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Two Weeks: Rock (All)

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House Of Sugar (heavyweight vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: WIGLP 451. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Walk Away (4:19)
  2. Hope (2:36)
  3. Southern Sky (3:14)
  4. Gretel (3:06)
  5. Taking (2:13)
  6. Near (2:09)
  7. Project 2 (2:25)
  8. Bad Man (1:35)
  9. Sugar (2:42)
  10. In My Arms (2:43)
  11. Cow (2:45)
  12. Crime (3:59)
  13. SugarHouse (live) (3:42)
Review: If you're new to the Alex Giannascoli's world then make yourself comfortable - chances are, like us, you'll be here for a while. There are so many tangents, threads and stylistic shifts of shape it's possible to dive into his back catalogue and spend years never getting bored. It's now far quicker to understand what we're talking about, though, thanks to his latest album. There are multiple personalities at play here than you'd think could be coherent, but coherent this record is. Opener "Walk Away" sounds like an overview of the whole thing - growing from desperate cry into a grandiose, captivating thing of real beauty via reversed-out backing track and looped lyrics. All very Beta Band. From there we're locked-in, through the shimmering melodies of "Taking" to "Sugar"'s deep, tense atmospheric crescendos and vocoders. Ending on the stunning brass-accented blues rock of "SugarHouse (Live)", it's as complete a record as you could ask for.
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 in stock $19.25
Ma (140 gram vinyl LP + insert + booklet)
Cat: 007559 7924077. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Is This Nice? (2:56)
  2. Kantori Ongaku (3:36)
  3. Ami (3:53)
  4. Memorial (4:33)
  5. Carolina (2:35)
  6. Now All Gone (3:36)
  7. Love Song (4:24)
  8. Abre Las Manos (3:32)
  9. Taking A Page (3:40)
  10. October 12 (3:07)
  11. My Boyfriend's In The Band (3:34)
  12. The Lost Coast (3:06)
  13. Will I See You Tonight? (feat Vashti Bunyan) (3:22)
Review: Where would we be without our mothers? Literally nowhere, of course, given the medical facts of life. But psychologically and spiritually somewhere very different, too. Just ask Devendra Banhart, whose latest, heartbreaking and poignant LP packs intimidating strength and thoughtful themes by the birth-giving load. Here the synths that dominated more recent albums are replaced by instruments best described as "a bit earthier", with strings and woodwinds joining brass and keys. Despite its title, this album is less a dedication to motherhood itself and more a meditation on emotional ties and links in general. "Memorial", for example, is about the death of Banhart's father, while elsewhere we are told love is like "crowd surfing in an empty club". As per usual, Banhart's songwriting verges on mania, recalling the late-Daniel Johnston's razor sharp observations wrapped in innocent imagery, while the instrumentation conjures Burt Bacharach and the like.
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 in stock $25.75
Ma (limited transparent red vinyl LP + poster + booklet)
Cat: 007559 7923599. Rel: 18 Sep 19
  1. Is This Nice? (2:52)
  2. Kantori Ongaku (3:36)
  3. Ami (3:54)
  4. Memorial (4:37)
  5. Carolina (2:28)
  6. Now All Gone (3:36)
  7. Love Song (4:19)
  8. Abre Las Manos (3:32)
  9. Taking A Page (3:34)
  10. October 12 (3:03)
  11. My Boyfriend's In The Band (3:28)
  12. The Lost Coast (3:08)
  13. Will I See You Tonight? (feat Vashti Bunyan) (3:20)
Review: Where would we be without our mothers? Literally nowhere, of course, given the medical facts of life. But psychologically and spiritually somewhere very different, too. Just ask Devendra Banhart, whose latest, heartbreaking and poignant LP packs intimidating strength and thoughtful themes by the birth-giving load. Here the synths that dominated more recent albums are replaced by instruments best described as "a bit earthier", with strings and woodwinds joining brass and keys. Despite its title, this album is less a dedication to motherhood itself and more a meditation on emotional ties and links in general. "Memorial", for example, is about the death of Banhart's father, while elsewhere we are told love is like "crowd surfing in an empty club". As per usual, Banhart's songwriting verges on mania, recalling the late-Daniel Johnston's razor sharp observations wrapped in innocent imagery, while the instrumentation conjures Burt Bacharach and the like.
