Rock (November 2018)

hfnalbum.pngJosh Taerk
Beautiful Tragedy
Misty Creek Records MCR013

How many of the bands critics called The New Beatles ever became the 'new Beatles'? That's right, none. Well, now they're calling this guy The New Springsteen, so he's probably doomed. Despite which, this third album from the Canadian singer-songwriter is a formidable piece of work which fans of The Boss who also enjoy the more contemporary rock stylings of Snow Patrol or Kings Of Leon should savour. 'Anywhere Love Took Us' and 'After The Fall' are brilliantly-crafted slabs of AOR, 'Beauty Queen' is an insightful dissection of the downsides of being pretty, and 'Learning To Let Go' is a Jackson Browne-ish musing on life's illusions. As a mainstream rock artefact this album's going to be hard to beat for the rest of this year. JBk


The Molochs
Flowers In The Spring
Innovative Leisure IL2056

Listening to the parade of '90s Brit-rock influences on this duo's second album, it's hard to believe they're actually from Los Angeles. Frontman Lucas Fitzsimons lacks a great voice but he makes up for it by emoting with conviction, and the pair's simple but effective jangly guitar licks conjure enjoyable images of Oasis and The Smiths. 'Shadow Of A Girl' borrows too much from The Velvet Underground's later period and the title track so efficiently evokes The Kinks' mellow 1966 sound that it's hard to take either song seriously in its own right but, at their best, on punchier cuts like 'All The Things That Happen To Me', The Molochs provide plenty of retro-fun. JBk


Through Broken Summer
Wayside And Woodland Recordings W&W045

If the word dreampop didn't already exist, it would have to be invented to describe the other-worldly interwoven soundscapes purveyed by Epic45. To put it another way, you won't be whistling these tunes in the bath, but you might feel them drifting through your brain when you wake up still half-asleep in the middle of the night. It's been seven years since this Staffordshire outfit's last album, but they've lost none of their power to evoke a quintessentially English pastoral ambience. The spookily haunting 'Other Rooms', the shimmery chiming of 'Life Fades Whilst It's Still Yours' and the twinkly guitars of the title track are absolutely gorgeous. Stunning stuff. JBk


Texti-tv 666
Aidattu Tulevaisuus
Svart Records SVART169CD

If the thought of six super-charged Finnish hard-rock warriors, four of them brandishing a guitar turned up beyond ten, doesn't float your boat, you should avoid this like the plague. However, with Lemmy tragically dead and gone, and Japan's crazed Guitar Wolf releasing nothing for the past couple of years, there's a yawning gap out there for a band that plays as if their lives depended on it, and Texti-tv 666 are that band. If you can ignore the fact that they sing in Finnish and just turn the volume knob up to umpteen, I guarantee you'll be able to forget, even if only for a few minutes, that almost everything in the British charts is anodyne, insipid tosh. JBk