CDs + Vinyl:
American Pleasure Club – A Whole F**king Lifetime Of This CD/LP/Cassette (Run For Cover)
Released last week on vinyl and cassette – now available on CD. The longtime project of Baltimore’s prolific Sam Ray (Ricky Eat Acid, Julia Brown) has never been weighed down by expectations of genre, fidelity or album length. 2016 gave us the 26-song epic It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot and the more concise follow up Bonus EP, but on this album, a striking amount of balance provides the groundwork for A Whole F**king Lifetime Of This.
Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain CD/LP (Fat Possum)
Although May Your Kindness Remain was predominately written on the road it’s not a road record like its predecessor. That is, it’s not so much inspired by Courtney Marie Andrews’ life on the road so much as it is by the people she’s met along the way. It’s an inward reflection on the connectivity of their stories and her own. The album is full of vivid depictions of complex people and places with all too common struggles. Every instrument and sound have their proper place, across diverse styles: proud piano ballads (“Rough Around The Edges”); easygoing, country-tinted rock (“Kindness Of Strangers”); and biting, sarcastic folk gems (“I’ve Hurt Worse”). Gospel singer C.C. White adds backing vocals throughout, including on the stunning title track, a striking statement of purpose that blooms at the end thanks to layers of soulful harmonies. Andrews’ own vocals are notably more powerful and soulful – especially on the organ-heavy blues number “Border,” with a ragged weariness that honors the immigrant’s resilience in the face of blatant thoughtlessness and racism; and “Took You Up,” a take on accepting love as a simple offering before any illusion of wealth or success. Her vocal performances reflect her recent listening habits, which include Motown and soul, as well as albums by the eclectic rock band Little Feat. They also point to her confidence and growing range as a live vocalist.
Army Gideon – Forsake Not CD (Uhuru Boys)
High-energy reggae fusion with lyrical content advocating equal rights, justice, universal love and Rastafari awareness through a militant persona.
The Art Of Lovin’ – The Art Of Lovin’ [Reissue/1968] CD (Early Dawn)
A reissue of The Art Of Lovin’s one and only album, originally on the legendary US label Mainstream in 1968. An album full of interesting and imaginative female-fronted psychedelic folk rock. For fans of Jefferson Airplane, Fort Mudge Memorial Dump, Yankee Dollar, etc.
Auri – Auri CD (Nuclear Blast)
Nightwish leader/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen has joined forces with his wife, Finnish singer Johanna Kurkela, as Auri. Auri celebrate a kind of epic-romantic ethno pop that seems to float in quaint spheres, which are intangible yet unleash multi-faceted sounds capes filled with powerful imagery. These sound cascades are based on Celtic traditional sounds, atmospheric-cinematic dream sequences, melancholic melodies and a touch of transfigured mysticism; beautiful instrumentation yielding an unfathomable depth.
Alice Bag – Alice Bag CD/LP (Don Giovanni)
Based in Los Angeles, Alice Bag is a punk rock singer, musician, author, educator and feminist archivist. She was lead singer and co-founder of The Bags, who were among the first wave of punk bands to emerge from that city during in the mid-1970s. Recorded last year, Alice Bag includes a revolving cast of friends and Los Angeles-based musicians, including the members of Bags’ current backing band, as well as guest vocals from Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, The Julie Ruin), Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile, Sex Stains), Francisca Valenzuela, and Teri Gender Bender.
CDs + Vinyl:
Casey Abrams – I Put A Spell On You CD/LP (Chesky)
The bassist and vocalist makes his Chesky Records debut with an album combining electrifying originals and compelling covers.
The Alarm – The Alarm [Reissue/1983] 2xCD/2xLP (Twenty First Century)
The Alarm – Declaration [Reissue/1984] 2xCD2x/LP (Twenty First Century)
Digitally remastered and expanded editions of the Welsh band’s eponymous 1983 EP and 1984 debut album – both originally released on I.R.S. Eponymous contains the band’s first four singles and B-sides plus tracks from their North American debut EP originally released in 1983. Declaration includes the complete album, singles and B-sides plus rarities spanning the years 1984 and 1985.
Randy Bachman – By George – By Bachman CD (UMe)
Randy Bachman, co-founder and lead guitarist of Canada’s legendary Bachman-Turner Overdrive, offers a unique approach to songs written solely by the late George Harrison. Bachman, an ardent admirer of Harrison from the Beatles’ early days, pays tribute by reinterpreting and taking a few liberties with these landmark songs.
Black Foxxes – Reiði’ CD/LP (Spinefarm)
“Reiði’” – the Icelandic word for rage – is a fitting title for the second full length record to come from Exeter’s Black Foxxes. Born from a restless need to push creative boundaries, and a fear of stagnation in all its forms, the follow-up to their acclaimed 2016 debut album I’m Not Well sees the three-piece pushing the vicious bite that fuels their band to new highs and experimenting with menacing shade and uplifting light alike.
Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion CD/LP (Listenable)
Second album from the Vancouver, BC heavy metal and hard rock band. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
The Bonnevilles – Dirty Photographs CD/LP (Alive)
Northern Ireland rockers The Bonnevilles are renowned for both their incendiary live shows and soulful song-writing skills. Their music is full of heart, smart, and always fun. On Dirty Photographs they display their love for gritty blues, primitive rock ‘n’ roll and Irish folk.
CDs + Vinyl:
6 String Drag – Top Of The World CD/LP (Second Motion)
The veteran Americana band broadens its collective purview, incorporating classic British Invasion pop, tough-as-nails ’70s rock and punk.
Acid Dad – Acid Dad CD/LP (Greenway)
NYC’s Acid Dad have quickly established themselves as one of the tightest, tireless, and most energetic bands in the Brooklyn scene. The group “boasts an electric sound that welcomes psychedelia, garage rock, and post punk in constantly varying doses, and a rock ‘n’ roll attitude that screams NYC late ’60s (and at times Manchester late ’80s)” writes The Deli Magazine. Their eponymous debut LP was engineered, mixed and co-produced by Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, The Drums, The Men) and follows-up their well received 2016 EP Let’s Plan A Robbery.
Bad Religion – Stranger Than Fiction [Reissue/1994] CD/LP (Epitaph)
Digitally remastered edition of the West Coast punk rock band’s eighth album. [Limited grey colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Between The Buried & Me – Automata I CD (Sumerian)
New release from the progressive metal band – the first two parts and eighth album overall. Automata is a concept album that revolves around the concept of being able to view the dreams of others. [Vinyl edition due April 6.]
Nat Birchall – Cosmic Language CD/LP (Jazzman)
Nat Birchall charts new paths toward spiritual communion, connecting jazz with classical Indian influences guided by the wistful flow of the harmonium. Cosmic Language sees the UK-based saxophonist, composer, and arranger return to Jazzman Records with a cross-cultural approach: an exploration of the parallel musical paths of jazz and Indian ragas.
Bobby V – Electrik CD (Sono Recording Group)
Bobby V reunites with producer Tim Kelley for an epic collection of original R&B jams. The first single “Lil Bit” includes a feature performance from Snoop Dogg.