Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

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Jellyfish co-founder Roger Joseph Manning Jr. is returns with a new band The Lickerish Quartet which also features Tim Smith and Eric Dover, two other musicians who played a part in the Jellyfish story around the time of the second album.

Jellyfish flirted with UK chart success in the early nineties, but never quite crossed over into the mainstream, despite the creative core of the band – singer/drummer Andy Sturmer and keyboard player Roger Joseph Manning Jr. – delivering some timeless, melodic power-pop, with influences coming courtesy from the likes of The Beatles, Queen, and ELO. They were, in many ways, a band out of time, with the release of 1990’s Bellybutton coinciding with the ‘Madchester’ scene in the UK and follow-up Spilt Milk (1993) being issued at the height of the Grunge movement emerging from Seattle.

If Eric and Tim are unfamiliar, then let’s establish their credentials; Tim Smith was brought in to play guitar on “Split Milk”, while Eric Dover joined the band on the road for the tour of the same album. Jellyfish broke up after that tour, but since then, the three musicians have forged their own paths with occasional overlapping projects. Roger is probably best known as being the keyboard player in Beck‘s band for over 20 years, Tim has worked with the Finn brothers Neil and Tim, Sheryl Crow and Noel Gallagher, while Dover was in Imperial Drag with Roger (they released just the one album before disbanding in 1997). Andy Sturmer has no involvement in The Lickerish Quartet , Roger Joseph Manning Jr. explained that their goal “wasn’t to resurrect Jellyfish, it was simply to get together and write original music we love”.

The first release is Threesome Vol. 1 a four-track EP which will be issued on vinyl and CD that is brimming with the kind of joy and invention that made those two Jellyfish albums so good. It includes ‘Lighthouse Spaceship‘, six minutes of harmony-driven classic rock with all those aforementioned influences clearly in place, alongside the exquisite production values that made Jellyfish so highly regarded.

Manning’s ‘Bluebird’s Blues‘ as is a slice of folk-guitar power-pop with cheeky 10cc-referencing intro, while the Dover-driven Fadoodle is a ludicrously catchy, and rather humourous number, which according to Roger, “has the distinction of being a pop song that has the world’s oldest slang yet is released in the 21st century” (Fadoodle apparently means fornicate).

Finally, ‘There Is a Magic Number‘ a gorgeous yearning Smith-penned rumination on lost love, blame and attribution. Mid-paced soft-rock perfection.

Manning said with some regret, that it was clear to him back in 1993/4 that “both Eric and Tim were fantastic singer-songwriters in their own right” but that because Jellyfish broke up “we never got to conduct that experiment and continue on in that Jellyfish writing tradition.” He also makes no apologies for his musical influences: “You’ve got to be honest with yourself and what excites me and motivates me for the most part, is the record collection I grew up with as a young boy and a young man.”

The Threesome Vol. 1 EP will be released on CD on 26th June and on vinyl on 31st July 2020.

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Brooklyn-based synth auteurs Nation of Language entered 2020 as one of the most heralded new acts of recent memory, having already earned high-praise from the likes of NME, FADER, Stereogum and countless others for their energetic anthems’ ability to blend the upbeat with a healthy dose of sardonic melancholy.  Inspired by the early new-wave and punk movements, the band quick earned a reputation for delivering frenzied nights of unconventional bliss to rapt audiences, establishing themselves in the process as bright young stars emerging from a crowded NYC landscape.
The small handful of offerings from the band that began circulating in recent years prompted unusually big reactions from the press for an unsigned and fully independent new artist, turning many a head in their direction. Stereogum labeled the band “Immediately Addicting” while the NME went on to describe Nation of Language as ‘An Absolute Blast’ and some of the ‘most exciting music coming out of New York’.

What a debut Introduction, Presence is! An album of the year contender for sure.

