Monday 27 June 2016

On Stage: Parquet Courts @ Paradiso

Another great album Human Performance was released by Parquet Courts this year. The band keeps knocking them out effortlessly, as if it comes really easy to them. They are also known for good live shows but after seeing them a few times they haven't been able to convince me yet. Maybe it was the wrong moment on the festivals I've seen them play. Time to see if Paradiso can get the best out of them.

Parquet Courts at Paradiso Amsterdam, June 23 2016

Dutch newest sensation Canshaker Pi are opening tonight so I make sure to arrive at the venue on time. These youngsters managed to create quite a buzz and their music sounds thrilling indeed. On stage they are a ball of energy and the laid back rock songs gain extra bite. It's nice to see more and more young bands embrace this sound from the nineties and bring it into this era. Keep an eye out for this band.

The crowd is definitely ready for the main act now. The band starts out a bit slow and I always have to get into their indifferent style. You can hear why there songs are so good though with subtle elements like little keyboard parts. A guy climbs the stage to stage dive and kicks down one of the microphones. Of course this is a dumb move that seems to annoy the band. Especially Austin Brown seems to be real grumpy about it. The band takes long breaks between songs now to complain about it. When a beer lands on stage it makes their mood even worse and they are now really testing the crowd. When a girl shouts “shut the fuck up” it doesn't really help.

It doesn't improve the band who are now playing their songs on routine. Especially the slower ones are now missing their effect. Halfway the set there's a short rebound when they play a few aggressive songs in a row showing their quality. But this band comes across as provoked and nothing can save the night anymore. The end of the set is better again but the band finishes their set and quickly leave the stage. Sometimes testing your audience can help to keep them focused but tonight Parquet Courts were just in a bad mood. Hopefully I get to see them some day when they are at their best.

All Pictures

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Read more!

Saturday 25 June 2016

On Stage: Orchestra of Syrian Musicians

Blur's Damon Albarn has always been interested in music from different cultures. It resulted in several collaborations with African musicians and he also got to know the Syrian Orchestra that in the end played on the Gorillaz song 'White Flag'. The war in Syria tore the country apart including the orchestra and many of them had to leave the country and are now scattered across the globe. Together with his African Express group Albarn managed to get many of them together for a series of concerts that kicked off in Amsterdam.

Africa Express Presents the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians at Royal Theater Carré Amsterdam, June 22 2016

The concert is part of the Holland Festival in Amsterdam and takes place in the beautiful Royal Theater Carré. The musicians of the orchestra only had a few days to rehearse the music they will play tonight. To make it even more special a few hundred refugees have been invited for the concert. The crowd is a colourful mix of Holland Festival visitors, Blur and Damon Albarn fans, world music fans and people from countries like Syria and Iran. All that combined makes this night beforehand a success.

The orchestra consists of a string section and some traditional instruments most notably an Arabic flute, combined with a choir. Behind the choir a giant screen is showing visuals by Tammam Azzam and Jaber Al Azmeh, that are sometimes abstract but at other times represent the harsh reality of the war. First the orchestra plays a few pieces by itself before the first guests appear on stage.

One of them is Paul Weller who is playing a version of his big hit 'Wild Wood'. The sound isn't great tonight where you can hear the volume going up and down several times and clunky running around with microphones and chairs. It doesn't bother anyone for a bit. There are more guest appearances by people we probably never heard of but are known in the Arabic world. Faia Younan is singing beautifully, we can hear the amazing voice of Mounir Troudi and the sensational Noura Mint Seymali who is firing up the crowd.

There's even more! There's a hiphop performance by Bu Kolthoum, Eslam Jawaad and Malikah. Two African musicians, Bassekou Kouyate and Seckou Keita combine beautifully with the Arabic music. Kouyate can make his ngoni do anything he likes and the Keita is playing beautifully on his kora with a big smile.

Smiles is what we can see lot tonight. The musicians are smiling and are clearly enjoying this night. People in the crowd around me are smiling because of the wonderful music and I'm sure the refugees in the crowd are smiling, listening to the songs and music they know, forgetting about their misery for a while. And Damon Albarn is smiling and cheering at the side of the stage. It's clear he doesn't want to be in the spot lights tonight. It's not about him and he makes sure the spotlights are on the orchestra. Only once he's in the spotlights when he plays the guitar at the front of the stage for one of my favourite Blur songs 'Out Of Time'.

