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Always AscendingA triumphant recasting, Franz Ferdinand's Always Ascending is as exuberant as it is euphoric, bursting with fresh ideas born of what Alex Kapranos calls "aggressive sonic experimentation." With the help of producer Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, Beastie Boys), Kapranos and co. took a knife to their old canvas, producing an album that is so foreign in its familiarity it could only be current. A sound the singer refers to as "simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic." These are the louche tales of the Parisian night, the exhilaration of an Italian car racing down the autobahn; a feeling of euphoria so pure it could only exist on a knife's edge. As such, best to press play expecting nothing more than a good time. "I hope that when you listen to it you feel exhilarated," Kapranos says, "Until you fully absorb the lyrics."1. Always Ascending
2. Lazy Boy
3. Paper Cages
5. The Academy Award
6. Lois Lane
7. Huck and Jim
8. Glimpse of Love
9. Feel the Love Go
10. Slow Don't Kill Me Slow$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Moscow Penny AnteWhile the direction of Dead To Me's career has always been on an ascending trajectory, their path has never been confined to a straight line. Multiple lineup changes have brought varied influences in song writing from album to album and have always afforded Dead To Me with an organic method of exploring and expressing diversity in their songs. After the acclaimed release of their last full-length, African Elephants, the band witnessed a changing of the guard with the retirement of guitarist Nathan and the addition of Sam Johnsons (New Mexican Disasater Squad, No Friends, Virgins) on guitar and vocals and Ken Yamazaki (Western Addiction, Enemy You) on second guitar. Upon the inclusion of the new members, the quartet headed out on a full year of touring, cementing the most cohesive and committed incarnation of the band to date.
This chemistry manifested itself distinctively in the recording of Dead To Me's latest full-length, Moscow Penny Ante. With more up-tempo and straight forward songs than their last album, Moscow Penny Ante revisits and updates the classic sound that first caught everyone's attention on 2006's Cuban Ballerina. The tracks are crafted with multiple layers throughout, noting a marked increase in adroit guitar leads, melodic vocal interplay from singer to singer, and even playful percussive elements that were not present on past releases. It's the manner in which these intricate layers are melded so seamlessly that makes the music so accessible and immediately gratifying.1. Undertow
2. Reckless Behavior
3. The Evolution Will Be Tel Visualized
4. The Hand With Inherited Rings
5. No Lullabies
6. The Trials of Oscar Wilde
7. The Monarch Hotel
8. Never Relief
9. I Love My Problems
10. Dead Pigeon Tricks
11. Victims of No Ambition$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Good Times AheadAfter years of cultivating songs, mixes and remixes, and overall vibes for festivals and tours, Matt Toth and Julio Mejia - better known as GTA (short for GOOD TIMES AHEAD) - will release their full length debut Good Times Ahead via Warner Brothers.
Featuring Tinashe, Vince Staples, Tungi Ige, Iamsu, Wax Motif, What So Not and more, the long-waited debut is a testament to their multiple influences and highlights their eclectic production ear.
For the last few years we've been feeling like things have been getting repetitive. We've always had goals of ascending beyond the festival bangers we're known for, so around a year ago we set out to create a body of work that reflected our depth and growth as producers, they explained to The FADER.
We've always had bigger aspirations than just the dance space which came hand in hand with our 'Death To Genres' mentality. To us, music was more about what made you move rather than what type of music was playing. With this album we're able to explore all facets of music that we love, flip the script and bring everything together into one fluid album that we're really proud of.1. True Romance (feat. Jarina De Marco)
2. Lil Bit of This (feat. Vince Staples)
3. Feel It (with What So Not) [feat. Tunji Ige]
5. Get It All (with Wax Motif)
6. All Caught Up (feat. Tinashe)
7. In My Nature (feat. Karina)
8. Pressure (feat. RKCB)
9. Contract (feat. Iamsu!)
10. Illuminate$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Symmetry In BlackFirst time available on vinyl - Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Crowbar with the release of Symmetry in Black
In a genre as prone to flights of fancy as heavy metal, Crowbar have always felt like a grounding presence, anchored to reality with their seemingly impossible heaviness. Keeping up their good works, the New Orleans sludge metal masters return with their tenth album, Symmetry in Black, an exercise in consistency that proves the band is still up to the task after 25 years of brooding sonic devastation. The album finds the band shifting gears from the pummeling assault of 2011's excellent Sever the Wicked Hand to something slower (though with Crowbar that's a fairly relative term).
