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Standing On The Beach'
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss MeThe Cure followed the breakthrough success of The Head on the Door in 1986 with the compilation Standing on a Beach: The Singles. Standing on a Beach reached number four in the U.K., but more importantly it established the band as a major cult act in the U.S.; the album peaked at number 48 and went gold within a year. In short, Standing on a Beach set the stage for 1987's double album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. The album was eclectic but it was a hit, spawning four hit singles in the U.K. (Why Can't I Be You, Catch, Just Like Heaven, Hot Hot Hot!!!) and the group's first American Top 40 hit, Just Like Heaven. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me was more accessible and ambitious than any of the Cure's previous albums, the double album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me finds Robert Smith expanding his pop vocabulary by tentatively adding bigger guitars, the occasional horn section, lite-funk rhythms, and string sectionsLP 1
1. The Kiss
4. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep?
5. Why Can't I Be You?
6. How Beautiful You Are
7. The Snakepit
8. Hey You !!!
1. Just Like Heaven
2. All I Want
3. Hot Hot Hot !!!
4. One More Time
5. Like Cockatoos
6. Icing Sugar
7. The Perfect Girl
8. A Thousand Hours
9. Shiver And Shake
10. Fight$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Hasten Down The Wind (Awaiting Repress)Make Haste! Grab the Limited-Edition 180g LP of this Classic Now!
Did any musician have more talent at their beckon call during the 70s than Linda Ronstadt? Absolutely not. Part of her impeccable string of mid-1970s albums that defined California's soft-rock scene, the Grammy-winning Hasten Down the Wind is Ronstadt at her best and that's saying something. Consider the watertight repertoire: The Warren Zevon title track. Patsy Cline's (by way of Willie Nelson) 'Crazy.' Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be the Day.' Nelson's 'Down So Low.' Karla Bonoff's 'If He's Ever Near.' Ry Cooder's 'The Tattler.'
And then, there's the supporting cast, which includes Eagles legend Don Henley on drums and harmony vocals, folk-rock legend Peter Asher on guitar, session drumming master Russ Kunkel, and multi-instrumentalist sensation Andrew Gold playing just about everything with strings or skins. Couple this with the thematically revealing cover in a nod to the escapism of fantasy romance novels, the singer stands on a beach before an ocean and a running horse, her exposing dress a sign of the lovesick vulnerability that colors the songs and Hasten Down the Wind is the complete package of sensuality, passion, and poignancy.
Now, due to Mobile Fidelity's trademark sonic restoration, the album finally has the exquisite sound it has always deserved. Listeners can now literally feel Ronstadt's deep-seeded emotions. Even better, her covers of affecting ballads and midtempo country-rock numbers intentionally revolve around vocal-heavy arrangements. It's no wonder that the album, which topped the country charts, also yielded two Top 20 hits and resulted in the artist's first platinum-record award.
But make haste! Quantities are limited, and, unlike Ronstadt's timeless interpretations, this will not be around forever.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Lose Again
2. The Tattler
3. If He's Ever Near
4. That'll Be The Day
5. Lo Siento Mi Vida
6. Hasten Down the Wind
7. Rivers of Babylon
8. Give One Heart
9. Try Me Again
11. Down So Low
12. Someone To Lay Down Beside Me$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Surfs UpThe Beach Boys' 1971 album Surf's Up was the second release on their own Brother Records and it is often considered a lost minor classic in the band's catalog. Its socially conscious lyrics and haunting harmonies stand among the group's best. Highlights include Long Promised Road, Feel Flows, Til I Die and Surf's Up.1. Don't Go Near the Water
2. Long Promised Road
3. Take a Load off Your Feet
4. Disney Girls (1957)
5. Student Demonstration Time
6. Feel Flows
7. Lookin' at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)
8. A Day in the Life of a Tree
9. 'Till I Die
10. Surf's Up$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Strange Weekend (Awaiting Repress)Strange Weekend is Porcelain Rafts debut record, yet in many ways its his 156th. Somewhere in New York, Rome, or maybe London, there is a suitcase full of tapes, minidiscs and CDs, days and days worth of music, all of it the result of Mauro Remiddis 27 years of travels across Europe, from his native Italy to London; of caravaning with the Berlin Youth Circus playing traditional gypsy Klezmer music; of reinterpreting traditional music in North Korea; and of a stint playing piano for an Off Broadway tap dance show.
