Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

In the summer of 1970, after a shambolic set at the Goose Lake Rock Festival in their native Michigan, The Stooges put together a new lineup as they prepared to hit the road in support of their second album, “Funhouse” Zeke Zettner, previously part of The Stooges road crew, became their new bassist, and second guitarist Bill Cheatham was brought aboard to reinforce the primal guitar work of Ron Asheton. With vocalist Iggy Pop, drummer Scott Asheton , and sax player Steve MacKay joining the new recruits, the band headed to New York City for a three-night stand at Ungano’s, a rock club in Manhattan. Danny Fields the legendary behind-the-scenes figure who signed the band to Elektra Records, brought a portable tape recorder to the show on August 17th, 1970, and “Have Some Fun, Live At Ungano’s is a suitably raw document of The Stooges in full flight. Sounding taut and feral, the band rips through six songs from the “Funhouse” album before bringing the set to an explosive conclusion with the spontaneous “Have Some Fun”/”My Dream Is Dead.” is one of the few live recordings documenting The Stooges during the period when Ron Asheton was lead guitarist. While the fidelity leaves something to be desired, the force and intensity of the performance make this a must for anyone wanting to hear The Stooges when they were the most dangerous band in rock.

Exclusive release from 2015.
Black/white splatter vinyl with poster insert.
7500 pressed.
Recorded live on 18th August, 1970

Tracklist

A1 Going To Ungano’s
A2 Loose
A3 Down On The Street
A4 T.V. Eye
A5 Dirt
B1 1970
B2 Fun House
B3 Have Some Fun / My Dream Is Dead

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The War On Drugs have ready for release a new album tiltled “A Deeper Understanding” its due out on August 25th via Atlantic Records, their first for the label (previously they were on Secretly Canadian). Now the band has shared the album’s six-minute long glorious opening track, “Up All Night.” They have now shared five tracks from the album, which is half the album.

Previously The War on Drugs had shared the 11-minute long A Deeper Understanding cut (and Record Store Day single) “Thinking Of A Place” . Then they shared another song from the album,  “Holding On” and then went onto perform the song on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  Then the band shared two other songs from the album, the atmospheric slow-burner “Strangest Thing” and the expansive “Pain”. The band have also recently covered Warren Zevon’s ” Accidently Like A Martyr”  recorded for a Spotify session.

The War on Drugs‘ main creative force Adam Granduciel worked on the album in studios in New York and Los Angeles, with help from engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer). Other members of the band (bassist Dave Hartley, keyboardist Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall, and multi-instrumentalists Anthony LaMarca and Jon Natchez) were also involved in the recordings from time to time and thus a press release calls A Deeper Understanding “a ‘band record’ in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn.”

Official audio for The War On Drugs “Up All Night”
‘A Deeper Understanding,’ the new album from The War On Drugs,

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This one has been on repeat for over a week now and it’s stunning, frankly. John Murry is currently based in Ireland and originally from Mississippi.

John Murry’s life story in itself is the stuff of legends. From an unhappy, over-medicated childhood to drug addiction, musical success, and another fall into addiction and even prison, his life story reads like a book. He also was adopted into William Faulkner’s family at birth (a cousin of his mother). John certainly need not look far for inspiration.

A Short History of Decay is an album that resulted from a chance meeting with Cowboy Junkies guitarist Michael Timmins. Recorded over a five day period with an emphasis on off-the-cuff creativity, the album is a strong statement by an iconoclastic artist, backed by a tight group of excellent musicians. This is a sonically adventurous release, frantic and understated at the same time, with cavernous piano, telephone vocals, sudden volleys of fuzzed-out guitar, and the backup vocals of Cait O’Riordan ( the Pogues,Elvis Costello) .

Silver or Lead starts off with a sombre piano, joined by minimal drums and bass. The song walks a tightrope between sombre dirge and a more hopeful sing-along chorus while remaining solidly entrenched in Murry’s trademark melancholy.

Under a Darker Moon is a grinding and sputtering along happily on a solid bed of bone-dry drums and psychotic guitars. Wrong Man reminds me of Nebraska era Bruce Springsteen and is one of the strongest cuts on the album. Murry’s vocals on this song give me a mental picture of the world’s loneliest monk, preaching to the buzzards and rattlesnakes in the Mohave Desert, right before the fiery ball in the sky claims his sanity.

Another mid-tempo rocker is Defacing Sunday Bulletins, with Murry’s spine-tingling telephone vocals steering the sonic mayhem with steady if slightly trembling, hand. Miss Magdalene is an achingly beautiful acoustic song reminiscent of Leonard Cohen at his most morose.

Originally an Afghan Wigs tune, What Jail is Like is a guitar-driven ballad with sad piano, tribal drums, and some of that good old-fashioned backwards guitar. The lyrics take on extra poignancy in light of Murry’s life story.

