Posts Tagged ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’

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Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant shaped Echo & the Bunnymen’s dreamy post-punk into something timeless. Their 1997 reincarnation sparked new life for the band, and McCulloch and Sergeant have maintained their strong appeal of passionate rock & roll. On a live setting, they’re charming and their first proper live album, “Live in Liverpool”, proves that. The duo have a weird musical madness together, and they’re comfortable with it. The two night stint captured August 2001 at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool of Performing Arts, McCulloch’s romantic brood and Sergeant’s riveting guitar work are at its best. It’s a merry collection of cult classics (“Seven Seas,” “The Killing Moon,” “Never Stop”) and new material (“SuperMellow Man,” “Eternity Turns”), but a homage to the band itself. The psychedelic bombast of “All That Jazz” is slick and savvy. Songs from the “Crocodiles” album take on that tone, but with a signature lust and a sneaky intensity. “Over the Wall” brings that side of the band to the forefront.

In a live setting, it’s eerie and alluring. “Rescue” and “The Cutter” soar with lush guitar riffs and McCulloch’s warm vocals illustrate something primitive. “Nothing Lasts Forever,” from 1997’s Evergreen, is a sweet sign of age, but it’s also graceful. McCulloch and Sergeant are fond of what Echo & the Bunnymen have become. Two nights churning out fan favourites and band mainstays in their hometown makes it much sweeter.

Recorded in 2001 at Paul McCartney Institute of Performing Arts, “Live In Liverpool” features electrifying performances of classics including “The Killing Moon”, “Lips Like Sugar” and “The Cutter.” Pressed on double 180g clear vinyl for RSD Drops to mark its first release on vinyl. 

Tracklisting:

1. Rescue 2. Lips Like Sugar 3. King Of Kings 4. Never Stop 5. Seven Seas 6. Buried Alive 7. SuperMellow Man 8. My Kingdom 9. All My Colours (Zimbo) 10. All That Jazz 11. An Eternity Turns 12. The Back Of Love 13. The Killing Moon 14. The Cutter 15. Over The Wall 16. Nothing Lasts Forever 17. Ocean Rain

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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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On this day in history First released February 4th, 1983) Echo and the Bunnymen released their 3rd album “Porcupine” featuringthe tracks The Back Of Love and favorite, The Cutter, it became the band’s highest charting release.

This album was produced by Ian Broudie, who later went on to form The Lightning Seeds.

Ian McCulloch’s comments, I think Porcupine was a classic autobiographical album, the most honest thing that I’d ever written or sung. I found the material from it really heavy to play – like, really oppressive. That’s the only reason why I didn’t like the album. The songs were great but it didn’t make me happy. A lot of songs are about coming to terms with the opposites in me.

When presented with the finished album, WEA Records rejected it as “too uncommercial”. The band agreed to re-record the album, despite Sergeant’s complaints. Using the original version of the album as a blueprint, the follow-up recording sessions went more smoothly. Drummond brought Shankar back to add strings to the other tracks on the album. It was these sessions that produced the band’s next single, “The Cutter”, which was released in January 1983 and went on to become the band’s first Top 10 hit.

A better listen than its predecessor, Heaven Up Here. Songs are intriguing and elaborate, often featuring swooping, howling melodic lines. Arrangements here owe a lot to 1960s psychedelia and feature lots of reverb, washed textures, intricate production touches, and altered guitar sounds. Ian McCulloch’s vocals are yearning, soaring, and hyper-expressive here, almost to the point of being histrionic, most notably on “Clay,” “Ripeness,” and the title track. Listen to the epic neo-psychedelia of ‘My White Devil’ or ‘Heads Will Roll’ as examples ,

Driving bass and drums lend the songs urgency and keep the music from collapsing into self-indulgence. Parallels between the group’s U.S. contemporaries

The recording session for “The Back of Love” went well, but the relationship between the band members was strained, with them either not speaking to each other or, when they did, arguing.Their manager Bill Drummond was aware of the tensions within the band and so arranged a tour in Scotland for April 1982. This was done in an effort to make the band work harder, write some songs, and to communicate with each other. Drummond’s plan failed to work as following the tour there was still tension between the band members.Two other album tracks – “Clay” and “My White Devil” – were first played during the tour of Scotland.

