NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS – CHASING YESTERDAY
For some reason, this latest album from the ex-Oasis man sounds uncannily like Pink Floyd! Unfortunately, it’s the post-Roger Waters version – probably the poorest incarnation of the legendary band – with several guitar passages echoing the work of Floyd’s David Gilmour. It’s still more listenable when compared to most new modern rock though and that’s an inditement.
OF MONTREAL – AUREATE GLOOM
Speaking of Pink Floyd, psych-pop veterans Of Montreal returns with a smashing new album demonstrating that the influence of Floyd founder Syd Barrett continues to resonate strongly with the band. Fans of chronic psychedelia need to have some Aureate Gloom in their lives!
SWERVEDRIVER – I WASN’T BORN TO LOSE YOU
Yet another welcome 90s rock reunion. Though frontman Adam Franklin has been delivering competent 90s-channeling modern rock for some time now, it’s a pleasure to have the shoegaze pioneers back together and doing what they do best. Essential for all post-punk revivalist hipsters.
WILL BUTLER – POLICY
The lesser known Butler brother (of Arcade Fire fame) breaks out on his own on this commendable debut solo album. Not quite as dense and textural as Arcade Fire but there are obvious similarities – Butler’s voice recalls his brother Win and there are idiosyncratic elements in the songs that will also please Arcade Fire fans. Wildly eclectic, a respectable effort.
TIGERCATS – MYSTERIES
East London indie pop that reflects the powerful influence of 80s indie pop that continues to impress modern day bands. Suffice to say that twee pop fans will enjoy this.
MODEST MOUSE – STRANGERS TO OURSELVES
My favourite albums are usually brave, artistic musical affairs with memorable melodies and an uncompromising attitude. This new album from Modest Mouse has been a long time coming but definitely worth the wait. Bloody essential!
THE MONOCHROME SET – SPACES EVERYWHERE
Good music has no shelf-life. So while The Monochrome Set was an fairly obscure footnote in the post-punk history, the band has emerged in 2015 with an album that true rock lovers should pay close attention. Surprisingly, the approach here is early 80s progressive rock (Floyd, Alan Parsons Project and Camel) but when served by powerful songwriting, the results are compelling.
COURTNEY BARNETT – SOMETIMES I SIT AND THINK, AND SOMETIMES I JUST SIT
The Aussie singer-songwriter was somewhat lost in the wash of Laneway Singapore 2015 but when put in the right context, delivers traditional rock n roll that draws from the best smart pop from late 70s pub rock to 90s grunge. Worth checking out.
LAURA MARLING – SHORT MOVIE
The prolific English singer-songwriter is back with yet another full-length album that evokes the 70s folk-rock of Sandy Denny, The Fairport Convention et al. Almost impossible not to admire her dogged drive to pay tribute to the timeless music of decades past. She deserves every accolade. A true gem of our modern rock age.
HAPPYNESS – WEIRD LITTLE BIRTHDAY
90s slacker rock revival? Bring it! Album of the month!!!
… still there’s more …