Amazingly, Strange Weekend, with deep roots in so many times and places, is an album that beautifully captures the fleeting right now. Remiddis interest in movement, about capturing a momentary now en route to the next, is apparent; postcards and polaroids of buildings and faces from the street flicker past. The projects genesis lies in this visual imagery. Over the past year, Remiddi has compiled a catalogue of images, gathered from the various nooks and crannies of the internet, that have served as notes, inspiration, context and a map for Porcelain Rafts music.
Remiddis androgynous vapor of a voice weaves like a ghost between Nick Gilder and The Alessi Brothers, Julee Cruise and Judee Sill. In more contemporary terms, Porcelain Raft stands confidently on a high hill between the sounds of M83 and Beach House. Lead track Drifting In and Out is loping and anthemic; gauzy and chiming. Shapeless and Gone follows with a heavy strum reminiscent of Cosmic Dancer, full of mood and style without all the wearying excesses and feathered boas. Porcelain Rafts thesis statement hits when side-B kicks off with Unless You Speak From Your Heart. Remiddis enigmatic vocals carrying a hook so simple that you might think you sang it first; keys and bass that might make the needle jump off of your turntable; and a sense of raw sincerity that has come to trademark Remiddis songs is what ultimately resonates.
And here, the myriad travels crystallize into something visceral; you may not be able to see the visuals Remiddi holds so dear, but you can feel them throughout Strange Weekend, and they stay with you as you travel on. Strange Weekend might have been made in a small place (a Brooklyn basement, in fact), but it is huge dream-pop, with melodies and synths billowing out in all directions.1. Drifting In And Out
2. Shapeless & Gone
3. Is It Too Deep For You?
4. Put Me To Sleep
6. Unless You Speak From Your
8. The End Of Silence
9. If You Have A Wish
11. The Way In$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
BloomBloom is the fourth full-length album by Beach House. Like their previous releases, Beach House (2006), Devotion (2008) and Teen Dream (2010), it further develops their distinctive sound yet stands apart as a new piece of work. The landscape of Bloom was largely designed on the road, between the countless sound checks and myriad experiences during two years of touring. Throughout this period, melodies, chords, rhythms, words and textures surfaced in moments of their own choosing. These spontaneous ideas were later gathered and developed in Baltimore, MD where the band members Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand live and work.
Bloom was then recorded in late 2011 over a period of seven weeks at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX and mixed for another two at Electric Lady in NC. The band co-produced the record with Chris Coady. Bloom is meant to be experienced as an album. A singular, unified vision of the world. Many songs were omitted or dropped because they lacked a place within our vision for this album, notes Scally. Though not stripped down, the many layers of Bloom are uncomplicated and meticulously constructed to ensure that there is no waste. Each chord and melody performs its role to form a whole.
The songs have depth and reveal themselves in new ways through repeated listenings. As a complete work, Bloom transcends the banality of simple emotions and arrives at a realm of honesty and complexity. It soberly reveals how frightening and temporary, yet beautiful, our existence is. It creates an honest reflection of death, as it must to relate to life. To this Legrand adds, Bloom is a journey. For me, it is about the irreplaceable power of imagination as it relates to the intense experience of living. A bloom is only temporary, a fleeting vision of life in all of its intensity and color, beautiful even if only for a moment. 2LP pressing with expanded outer sleeve in glow in the dark in, four inner sleeves and MP3 coupon.1. Myth
4. Other People
5. The Hours
7. New Year
9. On The Sea
10. Irene$20.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-CAP-2892xThe Beach Boys
Carl And The Passions - So ToughWith the addition of drummer Ricky Fataar and guitarist Blondie Chaplin to the lineup, the Beach Boys entered a period of surprisingly earthy arrangements.
