Wednesday, October 09, 2019

REISSUE: The Roots – Things Fall Apart - 20th Anniversary

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Things Fall Apart, the breakthrough album from Philadelphia rap legends The Roots.  Out now via Geffen/UMe - as part of their Urban Legends series - is an expanded reissue of Things Fall Apart, available digitally and as a 3LP set.       
The album featured guest spots from prominent and emerging artists including, Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Beanie Segal, Eve, Dice Raw and more.  Standout tracks included the aptly-explosive “Dynamite”, the old school throwback “Double Trouble” featuring Mos Def, the inventive single “The Next Movement” and the Erykah Badu-assisted hit single, “You Got Me”.  The Roots were a different breed and brought a fresh, unique and authentic take on hip-hop, eschewing glitz and glamour for thoughtful lyrics and inventive jazz-indebted sounds created by a live band.         
The 3LP set is available in limited edition clear or standard black.  The original album is spread across 2 LPs and the third LP features 10 bonus tracks including, B-sides, remixes and soundtrack and compilation tracks from the era.  Standouts include a Journey-esque major key flip of “You Got Me”, titled, “We Got You” featuring Jaguar Wright, a skittering Drum & Bass version of “You Got Me” with original vocalist Jill Scott and “Y’all Know Who”, an old school style headbanger with turntable scratches from DJ Cash Money. 
The package is housed in a slipcase with a booklet featuring photos and extensive essays from Questlove and Black Thought; highlighted by highly-informational behind the scenes liner notes that lift the curtain for a look at the creative process for each individual track.      
Watch the video for “The Next Movement”:

Monday, October 07, 2019

Stream It From The Mountains: Mini Meltdowns – Destined For Disaster

Mini Meltdowns is an emerging garage-punk band led by Nashville-by-way-of-Milwaukee drummer Jonny Phillip, an in demand session player who has played for The Benjamins, Limbeck, Berwanger, Trapper Scheopp, Tommy Stinson, and Paul Collins over the years.  In addition to drumming for Mini Meltdowns, Phillip writes, sings and plays guitar and is joined by former Promise Ring and current Dashboard Confessional bassist, Scott Schoenbeck.  Their second EP titled, Destined For Disaster is out now on Jonny’s Good Land Records.  It was produced and mixed by Mike Kennerty of The All-American Rejects, who also contributes lead guitar and backing vocals.     
Led by the first single, “I Wanna Die” with its propulsive yet staggering guitar riff, blissful Beach Boys-like harmonies and hopeful resignation; the 4-song EP balances Phillip’s struggles with depression, anxiety and the loss of his father with bouncy power-pop and classic punk-informed garage rock and infectiously catchy melodies. 
Jonny Phillip stepped out from behind the drums and into the spotlight to lead his first band last year with Mini Meltdowns’ promising debut EP, then delivered ten-fold on its follow-up, Destined For Disaster; ramping up anticipation for a proper full-length album.
To order or for more info: http://www.goodlandrecords.com/
Stream Destined For Disaster here:

Friday, October 04, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Eggs On Mars – “Porch Tune” (The K.C. psych-pop trio are set to release their fifth album, It Will Be Like It Was, today on Portland’s Jigsaw Records.  These new jangle-pop songs are mellow with psychedelic flourishes and subtle yet striking melodies.  Lyrically, vocalist/guitarist Brad Smith spins introspective but relatable tales about such life changing themes as marriage and the grind of everyday work life.) https://eggsonmars.bandcamp.com/album/it-will-be-like-it-was  

Daniel Martin Moore – “By The Beams” (The Louisville singer-songwriter will release his ninth album, Never Look Away, today via Sofaburn Records/OK Recordings.  Ever changing – he’s previously recorded an album of lullabies and one of Gospel-soaked hymns – DMM offers up his fullest folk-pop arrangements with the assistance of co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Seth Kauffman of Foating Action.  The newfound focus on driving rhythms and the lushly-layered sound brings new life to his stellar songwriting, resulting in his best album yet.)  http://www.sofaburn.com/daniel-martin-moore         

