Posts Tagged ‘John Doe’

Marvin Country is Marvin Etzioni’s ambitious fourth album. The two-record set hits the streets on April 17, 2012 and features Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, John Doe, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller, Maria Mckee, and more. Marvin Etzioni is an American singer, mandolinist, bassist, and record producer, Etzioni is best known as a founder of, and bassist for, the band Lone Justice.

In 2012, Marvin Etzioni released a double album extravaganza: Marvin Country! It featured guest appearances from folks including John Doe, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miller, Steve Earle, The Dixie Hummngbirds, Murry Hammond, and Richard Thompson. Even old Lone Justice cohorts Maria McKee, Shayne Fontaine, and David Vaught were along for the ride. But, the origins of some of those songs go back two decades.

Marvin issued Marvin Country: Communication Hoedown himself, on cassette in 1992, saying “I was single-handedly trying to bring back cassettes at a time when the industry said they were done. I still liked the analogue sound versus the high glossy digitalness (to coin a new word) of CDs.” It has never had an official release until now.

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There’s country, there’s alt. country, and there’s Marvin Country. It’s a magical place, way off the map, populated by back-porch philosophers, hobos, brokenhearted lovers and spacemen and presided over by the man the L.A. Times called “one heck of a songwriter.” Grammy award winner Marvin Etzioni has been known over the years as producer (Counting Crows, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Peter Case), sideman (T Bone Burnett, Dixie Chicks, Grey Delisle) and songwriter (Cheap Trick, Victoria Williams) Even before there was No Depression, Marvin was a co-founder of the seminal roots-rockers Lone Justice. It’s safe to say Marvin is revered in Americana circles worldwide. “Marvin Country!” is his ambitious fourth album, and first in over a decade. The two-record set hits the streets on 16th April. The mandolin man is back. “(Etzioni’s) material ranges from stark folk-based tunes to raw Stone’s-like rockers.”

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This time around Marvin lacks his mind blowing poetry & almost makes up the CD set with simple repeatable blues refrains. Yet he is his normal playful self with analogue sound effects, inner jokes, & songs about death & salvation. I hear more Blues & a few Cajun songs than the number of any country style of music. Some other songs are beyond categorization. There are many references about past Country greats as with Pasty Cline & Gram Parson, even the death of Bob Dylan. Don’t worry Bob is still around, but Marvin is thinking about that day that all of us shall meet.

Delta 88 Nightmare,” newly recorded music from the iconic punk rock band, X, along with the video directed by Henry Mortensen, The 7” vinyl will be released on November 29th,

Earlier this year, the original foursome – Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake went into the studio together to record fresh material for the first time since 1985’s “Ain’t Love Grand.”  Five songs were recorded over the course of two days with producer Rob Schnapf.The first of these new songs is the recorded version of an older X song, “Delta 88 Nightmare,” which previously was only included as a bonus track on the 2001 reissue of “Los Angeles” in demo form – never as a fully recorded and mixed track. The song is available today as a 7″ with the flip side being the newly recorded “Cyrano de Berger’s Back,” one of the earliest songs John wrote for the band that became X.

The iconic punk rock band, X, recently announced their annual Holiday tour plans. Hitting theWest Coast for X-Mas ‘19, finishing up on December 19th & 20th with hometown Los Angeles finale shows. The Blasters will join X on all shows .

Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in the first wave of LA’s flourishing punk scene; becoming legendary leaders of a punk generation. Featuring vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake, their debut 45 was released on the seminal Dangerhouse label in 1978, followed by seven studio albums released from 1980-1993. X’s first two studio albums, Los Angeles and Wild Gift are ranked by Rolling Stone among the top 500 greatest albums of all time.

Over the years, the band has released several critically acclaimed albums, topped the musical charts with regularity and performed their iconic hits on top television shows such as Letterman and American Bandstand. In 2017, the band celebrated their 40th anniversary in music with a Grammy Museum exhibit opening, a Proclamation from the City of Los Angeles .The band continues to tour with the original line-up.

Fat Possum Records

Los Angeles was a much different place when released its debut album, Los Angeles, named for the city that the band had adopted. Forty years ago, Los Angeles still had a reliably seedy link to its noir roots, which was catnip to people like John Doe, who fled the East Coast for L.A.’s sunny days and debauched nights. Doe found kindred spirits in Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake, and with X they helped establish the West Coast’s punk scene. With 1980’s Los Angeles, they became a nationally recognized leading voice on the scene.

They were a motley bunch. Doe and Cervenka were writers and poets. Zoom was a session guitarist who had trained as an electronics repairman and played a dozen instruments, fluent in both big band jazz and Gene Vincent. Bonebrake had studied classical music and played a mean jazz vibraphone as well as he drummed. All except Bonebrake were from somewhere else.