While many of their contemporaries are hellbent on 1980s homages, Nation of Language’s songwriting influences recalls 2000s bands like Arcade Fire and The National just as much as ’80s golden era groups. You can hear Matt Berninger like tone and pacing on “Tournament,” James Murphy’s warmth and exhilaration on “Rush & Fever,” the zest and pomp of Cut Copy’s Dan Whitford on “Indignities” and Arcade Fire-sized elation on “The Wall & I.”

From the debut album Introduction Presence

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Chicago trio Dehd are back with sophomore album “Flower of Devotion”, which will be out June 17th via Fire Talk. “The last record, the vibe was ‘How minimal can it be? What’s the minimum that a song requires to succeed?’ This one was like, ‘How can we make this thing that’s really powerful?,” says singer/guitarist Jason Balla, while singer/bassist Emily Kempf adds, “We didn’t become more perfectionist. We’ve always been really scrappy, but we decided to polish our scrappiness just a little bit.” First single “Loner” is definitely bigger sounding than anything on Dehd’s debut.

“I want nothing more than to be a loner,” Emily Kempf sings early on Flower of Devotion, the new album by Chicago trio Dehd. It’s a startling admission coming from a songwriter who, just a year ago on Dehd’s critically acclaimed Water, wrote eloquently about the joys and pains — more than anything, the necessity — of love, compassion, and companionship. But then, “admission” isn’t really the right word here, given the stridency of Kempf’s tone. “Loner” is a declaration.

Watch the video, which was shot in Joshua Tree and at Chicago’s The Hideout:

From Dehd’s new album “Flower of Devotion” out May 22nd on Fire Talk Records

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Founder of paisley underground psych-rockers True West, Russ Tolman is a singer/songwriter in Los Angeles, California. His latest album release is Compass & Map, a 20 song retrospective covering 1986 – 2013.

As the son of a rancher and a former burlesque dancer, folk rock singer/songwriter Russ Tolman grew up in California and Arizona with a romantic view of the American West. Whether images of the open range of the cowboy, the hobo jungle of skid row, or the cross-country adventure of Kerouac’s On The Road, Tolman held a fascination with the freedom and promise of the West.

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Released May 29th, 2020
song by Jim Huie
produced by Russ Tolman
all instrumentation by Russ Tolman, except drums by Jim Huie
background vocals by Chris von Sneidern

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Melbourne-based band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever will release their highly-anticipated second album, “Sideways to New Italy”, this Friday,  June 5th via Sub Pop Records. Today, they release the album’s fourth single, “Cameo,” which follows previous tracks “Falling Thunder,” “She’s There,” and “Cars in Space.”

“Cameo” begins with open guitar strums and Fran Keaney’s sweet, assured voice. Then, it thrums with plucking bass, crisp percussion, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.’s signature ability to create a stirring, anthemic track. Undoubtedly an album high point, “Cameo” shows a band at the peak of their power, both instrumentally and lyrically.

“This is a love song. It’s about reaching through time portals,” says Keaney. “The lyrics were pieced together over about a year like a little puzzle. I found the first pieces in Rushworth, and the last pieces in Darwin.”

Sideways to New Italy is available for preorder from Sub Pop. Preorders of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America, the U.K., and Europe, will receive the limited Loser edition

Pigs x7

The Newcastle band with the best name in the UK right now were clasped to the bosom of the psych scene back in 2016, Now thanks to their giant, Sabbath-level cosmic riffs– and could end up creating the kind of swaggering anthems that sent Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood into the big time. Demonstrating the band’s newfound fervour, Viscerals, is the third LP from Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, provides even more porcine intensity than their 2018 breakthrough King Of Cowards.

Opener Reducer, for instance, is vicious in its presentation, powered by roaring krautrock-style drums and Sabbathian guitars. The northern porkers may not be the metal band that many expected to be driving the genre forward in 2020 but they are absolutely the band we need right now. Guitarist Adam Ian Sykes dissects his five favourite Viscerals guitar moments.

Reducer

“It’s easily the scrappiest song we’ve written to date. It was birthed more or less fully formed from just the drums and bass, and gave us an excuse for a healthy bit of self-indulgence. It makes strong use of a Fuzz War pedal from Death By Audio. Having bought it not long before tracking the album, I found some Japanese psych-rock lead tones buried in that pedal that I was desperate to use.”

