CDs + Vinyl:
A Certain Ratio – I’d Like To See You Again [Reissue/1982] CD/LP (Mute)
Manchester’s A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late-70s post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in. Hailed universally as pioneers of what became known as “punk funk” thanks to the success of “Shack Up” on both sides of the Atlantic, their sound is not easily pigeon holed and their influence can never be understated. Formed in 1978, the band introduced the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic, adding great clothes and the coolest haircuts. Mute Records’ A Certain Ratio reissue series continues in 2018 with a colored vinyl pressing of the group’s 1982 album I’d Like To See You Again. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Don Airey – One Of A Kind CD/2xLP (earMUSIC)
Don Airey’s keyboard skills have been utilized by many rock ‘n’ roll greats over the years. Amongst them Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Brian May, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band of which Don has been a full-time member for over fifteen years. But – Don Airey has never been a session player. Bands and artists work with him for his unique musical vision, for the twist he gives to songs. It is with the same passion, the same energy, the same talent that Don Airey approaches his very own songwriting. One Of A Kind is a true classic hard rock gem with melodies, great riffs and solos and a unique band unity.
Matt Andersen & The Mellotones – Live At Olympic Hall CD/2xLP+MP3 (True North)
Andersen’s well-earned word-of-mouth reputation is backed up by two European Blues Awards, a Juno nomination for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, and six Maple Blues Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year. Featuring danceable blasts of brass, slinky slide guitar solos and whirling organs, this live recording captures the unmistakable magic of seeing a master at work.
Architects Of Chaoz – (R)Evolution CD/2xLP (Metalville)
New album from the heavy metal group formed with ex-Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno and his long time German touring band The Phantomz.
Baptists – Beacon Of Faith CD/LP (Southern Lord)
Beacon Of Faith broadly follows the same trajectory as the album’s predecessors, Bushcraft (2013) and Bloodmines (2014) – combining the style of raw adrenaline-fueled emotion, venomous vocal delivery, gigantic guitar sound, and a visceral rhythmic propulsion – a sonic manifestation of desolate rage, bolstered by a palpable sense of urgency. There is melody amongst the dissonance, as the Vancouver outfit more deeply explore the noise rock vistas that have always underpinned their sound.
Biffy Clyro – MTV Unplugged Live At Roundhouse, London CD/2xLP/2xLP+CD+DVD (WB)
Although their live shows are best known for their electrifying and explosive energy, Biffy Clyro have often demonstrated that their songs possess an added poignancy when stripped back to their essence. [Deluxe heavyweight black vinyl edition also available which includes a 12” double-sided art print featuring setlist, signed by the band, a DVD featuring the MTV Unplugged set, a CD album of the set, an LP-size 6-panel booklet, all packaged in a custom gatefold sleeve.]