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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'.

Review: Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL - PLECTRUMELECTRUM

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 11:42 on 30 Sep 2014
Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL - PLECTRUMELECTRUM
But I don't want to listen to two new Prince albums today! Wah! Wah! In fact if I was ever going to listen to two Prince albums in one day it would be Purple Rain and the one that's got 'Gett Off' on it. I think I've still got it on tape somewhere.

Okay fine, I'll pick the one with the slightly less terrible cover first.

Review: Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 11:01 on 28 Sep 2014
Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
Released after only half a week's teasing, Thom Yorke's second solo album Tomorrow's Modern Boxes is the first major release to be exclusively made available through a BitTorrent paygate.

So yeah, that service you pretend you don't use to watch new episodes of Game of Thrones or Faces of Death IV is now bringing you the Radiohead frontman's latest. Although you do have to pay for it, unlike that five year old copy of Photoshop you've yet to register.

Stay calm, do not run, back away from the internet slowly and diagonally...

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 12:34 on 27 Sep 2014
Stay calm, do not run, back away from the internet slowly and diagonally...
If however it's too late and you've already seen the Kaiser Chiefs modelling clothes on Amazon.co.uk, just curl up in a ball with your hands laced behind your neck. The foetal position should protect your vital organs and hopefully trick them into thinking you're already dead.

Review: alt-J - This Is All Yours

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 10:10 on 25 Sep 2014
alt-J - This Is All Yours
Dull, somewhat tuneless and dreadfully unoriginal. alt-J's follow up to their Mercury Prize winning An Awesome Wave would be disappointing if it wasn't so expected.