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Hold On Tight'
Hold On TightImport
Limited Pressing Of 500 Individually Numbered Copies On 180 Gram Yellow Vinyl
On October 10, 2010, Solomon Burke passed away at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on his way to perform a gig with his Dutch collaborators De Dijk. What was supposed to be a release party for their album Hold On Tight then became a celebration of the life of the one true King of Rock 'n Soul.
De Dijk, heroes of the Dutch music scene, and Solomon met and shared the stage while on tour in 2007, and they came up with the idea to record an album together. King Solomon was true to his word; De Dijk adapted a number of songs from their back catalogue for Solomon to sing, and they dove into the studio for what sadly turned out to be Solomon's last album.
De Dijk's bluesy spin on soulful hard rock turned out to be a sweet musical match with Burke's powerful vocals, Hold On Tight is one of the truest Rock & Roll projects he worked on. As allmusic.com puts it: 'an impressive finale to a genuinely remarkable career'. The album features a contribution of Jools Holland on piano on What A Woman.
Available on coloured vinyl for the first time, 500 individually numbered copies are pressed on yellow vinyl. Strictly limited!1. Hold On Tight
2. My Rose Saved From The Street
3. What A Woman
4. No One
5. More Beauty
6. I Gotta Be With You
7. Seventh Heaven
8. Good For Nothing
9. Text Me
10. Don't Despair
11. The Bend
12. Perfect Song$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hold On TightHey Monday is a pop/rock band from West Palm Beach, FL. All part of the small, but vibrant Florida local scene, the five members made up of Michael Andrew Moriarty, bass; Michael John Gentile, lead guitar; Cassadee Blake Pope, lead vocal & guitar; Elliot James Mulhern, drums; and Alexander David Lipshaw, rhythm guitar, joined together to create a unique and powerful sound. This, their debut release, Hold On Tight, was produced by S*A*M and Sluggo (Gym Class Heroes, We The Kings, Metro Station, The Academy Is) and is being released on Decaydence/Columbia Records.1. Set Off
3. How You Love Me Now
7. Run, Don't Walk
8. Hurricane Streets
10. Should've Tried Harder$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Abbath (Opaque Blue Vinyl) (Pre-Order)Release Date: June 15, 2018*
Pressed On Opaque Blue Colored Vinyl
ABBATH unleashes the fury of a Nordic blizzard at full force with his crushing debut album. The heavy-metal icon and former IMMORTAL frontman returns with a self-titled album packed with his signature razor-sharp riffs and black metal anthems. Stellar cuts Winter Bane, Ashes of the Damned, To War, Fenrir Hunts and more are nothing short of true heavy metal thunder. 'Abbath' is the black metal album of 2016, and returns him to his rightful place as the face of the genre. Hold on tight or get blown away!
*Please note that release dates are subject to change.1. To War
2. Winter Bane
3. Ashes of the Damned
4. Ocean of Wounds
5. Count the Dead
6. Fenrir Hunts
7. Root of the Mountain
8. Eternal$23.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Abbath (Awaiting Repress)ABBATH unleashes the fury of a Nordic blizzard at full force with his crushing debut album. The heavy-metal icon and former IMMORTAL frontman returns with a self-titled album packed with his signature razor-sharp riffs and black metal anthems. Stellar cuts Winter Bane, Ashes of the Damned, To War, Fenrir Hunts and more are nothing short of true heavy metal thunder. 'Abbath' is the black metal album of 2016, and returns him to his rightful place as the face of the genre. Hold on tight or get blown away!1. To War
2. Winter Bane
3. Ashes of the Damned
4. Ocean of Wounds
5. Count the Dead
6. Fenrir Hunts
7. Root of the Mountain
8. Eternal$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Chase The SunProduced by Greg Wells (Adele, OneRepublic), Chase The Sun is filled with Holden's passionate, purpose-driven rock songs, which brim with tough, vibrant energy and showcase his lean, literate songwriting. Much of Chase The Sun was inspired by a life-changing, seven-week trip that the Scotland-born, England-bred artist took to India and Nepal in February 2013. Upon his return, Holden began to write the songs that appear on Chase The Sun, including the first single, "Hold On Tight," which he says was the driving force for the album.1. Hold On Tight
2. Save Yourself
4. Boys In The Street
5. Give It Away
6. Go Chase The Sun
7. Free Again
8. A Wonderful World
9. It'll All Come Out
10. I Won't Forget
11. The Next Life$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bigfoot (Awaiting Repress)Cayucas: Pronounced "ky-yook-us", is the monikered homage to a sleepy little seaside town in San Luis Obispo County,California. That town, Cayucos, has hardly changed in the last 50 years, a far cry from the gentrified tourist traps parading showily down the nearby coastline. In the early 1960s,the surfing craze hit. There was one bar around which local kids congregated back then,the site of helpless crushes and fights and games of pool, a place whose jukebox soundtracked innumerable teenage years as breezy summers rolled into mild winters and back around again.The bar has since disappeared, but as Zach Yudin, the man behind the name, will tell you, the place still holds on tight to its propensity for dreamy, lazy, bonfire-lit nights worth getting moony-eyed about.
