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Little Matador

Snow Patrol side project isn’t as wet as expected but still can’t quite bring itself to be any good

Little Matador - 'Little Matador'


5 / 10

Could there be a less enticing phrase than Snow Patrol side project? At least with Little Matador, guitarist Nathan Connolly doesn’t sound too much like he’s making music that mum can buy dad for his birthday. This debut album’s a half-hearted attempt to sound dangerous, with the Nine Inch Nails-go-folktronica stomp of ‘Gimme All You Got’ and the sleazy guitar grunts of ‘The Night’. ‘Liar Liar’ even recalls Idlewild at their punkiest, but there’s a shallow, souped-up steeliness surrounding each song that stinks of a songwriter trying too hard to seem edgy and failing. ‘Little Matador’ is a ballsy rock record for people who’ve never heard Queens Of The Stone Age. Not the most appealing album.

Robert Cooke
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  5. Little Matador

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formats

Dead Fader

Depleted electronic noise outfit return with boundary-pushing experiments

Dead Fader - 'Blood Forest/Scorched'


8 / 10

John Cohen – minus former partner in electronic noise Barry Prendergast – returns with Dead Fader’s first full-length since 2010′s ‘Corrupt My Examiner’, and it’s a big old game of two halves. Album one, ‘Blood Forest’, is the sweeter proposition, a hypnagogic mix of pretty, warped synth melodies (‘In Cover’, ‘Dettol’) and found sound (‘Drown’) that bips and bops like a perky Boards Of Canada. ‘Scorched’, on the other hand, is vicious, ranging from the thuggish beats of its title track to the squeaks and whirrs of ‘Crampsies’ that sound like all computerised music ever being shoved through a slicer. It’s also magnificent. Both are, in fact. With two vastly different approaches, Cohen has pushed the boundaries of electronica until they split.

Matthew Horton

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  • Various Artists – ‘The Space Project’

  • Tirzah – ‘No Romance’ EP

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formats

The Afghan Whigs

Grunge screamer Greg Dulli ends 13-year hiatus and reunites Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs - 'Do To The Beast'


8 / 10

Hey, mimsy buttoned-up slick-haired Sam Smith-alikes – call that soul? This is soul. Grunge’s original noir screamer Greg Dulli is back from his 13-year dabbling with The Twilight Singers and The Gutter Twins, back with (most of) Cincinnati’s original Afghan Whigs, back on Sub Pop and back on the trail of plaid-clad serial killers. ‘Matamoros’ – string-smattered, slinky, slaughterous – is about a Mexican town plagued by Satanic murders (”I cut you down, I stitch you up”), while ‘It Kills’ and ‘These Sticks’ are revenge fantasies that pepper Dulli’s seditious croaks with Al Green whoops. Lush, passionate and stinking of a crime scene strewn with body parts, ‘Do To The Beast’ harks gloriously back to 1993’s ‘Gentlemen’ and 1996’s ‘Black Love’ but adds flutters of electronica and folk. A brutal and beauteous slither from the grave.

Mark Beaumont

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