More Album Reviews

So you only have a few hours left until you need to be at Jazz Cafe london. Even Tim Wheeler’s asking you to go – which can only mean one thing. Ash Fans. Ohhhhh Noooooeees! (No srsly, everyone’s welcome, even the ash fans :) ).

13509_largeMeanwhile, HMV of all places is now stocking the album – yes an actual physical store – and the Official Charts Company list it as a new release.

As for reviews, Shout4Music have a small one up, giving it another 7 out of 10.

Alcopop post at Believe Blog with details of the album and gig.

And The Album Wall have a large tribute post up to an understandably influential band.

So that’s it. Bar any late minute dramas, off to the final gig in a few hours. Any guesses who else will be there? There’s no end of celebrity fans, high flying family siblings or ex band members to turn up, but so long as Davey, Andy, Owen and Joe make it – it’s all good. I’ll try and liveblog a few things here but for most of the gig it’ll be quite. Just hope to god someone brings along a decent video recorder else you’ll be stuck with my iPhone 3GS’ blury mess again :|

EDIT: Let’s make this a bit easier – who’s not coming: Charlotte Hatherly. Whoever Alice Potter is. Wow. That’s one angry lady. And Lucifer – will get pics for you all. However, El Spoonio are going! At least pagey is. Must dig out the old EP to get signed…

This week’s new releases 29-07-2013

This week’s new album releases
Alela Diane – About Farewell
AlunaGeorge – Body Music
Aurra – A Little Love
Backstreet Boys – In A World Like This
Bettye Crutcher – Long As You Love Me
Big Country – At The BBC: The Best Of The BBC Recordings
Bin Weevils – Bin Tunes
Birthday Party – Live 1981-82
Buddy Guy – Rhythm & Blues
CCS – Tap Turns On The Water: The CCS Story
Chas & Dave – Gertcha! The EMI Years
Cliff Martinez – Only God Forgives
Darrell Banks – I’m The One Who Loves You: The Complete Volt Recordings
David Porter – Gritty, Groovy & Gettin’ It
Deadlock – The Arsonist
Dean Martin – Greatest Hits/That’s Amore
Don-E – Little Star
Earl Klugh – Hand Picked
Electric Peace – The Cult
Emblem3 – Nothing To Lose
Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1
Fueled By Fire – Trapped In Perdition
Gloria Gaynor – Gloria Gaynor’s Park Avenue Sound
Gloria Gaynor and Tom Moulton – Love Tracks
Hands Like Houses – Unimagine
Harry Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection
Holly Golightly – Truly She Is None Other (Expanded Edition)
Icehouse – Primitive Man
Icehouse – The 12 Inches – Vol. 1
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance
Jetplane Landing – Dont Try
Joe Farrell Quartet – Joe Farrell Quartet
Jon Lord – Concerto For Group And Orchestra
Kevin Tihista – Modern Standard
Luke Haines – Rock And Roll Animals
Major Surgery – The First Cut
Martin Simpson – Vagrant Stanzas
Maschine – Rubidium
Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days
Misery Signals – Absent Light
Morne – Shadows
Original cast Recording – Sofia the First
Pleasure – Future Now
Postiljonen – Skyer
Richard & Adam – The Impossible Dream
Richard Band – Re-Animator
Robert Randolph and the Family Band – Lickety Split
Scouting For Girls – Greatest Hits
Slum Village – Evolution
Smashing Pumpkins – Aeroplane Flies High
T-Connection – Magic
Tech N9ne – Something Else
The Crimea – Square Moon
The Innocents – Classic Innocents
The Staple Singers – This Time Around
The Ventures – Big Box Of The Ventures
Tony Touch – The Piece Maker 3: Return Of The 50 MCs
Various Artists – Beatles Beginnings 4: The Cavern Club 1961-62
Various Artists – Beatles Beginnings 5: The Star Club 1962-63
Various Artists – Cocoon Ibiza mixed by Ilario Alicante
Various Artists – Cream Ibiza 2013
Various Artists – Doc McStuffins: The Doc Is In
Various Artists – Drum&BassArena Summer Selection 2013
Various Artists – I Just Love A ’50s Summer Party
Various Artists – I Just Love A ’60s Summer Party
Various Artists – Mash Up Mix: Ibiza
Various Artists – Opera Metal Vol. 8
Various Artists – Saint Etienne Presents Songs For A Central Park Picnic
Various Artists – The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood
Various Artists – The Smurfs 2: Music from and Inspired by
Various Artists – The World’s End
Various Artists – Trance Nation: Lange
Various Artists – Verve Remixed: The First Ladies
Vince Gill & Paul Franklin – Bakersfield
Witherscape – The Inheritance

Post by for The Official Charts Company, 29/07/2013.

The Crimea – ‘Square Moon’

Record Label Alcopop

The Crimea’s early singles from ten years ago – songs like ‘White Russian Galaxy’ and ‘Baby Boom’ – have stood the test of time, and endured through a couple of lengthy silences from the band, so it’s a shame to hear they are now finally disbanding. Their final album ‘Square Moon’ seems to be have been contrived as a deliberately valedictory record: with twenty-two tracks to take in it’s as through frontman Davey McManus is trying to say everything he won’t have chance to say again, and many of the lyrics take on an elegiac tone. The music is elegiac too. Gently played piano and swooning strings wash over you all too easily, concealing a churning morass of emotion beneath. Like all but the best double albums, ‘Square Moon’ does have its longeurs; by the second disc the format of introductory spoken word samples and lilting piano-based melodies, followed by the entry of McManus’ eclectic lyrics, does start to get a bit old. But for the most part, this is an entrancing and intriguing album that repays repeated explorations. The Crimea might not be bowing out on an obvious high here, but this is an album of understated power that fittingly closes their career as a band.

