CDs + Vinyl:
A Certain Ratio – I’d Like To See You Again [Reissue/1982] CD/LP (Mute)
Manchester’s A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late-70s post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in. Hailed universally as pioneers of what became known as “punk funk” thanks to the success of “Shack Up” on both sides of the Atlantic, their sound is not easily pigeon holed and their influence can never be understated. Formed in 1978, the band introduced the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic, adding great clothes and the coolest haircuts. Mute Records’ A Certain Ratio reissue series continues in 2018 with a colored vinyl pressing of the group’s 1982 album I’d Like To See You Again. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Don Airey – One Of A Kind CD/2xLP (earMUSIC)
Don Airey’s keyboard skills have been utilized by many rock ‘n’ roll greats over the years. Amongst them Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Brian May, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band of which Don has been a full-time member for over fifteen years. But – Don Airey has never been a session player. Bands and artists work with him for his unique musical vision, for the twist he gives to songs. It is with the same passion, the same energy, the same talent that Don Airey approaches his very own songwriting. One Of A Kind is a true classic hard rock gem with melodies, great riffs and solos and a unique band unity.
Matt Andersen & The Mellotones – Live At Olympic Hall CD/2xLP+MP3 (True North)
Andersen’s well-earned word-of-mouth reputation is backed up by two European Blues Awards, a Juno nomination for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, and six Maple Blues Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year. Featuring danceable blasts of brass, slinky slide guitar solos and whirling organs, this live recording captures the unmistakable magic of seeing a master at work.
Architects Of Chaoz – (R)Evolution CD/2xLP (Metalville)
New album from the heavy metal group formed with ex-Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno and his long time German touring band The Phantomz.
Baptists – Beacon Of Faith CD/LP (Southern Lord)
Beacon Of Faith broadly follows the same trajectory as the album’s predecessors, Bushcraft (2013) and Bloodmines (2014) – combining the style of raw adrenaline-fueled emotion, venomous vocal delivery, gigantic guitar sound, and a visceral rhythmic propulsion – a sonic manifestation of desolate rage, bolstered by a palpable sense of urgency. There is melody amongst the dissonance, as the Vancouver outfit more deeply explore the noise rock vistas that have always underpinned their sound.
Biffy Clyro – MTV Unplugged Live At Roundhouse, London CD/2xLP/2xLP+CD+DVD (WB)
Although their live shows are best known for their electrifying and explosive energy, Biffy Clyro have often demonstrated that their songs possess an added poignancy when stripped back to their essence. [Deluxe heavyweight black vinyl edition also available which includes a 12” double-sided art print featuring setlist, signed by the band, a DVD featuring the MTV Unplugged set, a CD album of the set, an LP-size 6-panel booklet, all packaged in a custom gatefold sleeve.]
Bleeding Through – Love Will Kill All CD/LP (Sharptone)
Introduced by the pair of hard hitting singles “Set Me Free” and “Fade Into the Ash,” metal/hardcore act Bleeding Through’s long awaited new album Love Will Kill All serves as their debut on Sharptone Records and first since 2012’s The Great Fire.
Harold Budd – Budd Box [Reissue/2013] 7xCD (All Saints)
New edition of an anthology boxset containing six classic Harold Budd albums: The Serpent (In Quicksilver) (1981); Abandoned Cities (1984); The White Arcades (1987); By The Dawn’s Early Light (1991); Music For Three Pianos (1992); and Luxa (1996). 57 tracks across 6 discs plus 68 page softbound book with spine compiling interviews, essays, poems and archival photos. Limited edition of 1,000 copies. Each disc comes in a foil-blocked wallet and the entire contents are housed in a sturdy slipcase with foil-blocked lettering.
Candlemass – House Of Doom CDEP/12” (Napalm)
New four-song EP from the Swedish doom metal band.
Célia – Célia [Reissue/1972] CD/LP (Mr. Bongo)
Digitally remastered edition of this 1972 release. Célia was a Brazilian vocalist who worked frequently with master arranger-composer Arthur Verocai in her early years and many other heavyweights over the course of her extensive career. This her second self-titled LP from 1972 features an all-star line-up including Arthur Verocai Erasmo Carlos Roberto Carlos Marcos Valle Antonio Carlos Jobim Nonato Buzar and Vinicius de Moraes amongst others.
Chvrches – Love Is Dead CD/LP (Glassnote)
Love Is Dead is an album about growing up and “coming to terms with the fact that there are great things in the world and there are awful things in the world and that you can’t get one without the other,” explains frontwoman Lauren Mayberry. Adds bandmate Iain Cook: “We’re f**ked, the world is fucked. But there’s an ellipsis at the end. It’s Love Is Dead. Like, how did we get to this point? And how do we move on from this point? It’s Love Is Dead, we’re fucked, what’s next?” For the first time ever, Chvrches opened their proverbial doors to outside influence; Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart served as the band’s de facto mentor. Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia) co-produced eight of the record’s twelve tracks. Lead single “Get Out” is a sprawling crescendo of heartbroken joy while “Graffiti,” with its lilting syncopated backbeat follows suit. Then there’s the slinky “Deliverance,” which personifies that classic Chvrches blend of punk ethos with a pure pop sound. The National frontman Matt Berninger sings on the sings on the single, “My Enemy”. [Limited edition light blue colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Jonathan Davis – Black Labyrinth CD (Sumerian)
Debut album from the KoЯn frontman. “I’ve always got to be different,” he notes. “Once again, I’m doing something I haven’t heard before. This is my swan song. It’s my f**king masterpiece up to this point.” [Vinyl edition due July 20.]
Davisson Brothers Band – Fighter CD (BFD)
The Davisson Brothers Band plays a unique style of music, infusing a remarkable blend of country, southern rock, and bluegrass to create a distinctive sound.
