CDs + Vinyl:
Jason Aldean – Rearview Town CD/LP+MP3 (Broken Bow)
Eighth studio album from the country powerhouse. Features a guest appearance by Miranda Lambert.
Louis Armstrong – Pops Is Tops: The Verve Studio Albums 4xCD (Verve)
Three Louis Armstrong albums and more, all recorded during an extraordinary few days in August & October 1957. Includes I’ve Got the World On A String, Louis Under The Stars, Louis Armstrong meets Oscar Peterson with bonus tracks for each. Additionally, the previously digital-only album A Day With Satchmo is included on CD.
Augury – Illusive Golden Age CD/LP (The Artisan Era)
New album from the Montreal-based progressive death metallers.
Behemoth – Messe Noire 2xCD/2xLP (Metal Blade)
Brand new live collection recorded at Progresja in Warsaw, Poland on August 8, 2016 from the Polish black/death metal overlords.
BlackWater HolyLight – Riding Easy CD/LP (Riding Easy)
Heavy psych-riffs, Gothic drama, folk-rock vibes, garage-sludge and soaring melodies all collide into a satisfying whole.
David Bowie – Changestwobowie [Reissue/1981] CD/LP (Rhino)
Digitally remastered edition. Changestwobowie is a David Bowie compilation album issued in 1981 by RCA Records. It’s title and packaging followed the format of RCA’s earlier Bowie compilation, Changesonebowie released in 1976. As well as post-1976 singles, the album collected songs from earlier in Bowie’s career that had not appeared on Changesone.
Brazilian Girls – Let’s Make Love CD/LP (Six Degrees)
Brazilian Girls bring a woozy romanticism to many tracks on Let’s Make Love, their fourth album and first since 2008’s Grammy-nominated New York City. The set opens with the modern-age new wave love song and lead single “Pirates,” and gets its title from the frenetic yet ethereal “Let’s Make Love.” Both the album and the title track embody the quintessential spirit of Brazilian Girls: their strange balance of wildness and elegance, cheeky humor and fractured poetry, soulful mystique and libertine wisdom. On “Karaköy” – named for an Istanbul neighborhood that Didi Gutman describes as magical – sleepy melodies and languid storytelling underlie the song’s heavy-hearted longing. And with the sweetly breezy, Spanish-sung “Salve,” Sabina Sciubba and Gutman share one of the first pieces they ever wrote together, back before Brazilian Girls even existed. But on songs like “Wild Wild Web” – a feel-good dance number about social decay – and “Impromptu” – a gang-vocal-driven, exquisitely scornful track that Sciubba calls “an anti-conformist anthem” – Let’s Make Love slips into a defiant mood suited to the album’s punk-inspired sensibilities.
Breaking Benjamin – Ember CD/LP (DMG/Hollywood)
Multi-platinum rock band Breaking Benjamin follow-up their No. 1 Billboard album Dark Before Dawn (2015) with their sixth studio effort Ember, which is ushered in by the dynamic singles “Feed The Wolf” and “Red Cold River.” “People have always really liked the heavier side of the band,” explains frontman Ben Burnley. “I think that’s what they sort of gravitate towards. But we also make sure to explore our melodic and softer side too. On Ember we just tried to make it more extreme – the softer side on this album is really soft, and the heavy side is really heavy. We decided to give everybody what they want to the furthest degree.”
Sandy Bull – Steel Tears/Endventions & Tributes CD (Omnivore)
A musical alchemist, introvert, gearhead, former junky, itinerant wanderer and erstwhile musicologist, Sandy Bull’s adventurous investigations of stringed instruments, whether guitar, banjo, the Hindustani sarod or the Turkish oud, predated celebrated savants like John Fahey and Leo Kottke. But Bull’s music got lost in the haze of his brief career, which began with the seminal Fantasia in 1964 and seemingly ended with an ode to self-destruction, Demolition Derby, in 1972. It would be 16 years before he would make another record, by which time Sandy Bull was largely forgotten. In many ways Steel Tears, first released in 1996 on his own label, stands as the musical testimony of a man trying to make sense of his own history. These eleven songs form a kind of playlist as memoir, drawn from hard-won memories and a lifelong love of music, all of it shot through with sincerity and friendship. This, the first-ever reissue of Steel Tears, features the newly remastered album alongside Endventions, four previously unissued tracks recorded by Bull before he passed away in 2001. Wrapping up the disc is three tribute tracks recorded in Nashville by a band comprised of some pretty well-known Sandy Bull fans.
Bush Tetras – Take The Fall CD/LP+MP3 (Wharf Cat)
The Bush Tetras are back in full force with the Don Fleming-produced Take The Fall, their first offering of new music in over ten years and perhaps the most hard-hitting group of songs of their career. Commanding a rocker’s wail almost 30 years in the making, vocalist Cynthia Sley deploys a shuddering power over the album’s careening five tracks, which rail against the reality of heaven and the toll of time.