Temples – “You’re Either On Something” (The British psych-rock trio recently released their third album, Hot Motion, via their new label home, ATO Records.  Though still retro-minded, the new album shows the band venturing into modern, pop-leaning psych sounds with bigger beats, vintage synths and festival-ready hooks; the standout single heard here with its soaring, sing-along chorus is the perfect example.) https://templesofficialuk.bandcamp.com/album/hot-motion    

Death Cab For Cutie – “Kids In ‘99” (Ben Gibbard and company recently released The Blue EP, on the heels of last year’s Thank You For Today.  Out now on Atlantic Records, the 5-song EP features two tracks leftover from the Rich Costey-produced Thank You sessions, a self-produced song and two new Peter Katis-produced tracks that trade in hypnotic Krautrock rhythms and wide-screen arena rock.  The single here, recounts the tragic Olympic Pipeline Explosion from their hometown.) http://deathcabforcutie.com/
Stream: https://deathcabforcutie.bandcamp.com/track/kids-in-99

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Soundgarden – Louder Than Love - 35th Anniversary Vinyl Reissues

2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the formation of Soundgarden and they have been celebrating this year by releasing colored vinyl reissues of their albums via A&M/UMe in conjunction with The Sound of Vinyl.  The final release in the series is Louder Than Love, their sophomore album and major label debut, originally released in 1989 on A&M Records.
Additionally, Louder Than Love turned 30 this year and is available now on a single slab of 180gm translucent yellow vinyl.  The album was the early catalyst for their highly-influential metallic grunge sound and first introduced their penchant for off-kilter rhythms. It is highlighted by standouts such as the thunderous quasi-title track “Loud Love” and the chugging “Hands All Over” which holds up today despite its clunky lyrics.    
Watch the video for “Loud Love” here:       

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Blinker The Star – Careful With Your Magic

Blinker The Star, the long-running Canadian indie-rock project of songwriter and producer Jordon Zadorozny, recently released Careful With Your Magic, his eighth album.  The new album was produced, performed, engineered, mixed and mastered by Zadorozny at his own Skylark Park Recording in Pembroke, Ontario.  With everything at his disposal, he creates grandiose glam-rock, 70’s soft rock and New Wave-inspired alternative rock bliss with lushly-layered production that reveals itself more and more with each listen. 
Standout tracks include the singles, “Sweet Nothing” with its 80’s vibes and swooning sing-along chorus and “Little Superstar” which combines the unlikely pairing of cowbell and sitar to great effect.  The late album two-song punch of the highly-melodic and aptly-titled “Top Of The Pops” and the propulsive piano-driven psych-pop of “I Won’t Look Down” provides another standout moment.             
Stream Careful With Your Magic here:


Additionally, Blinker The Star’s breakout 1999 album, August Everywhere, led by the single, “Below The Sliding Doors” and standout track, “September Already” is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Watch the video for “Below The Sliding Doors” from August Everywhere here:

Monday, September 30, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat as chosen and written by Shaun Miley

For this special edition of my 3 Songs: On Repeat feature, I’ve asked my friend and fellow music fanatic Shaun Miley to curate and write about his 3 favorite songs of the moment.  Enjoy! 

Horse Jumper Of Love – “Airport” (Horse Jumper of Love play poignant, hypnotic slow-core, which is summed up perfectly by frontman Dimitri Giannopoulos’ line, “I’ll move at my own pace…” from the single, “Airport”.  The Boston, Massachusetts three-piece drags the listener to the track’s crescendo to leave them spinning slowly amongst the heavy, distorted riffs.  So Divine is out now via Run For Cover Records.) https://horsejumperoflove.bandcamp.com/album/so-divine  
Charley Crockett – “5 More Miles” (Charley Crockett is the essence of cool.  His soul/classic country/blues sound was formed in hopped train cars, abandoned warehouses, and the streets where he busked.  In just over two minutes, on “5 More Miles”, Crockett lays out this meandering lifestyle with chugging acoustic guitar and a pounding bass run leading everywhere except to some much needed rest.  The Valley is Crockett’s sixth album in the past five years and is available now from Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers.) www.charleycrockett.com   
Neal Francis – “This Time” (A warm greeting from the organ and bass give way to a rush of horns and in the pocket drumming on Neal Francis’ single “This Time”, which takes the listener on a musical journey to New Orleans circa 1973 to hang with Dr. John and The Meters without missing one funky beat.  The lyrics touch on Francis’ struggle with sobriety, but give hope that this time is different.  The debut album, Changes, is out now on Karma Chief Records, a division of Colemine Records.) https://nealfrancis.bandcamp.com/album/changes-2  