The Dead Tongues – Unsung Passage CD/LP (Psychic Hotline)
Ryan Gustafson wrote Unsung Passage during quick spans scattered between tours of the last two years as a supporting guitarist for his kindred North Carolina spirits Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook’s Guitarheels, and as the leader of his own vehicle for a fractured vision of folk, country, blues, and cosmic American rock – The Dead Tongues.
Deeper – Deeper CD/LP (Fire Talk)
Call it post-punk, call it indie rock, Deeper’s eponymous debut is a record that steps in and out of boxes filtered through an unmistakable Midwestern lens. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Die Kleinen Und Die Bösen [Reissue/1980] CD/LP (Groenland)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Alles Ist Gut [Reissue/1981] CD/LP (Groenland)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Gold Und Liebe [Reissue/1981] CD/LP (Groenland)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Für Immer [Reissue/1982] CD/LP (Groenland)
Many things have been said about this band: they were called the “godfathers of techno,” the pioneers of EBM and the forefathers of electropunk. Yet they only laugh coolly and remain tight-lipped in the face of any attempt to historicize them. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – better known as DAF – is a myth. What we know is that they released four albums in a short time span between 1980 and 1982, and that those albums changed the history of music worldwide. Yet DAF’s international renown certainly was not based in the name: Gabi Delgado-López and Robert Görl were never looking for friendship; their expressions were invariably ones of steely, piercing stares, and they presented themselves with a precisely staged iciness that belied the ardor burning inside them.
Jeremy Enigk – Return Of The Frog Queen [Reissue/1996] CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Jeremy Enigk performed with legendary indie rock band Sunny Day Real Estate from 1993 to 2000. In 1996, following the band’s first breakup (which lasted from 1995 to 1997), Enigk released his first solo album, Return of the Frog Queen. Representing a major shift in sound, it features backing from a 21-piece orchestra as he performs striking, dramatic, chamber-pop compositions that demonstrate the full breadth of his talents as a singer, musician, and songwriter. Includes bonus tracks from Enigk’s 1996 live session on Seattle radio station The End (available via download on the vinyl version).
Graveyard – Peace CD/LP/Cassette (Nuclear Blast)
Gothenburg, Sweden’s Graveyard has been flying the classic hard rock, blues and psychedelic rock banner since the band’s inception in 2006. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Grant Green – Funk In France: From Paris to Antibes 1969-1970 2xCD/3xLP (Resonance)
Grant Green – Slick! Live At Oil Can Harry’s CD (Resonance)
From Paris To Antibes (1969-1970) is the first official, previously unissued live recordings of legendary guitarist Grant Green in over a decade. This deluxe double-CD/triple-LP set brings together a collection of recordings of Green captured at the ORTF studios in Paris on October 26, 1969 with bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Don Lamond and more. Live At Oil Can Harry’s is a never-before-released recording captured live on September 5, 1975 at a popular club in Vancouver, BC. Featuring a primarily Detroit-based band with Emmanuel Riggins (father of drummer Karriem Riggins) on electric piano, Ronnie Ware on bass, drummer Greg “Vibrations” Williams (Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson) and Gerald Izzard on percussion, Slick!’s centerpiece is the over 30 minute funk exploration medley of Stanley Clarke’s “Vulcan Princess,” “Skin Tight” by the Ohio Players, Bobby Womack’s “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” “Boogie On Reggae Woman” by Stevie Wonder and “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays.
Hoobastank – Push Pull CD/LP (Napalm)
The once Grammy-nominated US rockers return with a new album.
Nils Patrik Johansson – Evil Deluxe CD/LP (Metalville)
Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Lion’s Share, Civil War) has contributed many highlights to classic rock and heavy metal since 2003, in particular with the Astral Doors. Here he comes with his very first solo album. With the help of musician friends like members of Grave Digger and Lion’s Share, Patrik presents 12 epic hymns to the often Dio-compared singer on “Evil Deluxe”. Back to the roots of true heavy metal.
Jo Passed – Their Prime CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
The nicest thing anyone has ever said to Jo Hirabayashi, frontman of Jo Passed, is that his band’s debut album sounds like “f**ked-up Beatles.” Titled Their Prime, the LP does sound like fucked-up Beatles. It sounds like, somewhere across an ‘80s universe, Lennon and McCartney discovered Can and Neu!, and maybe a little Sonic Youth and XTC along the way. Opening with “Left,” it demonstrates that timeless knack for dreamy melodies – chord progressions that sound like they were created in a land far far away. Lyrically, however, it’s imbued with a philosophical longing for answers to questions that have resurfaced for the first time since the explosion of counterculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Konkere Beats – Soul Jazz Records Presents: Yoruba! Songs & Rhythms For The Yoruba Gods In Nigeria CD/2xLP+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
This album features songs honoring the Nigerian gods of the Yoruba traditional religion – Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others – as well as a selection of instrumental cuts focusing on the Bata and Dundun drums. The album comes complete with extensive text and photography included in the 40-page booklet showing the influence of Yoruba culture throughout the world and the social and historical context for the music contained here. Yoruba! features an array of local master drummers led by Olatunji Samson Sotimirin and singers (featuring the lead vocals of Janet Olufanmilayo Abe) performing heavyweight Afro-rhythms, with talking drums, Bata and Dundun drums and a mass of percussion in these deep spiritual and sacred songs used to honor and worship the traditional and ancient Yoruba gods in Nigeria, West Africa.
Lithics – Mating Surfaces CD/LP+MP3 (Kill Rock Stars)
Lithics exist in a nervous fragmented world, a propulsive futuristic hell where anything can be consumed at any time, where any sound from any era can be conjured and reproduced and yet most of what we are stuck with seems like a trite reproduction of a sentiment long lost. Lithics fight this impossible dreary reality with a bold minimalist vision, “Can I be myself?” A stern danceable sound that summons cut up snapshots of Su Tissue and Mark E Smith, an imagined landscape where Captain Beefheart hits that 99 Records “Too Many Creeps” beat.
