CDs + Vinyl:
Ann-Margret – The Definitive Collection 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
She was the ultimate bombshell, a Swedish seductress with hair of flame, a fulsome figure, and a taste for Triumph motorcycles. But with Ann-Margret, her irresistible beauty took a back seat to her incandescent talent; this was no mere starlet, but a performer whose singing, dancing, and acting skills—all imbued with a devil-may-care charisma—caused record execs to groom her as the female Elvis Presley. This double-CD set captures those magical early days of Ann-Margret’s career, featuring 30 tracks chosen from her 1961-1966 RCA recordings.
Artful Dodger – The Complete Columbia Recordings 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
Artful Dodger was a band ahead of its time, casting hard-edged hooks into a mid-‘70s pond that wasn’t quite ready to bite on the genre that came to be known as power pop. Had they come along a few years later, things might have been quite different for this outfit hailing from Fairfax, VA, for their three albums for the Columbia label hold up to this day as shining examples of the style. This double-disc set includes the band’s three albums plus a couple of single versions.
A Will Away – Here Again CD/LP (Triple Crown)
A Will Away is a band with a sound that draws influences from elements of melodic pop and the nostalgically heartfelt early 2000s emo movement. Alternative Press named them one of the 10 up and coming bands who pack an emotional punch. [Limited yellow with red splatter vinyl pressing also available.]
Banteay Ampil Band – Cambodian Liberation Songs [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (Akuphone)
Cambodian Liberation Songs is a painful call from forgotten resistance fighters—it is a captivating and moving record. It works as a witness of Cambodian history, bringing to the world the breathless voice of the members of the resistance from the Banteay Ampil Band. Released in 1983, Cambodian Liberation Songs is a mysterious and overwhelming record. As a genuine piece of history, this “call from sorrow and fierce passion” makes use of a whole range of Cambodian music, from folk to rock, to express sufferings and complaints.
Blanck Mass – World Eater CD/LP (Sacred Bones)
“As half of the experimental electronic duo F— Buttons, Benjamin John Power has spent most of his musical career pushing toward extremes. His solo affair Blanck Mass has been a little more subtle; while never shying away from overload, Blanck Mass’ instrumental vistas have been less blinding and more illuminating—to the point where ‘Sundowner,’ a track from the project’s 2011 debut, was rerecorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and played during the 2012 Olympics. It was a perfect fit, seeing as how Power’s edgier, noisier impulses mask a symphonic scope of veritable Vangelis proportions. Those two sides of his aesthetic don’t vie for dominance as much as strike a nervy balance on Blanck Mass’ third full-length, World Eater.” – WUWM Milwaukee
Bombadil – Fences CD/LP (Ramseur)
Bombadil is a three-piece folk-pop band from Durham, North Carolina with guitar, bass, piano, and drums as their primary instruments. The band are known for their creative and heartfelt lyrics, lush vocal harmonies, thoughtful arrangements, and engaging live show.
Bungler – The Nature Of Being New CD (Innerstrength)
New album from the Buffalo, NY hardcore trio.
Chicano Batman – Freedom Is Free CD/LP (ATO)
“Chicano Batman has always exuded soulfulness in a broad sense of the term, but with Freedom Is Free, they’re deliberately playing with ’60s and ’70s R&B influences. Ample credit goes to new collaborator Leon Michels, the Brooklyn-based soul producer who’s worked with everyone from Lee Fields and the late Sharon Jones to the Black Keys and Wu-Tang’s Raekwon. Together, he and Chicano Batman don’t transform the group’s sound so much as subtly expand it. Gabriel Villa’s funky drumming becomes a more prominent anchor, especially on the album’s outstanding, mid-tempo stepper, “Jealousy,” while the title track still hums with dream-pop guitars, but now adds a boogie bounce on bass. As Freedom Is Free’s title suggests, Chicano Batman is also making a statement on the current moment, a deliberate rejoinder to the militaristic bromide that ‘freedom is not free.’ I’m not sure Chicano Batman has ever cut a track as explicitly political as the album’s penultimate song, ‘The Taker Story.’ Martinez, normally so languorous on vocals, brings a more forceful presence, like a latter-day Gil Scott-Heron or Eugene McDaniels, singing about the predatory nature of mankind and how it leads to ‘genocide and extinction, all the functions of civilization.’” – WUWM Milwaukee
Guy Clark – The Best Of The Dualtone Years CD/2xLP (Dualtone)
Guy Clark, channeler of the human condition, plain-spoken poet, master luthier, seasoned painter and damn fine guitar player, was above all a man. Probably the closest thing to Hemingway Nashville – or the Lone Star State – would ever see: lean prose, gut strings ringing and a hard-won dignity that embraced tenderness as the ultimate manifest of toughness. By the time he arrived at Dualtone, he was already a legend for his exacting song craft that elixired truth tempered with compassion, grounded by vivid detail. This set collects 19 tracks including studio and live recordings plus three unreleased demos.
