Tag Archives: album

Record review: Buchanan – Human Spring (2013, LP)

Buchanan

Having been around for four years and with two EPs under their belts, it’s time for Melbourne indie-pop band Buchanan to drop their debut album. Lead by Josh Simons, the band put touring on hold, virtually dropping off the radar in recent months to make this record, aided with production by Catherine Marks (Foals, Interpol) and mastering by Geoff Pesche (LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead). While it’s clear the band are trying to make the type of anthemic, atmospheric pop carried off so expertly by the likes of The Temper Trap and Two Door Cinema Club, most of the tracks fall so disappointingly short. Listening to the opening trio of ‘Act Natural’, ‘Par Avion’, and ‘The Punch’ is an exercise in waiting for the good stuff to start, before fourth song ‘Temptation’ ups the quality slightly by being one of the darker tunes on the album. Penultimate song ‘The Few’ has shades of Empire of the Sun, making it one of the more tolerable efforts, and closer ‘An All Clear?’ finishes the album on a strong note. The title track – also the lead single – is a slightly more ambitious affair than anything else one the album; all grandiose strings and soaring choruses, and sounds great in parts, although the majority of the tunes on Human Spring sound like they’d be most at home on the soundtrack of a crappy rom-com, making this one of the more forgettable releases of recent months. (Independent)

Record review: Primal Scream – More Light (2013, LP)

Now in its fourth decade, Primal Scream’s career has had more twists and turns than a motor race. From flower power, acid house, dub, dance, and straight-up rock ‘n’ roll, there’s not much the ‘Scream haven’t tackled since their formation in Glasgow in 1982. Since 2008’s Beautiful Future the band has undergone some changes; most noticeably with the departure of bassist Gary Mounfield, who rejoined the reformed Stone Roses and was replaced by Simone Butler. The great thing about Primal Scream albums is that you never know what you’re going to get, so what have the six-piece served up this time around? The answer is quite a mixed bag, and while it’s definitely not bad, it’s also not all good. Opener ‘2013’ is a decent attempt at a soaring rock song that will sound great live, but for every good song there’s one like ‘Culturecide’; a pretty poor attempt at a social/political statement that ends up sounding heavy and awkward, or ‘Goodbye Johnny’; a bizarre saxophone-heavy loungeroom number that sees frontman Bobby Gillespie doing his best/worst crooner impression. Single ‘It’s Alright, It’s Ok’ is pretty much 1991’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ revamped for a new generation; all uplifting Bob Marley-esque lyrics and handclaps, and ‘River of Pain’ features some nice acoustic guitar work over Gillespie’s breathy vocals. Primal Scream are one of the best bands to have come out of Britain since the ’80s, but a lack of cohesion and too much filler probably means More Light won’t be going down in history as one of their best albums. (First International)

Record review: Primal Scream – More Light (2013, LP)

Now in its fourth decade, Primal Scream’s career has had more twists and turns than a motor race. From flower power, acid house, dub, dance, and straight-up rock ‘n’ roll, there’s not much the ‘Scream haven’t tackled since their formation in Glasgow in 1982. Since 2008’s Beautiful Future the band has undergone some changes; most noticeably with the departure of bassist Gary Mounfield, who rejoined the reformed Stone Roses and was replaced by Simone Butler. The great thing about Primal Scream albums is that you never know what you’re going to get, so what have the six-piece served up this time around? The answer is quite a mixed bag, and while it’s definitely not bad, it’s also not all good. Opener ‘2013’ is a decent attempt at a soaring rock song that will sound great live, but for every good song there’s one like ‘Culturecide’; a pretty poor attempt at a social/political statement that ends up sounding heavy and awkward, or ‘Goodbye Johnny’; a bizarre saxophone-heavy loungeroom number that sees frontman Bobby Gillespie doing his best/worst crooner impression. Single ‘It’s Alright, It’s Ok’ is pretty much 1991’s ‘Movin’ On Up’ revamped for a new generation; all uplifting Bob Marley-esque lyrics and handclaps, and ‘River of Pain’ features some nice acoustic guitar work over Gillespie’s breathy vocals. Primal Scream are one of the best bands to have come out of Britain since the ’80s, but a lack of cohesion and too much filler probably means More Light won’t be going down in history as one of their best albums. (First International)