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Some items in our catalogs may be out of print or currently unavailable. All prices subject to change (we only change our prices when our costs change). We will always try to inform you of updated prices. Email our mailorder department for availability status. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.



aQuarius recOrds
New Arrivals #368
11th March 2011



Beloved Customers and Friends:

Greetings good friends and fellow music freaks! Hope you all enjoyed the "AQ Zoo" list last week, now we're back with the a big ol' regular list installment with all sorts of great new stuff.

First off, our thoughts go out to everyone effected by yesterday's terrible earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan. Terrible and frightening.

More happily, our thoughts also go out to everyone attending SXSW in Austin next week. Wish we were gonna be there, this year, too. But after doing showcases with our pals at WFMU two years running, we thought it was time for a break, to keep it special. If you're there, though, have fun!!

Here in SF, we've got a couple upcoming instores soon we should mention... this coming TUESDAY, March 15th, at 6pm, we're excited to present a performance by White Magic / Mira Billotte (solo)! And then, mark Wednesday March 23rd on your calendar, at 6pm we'll be hosting guitarist Marisa Anderson (you know her from that great record she recently released on Mississippi)!

Ok, on with the list, gotta get this done so Allan can go hang out with his parents who are here for a visit...

Three Records Of The Week, each with an interesting international slant...

SVEN KACIREK: Imagine your favorite Sublime Frequencies compilation, or one of the Ethiopiques collections, if they were released on Kompakt, or imagine How To Dress Well composing a chill out soundtrack for late night Kenyan clublife... So cool...

LOS DUG DUG'S: Now reissued on cd and vinyl, the 1971 debut from these beloved Mexican psych rockers, full of frantic fuzz and flower power pop! An all-time fave.

V/A THOSE SHOCKING, SHAKING DAYS: "Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk" circa 1970-1978, as amazing as you would hope, and in super swank packaging, with TONS of photos, art and text.

And then, hella highlights, yeah there's a lot, so read carefully...

MAHMOUD AHMED (ETHIOPIQUES 26): Need we say more? Another installment of '70s Ethio-groove in this stellar series.
BRUCE ANDERSON: Epic acoustic guitar explorations from the MX-80 frontman.
BEE GEES: No kidding. Budget reissue of their brilliant 2nd album from 1968, a former AQ Record Of The Week.
NICOLAS BERNIER: Limited edition lp of musique concrete craziness.
BLOOD CEREMONY: Eagerly awaited 2nd album of vintage '70s sounding, witchy rockarolla from this female fronted doom-prog powerhouse, Allan's personal Record Of The Week runner-up.
BLUT AUS NORD: Crucial French black metal weirdness reissued, with brand new bonus disc!
BOOK OF SAND x 2: A cd and cd-r from one man black metaller, one blown out and shoegazey, the other consisting of folk covers!
BRAVE IRENE: Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, Softies) back with a new band on Slumberland.
BROWN RECLUSE: Another winner from Slumberland, the debut from these Philly psychedelic sunshine poppers!
CARLTON MELTON: New vinyl-only release from these San Francisco space rock sensations!
TIM COHEN: Another collection of perfect(ly off kilter) pop songs from the talented Fresh & Only's frontman.
COMUS: Brand new vinyl version, on Rise Above, of this '70s pagan psych folk MASTERPIECE, a must-have!
CONDENADOS: Their name means "Doomed" in Spanish, and this Chilean band most certainly sounds that way.
CRASS x 3: Three punk essentials, reissued!
DALEK: Latest in the Latitudes series!
DANTESCO: The Puerto Rican doomsters epic demos, reissued!
DAVILA 666: Also from Puerto Rico - garage rocking punk pop action!
DECREPITAPH: Crushing old school death metal sickness from the dude from Wooden Stake and Encoffination...
DER PLAN x 2: Vinyl reissues of two weird and wonderful German New Wave records!
THE DISCIPLINES: Super rockin', punkish pop from ex-Posie Ken Stringfellow, so good!! Another Record Of The Week if Andee had to pick.
DUM DUM GIRLS: 4 new distortion dosed, hook laden songs from these faves.
EARTEN SEA: A gorgeous new batch of hazy transcendental keyboard dronemusic from this SF based one man band, on cassette.
ETERNAL TAPESTRY: Latest from these Portland psych rockers, their first for new label Thrill Jockey!
EXPO 70: New cd-r release documenting Expo's ambient kosmische drift, live in 2009.
FOLLAKZOID: One of two new modern Chilean psychedelic outfits on this week’s list, both lps on Sacred Bones.
THE GO! TEAM: Beginning with two minute blast of girl gang, horn heavy, block rockin beats, this new Go! Team is getting us going.
GRAILS: These Portland post rockers are back with more awesome epic cinematic soundscapes, occasionally disguised as rock songs.
LIZ HARRIS: On Root Strata, a wonderful book of artwork -and- a dvd of music and visuals from Liz, aka Grouper.
TIM HECKER: Recent Record Of The Week Ravedeath, 1972, now on vinyl!!! (Just in time, since we just ran out of the cd, again...)
HENRY AND GLENN FOREVER: A comic book Kirk/Spocking of these two punk rock icons, damn funny.
HIGUMA: Brand new Root Strata lp release from this Barn Owl offshoot!
THE HOLYDRUG COUPLE: One of two new modern Chilean psychedelic outfits on this week’s list, both lps on Sacred Bones.
ID BATTERY: Warehouse find of this early album by Loren Chasse and Brandon Labelle, on Thurston Moore and Byron Coley's old label.
LOGAN'S RUN: Soundtrack to this classic '70s sci-fi movie, which sounds a lot like the retro-futuristic synth wave of today.
VESA-MATTI LOIRI: Flute, Finland, 1971. Jazz folk weirdness, quite wonderful.
LOON: Stonery psych grooves, Sabbathy doominess, and slowcore downer pop, with a singer who sounds like Neko Case!
LUMERIANS: Back in stock, last list's sold-out-in-a-flash Record Of The Week from these local space rockers.
MAGNETIC STRIPPER: 7" that sounds like a DIY-industrial-synth project circa 1982, though it's brand new.
MASACARA: 2nd release from Video Horror Show, a new label releasing, as the name implies, VHS tapes, featuring original music, accompanied by tripped out visuals. Some serious, creepy and kick ass witch house...
MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE: A picture disc version of their Totem Two lp!
J MASCIS: Dinosaur, Jr. unplugged, kinda, with guests including among others Kurt Vile, pretty great!
DAN MELCHIOR: Siltbreeze lp of outsider lo-fi avant garage psych weirdness from this fella.
MY DISCO: Now also here on cd, this great disc of tranced out avant punk!
NICHE HOMO: Cool 'zine featuring Ramleh, Sic Alps, Homosexuals, Thee Oh Sees, and more!
NO PLEASURE IN LIFE: We only have 6 of these, the debut demo tape from this Florida depressive black metal duo...
MICHAEL NORTHAM: Hypnotic droneworks on cassette, inspired by the mystic visions of Rene Daumal.
OCRILIM: This super deluxe, super limited vinyl boxset collects three out of print cd-r’s of Mick Barr's shred insanity. Surprisingly pretty actually!
OFF!: Pettibon cover art, punk rock super group, originally 4x7"s, now on cd, old schoolers showing the kids a thing or two, pretty cool!
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK: 1980 debut from this classic synth-pop outfit, reissued!
PALE CHALICE: Some furious buzzing blasting blackened grimnity from right here in SF, on Flenser.
POWER OF ZEUS: Motown proto-metal, big beat fuzz pop hard rock circa 1970 Detroit!
PROVIDEN: Debut lp from this drone duo, weirdly noisy, strangely folky, rhythmically dirgey...
RABBITS: Punked out sludgy noise rock that KILLS.
ROYAL THUNDER: One of several rad, girl fronted heavy rock bands on this week's list, a lot like Loon above, but with some Southern Rock in it too.
RST / RAHMANE: Super limited split cd-r from these two fine dronesters, all proceeds to help pay artist Stephen Kasner's health care bills.
THE SLAVES: Debut cd-r from this ultra dreamy synth unit, so good.
SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB: Latest batch of end of the world, country twang, revivalist apocalyptic swamp folk from these Colorado cowboy punks.
SLOUGH FEG: These cult heavy metal heroes latest album, The Animal Spirits, now on vinyl!!!
SPECTRAL INCURSION: Double disc reissue of technical thrashing prog metal from the '80s, way underground and over the top!
SPYRALS: A brand new batch of tracks on tape from the latest addition to the SF psychedelic space rock pantheon!
SUN RA: 18 minute Mini-Moog solo! Need we say more?
TEENAGE PANZERCORPS: This confounding 'corps are back with more grimy propulsive post punk, part Fall, part Warsaw, part Wire...
TWEAK BIRD: Stoner sludge pop prog duo, catchy crazy stuff for fans of Torche and QOTSA.
V/A BOSSA NOVA: Soul Jazz takes on Bossa Nova, a double disc primer that will make you a fan.
V/A BRAIN CLUB #000001: 12" of weird, murky drone and darkly introspective goth-ambient sounds from the Austin indie-electronic underground.
V/A ELECTRIC PSYCHEDELIC SITAR HEADSWIRLERS: 5cd box set of just what it says.
KURT VILE: Latest and we think greatest from this Philly indie pop rock wunderkind...
MORITZ VON OSWALD TRIO: New full length from this fantastically confusional minimalist techno supergroup!
WATER BORDERS: Yet another chunk of electro goth, witch pop, gloom-soul weirdness from this SF duo, on cassette!
WEEDEATER: Everyone's favorite Southern stoner sludge doomlords grind and groove again!
WHITEHORSE: Latest chunk of abject nihilistic ultra doom sludge from these Aussie heavies, on tour now!!
WOODEN STAKE: 2 song 7" from this female fronted, horror fixated, slomo sludge duo. Full length coming soon.
XASTHUR: Now on vinyl, the final album from Malefic - with help from Marissa Nadler!
XEX: Compact disc version of this '80s synth punk album, recently reissued on vinyl via Dark Entries.

Whew! And wait, there's more... a lot of other neat now-on-vinyl stuff, and more more more...

Thanks as always. Enjoy the list, enjoy your weekend, and dig in!

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And as always, thanks for reading the list, passing it on to all your friends who love weird music, shopping at our store, turning -us- on to all sort of great stuff, and helping us spread the word and get all this great music to the people who love it. YOU!! And as always, please realize that we work really hard on the list, so if you find out about stuff through us, please try to buy your records from us. That way we can keep on doing what we do, and we'll always be here with our ears to the ground, and with cds full of metalcore pitbulls, death metal parrots, gamelan playing elephants, recordings of glaciers cracking, ice melting, zamboni's, life support systems, drag races, audience applause, and of course self flagellating Norwegian dwarves, moaning telephone wires, recorded exorcisms, acapella straight edge metalcore, high school battles of the bands, movie theater organ music, Christian psychedelic folk, Bhangra Black Sabbath as well as all the metal, indie rock, electronica, punk rock, reggae, dub, sixties psych, krautrock, classic rock, country and anything else your heart may desire. So thanks. A bunch!

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Remember, give our STREAMING NEW ARRIVALS RADIO THING a try! (mp3 stream)

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----* Records Of The Week :
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album cover KACIREK, SVEN The Kenya Sessions (Pingipung) cd 16.98
It's always a challenge to meld electronic and organic sounds. When done correctly, it can be sublime, an otherworldly fusion of seemingly diametrically opposed musics, an impossible hybrid that on rare occasions can most definitely transcend its constituent parts. When done incorrectly, it can sound flat and forced. Or can simply not work at all. Most egregiously, the enduring 'electronica flecked folk' that we do on occasion love, but which in most cases is simply pedestrian strum and croon peppered with glitch and buzz and somehow presented as avant.
But this, this is something else entirely, an unlikely fusion of acoustic percussion, electronic studio production, various bits of programming and processing, and most importantly, recordings of actual Kenyan folk music, vocalists, traditional string instruments, all woven seamlessly into Kacirek's subtle sublime productions. It definitely makes more sense once you realize Kacirek is in fact a virtuoso jazz drummer and percussionist, thus the rhythmic focus of The Kenya Sessions, but that background in drumming hardly prepares us for this, a heady, propulsive, effusive, dark and mysterious bout of electronic folk music. And minus the voices, it's practically impossible to discern the Kenyan field recordings from the studio productions, there are moments of skittery Kompakt-like techno shuffle, but just as often, it Kacirek playing Marimba, or playing on a snare with brushes, and wrapping those sounds around the buzz of some African stringed instrument, or taking the various rhythms and weaving them into a lush, pulsing backdrop for some lovely vocalizing, the results are incredible, and range from the dark, buzzing and brooding opening track, "Arsenal Aluny Village", which almost sounds like a super minimal African Portishead, to the twangy shuffle of "Old Man Small Studio", the electronics dialed way back, but the marimba and tuned percussive melodies adding a distinctly Western pop element to the more traditional sounding vocals, or the murky almost Oval-esque shimmer of "Dear Anastasia", the backdrop smokey and sultry, the melodies dark and minor key, but then the vocals again transform the song into something completely original and very much unlike anything you've ever heard.
Imagine your favorite Sublime Frequencies compilation, or one of the Ethiopiques collections, if they were released on Kompakt, or imagine How To Dress Well composing a chill out soundtrack for late night Kenyan clublife, there aren't any 'beats' proper, instead the rhythms pulse and throb, shimmer and shuffle, skitter and stutter, usually super subtle, as textural as they are rhythmic, tangled up with pianos and marimbas, and then the Kenyan recordings, traditional instruments, twang and buzz, and those vocals, soulful and emotional, sometimes call and response, other times moody and crooned, and the sounds while often electronic, borderline 'techno' sounding even, just as often, veer toward something else entirely, more concerned with evoking a mood, creating a gorgeous ambient space, one that often explodes into something rhythmic and propulsive, but just as often slips into something hushed, and minimal, mysterious and lovely.
The record finishes off with the amazing "Takaye Preaching", which does indeed seem to be some preacher preaching, whose almost song like sermonizing, is accompanied by some perfectly matched up rhythmic flurries, skittery muted grooves and shuffling percussion, the rapidfire vocal delivery somehow softened by Kacireks's instrumental accompaniment, the result sounding like some moody jazzy drift wrapped around a hyper hip hop flow, but again, once the two elements are melded, it's hard to imagine that this was constructed in a studio, and not some sort of unlikely jam session, which is pretty much the magic of the whole record. A fantastically unique sonic document, a sort of avant world electronica, or minimal electro Kenyan soul, or maybe downtempo electro worldmusic, whatever you wanna call it, we're loving it, and odds are you will too.
MPEG Stream: "Arsenal Aluny Village"
MPEG Stream: "Old Man Small Studio"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Anastasia"
MPEG Stream: "Kayamba Tuc Tuc"

album cover DUG DUG'S s/t (Lion / Get On Down) cd 14.98
This nice new reissue - and first time reish on vinyl - just HAD to be Record Of The Week. Boy oh boy do we love this band. An old, old favorite - in more ways that one, since these guys hail from the '70s. When we first discovered them some years ago, via their track on the Love Peace & Poetry: Latin America compilation, and then got their reissued albums on import cd, we were like, why aren't they famous?? Well, perhaps they are, or at least were, in Mexico where they're from (they're called Los Dug Dug's on account of being from the city of Durango, in the Mexican state of Durango).
Los Dug Dug's are, for us, a perfect blend of rock n' roll things we love: garage rock, psych-pop, power-prog. Lotsa cowbell, fuzz guitar, and flute, yes flute (especially on their second album, Smog). Part Tull, part Beatles, part Kinks, part Kiss...pretty darn kick ass really.
This self-titled album was their first, from the magic musical year of 1971, though sounding very sixties, and features English language vocals. It includes some of our favorite Dug Dug's songs, including the brilliant "Lost In My World" (also heard on the Mexican installment of the Love Peace & Poetry compilation series). There's also the frantic fuzzfest "Let's Make It Now" (which also boasts a drum solo), the groovy jangle of "I Got The Feeling", the equally groovy "It's Over" (with a nice JB's style intro), the very Beatlesy "Going Home", the lovely, spaced out "Sometimes", and the flutey, fanciful "Who Would Look At Me?", among other great flower POWER tunes. And when we say great, we mean really great. As in, this album is all-time favorite stuff for those lucky enough be clued in. Sure there's lots of wonderful obscurities out there, but Los Dug Dug's are one of those bands, like Q65, or Flower Travellin' Band, who you'd be hearing all the time on classic rock radio if they'd come from Detroit instead of Durango.
Now, we love ALL the Dug Dug's albums, and are happy to tell you that Smog (1972) will soon be getting the same reissue treatment by Lion/Get On Down soon, we should have it in a few weeks, and it'll probably have to be a ROTW too. Hopefully they'll also be reissuing Los Dug Dug's other albums Cambia, Cambia (1974) and El Loco (1975) eventually as well, one of these days.
Like we said, we've listed this album (and those others by Los Dug Dug's) before, but it was always tough to keep enough of 'em in stock, they were Mexican imports and never reliably available, seemingly going in and out of print in quite random fashion. Hopefully this new version will be around longer, and remain easy to stock! Also, this is the very first time we've seen any Dug Dug's reissued on VINYL, yay, and they've done a fine job of it.
Meanwhile, the new compact disc edition comes packaged in a nice, plastic protected miniature lp style sleeve, complete with obi strip... unfortunately beyond the brief blurb on the obi, there's no liner notes for this reissue, which is too bad 'cause we'd like to know more about this band who should be much better known north of the border. The obi alludes to the band's "failed trip to NYC" where they were hoping for their big break, that didn't work out but then they went back to Mexico and recorded this album, starting a sterling career regardless. We'd like to know more... according to Wikipedia, apparently they had some problems with the musician's union in New York, but upon their return to Mexico, bringing with them the music of the Beatles, they became one of the country's biggest rock acts, leaders in the new youth culture there. So it's unfortunate that some knowledgeable liner notes couldn't have been arranged, we're sure the Dug Dug's story is a fascinating one, but at least in all other respects the packaging is top-notch (though it would have been nice to have the tracklist someplace other than just on the obi, like on the back cover the way it is with the vinyl). In any case, it's the music that matters, and regarding that the obi has all the facts: "must have"... "essential".
MPEG Stream: "Lost In My World"
MPEG Stream: "Without Thinking"
MPEG Stream: "Let's Make It Now"
MPEG Stream: "I Got The Feeling"

album cover DUG DUG'S s/t (Lion / Get On Down) lp 17.98
This nice new reissue - and first time reish on vinyl - just HAD to be Record Of The Week. Boy oh boy do we love this band. An old, old favorite - in more ways that one, since these guys hail from the '70s. When we first discovered them some years ago, via their track on the Love Peace & Poetry: Latin America compilation, and then got their reissued albums on import cd, we were like, why aren't they famous?? Well, perhaps they are, or at least were, in Mexico where they're from (they're called Los Dug Dug's on account of being from the city of Durango, in the Mexican state of Durango).
Los Dug Dug's are, for us, a perfect blend of rock n' roll things we love: garage rock, psych-pop, power-prog. Lotsa cowbell, fuzz guitar, and flute, yes flute (especially on their second album, Smog). Part Tull, part Beatles, part Kinks, part Kiss...pretty darn kick ass really.
This self-titled album was their first, from the magic musical year of 1971, though sounding very sixties, and features English language vocals. It includes some of our favorite Dug Dug's songs, including the brilliant "Lost In My World" (also heard on the Mexican installment of the Love Peace & Poetry compilation series). There's also the frantic fuzzfest "Let's Make It Now" (which also boasts a drum solo), the groovy jangle of "I Got The Feeling", the equally groovy "It's Over" (with a nice JB's style intro), the very Beatlesy "Going Home", the lovely, spaced out "Sometimes", and the flutey, fanciful "Who Would Look At Me?", among other great flower POWER tunes. And when we say great, we mean really great. As in, this album is all-time favorite stuff for those lucky enough be clued in. Sure there's lots of wonderful obscurities out there, but Los Dug Dug's are one of those bands, like Q65, or Flower Travellin' Band, who you'd be hearing all the time on classic rock radio if they'd come from Detroit instead of Durango.
Now, we love ALL the Dug Dug's albums, and are happy to tell you that Smog (1972) will soon be getting the same reissue treatment by Lion/Get On Down soon, we should have it in a few weeks, and it'll probably have to be a ROTW too. Hopefully they'll also be reissuing Los Dug Dug's other albums Cambia, Cambia (1974) and El Loco (1975) eventually as well, one of these days.
Like we said, we've listed this album (and those others by Los Dug Dug's) before, but it was always tough to keep enough of 'em in stock, they were Mexican imports and never reliably available, seemingly going in and out of print in quite random fashion. Hopefully this new version will be around longer, and remain easy to stock! Also, this is the very first time we've seen any Dug Dug's reissued on VINYL, yay, and they've done a fine job of it.
Meanwhile, the new compact disc edition comes packaged in a nice, plastic protected miniature lp style sleeve, complete with obi strip... unfortunately beyond the brief blurb on the obi, there's no liner notes for this reissue, which is too bad 'cause we'd like to know more about this band who should be much better known north of the border. The obi alludes to the band's "failed trip to NYC" where they were hoping for their big break, that didn't work out but then they went back to Mexico and recorded this album, starting a sterling career regardless. We'd like to know more... according to Wikipedia, apparently they had some problems with the musician's union in New York, but upon their return to Mexico, bringing with them the music of the Beatles, they became one of the country's biggest rock acts, leaders in the new youth culture there. So it's unfortunate that some knowledgeable liner notes couldn't have been arranged, we're sure the Dug Dug's story is a fascinating one, but at least in all other respects the packaging is top-notch (though it would have been nice to have the tracklist someplace other than just on the obi, like on the back cover the way it is with the vinyl). In any case, it's the music that matters, and regarding that the obi has all the facts: "must have"... "essential".

album cover V/A Those Shocking, Shaking Days (Now-Again) cd 21.00
Subtitle: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk: 1970-1978. Maybe that's all the review this needs, it worked for us, but we'll go on...
Damn. Now THIS is what all comps/reissues should be like. Just the physical thing itself, both cd and lp formats, makes us go wow. And then there's the music, amazing stuff by bands we've NEVER ever heard of before, for the most part.... international psych-rock grooviness from the '70s, Indonesian division. Twenty tracks, all killer no filler for damn sure. So, to start with the elaborate, you're-getting-your-money's-worth packaging, packed with content: exhaustive liner notes, vintage photos, colorful album cover graphics, in a 64 page book in the cd version (and it really thick enough to be called a BOOK, not a booklet) or a 16 page (but lp-sized of course) booklet with the massive 3lp set. Both are solid, hefty items indeed. The cd itself comes in a sturdy cardboard mini-lp style sleeve, tucked tightly along with the book inside a wraparound slipcover. The vinyl, in a triple gatefold sleeve about a half inch thick. Impressive presentation, topping even that of another recent anthology of non-Western psych/funk stuff we made a Record Of The Week as well not long ago, the Sa-Re-Ga collection. What that was to India this is to Indonesia.
And Indonesia is definitely full of hidden treasures for us Westerners into exotic "hairy funk" and heavy rock sounds of the past. We knew about a few bands on here, that we'd had reissues by before, the Ariesta Birawa Group, Shark Move, Koes Plus, but that's it - all of those are awesome though, so the fact that we'd never heard of the other 16 acts on here (there's 20 tracks, but one band appears twice) just made us more excited to hear this: Rollies, Super Kid, Freedom Of Rhapsodia, Murry, The Brims, Black Brothers, Ivo's Group, Golden Wing, The Gang Of Harry Roesli, Benny Soebardja and Lizard, Aka, Panbers, Rhythm Kings, Rasela, Terenchem, and Duo Kribo.
The music of these groups ranges from heavy progressive bombast to hippie trippiness to out-and-out groovy dancefloor filling fodder, often all at once, and then some. Eastern-tinged (no surprise) psychedelic Sgt. Pepperisms and stomping acid funk are blended in the very first selection here, "Haai", by a band called Panbers, who once opened for the Bee Gees in Djakarta. Off to a good start! A tough act to follow (we imagine the Bee Gees thought so too), but track two's The Brims manage to hold their own with "Anti Gandja", a song apparently with a message of "just say no", though it sure sounds a lot like they said hell yeah. Then the third cut, "Bad News" by Rollies, suddenly introduces a healthy dose of James Brown worship, the others were funky but this one is straight up FUNK. After that, we're treated to one of the highlights from the Shark Move album, one of the few tracks here we knew, the fuzz-heavy shambolic riff-tumble with prog-classical soloing of "Evil War". Up next, the stoned lope of Golden Wing's love song "Hear Me" is a bit more primitive, akin to Japan's Speed Glue & Shinki, or Juan De La Cruz from the Philippines.
So, that's just the first five tracks, so far they're all smokin', and guess what? It just gets better and better believe it or not. Turn it up, play it loud! We can't go into detail about EVERY track, though they all deserve mention, from the spacey soul of Super Kid to the greasy groove of The Gang Of Harry Roselli, but we should at least let you know that the Koes Plus cut is NOT from the cd of theirs you may already have that Sublime Frequencies put out, it's taken from a latter record, 1976's ln Hard Beat 2, and it's a rad one, with a nice la la la vocal chorus echoed by some much more maniacal LALALA screaming, crazy.
Oh, and we know why they put two tracks from AKA on here, how could they chose between the badass hard rock of "Do What You Like" with its headspining psychedelic breakdowns, and the same group's seriously funky, James Brown inspired "Shake Me", which begins with call-and-response chant, the band saying "No" to grass, morphine, and LSD, but "YEAH" to sex.
Ok, we'll leave it to you get this and experience all the fuzzy, funky riffery here for yourself. Familiar in its '70s vibe - ferinstance Benny Soebardja (ex-Shark Move) and Lizard's "Candlelight" is so '70s, classic radio rock, maybe the Indonesian answer to the Steve Miller Band? - yet fresh, definitely from somewhere and somewhen else!!
Kudos to compiler Jason "Moss" Connoy for tracking down all these gems, and to everyone else involved with putting this package together, doing the research, writing, and graphic documentation... obviously an immense job but well done and well worth it. So, if you've been enjoying Sa-Re-Ga, Thai! Dai!, Sound Of Siam, Psych-Funk 101, The World Ends, or any other disc of crate-digging discoveries from around the world we've recommended lately, this one is definitely for you too! Highest recommendation.
MPEG Stream: AKA "Do What You Like"
MPEG Stream: IVO'S GROUP "That Shocking Shaking Day"
MPEG Stream: KOES PLUS "Mobil Tua"
MPEG Stream: FREEDOM OF RHAPSODIA "Freedom"

album cover V/A Those Shocking, Shaking Days (Now-Again) 3lp 27.00
Subtitle: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk: 1970-1978. Maybe that's all the review this needs, it worked for us, but we'll go on...
Damn. Now THIS is what all comps/reissues should be like. Just the physical thing itself, both cd and lp formats, makes us go wow. And then there's the music, amazing stuff by bands we've NEVER ever heard of before, for the most part.... international psych-rock grooviness from the '70s, Indonesian division. Twenty tracks, all killer no filler for damn sure. So, to start with the elaborate, you're-getting-your-money's-worth packaging, packed with content: exhaustive liner notes, vintage photos, colorful album cover graphics, in a 64 page book in the cd version (and it really thick enough to be called a BOOK, not a booklet) or a 16 page (but lp-sized of course) booklet with the massive 3lp set. Both are solid, hefty items indeed. The cd itself comes in a sturdy cardboard mini-lp style sleeve, tucked tightly along with the book inside a wraparound slipcover. The vinyl, in a triple gatefold sleeve about a half inch thick. Impressive presentation, topping even that of another recent anthology of non-Western psych/funk stuff we made a Record Of The Week as well not long ago, the Sa-Re-Ga collection. What that was to India this is to Indonesia.
And Indonesia is definitely full of hidden treasures for us Westerners into exotic "hairy funk" and heavy rock sounds of the past. We knew about a few bands on here, that we'd had reissues by before, the Ariesta Birawa Group, Shark Move, Koes Plus, but that's it - all of those are awesome though, so the fact that we'd never heard of the other 16 acts on here (there's 20 tracks, but one band appears twice) just made us more excited to hear this: Rollies, Super Kid, Freedom Of Rhapsodia, Murry, The Brims, Black Brothers, Ivo's Group, Golden Wing, The Gang Of Harry Roesli, Benny Soebardja and Lizard, Aka, Panbers, Rhythm Kings, Rasela, Terenchem, and Duo Kribo.
The music of these groups ranges from heavy progressive bombast to hippie trippiness to out-and-out groovy dancefloor filling fodder, often all at once, and then some. Eastern-tinged (no surprise) psychedelic Sgt. Pepperisms and stomping acid funk are blended in the very first selection here, "Haai", by a band called Panbers, who once opened for the Bee Gees in Djakarta. Off to a good start! A tough act to follow (we imagine the Bee Gees thought so too), but track two's The Brims manage to hold their own with "Anti Gandja", a song apparently with a message of "just say no", though it sure sounds a lot like they said hell yeah. Then the third cut, "Bad News" by Rollies, suddenly introduces a healthy dose of James Brown worship, the others were funky but this one is straight up FUNK. After that, we're treated to one of the highlights from the Shark Move album, one of the few tracks here we knew, the fuzz-heavy shambolic riff-tumble with prog-classical soloing of "Evil War". Up next, the stoned lope of Golden Wing's love song "Hear Me" is a bit more primitive, akin to Japan's Speed Glue & Shinki, or Juan De La Cruz from the Philippines.
So, that's just the first five tracks, so far they're all smokin', and guess what? It just gets better and better believe it or not. Turn it up, play it loud! We can't go into detail about EVERY track, though they all deserve mention, from the spacey soul of Super Kid to the greasy groove of The Gang Of Harry Roselli, but we should at least let you know that the Koes Plus cut is NOT from the cd of theirs you may already have that Sublime Frequencies put out, it's taken from a latter record, 1976's ln Hard Beat 2, and it's a rad one, with a nice la la la vocal chorus echoed by some much more maniacal LALALA screaming, crazy.
Oh, and we know why they put two tracks from AKA on here, how could they chose between the badass hard rock of "Do What You Like" with its headspining psychedelic breakdowns, and the same group's seriously funky, James Brown inspired "Shake Me", which begins with call-and-response chant, the band saying "No" to grass, morphine, and LSD, but "YEAH" to sex.
Ok, we'll leave it to you get this and experience all the fuzzy, funky riffery here for yourself. Familiar in its '70s vibe - ferinstance Benny Soebardja (ex-Shark Move) and Lizard's "Candlelight" is so '70s, classic radio rock, maybe the Indonesian answer to the Steve Miller Band? - yet fresh, definitely from somewhere and somewhen else!!
Kudos to compiler Jason "Moss" Connoy for tracking down all these gems, and to everyone else involved with putting this package together, doing the research, writing, and graphic documentation... obviously an immense job but well done and well worth it. So, if you've been enjoying Sa-Re-Ga, Thai! Dai!, Sound Of Siam, Psych-Funk 101, The World Ends, or any other disc of crate-digging discoveries from around the world we've recommended lately, this one is definitely for you too! Highest recommendation.
MPEG Stream: AKA "Do What You Like"
MPEG Stream: IVO'S GROUP "That Shocking Shaking Day"
MPEG Stream: KOES PLUS "Mobil Tua"
MPEG Stream: FREEDOM OF RHAPSODIA "Freedom"

