LOVE TRACTOR – ” Love Tractor “

Posted: August 31, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Athens, GA cult legends get their snakey, jangly debut reissued, remixed by R.E.M.’s Bill Berry and Sugar’s David Barbe

It’s a good week for ’80s janglepop and Southern post-punk. Pylon are getting a box set and their essential first two albums reissued in November and, also just announced, their Athens, GA neighbours (and DB Recs labelmates) Love Tractor are getting their debut album reissued via Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records.

Coming up at the same time as R.E.M., Pylon and The B-52’s, Love Tractor share a little of those group’s DNA but were unique in the Athens scene in that they were an instrumental band, making jangly, danceable rock that didn’t need vocals to grab you. The band would start singing eventually, but early records were driven by the inventive guitar interplay between Mark Cline and Mike Richmond. Bassist Armistead Wellford added groove and R.E.M.’s Bill Berry was among the group’s early drummers for the band before Andrew Carter joined full-time.

Love Tractor’s debut album is catchy and atmospheric, and does it while mostly avoiding surf rock cliches you associate with instrumental rock. “When I hear it, I love it. It sounds like nothing else, like nobody else,” says Cline of the album, and I have to agree. The reissue has been remixed from the original tapes by Sugar’s David Barbe and Bill Berry, and features liner-notes from R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, The B-52’s Kate Pierson, and esteemed rock journalist Anthony DeCurtis. and the album’s artwork has been reimagined by the band (Cline, Richmond and Wellford are all visual artists.)

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The reissue is out November 4th (pre-order), but before that, Love Tractor will release a 7″ for the October Record Store Day “Drop” (10/24) featuring two newly recorded, re-imagined songs from their debut: “60 Degrees and Sunny” b/w “FESTI-vals.” They’ve also re-recorded “Seventeen Days” as a digital bonus track and you can listen to that, and stream the original album,

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