1 – H

13 Stitches

The 1975

  • The 1975 (2013 Dirty Hit/Polydor) Incredibly bland alterna-pop. There’s some nice hints towards funk and contains some solid beats, but overall it’s unbelievably dull. Wouldn’t recommend. **

2 Chainz

  • B.O.A.T.S II: Me Time (2013 Def Jam) A pretty standard rap album taking it’s lead from Yeezus. There’s some incredibly solid beats floating around, but really lyrics are the real letdown. Just nonsense. Wouldn’t recommend. **

A

Adam And The Ants

A.F.I

  • Burials (2013 Republic) The whiny poster-boys of modern teenage metal are back and yelling about how awful their privileged lives are. The occasional solid riff, but overall bland and disappointing.  D+

Air

  • Moon Safari (1998 Virgin) Horrendously boring French electronic duo make a horrendously boring record. Might at least make a good backing track for pretentious conversations in Parisian cafes, but still I wouldn’t bother. *

Alter Bridge

  • Fortress (2013 Roadrunner) Overproduced and bloated, this record is more an excericse in showing off than actual entertainment. There’s really nothing in it unless you want to hear a bunch of men doing their best to sound skilled. D-

Arcade Fire

  • Reflektor (2013 Merge) One of the smartest records to come out in recent times. Their post-modern genre bending is more than just mindless pretension – they actually seem to know what they’re doing and why. It’s art and it’s good. A-

James Arthur

  • James Arthur (2013 Syco) He can sing very well, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that his music is boring. The occasional catchy tune, but overall very dull. D+

The Avett Brothers

B

Bad Times

Ballboy

The Beach Boys

The Beastie Boys

The Beatles

The Birthday Party

Björk

  • Debut (1993 One Little Indian) Quirky electro-pop with zany vocals. Worth a listen, but sometimes it all gets a bit too much in terms of weirdness. Would recommend, but with reservations.  ***
  • Medulla (2004 One Little Indian) A Capella record that goes too far in terms of weird. There are some decent moments, but overall it’s pretty much an intellectual masturbation session. D

Black Flag

  • Damaged (1981 SST) The seminal work in the hardcore cannon. Still as relevent and powerful today is it ever was. A must have. A+
  • Loose Nut (1985 SST) There’s some really powerful stuff on here, but also a lot of stuff that comes across as half formed and flaccid. Nowhere near as powerful as their early work. C+

David Bowie (Including Tin Machine)

  • Space Oddity (1969 Phillips) A wonderful record that clearly shows Bowie’s push towards the future. It’s just a shame that there’s so many glances back to the past littering this release. Still though, I would heartily recommend it. ****
  • Hunky Dory (1971 RCA) Bowie hits his stride with this release. Artistically inventive, thematically solid, and a whole load of sing-along pop fun. Must have. A+
  • Heroes” (1977 RCA) Wonderfully experimental and rocky record. A must have for every record collection. *****
  • Outside (1995 BMG) Half-baked concept album. Some good music, but overall indifferent. ***
  • Earthling (1997 BMG) Jungle-beats and solid electronic/industrial rhythms. A new direction, and I like it. Would recommend. ****

The Breeders

Broke For Free

Buckfunk 3000

Pugsley Buzzard

  • Chasin’ Aces (2013 Independent) The king of the hoodoo-blues is back with another triumph of a record. In a more cheerful vein than earlier releases, but still throbbing with darkness and great sense of jazz passion. Just brilliant. A+

C

Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

The Cat Empire

Catfish

  • Fishcat EP (2013 Independent) Folk rock at its finest. They play well, they sing well, and they get the toes tapping. A myriad of influences lie in Catfish’s music, but it doesn’t become a mere rip-off like so many other bands. Highly recommend. B+

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (and other Nick Cave groups)

  • Tender Prey (1988 Mute) A triumph of Cave’s post-punk catalogue. Seamlessly blending his folk leanings with his punk experimentalism and coming out with a damn fine mixture of styles and songs. Highly recommend. A-
  • Grinderman (2007 Mute) Nick Cave comes back in full force with this explosive punk record. A modern classic and a must have for any Nick Cave fans *****

Chapters

  • Chapters EP (2012 Independent) A thrashing blend of hardcore punk and heavy metal. It really gets your head banging and your rage up. At times it’s overbearing in its aural assault, but on the whole its a triumphant first release. B-

Cher

  • Closer To The Truth (2013 Warner Bros) An instant gay-club classic, this disco inferno of a record delivers everything that one would expext. Catchy four to the floor beats and the occassional roaring power ballad. If you’re ever in the dancing mood this is the record for you. C+

Toni Childs

  • The Woman’s Boat (1994 Geffen) A long album with influences dragged in from all over the globe, but Childs performs with such sincerity and tact that it doesn’t sound stupid. A-

Chvrches

Kelly Clarkson

Cradle Of Filth

The Cramps

  • Gravest Hits (1979 Illegal/I.R.S) The band’s debut EP. A lot of fun, but more historically interesting than music. Still worth a listen, but probably not The Cramps’ record you need to own. ***
  • Smell Of Female (1983 I.R.S) Live album with tons of energy.  The Cramps are on their best form with this one, the perfect thing to spice up those boring dinner parties. Would recommend. ****
  • A Date With Elvis (1986 Big Beat) The band have decided to start making real music rather than just go mental. Not as exciting or as much fun and too obviously trying to provoke. Indifferent. ***
  • Stay Sick! (1990 Enigma) The Cramps continue on their journey to complete sleaze rock. There’s still some fun riffs on here, but really they seem to have lost their charm. Indifferent. ***

Creepy Little Legs

Curmudgeon

Custard

D

Deltron 3030

  • Event II (2013 Deltron Partners/ Bulk Recordings) The Publlic Enemy of the space age future. Deltron 3030’s second album is just as great as their first, and it’s a much welcome injection of intelligence and forward thinking to the rap scene. Highly recommend. A

Dire Straits

  • Alchemy (1984 Vertigo) Double disc live album. Some fun in bits, but complete snoozefest in others. Indifferent. ***

Dirty Three

  • Cinder (2005 Touch And Go) Beautiful and well constructed instrumental folk rock. Does tend to get a bit tedious though. Would recommend. ****

The Dismemberment Plan

Dr. Dog

  • B-Room (2013 ANTI-) Psychedelia revival sounds a whole lot like the first wave did in the sixties. It’s not a bad thing, but in 2013 I was looking for something at least a little original. C+

E

Einsturzende Neubauten

Eminem

Emphatic

Eurythmics

F

Marianne Faithful

  • Dangerous Acquaintances (1981 Island) Not too bad for a pop-rock album, but thoroughly disappointing in terms of Faithful’s other releases. There’s so little depth of emotion that the whole thing becomes bland. Indifferent. ***

Five Finger Death Punch

FourPlay

  • The Joy Of (2000 Smart Pussy) They’re back! This time slightly less silly, and slightly more serious, and maybe even slightly better. Would recommend. ****

Free Pizza

  • Kool Is The Rool (2011 Boston DIY) Quirky alterna-pop. Not entirely sure whether it’s one of the cleverest things I’ve heard in a while, or simply the daftest. C+

Free Throw

Frenzal Rhomb

G

Goldfrapp

  • Tales Of Us (2013 Mute) Ethereal and floaty just as expected. Perfectly acceptable, but I would have liked some more actual melodies and beats. ***

The Go Set

Grass

  • EP (2010 Independent) There’s some really solid sludge on here, but unfortunately these guys lean a bit heavy on the prog. C-

The Grates

Grinderman

  • Grinderman (2007 Mute) Nick Cave comes back in full force with this explosive punk record. A modern classic and a must have for any Nick Cave fans *****

H

Haim

  • Days Are Gone (2013 Polydor) Another band of hipsters trying to sound intelligent with dance-pop from the eighties and nineties. Mostly boring, but when they get to rocking they come into full force. Eager to see where they go from here, but at the moment indifferent. C-

Harlem 6

P.J Harvey

Hecate

Missy Higgins

  • The Sound Of White (2004 Eleven) Catchy folk-pop that’s all performed well enough, but still nothing I haven’t heard before and nothing I couldn’t get better from somewhere else. Indifferent D+

Hoodoo Gurus

HR

  • Never EP (2013 Independent) Cold, Gothic post-punk, but not the usual wank. HR is intelligent about his soundscapes and everything glistens. Recommend this one. A-
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