Pro-ject Authorized & Certified VPI Dealer

VINYL. OUR WAY OF LIFE SINCE 2004

(877) 929-8729
Site Search
Menu Free shipping on domestic orders over $49.99! - We ship worldwide!
20% Off Vinyl - LP20
Home > Products for: '

Our Point Of View

'
  • 1
  • 2
Results per page:
  • Our Point Of View Our Point Of View Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Our Point Of View

    Blue Note All-Stars is a supergroup that celebrates the vitality of Blue Note by looking ahead and assembling the
    label's leading artists who steadfastly continue to move Jazz forward. Featuring trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire,
    keyboardist Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge, guitarist Lionel Loueke, drummer Kendrick Scott and tenor
    saxophonist Marcus Strickland, the band's repertoire draws from each of these artists' own remarkable catalogs as
    well as new spins on Blue Note classics.
    LP 1
    1. Bruce's Vibe
    2. Cycling Through Reality

    3. Meanings
    4. Henya
    5. Witch Hunt

    6. Second Light


    LP 2
    1. Masquelero
    2. Bayyinah
    3. Message Of Hope
    4. Freedom Dance
    5. Bruce, The Last Dinosaur

    Blue Note All-Stars
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Karma.Bloody.Karma (Awaiting Repress) Karma.Bloody.Karma (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $22.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Karma.Bloody.Karma (Awaiting Repress)


    Deluxe Gatefold Cover with Matte Finish


    Blood on Blood Colored Vinyl (Red Splattered on Red)


    San Diego, CA's finest purveyors of extreme metal, Cattle Decapitation, are planning a series of limited edition vinyl releases for 2014 under the banner Decade of Decapitation, to celebrate 10 years of releases on Metal Blade Records. The band's entire Metal Blade discography: To Serve Man (2002), Humanure (2004), Karma.Bloody.Karma (2006), The Harvest Floor (2009), and Monolith of Inhumanity (2012) are all being prepared in lavish gatefolds for release. The colors, handpicked by the band, reflect the concept or color scheme behind each album. Fans will also have the opportunity to pick up a collectable box that comes with an exclusive T-shirt, both with brand new art from longtime Cattle Decapitation cover artist, Wes Benscoter. Additionally, To Serve Man, the band's debut full-length, and their sophomore effort Humanure have been remastered specially for this release. Each vinyl will be released separately in the coming months.


    Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan adds: We are very excited to announce the Decade of Decapitation reissues! All of our Metal Blade discography has been out of print since right after each release and we're glad we will finally be able to meet some of the demands of the fans with these cool reissues! I've had rare items in my personal collection that came with an empty spot for other items that had to be hunted down in order to be complete, I always thought that was fun and so now we pass the hunt on to our fans! The box art is another quality piece from the great Wes Benscoter which reveals the inside living space of a psychopath hellbent on revenge, the same point of view from which the majority of our lyrics come from.

    1. Intro
    2. Unintelligent Design
    3. Success Is (Hanging By The Neck)
    4. One Thousand Times Decapitation
    5. The Carcass Derrick
    6. Total Gore?
    7. Bereavement
    8. Suspended In Coprolite
    9. Alone At The Landfill
    10. Karma.Bloody.Karma
    11. The New Dawn
    12. Of Human Pride & Flatulence
    Cattle Decapitation
    $22.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Harvest Floor (Awaiting Repress) The Harvest Floor (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $22.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Harvest Floor (Awaiting Repress)


    Deluxe Gatefold Cover with Matte Finish


    Bloody Steel Colored Vinyl (Red Splatter on Silver Vinyl)


    San Diego, CA's finest purveyors of extreme metal, Cattle Decapitation, are planning a series of limited edition vinyl releases for 2014 under the banner Decade of Decapitation, to celebrate 10 years of releases on Metal Blade Records. The band's entire Metal Blade discography: To Serve Man (2002), Humanure (2004), Karma.Bloody.Karma (2006), The Harvest Floor (2009), and Monolith of Inhumanity (2012) are all being prepared in lavish gatefolds for release. The colors, handpicked by the band, reflect the concept or color scheme behind each album. Fans will also have the opportunity to pick up a collectable box that comes with an exclusive T-shirt, both with brand new art from longtime Cattle Decapitation cover artist, Wes Benscoter. Additionally, To Serve Man, the band's debut full-length, and their sophomore effort Humanure have been remastered specially for this release. Each vinyl will be released separately in the coming months.


    Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan adds: We are very excited to announce the Decade of Decapitation reissues! All of our Metal Blade discography has been out of print since right after each release and we're glad we will finally be able to meet some of the demands of the fans with these cool reissues! I've had rare items in my personal collection that came with an empty spot for other items that had to be hunted down in order to be complete, I always thought that was fun and so now we pass the hunt on to our fans! The box art is another quality piece from the great Wes Benscoter which reveals the inside living space of a psychopath hellbent on revenge, the same point of view from which the majority of our lyrics come from.

    1. The Gardeners Of Eden
    2. A Body Farm
    3. We Are Horrible People
    4. Tooth Enamel And Concrete
    5. The Ripe Beneath The Rind
    6. The Product Alive
    7. In Axestasy
    8. Into The Public Bath
    9. The Harvest Floor
    10. Regret & The Grave
    Cattle Decapitation
    $22.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Mark Of The Blade Mark Of The Blade Quick View

    $22.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Mark Of The Blade

    Pushing their sound forward with each successive release, Mark of the Blade remains true to the band's roots while venturing into previously unexplored territory, both sonically and lyrically. To view the lyric video for the first single - the album's title track - and to pre-order the record in various formats, please visit: metalblade.com/whitechapel


    Reunited with producer Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse), Whitechapel has redefined who they are and what they are capable of with their new album, Mark of the Blade. Kicking off with "The Void" - which has a Slayer-esque ferocity that is perfectly suited to the band's three-guitar attack - the songs that follow all leave a distinct impression, and by the time the rich, dark melodies on "Decennium" bring the record to a close, it's impossible to deny the emotional weight brought to bear.


    "It's the most dynamic record we've done, in the sense that one song can be very aggressive while the next one will be softer and sentimental," guitarist Alex Wade asserts. "At this point in our career and as we grow older, we are taking a more open-minded approach to creating our music, allowing what we think sounds good to evolve naturally, rather than to just write what is expected of us."

    1. The Void
    2. Mark of the Blade
    3. Elitist Ones
    4. Bring Me Home
    5. Tremors
    6. A Killing Industry
    7. Tormented
    8. Brotherhood
    9. Dwell in the Shadows
    10. Venomous
    11. Decennium
    Whitechapel
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Fate of Norns Fate of Norns Quick View

    $22.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Fate of Norns

    Pressed On 180 Gram Black Vinyl Imported From Germany

    Since their humble start in 1992 as an underground band from Tumba, a suburb in southern Stockholm, Amon Amarth have managed to establish themselves as one of Europe's top death metal acts through hard work, relentless touring, and consistently solid albums. In the beginning it was just fun to play in our own band with our own songs, and getting a gig at the local youth recreation center was a goal big enough, recalls guitarist and main songwriter Olli Mikkonen. Of course, goals change as you fulfill them. I always thought we had something special going on, it was just matter of time to convince everyone else.

    Fate Of Norns was recorded at Berno Studios. When asked about the difference between it and their previous efforts, Oli Mikkonen said: However clichÉd it might sound, I have to say the difference is stronger songs. Johan Söderberg contributed to the songwriting much more this time than on previous albums, which gives the songs a new touch and a new vision. We also left a few songs unfinished until we entered the studio just to get a chance to improvise and try out different stuff, as well as getting another point of view on the songs, in this case from Berno Paulsson, the main guy at Berno studio. We put much more energy in the production than we've done before.

