The Fratellis: In Your Own Sweet Time


‘In Your Own Sweet Time’ is The Fratellis 5th studio album and i have to say it leaves me feeling underwhelmed. The album sounds completely different to anything the band have produced before but alas, the experimentation leaves a lot to be desired.

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The Magic Gang: Self Titled


In a world full of shitty goings on like Russian spy poisonings and school shootings in America, we’re in need of a bit of cheering up right? Step forward ‘The Magic Gang’ with their glorious anthem-packed, self titled debut. What you’ll find here are songs describing heartbreak, competition and everything else that comes with relationships.

Indie bands have had a way with being able to create albums which encapsulate the spirit of summer, with Hinds and Circa Waves doing it on their respective albums. ‘The Magic Gang’ also have a way of creating that feel-good, melodic sound with plenty of sing-along anthems, with a great mix of older and new material. Songs like ‘Alright’ and ‘All that i want is you’ have been taken from the bands earlier EP’s and been re-structured to be more consistent with the sound of the new songs on the album.

‘Jasmine’ and ‘Slippin’ are two of the stronger songs on the album, both packed with a feel good factor, despite not having the most original lyrical content ‘The Magic Gang just have this special something about them where the enthusiasm they project is so infectious you can’t help but to be taken over by the buzz. They also show their range in songs like ‘Take Care’ where usual singer Jack is replaced by Gus. The song takes a slower tempo with a keyboard led beat while the rest of the band harmonise with Gus’ vocals.

Overall, ‘The Magic gang’ is a terrific debut album, with gorgeous indie rock bangers  and songs that already sound like indie classics. Other highlights include ‘Oh-Saki’. ‘How Can I Compete’ and ‘Caroline’. Although the album is simplistic, this only adds to the appeal of ‘The Magic Gang’ as they don’t need complex themes or instrumentals to create a great sound that stands out in the crowd.

Insecure Men: Album Review


‘Insecure Men’ is the new project from newly reformed Saul Adamczewski who was ironically kicked out of ‘Fat White Family’ for taking too many drugs. With him is Ben Romans-Hopcraft from ‘Childhood’. They’re childhood friends but couldn’t have been in more different bands so i was very interested in what the pair could conjure up together.

What they’ve given us is a neat package which showcases the, at times spine tingling groaning vocals from Saul mixed with various instrumentals and sound effects from Ben which create a really interesting, vintage, dream-like sound which at times blend perfectly with Saul’s vocals. ‘Subaru Nights’ is a perfect example of this where the beat and tempo stays constant but the sound effects making up this beat are constantly changing, creating a strangely hypnotic dynamic. ‘Teenage Toys’ has a distinctively vintage feeling to it in a way in which it makes you think of things like old record players, pastel coloured walls and those old looking plates they give you in Wetherspoons.

This album doesn’t quite nail this vintage sound throughout though, it’s very experimental it ranges from more ethereal and synth heavy sounds to slowed down tempos with more of a jazz influence. Some tracks therefore seem to be a bit confused as to what they want to be and end up as just bland and repetitive. ‘Ulster’ is just a bit mundane, ‘Mekong Glitter’ is a little bland and ‘Blurred in the bleak’ isn’t particularly inspiring, they kind of just mellow out and pale in complexion to the rest that the album has to offer.

The standout track on the album has to be ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance (With My Baby)’. It’s an indie pop song where the vintage sound mentioned earlier really comes in to its own and makes you wanna nostalgically bop and sway around the room. Saul’s vocals on this track are the best of any on the album, compared to the light-heartedness  of the backing track his voice actually sounds quit dark and haunting which creates quite a compelling juxtaposition that works really well. Despite being quite a cheery song, Saul’s vocals give you this underlying sense of dread.

There’s definitely a theme to this album in terms of there definitely being a kind of character represented in the lyrics. For example in ‘All Women Love Me’ and ‘Tin Toys’ they seem to describe a character who’s very self indulgent and as the album goes on the character shows that really they’re not this strong character and not all women love him. ‘Cliff Has Left The Building’ then takes apart this character as being vulnerable and needing a Cliff Richard record to hold themselves together. That maybe a bit far-fetched but i think the music also emphasises this in the way in which every so often the dream like quality of some of the songs makes you feel slightly uneasy and a little bit claustrophobic, as if you’re trapped in the atmosphere they’ve created.

There is a definite sense of actual insecurity in this album. It isn’t fully polished and definitely not perfect and some of the songs are just a little bit bland and boring. However the experimentation on this album has lead to some really unique and unusual tracks which i have enjoyed the more I’ve listened to, so i would recommend this album to people who are looking for more obscure pop music.

First Aid Kit: Ruins


First Aid Kit are the sister duo of Johanna and Klara Soderberg from Sweden. ‘Ruins’ is their 5th album and the first of which I’ve listened to. Folk isn’t a genre i often find myself listening to but i thought i’d try something different than indie or punk for a change, you know “broaden my horizons”.

Right off the bat i’m going to say that this album for the most part has some incredible tracks, Johanna and Klara have 2 of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard and when they sing in tandem together i honestly can’t think of many artists who sound so endearing. The first track ‘Rebel Heart’ has an underlying theme of tragedy, but is wrapped in an almost dream-like ambience as a sort of juxtaposition which makes it quite compelling. ‘It’s a shame’ has a great acoustic backing and chugs along nicely not too dissimilar to a steam train, with Johanna and Klara’s vocals having more of a country twist. Then there’s ‘Fireworks’ which i have to say is the album’s stand out track. It has absolutely gorgeous harmonies which effortlessly change in pitch, with a seamless key change half way too, First Aid Kit have this ability to evoke emotion upon the listener so effortlessly, on tracks like ‘Fireworks’ it makes for a compelling experience.

There are a couple of tracks on the album however that fail to reach the same standard as the others, for example ‘Postcard’ while showcasing the duos range with another country styled song, does go a bit too “Dolly Parton” For my liking (And yes i did just use Dolly Parton as an adjective). What i mean by that is that it uses too many of the cliches within country music such as, at one point a guy on the piano is told to ‘take it away’ and it almost feels as if the lyrics write themselves. ‘To Live a Life’ and ‘Distant Star’ also don’t really hit any heights and just aren’t that interesting from a lyrical or instrumental standpoint.

For the most part though this album really impressed me. Other highlights include ‘My Sweet Love’ and ‘Ruins’. To say that the majority of the songs on ‘Ruins’ are love songs mixed with some other themes (e.g self-reflection) , you’d think that this would make the album a bit repetitive. But that isn’t the case, First Aid Kit use a variation of instrumentals that make you go through a wide range of emotions from sadness to an almost dreamy out of body experience at times and the vocals on all the tracks, even the ones i’m not too keen on are just outstanding. That’s what impresses me about ‘Ruins’.

Shame: Songs of Praise

Who the hell are Shame? You may be asking…

Well, Shame are a punk band from South London who’ve just released their debut album ‘Songs of Praise’.  You wont find any church choirs singing hymns here however as this albums content could not be any further away from what it’s title suggests.

This album is full of all the things you’d typically expect from a punk band, it’s guitar heavy with drums that crash about at a seemingly random sequence mixed together with a singer shouting above the rest. Punk has always been a conduit for frustrated people to make their voices heard to the world. Shame do exactly the same here but in a way that it doesn’t just become a big pointless manifesto, there’s real meaning and a purpose to what they have to say. I wouldn’t call them the voice of a generation but perhaps say that they were a voice within a frustrated generation instead. ‘The Lick’ has a great commentary on popular music by saying that the mainstream audience want something that’s ‘relateable not debatable’ which is testament to how engaged the band are in wanted to create discussion between people on social issues.

The album isn’t just about social issues however. ‘Gold Hole’ is a tale about a sugar daddy, complete with an instrumental backing that sounds purely menacing and almost nihilistic in it’s presence. Here Charlie almost sounds like a devil on your shoulder at times, whispering this taboo tale, but the lyrics are so crude in their description that i can’t help but start laughing when there are lines like ‘she wants the money that comes with his cream’, ‘pop my cork’ and ‘feel me drip’. ‘Tasteless’ is a stand out track and a must hear for fans of guitar music with a constant up and down ‘whirrr’ sound that makes you feel like your sliding down a 3 minute helter skelter. The only track on the album that i dislike in any way is ‘Donk’ ,despite it being a fun kind of explosion of energy from the band it has no real purpose and isn’t very memorable at all’.

‘Angie’ is the biggest surprise on this album and is a complete contradiction to the rest of the record. It’s a love song and actually has a really well structured melody and feels like the kind of song to sway your arms to rather than jump about in a circle. I think the inclusion of a song like ‘Angie’ shows that Shame never quite jump in and fully commit to the punk ethos, which isn’t a criticism it just means that Shame’s music will appeal to a wider audience like fans of indie and rock too. ‘One Rizla’ sums up Shame as a band, they know they’re not much to look at and Charlie might not have the best voice you’ve ever heard but they don’t care. And why should they? Their music has purpose to it and they’ve intertwined it with their wicked sense of humour, what more could you want?





Hello! Welcome to LifeOfPys blog! My names Matty and i am a 19 year old from Yokshire. I am currently studying music journalsim at BIMM Manchester which should give you some kind of indication of what i’m interested in writing about. I am using this blog as a platform to show off my writing and voice my opinions on all things music.

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