Rachid Taha is the one to close the night and you can leave that to him. He looks like he had a jolly day and is in for a little party. He's firing up the crowd and people are getting out of their chairs to dance and clap with him. So maybe it wasn't all that tight or well-organized tonight, but what can you expect when it's already an achievement getting all these people together? It's not the point anyway. It's great to see this wonderful musicians together and bringing all these different people together tonight, playing and enjoying music together, proving that music unites us all no matter what. As long as there's music there's hope; don't let them ever take that away from us.

All Pictures

Read more!

Friday 24 June 2016

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 3

Finally day three of the festival brings us sunshine and a lot to look forward to. After a crowded and wet day we could do with a little warmth and relaxation.

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 3, June 19 2016

What better way to start the day with a karaoke? I can think of a few. The Indie Karaoke is actually good fun where people could enter in advance to sing a song with a professional band. So we hear songs from Oasis, The Hyves, Blur and more. The karaoke singers aren't all that good (and they shouldn't be), but put a lot of heart into it and are having a good time. And so are we!

Ryley Walker
We stayed longer at the karaoke than I planned but I manage to catch a few songs by Ryley Walker. I saw him last year and was pleasantly surprised. He's not your regular singer songwriter but brings a lot more to the table. His compositions are well thought through and I like the jazzy vibe his songs have now and then. I'm glad I could catch about 15 minutes of his performance in the very hot stage Three tent.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

This new band managed to create quite a hype with their catchy poprock songs while they only released a few songs. When you see them play live, it's not that strange that people pick up on them. The young lads are active and energetic on stage and definitely not shy. Their music is catchy but still packs enough meat to chew on. They already look like they have played all the big stages and have studied their rock poses. It results in an entertaining show and the future looks bright for this group.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Ruban Nielson and his band had quite a year. After their album Multi-Love broke through, it seems they have toured continuously. It didn't wear them out. On the contrary, this is their strongest show I have seen them play. The band sounds tight like always and their set is well balanced. The songs sound even stronger live and it rubs off on the crowd who are greeting the songs with loud cheers. It turns the tent into a festive dancing party.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

Half Moon Run
We end up at the main stage where Half Moon Run wants to start their show, but the stage has a power failure. Only one mic is working so the two singers decide to use that one to do a song with just the two of them. Of course everyone loves this and the band have everyone eating from their hand after that. It's quite nice to hear them play in the sunshine, with their innocent music folk music with beautiful harmonies, but it's not my cup of tea.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

Israel Nash
We head over to the other side of the festival site instead to catch a bit of Israel Nash. Now that's more to my liking. It's good honest Americana and psychedelic rock with lots of character. The band look like they came from the seventies. They bring exactly that vibe to the stage and into their music. Nash's voice is great and the band is wonderful. Really glad to have caught a bit of this.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

This band from Brooklyn returned with a new album Amen & Goodbye and it's always good to see them play live. I don't know the new album that well yet, but I've always had a weak spot for their mix of catchy electronic music with African and Eastern influences and danceable grooves. I'm glad to find out they still now how to make this mixture sound good on stage. The band looks pretty pleased themselves and especially their hit songs are greeted with loud cheers. Today everybody wins over here.

Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

Band Of Horses
The right band at the right time at the right spot, that's what happens with Band Of Horses. They are playing the main stage in broad daylight when everyone is buzzing from the booze and in a cheerful mood. The band looks in good shape themselves and their sounds has beefed up quite a bit. The crowd and the band get the best out of each other and when some people bring a life statue of a horse in, things can't go wrong any more. An inspired performance of 'The Funeral' is even moving to hear.

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!?