    A heavy and majestic offering, Fate Of Norns will thrill the fans and win over many more. The band will again tour extensively, for the first time enjoying a hard-earned headliner status in Europe. As I see it, we still have much more to give, concludes Mikkonen, and, as long as we are hungry, we will continue to do what we love: Play metal in Amon Amarth!

    1. An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm
    2. Where Death Seems To Dwell
    3. Fate Of Norns
    4. The Pursuit Of Vikings
    5. Valkyries Ride
    6. The Beheading Of A King
    7. Arson
    8. Once Sealed In Blood
    Amon Amarth
    $22.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Ilevitable Ilevitable Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Ilevitable

    Ileana Cabra, a/k/a PG-13, the fierce femme vocalist of Puerto Rico's world-renown alternative hiphop/rock/reggaetón band Calle 13, joined the band when she was only 16, but she was already an old soul. "When we did our first concert in Puerto Rico," said ILe, "I sang a solo version of La Lupe's song 'Puro Teatro.' It was kind of a moment of transition for me." It may not have seemed that way at the time, but her debut nostalgia-soaked collection of alternative ballads Ilevitable, was inevitable.


    ILe, who began her association with Calle 13 by jumping into a verbal sparring match with her brother RenÉ (Residente) on the band's first single, "La Aguacatona," has been levitating across stages with the band for over a decade. But with Ilevitable, a 12-song collection of meticulously produced boleros, waltzes, mambos, pop-rock ballads, and even a bugalú, ILe has created an instant classic that reveals a thoughtful and innovative artistry for the first time. The album's first single, "Caníbal," is a fitting example of ILe's eclectic tastes and ability to combine an older, more romantic point of view with the darkness of the new millennium. Its melancholy guitar riffs and 60's girl group piano chords-played by Eduardo Cabra (Visitante)--immediately draw the listener into ILe's unique sensibility. The song's lyrics, climaxed by syrupy-scary violins, describe someone who is consuming herself with doubt and regret.


    Recorded over several months in local Puerto Rican studios, Ilevitable features upwards of 75 musicians, composers, and arrangers including ILe's brother Eduardo, her sister Milena, her father Joey Cabra, and her romantic partner Ismael Cancel, her co-producer, who is also a drummer-percussionist for Calle 13. "We're all connected," said RenÉ. "We constantly stimulate each other. Ileana grew up in that artistic atmosphere that's why she matured so quickly."

    1. QuiÉn Eres Tú
    2. Caníbal
    3. Triángulo
    4. QuÉ Mal Que Estoy
    5. Te Quiero Con Bugalú
    6. Maldito Sea el Amor
    7. Dolor - iLe feat. Cheo Feliciano
    8. Extraña de Querer
    9. Rescatarme
    10. Danza Para No Llorar
    iLe
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Red Hands Black Deeds Red Hands Black Deeds Quick View

    $15.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Red Hands Black Deeds

    Pressed On Red Vinyl

    After a very successful 2016 touring worldwide, selling out headlining shows, garnering millions of views for their music videos "Dangerous" and "In Chains," charting multiple times on Billboard's mainstream rock chart, and racking up over 31 million streams, Shaman's Harvest return with their new album 'Red Hands Black Deeds.'

    With Keith Armstrong behind the boards, Shaman's Harvest decidedly wanted a more organic, analog sound for their sixth record. "We used analog effects pedals and vintage amps. This is the first record that we went with this approach. It was kind of like trying to find the melting point between Midwest and l.A. It still has the Shaman's Harvest Midwest vibe to it, but it definitely has organic l.A. written all over it."

    Singer Nathan Hunt shares, "this past year has been a year of firsts for Shaman's Harvest and that's great and all, but we are only lookin' forward resting on our accomplishments makes us fat 'n lazy. If there's one thing rock 'n roll doesn't need it is complacency." Principle band members Nathan Hunt (vocals & acoustic guitar), Josh Hamler (guitar) and Matt Fisher (bass) have toured North America extensively mixing headline, support and festival appearances within an on-going odyssey that has delivered a broad fan base and positioning as one of rock's rising stars.

    1. Red Hands Black Deeds
    2. Broken Ones
    3. The Come Up
    4. A Longer View
    5. Soul Crusher
    6. Off The Tracks
    7. Long Way Home
    8. The Devil In Our Wake
    9. Blood Trophies
    10. So Long
    11. Tusk And Bone
    12. Scavengers
    Shaman's Harvest
    $15.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Pearl Mystic Pearl Mystic Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Pearl Mystic

    Pearl Mystic is an absolutely thunderous statement of intent for Hookworms (MJ - vox/keys/analogues; JW - guitarist, SS - guitarist; MB - bass; JN - drums). After a portentous couple of years of live shows and limited releases, a debut self-titled EP initially came out on cassette for Sun Araw's Sun Ark label. Soon after, there was a vinyl release on Faux Discx/Gringo Records. Both sold out. During this time their live shows continued to increase in intensity, cementing their reputation treading the boards.


    Live and on record, like Spaceman 3, they pointedly subvert the tripped out sound environments of psychedelia with a darkly malevolent punk menace; unlike J.Spaceman et al, there's no chemical assistance, these concepts and feelings come with clarity.


    A relationship lost, a battle with depression, and as MJ puts it "a half-hearted suicide attempt" are running narratives throughout the album. Tracks like 'Away/Towards' possess an infectious energy that juxtaposes with a subtext of a bi-polar approach to coping with loss. "Preservation", too, is in keeping with the group's live shows, though deals with existentialism, whilst several Raymond Carver influences are scattered in and among the bold textures of sound. "In Our Time" is inspired by hill MJ would cycle up near Otley in Yorkshire after the break up to catch his favorite view in the world


    The record was recorded and produced in MJ's own Suburban Studios - where he's worked on records for Mazes, Eagulls and Spectrals and more.


    Indeed, the most impressive thing about Hookworms is that, through this torrent of emotion, there's always the sense that they're in control of it all, so committed are they to this catharsis that they refuse to throw any of it to chance.

    1. Away / Towards
    2. Form and Function
    3. i
    4. Since We Had Changed
    5. Preservation
    6. ii
    7. What We Talk About
    8. iii
    Hookworms
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Alice's Restaurant (Pure Pleasure) Alice's Restaurant (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Alice's Restaurant (Pure Pleasure)

    Although he'd been a fixture on the East Coast folk circuit for several years, Arlo Guthrie did not release his debut album until mid-1967. A majority of the attention directed at Alice's Restaurant focuses on the epic 18-plus-minute title track, which sprawled over the entire A-side of the long-player. However, it is the other half-dozen Guthrie compositions that provide an insight into his uniformly outstanding, yet astoundingly overlooked, early sides on Warner Bros. Although arguably not 100 percent factual, Alice's Restaurant Massacree -- which was recorded in front of a live audience -- is rooted in a series of real incidents.


    This decidedly anti-establishment saga of garbage dumps closed on Thanksgiving, good ol' Officer Obie, as well as Guthrie's experiences with the draft succeeds not only because of the unusual and outlandish situations that the hero finds himself in; it is also his underdog point of view and sardonic delivery that maximize the effect in the retelling. In terms of artistic merit, the studio side is an equally endowed effort containing six decidedly more traditional folk-rock compositions. Among the standouts are the haunting Chilling Of The Evening, which is given an arrangement perhaps more aptly suited to a Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell collaboration.


