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In This Moment Ritual'
RitualIn This Moment's sixth studio album, RITUAL, will be released via Atlantic Records in partnership with Roadrunner Records.
Produced by longtime collaborator - and multiple GRAMMY® Award nominee - Kevin Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osbourne), RITUAL sees In This Moment pushing their inimitably dark sound forward with a provocative sense of pervading doom and metallic blues power.
Highlights include a dramatic reimagination of Phil Collins' classic "In The Air Tonight" as well as "Black Wedding," a walk down the aisle of musical madness that sees lead singer Maria Brink sharing the mic with legendary Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford.
"It's like we're going into the next realm," says Brink. "I had a conviction of feeling empowered in my life and with myself. I always write from a personal place, and I needed to share that sense of strength. I've never been afraid to hold back. Sometimes, I can be very suggestive. However, I wanted to show our fans that this is the most powerful side of myself and it's without overt sexuality. It's that deeper serious fire inside of my heart."
"When fans hear this, I want them to feel the music, whether they take away sadness, anger, or happiness," adds lead guitarist Chris Howorth. "As a kid, I remember listening to records and putting them on repeat over and over again. I'd love for the world to listen and absorb this as a piece of work."1. Salvation
2. Oh Lord
3. Black Wedding (feat. Rob Halford)
4. In The Air Tonight
5. Joan of Arc
6. River of Fire
7. Witching Hour
8. Twin Flames
9. Half God Half Devil
10. No Me Importa
12. Lay Your Gun Down$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ritualize (Awaiting Repress)...attitude-thick rapping...with gorgeous
- The New York Times
"Lushlife is an under-the-radar treasure"
From the moment you hear the bristling boom-bap chorus on album-opener
Totally Mutual Feeling, it's apparent that Lushlife's third full-length finds the
Philadelphia rapper-producer at his most introspective. Themes of isolation and
mortality permeate Ritualize, a cinematic hour-long odyssey co-produced by
enigmatic production trio, CSLSX (pronounced Casual Sex) and featuring
contributions from Ariel Pink, Killer Mike, Freeway, Marissa Nadler, RJD2, and
more. With CSLSX at the boards, an entire universe opens up for Lush, where
the pulsating Juno synths of '80s LA night music sit side-by-side with
gorgeously propulsive indie-leaning jams, and low-fi soul burners too. The
resulting LP is a post-blog-era joint that seems to exhale the whole of the 20th
century in a single, fascinating breath.
After toiling over two self-produced LPs in the last half-decade, I felt
compelled to bring on an outside production team for Ritualize, Lushlife
(born Raj Haldar) explains. Not only did I want to broaden the musical
palette, but I felt like the group production effort would give me a depth of
focus on lyrical content and emotion that I hadn't previously been afforded.
After a chance encounter with CSLSX, who had been quietly self-releasing
low-fi dance gems to remarkable organic blog buzz, the newly-formed team
set out on a three-year journey that would eventually yield their new joint
album. By the time work began on Ritualize, Lush had already been riding a
small wave of critical acclaim for his 2012 full-length, Plateau Vision, an album
that made several year-end lists and was described by the Sunday New York
Times as a melding of captivating rhymes with audacious, gorgeous production.
Still, with Ritualize, Lushlife and CSLSX seem to have gone one deeper.
