Muse – Dead Inside

In short, it’s not bad. They’ve foregone some of the electro madness of the previous record on this one, although it’s so hyper-produced that it’s hard to pick out anything authentic about their current sound.

For fans of: Muse.

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JAWS – Bad Company

New single from Birmingham’s JAWS. They seem to have successfully married a grungier sound to their earlier shoegaze style. I really like this one.

For fans of: Terrorvision, Bush.

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Tired Lion – I Don’t Think You Like Me

…but I do! Further proof, if it were needed, that Australia is now a major supplier of decent bands.

For fans of: Wolf Alice, Metric

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JEFF The Brotherhood – Black Cherry Pie

There’s something awful, and yet admirable about the combination of hard-rock guitars and flute. I can’t say that I’ve ever found myself in the studio saying “what this song needs is some flute”, but apparently that happens.

For fans of: Jethro Tull, ZZ Top.

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April Contention 2015

The April playlist.

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Millencolin – Egocentric Man

Exactly what you’d expect from ageing Swedish punk-rockers Millencolin. You’ve got to admire their sheer consistency.

For fans of: Pop punk

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Chastity Belt – Time To Go Home

More feminist pop-punk coming out of Seattle, this time from Chastity Belt. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band look so deliberately un-cool — clearly they don’t give a fuck. Which is great! The song itself is a bit of a slow burner. Give it time to get going, and you won’t be disappointed.

For fans of: Tacocat, Seattle-based feminist pop-punk, early 90’s clothing disasters.

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Protomartyr – Blues Festival

“Blues Festival” from Detroit’s Protomartyr. This features guest vocals from Kelley Deal (The Breeders, sister of Kim Deal). Your brain will already suspect her presence before you realise who is singing backing vocals. Then you’ll pat yourself on the back for recognising her.

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Garbage – The Chemicals

I’m really unsure whether the current Garbage comeback is a good idea or not. Both “G” and “Version 2.0″ were outstanding albums, but nothing since then has hit the same heights, and with so much time since their last release, I thought that they might have some better tunes kicking around. Instead, we’re hearing a bunch of collaborations with friends that hang around the LA area, none of which really stand out. “The Chemicals” features Silversun Pickups’ Brian Aubert on vocals, but frankly, he might as well not be there. Either his style is too similar to Shirley Manson’s (a distinct possibility), or his contribution is simply inaudible. Butch Vig also seems to have produced a very industrial sound that, although not out-of-character for Garbage, fails to marry the pulsing electro-beats and crunching guitars that made their early work so very, very good.

For fans of: Garbage, Silversun Pickups, tired rock collaborations.

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Cotton Wolf – Moxa

Some electro-jazz from a Welsh duo called Cotton Wolf. Personally, I think it’s nice and relaxing.

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