Originally released in 1972, this title is now available on 180 gram vinyl and as a stand-alone album for the first time.1. You need a Mess of Help To Stand Alone
2. Here She Comes
3. He Come Down
5. Hold On Dear Brother
6. Make It Good
7. All This Is That
8. Cuddle Up$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Feel The NoiseYeah, it's a concept man. Rock n' roll... remember that? Well I do, like it was yesterday. Standing on the corner of Hollywood & Vine in LA or on Columbus & Broadway in front of Aquarius Records in North Beach San Francisco circa 1975... Thinking that all I wanted to do is rock out, so sick of everything I was hearing on the radio, all those bands seemed to suck to me, I couldn't understand what happened to the real rock n roll that I grew up on. Where did it go ? Where were the balls? Where were the guts? Where were the songs that blew my mind, the guitar licks, the harmonies... what happened? For too many years after that all I heard was the same old thing... "rock n roll is dead". Every time I heard it, it made me mad, it made me think... yeah... FUCK YOU! Then I heard the Ramones, and things got better for a while, and then it got bad again. Then I heard Nirvana and things got better again for a while, then they got bad again, but at that point I didn't really care anymore because I knew that Rock N Roll was never gonna die... you know why? Because there will always be a new generation of kids who will dig this shit as much as I do... Feel The Noise! Remember kids, the future is in your hands! Keep on Rocking!
Paul Collins1. Feel The Noise
2. Only Girl
3. Baby I Want You
4. I Need My Rock 'n' Roll
5. Don't Know How to Treat A Lady
6. With A Girl Like You
7. For All Eyes To See
8. Little Suzy
9. Can't Get You Off My Mind
10. Baby I'm In Love With You
11. Reach Out I'll Be There
12. Walk Away$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The RecognitionsWhile many couples can trace the real-time rise and fall of their
relationship back to social media feeds and harried phone calls,
Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church have channeled the highs
and lows of their storybook courtship into something else
entirely: the explosive, discomforting confessionals of
Exitmusic. The mercurial project started the year they got
married (2004) and all-but-imploded during their recent divorce,
but not before the duo wrapped its most fully realized collection
of beautifully damaged music yet titled The Recognitions.
It wasn't easy, though, for the band has always had to balance
its writing and recording sessions with Palladino's career as an
actress in such acclaimed television shows as Halt and Catch
Fire, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Storytelling and Before
the Devil Knows You're Dead.
Our relationship finally cracked when Aleksa took a break from
recording to work on a film in Iowa, explains Church. It takes
place on a lake so deep, indigenous people believed it had no
bottom, and was a portal to the spirit world. When Aleksa
returned from shooting, I could tell immediately something
major had shifted. She described an experience of standing up
in a boat on the lake and seeing her reflection in the water, and
having the realization that we had only been living on the
surface of life-that there were fathomless depths to be
explored if we were able to set each other free.
That feeling makes itself known right from the very beginning of
The Recognitions, as Crawl abruptly shifts from a sinister-butsubdued
intro-think: Beach House re-scoring Suspiria-to a
full-on exorcism, a fearless, fang-baring fight for one's life that
leaves a trail of blood, sweat, and tears behind. Things slow
down slightly amid the quivering strings, bold shuffleboard
beats, and minor-key melodies of Iowa, but there's no
denying what a wildly expressive diary entry this album is by its
end. That goes for everything from the bittersweet piano
balladry of The Distance to the queasy rhythms and delirious
hooks of Criminal.1. Crawl
4. Gold Coast
5. To The Depths
6. I'll Never Know
8. Trumpets Fade
9. Distance$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Lotta Sea LiceKURT VILE: We ran into each other on the road
in various continents and talked about the
recordings. I guess it wasn't till I had another
tour booked for the following summer in
Australia that we thought we should record as
much as we can, no major goal to make it a full
length but it came together that way because
the vibe was so strong. I love working with
Courtney, the collaboration was laid back with
COURTNEY BARNETT: Now we finished the
album, we dreamt up an amazing band which
we've called THE SEA LICE (inspired by a Stella
Mozgawa beach-side-story) and me n Kurt will
be standing there out front with our guitars
singing songs together. Songs from this album
we did, a handful of our own songs from
previous albums, maybe some old folk songs n
what not. Harmonies and guitarmonies galore.
