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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


ACID BATH Paegan Terrorism Tactics (Rotten) cd 13.98
Man, does this record rule! Not entirely sure how we all managed to miss this one when it came out a few years back. It was actually (re)discovered on the recommendation of a not-so-entirely-trustworthy source. Go figure! But now that we know, so must you...Imagine the sheer brutality of Eyehategod, the bluesy grind of fellow bayou residents Soilent Green, the stoned Sabbathy swing of Trouble, and the melodic flair of late era Corrosion of Conformity or Alice In Chains, all forced onto one cd. Sound confusing? It is. But somehow, it gels perfectly, striking a pefect balance between catchy and heavy. This has become an absolute favorite of Andee, Allan, Elisabeth, and a handful of customers who have seen the light. Interesting non-music related facts: amazing cover art by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, one band member dead, one in jail...HIGHLY recommended!

BENIGHTED LEAMS Astral Tenebrion (Supernal Music) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wow. Possibly the most fucked up, ridiculous black metal "band" ever, with their (his, actually, it's one guy) newest disc, some kind of pseudocerebral spacemetal epic with *amazing* songtitles like "Aurora of Despondence on Valles Marineris" and "Hermetically Leering As Frigid Blores Obumber" and "Sinister Demurral Estranged The Seductive Looming". Seemingly produced at home by someone probably not entirely familiar with how to work his four-track, and definitely struggling to operate his drum machine properly! Thus, so great that both Andee and Allan have purchased one. Also, recommended by Josh from the Champs.

BLIND GUARDIAN Nightfall In Middle-Earth (Century Media) cd 15.98
Wow. This first domestic release by veteran German pomp-prog-power-metallers Blind Guardian kinda blew us away (Andee and Allan that is). Expecting ultra cheese in the vein of Hammerfall, we instead found this to be immense, amazingly produced (like, 124 track) epic concept album, at once lush, melodic and aggressive. Imagine a more metallic Queen doing a record about J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, and that's what you get here! No wonder they're so huge overseas.

BRUTAL TRUTH Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom (Relapse) cd 13.98
NYC grindcore kings newest full-length. Features a Sun Ra cover (!) plus 20 so more blasts of metallic mayhem.

BUNN, NIGEL Index (Emperor Jones) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
First heard on the seminal Killing Capitalism With Kindness compilation 7", this musical misanthrope from New Zealand unleashed his first proper album some 10 years later! Beautiful guitar plucks and muted trumpets amidst waves of buzz and hypnotic swirl, with occasional processed warbles of wisdom. Odd yet highly recommended by all the AQ-staff.

CAVE IN Until Your Heart Stops (Hydra Head) cd 12.98
Brutal but occasionally beautiful metallic hardcore, for fans of Coalesce, Deadguy and that ilk. This has been described as a mixture of Slayer and Radiohead (!) and I can almost see why. Andee approved.

CAVITY Drowning (Bacteria Sour) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
There's a fancy, shiny die-cut Pushead artwork cover on this disc, thanks to it being on Pushead's label - that's the first thing you'd notice. Put it on, and the visuals are obliterated by the seriously heavy south Florida sludgecore the band kicks out, ala EYEHATEGOD meets early Corrosion of Conformity. This gets the Andee seal of approval.

CAVITY Somewhere Between The Train Station And The Dumping Grounds (Rhetoric Records) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Second album of heaviness from these Florida sludge punk metallers, for fans of EYEHATEGOD, Deadguy, etc. Classy.

CHESNUTT, VIC Is the Actor Happy? (Texas Hotel) cd 14.98
This is Vic's fourth album, and the one we think oughta be a big hit. Some of the most bittersweet heartfelt songs you'll ever hear.

CHESNUTT, VIC Is the Actor Happy? (Texas Hotel) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is Vic's fourth album, and the one we think oughta be a big hit.

CONSOLE Rocket in the Pocket (Payola) cd 15.98
Jim: I really hope that Console gets some contacts in Hollywood, as they would certainly make a lot of money scoring soundtracks for 'hip' romantic comedies staring Nick Nolte and Reese Witherspoon. Happy go lucky electronica that blatantly, delightfully rips off New Order on one track (an unusual referent that took me a while to peg... at first I thought Bola's first 12" on Skam, then early Aphex Twin, and then the 80's electro greats popped into my head...) for a pleasant if a little too accessible album.
Andee: Jim is very mysterious. For me, this is just a really cool electronic record with nods to Aphex Twin and Autechre. But it also has a definite post rock feel, having been spawned from the same scene that gave us Village of Savoonga, the Notwist, To Rococo Rot, etc...But I do like Reese Witherspoon.
Jim: Reese went to my sister's high school, so there.

CONSOLE Rocket in the Pocket (Payola) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Jim: I really hope that Console gets some contacts in Hollywood, as they would certainly make a lot of money scoring soundtracks for 'hip' romantic comedies staring Nick Nolte and Reese Witherspoon. Happy go lucky electronica that blatantly, delightfully rips off New Order on one track (an unusual referent that took me a while to peg... at first I thought Bola's first 12" on Skam, then early Aphex Twin, and then the 80's electro greats popped into my head...) for a pleasant if a little too accessible album.
Andee: Jim is very mysterious. For me, this is just a really cool electronic record with nods to Aphex Twin and Autechre. But it also has a definite post rock feel, having been spawned from the same scene that gave us Village of Savoonga, the Notwist, To Rococo Rot, etc...But I do like Reese Witherspoon.
Jim: Reese went to my sister's high school, so there.

CREEPS ON CANDY Wonders of Giardia (Alternative Tentcles) cd 10.98
Super ass kicking angular new wave. Heavy like you would expect from ex-members of Dead and Gone, but with generous helpings of The Fall, Pere Ubu, Television, Voidoids. Fans of the following should check out Creeps on Candy: VSS, Calculators, Slaves, Jesus Lizard, Neurosis, and East Bay crust-core as well as Chicago no-wave.

CREEPS ON CANDY Wonders of Giardia (Alternative Tentcles) lp 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Super ass kicking angular new wave. Heavy like you would expect from ex-members of Dead and Gone, but with generous helpings of The Fall, Pere Ubu, Television, Voidoids. Fans of the following should check out Creeps on Candy: VSS, Calculators, Slaves, Jesus Lizard, Neurosis, and East Bay crust-core as well as Chicago no-wave.

DAWNBREED Aroma (Trans Solar) cd 14.98
Superheavy jagged post-math-metal with trumpet, from Germany. Like Jesus Lizard crossed with Brasil 66!

DEADGUY Screaming With The Deadguy Quintet (Victory) cd 14.98
Truly heavy hardcore/metal. Andee, for one, believes that this band rules and/or kicks ass.

DEADGUY Screaming With The Deadguy Quintet (Victory) 10" 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Truly heavy hardcore/metal. Andee, for one, believes that this band rules and/or kicks ass.

album cover DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE Something About Airplanes (Elsinor/Barsuk) 2cd 15.98
Here's there review we wrote about Death Cab's debut way back when (we made it Record Of The Week in 1998), we don't want to change a word, it's funny though since they're so huge now....
At the risk of slipping into hyperbole, which we try avoid at all costs (snicker...), this is hands down, one of the best (and possibly most overlooked - we almost missed it ourselves, gasp!) indie rock records ever. Landing somewhere between There's Nothing Wrong With Love and Perfect From Now On, Death Cab craft a Built-to-Spill-ian universe, full of lazy sad pop, intricate compositions, jangly melodies, shifting structures, odd time signatures, and haunting cellos (and none of that solar malevolence that Doug Martsch and our very own Jim are so fond of.)
This record has been an unbelievable hit in the store. We don't think it's ever been played without at least one person buying it, sometimes 2 or 3!
The version we have now, is the limited, numbered, slipcased 10th anniversary edition, with expanded booklet and bonus disc of DCFC's first show in Seattle, on February 25th, 1998, titled Live At The Crocodile Cafe. Nice!!
MPEG Stream: "Bend To Squares"
MPEG Stream: "President Of What?"
MPEG Stream: "Your Bruise"

DESTINY'S CHILD The Writing's On The Wall (Columbia) cd 16.98
We actually toyed with the idea of making this 'record of the week' (indie-rock cred be damned!) on the strength of their top-ten single 'Bills Bills Bills' alone (I saw the video for this at a friend's house and it was almost enough to make me want to sign up for cable! I mean the music, not just their outfits). That song, and a couple of others like it certainly make this a record that all those down with the the last, ex-cel-lent TLC disc will love. Indeed, the intro to TLC's 'No Scrubs' is all over this album. True, there's a few of those obligatory urban r&b slow jams that you'll probably want to fast forward past (unless you're in the right 'mood'), but the rest is well worth it. Guest appearance from Missy Elliott.

DRONE (Freek) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Well we've had this for a while but I don't think it ever got listed before, and it should have, 'cause these New Zealanders (based in London UK though) create some beautiful music, not altogether drone-y despite their name. Chamber art rock with seeming influences ranging from Dead Can Dance to This Heat.

FALKNER, JASON Can You Still Feel? (Elektra) cd 15.98
Perfect pop material from this ex-Jellyfish member. For fans of Zumpano, Zombies, Beatles.

FEVER Too Bad But True (DHR) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Andee's favourite hip hop record of 1998, which originally came out on Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore label in Germany, has been released here in the States at domestic prices!
After a year of disappointment from big name hip hoppers (RZA, Method Man), DHR surprises us all with what may be the weirdest and best hip hop record of the year. Deep, dark, and disturbingly distorted. Murky, monotone, and menacing. Sort of like Sensational and Alec Empire having a fist fight in a dark alley!

GORGUTS Obscura (Olympic) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Rarely do bands completely reinvent themselves, especially metal bands. But Canada's Gorguts have done it (firing all but one member of the band in the process...) on this, their third album. Nobody was expecting it (nobody was really expecting a new Gorguts record at all, to be honest), but on Obscura generic deathmetal becomes super aggressive, completely unmelodic, stop/start math metal with the most bizarre guitar playing (totally "no-wave", like they have the guitarist from the Scissor Girls or something!) possibly ever heard in a "metal" band. Highly recommended!

HARVEY MILK Courtesy and Good Will Toward Men (Reproductive) 2lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brutally heavy, painfully slow, and heartbreakingly beautiful! Amazing double lp of slow motion dirge and obfuscated experiments in rhythmic tension swaddled in old school Melvins style pummel, interspersed with the occasional whisper of a song, delicate and lilting. Beautiful double lp (cd to be released on our very own Andee's tUMULt label in a few months) in a die cut, hand colored, letter pressed, hand assembled sleeve. Even at it's intended speed (33), it almost sounds like you've accidentally set a 78 on the turntable and set the controls for 16rpm. Epic and absolutely essential.

HAWD GANKSTUH RAPPUHS MCS WID GATZ s/t (Black Hoodz/Wordsound) 10 7.98
The history of rap will forever change with Guy Albino, Dook Crapmore, and Flybot Van Damn, a trio that is easily the most retarded hip hop outfit ever to grace the earth. Self deprecating, bombastic lyrics proclaim themselves as the mythical 'Sucker MCs' ridiculed throughout hip hop since the beginning of time, while shouting about being stupid white kids high on crack... loaded with scatalogical rhetoric that we really want Snoop Dogg to utter, through an exemplary rhythmic if wholly caucasian delivery... the ultimate transmutation of African-American culture into a suburban nightmare via Phoenix, Arizona. Absolute.
So highly recommended by Andee...

HEAVY VEGETABLE Mondo Aqua Kitty (Cargo/Headhunter) cd 14.98
Another one of the world's most amazing bands that somehow always seems to be overlooked and underappreciated. A complete collection of 28 songs from singles, compilation tracks, unreleased songs and studio embarassments, most clocking-in at about a minute and a half. Each contain unbelievable harmonies, ridiculous time-changes, baffling musical prowess, stupidly profound lyrics and head-splitting pop hooks.

IN EXTREMO Weckt Die Toten! (Metal Blade) cd 15.98
In our continuing tradition of bringing you the weirdest metal around, we now present to you: In Extremo! Nobody describes a band better than their press release: "Menacing and enraged, the band performs dressed in historically correct costumes from the middle ages. Dancing and wildly carousing, presenting their songs, you can imagine how our ancestors must have celebrated. Bagpipers tread madly back and forth across the stage in front of head-banging guitarists. Wildly manic tribal drum rhythms enhance the happenings." Essentially, In Extremo are an above average power metal band (ala Blind Guardian or Hammerfall) fronted by bagpipers and a vocalist that sounds like either Popeye or a Tuvan throat singer. Pretty excellent actually.

KEEP OF KALESSIN Through Times Of War (Avantgarde Music) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Norwegian black metal, very much in the style of heavyweights Emperor, Enslaved, Immortal, and Satyricon (the later most of all). A very impressive debut, very heavy stuff indeed. Recommended! (Allan and Andee both took one home...)

KIX Midnight Dynamite (Atlantic) cd 11.98
Kicks ass is more like it! Super catchy high energy hard pop. This is their third record, from 1985 and is the perfect blend of Cheap Trick's pop hooks and AC/DC's heavy groove. Allan and Andee both love this band. In fact, if you buy this record and love it, we will have no problem ordering you their other three records, all amazing. Oh yeah, Allan wants me to make sure you realize we aren't joking. Because we aren't.

KIX s/t (Atlantic) cd 11.98
Look, people, we really weren't kidding about how much we (Andee and Allan to be precise) love Kix! The response to our listing of their Midnite Dynamite on the last AQ-list was less-than-overwhelming (although Brian at WFMU did email to let us know that his covers band does a Kix song--way to go Brian!), so we're trying again. This is Kix's first album, from 1981, and it is also quite representative of their blend of Cheap Trick and AC/DC (no Def Leppard-ish ballads to be found on this one, although they're good at those too). Someone, anyone, take a chance, take our word on it and order one. A great hard pop record with even some new-wavish moments (it being 1981 and all). Don't you wanna rock? C'mon!

LANEGAN, MARK I'll Take Care Of You (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
Absolutely breathtaking new record from the ex-Screaming Trees' vocalist performing an entire album of covers (by Fred Neil, Buck Owens, O.V. Wright, Tim Hardin, Leaving Trains, The Gun Club, ...). Dark and languid and completely captivating, from one of the best voices in rock (as per the gospel of Andee who actually is pining for a world devoid of vocalists). Fans of Calexico, Scenic, and perhaps Low should give this one a try.

LANEGAN, MARK I'll Take Care Of You (Sub Pop) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Absolutely breathtaking new record from the ex-Screaming Trees' vocalist performing an entire album of covers (by Fred Neil, Buck Owens, O.V. Wright, Tim Hardin, Leaving Trains, The Gun Club, ...). Dark and languid and completely captivating, from one of the best voices in rock (as per the gospel of Andee who actually is pining for a world devoid of vocalists). Fans of Calexico, Scenic, and perhaps Low should give this one a try.

LESSER Gigolo Cop (Vinyl Communications) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of the most innovative and most overlooked electronic musicians... Intense jagged soundscapes that alternately slip in and out of beat heavy dance, painful noise, tranquil ambience, and occasional jungle. For fans of Aphex Twin, Merzbow, Scanner, Photek, Oval, Gate, Locust, Dead C, Autechre... it's that good!

MASADA (JOHN ZORN) Bar Kokhba (Tzadik) 2cd 29.00
Small ensembles of strings, keyboards, and clarinets playing klezmer/jazz tunes. This brief description must be augmented with the declaration that this is an ALL TIME AQUARIUS FAVE!!!

album cover MODEST MOUSE This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About (Up) cd 12.98
One of my favorite records. A little Pixies, a little Violent Femmes, lyrics that make you want to cry, and a whiny cute singer boy with a lisp. (--Andee)
MPEG Stream: "Dramamine"
MPEG Stream: "Breakthrough"

MODEST MOUSE This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About (Up) lp 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of my favorite records. A little Pixies, a little Violent Femmes, lyrics that make you want to cry, and a whiny cute singer boy with a lisp. (--Andee)

OLD 97'S Fight Songs (Elektra) cd 12.98
Long awaited record from the country rockers that brought us the much loved Too Far To Care (yes, a year is a long wait for a follow-up to that great record, believe you me!). Perhaps not as immediate as Too Far, but still delightful, Fight Songs again shows the Old 97's making some of the best twang pop around!!

OLD 97'S Too Far Too Care (Elektra) cd 15.98
When this came out in 1997 Andee and Byram played this at least three times a day. With hook laden, lyrically shrewd song-writing, the Old 97's are the only band of the "no depression" movement to capture the intensity of early Uncle Tupelo without losing the earnestness or twang. The first song alone, "Timebomb," will get stuck in your head forever. Plus, the final track on the album, a singularly kick-ass number, features a duet with Exene from X.

OPETH My Arms, Your Hearse (Century Black) cd 10.98
Third & perhaps best (yet) album from this Swedish band worshipped the world over for its combination of heavy death/black metal and epic progrock (i.e. they're no strangers to ten-minute plus song lengths). Note title derived from a Comus lyric!

PHELPS, JOEL R. Warm Springs Night (El Recordo) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ex-Silkworm guitarist's haunting solo album drips with emotion. For fans of Mark Eitzel.

PROSCRIPTOR The Venus Bellona (Cruel Moon) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Incredible, Magickal, Historickal ritual soundscape new-wave solo concept album, created by the drummer for the Texas occult metal band Absu. A beautiful digipak with music unlike anything else. It tells a story set in Medieval Scotland but is influenced less by Black Metal than by the Art Bears (so Proscriptor claims) and Flock of Seagulls (the album closes with a cover of their hit "I Ran", paradoxically the most metal moment on the disc...) Highly recommended! Listen to this alone at night with candles burning.

PROSCRIPTOR The Venus Bellona (Cruel Moon) lp 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Incredible, Magickal, Historickal ritual soundscape new-wave solo concept album, created by the drummer for the Texas occult metal band Absu. Red vinyl with music unlike anything else. It tells a story set in Medieval Scotland but is influenced less by Black Metal than by the Art Bears (so Proscriptor claims) and Flock of Seagulls (the album closes with a cover of their hit "I Ran", paradoxically the most metal moment on the disc...) Highly recommended! Listen to this alone at night with candles burning.

PUZZLE PUNKS BuduB (Time Bomb) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We can never get enough Boredoms. But unfortunately, there's never enough Boredoms. We hate waiting years between releases. Thankfully there are plenty of side projects and offshoots to hold us over. One such Boredoms related outfit is Puzzle Punks, featuring Eye from the Boredoms, along with his PP partner Shinro Otake. We carried the limited picture disc of this release years and years ago, but for some reason were never able to get the cd. We recently discovered that there is a NEW Puzzle Punks record (we're not sure if it is indeed new, or just a new collection of old material, but we'll hopefully have it in time for the next list) and at the same time we discovered we could finally get this, the cd version of the Puzzle Punks' 2nd album Budub.
And we forgot just how great this stuff was. Even after a decade the sounds on Budub sound fresh. Weird and fucked too (it is Eye after all) but fresh enough that you could be forgiven for thinking this was some weird Excepter record or No Neck side project. Which just goes to show you how much influence Eye and his gang had and still have on modern music.
The sound of Budub is less caustic and spastic than the first Puzzle Punks records, or the Boredoms records released around the same time. Instead it's a series of experiments in rhythm, maybe hinting at the direction Eye would take the Boredoms on late albums.
Imagine some impossible jam session between the Boredoms and This Heat, or a lobotomized Hawkwind left to jam with the infant versions of the No Neck Blues Band. Or even a room full of musical toys, possessed and allowed to run amok. Dark and deliriously playful. Sometimes creepy and dark, but more often sort of strange and hypnotic. And always some bizarre world of rhythm and rhythmic wonder. Every track a strange sonic trip: analog synth squelches over dreamy chimes and tinkles, processed fuzzy krautrock grooves beneath strange chanted and muttered vocals, murky percussive plod and thud, over which a tiny sped up voice drenched in reverb mews and warbles, haunting vocal and percussion duos, very tribal and mysterious, thick washed out expanses of fuzzy spacerock FX and distant feedback, skittery almost techno shuffles, with bizarre vocalizations, deconstructed melodies played on a toy guitar, accompanied by a slowly wound jack in the box, a grinding wash of super thick distorted throb, a wall of low end whir, a murky world of jungle sounds like a lo-fi Perry And Kingsley and every random rhythmic stop in between.
Boredoms freaks who never picked this up NEED THIS BAD. And all you modern free folks and random rock weirdos into No Neck, Excepter, Sunburned Hand and the like might just dig this a lot!
MPEG Stream: "Ouck Nuff"
MPEG Stream: "Unlimited Toothpicker"
MPEG Stream: "Pep & Kep"
MPEG Stream: "Xicotepecker"

SILVER SUN Neo Wave (Polydor UK) cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
At last, we actually have these back in stock again!! Unfortunately, the high import prices are still in effect. But, if you have ever loved the Zombies, Queen, Weezer, Cheap Trick, Jellyfish, Zumpano, the Beach Boys, etc. -- you will LOVE this band, and find these discs well worth the dough. The best take on kick ass power pop in years! Really loud and melodic, with amazing three part harmonies (this last element so beautifully displayed at their all-acoustic Aquarius instore performance). Both records rule! And still no word on a US release, goshdarnit. When will America get a clue?

SILVER SUN Too Much, Too Little, Too Late (Polydor) cdep 9.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yes, this is our favorite britpop band covering an REO Speedwagon song. Also covers of Rush's "Xanadu", My Bloody Valentine's "You Made Me Realize" and The Muffs' "I'm a Dick".

SLOAN 4 Nights At The Palais Royale (Murderecords) 2cd 15.98
Sloan make amazing pop records, but live is where they shine, and boy do they shine on this live double cd culled from 4 nights of shows in Canada (where they are HUGE, opening tours with Alanis Morrisette, as opposed to the U.S. where they are constantly ignored by audiences and constantly dropped by labels that should know better). Perfect versions of songs spanning their whole career, faithful enough to the originals to not be frustrating, but different enough to be interesting. Just like being at a Sloan show; lots of sing alongs, stage banter, audience interaction, and amazingly beautiful complex pop songs!

SOULED AMERICAN Frozen (Moll) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We love this band so much we took it upon ourselves to import mucho copies of their two most recent albums, and as far as we know, we are the ONLY store in the country to care enough to carry them. Think Joel Phelps (in the voice) with a dour Palace twang, also Red House Painters-ish 'slow-core' but these guys have been doing it for over a decade, having put out several hard-to-find records on Rough Trade. Very bare and wintry. Oh yeah, they're from Chicago and have a rabid cult following (can't believe I just wrote that); people far and wide, including Jim O'Rourke and our own Andee Connors, just WORSHIP them. This is kind of a big deal.

album cover SPARKLEHORSE Good Morning Spider (Capitol) cd 16.98
Containing beautiful, heart wrenching, lush country-ish rock with meaty, satisfying guitars and lonely-guy vocals that will twist yer heartstrings, the new Sparklehorse record is MILES ahead of their No Depression contemporaries. If you like Vic Chestnut, Lambchop, Neutral Milk Hotel, Palace/Will Oldham/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, or Windy's current favorites Wisdom of Harry, we strongly suggest that you give Sparklehorse a shot! An "enhanced' portion of the disc includes four pretty cool videos for yous with computers.

V/A Subterranean Hitz Volume 2 (WordSound) cd 14.98
Sequel to excellent first volume of Crooklyn's best...Spectre, Rob Swift, Sensational, the inimitable Hawd Gankstuh Rappuh Emsees Wid Ghatz, Prince Paul, others.

YAHOWHA 13 God and Hair (Captain Trip) 13cd 140.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
For 13 discs you better get the complete recordings... and here on God and Hair that is what you get. [well, this was true until recently when The Operetta was released...but you do get plenty!] Led by the late, legendary Father Yod (who supposedly died in a hang-gliding accident in the late 70s... just like Icarus!) YaHoWha 13 "epitomize the insanity of highly-personalized psychedelic exploration via the fringes of rock music and its subsequent private documentation better than anything else produced by the human race to date." (a glorious if over the top description from the fine folk at Forced Exposure)... This collection ranges from the tribal acid pound with weird noises floating in and out of aural spaces alongside Yod's megalomaniacal vocal output (as on the unbelievable masterpieces "Penetration" and "I'm Gonna Take You Home") to the cult-guru sermons over simple acoustic guitar (which give the uncanny resemblance to Charles Manson's folk). Warning: it's VERY hippie. The huge 13" x 13" heavy duty box houses the 13 discs and a 50 page booklet (which is unfortunately only in Japanese). So fucking cool.
(If anyone out there has any more information about this band (in English) please direct us to it.)
Please Note: Due to the sheer cost of this thing, AQ will only have 1 or 2 in stock at any given time. We will certainly do our best to fill any orders that come in, but please be patient with us! And it's a limited edition, too, of course, so don't delay...

SPACE VACATION Heart Attack (Pure Steel) cd 15.98
Previously issued on vinyl by the band two years ago, we now have a few copies of an import compact disc version! Here's our rave review from before (and we still have some of the lps too, by the way):
Finally, record number two from these local hard rockers, whose debut self titled cd-r was a huge hit with the aQ metalheads, and while we LOVED that record, we're beginning to think Heart Attack might be even better, a another killer collection of kick ass metal jams, equal parts classic NWOBHM, eighties hair metal and classic early thrash metal, the sound poppy and heavy and hooky. Right up front, if you're fans of groups like Cauldron, Twisted Tower Dire, Slough Feg, Midnight Chaser, and of course classic metal and hard rock combos like Iron Maiden, UFO, Tokyo Blade, Pandemonium and the like, then Space Vacation is definitely right up your alley. Just give the title track a listen, it's been stuck in out head like crazy for weeks now, and it pretty much perfectly encapsulates the group's sound, the heavy riffed out opening, the harmonized guitar leads, the wild drumming, the song shifting into a chugging eighties hard rock, super poppy and catchy, before launching into a furious almost speed metal blowout, chugging guitars, and furious double kick drumming, wedded to soaring clean vocals, plenty of super dynamic stop starts too, and hooks galore, even the heavy parts are crazy catchy. And then there's the shredding last minute or so, wild soloing guitars over furious drumming, and still more killer guitar harmonies. It literally took us about twenty listens before we could stop listening to that one track and dig deeper in the record. But once we did, pretty much all the tracks here are equally catchy. "End Of The Bender" is another killer, with a chorus that won't quit, and another crazy shredding finish, and then there's "Bro Hammer", a churning chunk of classic double kick driven Euro metal style radness, with yet another impossibly catchy chorus.
And while there's plenty of heaviness here, and fierce riffing, and insane drumming, and for all the record's NWOBHM aspirations, Space Vacation still mostly sound like eighties hair metal, albeit on the heavier, hookier side, and while there's plenty of cool weirdness throughout, your love of Space Vacation all depends on how much you dig that era of heavy metal, which we dig A WHOLE LOT, so for us Space Vacation is basically the modern version of a metal band that would have literally been our favorite band at age 16, and heck, considering how much we've been listening to this lately, they're coming dangerously close to being just that even now, several decades on. WAY WAY recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Heart Attack"
MPEG Stream: "End Of The Bender"
MPEG Stream: "Bro Hammer"
MPEG Stream: "Summer Knights"

album cover WAND Ganglion Reef (God?) cassette 9.98
NOW ON CD! OR, NOW ON TAPE! Here's what we said about the vinyl, not long ago...
First we've heard (other than a split single with Mikal Cronin) from these far out psychedelic garage rockers from LA and fans of outfits/folks like White Fence, Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Thee Oh Sees will be wondering how it took them so long to discover these guys. 'Cause the sound is pretty much a perfect mix of fuzzy, jangly crunch, dense, distorted psychedelic swirl, and retro sixties psych pop, the record opening with what is essentially a blast of psych-noise, before blossoming into some impossibly dreamy fuzz pop, the vocals soft focus and almost gently delivered over a bed of rumble and crunch, which appropriately eventually devolves into another squall of psychedelic freakout. Which is precisely how the second track begins, another swirling cloud of spacey squiggles and glitchy squelch, before in comes a crunchy, almost metallic riff accompanied by wild Keith Moon style octopoidal drum splatter, again, a perfect pop song tucked amidst all the howl and skree and noisy druggy trip out, the band seemingly constantly right on the edge between twee pop sugar sonic overload, and total damaged FX drenched psychedelic collapse, but that sweet spot is all theirs, the band claiming it as their own, and navigating it effortlessly, creating what might be our new favorite psych-pop/garage rock record, and is just the sort of record/sound that should, if all the stars align, give the above mentioned garage rock big boys a run for their money. Makes lots of sense that this found a home on Ty Segall's label (you'd easily be forgiven for thinking THIS was in fact the new Ty Segall record), and that Wand mainman Cory Hanson used to play in Mikal Cronin's band!

album cover MODEST MOUSE This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About (Glacial Pace) 2lp 26.00
A long, long time ago we reviewed this album, originally released on Up Records in 1996. Now at long last it's been reissued on vinyl, with two bonus tracks, and the review, written by our Andee, still applies, it's short and sweet and a definite thumbs up: One of my favorite records. A little Pixies, a little Violent Femmes, lyrics that make you want to cry, and a whiny cute singer boy with a lisp.
MPEG Stream: "Dramamine"
MPEG Stream: "Breakthrough"

album cover ROOMRUNNER Separate (Accidental Guest) 12" 13.98
Second blast of gloriously grungy noise rock from these recent aQ faves who seem to have taken the blatant Nirvana obsession of their Ideal Cities and tempered it a bit, the new ep way more polished and poppy. All of which was hinted at on that first one for sure, but here, the moments of noisy crunch and fuzzed out pound are more in service to some seriously kick ass songwriting and big BIG hooks. We're tempted to even say 'radio ready', cuz goddamn if this stuff wouldn't sound right at home alongside the usual modern rock suspects. That said, Roomrunner are still plenty scrappy, and the influence of classic grunge is all over their sound, but they've managed to finally make those influences less obvious, crafting a sound that ultimately sounds like Roomrunner, and not the bands they grew up on. Opener "Ms. DNA" takes up right from where Idea Cities left off, a pounding grunge groover, but quickly the sound blossoms into something way more melodic, with spidery guitar melodies, wound around equally spidery melodies, giving it a sort of psychedelic vibe, before the chorus swoops in, all anthemic with vocal harmonies galore, before lunging right back more grungy crunch. And the rest of the record plays out similarly, most of the songs starting with a very Nirvana-esque sonic seed, often transformed into some very familiar sounding grunt riffing, but then in EVERY case, the song becomes something else entirely, jangly, catchy, poppy, the vibe is still super nineties, and given no context at all, you'd likely think this was from back in the day, but somehow it sounds simultaneously nostalgic and fresh and exciting at the same time. A rare feat for sure. And while it's still noisy and weird enough for underground weirdos, it definitely sets these guys up for some mainstream love, which is not a bad thing at all.
Includes a download too!
MPEG Stream: "Ms. DNA"
MPEG Stream: "Chrono Trigger"
MPEG Stream: "Karn"

album cover GAME THEORY Blaze Of Glory (Omnivore) 2lp 23.00
The first in a series of reissues from '80s power pop legends Game Theory, fronted by singer/songwriter Scott Miller, who passed away unexpectedly last year (2013), and, as is on glorious display here, was some kind of pop visionary mad scientist. We had sort of forgotten how great (and how weird), the group's 1982 debut Blaze Of Glory really was. From the strange arrangements, the weird mix, the production and the songs themselves, it's a dizzying masterwork, impossibly catchy, and super experimental, starting from the very first few seconds, with a spoken intro, cut off mid sentence, and disappearing in a cloud of tinkling bells and weird stuttering static, distant drones, it's almost as if it was an intro for an entirely different kind of record, but then in come some dreamy acoustic guitars, hazy, whispery vocals, and then POW, the song explodes into a frenetic, almost new wave power pop, with thick buzzing bass, pulsing synths, then some big drums and the chorus swoops in, and it's all over. Even after all these years, we were immediately smitten all over again. Emotional, introspective, but still rocking and a little swaggery, and that's just the first song. There's literally not a dud here, the record flows perfectly, some tracks slithery and groovy, others frantic, caffeinated new wave, and still others, fuzzy, jangly and dreamy. It's easy to hear all the pop bands that would follow in Game Theory's wake, power and otherwise, that owe much of their sounds to these guys, who were so far ahead of their time. Plenty psychedelic, a little bit proggy in places, angular guitars wound up in shimmery dream pop jangle, the drums too, chaotic and intricate, and weirdly mixed, giving the tracks still more of an oddball pop vibe. Just check out the sound samples, if you're at all a pop person, and you've yet to discover the joy of this genius pop groop, be prepared to have your mind blown for sure.
And as if the record proper wasn't enough, there are 15 bonus tracks, including some hilarious "Scott Miller Testing Laboratories" interludes, where you can hear the band members, along with aQ pal Dan Vallor (who might be best know to aQ-ers as the man behind avant experimental noise outfit Clarinette, but who was Game Theory's tour manager and sound engineer for much of the eighties, and who had a hand in assembling the reissue, as well as penning some of the liner notes) defacing the record in various ways, scratching it with a compass needle, lighting the record on fire, stabbing it with a knife, smashing it against a desk, but in between, are some amazing songs, some live, some demos, and the best of the bunch might be the tracks from Miller's pre- Game Theory outfit Alternate Learning.
Fantastically packaged with lots of rare photos and extensive liner notes, we're already looking forward to the next reissue in the series!
MPEG Stream: "Something To Show"
MPEG Stream: "Tin Scarecrow"
MPEG Stream: "White Blues"
MPEG Stream: "Date With An Angel"
MPEG Stream: "Mary Magdalene"
MPEG Stream: "The Young Drug"

album cover GUM TAKES TOOTH Mirrors Fold (Tigertrap) lp 28.00
This recent Record Of The Week, now on vinyl, and Record Of The Week AGAIN!!!
We made the first record from this awesomely monikered UK outfit, Silent Cenotaph, our Record Of The Week, way back in 2011, and at the time described them with some band math that looked a little like this: Shit And Shine + Butthole Surfers + Lightning Bolt. The sound was a dizzyingly psychedelic barrage of grinding, rhythmic, electronics doused in druggy tribal freakout, like a super charged This Heat, the drummers kit wired to a mad scientist array of machinery and noise making devices, turning the kit into some giant rhythmic noise machine, and enabling a duo to kick up a din that sounds like it couldn't possibly be made by just two people, and while that first record generally hewed toward a sound that was more chaotic and bombastic, this new one seems to be a bit more melodic and dare we say mellow, there's still plenty of sonic ferocity, and rhythmic bombast for sure, but it sounds more measured, more deftly assembled, maybe less 'punk', but only in the way that bands get better at what they do, and in theory, take what was great about their previous records, and add to it, creating something, even more forward reaching, and ultimately perhaps even better.
Such is the case with Mirrors Fold. We still do LOVE Silent Cenotaph, and it routinely gets play on the iPod even still, but this new one is more subtle, more textural, whereas that first one was the sort of music you wanted to rock out to, jump around and go crazy, this new one, manages to harness that feral energy into something much more focused. The opener begins all swirly and serene, with hushed ambient shimmer, chant-like vocals, be before long the drums explode, adding a churning rhythmic component, without detracting from the melodic component or the vocals, it's not really until a brief bit of hushed shimmer, a barely there ambient interlude, that the song truly launches into crazed sonic chaos, a dizzying blurry flurry of drum madness, a wild octopoidal tangle of tangled jumbled rhythms, that eventually give away to a skeletal bit of rhythmic drift, before one final push, where the drums, the vocals, and swirls of FX are all wound into a dense propulsive tribal spacey noise rock blowout. Phew!
And so it goes, the band laying down mesmerizing hypno-rhythms, while all around strange effects swoop in and out, extra percussion, echoey vox floating above, thick rumbling bass below, sitar like buzz slithers throughout, the sound and arrangement super dynamic, a bit proggy, certainly psychedelic, a sort mutant psych-prog, Afro-space groove. Some moments are like some outer space version of Afro-fuzz Swedes Goat, others sound like a super charged, space rock Necks, a few tracks get downright heavy, and sound like some tripped out psychedelic space outfit, a few tracks sound like a crazy demonic alter ego of This Heat, a few others remind us of the twisted afro-noise of William Bennett's Cut Hands, there are moments of Muslimgauze like Eastern rhythmatism, there are even moments that remind us of Animal Collective at their very weirdest, but really most of this just sounds Gum Takes Tooth, and absolutely nobody else, a totally twisted genius amalgam of all the above mentioned references, deftly shaped into something at once warped and weird, wild and experimental, but also totally hypnotic, and melodic, strangely lovely and in its own way, extremely catchy. A new favorite for sure. And a total shoe-in not just for Record Of The Week, but for our year end best of's too...
Includes a download code!
MPEG Stream: "Mirrors Fold"
MPEG Stream: "White Fear"
MPEG Stream: "The Perfect Surface"
MPEG Stream: "Treaty And Treasure"

album cover MEATBODIES s/t (In The Red) lp 15.98
We first heard the oddly named Meatbodies when they were still called Chad & The Meatbodies, on a split 7" with Ty Segall, C&TM being Segall's choice for next big thing. Well, now Chad, mainman for the Meatbodies, which is essentially Chad, who wrote all the songs and performs most of them on his own, with the occasional guest, including Segall, delivers his first full length, and it definitely delivers on that single, the sound not that far removed from the Castle Face axis of Segall / Cronin / Dwyer, rambunctious popper pop fused guitar rock crunch, with loads of melody and harmony, the sound ricocheting wildly from the woozy swirling psychedelic intro of "The Archer", to the swagger garage pop pound of "Disorder", to dirge, groovy, noise-pop metallic math-fuzz of "Mountain" (from the aforementioned single), right down to the harmonized lead guitars.
And yet as good as this is, and as much as we dig it, which is a whole hell of a lot, it's not like the Meatbodies are reinventing the garage rock wheel, but then that wheel doesn't yet need reinventing, or if it does, that's still gonna be left to someone else. Instead, the Meatbodies are trafficking in a formula similar to most of their sonic brethren, at times sounding dangerously close to Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees, even some of Chad's affectations, the reversed yelps, and some of the glammy stomps, sound like straight up steals, but fuck it, it doesn't matter all that much considering how goddamn great these songs are, and how catchy and well crafted this whole record is, and honestly, repeated listens definitely position Meatbodies as its own thing, even if it's a bit beholden to what came before, but then what isn't? And really, the more we listen to this, the more these guys move to the front of the pack for us. Fans of all the Castle Face bands, as well as the most recent batch of In The Red releases and all things heavy, noisy, loud, rocking, poppy, punky, garage-y and fuzzed out will obviously dig big time.
MPEG Stream: "The Archer"
MPEG Stream: "Disorder"
MPEG Stream: "Mountain"

album cover OUR LOVE WILL DESTROY THE WORLD Frigid Antichrist (Don't Fuck With Magic) cd-r 14.98
Another blast of kandy kolored Kiwi krush from Mr. Campbell Kneale, who previously operated under the moniker Birchville Cat Motel, but who has been operating as OLWDTW for a while now. After a long stretch of near silence, Kneale is back with a bang, and not one, not two, but three consecutive psych-noise bangers. The first a punishing noise freakout under his own name, then the surprisingly lovely Hive Hum Golden Remorse, and now the awesomely titled Frigid Antichrist, which seems to split the difference, Kneale deftly balancing pulchritude with punishment, laying out what sounds like a delicate sprawl of hushed vocalizations, and swoonsome layered melodies, but burying them beneath a barrage of caustic buzz and grinding blacknoise howl. Like lots of Kneale's work, sans headphones this could very well sound like some obscure, damaged Japanoise squall, but dig deeper, and there's much beauty to be discovered, and strangely, much of that beauty lies in how it seeps through the seemingly impenetrable noise, like tufts of cotton candy drifting through tangles of barbed wire, pretty little wildflowers wending their way through thorny thickets, and once you let yourself get lost, it's almost as if the noisiness abates, the two disparate sides of Kneale's sonic palette, somehow bleeding into one, heaving, roiling, churning, throbbing wall of blissed out dream-noise sound. The first track here is downright shoegazey, sounding a bit like My Bloody Valentine crossed with Incapacitants, while the second longer track, gets seriously metallic, Like Birchville covering Gorgoroth, and sounding like it could burst into proper black metal riffage at any point, but instead, strands of glitchy electronic thrum, overdriven and doused in FX, unfurl into undulating sheets of blurry noise, disembodied riffs that buzz malevolently before splintering into shards of grinding noise, and that again, manage to transform into something weirdly pretty, albeit still PLENTY buzzy and blackened. A crushing sprawl of noise-gaze blacknoise bliss for sure. And as with all the new OLWDTW stuff, we're the only place in North America that has it, and it is indeed, VERY limited!
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "II"

album cover DUNNOCK Promo 2014 (Psalm 88 / Acephale Winter Productions) cassette 5.98
Latest from this local one man band, the project of the man behind black metal cassette label Acephale Winter, and one of two new tapes from AW offshoot imprint Psalm 88. This 3 song demo is much more raw and primitive than the last Dunnock - the opening track is a furious blast of old school drum machine driven blackness, swirling and chaotic, the vocals a hellish howl above a backdrop of relentless riffing and machinelike drum churn, still plenty atmospheric for sure, but definitely reminiscent of the old days. As is the second track, which cranks up the distortion to dangerous levels, the sound reaching Japanoise like levels of crumbled distorto-garble, but just the sort of tweaked, twisted shit we love. there must be some riffs, and maybe even drums in there, but it's buried beneath layer upon layer of blurred guitar buzz, and howling, FX drenched vokills, everything bleeding and oozing, into one thick, corrosive, churning morass of bliss black noise, and blissful it is, for all its caustic crunch, it's also warm and woozy, and sort of psychedelic. Even though demos are generally raw versions of finished tracks, we're hoping this is the direction Dunnock is heading, cuz we're digging this like crazy. Then finally, the all too brief demo ends with a brief bit of atmospheric blackness, cinematic, creepy and hauntingly melancholy, a soft swirl of synths beneath more harrowing demonic vokills.
But probably the coolest part of this tape is the B side, which features a spaced out ambient synthscape, INDIVIDUAL TO EACH TAPE, as in Dunnock recorded EIGHTY EIGHT tracks, one for each tape made, with every tape containing its own individual and unique B side!!!!!
LIMITED TO 88 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Rainy Season II (Drum Machine Demo)"
MPEG Stream: "Kudryavka (Blacknoise Demo)"

album cover XARKRINUR Dark Rituals (Psalm 88 / Acephale Winter Productions) cassette 5.98
One of two new releases on the newly launched Psalm 88 label, an offshoot of local black metal cassette label Acephale Winter, and the first we've heard from Xarkrinur, a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD one man (boy?) black metal band from Bangladesh (!), whose warped, home-brewed, weirdly produced depressive black buzz immediately reminded us of late great weirdo black metal horde Benighted Leams. Similarly stumbling and damaged, the guitars brittle and buzzy, the programmed drums machinelike and robotic, the rhythms stiff and strangely static, but it's the vocals, a raspy, whispery growl, that seal the deal, WAY up in the mix, eclipsing the music with every foul utterance, we're also reminded of local lo-fi sort-of-black-metal wacko Fastest, a similarly delivered, super dramatic hushed vokill style. But Xarkrinur conjure up a seriously stunning atmosphere, the second track, slows things down, and gets super atmospheric, with some strange harmonic overtones, and a murky, melancholy main riff, the vocals shift too, becoming more hissy and feral, but the music, super emotional and darkly lovely, sans black metal affectation, could be some tripped out lo-fi post rock. The other two songs here are similarly split, the third another brittle blast of raw primitive buzz, while the closer is a smoldering doomic creep, with thick crumbling chords (that sound like an organ almost), the vocals more wasted and weary, a harrowing sprawl of depressive downer doom that we are digging a LOT. For sure need to hear more from this guy.
LIMITED TO 88 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Mist"
MPEG Stream: "When Angels Cry"

album cover MEATBODIES s/t (In The Red) cd 13.98
We first heard the oddly named Meatbodies when they were still called Chad & The Meatbodies, on a split 7" with Ty Segall, C&TM being Segall's choice for next big thing. Well, now Chad, mainman for the Meatbodies, which is essentially Chad, who wrote all the songs and performs most of them on his own, with the occasional guest, including Segall, delivers his first full length, and it definitely delivers on that single, the sound not that far removed from the Castle Face axis of Segall / Cronin / Dwyer, rambunctious popper pop fused guitar rock crunch, with loads of melody and harmony, the sound ricocheting wildly from the woozy swirling psychedelic intro of "The Archer", to the swagger garage pop pound of "Disorder", to dirge, groovy, noise-pop metallic math-fuzz of "Mountain" (from the aforementioned single), right down to the harmonized lead guitars.
And yet as good as this is, and as much as we dig it, which is a whole hell of a lot, it's not like the Meatbodies are reinventing the garage rock wheel, but then that wheel doesn't yet need reinventing, or if it does, that's still gonna be left to someone else. Instead, the Meatbodies are trafficking in a formula similar to most of their sonic brethren, at times sounding dangerously close to Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees, even some of Chad's affectations, the reversed yelps, and some of the glammy stomps, sound like straight up steals, but fuck it, it doesn't matter all that much considering how goddamn great these songs are, and how catchy and well crafted this whole record is, and honestly, repeated listens definitely position Meatbodies as its own thing, even if it's a bit beholden to what came before, but then what isn't? And really, the more we listen to this, the more these guys move to the front of the pack for us. Fans of all the Castle Face bands, as well as the most recent batch of In The Red releases and all things heavy, noisy, loud, rocking, poppy, punky, garage-y and fuzzed out will obviously dig big time.
MPEG Stream: "The Archer"
MPEG Stream: "Disorder"
MPEG Stream: "Mountain"

album cover SCALPED s/t (Warthog Speak) 7" 7.98
Tony Molina from pop heroes the Ovens returns again, with yet another new band. And that hardcore obsession that popped up in the Ovens all the time, whether it was shout outs to obscure NYHC bands on stage or weird straight edge covers, an obsession that first truly became flesh in his hardcore combo Caged Animal, surfaces once again in the form of Scalped, yet another HC outfit, and another one featuring Molina and at least one other Oven. There's no secret poppiness or any of that bullshit, this is some seriously pummeling, punishing old school style metallic hardcore, and metallic it is, with fierce fucking riffs, bellowed throat shredding vox, four songs in less than 6 minutes, a furious onslaught that will no doubt get that pit spinning. Ovens fans seem to be an obsessive bunch, snapping up Caged Animal singles along with Ovens singles, so odds are, you Ovens nerds might want one of these too, but really, this one is strictly for the hardcore kids. And yeah, probably super limited to boot!
MPEG Stream: "At A Cross"
MPEG Stream: "Effort"

album cover WALKER, SCOTT & SUNN O))) Soused (4AD) cd 15.98
ALSO ON CD!!
When we first heard about the collaboration, it sounded like a joke, like some internet meme. It did seem crazy, and on the surface, pretty hilarious, but eventually it was proven to be an actual thing. Then when we first heard a little snippet online, we weren't entirely sold, Walker sounded even more over the top than usual, and the title Soused seems to indicate that maybe Walker was in fact completely wasted when he recorded his vocals, cuz it definitely sounded like it. But when we finally got to hear the whole thing, it suddenly all made sense, Walker's vocals, while still insanely dramatic and over the top, were somehow perfect, and SUNNO))), instead of just doing the guitars-against-the-amps drone thing, really seem to be working way outside their comfort zone, and in fact, lots of this record sounds extremely, sonically uncomfortable. Fantastically so. We were so smitten by opener "Brando", we had trouble digging any deeper into the record. Right from the get go, opening with Walker crooning over a whirring organ, shimmery and sun dappled, and what sounds suspiciously like the Guns 'N Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine" guitar lick, but then the thick, viscous drones creep in, accompanied by strange ticks and pulsations, as well as what sounds like a bull whip, as well as the occasional burst of distorto guitar, the combination of that low end creep, and Walker's vocals, as well as a cool feedback/high end that seems to echo the vocal melody, it's pretty powerful, and stunning, weird, but also weirdly beautiful. "Herod 2014" was our next obsession, with it's weird squelchy electronic rhythm, buried in thick rumbling thrum, it's Walker who carries the song, some sort of demented, and yeah, likely seriously soused, torch song, flecked with static, and driven by a slo-mo Sabbath riff stretched out into near static sprawl, Walker's vocals wreathed in lots of mysterious noise, the whole track peppered with what sounds like some strange banshee wail, or pterodactyl cry, but it's somehow so perfect, that it becomes as integral to the song as any other element.
"Bull" is downright balladic after the previous heaving monoliths, but not for long, the song exploding into some serious Swans like pummel, with Walker kicking it up a notch, some loose chaotic drum damage, some junkyard percussion, and a 'hook' that manages to be the catchiest bit on the whole record, the song slipping into slo-mo somnambulant creeps, before launching right back into that 'chorus'. We have to be honest, the first three songs are so perfect, it's not until maybe the 20th listen that we even made it to the last two, but they're similarly broody and bombastic, "Fetish" featuring some seriously buzzed out bass (assuming that's a bass), and like "Bull" before it, another killer 'chorus', that sounds like Swans gone haywire, dosed on some serious narcotics, a wild cacophony of elephant like electronic bleats, churning metallic riffing, monstrous drumming, before settling into what sounds like some sick, mutant strain of kraut-doom. And don't even get us started on Walker's INSANE lyrics, in this case, a refrain of "Choo Choo, Choo Choo mama", which sounds ridiculous, but in the context of the song, it sounds mad, maniacal, and like some sort of twisted genius, which we're assuming it is. Finally, there's "Lullaby", which is one, at least for a moment, until another blurt of atonal, moaning, keening, doom cabaret explodes from the murk, only to settle right back down, most of the track spent in hushed lowercase mode, finishing off super dramatically, a field of barely there guitar rumble, distant sonar like pings, ominous swells, mysterious insectoid clicking, and one final, haunting stanza from Walker. Most definitely a twisted outsider masterpiece, and considering how skeptical we were, it's even more surprising that this might just end up being a record of the year contender for some of us!
MPEG Stream: "Brando"
MPEG Stream: "Herod 2014"
MPEG Stream: "Bull"

album cover WALKER, SCOTT & SUNN O))) Soused (4AD) 2lp 36.00
When we first heard about the collaboration, it sounded like a joke, like some internet meme. It did seem crazy, and on the surface, pretty hilarious, but eventually it was proven to be an actual thing. Then when we first heard a little snippet online, we weren't entirely sold, Walker sounded even more over the top than usual, and the title Soused seems to indicate that maybe Walker was in fact completely wasted when he recorded his vocals, cuz it definitely sounded like it. But when we finally got to hear the whole thing, it suddenly all made sense, Walker's vocals, while still insanely dramatic and over the top, were somehow perfect, and SUNNO))), instead of just doing the guitars-against-the-amps drone thing, really seem to be working way outside their comfort zone, and in fact, lots of this record sounds extremely, sonically uncomfortable. Fantastically so. We were so smitten by opener "Brando", we had trouble digging any deeper into the record. Right from the get go, opening with Walker crooning over a whirring organ, shimmery and sun dappled, and what sounds suspiciously like the Guns 'N Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine" guitar lick, but then the thick, viscous drones creep in, accompanied by strange ticks and pulsations, as well as what sounds like a bull whip, as well as the occasional burst of distorto guitar, the combination of that low end creep, and Walker's vocals, as well as a cool feedback/high end that seems to echo the vocal melody, it's pretty powerful, and stunning, weird, but also weirdly beautiful. "Herod 2014" was our next obsession, with it's weird squelchy electronic rhythm, buried in thick rumbling thrum, it's Walker who carries the song, some sort of demented, and yeah, likely seriously soused, torch song, flecked with static, and driven by a slo-mo Sabbath riff stretched out into near static sprawl, Walker's vocals wreathed in lots of mysterious noise, the whole track peppered with what sounds like some strange banshee wail, or pterodactyl cry, but it's somehow so perfect, that it becomes as integral to the song as any other element.
"Bull" is downright balladic after the previous heaving monoliths, but not for long, the song exploding into some serious Swans like pummel, with Walker kicking it up a notch, some loose chaotic drum damage, some junkyard percussion, and a 'hook' that manages to be the catchiest bit on the whole record, the song slipping into slo-mo somnambulant creeps, before launching right back into that 'chorus'. We have to be honest, the first three songs are so perfect, it's not until maybe the 20th listen that we even made it to the last two, but they're similarly broody and bombastic, "Fetish" featuring some seriously buzzed out bass (assuming that's a bass), and like "Bull" before it, another killer 'chorus', that sounds like Swans gone haywire, dosed on some serious narcotics, a wild cacophony of elephant like electronic bleats, churning metallic riffing, monstrous drumming, before settling into what sounds like some sick, mutant strain of kraut-doom. And don't even get us started on Walker's INSANE lyrics, in this case, a refrain of "Choo Choo, Choo Choo mama", which sounds ridiculous, but in the context of the song, it sounds mad, maniacal, and like some sort of twisted genius, which we're assuming it is. Finally, there's "Lullaby", which is one, at least for a moment, until another blurt of atonal, moaning, keening, doom cabaret explodes from the murk, only to settle right back down, most of the track spent in hushed lowercase mode, finishing off super dramatically, a field of barely there guitar rumble, distant sonar like pings, ominous swells, mysterious insectoid clicking, and one final, haunting stanza from Walker. Most definitely a twisted outsider masterpiece, and considering how skeptical we were, it's even more surprising that this might just end up being a record of the year contender for some of us!
MPEG Stream: "Brando"
MPEG Stream: "Herod 2014"
MPEG Stream: "Bull"

album cover GAME THEORY Blaze Of Glory (Omnivore) cd 16.98
The first in a series of reissues from '80s power pop legends Game Theory, fronted by singer/songwriter Scott Miller, who passed away unexpectedly last year (2013), and, as is on glorious display here, was some kind of pop visionary mad scientist. We had sort of forgotten how great (and how weird), the group's 1982 debut Blaze Of Glory really was. From the strange arrangements, the weird mix, the production and the songs themselves, it's a dizzying masterwork, impossibly catchy, and super experimental, starting from the very first few seconds, with a spoken intro, cut off mid sentence, and disappearing in a cloud of tinkling bells and weird stuttering static, distant drones, it's almost as if it was an intro for an entirely different kind of record, but then in come some dreamy acoustic guitars, hazy, whispery vocals, and then POW, the song explodes into a frenetic, almost new wave power pop, with thick buzzing bass, pulsing synths, then some big drums and the chorus swoops in, and it's all over. Even after all these years, we were immediately smitten all over again. Emotional, introspective, but still rocking and a little swaggery, and that's just the first song. There's literally not a dud here, the record flows perfectly, some tracks slithery and groovy, others frantic, caffeinated new wave, and still others, fuzzy, jangly and dreamy. It's easy to hear all the pop bands that would follow in Game Theory's wake, power and otherwise, that owe much of their sounds to these guys, who were so far ahead of their time. Plenty psychedelic, a little bit proggy in places, angular guitars wound up in shimmery dream pop jangle, the drums too, chaotic and intricate, and weirdly mixed, giving the tracks still more of an oddball pop vibe. Just check out the sound samples, if you're at all a pop person, and you've yet to discover the joy of this genius pop groop, be prepared to have your mind blown for sure.
And as if the record proper wasn't enough, there are 15 bonus tracks, including some hilarious "Scott Miller Testing Laboratories" interludes, where you can hear the band members, along with aQ pal Dan Vallor (who might be best know to aQ-ers as the man behind avant experimental noise outfit Clarinette, but who was Game Theory's tour manager and sound engineer for much of the eighties, and who had a hand in assembling the reissue, as well as penning some of the liner notes) defacing the record in various ways, scratching it with a compass needle, lighting the record on fire, stabbing it with a knife, smashing it against a desk, but in between, are some amazing songs, some live, some demos, and the best of the bunch might be the tracks from Miller's pre- Game Theory outfit Alternate Learning.
Fantastically packaged with lots of rare photos and extensive liner notes, we're already looking forward to the next reissue in the series!
MPEG Stream: "Something To Show"
MPEG Stream: "Tin Scarecrow"
MPEG Stream: "White Blues"
MPEG Stream: "Date With An Angel"
MPEG Stream: "Mary Magdalene"
MPEG Stream: "The Young Drug"

album cover DOPE BODY Lifer (Drag City) cd 14.98
These Baltimore noise rock weirdos have always been super difficult to describe, and this new record doesn't make it any easier. The opening 1-2-3 punch though might be some of the best stuff we've heard from them. The intro explodes with a wild barrage of drum damage, like some drum corps gone haywire, an opening that sounds like a Buddy Rich solo by way of the Boredoms, before the guitars swoop in, all grungy and noisy, a little bit sludgy, but laced with plenty of melody, sounding not unlike a less bass heavy Lightning Bolt, the same sort of frantic, spastic sonic energy, a wild squall of distorto rhythmic churn. That bleeds right into "Repo Man", which sounds like Dope Body doing their best Nirvana / Wipers, all hushed minimal verses, and heavy, chugging bridge, the vocals world weary and laid back, with a killer, crushing, drum heavy, chorus, that reminds us of Karp or Unwound, the classic indie rock soft/loud soft/loud and repeat, but somehow, through Dope Body's twisted sonic lens it's ultra catchy, noise rock bliss. And then "Hired Gun" harkens back to past records with the band unleashing dizzying fields of distorted harmonics that end up sounding like a metallized Konono No.1, mixed with the hypercharged Weezer worshipping metallic pop crunch of Jeff The Brotherhood, all wound up in some spiky AmRep noise rockiness. Sounds good so far. And it IS.
And from there on out, it stays good, and continues to hopscotch from genre to genre with very little regard for the listener, but it's sort of what makes this stuff so appealing, the stripped down blooze swagger of "Echo", the frenetic, fizzed out pop flecked grinding punkiness of "AOL", the almost groovy, Primus channeling (???) noise-funk of "Rare Air", the furious, wiry, metallic post punk crunch of "Day By Day", the downtuned noise rock dirgery of "Toy", and so it goes. Furious freaked out heaviness rife with seemingly out of place poppiness, the sort of band math that rarely works, but that in the case of Dope Body makes pretty much perfect (non)sense.
MPEG Stream: "Intro"
MPEG Stream: "Repo Man"
MPEG Stream: "Hired Gun"
MPEG Stream: "Echo"

album cover DOPE BODY Lifer (Drag City) lp 19.98
These Baltimore noise rock weirdos have always been super difficult to describe, and this new record doesn't make it any easier. The opening 1-2-3 punch though might be some of the best stuff we've heard from them. The intro explodes with a wild barrage of drum damage, like some drum corps gone haywire, an opening that sounds like a Buddy Rich solo by way of the Boredoms, before the guitars swoop in, all grungy and noisy, a little bit sludgy, but laced with plenty of melody, sounding not unlike a less bass heavy Lightning Bolt, the same sort of frantic, spastic sonic energy, a wild squall of distorto rhythmic churn. That bleeds right into "Repo Man", which sounds like Dope Body doing their best Nirvana / Wipers, all hushed minimal verses, and heavy, chugging bridge, the vocals world weary and laid back, with a killer, crushing, drum heavy, chorus, that reminds us of Karp or Unwound, the classic indie rock soft/loud soft/loud and repeat, but somehow, through Dope Body's twisted sonic lens it's ultra catchy, noise rock bliss. And then "Hired Gun" harkens back to past records with the band unleashing dizzying fields of distorted harmonics that end up sounding like a metallized Konono No.1, mixed with the hypercharged Weezer worshipping metallic pop crunch of Jeff The Brotherhood, all wound up in some spiky AmRep noise rockiness. Sounds good so far. And it IS.
And from there on out, it stays good, and continues to hopscotch from genre to genre with very little regard for the listener, but it's sort of what makes this stuff so appealing, the stripped down blooze swagger of "Echo", the frenetic, fizzed out pop flecked grinding punkiness of "AOL", the almost groovy, Primus channeling (???) noise-funk of "Rare Air", the furious, wiry, metallic post punk crunch of "Day By Day", the downtuned noise rock dirgery of "Toy", and so it goes. Furious freaked out heaviness rife with seemingly out of place poppiness, the sort of band math that rarely works, but that in the case of Dope Body makes pretty much perfect (non)sense.
MPEG Stream: "Intro"
MPEG Stream: "Repo Man"
MPEG Stream: "Hired Gun"
MPEG Stream: "Echo"

album cover EX HEX Rips (Merge Records) cd 14.98
When we first heard this in the store, Harry was upfront manning the stereo, and we were actually convinced he was spinning some old glam rock record, so we were pretty surprised to discover it was actually Mary Timony from Helium's new band (named after a solo album of hers from a while back), and as much as we love(d) Helium, we never would have expected Timony to make a record that sounds so much like The Sweet. But she did, and it's awesome! At this point, we imagine most reviews will riff on the record title, but how can you resist, this record rips for sure, the sound super retro, but somehow modern and supercharged, the guitars fuzzy and reverbed, the songs swaggery and glammy, power pop stomps overflowing with crazy catchy hooks and amazing guitar melodies, and Timony's vocals seal the deal, the whole package sounding like some obscure seventies glam pop combo. We're immediately reminded of Matthew Melton's Bare Wires - Melton and Timony are most definitely kindred sonic souls, both mining a similar vein of retro psych/garage/glam rock, and both nailing it. We definitely hear hints of Timony's ex-Autoclave bandmate Christina Billotte's nineties indie rock outfits Slant 6 and Quix*o*tic too, and of course the Runaways. Really though, Timony has always been a master, with Helium, and solo too, but this might be our favorite record of hers since Helium's 1997 masterpiece The Magic City, but imagine that sound reworked and recast as something way more retro and glam poppy, and you'll get an idea of what this sounds like. A new unanimous store fave, and one that will likely end up on more than one year end top ten...
MPEG Stream: "Don't Wanna Lose"
MPEG Stream: "Beast"
MPEG Stream: "Waste Your Time"

album cover EX HEX Rips (Merge Records) lp 17.98
When we first heard this in the store, Harry was upfront manning the stereo, and we were actually convinced he was spinning some old glam rock record, so we were pretty surprised to discover it was actually Mary Timony from Helium's new band (named after a solo album of hers from a while back), and as much as we love(d) Helium, we never would have expected Timony to make a record that sounds so much like The Sweet. But she did, and it's awesome! At this point, we imagine most reviews will riff on the record title, but how can you resist, this record rips for sure, the sound super retro, but somehow modern and supercharged, the guitars fuzzy and reverbed, the songs swaggery and glammy, power pop stomps overflowing with crazy catchy hooks and amazing guitar melodies, and Timony's vocals seal the deal, the whole package sounding like some obscure seventies glam pop combo. We're immediately reminded of Matthew Melton's Bare Wires - Melton and Timony are most definitely kindred sonic souls, both mining a similar vein of retro psych/garage/glam rock, and both nailing it. We definitely hear hints of Timony's ex-Autoclave bandmate Christina Billotte's nineties indie rock outfits Slant 6 and Quix*o*tic too, and of course the Runaways. Really though, Timony has always been a master, with Helium, and solo too, but this might be our favorite record of hers since Helium's 1997 masterpiece The Magic City, but imagine that sound reworked and recast as something way more retro and glam poppy, and you'll get an idea of what this sounds like. A new unanimous store fave, and one that will likely end up on more than one year end top ten...
MPEG Stream: "Don't Wanna Lose"
MPEG Stream: "Beast"
MPEG Stream: "Waste Your Time"

album cover AGENTS OF SATAN Discography (Ormolycka) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Folks who went to metal shows in SF in the nineties no doubt remember seeing some crazy grind metal band, fronted by a maniacal one armed vocalist, who would do flips constantly during the set, landing flat on his back, due to the fact, that he was holding the mic with his one hand. The music a gloriously chaotic blown out powerviolence, very reminiscent of the Slap A Ham stable (Spazz, No Less, etc.). Short blast of furious grinding riffage, sick vokills that swooped from guttural cookie monster death metal bellow, to hysterical shriek, the music lurching from lurching doomy churn, to chaotic blasting fastcore, with song titles like "Rape Your Ass With Drugs", "Silver In Christ's Cornhole", "Snatch In Your Eye", "Cut Off My Dick", "Vomit tar" and "Crust = Glam".
While some of this is just goofy noisemaking, some of the tracks here are fierce blasts of metallic mayhem, and punishing bursts of hardcore ferocity. Unsung Bay Area grind from back in the day, leave it to the madmen behind Ormolycka to dig this up and give it new life. Some folks might remember AoS from their split with Burn The Priest (later to become Lamb Of God), this tape collects pretty much everything, and it KILLS. It's also, like most Oromolycka stuff, crazy limited...
MPEG Stream: "Black Scabs"
MPEG Stream: "Rape Your Ass With Drugs"
MPEG Stream: "Silver In Christ's Cornhole"
MPEG Stream: "Crust = Glam"
MPEG Stream: "Cut Off My Dick"

album cover HEADS, THE Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (Rooster) 2cd 17.98
Originally released way back in 2000 on Sweet Nothing, UK space psych stompers The Heads' second record, Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, gets the deluxe reissue treatment it so totally deserves. Cuz listening to this again now, it's crazy how much this foreshadows so much of the psych rock and space rock that's all the rage these days, and still even 14 years on, manages to put loads of those new groops to shame. While there's plenty of spaciness all over Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, it's a much heavier proposition than most psych/space rock, sounding at times like a supercharged Loop, tranced out psychedelic hypnorock that expands into wild, swirling sprawls of endless jammage, and more often then not loops back into some sort of swaggery garage-psych stomp. But there's plenty of weirdness too, the looped twanginess of "Wobble", the groovy jazziness of "Kraut Byrds", the tripped out deliriously druggy backwards guitarscape "My My", the lo-fi kraut-psych pound of "Chrome Plated", the almost Brit-poppy "Barcoded", which almost sounds like Swervedriver, and of course there are plenty of samples throughout, it's a way weirder record than their debut, Relaxing With The Heads, but somehow, it all manages to coalesce into some tripped out, psychedelic sonic odyssey. It helps that the record is anchored by a handful of monolithic jams that will have fans of White Hills, Carlton Melton, Burnt Hills, Monster Magnet and all the rest, freaking the fuck out. Opener "Legavaan Satellite" sounds like the Stooges covering Spacemen 3 (or the other way around), the guitars so distorted and blown out, the production impossibly in the red, the sound loud as fuck. In between all of the above mentioned weird bits, there's the groovy heavy psych churn of "Could Be...", the extended super distorted low fidelity trip out of "#'75", the hazy, pulsating "Stab Railroad", all dirgey and droned out, the wah wah drenched super psychedelic freakout of "Motorjam" and the nearly 13 minute closer "Long Gone", which fuses almost jazzy drumming, with churning bass buzz, wild squalls of guitars, and dense clouds of FX, all stretched out into a heady drift, that first explodes into some seriously heady psych rock pound, before finishing off with two minutes of druggy, damaged trip out, and then some buzzing sitar like mesmer.
Lots of aQ list readers likely already have this record (though maybe not, we remember it wasn't that easy to find back then), but this new version, in THREE different versions, definitely makes it worth buying again. Except maybe for the vinyl folks not willing to shell out for the 5lp set. Apparently, the 2lp version has only the original record proper. The new cd version, however, tacks on a whole extra disc of rarities and singles and B sides (including the long out of print Man's Ruin 10")!
But really, this record is so good, why not just go for it, go all out and nab the massive FIVE LP box set version (limited to 1000 copies), which comes in a hardcover jacket, wrapped in a specially printed tote bag, with a poster and printed insert, and includes, in addition to the record, AND all those rare tracks you get with the cd version on vinyl, a bonus compact disc ONLY available with the 5lp set, featuring 70 minutes of unreleased material culled from the band's rehearsal tapes and cd-r archives!!
MPEG Stream: "Legavaan Satellite"
MPEG Stream: "Could Be..."
MPEG Stream: "#'75"
MPEG Stream: "Motorjam"

album cover HEADS, THE Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (Rooster) 2lp 34.00
Originally released way back in 2000 on Sweet Nothing, UK space psych stompers The Heads' second record, Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, gets the deluxe reissue treatment it so totally deserves. Cuz listening to this again now, it's crazy how much this foreshadows so much of the psych rock and space rock that's all the rage these days, and still even 14 years on, manages to put loads of those new groops to shame. While there's plenty of spaciness all over Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, it's a much heavier proposition than most psych/space rock, sounding at times like a supercharged Loop, tranced out psychedelic hypnorock that expands into wild, swirling sprawls of endless jammage, and more often then not loops back into some sort of swaggery garage-psych stomp. But there's plenty of weirdness too, the looped twanginess of "Wobble", the groovy jazziness of "Kraut Byrds", the tripped out deliriously druggy backwards guitarscape "My My", the lo-fi kraut-psych pound of "Chrome Plated", the almost Brit-poppy "Barcoded", which almost sounds like Swervedriver, and of course there are plenty of samples throughout, it's a way weirder record than their debut, Relaxing With The Heads, but somehow, it all manages to coalesce into some tripped out, psychedelic sonic odyssey. It helps that the record is anchored by a handful of monolithic jams that will have fans of White Hills, Carlton Melton, Burnt Hills, Monster Magnet and all the rest, freaking the fuck out. Opener "Legavaan Satellite" sounds like the Stooges covering Spacemen 3 (or the other way around), the guitars so distorted and blown out, the production impossibly in the red, the sound loud as fuck. In between all of the above mentioned weird bits, there's the groovy heavy psych churn of "Could Be...", the extended super distorted low fidelity trip out of "#'75", the hazy, pulsating "Stab Railroad", all dirgey and droned out, the wah wah drenched super psychedelic freakout of "Motorjam" and the nearly 13 minute closer "Long Gone", which fuses almost jazzy drumming, with churning bass buzz, wild squalls of guitars, and dense clouds of FX, all stretched out into a heady drift, that first explodes into some seriously heady psych rock pound, before finishing off with two minutes of druggy, damaged trip out, and then some buzzing sitar like mesmer.
Lots of aQ list readers likely already have this record (though maybe not, we remember it wasn't that easy to find back then), but this new version, in THREE different versions, definitely makes it worth buying again. Except maybe for the vinyl folks not willing to shell out for the 5lp set. Apparently, the 2lp version has only the original record proper. The new cd version, however, tacks on a whole extra disc of rarities and singles and B sides (including the long out of print Man's Ruin 10")!
But really, this record is so good, why not just go for it, go all out and nab the massive FIVE LP box set version (limited to 1000 copies), which comes in a hardcover jacket, wrapped in a specially printed tote bag, with a poster and printed insert, and includes, in addition to the record, AND all those rare tracks you get with the cd version on vinyl, a bonus compact disc ONLY available with the 5lp set, featuring 70 minutes of unreleased material culled from the band's rehearsal tapes and cd-r archives!!
MPEG Stream: "Legavaan Satellite"
MPEG Stream: "Could Be..."
MPEG Stream: "#'75'd"
MPEG Stream: "Motorjam"

album cover HEADS, THE Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (Rooster) 5lp + cd 126.00
Originally released way back in 2000 on Sweet Nothing, UK space psych stompers The Heads' second record, Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, gets the deluxe reissue treatment it so totally deserves. Cuz listening to this again now, it's crazy how much this foreshadows so much of the psych rock and space rock that's all the rage these days, and still even 14 years on, manages to put loads of those new groops to shame. While there's plenty of spaciness all over Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere, it's a much heavier proposition than most psych/space rock, sounding at times like a supercharged Loop, tranced out psychedelic hypnorock that expands into wild, swirling sprawls of endless jammage, and more often then not loops back into some sort of swaggery garage-psych stomp. But there's plenty of weirdness too, the looped twanginess of "Wobble", the groovy jazziness of "Kraut Byrds", the tripped out deliriously druggy backwards guitarscape "My My", the lo-fi kraut-psych pound of "Chrome Plated", the almost Brit-poppy "Barcoded", which almost sounds like Swervedriver, and of course there are plenty of samples throughout, it's a way weirder record than their debut, Relaxing With The Heads, but somehow, it all manages to coalesce into some tripped out, psychedelic sonic odyssey. It helps that the record is anchored by a handful of monolithic jams that will have fans of White Hills, Carlton Melton, Burnt Hills, Monster Magnet and all the rest, freaking the fuck out. Opener "Legavaan Satellite" sounds like the Stooges covering Spacemen 3 (or the other way around), the guitars so distorted and blown out, the production impossibly in the red, the sound loud as fuck. In between all of the above mentioned weird bits, there's the groovy heavy psych churn of "Could Be...", the extended super distorted low fidelity trip out of "#'75", the hazy, pulsating "Stab Railroad", all dirgey and droned out, the wah wah drenched super psychedelic freakout of "Motorjam" and the nearly 13 minute closer "Long Gone", which fuses almost jazzy drumming, with churning bass buzz, wild squalls of guitars, and dense clouds of FX, all stretched out into a heady drift, that first explodes into some seriously heady psych rock pound, before finishing off with two minutes of druggy, damaged trip out, and then some buzzing sitar like mesmer.
Lots of aQ list readers likely already have this record (though maybe not, we remember it wasn't that easy to find back then), but this new version, in THREE different versions, definitely makes it worth buying again. Except maybe for the vinyl folks not willing to shell out for the 5lp set. Apparently, the 2lp version has only the original record proper. The new cd version, however, tacks on a whole extra disc of rarities and singles and B sides (including the long out of print Man's Ruin 10")!
But really, this record is so good, why not just go for it, go all out and nab the massive FIVE LP box set version (limited to 1000 copies), which comes in a hardcover jacket, wrapped in a specially printed tote bag, with a poster and printed insert, and includes, in addition to the record, AND all those rare tracks you get with the cd version on vinyl, a bonus compact disc ONLY available with the 5lp set, featuring 70 minutes of unreleased material culled from the band's rehearsal tapes and cd-r archives!!
MPEG Stream: "Legavaan Satellite"
MPEG Stream: "Could Be..."
MPEG Stream: "#'75'd"
MPEG Stream: "Motorjam"

album cover OXIPLEGATZ Worlds And Worlds / Sidereal Journey (Ormolycka) 2 x cassette 9.98
Two of our favorite WTF black metal oddities from the late nineties, available again thanks to the weirdos at Ormolycka, and listening to these records again all these years later, they still sound as ridiculous and confusional as they did back in the day. Not at all what we were expecting from a former member of At The Gates, but we're guessing this could very well have been the reason for his departure, cuz Oxiplegatz is some sort of post black metal, avant power metal, rock opera electronica? Sounds confusing, that's cuz it IS. 1998's Sidereal Journey, the group's last record, is all programmed drums, buzzing riffage, dramatic female vocals, equal parts weird anime soundtrack, Dodheimsgard B-side, and over the top power metal cheese, but all filtered through Oxiplegatz's cracked outsider metal lens, the resulting epic is just geniusly absurd, right down to the band name, which comes from a Donald Duck comic, this sci-fi metal opera is dizzying and epic, totally over the top flitting from spacey ambience, to churning grinding blackened metal crush, to fuzzy girl pop weirdness and back again, with most of the (super brief) tracks some tangled collision of all of the above. Metalheads will likely HATE, but if you like fucked up sonic ridiculousness, albeit expertly constructed, and brilliantly performed, this will definitely hit the spot. And if your taste in metal runs toward the silly and completely baffling, well, this is definitely for you.
Sidereal Journey is paired with 1996's Worlds And Worlds, which while still sci-fi, and epic, is much less demented, a furious blackened buzz drenched power metal, that swirls and soars, progged out and super dense, but still extremely METAL. It is however far from straight up black metal, fear not, there's plenty of synthy goofiness, those female vocals (supposedly his girlfriend, whose computer generated naked body is also featured on the cover) all over the place, bombastic dramatic male crooning too, faux strings, symphonic, orchestral, electronics, even what sounds like electronic accordion, crazy stuff for sure, and goddamn if it doesn't sound as cool and crazy all these years later.
Packaged in a double cassette case, full color J-cards, one tape bright green, the other lavender, and of course, super duper limited!
MPEG Stream: "A Black Hole Is Swallowing The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "They Learned Of Its Existence"
MPEG Stream: "For Persistence"
MPEG Stream: "So It's Our Final Hour"
MPEG Stream: "The Light From The Perishing Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Aftermath"
MPEG Stream: "Quest"

album cover SHED DWELLAZ 4 Track Archives Vol. 1 / Launchin' Jewels '96 (Ormolycka) 2 x cassette 9.98
We had never heard of Shed Dwellaz, but apparently these guys were a hip hop crew from Redwood City, active in the nineties, and NYC tape label Ormolycka has dug up these 4 track demos from back in the day, and folks who've been digging Ormolycka know the sort of fucked up taste they have in hip hop (Antwon, Juiceboxx, Lil Ugly Mane, Death Grips, etc.) so the sound of the Shed Dwellaz sounds right at home. Guessing most of these guys are white, it's got that sort of Beastie Boys via Anticon vibe too it, but it's much more lo-fi, DIY and old school, with some sick flows from the MC's and some pretty sweet tracks, swirling harps, stuttering chopped up vox, plenty off fuzz, distortion and static, weird samples. Hints of Wu-Tang of course, but also Sensational, even Hawd Gangstuh Rappaz Wid Gatz, some of this is goofy, but some of it's dark and sinister, shades of Gravediggaz for sure, but home brewed 4-track style. Killer stuff for sure. Housed in a sweet double cassette case, full color J-cards, and like lots of the Ormolycka jams, LIMITED!!!
MPEG Stream: "Five Smoov Lyricists"
MPEG Stream: "Nocturnal Human Beast"
MPEG Stream: "Red Alert"

album cover CALL SUPER Suzi Ecto (Houndstooth) 2lp 36.00
From the same label that brought us that killer disc of mutated minimal techno sound design from Akkord, which we made our Record Of The Week back on list #442, comes the latest from Call Super, who apparently has a clutch of releases before this one, but Suzi Ecto is the first we're hearing, and we're digging it like crazy. Things start out pretty twisted, with a jagged stretch of creepy John Carpentery techno, very sinister and cinematic, the opening track sounding a bit like the main melody from the soundtrack to Phantasm (that's one Death Waltz should reissue!!) transformed into some avant electronica. Nothing else here is quite that noisy, but it remains plenty weird, the sound settling into something more stuttery and skittery, the fractured rhythms looped beneath blooping melodies and laser blast bleeps, the occasional jazzy shimmer, bleating trumpets, all sorta laid back and groovy, swirling and swoonsome, and that swirly swoon is all over the record, the various melodies and loops always woozy and warped and underwater sounding. At times it's like the record is melting and oozing from the speakers, at others, it's like listening to the record through speakers at the bottom of a swimming pool. That said, we're definitely reminded of the watery Detroit techno of Drexciya, somehow fused with the post Boards Of Canada, sepia toned electronica of recent aQ fave Dalhous.
The record continues to sprawl and drift, touching on moments of dubbed out house, trippy techno and electronic jazziness, churning mesmeric rhythms winding their way throughout, sometimes dense and tribal, busy and polyrhythmic, other times skeletal and spare and barely there, the beats surrounded by all manner of percussion, fractured melodies, constantly shifting textures, that watery vibe a constant presence, the sound seeming to get more murky and liquid as the record progresses, the record, and the listener, sinking ever deeper, culminating in the washed out, submerged dub of closer "Acephale 1", which is where we settle on the bottom of Call Super's sonic sea, staring up at the world, everything gorgeously distorted by bottomless blue depths, now above us...
MPEG Stream: "Snipe"
MPEG Stream: "Dovetail"
MPEG Stream: "Sulu Sekou"
MPEG Stream: "Hoax Eye"

album cover OBNOX The Juke That Sat In The Corner (Chunklet) 12" 14.98
Another killer blast of blown out garage-soul punk-blooze from Lamont Thomas, who might be better known as the drummer for psychedelic noise rockers Puffy Areolas, but who on his own has been cranking out release after release of amazing hook heavy noisiness that manages to fuse the wild psych stomp of the Areolas with some impossibly deft lo-fi pop-smithery and some serious soulfulness.
After a brief blast of punked out reverb drenched noise, "All Hail The Deejay" is all seventies swagger, slathered in distortion and FX, a glammy falsetto sung stomp that sounds like it could have been plucked off the last Ty Segall Record, albeit a bit more rough around the edges. "Sit Yo Ass Down" is even better, doused in feedback, with a stuttery, almost funky groove, all wreathed in thick, distorted guitar buzz, and with another falsetto chorus that KILLS. "Thanks For Yesterday" dials back the buzz for something bordering on balladic, but then in swoops "(Do) The Clap" which sounds like an even noiser, sweatier, more chaotic and sweat soaked Oh Sees, the whole thing finishing off with the brief speaker shredding blast of "Buzz Clique", a dense tangle of super distorted backwards noise-psych, that almost sounds like a garage punk version of Teenage Filmstars!!
Includes a download code too!
MPEG Stream: "All Hail The Deejay"
MPEG Stream: "Sit Yo Ass Down"
MPEG Stream: "Buzz Clique"

album cover A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN Atomos (Kranky) cd 14.98
Finally, full length number two from these atmospheric chamber-ambient drifters, featuring members of one of our all time favorite groups, guitardrone minimalists Stars Of The Lid. And like on the last Winged Victory full length, the mood and vibe is not that far removed from SOTL, the same sort of moody, broody, slow build majesty, the real difference this time around is a move toward a more electronic sound, taking the dark chamber music drift of SOTL, and adding more in the way of electronics and modular synths.
Atomos, which is actually the score for a new ballet from choreographer Wayne McGregor, finds Winged Victors Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O'Halloran once again joined by an entire string section, the resulting multi-part piece is stunning, equal parts Stars Of The Lid, Rachel's, Godspeed You Black Emperor, long stretches of hushed drift, dense, dramatic swirls of stirring strings, alternately somnambulant and nocturnal, tense and intense. Dark pointillist pianos drift in fields of sun dappled symphonic thrum, long tones tangle softly into cosmic swaths of dreamlike ambience, aching melodies unfurl over swoonsome swells of deep resonant rumble, the sound at times bordering on pure chamber music, but usually evolving into something more abstract and ethereal, sometimes droned out and minimal, other times sweeping and majestic. As a whole, Atomos is stately, somber, haunting and melancholic, the record blossoms slowly and subtly, the core classical sounds giving way to sprawls of minimally processed pulsations, gauzy dreamlike drifts of cinematic ambience and hushed haunting mesmer, evoking wide open spaces, the sun rising over windswept hills, or planets glowing in the inky blackness of space, the sound of Atomos somehow both intimate and personal, vast and impossibly epic.
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "II"
MPEG Stream: "III"
MPEG Stream: "IV"

album cover CALL SUPER Suzi Ecto (Houndstooth) cd 16.98
From the same label that brought us that killer disc of mutated minimal techno sound design from Akkord, which we made our Record Of The Week back on list #442, comes the latest from Call Super, who apparently has a clutch of releases before this one, but Suzi Ecto is the first we're hearing, and we're digging it like crazy. Things start out pretty twisted, with a jagged stretch of creepy John Carpentery techno, very sinister and cinematic, the opening track sounding a bit like the main melody from the soundtrack to Phantasm (that's one Death Waltz should reissue!!) transformed into some avant electronica. Nothing else here is quite that noisy, but it remains plenty weird, the sound settling into something more stuttery and skittery, the fractured rhythms looped beneath blooping melodies and laser blast bleeps, the occasional jazzy shimmer, bleating trumpets, all sorta laid back and groovy, swirling and swoonsome, and that swirly swoon is all over the record, the various melodies and loops always woozy and warped and underwater sounding. At times it's like the record is melting and oozing from the speakers, at others, it's like listening to the record through speakers at the bottom of a swimming pool. That said, we're definitely reminded of the watery Detroit techno of Drexciya, somehow fused with the post Boards Of Canada, sepia toned electronica of recent aQ fave Dalhous.
The record continues to sprawl and drift, touching on moments of dubbed out house, trippy techno and electronic jazziness, churning mesmeric rhythms winding their way throughout, sometimes dense and tribal, busy and polyrhythmic, other times skeletal and spare and barely there, the beats surrounded by all manner of percussion, fractured melodies, constantly shifting textures, that watery vibe a constant presence, the sound seeming to get more murky and liquid as the record progresses, the record, and the listener, sinking ever deeper, culminating in the washed out, submerged dub of closer "Acephale 1", which is where we settle on the bottom of Call Super's sonic sea, staring up at the world, everything gorgeously distorted by bottomless blue depths, now above us...
MPEG Stream: "Snipe"
MPEG Stream: "Dovetail"
MPEG Stream: "Sulu Sekou"
MPEG Stream: "Hoax Eye"

album cover FUNCTION / VATICAN SHADOW Games Have Rules (Hospital) cd 15.98
We were really excited about this match up, Hospital Productions head honcho Dominic Fernow's gothic industrial techno project Vatican Shadow, teamed up with David Sumner of Sandwell District's ominous minimal techno alter ego Function. We could only imagine what sorts of fantastically grim and murky sounds would emerge from this unholy union, would it be monolithic slabs of heartless black techno, or swirling rhythmic sprawls of pulsing murk? Our imaginations sort of ran wild, and yet somehow, we never imagined THIS.
The sound is definitely still plenty moody and dark, but instead of being harrowingly abject, or bleak and brutalist, it's actually sort of blissed out, and pretty dreamy much of the time, the vibe more hazy and soft focus, lots of atmospheric drift and Pop Ambient style swirl. There are beats too, but they're not so much beats as pulsations, often buried and barely there, almost always skeletal and ultra minimal, drifting amidst gauzy stretches of woozy, washed out nocturnal murk, soft focus atmospheres, and blurred dream-state ambience, the vibe ethereal and airy, almost like a blackened new age, but one that often drifts into fields of dark, swirling, chordal thrum, and softly tangled sheets of smeared melody, glistening and glimmering and prismatic. There are hints of Wolfgang Voigt's Gas, the Caretaker, the whole Pop Ambient series, Emeralds, lots of drift and shimmer for sure, but a few spots that get downright sinister and soundtracky, like on the "nemesis Flower", an ultra minimal John Carpenter style sprawl of murky throb, rumbling synth blurts, and distant melodic shimmer. It's not until the second to last track, "Red Opium" that we get any actual techno, and even then, it's a sort of laid back, blissed out mid-tempo house music groover, the tempo loping and hypnotic, the beat surrounded by soft billows of resonant overtones and blurred melody, which leads directly into the closer, "Bejewelled Body", which is about as close to a 'banger' as any track here, a churning, four-on-the-floor throb, wreathed in electronic squelches, keening fragmented melodies, and underpinned by some seriously droned out kosmische raga-like shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Things Known"
MPEG Stream: "The Nemesis Flower"
MPEG Stream: "A Year Has Passed"

album cover FUNCTION / VATICAN SHADOW Games Have Rules (Hospital) 2lp 30.00
We were really excited about this match up, Hospital Productions head honcho Dominic Fernow's gothic industrial techno project Vatican Shadow, teamed up with David Sumner of Sandwell District's ominous minimal techno alter ego Function. We could only imagine what sorts of fantastically grim and murky sounds would emerge from this unholy union, would it be monolithic slabs of heartless black techno, or swirling rhythmic sprawls of pulsing murk? Our imaginations sort of ran wild, and yet somehow, we never imagined THIS.
The sound is definitely still plenty moody and dark, but instead of being harrowingly abject, or bleak and brutalist, it's actually sort of blissed out, and pretty dreamy much of the time, the vibe more hazy and soft focus, lots of atmospheric drift and Pop Ambient style swirl. There are beats too, but they're not so much beats as pulsations, often buried and barely there, almost always skeletal and ultra minimal, drifting amidst gauzy stretches of woozy, washed out nocturnal murk, soft focus atmospheres, and blurred dream-state ambience, the vibe ethereal and airy, almost like a blackened new age, but one that often drifts into fields of dark, swirling, chordal thrum, and softly tangled sheets of smeared melody, glistening and glimmering and prismatic. There are hints of Wolfgang Voigt's Gas, the Caretaker, the whole Pop Ambient series, Emeralds, lots of drift and shimmer for sure, but a few spots that get downright sinister and soundtracky, like on the "nemesis Flower", an ultra minimal John Carpenter style sprawl of murky throb, rumbling synth blurts, and distant melodic shimmer. It's not until the second to last track, "Red Opium" that we get any actual techno, and even then, it's a sort of laid back, blissed out mid-tempo house music groover, the tempo loping and hypnotic, the beat surrounded by soft billows of resonant overtones and blurred melody, which leads directly into the closer, "Bejewelled Body", which is about as close to a 'banger' as any track here, a churning, four-on-the-floor throb, wreathed in electronic squelches, keening fragmented melodies, and underpinned by some seriously droned out kosmische raga-like shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Things Known"
MPEG Stream: "The Nemesis Flower"
MPEG Stream: "A Year Has Passed"

album cover HISTORY OF APPLE PIE, THE Feel Something (Marshall Teller) lp 22.00
We went crazy when we first heard The History Of Apple Pie, a UK combo who sounded like they had time traveled here direct from the mid-nineties, a clutch of kids seemingly channeling the sort of music made right around the time they were born (!), but like some of our other favorite retro-pop combos (Yuck, Best Coast, Real Estate, etc.), they have that sound dialed in. In the case of The History Of Apple Pie, that sound is a sugary sweet concoction equal parts shimmery dreampop jangle and crunchy shoegaze fuzz, every track rife with huge hooks, soaring harmonies, swirling synths, crazy catchy melodies, the vibe definitely a bit twee, but with the occasional bout of rocking swagger, usually in the form of some muscly guitar crunch or epic My Bloody Valentine style wall-of-guitarnoise cascades. Obvious references would be the Swirlies, Veruca Salt, The Pixies, Curve, My Bloody Valentine, Heavenly and the like, and you'd be totally forgiven for hearing this new record and thinking it was actually some obscure lost shoegaze gem from back in the day, but what can we say, we're a sucker for that stuff. For people of a certain age, this immediately takes you back, this is exactly the sort of thing that found its way on many a mixtape, and was the soundtrack for all sorts of roadtrips and adventures, romances and breakups. And even though the record oozes nostalgia (at least for those of us who were there the first time around), it still sounds pretty fantastic, fresh and alive, and if not wholly original, THOAP do take that nineties jangle fuzz formula and make it all their own, crafting some truly transcendent cotton candy billows of distorted dreaminess, gorgeous soft noise psychedelia and lilting jangly fuzz drenched pop bliss.
MPEG Stream: "Come Undone"
MPEG Stream: "Tame"
MPEG Stream: "Keep Wondering"
MPEG Stream: "Special Girl"

album cover TIN MAN Ode (Absurd) 2lp 28.00
First we've heard from Tin Man, aka producer Johannes Auvinen, who specializes in a gorgeously melancholy, minor key house music, downcast and skeletal, total morning-after, minimal, come down electronica. You can almost imagine this stuff playing at full volume, through huge speakers in a massive, totally empty warehouse, the floor covered with trampled rave flyers, empty cups, and discarded clothing, a sort of dance music 'world without us', Ode playing like the soundtrack to a series of images of empty clubs, of decrepit spaces, night clubs laid bare in the cruel light of day, the beats, dubby, and murky, the surrounding sounds bleary and hungover, super tranced out and mesmeric, most definitely dance music made NOT to dance to, but instead the soundtrack to an endless night, the listener hunkering down in a dimly lit corner both, waiting for a morning that may never come.
A handful of the tracks here are 'vocal' tracks, which we were quite wary of at first, especially considering that with house music, that generally means some sort of cringeworthy diva vocals, but not here. On Ode, Tin Man delivers his own dour vocalizations, a softly effected croon, deep and dramatic, sung/spoken, way down in the mix, laid back and a little bit wasted sounding, perfectly complimenting the wasted nocturnal house grooves beneath. Maybe our new favorite NON dance music, dance music record...
MPEG Stream: "No New Violence (Vocal)"
MPEG Stream: "In Your System"
MPEG Stream: "Depleted Serotonin"
MPEG Stream: "What A Shame (Vocal)"

album cover GAMBLE, LEE Koch (Pan) 2lp 30.00
We first discovered Lee Gamble via his Diversions lp, an entire record crafted from an old box of jungle mix tapes, but made even more compelling by the fact that it wasn't even the actual jungle bits he used, but instead, the between song ambience, the tape hiss and buzz, all woven into something way more abstract. Dutch Tvashar Plumes was his next record and found Gamble actually crafting his own beats, and very much like Diversions, wrapping them in dense sonic collages, lushly layered, noisy, gritty, still rooted in classic jungle, and Kompakt style beatscapery, but doused in grit and grime.
Koch seems to take up right where that one left off, although the opener is a bit misleading, and had us expecting something else all together, airy swaths of synth shimmer, pocked with impossibly deep low end pulses, a gorgeous crystalline drift, but before you know it, the sound transforms into something much more aggressive and beat driven, a pounding dancefloor banger, but again, still rife with Gamble's idiosyncratic to beat making, a churning, heavy house throb, beneath a gurgling, pitch shifted sampled vocal, groovy and funky, but also sort of sinister. The sound soon slips back into that opening ambient dreaminess, before another beat swoops in, this one more loping, and laid back, headphones reveal a whole world of sound beneath the beat, a beat that eventually grows warped and woozily misshapen, as those background sounds creep to the fore.
We'd like to say that's pretty much how the rest of the record plays out, but it really doesn't, Gamble is a sonic mad scientist, and while there is definitely some sort of musical thread holding it all together, it's difficult to put your finger on just what that thread is. From the spare skitter of "Oneiric Contur", to the gauzy almost Heroin House sounding digi-dub abstraction of "Head Model", to the washed out blur-bliss sprawl of "Frame Drag", to the nocturnal beat-murk thrum of "Voxel City Spirals", to the churning blackened throb of "Jove Layup", to the skeletal avant-house groove of "Gillsman". to the warped, and woozily melty dreaminess of "Flatland"...
And so it goes, constantly shifting in tone and tempo, vibe and texture, all the tracks here part of some impossibly cohesive, fantastically far out, abstract-electronic, alien dancefloor, psychedelic songsuite. Cool!
MPEG Stream: "Untitled Reversion"
MPEG Stream: "Motor System"
MPEG Stream: "Head Model"
MPEG Stream: "Flatland"
MPEG Stream: "Gillsman"

album cover NULL, KK & ORE Components Of Circulation & Dawn Of Time (Endtyme) 7" 9.98
What might you expect from a collaboration between KK Null, mastermind behind Japanese heavies Zeni Geva, and UK tuba doom duo Ore (you read that right, TUBA DOOM!)? Probably not this. Two tracks of hushed, delicate, droned out ambience. Moody, muted and morose, long tones unfurling gradually in a field of sculpted soft static, and distant keening melodies, slow shifting textures, drifting serenely, over a surprisingly tranquil sonic sprawl, a sort of blackened, nocturnal drift, deftly processed electronics, the mournful moan of the tubas, stuttery rhythmic pulses, all blurred into something downright dreamy and hypnotic. The flipside is even more minimal, the processed tubas transformed into lush, layered swells, pocked with glitch and crackle, and wreathed in field recordings of birdsong, a strange mix of ominous thrum, and pastoral ambience, the sound gorgeously lustrous and thick, the low end massive, a dark slo-mo swirl, that gradually gathers subtle momentum, beneath an increasingly dense cloud of singing birds, that begins to mutate into a tangle of psychedelic squiggles, that is soon subsumed by the churning bass tones and strange skittery fields of clipped static and glitchy electronics. Haunting and sinister and at moments harrowingly heavy, yet somehow still darkly dreamy!
Probably super limited too...
MPEG Stream: "Components Of Circulation"

album cover CORTINI, ALESSANDRO Sonno (Hospital Productions) cd 15.98
Perhaps best known for being the 'electronics guy' in the live version of Nine Inch Nails, Alessandro Cortini is also a formidable solo artist, as well as one of the few masters of the Buchla synthesizer. Having heard none of his solo work to date, we were actually expecting some sort of analog synth, goth industrial hybrid, would make sense since it ended up on the Hospital label, but instead, Sonno is a gorgeously hushed and evocative collection of minimal synthscapes, recorded in various hotel rooms on tour, all with just a single synth and a delay pedal, occasionally some portable speakers, the sounds defined not simply by Cortini's compositions and the settings on the instruments, but also the rooms, open windows, resonant tiled bathrooms, faucets on, the whir of air conditioners, sounds from the outside leaking in, all of this subtle and deftly woven into delicate, crystalline sprawls of soft focus synthsound, some tracks here cinematic an sinister, but most are ethereal and airy, fans of Emeralds will find much to love here, although Cortini's vision is much more low fidelity, but it's easy to forget about the fidelity completely, as the sounds are lush, and lovely, even the darker, shadowier movements, are gauzy and dreamlike, sometimes building to ominous billows of resonant thrum, but just as often settling into something tranquil and tranced out.
Imagine Stars Of The Lid, and Emeralds, and William Basinski, and the Caretaker, all blurred into a hauntingly mesmeric ambient kraut-psych, a pulsing, atmospheric dream-drone drift... gorgeous stuff...
MPEG Stream: "Rovine"
MPEG Stream: "Voltaggio Solitario"
MPEG Stream: "Dell'Influenza"
MPEG Stream: "Passatempo"

album cover CORTINI, ALESSANDRO Sonno (Hospital Productions) lp 30.00
Perhaps best known for being the 'electronics guy' in the live version of Nine Inch Nails, Alessandro Cortini is also a formidable solo artist, as well as one of the few masters of the Buchla synthesizer. Having heard none of his solo work to date, we were actually expecting some sort of analog synth, goth industrial hybrid, would make sense since it ended up on the Hospital label, but instead, Sonno is a gorgeously hushed and evocative collection of minimal synthscapes, recorded in various hotel rooms on tour, all with just a single synth and a delay pedal, occasionally some portable speakers, the sounds defined not simply by Cortini's compositions and the settings on the instruments, but also the rooms, open windows, resonant tiled bathrooms, faucets on, the whir of air conditioners, sounds from the outside leaking in, all of this subtle and deftly woven into delicate, crystalline sprawls of soft focus synthsound, some tracks here cinematic an sinister, but most are ethereal and airy, fans of Emeralds will find much to love here, although Cortini's vision is much more low fidelity, but it's easy to forget about the fidelity completely, as the sounds are lush, and lovely, even the darker, shadowier movements, are gauzy and dreamlike, sometimes building to ominous billows of resonant thrum, but just as often settling into something tranquil and tranced out.
Imagine Stars Of The Lid, and Emeralds, and William Basinski, and the Caretaker, all blurred into a hauntingly mesmeric ambient kraut-psych, a pulsing, atmospheric dream-drone drift... gorgeous stuff...
MPEG Stream: "Rovine"
MPEG Stream: "Voltaggio Solitario"
MPEG Stream: "Dell'Influenza"
MPEG Stream: "Passatempo"

album cover GUM TAKES TOOTH Buried Fires (Cut Hands Remix) (Endtyme) 7" 9.98
Brand new single with what might be our favorite track from the most recent Gum Takes Tooth record, Mirrors Fold, which we recently made our Record Of The Week. The A side is the version from the full length, a wild, percussive, tribal workout, a churning sprawl of tranced out rhythms, wreathed in hazy vocal harmonies, the sound falling somewhere between Animal Collective at their most abstract and rhythmic, and William Bennett's post Whitehouse one man Afro-Noise project Cut Hands. So it makes perfect sense that GTT would recruit Cut Hands to remix that track, especially since it already sorta sounded a little like Cut Hands anyway.
But Bennett takes the original, slows it way down, adds tons of distortion, and transforms it into something meaner, and darker and more industrial sounding, still groovy and tribal, but fierce and pounding, those background vocals turned into strange spectral smears, swirling around a monstrous rib cage rattling beat, flecked with stuttery percussive filigree, a whirling psychedelic sprawl of roiling rhythmic crunch, that kills! And has us super excited for the forthcoming Cut Hands full length, and kind wishing Gum Takes Tooth would get Bennett to remix their whole record!
MPEG Stream: "Buried Fires (Cut Hands Remix)"

album cover HISTORY OF APPLE PIE, THE Feel Something (Marshall Teller) cd 12.98
We went crazy when we first heard The History Of Apple Pie, a UK combo who sounded like they had time traveled here direct from the mid-nineties, a clutch of kids seemingly channeling the sort of music made right around the time they were born (!), but like some of our other favorite retro-pop combos (Yuck, Best Coast, Real Estate, etc.), they have that sound dialed in. In the case of The History Of Apple Pie, that sound is a sugary sweet concoction equal parts shimmery dreampop jangle and crunchy shoegaze fuzz, every track rife with huge hooks, soaring harmonies, swirling synths, crazy catchy melodies, the vibe definitely a bit twee, but with the occasional bout of rocking swagger, usually in the form of some muscly guitar crunch or epic My Bloody Valentine style wall-of-guitarnoise cascades. Obvious references would be the Swirlies, Veruca Salt, The Pixies, Curve, My Bloody Valentine, Heavenly and the like, and you'd be totally forgiven for hearing this new record and thinking it was actually some obscure lost shoegaze gem from back in the day, but what can we say, we're a sucker for that stuff. For people of a certain age, this immediately takes you back, this is exactly the sort of thing that found its way on many a mixtape, and was the soundtrack for all sorts of roadtrips and adventures, romances and breakups. And even though the record oozes nostalgia (at least for those of us who were there the first time around), it still sounds pretty fantastic, fresh and alive, and if not wholly original, THOAP do take that nineties jangle fuzz formula and make it all their own, crafting some truly transcendent cotton candy billows of distorted dreaminess, gorgeous soft noise psychedelia and lilting jangly fuzz drenched pop bliss.
MPEG Stream: "Come Undone"
MPEG Stream: "Tame"
MPEG Stream: "Keep Wondering"
MPEG Stream: "Special Girl"

album cover ELECTRIC WIZARD Time To Die (Spinefarm) cd 15.98
The Wiz returns!!! With another crushing sprawl of slo-mo psychedelic heaviness, that at first blush, sounds well removed from the impossibly catchy last record, Black Masses, which had even non metalheads around here freaking out. At the time, we couldn't really figure it out, what it was about that record that had such wide ranging appeal, but now digging into Time To Die, it's easy to spot the difference in a side by side comparison. Cuz this new record, at least at first, is WAY less poppy, more wasted and slow, the songs not just doomy, but death march drags, rife with tarpit riffage, and a vocal drawl that sounds like Ozzy nodding off on horse tranquilizers. Hell, we're not complaining, we love this sort of wasted, downer doom, and few do it better than Electric Wizard, And Time To Die is overflowing with drugged out ultra-doominess, with tracks like "I Am Nothing", seeming to forego melody entirely, a churning dirgey drag through musty old crypts, but even then somehow, the band will whip out some cool classic metal, harmonized leads, or long streaks of droned out feedback draped over roiling tribal-tom freakouts, and the song is somehow transformed into something transcendent. Still sort of zoned out and wasted, but the vibe is grimly majestic, and absolutely psychedelic.
There are moments throughout Time To Die here the band display a deft (yet subtle) mastery of melody (and hooks), which reveal themselves more and more with each listen, like on the title track, where things get decidedly WAY more melodic, harkening back to the catchiness of the last record, channeling classic Black Sabbath, but filtered through EW mainman Jus Oborn's warped obsession with exploitation flicks and B movie video nasties, bikers and bongs, some surprising catchiness lurking amidst clouds of sonic bongsmoke and swirls of downtuned psychedelic churn. And there's plenty more catchiness lurking elsewhere, it just means sonically sifting through piles of bones, and weed, but even so, after discovering the hidden melodies, our favorite moments on Time To Die might actually be the more abstract, culminating in the totally tripped out psychedelic sprawl of "Destroy Those Who Love God", which sort of sounds like Hawkwind and Monster Magnet slowed down and spaced out, all creepy haunted house organ, endlessly swirling swaths of droned out guitar buzz, wild and loose, almost free jazz drumming, wrapped around creepy samples, and news reports of Satanism and sacrifice, and while that track is JUST that, most of the other tracks, eventually devolve into something similar, jettisoning songcraft in favor of billowing black atmosphere, soundtracks to crumbling castles and rain swept moors, haunted graveyards and dark forests, totally tripped out ambience that seems to eventually, always find its way back to EW's more loping, dirgey, downer doom. All hail the Wizard!
MPEG Stream: "Time To Die"
MPEG Stream: "Destroy Those Who Love God"
MPEG Stream: "We Love The Dead"

album cover ASHDOD, WIZARD s/t (self-released) cassette 11.98
We weren't at all familiar with this German dronelord / bliss-drift technician, but we got an email from him, describing himself as a "romantic drone musician", so really how could we resist? While we may have been skeptical and first, this really is some romantic dronemusic, longform sprawls of lush layered shimmer, deep resonant thrum, a slow-motion swirl of constantly shifting overtones, tracks laced with melancholy melodies, or underpinned by heaving slabs of rumbling low end, but everything smeared into something ethereal and gauzy and abstract. The track "9" alone is worth the price of admission, a haunting, heavenly, smouldering sonics, pocked with a repeating beacon like tone. Over the course of the track, that tone gradually sinks into the lush, lustrous surroundings, more and more layers being revealed, the sound getting ever richer, more majestic and dreamlike. Streaks of high end come swooping in, bleeding into the soft, gentle pulsations, the vibe somewhere between Sunroof! and Stars Of The Lid, or maybe Vibracathedral Orchestra covering Reich or Riley. At any point it seems like the sound has reached a saturation point, but then somehow, there are more melodies, more layers, and the sound is in constant flux, drifting easily from sun dappled raga drift to something more ominous, a deep rumbling thrum, and back again, it's dizzying and heady, like the best drone music, it seems to envelop not just your ears, but your whole body. There's a brief bit of hushed tranquility near the end, before the gorgeously cacophonous coda, that sounds orchestral, a psychedelic squall that sounds like a million Arvo Part pieces playing at once. Awesome! And that's just ONE song.
Elsewhere, the sound gets moody and cinematic, like a lost score to some classic noir, or dense and bombastic, sounding like a prettier, less in your face, Our Love Will Destroy The World, a strangely robotic bit of mesmeric churn, that also reminds us a bit of a heavier, dronier Pierre Bastien or Strotter Inst. And there is in fact some heaviness happening, some gut rumbling, rib cage rattling low end, that sounds like it's gonna destroy your speakers, often blossoming into wild swirls of static, but it's more than balanced by the sweet stretches of whispery drift, and gauzy glimmer. Some tracks drift into spacey psych folk territory, albeit way more abstract, while others devolve into murky churns, that sound like some lost post industrial drone-dirge experiment, and of course, all of those disparate elements are somehow fused into a strangely cohesive whole. Fantastic stuff, that definitely leaves us wanting more.
LIMITED TO JUST 50 COPIES!!! It's likely that when we run out we won't be able to get more. Each tape is unique, every one designed by a different artist.
MPEG Stream: "9"
MPEG Stream: "Feet"
MPEG Stream: "C.I.G."
MPEG Stream: "O"

album cover GAMBLE, LEE Koch (Pan) cd 17.98
We first discovered Lee Gamble via his Diversions lp, an entire record crafted from an old box of jungle mix tapes, but made even more compelling by the fact that it wasn't even the actual jungle bits he used, but instead, the between song ambience, the tape hiss and buzz, all woven into something way more abstract. Dutch Tvashar Plumes was his next record and found Gamble actually crafting his own beats, and very much like Diversions, wrapping them in dense sonic collages, lushly layered, noisy, gritty, still rooted in classic jungle, and Kompakt style beatscapery, but doused in grit and grime.
Koch seems to take up right where that one left off, although the opener is a bit misleading, and had us expecting something else all together, airy swaths of synth shimmer, pocked with impossibly deep low end pulses, a gorgeous crystalline drift, but before you know it, the sound transforms into something much more aggressive and beat driven, a pounding dancefloor banger, but again, still rife with Gamble's idiosyncratic to beat making, a churning, heavy house throb, beneath a gurgling, pitch shifted sampled vocal, groovy and funky, but also sort of sinister. The sound soon slips back into that opening ambient dreaminess, before another beat swoops in, this one more loping, and laid back, headphones reveal a whole world of sound beneath the beat, a beat that eventually grows warped and woozily misshapen, as those background sounds creep to the fore.
We'd like to say that's pretty much how the rest of the record plays out, but it really doesn't, Gamble is a sonic mad scientist, and while there is definitely some sort of musical thread holding it all together, it's difficult to put your finger on just what that thread is. From the spare skitter of "Oneiric Contur", to the gauzy almost Heroin House sounding digi-dub abstraction of "Head Model", to the washed out blur-bliss sprawl of "Frame Drag", to the nocturnal beat-murk thrum of "Voxel City Spirals", to the churning blackened throb of "Jove Layup", to the skeletal avant-house groove of "Gillsman". to the warped, and woozily melty dreaminess of "Flatland"...
And so it goes, constantly shifting in tone and tempo, vibe and texture, all the tracks here part of some impossibly cohesive, fantastically far out, abstract-electronic, alien dancefloor, psychedelic songsuite. Cool!
MPEG Stream: "Untitled Reversion"
MPEG Stream: "Motor System"
MPEG Stream: "Head Model"
MPEG Stream: "Flatland"
MPEG Stream: "Gillsman"

album cover SPEEDY ORTIZ / CHRIS WEISMAN split (LAMC #14) (Famous Class) 7" 8.98
Latest in the LAMC series of split 7"s from the Famous Class label, each single featuring a known entity on the A side, and then a more obscure band on the flip, chosen by the A side band. This marks the first appearance on the aQ list of Speedy Ortiz, which is CRAZY, cuz some of us here have been fans for ages, not sure how that happened, but needless to say, their track here is a gem, heavily beholden to nineties indie rock, in particular the Pixies and the Breeders and Veruca Salt, fuzzy bass beneath crooned female vox, kinda swaggery, and dirgey, but hook heavy and poppy, the chorus super Beatles-esque, soaring and majestic, lilting and melodic, and catchy as all get out. One of our favorite modern day outfits mining our favorite era of indie rock for sure.
We had never heard of Chris Weisman before, and while we were maybe expecting something more indie rocking, instead, it's just acoustic guitar and vocals, the vibe sort of Big Star-ish, maybe a little bit like the Posies, dreamy vox, lush steel string strum, super dreamy and classic pop sounding, at points even reminding us of Emmit Rhodes, which is most definitely a good thing. Will for sure be tracking down more from Weisman...
Like all the LAMC singles, as you probably already guessed, this is VERY LIMITED!
MPEG Stream: SPEEDY ORTIZ "Doomsday"
MPEG Stream: CHRIS WEISMAN "I Took It Off A Record"

album cover FRIDAY THE 13TH (HARRY MANFREDINI) OST (Waxwork) lp 33.00
Horror nerds have long (and frequently) argued about what is the best horror/slasher movie ever. Contenders for the title would have to include Halloween, Phantasm and of course Friday The 13th. More than any other horror movie, Friday The 13th essentially created the template for all horror movies that would follow in its wake, a bunch of kids, in the middle of nowhere, drinking and fucking, and being picked off one by one, by some maniac or monster. And while there have been plenty of great slasher flicks, Friday The 13th still reigns supreme as the first, and maybe the best. We had sort of forgotten what the score sounded like, but the minute this began to play, we were transported back to the first time we saw the movie, the score even now is terrifying, tense and dramatic, Manfredini's arrangements are very beholden to Bernard Hermann for sure, but they're so dense and dynamic, long stretches of droned out minimalism, wild tangles of excited strings and jarring symphonic stabs, the main title music alone is practically perfect, and then when you mix in that super distinctive "ch ch ch ch, hu hu hu hu" vocalization, a sound that's as recognizable to horror freaks as the theme from Halloween, and apparently, according to Harry Manfredini in the record's liner notes, that vocalization was inspired by Penderecki! Also according to the liner notes, Dolly Parton was another big inspiration! What? Apparently, the music playing in the diner, was inspired by a Dolly Parton Sound, and that music resurfaces later on (spolier alert) at the very end of the movie, when the heroine and sole survivor is floating alone on the lake, in a boat, when suddenly Jason explodes from the water and drags her under! The music following suit, going from lilting and melodic to wild and atonal and all 20th century. So cool! The whole soundtrack rules, sinister strings all over the place, the vibe seriously harrowing and horrifying, with brief moments of respite, and of course with weird little bits of ambient music, that make (a little) more sense in the actual movie, like the very surprising second track, "Banjo Travelin'".
Listening to this again, and even as much as we LOVE LOVE LOVE the movie, we can objectively say, this is one of the best horror scores EVER. And even removed from the visuals, makes for an extremely compelling listen!
Fantastic over the top packaging too as always from Waxwork. A heavy gatefold full color jacket with all new artwork (an eyeball image that harkens back to the new art for the recently reissued Halloween soundtrack too, coincidence?), new liner notes from Manfredini and director Sean Cunningham, as well as a cool creepy full color printed insert. And while it looks like black vinyl, hold it up to the light, and discover it's actually swirled black and green Crystal Lake colored vinyl!!
MPEG Stream: "Main Theme"

album cover LIMINANAS, THE I've Got Trouble In Mind: 7" And Rare Stuff 2009/2014 (Trouble In Mind) cd 11.98
We've loved pretty much every single record from this fuzzy, garage-y French dream-pop combo, who fuse buzzy guitar crunch, and simple propulsive rhythmic pound, with classic sixties French pop, swirling psychedelia, and even add a little ukelele! This comp collects, as the title suggests, all the group's various singles and comp tracks (as well as a few unreleased rarities), and really if you've yet to hear the Liminanas, this is as good a place to start as any. Some of the tracks here sound like Brigitte Bardot or France Gall if they recorded for Castle Face, and were backed up by White Fence or Thee Oh Sees, others channel the druggy kraut-psych of outfits like Moon Duo, through that sixties Ye Ye Girls sound we can't seem to ever get enough of.
They do some cool covers too, a dreamily fuzzy and buzzy version of the Beach Boys' "I Know There's An Answer", they tackle Jay Reatard's "An Ugly Death", making it dirgey and breathy, and do a lo-fi, garage pop take on Darlene Love's Phil Spector penned "Christmas". The band make those songs totally their own. Perfectly fitting in with their sexy, sultry, French Garage pop originals, the vocals alternately crooned or purred, both male and female, they're almost like a fuzzier, garagier, modern day version of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, which you know is not a bad thing at all!
MPEG Stream: "(I've Got) Trouble In Mind"
MPEG Stream: "Tu Es A Moi"
MPEG Stream: "I Know There's An Answer"
MPEG Stream: "Liverpool"

album cover TOTAL CONTROL Typical System (Iron Lung) lp 14.98
The first track on this new record from Aussie new wave garage punks Total Control had us thinking for a second that they had ditched their garage side completely, in favor of going all 'wave all the time, just check out the first sample below. Sure the last record, Henge Beats, was laced with little bits of new waviness, but "Glass" is straight up new wave, sounding remarkably like New Order, all programmed beats, swirling eighties synths, moody, swoonsome melodies, and deep, crooned vox, it almost sounds like it could be some lost gem reissued on Medical or Dark Entries, but fear not, the next track, "Expensive Dog", is all knuckle dragging old school punk rock, a chugging, churning main riff, the vibe swaggery and sloppy, the vocals a mush mouthed bellow, way down in the mix, it's hard to believe it's the same band even, but then in swoops "Flesh War", which somehow melds the two, channeling some synthy post punk via a serious John Hughes soundtrack flashback vibe, a fuzzy riff, a pounding beat, but then over the top, swirling synths, ethereal textures, and the vocals reverting to that new wave-y croon. And so it goes, the band seemingly a little sonically schizophrenic, leap frogging from synth pop, to garage punk, and back again, with plenty of stops in the nebulous region right in between, which for us is really the sweet spot here. Although the more we listen, the more we're smitten by the even weirder, harder to pin down tracks. Like "Liberal Party", which sounds a lot like some actual obscure post punk/pop rarity, replete with angular guitar, kazoo-like buzz and horns! Or the murky electro-pop dirgery of "The Ferryman", which sounds like some lost Flying Nun B-side. Or "Hunter", which is a fantastic blast of swirling-synth, electro-wave bliss out. And while we were prepared for the record to finish with one final burst of bristly punkiness, these guys instead deliver what might be the poppiest jam here, hook heavy, synths galore, a soaring chorus, another nod to the sound of classic John Hughes movie music, and the sort of track that would be all over MTV if it was 1985...
MPEG Stream: "Glass"
MPEG Stream: "Flesh War"
MPEG Stream: "Liberal Party"
MPEG Stream: "Safety Net"

album cover HAIKAI NO KU Ultra High Dimensionality (Box Records) lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
For fans of freaky psych and wild heavy noisiness, an album title like Ultra High Dimensionality should definitely conjure up images of long haired Japanese bands from the seventies, of huge amps, bell bottoms, trippy light shows and extreme volume. It's the sort of title you might expect to find on a Mainliner or White Heaven record, which we're guessing was probably the idea, since this band is not in fact Japanese, but British, and are fronted by Mike Vest, he of psychedelic doomlords Bong! But this IS meant to be an homage of sorts to that classic Japanese sound, especially Les Rallizes Denudes, coupled with the downtuned crush of the Bong mothership of course, and if that sounds good to you (and why the hell wouldn't it?!), you're likely ready for some serious Ultra High Dimensionality.
Forty minutes of epic heavy psych, still a bit doomy, and spacey, after all, as the saying (sort of) goes, you can take the man out of Bong, but odds are he'll likely drag some of that doominess with him, but it makes for a killer mix, just check out the opener, which sounds, as you might have surmised, like Les Rallizes Denudes by way of Bong, a loping, slow burner, all blown out psychedelic balladry wreathed in dense swirls of distorto guitar, and anchored by some hard hitting drumming, the sort of brooding slow build heaviness we could get lost in forever, total seventies style psychedelic smolder, in fact, most of Ultra High Dimensionality sounds like some alternate dimension version of Les Rallizes Denudes, which is most definitely not a bad thing, the tempos generally slow, lumbering, but seriously tripped out, equal parts doomy and psychedelic, if you ever wished those Les Rallizes records weren't so lo-fi (although, why would you?), this will definitely hit the spot. And while this is most definitely far enough removed from the doooooom of Bong, to maybe disappoint some doomlords, folks into The Heads, White Hills, Carlton Melton, and all that psychedelic space rock stuff, as well as all the aforementioned Japanese psych combos, this comes HIGHLY recommended.
Pressed on 180 gram vinyl, housed in a swank sleeve, screen printed on grey recycled cardstock in metallic ink. Includes a download code too.
MPEG Stream: "Dead In The Temple"
MPEG Stream: "Strung Out Beyond The Rim"

album cover SHELLAC Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) lp+cd 27.00
The best comment we heard amidst all the bitching about the recent U2 record, you know the one that just showed up in your iTunes, uninvited (and in most cases, unwanted), was that there would have been a whole lot less complaining had we all woken up to find THIS record in our iTunes. If only...
So yeah, it's a new Shellac record, and people have been freaking out (ourselves included) since word first leaked about its impending release, and its goofy/brilliant title. Thankfully, and maybe not surprisingly, very little has changed since their last record, 2007's Excellent Italian Greyhound. Right from the get go, the title track finds Steve Albini, laying down what sounds suspiciously like a lost ZZ Top riff (harkening back to that bad ass Rapeman cover of "Just Got Paid"), but then in comes Todd Trainer's ultra precise drumming, and Bob Weston's thick sinewy bass, and BAM, couldn't be anything other than Shellac, especially when Albini's sung/spoken vocals come in, and then the lyrics, a snippet of which includes the line "we'll go where the females congregate, perhaps they'll let us fuck them, and on the way, we'll have adventure", or something like that. And the sound, pure Shellac, super tight, lots of chug and pound, crazy dynamic (check out the super weirdly arranged "Compliant", that veers from some very Big Black sounding churn, to ultra spaced out stop/start breakdowns, and then some downright prettiness, along with some surprisingly croony vox!), but also UN-dynamic for much of the record, the band doing what they do best, and locking into tense / tranced out grooves, that could go on forever. Some of the tracks, like "You Came In Me" (with more 'fucking' lyrics), are super fierce, minus some goofy call and response vox, that one's a stunner, with some wild, octopoidal drumming, and one of the best guitar sounds we've heard in ages. "Riding Bikes" is a sweet curious slab of downer slowcore pound, while the beginning of "All The Surveyors" starts off with one of those parts, like the Shellac classic "Wingwalker", where live they all spread their arms out like the wings of a plane, and do a little a capella bit. Here the band do yet another little vocal intro, culminating in them howling "FUCK THE KING!!", not to mention Albini making crazed bird calls throughout. Which is kind of what makes this record (and Shellac in general) so good, and so fun. They never gave a fuck, that was obvious, but somehow now they seem to give even less of a fuck, taking the music utterly seriously, but injecting humor, whenever or wherever they feel like, the sort of stuff that to us on the outside is so obviously some sort of inside joke, or something dumb from the van or the rehearsal space, but the band take that stuff, and transform it into something as crucial to the song and sound as the music itself. That said, even without that stuff, the music itself, BY itself, is more than enough. Tracks like "The People's Microphone" are so tight, so progged out, but not wanky, it's math rock, but ultra minimal math rock, every note, and hit, concise and perfect, they're like a machine, but one that emotes, bleeds, broods, and most importantly, thinks that really goofy shit is hilarious! Like the monkey-hoisting-another-monkey-over-his-head-pro-wrestling-style cover art. And yeah, probably every review of this record will end like this, but how can we resist? Dude, INCREDIBLE!
MPEG Stream: "Dude Incredible"
MPEG Stream: "Compliant"
MPEG Stream: "You Came In Me"
MPEG Stream: "Riding Bikes"

album cover TREEPEOPLE Guilt Regret Embarrassment (K) cd 10.98
This is not a normal Record Of The Week. It's not new. It's not even a newly released reissue. But what it is, is one of our favorite records EVER. And it just so happened Andee was in Olympia this last weekend, and got to visit K Records, where they discovered a little box of these stashed away in the warehouse. And since most of the records by this band predate the current version of the list, we were psyched to suddenly be presented with the opportunity to gush like crazy over the debut album from the late great Treepeople. And really, as far as we're concerned, if any band deserved a comprehensive reissue campaign, it's the Treepeople, but until then, dig this...
For those unfamiliar with the Treepeople, it's essentially pre Built To Spill, with BTS mastermind Doug Martsch honing his chops in a much wilder, more punky, noisy, but no less catchy context. In fact, if you've heard the first Built To Spill record, Ultimate Alternative Wavers, that record essentially sounds like a slightly more polished Treepeople Record. Imagine the glorious hooks and super catchy melodies of BTS, but wrapped in spidery intertwined guitars, swirls of feedback, wild chaotic drumming, the whole vibe more noisy, and loose, definitely more punk, aggressive and heavy, but still impossibly poppy. With every track here, on the group's 1991 debut, a stone cold killer, the opener "No Doubt" lays out the template, multiple guitar lines in constant motion, as if there were multiple solos being played at once, a dizzying backdrop of distort melodies, wound around sinewy basslines, and frenetic drumming, all beneath Martsch's distinctive vocals, oh and feedback, EVERYwhere, but somehow these guys make it sound as much a part of the sound/song as any other instrument. When people talk about noise pop, this is the sort of thing we imagine, equal parts jangle pop and urgent post punk, with some hints of proginess and psychedelia. And since we're all friends here, we'll fess up to the fact, that one of us here (ahem, Andee) had no idea that track two, "Andy Warhol" was a Bowie cover. Which also helps to give you an idea of the sound happening here. The opener bleeds right into the Bowie cover, almost as if they were conceived and composed together, with the Treepeople's version extra fierce and fuzzy (they'd do something similar to the Smiths' "Big Mouth Strikes Again" a year later).
"Gre" comes next, and might be one of our favorite Treepeople songs ever, frantic and fuzzy, noisy and punky, but again, super catchy, with drums and guitars in a seemingly constant squall, and yet molded into something most proper pop bands would kill for, if they could even figure out what to do with it. And from there on out, it just keeps getting better, some songs jangly and woozy, others straight up punk pound, more often than not a little of both, and almost as often, with even more sonic weirdness swirled into the equation. The Treepeople are one of those rare groups whose sound is actually totally and truly unique, there are definitely moments and parts and sounds and hooks that touch on other strains of indie rock, but much like Polvo, they seem to have taken the parts of a proper sound, pulled them apart and then reassembled them with no regard for the instruction manual, the resulting musical monstrosity emerging far more twistedly beautiful than it was ever meant to be, and the sort of sound that has stood the test of time like little else, this record (along with the group's entire catalog) on constant heavy rotation pretty much nonstop for that past 20+ years. And as much as we love Built To Spill, we find ourselves, almost without thinking, replying to almost every BTS related query with something like "yeah, but have you heard Treepeople?!?", cuz really, they're like a much crazier, noisier, heavier, more experimental version, which obviously for us, means even BETTER. A gloriously noisy concoction that should be essential listening for all indie rockers, young and old, and which should eventually, hopefully one day, get these guys, and all their records, the sort of love and accolades they so totally deserve. For now, we'll just do our part. And you should do yours, you won't be sorry, you might just have a new (old) favorite band!
Non musical note: this was the record that first introduced us to the stunning and horrifyingly beautiful pencil art of Mike Scheer!
PS here's our original brief and to the point, but equally rave, review, when we listed the cd some years back:
The genius of Mr. Doug Martsch recorded pre-Built To Spill/Dub Narcotic. Kick-ass hook-laden pop rocks from 1991. Harder and much more angstful than BTS. Plus a cover of David Bowie's "Andy Warhol". Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "No Doubt"
MPEG Stream: "Andy Warhol"
MPEG Stream: "Gre"
MPEG Stream: "Pity"

album cover TREEPEOPLE Guilt Regret Embarrassment (K) lp 11.98
This is not a normal Record Of The Week. It's not new. It's not even a newly released reissue. But what it is, is one of our favorite records EVER. And it just so happened Andee was in Olympia this last weekend, and got to visit K Records, where they discovered a little box of these stashed away in the warehouse. And since most of the records by this band predate the current version of the list, we were psyched to suddenly be presented with the opportunity to gush like crazy over the debut album from the late great Treepeople. And really, as far as we're concerned, if any band deserved a comprehensive reissue campaign, it's the Treepeople, but until then, dig this...
For those unfamiliar with the Treepeople, it's essentially pre Built To Spill, with BTS mastermind Doug Martsch honing his chops in a much wilder, more punky, noisy, but no less catchy context. In fact, if you've heard the first Built To Spill record, Ultimate Alternative Wavers, that record essentially sounds like a slightly more polished Treepeople Record. Imagine the glorious hooks and super catchy melodies of BTS, but wrapped in spidery intertwined guitars, swirls of feedback, wild chaotic drumming, the whole vibe more noisy, and loose, definitely more punk, aggressive and heavy, but still impossibly poppy. With every track here, on the group's 1991 debut, a stone cold killer, the opener "No Doubt" lays out the template, multiple guitar lines in constant motion, as if there were multiple solos being played at once, a dizzying backdrop of distort melodies, wound around sinewy basslines, and frenetic drumming, all beneath Martsch's distinctive vocals, oh and feedback, EVERYwhere, but somehow these guys make it sound as much a part of the sound/song as any other instrument. When people talk about noise pop, this is the sort of thing we imagine, equal parts jangle pop and urgent post punk, with some hints of proginess and psychedelia. And since we're all friends here, we'll fess up to the fact, that one of us here (ahem, Andee) had no idea that track two, "Andy Warhol" was a Bowie cover. Which also helps to give you an idea of the sound happening here. The opener bleeds right into the Bowie cover, almost as if they were conceived and composed together, with the Treepeople's version extra fierce and fuzzy (they'd do something similar to the Smiths' "Big Mouth Strikes Again" a year later).
"Gre" comes next, and might be one of our favorite Treepeople songs ever, frantic and fuzzy, noisy and punky, but again, super catchy, with drums and guitars in a seemingly constant squall, and yet molded into something most proper pop bands would kill for, if they could even figure out what to do with it. And from there on out, it just keeps getting better, some songs jangly and woozy, others straight up punk pound, more often than not a little of both, and almost as often, with even more sonic weirdness swirled into the equation. The Treepeople are one of those rare groups whose sound is actually totally and truly unique, there are definitely moments and parts and sounds and hooks that touch on other strains of indie rock, but much like Polvo, they seem to have taken the parts of a proper sound, pulled them apart and then reassembled them with no regard for the instruction manual, the resulting musical monstrosity emerging far more twistedly beautiful than it was ever meant to be, and the sort of sound that has stood the test of time like little else, this record (along with the group's entire catalog) on constant heavy rotation pretty much nonstop for that past 20+ years. And as much as we love Built To Spill, we find ourselves, almost without thinking, replying to almost every BTS related query with something like "yeah, but have you heard Treepeople?!?", cuz really, they're like a much crazier, noisier, heavier, more experimental version, which obviously for us, means even BETTER. A gloriously noisy concoction that should be essential listening for all indie rockers, young and old, and which should eventually, hopefully one day, get these guys, and all their records, the sort of love and accolades they so totally deserve. For now, we'll just do our part. And you should do yours, you won't be sorry, you might just have a new (old) favorite band!
Non musical note: this was the record that first introduced us to the stunning and horrifyingly beautiful pencil art of Mike Scheer!
MPEG Stream: "No Doubt"
MPEG Stream: "Andy Warhol"
MPEG Stream: "Gre"
MPEG Stream: "Pity"

album cover GOAT Commune (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
Eagerly anticipated new batch of tripped out voodoo-psych from these mysterious Swedes, their first for Sub Pop, and much like their debut, World Music, Commune explores much of the same sonic ground, fusing Afro Psych with fuzzy garage, lots of groovy rhythms, Eastern style melodic buzz, tranced out and hypnotic, minimally maximal, those strange, soaring female vox, we got to experience these guys (and gals) live when they were in SF not too long ago, and we were blown away, elaborate costumes, ZERO stage banter, the two vocalists dancing and gesticulating wildly for the whole set, while the rest of the band nearly faded into the shadows, but sonically, super powerful and utterly mesmerizing, and while we've only had this new record for a week or two, it definitely already has the potential to be just as addictive as World Music.
The opener here is much more sixties sounding, all sitar like buzz, and spidery guitar leads, over a relentlessly groovy tribal rhythm, the vocals swooping in here and there, but mostly the band just locked tight into some seriously heady psychedelic hypnorock. The second track darkens considerably, channeling a sound much more akin to Spacemen 3, processed pulsing guitars, minimal motorik drumbeat, definitely sounding like the results of Spacemen 3's famous MO: "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to", but with a bit of a more tribal feel, right down to what sounds like some faux field recordings at the end. "The Light Within" starts out straight up African style High Life, before those vocals come in, witchy and powerful, and then the guitars come in fuzzed out and fierce, the song a push pull between groovy tribal psych-funk and something much more hard rocking, which in a way, is where much of this record, and Goat's sound in general dwells, and it's that tension that makes it work. Some of the tracks get much more blissed out and dreamily trippy, while others are freaked out and wildly psychedelic, and still others almost sound like sixties classic rock, filtered through Goat's cracked voodoo psych rock filter, and like the first record, the closer is a doozy, the song we'd imagine they'd finish with live, a sprawling psych jam, that builds to a seriously blown out psych-noise freakout, replete with bleating horns, layered vocals wails, and dense guitar fuzz, the whole thing swirling noisy, chaotic, and dizzyingly trippy.
Like the first record, this new one comes in a fancy die cut package as well, once again with minimal liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "Talk To God"
MPEG Stream: "Words"
MPEG Stream: "Goatchild"
MPEG Stream: "Gathering Of Ancient Tribes"

album cover GOAT Commune (Sub Pop) lp 17.98
Eagerly anticipated new batch of tripped out voodoo-psych from these mysterious Swedes, their first for Sub Pop, and much like their debut, World Music, Commune explores much of the same sonic ground, fusing Afro Psych with fuzzy garage, lots of groovy rhythms, Eastern style melodic buzz, tranced out and hypnotic, minimally maximal, those strange, soaring female vox, we got to experience these guys (and gals) live when they were in SF not too long ago, and we were blown away, elaborate costumes, ZERO stage banter, the two vocalists dancing and gesticulating wildly for the whole set, while the rest of the band nearly faded into the shadows, but sonically, super powerful and utterly mesmerizing, and while we've only had this new record for a week or two, it definitely already has the potential to be just as addictive as World Music.
The opener here is much more sixties sounding, all sitar like buzz, and spidery guitar leads, over a relentlessly groovy tribal rhythm, the vocals swooping in here and there, but mostly the band just locked tight into some seriously heady psychedelic hypnorock. The second track darkens considerably, channeling a sound much more akin to Spacemen 3, processed pulsing guitars, minimal motorik drumbeat, definitely sounding like the results of Spacemen 3's famous MO: "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to", but with a bit of a more tribal feel, right down to what sounds like some faux field recordings at the end. "The Light Within" starts out straight up African style High Life, before those vocals come in, witchy and powerful, and then the guitars come in fuzzed out and fierce, the song a push pull between groovy tribal psych-funk and something much more hard rocking, which in a way, is where much of this record, and Goat's sound in general dwells, and it's that tension that makes it work. Some of the tracks get much more blissed out and dreamily trippy, while others are freaked out and wildly psychedelic, and still others almost sound like sixties classic rock, filtered through Goat's cracked voodoo psych rock filter, and like the first record, the closer is a doozy, the song we'd imagine they'd finish with live, a sprawling psych jam, that builds to a seriously blown out psych-noise freakout, replete with bleating horns, layered vocals wails, and dense guitar fuzz, the whole thing swirling noisy, chaotic, and dizzyingly trippy.
Like the first record, this new one comes in a fancy die cut package as well, once again with minimal liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "Talk To God"
MPEG Stream: "Words"
MPEG Stream: "Goatchild"
MPEG Stream: "Gathering Of Ancient Tribes"

album cover WHITE MANNA Live Frequencies (Cardinal Fuzz) lp 21.00
More heavy duty jammage from these Arcata hard psych space rockers, whose sound is often described as Hawkwind meets the Stooges, and not sure what else we can add cuz that's pretty dang spot on. This new one on UK psych/space label Cardinal Fuzz is a live set from Europe, recorded on tour in 2013, and finds the band unleashing their particular brand of heavy space rocking, all epic druggy sprawls of fuzzed out stoner stomp, and droney motorik fuzz rock drift, woozy, super melodic Sabbath like basslines and some seriously muscular drumming, all wrapped up in squalls of freaky guitar-noise and crunchy, buzzing riffage. The vocals are drawled and echo drenched, and surface throughout, but really, like most bands of their ilk, White Manna are all about the jams, and like their last record, Come Down Safari (originally a picture disc on Valley King, recently reissued on cd by Captcha) the band can jettison 'the song' at any point, and head for the heart of the sun, or the outer reaches of the cosmos, or the depths of some subterranean pit, filling whatever space they end up with oodles of psych freakout ("Acid Head"), but they can just as easily lock into straight up droned out, hard rocking psych pop ("Evil"), or sometimes that above mentioned Sabbathy vibe gets pushed right to the fore, with some super doomy heaviness ("X Ray"). Needless to say, heavy psych nerds and space rock headz are gonna want to grab one of these quick, before they're gone, and it's SUPER LIMITED, and on Cardinal Fuzz, so odds are they'll be gone before you know it.
Housed in a cool acid blotter sleeve. Includes a download too!
MPEG Stream: "E Shra (Stangade)"
MPEG Stream: "Acid Head (Le Kalif)"
MPEG Stream: "Evil (Le Kalif)"

album cover MELCHIOR, LETHA RODMAN Handbook For Mortals (Siltbreeze) lp 15.98
The joy of reviewing this first proper full length from Letha Rodman Melchior is tempered by the sad fact that Letha passed away recently, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Beloved by all who knew her, she chronicled her illness via a hilarious and hilariously warts-and-all blog, detailing every facet of her illness, and her struggle to beat it. Musicians and artists and friends all over the world, rallied around her, playing benefit shows, to raise money to help with her hospital bills, and while she had been making art and playing music for decades (Andee's old band toured with her old band, Ruby Falls, way back in the nineties), her marriage to Dan Melchior, a musical force in his own right, brought forth a new bout of productivity and collaboration, culminating in this, the heartbreakingly beautiful, and fantastically fanciful handbook For Mortals, a joyously uninhibited collection of ultra personal musical vignettes, hauntingly lovely landscapes of piano and clarinette, laced with mysterious squalls of soft percussion, deep shimmery drones, whipping-wind-like swirls, breaking glass, a little bit chamber music, a little bit musique concrete, a series of strange sonic collages, fusing woozy, distorted, dream pop, to fractured avant murk, buried melodies and music box like warble. Some tracks unfurl lo-fi jumbles of found sounds, loopy percussion, swirling FX, others hushed, pastoral ambience, choral vocal harmonies and field recordings. The songs are laced with glitched out electronics, occasionally wrapped around stately piano threnodies, other times blossoming into wild sprawls of crumbling, distorted noise. Here and there, ramshackle ballads dissolve into equal parts hushed piano, recordings from the hospital (the beep of a life support machine surfaces on one track) and creaking machine like clatter. Handbook For Mortals is a heady, heavenly mix of twisted, mad scientist avant noise, and hushed, delicate, home brewed songcraft, a gorgeous bit of sound art, that has now been transformed into a beautifully bittersweet, and heartbreakingly poignant threnody.
R.I.P Letha. You will be missed.
MPEG Stream: "Hypatia Rilles"
MPEG Stream: "Mare Crisium"
MPEG Stream: "Marsh Of Sleep"
MPEG Stream: "Humouresques"

album cover PEOPLE SKILLS Tricephalic Head (Siltbreeze) lp 15.98
Could find very little about this loner / zoner, downer folk combo (one man band?), but it's just the sort of thing we dig, lovely, damaged, woozy and moody, a twisted troubadour, unfurling warped folk ballads and damaged drum machine driven murk-pop in equal measure. Take the opening one-two punch, the first, sounding like a more fucked up, mush mouthed, 4-track Nick Drake, all delicate steel string guitar beneath warped, warbly vocals, that sound like they're melting/decaying before your very ears, giving the otherwise pastoral sound a drowsy, druggy vibe, while the second track adds some primitive programmed rhythm, and a wheezing Casio keyboard, woven into an echo drenched balladic dirge, again with those fucked up, mumbled, FX heavy vox, draped over an otherwise lilting sprawl of spare, minimal slowcore drone-pop. The most amazing thing is that somehow the drum machine stumbles and stutters, which is very unlike programmed drums, but it gives the whole sound a fragile, fractured vibe.
As the record progresses, it gets noiser and more chaotic, the sound more blown out and crunchy, the vocals distorted, the beats too, some tracks pocked with spacey electronic squiggles, and weird pitch shifted gurgled vox, others with loads of buzz and hum, static and hiss. The more experimental aspects of Tricephalic Head remind us of the late great NZ experimentalists Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos, those moments more than balanced by stretches of hushed folkiness, and weird sprawls of low fidelity kraut-psych, and flat out WTF psychedelic noise freakouts.
Includes a download code.
MPEG Stream: "This Life Was In A Room"
MPEG Stream: "The Trench"
MPEG Stream: "Step Into The Light"
MPEG Stream: "The Scene Of The Poet John Berryman's Suicide in 1972"

album cover PEOPLE'S TEMPLE Weekends Time (State Capital) lp 14.98
With pretty much every previous record from these Michigan based, sixties worshipping, psych-surf garage rockers, it seemed like they were sonically moving back in time, their sound transforming from some worshipful Nuggets style retro-jangle, to a sound that ACTUALLY sounded like it was from back in the day. And while on this new one, much of that sound remains intact, for whatever reason, Weekends Time doesn't sound quite as much like some obscure sixties reissue. Instead, Peoples Temple now sound like a kick ass surfy, garage rock band, with plenty of Stooges-y swagger winding through their fuzzy, druggy jangle, a sound that wouldn't be at all out of place on the Castle Face label.
It might be the production, the sound this time around is much more lush and warm, a bit more modern, there's even some power poppiness in the mix, or maybe it's the songs, heck, they do a couple Ariel Pink covers, but even those two cover versions, if you didn't know any better, could be PT originals, or even some obscure sixties psych obscurities the band dug up. All the songs here though, like on the other records, are fantastically fuzzy, sunshiney and jangly, hook heavy, surfy and groovy, a little bit druggy, and plenty psychedelic, and at times fuzzy and folky (check out the super sixties, fuzz-folk closer!), and once again demonstrate that these guys are one of the best bands around channeling that far out sixties psych psound...
MPEG Stream: "Ones Forgotten"

album cover PURLING HISS Weirdon (Drag City) cd 14.98
Latest batch of lo-fi '60s style retro-psych paisley-jangle garage-fuzz from these Philly phreaks, although this time around, the sound is actually a lot less lo-fi, and while we thought up until now, Purling Hiss was a one man band, this time around, they sound more like a proper group (which according to the liner notes they indeed now are). In fact, where past records often sounded like super stoned bedroom 4-track jams, or wasted zoner-psych via old school power pop, the new record almost sounds more like a weird mix of early Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, some mutant version of the British Invasion via the early American indie rock underground. But there's still plenty of seventies style Yellow Pills-y power popisms, loads of fuzz and buzz, jangle and crunch, hooks galore, but the sprawling jammage of past records is definitely dialed back a bunch, minus the occasional slow psych smolder or wild shreddy blowout, shifting into something more like some druggy strain of downer power pop, or maybe some outsider indie-psych gem that could have come out on Homestead back in the day, although these guys occasionally let loose and do some hard rocking, peppering their fuzzy jangle and psych garage thrum with bursts of swaggery, garage pop crunch.
Some will miss the murk, we do a little, but with all that noisiness, all that hiss and hum, stripped away, these guys reveal themselves as an indie rock force to be reckoned with, maybe a group out of time, who could be beaming these sonic transmissions from some alternate universe, where it's always 1992, or heck, maybe even 1978, and all the bands come from the Midwest, armed with 4-track recorders, big amps, beat up old vans, long hair, lots of weed and a clutch of killer jams, and until someone can actually find that glorious place, Weirdon might just be about as close as you can get...
MPEG Stream: "Forcefield Of Solitude"
MPEG Stream: "Sundance Saloon Boogie"
MPEG Stream: "Reptili-A-Genda"
MPEG Stream: "Where's Sweetboy"

album cover PURLING HISS Weirdon (Drag City) lp 17.98
Latest batch of lo-fi '60s style retro-psych paisley-jangle garage-fuzz from these Philly phreaks, although this time around, the sound is actually a lot less lo-fi, and while we thought up until now, Purling Hiss was a one man band, this time around, they sound more like a proper group (which according to the liner notes they indeed now are). In fact, where past records often sounded like super stoned bedroom 4-track jams, or wasted zoner-psych via old school power pop, the new record almost sounds more like a weird mix of early Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, some mutant version of the British Invasion via the early American indie rock underground. But there's still plenty of seventies style Yellow Pills-y power popisms, loads of fuzz and buzz, jangle and crunch, hooks galore, but the sprawling jammage of past records is definitely dialed back a bunch, minus the occasional slow psych smolder or wild shreddy blowout, shifting into something more like some druggy strain of downer power pop, or maybe some outsider indie-psych gem that could have come out on Homestead back in the day, although these guys occasionally let loose and do some hard rocking, peppering their fuzzy jangle and psych garage thrum with bursts of swaggery, garage pop crunch.
Some will miss the murk, we do a little, but with all that noisiness, all that hiss and hum, stripped away, these guys reveal themselves as an indie rock force to be reckoned with, maybe a group out of time, who could be beaming these sonic transmissions from some alternate universe, where it's always 1992, or heck, maybe even 1978, and all the bands come from the Midwest, armed with 4-track recorders, big amps, beat up old vans, long hair, lots of weed and a clutch of killer jams, and until someone can actually find that glorious place, Weirdon might just be about as close as you can get...
MPEG Stream: "Forcefield Of Solitude"
MPEG Stream: "Sundance Saloon Boogie"
MPEG Stream: "Reptili-A-Genda"
MPEG Stream: "Where's Sweetboy"

album cover PURLING HISS Weirdon (Drag City) cassette 8.98
Latest batch of lo-fi '60s style retro-psych paisley-jangle garage-fuzz from these Philly phreaks, although this time around, the sound is actually a lot less lo-fi, and while we thought up until now, Purling Hiss was a one man band, this time around, they sound more like a proper group (which according to the liner notes they indeed now are). In fact, where past records often sounded like super stoned bedroom 4-track jams, or wasted zoner-psych via old school power pop, the new record almost sounds more like a weird mix of early Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, some mutant version of the British Invasion via the early American indie rock underground. But there's still plenty of seventies style Yellow Pills-y power popisms, loads of fuzz and buzz, jangle and crunch, hooks galore, but the sprawling jammage of past records is definitely dialed back a bunch, minus the occasional slow psych smolder or wild shreddy blowout, shifting into something more like some druggy strain of downer power pop, or maybe some outsider indie-psych gem that could have come out on Homestead back in the day, although these guys occasionally let loose and do some hard rocking, peppering their fuzzy jangle and psych garage thrum with bursts of swaggery, garage pop crunch.
Some will miss the murk, we do a little, but with all that noisiness, all that hiss and hum, stripped away, these guys reveal themselves as an indie rock force to be reckoned with, maybe a group out of time, who could be beaming these sonic transmissions from some alternate universe, where it's always 1992, or heck, maybe even 1978, and all the bands come from the Midwest, armed with 4-track recorders, big amps, beat up old vans, long hair, lots of weed and a clutch of killer jams, and until someone can actually find that glorious place, Weirdon might just be about as close as you can get...
MPEG Stream: "Forcefield Of Solitude"
MPEG Stream: "Sundance Saloon Boogie"
MPEG Stream: "Reptili-A-Genda"
MPEG Stream: "Where's Sweetboy"

album cover TIN MAN Ode (Absurd) cd 17.98
First we've heard from Tin Man, aka producer Johannes Auvinen, who specializes in a gorgeously melancholy, minor key house music, downcast and skeletal, total morning-after, minimal, come down electronica. You can almost imagine this stuff playing at full volume, through huge speakers in a massive, totally empty warehouse, the floor covered with trampled rave flyers, empty cups, and discarded clothing, a sort of dance music 'world without us', Ode playing like the soundtrack to a series of images of empty clubs, of decrepit spaces, night clubs laid bare in the cruel light of day, the beats, dubby, and murky, the surrounding sounds bleary and hungover, super tranced out and mesmeric, most definitely dance music made NOT to dance to, but instead the soundtrack to an endless night, the listener hunkering down in a dimly lit corner both, waiting for a morning that may never come.
A handful of the tracks here are 'vocal' tracks, which we were quite wary of at first, especially considering that with house music, that generally means some sort of cringeworthy diva vocals, but not here. On Ode, Tin Man delivers his own dour vocalizations, a softly effected croon, deep and dramatic, sung/spoken, way down in the mix, laid back and a little bit wasted sounding, perfectly complimenting the wasted nocturnal house grooves beneath. Maybe our new favorite NON dance music, dance music record...
MPEG Stream: "No New Violence (Vocal)"
MPEG Stream: "In Your System"
MPEG Stream: "Depleted Serotonin"
MPEG Stream: "What A Shame (Vocal)"

album cover OVENS s/t (#3) ( Catholic Guilt) 7" 8.98
The latest (posthumous?) single from local noise pop geniuses the Ovens, fronted by Tony Molina of the Tony Molina Band, and if you've been digging Tony's recent solo lp, and have yet to hear the Ovens, prepare yourself for some seriously mind blowing pop overload. This single is untitled like the last two (and the cd on tUMULt) and like those records, this new (old) 7" is another dizzying survey of this group's impeccable pop chops. Eight songs in about 6 minutes, equal parts Weezer, Guided By Voices, Teenage Fanclub, the Beatles, the Fastbacks, Dinosaur Jr, plenty of fuzz and crunch and jangle, glorious harmonies, some shredding leads, laid back laconic vox, and as always, hooks galore, oodles of catchiness crammed into seconds. These tracks were recorded back in 2008, and this 7" is meant to be a sort of companion to the last single on Catholic Guilt. The sounds is a bit more lo-fi, but there's no disguising this sort of utter pop mastery. The only frustrating part of these micro-missives is that you'll find yourself flipping this single over and over and over and over and over, every three minutes...
MPEG Stream: "Left Behind"
MPEG Stream: "Talkin' Shit"
MPEG Stream: "Alone Again"
MPEG Stream: "I'm Not Insane"

album cover SHELLAC Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) cd 15.98
The best comment we heard amidst all the bitching about the recent U2 record, you know the one that just showed up in your iTunes, uninvited (and in most cases, unwanted), was that there would have been a whole lot less complaining had we all woken up to find THIS record in our iTunes. If only...
So yeah, it's a new Shellac record, and people have been freaking out (ourselves included) since word first leaked about its impending release, and its goofy/brilliant title. Thankfully, and maybe not surprisingly, very little has changed since their last record, 2007's Excellent Italian Greyhound. Right from the get go, the title track finds Steve Albini, laying down what sounds suspiciously like a lost ZZ Top riff (harkening back to that bad ass Rapeman cover of "Just Got Paid"), but then in comes Todd Trainer's ultra precise drumming, and Bob Weston's thick sinewy bass, and BAM, couldn't be anything other than Shellac, especially when Albini's sung/spoken vocals come in, and then the lyrics, a snippet of which includes the line "we'll go where the females congregate, perhaps they'll let us fuck them, and on the way, we'll have adventure", or something like that. And the sound, pure Shellac, super tight, lots of chug and pound, crazy dynamic (check out the super weirdly arranged "Compliant", that veers from some very Big Black sounding churn, to ultra spaced out stop/start breakdowns, and then some downright prettiness, along with some surprisingly croony vox!), but also UN-dynamic for much of the record, the band doing what they do best, and locking into tense / tranced out grooves, that could go on forever. Some of the tracks, like "You Came In Me" (with more 'fucking' lyrics), are super fierce, minus some goofy call and response vox, that one's a stunner, with some wild, octopoidal drumming, and one of the best guitar sounds we've heard in ages. "Riding Bikes" is a sweet curious slab of downer slowcore pound, while the beginning of "All The Surveyors" starts off with one of those parts, like the Shellac classic "Wingwalker", where live they all spread their arms out like the wings of a plane, and do a little a capella bit. Here the band do yet another little vocal intro, culminating in them howling "FUCK THE KING!!", not to mention Albini making crazed bird calls throughout. Which is kind of what makes this record (and Shellac in general) so good, and so fun. They never gave a fuck, that was obvious, but somehow now they seem to give even less of a fuck, taking the music utterly seriously, but injecting humor, whenever or wherever they feel like, the sort of stuff that to us on the outside is so obviously some sort of inside joke, or something dumb from the van or the rehearsal space, but the band take that stuff, and transform it into something as crucial to the song and sound as the music itself. That said, even without that stuff, the music itself, BY itself, is more than enough. Tracks like "The People's Microphone" are so tight, so progged out, but not wanky, it's math rock, but ultra minimal math rock, every note, and hit, concise and perfect, they're like a machine, but one that emotes, bleeds, broods, and most importantly, thinks that really goofy shit is hilarious! Like the monkey-hoisting-another-monkey-over-his-head-pro-wrestling-style cover art. And yeah, probably every review of this record will end like this, but how can we resist? Dude, INCREDIBLE!
MPEG Stream: "Dude Incredible"
MPEG Stream: "Compliant"
MPEG Stream: "You Came In Me"
MPEG Stream: "Riding Bikes"

album cover VESSEL Punish, Honey (Tri Angle) cd 14.98
The first full length from Vessel, aka producer Sebastian Gainsborough, 2012's Order Of Noise, was a perfect fit for the Tri Angle label, sounding very much like labelmates oOoOO, Balam Acab, Holy Other, etc. All warped and woozy, fractured slo-mo soul, dark, slithery, downtempo creeps that sounded like Portishead 12"s melted down, and then repressed into something much more alien, and otherworldly.
Punish, Honey is something else altogether, though. Gone are the pitch shifted vocals, the spare dubbed out minimal moodiness, and in their place, something much more bombastic and percussive, dense and collaged, and WAY more experimental. While that first record channeled the soulful murk of Burial, the sound here is almost more post industrial, still soulful for sure, but with hints of Throbbing Gristle, This Heat, and other much more avant influences, that you might not expect to hear woven into what is ostensibly dance music. That said, the music here is truly not designed for the dancefloor. Instead, in some ways at least, it hews closer to the sound design of folks like Ben Frost and Roly Porter. In fact, imagine some sort of Portishead / Ben Frost mash-up and you'd be getting close. From the opening intro, you know something has changed, what sounds like a solo performance on snare drum, in a big empty room, that blown out snare soon joined by processed recordings of what sounds like jackhammers, the result is some super abstract 20th century sounding weirdness, replete with skittery, stuttery rhythms, and keening siren like tones. It's not all that far out, but a lot of it comes close.
"Red Sex" sounds like Latin Playboys if the group was made up of robots, Marc Ribot like guitars wrapped around metallic buzz, and a churning looped beat, the vibe hazy and nocturnal, you can almost imagine someone like Tom Waits hearing a track like this and then recruiting Gainsborough to work on his new record. It's the moody, murky "Drowned In Water And Light" that really seals the deal, a cloud of swirling tones, gives way to a lumbering big beat, those tones bleeding and blurring into sinister shimmers, the sound almost like the score for some silent movie, wound around a lurching plod and pound, the atmosphere in constant motion, buzzing and thrumming, rich and lustrous and seriously haunting. From there on out Gainsborough continues to push the envelope, his mutant electronica harrowing at times, wistfully obtuse at others, a few tracks, like "Anima" sound almost like Amps For Christ, a sort of noise-folk psychedelia subtly infused into the otherwise mesmeric churn, or tracks like "Black Leaves And Broken Branches", that sounds like some lost Jewelled Antler campfire jam, all wheezing chords, muted percussion, lazy, languorous melodies, clouds of cymbal shimmer, distant horn bleats, albeit pocked with the occasional industrial burst. The final track is the 'danciest' of the bunch, but even there, the sound is noisy, and distorted, and dizzying, clattery and psychedelic, and it's preceded by two tracks of dreamy soft noise skitter and blurred Caretaker like ambient drift. Love it!!!
MPEG Stream: "Febrile"
MPEG Stream: "Red Sex"
MPEG Stream: "Drowned In Water And Light"
MPEG Stream: "Anima"
MPEG Stream: "Black Leaves And Broken Branches"

album cover VESSEL Punish, Honey (Tri Angle) 2lp 17.98
The first full length from Vessel, aka producer Sebastian Gainsborough, 2012's Order Of Noise, was a perfect fit for the Tri Angle label, sounding very much like labelmates oOoOO, Balam Acab, Holy Other, etc. All warped and woozy, fractured slo-mo soul, dark, slithery, downtempo creeps that sounded like Portishead 12"s melted down, and then repressed into something much more alien, and otherworldly.
Punish, Honey is something else altogether, though. Gone are the pitch shifted vocals, the spare dubbed out minimal moodiness, and in their place, something much more bombastic and percussive, dense and collaged, and WAY more experimental. While that first record channeled the soulful murk of Burial, the sound here is almost more post industrial, still soulful for sure, but with hints of Throbbing Gristle, This Heat, and other much more avant influences, that you might not expect to hear woven into what is ostensibly dance music. That said, the music here is truly not designed for the dancefloor. Instead, in some ways at least, it hews closer to the sound design of folks like Ben Frost and Roly Porter. In fact, imagine some sort of Portishead / Ben Frost mash-up and you'd be getting close. From the opening intro, you know something has changed, what sounds like a solo performance on snare drum, in a big empty room, that blown out snare soon joined by processed recordings of what sounds like jackhammers, the result is some super abstract 20th century sounding weirdness, replete with skittery, stuttery rhythms, and keening siren like tones. It's not all that far out, but a lot of it comes close.
"Red Sex" sounds like Latin Playboys if the group was made up of robots, Marc Ribot like guitars wrapped around metallic buzz, and a churning looped beat, the vibe hazy and nocturnal, you can almost imagine someone like Tom Waits hearing a track like this and then recruiting Gainsborough to work on his new record. It's the moody, murky "Drowned In Water And Light" that really seals the deal, a cloud of swirling tones, gives way to a lumbering big beat, those tones bleeding and blurring into sinister shimmers, the sound almost like the score for some silent movie, wound around a lurching plod and pound, the atmosphere in constant motion, buzzing and thrumming, rich and lustrous and seriously haunting. From there on out Gainsborough continues to push the envelope, his mutant electronica harrowing at times, wistfully obtuse at others, a few tracks, like "Anima" sound almost like Amps For Christ, a sort of noise-folk psychedelia subtly infused into the otherwise mesmeric churn, or tracks like "Black Leaves And Broken Branches", that sounds like some lost Jewelled Antler campfire jam, all wheezing chords, muted percussion, lazy, languorous melodies, clouds of cymbal shimmer, distant horn bleats, albeit pocked with the occasional industrial burst. The final track is the 'danciest' of the bunch, but even there, the sound is noisy, and distorted, and dizzying, clattery and psychedelic, and it's preceded by two tracks of dreamy soft noise skitter and blurred Caretaker like ambient drift. Love it!!!
MPEG Stream: "Febrile"
MPEG Stream: "Red Sex"
MPEG Stream: "Drowned In Water And Light"
MPEG Stream: "Anima"
MPEG Stream: "Black Leaves And Broken Branches"

album cover BLACK RAIN Dark Pool (Blackest Ever Black) cd 17.98
We've been super obsessed with this killer slab of grim, blackened, nocturnal, techno minimalism, a dread fueled sprawl of bleak electronica and droned out sci-fi industrialism that's even more remarkable as it's the first Black Rain release in 18 years!!
Black Rain mastermind Stuart Argabright is hardly a household name, yet the man has an impressive catalog of high-caliber recordings along an axis of futurist / cyberpunk / darkly post-punk electronica dating back to the late '70s. His first fruits were in the form of the Factory sponsored Ike Yard, whose gloomy electro-dirges followed in the wake of the No New York contingent, followed by some far more club-oriented projects including the one-hit wonder Dominatrix and the eccentric Death Comet Crew (working with the pioneer of Afro-futurism, Rammellzee). Black Rain was the band that Argabright began with fellow DCC-member Shinichi Shimokawa in 1992 or thereabouts, and was originally commissioned to draft the score for a film version of Johnny Mnemonic. Despite his long-standing friendship with Phillip K. Dick, the Black Rain tracks were scrapped in favor of a high-budget Hollywood score after Keanu Reeves was pegged for the lead. After Blackest Ever Black pressed up a short-program lp 2010 of that soundtrack work from the early '90s (all of which had appeared on the Fifth Colvmn cd entitled 1.0), Argabright returned to the Black Rain moniker, possibly with Shimokawa at his right hand again.
Dark Pool continues the thread of tense cyborg-electronica crafted through those nixed Johnny Mnemonic soundtracks. The introductory track features a spoken word preface from Sean Young (best known as the android Rachel from Blade Runner) amongst a flurry of electrically screeching birds, extending the P.K. Dick allusions. Dystopian electronic shadows and hauntological drones brace much of Dark Pool, with Black Rain snapping into rhythmic passages of taut pneumatic samples and polished-machine drum programming. "Xibalba Road Metamorph" is a track that Dominick Fernow could only dream of producing as Prurient or Vatican Shadow, hammering its electro-static pulses with iron-fisted brutality and cold-blooded precision. The aptly named "Data River" spills out clinical beeps and drill-hammer rhythms on par with the sterility of Mika Vainio's Metri or any of the Raster Noton folk, with toxic drones of any villainous techno track lurking in the distance. Black Rain does pull the rug out from under us on the final track which rockets forward with a modern-day Moroder-esque tension, all dynamic arpeggiation and teeth-gritting electronic suspense only to abruptly cut the power, marking the end of the album. If we were to apply the cinematic, gothic / sci-fi allusion that this albums begs for, then this coda marks the unexpected termination of the android protagonist. Achtung! Bang! Click. End.
MPEG Stream: "Burst"
MPEG Stream: "Xibalba Road Metamorph"
MPEG Stream: "Night In New Chiang Saen"
MPEG Stream: "Who Will Save The Tiger?"

