It’s all too easy to fall out of the habit of updating this when things genuinely worth time and attention, such as exams, come along. As my date with destiny looms I’ve decided to take an intermission from the books to provide a summary of what would otherwise have been a series of compelling, in-depth and quite possibly life-altering pieces.
Some bits I’ve been enjoying of late:
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach: Was never quite gonna live up to all the hype it’s been getting considering I wasn’t previously a huge fan but it throws up plenty of variety, the dominant sound being the regular brand of low-fi electronics mixed with Albarns customary groan.
Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can: A beautiful album from start to finish. This is one young lady with a maturity and grasp of song writing far beyond her meagre 20 years. Words spill from her mouth with an effortless grace which marries raw acoustics and haunting echoes. Perhaps “a female Justin Vernon” is too convenient tag but you can’t help but wonder how good the results would be if the two were to cross paths some drunken carefree night, selective breeding at its best.
Fang Island – Fang Island: This LP has been looping on iTunes for weeks at this stage and I’m just not getting tired of it. As post-rock, math-rock, electro-pop continue to rare their respective heads all over the place, it’s refreshing to hear such an uncomplicated rock album. A celebration of guitars and drums coupled with eerily uplifting choruses. An album best described by the band themselves, “Everyone high-fiving everyone.”
Delorean – Subiza: This album should be popular. It basically sounds like everything that’s in vogue at the moment. From the dreamy vocals of Beach House, to the body-grooving precusion of Tanlines and throw in more than a dash of Animal Collective. In truth any of the 9 songs could serve as a hidden track on Merriweather Post Pavillion. While Subiza may lack the variety of the AC masterpiece, it’s still one hell of a summer album.
The Cast of Cheers – Chariot: Easily one of the most exciting (and best named) acts floating around our little island at the moment. This album, available for FREE is a truly impressive blend of funky bass, jolting guitar and abrasive vocals. There is more than a hint of Redneck Manifesto influence on tracks such as Derp and Strangers, but that’s always welcome. This is a group I am dying to see live, its sure to be a head-banging, fist-pumping affair.
Caribou– Swim: This album is proving to be one of the finest impulse downloads of the year. Very much in the school of Four Tet’s progressive glitchy electronics. The album flows wonderfully accommodating swirling sirens, cackling symbols, and all sorts of psychedelic effects.
Footie: Paul Scholes…that is all!
Rugby: Can we ever write off this Munster team of old fogeys? An unpredictable season churns up yet another puzzling performance as the southern province gave the young guns of Northampton a lesson in European Rugby. O’Gara was back to his controlling best but the biggest victory came in the scrum, Munster’s Achilles heel and the Saints’ weapon of choice. Nobody could have predicted the demolition of Hartley and co by the aging Munster front three. Meanwhile Leinster showed a true sign of champions going through despite being the worse side on the night against Clermont. Jamie Heaslip is one of the best players in the world at the moment, fact. Honourable mention to Connacht into the European Challenge Cup semi-final, it would be a fitting send-off for Bradley if the westerners finally got their hands on some silverware.
Tennis: A ruthless route at the Monte-Carlo Rolex masters suggests Nadal may be back in business, finally. We can only hope the master has the good bill of health he deserves.
Golf: A gripping contest at Augusta ended in a fairly predictable victory for Mickleson. Tiger back and playing like he’d never been away. A horror show by the Irish, European hopes were pinned on Poulter and Westwood from thursday evening but the latter came up agonisingly short.
GAA: Cork beat Tipp, job!
Boxing: Another easy, predictable and stale victory for Haye. Bring on one of the Klitschko brothers and give the people the fight they want to see….until Mayweather and Pacquiao.