Tom Vek Leisure Seizure (Island)
OFTEN held up as a prime example of where doing it yourself can lead you, Vek has taken five years to follow a debut album that saw him star in The OC and push boundaries from his world of chopped up beats and fidgety melodies. His voice remains a polarising factor but the British Beck who sometimes sounds like a US frat geek tenders a slightly less spontaneous set from a musical melting pot that still reeks of originality and sonic mischief without appearing forced or corporate. In an often rushed world Vek has given debut We Have Sound a nurtured, vital, engaging sibling.
Thomas Tantrum Mad By Moonlight (Stranger Records)
SECOND album from the Southampton quartet and the immediate atmosphere of a yesteryear indie showgazer album as Tick Tock and Megan Thomas’s vocals take us by the hand for an album based around sleep, but far from sleep inducing. MBM is hugely melodic and subtle in delivery, Cold Gold and Hot Hot Summer hitting the big pop song mark as clear singles, Megan’s occasional Lulu wail delivering lyrics on some tough subjects that belie often carefree clothing.
Black Country Communion, 2 (Mascot Records)
STRAIGHT down to business seems to have been the ethic of this Anglo-US classic rock ‘supergroup’, so commited to a worthy sequel to their debut album they didn’t expend energy on a flash title. Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian fire on all cylinders from the opening charge of The Outsider, Man In The Middle displaying a heavier angle beside the vintage shimmy of Smokestack Woman, bluesy Little Secret and slowburning Faithless. 2 is an album that could have appeared any time in the last 30 years - and could hold its own for another 30.