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Sometimes there are bands that everyone keeps raving about and I simply don't get it. This is the case with Wilco. Yes, they are a good band, but I dont find them that special. I decided to give it another try and although the band plays well I simply don't feel it. According to many it was the best performance of the weekend but I decide to take a look somewhere else.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

We end up at stage Three where Badbadnotgood are playing. It didn't quite grab when I listened to their music but live their mix of jazz and heavy grooves are working quite well. I read a description that called them "crowd surf jazz" or something and that's actually describing it well. Especially the jazzy tunes with great solos are wonderful. It's great to see so many show up and enjoy this explosive show.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Fat White Family
I try to get a bite to eat but this turns out to take longer than I want to. In the end I make it into the tent way too late and only catch the end of their show. By then the band has already torn the place apart telling from the way the band looks and the way the crowd is going mental. At least it's a good and fitting end of the weekend.

Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

So there you have it. I end up with mixed feelings about this weekend. We saw some great bands and wonderful music but had trouble finding the vibes we like so much of the pas editions. It seems we are not alone in this and by growing their festival Best Kept Secret may have lost some of their faithful early birds. Sometimes it's better to just keep it a bit of a secret.

All Pictures

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 1
Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 2

Read more!

Thursday 23 June 2016

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 2

We wake up to a rainy day but still manage to have our breakfast outside our bungalow. We can't waste any more time because the first band is waiting!

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 2, June 18 2016

I've seen this Californian band play before a few years ago and love their latest album Hyper Vessels. Their cheerful and powerful punkrock songs are a great way to start off the day. The lads themselves are in a good mood as well and are cracking jokes and having lots of fun at the same time. Although the jokes are sometimes a bit corny their music is far from that. The band play their music with a lot of heart and it sounds very convincing. Needless to say it goes down well with the crowd. It's a shame they play this early. because imagine what would have happened if they played later today to a crowd that downed a few more beers.

Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Dutch musician Maurits Westerik has come a long way since he pulled the plug from his former band GEM. He had to reinvent himself and surely did a great job at that. After releasing the album Dear Island everywhere Bewilder goes they end up on top. The pop rock songs are well written and the experienced and top notch band play them with a lot of feeling. Westerik is the always active and friendly front man, that is turning into the Dutch Bruce Springsteen. His dance moves are getting more unique every time I see them. Today again the band knows how to win everyone over. Of course set closer 'Forza' ends this show on a high.

Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

A name that has been buzzing around for a while is this band from Toronto. You never know if a band can live up to the hype, especially when their first record has just come out. That album is amazing by the way and the band doesn't disappoint for a bit. They play very tight and funky guitars and grooves mixed with heavy riffs and rhythms, with hints to Pixies and Pavement. On top of that is the unique voice and personality of Jasmyn Burke who is wandering around stage as if it's her living room. It combines into a crazy and intriguing show that for me was one of the best this weekend. Can't wait to see them play again soon.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Dinosaur Jr.
When singer J. Mascis walks onto the stage he explains that is he is feeling very sick but didn't want to cancel. Instead he will be sitting down the whole show. It is very obvious he is far from healthy and therefore it's actually quite impressive that he is still able to play his wonderful guitar parts and sing at the same time. Of course this band made so many great songs and the other two musicians, bass player Lou Barlow and drummer Murph, are totally into the music. It's a shame we can't see a fit Mascis, but even like this Dinosaur Jr. doesn't disappoint.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Wild Nothing
I listened to a few songs by Wild Nothing and kind of liked their dreamy music. I expected maybe a bit of a slow show but was surprised how they sounded live and their songs actually had quite a bit of a rock edge to it. The band themselves doesn't exactly explode off the stage with a lot of energy but they show a lot of heart and play an inspired show. I found out I saw them play a few years ago and they have shown plenty of progression. If they can grow some more they could be heading for big things.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Today is Editors day which drives many extra people to the festival. This resulted in huge traffic jams and long lines for the toilets, bars and food stands. The weather has been bad all day long and the band walk onto the stage while the rain is still steadily coming down. "The weather is miserable and so is our music" says singer Tom Smith, referring to their dark music. But you can leave it to this band to make us all forget about the weather. Although I have mixed feelings about the last two albums, this band always delivers live. Tonight is no difference with an inspired performance and a band that is in top shape. Smith's voice is clear and dark as the rain clouds themselves. Many songs of the new album come by but I simply like their older songs better, that aren't that blown up. 'Papillon' is always good to leave the crowd behind on a high with all the fireworks, but nowadays the band leaves us with 'Marching Orders' which does sound like an anthem but at the same time is a bit too bloated for me. In the end though Editors live up to their big reputation and totally deliver today.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Although the weather didn't exactly cooperate, today was prove the organisation didn't cope well with the extra visitors. The festival grew by 4000/5000 visitors per day and yesterday already showed the site was too crowded. Today with Editors driving in a huge crowd, it simply was too much and the festival lacked the intimate and relaxed atmosphere of the past editions. Standing in line for the toilets, that also weren't laid out very efficiently, and having to wait a lot to get a drink or something to eat became a nuisance. Of course it was a great day nevertheless with good music, but it was kind of a let down at the same time. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

