CALLING PUNKS OF ALL AGES! Gather your favourite pair of pogo-worn Doc Martins, best ripped, studded and patch covered denim jacket and slick up that Mohawk, because punks not dead and the 111 track long Active Time Vision Boxset is here to remind us of that. So get on board or get left behind! Still not sure? Well I have been lucky enough to get my anarchy loving paws on the boxset to review it, so let’s dive in! More »

Herbie Hancock rose to fame as a member of Miles Davis’s acoustic quintet, whose music helped define a new kind of Jazz. He’s perhaps best know for his record Canatloupe Island from the album Empyrean Isles and sampled on the Us3 tune Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) but he is known as being a crossover artist blending jazz with elements of funk and here he takes on the disco genre, infecting it with electronic jazz elements…and controversially at the time, vocoders. More »

This is a collection of six studio albums, plus some other related material, from the period 1963-1968 and covering the groups entire catalogue recorded for Transatlantic Records (whose first releases were a trio of sex education records). More »

Electric Six is a six-piece band from Detroit, Michigan. Their style is a brand of rock music infused with elements of garage, disco, punk rock, new wave, and metal all forming a very unique and at times odd sound. The band hit the big time in 2003 with the singles “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar”, and subsequently recorded eleven full-length studio albums. However, a twelfth was announced July 2016 with its name being ‘Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres’ and I just so happen to have been lucky enough to review said album! More »

Marianne Faithfull celebrates her 70th birthday on the 29th of December.  John Scott takes a listen to her 1979 album Broken English. More »

LACK are a Bedfordshire based British Punk trio, consisting of Rob, Jay and Steve. After 9 months, LACK were off to Wallington to record their first album, Anthem, and are soon to release their second album, which I was lucky enough to gain early access to. More »

Twenty Eight year old, Californian singer songwriter Natalie Mering throws back to a psychy-folk feel of the sixties, with a Gallic touch thrown in there for good measure…but then she doesn’t at the same time. More »

I’ve sat on this for a while and it’s now out there for you to get your hands on but it’s very difficult to write a balanced review of what represents four of your favourite albums of all time by your favourite band of all time. Yes it’s a boxset re-release from the late 70’s but hey, I don’t care! So, let’s throw balance out the window and say from the off that this re-release package of four albums represents some of the finest music ever made and I know each track like the back of my hand; they have been played so often over the years. This is Bob Calvert, who was by this time the band’s vocalist in residence, era Hawkwind and his way with words is, to my mind second to none. More »

Whyte Horses are from Manchester and this album came out earlier this year, but only just landed on my desk a few days ago. The band is the brainchild of one Dom Thomas who runs the Finders Keepers record label that re-releases obscure records from around the world – check it out, there’s some crazy assed stuff on there! More »

John Paul White was one half of The Civil Wars, the other half being Joy Williams, but that all went horribly wrong and the breakup of the alt-country duo, despite the mega-stardom, not to mention the soon to be released second album that lay before them, was a magnificent demonstration of how to spectacularly implode in public. Cancelled tours and studious paying no attention to each other followed and continues to this day as far as I’m aware. More »

Let’s get one thing straight from the off about Honeyblood, and this, their second album on Fat Cat Records… I am clearly not the target audience for this record, but that didn’t stop me from absolutely adoring this terrifically entertaining slab of indie-punky-poppy wonderfulness!!!  More »

The Allah-Las latest CD “Calico Review” promo landed on my desk yesterday (it was released on Sept 9th) and despite this band having been formed in 2008 and having a couple of albums out previously (Allah-Las (2012) and Worship The Sun (2014)) I must confess they are wholly new to me. More »

Earlier this month, Bob Dylan became the first musician to be awarded a Nobel prize for literature.  John Scott celebrates by having a listen to Dylan’s  1975 album Blood On The Tracks. More »

José Feliciano, no me neither, and so here’s a bit of background. Feliciano is Puerto Rican and was born blind as a consequence of congenital glaucoma but never the less he is regarded by some as the world’s greatest living guitarist. More »

You’ll know the name of course and since his days with Public Image Ltd, Mr Wobble has put out over forty albums and taken part in a huge number of collaborations. Last year he released a six CD box set called Redux, but In Dub allows fans or those new to his music, an affordable collection of this particular style of music he’s output. More »

Everything these days is ‘post-something’, don’t you think?  Post-rock, Post-punk, post-everything.  That being the case, Julia Jacklin’s debut album ‘Don’t Let The Kids Win’ should possibly take the mantle of ‘post-alt-country’, whatever that means.  The album’s a lively mix of laid-back guitar-driven songs which lie somewhere between Laura Marling, Faith Over Reason, Eileen Rose and Patti Smith.  She certainly has a voice that would melt butter – ‘Leadlight’ is one of those gorgeous summery anthems which you often hear when abroad, being both bittersweet in lyrical content and smooth as silk in the vocal department. More »