Cayucas' debut album bears little resemblance to the sound of modern California that's been so omnipresent over the past few years. Instead, Bigfoot posesses flirty rhythmic sensibilities both snappy and sparkling, a rosy, near-tropical warmth, and a loose and conversational feel that position you right in the line of Yudin's wry gaze.
Having moved to Japan for a yearto teach,he became inspired by the country'slove of electronic music. He started writing Daft Punk-style material while he was out there, and experimenting with the vinyl sampling that would form a crucial component of Cayucas' early sound-old rock albums by bands like the Beach Boys,theTornadoes, and the Animals. Although he has since set aside the synthesizer, this braiding together of proto-pop group classicsfed directly into the album.
Bigfoot was recorded up in the chilly Pacific Northwest-in Oregon, with Secretly's Richard Swift in charge of production. It's the result of Swift and Yudin's symbiotic working relationship, and positivity one of its brightest qualities, even when recalling missed opportunities-there's no space for downcast vibes here. "High School Lover" is perhaps Bigfoot most quintessential song; centered around a chiming rhythm ripe for shimmying, and a tale that sums up Yudin'staste for his own personal nostalgia.
After working at a local independent jazz label for a couple of years, he's now making music full-time, rehearsing with his new band for Cayucas' first live shows, running along theVenice Beach boardwalk, and hitting a certain bar each night to play pool, hang out, and listen to the Beach Boys. Some places don't change.1. Cayucos
2. High School Lover
3. Will The Thrill
4. A Summer Thing
5. East Coast Girl
6. Deep Sea
7. Ayawa 'kya
8. Bigfoot$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The Killing Gods (Clear Vinyl)Pressed On Limited Edition Clear Vinyl
MISERY INDEX returns with a fury worthy of the title of their new album, The Killing Gods. With their fifth full-length, the American icons of hard hitting brutality display the strength of maturity grown out of the experience gained as a relentless touring machine. The general trend of their continuous evolution to incorporate fewer core elements and move towards classic death metal finds a new high water mark with "The Killing Gods". Now brace, hold tight and duck for cover, for the wrath of the gods is upon us!LP 1
2. The Calling
3. The Oath
4. Conjuring The Cull
5. The Harrowing
6. The Killing Gods
7. Cross To Bear
1. Gallows Humor
2. The Weakener
4. Colony Collapse
5. Heretics$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Kick Out The JamsRanked 294/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Rather than try to capture their legendary on-stage energy in a studio, MC5 opted to record their first album during a live concert at their home base, Detroit's Grande Ballroom, and while some folks who were there have quibbled that Kick Out the Jams isn't the most accurate representation of the band's sound, it's certainly the best of the band's three original albums, and easily beats the many semiauthorized live recordings of MC5 that have emerged in recent years, if only for the clarity of Bruce Botnick's recording.
From Brother J.C. Crawford's rabble-rousing introduction to the final wash on feedback on Starship, Kick Out the Jams is one of the most powerfully energetic live albums ever made; Wayne Kramer and Fred Sonic Smith were a lethal combination on tightly interlocked guitars, bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson were as strong a rhythm section as Detroit ever produced, and Rob Tyner's vocals could actually match the soulful firepower of the musicians, no small accomplishment. Even on the relatively subdued numbers (such as the blues workout Motor City Is Burning), the band sound like they're locked in tight and cooking with gas, while the full-blown rockers (pretty much all of side one) are as gloriously thunderous as anything ever committed to tape; this is an album that refuses to be played quietly. For many years, Detroit was considered the High Energy Rock & Roll Capital of the World, and Kick Out the Jams provided all the evidence anyone might need for the city to hold onto the title.
