Monday, November 11, 2013

Permanent Records Update 11.11.13

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LP - MERX - 20000 Sq Ft Under The Sea (White Wax, Ltd 100) - $14.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

LA's MERX is back with another platter of menacing post-punk, no-wave, cold-wave, industrial electronic thinking-man's creep terror. Have a look at a few reviews of their debut LP (also on Permanent Records)…
Reviews of MERX's debut LP:

"Live, Merx are a menacing enigma—a tall, blonde, howling, sometime bespectacled lead singer who is one part Alan Vega, one part Ian Curtis, and the rest horror movie madman looks blankly forward, shaking and screaming, while the rest of the band plays with no acknowledgement of anyone else in the room. The guitarist faces his amp, his back to the crowd, emitting an eerie tremoloed guitar sound reminiscent of the Plugz’s instrumentals from Repo Man. The bassist is absorbed by his own drone, which also permeates the rest of the space, while the keyboardist stares into his keys; all this on top of drum machine effects that recall an industrial assembly line. The sound this four piece creates is always loud, and they do what few bands of their ilk can: replace a human drummer with a machine without sounding either empty or overbearing. (The only other recent band that has done the same is Okie Dokie, who sadly aren’t around anymore.) On record, Merx are just as strangely engrossing. “1000 Suitors,” the mid-tempo opener, sets the tone with its bizarre opening lyrics, “Who’d think a tall man could stoop so low;” “French Drop” has the pulsating bass and creepy Western guitar in full effect, along with whispered vocals and a nod to Slade (“Goodbye t’ Jane, and her youth, and her purse”); while the shouts and yelps on “the Law” are nothing less than frightening. This is a strange and dark album but also a really great one." - Daniel Clodfelter (LA Record)

"LA's Merx is a pretty frightening proposition channeling brutal cold wave via influences like Chrome, Throbbing Gristle, and Suicide. Everyone writing about the band mentions their very tall, sometimes bespectacled "vocalist" who sounds eerily like Ian Curtis. I thought it was one of those tired, rock journalist tropes until I put on the track "The Law" off their s/t Permanent Records debut, and found myself sitting straight up in the chair like I'd just heard a ghost! For your extreme listening pleasure!!" – Live Eye TV Video Music Blog

"MERX is the most highly-educated band of professionals in LA.  Maybe that's why the members have chosen to keep their off-the-grid musical hobby so minimally simplistic.  Each one of the nine songs on Merx's debut LP is comprised of looped synthetic drums, repetitively melodic bass and synth lines, and post-apocalyptic Morricone-esque guitar bits.  Over the top, a very tall man in a Throbbing Gristle/Mickey Mouse/Grateful Dead parody tee speak/sings shouts/whoops like a baritone hybrid of Ian Curtis, Nick Cave, and Alan Vega.  His lyrics are simplified existential philosophies that seem worthy of printing, studying, analyzing, and pondering for all eternity.  Of course, this man chose not to include his lyrics on the insert.  What you do get, however , are a bunch of random hand-made collages, stickers, and weird notes written by band members (who will remain nameless) themselves.  The songs are short, memorable, and timeless post-punk numbers that sound similar, but not exactly like anything we've ever heard before.  The band member's education obviously extends beyond the classroom and into the rock'n'roll realm, specifically UK circa 79-81.  "Merx" is a timeless 21st century record for connoisseurs with a morbid curiosities.  That means you." – Permanent Records

RIYL: Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, DNA, SPK, German Army, Brotman & Short, Cold Wave

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LP - Brainbombs - Disposal Of A Dead Body 2xLP - $29.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

A Permanent Records fave, the one and only Brainbombs has emerged from the shadows to unleash this double LP of unreleased tracks recorded between 2009 and 2011.  We've gabbed on and on before about are undying adoration of all things Brainbombs so to score a double LP of unheard material is a pure treat to our ears.  And we're talkin' TONS of stuff here, 24 cuts of buzzbomb guitar skree and misanthropic death dirges with tortured moans of negativity, torture and all things unsavory.  The Skrammel Records label is behind this release and we thank them kindly for giving us more Brainbombs insanity.  Supremely Recommended.

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LP - Bridesmaid - Breakfast At Riffany's - $9.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

This self-released debut LP from Columbus, OH's Bridesmaid is 7 tracks of puntastic sludge rock mayhem.  These dudes wield two (count 'em) bass players battling for gut rumble low end while the drummer holds everything together with pummeling rhythms and cracking snares.  We're hearing hints of early Melvins, Godhead Silo, Om and High on Fire in Bridesmaid DNA but they've pared things down to the very essentials, memorable riffs, dirgey repetition and no vocals.  Just killer down tuned bottom end crushers for days.  Grab your copy of "Breakfast At Riffany's" and crank it all the way up!  Super Recommended.

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LP - Arp - More (includes CD) - $19.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

SWEEEEEET - just squeaking in near the end of the year is a brand new Arp album entitled "More"! Released by Smalltown Supersound - dig what their fan at the New York Times had to rave about "More":

"Alexis Georgopoulos took the moniker under which he makes music, Arp, from a defunct manufacturer of analog synthesizers. It was a fitting name for the kind of music the New York-based artist made on the albums IN LIGHT (2007) and THE SOFT WAVE (2010): instrumental outings with minimalist repetition and exploratory electronics that owed more to minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass than anything resembling pop music. But on his new album, MORE, it becomes clear from the opening strains of the first track, “High-Heeled Clouds” — a dreamy ballad featuring breathy vocals, melodic keyboard lines and a hooky chorus — that Georgopoulos is taking the music in a more tuneful direction.
'It’s a song-based record for people who don’t listen to song-based records anymore,' said Georgopoulos, who described his process as 'a collision between what a singer-songwriter does and avant-garde experimentalism.' He credited the influential sounds of the Velvet Underground and early Roxy Music for his new style of songwriting, along with albums like ANOTHER GREEN WORLD, by the titanic iconoclast Brian Eno, and cult figures like Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt. In the instrumental song “Gravity (for Charlemagne Palestine),” there’s a blurring of Georgopoulos’s present and past with wooshing synths, an insistent piano line and swelling krautrock rhythms. The song’s remix, by Peaking Lights, has its premiere here. The new track, which is part of a package due out Nov. 5 featuring retooled versions of MORE tracks by other artists, takes Arp’s sound in even more unexpected directions. 'It reminds me of Japanese mall pop like Yellow Magic Orchestra, or a New Order dub mix,' Georgopoulos said."

