SOUND NT JUDGEME

THE LAT­EST AL­BUM RE­LEASES RATED AND RE­VIEWED

Llanelli Star - - SOUND OUT -

FU­TURE DUST THE AMAZONS ★★★★ ★

THE per­fect fol­low-up to their 2017 de­but al­bum, Fu­ture Dust is the Reading rock­ers’ sec­ond chance to prove their worth as a le­git­i­mate group wor­thy of any fes­ti­val stage. Lead singer Matt Thom­son and his band-mates were aim­ing for a heav­ier sound and they’ve cer­tainly got it.

Right from open­ing track Mother, with its creep­ing crawl of an in­tro that booms into a mon­strous song of de­fi­ance to the in­trigu­ing End Of Won­der, in which they sing about the si­lent rise of eat­ing dis­or­ders, the al­bum is a riff-led, gut­tural plea­sure.

SUDDENLY EV­ERY­ONE EX­PLODES

PLAS­TIC MER­MAIDS ★★★★★

ISLE of Wight na­tives Plas­tic

Mer­maids have cre­ated a tripped-out psy­che­delic pop masterpiec­e that ebbs and flows like the cur­rent I fully ex­pect them to ride this year.

It’s also un­der­stand­able why Wayne Coyne is such a huge pro­po­nent of the five-piece, who are, in their own Blue Peter-style, build­ing an ef­fects pedal for the Flam­ing Lips frontman.

Suddenly Ev­ery­one Ex­plodes is on the money from Glow to Luli­uli. There isn’t a bad track on the al­bum. So whack it up and tune out from life with this mul­ti­lay­ered and faceted group.

STILLWATER FRANKIE LEE ★★★ ★★

AMER­I­CAN singer-song­writer Frankie Lee fol­lows in the foot­steps of Bob Dy­lan with his sec­ond al­bum.

Stillwater has an easy go­ing, Nashville Sky­line sound, com­plete with slide gui­tar and har­mon­ica, but it avoids ever de­scend­ing into pas­tiche.

Like his hero, Lee also uses a tra­di­tional ve­neer to dis­guise darker con­tem­po­rary themes, his lyrics adding an edge to the sunny ar­range­ments, with (I Don’t Want to Know) John chan­nelling the sort of blue-col­lar sto­ry­telling that marked out early Spring­steen, and In the Blue con­ceal­ing a theme of loss be­neath lush piano chords.

The rest of the al­bum never quite matches those two, but it is nev­er­the­less a classy and like­able Coun­try-in­flected pop record.

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