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Big Wheel And OthersBig Wheel and Others is Cass McCombs' seventh-and-a-half album and the follow-up to 2011's pair of
releases WIT'S END and HUMOR RISK.
This behemoth comprises twenty-two songs (or, as they are more often and unfortunately known in the
After Compact Disc-hereafter "ACD" era-tracks). But "double album" is a loaded phrase, right? It implies bloat, prog, and concept. So, let's stick with "songs." Big Wheel and Others is a bundle, a bindle,
a hay bale, and an oil barrel of songs. Some of the genres that are to be found in varying degrees in the songs on this album are: Road songs, rock songs, folk songs, blues songs, country songs, rhythm and
blues songs, skronk non-songs, cinema songs, cult songs, poem songs, jams, and ballads.
It's brimming with Cass's singular gift for evocative storytelling, discerning introspection, and heartrending melody delivered through a haze of mystery and romance - and is his most encompassing
work to date, a bold new chapter in the myth of this fascinating and singular artist.1. Sean I
2. Big Wheel
3. Angel Blood
4. Morning Star
5. The Burning Of The Temple, 2012
7. The Can Be Only One
8. Name Written in Water
9. Joe Murder
10. Everything Has To Be Just-So
11. It Means A Lot To Know You Care
13. Sooner Cheat Death Than Fool Love
14. Satan Is My Toy...
15. Sean II
16. Home On The Range
17. Brighter! (feat. Karen Black)
18. Untitled Spain Song
19. Sean III
20. Honesty Is No Excuse
21. Aeon Of Aqu$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Wit's EndCalifornia singer/songwriter Cass McCombs is set to release Wit's End, his fifth-and-a-half album and his third for Domino. The album is the result of two years of recording in various homes and studios in California, New York, New Jersey and Chicago. Wit's End was produced by Cass with Ariel Rechtshaid reuniting the duo that also created his previous album Catacombs.1. County Line
2. The Lonely Doll
3. Buried Alive
4. Saturday Song
5. Memorys Stain
6. Hermits Cave
7. Pleasant Shadow Song
8. A Knock Upon The Door$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mangy LoveEarlier this year, Cass McCombs released Skifflin', a collaborative album with the Skiffle Players and the follow-up to December's rarities compilation, A Folk Set Apart. Now, just months later, he's back with another full-length titled Mangy Love.
-Michelle Geslani, Consequence Of Sound1. Bum Bum Bum
2. Rancid Girl
3. Laughter Is The Best Medicine
4. Opposite House
5. Medusa's Outhouse
6. Low Flyin' Bird
8. Run Sister Run
9. In A Chinese Alley
12. I'm A Shoe$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Get BackIt's doubtful that Stephen McBean set out to make The Great Rock 'N' Roll Primer when he started conjuring the
songs that would come to be Pink Mountaintops' Get Back.
The record's beginnings were reasonably straightforward: McBean had moved to Los Angeles, taken a long hiatus
from Black Mountain and an even longer one from Pink Mountaintops when he met producer Joe Cardamone, lead
singer of Icarus Line at Valley Recording Company in Burbank,CA.The two bonded quickly over Flying Nun bands,
Television Personalities, Roxy Music, Johnny Thunders, and Born Against. Joe was excited to meet someone he
actually liked. Stephen was excited to work with someone who said Sing it like you would've sung it when you were
21. Simple enough,right?
But ask him to set the scene and you'll hear about a motorcycle shop owned by Michael Barragan, former member
of Los Angeles noise rock band Plexi. You'll hear about an endless supply of rock 'n' roll video documentation for
last minute inspiration or de-evolution in the living room.Ask who's on the record and you'll get a constellation of
greats:J Mascis(DinosaurJr &Witch),Rob Barbato (Darker My Love,The Fall & Cass McCombs), Steve Kille (Dead
Meadow), Daniel Allaire (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cass McCombs & Darker My Love), Annie Hardy (Giant
Drag), Jon Wahl(Clawhammer), and Gregg Foreman (Cat Power & Delta 72).Randal Dunn (Sunn O))),Earth, Sun
City Girls, Boris) mixed Get Back at Avast! Studios (Bikini Kill, Mudhoney, Christ On A Crutch, Soundgarden) in
Seattle. Howie Weinburg (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Danzig, Ramones, Slayer) mastered it in Laurel Canyon.