It's been 3 long years since we were treated to a new Arp album. 2010's "The Soft Wave" wowed us here at the shop & gripped us like a comfortable analog blanket, swaddling us up in it's (mostly) instrumental cascades of warm synth & loops. The last track on that album "Silver Clouds" was an appetizing taste of Eno-inflected pop goodness (hell we could've mistaken it for an "Another Green World" outtake!) & unbeknownst to the listener a glimpse into where Georgopulos was headed. In a way he's pulling a "Reverse-Eno"; starting off experimental & then venturing into more pop-oriented material. "More" is a KILLER set of tunes that pull from those delicate, forward-looking pop structures Eno constructed for his early solo records, peppering the songs with bubbling synth lines & tremolo'd guitar. "More"s not entirely worshipping at the pop-glam altar of Eno - Georgopulos also grabs straws from the table of folks like John Cale & Kevin Ayers, placing him in line with contemporaries like Jeffrey Novak, Maston or a less "out there" Ariel Pink who all drink from the same well. A killer pop record with HOOKS for days - seriously, we've been humming some of these tunes since we heard 'em! For convenience's sake, the LP version also comes with a compact disc! This is tremendous album & possibly a contender for best of 2013 status! RECOMMENDED!

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LP - Tar - 1988-1995 2xLP - $24.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

We are supremely stoked to score a batch of Tar's retrospective collection, out now from Chunklet!  We'll let Chunklet fill you in on the history:

"What can you say about Tar? They were a band that existed in a very fruitful time for rock music to spin out of punk. When Tar started out in 1988, out of post HC/skate rock outfit Blatant Dissent, there were no eyes on anything remotely underground. You had to know people, or at least listen in on the right conversations, to figure out your ass from your elbow. It was a time when, if you were playing non-mainstream music, you would have to start riots and destroy venues, or smear yourself with shit and eat used tampons to get recognized in the media. When Tar called it a day in 1995, at least two bands they toured with, and five bands with whom they shared rosters on both the Amphetamine Reptile and Touch & Go labels, had signed to majors. What happened in between is history. And history is what we are here to celebrate.
Even in their heyday, there weren’t a lot of bands like Tar, either in their hometown of Chicago or anywhere else. There were bands that had the choreographed stage moves, the short hair, the loud amps, the promotional matchbooks, but few if any could manage what Tar did, which was to create a new, strict, limited vocabulary for rock-based music. Since you can’t spell “guitar” without “tar,” their use in the band went uncontested. They had two really cool ones at that, belonging to deadpan frontman John Mohr and bassist Tom Zaluckyj, forged out of aircraft aluminum, which built one of the foundations of their sound: prolonged sustain, chords that rang out as long as they could hold out. So that was a thing. 

The rest of the Tar rulebook worked as such: capture the sound of three guitars playing different notes at the same time, discover harmonious sound in the discord that could erupt from the potential incompatibilities, and no leads, no solos, no posturing. What resulted was an architected noise, completed by Mark Zablocki’s second guitar and Mike Greenlees’ clean, solid drumming (and until 1991, bass guitarist, Tim Mescher) that sat firmly in the midst of the ugly American overkill of Midwestern noise rock, but with eyes on the shimmering expanses of shoegaze from afar. Studio engineers worked with the band to exploit the capacities of this approach; Steve Albini fused the guitar tones together on their 1991 album Jackson, while Brad Wood found synergies in the spaces between them for the subsequent release 1993’s
Clincher EP.

Their approach seems deceptively simple, but mindbreaking thought went into how that sound came to be. They had peers in both Savage Republic’s desert psychedlia and Glenn Branca’s and Rhys Chatham’s guitar orchestras, but none of those artists were able to apply those ideas to catchy, driving three-minute rock songs the way that Tar could. When Tar broke up, other bands weren’t citing them as a primary influence in what they were trying to do with their own music. In essence, rock gave up on Tar; bands no longer got beaten up for having someone playing a synthesizer, and the group’s legacy was buried by history." - Chunklet

Tar was one of the quintessential bands of the late 80s/early 90s Chicago underground scene and this double LP compiles all their non-album tracks.  All the singles, comp tracks, unreleased tracks and an entire live 1991 John Peel Session!  This deluxe package comes with a complete download that also includes over 2 hours of bonus live tracks from the band's personal archives and an indepth booklet with tales o' Tar from friends, comrades and partners in crime and a list of every show the band played.  Aluminum guitars never sounded better!  This collection no doubt comes with our highest Recommendation!

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LP - Case - Blackwood - $16.99 - BUYbuy

Our homies at Lion Productions are on THE CASE with this newly minted reissue of this Pennsylvania private-press shaker! "Blackwood" was The Case's only recorded output (recorded in their high-school music room in 1971) & self-released by the band in an edition of 500 copies! Lion's definitely roaring about this bad-boy, so let's hear their case for Case:

"The title alone is portentous, at the very least semi-evil sounding. Fear not, there are no devils, demons, or witches lurking in these woods. Instead we have a heretofore almost completely unknown and rarely spoken of album of nine original tracks, self-released on the legendary RPC Records label by a group of self-motivated teens from Pennsylvania. Luckily for lovers of musical mayhem, the Case got access to their school music room and a four-track recorder over a Christmas break in 1971. A rock-solid, hard-driving rhythm section lays down the necessary underpinning for moody organ and beautifully-toned guitar. There is sheer joy at play here, a kind of rock 'n' roll exuberance—with ample raw talent and wicked riffing—which shines through on every cut. Terrific raw, primitive album, simultaneously loose and intense, like the Velvet Underground at their best.
• Terrific primitive album recorded in 1971 by some very advanced high-schoolers during their Christmas vacation, self-released on the legendary RPC Records label
• Color insert includes notes by the band + rare photos
• Limited to 500 copies."

