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For Long Tomorrow (Awaiting Repress)For Long Tomorrow is the second full length album released by Japanese math rock band toe.
Toe is one of the few post-rock bands out there that's easy to listen to. The band's sound is quite distinctive compared to their Western counterparts, preferring clean guitar settings and some choice effects in almost all of their songs. Unlike well-known post-rock bands like Sigur Rós and Explosions In the Sky, Toe's music can be described as light and melodic, with rare instances of distortion and vocals. The Japanese band is comprised of Kashikura Takashi on drums, Mino Takaaki and Yamazaki Hirokazu on guitars, and Yamane Satoshi on bass.
So far, Toe has released two albums and a few EPs. Their first full-length album, The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety, was well received by both local and international fans. It can be described as dynamic and free, with Takashi's drums dominating the tracks. It was with this album that Toe established its distinct sound and song structure.
For Long Tomorrow's overall sound is similar to their debut, but there is promise in this more experimental second outing. Toe shows that they've matured musically, as demonstrated by their extensive use of the Rhodes piano, acoustic guitars, and minor vocals in their songs. Although they have introduced new elements to their music, much of Toe's style remains intact, from their clean and melodic guitar riffs to their upbeat drum patterns.
A noticeable change in this album is that Toe's drum beats have been toned down, blending into the band's overall sound. Despite this, Takashi's jazzy and upbeat drumming still has the same energy that was present in their previous album. The addition of samplers into solos or breaks provides texture to their songs. Takaaki and Hirokazu's guitar playing continuously moves from acoustic to electric, changing the feel of most of the songs.
The first few songs in For Long Tomorrow showcase the band's usual upbeat instrumental tracks. The second track, "Vanishing Point and Whistle," has a sound reminiscent of Toe's debut. Many listeners consider the vocals from "Say it Ain't So" to be forced and awkward sounding, but it's part of the band's move to expand their musicality.
"Two Moons" and "Goodbye" are two very captivating tracks. "Two Moons" has a mainly acoustic vibe, with a vibraphone part that makes it melodic and light. On "Goodbye," Japanese singer Toki Asako collaborates with Toe to create a pensive and moody song.
Other songs on the album ride on Takashi's beats, which are sometimes reminiscent of Toe's original groove. Many of these songs are structured with a slow intro, followed by repetition, finishing with a climax. Noticeably upbeat tracks are "You Go," "Can't Hear Mosquitone Anymore #2," and "Long Tomorrow."
Toe's second album may sound at times like an extension of their debut, but the level of experimentation in For Long Tomorrow provides the light, upbeat sound the band was looking for. If Toe continues to innovate and improve their music, they'll be crossing continents and gaining new fans soon.
- Cadence Wu (Blog Critics)1. Everything Is Here, It Can Be Said That Nothing Is Here, Too.
2. Vanishing Point And Whistle
3. After Image
5. Say It Ain't So
6. Two Moons
7. Can't Hear Mosquitone Any More #1
8. Can't Hear Mosquitone Any More #2
9. Last Night (Album Version)
10. Goodbye (Album Version)
11. You Go
12. Our Next Movement
13. Long Tomorrow$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety (Awaiting Repress)The Japanese group Toe when releasing their debut The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety must have come to conclusion to release something dynamic and free. While at heart their debut is a calming, melodic post-rock affair, it adds interesting stop and go rhythm sections within the bulk of some of the album, a clear math rock influence. What is telling about Toe's work on this album is their clear potential to become more. Their dynamic, yet limited buildups aren't the ones you hear from traditional, uproarious, and grandiose groups like Explosions In The Sky! or more traditionally Godspeed You! Black Emperor; instead their clean shaven take on guitar structure and fantastic drumming by Kashikura Takashi is what matters the most. Rarely, if ever are piano structures, obscure samples, or electronics of any kind are introduced within The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety, which frankly is impressive.
The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety is at its core a strict representation of a minimalist post-rock affair. Its structures carry on by themselves without a huge ambient uplifting or pretentious, high-flying strings to back up any track. The album moves smoothly as it should, but Takashi's skill is exceptional, he carries this album with his smooth, diverse drumming. Amazingly it doesn't tire at all. Stylishly the band approaches an almost back-and-forth method between the rhythm portion of the album and its percussion - at times silencing out one to showcase the other, as seen in Past and Language. The album moves freely without hesitation or uncertainty, making the music so effective, but the parts not whole is really only needed as the structures don't need to be completely built up in an awe-inspiring 10-20 minute epic, but a melodic, serene, more or less peaceful 5 minutes of them almost jamming. Oddly enough this perception of them in a free-form basis of jamming is clearly not a reality because the rhythm structures and percussion fills are exceptional at their timings all over this debut.
