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These Things Happen'
When It's Dark OutWhen It's Dark Out comes fresh off the heels of G-Eazy's Billboard chart topping debut album, These Things Happen, which was released last year to critical acclaim. With cinematic, personal storytelling and immersive, hard-hitting and sweeping productions, When It's Dark Out is easily the most impressive and accomplished work to date for the rising artist.LP 1
3. Me, Myself & I
4. One Of Them
6. Of All Things
7. Order More
8. Calm Down
9. Don't Let Me Go
1. You Got Me
2. What If
3. Sad Boy
4. Some Kind of Drug
5. Think About You
6. Everything Will Be Ok
7. For This
8. Nothing To Me$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
These Things Happen (Awaiting Repress)The James Dean of hip-hop, more commonly known as G-Eazy, has been steadily building a tidal wave of momentum...from touring with Lil Wayne to having been selected as Spotify's Spotlight Artist and recently for the iTunes Single of the Week. Now, with a deafening buzz following the wake of his sold out North American headline tour, G-Eazy is set to make a statement with the release of his latest album: These Things Happen.1. These Things Happen
2. Far Alone ft. E-40 & Jay Ant
3. I Mean It ft. Remo
5. Opportunity Cost
6. Almost Famous
7. Lotta That ft. A$AP Ferg & Danny Seth
8. Factory Girl (Skit)
9. Downtown Love ft. John Michael Rouchell
11. Let's Get Lost ft. Devon Baldwin
12. Shoot Me Down ft. Anthony Stewart
13. Been On
14. Remember You ft. Blackbear
15. Tumblr Girls
16. Just Believe$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
My Midnight ThingsSince 1983, the name Lizzy Borden has been synonymous with heavy metal music of the highest caliber. With My Midnight Things he has reaffirmed this standing, delivering the biggest, most dramatic, moving and cinematic record of his career, and one of the most essential additions to the genre in 2018. While showcasing a diverse range of sounds, tones and moods, it is unmistakably the work of the man who released a string of classic albums in the 1980s and two more in the 00s, but with a new fire burning at the heart of the record, it is one that he has lovingly crafted for those who scream along with every word at his shows. "On our last tour across Europe, Asia and South America, I noticed that the audience had changed," he states. "It got a lot younger. I looked out to see all these kids in every country singing at the top of their lungs to songs that were written before they were born, and that made me want to start writing some full-blown albums just for them. I wanted to make songs that would be theirs, albums that they could be a part of."
Having not dropped a record since 2007's mighty Appointment With Death, fans have understandably champed at the bit waiting for new material. Though penning numerous songs throughout that period, when it became time to seriously focus upon writing an album, the multi-instrumentalist did what needed to be done to be sure of creating the best possible music. "I knew the only way I could find what I was looking for was to lock myself away and experiment, so that's what I did. I wrote and recorded in my studio in North Hollywood in a very industrial area all night every night, with only sirens from fire trucks and these songs to keep me company. It was a lonely time, but very fruitful. You might even hear some of those sirens in some of the songs if you listen closely." Starting with between forty and fifty songs, he steadily whittled these down to fifteen, and finally to the ten that made the record, only wanting the very best to make the cut. As with all of his albums, once Borden hones in on a core subject matter he builds the album around it, and in the case of My Midnight Things, the theme is that of love. However, adopting a different approach to writing than usual, rather than starting with music, he instead focused on the lyrics, and penned the music later to best serve the stories being told, wanting every song to stand up on its own while keeping the storyline of the record moving forward. "I just let the lyrics drive the mood and the way I would sing each song, but overall I kept it varied and engaging enough so that listeners will want to devour the whole album in one sitting, without you hearing me repeat myself."
The diversity of the record makes it abundantly clear that he succeeded, and it makes for a thrilling ride from start to finish. Opening with the titanic stomp of the title track, the cinematic feel kicks off from the start, a serpentine seductiveness coiling through it, and the likes of "A Stranger To Love" and the bruising "Our Love Is God" inhabit similarly dark territory. The more stripped down, haunting strains of the reprise of the title track - which was in fact the first version penned - is achingly frail, and then counterpointing all of the record's darker and more brooding moments are the upbeat "Long May They Haunt Us", the hugely anthemic and uplifting closer "We Belong In The Shadows", and the frankly glorious "Run Away With Me". While the title of the album "means many different things" to Borden, he chooses not to disclose these, allowing listeners to find their own meaning in it, which is something important to him. In terms of the record's central theme, he acknowledges that while "love" seems somewhat obvious, he tried to find a way to see it through a different lens. "Sometimes being in love is the worst thing that can happen to you if you're with the wrong person and you can't stop it, and sometimes it's the best thing in the world. I knew I could find things in between every other song that's been written about it. So that was the challenge. But, even though I write with a theme in mind and with different personalities singing each song, I never write in storyboard form. I always try to write in poetry form. I think you can search for more meaning that way, from one line to the next there can be multiple meanings, as opposed to being trapped telling a story."
Having signed a new contract with Metal Blade on the strength of three demo tracks, Borden opted to produce My Midnight Things himself, with Joey Scott as co-producer, who also handled all the drumming duties. Having an old school approach to his drumming, feeding off the vocals, lyrics and melody rather than just acting as a time keeper, he was perfectly suited to Borden's approach to the record, which also applied to his role as co-producer. "I knew what I was going for and had doubts that I could find a producer who would understand that. My approach is very different than what is happening in today's music, but Joey got that and wanted the same thing." With Marliese Quance Mildenberger handling the majority of the keyboards, her unique melancholy playing style added even more "emotion and dimension" to each song, while Borden himself handled all of the bass, guitars, some keys and all of the vocal parts. Anyone exposed to My Midnight Things will find it hard to deny that like all of his records, it is a true vocal tour de force, each track endowed with a phenomenal amount of layering to create something that is uniquely Lizzy Borden. "The style that I record vocals harkens back to The Beatles and Queen. It's time consuming and tedious, but the result gives you a more multi-dimensional feel than you would get with a single vocal. When I recorded 'Master Of Disguise' (1989), I was clocked in at a seven-octave vocal range between all the backing and lead vocals. It gave the feel of multiple personalities within my voice, and I've used that technique on the last four albums."
That every song on the record could be released as a single is testament to just how strong this collection is. While truly a record for his fans, its appeal will easily reach much further, and Borden is as eager to get back on stage as his devout followers who cannot wait to see him back up there. "I've already started working on the 'My Midnight Things' Show, and I really can't wait to play these songs live. There are so many talented players out there in the world, I know I will find the right guys or girls to be on stage with me in my touring band, and just based on what is being talked about, so far it will be the best show I've ever done. I really do feel a new excitement that I have not felt in years. The best is yet to come."Tracklist coming soon!$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Like It Never HappenedSince their debut album Taller Children dropped in 2009, Elizabeth & The Catapult have casually nestled themselves into our eardrums with captivating, floaty singles like You and Me. And years later, they've remained firmly planted there ever since.
Whether or not you're familiar with the New York band itself, chances are you've already heard them in commercials for brands like Google and Amazon. However, despite this mainstream success, it's a testament to front woman Elizabeth Ziman and the rest of the crew that they're able to stay decidedly on the indie side of the equation. They're DIY at its absolute finest. Ziman has always been one to do things on their own, whether it's self-producing her music or busking in the New York subways in order to teach herself how to play the guitar, and we love that about her.
Now all of these skills are coming into play on the band's third album, Like It Never Happened. [Like It Never Happened is] an irresistible pop gem, but don't be fooled but what's just on the surface. Ziman will woo you with her crystal-clear vocals, but with lyrics like don't go remembering love, the message is coming across loud and clear. She might want to forget the love affair, but one thing's for sure...a song this good won't be leaving our headphones anytime soon.
Liza Darwin (Nylon Magazine)1. Happy Pop
2. Like it Never Happened
3. Salt of the Earth
5. Someday Soon
6. More than Enough
7. Please Yourself
8. Wish I DIdn't
9. True Love Will Find You in The End
10. Sugared Poison
11. Last Opus$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The River & The ThreadI went back to where I was born, and these songs started arriving in me, says Rosanne Cash. All these things happened that made me feel a deeper connection to the South than I ever had. We started finding these great stories, and the melodies that went with those experiences.
With The River and the Thread, Cash has added the next chapter to a remarkable period of creativity. Her last two albums, Black Cadillac (2006) and The List (2009), were both nominated for Grammy Awards; The List-an exploration of essential songs as selected and given to Rosanne by her father, Johnny Cash-was also named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. In addition, her best-selling 2010 memoir, Composed, was described by the Chicago Tribune as one of the best accounts of an American life you will likely ever read.
