Albums round-up - April 2014

New releases from Brody Dalle, The Last Battle, Woods, Fat Goth, Night Noise Team and more reviewed

Albums round-up - April 2014

Brody DalleDiploid Love

(Caroline) ●●●
Brody Dalle, erstwhile frontwoman of The Distillers and Spinnerette, has the cool rocker chick thing down pat. But she’s no trailblazer on this solo debut, instead following leads established by Courtney Love and Garbage – the former on lacerating femme punk thrashes such as ‘Underworld’ and the latter on the sleeker goth croons. Shirley Manson even cameos on pop punk piledriver ‘Meet The Foetus/Oh The Joy’ which comes over like The B-52s at double speed. (Fiona Shepherd)

WoodsWith Light And With Love

(Woodsist) ●●●●
Psych folk, neo-psychedelia, call it what you like – Woods make pop music, and pretty glorious it sounds on their latest album, from the sonorous pedal steel on opening country amble ‘Shepherd’ to the unashamed George Harrison-referencing guitar sound of ‘Full Moon’. With Light And With Love is an eclectic collection – the nine-minute title track alone moves through pin-sharp pop, raga rhythms and a punky Krautrock groove without ever losing melodic focus. (FS)
Woods play Broadcast, Glasgow, Thu 25 Sep.

Night Noise Team – Rêver Électrique

(Permwhale Recordings) ●●●●
On first stepping into this particular electric dream, one might wonder if the duo responsible also goes by the name of Daft Punk. Like those French robots, Edinburgh’s NNT dip playfully yet respectfully into the retro pick’n’mix, displaying much love for the 70s in the symphonic ‘High Line’ and dreamy synth pop ‘Theme From Électrique’ and, closer to home, the solo work of fellow Edinburgh denizen Paul Haig in their blend of Caledonia soul, disco and electronica. (FS)

King Eider – The Deeper The Water

(KE Recordings) ●●●
The folk crossover scene is an oversubscribed party these days, but Edinburgh five-piece King Eider acquit themselves well on their debut album, exhibiting a toe-tapping, pop-infused, bluegrassy bent carried off with mob-handed energy. They can lean quite heavily on that energy at the expense of the song, but they explore an interesting fusion of influences on standout track ‘Reverse Cowgirl’. (FS)

Bastard Mountain – Farewell, Bastard Mountain

(Song, by Toad) ●●●●
Well, this is beautiful. A gorgeous, unhurried drone-pop communion from Jill O’Sullivan (Sparrow and the Workshop, BDY_PRTS), Meursault’s Neil Pennycook, Pete Harvey and Rob St John, Broken Records’ Rory Sutherland and Reuben Taylor of James Yorkston’s Athletes – phew – it’s as enchanting and impressive as those names suggest. Recorded live, and part-improvised, Farewell Bastard Mountain is formidable but never showy, reanimating old songs and kindling new, as its myriad progenitors spawn wonderful (and lovably gloomy) offspring. (Nicola Meighan)

Fat GothOne Hundred Percent Suave

(Hefty Dafty) ●●●●
Caligynephobia is an irrational fear of beautiful women. It is also the croon-metal swansong on the thoroughly entertaining third album from Dundee alt-rock overlords Fat Goth – and it offers one of many clues that the LP’s title is tongue-in-cheek, much like its predecessor, Stud. Their raucous penchant for mirth prevails, but they remain a serious concern: equal parts Jute City Melvins, Mr Bungle and The Jesus Lizard, whose mercurial David Yow spawned the new album artwork. (NM)

The Last BattleLay Your Burden Down

(Beard of Truth) ●●●●
There’s a lot of talk of bruising and breaking on this second album from Edinburgh indie-folk defenders The Last Battle. There’s a lot of love, and loveliness, too – from the Shangri-Las acoustic balm of ‘None of That’, through chamber-pop lilt ‘Breathe Bones’, to the alt-folk ire of ‘Wherever Our Feet Take Us’ and the cathartic lullaby ‘Spreading Wings Taking Flight’. Best of all is the record’s sublime (and heartbreaking) centrepiece, ‘Perfecting The Art (Of Saying Nothing)’. (NM)

Josef KThe Only Fun in Town

(Les Disques du Crépuscule) ●●●●
Still terrific, still cardinal. First released by Josef K in 1981, and a vital inspiration for Franz Ferdinand and Morrissey (among others), this remastered double-vinyl and CD reissue of the Edinburgh post-punks’ only official long-player comes packaged with all manner of art-pop artefacts: the vinyl includes art prints and a Peel Session, while the CD is augmented with Sorry For Laughing – the band’s aborted first attempt at a debut, and one of the truly great lost albums. (NM)


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