Posts Tagged ‘Clinic’

Liverpool post-punks Clinic released their first new album in seven years, Wheeltappers and Shunters, today via their longtime label Domino Recordings. The band only shared two pre-release singles, which left plenty of album tracks to choose from this week’s . We have narrowed it down to “Congratulations” and album-closer “New Equations (at the Copacabana),”.

Previously the band shared a video for its first single, “Rubber Bullets,” Then they shared another song from the album, opening track “Laughing Cavalier,” also via a Joseph May-directed animated video.

The band’s last album was 2012’s Free Reign. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” explained frontman Ade Blackburn in a previous press release about the long gap between albums. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”

Wheeltappers and Shunters’ album title is inspired by a 1970s British variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, which was hosted by Bernard Manning and according to the press release “recreated the smoky, boozy atmosphere of Northern working men’s clubs for a sofa-bound audience.” “It’s been a pisstake thing between us for quite a few years,” Blackburn explained. “Whenever we’d talk about a song sounding too ‘cabaret’ or too nice, we’d say, ‘That’s a bit Wheeltappers and Shunters.'”

Clinic - Wheeltappers and Shunters

Wheeltappers and Shunters looks back on the culture 1970s era Blackburn and “his collaborator-in-chief” Jonathan Hartley grew up in. “It’s a satirical take on British culture – high and low,” Blackburn said. “It fascinates me that people look back on the 1970s as the glory days. It’s emerged that there was a darker, more perverse side to that time. When you look back on it now it was quite clearly there in mainstream culture.”

The album was recorded last year at Hartley’s Liverpool studio. Then Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) mixed the album. “We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times,” said Blackburn.

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THE JULIE RUIN – HIT RESET
Julie Ruin return with ‘Hit Reset’ which expands on the band’s established sound: dancier in spots and moodier in others, with girl group backing vocals and even a touching ballad closer. ‘Hit Reset’ is the sound of a band who have found their sweet spot. Kathleen Hanna’s vocals are empowered and her lyrics are as pointed and poignant as ever. From the chilling first lines of ‘Hit Reset’ (“Deer hooves hanging on the wall, shell casings in the closet hall”) to the touching lines of ‘Calverton’ “(“Without you I might be numb, hiding in my apartment from everyone / Without you I’d take the fifth, or be on my death bed still full of wishes”), Hanna takes a leap into the personal not seen completely on the first album or possibly even in the rest of her work.
LP+ – Limited Rough trade Exclusive – 500 Copies on Neon Pink Vinyl with Download.
LP – Black vinyl with Download.
LP/MP3 – Limited Indie Shops vinyl – white vinyl with Download

The Rave-Ups, Town + Country [Expanded Edition]

Omnivore offers a 30th anniversary expanded edition of The Rave-Ups’ Town + Country.  The band may be best known for its appearance in the film Pretty in Pink, but this reissue proves there’s plenty more to the group.  The reissue of this lost Americana classic produced by Stephen Barncard (Grateful Dead’s American Beauty) features the original 10 songs, plus 11 previously unissued bonus tracks-including live radio performances recorded for Deirdre O’Donoghue’s KCRW-FM program Snap and material produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and longtime Beach Boys associate Mark Linett.  The Rave-Ups’ Jimmy Podrasky supplies the new liner notes!

OF MONTREAL  – INNOCENCE REACHES
The project’s 14th LP follows two full decades of mercurial creative mania: swallowing up ’60s psych-pop, Prince-ly funk, and glammy prog in turn; morphing freely between full-band affair and cloistered confessional booth; comprising lyrics both painfully personal and absurdly fantastical; and recently drawing site-specific inspiration from culture capitals like San Francisco or New York City. The thread that runs through it all is Athens, GA’s Kevin Barnes, and ‘Innocence Reaches’ finds him at his most light-hearted in years, working a Parisian stint, Top 40 sounds, and his newfound single status into the kaleidoscopic swirl. ‘Innocence Reaches’ features darker moments to be sure – isolation, anger, indifference, and the feeling that, like a Truffaut film, madness lurks just outside the frame.
LP – 180-Gram Light Blue vinyl with download code. Packaged in deluxe gatefold jacket with 18×24 David Barnes-designed poster.
Tape – Limited Lime Green Cassette.

GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV – GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV WITH THE COLORADO SYMPHONY
Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony marks a milestone for the Colorado-based singer-songwriter, re-imagining songs from his previous three studio albums– The Weatherman, This Empty Northern Hemisphere, and That Sea, the Gambler –along with the debut studio recording of “Liars,” a fan favorite and staple of his live shows for many years. With orchestral arrangements by Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa) and Jay Clifford (Jump, Little Children) and with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s Scott O’Neil conducting nearly 70 classical musicians, the songs are cast in new and revelatory hues.

CLINIC / SEX SWING
TAPE FOR JASE / NIGHT TIME WORKER
Very limited split 7″ repress on sexy Brown Vinyl from Liverpool’s legendary psych overlords Clinic backed with blood-pumping shadowy noise from London’s Sex Swing featuring Mugstar, Part Chimp, Earth, Dethscalator and Dead Neanderthals members. Released on God Unknown Records and beautifully packaged.

JOANNA GRUESOME
PRETTY FUCKING SICK (OF IT ALL)
Blue Coloured Vinyl 7″ (Limited to 300). Joanna Gruesome release their first material since the departure of vocalist Alanna McArdle on this limited edition coloured vinyl 7″ on the Fortuna Pop! Jukebox 45s singles club. Following a chance meeting in an occult bookshop, the band’s new line up features two amazing and inspiring women, Kate Stonestreet (formerly of queer punks Pennycress) on melodic vocals / shouting / screaming and Roxy Brennan (of Two White Cranes and Grubs) on melodic vocals / keyboard, joining Owen Williams (guitar / vocals), George Nicholls (guitar), Max Warren (bass) and Dave Sandford (drums). The record features original artwork from Bart De Baets. Recorded by producer Rory Atwell on a boat in London, a statement from the band on ‘Pretty Fucking Sick (Of It All)’ reads, “This song is about being pursued by intelligence operatives and is partly set in the Welsh village of Llangrannog. It is influenced by our recent U.S tour, during which the CIA took a special interest in the group’s movements.” On Occult Bookshop the band says, “This is an origin story, detailing the first meeting of the group. It is also about using astrological means to strengthen, receive and administer crushes. Another reading suggests that the song is about attempting to destroy binary conceptions of gender through ritual hexing.”

Image of Martha - Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart

Martha –  ‘Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart’

Martha return with their second album. Produced again by MJ from Hookworms, the album explores the difficulties in staying political, staying passionate and staying punk over the course of eleven expertly crafted pop songs. Hailing from Pity Me near Durham, Martha play energetic, impassioned power pop with intricate vocal interplay and lush four-part harmonies, informed by 90s indie rock and contemporary garage punk. The band is comprised of J. Cairns (guitar), Daniel Ellis (guitar), Naomi Griffin (bass), and Nathan Stephens Griffin (drums). All four members sing and write the songs. Daniel and Nathan also play in Onsind, while Naomi also plays in No Ditching.

Their debut album “Courting Strong” came out in 2014 and was included in the top 50 albums of that year, winning them the epithet “One of Britain’s best rock bands”. If the band’s first album, ‘Courting Strong’, was about punks growing up, then ‘Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart’ is about grown-ups staying punk. It’s an album about trying to stay creative and passionate and making the most of everything in spite of the many obstacles that get in the way. It’s about finding strength and solace in friendships, love, and taking motivation from the people in your life who really inspire you. Taking inspiration from such likely and unlikely sources as The Replacements, Heart, Billy Bragg, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, The Go-Gos and Radiator Hospital, the album bursts into life with “Christine”, “a love song filtered through the messiness of anxiety and night terror” that takes inspiration from “Threads”, the British TV drama of the 1980s about nuclear war, and is followed by the rousing “Chekhov’s Hangnail”, with backing vocals from Ellis Jones of Trust Fund. The catchy “Precarious (The Supermarket Song)” finds romance in the washing powder aisle, while “Goldman’s Detective Agency” shows the band’s playful side as they re-imagine 19th century anarchist Emma Goldman as a private eye vanquishing corrupt cops and politicians.

