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Sputnik Music, in conjunction with Further Seems Forever, is currently giving away two tickets to their New York City concert on Friday night. Check out the contest page and make a submission.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of February 5, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alpha Tiger – Beneath The Surface (Century Media)
Bjork – Bastards (One Little Indian)
The Bronx – The Bronx (IV) (ATO Records/Red)
Chris Stamey – Lovesick Blues (Yep Roc Records)
Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Descension (Hundred, Handed Inc.)
Darkstar – News From Nowhere (Warp)
Dog Bite – Velvet Changes (Carpark Records)
Eels – Wonderful, Glorious (Vagrant Records)
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse (Canvasback/Atlantic)
Funeral For A Friend – Conduit (The End Records)
Grouper – The Man Who Died In His Boat (1-2-3-4-GO!)
Harry Connick Jr. – Smokey Mary (Sony)
Hayden – Us Alone (Arts & Crafts)
Holly Williams – The Highway (Georgiana Records)
Jim James – Regions Of Light And Sound Of God (ATO Records/Red)
Joe Budden – No Love Lost (Entertainment One Music)
Josh Groban – All That Echoes (Reprise)
Matt Pond – The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand Out (BMG)
Misfits – DEA.D. ALIVE! (Misfits Records)
Necrowretch – Putrid Death Sorcery (Century Media)
Pacal Pinon – Twosomeness (Morr Music)
Plastician – Dubstep Allstars: Vol. 10 (Tempa)
Red – Release The Panic (Provident)
Richard Thompson – Electric (New West Records)

Congratulations to Sputnik Music user Asaf. You have won two tickets to the upcoming Further Seems Forever concert. Unfortunately, the concert has been postponed due to a nasty storm in the New York area. The new date has yet to be decided.


—Contest is Now Closed—

Do you want to win two tickets to Further Seems Forever’s upcoming show in New York? Just answer the following question by the end of Wednesday February 6th:

Which of Further Seems Forever’s vocalists has been your favorite and why?

E-mail your answer to us and include ‘Further Seems Forever Contest’ in the subject. It’s that easy.

E-mail your answer to: Sputnikreviews at Gmail.com

The show is taking place at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Friday February 8th at 7:00 pm. You must be 16 or over to attend the concert (unless accompanied by an adult). Tickets are available to purchase through Live Nation.

—Contest is Now Closed—


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Despite a number of unsuccessful forays into the performing/making/selling music trench, I thought I’d have another go anyway. 1902 is comprised by myself on bass and backing vocals and two members of local heroes The Trestles filling out the rest of the line-up. Not much else I can say just yet. The EP was recorded and released 19/01/13, and frankly I figured at least a few of you would be interested.

Feedback etc welcome and ultimately I hope you just enjoy it. It is available for free download.

Thought Industry – Mods Carve The Pig: Assassins, Toads And God’s Flesh (1993 – Metal Blade Records)


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– Horsepowered

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— Daterape Cookbook

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— Smirk the Godblender

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– To Build a Better Bulldozer


2013 marks the twenty-year anniversary of the release of Thought Industry’s Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God’s Flesh. It was an album that was so ahead of its time that’s there’s still really nothing that sounds like it. Take the abrasive, confrontational nature of Ian McKay and Minor Threat, mix it with a bit…

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I’ll just come right out and say it to set the tone of this post: Quorthon is arguably the single most influential person in extreme metal. I could name at least two genres and countless bands that would not be the same – let alone even exist – had he not decided to get drunk and record Bathory’s self-titled debut in 1984. Taking thrash, speed metal, classic heavy metal, and even NWOBHM and pasting it with imagery so vivid as that of Mercyful Fate and Venom circa the early-1980’s and lyrical themes from years even before that, then mashing it all up in a mix of static, fuzz, and reverb he had essentially invented black metal. Sure, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, and the oft-venerated Venom were around or had been recording in the same era (Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales was recorded around the time Bathory was released and Hellhammer had been playing some very thrashy first-wave black metal since 1983, eventually to disband and become Celtic Frost), but the spirit of what black metal was to become was most definitely in the sound that Bathory developed. The genre is essentially a mangled spin-off of thrash – especially in its early days – but Bathory helped to bring it to places that would really change the game for this fledgling sound, and long after Quorthon had moved onto bigger and better things his creation flourished, for better or worse.

