Dylan Llewellyn-Nunes Tour and Music News

Album Review: Twin Atlantic – POWER

Posted on 19 Feb 2020 at 8:24am

What would a band sound like if they were sent back in time like a musical Terminator and produced by Vangelis or Giorgio Moroder? And then maybe asked to soundtrack a movie?

It’s an unusual question, but then POWER is an unusual album in so many ways. It’s stylised, unapologetically so. Gone are many, if not all, the things Twin Atlantic are known for.

What you get is almost an 80’s soundtrack in three acts: Act One is all glitz and shimmer upfront; Act Two offers a more edgy middle, and then things get slightly self-absorbed in the final act. Let’s just say, it doesn’t sound like this movie has the happiest of endings.

Album Review: Surf Curse – Heaven Surrounds You

Posted on 25 Oct 2019 at 8:44am

Surf Curse are back with a very different record.

Heaven Surrounds You isn’t as spiky and raucous as Nothing Yet or Buds if you take it track-by-track, but that would be missing the point. Heaven… is a much more cohesive and comprehensive picture than those records. What it lacks in individual intensity it makes up for in holistic ambience and a wonderfully immersive sound. (Which is just a fancy way of saying this works better as an album.)

All the tracks hang together wonderfully, building a picture and feeling through lots of individually structured moments that slot together to form something greater than its component parts.

Album Review: Los Blancos – Sbwriel Gwyn

Posted on 23 Oct 2019 at 8:38am

Sbwriel Gwyn is a very unusual record, but not because it’s wholly in Welsh.

The language does add a dimension, but the ‘unusual’ really comes from what this record is born from. 
So many influences abound throughout, and not always from where you expect. As one track leads expectation in one direction, the next befuddles and surprises with where Los Blancos take you next.

A full Welsh language album leads to thoughts of pastoral beauty and evocative charm, fairly or unfairly, of Super Furry Animals’ Mwng or anything by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (even though they’re not in Welsh). It will have a lot to live up to.

Los Blancos have looked at Mwng, and the rest, and basically said ‘bollocks to that’. They’ve trudged over to a corner and created their own brilliant rock record.

What’s more apparent is their sound. Heavily distorted, often powerful and wonderfully lo-fi, Los Blancos have taken inspiration from some wonderfully diverse places. With hints of Mudhoney, Pavement, The Velvet Underground, Parquet Courts, Sebadoh and more peppered throughout the album, it feels like a homage to a sound that no one makes anymore.

Album Review: Ezra Furman – Twelve Nudes

Posted on 12 Sep 2019 at 8:32am

Twelve Nudes is different. Which is saying something considering Ezra Furman’s ever-shifting back catalogue.

You could play with its title and say it’s stripped-down, but that’s not why. So what’s different this time? Well, for one thing it’s lean. Clocking in at under 30 mins, there’s absolutely no fat or gristle anywhere. Good or bad, every track pushes its envelope as far as possible as quickly as possible. And that’s a joy, even if the moment isn’t tickling you.

The record opens hard with Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone. It has echoes of Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers with a sprinkle of The Stones’ ‘woo-woos’. As a statement of intent, it works and sets the scene by telling listeners to forget what you know as all bets are off.

Album Review: Dave – Psychodrama

Posted on 07 Mar 2019 at 10:02am

Everything about Psychodrama seems unlikely.

From the topics to the tone to the truths it depicts. Why? Because music surely has to hide behind something, doesn’t it? Psychodrama as a record works on two levels. First, you have what you can hear, and then you have what’s being said.

With what you can hear, it’s compelling. Unusual in tone and texture, its production powerful but not in a ‘big’ way. Instead, the power comes from subtle tones, reminiscent of RZA’s more experimental soundscapes. Like RZA, Dave uses the very slightest of flourishes to add unexpected impact, simple riffs that transport listeners to places, helping to build the story in the mind before a word is spoken.

What’s also fascinating are the structures; there’s seemingly not a chorus in sight, instead the songs have an experimental jazz, stream-of-consciousness feel whilst still having a driving, undeniable purpose – think Eddie Harris and Les McCann’s Compared To What or almost anything by Gil Scott-Heron.

