Jan 19, 2018
Hackskeptic -
80
East London is a vampire, It sucks the joy right out of me”, sings a battle hardened Kele Okereke on the opener “Song For Clay (Disappear Here); a song of discovery, loosely based on Brett Easton Ellis’s novel “Less Than Zero”. For the Bloc Party front man has seen and experienced much and his perspectives of life in the big city aren’t always joyous. He flatly denies that “A Weekend In The City” is an auto biographical commentary, preferring to ... read more
Jan 19, 2018
Hackskeptic -
60
n a 1987 interview for Belgian TV, chief songwriter Martin Gore corrected the host, suggesting that his band weren’t one of the best known pop acts in Europe, but merely a cult band that couldn’t release a single that would reach any higher than number 16 in the U.K. charts. His view was probably partly skewed by the fact that the band weren’t recognized across the Atlantic. “Music For The Masses”, the ironically titled sixth long player by the Basildon four piece ... read more
Dec 13, 2017
Hackskeptic -
80
There’s a kind of comic irony in the title of Karl Blau’s new collection, “Introducing Karl Blau”. The Washington state artist has been releasing music for 20 years and has a prolific and extensive back catalogue. To most, his latest release is an introduction, giving the title a genuine validity and leading one to think “Where the heck has Karl Blau been all my life?” On investigation, his artistic escapades have been made up of genre hops that even the most ... read more
Dec 13, 2017
Hackskeptic -
90
1969, a time when Rock music was morphing in every direction, driven by changing cultures, social awareness, and recreational drug use. Bands were discovering Heavy Rock, Folk Rock, the remnants of Blues, and all sounded perfect for the new spaced out population, everyone in the clouds un-tethered, listening to their Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane on their transistors. So where do CCR find a vehicle for their “old style” Country Rock ‘n Roll.? To a ... read more
Dec 11, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
Let’s face it, Beck needed a return to form. His last two long players (“Guerolito” and “The Information”) were cursed with so many weighty inconsistencies that even his most loyal followers must have questioned his wisdom. Fortunately, owing to his immense chameleonic abilities, one knew Hansen wouldn’t stand still for long. The Danger Mouse produced “Modern Guilt” is his most conventional, melody driven recording since 2002’s outstanding ... read more
Dec 11, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
When Keith Morris left seminal Californian Punksters Black Flag, it was obvious he needed something even more shocking, for pushing the boundaries of music and taste was it seems his ambition. So in 1979 he formed Circle Jerks (the name comes from a weird frat boy initiation ritual) with Greg Hetson (Guitar), Roger Rogerson (Bass), and Lucky Lehrer (Drums). A reputation for the most wild local shows and enormous amounts of alcohol intake onstage and off started the folklore legend which ... read more
Dec 9, 2017
Hackskeptic -
80
If not for the recognisable Soprano voice, one would never have realised that this recording was from the same artist whose folk debut had come with her self titled release 15 years earlier. Gone are the stark musings, the breathy innocence, replaced by pop, country rock, and jazzy mixes of both self penned, and cover songs. Baez surrounded herself with a session band made up of some of the most coveted musicians, including Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Jim Gordon, David Paich and ... read more
Dec 9, 2017
Hackskeptic -
60
The third album from the New Jersey quintet led by husky voiced, poodle permed Jon Bon Jovi would be the breakthrough to mega stardom, mega audiences, and mega sales. If ever a band were made for stadium rock, then Bon Jovi, with their anthemic rock work outs, and their tendency to the overblown, would capitalize on every Westernised country with a big hall and a population of swooning rock chicks and adolescent boys who can’t get a rock chick.

The album would sell over 9 million copies ... read more
Dec 6, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
When Blood Sweat & Tears leader Al Kooper ditched the band following a moderately successful debut (“Child Is Father To The Man”), the remaining members deliberately toned down their experimentalism in favour of a beefier, commercial sound, more akin to long term comparisons with Chicago. Recruiting bellowing baritone David Clayton-Thomas on vocals, and increasing their horn section from four to five, the band would manipulate their cover recordings with a high level of ... read more
Dec 6, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
The decision made by multi-instrumentalist Jocie Adams to cut ties with her band Low Anthem in 2013 has conclusively proved to be a progressive step. Her new band, Arc Iris, have emerged with the kind of stylistically challenging recording that even the previous collective would have never had the nerve to attempt. Covering an exhaustive genre hop, the self titled debut is influenced and contains direct musical references to pop, folk, country, Cabaret, jazz and classical. In addition ... read more
Dec 4, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
It’s almost 13 years since the release of the genre defining epic “Moon Safari”; an album that deservedly catapulted the French duo to the forefront of the ambient down tempo pop market. For musical creators Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel, their addictive and adventurous electronica has gained respect throughout the industry; a fact noticeable by the amount of top artists who happily collaborate with the pair. On “Pocket Symphony”, wordsmiths Jarvis ... read more
Dec 4, 2017
Hackskeptic -
80
In any musical climate, era or genre, it’s incredible to think that the first 1 million selling UK long player by a home based band was recorded just four months after its predecessor. So deep was The Beatles back catalogue of songs, both original and covers, all honed by a brutally exhaustive live career, enabled the band to record the complete album in just 6 days. The momentum gained by the whole musical phenomena that was taking place was fully capitalized on, and “With The ... read more
Dec 2, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
Following Abba’s meteoric success at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” and its subsequent rise to the top of singles charts in most of Europe, the band hurriedly released the largely disappointing “Waterloo” album, which contained very little to suggest that the Swedes weren’t just another “one hit Wonder”. “Abba”, their third album, released the following year goes to prove that the band indeed have more than one tune, ... read more
Dec 2, 2017
Hackskeptic -
60
Many a commentator will tell you that “Remedy”, the debut long player from London duo Felix Burton and Simon Ratcliffe is one of the most important dance collections of modern times. Their mix of house, electronic, tech-house, salsa, funk and disco shows astonishing breadth, adrenalized by the pair’s deep experience in hosting dance parties, along with carefully thought use of both guests and samples. Success had not been instant for the pair, having released numerous self ... read more
Dec 2, 2017
Hackskeptic -
80
Whatever happened to Dance Punk? Those halcyon days of 2003 when every music magazine was reporting that Indie bands were discarding guitars and taking to processed rhythms, liberal shouting and copious additions of odd percussive instruments. !!! were one of the reckless new breed and the single that first brought attention to a wide audience, “Me and Giuliani Down By the School Yard”, was a mesmerizing excursion into house rhythms and snaky basslines. The album from the following ... read more
Oct 21, 2017
Hackskeptic -
70
10CC were without doubt a terrific singles band. Their combination of inventive art rock melodies and witty lyrics would make for a welcome escape from the general pop pap, but their albums were very often marred by a tendency to twee eclecticism and over ambition. Superb musicians with a deep understanding of rhythms, style and melodic harmonies they were in the enviable position of having four genuine songwriters who had the confidence to experiment with their output. Very often one would ... read more
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