All Pictures

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 1
Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 3

Read more!

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 1

Many people know about the Best Kept Secret festival by now, that was going into its fourth edition this year. I guess it's not so well kept any more especially since the festival grew bigger too. We rented one of those comfy bungalows again and headed to the safari park to see if the festival could handle this many people and could hold on to its relaxed character of the past editions.

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 1, June 17 2016

The organisation did cook up another interesting line-up with some all time favourites and some exciting new bands waiting to be discovered.

Kid Wave
One of those new bands is Kid Wave whose shoegaze music sounds interesting enough to make sure we get to the festival site on time. It is actually a nice introduction but it does miss a bit of an edge. The band does look focused and do a good job at playing their jangly and melodic music, but don't exactly radiate a lot of energy. I guess they need to grow some more before being able to fully convince.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Beach Slang
The punk rock of Beach Slang is convincing enough and their energetic songs with Hüsker Dü-like sounding guitars go down well with the hungry crowd. It's the first moment of the festival where people are going crazy. Singer James Alex may look like a cheesy rock 'n roll act but he is full of character and puts a lot of heart in it like everyone else in the band. This group makes for an early highlight of the day.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Singer Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV isn't the most stable person and their shows can be just as fitful as his personality. I really like their last album Is The Is Are though and am looking forward to hear those new songs live. The sound of the album does come across well and the band is putting in plenty of effort. This results in moments where things come together but at the same time there are moments where I find the show a bit weary. Maybe it's the spot on the main stage in broad daylight early this evening, but again, like the previous time, I'm not fully convinced.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Wolf Parade
I don't know Wolf Parade's music very well. Somehow the Canadians never caught my attention before they disbanded in 2011. In January they reformed and now I'm lucky enough to catch them live and get to know them. Lucky indeed, because the band play an inspired show and their music sounds interesting with some post-punk and new wave elements. It is both catchy and edgy and the band suck you right in. It's a good introduction into this band's world and I'll definitely will dig into them some more.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Moon Duo
It started out as a side project for Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson, but by now Moon Duo is more than just that. Together with Sanae Yamada they cook up lovely psychedelic rock built around drones that combine into a wonderful spacey trip. The dark stage is the perfect environment to digest the endless repeating grooves and fuzzy guitar.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

It's always a true delight to watch Beck play songs from his impressive and very varied catalogue. He's the closing act of the day and brought a big screen as a backdrop to show wonderful visuals that support his music. Of course his band is great and he is playing a rocking set with all his hits. It's a good show but it does lack a bit of an edge. It's hard for an artist like him to play a festival set that is both pleasing to the people who don't know his music that well and his loyal fans. I miss the moments where he slows down for some melancholic songs and works his magic. A song like the wonderful 'Blue Moon' sounds less powerful tonight. Nevertheless it's always great to see this wonderful artist play funky tunes like 'Sexx Laws' and the relative new one 'Dreams'. Some covers pass by as well as some references to Bowie and Prince when he introduces the band. No matter what, he simply is a one of a kind artist.

Official Website | SoundCloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

The band formerly known as Viet Cong had to change their name but fortunately that is the only change. There's a new album coming up and by now the band is peaking. Their intense songs score full effect tonight and sound violent and aggressive, exactly like they should. I've seen them play before when they were still called Viet Cong but tonight finally the band shows what makes their album so good and what makes them so good. I'm looking forward to that new album a lot.

Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

A great end on this first day and that calls for a celebration! Beers anyone?

All Pictures

Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 2
Best Kept Secret 2016 Day 3

Read more!

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Sniffing The Grass: A Best Kept Secret 2016 Warmup

It has taken a while before the festival season kicked off for me this year. This weekend it finally is starting with the first multi-day summer festival for me. It's time for Best Kept Secret, that lovely festival among the wild animals of the next door safari parc Beekse Bergen. We have our jungalow, we have our tickets, so let's see what's in stock for us.

The great thing about this festival is the great line-up they somehow know how to come up with every year. The bad thing is the great line-up they somehow know how to come up with every year. It always results in some tough choices to be made and this year is no exception. I won't go and list all the bands I want to see like I used to. The schedules are clear enough. Instead I will just give some tips for every day.

There's no time to waste on Friday and it's definitely not a slow start. Fortunately we're still very fit on this first day of course.

Three tips for today:
1. Beck; for me this giant is a must-see. I love his music and his shows are always interesting and of high standard
2. Preoccupations; vicious post-punk of the band formerly known as Viet Cong
3. Kid Wave; last minute addition after a cancellation. Exciting shoegaze and worth going to the festival site early for

Sleeping is not for festivals so no lingering today, there are exciting bands to see

Three tips for today:
1. Audacity; garage punk rockers from California that released a great new album Hyper Vessels a few months ago.
2. Dinosaur Jr.; grunge dinosaurs that are still on top of things. Must see for me.
3. Weaves; quite refreshing and coo coo garage pop although it clashes with Black Box Revelation.

The last day so let's go out with a bang.

Three tips for today:
1. Unknown Mortal Orchestra; master mind Ruban Nielson had a huge break-through with his psychedelic funk, pop and rock on the album Multi-Love. With his great band they are wonderful to see.
2. Wilco; somehow I never got really into Wilco, but come on, it's still Wilco.
3. Yeasayer; lost their momentum of the first couple of albums but live they can be quite an experience.

If I make these schedules I'm afraid I'll end the weekend exhausted, hungry and thirsty, but boy I'm gonna try!

Read more!

Wednesday 8 June 2016

On Stage: The Melvins @ Paradiso

It's been over thirty years ago that The Melvins formed and for most of that time guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover formed the core of that band. They have been a strong influence on the development of grunge music and they play a mix of punk, metal and hardrock themselves. I can vaguely remember that I've seen them play about twenty years ago or so. It's about time that I get reacquainted to this unique band.

The Melvins at Paradiso Amsterdam, June 6 2016

Osborne is changing slowly into a cartoon character with his wild hair and dressed in some sort of psychedelic dress. However it is characteristic for the band that never made any concessions and are always going their own way. This becomes clear tonight where they play a big variety of songs, going from punk to sludge and doom metal, classic and glam rock and back. Bass player Steven Shane McDonald completes the line-up, where he also appears on the latest record Basses Loaded that features every past member focusing specifically on the bassists. He's a good addition to the other two and it's great to see him play in his usual fashion, totally submerged into the music and very active on stage.

It's remarkable how eager and inspired this band still sounds and looks after all these years. Osborne is walking around like a caged tiger playing his heavy riffs and explosive solo's while Crover is hitting his drums with great force but at the same time with great precision and suppleness. He is playing some great grooves that form a solid base for the other two. There isn't much interaction with the crowd but this band can let the music do the talking.

The setlist is very varied and unruly, largely ignoring the two albums that came out this year, where Three Men and a Baby (with Mike Kunka as Mike & The Melvins) took fifteen years to finish. Plenty of covers make it into the set including a vicious 'Halo of Flies', the epic Alice Cooper song. The three seem to have thought their setlist through, since it seems they are not randomly mixing styles but are actually balancing it out. And they keep the best for last when the last couple of songs are heavy rockers with plenty of fireworks for all three. This band doesn't do the obligatory encores but ends the night with their version of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game'. The Melvins prove they are still a one of a kind band that still has plenty to offer after all these years.