Del Paxton – All Day, Every Day, All Night CD/LP (Topshelf)
All Day, Every Day, All Night, the Buffalo band’s debut album, is a collection of material written between 2013-2015, a reflection on their upstate NY punk scene upbringing, drawing nostalgic influence from bands they grew up watching like Polar Bear Club and Fire When Ready while still retaining a contemporary feel.
Desecrate The Faith – Unholy Infestation CD (Comatose Music)
“It’s pretty much guaranteed that if you’re a death metal band with a heavy anti-Christian theme to your lyrics, you’re going to drum up a substantial amount of interest rather quickly. If you then add in some furious blast beats, slamming riffs and all round satisfying technicality into the mix then you’re creating an album that certainly won’t disappoint any death metal fan, which is exactly what five piece Desecrate the Faith have created with their second full length release Unholy Infestation.” — Ave Noctum
Emmure – Look At Yourself CD (Sharptone)
Barebones, punishing, death metal-flavored metallic hardcore.
Findlay – Forgotten Pleasures CD/LP (The End)
A cat scratching in her throat, full of banter and insolent, tearing cracks through nature: Natalie Findlay, 25, comes from the same bloodline as PJ Harvey or The Kills’ Alison Mosshart. Her first album Forgotten Pleasure is representing her inner world by 13 songs that fit together despite their stark contrast. The sparse melancholic piano in “Sunday Morning In The Afternoon” rubs against the rough textures of “Electric Bones”, then we take a trip to the ‘80s with the intoxicating “Waste My Time”, illuminating the night sky with synth flashes of purple and white, before moving on to the more introspective “Monomania,” a kind of pagan prayer with its roots from minimal blues. With “On & Off” the young musician clashes a sensual and cinematic ‘50s rock vibe with a torrent of garage rock. Both nonchalant and vulnerable, Findlay goes more riot grrrl than ever on “Junk Food”, which contrasts with the deep, almost siren-like “Forgotten Pleasures.” On the title track she remembers her darkest days and heals the wounds of the past, the ones that helped her rebuild into a stronger self. The album jitters with her indie rock influences – Beck, Tame Impala, The Velvet Underground – but she seizes the listener with her own firm grasp on music mythology and makes it her own.
Béla Fleck – Juno Concerto CD (Rounder/Concord)
Béla Fleck is the world’s premier banjo player, a 16-time Grammy Award winner nominated in more categories than any other musician, a genre-busting collaborator, a film producer and a composer. Foremost, though, he is a dad. The impact of fatherhood on Béla is reflected in Juno Concerto, named for his firstborn son with fellow folk musician Abigail Washburn. The album was recorded with the Colorado Symphony, conducted by José Luis Gomez and also includes two tracks with the Brooklyn Rider string quartet: “Griff” and the second movement of “Quintet For Banjo And Strings,” the latter a previously unrecorded collaboration with friend and mentor Edgar Meyer, representing Béla’s first experimentation with classical music. The banjo in these movements embodies the voice of doom, interrupting the music with dark, dissonant interjections culminating in a melancholy banjo solo-a contemplative end to the album that reveals Béla’s true depth as a composer. Juno Concerto is a reminder that Béla Fleck is among the most innovative and virtuosic musicians of our time.
Dia Frampton – Bruises CD (Nettwerk)
Dia Frampton writes cinematic pop that inspires and pulls at the heart. She has spent the past ten years building towards this moment, beginning at just fifteen with her sister (in Meg and Dia) and enchanting millions on a then-upstart show called The Voice. Her new music draws from all of the elements she has learned from — soaring pop vocals, orchestral grandeur and a never-ending DIY spirit.
Gorephilia – Severed Monolith CD (Dark Descent)
Second album from the Finnish death dealers.
Grandaddy – Last Place CD/LP+MP3 (30th Century)
Last Place, Grandaddy’s first new album since 2006, is a perfect addition to the band’s celebrated, critically-acclaimed catalogue, that includes their breakthrough sophomore album, Sophtware Slump, and their debut, Under The Western Freeway. It’s a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones. Lytle’s voice sounds as warm and intimate as ever, giving graceful levity to the doomsday narratives that have dominated the Grandaddy output. “Grandaddy‘s comeback album finds Jason Lytle and crew picking up right where they left off over a decade ago. The band’s easygoing style, fuzzy guitars, arpeggiating synths and Lytle’s world-weary vocals, is ageless and Lytle’s lyrical themes of alienation in a world of creeping urban development and technological advances seem more pertinent than ever. It’s welcome return for fans and doesn’t make a bad entry point for the initiated” – Brooklyn Vegan. [Limited brown color vinyl pressing also available.]
Ethan Gruska – Slowmotionary CD (Sire)
Ethan Gruska’s solo debut, the luminous Slowmotionary, embraces a range of sounds and styles, with influences from jazz and folk to ambient and alternative. It integrates everything into a whole that is original, idiosyncratic, and embraces its own imperfections. “I really tried to let that humanity in and to not only leave these quirky blemishes in, but to highlight them,” says Gruska. “I didn’t want perfect. I wanted true. I wanted honest.” He made room for a little serendipity in his creative process, sensing that too calculated an approach would diminish the impact of the music. That spontaneity provided a wonderful counterpoint to his thoughtful and revealing lyrics. Showcasing Gruska’s hushed vocals and subtle arrangements, these songs resonate with the intimacy of an internal monologue, as though we’re sharing in his darkest worries. The results are beautifully minimalist: songs as whispered confidences, with what Gruska calls an “arctic” sound, windswept and cold, befitting lyrics that depict moments frozen in time.
Ibibio Sound Machine – Uyai CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro. The album title Uyai means “beauty” in Ibibio language and refers to the strength and free spirit of women in general and, in particular, the courage of the women in Eno’s family, to whom she often refers in her writing. “It is a continuation of Ibibio Sound Machine’s story in which the worlds of West African highlife and electronic London collide via the storytelling lyrical thread of frontwoman Eno Williams’ vocals in the Ibibio language of Nigeria,” the band explains. “There is a darker, edgier quality to the sound that maybe reflects the difficult journey the band took from making the first album to completing the second one. The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.” The songs of Uyai tackle the stories of life—both large and small. Weird and wonderful folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe. [Limited blue color vinyl pressing also abailable.]
Junius – Eternal Rituals For The Accretion Of Light CD/LP (Prosthetic)
Junius’ anthemic post punk/post metal reaches new levels on their new album. [Limited clear/dark green color vinyl pressing also available.]
Tim Kasher – No Resolution CD/LP (15 Passenger)
Brand new album from indie rocker Tim Kasher, best known as the frontman for Cursive and the Good Life. The follow up to 2013’s Adult Film, No Resolution finds Kasher employing lush arrangements of strings to color the indecision and despair of an engaged couple on the brink of a break-up.
The Kernal – Light Country CD/LP (Single Lock)
The Kernal is a throwback acid-country quartet hailing from Jackson, Tennessee.
Khalid – American Teen CD (RCA)
18-year-old El Paso-native singer/songwriter Khalid burst onto the music scene with his first single “Location,” which received great critical acclaim. By 18-years-old, Khalid, who is classically vocal trained, had drawn on his experiences with moving often and the unique experience of growing up having lived in two continents and parlayed them into the creation of that viral smash. His debut album American Teen includes that single along with 14 others. [Vinyl edition due April 14.]
Kneebody – Anti-Hero CD (Motema Music)
New album from the rambunctious quintet consisting of Ben Wendel on tenor sax, Shane Endsley on trumpet, Adam Benjamin on keyboards, Kaveh Rastegar on bass, and Nate Wood on drums.
Les Ton Mité – Passé Composé Futur Conditionnel CD/2xLP (Crammed Discs)
Les Ton Mité is a musical cooperative that revolves around the compositions of itinerant musician, instrument maker and fine artist McCloud Zicmuse, an American expatriate in permanent residence in Brussels. In addition to a core group of Belgian master musicians, a number of songs on Passé Composé Futur Conditionnel feature the fruitful intervention of Deerhoof’s John Dieterich as well as a keyboard cameo from Heather Trost (A Hawk And A Hacksaw), with the resolutely pop sound of the LTM group rendered dynamic by infusions of jazz, baroque, folk and R&B.
Holly Macve – Golden Eagle CD/LP+MP3 (Bella Union)
“The singer/songwriter as a storyteller is the foundation of country music, yet as a genre it’s often perceived on these shores to be a one-dimensional world, where lonesome cowboys muse upon why their girl has gone and doggone left them. With her debut Golden Eagle, Holly Macve proves such thinking to be a fallacy … Golden Eagle is a wonderful collection of songs and tales that ultimately find a sense of redemption. Over its ten songs Macve displays an innate talent for exquisite songwriting and storytelling in a voice that is just jaw-dropping. In doing so, she’s given country music an enthralling new spin that sounds both out of time and modern, and shown that the modern incarnation of the genre has stories to tell that are just as engrossing.” – The Line Of Best Fit
Methyl Ethel – Everything Is Forgotten CD/LP (4AD)
Methyl Ethel’s new album was co-produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Foals), in collaboration with the Perth trio’s frontman Jake Webb. Written and recorded by Webb, Everything Is Forgotten finds Methyl Ethel refining sounds and rendering them in 3D, thanks in part to London-based James Ford, who has been working with Webb on the follow-up to debut album Oh Inhuman Spectacle. The pair’s collaboration across the coming release has infused their shoegaze dream-pop palate with electronic flourishes, further evolving Methyl Ethel’s sound from initial EPs Guts and Teeth.
Minus The Bear – VOIDS CD/LP/Cassette (Suicide Squeeze)
On their sixth album VOIDS, Minus the Bear started with a blank slate, and inadvertently found themselves applying the same starting-from-scratch strategies that fueled their initial creative process. Album opener “Last Kiss” immediately establishes the band’s renewed fervor. An appropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before the chorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus. From there the album flows into “Give & Take,” a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratory pulse of early Bear classics like “Fine + 2 Pts” while exploring new textures and timbres. “Invisible” is arguably the catchiest song of the band’s career, with Jake Snider’s vocal melodies and Knudson’s imaginative guitar work battling for the strongest hooks. “What About The Boat?” reminds us of the “math-rock” tag that followed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguising an odd-time beat. “Erase,” recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronica that the band dabbled with on their early EPs, but demonstrates the Bear’s ongoing melodic sophistication and tonal exploration. By the time the band reaches album closer “Lighthouse,” they’ve traversed so much sonic territory that the only appropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy’s thunderous bass.
Moonshine Bandits – Baptized In Bourbon CD (Average Joe’s Ent.)
Baptized In Bourbon features the Moonshine Bandits collaborating with heavyweights Uncle Kracker, legendary country songwriter David Allan Coe, country star Colt Ford, Bubba Sparxxx, Demun Jones, Jelly Roll, Youtube sensation Jared ‘Outlaw Dipper’, The Lacs, Matt Borden, plus an electric cameo from legendary guitarist Kenny Olson, known for being one of the founders of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band.
The Muffs – Happy Birthday To Me [Reissue/1997] CD/LP (Omnivore)
When singer, songwriter and guitarist Kim Shattuck took the production reins for her band’s third album, The Muffs knew they were going to deliver something special. As she writes in the liner notes for the album’s rerelease, “It was the first time I ever produced, and I was super proud of my new batch of songs. “Happy Birthday To Me had more hooks than my daddy’s fishing hat,” according to drummer Roy McDonald, and, bassist Ronnie Barnett says, “All cylinders were firing, our collective dream was being lived, and it was on our terms.” Twenty years later, Happy Birthday To Me has been reissued on CD (expanded with a UK B-side and six previously unissued demos) as well as on vinyl for the first time in almost two decades (first reissue pressing on white vinyl, with black to follow). Both formats feature photos, liner notes from the band, track-by-track commentary from Shattuck, and new mastering from multiple Grammy winners Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen.
Noam Pikelny – Universal Favorite CD (Rounder/Concord)
Noam Pikelny has emerged as the preeminent banjoist of his generation. He is a founding member of Punch Brothers, a three-time Grammy Nominee and was awarded the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass in 2010. Universal Favorite is the fourth record Noam Pikelny has released under his own name, but it’s truly his solo debut. The album features Pikelny playing lovely originals and covers that showcase his unique approach to the banjo and compositional flair. He recorded the tracks without accompaniment, coaxing a wide array of sounds and colors out of his instruments, embracing the challenges and exploring the new possibilities of the solo setting. And, for the first time in his career, Pikelny even sings. It turns out he has a striking deadpan baritone that conveys humor and melancholy in equal measure. This album, he says, is ‘the most personal statement I’ve put forward. The setting couldn’t be more stark and I think it lays bare my musical core. Most importantly, it’s an incredibly honest solo album, in that there are honestly no other people on this record other than me.” [Vinyl edition due March 24.]
Queen Ifrica – Climb CD (VP)
The award-winning singer, songwriter and social activist Queen Ifrica returns with her new studio album. Her exacting lyrics and strong female voice have earned her the nick name “Fyah Muma.” Her new album speaks to a mother’s concerns for the family: communication, peace, justice, truth and love. The lyrical crusader calls for global change on the album and rallies comrades like Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley on the opening hip-hop tinged track “Truvosation.” The album covers the subjects of police brutality in the black community and on the song “Black Woman” she implores young ladies to know their worth and not be swayed by objectifying trends in popular culture.
The Rascals – The Complete Singles A’s & B’s 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
With two fantastic singers and songwriters in Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, an underrated guitarist and songwriter in Gene Cornish, and the great Dino Danelli on drums (plus a pair of studio Svengalis in engineer Tom Dowd and arranger Arif Mardin to rival George Martin), The Rascals were the closest answer America had to The Beatles during the ’60s. At 47 songs, The Complete Singles A’s & B’s includes every single The Rascals ever cut, both their hit Atlantic tracks and—for the first time on CD—their later Columbia 7” releases.
The Real McKenzies – Two Devils Will Talk CD/LP (Fat Wreck Chords)
14 rousing songs that incorporate classic punk, hard folk, acoustic and electric instruments, all weaving in the Celtic influence for which the band is known.
Dawn Richard – Redemption CD/LP (Local Action)
Released last December on vinyl – now available on CD. Redemption strikes the perfect balance between future-facing electronic music (with production from Machinedrum and Noisecastle III) and the music of DΔWN’s New Orleans upbringing, bound together by an untouchable approach to songwriting and flawless vocal range. Features contributions by Trombone Shorty and PJ Morton.
Senses Fail – In Your Absence CDEP/12” (Pure Noise)
New EP from the post-hardcore band containing acoustic versions of old and new tracks.
Ed Sheeran – ÷ (Divide) CD/2xLP (Atlantic)
Ed’s third studio album – is on course to become one of the most significant global album releases of 2017 and sees the 25-year-old Suffolk native in his finest form yet. The genre-defying LP is the result of an artist who consistently pushes himself in new directions, uncovering fresh musical ground using a seemingly limitless musical vocabulary. Drawing inspiration from a host of personal experiences and subjects, Ed takes you through a hugely personal journey; be that reflecting on past relationships, family memories, his musical career or his time off travelling the world in 2016. Musically ÷ (Divide) is an array of beautifully orchestrated and emotive ballads, impassioned raps laid over hip-hop beats, timeless acoustic guitar masterpieces and innovative, idiosyncratic pop music. Ed’s record-breaking dual comeback singles perfectly highlight one of the distinct divides in his musical spectrum with “Castle On The Hill” (an ode to his hometown of Framlingham, Suffolk) positioning itself towards a stadium-ready, rockier sound and “Shape Of You” dismantling and rebuilding modern-pop using little more than a loop pedal. The album reveal everything in-between whilst showcasing Ed’s impeccable guitar playing, peerless lyricism, boundless musical palate and jarringly-honest, and often autobiographical, storytelling. [CD is available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe adds four bonus tracks. Vinyl edition is 180gm mastered at 45RPM.]
Sleaford Mods – English Tapas CD/LP (Rough Trade)
Call them minimalist agit-rock, beat-based political punk, or…don’t, but what you can’t call Sleaford Mods is half-arsed. They’re aggressive, abrasive, and unabashed in their lyrical support for England’s working class and in railing against the oligarchs who deny people their basic human and civil rights. Vocalist Jason Wiliamson shouts against austerity-era Britain’s malaise and stagnation with plenty of profanity, but even more cleverness and wit; and while his lyrics specify conditions in his home country, his anger and call-to-arms can unite all of us who witness and work under a system that privileges the wealth of the few over the bare comfort, and even the survival, of the just-as-worthy many. With Andrew Fearn’s deceptively simple beats and melodies underpinning Williamson’s virtuosic vocal performances, this would be a fascinating record, message or no; but the drive, meaning, and compassion behind these catchy, and even dancefloor-ready tunes make this album as vital politically as it is artistically. Sleaford Mods are at their sneering, yowling best with English Tapas. [Limited red color vinyl pressing also available.]
Soundtrack – T2 Trainspotting CD (Universal)
Soundtrack to the sequel to 1996’s Trainspotting. Includes a newly commissioned remix of Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” (Prodigy Remix) along with two new cuts from Underworld “Slow Slippy” (a new take on the classic “Born Slippy”) and “Eventually But (Spud’s Letter To Gail)” that features Ewen Bremner. Other highlights include Wolf Alice’s “Silk,” “Rain Or Shine” by Young Fathers, and more.
Soundtrack – We Are X CD (Sony Legacy)
Soundtrack to the documentary film about the band X Japan.
Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes – The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
Southside Johnny is one of the great white R&B singers, backed by a crack band including The Miami Horns and with such special guests as Ronnie Spector, The Coasters, The Drifters, and The Five Satins. This set features all four of his albums and more — 40 tracks of joyful, soulful music.
Temples – Volcano CD/LP (Fat Possum)
It doesn’t take too long with Volcano to realize that, while all the things that made Temples special the first time around remain intact, a noticeable evolution has taken place. It’s there from the outset: the beefed-up beats of “Certainty” reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. it’s harder to spot the influences this time around. It would be disingenuous to evade the psych-pop tag, for sure, but mystical language has been supplanted by something a more direct – and while those influences are still there, it’s no longer possible to pick them out. They’ve been broken down and blended together – fossilized into a single source of creative fuel, so that what you can hear this time around, sounds like nothing so much as Temples. [Limited edition neon orange color vinyl edition also available.]
Thin Lizzy – Renegade [Reissue/1981] LP (Friday Music)
180gm audiophile vinyl reissue of classic rock band’s eleventh album.
Prins Thomas – The Orb Remixes 12” (Smalltown Supersound)
“My initial excitement when The Orb agreed to do a remix for me was almost too much for me to handle, them being the kings of ambient and all…Luckily they delivered and I couldn’t be happier with the result. Thomas Fehlmann & Dr. Alex Patterson delivered two contrasting takes on their picks from my ‘Principe Del Norte’ album. One for the pirate ship and one for the spaceship.”
The Tossers – Smash The Windows CD (Victory)
New album from the bar-brawlin’ Celtic punk band.
Clint Walker And The Sunset Serenaders – Inspiration  CD (Real Gone Music)
Much like his namesake Clint Eastwood, Clint Walker was the star of a TV western (Cheyenne) who parlayed his TV stardom into a recording contract, and, like Clint, being a TV cowboy he went country on this 1959 Warner Bros. release. Or rather country gospel, for Clint’s Crosby-like croonings reveal a somewhat gentler soul than his steely-eyed counterpart. In fact, Clint is a heck of a singer, and the label surrounded him with top-notch talent, in this case arranger/conductor Ralph Carmichael, vocal arranger Jimmy Joyce and Hollywood’s finest session men including organist Buddy Cole for what is an unexpectedly musically satisfying affair that has since become something of a cult classic.
Why? – Moh Lhean CD/LP+MP3 (Joyful Noise)
The final words sung on the sixth album by Why? are an apt place to begin: “Hold on, what’s going on?” Because while there’s much familiar about the oddly named Moh Lhean — mastermind Yoni Wolf’s sour-sweet croon, his deadpan poet’s drawl and ear for stunningly fluid psych-pop-folk-whatever arrangement — a great deal has changed in the four years that’ve passed since 2012’s Mumps, Etc., an LP that honed the band’s orchestral precision and self-deprecating swagger to a fine point. It’s significant that this is the first fully home-recorded Why? album since the project’s 2003 debut. Made mostly in Wolf’s studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah, the result is obsessive, of course, but also intimate, and flush with warmth and looseness. [Limited color vinyl pressing also available.]
Within The Ruins – Halfway Human CD/2xLP (E1)
Within The Ruins was born and bred in the same heavy metal rich Northeast soil as new wave of American heavy metal progenitors Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, Unearth and Shadows Fall, weaned on the dark sounds of classic death metal, the technical melodicism of Scandinavia and the precision staccato crunch of Meshuggah.
Wolfheart – Tyhjyys CD (Spinefarm)
Tyhjyys (‘Emptiness’ to non-Finnish speakers) is the majestic soundtrack to all things with fangs that trot in the wilderness. Over eight majestic new tracks, Wolfheart convey the harsh beauty of Mother Nature while challenging the boundaries of extreme metal. [Vinyl edition due March 17.]
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Animal Collective – Hollinndagain [Reissue/2002] LP (My Animal Home)
Hollinndagain documents Animal Collective’s live performances from their 2001 US tour with Black Dice. Tracks 1-3 are taken from a performance on Scott William’s radio show on WFMU. 4-7 are from performances in New York, Nashville, and Austin (these latter two shows occurring on their tour with Black Dice).
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Divine Wind 12” (Jagjaguwar)
Two exclusive tracks written and recorded at the same time as their 2016 album A Coliseum Complex Museum. “Laura Lee” is a sibling track to the album’s illustrious first single, “The Golden Lion” — spacious reverb-y drums echo around an almost sci-fi vocal line sung by Olga Goreas. Meanwhile, the title track “The Divine Wind” is the Besnard Lakes at their expansive, psychedelic best: a sustained keyboard building through to a bombastic coda, complete with Jace Lasek’s unmistakable falsetto.
Bill + Phil – Songs Of Darkness And Despair LP (Housecore)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “This mini-album is a strange creature in which every track has a different feel, but opener ‘Dirty Eye’ is the only one to feature any straightforward metal, a mid-paced chugfest with few surprises. In contrast, ‘Corpus Crispy’ is an unsettling piece of southern blues, laying down psychedelic lyrics over a traditional beat while a distorted guitar screams incoherently through the fog. ‘Tonight’s The Night We Die’ is a largely acoustic piece that calls Johnny Cash to mind, and ‘Widder Woman’ is a 30-second skit containing a jangling xylophone, a cackling witch and a horror poem about the titular character. It’s a strange and a rather creepy affair that seems thrown together over a hazy weekend.” – Angry Metal Guy
Bleached – Can You Deal? LP (Dead Oceans)
Fueled by the experiences they’ve had as women in their calling for music, Can You Deal? takes on the complexities of issues female musicians encounter in an industry dominated by men. Four tracks featuring their triumphant mix of sunny melodies, thrashing guitars and lyrics highlighting the darker sides of life. White color vinyl pressing.
City And Colour – Peaceful Road b/w Rain 12”+MP3 (Dine Alone)
Two never-before-released tracks from the If I Should Go Before You sessions recorded in Nashville. Dallas Green is a Canadian singer/songwriter who records under the alias City And Colour. He plays melodic acoustic and folk music and is often accompanied by a rotating number of Canadian indie rock musicians. He is also known for his contributions as the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire.
Dark Lotus – Tales From The Lotus Pod 2xLP (Psychopathic)
The debut album from the horror rap supergroup (featuring members of Insane Clown Posse and Twizted) – available for the first time on 180gm vinyl.
Emily Estefan – Take Whatever You Want LP (Alien Shrimp)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s daughter, Emily, steps into the spotlight. The 22 year-old singer/songwriter eschews stereotypes and societal expectations through thought-provoking originals, cool harmonies, and world rhythms on her debut album, Take Whatever You Want.
FKA Twigs – EP1 [Reissue/2012] 12” (XL Recordings)
FKA twigs self-released debut EP is now available via Young Turks. An original super-limited run of 500 units was pressed back in 2012.
Nick Grant – Return Of The Cool LP+MP3 (Epic)
Debut album from the South Carolina rapper. Includes collaborations with Dominic Gordon, B. Hess, BJ The Chicago Kid, Miloh Smith and WatchTheDuck.
Lambchop – Is A Woman [Reissue/2002] 2xLP+MP3 (Merge)
Deluxe vinyl reissue of Lamchop’s 2002 album. Is A Woman is a very quiet album best heard loud. On a musical landscape of sophisticated, uncluttered melancholy, Kurt Wagner’s lyrics are given unprecedented space, allowing every guttural detail of every single word to be heard, revealing densely poetic texts as intimate as they were incisive, as comic as they were confessional.
