While some readers will have been soaking up the September sun, Britain’s beaches blessed by not-so-seasonal scorchers, us Clash types have been busying ourselves listening to what the month’s had to offer on a new album front.
We’ve opened, played, processed and digested quite literally LOTS of records over the past month, and here’s our handy reminder of six of the best from September – each worthy of your time, attention and, most probably, hard-earned pennies. It’s a six-pack anyone can obtain, and hurrah for that.
"The best thing you’ll hear this year and next"
Kings Of Leon (pictured)
‘Only By The Night’
Clash cover stars of issue 30 (October 2008), Kings Of Leon’s fourth long-player saw the Followill clan broaden their musical palette and reaffirm their position as a truly premier league outfit – that headline slot at Glastonbury, it seems, has been utterly vindicated. A snippet from the magazine’s album review, if you will: “this album is the best thing you’ll hear this year and next – guaranteed”.
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Selected as ClashMusic.com’s Album of the Week in late September (click here to read the full review), Mercury Rev’s seventh studio album proper, arriving after a so-so 2005 record in the shape of ‘The Secret Migration’ and a best-of the following year, reminded admirers of the trio’s otherworldly excellence. Says our review: “an album that proves that its makers’ love for the world is genuinely intoxicating”.
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TV On The Radio
The New Yorkers’ third album for the 4AD label saw their star ascend to a height never before realised, with top-mark reviews doing the rounds like wildfires spread across California. With a superlative precedent set two years ago with ‘Return To Cookie Mountain’, itself hugely acclaimed, pressure was on the five-piece to deliver a worthy successor. But deliver they have, and ‘Dear Science’ presently sits atop review aggregator site Metacritic as 2008’s best album so far (read ClashMusic.com’s news item here). What’ll beat it? Beats us!
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Alan McGee’s persistent blabbering may have initially put off a fair few, and undoubtedly the Glasgow foursome had their share of critics ahead of this debut album’s release, scepticism getting the better of open-mindedness, but come the crunch the band excelled. ‘Glasvegas’ is a divider, an opinion-splitter to rank among the year’s best, but positivity has ultimately laid pessimism to rest. “Poignant”, “epic”, “anthemic”, “brilliant”: all adjectives used in Clash’s review of the record, and rightly so. “Moist”, though? Listening back we’re not so sure about that one.
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“Poignant, epic, anthemic... brilliant”
Regarded by some pen-pushing sorts out there (hello NME and The Independent) to be the year’s best dance album, and even a contender for outright album of the year, Metronomy’s second album after 2006’s hidden gem ‘Pip Paine (Pay The £5,000 You Owe)’ saw lynchpin Joseph Mount flesh out the glitchy beat-play of previous material and incorporate genuinely pop-savvy sensibilities. With his reputation as a remixer established, 2008 could be the year Mount’s project crosses over. Said Clash: “…like an elderly mariachi band dying of spontaneous heart attacks, before being resurrected as disco zombies… brilliant”.
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‘The Hawk Is Howling’
After flirting with vocals for their past few records, album six saw post-rocking Scots Mogwai return to purely instrumental ways. But removing another layer of sound takes nothing away from the dynamics of ‘The Hawk Is Howling’ – if anything it’s their most striking release since ‘Come On Die Young’ raised hairs back in 1999. The band also returned to their roots another way, working Andy Miller at the Chem 19 studios in Hamilton for the first time since 1998. Song titles like ‘I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School’ show that the five-piece have lost none of their humour, with Clash adding that they’ve “lost none of their vicious charm”.
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Are we right, or so very wrong? What’re your favourite albums of September? Have we missed some true classics in the magazine’s review section? Let us know! Get involved by commenting below – if you’re yet to register with MyClash do so by clicking HERE.