BOY HOWDY, "Blackwood" is a moody, lo-fi jangler in the same realm as The Index & The Bachs - four motivated teens who wrote all-original material & frickin' wail on these nine tunes! Moody, haunted-house organ & a hard-drivin' rhythm section really elevate this one o'er many of the private-press heavies reissued as of late. These guys aren't professionals, but therein lies the charm - despite it all, they made a killer record. Released in an edition of 500 copies, remastered & pressed up onto heavy vinyl plus a killer insert with the history of the band & killer photos! Lion really did a number on this one! We love it - RECOMMENDED!!
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2xLP - Damon - Song Of A Gypsy - Deluxe Edition 2xLP - $32.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

The reissue gods are smiling down on us once again! Now-Again Records has uncorked a remastered reissue of this private-press psychedelic rarity from late-Sixties Los Angeles by the mysterious Damon! "Song Of A Gypsy" is on the decks right now, but 'Now-Again's got some words for ya:

"Deluxe reissue of the legendary late '60s Los Angeles psychedelic masterpiece: restored/remastered transfer, pitch/speed corrected for the first time ever. Bonus second disc contains the entirety of Damon's '60s recordings, plus never-before-heard demos. Extensive booklet with dozens of unpublished photos and images—a thorough investigation of this landmark album, through the prism of an extensive interview with Damon. Damon's "Song of a Gypsy" is generally regarded as one of the finest privately-pressed psychedelic rock records and has, for more than twenty years, been one of the most sought after late '60s American rock artifacts in the world, with the scant original copies that exist exchanging hands for thousands of dollars. It was as though this funky psychedelic monument was borrowed from nothing and sprung from nowhere. Damon's unique, introspective songwriting and the interplay between his spooky voice and lead guitarist Charlie Carey perfectly captured the last bloom of the flower power era as it decayed into the dark haze of the '70s underground. It could only have arisen from a spark of auspicious genius. But did it? Over the past seven years, we at Now-Again have been obsessed with "Song of a Gypsy". This anthology is our attempt to put forth a convincing argument for the overwhelming importance of this album, a unique high point from within but also outside of America's psychedelic movement. We follow Damon on his 'predestined life as a gypsy' from his birth into a tight knit Italian American family in Rochester, New York, through the various Los Angeles communities that he would call home. We compile, and analyze the entirety of his oeuvre, from his first surf-rock single in 1960, through schmaltzy pop, convincing doo-wop, blued eyed soul and garage rock in the mid 60s. And we focus on the year 1967, the founding of his label Ankh, and his transformation from a pop hopeful to tortured soul. To that end, we've uncovered demo recordings and acetates that show an artist in transition, and we attempt to make sense of the seminal moments that made this transformation possible in a crucial moment in America's psychedelic high water mark." Expanded version of the album, which includes a bonus disc of Damon's '60s recordings and demos contained in a separate dress jacket."

DAMN! This is our kinda psych record! A touch schmaltzy & something we'd coin as "exploitation" if we didn't know any better. We're not sure if Damon was "on the scene" in LA back in the late-Sixties, but his rather square take on pop-psych is really whetting our whistle! At it's core we're hearing strains of Steppenwolf's mescaline-fueled biker rock (sans mescaline & riding scooters), or the pagan-pushing mystical guitar scree of Bobby Beausoleil but filtered through the lens of the producers & engineers of the classic Tower Records soundtracks. These could easily be mistaken for the themes to any number of Sunset Strip exploito-classics like 'The Trip' or 'Riot On Sunset Strip'. Now-Again ups the anté by remastering & pitch-correcting the tunes, making this the first time these songs are being heard the way they're meant to be heard! Includes a whole bonus LP of demos & a gorgeous booklet that includes an extensive interview with the man himself & tons of never-seen photos! A TREMENDOUS reissue - RECOMMENDED! Get this one now!

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LP - Arab On Radar - Soak The Saddle - $13.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

1999/2000's Skin Graft Records released 3rd album by Providence, RI's no-wave terrorists Arab On Radar is nothing short of breathtaking.  Blazing by in under 20 minutes, the Weasel Walter produced "Soak The Saddle" is a caustic, high energy, throat-slitting, pants shitting paranoia filled gonzo aural assault of unprecedented annihilation.  Buzzbomb no-wave bangers like an icepick to the eardrum ignite and explode with barely a breath in between as shrill angular freakoid noise punk sonics will be soundtracking your nightmares for weeks on end.  Arab On Radar's art-damaged lunatic fringe noise rock utilizes repeato bass riffs, pummeling drum assaults and snarling atonal guitar scree to instantly unnerve even the most adventurous listeners.  A spazzoid brain splitting hyper activity tornado of terrifying clatter is what you get on this long overdue repress of one of the turn of the century's defining records.  We've been gobbling this gunk down since back in the day and now we invite you all to join in the delinquency!  Supremely Recommended.

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LP - Boa - Wrong Road (2013 Reissue) - $21.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Sweet and impossibly RARE garage/hard-rock burner from Michigan's finest - Boa! "Wrong Road" was originally released in an edition of 200 copies by the band, but has now been rescued from obscurity by the fine folks at Himalaya Records, so scale the cliff face and hearken to their words:

"Hailing from the Detroit suburb of Auburn Heights, BOA recorded this little gem in 1971, completely live and on a Sony TC-200 in a Tupperware warehouse, giving their psych/garage a little punk twist. They did everything themselves: recording, pressing, packaging, and the marketing (which at the time was simply not done). A mere 200 copies of the original edition were pressed on their own label, Snakefield. This is the pure definition of the 'garage' sound: BOA seems to have a lot of fun jamming together in their warehouse and the result is a collection of strongly psych/prog-flavored hard rock songs, that sound like a cross between the Doors, the Who and The Sonics."

