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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
EgomaniacFollowing two successful years on the road supporting 2014’s breakout Lunatic, KONGOS returned home in late 2015 with a bevy of ideas. The guys wrote initial demos separately and convened at Tokoloshe Studios—their full-scale production studio located in their hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. While sharing ideas, they collectively realized a thematic commonality, which would eventually inform the creation of Egomaniac.
“We started to see this theme of egomania in everyone’s songs,” explains Dylan. “It came from recognizing egomania in every aspect of life and throughout our surroundings. If you have any inkling of self-awareness, you also notice it inside yourself. It’s so palpable in our world. By referencing another human condition in so many songs, we thought it was a nice follow-up to our last album Lunatic. If you’re going to name an album Egomaniac, you have to incorporate big sounds and songs. The chorus of ‘Take It From Me’ embodies the entire record’s theme perfectly.”
Egomaniac boasts 13 new tracks from the group. These range from the blues guitar-driven accordion shuffle of “I Don’t Mind,” which instantly became a live favorite, to the skittering electronics and sharp commentary on “Autocorrect” and the epic send-off at the heart of “Look At Me.”
In 2014, “Come With Me Now” from Lunatic put KONGOS on the map. The group became unanimously recognized as one of rock music’s most infectious and invigorating new voices as the track went RIAA double-platinum for sales in excess of 2 million. It occupied the #1 spot at Alternative Radio for five weeks, marking the quickest ascent to the top by a new band in history. The song was heard everywhere with placements by The Expendables 3, Universal Studios, Dodge Ram, Samsung Galaxy, American Idol, The Originals, MTV Movie Awards, HBO, FX, CNN, NBC Sports, ESPN, NFL, WWE, Playstation 4 and more. The video has been viewed over 45 million times. They’ve hit the stage at Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, The Today Show and more and received acclaim from Rolling Stone, USA Today, and many others.
The brothers KONGOS—Johnny, Jesse, Dylan, and Danny—have music in their blood. Their dad John Kongos landed multiple chart hits in the seventies, and the boys picked up instruments at a young age. Now, they’ve got a musical legacy all their own.LP 1
1. Take It From Me
2. The World Would Run Better
3. I Want It Free
6. Where I Belong
7. Birds Do It
1. 2 In The Morning
2. Look At Me
3. I Don’t Mind
4. Hey You, Yeah You
5. Repeat After Me
6. If You Could
$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
TenRanked 207/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Ten, the debut album that sold 12 million copies and introduced the world to Pearl Jam in 1991, is now being reissued in four new and expanded editions. The reissue of Ten serves as the launch of a planned two-year catalog re-release campaign leading up to the bands 20th anniversary in 2011.
This edition of Ten is packaged on two vinyl LPs and includes two versions of the album: the remastered version of the original album plus an accompanying remixed version done by the bands long-time producer, Brendan OBrien (Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Audioslave).
The band loved the original mix of Ten, but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it, says producer Brendan OBrien. The original Ten sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original, giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound.
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who served as the art director for the original Ten packaging, reprised his role for the reissues collaborating with designer, Andy Fischer, of Cameron Crowes Vinyl Films (Into the Wild soundtrack LP, Vanilla Sky soundtrack LP, Harold and Maude anniversary edition soundtrack LP). The goal was to assemble the ultimate fan-piece, explains Fischer. Something Pearl Jam lovers could pore over as they experience an indelible record all over again, in an entirely new way.