World Crust

“It was time we tried our hands at thrash. As is often the way, what came out was a Cronenbergian mutation of our initial intentions, a sort of pseudo-thrash track. Though the main riff is as simple as it gets – it spends most of its time on the C with a short run down at the end of each phrase – it was a bit of a deviation from our usual fare. The bridge riff slows it down and offers a breather, which is something we do often. It’s a typical cheap Pigs trick.”

Halloween Bolson

“This track had a few iterations before we found the final arrangement. It all ended up coming together on a 7/4 ‘chorus’ riff that arrived late in the writing process. This riff is one of those that has a knack for falling onto itself in a loop; it’s fairly simple but the signature gives it an interesting twist. Just as importantly, it did the job of joining up what were previously two fairly disparate sections: the galloping riff of the first half, and the jilted riff of the outro. Working well within the context of both, it gave the track a focus and a structure, and ultimately a place on the album.

“Initially, the lead parts were a lot more reserved on this track, less hook-based and more meandering. After sitting with it for a while, we decided it needed something more direct, especially with its longer runtime. So, I went back in the studio to vomit up some borderline hair-metal licks that seemed to give the parts more focus.”

Rubbernecker

“When it comes to guitar, this track is all about the simple rundown melody – four notes from the B♭ to the E. With this album, we wanted to have more dynamics, melody and harmony in places from the two guitars. This gave us all three. We could harmonise to the run in the verses, and it could also provide a juxtaposition to the all-in riffing, offering a bigger dynamic and a better sense of weight when the riff does land. It also pivots over the bridge, from the lightness in the verses to a dark minor run as the bridge takes the track into a heavier place.”

New Body

“New Body is one of the heaviest tracks we’ve released. It gave us the opportunity to focus more on the guitars throughout the closing three minutes, when the song becomes instrumental. Working from a simple four-note loop on the bass, where the phrasing is the focus, the repetition allowed us to make slow and measured steps in harmony on the rhythm, while the lead pushed towards a more noisy, skronky solo. It takes the mood closer to the edge, almost like an ascending Shepard tone, which adds a vital bit of unhinged energy.”

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs’ album “Viscerals” is out now on Rocket Recordings.

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Cover versions are not a new idea. Every band and their groupie have done one. Some are good Kelley Stoltz’s track for track covers album of Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘Crocodiles’ will be available for the first time on vinyl this Record Store Day courtesey of Nine x Nixe Records.

Originally recorded in late 2001, the album was not released until 2006 and was only available on CD (Orignally a TOUR ONLY CD via Beautiful Happiness).

Crockodials is a re-envisaging of renowned Liverpool band Echo and The Bunnymen‘s 1980s album Crocodiles. Now, recording another musician’s entire album is a tad quirky. But for someone who has The Cones Project (a series of traffic cone photos) on his website, it’s not that far out. In fact, Stoltz is quite a unique guy, he plays every instrument on Crock-O-Dials (as he did on previous album Antique Glow in 2004) and personally recorded each song on 8-track, DIY fashion.

When listening to Crockodials, one question begs an answer: why Echo and The Bunnymen? Simple – the Bunnymen are one of Stoltz’s biggest influences. So what better way to pay homage? (There’s even a bunny on the album sleeve…) Crockodials opens with Going Up, an electronic drumbeat starting the song. Apt really, considering that before the Bunnymen employed the late Pete de Freitas as drummer, Echo was their drum machine.

The beautifully melancholic and haunting song Stars Are Stars is slower than the original, somehow giving its lyrics more meaning, such as: “All your dreams are hanging out to dry/Stars are stars and they shine so cold”. It also has a twangy guitar lick which adds new life to this twenty-year old song.