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 in stock $26.27
Lost Girls (clear splattered vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: BATFL 01LPX. Rel: 02 Sep 19
  1. Kids In The Dark (2:00)
  2. The Hunger (2:00)
  3. Feel For You (2:00)
  4. Desert Man (2:00)
  5. Jasmine (2:00)
  6. Vampires (2:00)
  7. So Good (2:00)
  8. Safe Tonight (2:00)
  9. Peach Sky (2:00)
  10. Mountains (2:00)
Review: Don't believe everything you read - the fifth Bat For Lashes album confirms this girl (or woman) found herself musically and thematically some time ago, freeing up creative energy to explore new approaches to deliver her often mournful, always heartfelt songs inspired by personal crises and private longings. On this outing there's more than a hint of 1980s pop evident in the mix. Shades of Prince ("Feel For You"), Madonna ("So Good"), Bowie's Berlin days and electro-era Gary Numan (the stunning, infectious instrumental "Vampires") cast the record in a nostalgia that suits the sense of yearning that always seems to pervade Natasha Khan's work. Simply name-checking reference points is lazy and unfair, though. This is an incredible collection of tracks moulded in the artist's own image - bold, beautiful and instantly captivating. Then again, it would be surprising if anyone had expected anything less.
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 in stock $18.72
Lost Girls (LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: BATFL 01LP. Rel: 02 Sep 19
  1. Kids In The Dark (3:21)
  2. The Hunger (4:52)
  3. Feel For You (3:34)
  4. Desert Man (3:23)
  5. Jasmine (2:52)
  6. Vampires (3:02)
  7. So Good (3:33)
  8. Safe Tonight (4:15)
  9. Peach Sky (4:31)
  10. Mountains (4:35)
Review: Don't believe everything you read - the fifth Bat For Lashes album confirms this girl (or woman) found herself musically and thematically some time ago, freeing up creative energy to explore new approaches to deliver her often mournful, always heartfelt songs inspired by personal crises and private longings. On this outing there's more than a hint of 1980s pop evident in the mix. Shades of Prince ("Feel For You"), Madonna ("So Good"), Bowie's Berlin days and electro-era Gary Numan (the stunning, infectious instrumental "Vampires") cast the record in a nostalgia that suits the sense of yearning that always seems to pervade Natasha Khan's work. Simply name-checking reference points is lazy and unfair, though. This is an incredible collection of tracks moulded in the artist's own image - bold, beautiful and instantly captivating. Then again, it would be surprising if anyone had expected anything less.
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 in stock $17.95
Days Of The Bagnold Summer (gatefold LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: OLE 14551. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Sister Buddha (Intro) (3:00)
  2. I Know Where The Summer Goes (4:23)
  3. Did The Day Go Just Like You Wanted? (3:10)
  4. Jill Pole (3:01)
  5. I'll Keep It Inside (1:55)
  6. Safety Valve (3:00)
  7. The Colour's Gonna Run (2:21)
  8. Another Day, Another Night (1:32)
  9. Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying (3:56)
  10. Wait & See What The Day Holds (3:16)
  11. Sister Buddha (4:05)
  12. This Letter (3:24)
  13. We Were Never Glorious (5:22)
Review: Considering their penchant for spinning yarns and the cinematographically-suited nature of much of their work, it's surprising "Days Of The Bagnold Summer" is only Belle & Sebastian's second shot at a movie score. The last was 2001's '"Storytelling", accompanying Todd Solondz's movie of the same name, and they certainly did a good job then. So, high expectations this time round. For those unfamiliar, their latest foray into the film world partners the directorial debut of Simon Bird, best known to many as one of "The Inbetweeners". The flick, an adaptation of Joff Winterhart's 2012 graphic novel, chronicles the life and times of a teenage metalhead and his single mother. The album perfectly accompanies but also contributes to that tale. Highly emotive instrumental tracks and classic B&S songs-proper, this OST is destined to go down well with the band's true believers.