Pearl Jam originally released Ten on August 27, 1991. The album reached #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, sold over 12 million copies and became one of the cultural touchstones of the '90s. Songs such as Alive, Black, Even Flow and Jeremy became staples of rock radio, and still make frequent appearances on the bands ever-changing concert setlists. The album was produced by Rick Parasher. Pearl Jams 1991 lineup was Jeff Ament (bass), Stone Gossard (guitar), Dave Krusen (drums), Mike McCready (guitar) and Eddie Vedder (vocals).LP 1: Original Ten Tracklisting Remastered for Vinyl
2. Even Flow
4. Why Go
LP 2: Original Ten Tracklisting Remastered for Vinyl and Remixed by Brendan OBrien
2. Even Flow
4. Why Go
$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Strangers To OurselvesForthcoming album by Modest Mouse. It is their first studio full-length since 2007's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.1. Strangers to Ourselves
2. Lampshades on Fire
3. Shit in Your Cut
4. Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, FL. 1996)
6. The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box
8. Pups to Dust
9. Sugar Boats
10. Wicked Campaign
11. Be Brave
12. God is an Indian and You're an Asshole
13. The Tortoise and the Tourist
14. The Best Room
15. Of Course We Know
$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Dope MachinesEvery so often, one song can change everything. For The Airborne Toxic Event, that particular number happened to be an A Capella version of Queen and David Bowie’s classic duet “Under Pressure”.
“Somebody played it for me, and it blew my mind,” declares vocalist and guitarist Mikel Jollett. “I made a decision to change my whole approach to music. I just wanted to be joyful about it. I wasn’t going to worry anymore. For the first three records, I thought mostly like writer. My mindset changed. It was about inventing a musical logic that was unabashedly catchy and rhythmic, but way weirder than anything we’ve done in the past.”
That “logic” came to life while Mikel composed “Hell and Back” for the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack in August 2013. Under a tight deadline, he had no choice but to produce the track himself—a first for the Los Angeles outfit. However, he didn’t stop there.
The frontman would go on to personally produce The Airborne Toxic Event’s fourth full-length album and first for Epic Records Dope Machines with the blessing and support of Steven Chen [guitar, keyboards], Anna Bulbrook [violin, keyboard, backing vocals], Daren Taylor [drums], and Adrian Rodríguez [bass].
“Producing was massively challenging and super fun,” admits Mikel. “When we finished the last record, our producer Jacquire King said to me, ‘I think you’re ready to produce an album now.’ I felt like we had reached the apotheosis of being a proper rock band. This was the exact opposite. It was me alone in a room for 12 hours a day working harder than I’d ever worked.”
Early in the process, Mikel tapped into a boundless aesthetic, embracing electronic elements as well as pop structures and unbridled rock ‘n’ roll bombast. At the same time, it defied categorization at every turn. “That’s one of the hallmarks of the record,” he affirms. “It doesn’t sound like anything else.”
The first single “Wrong” merges striking synths and an electronic swing with an evocative refrain punctuated by a robust groove. It’s borderline danceable, but always chant-able.
“It’s just about a guy feeling insecure,” explains Mikel. “I wrote it at a time of massive upheaval in my life. We all have that moment. You look over everything and think, ‘I am an idiot!’ It’s not every day, but you wish you could start over. That’s the idea.”
“California” turns a spotlight on a different side of the Golden State from the perspective of a true native. All the while, it still boasts an unshakable refrain and intricate instrumentation.
“I grew up in California,” he goes on. “My parents were hippies, and I was born in the back of a VW bus on the beach. I was around everybody from Beatniks to gang members to kids who just emigrated from Guatemala or Ethiopia. None of this had anything to do with the popular image of what California is—that idea of palm trees and movie stars. As soon as you’ve got an idea of utopia, it begs a dystopia. It’s an idea of apocalypse right around the corner in a place that’s considered ideal.”
Simultaneously, the title track tempers a distinct guitar bounce with entrancing harmonies, making for a provocative and potent dichotomy.
“You can interact with all of these dope hand devices, but they make you sort of dopey an hour later,” he sighs. “You make music with them. They can save you from a heart attack. They’re little extensions of the things that make us fundamentally human, which is the desire to interact with one another. The machines are all of these things at the same time.”
In the middle of 2014 after moving on from Island Records, Epic Records C.E.O. L.A. Reid reached out and signed them—for the second time.
“L.A. signed us way-back-when at Island,” recalls Mikel. “He literally saw us at Bowery Ballroom in New York, came backstage, and offered us a record deal. The moment we were free, he sent us a deal memo. It’s a pleasure to be working with him again. He’s a big believer, and he brings a lot of energy to this.”
