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New album reviews: Savages, Chairlift, Suede & more

28 January, 2016 — by Christopher Ratcliff0

There were tonnes of new albums out this week and I listened to every single one of them. No, I’m not a hero, just someone trying to block out the noises of crying writers in the office whose deadlines I’ve cruelly truncated to speed up publication this month.

But in doing so, I’ve discovered a few albums ‘of note’, although when Suede have released the best album out of more then 12 other new releases, you can probably skip a week and carry on listening to Lil Bub’s latest.

Suede – Night Thoughts

Oh Suede, what are you doing? You can’t be a reformed Britpop band from the 90s who are now releasing their second post-reunion album of brand new and thoroughly decent material in as many years, that’s not how it works! You should break-up immediately then come back in five years to play Dog Man Star in full during an afternoon support slot at Reading. That’s what The Seahorses would do.

You’re ruining the natural order of things, with Brett Anderson’s more powerful than ever vocals, your gorgeous, sweeping production and some genuinely stirring hooks. Why don’t you take a leaf out of Placebo’s book? They’ve done some proper shit lately, but are bound to make a mint playing their 20 year-old debut in full at Brixton Academy later in the year. Jesus! It’s like you’re only doing it purely for the joy of creating.  8/10

You could fall into those cheekbones and nobody would ever find you again.

Conrad Keely – Original Machines

The (mainly) lead-vocalist, (occasional) drummer and (mainly) lead-guitarist from …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead has a solo album out and it’s definitely one for any Trail of Dead-ite who enjoys the lighter, airier, and weirdly funkier moments from the band’s excellent back catalogue. It seems Keely is in fact directly responsible for this softer side. In fact, if Trail of Dead were a boy band he would definitely be ‘the cute one’ or perhaps ‘the sensitive one’. He writes poetry, reads books and stares out of the tour-bus window while sighing quietly to himself. With Original Machines, you’ll already know what you’re going to get: a progressive, groovy album, that doesn’t get too wanky, but is full of interesting guitar stuff and Keely’s emotive, searching vocals. Write him a love letter. He’ll probably write you one back. 8/10

conrad keely
“I don’t know, I just don’t feel Christmassy enough”

Savages – Adore

Savages second album Adore begins with the swirling menace of ‘The Answer’, a tightly-wound confrontational march that’s probably the best thing Savages have done so far. but soon after things become much less interesting. Comparisons to Siouxsie and the Banshees are obvious, but overly-flattering as there’s little of Siouxsie Sioux’s creativity or flare for the avant-garde. Instead the Savages brand of gothic rock is fairly by-the-numbers indie-rock given an edge by some technically competent musicians who could really do with stepping over that edge and finding a place much less hampered by artifice. 6/10

savages 2016
“God your ear is boring”

Chairlift – Moth

I had totally forgotten about Chairlift, the Brooklyn two-piece’s last album was five years ago, and their debut featuring the Apple ad soundtracking ‘Bruises’ was way back in 2008. This is eons in electro-pop terms, but hopefully enough time for the cyclical nature of pop to once again rest at the phase known as ‘boring frothy nonsense barely cognisant enough to realise eight years have past’ for them to become vital again? Let’s check by turning on the radio. *listens* Oh Christ, I’m not doing that again. Where was I? I’ve forgotten. 4/10

“Ta-da!!! A pale keyboard player!”

Pop. 1280 – Paradise

What I imagine the inside of Nick Cave’s head sounds like on most days. Fucking terrifying for the large part, but rather tiresome after 10 minutes of overly-earnest Suicide impressions and banging about on some corrugated iron. Somehow even less fun then Savages’ new album. 4/10

pop 1280 band
From listening to Pop. 1280, nothing surprises me about this photo.

Check out all the latest music releases in our new album reviews section, including this round-up featuring Field Music and DIIV.

New album reviews: Savages, Chairlift, Suede & more
New album reviews: Savages, Chairlift, Suede & more
Reviews of this week's best new albums. Featuring Suede, Chairlift, Savages, Conrad Keely and Pop. 1280. But you're mainly here for the laughs right?
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