Review by Alan Ashton Smith for Shout4Music, 29th July 2013.

Believe New Release w/c 29/07/13

Artist: The Crimea
Release: Square Moon
Label: Alcopop! Records and Lazy Acre Records
Genre: Alternative – Indie Rock / Alternative Rock

Returning after a hiatus following the release of the bands second album “Secrets of the witching hour” (which defined legendary status as the first ‘big album’ to be given away free), The Crimea are set to return this summer for one final hurrah, with a slot at 2000 Trees festival, a headline show at The Jazz Café in London, and this brand new double album “Square Moon”. Based around the lovelorn lyrics of aforementioned Davey, Square Moon is (unlike previous efforts) not built around its ‘obvious singles’, it is a dazzling technicolour tour de force through woozy pop, ragged folk and desolate piano.

Info posted by Alcopop for Believe Blog, 26th July 2013.

It’s Only the End of the World: A Tribute to The Crimea

Square Moon, The Crimea’s jumbo-sized third album, was originally meant to be released on the 31st of October, 2011. It was actually only released today, and at some point in the intervening 21 months, the band decided that this would be their last hurrah. After one final gig in London tomorrow night, they’re packing it in, which is a very great shame indeed. I love The Crimea with a fervency that’s reserved for brilliant bands that nobody else seems to have heard of, and so I thought I’d share some thoughts on their work before the curtain falls.

I discovered The Crimea at Cardiff’s Big Weekend in the summer of 2006. I had been watching a band called Cord, and I was all set to wander away from the stage and track down my friends when two chaps in Crimea T-shirts asked if I was staying to watch them. I hadn’t intended to, but they assured me that it would be well worth my time, and by Jove, they weren’t wrong. Standing next to two people who were joyously singing along with every lyric probably heightened the experience, but it was pretty amazing anyway, and Lottery Winners on Acid in particular made such an impression that I was compelled to track down its parent album, Tragedy Rocks.

I spent the rest of that summer singing along to the likes of Girl Just Died and White Russian Galaxy, and when I stumbled upon a new Crimea album in Spillers one year on, I couldn’t part with my cash quickly enough. I needn’t have bothered, of course – this was Secrets of the Witching Hour, which has now passed into legend for being arguably the first ever free-to-download album – but the price was more than justified, and just as Tragedy Rocks had been my soundtrack for Summer ’06, Secrets… was a loyal friend in Summer ’07. My family took me on holiday to Newcastle that year, and since my MP3 player had recently conked out, I dusted off my portable CD player and nearly wore out the Secrets of the Witching Hour disc in the space of a week. Songs like Don’t Close Your Eyes On Me and Light Brigade were everything I needed at that point, and as you’ll notice if you look to the right, the album is now a permanent fixture in my All-Time Top 10 list. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if you haven’t already downloaded this record, do it now.

I attended my second Crimea gig in Summer 2008 (an intimate affair at The Gate, which is a converted church in Roath) and the setlist was packed with previews of new songs which promised big things for their upcoming third LP. I was dizzy with anticipation; I listened to the demos on their myspace page a lot, and I keenly awaited the big announcement.

And eventually, after years of agonising silence, came Square Moon. It was actually only three years, rather than five; I and other fast-moving Crimea fans have secretly had these 22 songs on our iPods for some time, having bought it on a limited pre-order back in 2011. While many will only be purchasing this album today, we already have nearly two years of memories attached to it. I’ve already realised how much Shredder sounds like Cows and Cows and Cows and Cows; I’ve already smiled along to Mid-Air Collisions, shouted along to We Stand Alone, wondered whether he’s singing about ‘Adam and Eve’ or ‘Saddam and Eve’ in Lupara Bianca.

And yet it still keeps me hanging on. I was listening to Square Moon this afternoon, and I’m surprised that an album I’ve had for almost two years can still make me feel so many feelings. But sure enough, those themes of loss and separation and sudden, unexpected estrangement – as heard throughout the album but especially on Lovers of the Disappeared – hit me right in the heart to this very day.

Ugh. I’m sorry to bore you with extracts from my tedious life story, but the point I’m trying to make is that The Crimea are an intensely personal band, the polar opposite of background music, and it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in them while listening. Better still, their massive melodies and sharp hooks make them pretty accessible, which means that more or less everyone can get up close and personal with these tracks. They’re a band to live by, and just listening to them is a huge experience in itself. I can’t make it to their farewell gig in London and that makes me very sad, but even if you’ve arrived after the end, I’d implore you to check The Crimea out ASAP. Buy Square Moon from Alcopop Records today, and pretty soon, you’ll have your own story to tell.

At least that way, you won’t have to listen to mine.

Post by Joel Dear for The Album Wall, 29th July 2013.

Added to the Reviews, The Crimea category/s. Follow responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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