Some things haven't changed, however, namely the powerful playing and singing of Kirk Windstein, whose anguished bellows and penchant for lumbering riffs continue to act as Crowbar's bellwether. While this consistency has been key to their longevity, what really makes Crowbar special is their relatability. When other bands are off telling tales of demons and black rituals, Windstein and company take on earthly woes like addiction and fearing our own mortality. Despite their delivery over a brooding, glacially paced riff, lines like Reject the thought of losing what is mine/Ascend above your own demise, from Reflection of Deceit, feel like they're meant to empower listeners rather than bring them down. Symmetry in Black is an album that shows us we don't have to waste our time fighting imaginary enemies, because the real world is plenty full of darkness that, much like Crowbar themselves, is always there.1. Walk with Knowledge Wisely
2. Symmetry in White
3. The Taste of Dying
4. Reflection of Deceit
5. Ageless Decay
7. The Foreboding
8. Shaman of Belief
9. Teach the Blind to See
10. A Wealth of Empathy
11. Symbolic Suicide
12. The Piety of Self-Loathing$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Refractory ObdurateWovenhand is a band led by dedicated life-musician and lyricist, David Eugene Edwards. Over the last two decades, his prolific work in both Wovenhand and the legendary 16 Horsepower has influenced and inspired a generation of musicians throughout the expansive alternative music world.
Wovenhand cannot be described in traditional terms. Their sound is an organic, weavework of neo-folk, post rock, punk, old-time, and alternative sounds. All coming together as a vehicle for David's soulful expression and constant spiritual self exploration. Sometimes sad and sorrowed and at other times uplifting, Wovenhand are always unforgettable in spirit and sound.
Refractory Obdurate is the latest album from Wovenhand. Joining David on this album are longtime percussionist Ordy Garrison, along with musicians Chuck French and Neil Keener (Planes Mistaken For Stars, Git Some).
Refractory Obdurate is a moving masterwork that shows Wovenhand exploring louder roots hinted at on prior albums. As they maintain their melodious course, Good Shepherd, Field of Hedon, and Hiss, stomp forth with a newly amplified punk rock heart. While The Refractory, Salome, and Obdurate Obscura each ascend epically into a multi-layered haze. Ten songs in all, Refractory Obdurate plays as a beautifully crafted patchwork that transcends genres and expectation; a true artistic achievement, that only Wovenhand could offer.1. Corsicana Clip
2. Masonic Youth
3. The Refractory
4. Good Shepherd
6. King David
7. Field of Hedon
8. Obdurate Obscura
10. El-bow$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Off The Beaten Path (Deluxe)Justin Moore s always had a thing about doing it his way. Call it stubborn redneck mettle, a well-developed case of who I am or just the fierce commitment to blaze a trail inherent to people from his home of Poyen, Arkansas. It doesn t mat ter why, just that the blazing sense of off the beaten path drives his album of the same name.
There s a strong vein of tenderness and decency holding Moore s kind of country together. Look no further than Rhett Atkins/Ben Hayslip/Ross Copperman-written Point At You, the lead single, that acknowledges every wild hair Moore has, but hits the bottom line of his goodness via the woman who became his bride.
Get loud, get rowdy, but get home and emerge solid family men dedicated to some basic ideals that have defined this country. One need look no further than The Warren Brothers/Lance Miller/Austin Cunningham-penned opener Old Back In The New School to understand Moore is all about the things that last, the wild times and the enduring values making for a way of life worth living.
It s that kind of edge that draws a singer like Miranda Lambert to duet on the somber heartbreaker Old Habits. A little bit rowdy, a little bit sentimental, a whole lotta roughneck, Moore has dented the country radio charts with three #1s in the anything but big city Small Town USA, the sentimental family embracing If Heaven Weren t So Far Away and the fidelity pledge Til My Last Day, in addition to the Top 10 mission declaration Backwoods.
But the hits don t really tell the whole story. This is the man whose first single a digital only release was I Could Kick Your Ass, who flexed his sense of humor with the new guy mocking Bait A Hook and unapologetically throw down How I Got To Be This Way. And long before booty country became a touchstone, Moore dropped the swaggering Back That Thing Up.
Indeed, Booty Country is full force on OFF THE BEATEN PATH. He has the Kim Kardashian and J-Lo invoking I d Want It To Be Yours co-written with Stover and Brandon Kinney and the slip into the night guitar grinder Off The Beaten Path that slithers through the Patron and the moonlight.Good ole boys doing what they re good at. Moore has built a career eschewing the path most taken, building a fanbase of people just like him.
Take a certain amount of swagger, add some hard-rocking guitars and add Country Radio, a howler that celebrates the ultimate lube for escaping the boredom and expectations. There s the same kind of bulked up, bearing down picture of pride of Lettin the Night Roll, pure freedom and the will to be alive.
Two strong hands, a back that can shoulder anything, this is working man s post-modern American and that respect is what binds him to his woman in That s How I Know You Love Me. Ultimately, she refuses to make him change, and takes what s there for what it is, loving him for all its busted glory.
To believe in values that last, to embrace what is enough and know it s more than plenty, that is the greatest truth for a man like Moore, who sees no reason to leave the place he grew up. Beyond the hits, the gold-certified albums and the momentum of a career hitting its stride, OFF THE BEATEN PATH is a collection of classic postcards that make up the ascending This Kind of Town and the driving chugger One Dirt Road.
You don t have to take it from Moore, though. No less than the great Charlie Daniels, a man who s hung tough for hardcore old school values is featured on For Some Ol Redneck Reason, a pledge of allegiance to living true to principles and never giving into convention. This is one of the truest event moments as Moore dials it back, unfurling the map of his heart and soul.1. Old Back In The New School
3. Lettin' The Night Roll
4. Old Habits
5. Point At You
7. I'd Want It To Be Yours
8. This Kind Of Town
9. Dirt Road Kid
10. Country Radio
11. That's How I Know You Love Me
12. One Dirt Road
13. Off The Beaten Path
14. Field Fulla Hillbillies
15. Big Ass Headache
16. For Some Ol' Redneck Reason$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Steep FormationsStarted by Kid Millions and Bobby Matador of Oneida, People of the North is another voice emanating from that inscrutable Brooklyn collective. The group has always included Kid and Bobby, and usually other members of Oneida as well. In 2010, People of the North released its first full-length album, titled Deep Tissue. This recording was hailed by cognoscenti of contemporary psychedelia as an essential component of the recent Oneida canon.
Steep Formations, a double LP consisting of two long-form pieces, was recorded at the Ocropolis in 2010 and 2011, with the participation of Shahin Motia and Barry London of Oneida. Here, the drumming of Kid Millions has ascended to a profound and utterly unique level: muscular African-derived fluidity and relentless motorik drive have been alchemized into an indescribable brew that surges and pounds among the distorted tides of Border Waves; and the stony, brutal glaze of the title track displays a far more severe commitment to minimalism and noise than prior work offered.
While much that has been written about People of the North before remains relevant here, newly apt touchstones and contextual clues might include Kevin Drumm, Giusto Pio, Terry Riley, Tony Williams, Conrad Schnitzler, Throbbing Gristle, Pelt.1. Border Waves (pts 1 & 2)
2. Steep Formations (pts 1 & 2)$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
How Did We Get So Dark?After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood's eagerly anticipated second album 'How Did We Get So Dark?' will be released on Warner Bros. Records.
Royal Blood's breakthrough was huge. Their debut album was the fastest-selling British rock debut in three years, hitting #1 in the UK, debuting in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 Chart in the U.S. and going Top 20 in 12 countries. Before they knew it, they were performing for Howard Stern, touring with Foo Fighters, holding dressing room audiences with Jimmy Page in New York, and being presented with a BRIT for Best British Band in 2015 by the very same guitar god. Their ascendency was further underlined with major awards courtesy of Kerrang!, NME and Q.
The ten tracks that are featured on 'How Did We Get So Dark?' were written in instrumental form during sessions in Brighton, Los Angeles, and Nashville. Always trying to explore ways of stripping their enormous sound back to give it more space and impact, the 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.
The album's first single 'Lights Out' ups the ante from their debut with a wrecking ball of a groove cemented by Thatcher's thunderous rhythms, while Kerr wrangles the twisted invention of his bass riffs to a whole new level. Their patented two-man artillery of carefully constructed melodic aggression is prevalent throughout, especially in 'I Only Lie When I Love You,' which is a compelling cowbell-assisted reminder of the power of a stop-start riff and a strident chorus. There are times when Royal Blood are more visceral than ever - notably the gargantuan introduction to 'Hook, Line and Sinker'and also the intense denouement that brings 'Look Like You Know' to a close.
While the album finds Royal Blood refining their melodic might, there are other moments that fulfill 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 mesmerizing effect, while 'Where Are You Now?' pulsates with a bounding energy that's quite a step apart from anything else in their catalog. The Royal Blood palette is also expanded with the inclusion of harmony vocals - something that they didn't use on their debut.1. How Did We Get So Dark?
2. Lights Out
3. I Only Lie When I Love You
4. She's Creeping
5. Look Like You Know
6. Where Are You Now?
7. Don't Tell
8. Hook, Line and Sinker
9. Hole In Your Heart
10. Sleep$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Satanist (Awaiting Repress)
Exclusive Bonus Track
Double Gatefold Jacket
24-Page LP Sized Book
"The Satanist is magic. It's dangerous. It's adventurous, and it's organic," states Nergal, the driving force behind Behemoth since their inception in 1991, and brief exposure to the band's tenth album more than supports this statement. While instantly recognizable as the work of the Polish blackened death quartet it takes their sound in previously unimagined and riveting directions. A writhing, densely layered, brutally violent and sinister record, it is quite unlike anything ever unleashed within the canon of heavy music. As such it demands attention, offering ever greater sonic and emotional depths with every listen. "You may hear the title and think it's very primitive and one-dimensional, and yes it is, but when you look beyond that it's as primitive as it is complex and multidimensional, and that applies to everything about the record."
It has been a rocky road leading to the realization of the album. Having dropped 2009s Evangelion to almost universal critical acclaim they saw it top the chart in their native country and dramatically expand their following around the world, and playing some of the best shows of their lives the band seemed truly unstoppable. But, in August 2010 Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia, stopping them in their tracks. Forced to abandon their ongoing tour in support of Evangelion Nergal was hospitalized, and both he and Behemoth faced an uncertain future. With the search for a bone marrow donor ultimately successful Nergal underwent a transplant, leaving the hospital after six months and beginning down the long road to rehabilitation. "I knew I was pretty much fucked and there was a battle to be won, and I had no fucking idea if it was going to take six months or twelve months or maybe four years, because with cancer you never know. I learned from being in the hospital that there are things in life that you can control and things that you can't control. The sooner you realize which is which it's going to make your life so much easier, and since then I started to focus on the right things. I could be determined, I could have discipline, I could have faith, but everything else is not under my control, and it really was a case of just crossing fingers for the best possible outcome. I was fortunate enough that that recovery period was relatively fast, and that I was really strong and very determined to get back into shape made a real difference."
Rather than immediately getting down to working on a new album, the band - also comprised of drummer Inferno, bassist Orion, and guitarist Seth - set out to complete the abandoned touring cycle for Evangelion, hitting the road for the aptly titled Phoenix Rising Tour. Wanting to prove they were stronger than ever the first show was the only time doubts crept into Nergal's mind. "I was a fucking wreck, and I almost didn't make it to the end of the set. The venue was really smoky, and that was stuffing my nose and my lungs, and physically I felt that I couldn't pull it off. I did, but I was close to passing out on stage. I was literally shocked by this, I remember thinking while we were playing shit, what if I can't do this anymore? I'm just a human being after all. Going into the next show I had no sleep because of all the nerves and anxiety, but it was fucking amazing. With every following show I would get stronger and stronger and grow more confident, and aware of the fact that yes, we will do this."
Having returned to full force the band were ready to once more move forward, and they began work on what would become The Satanist. While many bands might be concerned with how to follow up a record as devastatingly powerful - and successful - as Evangelion Nergal faced no such doubts. "I don't race myself, and I don't need to prove anything to anyone. Evangelion was a very important record to us, and yes, it was very successful too, but in making The Satanist it wasn't a point of beating that. The point was to do what was organic, and make a natural and honest and sincere album, and that's it. Now the record is finished I like to think of it as an album that is just so different that you can't really compare it to our previous works, which is the best outcome I could hope for." One thing is inarguable, and that is the record is the most sonically rich and complex released under the Behemoth name. With layer upon layer of sound it has great sonic density, but there is intricacy to this, and nothing is forced or contrived. "I don't have a kid but I think the process of raising one is comparable: you invest a lot of your energy and effort and wisdom and money and you educate them, but there's never a one hundred percent guarantee he's going to become a lawyer and not a serial killer. It's the same story with the records - we supply the elements but we just don't know how these elements mixed together are going to come out, and I think it's fortunate that we don't have one hundred percent control over it! It makes for something special."
