THIS WEEKS ESSENTIAL NEW RELEASES – 25th March 2016

Posted: March 24, 2016 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SPECTRES – DEAD
Spectres release their new album, ‘Dead’, on Sonic Cathedral, and it sees the songs from the Bristol band’s hugely acclaimed debut ‘Dying’ nailed to the cross by Mogwai, Factory Floor, Hookworms, Richard Fearless (Death In Vegas), Andy Bell (Ride), Robert Hampson (Loop) and many more. The only instruction was “kill our songs”, and so here are the remains, served up on two mortuary slabs of vinyl (and CD and download) as a stunning, 13-track album that builds on the original’s feeling of claustrophobia and dread, but recasts it across everything from brutal techno (Blood Music’s ‘This Purgatory’) to New Order-meets-Animal Collective euphoria (Andy Bell’s ‘Sea Of Trees’). It’s an occasionally punishing, but always rewarding listen that begins somewhere in the depths of a K-hole, courtesy of Vision Fortune’s ‘Drag’, and ends somewhere rather beautiful, with the celestial synths of Mogwai’s ‘This Purgatory’. (It’s worth noting that Mogwai’s classic ‘Kicking A Dead Pig’ was a big inspiration here.) “We see Spectres as something that can work in a variety of contexts,” says frontman Joe Hatt, as he explains the motivation behind ‘Dead’. “Our musical interests spread out in different angles and we are always thinking of ways for what we do to evolve and mutate. We put together a list of artists who we admired, and thought would deliver a varied and eclectic mix. Some were close friends who are conveniently making some of the best music around, and others were pipe dreams that we thought would never happen. It was both nerve-wracking and fun waiting for each of the artists’ versions to arrive in our inbox, and some definitely surprised us; but none disappointed.” ‘Dead’ serves as an important reminder of what a special band Spectres are, something that can be easy to forget with their anti-industry stance and extra-curricular activities often grabbing the headlines more than their music (“We’ve always been like this, and we won’t cease,” threatens Hatt).

BOB MOULD  – PATCH THE SKY
Bob Mould returns with his next solo album titled ‘Patch the Sky’ via Merge Records. It is both his darkest and catchiest work. While written in solitude, Mould is backed on the record by longtime drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats) and bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single). The first side of the LP is simple and catchy whilst he back-half of the record heavier in spirit and tone.
CD – Digipak (blue foil) plus poster insert.
LP – Standard black vinyl LP in Blue foil sleeve with full album download coupon.
LP+ – Lmited Clear coloured vinyl LP in Blue foil sleeve with full album download coupon.

WHITE DENIM – STIFF
A return to the fiery cauldron of ‘Fits’ for the new look White Denim, stuffed with sprung-steel riffs, quicksilver solos and scudding swamp boogie. Plus a couple of cool R&B interludes from James Petralli’s inner soul man. ‘Stiff’ is White Denim’s sixth record and they teamed up with the legendary Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Laura Marling, The Staves) to produce their first truly live record.
LP – 140 Gram Vinyl housed in Gatefold Sleeve with CD Version.
CD – Digipack.

BABEHEAVEN  –  HEAVEN / FRIDAY SKY
Limited 7″ and tipped. West-London five-piece Babeheaven release their beautiful debut single ‘Heaven’ through Handsome Dad / B3SCI. Currently on tour with BBC Sound Poll nominee Loyle Carner, the band have already opened for Liss, supported Formation around the UK and kicked off the year playing DIY’s ‘Hello 2016’ shows at The Old Blue Last. Babeheaven were born out of a long-standing friendship between singer Nancy and guitarist Jamie, who started spending time together in earnest whilst working on the same street in Ladbroke Grove (she in her grandmother’s antique shop, and he in a soul-destroying stint at an organic farm store). Musically, Babeheaven’s tastes were similarly neighbouring: bonding over a love of trip-hop, soul and ethereal electronics (everything from Portishead and James Blake to Stevie Wonder), a typical evening spent hanging out turned into an attempt to write a song together. Their tribute to Domino’s Pizza may never see the light of day, but in finding drummer Harry, keyboard / guitarist Milo and bassist Hugo, the foundations of Babeheaven were formed instead. Debut single ‘Heaven’ is a gentle but insistent introduction, blending hazy guitars, atmospheric synths and flashes of local colour (from the steel pans to nu-soul vocal) into broader emotional resonance. Lyrically, the track was at first inspired by Nancy’s Mum – who passed away when she was young – and the different meanings heaven has for different people: it’s since evolved, say the band, into something “about the front you put up and break down in front of people, and how things might’ve been different with someone else around.”