Tim Maia – Tim Maia [Reissue/1973] LP (Oficial Arquivos)
A great step forward for the legendary Tim Maia – working here in a style that’s even tighter and more sophisticated than before – yet still equally filled with funk and soul. The arrangements are a bit bigger than before, and the production a bit more professional – but that change only brings Tim into even more heavenly soul territory – with a mix of grooves and strings that lays somewhere between the best early ‘70s work on labels like Curtom or Motown.
John Mayall – Talk About That LP (Forty Below)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “John Mayall is the influential British bluesman who formed his band The Bluesbreakers in 1963. A great guitarist, harmonica player, singer, songwriter and bandleader he is still going strong after more than fifty years. The band on Talk About That includes Mayall, vocals, Hammond organ, piano, harmonica, and guitar; Rocky Athas, rhythm and lead guitar; Greg Rzab, bass; and Jay Davenport, drums and percussion. The album was recorded in February 2016 at The House of Blues Studios in Encino, CA. Eight of the eleven tracks are new songs written by Mayall. Mayall states that the title track ‘Talk About That’ is a modern bit of funk and a reflection on thoughts that, at the time, were running through his head. Mayall solos on organ. A horn section is added on the New Orleans styled ‘Gimme Some Of That Gumbo’ featuring Ron Dziubla, tenor and baritone sax; Mark Pender, trumpet; and Nick Lane, trombone. This tune with its infectious second line beat is my favorite on this fine album.” – Making A Scene
The Monkees – Head Alternate LP (Friday Music)
Produced in 1968, this new version of The Monkees’ soundtrack to the film Head is pressed on 180gm audiophile translucent gold vinyl.
Mozart’s Sister – Field Of Love LP (Arbutus)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Mozart’s Sister is the solo project of Montreal’s Caila Thompson-Hannant. Her new album is an explosion of glittering, celebratory pop. Intense, yet vulnerable, Field Of Love marks a distinct growth in her artistry, and a departure from her critically acclaimed debut Being (2014). Limited color vinyl pressing.
Nolife – You Won’t Survive The State Of New York 12” (Young Turks)
Incorporating influences from noise, hardcore, and hip-hop, Nolife has created an assaulting take on contemporary experimental electronic music. RIYL: Arca, Amnesia Scanner, Oneohtrix Point Never, Death Grips.
Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out [Reissue/2005] 2xLP (Fueled By Ramen)
Vinyl reissue of the Las Vegas alt-rock band’s debut album.
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – Grand Opening And Closing  2xLP (Blood Music)
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – Of Natural History  2xLP (Blood Music)
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times  2xLP (Blood Music)
The legendary avant-rock band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s three albums are available on vinyl for the first time. A band that leaps beyond mere categorization, SGM represents a defiance against anything we’ve come to expect about musical delivery. Steeped somewhere in the pantheon of 19th-century scientific lectures, vaudevillian blasts of excitement, puppet shows, self-made instruments, formless abstraction, soothing atmospheres, man-on-the-street interviews, and death metal – SGM has proven itself as one of the most prominent experimental forces in the musical underground of the last 15 years. Harkening back to the mischievous influences of The Residents, Frank Zappa, and Captain Beefheart; SGM has fashioned their own intense Dadaist universe out of a string of legends that manifest in the mysterious manners of being unable to be proven true or untrue.
Soundtrack – Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight [OST/Reissue/1994] LP (Real Gone Music)
Limited edition opaque green vinyl LP pressing. Features tracks by Pantera, Ministry, Machine Head, Megadeth, Melvins, Rollins Band, Biohazard, Sepultura, Filter, and Gravediggaz.
Syk – I-Optikon LP (Housecore)
New album from the progressive avant-garde metal band.
Teddy Williams – Worry Off My Mind LP (Big Legal Mess)
Recorded by musicologist George Mitchell in Canton, Mississippi in September 1967, and now available on vinyl for the first time.
Minus The Bear – VOIDS
VOIDS is the newest and sixth full-length album from Minus the Bear. It is their fourth album to be released on Suicide Squeeze Records, a departure from Dangerbird Records after two previous albums. It is their first album without drummer Erin Tate, who left the band in January 2015.