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Genre > Rock > Alt & Grunge
UZU (Awaiting Repress)YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN release UZU, the highly anticipated followup to their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut, YT//ST. Out in 2013 on Suicide Squeeze Records, UZU exhibits a diverse range of influences, from bands like Sleep and Boris to art and cultural references like classical Japanese drama and the “nihilistic art-punk scene of pre-Giuliani New York City.”
YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN explain the decision to start the album with the aggressive, guitar driven first single, “One”, as a way to pay tribute to the extended group’s indigenous upbringing and lead off with a traditional Iroquois song. The introductory chant is a social song calling people together and is traditionally performed by people of the Mohawk tribe.1. Atalanta
5. Hall of Mirrors
6. Seasickness pt1 7. Seasickness pt2
8. Bring Me The Hand of Bloody Benzaiten
10. Saturn's Return
$16.99Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Suicide Squeeze Records Presents:Forever Singles (Awaiting Repress)Limited Edition Of 1,000 Copies
Pressed On Custom Light Green Vinyl
Like many of the great independent record labels of the ‘90s, Suicide Squeeze started off as a hobby. And like so many other hobby labels, Suicide Squeeze’s ﬁrst ventures were 7" singles. But whereas many upstarts plodded through a series of crudely assembled debut records by short-lived and long-forgotten friends’ bands, the Seattle label hit the ground running with a stream of well-packaged singles by beloved Northwest artists – 764-Hero, Pedro The Lion, Elliott Smith, and Modest Mouse, to name a few. Not surprisingly, the quality of these early releases helped catapult the label into a full-time operation.
Whether a testament to the enduring allure of vinyl or the quality of the artists on the roster, Suicide Squeeze continues to make 7"s. And in this era of renewed interest in vinyl, the label’s limited-run releases sell out quickly. Lucky collectors continue to enjoy the vinyl, and the dedicated fans always have the option to download the mp3s. But what’s the better plan for making these recordings endure for posterity? To add mp3s to the ever-expanding annals of the internet, or to create a new slab of wax capturing the best singles Suicide Squeeze has had to offer in recent years? Not content with limiting the songs to the former, the Seattle indie label is going for the latter, culling some of their ﬁnest tracks for the compilation album Suicide Squeeze Presents: Forever Singles.
The LP captures the rowdy garage rock of The Coathangers and Davilla 666, the scraggly dirt-ridden guitars of JEFF the Brotherhood and Heavy Cream, the nostalgic ‘60s girl-group melodies of Bleached and La Luz, the exuberant power pop of Audacity, King Tuff, Nobunny, and Meat Market, the hazy noir soundtrack of Dirty Beaches, the vitriolic basement-show noise-punk of Nu Sensae, the sinister post-punk of Wax Idols, and the West Texas-bred Twin Reverb rock of The Numerators. Bundled together onto one record, the collection perfectly captures the spirit of Suicide Squeeze in the current decade: rambunctious youthful urgency tempered with a hat tip to rock n’ roll’s gritty unsung heroes of the past.
In keeping with the limited-edition nature of the 7"s, Forever Singles will be released on 1000 hand-numbered colored vinyl. And while the compilation is a vital documentation of the Northwest label’s continuing commitment to bold and brash new artists, it’s also a solid reminder of rock music’s humble beginning on dusty old ‘45s.1. The Coathangers “Merry Go Round”
2. JEFF the Brotherhood “Heavy Days”
3. Bleached “Electric Chair”
4. Meat Market “Too Tired”
5. Heavy Cream “Toasted”
6. Dirty Beaches “Lone Runner”
7. Nü Sensae “Throw”
8. Audacity “Finders Keepers”
9. La Luz “T.V. Dream”
10. Nobunny “La La La La Love You”
11. King Tuff “Wild Desire”
12. Numerators “Dead”
13. Wax Idols “Schadenfreude”
14. Davila 666 “No Crees Que Ya Cansa”
$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
ParasitePressed On Sea Green Vinyl
Limited To 2000 Copies
One-Sided 12” w/ B-Side Etching (No Music)
When The Coathangers first stormed on the scene over a decade ago, their power resided in their ability to craft a crooked hook out of a grimy guitar line, a delightfully crass chorus, or an enticingly ham-fisted drum-and-bass groove. With each successive album, the Atlanta garage punk ensemble has increasingly tempered their brash charm with sharp-witted pop. Not that the band ever fully excised the primal howl of The Gories or the sparse strut of ESG, but with the trio’s latest EP, Parasite, The Coathangers explore the space between their initial unbridled expressionism and their recent nuanced song craft. “I'd like to think the EP takes you on a journey through the band’s existence,” says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel of the sequencing of the five songs on their latest offering.