But in the sordid backwash of Hollywood and the near-nuclear fallout of the Ramones and Sex Pistols, they transformed into X. As we celebrate the 40th birthday of the band’s debut album, Los Angeles has lost none of its power, fury or artfulness, and remains a showcase for how the spirit of punk can be filtered through the familiar lens of rock and roll that had come before.

The heart of “Los Angeles” is clearly punk; Zoom’s lethally precise power chords and Bonebrake’s metronome-on-steroids drums propel the songs at a breakneck pace while Cervenka’s unhinged vocals speak to one of punk’s central tenets: Anyone can do it. But there’s a higher level of musicianship at work here. Zoom is an encyclopedia of roots-rock guitar and he tosses in echoes of Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore. Doe is the Paul McCartney of punk bassists, always finding inventive ways to melodically underpin the songs without losing intensity, and his smoked honey of a voice in harmony with Cervenka’s squall is one of the band’s signature sounds.

Doe and Cervenka filled Los Angeles with lyrics straight out of a poetry workshop — elliptical, evocative, blunt, beautiful and violent, like if Dashiell Hammett did slam poetry — and the combination of bohemia, musicianship and aggression made Los Angeles soar. And if Ray Manzarek seems an unlikely producer, consider that The Doors were legends in L.A. and he had considerable street cred.

X begins with a triple shot of “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not,” “Johny Hit and Run Paulene” and a cover of the Doors’ “Soul Kitchen.” Of the three, “Johny Hit and Run Paulene” is quintessential X, a seamy narrative about drugs, rape and possibly (probably?) murder.

“Sex and Dying in High Society” reads like a film noir treatment about a woman who has sold herself for the security of a connected marriage. Not an incredibly original premise, but the details are what make it work, especially the bit where the woman makes her maid use a curling iron to burn her back just to feel something. Manzarek spices the song with a perfectly placed flourish of synthesizer. “The Unheard Music” is an efficient summation of punk culture, ominously set to a dirge-like metal riff. “Friends warehouse pain/Attack their own kind/A thousand kids bury their parents” conjures the desperate physical release of a mosh pit, teenagers cutting themselves loose from families they don’t want to be with the family that they choose.

“The World’s a Mess; It’s in My Kiss,” besides being a rare example of the proper use of a semi-colon, is also a love song that doesn’t back down from how terror and wonderment walk hand in hand when two people try to make a life together. It comes off as an update of 1950s teeny-bopper love songs with Zoom busting out his best Berry licks behind Cervenka and Doe’s anti-harmonies.

The album’s best-known song is the muscular title track, which is intoxicating in its ferocity and concision. As political correctness has grown into a casual hobby, there have been efforts to paint the song as racist, which is at best a ridiculous argument. It’s clearly about a racist, not to mention a homophobe, and the song’s impact and meaning would be neutered by euphemisms that dance around the truth. That truth is what makes the song so powerful, as well as the sledgehammer authority with which Zoom, Bonebrake and Doe attack every second of the brief 2:25 it lasts.

The album’s overall effect and impact is visceral, literary and uncompromising. X went on to make six more studio albums, embracing more of the band’s folk, country and rockabilly roots as the years passed. The first four albums are considered classics, but “Los Angeles” remains the gold standard.

Clean original Slash pressings of Los Angeles have been climbing in price but the record has been remastered and reissued several times by Rhino, Porterhouse, Music On Vinyl and most recently Fat Possum; other than the acclaimed Porterhouse pressings, the consensus seems to be that they’re all roughly equivalent to an original.

Whichever one you track down, you need to own it — assuming you have a thing for punk, or just good music — as it’s a touchstone of the genre and a keeper for any well-curated collection.

The band recognized the significance of Los Angeles with the surprise release of a new album, Alphabetland, nearly 40 years to the day after their debut. It’s the band’s first studio album since 1985 to feature the original quartet, which was fractured when Zoom left following Ain’t Love Grand. His return brings X full circle as Alphabetland is classic Los Angeles-era X: hard, fast, uncompromising.

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Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in the first wave of LA’s flourishing punk scene; becoming legendary leaders of a punk generation. In 2020 – they released their first new album in 35 years, “ALPHABETLAND”. Musically, Los Angeles is almost infallible. originally released on April 26th, 1980 by Slash Records. Slash magazine started a record company and its first release was an album by the Germs. Now they’ve released a new album from X. The LP is the powerful debut “Los Angeles”. The band worked on a $10,000 budget and finished the recording and mixing in just three weeks.

They’re managed by Danny Sugarman, who also manages the surviving members of the Doors. This probably explains how Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek (a rabid X fan) appeared as a guest musician on the LP, and how the band cut a blistering rave-up of the Doors song “Soul Kitchen.” But Manzarek did far more than just put in a few guest appearances. He also produced the album.  There was Billy Zoom playing the loudest guitar, yet doing it so smoothly and efftortlessly. I was amazed at the edge and the rawness but he attacked the guitar strings with such grace and finesse. And the drummer, DJ Bonebreak, is so solid and strong and powerful..

“Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You‘re Not” kicks off with relentless immediacy as if you’ve jumped into a speeding car on a midnight tour. Doe and Cervenka trade lead vocals and occasionally Cervenka veers stunningly off course in vivid and blistering wails, a Siouxsie Sioux in Southern California. On top of Bonebrake’s motoring drums, the songs are dark and doom-laden, fiery and mordant.

X sings about drugs and violence and cruising and ennui, conjuring a mood that prefigures Hüsker Dü’s “Diane” and Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising. They stick it to the upper class with “Sex and Dying in High Society” and they finish with one of the best punk love songs of all time, “The World’s a Mess, It’s in My Kiss.” “Go to hell, see if you like it/Then come home with me”—the musical equivalent of cigarette ashes and red lipstick—the end to a wild ride through Los Angeles’ underworld.

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This is a masterpiece. In this “less fun in the new world” full of tossed together sample library un-imagination, do yourselves a favour: sit down and listen to this record in its entirety. Not only is this release an iconic example of the art of the full album narrative, it also stands as a reminder that this form of art is sadly fading.

Remastered 2018
released February 22nd, 2019

Alphabetland by X album artwork cover art

Punk legends X have surprise released a brand new album called “Alphabetland”. Better yet, it’s the band’s first full-length featuring all of its original members in 35 years. Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in the first wave of LA’s flourishing punk scene; becoming legendary leaders of a punk generation,

X’s Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake recorded five songs for the record back in November 2018 — one of which was a redo of “Delta 88 Nightmare” — with producer Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck). In January of this year, they reunited with Schnapf to record seven more songs. And thus, an album was born. According to The Los Angeles Times, the album was originally due out in August, but the band chose to move up its release due to the COVID-19 crisis. “When your heart is broken, you think every song is about that,” John Doe said in a statement. “These songs were written in the last 18 months and it blows my mind how timely they are. We all want our family, friends and fans to hear our records as soon as it’s finished. This time we could do that. Thanks to Fat Possum and our audience.”

Alphabetland comes with some warped, colorful album artwork, which you can find below alongside the tracklist. As it turns out, that drawing is by none other than Wayne White, the set designer for the legendary Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

“When your heart is broken you think every song is about that. These songs were written in the last 18 months & it blows my mind how timely they are,” explained John Doe. “We all want our family, friends & fans to hear our records as soon as it’s finished. This time we could do that. Thanks to Fat Possum & our audience.” The bands record label, Fat Possum, listened and agreed. Plans were quickly set in motion to release the new music via Bandcamp and have said they’re working to get the record available elsewhere as quickly as possible.

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Released April 22nd, 2020

The Band:
Billy Zoom; guitar, saxaphone, piano
DJ Bonebrake; drums, percussion
Exene Cervenka; vocals
John Doe; bass, vocals

Additional guitar on All The Time In The World: Robby Krieger
Rob Schnapf, additional guitar

Pre-orders for Alphabetland are currently ongoing. In addition to a digital download on Bandcamp, the album is available on CD, black vinyl, and special vinyl variants like green (limited to 500), red (limited to 300), and yellow (limited to 200). The latter two colours have already sold out, so act fast if you’re trying to own a special vinyl version.

The release of Alphabetland coincides with the 40th anniversary of X’s debut album, Los Angeles, this weekend.

X Alphabetland band new album music song, photo via Facebook

Delta 88 Nightmare b/w Cyrano Deberger's Back

Delta 88 Nightmare,” newly recorded music from the iconic punk rock band, X, along with the video directed by Henry Mortensen, The 7” vinyl released last November.

Earlier last year, the original foursome – Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake went into the studio together to record fresh material for the first time since 1985’s “Ain’t Love Grand.”  Five songs were recorded over the course of two days with producer Rob Schnapf.

The first of these new songs is the recorded version of an older X song, “Delta 88 Nightmare,” which previously was only included as a bonus track on the 2001 reissue of “Los Angeles” in demo form – never as a fully recorded and mixed track. The song is available today as a 7″ with the flip side being the newly recorded “Cyrano de Berger’s Back,” one of the earliest songs John wrote for the band that became X.

First new music from X in over 30 years.