Some artists become legends. They become household names. Most people will know at least one or two of their songs. For whatever reason their mainstream success transcends commercialism.  A Short History of Decay is a gripping album, sonically adventurous, by an artist who’s paid his dues, came out a stronger man and an iconoclastic artist who made a career out of transforming tragedy and hardship into stark beauty.

Kevin Morby has shared the new black and white video for single ‘Downtown Lights’ taken from his latest album City Music

The video, directed by Hugo Jouxtel of La Blogothéque, was shot in Paris and features Morby wandering the striking streets handing our white flowers to Parisians.

“Paris has always shown a lot of love towards my music, and I am very grateful,” Morby said. “On my first European solo tour I was selling maybe 50 tickets a city until I showed up in Paris and heard the show was already at 150 tickets, which at the time really blew my mind and took me by complete surprise. Before the show, a company called La Blogothéque asked me to do a ‘Take Away Show,’ which I agreed to do, though I didn’t really know what it was. The film crew was so kind and took me on a magical adventure around the city filming me playing some songs in a park and in a boat going down the canal,” he continued.

“Two years later, I was back in Paris and they asked me to film a show playing to a small crowd inside a house next to Père Lachaise Cemetery and that, too, was very magical. So when it came time to do a video for ‘Downtown’s Lights’ I knew just who to ask. La Blogothéque has a way of capturing the meeting of artists and a city half way, letting them both do the work and play off of each other and the result is always fascinating.”

Kevin Morby “Downtown’s Lights,” from his album, ‘City Music’, out now on Dead Oceans:

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Danish trio Baby in Vain release of their long-awaited debut album More Nothing, via Partisan Records. Recorded in just 11 days in Eve Studios with producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Scott Walker, Bat For Lashes), Baby In Vain’s first record More Nothing is a riotous journey, treading a fine line between seasoned accuracy and youthful urgency. Where tracks from their acclaimed 2016 EP For The Kids often dealt with fantastical lyrical themes, More Nothing feels more personal and more real. However, there’s still a playfulness to all that they do and though a battle between light and darkness wages throughout the album’s 11 tracks, the sheer power of their songwriting casts away any gloom.

Though More Nothing is at times heavy, the band don’t rely on this to make their point. Baby In Vain’s wildly imaginative approach to the hugely diverse umbrella term of “guitar-music” picks elements from the genre greats, whilst retaining a personality that is unmistakably theirs. Fronted by the dueling guitars of chief songwriters and vocalists Andrea Thuesen Johansen and Lola Hammerich and brought together by the powerful, off-kilter drums of Benedicte Pierleoni, the three friends have been creating hugely impactful rock music since forming when they were still at school. Having perfected their craft sharing stages with luminaries such as The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Kills (Alison Mosshart handpicked the band to join them on US and UK tours), Baby In Vain have refined their sound to a near perfect precision.

Baby In Vain will be Live in-store at Rough Trade Nottingham to perform tracks from new album ‘More Nothing’, released 25th August on Partisan.

7.00pm Doors // 7.30pm On-stage // 8.15pm Signing

In October Universal Music will release The Jam / 1977a new 40th anniversary, five-disc box set celebrating the busy debut year of The Jam when Paul Weller, Rick Buckler Bruce Foxton delivered two albums and three hit singles.

This forthcoming collection features remastered versions of both albums In The City and This Is The Modern World, and despite a plethora of Jam box sets in the last five or six years the label have dug out six previously unreleased demos from the first album which feature on the second CD alongside five further demos which have been issued before.

CD four is a live disc and includes a previously unreleased concert (15 tracks) from the ‘Nashville’ recorded on 10th September 1977. This is paired with two John Peel sessions from the same year.

Finally the fifth disc – a DVD – features TV appearances and promo videos.

This discs in this box set are packaged in mini-LP vinyl replica wallets with printed inner bags. In The City uses the US version of the inner sleeve and This Is The Modern World features an alternate Gered Markowitz cover image. The box is a rigid card, lift-off lid variety and comes with a 144-page book, featuring new liner notes, period photos etc. It comes with five postcards.

The Jam / 1977 will be released on 20th October 2017

Try not to freak out, but what could be your new favourite band are releasing their debut album this September. Following a handful of EPs, four in their native Norway, two in the UK, Sløtface are finally about to make the step up into the big leagues.

“It’s time for it to come out now,” explains bassist Lasse Lokøy. “I feel like we dared to do a bit more than we’ve done before on this record. We have our first song that’s over five minutes, which feels like a big thing for us.”

“We moved back in with our parents for six months to write the album because we couldn’t afford to pay rent and just write every day,” continues vocalist Haley Shea. With the four-piece writing everything together, there’s a lot of back and forth over every movement. They spent a long time writing because they wanted thirty songs to play with. They ended up with 25, “which is a lot for us.” Hacking it down to ten brand new cuts saw the band get rid of songs they loved a lot, but just didn’t fit with the rest of the record.