Ask about the record itself and McBean will tell you about Alleys, curbs, walls, and cigarette stained gig flyers.An
island on the Pacific coast. Fake British towns. Slayer posters.The beauty of youth.It's about listening to Driver's Seat
and 'Guns of Brixton' and hotboxing The Duster. And suddenly it becomes clear: when the aliens do touch down
and they don't know rock 'n'roll, you can play them Get Back start to finish, and that'll be all they need.
Get Back comes out swinging with Ambulance City, a head-trip of a song with a chugging, insistent, oddly timeless
guitar riff sitting front and center.The Second Summer of Love needs almost no explanation; it dives into 80s VHS
saturation and never comes up for air. Sell Your Soul is a deep sigh and a motorcycle ride, a roll in the grass
lamenting summertime blues with a little grit and a little harmony. And North Hollywood Microwaves is
downright obscene. But what better way to start Side B than this? You can listen at hushed volumes so your parents
don't hear, you can crank it in a dorm room, you can smirk to yourself from the safety of rock 'n'roll's old age.You
start to wonder- why don't all Side Bs start with a song like this one
The number of platitudes in music hit critical mass years ago, and among those tropes is that annoying, inescapable
mantra:rock 'n'roll is undefinable.And yeah,sure, that's true. It's different things to different people. It starts with
guitars, maybe, and ends with a stage-dive, or spit, or feedback. Rock 'n'roll is drugs, is rebellion, is youth, is sex, is
cosmic. It's wanting more than you have.Rock 'n'roll is butts and cigarette butts.And Pink Mountaintops might not
be the best-known band ever to make rock 'n' roll, but in Get Back they just might have written its scripture -- an
exploration and celebration of what, exactly,rock 'n'roll can be.1. Ambulance City
2. The Second Summer of Love
3. Through All The Worry
5. Sell Your Soul
6. North Hollywood Microwaves
8. New Teenage Mutilation
10. The Last Dance$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Folk Set ApartCass McCombs' new anthology, A Folk Set Apart, is subtitled "Rarities, B-Sides & Space
Junk, Etc." which is, on the surface, true but it's so much more than that. It's an alternate
retelling of the last decade and a half of an enigmatic career built on immaculate
songwriting but short on "breakthrough success." While it contains none of McCombs'
better known songs from his seven full-lengths, he would have you believe this is his favorite
The compilation starts off with the very first song to be released by McCombs, "I Cannot
Lie" and, as is the case with many of McCombs gems, is told in the first person. Often, the
temptation is to assume the autobiographical with McCombs and long-time fans surely have
formed some mental picture of the elusive musician, but to do so would be to proceed at
your own risk. McCombs knows his mythology is littered with misdirects, rumors and half
truths and quite frankly none of our business.
And McCombs is right, actually. In spite of its compilation status, nineteen tracks in all . This very well
may be the most compelling album he's released, not because the original albums are
lacking in their own charms, but there is something fascinating in the sprawl: chugging lo-fi,
downtrodden gems, rambling rave-ups, political anthems, lysergic outtakes, wistful laments
and an appropriate bookend on our own decade-long professional relationship with one of
the greatest songwriters of the 21st Century. Fare thee well, Cass.1. I Cannot Lie
5. Minimum Wage
6. Poet's Day (Alt Version)
7. An Other
8. Bradley Manning
9. Evangeline (Alt Version)
10. Empty Promises
11. If You Loved Me Before . . .
12. Three Men Sitting On A Hollow Log
13. Lost River/Old River
14. Old As Angry
16. Night Of The World
17. Traffic Of Souls
18. Catacombs Cow Cow Boogie
19. The State Will Take Care Of Me$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Life DollarsBig Search is the ever-present alter ego of Matt Popieluch as he continues to make his way through Californian life, channeling the cross-currents of romance, upheaval, and casual adventure.
