New Releases: 15th January 2021
Ben brings you all the new releases and reissues to arrive at The Vinyl Whistle this week, featuring releases ranging from indie, rock, post-punk, pop, shoegaze, ambient, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, folk, punk, soundtrack, heavy metal, hip-hop, and alt-rock. To order, you can find the items on the links below. Here's Ben's roundup of his Top 10 Picks of the week:
Melvins, Redd Kross, Nirvana, Ty Segall. Rat-a-Tat-Tat! Is that the sound of the reaper knocking on your door to collect your soul or Dale Crover hammering out another distinctive drum fill? There are pretty good odds it's the latter; between 36 years (and about as many full-lengths and EPs) as drummer/bassist for the Melvins and his contributions to acts as varied as Altamont, Peeping Tom, Redd Kross, Shrinebuilder, and a little band called Nirvana, he's built quite the body of work. In 2017, he added a proper solo album to his extensive catalog, Fickle Finger of Fate. Now he's followed that with Rat-a-Tat-Tat! Crover takes the solo thing seriously: he wrote the album while on the road and provided vocals, drums, guitars, vibraphone, and miscellaneous percussion.
Jeremy Gara, drummer of Arcade Fire, releases his second solo album Passerine Finale on Invada Records. The album was mastered by Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent) and composed, produced and recorded by Jeremy over the last three years. Passerine Finale is a varied collection of songs and disparate sounds, from arranged static noise to extended melodic drones, improvised and chiselled at, ignoring form or structure, and completed the moment things ‘felt’ something.
On their Night Dreamer debut, the sensational drummer, percussionist and musical artist Sarathy Korwar and his allstar UPAJ Collective gain brand new ground in their mission to rebalance spiritual jazz with authentic Indian classical music. UPAJ means “to improvise” in Hindi, and recording direct-to-disc at Artone Studios with almost no preconceived directions, they truly capture the “spirit of spontaneous improvisation”, as Sarathy puts it, like never before. On this special recording for Night Dreamer, Korwar and co have brought the UPAJ fully to bear with its mission to collaborate and improvise.The nature of recording straight-to-acetate, with just a pause between each record side, was a challenge they fully embraced, entering the recording with minimal instructions. Korwar relates that they initiated the session by sitting together in a circle to perform a set of breathing exercises, now a regular part of their gig prep. This set a collective tone, slowing heart rates, it centered the players and they felt more present, more aware of the space and each other. As such, trust, communication and ability to relate, came before the instrumentation.
Filmed and recorded in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2017 during her 67-city sold out tour, 'The 24 Karat Gold Tour: Live in Concert' features Stevie Nicks' solo hits 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around, 'Stand Back', and 'Edge of Seventeen', as well as Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon' and 'Gypsy'. It also includes her first ever live performance of 'Crying in the Night', and other live rarities.
Pom Poko pimp their CV on all fronts with their glorious second album, Cheater via Bella Union Between the quartet’s sweet melodies, galvanic punky ructions and wild-at-art-rock eruptions, Cheater is the sound of a band celebrating the binding extremes that make them so uniquely qualified to thrill.
The third album from London-based multi-instrumentalist, Robohands. ‘Shapes’ fuses elements of jazz, krautrock, hip hop and ambient music. For fans of Khruangbin, Yusef Dayes, CAN, Coltrane and 70’s library music moods.
Shame - Drunk Tank Pink (Post-Punk / Rock / Indie / Heavy)
There are moments on Drunk Tank Pink where you almost have to reach for the sleeve to check this is the same band who made 2018’s Songs Of Praise. Such is the jump Shame have made from the riotous post-punk of their debut to the sprawling adventurism and twitching anxieties laid out here. The South Londoner’s blood and guts spirit, that wink and grin of devious charm, is still present, it’s just that it’s grown into something bigger, something deeper, more ambitious and unflinchingly honest.
The genius of Drunk Tank Pink is how these lyrical themes dovetail with the music. Opener Alphabet dissects the premise of performance over a siren call of nervous, jerking guitars, its chorus thrown out like a beer bottle across a mosh pit. Songs spin off and lurch into unexpected directions throughout here, be it March Day’s escalating aural panic attack or the shapeshifting darkness of Snow Day. There’s a Berlin era Bowie beauty to the lovelorn Human For A Minute while closer Station Wagon weaves from a downbeat mooch into a souring, soul- lifting climax in which Steen elevates himself beyond the clouds and into the heavens. Or at least that’s what it sounds like.
Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs (Electronic / Rock / Post Punk)
Recorded in lockdown in a furious three-week studio blitz at JT Soar in July, the polemical Jason Williamson and dexterous producer Andrew Fearn kick against the pricks with unrivalled bite, railing against hypocrisy, inequality and apathy with their inimitable, scabrous sense of humour. And Spare Ribs, featuring Amy Taylor of Melbourne punks Amyl and the Sniffers and the British newcomer Billy Nomates, finds the duo charged with ire at the UK Government’s sense of entitlement, epitomized by its devil-may-care approach to the coronavirus crisis. Commenting on the new album Jason says, “'The masses cannot be present in the minds of ill-fitting leaders, surely? Or else the realisation of their catastrophic management would cripple their minds. Much like the human body can still survive without a full set of ribs we are all 'spare ribs’, preservation for capitalism, through ignorance and remote rule, available for parts.”
Kurt Vile’s Speed, Sound, Lonely KV (ep) was recorded and mixed in sporadic sessions that spanned four years at The Butcher Shoppe studio in Nashville, TN. It includes five songs —covers of John Prine and Cowboy Jack Clement as well as two originals —and was recorded alongside a cast of local heavies like Bobby Wood, Dave Roe, and Kenny Malone with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Superwolf) tossed into the mix as well. Most importantly, it features what KV has called "Probably the single most special musical moment in my life” –a duet with the late John Prine on the songwriter’s well-loved tune, How Lucky. “The truth is John was my hero for a long time when he came into The Butcher Shoppe to recut one of his deepest classics with me. And, man, I was floating and flying and I couldn't hear anything he told me while he was there till after he was gone for the night,” notes Vile in a personal statement that accompanies the record.
After a tumultuous period of emotional blows, leaving the majority of the band getting to grips with new life scenarios, the new album is rooted in reflection and redemption. It sees You Me At Six harness those darker experiences as a catalyst for creativity, empowerment and positivity. Recorded over five weeks at Karma Sound studio in Bang Saray, and continuing their creative relationship with that album's producer, Dan Austin (Biffy Clyro, Massive Attack, Pixies), Suckapunch is the sound of a band embracing change. You Me At Six have crafted their most experimental, personal and progressive record to date.
Here are the best reissues coming out this week at The Vinyl Whistle:
Hailing from Melbourne, but with a sound stretching from 60s and 70s afrobeat and exotica to Fela Kuti-esque repetition, the proto-garage rhythmic fury of The Monks and the grooves of Os Mutantes, there’s an enticing lost world exoticism to the music of Bananagun. It’s the sort of stuff that could’ve come from a dusty record crate of hidden gems; yet as the punchy, colourfully vibrant pair of singles Do Yeah and Out of Reach have proven over the past 12 months, the band are no revivalists. On debut album The True Story of Bananagun, they make a giant leap forward with their outward-looking blend of global tropicalia. Tracks like The Master and People Talk Too Much bounce around atop hybrid percussion that fuses West African high life with Brazilian tropicalia; the likes of She Now hark to abmore westernised early rhythm ‘n’ blues beat, remoulded and refreshed in the group’s own inimitable summery style. Freak Machine is perhaps the closest to those early 90’s beats, but even then the group add layers and layers of bright guitars, harmonic flower -pop vocals and other sounds to transmute the source material to an entirely new plain. Elsewhere there’s a 90 second track called Bird Up! that cut and pastes kookaburra and parrot calls as an homage to the wildlife surrounding van Bakel’s home 80 kilometres from Melbourne. Oh, and there are hooks galore too–try and stop yourself from humming along to Out of Reach’s swooping vocal melody.
Foreverly is the 2013 collaboration between Green Day front man, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Grammy-winning Pop songstress, Norah Jones. The collection is inspired by Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, an album of traditional Americana songs reinterpreted, recorded and released by the Everly Brothers in 1958. Billie Joe and Norah's album captures the beauty of the Everly Brothers' stunning close harmonies to create a moving and powerful testament to these traditional ballads.
Between November 1977 and December 1980 Buzzcocks ruled, the alternative punk pop world in the UK, releasing a run of thrilling singles which 40 years later transcend time or categorisation. All twelve of those revolutionary 45s are collected here remastered from the original tapes in the original Malcolm Garrett designed sleeves. The box also contains a 36-page booklet written by acclaimed author and punk chronicler Clinton Heylin. It features these 7"
Released originally in 1982 Miami was the follow up album to 1981's debut and critically acclaimed debut Fire of Love album on Ruby records by LA punk blues outfit the Gun Club. Miami was produced by Chris Stein of Blondie and released on his label Animal records. Featuring such classics as The Fire of Love, Devil in the Woods and a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Run Through the Jungle this second release only strengthened the Gun Club's rise to glory. This record also features Debbie Harry on backing vocals.
Initially released in 1988 on Creation, Christine was the opening track from their self titled debut album and was the song that gave Guy Chadwick the idea for the sound of the group, what kind of musicians to look for and of course, the image. It reached number 4 in the indie charts with Melody Maker describing it as “shimmering with reverbed romance...a heroic anthem to doomed and incandescent love”. Includes all three tracks from the 12” and first time in picture sleeve for the 7”.
Four Great Points is the third studio album by Louisville-based math rock band June of 44, released on January 20, 1998.