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20 best songs of July & August 2014

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 08:15 on 01 Sep 2014
20 best songs of July & August 2014
I currently find myself sitting back and reassessing why it is exactly I developed a passion for music and how this passion manifested itself in the art of making mixtapes, CDs or Spotify playlists.

Cheer up! The sun's gone in and Interpol's new album is streaming right now.

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 13:38 on 27 Aug 2014
Cheer up! The sun's gone in and Interpol's new album is streaming right now.
For those of you who eagerly greet every single new minute of darkness the ever-diminishing crawl of sunlight back to where it belongs affords us in late summer, rejoice because the decaying brown sludge of autumn has arrived a week earlier than planned...

That's right, Interpol's fifth album El Pintor is streaming over at NPR right now. Enjoy, you miserable little miscreants. I know I will.

Review: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 15:49 on 26 Aug 2014
Royal Blood - Royal Blood
Two things first. When a band is described as 'the saviour of guitar music' I immediately want to piss hard all over their bonfire. In fact I'll drink over 12 times my bladder capacity of Um-Bungo in preparedness.

The same people who describe anything as the 'saviour of guitar music' are the same narrow minded scum-bags that wince anytime they hear a Polish accent in a lift and believe that maybe there should be a separate island from our own where all convicts are sent to fight each other to the death.

An eye-opening guide to the best (okay weirdest) music I discovered in Japan

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 12:58 on 21 Aug 2014
An eye-opening guide to the best (okay weirdest) music I discovered in Japan
Konichiwa! I have returned from my travels in the East and have brought back vast quantities of riches. And by riches I mean brand new music. And by vast quantities I mean some.

Hopefully you won't have heard of any of these artists before... unless you are in fact Japanese, in which case you should find something else to read. If this miraculously doesn't come across as offensive, it will almost certainly be factually wayward.

The following artists represent the most gob-smacking, eye-wateringly insane and undeniably brilliant music I could find in my time in Japan. Some of these songs turned my tiny world upside down and I hope it reveals a little something about popular Japanese music today.

Popdin visits a Tokyo record store

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 20:36 on 19 Aug 2014


This is the first of a series of reports from Tokyo covering the eye-poppingly wonderful and confusing world of Japanese pop music. Here I venture into a couple of record stores and become somewhat distracted by an idol magazine.

You know, for research.

Everything you didn’t want to know about Iron Maiden and couldn’t be bothered to ask.

Posted by Matt Owen at 16:43 on 15 Aug 2014
Everything you didn’t want to know about Iron Maiden and couldn’t be bothered to ask.
Today is sad, sad day, for today is my final day at the helm of the good ship PopDin, before brutal tyrant Christopher Ratcliff comes back from his honeymoon and once more enforces rum, sodomy and the lash. We don’t know why. I mean, it’s a diesel ship, we don’t even *need* to row...

Anyway, I thought I’d take the opportunity to write about my favourite band ever: Iron Maiden.

Sure sure, they aren’t cool, but they are the best band. The only people who don’t like them are just saying that to get attention. Anyway, plenty has been written about Metal’s greatest ambassadors in the past, so I thought I’d take time to uncover a few lesser-known facts about the group. Let's rock!

Review: Purple Hill Witch – Purple Hill Witch

Posted by Matt Owen at 15:35 on 14 Aug 2014
Purple Hill Witch – Purple Hill Witch
There’s been something of a deficit in the ranks of doom in recent years. Despite renewed interest in the genre via a strange side-alley of hipsterdom (what could be cooler than a kind of music no-one listens to?) and events like the superb Desertfest, most of the attention has gathered around subgenres like sludge, drone and the deserty, 70s-influenced rock put out by bands like Halfway To Gone and their Small Stone Records compatriots.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, as frankly, all those types of music absolutely rule, but it’s still nice to come across a group like Purple Hill Witch who fly the flag for traditional, swooping, cackling, doom in all it’s completely insane glory...

Review: Andy Bull - Sea Of Approval

Posted by Lee Bennett at 16:37 on 13 Aug 2014
Andy Bull - Sea Of Approval
5 years have passed between Andy Bull's debut album and the recently released follow up Sea of Approval. Sure there have been collaborations along the way but 5 years is some gap for a reasonably underground artist. However, there has been something of a reinvention from indie folk troubador to the distorted synth-wielding electronic pop prince who has has emerged.

Bass Playas: Who are the greatest bassists in the world?

Posted by Matt Owen at 09:34 on 12 Aug 2014
Bass Playas: Who are the greatest bassists in the world?
Let’s be honest, no one really wants to be a bass player.

If your nickname at school hadn’t been "awkward dork", you’d be a frontman, blowing the clothes off the nearest member of the opposite sex with your tight leather pants and matching lungs.

If you could handle 6 strings without your fingers falling off you’d be a guitar hero, super talented and super sexy.

The bass is where the boring member goes, eschewing even the primal rage of the drummer for a life of A-pedal anonymity.

Review: Alias - Pitch Black Prism

Posted by The Ape at 16:49 on 11 Aug 2014
Alias - Pitch Black Prism
Alias is one of the fellas who founded the Anticon collective, a group who sought to bring both head spinning complexity and gloomy severity to Hip-Hop against a backdrop of muffled beats that blackened the fingertips just by listening.

The last time I listened to Alias he was making pleasant, pastoral head nodders. This time round he's clearly after a change of tack.