All That Jazz  starts off very chilled with acoustic guitars and Stoltz singing in his Bowie-esque voice, very different from the sound of the Bunnymen. It’s true to state that every song on Crockodials seems fresher, with additional eclectic sounds (such as a xylophone in Pride, and crazily fast tambourine playing in Crocodiles). Crockodials maybe a novelty, one that may pave the way for future album covers. (Perhaps even coaxing Ryan Adams to release his other cover version album of The Strokes‘ Is This It? .

Stoltz took up the mantle of rhythm guitar in the Bunnymen’s live set up in 2016, after a few high profile state-side support slots won largely because of this album. Pressed on 180g colour vinyl, with original artwork and new sleeve notes from Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant and Scott Kannberg (Pavement), there’s never been a better time to discover this gem from Stoltz’s back catalogue.

REMASTERED BY MIKEY YOUNG -Bonus 7″ E.P.features 3 early demos of 14 year old Kelley’s band.These are the earliest known recordings of Stoltz’s Bunnymen covers.This E.P.is exclusive to the RSD release and will not be available with any subsequent reissue.

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Not previously released on vinyl The Telescopes are an English noise, space rock, dream pop and psychedelic band, formed in 1987 by Stephen Lawrie, and drawing influence from artists such as Suicide, The Velvet Underground and The 13th Floor Elevators. They have a total of eleven released albums including their debut, Taste, released in 1989. ‘Altered Perception’ collects 15 of their most intricate workings from their first two albums with the odd rarity and b-side thrown in for good measure. Never before released on vinyl but now re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Street Studio especially for vinyl release for Record Store Day 2020.

The Telescopes are the brainchild of Stephen Lawrie and Jo Doran. Formed in 1986 in Burton-On-Trent and initially a five piece, their earliest live performances drew comparisons with the likes of The Stooges, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, right down to Doran and fellow guitarist Dave Fitzgerald’s insistence on facing their amps rather than the audience while a gnarled hail of feedback and distortion erupted all around them.

With the inevitable swarm of record labels chasing their every move, The Telescopes put out their first three singles and debut album ‘Taste’ on the Cheree label. Nevertheless, bad luck seemed to follow the band from this point onwards as Cheree’s subsequent closure saw the band sign to What Goes On, only for them to see another label go bankrupt months later. Eventually they ended up at their spiritual home, Creation Records, and after three well received singles and the release of their second eponymously-titled album, everything seemed to be coming up roses. Sadly, a couple of blokes going by the name of Gallagher were lurking in the shadows with other ideas, and this coinciding with the already phenomenal expenditure of My Bloody Valentine‘s still-born follow-up to ‘Loveless’ meant a cull was inevitable – of which the Telescopes were one of its many victims.

Opener ‘The Perfect Needle’ mixes tremelo, heavy distortion and an obtrusive violin as Lawrie opines “…and it hurts too much to be where you are” in a melancholic drawl that pre-dates the likes of The Verve by a good four years. ‘Sadness Pale’ and ‘Violence’ meanwhile are psychedelic dirge-like entities that resonate within their own quagmires similar to the early workings of Spacemen 3 or even Mudhoney .

What set the Telescopes apart from their contemporaries at the time such as Ride, Slowdive and the Boo Radleys, and still does today, is that they were never too afraid to take a risk. With the word “conform” seemingly absent from Lawrie and Doran’s vocabulary, they bent the rules a little with their second album and fuzz pedals and feedback disappeared faster than you can say ‘And’ – the closing track on here, incidentally. ‘You Set My Soul’ sounds like Primal Scream engaging in a freeform jazz jam with John Lee Hooker and Daevid Allen while ‘All A Dreams’ is ethereal, winsome psychedelic pop at its best – ‘Pet Sounds’ made by its respective owners, if you must.

‘Altered Perception’ offers a remarkable insight into how a band defined their own legendary status by simply changing everything about their sound just as the pigeons were about to slip them into any of their aforementioned holes, whether that be the ones marked “shoegazing”, “psyche-rock”, “baggy” or “indie pop”. As a history lesson in the development of sounds that your A&R man will tell you are just WRONG for this record, boys, ‘Altered Perception’ is up there with ‘Psycho Candy’, ‘Loveless’ and ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’. If you’re just curious and want to know where the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Mogwai and yes, Radiohead got many of their ideas from, then you simply have to own this album.

