The 2nd Law.
4 stars (out of 5)
The kings of Monty Python rock return with a work of
dazzling scope and grandeur which tackles global economic
collapse, climate change, and the laws of thermodynamics.
Opener Supremacy sums up all that is glorious about
the album and its creators - crunchy metal riffs, Bond flick
strings, eye-watering falsettos and, of course, a choir. The
electronic pulses of Madness briefly betray such
pomposity, before Survival's loose-limbed Baroque
resumes normal transmission. While not all will warm to the
barmy genre-splicing, others will revel in the sound of a
band gleefully embracing ridicule.
Single download: Survival
For those who like: Queen, Prince, instrumental excess
> Iva Lamkum.
3 stars (out of 5)
Wellington-based soul sister Iva Lamkum is so well
attuned to rhythm that it sometimes counts against her on her
debut album. Backed by a tight outfit that evokes the
sophisticated funk of Prince's NPG one minute and knocks out
summery light-reggae grooves the next, Lamkum vocalises in a
way that can at best be described as inventive, at worst as
But there are strong signs that Lamkum's will to connect the
dots between jazz, pop, soul, reggae, funk and hip-hop might
deliver the goods further down the track, should she take a
more subtle approach to her task.
Single download: Raise Your Glass
For those who like: Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Leela
> The Mutton Birds.
Martin Byrd and Assoc Records.
4 stars (out of 5)
It takes three minutes of slow burn before the voice of
Mutton Birds key songwriter Don McGlashan brings lyrical focus
to opening track Envy of Angels on this live effort, recorded
Yet that introduction mirrors much of what is good about this
Kiwi band: though McGlashan's melodies take hold through a
combination of craft and time-honoured repetition, it's the
slithery, more ethereal textures provided by guitarist David
Long, bassist Alan Gregg and drummer Ross Burge that pique
There are 13 of the band's best-known tracks here. Enough
Single download: The Heater
For those who like: Early Crowded House, Toy Love
- Shane Gilchrist