• Ben Lee

New Releases: 13th November 2020

Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, punk, hip-hop, alt-rock, electronic, reggae, soul, jazz, pop, and folk. To order, you can find the items on the links below as we will send items as normal for delivery during lockdown. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 6 Picks of the week:

ACDC - Power Up


AC/DC release their seventeenth full-length album Power Up. This marks the legendary band’s first new music since 2014. For the album, the band reunited with producer Brendan O’Brien who helmed Black Ice in 2008 and Rock Or Bust in 2014. Charged up for the next decade, AC/DC cut twelve new tracks for the album, proudly maintaining their signature sound and all of its powerful hallmarks. Click here for the black vinyl version - ACDC Power Up.


Liam Bailey - Ekundayo


Big Crown Records present the Leon Michels produced Liam Bailey debut Ekundayo. This album is a long time in the making, and after listening, clearly worth the wait. It didn’t take a long time to record, but it did take years for all the stars to line up. Credit to Leon's hand, elements of Jamaican production are everywhere, peppered throughout the record. Like the pitch-perfect organ stabs that push through the authentically positive White Light, or the muted, percussive guitar strums that chug along in the back of Fight. In the same vein of any fantastic singer/songwriter album, Ekundayo is a reflection of who Liam Bailey is, taking on topics and approaches he never would think of just a few years ago. Some evidence: Ugly Truth is about reconnecting with his biological father, a subject he once thought would be too personal to address. The journey from conforming to major labels to this latest record has been a long one for Liam, and a bit of a struggle. But struggle may be the only way we truly grow and evolve. With a new clarity of purpose, sound, and life, Liam has found joy out of those struggles.


The Bats - Foothills


The Bats release their 10th full-length album, Foothills. Spanning the last 38 years, The Bats have clocked nine incredible albums; each one seeing the band evolve with new material from the prolific songwriting hand of Robert Scott. Add to that tally the extra singles, b-sides, EPs, compilations and tribute songs they’ve recorded, creating a succinct setlist is a nearly impossible task. Foothillswas recorded in Spring 2018 at a country retreat pop-up studio. At that time, 15 songs were captured and immortalised in the Canterbury foothills of the Southern Alps, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Only too well, The Bats know the possibilities, potentialities and sonic vistas that arise when one takes the reins for the recording process in a beautiful place that’s on home turf. 


Elvis Costello - Hey Clockface


Hey Clockface was recorded in Helsinki, Paris and New York and mixed by Sebastian Krys in Los Angeles. Following the solo recording of, No Flag, Hetty O’Hara Confidential and We Are All Cowards Now at Suomenlinnan Studio, Helsinki by Eetü Seppälä in February 2020, Costello immediately traveled to Paris for a weekend session at Les Studios Saint Germain. Costello tells us, “I sang live on the studio floor, directing from the vocal booth. We cut nine songs in two days. We spoke very little. Almost everything the musicians played was a spontaneous response to the song I was singing. I’d had a dream of recording in Paris like this, one day.” The assembled album, Hey Clockface is “An Elvis Costello & Sebastian Krys Production” following on from their work together on Elvis Costello and The Imposters Grammy-winning album Look Now.


New Order - Be A Rebel


New Order Be a Rebel is the first brand new music from the band since the release of the critically acclaimed album Music Complete In 2015. Available on Dove Grey coloured vinyl, packaged with a blue metallic ink outer sleeve and full colour inner sleeve. Includes a high definition download code. Vinyl features additional remixes from the band’s own Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris.


Peel Dream Magazine - Moral Panics


NYC's Peel Dream Magazine dazzled listeners with their recent release "Agitprop Alterna," a smart album that draws from a wide set of post-punk, shoegaze and indiepop influences but still has an assured, unique sound. Now they're following up with "Moral Panics," a companion EP that features unreleased songs from the "Agitprop Alterna" sessions. Far from being outtakes, these are all songs that stand strong on their own, and gathered together function as a useful corollary to the album. The EP's title comes from Stanley Cohen's "Folk Devils and Moral Panics," a pivotal study of the media treatment of the mod movement and the poltical, societal and cultural faultlines that the media panic embodied -- it's a reference that's quite revealing about some of the ideas behind Peel Dream. Songs like "New Culture," "Verfremdungseffekt" and "Life At The Movies" continue PDM's investigations into those frought areas where art, culture and commerce meet, and the EP as a whole comprises a crucial piece of the Peel Dream discography.


Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:

Bibio - Hand Cranked


Warp Records reissue Bibio’s Hand Cranked album on vinyl for the first time. The album was originally released in 2006 by Mush and was one of the releases that caught the ear of the Warp label before signing Bibio for Ambivalence Avenue in 2009. Hand Cranked, his second release, saw him delve further into the sounds he crafted on his debut, Fi, with a focus on saturated guitars, found sound and field recordings and an affinity for the pastoral inspiration of his Northern England surroundings. Hand Cranked stepped it up a level though, bringing in Bibio's unique take on folk and blending it with electronic loops; a sound that he would continue to help refine throughout his career. This fourteen track collection saw Bibio bring an increased confidence to his music, highlighting his virtuosic guitar playing and shedding light on his more whimsical pop inclinations that he's explored on releases since then. Available on vinyl for the first time since its original release over 10 years ago, Hand Cranked makes for a perfect lazy Sunday listening, a nostalgic drive through the country or simply a peak into an artist beginning to discover the full breadth of his talent.


