Album Review: Daddy Issues – Deep Dream

By Patrick Dalziel (@JoyDscvryPaddy)

What Daddy Issues do isn’t necessarily too ambitious, but it is done with such style that you won’t honestly mind. Their sound could be described as a spin on grunge while stealing melodic cues from indie pop.  Both of which their first LP Deep Dream shows an exceptional love for. The whole album is obviously a complete passion project for the Nashville punks. Each song sounds like a celebration of internalised regrets escaping in the most primal way. In an interview with BITCH Magazine, the band stated they were trying to prove “Girls aren’t all sugar and spice and everything nice” which they’ve definitely achieved here.

Deep Dream is not an insidious record by any means however, it’s just a very honest one. Lyrics focus more on introspection and regret rather than explosive bouts of anger. Lyrically the LP is actually very reminiscent of early 2000’s bands such as Brand New and Manchester Orchestra at their prime. Take for example one of the stand out tracks Boring Girls, with its vitriolic rhythm section backing a tale of desperation, regret, and self assessment. Lead singer/guitarist Jenna Moynihan‘s rhymes come off as incredibly amusing and distressing in equal measure here. With the titular “Boring Girl” transforming from her lover’s partner who finds them, to herself as she questions her self-worth, before finally settling upon the guy knowingly stringing two people along. It’s a captivating account of misdirected rage, short in length and high energy, catching the setting perfectly. Before culminating perfectly with “Boring boy, don’t hurt yourself, I don’t think they have guitars in hell”, it’s a satisfying conclusion to one of the most enjoyable songs on the record, but Daddy Issues have larger issues to tackle on Deep Dream.

Take for example I’m Not, written by drummer Emily Maxwell, which tackles the far more disturbing topic of sexual abuse. It’s a very personal song which challenges Maxwell‘s lack of self-worth and how she felt “naked and dumb” after her experience. Yet it’s not a tearjerker, and you feel that was never the type of reaction Daddy Issues wanted to evoke either. Instead, Moynihan‘s harsh vocals are a manifestation of the rage that enveloped Maxwell‘s life after. At no point is her experience being exploited either. Instead, it’s a plea to be open with the traumas haunting you, before they take over entirely. I’m Not shows an incredible maturity in songwriting that a lot of bands would kill to achieve which is especially impressive on a debut album.

It’s a shame then that the next song on the track list is possibly the only weak offering here: a cover of Don Henley‘s 1984 cheese fest Boys of Summer. It’s not necessarily a bad cover, with a punkier edge that’s stylistically in keeping with the rest of the album. There’s also a nice attempt to bring out the angst within the verses, but it just sounds so oppressively twee in the chorus, and no amount of fuzz on the guitar parts will change that. It’s a real misstep and one that prevents Deep Dream from reaching perfection.

Thankfully this only a short escapade, however, with final track Dandelion sounding like a Bossanova-era Pixies single. Based on a toxic ex of Moynihan‘s, it’s viciously amusing and makes for a nice ending to the album, drawing themes of regret and retribution together in a short outburst that you’ll wish was just one minute longer. That’s one thing that is exceptionally refreshing about Deep Dream, the short song lengths make for an album just over half an hour: it’s a perfect length for the music they’re trying to create. No song feels bloated, each one is a calculated and fast paced story.

Overall, Deep Dream is a very pleasant surprise, a mature record with elements of grunge and pop coinciding effortlessly. With a half an hour run time, there really is no excuse to not listen to it.

8/10


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Track Review: Courtney Barnett – How to Boil an Egg

By Patrick Dalziel (JoyDscvryPaddy)

It seems we’re getting quite a bizarre insight into Courtney Barnett’s live rider in her latest singles. First we heard of her ramen noodle addiction in Three Packs a Day, and now we have this yolk titled oddity. Although thankfully, this isn’t just Barnett’s progression into releasing “foodie” music. It is instead a reworking of one of the first songs the ridiculously talented Australian singer/songwriter ever wrote. 

Telling the story of life in her early twenties, How to Boil an Egg may be less humourous than Barnett’s breakthrough singles such as Elevator Operator or Avant Gardener. But, the rework has introduced her atypical guitar style to great effect. A garage spin on psychedelic/surf rock, which creates a sound that is borderline inimitable. Even if it is played with slightly more caution here than in previous entries.

