Music

Music has been a hugely important part of my life. A few years ago my tastes took a left turn into the fringes of metal, so some of what I write here will be reflections on metal music and culture from the perspective of a long-time indie kid.

Too good to leave to the critics - Can and I Want More

Cliff Richard led astray by sorcery! (Devil Woman)

Was pop in crisis in 1976? 

Two thumbs up for the vocoder solo - S-S-S-Single Bed by Fox  

1976 was peak Abba

Finding your feet again - Alcest's Kodama

Love To Love You Baby and the rise of proto-disco

High concept, high seas - Sailor's A Glass of Champagne

Meta-pop - 10cc's Art For Art's Sake 

Deep in his decadent period: David Bowie's Golden Years

Scaramouching it's way to the top - Bohemian Rhapsody

The cult band as hivemind: The Blue Nile

Rocks clever - Old Sunlight by Latitudes

Town and city names in song - a non-definitive list

Twelve albums that have stuck

No easy listening - Chelsea Wolfe's Abyss

Why yes, that is the album cover (Gold - No Image) 

Weepies - seven songs that make me cry 

Thud and grunt from the psychedelic gutter - The Doors' LA Woman

Flashback: student review of the Phoenix Festival '96

Well, that explains the banjos - Panopticon's Kentucky

Agalloch's The Marrow Of The Spirit

Campfire metal - Falls of Rauros' Believe In No Coming Shore

The Doors - catharsis in tight leather trousers

Flashback: student reviews of Corduroy, Soul Coughing, White Town and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci live

Black metal ecology (Wolves In The Throne Room)

The Stone Roses - Britain's last punk band?

Music without resolution: Bohren And Der Club of Gore

Great Escape 2014 discoveries

The Soft Pink Truth - how to deal with unsavoury politics in black metal

Black metal facepalm - why won't Terrorizer tell us Varg Vikernes is racist?

Britpop 20th anniversary guest posts


Great bands, bad influences

Alcest's Shelter: background music, with occasional transcendental moments

Opeth's Deliverance: an outsider's entry point into death metal

Kveldsanger - Ulver's beautiful anomaly

Thergothon's Stream From The Heavens: as ambient as metal gets

A wasteland of curators: the NME's Top 500 albums (plus bonus reflections one and two)

Hammer of the Gods: Led Zeppelin's dirty laundry

The genius that is the video to Bewitched by Candlemass

Top 10 acts from the Great Escape festival part 1 and part 2

Flashback - my student reviews of Tortoise's Millions Now Living Will Never Die , Goya Dress' Rooms and the Fun Loving Criminals, Melissa Etheridge and the Posies

Lemmy - metal Clarkson or existentialist hero?

The genius of Ulver in 5 clips

Altaar - music for melancholic minds

The black metal Nick Drake - Alcest, Les Ecailles De Lune

Fear the parrot of self-righteousness - Levellers, This Garden

Ah, House of Pain, how you live up to your name - House of Pain, Jump Around

Against The Wagner Defence 

Terrorizer, take a stronger stance on racism

An elegy for HMV

Thoughts on sincerity in metal 

The Butcher Babies caption competition

On metal and volume

Stephan goes to Download 2012

Part 1
Part 2

Dipping my toes into the metal waters

"Only one monk but he can overdub" - Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath biography

Reviews - Joanna Newsom, Willy Mason, Human League, Heaven 17

Negativland - Helter Stupid

Plush it real good - Plush, Fed

Disco philosophy and Hercules And Love Affair

Britpop nuggets  

Terrible band names from 1995

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