Album review: Knife Party – Abandon Ship

Originally published in The Broadie

Although my sarcastic and weary demeanour may tend to convey otherwise, I don’t try to intentionally dismember what I review. Perhaps I may sit down at my desk and brace myself for an onslaught of mediocrity, an instinct that usually serves well through the likes of Miley Cyrus’ magnum opus Bangerz. Knife Party triggers this radar like a machete at airport security, but each time I take a listen to their noises I find myself pleasantly surprised about how much I don’t despise them. The music is typically just as humane as the name suggests, with stabbing synths and heavy percussion, but Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, the Australian duo who formed from the remnants of drum and bass ensemble Pendulum, have a perplexing knack of making it sound vaguely tolerable.

After a plethora of delays, debut album Abandon Ship has finally found the light of day, but alas, it’s immediately obvious that the pair shouldn’t have tried to spread out their inspiration, if you could so generously assign it that term, to a longer body of work than a four-track EP. Though the duo were keen to avoid having dubstep on the record, they’ve not strayed too far from their traditional ‘electro house’ stylings. Any exploration into new territories feels strained and disingenuous – almost as if their major label contract has shoehorned them into boxes more befitting of spoons and cake forks. Continue reading “Album review: Knife Party – Abandon Ship”

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Album review: Skrillex – Recess

Originally published in The Broadie

Since his breakout with 2010’s boisterous Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, Los Angeles native Skrillex has become the poster boy of the EDM revolution. With copious brostep, a dubstep-based sound that Spin labelled as “lurching and aggressive” in a polite way of saying it sounds like a live cat going through a meat grinder, and a haircut to match, Sonny Moore has polarised and alienated, but created a whole new mainstream electronic scene, especially in the US. His first full length album, Recess, of course stays true to the genre that made him a superstar, while also half-heartedly dangling a toe near every pond. Continue reading “Album review: Skrillex – Recess”

Album review: Pharrell Williams – G I R L

Originally published in The Broadie

Some things about Pharrell Williams are pretty unbelievable. He’s been around seemingly forever and recently hit his 40th birthday, yet he could still pass for being in his early 20s with ease. His collaborations with Daft Punk last year made me realise that he could actually sing. And now, 8 years after his rap-filled solo debut In My Mind, he’s back with an effort to win over all the ladies of the world, bringing plenty of falsetto with him. Continue reading “Album review: Pharrell Williams – G I R L”

Album review: Miley Cyrus – Bangerz

Originally published in The BroadieThe Broadie

After all the media nonsense that has surrounded the release of Miley Cyrus’ fourth album, you could be forgiven for expecting a boisterous party pop record in the vein of Ke$ha as opposed to the sugary teen pop of her Hannah Montana days. Bangerz, however, is an album that attempts to defy our expectations of the singer as she ventures into grounds previously untouched in her career, with rap, partying and a whole lot of twerking. Continue reading “Album review: Miley Cyrus – Bangerz”

Album review: Avicii – True

Originally published in The Broadie

A couple of years ago you’d struggle to find anyone who’d heard of Swedish producer Tim Bergling, but then ‘Levels’ happened. Released under his Avicii moniker, the track ushered electronic music back towards the top of the charts and sparked a new craze for the genre across the world. The relentless pace of the 24 year old’s rise has continued into 2013, with both his Nicky Romero collaboration ‘I Could Be The One’ and ‘Wake Me Up’ reaching the top of the UK charts, and the latter serves as the first single for his debut album True, released this week. Continue reading “Album review: Avicii – True”