Dave Toulson

Contra

Vampire Weekend probably shouldn’t be famous. Four implausibly preppy kids from New England with a penchant for African music, songs about punctuation and Peter Gabriel does not usually make for a great listen. However 2008’s Vampire Weekend was an uncommonly good debut album. Instantly likeable, it made the band a...
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Posted Feb. 12, 2010

Horses

Few albums can boast as beguiling and startling a start as Horses; that distant piano and the cold androgynous voice declaring “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” and there we are, barely twenty seconds into the album and with such simple iconoclasm Patti Smith had created one of...
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Posted Oct. 27, 2009

Truelove’s Gutter

If this was a fair world, which the continued existence of Akon suggests otherwise, Richard Hawley would be huge. A veteran of the Sheffield indie scene, although in all fairness his band Longpigs were never in danger of setting the world alight. Through the years Hawley has been a member...
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Posted Oct. 14, 2009

Journal for Plague Lovers

Few albums of late have carried the sheer weight of expectation like Journal For Plague Lovers, consisting entirely of lyrics left by the band’s long departed guitarist Richey Edwards. Immediately fans and critics alike went into overdrive wondering whether the source material would simply be too dark, or if the...
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Posted Jun. 22, 2009

Scream

In many ways Chris Cornell was the last standing survivor of grunge. Whilst other bands had burnt out in a blaze of glory (Nirvana), became pompous and bloated (Pearl Jam) or just disappeared into wilful obscurity (Tad, Mudhoney, The Melvins etc), Soundgarden entered the later half of the nineties as...
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Posted Apr. 27, 2009

Years of Refusal

Every artist who makes music for more than twenty years will live to embarrass themselves. It is as inevitable as it is disappointing. For example, there is no sight more distressing than The Who noodling through endless jams whilst the 60 plus Roger Daltrey warbles ‘I hope I die before...
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Posted Feb. 24, 2009

The Fray

The Fray are a band that seem to exist purely to make incidental music for American TV shows, at one point it seems to have been illegal to film any ‘emotional’ scene without their enormo-hit ‘How To Save a Life’. However instead of doing the decent thing and retiring on...
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Posted Feb. 10, 2009

Live at Koko (DVD)

What happens when a hip hop DJ gets bored of his day job? While if you’re Simon Green then, the rather unusual answer is to form an avant-jazz side project. Bonobo isn’t the easiest concept to get your head around. In a Wikipedia entry (most likely written by Green or...
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Posted Feb. 3, 2009

In The City

You might not know it but you have probably already heard Kevin Rudolf. In the past he has played second fiddle to the likes of Justin Timberlake, Flo Rida and Timbaland, he is the annoying little voice on the R’n’B club bangers that get everywhere. On his own album Kevin...
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Posted Jan. 20, 2009

Buy One Get One Free [EP]

I hate saxophones. If there is one sound that strikes fear into my heart then it is the sound of a saxophone emotionlessly parping its way through a middle 8 like the 1980s never ended. This isn’t to say that there aren’t good songs with saxophones in, it’s just that...
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Posted Jan. 20, 2009

A Cold and Broken Hallelujah?

It was no surprise when Alexandra Burke, winner of this year’s X Factor, got to Number One in the Singles Chart. The inevitability of the X Factor winner getting the coveted Christmas Number One, as they have done for almost half a decade now, seemed so clear that most bookkeepers...
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Posted Jan. 13, 2009