Lotta Sea Lice is the result of 8 days in the
studio spread over almost 15 months when
Courtney and Kurt's respective touring
schedules allowed for them to be in the same
place at the same time.1. Over Everything
2. Let It Go
3. Fear Is Like A Forest
4. Outta The Woodwork
5. Continental Breakfast
6. On Script
7. Blue Cheese
8. Peepin Tomboy
9. Untogether$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Raspberries BestGo All the Way: The Absolute Finest Singles from the 1970s Power-Pop Mavens
Vocalist Eric Carmen and Co. Deliver One Punchy Chord and Contagious Melody After Another
Britpop, Psychedelia, Pop, and Arena Rock Blends Drive Hits Such as "Go All the Way" and "I Wanna Be With You"
Mellifluously Airy Harmonies: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI
Red Colored Vinyl
The matching Mod suits, trim haircuts, and youthful appearance weren't just for play. The Raspberries' looks extended to their irresistibly catchy and refreshingly concise music, a blend of bouncy Britpop, lazy-day psychedelia, mellifluous pop, and crunch arena rock that stands apart from the epic pomposity of most of the early 70s' commercial trends and continues to linger as some of the most expertly crafted sounds ever created. Over the course of four albums, the singles-minded group cut their share of memorable sides. They're all here on this 1976 compilation. And now, they possess a fidelity that even the original LPs lacked.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's internationally renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP extracts more information from the grooves, extending the spaces between instruments and breathing newfound life into the swirling vocal harmonies. The group's trademark singing is airier, the highs free of constraints, and the string-laden accents enriched with natural decay. Improved, too, are the quartet's amplifier-driven chords and frisky drumming, aspects that possess a palpable crunch typical of British Invasion acts.
Adept at both gorgeous devotional ballads and upbeat, fist-pumping rockers, the Raspberries claim a multifaceted talent in leader Eric Carmen, a crooner whose capacity to turn on a dime from a sweet falsetto to searing cry infuses the band's tunes with emotional exuberance and bittersweet weight. He lends sentimental grace to epic piano weepers such as "Don't Want to Say Goodbye" and amiable snarl to carefree numbers like "I Wanna Be With You." However, the Raspberries' greatest asset relates to their harmonic prowess.
