Now that the site is back working again, here’s a post Barry wrote for the site a couple of weeks ago which never made it up.
Half Man Half Biscuit – CSI: Ambleside
HMHB hail from Birkenhead outside Liverpool and have been around since the mid-1980s. They have become one of my favourite bands due to their uniqueness, sheer quality of the music and also their tours used to coincide with Tranmere Rovers away fixtures! The album continues in the same vein as previous albums with a myriad of satirical, sardonic, and sometimes surreal songs while their dense lyrics are dense full of allusions to UK popular culture and geography. While it is not as good their last album Achtung Bono (my favourite album as it happens) it is definitely worth a listen especially after reading the song title below.
Immortal Technique – The 3rd World
Immortal Technique (Felipe Coronel) has followed Revolutionary Volume I & II with The 3rd World, and has produced another album full of raw energy. There is intensification in the politicisation of this album with a multitude of modern social and political issues being dealt with. The healthy mix of accusatory rhymes and battle raps are accompanied by a mixture of grimey beats, pingy synths and even old school scratching. This is a new departure for Immortal Technique, but he is still the torchbearer of politically conscious and independent hip-hop in the US.
The Futureheads – This is Not the World
I absolutely loved The Futureheads debut album whilst their second attempt, which resulted in them being dropped by 679 Records, was a disappointment to say the least. After considering splitting, they regrouped formed their own label and released this fantastic album. It is one of the most energetic albums of the year and sees them rediscover their form. It is mainly back to what they do best with choppy post punk/new wave style guitars and the frenetic pace of their debut. They do venture into previously uncharted territory with more complex lyrics and more emphasis on bass lines and drumming.