Alesana – Decade CDEP (Artery)New 6-song EP from the North Carolina post-hardcore band.
Keith Allison – In Action: The Complete Columbia Sides Plus CD (Real Gone Music)
Keith Allison took listeners where the action is on his 1967 Columbia Records debut LP In Action, packing its grooves with tunes from Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (including “Action, Action, Action,” the theme to ABC-TV s Where The Action Is, which featured Allison), Donovan, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, and his future bandmates Paul Revere and the Raiders. This reissue adds twelve original mono single bonus tracks to the original eleven stereo pop nuggets.
Matt Andersen – Weightless CD (True North)
Hailing from the blue-collar community of Perth Andover, New Brunswick, Andersen has been steadily building his sizable following in Canada and around the world through word of mouth about his electrifying live shows. Weightless, the new album, is infused with Andersen’s unparalleled dexterity on the guitar and his command of the blues with a distinctive soulful voice. Vinyl version due April 15.
Horace Andy – Get Wise [Reissue/1975] CD/LP (Pressure Sounds)
The musical relationship between Phil Pratt and one of reggae’s most distinctive voices Horace Andy began with the song “Black Mans Country” produced by Pratt for the Caltone label. Get Wise was their follow up together, released only in Jamaica in 1975, it was pressed in very limited quantities. This reissue is expanded with six bonus tracks.
Arche – First Cause CD (Psychonavigation)
Arche is a dark ambient drone group. “The goal with this album was to keep the tracks as minimally edited as possible. They’re meant to evoke different states of mind, and as the music is largely improvised I can only assume this means the tunes grow from that mindset as a seedbed. There is a large sense of emotion here, though: they’re mostly woozy. It’s distinctly uneasy – though not unpleasant – listening. Throughout there’s nothing invoked so much as the feel of ritual – of grand gestures and things one cannot know or understand. Sound sources remain uncertain, mostly, which aids this goal.” — Cyclic Defrost
Arc Iris – Arc Iris CD/LP+CD (Anti)
Arc Iris is the orchestral pop project of Jocie Adams, a former core member of The Low Anthem. The singer and multi-instrumentalist formed the collective to present her ambitious new songs. The band includes a collective of four musicians plus Jocie with additional players frequently joining to expand the sound further, to create their wild exploration of all kinds of musical styles – jazz, prog rock, blues, country, folk, and classical.
Austrian Death Machine – Triple Brutal CD (Artery)
New album from the Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired side-project from As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis. Austrian Death Machine is (you guessed it) a tribute/parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action films.
The Bamboos – Fever In The Road CD (Nettwerk)
The Bamboos is a nine-piece funk soul band from Melbourne, Australia.
Band Of Skulls – Himalayan CD/2xLP (Electric Blues)
“The UK’s answer to The Black Keys veers towards an evolved sound for this record. They’re not reinventing themselves – don’t expect any Mariachi-trance or doom-hop – but there is grandeur, a largeness that they parade around on their escapades – is that their newfound knob-twiddler Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Nick Cave, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) making himself known? Everything’s firm, confident and collected – it may lumber, but each kick beat and chord strum is definitely defiant. This is an album that struts with a dead-eyed glint; it’s an album that keeps a sinister streak simmering near the surface.” – The Line Of Best Fit
Big Elf – Into The Maelstrom CD (Inside Out)
Black Pistol Howl – Hush Or Fire CD/LP (Modern Outsider)
Black Pistol Fire is a Canadian rock & roll duo that splits time between Toronto, Ontario and Austin, Texas. Their wild and energetic rock-and-roll sound has been described as a mix of classic southern rock and garage punk, garnering comparisons to early Kings Of Leon, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The White Stripes, and Clutch.
The Blue Nile – Peace At Last [Reissue/1996] 2xCD (EMI)
Digitally remastered reissue of the Scottish pop-soul perfectionists’ third album, expanded with a bonus CD of rarities.
The Body – I Shall Die Here CD/LP (RVNG, Intl)
Sharing their moribund vision with The Haxan Cloak, The Body’s tried and true sound is cut to pieces, mutilated by process and re-animated in a spectral state for their fourth full-length. I Shall Die Here sonically serrates the remains of metal’s already unidentifiable corpse and splays it amid tormented voices in shadow.