‘Altered Perception’ could be seen as Lawrie and Doran’s way of setting the record straight. Having spent several years trying to gain full control to the rights of their back catalogue, this album collects 15 of their most intricate workings from their first two albums with the odd rarity and b-side thrown in for good measure.

Purple coloured heavyweight 180 gram audiophile double vinyl LP

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Arriving on the heels of the socially conscious “Babylon”, Dr.John’s 1970 album “Remedies” marked his 3rd studio release under his eccentric, voodoo-inspired “Night Tripper” persona, and his first not to be produced by Harold Bapttiste, instead turning to famed rock producer Tom Dowd. Featuring a psychedelic and progressive take on Dr. John’s signature style of swampy, hazy New Orleans boogie-woogie rock, undoubtedly inspired by his then recent stint in a psych ward.
Remedies is not rock and roll, it is something nearly otherworldly, and almost beyond comprehension. While it includes such standout Dr. John tracks as “Wash Mama Wash” and “Loop Garoo,” it also includes “Angola Anthem,” which is murky, mysterious and downright evil-sounding. Much of this very long cut is lost without headphones, for the music floats about in a smoky fog while Dr. John and his backup singers chant, moan, and cry out. Progressive radio loved this stuff, and it still sounds great during those late-night flirtations with the dark side of the psyche.

The sound on this album is a transition from the voodoo stew on the Dr’s first album Gris Gris and the funky sounds of albums like In The Right Place & Desitively Bonnaroo,

Remedies must be heard to be believed.

Track listing:

A Side.1.Loop Garoo 2.What Goes Around Comes Around 3.Wash, Mama, Wash 4.Chippy, Chippy 5.Mardi Gras Day
B Side.1.Angola Anthem

Splatter Colored Vinyl Pressing Exclusive For RSD 2020. First issued in 1970. CD last issued in 2002.
Original Vinyl out of print since the 70s. 2500 copies worldwide

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Previously released on vinyl in 1997 British space rock band Spectrum is a project led by Peter Kember under the pseudonym Sonic Boom; an English singer and record producer.He was a founding member, bassist, vocalist and guitarist of alternative rock band Spacemen 3, lasting from 1982 until the band’s dissolution in 1991.

He provided the production on MGMT’s sophomore album Congratulations, Panda Bear’s albums Tomboy and Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, and Beach House’s seventh album, eponymously titled ‘7’. As a solo artist, Kember has recorded as Spectrum and E.A.R.(Experimental Audio Research), parallel musical projects with recordings under both names occasionally only featuring Kember.

He has occasionally performed live under both monikers, most recently as Spectrum, touring as a band in America and Europe. Kember has also played and collaborated with a number of artists, including Stereolab and Yo La Tengo.

‘Forever Alien’ is the third studio album by Spectrum.It was originally released in August 1997 by Space Age Recordings and has long been out of print on vinyl. After the band’s preceding EP ‘Songs for Owsley’ moved away from guitar-oriented music and towards electronic music, ‘Forever Alien’ furthered this approach considerably, as Kember aimed to create a predominately electronic album that sounded organic and analogue in style. The record is dominated by vintage analogue synthesizers, including the EMS VCS 3 and EMS Synthi AKS. Kember had become fascinated by the synths as he felt they presented him with more musical possibilities than guitars. The resulting album fuses psychedelic music with influences from the 1960s electronic music of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

The track ‘Feels Like I’m Slipping Away’ from the album was released as a single and ‘Forever Alien’ had modest radio success in the US and also received acclaim from critics. Musicians such as Helena Hauff and Ekoplekz have since cited it among their favourite albums. Will Carruthers (ex-Spacemen 3) joined Spectrum on their 1997 tour in support of the album. Now re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Street Studio especially for vinyl release for Record Store Day 2020.

Orange coloured heavyweight 180 gram audiophile double vinyl LP