This is knowingly done however, to reflect on what was clearly a tough time in the singer’s life. With lyrics such as “Every morning I feel more useless than before, trying hard to see the point in anything at all” It’s one of her most self deprecating songs undoubtedly. Yet this harshness acts as one of the song’s most clever devices. We’re given an extremely intimate insight into the life of a struggling musician. Through the trivialisation of difficulties young artists face on a daily basis.

With a less talented writer than Barnett at the helm, this could have come off as heavily misjudged. Thankfully this isn’t the case here, as each verse gives only the slightest insight into the lifestyle. Reflecting upon the monotony of trying to break through in the industry, as days fall into the repetitive nature of playing gigs and waiting to be noticed. This existential theme plays perfectly against the garage psychedelia mentioned before. The result of which is a joyously contrasting sound, that allows How to Boil an Egg to stand out amongst Barnett’s already very impressive back catalogue.

8/10


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CLICKBAIT COP: The Guardian – Days Of Moshpit Numbered?

While this series may be titled clickbait cop, we’ll be using this title to explore pieces of music journalism or news that we feel needs criticised to some degree, even if the headline in question may not be ‘clickbait’.

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

While it may feel weird to start off a piece such as this praising the creator of today’s culprit, credit must be given where credit is due. In this Guardian piece, titled ‘are the days of the moshpit numbered?, writer Hannah Ewens begins by reminiscing on her days of getting bashed and sweaty in numerous moshpits during her youth, a stark contrast to ‘journalism’ we’ve covered before which came off as mindless moaning about staples of gigging.

In fact, the first few paragraphs actually start to weave something of a strong narrative, exploring the concept of safe spaces at gigs which aren’t inherently laughable as shown by the example of progressive, talented bands trying to implement such a thing. It’s a strange old world when a left-leaning newspaper is producing better music features than something like the NME, a former cornerstone of the market. 

It’s not until we get to the eighth paragraph, about two-thirds of the way through the piece in question, though, where your bobbing head will start to become a stern shake from left to right. The quote in question that will incite this isn’t the one you may expect the white man writing this reply to get angry at, “biggest defenders of moshpits are usually straight men“, rather it’s the following line which reads:

Most women I know who go to shows are either agnostic or hate them.

This is the point where I started to question what I was reading more than usual. To use the same thinking as Ewens, most women I know are on the complete other end of the spectrum when it comes to pits, notably twitter user @leerkat who said “it’s like people don’t understand there’s a whole world of moshing between toxic hypermasculine crowd killing and pits you can find at PUP or Menzingers”. She’s not alone in thinking this as many users seem to disagree with this piece, noting that people other than men can go just as hard in pits as them and feel like, in a sense, that it is their safe space. A particular comment that I’d like to point out comes from the Guardian’s very own comment section from user Hazelthecrow:

HZ

To build on leerkat’s aforementioned point, Ewens seems to be unaware, whether this is intentional or not I don’t know, of the progression made in terms of moshpits. No longer is there a laissez-faire attitude of trying to hit everyone around you and letting anyone who crosses you fend for themselves on the floor, covered in all sorts of liquids. Instead, a lot of it is far more polite while still maintaining that adrenaline of cathartically moshing around, forgetting all of your problems: one side doesn’t negate the other and it’s still possible to just let loose while still respecting those around you, especially women. In addition to this, moshpits are purely opt-in, opt-out: it’s as easy to get into one as it is to get out and it’s not hard to know how to spot one when a huge opening in the middle appears for a circle pit. There’s a total sense of camaraderie that is unprecedented in the live scene when it comes to modern moshing and to brush it off as nothing but a cesspool of toxic masculinity is both naive and foolish. 

One other thing worth mentioning is the example of Code Orange’s gig where a man wearing steel toe-capped left a woman with a broken jaw amongst multiple other injuries. This instance is absolutely deplorable and represents another type of moshing known as hardcore dancing, or HxC, another topic for another day, but one that doesn’t link into the type of scene the examples Ewens is using. From what’s been said, the whole aim of these types of pits is to intentionally hurt those around you but is only really seen in metalcore and deathcore shows which isn’t to excuse the instance, rather point out a narrative flaw since the piece seems to be talking about good old rock shows than these.