The biggest strength of this Toe's debut is their patience within these tracks. Unlike other short, quick outbursts such as Grails, Toe still find themselves building the song suitable to their strengths and comfort zone. When they decide to trek outside of these waters, they're very minimal, in an experimented quick duration as seen in Music For You and Hangyaku Suru Fuukei. When the group decides to ramp up a song, they do so immediately from the inner-workings of Takashi and by doing so carve out a quick, tasteful foundation to start off on, evidence by I Still Do Wrong. While their stripped-down approach that feels almost too pure for most post-rock listeners, they seem to take their strides from Do Make Say Think and their label associates Mouse On The Keys and Enemies. What The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety accomplishes is a rhythm section that is entirely tight and sustained, that at times should feel timid or stale, but the drumming is frankly superb, allowing the band to reach new heights.
- Marko Polovina (Sputnik Music)1. Hangyaku Suru Fuukei
2. Kodoku no Hatsumei
3. Tremolo + Delay
4. Mukougishi ga Miru Yume
5. All I Understand Is that I Don't Understand
7. Past and Language
8. Music for You
9. I Do Still Wrong
11. Everything Means Nothing$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Songs, Ideas We Forgot EPtoe is a Japanese music group. While mentioned in many post-rock circles, their song structure and dynamics are similar to many popular math rock artists.
toe is composed of Kashikura Takashi on drums, Mino Takaaki on guitar, Yamane Satoshi on bass guitar, and Yamazaki Hirokazu on guitar. Toe has formally played with this line-up since the band's inception in 2000.
The vast majority of the music is instrumental and features the swift and acute drumming of Takashi. The band is also known for its melodic, clean guitar settings. Additionally, the compositions have repetition from typical rock motifs, but use very subtle changes in beat and rhythm to form a unique sound. The band has changed their sound over their musical tenure by incorporating acoustic guitars, rhodes piano, and vibraphones in their most recent releases.
The band tours regularly in Japan, and can most notably be compared to acts such as Pele and The Album Leaf.
Songs, Ideas We Forgot is the debut EP by toe, originally released in 2003.1. Leave Word
2. I Dance Alone
3. 1, 2, 3, 4
5. Yoru wa Akeru$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album By Earl SweatshirtI Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt is the second studio album by American rapper Earl Sweatshirt.
On his first studio album, 2013's Doris, the most mysterious member of L.A. shock-rap gremlins Odd Future proved himself by exploring real-life alienation. On his excellent second LP, Earl Sweatshirt keeps deepening his game - spooling out dense, mordant rhymes over zombifically blunted tracks as he somehow sucks you into his sunless reality. It's amazing that music so claustrophobic can be this engrossing.
As always, Sweatshirt is most compelling when he's going toe to toe with his own demons. I spent the day drinking and missing my grandmother, he raps on Huey, perfectly summing up the music's desolate vibe. Mantra opens with some maniac grandstanding (With a cleaver and a .30 and some twisted weed/I pick one and let the crimson leak), then slides into a downhearted breakup song. Grief is a harrowing shut-in snapshot: I just want my time and my mind intact/When they both gone, you can't buy 'em back. At just 10 songs in a half-hour, I Don't Like Shit is surprisingly concise - even if it's sometimes dark and paranoid enough to make There's a Riot Goin' On sound like the Three's Company theme. And who needs more? Even a half-hour with Earl is enough to leave you with a lifetime of creepy memories.1. Huey
3 . Faucet
5. Off Top
6. Grown Ups
7. AM // Radio
10. Wool$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hear YouThe long-awaited third studio full length album from Japan's Toe is finally here! The follow up to their 2012 EP The Future Is Now, this album sees the band continue to grow and push their sound in exciting new directions1.Premonition (Beginning Of A Desert Of Human)
2.A Desert Of Human
4.The World According To
5.My Little Wish
11.Because I Hear You$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Cold Dark Place (Picture Disc)Mastodon's New 10 Picture Disc EP
Mastodon's new EP, Cold Dark Place, features 4 new songs - three unreleased from 2014's Once More 'Round The Sun and one, Toe To Toes, from the Emperor Of Sands session from last year.1. North Side Star
2. Blue Walsh
3. Toe to Toes
4. Cold Dark Place$24.9910 Vinyl EP Picture Disc - Sealed Buy Now
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Wattgate 5266i Wall Plug to 320i(IEC)
Your audio and video components never had it so good. The PK14 feature our specially optimized copper and our chroma free conductor dielectric. In combination with our Wattgate economy connectors, these ultra quiet cables allow for unlimited dynamics, toe tapping rhythmic articulation, and exceptional low level resolution.$228.00PowerKord 14 - 4 Lengths Available Buy Now
Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.
