Orange County garage psych troublemakers Cosmonauts are back with their third album, "Persona Non Grata," out on Burger / Spot On Sound!!!! If yer not already dropping a copy in yer online shopping cart, read this glowing review from music blog, Arroz y Frijoles -
"Fullerton’s Cosmonauts are just that: explorers to other worlds far from this one. This Fullerton band are along with Audacity, King Tuff, and Gap Dream, captains in the Orange County garage-rock Mafia centered around awesomely ubiquitous West Coast rock and roll powerhouse Burger Records. Their 2010 effort If You Wanna Die Then I Wanna Die is one of the label’s stone classics, a dazzling orgy of Velvet Underground drone, surf-rock twilight-zone twang, and the lo-fi astronomy of Spacemen 3, Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain. In addition, their live show is one of the supreme happenings in rock and roll today, a psychedelic head-trip complete with lights and lacerating shrapnel blasts of feedback. On their latest album Persona Non Grata, they travel to sonic galaxies previously unexplored by them and they achieve liftoff.
Despite the fact that both records were both recorded in a renovated Anaheim warehouse, in viewing distance of Disneyland’s fireworks, the first and most obvious aspect of the album is its infinitely cleaner production value; despite the fact that it’s the same set-up as the previous, they take a different approach and exploring influences different from the previous record. The early-80s post-punk and dream pop previously hinted at blossoms here, and though it remains a Cosmonauts record, it’s a thrill to hear them chase these sonic inspirations down. The chiming guitar riff and New Wave-inflected pop hooks make this immediately clear and from then on and Alex Ahmadi and bassist James Sanderson take us out of this world. Hearing them engage these muses underscores how well they do it. The atmospherics and droning vocal on “Sweet Talk” is reminiscent of Interpol’s twin-guitar post-punk peaks, though their take is more accessible. However, they don’t abandon their previous influences at all. The shortest song here, the lysergic flower bomb “Dirty Harry”, clocks in at just over three minutes and much of the record is given to their tie-dyed obsessions and indeed some of these experiments represent some of their finest songs yet.
The interstellar overdrive that is the six-minute trip of “Wear Your Hair Like a Weapon” opens from a Kraut-rock riff to a spacious and shimmering soundscape. It’s the kind of track that the Dream Syndicate specialized in and following track “My Alba” is drenched in echo and atmosphere, the kind of song perfect for late-night drives. “What me Worry” might be the song here that best encapsulates the dazed and confused ambiance of the record. The rhythm section’s subtle interplay with the nagging hook of “And I’m not tired, I’m not weary, I don’t need no sleep at all” (in addition to a ripping solo) results in a scorcher. Eventually, all head expansions come to an end and closer “Summertime Blue” takes us back down to Earth with a lilting and epic come-down. Cosmonauts may be from another world (via Fullerton), but on the strength on Persona Non Grata, they’re here to stay."
We've been digging the Cosmonauts' spaced out, fuzzy garage psych from day one, (after all we released their s/t debut back in 2010) and holy shit, they just keep getting better and better. Last year's "If You Wanna Die.." saw them honing their chops and emerging as one of THE PSYCH BANDS to keep an eye on, at home next to your Oh Sees, Night Beats and Black Angels. So fast forward to now, listen to their latest platter, "Persona Non Grata" and try not to call it an insta-classic. In a year full of excellent psych albums from Reverberation Appreciation Society, Fuzz Club, Trouble In Mind and Cardinal Fuzz (to name a few labels), "Persona Non Grata" sears yer brain full of mind melting jams indebted to the greats, sure to stay stuck in yer head long after the record is over. Burger and Spot On Sound releases are super limited, so grab your copy before they're long outta print. THIS ONE'S COSMICLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!!
Hold the phone! Trouble In Mind is back on the scene with another bodacious release ready for the gobbling! We'll pass the mic to the TiM folks for the full disclosure:
"San Francisco’s Wrong Words are back, but they might be lil’ bit different than you remember them; sure the pop hooks and melodies still ring loud and true, the choruses are still earworms that work their way into your brain and refuse to let go, but something’s different. With their second album “Everything Is Free”, the band moves into a comfortable spot nestled between more mature songwriting and adventurous arrangements.
This time out, The Wrong Words have enlisted mellotron, horns, & woodwinds to carefully guide them through the pop landscape. Songwriter Josh Miller still burns with the fiery restlessness that peppered his tunes on their 2011 s/t debut, but rather than bash & crash their way thru a 2 & a half minute pop ditty, they ease their way from verse to chorus without sacrificing any of their token pop smarts. For most pop bands, “maturing” comes at a cost; sacrificing hooks, watering down the sound, or altering their look - The Wrong Words have dodged that bullet by acknowledging these new elements as pre-existing in the nature of song, ready to be plucked from the tree from which they sprung at no cost whatsoever. Everything Is Free, man.