Chrome Sparks – Chrome Sparks CD/LP (Counter)
Chrome Sparks (aka Jeremy Malvin) knows how to make his tracks shine. His eponymous debut album boasts a sparkling sound – a euphony of hip-hop, house and bright-beaming synthwork. It also includes standout collaborations with Australian duo Kllo and Body Language’s Angelica Bess, their voices re-imagined through Malvin’s brightly-daubed kaleidoscope of influences.
The Nels Cline 4 – Currents, Constellations CD (Blue Note)
Guitarist Nels Cline debuts a new band with the Blue Note Records release of Currents, Constellations featuring The Nels Cline 4, an intrepid unit that builds upon Cline’s acclaimed collaboration with guitarist Julian Lage by adding the fierce and versatile rhythm section of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. Of all the rich and varied projects guitarist Cline has pursued since his emergence as a leader in the late- ‘80s, his two-guitar duo with Lage, documented on the 2014 Mack Avenue album, Room, ranks among the most special.
Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People CD/LP (PIAS America)
Eleven tales of 21st century ennui set to irresistible, irrepressible dance music. Confident Music For Confident People is a set of songs that take the kind of all-consuming interior monologues that bored, disaffected youth are wrestling with the world over and places them square in the middle of the dance floor before adding call-and-response choruses for good measure.
Counterfeit. – Together We Are Stronger CD/LP (Xtra Mile)
The five-piece British band fronted by Jamie Campbell Bower finally issue their hard-hitting debut album.
The Courteeners – St. Jude Re:Wired CD/LP (Ignition)
Courteeners mark the 10th anniversary of their debut album with a newly recorded and unplugged version of the seminal record St. Jude.
Crematory – Oblivion CD/2xLP+CD (Steamhammer)
Germany’s leading gothic metal act Crematory have rarely sounded as multi-faceted and timeless as they do on new album, Oblivion. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Crone – Godspeed CD/LP (Prophecy)
Crone is a dark rock band from Northern Germany, led and shaped by Secrets Of The Moon mastermind Phil ‘SG’ Jonas and Markus Renzenbrink (Embedded). A conceptual album with song titles and themes inspired by real life tragedies and mysterious events, Godspeed pairs heavy subject matter with emotionally-charged music
The Damned – Evil Spirits CD/LP (Spinefarm)
The first album in a decade from the British punk legends. Produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T-Rex and more).
Dead City Ruins – Never Say Die CD/LP (AFM)
“These guys play rock ‘n’ roll as if their lives depended on it.” [Limited 180gm colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Eliane Elias – Music From Man Of La Mancha CD (Concord)
Music From Man Of La Mancha is a 1964 musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman’s non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote. Eliane previously recorded these tracks at the request of the original composer, Mitch Leigh. Guest artists include Award-winning jazz artists Marc Johnson (bass), Satoshi Takeshi (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion), Eddie Gomez (bass), and Jack DeJohnette (drums).
Expulser – The Unholy One [Reissue/1992] CD/LP (Greyhaze)
A relic from the high time of Brazilian heavy metal, Expulser’s The Unholy One is one of the last masterworks of the first wave of classic bands from the State of Minas Gerais. Feeding upon the sound of Sarcófago and Sextrash, Expulser generated its own breed of noise, eventually finding itself a spot amongst the great names of South American death and black metal.
Frequency Drift – Letters To Maro CD/LP (Gentle Art Of Music)
Letters To Maro‘s predecessor Last was still strongly imprinted by heavy guitars. On the new record, though, the Bayreuth-based band put the focus on rhythmic sophistication innovation in the field of sound design to deliver even more vital imagery for the imagination of people. In this context, however, the typically catchy vocal arrangements create a remarkable degree of accessibility, which is impressive, particularly when considering that complexity accounts for a considerable degree of Frequency Drift’s artistic output – now even more than in the past. In order to continue the practice of creating a very unique sound for every album the band has deepened its intense use of tight arrangements and unconventional instruments: once again the electronic harp is at the center of the compositions, in particular.
Andy Gibb – The Very Best Of CD (Capitol)
Brand new 15 track best-of collection from Andy Gibb, featuring hits from across his three studio albums including “I Just Want To Be Your Everything”, “Shadow Dancing” and “An Everlasting Love”. The album also features his classic duets with Olivia Newton-John and Bee Gees.
Gozu – Equilibrium CD (Metal Blade)
With roots in ’60s psychedelia and classic rock, the fuzzy stoner riffs of the ’70s, the grit of ’90s grunge and the winning dirty rock ‘n’ roll that has in recent years made a resurgence, Boston, MA’s Gozu have been churning out killer records since 2009. [Vinyl edition due April 27.]
Henry Green – Shift CD/LP (Akira)
22-year-old Bristol-based electronic singer-songwriter Henry Green looks to the future with his full-length debut, Shift. He continues to push the boundaries of his sound here, drifting further away from the guitar that formed the epicenter of his early work and leaning towards heavier icy synth shimmers.
Greyhounds – Cheyenne Valley Drive CD/LP (Bud’s Recordings)
This Austin TX band has been aptly described as “ZZ Top meets Hall & Oats” for their blend of gritty guitar riffs, smooth rhythms and soulful R&B. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Beth Hart – Front And Center – Live From New York CD+DVD (Provogue)
Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter Beth Hart treats fans to an intimate performance at New York’s Iridium.
Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John CD/LP/Cassette (American Laundromat)
Juliana takes on 14 Olivia Newton-John classics and deep cuts to honor one of her childhood heroes. [Limited translucent orange vinyl pressing also available.]
A Hawk and A Hacksaw – Forest Bathing CD/LP (LM Dupli-cation)
Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. “Taking in the forest atmosphere” became the inspiration for A Hawk and A Hacksaw’s newest album. Their forest bath of choice is the Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The album features ten original compositions by Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes.
Hollywood Burns – Invaders CD/LP (Blood Music)
With huge nods towards legendary soundtrack composers Giorgio Moroder, Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, and Danny Elfman, Hollywood Burns provides the perfect link between cinema soundtrack nostalgia and classic dance.
Inferi – Revenant CD/LP (The Artisan Era)
Fourth album from the Nashville-based technical melodic death metal unit.
King Tuff – The Other CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
The ten tracks that make up The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for Kyle Thomas aka King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier outings in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and a childlike, creative energy untarnished by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album’s first moments: introduced by the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, “The Other” is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of “the other,” a kind of siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like “Thru The Cracks” and “Psycho Star” balance psychedelia with dayglo pop hooks.
Ciaran Lavery – Sweet Decay CD/LP+MP3 (All Points)
Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery may be decorated at home by the Northern Ireland music Prize (for his 2016 album Let Bad In), but it’s his unrivalled knack for a poetic heart-stopping lyric that’s set to earn him wider recognition as a treasured singer-songwriter. His third album Sweet Decay is a collection of strummed acoustic fragility that’s as comforting as it is at times devastating. Beyond the classic melodies, however, it’s the storytelling that sets Ciaran Lavery apart, one that can be as brutal as Angel Olsen and as delicate as Neil Young.
Jeffrey Lewis – Works By Tuli Kupferbert 1923-2010 As Interpreted (And/Or Misinterpreted) By Jeffrey Lewis & The Deposit Returners CD (Don Giovanni)
Underground legend Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010) was always the oldest man in rock and roll, co-founding the Fugs in the winter of 1964-1965 when he was already in his early 40s. Being twice the age of Dylan, Reed, Jagger, et. al, never stopped Tuli from consistently being more outrageous. Latter-day bohemian torch-bearer Jeffrey Lewis befriended Tuli in the early 2000s, and has personally organized “Tuli-day” memorial tribute concerts every year since Tuli’s passing. This album documents some of the finer fruits of Jeffrey’s tribute arrangements, drawing from a four-decade range of Tuli’s various creative voices.
Mackenzie Nicole – The Edge CD (Strange Music)
The vocalist’s debut album manages to capture the passion and intensity of her hip-hop background while maintaining its integrity as a pop record with captivating color, dynamic range and, above all, emotional depth.
Mastersystem – Dance Music CD/LP (Physical Education Recordings)
Members of Editors, Frightened Rabbit and Minor Victories have come together to form new band Mastersystem. The band is formed from Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, his brother and Frightened Rabbit drummer Grant, Editors and former Yourcodenameis: milo guitarist Justin Lockey, and his brother and Minor Victories bandmate James. The result is debut album of harsh, fuzzy, spikey college rock.
Metallica – The $5.98 EP – Garage Days Re-Revisited [Reissue/1987] CDEP/12”/Cassette (Blackened)
Digitally remastered edition of Metallica’s 1987 EP that consists entirely of covers of late-’70s and early-’80s new wave of British heavy metal bands. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
The Moondoggies – A Love Sleeps Deep CD/LP (Hardly Art)
A Love Sleeps Deep‘s bones rattle with all the seismic changes of the last five years since the release of The Moondoggies’ Adios I’m A Ghost. While the Washington band got lumped in early on with the woodsy folk-rock/Americana movement that sprung up in the Pacific Northwest in the 2000s, the core Moondoggies sound has always been rock in the more classical sense – more Pink Floyd than Woody Guthrie. A Love Sleeps Deep crystallizes that. Perhaps more importantly, it finds singer/guitarist Kevin Murphy at his most pointed as a songwriter. There’s no lyrical pussyfooting this time around. Lacking the need to prove himself, he opens up and lays bare his feelings. “Generally, I feel frustrated because there’s a lot of this escapist stuff going on in rock and roll,” says Murphy. “I just didn’t want to not talk about my frustrations with what I was seeing around me. I have two little girls now, and I’m just thinking about where things are going. Love in my life has changed everything.”
Mouse On Mars – Dimensional People CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
After a series of notorious dance floor releases, Dimensional People reveals Berlin duo Mouse On Mars working deep within their own vernacular, digging into fertile terrain of their inexhaustible vault of digital and acoustic experimentation, and charismatically making elemental components new again. This album makes clear how their craft is of discovery, of finding new contexts for places, sounds, memories, sensations, ambiences, technologies, relationships, and of course, people. A number of prolific guests joined the production: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Zach Condon (Beirut), Spank Rock, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Swamp Dogg, Eric D. Clark, Lisa Hannigan, Amanda Blank, Sam Amidon, Ensemble Musikfabrik, and about 20 more musical collaborators.