From album cut, The Waking World, which finds Lushlife spitting thorough
sixteens from the vantage of Mark David Chapman lying in wait for John
Lennon, to Incantation, a song that's as much inspired by Allen Ginsberg's
Howl as the general, street-level anxieties of urban life, Ritualize is nothing short
of a step forward. For proof, look no further than Toynbee Suite, a 10-minute,
4-movement rap epic that explores the strange Toynbee Tile meta-art
conspiracy that has captivated Philadelphians for decades. As the centerpiece
of the album, Toynbee Suite was the subject of a 2013 documentary, and
itself represents the combined work of 20+ musicians, including RJD2, Nightlands,
Yikes the Zero, and a full chamber orchestra. On the other hand, the
CSLSX-produced, Hong Kong (Lady of Love), a collaboration with weird
music godhead, Ariel Pink, is a sparse yet powerful four-on-the-floor ode to LA,
inspired by the film soundtrack work of Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, and others.1. Total Mutual Feeling
2. The Waking World (feat. I Break Horses)
3. Hong Kong (Lady of Love) (feat. Ariel Pink)
4. Incantation (feat. Deniro Farrar)
5. Undress Me In The Temple
6. Body Double
7. Toynbee Suite (feat. Nightlands, RJD2)
8. Strawberry Mansion (feat. Freeway)
9. This Ecstatic Cult (feat. Killer Mike)
10. Burt Reynolds (Desert Visions)
11. Integration Loop (feat. Marissa Nadler)
12. Ritualize$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?They say there's no time like the present; what they really mean is there's no such thing as the present. Five seconds into the future will be five seconds in the past once you finish reading this sentence. Translated into rock 'n' roll, terms, it means you're either ahead of your time or past your prime. And we're cool with that. We like categories and demographics and timelines because they allow us not to think; everything can be explained with the check of a box or a dot on a graph. But Metric don't let you off that easy. Their measures are decidedly cubist: eternal, multilayered portraits of instantaneous moments, the luminous blur of street life rendered as a freeze-tableaux, daily rituals portrayed in a fantastical light. This is music born out of sly, considered observation instead of gratuitous introspection - which makes it refreshingly anomalous in an era when so much popular music fudges the line between self-absorption and self-parody. Their debut album, OLD WORLD UNDERGROUND, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? launched Metric's career and helped to usher in a wave (or New Wave) of Canadian indie bands such as Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire. They have since gone on to sell over a million singles and 500,000 albums worldwide.Finally available on vinyl, the album sounds as urgent and timeless today as it did in 2003 and like all of Metric's music to date, OLD WORLD UNDERGROUND, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? isn't so much a summation of influences as experiences. The old world underground they so romanticize; they're not sure if it ever truly existed.1. IOU
2. Hustle Rose
4. Combat Baby
5. Calculation Theme
6. Wet Blanket
7. On a Slow Night
8. The List
9. Dead Disco
10. Love Is a Place$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Down IV Part IIWith a collective resume encompassing Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, and Eyehategod, the quintet puffed out its
first haze of sonic smoke from the belly of gritty old New Orleans on the 1995 platinum-selling classic, Nola. At that
moment, they naturally summoned something akin to a ritual, continually partaking in it with critically revered
offerings-Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow in 2002, Down III: Over the Under in 2007, and Down IV - Part One
in 2012. Their shows built a certain live lore with unforgettable runs alongside Metallica and Heaven & Hell as well as
coveted spots on Download, Soundwave, and OZZfest. On 2014's Down IV - Part Two [Available via Down Records/
ADA-Music], the boys once again deliver passionate, powerful, and pure heavy music.1. Steeple
2. We Knew Him Well
5. Sufferer's Years
6. Bacchanalia$18.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Drunk Is The New Sober/Stupid Is The New DumbDrunk Is The New Sober and Stupid Is The New Dumb are the twin subtitles of Drunk & Stupid, Dots Will Echo's debut album on Asthmatic Kitty, but those aren't just arch witticisms, they encapsulate the apparent contradictions that power the New Jersey duo's music. The warmly weird world created by multi-instrumentalist Nick Berry and drummer Kurt Biroc seems simultaneously sacred and profane, edgy and accessible, sad and transcendently silly. What else would you expect from a group that describes itself as "dour moralizers and drunken assholes" and identifies its key influences as "A little bit The Incredible String Band, a little bit AC/DC?"
"I can see the carnival lights from here," sings Berry in a half-crazed, half-elated tone at the beginning of the opening track, "I Like It," sounding like either a psychotic infatuated with his own attractive fantasy world or a genius inventor marveling at the luminous landscape he's created. It's up to the listener to decide which, but either way it's 100% Dots Will Echo.
Everything on Drunk & Stupid was played by Berry and Biroc, with the basic tracks recorded in a single marathon, three-day session. "I meant this to be a very raw recording, capturing the way we sound live," says Berry, who plays everything from guitars and keyboards to Autoharp, glockenspiel, and Andean charango over the course of the album, as he and Biroc build their own beautifully ramshackle universe from the ground up before your very ears.
