Music, Rock

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The National - Trouble Will Find Me

15 May 20134 stars

A great sixth record, but not one which parades the fact before you

(4AD) The idea that much of the music here was written by guitarist Aaron Desner while bedevilled by bone-aching fatigue and sleepless nights following the birth of his baby daughter is a compelling one. It ties into the sense of a band shattered…

Sparrow and the Workshop - Murderopolis

15 May 20134 stars

Third album from Glasgow rock-noir trio has psych-rock heart

(Song, By Toad) This album starts with the words ‘when love was the greatest thing’ - and it is all you need to unravel the third long-player from a Glasgow rock-noir trio who variously conjure The Bad Seeds, The Shangri-Las, Johnny Cash and Melanie…

The Fall - Re-Mit

15 May 20134 stars

Suggests insistent inter-band chemistry despite there being no real surprises here

(Cherry Red) Whoa-whoa-whoa, etc! Don't ever underestimate Mark E Smith, The Fall's founder, writer, vocalist and sole surviving member since they formed 35 years ago. Some may dismiss him as a past-his-best drunken parody of many former glories, and…

Neil Young & Crazy Horse set for 2013 UK tour

15 May 2013

Neil Young and Crazy Horse visit UK for what is probably their last outing together

A grizzly bear of a man wrings sublimely heavy tones from a battered old Les Paul and a chain of massively overdriven amps while his seasoned companions sweat and toil to forge the most elemental of grooves: such is the lumbering majesty of Neil Young…

Exposure: Haim set for 2013 UK tour dates

15 May 2013

Sweet, yearning, retro pop melodies from sister-heavy band

When Haim look towards their future, do they see anything between themselves and a torrent of riches and acclaim? We’ve checked, and we can detect nothing. Were we to be unimaginative, in fact, we’d say they have all the retroisms to one day go on to be…

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William Tyler & Hiss Golden Messenger - Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sat 4 May

15 May 20134 stars

Songs setting a dense emotional mood and strong sense of place

Despite the setting in a cool, dark, wood-panelled lecture theatre, sometime Silver Jews and Lambchop guitarist William Tyler and Hiss Golden Messenger songwriter and fulcrum Michael ‘MT’ Taylor brought a certain sense of the pastoral with them for this…

Sweet Baboo - King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Tue 7 May 2013

15 May 20133 stars

Charming set combines lyrical originality with self-deprecating humour

‘I go dancing and chancing my luck with all those girls - that’s why I’m bound for hell’, sings Stephen Black, aka Welshman Sweet Baboo, on catchy 2010 single ‘I’m a Dancer’. To look at this freckly face, rabbit-in-the-headlights expression and guitar…

New Scottish band Akord bring hard rock from the Granite City

1 May 2013

Zealous Aberdeen-bred band sweeping competition ahead of debut EP release

On the cusp of securing top spot at their third competition in as many months, the Granite City's noiseniks Akord have been rapidly attracting major attention from both sides of the border; all of which has been impressively amassed prior to the release…

King Creosote - Oran Mor, Glasgow, Wed 10 Apr 2013

23 Apr 20133 stars

Fence Records stalwart's bittersweet railing over declining physical music sales

Following on from his low-key appearance on the fringes of Fence’s Gnomegame festival in Anstruther the weekend before, Kenny Anderson was playing the second date of a monstrous month-long UK solo tour here, the first coming the day before in Shetland.

The Cat Empire add UK dates to 2013 World Tour schedule

23 Apr 2013

The ska-jazz collective are touring their fifth studio album, Steal the Light

Melbourne-based ska-jazz collective The Cat Empire will visit the UK on their biggest world tour to date. Celebrating the release of their new album, Steal the Light, the genre-defying band will visit a total of four continents and perform a total of 70…

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Steve Mason - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Tue 9 Apr 2013

22 Apr 20133 stars

Heady atmosphere evidence of deep personal and musical connection

The beered-up battalion swarming the venue are celebrating like a home game victory. Why wouldn’t they be on this Tuesday? (Insert obvious Thatcher comment here.) But it’s Mason’s danceable, wry mid-tempo indie that's the primary source of the crowd’s…

Phoenix - Bankrupt!

19 Apr 20134 stars

Post-breakthrough return is brash, unapologetic, full of pomp and self-assured tunes

(Atlantic) Bankrupt! begins with the brilliant bravura of ‘Entertainment’, a blitzkrieg of uptempo synths and guitars. It’s the kind of epic, contemporary new wave swagger that goes down just swell when performed in front of huge summer festival crowds.

