CDs + Vinyl:
Shantel Acda & Bill Frisell – Live At Jazz Middelheim CD (Glitterhouse)
Dutch/Belgian chanteuse Chantal Acda in a duo-setting with Grammy award winning guitarist extraordinaire Bill Frisell.
Alien Weaponry – Tū CD/LP+7” (Napalm)
This trio of teenagers from a tiny town in New Zealand serve a unique blend of thrash metal in their native language of Te Reo Māori.
Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Downey To Lubbock CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Roc)
A collection that takes on a diverse range of American music spanning nearly one hundred years. Along with ten covers, Alvin wrote two originals for the record: the autobiographical title cut and the fantastical “Billy The Kid and Geronimo.” The latter sees the duo trade verses as their folk heroes have a prescient bar room debate on morality, oppression and injustice. Elsewhere, they explore the musical pipeline between their home states, taking on the work of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Brownie McGhee and Johnny “Guitar” Watson.
me – Dream House CD/2xLP (Innervisions)
In the world of electronic dance music, me stand apart. Since 2003, the duo of Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer have cut a singular path through techno, house, minimal, ambient, and more with their anthemic singles and mixes. Features Matthew Herbert, Gudrun Gut, Planningtorock, Jens Kuross (ex-drummer for RyX), and Roedelius.
American Aquarium – Things Change CD/LP (New West)
In the lush tobacco fields of North Carolina where BJ Barham was raised, people work hard. Families stay nearby, toiling and growing together. BJ loves those farms and his tiny Reidsville hometown, but he had to spread his wings. He couldn’t stay, but he couldn’t really leave, either: he’s still singing about the lessons, stories, and lives that define rural America. Recorded at 3CG Records in Tulsa, OK, American Aquarium’s seventh album, Things Change was produced by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter John Fullbright and features cameos from John Moreland and Jamie Lin Wilson. Stacked with BJ’s signature storytelling – always deeply personal but also instantly relatable, it questions and curses current events, shares one man’s intimate evolution, and leaves listeners with a priceless gift: hope.
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.]
CDs + Vinyl:
3MA – Anarouz CD (Six Degrees)
3MA is the meeting of three string-instrument virtuosi, emblematic of their countries in Africa, but also of generous artists who share a musical passion, a reciprocal dialogue and a beautiful friendship. The group is comprised of Ballaké Sissoko (kora), Driss El Maloumi (oud), and Rajery (valiha).
Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy CD/2xLP (Season Of Mist)
With a pedigree including current and former members of Blotted Science, Obscura, Necrophagist and more, Alkaloid have spent decades advancing extreme, forward-thinking metal.
Amorphous – Queen Of Time CD/2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
13th album from the Finnish metal band. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Joan Armatrading – Not Too Far Away CD (BMG Rights Management)
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. [Vinyl edition due May 23.]
Armored Saint – Symbol Of Salvation [Reissue/1991] CD/LP (Metal Blade)
CD and Colored vinyl reissue – part of the Metal Blade Originals series. In July/August 2018, Armored Saint will embark on a North American tour, commemorating this 1991 classic. On this special run, the band will perform Symbol Of Salvation in its entirety, with select shows to be recorded for a live DVD.
Ash – Islands CD/LP (Liberator Music/Infectious Music)
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
At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself CD/LP (Century Media)
The Swedish melodic death metal pioneers unleash their indomitable spirit, ceaseless ingenuity, and raw power on their sixth full-length effort. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]