Echo & the Bunnymen
  • Ian McCulloch – vocals, guitar, piano
  • Will Sergeant – lead guitar
  • Les Pattinson – bass
  • Pete de Freitas – drums

Porcupine deserves a place in the canon of classic rock albums that are regarded as ‘great art’.

The overcast skies on the cover of “Heaven Up Here” is the second album by the English post-punk band it accurately reflect’s the gloomy post-punk of Echo & The Bunnymen’s . Co-produced by Hugh Jones, Recorded at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth in Wales the 1981 Sire Records set has a disconsolate vibe akin to Joy Division but leavened with what frontman Ian McCulloch termed a “spikey edge.” While such songs as “Over the Wall,” “A Promise” and the title track may be less familiar than later hits, they nonetheless helped make the collection a Top 10 success in the group’s native U.K.; the album also reached the Billboard chart in the U.S., a first for the band.

Following their more psychedelia-based debut, “Crocodiles”, the band released the “Shine So Hard” EP and subsequent “Puppet” single which maintained their profile. Work then soon began on their second album, Heaven Up Here. Following musical differences between the band and Crocodiles producers Bill Drummond and David Balfe.

Echo & the Bunnymen returned in 1981 with the darkest and perhaps most experimental album of their career. “Heaven Up Here” lacks the signature hooks and melodies that would make the Bunnymen famous, In 1981, music magazine the NME described the album as darker and more passionate than 1980’s Crocodiles. The Record Mirror also said that the band sang the blues and devoted themselves to existential sadness. They went on to note that the album offered “an anatomy of melancholy, resplendent with the glamour of doom”. The Bunnymen are continuing to play majestic, uplifting music that will shine through the dark days ahead of us”, showcasing instead a dirge-like song writing approach built around the circular rhythms of bassist Les Pattinson and drummer Pete DeFreitas

In the notes to the 2003 remastered version of the album, lead singer Ian McCulloch said that he constantly had the American rock band The Velvet Underground’s song “What Goes On” in the back of his mind.

In this setting, the band remarkably flourishes, although they would go on to greater heights by scaling back the album’s extremism. “Heaven Up Here’s” strength is the way in which the Bunnymen seamlessly work together to shape each song’s dynamics (the tension underlying the crescendo of “Turquoise Days” being a prime example).

Ian McCulloch, having found his trademark confidence, sings with soaring abandon and passion throughout the album. Similarly, Will Sergeant’s guitar playing, notably freed from verse-chorus structure and pop riffs, is at its angular finest; his playing on “No Dark Things” is pure Andy Gill-esque skronk. The album’s opening troika of “Show of Strength,” “With a Hip,” and “Over the Wall” are particularly effective, establishing the theme of distrust and restlessness which continues throughout the album. Indeed, even the album’s lone single, “A Promise,” is hardly light, pop material.

But the message underneath that darkness, especially in McCulloch’s lyrics, is a call to overcome rather than wallow, as the album ends with the relatively euphoric “All I Want.” Sitting comfortably next to the pioneering work of contemporaries like Joy Division/New Order, and early Public Image Ltd. and Cure, this is a rather fine — and in the end, influential — example of atmospheric post-punk. Having reached the British Top Ten, Heaven Up Here is highly regarded among Echo & the Bunnymen’s fans precisely for the reasons which, on the surface, make it one of the least accessible albums in the band’s catalogue.

Echo & the Bunnymen
  • Will Sergeant – lead guitar
  • Ian McCulloch – vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
  • Les Pattinson – bass
  • Pete de Freitas – drums

The Deluxe Edition of “Heaven Up Here” adds a long version of “Broke My Neck” marketed as 25th anniversary editions recorded at Tistedal Studios in Norway on 7th June 1981, is the B-side of the 12-inch single “A Promise” and four live recordings were added to the original, which was named by both Rolling Stone and NME as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album was originally released by Korova Records in the United Kingdom on 30th May 1981. It was then released in the United States by Sire Records.