Multi-part group vocals on bounding, surf-referencing fare ("Drivin' Around") and catchy, summery material ("Tonight") recall both the Beach Boys and Beatles. Yet the Raspberries bring a unique edge and R&B-etched rhythm to tunes that stand as proto power-pop staples. Thematically, the ensemble keeps lyrics as simple and memorable as its hooks, with a majority of songs speaking to the pleasures of romance and love. Breezy, fun, and indelible, it's music that never goes out of style.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Go All the Way
4. I Wanna Be With You
5. I Can Remember
6. Overnight Sensation
7. Let's Pretend
8. Drivin' Around
9. Starting Over
10. Don't Want to Say Goodbye$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ranked 309/500 On Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Although Jane's Addiction's 1987 self-titled debut was an intriguing release (few alternative bands at the time had the courage to mix modern rock, prog rock, and heavy metal together), it paled in comparison to their now classic major-label release one year later, Nothing's Shocking. Produced by Dave Jerden and Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell, the album was more focused and packed more of a sonic wallop than its predecessor; the fiery performances often create an amazing sense that it could all fall apart at any second, creating a fantastic musical tension. Such tracks as Up the Beach, Ocean Size, and one of alt-rock's greatest anthems, Mountain Song, contain the spaciousness created by the band's two biggest influences, Led Zeppelin and the Cure. Elsewhere, Ted, Just Admit It... (about serial killer Ted Bundy) and the haunting yet gorgeous Summertime Rolls stretched to epic proportions, making great use of changing moods and dynamics (something most alt-rock bands of the time were oblivious to). An incredibly consistent and challenging album, other highlights included the rockers Had a Dad and Pigs in Zen, the horn-driven Idiots Rule, the jazz instrumental Thank You Boys, and the up-tempo Standing in the Shower...Thinking. Like most great bands, it was not a single member whose contribution was greater: Perry Farrell's unique voice and lyrics, Dave Navarro's guitar riffs and wailing leads, Eric Avery's sturdy basslines, and one of rock's greatest and most powerful drummers, Stephen Perkins. Nothing's Shocking is a must-have for lovers of cutting-edge, influential, and timeless hard rock.
-All Music Guide1. Up The Beach
2. Ocean Size
3. Had A Dad
4. Ted, Just Admit It...
5. Standing In The Shower...Thinking
6. Summertime Rolls
7. Mountain Song
8. Idiots Rule
9. Jane Says
10. Thank You Boys$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
It's AliveSeattle's La Luz recorded their debut EP, Damp Face, in a small trailer on a hot August day. But barring the inevitable "no-AC-in-the-van" summer tour calamity, La Luz runs cool. Their brand of coolness isn't about distance or affect; it's a mood, and-sue me, but I'm about to totally rip off Zelda Fitzgerald: Something about this music vibrates to the dusky, dreamy smell of dying moons and shadows. So yeah, that kind of cool.
Still, La Luz's live shows, more than most these days, are about connection. It's evident that the four ridiculously talented ladies on stage are not only playing music with each other, but for each other. And they engage their audience as well. Like a proper punk band-which they are not- they give you shit for not dancing. They convey a gritty self-possession, a sense that they've been there and back again. And, like the expert, but seemingly effortless, surf licks and meandering bass lines that rise and fall throughout their songs, their mocking is playful and dreamy and disarming enough to get most of the crowd (and sometimes the keyboard player) dancing down the center line of a soul train.
But as any half-assed Freudian will tell you, there can be no meaningful connection without first weathering some dark and lonely times. Here comes the chilly part: What makes La Luz stand out-and stand out fast-the band has only been playing together for a year and people took notice almost immediately-is that this is a band that embodies that most elusive slant on the human condition: longing, and the fleeting relief that tags alongside deep desire.
In Spanish, La Luz means "light" and that's the perfect thing to evoke when your songs give the illusion of veering in the opposite direction. But lift out most any lyric-which is a good excuse to give a closer listen to the delicate, four-part harmonies that are fast becoming the band's signature-and you'll find that the aches and pains of love and loss, of living in a world where no foothold is ever a promise-all this is delivered with a nuanced dose of perfectly timed exhilaration, like the whole thing might just be worth it in the end.
Last spring, La Luz returned to that steamy trailer park to record It's Alive - the much-anticipated follow up to Damp Face - with their friend and engineer Johnny Goss. From the first get-psyched drum roll and eerie chords of "Sure As Spring", the dinged-up pop gem that opens the album, the rest moves like a slow drive on a dangerous road, slinking and bending as the terrain shifts. On "What Good Am I?", the lead vocals, and the swirl of harmonies that surround it, recall the Spartan haze of Mazzy Star's misty-eyed super hit. Smack in the middle is the title track. "It's Alive" is a jangly rocker with a spooky refrain, oodles of ooohs, and a marauding narrative that nails down the misty logic of the rest of the album. Two instrumentals, "Sunstroke" and "Phantom Feelings", showcase the band's beach jam surf chops, and fall perfectly between the chilled out heartache that surrounds them.
