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The Wombats: “Fix Yourself, Not The World” – Album Review

After finding renowned TikTok success, The Wombats find new form in their Talking Heads-esque style of modern music – without the album being “too pandemic-y.”

Reflecting modestly on the horrors of the past few years in regards to COVID-19, the trio of Matthew Murphy, Tord Øverland Knudsen, and Dan Haggis wanted to keep the bold and fun of Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life interloped with the fragile and fragmented of self-reflection … and the hopes of seeing those lights at the end of the dark, long tunnel.

Murph’s zany lyrics are here in their comfortable masses (“Don’t wanna be talking to myself in a supermarket/Watching myself sink into a carpet somewhere/Don’t wanna end up there”) and truly incorporate an expertly-built album that encompasses new sounds of highs and lows fitted into a Wombat wonder that we’ve all grown accustomed to over the years.

Ever since they shared their love of Joy Division and ultimately forgetting the irony over ten years ago, The Wombats have become a musical – and cultural – phenomenon to the world of indie and rock abound. In the time that an unknown remix of Greek Tragedy came one of those re-used songs used by millions on TikTok, their following and listens skyrocketed and resulted in a profound reflection on their chaotic journey to achieving international fame.

Their fifth instalment is a true telling of captivating songwriting, modest musical moments and a band that are well and truly in the element. With a pre-tour to boot with more to come in the Summer, it will be a year for the ages.

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Singles Review: Foals “Wake Me Up”

Happy weekend folks. I hope you are having a relaxing time so far.

I just thought I would jump on and share my little insight about Foals return t0 the world of music – with one less member this time.

After their departure of their keyboardist Edwin Congreave in September, many were questioning the bands’ direction afterwards, but we needn’t have worried. Wake Me Up is the band’s next cultivating landmark to indie stardom. Trailblazing the hip guitar funk-flex as we witnessed in 2013’s Holy Fire, the song is a bass-thumping emphatic reach for Foals climbing up all those mountains.

Following their biggest project to date with two full idled albums released back-to-back in 2019, many fans are eager for the next settling chapter for the newly-turned-trio. Could this be the start of something new? Although there doesn’t seem to be any love lost between the departed members as Wake Me Up shares experiences on a dystopian wonderland simply not quite believing what they’re seeing; I’m walking through a dream/I’m walking through the finest place I’ve ever seen/Hey man, won’t you wake me up?/Say, hey man won’t you wake me up?

Whether this is an appreciation post for the band to keep going forward and carrying on with what they’re doing or something deeper, many us Foals fan are happy to see them back at it again doing what they do best.

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Adele and The Vinyl Delay: What’s the Problem?

Ever since Ed Sheeran spoke about him having to push his new album out quicker because of Adele booking every vinyl factory for her release of ’30’ this week, there has been a huge delay in production getting shifted out of the factory gates. But it’s not solely Adele’s fault.

The huge waiting times for vinyl production – and music production in general – is due to the fact that since the pandemic struck our industry, every avid musician and producer out there is making albums between the dates of September 2021 to 2022. With no avenues to tour and no discernible income from new, hot records – the time to push is now. With record labels setting high standards of lead times and deadlines, it’s come at a cost of getting the music to the consumers.

The real problem lies why this is a real issue. We wouldn’t have to necessarily rely on the manufacturing of vinyls if vinyls weren’t the only thing musicians relied on to earn any aspect of money. Therein lies the problem – the monetisation of the music industry.

If it weren’t for the hideous regimes of streaming services providing ill-health to the pockets of the musicians, the only real way of earning any equivocal value is via merchandise and vinyls (and cassettes, for some.)

It seems that the exponential growth of vinyls since the pandemic has caused the huge spikes in new vinyl releases, classic legacy albums and remastered editions to peak in production and value.

Whether or not this will be subside is another question. One thing is for sure though – this will continue long into next year. The resolution is the issues of music streaming, and certainly not those within the vinyl factories. Where are you at with this one? Let me know your thoughts!

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The Black Keys – ‘Delta Kream’ Album Review

As tough and brittle as a Rubber Factory, rock-blues natives from Ohio, The Black Keys are true realists when it comes to making the swampy work of blues-rock.

Known for spiting their differences about the music industry, The Black Keys – made up with Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney – they are a brutal force to be reckoned with as this same force goes to great depths to deliver truly raucous works of outrage, contemplation and delivery.

Their tenth studio album, Delta Kream is a swampy dredge of traditional blues-rock that harks the duo back to their collective roots of The Big Come Up in ’02 and Rubber Factory in ’04.

Despite the differences of seeing the brutish anthems of El Camino that saw the band receive commercial success from 2011, Delta Kream is a luxurious midnight-cruiser of an album that is worth every road trip in the mist of darkness.

The twelve-track listen is a stripped-back rendition of cover songs of blues artists that continue to inspire them, that ultimately remind them to never let go of the blues.

When all said and done, Delta Kream is a showing of the blues brothers-from-another-mother truly in their element. Take a trip down memory lane, because this album yearns for candlelight.

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Let’s Talk: What’s Your Favourite Album?

Ah yes, a question that makes you think more than you would like to. With a question being equally challenging as, “what’s your favourite song,” give me to topical insights, fanatic favourites and delicious delights for me to delve into if I haven’t heard of them

Of course, the more obscure the better!

Favourite albums are our most treasured moments of music, whether it’s for the simple delights of the music, the artist or the emotional connections with such an album, we love them.

It can be seemingly harder than it looks, as when you start thinking about favourite albums, you tend to drift more to favourite singles from a single band – and less so on such an album that has to the same satisfaction all the way throughout. After all, we’re forgetting about those filler songs in an album selection, aren’t we?

Now, you may certainly be the same but I can’t simply just decide on ONE favourite album, it’s like Sophie’s choice – far too many options, that’s for sure.

I’d have to say one of my favourites would be an album I recently reviewed and explored here on Man v Music – What Went Down by Foals. An integral part of my rock-indie collection and avid interest in such a band, it is a rock-hungry powerhouse of an album that is so dirty in material; ..

I love it.

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THE JOURNEY OF FOALS: WHAT WENT DOWN

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Other cult favourites of mine feature the lengthy ideals of Led Zeppelin, Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala – simply for his musical themes – and a recent favourite of mine – the new punk prowess from Machine Gun Kelly. An unlikely contender, but there you are – music is certainly full of surprises. Enough surprises it seems, to surprise myself.

So let me know your own favourites and we’ll have a good ol’ chat about them.