Thirty Pounds of Bone - I Cannot Sing You Here, But for Songs of Where

19 Apr 20133 stars

Album exploring location and identity via travelling odes and upbeat celtic folk knees-ups

(Armellodie) As you might suspect of an itinerant folk hoarder who takes his grisly nom de plume from the average weight of a dead man’s bones, Johnny Lamb appreciates the gravity of his songs. His third album, I Cannot Sing You Here... frames his…

Eagleowl - This Silent Year

19 Apr 20134 stars

Languorous chamber-pop full of silence, distortion and exquisite humour

(Fence) Here are a few clues that this is a rare and unhurried debut album: it starts with a beat, and then the beat slows down; the instruments come in one by one; the opening words are ‘some other time’. The album’s centrepiece is in fact its…

Bong / Pyramidion - Untitled

19 Apr 20134 stars

Beautifully executed split from the yin and yang of contemporary psychedelic rock

(At War With False Noise) Set controls for the heart of the Tyrant Sun, courtesy of Newcastle’s high lords of psychedelic sludge Bong and Glasgow/Edinburgh’s spry, mesmerising space-rock ensemble Pyramidion. Distinctly different in approach and…

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James and Twin Atlantic announced for Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2013 line-up

18 Apr 2013

The fest will also host The Straits, Noisettes, Admiral Fallow, The Horrors and Dougie Maclean

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival’s 10th anniversary with be headlined by Manchester indie rock band James and Glasgow rockers Twin Atlantic. James, formed in 1982, produced one of the Bella’s most celebrated performances in 2007. 12 studio albums…

Dethscalator - Racial Golf Course, No Bitches

17 Apr 20134 stars

The depraved, baffling and stinkingly good debut album from the Hackney noise rockers

If an album title is a statement of intent, then we’re on upsettingly shaky ground here. Is Racial Golf Course, No Bitches a meat-headed attempt at offensiveness? A satirical statement on the intrinsic bigotry of the golfing classes? Just some…

Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite discusses upcoming Aidan Moffat collaboration as part of Tectonics

16 Apr 2013

The duo will be joined by Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir as part of the experimental mini-fest

I’m too good at saying yes to things,’ jokes Stuart Braithwaite, when asked if he isn’t a little bit daunted by the prospect of taking part in a largely improvised performance, featuring a collaborator he’s yet to meet, before an audience perhaps not…

Glasvegas - King Tut's, Glasgow, Wed 27 Mar 2013

16 Apr 20134 stars

The rock'n'roll quartet perform secret, Beatles-themed gig as The Savage Stage Bells

In 1965, a distressed John Lennon penned the lyrics, 'Help! I need somebody! Help and not just anybody!' over the difficulties of coping with his rapid rise to fame. Over half a century later and in the belly of King Tuts, James Allan, adorned in a…

Lana Del Rey returns to 'second home' Glasgow as part of the Born to Die Tour

16 Apr 2013

The sepia-toned chanteuse is being supported by boyfriend Barrie-James O'Neill's band, Kassidy

Lana Del Rey’s ascension from all-but-unknown singer-songwriter ‘Lizzy Grant’ to the enormously successful, sepia-soaked sweetheart we know today has been quite remarkable. Coming to prominence in an age where ‘overnight sensation’ is a literal term…

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Five reasons to head to Electric Circus' Big Day In

16 Apr 2013

Dutch Uncles, Discopolis, Dems, Jonnie Common and more head up the indoor mini-festival

1. It’s in, not out Worried about the shameful 'spring' weather we’ve been having? Wishing you could get away from it with some antipodean (autumn) sunshine and a bunch of bands in a field? Well, tough. But if you couldn’t afford the flight to Oz and…

Extreme hip hop/noise posse Death Grips coming to UK

16 Apr 2013

MC Ride, Zach Hill and Andy Morin set to play London, Glasgow and Brighton

After their recent South by Southwest showcase set, Death Grips’ live show was memorably described by SPIN magazine as a journey into ‘chaotically thrilling what-the-fuckness’. All 33 minutes of it are available to watch below, featuring fearsome…

Biffy Clyro – SECC, Glasgow, Mon 1 Apr 2013

4 Apr 20134 stars

Simon Neil and co continue to smuggle hard rock weirdness past the arena anthems crowd

Given that Biffy’s ‘Many of Horror’ was (in)famously given the X Factor seal of approval back in 2010, it’s impressive that they continue to plough such weird and hard-rocking furrows alongside their more radio-friendly anthemic fare. Granted, the…

Ghost, Gojira and The Defiled - O2 Academy, Glasgow, Tue 19 Mar, 2013

28 Mar 20134 stars

Thundering triple bill of industrial, thrash prog and classic metal

It’s easy to be cynical about sponsored gigs, but Jägermeister have nailed their colours to the mast: they love and support metal. And when they are providing line-ups this solid at just £5 in, you can forget all the corporate bullshit and admit it’s…

New announcements for RockNess 2013 include Lianne la Havas, Rolando and Kerri Chandler

28 Mar 2013

Reverend & The Makers, Dog is Dead, Henrik Schwarz and more join the line up

The latest additions to 2013’s RockNess festival include soul singer Lianne la Havas; upbeat indie poppers Dog is Dead; Sheffield’s Reverend & The Makers fronted by the outspoken Jon McClure; Detroit techno master Rolando (Underground Resistance/Soma…