YUCK – STRANGER THINGS
Since their 2011 self-titled debut LP much has been written about the influence of 1990’s alternative rock on Yuck – the bands Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth have been invoked repeatedly on music sites and in print publications across the world. On their third studio LP, ‘Stranger Things’, the young London based quartet make it clear that they have come into their own. The 11 tracks on ‘Stranger Things’ effortlessly wrap the divergent influences of Fifties Rock n Roll, Sixties Psychedelia, Seventies Supergroup Ballads, and Dark Eighties Pop, in the warm fuzzy blanket of harmonic distortion they are known for – and to masterful effect. ‘Stranger Things’ make the case that Yuck is now operating, not under the influence of, but in the very echelon of these bands of old they have long been noted as being descendants of.
CD – Digipack.
LP – Limited White Vinyl Version with Download.

KIRAN LEONARD – GRAPEFRUIT
20 year old Kiran Leonard releases his debut album, ‘Grapefruit’ on Moshi Moshi “A boy, in his attempt to gain an elusive masculine identification, often comes to define this masculinity largely in negative terms, as that which is not feminine or involved with women. There is an internal and external aspect to this. Internally, the boy tries to reject his mother and deny his attachment to her and the strong dependence upon her that he still feels. He also tries to deny the deep personal identification with her that he has developed during his early years. He does this by repressing whatever he takes to be feminine inside himself, and, importantly, by denigrating and devaluing whatever he considers to be feminine in the outside world.”
2LP – Double LP With Download.

THE COSMIC DEAD – RAINBOWHEAD
The Cosmic Dead return with their first full length album since 2014’s Easterfaust. For the uninitiated The Cosmic Dead are a quartet from Glasgow, Scotland, making some of the best raging freak out psych right now. ‘Rainbowhead’ is a brand new LP, featuring four tracks of spaced out, heavy psych formed from insane chugging bass, trippy synth blasts, krautrock infused metallic guitar riffin’ and furious cascading drum cycles. The band’s constant positive vibes have led to them touring all over the UK and Europe, playing the prestigious Liverpool Psych Fest and the band are due to play Psycho Festival in Las Vegas in August alongside Sleep, Candlemass, Yob, Mudhoney, Death and more. ‘Rainbowhead’ follows records on Cardinal Fuzz, Evil Hoodoo, Who Do You Trust?, Sound of Cobra and some of the best underground labels around.

THE JOY FORMIDABLE – HITCH
The Joy Formidable release their third album, ‘Hitch’. The follow up to 2013’s ‘Wolf’s Law’ is released through the Welsh trio’s own label C’Mon Lets Drift. ‘Hitch’ was self-produced by the band, and mixed by the legendary Alan Moulder. The new release showcases the evolution of the trio’s sound and musicianship. The commanding guitar and lead vocals of Ritzy Bryan coupled with bassist Rhydian Davies and the stalwart stylings of drummer Matt Thomas perfectly align on the band’s latest endeavor. From the atmospheric, Twin Peaks murk of ‘The Gift’ to the woozy rush of ‘Running Hands With the Night’, ‘Hitch’ is an album that fizzes with thrilling self assurance.
CD – Digipack.
2LP – 180 gram LP Set.

SPRING KING  –  RECTIFIER

Limited Red Vinyl 7″. Manchester garage-poppers Spring King release ‘Rectifier’, a brand new single and the band’s first since signing to Island Records. Jumpy and fidgety as ever, it’s a track that sees the group up the ante on that early promise. Pairing shifty atmospherics with their frenetic pace, it’s a promising hint at their debut album.

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