Wattgate 5266i Wall Plug to 320i(IEC)
Your audio and video components never had it so good. The PK10 feature our specially optimized copper and our chroma free conductor dielectric. In combination with our Wattgate economy connectors, these ultra quiet cables allow for unlimited dynamics, toe tapping rhythmic articulation, and exceptional low level resolution.$268.00PowerKord 10 - 4 Lengths Available Buy Now
REDD-EQU-5418xSaves The Day
Through Being Cool (Awaiting Repress)Hey pups, what's good? Last night we shredded through THROUGH BEING COOL from front to back. Tore right through it like an eagle on a skateboard. SHREDDIN'. You guys have no idea how fired up we are about this tour and music and life.
We've been rediscovering all the vinyl we each own: old classics like Ravel's "Bolero" and modern classics like the Youth Of Today "Disengage" 7-inch. Perhaps as part of that we were inspired to press a 7-inch single of "The Tide Of Our Times" along a with a song recorded during the same self-titled sessions for a b-side. Both shredders. Emotional, hardcore. We'll have this out on tour.
Don't sit down yet. You may want to curl your toes over the edge of that surfboard now. Every toe now - hang ten. We repressed THROUGH BEING COOL on 180g vinyl. Did we mention that [this is] remastered* and repressed on 180g vinyl? That's heavy stuff, this is vinyl your kids or nephews can jam out to in 15 years. Tell them you were there.
*remastered, not remixed. The sound of plugging in the Les Paul is just the beginning of hearing it as if you're INSIDE the guitars.
FOREVER SHREDDIN' ALWAYS AND FOREVER RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE
- Arun, Chris, Rodrigo, and Dennis // Saves The Day1. All-Star Me
2. You Vandal
3. Shoulder To The Wheel
4. Rocks Tonic Juice Magic
5. Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots
6. Third Engine
7. My Sweet Fracture
8. The Vast Spoils Of America (From The Badlands Through The Ocean)
9. The Last Lie I Told
10. Do You Know What I Love The Most?
11. Through Being Cool
12. Banned From The Back Porch$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Witchcult Today (Awaiting Repress)Colored Vinyl
Witchcult Today is the sixth album by the British doom metal band Electric Wizard. It was recorded entirely on vintage 1970's equipment at Toe Rag Studios and was originally released in November of 2007. The sound of Witchcult Today was less harsh than preceding albums and Jus Oborn's vocals are much more prominent. Upon its release, Witchcult Today was the band's most well-received album.
The band's fascination with horror movies and writers continues here with Satanic Rites of Drugula, a reference to the Hammer Studios horror film of the same name and Dunwich, a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Dunwich Horror, while Black Magic Rituals & Perversions makes reference to the Jean Rollins film Le Frisson des Vampires (Shiver of the Vampires and to Italian comic book character Zora the Vampire. The album cover of Witchcult Today was edited from the poster for The Devil Rides Out. Limited edition double gatefold colored LP from Metal Blade Records.1. Witchcult Today
3. Satanic Rites of Drugula
5. The Chosen Few
6. Torquemada '71
7. Black Magic Rituals & Perversions
8. Saturnine$29.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Pusher Man (Awaiting Repress)Limited Edition Pressing
Everybody's favourite band, Uncle Acid, release a new single, Pusher Man on Rise Above Records. The single is backed by Remember Tomorrow, an Iron Maiden cover, initially available on a Kerrang (legendary UK magazine) cover-mount CD.
