Well, February just flew right by! Here we are once again with On Rotation, our pick of albums of the month.

on rotationSea Power
Everything Was Forever
(Golden Chariot)

They’ve come a long way since the spiked angular sound of songs like Apologies For Insect Life and Sea Power are surely on the cusp of becoming an institution, one in which all are welcome to hole up and weather out the storm. Their blend of atmospheric indie post-rock continues to develop, ebbing and flowing like a river rushing through their precious and celebrated woodlands. The band are now experts in blending scrawling riffs across expansive landscapes. At times they skirt closer to the orchestration of Sigur Ros, but Sea Power know full well that their power is in something more communally celebratory, closer to the hands of the people than the seemingly untouchable ephemeralness of some of their peers, and they are all the better for it.


on rotationJohnny Marr
Fever Dreams Pt 1 – 4

Johnny’s musical chops are beyond reproach as he builds on his familiar guitar sounds with sequencers, synths and beats often coming to the fore. The record reflects on his ‘Covid journey’ from the uptempo New Order-ish beats of the opening Spirit Power and Soul through to the immersive finally of Human. A lesser artist may be maligned for releasing such a varied album but this is Johnny F**King Marr and let’s be honest, after 40 years in the industry, he can pretty much do what he wants. It’s a brilliant collection and one that you will want to immerse yourself in.


On Rotation: Our pick of February’s releasesBlinker & Moses
Feeding The Machine

Binker & Moses are reunited. Along with electronic musician, Max Luthert, Messrs Golding & Boyd join forces again to bring us Feeding The Machine. It’s a thrilling, intense journey. Feeding The Machine is an incredibly intense experience. Akin to a tornado, it’s an album that sucks you deep into its heart and sweeps you skywards. At times smouldering and fierce, occasionally thoughtful and reflective, it keeps you enrapt throughout. Binker and Moses are experienced enough now to understand how to play with the light and the shade and they utilise both brilliantly. Just like The Darklands in James’s novel, you will be utterly bewitched.


On Rotation: Our pick of February’s releasesMarc O
L’Homme De L’Ombre
(Plastic Sound Records)

Marc O’s debut album combines the attitude and bravado of Iggy Pop with the sensuality and sophistication of Serge Gainsbourg and Lou Reed’s penchant for the avant-garde and cultural challenge. Music has a unique quality which can both unite disparate groups of people and also challenge the status quo and influence change. L’Homme De L’Ombre does all that and more. L’Homee De L’Ombre (Man Of The Shadows)blends aggressive and powerful textures and melancholic soundscapes to break down language barriers and deliver one of the most powerful, evocative and stunning albums I’ve heard in a very long time.


On Rotation: Our pick of February’s releasesBambara
Love On My Mind
(Wharf Cat)

Despite the concision (clocking in at 22 minutes), Love On My Mind is one of Bambara’s most ambitious releases. Enlisting Jeff Tobias on saxophone and Jason Disu on trombone, as well as Bria Salmena and Drew Citron adding vocals, the band’s sound has expanded hugely. It doesn’t drag on, it’s perfectly enough for them to state their intent. While perhaps a longer record could give them more power, or weight in that statement, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter. The band don’t stray from pop, nor do they appear to care too much about being ‘punk-rock’, they’re a rock ‘n’ roll band – it’s raucous noise with back-to-back slick anthems. It’s a genuine album, it’s straight to the point, riotous and personal.


On Rotation: Our pick of February’s releasesMetronomy
Small World
(Because Music)

Back with their seventh album, Small World, Metronomy do what they do best. It may be more stripped-down and more grown-up than anything they have done previously, but the quality is maintained. It is another change of direction, this time a deviation greater than normal. Despite that, the quality of the output remains consistently high, confirming, once again, that Joe Mount is one of the finest songwriters of his generation. Each and every track on this eclectic jewel brings something a little different to the party. It’s undoubtedly a grower; there is nothing here to match the earworm-quality of The Look nor anything as immediately attention-grabbing as Love Letters (the song). But give these tunes time and space and, just like another box of chocolates, they will grow on you.


on rotationKicked In The Teeth
Salt Rocket To Nowhere
(Rare Vitamin)

The violence is in the music and songs where it is exorcized. The band is their release for all the pent-up anger, frustration at rage at government, institutions and society. Salt Rocket To Nowhere gives younger hardcore bands something to aspire to musically in terms of concise, match-fit, controlled rage and aggression with no flab or excess. The guitar-playing is phenomenal without being show-offy and too metal. The album is a solid steel (as opposed to heavy metal) hardcore punk album that proves there is still a vibrancy and power in the genre. And still a need for it as a pressure-valve and that the best stuff doesn’t necessarily come from the USA.

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 manchestermusic.co.uk. Now living in Spain, he also writes for the Spanish magazine Ruta 66.


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