Boris - Amplifier Worship (Re-issue)


Formed in 1992, Boris boldly explores their own vision of heavy music, where words like “explosive” and “thunderous” barely do justice. Using overpowering soundscapes embellished with copious amounts of lighting and billow smoke, Boris has shared with audiences across the planet an experience for all five senses in their concerts, earning legions of zealous fans along the way.First released in 1998, catalog staple Amplifier Worship sees its first-ever reissue with minimalistic album art from the first-press Japanese CD via Third Man Records. The Stoughton gatefold jacket will house both officially remastered LPs, pressed at Third Man Pressing.

Amplifier Worship is Boris’s most intense and unrelenting album to date. Not for the faint of heart, the group incorporates mythic doom-drones, up-tempo psych-sludge and even a refreshing ribbit into their signature concoction of celestial and heavy music. AmplifierWorship is a critical chapter in the Boris canon. The album is a testament to the group's bullishness in pushing metal to it’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar edges. And it is also undoubtedly one of their best.


The Cranberries - No Need To Argue


Remastered version of No Need to Argue by The Cranberries. Originally released in 1994, No Need To Argue was the band’s biggest selling album with global sales in excess of 17 million and contained the band’s most commercially successful single Zombie. Dolores O’Riordan - the band’s powerful and captivating lead singer - tragically passed away in January 2018. Also included are 19 previously unreleased tracks including two songs not officially released in any format: Yesterday’s Gone - recorded unplugged for MTV in New York in 1995 - and a demo of Serious, which until now has only existed as a low quality live bootleg on YouTube.


Ozric Tentacles - Jurassic Shift Remastered


One of the most influential bands to emerge from the UKs festival scene, the Ozrics layer ambient and ethereal landscapes with freeform dub trips, incredible rave grooves and psychedelic progressive rock. It is an open exploration of music and the soul. For over 30 years, the Ozrics have experienced the vicissitudes of the rock and roll life. The band has flourished through several line-up changes, spawned several side projects, created their own record label, scored a hit record & sold over a million albums world-wide. And yet, the basic motivation behind the bands existence has never wavered. Their signature blend of hippy aesthetics and raver electronics with spiraling guitars, textured waves of keyboard and midi samplers, and super-groovy bass and drum rhythms continues to delight fans across the world to this day. 


John Parish & PJ Harvey - Dance Hall At Louse Point


Dance Hall at Louse Point is an excellent and often unfairly overlooked collaboration between the Dorset rock queen and her long-time collaborator John Parish. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is late-night mood music of the highest order. The lo-fi, stripped-down production and Parish's stark musical backing perfectly compliments some of Harvey's rawest vocals to date. Throughout the record she swings dramatically between different vocal registers, from angelic choirgirl falsetto to creepy whisper to shredded gut howls, as if she's role-playing different characters for each song. She sings every song on this album with a demonic, throat-clenching intensity that's almost frightening. Produced by Parish and Harvey, and originally released in September 1996, Dance Hall At Louse Point features the single That Was My Veil. Reissue is faithful to the original recording with vinyl cutting by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering, overseen by John Parish.


The Prats - Prats Way Up High


Prats Way Up High is a compilation of tracks by The Prats, featuring the three 7"s, demos and songs from their John Peel session recorded in 1979. It was 1978 in Edinburgh and the spirit of punk had hit high school as four friends got together to form The Prats. Paul McLaughlin, Dave Maguire, Greg Maguire and Tom Robinson were then aged between 12 and 14, and while their instruments were basic - including a cardboard drum kit - their enthusiasm carried them through. The band quickly produced a demo tape and sent it to Edinburgh's legendary indie label Fast Product (early home of the Human League). This led to the band's debut on the Fast Product EP Earcom 1. A series of singles then followed, including General Davis - which featured in the opening titles of Hollywood blockbuster The Manchurian Candidate - and Die Todten Reyten Schnell, which was released on German indie label ‘Da Da Records’.


Pulp - Separations


Their third and last album for the Fire label, Separations. By 1992 Pulp had already transformed from their debut It through the dark electronic phase of Freaks and were garnering significant momentum. Now critically acclaimed and with a live reputation matched by only a few, most of the songs on Separations sound fully-realised in that undeniably Pulp manner that was soon to be experienced everywhere. And, for the first time, there was an inescapable disco pulse. This is the transition album where Pulp, caught between a doomed romantic outsider past and an acid-bright future, made an album that brilliantly reflects both. Beautifully re-mastered and repackaged and with liner notes by Everett True, the disc includes four bonus tracks, including Death Goes To The Disco, Is This House, as well as an extended version of the single Countdown and the previously unreleased Death Comes To Town. Separations spawned two of Pulps most successful singles to date in Countdown and My Legendary Girlfriend, with the latter topping the singles of 1991 lists by major music publications.


Nina Simone - I Put A Spell On You (Definitive Audiophile Version)


Given her extensive and varied recording catalog, if you're looking for a place to explore the talents of the late Nina Simone, then 1965's I Put a Spell On You is a great place to dip your toes - particular if you want to start with her more pop oriented sides. As was the case with many mid-1960s releases, Simone's record label had a major say in the material she was allowed to record and it shows on this set which features a truly eclectic mixture including stabs at jazz (the instrumental Blues On Purpose), R&B (the title track), French chanson (Ne Me Quitte Pas) and a number of show tunes.


Nina Simone - Pastel Blues (Definitive Audiophile Version)


The raw and forthright energy of Nina Simone hits you like a tsunami on the opening track of Pastel Blues. Nina Simone’s rendition of Be My Husband to the tune of an old African American work song, Rosie, is everything you need to know about Simone. Her voice so full of power and resistance, accompanied by nothing but the hammer strike of the percussion. It sends your spine tingling. Like much of her music it has its roots African American tradition and unabashed levels of pride and suffering in equal measures. The album is a collection of jazz and blues standards played by Simone in New York between 1964 and 1965. Her arran