Extensive 5CD/book set exploring the ‘second wave’ of music on Merseyside, from 1976-1988

Features classics, rarities, album tracks and previously unreleased gems from Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, China Crisis, A Flock Of Seagulls, Wild Swans, Big In Japan and many more.

5CD + 56pp A5 book format contains many artists’ own sleeve-notes, previously unseen photographs and essays from key observers and participants in the city’s music scene – Bernie Connor, Mike Badger, Yorkie and Joe McKechnie.

Liverpool’s post-punk legends Echo and The Bunnymen have announced their next record—their first since 2014’s Meteorites. The brand new album, The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon’ will be released in May of 2018 and will feature Bunnymen classics transformed and reinterpreted with co producer Andy Wright into “new songs with strings and things attached”

This is not too unusual given the Bunnymen’s liberal use of strings on classics such as “The Cutter”, “Silver”, and their the band’s use of a live string section during concerts of recent years. Lead by the Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, and co-produced by Andy Wright, there is no final track listing for The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon as yet, but we are promised that they will revisit “some of their greatest songs” and that we can expect a couple of brand new tracks. McCulloch’s take on this project is as follows: “I’m not doing this for anyone else. I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.”

Along with the announcement of the new album are some very special UK tour dates that culminating at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 1st.

The record will be available in signed and unsigned CDs, Double LPs, Double Picture Discs, and cassettes.

Crocodiles

Echo and the Bunnymen’s superb debut album, “Crocodiles”, had one foot in the past and one in the future; while listeners could detect the influence of ’60s psychedelia and bands like The Doors, the 1980 album was also steeped in the darkness and anguish for which goth and post-punk would soon be known. Its dozen songs were exceptionally strong, and featured the group’s first two singles (a rerecorded “Pictures On My Wall” and “Rescue”) and soon-to-be concert staple “Do It Clean” (which had been left off the original U.K. pressing in the mistaken belief that it contained expletives).

Recorded at Eden Studios in London and at Rockfield Studios , Monmouth “Crocodiles” was produced by Bill Drummond and Davis Balfe , while Ian Broudie had already produced the single “Rescue”. The music and the cover of the album both reflect imagery of darkness and sorrowfulness. Echo & the Bunnymen were formed in 1978 and originally consisted of Ian McCulloch (lead vocals), Will Sergeant (lead guitar), Les Patterson (bass) and a drum machine . They released their debut single, “The Pictures on My Wall” in May 1979 on the independent label Zoo Records . The band then signed with WEA subsidiary label Korova and were persuaded to employ a drummer Pete De Freitas subsequently joined the band

Ian McCulloch is in fine voice throughout, and Will Sergeant’s playing makes him a clear contender for most underrated guitarist of the 1980s.  NME named “Crocodiles” one of the decade’s 50 greatest albums, and we’re hard-pressed to disagree…

Echo & the Buunymen

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Grizzly Bear  –  Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear release their first album in five years Painted Ruins produced by band member Chris Taylor. Painted Ruins fits the current political mood, it’s an album of songs beautiful on the surface, but with darkness nibbling on all sides; hope and despair on an endless see-saw. It’s also a record of thirty something friends, estranged by both geography and navigating the adult territory of marriage, divorce and parenthood, fighting through separation to find the common ground that once and still exists. It’s political and personal and the best Grizzly Bear album in ages.

2LP – Double 180 Gram Vinyl housed in Gatefold Sleeve with Download.

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Kacy and Clayton  –  The Siren’s Song

Kacy and Clayton first met Jeff Tweedy in the backroom of the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in September 2016. The band had been invited to open for Wilco on night 4 of their annual 5-night run. While waiting for their soundcheck, Jeff appeared through a curtain backstage and introduced himself. In the conversations that followed, Kacy Anderson, Clayton Linthicum and Jeff Tweedy discussed their mutual appreciation of Davy Graham and Jeff’s understanding of Saskatchewan’s geography. Those conversations would eventually blossom into an invite to stop by Wilco’s studio, the Loft, a visit they made only weeks later. In January 2017, Kacy and Clayton returned to the Loft with a rhythm section and a batch of new songs. Over the course of 8 days, the band recorded 9 songs with Jeff Tweedy producing and Loft house engineer Tom Schick at the helm. These 9 songs are what would become the band’s fourth album, The Siren’s Song. While writing and recording The Siren’s Song, Kacy and Clayton found inspiration in the music of Sammi Smith, The Everly Brothers, Link Wray’s chicken shack LPs, country records with harpsichords, The Sir Douglas Quintet, Gene Clark, Jeannie C. Riley, as well as British traditional singers like Peter Bellamy and the Watersons. The Siren’s Song is a product of these influences and an extraordinary progression in the band’s own sound.