Pusher Man is taken from the bands fourth album, The Night Creeper, which was released to much acclaim in July of last year. The track was recorded as part of the album sessions at Toe Rag Studios in early 2015 with engineer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Tame Impala, Electric Wizard).
They released their breakthrough album Blood Lust in 2011, a homage to British Hammer and folk horror films of the 1970s, a candle-lit head-trip of withered hands, ritual knives and gallows ropes. Mind Control (2013), their third album, looked further afield, to the post-Charles Manson US for inspiration: Jim Jones dosing the Kool-Aid. Blue Cheer, Blue Oyster Cult and B-movie biker movies. War, Watergate, serial killers and suicidal TV evangelists.1. Pusher Man
2. Remember Tomorrow$16.997 Vinyl Single - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Birth ControlThree albums into their career, New Jersey's Fight Amp show no desire to outgrow their tough but taut noise rock tendencies, but that hardly means they are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality either. Released in 2012, Birth Control introduces new drummer Dan Smith (who, conveniently, also designed its cover art) into vocalist/guitarist Mike McGinnis and vocalist/bassist Jon DeHart's private little fight club, and the tenacious, unforgiving music they produce in unison makes it just as easy to imagine the trio members sparring in a seedy old boxing gym as bashing away at their instruments in a dingy rehearsal space. And while the boys last just eight rounds (songs) on Birth Control, most of 'em extend well beyond the regulation three minutes and boast a series of curiously style-departing codas -- e.g., the menacing echoes of "White Pickett," the piano on "Should've Worn Black" -- that enhance the illusion of a championship bout going the distance. By and large, most tracks ("Fly Trap," "Creepy Kicks," "I Am the Corpse") focus on punishing instrumental interplay, guitars verging on the atonal, while McGinnis incessantly barks against the fading of the light, escalating to outright screams when the rage becomes more than he can contain. Not until the late-album instrumental left turn "Goner" does the band forgo its customary energy for a more measured, though no less intense, approach where bass grooves call the shots as guitars and drums deliver the body blows. All of which raises the question: are you man or woman enough to go toe to toe with Fight Amp? Then get in the ring!1. Fly Trap
2. White Pickett
3. Creepy Kicks
4. Should've Worn Black
5. Shallow Grave
7. I'm Out
8. I Am the Corpse$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Sweetheart Of The RodeoRanked 117/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
With one mighty swing of the axe, the Byrds changed not only the face of rock 'n' roll but country music, as well, with their sixth album, 1968's Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. Tired of dipping a toe into the genre, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman added singer Gram Parsons and drummer Kevin Kelley and went for total immersion. The baptism of country-rock was a natural with Parsons, former International Submarine Band frontman, now on board. And the repertoire was wide open for country classics by the Louvin Brothers (The Christian Life) and Merle Haggard (Life In Prison), as well as Depression-era ballads (Woody Guthrie's Pretty Boy Floyd) and honky tonk weepers cut by George Jones (You're Still On My Mind). The town wasn't big enough for both of them, of course, and Parsons soon split to form the Flying Burrito Brothers, but it sure was nice while it lasted!
We're proud to present the reissue of this monumental recording in its original, stereo incarnation, cut directly from the original Columbia Recordings analog stereo masters, with perfect artwork restoration and meticulously faithful mastering.1. You Ain't Going Nowhere
2. I Am a Pilgrim
3. The Christian Life
4. You Don't Miss Your Water
5. You're Still On My Mind
6. Pretty Boy Floyd
7. Hickory Wind
8. One Hundred Years from Now
9. Blue Canadian Rockies
10. Life In Prison
11. Nothing Was Delivered$28.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Buzz Or Howl Under The Influence Of HeatWhat Makes a Man Start Fires? marked a real step forward for the Minutemen, and while Double Nickels on the Dime was where the group would reach their peak, there were plenty of signs pointing to that album's diverse brilliance on this eight-song EP. While 'Dreams Are Free, Motherfucker!' and 'The Toe Jam' are goofy, noisy throwaways (hey, this was a EP sandwiched between albums), the rest of the songs found the band consolidating their strengths and growing even tighter and more confident. 'I Felt Like a Gringo' and 'Cut' merge funky rhythms with a punk rocker's sense of concision, 'Self Referenced' and 'The Product' reveal how far this band's writing had progressed since The Punch Line, and 'Little Man With a Gun in His Hand' showed the Minutemen could reduce the tempo and the volume and still create stunning music. It's hard to think of a stronger rhythm section in an independent band in the 1980s than Mike Watt and George Hurley, and D. Boon was by any standards a superb guitarist, with smarts, style, and a keen sense of how to edit himself. Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat remains a superb record from a band just edging into greatness. - All Music Guide1. Self Referenced
3. Dream Told By Moto
4. Dreams Are Free Motherfucker!
5. The Toe Jam
6. I Felt Like a Gringo
7. The Product
8. Little Man With a Gun in His Hand$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Black Masses (Awaiting Repress)For those who crave Sabbath-like dirges, Electric Wizard has few peers. - The Chicago Tribune
World-class British doom metal band Electric Wizard are back with their long-awaited new album Black Masses to be released courtesy of Metal Blade Records/Rise Above Records. The legendary group's seventh studio album was recorded with Grammy Award-winning British recording engineer Liam Watson (The White Stripes) in London's Toe Rag Studios. Long hailed as the true heirs to Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard have achieved near iconic status in the metal underground and the band prepares to annihilate the planet with Black Masses, their dark prayer to Luciferian heavy metal via crackling, vintage valve amplifiers set to full overdrive.
Propelled by gigantic riffs and dripping with dark, bluesy undertones, Black Masses is an ugly, sleazy and dirty album steeped in unruly themes of '70s exploitation cinema, occultism, substance abuse and narco-satanism. Taken as a whole, the record creates a twisted amalgam of late '60s dark acid psychedelia and early '80s satanic metal, all draped in both vile, misanthropic imagery and lyrics.
This ritual incantation of heavy metal sorcery will break down your psyche as wave upon crushing wave of lead weight acid-laced Doom leaves you numb and broken before our unholy altar, declared Electric Wizard cult leader Jus Oborn. Violent, bleak and ritualistic, we bow to the black altar of the riff. We do not rock, we kill!1. Black Mass
2. Venus in Furs
3. Night Child
4. Patterns of Evil
5. Satyr IX
6. Turn Off Your Mind
7. Scorpio Curse
8. Crypt of Drugula$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Jazz, Folk Songs, Spirituals, & BluesImport
Recorded on in 1958 in Los Angeles, CA, Jazz, Folk Songs, Spirituals, & Blues is a rare album by the one-man-band and well-known folk musician Jesse Fuller. Although Fuller always played music on the side, becoming a master of the 12-string guitar (between working for the railroads, lumber companies, or the circus), he did not make his first recording until 1955, when he was already 50 years old. Frustrated by his inability to get a band together, Fuller devised a way to play all the instruments himself, constructing a one-man band system that allowed him to sing and accompany himself on the twelve-string guitar, harmonica, kazoo, cymbals & a homemade instrument he called the "fotdella" (played with the big toe of the right foot which hit pedals causing padded hammers to strike against the instrument's six strings). This brilliant and unique album in the blues arena includes Fuller's rendition of traditional blues numbers like "Take This Hammer" and "Linin' Track" as well as his own compositions like "Fingerbuster" and "99 Years".1. Take This Hammer
2. Linin' Track
3. I'm Going To Meet My Loving Mother
4. Tiger Rag
5. Memphis Boogie (Fuller)
6. Raise A Ruckus
7. By And By
8. Fingerbuster (Fuller)
10. 99 Years (Fuller)
11. Hesitation Blues$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ALMI-HOP-5010xWhat's Eating Gilbert
That New Sound You're Looking ForThe New Sound You're Looking For is the debut full length from What's Eating Gilbert, the brainchild of New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert. An ode and throwback to power-pop of yesteryears - The New Sound You're Looking For will get your toes tapping in no time.1. You're The Most
2. Follow Her Around
3. The Way She Loves Me
4. Who Do You Love
5. A Song About Girls
6. Show Off
7. Recurring Dreams
8. From The Start
9. Bad Mood
10. Ain't Been Happy With Me
11. Miserable Without You
12. Wearing Your Ring$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Classic Roy Orbison180 Gram Vinyl Includes Fully Restored Original Artwork.
The Classic Roy Orbison was originally released in July of 1966. Orbison breaks all convention with these 12 songs holding steadfastly to his own artistry. 'Pantomime' is best described as epic, and notably, the single 'Twinkle Toes' charted at #13. This re-issue is fully remixed and remastered to return the audio to its original glory.1. You'll Never Be Sixteen Again
3. Twinkle Toes
4. Losing You
5. City Life
7. Growing Up
8. Where Is Tomorrow
9. (No) I'll Never Get Over You
10. Going Back To Gloria
11. Just Another Name For Rock And Roll
12. Never Love Again$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Siket DiscThe Siket Disc is a 1999 release from the American band Phish. It emerged from material developed during the Bearsville Studio sessions for Phish's 1998 album The Story of the Ghost. Not exactly outtakes or unfinished songs, The Siket Disc's compositions are actually select excerpts from the long-form improvisation of the Ghost Sessions. Phish keyboard player Page McConnell edited and mastered the selections into this compilation, named for engineer John Siket.
The material on The Siket Disc is defined by an almost ambient, post-rock sound that is a distinct departure from the band's major studio albums. The album is almost completely instrumental, but contains a few instances of vocalization. Quadrophonic Toppling, for instance, includes a triggered sample of bass guitarist Mike Gordon repeating the song's title.
Only the compositions My Left Toe and What's the Use? have been notably incorporated into the band's live shows on a somewhat regular basis. (However, Quadrophonic Toppling and The Happy Whip and Dung Song have each made at least one live appearance).
Gordon has indicated that The Siket Disc became a fixture in the band's late night tour bus music rotation in the early 2000s (decade), saying that It fit the vibe perfectly ... It's one of the only instances I can remember when we regularly played our own music.1. My Left Toe
2. The Name is Slick
3. What's the Use?
4. Fish Bass
5. Quadrophonic Toppling
6. The Happy Whip and Dung Song
8. Title Track
9. Albert$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
This Is ChristmasRather than a do a rehash of many of the obvious traditional tunes that fill special holiday albums by contemporary performers, maestro Luther Vandross opted for the task of creating no fewer than 7 of the 10 tracks included on his 1995 Christmas release. The result is an album that demonstrates why Vandross is still considered the preeminent black male vocalist of close to two decades: as on typical Vandross recordings, the production is crisp and strong and the vocals are flawless.
As usual, he employs the cream of musicians and background vocalists (including the inimitable Cissy Houston and Darlene Love, who is featured on the Motown-like duet I Listen to the Bells)--the perfect backdrop for Vandross's distinctive sound, exemplified on the standout title track. The Mistle Toe Jam has the party-like feel of Vandross sides like Bad Boy and the more recent Nights in Harlem, while Every Year, Every Christmas (cowritten with Richard Marx) is a soulful slow jam.
A surprising reading of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic My Favorite Things shows that if Vandross ever chose to, he could easily do a fine album of jazz standards, while O Come All Ye Faithful (featuring an all-star choir that includes Valerie Simpson) is given the album's most traditional reading. Standouts include the gorgeous Please Come Home for Christmas and the almost funky A Kiss for Christmas. Easily one of the best Christmas albums around. --David Nathan1. With a Christmas Heart
2. This Is Christmas (Album Version)
3. The Mistletoe Jam (Everybody Kiss Somebody) (Album Version)
4. Every Year, Every Christmas
5. My Favorite Things
6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
7. I Listen to the Bells
8. Please Come Home for Christmas
9. A Kiss for Christmas
10. O' Come All Ye Faithful$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Silence & TearsKent-based sextet Galley Beggar - who take their name from a mischievous spirit in English folklore - describe their mission as 'to imagine the next phase of English folk-rock' on their third album, Silence & Tears. "We've always loved English folk, but when we formed in 2009 it felt like nothing much was happening to carry the style forward," says guitarist Mat Fowler, "so we thought, we love listening to folk-rock and we love playing it - why not try to write something in that vein?"
The results can be heard on their earlier albums, Reformation House and Galley Beggar, and now on Silence & Tears. "Our first record was very folky," reflects Mat, "but since then we've moved towards a more electric rock feel." Indeed, the eight tracks on the new album span traditional song, Gothic balladry and peculiarly British acid rock, the mood alternately fragile and robust, with sweet vocal harmonies (led by Maria O'Donnell), lyrical guitar playing from Mat and his cohort David Ellis, and added texture from the violin of Celine Marshall (calling to mind Mr. Fox's Carolanne Pegg), all anchored by Bill Lynn's steady bass and Paul Dadswell's deft drumming. The material spans reworkings of the ancient classics Geordie and Jack Orion, brooding ballads like Adam & Eve and the otherworldy Empty Sky, and the intense 9-minute epic Pay My Body Home, which triumphantly recalls folk-rock's early 70s glory days.
