Review: Spacehog have grown

NOW Spacehog’s return was a comeback I wasn’t expecting.
But when a copy of their album, As It Is On Earth, landed on my desk – their first LP in a good decade – I was as happy as a pig in muck.
Because for me, Spacehog were a band that always deserved more.
They stuck their tongue in the cheek of glam rock before The Darkness made it cool, and then rubbish, to do so.
They were a great guitar-slinging band at a time when guitar bands ruled, yet they were plonked firmly in the back seat of ’90s rock, sharing an earphone and staring out of the window with the likes of Gay Dad and the Longpigs, while the likes of Oasis drove and Blur held the map up front.
And I reckon this might be a view shared by Royston Langdon and his band – there’s a huge slice of melancholy flavouring this album, and it makes for a stirring listen.
Because juxtaposed with the knowing rock numbers which fit with their previous oeuvre, such as the funky Oh, Dinosaur or the anthemic Sunset Boulevard, are simply beautiful offerings like the emotional Deceit, and the ethereal Cool Water.
This results are a more mature sound from Spacehog, which makes what was a great albeit underrated band all the more compelling.
Just don’t leave it 12 years until the next one, eh lads.

From the archives: Kvelertak on track

IT IS generally thought that the British Midlands is the spiritual home of heavy metal – but bands like Kvelertak prove it probably holidays in Scandinavia.
I checked out the self-titled album by Norwegians Kvelertak on the strength of the cover art, and as the last time I did that I discovered the amazing Six Gallery’s Breakthroughs In Modern Art I should probably chance it a bit more.
Because Kvelertak is simply amazing – led by chugging guitars and Norwegian vocals, the LP is undoubtedly very metal.
However their sound encompasses all manner of influences, from Mastodon-like prog metal to Backyard Babies-style glam to throat-shredding Gallows punk, and they’re not afraid to break out the acoustic guitars when needed.

Albums of the Year: Buy George!

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CRIMINALLY underrated act Clean George IV’s God Save The Clean, at the time of writing, is yet to gather a single vote in the Album of the Year poll.
This is, as far as Sound Advice can see, complete heresy – this album is a majestic work.
God Save The Clean is a unique blend of skewed pop, stomping glam, insane electro and sneering rock all ‘throne’ together by the Scottish act, which has been working on this debut on and off since 2007.
It’s a mash of ideas – sometimes contradicting itself in the space of a song – but this unpredictability is what makes it such a thrilling, exciting listen.
Ladies and gentleman, please be upstanding for a clear-cut Album of the Year.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012