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Echo and the Bunnymen  –  It’s All Live Now

Each LP is individually numbered and strictly limited. 180 Gram, black vinyl pressed at Record Industry comes in a single sleeve aqueous-gloss, old school tip-on Stoughton sleeve with brand new artwork and hard stock insert. Never before seen photos of the band. Liner notes by guitarist Will Sergeant. One of the most acclaimed British rockers from the 1980’s, this legendary band formed in Liverpool in 1978 and were forefathers of the neo-psychedelic movement. This brand new collection of their legendary live material recorded in Sweden in 1985 includes classic Rock- N-Roll covers of legendary tunes by the Doors, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Television and more available on vinyl for the first time. Many of the tracks from Sweden were recorded live for Swedish National Radio at the Karen Club. Also included here is a legendary extended version of Do It Clean recorded live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.

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Sheer Mag  –  Need to Feel Your Love

Sheer Mag has let the sparks fly since their outset, with an axe to grind against all that clouds the way. A caustic war cry, seething in solidarity with all those that suffer the brunt of ignorance and injustice in an imbalanced system. With their debut LP, the cloak has been lifted. It is time to reclaim something that has been taken from us. Here the band rolls up their sleeves, takes to the streets, and demands recompense for a tradition of inequity that’s poisoned our world. However, it is in our ability to love – our primal human right to give and receive love – that the damage of such toxicity is newly explored. On Need to Feel Your Love, they make their first full-length declaration of light seen just beyond our darkness. Spoken plainly, without shame: It is love. This – is Sheer Mag.”

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Interpol  –  Our Love to Admire

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Our Love to Admire, Capitol release expanded versions of this beloved classic. Our Love to Admire marked a critical and commercial breakthrough for the band. Recorded at New York’s Electric Lady and the Magic Shop studios with producer Rich Costey (Muse, Death Cab for Cutie), the album boasts an expansive, cinematic sound that drove home such notable songs as The Heinrich Maneuver, Pioneer to the Falls, No I In Threesome, Mammoth and Rest My Chemistry. Upon its release, the album debuted in the Top Five in both the U.S. and the U.K. Interpol formed in the late 1990s and quickly established a dense, intoxicating sound featuring layers of guitar, bass and synthesizers. The band came up through the vibrant New York scene, alongside such notable contemporaries as the Strokes and the National, but gained crucial early attention in Britain, where they recorded a prestigious live session for legendary BBC DJ John Peel. The LP and CD debut a sparkling new edition of the original album, remastered for this release by Gavin Lurssen with all of its original packaging intact. The bonus DVD captures the band’s 12-song performance at the London Astoria on July 2, 2007. The DVD includes live versions of several songs from Our Love to Admire, along with such earlier Interpol favourites as Narc, Obstacle 1, Public Pervert, Evil and NYC.

2CD – CD and DVD Set.

2LP – Double 180 Gram Vinyl.

2LP+ – Double 180 Gram Vinyl with DVD.

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Kelley Stolz – Que Aura

Extra fine songwriter and longtime bedroom-pop auteur Kelley Stoltz delivers on the promise so many of his records slyly hint at. Que Aura is the platonic ideal of a Kelley Stoltz record, which is a very exciting thing indeed. Stoltz embraces his best synth-pop tendencies, with this incredibly self-assured set of tender tunes, combining in his own hangdog fashion both a disco-lit abandon and the attendant post-party sighs of dread and remorse. Great songs come out of Stoltz at an alarming rate on any given day but this particular collection is some of his most effortlessly catchy stuff yet. Ennui under the disco lights suits him very well – there’s a hearty sip of Pulp-ian white Brit shimmy with a wink, a dash of Fleetwood Mac’s cynically professional late ’70s sheen, and even a spritz or two of Echo and The Bunnymen, which should surprise no one who’s noticed Stoltz has been playing guitar with McCulloch and Company for the past year or so. This record cements Stoltz’s place in the power-pop pantheon where he belongs, right between Dwight Twilley and Martin Newell.

