Album Reviews: From Robbie Williams to Buckethead

Album Reviews: From Robbie Williams to Buckethead

cd8a14dfFancy celebrating the end of deadlines and term with some new music? Rathe Temple-Green reviews the lastest album releases.

Death Grips – Government Plates

If Kanye’s Yeezus left you disappointed, then maybe Death Grips’ erratic, noise-based approach to hip-hop is more your thing. Against their previous work, though, Plates is sonically sparse, with no predictable verse-chorus song structures. Depending on just how weird and loose you like your rap, they’ve either let themselves go or truly outdone themselves. Still, it’s available for free on their SoundCloud, so you won’t lose anything to try.

Jake Bugg – Shangri-La

There’s something comforting about Jake Bugg. It’s nice that someone can have two No. 1 guitar albums by 19, and if you can get into his somewhat nasal voice, he’s got a real knack for vocal melodies. On the other hand, it’s too comforting: the songs quickly feel samey, and there’s nothing really here Bob Dylan and Neil Young weren’t already doing decades ago, but it’s a welcome presence in the usually electropop-dominated charts.


Buckethead – It Smells Like Frogs

Eccentric electric guitar virtuoso Buckethead has outdone himself this year – Frogs is his 27th full-length album this year alone. Bridging everything from classic rock to metal shredding, he’s as impossible to predict as ever. If you’ve got a thing for loud, instrumental showing-off, there’s a lot of impressive riffs here to get stuck in your head. By the time you read this, though, he’ll have probably released another two albums.


Robbie Williams – Swings Both Ways

Williams’ second swing cover album doesn’t sound much like what you might nostalgically remember him for from childhood. Something about featuring the likes of Lily Allen, Olly Murs and Michael Buble makes the album feel less like an attempt to genuinely revive swing pop as a genre and more to have the album be a hit-single factory. There’s not much to the six originals, either – sadly, there’s no ‘Angels’ here.

melvins-tres-cabronesThe Melvins – Tres Cabrones

A throwback to their punkier 1983 roots (featuring their original drummer), Cabrones presents a very different type of Melvins to the sludge/grunge bastions most of us know them for. With a fittingly muddier guitar tone and silly experiments (punk cover of ‘99 Bottles of Beer’), this isn’t the best introduction to their sound, but it’s impressive that after thirty years they’ve still got some good riffs left in them.


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