Pretty interesting record - Boa's sound is indeed not-quite-garage, but also not-quite-hard rock either, riding a fine line between fidelility and ineptitude (and we mean that in a good way - they're not the GREATEST players, but that's OK). Super awesome run-throughs that seem very off-the-cuff first (or second) takes it's not perfect, but that's what makes it PERFECT. Reminds us a lot of some of the more recent hard rock discoveries like Jungle or Killing Foor. Not bad for a record that was recorded in a Tupperware factory! An original would set you back a pretty penny, so this reissue fills out your collection at a nice price, grip this and grip it FAST! RECOMMENDED!

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LP - Various Artists - Bonehead Crunchers Vol. 5: 14 Slices of Slimy Colonial Grillfat and Mindless Aussie Boogie Excursions - $26.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Bonehead Crunchers, we hardly knew ye... the last and apparently final installment of this acclaimed compilation series is here and we can hardly believe that the end has come right as they were hitting their stride - better to go out on top, we always say... Belter Records' distro, Clear Spot has the digs on this Bonehead Crunching swan song:

" Australia... Not to say that Australians are in anyway backwards, but the Neanderthal thudding and basic rawness on show has a high reliance on thug attitude, beer, greasy Freak with a sprinkle of Sharpie. Here the Bonehead angle also features a strong belief in the hook, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along as you bash your head on the sideboard. Think AC/DC with a touch of Easybeats melodicism but on a much more BASIC level. Although some of these sides are from the early 70s, we have also delved into 1977 and sometimes beyond to achieve the perfect blend of catchiness and heaviness. We could have chosen some meaty examples of Bonehead by more well-known purveyors such as Hush, Coloured Balls, Supernaut or Buffalo (although we feature their first single released under the name of Head), but we decided to dig a bit deeper to find titles that weren’t readily available elsewhere. A big word of thanks must go to the guys behind the Wallaby Beat blog for inspiration and for turning us on to many of these sides.

Side A :
1) Twister – Holy Smoke
2) Fat Daddy – Fat Funky Rock ‘N’ Roll
3) Francis Butler’s Sixty-Niners – Flash
4) Head – Hobo
5) Chook – Cold Feet
6) Sparkle – Crazy Like A Fox
7) Toxic – First Time
Side B :
1) The Ash Band – Let’s Go
2) U Turn – Traffic Lights
3) Geeza  – Sydney City Ladies
4) Bullet – Mover
5) Macarthur – Good Stuffe
6) King Harvest – Jumping Jack Flash (Part 1 and 2)"

I mean, what more needs to be said about this series? It's been a killer ride from the head-shakin' hesher anthems from Vol. 1 to the Aussie junkshop glam/choogle of Vol. 5 and we'll see how hindsight ranks this series, but for now we're inclined to say that this is one of the most refreshing and consistent compilation series' since Killed By Death, Back From The Grave or Powerpearls! I mean, you can't fuck with a song called "Hobo"! We don't think we'll need to talk you into this one, so do we need we say this is essential? Fine. RECOMMENDED and ESSENTIAL summer listening - crack approximately six cold ones and fuckin' party, ya'll.

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LP - George Brigman - Jungle Rot - $16.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

YEEESSS!!!  The Obscure Oxide label has gone and reissued this legendary album of punk blues.  Take a quick look see at the thrilling story below and grab this sucker like yesterday cuz its not gonna leave your turntable for a spell:

"Released in 1975 by Baltimore teenager George Brigman, "Jungle Rot" was a self-produced slab of molten fuzz that had no chance of gaining an audience before the punk revolution. Conceived as a tribute to British psych-blues band the Groundhogs and their leader Tony McPhee, the album takes that bands' acid-fried boogie and warps it with primitive recoding techniques and the fevered isolation in which Brigman worked. The title track alone with its fuzz-damaged guitar pan and punishing four-on-the-floor rhythms is worth the price of admission, yet the rest of the album delivers equally inspired wallops of technical brilliance and blown-out acid shred. Predictably, the few hundred copies of the album that Brigman pressed quickly fell through the cracks and were promptly forgotten—until a music collector found a copy at a flea market in Maryland and started making noise about it. Reissued on disc for the first time in 2005, this is not only a lost classic, it’s one of the loudest, rawest, and most uncompromisingly great albums of the 70s. Brigman might have been a self-confessed Groundhogs fan, but this buzz saw concerto sounds like it was created by Iggy Pop’s more demented younger brother. Sparkling new vinyl version from the original tapes, mastered by John Golden; the sound quality exceeds the original (poorly mastered and pressed) release in every way. Comes with a color insert, and exact copies of labels and cover art. Hear Brigman sing—with an ear-to-ear sneer from beneath an avalanche of distortion—"Remember what your father said / When the weather’s hot / Talking about all the young girls / Beware the jungle rot”, and you'll wonder why Jungle Rot hasn't been shouted from the roof tops in every Blue Cheer, Groundhogs and Stooges-loving ghetto the last three decades.