    There is a somewhat dated charm in Ring-Around-a-Rosy Rag, a sly, uptempo, and hippie-friendly bit of jug band nostalgia. I'm Going Home is an underrated minor-chord masterpiece that is not only reminiscent of Roger McGuinn's Ballad of Easy Rider, but also spotlights a more sensitive and intricate nature to Guthrie's craftsmanship. Also worth mentioning is the first installment of The Motorcycle Song -- which was updated and discussed further on the live self-titled follow-up release Arlo (1968) -- notable for the extended discourse on the 'significance of the pickle'.

    Musicians:



    • Arlo Guthrie (vocal, guitar)




    Recording: 1967

    Production: Fred Hellerman & Al Brown



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.


    1. Alice's Restaurant Masacree
    2. Chilling Of the Evening
    3. Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag
    4. Now and Then
    5. I'm Going Home
    6. The Motorcycle Song
    7. Highway In the Wind
    Arlo Guthrie
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Legion: XX Legion: XX Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Legion: XX

    Pressed On Green Smoke-Colored Vinyl


    RIAA-certified, Billboard chart-topping, Richmond, VA band LAMB OF GOD may be one of the biggest bands in modern metal, but they will never forget where they came from. Mark Morton (guitar), John Campbell (bass), and Chris Adler (drums) formed the first incarnation of the band, BURN THE PRIEST, in the winter of 1994 after meeting four years earlier as students at Virginia Commonwealth University. Less than a year later, in the summer of 1995, they met vocalist Randy Blythe before adding Chris Adler's brother, Willie Adler (guitar), prior to transitioning to LAMB OF GOD - and the rest is global metal history.


    Guitarist Mark Morton says, "To truly understand the essence of the band BURN THE PRIEST, one must first consider the landscape in which it began: the mid-90s. Grunge and alternative music ruled the airwaves. Social media and the internet had yet to assume their role as our collective sources for entertainment and cultural exchange. It was a time when DIY 'zines turned us onto new bands and regional scenes, and 'copy and paste' still implied a print shop and a glue stick."


    BURN THE PRIEST's self-titled debut album, released via Philadelphia-based Legion Records, documented what was, in essence, a primal punk band performing metal. Ultimately, as they grew in local popularity, the five-piece chose to stray away from their name to avoid being associated with satanic metal, choosing the name LAMB OF GOD.


    Morton continues, "As our sound and songs developed, so did our goals we began playing basement parties and warehouse shows and in doing so, we realized that the energy we were creating was transferable. The shows we played in those squats and warehouses [in Philadelphia] and the people we met there are forever embedded in our collective consciousness and the DNA of our band."


    As they enter their 20th year since releasing their first self-titled album as BURN THE PRIEST, the band will release a full-length covers album that reflects on the greatness of classic punk, hardcore, crossover and noise - rock subgenres that contributed to what LAMB OF GOD - and indeed, the world - now view as modern heavy metal.


    As BURN THE PRIEST, the band presents Legion: XX - featuring tracks originally performed by CRO-MAGS, AGNOSTIC FRONT, QUICKSAND, MINISTRY, BAD BRAINS, MELVINS, S.O.D., THE ACCUSED, BIG BLACK and Richmond punk band SLIANG LAOS. The tracks are performed with the unmistakable precision that has kept the band vital for two decades, but ultimately harks back to the raw, punk-driven sound first explored by four unsuspecting college students and a line cook-turned-vocalist in their formative years. Produced with Josh Wilbur at the helm, Legion: XX exhibits BURN THE PRIEST in their true element.


    "Our inauspicious beginnings somehow grew into something none of us had ever even imagined possible, let alone aspired to, however, this is the story of BURN THE PRIEST," adds Morton. "The songs we chose to cover on this album reflect that story. They are touchstones from that point in time. The inspiration we gleaned from these bands and these songs carries through our work and our creative pursuits, even to this day. Many thanks to these bands for lighting our fire and endless gratitude to our fans around the world for keeping it lit."


    "I've been an ACCUSED fan since I was 14 when they were on the »Thrasher Skate Rock Volume 3« compilation with C.O.C. and all these amazing crossover bands," says frontman Randy Blythe. "Their singer Blaine Cook was a huge influence on me, vocally."


    Drummer Chris Adler recalls, "'Inherit The Earth' hit me in the face soon after I managed to get my grubby mitts on the album sometime around '88. I got the ACCUSED record at a "Yellow Banana" record store on Route 1 south of DC while in route back from my "counselor" to my home in Woodbridge, Virginia. I got home and grabbed my board and I rocked it on my Discman. At about 2:12 into the tune the clouds parted above me and on a loudspeaker, God bellowed down to me, 'RECEIVE YOUR PURPOSE.' That was the moment I knew that if I tried hard enough, I could convey myself and how I felt - with music. It will never be "ours," and we know that about all the tunes we've covered, but hopefully one of them hit you in the face as I had been, and God will part the clouds for you, too."


    Blythe adds, "I have a radio show on Gimmie Radio, and [the station] is all metal shows except for mine. I do the punk rock show because I want to show the direct correlation between my band, and the punk scene going back to THE MC5 and THE STOOGES. There is a direct link - look at old pictures of METALLICA, SLAYER and ANTHRAX, and they're wearing MISFITS, D.R.I., and C.O.C. t-shirts. They fused the technicality of metal with the intensity of punk rock. Before them, metal was like in slow motion. Speed metal bands were listening to DISCHARGE. I beat that drum all the time when I talk to kids."


    Legion: XX is a sonic tribute to metal's dark, dirty secret - the punk inspiration of all future heavy music to come.

    1. Inherit The Earth (originally performed by THE ACCUSED)
    2. Honey Bucket (originally performed by MELVINS)
    3. Kerosene (originally performed by BIG BLACK)
    4. Kill Yourself (originally performed by S.O.D.)
    5. I Against I (originally performed by BAD BRAINS)
    6. Axis Rot (originally performed by SLIANG LAOS)
    7. Jesus Built My Hotrod (originally performed by MINISTRY)
    8. One Voice (originally performed by AGNOSTIC FRONT)
    9. Dine Alone (originally performed by QUICKSAND)
    10. We Gotta Know (originally performed by CRO-MAGS)
    Burn The Priest (Lamb Of God)
    $19.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Late Night Tales: Django Django Late Night Tales: Django Django Quick View

    $35.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Late Night Tales: Django Django

    Django Django is the latest band invited to curate a prestigious Late Night Tales collection, set for release on 5th May. Like many of the best British groups, the Djangos met at art school, specifically Edinburgh College Of Art, before reconnecting in London. Django Django released their self-titled debut album on quirky French indie Because in early 2012 to some acclaim, winding up in many critics' end of year lists (Top Ten in the NME and Top 30 in Rolling Stone, among them).


    Their oddball approach to music, which sounds like the rich harmonies of the Mamas & Papas beamed through a refracting prism pointing towards Bo Diddley, Chicago house and outer-space (it's no surprise to learn that Django producer/drummer Dave Maclean's brother John was in the Beta Band, who also shared the same cinemascopic view of the pop landscape).


    "Rollicking sing-alongs, galloping into disco sunsets like whisky-addled and leather-saddled bandits on the stolen backs of prairie wild mustangs," is how Django Django describe themselves. Which is another way of saying they're pop adventurists, as at home with Mad Mike's Underground Resistance as they are the blues rumble of Canned Heat. A bit like this delightful mix, then, which darts about like a gurgle of guppies after two too many espressos.


