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

Friday, April 03, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Fullbloods – Soft And Virtual Touch

Fullbloods is the indie-pop project of K.C.-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Ross Brown (also of Shy Boys).  Brown’s third album, Soft And Virtual Touch is out today on High Dive Records; available digitally, on black vinyl and limited edition blue cassette.
The lushly-layered “headphones-worthy” album - filled with blissful pop melodies with weird 70’s-inspired synths and elements of prog-pop - is led by the smooth, 70’s-indebted standout, “Worry Entertainment” and the bubbly single, “Present By Proxy”; both of which feature the Cuíca, a distinctly unique Portuquse percussion instrument. 
Grab your headphones and escape this crazy world for while with Fullbloods new album!
Stream Soft And Vitual Touch here:       

Friday, March 27, 2020

REISSUE: Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair - 35th Anniversary

80’s pop-rock duo Tears For Fears recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of their breakthrough sophomore album Songs From The Big Chair.  Led by the absolutely massive and still inescapable singles, “Shout”, Everybody Wants To Rule The World and “Head Over Heels”, Songs From The Big Chair is one of the absolute best pop albums of the 80’s.  To celebrate the occasion, Mercury/UMe has recently released the album on picture disc vinyl and a reissue of the out of print 5CD/1DVD Super Deluxe box set, originally released in 2014 for the 30th anniversary.   

The Super Deluxe version is the definitive edition of this highly-influential album as it is loaded with extras.  Disc one is comprised of the original album, remastered in 2014 as well as nine B-sides from the era including standouts, “The Marauders”, “The Conflict” and the piano version of “The Working Hour”.  Disc two is made up of single and radio edits of the songs as well as an audio interview with Curt and Roland.  Disc three features remixes and extended version of the songs including the Urban mix of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and Dub and Acapella versions of “Shout”.  Disc four is worth the price of admission with fourteen unreleased recordings including early mixes and versions of the songs recorded with Richard Skinner and six songs recorded live at Massey Hall.  Disc five includes both a new 5.1 audio mix (mixed by Steven Wilson)  and the 2014 stereo mix of Songs From The Big Chair that make these already huge songs sound even clearer and more incredible.  The sixth and final disc is a DVD with an interview with producer Chris Hughes, the “Scenes From The Big Chair” documentary, BBC TV appearances and the music videos that helped make Tears For Fears stars in the MTV age.  Completing the package is a replica tour program and a booklet filled with rare photos and new interviews with Roland and Curt.   
Songs From The Big Chair, with its huge pop hooks and layered, nuanced sound proved that Roland Orzabel and Curt Smith were ahead of their time and after 35 years, these songs live on and will live on for another 35 years with this incredible box set. 
Revisit the very 80’s video for “Head Over Heels” now newly remastered in HD here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsHiG-43Fzg

Friday, March 20, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat

Aaron Beckham – “Jagged Coast” (After releasing a couple of records of alt-country and folk music on his own, L.A. singer-songwriter and filmmaker Aaron Beckham recently released a new EP titled, Songs From The Triangle Room via Devil In The Woods.  The eight-song EP – produced by Jason Lytle of Grandaddy - acts as the perfect introduction and a greatest hits compilation of sorts, as it collects both new material and older songs that were re-recorded specifically for this release) https://aaronbeckum.bandcamp.com/album/songs-from-a-triangle-room  

Her Silo – “I Should Be Ashes” (Her Silo is the moniker used by Seattle indie-rock singer-songwriter Jessica Lambert, who recently released her very promising debut album, Don’t Forget The Heart That’s Beating.  The album was produced by indie-folk artist Joshua James who performs on the album as well and reveals Lambert as an emerging voice with her melancholic yet colorful folk-leaning alternative rock that recalls Cat Power at times.  Lyrically, she paints poetic pictures of anxiety and loneliness that are relatable with catchy melodies that will get stuck in your head.) https://hersilo.bandcamp.com/album/dont-forget-the-heart-thats-beating

Pluralone – “Was Never There” (Pluralone is the solo recording moniker of former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.  The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was supposed to tour - in support of his debut album, To Be One With You - with Pearl Jam this Spring but the tour was canceled due to the current global pandemic.  The album, which features guests performances from Jack Irons, Flea and Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction, was released last fall on ORG Music and is a layered and gorgeous dream-pop trip; the perfect, transcendent soundtrack for your self-quarantined new reality.) https://orgmusiclabel.bandcamp.com/album/to-be-one-with-you
Stream: https://orgmusiclabel.bandcamp.com/track/was-never-there