"The music is as advertised:  gutbucket 1975 energy crisis blues, awash in FX and teenage hormones... (Brigman's) punk/blues approach also prefigured the White Stripes to whose fans Jungle Rot will appear to in particular.. it deep-mine(s) a moment that, because it has not yet been referenced to death, remains startling and vital." —Jon Savage, Mojo Magazine

"George Brigman has been popular for decades among underground music fans. he has an amazing voice full of snarl and venom, and uses layers of murky fuzz and phasing in the background. Jungle Rot is an original work that contains elements of psych, hardrock, and 1970's proto-punk, and it has garnered fans in all three fields. The lyrics hit the same renegade vibe as the music." —Patrick Lundborg, Acid Archives" - Obscure Oxide

We've long hailed "Microminiature Love" by Michael Yonkers as one of Permanent's all time faves and if you dig that one then this will be right up your alley.  Fans of the Bonehead Crunchers comps take note as well, George Brigman's unsung outsider masterpiece is one for the ages.  Gobs and gobs of fuzzed out distorto blues that just bleed with honesty and hard earned authenticity is what Brigman is bringing and his blistering psychedelic punk is as pure as it gets.  You can hear the long hair and feel the dirt under the fingernails as blazing guitar clatter spikes your eardrum like a prison shank hell bent on revenge and escape.  If you dig blown out bizarro gutter jams with layer upon layer of fuzz and a frenzied voice baring his soul then cop this Baltimore born rip-roaring classic now.  Absolutely Essential and Supremely Recommended.

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2xLP - John Harrison / George Romero - Day Of The Dead OST  - $36.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

With all the amazing horror movie soundtracks getting remastered and reissued as of late and the fact the legendary Goblin just did its first US tour in 2013 we are freaking overjoyed to get this beefed up version of the Day Of The Dead soundtrack from the fine folks at Wax Works.  We're gonna let the Wax Works people fill you in on all the goodies inside this package:

"This release features, for the first time ever, every musical cue used in the film (over an hour’s worth of music). Our source material for this release were the original 1985 master tapes. The tapes were restored and re-mixed by composer John Harrison (Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt, Tales From The Darkside) and mixing engineer Michael Farrow (music scoring engineer of The Big Lebowski, Cabin Fever, Hostel, Halloween, Where The Wild Things Are). The score was then re-mastered for vinyl by former White Zombie guitarist, J. Yuenger.

Day Of The Dead will be a 180 gram 2xLP limited release on Cream Yellow Marble vinyl (Sides A & B) and Military Green Marble vinyl (Sides C & D). All housed in a heavyweight old-school tip-on matte varnish gatefold jacket with spot UV gloss finish. 180 gram yellow amd green vinyl with a 11x22 poster."

"Day Of The Dead" was the third installment of George Romero's Dead Trilogy and this soundtrack and collection of musical cues has been put together with loving care and a keen eye to detail.  Pulsing synths, rhythmic bass bounce and glorious '80s electronic production gives these pieces all the subtly, dread and impending doom that only adds another layer to a classic horror movie.  For all of you diggin' the current crop of soundtrack-to-movies-that-don't-exist a la Umberto or Ensemble Economique and classic soundtrack composers like John Carpenter or Bernard Herrmann then cop this deluxe edition of "Day Of The Dead" and don't forget… AIM FOR THE HEAD!  Recommended.

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LP - Coloured Balls - Ball Power (2012 Reissue) - $19.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

DUUUUUUUUUUUDES. The wait is OVER. The Coloured Balls reissue on the unbelievably consistent Sing Sing Records are here and ready to melt your fucking face off! You may have heard some chatter about this one already and let us ASSURE YOU - It is warranted. We'll let Sing Sing take over from here:

"Coloured Balls were one of the best pure rock n roll groups to emerge from the early 70s Australian scene.  Sure, The Saints and Radio Birdman stayed together longer and released a slew of fine albums during the punk era but it was the Coloured Balls who pioneered the proto punk sound earlier in the decade.  Their wildcard was Lobby Loyde, Australia's premier guitar hero whose pivotal roles in beat/psych/blues rock groups The Purple Hearts, The Wild Cherries and Billy Thorpe's Aztecs made him a major home-grown star down under.  Ball Power is full of raw, hard guitar rock and proto-punk. It's not only the Coloured Balls greatest album but also the finest music of Lobby Loyds long, fabled career. (Rising Storm)"

TOTALLY essential in our books! These guys were definitely ground-zero in Australia for the proto-punk, heavy rock sound later taken up by folks like AC/DC, exuding a very real "workin' man's" R'n'R. We'd be surprised if guitarist Lobby Loyde had never heard Slade, as cuts like "That's What Mama Sid" and "Won't You Make Up Your Mind" belie an affection for said band's pub-rockin' aesthetic (and purposeful misspellings). THAT BEING SAID - other cuts like the fuckin' RIPPER of a tune "Human Being" have a very guitar-heavy riffage that hearkens towards some real Motor-City Madness a'la Alice Cooper, or even Brit heavies like The Groundhogs or (early) Deep Purple, but also have a real "head"iness that's not afraid to meander - let the jam control itself a bit. You can tell these dudes are a real "band" - i.e. one that plays almost every night, slogging it out in club after club until they're so deep in the pocket, they actually BECOME the pocket. We've been waiting with bated breath for these to arrive and MAN they're a sight to behold! GORGEOUS gatefold reproduction of the original sleeve, with an insert detailing the band's history (cool "SingSing" style inner labels that are an homage to the OG EMI labels). Word on the street is that Sing Sing's already prepping the next record by these guys for reissue, so WATCH THE FUCK OUT for that one! RECOMMENDED!