Parasite kicks off with the title track, a rowdy throwback to a younger, angrier incarnation of the band. Crafted in the wake of the election and during a tumultuous period in the band members’private lives, “Parasite” is pure catharsis. “During the making of our last album, I didn’t want to scream anymore, I just wanted to sing and focus on melody. When we came to this recording, Ijust wanted to scream and curse.” If the EP is meant as a journey through the various stages of the band’s career, it certainly storms out of the gate with the same kind of piss-and-vinegar of their eponymous debut. And while “Wipe Out” is another rowdy venture, with bassist Meredith Franco taking over the lead vocal duties over a steady barrage of pointed power-chords, it also showcases the rousing choruses that elevated the trio from underground heroines to an internationally renowned garage act. Despite the adverse times, The Coathangers’ mastery of pop cannot be contained forever, as is evident in the EP’s single “Captain’s Dead”, with its sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. The journey through The Coathangers’ musical evolution leads to a revamped version of “Down Down” off 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend LP and the smoky twang of “Drifter”, in which drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke demonstrates her knack for solid Dusty Springfield-style ballads.1. Parasite
2. Wipe Out
3. Captain’s Dead
4. Down Down (alt version)
$15.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
VOIDSOn their sixth album VOIDS, Minus the Bear started with a blank slate, and inadvertently found themselves applying the same starting-from-scratch strategies that fueled their initial creative process.
Album opener "Last Kiss" immediately establishes the band's renewed fervor. An appropriately dizzying guitar line plunges into a propulsive groove before the chorus unfolds into a multi-tiered pop chorus. From there the album flows into "Give & Take", a tightly wound exercise in syncopation that recalls the celebratory pulse of early Bear classics like "Fine + 2 Pts" while exploring new textures and timbres. "Invisible" is arguably the catchiest song of the band's career, with Jake Snider's vocal melodies and Knudson's imaginative guitar work battling for the strongest hooks. "What About the Boat?" reminds us of the "math-rock" tag that followed the band in their early years, with understated instrumentation disguising an odd-time beat. "Erase," recalls the merging of forlorn indie pop and electronica that the band dabbled with on their early EPs, but demonstrates the Bear's ongoing melodic sophistication and tonal exploration. By the time the band reaches album closer "Lighthouse," they've traversed so much sonic territory that the only appropriate tactic left at their disposal is a climactic crescendo, driven at its peak by Cory Murchy's thunderous bass.
Not since Planet of Ice's "Lotus" has the Bear achieved such an epic finale. All in all, it’s an album that reminds us of everything that made us fall in love with Minus the Bear in the first place, and a big part of that appeal is the sense that the band is heading into uncharted territories.1. Last Kiss
2. Give & Take
3. Call the Cops
5. What About the Boat?
7. Tame Beasts
9. Robotic Heart
$22.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
This Is What I Know About Being GiganticTo celebrate Minus the Bear's 10th Anniversary, Suicide Squeeze will issue the band's earliest recordings on vinyl. This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic is the debut album from Minus the Bear, originally released on CD in 2001. This vinyl edition is being remastered from the original tapes by the legendary Bernie Grundman, the Hollywood-based legend behind many of the industry's landmark recordings.1. Hey Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked
2. Lemurs, Man, Lemurs
5. Just Kickin' It Like a Wild Donkey
6. Potato Juice & Liquid Bread
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Suck My ShirtSuck My Shirt is the fourth full-length for The Coathangers.
“It’s a balance between overthinking and just going for it,” guitarist Crook Kid (Julia Kugel) says of their songwriting strategy. It’s a duality immediately apparent with the album opener “Follow Me.” It’s a classic Coathangers tune with Stephanie Luke’s raspy vocals belted out over their signature ragged garage-rock. But the chorus opens into one of the most accessible hooks in the band’s canon, just before segueing into the next verse with a squall of violent dissonant guitar. From there the band launches into “Shut Up,” a title that harkens back to the brash sass of their ﬁrst record. The song still has its spikey guitar riffs and shouted chorus, but here The Coathangers sound less like a jubilant version of Huggy Bear and more like the art-pop of late-era Minutemen.
