February 2008

24th February, 2008

GET PAST some of the, frankly dire, lyrics (i.e. ‘Lights Out’) and the “we-re going to rule the world with our adrenaline pumping, sing-a-long choruses” attitude, and you have here a very good record in your hands.

primitai-through-the-gates-of-hellImpressive and useful lead guitar is abundant, and even those of the “no solos” persuasion surely can’t help but allow their anti-technical-talent hearts to admire this. ‘Deathhammer’s angular, Exodus-esque rhythms (these guys have certainly picked the right influences) and powerful and energetic drumming combine with an awe-inspiring harmonized solo, which, again, actually contributes to the song to create a candidate for huge pits, despite the lack of heaviness which normally comes with a metal release. Great fun for those who just want to jump around and play air guitar, but those who prefer their metal to be more, well, intelligent, then this is best missed.


Published in Student Direct, March 2008


14th February, 2008

CLARE TEAL has been worshiped by Jamie Cullum, Paul Gambaccini, Michael Buble; even Sir Michael Parkinson. This, the eighth album from “one of the best vocal talents to energy from the UK in a long, long while”, continues much in the same vain as her previous releases; a collection of well selected covers combined with skillfully written new material to create a natural balance across the 49 minutes of many different moods and jazz styles.

clareOf course, Clare Teal will be venerated primarily in terms of her voice. But this isn’t what impresses me about this album; I’ve heard many great jazz vocalists, from Nat King Cole to Ella Fitzgerald, and yes, Norah Jones, (and I’d put her in the same category as those) so a beautiful voice for me is a necessity for jazz vocal. It’s the quality of the musicianship which impresses me here. This is jazz played with the utmost passion for the genre. ‘Breaking Up is hard to Do’ is performed with a rare graceful elegance, squeezing every bit of emotion out of each note. The re-interpretation of ‘The Very Thought of You’ actually sounds better than the original, its wonderful piano solo showcasing just how good this girl is.

She can do upbeat and bouncy too, and for someone who prefers his music to be melancholy at the least, these tracks would normally only get one play. However, they are conveyed with such a joyous innocence that they warm even the coldest of musical hearts. ‘Get on It Sam’, one of her own works, is happier than a manic clown on laughing gas and swings like a rope bridge in a hurricane. It’s brilliant, as is the 20s Dixie groove of ‘Cheek to Cheek’. In fact, this is the perfect place to start for any jazz-newbie, as everything is covered here. There aren’t many jazz albums that are not only an accurate summary of the jazz world, but are also accessible enough to not turn the listener off. A joy to listen to.


Published in Student Direct, February 2008

10th February, 2008

IT’S A shame that this review (if it makes the paper), wasn’t in time for Valentine’s Day. Even though it isn’t a collection of love songs, its pace, tone and pure warmth that only jazz can conjure up make it perfect for a snuggly night in. melody-gardot

It might be short (only half an hour), but Worrisome Heart sure is sweet. It flows with all of the grace of a brand new silk dress, and shimmers like the starlight in your beloved’s eyes. ‘Worrisome Heart’s beautiful lyrics light the candles, whilst ‘All That I Need is Love’s lyrical guitar groove runs the warm bath, and ‘Love Me Like a River Does’ leads you into the depths of the most exquisite, endless passion; upon the exquisite final note of ‘Twilight’, the most romantic evening of your life is complete.


Published in Student Direct, February 2008

3rd February, 2008

IF YOU loved ‘No One Knows’ by Queens of the Stone Age, and longed for the rest of Songs for the Deaf to be like that song, then you’ll probably enjoy Mexicolas. Only probably, because aside from three great songs, X has some irritatingly average ones.

The band set the bar too high for themselves with ‘Times Infintiy’,Come Clean’ and ‘Shame’, and the remaining ten songs don’t even finish the run up. ‘Big in Japan’s lyrics are strewn with cringe-worthy rhymes, and songs such as ‘Evil’, which do have half-decent ideas, run out of steam very quickly. That said, if you just want something simple to jump around to, then this should be your first stop in 2008.


Published in Student Direct, February 2008

3rd February, 2008

CRUSHINGLY HEAVY, technically astounding, monstrously epic, etcetera; Cannibalised is not for the faint hearted. This is progressive metal at its most deranged, and is quite simply mind-blowing. The riffs flow, the structures are interesting, drumming is insanely tight, the vocals are furious bordering on rabid.

‘Fallen in Fear’ begins with John K’s inhuman, screeching vocals, and the album doesn’t let up. Orchestral sections merge with the standard metal blast-beats and chugging riffs to show just how effective metal can be when it comes to instrumentation; ‘Predatory’s tempo-changes are a perfect example. Biomechanical have created a very special brand of Armageddon.


Published in Student Direct, February 2008