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Showing posts from December, 2018

Top Ten Albums Of 2018 - Number 7

A note before I start. This is not the definite list of the best albums of 2018, but my personal top ten.I have only included albums that I own, and there will be notable and popular records not in this top ten simply because I have neither the time or inclination to listen to them all. It's okay to disagree!

With that said here's my selection for number 7.

Ruins by First Aid Kit


The fourth album from the Swedish sisters who sound like they grew up in Nashville, not Scandinavia, and which arrives three and a half years after the excellent "Stay Gold", is another step forward.
Although it is an advance to their craft and career, to do so it has to look back, dealing mainly with the collapse of Klara Söderberg's relationship. As is often the case, misery makes for great art.

It kicks off in great style with "My Rebel Heart" which features an nice change of groove about two thirds of the way through along with a western themed trumpet solo on the outro.

This giv…

Top Ten Albums of 2018 - Number 8

A note before I start. This is not the definite list of the best albums of 2018, but my personal top ten.I have only included albums that I own, and there will be notable and popular records not in this top ten simply because I have neither the time or inclination to listen to them all. It's okay to disagree!

With that said here's my selection for number 8.

Elastic Days by J Mascis

My review from a few weeks ago outlines why the Dinosaur Jr. main man's latest is in my top ten.



Arriving on the iconic Sub Pop label 2 years after the very good "Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not" by Dinosaur Jr, the latest solo album from the alternative rock legend, J Mascis, is full of exactly what you'd expect. Catchy chord progressions, world-weary vocals and face-melting solos feature throughout. 

Whilst the vibe and sound is much more relaxed and laid back than Dinosaur Jr's heavier and more aggressive work, unsurprisingly the quality bar is just as high. Ever since Dinosaur Jr…

Top Ten Albums Of 2018 - Number 9

A note before I start. This is not the definite list of the best albums of 2018, but my personal top ten.I have only included albums that I own, and there will be notable and popular records not in this top ten simply because I have neither the time or inclination to listen to them all. It's okay to disagree!

With that said here's my selection for number 9.

Living The Dream by Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators


Released in September of this year, hear is my review from then which hopefully explains why I think this is a fantastic rock album.


The second release in short order to feature the vocal talents of Myles Kennedy after Alter Bridge's "Live At The Royal Albert Hall", (review here ), and the fourth 'solo' studio album by Slash.

Right from start, as the sinuous opening riff fades in, this album rocks hard and keeps going. Brent Fitz's drumming crackles with energy, the production is impressive and muscular throughout, sounding like a mode…

Top 10 Albums Of 2018 - Number 10

A note before I start. This is not the definite list of the best albums of 2018, but my personal top ten.I have only included albums that I own, and there will be notable and popular records not in this top ten simply because I have neither the time or inclination to listen to them all. It's okay to disagree!

With that said here's my selection for number 10.

Live At Hammersmith by The Darkness


If you're only familiar with The Darkness from the huge hit "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" then this 19 track live set would be a good place to get a feel for the band since they re-formed in 2011. The live setting has always been the best place to enjoy this band as they put on a great show, with Justin Hawkins a superb front man.
The tone is set from the outset as the band begin with "Open Fire" which whilst it bears some tonal similarity to "She Sells Sanctuary" it rocks a whole lot harder. 



The segues straight in to the monster power ballad from their…

Def Leppard - Live In Glasgow

Musical trends come and go, but when you've sold as many albums as Def Leppard you are to a certain extent immune from the shifting sands of the taste makers. 

Never a band beloved by the music press, the rock legends have always relied on their craft to find them the fans, rather than the hype machine.

Having last seen them as one of 40'000 at their homecoming gig in Sheffield on 6th June 1993, I was looking forward to seeing if they still had 'it'.

The answer is a resounding yes. From the minute Phil Collen emerged into a red spotlight to play the opening riff to "Women" it was clear that this was going to be good. The band sounded fantastic, the guitars squealing, Joe Elliot's voice still husky and the layered harmonies hitting the spot. 

This tour was billed as "Hysteria 2018" and was the first time other than their 2013 Las Vegas residency that they'd played the 25 million selling album in full. This was not false advertising. 


"Women&q…

Neil Young - Songs For Judy - Album Review

Whilst Shakey's new output has been patchy to say the least over the last few years, the Neil Young Archives keep dispensing the goodness. After "Hitchhiker" last year we've already had "Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live" in 2018. Now we get a 23 track, 22 song single disc of solo live Neil with a difference.

A mono soundboard mix recorded on cassette and then transferred to reel-to reel for posterity from a 1976 U.S. tour by photographer/guitar tech Joel Bernstein. In conjunction with his friend Cameron Crowe, (yes, that Cameron Crowe) they compiled the best versions that comprise this release.

It is a real treat. The track listing is superb with plenty of lesser known gems alongside the staples. "White Line", which didn't finally appear on record until 1990's superb "Ragged Glory". 

"Human Highway" which Neil introduces with a comment about the abortive attempts to get it recorded.


"Give Me Strength" which surf…