-AllMusic.com1. Intro/Ramblin' Rose
2. Intro 2/ Kick Out The Jams
3. Come Together
4. Talk/Rocket Reducer No. 62
6. Motor City Is Burning
7. I Want You Right Now
8. Starship$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
M A N I A (Awaiting Repress)Fall Out Boy will be releasing their 7th album M A N I A from Island Records. The album features
"Champion," "Young & Menace," "The Last Of The Real Ones" and new single "HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON'T."
M A N I A is the follow-up album to the band's platinum-certified American
Beauty/American Psycho, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release.1. Young & Menace
3. Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea
4. Hold Me Tight or Don't
5. Last of the Real Ones
6. Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)
8. Heavens Gate
9. Sunshine Riptide (feat. Burna Boy)
10. Bishops Knife Trick$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Hot RatsBy 1969, after releasing a 'mother lode' of Mothers of Invention classics, leader Frank Zappa was ready to breakthrough other musical barriers that were still holding popular music in a conservative headlock.
Being one if not the first album to be recorded using 16 tracks (twice the number being used at the time on both sides of the Atlantic), Hot Rats became a leading edge in both modern recording technology and the evolution of jazz/rock-fusion. Mostly instrumental, it features six original compositions; three loose jam pieces, the remainder being tight ensemble arrangements. Some of the finest players around come together in varying combinations, all-the-while showcasing Frank Zappa's guitar virtuosity.
Among others, Lowell George of Little Feat-fame lends guitar, jazz violinists extraordinaire Don 'Sugarcane' Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty plus fellow Mother Ian Underwood's keyboard and woodwind work, complete the leader's advanced vision. Last but not least, the legendary Captain Beefheart brings his unique pipes to the infamous Willie The Pimp.
Soon to become a concert staple and fan favorite thereafter, Peaches En Regalia is truly a modern jazz standard, eventually covered by the likes of Phish and The Dixie Dregs. Also included are Son of Mr. Green Genes, Little Umbrellas, The Gumbo Variations and It Must Be A Camel. Mastered and cut directly from the original analog master tape by Bernie Grundman under the supervision of Gail Zappa.1. Peaches en Regalia
2. Willie the Pimp
3. Son of Mr. Green Genes
4. Little Umbrellas
5. The Gumbo Variations
6. It Must Be a Camel$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Cars (Awaiting Repress)Ranked 282/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Let the Good Times Roll: Half-Speed Mastered LP Sounds Amazing!
The Cars Classic 1978 Debut a Veritable Greatest Hits Album: Nearly Every Song a Radio Staple
My Best Friend's Girl, Just What I Needed, You're All I've Got Tonight Among the Tunes on the Hit Parade
One of the most successful and enjoyable debuts in history, The Cars self-titled album doubles as a greatest-hits collection. Thats because not one song here is unrecognized or unknown. A huge reason why the Boston quintet became Americas most popular new-wave band, The Cars launched eight tracks still regularly heard on radio stations everywhere. Consider the hit list: Youre All Ive Got Tonight. Good Times Roll. Just What I Needed. Moving in Stereo. My Best Friends Girl. Dont Cha Stop. If youre a fan of pop music, this album is mandatory. Just call it the best new-wave rock album ever made.
Led by Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr, the Cars managed to unite then-disparate styles: bubblegum pop melodies, angular art rock, progressive arrangements, and terse minimalism. Orrs low, understated singing and Ocaseks cool, detached vocals lend shades of doubt and double meaning to the lyrics, which are further counterbalanced by orchestral keyboard flourishes and electronic beats. The brilliant arrangements also benefit from a laidback cool and understated irony that remain uncommon in the over-the-top world of mainstream music. Obsessed with incorporating the latest technologies and sounds into its palette, the band spiced its tunes with delightfully quirky accentscountry-tinged guitar fills, echoing Syndrums, reggae splashes, hard-rock tones, robotic pulses.