Image result for hardcore dancing

Many replied to this piece already, stating that there are already safe spaces at gigs such as up near the back, beside the sound deck and near the barrier right by the security. While these people aren’t totally in the wrong, maybe venues should draw more attention to these areas so that those who want a safe space can have so without damaging the experience of others. On top of this, security should be given the relative training to deal with instances of assault which sadly still happen far too frequently. Sexual assault at gigs is a major problem and I respect the fact that it seems to be the reason behind Ewens thinking.

The honest truth though is that mosh pits aren’t the reason for it: it’s entitled, gross sacks of shit guys who are. Removing moshpits not only would do nothing at all to prevent assault but would instead punish the usual gig goer and many women and men who feel safest in there. Everyone wants others to enjoy going to a gig and the sooner we stamp out this epidemic of assault at gigs which organisations such as Girls Against are helping to do, the better. In the meantime though, let’s keep a staple of gigs alive, support our brothers and sisters in the pit, not look down our nose at an entire gender who love to mosh just as much as everyone else and stomp out any slimy, sexist pigs in our scene.


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Track Review: i don’t wanna waste my time by joji

By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

Joji Miller’s reputation precedes him. While some may not know him by his name alone, his online personas have gained a lot of notoriety in the internet sphere thanks to his Filthy Frank channel. His creative output is unparalleled amongst his youtube peers, dipping his toes into comedy as well as music under one of his characters named Pink Guy.

With that in mind, his solo endeavor without any of his pink guy, chin chin or weeaboo jones monikers will be sure to surprise you. Opposed to the brashness, borderline offensive and confidence laced music stylings on his recent Pink Season project, Miller‘s new single i don’t wanna waste my time is far more chilled, living up to this reputation of him being “your new rainy day singer that you don’t know about but should“. Hushed, beautiful vocals lead the track, floating gently above a beautiful piano melody that could appear on any number of Frank Ocean‘s projects and fit in perfectly. There’s also the love tinged lyrics that are deserving of a mention with Miller managing to show a fragile side that feels purely authentic. Alluring and enthralling, Joji manages to captivate the listener almost instantly and never lets them go throughout the tracks around 2 minute running time.

It can be difficult to escape a reputation, especially when it’s so beloved and vulgar, but Miller has managed to show he can be just as beautiful as he can be disgusting.

 

8.5


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ALBUM REVIEW: A CROW LOOKED AT ME by MOUNT EERIE

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Whilst A Crow Looked At Me is full to the brim with sombre and heartbreaking imagery, one line that manages to evoke the realness of Phil Elverum‘s ordeal comes on the record’s third song. As Ravens concludes its second verse, Elverum’s sulky and trauma-ridden voice project the words “now I can only see you on the fridge in lifeless pictures“. Without context, the lyricism of Mount Eerie still manages to strikes an emotional chord with even the sternest of listeners though being a concept album, A Crow… becomes a different beast when you dig beneath the surface.

The last poem in a newly published book by Gary Snyder manages to deliver the album’s message. A warning precedes Go Now as Snyder exclaims “you don’t want to read this/reader,/be warned, turn back/from the darkness/go now,” before he goes onto described the raw realness of watching his wife be absorbed an inescapable death caused by a terminal illness. It’s no surprise that this poem became an ever present thought in the mind of Elverum as he watched the transformative cancer horror that engulfed his wife, cartoonist and musician Geneviève Castrée.

It’s no surprise that A Crow Looked At Me predominantly deals with the theme of death: throughout the record’s running time, Elverum keeps tracks of how long it has been since his wife passed with etchings underneath each title track in addition to outright noting the number of days, keeping Castrée very omnipresent.

Her presence isn’t solely felt by Elverum‘s words of her but by the music itself. Elverum has said in a statement regarding the album that “it was recorded in the same room that Geneviève died, using mostly her instruments, her guitar, her bass, her pick, her amp, her old family accordion, writing the words on her paper, looking out the same window”. Everything about the album feels very minimalistic and isolated which may sound boring and borderline dull but when taking into consideration the therapeutic and documenting nature of the whole album, it feels like the only way an album of this kind should be recorded.

The real driving force of A Crow… isn’t how it sounds but what the record inevitably conveys: a portrait of loss and vacantness that finds itself one foot in the present and the other in the past. While it’s a very sad and depressing album, the way that it can be delivered is sometimes beautiful by definition. After all, Elverum says it best on the infold of the vinyl fold gate: “These cold mechanics of sickness and loss are real and inescapable, and can bring an alienating, detached sharpness. But it is not the thing I want to remember”.