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album cover AHMED, MAHMOUD Ethiopiques Vol. 26 (BudaMusique) cd 15.98
What more can we say about the amazing Ethiopiques series of compilations that we haven't already? And what else can we say about legendary Ethiopian vocalist Mahmoud Ahmed, who is probably featured on more of the various Ethiopiques collections than any other musician?
Have a look at our reviews on the aQ site of the other 25 installments, and you'll see just how much we love this stuff. In fact, Volume 4 in the series might just be one of our best selling titles EVER. For those new to Ethiopian music, this is as good a place to start as any, featuring some of the earliest recordings of Mahmoud Ahmed, recorded when he was a member of the Imperial Bodyguard Band, during a time when most modern Ethiopian music was generated exclusively by military institutions, army bands, police bands and even, yes, the Imperial Bodyguard Band, which Ahmed joined in the early sixties.
There's a wild tale in the cd booklet about a huge musical festival held every year, where the various institutional bands would perform in front of thousands, and compete for the adoration of the crowd, the competition so fierce, that the various bands would rehearse secretly, and post guards outside while they practiced, stopping immediately if anyone got too close, and it was this intense competition that drove these bands to practice incessantly, and continually get better and better. And it says something that these early tracks are so incredible, and it's not just Ahmed's voice, the arrangements are lush and intricate, the melodies, the horns, the background vocals, the music is hard to describe, it's soulful, a little funky, and distinctly Ethiopian, once you've heard a few of these comps, the second you hear Ethiopian music from this era, you know, it sounds like nothing else. Listen to the sound samples, we're guessing you'll be smitten as we are, and once you've absorbed volume 26, you can begin to work your way back through the first 25. You think we're joking, but this stuff is really that amazing...
MPEG Stream: "Yeshiharegitu"
MPEG Stream: "Eneman Neberu"
MPEG Stream: "Ebo Lala"
MPEG Stream: "Esset Mera"

album cover ANDERSON, BRUCE The Inherent Beauty Of Hopelessness (self-released) cd 9.98
Bruce Anderson is best known as the guitarist / frontman for Bay Area seminal avant-punk band MX-80, whose records back in the early '80s situated themselves on the suitably angular Ralph Records - home to The Residents, Snake Finger, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Tuxedomoon, etc. This 2008 composition - possibly just released, possibly never distributed until now - is a long-form, multi-tracked acoustic guitar exploration. Upon first listen, Fahey, Loren Mazzacane Connors, and Tom Carter seem the obvious references for these lilting elliptical arrangements; but as the piece develops, Anderson is insistent on hitting purposefully sharp notes, which atonally register thanks to his panned stereo distribution of layered tracks. As result, The Inherent Beauty Of Hopelessness begins to mutate into a Jandekian aesthetic of warped raga-blues, as if the Jandek standard "European Jewel" found itself tempered and elongated into a quiet, 40-minute epic.
MPEG Stream: "The Inherent Beauty Of Hopelessness"

album cover BEE GEES Horizontal (Reprise) cd 8.98
Last list we reviewed a slightly cheaper version (as opposed to the double disc deluxe edition we'd previously made a Record Of The Week) of one of the most amazing sixties pop records ever, the self titled debut from the Bee Gees, gorgeously melancholy, sweet, shimmery, sun dappled, minor key pop confections from the band that would somehow go on to be the kings of disco. So here's record number two, also now available in an inexpensive single-cd format, demonstrating once again that long before Saturday Night Fever and white disco suits and questionable movie music reinterpretations of Beatles albums, the Bee Gees were indeed masters of lush moody pop, this being part of what some consider to be one of the most perfect 1-2-3 pop punches ever: 1st, Horizontal and Idea. 
The Beatles are definitely worth mentioning, as the Bee Gees shared a similar knack for both perfect hook filled pop and slightly trippy, druggy psychedelia, that managed to find its way into much of their music and many of the lyrics. Horizontal is packed with plenty of sixties jangle and gorgeous vocal harmonies, but where 1st was filled with short sharp pop, Horizontal is a much darker beast, the songs are longer, slower, and much moodier, lots of minor key melodies, wild squalls of psych guitar, wheezing instrumental stretches, the vocals are even more dramatic and emotional, soaring strings, unlikely instrumentation, the songs are still catchy, just more subtly so. 
The opener, "World", sounds like the Zombies, via the Kinks, with a slow burning urgency, long drawn out droning instruments, an insistent beat, and a hook to die for. Later on, "Really And Sincerely" almost sounds like Antony And The Johnsons, right down to the super emotional vocals. Then there's the super slinky "The Earnest Of Being George", that sounds like "Come Together" era Beatles, all smoke and slither. Then there's the title track, their own "Day In The Life", epic and intense, dark moody piano and haunting strings, with heartbreaking melodies and those perfect, perfect vocals. Such an amazing record. Along with the other two (1st and Idea), this is absolutely essential, some of the most timeless perfect pop you'll ever hear!
MPEG Stream: "World"
MPEG Stream: "Massachusetts"
MPEG Stream: "Words"

album cover BERNIER, NICOLAS Usure.Paysage (Hronir) lp 24.00
Hot shit musique concrete found here! There are so many stuffy compositions and constructions that look back to the salad days of tape experimentation in the '50s and '60s. Works can get so conceptual with each sound being meant to allude to some particular phrases of Beckett or recapitulate the Merz of Schwitters that the interplay between this found sound and that electronic blorp is totally lost amidst a dull and boring concoction that serves little more than an execution of a grant application. This is certainly not the case for Canadian composer Nicolas Bernier, whose dexterous yet ominous concrete album has landed in the good hands of Hronir, a label which has a small catalogue of brutal collage artists (e.g. Sudden Infant, Raionbashi, GX-Jupitter Larssen) to accompany more oblique voices from the academic world. While Bernier's work isn't nearly as toxic as those jackbooted noiseniks, his compositions are wholly discomforting, and we mean that in the best possible light. Within the avant-garde pantheon, Bernier's work follows that of Michel Chion and Luc Ferrari doing their finest work, through dynamic juxtapositions blurting concrete sounds (bellowing car horns, steam engine growls, leaden explosions, etc) against unsettled atmospheres and spackled dronings that start and stop with a series of repeating punctuations not unlike the strategy that Nurse With Wound mastered on Homotopy To Marie. He's aware of the cinematic urge for acousmatic works, and pushes "Les chambres de l'atelier" towards a Lynchian noir with a soft-focus melody warbling in the background to a series of crunched abrasions and eerie footsteps, ruptured by ghostly noises. Excellent, through and through! Limited to 300 copies as well.
MPEG Stream: "Paysages Articules No. 4"
MPEG Stream: "10 Passages"
MPEG Stream: "Les Chambres De L'atelier"

album cover BLOOD CEREMONY Living With The Ancients (Metal Blade) cd 14.98
This Canadian doom-psych-prog-metal band's 2008 debut was a big fave 'round here, we likened their female-fronted n' flutey, Hammond organ driven occult heaviness to "Electric Wizard given a medieval, madrigal makeover" and compared 'em to a hypothetical Atomic Rooster + Jacula + Jex Thoth hybrid. So, stoked are we to announce the arrival of a brand new Blood Ceremony, still damp and crimson, and damn good! There's a few ways, we figure, a band like this could go: get darker and more extreme metal (a la Wooden Stake), or lighten up and develop more in their prog direction (we could imagine 'em sounding something like Curved Air in that case). Or, of course, they could provide more of the same, which would elicit no complaints from us. And that's what Blood Ceremony pretty much opted for, this album coming off like a continuation / perfection of their debut, nine more songs of vintage '70s sounding, witchy rockarolla. With plenty of rollicking Hammond organ and swinging retro riffery, they deliver the progged-out proto-metal goods like it's 1971 and they've just come from getting stoned with their groovy coven. Complete with a flute happy instrumental ("The Hermit"). And definitely, with a lot hinging on the dramatic, stagey, sometimes soft, sometimes soaring, vocals of Alia O'Brien.
Again, VERY much in the vein of Jex Thoth. O'Brien and Blood Ceremony are almost the Burning Saviours to Jex Thoth's Witchcraft, if you follow that doom-nerd analogy. Another would be Black Sabbath with a sex change, and Deep Purple or Uriah Heep's keyboards hired on... as Sabbath's actual keyboardy stuff, courtesy caped wonder Rick Wakeman on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath ferinstance, was a lot more "synthy" sounding than the classic Hammond vibe heard here, played in kick ass fashion by O'Brien by the way, a triple threat talent who's also the band's flautist, flaunting it indeed, what would they do without her?
Not that the guitarist, for one, doesn't get to shine as well, in the riff department, and dueling leads with the organ, like during the swirling, surging tour de force of the epic "Oliver Haddo" (the album's second longest song, not quite beating out the 10 minute plus closer, "Daughter Of The Sun", another extended, involved rite, all right).
This time, produced by Sanford Parker (Pelican, Yob, Zoroaster, Samothrace, The Gates Of Slumber, etc.), which perhaps accounts for some of the added thickness/heaviness we sense here, though the debut was heavy too. He also supplies some Moog.
This disc's too-dark cover photo of the band is about the only disappointment, whereas the cover painting for their first album, by fantasy artist George Barr, was something to look at. But for listening, this is indeed the answer to your prayers to the Great God Pan. So good, we simply can't get enough of this, and if you too are truly in the mood for some beauteous and bombastic, rockin' pagan prog heaviness, then it's time to begin Living With The Ancients!
MPEG Stream: "Coven Tree"
MPEG Stream: "My Demon Brother"
MPEG Stream: "Oliver Haddo"

album cover BLUT AUS NORD The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion (Debemur Morti) 2cd 14.98
Long out of print, this twisted bit of experimental avant industrial flecked gnarled and warped black metal from these French weirdos gets a super deluxe reissue, with a whole extra disc, more on that in a second, but first let's talk about The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion, a French black metal record that in some ways maybe foreshadowed Deathspell Omega's big stylistic shift, which wouldn't really happen until 2004, but back in 2001, Blut Aus Nord were already taking classic sounding frosty grim blackness and twisting it all up into their own strange idea of what black metal should sound like, adding strange chords, and weird string bends, turning buzzing riffs into dizzying smears of abstract sound, what could have been just fast and furious, ended up sounds trippy and sort of psychedelic. And here, the roots of their more drone based ambient side surfaced, which would eventually culminate in 2005's all ambient disc Thematic Emanation Of Archetypal Multiplicity, as well as the less buzzy and more atmospheric records like Mort. But on Mystical, like on The Work Which Transforms God, another of our favorite BaN records, this dark ambient side consisted mostly of long glacial interludes between songs, doomy fuzzed out riffs, disembodied and abstract giving way to dark shimmering low end rumble, chiming bells, all muted and grimly dark. But really, it's the demented riffing that makes Mystical so special. The vocals howl demonically, the drums blast so fast, they almost sound like a drum machine, with a sort of industrial rigidity, but the riffs are just mind blowing, it sounds like the guitars must be fretless, or every note in every chord is being bent back and forth, slippery and woozy, gorgeously disorienting, tripped out and druggy, like listening to Immortal through some sonic funhouse mirror. Usually when we get a hold of older, earlier records from a band, they tend to be more raw, less progressive and less fully realized (Deathspell?) but if anything, Mystical is just as weirdly fucked up and amazing as the two records that would follow.
And if that record wasn't already amazing enough and well deserving of a deluxe reissue all by its lonesome, the band have added a whole second disc, three new chapters (the original record was separated into 'chapters' in lieu of songs), all of them titled Chapter 7, nearly 40 minutes of new music, hinting we presume at their forthcoming multi part, multiple full length 3 part 777 triple cd, each volume its own record, with its own title, but all a part of their 777 epic. The Chapter 7's on Mystical Beast, find the band slowing things way down, the first, a dirgey, blackened death march, a haunting slithery creep, the guitars still twisted and gnarled, but anchored to a lurching, lumbering rhythm, the vocals a beastly croak, the main riff augmented by streaks of high end melody, reverbed leads, the whole thing like a slowed down blast of black metal, the second Chapter 7, begins with a long stretch of droned out layered guitar, riffs pulled apart and laid atop one another, the drums eventually come back in, another dirge, but this time the vocals are clean, melodic, way off in the distance, the result is some kind of blackened gloom pop, like some Nortt / Alice In Chains mash up, which sounds weird, and it is, but it's also actually quite cool. And then finally, the last Chapter 7, nearly 20 minutes long, another slowly unfurling riff, thick crumbling distortion, super spare, ultra doomy, guitars howling, melodies pealing, the vocals clean and again off in the distance, the track swells ebbs and flows, a lurching almost seasick sort of swell, the guitars woozy and warped, the drums a plodding trudge, the result, a weirdly hypnotic, mesmerizing slo-mo black doom wooziness, that is totally trancelike, and ends WAY too soon, even after twenty minutes. The perfect warped coda to an already brilliantly warped slab of twisted grim blackness.
MPEG Stream: "The Fall Chapter I"
MPEG Stream: "The Fall Chapter II"
MPEG Stream: "Chapter 7"
MPEG Stream: "Chapter 77"

album cover BOOK OF SAND Destruction, Not Reformation (Paradigms) cd 12.98
First proper non cd-r release from this aQ beloved one man black metal band, makes sense that it would end up on Paradigms, whose list of releases reads like most aQ customers' record collections: Murmuure, The Angelic Process, Decrepit Spectre, Woburn House, Fog In The Shell, Gnaw Their Tongues, Hjarnidaudi, Mourner, Wraiths, Throne Of Katarsis, Titan, Utlagr... You might as well add Book Of Sand to that list.
Before Book Of Sand, there was an atmospheric doom metal duo called Light, when Light ended, half of Light became Book Of Sand and released How Beautiful To Walk Free, a cd-r that we (and lots of you) went nuts for. Not your typical buzzing blackness, but something more abstract, a churning morass of warm black shimmer and blurred abstract riffage, a swirling sonic drift that was as much black metal as it was avant abstract metallic minimalism. Destruction, Not Reformation (one of TWO Book Of Sand releases on this week's list) takes that same atypical black metal sound and pushes it even further out, creating a sort of chamber music black metal, strings and piano augment the usual guitar buzz and drum blast, creating lush almost orchestral sounding swells of blackened buzz, soaring and majestic, and much like Liturgy, the frenzied tremolo picked riffage becomes something else entirely, mesmerizing symphonic squalls of blurred melody, and while that picking is lightning fast, it's set amidst a sound that is much slower, a heaving droney creep, lumbering and lurching, and wreathed in that frenzied black buzz, a sort of transcendental ur-drone, woven into the grim black fabric of these songs. Although grim and black only scratches the surface of the sounds found here, some of the tracks are like disembodied pop songs, shoegazey and impossibly melodic, just wrapped in buzzing swirls of blackness, while others sound like folk songs burned black, the strings so lyrical and soulful and the perfect balance for the brittle buzz, and yet even at its most intense and dense and buzzy and black, the sound is still washed out and woozy, blurred and smeared and gorgeously dreamlike, the is atmospheric, ethereal, melodic and mysterious black metal, the buzz is burnished into something much smoother, the howled vokills are buried beneath layers of sound, all bleeding into each other, a super saturated sprawl of sound, blackened and buzzy, but also breathlessly beautiful.
MPEG Stream: "No Excuses For Fascist Sympathy"
MPEG Stream: "Partaking Is Collaborating"
MPEG Stream: "The Righteous Is The Enemy Of The Natural"

album cover BOOK OF SAND The Bees & The Butterflies (Mouth Breather) cd-r 9.98
One of TWO new releases from Midwestern one man black metal band Book Of Sand, the other, a cd on Paradigms, is a gorgeous slab of washed out droney, avant droned out black metal blur, this one is a similarly abstract chunk of outsider blackness, a record made up entirely of covers, all of them old traditional folk songs, reimagined as buzzing blasting black metal songs, and as weird a concept as it may seem, it actually works quite well, the lilting melodies and sing song arrangements translate quite well, and the fact that the man behind Book Of Sand also plays violin/fiddle, it adds still another traditional folk element, mostly introducing the melody before the blackness and buzz come in, but sometimes carrying the melody throughout.
Other than the songs, the sound itself is pure black metal, the guitars buzz and the drums pound and blast, the vocals are harsh and howled, the sound is washed out and blurry, buzzy and blackened, but in this context, playing these songs, the whole thing is transformed into something totally transcendent, something dark and mysterious and strangely super emotional, the songs themselves, one a 15th century French folk song, one a traditional Appalachian folk song, one a traditional African American lullaby from the South and so on, are already so powerful, and timeless, and are imbued with such power and energy, having been played and performed for generations, sometimes centuries, but when wedded to this powerful buzzing blackness, this intense and metallic sound, they somehow become even more intense. Other black metal bands have definitely dabbled with traditional folk musics, but something about these songs, and these versions, make this seem really extra special. Haunting, and heavy, and mysterious.
Packaged in a brown yardstick sleeve, silkscreened with black ink, inside a printed cardstock insert, and a silkscreened patch, the whole thing wrapped up with twine, and yeah, VERY LIMITED!! ONLY 100 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Now The Green Blade Rises"
MPEG Stream: "Black Is The Color"
MPEG Stream: "All The Pretty Horses"

album cover BRAVE IRENE s/t (Slumberland) cd 10.98
There's a whole new generation of indie rockers who missed out on a crucial era in indie rock history in the early nineties, K Records, the International Pop Underground, etc., and thus probably don't remember Tiger Trap, a short lived group that released a single record and a handful of singles before calling it quits after about a year. But TT had a lasting impact, and found a cult following, and made TT frontwoman Rose Melberg a bit of an indie rock icon. Along with Black Tambourine (whose complete discography was recently reissued and is reviewed elsewhere on the aQ site), Beat Happening, Heavenly, Tsunami, Mecca Normal and others, Tiger Trap were a group who represented the DIY indie rock spirit and helped empower women to start bands and labels. Melberg would go on to play in Go Sailor and the Softies, and has returned once again in Brave Irene, whose sound is not that far removed from her other bands, which is just fine with us, stripped down, soft focus jangly indie pop, Melberg's voice is in fine form, lots of dreamy harmonies, warm whirring organs, fuzzy guitars, propulsive rhythms, eight songs in 17 minutes, brief bursts of perfect pop, dreamy and hypnotic, a sound of which we never tire.
Absolutely for fans of any of the above mentioned bands, and the current crop of girl pop: Grass Widow, Dum Dum Girls, White Fence, Vivian Girls, Splinters, Girls At Dawn, Veronica Falls, Yellow Fever...
MPEG Stream: "No Fun"
MPEG Stream: "River To Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Tangled Line"

album cover BRAVE IRENE s/t (Slumberland) lp 10.98
There's a whole new generation of indie rockers who missed out on a crucial era in indie rock history in the early nineties, K Records, the International Pop Underground, etc., and thus probably don't remember Tiger Trap, a short lived group that released a single record and a handful of singles before calling it quits after about a year. But TT had a lasting impact, and found a cult following, and made TT frontwoman Rose Melberg a bit of an indie rock icon. Along with Black Tambourine (whose complete discography was recently reissued and is reviewed elsewhere on the aQ site), Beat Happening, Heavenly, Tsunami, Mecca Normal and others, Tiger Trap were a group who represented the DIY indie rock spirit and helped empower women to start bands and labels. Melberg would go on to play in Go Sailor and the Softies, and has returned once again in Brave Irene, whose sound is not that far removed from her other bands, which is just fine with us, stripped down, soft focus jangly indie pop, Melberg's voice is in fine form, lots of dreamy harmonies, warm whirring organs, fuzzy guitars, propulsive rhythms, eight songs in 17 minutes, brief bursts of perfect pop, dreamy and hypnotic, a sound of which we never tire.
Absolutely for fans of any of the above mentioned bands, and the current crop of girl pop: Grass Widow, Dum Dum Girls, White Fence, Vivian Girls, Splinters, Girls At Dawn, Veronica Falls, Yellow Fever...
MPEG Stream: "No Fun"
MPEG Stream: "River To Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Tangled Line"

album cover BROWN RECLUSE Evening Tapestry (Slumberland) cd 10.98
Another winner from Slumberland, the debut from Philly psychedelic sunshine poppers Brown Recluse, who weave warm lush orchestral pop epics, that manage to be mysterious and experimental, but at the same time timeless and classic. Equal parts Elephant Six, Brazilian Tropicalia, sixties symphonic pop like the Zombies and the Bee Gees, as well as the usual reverby pop suspects like Phil Spector and Joe Meek and Brian Wilson, not to mention, there are plenty of modern groups whose sounds are reflected here, whether by design or chance:
Belle And Sebastian, Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, High Llamas, Cardinal, and the way more obscure but HUGELY aQ beloved the Rollo Treadway...
Brown Recluse create their own fantastical pop other world, everything bathed in sunlight and painted bright primary colors, candy coated and wreathed in sparkling glimmering shimmer, all assembled from strange soft shapes, wreathed in reverb, layered and lush, melodies chime and drift dreamily, organs and calliopes evoke some mysterious carnivalesque pop past, the vocals are warm and mellifluous, the harmonies divine, guitars jangle, sometimes fuzzy and crunchy, just as often clean and crystalline, the arrangements are intricate and dynamic, each song like a mini pop(era), lilting and melodic and hooky and catchy and fuzzy and ethereal, soaring strings, horns, fluttering flutes, simple programmed beats, shuffling drums, all woven into one of the dreamiest collections of hazy classic psychedelic power pop we've heard in ages. Blossoming a little bit more every time we play it, this is fast becoming contender for pop record of 2011!
MPEG Stream: "Hobble To Your Tomb"
MPEG Stream: "Impressions Of A City Morning"
MPEG Stream: "Statue Garden"

album cover BROWN RECLUSE Evening Tapestry (Slumberland) lp 13.98
Another winner from Slumberland, the debut from Philly psychedelic sunshine poppers Brown Recluse, who weave warm lush orchestral pop epics, that manage to be mysterious and experimental, but at the same time timeless and classic. Equal parts Elephant Six, Brazilian Tropicalia, sixties symphonic pop like the Zombies and the Bee Gees, as well as the usual reverby pop suspects like Phil Spector and Joe Meek and Brian Wilson, not to mention, there are plenty of modern groups whose sounds are reflected here, whether by design or chance:
Belle And Sebastian, Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, High Llamas, Cardinal, and the way more obscure but HUGELY aQ beloved the Rollo Treadway...
Brown Recluse create their own fantastical pop other world, everything bathed in sunlight and painted bright primary colors, candy coated and wreathed in sparkling glimmering shimmer, all assembled from strange soft shapes, wreathed in reverb, layered and lush, melodies chime and drift dreamily, organs and calliopes evoke some mysterious carnivalesque pop past, the vocals are warm and mellifluous, the harmonies divine, guitars jangle, sometimes fuzzy and crunchy, just as often clean and crystalline, the arrangements are intricate and dynamic, each song like a mini pop(era), lilting and melodic and hooky and catchy and fuzzy and ethereal, soaring strings, horns, fluttering flutes, simple programmed beats, shuffling drums, all woven into one of the dreamiest collections of hazy classic psychedelic power pop we've heard in ages. Blossoming a little bit more every time we play it, this is fast becoming contender for pop record of 2011!
MPEG Stream: "Hobble To Your Tomb"
MPEG Stream: "Impressions Of A City Morning"
MPEG Stream: "Statue Garden"

album cover CARLTON MELTON Country Ways (Mid-To-Late) lp 14.98
There's no shortage of psychedelic space rock in SF these days: recent Record Of The Weekers Lumerians, the Spyrals (who have a new tape reviewed elsewhere on this week's list), Wooden Shjips, Sleepy Sun, and these guys, Carlton Melton, not a person, but a quartet, who conjure up epic stretches of spaced out psychedelia, and who, unlike many of their contemporaries, seem to be less concerned with the pulse, and the rhythm, and the groove, as they are with the SOUND, and the VIBE, weaving lush, expansive sprawls of effects drenched psychedelic ambience, drifting more often than driving, huge clouds of swirling wah guitars, and minimal spare drumming, which seems to exist more as a pulse, than a beat proper, everything murky and muddy and washed out, at once lo-fi, but impossibly dense and heavy, the band seeming to drift weightless though swirling starlit sonic skies, their sound loose and free and abstract and ephemeral, the whole first side here is a single track, the title track, and it's a fantastically entrancing space drone epic, a sound the drifts and buzzes and flutters and swirls, the sound emerging in swells, building into squalls of warm whirling chaos only to slip back into something more druggy and dreamy and meditative, it's not until the final couple minutes that the song finally explodes, and even then it doesn't really get heavier, the rhythm doesn't get any more intense, instead, it just sounds like the whole band crank it up a notch, the swirling clouds of effects and guitars suddenly become more volatile, and more chaotic, the melodies gradually swallowed up by slashes of distorted guitar crunch and crumbling walls of distortion, the sound gets more dense, and more thick, and the whole time the main groove, now buried beneath the roiling surface, continues on unwavering, the only thing keeping the track from drifting into the heavens and toward the heart of the sun.
The flipside is more of the glorious same, barring a brief bit of solo guitar, an interlude that is bookended by two more heaving walls of krautpsych swirl, the band unfurling droned out minimal hypnorock mini epics, that howl and thrum, buzz and shimmer, songs that obviously could have been stretched way out and turned this into a double lp.
As always, fantastic stuff. Fans of the SF psych/space/drone/kraut rock contingent that aren't already into CM, get with it! And obviously, anyone into White Hills, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Cave, The Heads, Heavy Winged, Bardo Pond, White Noise Sound, Spacemen 3 and the like, these guys will definitely hit the spot.

album cover COHEN, TIM Tim Cohen's Magic Trick (Captured Tracks) cd 13.98
Yet another new release from the uber prolific Mr. Tim Cohen, who, when he's not fronting aQ faves the Fresh & Onlys, jamming out massive space drug epics with 3 Leafs, or blasting away mysteriously as black metal one man band Amocoma, finds time to make solo records too, like this one, with his OTHER band Magic Trick. And as you might imagine, the sound of TC's Magic Trick doesn't veer to far from the sound of the F+O, if anything, the sounds and songs here are more varied, less overtly garage rocky, and more personal, like experiments, but experiments suggests there's some risk of failure, some chance said experiment will fail, and as we know by now, Cohen's deft hand at popsmithery makes that pretty unlikely. And TCMT does seem to extend his streak, with another collection of perfect(ly off kilter) pop songs, from simple shuffly jangle, to pulsing electronic moody new wave, from brooding dour acoustic folkiness to sixties style sunshiney Spector-ish fuzz, often weaving all of those disparate sounds and styles together. Hazy reverby guitars drift under deep crooned vox, muted electronic pulses drive a warm liquid basslines, synths swirl and soar, female back up vox offer up angelic harmonies, Cohen's vocals getting better and better, rough and ragged one second, warm and smooth the next, and often slipping into a sweet falsetto, the songs too, with every record seeming to become more and more well crafted, a practically perfect assemblage of unlikely parts, surprising melodies, lush textures, quirkly electronics, multiple vocal parts, but none of those distracting from Cohen's vision, just adding to it, woven into a smooth, warm, shimmery, jangly dream poppy whole. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "I Am Never Going To Die"
MPEG Stream: "New House In Heaven"
MPEG Stream: "The Flower"

album cover COHEN, TIM Tim Cohen's Magic Trick (Captured Tracks) lp 13.98
Yet another new release from the uber prolific Mr. Tim Cohen, who, when he's not fronting aQ faves the Fresh & Onlys, jamming out massive space drug epics with 3 Leafs, or blasting away mysteriously as black metal one man band Amocoma, finds time to make solo records too, like this one, with his OTHER band Magic Trick. And as you might imagine, the sound of TC's Magic Trick doesn't veer to far from the sound of the F+O, if anything, the sounds and songs here are more varied, less overtly garage rocky, and more personal, like experiments, but experiments suggests there's some risk of failure, some chance said experiment will fail, and as we know by now, Cohen's deft hand at popsmithery makes that pretty unlikely. And TCMT does seem to extend his streak, with another collection of perfect(ly off kilter) pop songs, from simple shuffly jangle, to pulsing electronic moody new wave, from brooding dour acoustic folkiness to sixties style sunshiney Spector-ish fuzz, often weaving all of those disparate sounds and styles together. Hazy reverby guitars drift under deep crooned vox, muted electronic pulses drive a warm liquid basslines, synths swirl and soar, female back up vox offer up angelic harmonies, Cohen's vocals getting better and better, rough and ragged one second, warm and smooth the next, and often slipping into a sweet falsetto, the songs too, with every record seeming to become more and more well crafted, a practically perfect assemblage of unlikely parts, surprising melodies, lush textures, quirkly electronics, multiple vocal parts, but none of those distracting from Cohen's vision, just adding to it, woven into a smooth, warm, shimmery, jangly dream poppy whole. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "I Am Never Going To Die"
MPEG Stream: "New House In Heaven"
MPEG Stream: "The Flower"

album cover COMUS First Utterance (Rise Above Relics) lp 36.00
One of our ALL TIME favorite records, if not THEE favorite, the untouchable genius debut from UK pagan folkies Comus, perhaps the ultimate seventies British acid folk document, has been lovingly reissued once again, this time as another deluxe vinyl version (180 gram too!), finding a home (a quite suitable one we think) on British label Rise Above... And for those of you who are not already COMPLETELY OBSESSED with Comus' beautiful and bizarre seventies pagan folk, WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!? Let's just get this out of the way: most folks around these parts consider Comus' First Utterance to be the greatest seventies pagan tribal folk prog psych freakout record ever. Hard to debate that. But among those folks, about 99 percent also consider First Utterance to be one of the greatest records ever, regardless of genre! One listen and you'll be convinced. Or you'll run away screaming in terror. Either way, it's hard to not be totally blown away and / or thrillingly confused by the mad musical world of Comus.
THIS RECORD SCARES US. Hearing it is like stumbling upon some forbidden ancient ritual that scares you to death. You stand paralyzed, too afraid to look away. Comus's singular, frightening sound and violently poetic lyrics have kept them from taking their rightful place alongside Fairport Convention, Incredible String Band, and the rest of Britain's psychedelic folk royalty.
And we don't write the words psychedelic folk royalty without a certain amount of trepidation. At first glance Comus would seem to fit squarely in the Ren-Faire camp: bongos, flute, oboe, 12-string guitar, and no drummer. But never has the whole of a band so completely defied its parts; their sound is as mesmerizing as it is repulsive. Upon the record's initial release, one British music journalist wrote that she "didn't get past the first track, which sounded like a cross between a frenzied version of the witches chorus from Macbeth, and Marc Bolan being squeezed to death." Funny thing is, that's a fairly apt description. Tales of murder, rape, insanity, and witchcraft unfold amid a swirling abyss of seething acid folk. Squalls of shamanistic wailing jut uncomfortably from serene, tranquil melodies; guttural growls battle a delicate angelic chorus, echoing the violent struggle of the lyrics. Flutes, hand drums, acoustic guitars, and a violin clamber atop one another in a chaotic melee, creating a pagan folk not unlike that of The Wicker Man soundtrack gone totally bonkers.
Although the band has been resolutely ignored by mainstream music fans, the press, and the majority of the underground, a small rabid following has kept a reverential vigil beside the corpse of Comus. Nurse with Wound cronies Current 93 modeled their '90s sound after '70s British folk, Comus especially. They even went so far as to cover "Diana," Comus's only single, on their album Horsey. Swedish progressive black metallers Opeth have always been outspoken about their love of Comus. Their acclaimed 1998 album was called My Arms, Your Hearse, after the lyrics of "Drip Drip". And it's not surprising. This record is so powerful and frightening and totally devastating even 30 years later.
And never would we have thought that a record as old as us, with flutes and bongos fer chrissakes, could be so absolutely malevolent, both sonically and lyrically! But like we said, this record scares us. And we know you like to be scared too! One of our ALL TIME FAVORITE RECORDS EVER!!!
Interesting facts culled from the liner notes of various versions of this record over the years: After First Utterance, there was actually a Lord Of The Rings inspired suite of songs (a proper follow up) already written called Malgaard, that the band had begun performing live but never got around to recording! We flipped when we read about that. Can you imagine? Sadly, it just wasn't meant to be. And they also never recorded their live version of "Venus In Furs", either (apparently Comus started out doing lots of VU covers!). Ah well. But still, we're more than happy with the amazing musical malevolence Comus left as their legacy.
So any of you who haven't discovered Comus, what else can we do to convince you that you NEED this record? Folkies will love it, but it's plenty dark and creepy and sinister enough for all you metalheads, and way weird enough for all you experimental music lovers. And of course Comus obsessives (like Andee and Allan) who already have multiple versions of First Utterance will for sure need this one as well! Let your pagan prog rock psych folk freek flag fly!
MPEG Stream: "Diana"
MPEG Stream: "Drip Drip"
MPEG Stream: "The Herald"
MPEG Stream: "Song To Comus"

album cover CONDENADOS A Painful Journey Into Nihil (Shadow Kingdom) cd 13.98
Shadow Kingdom sure has become one of those labels, that whatever they put out, whether it be some rare '80s metal reissue by a band we've never heard of, or an equally unknown release by a brand new band, we know want to hear it, 'cause the label is definitely focused on the sort of obscure cult metal we love, usually doomy, often epic, quite classic and sometimes a bit eccentric. From lost NWOBHM treats like Wolfbane and Deep Switch to modern day doom like Garden Of Worm and Crowned In Earth, they've been bringing it.
So, listen up, here's another good one from 'em. A Painful Journey Into Nihil is the debut full-length from Chilean doomsters Condenados (which means "Doomed" in Spanish, we're not surprised to learn). Of course, we immediately thought of Procession, another doom trio from Chile that we happen to love (and who have a new album out we hope to be getting soon!), and that's not far off the mark. Both bands traffic in trudge, extruding glacially epic dark doom that sounds a bit like Swedish gods Candlemass, but even more bummed out and despairing, maybe 'cause Candlemass was actually a pretty successful band, while these guys are struggling away in the depths of South America...
The six sluggish songs on here, the first two sung in Spanish, the others in English, are straight up serious quality old school doom all right, heavily weighted with lumbering, fuzzed out riffs in ye olde Sabbathy style, but even sadder and slower, their grinding graced with deep, somber vocals (rising to a higher pitch at some choice moments), and some nicely gnarly guitar solos amidst the melody. And we're pleased to report that Condenados has thrown a little flute in here too, just to make the album even better (and proggier). Keyboards and samples are also used to atmospheric effect. But none of that wimps this out, at all, it's HEAVY, regally so. A track like "Centuries Of Darkness" sounds like a classic that true doom devotees should have already been (slowly) banging heads to for, well, centuries.
Highly recommended to fans of the likes of Candlemass, Warning, Reverend Bizarre, The Wizar'd, Procession... and something about "Welcome To My Grave" reminds us a bit of The Obsessed.
MPEG Stream: "Las Puertas De La Catedral"
MPEG Stream: "Centuries Of Darkness"

album cover CRASS Feeding Of The 5000 (Crassical Collection) cd 19.98
These anarcho-punk legends are finally getting the deluxe reissue campaign they always deserved, but probably never really wanted anyway. Having spent the seventies and eighties kicking against the pricks, these DIY iconoclasts pretty much lived and breathed punk rock like few others since, making music, putting on gigs, setting up squats, coordinating political actions, starting a label, creating art, making films, advocating animal rights, environmentalism, feminism, direct action, anarchism, pacifism, criticizing various subcultures, encouraging dialogues, and encouraging participation and protest, and obviously, and perhaps most pertinent to this here review, making some of the most awesome punk records EVER.
These records sound impossibly and incredibly fresh, intense and dramatic and emotional, heavy and hooky, jagged and jittery, their ideals clearly on display, backed up by musical muscle, pop smarts, and some super original and innovative sounds and songs. The crazy thing, revisiting these records again, is how much they've influenced modern underground music, there are at least a handful of bands, who now with these records fresh in our ears, sound almost criminally beholden to Crass: Arctic Monkeys, The Fall, Louis XIV, Art Brut... the list goes on.
Legendary for a reason, all three of these records should be required listening for punks and metalheads and hell, anyone into underground sounds, and are totally worth revisiting, we had sort of forgotten how goddamn great all three of these records are, and even if you still own beat up original copies, there's enough extra stuff, music and artwork wise, that they're totally worth picking up again...
Feeding Of The 5000 was the group's incendiary debut, originally released in 1978, and almost didn't come out, as the pressing plant refused to carry it due to the lyrical content of the opening song, an intense spoken word rallying cry against religion, against God, filled with violent images and foul language, all over a field of buzzing feedback. They replaced the song with silence, in protest, and then and there decided to start their own label, which then re-released the record the way it was initially envisioned. And even now, 30+ years later, FOT5K is a fierce, frantic chunk of pure punk rock, wild chaotic angular guitars, wild scowling urgent vox, caffeinated drumming, samples and snippets of spoken word, all wound up into something frenzied and frenetic, heavy on the hooks, whether intentional or not, these songs manage to be angry and caustic and intense, but still catchy as hell, the lyrical vitriol reflected in the relentless punk rock energy, just a glorious collection on intense, emotional, swaggery, ramshackle, energetic, sweat soaked, pop flecked, PUNK, that has definitely remained as fresh, and as lyrically relevant as it was all the way back in 1978. Which speaks well of Crass, but not so well for the state of the world...
Included as bonus tracks are various live sessions and studio demos, some of which show another side of Crass, sounding almost like some sort of busking skiffle band, all shuffly and Billy Bragg-ish(!). The packaging is incredible, a gorgeous slipcover, which judging from the design is meant to join together with the other 5 reissues to form a single huge Crass logo, inside is a massive booklet with new liner notes from the band, all the lyrics, as well as photos and artwork, there's also a reproduction of the original insert, a fold out poster with the distinctive Crass artwork, a poster on one side, collages,and the lyrics as they were originally printed on the other.
MPEG Stream: "Asylum"
MPEG Stream: "Do They Owe Us A Living?"
MPEG Stream: "End Result"
MPEG Stream: "They've Got A Bomb"

album cover CRASS Stations Of The Crass (Crassical Collection) cd 19.98
These anarcho-punk legends are finally getting the deluxe reissue campaign they always deserved, but probably never really wanted anyway. Having spent the seventies and eighties kicking against the pricks, these DIY iconoclasts pretty much lived and breathed punk rock like few others since, making music, putting on gigs, setting up squats, coordinating political actions, starting a label, creating art, making films, advocating animal rights, environmentalism, feminism, direct action, anarchism, pacifism, criticizing various subcultures, encouraging dialogues, and encouraging participation and protest, and obviously, and perhaps most pertinent to this here review, making some of the most awesome punk records EVER.
These records sound impossibly and incredibly fresh, intense and dramatic and emotional, heavy and hooky, jagged and jittery, their ideals clearly on display, backed up by musical muscle, pop smarts, and some super original and innovative sounds and songs. The crazy thing, revisiting these records again, is how much they've influenced modern underground music, there are at least a handful of bands, who now with these records fresh in our ears, sound almost criminally beholden to Crass: Arctic Monkeys, The Fall, Louis XIV, Art Brut... the list goes on.
Legendary for a reason, all three of these records should be required listening for punks and metalheads and hell, anyone into underground sounds, and are totally worth revisiting, we had sort of forgotten how goddamn great all three of these records are, and even if you still own beat up original copies, there's enough extra stuff, music and artwork wise, that they're totally worth picking up again...
Stations Of The Crass (another poke at the Catholic Church, just one of many) was record number two, and was released in 1979, and found the band's sound shifting pretty dramatically. Their lo-fi sound not so lo-fi at all, and it wasn't just the recording, the band sounded way more confident, the songs catchier and more complex, the vibe more new wavey in places, the root sound was the same, jagged sharp guitars, pounding frantic drumming, but the bass is way more of a presence, sometimes getting seriously woozy and new wavey, introducing some definite dub vibes throughout, like a leaner meaner Clash in places (although there's at least one fuck you shout out to the Clash), and the vox, even more intense this time around, anguished and super emotive, sometimes spoken in a super thick cockney accent, other times vitriolic yelp, and often breaking down into a super intense tortured howl. To these ears Stations was when Crass finally became a musical force to rival their already established political and punk rock force, the music powerful and more mature, heavy and hooky and more able to convey Crass' anger and disappointment and fury in the form of sound.
While the original Stations came accompanied by a collection of live tracks, those have been left off, and in their place, as bonus tracks, is a 1979 Peel Session.
The packaging is incredible, a gorgeous slipcover, which judging from the design is meant to join together with the other 5 reissues to form a single huge Crass logo, inside is a massive booklet with new liner notes from the band, all the lyrics, as well as photos and artwork, there's also a reproduction of the original insert, a fold out 6 panel foldout with the distinctive Crass artwork, collages and graffiti, and the lyrics as they were originally printed on the other.
MPEG Stream: "Mother Earth"
MPEG Stream: "White Punks On Hope"
MPEG Stream: "You've Got Big Hands"
MPEG Stream: "Darling"

album cover CRASS Penis Envy (Crassical Collection) cd 19.98
These anarcho-punk legends are finally getting the deluxe reissue campaign they always deserved, but probably never really wanted anyway. Having spent the seventies and eighties kicking against the pricks, these DIY iconoclasts pretty much lived and breathed punk rock like few others since, making music, putting on gigs, setting up squats, coordinating political actions, starting a label, creating art, making films, advocating animal rights, environmentalism, feminism, direct action, anarchism, pacifism, criticizing various subcultures, encouraging dialogues, and encouraging participation and protest, and obviously, and perhaps most pertinent to this here review, making some of the most awesome punk records EVER.
These records sound impossibly and incredibly fresh, intense and dramatic and emotional, heavy and hooky, jagged and jittery, their ideals clearly on display, backed up by musical muscle, pop smarts, and some super original and innovative sounds and songs. The crazy thing, revisiting these records again, is how much they've influenced modern underground music, there are at least a handful of bands, who now with these records fresh in our ears, sound almost criminally beholden to Crass: Arctic Monkeys, The Fall, Louis XIV, Art Brut... the list goes on.
Legendary for a reason, all three of these records should be required listening for punks and metalheads and hell, anyone into underground sounds, and are totally worth revisiting, we had sort of forgotten how goddamn great all three of these records are, and even if you still own beat up original copies, there's enough extra stuff, music and artwork wise, that they're totally worth picking up again...
Penis Envy was record number three, released in 1981, and was a serious shift for the band, and easily their most polished and accomplished, but the changes were big, first, all the vocals are female this time around, and in keeping with this new more feminine vibe (or more likely it was all a single concept), the lyrical focus of Penis Envy, as is suggested by the title, is sexuality, specifically how it relates to women: feminism, marriage, sexual repression...
And the music, wow, the opening track sets the stage, a little flurry of synthy weirdness, the sound strangely proggy, it quickly launches into a super hooky minor key angular punk pop workout, the riffs woozy, the guitar sound crunchy, the drums powerful, the bass thick and low slung, and the vocals incredible, powerful and emotional, passionate and BAD ASS, spitting out some seriously intense lyrics, a wickedly sarcastic tale of feminine subjugation.
And so it goes, the whole record a fantastically and fully realized groove heavy punk rock blowout, that seems to sonically foreshadow the various post punk bands that would eventually cite Crass as an influence, lots of tension and release, horns, even harmoniums, plenty of drones, and intricate arrangements, bizarre vocal harmonies, super distorted buzz, some almost funkiness, some proto-electronica, that dub vibe in fell effect, choral voices, swooping backwards sounds, super strange, but really kick ass production, hard to believe this record is 30 years old, especially considering how many bands are making sounds just like this now, and probably don't realize, Crass were doing it decades ago, and doing it better.
One of the best stories about Penis Envy, is when the band somehow conned teenage girl's romance magazine to include Crass track on a giveaway flexi disc, credited to Creative Recording And Sound Services (yep, Crass), sonically on the surface, it was a sweetly innocuous pop song, but it was Crass after all so the subtext is much more damning, and needless to say, when the hoax was revealed there was a bit of an uproar. That track is included here, as is a collaged soundscape combining the original track with responses to the hoax, as well as an archival track and a rare 2003 remix.
The packaging is incredible, a gorgeous slipcover, which judging from the design is meant to join together with the other 5 reissues to form a single huge Crass logo, inside is a massive booklet with new liner notes from the band, all the lyrics, as well as photos and artwork, there's also a reproduction of the original insert, a fold out 6 panel foldout with that distinctive Crass artwork, the original blow up doll album cover, collages and graffiti and lyrics...
MPEG Stream: "Mother Earth"
MPEG Stream: "White Punks On Hope"
MPEG Stream: "You've Got Big Hands"
MPEG Stream: "Darling"

album cover DALEK Untitled (Latitudes) cd 14.98
These last few months have finally seen the arrival of the most recent batch of Latitudes releases, some that had been in the pipeline for months, maybe even years, first Gang Gang Dance and Gowns, then Nadja and Mount Eerie, and most recently the Master Musician of Bukkake, and now finally, this sprawling avant hip hop doomscape from Dalek, who already pushes the boundaries with his proper releases, but this one takes it even further, a massive 44 minute untitled sonic sprawl, epic and abstract, dark and ominous, lush and majestic, a slow burning dubbed out bass heavy intro lays the groundwork. Warped and warbly, a shimmery downtempo creep, laced with distant melodies, buried vox, folky guitars, there's some rapping, more like spoken word, but it fades out quickly as the surrounding sounds blossom and expand into a dark swirling dronescape, bits of twang and garbled voices drift on a sea of hiss and hum, of muted melody and crumbling textures, and then things get serious, the sounds is cranked up, the low end thick, the rhythms industrial and grinding, almost like some sort of hip-hopped SUNNO))) / Godspeed hybrid, the vocals buried in the mix, before it all winds down again, and then in come the tablas (!), wrapped in weird backwards swoops and heaving slabs of low end rumble, building again, this time into a lumbering string laden machine like trudge, doomy and dark, almost like a more blissed out Gnaw Their Tongues, orchestral and epic, and after about 27 minutes, a proper hip hop beats swoops in, still wreathed in caustic buzz, and surrounded by all manner of fractures sounds and effects, and suddenly it's like the hardest heaviest hip hop you've never heard, super distorted and blown out, a crushing chunk of post apocalyptic robo funk lope, which eventually fades out, leaving just a long stretch of hushed shimmer, and tangled steel string melody, all blurred and smeared into a hazy expanse of ominous minimal drift, and one final verse, delivered ominously over the tense droning whir beneath. Fucking KILLER.
LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES, the covers the immediately recognizable brown and white origami style Latitudes sleeves, this one with a black and silver cover image glued to the front, and a full color insert inside.
MPEG Stream: "Untitled"

album cover DANTESCO s/t (Stormspell) cd 11.98
Recently we highlighted the new album from Puerto Rico's most epic doomy operatic metal band, Dantesco, Seven Years Of Battle. Simultaneously released with that, Stormspell has also brought out this raging disc of demos from their very first year of battle, back in 2004. They were as over the top and impressive then as they are now. Plus bonus tracks, including two more covers rather revealing of their obscure epic influences: "Queen In Black" originally by Swedish cult Sorcerer (whose album has recently been reissued, and we'll probably be listing soon!) and "Deliver Us From Evil" by the legendary Warlord, which by itself would be enough to get the true metal heads here at AQ to buy this, though we'd be buying it anyway since we're Dantesco fans already! For those, like us, who can't get enough of the EPIC! (Or the unintentional visual hilarity of this otherwise quite serious -sounding- band's band photos...)
As with other Stormspell releases, this is a limited, numbered edition...
MPEG Stream: "Cronicas De La Muerte Negra"
MPEG Stream: "Dantesco"
MPEG Stream: "Deliver Us From Evil"

album cover DAVILA 666 Tan Bajo (In The Red) cd 13.98
For whatever reason, some of us never really paid much attention to these Puerto Rican garage rocking punks, and then suddenly, they're the next big thing, or maybe not even 'next', they ARE the big thing, hyped to high heaven, the big ticket at SXSW, everyone clamoring and singing their praises, we have to admit that just made us more skeptical, but we're happy to admit when we're wrong, and boy were we wrong, these guys rule. And this record is so killer, a dizzying mix of stripped down garage rock pound, super hooky jangle pop, droned out druggy shoegaze, a little Stooges, a little Stones, a little Jesus & Mary Chain, some old school punk rock, some reverbed sixties wall of sound Spector-ish pop, some modern garage rock, all tangled up into super strange, but undeniably classic and catchy sounding fuzzy, groovy, garage rock jangle pop. The production is strangely lo-fi, but suits D666's sound, the tracks shift gears constantly, rambunctious and punky one second, washed out and hypnotic the next, there are streaks of feedback all over the place, the sound slips from stripped down and buzzy to lush and layered and back again often in the same song, there are loads of killer hooks, lots of subtle psychedelic shadings, pounding blasts of punkish power pop that blossoms into totally classic old school power pop, and then into some snotty snarly fuzzy noise pop, and then some bouncy old school garage rock, and finally some fuzzy sixties style dream pop, all simple chords, sweet vocals, tambourines and hand claps. These guys definitely sound like they'd be a blast live, and it comes across loud and clear on record, and it definitely makes sense they're on In The Red, and odds are if you dig Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall and the like, you'll probably love these guys too.
NB: Stick around for the hidden track, a short blast of cheesy, drum machine driven electro punk, with gang vocals, and eighties synths, and it sounds like a commercial. Pretty funny...
MPEG Stream: "Tan Bajo"
MPEG Stream: "Obsesionao"
MPEG Stream: "Yo Seria Otro"
MPEG Stream: "Los Cruces"

album cover DAVILA 666 Tan Bajo (In The Red) lp 13.98
For whatever reason, some of us never really paid much attention to these Puerto Rican garage rocking punks, and then suddenly, they're the next big thing, or maybe not even 'next', they ARE the big thing, hyped to high heaven, the big ticket at SXSW, everyone clamoring and singing their praises, we have to admit that just made us more skeptical, but we're happy to admit when we're wrong, and boy were we wrong, these guys rule. And this record is so killer, a dizzying mix of stripped down garage rock pound, super hooky jangle pop, droned out druggy shoegaze, a little Stooges, a little Stones, a little Jesus & Mary Chain, some old school punk rock, some reverbed sixties wall of sound Spector-ish pop, some modern garage rock, all tangled up into super strange, but undeniably classic and catchy sounding fuzzy, groovy, garage rock jangle pop. The production is strangely lo-fi, but suits D666's sound, the tracks shift gears constantly, rambunctious and punky one second, washed out and hypnotic the next, there are streaks of feedback all over the place, the sound slips from stripped down and buzzy to lush and layered and back again often in the same song, there are loads of killer hooks, lots of subtle psychedelic shadings, pounding blasts of punkish power pop that blossoms into totally classic old school power pop, and then into some snotty snarly fuzzy noise pop, and then some bouncy old school garage rock, and finally some fuzzy sixties style dream pop, all simple chords, sweet vocals, tambourines and hand claps. These guys definitely sound like they'd be a blast live, and it comes across loud and clear on record, and it definitely makes sense they're on In The Red, and odds are if you dig Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall and the like, you'll probably love these guys too.
NB: Stick around for the hidden track, a short blast of cheesy, drum machine driven electro punk, with gang vocals, and eighties synths, and it sounds like a commercial. Pretty funny...
MPEG Stream: "Tan Bajo"
MPEG Stream: "Obsesionao"
MPEG Stream: "Yo Seria Otro"
MPEG Stream: "Los Cruces"

album cover DECREPITAPH Profane Doctrines Unburied (Razorback) cd 10.98
Wayne "Elektrokutioner" Sarantopoulos is everywhere these days. Encoffination, Wooden Stake (see elsewhere this list for their new 7"), Father Befouled (whom we really still need to review), Scaremaker, Tombstones, Festered... if you like your doom metal deathly and/or your death metal doomy, he's your man! Playing not just drums, but other instruments as well, and often writing the music too. Decrepitaph, under examination here, is another of his many blasphemous bands. It started off as a solo project, but these days is a duo, with David "Sinworm" Clark on vocals and guitars. Their third disc, Profane Doctrines Unburied, is chock full of Decrepitaph's usual dense dirty decompositions of chunking crunching death metal, utterly in keeping with the Razorback roster's revitalization of old skool '90s death metal style a la Asphyx, Obituary, Incantation, etc. This album takes thick, sick white noise trudge to epic extremes, especially on the nine minute plus finale, "The Crucifix Crumbles (A Decrepit Epitaph)". They go fast, and they go slow. In fact, "Mortified Spirits" contains what might be one of the most lethargic and lugubrious drum solos ever, that you could maybe still call a drum solo.
Elsewhere, it's a barrage of battery, hand in hand with relentless riffs that scrape and scrub with steel wool like fuzz buzz... plus putrid guttural vokill belchings buried beneath... and last but not least, eerie adornments of keyboard synths, played by Elektrokutioner, whom we should add has quite an extensive collection of sleeveless metal band logo t-shirts. His bald and bearded self is looking mean in a Sodom shirt in the cd booklet here, and glaring intensely in a Voivoid shirt on the Wooden Stake 7" sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "A Suffocating Evil"
MPEG Stream: "Mortified Spirits"
MPEG Stream: "The Crucifix Crumbles (A Decrepit Epitaph)"

album cover DER PLAN Geri Reig (Medical Records) lp 21.00
Search back into the Aquarius archives, and you'll come across reviews of records that we loved with just a phrase or a sentence, giving a few choice references and adjectives. Oh, how the times have changed. Way back when, we summed up Der Plan's classic weirdo kraut new wave record with the following pithy statement: "A head on collision between the Residents and Conny Plank." Still very true to this day, although an expansion of that description is most definitely in order. Der Plan hailed from Dusseldorf, and Geri Reig was their first record, emerging in 1980 as a particularly bizarre version of the Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) sound. It seemed that every single German punk and NDW band would twist and mutate some sickly sweet ballad into something monstrous and perverse. Even Neubauten did a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'Aime" on their first record; but polkas, waltzes, and cabaret numbers seemed to the prime target for the venom, bile, and ill-thoughts of the youth from back in the day, and Der Plan had authored a good number of these cheeky tunes, with atonal blooping electronics, plinkety-plonk melodies, and disjointed scratchy vocalizations. As a result, the Residents are still an apt reference for most of Geri Reig, although perhaps the equally bizarre, although less known Die Todliche Doris should also be referenced as well. For all of Der Plan's weird disposition, they would also craft a percolatingly brilliant minimal wave track here and there, as heard in the man-machine sequencing on "Commerce Exterieur Mondial Sentimentale" and the future-shock arpeggiations of "Adrenalin Lasst Das Blut Kochen." A classic record from the NDW period, now available once again thanks to the fine folks at Medical Records!
MPEG Stream: "Adrenalin Lasst Das Blut Kochen"
MPEG Stream: "Geri Regi"
MPEG Stream: "Hans und Gabi"
MPEG Stream: "Commerce Exterieur Mondial Sentimental"

album cover DER PLAN Normalette Surprise (Medical Records) lp 21.00
Album number two by Der Plan came out originally in 1981, and it follows the art-pop quirkiness of the band's Geri Reig album with a slightly more conventional approach to their Neue Deutsche Welle songs. Just slightly, though. For the most part, the overt references to the vernacular of Germanic pop music (waltzes, polka, cabaret, etc.) are dropped for more of a primitive electro sound, with plenty of clipped rhythms, flanging electronic sequences, mutant funk anti-grooviness, and occasional vocoder-treated vocals. Der Plan takes delight in rendering each and every sound in a deliberate staccato choppiness, with electronic and vocal melodies often in naked opposition to each other, while the rhythms are loose skeletons that hardly anybody could dance to. The album features 17 tracks, and many more ideas running through all of those cuts, mucking up the streamlined new wave surfaces within disjointed, Residents inspired asynchronicity, and there's even a couple of early plunderphonic experiments popping up, such as "Kleine Schlager Revue" which mashes up saccharine German pop ditties with a smutty sex-recording lifted from some porno flexi-disc, and the grimmer "Wat's Dat?" snipping bits of commercials and breathy exhortations and melding them onto teletype synth modulations. Like Geri Reig, Normalette Surprise is back in print on vinyl... but probably not for long, as Medical Records only released 550 of these!
MPEG Stream: "Leb Doch"
MPEG Stream: "Wat's Dat"
MPEG Stream: "Rot Grun Tot"

album cover DISCIPLINES, THE Virgins Of Menace (Spark & Shine) cd 15.98
At the risk of slipping into hyperbole, which we do pretty much all the time anyway, so fuck it, the Posies were probably one of the best modern power pop bands EVER. Alongside Jellyfish and a few others, the Posies were one of the few bands who made record after record of nearly perfect pop, the Posies in particular crafting the sort of pop that we can never get enough of, heavy, crunchy, fuzzy, big guitars, killer harmonies, and hooks galore. If you're resistant to the idea, or for some crazy reason have never heard the Posies, take a second and go check out Frosting On The Beater, or Dear 23, or hell, almost any of their records. Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer were one of those Lennon/McCartney caliber partnerships, their voices perfectly matched, their songwriting styles so complimentary, their collaborations resulting on some of our all time favorite songs and records.
They may still be a band, but for all intents and purposes, the band is over, and while both Stringfellow and Auer have made a handful of solo records, as well as playing with other bands, it wasn't until Stringfellow hooked up with some European rockers and formed the Disciplines, that anything post-Posies has even come close. The first Disciplines record came out with so little fanfare we almost missed it, but when we did finally hear it, we were blown away, it was like the next Posies record that never was, but somehow even more rocking and heavy.
So when this new record came out, we knew there would be some pop fans out there, who might have missed out on these guys completely, so here you go, Posies obsessives, stop reading now, and just buy this, you won't be sorry, everyone else, heck, you should probably do the same, but especially if you love big, crunchy power pop, buzzy guitars, pounding drums, with a bit of a punky edge, the Disciplines, are super rocking, heavy, hooky, with Stringfellow's distinctive vocals and knack for melody and harmony transforming what could otherwise have been something much less vibrant and special into something seriously AWESOME. Every song here, super catchy, with a sound that slips from soaring jangly power pop, to crunchy urgent punkish fuzz pop, a bunch of the songs dead ringers for Posies jams, and Lydia Lunch even guests on one track, with a snarly spoken word, but seriously, pop fiends, this stuff rules, and is probably gonna be one of our pop records of the year!
MPEG Stream: "Virgins Of Menace"
MPEG Stream: "For You I Walked Over The Line"
MPEG Stream: "Some Kind Of Sickness"

album cover DUM DUM GIRLS He Gets Me High (Sub Pop) cd ep 4.98
A quick four song follow up ep to the I Will Be full length that was a huge hit around here, and if anything, He Gets Me High is even better. The production is lush and polished, and the songs, best yet we think. "Wrong Feels Right" has a brooding bass heavy intro with dense tribal toms, that reminds us of Icicle Works actually, before launching into something more shimmery and reverby and jangly, hooks galore, and a lush, heavy, almost shoegazey chorus, not to mention some gorgeous hazy lead guitar. "He Gets Me High" then ups the ante, super crunchy distorted guitar, a groovy garagey stomp, all beneath lush multitracked vocals, everything still reverby, but here the guitars make it sounds like Spacemen 3 or something, a pretty bad ass combo or sure.
"Take Care Of My Baby" is a smoldering ballad, and sounds more like the DDG of old, the guitars wreathed in thick reverb, the vocals smokey and sultry, the sound like some sixties girl group B side, minor key and moody, and another to-die-for hook and an oh so classic chorus. And as if that wasn't enough, they cover the Smiths' "There is A Light That Never Goes Out", and they own it, sounding a bit like a meaner Best Coast, the song is obviously fantastic already, but the Dum Dum Girls makeover turns it into something even more intense, the verses so broody and dark, but then that chorus, soaring and catchy and so perfect.
We've been playing these songs to death, over and over, mix tape manna for sure, and most definitely has us chomping at the bit for a new full length!
MPEG Stream: "Wrong Feels Right"
MPEG Stream: "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"

album cover DUM DUM GIRLS He Gets Me High (Sub Pop) 12" 10.98
A quick four song follow up ep to the I Will Be full length that was a huge hit around here, and if anything, He Gets Me High is even better. The production is lush and polished, and the songs, best yet we think. "Wrong Feels Right" has a brooding bass heavy intro with dense tribal toms, that reminds us of Icicle Works actually, before launching into something more shimmery and reverby and jangly, hooks galore, and a lush, heavy, almost shoegazey chorus, not to mention some gorgeous hazy lead guitar. "He Gets Me High" then ups the ante, super crunchy distorted guitar, a groovy garagey stomp, all beneath lush multitracked vocals, everything still reverby, but here the guitars make it sounds like Spacemen 3 or something, a pretty bad ass combo or sure.
"Take Care Of My Baby" is a smoldering ballad, and sounds more like the DDG of old, the guitars wreathed in thick reverb, the vocals smokey and sultry, the sound like some sixties girl group B side, minor key and moody, and another to-die-for hook and an oh so classic chorus. And as if that wasn't enough, they cover the Smiths' "There is A Light That Never Goes Out", and they own it, sounding a bit like a meaner Best Coast, the song is obviously fantastic already, but the Dum Dum Girls makeover turns it into something even more intense, the verses so broody and dark, but then that chorus, soaring and catchy and so perfect.
We've been playing these songs to death, over and over, mix tape manna for sure, and most definitely has us chomping at the bit for a new full length!
MPEG Stream: "Wrong Feels Right"
MPEG Stream: "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"

album cover EARTHEN SEA Waves (Imminent Frequencies) cassette 6.50
A gorgeous new batch of hazy transcendental keyboard dronemusic from this SF based one man band, once a member of Mi Ami and Black Eyes, although you'd never know it from these two sprawling minimalist explorations.
Unlike the propulsive almost krautrock-ish murk of his first tape, Waves is more a sort of barely moving, lush layered lysergic new age, the sort of keyboard kosmische that folks into Emeralds and Expo 70 should go nuts for. The melodies are subtle, the movements muted, the various tones and overtones float and hover and wash into one another like, well, waves. There's definitely a Niblock vibe too, but filtered through a more modern lo-fi space drone floorcore aesthetic. The A side for all its spaciness and dreaminess is also thick, and in its own way heavy the sounds raw, and a little abrasive, it's mesmerizing and ambient, but also intense.
The B side however is WAY more ethereal and ephemeral, those same waves of sound are now more monochromatic, pulsing in slow motion, woozy swells of muddy melody that mask a barely there propulsion, the track seems to fade and crumble, before finally switching gears as a distant melodic hum, the backdrop to a mysterious set of field recordings, a warm whirring bed for a soft swirling clouds of Philip Jeck like click and hiss. Nice.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!! We have less than a dozen, and once these are gone then that's it...

album cover ETERNAL TAPESTRY Beyond The 4th Door (Thrill Jockey) cd 15.98
Latest from these Portland psych rockers, their first for new label Thrill jockey, which is where they now call home, alongside their pals, SF dronerockers Barn Owl.
For Beyond The 4th Door, these guys haven't really changed their MO all that much, but then as they say, why fix what ain't broke? The opener is a sprawling smoldering psychedelic drift, all minimal stripped down drums, effected guitar, processed vox, deep low end buzz, and helicopter like thrum, the sound twangy and sun baked, almost like they're taking a page from label mates Barn Owl, the same sort of deserty drift, but ET augment their drift with strange effects, whirring synths, culminating in a thick buzzing denouement, before slipping right back into a slowly fading outro.
That track bleeds right into the next, another chunk of psychedelic smolder, this time the guitars more distorted, a sound that reminds us of Flower Travellin' Band actually, like those wailing vox could swoop in at any second. Instead, the song unfurls, a mesmerizing chunk of hypo psychedelia, which again blurs right into the next track, a hazy slow burner, all tangled psych guitars, and shuffling skeletal rhythms, and finally on this one, the band get heavy (not crazy heavy, but heaviER), there's some sax here too, but it almost sounds just like another guitar, the band unleashing loose softly chaotic squalls of dueling guitars/sax, the whole thing hazy and druggy and pretty excellent, the sort of modern shit that should moss definitely appeal to all the Japrock obsessives who worship at the alter of Les Rallizes.
The record finishes with two sprawling epics, "Reflections In A Mirage", a droney, twangy, stretch of minimal, spacious shuffle, vocals return, to chant, and moan ominously, while the guitars warble and buzz, all tangled an spidery, draped over swirls of shimmery drone, the song never explodes or climaxes, which only makes it cooler, the instruments gradually blurring together and finally coalescing into a closing stretch of layered drone. The comes "Time Winds Through A Glass, Clearly", topping out at 12 minutes, beginning like some strange sort of country jam, loping low slung bass, and twangy reverbed guitars, soon sizzling clouds of cymbal shimmer drift overhead, the saxophone returns and skronks off in the distance, the song drifts and lopes and meanders, slowly picking up steam, but staying mostly restrained, until the last few minutes, where the band do let loose again, the drums pounding, the guitars distorted, wild streaks of psychedelic leads everywhere, a serious sonic squall, but only briefly, before things quickly settle back down and the track unwinds in a soft psychedelic haze. Great stuff. And refreshing that they managed to avoid the ubiquitous soft/loud, slow build, explosive ending thing that seems to be the way most bands do psychedelic space rock, instead, each song was a expansive sprawling epics that were both hypnotic and heavy, mesmerizing and mysterious…
MPEG Stream: "Ancient Echoes"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Manhunt"
MPEG Stream: "Galactic Derelict"

album cover ETERNAL TAPESTRY Beyond The 4th Door (Thrill Jockey) lp 16.98
Latest from these Portland psych rockers, their first for new label Thrill jockey, which is where they now call home, alongside their pals, SF dronerockers Barn Owl.
For Beyond The 4th Door, these guys haven't really changed their MO all that much, but then as they say, why fix what ain't broke? The opener is a sprawling smoldering psychedelic drift, all minimal stripped down drums, effected guitar, processed vox, deep low end buzz, and helicopter like thrum, the sound twangy and sun baked, almost like they're taking a page from label mates Barn Owl, the same sort of deserty drift, but ET augment their drift with strange effects, whirring synths, culminating in a thick buzzing denouement, before slipping right back into a slowly fading outro.
That track bleeds right into the next, another chunk of psychedelic smolder, this time the guitars more distorted, a sound that reminds us of Flower Travellin' Band actually, like those wailing vox could swoop in at any second. Instead, the song unfurls, a mesmerizing chunk of hypo psychedelia, which again blurs right into the next track, a hazy slow burner, all tangled psych guitars, and shuffling skeletal rhythms, and finally on this one, the band get heavy (not crazy heavy, but heaviER), there's some sax here too, but it almost sounds just like another guitar, the band unleashing loose softly chaotic squalls of dueling guitars/sax, the whole thing hazy and druggy and pretty excellent, the sort of modern shit that should moss definitely appeal to all the Japrock obsessives who worship at the alter of Les Rallizes.
The record finishes with two sprawling epics, "Reflections In A Mirage", a droney, twangy, stretch of minimal, spacious shuffle, vocals return, to chant, and moan ominously, while the guitars warble and buzz, all tangled an spidery, draped over swirls of shimmery drone, the song never explodes or climaxes, which only makes it cooler, the instruments gradually blurring together and finally coalescing into a closing stretch of layered drone. The comes "Time Winds Through A Glass, Clearly", topping out at 12 minutes, beginning like some strange sort of country jam, loping low slung bass, and twangy reverbed guitars, soon sizzling clouds of cymbal shimmer drift overhead, the saxophone returns and skronks off in the distance, the song drifts and lopes and meanders, slowly picking up steam, but staying mostly restrained, until the last few minutes, where the band do let loose again, the drums pounding, the guitars distorted, wild streaks of psychedelic leads everywhere, a serious sonic squall, but only briefly, before things quickly settle back down and the track unwinds in a soft psychedelic haze. Great stuff. And refreshing that they managed to avoid the ubiquitous soft/loud, slow build, explosive ending thing that seems to be the way most bands do psychedelic space rock, instead, each song was a expansive sprawling epics that were both hypnotic and heavy, mesmerizing and mysterious…
MPEG Stream: "Ancient Echoes"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Manhunt"
MPEG Stream: "Galactic Derelict"

album cover EXPO 70 Blackout (Debacle) cd-r 9.98
It's been a little while since we've heard anything new from Justin Wright and his interplanetary sonic soundship Expo 70, and technically this isn't a proper new record, instead this is two live sets captured on tour in 2009, when Expo 70 were in New York, two 30+ minute sets of hazy, swirly, ambient kosmische drift.
The first set, from Ithaca, begins with a wild squall of lead guitar, and sod crowd sounds, before the duo (featuring Matt Hill of Umberto!) get down to business, unfurling a hazy sprawl of tangled melodies, and softly pulsing guitar, a lush backdrop for some seriously soaring psychedelic leads, all washed out and lysergic, like some classic Santana jam stretched way out and hurled into space, the whole thing gradually getting more and more intense and distorted and aggressive, the bass throbbing, the guitar howling, a churning heavy crescendo that quickly dissipates into a super ethereal stretch of ambient shimmer, warm clouds of muted effects and softly swirling electronics, gradually fading into nothingness.
The Manhattan show begins with some hazy crystalline drift, soft clouds of warm guitar drifting over the top, laced with little curlicues of effects, and slow drifting slabs of melodic whir, this track is way more sci-fi, edging into Umberto territory, getting all soundtracky and cinematic, lots of swooping electronic bleeps and bloops, all over some super minimal dubbed out percussion, the second half of the set way more low slung and slithery, deep cavernous bass, distant rumbles, soft streaks of synth, lots of softly swirling layers, slipping through clouds of spaced out electronics, and then a long stretch of almost choral liturgical sounding organs, all droned out and meditative, growing ever more hazy and indistinct. So nice.
We're definitely dying for a proper new full length, but these two chunks of primo sci-fi psychedelic kraut drone drift will definitely hold us over for now!
Super nice packaging, a glossy six panel digipaks with various images from the 2009 tour, from whence these recordings came.
MPEG Stream: "Ithica, NY"
MPEG Stream: "Manhattan, NY"

album cover FOLLAKZOID s/t (Sacred Bones) 12" 12.98
One of two new modern Chilean psychedelic outfits on this week's list, both on Sacred Bones, and both sharing a member, unlike the spaced out psychedelic of The Holydrug Couple, Follakzoid traffic in a sound much more krautrocky, two ten minute side long jams, totally mesmerizing blissed out, cyclical, circular hypnorock, the drums and guitars locked into a super tranced out groove, while all around, strange vocals and voices swirl and swoop, effects shimmer and glimmer and other guitars jangle and chime, the sound changes subtly, stripped down and skeletal one minute, crunchy and distorted the next, but that hypnotic core riff remains locked tight, the sort of thing that should have fans of Circle and Lumerians and Cave and White Hills and 3 Leafs and Mugstar all freaked out.
The flipside starts out much more minimally, a sprawl of effects drenched warble, warped melodies draped over a lumbering beat, less a rhythm and more a pulse, all washed out and muted and muddy and bleary and blurry, before launching into another stretch of super hypnotic krautrock chug and churn, but this time, the sound is way more minimal, the main riff sounding more like the throb of a helicopters spinning blades, whump whump whump, wreathed in softly swirling synths, laced with chanted vocals, all wound into a super tight chunk of super muted sci-fi krautrock psychedelic space rock, that RULES.
MPEG Stream: "IV, III, II, I "

album cover GO! TEAM, THE Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) cd 14.98
When we first heard The Go! Team way back in 2004, with their debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike, like most folks we were pretty blown away, a wild rambunctious double Dutch sampledelic hip hop/ electro pop like nothing we had heard. Fun and funky, energetic and original, and totally kick ass, and while we didn't love the follow up quite as much, this new one totally knocked our socks off. The first track alone "T.O.R.N.A.D.O." was all it took, a two minute blast of girl gang, horn heavy, block rockin beats, a looped sample of an Antibalas jam is the anchor for this avalanche of thump funk, neighborhood party blow out groove, surprisingly dark and ominous, with brass that sounds like it was lifted from Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, all wrapped around a thick funky rhythm, peppered with squalls of scratching, everything chopped and stuttery, and ultra funky and dramatic, super intense and so RULING, but then the next song is a total about face, WAY more poppy, all bouncy rhythms, fuzzy organs, sunshiney and almost Bossa Nova sounding, more like Stereolab or Deerhoof, and it's that opening one two punch that gets played out across the whole record, a dizzying collection of genre flipping hybrids, sunshine pop meets garage rock crunch meets hip hop groove meets electro dance party and pretty much every and any stop in-between, shades of Stereolab and Deerhoof and Puffy Ami Yumi and Shonen Knife and Dee-lite and Salt & Pepa and so much more, all sliced and diced and cobbled together into some seriously fun, funky girl group hip hop garage rock electro pop blowouts, it's about as feel-good as a record can get and still kick ass. Lots of guests pop up too, yet again reflecting the group's all-over-the-map sound, including Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino. So good!
MPEG Stream: "T.O.R.N.A.D.O."
MPEG Stream: "Secretary Song"
MPEG Stream: "Apollo Throwdown"

album cover GO! TEAM, THE Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) lp 15.98
When we first heard The Go! Team way back in 2004, with their debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike, like most folks we were pretty blown away, a wild rambunctious double Dutch sampledelic hip hop/ electro pop like nothing we had heard. Fun and funky, energetic and original, and totally kick ass, and while we didn't love the follow up quite as much, this new one totally knocked our socks off. The first track alone "T.O.R.N.A.D.O." was all it took, a two minute blast of girl gang, horn heavy, block rockin beats, a looped sample of an Antibalas jam is the anchor for this avalanche of thump funk, neighborhood party blow out groove, surprisingly dark and ominous, with brass that sounds like it was lifted from Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, all wrapped around a thick funky rhythm, peppered with squalls of scratching, everything chopped and stuttery, and ultra funky and dramatic, super intense and so RULING, but then the next song is a total about face, WAY more poppy, all bouncy rhythms, fuzzy organs, sunshiney and almost Bossa Nova sounding, more like Stereolab or Deerhoof, and it's that opening one two punch that gets played out across the whole record, a dizzying collection of genre flipping hybrids, sunshine pop meets garage rock crunch meets hip hop groove meets electro dance party and pretty much every and any stop in-between, shades of Stereolab and Deerhoof and Puffy Ami Yumi and Shonen Knife and Dee-lite and Salt & Pepa and so much more, all sliced and diced and cobbled together into some seriously fun, funky girl group hip hop garage rock electro pop blowouts, it's about as feel-good as a record can get and still kick ass. Lots of guests pop up too, yet again reflecting the group's all-over-the-map sound, including Deerhoof's Satomi Matsuzaki and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino. So good!
MPEG Stream: "T.O.R.N.A.D.O."
MPEG Stream: "Secretary Song"
MPEG Stream: "Apollo Throwdown"

album cover GRAILS Deep Politics (Temporary Residence) cd 14.98
Album number six from the Portland post rock instrumentalists, and they continue to get better and better, barely even a rock band any more really, instead they're essentially modern composers, creating epic cinematic soundscapes, occasionally disguised as rock songs. All it takes is about 2 minutes of the opening track on Deep Politics to once again demonstrate that these guys have moved way beyond simple rock band-isms. A dark ambient drift, deep swells, swoonsome strings, chugging muted riffs, all woven into the sound of a rain swept late night abandoned city street, then of course in comes the twangy Morricone-ish guitars, and then more strings unfurling Middle Eastern melodies, it's like Morricone meets the Sun City Girls but gone all post rocky, the song shifting back into a loping groove, laced with almost funky wah guitar, and some cool spidery psychedelic guitar leads, and finally an explosive, super distorted coda. A lot to jam into a single song, but it doesn't sound overly proggy, or super intricate, the balance is somehow exactly right. The second track unleashes a sprawl of reverbed piano and skittery drumming, all woven into a Barry Adamson style soundtrack for some imaginary film, replete with choir like vocals, minimal guitar twang, and a seriously explosive and epic 'chorus'.
And while somehow these songs all hang together, sonically, Deep Politics is all over the map, the thing holding it together more a vibe or a feel than a particular sound. Synths buzz and thrum, flutes flutter, a downtempo beats holds it all together, all spare and dubbed out, haunting and ominous, multi tracked strings become string sections and soar dramatically over drums and piano, a sort of post rock chamber music, sounding almost like the score to some European art film, melodies unwind dramatically, blues dirges becomes almost psychedelic drones, rhythms drag and crawl, skitter and shuffle, guitars and pianos, organs and basses unleash thick swaths of minor key buzz, of chordal thrum.
"Almost Grew My Hair" might be THEE jam here, heavy and spacey and psychedelic, beginning with strummed steel string guitars, distorted psychedelic buzz, big drums, all distorted and washed out, wild tangles of melody, deep bass, all wrapped around some seriously kick ass almost proggy drumming, super hypnotic and rhythmic, until the second half of the song, when things get even more proggy, sounding like classic rock and Yes and Supertramp, epic and intricate, with grandiose blasts of almost orchestral rockisms, more choir like vox, all wreathed in a sort of ominous haze. Ruling!
The final two tracks are more of the same yet not at all similar, the first is minimal, all electronic pulses, and strange industrial whirs, a sort of piano flecked sci-fi dub, a super dramatic slow build, and then a strangly drum heavy super pro almost total Miami Vice / John Carpenter style eighties soundtrack jam, which quickly subsides into a gorgeous bit of hazy droney murk. And THEN, delicate steel string guitar drifts on a sea of warm droning swells, before pianos and drums swoop in for a bit of churn and crunch, only to fade right back out again, leaving adrift bit of ethereal folk, only to have the song splinter about halfway through into a seriously math groove, rife with Eastern melodies, intricate drumming, and some super rad distorted guitar, the whole thing super dynamic, stop/start, eventually stopping for good, leaving the just swirls of acoustic guitar strum, lush layered drones, and some delicate piano, slowing and dreamily fading out. Awesome!
MPEG Stream: "Future Primitive"
MPEG Stream: "All The Colors Of The Dark"
MPEG Stream: "Almost Grew My Hair"
MPEG Stream: "I Led Three Lives"

album cover GRAILS Deep Politics (Temporary Residence) 2lp 25.00
Album number six from the Portland post rock instrumentalists, and they continue to get better and better, barely even a rock band any more really, instead they're essentially modern composers, creating epic cinematic soundscapes, occasionally disguised as rock songs. All it takes is about 2 minutes of the opening track on Deep Politics to once again demonstrate that these guys have moved way beyond simple rock band-isms. A dark ambient drift, deep swells, swoonsome strings, chugging muted riffs, all woven into the sound of a rain swept late night abandoned city street, then of course in comes the twangy Morricone-ish guitars, and then more strings unfurling Middle Eastern melodies, it's like Morricone meets the Sun City Girls but gone all post rocky, the song shifting back into a loping groove, laced with almost funky wah guitar, and some cool spidery psychedelic guitar leads, and finally an explosive, super distorted coda. A lot to jam into a single song, but it doesn't sound overly proggy, or super intricate, the balance is somehow exactly right. The second track unleashes a sprawl of reverbed piano and skittery drumming, all woven into a Barry Adamson style soundtrack for some imaginary film, replete with choir like vocals, minimal guitar twang, and a seriously explosive and epic 'chorus'.
And while somehow these songs all hang together, sonically, Deep Politics is all over the map, the thing holding it together more a vibe or a feel than a particular sound. Synths buzz and thrum, flutes flutter, a downtempo beats holds it all together, all spare and dubbed out, haunting and ominous, multi tracked strings become string sections and soar dramatically over drums and piano, a sort of post rock chamber music, sounding almost like the score to some European art film, melodies unwind dramatically, blues dirges becomes almost psychedelic drones, rhythms drag and crawl, skitter and shuffle, guitars and pianos, organs and basses unleash thick swaths of minor key buzz, of chordal thrum.
"Almost Grew My Hair" might be THEE jam here, heavy and spacey and psychedelic, beginning with strummed steel string guitars, distorted psychedelic buzz, big drums, all distorted and washed out, wild tangles of melody, deep bass, all wrapped around some seriously kick ass almost proggy drumming, super hypnotic and rhythmic, until the second half of the song, when things get even more proggy, sounding like classic rock and Yes and Supertramp, epic and intricate, with grandiose blasts of almost orchestral rockisms, more choir like vox, all wreathed in a sort of ominous haze. Ruling!
The final two tracks are more of the same yet not at all similar, the first is minimal, all electronic pulses, and strange industrial whirs, a sort of piano flecked sci-fi dub, a super dramatic slow build, and then a strangly drum heavy super pro almost total Miami Vice / John Carpenter style eighties soundtrack jam, which quickly subsides into a gorgeous bit of hazy droney murk. And THEN, delicate steel string guitar drifts on a sea of warm droning swells, before pianos and drums swoop in for a bit of churn and crunch, only to fade right back out again, leaving adrift bit of ethereal folk, only to have the song splinter about halfway through into a seriously math groove, rife with Eastern melodies, intricate drumming, and some super rad distorted guitar, the whole thing super dynamic, stop/start, eventually stopping for good, leaving the just swirls of acoustic guitar strum, lush layered drones, and some delicate piano, slowing and dreamily fading out. Awesome!
MPEG Stream: "Future Primitive"
MPEG Stream: "All The Colors Of The Dark"
MPEG Stream: "Almost Grew My Hair"
MPEG Stream: "I Led Three Lives"

album cover HARRIS, LIZ (GROUPER) Divide (Root Strata) book+dvd 38.00
Considering how quick Grouper stuff blows out of here, this one most likely doesn't need too much of a description. Divide is the first book of original artwork from Liz Harris (aka Grouper), black and white, and super striking, intricate branch like patterns, washed out water colors, tangled knots, mysterious patterned mandalas, crystalline arrangements of lines and space, a style most aQ-ers will recognize from various Grouper releases. The softcover book measures 7" by 7", and has beautiful full color front and back covers, and includes a dvd, featuring an original video by Harris, accompanied by a gorgeous Grouper soundtrack (featuring Rob Fisk from Common Eider, King Eider on viola), and as you might expect, it's another fantastic dreamlike sonic drift, all warm whirling otherworldly haze and gauzy ethereal shimmer. So nice.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, we have less than 10, and most likely will NOT be able to get more...

album cover HECKER, TIM Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky) 2lp 17.98
THIS RECENT RECORD OF THE WEEK, NOW ON THE HIGHLY COVETED VINYL FORMAT!!
Tim Hecker might be one of THEE most referenced artists on the aQ website. Whenever we need to describe something fuzzy and gauzy and washed out and blurred and bleary, smeared and shimmery, woozy and mesmerizingly dreamlike, we tend to always look to Hecker, whose gorgeous crumbling otherworldly soundscapes manages to transcend their constituent parts. When listening to Tim Hecker, it's practically impossible to hear samples, or instruments, or anything really, other than the amazing organic soundworld that Hecker has created, the constituent parts rendered wholly unrecognizable, instead, they are layers, or colors, or pieces of the new whole, a sound that's transformative and transcendent, evocative as always of other times, and other places, lost worlds, lost loves and forgotten memories, conjuring up many of the same emotions as folks like Leyland Kirby and Indignant Senility, but where as those sounds are distinctly old fashioned, the sound of Hecker's music is timeless. It does of course have elements of a forgotten past, in it's crumbling decayed sound quality, and washed out ethereal ambience, but it also manages to be melodic, and active, and alive it its own way, it has energy, and vitality, as if some bit of glowing modern sound, was left in a corner to collect dust, and fade a bit, before being rediscovered, brushed off, only to find it's glow, while not diminished, has definitely been altered by the passage of time. Like the most magical of musics, Hecker's is hard to describe, and even harder to imagine how it was created, even if we know the instrumentation, whatever aracane sonic alchemy Hecker employs makes even that knowledge useless in trying to understand how his music works. But then, like magic, not knowing how it works is part of the joy of experiencing these sounds, it's as if they were created from the elements, conjured up from the spirit world, beamed in from another dimension, it's not knowing, or understanding, but feeling, and experiencing, and enjoying, letting the music work its magic, and transport you to whatever imaginary other world they were intended to invoke.
With every Hecker record, we seem to proclaim, 'best one yet!' and it looks like we'll have to again with Ravedeath, 1972, recorded in a church in Iceland, and with a pipe organ as its main instrument, augmented by synthesizer, piano, microphone and feedback, this is the richest and most lush Hecker record yet, not just atmospheric, but emotional and infused with a definite pathos, even moreso, than on past records.
The record opens with a super corrosive bit of blurred ambience, the sound decaying and crumbling, the melodies pulsing and undulating just below the surface, a gorgeous balance between warm melodic drift, and caustic psychedelic haze, but woven together, they create something impossibly gorgeous.
From there on out, the sound and the songs sprawl and shimmer, epic expanses of warm whirring melodies, of lush layered ever shifting textures, the organ, while not always distinctly organ like, does lend the sound a certain choral gravitas, that makes all the sounds here darkly cinematic, the score for some lost art film, all deep shadows and strange shapes, of empty streets and abandoned cities, it's almost like the sound of super8 film if that film had 'a sound', all the lens flares, and warm distorted flutter, the fuzzy out of focus over saturated colors, all translated into sound, a sound that slips deftly from murky and moody and muted to blown out and sun blasted, from under water woozy melodic thrum, to super crunchy distorted buzz, to music box like tinkle to epic almost liturgical majesty, the whole record, so perfectly and uniquely Tim Hecker, again the reason we refer to him so often, when describing the often futile attempts of others trying to evoke sounds this powerful and moving, fuzzy, gauzy, washed out, blurred, bleary, smeared, shimmery, woozy, mesmerizing, dreamlike, crumbling, otherworldly, and so utterly and breathtakingly gorgeous.
We dug up an old review we wrote for another Hecker record, where we managed to describe Hecker's sound about as perfectly as we'll probably ever be able to, and reading it over again now, it applies to Ravedeath as much as any of Hecker's other records:
"Imagine the most beautiful music in the world. Then with an old thrift store camera, take a super grainy snapshot of that music. Fold up the photo and place it in an envelope and mail it to an address that no longer exists. 20 years later, happen upon an old abandoned post office, and discover that letter unopened, but browned with age, remove the photo and place it in your pocket. Lose those pants on a camping trip, only to discover them the next summer, all wadded up in a corner, sprinkled with a years worth of dust and cobwebs. Wash the pants, and only afterwards discover the photo. Prop in up in the window of the cabin to dry, where it sits soaking up the sun for the whole summer. Right before you leave, grab the photo of the most beautiful music in the world and place it in your book to mark your place. Place the book back on your shelf and forget all about it. Move several times over the course of the next several years, finally unpacking a dusty old trunk filled with books. Leaf through several of them, when suddenly the most beautiful music in the world flutters to the floor, dusty and tattered, worn and nearly transparent. Finally, tear it up into tiny pieces and drop them one by one into the speaker of an antique victrola, wind it up and what comes out will be the music of Tim Hecker."
Easily his best yet, and one of our new favorite records, and for sure, a contender for record of the year, even just a little over a month in...
MPEG Stream: "Analog Paralysis 1978"
MPEG Stream: "Hatred Of Music I"
MPEG Stream: "In The Air I"
MPEG Stream: "Studio Suicide 1980"

album cover HENRY & GLENN FOREVER (Cantankerous Titles) book 6.00
Like the best "slash" fiction, Kirk and Spock, Buffy and Spike, Ponch and Jon, this was another one that had to happen eventually, Henry Rollins of Black Flag and Glenn Danzig of Samhain, the Misfits and of course Danzig, reimagined as a loving couple, celebrating Christmas, giving each other backrubs, doing karaoke, hanging out in the bathroom, struggling with all the usual things regular couples struggle with, painting everything black, costume parties, going to Antiques Roadshow, shopping at target, arguing, having T.V. parties, breaking up, making up, shoes, Prop 8, pants that make me look fat, D&D, touring, Mr. T, abortion, toilet paper, puppet play-time, artificial insemination, and of course existential ennui.
All delivered in this little scrapbook collection of one panel one off cartoons, pithy and poingnat, filthy and funny, foul mouthed and baffling, pages of diaries, sketches, full on comix, postcards, notes from Henry to Glenn and from Glenn to Henry, it's sweet and sad, goofy and twisted, the best part might just be Henry & Glenn's neighbors, Hall & Oates, also a couple, but reimagined as overly friendly devil worshippers.
The art is amazing (some of it by our pal Tom Neely, who did art for that Melvins comic we carried a while back, and whose books and comix are amazing and you should buy them all!), and we have to say it's pretty ballsy to fuck with these two infamous badasses, in fact, we saw a picture online of some guy getting Rollins to sign his copy of this, and he looked so pissed. The perfect gift for every and any music nerd in your life, gay or straight, metal or punk, Hall or Oates, Henry or Glenn!

album cover HIGUMA Pacific Fog Dreams (Root Strata) lp 14.98
Pacific Fog Dreams is the latest missive of abstract droned out psychedelia from Higuma, the duo of Evan Caminiti (of Barn Owl) and Lisa McGee, a logical extension of Caminiti's twang drone doom folk soundscaping in Barn Owl, Higuma finds Caminiti and McGee crafting epic, roiling expanses of smoldering slow burn shimmer and hushed apocalyptic minimalism, heaving sheets of distorted sound swirl like black clouds in a grey sky, lit from within by a distant sun, that glow a constant source of deep divine melody, each track an ancient ritual depicted in sound, a journey from some deep lost other world to some future unknowable self, the various instruments woven into undulating sonic tapestries, McGee's reverbed disembodied voice a glowing thread running throughout, the sound shifting from shoegazey to hazy, warm and whispery to dark and droney, occasionally erupting into gouts of grinding super distorted psychedelic effulgence, the vocals following right along soaring into the stratosphere, a keening high end melody held aloft by the burnished blackened guitar thrum.
Elsewhere, the guitars hover and drift, a swirling hum, a spectral presence, the various melodies blurred and smeared into the background, becoming a strange prismatic ever shifting landscape of chordal fragments, each like the ghost of some lost song, soon to be swallowed up by a wave of crumbling corrosive buzz, a strangely melodious bit of SUNNO))) blasted crush, the edges smoothed, the grit worn away, leaving a thick undulating swell of bleary, blissed out shimmer, laced with tendrils of steel string buzz, and wreathed in garlands of whir and blur and rumble.
The final movement begins as steel grey streaks of chordal corrosion peel away, leaving nothing but swirling shadows and barely there billows of echo drenched drone, before blossoming into a strum laden slow build, a sea of sympathetic vibrations and lush overtones, keening high end shimmers off in the distance, and a dense melodic center, pulsing, the melody threatening to break free, but held in check by swaths of whirling buzz, the various sounds slowly loosing their bonds, and becoming one, the colors running together, creating a dark black buzz, that trails off into the night sky.
So gorgeous. Beautiful packaging too, and of course, LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Pacific Temple"
MPEG Stream: "Burning Colors"
MPEG Stream: "The Veiled Lamp"

album cover HOLYDRUG COUPLE, THE The Ancient Land (Sacred Bones) 12" 11.98
One of two new modern Chilean psychedelic outfits on this week's list, both on Sacred Bones, and both sharing a member, The Holydrug couple is a duo who traffic in spaced out, hazy, druggy, cosmic jams, laid back and lysergic, a little bit stonery and sun baked, the sound lush and layered, a definite raga vibe, totally cosmic and pretty heavy, and definitely heady, minimal vocals, the crux of these tracks filled up with hypnotic, krautpsych JAMS, the drums solid and propulsive, the guitars swirling and swooping, soaring and wailing, plenty of effects, the whole of side A, a single extended jam that pulses and jangles, chimes and crunches, like Los Natas meets Pink Floyd maybe, gradually growing more and more spaced out mellow, before finally, slipping into a swirl of shimmery droned out ambience.
The B side is two shorter tracks, the first a crunchy chunk of garage-y groove, even more stonery than the flipside, all Hawkwind, Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Earthless psych space jam bliss, the second half a total heart of the sun blowout. The second track (and the shortest of all three), is also the mellowest and dreamiest, all washed out jangle, melodic shimmer, shuffling drums and hazy sweetly sung vox, the perfect psychedelic wind down / chill out coda...
MPEG Stream: "Ancient Land"

album cover ID BATTERY Unique Ancient Tavern (Center Of The Ass Run / Ecstatic Yod) lp 14.98
Thurston Moore and Byron Coley curated the quizzically named series Center Of The Ass Run in the mid-'90s, packaging a handful of obscurant freeform experimentalists in pre-fab LP sleeves and a sticker annotating which Ass Run this might be. They looked purposefully lowbrow, but within always lurked stellar explorations of avant-noise, no-wave jazz excursions, and splattered electronics, with Id Battery's 1997 release Unique Ancient Tavern fitting nicely within this batch of releases. Id Battery was an early project for Brandon Labelle and long-time aQ-favorite Loren Chasse, who began this project well before anything Jewelled Antler. Much of this material harkens back to their earliest collaborations, when Chasse was found behind a drumkit and Labelle was on bass. While they soon moved beyond this guise into the more well-known explorations of sound through found objects, contact microphone probings, and rebroadcasting sounds in unconventional settings, the bass/drum Id Battery arrangements were more in keeping with garbled lo-fi murk that was coming out of New Zealand at the time (e.g. Dead C, Birchville Cat Motel, Doramaar, A Handful Of Dust) with falling-down-the-stairs drum clatter and atonal thwacking on the bass with plenty of choking atmospherics filling in the gaps. Chasse and Labelle spliced these grimy improvisational recordings with thrumming drones of equally lo-fi quality as various looping techniques amassing the sounds into deep bellows, pocked with skittering texture and corroded noises.
These are the last pieces of vinyl kicking around from the Center Of The Ass Run series, as a small stash was uncovered in a vault somewhere in Massachusetts. Don't expect these to be around for long!

album cover LOGAN'S RUN (GOLDSMITH, JERRY) OST (Film Score Monthly) cd 17.98
Released in 1976, Logan's Run remains one of the coolest and most fantastically stylized sc-fi cult classics EVER. If you haven't seen it, go rent it now, you won't be sorry. It's the tale of a future world that is all about hedonistic pleasure, free love, recreational drug use, routine plastic surgery, random sexual encounters, the only hitch is that when you turn 30, you go through a ceremonial slaughter. Each citizen has a small jewel implanted in the palm of their hand, and when 30 comes it begins to blink. Logan's Run concerns a certain guard, who gleefully hunts down runners, people who decide to try and escape their fate, and drag them back for execution, until he falls in love, and begins to question the system, even moreso when his jewel begins to blink, and thus he decides to run. Outside the city, they discover a ruined Washington D.C. overgrown with plants, a post apocalyptic wasteland, and, well, without giving more away, it's trippy and psychedelic and totally cheesy and over the top. The set design is classic seventies futurism, lots of neon, and crystals, and sparkly clothing, and the holographic entertainment is outrageous and again super cheesy, the ladies are beautiful and are dressed in wild futuristic gowns (Farrah Fawcett plays the plastic surgeon's assistant, and is appropriately seventies hott), and there's a robot that they meet in an ice cave, and okay, if you haven't decided to rent it already, we're not sure what's wrong with you! Needless to say, a tripped out psychedelic vision of the future like this needed a similarly futuristic psychedelic soundtrack, which it did indeed get, courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith, and the whole thing (and then some) is reproduced here. And what with the current craze of sonically worshipping John Carpenter and Goblin and that whole retro-futuristic thing going on, it seemed like the perfect time for people who were maybe not even born at the time to get a load of THIS, which sounds in many ways like what lots of folks know are doing.
Sure it's symphonic, it is a score after all, but there's lots of sci-fi / electronic weirdness, in fact the whole soundtrack starts with a pulsing bit of buzzing synth, before slipping into some soaring strings, but then it's right back to some creepy spaced out ambience, all bleeps and bloops, electronic squiggles and alien melodies, and the whole score sort of slips back and forth, from traditional orchestral score, to avant freaked out psychedelic electronics, often melding the two brilliantly.
"Flameout" is all analog synths, and twisted effects, super cheesy and eighties, but also ominous and mysterious, Theremin like melodies, electronic rhythms, atonal cascades of 8 bit analog crunch. "Fatal Games" begins with some sort of processed electronic rhythm, pulsing, motorik, before strange liquid ambience oozes into the picture, and suddenly it sounds like some sort of lo-fi analog alien electro. And so it goes, strings soar and shimmer, electronics buzz and warble, synths whir and thrum, some tracks are goofy and over the top, others are ominous and intense with wild Bernard Hermann like string stabs, while others are super jagged and atonal and dramatic, and still others are swoonsome and melodic.
Such a great movie, and such a great soundtrack. Released on the same label that gave us The 5000 Fingers Of Dr. T ( a recent Record Of The Week) and the killer Klute / All The Presidents Men soundtrack, which means, like those, the presentation is elaborate, with a huge booklet, rife with amazing liner notes, pictures, production stills, photos, not to mention super detailed notes on each track, describing the track itself, and then what's going on in the movie while said track plays. Wow.
MPEG Stream: "Flameout"
MPEG Stream: "Fatal Games"
MPEG Stream: "The Assignment / Lost Years"
MPEG Stream: "Intensive Care"
MPEG Stream: "They're Watching / Doc Is Dead"
MPEG Stream: "The Interrogation"

album cover LOIRI, VESA-MATTI 4+20 (Porter) cd 13.98
If you're anything like us, all it will take is three simple words to convince you that you need this: FLUTE. FINLAND. NINETEEN SEVENTY ONE. Okay, so that last one's not really a single word, but yes, this fantastic chunk of Finnish Flute heavy jazz folk was indeed released in that musically mindblowing year, and is pretty much everything you could hope for from a seventies Finnish flautist, it's groovy, jazzy, folky, a little bit rocking and a lot bit pretty goddamn weird. Just take the opening track, after some field recordings of seagulls and lapping waves on the shore, Loiri whistles along to some simply strummed acoustic guitar, and suddenly you realize it's essentially a jazzed up cover of Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home", hand drums and flutes swing in, some deep wordless "la la" vocalizing and then it's back to the waves and birds. Definitely an odd way to start a record, but these guys are Finnish after all.
The rest of the record is not so obviously strange (or is it?), the second track is some groovy flute driven folk, the flute playing is stellar, woozy stand up bass, intricate hand drumming and more steel string strum, there's some bluesy psychedelic guitar leads, and then there's a drum solo, accompanied by humming (or is that kazoo), and then it's right back into it, Loiri often singing and vocalizing through the flute (a la Roland Kirk), which makes it even more far out.
The record shifts gears constantly, the next track begins playful sing songy lullaby, suddenly transforming into some sort of gypsy folk music the next, what sounds like a drunken tavern sing along, and then it's right back to the lullaby like fluttery flute of the opening, and then a strange old field recording of a carnival or circus. All a single track. The next track is more straight ahead jazz, some incredible flute playing and amazing drumming, the next track too, sounding almost Latin Jazz, but then along comes "Mummon Kaappikello" a groovy bit of big band jazz, backing up some sped up chipmunk vocals, turning the otherwise trade jazz into something totally warped, and then it's right back into it, some seriously swinging seventies jazz funk, and still more kick ass flute.
The final three tracks are more folky jazzy grooviness, some serious strum heavy drum driven rhythmic jazz, gives way to some jazzy cabaret, with deep crooned dramatic vocals, and finally finishing off with a brief bit of folky flute and acoustic guitar that returns to the opening bit of Blind Faith. Wow. Awesome, and bizarre and amazing and easily one of the coolest things Porter has dug up. And again: FINLAND. FLUTE. 1971.
Eye popping pop art cover with a big foldout poster, both depicting Loiri in aviator's helmet and goggles, with a painted on bright yellow and red bullseye shirt and little angle's wings!
MPEG Stream: "4 + 20 (Session 1. A)"
MPEG Stream: "Turkish Coffee"
MPEG Stream: "Candle Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Coming Home Baby"

album cover LOON s/t (self released) lp 17.98
Witchy doomy heaviness from Rhode Island, home of ultra avant doom heavies The Body, electro rockers Six Finger Satellite, spastic hyper noiserock duo Lightning Bolt, and hardcore legends Dropdead, among others, but female fronted doom rockers Loon have way more in common with the current crop of heavies like Jex Thoth, The Devil's Blood, Sub Rosa, Blood Ceremony, Cauchemar, Christian Mistress and Purple Rhinestone Eagle, and fans of any of those bands will definitely dig Loon's stonery psychedelic grooves, and pop flecked Sabbathy doominess, but Loon definitely have their own take on that sounds, beyond the doom aspect, which is really pretty minimal, sure it IS doomy, but it's way more groovy, there's also a serious slowcore vibe going on, a downer pop woven into the group's more metallic heaviness, which ends up reminding us of a way heavier more traditionally metal True Widow, which is totally NOT a bad thing. And then there's the vocals, which are amazing, slipping from demonic screech, to sweet melodious croon, powerful and intense, and often reminding us of country chanteuse Neko Case surprisingly enough. So if you can imagine Neko Case singing for a Sabbathy doomy downer pop stoner metal combo, well then, you might have an idea of what Loon has going on. And while the vocals might be the best we of the bunch, in terms of actually singing, the songs are pretty fantastic too, spacey and psychedelic, groovy and heavy, a little bit proggy, super hooky, with just enough pop, the guitar sound buzzy and crunchy, the drums powerful, the whole sound hooky and heavy, doomy and sort of dreamy at the same time.
After a gorgeous hazy bit of psychedelic acoustic guitar, the record finishes with the nearly 10 minute "Grackel" which is the perfect Loon track, mixing all the various elements, the Neko Case like vocals (sounding surprisingly twangy here!), the shrieked demonic howls, the groovy Sabbathy riffage, the super melodic poppiness, the dirgey slowcore, all culminating in a woozy washed out feedback drenched spacey psychedelic outro, that could have (and probably SHOULD have) gone on for ANOTHER 10 minutes. Definitely a new favorite. Anyone into ANY of the above mentioned bands should for sure check this out.
The packaging is incredible too. The vinyl is black and green swirled, and is housed in an elaborate silkscreened fold out cover, green and metallic gold, a skeletal soldier wreathed in flowers, beneath the groups's tendril-y root-like logo, includes several inserts and a download code!
MPEG Stream: "Breathing Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Osprey"

album cover LUMERIANS Transmalinnia (Knitting Factory) cd 10.98
LAST LIST'S RECORD OF THE WEEK, BACK IN STOCK - we blew out of these FAST, over the first weekend after the list, so if you missed it then, we wanted to let you know they're here again...
It's been a long time coming. After the tease of a 7" and a 12" ep, both tantalizingly KILLER, and a ton of incredible live shows, including a show stealing performance at the aQuarius records 40th anniversary party, comes this, the full length debut from SF psychedelic hypno drone psychedelic space rockers Lumerians, and it's just as good as we'd hoped and imagined. For those who've yet to hear these guys, have a look at this list of bands: Wooden Shjips, Hawkwind, Circle, Spacemen 3, Loop, Cave, Cloudland Canyon, The Heads, White Hills, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, 3 Leafs, Mugstar. Does that look anything like your record collection? Then odds are you've just found your new favorite band. And if there's any justice in the world, these guys will get the same sort of hype and adoration that Wooden Shjips do. Not necessarily because they sound the same, they definitely don't, but they both DO explore similar territory, spaced out buzzy, fuzzy droney psychedelic rock, but where the Shjips are minimal, Lumerians are maximal, with multiple keyboards, even a percussionist, their sound more lush and layered, similarly propulsive and driving, but maybe with more of a nod to Spacemen 3 and Hawkwind, creating super mesmerizing cyclical hypnorock epics. And these tracks are indeed epic, slow building, smoldering, hypnotic, totally trancelike but still super heavy and rocking.
Opener "Burning Mirrors" pretty much sums it up, loopy low slung bass, simple motorik drumming, crunchy super distorted fuzz guitars, and thick swaths of spacey keyboards, not to mention drawled laid back vox, all appropriately reverby and echoey, these guys traffic in the sort of sound, where every song, whether 5 minutes or nearly 10, sound like live, they could go on for 20, 30, even 40 minutes, druggy, lysergic, tripped out and psychedelic, head nodding, body moving drone rock bliss.
"Black Tusk" gets all sixties, the drums shuffly and busy, the keyboards crunchy and fuzzy, lots of percussion, the bass driving everything, swirly and psychedelic and minus the killer production, and the super distorted stuttery organ buzz could be some lost psych jam from back in the day. "XuluX" is another sprawling droned out jam, that gets seriously groovy, with all sorts of heavily effected guitars, and more crunchy organs, before blissing out into some seriously swoonsome keyboard driven psychedelic drift.
And so it goes, "Atlanta Brook" definitely conjures up the spirit of Spacemen 3, the vocals a dead ringer, the hazy warped buzz the perfect prescription, but Lumerians add their own twist, infusing it with some strange rhythmic bridges, and buzzing sitar melodies, before slipping back into a washed out almost Beatles-esque outro.
"Calalini Rises" might be the heaviest track, murky and muddy, the drums locked tight, tribal and propulsive, all the other instruments loose and chaotic, a constant sonic swirl, totally spaced out and abstract, definitely a song that could have stretched out for another couple hours. But one of our favorite jams might just have to be "Longwave" which sounds like Lumerians at the wrong speed (which we presume it must be), Neu! style, the band unfurl a droney dirgey spacerock jam, slowed to a crawl, the guitars even thicker and grungier than usual, the drums lumbering, but then the vocals come in, and they're perfectly melodic and dreamy, and drift over the undulating psychedelic murk below, culminating in a gorgeously tripped out second half, with lots of rumble and whir and buzz and drone and swirl and shimmer (but be warned vinyl folks, in order to fit the whole album on a single lp, they had to speed this song back up, shortening it quite a bit, everything is essentially the same, just the murky background music is a little less murky). So good.
Seriously. If any of the above bands are your cup of tea, try spiking that tea with some Lumerians, you won't be sorry. Easily, THEE space drone psychedelic hypno rock record of the year. Drop out, and dig in!
MPEG Stream: "Burning Mirrors"
MPEG Stream: "Black Tusk"
MPEG Stream: "XuluX"
MPEG Stream: "Longwave"

album cover MAGNETIC STRIPPER Extended Play-R (Suitcase) 7" 5.50
Given the look and sound of this short EP, Magnetic Stripper could be some terminally obscure DIY-industrial-synth project circa 1982, with the tinny drum machines, noisy blurts from various synths, and plenty of references to Absolute Body Control, Minimal Man, The Units, and Chris Carter's synth moments within Throbbing Gristle. But in fact, this is the work of San Francisco's James Ellis, currently working and performing today. There are four short pieces that would make for a great teaser for a forthcoming record, with the weird-science array of disjointed synth melodies and electro-static squiggling, all hanging upon skeletal drum machine pulses. The title track has more of a bedroom project New Wave feel with its motorik rhythms and percolated step sequencing. The other three tracks take more of an early SPK direction with all of the drum rhythms taking on a lumbering pace, minus the snarled noise and grizzy imagery. Both sides of the 7" end on locked grooves, and the single comes with a retro-looking button. Very cool.

album cover MASACARA The Five Wounds (Video Horror Show) VHS + download 14.98
Second release from Video Horror Show, a new label releasing, as the name implies, VHS tapes, featuring original music, accompanied by tripped out visuals. The logical extension of the renewed interest in audio cassette tapes we presume, yet somehow even more retro, we can hardly wait for someone to start releasing tapes on betamax! Or microcassette! Even better, how about a laserdisc label?! Anyway, like the first installment (now out of print), a buzzing black metal sprawl from the awesomely monickered Suffer The Shards Of The Lost Culture Of Silence, The Five Wounds is another twisted sonic excursion, still plenty 'black', but instead of metal, this comes via witch house weirdos Mascara (spelled of course with the A's replaced by triangles, and the word separated by a little black pyramid, a spelling that for whatever reason comes out all gobbedlygook on our website), an epic 15 minute electro-goth synthdrone creepscape, all fuzzy distorted keyboards, moaning chanted vocals, lurching lumbering skeletal rhythms, everything hazy and blurry and gauzy and washed out, the sort of music you can imagine hearing in some dark smoke filled club in a David Lynch movie, so much smoke and dry ice, that it's nothing but shadows and strange amorphous shapes, and the sounds are muffled and mutated and refracted by the thick atmosphere, the voices slowed down to a crawl, the beat hypnotic and unrelenting, the synths buzzing and brittle, the vibe tranced out and deliriously druggy.
The accompanying video most definitely suits the sound, super trippy and lysergic with loads of lo-fi effects, grainy film stock, double exposures, burnt out images, swirling landscapes, slow motion sort-of-3D, strange shapes and figures, warped clips from horror movies, eye popping colors, ever shifting kaleidoscopic tableaus of murder and mayhem and terror, forests, and altars, and basements, and dark hallways and lonely roads. They don't call it Video Horror Show for nothing. Needless to say, both sonically and visually, totally far out and mesmerizing, and pretty fucking awesome.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each one hand numbered, in a white clamshell old school video tape case, with two color hand screened inserts, recorded onto a blue videotape, and comes with a download code (just for the music) as well!!
MPEG Stream: "The Five Wounds"

album cover MASCIS, J Several Shades Of Why (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
It's finally here, the long threatened 'acoustic' solo record from Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis, and guess what? It sounds just like an acoustic Dinosaur record, which is not a bad thing at all, Mascis's distinctive raspy drawl is perfectly suited to a stripped down sound, and he's always been a fantastic songwriter, and that hasn't changed, in fact if anything, stripping away all the distorted guitars might make it even more evident.
And it's not strictly acoustic, and not strictly solo, there are lots of guests: Pall Jenkins from Black Heart Procession and 3 Mile Pilot, Matt Valentine from MVEE and Tower Recordings, Suzanne Thorpe from Mercury Rev, Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene, and Kurt Vile from Kurt Vile, with instrumentation that includes violin, musical saw, optigan, dobro, flute, clarinet, lap steel and slide, and more, but those extra instruments, and the guests who wield them are employed judiciously for sure, the core sound is acoustic guitar and voice, just occasionally embellished with some swoonsome strings, some lush layers, or an extra set of melodies, the coolest addition is the extra vocalists, who add unlikely harmonies to a handful of tracks, the sound a little twangy, a little folky, but undeniably and distinctly Mascis/Dinosaur Jr. Obviously fans of the man and his band will dig this too, unless the wild distorted guitars were the only reason you were into Dinosaur (fair enough), but odds are the rest of you will dig this a lot. And if you like modern folkies/singer songwriters like Kurt Vile, and for some strange reason have never encountered J Mascis or Dinosaur Jr, then heck, this might be the introduction you've been waiting for…
MPEG Stream: "Listen To Me"
MPEG Stream: "Several Shades Of Why"
MPEG Stream: "Not Enough"

album cover MASCIS, J Several Shades Of Why (Sub Pop) lp 16.98
It's finally here, the long threatened 'acoustic' solo record from Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis, and guess what? It sounds just like an acoustic Dinosaur record, which is not a bad thing at all, Mascis's distinctive raspy drawl is perfectly suited to a stripped down sound, and he's always been a fantastic songwriter, and that hasn't changed, in fact if anything, stripping away all the distorted guitars might make it even more evident.
And it's not strictly acoustic, and not strictly solo, there are lots of guests: Pall Jenkins from Black Heart Procession and 3 Mile Pilot, Matt Valentine from MVEE and Tower Recordings, Suzanne Thorpe from Mercury Rev, Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene, and Kurt Vile from Kurt Vile, with instrumentation that includes violin, musical saw, optigan, dobro, flute, clarinet, lap steel and slide, and more, but those extra instruments, and the guests who wield them are employed judiciously for sure, the core sound is acoustic guitar and voice, just occasionally embellished with some swoonsome strings, some lush layers, or an extra set of melodies, the coolest addition is the extra vocalists, who add unlikely harmonies to a handful of tracks, the sound a little twangy, a little folky, but undeniably and distinctly Mascis/Dinosaur Jr. Obviously fans of the man and his band will dig this too, unless the wild distorted guitars were the only reason you were into Dinosaur (fair enough), but odds are the rest of you will dig this a lot. And if you like modern folkies/singer songwriters like Kurt Vile, and for some strange reason have never encountered J Mascis or Dinosaur Jr, then heck, this might be the introduction you've been waiting for…
MPEG Stream: "Listen To Me"
MPEG Stream: "Several Shades Of Why"
MPEG Stream: "Not Enough"

album cover MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE Totem 2 - Picture Disc (Important) picture disc lp 21.00
NOW AVAILABLE AS A PICTURE DISC LP!! And boy does the feverish psychedelic jungle Seldon Hunt artwork look nice on the vinyl! Limited of course. Here's what we said about the previous cd and vinyl editions:
Sometimes seeing a band play live in the flesh surpasses the experience on record, but other times, there's the danger of diminishing whatever mystique they've created for themselves, which remains safe when one listens at home with just the music (and record sleeve artwork) for one's imagination feed upon. Seeing a bunch of dudes in jeans and baseball hats up on stage making musician faces and fiddling with gear has bummed us out a bit about bands we've liked before, when we wanted gods and monsters and supermen.
And the ominously, exotically evocative music of the Master Musicians Of Bukkake, along with their colorful album cover imagery, provides a LOT of mystique to live up to (despite their irreverent/gross/jokey monicker). So when Allan here got the chance to see 'em recently at the Roadburn Festival in Holland, he was full of anticipation, but also a bit trepidatious about it. Turns out he had nothing to worry about. Do go see the Master Musicians Of Bukkake if you get the chance, their mystique will remain intact, never fear! Led by a dramatic robed figure wearing a wooden demon mask, the rest of the large ensemble wore white sombrero-like hats, their faces shrouded in black netting, and rocked out like dervishes, looking like they stepped out of scene in a Jodorowsky movie. One of most memorable performances at Roadburn for sure (and despite being, ah, so different from a lot of the other bands, they got a great response).
Witnessing that definitely got Allan excited about this impending new album, Totem Two. Plus we loved Totem One. The sequel raises the Master Musicians' mystic monolith still higher to the heavens. Once again to describe their sound, we could use the usual shorthand of the Sun City Girls meet latter-day Earth (which has some basis in this band's hybrid heavy drone exotica as well as their actual membership / friendship connections to those two legendary Seattle outfits). Other references: Ghost, Grails, Acid Mothers Temple, Secret Chiefs, Tangerine Dream! Thus, Totem Two has certainly been getting played a lot in the store, the MMoB's particular/pecuilar synthesis of sounds appealing to all of us here. Psychedelic, pretty, sinister, cinematic, steeped in ancient, Third World folk music and mythology... they're a mysterious moody mix of a lot of stuff we love, electronic drone filtered through faux-ethno ceremony, part SUNNO))), part Sublime Frequencies! Also, we're almost surprised this isn't on Ipecac, they ought to be Mike Patton's favorite band, in some ways bringing to life Mike Patton's Ennio Morricone compilation Crime & Dissonance (which was actually compiled by Alan Bishop, who of course is one of the Sun City Girls, and a mentor of / inspiration for / occasional collaborator with these guys).
The album begins with what sounds like a ghost train a-comin'... field recordings and tinkling percussion, hushed drone and the far-off foggy bellowings of Tibetan horns... you know you're in for a far ranging journey, off the beaten track. Gorgeous lonely flute dominates the second song, floating o'er a ritual processional, like Djivan Gasparyan sitting in on a sombre Amon Duul or International Harvester jam... the middle of the album brings in more buzzing synths, majestic and melancholic, getting spacey like Klaus Schulze, playing sentimental cinematic themes, dark and melodic.... The distortion ramps up briefly as a segue into the album's final eleven minute piece, a calm and psychedelic epic like Six Organs with extra synth squiggle... Beautiful! Almost makes us think of Japan's Far East Family Band from the '70s, that one. That's just a short surface summary, you could fall into this album's depths though, and come back changed, as if from a dream/drug quest...

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN Assemblage Blues (Siltbreeze) lp 14.98
Our only real exposure to Dan Melchior, frontman of the Broke Revue and sometime collaborator with Billy Childish and Holly Golightly, was on a recent split with local garage poppers the Fresh & Onlys, and we were blown away, describing his side of the split as "awesomely super distorted garage pop, like Elvis Costello, all jammed up and slathered in crumbling hiss and grit, the vocals delivered in a thick English accent, the drums blown out, effects all over the place, everything buried beneath a patina of blurred buzz..." which pretty much describes Melchior's Siltbreeze record as well, but if anything, all the blown out weirdness and heavily effected and damaged aspects we dug so much on that 7", have been cranked WAY up here. Noisier, more lo-fi, way more chaotic and confusional, the proper songs that do surface are slathered in distortion and FX, and transformed into some sort of outsider lo-fi avant garage psych weirdness.
"Atomizer" is some sort of no-fi distorto new wave, the whole song driven by a churning muddied electronic pulse, the vocals distorted and WAY up in the mix, robotic and clinical, but crumbling around the edges, pelted by jagged shards of blown out guitar, and squalls of cascading psychnoise, and the lyrics, twisted and appropriately baffling. "Bewildered And Wild" begins all folky and strummy, until the vocals come in, all processed and effected, making it sound like some alien blues, everything smeared with grit and grime and hiss, total interplanetary back porch moon blues weirdness, rife with the occasional super distorted swell of low end buzz. "Bread Bin Wailing (Moonlight Crow)" is all muted backwards warble, and ultra thick metallic bass buzz, echoey vocals, smears of psychedelic leads, and so it goes, the whole record some sort of drug addled bedroom blues, filtered through NZ noise rock, eighties cold wave, outsider loner zoner psych, and spit out in all its filthy fractured fucked up glory! Think Suicide crossed with Chrome crossed with the Shadow Ring crossed with Robyn Hitchcock crossed with Alastair Galbraith crossed Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos. Indeed.
Comes with a download coupon too...
MPEG Stream: "Atomizer"
MPEG Stream: "Bewildered and Wild"
MPEG Stream: "Dugan"

album cover MY DISCO Little Joy (Temporary Residence Limited) cd 14.98
Now in stock on compact disc, too! The first we'd heard from Australia's My Disco was on their split 7" with Young Widows, their track a killer slab of dour post punk noise rock, all lope and chug and minor key guitars, which is how Little Joy starts out, all clanging riffage, low slung bass, simple propulsive drumming, mantra like vocals, a bit like a dronier spacier Interpol maybe, their sound repetitive and cyclical, peppered with jagged shards of caustic guitar crunch. But it's on the second track, "Young", where the band's unique sound really gets to blossom, after another opening blast of minor key post rock, with cascading This Heat like guitars, and pounding motorik drumming, the band eventually slip into something way more rhythmic and sinewy and mesmerizing, sounding almost like a punk rock Necks, the band unfurling an epic sprawl of minimal hypnorock, the instrumentation super restrained, more about the rhythm, and the timbre, then the melody, the sound at once heavy, rhythmic and hypnotic, reminding us of a way more abstract Circle, locked tight, peppering the looped groove with little flurries of extra drumming, super subtle bits of melodic filligree, but for the most part holding the listener in thrall with their trancelike mastery of tension and NO release. Which is how the whole record plays out, a push and pull between more traditional sounding post punk jangle and clang, and totally mesmeringly minimal droned out repetition, either on their own would certainly be pleasing enough, but the two combined, create something much more that the sum of it's parts, the rare sort of record that should appeal as much to math rockers as post punkers, or to krautrockers as much as pop kids. So good.
MPEG Stream: "Closer"
MPEG Stream: "Young"
MPEG Stream: "Turn"

album cover NICHE HOMO Issue 4 magazine 4.98
As much as we love progress, and new fangled gadgets, and the web and MP3's and YouTube and Netflix and downloads and iPods and all the various things that make life easy and exciting and make us feel like we're already living in a sci-fi future, we definitely dread the day where physical media ceases to exist. We like to think that could never happen, cuz who wants to live in a world without record stores, and movie theaters, and magazines, and newspapers, and lps and cassette tapes. And of course ZINES!!! Sure zines may seem like they're already dead and gone, but there are a few folks keeping zines alive, heck, there's a vintage zine store right down the street from aQ! And there's still loads of modern zines that rule: Salt, As Loud As Possible, Savage Damage Digest, Rape & Honey, and now Niche Homo, who are currently on issue number 4, and whose features should have most aQ-ers all in a tizzy. Ramleh, Sic Alps, Homosexuals, Thee Oh Sees, c'mon! There's also plenty of cool random stuff, articles, columns, illustrations, comics, all super well written and fun to read, and all laid out old school photocopy style and stapled in the middle. WAY recommended. Long live the zine!!!!

album cover NO PLEASURE IN LIFE Happiness Is Not An Option (P.V.R.) cassette 5.98
We only have 6 of these, the debut demo from this Florida depressive black metal duo, who sound is a twisted, grim melding of screeching abject misery and blasting blackened buzz. After a brief intro of spidery acoustic guitar, and some jagged shards of distorted noise, the band launches into a frenzied fury of insectoid guitar buzz, galloping blasts, and over it all, so hysterically shrieked vokills, wrapped in TONS of reverb, which invariably leaks all over the rest of the proceedings giving the whole record a sort of hazy lo-fi vibe. While most depressive black metal seems to lean more toward the doom side of the spectrum, lots of the jams here are frenzied and fast, flitting from D-beat pound, to all out lightning speed black blast, the melodies minor key for sure, keeping the mood appropriately miserable, but all wrapped up in burst and blasts. There are a few tracks of loping doomic creep, some of the record's finest, and most emotionally charged moments, during which the vocals get even more anguished, the music sounding post rocky and proggy, but inevitably, they eventually slip right back into something more blasting and black.
CRAZY LIMITED, already out of print, and super cool packaging...

album cover NORTHAM, MICHAEL Solar Night (Mirror Tapes) cassette 9.99
The peripatetic sound artist Michael Northam built these psychedelically tinged compositions for liquid drone, field recordings, and hypnotic instrumentation via his longstanding affinity for the work of Rene Daumal. A mystic who ventured in and out of the Surrealist circles in the early 20th centuries, Daumal had done much in the way of metaphysical introspection, with only a few written works published. Mount Analogue would have been his second novel, had he not died before it was finished; this allegorical travel narrative, even in its unfinished state, became the template for Jodorowsky's film The Holy Mountain. Northam in his investigations of found sounds, activated spaces, crackled minimalism, and recent studies in Indian raga has put forward an earth-bound transcendence, not far removed from Daumal's mystical visions. Out of masses of bowed metals and small flutes, Northam constructs haunting elongations of harmonic tones that flicker throughout streams of textural noises, which sound like leaves rustling through through a wind-swept house perched somewhere up in the Himalayas. Northam's work is far from static, as tones subtly shift and burblings of those textural abrasions slip between a variety of monochromatic variations. Here, Northam offers something not too far from the classic sounds of Zoviet France mingled with those of Small Cruel Party and one-time collaborator Loren Chasse. More gritty, tape machinations speak throughout Northam's work, providing a post-industrial touch to all of the floating flute loops and bell tones suspended in meditation and harkening back to one of his early masterpieces The Absurd Evidence (with John Grzinich). This is an excellent recording, and limited to 250 copies through the Malaysian label Mirror Tapes.

album cover OCRILIM The Purging Trilogy: Sacreth / Ixoltion / Hymns (Rock Is Hell) 3lp box 45.00
Any one familiar with Mick Barr, most likely knows all about his dense, insane shredding axework and super obtuse metalisms in groups like Crom-Tech, Orthrelm, Octis, Krallice and of course Ocrilim. This super deluxe, super limited boxset collects three out of print cd-r's, and presents them on vinyl, and all three taken as a single body of work might just comprise the most listenable stuff we've ever heard from Barr.
Annothrith Hymns is the prettiest of the bunch, a collection of short form solo guitarscapes, ostensibly black metal, but just the guitars, loosed from any griminty and instead allowed to soar majestically, layered and lush and lyrical, the sounds pulse and undulating, the tremolo picked riffs blurred into sweet soaring ur-drone epicness. Somehow buzzy and metal but still ethereal and mesmerizingly dreamy, even the Xasthur cover is transformed into something more crystalline and lovely.
Ixoltion immediately sounds like some epic, Norwegian style black metal, until you realize, that once again, it's just guitar, and the sound is not so much buzzy, so much as again, like the first lp, soaring and majestic, single riffs expanded to fill up a whole side, sprawling riffscapes that manage to remain black metal, while becoming something completely other, some sort of mesmerizing, looped, minimal blackened riffdronebuzz bliss out. Heavy sure, maybe, but more hypnotic and trancelike.
Finally, Sacreth, which complete the trilogy, and in some weird way, sounds like the first two combined, this is actual black metal, blasting and buzzing, but still minimal, the programmed beats proggy and intricate, matching the unlikely riffing, super hypnotic, the arrangements quite strange as well, lots of stop/starts, super mathy and complex, but still remaining epic and majestic, and weirdest of all, seriously melodic and poppy. It's almost like the three records are a slow build to Sacreth's black metal, but each part functioning fantastically on its own. So good. And even those of you who might have been put off in the past by Barr's gnarled noisy metallic tangle, this might surprise you as much as it did us.
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES. Hand screened, hand glued silkscreened sleeves in a silk screened cardboard box, the records pressed on 180 gram vinyl, with a silkscreened insert, handnumbered.

album cover OFF! First Four EPs (Vice) cd 14.98
Everyone's always saying they just don't make punk rock like they used to, and for the most part that's pretty much true. But, these guys do. Really. Just like the old days. In fact, if you didn't know better, you might find yourself wondering what old SST 7" this is playing, or thinking it must be produced by Spot, assuming they're probably from Hermosa Beach, pretty sure we saw them open for Black Flag, the record probably has cover art by Raymond Pettibon… well ONE of those is true (the cover art), even though this record sounds like they ALL must be.
Off! is most definitely a punk rock super group, Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Black Flag) on vocals, Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) on bass, Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless, Clickitat Ikitawi, etc) on drums, and Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides) on guitar. Sort of an unlikely lineup, but you'll only think that until you hear these guys play. Blasting, hooky, three chord old school hardcore / punk rock, 16 songs in 18 minutes, originally released as four 7" singles, these songs are short and sharp and are dead ringers for all the bands we loved back in the day. Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Fear, the Germs, listening to these totally brings all that right back, Morris' distinctive yowl (sounding more and more like Jello Biafra), those killer riffs, the pounding propulsive drumming, the lo-fi production, and the songs, simple but catchy as hell. The jams KILL.
Awesome Pettibon cover art just seals the deal. It's been THIRTY years since the Decline Of Western Civilization came out and introduced punk rock to a whole new audience, and Western civilization is still in decline, and this shit still sounds better than most of the music released over the last three decades...
MPEG Stream: "Black Thoughts"
MPEG Stream: "Poison City"
MPEG Stream: "Panic Attack"
MPEG Stream: "Fuck People"

album cover ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK s/t (Microwerks) cd 13.98
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark may forever be known for their '80s pop classic "If You Leave" which graced the Pretty In Pink soundtrack, but the band's first four records stand at the vanguard of British synth-pop. Unashamed by their influences from Kraftwerk and Brian Eno (especially Another Green World), OMD were keen on experimenting with electronics, synths, and drum machines in a new wave / pop context with a knack for the melodic pop hook to offset their mechanical plonk and bleep. Where The Human League were exceptionally coy with their ironic embrace of consumer culture (making their platinum clad singles all the more confounding), OMD were romantic at heart. Even the references to 20th Century warfare (i.e. Dazzle Ships, Enola Gay, The Messerschmidt Twins, Bunker Soldiers) find the band lyrically transposing the languages of love and war. Bittersweet at times, but never grim!
The eponymous record was the debut for OMD, released in February 1980. The single from the album, "Electricity," was a corker, a remake of a song from an earlier EP released by Factory. Here, it's a ridiculously catchy song with plenty of Man-Machine overtures in its crisp rhythm and plunky electric piano melody. With its sweeping tone-bend melodies and gliding electronic rhythms, "Bunker Soldiers" is one of those templates that had been emulated by almost every minimal wave project from 1980 to present. This cd reissue contains two versions of "Messages," with a single version fleshing out the tinny melodies with a springy Peter Hook inspired bassline... but no matter which version you're talking about, it's still fantastic. There are a few bonus tracks tacked on to the original program, including the spectral dirge "I Betray My Friends" and a cover of Velvet Underground's "Waiting For The Man" which is cute but unnecessary. Regardless, it's totally great to have this album back in print again, especially in the ongoing revisionism of minimal wave, synth punk, and new wave romanticism.
MPEG Stream: "Bunker Soldiers"
MPEG Stream: "Almost"
MPEG Stream: "Electricity"
MPEG Stream: "Messages (Single Version)"

album cover PALE CHALICE Afflicting The Dichotomy Of Trepid Creation (Flenser) cd 8.98
Some furious buzzing blasting blackened grimnity from right here in SF, the 4 song debut from Pale Chalice, a local black metal band who slay, this is not avant black metal, or post black metal, or experimental black metal, this is total, raw and furious, hateful and brutal old school classic black metal. The vocals are incredible, you might recognize that raspy demonic alien croak - those rotted pipes belong to Ephemeral Domignostika, of one man black metal band Pandiscordian Necrogenesis (who we've raved about on past lists), who's also one man black metal band Mastery (whose complete discography is coming out any day now on Andee's tUMULt label), but the rest of Pale Chalice ain't so shabby either, not sure if any of the others do time in other local outfits, but it hardly matters, this shit is fierce and frenzied and frantic, the sound huge, the guitars buzzing, the riffs gnarled, the bass a buried low end throb, the drums relentless and seriously blasting, the 4 tracks here hovering mostly in full on blast mode, but occasionally slipping into punkish pound, or woozy midtempo lope, even a little acoustic guitar drift near the end, the songs are massive and majestic, four tracks in about 30 minutes, sprawling blackened buzz drenched epics, intricate and intense, the vocals cranked WAY up in the mix, which makes the whole thing sound seriously fucked up and SICK.
Fast and furious, grim and black, one of the best new black metal records we've heard in a while… and yet another group to add to the ever expanding Bay Area black metal pantheon!
MPEG Stream: "Transplant Of Dimensional Recourse"
MPEG Stream: "Command Of The Formless"

album cover POWER OF ZEUS The Gospel According To Zeus (Get On Down ) cd 16.98
Hell yeah, '70s proto-metal from Detroit (and not only that, released on a Motown subsidiary)! These dudes have appeared on some cool comps of heavy psych obscurities we've listed (Up All Night, White Lace & Strange) but this is the first time we've seen a legit reissue of their only album, from 1970, entitled The Gospel According To Zeus. This digipacked reish is from the master tapes. The album starts off with stone classic "It Couldn't Be Me", a track that hiphop headz might recognize as having been sampled on an Obie Trice record a few years back. What we also now realize, is that recent AQ fave band Malachai (the sampledelic UK duo on Domino) essentially sounds, at their best, a whole heck of a lot like that one song by Power Of Zeus - it's as if Malachai based their entire sound on the big beat fuzz pop hard rock of "It Couldn't Be Me"! So that's pretty cool.
But Power Of Zeus have a bunch more bellbottomed acid rock goodness to offer here... ten tracks total ranging from upbeat garagey psych nuggets like "In The Night" and "I Lost My Love", to the mellower, harpsichord-laced "Green Grass & Clover" and the epic, aptly titled doomic dirge "The Death Trip", eventually culminating in the freaked out finale of prog opus "The Sorcerer Of Isis (Ritual Of The Mole)", another track that's been sampled by hiphop producers.
Along the way, lotsa bangin' fuzz riffs, wailing organ, lofty vocals, and cowbell knockin' grooviness, real good stuff for all you proto-metal (and popsike!) fans into the likes of Sir Lord Baltimore, Granicus, Atomic Rooster, Dust, Frijid Pink, Bubble Puppy, and last list's proto-metal selections by Bang and Elonkorjuu.
Way cool.
If Power Of Zeus played shows with Funkadelic back in the day, we wouldn't be at all surprised...
MPEG Stream: "It Couldn't Be Me"
MPEG Stream: "In The Night"
MPEG Stream: "No Time"
MPEG Stream: "Realization"

album cover PROVIDEN Followed By A Wraith (Amethyst Sunset) lp 15.98
From the same label that released the two lps from Mist, Mist being the John Elliot fronted Emeralds side project, comes this, the debut from noisy droney duo Providen, featuring members of Swords Of Heaven and American Jobs, whose sound is well removed from the spacey sci-fi of Mist, and instead is a fantastically confusional jumble of processed vox, malfunctioning synths, deep rumbling drones, heavy sludgey trudge, psychedelic zoner folk, woozy melodic warpage and home brewed psychedelic whatthefuck, all woven into some sort of fractured no-fi abstract minimal psychdronedirge weirdness.
After a stretch of chanted electronic ambience, a sort of ominous buzz drenched into, the duo launch into a lurching Dead C like noise rock death march, all crumbling distortion, simple drums, and dramatic, almost gothic sounding crooned vocals, resulting in some sort of noisy coldwave dirge pop, way to short at less than 90 seconds, before leading directly into the chaotic and crunchy title track. All skittery distorto beats, howled vox, and malfunctioning electronics, another hypno noise rock dirge, a pulsing meditative trudge, wreathed in streaks and shards of electronic crunch and fractured melodic flutter.
And so it goes, the tracks alternatingly exploding into sheets of white hot, blown out supernova buzz, or collapsing into super minimal, detuned dronepsych bedroom folk, Jandekian and abject, or building into super dense lumbering electronoiserock dirges, like some sort of SUNNO))) / Six Finger Satellite mashup, in-the-red, crunchy and corrosive, but still weirdly trancelike and mesmerizing.
This is definitely the sort of thing that might be a bit too much for the spaced out sci-fi new agers into all that Expo 70 and Emeralds stuff, instead, this is something altogether more tense and intense, noisy and distorted, for fans of slow low blown out rhythmic heaviness like Mammal, Geronimo, Psychic Paramount, SUNNO))), Rusted Shut, etc... who also dig tripped out lysergic exotic doom folk like Amen Dunes, Amps For Christ, Steven R. Smith, Suarasama, Six Organs, Jandek, Daniel Higgs and the like.
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES, housed in nice thick cardstock sleeves with paste on front cover artwork, and a printed insert (on either cardstock or transparency).
MPEG Stream: "Red Man's Vietnam"
MPEG Stream: "No Other"
MPEG Stream: "Keep Searching"

album cover RABBITS Lower Forms (Relapse) cd 14.98
We reviewed a split 7" from these Colorado noise rockers a while back, where we described them as sounding like "some sort of modern version of big ol' post punk sludge groove, hard not to hear some Scratch Acid in there. Ultra grimy downtuned guitars, super dense and mathy arrangements, woozy basslines, blown out fuzz guitar, growled/shouted vocals. Almost like a way darker, way more punk Pelican in a way." Apparently they liked that enough to put it on the cover (!), and some of that definitely still applies (not the Pelican thing so much here), this is some seriously heavy, crusty, noisy, pigfuck, distorto filth, raw and nasty, think classic AmRep, think Karp, a sort of post metal heaviness wrapped around dirgey punk rock pummel, dense distorted knuckle dragging caveman crush, the vocals a throat shredding howl, somewhere between death metal growl, Killdozer Yowl and Muppety howl, the music buzzy and blown out, super rhythmic, downtuned, heavy and hypnotic. Kinda weird to think Rabbits are from Portland and is made up of guys from Angel Hair / The VSS / Pleasure Forever, cuz damn if this don't sound pretty Midwest to us. Regardless, this is some thick as molasses, punked out sludgy noise rock that KILLS. Total doom sludge metal punk bliss. Fuck yeah. We've got compact disc and colored vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Burn, Sun, Burn"
MPEG Stream: "A Tale Of Tales"
MPEG Stream: "Rot"

album cover RABBITS Lower Forms (Relapse) lp 17.98
We reviewed a split 7" from these Colorado noise rockers a while back, where we described them as sounding like "some sort of modern version of big ol' post punk sludge groove, hard not to hear some Scratch Acid in there. Ultra grimy downtuned guitars, super dense and mathy arrangements, woozy basslines, blown out fuzz guitar, growled/shouted vocals. Almost like a way darker, way more punk Pelican in a way." Apparently they liked that enough to put it on the cover (!), and some of that definitely still applies (not the Pelican thing so much here), this is some seriously heavy, crusty, noisy, pigfuck, distorto filth, raw and nasty, think classic AmRep, think Karp, a sort of post metal heaviness wrapped around dirgey punk rock pummel, dense distorted knuckle dragging caveman crush, the vocals a throat shredding howl, somewhere between death metal growl, Killdozer Yowl and Muppety howl, the music buzzy and blown out, super rhythmic, downtuned, heavy and hypnotic. Kinda weird to think Rabbits are from Portland and is made up of guys from Angel Hair / The VSS / Pleasure Forever, cuz damn if this don't sound pretty Midwest to us. Regardless, this is some thick as molasses, punked out sludgy noise rock that KILLS. Total doom sludge metal punk bliss. Fuck yeah. We've got compact disc and colored vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Burn, Sun, Burn"
MPEG Stream: "A Tale Of Tales"
MPEG Stream: "Rot"

album cover ROYAL THUNDER s/t (Relapse) cd 8.98
Yet another band to add to the current crop of boys club crashing, ass kicking female fronted, hard rock / heavy metal bands (alongside The Devils Blood, Jex Thoth, Loon, Cauchemar, Christian Mistress, Wooden Stake, Blood Ceremony), this one hailing from Atlanta, not so much a metal band as a hard rock power trio, with a lead vocalist with a serious set of pipes on her, no screeching, or buried in the mix warbling, Miny Parsonz dominates, her vocals sexy and sultry and witchy and powerful and dramatic, super distinctive, a little rough and raspy, but perfectly suited to the groups, swaggery, groovy, hard rock, almost Southern rock sounding at times, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, probably more than Sabbath honestly, the songs slow building and smoldering, the guitar smokey and spidery, the drums, subtle and laid back, the band creating lush dark mysterious twang flecked drifts, Parsonz' vocals slithering over the top, deep and throaty, the riffs getting more and more distorted, the drums crashing in, and suddenly it, the heaviest seventies hard rock jam you never heard, the hooks perfect, the vocals, so BAD ASS. There's a serious slowcore thing going on here too, like Loon, reminding us of aQ faces True Widow, that slithery moody minimal crawl, plus there's a definite eighties metal vibe happening too, mostly in the vocal melodies, that had us thinking of Lita Ford and Doro Pesch, which is not a bad thing at all, in fact, it adds a whole other dimension that other current female vocalists lack, and the fact that these guys (and gal) are obviously more about writing songs, that just SOUNDING heavy, means the more you listen to these jams, the more they stick. When we first heard this, we thought it was pretty cool, but now we can't stop listening, and damn if "Sleeping Witch" isn't the hard rock jam of the year. A new favorite for sure. And if you dig any of the above mentioned bands, this might be one of the best of the bunch. We've got cds, and colored vinyl, take your pick!
MPEG Stream: "Sleeping Witch"
MPEG Stream: "Mouth Of Fire"

album cover ROYAL THUNDER s/t (Relapse) lp 14.98
Yet another band to add to the current crop of boys club crashing, ass kicking female fronted, hard rock / heavy metal bands (alongside The Devils Blood, Jex Thoth, Loon, Cauchemar, Christian Mistress, Wooden Stake, Blood Ceremony), this one hailing from Atlanta, not so much a metal band as a hard rock power trio, with a lead vocalist with a serious set of pipes on her, no screeching, or buried in the mix warbling, Miny Parsonz dominates, her vocals sexy and sultry and witchy and powerful and dramatic, super distinctive, a little rough and raspy, but perfectly suited to the groups, swaggery, groovy, hard rock, almost Southern rock sounding at times, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, probably more than Sabbath honestly, the songs slow building and smoldering, the guitar smokey and spidery, the drums, subtle and laid back, the band creating lush dark mysterious twang flecked drifts, Parsonz' vocals slithering over the top, deep and throaty, the riffs getting more and more distorted, the drums crashing in, and suddenly it, the heaviest seventies hard rock jam you never heard, the hooks perfect, the vocals, so BAD ASS. There's a serious slowcore thing going on here too, like Loon, reminding us of aQ faces True Widow, that slithery moody minimal crawl, plus there's a definite eighties metal vibe happening too, mostly in the vocal melodies, that had us thinking of Lita Ford and Doro Pesch, which is not a bad thing at all, in fact, it adds a whole other dimension that other current female vocalists lack, and the fact that these guys (and gal) are obviously more about writing songs, that just SOUNDING heavy, means the more you listen to these jams, the more they stick. When we first heard this, we thought it was pretty cool, but now we can't stop listening, and damn if "Sleeping Witch" isn't the hard rock jam of the year. A new favorite for sure. And if you dig any of the above mentioned bands, this might be one of the best of the bunch. We've got cds, and colored vinyl, take your pick!
MPEG Stream: "Sleeping Witch"
MPEG Stream: "Mouth Of Fire"

album cover RST / RAHMANE split (Benefit for Stephen Kasner) (Wasted Magic) cd-r 15.00
A while back we had a little gift certificate giveaway to help raise money for aQ pal Stephen Kasner, an artist you no doubt know, his art has adorned records by Aluk Todolo, Skullflower, Lotus Eaters, Subarachnoid Space, Blood Fountains, Khlyst, Aun, Habsyll, and loads more, we used to carry his amazing art book too, anyway, he was recently diagnosed with a serious illness, and of course like many artists/musicians, he does not have health insurance, and was faced with impossible medical bills, so the underground community has been doing everything they can to help raise money so Kasner can get the treatment he needs and get better.
This here split cd-r is another benefit, all proceeds from the sale of these discs will go directly to Kasner, and in addition to helping out a super nice, and ultra talented guy, you get two gorgeous, massive slabs of dark, thick. layered droned out ambience. Most of you probably already know RST, aka Andrew Moon, a killer NZ guitarist, here he shares a disc with Rahmane, who are/is new to us, but who offers up a pretty stellar bit of droned out psychedelic ambient drift, beginning with a bit of abstract shimmer, some minimal percussion, and finally some wheezing organ, haunting and cinematic, minor key and moody, the whirring organ soon gives way to a tangle of horns, wild squalls drifting over the now distant low end thrum, a sort of abstract dronejazz, which quickly erupts into a blast of noisy chaos, of gnarled electronics, twisted effects and processed vocals, a sound that gradually crumbles leaving just the sounds of a burbling brook, and a hazy layer of metallic drones, and soaring string like melodies drifting over the top. Quite nice.
RST follows up with a sprawling expanse of humid guitar drone, a thick all of muted and distorted heaviness, no forward momentum, instead, the sounds themselves churn and roil, buried melodies shifting and tangling, streaks of sizzling cymbals, chordal fragments, all drift within a corrosive, glacial swells, throbbing and pulsing but somehow remaining nearly static, a gorgeous washed out almost Tim Heckerish expanse of gauzy soft noise, underpinned by bits of guitar strum, and deep rumbling low end. Gorgeous as always. And well worth the price of admission, even mores knowing that it's for a good cause.
LIMITED TO 70 COPIES. Features original Stephen Kasner artwork, ALL proceeds go to the Kasner Fund.
MPEG Stream: RAHMANE "The Martyr's Finger, II. Kashf al-Asr?r, III. Santariyyah (Return) (Excerpt)"
MPEG Stream: RST "Tropic Of Hull (Excerpt)"

album cover SLAVES, THE Ocean On Ocean (Debacle) cd-r 9.98
We love bands whose music-making formula appears, on the surface, simple and intuitive, yet the sounds they create are huge, engulfing and seemingly complex. Using two synthesizers and echoing vocals, The Slaves inhabit a sound that is as lush and dense as it is mysterious and minimal. Their debut album, Ocean on Ocean, is the perfect showcase of a group that can conjure up bountiful sounds within a restrained approach. Honestly, we can't get enough of Ocean on Ocean, something about those enormous, dreamy, engulfing songscapes just leaves us wanting more. Their oozing brew of minimal pop melts and blurs with the melodic thickness of MBV's Loveless or early Slowdive, but surrenders to a contemplative mode that falls somewhere between Gregorian hymn and pagan ritual. The duo spin a radiant web of sustained vocals and heavy synth, each chord drawn out and smeared into a neon haze while indecipherable lyrics suggest longing, loss and submission to oblivion. 
"Seventeen" unfolds with a slow arching chord progression that grows and dissipates like a coastal tide. Female vocals creep into the oceanic haze while fluttering noise and cosmic wash hover in obscurity. And though the rhythm-less wash may appear to be aimless improv, a close listen reveals a defined structure beneath the veil of long tones and heavy atmospherics. And yes, The Slaves are heavy. And it's not a 'down-tuned guitars through a wall of amps' kind of heavy. It's more evident in the slow movement of the songs, and the visceral effects felt by each musical gesture. The duo have perfectly crafted a searing offering of 'soft doom', so gorgeous and mesmerizing we've had Ocean on Ocean on repeat for the past week. "Shadows" is another noteworthy track. We love the push and pull of heavy synth and whispery vocals, whirls of female voice echo into the night then dissipate into huge swells of HEAVY distorted synth. Crumbling low end amid ethereal dream chants, what else could we ask for?? One of our favorite records in recent memory and highly recommended! 
MPEG Stream: "Seventeen"
MPEG Stream: "Sweet High"

album cover SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB Unentitled (Alternative Tentacles) cd 13.98
Latest batch of end of the world, country twang, revivalist apocalyptic swamp folk from these Colorado cowboy punks, the perfect follow up to last year's Buried Behind The Barn, and while in the early days these guys were most definitely taking the piss, it's been long enough that any irreverence has become less schtick, and more just a part of what these guys do, and what these guys do, is something similar to groups like Woven Hand and Sixteen Horsepower (the vocals sound a lot like David Eugene Edwards, which is weird cuz Mr. Cessna used to sound just like Rhett Miller from the Old '97s!), Uncle Tupelo, X, Munly (he is after all ALSO in the Auto Club) and yeah the Old 97's, but also the Decemberists, Arcade Fire and the like, shuffly, twangy, with a sound that slips from
Devil-Went-Down-To-Georgia style country rock, to more dark and minimal folky twang, there's even some gospel going on, especially on the tracks that sound like some deep South faith healer tent revival meeting, call and response vocals, handclaps, but all wrapped up with slide guitar, banjo, lush haunting harmonies, and some seriously kick ass catchiness.
The production is surprisingly lush this time around too, lots of organ, transforming Cessna's hillbilly stomp into something much more moody and brooding, and it suits them for sure, just give the record opener a listen, the awesomely titled "Three Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro", gorgeously grim and ominous, minor key and moody, but it's also loose and fun, a tall tale told in sound by a master story teller, and of all the tracks here, this is the one that most sounds like Woven Hand, and definitely hints at what these guys could pull off if they weren't such inveterate jokers. "The Unballed Ballad Of The New Folksinger" (also an awesome title), starts out with an organ heavy almost ska sounding groove, driven by a bouncy rhythm, lots of buzz and twang, woozy spidery riffs, and some awesome intense vocals, the song getting more intense and dramatic as it goes, there's even a strange deep voiced breakdown before the song launches right back into it. "Thy Will Be Done" is another bluegrassy twang flecked stomp, with a super dynamic start stop ominous cautionary chorus. And so it goes, the only respite from this damned-soul sonic sermonizing, the woozy ballad "A Smashing Indictment Of Character", weeping slide guitars, over hushed hazy vocals, but even here, Cessna and his crew can't resist the temptation to pepper the track with more of that handclapping revivalism, and some low slung banjo driven verses to boot, and while the track revisits that opening dreamy drift, it's only briefly, there's more testifyin to be done after all. And so it goes, track after track: buzz, twang, shuffle, croon, howl, pound, stomp, hook, howl, repeat. AWESOME.
It's hard not to love these guys, they're obviously such incredible musicians, and have a killer sense of humor, and to see them live, it's sort of what you wish all shows were like, wild and loose, and totally rocking, super fun, and funny, the kind of show you never want to end, and after a while you're almost convinced that this amazing music is in fact some sort of salvation, and remarkably, these guys manage to capture at least some of that fire and energy on record!
MPEG Stream: "Three Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro"
MPEG Stream: "Thy Will Be Done"
MPEG Stream: "A Smashing Indictment Of Character"

album cover SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB Unentitled (Alternative Tentacles) lp 13.98
Latest batch of end of the world, country twang, revivalist apocalyptic swamp folk from these Colorado cowboy punks, the perfect follow up to last year's Buried Behind The Barn, and while in the early days these guys were most definitely taking the piss, it's been long enough that any irreverence has become less schtick, and more just a part of what these guys do, and what these guys do, is something similar to groups like Woven Hand and Sixteen Horsepower (the vocals sound a lot like David Eugene Edwards, which is weird cuz Mr. Cessna used to sound just like Rhett Miller from the Old '97s!), Uncle Tupelo, X, Munly (he is after all ALSO in the Auto Club) and yeah the Old 97's, but also the Decemberists, Arcade Fire and the like, shuffly, twangy, with a sound that slips from
Devil-Went-Down-To-Georgia style country rock, to more dark and minimal folky twang, there's even some gospel going on, especially on the tracks that sound like some deep South faith healer tent revival meeting, call and response vocals, handclaps, but all wrapped up with slide guitar, banjo, lush haunting harmonies, and some seriously kick ass catchiness.
The production is surprisingly lush this time around too, lots of organ, transforming Cessna's hillbilly stomp into something much more moody and brooding, and it suits them for sure, just give the record opener a listen, the awesomely titled "Three Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro", gorgeously grim and ominous, minor key and moody, but it's also loose and fun, a tall tale told in sound by a master story teller, and of all the tracks here, this is the one that most sounds like Woven Hand, and definitely hints at what these guys could pull off if they weren't such inveterate jokers. "The Unballed Ballad Of The New Folksinger" (also an awesome title), starts out with an organ heavy almost ska sounding groove, driven by a bouncy rhythm, lots of buzz and twang, woozy spidery riffs, and some awesome intense vocals, the song getting more intense and dramatic as it goes, there's even a strange deep voiced breakdown before the song launches right back into it. "Thy Will Be Done" is another bluegrassy twang flecked stomp, with a super dynamic start stop ominous cautionary chorus. And so it goes, the only respite from this damned-soul sonic sermonizing, the woozy ballad "A Smashing Indictment Of Character", weeping slide guitars, over hushed hazy vocals, but even here, Cessna and his crew can't resist the temptation to pepper the track with more of that handclapping revivalism, and some low slung banjo driven verses to boot, and while the track revisits that opening dreamy drift, it's only briefly, there's more testifyin to be done after all. And so it goes, track after track: buzz, twang, shuffle, croon, howl, pound, stomp, hook, howl, repeat. AWESOME.
It's hard not to love these guys, they're obviously such incredible musicians, and have a killer sense of humor, and to see them live, it's sort of what you wish all shows were like, wild and loose, and totally rocking, super fun, and funny, the kind of show you never want to end, and after a while you're almost convinced that this amazing music is in fact some sort of salvation, and remarkably, these guys manage to capture at least some of that fire and energy on record!
MPEG Stream: "Three Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro"
MPEG Stream: "Thy Will Be Done"
MPEG Stream: "A Smashing Indictment Of Character"

album cover SLOUGH FEG The Animal Spirits (Cruz Del Sur) lp 14.98
AS PROMISED, NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL, AS IT SHOULD BE!! And with this import lp, you get an insert with band photos not found in Profound Lore's cd version, about which we penned the following:
Huzzah! San Francisco's idiosyncratic old school metal masters Slough Feg are back with a new record, already! We made their previous album, 2009's Ape Uprising, a Record Of The Week, and wrote, like, thousands of words about it. So we'll be a bit briefer here, whilst still giving this our highest recommendation. If you liked it when they Aped it Up, then you know what you're in for on The Animal Spirits. Kinda...
Slough Feg already did an album called Atavism, but THIS is their most atavistic yet. Their most '70s rock. (Heck, most Broadway too.) In part, heavy, ripping, raw. In part, majestically melodic. So very melodic, and often major-key, almost pop instead of metal. But not "pop-metal", no not that. And always, always, eccentric. Also epic, can't forget epic, though none of the songs are even over 5 minutes long. Speaking of epics, what metal band would do a song about somebody named Thor, on an ocean voyage, and have it NOT be about Vikings? Slough Feg, naturally, with this album's "Kon-Tiki", about Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's daring raft expedition across the Pacific in 1947. Another unusual, historical number is "The 95 Thesis", about Martin Luther and the Reformation, maybe the only metal song on that subject and certainly the only one to features the lines "Some hide in sophistry but you had the balls / to nail your thesis to the cathedral wall", as it's not so much about religious history as it is about someone being a badass.
So, perhaps even moreso than on other Slough Feg albums, expect the unexpected. Like the crude but cool b&w artwork, for instance, drawn by the band's vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Mike Scalzi himself. Or the Alan Parsons Project (!) cover they do, "The Tell-Tale Heart", which utterly sounds like a Slough Feg tune, Scalzi totally owning the vocal part originally sung by none other than Arthur "I Am The God Of Hellfire" Brown on the 1976 original.
Over the years, especially with their current lineup, Slough Feg certainly have earned a reputation as an incredible live act, really you won't see too many more impressive or entertaining performances from a metal band, or any band, these days. They're a band that rejoices in being on stage, that revels in the skill they possess and the power they wield, and they capture that spirit and energy and showmanship and sense of abandon with these new songs for sure. The Animal Spirits is lively, dare we say playful. Sometimes cryptically, cleverly humorous. Bold and brash and totally unselfconscious. So they can do rockin' tracks like the frantic boogie of opener "Trick The Vicar", or the thrashy closer "Tactical Air-War" (which features special guest vocalist, Bobbie Wright of another San Fran metal cult, Brocas Helm!!), and in between find room for a few numbers that are closer to musical theater, though still quite heavy.
We've talked about the unexpected, the other hand, you CAN of course expect plenty of guitar harmonies, shredding leads, bombastic vocals, and memorable riffs... they still sound 100 percent like Slough Feg (and thus a bit like Maiden, a bit like Priest, a bit like Sabbath, and a bit like Thin Lizzy). If you've ever said, nobody makes music like that anymore, well Slough Feg do. But they're original about it too.
Oh, and good thing they released this in time for Halloween, as there's songs about both vampires and werewolves on here. The latter, live stand out "Lycanthropic Fantasies", is a show stopper on stage, and one of this disc's best as well. The former, "Ask The Casket", is a ridiculously melodic dirge inspired by the cult '60s TV gothic horror soap opera Dark Shadows.
Another of our favorite tracks is "Second Coming", which starts off acoustically, and features one of Scalzi's most emotive and heartfelt vocal performances, as well as (more) gorgeous twin lead guitarwork... like Slough Feg's earlier "The Sea Wolf", it's a song inspired by writer Jack London, but maybe 'cause the lyrics make reference to San Francisco, it seems like Scalzi's really singing about himself here, somehow.
MPEG Stream: "The 95 Thesis"
MPEG Stream: "Lycanthropic Fantasies"
MPEG Stream: "Ask The Casket"
MPEG Stream: "Free Market Barbarian"

album cover SPECTRAL INCURSION Anthology (Stormspell) 2cd 13.98
Talk about simultaneously awesome and obscure. Delving deep into '80s metal buried treasure, Stormspell's Days Of Yore division has come up with this double cd, rollercoaster ride of a reissue, that anyone into technical thrashing prog metal ought to utterly enjoy. It's from a Massachusetts band, Spectral Incursion, who never even released an album, just a bunch of demos and one ep. Way underground, mathy metallic music-making mania on display here, jawdropping and headbanging.
Unrestrained, raw and ripping stuff from young guys more concerned with coming up with cool new parts for their twisting, turning songs than in being popular. We're lovin' it. The jagged, splintered riffs and tricky time signatures multiply throughout these heavy, hectic compositions, with leads spiraling up alongside vocals that scream, soar, and roar. Each over the top track seems designed by/for the ADD afflicted, shooting off in a new direction every few seconds, yet not neglecting melody and a rock n' roll vibe. Intricate, eccentric, exhilarating - and we really like how the DIY-ness of this mitigates against any potential pretentiousness a la big time prog metal like Dream Theater. This really is some kids tossing their faves like Rush, Priest, Sabbath, Maiden, Slayer, and Fates Warning into a sharp-bladed blender on high. If you're a fan of such bands as Confessor, Atheist, Watchtower, Coroner, or Hellwitch, you should definitely check this out!
Disc one consists of demo tapes from 1988 and 1991, their four song ep from '88, and four tracks recorded in 2010 by the reunited band, doing old songs by pre-Spectral Incursion incarnation Graven Image, whose demos circa 1986-'87 occupy disc two, which also contains some video clips for your computer.
Super cool, constantly surprising, what this lacks in production polish they make up for in precision - and sheer insanity. As always, great to see a forgotten band this good (and gonzo) get their due. Complete with thick, slick cd booklet full of liner notes, lyrics, etc.
MPEG Stream: "The Other Side"
MPEG Stream: "Constant Velocity"
MPEG Stream: "Surgery"

album cover SPYRALS, THE Clouds (Inside The Moon) cassette 6.98
A brand new batch of tracks the latest addition to the SF psychedelic space rock pantheon, with just a single 7" under their belts, and now this 5 song cassette, these guys are definitely poised to be another next big thing. After all, folks are so gaga for Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo, Sleepy Sun, Carlton Melton, the Lumerians, hell, we can't imagine those same folks wouldn't flip for these guys too.
They definitely have a similar sound, Velvets, Spacemen 3, etc., although here, they open up with a way more straight ahead chunk of sixties style psychedelic pop jangle, stripped down, a little fuzzy, but not buzzy or droney or druggy so much as just hooky and jangly, it's not until the second track that they kick on the pedals, opening with a blast of crumbling distortion, only to fade away leaving just some strummed acoustic guitar, and then bam, the song kicks in, fuzzed out guitars, ear whirring organ, washed out reverbed vocals, motorik drumming, totally blissed out druggy droney psychedelic garage rock.
But then they switch right back, and offer up another slab of classic sixties style psych pop jangle, before launching into a track that manages to mix both, that sort of Doorsy / Velvetsy style druggies, wrapped around some swaggery pysch pop shuffle, there's even some harmonica, that manages to make it all sound that much droopier and druggier.
Finally the band wrap it up with a short sharp blast of fuzzy drone rock bliss, all hazy and hypnotic, the Spacemen 3 vibe looming large, drawled vox, crunchy guitars, looped and hypnotic and mesmerizing, with some serious hooks hidden throughout, the sort of song that definitely deserves a multi minute psychedelic freakout tacked on the end, but instead winds down after just three minutes.
Killer stuff, another ep length tease, but just enough to tide us over until these guys finally get together a proper full length.
Like the 7", these babies are pretty limited, so grab one quick before they're gone...
MPEG Stream: "Black Clouds"
MPEG Stream: "Calling Out Your Name"

album cover SUN RA Space Probe: A Tonal View Of Times Tomorrow, Vol. 1 (Art Yard) cd 21.00
There's certainly no shortage of Sun Ra reissues, the idiosyncratic bandleader recorded a LOT of stuff over his long career, and while we try to review as many of 'em as we can, we can't review 'em all... and don't really need to, as you can't go too wrong with any of 'em, if you appreciate Ra's spacey Afrocentric jazz in general, especially the way his music is often both outside and inside at the same time. But when a Ra reissue comes along that starts off with an otherworldly 18 minute Mini-Moog solo from the man himself, then that's one that we know we've GOT to list. "Space Probe" is the track in question, an apt title indeed, recorded circa 1969, right about when Sun Ra received a prototype model from Robert Moog, for testing purposes. Test it he did!! So this is a historic recording, and we can't help but quote what it says here about how "Moog always claimed afterwards that he never understood exactly where some of those sounds came from - suspecting he [Sun Ra] might have modified the instrument in some way."
Elsewhere on this disc, regular Sun Ra sidemen Marshall Allen (flute) and John Gilmore (bass clarinet) appear, along with James Jacson (log drum), Nimrod Hunt (hand drum) and Thea Barbara (wordless, operatic vocals), with material from sessions dating to the early '60s; a small, spare ensemble playing "jazz" that has to go in quotes. "Sun Ra music" is more like it. And it's intergalactic, atmospheric, avant garde groove (and anti-groove) unlike much else in this universe. Some of the tracks appeared on the 1974 Saturn label vinyl release, Space Probe, others are previously unissued takes.
Worth it for "Space Probe" alone, which combines '50s sci-fi film sound effects with proto-techno pulsations, so very different from the relaxed wooden rhythms and flute flutter of the 13+ minute "The Conversation Of J.P.", another of this disc's highlights.
Nicely done Art Yard reissue as always, in a slim trifold digipack with liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "Space Probe"
MPEG Stream: "Recollections Of There"
MPEG Stream: "The Conversation Of J.P."

album cover TEENAGE PANZERKORPS (DER TPK) German Reggae (Holidays) lp 17.98
Ah, Teenage Panzerkorps. This confounding, transcontinental quartet has quite a punk / avant-rock pedigree. Edmund Xavier was born Glenn Donaldson, whose work within the forest-dwelling psychedelic collective Jewelled Antler spawned such projects as Thuja and the Blithe Sons, not to mention the paisley-pop project the Skygreen Leopards and Art Museums; and Boy True is the pseudonym for Jason Honea, who joined the leftist-punk band Social Unrest in the late '80s and Ten Bright Spikes in the '90s, before accompanying Donaldson and company on some of the more outre projects of Jewelled Antler. From the perspective of Jewelled Antler, the iconography of Teenage Panzerkorps makes a lot more sense, as a re-imagining of the childhood games playing with toy soldiers, where political and moral implications are lost within the wonder of play, all the while these childish ideals are smashed into the epiphany of hearing punk for the first time, with all of the social and political ramifications very much on the line. The Teutonic bark of vocalist Bunker Wolf and all of the militant iconography might give the impression of these guys being Nazi sympathizers, but this is hardly the case, as Der TPK's folding of symbols and metaphors is far more nuanced in its appropriation, pastiche, and parody.
German Reggae is album number four for Der TPK, and it exhibits some variation beyond the drone-punk propulsion which dominated their Games For Slaves and Nations Are Insane albums. Honea's basslines look back to the first couple of PiL records and Jah Wobble's thick punk-dub, and Bunker Wolf's delivery is a bit more understated, to which some have compared now to a Germanic Mark E. Smith. Even with these differences, Der TPK puts their collective head down for these propulsive, grimy post-punk numbers with plenty of references to the pre-Joy Division Warsaw recordings, Savage Republic, and Wire, not to mention contemporaries like The Soft Moon and Cult Of Youth.

album cover TWEAK BIRD s/t (Volcom) cd 12.98
The first thing you notice about the new record from psychsludgepop duo Tweak Bird, if you're us at last, and you're seriously obsessed with seventies Japanese psychedelia, is that the cover art is obviously an homage to Flower Travellin' Band's Anywhere record, the two members of Tweak Bird, shirtless, on a motorcycle, tooling down the highway with open fields in the background. Musically, though, these guys have way more in common with Torche or Floor than FTB, their sound a spaced out psychedelic proggy fuzzy buzzy stoner pop, thick baritone guitar riffs, big pounding drums, crazy catchy hooks, and some seriously dreamy vox, not quite falsetto, but soaring and clear, there are lush harmonies, and surprising melodies, and of course some 'ooooh ooooh's here and there, all draped over some seriously thick sludgey riffs, the band slipping from chuggy fuzzy pop, to pounding howling almost metallic crunch, there's sax too, and flute, and some synths, the more we listen the more proggy it sounds, Daniel Higgs like vocalizing wrapped around jazzy sax, all draped over shimmery keyboards and motorik drumming, only to blossom into something that sounds a little like Magma or the Ruins, albeit a stoner pop indie rock version, but it's killer. Elsewhere, flute flutters over some buzzy riff heavy groove, and those floaty ethereal surprisingly high boy vox, a sort of tripped out stoner metal prog fuzz folk pop, or something. And those doses of weirdness are balanced out by the blasts of full on buzzing metallic distorto pop, and heavy downtuned chug, the riffs slipping from jangly and minimal to super distorted and blown out, the band somehow creating an impossibly catchy sound with some seriously disparate elements. So goddamn good. We'd be seriously surprised if the rest of the world didn't finally catchy on, and like Torche, make these guys the underground stoner pop indie sludge super stars they should so obviously be. AWESOME!
MPEG Stream: "The Future"
MPEG Stream: "Lights In Lines"
MPEG Stream: "A Sun / Ahh Ahh"
MPEG Stream: "Distant Airways"

album cover TWEAK BIRD s/t (Volcom) lp 14.98
The first thing you notice about the new record from psychsludgepop duo Tweak Bird, if you're us at last, and you're seriously obsessed with seventies Japanese psychedelia, is that the cover art is obviously an homage to Flower Travellin' Band's Anywhere record, the two members of Tweak Bird, shirtless, on a motorcycle, tooling down the highway with open fields in the background. Musically, though, these guys have way more in common with Torche or Floor than FTB, their sound a spaced out psychedelic proggy fuzzy buzzy stoner pop, thick baritone guitar riffs, big pounding drums, crazy catchy hooks, and some seriously dreamy vox, not quite falsetto, but soaring and clear, there are lush harmonies, and surprising melodies, and of course some 'ooooh ooooh's here and there, all draped over some seriously thick sludgey riffs, the band slipping from chuggy fuzzy pop, to pounding howling almost metallic crunch, there's sax too, and flute, and some synths, the more we listen the more proggy it sounds, Daniel Higgs like vocalizing wrapped around jazzy sax, all draped over shimmery keyboards and motorik drumming, only to blossom into something that sounds a little like Magma or the Ruins, albeit a stoner pop indie rock version, but it's killer. Elsewhere, flute flutters over some buzzy riff heavy groove, and those floaty ethereal surprisingly high boy vox, a sort of tripped out stoner metal prog fuzz folk pop, or something. And those doses of weirdness are balanced out by the blasts of full on buzzing metallic distorto pop, and heavy downtuned chug, the riffs slipping from jangly and minimal to super distorted and blown out, the band somehow creating an impossibly catchy sound with some seriously disparate elements. So goddamn good. We'd be seriously surprised if the rest of the world didn't finally catchy on, and like Torche, make these guys the underground stoner pop indie sludge super stars they should so obviously be. AWESOME!
MPEG Stream: "The Future"
MPEG Stream: "Lights In Lines"
MPEG Stream: "A Sun / Ahh Ahh"
MPEG Stream: "Distant Airways"

album cover V/A Bossa Nova And The Rise Of Brazilian Music In The 1960s (Soul Jazz) 2cd 23.00
Blame it on the Bossa Nova! What Americans experienced of Brazil's biggest cultural export in the sixties (think Astrud Gilberto's "Girl From Ipanema" and Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66) was actually a watered down version of a vital cultural renaissance of luxury and prosperity in a country transforming itself from its agrarian roots to a new industrial power on the world's stage. Soul Jazz has released this terrific new compilation to highlight the origins of this tremendous and far-reaching cultural shift, with many of the genre's original innovators: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Elis Regina, Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil, Nara Leao, Wanda Sa, Maria Bethannia, Milton Nascimento as well as plenty of others we had never heard before. With its cool vocals, complex but economic melodic structures and sophisticated jazz motifs, Bossa Nova represented a huge shift away from traditional music to a new modern jet-setting sound. What's neat about this compilation is that even though the names may be familiar, many of the tracks are not the typical hits you may have heard before, reflecting the urgent embrace and hopeful optimism of a country stretching into its new identity. Sadly it wouldn't last. By the time, American's were fully seduced by Bossa Nova's warm wave of tropical sophistication in the mid-sixties, Brazil experienced a military takeover and many of the musicians (namely Jobim and Mendes) were forced to flee to the US. They were able to have successful careers (perhaps even more successful than when they were in Brazil) but Bossa Nova in America became something symbolically different, an almost Imperial embrace of laid-back Latin coolness while completely overlooking the political unrest that displaced it. Thankfully another musical and cultural revolution, Tropicalia, was gearing up to take its place. Still, whatever association you might have with Bossa Nova, this compilation is full of surprises and well worth the listen. So freaking good!
And as with all Soul Jazz record, the packaging is deluxe and elaborate, a slipcover housing a jewel case and a massive booklet, with tons of photos, and a super extensive history of Bossa Nova, detailing the musicians, and the politics of the era.
MPEG Stream: ROBERTO MENESCAL "Inverno"
MPEG Stream: GINGA TRIO "Yemenja"
MPEG Stream: JORGE BEN "Lalari-Olala"
MPEG Stream: ZIMBO TRIO "Zimbo-Samba"
MPEG Stream: DOM UM ROMAO "Jangal"
MPEG Stream: EDU LOBO "Ponteio"
MPEG Stream: TAMBA 4 "Samba Blim"
MPEG Stream: GERALDO VADRE "Hora De Lutar"

album cover V/A Brain Club #000001 (Brain Club) 12" 15.98
Weird, murky drone and darkly introspective goth-ambient sounds from the Austin indie-electronic underground. Brain Club is a series of mixes compiled by Jesse Jenkins (Silver Pines, Pure X/Ecstasy, Thousand Foot Whale Claw) and Kyle Dixon (Survive, Heathen Earth) of unreleased tracks by Austin-based groups (at least for this inaugural edition), most of whom we've never heard of before, but after checking this out we're really excited to know more about them.
The first side is more ambient with tracks mixing into each other beautifully. After a brief clip of a found spoken word recording by the mysterious "The Artist", Daniel Hipolito's Smokey Emery, the one project here we've reviewed in the past, appears with a short outdoor ambient industrial recording made with multiple tape machines that sound like far away drones recorded in a sewage tunnel which segues into VC Childkraft's soft focus "Magnetik Rose", a ghostly pitch-shifted piece of electronic clusters that sounds like a wind-soaked lullaby. Thousand Foot Whale Claw's shoegaze ambience of "Lost In Those Dunes", brings in a slow-motion crest of gorgeous guitar feedback culminating in the final track of side 1, Heathen Earth's witch-house instrumental of bleak hollow synths, echo-y drums and incidental crashing noises.
Side 2 has three more composed electronic tracks, the first a live track by Bodytronix which sounds like a Dam-Funk instrumental without beats. "Reverie" by Jake Schrock is probably our favorite track and it's also the longest. Sounding like a ballad composed by Roedelius, Vangelis, and OMD, it's pretty melancholic synth composition hits that sweet spot of uncanny eighties nostalgia without trying too hard. The final track by Phantastes called "Flight of Stares" is like last call at the Bat Cave, a murky instrumental goth dance anthem that channels Soft Cell or Alien Sex Fiend filtered through some druggy hazy processing. So good! We can't wait for more volumes if they're as good as this one!
Limited to 300 copies, these won't be around too long, so grab them fast. Comes as a pinkish-grey unlabeled transparent smoke colored vinyl in a hand-printed cardstock half-sleeve wrapped in an oversize ziplock plastic storage bag.

album cover V/A Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers (Past & Present) 5cd box 62.00
This one should hardly need a description. C'mon, it's called PSYCHEDELIC SITAR HEAD SWIRLERS! And it's a massive 5 disc collection of Eastern tinged garage rock from the sixties and the seventies, from all over the world, all the songs linked together by one common sonic theme, the gorgeous hypnotic buzz of the sitar. Sometimes subtle and minimal, other times, intense and distorted and buzzy, the songs themselves ranging from hippie folk pop, to crunchy sitar drenched garage rock pound, to organ driven groovers, featuring a whole mess of bands you no doubt are already familiar with (or should be), many of whom we've raved about on past lists: J.K & Co, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Pretty Things, July, Ramases, C.O.B., Meic Stevens, Erkin Koray, Popol Vuh, Brainticket, The Chocolate Watch Band, The Amboy Dukes, The Strawberry Alarm Clocks, Them, Krokodil, Mecki-Mark Men, The New Tweedy Brothers, Kuni Kawachi, The Book Of A.M., Shocking Blue, Pentangle, Sheila Chandra, Ananda Shankar, but for every band you already know and love, there's a handful you've probably never heard: Wylde Olde Souls, Popera Cosmic, Stuntz's Blue Leg Expedition, The Misty Wizards, Mushroom's God, Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band, United States Of Existence, we could go on, but needless to say, this collection is pretty incredible.
From the opening droney sitar spoken word tale, the collection flits from groovy flute flecked hippie jangle, to woozy, druggy almost Spacemen 3 like hazy buzzy drift, from jangly power pop to warm woozy psychedelic dream pop, from twangy strummy folk to sitar-ed Beatles covers, with much of the comp heavy on the drone, the sitar's distinctive buzz transforming even the simplest most standard chunk of sixties pop, into something more exotic and far out, more trancelike and WAY more psychedelic. So awesome.
Each disc comes in its own full color sleeve, all housed in a thick full color box, with a massive booklet packed with photos, record covers, and of course liner notes detailing the various songs and artists.
MPEG Stream: J.K. & CO. "Magical Fingers Of Minerva"
MPEG Stream: THE BASEMENT WALL "Teenybopper"
MPEG Stream: BLONDE ON BLONDE "Spinning Wheel"
MPEG Stream: THE FLAMES "Solitude"
MPEG Stream: LORD SITAR "I Am The Walrus"

album cover VILE, KURT Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador) cd 13.98
Kurt Vile can seemingly do no wrong. The momentum of the last few years has only strengthened the Kurt Vile-ness displayed on Smoke Ring For My Halo, full length #2 for Matador after the not-so-surprising success of his asskicking Childish Prodigy album. Kurt's increased stature was enough to bring in hotshot producer John Agnello, who ups the fidelity a bit while retaining the DIY approach and style that brought Kurt to everybody's attention in the first place. Yep, the results are pretty stellar, further solidifying this dude's standing in the rank of current American songwriters. He somehow manages to sound both contemporary AND classic. The guy is for real, and this is by far the best thing he has released... so far, anyway.
Smoke Ring For My Halo is the kind of album that gets better with each listen. It's production is laid back but totally pro, and the cast of supporting musicians includes Meg Baird from Espers, Mike Polizze of Purling Hiss / Birds Of Maya fame, and of course, KV's band the Violators. The camaraderie of this Philly crew totally shines through, and boy does it sound fucking GOOD. A skillful use of noise and other bits of experimentation are worked effortlessly into these impeccably crafted songs, the result of someone who can turn any simple melody into a bad ass classic.
The album begins perfectly with "Baby's Arms", a beautiful heartfelt number with a nice dose of melancholy that immediately announces its author's total confidence in his abilities. Next up is "Jesus Fever", riding out with an easy rocking groove that should explain why Matador snapped KV up. You can see how Kurt just oozes out music when you read the lyrics to songs like "On Tour", which one would imagine are a direct reflection of what it means to be Kurt Vile. Many - wait, scratch that - ALL of these songs are presented as hazy and coolly detached from reality, like "Society Is My Friend" with its lonely western vibe carried forward with shimmering 12 string guitar and spacey mellotron, and the solo fingerpicked number "Peeping Tomboy". The record closes with "Ghost Town", which is dramatic in a Midwestern sunset kind of way. YEAH! In a music world filled with more imitators than originators, Kurt Vile occupies a unique place and his identity is unmistakable. That is why he, and this record, completely rule.
MPEG Stream: "Baby's Arms"
MPEG Stream: "Jesus Fever"
MPEG Stream: "Puppet To The Man"

album cover VILE, KURT Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador) lp 14.98
Kurt Vile can seemingly do no wrong. The momentum of the last few years has only strengthened the Kurt Vile-ness displayed on Smoke Ring For My Halo, full length #2 for Matador after the not-so-surprising success of his asskicking Childish Prodigy album. Kurt's increased stature was enough to bring in hotshot producer John Agnello, who ups the fidelity a bit while retaining the DIY approach and style that brought Kurt to everybody's attention in the first place. Yep, the results are pretty stellar, further solidifying this dude's standing in the rank of current American songwriters. He somehow manages to sound both contemporary AND classic. The guy is for real, and this is by far the best thing he has released... so far, anyway.
Smoke Ring For My Halo is the kind of album that gets better with each listen. It's production is laid back but totally pro, and the cast of supporting musicians includes Meg Baird from Espers, Mike Polizze of Purling Hiss / Birds Of Maya fame, and of course, KV's band the Violators. The camaraderie of this Philly crew totally shines through, and boy does it sound fucking GOOD. A skillful use of noise and other bits of experimentation are worked effortlessly into these impeccably crafted songs, the result of someone who can turn any simple melody into a bad ass classic.
The album begins perfectly with "Baby's Arms", a beautiful heartfelt number with a nice dose of melancholy that immediately announces its author's total confidence in his abilities. Next up is "Jesus Fever", riding out with an easy rocking groove that should explain why Matador snapped KV up. You can see how Kurt just oozes out music when you read the lyrics to songs like "On Tour", which one would imagine are a direct reflection of what it means to be Kurt Vile. Many - wait, scratch that - ALL of these songs are presented as hazy and coolly detached from reality, like "Society Is My Friend" with its lonely western vibe carried forward with shimmering 12 string guitar and spacey mellotron, and the solo fingerpicked number "Peeping Tomboy". The record closes with "Ghost Town", which is dramatic in a Midwestern sunset kind of way. YEAH! In a music world filled with more imitators than originators, Kurt Vile occupies a unique place and his identity is unmistakable. That is why he, and this record, completely rule.
MPEG Stream: "Baby's Arms"
MPEG Stream: "Jesus Fever"
MPEG Stream: "Puppet To The Man"

album cover VON OSWALD, MORITZ TRIO Horizontal Structures (Honest Jons) cd 17.98
Full length number two (record number three) from this fantastically confusional minimalist techno supergroup, a trio made up of Mortiz Von Oswald (Chain Reaction, Rhythm And Sound), Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay) and Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric), but like the first record, and the Live In New York double lp, the members and their sonic pedigrees do little to prepare you for the actual sound of the trio. Not techno, not even really electronica, at least at first, instead it's a sort of minimal jazz abstract dub, a thick, sinewy baseline holds the first track together, while around it reverbed guitars drift and pulse, bits of glitch surface here and there, flurries of percussion, fragmented melodies, it's all very abstract, hushed and minimal, it takes 6 or 7 minutes for the various strands to be pulled together, and then anchored to a super stripped down metallic rhythm, nothing else changes, those bits of guitar still swirl and shimmer, the rhythm pulses within a cloud of muted murk and strange abstract effects, finally growing more propulsive during the last several minutes, a skeletal beat, augmented by hand drums, tambourine, soft billows of hiss and whir, streaks of crunch and crumble, but all way in the backdrop and the rhythm loops hypnotically.
The second track begins much more overtly electronic, with another minimal electro pulse, but again, the surrounding sounds are definitely more organic that you might expect, glimmers of guitar, soft streaks of melody, some rubbery upright bass thrum, scatters of extra percussion, hazy synth swirls, but for all that seems to be going on, it's super hushed and muted and yeah minimal. The other two tracks are of course variations on the same theme, with "Structure 3" being perhaps the most Chain Reaction-y, with a little bit of a heroin house vibe, a muted electronic pulse, a dubbed out rhythm, laid across a sea of distant jangle and swirling echoes, until the final track, the longest of the bunch, and perhaps the most heavily rhythmic, but just barely, a groovy jazzy sprawl, the only deviation a couple of sonic squalls, one a flurry of wildly sawed strings, brief but dramatic, the other a less obvious burst of extra percussion, but throughout, the whole thing remains hushed, and muted and minimal and quite darkly dreamy.
Like the other MVOT records, features super striking minimal cover art.
MPEG Stream: "Structure 1"
MPEG Stream: "Structure 2"

album cover VON OSWALD, MORITZ TRIO Horizontal Structures (Honest Jons) 2lp 22.00
Full length number two (record number three) from this fantastically confusional minimalist techno supergroup, a trio made up of Mortiz Von Oswald (Chain Reaction, Rhythm And Sound), Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay) and Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric), but like the first record, and the Live In New York double lp, the members and their sonic pedigrees do little to prepare you for the actual sound of the trio. Not techno, not even really electronica, at least at first, instead it's a sort of minimal jazz abstract dub, a thick, sinewy baseline holds the first track together, while around it reverbed guitars drift and pulse, bits of glitch surface here and there, flurries of percussion, fragmented melodies, it's all very abstract, hushed and minimal, it takes 6 or 7 minutes for the various strands to be pulled together, and then anchored to a super stripped down metallic rhythm, nothing else changes, those bits of guitar still swirl and shimmer, the rhythm pulses within a cloud of muted murk and strange abstract effects, finally growing more propulsive during the last several minutes, a skeletal beat, augmented by hand drums, tambourine, soft billows of hiss and whir, streaks of crunch and crumble, but all way in the backdrop and the rhythm loops hypnotically.
The second track begins much more overtly electronic, with another minimal electro pulse, but again, the surrounding sounds are definitely more organic that you might expect, glimmers of guitar, soft streaks of melody, some rubbery upright bass thrum, scatters of extra percussion, hazy synth swirls, but for all that seems to be going on, it's super hushed and muted and yeah minimal. The other two tracks are of course variations on the same theme, with "Structure 3" being perhaps the most Chain Reaction-y, with a little bit of a heroin house vibe, a muted electronic pulse, a dubbed out rhythm, laid across a sea of distant jangle and swirling echoes, until the final track, the longest of the bunch, and perhaps the most heavily rhythmic, but just barely, a groovy jazzy sprawl, the only deviation a couple of sonic squalls, one a flurry of wildly sawed strings, brief but dramatic, the other a less obvious burst of extra percussion, but throughout, the whole thing remains hushed, and muted and minimal and quite darkly dreamy.
Like the other MVOT records, features super striking minimal cover art.
MPEG Stream: "Structure 1"
MPEG Stream: "Structure 2"

album cover WATER BORDERS Drippings (Skrot Up) cassette 6.98
Yet another chunk of electro goth, witch pop, gloom-soul weirdness from this SF duo, who, while originally linked to the witch house scene, seem dead set on blazing their own confusional sonic path, and it does just keep getting better and better.
Drippings is a songsuite of what to these ears sounds like minimal miserable electronic death ballads, or like a more lo-fi, creepy and drug addled How To Dress Well. The same sort of soulful vibe, but WB's 'soul music' is something altogether more grim and evil, mottled and murky, the music here stripped down and skeletal, the vocals verring from DJ Screw style sizurped drawl, to an almost Nick Cave sounding deep and dramatic croon. All laid over a strange framework of super spare electronic dub, crumbling bits of distorted melody, bits of metallic buzz and deep rumble, the occasional swirl of synthy shimmer, gauzy stretches of sci-fi kosmische ambience, wheezing drones, sometimes coalescing into a clattery detuned warped cabaret, other times spacing out into glimmering expanses of crystalline haze, and still other times, stumbling into strange Middle Eastern sounding grooves, that sound almost like Muslimgauze crossed with the Butthole Surfers, but still laced with those creepy ominous bellowed vox. Seriously twisted, dementedly genius, fantastically totally fucked up and thus WAY recommended.
SUPER LIMITED! We might not be able to get more when we run out, so act fast.
MPEG Stream: "Side A (excerpt)"
MPEG Stream: "Side B (excerpt)"

album cover WEEDEATER Jason... The Dragon (Southern Lord) cd 15.98
Like some warped children's fairytale designed for seriously stoned adults, all sitting around on dirty couches, bongs in hand, following along in their little storybooks, a strange voice begins to deliver the tale of Jason... The Dragon (oof, a bad pun for sure, and perhaps a vague reference to that other stoner dragon Puff?), but before the voice finishes with his tale, a thick ominous buzz begins to surface, and suddenly everything seems just a little bit more (in)tense, as if the sun was suddenly blotted out by huge black winged shadows, and before you know it, the sky begins to fall, and the ground opens up, unleashing a torrent of impossibly thick, buzzing bass, and pounding skull splitting drum damage, and a harsh demonic rasp, all woven into some seriously blown out sludgey groove, and so begins the latest chunk of drugged out tarpit heaviness from stoner sludge doomlords Weedeater, and if you weren't sold already, give it one more track, cuz "Mancoon" is a seriously ripping slab of ultra heavy downtuned in-the-red sludgeblues groove, with a guitar sound so blown out it sounds like your speakers melting, and that's what these guys do pretty much better than anyone, melding swinging grooves to abject sludge drenched heaviness, stumbling from Eyehategod style feedback soaked death march doom buzz trudge, to almost Southern rock sounding stoner rock, but everything oozing with grit and filth, and wrapped in the sonic version of a halo of flies, every track a lumbering and crushing, slo-mo stoner doom juggernaut, oh that is except for the weird acoustic tracks, like "Palm And Opium" a strange twang flecked lo-fi hoedown, all acoustic guitar, and woozy slide, augmented by thick distorted buzz, and some seriously creepy Buttholes style processed vox, or the record closer "Whiskey Creek", with it's chirping crickets, Deliverance style banjo, the sound or rain falling, some rumbling bass, creepy and strangely beautiful, and then after a few moments of silence, some strange old timey saloon sounding barrelhouse piano, definitely a bizarre way to finish of a bizarre record, but these guys have always been a bit cracked, and fans of slow and low ultra heaviness, and swinging Sabbathy stoner crush, like Sleep, pre-Weedeater outfit Buzzov*en, Eyehategod, Electric Wizard, Dozer, Dopethrone, Bongripper, Acrimony, and the like, it seriously doesn't get much better than this.
MPEG Stream: "Hammerhandle"
MPEG Stream: "Jason... The Dragon"
MPEG Stream: "Whiskey Creek"

album cover WHITEHORSE Progression (Sweatlung) cd 11.98
Progression is the latest chunk of abject nihilistic ultra doom sludge from these Aussie heavies, the first full length since their sprawling double cd on 20 Buck Spin, and it continues on right where that one left off. Lurching lumbering downtuned slo-mo riffage, dueling vocals: grunted monstrous growls versus maniacal shrieks, fat fuzzed out bass buzz and massive pounding drum pummel, but unlike many of their doom/sludge contemporaries, Whitehorse actually have some groove, and some serious forward momentum, with maybe more in common with Eyehategod and Khanate than say Monarch or Bunkur, this isn't all near-ambient black doom drift, no these guys grind and pound, this is most definitely metal, just really really slow, it's propulsive, but a sort of tarpit propulsion, the sound super dynamic, lacing their metallic crunch with plenty of stop/starts, long stretches of squealing feedback, strange industrial clatter, the songs shifting from slow slung bass driven crawls, to loping glacial doom, to almost swinging metallic crush.
Opener "Mechanical Disintegration" channels the spirit of Winter and diSEMBOWELMENT into some sort of slow motion death metal, peppered with some surprisingly melodic filigree, these strange but super hooky guitar melodies draped over the main churning riffage, makes it sound like some classic metal playing at 2 rpm.
The title track slows it done even further, adding lots of scrape and clatter to the death march trudgery, a pounding minimalism that shifts gears part way through when the band launch into a serious groove (at least for them), verging on almost headbangable, really lurching and lumbering, some Sabbathy swing slowed down into something more serpentine and slithery. The rest of the record veers from funereal crawl, to grinding metallic pound and back again, the songs laced with strange mechanical hiss, white noise hum and weird glitches, all wrapped around that super low throb and thrum, culminating in the epic 9+ minute closer, which pounds away relentlessly before finishing off in a squall of feedback skree, twisted black noise and super distorted buzz.
MPEG Stream: "Mechanical Disintegration"
MPEG Stream: "Progression"
MPEG Stream: "Time Worn Regression"

album cover WOODEN STAKE Black Caped Carnivore b/w Curse Of The Funeral Mistress (Sorcerer's Pledge Records) 7" 8.98
The grim and ghoulish doom/death duo of Wayne (aka Elektrokutioner) and Vanessa (aka the Funeral Mistress??) are back with a seven inch slab of thick black vinyl to stab thru yr ears... well ok, it's plastic and not pointy, but does the job Wooden Stake style regardless. After their (now totally out of print) debut cd-r Vampire Plague Exorcism, and more recent split cd with AQ faves Blizaro, maybe you know what to expect from Wooden Stake: female fronted, horror fixated, riff rituals of slomo sludge, that are part Black Sabbath, part Jex Thoth, part Obituary... they deliver all that here, with the A-side alone being one of their best songs we've heard yet.
Real soon we'll also have WS's debut full length cd, the awesomely titled Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades, so watch out!!
In the meantime, grab this two song 7", it's limited to 500 hand-numbered copies....

album cover XASTHUR Portal of Sorrow (Kemado) 2lp 22.00
This Record Of The Week from last year, now available in the vinyl format, via Kemado! Limited. numbered, gatefold sleeve, download code. Here's what we said about the original compact disc edition:
There are lots of remarkable things about this latest Xasthur disc. It was released on his own Disharmonic Variations label for one thing, instead of Hydra Head, his home for the last few records. It features the vocals of folk chanteuse Marissa Nadler quite prominently, which was definitely a bit of a surprise! Even more surprising is that according to Malefic, the man behind Xasthur, now referring to himself by his given name Scott, this is the very last Xasthur record. EVER. He's not giving up music, just black metal. Which might seem less surprising once you've heard Portal Of Sorrow. Whose sound is at once a continuation of the last few Xasthur records, but at the same time, a total departure. Right out of the gate, the title track, is all acoustic guitars, and cooing wordless vox, more some sort of ethereal depressive doomfolk than black metal. Haunting atonal chords, folky guitar strum, wheezing organs, everything warped and warbly and really quite beautiful. Some more 'metal' guitars enter into the picture but they just serve to add filigree to the folky gothic dirge. Pretty weird and fantastic for sure. And for sure to bum out legions of true grim black metallers. The second track is more black metal, but if anything it's WAY weirder than the first track, with what is either the worst, or best production yet, the guitars detuned and atonal, the drums insanely produced cardboard box thumps WAY up in the mix, Nadler's often wordless vocals again soaring and dramatic, while Malefic croaks along in the background, a gloriously stumbling bit of blackened freak folk buzz, moody and murky, with some serious chug part way through, but that chug is accompanied by PIANO, which renders it more some sort of blackened chamber music.
And so it goes, the whole record is not only strangely composed, but the sound itself is totally alien, it sounds accidental, but a sound this twisted and warped and idiosyncratic MUST be by design.
"Shrine Of Failure" begins with clean guitars and floppy bass, a constantly descending melody, the vocals singing right along, before the heavier guitars kick in, but instead of making the song heavier, they seem to float above the already in progress weirdness, adding a layer of distorted buzz, and alternately wild psychedelic squiggles of tangled lead guitar. "Stream Of Subconsciousness" is another washed out doomic dirge, driven by Nadler's angelic croon, and Malefic's warbly guitars, the swoonsome synths, leading to an ambient drift, and then more murky stumble. "Horizon Of Plastic Caskets" is all minimal drumming, swirling synths, distant vocals, a sort of black ambient post rock lope, peppered with Malefic's maniacal screams, which do nothing to take away from the track's haunting cinematic vibe.
"The Abyss Holds The Mirror" opens with some seriously lovely multitracked vocals from Nadler (she's credited with "choir, vocal flashbacks, vocal instrumentation") before the song proper kicks in, and it's a dirgey doomy deathmarch, with church organ, croaked demonic vocals, all set to a heartbreakingly melancholy melody, the whole second half is just organ and vocals, and is the last thing you'd expect to hear on a black metal record.
"Released From This Earth" is all struggling drumming, atonal piano pound, and more of Nadler's heavenly crooning, in some ways, this almost plays out like a Marissa Nadler record, with Xasthur as his band, no disrespect to Malefic, in fact, that's what makes this record so good, it's less about having some token guest vocals, and more about true collaboration, which is exactly what makes this record so fucked and far out and special. Even at it's blackest, it's about as far removed from black buzz and grim blast than you could imagine. Which is what keeps us from mourning the death of Xasthur, and instead has us anxiously awaiting the future rebirth, and phoenix like ascension of whatever comes next.
MPEG Stream: "Portal Of Sorrow"
MPEG Stream: "Broken Glass Christening"
MPEG Stream: "Shrine Of Failure"
MPEG Stream: "Stream Of Subconsciousness"
MPEG Stream: "Released From This Earth"

album cover XEX Group Xex (Smackshire) cd 14.98
Recently reviewed on vinyl, here's a compact disc edition as well...
Xex was the experimental synthpop creation of three high-school misfits living in central New Jersey during the mid-'70s, having survived their teen years of suburban boredom with plenty of drugs and eye-opening excursions to New York. Liberated by the spirit of punk, this outfit - pseudonymously known as Waw Pierogi, Thumbalina Gugielmo, and Alex Zander (later joined by Jon-Boy Diode and David Anderson) - took up the task of infusing a smarty-pants cynicism to hyper-primitive arrangements on a small assortment of synths and drum machines. No guitars whatsoever, the sound of Xex is one of skewed melodicism and incessant repetition. This combined with a typically monotone vocal sensibility put Xex in the same synthpunk orbit as The Units and Crash Course In Science. It's a very American sound, to look back upon all of these records. In Europe, the new wave and synthpop was far more self-possessed, even amongst the DIY circles, but for a certain subset in the States, the nerds had become emboldened in punk to use science and math as a spasmodic, future-shock means for nihilist poetics and cathartic release - hence, Devo, Dark Day, Nervous Gender, the aforementioned Crash Course In Science, and Xex. With the exception of Primitive Calculators and Severed Heads in Australia, there's hardly a parallel anywhere else in the world to this synthpunk sound; and Xex were certainly exceptional at it.
Group Xex was the only record they released, although the band recorded a second album but never released it (unfortunately the tapes of that second album had deteriorated beyond repair). Self-released in 1980, the album was sold pretty much exclusively in Manhattan and North Jersey, with an edition of a 1000 copies disappearing quickly. It's a very quizzical album of purposefully simple electronic tunes played upon whipcrack drum machines and minimally percolating synths matched by the alternating female and male vocals, which are always thin, reedy, and metallic. Thumbalina's girly vocals bounce through the motorik synthpop ditty "Fashion Hurts" whose singsonginess is immediately countered by the unwavering robotic monotone that Pierogi presents on the cybernetic "You Think", and the grim, paranoiac poetry on "SNGA" (which stands for Soviet Nerve Gas Attack).
This cd reissue dates back to 1995, sporting six additional demos not featured on either the original vinyl or the Dark Entries re-mastered lp!
MPEG Stream: "Fashion Hurts"
MPEG Stream: "You Think"
MPEG Stream: "Sgna"
MPEG Stream: "Party"
MPEG Stream: "Holland Tunnel"

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album cover AMON DUUL II Yeti (Liberty) lp 34.00
Available on vinyl again!
The absolute hardest albums to write about are those we hold in the highest esteem and though we have an aversion to the general notion of a "desert island selection", this Amon Duul II disc is one of those albums that we could see as an definite inclusion on a short list of "must have" rock records! 1970's Yeti is the second album of Amon Duul II, succeeding Phallus Dei, and captures these krautrockers at their zenith. The album opens with the four movement opus "Soap Shop Rock", an amazing 13+ minute track that encompasses the gamut of psychedelia. It begins as an uptempo number with driving bass and drums in which vocals, guitars and amplified fiddles swirl around in a multitude of melodic variations in counterpoint before breaking down into one of the most kick ass tempo changes ever performed in rock; a heavy dirge that never fails to knock my knee caps loose, and it's got a guitar line that certainly must have been held in immense reverence by Kramer at some formative point in his career. The song doesn't settle down there, but continues in its focused meanderings for another ten minutes, retaining enough of an anchor of its beginnings to give it coherence as a unified whole. The rest of the album is equally amazing, touching everything from blasted proto-punk psych ("Archangels Thunderbird" and "Eye-Shaking King") to spacey drone improv (the fifteen minutes of "Yeti Talks To Yogi" and "Sandoz In The Rain"). Essential krautrock. In fact, one of the best records EVER.
It's one of those albums, like First Utterance by Comus and Satori by Flower Travellin' Band, that when it's playing, we think, why listen to anything else again??
MPEG Stream: "Soap Shop Rock - Halluzination Guillotine"
MPEG Stream: "Archangels Thunderbird"
MPEG Stream: "Soap Shop Rock - Flesh-Coloured Anti-Aircraft Alarm Clock"

album cover BABIES, THE s/t (Shrimper) lp 14.98
NOW ON VINYL!
This one shouldn't need much of a description. The debut full length from this new group featuring Kevin Morby from psychedelic stoner folk garage poppers Woods, and Cassie Ramone from girl garage group the Vivian Girls, and it sounds just like you'd expect/imagine/hope. A perfect mix of the two. Fuzzy, jangly, ramshackle boy/girl lo-fi garage rock / indie pop, big crunchy guitars, simple pounding drumming, droned out repetitive melodies, and some seriously killer hooks. A little bit Velvets, a little Ramones/Misfits (in that sort of hooky poppy punkness), some stonery psychedelia, lots of bouncy and poppy pep, plenty of echo and reverb, the songs slipping from wild and punky and loose and loud, to more dark and layered and less raucous, to hazy and sun dappled and folky. And of course the dueling boy/girl vox and the occasional harmonies which result only seal the deal.
Fans of both Woods and Vivian Girls will of course dig, but so will anyone into Thee Oh Sees, The Dum Dum Girls, Royal Baths, the Mantles, Brilliant Colors, Male Bonding, Parting Gifts, Home Blitz, the Vaselines, Vermillion Sands, Grass Widow and the rest of the current crop of garage-y jangle poppers...
MPEG Stream: "Run Me Over"
MPEG Stream: "Sunset"
MPEG Stream: "All Things Cme To Pass"

album cover BLACK HOLE Land Of Mystery (Andromeda Relix) cd 19.98
We finally got a tiny handful of these back in, actually a new 2010 digipak repressing of this reissue, with for some reason just 2 bonus tracks instead of the 4 found on the 2006 edition we originally had. Still, if you like weird, psychedelic doom, and you missed it before, here you go, it's like the devil worshipping Italian version of Dwarr...
This Italian band's sole album from 1985 is a tough one to figure out. An oddity all right. They're definitely a metal band at heart - the fast-paced, pre-album demo track "Midnight Madman" included as a bonus cut on the original reissue (but not here) is proof of that - but on their album itself, they somehow created a much more unexpectedly PSYCHEDELIC and spacey, synthy sound. Totally dark and gothic in a metal way, yeah, but lost in space at the back of a black hole (of course), a slowed-down, doomed-out, dosed-with-cough-syrup vibe, splicing bits of Voivod with the likes of Jacula... in fact, the lurching music on this crackly disc (mastered directly from a none-too-pristine vinyl copy, the original reels having been lost to time, and sounding to us all the better for it!) could be AQ-faves Jacula given an '80s metal makeover... the church organ strains that open "Demoniac City" surely set that tone. Meanwhile, the title track cops a riff from Sabbath's "Electric Funeral", as if to give the nod to their biggest influence we're pretty sure. But the doomy compositions of vocalist/bassist/organist Robert Measles (great name!!) also derive from phantasms far beyond our plane, we're pretty sure of that as well.
Those in the know about Italian '80s metal acts like Death SS, Paul Chain, Bulldozer and Dark Quarterer are aware that a bizarre, poverty-stricken sort of prog weirdness often infects the proceedings, and Black Hole are no exception. In their case, on this album, it makes for something really strange and special, creating a cultish legacy that led to this cd reissue. We're glad to get to hear it! Now it's time to burn the black candles and visit Black Hole's "Spectral World" ruled by "Blind Men And Occult Forces"...
MPEG Stream: "Land Of Mystery"
MPEG Stream: "Blind Men And Occult Forces"

album cover BROUGHTON'S RULES Bounty Hunter 1853 (Relapse) 2lp 23.00
NOW ON DOUBLE VINYL, LIMITED COLORED VINYL TOO!
So many modern bands are looking back to the eighties, and even the seventies for inspiration, which quite frankly to those of us who grew up during those decades, seems a bit surprising, and shocking, all of the stuff that seemed cool then, was quickly deemed "what the fuck were we thinking" not too long after, from MTV synth pop to yacht rock to fringed leather jackets to creepers to rubber bracelets to... well you get the point, the kids today are reclaiming out teenage shame and doing their damndest to make it cool.
But what we're waiting for, and it can't be long off now, is the nineties revival, grunge, post rock, math rock, bands who look to Rodan, Pitchblende, Polvo, Bitch Magnet and all those bands for their inspiration. There are definitely a few bands digging into that era, but maybe it's that it just hasn't been long enough for the younger generation to discover that stuff, lots of those bands are still playing, or playing again, which is totally okay, we can wait, as long as SOMEONE is still making that kind of music. And making it well. Which brings us to Broughton's Rules, made up of members of Pittsburgh's legendary math rockers Don Caballero and not so legendary but still bad ass math rockers Blunderbuss (whose song "Broughton's Rules" is where these guys got their name).
The label's spiel is "recommended if you like: Russian Circles, Sonic Youth, Slint, Shellac, Battles Pelican and The Psychic Paramount", and we certainly can't argue with that, we might also throw in the above mentioned bands Rodan, Polvo, Pitchblende, along with Table, Breadwinner, Bastro, Butterglove, Hose.Got.Cable, Crain, June Of 44, The For Carnation, Shipping News, Turing Machine, Phleg Camp, well, you get the drift. Obviously we love this stuff, and are psyched when some band can totally pull it off, and since these guys have basically been pulling it off since back in the day, it should be no surprise that this RULES.
Dense and lush and intricate, moody and melodic, complex and convoluted, heavy and super rocking, mathy and meandering, brooding and moody, droney and blissed out, the songs are epic and sprawling, but manage to still be catchy, and this isn't all instrumental, there are vocals, which make this eminently more appealing to the rest of the maybe-not-so-instrumental-math-rock-obsessed world, and while there is plenty dense heaviness, and some intense mathiness, there are moments that are sunshiney and melodic and major key, a good balance, and a hell of a good record. One of our new faves for sure.
Now bring on the nineties math rock revival!
MPEG Stream: "Bounty Hunter 1853"
MPEG Stream: "Disaster Of The Week"
MPEG Stream: "Night Smoker"

album cover COUGH Ritual Abuse (Relapse) 2lp 27.00
NOW HERE AS A DOUBLE, COLORED VINYL LP!
Record number two from these Virginia doomlords, a crushing collection of druggy, dirgey ultradoom, a lumbering sludge juggernaut, filthy distorted guitars, crushing drum pound, hellish shrieks, but something's changed this time around, cuz in addition to those harsh vokills, there's some serious vocalizing going on, that manages to nudge Cough's sound a little bit away from filthy crusty doomsludge toward something more classically doom, we're feeling a little Electric Wizard perhaps? The band dabbled a bit on their last record, but here those vocals are way up in the mix, still wreathed in reverb and delay, but the subtle groove of Cough's stonery sludge becomes much more pronounced with those vocals, which is not a bad thing at all, the band stumbling from pure grim downtuned plodding filth to swinging Sabbathy groove, even adding some surprisingly melodic guitar leads and lush swirls of spaced out effects which produces a sort of weirdly melodic sludgey space rock, which RULES.
But fear not, the band inevitably slip back into something sludgier, but not TOO sludgey, as those clean vocals seem to outnumber the harsh vocals pretty significantly. So if you're in the market for some total Eyehategod worship, you might be better served with the first Cough record, but if you're up for some slightly more melodic heaviness, this record should definitely do the trick.
Especially if you stick around for "Crooked Spine", which is ridiculously poppy, sounding a bit like a stoner sludge version of a Codeine track, a sort of druggier, sludgier slowcore, the vocals super poppy, maybe hinting at a more melodic Cough to come.
But again, all you have to do is hold on for a few more minutes, and the title track swoops in, and flattens you with its sheer malevolent crush, a lurching lumbering sludge EPIC, complete with a killer spaced out effects laden doomdirgedrone breakdown, and a final burst of skull crushing riffage.
MPEG Stream: "Mind Collapse"
MPEG Stream: "Ritual Abuse"

album cover CUT COPY Zonoscope (Modular) lp 19.98
NOW ON VINYL!
The last album from Australia's Cut Copy, In Ghost Color, is without a doubt one of our most listened to pop records of the last several years. It proved to have such amazing legs and grew on us so much so that even when we look back at the initial review we wrote, we would change it to speak more to what a perfect offering of uplifting, ecstatic pop it truly is. Zonoscope keeps our full on love for Cut Copy going super strong, as this album further proves these guys as some of the most skilled and talented folks around at crafting infectious and memorable pop that sticks in your head and seeps into your skin like crazy!
They take the blueprints of the Hacienda sound (Happy Mondays, New Order, etc.) and flesh it out with such a crisp and focused delivery that definitely taps into what folks like M83 have been moving towards in recent years. With nods to OMD, Erasure, Tears For Fears, Pet Shop Boys, even Men At Work on "Take Me Over" and of course New Order, CC have found a way to merge the romantic and dance minded side of '80s pop music glory into a sound that is so totally modern and refreshing. You can also tell they have a HUGE appreciation for the dynamic epic/huge pop sound that folks like ELO, Queen, and Cheap Trick were carving out in the '70s and have figured out how to inject a modern sensibility into that classic pop prowess.
Listening to Cut Copy is like being shot up with a rush of adrenaline and endless energy. All you want to do is jump and dance and run and accomplish all the things you have your heart set on. Not many folks are able to truly inspire that reaction with their music. Zonoscope is proving to be the greatest pop record so far in 2011 and we have a feeling at the end of the year we will still be saying the same thing.
MPEG Stream: "Need You Now"
MPEG Stream: "Pharaohs & Pyramids"
MPEG Stream: "Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat"

album cover DECIBEL #78 April 2011 magazine 4.95
Amon Amarth, Deicide, Trap Them, Primordial, Ken Mode, Subrosa, Noisear, Drugs Of Faith, tons of reviews (including a long one of the new Burzum), funny columns, etc. And best of all, Mercyful Fate's Melissa in the Hall of Fame feature!

album cover FRY, MARK Dreaming With Alice (Sunbeam Records) lp 28.00
Newly reissued on vinyl, yay.
Another amazing batch of dreamy psych-folk unearthed from the dregs of obscurity by the Sunbeam label, this lone album by Mark Fry from 1972, recorded while still a teenager, has it all. Songs about witches, a girl named Alice, lutes and flutes and mandolins, sitars, a song that unravels each verse between other songs, and even a song played entirely backwards. With a soft voice similar to Roger Rodier, whose lone album was also reissued on Sunbeam (which we also raved about!), we had only heard of Mark Fry previously through his contribution (a sadly truncated three minute version of the eight minute long "Mandolin Man") to the British edition of the Love Peace and Poetry psych compilation. Recorded in Rome and only limitedly released in Italy, it soon faded into the ether, and Fry turned to his other love, painting, in which he has had a more successful career. This reissue features two additional bonus tracks from 1975, and boasts liner notes from Fry himself telling the fascinating story of the making of this album, and beyond. Thanks Sunbeam for making this amazing album available to us again! Absolutely Recommended!!
MPEG Stream: "The Witch"
MPEG Stream: "Mandolin Man"
MPEG Stream: "Rehtorb Ym No Hcram"

album cover ISOLEE Well Spent Youth (Pampa Records) 2lp 22.00
NOW ON VINYL!
Rajko Muller, aka Isolee, has been one of the leading forces in smart and infectious microhouse over the last decade. His ability to merge dance floor ready beats with nuanced production has made Isolee popular with both club kids and more heady avant types. Well, Spent Youth, is the long awaited follow up to We Are Monster, and Isolee sound as precise, icy and sexy as ever. With menacing and moody undertones, Isolee unleash minimal dancefloor grooves that radiate with repetition and restraint. We thought that Kompakt would be all over Isolee by now, as they really have perfected the sound that label has become synonymous with over the years. Phenomenally chilling!
MPEG Stream: "Paloma Triste"
MPEG Stream: "Hold On"

album cover MALACHAI Return To The Ugly Side (Double Six) lp 22.00
NOW ON VINYL!!
Last year's Ugly Side Of Love, the debut from UK sampledelic duo Malachai, was a surprise hit around here, we loved it from the second we first heard it, we just didn't realize HOW much. We ended up playing it to death, and it ranked as one of our favorites of the year, so much so that we found ourselves lamenting the fact that we didn't make it a Record Of The Week. Which it no doubt should have been, a dizzying assemblage of samples and proper instruments, woven into what sounded like some some lost seventies retro rock, proto metal, fuzzy, groovy, heavy psych jam, and barring some little bits of obviously electronic filigree, it totally could have been.
So we were super psyched to discover a new record, and while on first listen, it doesn't sound -quite- as catchy as their debut, the more we listen, the better it gets, and we're pretty sure we'll find ourselves obsessed and kicking ourselves all over again. But whatever, just don't sleep on this, so fuzzy, and heavy and groovy and goddamn good. And strange. Simultaneously warm and familiar, but also like nothing you've heard, from the super cinematic opener "Monster", a string heavy bit of dramatic ambience, with big skittery beats, and a gorgeous soaring orchestral outro, which leads directly into a heavy shuffling drum beat, laced with some hazy guitar buzz, some swirling atmospheric shimmer, and then some reverby vox, the sound again some impossible hybrid of then and now, past and present, sixties psych wrapped around looped beats, and wreathed in shimmery effects.
"Mid Antarctica (Wearin' Sandals)" is super heavy proto metal buzz, the riffs epic, the organs whirring, the bass thick, the beats big, a sort of hip hoppy groove underpinning some serious psych fuzz, occasionally breaking down into ethereal drift, but always lumbering right back into some thick churning heaviness. "Rainbows" is all hazy and reverby and echoey, with gorgeous boy girl vox, the strums muted and washed out, everything wreathed in a patina of soft focus shimmer, and so it goes, the record shifting and transforming, from hushed balladic drift, to shuffling sunshiney hippie folk, to buzzy druggy groove, to piano driven super dramatic creep, to what might be our other favorite track, "Monster" which sounds like DJ Shadow, if he were raised on sixties psych as well as hip hop, epic and bombastic, moody and broody and so good. And it just keeps getting better. The sort of 'psychedelic sixties Entroducing' vibe becomes more pronounced as the record progresses, finishing off with the twangy, woozy buzz drenched strum and shuffle of the closer "Hybernation", pepper with some unlikely boomin' system low rider bass, and yeah, we're kicking ourselves now for not making this Record Of The Week, so just figure this is an UNofficial ROTW, which means this is about as recommended as it gets...
MPEG Stream: "Monsters"
MPEG Stream: "(My) Ambulance"
MPEG Stream: "Anne"
MPEG Stream: "Let 'Em Fall"

album cover MAYFAIR SET, THE Young One (Captured Tracks) lp 13.98
Yay, now on vinyl!!
The Mayfair Set sound exactly how you would imagine a band made up of members of Blank Dogs and Dum Dum Girls would sound, AWESOME!
Equal parts gloomy retro cold wave and that reverbed sixties girl group sound, two great tastes for sure, the sound washed out and murky, the boy vocals buried beneath angular jangle guitar and simple drumming, the female vox all shimmery in the background on some tracks, way up front in the others, with the boy vox drifting off in the distance, brooding moody verses and soaring choruses, gothy cold wave basslines, lilting and sing songy jangle gives way to driving woozy gloom pop, the guitar lines are spidery and skeletal, the distorted drumming skitters and stumbles, locking into simple propulsive rhythms, holding things together, white the dueling girl / boy vocals drive most of these songs, surrounded by shimmering clouds of glitchy effects, warm whirring keyboards, the sound warm and washed out and dreamy, another one of those records that gets played like crazy every single day. No better recommendation than that! And the fact that's members of Blank Dogs and Dum Dum Girls...
MPEG Stream: "Already Warm"
MPEG Stream: "Desert Fun"
MPEG Stream: "Junked!"

album cover RIDE Nowhere (Rhino) lp 17.98
My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, Slowdive's Soulvaki, Mazzy Star's So Tonight That I Might See - there are just some records that stand especially tall in the pantheon of shoegaze's finest moments. Ride's album Nowhere belongs right there too, as one of our all time favorites, a truly perfect album from start to finish, that has most definitely stood the test of time. While Ride made some other cool records, they never were able to duplicate the genius of Nowhere. A record that soars and floats with such emotional honesty as well as that dazed 'n glazed vibe that has made it one of those records we've turned at so many different times in our lives. It came out in 1990 and really served as a perfect extension of what folks in the '80s like The Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, The Durutti Column, Loop, and The Cure were doing, infusing that sound with an even deeper emotional quality as well as lots of psychedelic undertones, creating music that soared and floated with dreamy ease and driving force.
No matter how hyperbolic we get, we simply can't even get close to describing how much this record means to so many of us. We've turned to it in moments of despair, we've cranked it with windows down on endless drives with crushes and close friends, we've shacked up alone in our bedrooms with this playing during intense moments of loneliness, we've lain in beds with the ones we love lingering in ecstasy as it plays. It's a record that has and will continue to be such a constant source of pleasure for our ears and minds, hearts and souls.
Long out of print, we are SO stoked that Rhino has stepped up to reissue this classic on vinyl now! YOU NEED THIS! (There's also supposedly a special deluxe double cd edition on Rhino that includes a whole mess of bonus tracks, we haven't been able to get our hands on that yet, however.)

album cover SHINDIG! Quarterly #1 magazine 11.98
Formery a bi-monthly magazine, Shindig! has now gone to a quarterly schedule, which means a beefed-up page count, this is BIG! Sorta the size of an issue of Ugly Things (a magazine with which Shindig! has much in common, content-wise) but on glossy, color paper for all the vibrant graphics to really zing out atcha eyes.
On the cover, The Electric Prunes. And among the many other things inside this ish, there's articles about (or interviews with) Dutch freakbeat greats Q65, 10cc's Strawberry Studios, the Light In The Attic label, Texas heavies Josefus, blues raga masters Clark-Hutchinson, former Blue Cheer guitar god Randy Holden, and "the rise and fall of our last great rock band" Thee Hypnotics - you see, it's not all '60s/'70s stuff, or maybe Thee Hypnotics, from the '90s, get a pass... Actually they cover even newer bands, including Swedish garage rockers The Maharajas, here. And then there's some non-music material as well, articles about psychedelic video games (really!) and trashy '70s exploitation paperbacks, including that volume of The Destroyer series Allan's been trying to find, #13: Acid Rock!
Plus the usual reviews, album art features, and more. All in all, lookin' good as a quarterly!

album cover SHINKI CHEN s/t (Phoenix) lp 24.00
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!
Not the Speed, not the Glue - it's just the Shinki, here. After reissuing the two classics of drugged out early '70s Japanese heavy psych by proto-metal power trio Speed, Glue and Shinki, makes sense that the Phoenix label would turn their attentions to the solo effort by that band's guitarist, Shinki Chen, originally released in 1972, also featuring Hiro Yanagida on keys, and George Yanagi from Flied Egg / Strawberry Path on bass and vocals. For those keeping score at home, this doesn't get nearly the love from Julian Cope's Japrocksampler as do Shinki's albums with Speed and Glue, but we still figure any Speed Glue & Shinki fan will certainly wanna check it out, 'cause it's pretty cool in our book. Truth is, as far as STONER rock goes, its hard to imagine music much more stoned than this comfortably numb slab of swirling, psychedelic blooze rawk. Just look at the album cover... crazy long hair, red eyes, puffing on a joint... that's this album, all right.
It starts off with a weird, semi-ambient opening track, "The Dark Sea Dream", five fairly abstract minutes of tinkling piano, barely-there percussion, distant voices (?), amp buzz and feedback drone which would fit right in on a current Miasmah label release, say. After that, the "regular" (though quite relaxed) rock n' roll kicks in, on melodic blues-based songs with such wonderful titles as "Freedom Of A Mad Paper Lantern", "Gloomy Reflections", and "Corpse". Shinki's guitar gently weeps, his riffage more slumbering than lumbering, the rhythms lazy and loping, everything often overwhelmed by blissed out layers of synth shimmer. And it's all quite enjoyable in fact, with a vibe sorta similar to the California dreamin' of Captain Beyond's Sufficiently Breathless (though without the jazziness of that album, which we just realized we've never reviewed!). And definitely of interest to fans of Too Much, Far Out, and of course SG&S.
In any case, Shinki and friends fuzz it up nicely here, and remarkably enough, on the album's last cut, the nearly 13 minute long "Farewell To Hypocrites", they suddenly start to display some energy, the drummer at last bestirring himself, making for a rousing finale to a record that otherwise often sorta sounds like heavy Hendrix on 'ludes. Nothing wrong with that, though, if you're in the mood! Hmm, maybe they recorded this last track first, who knows?
MPEG Stream: "Gloomy Reflections"
MPEG Stream: "It Was Only Yesterday"
MPEG Stream: "Farewell To Hypocrites"

album cover STEEL PULSE True Democracy (Rhino / Elektra) lp 14.98
Now available on vinyl, again!
At their prime, Steel Pulse were without a doubt the best reggae band to come out of the UK, with great songwriting skills, social consciousness and songs bursting with energy and packed with infectious hooks. They were such a huge influence on so many bands in the punk and new wave world, that they were often asked by bands like The Clash, The Police, The Stranglers and Generation X to go on tour with them. In fact, much of the Police's early sound is SO obviously influenced by the music of Steel Pulse. True Democracy is really one of those records that crosses genre lines, while very much a reggae record it's amazing how many people who thought they weren't into reggae at all, heard this record playing and couldn't resist getting caught tight in its irresistible grasp. It's a record that never loses its charm or its ability to sweep us of our feet as we always walk a little faster, feel a little more free, and move with more purpose whenever we have it blasting in our ears. Originally released in 1982 and it still sounds as fresh and vital as ever!
MPEG Stream: "Ravers"
MPEG Stream: "A Who Responsible?"
MPEG Stream: "Worth His Weight In Gold (Rally Round)"

album cover VOID Hit & Run / Condensed Flesh Demos (Weekend Punk) lp 16.98
Holeeee Shit. THIS RULES!
Void were one of the original DC Hardcore bands (though they were actually from Columbia, Maryland, making them the only other non-DC band besides Lungfish to wind up on Dischord - they were that good), sharing a legendary split with fellow gods the Faith. Aside from some tracks on Dischord's Flex Your Head comp, nothing else was ever released in the band's lifetime from 1980 to 1983. Fortunately, other recordings have been floating around for a while, which leads us to this essential document of great raw sounding demos and live tracks from one of the craziest and most fucked up early hardcore bands out of the whole lot.
Trying to describe this band's music is no easy task. First off, they were totally insane and unhinged sounding, with the witchy shrieking vocals of John Weiffenbach standing WAY out from any other singers of the era, and probably the best hardcore guitarist after Greg Ginn in the form of Bubba Dupree, who was capable of wringing the most evil sounds out of his axe. The rhythm section of of Chris Stover (bass) and Sean Finnegan (drums; R.I.P.) held things together, just barely, and one can imagine that nobody else would have been physically capable for this job. At times, Void seem like they will collapse within the tornado of evil sounds they create, and the results are almost psychedelic in intensity, not to mention unbelievably noisy. It would be easy, but perhaps misguided, to draw comparisons to early black metal (still a few years to go before crawling into existence...), mostly because of the creepy woodcut images of death and pestilence in their artwork. At the same time, the chaos and fury of Void are, in a way, very, well... METAL. All the talk of "fucked up" metal bands that goes on around these parts DON'T MEAN SHIT when you throw on a Void record. One of the most underrated and one of the best, Void tapped into a sound that continues to confuse and inspire in the best ways imaginable.
Would totally be a highlight on this list, if we had few more copies, but we only scored a few.

album cover WINO Adrift (Volcom) lp 16.98
Doom legend Scott "Wino" Weinrich, front man for Saint Vitus and The Obsessed, and member of Shrinebuilder, offers up a new solo album, the vinyl of which we have via Volcom. But don't expect heavy stoner doom here. It's passionate, and earnest, yeah, but not heavy - this is an all-acoustic album, just voice and guitar pretty much. So, it's kinda the coffee house version of Wino, we'd have to say. He's gone all singer songwriter on us. And that's not bad, after all he's got a cool voice and is a talented guitar player, as capable with the delicate country folk flecked acoustic stuff as he is with the shredding psychedelic electric leads that sometimes intrude over the acoustic strum. It might not be fair to say that this is his Book Of Shadows (this IS better than that Zakk Wylde acoustic album) but it's definitely a far cry from Born Too Late or The Church Within, as well, doomhounds should note. Maybe Jar Of Flies would be a better comparison? Oh, and if you ever wanted to hear unplugged versions of Motorhead's "Iron Horse" and "Born To Lose", the album ends with such a medley. There's also a Savoy Brown cover too.

----*
----* In Stock, Not Yet Reviewed :
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If you want to order one of these, just search for the item, then click on the buy button and it will be added to your cart!

ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE / STEARICA "Sterica Invade Acid Mothers Temple" (Homeopathic) cd 17.98
ACRYLICS "Lives And Treasure" (Hot Sand / Friendly Fire) cd 13.98
ANAL CUNT "Fuckin A" (Patac) cd 11.98
ANBB (ALVA NOTO & BLIXA BARGELD) "Mimikry" (Raster-Noton) cd 17.98
ANIKA "s/t" (Stones Throw / Invada) cd 21.00
BANJO OR FREAKOUT "s/t" (RBR) cd/lp 15.98/16.98
BEACH FOSSILS "What A Pleasure" (Captured Tracks) cd/lp 10.98/13.98
BEE MASK "Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico" (Spectrum Spools / Editions Mego) lp 21.00
BICK, ANDREAS "Fire And Frost Pattern" (Gruenrekorder) cd 16.98
BIRDS OF AVALON "s/t" (Bladen Country) cd 14.98
BLOOD OF HEROES, THE "s/t" (Ohm Resistance) cd 17.98
BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER "Skeletal Coupla Remains" (Gnarled Forest) lp 16.98
BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER / WICKED KING WICKER "split" (Gnarled Forest) lp 14.98
BRIGHT EYES "People's Key (First Edition)" (Saddle Creek) cd 14.98
BURZUM "Fallen" (Byelobog) cd 14.98
CASSLE "s/t" (Shadow Kingdom) cd 13.98
COHEN, TIM "Bad Blood" (Captured Tracks) 2x7" 10.98
COVER STORY VOL. 2 "Cover Story Volume Two: Odd, Obscure, and Outrageous Album Art" (Waxpoetics) book 24.95
DANAVA / EARTHLESS / LECHEROUS GAZE "s/t" (Kemado) lp 19.98
DARK DAY "Strange Clockwork" (self-released) cd 12.98
DECEMBERISTS, THE "The King Is Dead" (Capitol) cd 17.98
ELECTRIC VOYAGE "Flight of No Return" (Kemado) 7" 5.98
ESG "Dance To The Best Of ESG" (Soul Jazz) 3lp 59.00
EXPO 70 "Center of the Earth" (Sonic Meditations) 2lp 33.00
FABRIC "A Sort Of Radiance" (Spectrum Spools / Editions Mego) lp 21.00
FATHER BEFOULED "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" (Relapse) cd 14.98
FEAR "The Record" (Slash / Rhino) lp 14.98
FINCHES "On Golden Hill" (Ulrike) cd 10.98
FLOATING BRIDGE "s/t" (Aurora) cd 17.98
FRIMPONG, K. & HIS CUBANO FIESTAS "s/t" (Continental Records) lp 17.98
GANG OF FOUR "Entertainment" (Rhino / Warner Bros.) lp 24.00
GRAYCEON "All We Destroy" (Profound Lore) cd 13.98
GREEN DOOR KIDS, THE "Muzikal Yooth" (Optimo Music) lp 16.98
GROSSKOPF, HAROLD + VARIOUS ARTISTS "Synthesist / Re-Synthesist" (Rvng Intl) lp+cd 22.00
HAINO, KEIJI, JIM O'ROURKE, & OREN AMBARCHI "In A Flash Everything Comes Together As One There Is No Need For A Subject" (A Black Truffle / Medama) 2lp 29.00
HAMMER, JOSEPH "I Love You, Please Love Me" (Pan) lp 36.00
HELEN LUNDY TRIO, THE "s/t" (HLT Records) cd 11.98
HUMAN INSTINCT "Kiwi Psych Heads : Singles 1966-1971" (Groovie) lp 32.00
HYPE WILLIAMS "One Nation" (Hippos In Tanks) 12" 25.00
INDEX "Black Album / Red Album / Yesterday & Today" (Lion Productions) 2cd 27.00
JOHANNSSON, JOHANN "Virdulegu Forsetar" (Touch) 2lp 22.00
JOKERS "s/t" (Fading Sunshine) cd 14.98
JUV "s/t" (Miasmah) cd/2lp 16.98/23.00
KALEIDOSCOPE "s/t" (Shadoks) cd 17.98
KVELERTAK "s/t" (Indie Recordings) cd 14.98
LARD FREE "Gilbert Artman's Lard Free" (Wah-Wah) lp 30.00
LI, LYKKE "Wounded Rhymes" (Atlantic) cd 13.98
LIFELOVER "Sjukdom" (Prophecy Productions) cd 16.98
MAJUTSU NO NIWA "Ecstatic Crystalization" (Musik Atlach) cd 16.98
MANDELBROT & SKYY "OD-Axis" (Digitalis) lp 14.98
MARATHON MAN / THE PARALLAX VIEW (MICAHEL SMALL) "OST" (Film Score Monthly) cd 17.98
METABOLISMUS "Mauser Ok" (Amish Records) 7" 10.98
NATURAL SNOW BUILDINGS "Waves Of The Random Sea" (Blackest Rainbow) cd 19.98
NATURAL YOGURT BAND, THE "Tuck In With..." (Now Again) cd 18.98
NEUMEIER, MANI & KAWABATA MAKOTO "Samurai Blues" (Bureau B) cd 17.98
NIGGAS WITH GUITARS "Ethnic Frenzy" (Digitalis) lp 16.98
OSWALD, JOHN + 1,001 VINTAGE POP STARS "Perplexure" (Fony) lp 14.98
OUTER LIMITS RECORDINGS "$20 Bill" (True Panther) 7" 6.98
PSYCHIC REALITY "Vibrant New Age" (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
PUCE MOMENT "Avoiding Certain Topics / Essence Of Mann e.p. / Puce Moment" (self-released) 3 x cassette 9.98
PULSE EMITTER "Spiritual Vistas" (Cylindrical Habitat Modules / Expansive) lp 14.98
PURO INSTINCT "Headbangers In Ecstasy" (Mexican Summer) cd/lp 13.98/16.98
PURO INSTINCT "Stilyagi / Put Medved To Bedved" (Mexican Summer) 7" 5.98
QUICKSAND DREAM "Aelin - A Story About Destiny" (Planet Metal) cd 10.98
RIVAL SCHOOLS "Pedals" (Photo Finish) cd 12.98
RONETTES, THE "Be My Baby : The Very Best Of The Ronettes" (Legacy) cd 10.98
ROSE, EDEN "On The Way To Eden" (Lion) cd 16.98
RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE, THE "Departing" (Saddle Creek) cd 14.98
SAXANA - THE GIRL ON A BROOMSTICK (MICHAJLOV, ANGELO) "OST" (B-Music / Finders Keepers) cd 16.98
SCALE THE SUMMIT "The Collective" (Prosthetic) cd 14.98
SHIFLET, MIKE & DANIEL MENCHE "Stalemate" (Sonoris) cd 13.98
SHIVER, THE "Walpurgis" (Garden of Delights) lp 34.00
SIMONE, NINA "At Newport" (Doxy) lp+cd 26.00
SIMONE, NINA "The Legendary First Recording In New York City, 1957" (Doxy) lp+cd 26.00
SLITS, THE "In The Beginning" (Vinyl Lovers) lp 27.00
SLOATH "s/t" (Riot Season) lp 17.98
SPACEMEN 3 "Take Me To The Other Side" (Fire) 12" 13.98
STEEL MILL "Jewels Of The Forest" (Rise Above Relics) cd 16.98
TEAMS VS. STAR SLINGER "s/t" (Mexican Summer) 12" 19.98
THX 1138 (LALO SCHIFRIN) "OST" (Film Score Monthly) cd 17.98
TORO Y MOI "Underneath The Pine" (Carpark) cd 14.98
V/A "Brazil Bossa Beat! Bosa Nova & The Story Of Elenco Records, Brazil" (Soul Jazz Records) cd/2lp 23.00/24.00
V/A "Cartagena! Curro Fuentes & The Big Band Combia And Descarga Sound Of Columbia 1962-72" (Soundway) cd 16.98
V/A "Casual Victim Pile II" (12XU) lp 14.98
V/A "Funky Chicken" (Trojan) cd 15.98
V/A "Groove Club Vol. 3: Cambodian Rock Intensified!" (Lion / Get On Down) 2lp 22.00
V/A "Guitar Mood 2" (INST) lp 10.98
V/A "Nippon Girls: Japanese Pop, Beat, & Bossa Nova 1966-1970" (Big Beat International) cd 19.98
V/A "Rhythm" (Gruenrekorder) cd 16.98
V/A "Riddimentary : Diplo Selects Greensleeves" (Greensleeves) cd 12.98
VACANT LOTS "Confusion b/w Cadillac" (Mexican Summer) 7" 5.98
VAMPILLIA "Alchemic Heart" (Important) cd 14.98
VENA "Nomadic" (Paradigms) cd ep 11.98
VESTER, HEIKE / OCEAN SOUNDS "Marine Mammals And Fish Of Lofoten And Vesteralen" (Gruenrekorder) cd 16.98
WILLIAMS, LUCINDA "Blessed" (Lost Highway) cd 15.98

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Please place your order via our website.

[1] We will contact you to verify your order and let you know when it will be shipped. Please note that occasionally it may take a day or two for us to reply. We are not a faceless bunch of computers replying to your order -- we are human beings!

[2] If we are out of some of your items and we think we will get them within the same week, we can wait to ship. Or... If it's going to be more than a few days to complete your order, we will ship what we have and then will contact you as the remainders arrive.

[ note ] Due to the everchanging nature of the independent record business, we are not responsible for listed price changes (due to supplier price changes) and often cannot update our site fast enough to reflect these changes, but we will always try to let you know of any differences.


NEW DOMESTIC SHIPPING RATES :
--------------------------------
STANDARD (DEFAULT):

1 CD (or cassette or DVD or 7") : $2.95 USPS First Class

1-3 CD (or cassette or DVD, but not 7"s) : $5.00 USPS Priority Mail via flat rate box

4+ CD, or any package with LPs in it (also books & box sets), any number of items: $9.95 UPS Ground

Also, please note that UPS will not ship to PO Boxes, so those packages that would have gone UPS will be sent USPS Priority for $9.95, or you may select USPS Media Mail instead, see below.

UPS shipments are automatically trackable and include insurance up to $100.
USPS shipments (First Class, Priority, and Media Mail) are all automatically trackable.

OR, you can choose instead to have your order shipped by MEDIA MAIL:

1-3 items (i.e. w/ LPs) : $5.95 USPS Media Mail

4+ items : $7.95 USPS Media Mail


Special shipping needs (e.g. UPS Next Day) are also doable, just ask for a quote.
Also, if you are just getting 1 item that would therefore ship USPS First Class, and for some reason you would rather have it sent Priority, then you could say so in the comments field. (Note: however, 7"s are too big for the Priority flat rate boxes.)

NOTE: UPS permits their drivers to determine if there is a secure location at the shipping address to leave the package if no one is there to receive it (unfortunately some are less cautious than others!). If you'd prefer that they not do this or if you have specific instructions for the driver, please include a note in the comments section of your weborder form.

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK SHIPPING ADDRESSES BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR ORDER. Aquarius is not responsible for orders delayed or returned due to incorrect or undeliverable addresses provided by the customer. Returned packages will be reshipped at the customer's expense.

Shipping rates are charged per shipment.


INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING :
-------------------------------- For foreign customers we ship via US AIRMAIL ("First Class International"). Your price is based on the actual cost of shipping plus $1. You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package" category and see the price for "First Class International". 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound.)

We highly recommend insurance for your international package, but it is very expensive! You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package" category and see the price for "Priority Mail International". 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound. 1 lp is usually a little over 1.5 pounds.)


INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE :
-------------------------------- You are hereby forewarned that Aquarius is not responsible if your international package gets lost in the mail. Insurance is your only recourse if your records never show up. Since the terrible events of 9/11, mail service has been slow and undependable... and while we haven't experienced any *confirmed* permanently lost mail, insurance might provide some additional piece of mind in this time of upheaval. We strongly recommend it. But yes, it is very expensive. It's your choice. Again: Aquarius is not responsible for lost mail, so if you aren't willing to take a (slight but real) risk, please buy the insurance.

International insurance is very expensive! In fact often the insurance costs more than the value of your package, in which case it obviously does not make sense to insure it. You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package" category and see the price for "Priority Mail International", which is the way insured packages are sent. 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound. 1 lp is usually a little over 1.5 pounds.)

For example: for a one-pound package worth $18 going to England, shipping without insurance is about $11.00. But with insurance, the shipping / insurance total is over $26.00!

It is your reponsibility to check the international rate calculator in order to determine whether or not you want international insurance. If you tell us you want international insurance, we will add it to your order no matter how much it costs!


PAYMENT :
-------------------------------- We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MC, Discover, and Amex. We will not charge your credit card until your order is ready to ship.

Money orders are accepted, but only in $USD. International customers please note that they must be international postal money orders purchased at a post office. Additional processing fees may apply. 

If you wish to pay by money order, you must confirm the order with us through email or phone BEFORE you send any payment. It's best to just use the secure order form on the website, and when checking out mark money order as your payment choice. We will then process your order and respond with all the crucial payment info.

We also accept payment by Paypal. If you opt for this payment method, we will send you a paypal total and payment instructions as soon as we've confirmed your order with you. Please do not send payment until you have received human contact from our mailorder department.

Unfortunately, we cannot take personal checks for mailorder, sorry!


QUESTION?
-------------------------------- Email the mailorder department: mailorder@aquariusrecords.org
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SOME SELECTED UPCOMING RELEASES

----} on the way to us now
Monarch "Sortilege" limited edition tour cdep on Heathen Skulls

----} also real soon
Chalk Circle "Reflection" lp on Mississippi
PJ Harvey "Let England Shake" lp version on Vagrant/Island
Wooden Stake "Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades" cd on Razorback 

----} March 15th
Dodos "No Color" cd on French Kiss
Withered Hand "Good News" cd on Absolutely Kosher

----} March 22nd
Belong "Common Era" cd/lp on Kranky
Dug Dugs "Smog" mini-lp sleeve cd/lp reissue on Lion/Get On Down
Strokes "Angles" cd on RCA
John Zorn "Zorn: Nova Express" cd on Tzadik

----} March 26th
Locrian "The Crystal World" lp vinyl version on Utech
Oikos "Ecotono" cd on Utech Records
Graves and Orchestra Pits cd on Utech Records
Surface of the Earth "Gunn Amps and Smashed Guitars" cd on Utech Records

----} March 29th
Moon Duo "Mazes" cd+ltd. bonus cd / lp + ltd. bonus cd on Sacred Bones
Mountain Goats "All Eternals Deck" cd/lp on Merge
The Alps "Easy Action" lp on Mexican Summer
Dalek "Untitled" lp on Latitudes
Gridlink "Orphan" cd on Hydrahead
Gridlink "Orphan/Amber Grey" lp on Hydrahead

----} April 4th
Burzum "Fallen" lp

----} April 12th
Zomes "Earth Grid" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
Alexander Tucker "Dorwytch" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
D. Charles Speer & the Helix "Leaving the Commonwealth" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey

----} April 16th RECORD STORE DAY
The Wake 3x7" bundle on Captured Tracks (2 reissues + 1 split featuring Beach Fossils & Wild Nothing covering The Wake)
Earth "Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light I" 2lp on Southern Lord
v/a "Local Customs: Pressed At Boddie" cd/2lp/cassette on Numero Group
Arp "Pastoral Symphony" 12" on Smalltown Supersound
Oxbow "King Of The Jews" lp reissue on Hydra Head
Flying Lotus "Cosmogramma Alt Takes" lp on Warp
Oval/Liturgy split lp on Thrill Jockey
Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) + Phil Manley (Trans Am) "Norcal Values" lp on Thrill Jockey
Prurient "Many Jewels Surround The Crown" 7" on Hydra Head
Os Mutantes "Everything Is Possible" lp version on Luaka Bop
Shuggie Otis "Inspiration Information" lp version on Luaka Bop
Steve Gunn & Ilyas Ahmed split 7" on Immune
Black Twig Pickers / Glenn Jones split lp on Thrill Jockey
Nada Surf "The Moon Is Calling" 7" on Barsuk
Akron/Family "Cosmic Birth And Journey" 2lp on Dead Oceans
Antony & The Johnsons "Swanlights EP" 10" on Secretly Canadian
Bear In Heaven / Lindsrom split 12" on Hometapes
Frightened Rabbit / The Twilight Sad "Demos Cassette"
Damien Jurado "Live At Landlocked" LP on Secretly Canadian
The Luyas / Twin Sister split 7" on Dead Oceans
Pinback "Information Retrieved A" 7" on Temporary Residence Ltd.
Superchunk / Coliseum "Horror Business / Bullet" split 7' on on
Temporary Residence Ltd.
v/a "Sacred Bones Presents: Todo Muere Vol. 1" lp on Sacred Bones
(featuring Moon Duo, Cult Of Youth, Zola Jesus, etc.)
Yeasayer "End Blood" 7" on Secretly Canadian
Fleet Foxes "Helplessness Blues" 7" on Sub Pop
BitzenTrapper "Maybe Baby" 7" on Sub Pop
Lower Dens "Deer Knives" 7" on Sub Pop
Deerhoof "Friend Opportunity" lp on Polyvinyl
Black Angels "Another Nice Pair" lp on Light In The Attic
Gold Panda "Marriage" 12" on Ghostly International
Vivian Girls "I Heard You Say" 7" on Polyvinyl
Of Montreal "Past Is A Grotesque Animal" 12" on Polyvinyl
Superchunk "Here's Where The Strings Come In" cd/lp reissue on Merge
Caribou "Swim Remixes" 12" on Merge
Wild Flag "Future Crimes" 7" on Merge
The Velvet Underground "Foggy Notion" 7" on Sundazed

and very likely a special AQ-only RSD release TBA...!!!

----} April 19th
Bill Callahan "Apocalypse" cd/lp on Drag City
The High Llamas "Talahomi Way" cd/lp on Drag City

----} April 26th
Boris "Attention Please" cd/lp on Sargent House
Boris "Heavy Rocks" (different from the old Boris album of the same name though!!) cd/lp on Sargent House

----} May 24th
Electric Wizard "Black Masses" domestic vinyl release on Metal Blade

----} also upcoming sooner or later or sooner or later or whenever
v/a "Historische Aufnahmen/Historical Recordings Vol.1" lp on Gagarin Records
Marijata "This Is Marijata" cd/lp on Academy
Marijata "Pat Thomas Presents Marijata" cd/lp on Academy
Conrad Schnitzler "Ballet Statique" lp reissue on M=Minimal
v/a "Dirty Water 2: More Birth Of Punk Attitude" 2cd/2lp on Year Zero
Jerusalem "s/t" vinyl reissue on Vintage/Rockadrome (slightly delayed)
Metal Mountains "Golden Trees" cd on Amish
Bong "Live At Roadburn" cd/lp on Burning World
ONJT + "Lonely Woman" cd on Doubtmusic
ONJT + "Bells" cd on Doubtmusic
Evil Madness "Super Great Love" cd version on Editions Mego
Steel Mammoth "Radiation Funeral" lp on Ektro
Unholy Cadaver "s/t" 2lp+cd on Shadow Kingdom
Starfuckers "Metallic Diseases" lp on Holy Mountain
Loss "Despond" cd on Profound Lore
Bullet "Highway Pirates" cd on Black Lodge
Console "Herself" cd/2lp on Disko B
Mount Eerie "Song Islands Vol.2" on P.W. Everum & Sun, Ltd.
Liars "Proud Evolution" ep on Mute
Expo 70 "Black Ohms" vinyl edition on Beta-lactam Ring
The Sticks "s/t" cd/2x7" on Upset The Rhythm
Jim Haynes "Rocks. Hills. Plains" on Root Strata
Nurse With Wound "Skrag" cd on United Dairies
Jonathan Coleclough "Flutter" 2cd-r on October
Johann Johannsson "And In The Endless Pause" lp on Type
Jay Reatard "Blood Visions" lp on Fat Possum
King Khan & BBQ Show "Invisible Girl" cd/lp on In The Red
Felix "You Are The One I Pick" cd on Kranky
Anton Batagov "Passionate Desire To Be An Angel" cd on Long Arms Records
Japancakes "If I Could See Dallas"
Jazzfinger "The Sun's Golden Blood" cd on Beta-Lactam Ring
v/a "Noise Room" cd on Soniq
Country Teasers / Ezee Tiger split lp on Holy Mountain
Erase Errata TBA cd on Kill Rock Stars
Rodan TBA cd/lp on Quarterstick
Swell Maps "International Rescue" clear vinyl LP reissue on Alive
Boduf Songs "Strait Gait" cd/lp on Latitudes
The Fall "Future Our Clutter"
Panda Bear "Tomboy"
Sloath s/t lp on Riot Season
Ken Camden "Lethargy & Repercussions" cd/lp on Kranky
Nurse With Wound "Second Pirate Session" cd on United Jnana

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Lots of love from your devoted AQ staff

Andee Cup Jim AllanIrwinScottNickJonandAndrew


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