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LP - Various Artists - Je Suis Punk - The Very Best Of European Punksploitation - $14.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Super limited new compilation of "fake punk" bands from all-over Europe (France and Belgium primarily + one from Germany). Check out the tracklist and get ready to pogo your pants off!:

"Limited edition complilation LP featuring 12 tracks of European Fake Punk from 1977-1980!  Total Punksploitation!  Selling out never sounded so good!  Pink Vinyl.
Track Listing:
Benny Blue - Made Cap
Geiger - Je Suis Punky
Stefan - J'suis Pas Mechant
Too Much - Silex Pistols
Fancy Rosy - Punk Police
Chrys Alice - Qu'est C' Que J'Deviens Dans Tout Ca
Soda Fraise - Ca Baigne Dans L'huile
Sexe A Pile - Pas Vraiment Mechant
Les Marylenes - Le Beau Tetard Sur Son Cigare
Marie Marie - Do You Do You Brush Your Teeth
Arlequin - Hold Up
Edith Nylon - Waldorf
Johnny Palermo - Saturday Night
Douce Violence - Flash
Classy Punk - French Can Can"

What is "fake punk", you ask? Basically there was a deluge of bands that either formed, were created by majors, or revised their sound in the wake of punk rock's explosion on the scene in the late Seventies cashing in on the "new wave". This stuff is killer and usually ends up sounding just as good if not BETTER than the real "punks" out there - ever hear the Pack LP? How's about FU2? Both 'fake punk' bands that made AMAZING albums free from the constraints of the "scene" and what was expected from it.  These are most likely 15 bands you've never heard of that all had at least ONE hit in 'em - all handily compiled here! Dig in! Pressed up on punky pink vinyl too - RECOMMENDED!

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LP - Various Artists - Fanafody: A Collection of Recordings and Photography from Madagasikara Vol. II - $11.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Biologists love the island of Madagascar for its biodiversity and isolation.  It's that one island off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean with all those lemurs on it, remember?  These recordings are from Montreal-based folk archivist Charlie Brooks's 2002 tour, and feature a music as unique as the animal inhabitants.  The Mississippi description makes note of "violin players and throat-breathing singers," which are abound, but we also hear touches of Brazilian carnivale samba, Caribbean jump, and zydeco mixed in with this bubbling stew, generally as uplifting as any of those typically high-BPM high-intensity genres, but with a strangely relaxing quality as well.  This collection takes its name from the island's practitioners of traditional medicine, and we recommend putting it on in the morning while enjoying some coffee and vanilla (two major exports from Madagascar) to start your day off in a healthy you-zone.  Recommended.

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LP - Melvins - Live At Third Man Records - $12.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

We grabbed a stack of the Melvins devastating live set at Third Man Records; get the full story directly from Third Man:

"Recorded Direct-To-Acetate by the double-drummer quartet on May 30th, 2013 in our Blue Room, this show shook pictures off the walls of Third Man headquarters and had the crowd begging for two things: a pair of earplugs, and for the night to never end. Buy it and spin at maximum volume to experience for yourself..."

Unhinged double drummer lunacy from the legendary Melvins is what one will find on "Live At Third Man Records" as well as another fine addition to any Melvins vinyl collection.  Act fast hombres!  Recommended.

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LP - Don Muro - It's Time - $18.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

With all the self-released records coming back into earshot, it's almost like a Private-Press-A-Palooza in our record racks! Flannelgraph Records and Bloomington based record store Landlocked Records have thrown their collective irons into the fire and reclaimed this lost labour of love from New Yorker Don Muro - it's time we talked about "It's Time", so let's get crackin':

"Originally self-released in 1977, synthesizer pioneer Don Muro's It's Time is the singular work of one man combining his skills as a trained musician with a truly creative spirit and the somewhat unmarketable insistence that all of these different styles of music would make up his debut album. While this kind of genre hopping can often take away from an album's coherence, It's Time works as a whole because these are such well-crafted and interesting songs. At times playfully fun, at times beautifully earnest, It's Time is consistently engaging for its entire 42 minutes. Muro's sincere love of what he is creating shines through whether it's a catchy, triumphant rock anthem, a subtly emotive instrumental synthesizer piece or an intense fusion dance jam.

Having spent much of his life teaching others about the latest music technology through his books, videos, classes and seminars, Muro's influence on electronic music is immeasurable. His demonstration compositions for the legendary Korg M1 helped to make it the world's best selling synthesizer. The recipient of several ASCAP composition awards, Muro's music has been performed everywhere from New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral (where he presented the cathedral's first synthesizer concert) to Disneyland."

This one starts off with a bang! In the liners, Muro explains, "Looking back, I would say that the variety of musical styles is both the strongest and weakest aspect of the album." and the album is indeed a stylistically diverse affair, with measured, experimental electronic pieces, next to cosmic synth burners and acrobatic, near-proggy synthesized workouts (Harold Faltermeyer better watch OUT)! Muro recorded and played everything his own damn self from synth to guitar, to drums (dude is a SMOKIN' drummer). Hell, "Sweet Little Thing" is a city-rockin', power-pop classic just waiting to be uncovered - shine your shoes, pop your collar and get ready! Muro is still an active musician and educator, serving on the board of both TI:ME (the Technology Institute for Music Educators) and the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) and the care he took into making this album is more than evident! Remastered with love by Alex DeTurk at Masterdisk and housed in a glorious repro of the OG sleeve! A stellar production all around - IT'S TIME we added "It's Time" to our collections - nab it NOW! RECOMMENDED!

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LP - Oscillation - From Tomorrow - $17.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Shut the front door!  We collectively lost our shit over the last Oscillation record "Veils" and this new set of jams is pushing the dubbed kosmische majesty to even further reaches.  Get the skinny from All Time Low/Hands In The Dark Records who collabed to bring you these killer sounds:

"The Oscillation's third album ""From Tomorrow"" is an attempt to find some kind of new mental and spiritual zones, away from the psychological effects of the modern urban landscape, and the curious emptiness of the digital social world that we are forced to inhabit. The introversion of these bleak and unsettling conditions are reflected back as music with all the ambiguous emotions of hope, despair, aggression, indolence and narcoleptic bliss. These are the preconditions for the sonic world presented on ""From Tomorrow"". This is music that on one side has been chewed by the teeth of insanity and spat out into a strange landscape, whilst the other is basking in the warmth of a mysterious inner sun. This state of affairs if mirrored by the cover artwork which was created by film maker Julian Hand.  This dystopian psychobabble aside, it is perhaps fitting to reference the musical otherness of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the absurdist punk attitude of The Stranglers ('The Raven' and 'Men In Black' eras), the garage dementia of Helios Creed with the odd snarl of 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'."