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Album Review: Drenge – Strange Creatures

Posted on 21 Feb 2019 at 8:12am

If it ain’t broke, why fix it? It’s this type of thinking that holds so many bands back, but not Drenge. Not on Strange Creatures.

On their third album Drenge have taken the seemingly unusual decision to recreate an already unique sound. What’s more interesting is the direction they’ve chosen to take. With two influential rock records under their belt, an acoustic album wouldn’t be a surprise. Or a live one, or one that comes with a cuddly theme. But synth? Where did that come from?

The synth-pop sound at the heart of Strange Creatures still makes for a fantastic rock album at its core. Unlike, say, The Sunshine Underground’s fantastic XXX, on which they fully dissolved into their dance tendencies, Drenge have changed everything to remain more true to their sound than ever. Everything is grim, angry yet glossy (like the 80s). However, every neon lick is also filled with seething anger hidden amidst the disco rhythms and synth intensity.

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Album Review: Julia Holter – Aviary

Posted on 29 Nov 2018 at 12:48pm

Some artists challenge expectation, others challenge the form itself. Challenge it to be better. Challenge it to be different. Challenge it to mean something.

The word challenging often has a negative connotation when it comes to album reviews, usually suggesting  an artist has lost focus, but what no-one ever says is what challenging should mean; music should challenge on every level, and Julia Holter seems fully aware of that across every minute of her expansive new album Aviary.

‘Part Sinatra, part steamroller, wholly unstoppable’: Idles live at Leeds Stylus

Posted on 31 Oct 2018 at 10:05am

Where and when tonight did righteous fury become poetic, or frustration a shield or honesty a weapon? For Idles it’s not enough to want change, it requires action.

Ten Years After once said, ‘I’d love to change the world but I don’t know what to do so I’ll leave it up to you’. Idles may or may not know what to do, but there’s no way they’re leaving it up to anyone else. Here, they put the ‘Just Warriors’ into social justice warriors and the ‘up yours’ into anything relating to the status quo. In a live setting, their militancy gains real force.

Show opener Colossus is bigger than even its name suggests, the sheer intensity and ferocity incredible. With an even more sparse and brutal arrangement, the impact is even more insane and visceral than on the album. Similarly, during Never Fight A Man With A Perm, Idles show how their ability to re-purpose and re-arm the familiar cannot currently be matched. Their combination of known, unknown and unexpected lyrical beats repeatedly hit the mark and drag the crowd along for the ride. It’s part Sinatra, part steamroller, wholly unstoppable.

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Album Review: Nic Cester – Sugar Rush

Posted on 16 Aug 2018 at 9:01am

When posed with the question of what to do next, Nic Cester definitely isn’t someone who’d answer ‘if it ain’t broke why fix it’.

Instead, he’s attacking the question with a jackhammer. Jet were great, in so many ways. Their obsession with The Stones and The Faces meant everyone always knew exactly what to expect – dirty, laconic, bluesy rock and roll every single time. Rock came as standard.

Sugar Rush, as the name suggests, is not dirty or bluesy, and it’s rarely just rock and roll. What it is, is an insanely flirty dash through modern retro-soul, filled with a lot more pop than we might have expected from someone so steeped in trad rock stylings.

Album Review: Bodega – Endless Scroll

Posted on 10 Jul 2018 at 9:43am

Bodega are here to offend – or would be if they could bring themselves to take any of their targets seriously.

Sarcasm drips from every pore of their debut Endless Scroll; it would appear that, for Bodega, subtlety is for fools. In fact, the record is so bitingly sarcastic throughout that it’s almost confrontational. However, this level of arch, of knowing humour, makes quite an impression if you’re willing to get on board and take the journey with New York’s newest pseudo brats.

Opener How Did This Happen? is aggressive, brattish, silly (but then what isn’t on Endless Scroll) and yet, under all this, is actually very pointed, immediate and necessary; for Bodega, some things need to be said. Bodega Birth, on the other hand, is slurry and lived-in, the now laconic instrumentalism and disinterested vocals a mirror to the absurdities of the modern life they seem to be scorning.

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