Existence Is Futile (Nuclear Blast)
The first thing to report about Cradle of Filth’s Existence Is Futile is that the Ed Sheeran collaboration talked about during lockdown has thankfully not come to fruition, which has left the indomitable Dani Filth with time to concentrate on what he does best. And make no mistake, Existence Is Futile is indeed Cradle Of Filth at their best.
Riding the crest of a wave in recent years after a somewhat barren patch, tracks like Existential Terror and Necromantic Fantasies are absolutely classic Cradle. Buzzsaw guitars collide with operatic backing vocals, while Dani’s unmistakable scream hauls it all together. Fans will also eat up the return of Doug ‘Pinhead’ Bradley to the Cradle fold for some more spoken word action on the culminating track of the Her Ghost In The Fog trilogy, a further anchor to their classic material. The Filth’s glorious return to form continues.
words CHRIS ANDREWS
Amazing Things (SharpTone)
The fourth album from UK rock mainstays Don Broco, Amazing Things’ lead singles Gumshield and Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan showcases this four-piece at their best and will definitely appeal to the hardcore crowd. Also, the video for the latter is definitely worth a watch.
This reviewer’s personal favourite tracks include Revenge Body and Uber – though there are so many genres and influences packed into this album, it’s bound to be subjective. Bruce Willis will naturally become a crowd favourite, by virtue of including that iconic line from Die Hard; others, like How Are You Done With Existing?, features weird moaning which is frankly offputting while not adding anything to the song. Anaheim, conversely, is merely too bland.
Amazing Things is a mixed bag: some tracks are poppy and upbeat, others thrashy and powerful. There’s so much going on – I’m just not sure all of it works.
words SARAH BOWDIDGE
Grouper’s Liz Harris may be one of the most single-minded artists out there these days, and if she’s Ramones-like in her loyalty to one sound, this isn’t a criticism by a long shot. Ploughing her furrow has produced some of the finest music of the past decade or so and Shade, consisting of works written and recorded over those past 15 years, proves the point.
There is an aura around Grouper’s output, an intensity of purpose matched by very few artists working right now (Minnesota duo Low come to mind as exceptions), and for the uninitiated, this album is a remarkably good place to start. Shade features those familiar sounds we’ve come to expect: grayscale burls of fuzz, and faint wisps of melody that linger for days. But the clouds truly break for closer, Kelso (Blue Sky), gorgeous in its simple beauty and crystalline vocals.
words ADAM JONES
A peculiar name like Ross From Friends might be just what some artists need to break through the digital barriers that both help and hinder us in finding new music these days. More than just pulling a click and a chuckle from you, though, Tread – the latest album from the British producer also known as Felix Clary Weatherall – eases you into a world of experimental yet homely dance music.
Lead single The Daisy is as delicate as its namesake, while ‘Thresho_1.0’ and ‘Thresho_1.1’ (named after a piece of auto-recording software Weatherall created to smoothen the creative process) weaves in and out of free-flowing forms in unexpected but not out of place ways. Intricate, playful, bursting with energy and fresh ideas, even soulful at times, Tread is another strong offering from the house music revivalist.
words HANNAH COLLINS
Prioritise Pleasure (Fiction)
Self Esteem’s long-awaited sophomore record follows an impressive string of singles, including I Do This All The Time (a track that caught the attention of many after being performed on Later… With Jools Holland). As its title suggests, Prioritise Pleasureis a sign of soloist Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s testament to self-love and following her own creative path.
The potentials of Taylor’s voice soar throughout the album, be it the feminist battle cry of How Can I Help You or validating ‘The 345’, named after the anxiety-alleviating breathing technique. John Elton is a hidden gem as the album draws to its close, with the gloss of Taylor’s unique production sparkling dynamically throughout the record. Prioritise Pleasure encapsulates Taylor’s knack to combine compelling lyrics with cinematic instrumentals.
words CHLOË EDWARDS
KEEP READING: ‘Self Esteem: My advice is always advocate for yourself.”‘
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