"From Tomorrow" is top notch space rock done with ease and class.  A similar vibe to the more recent Lumerians releases coming out as of late but with The Oscillation's unique modern kosmische tones.  Sick rhythms, narrative guitar lines, delayed snare cracks and flanged to infinity space age goodness make up this latest offering from the Oscillation.  Stunningly Recommended.

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LP - Vision Fortune - Night Jukes  - $22.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

The hot-as-shit Cardinal Fuzz label out of the UK has done the whole world a favor and pressed up Vision Fortune's cassette-only release "Night Jukes" onto wax (where it belongs!) - Cardinal Fuzz have peered into their crystal balls and have foretold the future, so read on:

"Hot on the heels of the recently sold out debut album—Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune, Cardinal Fuzz are proud to present the vinyl reissue of Night Jukes by VISION FORTUNE. Previously only available as a cassette only edition on the Italian Beach Babes label, Night Jukes gets a well deserved release onto vinyl. Vision Fortune can take a single idea and run with it, each track becoming a hypnotic meditation of repeato-rock discipline. Taking elements of raga, middle eastern vibes and kraut, Vision Fortune reprocess these into something altogether more ritualistic and uniquely woozy as they guide you through a feverish suite of exotic, undulating grooves. Presented in a reverse board sleeve and cut at 45rpm."

These guys are seriously on a roll! If you were fortunate enough to snag a copy of their OOP LP "Mas Fiestas con el Gruppo Vision Fortune" on Great Pop Supplement then you know what the score is - intense, hypnotic and repetitive grooves that ooze into your earholes like the sweatiest of peyote-fueled bad trips.  If these guys played on a bill with Cave, we think we'd probably lose our goddamn minds! Not sure how many of these are floating around and the Cardinal Fuzz stuff seems to come and go pretty quickly, so we'd recommend snagging this one ASAP before they disappear in a puff of hooka smoke! RECOMMENDED!

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LP - Third Sound - The Third Sound Of Destruction And Creation - Import - $31.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Yep you guessed it… another fine outing from the unstoppable Fuzz Club Records camp.  Get the full scoop directly fro the label:

"On "The Third Sound of Destruction & Creation", the band move from the realms of realityand into that of the thoughtful imagination. Serene guitars penetrate over the husky vocals, unlocking the doors of the surreal, the glimmering waves of percussion collectively consume the listener.  The sophisticated spiritual leaning of the record makes it impossible to catagorise, The Third Sound present a darker side to rock and roll with touches of psychedlia, its gliding nature comes into a whole new magical world of its own."

Gleaming guitars, thick sustained bass lines, a steady beat, shimmering keyboards and breathy almost whispered vocals drive this record of slow burn spiritual psychedelia. This is the first we've heard of Third Sound and we're liking what we're hearing a lot; hints of Spiritualized, label mates Singapore Sling and Underground Youth, a touch of the Bad Seeds dark beauty and nuance is making for some lovely listening indeed.  "The Third Sound Of Destruction And Creation" is a hand-numbered edition of 250 on thick black wax and you bet it comes with our highest Recommendation.

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LP - Sylvie Vartan - Sylvie - Import - $23.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Ooh-la-la! The French Pop reissues keep comin' and we couldn't be happier! Doxy Records continues their reissue onslaught with this killer debut platter from yé-yé chanteuse Sylvie Vartain - ecouté:

"Sylvie Vartan's seminal 1962 debut LP transformed the 18-year-old collegiénne du twist into the French pop diva, whose songs (and high-profile marriage to Johnny Hallyday) would dominate the European pop charts throughout the 1960s. Songs like 'Est-ce que tu le sais' and 'Le Loco-motion' -- remakes of Ray Charles' 'What I'd Say' and Little Eva's 'Locomotion' -- became two of her first smash hits."" Comes on 180 gram vinyl. "

Trivia factoid: Vartan was actually Bulgarian, but her family relocated to France when she was only ten years old. and this album right here - her debut - was issued a scant eight years later, mixing a smattering of tunes and covers by various songwriters and popular artists including Burt Bacharach and Ray Charles sung in Vartan's adopted ! Vartan's got a killer set of pipes too, reminding us of a French (or Bulgarian - ha!) Dusty Springfield - a solid yé-yé album and a great one to spin at parties! We're huge fans of this stuff, so you know the one comes trés RECOMMENDED!

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LP - White Hills - So You Are... So You'll Be w/ Bonus 12in - $22.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

Thrill Jockey unleashes the latest by New York's White Hills and it is not to be missed, get the long and the short of it down below:

Long after man has ceased to exist; long after the mountains have fallen into the sea; long after the oceans have boiled dry; long after the sun has burst and evaporated planet Earth - humankind’s mark on the universe will still be felt. There will be a circular ripple of radio waves created during the 20th and 21st Centuries traveling ever outwards into the cosmos for all eternity, as if caused by a tiny pebble dropped into a perfectly still pond. And this thin, elegant wave will contain the only remnants of what we were. In it will be all of our films, radio, television, electronic communications and internet activity. It will contain all of our art, history, news and entertainment, in all of its stupidity, glory, inconsequentiality and brilliance, heading outwards across the void to the ends of time itself.

And riding this wave, out past the Shoulder of Orion, through the Tannhauser Gate, way out into the Hubble deep field will be the brightest of pulses of information encoded into peaks and troughs. And when this pulse reaches out where evolution itself has evolved into something new, it will hit the equivalent of a being, who will turn to the equivalent of a friend and use its equivalent to a mouth to say the equivalent of: “Dude…. Seriously… Dude… Did you just hear that?”

