Friday, February 19, 2021

REISSUE: Brandtson – Death & Taxes

 

Cleveland-based label Steadfast Records continues their reissue campaign for label owner Matt Traxler’s band, Brandtson.  Death & Taxes – released on Deep Elm Records in 2003 - was the 90’s emo-era favorite’s second EP.  Many bands often experiment with their sound on EP releases but Brandtson seemed to sharpen their harmony-laced hooks and they saved some of their best songs for their EPs.  The Death & Taxes EP opens with hard-charging riffage on “You Do The Science” and is highlighted by the soaring dual harmonies of “Circa 1991” and the incredibly catchy ode to band and touring life, “Ain’t No Trip To Cleveland”.        

Death & Taxes is now available for the first time on deluxe limited edition vinyl and cassette. The 6-song EP is expanded to include two bonus tracks, “Dead Animals” recorded during the Death & Taxes sessions and previously released on the Brandtson/ Camber/ Seven Storey Mountain split; and “Optimist Club”, which was recorded during the sessions for their excellent first EP, Trying to Figure Each Other Out and previously released on the compilation Deep Elm Unreleased No. 1.    

The original audio was newly-remastered for vinyl and cassette by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio. The vinyl is packaged in a beautiful hi-gloss UV coated jacket featuring new artwork and includes a printed inner sleeve and 11” insert with live and studio photos. Steadfast offers the EP on three gorgeous variants; Opaque grass green, Transparent Green w/Black Splatter (ltd to 100), Clear with Green, Yellow and White Splatter (ltd to 100).

Order here: https://brandtson.bandcamp.com/album/death-taxes

Stream Death & Taxes here:

Thursday, December 31, 2020

TOP 10 ALBUMS of 2020

 

2020 has been a terrible year, we all know that.  I even ended the year experiencing COVID-19 myself.  This is a list – in alphabetical order – of the Top 10 Albums that helped get me through this year.  Here’s to a better year in 2021!

 

Samuel AtkinsonWeather On The Brain (Self-Released)

Stream: https://samuelatkinson.bandcamp.com/album/weather-on-the-brain

 

Blinker The StarJuvenile Universe (Self-Released)

Stream: https://blinkerthestar.bandcamp.com/album/juvenile-universe

 

Ebony TusksHeal_Thyself (High Dive Records)

Stream: https://highdiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/ebony-tusks-heal-thyself

 

FullbloodsSoft And Virtual Touch (High Dive Records)

Stream: https://highdiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/fullbloods-soft-and-virtual-touch

 

HumInlet (Self-Released)

Stream: https://humband.bandcamp.com/album/inlet

 

KoneyKoney (High Dive Records)

Stream: https://highdiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/koney

 

Bob NannaCelebration States (New Granada Records)

Stream: https://bobnanna.bandcamp.com/album/celebration-states

 

Shabazz PalacesThe Don Of Diamond Dreams (Sub Pop)

Stream: https://shabazzpalaces.bandcamp.com/album/the-don-of-diamond-dreams


Andy Shauf - The Neon Skyline (Anti Records)

Stream: https://andyshauf.bandcamp.com/album/the-neon-skyline

 

Shy BoysTalk Loud (Polyvinyl)

Stream: https://shyboys.bandcamp.com/album/talk-loud

 


TOP 5 REISSUES of 2020

 

Redd KrossPhaseshifter & Show World (Third Man Records) https://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2020/05/reissue-redd-kross-phaseshifter-show.html

RushPermanent Waves 40th Anniversary (UMe) https://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2020/06/reissue-rush-permanent-waves-40th.html

Tears For FearsSongs From The Big Chair 35th Anniversary & The Seeds Of Love 30th Anniversary (Ume) https://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2020/03/reissue-tears-for-fears-songs-from-big.html & https://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2020/10/reissue-tear-for-fears-seeds-of-love.html

that dog. Totally Crushed Out & Retreat From The Sun (Third Man Records) https://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2020/07/reissue-that-dog-totally-crushed-out_31.html

Zao Preface: Early Recordings 1995-1996 & All Else Failed 25th Anniversary  (Steadfast Records) https://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2020/10/reissue-zao-preface-early-recordings.html

Top EPs of 2020

 

CarcassDespicable

Stream: https://carcass.bandcamp.com/album/despicable

 

Dori FreemanHeavenly Sunlight

Stream: https://dorifreeman1.bandcamp.com/album/heavenly-sunlight

 

Infectious GroovesTake U On A Ride - Summer Shred Sessions, Vol. #1

 

In ParallelFashioner

Stream: https://wiretaprecords.bandcamp.com/album/fashioner

 

Jupe JupeNightfall

Stream: https://jupejupemusic.bandcamp.com/album/nightfall

Friday, November 20, 2020

REISSUE: The Cranberries – No Need To Argue - 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

 

The Cranberries’ stellar sophomore album, No Need To Argue was released in 1994 and to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Island/UMe recently released an expanded deluxe edition of the album.  Led by the singles, “Ode To My Family” and the surprisingly heavy, “Zombie”, the sophomore slump-busting album solidified the status of the late Delores O’Riordan and the band, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan, and Fergal Lawler as 90’s alternative rock titans.   

For this deluxe edition, the original album has been newly remastered and the 2LP set is highlighted by the addition of three B-sides and demos, including the standout, “Close To You” taken from a Carpenters cover album released around the same time as the album. 

The expanded 2CD and digital versions include the remastered original album as well as the three B-sides, plus an additional 19 previously unreleased tracks including, demos, live recordings from 94 and 95, remixes including the fan favorite remix of “Zombie” by Orb, and a version of “Yesterday’s Gone” taken from a 1995 MTV Unplugged session.  Additionally, the 2CD set features previously unseen photographs from the album photo sessions and extensive essay focusing on the history of the album written by the band’s longtime archivist Eoin Devereux. 

Delores possessed a one of a kind voice and her memory remains with this expanded reissue of No Need To Argue, The Cranberries’ stunning second album. 

To order please visit, https://thecranberries.lnk.to/NNTAExpanded

Check out the video for heavy – both musically and lyrically – single, “Zombie” here:

Monday, November 09, 2020

REVIEW: Beastie Boys – Beastie Boys Music

The Beastie Boys - MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D - were once-in-a-lifetime; from their hardcore beginnings to hip-hop stardom, there was and never will be a band like them again.  Rightfully so, the last few years we have seen a celebration of the Beastie Boys, with their aptly-titled book, Beastie Boys Book and the Spike Jonze-directed documentary film, Beastie Boys Story. 

The celebration continues with the recent release of Beastie Boys Music - a companion to the film - out now on Capitol/UMe.  Available on 180gm 2LP, this 20-song compilation is chronological – beginning with the songs you know so well on Licensed To Ill to their final album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two - and complete as is contains “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)”, which had been omitted at the band’s request from prior Best Of compilations. 

Celebrate the 30-plus year career of the Beastie Boys by listening to Beastie Boys Music on vinyl while thumbing through the Beastie Boys Book and watching the Beastie Boys Story.   

Order Beastie Boys Music here: https://beastieboys.lnk.to/MusicPR

Watch the newly-remastered classic video for ““(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” here:

Monday, October 19, 2020

REISSUE: Tear For Fears – The Seeds Of Love - 30th Anniversary Edition

The British synth-pop duo Tears For Fears released The Seeds Of Love, their ambitious third album, in 1989.  To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Mercury Records/UMe recently reissued the album that is available on picture disc vinyl, 2CD and a 4CD/1Blu-ray deluxe edition.       

The long-awaited album – released four years after their breakout sophomore hit Songs From The Big Chair - was highlighted by the singles, "Sowing the Seeds," "Woman in Chains," "Advice for the Young at Heart," and "Badman’s Song"; and represented a more mature sound from Curt Smith and Roland Orzabel that subtracted the synths and added in elements of Soul, Gospel, Jazz and 60’s psych-pop.  Guest vocalist Oleta Adams and a host of guest musicians including, Kate St. John, Ian Stanley and Phil Collins gave a more organic feel to the sessions and somehow the duo created an even lusher layered sound. 

The deluxe edition features the remastered original album as well as a second disc of single edits, instrumentals and B-sides.  Highlights on disc two are the fan favorite B-sides, “Tears Roll Down” and “Music For Tables” as well as several different versions and mixes of the hip-hop inspired “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams”.  Disc three features several previously-unreleased early mixes and radio edits including the standout, “The Year of The Knife - Steve Chase 7 Remix”.  In my opinion, disc four is worth the price of the box set alone with the inclusion of demos and the six intimate and organic Townhouse Live Jam Sessions versions of tracks, “Woman InChains”, “Standing on the Corner of the Third World” and a fun version of “Badman’s Song” which includes the interpolation of some Doors’ lyrics, which showcases the duo’s more playful side.  Disc five is the Blu-ray which features the Steven Wilson 5.1 mix of the album as well as Andrew Waters’ 2015 mix of the album, allowing the listener the best possible listening experience of this wonderful and timeless pop masterpiece. 

Completing the package is a replica tour program loaded with photos and biographies for each touring musician; and a 36-page booklet highlighted by an oral history of the Seeds Of Love era with new insightful interviews with Curt and Roland and others including, keyboardist/co-writer Nicky Holland, producer Chris Hughes and Oleta Adams.   

To order or for more info:  https://tearsforfears.lnk.to/TSOL

Watch the recently remastered in HD video for the standout single, “Sowing The Seeds Of Love” here:

 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain – Koney – Koney

Koney is the new moniker of K.C. musician Konnor Ervin (also of Shy Boys) for his solo project, formerly known as The ACBs.  His self-titled debut album as Koney was recently released digitally and on vinyl via High Dive Records.  

Set to minimalistic soft-pop arrangements featuring, warbly synths and 70’s lounge charm, Ervin’s hushed voice and catchy, swooning melodies will wind their way around your grey matter instantly.  The album opens with the slinky R&B rhythm and choppy vocal cadence of “Combos”.  Another standout, “Grey Times” is built upon a bright, bouncy keyboard melody that sounds like its being beamed in from a UB40 record.  Elsewhere, the upbeat “Actin Dumb” features a rubbery bassline and tipsy synths.  The album closes out with the stutter-stepping rhythm of “Slow Death”.

Much like the wonderful weirdness of Shy Boys, Konnor creates captivating music that defies boundaries on his stellar debut album as Koney.

For more info: https://www.highdivekc.com/bands/koney/

Stream Koney here:  

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

REISSUE: Zao – Preface: Early Recordings 1995-1996 & All Else Failed: 25th Anniversary Edition

 

Zao, the Pennsylvania-based hardcore/metalcore veterans, are celebrating their 27th year of existence this year.  The highly-influential band has been releasing several new reissues across their eleven album catalog including, a 25th Anniversary Edition of their debut full length, All Else Failed, out now on Steadfast Records as well as a new compilation titled, Preface: Early Recordings 1995-1996, that features fourteen tracks including early demos, tracks from long out of print compilations and splits. 

These rare early recordings – remastered from their original sources by Adam Boose at Cleveland’s Cauliflower Audio - capture the band in their V.F.W. hall and church basement beginnings; tracing their growth from leaders of the Christian hardcore genre to paving the way for metalcore, before becoming the experimental extreme metal band we know them as today.   

Preface: Early Recordings 1995 - 1996 is available on transparent blue vinyl, transparent blue shell cassette; and CD, which features two previously unreleased bonus tracks from early Zao side project Monroe. 

All Else Failed: 25th Anniversary Edition features the 2018 restored audio re-cut as a 45rpm 2xLP by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service and pressed in Cleveland, Ohio at Gotta Groove Records. This deluxe edition is available in black or “hellfire” red vinyl, packaged with all new artwork in a UV gloss coated gatefold jacket with a 12 page lyric and photo booklet and download coupon. It is also available on CD or transparent red shell cassette with the gorgeous updated artwork. 

Order here: https://www.steadfastrecords.net/store

Stream Zao - Preface: Early Recordings 1995-1996 here:

 


Friday, October 09, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Samuel Atkinson – Weather On The Brain

The last time we heard from Eaton, Ohio singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer Samuel Atkinson was in 2008 when his band Only Makebelieve released their excellent debut album, Message From A Mockingbird.  After a decade-plus wait, Atkinson has just released his debut solo album, Weather On The Brain. The album was recorded and carefully crafted over the last five years by Atkinson in his home studio, produced by Atkinson and Eddy Groen and mastered by Steve Turnidge at UltraViolet Studios in Seattle.       

The standout single, “King Of Nothing” opens the album with a trio of sounds including, e-bow, Theremin and sweeping, spacey synths; urging you to strap on your headphones for a whole album journey through Sam’s penchant for power-pop, love for Rush-inspired prog-rock and 80’s synth-pop, for an eclectic yet cohesive listening experience.  Other standouts including, the Carpenters-esque 70’s balladry of “My Angel” and the laid back jazz lounge vibes of the title track, along with the jangly, 12-string guitar-led “Up Down Right” and the aptly-titled experimental electronica of “Weird Dance” show Atkinson branching out from his signature sound into new sonic territories.  The thirteen-track album closes out with the climatic closer, “All Questions Will Be Answered” with its lushly-layered guitars and soaring synth and vocal melodies. Atkinson has once again crafted pure pop perfection, this time with his solo studio project.   

Stream Weather On The Brain here:

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

REVIEW: The Hives – Live at Third Man Records

 

Last year Swedish garage-rock icons, The Hives, regrouped and toured the States after a lengthy hiatus.  They kicked things off with a live performance in the Blue Room at Nashville’s Third Man Records.  The explosive evening was captured live direct-to-acetate on May 19, 2019 and released via Third Man Records late last month for the band’s first ever live album. 

The seven-song tracklist includes fun fan favorites, “Main Offender” and “Walk Idiot Walk”, and is highlighted of course, by effortlessly-energetic performances of their signature smash singles, “Tick Tick Boom” and “Hate To Say I Told You So”.  Also included is a lively performance of their vamping, stomping new song, “I’m Alive”. 

The Hives have always been considered one of the best live bands and now you have sonic documentation. 

Stream/order The Hives – Live at Third Man Records here: https://thirdmanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-third-man-records-3

Stream “Hate To Say I Told You So” taken from The Hives – Live At Third Man Records here:

Friday, September 04, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat

Benchmarks – “Six One Way” (The Nashville-based indie rock/emo-punk hybrids led by Todd Farrell Jr. recently released their sophomore album, Summer, Slowly.  The excellent new album deftly places poignant and relevant lyrical themes of change - both personal and social - alongside contrastingly fun-loving and anthemic punk rock melodies with dual guitar leads and sing-along choruses.  Check out the timely, social media-inspired message of the standout single, “Six One Way”, here.) https://benchmarks.bandcamp.com/album/summer-slowly   

In Parrallel – “Deep Dark” (Nashville’s In Parallel consists of former members of Celebrity and Hopesfall; who hit the sweet spot between atmospheric space-rock and shoegaze-inspired post-punk on their new EP, Fashioner, out today on Wiretap Records. The 5-song EP – led by the driving and moody single heard here - was mixed by Ken Andrews of Failure and follows their stunning 2018 debut EP, Broken Codes.) http://www.inparallelband.com/

Rufus Wainwright – “Damsel In Distress” (The eclectic singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright recently released his long-awaited, ninth pop album, UNFOLLOW THE RULES via BMG.  Boasting swooning melodies and grand arrangements, the new album – his first in over eight years – delivers both catchy folk-pop tunes and dreamy piano-led balladry that focuses on aspects of marriage, family life and growing older with grace, charm and the sly humor we’ve come to expect from the troubadour.  Watch Wainwright’s CBS Saturday Sessions performance of standout track, “Damsel In Distress” below.) https://rufuswainwright.com/
Watch:

Monday, August 24, 2020

PREMIERE: Sock-Tight – “Got Dapples, Yay” | Record Store Day 2020 – ORG Music

The original date in April for Record Store Day 2020 was cancelled in due to COVID-19 - which seems like a lifetime ago - but Record Store Day is set to soldier on and will spread the wealth over three separate dates to allow for social distancing; it will now be held on this Saturday, August 29; September 26 and October 24.
Once again ORG Music is offering up 9 tasty platters of vinyl including releases from Mia Doi Todd, Marion Brown and Jimmy Sweeney, among others.  Listed below are my top 3 choices from the ORG Music offerings for Record Store Day this year, including an exclusive premiere of the track, “Got Dapples, Yay”” from punk rock legend Mike Watt’s new collaborative project, Sock-Tight.   
Sock-Tight – “Got Dapples, Yay” (Sock-Tight is the experimental project of longtime friends, collaborators and punk rock royalty; bassist Mike Watt and visual artist/vocalist Raymond Pettibon.  Their debut album, Smudge, will be released for Record Store Day #1 on August 29.  Watt lays down a bed of his signature bass spiels, allowing Pettibon’s humorous avant-leaning musings to bloom alongside funky beats and jazzy saxophone skronks from guests including, Steve McKay of the Stooges and Vince Meghrouni.  The gatefold jacket includes four pieces of Pettibon’s artwork and is pressed onto either black or randomly inserted blue vinyl, due out August 29.) 
Stream the neurotic nursery rhyme-like track “Got Dapples, Yay”, featuring call and response vocals from Pettibon and guest Aida Ruilova and saxophone by Steve McKay, here:

Infectious Grooves – (The funk-metal offshoot of Suicidal Tendencies - led by ST’s Mike Muir and bassist Robert Trujillo of Metallica - returns with a new 4-song EP titled, Take You On A Ride, out October 24. Pressed onto transparent orange 12” vinyl and mastered at 45RPM, the EP features a new track, “Take You On A Ride” as well as 3 originally recorded in 1995.)

Würm – (Würm is the punk band formed in 1973 by legendary Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski before he co-founded Black Flag. This RSD exclusive 7” inch – limited to 1,000 copies worldwide - offers their first new recordings in over 40 years, with tracks, “Poison” and “Zero Sum”. The standout A-side opens and ends with a Doors-like psychedelic passage before launching into a satisfying Sabbath-like stoner-punk groove. Available September 26.)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: The Slackers – “Nobody’s Listening” + “Sleep Outside”

Long-running NYC-based ska/reggae institution The Slackers recently released a new two-song 12” single via Pirates Press Records.  For 30 years, vocalist/keyboardist Vic Ruggiero, saxophonist David Hillyard and crew have created an infectiously danceable blend of jazz, reggae, rock and ska and these two new tracks live up to the standard they’ve set.  Lead track “Nobody’s Listening” is a 50’s rock and reggae hybrid with a start-stop rhythm.  “Sleep Outside” blends nostalgia and a timely political message alongside a bouncy beat and catchy melody.  Both songs were recorded live at Ernesto’s in the Netherlands.     
Pirates Press Records continues their innovative streak, offering The Slackers’ “Nobody’s Listening” and “Sleep Outside” on 12” vinyl with the songs on one side and a fantastic UV digitally-printed design of the album art on the B-side.      
Stream “Nobody’s Listening” / “Sleep Outside” here:


Watch a quarantine performance of “Nobody’s Listening” here:

Friday, August 07, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Bob Nanna – Celebration States


Bob Nanna of Braid, Hey Mecedes, Lifted Bells, etc. recently released his first proper solo album under his own name.  Celebrations States – out now on New Granada Records – is an acoustic album recorded on what would have been his wedding anniversary.  Lyrically, Nanna documents every range of emotion including the messy lows and hopeful highs of his post-divorce life with unflinchingly honest detail laced with glimmers of humor and hope.
Standouts include the one-two gut punch of the melancholic album opener, “Do You Want To Buy A Guitar?” and the self-depreciating single, “Mr. Albatross”.  Likewise “Instant Chemistry” is a late album surge of self-discovery and newfound love that gives the cathartic album a sense of closure.   
Though painfully raw and honest, Celebration States is relatable and worth celebrating as one of Bob Nanna’s best accomplishments in his storied musical career.   
Stream Celebration States here:

Friday, July 31, 2020

REISSUE: that dog. – Totally Crushed Out & Retreat From The Sun

that dog. was one of my absolute favorite bands of the 90’s.  The criminally-underrated yet highly-influential L.A. band fused fuzzy punk rock energy and ridiculously catchy alt-pop hooks with gorgeous three-part harmonies and beautiful string-led arrangements into pure pop perfection. 
 Led by principle songwriter Anna Waronker along with sisters Rachel and Petra Haden and Tony Maxwell, that dog released three albums starting in 1993 with their self-titled debut, their excellent 1995 sophomore album Totally Crushed Out and the gleaming pop-leaning 1997 swan song, Retreat From The Sun.   Just last year, a reunited trio of Anna, Rachel and Tony (sadly, sans Petra) released a new album titled, Old LP, to great acclaim.  
Sadly, their 90’s discography had never been released on vinyl - save for a UK import version of the self-titled album and a self-released picture disc of alternate takes of Retreat From The Sun.  But Third Man Records has come to the rescue, recently releasing vinyl versions of Totally Crushed Out – celebrating its 25th anniversary! - and Retreat From The Sun.  Both albums are pressed onto 180gm black vinyl and are the cure for collectors and for your pang for 90’s nostalgia. 
Here are 3 Songs from  that dog, one each from the two reissued albums and one from their latest album, Old LP.  Enjoy!
“He’s Kissing Christian” (taken from Totally Crushed Out):


“Never Say Never” (taken from Retreat From The Sun):


“Just The Way” (taken from Old LP):

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Bush – Live In Tampa – Blu-Ray/DVD/CD

With live shows and live venues cancelling and closing up due to the current state of affairs, music fans are looking for any live music fix they can get.  To that end, 90’s alt-rock lifers, Bush recently released a live Blu-Ray/DVD/CD set titled, Live In Tampa, via Cleopatra Records/MVD.  Filmed in 4K UHD utilizing 15 multi cameras, the performance was filmed last year at the MidFlorida Amphitheater in Tampa, during their successful Altimate Tour with fellow 90’s alt-rockers Live and Our Lady Peace.   
Live In Tampa features a 12-song set packed with hits including, “Machinehead”, “Swallowed”, “Little Things”, “Chemicals Between Us” and “Comedown”.  They also perform the heavy, standout track, “Bullet Holes”, which was included on both the John Wick 3 soundtrack and their recently released studio album, The Kingdom.      
Frontman Gavin Rossdale remains an engaging and energetic performer and is locked in with his band featuring, lead guitarist Chris Traynor, bassist Corey Britz and drummer Nik Hughes, in this beautifully shot 90-minute performance.  Completing the package is an interview with Rossdale. 
Watch the trailer here:


Listen to “Chemicals Between Us” from Live In Tampa here:

Friday, July 17, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat


Koney – “Combos” (K.C. musician Connor Ervin (also of Shy Boys) has chosen a new moniker – Koney – for his solo project, formerly known as The ACBs.  His self-titled debut album as Koney is being rolled out digitally over the next few months with plans to release physical versions via High Dive Records later this year.   Ervin’s hushed voice and catchy, swooning melodies are surrounded by warbly synths and 70’s lounge charm.  Check out the slinky R&B rhythm of the album opener below.  Currently, you can preorder the digital version of the album for only $1!)  https://koneymusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Danzig – “One Night” (The King of Goth Punk covers the King of Rock n Roll.  Danzig recently released a full length album of Elvis Presley covers, aptly-titled, Danzig Sings Elvis, via evilive/Cleopatra Records.  Glenn’s inimitable baritone is the spotlightas he takes on lesser known Presley tunes, and is assisted by longtime collaborator, Tommy Victor of Prong with the arrangements that give a little goth gloom to the bluesy ballads; creating his own bran d of doom-wop.) https://danzigsingselvis.bandcamp.com/album/danzig-sings-elvis

The National Parks –“Waiting For Lightning” (The Utah –based folk-pop band recently released their fourth album, Wildflower.  Pair their close-knit, complementary male/female vocals and sharp pop hooks with the heartfelt, inspiring lyrical themes and uplifting, upbeat melodies; for the perfect sing-along salve for the current state of affairs.) https://tnpband.lnk.to/WildflowerAlbum

Monday, June 29, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Unwed Sailor – Look Alive

As Unwed Sailor, Johnathon Ford (Pedro the Lion/Roadside Monument) has been churning out bass guitar led propulsive post-rock instrumentals for over two decades.  His latest album, Look Alive, is out now on limited cassette and digital via Steadfast Records and on vinyl from Old Bear Records.   
On Look Alive, Ford is joined by guitarist David Swatzell and drummer Matthew Putman; together they have created their most melodically-stirring album yet with moody melodies, elements of 90’s alt-rock and swathes of synths sparkling against a dense shoegaze-inspired background.  The opening track, “Glaring” is a danceable slice of modern New Romantic pop.  Another standout, “Camino Reel” features a fuzzed out bass groove that recalls Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. 
Stream Look Alive here:

Friday, June 12, 2020

REISSUE: Rush – Permanent Waves – 40th Anniversary

Rush, the preeminent prog-rock trio, recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of their iconic album, Permanent Waves, with a deluxe reissue, out now via Mercury/Anthem/UMe. 
Permanent Waves was a bit of a turning point for the Canadian band, as they stepped away from the epic, lengthy suites they were best known for and streamlined their sound with tighter arrangements, shorter song lengths and catchier melodies.  Led by the singles - the dynamic reggae-inspired “The Spirit Of Radio” and instant classic, “Freewill”, as well as the propulsive standout, “Natural Selection”; the album showcased another side of the band that would propel them for years to come.
The 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available now on 3LP or 2CD edition or as a Super Deluxe Edition that includes all of the above and more.  In addition to the 2015 remastering of the original album, the deluxe editions are highlighted by twelve previously unreleased live recordings from the Permanent Waves World Tour in 1980.  Standouts include, “Jacob’s Ladder” and “By-Tor & The Snow Dog” which features a drum solo from the late Neil Peart, and a full side dedicated to the opus, “Cygnus X-1” and “Cygnus X-1 Book II”.  The beautiful package also features an updated design and cover art by Hugh Syme and a 12x12 lyric booklet with tons of unreleased illustrations and photos.
Additionally, the Super Deluxe edition package includes a 20-page 5”x7” notepad as a collectible item, reproduced from a newly discovered piece of Le Studio letterhead. Two tour programs are also included in this package: the official 1980 World Tour program and the very rare, unofficial The Words & Pictures Vol II UK-only tour program. The super deluxe edition box set is rounded out with a 40-page hard cover book with unreleased photos and exclusive liner notes, 3 collectible band member replica backstage laminates, a 24”x36” poster and 3 Neil Peart handwritten lyric sheets.
It’s a testament to Geddy, Alex and Neil that 40 years later, songs like the aptly-titled “The Spirit Of Radio” and “Freewill” from Permanent Waves have been in rotation on rock radio since their release.  This box set will help to ensure their “spirit” lives on for another 40 years!
Check out 3 Songs from the 40th Anniversary Reissue of Permanent Waves here:
“By-Tor & The Snow Dog: (Live in London, 1980 / Audio):



“Natural Science” (Live in Manchester, 1980 / Audio): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFWkdqShM5c

“The Spirit Of Radio” (Live In Manchester, 1980 / Audio): https://youtu.be/KIkr1x95wtg

Friday, May 29, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat - Extended Edition


Damien Jurado – “Ochoa” (The Seattle singer-songwriter continues his prolific tear with his third album in as many years – and fifteenth overall - with the release of What’s New, Tomboy?, out now via Mama Bird Recording Co.  Assisted by multi-instrumentalist Josh Gordon – who provides some expressive bass lines among other things – Jurado weaves stories like no other, blending classic pop and folk to perfection once again.) https://tunes.mamabirdrecordingco.com/album/whats-new-tomboy

Broken Social Scene – “Superconnected” (The Canadian indie rock institution played the Third Man Records’ Blue Room Stage in June of 2018 and the celebratory 5-song set was recorded, mixed and mastered live, in real time, direct to vinyl.  The set list includes fan favorite “Cause = Time”, “Stay Happy” from their most recent album, 2017’s Hug Of Thunder and the bittersweet standout track, “Superconnected”, heard here.)  https://brokensocialscene.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-third-man-records 

Fake Names – “First Everlasting” (Fake Names is a new supergroup consisting of punk rock royalty; with guitarists Brian Baker of Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, and Bad Religion and Michael Hampton of S.O.A., Embrace, and One Last Wish, along with vocalist Dennis Lyxzén of Refused and drummer Johnny Temple of Girls Against Boys and Soulside.  Together they create a power-pop fuelled brand of punk rock heavy on harmonies and hooks on their stunning self-titled debut album, out now on Epitaph Records.) http://epitaph.com/artists/fake-names/release/fake-names

The Garden – “Clench To Stay Awake” (The Nevada-based duo consisting of twin brothers Wyatt & Fletcher Shears recently released their album titled, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, via Epitaph Records.  The brothers Shears create a garden of sounds that includes everything from throat-shredding hardcore punk, spastic electronica, hip-hop and glimmers of alt-pop.  Check out the explosive and empowering opening track here.)    https://thegardenmusic.bandcamp.com/album/kiss-my-super-bowl-ring

Friday, May 15, 2020

REISSUE: Redd Kross – Phaseshifter & Show World



Redd Kross was formed in the late 70’s by brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald.  What started out as a teenage punk band grew into a power-pop powerhouse.  The band released their seventh album titled, Beyond The Door, last year to great acclaim.  This year marks forty years as a band and to celebrate, Third Man Records has just reissued their excellent 90’s albums, Phaseshifter and Show World on vinyl for the very first time in the U.S.
I was first introduced to Redd Kross and their 1993 major label debut, Phaseshifter, during their unforgettable live performance of standout single, “Jimmy’s Fantasy” on MTV’s short-lived Jon Stewart Show.  Their punk-informed power-pop had boatloads of killer melodies and elements of 60’s psych-pop which they honed to pop perfection on the criminally-underrated 1997 album, Show World. 
Pick up the 180g vinyl reissues of Phaseshifter and Show World via Third Man Records here: https://thirdmanstore.com/bands/redd-kross
Check out 3 Songs from Redd Kross below!
“Jimmy’s Fantasy” (taken from Phaseshifter and starring actor Jason Lee):

“Mess Around” (taken from): https://youtu.be/2_YDSaxJGeA
“Lady In The Front Row” (taken from Phaseshifter): https://youtu.be/gqRLmsFnKG8