Malo – Latin Bugaloo: The Warner Bros. Singles CD (Omnivore)
The legendary and pioneering Bay Area band, Malo found inspiration in its Latin roots while mixing it with rock, blues, funk and jazz creating a musical stew that was augmented by a horn section. At the time, horn sections were popular in rock bands like Blood, Sweat And Tears, Chicago, and Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Malo joined other California bands at the time, like War and Tower Of Power, in adding a brass section. “The new band had elements of the Latin rock sound thriving a few hundred miles south in Los Angeles, but Malo had something that set it apart from established groups like Thee Midniters and El Chicano. “Malo was pretty much a jam,” Jorge Santana laughs. “We had Latin percussion and we had a horn section. Just a lot of natural energy. But it had to be structured to an arrangement.” Latin Bugaloo: The Warner Bros. Singles collects all of the band’s A & B-sides, 14 tracks in all, remastered.
Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes CD (Island)
New album from the Canadian pop singer-songwriter.
Micawber – Beyond The Reach Of Flame CD/LP (Prosthetic)
Green Bay, WI based death metallers Micawber have joined forces with Prosthetic Records for the release of their third album — a diverse chunk of modern death metal. Growling vocals, slamming riffs, twin harmonious guitar solos and blast beat drums are the base of all the tracks, but each cut has a sprinkling of other metal elements: sludge, black, prog and tech. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Millennial Reign – The Great Divide CD/LP (Ulterium)
New album from the power metal band. RIYL: Queensrÿche, Crimson Glory, Stryper and Theocracy.
Monument – Hellhound CD/LP (Roar! Rock Of Angels)
Pure British heavy metal.
Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices feat. Lisa Gerrard – BooCheeMish CD/LP (Prophecy)
Better known to many as Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, BooCheeMish sees the esteemed Bulgarian choir performing together with erstwhile 4AD label mate Lisa Gerrard (co-founder of the duo Dead Can Dance) on several tracks. In successfully connecting Bulgarian folklore with other traditions and cultures, the album manages to retain the unique identity of the voices, vocal styles and techniques of the individual choir members, even when allying them with acoustic accompaniment such as stringed instruments and various types of percussion, including beatbox. [Limited box set including 180gm blue vinyl LP pressing plus two CDs, SACD, and book also available.]
Neurosis – Pain Of Mind [Reissue/1994] CD (Neurot Recordings)
Digitally remastered edition of the first album by titans of punk and metal. [Vinyl edition due June 8.]
Agnes Obel – Late Night Tales CD/2xLP+MP3 (Late Night Tales)
“This is an unusual, beautiful and dark album curated by — and at times performed by — the Danish musician Agnes Obel. It’s part of a series of artist-curated albums called Late Night Tales. Nils Frahm, The Flaming Lips, Jon Hopkins and others have put their own records together for the series in the past. For her Late Night Tale, Agnes Obel has chosen music from a wide variety of artists — from the soul of Nina Simone to the wit and wisdom of The Kinks’ Ray Davies, the lush strings of Henry Mancini, the quirkiness of Can and the ethereal Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Choir. Somehow she has managed to stitch it altogether.” – NPR
Ocean Alley – Chiaroscuro CD/2xLP (Ocean Alley)
Ocean Alley continue to solidify their place as one of Australia’s most exciting independent bands, with the release of their sophomore album Chiaroscuro. The band engulfs you in an immense soundscape here via their unique and refreshing brand of psychedelic reggae fusion. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Peach Kelli Pop – Gentle Leader CD/LP (Mint)
L.A.’s DIY sunshine punk favorites are back with their fourth full length album and first in three years. Gentle Leader‘s ten tracks are inspired by a unique range of guitar-driven power pop and feedback laden post-punk from the ’80s and ’90s.
Luis Pérez – Ipan In Xiktli Metztli – Mexico Magico Cosmico en el Ombligo de la Luna CD/2xLP (Mr. Bongo)
In 1981, the Mexican government became very interested Pérez work and sponsored the production of what became the first recording of the fusion of native Mexican instruments with electronics – entitled Ipan In Xiktli Metztli, in the Nahuatl language, or en el Ombligo de la Luna in Spanish… In the Navel of the Moon. The impact of this recording and subsequent performances among media, ethnomusicologists and audiences alike established Luis Pérez Ixoneztli as a precursor to a new musical genre followed by a generation of young Mexican musicians – ethno-rock, ethno-jazz, ethno-experimental and the like.
Joshua Redman/Ron Miles/Scott Colley/Brian Blade – Still Dreaming CD/LP (Nonesuch)
Saxophonist/composer Joshua Redman is joined by drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and trumpeter Ron Miles for Still Dreaming – an album inspired by his father Dewey Redman’s 1976-1987 band, Old and New Dreams. Along with the senior Redman, Old and New Dreams featured an all-star lineup of Ornette Coleman collaborators – cornetist Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell – who continued pushing musical boundaries as they had with Coleman even after their former bandleader moved in a new direction. Still Dreaming features six new compositions by the new band as well as one tune by Haden and one from Coleman.
Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror CD (Dark Descent)
“In continuing what seems to be one of the larger portions of today’s death metal movement, Ritual Necromancy dust off their favorite Incantation albums and make their attempt to traverse the same, oozing, sludgy, and doom-infested waters of the pioneers before them with Disinterred Horror. The band’s second full-length sees them give it their all in this area. While the end result is familiar in tone, it’s still done with enough finesse to keep it interesting.” – Dead Rhetoric
Xavier Rudd – Storm Boy CD/2xLP (Nettwerk)
“There’s a splendid simplicity and gentleness to Rudd’s ninth studio album, but also a deep connection to the world around him. ‘Walk away from all that you know,’ he tells himself in the opening track. Later Rudd acknowledges that ‘a fork in the road would someday come.’ And while this is not quite a new beginning, it’s the sound of consolidation for an artist who’s creating his own remarkable story and sound. It’s the echo of the open highway, disappearing into the heart of the great unknown. If Paul Simon had grown up on the Australian coast and become a surfing vegetarian, he would sound like Xavier Rudd.” – Stack
Ruler – Winning Star Champion CD/LP+MP3 (Barsuk)
The music on Ruler’s debut album – hook-heavy, assertive, inspiring – is made for motion. It’s a soundtrack for moving forward, for getting better, in terms of both healing and self-improvement. Built on main man Matt Batey’s lifelong fears, anxieties, addictions, and failures, not to mention his preternatural gift for creating instantly classic indie rock, these eleven songs follow that old adage by Robert Frost: The best way out is through. And in this case the best way through is with the volume cranked up all the way.