RIYL: The Feelies, Teenage Fanclub, The Last, King Tuff, Nick Lowe"
No sophomore slump for SF's Wrong Words cuz they are hittin' all the right notes here on "Everything Is Free"! Mellotron and horns add even more POWER to their tried and true power pop alchemy while the band is displaying some top notch song craft; these friendly folks have clearly been spending some heavy time in the 'ol practice space. The group here supplies 13 more drool worthy jams that will have you respinning this thing for eva!!! "Everything Is Free" but you still have to pay for this record. Supremely Recommended.
Hold the phone! Trouble In Mind is back on the scene with another bodacious release ready for the gobbling! We'll pass the mic to the TiM folks for the full disclosure:
"Many people may not realize, but Tuscon native Matt Rendon has been making some of the world’s greatest pop music since 1997, having released 6 full-length albums & three singles under the moniker The Resonars. The “band” started as an actual band, but after members came & went, Rendon decided to soldier on & just play everything his own damn self & this 14-song compilation gathers together some of Rendon’s greatest compositions from the opening guitar scree & wall of vocal harmonies of “Definitely Crescent Ridge”, to the cascading guitar jangle of “Marina”, all the way to the winsome chords of “Paint My Window Green”. Hits. All of ‘em.
This LP collects tracks from the s/t Star Time debut, thru the three Get Hip LPs (’Bright & Dark’, ’Lunar Kit’ & ‘Nonetheless Blue’), his Burger debut ‘Evil Drone’ & two tunes from his recent Trouble In Mind 4-song 7” EP. Trust us - this one was a hard one to compile - The Resonars’ songbook is front-to-back hits, but we feel like we’ve done ‘em justice, conspiring with Rendon to succinctly crystallize the genius of The Resonars into one quickly accesible package. We personally feel that the man is a pop genius, and think that after one spin of this album - you will too. “The Greatest Songs of The Resonars” is a one-time, LP-only pressing of 1000 copies on randomly mixed vinyl & includes a download code.
RIYL: The Who, The Move, Hollies, King Tuff, Beatles, Big Star, Gentleman Jesse"
Good gaht damn! Apparently Matt Rendon (aka The Resonars) is a freaking HIT machine! This "Greatest Songs Of The Resonars" is glorious blast after glorious blast of ultra catchy stuck in yer head fer days pop perfection. This cat has nailed that 60's production too; all those RIYLs listed above are to be trusted… we're definitely hearing huge doses of early Who and Hollies and some subtle nods to GBV. This record is seriously infectious and will have you debating yourself on whether to choose between this and the new Wrong Words lp as next up on the turntable. You bet yer sweet bippy this is Mega-Recommended.
FINALLY someone's taken on the daunting, but completely ESSENTIAL task of reissuing the looooong OOP and desirable solo albums from Roky Erickson! No surprise that it's one of the best reissue labels out there - Light In The Attic! LiTA's got a serious case of "starry eyes" after compiling these, so here's their love letter to Roky's sophomore effort, "Don't Slander Me":
"Received a 7.9 rating from Pitchfork. Celebrating a creative purple patch by a singular performer, Light In The Attic is to reissue the three albums issued by ROKY ERICKSON in the 1980s: The Evil One (LITA 097), Don’t Slander Me (LITA 098) and Gremlins Have Pictures (LITA 099). Together, they’re a chance to pick up a missing jigsaw piece in the history of American rock ‘n’ roll in deluxe packages. If The Evil One was the album that broke Erickson out of the indie ghetto and brought him to a worldwide audience, the follow-up, 1986’s Don’t Slander Me was the one that showcased his rock and roll sensibilities like no recording before. Losing the more out-there and exotic elements of earlier and future albums, it presents us with Erickson the rocker, playing punk, rockabilly, blues and—in ‘Burn The Flames’, later found on the Return Of The Living Dead soundtrack—even power ballads. CD includes an 18-page booklet. Vinyl edition features a booklet, download card and Side D etching by artist TRAVIS MILLARD. "
If "The Evil One" was the album for the freaks & misfits, then "Don't Slander Me" is the one for the punks & rockers! This album comes STORMING outta the gate with the title tune, which cuts right to the bone with razor sharp guitar & bludgeoning riffage! The album doesn't let up from there - the rockers rock especially hard & the tender moments (yes there are a few - Roky is a romantic at heart after all) like the undeniably sincere "Starry Eyes" basks in it's own Buddy Holly-esque sweetness. This one is an essential piece of wax my friends, and LiTA's made it even MORE essential by adding extra tracks & a sweet booklet loaded with killer liner notes & a SWEET gatefold pic of Roky lookin' - well... bloody hammered! We love this rec & will be jammin' this one till dawn & beyond! Great to see this one back in the racks! GET IT, 'cuz it's ESSENTIAL!
LIMITED TO 350 COPIES!!!