Rather than get into an argument over the details of the…

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of January 22, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Aaron Neville – My True Story (Blue Note Records)
Adam Ant – Adam Ant Is The BlueBlack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter (R.E.D. Distribution)
Alasdair Roberts & Friends – A Wonder Working Stone (1-2-3-4-GO!)
Bad Religion – True North (Epitaph)
Biome – Swamped (Mindset)
Boddika – Soul What (Remixes) (Swamp 81)
Camper Van Beethoven – La Costa Perdida (429 Records)
Carrie Rodriguez – Give Me All You Got (Ninth Street Opus)
Cluekid – Dolphin/Fossil (Aquatic Lab)
Continents – Idle Hands (Victory Records)
Corner Crooks – Timetravel (Footsteppa Records)
Dante – November Red (Massacre Records)
Darius Rucker – True Believers (Capitol Records Nashville)
Dawn Richard – Goldenheart (101 Distribution)
DRGN KING – Paragraph Nights (Bar None Records) Irving Tan
Envinya – Inner Silence (Massacre Records)
Esben And The Witch – Wash The Sins Not Only The Face (Matador Records)
Everything Everything – Arc (RCA)
Fall City Fall – Victus (Victory Records)
FaltyDL – Hardcourage (Ninja Tune)
Fidlar – Fidlar (Mom & Pop Music)
For All I Am – Skinwalker (Equal Vision Records)
Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)
Gary Allen – Set You Free (MCA Nashville)
God Module – Empath 2.0 (Metropolis Records)
The Growlers – Hung At Heart (Everloving)
Guided By Voices – Down By The Racetrack (GBV Inc)

10. Rush – Clockwork Angels

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Rush’s latest musical endeavor was without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. Clockwork Angels, at its core, is a reflection of both the trio’s past artistic accomplishments as well as their latest aspirations. It’s a musical collage of both old and new characteristics, formulating yet another captivating release from the biggest name in Progressive Rock today. Clockwork Angels shows Rush returning yet again to a conceptual theme, one that revolves around a young man’s quest through a world consumed by chaos. We, as the listeners, journey along with him, encountering pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, as well as discovering lost cities and everything else that inhabits this peculiar realm of sci-fi fantasy. As for the instrumental aspect of the album, we continue to find Rush steering further away from the lengthy compositional epics, but while still managing to retain the same level of artistry. Instead of having us dwell into elongated voyages of elaborate musicianship, Rush have compressed all of their eclectic range of influences into a more accessible collection of dynamic hard rock songs. Clockwork Angels tends to have its foot in a lot of musical territories once explored by Rush, with each song exhibiting an array of stylistic variations that incorporates everything from their typical Progressive and metal sounds, to Fusion-esque solo passages, and spacey atmospheres. It’s rather comforting to see that…

30. The Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud

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It’s a slick and polished album, the closest he’s ever come to mainstream rock and – dare I say – pop. While an album as polished as this may be an area as of yet unexplored by Townsend and other metal guitarist’s solo work as well, the mainstream rock sound isn’t new territory in general even if it’s new to him, and he unfortunately falls to some of the genre’s conventions here and there. Still though, even if it’s sound isn’t too experimental, Townsend seamlessly slides into this poppy new sound, boasting a powerful contrast between technical riffage and poppy melodies, and most pop music would sound a hell of a lot better if it was helmed by Townsend as skillfully as it is here on Epicloud. – breakingthefragile

Stream ‘Kingdom’ here.

29. Amenra – Mass V

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Mass V does nothing but further cement Amenra’s place in the upper echelon of sludge/post-metal. Drawing influences from the heralded Neurosis, Amenra specialize in the creation of dark atmospheres that are combined with heavy, downtuned riffs. Unlike most of their peers, though, Amenra’s brand of dark, sludgy post-metal manages to sound invariably vigorous because all their records have excellent, oppressing atmospheres. They feel alive and pull the listener in, tingling…

50. Hop Along – Get Disowned

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As an occasional enthusiast of the Indie and Alternative rock scenes, I rarely come across an album within both genres that manages to enthrall me in such an such a way that leaves me utterly speechless throughout its run. What intrigued me so much about Hop Along’s Get Disowned, is their ability to blend a lot of different characteristics from various genres to create an innovative montage of melodies. Hard-edged rock jams, electronic beats, acoustic segments, each of these music styles serve to augment the irresistibly charming voice of Francis Quinlan, who uses her mellifluous Favourite vocals to add a catchy pop-like flair to the album. Get Disowned is a very fun listen with a lot of variety in its sound, but at times, the compositional structures of certain songs tend to sound rather amateurish. Though not necessarily in a way that sounds messy, but rather youthful. There is an impression of adolescence that the album seems to express, and maybe it’s the childlike aloofness of Francis Quinlan singing, the adventurous though sloppy combination of musical styles, or the fact that this a group striving in the early stages of their career, their lyrics are comprised almost entirely of topics that could hardly appeal to anyone above 30, and yet, there’s something about the way that Hop Along present themselves that you just can’t say “no” to. You want to…

CityCop and Les Doux are two bands that have been making names for themselves in the post-hardcore/emo scene, each releasing a handful of material that has been very well received.  And rightfully so, as each band employs a chaotic yet cathartic brand of hardcore that draws inspiration from various acts such as Touche Amore and Pianos Become the Teeth.  While both bands differ very much in regards to their inherent sounds, teaming up for the Family Ties/Labors of Love split feels fitting.  The result is a varied, yet wholly wonderful combination of two truly talented bands.  Luckily, we have an official stream of the split for you to enjoy!

This is the start of a new series wherein I (and hopefully other staff!) will be drawing your attention to those who plow away at the furrow in our individual localities.