Saxon – Denim And Leather [Reissue/1981] CD/LP (Union Square)
Saxon – Power & The Glory [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (Union Square)
Saxon – Crusader [Reissue/1984] CD/LP (Union Square)
Classic British heavy metal back in-print on CD and vinyl.
Klaus Schulze – Silhouettes CD/2xLP+CD (SPV)
Schulze describes the music on Silhouettes as a “reduction to the essential things” and has consciously worked only very sparingly with solos and vocal elements. He explains: “No great distractions, nothing to force your attention in a certain direction, no major effects or gimmicks, no frills or dominant rhythms. It was important to me to paint the pictures in the depth of the space, the sonic fields of tension and atmosphere.” Since the early 1970s, Klaus Schulze has repeatedly been referred to by the press as “King of Cosmic Music” or “Magician on the Big Moog“, his work frequently having been classed as a “monument of forward-looking music”.
Henrik Schwarz & Metropole Orkest – Scripted Orkestra CD/2xLP (7K!)
Henrik Schwarz, one of electronic music’s most well-respected producers, collaborates with the internationally renowned Metropole Orkest and its conductor Jules Buckley for the new, full-length LP Scripted Orkestra. Metropole Orkest is one of the world’s leading orchestras when it comes to performing anything but classical music and they’ve played and helped shape the world of contemporary orchestra music since their foundation in 1945. Originally performed live as the opening concert of ADE 2016 and broadcast by Boiler Room, this studio recording delves further into Schwarz’s increasingly formidable orchestral talent, showcasing the incomparable thrill of seamlessly blending acoustic performance with computer generated music.
Skating Polly – The Make It All Show CD (El Camino)
Sibling punk-rock trio Skating Polly (Kelli Mayo, her stepsister Peyton Bighorse, and Kelli’s brother Kurtis) return with their fifth studio album, The Make It All Show. “The album delivers a bevy of explosive new tracks while also bringing fans exactly what they’ve come to expect from this self-proclaimed ‘ugly pop’ group (they’re clearly influenced by riot grrl, but they don’t limit themselves to one sound): earnest lyrics and no shortage of spunk. ‘They’re Cheap (I’m Free)’ is the album’s most menacing, magical track. Immediately, a bassline and simple percussion create suspense. Then Kelli and Peyton sing ‘You know what I know, son,’ their tone suggesting that something big is coming—and sure enough, it does. The chorus is a spiral of vicious vocals and soaring guitars that would make the track sound fantastic in concert. Throughout the rest of the record, Skating Polly maintains this no-holds-barred attitude. ‘Camelot’ features skillful screaming and places ‘Lancelot’ in the same sentence as ‘cigarette butt.’ ‘This Vacation’ has a rollicking beat and end-of-the-world sound that evokes Green Day’s ‘Holiday’; the song’s aggressive conclusion makes you wish that Skating Polly had their own American Idiot-style musical.” – The Young Folks
The Smithereens – Covers CD (Sunset Blvd)
A collection of The Smithereens’ covers of 22 songs from the likes of T.Rex, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and The Kinks and many more.
Snow Patrol – Wildness CD/LP (Republic)
Wildness, Snow Patrol’s first album in seven years, finds the British alt-rockers reuniting with longtime producer Jackknife Lee and searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. The extended break proved to be a source of inspiration for the band and the new record, true to its title, taps into something raw and primitive.
Split Cranium – I’m The Devil And I’m OK CD/LP (Ipecac)
I’m The Devil And I’m Ok is the second album from Trans-Atlantic group Split Cranium featuring Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer, Mara), Aaron Turner (Mamiffer, Sumac, Old Man Gloom), Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom), Tomi Leppänen (Circle, K-X- P) and Jussi Lehtisalo (Circle). Some of the strongest records in the anarcho-punk canon have figured out ways to inject melody or push extremes without diffusing their punch or diminishing their hooks. Split Cranium retains the principal components of speed and vitriol while expanding their frequency spectrum into realms of both beauty and sheer ugliness, making I’m The Devil And I’m Ok a white-knuckle mind-melter in a realm of sterile imitations. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Svalbard – It’s Hard To Have Hope CD/LP (Translation Loss)
Bristol, UK’s Svalbard harness the aggression of heavy music and the urgency of the current political climate in the form of their sophomore full length release. Steeped in the world of hardcore and metal but surpassing both genres, Svalbard’s eight tracks of raw honesty, while simultaneously being politically and socially vibrant present an unyielding and truly unique experience. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Thunderpussy – Thunderpussy CD/2xLP (Stardog)
Thunderpussy do the most rock ‘n’ roll thing possible and quite literally f**k up every rock ‘n’ roll stereotype you know to be true, piercing the halls of Valhalla in the process. Think of it like an inverse Frank Frazetta painting where it’s the Amazonian siren wielding all of the world’s power instead of Conan (he’s on the sidelines in awe).
Thunderwar – Wolf Pack CD/LP (Lifeforce)
Coming to life in Warsaw in 2012, Thunderwar pay tribute to bands like Dissection, Bathory, Death, Obituary and the 1980’s NWOBHM.