Friday, March 13, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat


Monophonics – “Chances” (After last year’s great solo debut, neo-soul vocal powerhouse Kelly Finnigan returns today with his Bay Area based band Monophonics, and their fourth album, It’s Only Us, via Colemine Records.  Alongside a powerful message of unity in these trying times, the new album goes heavy on classic soul and psych-rock with elements of funk for a timeless sounding album and their best, most meaningful effort yet.) https://monophonics.bandcamp.com/album/its-only-us

Caroline Rose – “Do You Think We’ll Last Forever?” (New York singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Caroline Rose once again changes up her sound with her fourth album, Superstar, out now on New West Records. Where her last album was giddy with 90’s pop melodies and elements of punk and surf-rock, Superstar is just as energetic but focuses on shiny 80’s synths and super-danceable rhythms.  Lyrically, Rose develops a concept about fame, fortune and the good, bad and ugly therein with her usual snappy wit and knack for an infectious melody.) https://carolinerosemusic.bandcamp.com/album/superstar       

Jupe Jupe – “How Could We Both Be In Love” (Seattle synthpoppers Jupe Jupe recently released a new EP, titled, Nightfall.  The 5-song EP – recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles - is melancholic yet made to make you move with driving beats and vocal melodies that switch between soaring and swooning with ease.  Check out the standout track here, with its 80’s dance club ready beat and swirling saxophone solos; visions of Depeche Mode, the Cure and MTV’s 120 Minutes will dance in your head.) https://jupejupemusic.bandcamp.com/album/nightfall      


Thursday, March 05, 2020

SHOW ALERT: Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids @ Newport Music Hall 3/6

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Dashboard Confessional and to celebrate, Chris Carraba recently released the career-spanning compilation, The Best Ones Of The Best Ones, which features twenty tracks taken from all seven studio albums, the So Impossible and The Drowning EPs, and the band’s legend-making MTV Unplugged performance. 
Additionally, the band has embarked on a massive tour where they will perform breakout album, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most and fan-favorite A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar in their entirety on select nights.  Dashboard Confessional and emo-era favorites The Get Up Kids - who recently released their new album, Problems, last year to great acclaim – will make a stop at Newport Music Hall in Columbus on Friday, March 6.
Here are 3 Songs from Dashboard Confessional and The Get Up Kids to get you ready for the show!
Dashboard Confessional – “Screaming Infidelities (Live in Hartford, Connecticut, 2001)”:


Dashboard Confessional - “The Sharp Hint of New Tears” taken from the MTV Unplugged performance:


The Get Up Kids – “Satellite” taken from Problems, out now on Polyvinyl Records:

Monday, March 02, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Thighmaster – Between The Knees And Squeeze

Thighmaster is an enigmatic new Lawrence, KS-based garage-pop band led by Maxfield Yoder of Dean Monkey & the Dropouts and Plains.  Their debut release titled, Between The Knees And Squeeze, is out now on High Dive Records. 
The 7-song collection with titles such as, “Jane Fonda You” and The Good, The Bad, The Boxflex” evokes neon leotards, jazzercise on VHS and late night infomercials.  Musically, Yoder and crew blend hip-shaking post-punk rhythms, dream pop bliss and surf rock jangle for an impressive debut.   
Stream Between The Knees And Squeeze here:

Friday, February 28, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat



Hughes Family Band – “Death Of Me” (The Milwaukee-based band - featuring members of Iron Pizza, Sex Scenes, Bad Wig and Appleseed - foregoes their punk rock pedigree to create honky tonkin’ country-leaning rock and roll on their debut 7” single, out now on Good Land Records.  Led by the impressive A-side here, their brand of horn-laced country rock recalls Rolling Stones and the rollicking 70’s bar bands and is a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to hear more from the Hughes Family!) https://goodlandrecords.bandcamp.com/album/death-of-me

Ghosty – “Prodigal Sun” (After a long seven year wait, Ghosty, the Lawrence, Kansas indie-pop trio led by Andrew Connor has finally returned with new music in the form of a 3-song EP titled, Prodigal Sun, out today.  The songs were recorded in 2014, feature the assistance of guitartist/keyboardist Ross Brown of Shy Boys and Fullbloods, and were meant to follow up their excellent self-titled album released the year prior but never saw the light until now.  Listen to the standout title track here with its bright synth melodies and danceable beat, here.) https://ghostysounds.com/album/prodigal-sun-ep