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Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer  – Not Dark Yet 

Critically acclaimed artists and sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer release Not Dark Yet via Silver Cross Records / Thirty Tigers. Produced by Teddy Thompson, their first and highly anticipated album together is an extraordinary debut of the pair’s transcendent musical bond. Not Dark Yet was recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 2016. The album provides a potent look at the sisters’ individual and collective artistry through eclectic song choices from writers ranging from the Louvin Brothers, Nick Cave, Kurt Cobain, and back to Jessie Colter. Shelby and Allison wrap their arms around the past, plant their feet in the present, and nod toward what’s around the bend with a co-written Is It Too Much, to close out the ten-song set.

LP – 180 Gram Vinyl.

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Ariel Pink  –  Another Weekend / Ode To The Goat (Thank You)

Ariel Pink’s Another Weekend is the first single from the forthcoming album. The limited 7″ record comes in printed inner sleeve with liner notes and artwork from Matt Fischbeck, longtime collaborator of Ariel Pink.

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Anna Meredith  –  Nautilus

Limited Edition one off pressing on Etched 12” Vinyl (500 copies – Exclusive to Rough Trade). Stand out track from Anna Meredith’s critically acclaimed album Varmints gets a release on a beautiful limited etched vinyl in all of its 5 minutes 30 seconds glory, and comes backed with hard to find gem Miranda. The flip side of the vinyl features an etching. Anna Meredith, aside from sharing bills with Anna Calvi, James Blake and These New Puritans, Meredith’s dizzying CV includes being Composer In Residence for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, writing a piece for MRI scanner, soundtracking Prada’s Spring / Summer 2015 campaign, symphonies created for nursery children, music for park benches in Hong Kong and sleep-pods in Singapore. Performances at the BBC Proms have included collaborations with Laura Marling and The Stranglers for the first 6Music Prom, a performance of her body-percussion piece Connect It from the BBC Ten Pieces project and her Last Night Of The Proms composition Froms, simultaneously performed by five symphony orchestras across the UK, was broadcast to an audience of 40 million people.

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Ride  – Weather Diaries

Ride release their first album in over twenty years, ‘Weather Diaries’ on June 16th via Wichita Recordings.

Produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, ‘Weather Diaries’ is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early ‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. The album will be released through Wichita Recordings and sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album ‘Nowhere’ and produced it’s follow up ‘Going Blank Again’.

The revitalised four piece – comprising of Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert, and Steve Queralt – reformed and returned to the live scene in 2014, selling out headline tours around the world to a plethora of critical acclaim, as well as show stopping turns at festivals including Coachella, Primavera and Field Day. More than that though, the British music sphere especially has been littered with bands heavily indebted to Ride and their peers. The likes of The Horrors, School Of Seven Bells and labels such as Sonic Cathedral have ensured that shoegaze is a sound that’s eternally relevant.

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Royal Blood  -How Did We Get So Dark?

After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood’s release their eagerly anticipated second album How Did We Get So Dark? released on Warner Bros. Records. The ten tracks that feature on How Did We Get So Dark? were written in instrumental form during sessions in Brighton, Hollywood, Los Angeles and Nashville. Always trying to explore ways of stripping their enormous sound back to give it more space and impact, inspiration for the lyrics came from events in vocalist / bassist Mike Kerr’s life since the band first found huge success. In November 2016. Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, along with producer Jolyon Thomas, spent six weeks in a studio in Brussels that was decked out like a New York diner and featured a warehouse of antique gear. How Did We Get So Dark? was subsequently completed after a final session in London with their debut album’s co-producer Tom Dalgety. There are times where Royal Blood are more visceral than ever – notably the gargantuan introduction to Hook, Line and Sinker and also the intense denouement that brings Looks Like You Know to a close. While the album finds Royal Blood refining their melodic might, there are other moments that fulfil their aim to create songs that will add new dimensions to their live sets. Adorned with Kerr’s falsetto, Don’t Tell drops the intensity to mesmerising effect, while Where Are You Now? pulsates with a bounding energy that’s quite a step apart from anything else in their catalogue. The Royal Blood palette is also expanded with the complementary addition of piano or keyboards on four tracks, including the foreboding album closer Sleep.