Psychedelic music is in a FULL-ON renaissance these days, with bands sprouting up like magic mushrooms all over the globe! Kikagaku Moyo hail from the mighty city of Tokyo, Japan & this is their debut album co-released by Greek label Cosmic Eye Records (who also released the s/t Montibus Communitas LP earlier this year) & Sound Effect Records. Cosmic Eye is all seeing, so let's let them pontificate on Kikagaku Moyo:
"We are excited to announce the debut KIKAGAKU MOYO release, a co-production of Cosmic Eye and Sound Effect Records. Just released as a Bandcamp download in May 2013, it impressed us so much with its awesome otherworldliness, to the point of requiring instant vinyl availability.
KIKAGAKU MOYO (Geometric Patterns in japanese) started in the summer of 2012 in Tokyo attempting to recreate the spirit of the early 70s japanese psychedelic underground. And they have perfected the art of late 60s influenced psychedelia to breathtaking levels. They enrichen this gentle sound with the use of sitars, percussive drums, theremins, wind instruments and charming female vocals, to the point of sounding powerfully spacious and lazily calm at the same time. And they achieve such levels of invention, to not be labelled traditional revivalists but creators of a modern electric music for the mind and body.
There's a beautiful simplicity to this album no matter how far-out it may sound. Each song builds on a formula of direct yet otherworldly folk/psych vibe to subconsciously evolve into a joyous, haunting, and totally colourful, tribal far-out music. Lysergic mind-expanding landscapes, ghostly rhythms, clouds of uplifting fuzz, swirling guitar excursions into space, water-stained sitar licks and beautifuly wasted vocals guarantee a floating magic carpet ride to the galaxy. KIKAGAKU MOYO are on their own deserted island, gazing the cosmos, hallucinating the million details of the One and firing them right back at us. LP version is pressed on high quality vinyl and comes out in a limited edition of 350 copies."
WOW. This record is some trippy business! 'Kikagaku Moyo' starts off slow & gentle with a pastoral, lilting instrumental, before getting loose & freaky & launching into the stratosphere with 'Zo No Senaka', a driving psych burner with some wicked sitar peppered throughout! Cosmic Eye is the perfect label to be releasing this one, 'cuz their tunes get "interstellar" pretty quickly, with echoes of 'Saucerful'/'Meddle' era Pink Floyd as well as Popol Vuh, Flower Travellin' Band, Far East Family Band & perhaps Hawkwind if they were less biker & more hippy! The guitars buzz & sting with fuzzy venom & the rhythm section is locked in tight, making this a rollicking ride thru the corridors of your mind!! The last track "Dawn" brings us a bit more into the 21st Century, with it's propulsive riffage reminding us of Brian Jonestown Massacre at their most rockin'! This bad boy is SUPER LIMITED to 350 copies worldwide, so DO NOT SNOOZE on this one lest you be left floating in the ether with nary a record to be found! We're diggin' this one quite a bit - Best of 2013? Perhaps... perhaps... in the meantime it is definitely RECOMMENDED!
The Obits fire off another winner with their latest "Bed And Bugs"; get the skinny from the Sub Pop folks who released it:
"Obits are a four-piece band who currently live in Brooklyn, NY, and whose music is probably considered an occupant of the rock music genre, specifically in the areas of garage, punk, surf, surf-punk, and garage-punk (though, not surf-garage). On this new album, they’ve also covered a song (“Besetchet”) from volume 23 of the excellent Ethiopiques series; so much for tidy categorization. The album for which this clumsy biographical dispatch has been prepared is entitled Bed & Bugs and it is the third full-length album by Obits, following their 2011 album Moody, Standard and Poor, which itself followed their 2009 album I Blame You, which we in the professional music industry refer to as the band’s “debut.” Bed & Bugs was recorded somewhere in Arlington, VA at an unnamed recording studio, simply and rather unhelpfully described as “upstairs.” This recording was accomplished by Nikhil Ranade, and the resulting songs were later mixed, variously, by this same Nikhil Ranade as well as Eli Janney and Geoff Sanoff.
On listening to Bed & Bugs, the discerning listener may well note more than a passing similarity to such bands as Hot Snakes, Edsel, Drive Like Jehu, Girls Against Boys, Pitchfork, possibly Television or the Wipers. This is un-coincidental! With the exception of those last two, Obits share members with all of those bands.
Less flippantly: There are scenes and there are connections; trending hashtags and experiences. It’s cool, these are not either/or propositions and there’s no need to postulate any us vs. any them, the kids today and the back in my day. Much of what’s best about any music, all art, across genres, within and beyond the latest craze, is the way it speaks to some definition of “us.” Proving, as Obits sing in Bed & Bugs’ “Receptor,” that “You ain’t the world’s lone receptor,” is deeply valuable. Because we’re all headed to the same place: me today, you tomorrow. And, in that waning interstitial space, let’s go ahead and have what we want. No need to choose: make ours both Bed & Bugs."