I’ve had this for a good few weeks now and it was released to the public on the 7th October…and, despite the bumph that came with the CD declaring it a “none concept album”, I’ve been frantically analysing and trying to work out what the concept is or what the hell Mr Haines is on.  There does seem to be a thread running through the album; Is it about ritual magick, is it about radical Marxist groups or is it just a collection of random tunes that could only be the product of an absolute genius? More »

This month John Scott turns his attention to the UK singer songwriter Elvis Costello who rose to stardom in the first wave of punk rock and here looks at his album This Year’s Model recorded with his band The Attractions.   More »

2016 marks the fiftieth year since Taste, the blues-rock trio, was formed by legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher. Taste’s story almost reads like a Ziggy-ish rock n’ roll film script: a youthful band that promised much, only to split after a short period in a rather dramatic and personalised fashion, when they were right on the verge of 1970s rockstardom, due to a troublesome relationship with management. Thankfully, there is a lot more to Taste than such rock n’ roll cliché might suggest. Taste had a goodly share of creative achievement, both in its MKII and lesser-known MKI line-ups, which mark the band as deserving of more than a mere foot-note in the in the annals of 60s rock. More »

I thought it was a joke when this landed on my desk earlier but as with all the albums that arrive here at Hifi Pig Towers I gave it a fair trial and popped it on in the car whilst we drove to our destination for lunch. More »

This is bass player and composer Antoine Fafard’s fourth album and features Gary Husband on drums, lead synth and piano and Jerry De Villiers Jr on lead guitar. More »

This is actually from 1985 but is now available for the first time on CD along with eight bonus tracks included. When it first came out Kerrang said it was a “distinctive and attractive alternative to the mainstream flow of things” and that’s as true in 2016 as it was then. More »

In March this year, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry carried their guitars on to the Texas Eagle train in Chicago bound for Los Angeles.  During the journey, the pair recorded songs while the train stopped to pick up passengers.  With one eye on the train, to make sure that it didn’t pull off without them, songs were recorded in station waiting rooms and trackside platforms.  Four days and 2,728 miles later they disembarked at Union Station at 4.30am and recorded their final song accompanied by the first chirpings of the dawn chorus.  More »

This month John Scott breaks out Richard and Linda Thompson’s timeless classic from 1974. More »

I’m really not sure what to make of this album.  That’s not to say that I’ve initially approached it only to then back away with a kind of “what the hell is this?!!” type of response, but moreover I’ve played this album some 20+ times and still really don’t have a clue what to make of it all.  I’m not totally sure if it’s either a conscious body of work or possibly a case of throwing ideas into a blender only to see what happens.

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I’ve been a fan of Hopkins’ work for a number of years.  The eagle-eyed amongst you will already be aware that Hopkins has previously worked with Coldplay and his track “Light Through The Veins” was reworked into what became the introduction to opening track “Life In Technicolor” from Coldplay’s album ‘Viva la Vida Or Death And All His Friends’. More »

The sleeve notes for Eye’s Of Blue’s Crossroads Of Time opens with a bit of an odd one “Sometimes a band can anticipate history to their own detriment. There is such a thing of being too far ahead of the game and finding everyone else is still playing by the old school rules…The story of Welsh band Eyes of Blue is such a case in point”. More »

When I was a youth I had the door to my bedroom painted with all psychedelic patterns, dragons, mushrooms and the like. Somewhere on the door I also had a poem that started “I am Bufo bufo, not yet rested from the great work” and on the frame over the door I had “It’s an ill wind that blows no minds”. I’m sure my parents must have been very proud, if not a little concerned about my mental wellbeing.  The year the tunes on this collection came out I was born, but I’ve always been drawn to the whole hippy vibe…man, and love the music of this era; mostly it has to be said the music that came out of the US scene. More »

The Tomcats were a British R&B/Mod band formed in Ealing in 1965 but it is in Spain they were most well known. The story goes that just before they were about to make it big on the R&B scene in London the band jumped in a van (bought by one of the band’s mum) and headed for Madrid. More »

This month, John Scott revisits the 1968 classic from Pink Floyd, Saucerful Of Secrets. More »

This months offering from él records was recorded in 1956 and is Michel Legrand’s homage to the French capital where he was born in 1932. You may not necessarily know the name but you are sure to know some of his tunes as he’s got around 200 film scores to his credit and if you’re still struggling you will certainly know Dusty Springfield’s version of Windmills Of Your Mind which is another of his tunes. More »

