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New Releases for December 23, 2014
CDs + Vinyl:
Bastard Noise – Live At Babycastles CD (Small Doses)
The very first performance of the Anthony Saunders/Eric Wood iteration of Bastard Noise, whose approach this time is fully electronic, devoid of any vocals or more traditional instrumentation. The near 40-minute performance starts at a slow, quiet boil, and builds progressively into an intense onslaught of oscillators, noise, and ambience.
The Czars – Best Of CD/LP (Bella Union)
This is a best-of collection of songs from singer-songwriter John Grant’s former alternative rock band, The Czars. “While nothing on this best-of collection quite matches the exquisiteness of Grant’s solo work, you can still hear him testing the waters and laying the groundwork for what was to come.” – Uncut
HIM – Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 [Reissue/1997] 2xCD (The End)
HIM – Razor Blade Romance [Reissue/1999] 2xCD (The End)
HIM – Shadows And Brilliant Highlights [Reissue/2001] 2xCD (The End)
HIM – Love Metal [Reissue/2003] 2xCD (The End)
Remastered and expanded editions of the Finnish alternative rock/dark rock and metal band’s first four albums. Vinyl versions due February 10.
Laube – Laube 2xCD (Small Doses)
Pulling from jazz, ambient noise and drone, this German trio slows it all down and allows dark, downtempo, slow-swinging compositions creep out of the speakers. You could imagine them playing in a dark corner of the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks.
Somos – Temple Of Plenty CD (Tiny Engines)
Released earlier this year on vinyl – now available on CD. Displaying an incredible maturity for such a young outfit, Somos has tightened and streamlined their songwriting. The band showcases an immediate chemistry, sucker punching you with dynamic songs that weave and unravel in short melodic bursts of energy.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
49th Parallel – Singles LP (Lion Productions)
Limited edition pressing of this album by one of the top Canadian rock bands of the psychedelic era. Singles contains all of 49th Parallel’s singles and B-sides and rare alternates on vinyl for the first time since their initial pressings back in 1966-68.
Blood Rhythms – Assembly LP (No Part Of It)
Directional recordings of Bruce LaMont (Yakuza, Corrections House), Dave Purdie (Silver Abuse, Satan 2000), Brian Klein (The Machinist), Andy Ortmann (Panicsville) and Arvo Zylo playing mostly untrained brass and woodwind together inside a meat locker, subsequently cut into hundreds of loops, layered, and massaged. Playable at all speeds (always a good sign). Unique, handmade covers.
Clarence Clarity – Who Am Eye LP (Bella Union)
Once rumored to be a guise of the elusive Jai Paul, producer Clarence Clarity re-emerges from the shadows with the Who Am Eye EP. Lead track “Those Who Can’t, Cheat” is a skewed pop oddity full of Prince-style hooks and the occasional Bhangra breakdown. Up until now Clarence Clarity was an anonymous artist from London who sounds like Michael Jackson in a psychotic state. This is the way that Jackson’s zombie character in “Thriller” would have sounded like if he had his own career.
Alice Cooper – Raise The Dead: Live From Wacken 4xLP (UDR)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Alice Cooper‘s Aug. 3, 2013, concert at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany.
Daft Punk – Alive 1997 [Reissue/2001] LP+MP3 (Rhino)
Vinyl reissue of the live album originally released in 2001. It contains a 45-minute excerpt of a live performance recorded at Birmingham’s Que Club on November 8th, 1997.
Daft Punk – Alive 2007  2xLP+MP3 (Rhino)
First vinyl release of their 2008 UK live album recorded at Bercy in Paris in June 2007. 2LP, HQ-180-gm vinyl with download code.
Daft Punk – Alive 1997/Alive 2007 4xLP+MP3 (Rhino)
Daft Punk’s two seminal live albums with limited edition hardcover book, bonus LP, stickers, slip mat, replica V.I.P. pass, and digital download.
Death Cab For Cutie – Something About Airplanes [Reissue/1998] LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
Death Cab For Cutie – We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes [Reissue/2000] LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
Death Cab For Cutie – The Photo Album [Reissue/2001] LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
HQ-180gm vinyl reissues of DCFC’s first three albums.
Elbow – World Café Live LP (Concord)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Special five-song EP recorded at WXPN’s NON-COMMvention at World Café Live in Philadelphia, May 2014.
Entombed – DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth [Reissue/1997] 2xLP (Prosthetic)
Entombed – Same Difference [Reissue/1998] 2xLP (Prosthetic)
Expanded vinyl reissues (originally released on color vinyl via a crowd-funding campaign via Threeman Recordings).