Nearly every song here is a potential single, from the infectious “Do Whatever” and “11:45, Legless In Brandon” to outsider anthem “The Awkward Ones” and the Billy Bragg / Coronation Street-referencing “Curly and Raquel”. The album concludes with “St Paul’s (Westerberg Comprehensive)”, a song about being caught up in the toxic culture of a Catholic comprehensive school. “It’s for the kids who had the guts to be queer at school and for those who didn’t figure themselves out until they got out of school.

NOTHING – TIRED OF TOMORROW

Philadelphia’s Nothing return with ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, their beautifully profound follow-up to 2014’s widely-acclaimed ‘Guilty Of Everything’. Recorded over the course of a month at Studio 4 with Will Yip (Circa Survive, Title Fight), ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ is a modern, nihilistic take on the triumphant fuzzed-out guitar rock of the 90’s, replete with huge hooks and brooding melodies. Much like the events it’s based on, the album displays an unparalleled balance of opposites and contradictions, rife with sweet-and-sour themes, downcast grooves, infectious choruses, and blissfully expansive washes of sound. With ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, Nothing have worked the deepest influences of their youth and maturation into a confident, memorable album that is sure to soothe old wounds while simultaneously opening up new ones. Recommended if you like: Smashing Pumpkins, Ceremony, Merchandise, My Bloody Valentine, Diiv and Radiohead.
LP – Rough Trade Exclusive – 300 Copies on Grey Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Standard Black Vinyl with Download.

YAK  –  ALAS SALVATION

Just over a year since their first single ‘Hungry Heart’ was released – a period that saw their unpredictable gigs and electrifying clutch of studio recordings earn them a reputation as the most exciting and talked about new act in the UK – Yak have channelled their ferocious live experience into their debut album ‘Alas Salvation’. Recorded with Pulp’s Steve Mackey, it’s a wired and ambitious record that refuses to be pigeonholed. Yet beneath all the head-spinning chaos lies a beating heart of great melodicism and a hyperactively eclectic and inventive approach to making.

EAGULLS  –   ULLAGES

Rough Trade exclusive with a Zine – Procrastination Compilation George Mitchell – Limited to just 500 Copies. Releasing their much-acclaimed self-titled debut-album in 2014, the following 12 months saw the fiercely independent Leeds-based band go from strength to strength. Highlights of the year included taking both Later… With Jools Holland and The Late Show With David Letterman in the U.S. by storm, sharing the stage with the likes of Arcade Fire and Pharrell while scooping a major prize at the NME Awards and playing across the globe at some of the world’s most renowned festivals including Coachella, Latitude, Field Day and Reading / Leeds. Retreating to their rehearsal space to begin work on their second album, ‘Ullages’ (an anagram of the band’s name) gradually took shape over long days and nights in the converted Catholic Church in Leeds. Intent on breaking new ground, drawing out the textured melodies that lay discreetly amongst the speed, intensity and heady fuzz of their debut and creating an altogether different record, ‘Ullages’ is a near perfect distillation of their agenda; a record that recalls the shimmering opulence of the Cocteau Twins and the melancholic majesty of Disintegration / Pornography-era The Cure.
LP – Black Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Limited Green vinyl with Download. 500 Copies only for the UK.

JOHN DOE  –  THE WESTERNER

John Doe is a founding member of the seminal L.A. punk rock band X and the country spin-off band The Knitters. The album features ten new tracks from Doe with guest appearances from Chan Marshall of Cat Power, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Cindy Wasserman of Dead Rock West and Tom Brosseau. ‘The Westerner‘ was produced by Howe Gelb (Neko Case, M. Ward), Dave Way (Fiona Apple) and Doe. The album’s artwork was designed by Shepard Fairey and Aaron Huey to support Native American rights via a campaign called Protect The Sacred, with additional photography by Jim Herrington.
LP – With Download.

RED HOUSE PAINTERS –  OLD RAMON

Released almost concurrently with head Red House Painter Mark Kozelek’s solo venture ‘What’s Next to the Moon’ (a selection of deconstructed AC/DC covers), ‘Old Ramon’ allows the rare opportunity to hear an artist both then and now. Recorded in 1997, ‘Old Ramon’ languished in the limbo of label fallout, finally to be rescued and released by Sub Pop in 2001. Meanwhile, though, it seemed Kozelek had moved on, releasing a flurry of projects with nary a look back, making ‘Old Ramon’ almost seem like an afterthought. But what a lovely afterthought it is. The trademark features of the Red House Painters are all here: the songs are long and meandering, the guitars seesaw languidly, the drums plod, dissonant harmonies moan and Kozelek’s olive-oil voice seeps around everything. The best tracks include the light and airy ‘Wop a Din-Din’, an homage to Kozelek’s cat; the dark and beastly ‘Byrd Joe’ and the understated ‘Cruiser’.
LP+ – Limited Double Vinyl with Download.

PUMAROSA –  CECILE

Limited beautiful White Vinyl 12″ with Download. London five-piece, Pumarosa are a band who assembled from unexpected and varied quarters. Isabel met drummer Nick at a rehearsal for a new band in a rundown Homerton pub and when no one else showed up the pair formed a guitar-and-drums Punk duo and began writing and rehearsing in the basement. After moving to a warehouse in Manor House, they met Henry, Tomoya and Neville and began a period of intensely hot rehearsal in a 10′ x 10′ chipboard room. In the summer of 2015, the band was offered a residency in the cavernous disused cinema of an Italian surrealist, situated within the cliffs of Calabria. Scraping together a van and driving non-stop to Italy, the band worked on new material in beguiling forty degree heat, developing further their expansive sound. It was also in Italy that they settled on the name Pumarosa: in part reflecting Isabel’s Chilean roots, but also the lurid-looking jungle fruit of the same name. In September 2015 Pumarosa released debut single “Priestess’, produced by Mercury-nominated Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bat For Lashes, Toy) via Chess Club / Mom + Pop (US). Zane Lowe on Beats 1 had the world’s first play and within three days ‘Priestess’ was the second most blogged about song worldwide.

THE BIG MOON – CUPID

Limited 7″ only. The Big Moon release a new single ‘Cupid’, their first through Fiction Records. It was produced and mixed by Catherine Marks (Foals / Wolf Alice), and follows their two acclaimed singles to date, ‘Sucker’ and ‘The Road’. It has been an exciting introductory year for Juliette, Fern, Soph and Celia of The Big Moon. Releasing their first recordings to widespread acclaim in 2015, the band have been busy selling out their shows across the UK, and performing to expansive audiences on high-profile support tours with the likes of The Vaccines, Ezra Furman and their new label mates The Maccabees. The band return with another bullet of a track that heightens their already sky-high appeal. ‘Cupid’ is everything that The Big Moon have already promised and more. A track full of punch, verve and a knowing swagger, capped by vocalist Juliette Jackson’s wry snarl of a delivery, and her bandmates pin-sharp harmonies. It’s a smart and confident next step forward.

BRYDE  –  EP1

Exciting new London solo-artist Bryde releases her debut EP, simply entitled ‘EP1’ via Seahorse Music. The release contains previous singles ‘Wait’ and ‘Help Yourself’ alongside two brand new tracks (‘Nectar’ and ‘To Be Loved’) which have already been making an impact at her live shows around the country. Earning comparisons to the Sharon Van Etten, PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley and London Grammar, her powerful vocals, sharp, evocative lyricism and searing guitar tones have won plaudits from the likes of NYLON, The 405 and The Line Of Best Fit, with the latter declaring Bryde’s heady concoction as “tearjerk folk-pop”. Limited to 500 copies on transparent light blue vinyl.

CAT’S EYES –  TREASURE HOUSE

If Cat’s Eyes self-titled debut was grown in the dark, then ‘Treasure House’, their second, is born in light. If the nocturnal interiors of Cat’s Eyes were a cult flick viewed in smudgy black and white on cathode ray, then ‘Treasure House’ takes everything into the great outdoors and shoots it in Technicolor on wide silver-screen; an old school blockbuster, of the kind they no longer make. This is the third album by Rachel Zeffira and Faris Badwan, previous albums include Cat’s Eyes self-titled 2011 debut and last year’s European Film Award awarding wining soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s film, ‘The Duke of Burgundy’.