Image of Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up

Fleet Foxes  –  Crack Up 

Crack-Up is Fleet Foxes’ long awaited and highly anticipated third album. It comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s 2008 self-titled debut.

All eleven of the songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold. The album was co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend. Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album, at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).

Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut made a profound impact on the international musical landscape, earning them Uncut’s first ever Music Award Prize, and topping numerous ‘Best of’ lists, including Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s and Pitchfork’s 50 Best Albums of 2008. Fleet Foxes is certified Gold in North America and Platinum in both the UK and Australia. The follow-up album Helplessness Blues was met with the same critical praise as its predecessor;s .

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Big Star  –  Best Of Big Star 

Best of Big Star is part of a wide-ranging, year-long initiative celebrating Stax Records’ 60th anniversary. Formed in 1971 by singer/songwriters Alex Chilton (1950-2010) and Chris Bell (1951-1978), drummer Jody Stephens (b. 1952) and bassist Andy Hummel (1951-2010), the Memphis-based group is now considered to be one of the most influential bands in modern music, having inspired some of the biggest alt-rock artists of the ’80s, ’90s and beyond. An underground core of fanatical enthusiasts kept the fire burning. The Replacements famously released “Alex Chilton,” a song that paid tribute to Big Star’s songwriting genius. R.E.M.’s Peter Buck said, “Big Star served as a Rosetta Stone for a whole generation of musicians.”

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Kevin Morby  –  City Music 

City Music is the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold. As he puts it: “It is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.”

His fourth album, City Music works as a counterpart to Morby’s acclaimed 2016 release Singing Saw, an autobiographical set that reflected the solitude and landscape in which it was recorded. Saw was imagined as “an old bookshelf with a young Bob and Joni staring back at me, blank and timeless. They live here, in this left side of my brain, smoking cigarettes and playing acoustic guitars while lying on an unmade bed.”

And now follows City Music, the yang to its yin, the heads to its tails. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator’s brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener,” explains Morby. “Stretched out on a living room floor they are somewhere in mid-70s Manhattan, also smoking cigarettes.” It finds Morby exploring similar themes of solitude, but this time framed by a window of an uptown apartment that looks down upon an international urban landscape “exposed like a giant bleeding wound.”

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Jason Isbell and The 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound 

The Nashville Sound was recorded at Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who produced ‘Something More Than Free’ and Isbell’s celebrated 2013 breakthrough album ‘Southeastern’.

‘The Nashville Sound’ features 10 new songs that address a range of subjects that include, politics and cultural privilege (“White Man’s World”) longing nostalgia (“The Last Of My Kind”), love and mortality (“If We Were Vampires”), the toxic effect of today’s pressures (“Anxiety”), the remnants of a break up (“Chaos and Clothes”) and finding hope (“Something To Love”). Songs such as “Cumberland Gap” and “Hope The Highroad” find Jason and his bandmates going back to their rock roots full force.

Big Machine

It’s difficult for any band or artist to sound enthused after decades of making music. Automatic pilot and rock ‘n’ roll root rot can easily set in. There are some exceptions: Paul McCartney has had some late-career gems; same goes for David Bowie . You can add Cheap Trick to that list. They sound positively vibrant and genuinely excited on We’re All Alright! . 

Unlike many of their contemporaries, Cheap Trick have never broken up, stopped touring or quit making new music. They have also never stopped putting everything they have into what they do either. Coming hot on the heels of last year’s excellent Bang Zoom Crazy Hello , We’re All Alright!  follows in the footsteps of its predecessor while adding a couple of new twists to the mix.