Once a very wise little girl on TV was queried with soft shell or hard shell tacos? … to which she replied with the brilliantly rhetorical: "Why not both?" And this duality must have been hard at work in the collective mindset of the Obits. On "Bed And Bugs" they're bringin' the high-octane down-stroker Wipers style rippers AND the nuanced garage rave ups that they've honed in over the course of three fantabulous albums. Hell, they even threw in a killer Ethiopiques cover tune! Now that's some righteous ass shit! Get this and crank it cuz maximum volume yields maximum results. Heavily Recommended.
EDITION OF 500 ON BLUE WAX!
More fuzz fueled head nod heaviness from the fine folks at Reverberation Appreciation Society; here's what the label peeps are touting:
"We're proud to present the North American release of the long awaited debut LP by Nottingham’s finest purveyors of psychedelic noise, The Cult Of Dom Keller. The LP is compiled from tracks previously included in the band’s self-released series of EPs, along with 3 new tracks : “Swamp Heron”, “Nowhere to Land” and “All I Need is Not Now”. The album was recorded and produced by The Cult of Dom Keller and has been remastered by Brett Orrison.
The LP is pressed on 180g blue vinyl, and packaged in a black sleeve and screen-printed chipboard jacket. Hand numbered, limited edition of 500."
UK act Cult Of Dom Keller are taking the brooding slow burn psyche-rock vibes of The Black Angels and Wooden Shjips and blending in some shoegaze textures to create a subtly shifting sound all their own. These dudes are definitely channeling the spirit of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Psychic Ills and even a little "Souvlaki"-era Slowdive while upping the heaviness and bringin' a fresh slant on this classic sound. Reverberation Appreciation Society has never steered us in the wrong direction and this latest offering of across the pond sonics with a nice domestic price is yet another fine addition to their seriously killer catalog. Bonus, it's on some sick looking blue wax! Certainly Recommended.
EDITION OF 500 ON WHITE WAX!
More fuzz fueled head nod heaviness from the fine folks at Reverberation Appreciation Society; here's what the label peeps are touting:
"At long last, the North American release of the Parisian trio's debut LP, produced and mastered by Brett Orrison, and featuring guest spots from The Black Angels' Christian Bland and Alex Maas. The band just wrapped up a US tour with The Black Angels, kicked off with a performance at Austin Psych Fest 2013.
With roots extending from America to old-world European culture, Wall of Death creates a sound that is powerful, heavy, haunting and visionary.
The LP is pressed on 180g white vinyl, and packaged in a black sleeve and screen-printed jacket. Hand numbered, limited edition of 500."
Wall Of Death hails from France and their time spent on the road with The Black Angels has seemed to rub off on them. They've taken the dusty desert scape psychedelic rock template peppered in some sophisticated European sensibilities and come up with a sleek and haunting concoction. This trio let's the tunes stretch out and breathe allowing the tune to unfold as it needs to. Their keyed basslines are serpentine and bulbous though the haunted high end of the organ screams, while the guitar teeters between slinky clean channel precision and full throttle fuzz explosions. The drums keep everything held together and the vocals croon under a layer of reverb and echo. One of our favorite things about this record is how they've credited friends who contributed to certain songs with little symbols and one person gets listed twice separately for both "vocals" and "screams"! Black Angels, Dead Meadow, Spacemen 3, Fuzz Club Records, Cardinal Fuzz Records fans better get this one quick like, cuz Reverberation Appreciation Society has unleashed another stunner. Super Recommended.
Companion Records unloads a KILLER reissue of one of the most elusive & legendary private press records known to man - the mindbending 'Medico Doktor Vibes' (a.k.a. Bill Russell) called "Liter Thru Dorker Vibes". PREPARE YOURSELVES. Hoo boy - read on:
"The first licensed reissue of Médico Doktor Vibes' mysterious Liter Thru Dorker Vibes LP from 1979 is now available. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to offer this singular recording. Five hundred exact repro copies were pressed at RTI with crisp, heavy, old-style tip-in jackets produced by Stoughton. Turns out these seven songs are Guyanese-American artist Bill Russell's only recordings. Bill had 100 vinyl copies pressed up in 1979 on his own Bi-Russell Records label, promoted it modestly and locally, and it went nowhere. Thirty-some years later, in a kind of message in a bottle-type scenario, one of those copies ended up at the Oakland Coliseum Flea Market and found its way into our hands. Inspired by army pals who were recording and releasing music without any label backing, Russell bought a Fender Telecaster and a Korg Mini and recorded Liter Thru Dorker Vibes in a makeshift home studio in South Central L.A. in just a few short sessions. When asked about his influences he insta-mentioned Santana and then added Hendrix, Sly Stone, Jobim, along with some New Orleans jazz stuff as well. For fun we'll go ahead and recommend this to any fan of Suicide, Cymande, Steve Reich, Nadi Qamar, Otis G. Johnson, Lord Invader, Bruce Haack, TJ Hustler, T-Rex, Heitkotter, Edward Larry Gordon, Madrigal, or The Mind Expanders."
