Against Me! – “Shape Shift With Me” Review
Record Bulletin

Against Me! – “Shape Shift With Me” Review

AGAINST ME! – Shape Shift With Me (Total Treble): If Transgender Dysphoria Blues was a transition album for frontwoman Laura Jane Grace in more ways than one, Shape Shift With Me is trying to settle back into “normal,” whatever that might mean. The Florida quartet starts on a flagrantly political note: “Provision L-3” functions doubly … Continue reading

Bon Iver – “22, A Million” Review
Record Bulletin

Bon Iver – “22, A Million” Review

BON IVER – 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar): Serves me right for thinking Justin Vernon couldn’t out-pretentious himself five years after his sophomore self-titled piece of shit, but here we are: ‘song’ titles written in l33k speak and mathematics symbols, more autotune and voice distortion than James Blake could dream of, overproduction that would make Madonna … Continue reading

Sleaford Mods – “Key Markets” Review
Record Bulletin

Sleaford Mods – “Key Markets” Review

SLEAFORD MODS – Key Markets (Harbinger Sound ’15): The inattentive listener will think vocalist Jason Williamson’s blistering invective and Andrew Fearn’s five-second drum ‘n bass loops are anger directed at everything. That misses the more important and most obvious point: the anger is aimed at everything that’s a product of an inescapable class system which … Continue reading

Sleaford Mods – “TCR” EP Review
Record Bulletin

Sleaford Mods – “TCR” EP Review

SLEAFORD MODS – TCR (Rough Trade EP): The great thing about Sleaford Mods—from Austerity Dogs through Key Markets and probably all the super-underground early material I haven’t heard—is that they’re political but not politicized. They’d rather shout obscenities from the cigarette-burned seats in the back of the bus than present a dissertation. And so their … Continue reading

Trickle-Down Fury: Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumper” is the Political Album You Need, Not the One You Deserve
From the Vaults

Trickle-Down Fury: Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumper” is the Political Album You Need, Not the One You Deserve

CHUMBAWAMBA – Tubthumper (Republic/Universal ’97): Were the second half of this album as solid as the first, I’d hail Tubthumper as one of the Great Overlooked Albums of the 90s. Chumbawamba—an anarcho-punk collective from Burnley, Lancashire chugging along steadily since the early 80s—alienated everyone in the immediate aftermath of their one and only smash hit, … Continue reading