Philly punks Nothing are back from the brink with a new record that draws on some really, really bad times.
Belle & Sebastian : The Boy With The Arab Strap
Eight years on and still they come. The Teenage Fanclub bandwagon has passed but the stragglers trundle on ...
While their tunes can be over-melodic and lyrically cloying, there's a determination about The Hormones which subverts their excesses. Take 'Stay Ahead', an embittered rant against an impatient music industry disguised as a jolly pop song, and while this might be the spirit of a champion locked inside the music of a loser, The Hormones have dotted surprises elsewhere. Most notably the belligerent ceilidh-rock of 'Dig Like Merry Hell' which roisters along like a coltish Shane MacGowan before dissolving into a full-on Riverdance to the death. That the album closes with a sparse quasi-mystical ballad might indicate that there's more to Marc Carroll than likeable dross.
At worst then, this is a pointless reassertion of pop values in a blighted age where firebombs and thunderstorms cannot shift the Garbage album from the Top 20. At best the fumbling first steps of a future hero.
The Strokes dabble with sounds from throughout their career on a satisfying return
Once the thrill of the cast and visuals wears off, this follow-up to Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland is a drag
George Clooney and Julia Roberts bounce off each other like pros in this amusing take on fat cat greed
The hooks are plentiful and the energy’s palpable, but the Bottlemen still don’t have a ‘Wonderwall’