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We’ve already witnessed the devastation footballers can wreak upon music, and there are arguably no two nations that have done more to mesh the two art forms than Italy and England. Italy at least have a legacy as practitioners of the beautiful game, of catenaccio, Paolo Rossi and Guiseppe Meazza. England have the 442 and Andy Carroll. Let the games begin!

Italy: Gianna Nannini & Edoardo Bennato – ‘Un’estate Italiana’

It would be remiss and frankly quite rude to talk about Italian music without at least once mentioning Giorgio Moroder, one of the architects of disco and one of the greatest electronic and non-electronic musicians of all time. He also wrote the song from Top Gun. More importantly, he’s written countless theme tunes for Olympics and World Cups, including this tune from Italia ‘90 which, while far from his best composition, is nevertheless about football and features some nifty prehistoric computer graphics. It was either this or Zucchero.


England: The Farm – ‘All Together Now’

It says a lot about the hysteria that grips England each time a major finals rolls around that the entire nation ricochets wildly between almost morbid pessimism and deranged optimism before their inevitable elimination in the quarter finals having bored their way through the group stages and the odd second-round tie against a depleted Latin American minnow. So it’s funny the same sense of random scrutiny isn’t turned to the songs that soundtrack these events, such as New Order’s excruciatingly…

After a small enforced absence, the Euro 2012 blog is back with easily the pick of the quarter finals where, half an hour in, we’ve already seen the failure of the “holy shit, how the fuck do we stop Iniesta?!” formation for the third time in as many games. As I am watching this match in my house, it is only fitting that today’s blog should feature house music, a style France is renowned for and Spain isn’t, the same way Spain is renowened for beautiful, flowing football and France is renowned for beautiful, flowing handball.

Spain: John Talabot – ‘Missing You’

I interviewed Barcelona DJ John Talabot a couple of weeks ago (it’s a short one, not worth posting) and he stressed how he’s never actually listened to a full house album at home – except maybe for Daft Punk – so with his debut record Fin he set out to make the kind of house record non-dance music fans can listen. By and large, he succeeded. He also told me how he came to Ireland for a festival last summer and didn’t bother bringing a jacket. The mad Spanish fucker.


France: Stardust – ‘The Music Sounds Better With You’

Everybody knows Daft Punk, and anybody who doesn’t isn’t worth talking to, but fewer will be aware of Thomas Bangalter’s brief late 90s side-project, Stardust, who had a big hit in 1998 with the classic ‘Music Sounds Better With You.’ That’s more or less…

Sputnikmusic is currently holding a Linkin Park contest. One lucky winner will receive a CD copy of LIVING THINGS signed by the band, a pair of Rob Bourdon signature Vater drumsticks, a Linkin Park t-shirt and band stickers & buttons! Also included is a one year membership to the official Linkin Park fan club:  LP Underground. Members receive early entrance to Linkin Park shows, chances for Meet & Greets, access to concert pre-sale tickets and best seats, exclusive music, live video chats with band members and much more. So, go here for more details.

We are also still accepting applications for anyone interested in becoming a Contributing Reviewer for this site. To submit your applications (and to read the submission guidelines), head here.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 19, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ashanti – Braveheart (Entertainment One Music)
Beat Connection – The Palace Garden (Moshi Moshi/Tender Age)
Blood On The Dance Floor – Evolution (Dark Fantasy Records)
Broadway – Gentlemen’s Brawl (Uprising Records)
Can – The Lost Tapes (Mute)
Chantal Claret – The One, The Only (The End Records)
Chelsea Grin – Evolve (Razor & Tie/RSM)
Christian Loffler – A Forest (Ki Records)
Delta Rae – Carry the Fire (Sire / Wea)
Del the Funky Homosapien and Parallel Thought – Attractive Sin (Parallel Thought Ltd)
Devin Townsend – By A Thread: Live In London 2011 [CD/DVD] (Inside Out – EMI)

John Terry celebrates another successful moon landing.

After a slightly surprising opening defeat to hosts Ukraine, Sweden are aiming to rescue their campaign with a result against England, to whom they’ve never lost a competitive game. England, for their part, played out the bore draw of the tournament to date against  a French side who may struggle to score goals.

Sweden: Hardcore Superstar – ‘Bag on Your Head’

If there’s one thing the Swedes do better than anybody else, it’s heavy metal of any subgenre. Like everything else, they were leading lights on the hair metal scene, and were also at the forefront of the glam revival of the ’00s. Hardcore Superstar were the best of the lot, and the hilarious ‘Bag on Your Head’ is one of the catchiest tracks on their 2005 self-titled record.


England: The Wildhearts – ‘My Baby is a Headfuck’

The Wildhearts toughened up their image and beefed up their riffs in the early ’90s, dumping the glam stylings that were rapidly going out of fashion, yet they were a glimmer of light for the pop-metal genre during a decade when a chorus might as well have been contraband in rock music. ‘My Baby is a Headfuck’ is taken from the group’s classic 1993 album, Earth vs the Wildhearts and features the last ever appearance on record by the legendary Mick Ronson.