Because New York space rock trio White Hills are the opposite of a comet. They suck up an explosion of energy on the surface of the Earth; from the history of amplified rock music, from the weather, from spirituality, from adrenaline, from the history of synthesized electronic music, from substance use, from philosophy, from friends and enemies alike, from mother fucking electricity, and they focus it into a blinding beam of energy which they reflect back out into the void. And this beam is a message. It is a statement which reads: “Fuck you. We are here. We rock, therefore we are.”

August sees the release of their seventh full-length studio album, which is entitled So You Are… So You’ll Be. Featuring Dave W on guitars, synthesizer and vocals, Ego Sensation on bass, synthesizer and vocals, and Nick Name on drums, this is their most concentrated blast of psychedelic interstellar rock to date. The band also appears in Jim Jarmusch’s upcoming film Only Lovers Left Alive, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year, alongside Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, and John Hurt.

The LP is a blazing totem of rock and roll empowerment and will to power achievement, as if overseen by the spirit of Nietzsche wearing leather trousers, mirror shades, a well fitted Cuban shirt and wielding a Flying V. Building on the solid foundations laid by last year’s excellent Frying On This Rock, they went back to BC Studios, Brooklyn to record once more with Martin Bisi. This time they could easily have released a great triple album but felt that they would sooner abandon most of the material in order to get the most concentrated blast of White Hills at their fullest potential possible onto one disc.

After the deconditioning and deprogramming blast of electronic noise which is ‘InWords,’ the album opens properly with the call to arms, ‘In Your Room’ – a skyscraper razing slab of Mudhoney strength mantra metal, which bids you abandon all doubt and fear so you can start your quest into inner space. For tuned in, turned on heads there is ‘The Internal Monologue’, an ecstatic shivering sliver of celestial acidic drone followed by the post-Hawkwind, post Loop transmission of ‘So You Are… So You’ll Be’. There is more computerised deprogramming via ‘OutWords’ before White Hills command that you cower before the altar of the Stoogian proto-riff, the holy Ur-riff, the mind warping, silver machine-tooled hyper riff, that is ‘Forever In Space (Enlightened)’. But after this cataclysmic shock, there is barely time to process what just happened before you are lowered into the howling lysergic swamp rock of ‘Rare Upon The Earth’ with only the echoing synthesized landscape of ‘Circulating’ offering some respite. The album builds effortlessly to the sumptuous ‘MIST (Winter)’ which features a John Carpenter synth line engine inserted into glistening La Dusseldorf chassis, forming some kind of god-like chariot.

In their eight-year history that has seen the release of seven studio albums and countless collaborations, split albums, EPs, live CDs, tour only singles, 7”s, limited edition CDrs and other spin offs, this is White Hills’ finest achievement to date… and that’s saying something. But this in turn says something about Dave W’s need to keep on bettering what he has already achieved. He certainly answered his calling - to boldly lead the faithful into the furthest and most uncharted reaches of cosmic rock.

Since then they have gone on to set the international gold standard in what it means to be a space rock band in the 21st Century. But perhaps it’s best to let Dave himself explain what space rock actually means to him: “Heavy psychedelic music can deliver the thinking mind through a door to the greater universe. I want people to find a space for meditation. We all are constantly barraged and beaten down with a lot of bullshit today. Personally, I find that spaced-out extreme music transports me to a very tranquil place. I hope, more than anything, our music brings others to that place of enlightenment and ecstasy."

Far in baby. Far in.

-John Doran, May 2013."

White Hills blast out a scorching collection of WHITE-HOT space rock, mind flaying head bangers and psychotropic drones on "So You Are… So You'll Be" that'll carry you over to the other side.  So drop the needle and break on through!  Totally Recommended.

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7in - Hecks - Trust And Order b/w The Time I Played With My Puppy (White Vinyl Ltd 100) - $6.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

The mighty Moniker Records fuels forward into 2013 with another walloping release of outsider art school noise pop from Chicago up and comers The Hecks, here's what the Moniker peeps are providin':

"Adorned as Chicago’s Best New Rock Duo in 2012 by the Chicago Reader, The Hecks are critically acclaimed newcomers that cannot be contained by classification. Commonly connected with critical genres “garage” and “noise,” on their debut Moniker Records 7”, Zach Hebert and Andrew Mosiman move beyond those confines to create winding pop gems that steadily shift between pulsating rhythms, unexpected fragments, and unrestrained feedback.
Conveying their open-minded creativity and development as a young band, the ringing guitar theme on “Trust and Order” weaves between a celebratory drum introduction and rhythmic left turns. By contrast,  the echoed-feedback vocals of “The Time I Played with My Puppy” jump from a rowdy country (religious? Spiritual? Revivalist?) stomp to blistering signal degradation.
This is not cerebral noise. This is a joyful fantasy gone awry, or a surprising, friendly memory restored from the wreckage. The Hecks ultimately show that playing as two results not in basic dualities or opposition, but a diverse series of adventures."

 With catchy guitar lines and a steady backbeat this young duo are making tunes that are reminiscent of early Flying Nun groups and the Xpressway catalog.  B-side cut "The Time I Play With My Puppy" is reminding us of Factums side project Le Sang Song with it's guitar driven feedback floating fluidity while the A-side opener "Trust And Order" is a picture perfect cut of a group supplying easy going laid back outsider pop that warrants many a re-spin.  Severely Recommended.

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7in - Lucrate Milk - Lustiges Tierquartett - $9.99 - BUYbuy - LISTEN listen

 Danger Records outta Paris offers up this legit reissue of the Lucrate Milk 1981 single.  Primitive, primal and angular DIY post punk skronk ragers with bleating saxophones, wonky bass grooves, tribal drumming and frenzied female yelps are what Lucrate Milk are bringing to the table.  So if you like Liliput/Kleenex, Messthetics comps, the Slits or Bush Tetras then grab this slab of art damaged early French punk weirdness.  Comes housed in a 6 panel fold out photo collage sleeve just like the original!  Spastically Recommended.