Black Market Brass – “War Room” (The Minneapolis-based instrumental Afrobeat/funk hybrids return today with their stunning sophomore album, Undying Thirst, via Colemine Records.  Boasting 11 members, they create a towering wall of sound with lyrical horn melodies, complex yet funky strutting grooves, psychedelic guitar freakouts and strange electronics bursting through the cracks.  Their take on the West African sound of the 70’s is laced with a bit of a punk rock spirit and is infectiously danceable.) https://www.blackmarketbrass.com/

Monday, February 24, 2020

REISSUE: Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi (30th Anniversary)

Last year, 80’s pop singer Neneh Cherry’s debut album, Raw Like Sushi turned 30 year old.  To celebrate, Virgin/UMe recently reissued the highly-influential album as a deluxe 3LP or 3CD set that has been remastered at Abbey Road.    
At the end of the 80’s and at the dawn of the 90’s, Neneh Cherry created a fresh, amalgamated pop sound that dipped equally into R&B, dance and hip-hop with her debut album - Raw Like Sushi – that spawned five hit singles, led by the incredible smash hit, “Buffalo Stance”.  Other hit singles include, “Manchild” (produced by Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack), “Heart” and “Kisses On The Wind”.  The 2 discs of bonus tracks are highlighted by 5 remixes of “Buffalo Stance” and remixes of “Manchild” by Massive Attack and Smith N Mighty.  
The deluxe box set also includes a 48-page 12x12 book loaded with photos from the era and new interviews and liner notes that help to shine a light on the album’s worldwide appeal and lasting legacy. 
To order of for more info: https://nenehcherry.lnk.to/RLS30YD
Watch the video for “Buffalo Stance” here:


Stream the bonus track, “Heart (Club Mix)” here:

Friday, February 21, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat – featuring a video premiere from Dayton’s The Nautical Theme!


The Nautical Theme – “Break My Fall” (Dayton-based duo, The Nautical Theme are set to release their sophomore album, Lows And Highs, next month.  In anticipation, they’ve released the lush lead single, “Break My Fall” and I am pleased to premiere the video for the standout track, below.  The new album sees vocalist/keyboardist Tesia Mallory and vocalist/guitarist Matt Shetler broaden their stunning harmony-rich folk-pop sound with fuller, more dynamic arrangements that include live drums for the first time.) https://thenauticaltheme.com/   
Watch:



The Flaming Lips – “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton” (Last year marked the 20th anniversary of The Flaming Lip’s album, The Soft Bulletin.  To celebrate the occasion, Warner Records and the band recently released a live performance of the album in its entirety that was recorded in 2016 at Red Rocks with The Colorado Symphony and conducted by André de Riddler.  Alongside a full 68-piece orchestra and 57-person choir, the veteran band with psych-pop leanings transforms the album’s songs into majestic new beings.  Check out the cinematic and syrupy sweet strings that balance the fuzzed-out bass on “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton”, taken from the live album, here.) https://flaminglips.lnk.to/SoftBulletinLive

Ethan Gruska – "Enough For Now (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” (L.A. singer-songwriter Ethan Gruska used to play in The Belle Brigade alongside his sister Barbara who now is a touring member of Foo Fighters.  Gruska makes his stellar solo debut with En Garde, out now on Warner Records.  He is joined by several guests on the album including Moses Sumney, Lianne La Havas and Phoebe Bridgers - on the standout track heard here – but its Ethan’s breathy vocal style and sophisticated synth-driven jazz and R&B-informed brand of pop music that shines the brightest.) https://ethangruska.lnk.to/EnGarde

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Restless Habs – Taking The Fast Way Down

After releasing 6 EPs over the last 11 years, Cleveland indie-punk veterans, Restless Habs,  finally released their long-awaited debut album, Taking The Fast Way Down, last week on Steadfast Records.   
The wait was worth it, as the trio - featuring Ken Blaze and Peter Woodward of Cleveland pop-core legends the Unknown and drummer Anthony Panico (ex-Sleepwalker Defense) - create an incredibly ear-worming brand of melodic Midwestern pop-punk with an emphasis on volume and sing-along choruses.  Standouts include the aptly-titled tracks, “Casual And Reckless” and “Anthem” with their driving rhythms and bombastic, nostalgia-laced hooks. 
The album is available digitally and on limited edition CD, cassette and 140gm vinyl, including an opaque white colorway limited to 100 copies. 
To order, please visit:  https://www.steadfastrecords.net/
Stream Taking The Fast Way Down here:

Friday, February 14, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ebony Tusks – “HDF” (Ebony Tusks is the emerging Lawrence, KS based trio, consisting of DJ/producer Daniel Smith and vocalist/producers Geese Giesecke and Marty Hilliard.  Their recently released single, “HDF” is a booming slice of hard core hip-hop with minimalist electronics and sharp, unnerving commentary.  The single  - featuring the instrumental on the B-side - is available on 7” vinyl from High Dive Records and cassette from Intelligent Sound.  Look for their debut album later in 2020!) https://highdiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/ebony-tusks-hdf

Christopher Paul Stelling – “Trouble Don’t Follow Me” (CPS, the NYC folk-rock troubadour is joined in the studio by Ben Harper, who produced his new album, Best Of Luck, out now on Anti Records.  Much like the bombastic blues-rock of standout track, "Hear Me Calling" and the soulful and anthemic single, heard here; Harper helps Stelling to expand his sound further and the result is upbeat and hopeful despite dealing with heavier lyrical themes and easily his best effort yet.) https://christopherpaulstelling.com/       

Andy Shauf – “Things I Do” (The Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist recently released his highly-anticipated fourth album, The Neon Skyline, out now on Anti Records.  Shauf lends his stellar storytelling to a concept album that follows a night in a downtrodden guy’s life with every subtle detail of the ups and downs chronicled as only Shauf can.  Musically, he blends breezy folk with soft rock touchstones such as woodwinds and organs that evoke the lamp-lit lounge of the album’s title.) https://andyshauf.bandcamp.com/album/the-neon-skyline     
Stream: https://andyshauf.bandcamp.com/track/things-i-do

Friday, February 07, 2020

REISSUE: Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York 25th Anniversary

Late last year, Nirvana’s legendary MTV Unplugged In New York album celebrated its 25th anniversary.  Originally released in 1994 and recorded just five months before Kurt Cobain’s death, the album quickly became a way to mourn and pay tribute to the troubled yet iconic songwriter.  In honor, Geffen/Ume released an expanded and remastered reissue of the album as a 2LP set pressed onto 180g vinyl housed in a gatefold jacket with silver foil embossing in November. 
The set is highlighted by the inclusion of five rehearsal performances previously only available on the DVD release, including, “Polly”, “Plateau” and “Pennyroyal Tea”, as well as plenty of between song banter, for an intimate peek behind the curtain.  Additionally, a download of the expanded album is included on an album cover sticker. 
For more info or to order: https://nirvana.lnk.to/Unplugged25
To celebrate, here are 3 Songs from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged In New York album:     
“Come As You Are (Live On MTV Unplugged, 1993 / Rehearsal)”:


“Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Live On MTV Unplugged Unedited)”:


“Lake Of Fire (Live On MTV Unplugged, 1993 / Unedited)”:

Friday, December 20, 2019

Top 10 Albums of 2019


BerwangerWatching A Garden Die

Better Oblivion Community CenterSelf-Titled

Big ThiefU.F.O.F. & Two Hands

The Claypool Lennon DeliriumSouth Of Reality

Empty MoonThe Empty Moon Story

Dori FreemanEvery Single Star

Radar StateStrays

that dog.Old LP

Vampire WeekendFather Of The Bride

Kanye WestJESUS IS KING

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Top 10 Reissues of 2019

Miles DavisThe Complete Birth Of The Cool http://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2019/06/reissue-miles-davis-complete-birth-of.html
Modern EnglishMesh & Lace and After The Snow (review to come…)
Slick RickThe Great Adventures Of Slick Rick http://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2019/05/reissue-slick-rick-great-adventures-of.html