The results are the sounds of a creative landmark. At once accessible and eccentric, edgy and catchy, The Cars explodes with emotion, energy, and hooks. Its impossible not to get caught up humming and singing along to every song, an appeal that comes courtesy of Roy Thomas Bakers stellar production. The legendary producer, best known for his work with Queen, ensured that the record seamlessly packed a smooth midrange, spacious imaging, and call-and-answer choruses in one tight package. Bakers trademark touches with harmony vocals abound.
And now, The Cars sounds better than it has in any previous incarnation. Half-speed mastered from the original analog tapes, Mobile Fidelitys numbered limited-edition LP allows the musics oscillating rhythms, futuristic keyboard passages, panned stereo images, and rippling textures to be experienced like never before. The songs take on a surreal quality, the Cars manipulating the vibrant music at will to mesmerize the listeners senses and hold them at bay. Mobile Fidelitys unparalleled pressing epitomizes the sensation of moving in stereo!
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Good Times Roll
2. My Best Friend's Girl
3. Just What I Needed
4. I'm in Touch With Your World
5. Don't Cha Stop
6. You're All I've Got Tonight
7. Bye Bye Love
8. Moving in Stereo
9. All Mixed Up$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Get The Knack
One of the Most Instantly Successful and Highest-Selling Debut Albums in History: The Knack's Attitudinal Get the Knack Loaded With Power Pop, Catchy Hooks, Keen Melodies, and My Sharona
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes, Pressed at RTI, and Strictly Limited to 3000 Numbered Copies: Mobile Fidelity 180g LP of Get the Knack Teems with Abundant Energy
Most everyone knows The Knack's Get the Knack because of the ubiquitous smash My Sharona, a contagious hit that still plays countless times everyday on radio stations nationwide. But the appeal and significance of the Los Angeles quartet's 1979 debut extend far beyond the career-making single. Loaded with tight power pop, hummable hooks, blunt lyrics, and precision playing, the controversy-igniting Get the Knack resonates with an ageless freshness that's influenced everyone from Kurt Cobain to modern indie artists such as the Mountain Goats.
Mastered from the original master tapes, pressed at RTI, and strictly limited to 3000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP of Get the Knack brings the record's urgent harmonies, keen melodies, bell-clear tones, and snapping percussion out of the shadows and into the limelight. Graced with large-scale frequency extension and ample separation, the Knack's feisty music now teems with added energy, body, and immediacy. Absent the dynamic compression that squelched previous reissues, this numbered limited-edition audiophile analog version blossoms with detail, openness, and brashness. A guilty pleasure to some and new-wave classic to many others, Get the Knack is so attitudinal it spawned one of the industry's most famous backlashes.
Released by Capitol Records after the Knack courted a dozen other offers, the 12-track set remains one of the most instantaneously successful debuts ever made. Aided by tongue-in-cheek marketing, a sly cover-art reference to the Beatles' Meet the Beatles, and Mack Truck-sized refrains that stick in your head for hours, Get the Knack went gold in days and, to date, has sold more than five million copies. The meteoric rise didn't sit well with detractors committed to ripping apart the band for its perceived arrogance (members refused to sit for interviews) and alleged misogynist stance. Needless to say, the boycotting campaigns fell on deaf ears.
Holding down the top of the singles chart for six weeks, and the eventual number-one single on the year-end 1979 chart, My Sharona alone cemented the Knack's position in history. Written by lead singer and guitarist Doug Fieger about his lust for the then-underage 17-year-old Sharona Alperin, who ultimately became his fiancÉe, the anthem's suggestive themes carry throughout the record. Straightforward in its sleaziness and sexuality, Get the Knack pulls no punches about teenage frustrations, boy-girl one-upsmanship, sticky sweet romance, and unrequited passions for the opposite sex.
Teasing, mischievous tracks such as (She's So) Selfish connect with Bo Diddley-inspired riffs and crude, hormonally charged lines that split the difference between manipulation, nastiness, and arousal. The Top 15 hit Good Girls Don't similarly confronts the pent-up carnal desires and libidinous emotions shared by youth of all generations, while That's What the Little Girls Do functions as a sly response. Your Number or Your Name dabbles in related subject matter, with sensitivity and hopefulness added for good measure. It's a perfect mix of agony and ecstasy, fear and confidence.
