Hell! March has been an amazing month for new releases with so many top albums to choose from. Most of this month’s picks were out by the end of the first week and they staved off some great competition to stay there.

On RotationMudd Club
Bottle Blonde
(Raving Pop Blast!)

Teenage Delinquent Garage Punks from Wales via Kansas. Brother and sister, 13 and 19 effortlessly reinvigorate basic Rock’n’Roll comic-book style. One of Ged Babey’s ‘Greatest Bands In The History of the World Ever!’ or beginners luck? They are so instantly likeable: so simple, raw, dumb, trashy, funny, obvious, natural, talented, effortless….so basic! Fun, Attitude and Volume. 3 chords and some dumb rhymes. The magic, winning formula. All their songs sound the same: sorta – BUT they all sound like the greatest song ever written.


On RotationPrivate Function
Whose Line It Anyway?
(FOLC Records)

Sometimes all you need is a high-octane injection of pure and simple punk rock, the kind that pins you to the wall as you raise your pint in the pit, spin, slip and slide on the beer-soaked barroom floor, bounced back vertical by the pinball punters flying around. Private Function’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? rockets along at breakneck speed, flying through its thirteen tracks with the ferocity of a paranoid speed freak hoovering up the last lines in the piss-soaked stalls before diving back into the mayhem – pure unadulterated good time pub-punk ‘n’ roll.


On RotationRutger Hoedemaekers
The Age Of Oddities

The Age Of Oddities is an extraordinary album for the listener, one that takes you from the murky cavern of distorted, processed vocal at the beginning to Hoedemaekers’s sublime and poignant piano at the close. You feel like you have been transported, out of the darkness and into the light. Unsurprisingly, given Hoedemaekers’s background, The Age Of Oddities feels incredibly cinematic, particularly in terms of its ability to convey emotional complexity. Lord Byron wrote that “this is the age of oddities let loose”. God knows what he would make of these times.


On RotationNick Cave & Warren Ellis
(Goliath Records)

Religion has always been deep in the soul of Nick Cave. Old-time religion, Old Testament religion. It’s there in the biblical narrative of his life, it’s there in the shiny threads of his preacher man persona, it’s there in his Southern Gothic prose. Most of all it’s there, deep down in the grooves of his latest album, Carnage. Like all the best music since the blues begat rock’n’roll, his songs are rooted in the elemental stuff of life and death, love and loss, that sacred space where suffering and salvation lie side by side. Brutal, beautiful and occasionally very funny


On Rotation: Our pick of March album releasesArab Strap
As Days Get Dark
(Rock Action)

They’ve come back completely on their own terms and delivered an album bursting with renewed purpose and creativity. Back from the grave and ready to rave. It’s a deeply immersive album from beginning-to-end; like a good book, it’s almost impossible to put As Days Get Dark down once you’ve started. That poetic mix of darkness, melancholy, romance, and unflinching honesty that has always been an Arab Strap speciality. Reaching out through the bleakness to offer a hand to hold as days get dark.


On Rotation: Our pick of March album releasesJane Weaver
(Fire Records)

With lyrics questioning someone’s narcissistic and self-aware nature, there’s still the realism that permeates Weaver’s work, especially when she has something crucial to say. Weaver is unafraid of the industry, patriarchy and takes the world to task in a way that should make anyone sit up and take notice, and well as dealing with those universal themes of nature and our collective consciousness. The fact that she can do so with a bright, unpretentious pop sensibility, a neon glitterball hanging in a woodland, is what really marks out Flock.


On Rotation: Our pick of March album releasesBlowers
(Spooky Records/Chaputa! Records)

An album that recoils at the sight of itself. From an unstoppable succession of unholy, smoking openers which scream until the skin encasing our feeble skeleton ruptures; be it Ripped, Cut Throat, or Too Old For This Shit; there is an indubitable rawness, a rough-around-the-edges-ness; a twitchy, adolescent rage; so fast, it might catch fire at any moment. A literal ripping to pieces, a literal cutting of the throat, literally too old for any of this shit until, arrestingly distressed, compelling bleeding along the edge, exhaustion turns to existential rage.


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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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