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Old men terrified of the internet and their own mortality bring back TFI Friday

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 10:29 on 02 Jun 2015
Old men terrified of the internet and their own mortality bring back TFI Friday
In what can only be described as an act similar to firing a starter pistol into the gaping maw of infinite blackness, Channel 4 has commissioned a new series of TFI Friday after a gap of 15 years that will once again be presented by Chris Evans.

The new series will begin broadcasting from 12 June with a 90 minute special and the first guests booked to appear include Liam Gallagher, Blur, Ian Broudie from The Lightning Seeds, Mani from Stone Roses and ex-Oasis drummer Zak Starkey.

The motivation behind this move is to reassure everyone over the age of 40 that everything is just the way it has always been, Radio One is still as influential as ever, the music industry is perfectly stable, guitar music is still the best music genre of all time, computers are only used by nerds, Carling tastes great, cocaine is plentiful and Melanie Sykes will definitely have sex with you one day.

I'm sure a lot of readers will have a few questions about this, so I'll answer them for you now as best as I can...

20 best songs of April and May 2015

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 11:10 on 28 May 2015
20 best songs of April and May 2015
This collection of the best tracks from the past two months of musical adventuring contains genres as contrasting as mind-melting glitchpop, deconstructed gangsta rap and 90s grunge revisionism, however despite the wildly differing artists and styles contained within you can be assured that there is one dominant link between them all... General goodness. Or to be even more scientific... not shitness.

This week's best new albums pithily reviewed by a jackass

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 08:59 on 21 May 2015
This week's best new albums pithily reviewed by a jackass
Hello fans of music, mirth and flesh-pink coloured websites (I know who you are, I know where you visit after you leave, I look at the analytics you weirdos), welcome to our round-up of all the best albums released this week that aren't Faith No More's new record. Including condensed opinion pieces where I discuss new music by Hot Chip, Brandon Flowers, Paul Weller and other more interesting artists, before going off on startlingly wild tangents where I expose my various personal grudges held against anyone I've randomly antagonised throughout my week. Sound good? Great. Let's begin...

Review: Faith No More - Sol Invictus

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 07:33 on 18 May 2015
Faith No More - Sol Invictus
Just from the opening 30 seconds of Sol Invictus - the delicate piano, the military drumming, Mike Patton’s growling baritone - it’s clear that despite a gap of 18 years, Faith No More feel like they’ve never been away, and for me it feels just like coming home again.

Review: Mumford and Sons - Wilder Mind

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 09:06 on 11 May 2015
Mumford and Sons - Wilder Mind
Mumford and Sons have changed their sound, dropped the faux alt-country bullshit, lost their banjos and apparently bought some pre-distressed leather jackets from Matalan, so the least I can do is give their new album Wilder Mind a fair, open-minded appraisal.

However to save time and unnecessary agony, I’m going to write this review while listening to it for the first and only time, so it should theoretically only take an hour. If you think that Mark Beaumont, Simon Price or Alex Petridis are more professional than this you’re wrong and if they tell you any different they are fucking lying.

Review: Braids - Deep in the Iris

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 23:12 on 05 May 2015
Braids - Deep in the Iris
In just nine tracks, Canadian three-piece Braids cover an awful lot of ground, thematically, lyrically and, within its heart-tugging electronic niche, musically too. Similarly over the course of just three albums Braids have developed their sound to a point where each record stands identifiably as its own work, while maintaining a constant through-line of captivating honesty. With that in mind, Deep in the Iris is their strongest, most humane and beautiful album so far.

Review: Blur - Magic Whip

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 13:29 on 28 Apr 2015
Blur - Magic Whip
It's becoming increasingly clear that Blur are never going to produce anything as stirring as 'The Universal' or as era-defining as 'Park Life' or as fun as 'Song 2' or as weird as 'Beetlebum' ever again. That time has passed.

But we live in this weird era where no popular brand, franchise, or reasonably successful band are allowed to stay dead for long. Whatever the real compulsion for a new Blur album, internal and external desires meant that one day it had to happen. It was inevitable.

Review: Squarepusher - Damogen Furies

Posted by The Ape at 10:50 on 27 Apr 2015
Squarepusher - Damogen Furies
Squarepusher does two things really well, he makes crazy fast melodies and he makes furious percussion spasms. The first part of his career he tended to do both of these things at the same time but with his later albums the beats started to take a backseat. They calmed down on Hello Everything, got thin and tinny as Squarepusher explored melodic pop with Just A Souvenir and Shobaleader One and were altogether absent on the solo electric bass excursion Solo Electric Bass 1.

This led to the usual wistful grumblings of people pining for the chaotic tumblings of earlier work but it would appear that none were more pissed off than the drums themselves. They tried to make themselves heard on Ufabulum but the melodies had become the brash chords of 90s trance, drowning out everything in sheer bombast. On Damogen Furies the drums go for the throat.

HEALTH are back, thank fuck for that

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 23:38 on 20 Apr 2015
HEALTH are back, thank fuck for that
Update: Health's new album Death Magic is confirmed for release on August 7, and the news single 'New Coke' is available to watch on the HEALTH website. Now on with the only slightly out of date news story...

Review: Ryley Walker - Primrose

Posted by Leon Barton at 10:29 on 14 Apr 2015
Ryley Walker - Primrose
I put this album on my record player for the first time after listening to John and Beverly Martin’s Stormbringer. Being a touch cruel, that’s a bit like stopping off at your local chippy after spending the weekend dining at Rick Stein’s place. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mindset to appreciate Walker’s not inconsiderable talents upon first listen; all I could hear were the echoes of the 60’s and 70’s British folk greats upon whose shoulders this record quite clearly rests…