WOW. Where to begin with this one? As the description says - picture the unholy union of Sly Stone, Timmy Thomas, Witch (the Zam-rock band), Jackie Mittoo, Bruce Haack, & Suicide with Bill Russell as some sort of musical Dr. Moreau, gene-splicing all these things which do not belong together into beautifully imperfect masterpieces. Yeah. No joke. The second track sounds like it could be a Phil Cohran outtake! We're just stunned by this one... it's the kind of record you want to believe you'll uncover sifting thru a dirty flea market - that diamond in the wild just waiting to be found. Kudos to Companion for re-launching this one into our collective consciousness & back onto our turntables! RECOMMENDED? You betcha.
San Fran's weirdo psych sludge mongers, CCR Headcleaner, are finally dropping their debut lp, "Lace The Earth With Arms Wide Open" via their cohorts at Pizza Burgler Records. And man this is one wild trip down the rabbit hole yer gonna want to take now!!!!
“After three years of shredding away San Francisco’s CCR HEADCLEANER have finally released their debut LP. Lace the Earth with Arms Wide Open: 2013 is a culmination of all the sweat and grime, hangovers and highs. Like a slow cooked pot of collard greens that’s been simmering for years, there's no distinct flavor but a range of tastes to entice all corners of the palette. The A Side blasts off with ‘Bomb Suite,’ a vocoder enriched skull smashing intro with a nice let you back down to earth ending. ‘Steal the Light’ is a dreamy, pulsating fist pumper. ‘Fixx the Fan’ sounds like Neil Young on the astral plane. ‘Beyond Death’ is pure heaviness, one of those tunes that’s been rolling around since the early days, forming smooth edges like a stone washed by the harsh waves of the mighty Pacific. Side B kicks off with ‘Blood Hound,’ an ebbing and flowing chorus filled romp through the forest at night. ""Doo Wop"" is a wild new take on an old standard-- atmosphere and beauty giving way to an onslaught of electric guitar doom. ‘Mirror Mist’ finishes it off with swirling, sound-drenched new-kraut epictry. Lace the Earth with Arms Wide Open or 2013--whatever you wanna call it—really runs the gamut. It'll rope you in with layers of vocals and harmonies and sharp, sneaky hooks. It’ll blow you away with explosive breakdowns and pounding rhythms. It will lift you to the heavens and lay with you in the gutter. PLAY FUCKING LOUD.”—Mike Plaid, 2013. "
We can always count on San Francisco to keep it weird, and the city's newest RnR export, CCR Headcleaner are upping the weirdo ante and making a name for themselves with their art damaged, drug addled mutant psych. "Lace The Earth With Arms Wide Open" is an all night bender to the dark corners of your mind, at times feeling like French misfits, Catholic Spray or Le Chomage, at others a more unhinged version of White Fence or the Cosmonauts, but with a heavy love for stoner vibes and layers of feedback. Psych rock hasn't sounded this fresh, unhinged, dangerous and loud in quite awhile. Every spin of their new lp will suck you further in, if it doesn't unleash some demons along the way. Perhaps only their tour mates, Fuzz, can equal monumental glue huffing fueled fuzz freakouts that CCR Headcleaner are bringing to yer turntable.
The face melting on the cover of "Lace The Earth" is not a joke. Grab this one and mind altering RnR awaits around every corner. SUPER RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!
We've been waiting on this one with barely contained patience! Factory Floor's debut LP is out on DFA, who have all the details here:
"At long last, Factory Floor presents their highly anticipated self-titled debut album. A vivid snapshot of a progressive band smashing through yet another ceiling, it’s the first full-length statement from the group that earned a powerful reputation on the strength of the “Fall Back” and “Two Different Ways” singles for DFA—not to mention early releases for Optimo Music and Blast First Petite. Leading up to the release of Factory Floor, the band will play select European festival dates this summer. Produced and recorded by the group in their North London warehouse space on a vintage mixing desk originally used by Dave Stewart three decades ago to record all the Eurythmics’ early hits, Factory Floor is a visceral trip through the band’s repertoire. The record opens with “Turn It Up,” their most minimal track to date, mixed in astonishing detail by Timothy “Q” Wiles (VCMG, Afrika Bambaataa). “Here Again” is almost (but not quite) their pop song, replete with cascading arpeggios counterbalanced by bubbly synth melody lines and plaintive vocals. Factory Floor also contains the definitive version of “Two Different Ways,” followed by the muscular and sleek “Fall Back.” “How You Say” finds the band channelling New York’s dance underground—think ESG and Delta Five. “Work Out” is anything but; despite the desultory title, it is in fact sinister street-sound electro. The album closes out with “Breathe In,” a funkified acid disco classic. Perhaps the most unlikely aspect of Factory Floor’s rise to notoriety is their versatility. Even their most ardent of fans describe their sound as punishing, yet they are equally at home playing raves, alternative festivals, art galleries, cinemas, nightclubs and rock shows; on top of that they’re as likely to collaborate with members of Throbbing Gristle and New Order (not to mention Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire, Simon Fisher Turner and Peter Gordon) as they are with contemporary artists such as Haroon Mirza and Hannah Sawtell."