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A big part of ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ is about dealing with anxiety. The record’s title is the band “telling ourselves not to freak out,” to not worry. “It’s a lot about the anxiety of such a big project and that thing a lot of people feel in their twenties where you don’t completely know what’s going on. You don’t have a plan, and you’re a little bit lost. Being back home makes me question ‘Am I doing things I thought I wanted to be doing? Is this how I wanted my life to go?’ A lot of those feelings came out on the record.” There’s also a tongue in cheek grin alongside it. “As if people would freak out because we’re releasing a record, it’s super cocky,” grins Haley. “We found it funny though,” adds drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke.

The band’s debut is less plug in and play than everything that’s come before. They had time in the studio to redo bits they weren’t happy with, play with the song a little more and add extra textures. There’s apparently a little bit of everything, from trumpet and cello to one song where everything is completely live. “Even the vocal take is live in the same room,” explains Haley. “We got to do all the different things we like to do, [and so] the album has a lot of directions within it because we just wanted to write the ten best songs we could. We didn’t spend much time thinking about ‘Is going to be our pop punk record, or this is going to be our rock record?’ It has all the different sides to us.”

Lead single ‘Magazine’ was inspired by college as well as a long conversation that saw the band asking, “Can we actually do this? Can we write a four-chord song?” and realising, “this sounds like it should be in one of those high school movies, is that a good thing?” The answer is a resounding yes from us and the band alike. “A big part of the album was accepting that songs that are more popper than we’ve done before are okay. It doesn’t make us a lazy band to do poppier stuff; sometimes it’s just good.”

The songs might have a bit more fizz in their glass, but the lyrics aren’t holding anything back. “I wanted to tell all of the stories that your favourite indie rock bands that are all male have told, and been really good at telling,” starts Haley, referencing both Arctic Monkeys and Los Campesinos!. “They’re really good at telling specific stories about youth but from the male perspective. College rock has this bad rep for being this misogynistic genre, so we wanted to turn that on its head and tell those coming of age stories from the female perspective. Lyrically I hope that people think that things are relatable or hear things that have happened to them but we also wanted to show people that we’re a more versatile band than we may have got the chance to be in the past.”

“We enjoy being in the studio but the type of music we play, it’s supposed to be onstage,” adds Lasse. “It’s where we belong.”

Sløtface’s debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ is out 15th September.

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An album a year is a daunting feat for most artists, especially a rock band featuring four humans and a myriad creative ambitions. Bring those ideas together, get everyone on board, then take it to the public while making sure it’s not just something you’ve all done before. Then repeat the process again witin a few months especially while touring the world..

But one band that has defied this is Michigan-based rock quartet Heaters, who are readying their third album in three years, titled Matterhorn (due October. 20th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records). After the rockers opted to kickoff their forthcoming release with a daunting dual-track sweep, the second installment from the record arrives today . Below, check out the driving, kaleidoscopic new song “Thanksgiving II.”

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Philadelphian quartet The Districts are preparing to return to the U.K along with their upcoming album, “Popular Manipulations”on August 11th through Fat Possum Records. So far, they’ve teased us with the full-length trio of new songs “Ordinary Day” , “If Before I Wake” and “Violet”. Today, the rock outfit has unveiled yet another new track, “Salt”.

Taking cues from “If Before I Wake”, the reverberating “Salt” has a glossy sound buoyed by sparkling synths, but with scaled back guitars this time around. Frontman Rob Grote’s soaring vocals rise above the fray with contemplative lyrics like, “Thought you were hopeful/ The last of the glow/ Until you burn out/ Until we burn out.”

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Released on 14th July 2017 on digital/CD/LP, this is the debut album by Siobhan WilsonSiobhan was born in Elgin, but recorded and released in Paris before returning to Scotland a few years ago, which is where we first met her, playing solo at the Electric Circus in Edinburgh. It was incredible, and we immediately invited her to record for our next Split 12”.

In the main drawing room of Inshriach House at the Insider Festival in 2013 we recorded ‘Dear God’ for Split 12” Vol.3, which was featured as Lauren Laverne’s ‘headphones moment’, has gone on to clock up 10,000 Soundcloud plays.  After the release of the Split 12” Siobhan went on to release ‘Say It’s True’ on Reveal, before a chance encounter at a Modern Studies gig before Christmas led to us discussing her new album – a beautiful, minimal record which she was making with Chris McCrory of Catholic Action.

Generally I make sure to listen to things through several times and properly think things over before offering to release a record, but on this one I was about halfway through the first song and I knew we’d want to put it out.

By turns still and pretty, and with an undercurrent of nastiness which rears its head every once in a while, to my ears this is just a stunningly beautiful album. and one I am delighted to have associated with the label.

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“Mesmerising… a hugely exciting talent” 5 stars – The Scotsman
“Dear God had us hang on every syllable” 4 stars – The Herald
“One of the most remarkable singers in Scotland… a stunning performance” Daily Record