Posts Tagged ‘Bloodshot Records’

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The Yawpers fourth album delivers more great rock ‘n’ roll. The Denver trio The Yawpers are blazing a trail of roots rock brought bang up to date with balls and panache that gives one hope for the current state of American rock. It ain’t dead yet. On their last album – 2017’s Boy In A Well – they veered off left field to deliver a concept album set during the First World War, but on “Human Question”, their fourth, they deliver ten songs that, whilst having an over-arching theme of redemption, self-destructiveness, and the healing that can come from unity – be that in a band or society in general – is a ride filled with great songs that raise you up, smash you to the ground, and drag you to your feet again, until your ears feel like they’ve been in the aural equivalent of a mosh pit. These guys do tension and changes in tempo with real finesse.

Opening track “Child Of Mercy” sets the scene with its discordant intro. There is a Doors-like guitar hovering lightly over the dark rhythm. The vocals are shamanic, the lyrics full of street shaman smarts over a heavy, tight blues beat. The drums pound. The guitar gets dirty. There is a heavy bridge, the guitars slicing through like power tools, building up into an explosion of sounds ravaging the streets.

Dancing On My Knees is more heavy blues with a 60s rock beat. The drums pound out the message hitting the beats on the vocal punches. The background vocals are like police sirens and a devil’s chorus. The bass veers off into demonic deepness. The violent chaos is controlled, brought back into subtle rhythm and a bottleneck guitar shrieks and howls like an animal in pain at the side of the road. There is more control on Human Question, a 70’s psychedelic rock infused song, but it’s a control filled with tension. It is the beauty of desperation and it builds up layer by layer. Man As Ghost is Americana tinged with folk music and displays a more contemplative side to The Yawpers. This is music played on a porch, staring across at a mountain sheathed in clouds, wondering about life.

Next up, Earn Your Heaven, is a raw slab of Stooges like rock ‘n’ roll mayhem. The drums pound and pound and hold it all together as the guitars strew the studio with mayhem. Time to take a breath with Reason To Believe – a delta blues number that resonates like a memory from some dim remembered past. It is elegiac and full of spirit. Carry Me is a gorgeous, slow-burn of a song that fuses gospel, soul and rock that starts slow and mournful as the singer lays out his sins and builds up into full throttle rock voiced fervour as he begs for salvation. Stunning. Forgiveness Through Pain is fuzz boogie woogie with Led Zep influences to the fore. It’s dirty blues, heavy with salaciousness. Can’t Wait returns to the laid-back folk tinged Americana sound, with a lighter touch that feels like the sun emerging after a storm. Album closer Where The Winters End has a 50’s ballad opening, followed by jangly 60’s rock. It’s a haunting rock prayer that is a perfect, thoughtful end to a great album.

It’s not always easy to say why a band sounds the real deal but these guys do. Part of it is due to it being so effortless, as though rock runs through their blood and into their muscles and straight into the instruments. This is roots rock at its basic level but so much more with complex shades that are revealed on repeated plays – that’s if you can switch off from the physical response your body has to the visceral blues rock hybrid. It has everything a good rock album should – rock out tunes with violent energy, nuanced moments of folk and blues, thoughtful lyrics and band members who all complement each other, each taking a moment in the spotlight but always remaining a band.

Recommended for people who like real rock ‘n’ roll music.

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers Bought to Rot Album Artwork

Debut album from new band led by Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace. 

To say musician, author and activist Laura Jane Grace has had a defiant career would be the understatement of the year. Whether being accused of leaving the DIY punk scene to pursue a major label career over a decade ago, or courageously challenging people’s conceptions of gender identity with a bombshell Rolling Stone article, Grace has remained a daring and influential cultural figure in her over 20+ years of creating dynamic art across various mediums. Sure, she’s bound to worry some fans with her decision to press pause on Against Me! to release a more intimate singer-songwriter leaning solo album under the name Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, but her artistic motivation cast her determination in steel. “In the back of my head I was thinking, ‘f**k all of you, I’m going to do this anyway,’” she says with a smile.

With this conviction came liberation, because few expectations equals total freedom. Indeed on the record’s opening cut, “China Beach,” Grace delivers a bold, lip-curled statement of intent: “Learn to trust yourself, no one else matters / Respect the source and always welcome failure.” And it’s in this spirit—with the help of Against Me! drummer Atom Willard and long-term AM! producer Marc Jacob Hudson on bass—that Bought to Rotthe debut album from Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers, came into existence.