    Check out mixes that rock between two-step delights like Roy Davis Jr's 'Gabrielle' to Nilsson's lyrically winsome 'Coconut'. At one end of the Django spectrum there's James Last, the terminally unhip Teuton, whose 'Inner City Blues' shows you can never underestimate the Germans, while at the far reaches of the mix, they manage to sneak in Ramadanman ('Bass Drums') and Hudson Mohawke and Lunice collaboration TNGHT's 'Bugg'n'. You can hear the echoes of influences in some of the selections, like The Beach Boys whose peerless 'Surf's Up' makes a welcome appearance halfway through, while Seals & Crofts' "Sweet Green Fields" show what sun-drenched pop can sound like when it's done well. And because it's Late Night Tales there's a sparkling cover version of 'Porpoise Song', the theme from The Monkees daffily brilliant 'Head', an admirably lysergic termination to this waltz through pop's nooks and cranberries. "You should never be afraid to make a fool of yourself for art," Dave Maclean once said. Let's raise a dram to Scotland's favourite fools on the hill.


    "We wanted to produce a mix that represented the band. It's what we're all into, so everyone put forward suggestions. It's what we are as a band; and we're kids that have grown up with an obsession about our mum and dad's record collections, like '50s and 60s stuff and then got into hip hop and dance music as we grew up. At the heart of it all is our parents' collections, with our tastes mixed in. Our Late Night Tales pays homage to that."

    Dave Maclean (Django Django)

    LP1
    1. Leo Kottke - The Tennessee Toad
    2. Gulp - Game Love
    3. Bob James - Nautilus
    4. James Last - Inner City Blues
    5. Philip Glass - Floe
    6. Map Of Africa - Bone
    7. Seals & Crofts - Sweet Green Fields
    8. The Millennium - To Claudia On Thursday
    9. The Beach Boys - Surf's Up
    10. Primal Scream - Carry Me Home


    LP2
    1. Massive Attack - Man Next Door
    2. TNGHT - Bugg'n
    3. Outkast - Slum Beautiful
    4. Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together
    5. Harry Nilsson - Coconut
    6. Canned Heat - Poor Moon
    7. Rick Miller - Future Directions
    8. Django Django - Porpoise Song
    9. Benedict Cumberbatch - Flat Of Angles pt.4

    Django Django
    $35.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Offerings Offerings Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Offerings

    If a Fellini film, a Bosch painting, and a Rorschach drawing had a collective sound, it would be Typhoon's new release. The 14-track record Offeringsis a musical and lyrical excursion into surreal imagery, eerie soundscapes, and an emotionally jarring narrative.


    The 70-minute album for Roll Call Records, which is the Portland, Oregon indie rock band's fourth studio album, centers on a fictional man who is losing his memory, and in turn, his sense of self. "I've always been preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory. I wanted to explore the questions: What does a person become if they don't know where they came from? What is the essential quality of the person if you strip away all memory?" explains singer/songwriter Kyle Morton.


    Motivated in part by his own preoccupation with "losing it," Morton also found a treasure trove of inspiration through various books, art, and film he was immersed in during the writing of this record. "I was watching a lot of David Lynch, and thought a lot about the Christopher Nolan movie, Memento, and Fellini's 8 ½.And there were a lot of books on my nightstand that played into this. It made it's a much darker album for sure," he says.


    Offerings is divided into four movements (Floodplains, Flood, Reckoning, and Afterparty) to represent the mental phases the main character goes through where he first realizes that something is wrong, then struggles through the chaos of his situation, and finally moves into acceptance before succumbing to his dreadful fate.


    "I wanted this record to be a journey, like Dante's Inferno. It kicks off with 'Wake,' where the character wakes up and he's shitting the bedand doesn't know what's going on. I was going for a specific feel that Samuel Beckett does so well," says Morton, who was reading Beckett's Three Novels, specifically Malloy, while writing the song's lyrics. "Beckett would call it a literature of impoverishment where he'd strip away as much as he could so he could get a feeling of essence and scarcity; that's what I tried to do musically and lyrically here."


    Mission accomplished. Morton also masterfully makes a parallel with the character's journey to the state of the world today starting with the second track, "Rorschach," which looks at the age of information and collapse of meaning.


    "But, by the third song, 'Empiricist,' there's a regression to the womb where the character is back in his bed at home,talking about his range of motion shrinking. This first movement ends with 'Algernon' [taken from one of Morton's favorite short stories, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes], where he's constantly awakening and in an interrogation with a woman-who the listener should know is his wife, but he doesn't."


    Musically, there is a sense of impending doom and chaos throughout the record that mirrors the character's fear and anxiety. "The claustrophobic feeling of only having the present moment and this sense of repetition is musically mirrored with this looping that runs though the record with a through line of choral parts that give it a darker, creepier feel," says Morton.


    To set the right tone for the story, Morton went for a less horns, more guitar approach. "We have a little bit of trumpet on this record and a lot of string arrangements. But we really strayed away from the horn arrangements. I wanted it to be a darker, more intense rock record, so it's very guitar-based. It's going back to my rock roots before Typhoon," says Morton.


    The concept of what the main character in the album is going through is also meant as a way of explaining cultural memory loss. "I was also reading historian Timothy Snyder and was inspired by his take on how America is at risk of losing their sense of history. If we haven't learned the lessons of our past, historically, we can't recognize when elements come back to haunt us, which is what's happening right now," he adds.


    One choral part ("Down in the floodplains waiting on a cure/ Blessed be the water/ May the water make us pure") was especially inspired by current politics. "I had Steve Bannon in mind quite a bit when I was writing these choral parts because I'm taking on this world view that I don't agree with, which is that the world needs a bloody struggle to reset -bring on the demolishing of order," he says.


    The character's downward spiral continues through the album's second movement, Flood, while in the third, Reckoning, comes the absolute-zero moment where the character is ready and willing to let go of life. Reckoning kicks off with "Coverings," which is the first song Morton ever co-wrote with a band member -Shannon Steele, who also sings on it. (Steele lends her vocals to the end of "Bergeron," as well.)


    "'Coverings' takes the story into the devil's mansion where all the rooms are the same representing this repeated infinite present with no reference. For me, this is Hell. And, at this point, our character has lost his marbles," he explains.


    "At the same time, on the worldly scale," continues Morton, "this is the point where we don't have any public trust and there's no cultural memory, there's just chaos. People are becoming identical in this collapse of meaning and you have no reference. If there is any point to this record it's that -Without reference, you have an interesting concept of infinity, which can be really bad."


    As the album comes to a close with the acoustic "Sleep," the character decides that instead of taking part of the chaos, he'd rather sacrifice himself. But there is light at the end of this dark, emotional journey. "The secret track, 'Afterparty,' is where he finds peace and freedom. It's his homecoming. He's on the other side of it now and has found his version of Heaven," says Morton.


    It's this level of intricacy in Typhoon's storytelling and musicianship that has helped Typhoon become one of indie rock's most revered bands. Their previous album, White Lighter, hit No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers Album Chart and got Best of The Year nods from NPR and Paste.Typhoon has brought their, at times, 11-piece live show on the road alongside indie rock peers The Decemberists, Portugal the Man and Grouplove, and sold out major clubs and venues across America.


    Adds Morton of Offerings, "I kind of wanted to make a dystopian record. If it's nothing else, it's that. If I could write my own one-line review, I'd think I'd want people to say, 'It's disturbing and unfortunately correct."

