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Saturday, 11 April 2009

KPL Spring Album Round-Up

This post is to serve as something of an apology for the lack of original material on the site of late. As we've been short on money we've been relying on review materials from This Is Fake DIY, which has in turn made us short on time – hence the content mainly being said reviews. Anyway, there's been a deluge of interesting releases of late and it looks like 2009 might just shape up to be a good year for albums. Here's a quick round-up of the spring releases that we've been getting our ears around.

Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
8/10
We only had a brief listen to this on Spotify, but we can say that after a couple of really impressive singles recently ('The Fear' is one of the songs of the year – FACT!) we were still surprised by the quality of this record. It's on our 'to buy' list.

Music From The Motion Picture Watchmen
7/10
A great and very cool collection of songs that feature in the brilliant film. Unfortunately it's slightly ruined by radio edits of Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' and Cohen's 'Hallelujah' despite the compilation's relatively short running length. On the bright side however there's Hendrix, Joplin and Wagner, not to mention one of the songs of the year in My Chemical Romance's 'Desolation Row'

Howling BellsRadio Wars
8/10
Bold and sultry, it's certainly a step on from Howling Bells d├ębut with more confidence and arguably better tunes. Still, it doesn't take a foot off the peddle marked 'atmospheric' and still manages to create some stunning musical imagery.

The RakesKlang
7/10
A charming, scruffy, punked up artrock record and an evolution from their previous material by taking a step back. It's more of a grower as the lyrics and melodies are hidden under fuzz and low-fi production values. This doesn't change the fact that frontman Donohoe is on top form and that Berlin has certainly reinvigorated the band from the corpse of the London scene.

The DecemberistsThe Hazards of Love
5/10
There's enough on evidence on this prog/folk record to demonstrate the skill of the musicians in The Decemberists, sadly though for KPL there's nowhere near enough tunes to mean that it's anywhere near as strong as their previous two releases. There's a brilliant flow and lots of interesting sounds however. Very cerebral but a bit too prog for us.

GrammaticsGrammatics
9/10
We'd seen Grammatics live a few times in the past couple of years and their unique line-up (including a cello player) and take on alternative music got us rather excited about their album. Thankfully it lives up to the expectations. It's a complex and difficult listen but is incredibly rewarding and absolutely essential for anyone who enjoys putting work into enjoying music.

That's all we have time for at the moment, but don't worry as at some point in the future the recent releases from Hot Leg, Doves, Mastodon and Dananananaykroyd will get mention here, either in their own reviews if there's time (we hope to get some more stuff written on some of the above releases too) or in a future round-up.

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