Tracyanne & Danny – Tracyanne & Danny CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Fans of Scottish indie rock know Tracyanne Campbell from her time spent writing and singing songs for Camera Obscura, the charming group whose five LPs to date carry on the tradition of chiming Scottish pop. And anyone who loves beautifully melancholy acts like The Smiths and Lloyd Cole should already be aware of Crybaby, the masterfully crafted, eponymous 2012 album recorded by Bristol singer-songwriter Danny Coughlan. The lyrics on the tight, 10-song Tracyanne & Danny LP, the duo’s self-titled debut, draw from deep within their own experiences, from Campbell’s steel-guitar-accented “Alabama,” a reflection on the life of her late friend and bandmate Carey Lander, to Coughlan’s peppy “Cellophane Girl,” a song about his adolescent infatuation with a co-worker at a plastics factory. Inspired by a variety of artists including Serge Gainsbourg, The Style Council, Lou Reed, The Roches, and Dion, Tracyanne & Danny is vibrant, melodic, musical, and at times, even murderous.
Chad Valley – Imaginary Music CD/LP (Cascine)
For his third album as Chad Valley, Hugo Manuel returned home to Oxford to recover a lost album from scratch. But instead of trying to recreate the material, Manuel took a concept-driven approach, opposed to his traditional autobiographical method. In seeking to understand the art and secret of timeless pop music, a new album – Imaginary Music – emerged. Sonically, the record channels the hyper-romantic music of the’ 80s, citing inspiration in China Crisis and Prefab Sprout, as well as less esoteric and more bombastic artists like Toto and Heart. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists – Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights 2xCD/3xLP (Numero Group)
It was a musical cocktail born in a marketing meeting: Two parts easy listening, one-part jazz, a healthy dollop of conga drums, a sprinkling of bird calls, and a pinch of textless choir. Serve garnished with an alluring female on the album jacket for best results. Exotica! The soundtrack for a mythical air conditioned Eden, packaged for mid-century, tiki torch-wielding armchair safariers. Be it mosquito-bitten torch singers, landlocked surf quartets, fad-chasing jazz combos, mad genius band leaders, D-list actors, or a middle aged loner programming bird calls into a Hammond, Exotica was always more concerned with what geography might sound like over who was conducting. Captured across three albums are 48 (54 on the CD) curious examples of the short-lived genre’s reach, each summoning their own sonic visions of Shangri La, bringing their versions of the Pacific, Africa, and the Orient to the hinterlands of America.
Wand – Perfume CD/LP (Drag City)
“Forging ever forward, Wand build on the flavors of last year’s Plum to evoke 29 minutes of all-new music called Perfume. Featuring several of their most pop melodies (the already dropped ‘The Gift’ and the video-to-be ‘Pure Romance’) as well as a couple of their proggiest jamz, Perfume shows Wand expanding multi-directionally utilizing the electricity between the five members, while streamlining their flair for making records as a nuanced, provocative and pleasureful NEW listening experience.”
Jennifer Warnes – Another Time, Another Place CD (BMG)
One of the most-loved singers of our time has returned with a brand-new album, Another Time, Another Place. The album reunites Warnes with her co-producer and great friend and collaborator Roscoe Beck, the long-time musical director and bass player for Leonard Cohen. It’s the same partnership that wrote and recorded her landmark 1987 album, Famous Blue Raincoat. With glorious production and performances, and of course, impeccable vocals, Another Time, Another Place features guest contributions from Eddie Vedder (“Just Breathe”), Mark Knopfler (“Why Worry”), John Legend, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and more.
Wayfarer – World’s Blood CD/LP (Profound Lore)
Black metal of the American West. Drawing influence as much from the dusty, dark Americana of the “Denver Sound” and the scores of epic westerns as they do the fury and melody of black metal, the band brings something original to the table with a sound that is at once aggressive and honest.
Kamaal Williams – The Return CD/LP (Black Focus)
Whether re-defining experimental fusion sounds with the hugely acclaimed Yussef Kamaal, or his catalogue of 12”s for imprints such as MCDE, Eglo, and Rhythm Section as Henry Wu, South London’s Kamaal Williams has been a key figure in his thriving international scene for the past few years. The Return is a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project, mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds and signals from the over-saturated London streets. At times the keyboard work evokes the classic 70s fusion work of Lonnie Liston Smith or Roy Ayers, but underpinned by rhythms more reminiscent of blunted hip-hop and arrangements subliminally laced with the cut-ups of pirate radio. Progressive, funky, cosmic, exploratory and effortlessly musical, this is the sound of a musician honing their craft into thrilling new shapes.
Wire – Pink Flag [Reissue/1977] 2xCD+Book (Pink Flag)
Wire – Chairs Missing [Reissue/1978] 2xCD+Book (Pink Flag)
Wire – 154 [Reissue/1979] 2xCD+Book (Pink Flag)
Digitally remastered and expanded double-CD reissues presented in a 7″ by 7″ hardback book package. These deluxe editions include in-depth booklets with liner notes and a range of images from the archive of Annette Green, Wire’s official photographer during the late ‘70s. Each original album is presented on its own CD, accompanied by discs that feature relevant extra tracks: singles; B-sides; demos; and many previously unreleased songs.
Witchsorrow – Hexenhammer CD/LP (Steamhammer)
Formed by frontman Necroskull and bassist Emily Witch over a decade ago (later completed by drummer Wilbrahammer), and with a mission to celebrate the traditions of doom metal as practiced by such puritans as Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Saint Vitus, Trouble and Candlemass, Witchsorrow’s hymns to the void have earned them a place among the genre’s elite.
Wooden Shjips – V. CD/LP+MP3 (Thrill Jockey)
Wooden Shjips, long-time leaders of the contemporary psychedelic movement, expand their sound with V. On their fifth album the quartet of Ripley Johnson (Moon Duo), Omar Ahsanuddin, Dusty Jermier, and Nash Whalen augment their already rich sound with laid back, classic summer songs. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
Joan Armatrading – Not Too Far Away LP (BMG Rights Management)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. 19th album from the British singer-songwriter and Ivor Novello award winner. For fans of Rickie Lee Jones, Janis Ian, Suzanne Vega and Joni Mitchell.