Image result for mount eerie

This is most apparent when Elverum‘s understanding of Geneviève sadly passing away is described as swimming on the aptly titled “Swims“, proposed by none other than his daughter. Even when the two scatter her ashes on Seaweed, there’s an unshakeable feeling of positivity that radiates when observations are made about the flowers and Canada geese that are present which is all lovingly finished off with the lines “I poured out your ashes on it/ I guess so you can watch the sunset/ but the truth is I don’t think of that ash as you/ you are the sunset“. Moments on this album help A Crow… to avoid falling into being an LP full of sobbing and misery, instead exploring the magnitude of emotions and crushing realities that “real death” brings.

While the sound, lyrics, and themes that fuel A Crow…help to make it the magnificent record that is, it’s hard to shake off that what it represents it what helps to make it such a vital listen. That’s not to say that the record is only good because it is about losing a loved one and deserves sympathy points for it, no, not at all. Instead, A Crow… manages to rise above some limitations of music much like last year’s Blackstar: it explores death both depressingly and beautifully, making the issue far more 3D and lifelike despite being solely audio, while also acting as a Memorium to someone special.

Few things in this life are guaranteed but those that are deserve to be explored as elegantly as they are here.

10/10


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TRACK REVIEW: You’re In Love With A Psycho by Kasabian

By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)

Back again for a sixth bite of the cherry, Kasabian are back with You’re In Love With a Psycho, the first single from their upcoming studio album, For Crying Out Loud, hoping to further cement themselves as Britrock royalty and the heirs to Oasis’ parka-draped throne.

The cover for the Leicester lads’ new album is a bit odd, for which they’ve got a black and white photo of yer da pulling the same face he does whenever Jeremy Corbyn appears on the telly & stuck some teardrop emojis on it. Lovely stuff. Same goes for the cover for You’re In Love With a Psycho, yer da, this time from the back. Good to see he’s keeping busy.

After the radical-ish electro synth departure that was the inventively titled 48:13 three years ago, the Leicester quintet signaled that their next offering would be a more guitar-centric album, and YINWAP (which, acronymised, sounds like a shit knockoff of WinZip), ratifies that statement, as there are guitars on this track.

The track has a light, bouncy and airy feel to it, following a more familiar Kasabian blueprint than the 48:13 era. The guitar is gentle but gets your foot tapping along with the drum beat, the shared vocal duties between Meighan and Pizzorno are Klassic Kasabian, and quite well performed. It’s not a bad song by any stretch, it’s just a bit… you know… meh, a bit vanilla, a bit ‘mmmyeahalright’. Fingers should be crossed that this is one of the more weaker tracks off the album, and will form part of a well-rounded album.

Lyrical highlights include “I’m like the taste of macaroni on a seafood stick”, which, to be honest, sounds fucking delightful and “you’ve got me switched on baby like electric eels” which is pretty cool. The lyrics are jolly and clever in parts, with the chorus no doubt becoming an all-hands-on-deck singalong when performed live.

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Yer da, showing off his new tattoo.

When all is said and sung, there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about this song, it’s actually quite forgettable. It’ll fit nicely into your workout playlist, good for the pre-drink Spotify queue, but you’ll have forgotten the song by the time it’s finished. Is it a bad song? Not at all, it’s a decent track, if not a little weak, but you have to listen to it a good few times in a row before it starts to sink in.

As part of their return to the public consciousness, Kasabian, in their own Kasabianny way promised that they were going to bring guitar music back from “the abyss”. Alrighty then. First off, do they mean a) Professional wrestler Abyss? b) James Cameron’s 1989 film, ‘The Abyss’ or c) the actual abyss where guitar music hasn’t gone and can’t be found. Guitar music’s perfectly fine, lads, in fact, it would be fair to say that it’s healthier than ever, with new and exciting acts seemingly sprouting from the ground every day!

However boys, if you truly are going to save guitar music, you’d better hope the rest of the album packs a stronger punch, for crying out loud!

4/10


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TRACK REVIEW: Feels Like Summer by Weezer

By Fraser McGovern (@FraserMcGovern)

In 2009, alternative rock outfit Weezer released their seventh album. It was called Raditude, and it was not good. The band had already started to shift in a more commercial direction with their recent (at the time) hits Beverly Hills and Pork & Beans, but this new album alienated fans with its over-egged production and flat, cheesy songwriting.