After a mind blowing 10in EP and a slew of jaw dropping 12 inches UK's Factory Floor finally unveil their long-awaited proper full length and it is everything we hoped for and more! Factory Floor's modern take on danceable industrial music is a sound all its own. Paranoid fueled manic live beats are seamlessly merged with drum machines while a delirium drenched guitar din swells with chaotic beauty and gurgling synth patterns add to the wondrous clatter as vocals fight to break through. Factory Floor flirt with minimal wave / post punk electro dance anthems but they do it on their own terms always dissecting things into their own twisted fever dream. This group has collaborated with members of Throbbing Gristle, New Order and even Cabaret Voltaire! … if you are even remotely interested in the works of the aforementioned acts then you best grab this double platter immediately! You will not be disappointed. Beyond Recommended.
We love us some Big Star 'round the shop - we play the living hell out of both "#1 Record" & "Radio City"! Both are perfect pop records in our humble opinions, and "3rd" (or 'Sister Lovers' as it's also known) needs to nestle right up against BOTH of those, as it's just as good! The hirsute music aficionados at 4 Men With Beards have brought this one back into print again & we couldn't be happier - read on:
"Also known as Sister Lovers, BIG STAR's legendary third album has been released and re-released countless times around the world with different track listings, different mixes, and different cover art. Now for the first time since it's debut release in 1978 is a re-release of the vinyl LP with the original cover art, including the inner sleeve with the complete detailed liner notes and the original mixes and track listing. The master tape coming directly from Ardent Studios provides the highest sound quality of this vinyl classic—available as it was first released for the first time in 28 years. 180-gram audiophile vinyl."
This proves that - even while unraveling - Alex Chilton & Big Star (really just Jody Stephens, producer Jim Dickinson & a bevy of Memphis studio jobbers at that point, as founding members Andy Hummel & Chris Bell had already departed) could still wrangle out a suite of odd, perfect pop tunes! Recorded in 1974, this is the first signal of the twisted & frayed musical path Chilton was to take for the next decade or so (undeniably hitting it's whacked-out apex with his solo album "Like Flies On Sherbert") could be the reason why it lay unreleased until the PVC label finally pressed it up in 1978. It's easy for us to listen to this album 40 years on & think - MAN what were these record label guys thinking? This album is PERFECT! But if you think about it in the context of pop records released in 1974/75 this record sounds like a mental breakdown! Brutal & achingly confessional tunes like "Holocaust" & "Big Black Car" sit shoulder to shoulder with pop gems like "Jesus Christ", "Stroke It Noel" & "Thank You Friends" - it's a whirlwind of a ride, but luckily the tunes sound pretty sweet! Remastered from the OG tapes & pressed up onto 180gm wax, this one is a must own! Do you own it yet? Why not? RECOMMENDED!!!
OUI! OUI! ~ our Homies "en français" over at Born Bad Records have repressed the second volume of the famed WIZZZ! compilation series! Let's grab our go-go boots & ecouté to what Born Bad is sayin':
"2013 repress on vinyl, originally released in 2008. Since the success of the first volume in 2002, WIZZZ! has been considered the benchmark compilation of French '60s alternative pop. It launched an unprecedented craze for this rare breed of disc, featuring exceptionally danceable rhythms, twisted sounds from another world and demented lyrics, coupled with an underlying sense of mockery. It focuses on the creativity of these French artists who dared to break with the boring commercial conventions of their era. If your notion of French '60s music is based on innocuous hits from the likes of Adamo and Sheila, this new collection of rare and unreleased tracks, unearthed from the obscure depths of made-in-France pop, will astonish you with the brilliance and daring of a few of their deranged cousins, who passed completely unnoticed in the epoch of Gainsbourg. WIZZZ! 2 rediscovers and revitalizes these underground geniuses and freaks. Their audacity and inventiveness refutes those who sneer about the alleged inferiority of French pop. Includes a 36-page booklet."
We spun the living 'merde' out of the first volume of WIZZZ when it was repressed last year & all signs point to us doing the same with Volume 2 - there's not another French compilation series out there that hits the sweet spot of soul, ye-ye, garage-rock, strange electronic bits, psych-guitar freakouts & more with such infectious & reckless abandon & we can DIG IT! If you're groovin' high on recent French stuff like The Limiñanas, Fabienne Delsol or La Femme (as well as OG French groovers like Dutronc, Clothilde & France Gall!) then you best grab this comp tout suite! KILLER stuff that comes totally RECOMMENDED!
Thank you 4 Men With Beards, now everyone can finally own the uber essential funk masterpiece that is "Maggot Brain" by Funkadelic.