Guitarist Rick Nielsen welds together riffs borrowed from the Kinks and the Who for the album’s first single, “Long Time Coming,” while “Nowhere” takes on a Ramones -like charge in its speed attack. Other songs follow a similar path, with no track clocking in at more than four minutes. This pace gives the album a whiplash flow that recalls some of their earliest records.

A few of the songs actually date back several years. “Radio Lover” was put on the shelf in the ’90s, and it’s rescued from oblivion here as an amphetamine-fueled hard rocker. “Lolita” slaps keyboard sequencers on top of glam-rock boogie. And “She’s Alright” features some Dylan styled phrasing from singer Robin Zander.

Cheap Trick also dip into the past by covering Roy Wood again. As they’ve done in the past with “California Man,” “Brontosaurus” and “Rock and Roll Tonight,” they take the Move’s 1968 song “Blackberry Way” and spin it in their direction..

The band pushes itself on We’re All Alright!, turning in enthusiastic and engaging performances throughout. They still sound like a bunch of guys half their age. “Who knows what forever is about?” Zander asks on “The Rest of My Life.” He doesn’t pretend to know the answer.

Cheap Trick sound like they still have something to prove, and perhaps they do. After a couple of trying and triumphant years — there was a legal hassle involving former drummer Bun E. Carlos, and they were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016 — they sound ready for their next chapter.

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Sun Kil Moon – Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood

“‘Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood’, for the most part, captures events from January to August of this year and how I processed it all while traveling. “[…] I’m blessed to have met the very talented Justin Broadrick and to have made these beautiful albums with him. “These two new albums capture more than my reactions to mass murders or the passing of beloved heroes like David Bowie or Muhammad Ali. The Sun Kil Moon and Jesu / Sun Kil Moon albums are also full of love, humour, and my gratitude for the gift of life.” – Mark Kozelek, Sun Kil Moon.

4LP – Limited Four LP Set. Limited to 2000 Copies.

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Trevor Sensor  –  Andy Warhol’s Dream

It’s Trevor Sensor’s voice you notice first. A deep bubbling black tar pit of a sound, it’s a voice whose unique timbre resonates far beyond the constraints of the songwriting format. It demands the listener reaches for a new vocabulary. The 23 year old’s debut album Andy Warhol’s Dream is part of a literate folk lineage that runs from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan through Tom Waits and onto the likes of Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens today. It’s an unflinching honest album, transcendent in its exploration of self and sonically a collision between the classic and the forward-thinking. Sensor’s debut EP for the label, Texas Girls and Jesus Christ, was written on a borrowed acoustic guitar and took him out into the world. 2016 saw him tour Europe before hitting the road in the US for tours with Foy Vance and The Staves. Andy Warhol’s Dream was recorded to tape at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio and produced by both Jonathan Rado of Foxygen (The Lemon Twigs, Whitney) and songwriter/producer Richard Swift (Damien Jurado, Foxygen). His backing band featured members of Whitney. On these 11 songs Sensor doesn’t so much wear his heart on his sleeve as flings it out in the darkness of the front rows that sit beyond the glare of the single blinding spotlight. This is the sound of one man’s soul laid bare, facing life head on.

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The Drums –  Abysmal Thoughts

With The Drums’ new Abysmal Thoughts, band founder Jonny Pierce is making the exact album he’s always held in his heart. Of course, this is The Drums, so that heart is broken—but there’s beauty and even bliss in this kind of heartbreak, as well as that special kind of glorious delirium that comes from taking everything life can throw at you and still walking away triumphant. Here Pierce is back in full control of The Drums, not just writing all the songs himself but playing every instrument and bringing his exact personal vision to life. Not coincidentally, it’s some of the most revelatory work he’s ever done. If Abysmal Thoughts doesn’t sound at all abysmal—really, Pierce has rarely been this irresistibly pop—that’s because this is a story about how to figure out what happiness means once the worst has already happened: “If there’s one thing I can rely on it’s the healing power of being an artist,” he says. “I’m falling back in love with music.”

“There’s no question that The Drums have mastered the synthpop game” – Consequence of Sound.
For fans of The Smiths, Morrissey, New Order and The Cramps.