µ-Ziq – Challenge Me Foolish CD/2xLP (Planet Mu)
Challenge Me Foolish is an almost lost album of µ-Ziq material circa 1998-99, an era that saw Mike Paradinas release Royal Astronomy on the now defunct Virgin subsidiary Hut Records, and also tour with Björk. It’s an era of his music that’s definitely worth re-exploring, in which Mike went against the grain by producing music that was baroque, melodic and whimsical, while the IDM movement he was lumped with made instrumental music that was often neurotic and complicated.
Naturally 7 – Both Sides Now CD (BMG)
Released last year in Europe and now available domestically, Both Sides Now is Naturally 7’s seventh studio-album. It represents a further remarkable development for the renowned vocal-group from NYC. The album is driven by wonderfully rich and warm harmonies in stellar vocal arrangements combined with Naturally 7’s unique talents to perform a variety of instruments simply using their voices. Both Sides Now contains of classics spanning over a century: from Anton Dvorak “Going Home”, England’s most patriotic Hymn “Jerusalem” to Roberta Flack’s “The First Time, Ever I Saw Your Face”, Sting’s “Shape Of My Heart” featuring YouTube-sensation Peter Hollens, Paul McCartney’s “Pipes Of Peace”, the title-track: Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” all the way to a very special version of Adele’s “Hello” featuring German megastar Helene Fischer, as well as the group’s original song, which always closes their live-show: “Caught In The Moment” featuring Naturally 7 fan Pentatonix’ Kevin Olusola on cello.
Our Place Of Worship Is Silence – With Inexorable Suffering CD/LP+MP3 (Translation Loss)
Consisting of pure hatred for humanity in the form of punishing blackened death and accompanied with gruesomely stunning art by Wrest (Leviathan), With Inexorable Suffering genuflects toward the oncoming extinction of the human plague. For fans of Portal, Vermin Womb, Altarage, Bolzer and Blood Incantation. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Josh T. Pearson – The Straight Hits! CD/LP (Mute)
Though he’s been a recording artist for over two decades now, and has been writing songs for thirty years, The Straight Hits! is only Josh T. Pearson’s (Lift To Experience) second solo album. Written fast, the tracks were cut with similar no-nonsense focus, in three days with engineer Matt Pence (who made Mute’s 2017 reissue of The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads sound so vivid) at the controls, Lift To Experience drummer Andy Young once again manning the traps, and Daniel Creamer and Scott Lee Jr. of The Texas Gentlemen on keyboards and bass guitar.
Pentatonix – PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. 1 CD (RCA)
The inaugural release for the group’s PTX Presents series features 11 PTX-curated modern pop performances, including an arrangement of Camila Cabello s “Havana.”
A Place To Bury Strangers – Pinned CD/2xCD/2xLP (Dead Oceans)
A noisy, pummeling sound collage. For well over a decade now, A Place To Bury Strangers have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume. [Also available: Deluxe double-CD and limited pink colored vinyl Brainwashing Machine editions.]
Ryan Porter – The Optimist CD/3xLP (World Galaxy)
West Coast Get Down’s Ryan Porter ushers in an instrumental body of work that encompasses the respite of Los Angeles jazz music. The Optimist pulls together veterans of the L.A. music scene, including West Coast Get Down alumni Kamasi Washington (tenor saxophone), Miles Mosley (upright bass), Cameron Graves (piano, fender rhodes), Tony Austin (drums), Jumaane Smith (trumpet), Edward Livingston (upright bass), Aaron Haggerty (drums), Brandon Coleman (fender rhodes), Dominic Therioux (electric bass), Robert Miller (drums), and Lyndon Rochelle (drums).
John Prine – The Tree Of Forgiveness CD (Oh Boy)
Produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson) The Tree Of Forgiveness serves as legendary singer/songwriter John Prine’s first album of all original material since his 2005 release Fair & Square. Recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, the album includes ten new songs written by Prine along with co-writers Pat McLaughlin, Roger Cook, Dan Auerbach, Keith Sykes and Phil Spector. In addition to Prine (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Cobb (acoustic guitar, mellotron, claps, kazoo) and Prine’s longtime band, the album features special guests Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. The highly anticipated collection is introduced by the heartfelt “Summer’s End” which is classic Prine. [Vinyl edition due May 11.]
Prof – Pookie Baby CD/2xLP+MP3 (Rhymesayers)
While there’s been a perception that the eccentric Minneapolis MC is out-of-control, Prof’s undeterred, unwavering commitment to his fans reveals the craftsmanship behind the perceived chaos. As his latest album title states, the newly sophisticated Prof is more accurately referred to as Pookie Baby. While Prof may be best known for his show-stopping live performances, this album pulls back the curtain, inviting the listener to join him for the most private of moments, all with a sleek touch of sophistication. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Rich The Kid – World Is Yours CD (Interscope)
After catapulting into A-list status seemingly overnight, the animated Rich The Kid releases his anticipated debut. The momentum of stellar bangers like “Plug Walk”, the Weezy blessed “End Of Discussion” and the Kendrick Lamar assisted “New Freezer” reassure Rich’s propensity for crafting bangers. Conversely, the Lil Uzi Vert targeting track “Dead Friends” has proven that Rich isn’t afraid to switch the style up; the mere fact that he dropped an actual diss track on wax is enough to garner him a healthy dose of respect.