Bought to Rot was written largely in motion—on tour, in Spain, Australia, Amsterdam hotel rooms, and some at home in Chicago. It’s a record scorched with honesty, unapologetically confessional, capturing many moments snipped from Grace’s life and stitched together in song. Although it’s a step and a twist away from Against Me!’s sonic blueprint, there’s still a kinetic punk energy that vibrates throughout. These compositions are looser, stripped, but with a melodic pop immediacy pushing to the fore. “I have my main gig, but I’m still doing this thing,” she continues. “It’s undeniable and it’s really good and here’s the proof … so what are you going to do with that?” Well, it has to go out into the world: via Bloodshot Records, the storied Chicago indie boasting a past & present roster that includes Ryan AdamsNeko CaseMurder by DeathOld 97’s and Justin Townes Earle.

The seeds of this project were initially sown when Grace, Hudson and Willard introduced the band on a small run of dates in 2016 that included Grace delivering impassioned readings of journal entries between stripped-down Against Me! songs, most of which were featured in her critically acclaimed memoir Tranny: Confessions Of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Coming off the cycle for Shape Shift With Me, Against Me!’s latest full-length studio album, and a North American arena tour with Green Day, Grace was asked to perform a Mountain Goats cover on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and it was then that she received a massive sense of renewed momentum overall.

With additional songs penned that felt more stand-alone than a proper Against Me! offering, Bought to Rot resulted in 14 gripping tracks detailing Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago (“I Hate Chicago”), the act of interpersonal acceptance (“The Friendship Song”), all-consuming affection until our ultimate demise [“Apocalypse Now (& Later)”], complicated romance (“The Airplane Song”), and reconciling everything in the end. As a complete body of work, the album stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date, and is what she affectionately calls her “Scorpio” record – redolent in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.

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Additionally inspired in large part by Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Tom Petty was when he created his classic solo debut. In light of his recent passing, Grace was even able to pay direct homage to him on the recording. “I bought a ’64 Fender Jaguar off Stan Lynch, drummer of the Heartbreakers, and I always like to think that maybe Petty had picked it up and strummed a couple chords on it, she says. “I always liked the idea of having my fingers dance on the same fret board as my hero.”

There’s a refreshing sense of variety present on Bought to Rot, an album that features a vast array of musical textures and lyrics that read like separate short stories throughout. “My approach musically to the record was that I wanted it to feel like a mixtape,” Grace recently said “Like OK, you’ve got this Nirvana-like song, you’ve got a Cure song. It was musically freeing, in that way, to just be playing whatever was coming to me as I was writing and not having to think about it.” As such, “I Hate Chicago,” a tongue-in-cheek centerpiece to the album that has become a bit of a live favorite to Chicagoans and non-locals alike, finds Grace at her most wry and entertainingly venomous, lambasting the city’s sports teams and revered bands, its festivals and its unfriendly denizens over an Americana-angled jaunt.

Created at a breakneck pace, Bought to Rot is finally here and ready to be consumed & dissected: to be loved, to be hated. It’s an album propelled by a sense of restless, forward motion and the inherent need for Grace to continue evolving as an artist and person the only way she knows how. “I don’t want to write about these same things anymore,” she says. “I need some new sources of inspiration. And I don’t want to be negative. I want to write some positive, happy songs, and I wanted that to be inspired by positive, happy living, too.”

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“‘Human Question’ cements The Yawpers’ position as one of the best rock and roll bands around at the moment. They’ve developed their musical palette beyond the potential shown on previous releases and this has resulted in their most complete-sounding record yet… This may well be The Yawpers’ masterpiece…Flawless.”

Denver three-piece The Yawpers return with their third record‘Human Question’. There are few acts around with a back catalogue as strong as they have over the space of two full-lengths, with killer rock n’ roll their speciality. This latest release takes the bona fida Yawpers sound and ramps it up infinite notches.

On the opening, ‘Child Of Mercy’ frontman Nate Cook howls and hollers his way through a three-minute thrill ride, and results in easily one of the most exciting singles of the year. There is little respite as the frantic White Stripes-esque riff of ‘Dancing On My Knees’ follows, as Cook wails “I’ve taken all the medicine, but I’ve still got your disease”. On the rip-roaring ‘Earn Your Heaven,’ the frontman takes on the role of preacher, at one point welcoming the ghost of Harry Connick Jr to a crucifix, amidst maniacal, crashing drums and frenzied solos. It’s another highlight on a record choc-a-bloc with them.

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The growth of The Yawpers’ sound has come alongside the frontman’s development as a lyricist. Cook has said that the songs were written as a form of therapy for this record, as opposed to his previous method of an excuse to wallow in his own misery. The results are certainly candid. He sings of an “elegant fear” on the title track questioning religion and existentialism, which is more abundant when he howls to “please show me something I can believe in, something that takes it away” on ‘Child Of Mercy.’  Cook also questions his own self-doubt and acute self-awareness as the root cause of his anxieties, singing “how I look in darkness, is what makes me quiet in the light” and “I’ve been looking for some comfort in this world that’s escaping me” on ‘Man As Ghost’ and ‘Can’t Wait’ respectively.

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Despite the near-morbidity of the lyrics, the latter is as radio-friendly as The Yawpers have ever sounded. The pounding drums of new member Alex Koshak set the pace, as frontman Cook does his best Springsteen impression, and more than pulls it off. Ending on a mellow note with ‘Where The Winters End,’The Yawpers give a tender send-off to an absolutely wonderful record.

‘Human Question’ cements The Yawpers’ position as one of the best rock and roll bands around at the moment. They’ve developed their musical palette beyond the potential shown on previous releases and this has resulted in their most complete-sounding record yet. Incorporating country, punk, rock n roll, gospel, indie, blues, and pretty much anything that sounds good alongside excellent songwriting, they have created an extremely special body of work. This may well be The Yawpers’ masterpiece.

SXSW in Austin, TX, USA on March 2019.

Among the star performers at Austin SXSW was the transfixing Joshua Fleming, who spit out lyrics with all the swagger of a man backed up by a vicious gang. And, really, he was: the Vandoliers are deadly onstage, delivering their cowpunk/ska/Tex-Mex blend with abandon. Like many up-and-coming artists, they embarked on a wicked SX schedule, playing Twangfest on Thursday, the Bloodshot Records Yard Dog party on Friday and Mojo Nixon’s Mojo Mayhem at the Continental on Saturday. No matter though — that just meant more chances for fans to dance to jams like “Sixteen Years” and “Dollar Bottom Boy,” off the Texas group’s excellent new album Forever.

From Vandoliers‘ 2019 Bloodshot Records album ‘Forever’:

Sarah Shook sings from the perspective of a problem child of the highest caliber: impulsive, unapologetic, and impassioned. The songs she sings and the music she makes with her band the Disarmers on their latest record Years is the kind of stuff that defies a calendar. Could be 1962, could be 1974; that it’s 2018 only makes these songs sound more ageless. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers are a country band with a sneer, a bite, and no apologies. Shook’s original songs take on the usual country spin on shitty relationships, bad decisions, and excessive alcohol consumption for damn good reasons. I’d certainly accompany each listen with a bottle of whiskey too, cos these are great drunken tunes about life’s ups and downs.

from the Bloodshot Records album YEARS

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Laura Jane Grace has shared “Apocalypse Now (& Later),” the debut single from her forthcoming album with her new band, Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers. The album, Bought to Rot, comes out November. 9th through Bloodshot Records.

“Apocalypse Now (& Later)” is a tender love song, in a sort of twisted way. “On top of the world, at the end of the world, with you,” Grace sings. It’s about “witnessing the end of the world with the person you care about the most,” as explained in a press release.

Bought to Rot will be Grace’s first non-Against Me! album since forming the band in 1997. “It felt really relieving to be like, ‘OK, this isn’t an Against Me! record, so I can say whatever the fuck I want!’” Grace told Rolling Stone. She says she was strongly influenced by Tom Petty’s landmark solo album Full Moon Fever when recording Bought to Rot. The 14-track album is about “Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance and reconciling everything in the end.”

The Devouring Mothers are made up of a pair of frequent Grace collaborators: Drummer Atom Willard and bassist Marc Jacob Hudson have both worked with Against Me!, Willard as drummer and Hudson as sound engineer.

Album Premiere: Ha Ha Tonka, 'Heart-Shaped Mountain'

Ha Ha Tonka are an adventurous band from Missouri, opens up its sound with its fifth album, “Heart-Shaped Mountain”. As with its past releases, the band’s gift for clear-eyed, intelligent songwriting proves that they’re still a cut above other bands that fuse indie with Americana, while remaining beholden to neither style. A song like “Favor” could fit in as a campfire singalong, “Going That Way” takes on a careening momentum as she comes around the mountain, while a somewhat left field song like “Land Beyond” seems to take its cues from somewhere else entirely, The album is out March 10th on Bloodshot Records.

Over their history, Ha Ha Tonka has recorded four critically acclaimed albums, toured the world, played Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, and appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Through it all, these Ozarks natives have made friends, found love, started familes, and grown and matured together.

Heart-Shaped Mountain is a reflection of that development and maturity. Once aptly summed as “Indie-Americana, where Alabama meets Arcade Fire, ” Ha Ha Tonka has expanded their sonic palette, unveiling balanced, sublime, pop radio accessible heights and an emotionally broader, post-punk songwriting range, a la Apache Relay or a less enigmatic Jonsi, while keeping their trademark harmonizing vocals, jangly Southern revelry and crunchy hooks fully in tact. At it’s core, Heart-Shaped Mountain is an album about love and growth. At a time when divisiveness fills the headlines, Ha Ha Tonka is fighting the good fight, building narrative-tributes to friends and loved ones, memories past and prospects of the future.

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please  check out their previous albums , such a good band .

CD - The Hook Up - All 5 CDs

Band Members

Brett Anderson -guitar, mandolin and vocals
James Cleare – absolutely everything
Lucas Long – bass & vocals
Mike Reilly – drums & vocals
Brian Roberts – guitar & vocals

Singer/songwriter Samantha Crain first happened upon Bloodshot Records while working at a small record store in Perryville, MO, called Music Town. She rescued a Bloodshot compilation disc from the CD bins and played it in the store on a regular basis. With that footing, it wasn’t long before Crain was digging deeper into the Bloodshot catalog to find artists like the Old 97s, Robbie Fulks, Ryan Adams, and Neko Case.

“As time went on,” she says, “I grew to love and respect a lot of records that came out on Bloodshot: Mutt from Cory Branan, Harlem River Blues from Justin Townes Earle, Indestructible Machine by Lydia Loveless, Mirepoix and Smoke from Ben Weaver, and Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon from Murder by Death.”

Flash forward to 2014 to find Samantha Crain heading out on tour with a Bloodshot band, Ha Ha Tonka. Though she didn’t know them at all before, she says, “It took approximately one second of their sound check and one second of meeting their smiling faces for me to fall in love with them. Through the two months of touring with these guys, my band members and I all found our favorite songs in the set, and mine was ‘Cold Forgiver.’ It’s such a weird little tune, with this odd sorta key change, and these bouncy lyrics lines. So, when the opportunity came to record a cover of a Bloodshot artist, this song immediately came to mind. I hope we did it justice.”

Scroll down to see Crain perform in Bloodshot Records’ HQ in Chicago, IL.

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Two years after the critical success of her breakout second album, “Indestructible Machine”, Lydia Loveless emerges from the trenches of hometown Columbus, OH with the gloves off and brimming with confidence on Somewhere Else. While her previous album was described as “hillbilly punk with a honky-tonk heart” (Uncut), this one can’t be so quickly shoehorned into neat categorical cubbyholes. No, things are different this time around—Loveless and her band have collectively dismissed the genre blinders and sonic boundaries that come from playing it from a safe,familiar place.
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Writing from this new-found place of conviction, Lydia crafted 10 songs that are stark in their honesty, self-examination,and openness. Somewhere Else is more elemental than any of Loveless’s previous material; it’s about longing for the other, whether that’s something emotional, physical, or mental, all anchored by her arresting voice that sounds beyond her years. Creatively speaking, if Indestructible Machine was an all-night bender, Somewhere Else is the forlorn twilight of the next day, when that creeping nostalgia has you looking back for someone, something, or just… anything.

Blessed with a commanding, blast-it-to-the-back-of-the-room voice, the 23-year-old Lydia Loveless was raised on a family farm in Coshocton, Ohio—a small weird town with nothing to do but make music. With a dad who owned a country music bar, Loveless often woke up with a house full of touring musicians scattered on couches and floors.

When she got older, in the time-honored traditions of teenage rebellion, she turned her back on these roots, moved to the city (Columbus, OH) and immersed herself in the punk scene, soaking up the musical and attitudinal influences of everyone from Charles Bukowski to Richard Hell to Hank III.