Shot-through with yearning, every song bursts forth with undeniable catchiness, firecracker release, and sassy style - an approach Rolling Stone rightly says finds the band [winding] itself tighter than a hot pair of disco jeans, then [doing] its best to hold to that energy until its time to explode.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Let Me Out
2. Your Number or Your Name
3. Oh Tara
4. (She's So) Selfish
5. Maybe Tonight
6. Good Girls Don't
7. My Sharona
9. Siamese Twins (The Monkey and Me)
11. That's What the Little Girls Do
12. Frustrated$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Communique (45 RPM) (Pre-Order)
Smooth, Effortless, Relaxed, Tuneful, And Deceivingly Simple: Dire Straits' Communique Teems With Technical Perfectionism, Southern-Styled Grooves, And Low-Key Blues
Reference-Level Detail, Depth, Soundstaging, Balance, And Presence: Communique Has Never Sounded Better Than On Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP Version
Mark Knopfler's Mesmerizing Textures, Intricate Lines, And Crisp Tones Pair With Engaging Storytelling And Tight Rhythms: Every Song An Example Of Understated Virtuosity
The performances on Dire Straits' Communique are so smooth and effortless, they were originally criticized for replicating the blueprints of the band's breakout debut. Time, however, has a way of changing perspectives and exposing the truth. More than 35 years after its original release in June 1979, Communique rightfully takes its place as the group's most underrated record - a nine-track set spiked with engaging storytelling, relaxed vibes, and deceiving simplicity.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set of Communique elevates Dire Straits' sophomore album to an even higher plane. Recorded in the Bahamas by Muscle Shoals veterans Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler, the songs benefit from a laidback approach that makes guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler and company's stellar playing seem even more fluent - particularly when experienced on this collector's 45RPM version, on which the wider grooves allow for more detail retrieval and deeper musical insight.
Knopfler's mesmerizing guitar textures and composed vocals appear as if they're right in front of you, holding court amidst expansive soundstages and deep-black backgrounds. Details, imaging, and presence are on a level associated with the finest audiophile recordings. You'll be hard-pressed to find another LP with cleaner, pinpoint-accurate tones. Mobile Fidelity's LP also brings into transparent view Knopfler's seemingly perfect intricate lines as well as the simpatico accompaniment from his band mates. Whole, lively, and balanced, the bass and drums arrive with a solidity rarely heard on albums of this era. Communique has truly never sounded better.
Of course, the audiophile sonics mean little if the artistic content is lacking. Needless to say, Dire Straits' technical perfectionism and creative elan prevail throughout. Knopfler's penchant for sketching cynical characters is further developed on moody tracks like Where Do You Think You're Going and News, while Wexler's presence at the boards ensures the band keeps the rhythms extra tight. The quartet's low-key blues and swampy, Southern-styled grooves turn every song into an exercise in understated virtuosity.
Refusing to give into excess, magnetic tunes such as Lady Writer and Angel of Mercy split a fine line between insinuating and insisting. The group shows off a combination of control, virtuosity, and tunefulness that harkens back to a rock n' roll's classic period while also pointing the way ahead. Need indisputable evidence of Dire Straits' compositional strengths? Cue up the closing Follow Me Home on this pressing and get lost amidst the peacefulness of the gentle surf and chirping crickets that frame the song. Heavenly.
The sequence serves as additional proof that Communique remains one of the best-sounding rock records ever made.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Once Upon a Time in the West
3. Where Do You Think You're Going?
5. Lady Writer
6. Angel of Mercy
7. Portobello Belle
8. Single-Handed Sailor
9. Follow Me Home$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Late Night Tales Presents Automatic SoulIt is 1983 and you've just stepped into your Ford Capri with your girlfriend Julie. You live in Harlow, but in your head you're really somewhere near Salou in Spain, next to your yacht. But the thing you really love is soul and they play nothing but at Sups in Loughton. OK, so It's not 1983 at all. It's 2014, but listening to
this electrofied soul, will put you back in the zone. Tom Findlay, one half of Grammy-nominated Groove Armada, has put this collection together: a stamp of authenticity in itself. Tom has also put a few of these through the edit wringer, reworking many of the tunes for maximum towelling sockability.