"1971’s Maggot Brain is FUNKADELIC’s all-out masterpiece. Absolutely no one working in soul and funk at the time had the scope, vision, and, let’s be honest, sheer lunacy to pull off the kind of record that GEORGE CLINTON and his collaborators have made here. Eccentric funk jams are bookended by two of the heaviest tracks (“Maggot Brain” and “Wars Of Armageddon”) ever committed to tape. The title track, and album opener, is nothing short of mind-blowing, EDDIE HAZEL’s guitar is a revolution brought on by Clinton, who supposedly told him to “play like your momma just died.” An essential classic and the deepest album to come out of the Parliament-Funkadelic camp."
Calling "Maggot Brain" a HANDS DOWN LIFE CHANGING CLASSIC doesn't even begin to do this album justice. From the time the needle drops on the title track til the tone arm pulls away from "Wars Of Armageddon" you will be utterly transfixed and mesmerized. Nobody warped and stretched soul and funk like George Clinton's adventurous band of cosmic misfits, Funkadelic. This album blows us away every fucking time we spin it here at the shop, and there's very few records we'll say that about. Do yourself a favor and add "Maggot Brain" to your collection now!!!! RECOMMENDED TIMES INFINITY!!!!!!!
Woooooooah! Where in the 'ell did these come from? Well anyhow we scored a very small batch of this AMAZING 1970's private press repress from the early aughts and we are mightily stoked to tell you about it. Get the history from the folks at Anopheles Records who had the good taste and fine timing to bring this record back to life:
"Anopheles Records is proud to announce a high quality, deluxe, tip-on style heavy jacket sleeve edition of this 1976 acid-punk classic from Oklahoma for 2008, with an additional two-sided insert unique to this edition, pressed on black vinyl for the first time since the original pressing in 1976. LP reissue (the first non-clear vinyl pressing we've released since we started doing the Anopheles label in 1991) of this December 1975 recorded, Oklahoma outer limits psych-noise proto-punk extravaganza, which has gone on to inspire the likes of the Screamers and Nurse With Wound. This edition features the complete April, 1976 self-released LP, taken from the original master tapes, with original artwork, and a previously unreleased (and amazing!) November 1975 practice take of the Stooges' 'Real Cool Time'."
Originally named Victoria Vein and the Thunder Punks, Chickasha, Oklahoma's Debris were bangin' out tweaked lunatic fringe proto punk during the mid '70s in the vein of Rockets From The Tombs, Pere Ubu and KBD style DIY rippers. "Static Disposal" was originally released as a "Self-Titled" private press LP in 1976 before being reissued on CD in 1999 and on LP in 2002 by Anopheles Records. This is the black wax version that was repressed in 2008 and boy o' boy is it a freaking blast! Interestingly enough the original was released on Static Disposal Records, which the record came to be known as colloquially years after. Do not snooze, "Static Disposal" is an acid dipped muscle shirt sonic adventure and will likely not be around any time soon in the near future. It also comes with our highest of Recommendations!
Psychic Teens obviously don't believe in the sophomore slump, cuz their second effort "Come" on SRA Records is even more addicting than their debut. Certainly their new album cements this Philly band at the top of our list of post punk loving, noisy dark, death rock bands. "Come" swirls with evil hooks, walls of feedback, propulsive drumming and all sorts of threatening nods to JAMC, Christian Death, the Fall and 45 Grave. Fear not, this is not some pretend bullshit regurgitation, Psychic Teens out gloom the goths, speed past the punks, and blow the sneakers of the shoegazers, all the while making an unholy, scary and fun mix of blown-out and at times even psychedelic death rock. So yeah, we can't get enough of the Psychic Teens. VERY VERY VERY RECOMMENDED!!!!
After whetting our whistles with recent reissues by Francoise Hardy and the newest volume of the Swingin' Mademoiselles compilation (you grab that? HOT DAMN), this compilation of sides by Ye-Ye chanteuse Clothilde, compiled by our mainline to the French underground - Born Bad Records! Ecouté!:
"Comes with a four-page insert. Clothilde, queen of the ""Swingin' Mademoiselles."" Why Clothilde? Why not that more star-worthy, internationally-acclaimed Françoise Hardy, or the more akin to the sub-genre, France Gall? Because she's the most characteristic, archtypical French mademoiselle, that's why! Christine Pilzer, even Jacqueline Taïeb before her, both may have been rediscovered first in this style unique to French '60s pop, and Stella also may have been the most out and out ""anti-ye-ye"" with her slightly anti-establishment and derisive lyrics countering the pop system and establishment, but Cleo's all about text, not that much as a whole production. As such, Clothilde takes the crown. Not only has Clothilde the most natural (albeit unknowingly) disposition as a chanteuse, singing such subversive lyrics with as much second degree detachment as possible but also, the music itself is highly original: inventive arrangements including French horn, musical saw, church bells, barrel organ, marimba, brass fiddle, woodwinds, and busy fuzz guitar amidst all that slapstick comedy-like audio bric-à-brac. Almost avant-garde in concept, it was imagined and produced by Clothilde's impresario, manager and indeed creator, legendary Disques Vogue A.D. Germinal Tenas. This could've only come out of France. "
First off - if you dig Ye-Ye in any capacity, you're bound to love this, BUT just as the icing on the cake, let us testify to the greatness in these grooves! Clothilde operates within the general framework of all the Ye-Ye princesses, but the beauty of these tracks is the KILLER arrangements by famed producer Germinal Tenas that weave in downright weird sounds like fuzz guitar, sitar, harpsichord and french horn in such an interesting way that we were hooked from track #1! Clothilde's got one-up on her contemporaries - this stuff frickin' ROCKS with raging guitars and HEAVY pounding drums (not unlike a Dutronc tune) and we feel like that alone will keep us coming back again and again! Grab this one quick! RECOMMENDED!!