Ash – Islands LP (Liberator Music/Infectious Music)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. Islands is Ash’s seventh studio album since their inception in 1992. The title of the album alludes to the unique environments in which its constituent songs were birthed. In the spring of 2016, following a whirlwind Japanese tour to close out the touring cycle for 2015’s Kablammo! album, Ash frontman Tim Wheeler undertook a visit to the picturesque island of Naoshima, renowned worldwide for its modern art installations, architecture and sculptures. Wheeler found the island’s tranquil, meditative atmosphere conducive to both reflection and creativity, and as he immersed himself in his craft, new song ideas began to ferment and flow. Islands is a cathartic collection for the singer, inspired, says Wheeler, ‘by me trying to get my head around a break up that didn’t make any sense to me.’ Self-produced, and recorded at the band’s own Atomic Heart Studio, where every Ash release since Twilight Of The Innocents has been committed to tape, the album cycles through the full Kübler-Ross grief model – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – with Wheeler laying bare his emotions in unflinching detail.” – Vinyl Radar
Bad Times – Bad Times LP (Goner)
In 1998, things were going south for friends Jay Reatard, Eric Oblivian, and King Louie Bankston. In between broken relationships, shattered homes, dissolving bands, and feeling low down, a collaboration was proposed. Jay and Eric trekked down from Memphis with some songs and ideas for songs, listening to Funkadelic and bad Killed By Death-styled punk songs for the six hours to see Louie in New Orleans. One day was spent learning songs, one-day recording songs. Eventually they played one show in Normal, IL, opening up for Guitar Wolf. The result of this recording was a blast of punk, garage punk, and psychedelic mayhem.
Bad Wolves – Disobey LP (Eleven Seven Music)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. From their massive cover of The Cranberries “Zombie”, driving anthems like “No Masters” to the syncopated Faith No More-worthy rocker “Better The Devil,” Bad Wolves’ new album Disobey showcases elements of rock, metal, hip-hop and progressive rock into a unique amalgam of music that is infectious.
Banished – Deliver Me Unto Pain [Reissue/1993] LP (Peaceville)
Banished formed in Buffalo, NY in 1987, initially under the name of Baphomet, and belonged to the early prolific generation of US death metal, beginning with their Morbid Realities demo in 1989, and then The Dead Shall Inherit debut for Peaceville in 1992. Baphomet developed a strong profile alongside fellow New Yorkers Suffocation and Immolation for shaping the brutal end of the death metal spectrum in the early-90’s when the scene was truly flourishing, followed by a name change to Banished on the run up to the band’s second album.
Bark Psychosis – ///Codename:Dustsucker [Reissue/2004] 2xLP+MP3 (Fire)
Following the reissue of Hex in late 2017, Fire Records offer up Bark Psychosis’ second studio album ///Codename:Dustsucker (2004) “which finds the band in remarkable form” (Pitchfork). Arriving 10 years after the band disbanded, the long-awaited and criminally overlooked follow up brings with it an evolution of their sound. Their experimentations are layered with blissed out electronics, shoegaze, post-rock and jazz are still at its fore as are Graham Sutton’s crystalline vocals. Languid and brooding, the soundscapes are dark and sustained while their “trademark cocoon of limpid, rippling guitar figures and jazzy adornment is buffeted by sharp leftward turns” (Uncut).
Franco Battiato – Clic [Reissue/1974] LP (Superior Viaduct)
Vinyl reissue of the ‘74 album from Italian electronic wizard. Seven tracks built upon vintage synthesizers with strange patterns and rhythms. Every second ripples with orbital chords, kosmische textures and schizophrenic string quartets, yet somehow manages the same dramatic pacing and variety as his avant-rock albums.
Jeff Beck – Live At The Hollywood Bowl 3xLP (Rhino)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. In the summer of 2016, guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck celebrated 50 years of his musical career with an extraordinary concert at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Beck set the stage ablaze with incredible live versions of “For Your Love,” “Beck’s Bolero,” “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” “Big Block,” “Over Under Sideways Down,” “A Day In The Life,” “Blue Wind” and more. The night also included a legendary list of special guests including Steven Tyler, Billy F. Gibbons, Jan Hammer, Beth Hart, Jimmy Hall and Buddy Guy.
Big Ups – Two Parts Together LP (Exploding In Sound)
Two Parts Together sees the Brooklyn quartet utilizing the studio more than ever. Their normal sonic palette has been supplemented with additional strings, harmonium, field recordings, piano, and more. The album is paced through thoughtful instrumentals and interludes, as if to offer the listener a breath of fresh air or – perhaps – a walk around the lake.
Blue Öyster Cult – Spectres [Reissue/1977] LP (Culture Factory)
Limited blue vinyl reissue of the fifth studio album by Blue Öyster Cult, originally released in November 1977. The album features one of the band’s biggest hits, the concert staple “Godzilla”.
Peter Broderick – How They Are [Reissue/2010] LP (Hush)
In 2010, Peter Broderick went into the studio with the goal of recording and mixing an album in one day, live to two-track tape, with no overdubs or punch-ins. The instrumentation was limited to just voice, guitar and piano. How They Are is the result. Known as a stop-gap release in waning industry terms, the album sheds the tossed-off connotation, revealing something altogether sublime in its austerity and candor. This is not lite Broderick, this is essential Broderick and arguably his most intimate recording.
The Casket Lottery – Choose Bronze [Reissue/1999] LP (Run For Cover)
The Casket Lottery – Moving Mountains [Reissue/2000] LP (Run For Cover)
The Casket Lottery – Survival Is For Cowards [Reissue/1999] LP (Run For Cover)
Released on RSD 2018 as a box set, the Kansas City emo-influenced alt-rock band’s first three albums are now available as separately sold vinyl reissues.
