27/30 emo indie/alternative revisited review rock

brand new – the devil and god are raging inside me

‘TDAGARIM’ connects adolescent fears to the sound of a wrecking ball – obviously I was too embarrassed to like it ten years ago.

29/30 indie/alternative pop revisited review

the wrens – the meadowlands (2003)

Meadows are liminal spaces that lead to or from destinations – in and of themselves, they are often bare and underdeveloped.

24/30 indie/alternative pop rock

john andrews & the yawns – love for the underdog

‘Love For the Underdog’ is so cohesive and well-considered it almost has its own philosophy.

26/30 indie/alternative revisited review rock

ted leo & the pharmacists – the tyranny of distance (2001)

“‘The Tyranny of Distance’ forgoes a weaponised awkwardness common to East Coast indie rock”.

22/30 indie/alternative punk

personal trainer – big love blanket

Despite its loving title, ‘Big Love Blanket’ will be unlikeable to some: it’s a cocky, liberty-taking piece of indie-rock that covers a little too much ground. It’s also very enjoyable for those same reasons. Personal Trainer sail across the busy seas of post-punk and art pop, with Travis Morrison forming part of the cabin crew […]

21/30 indie/alternative rock

drugdealer – hiding in plain sight

Drugdealer makes no secret of his musical influences, jokingly describing his brand as ‘Derivative Rock’. The multi-instrumentalist toes the line between tasteful pastiche and total plagiarism of 70s soft rock, but comes with enough charm to make ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ a joy. His third record brings a funkier edge to his psychedelic sound and […]

20/30 indie/alternative rock

arctic monkeys – the car

The earnest voyaging on The Car is redressed by its lounging charm. It is an album of multitudes and conflict, despite the Bacharach-inspired orchestral delivery. Alex Turner’s vocals are a neat illustration of where this record works, and where it dwindles—they undulate and over pronounce, reaching composed falsettos between some pretty inane pitch fiddling. The […]

24/30 dream pop indie/alternative shoegaze

winter – what kind of blue are you?

An under-discussed aspect of slacker rock is its deep-rooted desire for spirituality. The genre is normally associated with passive, couch-dwelling underachievers, but these are people for whom meaning is a misplaced receipt waiting to be found. It is unsurprising therefore that dreams become an antidote to material dissatisfaction. Samira Winter’s own aesthetic is slow, studied, […]

24/30 album of the week indie/alternative pop

alvvays – blue rev

Yes, I’m aware it’s obvious, but the change we have collectively experienced post-1999 really is extraordinary. That said, since The Strokes released Is This It? and published a timeless recipe for guitar-heavy goodness, quality indie-pop has remained on its path like an arrow in a sandstorm. Alvvays know the formula so intimately that the colourful […]