They’ve carried a similar energy through three full-length albums: The Airborne Toxic Event , which spawned the gold-selling single “Sometime Around Midnight”, All At Once , and Such Hot Blood . In addition to reaching gold status, iTunes named “Sometime Around Midnight” the “#1 Alternative Song of the Year”, and it spent a staggering eight weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseakers Chart. HBO utilized it on their high-profile Network Season Promo. The group has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman four times, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno four times, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live! three times. Moreover, they’ve taken the stage at festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza and sold over 50,000 tickets in 2013 alone.
In many ways though, Dope Machines signals something of a rebirth.
“It’s like debuting a new phase,” concludes Mikel. “It was a new approach. We’ve got a new label. We threw out everything we were tired of and moved on to a brand new palette. That was the goal. This isn’t what The Airborne Toxic Event is supposed to be. This is who we are."1. Wrong
2. One Time Thing
3. Dope Machines
5. Time To Be A Man
6. Hell And Back
7. My Childish Bride
8. The Thing About Dreams
9. Something You Lost
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
We Will ReignFounded by New York City natives Delila Paz and Edgey Pires, The Last Internationale quickly forged a reputation for poetic, socially conscious songs and explosive live performances. Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), who is the executive producer of the band’s debut album, noted, “The Last Internationale are one of my favorites in the next wave of rebel rockers. They're raw and real and mix East Village rock sensibilities with Battleship Potemkin firepower.”
Over Thanksgiving dinner at Morello’s home, talk turned to the duo’s need for a drummer. Morello suggested they talk with Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), and got Brad on the phone. After hearing the material and bonding with Paz and Pires, Wilk signed on. The Last Internationale’s debut album - produced by Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Neil Young) - will be released by Epic Records in 2014.1. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood
2. We Will Reign
3. Wanted Man
4. Killing Fields
6. Baby It's You
7. Devil's Dust
8. I'll Be Alright
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Lunatic"I'm Only Joking," the opening cut from Lunatic, the sophomore outing from Arizona-by-way-of-South Africa-based indie rockers Kongos, thunders in on a bedrock of thick, tribal toms and similarly dense, compressed guitar that suggests Muse by way of Konono No.1. It's an aesthetic that weaves its way throughout much of the album, and brothers Dylan, Daniel, Jesse, and Johnny Kongos, the sons of South African singer/songwriter John Kongos (who hit it big in 1971 with the single "He's Gonna Step on You Again"), generate a huge sound for a four-piece. The sleek, circular, and piston-like "Come with Me," with its relentless, accordion-driven Soweto pulse and slick, falsetto-driven modern rock flourishes, sounds like Rammstein riffing off of Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble, while the more refined, yet no less danceable "I Want to Know" dims the lights for a bout of churning, midtempo reggae with electro-pop tentacles. The worldbeat influences are applied relatively seamlessly throughout, though each of the 12 tracks are, at their heart, radio-ready slabs of stylish alt-rock in the vein of Kings of Leon, pre-Kid A-era Radiohead, and even Coldplay. There's a wan, vaguely Everyman lyricism at work here as well, which makes some of the slower numbers a bit of a chore, but when the band lets it rip, as in the case of top-down, desert road jams like "Hey I Don't Know," "It's a Good Life," and the aforementioned "Come with Me," Lunatic earns the shifty weight of its unhinged moniker.LP 1
1. I'm Only Joking
2. Come With Me Now
3. I Want to Know
5. Kids These Days
6. As We Are
1. Sex on the Radio
2. Hey I Don't Know
3. Traveling On
4. Take Me Back
5. It's a Good Life
6. This Time I Won't Forget
$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Alternative rock first emerged in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s, but it didn’t really hit its stride until the 90s with the arrival of bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. That was also right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam fueled the grunge rock explosion.
And when you want the full and real alt rock experience, you’ve gotta try it out on vinyl, and SoundStage Direct is your one-stop shop for all the best alternative rock vinyls.