July Program Titles Released This Week:
Bad Religion – Age Of Unreason LP (Epitaph)
Vinyl edition now available. Since Bad Religion’s formative years, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA punk rock band has steadfastly advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism. Now, when these values are in decline and nationalism and bigotry are on the rise, the group’s message has never been more essential. The songs on Age Of Unreason are both furious and meticulously crafted. There are references to contemporary events; racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, Colin Kaepernick’s protest, alternative facts, conspiracy theories, as well as homages to the literary and philosophical works that have long inspired the band. This record is both a dire warning and testament to resilience. The overall message being – seek truth about the world and oneself.
Bastille – Doom Days CD/LP (Virgin)
London outfit Bastille’s third full-length album Doom Days sees the Grammy nominated and BRIT-winning four-piece stretch out into new territories and marks something of a shift in perception from its widely acclaimed predecessor Wild World, which confronted the world and the actions of those in power. Doom Days captures the need to temporarily switch off and escape whilst taking the listener on a big night out in search of distraction from the surrounding apocalypse. Be that screaming along to the radio in the back of an Uber careering through the city (“Quarter Past Midnight”), getting loved up in the company of good friends (“4AM”), a casual hook-up (“Another Place”) or the end-of-night longing to be with somebody (“Those Nights”). It also revels in the bad decisions we make both personally in our relationships and collectively on a macro scale (“Bad Decisions”), tells a relatable tale of being cornered into a deep discussion about the world’s problems when all you want to do is have a good time (“Million Pieces”), and wryly confronts modern anxieties, taking side-swipes at phone addiction, porn addiction, fake news and climate change denial. [ Indie store exclusive vinyl pressing available.]
Calexico/Iron & Wine – Years To Burn CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented the bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on stage, it wasn’t until 2018 that their schedules finally aligned. While Beam wrote all the songs for In the Reins, this recording features contributions from both Beam and Burns. While the two may have taken differing approaches to songwriting, the spirit of collaboration was alive and well in the studio; Sam shared demos ahead of time and was ready for the others to contribute with arrangement ideas and instrumental parts, while Joey spontaneous as ever, came in with concepts and an eagerness to improvise.