ULTIMATE PAINTING – LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Ultimate Painting is a young, yet already distinguished UK duo comprised of Jack Cooper and James Hoare. As the story goes, these two spent time touring together with Cooper’s band, Mazes, supporting Hoare’s band, Veronica Falls. A fateful friendship developed and, to make it quick, demos were recorded and swapped, which all eventually led to their debut seeing release on Trouble In Mind. The project has been so thoroughly adored for its uncomplicated, beautifully calm approach to VU-style riff-making and loose-but-biting vibes that the follow up, ‘Green Lanes’, was released a mere ten months later. Needless to say Third Man Records are so glad they carved their way through the great land of Nashville, TN. Recorded direct-to-tape, ‘Live at Third Man Records’ is an impeccable document of English rock ‘n’ roll. The band is in top form here and their set consists of the finest material from the band’s first and second albums, ‘Ultimate Painting’ and ‘Green Lanes’ respectively, with a handful of extended jams featured here. This live record is a must own for fans of the band, not to mention anyone smitten with mellow guitar magic that absolutely explodes into some true, stately mayhem.

DEATH AND VANILLA  –  DEATH AND VANILLA EP

12″ Blue Vinyl EP / CD digipack. The first release for the Swedish Psychedelic dream-pop band, their self-titled EP caught the attention of French label ‘Hands In The Dark’. They originally released EP in 2010 on CD an extremely limited edition run of 100 copies. The EP will be reissued on blue vinyl to match the cover alongside the ‘From Above’ 7″ and their self-titled debut long player.

CLINIC  –  INTERNATIONAL WRANGLER  Reissue

Clinic’s long-awaited debut album Internal Wrangler fleshes out the sound the group crafted on their self-released EPs, and it also adds a few new twists. Though eerie, punk-tinged songs like “The Return of Evil Bill” and the title track sound like they could have appeared on the band’s first singles, Internal Wrangler’s best songs concentrate on the experimental yet accessible sides of Clinic’s sound. “The Second Line”‘s darkly catchy throb, the aptly named “2nd Foot Stomp”‘s organ-driven pulse, and “Voodoo Wop”‘s blend of surf and Krautrock are a logical progression from Clinic’s roots, but ballads like the “Pale Blue Eyes”-esque “Distortions” and the late-night calm of “Goodnight Georgie” are a leap into new territory for the band. Though some of the thrashier songs like “C.Q.” and “T.K.” and a bottom-heavy song sequence detract from the album’s flow, Internal Wrangler is still a strong debut from one of England’s most promising and distinctive indie bands.

CLINIC –   WALKING WITH THEE  Reissue

Right down to its gritty, mod-punk art direction, Walking With Thee seems like it should fit right in with Clinic’s previous work. Indeed, the group’s second full-length album could’ve been a carbon copy of their debut, Internal Wrangler, but to Clinic’s credit, the band makes a few changes, opting for a smoother production and a quieter, more implosive sound than their previous work offered. Frustratingly, though, most of these changes end up detracting from the group’s strengths and diluting the album’s impact. Walking With Thee’s production is far from slick, but a huge part of Clinic’s appeal was that the band seemed to record in an underwater garage, giving their songs a fuzzy, cavernous sound that made their messy, thrashy moments even more dangerously alluring and their ballads that much more affecting. Stripped nearly bare of reverb and static, much of Walking With Thee sounds incomplete, particularly on the almost-punk of “Pet Eunuch,” “Welcome,” and “The Equaliser,” which, with its rattling percussion and driving bassline, could’ve rivaled Internal Wrangler’s ugly-beautiful intensity if had a little more oomph. However, the album isn’t a total washout — for every lackluster moment, there’s one that connects. “The Vulture” and “Walking With Thee” nearly reach the frenzied, strangely sexy, bottom-dwelling heights (depths?) of Clinic’s best work. And beginning with the chilly, hypnotic opener, “Harmony,” many of the album’s quietest moments are the most compelling. Filmic tracks like “Come Into Our Room” and the dreamy finale “For the Wars” follow suit, though their brooding, stark sound will only strengthen the Radiohead comparisons. There’s a lot of promise on Walking With Thee, but nothing here touches the deadpan cool of Internal Wrangler’s “The Second Line,” the detached poignancy of “Distortion,” or the raw energy of “Second Foot Stomp.” The band sounds like they’re still figuring out how to make the urgency of their previous work jell with a more polished, experimental sound, which makes Walking With Thee not so much a progression or regression as a step sideways. Clinic is still one of the most intriguing acts around, and while this isn’t the masterpiece the band has the potential to deliver, an interesting disappointment from them is still better than a successful but boring album from a less-inspired group.