They were started in the fall of 1977 by punk poet Chris Desjardins, a singer known for morbid lyrical themes. Their first gig was December 21st, 1977 at The Masque in Los Angeles. Musicians in various Flesh Eaters line-ups have included Stan Ridgway (Wall of Voodoo), John Doe (X), DJ Bonebrake (X), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Bill Bateman (The Blasters) and Steve Berlin (The Blasters, Los Lobos). Considered by many to be a precursur of Death Rock, their music was a pastiche of rockabilly, road-house blues, punk rock and jazz.
The Flesh Eaters initially broke up in 1983. Desjardins performed with his new band, The Divine Horsemen until 1988. In 1989 Desjardins recorded an LP with the one-time group Stone-By-Stone. Shortly after this they changed their name back to The Flesh Eaters. They continued to perform on the west coast, ultimately recording two albums. They discontinued performances in the Spring of 1993. Since then, Desjardins has performed intermittently with a variety of musicians under this name. The most recent Flesh Eaters album Miss Muerte was released in 2004 on Atavistic Records. This label has also reissued “No Questions Asked” & “Hard Road To Follow”.

In February 2006 it was announced that the original Flesh Eaters would perform several live shows. This particular line-up of The Flesh Eaters had not played together since the Spring of 1981. John Doe and DJ Bonebrake from X, Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman from The Blasters and Steve Berlin from Los Lobos were scheduled to appear for these shows.

The second single from the Flesh Eaters forthcoming album “I Used To Be Pretty” is “My Life To Live”, an updated recording of the song that originally appeared on their 1982 album Forever Came Today

The Flesh Eaters, Los Angeles’s unconventional “supergroup”, reunites classic 1981 lineup of Chris D, Dave Alvin, John Doe, Bill Bateman, Steve Berlin, and DJ Bonebrake for their first new recording in more than 35 years. Ghost Cave Lament is a new song written by Dave Alvin and Chris D.

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Founded 40-odd years ago by sole permanent member Chris Desjardins (known as Chris D.), the Flesh Eaters came from the same late-’70s Los Angeles. scene that yielded bands including X, the Blasters and Los Lobos—all of whom lent members to the Flesh Eaters’ touchstone 1981 album A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die. As luck would have it, that’s the roster that reconvened for the first time since then to back Desjardins on I Used to Be Pretty, the Flesh Eaters’ first new album in 15 years. Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman of the Blasters; John Doe and DJ Bonebrake of X; and Steve Berlin from Los Lobos form a powerful combo, surging along with Chris D. in what amounts to a master class in taut punk-rockology, with an antagonistic streak. Chris D. makes the most of his all-star lineup, revisiting songs from throughout the Flesh Eaters catalog and laying down what in most cases are definitive new versions. Though the versions of the songs on I Used to Be Pretty sound fantastic, it can be tricky messing around with the alchemy of previously recorded music. There was a certain charm to the ramshackle, handmade feel of these tunes as they appeared on the original albums. That said, these gussied-up, more professional arrangements show Chris D.’s songs in the best possible light. Their power, their attitude and their sheer trashy abandon have never been more evident, which means Desjardins in a way is finally getting his due.

The Flesh Eaters, LA’s unconventional “supergroup”, reunites classic 1981 lineup of Chris D, Dave Alvin, John Doe, Bill Bateman, Steve Berlin, and DJ Bonebrake for their first new recording in more than 35 years. The third single from the Flesh Eaters forthcoming album “I Used To Be Pretty” is “Black Temptation”, a new song written by Dave Alvin and Chris D.

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.
Signed Book: "Under the Big Black Sun"
£38 GBP (approx.)

Under the Big Black Sun explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement and its evolution to hardcore punk as it’s never been told before. Authors John Doe and Tom DeSavia have woven together an enthralling story of the legendary west coast scene from 1977-1982 by enlisting the voices of people who were there. The book shares chapter-length tales from the authors along with personal essays from famous (and infamous) players in the scene. Additional authors include: Exene Cervenka (X), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Mike Watt (The Minutemen), Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s), Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Chris D. (Flesh Eaters), Jack Grisham (TSOL), Teresa Covarrubias (The Brat), Robert Lopez (The Zeros, El Vez), as well as scencesters and journalists Pleasant Gehman, Kristine McKenna, and Chris Morris. Through interstitial commentary, John Doe “narrates” this journey through the land of film noir sunshine, Hollywood back alleys, and suburban sprawl—the place where he met his artistic counterparts Exene, DJ Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom—and formed X, the band that became synonymous with, and in many ways defined, L.A. punk.

Under the Big Black Sun shares stories of friendship and love, ambition and feuds, grandiose dreams and cultural rage, all combined with the tattered, glossy sheen of pop culture weirdness that epitomized the operations of Hollywood’s underbelly. Readers will travel to the clubs that defined the scene, as well as to the street corners, empty lots, apartment complexes, and squats that served as de facto salons for the musicians, artists, and fringe players that hashed out what would become punk rock in Los Angeles.