The Picturebooks – The Hands of Time


The relentless push for originality can be as paralysing as it is focusing. For bands that stake their entire existence on pushing the boundaries sonically, every new release is another chance to be skewered by their own need for clear and evident advancement.Continue reading


Mark Deutrom – The Blue Bird


The first song on an album is important. It sets the tone for what’s to come. Get this right, and everything flows. Get this wrong, and, well… it’s better to get it right. Unfortunately, Mark Deutrom’s The Blue Bird (Season of Mist) is in the latter category. The opening track seems messy and disjointed and is followed by ninety seconds of a solo guitar playing whole notes…. Slowly…. The listener is unsure where this is going to go. Continue reading


Alunah – Amber & Gold


As EPs go, this release by Birmingham doomsters Alunah is perhaps a necessary one. In the wake of their founder/head vocalist Sophie Day leaving the band last year, the need to establish her replacement, Siân Greenaway, as quickly as possible means Amber & Gold (self-released) has a purpose, if nothing else.Continue reading


Brant Bjork – Mankind Woman


Along with his Kyuss bandmates, Brant Bjork helped create and define Desert Rock. And, across a dozen more solo albums, he has stayed largely in the comfy confines of hazy, laid back stonerisms. Mankind Woman (Heavy Psych Sounds/RidingEasy), the man’s latest effort, feels like a man happy to jam whatever he’s fancies and put it out there.Continue reading


Paradise Lost – Pallbearer: Live at Electric Ballroom, London


How to best celebrate that Friday feeling? With a night of slow and Gothic Doom of course. The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, is full to the brim, and it seems the crowd is somehow wearing even more black than usual to celebrate the morbid tones of the UK’s very own Paradise Lost.Continue reading