You'll probably recognise a few tunes. There's Mtume's incredible 'Juicy Fruit', still sounding advanced and modern, while 'I Specialize In Love, mixed by disco legend Tee Scott, is even older yet sounds equally perky.
The 1980s was a period that was pretty much owned by Minneapolis thanks to Prince and former cohorts Jam & Lewis and the latter weigh in with a pair of killer productions, Thelma Houston's
'You Used To Hold Me So Tight' and Alexander O'Neal's 'What's Missing'. And since this is Late Night Tales, there is always our exclusive cover version, this time done by Findlay and Tim Hutton's Sugardaddy, who've delivered an ace version of 'Don't Look Any Further'.
Automatic Soul, like my previously compiled Late Night Tales Music For Pleasure, is based very much on a sound. It's a sound that I feel has been overlooked: 80s R&B-infused music, with drum machines, synths and invariably brilliant vocals. It's formed the bedrock of my rare groove sets for all the years I've played.
It's not the most fashionable, but to me it's the perfect marriage of technology and soul, hence the title for this album, Automatic Soul. There are plenty of songs I could have included, and no doubt some that I shouldn't, but I've tried to represent what's best to me from this era. It's not a classic Late Night Tales. It's
a pretty personal journey, which I hope some of you might be willing to share
- Tom Findlay Groove Armada September 2014Unmixed Tracks
1. Rene & Angela - I'll Be Good
2. Zapp - Heartbreaker - parts 1 & 2
3. Timex Social Club - Rumors
4. Mtume - Juicy Fruit
5. Sugardaddy feat. Ronika - Don't Look Any Further
6. Meli'sa Morgan - Fool's Paradise
1. George Franklin Smallwood & Marshmellow Band - You Know I Love You
2. Royalle Delite - I'll Be A Freak For You
3. Bits & Pieces - Don't Stop the Music
4. Donna Allen - Serious (
5. Change - Change Of Heart
6. The Gap Band - I Owe It To Myself
1. 52nd Street - You're My Last Chance
2. Thelma Houston - You Used To Hold Me So Tight
3. Alexander O'Neal - What's Missing
4. Aurra - You And Me Tonight
5. Samson & Delilah - I Can Feel Your Love Slippin' Away
6. Sharon Brown - I Specialize In Love$35.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Feels LikeBully is the name for the Nashville quartet that is transforming familiar '90s alt-rock (Dinosaur Jr, Pavement, Weezer) into smart, sharp-edged millennial indie rock - an apt description for the band's churning guitars, rambunctious rhythms, and tightly coiled intensity. Their debut Feels Like sounds alternately like a balled fist and a fresh bruise.
Bully is also the perfect distillation of frontwoman Alicia Bognanno's visceral approach to songwriting. She trades in steely observations, raw-nerve confessions, and intense anger directed almost exclusively at herself although a few bystanders and bad exes might get caught in the crossfire. Her voice rises from sugar-sweet to scratchy howl as she bares her most harrowing fears to the world. In other words, Bognanno is her own bully. Not merely the band's vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, and all-around visionary, she is also Bully's producer and engineer.
Based in Nashville, Alicia Bognanno formed Bully essentially as a solo project backed by a trio of friends: Stewart Copeland on drums, Clayton Parker on guitar, and Reece Lazarus on bass. Bully is less a studio entity than a stage act, one that has quickly developed a reputation for its ferocious live shows (the Nashville Scene named Bully the top local band in its 2014 Best of Nashville issue.)