Alpha Male Tea Party may compare themselves to “Elton John and sausages.” Their guitarist may possess a predilection towards dressing like a hyper-extended form of James Harries whilst on stage. Sure, their bassist may even don a pair of Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic goggles and dress up like Hulk Hogan when the time is right.

Don’t let any of this fool you. Alpha Male Tea Party are very much the real fucking deal. They combine the scope, intensity and talent of groups like Battles, Oceansize and Blakfish with the dress-sense and mad-cap divinations of Devo. For a genre and scene that can wallow in pretension, AMTP stand out with their surrealist mores; humourous song titles, unsubtle dress sense and a nod to weirder sides of life.

Having previously secured support slots with groups of the calibre of And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank and Goonies Never Say Die, the trio have already laid waste to a number of venues in the North West of England and beyond. They also work closely in conjunction with Liverpool-based EDiLS Records, one of the fastest growing labels in the city. In spite of such a sparkling CV, the trio are still looking to broaden horizons; both their own and the audiences’.…

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10. Holy Esque – Holy Esque

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Being touted as the best new band your country has to offer is obviously a hell of a compliment, but for many such accolades can quickly become burdensome. Spare a thought then for the four members of Holy Esque, who along with carrying the hopes of a nation as distinguished as Scotland were having those proclamations thrown at them before they’d released a single recording – a metaphorical musical pressure cooker if ever there was one. It was quite a statement then that the Glaswegians not only matched but eclipsed expectations on this debut EP; a four track tour de force which bore the hallmarks of an outfit well equipped to make an impact in the indie world. Sure, a taste for big riffs, distortion pedals and off-kilter vocals is hardly revelatory, but these songs possessed the poise, swagger and assurance of a group who’d already become masters of their craft, with the propulsive energy of ‘Rose’ and the skyscraping ‘Prophet of Privilege’ in particular sounding virtually stadium-ready. It’ll probably take a few more releases to craft their own distinct identity, but as a means of announcing oneself, Holy Esque takes some beating.AliW 1993.

Stream ‘Rose’ here.

9. Vales – Clarity

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

In their debut EP,…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of January 15, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

If you haven’t had the chance yet, feel free to check out the staff’s Best of 2012 feature. You can view it right here.

Antimatter – Fear Of A Unique Identity (Prophecy Productions)
A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP (RCA) – Sobhi Youssef
Christopher Owens – Lysandre (Fat Posssum Records)
Criminal Hygiene – CRMNL HYGNE (Small Smile Records)
Erin McKeown – Manifestra (TVP Records)
Half Hearted Hero – Whatever (Animal Style Records)
Holopaw – Academy Songs, Vol.1 (Misra Records)
Jamie Woolford – A Framed Life In Charming Light (Get Well Records)
Lights & Motion – Reanimation (Deep Elm Records)
Midnight Spin – Don’t Let Me Sleep (Midnight Spin)
Mystical Weapons – Mystical Weapons (Chimera Music)
Owel – Owel (Owel)
Pantha Du Prince and The Bell Laboratory – Elements Of Light (Rough Trade US)
The Plot In You – Could You Watch Your Children Burn (Rise Records)
Rescuer – With Time Comes The Comfort (Rise Records)
Sean Lennon – Alter Egos (Chimera Music)
Seth Glier – Things I Should Let You Know (Mpress Records)
Teena Beautiful (UMe)
Yo La Tengo – Fade Out (Matador Records)


Album Streams:

Christopher Owens – Lysandre

Criminal Hygiene – CRMNL HYGNE

Erin McKeown – Manifestra

Holopaw – Academy Songs, Vol. 1

Midnight Spin – Don’t Let Me Sleep

Pantha Du Prince and

Soilwork – Spectrum of Eternity


Soilwork will be releasing their latest album, The Living Infinite, on February 27 in Asia (via license to Marquee Records), in Europe on March 1, and in North America on March 5 through Nuclear Blast Records. Holy shit, is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a double album and the first single is actually really good. Is there hope for this band? You decide.

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The evergreen jazz merchant-cum-voodoo warrior Dr. John is probably the type of person who you could file neatly under ‘Seen It All’. It was perhaps a surprise, even with his long track record, that 2012’s Locked Down  LP was as free, easy and palatable as it came to be. Written, recorded and produced heavily in conjunction with Black Keys’ mainman Dan Auerbach, the album is one that sees the 72 year old doctor grab a new lease of life with both hands.

Tracks such as “Revolution” and the record’s eponymous effort show a certain fire; understandable for a New Orleans native who will have looked on in horror as his hometown was almost swept away. However, it’s “Ice Age” that stands out the most. A subtle sense of anger and exasperation pour out of the Dr’s mouth, taking aim at those who like “smoking crack and final blunts” and who “ain’t got a cent”; those who fiddle as Rome burns. Maybe it’s a missive against the parts of New Orleans that have been slow to recover. Perhaps it’s a rant against the wider world. It doesn’t matter, as such themes are very pertinent wherever you are. That’s the saddest thing of all, but if anyone can ease you into the gloom with a message and rhythm, then it’s this guy.

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