"A poorly played violin can sound better than a well played piano," says Berry half-jokingly of the organic, offhand feel of the tracks. From the first moment, Drunk & Stupid makes the listener a fly on the wall for a day in the life of Dots Will Echo, with snatches of goofy studio chatter interspersed between tunes. The bit that leads into the crooked campfire singalong "I'm a Monkey" is particularly telling, as Berry spontaneously announces, "I want to try a song I dreamt the other night," Biroc disapprovingly asks, "In the studio?" and Berry blithely counters, "Yeah, why not?"
In fact, Berry dreams a large percentage of his songs. "Some are stupid, but I let 'em fly anyway," he says self-deprecatingly, "but the really stupid ones, nobody's ever gonna hear." By the time they enter our waking world, Berry's tunes bear trace elements of psychedelia, power pop, field-recording folk, DIY post-punk, and tantalizingly trashy garage rock (the duo does in fact rehearse in Biroc's garage). "What You Tryin' To Do," for instance, comes off like Sister Lovers-era Big Star recording for Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, while the giddy blastoff of "Rocket Girl" evokes early XTC covered by Guided By Voices, and the fragile, almost-ominous beauty of the hushed, acoustic ballad "Gates of Eden" feels like the greatest song Neil Young never wrote for Galaxie 500.
The black humor that inhabits an impressive amount of real estate in the Dots Will Echo neighborhood isn't the whistling-through-the-graveyard variety, but rather the kind that finds all of creation to be a bit of a knee-slapper. Like the great writers in every medium, Berry finds the human dilemma a source of endless hilarity, even though you can always hear the big, gently bruised heart beating at the core of every song on Drunk & Stupid. Berry sounds like an amphetamine-fueled tour guide as he walks us through a field of mankind's folly on "Seven Deadly Sins," his loopy lyrics punctuated by Captain Beefheart-esque bursts of six-string cubism.
Even when things get apocalyptic, as on the minimalist stomp of the cautionary "Shitstorm," Berry exhibits so much obvious glee in announcing the impending arrival of the titular phenomenon that you can't help singing "there's a shitstorm coming" right along with him and bobbing your head randomly to the track's triumphantly spastic anti-groove. The deceptively mellow-sounding anthem of global dystopia "History's Grave" was written in early 2008, but Berry notes, "Since then many of the events mentioned or alluded to have come to pass. This made me feel a little bit like a character in a Stephen King novel."
At the same time, Drunk & Stupid sports songs like "Be a Friend" and "So Deep the Night," lambent, low-key ballads that balance between bittersweet and unabashedly sentimental without ever turning mawkish. On these tracks, the Lennon-like undertone in Berry's voice rises to the top of the mix, tapping into an almost spiritual vibe and making for some of the most undeniably poignant moments on the album.
Berry and Biroc, who also work together at the same day job (the drummer is Berry's boss), have been making music together since 2004, hashing out their ideas in Biroc's garage and documenting them in Berry's basement studio. Along the way, they've made unofficial micro-pressings of their work, mostly for passing around to friends and admirers in an ad hoc fashion, but Drunk & Stupid represents the first time the duo's freewheeling work has ever been properly presented to the public at large as a full-on album. With all the material the prolific pair has been stockpiling, they had a huge tally of tunes to haul along with them for this project, and hearing it is a little like stumbling for the first time into a lost world with a long legacy of its own rituals, relics, regalia, and history. But once you wander in, you can't imagine how you ever existed without it.