On record, Bully strives to retain the band s formidable guitar attack while highlighting her boldly candid lyrics. The band recorded Feels Like live in the studio, doing as few takes as possible. Once they'd gotten a good performance, the songs were mixed immediately, not merely to save time but to preserve the excitable urgency of the music. Overseeing every part of the process put extra pressure on Bognanno to deliver some truly unbridled vocal performances. A deeply personal album by an artist bravely mining her own life, Feels Like is all about trying to figure yourself out about holding yourself accountable and acting like an adult in a society that doesn't offer very many good examples.1. I Remember
3. Too Tough
10. Bully$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
New Masses For Squaw PeakNew Masses for Squaw Peak gifts unto us bold, surprising new textures and denser, cheekier ideas and themes. Its packed tight with style: gauze-flange experimentation; jazz-chord death-pop; shifty proto-prog; historical and personal mythologies weaved through its passages. Yet, claustrophobic it is not. New Masses for Squaw Peak is as wide-open of a landscape as its title may suggest. It is also a well-traveled collection of songs: laid to tape in the belly of an abandon Philadelphia textile factory; run through three mixing boards by three separate sets of hands; and ultimately sculpted into its final form by the gentlemen to conjured it in the first place. And oh joy, what conjuring.
Mystics Pharaohs (Masc. Pharaohs) begins with a big, fat wink to Enos Here Come the Warm Jets (a hallmark of Squaw Peak) before descending into its own purply blackhole of dark, dissonant whitefunk. A metallic sonic fog allows guitar stabs and squalls, and the pings of ringleader Nathan Pembertons vocal calls, to hit you twice then thrice, then unravel out into the cosmos. All players here (multi-instrumentalists Josh Martin and Brian Forfa; and drummer John Frank) are using both sides of the brain at every turn, the instinctual, tribal rhythm with which we are born and the semi-learned, nervy way we manipulate that instinct. The instinct that tells us to stay and play inside our comfort zone, and the secret instinct to see what lies just beyond its boundary. Cor-Du-Roi, another standout, is almost perpendicular to Mystics Pharoahs with its shambling, assured pace and melodies all tinny and distant. Its a risky number for Holiday Shores in its maturity and subtle composition. It also just might be their most inspired, beautiful piece to date. We find this kind of maturity and patience again with deep-cut Coming to Shores, an ambient-pop sci-fi wash that almost falls into the new classical phylum.
Pemberton and Martin prove time and again that they share more than just a keyboard table in the live setting; they share an endlessly searching, creative brain. Pembertons jazz keyboards are often interlocked with Martins plinkety-plankety lyrical guitar. On Shadie Spun Gold and in other spots, like pulsing leadoff track Airglow their separately played parts are hocketed to create the larger melody, with notes falling just left of where Steely Dan might drop them (which sounds awesome). Holiday Shores might be prog-rock in the way that Ariel Pink might be prog-rock. Its shape-shifting pop songcraft that will slip from your fingers like a sea cucumber the very second you think you have hold.1. Airglow
2. We Couldn't Be Together
3. Threepeat Got Old
4. Ocotillo Dripping
6. Squaw Peak
7. Mystic Pharaohs (Mas Pharaohs)
8. Coming To Shores
10. New Masses
12. Shadie Spun Gold$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Money Talks (Awaiting Repress)Alongside other pioneering crossover acts like New York's S.O.D., Texas' D.R.I., and fellow Californians Suicidal Tendencies, Santa Monica's Cryptic Slaughter was influenced in equal parts by the lessons of political punk rock and no-holds-barred thrash metal. On its 1986 debut, Convicted, the quartet had opened a significant door, pushing hardcore into realms of sheer speed and furious hatred it had only flirted with in the past. So how in hell were they supposed to top this unbelievably crude but crucial document? Well, longtime fans will always bicker over favorites, but there seems to exist a split decision between that landmark first effort and its worthy successor, 1987's Money Talks. Defenders of the latter will probably tell you that Money Talks, with its cleaner production, more piercing lyrics, and varied tempos, struck the perfect balance between Convicted's innocent primitivism and the excessive refinement of third opus Stream of Consciousness. But the truth is that these differences seem both minimal and trivial after all these years; let's drop the subject and let the music do the talking. On Money Talks, Cryptic Slaughter's self-mandated crusade against the system begins with the album's Reagan-bashing cover artwork. From there on out, standout tracks like the title track, Wake Up, Freedom of Expression?, and All Wrong pack just as much power and intensity, if not outright insanity, as earlier Cryptic Slaughter favorites. One department they'd definitely improved in was Bill Crooks' lyrics, which proved even more intelligent and incisive this time around without sacrificing any of the brute conviction in his delivery. Simply put, with its tightly wound construction highlighting the nervous tension between punk and metal at euphoric new levels, Money Talks remains a peerless example of '80s hardcore.
