Here are our reviews of 3 new albums from experienced musicians who still got it!


What possible reason could you have for not liking an album called Doris and the Daggers by an artist called Spiral Stairs.
A sense of humour bypass perhaps?

The marvelously monikered ex-Pavement guitarist returns with his strongest album to date and proves that despite it being a youth-centric -culture, experience counts and produces something of lasting value borne of the trials and travails of…….life experience(s).


So tunes it is then.

From the infectious opener ‘Dance(CryWolf), guitar solos, hummable hooks, and the often witty lyrics are more than enough to make up for any deficiency on the singing front. As do the song titles: Trams (Stole my love), Emoshuns and the title track all fit nicely with the overall album ethic. Which can best be summed up with one word. Fun.

With a capital F.


Doris & the Daggers
(Domino, 2017)


Quirky, angular, refreshingly diverse. “Hot thoughts melt in my mind, hot thoughts are in my mind all of the time” me too! Thus begins the catchy opener to Spoons umpteenth album which proceeds to prove track after track that there is no substitute for experience.


Staccato rhythm’s, galloping grooves and stirring strings all put in an appearance and back in the day this would have had a bunch of top 40 singles. Bowie may be gone but there’s echoes of his inventiveness and theatricality in this refreshingly-retro but still captivatingly modern offering.

Their best album ever? Why ever not?


Hot Thoughts
(Matador – 2017)


Time warp anybody? Hitchcock’s first electric / group/ band album since 2009 is an enjoyable return to the days when music was a ground-breaking relevant art-form rather than just another disposable app brought to you by committee and less artistically relevant than ‘reality’ TV ‘shows’.

A collection of songs doling out lines of the quality of “Your bacteria will live in me forever” is destined to be criminally ignored by the masses as they rush to illegally download the latest expletive laden beats-driven soon to be forgotten mediocrity.


But for the chosen few (yes, that’s a tongue in my cheek) it’s an opportunity to enjoy guitar driven songs dealing with age old questions (drinking, nostalgia and suicidal writers among them) expertly delivered in a cornucopia of styles including country, psych, pop and rock.

While re-inventing no wheel the variety, humour and intelligence on offer should count for something.

Shouldn’t it?

Up to you as we say here in Thailand.

Robyn Hitchcock
(Yep Roc -2017)

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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Gary’s been listening to music since the 60’s and has the scars to prove it. Failed dalliance’s with violins and guitars couldn’t stop him fronting the Punk band Moscow and being spat on by 2000 Welsh punks in the summer of 1977 while supporting John Peel faves The Motors at Cardiff Top Rank. He spent 15 years selling some of the finest music by some of the best musicians in the world.