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Daniel Cressey - Reviews

Mountain Goats

Abstract but haunting latest concept album from the Mountain Goats upon which front man John Darnielle sympathetically examines the 80's Gothic movement

Kid Koala

Music to Draw to: Satellites
Flawed new concept album about two people separated by one of them voyaging to Mars from DJ Kid Koala which finds him moving away from the turntable and experimenting with traditional instruments such as keyboards and guitars

James Leg

Blood on the Keys
Essential blues rock which proves deserving of a wider audience on third solo album from raw-voiced Nashville-based musician James Leg


Your Desert My Mind
Compelling third album recorded from punk supergroup the Mutants, the band of Adam and the Ants bassist Chris Constantinou and Damned drummer Rat Scabies, and which involves members of the Eagles of Death Metal and the Dandy Warhols

Lumen Lab

They Are Killing Us
Challenging but compelling third album from Lumen Lab, the nom de plume for Mexican electronic musician Diege Martinez

Advance Base

Nephew in the Wild
Melancholic musings on American life finds ex-Casiotone for the Painfully Alone front man Owen Ashworth with his new project Advance Base on familiar but fertile musical ground

Baby Chaos

Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me the Glory
A long hiatus is no bar to a rowdy return with first album in seventeen years for Glaswegian rockers Baby Chaos


Tokyo Nights
Glorious rock and roll on second album from punk supergroup the Mutants, which include Adam and the Ants bassist Chris Constantinou and Damned drummer Rat Scabies, and involves on this record a rotating set of Japanese guest stars

Mountain Goats

Beat the Champ
Eccentric but enthralling new album from off-kilter North Carolina bandt the Mountain Goats, upon which front man John Darnielle’s songwriting focuses on the world of professional wrestling

Southern Tenant Folk Union

The Chuck Norris Project
Ambitious and imaginative yet unrelentingly downbeat concept album from left-wing Edinburgh folk collective the Southern Tenant Folk Union, which takes all its song titles from Chuck Norris films

J Mascis

Tied to a Star
Surprisingly understated yet excellent latest solo record from Dinosaur Jr front-man and guitarist, J Mascis


Haiti Direct
Excellent double CD compilation that examines the under-explored but rich musical landscape of Haiti in the 1960s and 1970s

Mikal Cronin

Essential combination of Beach Boys-style and gritty Nirvana-style distortion on second album from Californian singer-songwriter and guitarist, Mikal Cronin

Treetop Flyers

The Mountain Moves
Excellent debut album from London-based, but Los Angeles-formed folk act Treetop Flyers, which follows four years on from their first EP


Freedom Sounds
Fabulous five CD bset from reggae label Trojan Records, released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Jamaican independence

Hot Chip

In Our Head
Over polished and often soulless fifth album from much acclaimed London-based electronica band, Hot Chip


Furious and brief political punk on often intoxicating debut album from OFF!, the new band of fomrer Black Flag singer Keith Morris

Johnny Cash

Bootleg Vol 1V: The Soul of Truth
Powerful collection of country gospel rarities from the late Johnny Cash, which focuses on his religious faith


American Music/Troublebound
Fantastic rock and roll on double CD reissue of 1980 first studio album and 2002 live album from hard-working and thrilling Californian act, the Blasters

Dan Sartain

Too Tough to Live
Infectious lo-fi mini-album from Birmingham, Alabama-based singer-songwriter Dan Sartain, which merges late 50's rock 'n' roll with a punk edge

Buffalo Killers

Beautiful-sounding, but unchallenging retro country rock on third album from Ohio-based band, Buffalo Killers

808 State

Fantastic compilation album from Manchester-based band 808 State, which serves as a swaggering reminder of both how good dance music can be and what an influential and eclectic act they have been

Richard Buckner

Our Blood
Glorrious and seemingly effortless first album in five years from acclaimed American singer-songwriter, Richard Buckner

Girls Guns and Glory

Sweet Nothings
Gloriously listenable anthems of heartbreak on fourth album from Boston-based Americana outfit, Girls Guns abd Glory


A Crack In Paradise
Politically conscious, but somewhat indistinctive debut album from British reggae band, Dubwiser


Symptome Und Beschwerden
Fiery old school punk sung in their native German on debut album from the charmingly-titled Herpes


The Hit Sounds of the Dub Pistols at Midnight
Glorious collection of reggae and dub tunes from the Hit Sounds and Midnight Rock labels, compiled together by Dub Pistols front man, Barry Ashworth

Felice Brothers

Celebration, Florida
Gloriously chaotic and dark latest offering from Americana act the Felice Brothers, which finds them refreshingly expanding their range beyond small-town dramas to national American tragedies and affairs

Revolutionary Cells

Paranoid, but forceful album from Seattle-based experimental rock/metal act Revolutionary Cells, which references both the chemical element barium and Buenos Aires in its title

JT and the Clouds

Somewhat incohesive, yet irresistible merging of Americana and soul on new album from Chicago-based group, JT and the Clouds

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny
Superb 19 CD box set from tragic and still often under-rated UK folk singer, Sanny Denny, which includes 100 unreleased recordings

Jim Jones Revue

Burning Your House Down
Unashamedly retro, but captivating second studio album from London-based rock and roll band, the Jim Jones Revue


Sometime Soon
Technically-accomplished, but superficial Americana on second album from UK-based group, the Snakes

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel

Willie and the Wheel
Excellent collection of country swing covers from Willie Nelson and the critically acclaimed Asleep at the Wheel

Micah P Hinson

Micah P Hinson and the Pioneer Saboteurs
Unfocused, but ultimately surprisingly uplifting miserabilism on fourth album from Texas-based singer-songwriter, Micah P Hinson


High Violet
Essential fifth album from much acclaimed New York-based group the National, which despite its bleak subject matter reveals itself to be surprisingly uplifting

New Pornographers

Thoughtful yet melodic fourth album from mainly Canadian indie-supergroup the New Pornographers, which by the group's own high standards, however, proves to be something of a disappointment

Dropkick Murphys

Live on Lansdowne, MA
Raucous collection of mainly drinking anthems on exuberant live album and DVD from Boston-based Irish folk-punks, the Dropkick Murphys

Black Francis

Patchy, but occasionally compelling and brilliant collection of modern love songs from Pixies front man, Black Francis


Directionless and uninvolving jazz-influenced new album from HIM, the project of former Mice Parade member Doug Scharin

Daniel Johnston

Is and Always Was
Recent album from eccentric genius Daniel Johnston, which, while as strange as ever, finds him adding volume and showing that when he decides to he is able also to rock hard

Million Dead

A Song to Ruin
Remastered double CD reissue of the debut album of hardcore band Million Dead, acclaimed punk-folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner's original band, which despite only being released in 2003 already seems dated

Nathaniel Mayer

Why Won't You Let Me Be Black?
Poignant and brief final album from soul giant Nathaniel Mayer, who after years of living in relative obscurity had his career start to go through a revival shortly before his death last year

Trainwreck Riders

The Perch
Off-kilter, but welcoming country pop on third album from San Francisco-based group, the Trainwreck Riders

Future of the Left

Travels with Myself and Another
Fantastically exciting and uncompromising, but also unsettling second album from Cardiff-based trio Future of the Left, which was formed out of the ashes of the equally deranged Mclusky

Willem Maker

New Moon Hand
Emotive, if somewhat over polished blues on second album from Maryland-born singer-songwriter, Willem Maker, whose tales of his upbringing and heavy metal poisoning have a dramatic effect

Forever Never

Forever Never
Entertaining, but by no means essential metal on self-doubting second album from American group, Forever Never

Crystal Antlers

Brilliantly ferocious psychedelia and garage rock on orchestral-sounding debut album from much-hyped San Francisco-based group,the Crystal Antlers

Bob Log III

My Shit is Perfect
Perplexing, but convincing fourth album of blues punk which lives up to its title from Bob Log III

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

Advance Base Battery Life
Variable compilation from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, the lo-fi project of Californian keyboardist and singer and one man music machine, Owen Ashworth, which neverthless more than justifies its selling price

Fuzzy Lights

A Distant Voice
Simultaneously soothing and sinister combination of folk and alternative blues on haunting debut album from largely instrumental Cambrdige-based band, the Fuzzy Lights

Jay Reatard

Matador Singles '08
Fantastic punk rock on timeless-sounding compilation album from Memphis-based singer Jay Reatard, which collects together six of his recent limited edition vinyl only singles, and proves to be the most joyful celebration of music yet released this year


You and Me
Sonmewhat lucklustre and disappointing third album from the Walkmen, who seems to have lost much of their former anger and the no-holds-barred back rock sound of their past

Micah P Hinson

Micah P Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra
Stunningly effective and appropriately orchestral-in-tone new album from former drug addict and ex-con Micah P. Hinson whois now embracing happier times


Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
Disappointing, lacking-in-spark latest album from bestselling punk pop rockers, the Offspring


Where the Light Gets In
Strong second album from Sennen, who turning to pop songs from a post-rock past have provided what might be the summer's best soundtrack so far

Alex Gomez

Outdoor Kitchen
Energetic and thunderous in tone but ultimately directionless latest album from blues-punk guitarist Alex Gomez

Atlas Sound

Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
Confusing and seemingly incoherent, but ultimately compelling combination of lo-fi rock and electronica from Atlas Sound, the solo project of Bradford James Cox, who is Deerhunter's lead singer

Black Grass

Overwhelmingly eclectic and ultimat-ly inconsistent latest CD from highly regarded hip hop pioneers, Black Grass


Heavy Zooo
Inconsistent, confused and unfortunately ultimately grating second album from German metal act, Beehover

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