Here’s our pick of the albums that have been on rotation this month at Louder Than War.

On Rotation: Our pick of February album releasesVIRGINIA WING
Private Life
(Fire Records)
Both lovers of their debut and new listeners will be relieved to know that this sophomore effort proves them to be a band who manage to be bigger than their surroundings no matter what. After all, this is a band who live inside the unwritten manifesto of the avant-garde – your art is to be sublimated. With its mix of futuristic synths and natural world water-inspired soundscapes, the listener has been pulled through a world universal in the things it tackles, but unique in the way it tackles them.


On Rotation: Our pick of February album releases

Lines Redacted
(Memphis Industries)

On Lines Redacted, Mush have turned their sights on the darkness behind the curtain, where the world’s stagehands are turning the cogs at the behest of the catastrophe directors while we, as actors, spectators, seem unable to do little more than play our scripted parts or look on in horror. The fact that they do this while simultaneously writing songs as entertaining as those here, never once going in for the obvious kill and ramming an easy metaphor in your face simply for effect, is a credit to them.


On Rotation: Our pick of February album releasesDEF ROBOT
We Go Up To Eleven

Even though We Go Up To Eleven became the 11th release for Def Robot in two years, it seems that the band is still full of ideas. They make you feel it straight-away – from the very first chords of Night Falls. Probably their endless enthusiasm. Or better said “punk-ethic” – following the words of Paul Taylor – co-founder of the band, who says it is because they “are constantly writing, current events are a great source material. As we write record and mix so quickly, those current events are still happening… [and] whatever the upsides and downsides of music streaming, we love the punk ethic of writing something that is released almost immediately.”

On Rotation: Our pick of February album releasesPRIMITIVE KNOT
Fight The Future
(Phage Tapes)

Alongside the bone-rattling riffs, Primitive Knot presents listeners with a vivid and detailed aesthetic. This is music that seems to exist between the pages of Orwell’s iconic 1984, the intergalactic nightmares of HR Giger and the disturbing fever dreams of David Cronenberg. Much like James Woods subsumed the dreaded Videodrome into his very being, Knot fully absorbs his influences. The album uses sci-fi and horror to deliver an extremely pertinent message of dissent, anger and protest. The dystopian imagery perhaps once reserved for novels and film now interwoven with the daily news. As the title suggests, Fight The Future isn’t about to lie down and give up.


On Rotation: Our pick of February album releasesKING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
(KGLW Records)

I love the simplicity of a good punk hook, the catchy indie anthems, the post-punk sounds of a lot of original bands cementing their unique stuff on the scene, yet this is compelling musicianship at it’s best. 17 albums in, this is possibly their best work and they have finally honed their sound into their own. One of the best bands around in these dark times. It’s an absolute stunner that’s going to be up there in the best albums of 2021 as they solidify their mantle as one of the original great bands of our time.


On Rotation: Our pick of February album releasesMOGWAI
As The Love Continues
(Rock Action)

Recent years have seen Mogwai employed in soundtrack work, an interesting twist on their dynamic and seeing them stretch their sound taut allowing so many sonic nuances to escape. These soundscapes describing celluloid demand more space and a calmer approach, which they have employed on As The Love Continues. The new album brings this into play with beautifully barren stretches that are like the astonishing images of Mars that hold the tension for the climactic build-ups. This is a sensual, subtle shape-shifting music that reconnects with the subtle oddness of their music that finds release with those dense plateaus of sound as they build and build.


Songs of ResistanceJAMES ATKIN
Songs Of Resistance
(ATK Records)

James Atkin, EMF’s dynamic frontman who memorably belted out 90s’ anthem Unbelievable, has used the lockdown period to hone his talents into a strong new album, Songs Of Resistance, tapping into some of the challenging issues of recent times and is arguably his best solo work to date. It is an album with feet straddling two camps: one planted firmly in the current serious and heavy issues we’ve been facing, the other dancing in those more carefree, lighthearted days of running around in fields and getting lost in music. This is EMF all grown up and relevant.


For all our album reviews, head over here.

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Nathan has been writing for Louder Than War since 2012. Before that, he wrote for Now living in Spain, he also writes for the Spanish magazine Ruta 66.


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