The Brothers & Sisters – Dylan’s Gospel [Reissue/1969] CD/LP (Light In The Attic)
Originally released in 1969 on Ode Records, this rare and sought-after album finds the California collective covering a clutch of Dylan classics in the era’s revolutionary gospel style. Produced by Lou Adler, soon to work his magic on Carole King’s mega-successful Tapestry, and arranged by Gene Page, noted for his work for Motown, the performers were largely unknown, but many went on to find great acclaim. Merry Clayton, the powerhouse singer best known for sparring with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” (and star of the recent documentary 20 Feet from Stardom), appears here, as does Edna Wright of The Honeycones and Gloria Jones, who recorded the original version of “Tainted Love” in 1965.
Busman’s Holiday – A Long Goodbye CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
Lewis and Addison Rogers are brothers who make pop-music together. When they do this, they go by the name Busman’s Holiday. Lewis plays guitar, and Addison plays his modest drum kit, complete with suitcase-bass-drum. Independently, the brothers have performed with artists such as Jens Lekman and Sleeping Bag. A Long Goodbye, the first proper album from Busman’s Holiday was recorded by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire) and mixed by Drew Vandenberg (Toro Y Moi, Kishi Bashi). The band has been featured on WNYC’s Radiolab. RIYL: Kishi Bashi, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks.
Ages And Ages – Divisionary CD/LP (Partisan)
“On the surface, Ages And Ages’ sophomore release, Divisionary, might appear to shine with as much bright optimism as the band’s debut album, 2011’s Alright You Restless. Bringing to mind childhood summer camp—the good one, not the one where you got 17 mosquito bites on your face—the music remains focused on the tight, soaring vocal harmonies of the group’s seven members, rising and falling with the vibrant acoustic guitars, shakers, hand claps and driving bass drum.” – Willamette Week
Tetuzi Akiyama and Anla Courtis – Naranja Songs CD (Public Eyesore)
The guitar is one of the most abused and overplayed instruments on the planet. Most guitarists use so many notes when so few are actually necessary. That is perhaps why Naranja Songs sounds so completely and totally out of place. Although this is a guitar album, it presents the instrument in a way in which it is rarely heard. The instrument is played very methodically and slowly with more of an emphasis on individual sounds and notes than melodies. These compositions sound something like a cross between modern jazz, minimalist noise, ambient, and modern classical.
Animals As Leaders – The Joy Of Motion CD (Sumerian)
Having given the instrumental prog-metal envelope a serious push with their first two records—2009’s Animals As Leaders and 2011’s Weightless—Tosin Abasi and longtime guitar partner Javier Reyes take their virtuoso approach to the next level on The Joy Of Motion.
Asia – Gravitas CD/CD+DVD (Frontiers)
32 years after their wildly popular self-titled debut, the legendary British rock band returns with a brand new studio album. Available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds two bonus tracks and a DVD with a video for first single “Valkyrie,” behind-the-scenes footage and three Asia classics recorded live with a full symphonic orchestra in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Aztec Camera – High Land, Hard Rain [Reissue/1983] 2xCD (Domino)
In his liner notes for this expanded reissue, David Fricke calls High Land, Hard Rain “ten songs of anxious yearning, romantic urgency, big hurt and hard-won learning, distilled into compact dramas of buckskin-folk jangle and skewed-pop elegance.” Includes a second disc of rare live and studio tracks, including alternate mixes.
The Bad Plus – The Rite Of Spring CD (Sony Masterworks)
With a reputation for deconstructing popular songs and the avant-garde, it seems natural for the bad boys of jazz, The Bad Plus, to record their version of Stravinsky’s controversial masterpiece The Rite Of Spring.
Barren Harvest – Subtle Cruelties CD/LP (Handmade Birds)
Barren Harvest is a somber, ethereal collaboration between Lenny Smith (Atriarch) and Jessica Way (Worm Ouroboros). The music composed by these two creative veterans is cold and bright, pierced by measured silence and whispering tones, swells of synth, haunting guitars and autoharp. Dark, refined neo-folk meets ambient post-punk in a ghostly fog as dual voices lament lost loves, decaying flesh, and Nature’s fragile beauty.
The Baseball Project – 3rd CD/2xLP+CD+MP3 (Yep Roc)
Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Minus 5), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Linda Pitmon and Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) continue their tradition of inspired rock songs that provide passionately funny and sarcastically reverent commentary on the sport of baseball.
