Ed Dyer checks out the newest national releases
Newton Faulkner – Write It On Your Skin - 3/5
Nothing radical from the ginger dreadlocked one. More of the same, amiable late night acoustic guitar based stuff, easy on the mind as well as the ear. Brimming with cheery positivity and optimism and layered with melodic pop sensibilities, it still has enough crossover appeal for the alternative and folkie crowds to get involved.
The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends - 2/5
Extreme arty weirdness from inside the warped head of Wayne Coyne. But with added muso mates this time, in a random selection of guest artists. At times genius and other times unlistenable this is an album that will divide even hardened fans. Lots of random noise, and very little melody for your money.
Levellers – Static on the Airwaves - 4/5
Produced by Sean Lakeman, the tenth studio album from folk-punks the Levellers is perhaps more folk than punk but the fiddles are still urgent, the rhythms foot-stomping and the lyrics impassioned and politically-infused.
Linkin Park – Living Things - 4/5
Nu-Metal Pioneers continue to try and reconstruct their music, with more prominent electronica, and an increased presence vocally of Mike Shinoda on this album. But the chunky guitar crunch, pounding beats and screams of old are all still present, as is the anger and world weary viewpoint. As always, a solid and dependable effort that grows on you with repeated listening.