Opeth - Sorceress
“This is still a progressive rock record in most respects, of course. Mikael Åkerfeldt’s gift for welding exquisite melodies to complex, challenging arrangements is again much in evidence, but this is by far Opeth’s heaviest record since Watershed, and it’s a gentle change of tack that reaps huge dividends.” Read the full review here.
Ruts DC - Music Must Destroy
“With the help of lifelong fan Henry Rollins, who guests on the title track, and luminaries such as Kirk Brandon and Captain Sensible, Ruts DC re-emerge again with Music Must Destroy as a rockier proposition, re-channelling the militant, straight-ahead postpunk spirit of 1980, especially on Psychic Attack.” Read the full review here.
Van Der Graaf Generator - Do Not Disturb
“Do Not Disturb is every bit as strange, angular and unpredictable as anything the band did in the 70s. The passing of time has added weight and poignancy to Peter Hammill’s extraordinary voice, and the chemistry between him, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans verges on magical here.” Read the full review here.
Pixies - Head Carrier
“By accepting that the Pixies are unlikely to scale the lofty heights of yore, it’s entirely possible to enjoy Head Carrier on its own merits. Their ability to craft surreal punk-rock explosions infused with a pop sensibility remains in place, and it’s worth bearing in mind that, unlike its predecessor (a collection of three EPs) this sixth album was conceived entirely from scratch.” Read the full review here.
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Joanne Shaw Taylor - Wild
“Her tried and trusted songwriting has been given a hefty kick that she’s had to respond to; she’s got more expression in her voice and guitar playing, evident from opener Dyin’ To Know. And on the atmospheric I Wish I Could Wish You Back she’s also developed more control over setting and maintaining a mood.” Read the full review here.
The Mission - Another Fall From Grace
“When it comes to the music, the band at last sound reinvigorated with a re-discovery of their paisley-and-patchouli mojo. This is thanks largely to Wayne Hussey’s stated aim to create an album that sounds like the missing link between the Sisters Of Mercy’s First And Last And Always and The Mission’s God’s Own Medicine.” Read the full review here.
Quireboys - Twisted Love
“There are no weepy ballads here, but that doesn’t mean it’s a smooth ride. In fact the whole album drips with world-weary venom, from the can’t-believe-we-survived-this-long Hail Mary of opener Torn And Frayed to the big, punchy sour-apple anthem Life’s A Bitch.” Read the full review here.
Drive-By Truckers - American Band
“The old idea that rock music could change the world isn’t spoken about much these days. The USA in the year of Trump, though, has inspired Drive-By Truckers to make this lacerating denunciation of the state of their nation, which stands right up there with Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and their own best work.” Read the full review here.