Rival Consoles – Persona CD/2xLP+MP3 (Erased Tapes)
Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album Persona. The title was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, specifically a shot in the opening credits of a child reaching out to touch a woman’s face on a screen, which is shifting between one face and another. This powerful image struck Ryan and it inspired the album’s main theme – an exploration of the Persona, the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, the spaces in between; between states, people, light and dark, the inner Persona and the outer persona. Recorded at his studio in south-east London, Persona benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesizers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. [Limited vinyl pressing also available.
Josh Rouse – Love In The Modern Age CD/LP (Yep Roc)
After spending the better part of a year touring behind his critically acclaimed eleventh album, The Embers Of Time, Josh Rouse was ready for a change. Trading in his acoustic guitar for a synthesizer, he began experimenting with a new sonic palette, one inspired by everything from 80’s sophistipop and late-career Leonard Cohen to British indie rock and New York new wave. The resulting record, Love In The Modern Age, is an infectious collection that still bears Rouse’s distinct fingerprints, even as it pushes his limits and forges a bold new chapter more than 20 years into his celebrated career.
Savage Hands – Barely Alive CDEP (SharpTone/Nuclear Blast)
Hailing from Waldorf, Maryland, post-hardcore band Savage Hands deliver their debut release in the form of a short 7-track mini-album.
Septic Tank – Rotting Civilisation CD/LP (Rise Above)
This band of weather-beaten underground veterans – featuring vocalist Lee Dorrian (Cathedral), guitarist Gary Jennings (Cathedral) and bassist Scott Carlson (Repulsion) – has existed since the early ’90s, more as a whispered enigma than a full-time band, but the decisive moment of deafening reality has arrived with the unveiling of Rotting Civilisation, the first full-length Septic Tank record and the ugly, rampaging rebirth of the subversive hardcore spirit. With vitality and venom, Rotting Civilisation is an obscenely thrilling rollercoaster ride that takes in everything from numerous bursts of flagrant Discharge worship (“Walking Asylum”, “Victimised”) to Motörhead-style snot ‘n’ roll ragers (“Divide And Conk Out,” “Digging Your Own Grave”), Frost-fueled doomcore (“Death Vase,” “Living Death”) and even a skewed homage to Japanese punk legends G.I.S.M. (“You Want Some?”). Musically diverse but unrelenting in its belligerence, it’s also an album full of brutally direct declarations on the state of the world today, the idiocy of the social media age and the general stupidity and selfishness of humanity in the 21st century.
Settle Your Scores – Better Luck Tomorrow CD (SharpTone/Nuclear Blast)
New album from the Ohio easycore band.
Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality CD (Dark Descent)
Californian death metal.
Sly & Robbie meet Nils Peter Molvaer feat. Eivind Aarset and Vladislav Delay – Nordub CD2x/LP (Okeh)
The first album by Grammy-winning reggae legends Sly & Robbie and Norwegian Jazz innovator Nils Petter Molvaer featuring Eivind Aarset and Vladislav Delay. On Nordub, Sly & Robbie team up with Nils to create a unique sound panorama, spanning the colorful atmospheres of Norwegian Jazz and the energetic grooves of Jamaica. Together with Eivind Aarset on guitars and Vladislav Delay on electronics, this is a band of musical soulmates, beyond all boundaries of genre.
Derek Smalls – Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) CD (BMG)
The bass force of the fabled heavy metal band Spinal Tap announces his return to center stage with the release of his first full length solo venture, Smalls Change (Meditations On Ageing). It’s a poignant and oftentimes furious contemplation on ageing that explores the passing of time and all things loud. Running the gamut of musical styles, the album possesses the edgy rawness and Rock God sensibility that was always shared by Derek and his fellow former band members, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins and, is now all too evident in his solo work. Guest artists on the album include Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers), Gregg Bissonette, Larry Carlton, David Crosby, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Jim Keltner, Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Jane Lynch, Steve Lukather (Toto), Judith Owen, Joe Satriani, Paul Shaffer (David Letterman, SNL), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Richard Thompson, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Rick Wakeman (Yes) Phil X, Dweezil Zappa and Snarky Puppy Horns. [Vinyl edition due April 20.]
Stone Broken – Ain’t Always Easy CD/LP (Spinefarm)
The Walsall quartet go toe-to-toe with the biggest names in the hard rock scene.
