The best new rock albums you can buy this week
Status Quo, The Beach Boys and Nick Lowe are among the best new rock album releases you can buy this week
Status Quo - The Last Night Of The Electrics
"It’s tough to believe this is true Quo. However, there’s an energy and thrust here that shows the Francis Rossi-led new line-up, with Richie Malone stepping into the Parfitt gap, is not just going through the motions. In fact, they do a good job of representing the band’s heritage."
The Beach Boys - 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow
"The PR bumph boasting of this collection’s numerous previously unheard tracks is a bit misleading, in that the bulk of them are merely fresh stereo mixes of songs from the Smiley Smile and Wild Honey albums. It’s all lovely stuff and exquisitely performed, of course, rarely more so than the yearning version of Stevie Wonder’s I Was Made To Love Her and the faux soul of Darlin’, but to big it up as the next chapter after Pet Sounds serves only to burden some perfectly serviceable pop music with a benchmark it really shouldn’t be trying to reach."
Bloodclot - Up In Arms
"This album comes with just one request from frontman John Joseph: “Turn the volume way the fuck up.” It doesn’t take long to understand why. With Manic, a 140-second thrash-punk workout laced with Joseph’s unhinged cries and yelps, and Kill The Beast’s screeching guitar solos plucked straight from the 80s, this is brazenly aggressive music for uncertain times."
Nick Lowe - Reissues
"Ever the one for a pithy, self‑deprecating put-down, Lowe himself has described his post-Rockpile 80s output as “the wilderness years”. And while none of these six reissues can lay claim to be cherished masterpieces like Jesus Of Cool or, in more recent times, The Convincer, each one is a healthy trough of pop worth dipping into again."
RPWL - A New Dawn
"Somewhere over the last 40 years, prog lost its sense of theatre. Partly, no doubt, because many of its modern exponents can no longer afford to stage concerts in castles made of ice or floating amphitheatres. So the show that RPWL put on in their native Bavaria to showcase 2014’s Wanted album – complete with spoof TV reports, invading armour-clad legions and live sword fights – was a refreshingly ambitious affair that impresses on the DVD equivalent of this release."
Pete Flj / Terry Bickers - We Are Millionaires
"The gentle acoustic strums and electric licks, all wrapped in lush melodies and driven by Pete Fij’s worn yet honeyed voice, both mask and enhance the ennui here. Whether it’s bereavement (Over You) or empty feelings (I Love You), the album never descends into self-pity and the pair hit the jackpot on the title track: ‘The currency that we share is this melancholy - we are millionaires.’"
Psychic TV - Reissues
"Pagan Day feels like an attempt to revisit the strange gardens of the late 1960s, not very fashionable in 1984 – a lo-fi, bucolic, hazily psychedelic cover of Pearls Before Swine’s Translucent Carriages particularly feels like it’s channeling the spirit of Syd Barrett. These are winsomely fragile, tentative affairs, which would later evolve in a live setting. Baby’s Gone Away, which sounds like a Velvet Underground pastiche, is here sketched on guitar and organ, demo-style."
Paradise Lost - One Second
"Without question Paradise Lost’s most controversial album, it’s hard to believe this is the same band who released Draconian Times or The Plague Within as they eschewed all sense of heaviness and went for a more electronic, gothic tone. As such, many diehards still find it tough to stomach. But listening to the album now, one has to say it’s breathtaking."