    1. Wake
    2. Rorschach
    3. Empiricist
    4. Algernon
    5. Unusual
    6. Beachtowel
    7. Remember
    8. Mansion
    9. Coverings
    10. Chiaroscuro
    11. Darker
    12. Bergeron
    13. Ariadne
    14. Sleep
    Typhoon
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers

    When Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.


    "I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."


    The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.


    But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.


    Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.


    In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."


    Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."


    "12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.


    With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis

    1. Carson's Blues
    2. New York Is My Destination
    3. Instant of the Hour After
    4. We of Me
    5. Annemarie
    6. 12 Mortal Men
    7. Harper Lee
    8. Lover, Beloved
    9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
    10. Carson's Last Supper
    Suzanne Vega
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Return Of Saturn Return Of Saturn Quick View

    $24.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Return Of Saturn

    Just like the heavenly occasion which inspires its name, Return of Saturn, the latest album from Southern California rock band No Doubt, is best experienced with both feet firmly on the ground, and with eyes and ears held wide open.


    The album's title refers to the notion that in the first 29 years of someone's life (the same time it takes the planet Saturn to orbit the Sun), a person is only beginning to understand himself or herself, which, singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani explains, helped her to discern her own place in life as she turned 30 years old. I wrote the song 'Artificial Sweetener', Gwen says, which has the line, 'the Return of Saturn, assessing my life, second guessing.' From the time you're born till the time Saturn returns to that point is a time of reassessment and a growing period, where you second-guess everything, and you clear out things that are going to be in the way of moving on in your life. I really did feel like I was going through a transitional phase in my life as I made this album. I think the name Return of Saturn is relevant in the sense that it shows how we've grown as a band, and as songwriters.


    The culmination of two years of creative blood, sweat and tears for the quartet, Return of Saturn is a bold and exciting coming-of-age saga. An intimate view of the world as seen by a group of musicians and friends who watched their humble worlds turned literally upside-down by the unexpected (though well-deserved) success of No Doubt's third album, Tragic Kingdom. While that youthful recording reflects the concerns and observations of a band at the edge of possibility, Return of Saturn represents that same group looking collectively inward. What they saw and what they created those two years, will surprise and fascinate you. Who am I, and how did I get to this point in my life, when I thought I was going to be something completely different? -- that pretty much sums up the subject of this album, says Gwen.


    Return of Saturn was recorded in two Los Angeles studios during 1998 and 1999. Twelve of the album's 13 songs were produced by Glen Ballard, (Alanis Morissette, Aerosmith), whose contribution was a key ingredient in the album's creation. In our band, everyone has such strong opinions that if you put the four of us in the room together you could have some troubles, says bassist Tony Kanal. But if you get somebody as experienced as Glen, not only as a producer but as a songwriter, you can bounce ideas off him and get some really cool objective answers, and it helps level the creative playing field.


    One song on the album, New (also heard on the GO soundtrack) was produced by the band with Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, Live). It was fun to start with a clean slate and create something brand new, says guitarist Tom Dumont, who also wrote much of the album's music. We hadn't really done much writing on the road, so when it came time, we had to come up with the entire record. Every time we wrote a song it was like having a baby. It's such a good feeling to sit down with an acoustic guitar and a tape recorder, and later to have created something really cool.


    In light of the international success of Tragic Kingdom (more than 15 million copies sold worldwide, including over 11 million in the U.S.), the four band members were bound to be subject to any number of outside influences and pressures when it came time to make their follow-up.


    But as it turned out, the band was able to turn any outside distraction to their ultimate benefit, beginning with pre-production and writing sessions at a rented Hollywood Hills house. I remember being in a very open, optimistic mood, says Tony, getting the house up in the hills, and just feeling like we had time to do it right. There was no deadline to deliver a record, so I remember not feeling pressure. It just felt like a good place to be, creatively.


    Drummer Adrian Young agrees: We were just more conscious of the fact that we're following a huge record, and we need good songs, but I don't know what kind of album we wanted, or expected to make. It was very experimental most of the time. In fact, we didn't have any predisposition about it. That's always a good way for us to approach the music. We've always been across the board, stylistically, and I'm glad we didn't lose that part of the band, he says.


    Songs on Return of Saturn like Marry Me, Simple Kind of Life and the album's first single Ex Girlfriend show vocalist Gwen Stefani in a reflective and unashamedly romantic mood, traits which she says are often overlooked in her hectic life. I think I am a romantic at heart, but my life in a lot of ways these days doesn't reflect that, she remarks. So I have this inner conflict about it, and this guilt about it. I'm very hopeful that someday those things will happen in my life, because it's all I've ever dreamed of. But right now it seems like my life doesn't have any room for it, and I won't make any room for it because I'm so passionate about what No Doubt is doing right now.


    The music on each of No Doubt's three previous albums (1992's No Doubt, 1995's Beacon Street Incident, Tragic Kingdom) runs the stylistic gamut, mixing in as many influences as the band members can think of, and this collection is no different. Tom says the band has few rules when it comes to songwriting. We discovered a way to write on songs like Just a Girl and Spiderwebs and some of the older ones, which we incorporated when we started this album, and that was that there were no preconceived ideas at all. We would sit down in a room with a tape recorder and acoustic guitars and start improvising things. All the songs were written very spontaneously, starting from a blank slate every time.


    The truth is, I feel like I've been turned inside-out after writing this album, adds Gwen. It's everything that I have been in the last two years, which have been really hard years for me. I just feet this sense of accomplishment, and this lightness has come over me since the album has been finished. It's so rewarding to be done and feel so proud of it, I can't wait for people to hear it.

    LP1
    1. Ex-Girlfriend
    2. Simple Kind of Life
    3. Bathwater
    4. Six Feet Under
    5. Magic's in the Makeup
    6. Artificial Sweetener
    7. Marry Me


    LP2
    1. New
    2. Too Late
    3. Comforting Lie
    4. Suspension Without Suspense
    5. Staring Problem
    6. Home Now
    7. Dark Blue

    No Doubt
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Eonian (Bone & Black Swirl Vinyl) Eonian (Bone & Black Swirl Vinyl) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Eonian (Bone & Black Swirl Vinyl)

    Eerie shadows are lurking in the dark corners of spring 2018; the spirit that denies, a force able to distort our conception of space and time. Over seven years, deathlike silence has filled the halls of the world's biggest black metal forge, DIMMU BORGIR, whilst powers have been gathering to resurrect the band right in time for their 25th anniversary. Now they finally mark their return with a vicious work of art that can be defined as timeless in the truest sense of the word: »Eonian«.


    Conceived in the heart of the Norwegian black metal scene in 1993, DIMMU BORGIR quickly broke free from the boundaries of the genre, daring to combine a traditional raven black sound with opulent symphonic orchestration. Soon they turned into pioneers of their field, forging groundbreaking albums such as »Enthrone Darkness Triumphant« (1997), »Spiritual Black Dimensions« (1999), or »Death Cult Armageddon« (2003), invading the entire world with headline tours and eventually turning into the most influential act of their genre after nine full-length studio releases. Seven years have passed since their latest manifesto »Abrahadabra«, they are now returning to rip apart the space-time continuum with »Eonian«.


    From a musical point of view, the band explores their boundaries in every direction with this new record, with the black metal parts even rougher and darker than before, and the epic, orchestral moments pushed to their ultimate limits. This time DIMMU BORGIR were aiming for a more organic sound for their devilish offerings, and reached out to Jens Bogren, who engineered the 10 new tracks inside his Fascination Street studios. The cover artwork was designed in fascinating detail by Zbigniew M. Bielak.