Dedicated Coathangers fans will recognize the re-worked versions of “Merry Go Round,” “Smother,” “Adderall,” and “Derek’s Song” from their run of limited edition split 7"s, and hearing them in the context of the album shows that these tracks weren’t merely isolated examples of the band’s more sophisticated side, but were actually demonstrative of the group’s increasing capacity for nestling solid melodic hooks and rock heft into their repertoire. By the time the band wraps up the album with the humble pop perfection of “Drive,” it’s hard to believe this was the band that garnered their reputation off of raucous bombasts like “Don’t Touch My Shit.”1. Follow Me
2. Shut Up
3. Springﬁeld Cannonball
4. Merry Go Round
5. Love Em and Leave Em
8. Dead Battery
10. Derek's Song
11. I Wait
$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Nosebleed Weekend (Bruisy Colored Vinyl)Limited Edition Of 1,000 Copies On "Bruisy" Colored Vinyl
Nosebleed Weekend kicks off with "Perfume", a song that marries sultry pop vocals with toothy guitar riffs in a manner that would make Ann and Nancy Wilson proud. It's hard to imagine The Coathangers writing a song this accessible in their early years, but in 2016 it fits perfectly into their canon. From there the band launches into "Dumb Baby", which harkens back to the gritty neo-garage rock of Murder City Devils. Longtime fans who still clamor for their brash post-punk angle will be immediately satiated by "Squeeki Tiki". And after hearing the noisy loud-quiet-loud bombast of "Excuse Me?" it's no wonder that Kim Gordon has become an outspoken fan of the band. It's an eclectic album inspired by life on the road, lost loved ones, and Kugel's recent move to Southern California. "We always say that each record is a snapshot of our life at the time," Kugel says. "As far as style... it's just what came out of us at that point." So whether it's the foreboding garage rock of the title track, the post-punk groove of "Burn Me", the stripped-down pop of "I Don't Think So", or the dynamic grunge of "Down Down", The Coathangers command their songs with passion and authority.1. Perfume
2. Dumb Baby
3. Squeeki Tiki
4. Excuse Me?
5. Make It Right
6. Nosebleed Weekend
7. Watch Your Back
8. Burn Me
9. I Don’t Think So
10. Down Down
12. Had Enough
$22.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Oh Man, Cover the GroundLimited Edition Of 1,000 Copies
Pressed On Custom Lake Blue Vinyl
Shana Cleveland is a rare artist who seems dismissive of time. Sheʼs been performing with a rotating batch of musicians tagged as The Sandcastles for years, and yet Oh Man, Cover The Ground is their first proper album. It would be easy to chalk up the delay behind the debut to a slacker lifestyle—Oh Man, Cover The Groundʼs laid-back vibe certainly suggests an extremely casual approach to songcraft. But Cleveland is no slacker. In the years since she first started playing out under her own name, sheʼs helmed a number of other music projects; most notably her revered Girls In The Garage-inspired band La Luz. In her downtime, sheʼs crafted a set of 37 trading cards dedicated to obscure acoustic guitarists and a calendar of drawings depicting rock bands of yesteryear. The glacial pace of Oh Man, Cover The Groundʼs development has little to do with work ethic and everything to do with doing things in a way that feels right. “I don't really think of it as a proper band,” says Cleveland. “The line-up has been different for almost every show depending on which arrangements I thought would be best for the atmosphere. Some shows I played alone; some with bass, clarinet, and backing vocals; some with the addition of drums, cello and piano. We've played shows really selectively throughout the last few years—just sticking to shows that I thought sounded really interesting. Like, I'd rather play these songs for people in their bedrooms or in a field at night than on a three band bill at a bar.” In an industry fixated on striking while the iron is hot, getting an artist in front of as many people in as short of a time as possible, Clevelandʼs insistence on atmosphere over arbitrary numbers is a bold move.
Oh Man, Cover The Groundʼs softly-stated melodies and breezy air operates on itʼs own sense of time. Though the songs still settle comfortably into three-minute parcels, their gestation bucked at the convention of pop musicʼs stringent time format. “I'm really into meandering, fingerpicked open-tuned acoustic guitar, like John Fahey and Robbie Basho,” says Cleveland. “I started playing guitar in that style during a year right before I moved to Seattle when I was lonely and bummed out in the San Fernando Valley and found solace in spending long afternoons fingerpicking slow moving improvisations.” This casualness is evident in the music—you can hear it in the airy ambience of album opener “Butter & Eggs”, the gentle piano and strings accompaniment on the title track, the particularly Fahey-esque explorations of “Itching Around” and “SPATM”. But even the timeline of the albumʼs development seems to defy the ephemeral haste that permeates so much contemporary music. The bulk of Oh Man, Cover The Ground was recorded in Shanaʼs basement. “I wanted it to sound casual and kind of loose like my favorite folk albums, so we didn't practice much before recording and a few of the musicians were playing the songs for the first time.”1. Butter & Eggs
2. Holy Rollers
3. Oh Man, Cover The Ground
4. Itching Around
5. Potato Chips
6. Golden Days
7. (death riff)
9. Rounding The Block
10. City To City
11. Sucking Stones
12. Quiet As Skin
13. Change In The Ocean
$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
How I Learned To Write BackwardsAvailable On Vinyl Again For The First Time In Over A Decade
The Aislers Set occupy an enviable place in the pop pantheon. Brimming with drunken romanticism, sharp pop sensibilities, and timeless melodies, The Aislers Set reveled in the history of great pop, spiking their classicist 60s-tinged tunes with pure post-punk energy and originality of bands like the Fire Engines and The June Brides. Every song is a meticulously constructed sound world, where the arrangement and instrumentation sublimely and uncannily bring each tune to completeness.
Edgy and baroque, the band’s final release "How I Learned To Write Backwards" expertly wound together countless strands of pop history with personality and atmosphere. Using the past as inspiration rather than blueprint, the echoes you might hear of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound or Laura Nyro's soulful lyricism are so well-integrated into The Aislers' sound that they're more akin to the spice in the stew rather than the stock of the soup.
Although they stopped playing and recording together by 2004 due to life commitments, their reputation has only grown; sporadic reunion shows and mini-tours have been met with rapturous response. Alas, Suicide Squeeze is proud to present the 2014 reissue of the seminal album “How I Learned To Write Backwards” remastered and resequenced by John Greenham at Infrasonic Sound in Los Angeles, and on vinyl LP again for the first time in over a decade. The band will play a select set of shows this fall, and Suicide Squeeze and Slumberland Records will be teaming up to co-release a new album of singles and rarities to be released in early 2015.1. Catherine Says
2. Emotional Levy
3. Languor in the Balcony
4. Mission Bells
5. Melody Not Malaise
6. The Train
7. Attraction Action Reaction
8. The Train #2
9. Through the Swells
10. Unfinished Paintings
11. Sara's Song
$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Another LanguageSince 2004, This Will Destroy You has been forging some of the world's most brutal, dynamic, and precariously visceral instrumental rock. In addition to a vigorous tour schedule, their celebrated discography and critically renowned soundtrack work for feature films and documentaries have earned them a sizable and fervent international following. Another Language, TWDY's fourth full length LP, marks their euphonious return from a prolonged vacuous dark period that threatened to break both the band and the members themselves. Rather than be stifled by their experience TWDY were atomized and subsequently made anew, emerging with a revived energy and reinforced sense of solidarity. As a result, Another Language captures the band at its most potent, honed, and utterly powerful form yet, displaying an edified unity and graduated sense of song-writing, tonal complexity, and studio prowess.1. New Topia
3. Serpent Mound
4. War Prayer
5. The Puritan
6. Mother Opiate
8. Memory Loss
9. God's Teeth
$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
SundowningNu Sensae has taken big risks with even bigger payoffs on this release!
Refusing to repeat themselves, however, Lukic and Pitout are proving just how unpredictable they can be, they abandoned their status as a duo, a favorite angle of both the media and fans, and recruited Vancouver noise rock great Brody McKnight as a full-time member. Previously working with the now-legendary group Mutators, McKnight has added another dimension of heaviness to the band’s already mind-melting sludge attack.
They’ve also embraced diversity in other ways, allowing more loud-quiet dynamics into their songwriting. From the creeping dirge of “Tea Swamp Park” to the vast expanse of “Say What You Are,” the quiet sections offer brief moments of uneasy solace between the full out attack of songs like “100 Shades,” “Tyjna” and “Eat Your Mind.”
Elsewhere, subtle but defined melodies surface amidst the fuzz of tracks like “Burnt Masks” and “Dust.” Don’t be mistaken, though: Sundowning is designed to bludgeon with the raw aggression that can only come from the best elements of noise, punk and grunge.1. First Born
3. 100 Shades
4. Burnt Masks
6. Tea Swamp Park
7. Whispering Rule
8. Spit Gifting
10. Orange Roses
11. Curdle The Cream
12. First Born (Reprise)
13. Say What You Are
14. Eat Your Mind
$16.99Vinyl LP - 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.