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 in stock $16.13
Miami Memory (limited gatefold blue vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: SC 378LPC1. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Stepdad (4:15)
  2. Miami Memory (4:23)
  3. Far From Born Again (4:14)
  4. Gaslight (4:21)
  5. Bad For The Boys (4:39)
  6. End Is Nigh (3:03)
  7. PC With Me (2:34)
  8. Divorce (3:12)
  9. Other Ladies (3:46)
  10. Too Far (4:07)
Review: If there were still justice in the digital age, and artists really got what was owed to them exposure-wise, Alex Cameron would be a safe bet for leftfield pop sensation. A multi-faceted songwriter, his previous two albums took us through a horror show of horrible characters and their innermost thoughts, twin roads that have somehow veered onto another course altogether for "Miami Memory". Here a much friendlier face is donned. Nevertheless, opener "Stepdad" makes intentions clear, with uptempo keyboard lines invoking the emotional qualities of mid-80s Prince. "Far From Born Again" tells the story of a "her" who's making bad choices, and the potential fallout of that, set to a Bruce Springsteen-sounding chorus, the likes of which can be found again on "Divorce". Not holding back, but instead holding a light up to a different side of his personality, it's Cameron's most positive to date and his best.
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 in stock $17.95
Miami Memory (cassette)
Cat: SC 378CASS. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Stepdad (4:20)
  2. Miami Memory (4:31)
  3. Far From Born Again (4:21)
  4. Gaslight (4:28)
  5. Bad For The Boys (4:48)
  6. End Is Nigh (3:05)
  7. PC With Me (2:39)
  8. Divorce (3:16)
  9. Other Ladies (3:51)
  10. Too Far (4:20)
Review: If there were still justice in the digital age, and artists really got what was owed to them exposure-wise, Alex Cameron would be a safe bet for leftfield pop sensation. A multi-faceted songwriter, his previous two albums took us through a horror show of horrible characters and their innermost thoughts, twin roads that have somehow veered onto another course altogether for "Miami Memory". Here a much friendlier face is donned. Nevertheless, opener "Stepdad" makes intentions clear, with uptempo keyboard lines invoking the emotional qualities of mid-80s Prince. "Far From Born Again" tells the story of a "her" who's making bad choices, and the potential fallout of that, set to a Bruce Springsteen-sounding chorus, the likes of which can be found again on "Divorce". Not holding back, but instead holding a light up to a different side of his personality, it's Cameron's most positive to date and his best.
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 in stock $7.80
Eric B Is President (7" limited to 300 copies)
Cat: TIC 006. Rel: 02 Sep 19
  1. Eric B & Rakim - "Eric B Is President" (3:50)
  2. Mountain - "Long Red" (3:46)
Review: Since launching last year, Lil Static has offered up new, lightly altered editions of classic tracks from Jeru the Damaja, Kraftwerk, Run-DMC, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. Here they continue to serve up vital beats for break-digging DJs via classic cuts from Eric B. & Rakim and Mountain. The A side sports an edited version of 1986 cut "Eric B. Is President", a synth-bass propelled NYC hip-hop gem rich in unmistakable rap vocals and tight scratching. Over on side B there's a chance to savour Mountain's late '60s rock cut that provided the Eric B. & Rakim track (and so many others since) with its distinctive drum break, "Long Red". This edited version gives more prominence to the breaks, making it an ideal mixing tool for hip-hop DJs.