- Eduardo Rivadavia (All Music Guide)1. Money Talks
2. Set Your Own Pace
3. Could Be Worse
4. Wake Up
5. Freedom of Expression?
6. Menace to Mankind
7. Too Much, Too Little
8. Human Contrast
9. Tables are Turned
11. All Wrong
12. American Heroes$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
EXPO-RIS-153xAge Of Taurus
Desperate Souls of Tortured TimesWelcome to the Taurean Empire; a decaying land where disease, war and corruption is rife. A wretched place of man and beast, where deception, fear and despair fills every dank alleyway and the stench of suffering drifts across endless, sun-scorched plains. As way of ensuring safe passage through this hellish hour, let us introduce your guides for the journey; four road-hardened mortals, brought together by luck, power and coincidence. Ladies and Gentlemen, take up arms and go safely as Age of Taurus show you a world inhabited by the Desperate Souls of Tortured Times....UK based Age of Taurus make no frills Doom-laden heavy metal, with an emphasis on HEAVY. Produced by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Angel Witch, Hexvessel, Ghost), 'Desperate Souls of Tortured Times' is a 42 minute collection of material written during their transition over the past three years. It's an unashamedly heavy voyage down a road less travelled, where each of the seven songs acts as a chapter from an altogether longer tale. Monstrous, mountain-shaking riffs are order of the day in the Empire, stepping aside only for Riddell's searing leads to take hold, whilst the lock-tight Bruce/Claydon rhythm section underpins all. Heading the charge from centre stage, Wright's lyrics act as a vivid narrative, painting pictures of ancient ritual and sprawling landscapes, somewhat reminiscent of Manilla Road and Brocas Helm in their prime. Some might assume that DSOTT is a concept album, however in reality, Age of Taurus is more like a 'concept band', intent on delivering undiluted and intriguing heavy metal to all that will listen.1. A Rush of Power
2. Sinking City
3. Always in the Eye
4. Walk With Me, My Queen
5. Desperate Souls
6. Embrace the Stone
7. The Bull and the Bear$34.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
If You Knew My MindCapps is a southern rock troubadour with an eye on the human condition and a pen to write about it. -- OffBeat Magazine
Grayson Capps is like a whiskey-soaked, back-alley poet sired by Tom Waits and Robert Johnson. -- Razor Magazine
It takes less than 30 seconds for the debut album from this New Orleans-based singer/songwriter to pull you in. A lone harmonica blows over a softly strummed electric guitar as a lazy rhythm section props up the beat. Grayson Capps' weathered voice then enters: Yesterday was a very fine day indeed, I got a pint of beer, went outside and brushed my teeth. That about sums up this impressive yet unassuming bluesy debut from one of the many musicians who sound like what New Orleans feels like: languid, a little grimy and dangerous, but with a sense of history and self that wafts up from the streets. Those who listened closely to the soundtrack of the movie A Love Song for Bobby Long will recognize Capps, as his music was used to excellent effect in that rather obscure flick. In fact, Lorraine's Song, the most recognizable tune on that soundtrack, is a Capps composition and gets a suitably impressive and subtle performance here, as does the song whose title inspired the movie. He has a way with a drowsy melody, and after a few spins, these tracks gradually take hold. Certainly anyone who has explored the back streets of New Orleans will recognize the downtrodden characters who populate this album. Capps mythologizes their misery and sadness in songs that are heartfelt and edgy, but he never shortchanges melodies in exchange for gritty, often poetic lyrics. Guitar solos, such as the one in the Crazy Horse-styled Buckshot, are short, tight, and succinct, just like the band that ably supports Capps. His voice sounds like he just woke up and started singing before his first cup of coffee, but that adds to the effect. The album loses a little steam as it winds down, yet this is still a stirring first effort. It conveys the sense, sounds, and dark allure of New Orleans and many of its residents more effectively than a stroll through the French Quarter.
- Hal Horowitz (All Music)1. Get Back Up
2. If You Knew My Mind
4. I Can't Hear You
5. A Love Song For Bobby Long
8. Lorraine's Song
9. Washboard Lisa
11. How Was I To Know
12. I See You$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now