Nino Tempo – Purveyor Of Balladry: The Best Of Nino Tempo On Atlantic CD (Omnivore)
Nino Tempo played sax for the legendary band, The Wrecking Crew and had a hit in 1963 with the song “Deep Purple.” This new compilation centers around his 1990s jazz output when he was signed to Atlantic Records. The new 13-song release begins with a live version of “Darn That Dream” and serves as a fitting reintroduction to Nino Tempo’s amazing work on the sax. The set continues with an instrumental only version of “This Masquerade” as you are shown why Tempo is known at the “Purveyor Of Balladry.” This release also features April Stevens’ skat-singing lead vocals on the exotic tones of “Amazon River” and Roberta Flack lending her talents to the gentle touch of “You Are So Beautiful.” Purveyor Of Balladry also includes Nino’s rendition of classics like “‘Round Midnight” and “Stella By Starlight,” before closing with the appropriately titled “Goodbye.”
Tengil – Shouldhavebeens CD/LP (Prophecy)
Swedish post-hardcore band Tengil is a constellation of musicians playing atmospheric, experimental heavy music that is at once nostalgic, quasi-symphonic and spiritually violent.
Tinashe – Joyride CD (RCA)
Second studio album by the R&B singer-songwriter. Guests include Offset, Ty Dolla $ign & French Montana, Little Dragon, and Future.
Uranium Club – Live At Arci Taun CD/LP (Castleface)
“Have you seen Uranium Club live? No? Drop everything. They are complete-package slayers. Watch-works drummer power, shred-haired bass magic (glasses flying), ripped twin guitar flexing on nerd beach, vocals poured through the skylight into your e-holes and over your thought center, sunglasses all around: fucking hypno-wheel. Tough, smart, and wiry, Midwest exploded all over the globe. Minneapolis, a city known for producing the best, has taken no nap on these young men: the driest tone, the snappiest hooks. They are simply great and this recording captures a particularly good night. They shred ’til everyone’s dead, including a nine-minute jam, god help us. Here’s something to make you feel good about the world, to know that we have extended a strong art-handshake to our brothers and sisters in Italy. Vivia l’italia! Ciao, bella.” – John Dwyer
Calvin Valentine – Plush Seats CD/LP (Mello Music)
Enjoy the foggy velvet majesty summoned by the new beat tape from the LA-by-way of Oregon singer, rapper, and producer known as Calvin Valentine. In theory, these are merely instrumentals, but each is a self-contained narcotic universe. Novel strains invented from the finest hybrids of past and present. This is the chill soundtrack to the weed dispensary in your heart, mind, and favorite herbal habitat. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Laura Veirs – Lookout CD/LP (Raven Marching Band)
Fresh off the success of her 2016 collaboration with Neko Case and kd lang, Laura Veirs brings her tenth album. Lookout is a batch of inimitable, exquisite folk-pop songs; a concept album about the fragility of precious things. Featuring contributions from Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Sufjan Stevens. Produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine.
Wallachia – Monumental Heresy CD (Debemur Morti)
Founded 1992 in Steinkjer, Norway symphonic pagan black metal classicists Wallachia return with their fourth and most grandiose album to date. Monumental Heresy is a wonderful culmination of years of heartfelt dedication to the craft by mastermind Lars Stavdal.
War On Women – Capture The Flag CD/LP (Bridge Nine)
Baltimore’s War On Women were born screaming – at the world, at the status quo, in the face of oppression. The band’s new album calcifies that rage. Much more than a collection of songs or a sonic experiment, it is a riff-fueled call to action.
The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy CDEP (XO/Republic)
“The Weeknd’s new six-song EP finds him in limbo between the bleary-eyed vibe of his early mixtapes and the bulletproof pop stylings of his last two albums.” — Pitchfork
Barry White – The Complete 20th Century Records Singles (1973-1979) 3xCD (Mercury)
Barry White – The 20th Century Records Singles 1973-1975 10×7” (Mercury)
Barry White – Love’s Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records CD/2xLP (Mercury)
Featuring all of Barry White’s A-sides and B-sides from his 20th Century Records singles, The Complete 20th Century Singles (1973-1979) includes the legendary hits “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”, “Let The Music Play” and many more. The triple-CD set features 46 tracks with newly remastered audio from the 20th Century Records master tapes, and is presented in a box with three discs in individual wallets plus a 24-page booklet with new liner notes and full track details. Love’s Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records Singles is a slimmed-down version containing 21 of those hits. [Also available: a 7” vinyl box set featuring reproductions of 10 of Barry White’s key 20th Century Records singles released between 1973-1975.]
Wood & Wire – North Of Despair CD (Blue Corn Music)
New album from the Austin-based bluegrass band.
Wreckmeister Harmonies – The Alone Rush CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Wrekmeister Harmonies’ new album, The Alone Rush, their first as the core duo of JR Robinson and Esther Shaw, is a hauntingly intense and dark meditation on death and isolation, whose concise compositions carry an emotional heft without the orchestrated bombast of their previous four albums. After confronting the dual tragedies of the death of a loved one and the exhaustive experience of caring for another family member with a chronic illness, Robinson and Shaw removed themselves from the intensity of Chicago living to the seclusion of Astoria, OR. With little else besides their instruments, the couple focused on just two things: healing their psychic wounds and composing.