After over a decade of making music in various bands like Foreign Born and The Cave-Ins, and assisting in bands Papercuts, Fools Gold, Glasser, Cass McCombs, Taken By Trees and Sky Ferreira, Big Search has been steadily uncovering the music being revealed to him in flow-states. After two albums and a number of singles, Please Do Not Explain was included on the first compilation from Danger Mouse's new imprint 30th Century Records and the label will now be releasing the full album Life Dollars.
*Life Dollars are accrued by attending matinees and barbecues, taking stoned naps, water sports, romantic escape and all the other things you think you haven't earned. In opposition to the monetizing of self worth, Life Dollars can not be measured by numbers, only vague piles.1. Please Do Not Explain
2. Distant Shore
3. Can't Understand The News
4. Dream of Returning
5. The Only One
6. Don't Change My Eyes
7. Anna, Don't Go
8. I Feel Good
9. Warm Machine
10. Look My Way$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CatacombsCatacombs is Cass McCombs' 4th album and his 2nd for Domino. This album is another stride in his evolution as a great American singer/songwriter. Though the album wouldn't be described as stripped down, its sound evokes a return to his early, simpler sounding, works A and PREfection. It is full of storied songs flush with emotional relevance and accessibility. Each track on Catacombs provides rich context for its listeners: cloaked in shiver inducing melodies which lay the perfect foundation for Cass' true source of transcendence, his vocals and lyrics. The first single from Catacombs, Dreams-Come-True-Girl, features a fantastic vocal contribution from Academy Award and Grammy nominated singer actress Karen Black. She also takes a sublime star turn in the video for the song.1. Dreams-Come-True-Girl
2. Prima Donna
3. You Saved My Life
4. DonÆt Vote
5. The ExecutionerÆs Song
7. My Sister, My Spouse
8. Lionkiller Got Married
9. Eavesdropping On The Competition
10. Jonesy Boy
11. One Way To Go$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Person To PersonAn album of dense pop that justifies the band's place among top songsmithing contemporaries like Cass McCombs and James Mercer, as well as Bowie. But the band is able to bypass the songwriter label by delivering a much more collective sound. African high-life guitars are countered with new wave wash; the sound of a band daring to keep its palette open to most any influence, from U2 to The Feelies. Foreign Born deliver the soundtrack for the backyard BBQ of the ages. Extensive touring with Rogue Wave and Grizzly Bear.1.Blood Oranges
2.That Old Sun
6.Can't Keep Time
8.It Grew On You
9.See Us Home
10.Wait In This Chair$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
TinnaroseNow available on vinyl! In 2012, Austin singer-songwriter Seth Sherman burst onto the local scene with his debut When The Moment Is True, a collection of pop gems blending his intricate John Fahey-esque finger picking with reflective songwriting reminiscent of Cass McCombs and Richard Buckner. Seth reached out to a number of veterans of the Austin scene and quickly realized this was no longer a solo effort. Thus was born Tinnarose. The band began playing live and writing the new songs that would eventually make up their self-titled debut.1. When You're Gone
2. Hard Loving You
3. Small Talk
5. Fallen Debris
6. She Is My Maker
8. Willie O' Winsbury
9. Fallen Debris (Reprise)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dig That TreasureThis trio includes Nedelle Torrisi (former Kill Rock Stars artist, The Curtains, Why?, Xiu Xiu), Chris Cohen (The Curtains, Deerhoof, Cass McCombs), and Michael Carreira (music teacher). Every song here is a miniature journey, a free fantasia, a dreamy habitat built out of the minimum of material. Sudden rhythmic gestures and frequent key changes will leave you feeling pleasantly disoriented. The record is humbly inspired by the larger-than-life emotions of West Side Story, the joyfully percussive guitar gospel of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Wizard Of Oz's bittersweet escapism, the other-world sentimentality of Sun Ra's Spaceship Lullaby, and Henry Cowell's ethereal piano string strumming.1. Stop Watch
