Album Review: Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life

This article was first published to The Edge on 28th September 2017

We probably don’t give Wolf Alice enough credit for being consistently apparent on Radio 1 playlists. They’re not an easy group to categorise: too ominously moody for the Pop-Rock sold by The 1975, not always raucous enough for the nascent hardcore of Royal Blood crowds, and with surely broader influences than the pleasant power chord pummelling Indie of Catfish And The Bottlemen and Circa Waves. That Visions Of A Life is more experimental, and more varied than their debut is impressive. And if the sacrifice for that is losing the first album’s consistency and new music smell, it’s not a bad deal. Continue reading

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Film Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circles

This article was first published to The Edge on 22nd September 2017

It’ll be a cliché by the time you read this, but if you disliked Kingsman: The Secret Service, you’ll probably hate The Golden Circle. What made that film so surprising upon its release cannot be replicated, because it was Matthew Vaughn going all in on button-pushing non-winking satire. Repeating the brazen opening, the church sequence, or Pomp and Circumstance fireworks would only have diminishing returns, no matter how laser-pointed the jokes were. The only way to make a sequel that lives up to that watermark is to do something that develops the characters in new directions. That requires a story as finely-tuned as the first’s, which is something The Golden Circle doesn’t even come close to having. Continue reading

“I might as well just drink all the free stuff” – An Interview with Fickle Friends

This article was first published to The Edge on 18th September 2017

The rising stars of British Indie Pop, the Brighton-based Fickle Friends have gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months – signing a record deal, working with award-winning producer Mike Crossey, playing to 8000 people at Reading & Leeds, and most recently releasing their new EP Glue. Ahead of the band’s October tour and date with Southampton’s Engine Rooms, I spoke to singer Natt Shiner about old songs, new friends, and free booze.

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Album Review: Mount Kimbie – Love What Survives

This article was first published by The Edge on 8th August 2017

Ever since emerging in the Noughties Dubstep crowd, Mount Kimbie have challenged genre. Their interpretation of that scene practically deconstructed itself, employing elements of R&B and electronic, collated with the mystery from their warping of field recordings. Meticulously arranged production characterises the effortless feel of their tracks. Yet their third album Love What Survives demonstrates a greater relaxation than ever, along with more of Dominic Maker and Kai Campos’ boundless experimentation; Mount Kimbie now includes imperfections.

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Album Review: PVRIS – All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell

This article was first published by The Edge on 28th August 2017

Given the recent revival of American emo and indie rock by bands like The Hotelier, Sorority Noise, and Boston Manor, the work of PVRIS in 2014 debut album White Noise feels out of step just three years on. Taking the wall-of-sound technique and song structures found in chart-bothering dance music, and reapplying those same techniques with rockstar vocals, bombastic drums, and *loud* guitars is an inspired trick and one that worked to their advantage in 2014. It’s also a remarkably obvious one. Produce songs as pleasantly moving as any number of Guettas, Harrises, and Aviciis have made, in the outfits of a fresh rock band? Why didn’t anyone else succeed at that? By its very nature, such a trick could only work once – if musicians were magicians, PVRIS would give away the secrets to the coolest tricks whilst performing them. Continue reading

Film Review: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

This article was first published to The Edge on 7th August 2017

The first thing that you should know about Luc Besson’s return to the space opera genre, two decades after The Fifth Element split critics and gained cult status, is that he hasn’t set out to do anything differently in Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. This isn’t like any other major blockbuster released this year. In its structure, characters and imagination, Valerian does things differently. Its closest counterpart this year is, coincidentally, another Dane DeHaan starrer, Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness. They’re both apparently carte blanche films for eccentric directing talents, which end up as lopsided, thoroughly weird beasts. Continue reading

Review: Imagine Dragons – Evolve

This article was first published by The Edge on 15th July 2017

Can it really be only four and a half years since Imagine Dragons’ debut album Night Visions took our world by storm? The band that future historians will cite as the biggest influence on the soundtracking and promotion of films and TV in the 2010s (perhaps next to only Lana Del Rey) will neither go away nor succeed in proving that they matter. Be honest with yourself – did you know there was a third Imagine Dragons album released in June? Did you know that in the last year they had released songs other than disposable made-for-movie-soundtrack singles like ‘Sucker For Pain’ and ‘Levitate’? Did you know they are the 10th most popular act worldwide on Spotify, with nearly double the monthly listens of cited “Similar Artist” OneRepublic? Continue reading