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StarStar is the 1993 debut album by Belly who were Led by singer/guitarist Tanya Donelly, a former member of Throwing Muses and The Breeders, the album showcases her sharp song writing and vocals as she finally got the chance to shine on her own project. The album features the modern rock hits Feed The Tree and Gepetto which propelled the record past gold in the U.S. and helped make Star one of the highlights of the early 90s alternative scene. Star still sounds as fresh and vital as it did when first released over 20 years ago. Reissued on 180 gram vinyl with a 2-sided B&W insert. Long out of print as a UK import, this is the first domestic release on vinyl.1. Someone To Die For
4. Every Word
7. Slow Dog
8. Low Red Moon
9. Feed The Tree
10. Full Moon, Empty Heart
11. White Belly
14. Sad Dress
15. Stay$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The FoolWarpaint, the all-girl quartet from Los Angeles, weave intricate guitar lines, hypnotic vocals and driving post punk rhythms into gorgeous, sprawling songs that skirt the line between psychedelia and intimacy. Both live and on record, Warpaint sound like theyre channelling something truly otherworldly, mystical. The Fool is their utterly mesmeric debut full-length album on Rough Trade Records and follows-up 2009s Exquisite Corpse EP.
The Fool was produced and mixed by Tom Biller (Liars, Jon Brion, Sean Lennon) in Los Angeles, with further mixes from Andrew Weatherall (Bjork, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream) and Adam Samuels (John Frusciante, Daniel Lanois). Warpaint is Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (guitar/vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass/vocals) and Stella Mozgawa (drums).
One of the years most promising new acts, Warpaint construct mysterious songs that pair the rhythmic chug of Pylon with the otherworldly eeriness of Throwing Muses. - Rolling Stone1. Set Your Arms Down
9. Lissies Heart Murmur$26.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Dove (Awaiting Repress)The dream-rock band Belly blazed a bright trail in the '90s, releasing two albums full of taut, yet wondrous music that was memorable for its rumbling bass lines and insistent drumming as it was for its glittering riffs and airy vocals. Their new album Dove, which was recorded with friend of the band Paul Q. Kolderie, places Belly back on that trail, bridging the gaps between reverbed-out bliss and spaghetti-western drone and muscular, hook-forward pop.
Belly came together in 1991, when vocalist-guitarist Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, The Breeders) began playing with brothers (and fellow Rhode Islanders) Tom (guitar) and Chris (drums) Gorman, as well as bassist Fred Abong. He left before the band's 1993 debut Star came out, and Gail Greenwood, then playing around Providence, joined. Star was a hit with critics and listeners alike, spawning the alt-radio and MTV staple "Feed the Tree." The band toured extensively behind the gold-certified album, touring with the likes of Radiohead, the Cranberries, and Pavement and playing a show at the Hippodrome in Paris where they opened for U2 and the Velvet Underground.
Belly opened 1994 with two Grammy nominations, scoring nods for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist at that year's edition of the awards. That summer, the band began work on King, their harder-edged second album. Belly toured behind that 1995 release extensively, opening for R.E.M. in Europe and bringing along Catherine Wheel and Superchunk for the American tour; their last gig was in November 1995, and the band officially dissolved in 1996.
Since then, Belly's members kept busy, with Donelly releasing a string of hailed solo albums and touring with Throwing Muses, Greenwood performing with brash rockers L7 and revved-up punker Bif Naked, and Tom Gorman performing with fellow New England alt-rockers Buffalo Tom and Donelly's Throwing Muses partner Kristin Hersh before launching a photography business in New York with his brother. They had occasionally broached the topic of getting back together in individual settings; Greenwood and Tom Gorman separately collaborated with Donelly on her Swan Song Series omnibus.
The idea of a Belly reunion, though, gained serious traction a few years ago. "We had just gotten to the point where we were just missing each other, and missing the music," says Donelly. "The music I've been doing in the past several years has been very collaborative, which made me kind of homesick for Belly; I missed that sense of having a band."
Early rehearsals showed that Belly was still very much a unit, the years falling away as the quartet went to work on older material. "We immediately fell back into our original relationship and musical dynamics," says Donelly. "Just a lot of laughing-it felt like a real reunion in the best and truest sense from the first practice on. We had a bit of trepidation: 'Is this going to work?' But the first practice really set all our anxiety to rest."
Eventually, though, the band's members, who had collaborated sporadically in the interim, got the itch to bring new songs into their set as a curveball for listeners-and for themselves, too. "You almost want to put yourself in the deep end," says Chris Gorman. "That just seems to be the inclination for creative people-you never just want to feel comfortable. You're always going, 'Well, what's the part of the night that's really going to make me really, really nervous and freaked out?' And that usually is, 'Let's try a new song.' When it works, that's the most the rewarding moment in the night."
Belly previewed some of their new songs, including the prowling "Army of Clay" and the folk-tinged "Human Child," at their early reunion dates to effusive audiences. "The crowds have been amazing," says Donelly. "We've never really operated on a level before where live shows feel genuinely communal. We got such great feedback on the new stuff-people were just as enthusiastic about it," Donelly recalls. That handful of tracks blossomed into Dove, a dozen songs that nod to past glories while also showcasing the four members' growth as songwriters and musicians, adding dramatic flourishes like strings and vibed-out guitars to the group's already widescreen sound.
Belly recorded most of the rhythm tracks for Dove at Stable Sound Studios in Portsmouth, RI, vocals at Greenwood's home studio, and guitars and overdubs in Tom's and Tanya's home studios. The songs spun out of a new songwriting system that was necessitated by the four members' far-flung hometowns. "It required a lot of trust," says Donelly, "because we were sending raw snippets to each other-anything from 30-second pieces to full songs. Tom and Gail and I would send demos back and forth, and then Chris would add drums to whatever snippets he'd heard, and Tom would sew everything together. It would sometimes be a very circuitous route to a song, but it was really fun."
"All three of the songwriters were locked in and working in a way that complemented the others' strengths," says Chris Gorman. "Gail's writing was in top form. Tanya is able to make anybody's song her own-she's got that gift. And Tom has really honed his arrangement and production style."
The shimmering, expansive "Shiny One," which pairs dreamy vocal harmonies with urgent riffing and dramatic string flourishes, is one of the best examples of Belly's new process. "I have a lot of affection for that one," says Donelly. "It was the first completely collaborative song we've ever done-Gail wrote the riff and the chorus, Tom and I wrote the verse and bridge, Chris's parts shaped the direction and vibe. When I hear it, I hear all four of us equally."
While Dove's flight was aided by previews of some new tracks during the band's reunion tour, the band is excited to release the album in full, and to show it off to audiences around the world. "We're all looking forward to presenting these songs in a live setting, and having the opportunity to play together again," says Chris Gorman. "We should be in for a really exciting year."1. Stars Align
2. Shiny One
5. Suffer the Fools
7. Human Child
8. Army of Clay
10. Heartstrings$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
DereconstructedWhat awaits you when the needle drops on Dereconstructed, the
new album by Lee Bains lll & the Glory Fires? Nothing less than
pure fucking heaven, that's what.
Consider the record's opener, "The Company Man." It revs up with
a riff sleazy enough to clog Rod Stewart's stomach pump as an
incantation that only a Yellowhammer can truly understand is
bellowed and then screamed. Before you know it, the joint is hotter
than a Birmingham soaking pit while you, the listener, are reminded,
lest you forget, don't ever trust the company man.
Dereconstructed is a careening, road raging, all night party of a
record. Informed by a distinctly southern hoodoo, it is a master
class in authentic Gulf Coast choogle. Having cut his teeth in the
Dexateens, Lee Bains lll has been properly schooled in how to throw
down, so much so that even his hyper literate musings are no match
for the blown out distortion that gives this record it's blistering
Songs like "The Kudzu and The Concrete," "Dirt Track" and the
roaring, blissfully-shambolic title track could be anthems looking
for a stadium, but they're also reminders as to why Lee Bains lll &
the Glory Fires are such a formidable party machine: simply put,
Dereconstructed was recorded by Tim Kerr, and mixed by Jeremy
Ferguson at Battle Tapes, Nashville, TN. The band resides in Atlanta,
GA. and Birmingham, AL.1. The Company Man
3. Burnpiles, Swimming Holes
4. The Kudzu and the Concrete
5. The Weeds Downtown
6. What's Good and Gone
7. We Dare Defend Our Rights
9. Mississippi Bottomland
10. Dirt Track$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Over-Nite SensationMastered from the Original Analog Master Tapes at Bernie Grundman Mastering by Chris Bellman
Love it or hate it, Over-Nite Sensation was a watershed album for Frank Zappa, the point where his post-'60s aesthetic was truly established; it became his second gold album, and most of these songs became staples of his live shows for years to come. Whereas the Flo and Eddie years were dominated by rambling, off-color comedy routines, Over-Nite Sensation tightened up the song structures and tucked sexual and social humor into melodic, technically accomplished heavy guitar rock with jazzy chord changes and funky rhythms; meanwhile, Zappa's growling new post-accident voice takes over the storytelling. While the music is some of Zappa's most accessible, the apparent callousness and/or stunning sexual explicitness of Camarillo Brillo, Dirty Love, and especially Dinah-Moe Humm leave him on shaky aesthetic ground.
Zappa often protested that the charges of misogyny leveled at such material missed out on the implicit satire of male stupidity, and also confirmed intellectuals' self-conscious reticence about indulging in dumb fun; however, the glee in his voice as he spins his adolescent fantasies can undermine his point. Indeed, that enjoyment, also evident in the silly wordplay, suggests that Zappa is throwing his juvenile crassness in the face of critical expectation, asserting his right to follow his muse even if it leads him into blatant stupidity (ironic or otherwise). One can read this motif into the absurd shaggy-dog story of a dental floss rancher in Montana, the album's indisputable highlight, which features amazing, uncredited vocal backing from Tina Turner and the Ikettes. As with much of Zappa's best '70s and '80s material, Over-Nite Sensation could be perceived as ideologically problematic (if you haven't got the constitution for FZ's humor), but musically, it's terrific. -Steve Huey1. Camarillo Brillo
2. I'm The Slime
3. Dirty Love
5. Zomby Woof
6. Dinah-Moe Humm
7. Montana$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now