Given only a white disc with a Thomas White sticker on it I was left to guess what this might be. It happily ran on a loop in my car for a week before I had to know. I assumed it was a portfolio of a composer trying to get work creating soundtracks for films. It plays like an artist’s sketchbook. Almost every song is a different style and many of the songs don’t have vocals. Despite this sketchy, demo like feel it’s really rather enjoyable. It’s calming but not so much in the way of background music. You’ll feel very aware of what you’re listening to but it’s not intrusive.

I’d be hard pressed to say what I Dream of Black reminds me of as a whole. There are hints of Simon and Garfunkel in the opening track but then the second track presents more of an updated 80’s new wave sound mixed with a pounding, industrial sounding beat. There are definitely hints of Garbage… How can I fully describe this album? …Sod it, Read more

Ann WestDisgustingly pop. The kind of song you can predict after the first chorus. The lyrics are so vague it’s almost painful. It’s the kind of lyrics you’d get bored of writing after you’ve written your first few songs, which leads me to believe that this artist is either very new to this game, or extremely lazy.

Vague lyrics can work well to some extent because it allows the listener to apply their own story to the words but this is so generically pop that you wonder how she has the nerve to release this as a single without printing an apology letter on the sleeve.

Her bio reads like a speech from a miss world contest. “I am an avid environmentalist who cares about our planet and all life that lives upon it.” I do wonder if she’s trying to sell an image or her music. Her band is comprised of musicians who work with the likes of Robbie Williams and Sheryl Crow and she writes her songs with an award winning song writer. You simply cannot polish a turd.

I cannot believe it took three people to write this song.

The SplendourA huge pile of CD’s landed on my desk this morning and the decision of which one to listen to first is always a shallow one. Do I go with the name I saw on a sticker at the cash point? Do I opt for the shortest one? This time I went with the one with most appealing artwork. Like the days before Napster when you’d buy CD’s based on freakish artwork in the hopes that you’d find something interesting inside. I went with cardboard sleeve sporting a picture of an overweight suited man with a hole in his face. Read more

“Every day is just the same” are the words that blast my head off at the push of a play button. There’s no waiting around for this monster. It’s straight in with pounding drums and beefy guitars drenched in a hot pop punk sauce. Mmmm… I shouldn’t write when hungry, sorry. Anyway, Goldfinger are back! Not that they went away as such, they just spent so much time preaching about animal rights that the songs began to suffer. This album feels like coming home.

Their last effort Disconnection Notice was almost unlistenable. Possibly down to the fact that I’m a carnivore and therefore find it hard to sing along to songs about how evil I am. But with the return of original guitarist Charlie Paulson follows the return of everything I used to love about the band: Catchy melodies on a heavy backdrop. This steady paced album is vintage Goldfinger. It includes songs with the heaviness of Stomping Ground and their Ska roots are starting to show through again. Read more

Now, I call it The Red Album, in fact it’s the third album by Weezer simply called ‘Weezer’. The Red Album is the first Weezer album to include writing credits from every member of the band and also has lead vocals from Drummer Pat Wilson (‘Automatic’) and Guitarist Brian Bell (‘Thought I Knew’).

The Red Album seems to be more than anything a celebration of their rise to fame with many songs taking on fame, celebrity and the journey of the band as a subject matter. The best example of all three would be the six minute epic ‘The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived’. An odd choice for track two, but a great mini-opera in it’s own right. Read more

AlkalineThis new medium paced sounding Alkaline Trio is a refreshing new version of the band; more an evolution than the sound a conscious change. It’s still very much the same band; they just seem to be exploring their influences. Still, with the band signing to a major and production values being higher than ever it’s obvious that some will utter the words ‘Sell Out’.

From the indie-rock sounds of In Vein to a folksy ¾ time signature on Live Young, Die Fast I see a band who are beginning to transgress their Punk roots. The synthesisers are starting to take over. Read more

Green Day is playing dress up again! Some of you may have heard of The Network, well now there’s Foxboro Hottubs.

For those of you who don’t know, The Network is a band of mask wearing electro-punkers who sound suspiciously like Green Day. Their album Money Money 2020 was released just before Green Day’s massive album American Idiot changed so many teenagers in to red tie wearing Billie-Joe clones.

It’s no secret that Green Day’s method of writing an album is much akin to stabbing in the dark (basically they record upwards of ninety songs and see what sticks.) During that process it’s no surprise that some experimenting takes place. It’s that kind of experimentation that has lead to The Network and lately, Foxboro Hottubs. Read more

Rivers CuomoDefinitely interesting to any Weezer Fan. It gives you an insight into which parts of Weezer are exclusively Rivers’ input.

The first punch in the face though is the recording quality. A few minutes of this CD and I was left frustrated and very aware that my wallet was that little bit lighter. This isn’t a CD you’ll listen to in your car. In fact I’m not sure I’ll listen to most of it again unless for a quick look at what are very obviously demos. Read more

Green DayIn late 2003 an electronic pop-punk band mysteriously wearing masks appeared on Billie-Joe Armstrong’s record label under the name ‘The Network’.

Although there is no solid proof of identity there are strong arguments suggesting the band were actually Green Day in masks. Many think this to have been a bit of fun had by the band while finishing up 2004’s American Idiot.

Now, as Green Day is in the studio recording a new album for 2009 a band emerges from San Francisco under the name ‘Foxboro Hot Tubs’. Foxboro Hot Tubs fuse 60’s sounding garage rock with sounds very similar to green Day. There seems to be no pictures or information about the band online but many believe this to be another Green Day side project. Take a listen and judge for yourself at

Sonic Spells - ClingFirst off, let me say I loved this CD. I won’t keep you guessing by giving a vague review. Sonic Spells is less along the lines of songs you’ll be humming on the bus and more of an ambient journey. There’s certain music you’ll sing along to, dance to, drum on your steering wheel to and then there’s the other type; Music that serves as background music, sleeping music or something to chill out to. Cling fall in to this category.

Right now it’s serving as great music to write to. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be less devoted to an artist because you regard them as providing ‘mood music’ though. They’re just less likely to inhabit your iPod and more suited to driving home to after a loud gig.

To give you an idea they run along the same lines as Leftfield and Portishead but less emphasis on the Trip-hop. They display similar moods to Sigur Ros but closer to dance music. Now I think I’ll stop embarrassing myself by trying to describe a sound. All I can say is for some reason i can smell incense burning.