The Belle Brigade – Just Because CD/LP (ATO)
Founded by siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska, The Belle Brigade’s music is artfully arranged, with enticing melodies and pop harmonies, fueled by the interplay of driving rhythms between Barbara’s drums and Ethan’s guitars. Both are gifted songwriters finding inspiration in the works of Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, The Beach Boys, Sly Stone, Harry Nilsson and countless others.
Big Scary – Not Art CD/LP (Barsuk)
The story of Big Scary begins in Melbourne, Australia, where duo Tom Iansek and Jo Syme, armed with just acoustic guitars and egg shakers, started playing songs together in the living room of Syme’s parents’ house, gradually working up to a bolder, more expansive sound by incorporating electric guitars, drums, synths and piano. What began as a few rainy day acoustic ballads in their first incarnation soon grew, and before long, the newly named Big Scary were writing anything they pleased — fuzzed-out garage rock; piano-led pop; intricate, pastoral instrumentals — each imbued with an effortless pop sensibility and lightness of touch that would quickly see the duo attract a strong following in their home country.
Black Hat – Thought Of Two CD/LP (Hausu Mountain)
Spread informally across underground networks, learned by hearing and watching one’s influences in action, possessed of as many unique voices as artists – the experimental electronic and noise/drone movements constitute contemporary incarnations of “folk” music, with knobs, oscillators, and patch cables in the place of acoustic guitars and harmonicas. As these movements flourish and overlap, the music that Nelson Bean makes as Black Hat emerges as a bold addition to the expanding center of the Venn Diagram.
Boy George – This Is What I Do CD (Very Me Records/Kobalt)
New album from the British singer/songwriter and ’80s icon best known for his work with Culture Club. This Is What I Do features writing collaborations with producer Youth, and a version of Yoko Ono’s “Death Of Samantha,” and features a string of guest musicians including DJ Yoda, Kitty Durham (Kitty Daisy & Lewis), Ally McErlaine (Texas/Red Sky July), MC Spee (Dreadzone) and Nizar Al Issa.
Burnt Ones – Gift CD/LP (Castle Face)
A potent blend of wide-eyed strummers on shifting sands is punctuated by blinking oscillators, left turns into wispy sound collage and tape manipulations, drug-rug-wrapped lushness and telephone whispers from a supremely stoned sounding Mark Tester, the guide through this cultish and vaguely sinister headphone-scape.
Aries – Mermelada Dorada CD/LP (La Castanya)
Isabel Fernandez Reviriego (The Charades) delivers a moving collection of hypnotic ‘60s-influenced pop gems on Mermelada Dorada. Her influences include The Left Banke, The Zombies, Jefferson Airplane and Laura Nyro, as well as J Dilla and Dead Moon. Full of Rundgren-approved multi-layered vocal harmonies, Reviriego’s lyrics provide a world where one could live forever.
Assassins – War Of Aggression CD (E1)
Assassins is a metalcore/post hardcore band hailing from Detroit, MI. Recommended for fans of August Burns Red, We Came As Romans, and Job For A Cowboy.
Black Lips – Underneath The Rainbow CD/LP (Vice)
Atlanta’s favorite sons Black Lips present their first full length in three years. Recorded at a variety of locations over the course of 2013, the twelve songs boast a stable of studio collaborators whose pedigree speaks to how much the band has grown and sonically matured over the course of their career.
BL’AST – Expression Of Power [Reissue/1985] CD/LP (Southern Lord)
Having formed in 1982, the highly influential Santa Cruz hardcore legend: BL’AST! released their first album, The Power Of Expression in 1985. This debut album went on to become one of the highly sought after “must have” hardcore albums from the ‘80s.
Brain Dead – Menace From The Sickness CD (End Of The Light)
Brain Dead are an old school thrash metal band from Ivrea (a small town not far from Turin, in Northern Italy) inspired by the Bay Area thrash metal sound of the ‘80s (especially by Exodus, Annihilator, Testament and Slayer).
Broken Glazz – Divine [Reissue/1991] CD (End Of The Light)
Reissue of the 1991 thrash metal album from the Italian band. Includes the never released before first demo of the band. Digitally remastered.
Richard Buckner – Bloomed [Reissue/1994] 2xCD/LP+CD (Merge)
Double-disc reissue of Buckner’s 1994 debut album, expanded with a disc of radio sessions, live performances and original recordings of songs that appeared on future releases. Pitchfork called it “A traditional outsider-country record in the lineage of Townes Van Zandt. Buckner’s voice is all honey & oak, his guitar style elaborately twanging, his constant subject matter heartache.”