Top 5 EPs of 2019

Friday, December 06, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Spoken In Tongues – “Bluff”  (This new duo is made up of punk rock vets Billy Power of Blenderhead and Chris Wible of Everdown, whose debut album, The Nail That Sticks Up Will Be Hammered Down, was recently released on cassette via Cleveland’s Steadfast Records.  Together the duo reconciles themes of death, loss and growing older with short and simple blasts of catchy, pop-forward punk rock.  Additionally, this album is the first in a planned trilogy of albums so be on the lookout for more!) https://spokenintongues.bandcamp.com/album/the-nail-that-sticks-up-will-be-hammered-down-digital-download

Junkyard – “Pushed You Too Far” (What’s better than new music from an old favorite?  Old new music from an old favorite!  Junkyard were an underrated band from the 80’s hard rock scene who released an excellent new album in 2017 and follow that up with the release of Old Habits Die Hard, out now on Acetate Records.  This new album collects previously-unreleased songs recorded in 1992 meant to become their third album but was lost in the shuffle once grunge rock took over the scene.  It’s a shame because Junkyard led by the raspy howl of vocalist David Roach and Bad Religion guitarist Brian Baker created a raw and raucous brand of blues-drenched hard rock played with a punk rock spirit.)

Cold War Kids – “Complainer” (Indie rock favorites Cold War Kids recently returned with their eighth album, New Age Norms 1, via their own label, CWKTWO/AWAL.  The new album is the first in a trilogy of albums and shows the band doubling down on their irresistible pop hooks along with danceable funk grooves as heard here on album highlight, “Complainer” and on the Prince-like standout track, “Waiting For Your Love” that puts vocalist Nathan Willett’s falsetto in the spotlight.) www.coldwarkids.com  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat from Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15

The next chapter in Bob Dylan’s long-running Bootleg Series is titled, Bob Dylan (Featuring Jonny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15, and is out now on Columbia/Legacy Recordings.  While not as celebrated (no Scorsese-produced Netflix film) and not as hefty as the Royal Thunder Revue reissue from earlier this year, Travelin’ Thru is more exciting as it chronicles the years between 1967 and 1969, which saw the release of the acclaimed albums, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait.  The 3CD or 3LP set features 47 previously unreleased recordings including outtakes, rehearsals and alternate takes from those sessions and is highlighted by recordings of Dylan and Johnny Cash together. 
The first disc focuses on alternate versions of songs like, “All Along The Watchtower”, “Lay Lady Lay” and “I Am A Lonesome Hobo” from John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline, highlighted by the previously-unheard “Western Road”, an outtake of the Nashville Skyline sessions. 
The second and third discs are comprised of Dylan’s country & western collaborations with the legendary Johnny Cash.  While only their duet, “North Country Girl” made it onto the album Nashville Skyline, the dynamic duo left behind several songs including covers of “Mountain Dew”, songs by Jimmie Rogers and Cash’s classics, “Ring Of Fire” and “I Walk The Line”.  Other highlights include, live performances of “Living The Blues” and “Girl From The North Country” from the 1969 debut episode of The Johnny Cash Show as well as an alternate take of “Nashville Skyline Rag” featuring Earl Scruggs.  Completing the package are tons of photos and insightful liner notes from Colin Escott.   
For more info: https://www.bobdylan.com/
Here are 3 Songs from Travelin’ Thru.  Enjoy!

“I Threw It All Away (Live On The Johnny Cash TV Show)”:


“Lay, Lady, Lay (Take 2 - Alternate Version)”: https://youtu.be/vgEaRPaGqWM

 “Ring Of Fire (Outtake)”: https://youtu.be/x5SxmXsRyCQ

Friday, November 08, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Joy Cleaner – “Dramatization” (The New Jersey indie rock trio return today with their highly-anticipated sophomore album, You’re So Jaded, via Jigsaw Records.  90’s nostalgia is in full effect as their brand of jangly power-pop packs a punch, like a punk-informed Gin Blossoms, with crunchy, alt-rock riffs and infectious pop hooks clamoring for the spotlight.  On repeat, indeed!) https://jigsawrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pzl165-joy-cleaner-youre-so-jaded   

Vetiver – “Swaying” (Andy Cabic recently released his seventh album, Up On High, making his label debut with Mama Bird Recordings.  The new collection of songs sees Cabic return to basics with his folk-rock roots and his smooth voice combining with elements of jangly college rock, heartland rock and 70’s singer-songwriter faire for a breezy listen and one of the best albums of his career.  Stream the Petty-esque and aptly-titled standout single here.) https://tunes.mamabirdrecordingco.com/album/up-on-high   

