Rites of Spring

Rites of Spring – Rites of Spring

By the time punk found me, it had died and been born again many times over. It was 2002, and I’d just moved in to my first share house, a boxy little unit in Toowong filled with empty beer bottles, guitars and – if we’d been slack cleaning the dishes – a colony of maggots.…

Top 20 Albums of 2013

I didn’t write about music all that much in 2013, but I did set aside a bit of time to listen to music, so I thought I’d share the albums that I most enjoyed last year. Honourable mentions go to Future of the Left – How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident, which just…

Arcade Fire – Reflektor (2013)

I guess I’m just going to have to get used to being an Arcade Fire contrarian. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guys. I have a beard and wide-rimmed glasses and I wear skinny jeans, what did you expect? But I always found the smoky neo-Springsteen stylings of Neon Bible just that little bit…

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe (2013)

Originality is a lauded characteristic of modern music, but there’s something to be said for executing a time-honoured formula with enthusiasm and talent. CHVRCHES’ debut record, The Bones of What You Believe, is hardly original, but if, like me, your ‘80s childhood has left you with soft spot for synth pop, you won’t have any…

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks (2013)

Trent Reznor has always thrived on the uneasy border between pop and industrial music, his best work demonstrating his commingled talents for evoking sinister atmosphere and writing taut, catchy tunes. The former felt increasingly left by the wayside prior to Nine Inch Nails’ recently-aborted hiatus; both Year Zero and With Teeth hewed closer to pop…

Jay Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail

It’s perhaps too easy to compare Magna Carta… Holy Grail to Yeezus. Beyond the two men being the pillars of modern hip-hop (and these records being their first solo work since Watch the Throne), Jay Z practically demands comparison when he describes himself as a god or mentions listening to “Strange Fruit” (prominently sampled on…

Extended Cut: Kanye West – Yeezus (2013)

(Extended Cut posts are articles where I’ll exceed my usual 200-word limit to allow for more detailed discussion) ““Dark Fantasy” was my long, backhanded apology … It’s always going to be 80 percent, at least, what I want to give, and 20 percent fulfilling a perception.” –          Kanye West, on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,…

Extended Cut: Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (2013)

(Extended Cut posts are articles where I’ll exceed my usual 200-word limit to allow for more detailed discussion) Daft Punk’s hotly anticipated new album, Random Access Memories, doesn’t sound much like their previous albums, but this is hardly a surprise – none of Daft Punk’s albums sound that much alike. The vibe here is very…

James Blake – Overgrown (2013)

James Blake’s first full length was demonstrative of an artist capable of constructing beautiful, delicate melodies; complex, crystalline songs that evoked a general feeling of malaise and melancholy without getting bogged down in specifics. That complexity went hand-in-hand with a tendency for simple – often, overly simple – songwriting: it’s no coincidence that the strongest…