album cover BLACK RAIN Dark Pool (Blackest Ever Black) lp 27.00
We've been super obsessed with this killer slab of grim, blackened, nocturnal, techno minimalism, a dread fueled sprawl of bleak electronica and droned out sci-fi industrialism that's even more remarkable as it's the first Black Rain release in 18 years!!
Black Rain mastermind Stuart Argabright is hardly a household name, yet the man has an impressive catalog of high-caliber recordings along an axis of futurist / cyberpunk / darkly post-punk electronica dating back to the late '70s. His first fruits were in the form of the Factory sponsored Ike Yard, whose gloomy electro-dirges followed in the wake of the No New York contingent, followed by some far more club-oriented projects including the one-hit wonder Dominatrix and the eccentric Death Comet Crew (working with the pioneer of Afro-futurism, Rammellzee). Black Rain was the band that Argabright began with fellow DCC-member Shinichi Shimokawa in 1992 or thereabouts, and was originally commissioned to draft the score for a film version of Johnny Mnemonic. Despite his long-standing friendship with Phillip K. Dick, the Black Rain tracks were scrapped in favor of a high-budget Hollywood score after Keanu Reeves was pegged for the lead. After Blackest Ever Black pressed up a short-program lp 2010 of that soundtrack work from the early '90s (all of which had appeared on the Fifth Colvmn cd entitled 1.0), Argabright returned to the Black Rain moniker, possibly with Shimokawa at his right hand again.
Dark Pool continues the thread of tense cyborg-electronica crafted through those nixed Johnny Mnemonic soundtracks. The introductory track features a spoken word preface from Sean Young (best known as the android Rachel from Blade Runner) amongst a flurry of electrically screeching birds, extending the P.K. Dick allusions. Dystopian electronic shadows and hauntological drones brace much of Dark Pool, with Black Rain snapping into rhythmic passages of taut pneumatic samples and polished-machine drum programming. "Xibalba Road Metamorph" is a track that Dominick Fernow could only dream of producing as Prurient or Vatican Shadow, hammering its electro-static pulses with iron-fisted brutality and cold-blooded precision. The aptly named "Data River" spills out clinical beeps and drill-hammer rhythms on par with the sterility of Mika Vainio's Metri or any of the Raster Noton folk, with toxic drones of any villainous techno track lurking in the distance. Black Rain does pull the rug out from under us on the final track which rockets forward with a modern-day Moroder-esque tension, all dynamic arpeggiation and teeth-gritting electronic suspense only to abruptly cut the power, marking the end of the album. If we were to apply the cinematic, gothic / sci-fi allusion that this albums begs for, then this coda marks the unexpected termination of the android protagonist. Achtung! Bang! Click. End.
MPEG Stream: "Burst"
MPEG Stream: "Xibalba Road Metamorph"
MPEG Stream: "Night In New Chiang Saen"
MPEG Stream: "Who Will Save The Tiger?"

album cover AUDITOR Form Destroyer (Annihilvs) cd-r 14.98
We raved recently about Iron Forest, a one man band trafficking in gloriously bleak and blackened industrial noise, his disc a murky expanse of wasted beatscapes and zoner dub power electronics. Auditor is the same guy. Not sure if this record by Auditor signals the end of Iron Forest (we hope not), or if it's just another gnarled offshoot, either way, Form Destroyer (possibly named after the Skullflower record, which would make sense...), basically takes up where that last Iron Forest left off, unfurling a caustic sprawl of gristled dronemusic, grinding fields of electronic static, moaning heaving swaths of suffocating low end, dense roiling clouds of sinister chordal thrum, not to mention, glitched out sort-of rhythms, processed vokills, sheets of hiss and hum, and eventually, fragmented distorted beats, which comes together on the second track, a twisted bit of dance floor destruction, with a rhythm constructed from drum machines and jackhammers (literally we think), a sort of gnarled, blackened IDM, fractured industrial techno recast as grimly groovy lurch and lumber, which quickly (d)evolves into a harrowing black ambient epic, all grinding, pulses, crumbling rib cage rattling rumbles, staticky drum machines, and primitive programmed rhythms, straddling the line between dark and moody, and truly terrifying, ultimately, and seemingly impossibly fusing the two, into something heady and hypnotic, darkly hypnotic and strangely mesmerizing.
The last two tracks change tack considerably, with "Betrayer Of Sleep" slipping into seriously blackened doom territory, a heaving slo-mo-crawl, with crumbling distortion, and oozing downtuned riffage, a lumbering deathmarch that is constantly on the verge of blurring into a blackdronedirge, while the nearly 15 minute long closer "I Can Never Be Far Enough From You", adds some female vocals, a keening, mewling cry off in the distance, over a swirling tangle of wild hiss and static drenched churn, almost like a disembodied Diamanda Galas torchsong, smeared into a bleary, blackened drift, the sound pulsing and dynamic, moments of crushing malevolence aside moments of delicate shimmer, a bit cinematic for sure, the blackness and grinding distortion eventually receding completely, leaving just some muted murk, buried melodies, distant rhythms, and that female voice repeating the title, everything eventually enveloped by soft noise and blurred buzz, for one final, almost shoegaze sounding coda, before it's just that voice, and that mantra, wreathed in effects. A haunting, and surprisingly delicate finale.
MPEG Stream: "And Vomit As You Devour Them"
MPEG Stream: "Flea On A Dead Dog"
MPEG Stream: "I Can Never Be Far Enough From You"

album cover BOTANIST VI: Flora (The Flenser) cd 13.98
Another mysterious missive from the verdant realm, which can only mean one thing, the return of THE BOTANIST, our local eco-terrorist drum and dulcimer black metal band, who in fact, have actually expanded into a proper band, and have been playing shows throughout the US recently, which we have witnessed and are pretty incredible. We can also say, that in some ways, they're even better than the records. Odds are you've likely never heard dueling hammered dulcimers, amplified and projected at great volume, accompanied by blasting drums and wheezing sruti box. But ultimately hearing the strange metallic tones of the dulcimers are extreme volume, it's kind of transcendent.
That's not to take away from the records at all, this new one, the fifth in three years (and that's not counting a split with Palace Of Worms, or the fact that they/he skipped number five for some reason), is another fantastic , psychedelic, bizarre and beautiful assemblage of sounds, most of which at this point are really only tangentially black metal. Vokill rasps, check. Furious blast beats, check. But beyond that, Botanist tend to explore some other sonic world entirely, one that's droney and atmospheric, minimal and MAXimal at the same time, the melodies of the dulcimers, no matter how much they're meant to emulate blackened riffing, sound way more alien, and abstract, in some ways it reminds us of the just intonation black metal of Jute Gyte, but the furious flurries of notes, the harmonics and the overtones, all blend into one glorious, constantly shifting organic field of sound, that's utterly mesmerizing and totally immersive, as if all the other elements are just window dressing for these thick, hypnotic, psychedelic swirls of sound. And very much like on IV: Mandragora, the songwriting seems to continue to follow a similar path, one that gets less and less black with every release, with many of the tracks here downright melodic and lovely, sans the harsh vokills, they sound more like Mono or Mogwai, epic and majestic, sun dappled and hopefully, burnished with some inner light, the melodies glowing, the sound emotional and lush, prismatic and heart wrenching. And yeah, sure there are moments more grim, but those just offer shadow, to the rest of Flora's sonic light.
MPEG Stream: "Stargazer"
MPEG Stream: "Leucadendron Argenteum"
MPEG Stream: "Pteridophyte"
MPEG Stream: "Cinnamomum Parthenoxylon"

album cover BOTANIST VI: Flora (The Flenser) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another mysterious missive from the verdant realm, which can only mean one thing, the return of THE BOTANIST, our local eco-terrorist drum and dulcimer black metal band, who in fact, have actually expanded into a proper band, and have been playing shows throughout the US recently, which we have witnessed and are pretty incredible. We can also say, that in some ways, they're even better than the records. Odds are you've likely never heard dueling hammered dulcimers, amplified and projected at great volume, accompanied by blasting drums and wheezing sruti box. But ultimately hearing the strange metallic tones of the dulcimers are extreme volume, it's kind of transcendent.
That's not to take away from the records at all, this new one, the fifth in three years (and that's not counting a split with Palace Of Worms, or the fact that they/he skipped number five for some reason), is another fantastic , psychedelic, bizarre and beautiful assemblage of sounds, most of which at this point are really only tangentially black metal. Vokill rasps, check. Furious blast beats, check. But beyond that, Botanist tend to explore some other sonic world entirely, one that's droney and atmospheric, minimal and MAXimal at the same time, the melodies of the dulcimers, no matter how much they're meant to emulate blackened riffing, sound way more alien, and abstract, in some ways it reminds us of the just intonation black metal of Jute Gyte, but the furious flurries of notes, the harmonics and the overtones, all blend into one glorious, constantly shifting organic field of sound, that's utterly mesmerizing and totally immersive, as if all the other elements are just window dressing for these thick, hypnotic, psychedelic swirls of sound. And very much like on IV: Mandragora, the songwriting seems to continue to follow a similar path, one that gets less and less black with every release, with many of the tracks here downright melodic and lovely, sans the harsh vokills, they sound more like Mono or Mogwai, epic and majestic, sun dappled and hopefully, burnished with some inner light, the melodies glowing, the sound emotional and lush, prismatic and heart wrenching. And yeah, sure there are moments more grim, but those just offer shadow, to the rest of Flora's sonic light.
MPEG Stream: "Stargazer"
MPEG Stream: "Leucadendron Argenteum"
MPEG Stream: "Pteridophyte"
MPEG Stream: "Cinnamomum Parthenoxylon"

album cover EARTH Primitive And Deadly (Southern Lord) 2lp 30.00
We'd been hearing a lot of gripes about this new Earth record, and seen more than a few bad reviews, most of them based on the fact that this is the first Earth record to feature singing, and not just any singing, but from guest vocalists, as in Mark Lanegan, and Rabi Shabeen Qazi of Seattle psych rock outfit Rose Windows, and heck, speaking of guests, even the guy from Built To Spill plays guitar! But don't get to freaked out, the sound is most definitely very Earth-like, and if anything it's a lot heavier than the last few records, it's still all twang flecked and glacial, a woozy, loping sprawl equal parts SUNNO))) and Morricone, and this time around, it actually sounds like the went all the way back to their 1996 Pentastar record for some inspiration, the opener, is dense, and heavy as fuck, with a killer main riff, not to mention lots of extra guitars keening and winding their way around the proceedings, the drums more of a minimal pulse, but the sky full of swirling guitars, sheets of feedback, down tuned chugs, it's fierce and fucking fantastic, and we'd have been happy if that was the only song and it just stretched out forEVER.
So let's get to the vocals by starting with the fact, that we'd be hard pressed to find someone who didn't think Lanegan has a killer voice. Sure some of his record have been a bit blah, but his voice is fantastic, weathered and worn, raspy and emotional, expressive and passionate, his low rumbling croon easily swooping into a wail, and really, it's not hard to imagine why Earth chose him, his voice is perfect for Earth's slow burn dirge metal blooze, and like the first track, the sound is massive, lots of feedback, and tangled melodies, a plodding behemoth of a rhythm, and Lanegan's voice, which transforms it into the heaviest Screaming Trees song that never was, which is absolutely a good thing. The there's Rabi Shabeen Qazi, who sings on "From The Zodiacal Light", the track that had been making the rounds before the record's release, and it's gorgeous, languorous, smoldering and sultry, twangy, bloozey, a little dirge, dusky, dusty, and Qazi' vocals work perfectly, he voice smokey and sultry, and powerful, sounding a times a little like Perry Farrell too which is strange, but makes sense, that timbre of voice paired with heaving heaviness, at times we expected thing to explode into "The Mountain Sound", but instead, the track unwinds gradually, a heady, heavy, psychedelic slow burn that really, it's tough to find anything not to like about it.
Lanegan returns again closer "Rocks Across The Gate", and more than the other track, this almost sounds like a jam from one of Lanegan's solo records, albeit a bit heavier, and again, it works, perfectly. Wouldn't be surprised if he joined Earth on a semi-permanent basis, we sure wouldn't complain, that's for sure.
Either way, musically, it's more of the Earth we love, a bit heavier, but essentially, more blown out twang flecked metal blooze, the vocals add a whole 'nother dimension, that we are digging a LOT.
The lp version includes a bonus track not on the cd, which is a sort of sonic bookend to the opener, another slow-blooze heavy psych crawl, this time with some extra fuzz and FX, but a pretty perfect finish for sure...
MPEG Stream: "Torn By the Fox Of The Crescent Moon"
MPEG Stream: "There Is A Serpent Coming"
MPEG Stream: "From The Zodiacal Light"

album cover HOWLING WIND, THE Of Babalon (Sylvan Screams Analog) cassette 5.00
The Howling Wind is the duo of Tim Call and Ryan Lipynsky, whose combined black metal CV is kinda ridiculous/amazing: Aldebaran, Serpentine Path, Saturnalia Temple, Villains Mournful Congregation, Hail, Thralldom, Unearthly Trance and loads more. Needless to say, these two make a potent pairing, and this one is a cassette version of their 2012 release Of Babalon (there's a new one one since called Vortex), which sounds a bit like you might imagine from the above list, sure there's dense, buzzing furious blackness, but there's also churning, downtuned doomi-ic sludge, most of the tracks are laced with psychedelic leads, or wild metal shredding, and the sound itself, while plenty grim, offurs much in the way of ambience and atmosphere, with even the blurriest of blasts infused with plenty of haunting moodiness, and the guitars layered into epic swaths of sonic fury, soaring majestically, and becoming almost psychedelic at times. There's also a seriously proggy vibe as well, the tracks lurching from tangled chaos to looped harmonic wooziness and back again. Definitely a good balance between classic black metal and the new wave of modern avant/post USBM, and some of the tracks definitely remind us of other likeminded outfits, like Yellow Eyes or Ash Borer or Krallice (Colin Marston from Krallice did produce this record after all), one even reminds of Norwegian BM groovers Khold! But Howling Wind situate themselves somewhere closer to the classic sound of orthodox black metal, albeit, reworked for the modern age...
MPEG Stream: "The Seal Upon The Tomb"
MPEG Stream: "Beast Of The Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Graal"

album cover NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Brill Bruisers (Matador) cassette 12.98
The first song on this new record from longtime aQ faves the New Pornographers is SO good. It's easily their best song since their breakout hit "Letter To An Occupant", it instantly evokes the classic Brill Building of the title, the powerhouse hit factory from the sixties, and positions the Pornographers as real Brill Bruisers, whipping up a track like the title track here effortlessly, lush, bombastic, almost symphonic, hooky as hell, with amazing vocals, melodies, plenty of ooohhh's and aahhhh's, even some synths, it's just shy of 3 minutes, but it really is one of those songs most pop bands spend their whole lives striving toward. When we first discovered the New Pornographers, they were a revelation, born of one of our favorite pop bands ever, Zumpano (c'mon Sub Pop, time's ripe for a Zumpano reissue!!!), The NP's took Zumpano's orchestral bombast and polished it up a bit, adding Neko Case to the equation and striking gold. Over the years, the NPs made their way squarely into the mainstream, and while we have always been tempted to write them off as mom rock or dad rock or NPR rock, every time we dig into a new record, we're reminded that these guys and gals are kind of pop geniuses. And this new one drives that point home big time. If you can make it past the opener, which to be honest, took us about 20 plays, there's lots more pop goodness to be found. The sound instantly recognizable as the New Pornographers, but with plenty of modern tweaks, more synths, a lush production, but ultimately, just some fantastic sounds, expertly crafted, music, vocals, sound, it's all wound into gorgeously hook heavy ebullient pop music, that sounds totally timeless, making the title even more appropriate. And while to varying degrees we love all the tracks here, other super favorites include "War On The East Coast", which is a bit darker and synthier, but with one of the records best, and most bombastic hooks, then there's "Backstairs" which almost sounds like some old Zumpano B-side, or "Fantasy Fools" which might have been our favorite track here if it weren't for that opener, heck, just get over whatever guilty pleasure / "these guys are all over NPR" reservations you might have, and dig into what might be one of the best pop records of the year. You won't be sorry. And please write a letter to Sub Pop and let's get this Zumpano reissue campaign going!!
MPEG Stream: "Brill Bruisers"
MPEG Stream: "Champions Of Red Wine"
MPEG Stream: "Fantasy Fools"
MPEG Stream: "War On The East Coast"

album cover OUR LOVE WILL DESTROY THE WORLD Hive Hum Golden Remorse (Don't Fuck With Magic) cd-r 14.98
After a brief spell of relative musical inactivity, or so it seemed, Mr. Campbell Kneale is back. Most recently with a solo cd-r we reviewed right here a few lists back (we still have a few copies just ask) and now with another new jam, this one from his alter ego Our Love Will Destroy The World, who dials back some of the sonic onslaught of his recent solo outing, and sculpts something much more hauntingly majestic and noisily raga-like, a deliriously Sunroof-like ur-drone, wavery and woozy, wreathed in dense sheets of undulating noise, and underpinned by an ominous, almost doom-like creep, loping and lumbering, the sound in constant flux, strangely melancholy, but dreamily sun-dappled, even when smothered by grinding static and heaving chordal thrum. Some of the buried melodies sound almost like wordless vox, giving it a strange, almost Amps For Christ like vibe, at times like some noise drenched alien sea shanty, and at others like a twisted remix of some lost Hermann Nitsch aktion. Headphones are most definitely required, and allow you to sink deep into Kneale's wildly psychedelic noise-world, which just might be the prettiest/best thing we've heard from him in a while. WAY recommended, for noise nerds, dronelords, and raga revellers alike!
Super duper limited as always, we're maybe the only place in the US that's got 'em, and in the usual fancy Don't Fuck With Magic packaging, an oversized full color sleeve, adorned with original Kneale artwork.
MPEG Stream: "Hive Hum Golden Remorse"

album cover SAMMATH Godless Arrogance (Sylvan Screams Analog) cassette 5.00
First we've heard from this Dutch combo, even though it's their FIFTH full length, and judging from this new one, man have we been missing out. The first minute is an impossibly furious and fierce, almost blacknoise blowout, a flurry of blast beats wrapped in sheets of blurred buzz that ends up sounding almost like wild, experimental blackened freenoise, eventually, the sound settles into something a bit more traditionally black metal, but only just, Sammath's black metal retains that unhinged, chaotic vibe throughout, with pretty much every note here wound up in dense, dizzying tangles of death tinged blackness, the sound vicious, raw, harsh, hellish and noisy, reminding us at times of Gorgoroth's Destroyer record, at least in terms of pushing the actual sonics about as far as they can go. Closer listening reveals much going on below the surface, a churning morass of raw black metal fused to almost psychedelic sounding blackness, the group deftly (and subtly) adding melancholic melodies and lush textures to what is otherwise a gloriously grim and sonically punishing onslaught, the tracks continuously exploding into epic majesty before (d)evolving into more frenzied avant black buzz. AWESOME!
MPEG Stream: "Shot In Mass"
MPEG Stream: "Fear Upon Them"
MPEG Stream: "Godless"

album cover TAURUS No/Thing (Devout) lp + cd + patch + wooden box 60.00
Most doom metal can be pretty easily classified, categorized or pigeonholed, whether it be stoner doom, funereal doom, sludge, epic doom, doom-folk, death-doom, psych-doom, dooooooooom or whatever other variant folks have cooked up. While plenty of bands do manage to transcend their classification, rare is the doomy beast that defies categorization all together, which is most definitely the case with Northwest duo Taurus, made up of Stevie Floyd (from psychedelic avant doom duo Dark Castle) and Ashley Spungin (of late great mystical metallic garage rockers Purple Rhinestone Eagle). Together they have conjured up a sound we could describe as impressionistic doom, or maybe abstract doom. Right from the outset, the various doomic elements, the usual sonic tropes are recast, filtered through the lives and experiences of these two woman, the result super dynamic, ultra heavy, extremely atmospheric, darkly ritualistic, hauntingly psychedelic, the opening track's main riff sounds like slo-mo Voivod played by Greg Ginn, all woozy and warbly, over churning drum pound, and laced with both deep witchy crooned vox, and more harsh vokills, all wound in a dizzying atonal sonic spiral that's harrowingly hypnotic and utterly mesmeric. But before that even happens, there's a gorgeously terrifying intro assembled from looped riffy churn, pounding percussive bombast, weird sample voices, and more howled shrieked vokills, a tense, and intense push and pull. The sound soon settles into something a bit more traditionally metallic, but only just, the vibe more like slowed down black metal than doom. It's like Deathspell Omega at 16rpm, barring the brief squalls of frenzied blackened freakout, but again, like that first track, the sound is warped and avant, even choice of notes, melody, rhythm, all seem obtuse and OTHER, which gives the whole record a sense of OTHERness, an outsider quality, that infuses even the most orthodox of moments with twisted pathos and deep emotion.
After those two relatively brief tracks, Taurus unfurl an epic psychedelic sprawl with "Set Forth On The Path Of The Infinite", setting the stage with swooping backwards melodies, simple ukulele (!) melody, reverbed samples, dense throbs of crumbling low end, a slow build bit of black ambience that sounds more like some lost arthouse soundtrack, and even when the drums come in, instead of exploding into a metallic onslaught, the track lopes and lumbers. And again, in swoop the guitars, and they're strange and alien, the melodies difficult, obtuse, accompanied by feral vocal howls, the song bursting into action in fits and starts, the sound ebbs and flows, eventually switching gears completely, with soaring angelic vox, over a backdrop of thick drum pound, and a slowly melting tangle of guitar keen and moan, before finishing off with another bit of haunting folkiness.
The tracks here are less riffscapes, and more a sort of ever shifting landscape of doom-ed sound, the riffs that do surface, are often indistinct, not so much riffs, as loose tangles of notes and chords that seem ghostly, and gauzy, occasionally indeed coalescing into proper riffage, but just as often drifting apart into something less distinct, more blurred and smeary, those sounds oozing and bleeding into each other, what in the hands of a more traditional doom outfit, would be more riffy and song-like all howl and pound, here becomes something ethereal and darkly psychedelic, abstract and ephemeral, and yeah, it's still heavy, but that heaviness is only loosely tethered, instead it's allowed to drift and dissipate, like on the other epic track here, "Increase Aloneness", which layers choral vocals over some roiling organ, a sort of blackened disembodied prog, by way of Arvo Part perhaps, here the build is slow, and distinctly non-metallic, samples only adding to the creepiness, to the twisted emotion, until finally, a MASSIVE riff comes cascading in, and the song is transformed into a churning, chugging behemoth, but that riff occasionally flickers and blinks out, leaving just Spungeon's double kick drum bombast, and that swirling psychedelic organ, building tension until the riff returns and so it goes, back and forth, light and shadow, love and hate, a tense/intense blackened majesty, an impossibly epic culmination of it's various constituent parts. The final track features Wrest from Leviathan adding vocals (he plays in a new group with Floyd called Devout), and we were expecting straight up some straight up black buzz brutality, but instead Wrest's croak drifts wraithlike atop a swirling morass of whirring organ, loose almost jazzy drumming, surrounded by dense billows of mysterious murk, and lush, decaying layers of drone and thrum, a sinister sprawl of grim psychedelic ambience, and textured cinematic moodiness, a Cold Meat Industry style sonic brood building to a bleak coda, suffocating and soul shearing, all by way of something infinitely more black and unknowable. No/Thing is harrowing and heavy, dense and demonic, but also spiritual and personal, intimate and introspective, and fucking fantastic.
We have both the lp version and the cd version, and for a very limited time, we also have just a tiny handful of the super limited, ultra deluxe BOXset version of No/Thing, which includes the colored vinyl version of of the lp, the cd version as well, a large silkscreened back patch / tapestry, a double sided lyric sheet / mandala, all housed in a hand screen printed, stained and shellacked wooden box, each one hand numbered and limited to 100 copies, and again, we only have a two or three...
MPEG Stream: "Nothing / Longing, Human Impermanence"
MPEG Stream: "Lives Long FOr Own"
MPEG Stream: "Set Forth On The Path Of The Intimate"

album cover V/A No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds Of The North-West Grunge Era 1986-97 (Soul Jazz) 2cd 30.00
Obviously, we listen to all sorts of music here, and maybe also obviously, a lot of it is way outside the mainstream, whether it's psychedelic space rock, cinematic avant doom, dirgedronedrift, but when we're totally honest with ourselves (some of us at least, sure you can guess who), there are two genres that we always go back to. The stuff we listen to when we're NOT writing reviews, for pure pleasure, on roadtrips, on iPods, the soundtrack to many a journey, and those two genres would be eighties metal, and grunge. And for sure it has to do with our ages, and when we grew up, and what we grew up listening to, but grunge was HUGE for some of us. We subscribed to the Sub Pop singles club, we hunted down obscure 7"s on C/Z, and other smaller labels, we of course dug the usual suspects, Tad, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Green River and all the rest, but we were (and are) pretty obsessed, digging way deeper, and trust us, we could go on and on about our favorite super obscure (and sort of obscure) grunge outfits: Swallow, Cat Butt, Sprinkler, Thirty Ought Six, Malfunkshun, Love Battery, The Fluid, Green Magnet School, Gruntruck, Best Kissers In The World, Truly, Blood Circus, and yet not a single one of them are found here, nope, the folks at Soul Jazz dig REALLY DEEP, so much so, that even the grunge nerds around aQ only recognized EIGHT of the bands included on this comp, so we were super psyched to get schooled on one of our favorite genres. And to be fair, not all of this is strictly grunge, some of the stuff here is more straight up punk rock, some is pretty experimental, but some is seriously and fantastically grungy. Things start off with a band we knew and loved already, Starfish, whose girl grunge dabbled heavily in shoegaze, sounding to us at least, like a grunge version of Team Dresch, which is most definitely a good thing. Vampire Lezbos are pretty grungy too, and before now totally unknown to us, but all swagger, snarly riffage, some hard rock shreddery, that is until the song explodes into full on punk rock bash and howl, the rest of the song seesawing back and forth between the two. Nubbin are pretty great too, definitely grungy, a little bit jangly and Nirvana-esque, their song "Windyyy" borrowing the opening riff from a much more famous sing with the same (sort of) title. Saucer, who we had never heard before, are total grunge, all sort of hard rock swagger, and laid back riffage, heavy but also sort of stone-y. The first real WTF moment comes from Hitting Birth, who we were of course familiar with, but who we never considered grunge, and they're not grunge here either, more sort of early lo-fi industrial, to be fair it is SORT of grungy, but the metallic rhythms, the strange percussion, there's even some turntable scratching, makes it an interesting sonic reference point for the movement, and we do have to say, it's the coolest Hitting Birth song we've heard.
Other favorites include Pod, the pre-Mudhoney, pre-Tad outfit Bundle Of Hiss, the very Skin Yard sounding Helltrout, who were considered one of the heavier bands in Seattle at the time (late eighties to mid nineties), then there's the fuzzy jangle pop of Chemistry Set, that seems to owe more to R.E.M. than anything, and My Name, who are almost like funk-grunge (and we mean that as a compliment), the all female grunge-chug of Shug, and the noisy girl-grunt post punk of Calamity Jane, and so much more. Anyone into grunge will dig this like crazy, and a bunch of these bands have full lengths, well worth tracking down, and of course, it's Soul Jazz, so there's a huge book, full of extensive liner notes, with rare photos, and a blurb on each band, as well as some appendices, like a list of various band members still active today and what bands they play in now, as well as a six degrees of Nirvana chart, that connects each band on the comp to the godfathers of grunge, in some cases in just one move, with a handful of band members having actually played in the group, and at least one having had the group play their birthday party!
Available as a double cd, or a fairly pricey 4 lp set, sold in two separate 2lp volumes.
MPEG Stream: STARFISH "This Town"
MPEG Stream: NUBBIN "Windyyy"
MPEG Stream: SAUCER "Jail Ain't Stoppin' Us"
MPEG Stream: HITTING BIRTH "Same 18"
MPEG Stream: HELLTROUT "Precious Hyde"
MPEG Stream: BUNDLE OF HISS "Wench"
MPEG Stream: CHEMISTRY SET "Fields"
MPEG Stream: CALAMITY JANE "Magdalena"

album cover V/A No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds Of The North-West Grunge Era 1986-97 (Volume One) (Soul Jazz) 2lp 34.00
LISTED THE DOUBLE CD EDITION OF THIS COMP LAST WEEK, ALSO NOW HERE'S THE VINYL VERSION, IN TWO PARTS...
Obviously, we listen to all sorts of music here, and maybe also obviously, a lot of it is way outside the mainstream, whether it's psychedelic space rock, cinematic avant doom, dirgedronedrift, but when we're totally honest with ourselves (some of us at least, sure you can guess who), there are two genres that we always go back to. The stuff we listen to when we're NOT writing reviews, for pure pleasure, on roadtrips, on iPods, the soundtrack to many a journey, and those two genres would be eighties metal, and grunge. And for sure it has to do with our ages, and when we grew up, and what we grew up listening to, but grunge was HUGE for some of us. We subscribed to the Sub Pop singles club, we hunted down obscure 7"s on C/Z, and other smaller labels, we of course dug the usual suspects, Tad, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Green River and all the rest, but we were (and are) pretty obsessed, digging way deeper, and trust us, we could go on and on about our favorite super obscure (and sort of obscure) grunge outfits: Swallow, Cat Butt, Sprinkler, Thirty Ought Six, Malfunkshun, Love Battery, The Fluid, Green Magnet School, Gruntruck, Best Kissers In The World, Truly, Blood Circus, and yet not a single one of them are found here, nope, the folks at Soul Jazz dig REALLY DEEP, so much so, that even the grunge nerds around aQ only recognized EIGHT of the bands included on this comp, so we were super psyched to get schooled on one of our favorite genres. And to be fair, not all of this is strictly grunge, some of the stuff here is more straight up punk rock, some is pretty experimental, but some is seriously and fantastically grungy. Things start off with a band we knew and loved already, Starfish, whose girl grunge dabbled heavily in shoegaze, sounding to us at least, like a grunge version of Team Dresch, which is most definitely a good thing. Vampire Lezbos are pretty grungy too, and before now totally unknown to us, but all swagger, snarly riffage, some hard rock shreddery, that is until the song explodes into full on punk rock bash and howl, the rest of the song seesawing back and forth between the two. Nubbin are pretty great too, definitely grungy, a little bit jangly and Nirvana-esque, their song "Windyyy" borrowing the opening riff from a much more famous sing with the same (sort of) title. Saucer, who we had never heard before, are total grunge, all sort of hard rock swagger, and laid back riffage, heavy but also sort of stone-y. The first real WTF moment comes from Hitting Birth, who we were of course familiar with, but who we never considered grunge, and they're not grunge here either, more sort of early lo-fi industrial, to be fair it is SORT of grungy, but the metallic rhythms, the strange percussion, there's even some turntable scratching, makes it an interesting sonic reference point for the movement, and we do have to say, it's the coolest Hitting Birth song we've heard.
Other favorites include Pod, the pre-Mudhoney, pre-Tad outfit Bundle Of Hiss, the very Skin Yard sounding Helltrout, who were considered one of the heavier bands in Seattle at the time (late eighties to mid nineties), then there's the fuzzy jangle pop of Chemistry Set, that seems to owe more to R.E.M. than anything, and My Name, who are almost like funk-grunge (and we mean that as a compliment), the all female grunge-chug of Shug, and the noisy girl-grunt post punk of Calamity Jane, and so much more. Anyone into grunge will dig this like crazy, and a bunch of these bands have full lengths, well worth tracking down, and of course, it's Soul Jazz, so there's a huge book, full of extensive liner notes, with rare photos, and a blurb on each band, as well as some appendices, like a list of various band members still active today and what bands they play in now, as well as a six degrees of Nirvana chart, that connects each band on the comp to the godfathers of grunge, in some cases in just one move, with a handful of band members having actually played in the group, and at least one having had the group play their birthday party!
Available as a double cd, or a fairly pricey 4 lp set, sold in two separate 2lp volumes.
MPEG Stream: STARFISH "This Town"
MPEG Stream: NUBBIN "Windyyy"
MPEG Stream: SAUCER "Jail Ain't Stoppin' Us"
MPEG Stream: HITTING BIRTH "Same 18"
MPEG Stream: HELLTROUT "Precious Hyde"
MPEG Stream: BUNDLE OF HISS "Wench"
MPEG Stream: CHEMISTRY SET "Fields"
MPEG Stream: CALAMITY JANE "Magdalena"

album cover V/A No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds Of The North-West Grunge Era 1986-97 (Volume Two) (Soul Jazz) 2lp 34.00
LISTED THE DOUBLE CD EDITION OF THIS COMP LAST WEEK, ALSO NOW HERE'S THE VINYL VERSION, IN TWO PARTS...
Obviously, we listen to all sorts of music here, and maybe also obviously, a lot of it is way outside the mainstream, whether it's psychedelic space rock, cinematic avant doom, dirgedronedrift, but when we're totally honest with ourselves (some of us at least, sure you can guess who), there are two genres that we always go back to. The stuff we listen to when we're NOT writing reviews, for pure pleasure, on roadtrips, on iPods, the soundtrack to many a journey, and those two genres would be eighties metal, and grunge. And for sure it has to do with our ages, and when we grew up, and what we grew up listening to, but grunge was HUGE for some of us. We subscribed to the Sub Pop singles club, we hunted down obscure 7"s on C/Z, and other smaller labels, we of course dug the usual suspects, Tad, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Green River and all the rest, but we were (and are) pretty obsessed, digging way deeper, and trust us, we could go on and on about our favorite super obscure (and sort of obscure) grunge outfits: Swallow, Cat Butt, Sprinkler, Thirty Ought Six, Malfunkshun, Love Battery, The Fluid, Green Magnet School, Gruntruck, Best Kissers In The World, Truly, Blood Circus, and yet not a single one of them are found here, nope, the folks at Soul Jazz dig REALLY DEEP, so much so, that even the grunge nerds around aQ only recognized EIGHT of the bands included on this comp, so we were super psyched to get schooled on one of our favorite genres. And to be fair, not all of this is strictly grunge, some of the stuff here is more straight up punk rock, some is pretty experimental, but some is seriously and fantastically grungy. Things start off with a band we knew and loved already, Starfish, whose girl grunge dabbled heavily in shoegaze, sounding to us at least, like a grunge version of Team Dresch, which is most definitely a good thing. Vampire Lezbos are pretty grungy too, and before now totally unknown to us, but all swagger, snarly riffage, some hard rock shreddery, that is until the song explodes into full on punk rock bash and howl, the rest of the song seesawing back and forth between the two. Nubbin are pretty great too, definitely grungy, a little bit jangly and Nirvana-esque, their song "Windyyy" borrowing the opening riff from a much more famous sing with the same (sort of) title. Saucer, who we had never heard before, are total grunge, all sort of hard rock swagger, and laid back riffage, heavy but also sort of stone-y. The first real WTF moment comes from Hitting Birth, who we were of course familiar with, but who we never considered grunge, and they're not grunge here either, more sort of early lo-fi industrial, to be fair it is SORT of grungy, but the metallic rhythms, the strange percussion, there's even some turntable scratching, makes it an interesting sonic reference point for the movement, and we do have to say, it's the coolest Hitting Birth song we've heard.
Other favorites include Pod, the pre-Mudhoney, pre-Tad outfit Bundle Of Hiss, the very Skin Yard sounding Helltrout, who were considered one of the heavier bands in Seattle at the time (late eighties to mid nineties), then there's the fuzzy jangle pop of Chemistry Set, that seems to owe more to R.E.M. than anything, and My Name, who are almost like funk-grunge (and we mean that as a compliment), the all female grunge-chug of Shug, and the noisy girl-grunt post punk of Calamity Jane, and so much more. Anyone into grunge will dig this like crazy, and a bunch of these bands have full lengths, well worth tracking down, and of course, it's Soul Jazz, so there's a huge book, full of extensive liner notes, with rare photos, and a blurb on each band, as well as some appendices, like a list of various band members still active today and what bands they play in now, as well as a six degrees of Nirvana chart, that connects each band on the comp to the godfathers of grunge, in some cases in just one move, with a handful of band members having actually played in the group, and at least one having had the group play their birthday party!
Available as a double cd, or a fairly pricey 4 lp set, sold in two separate 2lp volumes.
MPEG Stream: STARFISH "This Town"
MPEG Stream: NUBBIN "Windyyy"
MPEG Stream: SAUCER "Jail Ain't Stoppin' Us"
MPEG Stream: HITTING BIRTH "Same 18"
MPEG Stream: HELLTROUT "Precious Hyde"
MPEG Stream: BUNDLE OF HISS "Wench"
MPEG Stream: CHEMISTRY SET "Fields"
MPEG Stream: CALAMITY JANE "Magdalena"

album cover ORGAN FANZINE #Fuckin' 1 magazine 14.98
Self-proclaimed "The Elite Splatter Junkies Digest"! This is the debut issue of a new death/gore oriented music 'n' movies fanzine, that's entirely hand-written (a la Galactic Zoo Dossier). What a lot of work, it's incredibly painstakingly done, with elaborate hand-drawn art bordering each page as well - there were literally hundreds of man-hours devoted to this issue (read the intro, it took 2 years and we believe it!!).
Bands interviewed include Morbus Chron, Nocturnal, Asphyx, Cianide, Grave Upheaval, and Impetigo, among others. Equally wholesome is all the content pertaining to exploitation cinema, with tons of reviews of cult horror classics. And then there's the comix, lots of sick stuff there too. Particular features of note: "Confessions Of A Teenage VHS Bootlegger", "Colinoscopy's Top Ten Japanese Hardcore Bands", "Leather Women And Steel" (an article on '80s swords & sorcery flicks)É
Definitely read this in good light, and/or with a magnifying glass, if you want to not strain your eyes too much. Perfect bound, (very) black & white, 116 densely-packed, hyper violently entertaining pages. Published by the fine folks at Hells Headbangers, by the way.

album cover EARTH Primitive And Deadly (Southern Lord) cd 14.98
We'd been hearing a lot of gripes about this new Earth record, and seen more than a few bad reviews, most of them based on the fact that this is the first Earth record to feature singing, and not just any singing, but from guest vocalists, as in Mark Lanegan, and Rabi Shabeen Qazi of Seattle psych rock outfit Rose Windows, and heck, speaking of guests, even the guy from Built To Spill plays guitar! But don't get to freaked out, the sound is most definitely very Earth-like, and if anything it's a lot heavier than the last few records, it's still all twang flecked and glacial, a woozy, loping sprawl equal parts SUNNO))) and Morricone, and this time around, it actually sounds like the went all the way back to their 1996 Pentastar record for some inspiration, the opener, is dense, and heavy as fuck, with a killer main riff, not to mention lots of extra guitars keening and winding their way around the proceedings, the drums more of a minimal pulse, but the sky full of swirling guitars, sheets of feedback, down tuned chugs, it's fierce and fucking fantastic, and we'd have been happy if that was the only song and it just stretched out forEVER.
So let's get to the vocals by starting with the fact, that we'd be hard pressed to find someone who didn't think Lanegan has a killer voice. Sure some of his record have been a bit blah, but his voice is fantastic, weathered and worn, raspy and emotional, expressive and passionate, his low rumbling croon easily swooping into a wail, and really, it's not hard to imagine why Earth chose him, his voice is perfect for Earth's slow burn dirge metal blooze, and like the first track, the sound is massive, lots of feedback, and tangled melodies, a plodding behemoth of a rhythm, and Lanegan's voice, which transforms it into the heaviest Screaming Trees song that never was, which is absolutely a good thing. The there's Rabi Shabeen Qazi, who sings on "From The Zodiacal Light", the track that had been making the rounds before the record's release, and it's gorgeous, languorous, smoldering and sultry, twangy, bloozey, a little dirge, dusky, dusty, and Qazi' vocals work perfectly, he voice smokey and sultry, and powerful, sounding a times a little like Perry Farrell too which is strange, but makes sense, that timbre of voice paired with heaving heaviness, at times we expected thing to explode into "The Mountain Sound", but instead, the track unwinds gradually, a heady, heavy, psychedelic slow burn that really, it's tough to find anything not to like about it.
Lanegan returns again closer "Rocks Across The Gate", and more than the other track, this almost sounds like a jam from one of Lanegan's solo records, albeit a bit heavier, and again, it works, perfectly. Wouldn't be surprised if he joined Earth on a semi-permanent basis, we sure wouldn't complain, that's for sure.
Either way, musically, it's more of the Earth we love, a bit heavier, but essentially, more blown out twang flecked metal blooze, the vocals add a whole 'nother dimension, that we are digging a LOT.
The lp version includes a bonus track not on the cd, which is a sort of sonic bookend to the opener, another slow-blooze heavy psych crawl, this time with some extra fuzz and FX, but a pretty perfect finish for sure...
MPEG Stream: "Torn By the Fox Of The Crescent Moon"
MPEG Stream: "There Is A Serpent Coming"
MPEG Stream: "From The Zodiacal Light"

album cover PIG HEART TRANSPLANT For Mass Consumption (20 Buck Spin) cd 10.98
Latest slab of pummeling, punishing industrial power violence from this local one man band, who also just so happens to be 1/2 of another band we love, Iron Lung, but unlike Iron Lung, BHT, aka Jon Kortland, creates twisted blurts of caustic noise, grinding, distorted power electronics, and brutal metallic churn. This latest is split into 28 tracks, each 44 seconds long, each a sonic stunner, from skull cleaving blown out crush to sculpted static over stuttering jack hammer rhythms, it's a hard sound to swallow, difficult listening for sure, and it's likely most metalheads might find this a bit too brutal, and too abrasive, and probably not metal enough, which is saying a lot, but for folks into twisted avant noise, industrial and power electronics, outfits like Ramleh and Skullflower, Whitehouse and Swans, Brighter Death Now and Bastard Noise, PHT definitely fits somewhere amongst all their equally sonically twisted brethren!
Some tracks are strangely atmospheric, others purely rhythmic, the sounds themselves blown out and in-the-red, plenty of sonic gristle, crumbling feedback, hiss and hum and skree and squalls of feedback, metallic clang and clatter, with sounds often exploding into wild gouts of white noise, but just as often evolving into murky pulsations. Heady, heavy and hypnotic, the vocals a wild bellow, the only really link to the group's punk/metal roots, otherwise, the sounds is more experimental, and avant, and even with the vocals, the vibe is more like some lost industrial outfit from the eighties or nineties. There are plenty of surprise too though, moments of unlikely melody and beauty ("1970"), gorgeous bits of grey ambient drift ("Scum"), and a bunch of tracks that almost play out more like some warped variant of minimal techno, all skeletal crunch, and stuttery throb, and yet, it all somehow works together as this bizarre, noise drenched hydra-headed, 28 part psychedelic, power electronic noise-crust epic. And it KILLS.
Awesome orange and black minimal cover art too.
MPEG Stream: "Drug"
MPEG Stream: "Film"
MPEG Stream: "Gift"
MPEG Stream: "Dull"
MPEG Stream: "Copy"
MPEG Stream: "1970"

album cover STREET TRASH (RICK ULFIK) OST (Lunaris ) lp 25.00
We LOVE Street Trash, one of the silliest, goriest, goofiest movies ever, and easily one of our favorite good 'bad' movies. The label describes the 1987 horror flick as the ultimate "melt movie", which is definitely true, although we never realized that was an actual genre. And for lots of you, that probably makes no sense at all. But it will. Street Trash begins when a liquor store owner finds an old case of 'Tenafly Viper' in his basement, some kind of cheap wine, and decides to sell it cheap. It's of course snapped up by the city's homeless population, who begin to, yep, you guessed it, MELT!! THEY MELT!!!
There's also a subplot about a mean Vietnam Vet who rules the junkyard, but really it's all about the glorious gore, and again, it's not bloody gore as much as it's a sort of over the top Technicolor gore, with the hapless victims of the tainted malt liquor dissolving into greasy pools of rainbow hued goop, most notably one guy who sits on a toilet to drink in peace, and who begins to melt and drip and ooze and eventually becomes a mushy prismatic pool in (and around) the toilet bowl...
And really all the rest is just window dressing, you know, there's some story and a little plot and all that, but it's all about the melting, a grossout hobo holocaust that is like that head melting scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark stretched out into a feature length film!
And like a lot of these films, we didn't necessarily remember the music, but revisiting now, we were pretty blown away. The score by Rick Ulfik is pretty cool, creepy and synthy, some tracks all weird echoey percussion, moody, haunting atmospheres, really cool stuff, but it was the eighties, so there's also plenty of goofy synthy drum machine dorkiness, and some geniusly cringeworthy, ultra cheesy sax driven groovers, what one aQ staffer described as 'trashjams', but to our ears sounds like the retro-futuristic schmaltzy VHS mall music of ex-Skater James Ferraro. One of those tracks is so good (bad?) that it gets lodged in our head like crazy, and we find ourselves not just digging it, but humming it to ourselves at odd times during the day, LONG after having actually listened to it.
But the bulk of the record is made up of grim, ominous creepscapes, the whole thing in fact reminiscent of another aQ fave soundtrack, The New York Ripper, a similarly weird mix of cheesy eighties funkiness and seriously scary soundtrackery, the difference here being that most of the sound FX are left in, we're guessing because no real masters exist, so perhaps this was all mastered direct from someone's original VHS copy, and it sounds like it, as it's sort of tinny, and lo-fi, but it suits the sounds, and the movie if you've seen it, perfectly. And that's also a part of the score's charm, that most of the cheesiest tracks are bookended by the anguished FX drenched howls of some hapless soul melting, screaming in anguish, those screams turning into wordless gurgles, and usually leading right into another long stretch of creepy, synthy ambience.
Then there's the final song, what we remember as the end credits track, a sort of bastardized version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" kind of jam, with some of THEE most ridiculous and hilariously over the top lyrics EVER. In fact, we had forgotten about that track completely, and the first time it played in the store, had we all been drinking, it would have induced some seriously comedic spit takes, as it is, we were in stitches, lines like:
"Shut your face, you little scumbag", "You can stop the bullshit cuz this is the end", "Oh what's this?? I'm startin' to ooze! you little creep! What's this fuckin' shit??" and of course "Your face I'm gonna reshape - I'm gonna eat your fucking eyeballs like grapes", all delivered in a dramatic croon, one that becomes increasingly more unhinged as the track progresses, and as the singer presumably begins to melt himself!
So great! Easily one of our favorites in this recent spate of horror movie reissues (obviously, as it's our Record Of The Week). And the Lunaris label, the latest to throw their bloody hat in the horror movie vinyl reissue ring, did a great job, killer new artwork, extensive liner notes, the whole shebang. And like all the best soundtracks, it has us wanting to watch Street Trash again SO BAD!!
MPEG Stream: "Opening Sequence"
MPEG Stream: "Viper Theme"
MPEG Stream: "Paulie Melt"
MPEG Stream: "Mournful Theme"
MPEG Stream: "Flashback"
MPEG Stream: "Junkyard Hop"
MPEG Stream: "Wizzy Death"
MPEG Stream: "We Do Things My Way"

album cover UNCLE ACID Runaway Girls (Rise Above) 7" 14.98
As we wait anxiously for a new full length from these aQ beloved psychedelic stoners (as well as their first ever SF show coming up soon!), for now we have one new track to tide us over. And fear not, it's a groovy good one. Nothing new really, but then we didn't actually want any sort of massive seismic sonic shift, we just wanted MORE, and that's just what you get. A new track called "Runaway Girls" that sounds like it could have been plucked right off of either of their albums proper, with a cool slithery riff, distorted wailing vocals, super melodic Sabbathy basslines, shambolic drumming, wild psychedelic leads and gorgeous guitar harmonies, the whole thing all warm and washed out and dreamily distorted, sounding like it could have been transported from some hard rocking alternate universe sixties, the song twisting and turning, from almost metallic riffing, to shimmery, melodic drift and back again.
The flipside is an acoustic version of what might have been our favorite track from Mind Control, that record's closer "Devil's Work", here recast as something darkly dreamy, and hauntingly folky, the track still fantastic, but more hushed and moody, like some lost Wicker Man track, or some deep cut by an ultra obscure seventies British acid folk combo. Cool!
SUPER DUPER LIMITED!! The batch we got is on blue vinyl, but hard to say if we'll be able to get more when we run out, and what color the next batch will be. And oh yeah, it's a pretty pricey import!
MPEG Stream: "Runaway Girls"
MPEG Stream: "Devil's Work (acoustic)"

album cover WHITE MANNA Come Down Safari (Captcha) cd 11.98
Originally released as a Record Store Day picture disc on local label Valley King, the fine folks at Captcha have now made this available on cd, the latest record from stoner psych space rock visionaries White Manna, and like the two Holy Mountain records that came before, Come Down Safari, is another gloriously tripped out sonic sprawl, all hazy, buzzy throb and tranced out heart-of-the-sun mesmer, looooong tracks that seem to unfurl endlessly, the drums and bass weaving lush languorous backgrounds, that seem to pulse and ooze, over which the guitars soar and howl, melodic streaks blurred into heaving washes of chordal shimmer, riffs stretched out into druggy sonic mantras, the sound slipping effortlessly from churning psychedelic heaviness, to soporific, dream-drone drift, WM channeling the sound of their psychedelic forefathers, into heady, abstract sonic rituals, that manage to take the sound of classic early space rock and fuse it to a more modern take on retro psych.
Fans of the usual suspects (the Heads, White Hills, Mammatus, Carlton Melton, etc.) should already be WAY into these guys, and if they're not, this should fix that pretty quick. And speaking of Carlton Melton, check out the photo inside the digipak, of Andy from CM hanging out with White Manna in a squat in Europe...
MPEG Stream: "Deathless Guru"
MPEG Stream: "Hassan"
MPEG Stream: "The Sound Of One Hand Clapping"

album cover GUM TAKES TOOTH Mirrors Fold (Tigertrap) cd 14.98
We made the first record from this awesomely monikered UK outfit, Silent Cenotaph, our Record Of The Week, way back in 2011, and at the time described them with some band math that looked a little like this: Shit And Shine + Butthole Surfers + Lightning Bolt. The sound was a dizzyingly psychedelic barrage of grinding, rhythmic, electronics doused in druggy tribal freakout, like a super charged This Heat, the drummers kit wired to a mad scientist array of machinery and noise making devices, turning the kit into some giant rhythmic noise machine, and enabling a duo to kick up a din that sounds like it couldn't possibly be made by just two people, and while that first record generally hewed toward a sound that was more chaotic and bombastic, this new one seems to be a bit more melodic and dare we say mellow, there's still plenty of sonic ferocity, and rhythmic bombast for sure, but it sounds more measured, more deftly assembled, maybe less 'punk', but only in the way that bands get better at what they do, and in theory, take what was great about their previous records, and add to it, creating something, even more forward reaching, and ultimately perhaps even better.
Such is the case with Mirrors Fold. We still do LOVE Silent Cenotaph, and it routinely gets play on the iPod even still, but this new one is more subtle, more textural, whereas that first one was the sort of music you wanted to rock out to, jump around and go crazy, this new one, manages to harness that feral energy into something much more focused. The opener begins all swirly and serene, with hushed ambient shimmer, chant-like vocals, be before long the drums explode, adding a churning rhythmic component, without detracting from the melodic component or the vocals, it's not really until a brief bit of hushed shimmer, a barely there ambient interlude, that the song truly launches into crazed sonic chaos, a dizzying blurry flurry of drum madness, a wild octopoidal tangle of tangled jumbled rhythms, that eventually give away to a skeletal bit of rhythmic drift, before one final push, where the drums, the vocals, and swirls of FX are all wound into a dense propulsive tribal spacey noise rock blowout. Phew!
And so it goes, the band laying down mesmerizing hypno-rhythms, while all around strange effects swoop in and out, extra percussion, echoey vox floating above, thick rumbling bass below, sitar like buzz slithers throughout, the sound and arrangement super dynamic, a bit proggy, certainly psychedelic, a sort mutant psych-prog, Afro-space groove. Some moments are like some outer space version of Afro-fuzz Swedes Goat, others sound like a super charged, space rock Necks, a few tracks get downright heavy, and sound like some tripped out psychedelic space outfit, a few tracks sound like a crazy demonic alter ego of This Heat, a few others remind us of the twisted afro-noise of William Bennett's Cut Hands, there are moments of Muslimgauze like Eastern rhythmatism, there are even moments that remind us of Animal Collective at their very weirdest, but really most of this just sounds Gum Takes Tooth, and absolutely nobody else, a totally twisted genius amalgam of all the above mentioned references, deftly shaped into something at once warped and weird, wild and experimental, but also totally hypnotic, and melodic, strangely lovely and in its own way, extremely catchy. A new favorite for sure. And a total shoe-in not just for Record Of The Week, but for our year end best of's too...
MPEG Stream: "Mirrors Fold"
MPEG Stream: "White Fear"
MPEG Stream: "The Perfect Surface"
MPEG Stream: "Treaty And Treasure"

album cover BLOOD OF KINGU Dark Star On The Right Horn Of The Crescent Moon (Season Of Mist) cd 14.98
Ukrainian black metallers Blood Of Kingu continue down the lefthand path, as their sound continues to move ever further from their earlier folk flecked roots, and if anything this latest one might be the best, and weirdest of the bunch so far, the new sound darker, and more denser, seemingly more raw and minimal the production too, lo-fi, but not shitty BM lo-fi, instead, all the sounds blur and bleed and ooze like some huge squirming slithering hell borne entity. But it's not just buzzing and blasting, although there is of course plenty of that, there's also some weirdly majestic percussion, just check out the opener, which seems locked into some seriously mesmerizing black buzz murk, even the vocals, are closer to a monstrous death metal cookie monster bellow, but all of those sound, when combined with the production, transform into some twisted dizzying psychedelic blackness, that at one point, explodes into something surprisingly (and subtly) melodic, complete with bombastic percussion booming in the background, while the guitars wind around each other into epic trills, and there even seems to be some buried shred, and then again, the song switches gears, and somehow gets faster and more furious, relentless and mesmerizing. Some of the coolest, weirdest, most original black buzz we've heard in ages.
And fear not, they haven't ditched their obsession with Sumerian and Egyptian mythology, nor have they totally abandoned the folky interludes, but you'll be hard pressed to think of any of that stuff once you're immersed in BoK's fucked up outsider black metal soundworld. Check out the second track, beginning with some haunting folkiness, but soon explodes into some seriously intense buzz, but when the vocals come in, they're a weird sort of choral croon just below the surface, and then later on, most of the buzz is peeled back, leaving but booming percussion, paired with relentless double kick drumming, some moaning guitar melody, and minimal vokills, it's crazy effective and evokes the creepiest of atmospheres, before swooping right back into it. Holy shit. We had forgotten how much we love Blood Of Kingu, and yeah, sure we love Drudkh, and Hateforest, and Lucifugum and Kladovest, and Astrofaes, and all the other bands these guys have played in, but Blood Of Kingu just might be the coolest, and the weirdest. And this record just might be our favorite so far...
MPEG Stream: "Crowned Scarlet Moon Is Waiting for Eclipse"
MPEG Stream: "He Who Is Not To Be Named"
MPEG Stream: "Mother Hydra"

album cover EXTNDDNTWRK Just Tracks (Fourth Dimension) 2cd 22.00
UK white boy hip hop duo Sleaford Mods were an unlikely hit around here. When we first read about them on the Norman Records website, proclaiming them as they favorite band of the year, we were totally skeptical, but we ordered a few anyway, and then quickly found ourselves becoming obsessed, and suddenly, we got it, and we agreed, and then a second record came out, and we dug that one just as much. What the hell? Who can explain stuff like that, but it did have the effect of making us curious about this, the first proper release from Extnddntwrk, which just so happens to be one of the guys from the Sleaford Mods, a collection of all the random home recorded electronic weirdness he'd put together over the last few years, and we have to say, it's pretty goddamn great.
We were definitely expecting what would essentially amount to instrumental 'Mods backing tracks, and some sound like they could be just that, and you might find yourself imagining those guys rapping along, but really, this stuff is pretty mesmerizing, and hypnotic, just check out the first track "Care Less", a low slung looped groover, that's plenty dark, a little moody and minimal, in a way it sounds like a more electro Boards Of Canada, but a bit darker and more skeletal, and that actually does describe a bunch of these tracks, but since it's a collection of odds and sods, it is a bit all over the map. "Dirty Soup" is a weird gloomy creep, pocked with synth blurt and distorted guitar chug, but still driven by a primitive Casio style beat. "Foul Play" is definitely one of those tracks that sounds destined to be a Sleaford Mods track proper, but then it butts up right against "Crystal Ball", which is spare and weirdly lovely, all shimmery melodies and pizzicato string plucks, melancholy and moody. And so it goes, from sort of calypso exotica, to Meat Beat Manifesto style industrial electro, to crackly, murky slow-soul groove, to cool start/stop stuttery avant soul weirdness, to what sounds amazingly like skweee. There's also an unlisted 18 minute secret track at the end of disc 1, that is essentially a wild plunderphonic free-for-all that sounds like some mad scientist flipping from channel to channel, but it's pretty fun.
The second disc is more of the same, with the exception of a killer/weirdo cover of Big Black's "Bad Penny", which slows it down, recasts it as a sort of woozy, synth dirge, the sounds heavily panned, swooping from speaker to speaker, this one with vocals, a whispery croon, way up on the mic, as if he was whispering ominously right in your ear, occasionally becoming weirdly vocodered, it all makes for a pretty awesome, and awesomely creepy version of an already extremely creepy classic.
MPEG Stream: "Care Less"
MPEG Stream: "Dirty Soup"
MPEG Stream: "Foul Play"
MPEG Stream: "Bad Penny"

album cover BUG, THE Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) 2lp 31.00
Never really imagined we'd hear Grouper's Liz Harris toasting on a ragga / dancehall record, and sadly, we still haven't, but she does lend her voice to the opening track on this, the first record from The Bug, aka Kevin Martin, since 2008's London Zoo (not counting a handful of singles). While we were envisioning Liz getting all Lady Saw, instead, it probably is more like you might imagine, the vocals still ethereal and gauzey, over a surprisingly subdued Martin production, that makes this sound more like Portishead, although a bit more brooding and tense, with some sinister synths, some tightly coiled rhythms, and some bleak atmospheres, and somehow, it works, really well, enough that we wouldn't mind hearing a whole record of Bug / Grouper collabs.
The second track is actually sonically quite similar, a dark sort of trip hoppy vibe, but with some seriously thick, rib cage rattling bass, the vibe though still sort of nocturnal and smoldering, a lot like "Ascension" another low slung brooder, big beats, and lots of hiss and crunch and static, but still pretty subdued and slithery. "Mi Lost" cranks the volume a bit, but again, it's much less bombastic than London Zoo, and with way more of a focus on female vocalists, Miss Red doing the honors on "Mi Lost", a tangled ragga dub groover, with wild hi-hat skitter, and spacey drifty synths behind a seriously funky groove. "Pandi" is almost all organ, a dense, tense sprawl of throbbing drones, and lush layered thrum, the beats, when they do surface, more sort of pulsing and crackling and textural. And so it goes. The sound veering toward a late night somnambulence, Gonjasufi guests on the creepy slo-mo-soul dub of "Save Me" replete with super dramatic strings, and billowy clouds of soft focus static.
It's not really until "The One", that things get bangin', with Flowdan joining in for a fucked up fierce grime workout, a crunching big beat, some Twilight Zone melodic stabs, machine gun rhythms (literally) and plenty of noisy chaos, culminating in a dense, distorted finale. The follow up "Function", is another grime-y blowout, with some awesome rapping from Manga, over a bed of gristly, ultra-distorted bass buzz, and suddenly it occurred to us, that okay, we must be in the 'Devils' half of Angels & Devils, duh.
Anyway, the rest of the record plays out sonically devilishly as intended, maybe the only misstep is the collab with Death Grips, which has its moments, but is ultimately mostly annoying, especially when you hear "Fat Mac" which comes right afterward. That track's a crushing chunk of doom-dubstep, if there is such a thing (there is now), thick, lumbering beats, insane, distorted guitar buzz, maybe riffage, or maybe just blown out synths molded into something totally metallic. Wow. Couple more ragga / dubstep / grime bangers to finish things off, the first with longtime Bug collaborator, Warrior Queen, and one more with Flowdan, who kind of ends up being the surprise star of Angels & Devils...
MPEG Stream: "Void (Feat. Liz Harris)"
MPEG Stream: "Fall (Feat. Copeland)"
MPEG Stream: "Save Me (Feat. Gonjasufi)"
MPEG Stream: "Function (Feat. Manga)"

album cover GODZILLA (AKIRA IFUKUBE) OST (Death Waltz) lp 37.00
We didn't think we'd be able to get any copies of this in at all, there seemed to be some issues with the licensing or something, but somehow, finally, we managed to get a handful of these in. A super deluxe reissue of the iconic score by legendary Japanese composer Akira Ifukube, for the classic 1954 monster movie Godzilla, that's right, the ONE, the original, the monster movie that started it all, and Ifukube's score is as much a classic as the movie itself. And what better way to celebrate Godzilla's SIXTIETH birthday (and anniversary of the movie/score) than with a deluxe Death Waltz reissue! And deluxe it is, as always, but more on that in a second. The music itself is stunning, as is pretty much everything we've heard by Ifukube (in partiuclar, his score for King Kong Vs. Godzilla, which we raved about here back in 2006), a mix of lush orchestration, sinister strings and traditional Japanese folk. There is of course the instantly recognizable theme music, with it's tense, soaring strings, but then the lilting percussive exotica of "Ootojima Temple Festival", quickly followed by the droning, plodding, ominous "Stormy Ootojima Island, which builds and builds, driven by booming percussion that sound, as they're meant to, like Godzilla's lumbering footfalls, there's the jaunty military fanfare of "Japanese Army March I", which leads right into the arrival of the monster, the strings darkening, like the skies above, as the monster approaches the shore, tense and intense, the refrain from the opening theme returning, but this time even more frantic and frenzied, and then "Godzilla's Rampage", which is so scary, and creepy, the horns moaning malevolently, a funereal dirge, a haunting threnody, and so it goes. There's plenty more, and all of it's great. Has us wanting to watch the movie again to, BAD!!
And as we mentioned, Death Waltz does another fantastic job with the packaging, this time featuring striking new cover art by Cheung Chung Tat, which is reporduced inside on a folded movie theater style poster, the vinyl is a grey swirl, the music itself is presented on vinyl for the first time ever, remastered from the master tapes at Toho Studios, there's a Japanese style obi too (of course) with some liner notes and credits, and as you might imagine, this is also VERY LIMITED!!
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "3"
MPEG Stream: "4"
MPEG Stream: "5"

album cover JUTE GYTE Ressentiment (Jeshimoth Entertainment) cd-r 6.98
The latest from microtonal black metal master Jute Gyte, aka Adam Kalmbach, the third and final installment of a trilogy, but fear not, even if you missed the first two, you won't be too lost. But you will be sort of confused, cuz by it's very nature, the music of Jute Gyte is pretty dizzyingly demented, most folks likely don't have much experience with microtonal tuning, it's certainly rarely (read NEVER) used in popular music, and hell, even Unpopular music like black metal, but just give a listen to the first track below, and you'll understand why. Why most folks don't use it, and why Jute Gyte DOES. It's maddeningly off kilter, to untrained ears (and likely some trained ones too), it sounds out of tune, or more accurately, like it's constantly changing tuning, the first flurry finds the band seemingly slowing down, when in reality, the pitch/melody are in flux, making the whole thing sound like it's melting, it's woozy and warped and seriously WTF, but in a way, the microtonality reminds us of drum and dulcimer weirdos Botanist, who also use a tuning system well beyond the usual guitar and bass. It's even more notable during the less heavy parts, where it really sounds angular and atonal and totally UN-tuned, the whole thing a dizzying concoction of tangled melodies and impossibly obtuse harmonies. Eye watering, ear boggling, next level avant blackness for sure.
It definitely takes some getting used to, but for folks into damaged outsider heaviness, this will totally push all your WTF buttons. Otherwise, JG deliver some seriously orthodox black buzz, it's just that the black buzz here is so bizarrely tuned it sometimes makes stuff like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord sound like AC/DC. That said, Jute Gyte still deliver some of the fiercest fucking black buzz we've heard, due in no small part to the strange overtones, furious squalls of dizzying insectoid buzz and relentless blast beats, which only make it that more dramatic when it devolves into some loped, lurching, WTF wooziness.
Heavy and damaged, tripped out, fucked up, psychedelic and extremely experimental black metal that will likely have you scratching your head while banging it like crazy. Awesome!
Housed in a dvd style case, with full color artwork and a printed insert/lyric sheet.
MPEG Stream: "Mansions Of Fear, Mansions Of Pain"
MPEG Stream: "Oh Soft Embalmer Of The Still Midnight"
MPEG Stream: "The Central Fires Of Secret Memory"

album cover TAURUS No/Thing (Devout) cd 11.98
Most doom metal can be pretty easily classified, categorized or pigeonholed, whether it be stoner doom, funereal doom, sludge, epic doom, doom-folk, death-doom, psych-doom, dooooooooom or whatever other variant folks have cooked up. While plenty of bands do manage to transcend their classification, rare is the doomy beast that defies categorization all together, which is most definitely the case with Northwest duo Taurus, made up of Stevie Floyd (from psychedelic avant doom duo Dark Castle) and Ashley Spungin (of late great mystical metallic garage rockers Purple Rhinestone Eagle). Together they have conjured up a sound we could describe as impressionistic doom, or maybe abstract doom. Right from the outset, the various doomic elements, the usual sonic tropes are recast, filtered through the lives and experiences of these two woman, the result super dynamic, ultra heavy, extremely atmospheric, darkly ritualistic, hauntingly psychedelic, the opening track's main riff sounds like slo-mo Voivod played by Greg Ginn, all woozy and warbly, over churning drum pound, and laced with both deep witchy crooned vox, and more harsh vokills, all wound in a dizzying atonal sonic spiral that's harrowingly hypnotic and utterly mesmeric. But before that even happens, there's a gorgeously terrifying intro assembled from looped riffy churn, pounding percussive bombast, weird sample voices, and more howled shrieked vokills, a tense, and intense push and pull. The sound soon settles into something a bit more traditionally metallic, but only just, the vibe more like slowed down black metal than doom. It's like Deathspell Omega at 16rpm, barring the brief squalls of frenzied blackened freakout, but again, like that first track, the sound is warped and avant, even choice of notes, melody, rhythm, all seem obtuse and OTHER, which gives the whole record a sense of OTHERness, an outsider quality, that infuses even the most orthodox of moments with twisted pathos and deep emotion.
After those two relatively brief tracks, Taurus unfurl an epic psychedelic sprawl with "Set Forth On The Path Of The Infinite", setting the stage with swooping backwards melodies, simple ukulele (!) melody, reverbed samples, dense throbs of crumbling low end, a slow build bit of black ambience that sounds more like some lost arthouse soundtrack, and even when the drums come in, instead of exploding into a metallic onslaught, the track lopes and lumbers. And again, in swoop the guitars, and they're strange and alien, the melodies difficult, obtuse, accompanied by feral vocal howls, the song bursting into action in fits and starts, the sound ebbs and flows, eventually switching gears completely, with soaring angelic vox, over a backdrop of thick drum pound, and a slowly melting tangle of guitar keen and moan, before finishing off with another bit of haunting folkiness.
The tracks here are less riffscapes, and more a sort of ever shifting landscape of doom-ed sound, the riffs that do surface, are often indistinct, not so much riffs, as loose tangles of notes and chords that seem ghostly, and gauzy, occasionally indeed coalescing into proper riffage, but just as often drifting apart into something less distinct, more blurred and smeary, those sounds oozing and bleeding into each other, what in the hands of a more traditional doom outfit, would be more riffy and song-like all howl and pound, here becomes something ethereal and darkly psychedelic, abstract and ephemeral, and yeah, it's still heavy, but that heaviness is only loosely tethered, instead it's allowed to drift and dissipate, like on the other epic track here, "Increase Aloneness", which layers choral vocals over some roiling organ, a sort of blackened disembodied prog, by way of Arvo Part perhaps, here the build is slow, and distinctly non-metallic, samples only adding to the creepiness, to the twisted emotion, until finally, a MASSIVE riff comes cascading in, and the song is transformed into a churning, chugging behemoth, but that riff occasionally flickers and blinks out, leaving just Spungeon's double kick drum bombast, and that swirling psychedelic organ, building tension until the riff returns and so it goes, back and forth, light and shadow, love and hate, a tense/intense blackened majesty, an impossibly epic culmination of it's various constituent parts. The final track features Wrest from Leviathan adding vocals (he plays in a new group with Floyd called Devout), and we were expecting straight up some straight up black buzz brutality, but instead Wrest's croak drifts wraithlike atop a swirling morass of whirring organ, loose almost jazzy drumming, surrounded by dense billows of mysterious murk, and lush, decaying layers of drone and thrum, a sinister sprawl of grim psychedelic ambience, and textured cinematic moodiness, a Cold Meat Industry style sonic brood building to a bleak coda, suffocating and soul shearing, all by way of something infinitely more black and unknowable. No/Thing is harrowing and heavy, dense and demonic, but also spiritual and personal, intimate and introspective, and fucking fantastic.
We have both the lp version and the cd version, and for a very limited time, we also have just a tiny handful of the super limited, ultra deluxe BOXset version of No/Thing, which includes the colored vinyl version of of the lp, the cd version as well, a large silkscreened back patch / tapestry, a double sided lyric sheet / mandala, all housed in a hand screen printed, stained and shellacked wooden box, each one hand numbered and limited to 100 copies, and again, we only have a two or three...
MPEG Stream: "Nothing / Longing, Human Impermanence"
MPEG Stream: "Lives Long For Own"
MPEG Stream: "Set Forth On The Path Of The Intimate"

album cover TAURUS No/Thing (Devout) lp 14.98
Most doom metal can be pretty easily classified, categorized or pigeonholed, whether it be stoner doom, funereal doom, sludge, epic doom, doom-folk, death-doom, psych-doom, dooooooooom or whatever other variant folks have cooked up. While plenty of bands do manage to transcend their classification, rare is the doomy beast that defies categorization all together, which is most definitely the case with Northwest duo Taurus, made up of Stevie Floyd (from psychedelic avant doom duo Dark Castle) and Ashley Spungin (of late great mystical metallic garage rockers Purple Rhinestone Eagle). Together they have conjured up a sound we could describe as impressionistic doom, or maybe abstract doom. Right from the outset, the various doomic elements, the usual sonic tropes are recast, filtered through the lives and experiences of these two woman, the result super dynamic, ultra heavy, extremely atmospheric, darkly ritualistic, hauntingly psychedelic, the opening track's main riff sounds like slo-mo Voivod played by Greg Ginn, all woozy and warbly, over churning drum pound, and laced with both deep witchy crooned vox, and more harsh vokills, all wound in a dizzying atonal sonic spiral that's harrowingly hypnotic and utterly mesmeric. But before that even happens, there's a gorgeously terrifying intro assembled from looped riffy churn, pounding percussive bombast, weird sample voices, and more howled shrieked vokills, a tense, and intense push and pull. The sound soon settles into something a bit more traditionally metallic, but only just, the vibe more like slowed down black metal than doom. It's like Deathspell Omega at 16rpm, barring the brief squalls of frenzied blackened freakout, but again, like that first track, the sound is warped and avant, even choice of notes, melody, rhythm, all seem obtuse and OTHER, which gives the whole record a sense of OTHERness, an outsider quality, that infuses even the most orthodox of moments with twisted pathos and deep emotion.
After those two relatively brief tracks, Taurus unfurl an epic psychedelic sprawl with "Set Forth On The Path Of The Infinite", setting the stage with swooping backwards melodies, simple ukulele (!) melody, reverbed samples, dense throbs of crumbling low end, a slow build bit of black ambience that sounds more like some lost arthouse soundtrack, and even when the drums come in, instead of exploding into a metallic onslaught, the track lopes and lumbers. And again, in swoop the guitars, and they're strange and alien, the melodies difficult, obtuse, accompanied by feral vocal howls, the song bursting into action in fits and starts, the sound ebbs and flows, eventually switching gears completely, with soaring angelic vox, over a backdrop of thick drum pound, and a slowly melting tangle of guitar keen and moan, before finishing off with another bit of haunting folkiness.
The tracks here are less riffscapes, and more a sort of ever shifting landscape of doom-ed sound, the riffs that do surface, are often indistinct, not so much riffs, as loose tangles of notes and chords that seem ghostly, and gauzy, occasionally indeed coalescing into proper riffage, but just as often drifting apart into something less distinct, more blurred and smeary, those sounds oozing and bleeding into each other, what in the hands of a more traditional doom outfit, would be more riffy and song-like all howl and pound, here becomes something ethereal and darkly psychedelic, abstract and ephemeral, and yeah, it's still heavy, but that heaviness is only loosely tethered, instead it's allowed to drift and dissipate, like on the other epic track here, "Increase Aloneness", which layers choral vocals over some roiling organ, a sort of blackened disembodied prog, by way of Arvo Part perhaps, here the build is slow, and distinctly non-metallic, samples only adding to the creepiness, to the twisted emotion, until finally, a MASSIVE riff comes cascading in, and the song is transformed into a churning, chugging behemoth, but that riff occasionally flickers and blinks out, leaving just Spungeon's double kick drum bombast, and that swirling psychedelic organ, building tension until the riff returns and so it goes, back and forth, light and shadow, love and hate, a tense/intense blackened majesty, an impossibly epic culmination of it's various constituent parts. The final track features Wrest from Leviathan adding vocals (he plays in a new group with Floyd called Devout), and we were expecting straight up some straight up black buzz brutality, but instead Wrest's croak drifts wraithlike atop a swirling morass of whirring organ, loose almost jazzy drumming, surrounded by dense billows of mysterious murk, and lush, decaying layers of drone and thrum, a sinister sprawl of grim psychedelic ambience, and textured cinematic moodiness, a Cold Meat Industry style sonic brood building to a bleak coda, suffocating and soul shearing, all by way of something infinitely more black and unknowable. No/Thing is harrowing and heavy, dense and demonic, but also spiritual and personal, intimate and introspective, and fucking fantastic.
We have both the lp version and the cd version, and for a very limited time, we also have just a tiny handful of the super limited, ultra deluxe BOXset version of No/Thing, which includes the colored vinyl version of of the lp, the cd version as well, a large silkscreened back patch / tapestry, a double sided lyric sheet / mandala, all housed in a hand screen printed, stained and shellacked wooden box, each one hand numbered and limited to 100 copies, and again, we only have a two or three...
MPEG Stream: "Nothing / Longing, Human Impermanence"
MPEG Stream: "Lives Long FOr Own"
MPEG Stream: "Set Forth On The Path Of The Intimate"

album cover TOTAL CONTROL Typical System (Iron Lung) cd 13.98
The first track on this new record from Aussie new wave garage punks Total Control had us thinking for a second that they had ditched their garage side completely, in favor of going all 'wave all the time, just check out the first sample below. Sure the last record, Henge Beats, was laced with little bits of new waviness, but "Glass" is straight up new wave, sounding remarkably like New Order, all programmed beats, swirling eighties synths, moody, swoonsome melodies, and deep, crooned vox, it almost sounds like it could be some lost gem reissued on Medical or Dark Entries, but fear not, the next track, "Expensive Dog", is all knuckle dragging old school punk rock, a chugging, churning main riff, the vibe swaggery and sloppy, the vocals a mush mouthed bellow, way down in the mix, it's hard to believe it's the same band even, but then in swoops "Flesh War", which somehow melds the two, channeling some synthy post punk via a serious John Hughes soundtrack flashback vibe, a fuzzy riff, a pounding beat, but then over the top, swirling synths, ethereal textures, and the vocals reverting to that new wave-y croon. And so it goes, the band seemingly a little sonically schizophrenic, leap frogging from synth pop, to garage punk, and back again, with plenty of stops in the nebulous region right in between, which for us is really the sweet spot here. Although the more we listen, the more we're smitten by the even weirder, harder to pin down tracks. Like "Liberal Party", which sounds a lot like some actual obscure post punk/pop rarity, replete with angular guitar, kazoo-like buzz and horns! Or the murky electro-pop dirgery of "The Ferryman", which sounds like some lost Flying Nun B-side. Or "Hunter", which is a fantastic blast of swirling-synth, electro-wave bliss out. And while we were prepared for the record to finish with one final burst of bristly punkiness, these guys instead deliver what might be the poppiest jam here, hook heavy, synths galore, a soaring chorus, another nod to the sound of classic John Hughes movie music, and the sort of track that would be all over MTV if it was 1985...
MPEG Stream: "Glass"
MPEG Stream: "Flesh War"
MPEG Stream: "Liberal Party"
MPEG Stream: "Safety Net"

album cover PUNCH They Don't Have To Believe (Deathwish) lp 16.98
ALSO ON VINYL!!!
Not sure how we managed to miss these guys up until now. They're from right here in SF, and this is their third full length (we've heard exactly ONE of their 7"s), they totally kill, and they have maybe the fiercest female vocalist we've ever heard. All this talk about Perfect Pussy, fuck that, Meghan from Punch might have the greatest punk rock voice we've heard in forever, a serious paint peeling caterwaul, and the band back her up with a potent mix of classic hardcore, old school punk rock, furious grind and some seriously metallic heft. A relentless chaotic frenzy that occasionally slips into straight forward punk rock pound, but just as often explodes into grinding metallic fury that is seriously some of the fiercest and most furious shit EVER. The production by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Whirr, etc.) only makes it that much meaner and HUGE sounding. It's 15 songs in about 18 minutes, the longest is 2:33, the shortest (the title track) a mere :05, but every track, even that brief sonic blip totally destroys, and the crazy thing, is it's catchy as fuck, with super melodic basslines, some seriously killer riffs, and some goddamn great songs. And when they slow it down, it's SO heavy, which is only further magnified when they explode into a part as fast and furious as the previous part was slow. Holy shit. We're gonna make it a point to track down all the other Punch records, and not miss a single show, cuz as good as these songs sound on record, we can only imagine how brutal and badass this stuff sounds live.
MPEG Stream: "Worth More Than Your Opinion"
MPEG Stream: "Making Room"
MPEG Stream: "Not Sorry"
MPEG Stream: "Waiting Game"

album cover LIGHT, ENOCH Eight Classic Albums (Real Time Music) 4cd 12.98
Back in the day, when we would scour thrift stores for weird easy listening and exotica records, albums by Enoch Light (and His Light Brigade), were at the top of the heap! The sound sitting comfortably alongside Esquivel, Les Baxter, Martin Denny and all the rest, yet somehow, Light was always our favorite. Not sure if it was the super striking minimal album art (which is how we first discovered them/him), or the fact that most of the records had titles like Persuasive Percussion or Provocative Percussion, or that, as those titles suggested, Light was big on percussion, and stereo. He was an early adopter, obsessed with the possibilities of stereo, the sound on his records careening wildly from speaker to speaker, so much so, that initially his records were not played on the radio, since radio was monaural! Every album was equal parts jazz, exotica, easy listening and weird demonstration record. The bulk of the records made up of covers of popular songs, or new versions of standards, but given super drum heavy, and very rhythmic arrangements, wildly percussive (obviously!) and playful, groovy, exotic and jazzy. In our imaginations, Enoch Light looked like the Heatmiser from those old Christmas claymation specials, wild haired, maniac bandleader, gesticulating wildly before a motley crew of musicians, effortlessly whipping up wild blasts of sixties big band jazz, and playful percussive frivolity.
This super bargain priced collection gathers up EIGHT classic Enoch Light records on 4 cds!!! You get: Persuasive Percussion Vol. 1 (1959), Persuasive Percussion Vol. 2 (1960), Persuasive Percussion Vol. 3 (1960), Provocative Percussion Vol. 1 (1960), Provocative Percussion Vol. 2 (1960), Grand Award All Stars - Percussion And Brass (1960), Stereo 35mm Vol. 1 (1961), and Stereo 35mm Vol. 2 (1961).
MPEG Stream: "Hernando's Hideaway"
MPEG Stream: "Speak To Me Of Love"
MPEG Stream: "The Lady Is A Tramp"
MPEG Stream: "Hawaiian War Chant"
MPEG Stream: "Bingo Bango Bongo Baby"