    The songwriting core of DIMMU BORGIR furthermore consists of charismatic vocalist Shagrath, as well as the string wizards Silenoz and Galder, but other familiar faces also emerge from the darkness: Drummer Daray and keyboarder Gerlioz are still part of the team, and Gaute Storaas helped with the choral arrangements for the majestic voices of the Schola Cantrum Choir.


    The lyrical theme of the Norwegians' tenth studio work follows a philosophical concept, dealing with the illusion of time and Luciferian codes:


    "Time, when not approaching it from the construct we're used to can't be defined and thus it is illusory", explains axemaster Silenoz. "There's only an 'eternal now', which the album title is already hinting at. When we travel between the worlds seen and unseen, the perception of time ceases to exist, it has no function. Our energy is our torch and our compass when we make rifts and pierce through our the veil - when we go beyond." Silenoz refuses to grant more information than that, hence why DIMMU BORGIR's albums have always been open for interpretation and felt somewhat like a dark room in which every listener believes to see something different in front of their light seeking eyes.


    "»Eonian« represents the illusion of time, everything that is and always has been. For us, it also marks the 25th anniversary of DIMMU BORGIR and the album itself is a tribute to our own history and the Norwegian black metal history", adds Shagrath.


    Since their debut album »For All Tid« from 1994, DIMMU BORGIR have always released their epic new works in regular intervals, but this time around, the Norwegians couldn't tame the beast of their creativity that quickly, and therefore they took the time it needed to slowly weave their collective ideas into these nine new tracks:


    "Some of the songs on this album were written in 2012. All of us have our own pre-production studios and just write separately, without too much communication at first. Over a time period of one or two years we collect our ideas and then get together and try to get the best out of the material", says Shagrath. "Sometimes this can be quite challenging, because we have different tastes and opinions - but that makes it also more interesting for the listener, since we want to create music that makes you feel as if you don't know what's behind the next corner."


    Silenoz agrees: "The main challenge is to hold back the beast. You're so into what you're doing that sometimes it's easy to forget that you have to approach the beast without waking it up right away, because you know you won't be able to control it. It's actually pointless to trick yourself to believe you can ever control art... It's like going into a lion's den with a rope tied around your waist in case you need to be pulled out real quick. Being our own producers also mean we have to step out of our own egos and look at our material from an 'outside' perspective. This is another challenging part of the songwriting process because you put so much of yourself into it - and then to start shaving off things, trim things down instead of adding - is a tough process. Letting go can sometimes be really hard but when we step out of ourselves and look into the mouth of the beast, only then we're able to distinguish what to feed it next."


    Thus, both classic black metal invasions such as 'Lightbringer', but also highly symphonic charged anthems like 'Interdimensional Summit' gather on »Eonian«, with one of the band's personal favourites being the experimental, folkloristic 'Council of Wolves And Snakes'. Risking a look far beyond the horizon, this song proves that the band follows 'no formula, no absolute', as Silenoz vows, and shows that the path sometimes guides them to places they would have never expected to end up when they started their journey.


    On the previous album, »Abrahadabra«, the Norwegians irritated some militant black metal elitists by appearing in opulent white / gray costumes. And although they chose a different appearance for »Eonian«, DIMMU BORGIR always keep new surprises in store:


    "We're definitely a band that does not follow any set of 'rules', if any; we're out to break them - for sure. Not that it's a goal per se, it's just who we are. We knew the white/grey look would raise a few eyebrows but whatever we do, or not do, we'll end up raising eyebrows", Silenoz states and Shagrath adds: "The album feels like a rebirth, but also like a logical continuation. Our music comes naturally. We're not sitting down in a circle, thinking about what we could do next - it has to come with a flow and with whatever is in your mind at that time, it needs to be spontaneous and is exactly what we could do at that time. Each one of our releases was linked to a certain time period of our life."


    After having released the live DVD »Forces Of The Northern Night« in spring 2017 which provided a monumental overview of the shows that DIMMU BORGIR had performed with a big orchestra and choir, the time is over in which fans needed to watch the band members on screen - hence now they are ready to storm the stages of the world again. The first headline slots at Europe's major festivals, such as Wacken and Hellfest, have already been confirmed, and further live plans are currently being forged for the second half of this year. The Lightbringers are back - and they've come to split apart the heavens:


    "We obviously rely on our fans, if a band says they don't care - they're lying. We're definitely ready to work hard to convince the 'doubters', the 'dwellers ready to strike', that what we have to offer is still very much valid. A new generation of fans and listeners who come from a different 'time' than we do are out there now, not shy to let artists hear it! And we're not shy to let them hear what we've been up to!"

    1. The Unveiling
    2. Interdimensional Summit
    3. Ætheric
    4. Council of Wolves and Snakes
    5. The Empyrean Phoenix
    6. Lightbringer
    7. I Am Sovereign
    8. Archaic Correspondence
    9. Alpha Aeon Omega
    10. Rite of Passage
    Dimmu Borgir
    $34.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Speakers Corner) Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Brahms - Hungarian Dances (Speakers Corner)

    Fritz Reiner dedicated himself to the interpretation of works by modern composers such as Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and BÉla Bartók, and it suited him well to tackle works such as Brahms's Hungarian Dances and Dvorák's Slavonic Dances. These lively compositions require a conductor whose interaction with the orchestra is vivacious and animated. Reiner always demanded utmost concentration and perfection from his ensemble. Under his baton, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra plays with enthusiasm and without restaint; no trace of a sterile concert atmosphere is found in this recording.



    Reiner's penchant for effects is not irritating, but rather adds highlights which support his highly musical interpretation, indeed one even forgets this trait when listening to the brilliant music.



    From a tonal point of view, the sound is beautifully balanced and reaches the highest standards despite its recording date of 1960 - or maybe just for that reason? The recording is characterized by its brilliance, warmth and vivacity with the result that listening becomes a true musical pleasure.





    Musicians:



    • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

    • Fritz Reiner (conductor)




    Recording: June 1960 at Sofiensaal, Vienna by James Brown

    Production: Erik Smith





    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.


    Johannes Brahms
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet Suites 1 and 2 (Speakers Corner) Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet Suites 1 and 2 (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet Suites 1 and 2 (Speakers Corner)

    As is widely known, ballet suites are the 'little sisters' of large ballet compositions that have been compiled by the composer mostly at a later date for performance in the concert hall. Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet is another story however. Strangely enough, his two Suites were given their first performance before the premiere of the complete Ballet. The applause can still be heard echoing through the world of music. This music is one of the pillars of a good record collection - and with good reason! Both Suites contain a wealth of delightful melodies that are given substance by colourful harmonic writing. Just how Prokofiev can ideally sound is brought to us by Stanislaw Skrowacziewski and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. In the first Suite he lets his musicians sweep with Élan through the Burlesque, the splendour of the Love Theme is full of lyrical intensity, and rises to a forceful climax filled with sharp dissonances in Death of Tybalt.



    The Second Suite, too, is of the very highest standard, both from an artistic and recording point of view. The characteristic themes and motifs are well contoured and brought to the fore while embedded in a fresh and natural carpet of sound which is sometimes filled with immense warmth.
    It is clearly noticeable that all participants have given much time and thought to this first-rate production. And the listener will certainly enjoy giving over a good portion of his leisure time to this delightful music.




    Recording: April 1962 at Northrop Memorial Auditorium, Minneapolis, USA,

    by C.R. Fine and Robert Eberenz / Production: Wilma Cozart




    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    Stanislaw Skrowaczewski with Minneapolis Symphony
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Satanist (Awaiting Repress) The Satanist (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $44.99
    Buy Now
    x

    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
    5. Amen
    6. The Satanist
    7. Ben Sahar
    8. In the Absence ov Light
    9. O Father O Satan O Sun!
    Behemoth
    $44.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel The Grinding Wheel Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Grinding Wheel

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like "Death Rider," "The Beast Within," and "Raise The Dead" already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.


    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.


    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. "It just makes sense for us," reflects D.D. "If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing "Grinder," the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work."


    "One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time," seconds Blitz. "Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics."


    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in "Come Heavy" and Iron Maiden in "The Long Road" and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.


    "Punk is huge for Overkill," confirms Verni. "And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world."


    Central to that premise is the incendiary "Let's All Go to Hades" which is sure to become a pit favourite. "This one was a hell of a lot of fun," says Blitz. "You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more."


    Adds D.D., "It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes."


    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is "Our Finest Hour." "It's about the recognition of sameness," explains Ellsworth. "I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune."


    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like "The Long Road." D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. "Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on "Our Finest Hour," is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.


    "I've had that kind of sound now for a long time," says Verni. "There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars."


    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. "Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds."


    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.


    "That's the strength of the band," explains Blitz. "Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization."


    And Ron? "He's one-of-a-kind," says Verni. "He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it."


    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.


    "I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.


    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.


    "For sure," says Blitz. "One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear."

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Yellow And Black Vinyl

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like Death Rider, The Beast Within, and Raise The Dead already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby Blitz Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.

    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.

    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. It just makes sense for us, reflects D.D. If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing Grinder, the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work.

    One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time, seconds Blitz. Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics.

    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in Come Heavy and Iron Maiden in The Long Road and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.

    Punk is huge for Overkill, confirms Verni. And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world.

    Central to that premise is the incendiary Let's All Go to Hades which is sure to become a pit favourite. This one was a hell of a lot of fun, says Blitz. You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more.

    Adds D.D., It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes.

    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is Our Finest Hour. It's about the recognition of sameness, explains Ellsworth. I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune.

    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like The Long Road. D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on Our Finest Hour, is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.

    I've had that kind of sound now for a long time, says Verni. There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars.

    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.

    That's the strength of the band, explains Blitz. Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization.

    And Ron? He's one-of-a-kind, says Verni. He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it.

    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.

    I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.

    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.

    For sure, says Blitz. One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear.

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Shrink Dust Shrink Dust Quick View

    $15.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Shrink Dust

    Calgary, Alberta's Chad VanGaalen's blood flows by unrestrained creative
    impulses. He has never worked in a commercial recording studio. By
    his hands alone, one line, sound, shape or word leads organically to the
    next. Over the last ten to fifteen years, Chad has been producing living
    maps in songs, drawings, modified instruments, animations and
    performances--shifting forms pointing to another world, infinitely more
    liveable, maybe hidden just under the surface of our own
    ever-disintegrating reality.


    In Shrink Dust, Chad's fifth full-length album under his own name, we
    have a new window into his world. The album is, in Chad's view, a country
    record. It is also partially a score to Chad's soon-to-be released, animated,
    sci-fi feature, Translated Log of Inhabitants ("It's like Bob and Doug
    McKenzie in space," says Chad).


    Always a fan of esoteric instruments, Chad taught himself to play an
    aluminum pedal steel guitar. His experiments with this instrument unify
    the album, along with themes of death, transformation, fear, benign evil,
    and the eccentricity of love. A newfound affection for The Flying Burrito
    Brothers, and the sci-fi mysticism of the 1980s graphic novel The Incal
    by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, also drove the album.


    Somehow, with all of its disparate influences and components, Shrink
    Dust might be one of the most accessible moments in CVG's creative
    life, simply because it is more apparent than ever how much fun he is
    having blurring the lines between the vivid worlds of his creation, and
    the world his audience inhabits. For those who are open to it, Chad's
    adventures in music and art illuminate a path that is more colorful,
    playful, and sustainable than those commonly available to us. A path
    that is, most importantly, always changeable.

    1. Cut Off My Hands
    2. Where Are You?
    3. Frozen Paradise
    4. Lila
    5. Weighed Sin
    6. Monster
    7. Evil
    8. Leaning On Bells
    9. All Will Combine
    10. Weird Love
    11. Hangman's Son
    12. Cosmic Destroyer
    Chad Vangaalen
    $15.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Funky Was The State Of Affairs Funky Was The State Of Affairs Quick View

    $14.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Funky Was The State Of Affairs

    Fergus and Geronimo's leap between their early R&B-influenced singles and their first wildly diverse record was so daring, many music writers and fans were forced to reconsider the pigeonhole to which they had already damned them. Happily damned them, since, after all, those early tracks went over exceptionally well. But observers and admirers were also left doing something not many get to experience in this dime-a-dozen singles renaissance: scratching their heads concerning what this group would do next. After a first record that was such a departure, not only did they wonder, they actually cared.



    Founding member Andrew Savage is very conscious of the risks the band took, the changes that were made in order to avoid being marginalized. Says Savage: "Jason (Kelly) and I had no interests in becoming lost in the indie rock/garage rock milieu. The nature of those early singles was that they were instantaneously gratifying, and we both wanted to make a record that was ultimately gratifying, but not necessarily instantaneous."



    Now we have an idea of how far Fergus and Geronimo are continuing to take their gradually conceptual ambitions, in the form of their second full-length record, Funky Was The State of Affairs.



    Like some of history's most well-regarded and oft-reissued acts, the group is doing exactly what they are compelled to do: making an album that actually plays like a cohesively complete statement. "I feel like bands aren't really making albums anymore. By that I mean, a start to finish concept meant to be listened to in its entirety. Labels are more interested in singles, which is in a tail-wags-dog sort of way.



    And yet the record is entirely unpredictable, even as it tackles reoccurring themes, which Savage says include, "aliens, technology, intergalactic dating/hooking up, the Roman Empire, and the earthling resistance movement." At times the story seems filtered through the earthling point of view; in the next, extraterrestrials listen to phone-tapped conversations by some understandably paranoid humans.



    Though at times it sounds like fairly serious subject matter, the group employs a sharp-tongued attack with the same sort of gallows humor cracked wise by the likes of their equally Doubting Thomas inspirational figures, everyone from the Mothers of Invention to Devo. Within the first few minutes, the tone is set; the bright, spiky, opening track over a Krautrock rhythm, "No Parties," contains a line summarizing the restlessness caused by the alienation of modern habits, sung in a mock-English accent: "Collecting devices, you're paying the prices/Of over consumption, with mental destruction."



    "Basically, its a dystopian sound-scape of our civilization's collapse," says Savage. Indeed, those feelings of dread are sometimes instrumentally emphasized by passages of synthesizer static and noise, which Savage attributes to being influenced by groups like Chrome. New members Bob Jones (guitar, bass, analog synth) and Jef Brown (Tenor Sax) also add to the playful chaos. Savage says the original duo added members in order to achieve "the tightness that can only come from recording with a live core," as "musicianship is extremely important to Jason and I."



    Since Brown and Jones both played in the self-explanatory Evolutionary Jass Band, which evolved out of the equally experimental Jackie-O Motherfucker, there is an expansion in the group's improvisational capabilities that wasn't as obvious on past recordings. Yet nothing sounds forced, each interlude is enjoyable, each hip-hop-inspired skit serves a narrative-pushing purpose. The record bounces from Booker T-styled soul ("Wiretapping Muzak I and II") to early '80s New York dance rock ("Marky Move") with an immodest ease.



