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Ibibio Sound Machine wins the Dead Albatross Prize 2014

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 11:04 on 30 Oct 2014
Ibibio Sound Machine wins the Dead Albatross Prize 2014
Having a much better time than Young Fathers at the Mercury Prize ceremony is Ibibio Sound Machine. The very deserving winners of this year's Dead Albatross Prize!

Young Fathers look about as pleased to win the Mercury Prize as I would be

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 09:45 on 30 Oct 2014
Young Fathers look about as pleased to win the Mercury Prize as I would be
Congratulations to Young Fathers on winning the 2014 Mercury Prize. Don't worry lads, it turned out alright for Pulp.

Review: El-P + Killer Mike - Run the Jewels 2

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 00:12 on 28 Oct 2014
El-P + Killer Mike - Run the Jewels 2
It's been a shitty year for music. Sure there have been minor goodies, but in a year where not one single album has achieved platinum status (one million sales) it's easy to see why.

Review: Sunn O))) and Scott Walker - Soused

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 21:29 on 21 Oct 2014
Sunn O))) and Scott Walker - Soused
Sunn O))) and Scott Walker's five track, 50 minute long collaboration Soused is almost impossible to review, especially if you happen to be an idiot which unfortunately I am.

But that's never stopped me before, so here we go.

Sleater-Kinney are back! New single, new album, world saved

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 10:26 on 18 Oct 2014
Sleater-Kinney are back! New single, new album, world saved
UPDATE: Sleater-Kinney's official website now has worldwide tour dates listed (including UK gigs) kicking off from February 2015, confirmation of the new album No Cities to Love to be released 19 Jan UK and 20 Jan USA and you can download the new single from the above link. Triple score!

SURPRISE! Sleater-Kinney are back together. I'm not one for aggrandising minor events to ridiculously exaggerated levels but not since this fucking unbelievably wonderful news has their ever been such fucking unbelievably wonderful news. Things are going to change around here. There'll be no more moping around, lashing out at innocent bands just because they're not Sleater-Kinney. You're going to see a much cheerier Popdin from now on. (Bets on how long this will last? I'll put £5 on 'till next Wednesday').

Here's what we know so far...

All the new albums out this week ranked from moderately listenable to shit

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 21:00 on 15 Oct 2014
All the new albums out this week ranked from moderately listenable to shit
What last week's round-up lacked in hyperbole, this week's round-up makes up for with clinical precision and swearing.

Wrong about Spandau Ballet

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 19:42 on 13 Oct 2014
Wrong about Spandau Ballet
I’m going to look into this whole Spandau Ballet thing that seems to have blown up while I’ve been away...

This month sees the release of a Spandau Ballet greatest hits album called The Story, the inexplicable cinematic release of their equally inexplicably titled documentary ‘Soul Boys of the Western World’ and the news that ‘The Spand’ as Smash Hits probably used to call them are currently working on a new album with Trevor Horn.

So everyone’s paying attention to Spandau Ballet at the moment, BBC6 Music is all over them like a dull and particularly virulent rash and countless newspaper articles feature the headline "Yes it’s ‘True’ Spandau Ballet are back." Ha ha ha... twats.

What the hell has happened here? Why are Spandau Ballet suddenly ripe for reappraisal? Have you all lost your fucking mind?

I can only assume yes.

New albums released this week that are good

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 13:32 on 08 Oct 2014
New albums released this week that are good
Apologies for the rather blunt and inelegant title, but sometimes you just have to call a thing you dig with a thing you dig with.

This new feature is a bit of an experiment... Here I’ll be picking out the best new albums released each week and writing about them in my usual arbitrary and only marginally helpful way, however the difference is that these reviews will be mercifully brief.

For complete transparency I’m doing this for a number of reasons. Number one: I’m currently in New York for my day-job, so time is extra tight this week (shhh... don’t tell them I’m writing this on their dime). Number two: I’m having a major debate with myself about the value of music reviews. Does anyone actually care? By the time you’ve clicked on a review and begun reading surely you could already be listening to the thing for free on Spotify or YouTube anyway. (I would really value your opinion on this by the way.) Number three: there’s so many decent new albums out this week that I just don’t have the time to cover all of them.

So there you go, it’s a combination of time constraints, current trends and completism covered in a not so thin veneer of creative crisis. Boom! You wouldn’t get that from Pitchfork.

Which may be precisely why you’re about to click on your Pitchfork bookmark. But before you do, can I just say that just because… oh you’ve gone already.

It’s just you and me now laptop screen. What shall we do now? Go see a Broadway show, you say? You’re a fucking idiot.

Review: Electric Wizard - Time To Die

Posted by Matt Owen at 15:16 on 06 Oct 2014
Electric Wizard - Time To Die
A welcome return to the hall of the Wiz. In the past I've had a bit of trouble with Electric Wizard. For me they represented a triumph of style over substance, with album titles and t-shirts (and even a band name) that promised far more than they delivered.

Review: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 12:20 on 02 Oct 2014
Perfume Genius - Too Bright
Too Bright is a shot fired right across the bow of this curmudgeonly simpleton. All I can do is stare slack-jawed and open-eyed as it illuminates the sky beautifully and then proceeds to devastate every part of the 'Good Ship Sarcastic Bastard'.