album cover STREET TRASH (RICK ULFIK) OST (Lunaris ) cd 14.98
We LOVE Street Trash, one of the silliest, goriest, goofiest movies ever, and easily one of our favorite good 'bad' movies. The label describes the 1987 horror flick as the ultimate "melt movie", which is definitely true, although we never realized that was an actual genre. And for lots of you, that probably makes no sense at all. But it will. Street Trash begins when a liquor store owner finds an old case of 'Tenafly Viper' in his basement, some kind of cheap wine, and decides to sell it cheap. It's of course snapped up by the city's homeless population, who begin to, yep, you guessed it, MELT!! THEY MELT!!!
There's also a subplot about a mean Vietnam Vet who rules the junkyard, but really it's all about the glorious gore, and again, it's not bloody gore as much as it's a sort of over the top Technicolor gore, with the hapless victims of the tainted malt liquor dissolving into greasy pools of rainbow hued goop, most notably one guy who sits on a toilet to drink in peace, and who begins to melt and drip and ooze and eventually becomes a mushy prismatic pool in (and around) the toilet bowl...
And really all the rest is just window dressing, you know, there's some story and a little plot and all that, but it's all about the melting, a grossout hobo holocaust that is like that head melting scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark stretched out into a feature length film!
And like a lot of these films, we didn't necessarily remember the music, but revisiting now, we were pretty blown away. The score by Rick Ulfik is pretty cool, creepy and synthy, some tracks all weird echoey percussion, moody, haunting atmospheres, really cool stuff, but it was the eighties, so there's also plenty of goofy synthy drum machine dorkiness, and some geniusly cringeworthy, ultra cheesy sax driven groovers, what one aQ staffer described as 'trashjams', but to our ears sounds like the retro-futuristic schmaltzy VHS mall music of ex-Skater James Ferraro. One of those tracks is so good (bad?) that it gets lodged in our head like crazy, and we find ourselves not just digging it, but humming it to ourselves at odd times during the day, LONG after having actually listened to it.
But the bulk of the record is made up of grim, ominous creepscapes, the whole thing in fact reminiscent of another aQ fave soundtrack, The New York Ripper, a similarly weird mix of cheesy eighties funkiness and seriously scary soundtrackery, the difference here being that most of the sound FX are left in, we're guessing because no real masters exist, so perhaps this was all mastered direct from someone's original VHS copy, and it sounds like it, as it's sort of tinny, and lo-fi, but it suits the sounds, and the movie if you've seen it, perfectly. And that's also a part of the score's charm, that most of the cheesiest tracks are bookended by the anguished FX drenched howls of some hapless soul melting, screaming in anguish, those screams turning into wordless gurgles, and usually leading right into another long stretch of creepy, synthy ambience.
Then there's the final song, what we remember as the end credits track, a sort of bastardized version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" kind of jam, with some of THEE most ridiculous and hilariously over the top lyrics EVER. In fact, we had forgotten about that track completely, and the first time it played in the store, had we all been drinking, it would have induced some seriously comedic spit takes, as it is, we were in stitches, lines like:
"Shut your face, you little scumbag", "You can stop the bullshit cuz this is the end", "Oh what's this?? I'm startin' to ooze! you little creep! What's this fuckin' shit??" and of course "Your face I'm gonna reshape - I'm gonna eat your fucking eyeballs like grapes", all delivered in a dramatic croon, one that becomes increasingly more unhinged as the track progresses, and as the singer presumably begins to melt himself!
So great! Easily one of our favorites in this recent spate of horror movie reissues (obviously, as it's our Record Of The Week). And the Lunaris label, the latest to throw their bloody hat in the horror movie vinyl reissue ring, did a great job, killer new artwork, extensive liner notes, the whole shebang. And like all the best soundtracks, it has us wanting to watch Street Trash again SO BAD!!
MPEG Stream: "Opening Sequence"
MPEG Stream: "Viper Theme"
MPEG Stream: "Paulie Melt"
MPEG Stream: "Mournful Theme"
MPEG Stream: "Flashback"
MPEG Stream: "Junkyard Hop"
MPEG Stream: "Wizzy Death"
MPEG Stream: "We Do Things My Way"

album cover SHIT & SHINE Powder Horn (Diagonal Records) 2lp 29.00
You could argue that EVERY record from these Texas via UK via Texas noise rock weirdos is sort of a 'dance' record. Every one rife with rhythms and grooves, hypnotic and repetitive, tranced out and yeah a little bit groovy. Although most of that was countered by blown out distorted bass buzz, squealing noise made by squeezing air from balloons, thick swaths of analog synth blurt, crushing down tuned bass buzz, multi drummers, bizarre and ultra creepy costumes, but really, at the core of $&$, was rhythm. And as the band has shed its revolving phalanx of multiple drummers, and slimmed down its ranks to what is essentially just one man, $&$ mastermind Craig Clouse, the sound has changed as well, with Clouse pushing the music of his previously bombastic noise rock juggernaut into something more electronic, the entity that is now Shit & Shine, instead of being some weirdo noise rockers, are in fact some twisted, avant, and yeah, still noisy and WTF version of electronic music, one that's not strictly electronic, just to muddy the waters just a little more.
In fact, right from the get go, the sound is akin to the Butthole Surfers recording for Warp, or some extremely bastardized version of that new slo-mo soul sound. Opener "Hiss" sounds like Burial or How To Dress Well, but all drugged up and doused in FX, at least for a minute or two, then in comes some proper guitar some synths, and the 'band' sound like an actual band, a cleaner, more streamlined, more 'danceable' Buttholes perhaps, but in the history of $&$, it doesn't sound all that out of place, even though it is a lot different than most of what's come before. But we dig it, a noisy, rock groove, peppered with swirls of squelch and gristle, some buried progged out synths, FX that send sounds stuttering into cloud of dizzying psych, but al wedded to that unwavering groove.
And that's just the beginning, with Clouse utilizing his kitchen sink approach, but in this case, the kitchen sink in question is a dirty rusty sink in an old abandoned meth lab on an empty lot somewhere in bumfuck Texas, but that only adds to the WTF of Clouse's 'electronica' and doesn't prevent him from conjuring up squelchy little bas driven synth heavy grooves like "You Can't", which sounds like some warped version of Neu!, or the ultra minimal glitchy electro skitter static of 'Pearl Drop", or the big bass, block rockin' "PG 13" that takes a super funky groove, adds some metallic vokill screech, some distort blasts of psych noise, all of which eventually devolves into a sort of eighties soundtrack groove. From there on out, there's the demented James Brown-ish "Blowhannon', which sounds like his back up band was either Earth Wind And Fire or Rusted Shut or BOTH. "Who's Your Waitress", is a shittier shinier take on FM radio yacht rock, a smooth groove, laced with just enough subtle WTF-ness to keep it confusional, "Value" is all big beat bombast, sounding like it could be some lost DHR b-side or another Meat Beat style cruncher. There's more of course, from low spun, creeps wrapped around rubbery bass billows, and dubbed out drum splatter, and some pounding 4 on the floor acid house, albeit equally acid fried, and wreathed in some creepy John Carpenter synthiness. And if you're lucky, and remain a cd person, the aluminum version has bonus tracks from the last $&$ 12", one a cool collaged rhythmic groove, replete with mangled vocal samples, skipping bass blurt, some gurgled cookie monster vox, even some guitar crunch, one is a full on disco blowout, albeit a bit distorted and twisted, and FX heavy, especially toward the end, where it seems to melt into a sort of Butthole Surfers megamix, and one is a murky skitter, that slowly builds to a sort of warbly dubbed out funk-murk electro dirge, that is about as danceable as it is weird. Which is 'very' on both counts.
MPEG Stream: "Hiss"
MPEG Stream: "You Can't"
MPEG Stream: "Pearl Drop"
MPEG Stream: "PG 13"
MPEG Stream: "Blowhannon"

album cover BUG, THE Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) cd 15.98
Never really imagined we'd hear Grouper's Liz Harris toasting on a ragga / dancehall record, and sadly, we still haven't, but she does lend her voice to the opening track on this, the first record from The Bug, aka Kevin Martin, since 2008's London Zoo (not counting a handful of singles). While we were envisioning Liz getting all Lady Saw, instead, it probably is more like you might imagine, the vocals still ethereal and gauzey, over a surprisingly subdued Martin production, that makes this sound more like Portishead, although a bit more brooding and tense, with some sinister synths, some tightly coiled rhythms, and some bleak atmospheres, and somehow, it works, really well, enough that we wouldn't mind hearing a whole record of Bug / Grouper collabs.
The second track is actually sonically quite similar, a dark sort of trip hoppy vibe, but with some seriously thick, rib cage rattling bass, the vibe though still sort of nocturnal and smoldering, a lot like "Ascension" another low slung brooder, big beats, and lots of hiss and crunch and static, but still pretty subdued and slithery. "Mi Lost" cranks the volume a bit, but again, it's much less bombastic than London Zoo, and with way more of a focus on female vocalists, Miss Red doing the honors on "Mi Lost", a tangled ragga dub groover, with wild hi-hat skitter, and spacey drifty synths behind a seriously funky groove. "Pandi" is almost all organ, a dense, tense sprawl of throbbing drones, and lush layered thrum, the beats, when they do surface, more sort of pulsing and crackling and textural. And so it goes. The sound veering toward a late night somnambulence, Gonjasufi guests on the creepy slo-mo-soul dub of "Save Me" replete with super dramatic strings, and billowy clouds of soft focus static.
It's not really until "The One", that things get bangin', with Flowdan joining in for a fucked up fierce grime workout, a crunching big beat, some Twilight Zone melodic stabs, machine gun rhythms (literally) and plenty of noisy chaos, culminating in a dense, distorted finale. The follow up "Function", is another grime-y blowout, with some awesome rapping from Manga, over a bed of gristly, ultra-distorted bass buzz, and suddenly it occurred to us, that okay, we must be in the 'Devils' half of Angels & Devils, duh.
Anyway, the rest of the record plays out sonically devilishly as intended, maybe the only misstep is the collab with Death Grips, which has its moments, but is ultimately mostly annoying, especially when you hear "Fat Mac" which comes right afterward. That track's a crushing chunk of doom-dubstep, if there is such a thing (there is now), thick, lumbering beats, insane, distorted guitar buzz, maybe riffage, or maybe just blown out synths molded into something totally metallic. Wow. Couple more ragga / dubstep / grime bangers to finish things off, the first with longtime Bug collaborator, Warrior Queen, and one more with Flowdan, who kind of ends up being the surprise star of Angels & Devils...
MPEG Stream: "Void (Feat. Liz Harris)"
MPEG Stream: "Fall (Feat. Copeland)"
MPEG Stream: "Save Me (Feat. Gonjasufi)"
MPEG Stream: "Function (Feat. Manga)"

album cover DUNNOCK A Forest Of Shattered Promise (Acephale Winter Productions) cassette 4.00
One of three new releases from local label Acephale Winter, this one possibly the most notable, as it's the debut release from the man behind the label, and apparently, he almost didn't let us hear it, but did once he was assured that our tastes in black metal ran very much toward the damaged and demented, and while this might not be as fucked up as Benighted Leams (but then what is!), it is pretty strange, and seriously far out, definitely a primo slab of outsider blackness, as is evidenced but the first few minutes, an intro of sorts that involves field recordings of rain and storms, dense rumbling drones, haunting synths, moody piano figures, a killer swath of crumbling distortion, even some strange samples, all of it leading up to the first song proper, which is a noisy, chaotic beat, EXTREMELY lo-fi, the guitars an insectoid swarm, the drums a barely there pulse, mostly just the snare audible over the churning blackbuzz din, but then some even weirder stuff starts to happen, the sounds blur and bleed, the buzzing becomes suffused with organ thrum, the vocals transformed into a sort of cult-like chant, the whole thing woozy and psychedelic, before lumbering back into more blasting stumble and howl.
Some of the other tracks are much more straight up raw black primitivism, but others are wild concoctions of atonal clean vocals, programmed machine like rhythms, and squalls of guitarnoise, there are weird lullaby like stretches that almost sound like renaissance faire children's music, there are haunting dronescapes, there are warped, blown out slowcore dirges that almost sound like Nirvana's Bleach demos, slowed way down, and doused in blown out distortion, and the record bookends with another blast of stormy field recorded ambience and a seriously confusional brief bit of sonic schmaltz right at the end. Killer stuff, warped and WTF for sure. Definitely excited to hear more...
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "...Freezing From The Rain"
MPEG Stream: "Etched Upon"
MPEG Stream: "She Was Cold"
MPEG Stream: "I Told You I Was Sick"

album cover INTRUSION The Seduction Of Silence (Echospace) 2cd 21.00
We originally reviewed this way back in 2009, but this gorgeous disc of blurred minimal techno / electronic ambience has been reissued with a whole 'nother disc of unreleased extras. Even sans the bonus material though, The Seduction Of Silence is a gem, and well worth checking out if you missed it the first time around, and hell, probably worth buying again for the extras! Here's what we said when we reviewed it back in 2009:
Intrusion is the solo project of Steve Hitchell, who alongside Rod Modell forms the impressive heroin-house meets dub-factory duo Echospace. Just as Modell's solo recordings don't veer too far from the Echospace mantra, the Intrusion sound doesn't see any reason to break the mold either. If it ain't broke, why fix it? This is the beloved muted blur of the Detroit / Berlin axis of techno that spurned the whole Basic Channel / Chain Reaction sound and which then slowed itself down into the murky dub of Burial Mix. Hitchell and Modell have both been so captivated by this particular sound, that they've collected many of the modular synths, signal processors, and classic drum machines that Moritz Von Oswald and Juan Atkins used back in the day to perfect the mimesis of that abstracted techno that steadily cruises through the dronefields. The bulk of the album finds a hypnotizing rhythm sublimated behind atmospheric synth chords rippling in sync with the cascading wash of echo and heaping snow drifts of tape hiss; but Hitchell does make a few noteworthy detours. "Intrusion Dub" is a decidedly uptempo digidub number, with Augustus Pablo-esque trills across the melodica and an insistent hi-hat uncannily similar to the metronomic rhythms provided by Public Image Limited on Metal Box, but of course pixel-pointed into a Chain Reactive / Burial Mix cloud of digital hiss. Elsewhere, he recruits the Burial Mix toaster par excellence Paul St. Hillaire to offer his ghostly croon to the mix. Mighty fine, mighty fine.
MPEG Stream: "Intrusion Dub"
MPEG Stream: "Little Angel w/ Paul St. Hillaire"

album cover LUSSURIA Industriale Illuminato (Hospital Productions) lp 26.00
First album proper from this shadowy purveyor of hauntological industrial ambience, after a handful of releases which were more like singles collections. Industriale Illuminato functions as a continuous songsuite, one that plays out like the soundtrack to some eerily romantic art film, or the score to a trip down the rabbit hole, or more accurately, some strange miix of the two. A mix of electronic and organic instruments, the sound lush, and cinematic, but also murky and mysterious, strange voices are looped into hiccuping rhythms, other voices seem to decay and crumble into the ether, while thick waves of rumbling thrum ebb and flow, synths swirl, clouds of cymbal shimmer sizzle and dissipate, clouds of blurred ambience drift lazily over a bleary, washed out landscape of bleak atmospheric sprawl. Beats surface throughout, conjuring a vibe similar to Boards Of Canada, but cast with a deathly pallor, the sounds and the beats more rough edged, the sounds oozing and bleeding, the needle pegged, and that in-the-red grit a part of the atmosphere. The vibe shifts constantly throughout, from churning industrial techno gloom, to creeping soundtrack shimmer, to straight up cinematic ambience, replete with what sound like field recordings (or clips from whatever imaginary movie it's from), while other tracks are tangled stretches of mangled beats, that seem to roil restlessly, as if trying to desperately untangle themselves. The majority of the record though is darkly serene, ominously tranquil, dreamlike bordering on nightmarish, rhythmic, and hypnotic, with some tracks slipping into downright beauty, albeit a sort of faded decaying beauty, a strangely lovely sinister sonic rot that seems to be slowly eating away at all of Industriale Illuminato, and transforming it into a fantastic collection of crumbling black hearted drone-gloom bliss.
MPEG Stream: "Boneblack"
MPEG Stream: "Petra Marina"
MPEG Stream: "Venus In Retrograde"
MPEG Stream: "Wind Carries Soot"

album cover KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Float Along Fill Your Lungs / Oddments (Flightless) 2cd 17.98
Um, ok, either you're reading this review BECAUSE the band is named King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, or you were just about to stop reading it 'cause the band is named King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. If the latter is the case, please stick with it, they're actually a better band than their name might suggest (we're making this a Record Of The Week after all!!). Or, if you do think the name is cool, then they ARE as good of a band as you're hoping for. But maybe not the sort of band you'd think they'd be. It's actually kind of hard to pin down exactly what kind of band Australia's King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are, anyway. Kind of cosmic garage psych pop?
The first disc here, Float Along - Fill Your Lungs (originally released on its own last year in their home country) starts off stonery enough with a fifteen minute spaced out extravaganza called "Head On/Pill", truly a trippy psychedelic swirl, a mind-altering mix of lilting melodies, gentle vocals, and driving motorik rhythms, with loads and loads of FX, all sorts of fuzz and distortion. It's spacey and sunshiney and somehow like a much more garage-poppy Hawkwind or Acid Mothers Temple track. Had us sold right there. But this 7-piece ensemble aren't just about the extended space rock (pop). Most of rest of the songs on Float Along are much shorter, taking elements of that first track, or not, and going to other delightful garage-pop places, variously strummy and twangy and foot-tapping and head-nodding, fuzzy and shambolic, before winding the disc up with another long, tripped out (but mellower) jam in the form of the Eastern-tinged, drone-laced title track.
THEN, there's the 2nd disc, also released separately this year Down Under, the aptly titled Oddments, which is even more varied than the 1st disc. This one starts with a Bollywood-sampling instrumental that makes us think of ol' Money Mark and the Beastie Boys, super groovy and kinda chaotic, fuzzy "hairy funk", with lots of organ and synth sizzle. The psych-groove continues on the next, vocal track, bringing in visions of early Funkadelic and Shuggie Otis. But then, as the disc spins, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (love typing that name out!) get back into the ramshackle '60s teen garage pop inspired songwriting that also made up the bulk of the first disc, with a dash of distorted Ariel Pink-ish dementia. The wispy vocals of "Work This Time" make us think of Vincent Gallo's solo album When, "Hot Wax" is a weird, catchy jam incorporating some "Surfing Safari" quotes, "Homeless Man In Adidas" (!) is a hushed acoustic folk number... you see, all over the place. Oddments indeed.
Overall, soundwise, King Gizzard align themselves with the Ty Segall / Thee Oh Sees type of crowd, and so it's no surprise then that they're gonna be over here in the States in October touring with White Fence. Hope we get to see that. Seems like they'd be a blast live. But King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard's style of "garage rock" is waaaay more cosmic and psychedelic and randomly bizarre than a lot of their US contemporaries, that's for sure. We'll be indulging ourselves heavily in both these records for a while yet, trying to fully get our heads around 'em. Nice, nice, nice.
MPEG Stream: "Head On/Pill"
MPEG Stream: "Mystery Jack"
MPEG Stream: "Pop In My Step"
MPEG Stream: "Alluda Majaka"
MPEG Stream: "Vegemite"

album cover KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Float Along Fill Your Lungs / Oddments (Flightless) 2lp 24.00
Um, ok, either you're reading this review BECAUSE the band is named King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, or you were just about to stop reading it 'cause the band is named King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. If the latter is the case, please stick with it, they're actually a better band than their name might suggest (we're making this a Record Of The Week after all!!). Or, if you do think the name is cool, then they ARE as good of a band as you're hoping for. But maybe not the sort of band you'd think they'd be. It's actually kind of hard to pin down exactly what kind of band Australia's King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are, anyway. Kind of cosmic garage psych pop?
The first disc here, Float Along - Fill Your Lungs (originally released on its own last year in their home country) starts off stonery enough with a fifteen minute spaced out extravaganza called "Head On/Pill", truly a trippy psychedelic swirl, a mind-altering mix of lilting melodies, gentle vocals, and driving motorik rhythms, with loads and loads of FX, all sorts of fuzz and distortion. It's spacey and sunshiney and somehow like a much more garage-poppy Hawkwind or Acid Mothers Temple track. Had us sold right there. But this 7-piece ensemble aren't just about the extended space rock (pop). Most of rest of the songs on Float Along are much shorter, taking elements of that first track, or not, and going to other delightful garage-pop places, variously strummy and twangy and foot-tapping and head-nodding, fuzzy and shambolic, before winding the disc up with another long, tripped out (but mellower) jam in the form of the Eastern-tinged, drone-laced title track.
THEN, there's the 2nd disc, also released separately this year Down Under, the aptly titled Oddments, which is even more varied than the 1st disc. This one starts with a Bollywood-sampling instrumental that makes us think of ol' Money Mark and the Beastie Boys, super groovy and kinda chaotic, fuzzy "hairy funk", with lots of organ and synth sizzle. The psych-groove continues on the next, vocal track, bringing in visions of early Funkadelic and Shuggie Otis. But then, as the disc spins, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (love typing that name out!) get back into the ramshackle '60s teen garage pop inspired songwriting that also made up the bulk of the first disc, with a dash of distorted Ariel Pink-ish dementia. The wispy vocals of "Work This Time" make us think of Vincent Gallo's solo album When, "Hot Wax" is a weird, catchy jam incorporating some "Surfing Safari" quotes, "Homeless Man In Adidas" (!) is a hushed acoustic folk number... you see, all over the place. Oddments indeed.
Overall, soundwise, King Gizzard align themselves with the Ty Segall / Thee Oh Sees type of crowd, and so it's no surprise then that they're gonna be over here in the States in October touring with White Fence. Hope we get to see that. Seems like they'd be a blast live. But King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard's style of "garage rock" is waaaay more cosmic and psychedelic and randomly bizarre than a lot of their US contemporaries, that's for sure. We'll be indulging ourselves heavily in both these records for a while yet, trying to fully get our heads around 'em. Nice, nice, nice.
MPEG Stream: "Head On/Pill"
MPEG Stream: "Mystery Jack"
MPEG Stream: "Pop In My Step"
MPEG Stream: "Alluda Majaka"
MPEG Stream: "Vegemite"

album cover SHIT & SHINE Powder Horn (Diagonal Records) cd 14.98
BACK IN STOCK!
You could argue that EVERY record from these Texas via UK via Texas noise rock weirdos is sort of a 'dance' record. Every one rife with rhythms and grooves, hypnotic and repetitive, tranced out and yeah a little bit groovy. Although most of that was countered by blown out distorted bass buzz, squealing noise made by squeezing air from balloons, thick swaths of analog synth blurt, crushing down tuned bass buzz, multi drummers, bizarre and ultra creepy costumes, but really, at the core of $&$, was rhythm. And as the band has shed its revolving phalanx of multiple drummers, and slimmed down its ranks to what is essentially just one man, $&$ mastermind Craig Clouse, the sound has changed as well, with Clouse pushing the music of his previously bombastic noise rock juggernaut into something more electronic, the entity that is now Shit & Shine, instead of being some weirdo noise rockers, are in fact some twisted, avant, and yeah, still noisy and WTF version of electronic music, one that's not strictly electronic, just to muddy the waters just a little more.
In fact, right from the get go, the sound is akin to the Butthole Surfers recording for Warp, or some extremely bastardized version of that new slo-mo soul sound. Opener "Hiss" sounds like Burial or How To Dress Well, but all drugged up and doused in FX, at least for a minute or two, then in comes some proper guitar some synths, and the 'band' sound like an actual band, a cleaner, more streamlined, more 'danceable' Buttholes perhaps, but in the history of $&$, it doesn't sound all that out of place, even though it is a lot different than most of what's come before. But we dig it, a noisy, rock groove, peppered with swirls of squelch and gristle, some buried progged out synths, FX that send sounds stuttering into cloud of dizzying psych, but al wedded to that unwavering groove.
And that's just the beginning, with Clouse utilizing his kitchen sink approach, but in this case, the kitchen sink in question is a dirty rusty sink in an old abandoned meth lab on an empty lot somewhere in bumfuck Texas, but that only adds to the WTF of Clouse's 'electronica' and doesn't prevent him from conjuring up squelchy little bas driven synth heavy grooves like "You Can't", which sounds like some warped version of Neu!, or the ultra minimal glitchy electro skitter static of 'Pearl Drop", or the big bass, block rockin' "PG 13" that takes a super funky groove, adds some metallic vokill screech, some distort blasts of psych noise, all of which eventually devolves into a sort of eighties soundtrack groove. From there on out, there's the demented James Brown-ish "Blowhannon', which sounds like his back up band was either Earth Wind And Fire or Rusted Shut or BOTH. "Who's Your Waitress", is a shittier shinier take on FM radio yacht rock, a smooth groove, laced with just enough subtle WTF-ness to keep it confusional, "Value" is all big beat bombast, sounding like it could be some lost DHR b-side or another Meat Beat style cruncher. There's more of course, from low spun, creeps wrapped around rubbery bass billows, and dubbed out drum splatter, and some pounding 4 on the floor acid house, albeit equally acid fried, and wreathed in some creepy John Carpenter synthiness. And if you're lucky, and remain a cd person, the aluminum version has bonus tracks from the last $&$ 12", one a cool collaged rhythmic groove, replete with mangled vocal samples, skipping bass blurt, some gurgled cookie monster vox, even some guitar crunch, one is a full on disco blowout, albeit a bit distorted and twisted, and FX heavy, especially toward the end, where it seems to melt into a sort of Butthole Surfers megamix, and one is a murky skitter, that slowly builds to a sort of warbly dubbed out funk-murk electro dirge, that is about as danceable as it is weird. Which is 'very' on both counts.
MPEG Stream: "Hiss"
MPEG Stream: "You Can't"
MPEG Stream: "Pearl Drop"
MPEG Stream: "PG 13"
MPEG Stream: "Blowhannon"

album cover HOLOVR Holo Earth (Opal Tapes) lp 26.00
In the past it's been quite difficult to get stuff on the Opal Tapes label, so we've been pretty excited to get our hands on the last couple releases. The first, reviewed on last week's list, was the latest from Siobhan and now this, the previously unknown to us Holovr, aka Jimmy Billingham, whose sound is appropriately murky and moody, some strange hybrid of the Caretaker and Boards Of Canada, all grey and hazy, gauzy and washed out, evoking a moodiness similar to BoC, but instead of pastoral and sun dappled, here it's damp and overcast, cloudy and full of shadows, the sound itself, a bleak skitterscape, shot through with burnished guitar skree, in wiry tangles beneath the surface, while over the top, strange kosmische synths drift in and out, the sound seemingly enveloped in blurred billows of hiss and haze, even at it's most propulsive and beat driven, the music is buried beneath a gauze of low fidelity thrum and sonic detritus, making for something ethereal and hauntological. Throughout the record, mysterious voices surface, sampled vocals weave in and out, the beats fragment and grow more jagged and distorted, before slipping back into some sort of somnambulant house music, before once again blossoming into prismatic ambient bliss out, the beats routinely wreathed in a backdrop remains of swirlingly serene, mesmeric and dreamlike, lo-fi bleary eared drift.
MPEG Stream: "Out Land"
MPEG Stream: "Bubble Glade"
MPEG Stream: "Native Iron"

album cover LEATHER SLAVE s/t (Permanent Records) lp 17.98
If you've had trouble tracking down the latest record from Swedish dirge-jazz sludge punks Brainbombs, or just wish there were more bands who shared that aesthetic, well, your wish just came true. LA duo Leather Slave sound so much like Brainbombs, it would be criminal if we didn't love that sound so much. The band lock into loping, lumbering doom-sludge-punk anti-grooves, the guitar blown out and super distorted, a single riff, grinding away, over a simple caveman beat, the vocals distorted, and sung-spoken, and again, a dead ringer for the Brainbombs, with lyrics about cutting off your fingers and then making you try on gloves, or lots of 'stabbing's, so much so that it almost sounds like these guys are taking the piss, especially when the word 'stab' is repeated, and then sort of dubbed out (or the word 'hell' on another track). But then there's something patently absurd about stuff like this anyway, which again, is probably why we dig it so much. Every track here essential a single riff, a single rhythm, with a second guitar adding some psychedelic counterpoint, very subtle though, almost like Neanderthal leads way down in the mix, the whole thing mesmerizing and menacing, like a filthy, crusty, dirgey, serial killing version of Finnish hypno-rockers Circle. Which is probably the highest recommendation we can give.
And disregard the label marking the record as 33 1/3 rpm, unless you want it REALLY sludgy, the vocals an almost death metal gurgle, while we dig that version of Leather Slave too, 45 rpm is the speed for maximum Brain-bombing. Ridiculous over the top cover art and full color insert too.

album cover NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Brill Bruisers (Matador) cd 14.98
The first song on this new record from longtime aQ faves the New Pornographers is SO good. It's easily their best song since their breakout hit "Letter To An Occupant", it instantly evokes the classic Brill Building of the title, the powerhouse hit factory from the sixties, and positions the Pornographers as real Brill Bruisers, whipping up a track like the title track here effortlessly, lush, bombastic, almost symphonic, hooky as hell, with amazing vocals, melodies, plenty of ooohhh's and aahhhh's, even some synths, it's just shy of 3 minutes, but it really is one of those songs most pop bands spend their whole lives striving toward. When we first discovered the New Pornographers, they were a revelation, born of one of our favorite pop bands ever, Zumpano (c'mon Sub Pop, time's ripe for a Zumpano reissue!!!), The NP's took Zumpano's orchestral bombast and polished it up a bit, adding Neko Case to the equation and striking gold. Over the years, the NPs made their way squarely into the mainstream, and while we have always been tempted to write them off as mom rock or dad rock or NPR rock, every time we dig into a new record, we're reminded that these guys and gals are kind of pop geniuses. And this new one drives that point home big time. If you can make it past the opener, which to be honest, took us about 20 plays, there's lots more pop goodness to be found. The sound instantly recognizable as the New Pornographers, but with plenty of modern tweaks, more synths, a lush production, but ultimately, just some fantastic sounds, expertly crafted, music, vocals, sound, it's all wound into gorgeously hook heavy ebullient pop music, that sounds totally timeless, making the title even more appropriate. And while to varying degrees we love all the tracks here, other super favorites include "War On The East Coast", which is a bit darker and synthier, but with one of the records best, and most bombastic hooks, then there's "Backstairs" which almost sounds like some old Zumpano B-side, or "Fantasy Fools" which might have been our favorite track here if it weren't for that opener, heck, just get over whatever guilty pleasure / "these guys are all over NPR" reservations you might have, and dig into what might be one of the best pop records of the year. You won't be sorry. And please write a letter to Sub Pop and let's get this Zumpano reissue campaign going!!
MPEG Stream: "Brill Bruisers"
MPEG Stream: "Champions Of Red Wine"
MPEG Stream: "Fantasy Fools"
MPEG Stream: "War On The East Coast"

album cover NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Brill Bruisers (Matador) 2lp 19.98
The first song on this new record from longtime aQ faves the New Pornographers is SO good. It's easily their best song since their breakout hit "Letter To An Occupant", it instantly evokes the classic Brill Building of the title, the powerhouse hit factory from the sixties, and positions the Pornographers as real Brill Bruisers, whipping up a track like the title track here effortlessly, lush, bombastic, almost symphonic, hooky as hell, with amazing vocals, melodies, plenty of ooohhh's and aahhhh's, even some synths, it's just shy of 3 minutes, but it really is one of those songs most pop bands spend their whole lives striving toward. When we first discovered the New Pornographers, they were a revelation, born of one of our favorite pop bands ever, Zumpano (c'mon Sub Pop, time's ripe for a Zumpano reissue!!!), The NP's took Zumpano's orchestral bombast and polished it up a bit, adding Neko Case to the equation and striking gold. Over the years, the NPs made their way squarely into the mainstream, and while we have always been tempted to write them off as mom rock or dad rock or NPR rock, every time we dig into a new record, we're reminded that these guys and gals are kind of pop geniuses. And this new one drives that point home big time. If you can make it past the opener, which to be honest, took us about 20 plays, there's lots more pop goodness to be found. The sound instantly recognizable as the New Pornographers, but with plenty of modern tweaks, more synths, a lush production, but ultimately, just some fantastic sounds, expertly crafted, music, vocals, sound, it's all wound into gorgeously hook heavy ebullient pop music, that sounds totally timeless, making the title even more appropriate. And while to varying degrees we love all the tracks here, other super favorites include "War On The East Coast", which is a bit darker and synthier, but with one of the records best, and most bombastic hooks, then there's "Backstairs" which almost sounds like some old Zumpano B-side, or "Fantasy Fools" which might have been our favorite track here if it weren't for that opener, heck, just get over whatever guilty pleasure / "these guys are all over NPR" reservations you might have, and dig into what might be one of the best pop records of the year. You won't be sorry. And please write a letter to Sub Pop and let's get this Zumpano reissue campaign going!!
MPEG Stream: "Brill Bruisers"
MPEG Stream: "Champions Of Red Wine"
MPEG Stream: "Fantasy Fools"
MPEG Stream: "War On The East Coast"

album cover SEGALL, TY Manipulator (Drag City) cd 14.98
Before we get into this new Ty Segall record, we should probably state right up front, that we thought about making this a Record Of The Week. And then didn't cuz we ALWAYS make Segall's records Record Of The Week. And on first listen, we didn't immediately dig this quite as much as the last few, but if we've learned anything, we can almost guarantee that in a week or two, after repeated listens, we'll probably be losing our shit and proclaiming this his best yet. So bear that in mind, and consider this a probably could/would/should have been Record Of The Week. Cuz even if it doesn't have the immediate appeal of say, Twins, or Sleep, or even the Fuzz record, it's still pretty goddamn great, overflowing with impossibly catchy songs, a little bit fuzz poppy, a little bit garage rocky, still pretty glammy, the sound lush and dizzyingly ambitious sonically, with some songs sounding like a straight up rock band, others like pure studio concoctions, with most landing somewhere right in between, and even writing this review, and finally hearing this record for the first time on headphones, not in the store, we're having second thoughts again about this NOT being a Record Of The Week.
Just have a listen to the samples below, if you're new to the world of Ty Segall, odds are it won't take long for you to be on over, and if you're already a fan, like us, you'll immediately feel right at home. The opener/title track is all organ driven fuzz, with Segall effortlessly slipping into a falsetto, wound around multiple instruments harmonizing, buzzing and jangly and very retro sixties pop by way of modern garage rock, not unlike many of his contemporaries, but then there's "Tall Man, Skinny Lady" which sounds like nobody else, urgently strummed acoustic guitars wound around groovy drums, everything wreathed in a cloud of effects, the vocals drenched in echo and reverb, the falsetto in full effect, total glam rock swagger, and then when the super distorted fuzz guitar kicks in, especially the wild shredding psychedelic leads, it's divine. And hell, we're only two tracks in.
Instead of going track by track, just know, that if you dig the sound samples below, odds are there's pretty much nothing here you won't dig like crazy, whether it's all torch songy garage rock balladry, or fuzzed out heavy psych, or buzz heavy almost metallic distorto crunch, or grandiose baroque retro-pop, or the tons of gradations in-between. We're gonna stop now, before we change our minds and make this Record Of The Week anyway. Which we might still do anyway. Needless to say, way Way WAY recommended!!
MPEG Stream: "Manipulator"
MPEG Stream: "Tall Man, Skinny Lady"
MPEG Stream: "The Singer"
MPEG Stream: "It's Over"

album cover SEGALL, TY Manipulator (Drag City) 2lp 25.00
Before we get into this new Ty Segall record, we should probably state right up front, that we thought about making this a Record Of The Week. And then didn't cuz we ALWAYS make Segall's records Record Of The Week. And on first listen, we didn't immediately dig this quite as much as the last few, but if we've learned anything, we can almost guarantee that in a week or two, after repeated listens, we'll probably be losing our shit and proclaiming this his best yet. So bear that in mind, and consider this a probably could/would/should have been Record Of The Week. Cuz even if it doesn't have the immediate appeal of say, Twins, or Sleep, or even the Fuzz record, it's still pretty goddamn great, overflowing with impossibly catchy songs, a little bit fuzz poppy, a little bit garage rocky, still pretty glammy, the sound lush and dizzyingly ambitious sonically, with some songs sounding like a straight up rock band, others like pure studio concoctions, with most landing somewhere right in between, and even writing this review, and finally hearing this record for the first time on headphones, not in the store, we're having second thoughts again about this NOT being a Record Of The Week.
Just have a listen to the samples below, if you're new to the world of Ty Segall, odds are it won't take long for you to be on over, and if you're already a fan, like us, you'll immediately feel right at home. The opener/title track is all organ driven fuzz, with Segall effortlessly slipping into a falsetto, wound around multiple instruments harmonizing, buzzing and jangly and very retro sixties pop by way of modern garage rock, not unlike many of his contemporaries, but then there's "Tall Man, Skinny Lady" which sounds like nobody else, urgently strummed acoustic guitars wound around groovy drums, everything wreathed in a cloud of effects, the vocals drenched in echo and reverb, the falsetto in full effect, total glam rock swagger, and then when the super distorted fuzz guitar kicks in, especially the wild shredding psychedelic leads, it's divine. And hell, we're only two tracks in.
Instead of going track by track, just know, that if you dig the sound samples below, odds are there's pretty much nothing here you won't dig like crazy, whether it's all torch songy garage rock balladry, or fuzzed out heavy psych, or buzz heavy almost metallic distorto crunch, or grandiose baroque retro-pop, or the tons of gradations in-between. We're gonna stop now, before we change our minds and make this Record Of The Week anyway. Which we might still do anyway. Needless to say, way Way WAY recommended!!
MPEG Stream: "Manipulator"
MPEG Stream: "Tall Man, Skinny Lady"
MPEG Stream: "The Singer"
MPEG Stream: "It's Over"

album cover SEGALL, TY Manipulator (Drag City) cassette 9.98
Before we get into this new Ty Segall record, we should probably state right up front, that we thought about making this a Record Of The Week. And then didn't cuz we ALWAYS make Segall's records Record Of The Week. And on first listen, we didn't immediately dig this quite as much as the last few, but if we've learned anything, we can almost guarantee that in a week or two, after repeated listens, we'll probably be losing our shit and proclaiming this his best yet. So bear that in mind, and consider this a probably could/would/should have been Record Of The Week. Cuz even if it doesn't have the immediate appeal of say, Twins, or Sleep, or even the Fuzz record, it's still pretty goddamn great, overflowing with impossibly catchy songs, a little bit fuzz poppy, a little bit garage rocky, still pretty glammy, the sound lush and dizzyingly ambitious sonically, with some songs sounding like a straight up rock band, others like pure studio concoctions, with most landing somewhere right in between, and even writing this review, and finally hearing this record for the first time on headphones, not in the store, we're having second thoughts again about this NOT being a Record Of The Week.
Just have a listen to the samples below, if you're new to the world of Ty Segall, odds are it won't take long for you to be on over, and if you're already a fan, like us, you'll immediately feel right at home. The opener/title track is all organ driven fuzz, with Segall effortlessly slipping into a falsetto, wound around multiple instruments harmonizing, buzzing and jangly and very retro sixties pop by way of modern garage rock, not unlike many of his contemporaries, but then there's "Tall Man, Skinny Lady" which sounds like nobody else, urgently strummed acoustic guitars wound around groovy drums, everything wreathed in a cloud of effects, the vocals drenched in echo and reverb, the falsetto in full effect, total glam rock swagger, and then when the super distorted fuzz guitar kicks in, especially the wild shredding psychedelic leads, it's divine. And hell, we're only two tracks in.
Instead of going track by track, just know, that if you dig the sound samples below, odds are there's pretty much nothing here you won't dig like crazy, whether it's all torch songy garage rock balladry, or fuzzed out heavy psych, or buzz heavy almost metallic distorto crunch, or grandiose baroque retro-pop, or the tons of gradations in-between. We're gonna stop now, before we change our minds and make this Record Of The Week anyway. Which we might still do anyway. Needless to say, way Way WAY recommended!!
MPEG Stream: "Manipulator"
MPEG Stream: "Tall Man, Skinny Lady"
MPEG Stream: "The Singer"
MPEG Stream: "It's Over"

SWAMP WITCH Gnosis (Anti-Matter) cassette 4.98
ALSO ON TAPE!!! The debut demo from these East Bay doomlords will likely be the first time most folks get an earful of Swamp Witch, and in a seriously overpopulated scene, SW definitely do their own thing, in fact, from the first few seconds, we were a bit thrown off, cuz the vibe was way more stonery and classic metal, not sludgey or really even all that doomy, we were ready for some soaring eighties style metal vocals to swoop in, they definitely would have fit, but before that can happen, the song shifts gears and slows to a lurching crawl, accompanied by some demonic vokill bellows, some serious stonery sludge, but then that opening riff resurfaces, and adds some serious melody to the proceedings, this time with added sort-of-leads, but it's what keeps this from being just another slab of boring doom, and it's that push and pull that makes the track so good, the band easily shifting from that lurching crawl, to the more propulsive classic metal rocking and back again, the cool thing being that you can almost feel the pull of the opposing sound the whole time, the sludge-y parts sound like they desperately wanna explode into melodic metal, and the melodic metal parts feel like they're on the edge of being sucked into the black tarpit dirge of the sludge parts. Then at the end it gets sort of psychedelic, with some crazy, sorta shrieked vocals. Such a killer track, definitely worth the price of admission right there. Then there's the second track, which is a bit more traditionally stonery sludge, but with a KILLER main riff, that again, slows down to an absolute slo-mo creep, a chugging, churning crawl, and so it goes again, the band lurching from stonery dirge to creepy crawl, finally culminating in an outro that's all swirling psychedelic feedback.
The sidelong flipside is a doozy, the brooding title track takes ages to get revved up, building lots of tension, the vibe super cinematic, all swirling feedback, and groaning bass rumble, keening melodies, all blurred into smeary swaths of mournful minor key sound, and when the song kicks in, it's MASSIVE, so heavy and blown out, some seriously brutal ultra doom crush, the sound remaining mostly entrenched in a tarpit dirge, the variations this time for the most time arrangement wise, some mathy chugging, a slightly more midtempo, groovy stretch, with some killer psychedelic guitars, which eventually bliss out into another feedback drenched guitardrone finale.
So killer. Not sure how we haven't heard these guys before now.
And if these three tracks are still somehow not sludgey enough for you, do some searching on the internet, and you can find a killer 'chopped & screwed' version, which finds the whole thing slowed way down, fucked with, looped and layered, stuttery and staggery, replete with weird scratching and DJ manipulations, as well as woozy, pitch shifted DJ Screw like vocals.
MPEG Stream: "Novem"
MPEG Stream: "Emerald Serpent"

album cover BODY HAMMER II: The Mechanism Of Night (The Path Less Traveled) cd 9.98
Way back in 2009, we reviewed a record by a band called Body Hammer, a brilliantly dizzying hybrid of damaged hyper grind, blackened dronescapery and frenzied math metal, all housed in a dvd case, wrapped in a sumo cloth. Now here we are five years later, and the man behind Body Hammer, just walks into aQ, having moved to the Bay Area to attend Mills, and in hand, a new Body Hammer record! And while we'd like to say it's way weirder, or way more fucked up, we just can't cuz the first one was pretty demented and damaged, but what we can say, is the new one is just as tweaked and twisted, which all we could have hoped for, hell, even the first track is pretty difficult to describe, a sort of psychedelic industrial blowout, all metallic percussion, and wild electronic squiggles that could be guitar shred, but is likely something else entirely, a dizzying rhythmic workout that leads directly into a 33 second blast of furious metallic grind, only to then explode into a nearly as brief burst of power electronics, which again in turn, transforms into a blurry bit of collaged field recordings and short wave broadcasts, and thenÉ
Well, before we go track by track, it should be noted there are lots of brief tracks here, some ambient, some blacknoise, some grinding metal, some all three combined, the metal parts are totally frenzied drummachinegun style blowouts, while the more abstract tracks are all over the map, eventually as the track lengthen, the sound becomes more harrowing, the terrifying sample laced atmosphere of "A Presence", the churning black buzz ambience of "A Disappearance", laced with buried vokills and tangled guitar shred, or the slo-mo doomdrone of "The Church", but peppered throughout are dense bouts of Godflesh-like industrial metal churn, all robotic deathmarch and machine like lumber, barely there soundscapery, cinematic and haunting, tripped out psych-noise, blasts of guitar clang, and billows of hazy FX, symphonies of feedback, and finally, a hazy long form sprawl of field recording flecked, murky industrial drift, a strangely disturbing coda, for a fantastically fucked up record.
MPEG Stream: "The Iron Bough"
MPEG Stream: "Body Blockade"

album cover PUNCH They Don't Have To Believe (Deathwish) cd 10.98
Not sure how we managed to miss these guys up until now. They're from right here in SF, and this is their third full length (we've heard exactly ONE of their 7"s), they totally kill, and they have maybe the fiercest female vocalist we've ever heard. All this talk about Perfect Pussy, fuck that, Meghan from Punch might have the greatest punk rock voice we've heard in forever, a serious paint peeling caterwaul, and the band back her up with a potent mix of classic hardcore, old school punk rock, furious grind and some seriously metallic heft. A relentless chaotic frenzy that occasionally slips into straight forward punk rock pound, but just as often explodes into grinding metallic fury that is seriously some of the fiercest and most furious shit EVER. The production by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Whirr, etc.) only makes it that much meaner and HUGE sounding. It's 15 songs in about 18 minutes, the longest is 2:33, the shortest (the title track) a mere :05, but every track, even that brief sonic blip totally destroys, and the crazy thing, is it's catchy as fuck, with super melodic basslines, some seriously killer riffs, and some goddamn great songs. And when they slow it down, it's SO heavy, which is only further magnified when they explode into a part as fast and furious as the previous part was slow. Holy shit. We're gonna make it a point to track down all the other Punch records, and not miss a single show, cuz as good as these songs sound on record, we can only imagine how brutal and badass this stuff sounds live.
MPEG Stream: "Worth More Than Your Opinion"
MPEG Stream: "Making Room"
MPEG Stream: "Not Sorry"
MPEG Stream: "Waiting Game"

album cover LUSSURIA Industriale Illuminato (Hospital Productions) cd 14.98
First album proper from this shadowy purveyor of hauntological industrial ambience, after a handful of releases which were more like singles collections. Industriale Illuminato functions as a continuous songsuite, one that plays out like the soundtrack to some eerily romantic art film, or the score to a trip down the rabbit hole, or more accurately, some strange miix of the two. A mix of electronic and organic instruments, the sound lush, and cinematic, but also murky and mysterious, strange voices are looped into hiccuping rhythms, other voices seem to decay and crumble into the ether, while thick waves of rumbling thrum ebb and flow, synths swirl, clouds of cymbal shimmer sizzle and dissipate, clouds of blurred ambience drift lazily over a bleary, washed out landscape of bleak atmospheric sprawl. Beats surface throughout, conjuring a vibe similar to Boards Of Canada, but cast with a deathly pallor, the sounds and the beats more rough edged, the sounds oozing and bleeding, the needle pegged, and that in-the-red grit a part of the atmosphere. The vibe shifts constantly throughout, from churning industrial techno gloom, to creeping soundtrack shimmer, to straight up cinematic ambience, replete with what sound like field recordings (or clips from whatever imaginary movie it's from), while other tracks are tangled stretches of mangled beats, that seem to roil restlessly, as if trying to desperately untangle themselves. The majority of the record though is darkly serene, ominously tranquil, dreamlike bordering on nightmarish, rhythmic, and hypnotic, with some tracks slipping into downright beauty, albeit a sort of faded decaying beauty, a strangely lovely sinister sonic rot that seems to be slowly eating away at all of Industriale Illuminato, and transforming it into a fantastic collection of crumbling black hearted drone-gloom bliss.
MPEG Stream: "Boneblack"
MPEG Stream: "Petra Marina"
MPEG Stream: "Venus In Retrograde"
MPEG Stream: "Wind Carries Soot"

album cover OSWALD, JOHN Grayfolded (Important Records) 3lp 67.00
Much to our surprise, we have lots of friends who LOVE the Grateful Dead. When Andee was in Finland, aQ pal Jussi from Circle even made him a mix of just the best jams. No "Truckin'" or any of that stuff, just endless spaced out psychedelic jammage, and we can safely say, that we can definitely get behind that side of the Dead. Really, it's almost like a mellower, more stoned Hawkwind, which definitely doesn't sound like a bad thing at all. Even so, we might still suggest Grayfolded as the only Grateful Dead record you really need to own. In part because it's only KIND OF a Grateful Dead record, well, it is ALL Grateful Dead, but it's multiple versions of the same song, "Dark Star", a bunch of different performances and recordings, all cut up and reassembled Plunderphonic style by John Oswald. So in a way, it's like a more experimental version of that mixtape Jussi made for Andee, and if you didn't know what this was all about, and weren't listening to it on headphones, you might just think it was a straight up psychedelic jam. The edits and the layering and the arrangement are pretty seamless, the multiple performances woven into a super cohesive, slow shifting, constantly mutating whole, spacey and laid back, drowsy, druggy and hypnotic, spidery guitar lines unwind, and tangle up with the same, slightly altered melodies from another performance, the multiple iterations almost ghostly the way they bleed into one another, like listening to the Dead in a carnival funhouse hall of mirrors, but if anything, that only makes it seem more psychedelic, yet all without losing the essence of the original track, which is no small feat. It's the sort of masterful editing that is almost too good, so much so that most folks listening to this won't appreciate the painstaking work that went into its creation. So in that way, headphone listening will be rewarded for sure, allowing the listener to sink deep into all of these many "Dark Star"s, and to not just appreciate the masterful skill of the musicians, but the new alien context they've been placed in after the fact. Psychedelic, plunderphonic genius!
Originally released as a double cd set back in the '90s, now for the first time getting issued on (triple, deluxe) vinyl!!
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 1"
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 2"

album cover SURF NAZIS MUST DIE (JON MCCALLUM) OST (Strange Disc Records) lp 28.00
Most of us went to see Surf Nazis Must Die back in the day (the day being 1987) based entirely on the movie title, and the awesomely over the top poster which featured a a nazi with a machine gun in one hand, his other hand a metal claw, on a surfboard, pierced by a chainsaw, riding a wave, about to land on a terrified bikini clad beach bunny on another surfboard, the beaches burning in the background, with the legend: "The beaches have become battlefields... The waves are a warzone!"
Who could resist? Certainly not us. Although it's been a while, but if memory serves, the plot was pretty goofy, like most Troma movies. An earthquake destroys the West coast, neo nazi surf punks battle for control of the beaches, but when a boy is killed, the boy's grandma breaks out of her nursing home for REVENGE! It got a rating of 1.5 stars on IMDB, and 1 star on Rotten Tomatoes, but we remember it being pretty funny. What we did NOT remember was the soundtrack, which has never been available until NOW. And you would think a Troma movie from the eighties would have an appropriately cheesy soundtrack, you might be surprised by John McCallum's score, which is very creepy and synthy, a little bit John Carpenter, a little bit Tangerine Dream, swirls of synth buzz, and moody minor key melodies, some squiggly FX. Lots of the tracks are tense and driving, that very classic 'chase scene' sound, with programmed drums, the vibe sort of soundtracky but new wavey, for sure Carpenter fans, and folks who've been digging this new renaissance of retro-synth music, will flip for sure, even without seeing the movie. And while that original poster was so cool, the new artwork is pretty bad ass, a huge chrome skull, floating in a blue sky over the Pacific Ocean, above two crossed surfboards (skull & crossboards?), with the legend: "Welcome To California"...
LIMITED TO 800 COPIES, housed in nice thick jackets, with new liner notes from McCallum, the director, and various crew members. The new artwork was done by McCallum too!!
MPEG Stream: "Main Theme"
MPEG Stream: "Awaiting Death"
MPEG Stream: "Prepare To Battle"

album cover WAGNER, MIREL When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
A while back we reviewed the self titled debut from Ethiopian-Finnish guitarist/vocalist Mirel Wagner, released on local label Friendly Fire, and we were pretty smitten, a haunting collection of lush, almost murder ballads, the sound crystalline and clear, but the vibe and the mood murky and ominous. Not sure what we were expecting, but it definitely wasn't something nearly that bleak and dark. And with a jump to Sub Pop, we were perhaps expecting Wagner to deliver something more polished, less intimate, less sonically harrowing than that debut, but we're beginning to think this is just where she wants to be, and while it sounds like a frightening, heart breaking place to be, she manages to make it sound strangely inviting.
Right from the opener, Wagner conjures up a mysterious world of sound, one that's mostly just guitar and vocals, the guitar generally spare, the vocals deep, and smokey, "1 2 3 4" is almost like a lullaby or a nursery rhyme, but one of those cautionary tales, that warns children what terrible end awaits if they disobey. "The Dirt" is a bit folkier, but has the same sort of sinister vibe, a dark slo-mo folk-blooze, that again, seem to be all about loss and death, the sounds as spare as they are, wreathed in clouds and shadow, and emotionally overcast, and soul baring threnody.
And even later in the record, when the sound blossoms, and the production follows suit, the music stays dark and mournful, every track some kind of lament, and when the subtle strings surface, it only adds to the pretty pathos. The rest of the record finds an uneasy balance between darkly psychedelic dreamfolk ("The Devil's Tongue"), haunting chamber folk ("Dreamt Of A Wave"), and moody almost country ("What Love Looks Like"). The more we listen, the more it makes sense that this record ended up on Sub Pop, as it wouldn't be entirely out of place on your shelf somewhere in-between Fleet Foxes, Red Red Meat, Iron & Wine and Codeine, although wherever it ended up, would darken that corner of your collection considerably. Haunting, harrowing and pretty goddamn fantastic.
MPEG Stream: "1 2 3 4"
MPEG Stream: "The Dirt"
MPEG Stream: "Ellipsis"

album cover WAGNER, MIREL When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day (Sub Pop) lp 15.98
A while back we reviewed the self titled debut from Ethiopian-Finnish guitarist/vocalist Mirel Wagner, released on local label Friendly Fire, and we were pretty smitten, a haunting collection of lush, almost murder ballads, the sound crystalline and clear, but the vibe and the mood murky and ominous. Not sure what we were expecting, but it definitely wasn't something nearly that bleak and dark. And with a jump to Sub Pop, we were perhaps expecting Wagner to deliver something more polished, less intimate, less sonically harrowing than that debut, but we're beginning to think this is just where she wants to be, and while it sounds like a frightening, heart breaking place to be, she manages to make it sound strangely inviting.
Right from the opener, Wagner conjures up a mysterious world of sound, one that's mostly just guitar and vocals, the guitar generally spare, the vocals deep, and smokey, "1 2 3 4" is almost like a lullaby or a nursery rhyme, but one of those cautionary tales, that warns children what terrible end awaits if they disobey. "The Dirt" is a bit folkier, but has the same sort of sinister vibe, a dark slo-mo folk-blooze, that again, seem to be all about loss and death, the sounds as spare as they are, wreathed in clouds and shadow, and emotionally overcast, and soul baring threnody.
And even later in the record, when the sound blossoms, and the production follows suit, the music stays dark and mournful, every track some kind of lament, and when the subtle strings surface, it only adds to the pretty pathos. The rest of the record finds an uneasy balance between darkly psychedelic dreamfolk ("The Devil's Tongue"), haunting chamber folk ("Dreamt Of A Wave"), and moody almost country ("What Love Looks Like"). The more we listen, the more it makes sense that this record ended up on Sub Pop, as it wouldn't be entirely out of place on your shelf somewhere in-between Fleet Foxes, Red Red Meat, Iron & Wine and Codeine, although wherever it ended up, would darken that corner of your collection considerably. Haunting, harrowing and pretty goddamn fantastic.
MPEG Stream: "1 2 3 4"
MPEG Stream: "The Dirt"
MPEG Stream: "Ellipsis"

album cover WAND Ganglion Reef (God?) cd 14.98
NOW ON CD! OR, NOW ON TAPE! Here's what we said about the vinyl, not long ago...
First we've heard (other than a split single with Mikal Cronin) from these far out psychedelic garage rockers from LA and fans of outfits/folks like White Fence, Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Thee Oh Sees will be wondering how it took them so long to discover these guys. 'Cause the sound is pretty much a perfect mix of fuzzy, jangly crunch, dense, distorted psychedelic swirl, and retro sixties psych pop, the record opening with what is essentially a blast of psych-noise, before blossoming into some impossibly dreamy fuzz pop, the vocals soft focus and almost gently delivered over a bed of rumble and crunch, which appropriately eventually devolves into another squall of psychedelic freakout. Which is precisely how the second track begins, another swirling cloud of spacey squiggles and glitchy squelch, before in comes a crunchy, almost metallic riff accompanied by wild Keith Moon style octopoidal drum splatter, again, a perfect pop song tucked amidst all the howl and skree and noisy druggy trip out, the band seemingly constantly right on the edge between twee pop sugar sonic overload, and total damaged FX drenched psychedelic collapse, but that sweet spot is all theirs, the band claiming it as their own, and navigating it effortlessly, creating what might be our new favorite psych-pop/garage rock record, and is just the sort of record/sound that should, if all the stars align, give the above mentioned garage rock big boys a run for their money. Makes lots of sense that this found a home on Ty Segall's label (you'd easily be forgiven for thinking THIS was in fact the new Ty Segall record), and that Wand mainman Cory Hanson used to play in Mikal Cronin's band!

album cover WAND Ganglion Reef (God?) lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
First we've heard (other than a split single with Mikal Cronin) from these far out psychedelic garage rockers from LA and fans of outfits/folks like White Fence, Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Thee Oh Sees will be wondering how it took them so long to discover these guys. 'Cause the sound is pretty much a perfect mix of fuzzy, jangly crunch, dense, distorted psychedelic swirl, and retro sixties psych pop, the record opening with what is essentially a blast of psych-noise, before blossoming into some impossibly dreamy fuzz pop, the vocals soft focus and almost gently delivered over a bed of rumble and crunch, which appropriately eventually devolves into another squall of psychedelic freakout. Which is precisely how the second track begins, another swirling cloud of spacey squiggles and glitchy squelch, before in comes a crunchy, almost metallic riff accompanied by wild Keith Moon style octopoidal drum splatter, again, a perfect pop song tucked amidst all the howl and skree and noisy druggy trip out, the band seemingly constantly right on the edge between twee pop sugar sonic overload, and total damaged FX drenched psychedelic collapse, but that sweet spot is all theirs, the band claiming it as their own, and navigating it effortlessly, creating what might be our new favorite psych-pop/garage rock record, and is just the sort of record/sound that should, if all the stars align, give the above mentioned garage rock big boys a run for their money. Makes lots of sense that this found a home on Ty Segall's label (you'd easily be forgiven for thinking THIS was in fact the new Ty Segall record), and that Wand mainman Cory Hanson used to play in Mikal Cronin's band!

album cover DAMA / LIBRA Claw (Northern Spy) cd 14.98
We've long championed the work of Joel Phelps, an unsung hero of the indie underground, beginning with his stint in Silkworm - he was the group's secret weapon, with an aching, about to break voice that could soar into a powerful howl, his songs tense and intense, delicate balances of hushed brooding shimmer and explosive angular crunch, his wild guitar wrangling the perfect match for that utterly distinctive voice. Then came a clutch of solo records, all stunning, and almost all completely under the radar. And then, nothing. He seemed to have disappeared. Stopped making music. Until now.
There's a new Phelps solo record, which is fantastic, and we'll review that one soon too, but this new project is something else entirely.
We often talk about bands or records that seem custom made for aQuarius, and this definitely seems like one of those. Joel Phelps, teamed up with Stuart Dahlquist, of Burning Witch, Asva and SUNNO))), the result very much like you might imagine, and like we would have hoped, the best, creepiest, Silkworm songs, fused to the slow, droned out creep and crawl of Dahlquist's previous bands, ultra-doom torch songs, indie rock fused to Arvo Part, avant drone meets intimate songsmithery, a difficult combination for sure, but one that rewards patient and deep listening. Fans of either/both Phelps and Dahlquist will marvel at this haunting soundworld the two have conjured, from the brief opening, with Phelps, crooning over simpler percussion, and slow shifting layers of chordal shimmer, aching and heartfelt, bittersweet and melancholy, seemingly setting the stage for something much more like Phelps' previous works, but instead, the sound shifts, the second track "Stravinsky" unwinding as a dense layered drone, and when the vocals swoop in, they explode into strange harmonies, those harmonies woven into thick bass tones, the result some sort of alien chorale, downcast and stirring, even sans vocals, it would be a gorgeous sprawl of bass driven droned out dirgery, at once ethereal and atmospheric, dense and down tuned, but the song, like the whole record is rife with dramatic dynamics, long stretches of airy organ, drifting weightless, other movements bordering on avant doom, and still others dreamlike and choral, which is a sonic microcosm of the rest of the record.
Dahlquist delivering some breathtaking sound design, field sod digital glitchery, wound around glimmering soft focus swirls of sound, heaving low end thrum, soundtrack like melodies, all wound into tense slow-builds, sometimes transforming into some hushed Phelps like downer slow core pop, othertimes blossoming into something even blacker. On tracks like "The Chant", simple percussion underpins Phelps' harrowing vocals, which are soon joined by keening organ drones, the vibe intense and sinister, until another cascade of thick bass buzz swoops in, and Phelps' vocals explode into incredible and alien harmonies, the sound mutating into drowsy, sun dappled doom, laced with twinkling electronics, and buried dreamlike melodies. And without going track by track, the rest of the record continues to expand, prismatically, slipping easily from strangely psychedelic indie pop, albeit fractured and flecked with weird steel drum like percussion, to field recording laced dronescapes, to quietly broody stretches of moody agent pop, psychedelic slowcore drift, to minimal, almost liturgical ambience.
Dizzying in scope, stunning in execution, a practically perfect, and perfectly IM-perfect, hybrid of haunting avant indie rock and modern composition, brooding, downer folk minimalism and expansive sound designed dronescapery, dreamlike torch songmithery and outsider, cinematic ambient bliss.
MPEG Stream: "Moonshine And Lion"
MPEG Stream: "Stravinsky"
MPEG Stream: "Boy, Dock"
MPEG Stream: "The Chant"
MPEG Stream: "Thine"

album cover MUJAHIDEEN Dead Language (Heart & Crossbone / Uganda) lp 21.00
Killer new record from this Israeli trio, who traffic in a sort of bass-heavy, gothed out post punk / punk dub, that sounds like some twisted mix of Joy Division, Suicide and Pan Sonic. Thick, super distorted pig-fuck bass drives the proceedings, each track centered around a grinding bass riff, but anchored by programmed drums, all supporting echo drenched vox, a dark dramatic croon, that is what gives the sound such a gothic vibe. The opener sounds somewhere between Interpol and Iceage or the Holograms, albeit a bit more electronic, but then things get super twisted on the second track, a lurching, stuttering, start-stop, gothic industrial churn, with some cool sampled Queen-like harmonies, and bursts of psychedelic guitar noise, and the vocals locked into dubbed out spirals. As the record progresses, it seems like the effects are gradually cranked, with tracks like "A Path" devolving into near chaos as the rhythms get all dubby as well, careening wildly in all directions while the riffs hammer away, and the vocals slip into almost rage like drones. Some tracks sound super electronic, others almost straight post punk, but usually, those two sides of the band merge and bleed into one twistedly unique whole.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Greed"
MPEG Stream: "Vengeance"
MPEG Stream: "Culture Slaves"
MPEG Stream: "A Path"

album cover SHABAZZ PALACES Lese Majesty (Sub Pop) 2lp 26.00
Second full length from these twisted hip hop alchemists, fronted by one of the guys from nineties hip hop jazz-bo's Digable Planets, but Shabazz Palaces is something else all together, a twisted strain of avant hip hop that's deconstructed, and mutated, and all twisted up. The first SP record, Black Up, was heavy on the murky, woozy, and warbly, a futuristic Afro-psych woven into stuttery beats, lurching slo-mo creeps, and all manner of warped loops, but on Else Majesty, something strange has happened again, with the sound moving even further away from call sic hip hop, but somehow drifting a bit closer to the laid back jazziness of Digable Planets. Give a listen to the samples below and you'll see what we mean. The vibe is less dark and shadowy, less grim and ominous, but at the same time, the sound is still mysterious, and darkly psychedelic, but infused with a strange sort of hopeful glow, a positivity, it's like Shabazz Palaces 'feel-good' record, but even then, this is some weird, tripped out shit.
The vibe is mellow, dreamy, the beats are al over the map, from classic loping hip hop grooves, to wild dense skitters, the music is warm and lush, swoon some synths, cascades of kosmische shimmer, vocals are clipped and cut and looped into weird hiccuping grooves, disembodied riffage surfaces here and there, as do swaths of smooth jazziness, the record peppered with short sonic fragments, mutated electro-hop, carnivalesque baroque electronica, some smoldering broodiness, all processed guitar shimmer, and brushed, hushed percussion, theremin like melodies, old school funk all twisted up into weird sonic shapes, big beats blurred into dizzyingly avant electro-soul, the sound in constant flux, between tracks and mid-jam as well, it's almost like someone flipping the channels, flitting between various strains of mutant hip hop, some shadowy and drowsily druggy, but most of them, groovy, and funky and weirdly posi, like a more psychedelic, and way more demented De La Soul maybe, at least this time around, but who can guess what other weirdness the next record will bring. We can only imagine...
MPEG Stream: "Dawn In Luxor"
MPEG Stream: "Forerunner Foray"
MPEG Stream: "They Come In Gold"
MPEG Stream: "Motion Sickness"

album cover |á_.__á á||| . ._____áá| (NIGHT TOILET) a.house.no.books.no.clocks (self-released) 2lp 28.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It took us a while to suss out the name of this band, as the way it's written is actually a series of lines and dots and squares, which somehow equate to Night Toilet. It's almost better not knowing, as the music here is much better represented by the mysterious Morse code like moniker, a sprawling collection of abstract guitar/drum experimentation, that ranges from the spare, minimal, skeletal kraut-pop of the opener, all simple abstract drumming (apparently played by two drummers, sharing one and a half drum kits simultaneously), the guitars clean and shimmery, spidery melodies, pocked with the occasional chordal soft squall, to dirgey NZ style noise rock, all knuckle-dragging drum thud, and wild tangles of guitarnoise, sputtering, stuttering, avant-rhythmic doom-dirges that occasionally blossom into something much more fierce, as often as they (d)evolve into something more blissed out and dreamy, whether that be long stretches of softly tangled kosmiche shimmer, of abstract, nocturnal ambient drift...
Some good band math might be Dead C meets Aluk Todolo meets Geronimo? Or This Heat meets Bastard Noise? But then all the pretty parts should appeal to fans of all strains of drifty dreaminess... Grinding, crumbly, noisy, loose, free, but also dense and driving and repetitive, circular and mesmeric, hazy, atmospheric, cinematic, there even seems to be what sounds like horns, bleating forlornly on some of the tracks, we won't say too much, cuz we only have THREE copies. And can't get more, but wanted at least three of you out there, with a thirst for abstract instrumental drone-noise WTF outsider damaged psychedelia, to get a chance to get your hands on one of these. The packaging too is over the top: super thick, gatefold sleeves, paired with a heavy two sided silkscreened chipboard insert. Grab one quick if you can, before they're gone for good.
MPEG Stream: "enver.hoxha"
MPEG Stream: "exckul.sieve"
MPEG Stream: "fill.with.wreck"

album cover KHUN NARIN ELECTRIC PHIN BAND s/t (Innovative Leisure) cd 13.98
It all started with a video on YouTube. Odds are one of your music nerd friends sent it to you already, or maybe you WERE one of those music nerds, sending it to everyone you know. Check it out:
http://youtu.be/IYGl-l0Toig?list=FLCuwmGlbaOAStwXMiPVY5Kw
A mysterious video with very little in the way of description, but really, it hardly needed a description, the sound was incredible, a wild, percussive, effusive, droning psychedelia, like a Thai version of Konono No.1, all buzzing distorted melodies, hypnotic rhythms, we, like many of you, must have watched that video a hundred times. And the visuals too, a group of musicians, relaxing in plastic chairs, in a town square, all in matching red vests, presumably from their jobs as taxi drivers, the sound pumped out through a wheeled, home built PA, all manner of instruments, double necked guitar style lutes, hand cymbals, drums, percussion, while all around them, people mill about, seemingly oblivious, to the psychedelic genius going on right before their strangely averted eyes!
Well somehow, some fella got in touch with the band in the video, and organized a proper recording for the group, which we discovered was in fact, Khun Narin Phin Sing, or Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band, the name taken from the group's use of an electrified, double necked version of a traditional Thai instrument, the lute-like phin. As for the folks in the video that seem to be ignoring the music and the musicians, apparently this sort of music is pretty commonplace in Thailand, even former aQ staffer Byram, who lived there for the last few years, told us he'd wander past bands like this playing all over, all the time, but for the rest of us, this stuff is a revelation, and Khun Narin Phin Sing crazy new Thai psych rock stars that we're totally obsessed with.
The record itself was recorded in a way to as closely as possible replicate the YouTube video, no fancy studios, no expensive mics and multi-track recorders, no overdubs, instead, the band set up in a field right outside their town, in the mountains on Thailand's Northern border, and the music was captured field recording style, live, one take, the group made up of multiple generations, from kids in high school, to men in their '60s, the band running their instruments through chains of guitar pedals, using home built instruments and amplifiers, and of course that custom PA system, a visually and sonically striking behemoth made of 8 loudspeaker horns mounted atop a huge bass cabinet, with wheels of course, and the group just let loose, unfurling a glorious sprawl of droning, buzzy, heady, hypnotic Thai psychedelia, spidery distorted guitar melodies over motorik rhythms, minimal percussion, loping sinewy basslines, the sounds growing more urgent and frenzied, the wild phin shredding drifting atop a roiling bed of constantly swirling and shimmering buzz and thrum, gloriously mesmerizing, and totally transcendent, so utterly amazing, and absolutely recommended to anyone into weird and wonderful sounds, but especially fans of Sublime Frequencies style desert psych, who will be in heaven!!
Vinyl version comes with a download card, btw.
MPEG Stream: "Lam Phu Thai"
MPEG Stream: "Lai Sing"
MPEG Stream: "Show Wong Khun Narin"

album cover LITTLE FLOWERS Home / Yeah (Araca) 7" 8.98
We loved the Public Guilt label, who brought us so many amazing releases - from the occult rock of Aluk Todolo, to the glacial avant doom of Habsyll; from the noise-jazz of Zu, to the spaced out dronescapery of Destructo Swarmbots; from the experimental turntablism of Strotter Inst, to the alchemical folk of Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat, and so much more. We were bummed when Public Guilt decided to call it a day, but were super excited to discover that PG mastermind JR was back with a new label, one that maybe surprisingly is focused entirely on underground / outsider hip hop and club music, all 45rpm 7"s, and all pretty goddamn great.
The second release comes from a duo called Little Flowers, which has a seriously strange pedigree, one part former director for avant garde choreographer Merce Cunnigham, one part LA indie noise prog weirdos Upsilon Acrux, which really gives you NO clue as to what it might sound like, but then why should it, cuz even listening, it's hard to parse exactly what's going on - it's a noisy, wildly chaotic, buzzing swirl of progged out electro, with vocodered vox buried beneath thick throbbing synths, and what sounds like real acoustic drumming, and percussion, all draped in a psychedelic murk, the production super tripped out and experimental. The first side a dark, swirling collage of sound, the second more a sort of post hip hop groover, but both totally, and geniusly twisted, funky enough for the dance music crowd, but seriously freaked out and fucked up enough for everybody else. So good! And JR's new label two for two. Can't wait to hear more!
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Home"
MPEG Stream: "Yeah"

album cover AMA-DOTS s/t (Rerun) lp 14.98
Never heard of the oddly monikered Ama-Dots? Neither had we. But apparently this experimental post punk outfit from Milwaukee, having formed in the seventies, releasing their only proper single in 1980, were poised for greatness, having opened for Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra, Gang Of Four, even the Talking Heads, but somehow these guys were WAY weirder, just check out "Luxury With Her" the first track on this lp reissue of everything the group ever recorded. It's a filthy, grimy, loping bass driven creep, all low slung bass, woozy riffage, a lurching stop/start arrangements, some angular guitar scrape, some sample baby cries (?!) and some of the coolest, creepiest female vocals EVER, a raspy sort of growly croon, it's dark and weirdly groovy, sinister and seriously tense/intense. But Ama-Dots weren't all doom and gloom, their 'hit' "Hit Girls" is all angular and frantic, with super dramatic vox, over spidery guitar melodies, and a frenetic rhythm, a super distinctive call and response chorus, the sort of female fronted punk that was in short supply, and definitely struck a chord with the girl punks.
Frontwoman Boolah Hayes has the craziest voice, the music is pretty cool and weird, but when coupled with her deep raspy vocals, sometimes swopping into something super dramatic, putting on all manner of made up accents, but just as often slipping into a demonic growl or a feral bellow, transforming some of the sounds here into near metal, like some crazy female death metal vocalist found her way into an eighties post punk combo, making for some seriously kick ass, and super unique post punk, weird that this stuff has taken this long to get a proper reissue, but holy shit is this stuff great. And did we mention weird?
This collects the group's only 7" release, a lost EP, as well as unreleased demos and some live material, the studio stuff recorded by the legendary Ian Burgess (Big Black, Ministry, Effigies, etc.), pressed on swirled gold vinyl, housed in a super striking jacket, and includes a full color printed insert, with rare photos, liner notes and accounts of the group from friends, fans and writers.
MPEG Stream: "Luxury With Her"
MPEG Stream: "Hit Girls"
MPEG Stream: "Love Slug"
MPEG Stream: "So What"

album cover DEMDIKE STARE Test Pressings 006 (Modern Love) 12" 17.98
Barely a month has passed since volume 5 in Demdike Stare's series of Test Pressing 12"s, and along comes number six, and like the previous installment, it finds this hauntological duo moving even further from their gloomy electro creep, into a world of alien dancefloor avant electro. The A side almost sounds like two different club tracks playing simultaneously, with looped pitch shifted vocals, over a skittery breakbeat, and wreathed in swaths of thick buzzing noise, and dense swells of ominous rumble, a sort of industrial hip hop hybrid, all tangled up into some post-dubstep noisiness, with the second half getting totally wild, the production splintering into all sorts of strange shapes, before finally jettisoning the beat, and finishing with a killer sprawl of thick, crumbling, almost blackened dronemusic, before unexpectedly, the beat re-surfaces right at the end, for one final beat heavy flourish.
The B side manages to somehow get even more dense and noisy, brutal and bombastic, a sort-of rhythm constructed from skipping static and throbbing bass gristle, less dancefloor and more floorcore, not hard to imagine hearing some weirdo noise dude spitting out this sort of caustic crunch, that is until part way through, when those blasts of static coalesce into a super dark, dubbed out beat, that's thick, and heavy, and darkly groovy, fiercely minimal, but ominous and sinister and seriously sick. Here's hoping the upcoming Demdike full length continues to explore similarly fierce and fucked up sounds. Might just be the best of the Testpressing so far, most definitely the meanest...
MPEG Stream: "40 Years Under The Cosh"
MPEG Stream: "Frontin'"

album cover 3RD BASS The Cactus Album (Def Jam) lp 21.00
With this recent vinyl resurgence / renaissance, all sorts of classic hip hop records have been getting reissued, which has had us listening to lots of old favorites, and debating which are the best classic hip hop records. Sure Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions was mentioned, as was De La Soul's 3 Feet High And Rising. Scott suggested Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. We even got to discussing more obscure selections, the D.O.C.'s No One Can Do It Better, Son Of Bazerk's Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk (remember "The Band Get Swivey On The Wheels"?), Allan even suggested Kwame, which got us talking about the Black Sheep, the Dream Warriors, anyway, we were deep in one of these debates, when what should show up in the shop, but The Cactus Album by 3rd Bass. And at least for one of us, the decision was made.
Two white Jewish kids from Brooklyn, who somehow made one of the coolest, hookiest, funnest and funniest records of that era. All it should take is a quick listen to "Sons Of 3rd Bass", the whole song built from samples of Blood, Sweat And Tears' "Spinning Wheel", and holy shit it's so good, the bleating horns, the ominous piano, the way they take the horn part, loop it and turn it into a crazy stuttery melody, and the flows of both MC's, Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice, Serch is the goofy one, but with a crazy nimble tongue, while Pete Nice's deliver is darker and more serious, perfect foils, and the lyrics are equal parts clever wordplay and cutting disses, and the music, no surprise it's so good as it's produced by both Prince Paul AND the Bomb Squad.
You've probably heard "The Gas Face", which was the big hit, it's a goofy jam, but it's also pretty great, another meticulously arranged sample heavy jam, with some sweet disses (the whole song is essentially a dis), but beyond the goofiness of that track, and the various skits, there's some seriously classic hip hop going on, the loping, jazzy, almost LL Cool J sounding "Monte Hall", the drum heavy stutter of "Soul In The Hole", and then there's the other 'hit' single, "Wordz Of Wizdom", the other classic on the Cactus Album, with samples of "Dream Weaver", even some Steely Dan, the whole thing (like a lot of hip hop of the time) wound around the 'Amen' break by The Winstons, then there's the horn flecked, woozy bass driven groover "Product Of The Environment", we could go on, but pretty much every track here is killer. And while they sample all the usual suspects, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, the Commodores, the Meters, Kool & The Gang, they also get pretty weird, nabbing samples from Tom Waits, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, the Doors, even Steve Martin!
So yeah, so many great records from that era, but for now, we've voting 3rd Bass, and giving all those others the Gas Face!!!
MPEG Stream: "Sons Of 3rd Bass"
MPEG Stream: "Wordz Of Wizdom"
MPEG Stream: "The Gas Face"
MPEG Stream: "Product Of The Environment"
MPEG Stream: "Steppin' To The A.M."

album cover ABDU ALI Infinity Epiphanies (Araca) 7" 8.98
We loved the Public Guilt label, who brought us so many amazing releases - from the occult rock of Aluk Todolo, to the glacial avant doom of Habsyll; from the noise-jazz of Zu, to the spaced out dronescapery of Destructo Swarmbots; from the experimental turntablism of Strotter Inst, to the alchemical folk of Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat, and so much more. We were bummed when Public Guilt decided to call it a day, but were super excited to discover that PG mastermind JR was back with a new label, one that maybe surprisingly is focused entirely on underground / outsider hip hop and club music, all 45rpm 7"s, and all pretty goddamn great.
First up is this blast of crunchy, distorted B-more noise-hop, courtesy of Abdu Ali, whose sound is all club music drum skitter, big distorted bass throb, some dubsteppy bass wobble, and a wild flow that had us imagining him toasting over a Bug track, and really, The Bug is not a bad reference, this is futuristic club music, hints of old school DHR, a little dancehall, definitely noisy, but groovy and funky as fuck, the sort of bangers that must send the dancefloor into a frenzy, and even if you're averse to actually making it out on the floor, strap on some headphones, and dig into the twisted, avant production, sounds swirl, beats fracture, melodies crumble, grinding, frantic, electro freak-outs that lurch from noisy funky stutter to almost cinematic sounding big beat bombast. Killer stuff. Definitely wanna hear more, and super duper psyched on JR's new label!!
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Say Something"
MPEG Stream: "Shiva"

album cover GARBAGE AND THE FLOWERS, THE Stoned Rehearsal (Quemada) lp 19.98
A little while back we reviewed a reissued of the debut from NZ noise pop combo The Garbage & The Flowers, which for many was the first time hearing this amazing outfit, but for those already well versed in the woozy ways of TG&TF there's this vinyl only collection of a rare rehearsal session, which is like an even rougher and rawer version of the group's already rough and raw sound, the detuned warble is even more woozy and druggy, the vocals echo drenched and buried in the mix, the drums a drunken stumble, the melodies angular and atonal, but strangely mesmerizing and hypnotic, slipping easily from lush warp-pop jangle to damage deconstructed art rock, and right back again. Minimal, and moody, and with lots of random studio chatter left in. It's pretty cool to hear the band talking to each other mid song, offering suggestions or directions, before effortlessly slipping right back into the song, or even more remarkable changing direction completely, as if the group just happened to be recording the actual genesis of the song(s).
Boy / girl vocals over sparkling fields of guitar glimmer, plenty of amp buzz and tape hum, extremely lo-fi, but that fidelity is the perfect fit for this band's damaged, slo-mo, Velvet Underground meets The Clean outsider jangle pop. Fans of classic NZ outfits, and all those amazing Flying Nun records, will dig this immensely. Includes a 'sing-along' lyric sheet as well.