    "Hi, I'm Heather Strange, and I'm a 23-year-old human earthling female" says a woman between the first and second track. "Really, I'm just looking for a man whose cerebral capabilities haven't been fried by LCD screens yet." Most people reading this might be able to relate to Heather's plight, or worse yet, sink under the weight of being the type of person she's desperately seeking to avoid. But such is the genius of Fergus and Geronimo. They have made all of these variously opposing forces; dark and light, alien and earthling, melody and noise, condemning and being condemned, something that you feel like listening to over and over again. If only to hear what happens next.

    1. Planet Earth is Pregnant for the 5th Time

    2. No Parties

    3. The Strange One Speaketh

    4. Roman Tick

    5. My Phone's Been Tapped, Baby

    6. Roman Nvmerals/Wiretapping Muzak I

    7. Spies
    8. Earthling Men

    9. The Uncanny Valley

    10. Earthling Women

    11. Drones

    12. Wiretapping Muzak II

    13. Off the Map

    14. The Roman Stuff is Where it's At

    15. Marky Move

    16. Funky Was the State of Affairs
    Fergus & Geronimo
    $14.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Painting Signs (Pure Pleasure) Painting Signs (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $49.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Painting Signs (Pure Pleasure)

    Painting Signs stands up as a complete work from beginning to end. Eric Bibb makes a fine case for blues as a music of introspection, warmth, and supreme nuance. Easily his most mature album to date, Painting Signs continues Bibb's formula of socially aware songs performed from an acutely personal point-of-view; standout tracks Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down and a cover of Hope In A Hopeless World hammer home his message of individual freedom and the responsibilities that accompany it. (It's no coincidence that Pops Staples, to whom Bibb dedicates this album, once recorded the latter song.) That's not to say Painting Signs is overly didactic or, indeed, 'heavy' in any way; even the most serious songs here, like the plea for peace and unity Got To Do Better, are leavened by a musical backdrop that's soulful and immediately accessible. Gospel-leaning backing vocals by Linda Tillery and her Cultural Heritage Choir help flesh out several cuts, and robust accordion fills by Bibb's longtime accompanist Janne Petersson add a subtle Louisiana flavor to the rolling, propulsive Kokomo and, to surprisingly good effect, the deep-grooved version of Jimmy Reed's Honest I Do. Elsewhere, he keeps a minimalist tone dominated by acoustic guitar, an arrangement that's particularly mesmerizing on the chilling title track. With its emphasis on sophisticated songcraft and its gentle blend of folk, gospel, and country influences, Painting Signs presents Bibb as an artist intent on blurring the line between blues and 'roots music' in general.



    Musicians:



    • Eric Bibb (vocal, guitar)

    • Wilson Pickett (vocal)

    • Dave Bronze (bass, guitar, vocal)

    • Robbie McIntosh (guitar)

    • Hans Theesink (mandolin)

    • Janne Petersson (organ, piano, electric piano, accordion)

    • Henry Spinetti (drums)

    • Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir (backing vocal)



    Format: 2LPs 33rpm / gatefold sleeve



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.


    1. Kokomo
    2. Hope In A Hopeless World
    3. Five Miles Above
    4. I Heard The Angels Singing

    5. Delia's Gone
    6. Got To Do Better
    7. The Light Was Worth The Candle

    8. Angel
    9. Walkin' Home

    10. To Know You
    11. Honest I Do
    12. Paintin' Signs
    13. Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down
    Eric Bibb
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Popular Manipulations Popular Manipulations Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Popular Manipulations

    It's not uncommon for musicians to grow and evolve between releases-but even by those standards, the Districts' Popular Manipulations is stunning. The Pennsylvania-borne band's third full-length represents an exponential leap in sound and cohesion, an impressive and impassioned burn with a wide scope that threatens to swallow everything else surrounding it. Perhaps it's a clichÉ to say so, but while listening, you might find yourself wondering why people don't make indie rock like this anymore.

    The total electric charge of Popular Manipulations is just the latest evolution for the impressively young quartet, whose founding members-vocalist/guitarist Rob Grote, bassist Connor Jacobus, and drummer Braden Lawrence-have known each other since attending grade school together in the Pennsylvania town of Lititz. After deciding to form a band in high school, the Districts gigged hard in the tri-state area, releasing a slew of promising material (including the rootsy 2012 debut Telephone) before catching the eye of venerable indie Fat Possum. 2015's A Flourish and a Spoil found the band refining their embryonic sound with veteran producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Kurt Vile)-and looking back on that release, there are glimmers of Popular Manipulations in chrysalis form to be found on it, hints of the fence-swinging anthemic sound they'd soon make wholly their own.

    After touring behind A Flourish and a Spoil, Grote began playing with different ideas in his own songwriting by making demos at a prolific pace. We knew that we wanted to change some things musically, so we were trying to come up with as many songs as possible to narrow the direction we wanted to take the material, he states. In total, they ended up with 50 song ideas, and so they were off to LA in May of 2016 with new guitarist Pat Cassidy in tow to log more recording time with Congleton, with four of Popular Manipulations' songs coming out of the sessions.

    We have a lot of overlapping tastes and preferences for how things are made, Grote gushes about working with the notably reliable studio wizard-but acceding all credit to Congleton (who also handled the record's mixdown) would be shortchanging the Districts themselves, who went on to self-produce the remainder of the record in Philadelphia with engineer Keith Abrams. Something we took from working with Congleton was ideas on arranging songs, Grote explains, and they certainly learned a lot: Popular Manipulations is a raucous and impressively thick-sounding album, overflowing with toothy melodies that pack a serious punch.

    The distinctly intense sound of Popular Manipulations-charging guitars, thunderous drumming, and Grote's searing vocals-was brought on by a few cited influences, from shoegaze's aggressive swirl to the Velvet Underground's impeccable drone-rock sound. There's a distinctly Canadian flavor to this brand of indie rock, too; Spencer Krug's anthemic, lushly inscrutable work in Wolf Parade and his defunct Sunset Rubdown side project comes to mind, as does 2000s Toronto barnburners the Diableros' overlooked 2006 gem You Can't Break the Strings in Our Olympic Hearts.

    But don't mistake easy comparisons for a lack of originality: on Popular Manipulations, the District are in a lane entirely their own, exploring lyrical themes of isolation and abandonment in a way that ups the music's already highly charged emotional quotient. Capable finds Grote turning his focus to the ruinous aftermath of divorce, and Before I Wake is, in his words, About coming to terms with being isolated or alone-even though we have a whole group of voices singing the whole time. Grote explains that even the title of the record touches on these universal concerns: It hints at how people use each other, for good or bad, and the personal ways you manipulate yourself and other people in day-to-day interactions.

    For such weighty thematic material, though, Popular Manipulations is purely life-affirming rock music, bursting with energy that cuts through the darkness of the world that surrounds us. We're a much better distillation of who we wish to be as a band, Grote reflects on the journey that has led the Districts to this point. We've figured out how to distill the things we've been trying to accomplish as a band, musically and lyrically. We've always viewed making music as something we're trying to do better the whole time. Mission accomplished.

    1. If Before I Wake
    2. Violet
    3. Ordinary Day
    4. Salt
    5. Why Would I Wanna Be
    6. Point
    7. Airplane
    8. Fat Kiddo
    9. Capable
    10. Rattling of the Heart
    11. Will You Please Be Quiet Please?
    The Districts
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • 1
  • 2
Go to top