2. No Coins
3. Heaven Is Human
4. Water Witching Wishes
5. Shape Above, The
6. Cosmic Sing-a-Long
7. How Did the Actor Laugh?
9. We'll Never Dream Again
10. Dig That Treasure
11. Say You Will$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
EightLP Includes a Bonus CD of the Album!
Radar Brothers return with Eight, a very special new vinyl-only release. Featuring an expanded band of brothers including Stevie Triechel and Be Hussey from The Illustrated Garden as well as new members Dan Iead (Cass McCombs, The Broken West) on guitar/pedal steel, Brian Cleary on keyboards and Ethan Walter on piano and synthesizers. Between the two keyboards
and Iead and Putnam's guitars, the band orchestrates a swirling fervor that glides over Triechel and Hussey's rhythmic aggressions. Eight may well be Radar Brothers' darkest, hardest rocking, most psychedelic, and yet most intensely personal album to date. From Putnam's tribute to Joni Mitchell's cover art (The Hissing of Summer Lawns) to the surreal, picturesque lyrics to the unidentifiable textures and sounds that pour from your speakers like liquid paintings-this may also be the band's most visual album to date.1. If We Were Banished
4. Change College Law
6. Ebony Bow
7. House of Mirrors
8. Angler's Life
9. Bottle Song
10. Time Rolling By
11. Horse Down$19.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Worth EPMas Ysa, the project of nomadic composer Thomas Arsenault, combines love songs, unabashed ecstatic pop, prayer, field recordings and techno into triumphant, danceable, melancholy folk music that pummels the heart rather than dances around it.
Born in Montreal with formative years spent in San Paolo at hard-techno raves, Arsenault's life is one of human and musical experience rather than eye-searing laptop screens. After studying composition at Oberlin Conservatory, where he joined the Ohio-based Shinkoyo art collective, Arsenault headed west for San Francisco to assist kindred-spirit cult artist Warner Jepson.
Eventually, Arsenault landed on Kent Avenue in Brooklyn, occupying a sprawling loft complex connected to the underground venues 285 Kent and Glasslands. There, he built a studio that yielded records by everyone from Cass McCombs to Laurel Halo, getting out of bed in the dead of night to write songs and record sonic fragments. During the day, Arsenault explored the other side of modern composition by collaborating with Rashaun Mitchell of the storied Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Born as a live experience in early 2012, Mas Ysa hoists this voracious music history and crashes it head-on with blunt emotional trauma. Early shows vacillated between dancefloor catharsis and inner pain, emphasizing both ritualistic transcendence and the universal bond of folk music.1. Vanya
3. David Wessels
4. Life Way Up From
9. Years$19.99Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
Best Of The Boiler Room ClassicsIt's been over three years since Oscillate Wisely, the debut album from Mike Adams At His
Honest Weight. A lot has happened to all of us since then, but it was a particularly action-packed time for ol' Mike. His newborn son requiring emergency heart surgeries immediately
after birth (doing ne now!), his former rock band of nearly 10 years calling it quits, and plenty
of other heavy things have helped shape the follow-up, Best of Boiler Room Classics, into one
of the most believably moving albums to come around in a long time.
But forget about all that stu for a minute because we need to talk about how great these
SONGS are! And these are real songs, daddy! Verses, choruses, hooks, bridges, you know,
well-written timeless songs that at least some of us will be listening to 50 years from now. The
same mixing/mastering team of Adam Jessup & Eric Day have returned and have really taken
their time to make this album sound like exactly one million bucks. The thoughtful, hard work
that went into this record has resulted in something truly special, like a Midwestern Tusk made
by fun, lovable people who actually get along really well.