Marianne Faithful – Give My Love To London LP (Welk)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Give My Love To London was produced by Rob Ellis and Dimitri Tikovoi and mixed by Flood. Her band includes Portishead’s Adrian Utley (guitars), Ed Harcourt (keyboards), Rob Ellis (drums), Dimitri Tikovoi (bass) and string quartet, and special guests Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). Marianne has written most of the lyrics and the music was written by Nick Cave, Anna Calvi, Roger Waters, Pat Leonard, Tom McRae, Steve Earle.
Fogg – Death LP (Play Pinball)
A prodigal young trio out of Fort Worth, TX worshipping at the Temple of the Holy Riff, Fogg busts out of the gates with a blistering LP of lead-heavy psych. Death sounds as if Black Sabbath took a handful of psychedelics, locked themselves in a garage, played ‘till their fingers bled and—to our benefit—remembered to hit “record”. Fans of Blue Cheer or Pentagram’s First Daze Here comps will find much to love here, as Fogg’s relentless riffing will have you wondering if this was actually recorded in 1971.
Grant Green – Street Of Dreams [Reissue/1964] LP (Blue Note)
Recorded in 1964, American jazz guitarist, Grant Green’s Blue Note album, Street Of Dreams is reissued as part of an overall Blue Note 75th anniversary.
Hierophant – Peste LP (Bridge Nine)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Hierophant play a great style of blackened, metallic, and sludgey style of music that incorporates elements of hardcore, punk, and crust within their sound.
Andrew Hill – Black Fire [Reissue/1964] LP (Blue Note)
The American jazz pianist and composer’s 1964 album is reissued on vinyl as part of an overall campaign celebrating Blue Note 75th anniversary.
Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Are LP (Republic)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “I Forget Where We Were begins, and Ben Howard’s deft guitar strokes come at us in stealthy and measured glides, like the moves of a chess player. We find Howard moving on from 2011’s Every Kingdom, seguing from the sing-along choruses and positive gushes of tracks from that album like ‘Keep Your Head Up’. Instead, Howard has become even more introverted and personal than we saw on the last album with ‘Black Flies.’ By introverted and personal, we’re not exactly talking Charlie Fink-esque second album failed relationship analysis. But Howard’s second album is unquestionably a serious affair.” – Drowned In Sound
Joel Michael Howard – Don’t Know Why 7” (Kingfisher Bluez)
The debut 7” for the Brooklyn based songwriter and frontman for The Albertans. Infectious, heartbreaking, dream pop. “Joel Michael Howard plays musically light, emotionally heavy guitar pop. ‘Don’t Know Why’ could pass for The Shins if they were inhaling small doses of helium and gently floating skyward. There’s also a touch of Kiwi pop in the symphonically enhanced sway, and when those harmonies kick in you might almost confuse it for Boston until you remember what a gentle touch Howard brings to his music.”—Stereogum
Billy Idol – Kings & Queens Of The Underground LP (BFI Records/Kobalt)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “Billy Idol’s recent autobiography, Dancing With Myself, candidly traces his trajectory from Bromley punk pin-up to excess-all-areas ‘80s stadium rocker. Having swapped pills for Pilates, his first album in eight years attempts the difficult passage from lovably ludicrous rocker to confessional crooner. Now 60, Idol’s rebel yell might be more restrained – and occasionally is actively straining – these days, but he sounds convincingly wistful on the slow, brooding likes of ‘Ghosts In My Guitars.’ Elsewhere, old-school arena punk rockers such as ‘Bitter Pill’ and ‘Postcards From The Past’ attempt to restart the Idolmania era.” – The Guardian
Bobby McFerrin – Spontaneous Inventions [Reissue/1986] LP (Blue Note)
Spontaneous Inventions, a 1986 live album by American vocalist Bobby McFerrin, is reissued as part of an overall Blue Note 75th anniversary.
Jackie McLean – Let Freedom Ring [Reissue/1962] LP (Blue Note)
The American jazz saxophonist’s 1962 album is reissued on vinyl as part of an overall campaign celebrating Blue Note 75th anniversary.
Ennio Morricone – La Resa Dei Conti [Reissue/1968] LP (Contempo)
Ennio Morricone delivered more of the same dramatic conflict on his score for the 1968 Western La Resa Dei Conti, this time mixing in a bit of atmospheric formlessness among his more romantic and orchestral sounds. There’s some vampiric-sounding organs as well as one of those ascending, judgment day tunes that’s expected of a Western: the strings come into play and the choir gets heavy with the tension. Each comes housed in a gatefold sleeve and includes the original movie poster.
The Murderburgers – How To Ruin Your Life [Reissue/2012] LP (Asian Man)
Sad songs sung happily, with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and the biggest and best hooks in modern pop-punk.
Outer Spaces – Garbage Beach 12” (Salinas)
A six-song 12” EP of indie rock and pop from Baltimore. Outer Spaces are fronted by Cara Beth Satalino formerly of Witches and backed with drums, bass and organ.
