Review: If you've ever even heard of US alternative indie rockers The Dream Syndicate then chances are you've read the kind of reviews these guys garner. Few critics have penned anything like a criticism, lauding the troupe for originality and also inherent talent, and this latest LP will do little to threaten that prestige. It's a real epic, with most tracks well over the seven-minute mark, and some running far beyond twenty. The songwriting again reveals Steve Wynn to be one of our most precious living artists, and stylistically it feels as though the band have finally found a middle ground where varied influences aren't just allowed to co-exist, they actually create something innovative and - dare it be said - new. Melding prog, European avant-garde, blues and electronic jazz, it's not that you can't find anything that sounds like this, but you'll definitely struggle.
Review: Ten albums in and still going strong, it's hard not to use words like 'timeless' when discussing the work of M Ward. It has been said that his output sits somewhere between post-military Elvis and the Beatles hitting top gear in terms of consistent quality, and we'd be rather partial to agree. Basically, those with a penchant for the kind of songs that were made to soundtrack overnight journeys through the Badlands, road trips across the 50 states and the very notion of Big Country will do very well here. Ward is a master of Americana and a dab hand at making the familiar sound engaging rather than boring. An immediately recognisable character who refuses to divert from his chosen route, when all is said and done nobody would really want him to.