Imagine all of the Shangri-La's trying, precariously, to balance on top of Link Wray's surfboard.
The kind of sweet surf rock with a touch of melancholy that should be the soundtrack to the slow-dancing-at-prom scene in every teen movie.
-- The Stranger1. Sure As Spring
2. All the Time
3. Morning High
4. What Good Am I?
6. It's Alive
7. Big Big Blood
8. Call Me in the Day
9. Pink Slime
10. Phantom Feelings
11. You Can Never Know$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Down the Way
2-LP Gatefold Package Featuring 3 Additional Tracks
" a sweet and savory blend to warm the soul." - MOJO
"Brother Angus' acoustic guitar wraps sister Julia's whispery trill with an unhurried,
disarmingly simple melody that will propel you off the couch and into the sun."
- Marie Claire "Need To Download"
"If A Book Like This compounded the prospects of their future, consider Down The Way
the fulfilling realization of all expectations." - Filter
" the musical equivalent of a walk on the beach at twilight." - Nylon
"The pair melt in to one another to create a spectral and lush backdrop" - Clash Magazine (UK)
"Very possibly the worlds' favourite Australian indie-folk brother and sister duo"
- Evening Standard (London UK)
Australian brother/sister duo, Angus & Julia Stone's sophomore album Down The Way was released to critical
acclaim, charted at #1 in Australia, and features the stand-out track "Big Jet Plane."
Originally available on vinyl only in limited quantities in North America, the 2-LP Gatefold package featuring 3
additional tracks is being reissued timed with the duo's 2014 album release and October tour.
Down The Way highlights the endless talents of this brother and sister as musicians, songwriters and producers.
The self-produced album was recorded between England, New York and Australia--from an old sawmill on the
riverbanks of Fowey, Cornwall to a studio in Brooklyn, to a water tank in Coolangatta to the streets of London and
back to Queens. Down The Way is comprised of tracks that sail across the different realms of musical themes,
from folksy charm to epic orchestral grandeur, all the while emphasizing the pair's beautifully subtle harmoniesLP 1
1. Hold On
2. Black Crow
3. For You
4. Big Jet Plane
5. Santa Monica Dream
6. Yellow Brick Road
7. And The Boys
1. On The Road
2. Walk It Off
4. Draw Your Swords
5. I'm Not Yours
6. The Devil's Tears
7. Old Friend
8. Little Bird
9. Take You Away$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
CloudedEpitaph is pleased to welcome This Wild Life to the roster. This Wild Life will release their debut album Clouded in 2014.
Hailing from Long Beach, CA, This Wild Life is duo Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso. Jordan and Del Gross grew up in the tightknit DIY punk scene in Long Beach. They quickly became friends after working at the same musical instrument store, bonding over music of their teens. The conversations were about hardcore, punk and scream bands such as Thursday, The Used, and Senses Fail. Soon enough, they started their own pop-punk band and made music together as This Wild Life. They played fast, they played loud and they didn't stand out from the crowd until they did the least "punk" thing possible. It was also bolder than anything in the punk rock rulebook: they got quiet and played acoustically.
The music itself connected with fans, even as it surprised them. They take pride in making music based in hardcore and punk rock, but with wider appeal. In contrast to the harsh music that This Wild Life grew up on, Jordan finds inspiration for his vocals outside the hardcore punk world. "Sara Bareilles is one of my favorites. Maybe people wouldn't expect that. Or maybe they would," he laughs.
A big part of who they are as a band is to remain true to their DIY punk ethic. After shows are played, tweets responded to and comments acknowledged online. The band put in the work to gain the support of their fan base. Now, This Wild Life has an army of 80K YouTube subscribers with videos of over 2.75 million views.