Lyn Stanley is the darling of the audiophile community and she certainly knows how to press our collective buttons to get us all in a lather over her recordings. Not content with just releasing her music on CD, she also releases her output on Reel2Reel and very high quality vinyl too – you may have even caught one of her live performances at High-End Munich (Lyn featured on the front cover of Hifi Pig’s coverage of High End 2015) and other audio shows.  More »

Howard Massey knows a thing or two about the music industry and is a long-time music journo and consultant to the pro-audio side of things. He’s been a touring/session musician, songwriter, recording engineer and producer, not to mention having written a dozen or so books used in recording school curricula including Behind The Glass and Behind The Glass Volume II. So his credentials for putting together The Great British Recording Studios would seem to be well and truly in order. More »

Choose a word from the following: Warped, debased, putrid, twisted. And one from these: Brilliance, originality, ingenuity, inventiveness. And there you have this album pretty much reviewed and condensed into two words. For the record I’d have gone for “Twisted Brilliance” for this is what you have here. Let Me Hang You is not for the faint of heart or those easily offended, but then William Burroughs reading some of his most outrageously degenerate but simultaneously entertaining and unsettling passages from his Naked Lunch novel of 1959 was never going to be. If you don’t know Naked Lunch then look it out and devour it before it consumes you! More »

Marc E. Smith’s The Fall divide opinion perhaps like no other band I can think of. On the one hand you have a devoted to the point of obsession fanboys, whilst on the other you have folk that just don’t get them. I fall (no pun intended) somewhere in the middle which is a bit of a cop out some may say. I do sort of understand the attraction of the band that formed in Manchester in 1976 and whose sole constant member is Smith, but then I buy their records and then think…why?

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Continuing what has been a particularly cosmopolitan set of review CDs this month we have this album from the él stable. Nope, I’ve not come across the singer before and this is part of the reason I love él; never afraid to dig out the obscure and interesting and release it on the unsuspecting music loving public. More »

This has been an absolutely huge record in France achieving the highest week one sales in fourteen years and going Double Platinum in its first week of sales. I wasn’t expecting this to land on my desk and when youngest son saw it he declared it rubbish…though I strongly suspect he’s only heard snippets, or none at all. More »

Between 1980 and 1985 Britain was experiencing a bit of a psychedelic revival and Another Splash Of Colour expands on the original album A Splash Of Colour issued in’82 and highlights many of the bands of the Nu Psych scene from that era. All the tracks from the original album are present and correct and appear here on CD for the first time ever. If you weren’t privy to the scene then many of the names herein will be new to you…as some are to me. Mood Six, High Tide, Miles Over Matter, The Barracudas and The Times are all included.

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Fearing that the world is heading to hell in a handcart, John Scott takes refuge in T Rex’s Electric Warrior. More »

DISCO is big at Hifi Pig Towers and many a Saturday night is spent strutting our stuff around the listening room…there’s even talk of us getting a mirror-ball. So what better than this album by all girl three piece that had a huge hits in ’79 with Strut Your Funky Stuff (you’ll know it of course!) and their follow up “Getting Serious”. More »

Out on the 29th July I’m A Freak Baby is really going to appeal to a certain kind of person…and I count myself in with this lot. As a teen I had hair down my back, wore an Afghan coat, stank of patchouli oil and listened to psych rock and heavy rock from the late 60s and early 70s, so when this landed on my desk I was a bit giddy with nostalgia and keen to give it a play. More »

You may have recently read about two girls from Norfolk who look uncannily similar but are, in fact, unrelated.  Rosa and Jenny are both 17, met when they were 4 years’ old and have been inseparable ever since.  Together, they make music under the moniker Let’s Eat Grandma.  Whether or not you enjoy their debut album really comes down to whether you like their mixture of darkness and light.  Oh, and their voices. More »

Summer is here, in the upper half of the hemisphere, at least. Time to bare some flesh – that’s enough, thank you – slap on the factor 30, pour a long drink, lie back and relax as John Scott provides the perfect summer playlist.   More »

Scott Wainwright hails from Barnsley, as do I, and so I was really keen to give this album a listen. He describes himself on his Facebook profile as “Maverick Blues, Gospel and Hip Hop Musician. Husband and Father. Thinker, Optimist, Man of Faith” and if anything I’d have added “a bit quirky” to that list too. I follow Scott on Facebook and he never seems not to be playing a gig somewhere or other and he’s going to be playing at the North West Audio Show at the end of June too and I’m really looking forward to seeing him live. More »

John Scott makes the most of the sunshine (well, it was shining when he started to write this) and listens to Linton Kwesi Johnson’s 1980 reggae classic.    More »