It is not all underground, under the radar or unsigned music that I have the pleasure of writing about. I am lucky enough to get to review some of the best major releases as well for The Ocelot. This months musical delights were as interesting as ever, although it is fairly obvious who wins album of the month (take a bow Biffy Clyro). Bringing up the rear was a lacklustre effort from The Courteeners. Comfortably mid table was an excellent Foals record, and Heavens Basement who are a bit too generic for any mass appeal.
Eagerly anticipated new Biffy record. And it is a 20 track double CD monster. Like Only Revolutions it takes a few listens but is worth sticking with as there is some stunning melodic rock on here. Veering from full on bangers to more delicate tracks it is very much the same formula as before. The writing is clever, although features the usual obtuse lyricism. Not likely to win over any sceptics, but I don’t care, I love it.
Argh. Frustrating! The Courteeners used to be good. St Jude is a great album. But this is pretty bland and uninspiring indie. It is over-polished and boring, with hackneyed guitar licks wedged together with some cheesy keyboard parts and leaden melodies. And sneakily all the best tunes are loaded at the top end of the album which means it drifts off to total mediocrity really quickly. One for Snow Patrol fans perhaps, otherwise avoid.
The title says it all. This is an album (featuring an Oxfordshire native) of anthemic, unadultered old school rock. Sounding like it stepped straight from the Californian streets of the late 80’s (think Tesla etc) they make current bands like Buckcherry and Black Stone Cherry sound revolutionary. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing. You will love it if you hark back to the days of bandanas, cowboy boots and bullet belts. Otherwise, you probable y won’t.
Hmm, should Foals go in the national or local section? Well, they are big enough these days to sit here in comfort. One of our patches biggest recent successes return with a great third record. It is unmistakeably Foals, first single Inhaler being the black sheep on the album (but still brilliant), the rest is a subtle progression from Total Life Forever. So more melody, more funky beats and more jangly guitars. Good work boys.