Clouded is their debut full-length and was recorded with Aaron Marsh of Copeland. Clouded maintains the core attributes of their sound - Jordan's vulnerable, expressive lyrics, DelGrosso's nimble fingerpicking - while pushing themselves towards more ambitious sounds. "We tried out a string section, pianos, different kinds of guitars, we didn't want to limit ourselves," Jordan notes.
Clouded is the triumphant result of years marked by small triumphs, big struggles and countless floor shows, bringing This Wild Life's heartfelt, melodic and acoustic punk-rock to a bigger audience they've earned.1. Concrete
2. Over It
3. No More Bad Days
5. Roots And Branches (meant To Be Alone)
6. Bound To Break
7. Better With You
8. Looking Back
9. Don't Say
10. 405$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undefeated (Out of Stock)Bobby Bare, Jr. could've phoned in a career. He could've exploited the fact that he's the son of iconic Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, was born into Nashville's Music Row elite, and counted artists like Shel Silverstein as close family friends and George Jones and Tammy Wynette as next door neighbors. Instead, Bobby blazed a path of unique songwriting craftsmanship with a voice that blows through you like an unyielding wind on the desolate prairie.
Undefeated is BBJ's first release since 2010 and what he calls his "break-up record," but the whole of it is much more involved: this isn't escapism; it's an emotional survival guide. Undefeated is ten songs of reality checks, clever wordplay, and daring arrangements, the aural companion to that buddy who pulls up a bar stool next to yours to help soak away your sorrows.
Like a bespectacled, curly haired prizefighter whose opponent is on the ropes, Bobby goes at each release as if it might be his last round, focused, and full of energy and purpose. Undefeated is no different. The song list is a war chest of formidable uppercuts (e.g. distorted pop rock gems "North of Alabama By Mornin'" and "Don't Stand At the Stove"), eye-splitting right jabs (open and orchestral "Don't Wanna Know" and "The Elegant Imposter"), and sneaky left hooks (the crescendoing "As Forever Became Never Again").
Undefeated is an album of distinct balance, but with raw and varied textures. "North of Alabama By Mornin'" leads with a murky, palm-muted electric guitar and striding, crunchy organ backbeat; a combination that is undeniably kinetic à la Humble Pie's '70s boogie grooves and sinister and sexy, like a Southern doppelganger to Greg Dulli/The Twilight Singers. Bare Jr.'s ghostly high/low vocal layers echo the bleak picture of a metaphorical road trip, when his confidence slips, "Am I holding the steering wheel or is it holding me?/ The transmission is slipping like a pigeon through a tiger's teeth." By the song's finale, though, jubilant yelps ("Oh! Ho! Ho! We're goin' home!") and the electric guitar's pinch-harmonic wailing, indicate that things are headed in the right direction.
What's most striking about BBJ is his proficiency with a broad sonic palette that fluently conjures uncommon impressions of life's soul-arresting experiences. "The Big Time" is rock 'n' roll reinterpreted through the lens of soulful pedaled bass, celebratory and punchy brass, and the facade of big-city talk ("You're gonna miss me after I hit the big time/ Gonna get brand new famous friends."). In "Blame Everybody (But Yourself)" the band - Young Criminals' Starvation League - taps into a piano-inflected British invasion/Herman's Hermits sort of vibe, blended with the melancholic echo chamber aesthetic of My Morning Jacket.
At other moments, Bobby channels his country DNA (like in the Hayes Carll co-penned "My Baby Took My Baby Away"), mirror-ball gazing '70s R&B/soul ("Undefeated"), and bright ballads from the hills and hollers of Venice Beach ("If She Cared"). From anyone else, this refusal to play it on the straight and narrow would sound cluttered and disjointed, but Bobby never breaks a sweat.1. North of Alabama By Mornin'
2. If She Cared
3. The Big Time
4. Don't Wanna Know
5. The Elegant Imposter
7. My Baby Took My Baby Away
8. Blame Everybody (But Yourself)
9. As Forever Became Never Again
10. Don't Stand At The Stove$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock