Posts Tagged ‘get it on vinyl’

Throwing Muses at Get It On Vinyl

I was not thrilled to have a Throwing Muses album passed my way to review. At best Throwing Muses was a lingering memory for me, and at worst, I might have had them confused with another band altogether. I wasn’t a Throwing Muses fan when they were in their peak. It’s not that I didn’t like alternative or indie rock. I have always listened to Dinosaur Jr., R.E.M., the Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, etc… The throwing muses were just never on my radar. They always struck me as a band my sister would be into. You see, the Throwing Muses have been around since the mid 80’s. They were never a hugely commercial band, but they had some street credibility. They were a college rock band through and through. They made smart music, which as a thirteen year old boy, was just not my thing.

When I put Throwing Muses’ new LP, Purgatory/ Paradise on my turntable, I was pleasantly surprised. Nine records and close to twenty years into their careers, the Throwing Muses still seem to be going strong. With this being said, I have to admit that Purgatory/ Paradise is an intimidating album.Purgatory/ Paradise is a massive two disc set with thirty-two songs. It’s not an album that’s even easily digestible in one sitting. The mood and groves of the album shift from song to song never really letting you drift away from the music. This is a project that demands your time, but it seems to be time well spent.

Lead singer Kristen Hersh has an emotive and distinctive voice. She has a contemplative feel to her singing which is occasionally accented with flares of gravel voiced low key blue eyed soul. The music on Purgatory/ Paradiseranges from the low key indie feel of “Smokey Hands 1,” to the fiery edgy alternative to “Sleepwalking 2,” and finally to the pop oriented like “Cherry Candy 1.” What I find most interesting about this album though is the restraint. The music always feels like it’s pushing towards vaudeville and burlesque stage music, but it never quite makes it there. It’s a recurring undertone throughout the music, and frankly, it’s that undertone coupled with the restraint from going full on that really makes this an interesting album. I could see Purgatory/ Paradise interesting fans of Tom Waits to fans of the Pixies for different reasons.

Purgatory/ Paradise comes as a two disc set housed in a thick gatefold cover. You can pick up your vinyl copy from http://hhbtm.com/ or from your local record retailer.

 

[Link]

The Primitives at Get It On Vinyl

Like many, my only previous exposure to The Primitives was their single, “Crash.” My lack of knowledge is simply because of my age. So with a reformation and their long awaited LP in our hands, and some research on their back catalogue, we jumped right into Spin O Rama.

From the opening moments of the title track, Spin O Rama sounds like they haven’t missed much since their late 80’s heyday. Musically this was proven in their 2012 cover album, Echoes & Rhymes. However the verdict is in and the band can still write enjoyable original pop rock songs. The title track has a retro vibe and the bands trademark pop sound of lead singer Tracy Tracy’s vocals. It’s clear to hear the bands influence on a number of bands, including some newer artists like Best Coast.

Just because the band proves that their chops are free of dust, does not mean that there are not some new tools at work. Guitarist Paul Court is holding down half of the vocal duties now and his voice gives a darker tone on tracks “Purifying Tone” and “Wednesday World.” Court and Tracy even team up for the call and answer style “Lose the Reason,” an exceptional faster paced rock track with a lyrical premise that works well with the vocals. The second half also lends itself to denser, nosier songs that flirt with crossing the line into dream pop.

Spin O Rama is a great record, guaranteed to please fans who have followed the band for many years. For those of just jumping in, it sounds like a great place to start.

The Vinyl
Released on Elefant Records, the album is pressed on bright green wax and includes a full color jacket, lyric sleeve, and digital download card. You can order a copy from your local independent record store or directly from Elefant Records.

[Link]

Mind Brains at Get It On Vinyl

Mind Brains new self-titled album definitely falls into this realm. Harnessing a massive range of elements, from classical, to electronic, to fundamental rock instruments, the album takes the approach of throwing everything at the listener in hopes that something brilliant may come out.

While not brilliant, the album has plenty of high points. The opening track, “Happy Stomp” utilizes lots of different instrumentation including keys, strings, percussion and even unison vocals. The track bounces around, changing tempo and feel, like a twisted carnival seeking tranquility.

“Body Horror” comes in with heavy keys. The distant synthesized voices, that if in focus may sound very pleasant, have an evil quality on this track. The vocal styling becomes even more obscure on “The Morning Before the Morning Before the Dawn. The vocals are more distinct and become more sustained as they begin to match the low tone of the sustained keys, reaching an almost monastery level.

It is not until the second half when we realize the albums biggest flaw is its lack of direction. Experimental albums are great, but there must be a theme, a story, or at least some structure to the album. While the tracks are mostly executed with precision, and original in composition, its lacks a common thread binding them. That’s not to say that the album is bad, it’s actually quite good, but be prepared for a mix bag of songs, which represent a band experimenting with dozens of different song directions. With some continuity, this album could be stellar.

[Link]

Joanna Gruesome and Trust Fund at Get It On Vinyl

Only on vinyl can you really enjoy the magic that is a split EP. Digital only music consumers will never understand just how awesome they can be. The best splits are ones that compliment both bands who share just enough influences while at the same time maintaining their distinction.

Joanna Gruesome makes splits even better. Let’s start there.

We were introduced to Joanna Gruesome a couple years ago, and have been in love ever since. After releasing their first full length, Weird Sister, the Alanna Gruesome led low-fi project had some leftovers and the good folks over at Happy Birthday To Me Records were kind enough to make sure these tracks were not left to be lost studio cuts.

Included on the Gruesome side are two new songs, “Jerome” and “Coffee Implosion” as well as a re-working of “Satan” off of Weird Sister. The song is heavy, but more subtle than the original arrangement. Even with the weight of the track, it has a soothing quality, melodic and beautiful, even with the whaling guitar at the close. “Coffee Implosion” shows more confidence in Alanna Gruesome’s voice as compared to her earlier works. The band has grown tighter too, their low-fi sound becoming even more infectious.

The flipside is an introduction to another band from the same demographic. Making a name for themselves in the underground is Trust Fund. The first track, “Reading the Wrappers” is a darker song, but finds the groove with the chorus breakdown. The real magic of Trust Fund is the side closing track, “No Pressure.” Slower paced, the band achieves harmony with great harmonies, soothing guitars, and subtle horns.

Make sure to pick up a copy of this split from your local independent record store or directly from HHBTM Records.

[Link]

Crayon at Get It On Vinyl

Decades from now, people will look back and appreciate just how awesome the early 90’s was for music. It was the birth of so many genres, mainly grunge. However other than the birth of several sub-genres, it stood as a testament to the rock and roll dream. All of a sudden the guys we knew in high school who jammed in the garage were the new rock gods. Of course the majority were still stuck in the garage, but that was fine, they could make it! It could happen! There seemed to be probability of success to any project worth a damn.

Unfortunately, when Crayon originally released their only full length album,Brick Factory I wasn’t nearly cool enough to know about this underground cult classic. Partly due to my influences, partly due to the fact that I was all of 12 years old when it first came out, I am sad to say that hearing the new re-issue from Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records is in fact my first exposure to the band.

With that said, it’s clear to see why Brick Factory has been a long-awaited re-issue. Fronted by Brad Roberts, the album is more punk than his later project, Tullycraft, but there is plenty twee elements at work. One of the favorites from the LP, “Chutes & Ladders” proves that twee pop was alive and well in the early part of the decade, only to be robed and destroyed ten years later.

In fact the album as a whole walks the line between twee and punk very well. The reason why is the choruses are catchy enough to keep it pop, but the heavily distorted guitars and breakdowns like that in “Small” show plenty of punk elements at work. The tradeoff of vocals between Roberts and Sean Tollefson exemplifies the worlds colliding.

It’s no wonder this album has received such cult status, and while it’s unfortunate that it has been so difficult to find in its years out of print, this re-issue gives much needed credit to the influential project.

The Vinyl
Our friends at HHBTM Records always release excellent vinyl editions. Pressed on heavyweight black vinyl, the album includes the original album artwork, inserts, and a forward written by longtime fan Courtney Klossner. The vinyl mastering sounds excellent, especially on the low end. You can pick up a copy from your local independent record store or directly from HHBTM Records.

[Link]

Lunchbox at Get it On Vinyl

When it comes to indie-pop, there seems to be two avenues in which an artist can approach the genre. Some opt for deep sentiments and lyrical content, covering it with airy vocals and guitars with excessive reverb. Others give into the sound and their lyrics are more carefree, their subject matter shallower. While both have their place, we prefer the later, and their in lies the appeal of Lunchbox.

For those unfamiliar with Lunchbox, as we were, the band hails from Oakland, CA and is fronted by both guitarist Tim Brown and bassist Donna McKean.Lunchbox Loves You is the bands third full length, after a name change (Bird of California) and back to Lunchbox.

Lunchbox Loves You is full of all kinds of sugary goodies including carefree vocals, jangly guitars and light-hearted songs that are easy to enjoy.

While it would be easy simply to call this a indie-pop record, its clear by the end of the first few tracks that there are multiple influences at play. Tracks like “Tom, What’s Wrong” have the feeling of 60’s girl group including subtle overdubs and swing beats. At times, psychedelia elements come into play; “Will You Be True” features Brown on lead vocals. While they are right on time, they seem buried, almost as if they are coming in on a satellite delay from a distant spaceship. The clarity comes at the end when everything seems to find their volume level and timing and for a brief moment borders on absolute beauty.

The B-side opens the door to more instrumentation which saves the album from diving into monotony. Along with a flute melody on “I Go Mad,” the changes keep coming with the uptempo “Give a Little Love.” The track is an old-school rock track with plenty of “doo doos” and hum along grooves. While the lyric content reaches its simplest (rhyming sad with glad) the track is solid and one of the best on the album.

Closing out the LP is perhaps the biggest surprise. “Tonight is Out of Sight” concludes the LP with an intense punk style jam. While it comes completely out of left field, it somehow seems to close the album out well, demonstrating that we have not heard all of the tricks that Lunchbox has to offer.

The Vinyl
Released on Jigsaw Records, the record is pressed on transparent red wax and includes a full color insert and digital download. You can order your copy from your local independent record store or directly from Jigsaw Records.

[Link]

Bastards of Fate at Get It On Vinyl

When the name Bastards of Fate was passed along to me, I assumed they were a punk band. I was positive in fact, that they were a hardcore punk band with stage antics in line with G.G. Allen’s. I pictured a front man who cut himself on stage and projectile vomited on the audience. It really sounded like my kind of band. When I actually received the record, it came with a vampire slaying kit. The kit was housed in what seemed like a red Crown Royal bag and came with a wooden stake, holy water, garlic, and a letter from the man himself, Van Morrison. That’s right, Mr. Astral Weeks was apparently a legit vampire hunter, and the only ones who knew it were the Bastards of Fate. Upon seeing this vampire slaying kit, I assumed the Bastards of Fate must be some shitty death metal band that takes itself very seriously, yet they remain a joke to everyone who hears them. Thirty seconds into the album, it became clear, The Bastards of Fate have the indie pop sensibility of The Shins and the out there feel of Fank Zappa’s Two Hundred Motels. The singer doesn’t look like the self-defacing punk I was anticipating. In reality, he looks very similar to Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, with the black horned rimmed glasses and all.

The Bastards second album, Vampires are Real and Palpable (hint the vampire slaying kit), is there first for This Will Be Our Summer recordsVampires really is an album for record collectors and music snobs. If I threw this album on during a party, it would clear the room. This isn’t because it’s a bad album. On the contrary, it’s pretty damn good, but it’s fucking weird. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes the album worth your time. It takes effort and thought to get into this album. It’ll take you multiple listens to even start to appreciate Vampires, and you’ll hear something new every time you give it a listen. It’s an album you won’t be able to justify to all of your musically vanilla friends because the Bastards of Fate is some far out there Ben and Jerry’s combination that hasn’t even been dreamed up yet. I haven’t even addressed the experimental sounds that permeate the album. Sometimes it’s ambient noise that rears its head, sometimes it’s old cell phone ringtones, and sometimes it’s disembodied voices.

Vampires open with “Winter of Our Discontent,” an indie track that a torch singer would croon if they were working in a bar that catered to mental patients. From there the album quickly picks up into power pop on tracks like “Go No Further” and “Chromosome,” but it’s power pop filtered through the lens of Zappa. “Identity Theft” and “Ultimate Death” plays with the same deep foreboding backbone of early Interpol. It’s the Bastards bizarre take on these familiar sounds that make them an exceptional band. The Bastards walk a fine line between avant-garde and indie power pop. The Bastards are from left field, and you’ll want to leave the dugout and join them because while they’re edgy, there is something extremely comforting about the band. The Bastards are unknown but familiar. Frankly, if this is the direction of modern art-rock, then I’m on board. Even though it wasn’t the punk I expected, the Bastards are my kind of music.

The Vinyl

Vampires are Real and Palpable is available from the Bastards website:http://www.thebastardsoffate.com/. The cover is a fairly generic picture of a building. There is nothing telling about the cover, and there is nothing telling about the vinyl itself (it is standard black). It’s the perfect façade for a band like the Bastards. With the LP, you’ll get a digital download. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the vampire slaying kit, but I honestly can’t say that it will come with every LP. I don’t know if I would rely on it when a vampire breaks in at three in the morning, but it’ll be a definite conversation starter.

[Link]

Cosines at Get It On Vinyl

The best thing about seven-inch singles is they can showcase the wide range of a group. With their second single, Commuter Love/Disclosed Stories, London pop band Cosines deliver polar opposite styles of songs, and deliver outstanding results in between.

“Commuter Love” starts off with a rhythmic guitar riff, full of fuzz, and provides plenty of fuel for this rock infused track. The vocals follow along perfectly before the keys take the song out with plenty of energy still left in the tank.

The B-side, “Disclosed Stories” follows more along of the lines of their other single, “Hey, Sailor Boy” and falls right in line of their indie-pop sound. While its simple, with muted guitars and prominent keys, its very fulfilling and hits all the bases.

The Vinyl

Released on Fika Recordings, the black vinyl seven-inch matches style of their other single, with Simon Nelson’s artwork once again gracing the cardboard cover.

Get a copy from your local independent record store or directly from the Fika Recordings website.

[Link]

Bastards of Fate at Get It On Vinyl

When the name Bastards of Fate was passed along to me, I assumed they were a punk band. I was positive in fact, that they were a hardcore punk band with stage antics in line with G.G. Allen’s. I pictured a front man who cut himself on stage and projectile vomited on the audience. It really sounded like my kind of band. When I actually received the record, it came with a vampire slaying kit. The kit was housed in what seemed like a red Crown Royal bag and came with a wooden stake, holy water, garlic, and a letter from the man himself, Van Morrison. That’s right, Mr. Astral Weeks was apparently a legit vampire hunter, and the only ones who knew it were the Bastards of Fate. Upon seeing this vampire slaying kit, I assumed the Bastards of Fate must be some shitty death metal band that takes itself very seriously, yet they remain a joke to everyone who hears them. Thirty seconds into the album, it became clear, The Bastards of Fate have the indie pop sensibility of The Shins and the out there feel of Fank Zappa’s Two Hundred Motels. The singer doesn’t look like the self-defacing punk I was anticipating. In reality, he looks very similar to Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, with the black horned rimmed glasses and all.

The Bastards second album, Vampires are Real and Palpable (hint the vampire slaying kit), is there first for This Will Be Our Summer recordsVampires really is an album for record collectors and music snobs. If I threw this album on during a party, it would clear the room. This isn’t because it’s a bad album. On the contrary, it’s pretty damn good, but it’s fucking weird. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes the album worth your time. It takes effort and thought to get into this album. It’ll take you multiple listens to even start to appreciate Vampires, and you’ll hear something new every time you give it a listen. It’s an album you won’t be able to justify to all of your musically vanilla friends because the Bastards of Fate is some far out there Ben and Jerry’s combination that hasn’t even been dreamed up yet. I haven’t even addressed the experimental sounds that permeate the album. Sometimes it’s ambient noise that rears its head, sometimes it’s old cell phone ringtones, and sometimes it’s disembodied voices.

Vampires open with “Winter of Our Discontent,” an indie track that a torch singer would croon if they were working in a bar that catered to mental patients. From there the album quickly picks up into power pop on tracks like “Go No Further” and “Chromosome,” but it’s power pop filtered through the lens of Zappa. “Identity Theft” and “Ultimate Death” plays with the same deep foreboding backbone of early Interpol. It’s the Bastards bizarre take on these familiar sounds that make them an exceptional band. The Bastards walk a fine line between avant-garde and indie power pop. The Bastards are from left field, and you’ll want to leave the dugout and join them because while they’re edgy, there is something extremely comforting about the band. The Bastards are unknown but familiar. Frankly, if this is the direction of modern art-rock, then I’m on board. Even though it wasn’t the punk I expected, the Bastards are my kind of music.

The Vinyl

Vampires are Real and Palpable is available from the Bastards website:http://www.thebastardsoffate.com/. The cover is a fairly generic picture of a building. There is nothing telling about the cover, and there is nothing telling about the vinyl itself (it is standard black). It’s the perfect façade for a band like the Bastards. With the LP, you’ll get a digital download. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the vampire slaying kit, but I honestly can’t say that it will come with every LP. I don’t know if I would rely on it when a vampire breaks in at three in the morning, but it’ll be a definite conversation starter.

[Link]

Eureka California at Get It On Vinyl

Some of the best albums are the kind you can drop the needle, drop the lights, and just get lost in the lush harmonies, melodic guitars, and powerful drums. The lyrics are are as deep as an ocean, thick with artistic metaphors that connect with the listener on a personal level, and shares the subjects pain, joy, victories and defeats. Every song is an experience, a journey, and comes full circle as the needle lifts from the dead wax.

Crunch is not one of those albums.

Instead Crunch is fantastic for the exact opposite reasons. Eureka California’s sophomore LP is a fast double helping dose of punk influenced power pop. The fuzz infusion sound comes courtesy of Jake Ward and drummer Marie A. Uhle.

While the minimalist rock sound provides the back bone for all the tracks, each song has plenty of catchy as hell hooks and slacker voiced melodies. Ward’s vocals fit the sound so well, and its hard to figure out if he is driving the melody or the guitars. Either way tracks like “This Aint No A Side” and “No Mas” have power punch progressions that are to bound to find their way on your permanent play list.

Perhaps the best part about Crunch is how serious and cavalier it is at the same time. The music keeps the loose slacker vibe, but is executed with precision, never missing a beat. Ward’s vocals provide a healthy dose of “don’t give a fuck” and the lyrics range from slightly obscure to hilarious.

Straying a bit from the formula is the albums finest track “Art Is Hard.” Lyrically deeper, and more intense that than any song on the track, it is also the most personal. However, it fits well with the LP and the vibe is not lost.

Crunch is one of those great albums you just turn on and jam out. Don’t think too deep about it. Sing along, smile and laugh, rock out and repeat.

The Vinyl
Staying with Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records, the band opted for a full dose of vinyl goodness. Pressed on standard weight red wax, the album includes a download card, full lyric sheet, and full color jacket. Also included in the deluxe version is a 33 1/3 mini- book about the band. You can pick up a copy from your local independent record store or directly from the HHBTM website.

[Link]