Review: The Dø – Both Ways Open Jaws

Artist: The Dø
Title: Both Ways Open Jaws
Label: Village Green
Review @ The 405
Score: 9/10


While Helsinki-born singer Olivia Merilahti and Paris multi-instrumentalist Dan Levy could so easily have sought to repeat their success with more of the same, they made the braver choice. Still as hooked on new and exciting sounds as before but also full of determination to make the best possible music, The Dø have spectacularly surpassed themselves with Both Ways Open Jaws – indeed, they have produced one of the most inventive, accomplished and engaging albums of the year.

Read the rest of the review at The 405

Ready, Steady, Still Going: An Interview with Shonen Knife

Now here’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. Japan’s premier all-girl punk-pop noisemakers Shonen Knife are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and they’re doing so by releasing an album of Ramones covers. Osaka Ramones has got to be one of the most plain fun records put out by anyone all year and I was lucky enough to have Shonen Knife frontwoman Naoko Yamano answer a few of my questions about the project.

Read the full interview at The 405 here

[Video] The Dø – “Too Insistent”

Released in France back in March where it reached #14 in the chart, Both Ways Open Jaws is the second album by experimental pop duo The Dø. I’m lucky enough to be reviewing the record on its forthcoming UK release, and an early favourite is this incredible track “Too Insistent”.

Review: Shonen Knife – Osaka Ramones

Artist: Shonen Knife
Title: Osaka Ramones
Label: Good Charamel
Review @ The 405
Score: 9/10


Our often deep-seated cynicism about cover albums isn’t without justification. Routinely deployed by creatively exhausted bands to fulfil contractual obligations in the absence of new material, tribute records can be a dispiriting prospect. Then of course there’s the prospect of Japan’s premier punk outfit raiding the back catalogue of the Ramones…

Read the rest of the review at the 405
My interview with Naoko Yamano of Shonen Knife is coming soon

Review: Florian Lunaire Double EP Set

Artist: Florian Lunaire
Title: Spring/Summer 2011
Label: Records Records Records
Review @ The 405
Score: 6.5/10


A vocalist with somewhat hyped but mysterious London outfit Disappearers – who true to their name, are more than a little elusive – Florian Lunaire‘s solo plans are of the sort that straddle genius and madness. Borne out of a “frustration at failing to write a coherent album,” Lunaire has naturally chosen the altogether less ambitious target of writing “a collection of songs every season for the rest of [his] life.” These will be released individually and then compiled in pairs and whole-year packages, and while he may be accused of putting his gimmicks where his songs should be, this first set of his piano-led off-kilter pop tunes lends more evidence to the defence than to the prosecution
.

Read the rest of the review at The 405

Review: Pájaro Sunrise, “Old Goodbyes”

Artist: Pájaro Sunrise
Title: Old Goodbyes
Label: Lovemonk
Review @ The 405
Score: 3/10


Spanish lush pop project Pájaro Sunrise originally consisted of Yuri Méndez and Pepe Lopez, before the duo took on Mario Delgado as a third member. The trio disbanded mid-way through recording 2009’s sprawling Done/Undone, however, and now Méndez records with a larger group of musicians. Although a fleeting presence at just eight songs and less than thirty minutes, the resulting third LP Old Goodbyes struggles to hold the attention.

Read the rest of the review at The 405

 

Review: The Magic Lantern

Artist: The Magic Lantern
Title: A World in a Grain of Sand
Label: Hectic Eclectic
Review @ The 405
Score: 6/10


For all the sun-kissed frolicking depicted in their publicity photos, London folk fivepiece The Magic Lantern sound on their début album like very serious people indeed. A title like
A World in a Grain of Sand implies that this a record with important things to say and so it proves; Australian ex-pat Jamie Doe and his group have grappled eloquently with indifference, hope and mortality before even their opening number has drawn to a close.

Read the rest of the review at The 405

// Thought

"There's a flaming red horizon that screams our names..."

Jeff Buckley - "Eternal Life"

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