Friday, September 27, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Dori Freeman – “Another Time” (Virginia folk-pop singer-songwriter Dori Freeman - with the pure, lilting classic country-like voice - returns today with her highly-anticipated third album, Every Single Star, via her own label Blue Hens Music.  Once again produced by Teddy Thompson, the new album sees her embracing marriage and motherhood with the same charm alongside arrangements influenced by 60’s pop and highlighted by her Appalachian roots.  Listen lead single, an ode to friendship, here.) http://www.dorifreeman.com/      

Blink-182 – “Happy Days” (The pop-punk vets recently released their eighth album, Nine, on Columbia Records; the second album with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio joining Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker.  After spending all summer touring amphitheaters alongside Lil Wayne, the trio’s pop-punk sound leans more toward the pop end of the spectrum and is streaked with neon-lit synths and festival-ready bombast.  Listen to the upbeat and inspiring standout single with its soaring sing-along chorus, here.) https://www.blink182.com

Pixies – “Catfish Kate” (The indie rock legends recently returned with Beneath The Eyrie, their third album since reuniting in 2004, out now on Infectious/BMG.  This new collection of songs is more in line with the classic Pixies sound than the previous two albums with the propulsive rhythms, infectious hooks and goth-streaked atmospherics fans have come to expect.  The standout single heard here is the perfect introduction to the new album and continuation of their storied legacy.) https://pixies.lnk.to/eyrieID     

Thursday, September 26, 2019

REISSUE: The Cult – Sonic Temple 30th Anniversary

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Cult’s breakout 1989 album Sonic Temple.  Vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy’s fourth album was produced by Bob Rock and boasted four anthemic singles; “Fire Woman”, “Sweet Soul Sister”, “Sun King” and “Edie (Ciao Baby)”.  On Sonic Temple, they transformed their sound from goth-shaded post-punk to heavy, psychedelic classic rock-informed hard rock and took on mainstream audiences without losing their “outsider” cred.            
To celebrate, Beggars Arkive has reissued the seminal album in several different formats, highlighted by a deluxe 3LP box set with the album spread across 2LPs with a third LP that captures a performance recorded by the BBC titled, Live At Wembley, featuring previously-unreleased tracks.  The box set is numbered and limited to 3,500 and also features loads of replica tour memorabilia and a cassette of limited-release demos.  Also available, is a 5CD set - packaged in book form with tons of photos and interviews with the band with UK journalist James Brown – featuring 53 tracks including, the original album plus alternate, extended and acoustic versions as well as the Live At Wembley performance.  Additionally, Sonic Temple has been reissued on vinyl for the first time in twenty years, now as a 2LP set that includes improved audio and six B-sides for a total of sixteen songs.    
This definitive reissue along with the fact that “Fire Woman” and the other singles from Sonic Temple remain in rotation on rock radio to this day, proves that this album will reign for another 30 years.     
Watch the “Fire Woman” video here:

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

REVIEW: Belle And Sebastian – Days Of The Bagnold Summer OST

The long-running Scottish indie-pop band’s latest album is the original soundtrack to the upcoming Simon Bird film, Days Of The Bagnold Summer, out now on Matador Records.  Though the film is not set to release until next year, we get to enjoy the soundtrack now which features eleven brand new Belle and Sebastian songs and instrumentals, including the singles, “Sister Buddha” and “This Letter”.  Also featured are re-recorded versions of B&S classics, “Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying” and “I Know Where The Summer Goes”.    


The last two Belle And Sebastian albums have focused on danceable rhythms and relied heavily on synths but the songs that soundtrack Days Of The Bagnold Summer, recall the delicately twee folk-pop beginnings of the band, delivering a most welcomed return to form and the perfect soundtrack fodder.  Melancholic yet highly-melodic and hopeful, the uplifting spiritual single, “Sister Buddha”, is a standout as is the slow-waltzing instrumental track, “Jill Pole” with its lilting and swirling strings and the gorgeous Lou Reed-esque “I’ll Keep It Inside”.      
Watch the video for “Sister Buddha” here:

Friday, September 20, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Brittany Howard – “History Repeats” (The Alabama Shakes frontwoman delivers the goods on her self-produced debut solo album, Jaime, out today on ATO Records.  Howard is revered for her powerful blues and soul-soaked voice and guitar playing and she combines that with deeply personal songwriting and eclectic experiments in futuristic funk, synths and spoken word diatribes on her stunning solo debut.  Listen to the standout single here with its booming beat and funky clavinet.) https://smarturl.it/brittanyhoward           

Sleep On It – “Under The Moment” (The Chicago-based emo-tinged pop-punk quartet recently released their sophomore album, Pride & Disaster via Equal Vision Records.  The songs on the highly-anticipated new album are musically striking with inventive rhythms and boasted by anthemic melodies; lyrically, they provide hope in the hard times.  The perfect example is the album’s lead single, heard here; a cathartic cry for help set to a stuttering beat and an infectious sing-along chorus.) http://www.equalvision.com/artists/sleep-on-it/    

Wesdaruler – “Loseit4tonite” (Longtime Athens, GA producer and beatmaker, Wesley Johnson also known as WesdaRuler, recently released Ocean Drive, his long-awaited debut album.  Out now on HHBTM Records, Johnson’s chilled out eccentric beats are entwined with trippy melancholic synths and heady personal lyrics with a soft, spoken word-like delivery; resulting in something akin to De La Soul and Marvin Gaye but uniquely his own creation.  Check out the jazz piano led standout track here with its skittering beat and catchy hooks. ) https://wesdaruler.bandcamp.com/album/ocean-drive

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

REISSUE: The Gerbils – Are You Sleepy (20th Anniversary Edition)

Athens, GA’s legendary Elephant Six Recording Company - home of The Apples In Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control – recently relaunched after a decade-long hiatus.  There is some exciting news to come from the label but the first order of business is a new 20th anniversary reissue of the long out of print debut album, Are You Sleepy, from The Gerbils, originally released via Hidden Agenda in 1998.  The Gerbils featured Scott Spillane and Jeremy Barnes of Neutral Milk Hotel and together with Will Westbrook and John D’Azzo, they created a fuzzed-out, lo-fi brand of folk-pop further made unique with their prog-rock tendencies and warped sense of psychedelia.  

The Gerbils found a sweet spot between the catchiness of The Apples In Stereo, the weirdness of Neutral Milk Hotel and the aesthetic of Sebadoh; helping to establish the “E6” sound on their debut which features standout tracks including, the scrappy and swirling opening track, “Sunshine Soul”, the unhinged jangle-pop of “Penny Waits” and late-album gem, “Glue”, with its sticky melodies and hard-rocking rhythm.        
Are You Sleepy is out now digitally and on vinyl here: https://elephant6.com/shop/    
Stream The Gerbils - Are You Sleepy here:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

