sisters

They both have vaginas and the hopes of major label bosses resting on their shoulders and that is all but you're duty bound to asses Little Boots and La Roux as a pair. Both have now released their debut albums since they were crowned HOT ONES TO WATCH FOR THE FUTURE 2009 in January. Little Boots 'Hands' is an unashamed and big fun pop album that is most impressive. La Roux's self titled effort however is a more mature and long lasting album that sees a human tear roll down robotic cheeks. For all the talk of 80's influence Little Boots album is the most retro- it sounds like Vengaboys and Billie Piper in places. I fear for where she is heading.


Danananaykroyd and Future Of The Left made some of the most brutal but fun thrash pop of the year with their equally brilliant albums 'Hey Everyone!' and 'Travels With Myself and Another'. Bat For Lashes took her mystical boho-pop and with the help of Yeasayer and Scott Walker made it more cohesive and dark on 'Two Suns' whilst Metric took their foot off the pedal a bit and made a considered and at times fun record on 'Fantasies'. Passion Pit built on their early promise and delivered a euphoric pop album that sounds like a sugar rush in a Disney cartoon from the future, if you can hack the falsetto it's marvelous. White Denim continue to ram every genre since the 50's into three minute ditties that sound like they were written and recorded in a cave in the desert. Patrick Wolf released 'The Bachelor' the first of his two album opus these next two years. Featuring Alec Empire and Tilda Swinton it's a moving and powerful piece of work that is equal parts camp and emotional. Kasabian and Gossip both came out with 3rd albums- Kasabian experiment a bit but still can't take the leap fully, probably for the best as their lager anthems are still the best around. Gossip meanwhile made another album like their last only this time Rick Rubin produced it so it sounds nice and tight. Finally, Regina Spektor is beginning to sound comfortable on her major label and is duly bringing back the quirks and kooks on 'Far' an album that contains dolphin impressions and a song about a lost wallet- naturally.


Maximo Park released 'Quicken The Heart', an album that has its moments but ultimately feels like a band running out of the steam their amazing debut granted them. Like The Horrors or The Maccabees Jack Penate re-invented himself on 'Everything is New'. The not so subtle title fails to mention how he is the new Lou Bega.

To see the best singles of April- June then click here

To get a Spotify playlist of April- June go here.

January- March Spotify playlist.
April- June Spotify playlist


Anonymous said...

Yeah Yeah Yeahs the Mae West band of the bloody decade 're ya 'avin' a giraffe? 'Avin' said that mate, namin' a band who've made more than one Robin Hood album this decade is pretty tough. I'm gonna scarpa for Interpol me old mucka.

Carlos said...

you should take a look at Red Riders.
Aussie band! but yeh their first album Replica Replica was amazing and they released a new one heres a sampler.

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