Now, after two great albums that harked back to the band’s heavier roots while still bringing new tricks to the table, Weezer releases a new track. The internet grumbles through gritted teeth that it sounds like a cut straight off RaditudeA great many music fans with ‘alternative’ tastes can enjoy pop for what it is: accessible, catchy music with more focus on surface than substance. Feels Like Summer is all surface and that’s okay.

This single is essentially a simple four-chord pop song. We begin with a sampled “na na na” hook reminiscent of Fall Out Boy’s Light Em Up, and then go into a verse that consists of simple, plinky piano chords and even simpler vocals from Rivers Cuomo underpinned by pounding electro bass. After a Calvin Harris EDM-style buildup, we come to a chorus that proclaims in falsetto that “Yeah it feels like summer”. Fair enough, it’s pop.

More to the point, it’s catchy pop. We all know that Cuomo is capable of writing great hooks when it comes down to it, and this chorus is certainly single-worthy. After a fun middle eight, we have a brief whistle interlude that’s reminiscent enough of Flo Rida’s 2012 hit Whistle for you to be a little bit sick in your mouth. It’s worth reminding you at this point that this song is by an actual band with proper real instruments. The meager total of two seconds of distorted power chords in the track sound like they were played by a robot.

The lyrics aren’t great, obviously. “I’m holding on and I don’t want to let you go”? That’s what could be called an ‘autopilot line’: songwriter Cuomo probably began to feel his fingers writing the words before he’d even thought them. You may have heard that exact string of words in three pop songs just today, but verses are the stage for Rivers’ trademark lyrical quirkiness. (I’m spiritual, not religious / I’m a libra, if it matters”)

Image result for weezer feels like summer

If feel-good, disposable radio songs aren’t your thing, Feels Like Summer is not for you. The solid production, infectious melodies and Cuomo’s unconventional lyrics push this track firmly into the ‘good’ category of commercial pop music, but not quite into ‘great’. This could become a mainstay in your summer jams playlist, but only if you let it envelop you in its warmth.

What most find so offensive about this song is not what it is, but rather what it isn’t. In the eyes of fans, time spent creating this song could have been spent on tracks more like those found on last year’s acclaimed self-titled LP. With Weezer, though, you have to take what you’re given. Or leave it.

6.5/10


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TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB @ BARROWLANDS- 03/02/17

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Having been in hiding for what seemed like a lifetime, which in reality was only four years but a few months can feel like a year in the music world, Irish rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club returned to Scotland with a whole new sound and, for frontman Alex Trimble, a whole new look.

Priding themselves on their unique take on the indie rock genre in the early 2010’s, the band has totally shifted to this nostalgic 80’s aesthetic that spreads not only to their music but the stage as well last night, the Barrowlands shimmering with neon pinks and blues throughout the night. While they may not be the first band to do so, many of the acts who have popularised this look recently were the products of TDCC’s boom back with their debut album back in 2010 and the subsequent rise of similar acts such as The Vaccines and The 1975.

Unlike those bands though, TDCC have been attempting to build upon the poppy guitar sound with Trimble putting it best himself, saying that their new sound “is not embracing the pop that’s going on now in a melodic or structural sense. The two biggest influences for me were Prince and Bowie – both total pioneers who straddled that line between out-there pop and avant-garde craziness.”


The end results are a bit mixed: the first track perormed off their latest album Gameshow was Bad Decisions which is delightfully catchy but Trimble’s vocal delivery goes from soothing to the ears to graining all too frequently while Are We Ready is familiar indie pop that, on first hearing, is just meant to be an inoffensive good time but scratch below the surface and you’ll find some of the band’s most mature lyrics to date.

Although the new material was hit or miss for some, the sheer amount of tracks played off the band’s first two albums was not only a surprise but an absolute treat. The accessible dance pop tinge that was apparent on many of Tourist History‘s tracks shined through last night as it was impossible not to look around the venue and see someone dancing or singing away like it was an indie karaoke night. Even Changing Of The Seasons, an EP release I was convinced I had made up in my head as no one I discussed the band with ever seemed to recognise it, fitted perfectly into the setlist and added to the already great range of variety on offer.

With another night at the barras already underway tonight as well as the act performing at TRNSMT festival this upcoming July, Two Door have made themselves both familiar to those whose radars they weren’t previously on in addition to reminding those who loved the band since their early days that they haven’t lost the magic that makes them so appealing.


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So far, so good? New Mac DeMarco tracks REVIEWED

By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)

Having appeased the appetite of hungry fans with his Another One mini album in 2015, Mac DeMarco has announced details for his course. This Old Dog, the peculiar lo-fi rocker’s follow up to 2014’s critically lauded Salad Days, is set to drop on May 5th via Captured Records and DeMarco has already stated that his fourth full-lengthLP will represent a new approach to his sound. “The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new thing for me” said DeMarco in a statement, before adding that “this is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.

This is most clear on the title track which channels the raw feeling DeMarco demonstrated on his sophomore record as well as some love drenched lyrics delivered in a way that only he can. While it may not be breaking any new ground, This Old Dog is still a delightfully chilled and solid piece of slacker rock which displays much of what DeMarco hinted at in his statement.

Making sure to leave fans with more than enough music to keep them content until the album’s release in a few months time, DeMarco dropped the reflective opener My Old Man. While not as stripped back as This Old Dog, My Old Man incorporates some simple synths that, in the context of the album’s concept, shine through as utterly delightful, showing that less can indeed be more. The lyrics, which are usually DeMarco’s strong point, are as touching and introspective as always, in no small part due to the different way he went about writing this album, saying in his statement:

Usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe.

While his music prior to This Old Dog never resisted the urge to pack as much drum machine and synths as humanly possible, DeMarco’s resistance to overloading his tracks, as well as taking more time to let his tracks settle, arguably allows for his most mature work to date. Until his new album drops in May, it’s pure speculation as to how he’ll manage to keep fans entertained over the duration of 11 other songs but if these offerings are anything to go by, there’ll be no need to worry.

Mac DeMarco will perform two London show at O2 Academy Brixton on May 30 and May 31, and has also just announced new shows at Newcastle Academy on August 29 and Edinburgh Usher Hall on August 30.


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FAVOURITE ALBUM COVERS #2

Album covers were originally just flimsy bits of paper to try and protect the shiny goods underneath but they have since evolved into something that musicians can use for their artistic expression. Although many artists tend to go for a bland picture of themselves with an equally as bland background, some musicians have produced some iconic and fantastic artwork: Here are just a handful of them.

Death GripsThe Money Store

Starting things off a bit risque, Death Grip’s most acclaimed album also has their second most shocking album cover with No love Deep Web’s dick pic being the victor. While it simply looks like an odd man being chained up by a smoking girl, in an interview with Pitchfork the band went into detail about the cover, stating:

We consider ourselves feminists, we fiercely support homosexuality, transparent world leadership, and the idea of embracing yourself as an individual in any shape or form. Acceleration is a mantra, we’re not a political band, we are freaks and outsiders. It was important to project that message and energy through the artwork of this album. This is free thinking and eternally open-ended music… [The cover] is like an ambassador to the sound.

The cover is ultimately quite fitting with the hard hitting, bombastic sound being wonderfully accompanied by the masochistic relationship depicted, one listen turning you into the sub to Death Grip’s dom.

Outkast – Stankonia

While this cover falls into the cliche of “artist standing in front of background”, Outkast, much like with their music, stand out in quite a subtle way. Presenting Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton , it could easily just be a patriotic cover until you notice American flag is purely black and white, no doubt hinting to the racial tension in the US. Despite being released in 2000, the message is still just as strong now as it was then and it manages to do so without being in your face, unlike Outkast themselves who are so fresh and so clean that they managed to make their mark off Stankonia alone: who says you can’t be funky and socially aware?

Foals – Antidotes

It seems that as rock juggernauts Foals shapeshift and evolve with each new record so to do their covers. Total Life Forever showed the band submerged underwater, no doubt to match the tranquil nature of the record, and Holy Fire having some stern horses that can be easily compared to the strength and beauty of that album. However, love it or hate it, Antidotes has the best cover of the lot with a simply drawn man with a mouth full of vibrant, colourful…things. Much like the behaviour many critics at the time had towards Foals, some calling them off as just another indie rock act, the band knew themselves that their appearance was deceiving as they had something interesting worth saying: thank god we let them.

Liam Menzies