Best of Boiler Room Classics has the subtle, earnest warmth of an album like the Clientele's
Strange Geometry but with the arena-ready grandeur of ELO's Out Of The Blue. While there is
an unforgettable instant catchiness to these songs, there is a depth, both lyrically and musically,
that makes repeated listens a delight.
While this is not a country album by any means, songs like "Count On It" and "Don't Want It,
Don't Get It" nd Mike's comforting words gripping your heart like an old Roger Miller ballad.
Speaking of "Count On It", just wait until those actual strings kick in at 2:27! It'll do something
What if the GBV albums on TVT had been produced by Cowboy Jack Clement?
What if The Wonders songs in That Thing You Do were actually performed by The Pernice
Brothers? What if Dee Dee Ramone wrote "Late For The Sky" instead of Jackson Browne?
What if Todd Rundgren engineered a Cass McCombs record?1. If
2. Be Free, Live Well
3. I'm Worried
4. Findings of Feeling, Findings of Fact
5. A Woman Is The New Man
6. Count On It
8. The Bright Line
9. Don't Want It, Don't Get It
10. The Fingers You Know
11. That's Itt, Cuz
12. Good Thing Going$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Heigh HoRenowned guitarist, songwriter, and producer Blake Mills will release his highly anticipated second album, Heigh Ho, on via Verve
Records / Record Collection.
"The goals for Heigh Ho were songs, sonics, and capturing performance," Mills said. "I love my first album and how it sounds, but since making Break
Mirrors I feel like I've heard enough music that seems to be overtly 'lo-fi' or reverb-saturated; so I was interested in finding a combination of sounds that I
hadn't heard used together before. I was very fortunate to be able to call on this group of people to help me map some new terrain."
Recorded in Los Angeles at the legendary Ocean Way studios in a room built for Frank Sinatra & used by everyone from Bob Dylan to Ray Charles, Mills
created an album that references a range of genres without really belonging to any.
To that end, Mills asked several of his musical heroes - including Jim Keltner, Don Was, Jon Brion, Benmont Tench, Mike Elizondo, and Fiona Apple (who
duets on the slow-burning "Seven" and timeless sounding "Don't Tell Our Friends About Me") - to collaborate on what would become Heigh Ho. "Blake
arranged the music the way that CÉzanne would've filled a canvas," Don Was notes of his experience
Since quietly making his debut album, Break Mirrors, which critics hailed as one of the best albums of 2010, Mills has been consistently busy. He's
producing the highly anticipated sophomore album for The Alabama Shakes, and has worked as a producer with a wide variety of artists, including ZZ
Top's Billy Gibbons, Sara Watkins, Conor Oberst, Sky Ferreira, and Fiona Apple, with whom he toured extensively in 2013 and 2014. As a session player
and sideman he has worked with Beck, Cass McCombs, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Moses Sumney and Neil Diamond, among others. Rick
Rubin and T Bone Burnett frequently call upon his services as a guitarist, and equally enamored is Eric Clapton who recently told Rolling Stone magazine
"Blake Mills is the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal.1. If I m Unworthy
2. Cry To Laugh
3. Just Out Of View
5. Don t Tell Our Friends About Me
6. Gold Coast Sinkin
7. Silence is Sincerity
8. Half Asleep
9. Three Weeks In Havana
10. Before It Fell
11. Shed Your Head
12. Curable Disease$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Duskland"He dwells in the same darkness as Cass McCombs, punctuating the cobwebbed stillness with lowing organ and severe, almost pagan imagery. The Crimson moon, the city of refuge: Thesewould be hapless signi ers in
another singer's mouth. Cale's drawl molds them back into tremendous fra gments, oating in a skyline somewhere just beyond the dusk. All of Duskland possesses that same fantastic self-assurance." -Stereogum
Zachary Cale has been releasing records under his own name for just shy of a decade. Duskland,
the title of his latest record, is a work of craftsmanship full of elegant lyricism and mysterious
imagery; a collection of songs that look directly into the face of darkness yet drive beyond it,
forging new paths.
Allegorical in nature, Cale's songs move away from the inward reveries of his last album, Blue Rider,
and divide outward into the voices of others. The album projects images of wide-open spaces and
landscapes constructed from half remembered dreams. There isn't always a clear resolution, characters
remain in a state of twilight, wandering from place to place in search of an undefined illumination. The
lyric: So many lifetimes I lived in one / I've got to bury them now / No surprises this time around /
Not beneath this crown, taken from I Left The Old Cell, aptly captures the human complexities found
throughout the songs.
Taking cues from artists like Oh Mercy/Time Out of Mind era Dylan and Nick Cave's work with the
Bad Seeds, Duskland evokes a restless spirit, one that is informed by American myths and tall tales.
There's a Western flair to many of the album's songs with nods to soundtrack composers such as
Morricone and the dream-laden noir of Badalamenti. Many of the album's highlights maintain a
ceremonial grace. Sundowner opens the album with a lush organ progression played over a
plaintive march. As the tension builds, Cale muses Branded as a fugitive / Dressed in the clothes
of an innocent / Sirens ricochet / From bloodless lips I hear them call my name. From there the
album moves forward like one long processional; Cale leads his band through up-tempo folk rock
and charming country waltzes to minor key dirges and atmospheric instrumentals until ending with a
horn section dragging over a funeral beat in the long form ballad Low Light Serenade.1. Sundowner
2. Blue Moth
3. I Left The Old Cell
6. Dark Wings
7. I Forged The Bullet
8. Changing Horses
9. Low Light Serenade$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Humor RiskHumor Risk was recorded in various homes and studios across America and was produced by Cass and Ariel Rechtshaid. Humor Risk is perhaps Cass' most upbeat album yet, showing Cass in a more optimistic mood, and could be seen as the happier, more hopeful sister record to Wit's End. The lyrics are as interesting and wry as ever, the arrangements as beautiful as those on its predecessors, but here Cass' vocals are higher, the rhythm faster and the melodies more infectious than ever before. Humor Risk portrays yet another facade of this versatile, incredibly talented and much underrated artist.1. Love Thine Enemy
2. The Living World
3. The Same Thing
4. To Every Man His Chimera
5. Robin Egg Blue
6. Mystery Mail
7. Meet Me At The Mannequin Gallery
8. Mariah$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
StiffThree years on from their critically acclaimed "barbeque" record Corsicana Lemonade, White Denim are back with more than just a new album to commemorate. Their sixth record, Stiff - out 25 March 2016 via Downtown/Sony Red - is a return to the Austin quartet's frenetic rock band roots, and is both a jubilant thrill ride and joyous celebration of their past ten years. Heading into the studio with an external producer to oversee a whole album for the first time - and even writing a tune with Cass McCombs ('Thank You') - the band teamed up with the legendary Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Laura Marling, The Staves) to produce their first truly live record, one teeming with a cool '70s undertow, tumultuous riffs and a feverish energy that's resulted in arguably some of their biggest and brawniest songs to date.
With drummer Joshua Block and guitarist Austin Jenkins now pursuing other production ventures, vocalist/guitarist James Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki spent a long time reassessing exactly what White Denim meant to them. "The big thing for Steve and I was trying to define what made us want to keep going," Petralli explains of the album's early days. "What's our partnership about? What's cool about this? We learnt a lot making D and Corsicana Lemonade. We wanted to take some of those lessons and apply it back to our original mission statement. We were trying to get back to some of the things that made us excited about the band in the first place."
Opener 'Had 2 Know (Personal)' is the embodiment of that mission statement. Described by Petralli as "a reassertion of our initial intent to make songs that satisfy our urge to play fast", it sets the tone brilliantly for the bulk of Stiff, right from its idiosyncratic, Red Krayola-sampling beginning to its huge, golden era chorus. While it remains distinctively White Denim, there's a reinvigoration permeating through its riffs via new guitarist Jonathan Horne and a beefed-up rhythm section thanks to the work of new drummer Jeffrey Olson. Every single high octane turn - from the tremendously fun 'Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)' to the outrageously shredding 'Holda You (I'm Psycho)' - sounds like a band re-energised and revitalised, resulting in what Petralli describes as a "high heat, high energy, good times record". Having previously sold out Shepherd's Bush Empire and having toured with Tame Impala and Arctic Monkeys, Stiff is full to the brim with songs that sound ready to now lift White Denim to similar heights.
For the most part, Stiff is an album crammed with adrenaline-fuelled sing-alongs that show off the band's staple technical abilities. But it's also one that sees some new shades that they've developed along the way, too. Citing new wave and the razor-sharp pop punk of Buzzcocks as influences this time round, there's an addictive Elvis Costello circa This Year's Model quality to 'Real Deal Momma', a tune that highlights the band's love for hummable synthesisers and curious, affecting oddities. Then there's the cow bell calm and backing vocals laden brilliance of 'I'm The One (Big Big Fun)', that along with 'Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)' (a song Petralli says "wants to be on a collection of doo wop songs written in 2016") shows a softer and more intricate side to the band while fully emphasising Petralli's vocal excellence.
Of the artwork - which was created by collagist Eugenia Loli - was inspired and worked from the band's previous album covers and videos as a visual template. Ultimately, it's a fleeting visit to a place the band have been before, with the covers of Workout Holiday and D being collages too. Stiff was even originally stylised 'Stif', which when spelt backwards spells out the title of their second full-length Fits. Then there's 'Mirrored In Reverse', a nod to the Fits track 'Mirrored And Reverse'. "I mean, we're ten!" Petralli says in disbelief while explaining all of the record's throwbacks. "We did think about naming this record Ten and referencing the Pearl Jam cover!"
Recorded with nothing but equipment that Petralli describes as being "past a certain point in the '70s", he explains that Stiff is an album made "entirely the old way". "It was tracked live to 16-track tape with very little overdubs," he says. "It was very hardcore record making - traditional in every aspect." Recorded with Ethan Johns in Asheville, North Carolina over a twenty-day period, Petralli and the band had an intense but deeply educational time with Johns. "It was really cool. The guy had these stories that were just unbelievable. He started talking about playing with Jimmy Page when he was a kid, and he lived in the studio where The Rolling Stones and The Faces would just hang out. Having Ethan in the room pushing us really made it more of an 'in the moment' and a visual thing. Capturing live performances is what he does really well."
To make things even more celebratory, there was an extra ten day stint spent with go-to White Denim man Jim Vollentine, who Petralli describes as "my guy, man". He continues: "we've made a lot of records together now. When we left the studio in Asheville with Ethan, we thought we gotta work on this record some more, you know? Though it was really just mixing, which we did with respect to Ethan's arrangements and his recording. I feel like I really haven't made anything like this before."
Ultimately, Stiff is the sound of a band finding their feet again and having the time of their lives. It's a record that refuses to buckle under the pressures of life, instead offering up a soundtrack to sing, dance, shout and scream along to. As a White Denim album, it's a joyride through the past ten years of the band's idiosyncratic catalogue while simultaneously pushing things further forward into new territories. "It's similar to our first record [Workout Holiday] in that we found the initial energy and just went with that," Petralli says of the initial studio spark that started it all. "We thought, what's the fundamental thing that made us want to get into a van and quit our terrible jobs and start this whole thing in the first place? And it was loud, fast-playing, rock and roll."1. Had 2 Know (Personal)
2. Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)
3. Holda You (I'm Psycho)
4. There's a Brain in My Head
5. Take It Easy (Ever After Lasting Love)
6. (I'm the One) Big Big Fun
7. Real Deal Momma
8. Mirrored in Reverse
9. Thank You$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now