Silence & Tears may echo centuries of folk tradition, but its crisp, punchy sound is resolutely modern, despite calling on retro flourishes such as phasing, wah-wah and backwards guitar. Much of that is down to the fact that it was recorded at the profoundly analogue Toe Rag studios, where White Stripes, Tame Impala, the Zutons and many others have also worked with renowned producer-engineer Liam Watson. "We made our first two albums ourselves," says Mat, "so this was the first time someone else has produced us. Recording at Toe Rag was just wonderful - to see all that incredible gear at work, and to have a tangible recording experience rather than staring at a screen, was amazing. And watching Liam at work is mesmerising - the sounds he gets onto tape are better than they are in real life!"
In an era when bands such as Trembling Bells, Circulus and Wolf People have brought folk-rock to the fore again, the hypnotic interplay and inspired jamming on Silence & Tears is sure to find an enthusiastic audience. "We've already got a few festivals lined up this summer, including Leigh Folk Festival and Wessex Festival, and several other shows are still being arranged," says Mat. "It's an honour to be compared to other folk-rock bands - but we like to think we've got something of our own to offer too."1. Adam And Eve
2. Pay My Body Home
3. Empty Sky
4. Jack Onion
6. Silence And Tears
7. Sanctuary Song
8. Deliver Him$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Santana IVSantana IV is the wildly anticipated studio album that reunites the revered early '70s lineup of guitar icon Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album signifies the first time in 45 years - since 1971's multi-platinum classic Santana III - that the quintet has recorded together.
Santana IV features 16 all-new tracks written and produced by the band that burst with the same unparalleled energy and superlative musicianship that made Santana a pioneering force in world music and a household name across the globe. Joining the core Santana IV band in the studio are current Santana members Karl Perazzo (percussion) and Benny Rietveld (bass), with the legendary vocalist Ronald Isley guesting on two cuts.
The origins for the reunion go back several years, when Schon suggested that he and Carlos Santana record together. Santana liked the idea but went one better, proposing that they recruit Rolie, Shrieve and Carabello for what would be called Santana IV. After initial writing sessions and rehearsals took place in 2013, the group recorded throughout 2014 and 2015, amassing 16 spellbinding tracks that combined all their signature elements - Afro-Latin rhythms, soaring vocals, electrifying blues-psychedelic guitar solos, and irrepressibly jubilant percussion work - with widescreen hooks and melodies that will lodge themselves in the thicket of listeners' senses and stay there.
It was magical, Santana says. We didn't have to try to force the vibe - it was immense. >From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana.
The band's signature sound arrives forcefully on the album opener Yambu, a righteously gritty and soulful stomper teeming with swirling B3 organ hooks and walloping guitar crunch.
The first single, Anywhere You Want to Go, is destined to storm the pantheon of Santana classics. Written by Gregg Rolie, it's a sexy, body-shaking winner and an unmistakable tip of the hat to the inescapable cha-cha/Latin jazz charms of Oye Como Va.
Ronald Isley (The Isley Brothers) is a special guest on two tracks. His vocals highlight the feverishly impassioned Latin-rock workout Love Makes the World Go Round and the hard-edged and funky Freedom in Your Mind. Guitar fans expecting fireworks from Santana and Schon will cherish Santana IV from front to back. All Aboard is a no-holds-barred guitar jam of the highest order, as is the slinky, soulful metal cruncher Caminando, which explodes with tectonic axe force. And on the unabashedly British blues-tinged Shake It, the two go toe to toe on not one but two extended solo runs that will have lovers of unhinged fretboard work rejoicing.
Carlos and I feel more connected than ever, says Schon. We get super-aggressive when we play, but also melodic and poetic. We have an incredible dialog with each other on our guitars.
Santana's recurring themes of love and tolerance are common threads throughout Santana IV, most dramatically on the epic tone poem album closer Forgiveness, a languid and breathtakingly gorgeous atmospheric groover.
Music fans familiar with the roaring lion artwork on Santana's 1969 debut album will instantly greet Heather Griffin-Vine's graphic for Santana IV as a gloriously realized update of that iconic image. I really think the music goes along with the cover, and vice versa, says Santana. It all fits together beautifully.
Few bands can pick up a musical dialog after 45 years apart, but on Santana IV each band member reaches a new level of virtuosity and communal intuition on a collection of songs that easily stands side-by-side with the group's treasured early work.
When you can go back and break new ground with joy and determination - and some whoop-ass energy - it gets you going, says Santana. I think we achieved something very rare. This music was screaming to come out of us. It wasn't about nostalgia. It was about passion.1. Yambu
2. Shake It
3. Anywhere You Want To Go
4. Fillmore East
5. Love Makes The World Go Round (Feat: Ronald Isley)
6. Freedom In Your Mind (Feat: Ronald Isley)
7. Choo Choo
8. All Aboard
11. Blues Magic
13. Leave Me Alone
14. You And I
15. Come as You Are
16. Forgiveness$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
...And Justice For Y'all (Awaiting Repress)The South will smoke again. The Bible Belt state of North Carolina, USA seems a fertile ground for hemp and stoner rock. When cult sludge act BUZZOV•EN called it a day, bass player Dave Dixie Collins teamed up with guitarist Dave Shep Shepherd and founded WEEDEATER in the harbor town of Wilmington about the year 1998. Their crushing and massive first full-length and Justice for Y'all created an immediate buzz, while critics were struggling to put a tag on their sound. Nearly everybody agreed that stoner rock, doom, sludge and some crusty elements were part of the mix, which the band simply calls weed metal. The debut was produced by renowned engineer Billy Anderson (EYEHATEGOD, NEUROSIS) as well as sophomore album Sixteen Tons (2002). WEEDEATER went out to perform live with CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY among others. After some detours of Dixie Dave, who played shortly with BONGZILLA and SOURVEIN, the third album God Luck and Good Speed hit the world in 2007 and shifted the band's focus slightly towards the stoner side. The latest full-length Jason the Dragon got delayed when guitarist Shep lost a toe due to an incident with his favourite shotgun. When the sludge driven album finally came out in 2011 shows in the US and Europe cemented the band's reputation as a fierce live entity. For the next release WEEDEATER have signed up with Season of Mist, which will reissue the complete back catalogue. Remastered and presented with its original artwork, And Justice for Y'all will also be available on vinyl for the first time. Time to lean back and get high on this WEEDEATER cult classic!1. Tuesday Night
2. Monkey Junction
4. Hungry Jack
7. Truck Drivin' Man
8. Southern Cross
10. Bucket$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Can't Touch Us NowFour years on from the release of their Top 10 US album, Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da, Madness return with Can't Touch Us Now. The Album's release sees the Nutty Boys in full flow with a collection of songs that stands alongside the best of their unique takes on modern life.
A typically eclectic collection (the group has long mastered the art of making disparate influences work under their knack for writing catchy pop hooks), Can't Touch Us Now was recorded at London's iconic Toe Rag Studio - a fitting venue for one of the English capital's most iconic bands. Co-produced by Grammy-winning producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes' Elephant) and the band's long-time boards-man, Clive Langer, Can't Touch Us Now was recorded in just three weeks and boasts characteristically wry observations on life, with songs the likes of 'Mr. Apples', 'Blackbird', 'Mumbo Jumbo' and the title track.
Part of Madness' brilliance lies in their ability to take situations specific to their environment and make them universally relatable: 'It Must Be Love', 'Embarrassment' and 'Tomorrow's Just Another Day' all resonate with a worldliness that fans from all over the globe have related to - and that's no surprise, given that the band themselves have looked beyond England, to Jamaica, for a large part of their musical inspiration. With the songs on Can't Touch Us Now road-hardened during a string of summer festival appearances, it seems that the album is set to, once again, remind fans that the self-proclaimed Nutty Boys are one of the finest, most erudite pop outfits that the world has seen.1. Can't Touch Us Now
2. Good Times
3. Mr. Apples
4. I Believe
7. You Are My Everything
8. Another Version of Me
9. Mumbo Jumbo
11. Don't Leave the Past Behind You
12. (Don't Let Them) Catch You Crying
13. Pam the Hawk
14. Given the Opportunity
15. Soul Denying
16. Whistle in the Dark$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now