3 Songs: Nirvana - Live And Loud

In December of 1993, Nirvana performed a taping for MTV titled, Live And Loud and parts of the performance aired on the network on New Year’s Eve.  The full recording was finally released in 2013 as part of the 20 year anniversary deluxe reissue of In Utero, included as bonus tracks and on DVD.  Now it has been issued by Geffen/UMe on vinyl for the first time as the 2-LP set titled, Live And Loud. 
The performance captured on Live And Loud shows a band at their absolute peak.  They were workman-like tight yet volatile; fittingly, like it could all become unhinged at any second.  Cobain, Novaselic and Grohl – along with touring guitarist Pat Smear and cellist Lori Goldston - were touring in support of In Utero and the 17-track set list leans heavily toward that album and Bleach, as they were also still trying to distance themselves from the mainstream mania caused by Nevermind.  In addition to explosive performances of “Scentless Apprentice”, “Serve The Servants”, “Breed”, “Blew” and ‘Heart-Shaped Box”; one of the standout performances is their electric cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World”, also a standout from their legendary MTV Unplugged performance.  The set closes out with another standout, a droning, noise-addled performance of “Endless, Nameless”, the experimental hidden track on Nevermind. 
Just like their signature sound, Live And Loud is the perfect loud/soft compliment to the previously released MTV Unplugged performance; showcasing a band at their best.            
The 180gm 2-LP set is packaged in a gatefold jacket with tons of photos from the live performance and includes a digital download of the album on a replica backstage pass.
Check out 3 of my favorite performances from Live And Loud.
“Serve The Servants”:


“School”:


“Breed”:

Thursday, September 05, 2019

REISSUE: SUICIDE - SUICIDE

SUICIDE, the 70’s band consisting of the late Alan Vega and Martin Rev, recently had their self-titled debut album reissued as part of BMG’s Art Of The Album series.  The cult classic album, originally released in 1977, has been remastered and is available digitally, on CD and on limited edition red 180g vinyl from Mute/BMG.  The vinyl edition comes with an exclusive art print and the CD edition is housed in a hardback book.  The series shines the spotlight on beloved albums as they are with no extra tracks included, but loads of photos and extensive liner notes by The Quietus' John Doran that detail the album's context, craft and legacy with interviews with many of the players, complete the deluxe package.    
Together Vega and Rev created a dark, moody and abrasive sound that was understated at the time yet highly-influential - ushering in elements of what would become post-punk and No Wave - and whose lasting impact resonates with artists today, more than 40 years later.  This definitive new reissue is a testament to that and is sure to continue its legacy on for another 40 years.        
Listen to the glam rock and comic book inspired opening track “Ghost Rider” here:

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

VIDEO PREMIERE: Peanut Butter – “Asteroid Negotiations”

Peanut Butter, the Seattle/D.C. duo, consisting of Paul Bugala and David Diaz recently released their third album, Don’t Stop.  Produced by Devin Ocampo (The Effects, Beauty Pill, Faraquet, Smart Went Crazy), fans of American Football will love their jazz-inspired rhythms and complex guitar work as well as their quirky melodies. 
Atlas and the Anchor is proud to premiere the video for their standout single, “Asteroid Negotiations”.  The aptly-titled track exudes a frantic energy via its math-rock rhythm that mirrors the intense anxiety of a coming, asteroid-induced apocalypse.  The witty video follows a tiger detective as it visits several spots around Washington, DC, and Maryland in pursuit of clues to a “rock 'n' roll mystery”.  It was directed and filmed by Jon Lutz (www.filmskoolproductions.com) and features an appearance by Peanut Butter collaborator, Paxton Styles.
Stream and order the album here: https://pbddc.bandcamp.com/album/dont-stop
Watch the video for “Asteroid Negotiations” by Peanut Butter here:

Friday, August 30, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Carriers – “Patience” (The emerging Cincy-based indie-rock band led by Curt Kiser, formerly of Pomegranates and Enlou, recently released, Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else, their highly-anticipated debut album.  Out now via Good Eye Records, Kiser was assisted in the studio by Isaac Karns of the Poms, percussionist Bryan Devendorf of The National and bassist/producer/engineer John Curley of Afghan Whigs.  Alongside reflective and hopeful lyrical themes, Kiser and company have created a lush and inviting sound that blends hypnotic heartland rock and ethereal dream-pop that fans of The National and War On Drugs will enjoy.  Check out the statement-making album opener here.) https://carrierstheband.bandcamp.com/album/now-is-the-time-for-loving-me-yourself-everyone-else

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster – “Educated Guesses” (Following his promising 2016 solo debut and Marie/Lepanto, his collaborative project with Will Johnson; JPKS of blues/folk duo Water Liars is set to release his sophomore solo album today via Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum Records.  The album titled, Take Heart, Take Care showcases his soaring, blues-soaked vocals and gift as a storyteller with inspiring lyrics and catchy, country-leaning melodies in spades, further cementing his status as one of our generation’s greatest songwriters.  Check out the cascading guitars and swaying melody of the standout single here.)  https://biglegalmessrecords.com/artists/justin-peter-kinkel-schuster/    

Salamander – “Say My Name Awhile” (Salamander was an L.A.-based band - consisting of sisters Petra and Rachel Haden of that dog. and brothers Scott and Sean Wheatley of Pretty Mary Sunshine - that were active in the early 90’s.  They recorded but never released an album titled, 1993, and it has finally been released digitally on Bodan Kuma Recordings for the first time.  Incorporating the seemingly effortless close-knit harmonies of the Haden sisters, the quartet creates a swirl of shoegaze and dream-pop inspired alternative rock that sounds just as vital today.  Also, the third Haden triplet, Tanya, contributes cello to the album.  For the perfect introduction, listen to the Breeders-like standout track here.) https://soundcloud.com/bodankumarecordings/sets/salamander   

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Soundgarden – King Animal – 35th Anniversary Vinyl Reissues

Soundgarden formed in 1984 and are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the band this year by releasing limited edition color vinyl reissues of their multi-platinum and genre-defining albums via A&M/UMe in conjunction with The Sound of Vinyl.
After disbanding in 1997 and reforming in 2010, Soundgarden released what would become their final album, King Animal, in 2012 and it is the next album in their catalog to get the reissue treatment.  King Animal is now available as a 2LP set pressed onto 180gm vinyl in a bone white and a pale buttery yellow colorway, packaged in a gatefold jacket with a lyric booklet. 
Their sixth album is one of the best comeback albums ever recorded.  Cornell, Thayil, Cameron and Sheppard leaned into what they do best with an emphasis on their trademark tricky time signatures, gigantic guitar riffs, dark lyrical themes and psychedelic melodies.  Stand out tracks include the heavy, riff-driven “Blood On The Valley Floor”, the propulsive single, “Non-State Actor” and the staggering rhythm of “By Crooked Steps.”      
There is much more to come from Soundgarden’s 35th anniversary celebration this year so stay tuned!   
For more info: www.soundgarden35.com
Check out the video to “By Crooked Steps” from King Animal, here: https://youtu.be/oTaVHM6HGuQ


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

SHOW ALERT: Dayton United: Benefit for The Dayton Foundation featuring the vocalists of Bayside, Thursday, Saves The Day, The Movielife and The 1984 Draft

The summer of 2019 is one Dayton would like to but will never forget with the devastation caused by the Memorial Day tornadoes and the recent domestic terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 9 people.  The Gem City is strong and will shine once again! 
In an effort to help in that healing process, local organizers have put together a concert that will take place on Wednesday, August 28 in Dayton at Dayton Masonic Live, with profits being donated to victims and survivors via The Dayton Foundation.    
The concert will be an intimate evening of acoustic performances from the vocalists of several of the best late 90’s/early 2000’s emo-era bands including, Anthony Raneri of Bayside, Geoff Rickly of Thursday, Chris Conley of Saves The Day, and Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife and I Am The Avalanche; with local support from Joe Anderl of The 1984 Draft.  
Here are 3 Songs from performers scheduled to appear. 