Cosmic and kraut-y debut from early 2012 from this Peruvian musical/spiritual collective, whose latest long-player is on Chicago's own Trouble In Mind Records! This dense platter was released on Grecian label Cosmic Eye Records, who have this brief summation for you to peruse:
"Debut full length from this moody Peruvian ambient neokraut combo which is an AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP's related band, on the more ritual side of cosmic music. Long instrumental excursions into cosmic electronics with a strong ethnic flavour. This spiritual and melodic piece of cosmic art is a heady collection of ritualistic ethno ambient that manifests and commemorates the holiness of the Peruvian mountains. LTD ED (only 300 copies with insert) - This the black Vinyl issue (200 made)"
Holy moly! We REALLY dug the recent TiM album, and listening to this s/t effort, we can see why Montibus Communitas caught their ear! The four pieces here are dark, dense and swirling improvisations that simmer with the cosmic and arcane rhythms plucked from the same eternal manuscript as fellow voyagers like Amon Duul, Popol Vuh or Bobby Beausoleil, writhing up from a misty, murky jungle landscape and enveloping our ears like a green cloud! The cover art is appropriate too - featuring an amplifier atop a remote mountain, spewing forth devotionals to the ancient gods! This is one ridiculously great album and a perfect compliment to their most recent one - grab this one quick, but act fast 'cuz we only got a few and at 300 copies total, they're bound to go SUPER fast! RECOMMENDED x ONE MILLION.
YES!!!!! Get ready to rock n roll cuz we got a brand new rippin' psych single from FUZZ!!!!! "Sunderberry Dream" is their third single and a little teaser for the self-titled lp coming out very very soon on In The Red.
Ty, Charlie and Roland are just blowing us away with their Blue Cheer/Sir Baltimore soaked bruising spastic psych rock, and on this latest single, Fuzz turn up the rock all the way to mother fuckin 11!!!!!!!! Not just anyone can slash and burn their way through a cover of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and the A side "Sunderberry Dream" totally will knock you outta yer chair and melt you face (seriously we're not kidding around)!!!! Apparently these two cuts didn't make the upcoming album, so yeah we can't wait to get our hands on the s/t lp due in October. If you missed the first two Fuzz singles, you certainly don't want to sleep on "Sunderberry Dream." EPICALLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!!
Find something to hold to... Our Trouble In Mind amigos have unearthed a thick slab of bottom heavy hesher grooves and they are chomping at the bit to tells you alls all about it! ...so listen up:
"Since it's first issue in 1966, the 'Fuzz Face' pedal has sung it's distorted siren song & lured many a burgeoning guitar player to the rock. Hendrix & Townshend swore by them, and apparently so does the San Francisco mystery group FUZZ. We received an unsolicited email submission from these guys & despite our best efforts, cannot discern who is responsible for these jams. All we know is that we haven't been able to stop playing these two tracks over & over & over! Tinnitus here we come! Two addictive & ferocious slabs of doomy fuzzed-out rock & fucking ROLL that break open the gates of Hades & lurch forward like rabid hounds of Hell! "This Time I Got A Reason" & "Fuzz's Fourth Dream" are both flaming embers of molten rock that evoke a serpentine head-banging & rage skyward on evil riffs like the red-headed stepchildren of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Jerusalem & Wicked Lady! W-W-Whoah! (Please Note: we at Trouble In Mind Records LLC are not responsible for any spinal or neck problems that occur from excessive head-banging to this hot shit platter). This black vinyl edition comes housed in a new "stars 'n' stripes" version of the TiM factory sleeve, & includes a download code!"
Great googily moogily! FUZZ ain't no joke, this is furry and groovy and sounds like some long lost recordings from some forgotten basement dwelling head bashers. The cheer is blue, the sabbath is black and the sound is in the red Trogg stomp mixed with some Pentagram sexy snaking through its infectious groove filled muscular psychedelic din of hairy Sir Lord Baltimore-isms. AAHHOOOOOGGA! FUZZ is the soundtrack to growing your hair long, fist in the air, and no fucks given. Mega Recommended.