Cash, who has charted 21 Top 40 country singles, including 11 Number Ones, wrote all of the new album's songs with her longtime collaborator (and husband) John Leventhal, who also served as producer, arranger, and guitarist. Featuring a long list of guests-from young guns like John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and Derek Trucks to such legends as John Prine and Tony Joe White-The River and the Thread is a kaleidoscopic examination of the geographic, emotional, and historic landscape of the American South. The album's unique sound, which draws from country, blues, gospel, and rock, reflects the soulful mix of music that traces its history to the region.
Rosanne Cash acknowledges that, even with fifteen albums and four books behind her, it was difficult to start writing songs again after spending several years immersed in the masterful compositions featured on The List. You cannot keep that in your mind, except as an inspiration, a standard to aspire to, she says. To say, 'I'm going to write a song as great as Take These Chains'-you're not! So the only way to not get dismantled by that is to stay connected to your own muse, and immerse yourself completely in what you're doing so it can be as rich and authentic as it can possibly be. That's all you can hope for.
With The River and the Thread, she has risen to that challenge-and emerged with a beautiful and haunting album, one of the finest works in an extraordinary career.1. A Feather's Not A Bird
2. The Sunken Lands
3. Etta's Tune
4. Modern Blue
5. Tell Heaven
6. The Long Way Home
7. World Of Strange Design
8. Night School
9. 50,000 Watts
10. When The Master Calls The Roll
11. Money Road$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A luscious, elegant, electronic work - Los Angeles Times
Hip-hop instrumentals and electronic sketches;
pristine and prim - FACT
Gorgeously haunted - Pitchfork
We seek the new because of the numbness. If you listen to enough
music, you're familiar with the feeling. Sounds get recycled so often
that they can seem like geometric configurations organized via Wav
files. Trends get time-stamped faster than a triplicate trap hi-hat.
The most rare records emerge outside of any clearly delineated orbit.
They're solitary visions that supply their own rhythm and arsenal.
Music that reverberates through heart, brain, and spine. This is Nosaj
Thing's third album, Fated.
"I just tried to escape really, and escape even what's going on in the
music world," says Nosaj Thing, the LA producer born Jason Chung. "It
just felt so suffocating in a way. I just wanted to do my own thing."
It's been six years since Nosaj Thing emerged among the vanguard of
Low End Theory-affiliated producers. His debut Drift created 31st
century tones and chromatic textures so sleek that they inspired
innumerable Soundcloud imitators.
None could match its moody iridescence, faded sadness and funky
swing. Bach collided with Boards of Canada. Spaceships came
equipped with rear view mirrors and a booming system bumping
G-Funk and warped soul. Pitchfork called it "gorgeously haunted."
Resident Advisor said it "exists in its own dimension and feeds off its
own exhaust: full of alien choirs, conquered computers, and refracting
Fated exists in this same alternate dimension, but further out. If
comparisons previously existed with other artists within the LA beat
scene, Nosaj has rendered them baseless. His second album on
Innovative Leisure (after 2013's Home) seeks celestial escape through
"The last record took out so much of me. I just wanted to go back to
simplifying and overthinking so much. It was a battle," Nosaj says.
"The soul of a song, the essence of a song-whatever you want to call
it-should be simple."
By stripping away all but what's really necessary, the sounds harness
an unusual directness. Guest appearances are rare, save for vocals
from Whoarei on "Don't Mind Me," and Chicago rap phenomenon,
Chance the Rapper. The latter gravely spits on "Cold Stares," invoking
terminal fevers, empty beds, devil's whispers, and insomniac fears.
If comparisons crop up, Fated has most in common with records like
Burial's Untrue or Dilla's Donuts. Requiems that canvass the shadowy
hinterlands between life and death, darkness and light, loneliness and
love. Eternal themes re-imagined in ingenious fashion.
"The album name came from all these coincidences that just kept on
happening to me," Nosaj says. "Specific interaction with specific
people in unexpected places. A perpetual feeling of dÉjà vu."
It's foundation rests on that intangible thing that some call fate or
primordial feeling. Numbness receding, old emotions flooding back,
un-tampered visions. Fated is what you can't explain, so it's best to
just listen.1. Sci
2. Don't Mind Me [ft. Whoarei]
5. Cold Stares [ft. Chance the Rapper]
8. Let You
13. Phase IV
14. Light #5
15. 2K$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Santa Rosa FangsSanta Rosa Fangs is a stirring, stunning, and cinematic look and listen into the sometimes autobiographical, sometimes fictional journey of the venerable California musician Matt Costa through the tangled groves and grapevines of his home state.
Throughout the album's twelve songs, Costa illuminates what he has learned and how he has grown in the past 15 years of his career. His music has taken him around the world, allowing him to work with diverse, respected artists and to connect with people everywhere-from his albums released on Brushfire Records to recording with Belle and Sebastian in Glasgow, to penning film scores and releasing a variety of genre-bending EP's, and to finally coming home to Los Angeles's Dangerbird Records for his first new proper full-length release in nearly five years. A rebirth in a sense, through his keen pop sensibility, studious songwriting, technical mastery, and a modern-meets-vintage sound bursting with bite, Costa has recorded the album of his career, one sure to reach new shores and sailors alike.
"In the past 15 years of my career, I feel I've continually been breaking through, speaking out, and reaching different people," Costa says. "If one of my songs connects now to someone who didn't connect before, then we have a dialogue together. That's the point of music, to have that dialogue and tell a story, and to entertain with a sound that has depth."
He began the recording of Santa Rosa Fangs over a year and a half ago, though some songs here predate that mark. Over the past few years, Costa had challenged himself to explore new terrain, from the acoustic-fingerpicking/lo-fi garage/experimental sounds of 2015's EP's to the acid-washed and reverb-laden soundtrack to the film Orange Sunshine to another complete album that never saw the light of day. Realizing he sought a collection of dyed-in-the-wool songs rather than sonic experiments, in July of 2017 he and producers Peter Matthew Bauer (The Walkmen) and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks) entered a studio to begin work.
"There's a difference when I sit down to write sonic textures and when I sit with a guitar or piano and write a song," he says. "These new songs went back to a traditional sense, and when stripped back to their purest form, they still work. They tell a story, the melodies aren't leaning on anything, and they make instrumentation around them come to life in a new way, but their core is strong. My goal for the EP's was to develop conceptual ideas, making each one in a short period and with their own concepts; Orange Sunshine was a bigger exercise in that. Now, this record is all of those things I was exercising come into their own. It's more of a visualized record that takes you into the world of the Santa Rosa fangs."
The tale of Santa Rosa Fangs centers around a young woman named Sharon, her two brothers Ritchie and Tony, and their story of love, loss, and coming of age in a timeless yet contemporary California. It is replete with long distance love affairs and nostalgic romances woven through the loom of tragedy and time. Interestingly, rather than setting out to create a specific narrative, Costa began noticing a theme in the new songs as he wrote them: an unconscious embodiment of the surroundings in which he himself had grown up. According to Costa, the titular teeth refer to that inescapable feeling of a romantic, tragic, and eternal bite that certain places and events will always hold on us.
"I've interwoven my own stories into a fictional idea of what 'Santa Rosa Fangs' is, from my own time spent living in Northern and Southern California and years driving up and down the coast, seeing the landscape and where life can pull you within one state," Costa says. "It is all these things-the 'bite that is eternal, the smile in the neon'-and it has fangs. They stick with you: the romantic, the tragic, all that. It's the characters' story and my story, too, contemporary but still tortured by the past. It's a window into a time period but spoken as if it's the present. The beauty of love and loss doesn't have a date on it; it's timeless."
The album follows the siblings as they search for love and meaning in their lives, which are ultimately cut short by the passing of both brothers in unrelated accidents. Sharon, left battling with her own mortality and forced to see through a shattered lens, becomes the story's grieving, guarded hero and, as Costa says, is "a little bit me, and a little bit everyone." Similarly, the origin of the characters has one foot in reality and one in the ether. The song "Ritchie" is based on a true family saga, as two of Costa's cousins were twin brothers who died within a year of each other in motorcycle and car accidents in the early 1980s. Likewise, "Phosphorescent Letter" is the story of a local friend's daughter who endured a long-distance, online relationship with a boyfriend in Australia; in that dramatic situation Costa saw a through-line for Sharon's tale. "Because she is so tortured by loss she's afraid of love, so she sets herself up for a distant relationship, illuminated on her phone," he says. "It's a real-love thing that happens frequently these days."
Other concrete inspirations found their way into Santa Rosa Fangs as well. Costa imagined his creations in a setting similar to that of a Jim Jarmusch film, with dramatic events unfolding around them as they attempt to go about their daily lives as earnestly as possible. He also cites Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska as an influence for its songs and characters as well as its moments of sparseness. Like that iconic record, the cover of Santa Rosa Fangs is a stark black-and-white photograph tinged with deep red text, featuring three youths running along a freeway overpass. It's not clear whether the trio-Costa's real-life Orange County neighbors-are sprinting for joy or to escape some unknown entity; Costa hints that to him they are running away from the grabbing hands of time. "The song 'Time Tricks' is about that, too: it's inevitable and coming for you."
Costa also found inspiration in working with Bauer and Stumpf, whom he had previously admired from a distance and whose music resumes he respects greatly. "I really connected with Pete and Nick and took their lead on several ideas," he says. "That's why you partner with someone-you want their input. I shaped things a little differently by listening through their ears than I would have otherwise." Costa cites "Real Love," an upbeat, heavy tune written in 5/4 time, as such a moment of collaboration. Originally intended as an acoustic song, he was encouraged by his producers to approach it from a fresh direction. "I had done that sort of thing before, a Nick Drake, fingerpicking type thing," he says. "Pete and Nick inspired me to take it to a new place. To write a driving rock song in 5/4 is a real challenge, but I had the basis in my pattern and we all drove it home with a really strong beat. On my own I might have stuck with a simpler take, but it felt good to tackle some new ground."
In another circumstance, Costa again came up with two variations of the same song, but rather than being forced to choose between the two, he simply used both. As a result, "I Remember It Well" bookends the album, first as a rollicking, piano-driven number that sets the record's tone and pace, and second as a sparser, quiet version to end it. The latter was the initial version and was also the first song written for the album some four years ago. "That song is both the entrance and exit to this world, and also shows the process of how you can take a song, do it two ways, and both can be impactful and give you different feelings."
No matter how his process or approach may change-in the present moment or in any era of coming-of-age throughout his decade-and-a-half-long career-Costa recognizes that one unique thing in his work will always stay the same: his perspective. "Essentially, what it comes down to is this: I sit down with a guitar, and these are songs," he says. "I've worked hard to understand how to produce them in certain ways. You can try to dress up a song and put a different sound to it, but if the song isn't that kind of song then it's not going to work. I've had to exercise both of those qualities equally-to know how to develop these sounds sonically, and then when I know sonically where I want it to go, I have to write to that. I guess that knowledge comes with 15 years of songwriting experience. I couldn't have made this record any other time than now."
For Matt Costa, the world of Santa Rosa Fangs is the past, present, and future of his life all rolled up into one long stretch of sunlit California coastline.1. I Remember It Well
4. Pacific Grove
5. Santa Rosa Fangs
6. Time Tricks
7. Coming Around
9. Phosphorescent Letter
10. Windy Smile
11. Real Love
12. I Remember It Well #2$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Switch"Tenuously and perfectly balanced between experimental challenge and punk efficiency." - Pitchfork
"All sorts of wild, enthralling noises with little more than a pair of guitars and some amplifiers." - The New York Times
"Their minimalist drones evoking the tumultuous inner spaces of the heart and the mind". - SPIN
Body/Head is the duo of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace.
Creative alchemy doesn't just happen in the studio or in
the practice space; so much of it is the product of solo time
with one's instrument, learning how body and wood and
electronics fuse, and of subconscious processes as one lives
one's daily life-picking up the ambient noise of the world
outside, listening to others' work, talking through ideas with
friends. For Kim and Bill, time together these days is limited
to live performances and recording, so they've got to bring
all their magic to every encounter. Lucky for us, these are
two experimental sorcerers of significant renown.
Their debut album together as Body/Head, Coming Apart,
from 2013, was more of a rock record-heavy, emotional,
cathartic, spellwork in shades of black and grey. The Switch
is their second studio full-length, and it finds the duo
working with a more subtle palette, refining their ideas and
identity. Some of it was sketched out live (if you've not had
the fortune of seeing them in that natural environment
yet, see 2016's improvisational document No Waves), but
much of it happened purely in the moment. Working in
the same studio and with the same producer as Coming
Apart, here Body/Head stretch out, making spacious pieces
that build shivering drones, dissonant interplay, Gordon's
manipulated vocals, and scraping, haunting textures into
something that feels both delicate and dangerous. Less
discrete songs than one composition broken up into
thematic movements, a slow-moving narrative that requires
as much attention and care from the listener as it did from
everyone involved in its creation, it is a record that sticks
around after it's done playing.
This is Nace's favorite of Gordon's guitar work; she's truly
come into her own as a guitarist, having built up her
confidence through solo shows. The way the duo work
together, you'd never know they spend so much time apart;
on The Switch, their vision and focus feel truly unified. If
Coming Apart was dark magic, The Switch works with light,
though it never forgets that these approaches are two sides
of the same coin, and that binaries-black/white, near/
far, emotion/analysis, body/head-are made to be broken
open, and that the truth of things is in the energy between.1. Last Time
2. You Don't Need
3. In The Dark Room
4. Change My Brain
5. Reverse Hard$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Lehmann Silver Cube
Have a question about this product? Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.
The Silver Cube offers with its performance the most impressive musically gain we every experienced from a phono preamplifier.
- Hifi Design Jahrbuch
The Silver Cube plays in the league of the world's consummate phono stages. Dressed in a noble guise and with finest components, it delivers an excellent sound and thus clearly belongs to the best things that can happen to your records. Look forward to a priceless musical experience, let yourself get carried away by the masterful acoustic performance of our attractive top model.
The listening delight provided by your records is a very unique experience for you which can only be compared to the magic of a live concert? Besides concentrated energy you also expect matchless transparency, a captivating wealth of detail and a spectacular three-dimensional reproduction of space when enjoying your favourite LPs? Then the Silver Cube offers you everything you ever dared to dream of.
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To make the Silver Cube perfect, we have put our decades of experience and all our audiophile passion in the balance. Like always we use the best components from first-class makers. With love for detail we have optimised circuits and raised the mechanical system to a downright masterful level.
The Silver Cube can display its excellence in combination with almost any MM and MC systems available on the market. For this purpose the adjustable gain between 36 dB and 66 dB gives you the necessary flexibility. Finest ingredients such as high-grade Mundorf tin foil capacitors in the filtering network, mica capacitors in the input section, WBT Nextgen sockets for the signal connection and vibration-damping feet from SSC: these are important, yet nowhere near all reasons for the top performance one can experience with the Silver Cube. In any case, one thing soon becomes clear: the Silver Cube is not suitable for fault compensating chains.
The adaptations described provide breathtaking dynamics, excellent specifications as well as an impressively holographic imaging. The sheer elegance of this phono stage once again shows in its high-class aluminium design. It does not only serve as a heatsink for the discrete class-A output stage with no overall negative feedback, but also makes the Silver Cube the visual the star of your high-end system.$4,699.00Phono Stage Buy Now
Never Give InNever Give In is the ninth studio album from Will Hoge.
"I'm so excited about this new album. I can't wait to get out on the road and play these new songs for folks," shares Will Hoge. "There's gonna be a lot of different things happening live on this tour and I'm thrilled for everyone to get to see it. Couple all these incredible cities with such great support acts as Red Wanting Blue and Sunny Sweeney, it is going to be one fun tour!"
NEVER GIVE IN is a life motto for the Nashville native who catapulted into the national spotlight in 2012. Spending the early part of the year supporting Dierks Bentley's arena headlining tour, Hoge was introduced to his first dose of mainstream country. The release of the Eli Young Band Platinum smash "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," which he co-wrote with Eric Paslay, garnered an enormous amount of buzz at Country radio, earning Hoge nominations for the 2013 GRAMMY Country Song of the Year, 2013 ACM Song of the Year and 2012 CMA Song of the Year. While raising Hoge's profile as a hit songwriter, the song also introduced his music and records to the Country music audience; a decade removed from major label release on Atlantic Records, CAROUSEL. Currently, his song "Strong" is featured as the musical backdrop for General Motor's 2014 Chevy Silverado nationwide ad campaign.1. Different Man
2. Goodbye Ain't Always Gone
3. Never Give In
4. This Time Around
5. Still Got You on My Mind
6. Home Is Where The Heart Breaks
7. Daddy Was A Gamblin' Man
8. Pale September
9. Bad Ol' Days
10. Damn Spotlight Julia's Song$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Best Of The Boiler Room ClassicsIt's been over three years since Oscillate Wisely, the debut album from Mike Adams At His
Honest Weight. A lot has happened to all of us since then, but it was a particularly action-packed time for ol' Mike. His newborn son requiring emergency heart surgeries immediately
after birth (doing ne now!), his former rock band of nearly 10 years calling it quits, and plenty
of other heavy things have helped shape the follow-up, Best of Boiler Room Classics, into one
of the most believably moving albums to come around in a long time.
But forget about all that stu for a minute because we need to talk about how great these
SONGS are! And these are real songs, daddy! Verses, choruses, hooks, bridges, you know,
well-written timeless songs that at least some of us will be listening to 50 years from now. The
same mixing/mastering team of Adam Jessup & Eric Day have returned and have really taken
their time to make this album sound like exactly one million bucks. The thoughtful, hard work
that went into this record has resulted in something truly special, like a Midwestern Tusk made
by fun, lovable people who actually get along really well.
Best of Boiler Room Classics has the subtle, earnest warmth of an album like the Clientele's
Strange Geometry but with the arena-ready grandeur of ELO's Out Of The Blue. While there is
an unforgettable instant catchiness to these songs, there is a depth, both lyrically and musically,
that makes repeated listens a delight.
While this is not a country album by any means, songs like "Count On It" and "Don't Want It,
Don't Get It" nd Mike's comforting words gripping your heart like an old Roger Miller ballad.
Speaking of "Count On It", just wait until those actual strings kick in at 2:27! It'll do something
What if the GBV albums on TVT had been produced by Cowboy Jack Clement?
What if The Wonders songs in That Thing You Do were actually performed by The Pernice
Brothers? What if Dee Dee Ramone wrote "Late For The Sky" instead of Jackson Browne?
What if Todd Rundgren engineered a Cass McCombs record?1. If
2. Be Free, Live Well
3. I'm Worried
4. Findings of Feeling, Findings of Fact
5. A Woman Is The New Man
6. Count On It
8. The Bright Line
9. Don't Want It, Don't Get It
10. The Fingers You Know
11. That's Itt, Cuz
12. Good Thing Going$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Basses LoadedIt's 2016 and the Melvins have an album called Basses Loaded coming out that features six different bass players. That's right SIX different bass players. NEW Melvins bass players for this go around are Steve McDonald from the legendary Los Angeles glam punk band Redd Kross and their old friend Krist Novoselic from Nirvana! Making return appearances are former and probably future bass players Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantomas), Jared Warren (Big Business) and Dale Crover.
Six bass players? Is this a joke? What IS the deal with these ceaseless idiots? Can't they just settle in and be happy with ONE line up?
I suppose it figures considering how many goddam bass players they've had up until this point.
Nonetheless Basses Loaded actually works!
According to King Buzzo, "More is more! As hard as it might be to believe, all of these bass players contribute something of their own to Basses Loaded which gives the whole album a good kick right in it's big fat ass."
Recording with Krist Novoselic is something that should have happened a long time ago but rumor has it that he's been busy doing things like playing bass with Paul McCartney and getting his ass inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's hard to believe he even bothered with this! Ha!
Butthole Surfer and Honky member Jeff Pinkus played on the Melvins' album Hold it In and has done shit load of touring with the boys in the last few years.
Trevor Dunn recorded the Freak Puke album with these guys as well as played bass on the Melvins' record setting US tour where they played all 50 states plus DC in 51 days. This was also released as a tour DVD last year entitled Across the USA in 51 Days, the Movie!
Jared Warren is a Melvins' veteran having recorded the Senile Animal, Nude with Boots and The Bride Screamed Murder albums as well as the Bulls and the Bees EP. Dale Crover is usually the Melvins drummer but slid over to bass when they brought back original drummer Mike Dillard for the Tres Cabrones album (this line-up was called Melvins 1983).
Steve McDonald has been in Redd Kross since he was 11 and he's a founding member of Los Angeles hardcore band OFF! plus he's got REALLY good stories about the "rock scene" in Los Angeles! The Melvins have a shit load of touring planned with Steven this year so this whole thing is a really big deal.1. The Decay of Lying (Steve McDonald)
2. Choco Plumbing (Jared Warren)
3. Beer Hippie (Dale Crover)
4. I Want To Tell You (Steve McDonald)
5. Captain Come Down (Jeff Pinkus)
6. Hideous Women (Steve McDonald)
7. Shaving Cream (Dale Crover)
8. Planet Distructo (Trevor Dunn)
9. War Pussy (Steve McDonald)
10. Maybe I Am Amused (Krist Novoselic)
11. Phyllis Dillard (Dale Crover)
12. Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Dale Crover)$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Crooked TeethPapa Roach has never taken the easy way out and they aren't going to start now. Over the past two decades the group have established themselves as true trendsetters in heavy music: They've been nominated for two Grammys, toured the globe with everyone from Eminem to Marilyn Manson and crafted the nÜ metal anthem "Last Resort," which is still in heavy rotation on rock radio seventeen years after its release. However, the group's tenth full-length Crooked Teeth sees the band returning to their humble-and hungry-roots. The album was recorded in a cramped West Hollywood studio with up-and-coming producers Nicholas "RAS" Furlong and Colin Brittain, who grew up listening to Papa Roach and inspired them to revisit some of the traits that personally endeared the band to them, most notably frontman Jacoby Shaddix's remarkable rapping technique.
"We've always kind of considered ourselves to be the bastard cousins of everything we've every been involved with so we wanted to be true to that and switch things up this time around," Shaddix says. "The first time we met up with RAS and Colin, they said that [2000's] Infest was on constant rotation when they were growing up and they wanted to bring back some of that fire." The connection between the artists and producers was immediate and the first song Papa Roach-which also features guitarist Jerry Horton, bassist Tobin Esperance, and drummer Tony Palermo-came up with for Crooked Teeth was "My Medication," an instantly catchy banger that sees Shaddix spitting verses in between massive choruses and ambient accents. "I really felt like we had a personal connection and the music was just there waiting to be written and once we nailed that song things really clicked and we knew exactly what we had to do" Furlong explains. "We really followed our instincts and tried something unproven with this record and because of that we ended up with a bold, courageous and more adventurous version of Papa Roach." It was in this studio that "old school" Papa Roach ways, morphed to create this "new school" Papa Roach sound.
From the instantly infectious nature of the title track to the atmospheric sheen of the ballad "Periscope" (which features Skylar Grey) and the hip-hop rock mashup "Sunrise Trailer Park" (which features an impassioned verse from Machine Gun Kelly). Crooked Teeth displays the various sides of Papa Roach and illustrates why they've managed to remain relevant while musical trends ebb and flow. "We didn't go into this album with the intention of trying to write radio singles," Horton explains. "The collection of songs was really about bookending everything that we've done prior to this album and reintroducing Papa Roach to people who didn't realize the depth that we have," says Palermo. "The whole idea was to take the classic elements of Papa Roach that everyone loved and revamp them into a modern version of the sound through the creative process," adds Furlong. "We just wanted to flip everything on its head and see what would happen and it turned out more amazing than any of us could have expected."
"The people who have wanted to hear me rap for years are gonna love some of the viscousness on this record," Shaddix explains adding that while he had his own initial reservations about some of the album's more unorthodox moments - such as the 808 bass drop into a metal breakdown on the album title track, "Crooked Teeth" - ultimately those adventurous decisions are what make the album such a refreshing change of pace in a rock climate that's grown increasingly sterile. "I'd like to personally thank all of the guys in the band for making this happen because all it takes is one person to give you a shot and this was definitely mine," Furlong adds. "I want to be one of the best producers in modern day music so I wanted to work as hard for these guys as they would for themselves because as a producer it was my job to push them to get the kind of quality work everyone has been expecting."
Just as Papa Roach felt like they still had something to prove with this record, so did the production team who attempted to bring in elements of music from different genres and parts of the world while still staying true to Papa Roach's sound. "One of the big elements in my production is finding those pockets of rhythm that people associate more with rap or reggae," Furlong explains, a fact that came in especially handy when Shaddix was fine-tuning his freestyle skills. "I know rap rhythms because I grew up listening to hip-hop, so I was able to make sure that the delivery was on point and the beat was in the pocket so it didn't suffer from a lot of the stylistic pitfalls that can happen when you merge rock and rap."
Crooked Teeth also sees Shaddix pulling no punches lyrically, as evidenced on intensely personal tracks like "Born For Greatness," produced by Jason Evigan (Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato, Kehlani, Madonna), which sees Shaddix getting sentimental about his three children, or "American Dream" where the lifelong pacifist begs the listener to ask, "have you ever thought war was a sickness?" "My father is a Vietnam veteran and a lot of those soldiers came back to a country where people weren't accepting them back into society or aware of the effects that war has on your psyche," Shaddix says of the song." "Post-traumatic stress disorder and the disintegration of the American family are things I've dealt with personally and I knew other people could relate to. I think that's what makes this record bold. Nothing was off limits when it came to what was on my mind."
Never one to shy away from difficult topics, Papa Roach dug deep with Crooked Teeth and refused to censor themselves when it came to their opinion of the current political landscape and organized religion. For example, on "None Of The Above," every ounce of musical intensity on the album is mirrored by Shaddix's words whether he's screaming, singing or rhyming. "It took me a long time, but eventually I realized that in life we're all human and we all make mistakes whether you're the president or the preacher, you know?" Shaddix explains when asked about the latter song. "It's an example of how I can get lost in a storyline and explore so many different issues in one track and that's what I love about this record. Just the spark of an idea would instantly ignite and the next thing we knew we had another song that we all loved."
In many ways making Crooked Teeth reminded Shaddix of the band's early days, well before they sold millions of albums and became a household name. "When we were in the rehearsal space I wasn't thinking about who I needed to impress, I was thinking about how much I love making music with the guys in this band," Shaddix admits. "It feels honest and it feels pure," adds Esperance. Fittingly, throughout the process, Shaddix gained inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin and Faith No More, acts who constantly redefined themselves and were never content to rest on the merits of a hit single." This band encompasses some of my greatest victories, but it's also brought out some of my darkest character flaws," Shaddix summarizes, "so I have kind of a love-hate relationship with this music, but I can't stop because I've got too much of my life invested in it at this point. We are a purpose-driven band and I've got a responsibility to myself and our fans to continue to create."1. Break The Fall
2. Crooked Teeth
3. My Medication
4. Born For Greatness
5. American Dreams
8. Sunrise Trailer Park
10. None Of The Above$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Eyehategod (Awaiting Repress)Legendary New Orleans gods of sludge, excess and mayhem EYEHATEGOD release their new, self-titled album.
Mixed by Sanford Parker, Eyehategod will feature the final recordings of EYEHATEGOD drummer Joey LaCaze, who passed away last August of respiratory failure. He also suffered from severe long-term asthma. He has since been replaced by Aaron Hill, who comes by way of New Orleans' local acts MISSING MONUMENTS and MOUNTAIN OF WIZARD.
In a recent interview with NPR, EYEHATEGOD frontman Mike IX Williams stated about the band's forthcoming album: We started out the recording with Billy Anderson. He recorded the drums, bass and some guitar, but that was a mess. There was a documentary crew in there filming, and it was distracting away from our time recording. Jimmy [Bower, guitar] was having a couple problems at the time too, waiting for his kid to be born, so it was a weird time to be in the studio. We ended up using just Joey's drum tracks from Billy. He's awesome - I love him and there's no hard feelings, but we just wanted to finish it somewhere else. We got Steve Berrigan to come out to where I live two hours outside of NOLA, and redid the bass and the guitars. Phil Anselmo [PANTERA, DOWN] gave me some ideas for the vocals, like how we did the ARSON ANTHEM record; me and him work well together.
Asked if EYEHATEGOD ever considered giving up following Joey's passing, Mike said: It was never an option as far as I'm concerned. I don't think it was for anybody else either.
This all happened at the end of September, when we'd just gotten back from a six-week tour of Europe. He's had pretty bad asthma ever since I've known him, and in Europe he was having these weird sleep apnea things when he was sleeping. It was a breathing issue, a respiratory thing, but I don't know; I'm not a doctor. So when we got back, that's when he passed away, so there was a little bit of time in there when we had to think - 'We've got shows booked. What do we do?' We did have to cancel probably 50% of them, but we still just said, 'Let's keep going, that's what he would want us to do.' We'd even had conversations before, when Joey and I would talk, and he'd ask me, 'Who would you get to replace me?' Things like that, and just be honest with each other. He knew the band would keep going, and he wanted it to.
To me, it's just part of life; it's just the way things happen, what cards you're dealt, how life treats you.
We don't know how to give up. That's been the story of our entire career, our lives, even without the band. We just don't know when to quit. It's just a matter of moving forward.
- Blabbermouth1. Agitation! Propaganda!
2. Trying to Crack the Hard Dollar
3. Parish Motel Sickness
4. Quitter's Offensive
5. Nobody Told Me
6. Worthless Rescue
7. Framed to the Wall
8. Robitussin and Rejection
9. Flags and Cities Bound
10. Medicine Noose
11. The Age of Bootcamp$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The Secret History, Vol. 1The strangest thing about Pavement? Not that there were ever many non-strange things about Pavement? Even though they made their era's finest rock albums, the albums only told half their story. Pavement also made some of the Nineties' best albums that *never* happened. Until now.
Pavement made five proper album-as-albums: Slanted and Enchanted (1992), Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994), Wowee Zowee (1995), Brighten The Corners (1997) and Terror Twilight (1999). Each has its own sound. Each has its own legend. But each of their official albums has a shadow album-and it's usually as strong as the album that actually *did* come out. It's time for the world to hear the albums Pavement could have made, if they'd been a little less ambitious about music and a little more ambitious about the music business. If they'd been the kind of band to sweat the legacy. But if they were that kind of band, would they have written so many great songs? Much less *these* great songs? No.
Matador is finally releasing a series of these shadow albums. The first, naturally, is *The Secret History Vol. 1*, collecting the songs that got away during the era of Slanted and Enchanted, which Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg and Gary Young recorded on the cheaper-than-cheap in January 1991. *Secret Slanted History* collects gems from Peel Sessions ("Kentucky Cocktail," "Circa 1762") and seven-inches ("Baptist Blacktick") as well as live slop from the first European tours, with Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich in the fold. Some are outtakes from *Slanted*-imagine leaving these tunes off your first album, when as far as you know or imagine, it's your *only* album. These tracks (some of which had never been rumored among Pavement freaks) came out on the 2002 *Slanted and Enchanted* reissue. But they've never been separately available as an album in their own right, and many of them have never been on vinyl before.
The rarities collected here could have been-or maybe even should have been-cobbled together into a quickie stopgap album, a Slantedsequel.LP1
1. Sue Me Jack
2. So Stark (You're A Skyscraper)
3. Summer Babe (7 Version)
4. Mercy Snack: The Laundromat
5. Baptiss Blacktick
6. My First Mine
7. Nothing Ever Happens
8. Here (Alternative Mix)
10. Circa 1762 (Peel Session 1)
11. Kentucky Cocktail (Peel Session 1)
12. Secret Knowledge Of Backroads (Peel Session 1)
13. Here (Peel Session 1)
14. Rain Ammunition (Peel Session 2)
15. Drunks With Guns (Peel Session 2)
1. Ed Ames (Peel Session 2)
2. The List Of Dorms (Peel Session 2)
3. Conduit For Sale [Live Brixton 1992]
4. Fame Throwa [Live Brixton 1992]
5. Home [Live Brixton 1992]
6. Perfume-V [Live Brixton 1992]
7. Summer Babe [Live Brixton 1992]
8. Frontwards [Live Brixton 1992]
9. Angel Carver Blues/Mellow Jazz Docent [Live Brixton 1992]
10. Two States [Live Brixton 1992]
11. No Life Singed Her [Live Brixton 1992]
12. So Stark (You're A Skyscraper) [Live Brixton 1992]
13. Box Elder [Live Brixton 1992]
14. Baby Yeah [Live Brixton 1992]
15. In The Mouth A Desert [Live Brixton 1992]$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
RideFor his fiftieth birthday, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian wanted one present more than any other - the reunion of one of his favorite unsung heroes, Mother Superior - only he wanted to be a part of the lineup. They're a great, classic band that hit me in the same spot as all my favorite '70s bands, whether it's UFO, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick or KISS, Ian explains. I knew getting to play with them would be like joining KISS.
Thanks to Scott's wife Pearl Aday, who has been working with Mother Superior front man Jim Wilson for years, all it took was a quick phone call and the stage was literally set for Scott's dream gig.
The band, which quickly gained the interests of Joey Vera (Armored Saint/Fates Warning) and John Tempesta (White Zombie, The Cult) called itself Motor Sister after the Mother Superior song Little Motor Sister and got together the day before the party to rehearse in Ian's jam room. The energy in the room was amazing, Ian says. It felt awesome. It was just something we did for fun and to celebrate my birthday.
The minute I started to play with Scott, Joey and John the chemistry was amazing, Wilson says. We sounded like a band that had been together forever. Enthralled at the idea of making a record of his favorite Mother Superior songs, Ian contacted producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and asked if he thought it was possible to recapture the same spontaneous energy generated at their makeshift gig. He said, 'Yeah, we can make the record in two days and we can make it sound really good.' So that's what we did, Ian says. A week and a half later, we made the record in LA over a two day period. We recorded the whole thing live in the studio.
While everyone in Motor Sister is busy with their day jobs, they are all interested in playing live as much as possible. We are a great live band Ian says. We proved it to ourselves in my jam room. It was our ability to play live together that made this happen and I can see us getting onstage and playing this shit back-to-back, Ramones-style, and just blowing people's minds with the power of these songs. And the door is always open to write more material because Pearl and Jim are always working together and I'm always with them. So we'll see what happens in the future.LP 1
1. A Hole
2. This Song Reminds Me of You
3. Beg Borrow Steal
4. Fool Around
5. Get That Girl
6. Head Hanging Low
1. Fork in the Road
2. Little Motor Sister
3. Pretty in the Morning
6. Devil Wind$30.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-CAP-0814xLittle Big Town
The BreakerLittle Big Town will release their brand-new record, The Breaker via Capitol Nashville. The collection, which features their now No. 1 single "Better Man," was written and recorded during one of their busiest and most successful years to-date, so they weren't able to write as many songs for it as they have for previous albums.
"We had an incredibly like creative year last year. I mean, we went from starting this record to making the Pharrell record, which was unexpected but such a joy and so creative in a different way than the records that we make with Jay [Joyce]," says LBT's Karen Fairchild. "And so, we were writing, and then we were writing with Pharrell and then that ended up being a record. And then we were planning the tour and we went out on the road with Luke for 70 shows, and it just never stopped. And it was like all year long output, output, output of creative. And so yeah, the writing scenarios on the record might not look like they have on past records, but it was just the way it was going to happen. I mean, when you're that busy it's like the success also makes it difficult to like write all the time, because writing on the road is not the easiest thing in the world. You have a million distractions, and so there's all kinds of things like getting focused. But we had also the blessing of having all of these incredible songs sent to us and they seemed to be piecing themselves together."1. Happy People
2. Night On Our Side
3. Lost In California
5. Drivin' Around
6. We Went To The Beach
7. Better Man
9. Don't Die Young, Don't Get Old
10. Beat Up Bible
11. When Someone Stops Loving You
12. The Breaker$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
TweenThe word "tween" implies a certain, very specific kind of awkwardness, and
those implications are rarely positive. But think about it like this: Something
"tween" is in the process of becoming something else, and there's a very
specific kind of beauty in that becoming. There's something rewarding in
recognizing and celebrating it-in meeting it halfway.
Tween is a collection of eight songs born, raised, and almost abandoned for
various reasons during the years between 2011's breakthrough Civilian and
2014's reinvention-of-sorts, Shriek.
Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack described these songs as "not emblematic of
a step forward, but a step sideways in time." In other words, they just didn't
make sense for album number five-which will happen at some point in the
future. But just because they didn't belong there doesn't mean they don't
belong anywhere. To wedge them onto Shriek would've been dishonest; to
orphan them would've been somewhere on the line between criminal and just
Now that your expectations are lowered, let's build them back up, because
Tween is full of gorgeous Wye Oak songs whose only crime was timing and
context, made by two people at the height of their game. At first these songs
sounded too disparate to me to be called an album, but the more Tween sank
in, the more it made sense: One minute Jenn and Andy are embracing their
floatiest Cocteau Twins instinct ("If You Should See"), the next they're back
in Civilian territory a bit ("No Dreaming"), and later they're slinky and
electronic and gorgeously '80s ("On Luxury").
The common thread: These are no castaways or cutouts. In fact, pound for
pound, Tween might actually be more directly accessible than Shriek. It should
join the pantheon of amazing not-albums of history whose names try to
downplay how good they actually are, like R.E.M.'s Dead Letter Office, The
Who's Odds and Sods, maybe even Dinosaur Jr.'s Whatever's Cool With Me.
Who knows what an album is at this point, anyway? Here's what Jenn and
Andy had to say: "We rejoice in being free to make what we like and release it
in a way that feels true, and you are free to enjoy it or dismiss it as it suits you.
We hope, of course, for the former. But-all gimmicks aside-we created this
thing with love and are so happy to share it with you, whoever you are."
-Josh Modell1. Out of Nowhere
2. If You Should See
3. No Dreaming
4. Too Right
5. Better (For Esther)
6. On Luxury
7. Trigger Finger
8. Watching the Waiting$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
NightbringersAny band that has earned an army of devout followers through dropping seven killer full-lengths - and touring their collective ass off for sixteen years - could perhaps be forgiven for thinking they could take it easy as they wade into their eighth release. But that's just not The Black Dahlia Murder's style, and Nightbringers is testament to that. Having released their most accomplished, aggressive, and emotionally diverse music to date in the form of 2015's Abysmal, the Michigan quintet have once more pushed themselves to new heights, and the 34 minutes of searing melodic death metal that comprises Nightbringers is riveting listening. "I always feel a responsibility to the people who support this band when we start making a new record," asserts vocalist Trevor Strnad. "The pressure that comes from people being excited to hear what you come up with next can be intimidating, but it's so exciting that those people love you so much for just doing what you do. It makes you want to honor what you've done in the past, but also excite them with where you go next, and that definitely drove us on Nightbringers. When we started writing I honestly didn't know we had this album in us, and I feel really proud of it. It's a great moment for us."
Rather than meticulously plan things out or stick rigidly to any kind of template, when it comes to writing The Black Dahlia Murder prefer to let things happen organically. In the hands of guitarist Brian Eschbach - who co-founded the band with Strnad in 2001 - and new recruit Brandon Ellis (Cannabis Corpse/ex-Arsis) Nightbringers is rich with dynamic riffs that are at once fresh and classic TBDM, resulting in a collection that shifts through many moods and effortlessly incorporates various elements of extreme metal. With guitarist Ryan Knight having amicably stepped down in 2016, the addition of twenty-four-year-old Ellis to the band's ranks has helped usher in an exciting new era. "He's very professional for his age, I think he's skilled far beyond his years, and his live energy is exceptional. When Max (Lavelle, bass) joined the band he challenged a lot of us on stage to raise our personal bar, and Brandon's pushed that even further," states Strnad. "Brandon coming into the band and writing a bunch of songs was an awesome surprise too. He really took the reins, and this record is also the most involved that Alan (Cassidy drums) has been too. The way that we were doing the demos and bouncing things back and forth he had a lot of room to do what he wanted to do, and I think it's definitely a more colorful album for that. I also think as we get older the emotional content goes up. I think we better realize how to grip the listener. Personally, I try to write lyrics that are going to match each part, and kind of ramp up those feelings that we're putting across." Strnad's statements are vividly borne out by every moment of Nightbringers. For fans attending 2017's Summer Slaughter tour, the first taste of of the record came with the inclusion of the title track in their set, which has an undeniable immediacy to it, rich with hooks and boasting a "circusy, evil and playful" air. By contrast, "Catacomb Hecatomb" is suffused with tragedy, the mournful tone of its slower passages deeply affecting. This too is dramatically different to "As Good As Dead", which has some swagger to it that Strnad likens to Megadeth, or "Matriarch", described by Eschbach as a "wild, neoclassical romp" and stands as one of the most cutthroat and all out aggressive tracks in the quintet's arsenal. Upon first hearing the latter, Strnad was intent on matching its visceral intensity. "I felt inspired to write very violent lyrics to it. It's told from the perspective of a woman who is trying to have a child and not having any luck, and she goes kind of crazy and stalks this other woman who is due to have a child. She finds her moment to take it from her, cutting it right out of her stomach." While Strnad explores a variety of themes and ideas with his lyrics, they are united by the album's title, which embraces a tenet that has been central to The Black Dahlia Murder's output since the very beginning. "A lot of archaic ideas that are still upheld - such as marriage and monogamy - came from Christianity, whether people want to acknowledge it or not, and to me, death metal has always been bucking that. It's 'being-the-villain music', because we're the enemy of Christianity, the enemy of all that is good and traditional. Death metal is for free thinkers, it's for showing people the path to inner strength and operating on your own will, instead of being told what to do and living in fear, and songs like the title track and "Kings Of The Nightworld" are about leading a legion of awakened minds into battle." Following this theme also motivated Strnad to forge into ever-darker territory, even when this meant tearing things up and starting over. "I felt I needed to rise to the occasion to make as much of the blood and guts and heinousness as possible, and there was actually a couple of points where I rewrote some songs. I just didn't feel like they were dark enough, or violent enough, so I was really trying to ramp up the monstrous aspects of things, and definitely trying in different ways to take down tradition."
Rather than decamp to a single studio, the members split off when it came time to start laying down the songs - all well versed in how to get the best out of their individual performances. With former bassist Ryan Williams once again assisting, the drums were tracked at The Pipe Yard in Plymouth, Michigan and rhythm guitars in the band's practice space in Warren, Michigan [was bass tracked there too?]. Ellis then recorded his many blistering solos in his home studio, while Strnad headed to Full Force Studios on Long Island, with Joe Cincotta (Suffocation, Internal Bleeding) overseeing his sessions. For the unique and haunting cover art they turned to Kristian Wåhlin, aka Necrolord, who has designed seminal artwork for the likes of At The Gates, Bathory, Emperor and also TBDM's 2007 release, Nocturnal. "I think he's the most prominent artist when it comes to classic releases in the melodic death metal genre, and kind of bringing things full circle with it being the ten-year anniversary of Nocturnal felt right. By now people probably wouldn't have expected us to go back to him, so it's kind of a surprise, but at the same time it's a very classic cover too." With the band celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the aforementioned album by playing it in its entirety on Summer Slaughter, it has given them a moment to reflect not only on the road that has led them to here but also that which lies ahead. "When I think back to when we started the band I feel very proud of everything we've done, and I also see a lot of improvement over the years," says Strnad. "In the early songs I can hear us as kids, and then segueing into our adulthood as musicians and writers, but sixteen years in I still feel young as a band. I feel like we have a shit ton left to do, and I think we're sitting pretty with the best lineup we've ever had. I also think Nightbringers could be our finest hour yet. I feel very strongly that it will affect people, I want to get all of these songs in people's ears, and I want them to check out everything we've got on this record. There's so much variety and so many great ideas, and I think that this could take us to another place."1. Widowmaker
2. Of God and Serpent, of Spectre and Snake
6. Kings of the Nightworld
7. Catacomb Hecatomb
8. As Good as Dead
9. The Lonely Deceased$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Nothing Is RealCrystal antlers aren't really about making some shit we've heard before, but they do take notice of some important touchstones: powerful organ runs, ragged vocals and an ability to turn even relatively short songs into something that sounds beyond epic."
- The Fader
Merging psych, garage, lo-fi, prog, and countless other influences, the group easily maintains consistency despite a complete inability to be pinned to any specific movement or trend."
Art-garage whiplash at its finest."
- AV Club
It's hard not to admire these out-there dudes"
They're at the point where comparisons do little justice. They're just crystal antlers now."
- LA Times
Currently slated for a fall 2013 release is the newest Crystal Antlers full-length Nothing Is Real, featuring cover art by famed surf/skate/graffiti legend C.R. Stecyk III and recorded as the band returns to its most fundamental roots as an agile power trio - Jonny Bell, drummer Kevin Stuart and guitarist Andrew King.
Nothing Is Real is Crystal Antlers going beyond the beyond, with songs that rattle and ricochet from desolation to delirium. Opener "Pray" sounds like what would have happened if Black Flag's Greg Ginn had produced the first Psychedelic Furs single; "Persephone" and "Anywhere But Here" match the desperate, relentless rhythm of the Wipers with the inside-out guitar melodies of the Pixies. "Licorice Pizza" recalls lost cult-punk heroes like the Flesh Eaters or the Embarrassment. On Nothing Is Real, you'll feel as much as hear echoes of bands like Wire, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.
As Bell puts it, "With each album, we've tried to figure out ways to include more of our whole selves in the recordings, while still keeping things cohesive. And from growing up in punk bands, there always needs to be that little element of something that might piss someone off. We might be using a drum machine-but we're gonna use it completely the wrong way."1. Rattlesnake
2. Licorice Pizza
3. We All Gotta Die
4. Paper Thin
6. Anywhere But Here
7. Don't Think Of The Stone
8. Wrong Side
9. Better Things
10. Prisoner Song$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Kindly Bent To Free Us (Awaiting Repress)Legendary progressive rock innovators CYNIC - consisting of guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal, drummer Sean Reinert and bassist Sean Malone - will release their new album, Kindly Bent To Free Us, via Season Of Mist.
About the new material, Reinert said: It's a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band's progression. We've had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels ready to be unleashed on the world. I've been in trio mode with Malone and Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn't be happier about what's happening with these songs. They are truly alive!
In a February 2012 interview with Ireland's Molten magazine, Masvidal described the band's new music in the following way: It's almost like, I don't know how to explain it, but if I had to put it in a box it's more sci-fi, futuristic and alien but at the same time very song-driven. It's kind of like, to me, coming into CYNIC's body more. It feels very modern and at the same time it just feels really cool. I'm big in the space. It's definitely new. It's not like anything we've done before. It's a new color, a new space. I think people will really take note of even the guitar stuff. I'm really shifting gears, I'm trying things in a different way and the way stuff is played. It's a new space for CYNIC, for sure. It definitely sounds like us, except completely new.
CYNIC's latest EP, Carbon-Based Anatomy, was released in November 2011 via Season Of Mist. The CD artwork was designed by the great Robert Venosa, the artist behind the covers of CYNIC's previous releases Focus, Traced in Air and Re-Traced.
CYNIC was joined by Brandon Giffin on bass and Max Phelps on guitar and vocals during the group's North American and European tours in support of Carbon-Based Anatomy.
- Blabbermouth.net1. True Hallucination Speak
2. The Lion's Roar
3. Kindly Bent To Free Us
4. Infinite Shapes
5. Moon Heart Sun Head
7. Holy Fallout
8. Endlessly Bountiful$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Once Upon A Time At King Tubby's (Awaiting Repress)Never Before Released On Vinyl
All of those things happened up at Tubby's - Bunny Lee
'Once Upon A Time At King Tubby's' captures from start to finish the full story of the most well-known, and certainly the wittiest, of all the wars of words that the highly competitive Kingston recording scene ever produced. I Roy and Prince Jazzbo were the principal players aided and abetted along the way by an assorted bunch of onlookers and minor characters who all helped the drama to unfold. Bunny 'Striker' Lee was the catalyst that started this particular schism and the producer of all but one of the tracks.
Ever the entrepreneur 'Striker' hit the musical jackpot once again as he goaded both artists into making records that went 'straight to the head'. What had begun as a joke grew into an entire series of seven-inch singles that set the Jamaican recording scene alight in the mid-seventies. All but one of the tracks on this set were voiced and mixed at King Tubby's Waterhouse studio; I Roy voiced 'Padlock' at Channel One because the competition a get so crabbit and this gave veteran vocalist Derrick Morgan an opportunity to enter the fray. Johnny Clarke, Dirty Harry and Prince Far I also make cameo appearances.
Insults and 'head' games are nothing new in Jamaican music but this album is the first to ever compile all the tracks from one of the best examples ever of these feuds here remastered and complete with full sleeve notes featuring interviews with the main protagonists.1. Do You Love Me? - Johnny Clarke
2. Straight To Jazzbo's Head - I Roy
3. Straight To Jazzbo's Head (Version) - King Tubby & The Aggrovators
4. Straight To I Roy's Head - Prince Jazzbo
5. Straight To I Roy's Head (Version) - King Tubby & The Aggrovators
6. Padlock - I Roy
7. Padlock Version - The Revolutionaries
8. Gal Boy I Roy - Prince Jazzbo
9. The Roots of Dub - King Tubby & The Aggrovators
10. Jazzbo Have Fe Run - I Roy
11. Jazzbo Have Fe Run (Version) - King Tubby & The Aggrovators
12. I Roy The Chiney Commer Around - Derrick Morgan
13. Straight To I Roy's Big Mouth - King Tubby & The Aggrovators
14. Straight To Derrick Morgan's Head - I Roy
15. Straight To Trico Lee's Head - King Tubby & The Aggrovators$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
DreamlandNatalie Bergman has had her picture taken on countless occasions -- hundreds of studio portraits and live shots and backstage festival snaps. But the simple, gorgeous black & white photo of Bergman on the cover of Wild Belle's Dreamland that she describes as just me and this sort of abyss That one was lensed by the person who best knows how to capture her essence on celluloid: Her older brother and bandmate, Elliot Bergman. Besides being Wild Belle's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Elliot has an equally impressive flair for visual arts, from painting and sculpture to bronzemaking and photography. An avid collector of vintage cameras, Elliot brought along a recently acquired Polaroid Land Camera to a show Wild Belle played in Denver this summer: The duo grabbed a quick moment at their hotel to take the portraits of each other that grace the front and back of their new record. The pictures Elliot takes of me are always really beautiful and it's because he knows me better than anyone else on this Earth, says Natalie. Adds Elliot: I like that it's a photo of Natalie just being Natalie. And the stark contrast of her in the foreground with the dark background really fit with these collages she has been doing. Natalie is in the light but the shadows are pretty heavy and you can't really tell where she is or what's back there.
Recorded at studios in their native Chicago, Natalie's new home of Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto, Dreamland -- Wild Belle's bold, evolutionary new album -- derives from an era in the singer's life when she was struggling to get control of what she describes as the anger and deep sorrow that plagued her at the end of her most recent romantic relationship. For a woman whose music has always been inspired by her desire to translate her complicated feelings into immediately relatable songs, there was certainly plenty of grist for the mill. Dreamland tracks such as Losing You and It Was You (Baby Come Back) offer glimpses of the darkness that Natalie battled during the early months writing for the duo's sophomore full-length. But there are also genuine moments of lightness and ecstatic triumph, like Giving Up On You -- an irresistibly kinetic, punk number Wild Belle recorded with TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek producing.
I was very heated when we were making this record. My body, my heart and my soul were filled with a flame, which sounds very dramatic but it's the truth, says Natalie. I had a healing moment when I moved to LA earlier this year, because I was far away from my ex and I felt like I was getting rid of a lot of baggage. That was the redemptive, triumphant time for my lyrics. On 'Giving Up On You,' I sing: 'Now I smile so bright, you can see me from outer space, look at me shine. Baby it's about time, I was so miserable and now I feel so alive.' All the songs I wrote near the end of making the album have that sentiment: 'Now look at where I am, after all the turmoil that was inside of me, I'm here and I'm happy and I'm ready for whatever comes my way.'
The follow-up to 2013's Isles, Dreamland expands the band's ambitions in every way. It's deeper, it's more fun, it's more haunting, it's got more grooves, Elliot says. There's sorrow and pain but there's also hope and joy -- all those things can coexist in the songs because they coexist in life. He continues: Dreamland, that's not some kind of idealized notion of where we live and I hope people hear that as a question: What is the Dreamland What is our dream here The album doesn't get overtly political, but we're dealing with a lot of the things that are dark about what's happening now. 'Throw Down Your Guns' is about a relationship but is also kind of about the messed up situation that we're in right now. The chorus, 'Throw down your guns / In the name of love, I put my hands up,' to me can be heard in a number of ways, including as a prayer for peace or a cry out against violence.
Importantly, the album also shares its name with one of the first songs Natalie remembers Elliot introducing her to: Bunny Wailer's 1970 reggae classic, Dreamland. One year for Christmas, he gave her a compilation of female artists who recorded at Jamaica's legendary Studio One, and it included Della Humphrey's version of the song. Natalie listened to it over and over and over again. I was so in love with it, she says. From there, I started my exploration of rocksteady and ska and lovers rock and anything that had to do with Jamaican music from the Fifties onward.
The duo started writing music together several years ago, after Elliot took a sixteen year-old Natalie on tour to play percussion with his acclaimed Afrobeat ensemble, NOMO. I can present a song to Elliot and he has this foresight -- he can see things further than I see them, and he helps me realize things, she says. I'd been writing very simple melodic love songs since I was fifteen years old. I definitely have a pop sensibility in my style, and that's a great platform for Elliot to work from, because it's fun for him to have a cool little pop song and combine it with more eccentric sounds and make it into a weird, unique percussive jam. Sometimes he'll bring the jam to me and because we've got this routine together, we can write a song together wherever we are.
Work on the album began in early 2014, in Chicago. The song that opens Dreamland -- Mississippi River -- was also the first one to come together in the studio. It was sparked by a moment of musical serendipity: The record starts with this pulsing ARP drone, says Elliot, which is a very expensive esoteric nerdy synthesizer that's complicated to program. Natalie and I had this weird, symbiotic thing where I was playing three chords off the ARP and she started playing different three chords on this out-of-tune autoharp she brought over. They were both completely in the wrong key, and yet perfectly in tune with each other. That was like the new bar for the record. It was like, 'Yeah, we're going to put synthesizers and saxophone and kalimbas on these songs, and we're going to have lavish string arrangements if we want to. We were getting comfortable with all of the materials that we love, and being like, 'I love this, so let's do it.
They tracked several songs at home in Chicago last year, and then at the start of 2015, Natalie packed all of her belongings into the Wild Belle van and drove from Chicago to Venice, California. She rented a house where Elliot joined her a couple weeks later. When I had my place in Venice, Elliot would wake up earlier than I would and start making dope beats, says Natalie. One day he made this ridiculous song, 'The One That Got Away,' and the beat and underlying track were so exciting that it didn't take very long to write. Our friends came over and were jumping on the tabletops, dancing, getting naked because they loved the song so much.
Playing the new songs at Lollapalooza for the first time with an eight-piece band, says Elliot, I had a feeling onstage that I'd never had before with Wild Belle, where you're part of a sound that's much bigger than you could make on your own. It's this charged-up badass feeling. It's about a groove and rhythmic energy and force and momentum and making a big, dark, deep sound -- something that moves people and makes you want to dance and makes you want to shout. It's tapping into a deeper musicality that I've always been looking for.1. Mississippi River
2. Losing You
6. Giving Up On You
7. It Was You
8. Throw Down Your Guns
9. The One That Got Away
10. Our Love Will Survive
11. Rock & Roll Angel$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Coma EclipticGrandiose, dynamic, heavy, melodic, technically challenging: these are all words that fall equally short when trying to describe Between the Buried and Me's sonic offerings. When tasked with explaining the band's previous effort, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, Decibel Magazine claimed that the album offers more substance than most bands put forth in entire careers and Metal Hammer simply stated that it was utterly captivating. Where does a burgeoning progressive act go from there? The answer is found in their seventh full-length album, Coma Ecliptic. Spanning just over an hour, the album stands as a significant step in the evolution for the group as a whole, as well as the individual musicians: vocalist / keyboardist Tommy Rogers, guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring, bassist Dan Briggs, and drummer Blake Richardson.
Tommy Rogers posits: Coma Ecliptic is a new life for BTBAM. Throughout the process we worked harder than we ever have and really pushed the BTBAM sound to a new identity. In a world of repetition, I'm very proud to be a part of something that is extremely rewarding, as well as frightening. When you don't push yourself you will never know what the outcome is. The outcome is Coma Ecliptic.
What is Coma Ecliptic? It can be interpreted as a modern rock opera, and another ambitious concept album from a band that has completely mastered that format. Dan Briggs comments: Spending the last year immersed in a world of Quadrophenia, Operation Mindcrime, The Wall- as well as Sondheim and Lloyd Webber musicals, Stravinsky and Mussorgsky symphonic suites; writing an over the top, dramatic and forward thinking rock opera was the most natural thing to do. The story follows the wanderings of an unidentified man, stuck in a coma, as he journeys through his past lives. Each song is its own episode in a modern day, sort of The Twilight Zone-esque fashion. The unidentified man enters each world and is offered a choice: stay, or move on to the next in search of something better, something more perfect. The man does find his ideal life, but then is offered the ultimate choice of life or death. He chooses life and wakes up to his own actual reality. It's at that moment he realizes that he had been in a coma - everything that happened had been dreams and false memories. After awakening, we find the man outside finally experiencing reality, and he sees what he has been missing: the world is beautiful, the air is fresh, and the people appear to be happy, and then he falls over dead. The take away from this is to make the best of your life. People are constantly searching for something better without taking the time to appreciate the things they have. What we need may already be here, and is hopefully real. We may all be in a coma in another life.
Musically, Coma Ecliptic boasts a series of emotive peaks and valleys that drive the narrative along with the lyrics. Tracks such as Memory Palace, while sounding wholly unique, clearly have a distinct BTBAM flavor to which fans have grown so attached. The Coma Machine brings to mind prog in the most classic sense; think YES and King Crimson passages with the added layer of modern metal heaviness. Dim Ignition highlights Rogers' continuing development as a keyboardist, but don't fret, there's still plenty of speed, technically challenging guitar, bass, and drum runs, and quirkiness throughout. What makes these parts work is the interplay of the heavy and technical with the simpler, almost cinematic, soft passages; that is the power of Coma Ecliptic. The listening experience is a journey, and when Life in Velvet brings the album to a sudden, triumphant end, fans will surely be reaching for the replay button. But what does the band think? Rogers adds: If you asked me what this record sounds like, I would tell you BTBAM. With every listen I still find new exciting moments that each member has put into these songs. After all these years we still push each other to try new things and push our individual skills to the next level. It is an absolute thrill to write with such an inspiring group of people. Briggs continues: Writing with a focus on storytelling and just crushing melodic themes set the tone early on before we were even in the rehearsal room together. Put your velvet capes on and get ready for a journey!1. Node
2. The Coma Machine
3. Dim Ignition
4. Famine Wolf
5. King Redeem / Queen Serene
6. Turn on the Darkness
7. The Ectopic Stroll
8. Rapid Calm
9. Memory Palace
10. Option Oblivion
11. Life in Velvet$33.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now