Bayside – “Sick, Sick, Sick” (Acoustic version taken from their album, Acoustic Volume 2 on Hopeless Records.)
Stream:


Geoff Rickly of Thursday – “Time’s Arrow” (Geoff Rickly of Thursday performing a song from their album, Common Existence, live in the Audiotree studio.)
Stream:


Vinnie Caruana – “Better” (Taken from his upcoming release titled, Aging Frontman, due October 4 on Know Hope Records).
Stream:

Friday, August 23, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - All Heavy Extended Edition


Sacred Reich – “Manifest Destiny” (The 80’s thrash metal pioneers return with a new album after nearly 25 years with the aptly-titled,  Awakening, out today on Metal Blade Records.  Original members, frontman/bassist Phil Rind and guitarist Wiley Arnett are joined by drummer Dave McClain and new guitarist Joey Radziwill.  The excellent eight-song album was produced by Arthur Rizk and delivers their signature socially-conscious lyrics alongside a blending of their late-era powerful grooves and the breakneck riffs and speed of their early career.  The long-awaited new album is a welcomed return!) www.metalblade.com/sacredreich  

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – “Planet B” (The highly-prolific and shape-shifting Australian psych-rock septet recently released, Infest The Rats Nest, their fifteenth album and second this year.  Out now on ATO Records, the new album was recorded as a three-piece with Stu Mackenzie, Joey Walker and Michael Cavanagh and is their heaviest yet.  The trio adopts the shredding riffs and speedy rhythms of early 80’s thrash metal of the Kill ‘Em All and Reign In Blood variety and set it to an apocalyptic world view.  Check out the raging, statement-making opening track here.) https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/infest-the-rats-nest-2

Off With Their Heads – “Disappear” (The Minneapolis punk rock quartet led by Ryan Young returns with Be Good, their first album in six years.  Out now on Epitaph Records, the highly-anticipated new album is full of the gritty and gruff yet highly-melodic and passionate punk rock anthems you would expect but are more positive and optimistic than before.  Check out the cathartic and self-deprecating yet hopeful single and opening track here.)     https://offwiththeirheads.bandcamp.com/album/be-good

Killswitch Engage – “The Signal Fire” (The Grammy-winning metalcore mainstays recently released Atonement, their electrifying eighth album and first for new label Metal Blade Records.  The new album finds the quintet further pushing their boundaries and features guest vocalists Chuck Billy of Testament as well as former vocalist Howard Jones. who trades vocals with current vocalist Jesse Leach on the unifying standout single, heard here.) https://smarturl.it/kse-atonement

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Soundgarden – Live From The Artist’s Den

The celebration of Soundgarden’s 35th anniversary as a band and Chris Cornell’s life continues with the release of the live concert film and album, Live From the Artist’s Den.  The performance was captured on February 17. 2013 at the Wiltern in Los Angeles during the band’s sold out winter tour in support of King Animal. 
The career-spanning 29-song set list leans heavily toward their final album, King Animal, released the previous year, including standouts, “By Crooked Steps”, Been Away Too Long” and Non-State Actor”.  21 of the songs have never before been released on a concert film and 17 never released on a concert album; making this the definitive live document for Soundgarden.   The set list is highlighted by spirited performances of “Rusty Cage”, Outshined”, “Flower”, “My Wave” and “Slaves And Bulldozers”. Another highlight is the live debut of “Blind Dogs” which was originally recorded for the soundtrack to Basketball Diaries and recently released as a bonus track on the 25th anniversary edition of Badmotorfinger.
Soundgarden – Live From The Artists Den is available now from UMe in a variety of formats including, a standalone Blu-ray (including band member interviews and a 5.1 mix), 2CD, 4LP on black 180gm vinyl and a Super Deluxe set that includes everything listed as well as a 40-page photo book, band members lithos, and a replica ticket stub and all-access pass.
To order, please visit: https://artistsden.com/soundgarden/
To celebrate, here are 3 of my favorite performances from Live From The Artists Den:

“Black Hole Sun”:


“New Damage”:


“Blind Dogs”:

Friday, August 16, 2019

3 Songs: Spoon – Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon

For this special edition of my 3 Songs: On Repeat feature, I will be highlighting the Austin band Spoon; an influential indie rock institution since forming in 1993 by Britt Daniel and Jim Eno. 
The band recently released a greatest hits compilation titled, Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon, via Matador Records that features twelve of their best songs from 2001-2017 – twelve of the best songs in the indie rock canon, honestly.  In addition, the collection features an exciting new track titled, “No Bullets Spent” that proves worthy of inclusion.    
Check out “No Bullets Spent” as well as two of my favorite Spoon songs below.
“No Bullets Spent”:


“The Way We Ge By”:


“I Turn My Camera On”:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

REISSUE: My Morning Jacket – The Tennessee Fire: 20th Anniversary Edition

Kentucky-bred rock heroes, My Morning Jacket are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Tennessee Fire, with a deluxe reissue.  Originally released by Darla Records in 1999, the album was our first introduction to Jim James and crew and was where their unique reverb-rich sound first emerged with a convergence of Appalachian folk, early rock and roll, southern rock and soul. 
Out now on Darla Records is The Tennessee Fire: 20th Anniversary Edition, an expanded deluxe reissue available in three formats – digitally, as a 2CD set and a 3LP set pressed onto red vinyl. 
Along with the classic original album, 16 bonus tracks are included that were selected from Jim James’s personal archives, featuring demos, first versions, alternate versions and B-sides recorded during the original sessions for the album.  The set is highlighted by first and third versions of the anthemic standout track, “The Bear”, that show how the song evolved and overall, show the band's experimental spirit in its beginning stages.    
Listen to the beguiling previously-unreleased track, “John Dyes Her Hair Red” here:

Check out the first version of “The Bear” here: https://youtu.be/tj6Z5axV83U

Monday, August 12, 2019

REISSUE: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – God Fodder

The British alternative rock band, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, released their debut album, God Fodder, in 1991.  On it, they blended noisy shoegaze guitars with propulsive drumming and an inventive and highly-melodic two bass guitar attack.  Upon its release, the video for standout single, “Grey Cell Green” was in heavy rotation on MTV as part of the “Buzz Bin”.  Another standout track, “Happy” is the perfect introduction to their sound with its mix of swirling guitars and driving bass melody.  The band went on to release several more albums to less acclaim – including the equally as good follow-up, Are You Normal? and 1995’s synth-driven Brainbloodvolume -  but 28 years after its initial release, God Fodder remains a cult classic.  It has always been a favorite of mine. 
The noted vinyl-only label, Music On Vinyl is once again giving God Fodder the attention it rightly deserves with a recently issued vinyl reissue that has been pressed onto 180gm silver and black marbled vinyl and limited to 1,000 numbered copies.  Completing the package is an insert featuring lyrics and photos that were included with the original release.      
Ned’s remains active after reforming in 2008 with its original lineup of Jonn, Alex, Dan, Rat and Mat. 
Revisit the video for “Grey Cell Green” here:

Friday, August 09, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

A Voice Of Your Own – “Clean” (The rising Dayton indie rock band released their stellar sophomore album, Satellites, in June.  Led by vocalist/guitarist James Crabtree along with guitarist Tyler Conley, bassist Jonny McConnell and drummer Matt Mihalus, the quartet creates a dynamic and lushly layered sound that incorporates everything from 90’s-inspired alternative rock and 80’s post-punk rhythms to shimmering dream-pop with infectiously catchy melodies.  The standout track heard here with its soft-chugging guitars and atmospheric background vocals will give you all of the 90’s feels!) https://avoiceofyourown.bigcartel.com/       

Have Mercy – “Heartbeat” (The Baltimore emo revivalists led by Brian Swindle recently released their fourth album, The Love Life, via Hopeless Records.  The new songs lean more toward the pop-leaning, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional side of the emo spectrum and are Swindle’s most vulnerable and emotionally-charged songs since their promising 2013 debut album.  Check out the standout single here with its sing-along chorus and see them on tour this fall with The Early November and Owel.) www.wearehavemercy.com              

Sum 41 – “Out For Blood” (The L.A.-by-way-of-Canada pop-punk lifers recently returned after a three year wait with a new album, Order In Decline, on Hopeless Records.  The new album is both political and personal and also their heaviest and most aggressive; matching the lyrics in their intensity.  The standout first single, heard here, is the perfect example with its raging riffs and rhythm and thrash metal-esque guitar solo.) www.sum41.com