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Gespielt von: I Love Hip Hop
 in stock $10.39
Close It Quietly (limited yellow vinyl LP + insert + MP3 download code)
Cat: SP 1320X. Rel: 06 Sep 19
  1. Moonsea (2:02)
  2. Cosmic Shop (1:52)
  3. 41st (2:06)
  4. So Blue (2:20)
  5. A Joke (2:12)
  6. Rings (On A Tree) (1:43)
  7. Actin' Weird (1:10)
  8. Windows (2:45)
  9. Never Would (1:46)
  10. Self-destruct (0:46)
  11. Wannago (3:17)
  12. I'm It (1:59)
  13. Trunk Of A Tree (0:57)
  14. Last Season's Textures (2:04)
  15. Even Though I Knew (1:32)
  16. UFO (1:42)
  17. Marbles (2:11)
  18. Did You Find (1:14)
  19. A Hit (1:25)
  20. With Great Purpose (1:23)
  21. This Swirling (2:48)
Review: When bands hit album four, two things can happen - or three. Some suffer from a crisis of creativity, opting to regurgitate or, worse still, stagnate. Others opt for reinvention, with as many getting it right as going well off-piste, alienating faithful fans in the process. The lucky ones, meanwhile, hit the nail on the head with their most accomplished and complete work to date. Consider Frankie Cosmos among the lucky ones, then, not that luck had much to do with it. Recorded in their New York hometown, everything about the record feels comfortable in that there's nothing forced, and yet it engages and grabs from the off. Lilting, lo-fi rock 'n' roll odes to love, life and the genre itself, anyone who's ever wondered what Cate Le Bon might sound like having a pancake breakfast with The Orielles should grab a seat at this table.
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 in stock $21.84
Anak Ko (limited gatefold 180 gram splattered vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: PRC 390LP. Rel: 02 Sep 19
  1. If You Want It (3:18)
  2. Superbike (3:52)
  3. Peace Out (4:18)
  4. Devotion (3:32)
  5. Nighttime Drive (3:14)
  6. Tenderness (4:01)
  7. Anak Ko (3:39)
  8. Crown (4:38)
  9. Get Well (3:59)
Review: By the time you reach the muffled, eccentric opening bars of "Tenderness", just past halfway on "Anak Ko", Jay Som's remit is clear. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter has left her shoes, or rather shoegaze, behind. This time she's walking barefoot through a lo-fi musical tapestry, baring soles and heartbreak while musing on the importance of self-value. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the head-noddingly agreeable "Nighttime Drive" to the jerking, grunge-y "Peace Out", it's equal parts gorgeous and effortlessly- not to mention breathily- cool, sexy and surprising. Perhaps what's most reassuring, though, is that there's every chance this could all come across as affected and a little too self-aware. Nothing could be further from the truth from what we can hear- an honest work representing the next step in the evolution of a truly exciting American indie talent.
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 in stock $25.23
Diabolique (gatefold 180 gram red vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: BEC 5650024. Rel: 11 Sep 19
  1. Une Lune Etrange (4:52)
  2. Lou (3:41)
  3. Dreams (3:13)
  4. La Brigade Des Malefices (4:37)
  5. On Dansait Avec Elle (3:37)
  6. Ghost Rider (5:45)
  7. Grande (2:50)
  8. Springfield 61 (3:39)
  9. Un Rituel Inhabituel (4:18)
  10. The Last Picture Show (3:07)
Review: There has been plenty said about debutants L'Epee since their single "Dreams" turned heads back in spring. Combining the talents of Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre), French artist Emmanuelle Seigner, and polished-to-a-sheen pop outfit The Liminanas, it's one of the most refreshing (and French) things you're likely to hear all year. That's more of a reference to the cinematic feeling that defines the album, owing much to the femme fatale vocal delivery, rather than the language each line is sung in. At once evoking the smoky cool of Serge Gainsbourg and the opiate moods of The Velvet Underground, "Diabolique" feels born in a time when psychedelic experimentation and chart topping music weren't mutually exclusive. At once sophisticated and hedonistic, it's a sexy, sensual and overwhelmingly seductive effort everyone should turn themselves on to.
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 in stock $19.75
The Competition (Deluxe Edition) (limited heavyweight clear vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: RBN 070LPX. Rel: 06 Sep 19
  1. Galapagos (4:12)
  2. Hand Of God (3:53)
  3. Two Faced Love (4:32)
  4. Young Republicans (3:49)
  5. Real Thing (4:07)
  6. Buster Keaton (3:42)
  7. I Drive (3:45)
  8. Simple Life (4:32)
  9. Empire Sundown (3:55)
  10. Lucky People (3:48)
  11. In Your House (3:24)
Review: The return of Baltimore's Lower Dens - now with half as many members as last time we caught up with them - could have been entitled "The Contrast", although that may be stating the obvious. As anyone familiar with the outfit's combination of heartfelt vocal delivery, dream pop ambience and brutally honest socio-political commentary will understand. It's a unique combination for a band that, on first contact, sound like they should be all about the love songs. Then again, there's an air of jilted love, or at least just jilted, about numbers like "Young Republicans", sliding into waves of powerful synth as Jana Hunter waxes lyrical about the world burning. While many of today's pop bands nod to the 1980s, Lower Dens are particularly convincing given the decade was, for many, defined by the death of America's big dream and a realisation that societal progress could be a 20th Century myth. Uptempo but stark stuff.
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 in stock $24.19
The Competition (heavyweight vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: RBN 070LP. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Galapagos (4:12)
  2. Hand Of God (3:53)
  3. Two Faced Love (4:32)
  4. Young Republicans (3:49)
  5. Real Thing (4:07)
  6. Buster Keaton (3:42)
  7. I Drive (3:45)
  8. Simple Life (4:32)
  9. Empire Sundown (3:55)
  10. Lucky People (3:48)
  11. In Your House (3:24)
Review: The return of Baltimore's Lower Dens - now with half as many members as last time we caught up with them - could have been entitled "The Contrast", although that may be stating the obvious. As anyone familiar with the outfit's combination of heartfelt vocal delivery, dream pop ambience and brutally honest socio-political commentary will understand. It's a unique combination for a band that, on first contact, sound like they should be all about the love songs. Then again, there's an air of jilted love, or at least just jilted, about numbers like "Young Republicans", sliding into waves of powerful synth as Jana Hunter waxes lyrical about the world burning. While many of today's pop bands nod to the 1980s, Lower Dens are particularly convincing given the decade was, for many, defined by the death of America's big dream and a realisation that societal progress could be a 20th Century myth. Uptempo but stark stuff.
Read more
 in stock $20.80
Metronomy Forever (limited gatefold 2xLP + MP3 download code)
Cat: BEC 5650091. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Wedding (1:00)
  2. Whitsand Bay (3:50)
  3. Insecurity (3:52)
  4. Salted Caramel Ice Cream (3:25)
  5. Driving (0:57)
  6. Lately (0:30)
  7. Lying Low (0:30)
  8. Forever Is A Long Time (0:30)
  9. The Light (0:30)
  10. Sex Emoji (0:30)
  11. Walking In The Dark (0:30)
  12. Insecure (0:30)
  13. Miracle Rooftop (0:30)
  14. Upset My Girlfriend (0:30)
  15. Wedding Bells (0:30)
  16. Lately (Going Spare) (0:30)
  17. UR Mixtape (0:30)
Review: God bless Metronomy. Pioneers of a dance-indie crossover that was less garish and day-glow hued than the Nu Rave movement dominant back then. Their sixth full-length comes in the 10th anniversary year of their first, and proves the band have grown and fine-tuned, rather than got lost and forgotten why they came out to begin with. Despite clear development, though, the spirit of that inaugural effort is still here, and arguably in more generous helpings than any outing between then and now. Equal parts playful and earnest, there's plenty here to fall in love with. Single-worthy outings like the bouncy, floor-filler "Salted Caramel Ice Cream" and the appropriately titled pairing "Wedding" and "Wedding Bells" are confident and big room sounding. "The Light" veers into dubbier, more introverted directions, whereas "Upset My Girlfriend" shows them at their most heart-achingly beautiful and human. Exquisite, as usual.
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 in stock $23.15
Metronomy Forever (Deluxe Edition) (limited gatefold coloured vinyl 3xLP + MP3 download code)
Cat: BEC 5650176. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Wedding (1:00)
  2. Whitsand Bay (3:50)
  3. Insecurity (3:52)
  4. Salted Caramel Ice Cream (3:25)
  5. Driving (0:57)
  6. Lately
  7. Lying Low
  8. Forever Is A Long Time
  9. The Light
  10. Sex Emoji
  11. Walking In The Dark
  12. Insecure
  13. Miracle Rooftop
  14. Upset My Girlfriend
  15. Wedding Bells
  16. Lately (Going Spare)
  17. Ur Mixtape
  18. Vocal FX (It's Automatic) (5:00)
  19. Mellow Brass (Lately/Whitsand Bay) (4:21)
  20. Bold Brass (Maybe It's A Whisper) (4:03)
  21. Fantasy Flute (interlude) (1:54)
  22. Distant Horn (Salted Caramel Ice Cream) (3:42)
  23. Synth Bass (Sex Emoji) (4:10)
  24. Glide Trumpet (The Light) (5:15)
  25. Plucked Guitar (Upset My Girlfriend) (1:57)
Review: God bless Metronomy. Pioneers of a dance-indie crossover that was less garish and day-glow hued than the Nu Rave movement dominant back then. Their sixth full-length comes in the 10th anniversary year of their first, and proves the band have grown and fine-tuned, rather than got lost and forgotten why they came out to begin with. Despite clear development, though, the spirit of that inaugural effort is still here, and arguably in more generous helpings than any outing between then and now. Equal parts playful and earnest, there's plenty here to fall in love with. Single-worthy outings like the bouncy, floor-filler "Salted Caramel Ice Cream" and the appropriately titled pairing "Wedding" and "Wedding Bells" are confident and big room sounding. "The Light" veers into dubbier, more introverted directions, whereas "Upset My Girlfriend" shows them at their most heart-achingly beautiful and human. Exquisite, as usual.
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 in stock $29.91
Corpse Flower (gatefold marbled vinyl LP + MP3 download code in spot-varnished sleeve)
Cat: IPC 211LP. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Ballade C33 (3:23)
  2. Camion (3:23)
  3. Chansons D'Amour (4:21)
  4. Cold Sun Warm Beer (3:39)
  5. Browning (3:14)
  6. Hungry Ghost (3:53)
  7. Corpse Flower (2:55)
  8. Insolubles (4:09)
  9. On Top Of The World (3:18)
  10. Yard Bull (4:21)
  11. A Schoolgirl's Day (3:26)
  12. Pink & Bleue (3:19)
Review: Half journeyman, half David Lynch bar scene, all twisted crooner-dom, and at least a little tongue in cheek, Mike Patton & Jean Claude Vannier are aiming straight for the alternatives with this 12-strong collection of bizarre ballads and obscure odes that will appeal to rarer tastebuds. There's the spoken word and strummed guitars guiding us through the various parts of "A Schoolgirl's Day". The Sinatra-does-sarcasm of closer "Pink & Bleue", and the way "Hungry Ghost" aurally recalls "Everybody Knows" by Leonard Cohen. Truly unique stuff, despite its debt of gratitude to troubadour totems, counterculture rock and The Rat Pack, it's as rooted in the 21st Century as anything you'll hear today. The production process involved two creators in two different parts of the world, Patton and band in L.A., Vannier with a full orchestra in Vienna. Not that you can tell considering how complete the record feels.
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 in stock $20.80
Beneath The Eyrie (limited gatefold coloured vinyl LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: 405053 8513981. Rel: 18 Sep 19
  1. In The Arms Of Mrs Mark Of Cain (3:59)
  2. Graveyard Hill (3:29)
  3. Catfish Kate (3:09)
  4. This Is My Fate (3:18)
  5. Ready For Love (2:33)
  6. Silver Bullet (3:44)
  7. Long Rider (3:33)
  8. Los Surfers Muertos (2:55)
  9. St Nazaire (2:31)
  10. Bird Of Prey (2:39)
  11. Daniel Boone (4:53)
  12. Death Horizon (2:03)
Review: When the end days come and it's finally time to write the complete story of American rock 'n' roll, surely Pixies will get their own chapter. Legends of the grunge world, often known for a stylistic simplicity (quiet-LOUD anyone?) but unafraid to go out on a psychedelic limb when the moment suits, they've towered above the majority of acts for 28 years and, as "Beneath The Eyrie" proves, still have plenty to say. "In The Arms of Mrs Mark Of Cain" starts proceedings on a gothic-Western hybrid tip, setting things up perfectly for any song named "Graveyard Hill". Realistically when that track does arrive it switches the mood with a nod to the band's archetypal punk-infused sound, and that's precisely the point. Apparently betting the farm on this one, it's got everything from psych-folk to Tim Burton-ish ghoulish wit, making for the band's finest hour since their 2004 reformation.
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 in stock $23.15
Beneath The Eyrie (gatefold LP + MP3 download code)
Cat: 405053 8513974. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. In The Arms Of Mrs Mark Of Cain (4:07)
  2. Graveyard Hill (3:27)
  3. Catfish Kate (3:10)
  4. This Is My Fate (3:15)
  5. Ready For Love (2:39)
  6. Silver Bullet (3:43)
  7. Long Rider (3:35)
  8. Los Surfers Muertos (2:55)
  9. St Nazaire (2:26)
  10. Bird Of Prey (2:38)
  11. Daniel Boone (4:52)
  12. Death Horizon (2:08)
Review: When the end days come and it's finally time to write the complete story of American rock 'n' roll, surely Pixies will get their own chapter. Legends of the grunge world, often known for a stylistic simplicity (quiet-LOUD anyone?) but unafraid to go out on a psychedelic limb when the moment suits, they've towered above the majority of acts for 28 years and, as "Beneath The Eyrie" proves, still have plenty to say. "In The Arms of Mrs Mark Of Cain" starts proceedings on a gothic-Western hybrid tip, setting things up perfectly for any song named "Graveyard Hill". Realistically when that track does arrive it switches the mood with a nod to the band's archetypal punk-infused sound, and that's precisely the point. Apparently betting the farm on this one, it's got everything from psych-folk to Tim Burton-ish ghoulish wit, making for the band's finest hour since their 2004 reformation.
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 in stock $20.80
Pang! (green vinyl LP)
Cat: RT 0086LP. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Pang! (2:48)
  2. Bae Bae Bae (4:11)
  3. Digidigol (3:03)
  4. Ara Deg (Ddaw'r Awen) (2:38)
  5. Eli Haul (2:37)
  6. Niwl O Anwiredd (3:50)
  7. Taranau Mai (3:35)
  8. Ol Bys/Nodau Clust (3:55)
  9. Annedd I'm Danedd (3:11)
Review: A Welsh language album with a couple of verses in Zulu and an English title. If one thing was already clear about the enigmatic Gruff Rhys it's that he doesn't play strictly by numbers, making "Pang!" a logical addition to this oeuvre. If, of course, you're familiar with his oeuvre. Opening with its titular track, the artist immediately makes the few remaining newcomers to his work aware of his deft skills. Complex guitar instrumentation, soft, padding, exotic drum arrangements and - for most people - foreign lyrics. We're immediately transported to faraway climes, and it's here we stay. Playful percussion and looped six strings on "Niwl O Anwiredd". The celebratory "Ara Deg (Ddaw'r Awen)", which recalls sub-Saharan crossover pop. The surreal atmosphere of "Digidigol" - where marching band meets opera in a haze of lilting chords. Put simply, it might be Rhys' most explorative yet, and that's saying something.
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 in stock $16.13
Pang! (Deluxe Edition) (limited heavyweight splattered vinyl LP + poster)
Cat: RT 0086LPE. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Pang! (2:48)
  2. Bae Bae Bae (4:11)
  3. Digidigol (3:03)
  4. Ara Deg (Ddaw'r Awen) (2:38)
  5. Eli Haul (2:37)
  6. Niwl O Anwiredd (3:50)
  7. Taranau Mai (3:35)
  8. Ol Bys/Nodau Clust (3:55)
  9. Annedd I'm Danedd (3:11)
Review: A Welsh language album with a couple of verses in Zulu and an English title. If one thing was already clear about the enigmatic Gruff Rhys it's that he doesn't play strictly by numbers, making "Pang!" a logical addition to this oeuvre. If, of course, you're familiar with his oeuvre. Opening with its titular track, the artist immediately makes the few remaining newcomers to his work aware of his deft skills. Complex guitar instrumentation, soft, padding, exotic drum arrangements and - for most people - foreign lyrics. We're immediately transported to faraway climes, and it's here we stay. Playful percussion and looped six strings on "Niwl O Anwiredd". The celebratory "Ara Deg (Ddaw'r Awen)", which recalls sub-Saharan crossover pop. The surreal atmosphere of "Digidigol" - where marching band meets opera in a haze of lilting chords. Put simply, it might be Rhys' most explorative yet, and that's saying something.
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 in stock $24.19
Lookout Low (heavyweight vinyl LP)
Cat: COMM 323. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Casey's Groove (3:56)
  2. Laid In Gold (3:16)
  3. Better Than Stoned (4:23)
  4. Unfamiliar Sun (4:24)
  5. Dance Through It (4:45)
  6. Lookout Low (3:56)
  7. Ferry Song (3:49)
  8. Under A Smile (3:52)
  9. Oh Mama (5:42)
  10. Sunken II (4:28)
Review: You could almost be forgiven for thinking "Dance Through It", track five on this warm and groovy outing from Twin Peaks, was the work of Simply Red. Guitar licks and funky keyboards are set to a leisurely tempo, the song itself telling the story of a girl with something to hide, who uses musical expression - specifically dance - to mask those issues. Heartfelt narrative meets soulful pop; need we say more? Well, maybe, so here's a little extra. Most of what's here is worthy of a feel good film score, from the anthemic chorus of southern rock 'n' roll effort "Oh Mama", to the pared back sing-along opener "Casey's Groove". As such it should go without saying fans of country, AOR, and (proper) R&B should already have the title and band noted down and marked up for immediate purchase.
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 in stock $17.95
The Utopia Strong (limited orange vinyl LP + insert + MP3 download code)
Cat: LAUNCH 172SLP. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. Emerald Tablet (2:55)
  2. Konta Chorus (3:37)
  3. Swimmer (4:01)
  4. Uniquiet Boundary (1:40)
  5. Transition To The Afterlife (5:34)
  6. Pickman's Model (1:11)
  7. Brainsurgeons 3 (10:41)
  8. Do You Believe In Two Gods (4:40)
  9. Moonchild (8:10)
Review: The Utopia Strong might be the most unlikely combination of musical elements imaginable. Coil's Michael J. York, Kavus Torabi of Gong note, the vocals of Miranda Sex Garden's Katharine Blake (albeit rendered almost unrecognisable), a modular synth and, snooker god Steve Davis. But those who know the cue-wielding deity's reputation as a techno, soul, funk, jazz and progressive rock aficionado will understand this one has been a long time coming. So, what do the results sound like? Well, a mixed bag, but all otherworldly and surreal. "Konta Chorus" marries the whirring of machine loops with trippy guitar reverberations, timeless string arpeggios and hypnotic wind sections. "Brainsurgeons 3", running close to 11-minutes, is an epic space-age marriage of techno and sci-fi. Meanwhile, the appropriately named "Moonchild" closes the album out on lengthy refrains of disharmony and subtle, nymph-ish lyrical whispers. A trip and a half.
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 in stock $19.76
Birth Of Violence (gatefold LP + booklet + MP3 download code)
Cat: SH 217LP. Rel: 13 Sep 19
  1. The Mother Road (4:18)
  2. American Darkness (4:43)
  3. Birth Of Violence (4:15)
  4. Deranged For Rock & Roll (3:31)
  5. Be All Things (4:19)
  6. Erde (3:31)
  7. When Anger Turns To Honey (3:08)
  8. Dirt Universe (4:38)
  9. Little Grave (3:21)
  10. Preface To A Dream Play (3:52)
  11. Highway (4:00)
Review: There's a stripped-down aesthetic to Chelsea Wolfe's return to the release schedule. It's not that 2017's "Hiss Spun", or "Abyss" two years earlier, were overblown. But here she pares things back to the essentials, with many tracks beginning on just vocals and a splash of acoustic guitar. The result shows off the raw talent at work, in turn offering a clear explanation of her enduring popularity. Despite the often minimalistic arrangements, "Birth Of Violence" is deceptively complex. Wolfe has explained it was inspired by exhaustion following perpetual tours and endless time on the road. You can certainly feel that. Her voice sounds as though it's hoping for hope, a change that feels almost out of reach but not unthinkable. It's a dark, desolate place at times, but in other moments packed with a determined energy and self-belief that things must always progress. Descriptions aside, believe us that this is completely unmissable.
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 in stock $17.68
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