All Pictures

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

01. Eye Flys
02. Deuce (KISS cover)
03. Queen
04. The Kicking Machine
05. National Hamster
06. Magic Pig Detective
07. With Yo' Heart, Not Yo' Hands (Malfunkshun cover)
08. Leech (Green River cover)
09. Frosted Flake (Redd Kross cover)
10. Euthanasia
11. Mr. Rip Off
12. Halo of Flies (Alice Cooper cover)
13. Sesame Street Meat
14. The Water Glass
15. Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
16. The Bloated Pope (Melvins & Lustmord cover)
17. A Growing Disgust
18. The Decay of Lying
19. Revolve
20. Night Goat
21. Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Read more!

Monday 6 June 2016

On Stage: White Lung @ Paradiso Tolhuistuin

Canadian punk rockers White Lung have a lot going for them: earlier albums were well received and their new album Paradise may even be a game changer for them and a turning point. Their punk songs with a pop edge seems to go down well and people are starting to pick up on the band. Time to go check them out.

White Lung at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, June 2 2016

The band is bringing another band from Canada as support, shoegazers No Joy. By the time I arrive at the venue they have already started and I'm greeted by very loud guitars drenched in effects. But despite the volume No Joy knows how to balance it well and come up with some good melodies and vocals by singer Jasamine White-Gluz. Not a bad way to start the night.

Without further introduction White Lung start their set. The band shifts into gear right away and fire up one catchy punk sing after another. But it's like they get stuck into that gear for the whole night. All songs seem to be in the same tempo and sound alike a lot. Of course this not uncommon for punk music but White Lung also doesn't look like an energetic punk band either and actually come across as uninspired.

On top of that, the sound they have down so well on the new album is completely absent and what's left doesn't sound very convincing. Singer Mish Way seems to go through her rock poses on routine and stares into the darkness somewhat blasé. There's hardly any interaction with the crowd and it's obvious the people are far from fired up. As sudden as they appeared on stage they leave as well after the last song.

Maybe this simply wasn't their night, or they were tired or had an off day, but to be fair this was quite disappointing. I'll be spinning the record again an hope to catch them maybe again on a good day.

All Pictures

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

Read more!

Friday 3 June 2016

Spinning: Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

You must have been living under a rock if the news about Radiohead's new album A Moon Shaped Pool didn't reach you. An immense buzz surrounded the rumours about new music and when it was finally announced together with a tour, the internet exploded. Now you can even get a bit tired of all the Radiohead news when music news sources seem to bring you every small detail as headline. Of course all critics wanted to get their reviews out fast and couldn't stop raving about the new LP. So is it really that good?

With this band you know that they are probably the most favourite group of the whole alternative music scene, if that is a thing, and can make you a bit sceptic. Noel Gallagher said: "If Thom Yorke fucking shit into a light'd get 9/10" and it seems that's not too far from the truth. But when you listen to the new record, you know he didn't shit in a light bulb at all, since it's stuffed with wonderful music.

All the critics are simply right this time. Right from the start with album opener 'Burn The Witch' you kind of know they did it again and delivered a master piece. The lush strings that we hear in it are the common thread running through the album. In general the arrangements are simply beautiful and well thought through. Every song gets exactly what it needs. The guitar and stylish drums in 'Present Tense', the piano and strings in the sad 'Glass Eyes', it's all spot on.

Like 'Burn The Witch', some songs did already pop up years before and simply took a long time to finish. The band played 'Ful Stop' before and now made it onto the record with it's buzzing bass. And all the time there's the fragile voice of Thom Yorke, creating this scenic slightly melancholic world like on 'Daydreaming'. 'The Numbers' may be one of the best songs Radiohead ever came up with. It starts with weird noises and a ringing piano slowly unfolding itself, where halfway the strings kick in until it ends the way it started.

Mostly the record has a melancholic feel to it with some sad moments. It ends this way as well with 'True Love Waits' which is a dark sad song built around piano sounds. People that once loved Radiohead but couldn't follow the direction leaving their rock sound behind, will not really like this album either. But for anyone that can appreciate anything they did from OK Computer and Kid A on, it is possibly their best one since those two illustrious predecessors. Once you start listening you can't stop and it has ended before you know you start playing it again.

Official Website | MySpace | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Read more!