Ornette Coleman – The Atlantic Years 10xLP (Atlantic)
Ornette Coleman recorded one of the greatest bodies of work in jazz during a 22-month-long burst of creativity. Between 1959 and 1961, the saxophonist and composer released six studio albums on Atlantic Records that helped usher in the avant-garde, free jazz movement. Those albums, along more than two hours of session outtakes, are featured together in this 10-LP boxed set. Several of these titles are long out-of-print on vinyl. Each include outtakes from recording sessions for all six of Coleman’s studio albums.
Destroyer – City Of Daughters [Reissue/1998] LP+MP3 (Merge)
Destroyer – Thief [Reissue/1999] LP+MP3 (Merge)
In the hallowed Destroyer discography, the early trinity of City Of Daughters, Thief and Streethawk: A Seduction holds an important place; for not only does it document Dan Bejar’s evolution from lo-fi bedroom tyro to bona fide master of the rock album, they also contain a massive percentage of superlative Destroyer “classics.” 1998’s City Of Daughters features some of the first steps out of the demo-tapey experimentation of earlier recordings, with songs like “Comments On The World As Will” refining the sound of that stripped-down earlier work, and the seminal “No Cease Fires” offering us the first taste of just what a full-band Destroyer might conjure. 2000’s Thief naturally went further down that road, and from the opening strums of “The Temple” to the arty quirk of “Queen of Languages” to the gentle, jagged comedown of the title track, it soon became clear that Bejar was a master of a singular songcraft – and one that was only just getting started.
Julie Doiron – Désormais / Heart And Crime [2001/2002] 2xLP (Jagjaguwar)
Julie Doiron’s stunning album Désormais, originally released via Jagjaguwar in 2001, marked a departure from the Canadian artist’s grunge pop releases in the 1990s. Like its title might suggest, the intimate record is sung almost entirely in French. Across Désormais‘ ten tracks, Doiron builds a disarming and warm atmosphere – through minimally-composed fingerpicking, Doiron’s soft voice steers a wounded sound. Even for the English-speaking listener, the cohesion of the LP’s subdued, immersive atmosphere looms. Désormais clearly communicates a close, unflinching look at self-doubt submerged in melancholy. Heart And Crime, released less than a year later in 2002, traverses much of the same territory. Written within the same time as Désormais, Heart And Crime is a companion to its predecessor, similarly vulnerable and scarce compositionally, save for flickers of brass or a piano line flitting in or out. Again, its weight comes from its somber simplicity, in Doiron’s wistful voice and lyricism.
Eyes Set To Kill – Reach  LP (Suburban Noize)
Eyes Set To Kill has been one of the premier bands of the scream/metal genre since their inception in 2005. Formed by sisters Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez, their 2008 debut album Reach is now considered to be one of the classic albums that spearheaded the movement for screamo bands everywhere and boasts an eclectic mixture of melodic post-hardcore and gut wrenching screams.
The Flamin’ Groovies – Teenage Head [Reissue/1971] LP (Elemental Music)
American precursors to punk rock and power pop, The Flamin’ Groovies’ story goes all the way back to 1965, when the band began as the Chosen Few in their hometown of San Francisco, CA. After a name change and a self-released 10” album called Sneakers, which sold amazingly well, the band caught the attention of Columbia Records, who signed them and released their first real album, Supersnazz (1969), on the Epic label. Their next two albums were released on the Kama Sutra label: the revered Richard Robinson-produced catalog classics Flamingo (1970) and Teenage Head (1971).
Grave Digger – Heavy Metal Breakdown [Reissue/1984] LP (Noise)
Grave Digger – Witch Hunter [Reissue/1985] LP (Noise)
Vinyl reissues of the German heavy metal band’s first two albums. Formed in 1980 in Cologne, Grave Digger were at the forefront of the German heavy metal movement as it swept the globe in the early ‘80s.
Jenny Hval – The Long Sleep 12” (Sacred Bones)
The follow-up to Jenny Hval’s acclaimed 2016 album Blood Bitch is The Long Sleep, an adventurous new EP that sees the Norwegian multidisciplinary artist embracing an instinctive, even subconscious, approach to creating meaning. In contrast to Hval’s more explicitly conceptual work, The Long Sleep foregrounds the act of composition itself, letting the melodies and structures reveal the other elements of the songs.
Kris Kristofferson – Live From Austin, TX 2xLP (New West)
1981 performance available on vinyl for the first time.
Lovelytheband – Everything I Could Never Say 12” (Century Media)
Debut EP from Los Angeles, CA-based indie-alternative trio who has drawn comparisons to the likes of MGMT, Foster the People and the Pixies. Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.
Lunatic Soul – Under The Fragmented Sky LP (Kscope)
Following on from 2017’s Fractured, which covered content about grieving, hope and a fractured society, companion release Under the Fragmented Sky rebuilds Lunatic Soul as we know it, with dark and haunting atmospheres coming to the forefront, taking its name from the lyrics of the 12-minute epic “A Thousand Shards of Heaven” from Fractured. [Limited 180gm colored vinyl pressing also available. CD version due June 15.]
Madchild – Dope Sick [Reissue/2012] LP (Suburban Noize)
From 2006-2010 Shane Bunting aka Madchild was on a kamikaze run with the drug oxycontin that pushed him to the brink of oblivion. Hitting rock bottom, his addiction spiraled out of control and destroyed everything the successful emcee had worked so hard to build with is platinum selling hip-hop group Swollen Members.
Mad Professor – Electro Dubclubbing!! LP (Ariwa Sounds)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. The dawn of the new dub, Mad Professor is back with a new series of releases. Recorded in London at Ariwa Studios, Electro Dubclubbing!! features an all-star class including Sly and Robbie, Aisha, U-Roy, Black Steel and Lloyd Parks.
Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Alone In San Francisco [Reissue/1959] LP (Fantasy)
Thelonious Alone in San Francisco is jazz pianist Thelonious Monk’s third solo album, originally released in 1959. It was recorded in Fugazi Hall, San Francisco, California on October 21 and 22, 1959, but without an audience present.
Moonshine Bandits – Whiskey And Women  LP (Suburban Noize)
Backwoods bravado, medications patriot’s pride, country soul, keg-thumping beats – these are the qualities that Moonshine Bandits have championed since they began burning up the California club circuit back in 2003. Long before people figured out country and rap had a lot in common, the Moonshine Bandits released their genre-blending 2011 album, Whiskey & Women.
Nickodemus – A Long Engagement 2xLP (Wonderwheel)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. In the five years following his last solo album Moon People, Nickodemus has continued to spread his global sound through endless DJ tours, recording in studios, and scouting new music for his acclaimed Wonderwheel label. He’s made some new friends along the way too, with his constant journeying helping culminate in the new full-length A Long Engagement, a sonic portrait of 25 years of connecting people through music.
Noah And The Whale – Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down  LP (Island UK)
Noah And The Whale – First Days Of Spring  LP (Island UK)
Noah and the Whale were a British indie rock and folk band from Twickenham, formed in 2006. Their first two albums are available for the first time on vinyl.
Chris Orrick – Portraits LP (Mello Music Group)
No one confronts the abyss better than Chris Orrick. The Michigan ex-factory worker formerly known as Red Pill has spent the last half-decade documenting industrial decay, familial pain, and struggles with addiction better than almost anyone inhabiting this poisoned soil. It’s somewhere between Charles Bukowski and Michael Moore, or maybe Atmosphere if he couldn’t ignore the arsenic in the air. [CD version due June 22.]
Overkill – Horroscope: Live In Overhausen 2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Overkill – Feel The Fire: Live In Overhausen 2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Released last week on DVD and Blu-ray – now available across two limited splatter colored vinyl pressings. Recorded and in the German town of Oberhausen, Germany, Overkill performed two of their classic records live. The first half of the release contains the band performing their entire 1991 classic, Horrorscope; the second half contains the band performing their 1985 debut, Feel The Fire.
Pedro The Lion – It’s Hard To Find A Friend [Reissue/1998] LP (Epitaph)
Pedro The Lion – The Only Reason I Feel Secure [Reissue/1998] 12” (Epitaph)
Under the moniker of Pedro The Lion, Bazan creates melodic pop in the vein of Bedhead, Hayden, and Sebadoh, with a lyrical focus on relationships – with both other people and God. In early 2006, Bazan retired the Pedro moniker to continue on with solo work under his own name. In December of 2017 Bazan announced that Pedro The Lion be reunited to make a new album and tour the world in 2018. [Limited colored vinyl pressing of The Only Reason I Feel Secure is also available.]
Potatohead People – Nick & Astro’s Guide To The Galaxy LP (Bastard Jazz)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Comprised of Vancouver producers and multi-instrumentalists Nick Wisdom and Astrological, Canadian duo Potatohead People boast a number of noteworthy accolades thanks to their signature sound drawing influences from ‘90s boom-bap, future soul, classic jazz, deep house and boogie/funk.
Prince – Nothing Compares 2 U 7” (WB)
“Nothing Compares 2 U” contains the original version of the iconic song. This previously unreleased version was recorded in 1984, six years before 1990’s classic reimagining by Sinéad O’Connor and before Prince started performing the song live.
Sting/Shaggy – 44/876 LP (Interscope)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. This island-influenced collaboration reflects Sting and Shaggy’s mutual love of Jamaica – its music, the spirit of its people and vibrancy of its culture. Sting and Shaggy wrote and jammed together for a few weeks in New York City, creating music that seamlessly blends Caribbean rhythms-in traditional and modern styles-with pop craftsmanship and rock energy.
Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots (2018) LP (Rhino)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Stone Temple Pilots new self-titled album marks the band’s first release with new lead singer, Jeff Gutt. Despite being one of the best-selling bands of the 1990s with platinum records and a Grammy to its credit, guitarist Dean DeLeo says, “We are thrilled about what lies ahead. The best way for us to honor our past is to keep making new music.” The band does just that on Stone Temple Pilots. Lead single “Meadow” (currently Top 10 at rock radio) and “Never Enough” channel the gritty guitars and swaggering rhythms that STP perfected on Core (1992), Purple (1994), and No. 4 (1999) while “Roll Me Under” glides along a nimble bass line before slamming into the chorus, where Gutt’s baritone digs in.
Wallows – Spring 12” (Atlantic)
Produced by Grammy award-winning producer, engineer and mixer John Congleton – who has worked with everyone from St. Vincent to Modest Mouse, Amanda Palmer to Laurie Anderson and Brian Wilson to The War On Drugs – at L.A.’s famed Sunset Sound, Spring captures that eclecticism.
Warbringer – War Without End [Reissue/2008] LP+CD (Century Media)
Top notch 10th anniversary vinyl reissue of the glorious thrash metal debut attack from California’s Warbringer.
Lauren Ruth Ward – Well, Hell LP (Sony)
Recently released on CD – now available on limited edition yellow colored vinyl. Heralded by music critics as a cross between Janis Joplin, Florence Welch and Courtney Barnett, soul-rock artist Lauren Ruth Ward is a force of nature. Her debut album, Well, Hell, showcases Lauren’s arresting voice and her unique blend of ’60s/’70s rock, glam and Americana.
Charlotte Day Wilson – Stone Woman 10” (E1)
A Toronto-based singer, songwriter, and producer, Charlotte Day Wilson blends R&B, folk, and jazz in her music.
Graveyard – Peace (Nuclear Blast)
Gothenburg, Sweden’s Graveyard has been flying the classic hard rock, blues and psychedelic rock banner since the band’s inception in 2006.