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Phil Mongredien

Amphetamine Ballads review the Amazing Snakeheads fail to amaze

A low-key seven-inch single released last summer suggested Glasgow's the Amazing Snakeheads were ones to watch, the ferocious 65-second Testifying Time recalling the early Hives with its expert grasp of garage-punk dynamics.

Essential Tremors review - J Roddy Walston doesn't quite do the business

The classic 70s rock stylings of pianist frontman Walston and friends recently earned them a coveted slot on David Letterman's Late Show .

Wild Beasts: Present Tense - review

"In detail you were even more beautiful than from afar," sings Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe on Palace, the closing song here.

We Are the In Crowd: Weird Kids - review

(Hopeless) Sadly nothing to do with Dobie Gray or Bryan Ferry , New York state-based We Are the In Crowd deal in the sort of cloyingly perky, chorus-heavy, impact-light pop that puzzlingly gets marketed as "punk", on the basis that its lyrics are va

Tinariwen: Emmaar - review

(Pias/Co Op) Desert blues practitioners Tinariwen long ago transcended their North African roots, successfully crossing over to western audiences. Indeed, such is their international reach that it almost comes as a surprise that Emmaar , their sixth

Snowbird: Moon - review

(Bella Union) Simon Raymonde made his name with atmospheric 80s/90s auteurs Cocteau Twins , before launching the Bella Union label, home to Fleet Foxes , John Grant

Damien Jurado: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son - review

(Secretly Canadian) After eight pleasant, if unremarkable, albums, Seattle-based Damien Jurado 's great leap forward came in 2010 when he first teamed up with Richard Swift, whose production nous elevated his rootsy singer-songwriter fare to more dramat

I Break Horses: Chiaroscuro - review

(Bella Union) Maria Linden's 2011 album, Hearts , earned comparisons with My Bloody Valentine and M83 's shoe-gaze textures. The follow-up finds her ditching the effects pedals for an album of synth-pop that recalls Poli

Sumie: Sumie - review

(Bella Union) While her sister Yukimi fronts Swedish electro-pop four-piece Little Dragon, Sandra Sumie Nagano opts for a more austere musical palette. Her self-titled debut features just her voice and her acoustic guitar, adorned on these 10 delicate co

Little Mix: Salute - review

A military theme runs through this formulaic second album from the X Factor winners, but sadly most of it parades a lack of original ideas Little Mix followed up their 2011 X Factor victory with a surprisingly good debut that seemed aimed squarely at