Some of you may remember me gushing over a band named Thera. I reviewed their debut album and heaped all kinds of praise upon it. I even got permission to stream three of their songs on the site (a stream that’s still active). It was basically a hype-machine blitz on my part, and despite those that pushed back and told me I was ‘overrating’ the album, I still don’t regret it and If This is the End still stands as one of my favorite albums of that year. Apparently, the band are just about set to release a new EP and ‘We Were a Housefire’ is the first track from the album. It definitely picks up right where the previous release left off, but it is also shows a definite improvement in sound and song writing. Of course, the thing that still lends Thera most of their unique sound is the vocals of Stephanie Plate. Her voice has definitely become a little more polished compared to the debut album, but enough of her personal flair is still there. Take a listen and then check out the three songs from the previous release too.


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What better way to warm up on the first day of winter than to head along to your local sweat-box and listen to some quality music? On the said date in 2012, I thought I’d take in an interesting trio of acts put together at Festival Hall in Melbourne, with seemingly the only thing linking The Jezabels, Lights & Snakadaktal being that all three outfits contained female vocalists.

First up it was the distinctively named young local quintet Snakadaktal. Playing a kind of folky brand of indie-pop, the band impressed me with their tight musicianship and overall maturity. Sure, their sound is probably not suited to a 5,000 odd capacity venue, but they thankfully didn’t compromise their style for the sake of the occasion. Interestingly, Snakadaktal ordered their set so as to initially suggest to a potentially unknowing crowd that Sean Kelly was the outfit’s only vocalist. Of course, those in the know would anticipate Phoebe Cockburn taking over for the most part, even if her voice seemed just a bit too fragile in a live setting. Overall, however, this was an impressive support slot for an up-and-coming band whose forthcoming debut LP should hopefully make for a rewarding listen.

Next up was Canadian electro-pop artist Valerie Poxleitner… Better known as Lights. Since her sound wasn’t exactly similar to the night’s headliners, it was always going to be fascinating as to how the crowd would take the diminutive brunette… And I think it’s fair to say that…

Now that Ireland have become the first team to be eliminated from the competition (the Dutch can still mathematically do it) after meekly surrendering to the Spanish last night, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re still the best in the world at singing and waving flags and singing and waving flags at the same time, so here are two examples of the deep breadth of influence Irish folk music has had on the heavy metal genre. Allez Shevchenko!

France: Aes Dana  - ‘Mer de Glaces et t’Ombre’

With Ireland now out of the tournament while the cheating French remain, it’s with no little irony that we return to the French doing what the French do best: stealing from Ireland what is rightfully Irish. To be fair, Aes Dana are one of the more imaginative Celtic metal acts around, and they do at least sing in French, so they get some points. But not many.


Ukraine: Drudkh – ‘Everything Unsaid Before’

Elusive Kharkiv act Drudkh are probably the best-known of Ukraine’s four black metal acts, all of which are fronted by Roman Saenko, who must be fucking knackered at this stage. ‘Everything Unsaid Before’ is taken from their 2009 album Microcosmos and is a perfect example of their bleak take on folk and black metal.

The last time the site received a major upgrade was in January, when we updated our server architecture. Although there have been a few bumps along the way, overall the change has resulted in increased speed and stability for Sputnikmusic.

This summer, I plan on fixing several persistent bugs and will implement 1-2 ‘major’ changes to the site. I have a provisional list of modifications I’m considering (enhanced genre system, improved news, revised message boards, enhancements to lists, revision of user profiles, design changes), but I wanted to give everyone the chance to provide their feedback on what they think the most valuable addition to the site would be before I start the process. Looking forward to reading your comments below!

Enter now for your chance to win an exciting gift pack from Linkin Park to celebrate the June 26th release of their new album LIVING THINGS. One lucky winner will receive a CD copy of LIVING THINGS signed by the band, a pair of Rob Bourdon signature Vater drumsticks, a Linkin Park t-shirt and band stickers & buttons! Also included is a one year membership to the official Linkin Park fan club:  LP Underground. Members receive early entrance to Linkin Park shows, chances for Meet & Greets, access to concert pre-sale tickets and best seats, exclusive music, live video chats with band members and much more.  http://lpunderground.com/

The only thing you have to do is e-mail us (at Sputnikreviews at gmail dot com) and let us know who you think it would be cool to see Linkin Park collaborate with and why.  The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only and will end on July 9th. Please use the words Linkin Park Contest as your subject line.

Multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning band Linkin Park will release their forthcoming album LIVING THINGS (Machine Shop Records / Warner Bros. Records) on June 26th.  The album is spirited, energetic, daring and unafraid to hybridize the past, present and future: http://bit.ly/JGZzmX.  Pre-order LIVING THINGS via: http://livingthings.linkinpark.com/ and check out the exciting promotions surrounding the album below:

Photographer: James Minchin

Linkin Park on Honda Civic Tour With Incubus

Linkin Park will be co-headlining the 2012 Honda Civic Tour with Incubus,…

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Today’s 1-1 draw between Croatia and Italy (how the Italians managed to screw that up I do not know) means the stage is set for a three-way dogfight for the two qualifying spots in the group – or possibly four-way, if Ireland manage to pull off an unlikely win over the Spaniards. As the saying goes, “Spain have Xavi and Iniesta, but Ireland have Long-Cox.” I can neither confirm nor deny these rumours.

Spain: Diabolus in Musica – ‘St Michael’

Diabolus in Musica are arguably the biggest deal in Spanish metal, combining thrash and symphonic metal with male and female vocals. ’St Michael’ is taken from their Metal Blade Records debut Secret, which was released in 2010.


Ireland: Wizards of Firetop Mountain – ‘Onwards Toward the Sun’

Old school metal outfit Wizards of Firetop Mountain hark back to an era (the 70s) when a man wasn’t ashamed to rock a poodle perm alongside dirty stubble and a denim waistcoat while singing about warlocks or some shit. The Wizards have yet to release a full-length record, but their first major single will stick to yer ears so hard you’ll be chanting it for months.

Saturday saw the unfancied Danes do a 1992 and beat the Netherlands, thanks in no small part to the inspired leadership of Niklas Bendtner, the uncrowned king of Denmark. The Portuguese didn’t fare so well, dominating for spells against Germany before going down to a scrappy Mario Gomez goal (is there any other kind of Mario Gomez goal?) This hotly anticipated duel with bring together two of European football’s most hypnotic hairstyles – Fabio Coentrao and Nikla Bendtner.

Denmark: Mercyful Fate – ‘Come to the Sabbath’

God bless King Diamond – wonderful falsetto, not so great on spelling. ‘Come to the Sabbath’ is taken from the band’s 1984 classic Don’t Break the Oath, and is a beautiful and evocative account of Tony Iommi’s ultimately successful attempts to woo Ronnie James Dio away from Rainbow.

Portugal: Moonspell – ‘Scorpion Flower’

Moonspell are arguably Portugal’s most successful heavy metal export, having played virtually every style on the metal spectrum since forming in the mid-nineties. ‘Scorpion Flower’ is one of their gothier productions, from 2008’s Night Eternal.

Poland: Behemoth – ‘Prometherion’


Russia: Abominable Putridity – ‘The Anomalies of Artificial Origin’

2-0 Czech Republic within six minutes. The Greeks are going bust!

Greece: Τρυπες – ‘Το Τρενο’


Czech Republic: Markéta Irglová & Glen Hansard – ‘If You Want Me’

My introduction to dredg was as them as a live band in the fall of 2005. At that time dredg were already over a decade into their career and it wasn’t until almost a decade later, last night, that I was able to see them again, but it was not to celebrate a new album or a long tour. Instead, it was to hear their 2005 album Catch Without Arms which was played in its entirety. So in a way it was almost as if those seven years in between performances was instantly zapped out of existence for an hour and a half on a cool June night. Their set began promptly at 10:20 PM to a packed and sweltering Roxy. Having seen The Gaslight Anthem play the small Sunset strip club only weeks earlier, it seemed as though capacity was raised by over one hundred for dredg, as the floor was packed into an airtight mass of young and old. Dredg knew exactly why we all were there and got things started with “Ode To The Sun”. The crowd surged forward, creating an ever tightening knot of raised voices and pumping fists. As they worked their way through the album, it was obvious that dredg had thoroughly prepared for the event as every interlude and sample used on the studio recording was heard blaring out of the PA in an eerie weirdness between songs, even when the band themselves were lightheartedly conversing with the audience underneath the noise.…

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Today things will likely get bad for the English as French-speaking people gear up to grab an unapologetically boring 1-0 victory over them. In a move that would make the proudest indie rock journalist happy, there is a weird layer of self-awareness going around in the English press for this game. Thanks to it, I have never been more optimistic that I am totally not optimistic about our chances in this game. I am daring to dare to not dare to dream. Also, since the majority of our userbase is American, please don’t make fun of us today. It’s not our fault.

Also, something something about the French.


England: Los Campesinos! – Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions)

Pretty hard to know what to choose for this one but if the nation’s hopes have been toned down to some sort of footballing nihilism, we should probably call upon Los Campesinos! to make thinly-vieled analogies comparing the sport to sex and the disappointment in both areas. I honestly think if this was our national anthem, our team would sing it proudly before games. Contrary to popular belief (and much to Gareth Campesinos!’ massive dismay), Los Campesinos! are not a Welsh band. This has happened before- I think the sadly misplaced Ryan Giggs would be happy at home in this band.


France: Air – ‘Run’

France offer us the best in music to…


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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