Here we are again, then. Summer over. September over. More releases to feast upon, which you may do so below. OK, so September was probably about half as good as August, but we've had the return of Part Chimp and Antipop, as well as a near-on amazing debut from Ramona Falls. Read below for what we thought of September, and maybe even click a few of them for Spotify links. You know how we "roll".
The Boxer Rebellion - Union
Says Dom Gourlay: "What's quite apparent is the way the band have used the years spent in their own studio honing and enhancing their sound, the opening 'Flashing Red Light Means Go' and aforementioned 'Evacuate' hinting at a more expansive, widescreen view than on any of their previous recordings. The guitar duels of Nicholson and Todd Howe ring clearer than ever before, particularly on the epic finale of 'Silent Movie', which cascades Union to a brooding, emotive climax. At times, there's a claustrophobic tightness that turns melancholic asides like 'Soviets' into billowing wombs of sonic bliss, while 'The Gospel Of Goro Adachi', with its semi-introspective lyrical assertions ("What's done is done to me...") coupled with a lilting waltz-like accompaniment is simply stunning in its execution."
HEALTH - Get Color
Says Andrzej Lukowski: "Perhaps the biggest step forwards is the introduction of emotion to HEALTH’s previously machine-tooled heart. Sometimes it’s quite hard to work out what the emotions are, but they’re unquestionably there: after a typical snarl of staccato noise, ‘Severin’ breaks into a nihilistic gallop of guitar and drums that cradles Jake Duzsik’s repeat intonation “all we lose, we learn from you”. Whatever removal of innocence Duzsik may be referring to or why we may be to blame is entirely unclear; but stretched over four minutes, that collision of end-of-days noise and quiescent sorrow is utterly intoxicating, a cocktail of molten music and sub-zero emotion. Paired with the running-on-empty flicker and roar of the preceding ‘Before Tigers’ and you have two tracks at the centre of the record that form a sad, pretty heart, one that pumps definition throughout Get Color’s slender half hour run time."
Taken By Trees - East Of Eden
Says Daniel B. Yates: "ecorded by Studio’s Dan Lissvik, Victoria Bergsman’s second album as Taken By Trees, after her departure from The Concretes and profile-enhancing guest on PBJ’s Young Folks, sees her relocating both her music and her practice to the Pakistani capital Lahore. Working with local Sufi musicians to create a slight and graceful collection of twee Scandi-folk tunes set to South Asian instrumentation, she achieves a steadiness of fusion that holds the two musical cultures in productive tension without ever feeling forced or self-conscious. And along the way she takes care to chart the undermining of her own Edenic myth."
Part Chimp - Thriller
Says Phillip Bloomfield: "Thriller feels absolutely huge. It sounds like it was recorded in a wind tunnel full of amp stacks, so full and immersive is the sound. Album highlight ‘Dirty Sun’ rumbles, screeches and crashes like an oncoming thunderstorm, anthemic vocals straining against the wind and the rain of guitar and battered percusion. Opener ‘Trad’ is detuned desert rock, powered by new recruit Tracy Bellarie’s (ex-Ikara Colt) furiously overdriven bass. The filthy raucousness of ‘Sweet T’ shows how fuzz and distortion should be used: as a system overload, the music straining to escape the confines of the speakers or headphones."
Paramore - brand new eyes
Says Paul Stephen Gettings: "This record isn't pushing any boundaries. And if you're already a critic, this isn't going to convince you otherwise. This is a realisation, and an affirmation, of Paramore's musical craftmanship and potential longevity. They have allowed themselves to grow and still retain the innocence and optimism that makes them so irresistible. Guilty pleasure or not, brand new eyes sees Paramore glad to be alive, and as Williams so aptly puts it, just getting started."
Vitalic - Flashmob
Says Sean Thomas: "It would be wrong to imply this is a groundbreaking LP, though. For his second album, Vitalic has resisted the common tactic adopted by many electro producers in mimicking a style of a particular period and concentrated on refinement over reinvention. His trademark sound is still watermarked all over the record, simply that everything feels that bit more ‘now’ and progressive.Whether or not it is as defining a release as OK Cowboy even feels somewhat incidental in the end, as Flashmob is easily the most enjoyable, addictive, air-keyboard-inducing electronic record that the year is likely to produce."
Antipop Consortium - Fluorescent Black
Says Rory Gibb: "What really impresses though is how complete all of this sounds: aside from the typically cocky lyrical references, there’s nary a hint that they’ve not been working together for the last few years. The chemistry between all three MCs is stronger than ever, and the beats on here act as a reminder of how to do leftfield hip-hop in the right way. It may well be their best yet – it’s barely been off my stereo in the two weeks since it arrived through the door. Fluorescent Black finds Anti-Pop Consortium standing up to recent work by the old guard and young pretenders alike, giving a firm middle finger and a knowing grin."
Girls - Album
Says Dom Gourlay: "What makes Album such a timeless experience, however, is the way it borrows from four decades worth of popular music, whether that be the more traditional heartbreak rock'n'roll epistle that is 'Ghost Mouth', the Beach Boys speed comedown that is 'Big Bad Mean Mother Fucker', or reverb-tinged highlight 'Morning Light', which actually sounds uncannily like The Boo Radleys during their once-maligned but now historically revered Ichabod And I phase that kickstarted their career."
Ramona Falls - Intuit
Says Joseph Rowan: "Intuit is, unfortunately, probably not a high profile enough release to be mentioned in the end-of-year lists nearly as frequently as any of the aforementioned albums. But it’s easily the equal of any of those releases, in terms of its breadth of vision and depth of emotion, and it really establishing Knopf as a supremely talented and truly heartfelt songwriter. Do him a favour and check it out."