Wrong – Feel Great CD/LP (Relapse)
Miami noise rock/alt metal powerhouse Wrong’s (members of Torche, Capsule, Kylesa) sophomore album Feel Great will make you feel the exact opposite of great. A moody and eclectic record, albeit the moods are pissed and the eclecticism is different levels of pissed.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Adolescents – The Complete Demos 1980-1986 [Reissue/2005] LP (Frontier)
The Adolescents need no introduction, they virtually invented the melodic power punk that made Orange County famous when the band formed in 1980. Frontier Records, home of The Adolescents’ legendary debut, aka The Blue Album, is proud to reissue this collection of their influential demos from their earliest rehearsals up until 1986.
Bad Religion – The Gray Race [Reissue/1996] LP (Epitaph)
Newly remastered vinyl reissue of the West Coast punk band’s ninth album. Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.
Johnny Cash & Jerry Lee Lewis – Sunday Down South [Reissue/1970] LP (ORG Music)
This 1970 Sun Record Company compilation release finds the Man In Black on the A-side and The Killer on the B-side offering up a soulful 10-track gospel roots collection featuring stirring takes on such timeless standards as “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “Give Me That Old Time Religion” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
Alice Cooper – Trash [Reissue/1989] LP (Friday Music)
Limited 180gm red colored vinyl LP pressing housed in a gatefold sleeve.
Graham Coxon – The End Of The F**king World [Original Songs and Score by Graham Coxon] 2xLP (Graham Coxon)
Recorded in Graham’ home studio in Summer 2017 The End Of The F**king World was written, composed and performed by Coxon and marks Coxon’s original soundtrack debut. The project saw Coxon write over 40 original pieces for the show. He said: “There were days were I wrote and finished three or four new songs in a single day. It was mental, I’ve never worked to that kind of schedule before. But the creative process around observation and interpretation is one that is very familiar to me. I feel very comfortable reacting to things and adding my bit.”
Deiphago/Ampütator – Ampütator/Deiphago LP (Greyhaze/Darkness Attack)
“Deiphago contributes three crude renderings of songs of their demo Lucifer Alpha Omega. That demo contained songs that would eventually make their way into the band’s full-length Satan Alpha Omega. Ampütator, in turn, brings two previously unreleased tracks following the band’s previous offerings of absolutely misanthropic, unapologetic and deafening noise.” – We Rock Webzine
Mathias Eick – Ravensburg LP (ECM)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. One of the pleasures of Norwegian artist Mathias Eick’s previous album, Midwest, was hearing his vaulting trumpet supported by violin, an instrumental combination further developed here. And in addition, the instrumentations are further shored up by additional percussion.
Eurythmics – In The Garden [Reissue/1981] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) [Reissue/1983] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Eurythmics – Touch [Reissue/1983] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Remastered vinyl reissues of the British new wave duo’s first three albums.
Fiddlehead – Springtime and Blind LP (Run For Cover)
Fiddlehead’s debut LP Springtime and Blind is an exploration of grief both introspective and through the insight of others. Following the release of their Out Of The Bloom EP, the Boston-based band have created a debut LP that shares an anguishing, relatable story of love and loss through the catharsis of spirited, loud indie rock.
Grimez – Absolute Existence LP (Chiefdom)
Grimez has dug really deep into what made the classic instrumentals of soul, funk, rock and dub music so good of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Applying those simple, but overlooked recording technics and sonic passion of live instrumentation, to create surreal realms of melodies, chunky grooves and hard hitting original drum breaks.
The Grouch – Don’t Talk To Me  2xLP (HHV.DE)
The Grouch – Nothing Changes  2xLP (HHV.DE)
First-time vinyl pressings of the Living Legends founder and one of the leading artists out of the flourishing mid- ‘90s West Coast Underground scene.
Heart Attack Man – The Manson Family LP (Triple Crown)
From Cleveland, OH Heart Attack Man originally started as the solo recording project for singer/guitarist Eric Egan in 2013. Driven by an ingrained appreciation for addictive melodies and hard hitting alternative rock, the project quickly evolved into a full band. “The Manson Family is impossible not to feel connected to,” writes The Prelude Press. “Blunt lyricism coupled with sometimes monotone but incredibly emotive vocals layered over raw and almost grungy guitars makes for a warm, inviting sound and easy to relate to perspective. Filled with stories about the struggles of everyday life (like comparing yourself to your peers, distancing yourself from toxic habits and people and the stresses of living in the city) The Manson Family is an incredibly human release.”
Jesse Kinch – I’m Not Like Everybody Else LP (Curb)
At just 23, Jesse claims as influences unique vocal stylists the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl. His classic rock style is apparent not only in his delivery but his songwriting and self-taught musicianship.
Lizzy Borden – Love You To Pieces [Reissue/1985] LP (Metal Blade)
Lizzy Borden – Menace To Society [Reissue/1986] LP (Metal Blade)
Lizzy Borden has spent nearly 30 years creating theatrical metal (including a stage show in-line with Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper). Lizzy Borden is without a doubt an important band in the history of Metal Blade hence these limited vinyl reissues of Love You To Pieces (1985) and Menace To Society (1986). Limited colored vinyl pressings are also available.
Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere LP (Warner Music Nashville)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Ashley McBryde’s Girl Going Nowhere is a collection reflective of her authentic, take-no-prisoners honesty and willingness to not just look at life, but live it, and reflect that experience in her music. Produced and mixed by award-winner Jay Joyce, the album showcases an artistic vision that proves her to be one of the genre’s keenest working storytellers, bringing unwavering honesty back into a pop-preoccupied genre.
McCafferty – BeachBoy [Reissue/2014] LP (Triple Crown)
The debut full length from Cleveland, OH’s McCafferty, reissued on colored vinyl. The band play a catchy and affecting style of indie punk here for fans of Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms. “…BeachBoy is a fun record, soundtracking transition from college to a more carefree young adult world,” wrote Alternative Press.
Don McLean – Botanical Gardens LP (BMG)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Botanical Gardens is enduring singer-songwriter Don McLean’s (“American Pie”) nineteenth studio effort overall and first in eight years. One of his most reflective, the concept of intimacy can be found at the heart of the record, with McLean penning personal numbers looking back on a life well lived, as well as his observations on youth and love. Recording at Watershed Studios in Nashville also allowed a different kind of intimacy for Don and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music,” resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout. He proves his prowess at writing timeless sounding songs once again, as the album weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot stomping rock. “The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House,” McLean explains. “I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there. The whole album really revolves around the title song. Later on, I realized that the gardens are really a metaphorical heaven, and there’s a kind of death and rebirth.”
Moby – Play: The B Sides  2xLP (Little Idiot)
A black vinyl pressing via Moby’s Little Idiot imprint. Featuring tracks from Moby’s multimillion selling Play era, Play: The B Sides includes some lost treasures and some of Moby’s best works, including the global hit “Flower.”
Meshell Ndegeocello – Ventriloquism 2xLP (Naïve Pop)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Some albums are testimony, some confessions, and some are escape. Ventriloquism, the latest album from Meshell Ndegeocello, is a place, like its process, to take refuge from one storm too many. Musically, Ventriloquism has the hallmarks of all of Ndegeocello’s work: lush and investigative, subversive and sublime. As always, she pays tribute to her diverse influences and in these eleven covers, we hear them layered over one another.
RLYR – Actual Existence LP (The Flenser)
Chicago-based experimental rock trio RLYR (pronounced Relayer) present their sophomore album.
Scorched – Excavated For Evisceration LP (20 Buck Spin)
For the past few years Delaware’s Scorched has steadily built a reputation for classic savage Northeast-style death metal featuring skull-caving heaviness, video-nasty warped synth interludes, and a cinematic taste for the gruesome and murderous.
Syml – Hurt For Me  LP (Nettwerk)
Syml – In My Body LP (Nettwerk)
From his basement recording studio in the small town of Issaquah, WA outside Seattle, Brian Fennell began to write and record songs under the name Syml, which means simple in Welsh. With a keen grasp on textural and emotive songwriting, he combines bare piano, minimalist synth, stringscapes, and etherial vocals. Adopted and not knowing his history or connection to his Welsh roots, many of his songs are influenced by the complex feelings that come from unknown lineage.
Radka Toneff/Steve Dobrogosz – Fairytales [Reissue/1982] LP (Odin)
Radka Toneff and Steve Dobrogosz’s 1982 masterpiece Fairytales is Norway’s best-selling jazz album and was also voted Norway’s best album of all time in a poll of Norwegian musicians in 2011.
Tricot – A N D LP+MP3 (Topshelf)
Tricot is a Japanese all-female alternative rock band formed in Kyoto, Japan. Their sound is a blend of native Japanese vocals, jazzy instrumental breaks, and an overall layer of post-punk style.
U2 – Wide Awake In America [Reissue/1985] 12” (Island)
U2 – Pop [Reissue/1997] 2xLP (Island)
U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind [Reissue/2000] LP (Island)
180gm vinyl reissues now available.
Barry White – The 20th Century Records Singles 1973-1975 10×7” (Mercury)
7” vinyl box set featuring reproductions of 10 of Barry White’s key 20th Century Records singles released between 1973-1975.
Link Wray – Son Of Rumble b/w Whole Lotta Talking 7” (Easy Eye Sound)
The legendary guitarist’s never-released follow-up to “Rumble,” the song that introduced the world to power chords and intentional distortion, is now available as a vinyl 7″ b/w another never-heard track, “Whole Lotta Talking.”
Marie Davidson – Marie Davidson  (Holodeck)
Montréal native Marie Davidson’s unique form of synth pop has become an undeniable force in modern music. [Vinyl edition due April 27.]
Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John (American Laundromat)
Juliana takes on 14 Olivia Newton-John classics and deep cuts to honor one of her childhood heroes.
Metallica – The $5.98 EP – Garage Days Re-Revisited [Reissue/1987] (Blackened)
Digitally remastered edition of Metallica’s 1987 EP that consists entirely of covers of late-’70s and early-’80s new wave of British heavy metal bands.