The title of the record itself is undeniable in its power, and Nergal sees it as capturing the primal wisdom that the band have always tried to maintain. "To me it's not pretentious at all. It's very straight up, very sincere, and a devastating, conquering statement. There's no compromise or bullshit or gimmicks. What I love about it is that it just speaks for itself. On one hand it's a very black and white title: The Satanist is like a fucking nail through the hand of Jesus Christ, period. No more, no less. But then again, as with everything else you put a hundred people together and ask them what the name The Satanist means to them and you're going to hear a hundred different opinions, which they can then discuss and fight over." Likewise, Nergal views the lyrical content of the record as similarly open to interpretation, encouraging this. "There's a lot of symbolism and reflections and impressions in there, and it's using millions of metaphors to express a certain very sinister and very captivating atmosphere, but there are no answers. People always like to have a deeper insight into what we do, but that's not what we want to give with this record. The way I see it is that between us we can make a huge fucking pyre and set the world on fire, but what we're doing is just giving you the matches, giving you the spark, what you want to do with it is up to you. Personally, if I sat down with the lyrics in front of me I too would probably come up with a lot of different interpretations and concepts, it's a never ending process, and that's exciting to me."
Twenty-three years and ten albums into their career, that Behemoth is still in the ascendant is a statement to their commitment, determination and capacity for writing such powerful music. If ever a band was to go out on a high The Satanist would make for one hell of a swan song, but don't expect them to disappear any time soon. "I remember before we we had a record deal I was having a conversation with Baal, the band's original drummer, and we said okay, if one day we manage to record an album and put it out how cool would it be to split up right after that? It would be one record and no more, and there was something about that that had an appeal, but y'know what, it doesn't work like that for individuals like myself. Hunger has always driven me through life, and I can never sit in one place and relax for too long because I have the need to explore this whole universe in every possible way. Now, over two decades later it's the same story. I can tell you I have no problems with finishing my career after this record. Just say the title itself: The Satanist. How the fuck am I gonna beat that title? It sounds like the ultimate definition of our art - but then again, I remember that conversation with Baal, and I know it doesn't work like that, so I know there will probably be other incarnations of our artistic identity, one way or another. All I know is I love being here and now, and I just want to underline that I couldn't be more proud and happy with my own music. It really drives me through the day, and now I just want to sit back and hear any and all opinions of it."1. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
2. Furor Divinus
3. Messe Noire
4. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
6. The Satanist
7. Ben Sahar
8. In the Absence ov Light
9. O Father O Satan O Sun!$44.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal SonDamien is out of his goddamn mind.
This isn't a recent development, but it's an important aspect of his work that often goes ignored. In place of
this key element is the idea that his music is a sober and in-depth excavation of the American landscape and
rural psyche. Well, folks,I'm sorry, but it's not.
Damien Jurado is every character in every Damien Jurado song. He is the gun,the purple anteater,the paper
wings, the avalanche, the airshow disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend's wife. It is a universe unto its
own,with it's own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy. You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your
religion is a character in his religion.
Level with me. You're reading this because of Damien Jurado's new album,Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal
Son (produced by Richard Swift). You are a progressive minded, left-leaning person who in parlor-style
conversation regarding the globo-political ramifications of Sky Person relationships laughs knowingly so as
not to be judgmental and very reasonably concedes "Well, I don't believe He's some old man with a beard
sitting up in the clouds" at which point everyone agrees on [insert benign middle-ground] and moves on.
Consider this:What if the only way to understand a religion is to create your own?
Who is this Silver community? Where the hell are they in the Bible? Is this heresy? Agnostic reference? Isn't
this sun business a little, I don't know, animistic? Pagan? Go ahead and answer that question for yourself. I'll
give you a second.
Do you understand the music any better?
You know that adage we all use so we have something to say while we shrug our shoulders? "People change"?
That one. Is that applicable to Jesus Christ? Maybe he's been on a personal journey of discovery since he
ascended. He went through the 60's, 70's,he turned on,tuned out, got disillusioned. Why can't we talk about
that Jesus? Does it have to be the old-timey one all the time? American folk Jesus,ugh. The one who's always
winning Best Soundtrack Oscars for people. Rarely do stories of faith make us identify with Jesus. It's
Abraham, Satan, Silver Timothy, Salome, Dr.J, Saul of Tarsus; divinely imperfect brothers and sisters who give
Gawd something to do.
Damien Jurado made up his own Jesus because a Damien Jurado album needs a beautiful Jesus. Some freaky
space Jesus that I don't recognize. The name is the same, a lot of the imagery is the same, but he's reborn.
Born again,I mean. Yeah, as if Jesus got born again. That's what this album sounds like.
Jesus is out of his goddamn mind and I want to live in Damien's America.
Sign me up.
--- Father John Misty; 09-20-20131. Magic Number
2. Silver Timothy
3. Return To Maraqopa
4. Metallic Cloud
5. Jericho Road
6. Silver Donna
7. Silver Malcolm
8. Silver Katherine
9. Silver Joy
10. Suns In Our Mind$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now