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Byline: andrew greenhalgh

Katzenjammer, Rockland ROCKLAND by Katzenjammer. Sounds like a particularly grisly German heavy metal album, doesn't it? Strictly for teenage boys for whom Napalm Death are "a bit too mainstream".

In fact Katzenjammer are an all-female quartet from Oslo and Rockland is a joyous and uplifting record. Touching upon country, pop, folk and Americana, it's a glorious stew of guitars, fiddles and outstanding vocals which all can and should enjoy.

It's hugely varied and massively entertaining. It begins like a soundtrack for a cool line-dance night but just when you think you've got them nailed as some kind of new country act comes the superb electro-pop of Oh My God, before the tone shifts again with the Noah and the Whale-like My Own Tune. And if, as tunes go, the lilting title track is tough to beat then the touching jig that is My Dear pushes it close.

Refreshingly lacking in pretension, Rockland could and should make the Katzenjammer girls rich and famous outside their native Norway.

Don't let it pass you by. | ike this? Try these: First Aid Kit, Stay Gold; The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God.

Rating The Slow Show, White Water THE phrase "there must be something in the water" may well be patent nonsense but no English city - no, not even London or Liverpool - gives it more credence than Manchester.

The city has given birth to more brilliant bands than I care to mention, and has now produced another. The Slow Show have come up with a debut album of epic scope and ambition which sets its sights high and, stunningly, delivers.

It's been a long time coming: the band have been together since 2010 but have had to wait until now to complete White Water, in order to afford the string sections, choirs and brass (guests include the 30-piece brass Glossop Old Band) which only add to the record's dark majesty.

Just like Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and fellow Lancastrians Elbow, theirs is a rich sound combining guitars, strings and piano, topped off by the spine-tingling vocals of singer Rob Goodwin and, most importantly, gut-wrenching melodies.

Dive in.

| ike this? Try these: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Let Love In; Elbow, The Take-off And Landing Of Everything.

Rating Matthew E White, Fresh Blood MATTHEW E WHITE'S single Rock 'n' Roll is Cold has been all over radio in recent months and for good reason.

Stylistically reminiscent of the New Radicals' 90s smash You Get What You Give, it's a funky rocker with great vocals and is both instant and completely satsifying.

Its parent album blends 70s swamp rock with funk in similarly pleasing fashion, adding some beautiful ballads to the pot, but although it gets better with every play White newbies should be warned: there's nothing here nearly as instant as the single.

| ike this? Try these: Lynyrd Skynyrd, (Pronounced 'Leh-'nerd 'Skin-'nerd), Fleetwood Mac, Tusk.


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 6, 2015
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