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Echo and The Bunnymen – It’s All Live Now

Each LP is individually numbered and strictly limited. 180 Gram, black vinyl pressed at Record Industry comes in a single sleeve aqueous-gloss, old school tip-on Stoughton sleeve with brand new artwork and hard stock insert. Never before seen photos of the band. Liner notes by guitarist Will Sergeant. One of the most acclaimed British rockers from the 1980’s, this legendary band formed in Liverpool in 1978 and were forefathers of the neo-psychedelic movement. This brand new collection of their legendary live material recorded in Sweden in 1985 includes classic Rock- N-Roll covers of legendary tunes by the Doors, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Television and more available on vinyl for the first time. Many of the tracks from Sweden were recorded live for Swedish National Radio at the Karen Club. Also included here is a legendary extended version of Do It Clean recorded live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.

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Game Theory -2 Steps From The Middle Ages

Their final studio album ” remastered and expanded. Following up 1987s Lolita Nation (whose reissue appeared on numerous year-end best of lists for 2016) would be no easy task for Game Theory. But, Scott Miller and company were certainly up for the task. Re-teaming with producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Marshall Crenshaw, Velvet Crush), 2 Steps From The Middle Ages was released in 1988, and showed the band had no shortage of energy, experimentation, and excellent material. This reissue contains the original 13 songs supplemented with a whopping 11 bonus tracks ” demos, live performances and covers ” all previously unissued. The translucent orange, first pressing of the LP (on vinyl for the first time since its initial release), contains a download card for the entire CD/Digital program. Packaging includes rare and previously unseen photos from the bands photographer, Robert Toren, as well as essays from Easter, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star), and Franklin Bruno (The Village Voice, Salon.com). The bands drummer, Gil Ray, who was involved in all aspects with the Game Theory reissue series including this title, sadly passed away earlier this year. This reissue is lovingly dedicated to him.

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Nikki Sudden and his Jacobites – Chelsea

Limited edition 350 copies only on Transparent Green vinyl 7” single. Both tracks feature vocals by Max ‘Lizard’ Edie ( Waterboys ) and also Mike Scott ( Waterboys) features on Chelsea Embankment. Chelsea springtime single edit has remained unreleased since 1992.

One of the most acclaimed British rockers from the 1980’s, this legendary band formed in Liverpool in 1978 and were forefathers of the neo-psychedelic movement. Their line up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant, bass player Les Pattinson and drummer Pete de Freitas, eventually replacing the original drum machine. The band’s cult status eventually waned with mainstream success in 1983 after they scored a UK top 10 hit with “The Cutter” and attendant album “Porcupine” which hit second spot in the UK.  1984’s classic album “Ocean Rain” is considered a landmark post-punk release, featuring the lead single “Killing Moon.” The band split in 1988 but regrouped in 1997, releasing an album in 2014 . The band’s popularity never quite made the same impact in the US as it did in Europe so they are ripe for rediscovery for anyone interested in bands such as Suede, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Blur, Interpol and Oasis.

Track Listing:

Side A

  1. She Cracked (Live April 1985)
  2. It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (Live April 1985)
  3. Soul Kitchen (Live April 1985)
  4. Action Woman (Live April 1985)
  5. Paint it Black (Live April 1985)

Side B

  1. Run, Run, Run (Live April 1985)
  2. Friction (Live April 1985)
  3. Crocodiles (Live April 1985)
  4. Heroin (Live July 1983)
  5. Do It Clean (Live July 1983)
  • Brand new collection of their legendary live material recorded in Sweden in 1985. Includes classic Rock N Roll covers of legendary tunes by the Doors, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Television and more available on vinyl for the first time. Many of the tracks from Sweden were recorded live for Swedish National Radio at the Karen Club. Also included here is a legendary extended version of “Do It Clean” recorded live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983.
  • Each LP is individually numbered and strictly limited based on pre orders
  • 1LP, 180g, black vinyl pressed at Record Industry comes in a single sleeve aqueous-gloss, old school tip-on Stoughton sleeve with brand new artwork and hard stock insert with never before seen photos and liner notes by guitarist, Will Sergeant.