Big Thief – “Not” (The Brooklyn folk-rock quartet – led by the vulnerable yet powerful vocals and poetic lyrics of Adrianne Lenker – recently released their second full-length album this year.   The album titled, Two Hands, is out now on 4AD and is rawer and ragged, both lyrically and musically, than its predecessor, U.F.O.F.; perfectly capturing their live energy.  With Two Hands, Big Thief has released an Album Of The Year worthy effort, their second just this year.  Listen to the dynamic, 6-minute single here.) http://www.bigthief.net/       


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: that dog. – Old LP

90’s alternative rock/indie-pop favorites that dog. recently released their long-awaited fourth album, Old LP, via UMe.  Anna Waronker, Rachel Haden and Tony Maxwell first reunited in 2011 for a few anniversary shows and have played together several times since.  The trio (sans vocalist/violinist Petra Haden) had also been working on a new album over the last three years. The new album – their first in over two decades - is the perfect, more mature and more lushly arranged follow-up to 1997’s swan song, Retreat From The Sun.
Old LP is highlighted by the standout single, “Just The Way”, and with its frantic energy, it is the perfect summation of their punk-smeared power-pop sound.  Other standouts include, “Drip Drops” with its cinematic strings and their trademark vocal harmonies, the snarky anthemic alt.rock of “If You Just Didn’t Do It” and the sentimental album closing title track.   
The guest-heavy album also features contributions from their original (pre-recording) drummer Maya Rudolph, Graham Coxon of Blur, Randy Newman, Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Charlotte Gaffey of the Go-Go’s.  Additionally, Petra’s violin duties are carried out by Kaitlin Wolfberg of Wild Honey Orchestra. 
The new album packs a nostalgic punch but expands on their sound, sounding as fresh as it did over two decades ago. 
For more info, please visit: www.thatdogofficial.com
Stream Old LP here:

Friday, October 25, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Extra Arms – “Disruptor” (Detroit’s Extra Arms - led by Ryan Allen, formerly of Thunderbirds Are Now! – will release their fifth album, Up From Here, today on Dadstache Records.  Previously a solo project, this new album is the second as a full band with guitarist Michael Gallacher, bassist Ryan Marshall and drummer Sean Sommer.  The band quickly finds their stride on this new collection of songs that explode with emo-tinged punk rock and power-pop melodies in just 22 minutes leaving you wanting more.)  https://extraarms.bandcamp.com/album/up-from-here-2  

Daystar – “Buttons And Brass” (The Portland-by-way-of Chicago quartet led by Derek Phillips is set to return today with their new album, The Complete Recordings.  Blending anthemic 70’s arena rock hooks and 60’s brit-rock with infectious power-pop; their lushly-layered and harmony-rich sound references Wings, Badfinger and Big Star along with Beatles-esque melodies and elements of folk and prog-rock.) https://daystarpdx.bandcamp.com/album/the-complete-recordings

The Building – “Life Half Lived” (The Building is the recording and performing moniker of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Anthony LaMarca, who is best known as the guitarist for The War On Drugs.  The Youngstown, Ohio native has also drummed for St. Vincent and Dean & Britta and recently released his latest album, PETRA, via Concord Records.  LaMarca battled a life-threatening disease while writing and recording the album which expands on his dreamy folk-pop sound and the result is his most personal and affecting album yet.) https://thebuildingmusic.com/

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

REISSUE: Saves The Day – Through With Being Cool – 20th Anniversary

NJ emo-punk band Saves The Day made their breakthrough in 2001 with Stay What You Are but sowed the seeds for that success with their seminal sophomore album Through With Being Cool, released in 1999.  To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Through With Being Cool, Equal Vision will reissue the album on CD and vinyl as a deluxe 20th anniversary edition, this Friday.    

In addition to the newly-remastered original album and expanded packaging, the 2-CD and 2-LP sets also feature 17 bonus tracks including previously-unheard demos and live recordings.  Though none of the extras are exactly essential there are many standouts including, an acoustic demo of the heartfelt “Hold” and live versions of “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots” and fan favorite, “Shoulder To The Wheel” which capture their youthful live energy. 
Chris Conley and Saves The Day live on more than two decades later and they have plans to play anniversary shows as well around the release.        
For more info or to order, please visit: https://savestheday.merchnow.com/
Watch the newly-created animated video for “Shoulder To The Wheel” here: