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READ LOADS MORE ALBUM REVIEWS OVER ON OUR WEBSITE OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK


THE MOONLANDINGZ INTERPLANETARY CLASS CLASSICS


Callum


Interplanetary Class Classics opens with Vessels. As the song develops the unhinged fictional front-man Johnny Rocket begins wailing incoherently (in a good way). It’s a terrific opener to a great album. Largely ICC can be described as fuzzy psychedelic synth-rock - Sweet Saturn Mine channels pumped-up percussion and spiralling synths. IDS feels as though it should be emanating from an alternative underground space nightclub, and Te Strangle of Anna presents a well needed interval; while it’s necessary, the track is, however, far from the strongest on the album. Te winner of that title belongs to Te Rabies Are Back: it can only be described as resembling the sound of an amplifier being plugged into an insane space-psychopath. Te effect of this is wonderfully exhilarating. Te entire album is dominated by intentionally erratic bass lines and a strong sense of dark themes. Te cohesive structure and a theme that does not make all tracks sound the same but similar enough for them to fit together results in a well- made album. However, the album could have finished on Lufthansa Man rather than Tis Cities Undone - it would have made the track list seem more carefully constructed - but it’s still an outstanding song.


BLAENAVON THAT’S YOUR LOT


Alex


Four years since signing to Transgressive as teenagers, Blaenavon’s debut album is as much a coming-of-age tale as it is a fully-fledged indie triumph. From start to finish Tat’s Your Lot is an artefact of excitement, frequently jumping from woeful lulls to rapturous climax in the blink of an eye. At its front end, the hits come thick and fast – Let’s Pray dresses up nihilism in a glossy coat of reverb whilst My Bark is Your Bite bristles with frustrated energy. On its latter half, musicality seizes control. Frontman Ben Gregory’s vocal is the centrepiece in Blaenavon’s arsenal, quivering and tempered in places (Let Me See What Happens Next), protrusive and lustful elsewhere (Alice Come Home) and often an enthralling mixture (Lonely Side); he tells as many stories with his delivery as he does his introspective lyrics. Where Gregory articulates with words, bassist Frank Wright and drummer Harris McMillan respond instrumentally. A revised edition of 2013’s Prague conveys a newfound maturity whilst retaining its original charm, its sublime guitar intro building into a joyful crescendo not dissimilar from label-mates Foals. Te eight- minute epic that is Swans is temperamental and cinematic, the crowning jewel in Blaenavon’s shimmering first offering.


THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN DAMAGE AND JOY


Pavlis


In their early years, JAMC released some of the most thrilling, visceral music ever. In the ten years between the release of third album Automatic and disbanding in 1999 in a fug of sibling rivalry, bad drugs and bad attitudes, the Reids released a series of ever less exciting LPs. With hindsight, those later albums were far from bad, just not as brilliant as the earlier work. Having reformed a decade ago, this has taken a while and half of the tracks have been heard before in the Reids’ post-JAMC work or on sibling Linda’s Sister Vanilla album. So, it is with some trepidation that I approach this comeback LP. I needn’t have worried. Te Mary Chain always combined seemingly disparate sounds. Velvets/Stooges proto-punk met Shangri-Las harmonies, acoustic strumming mixed with no-wave distortion and feedback, krautrock rhythms and rockabilly riffing. All this - and more - are here. Opener Amputation even has a touch of spacerock synth and the duets with Isobel Campbell and Linda Reid are delightful. So, does this match the classic Mary Chain of Psychocandy? No, it doesn’t. If anything, it is better. Tere may be nothing as electrifying as Upside Down but, taken as whole, this is possibly the best album JAMC have released.


OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK / APRIL 2017 / 37


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