Originally meant to be two separate discs (the vinyl version is a double LP with download codes for bonus tracks), Drunk & Stupid is a wild ride that clocks in at just under 80 minutes and boasts 19 songs overflowing with insanely catchy melodies, endearingly off-kilter arrangements, and a strangely satisfying blend of the divine and the absurd." As Berry says, "We try to allow for the will of the universe to have a large part in our music. There must be something sacred in mistakes. This is our explanation for being fuck-ups."1. Untitled
2. I Like It
3. Untitled II
4. I'm a Monkey
6. Be a Friend
7. Whatcha Tryin to Do
8. Rocket Girls
10. Run Away Anna
11. History's Grave
12. Sweet Sweet Sanity
14. Who Left You Here
15. The Future
16. Untitled III
17. Peace in Your Life
18. Our Little Part of the World
19. Untitled IV
20. Gates of Eden
21. Visions of Light
22. Seven Deadly Sins
23. So Deep the Night$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Anyway You Love, We Know How You FeelThe Chris Robinson Brotherhood have announced the release of their fourth studio album, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, via Robinson's own Silver Arrow Records. The band relocated to northern California for the sessions, recording on the side of a mountain overlooking the foggy Pacific Ocean and channeling the natural majesty of their surroundings into the album's eight sprawling tracks. Having spent the prior two years touring relentlessly, the CRB were road-tested and in peak form to capture their kinetic chemistry and immersive sound, which Uncut Magazine called, " a celebration of how American musical traditions can be at once honored and psychedelically expanded."
"It was an opportunity to see where our expression could take us. For us, when it comes to making records, the looser it gets the better," says Robinson. "It's all about taking our intuition and following it to where our ideas can really manifest themselves. This turned out to be the most spontaneous record I've ever been a part of."
Indeed, when the Chris Robinson Brotherhood entered the studio to begin recording the album, no one knew just what to expect. These would be the band's first recordings with new drummer Tony Leone (Ollabelle, Levon Helm) and their first time producing themselves. Robinson purposely left as much open-ended as possible. Rather than coming into the studio with a collection of finished songs as he had in the past, he would present the group with sketches-a verse and melody here, a chorus and chord progression there-and let the band follow its collective muse to bring the music to life. They'd lean into the improvisational nature that makes their live shows such enthralling spectacles and thrive on the unexpected.
"All it takes is one good, small idea, and then if everyone's focused and in the moment, a few hours later, you can have something that you realize you'll be playing for as long as you're making music," Robinson continues. "I think when everyone's aware that that's the sort of magic that we're looking for. More than any other session that I've ever been a part of, that's how all of these songs were done."
The album kicks off with "Narcissus Soaking Wet," a psychedelic toe-tapper that marks Robinson's first co-write with keyboardist Adam MacDougall. It touches on everything from Dylan and Parliament Funkadelic to psych rock and Chicago rhythm and blues. "Ain't It Hard But Fair" calls to mind the soulful Americana of The Band, while "Oak Apple Day" is a mediation on life in the CRB, and "Forever As The Moon" came together in a stream of consciousness between The CRB's lead guitarist Neal Casal and Robinson. "Leave My Guitar Alone" was a song Robinson had been sitting on for nearly 15 years, but only once he presented it to the rest of the band did it roar to life in a way that had eluded him for more than a decade. Some of Robinson's finest writing to date arrives in the album's final minutes, with the country-soul, gospel-tinged closer "California Hymn," which finds him singing "Glory glory hallelujah / It's time to spread the news / Though my good words may sound profane to some."
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood emerged in 2011 by playing close to 50 shows over nine weeks in California before ever leaving the Golden State or officially releasing music. Their introduction on the national stage came in 2012 when they'd release not one, but two acclaimed full-length albums within a few months of each other. Critics hailed their sprawling debut, Big Moon Ritual, as a revelation, with The Independent raving that Robinson had "finally found the ideal vehicle to indulge his taste for 'Cosmic California Music.'" The reviews were similarly ecstatic for its immediate follow-up, The Magic Door, which was praised by Relix as "classic rock in the finest sense." The band's epic tour schedule brought their shimmering acid-Americana around the world for a staggering 118-date tour, firmly establishing the CRB as the new standard-bearers of the psychedelic roots torch. In 2014, they returned to the studio for Phosphorescent Harvest, a masterful collection that showcased the blossoming songwriting partnership between Robinson and Neal Casal. Rolling Stone raved that the album was "electrifying boast[ing] a vintage rock vibe that's at once quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic," and Guitar World called it "a treasure trove of soul that advances the band's bluesy, kaleidoscopic sound."1. Narcissus Soaking Wet
2. Forever As the Moon
3. Ain't It Hard But Fair
4. Give Us Back Our Eleven Days
5. Some Gardens Green
6. Leave My Guitar Alone
7. Oak Apple Day
8. California Hymn$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now