Pleasure Cross – Wait For The End LP+MP3 (Iron Lung)
Straight froward throat scraping thrashy hardcore punk with grind leanings from Portland OR.
Primeval Genius – Machinist In The Underworld LP (Suitcase)
Eleven tracks of synth-driven gothwave by Laura Jean Housley — spiritually akin to Skinny Puppy or Death In June, but aligned with modern lo-fi, dirge-laden pop such as Zola Jesus and L.A. Vampires. Blue vinyl.
Psychic TV – Snakes LP (Angry Love Productions)
A psychedelic journey from start to finish, Snakes has a wide variety of material that musically touches on various parts of Psychic TV’s 35-year history, yet feels extremely cohesive as an album. Pressed on color vinyl.
Raging Nathans – Losing It 7” (Rad Girlfriend)
Hyped up, melodic punk rock bursting with sick pop-punk flavor at its very core.
Rebel Kind – Today LP (Urinal Cake)
Songs composed of loner folk acoustic guitar chords and soft, low vocals that often just barely obscured lyrical screams of rock bottom brokenness and confusion. Bred on equal parts disaffected punk, sugary pop and day-dreamy country twang, Rebel Kind’s first self-distributed tapes were no mopey sad bastard fare, but rather songs that read almost as angry as they were catchy without ever letting things boil over and ruin the moment.
Red Aunts – Come Up For A Closer Look 2xLP (In The Red)
“Best Of” collection from ’90s all-female punk four-piece.
Static And The Cubes – Escape From The Snakes 7” (Danger)
Killer debut of this incredible machine-man. X epoxies. Synth punk madness.
Tiaras – Tiaras LP (Mt. St. Mtn.)
Debut release of San Francisco-based weirdo power-pop super-group Tiaras. What comes after San Francisco’s now fleeting garage rock scene? The answer remains to be seen but Tiaras continue the efforts of San Francisco’s long legacy of refugee freaks writing pop music. Influences range from The Cars, Wire, The Dwight Twilley Band, Big Star, and yes, even echoes of Tears For Fears, the self-titled release features ten guitar driven power-pop songs doused with supernatural melodies.
The Tim Version – Ordinary Life LP+7” (No Idea)
First pressing on color vinyl with bonus 7”. “The Tim Version’s love for The Replacements is no secret. Not only does the Florida band’s name seem to reference The Replacements’ album Tim, the group has appeared on a Replacements tribute album. But there’s more than Paul Westerberg worship happening on The Tim Version’s new album, Ordinary Life. Equally reminiscent of the grizzled twang of Lucero and the tattered anthems of Against Me!, Ordinary Life is a raucous yet brooding document of rootsy punk, best heard on the tear-stained, bittersweet track ‘Funny Movies,’ which is being debuted here. The Replacements influence is faint, but there’s no denying The Tim Version is achin’ to be as smart, spirited, and shambolic as its hero.”—A.V. Club
“These hard ass bards march directly over your useless face like a ruthless display of Cold War era Soviet military combined with the grace of Liberace’s Chauffeur. The Black Sabbath cover song that closes out this album is so perfect that it could have been detrimental to the rest of the album if the rest of the album wasn’t so damn good.” Vlad Trollpecker
Tsunamis – Tsunamis LP (Bym)
Tsunamis’ music burst from a clearly garage and punk influence, showing a powerful construction under mid-tones and piercing guitars, but the album also has psych rock ballads, as well as some nihilistic and blistering songs.
Anthony Williams – Spring [Reissue/1965] LP (Blue Note)
Recorded in 1965, Spring, by American drummer Anthony Williams, is repressed as part of Blue Note 75th anniversary reissue campaign.
Neil Young – Storytone 2xLP (Reprise)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Storytone was recorded live in the studio with a 92-piece orchestra, choir and Young. He took a different approach with this record, recording the songs on his own, in a solo-setting to creating compelling versions of the songs in a new light, resulting in a deeply-personal emotional listening experience throughout the record. HQ-180gm vinyl in gatefold jacket printed on special stock with a full-size 28-page booklet.
Tony Rettman – NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980-1990 (Bazillion Points)
Based on original interviews with over 100 key historical figures, the dense 384-page volume features hundreds of images and over fifty chapters covering the bands, venues, labels, hangouts, and larger-than-life characters that built hardcore punk rock in New York City. As Freddy Cricien of Madball writes in his foreword: “These years were formative ones. For those that lived it, you will be transported back in time and you can revel in the nostalgia. To those that didn’t live it, go ahead and transport yourself to that period and be grateful that you’ve discovered this special scene. Read on and take everything in—but don’t feel like you missed out! This book is a way to get caught up on history, and also a bridge to a whole world that is as relevant today as its ever been.”