album cover SURUNI Ikuus (Sun & Moon) cd 13.98
Ikuus is the full length debut from this one man experimental black metal 'band' from Finland, although calling it black metal might be a stretch, cuz like much of the black metal from Finland, Suruni's sound is beholden to so much more than blast and buzz, in fact, the majority of the record is spent drifting, jangling, creepy, swirling, it's definitely raw and lo-fi, and the vibe is haunting and mysterious, but it's more a sort of stumbling avant gloom rock, with plenty of clean guitars, distorted drumming, and when the buzz does come in, like on the opener, it doesn't so much transform the sound into something blacker, as add more moodiness, the buzz more diffuse and atmospheric, the sound lumbering back and forth between a spidery almost Slint-like lope (right down to the whispered vocals), to something more distorted and blown out, replete with some aching, almost bluesy leads, and the vocals, when they finally do come in, a distant howl, all the sounds blurring and bleeding into a glorious, almost psychedelic and chaotic whole. And that's just the first track. If we had to whip up some band math, we might take Varghkoghargasmal's 'wooden metal' and the slow doomed out experimentation of another Finnish favorite of ours, Opium Warlords, but then with some twisted poppy jangle, a la Circle Of Ouroborus, and even some metalgaze, as much of this does have that sort of sun dappled, blissed out vibe, not to mention samples and field recordings.
The second track is another hushed sprawl of mesmerizing minimalism, all simple clean guitar strum, and stumbling skeletal drumming, and again, there's some blackened buzz, but like the first track, all it does is add texture and density, if anything, the sound gets even prettier, laced with more aching leads, and more ethereal atmosphere.
That said, there is some black buzz scattered throughout, but then there's also HARMONICA!!! Some tracks devolved into punky blackened plods, others blossom into hushed heartfelt shimmers, and some, like the twisted "Akana", sound like some sort of harmonica driven sea shanty, albeit one wrapped in sheets of gristly distorted guitars. But it seems always, the sound eventually settles into that haunting, gloomy, almost post rock sound that opened the proceedings, it's easy to imagine lots of these tracks as part of the score for some experimental com in of age indie art film, you can picture Gummo-like kids, wandering through forests, or living in run down trailer parks, the sound evocative and emotional, a black metal that seems mostly removed from the tropes of traditional BM, sonic and otherwise, instead, taking some of those elements and using them to craft a sound that's super unique, strangely introspective, and beautifully, beautifully strange.
MPEG Stream: "Ei Se Ollut Vahinko"
MPEG Stream: "Elaman Kevat"
MPEG Stream: "Ikuus"
MPEG Stream: "Kirkkauden Virtaus"
MPEG Stream: "Ismi"

album cover MILLINGTON, MARY [PRE-ORDER] Come Play With Me & Other Tales (Tangerine Press) 10" 46.00
We haven't gotten any of these in yet, but figured some of our weirdo music / obscure art-vinyl obsessives might want one of these, especially folks into the whole Trunk Records scene of strange lost audio from yesteryear. These are EXTREMELY expensive, but exquisitely handmade, so this is in fact a pre-order, cuz we'll only be getting as many copies as we get orders for, so if you want one, and order one, we'll charge you for it now, and ship it in a couple weeks when it comes in, either on its own, or with whatever order you have pending at the time.
So here's the skinny. The Trunk Records label is definitely a good reference point, as this record really does seem like it could just as easily have ended up on Trunk. Mary Millington was the most famous pornstar in 1970's Britain, appeared in all the most famous adult magazines, even had some film roles in proper non-pornographic films. Around the mid to late seventies, Millington began to record 'porn audios' which were included with many magazines at the time, which were, as you might imagine, Millington simply talking dirty, playful and casual and conversational, telling sexy stories, being nasty, stories about peeing on her suitor, and being peed on ("Lovely Little Tinkle"), giving blowjobs ("The Longest Tongue In The World"), and giving underwater wanks ("Come Play With Me"), laced with little aside ("Ooooh, it's hot!", "I've got pubic hair in my mouth!"), and all set to groovy, soft focus psychedelic jams, all remastered from the original tapes and some of the flexi-discs included with the above mentioned magazines.
If you were a fan of the Flexi-Sex release on Trunk, which collected some of Johnny Trunk's favorite sexy flexis, you'll have an idea of just what you're in for, sexy, goofy, funny, playful, weird, total outsider audio from a lost era.
And as mentioned above, the packaging is super super deluxe, pressed on 140 gram 10" opaque blue vinyl, housed in fancy gatefold sleeves using recycled card stock and conservation glue, hand pulled screenprint artwork by Walden Press on the front and back, as well as a saucy full length image of Millington inside, on 1970's style newsprint.
EXTREMELY LIMITED!!! We can probably only get a handful, so (pre)order now if you want one!
MPEG Stream: "Come Play With Me"
MPEG Stream: "Lovely Little Tinkle"
MPEG Stream: "The Longest Tongue In The World"

album cover NAOMI PUNK Television Man (Captured Tracks) cd 15.98
Record number two from these Northwest post punks, whose first record was a huge favorite with some of the aQ-ers around here, but sadly we seemed to catch on way too late to give the record its proper due on the list. Much like that debut, Television Man is a gloriously murky, dirgey, muddy, twisted gem, a lo-fi, urgent, tension filled garage punk blowout that's minimal, but super rocking, noisy, but super catchy, the kind of record that sounds like it was recorded on a busted 4-track on old melted tapes from the dashboard of your car, but somehow was transformed into some mutant strain of fuzzed out noise pop, given a damaged sort-of high fidelity makeover, and thus given some heft and some dark frantic energy, fused to the group's druggy dirgery, which is maybe why, somehow, all that sonic grime and filth is barely able to disguise the pure pop wonder that lurks beneath.
We're definitely reminded of former Record Of The Weekers Weed, who similarly took crazy catchy nineties style indie rock, wreathing it in loads of noise and feedback, and blown out psychedelic squalls, but Naomi Punk are something else all together, on the surface sounding like they're cut from the same musical cloth as outfits like Iceage and Holograms and all the rest, and they definitely sort of are, fans of either of those groups, or like minded outfits like Cold Showers, His Electro Blue Voice, Rank / Xerox, War, etc. will be immediately smitten, but the songs here take that post punk template and pull it to pieces. The groop is as happy crafting some catchy pound and crunch, as they are adding some unlikely 'oooooh's to a wildly angular anti-groove, or chopping a song up into an impossibly mesmerizing super dynamic, psychedelic dirge, one that somehow retains an impossible amount of poppiness. It's that innate poppiness that can't help but shine through, not to mention a weirdly experimental streak that goes beyond just the murky production, and minimal arrangements, with some of the tracks locking into strange almost looped sounding grooves, stuttery stop start workouts that somehow manage to be just as catchy, or weird little ditties like "Plastic World No. 6", which sheds all that murk, and instead pairs a jaunty little synth melody to a simple fuzzy strum, along with some buried eighties electronic percussion, whipping up a super cool sound that we wish was more than just an interstitial jam, but those weird little parts/songs work really well alongside jams like "Eleven Inches" which on the surface unwind as super tranced out, repetitive dirges, but gradually reveal themselves as still more deft hookiness, especially when it slows down, and gets sort of moody for a minute, only to lurch right back into it. "Eon Of Pain" is another track that sounds simpler than it is, but manages to take a little and do a whole lot with it, winding it all up into some fantastically tense post punk minimalism, that for all it's seemingly lacking in the first half, is more than made up for by the bombastic noise pop second half.
We could easily break down the rest of the record, track by track, but needless to say, every jam here is a gem, one of those rare records where we have trouble picking a favorite song, and if we really had to, it would likely be a different one every single time...
MPEG Stream: "Firehose Face"
MPEG Stream: "Song Factory"
MPEG Stream: "Television Man"
MPEG Stream: "Plastic World No. 6"

album cover KILLING SOUND $ixxx Harmonie$ Version (Blackest Ever Black) lp 16.98
Not sure why we didn't review the recent full length from Killing Sound, a trio of producers which includes aQ fave Vessel, but this remix of the opening track from that record has us thinking we better right that wrong, although here, that track gets reworked as something way more fierce and fucked up and brutal. The more chilled out original, here recast as some dark, dark jungle, all droned out ambience, brooding sonic malevolence, laced with haunting vox, that devolves into some seriously grimy, dubbed out drum and bass, all oozing low end throb, echo drenched skitter, the whole thing laced with all manner of creepy sound FX, what sounds like a power drill, stretched out into a keening tone, plenty of crunch and crumble, a slow build to a seriously bombastic finale, rib cage rattling bass and pounding beats, all wreathed in a swirl of grim atmospheric ambience. Killer!
MPEG Stream: "$ixxx Harmonie$ Version"

album cover CUTTHROATS 9, THE Dissent (Lamb Unlimited Records) lp 16.98
Record number two from the new project of Chris Spencer of late great NYC nineties noise rockers the Unsane, and while the sound of The Cutthroats 9 is maybe a bit less metal, it still retains much of the negative sonic energy of Unsane. Skull caving riffage, thick, corrosive bass buzz, pounding drums, and maybe most notably, some bad ass slide guitar (peep the cover photo, a close up of said slide guitar happening) which adds a definite distinctive sound, CT9's down tuned grooves laced with slippery melodies, the band locked into explosive churning heaviness, Spencer's slide guitar woven throughout, adding some surprising melody to the proceedings, a nice balance to the unhinged ferocity that oozes from pretty much every other part of the record, with Spencer's throaty bellow, cracking into more unhinged near-shriekiness on tracks like "Trouble", which sound essentially, like a groovier, more melodic Unsane, which is most definitely not a bad thing at all. The AmRep noise rock vibe is pretty huge too, hugely beholden to that label, and that era, fans of eighties and nineties pig fuck heaviness will dig this stuff like crazy, but then the band whip out a track like "Dissension", where the slide is right up front, and suddenly it almost sounds like a more metal Raging Slab, sort of, cuz really, the blood that adorned most of the Unsane records seems to still flow through Spencer's veins, and thus through his amp, dripping all over these jams as well, so fans of Spencer's old outfit will feel right at home, but really, any one whole likes it heavy and groovy, step right up...
Includes a download code too!
MPEG Stream: "Speak"
MPEG Stream: "Trouble"
MPEG Stream: "Eraser"

album cover ICARUS LINE Avowed Slavery (Agitated Records) 12" 17.98
First thing you'll notice about this 'new' record from LA psych punks the Icarus Line, is that the title is very similar to their last full length Slave Vows, and apparently, that's cuz this ep is a companion of sorts, a five track addendum to that record's furious swagger, and if anything, these extra jams are even darker and more sinister, sounding like the Stooges fused to Einsturzende, with wild, blown out psychedelic freakouts bookended by some almost industrial sounding creep.
Opener "Leeches And Seeds" almost sounds like Woven Hand, with 'testifying' vox over distorted bass throb, wreathed in tripped out FX, a brooding sprawl of sonic tension, peppered with wild bursts of wild psychedelic swagger, those blowouts wrapped in wild squalls of dense psych guitar shred and shards of screeching feedback. Fierce as fuck for sure. And the rest of the ep follows suit, the band adding tons of space, and dynamics to their sound, "Junkadelic" is almost glammy, swagger and brooding in equal measure, while "Raise Your Crown" is all loping psychedelic blooze, sound like the bastard offspring of the Rock*A*Teens and the Swans. But it's "Salem Slims", an apparent live favorite, that blows the roof off, a heavy guitar wild psych blow-out, again heavy on the glammy swagger, the guitar blown out and in-the-red, a furious, freaky glam-psych garage punk stomp that KILLS. Finally, things finish off with "The Father / The Priest", a sprawling 13+ minute epic, a smoldering slow burn that spends the first ten minutes grooving ominously, swampy and slithery, before the finale, a heavy as fuck blow out, that sounds like what Jack White must be trying for, heavy, psychedelic blooze, that's fierce and furious, noisy and twisted and the sort of damaged psych weirdness that we could imagine stretching out long enough to transform this ep into a full length. If only...
MPEG Stream: "Leeches And Seeds"
MPEG Stream: "Salem Slims"
MPEG Stream: "The Father / The Priest"

album cover ICARUS LINE Avowed Slavery (Agitated Records) cdep 14.98
First thing you'll notice about this 'new' record from LA psych punks the Icarus Line, is that the title is very similar to their last full length Slave Vows, and apparently, that's cuz this ep is a companion of sorts, a five track addendum to that record's furious swagger, and if anything, these extra jams are even darker and more sinister, sounding like the Stooges fused to Einsturzende, with wild, blown out psychedelic freakouts bookended by some almost industrial sounding creep.
Opener "Leeches And Seeds" almost sounds like Woven Hand, with 'testifying' vox over distorted bass throb, wreathed in tripped out FX, a brooding sprawl of sonic tension, peppered with wild bursts of wild psychedelic swagger, those blowouts wrapped in wild squalls of dense psych guitar shred and shards of screeching feedback. Fierce as fuck for sure. And the rest of the ep follows suit, the band adding tons of space, and dynamics to their sound, "Junkadelic" is almost glammy, swagger and brooding in equal measure, while "Raise Your Crown" is all loping psychedelic blooze, sound like the bastard offspring of the Rock*A*Teens and the Swans. But it's "Salem Slims", an apparent live favorite, that blows the roof off, a heavy guitar wild psych blow-out, again heavy on the glammy swagger, the guitar blown out and in-the-red, a furious, freaky glam-psych garage punk stomp that KILLS. Finally, things finish off with "The Father / The Priest", a sprawling 13+ minute epic, a smoldering slow burn that spends the first ten minutes grooving ominously, swampy and slithery, before the finale, a heavy as fuck blow out, that sounds like what Jack White must be trying for, heavy, psychedelic blooze, that's fierce and furious, noisy and twisted and the sort of damaged psych weirdness that we could imagine stretching out long enough to transform this ep into a full length. If only...
MPEG Stream: "Leeches And Seeds"
MPEG Stream: "Salem Slims"
MPEG Stream: "The Father / The Priest"

album cover LIVE SKULL Pusherman (Desire) lp 21.00
The reissue campaign for these eighties NY noise rockers culminates with this, the final EP featuring the original lineup, released immediately after 1986's Cloud One (the reissue of which was reviewed on the aQ list recently), and was the last record with the original lineup, after this record drummer James Lo would leave, and vocalist/guitarist Thalia Zedek would join, changing the sound of the band, and moving them in a new direction. A direction that was definitely hinted at here, originally a three song 12", the band (according to the liner notes) were convinced that Pusherman was a vast improvement, even over Cloud One, which had just come out, and while it might be more polished, and a bit more honed, songwriting-wise, it sounds like the logical extension from Cloud One. "Swingtime" is all low slung swagger, the production, thick and noisy, multiple guitars wound into tense tangles, the groove a lumbering churn, the sound rife with spidery melodies and strange fragmented riffage, the vocals a deep bellowed croon, the whole thing a fierce gothic blooze, far removed from the early noise rock days for sure. "Raise The Manifestation" is more of the same, another bass driven dirge, slow and loping, moody and brooding, this time female vox to the fore, the guitars once again swirling in psychedelic squalls, all anchored by some muscly bass and drums, droney and tranced out, and to these ears, like much of Cloud One, still reminiscent of what was happening on the opposite coast, with the Scream Club, and groups like Kommunity FK, the Abecedarians, Janes Addiction and the like.
The big surprise though on Pusherman was the title track, a cover of the Curtis Mayfield classic, which at the time, seemed kinda crazy, and while much has been made of the track's 'funkiness', it really doesn't sound that much funkier than the Live Skull tracks proper, tribal drumming, and a woozy, slithery bassline, wreathed in all sorts of guitar noise, and some surprising percussion, the vocals sultry and bewitching, a little bit haunting, the guitars delivering all sorts of wild sonic filigree, a dense soulful noise rock dirge that positioned the song, and the group to an extent right alongside all those other doom and gloom outfits.
The original ep is fleshed out with a bunch of bonus tracks, most live, a few alternate versions, all of varying quality, but a good impression of the band at their peak, right before the band would reconfigure and embark on phase two of their career. Like the other reissues, fantastically put together, with a massive booklet, featuring extensive liner notes from the various band members, and lots of rare photos and flyers. Best part of the liner notes: when the band recalls returning to Madison, Wisconsin, only to discovery that their last visit had inspired their host's toddlers to start a band, that band was Old Skull! (And did you know two of the three kids from Old Skull are now dead?! Crazy!)
MPEG Stream: "Swingtime"
MPEG Stream: "Raise The Manifestation"
MPEG Stream: "Pusherman"

album cover SHABAZZ PALACES Lese Majesty (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
Second full length from these twisted hip hop alchemists, fronted by one of the guys from nineties hip hop jazz-bo's Digable Planets, but Shabazz Palaces is something else all together, a twisted strain of avant hip hop that's deconstructed, and mutated, and all twisted up. The first SP record, Black Up, was heavy on the murky, woozy, and warbly, a futuristic Afro-psych woven into stuttery beats, lurching slo-mo creeps, and all manner of warped loops, but on Else Majesty, something strange has happened again, with the sound moving even further away from call sic hip hop, but somehow drifting a bit closer to the laid back jazziness of Digable Planets. Give a listen to the samples below and you'll see what we mean. The vibe is less dark and shadowy, less grim and ominous, but at the same time, the sound is still mysterious, and darkly psychedelic, but infused with a strange sort of hopeful glow, a positivity, it's like Shabazz Palaces 'feel-good' record, but even then, this is some weird, tripped out shit.
The vibe is mellow, dreamy, the beats are al over the map, from classic loping hip hop grooves, to wild dense skitters, the music is warm and lush, swoon some synths, cascades of kosmische shimmer, vocals are clipped and cut and looped into weird hiccuping grooves, disembodied riffage surfaces here and there, as do swaths of smooth jazziness, the record peppered with short sonic fragments, mutated electro-hop, carnivalesque baroque electronica, some smoldering broodiness, all processed guitar shimmer, and brushed, hushed percussion, theremin like melodies, old school funk all twisted up into weird sonic shapes, big beats blurred into dizzyingly avant electro-soul, the sound in constant flux, between tracks and mid-jam as well, it's almost like someone flipping the channels, flitting between various strains of mutant hip hop, some shadowy and drowsily druggy, but most of them, groovy, and funky and weirdly posi, like a more psychedelic, and way more demented De La Soul maybe, at least this time around, but who can guess what other weirdness the next record will bring. We can only imagine...
MPEG Stream: "Dawn In Luxor"
MPEG Stream: "Forerunner Foray"
MPEG Stream: "They Come In Gold"
MPEG Stream: "Motion Sickness"

album cover MAR-VISTA Visions Of Sodal Ye (Strawberry Rain) lp 37.00
It's nice to know that no matter how many records are reissued, or rare gems discovered, or mysterious private press releases rescued from oblivion, there will always be more. And even though sometimes we feel like the bottom of the reissue barrel has been reached, based on some dubious reissues, all it takes is a record like this, to remind us that there are truly some mind benignly fantastic records that have yet to be unearthed. And yeah, this is some truly next level, mind bending stuff. EVERYBODY here digs it, so we knew we had to make it a Record Of The Week, even though a week ago, we'd never heard of Mar-Vista. Sounds like of like a motel or something.
Originally a private press record, released in a run of just 200 copies in 1976, and packaged in blank white sleeves, and sold locally in France, this deliriously trippy and over the top chunk of French psychedelic synth prog is so good, and so weird, it really is one of those rare records, that's makes it hard to believe it could've remained lost for so long. Cuz really, anyone hearing this, would immediately freak out. We most definitely did. Apparently this duo was heavily influenced by minimalists like La Monte Young and Terry Riley, and krautrock combos like Ashra Tempel and Popol Vuh and while that's not actually bad band math when trying to describe Mar-Vista, the truth of the sound is so much stranger.
A single 41 minute song suite, separated into 6 movements, Visions Of Sodal Ye begins with primitive lo-fi drum machine (or drumming that sounds programmed), beneath whirring organs, fingerpicked acoustic guitars, droning synths and shimmering melodies, with laid back vox way down in the mix, not to mention some killer distorted psych guitar shred, the whole thing wrapped in warped sonic warble. There are plenty of weird production glitches, drop outs, and tape decay/damage from the original masters we would assume, but it only adds to the sound, a sound that soon blossoms into soaring kosmische synth swirls, anchored by more of those primitive drum machine like rhythms, and wreathed in what sounds like whipping winds, and jaw harp like spring melodies, more plink plonk, sing songy synths, and a fierce squall of psychedelic noise guitar. The movements merge into one sprawling epic, continuing with the coolest, creepiest track of the bunch, a dour, murky dirge, a tripped out sort of doom-kraut creep, with low buzzing synths, skittery rhythms, and multiple vocal lines, all wound up into a haunting, intense, organ and synth drenched lumber, that could be the weirdest heaviest French psych-prog jam EVER. That quickly (d)evolves into a cool, groovy sixties style psychedelic blow out, all cascading synth melodies, pulsing hip shaking rhythms, and super distorted theremin like squiggles over the top, before settling into some pulsating, cosmic shimmer, tinged with just a little bit new age, some serious synth prog that blossoms into awesome John Carpenter like soundtrackiness! The record/songsuite culminates in the final 21+ minute movement, a sprawling cinematic synth epic, a twisted dronescape of layered synths and extended tones, ominous and sinister, minor key and darkly malevolent, again, like it could be from the some lost Carpenter movie, all creepy slo-mo melodies, and crumbling textures, plenty of tension, haunting and shadowy and mysterious.
And generally bonus tracks are bonus tracks for a reason, cast offs, throw aways, songs that weren't good enough to make the cut, but not here, the two bonus tracks (found only on the cd!!) are crazy, and crazy cool, the first, "Synthetik Way", is a glistening, glimmering planetarium style cosmic synth workout, all lush, hushed and tranquil one second, then distorted and wildly psychedelic the next, while the second "Crash '73", is an impossibly trippy, surprisingly heavy psych rock jam, with in-the-red distorted guitar and skittery drumming, beneath a wild tangle of snake charmer synth shred, and a totally WTF twisted stuttery finale, which had us imagining a whole other record tucked away with more of this outsider synth-prog-psych weirdnessÉ
So incredible, quite possibly the reissue of the year! Minimal liner notes, a reproduction of the original sleeve, but sadly somewhat flimsy packaging on the digipack cd...
The cd version is limited to 500 copies, the lp just 300.
MPEG Stream: "Her Eyes Are Closed"
MPEG Stream: "Death's Shadows"
MPEG Stream: "The Black Sun Shones Today"
MPEG Stream: "Crash '73"

album cover POISON RING Book Of Seeds (Hanged Man) cassette 6.98
We were first turned on to Poison Ring by the guys in Sutekh Hexen, and managed to meet the man responsible on a recent trip to Seattle. We were initially not sure what to expect. The tape packaging, while beautiful, evokes something else entirely, something maybe more gothic, and Mr. Poison Ring himself is quite elven, in appearance and attire, but instead of some gothic renn faire flutter, we were treated to something much more intense, dark and atmospheric, a hazy, faded landscape of woozy soft focus murk and buried melodies, a sound that definitely had us thinking of Philip Jeck and The Caretaker and Tim Hecker. While it's impossible to tell exactly what's producing these ghostly sounds, it does sound like a handful of dusty old turntables, spinning lazily in some giant abandoned ballroom, a series of gauzy melodies, and slowed down samples, layered and woven into softly undulating blurs, melancholy and mournful, imbued with a introspective otherworldliness, the perfect haunting lullaby for nights beneath pitch black skies, devoid of stars, a gorgeously abject drift into some other/underworld, laced with moments both sinister and ominous, but those moments seem to always eventually unwind, the sound eventually and inevitably diffusing into another stretch of blessed out somnambulant ambience.
On some of the tracks, the source does seem to be obviously old records and broken down turntables, and yet, instead of taking away from the mystery, it simply adds more color and depth, often some sort of disembodied rhythm, reminding us again of Jeck, but also Strotter Inst, especially in the stretches anchored by electronic squelches and distorted pulses, like some alien, haunted house music, an industrial creep that manages to evoke a strange tension, while still remaining otherworldly and lovely. The flipside spends much of it's time lysergically loping through fields of murk and pitch shifted melody, an achingly wistful sprawl of dreamdirges and waking sonic feverdreams.
Housed in a beautiful handmade slipcover/sleeve, with a built in mini booklet, printed on vellum, each copy hand numbered, LIMITED TO 89 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Chapter I (excerpt 1)"

album cover CULT OF DOM KELLER The Second Bardo (Cardinal Fuzz) lp 21.00
More spaced out psychedelic garage from the Cardinal Fuzz label, this one, record number two from UK fuzz merchants Cult Of Dom Keller, whose sound is a perfect fit for the 'Fuzz, all reverbed riffage, simple motorik drum pound, laid back echo drenched spacer vox, all smeared into druggy sprawls of lysergic hypno-rock that falls somewhere between Spacemen 3, Moon Duo, Loop and any number of other like minded drug rock space explorers. The opener "Plague Of All" sets the stage perfectly, with a killer main riff, that's soon bolstered by some primitive rhythmic pound, and spidery distorted guitar melody, doused in FX, and seriously fuzzed out, when the vocals swoop in, the sound gets way more spacey and drifty, the sound seesawing back and forth between ethereal space rock shimmer and swagger psych blooze crunch.
The rest of the record seems to melt and ooze and drift, the template laid down on the first track seemingly left in the sun too long, whirring organs dripping all over loping and lumbering drug-rock grooves, the guitars churning, warm and distorted, on tracks like "The Snake Keeps Changing", the vibe is practically somnambulant, tripped out and gloriously laid back, it's almost impossible to not imagine some crazy psychedelic light show enveloping you when you close your eyes and strap on the headphones. Other tracks add sitar-like buzz, swirling backwards FX, walls of crumbling distortion, some explode into serious heart-of-the-sun Hawkwind like pound, others sprawl and expand into hazy sonic supernovas of sound. Epic spaced out psychedelia for fans of the usual suspects (Carlton Melton, the Heads, White Hills, Wooden Shjips, as well as the rest of the Cardinal Fuzz roster), and SUPER LIMITED of course, pressed on tripped out swirled red/green vinyl...
MPEG Stream: "Plague Of All"
MPEG Stream: "The Snake Keeps Changing"
MPEG Stream: "Into The Sky Volcano - Beyond Burning Skies"
MPEG Stream: "The Second Bardo"

album cover GRST Fire Therein (Glossolalia) cassette 8.98
For a band who existed so briefly, with only handful of live performances, and a single record to their name, San Francisco's late great black metal masterminds Weakling cast a mighty long shadow. Many consider their Dead As Dreams debut/swansong to be one of the best US black metal records EVER, and hell, who are we to argue. Andee's tUMULt label put it out, after all. It's also inspired at least three tributes/homages that we can think of, Jabladav's weirdo worshipful Dead As Duck album, then there's the band Dead As Dreams, and now there's this two song tape from Texas/Oregon black metal outfit Grst, entitled Fire Therein, on which the trio tackle two Weakling tracks, "Cut Their Grain And Place Fire Therein" and "Dead As Dreams". And on first listen, these guys do a pretty good Weakling, especially the anguished wailed shrieking vokills, the music itself is a lot more polished and less raw than the original, the organ/synth way higher in the mix, the drums too, it sounds like they've added some subtle twisted of their own, but it's obviously a pretty reverential homage, and for anyone who loves the original, which should be all of you, it's pretty cool to hear someone else's interpretation, and the fact that it still sounds so good, most definitely speaks to the power, the energy, and the uniqueness of the original. Same with "Dead As Dreams", a song we've loved so much for so long, that even hearing an entirely different version, the minute we hear that riff, that instantly recognizable melody, it gives us chills, and again, hearing a different version/interpretation, gives us new perspective, and makes us want to dig into the original all over again. Which is pretty much everything you want from a tribute/cover/homage...
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES. With cool pitch perfect Dead As Dreams styled cover art.
MPEG Stream: "Cut Their Grain And Place Fire Therein"

album cover SLEEP The Clarity (self-released) 12" 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. BUT - THE BLACK VINYL VERSION, ALSO LIMITED, IS ON THE WAY...
We listed this last week on our all-vinyl in-betweener. Been selling fast, but we do still have a few left, so here's probably your last chance if you haven't already pulled the trigger...
The very unexpected return of stoner doom heroes Sleep, their first new music in more than a decade. It's a single side long sprawl, originally released as part of the Adult Swim monthly series of digital downloads, now available as a super limited 12", and while they last, we have the even MORE limited green vinyl version, housed in a plain brown sleeve, and sporting a bad ass spaceman etching on the B side!
And as much as it can be, "The Clarity" is vintage/classic Sleep, starting out with a weird, almost electronic pulse, that soon supernova's into crushing, slithery, swaggery, stoner doom bliss, a massive main riff, the drums appropriately caveman crushing, the vocals the strangest part, seemingly beholden to post Sleep vehicle OM, sort of sung/spoken, doused in echo/reverb, but really, it's not all that different that the druggily chanted vox of the old days, and it all bleed and oozes into a perfect slab of druggy, downtuned heaviness, with plenty of tempo shifts, long stretches of doomy lumber, some seriously Sabbathy leads, the sort of head nodding crush few do better than these guys, the track bookended by a tranced out, spacey outro, where the drums gradually drop out, leaving just arcing streaks of guitar buzz, and droned out fragmented riffs, all tangled up into a mesmeric, pulsing, doom-buzz, minimal-drone coda that ends way too soon. Here's hoping this means there's a full length imminent...
As mentioned above, it's a limited edition green vinyl version, with etched art on the B side, brown cardstock sleeves, and no info except the label on the A side with the logo, the song title, minimal credits, and what could be Sleep's mantra or motto: "Praise Iommi"...

SLEEP The Clarity (self-released) 12" 17.98
BACK IN STOCK - BUT NOW ON BLACK VINYL. Instead of green. But otherwise it's the same, with the art-etched side and plain brown sleeve. This is the very last batch of these limited new Sleep 12"s we will get, and we only have a few...
This is the very unexpected return of stoner doom heroes Sleep, their first new music in more than a decade. It's a single side long sprawl, originally released as part of the Adult Swim monthly series of digital downloads, now available as a super limited 12" on black vinyl (sorry, the limited translucent green vinyl is all gone.) housed in a plain brown sleeve, and sporting a bad ass spaceman etching on the B side!
And as much as it can be, "The Clarity" is vintage/classic Sleep, starting out with a weird, almost electronic pulse, that soon supernova's into crushing, slithery, swaggery, stoner doom bliss, a massive main riff, the drums appropriately caveman crushing, the vocals the strangest part, seemingly beholden to post Sleep vehicle OM, sort of sung/spoken, doused in echo/reverb, but really, it's not all that different that the druggily chanted vox of the old days, and it all bleed and oozes into a perfect slab of druggy, downtuned heaviness, with plenty of tempo shifts, long stretches of doomy lumber, some seriously Sabbathy leads, the sort of head nodding crush few do better than these guys, the track bookended by a tranced out, spacey outro, where the drums gradually drop out, leaving just arcing streaks of guitar buzz, and droned out fragmented riffs, all tangled up into a mesmeric, pulsing, doom-buzz, minimal-drone coda that ends way too soon. Here's hoping this means there's a full length imminent...
As mentioned above, it's a limited edition BLACK vinyl version, with etched art on the B side, brown cardstock sleeves, and no info except the label on the A side with the logo, the song title, minimal credits, and what could be Sleep's mantra or motto: "Praise Iommi"...
Get before they are gone for good. You have been warned!

album cover VOMITFACE Vomitface (Bad Companion) 7" 5.98
We have to admit, we almost didn't listen to this, which we know is sorta hypocritical, considering the ridiculous bands we dig, many with even more ridiculous monikers, but something about the bandname Vomitface had us expecting something else entirely, and something we thought we might not dig. But dig this we do. Lots. Basically, these guys sound like they were cut from the very same cloth as Nirvana's Bleach. Fuzzed out grunge, plenty of quiet/loud, the same sort of minor key clean guitar, and explosive choruses, with some killer distorto leads, and warmly vocals that sound a lot like Kurt Cobain, especially when in the early days and on those old demos, or when he was just going for it and shredding his voice live.
"Sloppy Joes" is the most Nirvana-ish of the bunch, with its loping chugging verse, and blown out chorus, the warmly keening vocals, the main hook a killer, the drums blown out too, the whole production super hot and in-the-red. it's pretty tough to resist, the vocals in the verse are a dead ringer for the Grifters too, which is most definitely a very good thing.
And hell, once you get done playing that track over and over, "Bill Me Later" explodes into some serious noise drenched post-grunge heaviness, with plenty of slither and swagger and crunch, and a distinctly nineties verse with weird spidery guitars, some 'oooooh' background vox, more wild drumming, and yeah, another bad ass hook. We were pretty blown away when we played this the first time, and within minutes we had already sold one! The other two tracks are just as ruling, total grunge radness, that takes the Nirvana/grunge worship of Roomrunner, maybe even further, but if that's a sound you love, nobody does it this good anymore, and hell, these guys do it now, better than lots of bands back in the day too. We can't stop listening to this, and are really hoping there's a full length on the way.
LIMITED TO 133 COPIES! Includes a download with a bonus DL only track!
MPEG Stream: "Sloppy Joes"
MPEG Stream: "Bill Me Later"

album cover LIVE SKULL Pusherman (Desire) cd 16.98
The reissue campaign for these eighties NY noise rockers culminates with this, the final EP featuring the original lineup, released immediately after 1986's Cloud One (the reissue of which was reviewed on the aQ list recently), and was the last record with the original lineup, after this record drummer James Lo would leave, and vocalist/guitarist Thalia Zedek would join, changing the sound of the band, and moving them in a new direction. A direction that was definitely hinted at here, originally a three song 12", the band (according to the liner notes) were convinced that Pusherman was a vast improvement, even over Cloud One, which had just come out, and while it might be more polished, and a bit more honed, songwriting-wise, it sounds like the logical extension from Cloud One. "Swingtime" is all low slung swagger, the production, thick and noisy, multiple guitars wound into tense tangles, the groove a lumbering churn, the sound rife with spidery melodies and strange fragmented riffage, the vocals a deep bellowed croon, the whole thing a fierce gothic blooze, far removed from the early noise rock days for sure. "Raise The Manifestation" is more of the same, another bass driven dirge, slow and loping, moody and brooding, this time female vox to the fore, the guitars once again swirling in psychedelic squalls, all anchored by some muscly bass and drums, droney and tranced out, and to these ears, like much of Cloud One, still reminiscent of what was happening on the opposite coast, with the Scream Club, and groups like Kommunity FK, the Abecedarians, Janes Addiction and the like.
The big surprise though on Pusherman was the title track, a cover of the Curtis Mayfield classic, which at the time, seemed kinda crazy, and while much has been made of the track's 'funkiness', it really doesn't sound that much funkier than the Live Skull tracks proper, tribal drumming, and a woozy, slithery bassline, wreathed in all sorts of guitar noise, and some surprising percussion, the vocals sultry and bewitching, a little bit haunting, the guitars delivering all sorts of wild sonic filigree, a dense soulful noise rock dirge that positioned the song, and the group to an extent right alongside all those other doom and gloom outfits.
The original ep is fleshed out with a bunch of bonus tracks, most live, a few alternate versions, all of varying quality, but a good impression of the band at their peak, right before the band would reconfigure and embark on phase two of their career. Like the other reissues, fantastically put together, with a massive booklet, featuring extensive liner notes from the various band members, and lots of rare photos and flyers. Best part of the liner notes: when the band recalls returning to Madison, Wisconsin, only to discovery that their last visit had inspired their host's toddlers to start a band, that band was Old Skull! (And did you know two of the three kids from Old Skull are now dead?! Crazy!)
MPEG Stream: "Swingtime"
MPEG Stream: "Raise The Manifestation"
MPEG Stream: "Pusherman"

album cover PROUD, PIP A Fraying Space (EM) cd 22.00
The latest collection (after two previous) chronicling the work of Australian outsider artist / primitive folk songsmith Pip Proud, comes courtesy of Japanese label EM, who gather up some of his best tracks from the late sixties and early seventies, selected by Proud's biographer David Nichols, who also provides the booklet's extensive liner notes. Fans of early Flying Nun, Xpressway and Homestead Records, will be immediately smitten. Proud, whose primitive folksmithery falls somewhere between the Tall Dwarfs, the Frogs and Sebadoh, was like a proto Syd Barrett, with a voice that's a dead ringer for Jimmy Flemion of the Frogs (R.I.P.), and his music for all its amateur primitivism, was geniusly crafted, perfect little introspective folk pop gems, the sound, the lyrics, the guitar playing, even the recordings themselves... We're also reminded of Bill Direen, the sung/spoken vocals, the raw guitar style, the lo-fi recordings, almost every track here impossibly catchy, with the oddest bits getting stuck in your head like crazy. Some tracks are haunting and otherworldly, with truly unique and bizarre guitar parts (or are those synths), the guitar playing sometimes folk, but other times percussive and more rhythmic, and still other times, weirdly psychedelic. There's one track with a full band, that is killer, all Velvets-y murky, tense kraut-psych garage pop, with truly twisted vox, and some weirdly atonal melodies, but the rest of the record is made up entirely of home recorded bedroom jams, with only the most minimal and primitively achieved overdubs, sometimes it's strange gamelan like percussion, sometimes noisy fuzz distortion, sometimes weird tangles of multiple guitar lines, all deftly woven into some of the most endearing, and mysteriously mesmerizing music you might never have heard.
There are a handful of bonus tracks, as well as a huge booklet, with liner notes, rare photos and lyrics.
MPEG Stream: "Adreneline And Richard"
MPEG Stream: "De Da De Dum"
MPEG Stream: "A Fraying Space"
MPEG Stream: "Purple Boy Gang"

album cover PROUD, PIP A Fraying Space (EM) lp 26.00
NOW ON LP TOO!
The latest collection (after two previous) chronicling the work of Australian outsider artist / primitive folk songsmith Pip Proud, comes courtesy of Japanese label EM, who gather up some of his best tracks from the late sixties and early seventies, selected by Proud's biographer David Nichols, who also provides the booklet's extensive liner notes. Fans of early Flying Nun, Xpressway and Homestead Records, will be immediately smitten. Proud, whose primitive folksmithery falls somewhere between the Tall Dwarfs, the Frogs and Sebadoh, was like a proto Syd Barrett, with a voice that's a dead ringer for Jimmy Flemion of the Frogs (R.I.P.), and his music for all its amateur primitivism, was geniusly crafted, perfect little introspective folk pop gems, the sound, the lyrics, the guitar playing, even the recordings themselves... We're also reminded of Bill Direen, the sung/spoken vocals, the raw guitar style, the lo-fi recordings, almost every track here impossibly catchy, with the oddest bits getting stuck in your head like crazy. Some tracks are haunting and otherworldly, with truly unique and bizarre guitar parts (or are those synths), the guitar playing sometimes folk, but other times percussive and more rhythmic, and still other times, weirdly psychedelic. There's one track with a full band, that is killer, all Velvets-y murky, tense kraut-psych garage pop, with truly twisted vox, and some weirdly atonal melodies, but the rest of the record is made up entirely of home recorded bedroom jams, with only the most minimal and primitively achieved overdubs, sometimes it's strange gamelan like percussion, sometimes noisy fuzz distortion, sometimes weird tangles of multiple guitar lines, all deftly woven into some of the most endearing, and mysteriously mesmerizing music you might never have heard.
There are a handful of bonus tracks, as well as a huge booklet, with liner notes, rare photos and lyrics.
MPEG Stream: "Adreneline And Richard"
MPEG Stream: "De Da De Dum"
MPEG Stream: "A Fraying Space"
MPEG Stream: "Purple Boy Gang"

album cover WHITE FENCE For The Recently Found Innocent (Drag City) cd 14.98
First we've heard from these sixties psych channeling, garage pop retro rocking locals since last year's awesome Cyclops Reap (and not counting the recent equally awesome Live In SF disc). Cyclops Reap took White Fence's already twisted sound and somehow made it even more far out, while at the same time upping the ante on pretty much everything else (song craft, production, etc.), and now on For The Recently Found Innocent, WF mainman Tim Presley teams up with his buddy Ty Segall and drummer Nick Murray (Mikal Cronin even pops by to play a little piano), for a record that continues Presley's quest to craft some impossible sixties beholden, modern retro-psych masterpiece, and gets closer than he ever has. In the process, Presley and crew dial back a lot of the weirdness that defined the sound of Cyclops Reap, and come up with some of the best WF songs yet. Certainly the best sounding, the production is massive, just check out "Anger! Who Keeps You Under", which somehow sounds properly from back in the day, but modern as well, jangling guitars, soaring vocals, hooks galore, powerful drumming, all sorts of effects and textures, the sound lush and majestic, a little bit fuzzy and crunchy, and so so catchy! And it pretty much doesn't let up, every track here a fuzz pop retro garage gem, "Like That" features Presley's keening falsetto, with some fantastic harmonies, all set amidst lush jangle and some pitch perfect sixties-isms, what we really need to do is get Presley together with Matthew Melton (Warm Soda, Bare Wires)!
But until that happens, we get to revel in Presley's alternate sonic sixties, conjured up here and now, with all the musical references to might imagine, Bee Gees, the Monkees, the Zombies, some of the tracks here do genuinely sound like they were plucked from some reissue compilation, while others find WF indulging in some experimentation, but even then, they manage to make it sound totally genuine. As always, fantastic stuff, and pretty sure we probably say this every time, but might be our favorite White Fence record yet!
MPEG Stream: "Anger! Who Keeps You Under?"
MPEG Stream: "Like That"
MPEG Stream: "Sandra (When The Earth Dies)"
MPEG Stream: "Wolf Gets Red Faced"

album cover WHITE FENCE For The Recently Found Innocent (Drag City) lp 17.98
First we've heard from these sixties psych channeling, garage pop retro rocking locals since last year's awesome Cyclops Reap (and not counting the recent equally awesome Live In SF disc). Cyclops Reap took White Fence's already twisted sound and somehow made it even more far out, while at the same time upping the ante on pretty much everything else (song craft, production, etc.), and now on For The Recently Found Innocent, WF mainman Tim Presley teams up with his buddy Ty Segall and drummer Nick Murray (Mikal Cronin even pops by to play a little piano), for a record that continues Presley's quest to craft some impossible sixties beholden, modern retro-psych masterpiece, and gets closer than he ever has. In the process, Presley and crew dial back a lot of the weirdness that defined the sound of Cyclops Reap, and come up with some of the best WF songs yet. Certainly the best sounding, the production is massive, just check out "Anger! Who Keeps You Under", which somehow sounds properly from back in the day, but modern as well, jangling guitars, soaring vocals, hooks galore, powerful drumming, all sorts of effects and textures, the sound lush and majestic, a little bit fuzzy and crunchy, and so so catchy! And it pretty much doesn't let up, every track here a fuzz pop retro garage gem, "Like That" features Presley's keening falsetto, with some fantastic harmonies, all set amidst lush jangle and some pitch perfect sixties-isms, what we really need to do is get Presley together with Matthew Melton (Warm Soda, Bare Wires)!
But until that happens, we get to revel in Presley's alternate sonic sixties, conjured up here and now, with all the musical references to might imagine, Bee Gees, the Monkees, the Zombies, some of the tracks here do genuinely sound like they were plucked from some reissue compilation, while others find WF indulging in some experimentation, but even then, they manage to make it sound totally genuine. As always, fantastic stuff, and pretty sure we probably say this every time, but might be our favorite White Fence record yet!
MPEG Stream: "Anger! Who Keeps You Under?"
MPEG Stream: "Like That"
MPEG Stream: "Sandra (When The Earth Dies)"
MPEG Stream: "Wolf Gets Red Faced"

album cover WHITE FENCE For The Recently Found Innocent (Drag City) cassette 9.98
First we've heard from these sixties psych channeling, garage pop retro rocking locals since last year's awesome Cyclops Reap (and not counting the recent equally awesome Live In SF disc). Cyclops Reap took White Fence's already twisted sound and somehow made it even more far out, while at the same time upping the ante on pretty much everything else (song craft, production, etc.), and now on For The Recently Found Innocent, WF mainman Tim Presley teams up with his buddy Ty Segall and drummer Nick Murray (Mikal Cronin even pops by to play a little piano), for a record that continues Presley's quest to craft some impossible sixties beholden, modern retro-psych masterpiece, and gets closer than he ever has. In the process, Presley and crew dial back a lot of the weirdness that defined the sound of Cyclops Reap, and come up with some of the best WF songs yet. Certainly the best sounding, the production is massive, just check out "Anger! Who Keeps You Under", which somehow sounds properly from back in the day, but modern as well, jangling guitars, soaring vocals, hooks galore, powerful drumming, all sorts of effects and textures, the sound lush and majestic, a little bit fuzzy and crunchy, and so so catchy! And it pretty much doesn't let up, every track here a fuzz pop retro garage gem, "Like That" features Presley's keening falsetto, with some fantastic harmonies, all set amidst lush jangle and some pitch perfect sixties-isms, what we really need to do is get Presley together with Matthew Melton (Warm Soda, Bare Wires)!
But until that happens, we get to revel in Presley's alternate sonic sixties, conjured up here and now, with all the musical references to might imagine, Bee Gees, the Monkees, the Zombies, some of the tracks here do genuinely sound like they were plucked from some reissue compilation, while others find WF indulging in some experimentation, but even then, they manage to make it sound totally genuine. As always, fantastic stuff, and pretty sure we probably say this every time, but might be our favorite White Fence record yet!
MPEG Stream: "Anger! Who Keeps You Under?"
MPEG Stream: "Like That"
MPEG Stream: "Sandra (When The Earth Dies)"
MPEG Stream: "Wolf Gets Red Faced"

album cover VIOLENT CHANGE Celebration Of Taste (Melters) lp 13.98
Full length number two from these local post punk noise poppers, and according to the liner notes, it might also be their last. But with VC, it's pretty hard to tell if they're taking the piss, usually safe to assume they are. And while their self-titled debut was gloriously lo-fi and ramshackle, noisy and chaotic, enough that we made it our Record Of The Week, A Celebration Of Taste manages to be even MORE, with much of it sounding like it was recorded in a cave, or a huge metal box, or underwater, on what we can only assume is probably a broken 4-track, everything with dying batteries, but then out of some impossibly impenetrable murk, will emerge a burst of crunchy, fuzzy power pop, that sounds like an unearthed gem from back in the day. So we figured this one too had to be another Record Of the Week...
Check out the opening 1-2-3 punch, "(I'm A Star) In Outer Space" is some seriously classic songsmithery, jangle guitar galore, some impossibly catchy guitar melodies, plenty of background buzz, keening vocals and hooks for days, but the tinny, no-fi production makes Guided By Voices sound like U2, but then there's "Micro Flesh", which takes that same sound, and piles on the murk, treble turned to zero, bass to ten, then slowed down, so it's a muddy, woozy, warmly creep, grinding, and gristly, before suddenly, "Faster" explodes into action, sounding like some weirdo lost Mod outfit from the sixties, this still lo-fi but cranked up, gloriously noisy and psychedelic, feedback everywhere, and buried under all that noisiness, a fucking killer, classic jam.
And so it goes, these guys dipping their toes into seventies power pop ("I Was Never Young" sounds like an outsider Purling Hiss), glammed out punk rock stomp ("Malleable Love"), all swaggery hip shaking crunch, total experimental noisescapery ("Abductors Pt. 1"), fifties style balladry filtered through cracked modern noise rock, and crumbled into something barely songlike ("Hairline-esque"), super distorted fuzz pop a la GBV ("Someone In This House")... Needless to say, we could go on and on and on. But if anything, this new one is somehow both more fucked up and damaged, and more catchy and well crafted, than their debut, that well crafted-ness pretty much entirely disguised by all the noise, and weirdo production, and detuned damage, and constantly in-flux production, and the varying degrees of shitty sound, but it's all glorious, and freaky, and psychedelic, and catchy and freaked out, and we're really really really hoping this isn't the last we're gonna hear from these guys, cuz this record is some seriously next level outsider pop genius! Fucked up and utterly confusional obviously, but then that's a big part of what makes it so goddamn great.
Includes two inserts and a download code.
MPEG Stream: "(I'm A Star) In Outer Space"
MPEG Stream: "Micro Flesh"
MPEG Stream: "Faster"
MPEG Stream: "Malleable Love"
MPEG Stream: "Hairline-esque"
MPEG Stream: "Someone In This House"

album cover FADENSONNEN Badlands (One Hand) lp 21.00
BACK IN STOCK!!
Badlands is the debut from this New York duo who traffic in wild, blown out, free form, noisy avant psychedelia, a relentless blistering sonic freakout spread over three tracks and thirty minutes. It might help (or maybe it won't, but it's still cool) to list the instruments used to conjure up this skree: one guy handles: "Machete Harmonic, Octave Shaking, Psycho Slide and Echo Disaster Lead Guitars, Feedback Vox, Tape Manipulation", the other is in charge of "Feral Wah, Astral Echo, and Feedback Lead Guitars, Amp Manipulation, Drums", which in a way says it all. After a brief bit of droniness, the sound splinters, and explodes into a five minute onslaught of frenzied guitar abuse, spluttery drum damage, all wreathed in thick swirling clouds of twisted FX and layered noise, but this is not straight up noise (although there's plenty of that), there are lots of dynamics going on, with stretches of scrabbly guitar, tranced out hypno-rock churn, tangled swirls of guitar psych, dense walls of crumbling, grinding, in-the-red, feedback doused dirgery, extended sprawls of effects heavy drift, and twisted droney ambience, but for all that, the sound is most definitely rooted in face melting psych-noise freakouts, which most definitely dominates the proceedings. But stick around for the 15 minute closer, the sound slowed down to a droney crawl, all grinding guitars, skittery drums, dense swirls of feedback and noise, the sound almost more psychedelic space rock than anything, but WAY on the noisiest side of that spectrum, imagine multiple Hawkwinds playing at once, each one trying to play louder and heavier than the other, the result some sort of ultra heavy, noise psych dirge, that is equal parts doom, spacey, tripped out and heavy as fuck. Where have these guys been all our lives. Fans of freaky noisy psych, line starts here. Fans of Fushitsusha, Mainliner, Burnt Hills, Heavy Winged, etc. check this shit out. NOW.
Super deluxe handmade packaging, maniacally ADD line drawing cover art (a la Nick Blinko), with a heavy cardboard insert, hand taped, with more line drawings, a picture taped to one side, housed in a stickered plastic sleeve, hand numbered, LIMITED TO 150 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Machete"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN UND DAS MENACE Hunger (Castle Face) lp 15.98
After the twisted avant collage experimentation of the recently released Slow Down Tiger lp, Dan Melchior returns to the garage rock sound he's more well known for, on this, his first for John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees' Castle Face label, and while it's not so nearly warped and way out as Slow Down Tiger, it's still pretty freaky. Sure there's crunchy jangly guitars, and actual proper song structures, but there's still all manner of weird noises, strange effects, some songs lurch to a stop, like in the strange spoken chorus to opener "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer", other tracks are rife with psychedelic popisms, like on "Night Of Fear", where Melchior is channeling sixties flower-poppers The Move, but filtered through a thoroughly fractured modern garage pop filter, and others are just straight up blown out old school garage rock pounders, like the urgent distorto crush of "Rip It To Pieces". Like on all the other Melchior records, he can't seem to deny his experimental side, so drum machines pop here and there, multiple vocal lines tangled into unlikely harmonies, riffs are blurred into extended distorted drones, reverb and echo are slathered on everything, but all of that weirdness is somehow corralled into the service of some seriously great songs, that most definitely do sound right at home on Castle Face.
MPEG Stream: "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer"
MPEG Stream: "Night Of Fear"
MPEG Stream: "Rip It To Pieces"
MPEG Stream: "Robotic Footprints"

album cover TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD Starving The Fires (Pt. 1) (Malignant) cd 9.98
This one was a long time coming. We reviewed a tape ages ago by a boy/girl duo from Oakland who made a gloriously grim, dense blackened ambience that pushed all our buttons. That tape sold out super quick, and thus we began the wait for more. A wait that kept stretching out longer and longer. The two became disillusioned with the East Bay, and made their way northward, landing in Portland, and still we waited. Until finally, we received word, that there was indeed more, and it comes by way of the mighty Malignant Records, home to much fantastic blackened noisiness and ambient miserablism, a perfect home for these two, and for their Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The Dead. And you think that sort of move would temper their abject grimnity, a new friendlier neighborhood, a new home, might lighten up their shadowy sonics, but if anything, they've dragged some bad Oakland energy with them up North, cast their very own musical pall over this new land, and molded it into this fierce sprawl of hateful, harrowing blackness.
A guttural rumbling haloed in distant feedback opens the proceedings, a sonic representation of a scorched earth, swirling hiss, and dense tectonic low need vibrations, the sky full of strange electronics and muted FX, a sonic calm before the blacknoise storm as it were, the sound slowly mutating into a stretch of undulating grey thrum, over mysterious transmissions and disembodied voices, until helicopter like pulsations, choppy waves of rhythmic throb, churn and chug, blurred into a cascade of gristled, crumbling distortion, under which, mournful melodies drift drowsily, a strangely effective juxtaposition of harsh noise, and tranquil ambience, that builds to a furious hissing frenzy, before fracturing into a finale of sonic shards and decaying sonics. From there on out, sheets of noise wash over chiming tones, and stretched out drones, keening high end filigree buried beneath squalls of chaotic howl, the slow builds strangely mesmeric and almost melodic, processed vocals smeared into the roiling noise, thick gassy swells underpinning skies streaked with soft noise shimmer, and more haunting, buried melodies, the sound epic and majestic and mournful, aching melancholy wreathed in jagged crunch and grinding buzz, eventually erupting into what is essentially black metal, with all the metal sucked out, a heaving throb of grim black fury, the vokills monstrous and harsh as fuck, all tangled up in dense black swirls of sound, tripped out and impossibly psychedelic to boot.
The record culminates in the epic 25+ minute "When Storms Come", which is a bit like their version of Burzum's "Rundtgaing", a sprawling ambient epic, but in this case, Teeth Engraved's ambience is a churning morass of brown noise, blurred and soft focus, heavy and blown out, but muted and murky and blunted, the result more mesmerizing and hypnotic than brutal, a tough feat with what is essentially a half hour of noise, but here, it manages to soothe and entrance, and is the perfect black noise comedown bliss out finale for sure.
Housed in a DVD style case, with a printed insert.
MPEG Stream: "Radians"
MPEG Stream: "Vital Reaction"
MPEG Stream: "Shredded Sky, Hung In Tatters"

album cover MAMALEEK He Never Said A Mumblin' Word (The Flenser) 12" 17.98
We sorta spilled the Mamaleek beans, mistakenly reviewing their forthcoming full length last time, when in fact, we were meant to be reviewing THIS, a four song 12", just out on local label The Flenser, the latest (not counting the NOT OUT YET full length) from this local black metal brotherly duo whose sound has mutated over the course of their previous records, touching on blessed out metal gaze, avant black jazz, and pretty much every warped stop in between, and nothing gets less twisted, or less difficult to describe this time around, but they do seem to continue to move ever further from the black metal that birthed them, although to be fair, they were pretty well removed already with record number one, but on He Never Said A Mumblin' Word, the sound once again exists in some nether region, fusing, lurching distort beats, crumbling atonal riffage, bizarre vocals, damaged production, twisted on-the-verge-of-collapse arrangements, the vocals this time around even STRANGER, sounding like a chorus of croaking frogs, but here fused to one of the prettiest things we've heard from these guys, a lilting noise-doom dirge, that constantly devolves into a sort of industrial lumber, a sort-of-chorus perhaps, with the sounds even more distorted and blown out and in-the-red, but somehow remaining weirdly lovely, which seems to be these guys' specialty, making beautiful ugliness or vice versa.
Here's where we usually say, oh the rest of the record follows suit, but with these guys of course it doesn't, track two is all whispering winds, and acoustic guitars, a slow building swell of crumbling buzz, sampled operatic vocals, before exploding into some sort of blackened electro, with a programmed beat, more crumbling riffage, and some seriously harsh processed vocals, but again, some impossible poppiness swirled in, and eventually some almost black metal, but really, the sound is more like some sort of malfunctioning, avant, noise drenched electronica, with some madman growling and bellowingly demonically along, maybe black electro karaoke? Whatever it is, it's fucked up and fantastic.
The third song manages to be even MORE distorted, which once having heard the other two songs seems impossible, but the weirdly processed, crumbling, peaking riffage, becomes something weirdly textural and droned out, hear drifting atop swells of synth swirl and more hellish vokills, another delicate balancing act between twisted beauty, and harsh ugly heaviness. Finally, the duo wrap things up with a loping crumble-pop black-gloom dirge, that plants drum machine skitter beneath cascades of ultra distortion, soaring female vox, bellowed demonic vokills, the whole thing managing to sound sun dappled and dreamy, even though it also sounds like the insides of your speakers must be melting...
MPEG Stream: "He Never Said A Mumblin' Word"
MPEG Stream: "Poor Mounrer's Got A Home"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN UND DAS MENACE Hunger (Castle Face) cd 13.98
After the twisted avant collage experimentation of the recently released Slow Down Tiger lp, Dan Melchior returns to the garage rock sound he's more well known for, on this, his first for John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees' Castle Face label, and while it's not so nearly warped and way out as Slow Down Tiger, it's still pretty freaky. Sure there's crunchy jangly guitars, and actual proper song structures, but there's still all manner of weird noises, strange effects, some songs lurch to a stop, like in the strange spoken chorus to opener "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer", other tracks are rife with psychedelic popisms, like on "Night Of Fear", where Melchior is channeling sixties flower-poppers The Move, but filtered through a thoroughly fractured modern garage pop filter, and others are just straight up blown out old school garage rock pounders, like the urgent distorto crush of "Rip It To Pieces". Like on all the other Melchior records, he can't seem to deny his experimental side, so drum machines pop here and there, multiple vocal lines tangled into unlikely harmonies, riffs are blurred into extended distorted drones, reverb and echo are slathered on everything, but all of that weirdness is somehow corralled into the service of some seriously great songs, that most definitely do sound right at home on Castle Face.
MPEG Stream: "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer"
MPEG Stream: "Night Of Fear"
MPEG Stream: "Rip It To Pieces"
MPEG Stream: "Robotic Footprints"

album cover BIRD TRAPS The Colour Fields (Black Cross Recordings) cd-r 14.98
Somewhere between the tape decay experiments of William Basinski, the faded memory soundtracks of Leyland Kirby's Caretaker, and the sprawling sonic shadowscapes of Stars Of The Lid, lies Bird Traps, aka Marcus Skinner. His guitars, organs and field recordings are fleshed out by a proper string section, and the results are sublime, with the strings front and center, Skinner composing and adding coloration, subtle sonic backdrops to the aching, mournful string arrangements, the whole thing managing to evoke much of the same mood and mystery as those above mentioned artists, but without distortion or decay. On the surface, the sound of Bird Traps is like some string quartet, frozen mid performance, and suspended in amber, the sounds slowed down to a crawl, and unfurling like the score to some heartbreaking time lapse film, a melancholic threnody, simple and stirring.
The first two tracks are truly majestic, it's not hard to imagine the sound here as the score to some visual survey of sweeping plains, massive canyons, snowy peaks, but it's only on the second track that the machinations behind the scenes slowly drift to the fore, a little bit of looped whir here, of subtly static shimmer there, all the while, the strings continue to soar, the arrangement spread out into delicate chordal swells, heady and hypnotic, and with a depth not easily perceived with a glancing listen. In fact, Bird Traps seem to function in two distinct manners, perhaps not intentionally, one, simply as gorgeous, cinematic string based loveliness, the other, some serious deep listening, with headphones. Tracks like "Minor Tapestry" begin to sound more like Phill Niblock, with constantly shifting overtones, layered drones, all deftly woven into the otherwise placed stringscapes.
Not surprisingly, "Loose Knit" might be our favorite track here, it's the one where the strings take on a bit more of a supporting role, the dynamics as such, that they ebb and flow, leaving wide open space for choral like organs, and for the sibilant murmur of random field recordings, all adding grit and texture to the tracks haunting, drone out drift, before returning to something a bit less shadowy for the closer, which again, finds the sound slipping into something approaching a more modern minimalism / drone arrangement, but those strings, they keep the sound alive and seemingly expanding ever outward, a sonic time lapse blossoming, sun dappled and dreamlike, mesmerizing and impossibly, and mysteriously beautiful.
MPEG Stream: "Pine Orchestra"
MPEG Stream: "Minor Tapestry"
MPEG Stream: "Loose Knit"

album cover DALHOUS Will To Be Well (Blackest Ever Black) cd 17.98
First we've heard from Mark Dall, aka Dalhous, who on his second record, delivers a gorgeous collection of wistful electronica, and darkly textured soundscapes of blurred samples and haunting synthesized sounds. We're immediately reminded of Boards Of Canada, but Dall's sound is even more human, and organic, just check out the one-two punch of opener "First Page From Justine", a hazy smear of hushed shimmer, and slow shifting melody, dreamy and drifty, and "A Communion With These People", which expands on that ethereal thrum, letting it blossom into something haunting and lovely, almost like a more IDM version of DJ Shadow, a simple beat, wreathed in crackle and hiss, all over a bed of minor key shimmer and swirl, soft slow-motion swells of sound, peppered with fragmented melodies, and lushly textured layers, one of those tracks that could have stretched out for two or three times its length, and we would have remained utterly mesmerized. "Function Curve" foregoes the rhythm, and instead unwinds a swirling skyful of kosmische glimmer, that sounds like stumbling upon the ruins of some old planetarium show, where impossibly, ghostly music plays on, even though the ceiling that once displayed projected stars and planets, has crumbled, the soundtrack now accompanying the actual cosmos.
The whole record plays out like that, like sound out of time, music from another world, or another plane, the sound modern, but at the same time, reminiscent of so many sounds of the past, the best moments, when the sound seems to crumble and fall apart, the sonic decay present throughout, as if the record were constantly struggling against the ravages of time, and the fading of musical memories, hints of the Caretaker abound, as well as Pye Corner Audio, and even Demdike Stare in places, but the vibe is not nearly so dark, instead it's wistful and melancholy, the beats and rhythms, instead of the focal point of the record, almost seem like bridges between the ambience, rhythmic passages connecting the strange synthscapes and hushed shimmerscapes, sometimes sounding like a lost soundtrack, other times like vintage new age, and other times like the music from some strange educational filmstrip from the seventies, but throughout, it's gorgeous, fantastic, dreamy electronica that seems like it was brought here from somewhere, or some-when, far far away.
MPEG Stream: "A Communion With These People"
MPEG Stream: "Lovers Of the Highlands"
MPEG Stream: "Her Mind Was A Blank"
MPEG Stream: "Someone Secure"

album cover DALHOUS Will To Be Well (Blackest Ever Black) 2lp 34.00
First we've heard from Mark Dall, aka Dalhous, who on his second record, delivers a gorgeous collection of wistful electronica, and darkly textured soundscapes of blurred samples and haunting synthesized sounds. We're immediately reminded of Boards Of Canada, but Dall's sound is even more human, and organic, just check out the one-two punch of opener "First Page From Justine", a hazy smear of hushed shimmer, and slow shifting melody, dreamy and drifty, and "A Communion With These People", which expands on that ethereal thrum, letting it blossom into something haunting and lovely, almost like a more IDM version of DJ Shadow, a simple beat, wreathed in crackle and hiss, all over a bed of minor key shimmer and swirl, soft slow-motion swells of sound, peppered with fragmented melodies, and lushly textured layers, one of those tracks that could have stretched out for two or three times its length, and we would have remained utterly mesmerized. "Function Curve" foregoes the rhythm, and instead unwinds a swirling skyful of kosmische glimmer, that sounds like stumbling upon the ruins of some old planetarium show, where impossibly, ghostly music plays on, even though the ceiling that once displayed projected stars and planets, has crumbled, the soundtrack now accompanying the actual cosmos.
The whole record plays out like that, like sound out of time, music from another world, or another plane, the sound modern, but at the same time, reminiscent of so many sounds of the past, the best moments, when the sound seems to crumble and fall apart, the sonic decay present throughout, as if the record were constantly struggling against the ravages of time, and the fading of musical memories, hints of the Caretaker abound, as well as Pye Corner Audio, and even Demdike Stare in places, but the vibe is not nearly so dark, instead it's wistful and melancholy, the beats and rhythms, instead of the focal point of the record, almost seem like bridges between the ambience, rhythmic passages connecting the strange synthscapes and hushed shimmerscapes, sometimes sounding like a lost soundtrack, other times like vintage new age, and other times like the music from some strange educational filmstrip from the seventies, but throughout, it's gorgeous, fantastic, dreamy electronica that seems like it was brought here from somewhere, or some-when, far far away.
MPEG Stream: "A Communion With These People"
MPEG Stream: "Lovers Of the Highlands"
MPEG Stream: "Her Mind Was A Blank"
MPEG Stream: "Someone Secure"

album cover TREPANERINGSRITUALEN Perfection & Permanence (Cold Spring) cd 15.98
The latest missive from this sinister spectre, broadcast from whatever shadowy corner of the netherworld this guy calls home. Like the previous two tapes we reviewed, Prefection & Permanence is an exercise in blackened ritualism, extreme minimal dronemusic fused to grim black ambience, an unholy hybrid spawned from the deep, a sound that is both malevolently mesmerizing and deeply sonically terrifying.
This Swedish sonic shaman who we most recently observed collaborating with local blacknoise terrorists Sutekh Hexen in the woods at Stella, conjuring up one of the most intense performances of that entire festival, delivers here an equally intense experience, one that along with the usual tropes of black ambient music, delivers a lots of sonic surprises, like on "Black Egg", wherein the grim black noise is sculpted into a pulsating, murky rhythmic throb, an avalanche of rumbling, whirring synths, accompanied by hellish vokills, the end result surprisingly musical, and in its own unlikely way, strangely catchy. And that's actually a template that many of the other songs hew to, rhythmic, hypnotic, a sort of hypno-grimnity, with some of THEE sickest vocals we've ever heard, gargling, demonic, monstrous bellows, alien murmurs, all over beds of grinding noise, clouds of static, of swirling black shimmers, and all manner of muted/mutated rhythms, a strangely mesmeric black industrial that sans vocals, could very well be are new favorite minimal blackened techno record, but with all the noise and vokills mixed in, it's transformed into something else entirely. But seriously, check out a track like "Alone/A/Cross/Abyss", it's like an impossible collaboration between some obscure grim black metal band, and some minimal techno producer, fans of some recent aQ faves like Record Of The Weekers Akkord, might find much to love here, and might find themselves lured to the (even) dark(er) side. That said, let's not downplay how dark and sick the sounds are here, this is suffocating, abject, miserable and bleak, harrowing and hellish, the vocals alone are the stuff of nightmares, but approached as some weird black industrial techno record, or at least understanding there's a strange, and to a degree out of place rhythmic element, which is how we've decided to, it becomes something even more avant / experimental / unique / bizarre, and is most definitely one of the coolest records we've heard in ages.
MPEG Stream: "Black Egg"
MPEG Stream: "Castrate Christ"
MPEG Stream: "Alone / A Cross / Abyss"
MPEG Stream: "39 Lashes"

album cover PAWS Youth Culture Forever (Fat Cat) lp 24.00
Record number two from these nineties worshipping Scots, and while the nineties resurgence is in full swing all over, these guys do it better than most (and better than a lot of bands back in the day too!), and like their last record, Cokefloat, Youth Culture Forever is another glorious concoction of all the stuff we loved about that music/era, big fuzzy, crunchy guitars, hooks galore, chiming harmonics, earnest heartfelt vocals, all woven into a record that sounds like it could easily have been transported directly here from 1995, and like the previous record, it touches on the sound of all those bands we used to love, and heck, still do, Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk, the Pixies, and of course all the lesser known indie rockers trafficking in equally cool and catchy sounds, and cool and catchy is exactly what this record is. They've definitely expanded their sonic palette this time around, the sounds of the songs are definitely more varied, and the songwriting too is a bit more fully fleshed out, and not overly worshipful of the bands that came before, and really, if you had never heard any nineties indie rock, there's no reason you couldn't still love this, or wouldn't still love it, but if you DID dig that stuff, it gives this sound a little extra oomph, and just like when Cokefloat came out, we have to fight the urge to listen to NOTHING but this. And just like before, we're beginning to think, "Why fight itÉ?". Why indeed.
MPEG Stream: "Erreur Himaine"
MPEG Stream: "Tongues"
MPEG Stream: "Someone New"

album cover TOMBS Savage Gold (Relapse) 2lp 31.00
Writhing forth once more from the most shadowy cracked wastelands of forsaken Brooklyn, Tombs returns with their third full length of glistening, gleaming extreme metal. And indeed extreme metal is the only genre tag that really works for this band, since they've made it their crusade to cherry pick the absolute best traits from a myriad of metal subgenres to mathematically create some of the most monolithic, ferocious and enormous metal being recorded today. A brief vaguely funereal dirge ushers in a flurry of pummeling helicopter double bass, wild eyed doom-laden heaving guitars, and a hurricane of rolling snare drum and hammering blast beats. There are hints of Souls At Zero-era Neurosis or even Deathspell Omega in the dissonant hypno-riffing. The circling, maddening guitar work and sickening Lovecraftian grooves sometimes recall early Morbid Angel. While elsewhere you might hear hints of the wasted urban scrawl of vintage Godflesh or the slithering futuro-insectoid crawl of latter day Celtic Frost / Triptykon. But there is not one moment of Savage Gold that sounds like homage. Instead, these influences are blended together seamlessly, creating a sound all encompassing, familiar and unique all at once. The vocals are a cold emotionless howl, which lends otherwise innocent lyrics like "life is a dream" a twisted rotten air. It's an extremely dense record. Guitars seem to avalanche upon one another, building a higher and higher wall of black glistening sludge, ready to collapse in on itself again at any moment. There are melodic moments as well. The regal grind of "Portraits" especially brings to mind Ludicra or Wolves In The Throne Room, but with a more obsidian metallic sheen. Compared to their insanely critically-acclaimed last album Path Of Totality, Savage Gold feels much more streamlined, smooth and clean (mostly thanks to a production job from Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan), but it's not at all a detriment to this record. Instead it gives the band the sound of some well oiled calculated killing machine. The spaciousness of the production really lends an extra sprawling quality to the band's more epic moments, while somehow magnifying the menace of the darker passages. And while there's still plenty of doom, sludge, groove and twisted death metal, Savage Gold has really upped the black metal influence. Labyrinthine tremolo whirlwind guitars seem to spiral upward like some Escher staircase, leading to realms shadowy, alien and obscured! A shining black monolith that shows metal can be forward-thinking, modern and unique without sacrificing any of the heaviness, ferocity or... well... metalness! Absolutely recommended, and sure to make more than a few metal best of the year lists come January 1st.
MPEG Stream: "Thanatos"
MPEG Stream: "Portraits"
MPEG Stream: "Seance"

album cover WHITE LUNG Deep Fantasy (Domino) lp 24.00
Record number three from these Canadian punks, whose first two records were big faves around here even though they never made it onto the list. Their sound seems loosely aligned with Perfect Pussy, in that they're noisy, and have a bad ass female vocalist, but where Perfect Pussy embraces abrasive noisiness, White Lung are much more concerned with melody and songcraft, reminding us of a super charged Team Dresch, which is most definitely a good thing. The production on this new one is massive, the guitars heavy and almost metallic, splintering into shards of keening high end, swirls of angular crunch, all wound around a super tight rhythm section, and of course, vocalist Mish Way, who flits easily from feral how, to throaty croon, and the songs, so catchy and well crafted, the multiple guitars winding multiple melodic lines into killer harmonies, the sound dense and lush and layered, making for something that definitely transcends punk rock, it's anthemic, epic and majestic, but also super personal, and emotional, not hard to imagine White Lung being primo mixtape material, particularly vitriolic breakup mixtapes, it's got that sort of anger and energy and passion. So killer. Odds are you'll end up wanting the other two records as well (and we can get em for you, just ask!)...
MPEG Stream: "Drown With The Monster"
MPEG Stream: "Down It Goes"
MPEG Stream: "Snake Jaw"
MPEG Stream: "Face Down"

album cover DIE ENTWEIHUNG Despair Division: A Tribute To Joy Division (Acephale Winter Productions) cassette 5.98
Two strange releases on this week's list from local black metal label Acephale Winter Productions, the other is a twisted tape of blackened industrial ambience from a UK outfit called Synsophony, and this one, which somehow might be even weirder, a collection of Joy Division covers from an Israeli black metaller called Die Entweihung, who manages to transform these classic tunes into something slightly blacker, but only slightly, just check out his version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart", which minus the raspy vokills, and the programmed drum machine rhythms, is not that far removed from the original, in fact, the chorus is even clean vocal crooned, but the bridge does get a metallic makeover, and there are little flurries of robotic double kick drum, so ultimately it's a pretty faithful rendition, with some blackened filigree, which is fine with us. And that said some of the other covers do get a bit more far out, the metallic component cranked on some, the synths getting a bit krautrocky on others, and one or two get almost punky, sped up and frenzied, the synths all swirly and way up in the mix. "Warsaw" is furious and blackly grim, so is "They Walked In Line", those tracks balanced by some of the others, since clean vocals are far more prevalent than the howled demonic rasp, so it's sort of split right down the middle, the perfect balance between faithful renditions, and warped weirdo reworkings, both of which we ended up digging a bunch.

album cover AUTHOR & PUNISHER / HARASSOR Fearce (Goteblud) 7" 7.98
First off, if you don't know the comic Wuvable Oaf, go track down whatever you can. Right now. There's a forthcoming compendium, which should gather up most everything, but the individual issues (some of which we still have in stock, just ask) come with all kinds of extras, hand drawn covers, scratch and sniff pages, guitar picks, stickers, paper dolls and even records! By the imaginary bands in the comic!! basically, it's all about a big hairy guy named Oaf, his failed attempts at finding love, his crazy cats, and his weirdo friends, the comic is silly, and funny, and clever, and hairy and pretty gay, and has lots of music stuff in it too (our own Andee is featured in one issue, as is "Aquarium Records"!!) One of the bands in the comic is the awesomely monikered Ejaculoid, and we're obviously not the only ones a little bit obsessed with Ejaculoid, as two aQ faves, LA black metal trio Harassor and mad scientist industrial metal instrument builder Author & Punisher, have stepped up to offer their own takes on the Ejaculoid classic "Fearce" (recorded by members of Limp Wrist!), which originally accompanied the Oafanthology collection, but now available on its own...
Author & Punisher transform it into what is essentially an A&P track, a churning industrial pound, processed vocals, thick, grinding rib cage rattling bass, sounding like some weird hybrid of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and robotic gabber, but slowed down into something malevolent, maniacal and darkly doomy. While Harassor turn the track into a lo-fi grim blast of grunted black buzz, furious blast beats and insectoid riffing, laced with some weird electronic squiggles, and breaking down part way through into a swaggery doomic stomp. So rad!
On maroon/grey swirled vinyl, with bad ass Ed Luce artwork, includes a download!
MPEG Stream: AUTHOR & PUNISHER "Fearce"
MPEG Stream: HARASSOR "Fearce"

album cover CLEAN, THE Anthology (Merge) 4lp 44.00
This past Record Of The Week finally available on VINYL, and a fancy quadruple lp boxset at that!!!
The history of the legendary New Zealand indie label Flying Nun quite literally begins with The Clean. Impressed by a slew of The Clean's live performances in their home town of Dunedin, New Zealand back in 1980, Roger Shepherd began Flying Nun, simply in order to release the band's first single "Tally Ho." That song, an upbeat but simple post-punk number that crashed together jangling guitars and persistent organ melodies, surprised everybody with a considerable amount of commercial success in New Zealand, and became one of many songs by The Clean that found enthusiastic audiences in the US during the college rock days of the '80s, offering a quirky, exotic alternative to staples like REM, the Replacements, Robyn Hitchcock, and Elvis Costello.
Formed in 1978 by the Kilgour brothers David and Hamish, The Clean never stooped to the depths of the Gallagher brother's public fisticuffs; but the band - which flushed out its membership with Robert Scott and (in the early days) Peter Gutteridge - spent more time broken up than together. Yet, their eternally catchy pop songs became the blueprint for almost all of the other Flying Nun bands (in part due to the numerous Clean related projects on Flying Nun, including The Bats, The Great Unwashed, Bailter Space, Snapper, Stephen, and others). The Clean's self-explanatory "Anthology" runs through their numerous albums, offering a good chunk of their fantastic early work (the aforementioned "Tally Ho," the "Boodle Boodle Boodle" ep, the "Great Sounds..." ep, and a couple of oddities) all in one epic collection. Edgy yet unswervingly optimistic, these songs were sloppy four-track recordings of monomaniacally simple rhythms, cacophonously jangly guitar melodies, and happy-go-lucky vocals. Also included are excerpts from the '90s albums "Vehicle," "Modern Rock," and "Unknown Country," which marked a considerable polishing of The Clean's sound, in part because they recorded that material in well established studios like Blackwing studios in London, but also the songs, while still simple in their own right, became slightly more restrained.
Highly recommended!
RealAudio clip: "At The Bottom"
RealAudio clip: "Tally Ho"
RealAudio clip: "Point That Thing Somewhere Else"

album cover GOG s/t (King Of The Monsters) lp 12.98
In the early days, Gog, aka Mike Bjella, trafficked in straight up blackened drones, thick slabs of monolithic heaviness, but with each record, that sound got weirder, more difficult to classify, and more removed from that more primal, metal drone sound. This trajectory culminated in Gog's last record, Ironworks, which was mostly sourced from the sounds of the Bjella family blacksmith shop, and found Bjella fusing that early blackness, with something more minimal and hypnotic. We mentioned Aussie minimal jazz trio the Necks, and on the first track on this brand new self titled Gog record, we feel like we have to mention them again, cuz that track lays down a thick backdrop of rumbles and whirs, punctuated by a weird subtly distorted rhythm, over which haunting, melancholic piano drifts and loops, super moody and mesmerizing, those background sounds gradually building momentum, and slowly overtaking that jazziness, burying it beneath moaning sheets of sound, keening slabs of metallic buzz and clouds of gristly static, eventually transforming into something almost black metal sounding, maybe via Skullflower, a frenzied guitar riff, and buried vocals, blurred into a woozy blackened swirl.
Not all of the record is so subtle or avant, as quickly the sound evolves into something way more metallic, pounding, weirdly produced drums over more harsh vokills so low in the mix, they almost sound like white noise, while swirling all around, more black buzz, the sound gradually darkening and deepening and becoming a sort of feedback drenched noise rock doom, all plodding and lumbering, and at times sounding like a breakbeat slowed down to a near crawl. But still there's no way to pin down what's going on. The next track is a barely there field of static, a deem resonant thrum, crafted from sonic gristle, while the next track begins as a dark torch song like ballad, all lush sonic swells and female vocals, haunting and almost liturgical, before exploding, quite suddenly into some seriously muddy, muted, and blown out black metal murk. And finally, things finish off with some noise flecked, loping slowcore, the piano returns once again, wrapped around a laid back rhythm, the whole thing a dark jazzy drift wrapped in clouds of caustic noise, exploding in a final bust of churning heaviness, a howling black-psych frenzy still somehow underpinned by that moody, mysterious darkjazz. So good. Definitely recommended for fans of moody, minimal heaviness, and haunting, abstract, metallic minimalism. Includes a download code!
MPEG Stream: "The Lies, They Want To Give You Something"
MPEG Stream: "Before You Go, We'd Love To Tear You To Fucking Pieces"

album cover MAR-VISTA Visions Of Sodal Ye (Strawberry Rain) cd 16.98
It's nice to know that no matter how many records are reissued, or rare gems discovered, or mysterious private press releases rescued from oblivion, there will always be more. And even though sometimes we feel like the bottom of the reissue barrel has been reached, based on some dubious reissues, all it takes is a record like this, to remind us that there are truly some mind benignly fantastic records that have yet to be unearthed. And yeah, this is some truly next level, mind bending stuff. EVERYBODY here digs it, so we knew we had to make it a Record Of The Week, even though a week ago, we'd never heard of Mar-Vista. Sounds like of like a motel or something.
Originally a private press record, released in a run of just 200 copies in 1976, and packaged in blank white sleeves, and sold locally in France, this deliriously trippy and over the top chunk of French psychedelic synth prog is so good, and so weird, it really is one of those rare records, that's makes it hard to believe it could've remained lost for so long. Cuz really, anyone hearing this, would immediately freak out. We most definitely did. Apparently this duo was heavily influenced by minimalists like La Monte Young and Terry Riley, and krautrock combos like Ashra Tempel and Popol Vuh and while that's not actually bad band math when trying to describe Mar-Vista, the truth of the sound is so much stranger.
A single 41 minute song suite, separated into 6 movements, Visions Of Sodal Ye begins with primitive lo-fi drum machine (or drumming that sounds programmed), beneath whirring organs, fingerpicked acoustic guitars, droning synths and shimmering melodies, with laid back vox way down in the mix, not to mention some killer distorted psych guitar shred, the whole thing wrapped in warped sonic warble. There are plenty of weird production glitches, drop outs, and tape decay/damage from the original masters we would assume, but it only adds to the sound, a sound that soon blossoms into soaring kosmische synth swirls, anchored by more of those primitive drum machine like rhythms, and wreathed in what sounds like whipping winds, and jaw harp like spring melodies, more plink plonk, sing songy synths, and a fierce squall of psychedelic noise guitar. The movements merge into one sprawling epic, continuing with the coolest, creepiest track of the bunch, a dour, murky dirge, a tripped out sort of doom-kraut creep, with low buzzing synths, skittery rhythms, and multiple vocal lines, all wound up into a haunting, intense, organ and synth drenched lumber, that could be the weirdest heaviest French psych-prog jam EVER. That quickly (d)evolves into a cool, groovy sixties style psychedelic blow out, all cascading synth melodies, pulsing hip shaking rhythms, and super distorted theremin like squiggles over the top, before settling into some pulsating, cosmic shimmer, tinged with just a little bit new age, some serious synth prog that blossoms into awesome John Carpenter like soundtrackiness! The record/songsuite culminates in the final 21+ minute movement, a sprawling cinematic synth epic, a twisted dronescape of layered synths and extended tones, ominous and sinister, minor key and darkly malevolent, again, like it could be from the some lost Carpenter movie, all creepy slo-mo melodies, and crumbling textures, plenty of tension, haunting and shadowy and mysterious.
And generally bonus tracks are bonus tracks for a reason, cast offs, throw aways, songs that weren't good enough to make the cut, but not here, the two bonus tracks (found only on the cd!!) are crazy, and crazy cool, the first, "Synthetik Way", is a glistening, glimmering planetarium style cosmic synth workout, all lush, hushed and tranquil one second, then distorted and wildly psychedelic the next, while the second "Crash '73", is an impossibly trippy, surprisingly heavy psych rock jam, with in-the-red distorted guitar and skittery drumming, beneath a wild tangle of snake charmer synth shred, and a totally WTF twisted stuttery finale, which had us imagining a whole other record tucked away with more of this outsider synth-prog-psych weirdnessÉ
So incredible, quite possibly the reissue of the year! Minimal liner notes, a reproduction of the original sleeve, but sadly somewhat flimsy packaging on the digipack cd...
The cd version is limited to 500 copies, the lp just 300.
MPEG Stream: "Her Eyes Are Closed"
MPEG Stream: "Death's Shadows"
MPEG Stream: "The Black Sun Shones Today"
MPEG Stream: "Crash '73"

album cover T.R.A.S.E. (TAPE RECORDER AND SYNTHESIZER ENSEMBLE) s/t (B-Music / Finders Keepers) cd 13.98
Sweet! This is the sort of thing that makes for a good Record Of The Week both 'cause of how it sounds (always the biggest consideration of course!!) and also 'cause the back story is pretty cool, too. We'll start with that. T.R.A.S.E. stands for Tape Recorder And Synthesizer Ensemble, a name that, if used by a band nowadays might seem just a bit unimaginatively straightforward & blandly self-explanatory, or perhaps meant ironically academic-sounding somehow. But when you learn that T.R.A.S.E. were a DIY "ensemble" masterminded by a precocious British schoolboy back in 1981, making experimental electronic home recordings that sound not too far from stuff such modern-day outfits as Emeralds and Umberto and Soft Moon would be doing years later, then the name becomes fairly endearing, eh? Just take a look at the cover photo, two skinny teenagers, one looking kinda cool in T-shirt and shades, standing with electric guitar in hand, the other kid in sweater and jeans, looking a bit dorkier as he sits amidst a cluttered array of electronic keyboards, amplifiers, reel-to-reel tape machines and other assorted audio gear. The latter teen is T.R.A.S.E. founder Andy Popplewell, most definitely an A/V geek at his school, who put together his own six-channel audio mixer at age 16 following plans in a issue of Practical Electronics magazine. Being into both sci-fi soundtracks and new wave music like The Human League, Ultravox and Gary Numan (one of the tracks here is a Tubeway Army cover) it wasn't long before that mixer, and other gear he built, like an "Elektor Chorosynth", was put to use to record his own music. Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Giorgio Moroder where among his other inspirations. T.R.A.S.E. recorded one unreleased cassette lp called Electronic Rock, and the deep diggers at B-Music/Finders Keepers have compiled tracks from that tape here along with other home studio / real studio / demo tracks by Popplewell and T.R.A.S.E., 14 total cuts of adolescent outsider synthsplorations, all tick-tocking drum machines and swells of droning synth, adorned with phaser and fuzz FX, replete with gentle melodies and warped "cosmic" soundz. These tracks are mostly instrumental, though a few have vocals, like the Messethetics-ish downer electro pop of "Talk To Me" and the sad, fuzzy "Unrequited Love". So much primitive shimmering synth beauty, the more abstract of the tracks glistening rhythmically, the more song-like coming across like lo-fi coldwave cuts.
Perhaps the best recommendation we can give this, is that playing it in the store, generally results in customers asking about it and buying a copy. Probably the best "long lost tapes" release of vintage unknown electronica since that Rodion G.A. record!! One of those serendipitous discoveries, occasioned by a fortuitous meeting between Andy Popplewell and Andy Votel of Finders Keepers.
The cd booklet includes color photos and vintage synth kit adverts, alongside detailed and very revealing liner notes penned by Popplewell himself, who in the wake of T.R.A.S.E. later became a BBC radio engineer, now works in audio media restoration, and who currently studies conspiracy theories and other esoteric knowledge in his spare time.
MPEG Stream: "T.R.A.S.E. Sketch-1"
MPEG Stream: "Harmonium"
MPEG Stream: "Talk To Me"
MPEG Stream: "Momento"

album cover DISSECTION Storm Of The Light's Bane (The End) lp 23.00
THIS AQ FAVE BLACK METAL CLASSIC NOW REISSUED ON (PURPLE!) VINYL! NICE!
While of course this is a fave of all the metalheads around here, and many of our metal-lovin' customers, it's also loved by the less metal inclined - for instance, former aQ staffer Byram, not normally a big metal consumer, ranks this as one of his favorites amongst the Nordic hordes. In fact, it's one of the few metal albums he owns. It's that great. It was their 2nd album, originally released in 1994, and on it Dissection perfected their melodic, blackened Swedish death metal approach - that means TRUE, original metal, with elements of everything from Morbid Angel to Mayhem to Iron Maiden, suped-up and super-grim, with raspy vocals, wicked drumming (the guy is AMAZING), truly memorable, majestic melodies, and tons of cold winter atmosphere. They take long breaks to let their acoustic guitars gently weep, then tear back into the brutal, razor-edged rifferama. Serious stuff, seriously great.
At the time, this was to be their last album, a mighty swan song, as Dissection called it quits soon after when their frontman ended up in jail as accessory to murder - but their very tangential role in any of that over-sensationalized Scandinavian black metal true crime stuff has nothing to do with why you should be interested in this band. Regardless of Jon Nodtveidt's (R.I.P.) sordid saga, Dissection was a brilliant band, and Storm of the Light's Bane is an all time classic that belongs in every metal collection. Here's a chance to get it on vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Night's Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Where Dead Angels Lie"
MPEG Stream: "Soulreaper"

album cover SURVIVAL KNIFE Loose Power (Glacial Pace) cd 14.98
We'd been hearing rumors about this band for ages, a new group featuring ex-members of late great nineties post/noise rockers Unwound, who were easily one of our favorite bands EVER. And while we were were prepared to be disappointed, we were actually super pleasantly surprised. The sound definitely has some Unwound too it, but it's WAY popper, and to these ears actually sounds a bit like the Melvins in places, certainly the vocals. But the music itself is some weird nineties beholden post punk / noise rock, with a serious Black Flag vibe throughout, plenty of Greg Ginn-ish guitars, the sound dynamic, and intricate, certainly some post/math rock going on, but then in the middle of a tense post punk jam, the song will blossom into impossible poppiness. Just check out opener "Divine Mob", which is super Melvins-y in the beginning, and unfurls some tense droned out guitar melodies, and some motorik drum pound, before the chorus delivers s hook that KILLS, and then that chorus gets all pulled apart, the vocals wrapped around angular guitar noise and more drum pound.
Frontman Justin Trosper of Unwound is reunited with the original drummer from Unwound (now on guitar), so there's bound to be some Unwoundisms, but Survival Knife is a whole different beast, they actually sound like the kind of band that 15 years ago major labels would be losing their shit over, scrappy, but still pretty polished, noisy and heavy, but also plenty catchy and poppy, lots of broody minor key churn, even some shimmery acoustic guitar strum in the mix. Ultimately, this is just a killer slab of nineties beholden post punk / noise pop, that fans of Unwound will definitely love, but really, anyone who grew up on groups like Sonic Youth, The Swirlies, Sebadoh, and all that Homestead / Touch And Go / Dutch East stuff, this will definitely hit the spot.
MPEG Stream: "Divine Mob"
MPEG Stream: "Fell Runner"
MPEG Stream: "Gold Window"

album cover SURVIVAL KNIFE Loose Power (Glacial Pace) lp 19.98
We'd been hearing rumors about this band for ages, a new group featuring ex-members of late great nineties post/noise rockers Unwound, who were easily one of our favorite bands EVER. And while we were were prepared to be disappointed, we were actually super pleasantly surprised. The sound definitely has some Unwound too it, but it's WAY popper, and to these ears actually sounds a bit like the Melvins in places, certainly the vocals. But the music itself is some weird nineties beholden post punk / noise rock, with a serious Black Flag vibe throughout, plenty of Greg Ginn-ish guitars, the sound dynamic, and intricate, certainly some post/math rock going on, but then in the middle of a tense post punk jam, the song will blossom into impossible poppiness. Just check out opener "Divine Mob", which is super Melvins-y in the beginning, and unfurls some tense droned out guitar melodies, and some motorik drum pound, before the chorus delivers s hook that KILLS, and then that chorus gets all pulled apart, the vocals wrapped around angular guitar noise and more drum pound.
Frontman Justin Trosper of Unwound is reunited with the original drummer from Unwound (now on guitar), so there's bound to be some Unwoundisms, but Survival Knife is a whole different beast, they actually sound like the kind of band that 15 years ago major labels would be losing their shit over, scrappy, but still pretty polished, noisy and heavy, but also plenty catchy and poppy, lots of broody minor key churn, even some shimmery acoustic guitar strum in the mix. Ultimately, this is just a killer slab of nineties beholden post punk / noise pop, that fans of Unwound will definitely love, but really, anyone who grew up on groups like Sonic Youth, The Swirlies, Sebadoh, and all that Homestead / Touch And Go / Dutch East stuff, this will definitely hit the spot.
MPEG Stream: "Divine Mob"
MPEG Stream: "Fell Runner"
MPEG Stream: "Gold Window"

album cover V/A The Ecstasy Of Gold: 31 Killer Bullets From The Spaghetti West Vol. 5 (Semi-Automatic) 2lp 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The fifth in this ongoing series of limited double lps collecting some of the best songs from classic Italian Westerns. Named for Ennio Morricone's iconic song from the Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Ecstasy Of Gold gathers up some equally iconic tracks, as well as plenty of rare and mostly unheard gems, the list of artists should have Italo-Western soundtrack nerds freaking out: Bruno Nicolai, Nico Fidenco, Francesco De Masi, Lusi Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Alessandro Alessandroni, Nora Orlandi and a bunch more. And like the past volumes, the tracks here are overflowing with dramatic crooned vocals, swoonsome strings, plenty of twang, galloping rhythms, fluttering woodwinds, flamenco guitars, wild percussion, a sound most folks are probably familiar with, but a bunch of songs and artists they might not be. And just like after digging into the other volumes, our list of must-see Italian Westerns just keeps getting longer and longer. Top of the list now is Matalo from 1970, the track here from Mario Migliardi sounds like some lost heavy psych gem, or some modern retro-psych outfit, like something you'd here on Rise Above or Cardinal Fuzz, the vocalist a dead ringer for the guy from Redd Kross (themselves genus sixties psych revivalists), with fuzzy, almost metallic riffing, and some seriously psychedelic shred, definitely need to see that movie, and hear the rest of the soundtrack. And the rest of this collection, while not all as fuzzy or psychedelic, is some seriously primo Italo soundtrack gold for sure!
Packaged in a super swank full color gatefold sleeve, adorned with bad ass illustrations from vintage Italian Western movie posters, as well as iconic images from the films themselves. LIMITED TO 750 COPIES. No download.

album cover LONGING AND SILENCE Through The Fog (Sylvan Screams Analog) cassette 5.00
We've been trying to get enough copies of anything on the amazing Sylvan Screams Analog label to review and list, but previous releases were so limited, that we were only able to get a couple. And while they're just as limited, we did now manage to get a handful of the two most recent releases, this one comes from a band from right here in the Bay Area, called Longing And Silence, whose sounds is a gorgeous depressive plod, a grim slo-mo black buzz, all mournful and melancholy, the vokills a harsh demonic rasp, but minus those vocals, it's another band whose sound found be mistaken for some weird shoegaze/slowcore outfit, the sort of avant metal weirdness you might expect to find on The Flenser, but -with-those vocals, this remains firmly in the realm of depressive black metal, remaining us a bit of a more orthodox Lifelover, the same sort of loping, minor key miserablism, but with some seriously melodic bass, notable also considering how little bass is even audible in most black metal. But it makes for some cool, woozy, downtuned blackened slowcore, with some surprisingly melodic moments, that has some of these bordering on downright poppy. Long songs, mesmerizingly miserable, and gorgeously bleak. As the label suggests, definitely for fans of Burzum, Silencer, Strid and Bethlehem.
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES!!! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Ever-Present"
MPEG Stream: "Wasted Days"

album cover WARGTHRON Demo 1 (Sylvan Screams Analog) cassette 3.50
We've been trying to get enough copies of anything on the amazing Sylvan Screams Analog label to review and list, but previous releases were so limited, that we were only able to get a couple. And while they're just as limited, we did now manage to get a handful of the two most recent releases, this one is super raw, primitive old school black metal, the label references Blazebirth Hall and Les Legions Noires, and it most definitely has that feel, the guitars swarm insect like, the drums skeletal, the bass inaudible, the vokills a buried rasp, like a lot of that stuff it's about emotion and energy, the feel and the vibe, and the vibe here is definitely grim and frostbitten, even though these guys (this guy?) hail from Georgia. They somehow manage to channel France and Scandinavia, into something equally kvlt, blown out and brittle, sounding like it was recorded in practice space, a forest, or a cave, the second track is a weird creepy dirge, all stumbling lumber, and frosty black buzz, the vocals in-the-red, the whole sound blurring into blacknoize before settling back into that death march creep, only to eventually explode into another blast of galloping black buzz.
LIMITED TO 44 COPIES!!! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "II"

album cover CRACKED VESSEL Paths I & II (self-released) 2 x cassette 11.98
We have VERY few of these, as in maybe 5 copies, but we figured there were at least 5 weirdo aQuarius customers out there who would flip their lids for this (sadly, probably WAY more than 5, but at least there's talk of a less limited version down the line), cuz really, even conceptually, this has aQ written all over it. A lavishly handmade package, two tapes in a little gatefold sleeve, with a miniature booklet inside the gatefold, all held together with a Japanese style obi. The artwork itself is sorta curious, there is what appears to be a bike tread, and what is most definitely a cyclist, and yep, Cracked Vessel is in fact something we've never encountered before, BICYCLE BLACK METAL. To be fair, listening to this, you might not immediately pick up on the bicycle connection, but knowing it's there, only makes it that much cooler. And weirder. And by the same token, if you had no idea there was a bicycle theme, the music itself is fucking furious and frenzied, a wild, chaotic, blast of punky blackness, whirling and wild, lurching from impossibly frantic blasts to punky pound, the arrangements intricate and downright proggy, feedback everywhere, the drumming insane, the songs super short, but crazy catchy crammed with parts and time signatures, killer riffs, all blown out heaviness, the sort of buzzing black rawness that would put most non bicycle black metal to shame. Grab one of these before they're gone, and for all but the five of you who actually nab one of these, keep your fingers crossed that they repress it in a much less limited run...
MPEG Stream: "Bitten By The Hand Of Winter"
MPEG Stream: "The Atmosphere Is A Glass Ceiling"

album cover PAWS Youth Culture Forever (Fat Cat) cd 14.98
Record number two from these nineties worshipping Scots, and while the nineties resurgence is in full swing all over, these guys do it better than most (and better than a lot of bands back in the day too!), and like their last record, Cokefloat, Youth Culture Forever is another glorious concoction of all the stuff we loved about that music/era, big fuzzy, crunchy guitars, hooks galore, chiming harmonics, earnest heartfelt vocals, all woven into a record that sounds like it could easily have been transported directly here from 1995, and like the previous record, it touches on the sound of all those bands we used to love, and heck, still do, Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk, the Pixies, and of course all the lesser known indie rockers trafficking in equally cool and catchy sounds, and cool and catchy is exactly what this record is. They've definitely expanded their sonic palette this time around, the sounds of the songs are definitely more varied, and the songwriting too is a bit more fully fleshed out, and not overly worshipful of the bands that came before, and really, if you had never heard any nineties indie rock, there's no reason you couldn't still love this, or wouldn't still love it, but if you DID dig that stuff, it gives this sound a little extra oomph, and just like when Cokefloat came out, we have to fight the urge to listen to NOTHING but this. And just like before, we're beginning to think, "Why fight itÉ?". Why indeed.
MPEG Stream: "Erreur Himaine"
MPEG Stream: "Tongues"
MPEG Stream: "Someone New"

album cover CRAFT SPELLS Nausea (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
Another fantastic new record from Stockton dream poppers Craft Spells, who have pretty much entirely distanced themselves the weirdo pop scene that spawned them (Ariel Pink, Blank Dogs, Greatest Hits, etc.). And while they made a brief stop around record number two at a sound that harkened back to Eighties MTV new wave pop, this new one finds them fully embracing a new (to them) sound, one that's simple, melodic, heartfelt, dreamily fuzzy, a little bit wistful, sun dappled and so lovely. There are still hints of their earlier sound, little new wavy bits here and there, some subtle weirdness, but for the most part this is classic sounding baroque pop, that looks back to the classics, the Kinks, the Zombies, early Bee Gees, with strings and synths, even some vibes (maybe xylophone?), lush, luxurious arrangements, plenty of jangle and strum, some subtle electronics, a softly psychedelic production. Fans of modern day recently reviewed retro poppers like the New Lines and Still Corners, as well as groups from the recent (and not so) past like Stereolab, the High Llamas, Witch Hazel and Cardinal, this definitely falls right in there sonically. Hazy vocals, laid back steel string strum, lush vocal croon, harmonies, impossibly catchy hooks, woozy baselines, lots of shimmer and glimmer, hints of Elephant Six for sure, a little paisley pop too, but with a definite power/psych pop bent. So good. And generally we'd be bummed for a band to ditch all the stuff that made them weird, but Craft Spells work so much better as a proper pop band, and this is easily the best thing we've heard from them yet.
MPEG Stream: "Nausea"
MPEG Stream: "Komorebi"
MPEG Stream: "Changing Faces"

album cover LIVE SKULL Cloud One (Desire) lp 26.00
The latest installment in this long overdue reissue campaign for eighties New York noise rockers Live Skull, this being their second full length, Cloud One, originally released in 1986, the last album before Thalia Zedek (Come, Uzi) would join and take over lead vocals, and like their debut, on Cloud One, Live Skull still sonically fit pretty perfectly alongside their NYC brethren (and sistren) in Swans, Sonic Youth (especially Sonic Youth) and the rest, but on Cloud One, the band made great leaps both sonically, and with their songwriting (and the matching more polished production), the new(ish) sound definitely hewing ever closer to the minor key melancholia infused angularity of SY, but mixing in long, droned out passages and slow dark blooze creeps, adding an element of brooding mesmer, and dark psychedelia. That darkness also represented by a sonic shift toward something gloomier and gothier, with many of the tracks here more reminiscent of the West Coast sound of the time, the Scream Club, and bands like Janes Addiction, Kommunity FK and the Abecedarians (especially on the live bonus tracks!). Hints too of outfits like the Wipers, the Gun Club, the Flesh Eaters, a sort of swaggery psych blues crossed with noisy experimental rock, there's still some junkyard percussion, a little Pussy Galore here and there, but the band definitely had their eyes on the musical prize, whether by design or not, Cloud One is a tightly wound, complex piece of noise/art rock, that even now sounds impossibly prescient of a sound that so many bands would go on to mine in their wake. It's actually a bit shocking that Live Skull's career trajectory wasn't more like Sonic Youth's, on this record for sure, but even more so on their 1988 swansong, Positraction, the band seemed poised for success, and an eventual move into the semi-mainstream, but for whatever reason, they remained firmly entrenched in the underground, and would only make it another couple years/records before calling it quits.
Fantastically curated reissued, with a whole mess of bonus tracks, unreleased, demos and live, as well as a massive booklet with tons of rare photos, old flyers, live shots, and extensive liner notes by the band, as well as extensive track by track notes on the extra songs as well!
MPEG Stream: "Fort Belvedere"
MPEG Stream: "Cloud One"
MPEG Stream: "Boot Camp"
MPEG Stream: "Haircut For Pigs"

album cover OHMWAR Broken Arms Dance With Black Feet (FCC) lp 12.98
After a self released 7", and a split single with recent Record Of The Weekers, weirdo biker metal ne'er-do-wells Satans Satyrs, Canadian noise rockers / metal punks Ohmwar deliver their first full length, and it's sonically quite surprising, super polished and all over the sonic map, taking the Maiden / Motorhead / Speedwolf sound of their 7" and infusing it with a surprising amount of poppiness, crafting a record that manages to be heavy, and punky, but also impossibly catchy, the opening track begins with some chiming Sonic Youth like guitars, and thick fuzzy bass, before eventually erupting into something more punked out, and that's not even mentioning the strange almost reggae sounding outro (!)...
The second track starts off crazy poppy too, with some almost NWOBHM sounding guitar harmonies, which blur into feedback drenched tones wrapped around some galloping punk rock crush, peppered with little blurts of tangled progginess. And it really doesn't settle into a single sound for the rest of the record, although in not settling, they seem to be defining their own super distinctive sound, a dizzying hybrid of post punk poppiness, mathy metal, and fierce punk rock stomp. Tracks like "Blithe Reaction To An Unfortunate Life", begins all slow burn majesty, and almost Godspeed like slow build, before transforming into a strange (at least for metal/punk) bloopy guitar melody, draped over another galloping rhythms and some thick, rumbling bass buzz, the guitars then splintering into atonal/angular shards of keening high end, the sort of sound that at a slower tempo, minus the gruff vox, could easily end up being some twisted avant art rock, and even in its punkier incarnation, much of that art rockiness remains, and then mid song, there's a killer little guitar lick/melody, that will stick in your head like crazy. And so it goes, most of the songs clocking in around the two minute mark, but these guys cramming as much as they can into those two minutes, with almost every song offering up some sort of unlikely sonic surprise, transforming, what could have been straight ahead metallic punk, into a way more twisted and progressive record, pop punk collides with chugging metal, nineties style math rock bleeds into pounding hard rocking, Refused sounding anthemic post-hardcore mixes with straight up heavy pop, all wound up into something pretty goddamn great.
Awesomely over the top, black and white Nick Blinko style cover art, but Blinko by way of Bosch, a twisted punk rock underworld of mouse headed hipsters, people with exposed spines, astronauts on rafts drifting across lakes of blood, insects on swings, man eating fish, alien swamp sound systems, wheelbarrows full of teddy bear skeletons, creepy cave eyes and more. Includes a massive glossy, fold out poster/lyric sheet, with more of that gloriously gruesome and garish artwork.
MPEG Stream: "John Boy"
MPEG Stream: "Earth Angel"
MPEG Stream: "Blithe Reaction To An Unfortunate Life"
MPEG Stream: "(Some Kind Of) World(')s End"

album cover ROLL THE DICE Until Silence (Leaf) 2lp 23.00
Past records from Roll The Dice found the Swedish duo channeling the spirit of John Carpenter, crafting lush, sinister synthscapes, that much like the rest of the current crop of Carpenterians, played like some lost soundtrack, and while this new one displays much of that sound still, they've fleshed out their sound big time, the most notable shift being the addition of actual strings, turning their already lush sound into something downright majestic.
Brooding pianos drift amidst clouds of crackle, deep reverby shimmers, ominous minor key melodies, little bits of glitch, the strings gradually building to a harrowing, haunting coda, and that's just the opener, that sounds exactly like it could be the music beneath the credits from some seventies Italian giallo, right down to the simulated record crackle.
The band push way past their faux soundtrack roots, building epic bombastic creeps, like "Assembly", a stately march, more of a trudge actually, the chords ringing out, beneath big booming percussive thuds, a sinister slow build, that eventually blossoms into something almost Swans like, albeit heavy on the strings and piano, but still, it's fierce and intense, a near orchestral sonic death march, with a Godspeed style slow build energy, the songs here not so much songs, as pieces, single parts that develop over time, that expand and sprawl, often to devastating effect, the strings stunning, the mood darkly heart wrenching, some tracks the strings get all Bernard Hermann Psycho-stabs, sometimes accompanied by the plunk of prepared piano, those tracks drifting into full on 20th century / musique concrete territory, but other drifting along dreamily, sounding like the prettiest, most minimal Tim Hecker track, all hazy and washed out, and delicately crystalline, while still others sound almost like trip hop, channeling groups like Portishead or Massive Attack, that sound even more effective with the strings, that add so much pathos and emotion. Fantastic stuff, haunting and lovely, alternately brooding and bombastic, cinematic and soundtrack, but also dabbling in straight up sound design, fans of Tim Hecker, and Fennesz, and Godspeed, and Belong, and Stars Of The Lid, not to mention all the modern retro-synth wranglers, the Goblin and Carpenter worshippers, this is the next step in the evolution of that sound, and is really pretty goddamn stunning.
MPEG Stream: "Blood In Blood Out"
MPEG Stream: "Assembly"
MPEG Stream: "Coup De Grace"

album cover VENETIAN SNARES My Love Is A Bulldozer (Planet Mu) cd 15.98
Another twisted electronic gem from Mr. Aaron Funk, aka Venetian Snares, and much like or favorite records of his, and there have been many, My Love Is A Bulldozer, is another dizzying mashup, this one, combining his wildly tangled drill and bass and frenzied jungle, with jazzy torch songs, and haunting Scott Walker like ballads. Sounds like a weird mix, and it is, pretty jarring too, but in a really cool way. All it should take is a few minutes of opener "10th Circle Of Winnipeg", which begins with swoon some strings, then jazzy drum skitter, then throaty female vox, then some thick dub step bass warble, the drums gradually cranking up, the sounds wreathed in weird little flitting fireflies of FX, before exploding into a gloriously chaotic drum and bass freakout, all wound around that swoon some torch song opening, veering wildly back and forth between buzzing droned out skitter, to wild cascades of spastic drum programming, to dark jazziness, and back again, often all of those edges blurring and bleeding into something confusional and downright mad scientist brilliant. And heck, that's just the first song.
The rest of the record is rife with strings, and choirs, the sound classical, baroque, folk, Flamenco, in equal measure, with long passages that could be mistaken for some lost Arvo Part piece, but inevitably, the sound explodes into some classic Snares drum programming.
The male vocals, presumably Funk's, are super emotional and distinctive, dramatic and over the top, sounding a little like Scott Walker, and when wound around dizzying drum programming, it's pretty stunning.
And those vocals definitely define much of this record, those tracks sounding like some weird seventies prog-folk record re-envisioned as modern warped electronica, while other tracks (like "Dear Poet"), are epic and cinematic, and sound like they could be the score for some Game Of Thrones style epic, or some steam punk space opera, the jungle perfectly meshed with the orchestral stapes, the droning synths, the strange chorales, the strings, totally over the top, confusing, and utterly and entirely addictive. Like every Venetian Snares record, we can't stop listening to this one, and feel compelled to proclaim it the best yet, at the very least it's currently our favorite, which is saying something, considering that the Venetian Snares catalog is pretty much all favorites. Needless to say, WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "10th Circle Of Winnipeg"
MPEG Stream: "1000 Years"
MPEG Stream: "Amazon"
MPEG Stream: "My Love Is A Bulldozer"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Poet"

album cover VENETIAN SNARES My Love Is A Bulldozer (Planet Mu) 2lp 28.00
NOW ON VINYL!!!
Another twisted electronic gem from Mr. Aaron Funk, aka Venetian Snares, and much like or favorite records of his, and there have been many, My Love Is A Bulldozer, is another dizzying mashup, this one, combining his wildly tangled drill and bass and frenzied jungle, with jazzy torch songs, and haunting Scott Walker like ballads. Sounds like a weird mix, and it is, pretty jarring too, but in a really cool way. All it should take is a few minutes of opener "10th Circle Of Winnipeg", which begins with swoon some strings, then jazzy drum skitter, then throaty female vox, then some thick dub step bass warble, the drums gradually cranking up, the sounds wreathed in weird little flitting fireflies of FX, before exploding into a gloriously chaotic drum and bass freakout, all wound around that swoon some torch song opening, veering wildly back and forth between buzzing droned out skitter, to wild cascades of spastic drum programming, to dark jazziness, and back again, often all of those edges blurring and bleeding into something confusional and downright mad scientist brilliant. And heck, that's just the first song.
The rest of the record is rife with strings, and choirs, the sound classical, baroque, folk, Flamenco, in equal measure, with long passages that could be mistaken for some lost Arvo Part piece, but inevitably, the sound explodes into some classic Snares drum programming.
The male vocals, presumably Funk's, are super emotional and distinctive, dramatic and over the top, sounding a little like Scott Walker, and when wound around dizzying drum programming, it's pretty stunning.
And those vocals definitely define much of this record, those tracks sounding like some weird seventies prog-folk record re-envisioned as modern warped electronica, while other tracks (like "Dear Poet"), are epic and cinematic, and sound like they could be the score for some Game Of Thrones style epic, or some steam punk space opera, the jungle perfectly meshed with the orchestral stapes, the droning synths, the strange chorales, the strings, totally over the top, confusing, and utterly and entirely addictive. Like every Venetian Snares record, we can't stop listening to this one, and feel compelled to proclaim it the best yet, at the very least it's currently our favorite, which is saying something, considering that the Venetian Snares catalog is pretty much all favorites. Needless to say, WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "10th Circle Of Winnipeg"
MPEG Stream: "1000 Years"
MPEG Stream: "Amazon"
MPEG Stream: "My Love Is A Bulldozer"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Poet"

album cover ROCK*A*TEENS, THE A Major Motion Picture (Chunklet) 2lp 28.00
As we've mentioned in a bunch of other reviews, lots of our favorite bands are woefully under-represented on the aQ list, generally, it's because those records predated the list, so when a record gets reissued, it's often a chance to finally lavish praise on a record that's been a favorite for years (or decades). In this case, it's not a reissue, but instead a live record from Georgia garage punks the Rock*A*Teens, who are currently are covered on the aQ site by just a couple sentences about one of their records, which is really a shame, cuz we LOVE these guys. So until someone mounts the lavish, deluxe reissue campaign these guys and their incredible records deserve, we can revel in this sweat soaked high energy live set cobbled together from an extended residency at the Star Community Bar in Atlanta, between 1998 and 1999, courtesy of aQ pal and Chunklet mastermind Henry Owings, who continues to dig up incredible rarities (we're still loving the recent Don Caballero record, and are hoping he'll do a Bar-B-Q- Killers reissue, another legendary and underappreciated Georgia outfit), and incredible this is.
If you've yet to discover the Rock*A*Teens, imagine a swampy, reverb drenched, fifties style, garage rock rockabilly, filtered through something more modern, swaggery and dramatic, the same sort of gospel tinged swampiness of Woven Hand, but more rocking, feverish, loose limbed and wild. Brooding, sweat soaked, bloody knuckled, broken bottled, booze soaked, psychedelic blooze stomps and echo drenched slow burn ballads in equal measure, all whirring organs, reverb galore, buzzing distortion, wild tribal drumming, and stunning, timeless songwriting, all wound up into something gloriously gritty, grimy, ecstatic, cathartic, murky and emotionally charged. Just check out the samples and you'll be sold. "Black Ice" might be one of our favorite songs EVER, in a body of work that has an impossible number of potential all time faves. Every record a stone cold gem, and this live set manages to transcend the limitations of the 'live record' and transports the listener to a dive bar in Georgia, lit with Christmas lights, packed with punks, this band crammed onto a little stage in the corner, conjuring up musical demons, and angels, and creating a gorgeous, noisy, heart breaking din. AWESOME. Includes a download too.
MPEG Stream: "Black Ice"
MPEG Stream: "Don't Destroy This Night"
MPEG Stream: "Clarissa, Just Do It Anyway"
MPEG Stream: "Tuesday's Just As Bad"
MPEG Stream: "Cry, Crybaby"

album cover BLUT AUS NORD / PHOBOS Triunity (Debemur Morti) cd 16.98
At first we were thought maybe this was gonna be a collaboration and not a split, either way it would be a pretty perfect match up really, of two weirdo industrial tinged French black metal outfits, and a split it is, offering up three songs from each band.
The tracks from long time aQ faves Blut Aus Nord incorporate everything we love about these guys: woozy, psychedelic riffage, haunting spectral vocals, and chaotic, intricate drumming. The opener is surprisingly slow and melodic, bordering on epic doom, especially when the soaring, melancholic leads swoop in, and that depressive doominess bleeds right into the second track, with a gloomy, slowly descending main riff, and monk-like chant vox, draped over stuttery double kick drumming, and another bed of undulating riffage, smeared into something bordering more on hazy black psych, and again, the song blossoms into an aching, mournful doom, plodding and depressive, culminating in the final BaN track, which cranks up the temp a bit, and gets super proggy, without shedding the doomy sonic pallor, instead, it's a twisted prog-doom dirge, rife with haunting melodies, lush textures, and twisted, constantly shifting arrangements, the final moments driven by some super creepy demonic vox, over moaning guitars, and sputtering rhythms.
Which leads us directly into the P.H.O.B.O.S. tracks, which begins with something that sounds more like some blackened Wax Trax 12", all fractured rhythms, over a swirling backdrop of curdled black blur and tangled, mutated melodies, it's really only the gurglingly demonic vokills that make this black metal at all, otherwise, it's some mutant strain of blackened electronica or black industrial, but it is cool, and creepy. The second track introduces some proper riffage, but it's all looped and layered, sounding more like the Young Gods than proper black metal, but again, it works, tripped out and hypnotic, the smeared riffage wound around an almost-breakbeat, gloomy and atmospheric, spaced out and heavy, those vox again the blackest element, which is true of the closer too, and there, even the vocals are more washed out, reverie and echo drenched, but eventually, that track builds to an almost Godflesh sounding crescendo, pounding and metallic, but that metallic pound sounding way more like some lost nineties industrial jam than modern French black metal. So yeah, while we dig this a LOT, metalheads might be a bit disappointed by the lack of actual METAL. That said, fans of either/both of these bands should know by now to expect the unexpected...
MPEG Stream: BLUT AUS NORD "Nemeinn"
MPEG Stream: P.H.O.B.O.S. "Glowing Phosphorous"
MPEG Stream: P.H.O.B.O.S. "Transfixed At Golgotha"

album cover OGRE The Last Neanderthal (Minotauro) cd 18.98
These outrageous '70s-sounding stoner rockers from up in Maine are back at last, after like a six year absence, with an excellent new opus of their over the top, hard riffing retro-rock. As we had expected, it's a doomy, proggy concoction, lots of Sabbath goin' on (the wailing, nasal vocals sound a bit like Mike Patton doing an Ozzy impression). Ogre don't hold anything back, this is a wild ride of unabashed old school heaviness with a theatrical flair, and lots of fuzz and wah.
Lyrically, the songs concern themselves with a range of subjects: the science-fantasy works of Roger Zelazny, Greek myth, the French and Indian Wars, drugs, madness. And then there's one mellow instrumental named after an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module.
Of further note, the song "Soulless Woman" is a cover, originally by an even more obscure band also named Ogre, who were actually from the '70s, and its sure seems to be a lost garage psych classic, giving this album a bit of a detour into more of an Uncle Acid or Satan's Satyrs direction, not that they were too far removed to begin with.
Italian import, on the label best known as the home of cult doomster Paul Chain. Gatefold miniature-lp style jacket.
MPEG Stream: "Nine Princes In Amber"
MPEG Stream: "Soulless Woman"
MPEG Stream: "Warpath"

album cover SLINT Spiderland (Touch and Go) lp+dvd 33.00
Finally an affordable version of the recently released (and already out of print) Spiderland boxset, which still includes all the rare bonus tracks AND the Breadcrumb Trail documentary. So if the boxset was a bit too pricey, now's your chance to re-visit this seminal post rock classic, or maybe even discover it. Plus the movie is incredible, and there's the Slint nerd holy grail unreleased Spiderland bonus tracks...
So what is Spiderland? It's an iconic indie rock masterpiece, a record that if you haven't heard it before, well, it means you're missing out on what might be one of the best records ever made. Moody and mathy, brooding and epic, intense and introspective, catchy and melodic, noisy and abrasive, emotional and majestic. So many bands you love owe everything they do to this band, and this record. In fact, without this band, most of the bands you love wouldn't even exist. If you're going to own just one "post-rock" record, this would be the one. An absolutely stone cold classic. Spiderland sounds as good and as relevant, and as darkly haunting, emotionally devastating and sonically stunning today, as it did when it first came out more than 20 years ago.
MPEG Stream: "Breadcrumb Trail"
MPEG Stream: "Washer"
MPEG Stream: "Good Morning, Captain"

album cover PRONOUN Faux (self-released) cassette 10.98
A while back we made the record World, by Aussie noise rock / shoegaze outfit The Bunyip Moon, our Record Of the Week, a gloriously blown out, chaotic sonic gem, that even now we have trouble keeping in stock. So were were psyched to discover that one of the guys from The Bunyip Moon had a new solo record, a tape in fact, under the name Pronoun, and like World, it's weird and wonderful.
But UN-like World, Faux is not all bombastic noisiness and buried blown out melodies, instead, it's a darkly moody, lush, almost cinematic creep, right from the get-go, we're sucked into some mysterious soundworld, that to our eras exists right between the epic with house of Salem, and the soundtracky synth bombast of M83. So if that sounds good to you (and why the heck wouldn't it?!), then there's much to dig here.
The opener unfurls as a brooding plod, all primitive drum machine, over processed strum and thrum, before majestic synths swoop in, faux strings, the whole thing epic and stirring, but with just the right amount of distortion and noise, gristly, and staticky, and distorted and psychedelic, but even at it's most explosive, it's still lilting and lovely, it's a tough one to describe for sure, but it's pretty stirring stuff.
The whole record expands from that sound, with some of the tracks a bit more garbled and chaotic, darkly noisy and murky, sounding a bit like a way more abrasive Caretaker (which is most definitely a good thing), while others, slip into a more kosmische haze, all swirling chordal thrum and deep, lustrous sonic swells, and on at least one track, the sound slips into some strange, tripped out avant shoegaze new wave, although the best moments of course are when those disparate sides collide, which they do often, resulting in blissful noisiness, and noisy dreaminess in equal measure, culminating in the strangely gristly garble of crunched static and crumbling decaying distortion of the closer, which ditches pretty much all poppiness in favor of a strange sprawling field of grinding textures, and the sporadic sputter of alien transmissions from the ether.
Fantastic, and so so so recommended. The packaging is pretty ace too, totally over the top. The tape housed in a sleeve, housed in a second embossed outer sleeve, then housed in yet ANOTHER sleeve, hand silkscreened and ink splattered, a weighty arts/sound object, LIMITED TO 50 COPIES!!! Each one hand numbered. Includes a download code too...
MPEG Stream: "Drowning Under A Fetherolf Sky"
MPEG Stream: "Ignoring The Lovely Photos Of Your Putrid Life"
MPEG Stream: "Lost In The Stars, Lost In The Fog"

album cover NRIII The Algea (Prison Tatt) lp 17.98
First lp from these Florida experimental blacknoise / psychedelic dronelords, and like their Solus Patior cd-r we reviewed back in 2012, it's another terrifyingly grim landscape of haunting black ambiance, post industrial crush, and blackened grimnity. The band lacing hellish vokills over softly swirling drifts, burying strange fractured rhythms, beneath cascades of glitch and squelch, often all blurred into something downright dreamy, but just as often, splintering into something abjectly noisy and filthy. The opening track here sets the template, with some venomous vocalizations WAY up in the mix, over a bed of muted pulsations, moaning melodies, mysterious chordal smears, the background sound surprisingly tranquil, those vox transforming the sound into something much more harrowing and hellish.
The rest of the record tends toward the more brutal, but manages the nearly impossible task of crafting a noise record, that manages to be hypnotic and listenable, mesmerizing, and in its own way, blackly beautiful. The shorter tracks here are blasts of grinding glitch, fractured electronics, clouds of swirling static, monk like chants, and crumblingly distorted gristle, often settling into downright beauty, but before you know it, launching right back into another burst of blacknoise or churning power electronics. The longer tracks deliver some seriously stunning sound design, fields of sonar pings, woven into crystalline sonic lattices, of hushed samples tangled into strange textures, those backdrops, often perfectly offsetting the more bombastic and abrasive sonics up front, although in many cases, NRIII let it drift, creating haunting ambience, epic sprawls of mysterious minimalism, the vokills are often present there too, but are WAY off in the distance, buried in the mix, like another layer of static, while above it, barely there sounds hover and shimmer. In fact, much of the second half of the record tends towards the surprisingly serene, the noisiness dialed back, crafter into something more textural, it's as if side two was designed as a blissed out soft noise come down antidote for the beautiful brutality of the first side. Fantastic stuff, and the sort of rare noise that might even appeal to those who generally find noise music is not their thing.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Primal Misery"
MPEG Stream: "Fall Apart"
MPEG Stream: "I Refuse"

album cover FROST, BEN Aurora (Mute / Bedroom Community) lp 25.00
ALSO ON VINYL!!!
Ben Frost records are scary. And beautiful. They're the stuff of dreams. And nightmares. They're like soundtracks for films that can never be made, the music conjuring up images that can only exist in the imagination. It's musical magic, or sonic alchemy, whatever it is, it's something few have mastered, and even those that have, barely approach the mysterious mastery of Ben Frost, whose previous record, By The Throat, remains one of the most terrifying documents of electronic sound art we have ever heard, weaving the sounds of snarling wolves into thick swells of corrosive bass buzz, and brilliantly bleak, yet impossibly lush sound design, and balancing that sonic grimness, with glimmers of hushed beauty, in a way that makes the sound both mellifluous and malevolent in equal measure.
Aurora is another stunning sonic missive, and one that immediately conjures up yet another lost world, one that lurks in our collective imagination, but that has begun to bleed through, into our every day world. The shadows seem deeper and darker. The grey skies shout through with streaks of blood red, the nights interminable, the days, scorched expanses of endless time. All of this represented by strange sprawls of layered electronic drones, of gristled pulsations, of strange staticky rhythms, and mysterious buried melodies, the sounds this time around brittle and jagged, the loveliness sharp edged and flecked with rust and dried blood, the rhythms that surface are hauntological, reminding us of the dubbed out avant mesmer of groups like Demdike Stare, but here those rhythms seem to gradually splinter and fray, wreathed in thick swirls of soft noise, sculpted into weeping melodies, and darkly decaying textures, all hiding some glowing inner warmth, suffusing these sounds with an organic quality, that transforms a series of sounds into something alive, a crackling energy that is barely contained on the record, one can almost imagine the sound as colored sparks leaping from the speakers, bursting from the headphones, a cascade of brilliant sonic flares, raining down from above.
Lurching robotic percussion is shaped into strange skeletal shapes, lumbering behemoths trading through fields of groaning, creaking chordal thrum, pelted with prismatic streaks of sound, a beastly groove, that builds to a thick swath of soaring epic psychedelic electronic majesty, like a meaner, moodier, more metal M83, a brilliant blacknoise blur, that blots out the stars, painting the sky in shade and shadow, eventually morphing into burnished stretches of grey ambience, laced with dubby skitter, all of which blossom further into a flurry of blissed out electro flares, which fade into crackling seas of gristle and hum, undulating imperceptibly beneath hazy layers of grumblingly distorted shimmer and grinding sheets of druggy thrum. A heaving landscape of tense cinematic atmosphere, smeared fields of tangled melody, wildly colliding synth streaks, and jumbled beats and rhythms, all wound up into a tightly coiled swirl, flurry of frenzied electrons, gradually crumbling into the ether, leaving just a barely there cloud of sonic static discharge, until finally, nothing. And emptiness.
Simply stunning.
MPEG Stream: "Nolan"
MPEG Stream: "The Teeth Behind The Kisses"
MPEG Stream: "Secant"

album cover NUZZLE Junk Of Myth '92-'95 (Zum / Sound On Sound) cd 8.98
Not a new release, but newly discovered, let's call it a warehouse find, dug up a little stash of this record, a killer cd collection of all the out of print vinyl releases from these Santa Cruz backpack emo / screamo noise rock, post punks. You can tell from that many-genre'd attempt at categorization, that these guys definitely defy description a bit, but if you like your punk rock, noisy, and catchy, rife with angular guitars, wild chaotic drumming, sinewy baselines, yelped vox, brooding post rockisms, and hooks galore, these guys will do it for you big time.
Not ever hugely popular, and infamous for erratic band behavior, these guys were one of the great unsung bands of the nineties, their live shows were intense, sweaty and energetic, the band letting loose as much as the crowd, the music the perfect soundtrack for that sort of wild, unabashed, heart on sleeve musical energy, but unlike many of the more screamo bands of the time, these guys were a lot more nuanced, letting some tracks stretch way out, experimenting with tone and texture, tension and release, their sound sometimes slipping into Fugazi territory, and at other times falling more in line with the Gravity Records Bands of the time, and at others sounding like some lost midwest emo band, that somehow wandered to the west coast. Even now, this stuff oozes emotion, and for folks who grew up in the nineties, or at least spent their formative musical years during that decade, every track here is pitch perfect, easy to imagine rocking out to any of these songs in a sweaty crowd in some living room or basement, or blasting these jams on your Walkman, or including them on a mixtape for that boy/girl you've been crushing out on. It's a kind of music they really don't make anymore, and by extension, it's a mood/energy/vibe, that music doesn't seem to have anymore either.
Nuzzles don't at all sound dated, as much as they sound of their time. And for younger folks who may have missed out on all this stuff, this is the sort of band, and sort of record, that just might open up a whole new (old) world of music, and listening to this stuff again now, we sort of forgot how goddamn great these guys are. In the age of band reunions, we'd kind of kill for one more chance to see these guys. Until then, this will likely be back in heavy rotation. Again.
MPEG Stream: "The Sorting That Evens Things Out"
MPEG Stream: "Bring The Leeches"
MPEG Stream: "Incan'tations"
MPEG Stream: "For The Length Of Me"

album cover CLONE Sons Of Octabred (Dead-Cert) lp 24.00
This is another one of those records, that's almost too good, and too weird, to be true. Especially coming as it does from the Dead-Cert label, run by weirdo music obsessive Andy Votel. In fact, based on the description, AND the sound, we were pretty much convinced that this had to be Votel himself conjuring up some imaginary lost sonic artifact. How could it not be? Son Of Octabred is/was apparently a 'birthing' record, as in an album to assist/instruct with giving birth (?), recorded on primitive analog synths and 'originally broadcast' on a radio show in Anchorage, Alaska - its sound a strange hybrid of kosmische synthscapery, spaced out kraut-psych, minimal dronemusic, and percolating early electronica. But once again, whether it's all true or not, almost doesn't matter: if it IS true, what a ridiculous and impossibly WTF find, and if it's NOT, well, goddamn, total brilliant art prank / fictional sound conjuration.
The record begins with a female voice instructing the listener to breath and push, with some strangely poetic descriptions of having a baby, then a man's voice talks weirdly about 'his pregnancy', before in swoop some space synths, and we're off, on a cosmic journey, some alien planetarium show, swirling percolations, swooping FX, shifting textures, playful melodies, there's definitely a sort of John Carpenter / Klaus Schulze vibe, pulsing kraut-psych gives way to weird vocodered vocals, not singing so much as just humming/crooning more textures, and again if this is real, it's hard to imagine just flipping on the radio in the middle of the night and hearing THIS. Or, being born, and hearing it! Crazy.
The sound soon erupts into something much more sinister, thick swells of swirling shadowy rumbles, and staticky clouds of hiss, all over buried voices and keening melodies, some serious black ambience for sure, that sounds like birthing music for Rosemary's Baby. The flipside returns to the playful percolation of the opening, sounding a bit like Perrey & Kingsley, before devolving into a weird sprawl of dubby gamelan like percussion, and strangely processed abstract rhythms, all floating in the ether, before a Close Encounter synth melody surfaces, swopping wildly from speaker to speaker, the whole thing dizzying and seriously trippy, before once again drifting into darker sonic territory, some ominous shadowy drift, that eventually returns to the light, for a final bout of bouncy bloopy synthiness and one final burst of wild tangled psych-synth freakout. So cool, and so weird. Real or not, we love it!

album cover DRCARLSONALBION Gold (Oblique) lp 25.00
The first proper full length from Drcarlsonalbion, the alter-ego of Dylan Carlson, he of twang flecked dronelords Earth, who along with Earth drummer Adrienne Davies, has crafted this gorgeous bit of psychedelic drift, a soundtrack to a film called Gold, and really, fans of recent Earth records might think they've stumbled onto a new Earth record, although the music on Gold is much more spare and minimal, especially considering that mostly it's Carlson on guitar, with just a bit of percussive filigree from Davies. It's a sort of washed out and woozy, sun baked Appalachia, a definite desert blues vibe, most of the tracks here super short, many more like the film cues they are, than proper songs, with Carlson unfurling hazy, bluesy riffs, and letting them ring out, slowly decay, in clouds of reverb and delay, echoey shimmers ringing out like ripples in water, each track here some sort of dark folk ritual, some smoldering and cloaked in shadow, others bathed in sunlight, but most of the tracks here, just Carlson on some back porch, with an old broken bottle for a slide, and playing through a busted old combo, the notes wreathed in soft FX and let loose to drift on the afternoon breeze, or be carried skyward by soft swirls of black smoke, the campfire vibe is huge here too. It's hard to say what the movie Gold is all about, having not seen it, or even read anything about it, but we're imagining some sort of Cormac McCarthy style bleakness, vast expanses of dusty roads, and dilapidated farmhouses, dying crops and slope shouldered workers toiling in the fields. It has that sort of wasted, hopeless feel, endless days, and the brief respite of night. Gorgeous stuff for sure.
Packaged in an oversized heavy weight tip-on style sleeve, includes a download code as well.
MPEG Stream: "Gold I"
MPEG Stream: "Gold II"
MPEG Stream: "Gold V"
MPEG Stream: "Gold VII"
MPEG Stream: "Gold XI"

album cover LIVE SKULL Cloud One (Desire) cd 16.98
ALSO ON CD!
The latest installment in this long overdue reissue campaign for eighties New York noise rockers Live Skull, this being their second full length, Cloud One, originally released in 1986, the last album before Thalia Zedek (Come, Uzi) would join and take over lead vocals, and like their debut, on Cloud One, Live Skull still sonically fit pretty perfectly alongside their NYC brethren (and sistren) in Swans, Sonic Youth (especially Sonic Youth) and the rest, but on Cloud One, the band made great leaps both sonically, and with their songwriting (and the matching more polished production), the new(ish) sound definitely hewing ever closer to the minor key melancholia infused angularity of SY, but mixing in long, droned out passages and slow dark blooze creeps, adding an element of brooding mesmer, and dark psychedelia. That darkness also represented by a sonic shift toward something gloomier and gothier, with many of the tracks here more reminiscent of the West Coast sound of the time, the Scream Club, and bands like Janes Addiction, Kommunity FK and the Abecedarians (especially on the live bonus tracks!). Hints too of outfits like the Wipers, the Gun Club, the Flesh Eaters, a sort of swaggery psych blues crossed with noisy experimental rock, there's still some junkyard percussion, a little Pussy Galore here and there, but the band definitely had their eyes on the musical prize, whether by design or not, Cloud One is a tightly wound, complex piece of noise/art rock, that even now sounds impossibly prescient of a sound that so many bands would go on to mine in their wake. It's actually a bit shocking that Live Skull's career trajectory wasn't more like Sonic Youth's, on this record for sure, but even more so on their 1988 swansong, Positraction, the band seemed poised for success, and an eventual move into the semi-mainstream, but for whatever reason, they remained firmly entrenched in the underground, and would only make it another couple years/records before calling it quits.
Fantastically curated reissued, with a whole mess of bonus tracks, unreleased, demos and live, as well as a massive booklet with tons of rare photos, old flyers, live shots, and extensive liner notes by the band, as well as extensive track by track notes on the extra songs as well!
MPEG Stream: "Fort Belvedere"
MPEG Stream: "Cloud One"
MPEG Stream: "Boot Camp"
MPEG Stream: "Haircut For Pigs"

album cover ROLL THE DICE Until Silence (Leaf) cd 14.98
Past records from Roll The Dice found the Swedish duo channeling the spirit of John Carpenter, crafting lush, sinister synthscapes, that much like the rest of the current crop of Carpenterians, played like some lost soundtrack, and while this new one displays much of that sound still, they've fleshed out their sound big time, the most notable shift being the addition of actual strings, turning their already lush sound into something downright majestic.
Brooding pianos drift amidst clouds of crackle, deep reverby shimmers, ominous minor key melodies, little bits of glitch, the strings gradually building to a harrowing, haunting coda, and that's just the opener, that sounds exactly like it could be the music beneath the credits from some seventies Italian giallo, right down to the simulated record crackle.
The band push way past their faux soundtrack roots, building epic bombastic creeps, like "Assembly", a stately march, more of a trudge actually, the chords ringing out, beneath big booming percussive thuds, a sinister slow build, that eventually blossoms into something almost Swans like, albeit heavy on the strings and piano, but still, it's fierce and intense, a near orchestral sonic death march, with a Godspeed style slow build energy, the songs here not so much songs, as pieces, single parts that develop over time, that expand and sprawl, often to devastating effect, the strings stunning, the mood darkly heart wrenching, some tracks the strings get all Bernard Hermann Psycho-stabs, sometimes accompanied by the plunk of prepared piano, those tracks drifting into full on 20th century / musique concrete territory, but other drifting along dreamily, sounding like the prettiest, most minimal Tim Hecker track, all hazy and washed out, and delicately crystalline, while still others sound almost like trip hop, channeling groups like Portishead or Massive Attack, that sound even more effective with the strings, that add so much pathos and emotion. Fantastic stuff, haunting and lovely, alternately brooding and bombastic, cinematic and soundtrack, but also dabbling in straight up sound design, fans of Tim Hecker, and Fennesz, and Godspeed, and Belong, and Stars Of The Lid, not to mention all the modern retro-synth wranglers, the Goblin and Carpenter worshippers, this is the next step in the evolution of that sound, and is really pretty goddamn stunning.
MPEG Stream: "Blood In Blood Out"
MPEG Stream: "Assembly"
MPEG Stream: "Coup De Grace"

album cover SLINT Spiderland (Touch and Go) cd+dvd 17.98
Finally an affordable version of the recently released (and already out of print) Spiderland boxset, which still includes all the rare bonus tracks AND the Breadcrumb Trail documentary. So if the boxset was a bit too pricey, now's your chance to re-visit this seminal post rock classic, or maybe even discover it. Plus the movie is incredible, and there's the Slint nerd holy grail unreleased Spiderland bonus tracks...
So what is Spiderland? It's an iconic indie rock masterpiece, a record that if you haven't heard it before, well, it means you're missing out on what might be one of the best records ever made. Moody and mathy, brooding and epic, intense and introspective, catchy and melodic, noisy and abrasive, emotional and majestic. So many bands you love owe everything they do to this band, and this record. In fact, without this band, most of the bands you love wouldn't even exist. If you're going to own just one "post-rock" record, this would be the one. An absolutely stone cold classic. Spiderland sounds as good and as relevant, and as darkly haunting, emotionally devastating and sonically stunning today, as it did when it first came out more than 20 years ago.
MPEG Stream: "Breadcrumb Trail"
MPEG Stream: "Washer"
MPEG Stream: "Good Morning, Captain"

album cover DEN SAAKALDTE Kapittel II: Faen I Helvete (Agonia) cd 16.98
It's been AGES since we last heard from this black metal horde (all the way back in 2009), and at the time, we were pretty obsessed. Definitely a supergroup, featuring members of Shining, Diabolicum, Naer Matron, 1349, Pantheon I, Gehenna, Aeternus AND Doheimsgard, Den Saakaldte (named for a Ved Buens Ende song!) crafted a twisted avant garde depressive blackness, the sort of thing that would have sounded right at home on the Moonfog label back in the day, shades of Thorns throughout for sure, that first record a twisted mix of classic Norwegian black buzz and all manner of fucked up ambience, fractured electronics, WTF production and strange instrumentation (trumpet! accordion!). On Kapittel II: Faen I Helvete, the sound remains twisted and dramatic, although the sound is a bit more of a classic, churning epic blackness, until the vocals come in, they're a bombastic caterwauled croon, that transforms the otherwise grim buzz into something way more over the top, but compared to that first record, this is some almost traditional sounding black metal. Midway through one track, there's a stunning stretch of epic harmonized guitars, tense and intense, until the song swoops back in all melancholic and melodic, it's pretty bad ass! And even one of our other favorite tracks, the sound immediately erupts in a roiling black churn, furious fast picked guitars, progged out octopoidal drumming, bursts of frenzied blasting, it's a few tracks in, that things get truly avant, the sound a bit like a strange hybrid of a melodic modern metal dirge, and some sort of Victorian sea shanty, but instead of sounding weird, these guys simply transform it into something equally black, moody and malevolent, and sure there are some soaring clean vocals, that add yet another dimension, but it manages to stay just this side of weirdness, and instead, ends up crushingly majestic and dramatic, and so it goes for the rest of the record, a dense black sprawl of tangled black buzz, of furious metallic heaviness, of epic blackened majesty, not nearly as doomy or depressive as the first, and way less trumpet (as in, none), but the group seems to have sacrificed some of their twisted experimental streak for a sound much more concise, and more directly beholden to the classic Norwegian blackness that came before...
MPEG Stream: "Ondskapens Nodvendighet"
MPEG Stream: "Som Ett Arr Pa Sjelen"
MPEG Stream: "Din Siste Dag"
MPEG Stream: "Forbanna Idioter"

album cover CRAFT SPELLS Nausea (Captured Tracks) cd 14.98
Another fantastic new record from Stockton dream poppers Craft Spells, who have pretty much entirely distanced themselves the weirdo pop scene that spawned them (Ariel Pink, Blank Dogs, Greatest Hits, etc.). And while they made a brief stop around record number two at a sound that harkened back to Eighties MTV new wave pop, this new one finds them fully embracing a new (to them) sound, one that's simple, melodic, heartfelt, dreamily fuzzy, a little bit wistful, sun dappled and so lovely. There are still hints of their earlier sound, little new wavy bits here and there, some subtle weirdness, but for the most part this is classic sounding baroque pop, that looks back to the classics, the Kinks, the Zombies, early Bee Gees, with strings and synths, even some vibes (maybe xylophone?), lush, luxurious arrangements, plenty of jangle and strum, some subtle electronics, a softly psychedelic production. Fans of modern day recently reviewed retro poppers like the New Lines and Still Corners, as well as groups from the recent (and not so) past like Stereolab, the High Llamas, Witch Hazel and Cardinal, this definitely falls right in there sonically. Hazy vocals, laid back steel string strum, lush vocal croon, harmonies, impossibly catchy hooks, woozy baselines, lots of shimmer and glimmer, hints of Elephant Six for sure, a little paisley pop too, but with a definite power/psych pop bent. So good. And generally we'd be bummed for a band to ditch all the stuff that made them weird, but Craft Spells work so much better as a proper pop band, and this is easily the best thing we've heard from them yet.
MPEG Stream: "Nausea"
MPEG Stream: "Komorebi"
MPEG Stream: "Changing Faces"

album cover CEREBRAL BALLZY Jaded & Faded (Cult Records) cd 12.98
Besides having probably the coolest/stupidest band name ever, Brooklyn skate punks Cerebral Ballzy return with another killer clutch of songs they claim to be about more high minded topics than their first record (chicks, skating, puking, etc.) but a quick scan of the song titles reveals, they haven't pushed the subject matter too far, fake I.D.'s, skating, fast food, and chicks, all still seem to be the focal point, but what has changed is the sound. That first record was a dizzying blast of short sharp punk rock in the style of the old school classics, equal parts Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, but this time around the band have gotten downright poppy, injecting some serious power poppiness and loads of hooky melody into the jams, resulting in some seriously addictive, and seriously poppy post punk, that ends up ultimately being a lot more more sonically satisfying than that first record. More original for sure, a cool hybrid of that feral punk energy with more actual songsmithery. The tracks are longer, the sound is much more lush and well produced too, but more importantly, the songs themselves are killer, essentially pop songs in punk clothing, and we're not talking the dreaded pop punk, we're talking pop flecked punk rock, of noise pop, or fuzzy pop, or punkish pop, whatever you wanna call it, the vibe throughout touches on classic power pop of the past, post punk too, and while there are moments of straight up punk rock pound, for the most part, those parts are woven into what is essentially a killer batch of punky pop that should have fans of other like minded outfits like the Zig Zags, The Shrine, Hot Lunch and the rest, freaking out big time.
MPEG Stream: "Another Day"
MPEG Stream: "Fake I.D."
MPEG Stream: "Parade of Idiots"
MPEG Stream: "Better In Leather"

album cover UP-TIGHT The Night Is Yours (Essence Music) cd 15.98
We've long loved Japanese psych crew Up-Tight, and this new disc on aQ beloved Brazilian label Essence is another good one, another slab of dark heavy psych from these masters. From the first few seconds, we're hurled into the void: thick, distorted bass, simple, pounding drumming, and wild, shredding, blown out, in-the-red guitar-shred freakout, no preamble, no slow build, just straight into some heart-of-the-the-sun heaviness. The leads do fade out, letting the song breathe a bit, the vibe dialed down a notch, for the echo drenched vocals to drift in, and suddenly, it's like a super distorted, even more blown out Les Rallizes Denudes, and before you know it, that guitar swoops in, and whips the song into a noise drenched Japanoise-psych squall. But as fans know, it's not all freakout, these guys are capable of brooding beauty, which is what the second track offers, a woozy crooning drift, a dark psych ballad, all wreathed in reverb, it's not until the last minute that things get at all heavy, wild vocalizations, swirls of guitar noise, a quick blast, and then right back into the dark chanted creep that began the track. Two of the remaining three tracks are more pretty than heavy, the first, a dreamy bit of sun dappled jangle, that almost sounds more like American slowcore than Japanese psych, the second, a brief bit of dark strum, murky, and haunting, hushed and mysterious. And then right in between, the nearly 16 minute "So Alone", which is ALL noisy and distorted, a churning death march pound, swirls of jagged feedback, arcs of guitarnoise, the guitars grinding and howling, fields of skree and shriek, hurts of face melting buzz and shred, all the while the bass and drums, locked into a churning, doomic pound, the vocals too wild and feral, doused in FX and battling the wild guitarnoise. Awesome!
MPEG Stream: "Blow Away"
MPEG Stream: "She's So Heavy"
MPEG Stream: "So Alone"

album cover UP-TIGHT [PRE-ORDER] The Night Is Yours [Deluxe] (Essence Music) cd + cd-r + handmade box 45.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Along with a new record from one of our favorite purveyors of kosmische kraut-psych and spaced out synthscapery, Expo '70 (found elsewhere on this week's list) there's another new release, from Japanese psych crew Up-Tight, also on aQ beloved Brazilian label Essence, and like that Expo '70, this is in fact a PRE-ORDER for the super deluxe, super fancy, handmade BOX SET version, which comes not only with a bonus disc, but also housed in a crazy handmade box. It's limited to 91 copies and that's IT. We might be able to get 15, but even then, we're only getting as many as we get pre-orders for, so if you want one, order it now, we'll get them in sometime in the next few weeks, and they can either ship with your current order, or on their own. You will be charged for the box NOW, but then the shipping will be sorted out when we actually send the box (and it'll ship by weight, not as 1 item).
We've long loved Up-Tight, and this new one is another good one, if you're already a fan, maybe a super fan, odds are you're gonna want one of these, the box is super striking, all bird beaks and eyes, in an oversized, handmade boxset, that unfolds revealing still more artwork, along with a hand drawn third eye canvas collage. And along with the new record proper, it also includes an exclusive bonus album, a cd-r called Sweet Sister Session (Uncut) - For Lucrezia, a whole set recorded in 2004 during the sessions for their Alchemy release Lucrezia, and is ONLY available in this box. So needless to say, Up-Tight nerds grab one before they are gone.
The record itself, The Night Is Yours, is another slab of dark heavy psych from these masters, and from the first few seconds, we're hurled into the void: thick, distorted bass, simple, pounding drumming, and wild, shredding, blown out, in-the-red guitar-shred freakout, no preamble, no slow build, just straight into some heart-of-the-the-sun heaviness. The leads do fade out, letting the song breathe a bit, the vibe dialed down a notch, for the echo drenched vocals to drift in, and suddenly, it's like a super distorted, even more blown out Les Rallizes Denudes, and before you know it, that guitar swoops in, and whips the song into a noise drenched Japanoise-psych squall. But as fans know, it's not all freakout, these guys are capable of brooding beauty, which is what the second track offers, a woozy crooning drift, a dark psych ballad, all wreathed in reverb, it's not until the last minute that things get at all heavy, wild vocalizations, swirls of guitar noise, a quick blast, and then right back into the dark chanted creep that began the track. Two of the remaining three tracks are more pretty than heavy, the first, a dreamy bit of sun dappled jangle, that almost sounds more like American slowcore than Japanese psych, the second, a brief bit of dark strum, murky, and haunting, hushed and mysterious. And then right in between, the nearly 16 minute "So Alone", which is ALL noisy and distorted, a churning death march pound, swirls of jagged feedback, arcs of guitarnoise, the guitars grinding and howling, fields of skree and shriek, hurts of face melting buzz and shred, all the while the bass and drums, locked into a churning, doomic pound, the vocals too wild and feral, doused in FX and battling the wild guitarnoise. So good!
And as we mentioned above, we'll only be able to get about 15 copies of this box, and that's IT. So if you want one, order it now. We'll charge you and let you know when it arrives. If you're after the normal version, let us know that too, and we can put you down for one of those, but this listing is specifically for folks who want to nab one of the boxes before they're gone for good.
MPEG Stream: "Blow Away"
MPEG Stream: "She's So Heavy"
MPEG Stream: "So Alone"

album cover AUSTERITY PROGRAM, THE Beyond Calculation (Controlled Burn) cd 9.98
For as much as we love this band, we had never seen them play live until a few weeks ago, and our minds were blown big time. Not only did they have an entire music store's worth of gear, so many speakers it required renting a U-haul to get them to the club, and also required setting up on the floor since they wouldn't fit on the stage, they also sounded incredible. Two super unassuming guys, kicking out the sort of rib cage rattling heavy jams that would make most 'proper' metal bands seriously envious. All that, and they were funny as fuck too, playing to a strange backing track, that not only included their drum machine, but also a strange robotic woman, who sort of narrated, explaining the different songs, pimping out merchandise, and even arguing with the band members between songs. So genius. And it's no small feat to be funny, and not be a joke band. But these guys have it nailed. If you've ever seen their hilarious non-music videos, you'll know what we're talking about. But none of that would matter if they didn't rule, and they most certainly do. Definitely heavily beholden to the late great Big Black, with churning, super distorted bass lines, impossibly down tuned guitar chug, the sound angular, thick and corrosive, tranced out and HEAVY as fuck, then there's guitarist Justin Foley's hilarious vocals, that slip easily from sardonic spoken word, to wild bellowed yowl and back again. And if anything, not only is this new record heavier, and more focused, it's also way more melodic, with a much bigger focus on actual songcraft, not to mention some seriously tripped out production and unlikely sounds throughout. That crazy catchiness surfaces in the most unlikely places, the songs themselves, complex and intricate and downright proggy, a dense, relentless crushingly heavy, impossibly hooky noise-pop, industrial metal-prog that is so goddamn good, it baffles the mind that these guys were always the unsung / less popular weirdos on the Hydra Head roster.
But hopefully, now that they've struck out on their own, this being the first release on their own label, folks will wake up and dig the crazy heaviness, and warped weirdo poppiness, these guys have (not so) quietly mastered over the last however many years. And yeah, it's definitely their best record yet. And no it's not all the same note (fuck you Justin). Definite contender for record of the year, so leave a space on that list, you won't be sorry...
Available on cd, vinyl, and as a 1/4" reel to reel tape, for the super music mega nerds out there (the band, also uber nerds, suggest that version, as it sounds the best haha)!
MPEG Stream: "Song 31"
MPEG Stream: "Song 30"
MPEG Stream: "Song 39"

album cover AUSTERITY PROGRAM, THE Beyond Calculation (Controlled Burn) lp 17.98
For as much as we love this band, we had never seen them play live until a few weeks ago, and our minds were blown big time. Not only did they have an entire music store's worth of gear, so many speakers it required renting a U-haul to get them to the club, and also required setting up on the floor since they wouldn't fit on the stage, they also sounded incredible. Two super unassuming guys, kicking out the sort of rib cage rattling heavy jams that would make most 'proper' metal bands seriously envious. All that, and they were funny as fuck too, playing to a strange backing track, that not only included their drum machine, but also a strange robotic woman, who sort of narrated, explaining the different songs, pimping out merchandise, and even arguing with the band members between songs. So genius. And it's no small feat to be funny, and not be a joke band. But these guys have it nailed. If you've ever seen their hilarious non-music videos, you'll know what we're talking about. But none of that would matter if they didn't rule, and they most certainly do. Definitely heavily beholden to the late great Big Black, with churning, super distorted bass lines, impossibly down tuned guitar chug, the sound angular, thick and corrosive, tranced out and HEAVY as fuck, then there's guitarist Justin Foley's hilarious vocals, that slip easily from sardonic spoken word, to wild bellowed yowl and back again. And if anything, not only is this new record heavier, and more focused, it's also way more melodic, with a much bigger focus on actual songcraft, not to mention some seriously tripped out production and unlikely sounds throughout. That crazy catchiness surfaces in the most unlikely places, the songs themselves, complex and intricate and downright proggy, a dense, relentless crushingly heavy, impossibly hooky noise-pop, industrial metal-prog that is so goddamn good, it baffles the mind that these guys were always the unsung / less popular weirdos on the Hydra Head roster.
But hopefully, now that they've struck out on their own, this being the first release on their own label, folks will wake up and dig the crazy heaviness, and warped weirdo poppiness, these guys have (not so) quietly mastered over the last however many years. And yeah, it's definitely their best record yet. And no it's not all the same note (fuck you Justin). Definite contender for record of the year, so leave a space on that list, you won't be sorry...
Available on cd, vinyl, and as a 1/4" reel to reel tape, for the super music mega nerds out there (the band, also uber nerds, suggest that version, as it sounds the best haha)!
MPEG Stream: "Song 31"
MPEG Stream: "Song 30"
MPEG Stream: "Song 39"

album cover AUSTERITY PROGRAM, THE Beyond Calculation (Controlled Burn) 1/4" tape 26.00
For as much as we love this band, we had never seen them play live until a few weeks ago, and our minds were blown big time. Not only did they have an entire music store's worth of gear, so many speakers it required renting a U-haul to get them to the club, and also required setting up on the floor since they wouldn't fit on the stage, they also sounded incredible. Two super unassuming guys, kicking out the sort of rib cage rattling heavy jams that would make most 'proper' metal bands seriously envious. All that, and they were funny as fuck too, playing to a strange backing track, that not only included their drum machine, but also a strange robotic woman, who sort of narrated, explaining the different songs, pimping out merchandise, and even arguing with the band members between songs. So genius. And it's no small feat to be funny, and not be a joke band. But these guys have it nailed. If you've ever seen their hilarious non-music videos, you'll know what we're talking about. But none of that would matter if they didn't rule, and they most certainly do. Definitely heavily beholden to the late great Big Black, with churning, super distorted bass lines, impossibly down tuned guitar chug, the sound angular, thick and corrosive, tranced out and HEAVY as fuck, then there's guitarist Justin Foley's hilarious vocals, that slip easily from sardonic spoken word, to wild bellowed yowl and back again. And if anything, not only is this new record heavier, and more focused, it's also way more melodic, with a much bigger focus on actual songcraft, not to mention some seriously tripped out production and unlikely sounds throughout. That crazy catchiness surfaces in the most unlikely places, the songs themselves, complex and intricate and downright proggy, a dense, relentless crushingly heavy, impossibly hooky noise-pop, industrial metal-prog that is so goddamn good, it baffles the mind that these guys were always the unsung / less popular weirdos on the Hydra Head roster.
But hopefully, now that they've struck out on their own, this being the first release on their own label, folks will wake up and dig the crazy heaviness, and warped weirdo poppiness, these guys have (not so) quietly mastered over the last however many years. And yeah, it's definitely their best record yet. And no it's not all the same note (fuck you Justin). Definite contender for record of the year, so leave a space on that list, you won't be sorry...
Available on cd, vinyl, and as a 1/4" reel to reel tape, for the super music mega nerds out there (the band, also uber nerds, suggest that version, as it sounds the best haha)!
MPEG Stream: "Song 31"
MPEG Stream: "Song 30"
MPEG Stream: "Song 39"

album cover EXPO '70 [PRE-ORDER] Virtually From The Unknown [Deluxe] (Essence Music) cd + cd-r + handmade cosmic pyramidal box 60.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally! A new record from one of our favorite purveyors of kosmische kraut-psych and spaced out synthscapery, Expo '70! AND it's on one of our favorite labels, Essence (along with a new one from Japanese psych crew Up-Tight, elsewhere on this week's list). And while we'll have the standard version of this new Expo '70, this is in fact a PRE-ORDER for the super deluxe, super fancy, handmade BOX SET version, which comes not only with a bonus disc, but also housed in a crazy pyramid shaped box. It's limited to 99 copies and that's IT. We might be able to get 20, but we're only getting as many as we get pre-orders for, so if you want one, order it now, we'll get them in sometime in the next few weeks, and they can either ship with your current order, or on their own. You will be charged for the box now, but then the shipping will be sorted out when we actually send the box (and it'll ship by weight, not as 1 item). And if you're already a fan, you're definitely gonna want one of these, the pyramid box is super striking, psychedelic inks and textures, in a carefully constructed 'handmade cosmic pyramidal boxset', that unfolds revealing still more artwork, and along with the new record proper, it also includes an exclusive bonus album, a cd-r called All Hues From Beneath A Velvet Cloud, and is ONLY available in this box. So needless to say, Expo nerds grab one before they are gone.
As for Virtually From The Unknown, it's another gorgeously sprawling cosmic sonic missive, the opening track clocking in at 31 minutes, a smoldering slow burning epic, all swirling synths, cascading keyboard textures, minimum motorik drumming, layers and drones, the sound eventually building to a dark dolorous psych-kraut drift, and then exploding into some seriously muscular space rock, all deep rumbling drones, powerful drumming, thick almost SUNNO))) like riffage, eventually launching into a full on navy psych blowout, all wild drum damage and thick squalls of freakout guitar, tethered to a furious galloping groove. Worth it for that track alone for sure, but there's of course more. The stonery psych of "Closet Full Of Candles" is a loping space doom juggernaut, with some wild distort leads, and some sick, thick bass buzz, sorta like Kyuss via Hawkwind, slowly working its way up to another in-the-red crescendo. Finally, there's the 17 + minute closer, awesomely titled "Planet Ego, The Astral Return To Yourself", which lays down distant guitar rumbles, beneath swirls of alien FX and squiggly laser blast blort, the background guitar buzz gradually gaining momentum, a thick slow moving swell, eventually overtaking the sound effects, and finishing off as a blurred, downtuned space-drone, before gradually drifting off, and leaving shimmery contrails of fast fading FX. So good, of course. And as we mentioned above, we'll be able to get about 20 copies of this box, and that's IT. So if you want one, order it now. We'll charge you and let you know when it arrives. If you're after the normal version, let us know that too, and we can put you down for one of those, but this listing is specifically for folks who want to nab one of the boxes before they're gone for good.
MPEG Stream: "Figures In Black Turn Night Back Into Day"
MPEG Stream: "Closet Full Of Candles"

album cover HUNGERS s/t (self-released) cassette + pin 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These Northwestern heavies came highly recommended by aQ faves Megaton Leviathan, but don't be expecting a similarly spaced out psychedelic doom, instead Hungers deliver a super dense, blackened heaviness, that actually reminds us of the newest Satyricon, but these guys have more up their sleeve for sure. After blasting out of the gate with a mid tempo black metal / heavy rock churn, they switch gears into something more melodic and post metal, only to then explode into a dense progged out squall, only to return to that opening blackness. The sound is epic and thick, almost like Pelican crossed with Satyricon if that makes any sense, the raspy vokills definitely contributing much of the blackness, the music itself, lush and layered, dense tangled melodies, thick, distortion drenched chug, veering from blasting buzz, to woozy lope, to smoldering epic slow build, to mathy metallic crush, to churning Neur-Isis style majesty, super epic, and crushingly heavy, but still super melodic and nuanced. Not at all what we were expecting. These guys sonically are well beyond self releasing their own tapes, they sound like they should be on Relapse or Century Media, or back in the day, even Moonfog. Check out the sound samples, it's kind of a tough sound to describe, other than they kind of mash a bunch of stuff we love together, which shouldn't work, but does, big time. Epic, blackened, melodic, post metal, math-prog heaviness that we can't stop listening to, and we're guessing means big things to come for these guys.
Limited of course, and includes a download code as well.
MPEG Stream: "Orchestrating Fate"
MPEG Stream: "Animist"
MPEG Stream: "The Leveling"

album cover WHITE LUNG Deep Fantasy (Domino) cd 14.98
Record number three from these Canadian punks, whose first two records were big faves around here even though they never made it onto the list. Their sound seems loosely aligned with Perfect Pussy, in that they're noisy, and have a bad ass female vocalist, but where Perfect Pussy embraces abrasive noisiness, White Lung are much more concerned with melody and songcraft, reminding us of a super charged Team Dresch, which is most definitely a good thing. The production on this new one is massive, the guitars heavy and almost metallic, splintering into shards of keening high end, swirls of angular crunch, all wound around a super tight rhythm section, and of course, vocalist Mish Way, who flits easily from feral how, to throaty croon, and the songs, so catchy and well crafted, the multiple guitars winding multiple melodic lines into killer harmonies, the sound dense and lush and layered, making for something that definitely transcends punk rock, it's anthemic, epic and majestic, but also super personal, and emotional, not hard to imagine White Lung being primo mixtape material, particularly vitriolic breakup mixtapes, it's got that sort of anger and energy and passion. So killer. Odds are you'll end up wanting the other two records as well (and we can get em for you, just ask!)...
MPEG Stream: "Drown With The Monster"
MPEG Stream: "Down It Goes"
MPEG Stream: "Snake Jaw"
MPEG Stream: "Face Down"

album cover CLIPPING. Clppng (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
While the rest of the world is freaking out over Death Grips' drum driven aggro noise drenched hip hop, especially with the recent release of a downloadable new collaboration with Bjork called Niggas On The Moon, it might be a good time to also dig into the brand new Sub Pop debut from LA noise-hop trio Clipping. (and yeah, the period is part of the name). Their sound, like Death Grips, finds its roots in classic hip hop, but both diverge in interesting ways. In the case of Death Grips, it's a live drummer (Zach Hill from Hella), and some seriously bombastic noise, not to mention the confrontational flow of rapper Stefan Burnett. It's a sound we love for sure, but the sound of Clipping. we love even more. Imagine that instead of that drum driven noisiness, you replaced the music with super minimal abstract noise, the sort of stuff you might hear on an RRR comp, think Bastard Noise or Sissy Spacek making a hip hop record and you'd be close. Even more interesting though, is that the two guys responsible for the music in Clipping. are Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, whom avid readers of the aQ list, and film nerds too, might know more from their stunning score to the Stanley Kubrick conspiracy documentary Room 237, the soundtrack which was released on Death Waltz.
But this is no retro soundtrackery, this is twisted noisy weirdness, wild feedback drenched analog skree, squelch drenched gristle, hiss and hum and screech and howl and thrum and buzz, blasts of digital noise wound around low slung beats. Check out the intro, which features rapper Daveed Diggs, spitting rapid fire flow a cappella over an ear piercing sine wave tone, eventually delivering the closer "It's Clipping bitch", before launching into the record proper, which gets no less weird, and no less noisy. "body & Blood" rides a grinding industrial beat, with a creepy processed voice 'chorus', but then "Work Work" surprises (as does much of the record), with its almost dreamy looped glitchy gamelan, that transforms into some low slung low rider booming bass throb. And while at first blush, some of the lyrics sound typically hip hop sexist, dig deeper, and there's way more going on, which is again balanced when Cocc Pistol Cree delivers her bad ass verse. And there are other guests too, King T, Gangsta Boo, Guce and more, but it's the core three who have their sound down. King T's guest verse on "Summertime" is a crusher, especially when the background sound swells into a cloud of alien laser blasts, deep bass thrum, and woozy sonic squiggles. Then there's tracks like "Taking Off", which sounds like it was made from damaged cd's, all skipping rhythms, looped and layered into a weirdly lurching beat, the perfectly wasted stuttery backdrop for Diggs' rapid fire flow. Gangsta Boo delivers a killer verse as well, over a weird bed of creaks and gristly moans, again a weirdly perfect match for her toasting flow, not to mention the strangely Kanye-ish chorus croon, with a rumbling thick low end swell underneath, the sort of track that would be all over the radio, if there was any justice. And let's not forget the insanely infuriatingly brilliant "Get Up", where the music is essentially JUST the sound of an alarm clock, maddening for sure, but then so satisfying when they modulate the sound into a weirdly radio pop chorus. And so it goes, Digg's flow world class, the background sounds a continually shifting landscape of fractured loops, woozy synths, clanging pipe fight rhythms, digital glitchery, weird damaged turntable rewinds, and dizzying noise collages, so unlikely, but so impossibly catchy, the magic of Clipping. in that it can be so obtuse and difficult, but still so groovy, so hooky, so funky, and so goddamn, catchy, this is exactly the sort of shit we'd be blasting through our booming system, no doubt shattering glass and bursting eardrums as we passed.
On both cd, and vinyl, both of which are slightly different (the aforementioned "Intro" is not included on the lp, but the version of "Body & Blood" is longer for example) but vinyl nerds are still in luck, cuz the lp comes in a super swank spot varnish printed triple gatefold, with an extra lp side, loaded with ONE HUNDRED locked grooves, noisy, distorted, blown out, abstract, dubby, clicky, funky, bloopy, bleepy and pretty much every variation in between. Both versions feature a bad ass blinged out Sub Pop logo too...
MPEG Stream: "Intro"
MPEG Stream: "Body & Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Work Work"
MPEG Stream: "Summertime"
MPEG Stream: "Taking Off"
MPEG Stream: "Tonight"

album cover CLIPPING. Clppng (Sub Pop) 2lp 24.00
While the rest of the world is freaking out over Death Grips' drum driven aggro noise drenched hip hop, especially with the recent release of a downloadable new collaboration with Bjork called Niggas On The Moon, it might be a good time to also dig into the brand new Sub Pop debut from LA noise-hop trio Clipping. (and yeah, the period is part of the name). Their sound, like Death Grips, finds its roots in classic hip hop, but both diverge in interesting ways. In the case of Death Grips, it's a live drummer (Zach Hill from Hella), and some seriously bombastic noise, not to mention the confrontational flow of rapper Stefan Burnett. It's a sound we love for sure, but the sound of Clipping. we love even more. Imagine that instead of that drum driven noisiness, you replaced the music with super minimal abstract noise, the sort of stuff you might hear on an RRR comp, think Bastard Noise or Sissy Spacek making a hip hop record and you'd be close. Even more interesting though, is that the two guys responsible for the music in Clipping. are Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, whom avid readers of the aQ list, and film nerds too, might know more from their stunning score to the Stanley Kubrick conspiracy documentary Room 237, the soundtrack which was released on Death Waltz.
But this is no retro soundtrackery, this is twisted noisy weirdness, wild feedback drenched analog skree, squelch drenched gristle, hiss and hum and screech and howl and thrum and buzz, blasts of digital noise wound around low slung beats. Check out the intro, which features rapper Daveed Diggs, spitting rapid fire flow a cappella over an ear piercing sine wave tone, eventually delivering the closer "It's Clipping bitch", before launching into the record proper, which gets no less weird, and no less noisy. "body & Blood" rides a grinding industrial beat, with a creepy processed voice 'chorus', but then "Work Work" surprises (as does much of the record), with its almost dreamy looped glitchy gamelan, that transforms into some low slung low rider booming bass throb. And while at first blush, some of the lyrics sound typically hip hop sexist, dig deeper, and there's way more going on, which is again balanced when Cocc Pistol Cree delivers her bad ass verse. And there are other guests too, King T, Gangsta Boo, Guce and more, but it's the core three who have their sound down. King T's guest verse on "Summertime" is a crusher, especially when the background sound swells into a cloud of alien laser blasts, deep bass thrum, and woozy sonic squiggles. Then there's tracks like "Taking Off", which sounds like it was made from damaged cd's, all skipping rhythms, looped and layered into a weirdly lurching beat, the perfectly wasted stuttery backdrop for Diggs' rapid fire flow. Gangsta Boo delivers a killer verse as well, over a weird bed of creaks and gristly moans, again a weirdly perfect match for her toasting flow, not to mention the strangely Kanye-ish chorus croon, with a rumbling thick low end swell underneath, the sort of track that would be all over the radio, if there was any justice. And let's not forget the insanely infuriatingly brilliant "Get Up", where the music is essentially JUST the sound of an alarm clock, maddening for sure, but then so satisfying when they modulate the sound into a weirdly radio pop chorus. And so it goes, Digg's flow world class, the background sounds a continually shifting landscape of fractured loops, woozy synths, clanging pipe fight rhythms, digital glitchery, weird damaged turntable rewinds, and dizzying noise collages, so unlikely, but so impossibly catchy, the magic of Clipping. in that it can be so obtuse and difficult, but still so groovy, so hooky, so funky, and so goddamn, catchy, this is exactly the sort of shit we'd be blasting through our booming system, no doubt shattering glass and bursting eardrums as we passed.
On both cd, and vinyl, both of which are slightly different (the aforementioned "Intro" is not included on the lp, but the version of "Body & Blood" is longer for example) but vinyl nerds are still in luck, cuz the lp comes in a super swank spot varnish printed triple gatefold, with an extra lp side, loaded with ONE HUNDRED locked grooves, noisy, distorted, blown out, abstract, dubby, clicky, funky, bloopy, bleepy and pretty much every variation in between. Both versions feature a bad ass blinged out Sub Pop logo too...
MPEG Stream: "Intro"
MPEG Stream: "Body & Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Work Work"
MPEG Stream: "Summertime"
MPEG Stream: "Taking Off"
MPEG Stream: "Tonight"

album cover BAD PSYCHIC s/t (Sygil) lp 12.98
From the always impressive Sygil label, who in the past has given us stunning releases from
Aurora Dorey Alice, Charnel House, Avakr, OS, Sky Projection and more, comes this gorgeous missive of witchy, washed out dark wave gloominess/dreaminess. Falling somewhere between the drifty murk of Grouper, and the gothic torch songs of Zola Jesus, Bad Psychic unfurls stately, hauntingly meditative gloom-ragas, with soaring, tranced out vocals, over a bed of roiling dark drones, and softly churning synths. Woozy loops, and layered melodies, bleed and blur into softly undulating sonic tapestries, sometimes tethered to a spare, skeletal rhythm, but often left to float weightless in a sprawl of blackened shimmer. Some tracks (like "Dance Spell") slip into a sound a bit more overtly new wave, but even then, it's still creepy, and hazy, and drowsily lo-fi. Opener "Fortune" sets the mood perfectly, with it's tranced out, almost chorale sounding mesmer, that druggy, drowsy vibe surfacing throughout the record, sometimes morphing into a grim kosmische sound, other times blossoming into near poppiness, but always shadowy, and grey, and darkly dreamlike. Even after just one listen, we were compelled to just lift the needle and put it right back at the beginning again.
Fans of witchy, dreamy dark pop, especially folks who were bummed on the most recent Zola Jesus record, will find themselves wishing that had sounded more like this. A dark, droney, hypnotic, gloom pop gem, that comes WAY recommended. Includes a download code as well. LIMITED TO 200 COPIES!! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Fortune"
MPEG Stream: "Dance Spell"
MPEG Stream: "The Veil"
MPEG Stream: "Sister"

album cover BORIS Noise (Sargent House) cd 16.98
Japanese doom/sludge titans, turned psychedelic hard rockers, turned weirdo J-pop iconoclasts Boris, have long been favorites around here, and with each new record never fail to surprise, or baffle, or confuse, and this new one is no different. While we all have different opinions about which Boris records are the best, around aQ, we were always partial to those earlier records, that sonically situated themselves alongside groups like Earth, SUNNO))), Corrupted and the like. But once their sound shifted toward something more 'rock', we found ourselves constantly debating the merits of different records, with some of us never quite being won over by their 'new' sound, and some of us embracing it big time, and only a few of us digging their weirdo electro/J-pop record the best.
This new one is bound to divide once again, as right out of the gate it reveals itself to be a sort of heavy, electronic flecked, psychedelic metal prog epic, the closest comparison being maybe later period Cave-In, around Jupiter, where that band, also previously sludgy and metallic, shocked folks (bumming out plenty) by transforming into something more like a heavier Radiohead. Opener "Melody" here, is a dead ringer for Cave-In, and to be fair, it's not all that removed from the last few Boris records, but something about it, the sound is much more focused, managing the tough task of being both poppy and catchy, hooky and heavy, laced with squalls of wild wah wah guitar freakout, and sprinklings of electronics, soaring vocals, wild drumming, it's total heavy-psych pop-prog bliss out of the highest order. And while the second track seems to slip right back into the fuzzed out riffage of past Boris efforts, it immediately opens up into another prog-pop epic, all tangled soaring leads, lush crooned vocals, layered textures, plenty of slow burn majesty, speaking of which, "Ghost Of Romance", sounds a bit like Boris channeling Les Rallizes Denudes, all super distorted and blown out, but dreamily poppy, a blown out ballad that explodes near the end into a fuzz drenched psych pop freakout. That smoldering balladry bleeds into "Heavy Rain" as well, that takes that prog-poppiness, and blurs it into a hazy, wasted dream-drift psychedelic dirge.
Then there's the record's centerpiece, the nearly nineteen minute "Angel", which begins with glimmering harmonics, subtle percussion, and hushed melodies, almost 8 minutes of whispery soft focus drift, before blossoming into a gorgeous field of soaring psych guitar and swirling synths, before transforming into another brief bout of proggy pop, before finally devolving into a tranced out field of blissfully blurry, glimmering guitar noise, like a softer, dreamier Sunroof!
Finally, the record finishes off with the super metallic, hard rocking heavy psych prog of "Quicksilver", furious and frenzied, with some seriously tripped our vocals, and wild tangled arrangements, flecked with some crazy catchy poppiness, before the 3 minute final come down, a barely there soft focus shuffle, all dark twang, hushed rhythmic skitter, all drenched in echo and reverb, like a downer psych Earth.
Great stuff, and as far as a bunch of us are concerned, finally a return to form, and quite possibly the best record we've heard in a while from these guys (and gal)...
MPEG Stream: "Melody"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Of Romance"
MPEG Stream: "Angel"

album cover BORIS Noise (Sargent House) 2lp 27.00
Japanese doom/sludge titans, turned psychedelic hard rockers, turned weirdo J-pop iconoclasts Boris, have long been favorites around here, and with each new record never fail to surprise, or baffle, or confuse, and this new one is no different. While we all have different opinions about which Boris records are the best, around aQ, we were always partial to those earlier records, that sonically situated themselves alongside groups like Earth, SUNNO))), Corrupted and the like. But once their sound shifted toward something more 'rock', we found ourselves constantly debating the merits of different records, with some of us never quite being won over by their 'new' sound, and some of us embracing it big time, and only a few of us digging their weirdo electro/J-pop record the best.
This new one is bound to divide once again, as right out of the gate it reveals itself to be a sort of heavy, electronic flecked, psychedelic metal prog epic, the closest comparison being maybe later period Cave-In, around Jupiter, where that band, also previously sludgy and metallic, shocked folks (bumming out plenty) by transforming into something more like a heavier Radiohead. Opener "Melody" here, is a dead ringer for Cave-In, and to be fair, it's not all that removed from the last few Boris records, but something about it, the sound is much more focused, managing the tough task of being both poppy and catchy, hooky and heavy, laced with squalls of wild wah wah guitar freakout, and sprinklings of electronics, soaring vocals, wild drumming, it's total heavy-psych pop-prog bliss out of the highest order. And while the second track seems to slip right back into the fuzzed out riffage of past Boris efforts, it immediately opens up into another prog-pop epic, all tangled soaring leads, lush crooned vocals, layered textures, plenty of slow burn majesty, speaking of which, "Ghost Of Romance", sounds a bit like Boris channeling Les Rallizes Denudes, all super distorted and blown out, but dreamily poppy, a blown out ballad that explodes near the end into a fuzz drenched psych pop freakout. That smoldering balladry bleeds into "Heavy Rain" as well, that takes that prog-poppiness, and blurs it into a hazy, wasted dream-drift psychedelic dirge.
Then there's the record's centerpiece, the nearly nineteen minute "Angel", which begins with glimmering harmonics, subtle percussion, and hushed melodies, almost 8 minutes of whispery soft focus drift, before blossoming into a gorgeous field of soaring psych guitar and swirling synths, before transforming into another brief bout of proggy pop, before finally devolving into a tranced out field of blissfully blurry, glimmering guitar noise, like a softer, dreamier Sunroof!
Finally, the record finishes off with the super metallic, hard rocking heavy psych prog of "Quicksilver", furious and frenzied, with some seriously tripped our vocals, and wild tangled arrangements, flecked with some crazy catchy poppiness, before the 3 minute final come down, a barely there soft focus shuffle, all dark twang, hushed rhythmic skitter, all drenched in echo and reverb, like a downer psych Earth.
Great stuff, and as far as a bunch of us are concerned, finally a return to form, and quite possibly the best record we've heard in a while from these guys (and gal)...
MPEG Stream: "Melody"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Of Romance"
MPEG Stream: "Angel"

album cover V/A Choubi Choubi! Folk & Pop Sounds from Iraq Vol. 1 (Sublime Frequencies) 2lp + 7" 29.00
FINALLY AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!
Here's our review from way back in 2005, when the cd version was first released...
Just when you thought you'd heard everything, in comes Sublime Frequencies to fill in the gaps you never thought existed. How many cds of Iraqi pop do you have in your collection? Until now we certainly didn't have any, let alone anything remotely traditional from Iraq. For a country that's so important to our war mongering presidential administration it's perhaps a little surprising that more interest hasn't been piqued about the culture of Iraq. But then again, everyone but W seems to understand that the real reasons for plundering this nation wasn't to "liberate" anyone. In fact, W would probably rather that no one even pay attention to any of this music, which has the awkward fortune to have been produced almost entirely (with the exception of three early 70's tracks) during the reign of Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime ( tracks here range from 1980 on up to 2002!). In spite of his - well deserved - reputation as a cruel dictator, he was also an avid supporter of both education and the arts - such are the complexities of life W would rather not acknowledge - and for better or worse, kept the fabricated nation state as stable as it has ever been. Hussein promoted secular arts and music, starting cultural centers for both, and even dubbed singers the "eighth division" of the armed forces (his nation had seven military divisions) - not to paint too rosy a picture of Donald Rumsfeld's former pal and business partner, who was also a sadistic tyrant after all. Compiled by Mark Gergis (I Remember Syria, Molam, Cambodian Cassette Archives), Choubi Choubi is a collection years in the making. Gergis scoured the earth for the source material on this disc, travelling through Syria, Europe and the Iraqi neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan. The anthology starts off with a folk rock track from '70s Socialist singer Ja'afar Hassan, a song that could easily compete with the best psych tracks on Hava Narghile or Turkish Delights for the crown of Middle Eastern psych champ. But if you're expecting another psych compilation, you're going to be disappointed as Choubi Choubi is much more than that, way more. Most of the recordings on the album have no western instruments on them, nor hardly any western influence. These tracks rock out much harder with no electric instruments, but with huge string sections, pounding drums, and monstrous oud playing. Maybe it's also the super bluesy sounding (to the western ear) melodies, it's no wonder that it sounds so fresh and familiar to us. It really is weird, when we first listened to this record we could have sworn there were more songs with electric guitars on it, but there aren't that many at all. It just sounds so fucking heavy, and rocks so hard that we remembered it as being a "rock" record. Really, really, really fucking great!
MPEG Stream: UNKNOWN " Ahl Al Aqil"
MPEG Stream: BAWIN "Ya Binaya Goumi"
MPEG Stream: SADUN JABIR "Ashhad Biannak Hilou"

album cover SOLITARY TORTURE s/t (self-released) cd-r 7.98
We love when weird stuff just shows up in the mail, especially when that weird stuff turns out to be some grim, rhythmic, experimental blackened industrial avant-noise, like this, the first we've heard from Solitary Torture, whose sound is tough to describe beyond the above. Somehow super varied, but woven into a strange black sonic ritual, beginning with whipping winds, and some glitched out primitive rhythms, which is soon swallowed up by a blast of howling heaviness, before transforming into a swirling psychedelic blacknoise freakout, moaning vocals, and gristly electronics. At that point, we were sort of expecting this to be a straight up noise record, but instead, the second track unveils a melancholy, buzz drenched black metal riff, but instead of exploding into your standard blasting metal, in stretches way out, for the length of the track, spaced out and truancy and minimal and super hypnotic, the final minute or two erupting into some speaker shredding crush.
The rest of the record splits its time between, grinding black electronica, post industrial thrum, woozy abstract black ambience, blurred grim riffage, strange minimal noise collages and dense, blasting blacknoise blowouts. Killer stuff for sure. Surprised this isn't on Crucial Blast.
Needless to say, we only got a tiny handful of these, so not sure if/when we'll be able to get more. Comes housed in a DVD style case, with two xeroxed black and white inserts.
MPEG Stream: "Black Vomit"
MPEG Stream: "Sick Man Lurking"
MPEG Stream: "Vicious Hands"

album cover DEUTROM, MARK Brief Sensuality & Western Violence (Rock Is Hell) lp + 7" 23.00
Yet another record from Mark Deutrom, previously and probably still best known for playing bass in the Melvins once upon a time. But for a while now, Deutrom has been cranking out incredible solo records, most on the Rock Is Hell label, and somehow remaining well under the radar. We'd say something like "this one will change everything", but we're guessing it probably won't, and who knows, perhaps he's content to be right where he is. We sure are if it means we keep getting more and more records like this.
With every record it's sort of hard to know what to expect, the last couple were sort of matched out proggy pop, and super catchy sooner rock heaviness, but this new one, begins with an epic 20 minute side long jam titled "Dick Cheney", which spends its first 4 minutes droning ominously, lush layered textures, slowly shifting, finally some buzzing metallic guitar drifts in, as does some percussion, it feels like the song is about to explode, but then instead, transforms into a lurching minimal avant doom creep, spaced out chugs, loads of space, the vibe very Harvey Milk-ish actually, and then the vocals come in, and the song is somehow transformed into something way catchier and popper than it has any right to be. Especially near the end, when the guitar swoops up into a super catchy melody, before devolving into a weird little chug flecked, industrial noise outro. Phew. Most bands would be content with that 20 minutes, but there are three more sides here to dig, all of which display Deutrom's mastery of whatever the fuck he wants to do, from the brooding slow burn psych of "Winter Haystacks At Twilight", that almost sounds like the intro to some doom metal jam, to the very Melvins-y "Sky Full Of Witches", which also displays a seriously poppy vibe, a woozy, lurching stoner pop groove that sounds like it could have been plucked right off some Kyuss B-side. And that pretty much sets the tone, the sound lurches from groovy, mathy, prog-sludge, to groovy stoner pop, to dreamy almost jazzy psych, to super trippy avant abstract space-doom, to twang flecked, reverie balladry, often with several of those bleeding into each other.
Goddamn, this guy is a genius, and a seriously unsung one at that. Fans of the Melvins, Harvey Milk, Prizehog, Kyuss, and just twisted abstract heaviness, and moody metallic avant-gardery, get this and every other thing you can find. You'll thank us later!
MPEG Stream: "Dick Cheney"
MPEG Stream: "Temple Smasher / Other Gods"

album cover POW! One Eyed Scorpion (Grazer) 7" 5.98
Latest from these SF synth punks, and the opening track finds the band drifting into more straight up garage rock / pop territory, the synths are still present, but don't define the sound as much as add a gorgeous buzz to the proceedings, and give things a bit of a new wave vibe, otherwise, the jam is crunchy and fuzzy and poppy, makes sense that their most recent full length was on John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees' Castle Face label. And maybe not so weirdly, the title track here almost sounds like a more rocking version of a song from Dwyer's recent synth side project Damaged Bug. But when the synths do pop up, like on "The Punisher" and the rest of the single, they dominate, and add a twisted outsidery weirdness to the proceedings, wild and psychedelic and new wave-y and catchy like crazy. "Fight Fire" is a progged out chunk of synth swaddled Oh Sees worship, right down to the vocalist's echo drenched vocal 'whoo's, and finally, "Hangin' Out (At Home)" is a noisy, synthy blast of glorious noise pop / garage punk radness, that's reminding us just why we dig these guys so much!
MPEG Stream: "One Eyed Scorpion"
MPEG Stream: "The Punisher"

album cover HARASSOR Into Unknown Depths (Dais) lp 21.00
Another gloriously noxious dose of grim, raw blackness form LA trio Harassor, the group's newest proper full length. Like their recent split lp with Glass Coffin, and another recent split with Author & Punisher, this recent barrage of new material is some of the best stuff we've heard from these guys. And even removed from their dramatic live shows, the music here is pretty compelling, fusing the sort of raw Venomish black metal churn with something more tranced out and droney, not to mention a fair bit of melody in the mix, that makes some of this stuff surprisingly catchy. But it's all relative, and the catchiness here is subtle when compared to the groups grim black din, frenzied, furious riffing, and lose limbed rapid fire drumming, no bass, but really, you generally can't here the bass in black metal anyway, and it's not really missed here. And the vocals are a killer mix of guttural demonic grunts and hysterical shrieks, all wound up into furious, hellish heaviness, the sort of blurred blackness that's almost more trancelike than metallic, that is when not devolving into more punk metal pound, which the band do often and well, but even then, they'll lock into a looped sounding riff/blast that often into a totally mesmerizing blackblastdrone, before eventually devolving right back into that blackened punkiness. And like that split with Glass Coffin, some tracks are crazy catchy, sounding almost post rocky / shoegazey (check out "Winter's Triumph", which sounds like some sort of blackened post punk), hinting at the kind of band these guys could so easily be, but that element only adds to the groups twisted blackness, which in turn is only further enhanced by their blood soaked ritualistic live performances, which you should check out if you ever get the chance...
Includes a download code too.
MPEG Stream: "Nine Of Swords"
MPEG Stream: "Frozen Soil"
MPEG Stream: "Die Forever"
MPEG Stream: "Winter's Triumph"

album cover HERZOG Boys (Exit Stencil) lp 16.98
We made the last record from these Ohio noise poppers our Record Of The Week, and that one, Cartoon Violence, was the perfect mix of classic nineties indie rock, and the sort of hook heavy noise pop we can't even seem to get enough of, and seems like lots of you agreed cuz we could barely keep that one in stock. So we were of course super psyched to discover there was in fact a brand new record, and this is it, Boys. While it does have loads in common with Cartoon Violence, it's also different enough, and enough of a progression to make it both familiar, and super exciting and adventurous. The sound is noisier, and grittier, the production too, the whole thing sounds heavier, a bit more punk, but not in any way that disguises the pop geniuses these guys are, and with every listen we're more and more convinced that that's just what they are. Opener "Full Stick" is 100 seconds of impossibly catchy fuzz drenched bash and pound, with a sing along chorus that any other pop band would kill for. And from there on out, it never lets up. Every track here crazy catchy, lurching from fuzzy jangle, to blown out noise pop heaviness and back again, the guitars are thick and distorted, just listen to "Alcoholics", dig the jangly verses, and then let that super guitar heavy chorus get your pop head banging. It's tough to balance poppiness and heaviness so deftly, but these guys do it like it's nothing, the songs sound just loose enough to feel like that band that plays at the bar down the street from your house, the one you're convinced would be huge if just the right people heard them, and that's pretty much how we feel about these guys, why the fuck are they not MASSIVE. Like the Ovens, another pop fave, this band is so much better than so many of the other groups that get hyped to high heaven, so all we can do is hype the shit out of it ourselves and hope it gets into the right ears. Although really, the right ears are YOURS, cuz if you dig noisy, catchy, heavy pop, fuzzed out jangle, silly, sardonic lyrics, and sing along choruses that should be all over the radio (speaking of which, check out the Weezer like synth solo on "Publishing"!), this is so up your alley. But for now, like so many other amazing insanely talented bands we love, these guys will just remain our little secret, but it's one of those secrets we'd be so happy to NOT keep. Here's hoping this record is THE ONE, that finally gets the rest of the world to wake up and become as obsessed with these guys as we are, cuz goddamn, this stuff is so good. For now though, they're all ours. And yours...
MPEG Stream: "Full Stick"
MPEG Stream: "Alcoholics"
MPEG Stream: "Publishing"
MPEG Stream: "Bicycle Girls"

album cover LAY LLAMAS Ostro (Rocket Records) cd 17.98
The latest from psych/space rock label Rocket, comes from this mysterious Italian duo, who recorded their record in an old house in the countryside outside of Sicily. That's not necessarily the location where you'd expect a group to gather to conjure up some psychedelic space rock, but then Lay Llamas deliver a sound that's a bit removed from their psychedelic brethren, infusing the usual motorik pulses, and slow build smolder with twang flecked Morricone-isms, and drifting cinematic ambience, just check out the first track, which lays down a krautrock churn, beneath bongos, and electronic feedback, and winds it all around some almost Western sounding melodies, as if this was the soundtrack for a Sergio Leone Western set in space, in the future, which is actually a pretty good shorthand description of this whole record. The vocals add a different vibe, somewhere between Hawkwind, Suicide and the Residents, maybe Devo too, the second track "We Are You" has a hazy, spacey new wave vibe to it, still anchored by a krauty pulse, but definitely more poppy and synthy.
But fear not, these guys can space rock with the best of them, "The Lay Llamas" is fuzzy, and spaced out, lysergic and darkly groovy, but they add their own twist, weird layers of rumbling machine-vocals, pulsing synth fuzz, giving it the feel of some chase scene movie music, reimagined as some sort of druggy underground space rock music video. And so it goes, the band drifting easily from the tranquil drowsy haze of "Desert Of Lost Souls", with it's swooping backwards FX and wasted campfire filigree, to the murky almost Goat-like groovery of "Archaic Revival", which is a sprawling, chugging, churning, chant laced bunkurfunk workout, to the psych-funk space get-down of "Something Wrong", to the lazy, soporific Spacemen 3 channeling closer "Voices Call".
WAY recommended for fans of hazy, druggy, psychedelic grooviness, motorik kraut-fuzz twang and FX-drenched space-funk mesmer.
MPEG Stream: "Ancient People Of The Stars"
MPEG Stream: "We Are You"
MPEG Stream: "The Lay Llamas"

album cover LAY LLAMAS Ostro (Rocket Records) lp 28.00
The latest from psych/space rock label Rocket, comes from this mysterious Italian duo, who recorded their record in an old house in the countryside outside of Sicily. That's not necessarily the location where you'd expect a group to gather to conjure up some psychedelic space rock, but then Lay Llamas deliver a sound that's a bit removed from their psychedelic brethren, infusing the usual motorik pulses, and slow build smolder with twang flecked Morricone-isms, and drifting cinematic ambience, just check out the first track, which lays down a krautrock churn, beneath bongos, and electronic feedback, and winds it all around some almost Western sounding melodies, as if this was the soundtrack for a Sergio Leone Western set in space, in the future, which is actually a pretty good shorthand description of this whole record. The vocals add a different vibe, somewhere between Hawkwind, Suicide and the Residents, maybe Devo too, the second track "We Are You" has a hazy, spacey new wave vibe to it, still anchored by a krauty pulse, but definitely more poppy and synthy.
But fear not, these guys can space rock with the best of them, "The Lay Llamas" is fuzzy, and spaced out, lysergic and darkly groovy, but they add their own twist, weird layers of rumbling machine-vocals, pulsing synth fuzz, giving it the feel of some chase scene movie music, reimagined as some sort of druggy underground space rock music video. And so it goes, the band drifting easily from the tranquil drowsy haze of "Desert Of Lost Souls", with it's swooping backwards FX and wasted campfire filigree, to the murky almost Goat-like groovery of "Archaic Revival", which is a sprawling, chugging, churning, chant laced bunkurfunk workout, to the psych-funk space get-down of "Something Wrong", to the lazy, soporific Spacemen 3 channeling closer "Voices Call".
WAY recommended for fans of hazy, druggy, psychedelic grooviness, motorik kraut-fuzz twang and FX-drenched space-funk mesmer.
MPEG Stream: "Ancient People Of The Stars"
MPEG Stream: "We Are You"
MPEG Stream: "The Lay Llamas"

album cover SWANS To Be Kind (Young God) 3lp 30.00
The latest masterpiece from these aQ-beloved musical misanthropes has moved well beyond the already boundary stretching sound of their previous album The Seer, and continues in a similar direction, shedding elements of song, and moving closer and closer to pure sound, with most of the tracks here unwinding like free form / free rock explorations, with only the barest hint of structure to keep them from drifting into utter shapelessness, but even then, whatever sonic constraints that are put in place, seem to be disregarded most of the time, the resulting records is hardly a rock record at all, but a gorgeous collection of brooding soundscapes, allowed to sprawl and ooze and drift and build, almost like an even more ephemeral / abstract Godspeed, and yet somehow, the tracks here are infused with an intensity, and sonic dread, that marks this as pure Swans.
That said, the opener "Screen Shot" might be the most curious of all the tracks here, as it's centered around a baseline, and drum part that are without a doubt, bordering on 'funky', so much so that before we even heard the record, people we posting online that the new Swans sounded like Primus. Which weirdly enough just made us want to hear it more. And when we finally did, well, we could definitely see that, but only Primus slowed down and stretched out and infused with a terrifying malevolence, and really, that funkiness become something else in a matter of minutes, some mutant strain of grim grooving bunkurfunk, that sounds more to us like Skull Defekts, and Michael Gira's vocals a dead ringer from the shamanistic conjuring of Defekts collaborator Daniel Higgs, but before you know it, the song blossoms into something even more tripped out and psychedelic, a swirling piano loop, jagged shards of guitar, eventually exploding into a wild cacophony that could go on forever, but instead burns bright and quickly fades out. An intense, invigorating start to what just might be the best of the modern Swans records.
There's not a track here that's less than 5 minutes, with the bulk closer to 15, and one clocking in at a stunning 34, and as mentioned above, they've done away with traditional compositional concerns, and have instead endeavored to craft their own modern minimalism, and it's truly stunning, from the slow core creep of "Just A Little Boy", that sounds a bit like the Necks via Woven Hand, but stretched out into one extended slow motion balladic dirge, laced with some truly terrifying vocals, to the atonal lope of "A Little God In My Hands", which sounds like multiple New Orleans jazz bands playing at once, before settling into a gorgeously creepy march, all glimmering electronics and swirling melodies, and some twisted call and response vocals.
Then there's the record's centerpiece, the 34+ minute "Bring The Sun / Toussaint L' Ouverture", which lurches right out of the gate as maybe the most rocking song here, a lumbering drum heavy riff, that instead of turning into a song, just locks into an endless hypno-rock cycle, that you never want to end, and for a while, it seems like it never will, before eventually setting into another apocalyptic swampy creep (and again reminding us of Woven Hand), before beginning and epic, majestic slow build, a vocal chorale draped atop a dark cacophonous roar, that gets almost metallic before dissipating into a free rock sprawl, all long tones, and drones, moaned vocals, and warm electric piano shimmer, as well as some FX heavy percussion, and finally a wild freaked out psychedelic squall. Disc one ends with a hushed horror ballad, all moaning distant horns, and sinister vox, and atonal melodies swirling throughout. And most bands would hang it up there, but this is the Swans after all, so we're only halfway there.
The second disc begins with a twisted bit of malformed Tom Waitsian weirdness, all groovy percussion, swirling junkyard ambience, and some strange vocals refrains, before erupting into some swampy garage rock swagger, slithery and sinister, distorted and psychedelic, the sound layered and dense and seriously fierce. From there on out, To Be Kind seems to open up into some sort of alternate universe rock opera, brooding ballad gives way to horn flecked death march dirge, wild kraut-funk groovery grows more and more atonal, pocked with elephant bleat blasts, and feral vocal bellows, long stretches of kosmische drift, and jazzy piano shimmer slowly evolve into another bout of swampy swagger, "Nathalie Neal", a piece that's drum driven and intense (and named for an aQ pal!), before finally finishing off with the title track, a haunting, subdued finale, all dramatic croons and whispery chordal drift, that bursts into a full on freakout, blistering arcs of distorted guitars wreathed around pounding drum damage, and billowing swirls of psychedelic noise, the rare piece of music that is as exhausting and exhilarating to hear, as it presumably is to play.
Totally transcendent, dizzyingly ambitious, stunningly executed, and thus utterly and totally recommended. Creepy baby face cover art too! And, while they last, we've got the Deluxe Edition, which comes with a live dvd, featuring performances of several songs from this album along with renditions of "Coward" and "The Seer". That's if you get the double cd, your other option is the swank triple vinyl, but no dvd with that, but it does have a download.
MPEG Stream: "Screen Shot"
MPEG Stream: "Just A Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)"
MPEG Stream: "She Loves Us"
MPEG Stream: "Kirsten Supine"
MPEG Stream: "To Be Kind"

album cover THORNS VS EMPEROR Thorns Vs. Emperor (Peaceville) lp 25.00
This black metal classic now reissued on vinyl!
Originally released way back in 1999, this strange split/collaboration was at the time, just about the coolest weirdest black metal (and otherwise) record we had ever heard, a record that really sounded like it was made just for aQ, unfortunately, that was long enough ago that the aQ list was still in its infancy, and thus, this amazing and baffling and brilliant record got short shrift. Just three sentences. But really those three sentences should be enough to convince you:
"Emperor covers Thorns songs, Thorns covers Emperor, although it's hard to tell which band is which, a good thing we think. Ends up sounding like a gothic, black metal soundtrack that's been given a John Oswald-style Plunderphonic treatment. The most evil use of Cubase we know of. Bizarre and amazing!!"
If there was ever a should-have-been-Record-Of-The-Week, this was most decidedly it. Thankfully, this just got reissued, and with bonus tracks to boot, so it seemed like the perfect time to revisit, and give this record the aQ love it so very much deserves, and heck, odds are lots of current aQ customers might not have been getting our list back in the day, so this is for you, and for anyone who needs (or just wants) a little more than those three sentencesÉ
Emperor should need no introduction, they are elite members of the black metal pantheon, alongside Burzum, Satyricon, Mayhem, Immortal, Ulver and Enslaved. Their sound epic and majestic, symphonic and super technical, easily still one of our favorite black metal bands EVER. Thorns however might need a bit more of an introduction. Folks who read Lords Of Chaos, might recognize Thorns mainman (only man!) Snorre W. Ruch as having played a part in the infamous murder of Euronymous, by Varg Vikernes of Burzum. Ruch was with Vikernes that fateful night and was sentenced to 8 years in prison as an accessory to murder. Thorns only ever released one proper full length, and that was not until 2001, well after this collaboration.
But this collaboration, wow, not sure where to start, and not even sure how it came to be. It seems it had been years since the very first Thorns demos (not to mention the pre-Thorns outfit Stigma Diabolicum), so this split was intended to introduce Thorns to the scene, in preparation for his upcoming full length, and featured various older Thorns tracks reinterpreted by Emperor, as well as Thorns covering some classic Emperor jams. It was Thorns first new material since 1992, and weirdly enough actually featured Satyr from Satyricon on vocals. So it sounds like a pretty bad ass black metal match up, but it doesn't necessarily explain how goddamn weird it turned out.
The opening Emperor track is some strange sample heavy orchestral industrial workout, all looped samples, field recordings, strange metallic clanks, martial snares, moaning horn like melodies, faux strings, bursts of glitchy distorted vocals, frenzied guitars, and a super intense cinematic orchestral outro that leads right into a new version of Thorns' "Aerie Descent" from his first demo, a buzzing midtempo bit of blackness, laced with soaring synths, programmed electronics, definitely that modern Moonfog black metal sound that came to define the label and the scene, there are some strange samples, but for the most part the song is a dirgey bit of black metal buzz, laced with various bits of strange sonic filigree, finishing off with a stretch of church organ, haunting and mysterious.
The next track is where it gets really strange, a new Emperor created from various bits of an old Thorns demo, and it begins as a strange collage of weird electronics, backwards rhythms, whispered vox, disembodied guitar buzz, again weirdly industrial, before the black buzz kicks in, but it's all wrapped around that electronic skitter, not to mention some bizarre industrial percussion, the sounds looped and chaotic, changing speeds, the voices processed, skittering and stuttering, laced with rhythmic bursts of static, circus calliope, and then finally a furious blast of looped black metal right at the end. Still one of the coolest and weirdest black metal jams EVER.
Next up Emperor tackles Thorns' "Aerie Descent" and it sounds like classic Emperor, epic and majestic, furious buzzing, super intricate and heavy, the drumming incredible, the production massive, the organ outro somehow even creepier here. Emperor go again with "Thus March The Night Spirit", a classical reworking of their classic "Thus Spake The Nightspirit" from their brilliant Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk, and the black buzz of the original is transformed into some Tim Burton-ish soundtrack, all soaring strings, darkly moody and tense, with flurries of rapid fire notes, and soaring strings, no wonder Emperor sounded so majestic.
Thorns takes control again, redoing yet another old demo track, a creepy almost industrial sounding crawl, the guitars liquid and warbly, the riff slippery and strange, while a mechanical rhythm plods and creaks, the guitars get buzzier, the song gradually growing more and more blasting and black, but the vocals are weirdly processed, and even at it's pounding heaviest, the song is peppered with strange programmed beats and subtle electronics, exactly the sort of stuff that would end up defining Thorns weird mechanized take on black metal. "The Discipline Of Earth" is a Thorns original, and is the perfect blend of orchestral bombast, technical black metal, and brooding black ambience, again laced with programmed rhythms, swirling FX and electronics, creepy vox, before finally erupting into full on black buzz mode, only occasionally slowing down, at which points the underlying electronics and programming come to the fore. And finally, Thorns finishes things off with a cover of Emperor's "Cosmic Keys To My Creation And Times", a plodding doomy dirge, with huge crumbling chords, strange sung/spoken vocals, thick swaths of buzz, muted Teutonic pounding, all strangely and fantastically mechanical and industrial.
In addition to the record proper, this new reissue tacks on three bonus tracks, two pre-production mixes of tracks from the record, and a previously unreleased track, the Thorns demo "You That Mingle May", featuring Satyr again, but also Fenriz from Darkthrone. So totally essential, black metalheads who have somehow made it this far without owning this, right that wrong RIGHT NOW. And the thing is, this record is so cool and weird and varied and textured, that even folks with only a passing interest in or curiosity about black metal, might just find themselves blown away...
MPEG Stream: EMPEROR "Aerie Descent"
MPEG Stream: EMPEROR "I Am"
MPEG Stream: THORNS "Aerie Descent"
MPEG Stream: THORNS "The Discipline Of Earth"

album cover TOMBS Savage Gold (Relapse) cd 14.98
Writhing forth once more from the most shadowy cracked wastelands of forsaken Brooklyn, Tombs returns with their third full length of glistening, gleaming extreme metal. And indeed extreme metal is the only genre tag that really works for this band, since they've made it their crusade to cherry pick the absolute best traits from a myriad of metal subgenres to mathematically create some of the most monolithic, ferocious and enormous metal being recorded today. A brief vaguely funereal dirge ushers in a flurry of pummeling helicopter double bass, wild eyed doom-laden heaving guitars, and a hurricane of rolling snare drum and hammering blast beats. There are hints of Souls At Zero-era Neurosis or even Deathspell Omega in the dissonant hypno-riffing. The circling, maddening guitar work and sickening Lovecraftian grooves sometimes recall early Morbid Angel. While elsewhere you might hear hints of the wasted urban scrawl of vintage Godflesh or the slithering futuro-insectoid crawl of latter day Celtic Frost / Triptykon. But there is not one moment of Savage Gold that sounds like homage. Instead, these influences are blended together seamlessly, creating a sound all encompassing, familiar and unique all at once. The vocals are a cold emotionless howl, which lends otherwise innocent lyrics like "life is a dream" a twisted rotten air. It's an extremely dense record. Guitars seem to avalanche upon one another, building a higher and higher wall of black glistening sludge, ready to collapse in on itself again at any moment. There are melodic moments as well. The regal grind of "Portraits" especially brings to mind Ludicra or Wolves In The Throne Room, but with a more obsidian metallic sheen. Compared to their insanely critically-acclaimed last album Path Of Totality, Savage Gold feels much more streamlined, smooth and clean (mostly thanks to a production job from Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan), but it's not at all a detriment to this record. Instead it gives the band the sound of some well oiled calculated killing machine. The spaciousness of the production really lends an extra sprawling quality to the band's more epic moments, while somehow magnifying the menace of the darker passages. And while there's still plenty of doom, sludge, groove and twisted death metal, Savage Gold has really upped the black metal influence. Labyrinthine tremolo whirlwind guitars seem to spiral upward like some Escher staircase, leading to realms shadowy, alien and obscured! A shining black monolith that shows metal can be forward-thinking, modern and unique without sacrificing any of the heaviness, ferocity or... well... metalness! Absolutely recommended, and sure to make more than a few metal best of the year lists come January 1st.
MPEG Stream: "Thanatos"
MPEG Stream: "Portraits"
MPEG Stream: "Seance"

album cover V/A 1970's Algerian Folk And Pop (Sublime Frequencies) cd 16.98
The mighty Sublime Frequencies label keeps the impossibly cool comps coming, this their second collection of music from Algeria. The first focused on a very specific musical form from the region called Rai, whereas this new one is all about folk and pop music from the same era, and while on the surface it may seem more 'mainstream', it's still fantastically quirky, funky, groovy, and exotic, and all over the sonic map.
The seventies were a surprisingly good time for music in Algeria, 45's in particular, which was remarkable considering the socialist government at the time, and the legions of cops, and bureaucrats, and censors no doubt hell bent on suppressing any sort of social movement, and yet, music flourished, certainly a response to 'the man', who perhaps let these hippies have their music, assuming it might relieve some of the social tension of the time. Regardless, the 'hairies' embraced this sound, and were digging these very American influenced sounds, fuzzed out garage rock, groovy exotica, plenty of buzzing sitars, warbly organs, twangy surf guitar, wild percussion, male and female vox, some tracks sound literally straight out of the USA, others are fantastic hybrids of Western music and more traditional local sounds, but all the music included here is lively and powerful and personal and imbued with an energy that went well beyond just music and sound. And sure some of the jams are schmaltzy, almost easy listening, but even then, listening to those tracks, dressing wild and growing your hair our, was still extremely subversive and a serious rebellion, especially considering most of this music was officially suppressed. Like all Sublime Frequencies comps, so fantastic, and leaves us hankering for more more more!
And packaged as always, sublimely (ahem), in a heavy full color gatefold sleeve, with a super striking black and white portrait of an Algerian couple in their best rock and roll finery on the front, and inside, plenty of rare photos, liner notes and notes on each song and performer.

album cover WINER, LESLIE Witch (Superior Viaduct) lp 17.98
Why it has taken so long for this to be reissued is baffling, but we're just so glad it's finally here. We have raved about Leslie Winer's musical work on two previous archival releases from Tapeworm and its offshoot label Wormhole, but those really only hinted at the genius of Witch, her only previously released record, from 1993 (though much of it was recorded in the late eighties). Records don't get more cult than this. Released on a white label, using the copyright symbol as her moniker, here designed as a circle of Ourobouros that was originally hand stamped onto blank white sleeves. Even the album and song titles with their alphanumerical wordplay ("N1ear", "1nce Upon A Time") would fit right at home with the obscurant syntax of witch house, even though this was recorded nearly 20 years before. Witch has been labeled as "proto-trip-hop", which it sort of is, as this record predates what Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky were doing just a year or two later, and even Winer herself has been called by NME "The Grandmother of Trip Hop", a label she has rejected and rightly so. "Grandmother" doesn't have the same aura of respect as what the music press names male musical innovators such as "Godfather" or "King", and Winer, a poet and formal model with a chic androgynous style who was close friends with both William S. Burroughs and Jean-Michel Basquiat is hardly a little old lady.
Witch is both a product of its time and far ahead of it. On the surface, it's not that far removed from Sinead O'Connor, especially her song "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" with its James Brown drum sample and spoken intonations, but Witch is much darker, cooler and more subdued. It has a very London feel to it, a feeling of frustrated action against cultural stagnation and trying to create something new out of nearly nothing. Winer doesn't necessarily sing as much as observe and respond with cool detachment, a sort of soundtrack of her experiences relayed poetically to an unknown listener as beats, dub rhythms (from Jah Wobble no less), and musical samples and snippets of dialogue coalesce around her. It's a heady mixture, definitely dreamy and druggy, but she refreshingly doesn't try to endear the listener to her own personal entanglements and positions on gender, beauty and social norms. It's more like she's having a searching complicated conversation with herself.
Musically, what Witch really predates is the contemporary woozy and warped electronica of Peaking Lights and Maria Minerva, especially in the layering of breezy dub rhythms in hazy reverb and abstract murk. It's a beautifully extraordinary work that continually rewards the more we listen. Big thanks to Superior Viaduct for making this more widely available. Incredible and soooo recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Dream1"
MPEG Stream: "John Says"
MPEG Stream: "The Boy Who Used 2 Whistle"

album cover WOVEN HAND Refractory Obdurate (Deathwish) lp 16.98
So far, we've made EVERY record we've reviewed, but one, from post 16 Horsepower apocalyptic swamp-blues folk-gospel proselytizers Woven Hand a Record Of The Week. And really, we're not sure why we didn't make that other one (Blush Music) a ROTW as well, and for that matter, this new one too, a stunning collection of songs that displays David Eugene Edwards and co.'s continuing shift toward a sound more heavy and bombastic, while still managing to retain the gut wrenching moodiness and soul stirring sonic fire and brimstone of those other records. That shift is even more evident this time around, as Edwards' back up band on Refractory Obdurate is made up of members of hardcore heavies Planes Mistaken For Stars!
Just check out the opener "Corsicana Clip", which perfectly lays out the new WH musical math, beginning like a classic David Eugene Edwards jam, all brooding, and twang flecked, shuffling and loping, hypnotic and darkly majestic, brooding and harrowingly haunting, and we'd be perfectly happy if that's how the track played out, but then about halfway through, the song explodes into something seriously heavy, thick chugging guitars swoop to the fore, the drums get more bombastic, the echo drenched vocals wilder, a furious psychedelic blowout that's not at all what we've come to expect from WH.
A bunch of the tracks here are more restrained, playing out like just another great Woven Hand record, but others are fierce slabs of twisted post punk, some are smoldering slow build epics, and still others are super distorted hard rocking stomps, but they all sound perfectly and classically Woven Hand. The production is massive as well, giving the sound some serious heft, the new players injecting serious venom into the songs and sound, and consequently, Edwards also sounds more intense, his vocals snarling and feral, his guitar playing wild and frenzied, the dynamics dense and dramatic, the sound careening wildly from hushed haunting mesmer to furious almost noise rock crunch. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "Corsicana Clip"
MPEG Stream: "Masonic Youth"
MPEG Stream: "The Refractory"
MPEG Stream: "Good Shepherd"

album cover XEEROX 1979-1981 (Anomia) lp 27.00
Unheard recordings of proto-punk madness, primordial industrial ooze, and untrained no wave expressionism! Yes, those dates in the title speak to the timeframe for Xeerox, a shortlived conglomeration of anarchists, anti-musicians, and electronic dilettantes who had some pretty solid connections (if not overlap) with the seminal Spanish industrial outfit Esplendor Geometrico. One of the principle members of Xeerox was a feverishly enthusiastic fellow named Krishna Goineau, who fled Barcelona for Germany where he went on to found Liaisons Dangereuses with Beate Bartel (Malaria!) and Chris Haas (DAF). From the onset, Xeerox hoisted the ideological flag of punk but rejected much of the aesthetics of punk's rock revisionism. Their initial sound was an atonal fug of Sister Ray-isms glommed onto motorik drum-kit pulses with distantly megaphone barked vocals, presumably by Goineau. The grimy distortion which dominates the first side of untitled tracks speaks not only of the shitty cassettes that they recorded onto but also a glowing appreciation of Crass later blossoming into a full-throttle one-note minimalism prescient of the work that was just getting started by Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca. Assuming the tracks are chronological, the second half of the record finds Xeerox really coming into their own with the monomaniacal march of metal bashed rhythms, insistent electronic blorps, weirdo tape-reverse effects, maddeningly repetitive guitar plucks that put us in the best kind of trance, and some torturous amplifier noise that would make Matthew Bower howl with respect. A pretty bloody awesome find; and a pretty bloody limited pressing of just 300 copies that comes with a nicely produced booklet of suitably xeroxed band photos and instructive history from Xeerox's Javier Hernandez.
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 1"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 5"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 7"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 10"

album cover BLACK HAT Thought Of Two (Hausu Mountain) cd 10.98
ALSO ON CD!!!
First full-length lp from Nelson Bean, aka Black Hat, whose previous two releases blew our collective minds, and this new one is somehow even better. Bean traffics in a sort of psychedelic, dark cosmic electronica, that in the past, has touched on aQ faves like Demdike Stare, Tim Hecker, Techno Animal, DHR, even weirdo industrial like Esplendor Geometrico. On this new one, it seems that all of those influences/references have been distilled into something much more pure and organic sounding. Three sprawling tracks, the first, a hauntological skitterscape, that fuses slow-beat lope to heaving swells of pixelated crunch, a little bit witch house, a little bit IDM, but blurred and blackened, transformed into something more sinister, and more abstract, the opening 9+ minute track in constant flux, so much so, that it's nearly impossible to review without explicitly describing each iteration, and yet, over the course of the song, Bean manages to keep some sort of sonic narrative, the song not at all fragmented, and not sounding like a bunch of random ideas mashed together, instead, the sound blossoms and unwinds, from hazy, washed out skitter, to dense gristly thrum, rife with rib cage rattling bass pulsations, to claustrophobic minimal electro that sounds like it was plucked from some obscure cassette release on Hospital, to blown out industrial techno crunch, and that's just the first track.
The second half of the A side is much more abstract, with gorgeous swirls of chordal thrum, drifting and shimmering, a sort of sinister new age, dense and cosmic, lush and layered, a sprawling landscape of overlapping tones, and buried melodies, the sounds unwinding in slow-motion, hazy, and washed out, bleary and blackened, but smeared into strangely prismatic streaks of sound, hauntingly hypnotic. The whole of the B side is taken up by the nearly 18 minute "Memory Triptych", and might be Bean's finest moment, an epic sprawl of hushed skitter, of murky loops, of keening, melancholic melody, all woven into something at once bleak and mysterious, but also warm and lovely, the sounds warbly and woozy, the beats more like constellations of crackle and pop, wound around soft swirls of static soaked shimmer, and strange alien pulsations, at one point, a melody surfaces, that sounds almost like humming/crooning, that 'vocal' is accompanied by a sonic shift, where the sounds begin to fracture, and become more agitated and aggressive, the vibe much more industrial, but fused to a sort of wistful pop ambience, a dizzying dream-drone dirge, driven by a strange rhythmic tangle buried beneath the surface, the sound gnarled and roiling, before about halfway through, like a storm breaking, the sounds shift dramatically, and become downright lovely, laced with what sounds like faux birdsong, the sounds suddenly warm and lush, softly soaring, all the grinding industrialism, now pushed into the background, smeared into a dense, churning backdrop, that adds a soft bit of shadow, to the otherwise, glimmering, gristly, glitchy dreaminess...
MPEG Stream: "Imaginary Friends"
MPEG Stream: "Memory Triptych"

album cover DIE ANTWOORD Donker Mag (ZEF Records) cd 13.98
What really needs to be said about Die Antwoord at this point? An elaborate art-prank, that turned into a YouTube sensation, but rather than a brief flash in the pan, South African rap duo Die Antwoord have managed to make some pretty amazing records, to go with their next level batshit genius videos. For most groups who traffic in similarly image heavy hype, the music is secondary, and exists simply as an excuse to create elaborate visuals, and while few bands reach the level of Die Antwoord when it comes to whatthefuck videos, their records are still manage to be routinely pretty goddamn great. A mix of old school hip-hopisms, and twisted modern weirdo electronica, it helps that the two members of Die Antwoord, Ninja and Yo-Landi are both crazy cartoon characters, who have at this point essentially totally disappeared into their characters, Ninja, a gangly, tattooed thug, who is usually clad in just a pair of boxers, and the extremely crushworthy Yo-Landi, a seriously stacked pixie, with a weird shaved head / mullet, and a whispery sexy flow, the perfect compliment to Ninja's twisted gangsta delivery, and then the music, sometimes minimal electro, other times over the top, rib cage rattling big beats, some tracks relentlessly high energy, buzzing synths over stuttery beats, others sounding like some redneck South African Eminem, and others like the 'hit' on this record "Pitbull Terrier", impossibly catchy, twisted electro-hop blowouts, with a production that rivals most better known producers, and might just be a big part of why this band has the legs it does. That and the videos of course. Seriously, if you've been living under a rock, and have somehow missed out on Die Antwoord's videos, all it will take is one or two to win you over, and once those get burned into your brain, you'll find the records doing the same thing to your ears.
MPEG Stream: "Pitbull Terrier"
MPEG Stream: "Ugly Boy"
MPEG Stream: "Girl I Want 2 Eat U"
MPEG Stream: "Donker Mag"

album cover DON CABALLERO Five Pairs Of Crazy Pants. Wear 'Em: Early Caballero. (Chunkley) lp 16.98
Math rock / post rock / noise rock nerds, celebrate! Henry Owings and Chunklet once again deliver a sonic holy grail that we didn't even know existed. Most recently it was a killer collection from late great unsung Chicago noise rock minimalists Tar, and now comes a whole unreleased record from nineties math rock legends Don Caballero!! And holy shit is it a doozy, recorded in 1991 at Carnegie Mellon as a three piece, the sound is super raw, ultra fierce, crazy heavy, and mathy as fuck, a furious frenzy of wild octopoidal drumming, chugging distorted guitars, fuzzed out low slung bass, the songs already twisted and tangled, and weirdly catchy, the sort of head nodding matched out heaviness few bands then or now could match, and the recording only makes it sound that much better, blown out and in the red, fierce and in your face, relentlessly rocking. A bunch (but not all) of the tracks would show up in different forms later, on early singles and their debut full-length For Respect, but they almost sound even better here, more raw and intense for sure. Fans of this group, this era and this sound, grab one of these before they're gone, cuz odds are these are the only ones we'll be able to get.
Housed in a full color gatefold sleeve, includes a download of the whole record, as well as the band's second ever live show as a bonus (and that's even more raw and blown out!!)...
MPEG Stream: "Schuman Center '91"
MPEG Stream: "For Respect"
MPEG Stream: "Our Caballero"

album cover FROST, BEN Aurora (Mute / Bedroom Community) cd 15.98
Ben Frost records are scary. And beautiful. They're the stuff of dreams. And nightmares. They're like soundtracks for films that can never be made, the music conjuring up images that can only exist in the imagination. It's musical magic, or sonic alchemy, whatever it is, it's something few have mastered, and even those that have, barely approach the mysterious mastery of Ben Frost, whose previous record, By The Throat, remains one of the most terrifying documents of electronic sound art we have ever heard, weaving the sounds of snarling wolves into thick swells of corrosive bass buzz, and brilliantly bleak, yet impossibly lush sound design, and balancing that sonic grimness, with glimmers of hushed beauty, in a way that makes the sound both mellifluous and malevolent in equal measure.
Aurora is another stunning sonic missive, and one that immediately conjures up yet another lost world, one that lurks in our collective imagination, but that has begun to bleed through, into our every day world. The shadows seem deeper and darker. The grey skies shout through with streaks of blood red, the nights interminable, the days, scorched expanses of endless time. All of this represented by strange sprawls of layered electronic drones, of gristled pulsations, of strange staticky rhythms, and mysterious buried melodies, the sounds this time around brittle and jagged, the loveliness sharp edged and flecked with rust and dried blood, the rhythms that surface are hauntological, reminding us of the dubbed out avant mesmer of groups like Demdike Stare, but here those rhythms seem to gradually splinter and fray, wreathed in thick swirls of soft noise, sculpted into weeping melodies, and darkly decaying textures, all hiding some glowing inner warmth, suffusing these sounds with an organic quality, that transforms a series of sounds into something alive, a crackling energy that is barely contained on the record, one can almost imagine the sound as colored sparks leaping from the speakers, bursting from the headphones, a cascade of brilliant sonic flares, raining down from above.
Lurching robotic percussion is shaped into strange skeletal shapes, lumbering behemoths trading through fields of groaning, creaking chordal thrum, pelted with prismatic streaks of sound, a beastly groove, that builds to a thick swath of soaring epic psychedelic electronic majesty, like a meaner, moodier, more metal M83, a brilliant blacknoise blur, that blots out the stars, painting the sky in shade and shadow, eventually morphing into burnished stretches of grey ambience, laced with dubby skitter, all of which blossom further into a flurry of blissed out electro flares, which fade into crackling seas of gristle and hum, undulating imperceptibly beneath hazy layers of grumblingly distorted shimmer and grinding sheets of druggy thrum. A heaving landscape of tense cinematic atmosphere, smeared fields of tangled melody, wildly colliding synth streaks, and jumbled beats and rhythms, all wound up into a tightly coiled swirl, flurry of frenzied electrons, gradually crumbling into the ether, leaving just a barely there cloud of sonic static discharge, until finally, nothing. And emptiness.
Simply stunning.
MPEG Stream: "Nolan"
MPEG Stream: "The Teeth Behind The Kisses"
MPEG Stream: "Secant"

album cover MOLES, THE Flashbacks And Dream Sequences: The Story Of The Moles (Fire) 2cd 19.98
Originally released for this year's Record Store Day, Flashbacks And Dream Sequences collects (almost) everything recorded by these aQ beloved Aussie experimental jangle poppers. The Moles were never a household name, at least in most normal households, which is totally a shame, cuz their perfectly crafted bittersweet jangle pop sounds as good now as it did decades ago. Like lots of folks, we discovered the Moles a bit circuitously. Not sure how many folks remember the band Cardinal, they only released one proper full length, back in the nineties (you can find the review elsewhere on the aQ site), but to this day, it remains quite possibly one of the most perfect orchestral pop records ever released. And before there was Cardinal, there was the Moles.
The Moles is the band that Richard Davies of Cardinal, called home before that band was born, and while not quite as lush or orchestral as Cardinal, the sound is a classic slice of primo late '80s & early '90s New Zealand / Flying Nun style style experimental pop. Droning and hypnotic, with lots of jagged unfinished edges, weird almost industrial noise bits, plenty of Brit pop jangle, the sounds swirling and sweet and spacious, dreamy and melancholy, warbly organs, lush Rickenbacker guitars, sunny, reverbed harmonies, Davies' strange crooned vocals, sometimes Robyn Hitchcock-ish, other times closer to a Morrissey like drawl, everything swaddled in a hazy psychedelic production. But for as experimental as the Moles were, all of that experimentalism was wrapped around some incredibly catchy pop, hooks galore, not always proudly on display, sometimes nearly totally obfuscated, but just as often, set up right in front, and allowed to shine, an approach to pop that to this day still seems distinctly from that era / region. Yet seems impossibly prescient of what was to come.
Fans of NZ outfits like Tall Dwarfs, the Bats, the Clean, the 3Ds, the Chills, Straightjacket Fits, the Verlaines, could have easily missed out on the Moles, they were actually from Australia after all, and were sort of underground even among the already underground, plus they were definitely a bit weirder, but now's the time to right that wrong, this stuff is timeless, sounding as good as ever, these two discs are overflowing with some incredible pop songs, and half the fun is digging through all the psychedelic strangeness to find them.
This double disc set collects the group's albums proper, Untune The Sky and Instinct, as well as a treasure trove of singles, B-sides and unreleased rarities!
MPEG Stream: "What's The New Mary Jane?"
MPEG Stream: "Breathe Me In"
MPEG Stream: "Bury Me Happy"
MPEG Stream: "Tendrils And Paracetamol"
MPEG Stream: "This Is A Happy Garden"

album cover SD LAIKA That's Harakiri (Tri Angle) lp 18.98
The Tri Angle label has brought us some of our favorite weirdo electronica, from witch house to slo-mo-soul, from dronestep to warped hip hop, just a quick list of some of our favorite Triangle artists speaks volumes: Forest Swords, Vessel, FiS, Haxan Cloak, Water Borders, oOoOO, Clams Casino, Balam Acab, Holy Other, How To Dress Well...
So the fact that this might be the weirdest, noisiest, most out there Triangle release yet should not be taken lightly, cuz the bar had already been set pretty goddamn high, but the oddly monikered Sd Laika, aka Milwaukee producer Peter Runge, knocks it out of the park, with what is some sort of post grime, post dubstep, electro noise oddity, that pushes ALL our buttons. The sort of thing that you might have expected to come out on DHR back in the day. The opening one two punch is all it should take, the 90 seconds of "Peace", all grinding gristly synth buzz, keening high end skree and squiggly psychedelic melody, wreathed in swaths of hiss and him, fragmented and blown out, noisy, lurching and lumbering, it kills us that that song didn't stretch out to fill up the whole record. But then comes "Great God Pan", which eases our pain a little, with big billowing clouds of buzzing low end, glitches out drones, and staticky buzz, a field of hazy drift, that is soon interrupted by a seriously twisted beat, that sounds like it was assembled from discarded fragments of others songs, noisy, clattery, skittery, stuttery, all the while, in the background, thick swells of black buzz pulse ominously, and over the top, haunting alien melodies, all tethered to that super sick, unholy anti-groove. Murky and sinister and seriously fucking next level.
And it never lets up, all the beats sound like they were filtered through some homespun analog telephone transistor radio broadcast system, fuzzy, and crackly, always dropping out, and then swooping back in, imagine a grime record recorded onto a wax cylinder and then broadcast via short wave radio, in a moving vehicle so the reception is in constant flux. And even when everything is in range, and the sound is relatively hi-fi, the sounds are still warped and woozy, and before long the sound devolves into another gloriously distortion drenched sprawl, often sounding like Leyland Kirby's Caretaker having a go at dubstep, and failing spectacularly.
There are some mysterious shards of 8bit sound, some twisted fragmented samples, some flurries of tangled melody, and cascades of synth blorp and grinding fields of staticky thrum, the sound occasionally dipping into cubby tranquility, but again, quickly snapping back into a twisted variant of alien IDM. The whole record is a dizzying collage of fractured sonics, of shattered rhythms, reassembled into damaged, demented rhythms, hints of minimal techno, Pop Ambient, dub, house, electro, all find their way into the sound, but in true mad scientist fashion, those elements are melted down, dissected, and transformed utterly and completely into some strange hybrid of experimental dada-soundscapery and avant electronica, a gloriously mind bending, brain melting, dance floor defying masterpiece.
MPEG Stream: "Peace"
MPEG Stream: "Great God Pan"
MPEG Stream: "Gutter Vibrations"
MPEG Stream: "Percressing"

album cover BOGNER, URSULA Recordings 1969-1988 (Faitiche) cd 19.98
This aQ Record Of The Week from way back in 2008, finally available again!!!
So when you were a kid, what do you think your Mom got up to while you were at school, or out playing with your pals? Doing laundry? Cleaning the house? Doing the dishes? A little gardening? Or maybe playing bridge? Canasta? Going to the grocery store? How about collecting and building analog synthesizers? Building a soundproof recording studio in the extra room? Recording strange space-y minimal electronic music on reel to reel tapes? Or building an 'orgon accumulator' in the backyard? Such were the activities of a mild mannered housewife named Ursula Bogner, who in addition to being a pharmacist, as well as a loving wife and mother, just so happened to also be obsessed with electronic music and analog synthesizers, but unlike others with similar interests (were there other 30 something housewives so obsessed?), Bogner didn't just read about electronic music, she attended seminars, followed the activities of various groups and musicians (even apparently sharing her children's enthusiasm for new wave pop!) eventually deciding to create music herself.
She never released any recordings, didn't even really make public her hobby, instead, she simply spent her free time, creating, composing, recording, experimenting, for over 20 years, amassing an incredible body of work. All of that wouldn't merit anything but a cursory glance and maybe a chuckle, if the music weren't amazing, but it is, fantastical and inspired, primitive and raw, playful and childlike, but also, haunting and mysterious, otherworldly, and so incredibly varied, from spare academic sounding minimalism, to Perrey & Kingsley style playfulness, to super stark click and skitter that would be right at home on Raster-Noton, to swirling fantastical spaced out soundscapes that could have been sixties sci-fi soundtracks. The sounds are so evocative, so mysterious, it almost seems impossible that they were recorded by a Mom in a spare room in a house in the suburbs.
The collection opens with "Begleitung Fur Tuba", which indeed features tuba-like tones, locked into a playful grove with a bleepy bloopy rhythm, which is eventually joined by streaks of static, and a warbly main melody. From there, highlights include "Proto" which is kaleidoscopic and groovy with a super minimal click-track rhythm. "2 Ton" is almost like space age lounge music, with it's reverbed guitar like shimmer, and slithery tempo. "Speichen" is another playful number, the burbles and bloops, and definitely predicts groups like James Bong, Luke Vibert, Boards Of Canada and the like. "Punkte" is another minimal groover, with a hissy static rhythm, a bloopy bassline, and all manner of descending and ascending electronic tones, as well as pizzicato bleeps that almost sound like an alien thumb piano. The longest track is "Soloresonanzen" and is maybe the dreamiest, taking the minimal click of Raster-Noton, and draping it over slowly shifting layers of electronic whir and buzz, peppered with bits of click and glitch, textural hiss, woozy melodic fragments, very dreamlike and meditative. And finally the record finishes with a brief burst of tangly scribbly electronic whir and skree, all mad scientist machines gone haywire, but deftly arranged into a pretty alien lullaby, weird and wonderful.
Bogner's music was discovered via some pretty incredible happenstance, Jan Jelinek, who runs the Faitiche label, met Bogner's son on a plane and the two got to talking, Jelinek was an electronic musician, so was Bogner's deceased Mother weirdly enough, and well, the rest is history. Or is it? There has been much talk that this is all a massive hoax, or more correctly, the ultimate concept album. Carefully crafted down to the tiniest details, photos, back story, Bogner's artwork, everything. In some ways it doesn't really matter, in fact, it's almost more impressive if the whole thing was in fact fabricated, but you know what, fuck it, it's so much more fun to just go along with it...
The cd is gorgeously packaged in a thick book-like digipak, with extensive liner notes from Jan Jelinek, notes on each song, lots of photos, as well as various reproductions of Bogner's various outer space linocuts.
MPEG Stream: "Begelitung Fur Tuba"
MPEG Stream: "Inversion"
MPEG Stream: "Metazoon"
MPEG Stream: "Atmosphare 1"
MPEG Stream: "Punkte"

album cover DRIVE LIKE JEHU Yank Crime (Headhunter) lp+7" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally available again on vinyl, and it comes with the "Bullet Train To Vegas" / "Hand Over Fist" 7" as a bonus! Here's what we said back in 2009 when we made the cd reissue Record Of The Week:
Sometimes it's hard to believe that certain records just go out of print. I mean who would let the Conet Project go out of print, or Souled American, or the Incredible String Band. It's even weirder when the record is not old or obscure. Then it's usually some bureaucratic red tape or major label bullshit that keeps people from hearing some great record. Such is the case with the second, swansong release from San Diego's Drive Like Jehu, originally released on Interscope in 1994. A record Allan and Andee and Jim and Sadie and Windy and quite possibly the rest of the aQ staff past and present would rank as one of the best rock records ever! Easily as good/important as Slint's Spiderland. For those who don't know, Drive Like Jehu was fronted by John Reis of Rocket From The Crypt and featured vocalist Rick Farr (his rock name, he's also known as Rick Froberg) who later went on with Reis to play in the Hot Snakes and then still later to front the Obits. Drive Like Jehu also just happened to have one of the tightest rhythm sections EVER. E V E R! Yank Crime is a tightly wound record of 'post rock' (before post rock meant watered down instrumental indie rock bullshit) with head nodding, repetitive grooves, propulsive, ultra concise drumming, and some of the most inventive guitar playing we've ever heard. All topped off with Farr's distinctive high pitched vocals (familiar to all you folks who dig the Hot Snakes). The songs are looooong and hypnotic but never boring. The band locks into totally intense, static grooves, that can go on for minutes before exploding into mayhemic bursts of controlled fury. So goddamn good. Anyone who likes the Hot Snakes MUST own this record. Drive Like Jehu is like a hyper charged, heavier, more intense and complex, MUCH BETTER Hot Snakes. Anyone who likes Feuhler or Don Cab or Slint or Engine Kid or almost any post rock will discover what all those other comers had been shooting for. This is IT. Trust us. An automatic aQ "record of the week" selection as soon as we heard it was finally being re-released!!!!
This new version comes pressed on colored vinyl as well! And includes the aforementioned "Bullet Train To Vegas" / "Hand Over Fist" 7"...
MPEG Stream: "Do You Compute"
MPEG Stream: "Sinews"

album cover RUDIMENTARY PENI Death Church (Outer Himalayan) cd 14.98
Finally reissued again on both cd and vinyl, the debut release from one of our favorite post punk / death rock groups EVER. Tense and angular, angry and ominous, sinister and sinuous, dark and gothic, every song here, a stone cold gloom punk classic, the bass thick and almost new wavey, the guitars jagged, fuzzy and distorted, raw riffage and driving drum pound, all in support of the twisted vocals of Nick Blinko, whose distinctive vocals are only rivaled by his even more distinctive artwork, which adorns the cover (and the cover of all their records), a dizzyingly meticulous black and white horrorscape, that perfectly captures the world of nightmarish, anxiety ridden terror that lurks within the grooves of Death Church, and presumably within Blinko's mind as well, which is probably what resulted in several stints in mental institutions.
Even all these years later, Rudimentary Peni sound so good, their music so relevant, and whether consciously or not, aped by far too many modern bands to count, powerful and personal, depressive and kicking-against-the-pricks pissed off, and catchy as fuck, this record has lost none of its twisted black energy in the nearly twenty years since it was first released.
MPEG Stream: "1/4 Dead"
MPEG Stream: "Blissful Myth"
MPEG Stream: "The Psycho Squat"
MPEG Stream: "Rotten To The Core"
MPEG Stream: "Pig In A Blanket"
MPEG Stream: "Alice Crucifies The Paedophiles"

album cover RUDIMENTARY PENI Death Church (Outer Himalayan) lp 30.00
Finally reissued again on both cd and vinyl, the debut release from one of our favorite post punk / death rock groups EVER. Tense and angular, angry and ominous, sinister and sinuous, dark and gothic, every song here, a stone cold gloom punk classic, the bass thick and almost new wavey, the guitars jagged, fuzzy and distorted, raw riffage and driving drum pound, all in support of the twisted vocals of Nick Blinko, whose distinctive vocals are only rivaled by his even more distinctive artwork, which adorns the cover (and the cover of all their records), a dizzyingly meticulous black and white horrorscape, that perfectly captures the world of nightmarish, anxiety ridden terror that lurks within the grooves of Death Church, and presumably within Blinko's mind as well, which is probably what resulted in several stints in mental institutions.
Even all these years later, Rudimentary Peni sound so good, their music so relevant, and whether consciously or not, aped by far too many modern bands to count, powerful and personal, depressive and kicking-against-the-pricks pissed off, and catchy as fuck, this record has lost none of its twisted black energy in the nearly twenty years since it was first released.
MPEG Stream: "1/4 Dead"
MPEG Stream: "Blissful Myth"
MPEG Stream: "The Psycho Squat"
MPEG Stream: "Rotten To The Core"
MPEG Stream: "Pig In A Blanket"
MPEG Stream: "Alice Crucifies The Paedophiles"

album cover SALEMS POT ...Lurar Ut Dig Pa Prarien (EasyRider) cd 13.98
If we didn't tell you that Salem's Pot was a heavy, stonery, very Electric Wizard-y psychedelic doom metal outfit from Sweden, the band name kinda shoulda already given you a good idea of what they might sound like - and also an idea of their sense of humor. Yep, they like puns - an earlier album was called Sweeden... geddit? S-WEED-en. Heck, the title of this new disc could possibly be a pun too; we don't know Swedish so we can't be sure. But anyway please don't let the pot-themed punning dissuade you, Salem's Pot aren't just some bogus toker jokers, no, they really ARE damn heavy and occultishly effective at the slow, low, Sabbathy psychedelic sludge thing.
There's three looong tracks here, "Creep Purple" (egad, another pun!), "Dr. Death", and "Nothing Hill", and they're all creepy, crawly, brainwrecking doomfests with wasted, wailing vocals (Ozzy-ish but super distorted) and hypnotically lumbering grooves. Yep, if you wanna call it Electric Wizard worship, well, sure, and it's done damn well. But they have their own weirdly woozy angle on this sound, really. The heavier-than-thou guitar riffage and plodding percussion is augmented with droning organ and, at one point, even some sinister, warbly accordion!! Going back to the guitars, gnarly feedbacky soloing is another essential element of their sound. Yeah, we like how Salem's Pot really accentuate the creepy vibes - it's a 3am hazy Satanic drug thing you wouldn't understand, quite compelling and almost (almost) serious sounding, puns aside.
So of course recommended big time for fans of Electric Wizard, but also to for fans of Uncle Acid, Blood Farmers, Satan's Satyrs, Monster Magnet, Windhand, The Wounded Kings, Sourvein, fellow Easy Riders HORNSS, and all others into witches and weedÉ
MPEG Stream: "Creep Purple"
MPEG Stream: "Dr. Death"

album cover WOVEN HAND Refractory Obdurate (Deathwish) cd 10.98
So far, we've made EVERY record we've reviewed, but one, from post 16 Horsepower apocalyptic swamp-blues folk-gospel proselytizers Woven Hand a Record Of The Week. And really, we're not sure why we didn't make that other one (Blush Music) a ROTW as well, and for that matter, this new one too, a stunning collection of songs that displays David Eugene Edwards and co.'s continuing shift toward a sound more heavy and bombastic, while still managing to retain the gut wrenching moodiness and soul stirring sonic fire and brimstone of those other records. That shift is even more evident this time around, as Edwards' back up band on Refractory Obdurate is made up of members of hardcore heavies Planes Mistaken For Stars!
Just check out the opener "Corsicana Clip", which perfectly lays out the new WH musical math, beginning like a classic David Eugene Edwards jam, all brooding, and twang flecked, shuffling and loping, hypnotic and darkly majestic, brooding and harrowingly haunting, and we'd be perfectly happy if that's how the track played out, but then about halfway through, the song explodes into something seriously heavy, thick chugging guitars swoop to the fore, the drums get more bombastic, the echo drenched vocals wilder, a furious psychedelic blowout that's not at all what we've come to expect from WH.
A bunch of the tracks here are more restrained, playing out like just another great Woven Hand record, but others are fierce slabs of twisted post punk, some are smoldering slow build epics, and still others are super distorted hard rocking stomps, but they all sound perfectly and classically Woven Hand. The production is massive as well, giving the sound some serious heft, the new players injecting serious venom into the songs and sound, and consequently, Edwards also sounds more intense, his vocals snarling and feral, his guitar playing wild and frenzied, the dynamics dense and dramatic, the sound careening wildly from hushed haunting mesmer to furious almost noise rock crunch. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "Corsicana Clip"
MPEG Stream: "Masonic Youth"
MPEG Stream: "The Refractory"
MPEG Stream: "Good Shepherd"

album cover YOU'RE SMILING NOW BUT WE'LL ALL TURN INTO DEMONS Contact High (Cardinal Fuzz) 2lp 33.00
One of a whole batch of new releases from UK psych label Cardinal Fuzz, this is the first we've heard from You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons, or Demons for short, a double lp reissue of a 2009 cd, a sprawling collection of fuzzed out hard-psych swagger, big fuzzed out riffs, wild drumming, laid back box, and of course plenty of swirling psychedelic shred. Unlike a lot of groups doing the whole space psych sound these days, Demons are less about spaced out drift and more about the ROCK. Think Blue Cheer or the Heads, a little Black Sabbath for sure, chugging, churning, riffy crunch, but still laced with plenty of psychedelic trip out, with some songs slipping into catchier almost groovy psych pop ("Nervous - Alive"), others getting downright grungy "2009"), and others still sounding near metallic and stonery and doomy (check out "Alpha And Omega").
Wah wah guitars galore, swirling FX, some Spacemen 3 like druggy drift, all wrapped around tranced out riffage, motorik hard rock drumming, and set amidst some short pop gems, as well as some epic wasted, drug doom stoner creep mega-jams ("Prismatic Reflections"). WAY recommended for all you retro-space-psych-hard-rock headz... but some reason we're one of the only stores in the US carrying Cardinal Fuzz stuff, and this stuff goes crazy quick, so grab one before they're gone.
LIMITED TO 350 COPIES!! Housed in a full color jacket with a printed insert, and NO download.
MPEG Stream: "2009"
MPEG Stream: "Nervous - Alive"
MPEG Stream: "Alpha And Omega "

album cover ANTHROPROPHH Precession (Cardinal Fuzz) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Got a big ol' batch of new releases from UK psych label Cardinal Fuzz, and while we're one of the only places in the US to carry em, they're super limited so odds are they won't be around for long.
This one is full length number two from Anthroprophh, aka Paul Allen, frontman of psychedelic space rockers The Heads, but the sounds here, like on the debut, are pretty well removed from the blown out heavy psych of The Heads, instead, Allen weaves long form kraut-psych sprawls, two side long epics this time around, the first, a woozy spaced out shimmer, draped over some motorik tribal rhythms, a tranced out drift that soon morphs into some seriously propulsive hypnorock, with muted guitar chug, softly swirling FX, and eventually, some wild Hendrixian guitar shred, blown out and wildly psychedelic, while in the background, that rhythm churns away, wreathed in billows of spaced out thrum. The flipside adds some creepy Carpenter vibe to the mix, another loping drum rhythm, this time laced with strange industrial clanks and clatter, over which snake charmer melodies buzz and warble, before the guitars swoop in, adding extra layers of riffy buzz and blistering arcs of distorto guitar, before gradually slipping back into a hazy drone-psych swirl, which stretches way out into an extended finale of woozy, drifty sonic mesmer.
SUPER LIMITED, housed in cool black on green silkscreened sleeves, and NO download.
MPEG Stream: "Precession"

album cover BLACK BOMBAIM Far Out (Cardinal Fuzz) lp 21.00
BACK IN STOCK! JUST GOT A HANDFUL MORE IN...
We first heard these Portuguese psychedelic space rockers via their super limited Record Store Day release on Permanent this year, that we were never able to get enough of to review (although we might have a couple in the store still, if you want one, just ask!), so we were psyched to get this new one on Cardinal Fuzz, and on first listen we were actually reminded of Swedish afro-psych outfit Goat, the sound driven by thick buzzing bass and loping tribal drumming, over which, thick, distorted guitars soar and howl, not so much riffs, as thick gouts of sound, blurred arcs of psychedelia, shaped into strange Eastern melodies, the track spreading out over a whole side of the lp, eventually, a few minutes in, the drums exploding into something more rocking and propulsive, the guitar following suit, the result a wild, tranced out heavy psych groove that explodes into a wild squall of psychedelic heaviness, before settling into a stripped down drift, all spidery guitar melodies and that thick bass buzz, but now joined by jazzy sax, giving it a sort of jazz-psych vibe, which quickly builds to another Goat like psych-funk blowout, all dizzying guitar freakout, and churning hard psych heaviness, with the horns swooping back in for a kick ass, free jazz / hard psych finale.
The flipside is another blast of groovy psych, the guitars blown out and gorgeously in-the-red, the bass again thick and buzzing, the drums loose-limbed and sort of funky, the band again, slipping easily from churning metallic crunch, to soaring, almost progged out majesty, to super melodic pop flecked jangle, to stripped down psych-funk, and then back to tranced out wild psych freakout. So good. And so absolutely recommended for fans of Goat and other spaced out psychedelic groovers...
Like all Cardinal Fuzz releases, this is extremely limited, and we're one of the only places in the US carrying it, so these are likely the last copies we'll be able to get. Comes housed in a super swank full color jacket, pressed on clear red vinyl, with NO download.
MPEG Stream: "Africa II"

album cover OSCILLATION, THE Cable Street Sessions (Cardinal Fuzz) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
New record of tripped out fuzz-kraut from this UK outfit, one of a bunch of new releases on psychedelic space rock label Cardinal Fuzz, and much like their recently reviewed From Tomorrow record on All Time Low, The Cable Street Sessions is another collection of tripped out hypno-rock mesmer, all loping motorik grooves, fuzzy cyclic riffage, hazy, washed out vocals, four smoldering mini epics, that sound like Hawkwind by way of Moon Duo, the band locking into heady, trancey, druggy sprawls of wah guitar and swirls of psych guitar shimmer, all anchored by sinewy low slung bass and simple propulsive drumming, extended lysergic bliss outs that drift through Spacemen 3 territory into some even more freaked out FX drenched territory, the sound blossoming from fuzzy druggy psych rock into full blown psych freakouts and back again. They even do a killer cover of the Deviants' "Somewhere To Go", which as you might predict, sounds just like an Oscillation original.
Like all the Cardinal Fuzz stuff, this is SUPER limited, and we're one of the only places in the US carrying it, which means once these are gone, out's likely they're gone for good! Beautifully packaged in reflective metallic jackets, with NO download.
MPEG Stream: " All You Want To Be"
MPEG Stream: "Somewhere To Go"
MPEG Stream: "Descent"

album cover SHITTY LISTENER, THE Area Woman E.P. (3 Acre Floor) 7" 8.98
The return of the Shitty Listener, and as always, we feel obliged to comment on what has to be one of the best band names EVER, and as always, The Shitty Listener is Jason Honea, a one time member of the Jewelled Antler Collective, who's played in or with Teenage Panzercorps, Franciscan Hobbies, the Knit Separates, Child Readers and a bunch more, but as always, the Shitty Listener is a much more intimate, personal affair, in the past, hushed and home brewed, or recorded outside Jewelled Antler style, but for this new ep, Honea has expanded his sonic palette, with what sounds like a full band, and a sound that harkens back to classic eighties new wave and post punk, "No Thrones", is all tribal drumming, and waves of crystalline guitar shimmer, while Honea croons over the top, his vocals powerful and throaty and dramatic, but still it's The Shitty Listener, so it lasts barely 90 seconds before "Beautiful Same" brings things back down, some field recordings, clouds of cymbal shimmer, woozy synths, but the vocals remain upfront, and way up in the mix, like some lost obscure 'wave rarity from the eighties, but again, the song doesn't even reach two minutes, instead, Honea crafting a gorgeously faded sonic fragment, out of time, but also strangely timeless.
The flipside gets more Jewelled Antler-y, "Pool Of Light" is all music box melody over what sounds like a crackling fire, or maybe rain on the roof, the vocals super loud, and up in the mix, lots of reverb, as if Honea was singing right in your ear, hushed and haunting, super intimate, and mysteriously lovely. "Candle On Water" too is super lo-fi, acoustic guitar strum, tape hiss and field recorded ambience, the sound of windshield wipers maybe? Strange fragmented synths drift by, the vocals an ethereal falsetto, a gorgeous bit of swoonsome, wistful, dreamy bedroom 4 trackery to finish things off. Nice heavy full color covers, and probably super limited too!
MPEG Stream: "No Thrones"
MPEG Stream: "Pool Of Light"

album cover GLASS COFFIN / HARASSOR split (Universal Consciousness) lp 19.98
Brand new split from these two purveyors of black filth, LA black metal trio Harassor, and Kentucky one man black metal outfit Glass Coffin. Harrassor start things off with a surprising bit of poppiness, the opening of "Promise Of Fire" is crazy catchy, sounding like it could explode into some sort of M83 / Weekend sort of noisepoppiness, but instead, the vocals swoop in, an inhuman shriek, and the sound splinters into some seriously grim blackness, but without ever really losing the vibe of that first riff, in fact, whenever that riff is present, it sounds like some sort of blackened shoegaze, but the song is in constant movement, lurching from chaotic thrashing black blast to churning death march doom, to Venom-ous black metal stomp, but eventually returning to THAT riff. Has us wondering what kind of noisy beauty these guys could whip up if they set their minds to it. But metal heads fear not, the rest of the Harassor half is furious, chugging black metal pound and thrashing, shrieking griminity, although we prefer their sound when it slows down, into a sort of black doom, which it does often, and these guys conjure up some seriously intense doomic ruminations, the sound perfectly murky and blown out. And we just had a chance to see these guys play a couple weeks back, and they were SOOO good.
Glass Coffin start their side off with some classic sounding metal, a little lo-fi, some majestic leads, gruff vokills, before the sound splinters into something more raw and grim and urgent, buzzing insectoid riffing, weird brittle band room production, leads WAY up in the mix, twisted outsider lo-fi primitive blackness that definitely pushes all our raw BM buttons, but then the second track is TOTALLY different, a murky, muddy, frantic blast of black buzz, the drums buried in the mix, growled throat shredding vox, the sound still loose and chaotic and stumbly, the third track too, dramatically different production, but similarly buzzy and grim and hellish, but stick around for the final GC track, the weirdest of the bunch, black ambience beneath a buzzing riff, suspended in space, weird harmonics, a little bit cant post rocky, but also sort of damaged and abstract, a trippy droned out soft noise blackness, that had us wishing for WAY more of that!
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!! Includes a download code too.
MPEG Stream: HARASSOR "Promise Of Fire"
MPEG Stream: HARASSOR "The Deathless Urge"
MPEG Stream: GLASS COFFIN "Satanic Sacrifice"
MPEG Stream: GLASS COFFIN "Order Of The Rusted Chalice"

album cover A MINOR FOREST Flemish Altruism / Inindependence (Thrill Jockey) 4lp 25.00
We ran out of the special Record Store Day limited tote bag version of the AMF reissues, but we just got the last remaining copies of the vinyl reissues (sans tote bag) direct from the band. Both lps are again sadly out of print. But while they last, we have a handful of the nice priced 4lp set which includes both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence... Here's our review of both when we listed this back around Record Store Day...
In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly (!), our very own Andee was asked about what Record Store Day Releases we were most excited about. He mentioned a bunch, but the two they actually included in the magazine, were the utterly hilarious music nerd classic Rock, Rot And Rule (now sadly out of print), and these two vinyl reissues, from recently reunited / reactivated nineties post/math/noise rock combo A Minor Forest, which as many of you know, is in fact Andee's band! He was kind of joking, and a bit embarrassed when THAT was one of the ones they picked to print, but really, we WERE pretty excited. These two records have been out of print on vinyl for a decade, and have been remastered, now come with digital downloads, and one has all new artwork! But instead of making Andee further toot his own horn, we figured we'd try to be more objective, and let some other folks weigh in. A couple reviews from the past, and a couple from the present. So when we first reviewed these back in the day, for AMF's debut, Flemish Altruism, we asked beloved aQ-pal Douglas Mosurak to say a few words about that record, here's that original review from years and years ago:
"October 22, 1996: Bay Area rock trio A Minor Forest stop indie rock dead. Their new double LP on Thrill Jockey is so incredible, and subsequently so complete, that no other records of its kind need to be produced anymore. Lesser bands of their stripe are currently being petitioned to break up immediately to save embarrassment. And while some people will miss, like, June of 44 or the Archers of Loaf for a little while, with the proper exposure to Flemish Altruism, they'll forget all about it. AMF manage to piece together everything good about every post-Big Black and every post-Heroin outfit into a seamless, epic sound; fairly dense, deeply emotional and thoroughly human. They have the sense of humor required to lift it off, too. Some of their songs prefer to hide in the corner; some lunge for your throat. Their style is such that their original ideas fill in with ones borrowed from their rich lineage in such a manner that pays tribute without disrespect. It's a thoroughly engaging sound that I'd rank up there with the Bitch Magnet discography, with the Bastro LPs, with the Gore records, with the cream of the Gravity crop, even with the Shellac album. Best rock record of 1996, and currently outweighing all proposed rock concepts until the close of the millennium. Buy two. Wow."
Then, the follow up Inindependence was reviewed thusly by us upon its original release (when aQ reviews were still concise and impossibly brief):
"Simply put, this may be the last bastion of rock on Thrill Jockey, before they devolve into a purely electronic/jazz label. Sure we may be boasting a little, because A Minor Forest is our very own Andee Connors' band. But this truly is a great record of delicate math rock instrumentations executed with violent precision!"
So here were are 15+ years later, and both records, now reissued and available as a swank 4lp / tote bag set, in honor of the just passed 2014 iteration of Record Store Day, are ripe for reassessment, a new listen to some old sounds, with fresh ears, a bit of distance, and years of subsequent music making in their wake. So, here's what the illustrious Pitchfork site had to say this week about both AMF records:
According to legend, the A Minor Forest song "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck" - a high point of the post-rock group's 1996 debut album, Flemish Altruism - was swiped from an inside joke that had circulated for years among the punk kids of Rapid City, South Dakota. A Minor Forest wasn't from Rapid City; they hailed from far-off San Francisco. But the band toured extensively throughout the country during its 90s-spanning existence, playing many of the same DIY venues that hosted the burgeoning post-hardcore and emo bands of that decade. If there's one thing that brings people together, it's cruel humor - and A Minor Forest, brooding and abrasive as well as downright delicate, knew a good joke when they heard it.
Flemish Altruism was reissued on vinyl for this year's Record Store Day, alongside A Minor Forest's other studio album, 1998's Inindependence. The rollout has been humble one, and it can't help but be compared to Slint's deservedly lavish Spiderland box set this month. Slint blazed trails with its dour, eerie ominousness; A Minor Forest, on the other hand, neither innovated nor intimidated. That doesn't make Flemish Altruism any less tense. The shadow of Slint - as well of Slint's slower, icier cousin, Codeine - loom large over A Minor Forest's distended syllables and dangling chords. The group had been honing that sound on singles and EPs since 1994, but Flemish Altruism tracks like "...But the Pants Stay On" and "Jacking Off George Lucas" groped for a new vocabulary out of the fragments laying around after post-rock's early-'90s Big Bang. What resulted was pidgin Slint-but in that process of restructuring, A Minor Forest came damn close to inventing post-post-rock, where the subgenre's self-seriousness was wrestled with until it laughed, gasped, and collapsed.
Steve Albini and Bob Weston produced Flemish Altruism, and the nerve-tightening cello they'd previously captured on Nirvana's In Utero feels almost deliberately evoked on the album's most arresting song, "Perform the Critical Straw Transfer". Singer/guitarist Erik Hoversten opens it with a deadpan punch line: "Guess you really lucked outÉ" he begins, his numb voice trailing off as bassist John Trevor Benson screams bestially yet faintly in the background, "Éon this one." Sarcasm never sounded so black. Beneath them, cellist Dominique Davison saws with quiet strength, as if mocking and apologizing at the same time. The screaming gets pushed to the fore on thoroughly non-dainty "Dainty Jack and His Amazing Technicolor Cloth Jacket", an erratic spasm of dissonance that shows an affinity for San Diego screamo (A Minor Forest had previously recorded with Matt Anderson of Heroin), only broken up here and there with squibs of pinpoint jazziness. The balance is struck almost perfectly on "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck", a 10-minute noise-cycle of mood swings, red herrings, and curdled blood.
The wiseass, scattershot racket of Flemish Altruism settles into a more predictable groove onInindependence. Concise and controlled by comparison, A Minor Forest's second and final album (not including their 1999 singles-and-EPs collection, ...So, Were They in Some Sort of Fight?) drags more algebra into the rhythm and more calculation into the off-kilter melody. It wouldn't be fair to say the band had begun to take itself either more or less seriously - but the music is more serious, and even the song titles are less crass. If "Erik's Budding Romance" is to be taken at face value, that relationship flip-flopped randomly and often between coy, candlelit dinners and table-flipping eruptions of lust. Drummer Andee Connors, an unsung hero of his instrument and era, is in top form, coaxing every shade of texture, dynamic, and emotion out of the kit. There are honest, unabashed hooks on the deliciously brief (that is, under four minutes) centerpiece, "ÉIt's Salmon!!!", as well as in "Michael Anthony", which skips a sweet melody across a minefield of disjointed changes and chords. At the same time, the album's 18-minute monster "The Smell of Hot" never fully jells; as A Minor Forest's recording career drew to a halt, patience-testing jams occupied one extreme of their spectrum, while a hint of pleasing pop teased at the other.
A Minor Forest's legacy is not a towering one. Most notably, Hoversten went on to play with Pinback, where he was able to indulge his love of angular melody much more avidly. The band never seemed to want to make bold statements, and it always punctured whatever atmosphere it crafted with wiry self-deprecation and perverse wit. When A Minor Forest reunited in 2013 after a 15-year hiatus, Hoversten said in a radio interview, "[This reunion is] sort of like, take an outfit you wore 15 years ago, then put it on today. Clearly you liked it at one point, but it's not exactly the outfit you would have chosen today. That being said, it's not like I'm being asked to put on a clown suit." Despite their crank titles and in-jokes, A Minor Forest was never a funny band. But they had fun, and that fun seeped into their music. And that makes Flemish Altruism and Inindependence two of the most endlessly rewarding albums of the 90s post-rock boom, if never the most monolithic.
And finally, here's a review of both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence from the always awesome Pop Matters:
The bare truth behind two classic albums from the 1990s.
I remember it clearly: the road was a hazy sequence of distant glares kept together by a dense, hazy lull immersed in the purest of mists. My friend, the proud owner of the CD, was holding the music artifact with one hand, while the other occasionally found its way up and down the wheel, now on this side; now on the other. I never knew how both hands also managed to offer such an accurate interpretation of the drumming, but his abilities ceased to amaze me when my side of the car hit a guardrail that seemed to have popped out from nowhere. My friend carefully placed the CD case in the glove compartment and met me outside the vehicle, where we assessed the damage. "That drumming! Oh boy, that drumming!", was all he had to say.
Not much has happened in the 16 years that followed that day. My friend got married, paid his way to a divorce and when we meet, I drive, so he can be Andee Connors and I can take good care of our lives. In the real world, the influence of a band like A Minor Forest - a scruffy bunch of lads from San Francisco - still echoes on both sides of the Atlantic. Inheritors of the legacy initiated by bands like Slint, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol and Shellac, A Minor Forest's name appears, rightly or wrongly, almost invariably as part of the American post-rock scene, as if their own legacy could not be singled out and stand on its own two feet. But while most people blame them, together with a whole bunch of Midwestern acts loosely located in the "Corn Belt", for the explosion of the math-rock plague, the impact this short-lived ensemble has had on indie rock is probably still far from being recognised.
Their two classic albums, Flemish Altruism and Inindependence, reissued on vinyl by Thrill Jockey for Record Store Day on 19 April, are both presented with an array of previously unpublished pictures in a special four-LP set that includes download cards. However, what matters the most is that these albums, which have been out of print for a decade, have been remastered from the original tapes. The sensuality of the naked, raw sound that was the core of that scene (and I hereby use this term in the artistic, rather than in the geographic sense) is therefore faithfully represented in all its purity and ingenuity. "The Dutch Fist", "So Jesus Was At the Last Supper" and "...But the Pants Stay On" are some of the finest representations imaginable of noise as the most spontaneous by-product of the deconstruction of rock grammar. This primary necessity regulated by tradition - Erik Hoversten (guitars and vocals) and John Trevor Benson (bass) had both studied music at Berkeley - found its champions in Steve Albini (who else?) and Bob Weston (he too of Shellac fame), whose uncompromised affection for stripped-down sounds and total lack of artificiality constituted the perfect match for the band.
Flemish Altruism is the result of this formula, and tunes like "Jacking Off George Lucas" or "Ed Is 50" betray an improvisational approach which heavily relies on the dichotomy between the extreme unpredictability of noise and the discipline usually behind melodic patterns. The almost mandatory (at least back then) tour of most of the US would lead, two years later, to the recording of Inindependence: an album that followed the path traced by its predecessor, perpetuating the angularity and eclecticism that would make A Minor Forest easily recognizable years after their dissolution.
Flemish Altruism and Inindependence are the band's only full-lengths and it could not be otherwise. Although a collection of much of their out of print material, plus a couple of new tracks made it onto the Were They in Some Sort of Fight? CD on My Pal God Records in 1999, these two albums vouch for an incredibly inspired band which disbanded once they realized that the traditional rock instrumentation was starting to restrict their enormous potential and creativity. Does this awareness affect these two records? Not at all. A Minor Forest didn't live long enough to see their craft surpass their inspiration, and for this reason their legacy is definitely safer now than it was 20 years ago!
As mentioned above, both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence have been remastered, both include digital downloads, and are housed in swank full color gatefold jackets, Flemish Altruism has all new artwork!!
MPEG Stream: "But The Pants Stay On"
MPEG Stream: "So Jesus Was At The Last Supper..."
MPEG Stream: "Speed For Gavin"
MPEG Stream: "Erik's Budding Romance"
MPEG Stream: "Michael Anthony"
MPEG Stream: "The Dutch Fist"

album cover HULTGREN, CARL Tomorrow (Blue Flea) 2lp 30.00
Tomorrow is the first ever solo record from Carl Hultgren, aka Carl of psychedelic bliss pop drifters Windy & Carl, and we're happy to report, that even on his own, the sound doesn't fall to far from the dreamy psychedelia of W&C.
Lush, layered guitars capes, that shimmer and glimmer, soft strums are blurred into heaving billows of chordal thrum, notes chime, and harmonics ring out, distortion if muted and smeary, and gives everything a druggy, dreamy vibe, all sun dappled and blissed out. There are some subtle bits of processing, electronics here and there, even some buried rhythms, but for the most part, Tomorrow is all glistening guitars, softly soaring, sonic streaks across the heavens, that blur into hazy, prismatic driftscapes, with some tracks reminding us of the Durutti Column for sure, the same sort of soft focus melancholia, but others getting downright noisy, a bit darker, even then though, the sound has a heavenly glow, a warm, enveloping sonic center that bathes everything in a blissful soft afternoon light. Others are strummy and melodic, with spidery guitars wrapped around a skeletal Appalachia, again all softly smeared into something a bit more otherworldly, and ethereal, a wonderfully wistful collection of soft-psych, dream-drift blissout.
The cd version is limited to 350 copies and comes in a nice, hand letterpressed sleeve, with full color pasted on front cover artwork, the 2lp version is limited to 500 copies, comes in a heavy gatefold sleeve and is pressed on one black lp, and one orange. Both come with a download code, with 6 bonus tracks available only via the download!
MPEG Stream: "Ribbons"
MPEG Stream: "Ledge"
MPEG Stream: "No Other"
MPEG Stream: "As Sure As"

album cover BLUDDED HEAD Bludded Death (Sleeping Giant Glossolalia) cassette 5.98
Besides having an awesome band name (that perfectly suits their sound), and killer song titles ("My Ice Cream Fell On The Ground And Someone Ate It!", "Rotten Demon Shit", "Boo Boo Halloween"), these NY knuckle draggers specialize in the sort of down tuned caveman creep we can't ever seem to get enough of. Thick, gristled guitars that ooze, loooong songs that rumble and lumber, the sound lo-fi but still heavy, shrieked almost black metal sounding vokills, landing somewhere between the Body, Noothgrush, Megaton Leviathan and Prizehog, or like a way more home brewed punk rock Corrupted, these guys deal in abject doom sludge misery, but one that's shot through with all sorts of sonic weirdness, be it long stretches of hushed drift, weird breakdowns of barely there drums and distant guitar twang, or wild almost psychedelic squalls of swirling feedback and black noise skree. Oh and did we mention the creepy monk like vocals, or the strings, the free jazz drum splatter? At times sounding like No Neck Blues Band, at others like some strange minimal experimental soundscape, and at others sounding like some slow core dirge gone haywire. Twisted, trippy, heavy and KILLER. Super limited of course, swank packaging too.
MPEG Stream: "My Ice Cream Fell On The Ground And Someone Ate It!"
MPEG Stream: "Rotten Demon Shit"

album cover ZIRAKZIGIL Battle Of The Peak (Anthem Records) cd-r 8.98
This super limited, and now out of print cassette, now available as a nice priced cd-r!
Battle Of The Peak is the crushing epic debut release from this Tolkien-esque psychedelic prog-doom noiserock act from Portland, whose debut is in fact fucking amazing, not just sonically, but visually as well, more on the over the top ridiculous packaging in a second, cuz musically, it's hard to imagine an aQ metalhead who wouldn't freak out over these guys - epic, sprawling 15+ minute songs, classic metal riffing, big pounding drums, yowled bellowed vocals, the whole thing straddling the lines between classic metal, doom, noise rock, and black metal buzz, which makes sense as the mastermind of Zirakzagil is also the man behind two Northern BM bands of note, whose most recent records were both reviewed on the aQ list not too long ago, but Zirakzagil is a whole different beats, the band unfurling long stretches of tranced out riffing, surprisingly melodic, super dynamic, lurching stop/starts, some seriously soaring leads, at times it sounds a bit like the Fucking Champs, slowed down and stretched out into some psychedelic noise rock doom, at other times it's full on metallic prog, intricate, tangled arrangements slow builds, dense, and intense, the drumming super wild and chaotic, the songs will chug and churn, before slipping into some super melodic passage, and some of the leads, super emotive old school classic shreddery, and while there are vocals, bellowed bearded noise rock howls, most of the record is instrumental, the instruments doing all the heavy lifting, whether it's heaving swells of churning riffage on opener "The Birth Of The White Wizard", the woozy psychedelic shuffle of "Durin's Bane", or the weird mathy psychedelic breakdown near the end of "The Endless Stair", which ends up sounding like a more metal, and more mathed out Don Caballero!
This rules! And it's DEFINITELY not black metal, heck it's really not even that doomy, it IS sludgey, heavy, mathy, proggy and totally epic!
MPEG Stream: "The Birth Of The White Wizard"
MPEG Stream: "Durin's Bane"

album cover BLACK HAT Thought Of Two (Hausu Mountain) lp 16.98
First full-length lp from Nelson Bean, aka Black Hat, whose previous two releases blew our collective minds, and this new one is somehow even better. Bean traffics in a sort of psychedelic, dark cosmic electronica, that in the past, has touched on aQ faves like Demdike Stare, Tim Hecker, Techno Animal, DHR, even weirdo industrial like Esplendor Geometrico. On this new one, it seems that all of those influences/references have been distilled into something much more pure and organic sounding. Three sprawling tracks, the first, a hauntological skitterscape, that fuses slow-beat lope to heaving swells of pixelated crunch, a little bit witch house, a little bit IDM, but blurred and blackened, transformed into something more sinister, and more abstract, the opening 9+ minute track in constant flux, so much so, that it's nearly impossible to review without explicitly describing each iteration, and yet, over the course of the song, Bean manages to keep some sort of sonic narrative, the song not at all fragmented, and not sounding like a bunch of random ideas mashed together, instead, the sound blossoms and unwinds, from hazy, washed out skitter, to dense gristly thrum, rife with rib cage rattling bass pulsations, to claustrophobic minimal electro that sounds like it was plucked from some obscure cassette release on Hospital, to blown out industrial techno crunch, and that's just the first track.
The second half of the A side is much more abstract, with gorgeous swirls of chordal thrum, drifting and shimmering, a sort of sinister new age, dense and cosmic, lush and layered, a sprawling landscape of overlapping tones, and buried melodies, the sounds unwinding in slow-motion, hazy, and washed out, bleary and blackened, but smeared into strangely prismatic streaks of sound, hauntingly hypnotic. The whole of the B side is taken up by the nearly 18 minute "Memory Triptych", and might be Bean's finest moment, an epic sprawl of hushed skitter, of murky loops, of keening, melancholic melody, all woven into something at once bleak and mysterious, but also warm and lovely, the sounds warbly and woozy, the beats more like constellations of crackle and pop, wound around soft swirls of static soaked shimmer, and strange alien pulsations, at one point, a melody surfaces, that sounds almost like humming/crooning, that 'vocal' is accompanied by a sonic shift, where the sounds begin to fracture, and become more agitated and aggressive, the vibe much more industrial, but fused to a sort of wistful pop ambience, a dizzying dream-drone dirge, driven by a strange rhythmic tangle buried beneath the surface, the sound gnarled and roiling, before about halfway through, like a storm breaking, the sounds shift dramatically, and become downright lovely, laced with what sounds like faux birdsong, the sounds suddenly warm and lush, softly soaring, all the grinding industrialism, now pushed into the background, smeared into a dense, churning backdrop, that adds a soft bit of shadow, to the otherwise, glimmering, gristly, glitchy dreaminess...
Super swank packaging, heavy full color jacket, with printed insert, and download code!
MPEG Stream: "Imaginary Friends"
MPEG Stream: "Memory Triptych"

album cover TELLUSIAN Collision (Pillowscars) cd 12.98
Now on cd as well! And packaged in a swank silkscreened / letterpressed sleeve...
First full length from these Swedish metalheads, after a 7" we reviewed a few lists back that kicked our asses, and like that 7" Tellusian, featuring members of late great grinders Crowpath, while still plenty grindy, are way more melodic metal, and it totally suits them. The songs heavy and furious and fast, but crazy catchy, epically hooky.
A long time ago, we reviewed a grind comp, and on it, a seriously sick grind band did a cover of an old track by pop punks Propaghandi, a it was the best, an impossible fix of incredible poppiness, and frantic heaviness, and we remarked, how come bands don't just SOUND like that, it's only when a band is doing a cover of another band, but that's the first thing we thought of when we heard these guys, and this record especially, it's exactly THAT, a super heavy grind metal band, not at all afraid of melody, who manage to merge those two elements seamlessly, without taking away from either. Check out opener "Rivalry", a sub two minute blast of everything that makes these guys so great, frenzied lightning fast riffing, impossibly chaotic mathed out drumming, loads of metallic chug, but killer harmonized guitars, crazy catchy melodies, a little churning downtuned doom, and heck even an extremely brief bit of (very) surprising almost funk bass, literally a second or two, before it's right back into the chug and churn. And it continues like that, dizzyingly flitting from tangled math metal, to churning metallic grind, to soaring melodic epicry, and usually some killer mix of all of those. But for a metal/grind band, the melodies and arrangements are pretty goddamn stunning, and the sound not as grind or metal as you might expect, instead, almost like a metallized noise rock band, or a super heavy, slightly grindy math rock band, so much so, that with a slight tweak, even with a proper clean singer, it would be a whole different kind of band, but as it is, Tellusian deliver some seriously addictive, and ultra catchy pop flecked, melodic grind metal, that KILLS, and that we've been listening to pretty much nonstop since we got this in. WAY recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Rivalry"
MPEG Stream: "The Collyer Brothers"
MPEG Stream: "The Saw Collector"
MPEG Stream: "In The Wake Of Cicruses And Parades"

album cover CHAIN GANG GRAVE When Your Friends Become Cops (self-released) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Killer debut of swaggery, gothy murk-punk / noise rock from these East Coast knuckledraggers, whose sound seems to channel everyone from the Stooges to His Electro Blue Voice, Slug to Pussy Galore, Unwound to Cop Shoot Cop. Shambolic and chaotic, wild and unhinged, a sort of bastard blooze, with loose-limbed octopoidal drumming, filthy guitars, howled feral vox, all recorded super hot and in-the-red, lurching from wild almost psychedelic freakouts, to doomy, dirge metal creep, some moments smack of classic glam rock (a la Hanoi Rocks, Smack) but doused in distorto-noise and rolled in dirt and broken glass. Even at its noisiest, some killer melodies and surprising hooks surface throughout, moments of extreme poppiness here and there, but almost always buried beneath an avalanche of crumbling distortion, strangled guitarnoise, flurries of drum damage, psychedelic squalls, out of which emerge some seriously kick ass and weirdly groovy sludge punk not to mention some unlikely and impossibly catchy, dirge-gloom noise pop. Killer stuff.
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "To The Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Autumn Cannibalism"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Professor"

album cover MOLINA, TONY Dissed And Dismissed (Slumberland) lp 13.98
Finally also available on cd AND repressed on lp (we also still have some cassettes too)...
Fans of local pop geniuses the Ovens, which are a whole lot of you, but should really be ALL of you, rejoice, and enjoy another incredible blast of noise pop songsmithery courtesy of Ovens mainman Tony Molina, whose solo sound is essentially, and really EXACTLY like the Ovens, fuzzed out pop, metallic chugging, soaring harmonized guitars, a dreamy croon, and ridiculous self deprecating lyrics, INCREDIBLE hooks, and the sort of poppiness that will get lodged in your head forEVER. SO yeah, anyone who bought and loved the Ovens cd Andee released on his tUMULt label, well, you're gonna want, nay, NEED this. As always, Molina's songs (and by extension, the Ovens' as well) are equal parts Weezer, Thin Lizzy, the Beatles, Guided By Voices, Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub, and pretty much every other fuzzy jangly pop band you ever loved, but all that boiled down and rendered into ultra brief, fragmented blasts of micro pop brevity, and we're talking boiled down as in thirteen songs in twelve minutes! One of those records you'll no doubt play over and over and over.
There are tracks like opener "Nowhere To Go", which sounds like it could have been plucked right off the Ovens cd proper, so much crammed into so little time, soaring harmonized guitars, the occasional metallic chug, the fuzzy main riff, the laid back vox, the melodies impossible to resist, and like many Ovens songs, blink and you'll miss it. None of that verse chorus verse shit, if you're lucky, you'll get verse chorus. Sometimes just verse! Like on tracks like "Sick As Riff", where you don't even get a riff, more like a dreamy little acoustic guitar interlude. Check out "Change My Ways", which should most definitely have J Mascis looking over his shoulder, the Dinosaur Jr vibe HUGE, right down to the guitar tone. And like we've said before, if Tony wasn't so brilliantly ADD, and could make a song longer than 90 seconds, he and the Ovens could/would/should be HUGE. But we're not complaining, it's part of their charm, the barrage of crazy hooks, perfect melodies, definitely pushing a lot of the same buttons Guided By Voices do.
So yeah, needless to say, these 12 minutes the probably gonna be our favorite 12 minutes of pop music this year, so grab one of these before they're gone, and leave a little space at the top of your 2013 year end lists, cuz even only two months in, and we're pretty sure, unless there's a new Ovens record that somehow pops up, this one's gonna be tough to beat.
MPEG Stream: "Nowhere To Go"
MPEG Stream: "Change My Ways"
MPEG Stream: "Can't Believe"
MPEG Stream: "Spoke Too Soon"
MPEG Stream: "Walk Away"

album cover NINOS DU BRASIL Novos Misterios (Hospital) lp 29.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another awesome electronic oddity from the fine folks at Hospital Productions, this one the work of a duo called Ninos Du Brasil, who, true to their moniker, traffic in a strain of Brazilian music - but a warped, experimental version, the likes of which you've likely not heard before. Brazilian carnival music is definitely a reference point but so too is Southeast Asian gamelan music, as well as various strains of techno and electro, we hear shades of fellow modern experimental techno-technician Cut Hands for sure, and heck, they even have a song called "Sepultura", which is apparently in fact an homage of sorts to that Brazilian metal band, and their later records on which they did in fact incorporate traditional Brazilian percussion into their music. Weird stuff, but sonically, it all meshes into something super mesmerizing and hypnotic, and something not altogether removed from some of the other Hospital releases, like Vatican Shadow, Ron Morelli, Christian Cosmos, Silent Servant, etc.
After a brief bit of straight up Brazilian percussion over a bed of birdsong, the record quickly slips into some murky house, all deep muted pulsations, over which, wild percussion comes tumbling, and then also some synth bass, and martial snares, the result is a strange hybrid of Brazilian funk, drum corps and avant minimal house music, with the Brazilian percussion WAY up in the mix, and driving the sound. The song is also peppered with plenty of FX and subtle dub-isms, and once they lock in, barring some subtle fluctuations, it's totally looped and tranced out and endlessly mesmeric.
The more minimal tracks, like "Legios De Cupins", definitely sound right at home on Hospital, again, murky and a little bit muddy, strangely sequenced arpeggiations, the Brazilian influence much more subtle, but still groovy and darkly funky, with occasional bursts of more traditional percussion, the coolest bits are when they all blur and bleed into some fantastically heady hybrid. The "Sepultura" track, perhaps predictably, is the fiercest, the drums and percussion, blown out and super distorted, sounding very much like a Brazilian marching band, we could easily have listened to a whole album of this, but it soon slips back into something more traditional sounding, "Miragem" sounding like Brazilian street music, underpinned by some super subtle techno filigree, before blossoming into maybe the most 'party' sounding of the bunch, with distorted call and response vocals, more wild percussion, all anchored by a four on the flour techno pulse, before finally finishing off with the gorgeous sprawling "Novos Misterios", a low slung, downtempo creeper, sounding a bit like a Brazilian Tom Waits, all steep drum melodies, wreathed in record crackles and warm swaths of tape hiss, the rhythms here laid back and subtle, woozy and weary, and the perfect comedown, at least until the final few minutes, when the sound quickly builds to a noisy, psychedelic, heavy house, stutter rhythm / droned out finale!
MPEG Stream: "Sombra Da Lua"
MPEG Stream: "Legios De Cupins"
MPEG Stream: "Sepultura"
MPEG Stream: "Novos Misterios"

album cover RIDE FOR REVENGE Enter The Gauntlet (Bestial Burst) cd 14.98
Finland's weirdo minimalist black metallers Ride For Revenge might just be in the running for most aQ Records Of The Week, especially if you count RfR electronic offshoot Will Over Matter, and even moreso if you consider the fact that even if we didn't make one of their records a ROTW, we thought about it, and likely wanted to, and probably didn't for some non musical reason, like having to get them from Finland, or ordering a bunch and selling most of them before we even get a chance to review/list it, and really, in retrospect, not sure why we didn't just institute permanent/perpetual Record Of The Week status on these guys. What we're getting at, is even though this is NOT a Record Of The Week this time around, it basically IS. And will always be, cuz if any band demanded the slavish worship of the aQ crew it's these guys, who manage to take a genre we already love, and transform it into something that barely sounds like that genre at all, and yet somehow makes us love it even more.
This latest batch of jams is another black-dirge / noise-rock wallop, this trio delivering some ultra primitive heaviness, with some of the sickest, grittiest, gnarliest guitar buzz ever, not to mention thick, organ dissolving low end, and chaotic, shambolic, caveman drumming of the highest order, all wound up into extended dirges that play like krautrock melted down into a brew as black as pitch, then reconstituted with some sort of ancient black magic, the resulting lumbering sonic ritualism is as mesmerizing as it is terrifying, the sound in constant flux, whether it's stumbling black metal primitivism, doom-ed tarpit creep, psychedelic blacknoize, or wild, thrashing metal-punk, it all bleeds into one massive, epic, demonic sonic sprawl, in fact, so much so that song titles, and even song breaks seem superfluous, nobody's gonna grab this and think to themselves, let's throw on "The Fog Is Green And Pungent" (okay full disclosure, we actually did!), no this is a fully immersive experience, this is the sort of black bog filth you're meant to luxuriate in, to get lost in, to let wash over you, and pull you under, just surrender, let the churning molasses riffage and pounding dirge-drummage ooze into your every orifice, and transform you from the inside out, headphones on, you become a shambling, blackened acolyte to these mysterious priest of blacknoise/occult rock ritualism, and suddenly it's transcendent, the sound becomes shape, the shape becomes divine, the underworld rises up and swallows the surface dwellers whole, and the soundtrack to this apocalypse becomes, a gnarled, filth encrusted thing of grim black beauty, and we honor this epochal convergence, by sacrificing ourselves, and as our souls wither and die, we become one with these ancient spirits, approaching the black gates of the netherworld, we all join together, a hulking black shape, horned and fiery, and for eternity, we Ride For Revenge!!!!
MPEG Stream: "Nights Possessed"
MPEG Stream: "Dead Insane"
MPEG Stream: "Victorious"
MPEG Stream: "Enter The Gauntlet"

album cover AMBARCHI, OREN / STEPHEN O'MALLEY / RANDALL DUNN Shade Themes From Kairos (Drag City) 2lp 27.00
Another underground superstar collaboration. This time Aussie guitarist Oren Ambarchi, the Stephen O'Malley half of SUNNO))), as well as one of the Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Randall Dunn, got together to conjure up a gorgeously spooky alternative score to a film by Alexis Destoop called Kairos, as is often the case, we've yet to see the film, but the music on its own is pretty great. As you might imagine from the lineup, it's all shades of dark and ominous, sinister and menacing, haunting and atmospheric, from swirling flurries of glitchy electronics, to drowsy, twang flecked, Earth-like crawls, caked in gristle and grit, thrumming swells of industrial rumble, and dense billows of chordal shimmer, some moments dark and jazzy, others cosmic and dreamy, still others driving and droney. There are some heavy moments for sure, the second side/movement takes the skitter of the first and adds some rhythmic muscle, as well as some thick sheets of crumbling buzz, creating what almost sounds like a drone metal Necks, but laced with more psychedelia and some buried almost-Eastern sounding melodies, like a blurry, melting raga wrapped around some gristled/grizzled slow core.
After that, the sound gets a bit more mystical and abstract, much like Dunn's Master Musicians, spaced out drifts, hushed and haunting, but only briefly, before blossoming into wild, percussion heavy psychedelic freakout. Japanese psych chanteuse Ai Aso contributes some dreamy vocals on the second half of side 3, transforming the sound into a hushed, psychedelic torch song, before returning to the drone and buzz for the sprawling final movement, gorgeous arcs of warm guitarbuzz and moaning, droning tones, layered and lush, drifting drowsily, almost like all the instruments are gradually detuning, the shimmery dreamlike drift, fading, darkening, and blackening into an almost SUNNO)))-like slo-mo finale.

album cover HULTGREN, CARL Tomorrow (Blue Flea) cd 15.98
Tomorrow is the first ever solo record from Carl Hultgren, aka Carl of psychedelic bliss pop drifters Windy & Carl, and we're happy to report, that even on his own, the sound doesn't fall to far from the dreamy psychedelia of W&C.
Lush, layered guitars capes, that shimmer and glimmer, soft strums are blurred into heaving billows of chordal thrum, notes chime, and harmonics ring out, distortion if muted and smeary, and gives everything a druggy, dreamy vibe, all sun dappled and blissed out. There are some subtle bits of processing, electronics here and there, even some buried rhythms, but for the most part, Tomorrow is all glistening guitars, softly soaring, sonic streaks across the heavens, that blur into hazy, prismatic driftscapes, with some tracks reminding us of the Durutti Column for sure, the same sort of soft focus melancholia, but others getting downright noisy, a bit darker, even then though, the sound has a heavenly glow, a warm, enveloping sonic center that bathes everything in a blissful soft afternoon light. Others are strummy and melodic, with spidery guitars wrapped around a skeletal Appalachia, again all softly smeared into something a bit more otherworldly, and ethereal, a wonderfully wistful collection of soft-psych, dream-drift blissout.
The cd version is limited to 350 copies and comes in a nice, hand letterpressed sleeve, with full color pasted on front cover artwork, the 2lp version is limited to 500 copies, comes in a heavy gatefold sleeve and is pressed on one black lp, and one orange. Both come with a download code, with 6 bonus tracks available only via the download!
MPEG Stream: "Ribbons"
MPEG Stream: "Ledge"
MPEG Stream: "No Other"
MPEG Stream: "As Sure As"

album cover FIS Iterations (Tri Angle) lp 13.98
Second 12" of weirdo minimal electronica from this New Zealand producer, and it might be even stranger/cooler than the first (Preparations, which we reviewed back on list #441). In our review of Preparations we describe FiS as sounding like a Tri Angle band, but totally deconstructed, and pulled apart, into something super abstract and slo-mo, but on Iterations, the sound is strangely lush and expansive - check out the title track, which pairs a fractured, super noisy beat, with soaring swoon some strings, the whole thing wrapped in gristle and static, but the end result is somehow epic and majestic, darkly groovy, but almost cinematic and symphonic. That beat does just gets more and more twisted and jumbled as it goes, the perfect foil for that melancholic backdrop. The rest of the record is not too shabby either, "Womb Dreams" is all skeletal dubstep, more hiss and static sculpted into slowly undulating waves and anchored by a dubbed out pulse, and some buried melodies, murky but darkly lovely. "Fever Sweats" cranks up the distortion, sounding a bit like a Burial B-side gone haywire, all blown out and in the red, grindingly rhythmic, with distant angelic voices, and swirling synths, beneath the crumbling latticework of decaying beats. And finally "Her Third Eye (Drum Rain)" lays down a flurry of wild percussion beneath softly stuttering melodies, all smeared into a prismatic haze, shot through with pulses of bass-synth, and strange percussion, a total come-down, minimal electro-dub trip out, that has us hankering for more more more!
MPEG Stream: "Iterations"
MPEG Stream: "Womb Dreams"

album cover AMEN DUNES Love (Sacred Bones) cd 14.98
Previous records from Amen Dunes, aka Damon McMahon, have been twisted collections of avant outsider folk, the skeletal songsmithery balanced by an experimental streak a mile wide. Even the prettiest songs on those records were buried in sonic murk, and consequently, hushed, delicately strummed ballads were generally stretched way out into spacey sprawls of abstract sound and wreathed in musique concrete filigree. On Love, however, McMahon seems to have ditched much of that weirdness in favor of crafting some straight up, almost baroque sounding, extremely lush and lovely folk/pop, that on first listen was almost too straight ahead, but gradually, with repeated listens, revealed itself as something much more, a truly and subtly dark little gem. The almost orchestral opener "White Child" combines simple strummed guitars, and achingly crooned vocals, all over a lustrous, undulating backdrop of moaning horns and woozy strings. While at first blush, it seemed that there's much unabashed Dylan worship going on, the record quickly blossoms into something much more mysterious, the production reverby and echo drenched, McMahon's super distinctive vocals sounding better than ever, the music too, deceivingly simplistic sounding, but rich with subtle nuance, and lushly layered, a softly swirling morass of psychedelic shimmer, and slow crawl dream pop balladry, blurred into a subtly mutated strain of spaced out, haunting and otherworldly alternative universe psych folk drift.
MPEG Stream: "White Child"
MPEG Stream: "Lonely Richard"
MPEG Stream: "Spirits Are Parted"

album cover AMEN DUNES Love (Sacred Bones) lp 21.00
Previous records from Amen Dunes, aka Damon McMahon, have been twisted collections of avant outsider folk, the skeletal songsmithery balanced by an experimental streak a mile wide. Even the prettiest songs on those records were buried in sonic murk, and consequently, hushed, delicately strummed ballads were generally stretched way out into spacey sprawls of abstract sound and wreathed in musique concrete filigree. On Love, however, McMahon seems to have ditched much of that weirdness in favor of crafting some straight up, almost baroque sounding, extremely lush and lovely folk/pop, that on first listen was almost too straight ahead, but gradually, with repeated listens, revealed itself as something much more, a truly and subtly dark little gem. The almost orchestral opener "White Child" combines simple strummed guitars, and achingly crooned vocals, all over a lustrous, undulating backdrop of moaning horns and woozy strings. While at first blush, it seemed that there's much unabashed Dylan worship going on, the record quickly blossoms into something much more mysterious, the production reverby and echo drenched, McMahon's super distinctive vocals sounding better than ever, the music too, deceivingly simplistic sounding, but rich with subtle nuance, and lushly layered, a softly swirling morass of psychedelic shimmer, and slow crawl dream pop balladry, blurred into a subtly mutated strain of spaced out, haunting and otherworldly alternative universe psych folk drift.
MPEG Stream: "White Child"
MPEG Stream: "Lonely Richard"
MPEG Stream: "Spirits Are Parted"

album cover JAWORZYN, STEFAN Principles Of Inertia (Trensmat) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Making up for lost time, the infamous Stefan Jaworzyn, he of Ascension, Skullflower and the legendary Shock label, returns with yet ANOTHER new record, the sixth in the last year? Almost like an industrial/noise Robert Pollard, Jaworzyn continues to churn out the hits, and by hits, we mean willfully difficult electronica, this time around, wild squall of synth misfires, and analog noise, set to rambunctious rhythms, reminding us a bit of Cut Hands, but trading in the African obsession for analog synth / primitive drum machine nerdery, and it suits him, the first track here, the awesomely titled "Biorigged", is all relentless rhythms, wreathed in bleeps and bloops, cascades of glitch and squelch, noisy and chaotic, but also super groovy and a little bit funky, we can definitely imagine some sort of Cut Hands / Jaworzyn mash up in the future, some sort of demented full circle culmination of the Skullflower / Whitehouse collab we always hankered for (wait wasn't Jaworzyn in both? Whatever).
That opener sets the bar pretty high, and while the rest of the record isn't always nearly as high energy, it is all pretty mesmerizing, "Festival Of Lies" is a murky pulsing churn, sounding like some weird Hospital Productions release, gristly and fuzzed out, the background noisiness gradually overwhelming the minimal beta, and fractured rhythm, while "Dawn Of A New Ice Age" is downright kosmische, blossoming into some tripped out softnoise new age, all swirls and swoops, maybe the prettiest thing we've heard from Jaworzyn EVER (that one's the download bonus track btw).
It's on the B side where things get fierce, "Gland Collector" sounds almost like Jaworzyn doing his best John Carpenter, thrumming sinister synth pulses, implied rhythms blossom from weird synth-riffs, the sound almost metallic, a sonic helicopter rotor sends musical rotor wash out in heady waves, churning, roiling, pulsating, this makes all that other creepy soundtrack synth stuff folks have been flipping out for lately sound like Shadowfax. Finally, "Apocalypse" returns to the sound of the opener, sounding about as unapocalyptic as possible, unless the apocalypse was gonna take place in some strange alien danceclub, which who knows, it probably will, regardless, it's another twisted batch of avant / primitive analog electro, that KILLS.
As always, with Trensmat releases, includes a download, the whole record along with the above mentioned bonus track!
MPEG Stream: "Biorigged"
MPEG Stream: "Festival Of Lies"
MPEG Stream: "Gland Collector"

album cover SD LAIKA That's Harakiri (Tri Angle) cd 14.98
The Tri Angle label has brought us some of our favorite weirdo electronica, from witch house to slo-mo-soul, from dronestep to warped hip hop, just a quick list of some of our favorite Triangle artists speaks volumes: Forest Swords, Vessel, FiS, Haxan Cloak, Water Borders, oOoOO, Clams Casino, Balam Acab, Holy Other, How To Dress Well...
So the fact that this might be the weirdest, noisiest, most out there Triangle release yet should not be taken lightly, cuz the bar had already been set pretty goddamn high, but the oddly monikered Sd Laika, aka Milwaukee producer Peter Runge, knocks it out of the park, with what is some sort of post grime, post dubstep, electro noise oddity, that pushes ALL our buttons. The sort of thing that you might have expected to come out on DHR back in the day. The opening one two punch is all it should take, the 90 seconds of "Peace", all grinding gristly synth buzz, keening high end skree and squiggly psychedelic melody, wreathed in swaths of hiss and him, fragmented and blown out, noisy, lurching and lumbering, it kills us that that song didn't stretch out to fill up the whole record. But then comes "Great God Pan", which eases our pain a little, with big billowing clouds of buzzing low end, glitches out drones, and staticky buzz, a field of hazy drift, that is soon interrupted by a seriously twisted beat, that sounds like it was assembled from discarded fragments of others songs, noisy, clattery, skittery, stuttery, all the while, in the background, thick swells of black buzz pulse ominously, and over the top, haunting alien melodies, all tethered to that super sick, unholy anti-groove. Murky and sinister and seriously fucking next level.
And it never lets up, all the beats sound like they were filtered through some homespun analog telephone transistor radio broadcast system, fuzzy, and crackly, always dropping out, and then swooping back in, imagine a grime record recorded onto a wax cylinder and then broadcast via short wave radio, in a moving vehicle so the reception is in constant flux. And even when everything is in range, and the sound is relatively hi-fi, the sounds are still warped and woozy, and before long the sound devolves into another gloriously distortion drenched sprawl, often sounding like Leyland Kirby's Caretaker having a go at dubstep, and failing spectacularly.
There are some mysterious shards of 8bit sound, some twisted fragmented samples, some flurries of tangled melody, and cascades of synth blorp and grinding fields of staticky thrum, the sound occasionally dipping into cubby tranquility, but again, quickly snapping back into a twisted variant of alien IDM. The whole record is a dizzying collage of fractured sonics, of shattered rhythms, reassembled into damaged, demented rhythms, hints of minimal techno, Pop Ambient, dub, house, electro, all find their way into the sound, but in true mad scientist fashion, those elements are melted down, dissected, and transformed utterly and completely into some strange hybrid of experimental dada-soundscapery and avant electronica, a gloriously mind bending, brain melting, dance floor defying masterpiece.
MPEG Stream: "Peace"
MPEG Stream: "Great God Pan"
MPEG Stream: "Gutter Vibrations"
MPEG Stream: "Percressing"

album cover SWANS To Be Kind (Young God) 2cd + dvd 21.00
The latest masterpiece from these aQ-beloved musical misanthropes has moved well beyond the already boundary stretching sound of their previous album The Seer, and continues in a similar direction, shedding elements of song, and moving closer and closer to pure sound, with most of the tracks here unwinding like free form / free rock explorations, with only the barest hint of structure to keep them from drifting into utter shapelessness, but even then, whatever sonic constraints that are put in place, seem to be disregarded most of the time, the resulting records is hardly a rock record at all, but a gorgeous collection of brooding soundscapes, allowed to sprawl and ooze and drift and build, almost like an even more ephemeral / abstract Godspeed, and yet somehow, the tracks here are infused with an intensity, and sonic dread, that marks this as pure Swans.
That said, the opener "Screen Shot" might be the most curious of all the tracks here, as it's centered around a baseline, and drum part that are without a doubt, bordering on 'funky', so much so that before we even heard the record, people we posting online that the new Swans sounded like Primus. Which weirdly enough just made us want to hear it more. And when we finally did, well, we could definitely see that, but only Primus slowed down and stretched out and infused with a terrifying malevolence, and really, that funkiness become something else in a matter of minutes, some mutant strain of grim grooving bunkurfunk, that sounds more to us like Skull Defekts, and Michael Gira's vocals a dead ringer from the shamanistic conjuring of Defekts collaborator Daniel Higgs, but before you know it, the song blossoms into something even more tripped out and psychedelic, a swirling piano loop, jagged shards of guitar, eventually exploding into a wild cacophony that could go on forever, but instead burns bright and quickly fades out. An intense, invigorating start to what just might be the best of the modern Swans records.
There's not a track here that's less than 5 minutes, with the bulk closer to 15, and one clocking in at a stunning 34, and as mentioned above, they've done away with traditional compositional concerns, and have instead endeavored to craft their own modern minimalism, and it's truly stunning, from the slow core creep of "Just A Little Boy", that sounds a bit like the Necks via Woven Hand, but stretched out into one extended slow motion balladic dirge, laced with some truly terrifying vocals, to the atonal lope of "A Little God In My Hands", which sounds like multiple New Orleans jazz bands playing at once, before settling into a gorgeously creepy march, all glimmering electronics and swirling melodies, and some twisted call and response vocals.
Then there's the record's centerpiece, the 34+ minute "Bring The Sun / Toussaint L' Ouverture", which lurches right out of the gate as maybe the most rocking song here, a lumbering drum heavy riff, that instead of turning into a song, just locks into an endless hypno-rock cycle, that you never want to end, and for a while, it seems like it never will, before eventually setting into another apocalyptic swampy creep (and again reminding us of Woven Hand), before beginning and epic, majestic slow build, a vocal chorale draped atop a dark cacophonous roar, that gets almost metallic before dissipating into a free rock sprawl, all long tones, and drones, moaned vocals, and warm electric piano shimmer, as well as some FX heavy percussion, and finally a wild freaked out psychedelic squall. Disc one ends with a hushed horror ballad, all moaning distant horns, and sinister vox, and atonal melodies swirling throughout. And most bands would hang it up there, but this is the Swans after all, so we're only halfway there.
The second disc begins with a twisted bit of malformed Tom Waitsian weirdness, all groovy percussion, swirling junkyard ambience, and some strange vocals refrains, before erupting into some swampy garage rock swagger, slithery and sinister, distorted and psychedelic, the sound layered and dense and seriously fierce. From there on out, To Be Kind seems to open up into some sort of alternate universe rock opera, brooding ballad gives way to horn flecked death march dirge, wild kraut-funk groovery grows more and more atonal, pocked with elephant bleat blasts, and feral vocal bellows, long stretches of kosmische drift, and jazzy piano shimmer slowly evolve into another bout of swampy swagger, "Nathalie Neal", a piece that's drum driven and intense (and named for an aQ pal!), before finally finishing off with the title track, a haunting, subdued finale, all dramatic croons and whispery chordal drift, that bursts into a full on freakout, blistering arcs of distorted guitars wreathed around pounding drum damage, and billowing swirls of psychedelic noise, the rare piece of music that is as exhausting and exhilarating to hear, as it presumably is to play.
Totally transcendent, dizzyingly ambitious, stunningly executed, and thus utterly and totally recommended. Creepy baby face cover art too! And, while they last, we've got the Deluxe Edition, which comes with a live dvd, featuring performances of several songs from this album along with renditions of "Coward" and "The Seer". That's if you get the double cd, your other option is the swank triple vinyl, but no dvd with that, but it does have a download.
MPEG Stream: "Screen Shot"
MPEG Stream: "Just A Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)"
MPEG Stream: "She Loves Us"
MPEG Stream: "Kirsten Supine"
MPEG Stream: "To Be Kind"

album cover LEON, CRAIG Nommos (Superior Viaduct) cd 15.98
THIS RECORD OF THE WEEK FROM LAST YEAR, NOW ON CD!
This is a reissue of one of those deep "in-the-know" records that we're perplexed that we had somehow never heard of before now, especially given its pedigree. It seems to be one of those weird anomaly recordings that when it's not acting as a "proto" example of genres that now exist today (dub-step and minimal techno), it works as a bridge between genres we never imagined being connected before (new age and industrial music, minimalist composition and new wave, minimal synth and ethno-folk music). It's a rare six-degrees-of-separation record that bafflingly connects Suicide to John Fahey, and it's utterly gorgeous to boot.
Craig Leon may not be a well-known name to most, but he was the producer or co-producer behind many of the bands of our youth including Blondie, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell, Suicide, The Weirdos, DMZ, The Zero's. The Bangles and 45 Grave. But he's also a classically trained composer and orchestrator who has worked with Lucio Pavoratti, Sir James Galway and The London Symphony Orchestra. Nommos was the first album of his own material, originally released in 1981 on John Fahey's Takoma label and there really is just nothing quite like it.
With evocative titles like "Donkeys Bearing Cups", "Four Eyes To See The Afterlife" and "She Wears A Hemispherical Skull Cap", Leon uses minimal synthesis to explore repetitive rhythm and texture in hypnotic trance inducing compositions. The opener, "Ring With Three Concentric Circles" explores a kraut-y kosmiche sound employing cosmic synth washes over skeletal mechanical rhythms, but it's the second track, "Donkeys Bearing Cups" that prognosticates many of the production tropes of modern dubstep and minimal techno, the shuffling almost dance-y mechanized rhythms, as well as the squelched siren noise that opens it. Many of the tracks could be paired down backing tracks for Suicide songs, minus Alan Vega's vocals and Martin Rev's knack for propulsion. Instead Leon seems to dwell on the nuance of his robotic rhythms, tweaking the reverb and decay in bass pulses and cymbal clangs, but encasing them in a beautiful floating stasis.
The longest track at nearly 12 minutes, "Four Eyes To See The Afterlife", seems to have the least going on. It's plodding hiccupping rhythm stretching for minutes before we notice a woman's voice almost operatically singing way off in the background. Her voice almost feels like another synthetic texture in the composition and we at first had to turn the volume down to see if we were hearing things, but it's just another impeccable detail that Leon is carefully layering and weaving into seemingly bare-bone compositions making us ever conscious of the meditative nature of the work. This is definitely a producer's record, and an incredible one at that! If you are a fan of modern techno composers like Vladislav Delay, Andy Stott, Demdike Stare, anything on the Dead-Cert label, or even outlier composers like Moondog, Julius Eastman or Barton Smith, this is essential!
Download card included!
MPEG Stream: "Ring With Three Concentric Circles"
MPEG Stream: "Donkeys Bearing Cups"
MPEG Stream: "Four Eyes To See The Afterlife"

album cover NINOS DU BRASIL Novos Misterios (Hospital) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another awesome electronic oddity from the fine folks at Hospital Productions, this one the work of a duo called Ninos Du Brasil, who, true to their moniker, traffic in a strain of Brazilian music - but a warped, experimental version, the likes of which you've likely not heard before. Brazilian carnival music is definitely a reference point but so too is Southeast Asian gamelan music, as well as various strains of techno and electro, we hear shades of fellow modern experimental techno-technician Cut Hands for sure, and heck, they even have a song called "Sepultura", which is apparently in fact an homage of sorts to that Brazilian metal band, and their later records on which they did in fact incorporate traditional Brazilian percussion into their music. Weird stuff, but sonically, it all meshes into something super mesmerizing and hypnotic, and something not altogether removed from some of the other Hospital releases, like Vatican Shadow, Ron Morelli, Christian Cosmos, Silent Servant, etc.
After a brief bit of straight up Brazilian percussion over a bed of birdsong, the record quickly slips into some murky house, all deep muted pulsations, over which, wild percussion comes tumbling, and then also some synth bass, and martial snares, the result is a strange hybrid of Brazilian funk, drum corps and avant minimal house music, with the Brazilian percussion WAY up in the mix, and driving the sound. The song is also peppered with plenty of FX and subtle dub-isms, and once they lock in, barring some subtle fluctuations, it's totally looped and tranced out and endlessly mesmeric.
The more minimal tracks, like "Legios De Cupins", definitely sound right at home on Hospital, again, murky and a little bit muddy, strangely sequenced arpeggiations, the Brazilian influence much more subtle, but still groovy and darkly funky, with occasional bursts of more traditional percussion, the coolest bits are when they all blur and bleed into some fantastically heady hybrid. The "Sepultura" track, perhaps predictably, is the fiercest, the drums and percussion, blown out and super distorted, sounding very much like a Brazilian marching band, we could easily have listened to a whole album of this, but it soon slips back into something more traditional sounding, "Miragem" sounding like Brazilian street music, underpinned by some super subtle techno filigree, before blossoming into maybe the most 'party' sounding of the bunch, with distorted call and response vocals, more wild percussion, all anchored by a four on the flour techno pulse, before finally finishing off with the gorgeous sprawling "Novos Misterios", a low slung, downtempo creeper, sounding a bit like a Brazilian Tom Waits, all steep drum melodies, wreathed in record crackles and warm swaths of tape hiss, the rhythms here laid back and subtle, woozy and weary, and the perfect comedown, at least until the final few minutes, when the sound quickly builds to a noisy, psychedelic, heavy house, stutter rhythm / droned out finale!
MPEG Stream: "Sombra Da Lua"
MPEG Stream: "Legios De Cupins"
MPEG Stream: "Sepultura"
MPEG Stream: "Novos Misterios"

album cover FLOOR Oblation (Season Of Mist) cd 14.98
It's been ten years since the last full length from these sludge pop legends, but mainman Steve Brooks has most definitely been keeping that sludge pop legacy alive with his new band Torche, and really if you dig Torche, you're gonna dig Floor too, as they're both cut from the same sonic cloth, insanely downtuned riffage, crushing drum pounds, and soaring super melodic vocals. Killer pop hooks swaddled in doom/sludge churn, and it's a potent combination. The fact that Brooks has been writing Torche songs (haha, get it?) for so long, does mean, that while this is a whole different band, the jams here still essentially play out like new Torche songs (haha, again), and we're not complaining, it's a sound we can't get enough of, epic, crushing catchiness, impossibly hooky metallic crunch, the band slipping easily from tarpit dirge, to more hard rocking heaviness, check out the opening one-two punch of the title track and "Rocinante", the former, a gloriously skull caving slab of doom-pop creep, like Queen crossed with the Melvins at 16rpm, the latter, a furious blast of headbangable pop metal riffery, the melodies crazy catchy, but buried beneath some serious badass riffage. But then hold on to your fucking hats for "Trick Scene", which begs the question, how the fuck do these guys tune their guitars so low, and why does it sound so goddamn good?! Brooks popsmithery has never sounded better, OR heavier, there's always been a whiff of Nirvana's Bleach to Floor (and Torche), which is in no way a bad thing, and it's like Bleach, only louder and heavier and slower and sludgier, which is of course most definitely a good thing! Amidst all this chug and churn, there does lurk a few sonic surprises, some new waviness on one track, some pure pop dreaminess on another, but ultimately, this is just absolute sludge pop bliss, and maybe the best thing we've heard from Brooks with ANY of his projects. Which is saying a while heck of a lot...
MPEG Stream: "Oblation"
MPEG Stream: "Rocinate"
MPEG Stream: "Trick Scene"

album cover AMPS FOR CHRIST Canyons Cars And Crows (Shrimper) lp 15.98
First full length in seven years from former Man Is The Bastard noisemaker Henry Barnes, who since leaving the Bastard fold, has been crafting a strange mix of Xtian home brewed psychedelic folk, and avant experimental noise, a worshipful hybrid of spaced out ragas and lilting pastoral avant Appalachia. An instrument builder as well as a musician, much of Amps' music is created on home built kitchen-sink contraptions of Barnes creation, which helps give AfC its strange, haunting, otherworldly sound. If you ever saw MITB back in the day, you know doubt saw Barnes huddled in the corner in front of a huge pile of weird electronics, and amplifiers built from plywood, all adorned with primitive drawings of trees and winged guitars, that spirit eventually blossomed into Amps For Christ.
On Canyons Cars And Crows, it seems very little has changed, opening with a lilting bit of devotional psych folk flutter, with Barnes' plaintive vocals, draped over simple strum and fuzzy soft psych filigree, which leads directly into "Miss You Mother", which finds a harmonium like drone buzzing beneath a washed out and woozy guitar melody, dreamily sundappled and drifty. In fact if anything, on this new record, the whole vibe is a lot more laid back and blissed out, it's not really until the fifth track, "Hills Of Padua", that we hear that twisted Amps For Christ electronic bagpipe avant jig that peppers much of the Amps back catalog, a buzzing analog melody, crumblingly distorted, but weirdly and noisily lovely, and then it's right back into more dreamy psychedelic strum. Fans of the Woods will definitely find much to love here, like the Woods more eccentric older brother, the one that lives in the basement, and spends all day and all night 'tinkering' with weird machinery, we always just assumed he was building a time machine or a weapon, but in fact, he was making strange musical instruments, and using them to create beautifully twisted music like this!
MPEG Stream: "Sailor's Searching"
MPEG Stream: "Miss You Mother"
MPEG Stream: "Hills Of Padua"
MPEG Stream: "Chieftans II"

album cover SATAN WRIDERS Black Eyed Kids (Harlot) lp 15.98
Killer blast of garage pop surf scuzz from this Stockton California combo, that had us immediately thinking of another surf garage group we flipped over a while back, Mrs. Magician, but SW take that same sound, strip it way down, and add some fuzzy, wasted shoegaze to the proceedings, just check out opener "Freeway", which sounds like it should have been on Slumberland, lo-fi, fuzzed out, simple propulsive drumming, over spidery melodies, and some ethereal vocals that give the vibe a serious girlgroup feel. Follow up "She's Not Right" injects some Beat Happening style minimalism, with boy/girl harmonies sung by two boys, the intertwining high/low vox wrapped around some dirgey, reverb soaked riffage, and more primitive drumming. And that's pretty much how Black Eyed Kids plays out, the sound shifting from stripped down, lo-fi crunch, to lush, swirling fuzz pop. Tracks like "Reality's A Bitch" combine the two into jangle pop gems that pile on the warm swaths of distortion, multiple vocals, buzzing distorto-melodies, even some buried samples and sound effects,. There are moments that are obviously home brewed mad scientist tinkering, the band gleefully indulging in weirdo 4-track dub experiments at one point, but it somehow fits perfectly with the rest of these woozy surf pop and garage rock jams, the second half of the record heavy on 'hits', "Sun Coma" sounding a bit like Jeff The Brotherhood, a crazy catchy burst of distorto-pop radness, or the sprawling slo-mo closer "Therapy", which sound like Thee Oh Sees at 16 rpm. Fans of the current crop of garage pop should flip for these guys, file next to Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Thee Oh Sees, The Intelligence, Mrs. Magician, Sultan Bathery, Herzog, etc...
MPEG Stream: "Sun Coma"
MPEG Stream: "Freeway"
MPEG Stream: "She's Not Right"
MPEG Stream: "Reality's A Bitch"

album cover GILSON, JEF Et Malagasy (Jazzman) 4cd box 27.00
Of all the 2014 Record Store Day releases, this might have been one of the most exciting. The vinyl version is already gone, but we still have some of the cds set, which is cheaper anyway. French pianist Jef Gilson, whose 'best of' comp on Jazzman we raved about a while back, spent the end of the '60s traveling to Madagascar, an island off the coast of Africa, studying the indigenous music, and spreading his love of jazz, and in the process, recording with some of the locals, playing a bunch of shows, all of which resulted in three albums, all of those are included here, along with two more collections of previously released material from the same era, and needless to say, if you're a fan of ethno and spiritual jazz, this is some sort of crazy sonic holy grail. As always there's plenty in the liner notes about the history of Madagascar, and the life of Gilson, but even without the backstories, the music here is incredible, a little bit Ethiopiques, a little bit European free jazz, a little classic bop, dark and sultry and groovy, one of the records here doesn't even feature Gilson, and is a record he produced for some of the guys he played with in Madagascar, and that one is a doozy, the most distinctly African sounding, extended Afro jazz jams that are so heady and hypnotic, often more world music in fact than jazz, but the fusion is otherworldly, and had us wanting more more more. The final record features Byard Lancaster (Magma's Christian Vander was played with Gilson too, pre Magma), and might be the wildest, and freest of the bunch, a handful of the tracks untitled, discovered on old unlabeled tapes, but some of those are the best here, super inspired spiritual jazz that totally transcends, lots of flute (!!!!), some of the tracks blissed out and super spacey, others wild and chaotic, the live tracks on the final disc especially fiery and intense. The whole set is pretty stunning. Three and a half hours, all of it fantastic.
The discs are housed in a little box, each cd in its own sleeve, and accompanied by a big booklet with liner notes (in English and French) and loads of rare photos.
MPEG Stream: "A Tana"
MPEG Stream: "The Creator Has A Master Plan"
MPEG Stream: "Newport Bounce"
MPEG Stream: "Valiha Ny Dada"
MPEG Stream: "Katramo"
MPEG Stream: "Unknown I"

album cover HOAX s/t (Hoax) lp 16.98
Been trying to review this for a while, but everyone kept selling out, the debut full length from these hardcore punks, their sound a furious, grinding frenzy of wild drumming, distorto rigging, and some seriously SICK vokills (and yeah, usually vokills are metal, but this guy could be doing time in a black/death metal band if he wanted), which make this sound seriously fucked up and frantic, the production massive, the guitars monstrous, and those vox, vitriolic and borderline disturbing. There's an intro here (penned by Phamakon!), which is all buzzing rumbles, and weird grinding industrial sounds, coughing and vocal grunts, all swirling and murky and extremely ominous, but once the record proper kicks in, it's a nonstop face melting crush. The sound's a bit sludge-y and crusty too, especially when they slow down into churning, lumbering tarpit dirgery, but i's never long before they explode into another frenzy of blasting pounding ferocity. And did we mention leads? Yep, the occasional burst of shredding lead guitars, angular and atonal, which are generally quickly swallowed up by another onslaught of hardcore pummel.
There are some weirdly melodic moments scattered throughout the record, and lots of surprisingly lush textures, some almost Godspeed-y slow builds, but those elements are less 'weird' and 'experimental', than just another facet of their sound, seamlessly woven into what is essentially some seriously crushing, classic metallic hardcore, that KILLS. Punk rock record of the year hands down. Even though it's from last year. But odds are you're not gonna hear a record this brutal and heavy and punk as fuck this year anyway, so there.
One of the most elaborately packaged punk rock records in recent memory too. A fold over full color jacket, with a super striking, dude-hanging-from-his-foot-from-a-tree cover image, and inside, SIX, that's right six, HUGE two sided posters!
MPEG Stream: "Intro"
MPEG Stream: "Hide"
MPEG Stream: "No Spirit"

album cover HOUSE OF LIGHTNING Lightworker (Fair Warning) cd 13.98
NOW ON CD!!!
We had never heard of House Of Lightning, but who can resist a sticker that says: Members of Floor, Cavity & Dove? Not us that's for sure. And we're guessing plenty of you as well. And it only took about 30 seconds to convince us that we were right to not resist. The Sound is immediately recognizable as that sort of Torche style sludge/pop heaviness, but if anything, HoL is way weird, simultaneously more punk, and MORE METAL. It's strange but the first song explodes into a punk rock gallop, before devolving into some classic metal riffery, plenty of chugs, and pick squeals, and double kick drumming, it's not hard to imagine some wailing air raid siren vocals, but instead, it gets all math metal, a churning, roiling sonic swirl. The second track too, is a weird mix of ethereal wispy vocals, draped over wild progged out drumming, and furious helicopter riffing, the song so intricate and mathy, at times it almost sounds like a wild chaotic jumble, that is until it all manages to fall perfectly into place, and those dreamy drifty vocals swoop back in, for some shoegazey metalpop, before once again, fracturing into some proggy tech-metal. Imagine Breadwinner or Don Caballero mixed with a little Cynic and a lot of Torche, sounds like a weird mix, and it is definitely pretty weird, but it sorta works. In fact as much as we love Torche, from what we've heard of the new one, House Of Lightning is WAY weirder and trippier and more experimental, and is pushing lots of our math metal and weirdo prog buttons, while remaining just poppy enough to be impossibly catchy, even amidst all this tangled weird time signatured freak out. And as you get deeper into the record, the sound get even more varied and twisted, at one point the sound gets all super melodic, the bass CRANKED so much so, that it's like the lead instrument, all the while, the rest of the band is spitting out metallic mathiness just beneath the surface, that bass resurfaces on the B side, as the sound gets briefly super doomy, before erupting into more noisepop-techmetal mayhem, catchy and crunchy, shredding and soaring.
MPEG Stream: "Quickness"
MPEG Stream: "Downbeat Situation"
MPEG Stream: "More Lights More Trails"

album cover SLINT Spiderland (Touch And Go) boxset 175.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Only got one left of these. And it's incredible. Andee ordered a copy direct from the label the SECOND he heard about it. We managed to get just two for the shop, sold one, and now have just one left. It's now out of print too, so this could be your last chance.
What is Spiderland? It's an iconic indie rock masterpiece, a record that if you haven't heard it before, well, it means you're missing out on what might be one of the best records ever made. Moody and mathy, brooding and epic, intense and introspective, catchy and melodic, noisy and abrasive, emotional and majestic. So many bands you love owe everything they do to this band, and this record. A $175 boxset might not be the place to start or the version for someone just discovering Spiderland, but we think maybe it IS. If there was ever a record deserving of this sort of lavish treatment, it's most definitely Spiderland.
So you get the record proper, on both cd AND vinyl, the holy grail here being a BUNCH of unreleased tracks, rehearsals and stuff, all of which, are worth the price of admission alone. But you also get a huge book, packed with rare photos from the Spiderland era, as well as the dvd of the Slint documentary Breadcrumb trail. All housed in a big beautiful box. Needless to say, the HIGHEST recommendation. One of you lucky aQ customers is about to get even luckier...

album cover A MINOR FOREST Flemish Altruism / inindependence (Thrill Jockey) 4lp + tote bag 31.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly (!), our very own Andee was asked about what Record Store Day Releases we were most excited about. He mentioned a bunch, but the two they actually included in the magazine, were the utterly hilarious music nerd classic Rock, Rot And Rule, which you'll find reviewed elsewhere on this week's list, and these two vinyl reissues, from recently reunited / reactivated nineties post/math/noise rock combo A Minor Forest, which as many of you know, is in fact Andee's band! He was kind of joking, and a bit embarrassed when THAT was one of the ones they picked to print, but really, we WERE pretty excited. These two records have been out of print on vinyl for a decade, and have been remastered, now come with digital downloads, and one has all new artwork! But instead of making Andee further toot his own horn, we figured we'd try to be more objective, and let some other folks weigh in. A couple reviews from the past, and a couple from the present. So when we first reviewed these back in the day, for AMF's debut, Flemish Altruism, we asked beloved aQ-pal Douglas Mosurak to say a few words about that record, here's that original review from years and years ago:
"October 22, 1996: Bay Area rock trio A Minor Forest stop indie rock dead. Their new double LP on Thrill Jockey is so incredible, and subsequently so complete, that no other records of its kind need to be produced anymore. Lesser bands of their stripe are currently being petitioned to break up immediately to save embarrassment. And while some people will miss, like, June of 44 or the Archers of Loaf for a little while, with the proper exposure to Flemish Altruism, they'll forget all about it. AMF manage to piece together everything good about every post-Big Black and every post-Heroin outfit into a seamless, epic sound; fairly dense, deeply emotional and thoroughly human. They have the sense of humor required to lift it off, too. Some of their songs prefer to hide in the corner; some lunge for your throat. Their style is such that their original ideas fill in with ones borrowed from their rich lineage in such a manner that pays tribute without disrespect. It's a thoroughly engaging sound that I'd rank up there with the Bitch Magnet discography, with the Bastro LPs, with the Gore records, with the cream of the Gravity crop, even with the Shellac album. Best rock record of 1996, and currently outweighing all proposed rock concepts until the close of the millennium. Buy two. Wow."
Then, the follow up Inindependence was reviewed thusly by us upon its original release (when aQ reviews were still concise and impossibly brief):
"Simply put, this may be the last bastion of rock on Thrill Jockey, before they devolve into a purely electronic/jazz label. Sure we may be boasting a little, because A Minor Forest is our very own Andee Connors' band. But this truly is a great record of delicate math rock instrumentations executed with violent precision!"
So here were are 15+ years later, and both records, now reissued and available as a swank 4lp / tote bag set, in honor of the just passed 2014 iteration of Record Store Day, are ripe for reassessment, a new listen to some old sounds, with fresh ears, a bit of distance, and years of subsequent music making in their wake. So, here's what the illustrious Pitchfork site had to say this week about both AMF records:
According to legend, the A Minor Forest song "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck" - a high point of the post-rock group's 1996 debut album, Flemish Altruism - was swiped from an inside joke that had circulated for years among the punk kids of Rapid City, South Dakota. A Minor Forest wasn't from Rapid City; they hailed from far-off San Francisco. But the band toured extensively throughout the country during its 90s-spanning existence, playing many of the same DIY venues that hosted the burgeoning post-hardcore and emo bands of that decade. If there's one thing that brings people together, it's cruel humor - and A Minor Forest, brooding and abrasive as well as downright delicate, knew a good joke when they heard it.
Flemish Altruism was reissued on vinyl for this year's Record Store Day, alongside A Minor Forest's other studio album, 1998's Inindependence. The rollout has been humble one, and it can't help but be compared to Slint's deservedly lavish Spiderland box set this month. Slint blazed trails with its dour, eerie ominousness; A Minor Forest, on the other hand, neither innovated nor intimidated. That doesn't make Flemish Altruism any less tense. The shadow of Slint - as well of Slint's slower, icier cousin, Codeine - loom large over A Minor Forest's distended syllables and dangling chords. The group had been honing that sound on singles and EPs since 1994, but Flemish Altruism tracks like "...But the Pants Stay On" and "Jacking Off George Lucas" groped for a new vocabulary out of the fragments laying around after post-rock's early-'90s Big Bang. What resulted was pidgin Slint-but in that process of restructuring, A Minor Forest came damn close to inventing post-post-rock, where the subgenre's self-seriousness was wrestled with until it laughed, gasped, and collapsed.
Steve Albini and Bob Weston produced Flemish Altruism, and the nerve-tightening cello they'd previously captured on Nirvana's In Utero feels almost deliberately evoked on the album's most arresting song, "Perform the Critical Straw Transfer". Singer/guitarist Erik Hoversten opens it with a deadpan punch line: "Guess you really lucked outÉ" he begins, his numb voice trailing off as bassist John Trevor Benson screams bestially yet faintly in the background, "Éon this one." Sarcasm never sounded so black. Beneath them, cellist Dominique Davison saws with quiet strength, as if mocking and apologizing at the same time. The screaming gets pushed to the fore on thoroughly non-dainty "Dainty Jack and His Amazing Technicolor Cloth Jacket", an erratic spasm of dissonance that shows an affinity for San Diego screamo (A Minor Forest had previously recorded with Matt Anderson of Heroin), only broken up here and there with squibs of pinpoint jazziness. The balance is struck almost perfectly on "Bill's Mom Likes to Fuck", a 10-minute noise-cycle of mood swings, red herrings, and curdled blood.
The wiseass, scattershot racket of Flemish Altruism settles into a more predictable groove onInindependence. Concise and controlled by comparison, A Minor Forest's second and final album (not including their 1999 singles-and-EPs collection, ...So, Were They in Some Sort of Fight?) drags more algebra into the rhythm and more calculation into the off-kilter melody. It wouldn't be fair to say the band had begun to take itself either more or less seriously - but the music is more serious, and even the song titles are less crass. If "Erik's Budding Romance" is to be taken at face value, that relationship flip-flopped randomly and often between coy, candlelit dinners and table-flipping eruptions of lust. Drummer Andee Connors, an unsung hero of his instrument and era, is in top form, coaxing every shade of texture, dynamic, and emotion out of the kit. There are honest, unabashed hooks on the deliciously brief (that is, under four minutes) centerpiece, "ÉIt's Salmon!!!", as well as in "Michael Anthony", which skips a sweet melody across a minefield of disjointed changes and chords. At the same time, the album's 18-minute monster "The Smell of Hot" never fully jells; as A Minor Forest's recording career drew to a halt, patience-testing jams occupied one extreme of their spectrum, while a hint of pleasing pop teased at the other.
A Minor Forest's legacy is not a towering one. Most notably, Hoversten went on to play with Pinback, where he was able to indulge his love of angular melody much more avidly. The band never seemed to want to make bold statements, and it always punctured whatever atmosphere it crafted with wiry self-deprecation and perverse wit. When A Minor Forest reunited in 2013 after a 15-year hiatus, Hoversten said in a radio interview, "[This reunion is] sort of like, take an outfit you wore 15 years ago, then put it on today. Clearly you liked it at one point, but it's not exactly the outfit you would have chosen today. That being said, it's not like I'm being asked to put on a clown suit." Despite their crank titles and in-jokes, A Minor Forest was never a funny band. But they had fun, and that fun seeped into their music. And that makes Flemish Altruism and Inindependence two of the most endlessly rewarding albums of the 90s post-rock boom, if never the most monolithic.
And finally, here's a review of both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence from the always awesome Pop Matters:
The bare truth behind two classic albums from the 1990s.
I remember it clearly: the road was a hazy sequence of distant glares kept together by a dense, hazy lull immersed in the purest of mists. My friend, the proud owner of the CD, was holding the music artifact with one hand, while the other occasionally found its way up and down the wheel, now on this side; now on the other. I never knew how both hands also managed to offer such an accurate interpretation of the drumming, but his abilities ceased to amaze me when my side of the car hit a guardrail that seemed to have popped out from nowhere. My friend carefully placed the CD case in the glove compartment and met me outside the vehicle, where we assessed the damage. "That drumming! Oh boy, that drumming!", was all he had to say.
Not much has happened in the 16 years that followed that day. My friend got married, paid his way to a divorce and when we meet, I drive, so he can be Andee Connors and I can take good care of our lives. In the real world, the influence of a band like A Minor Forest - a scruffy bunch of lads from San Francisco - still echoes on both sides of the Atlantic. Inheritors of the legacy initiated by bands like Slint, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol and Shellac, A Minor Forest's name appears, rightly or wrongly, almost invariably as part of the American post-rock scene, as if their own legacy could not be singled out and stand on its own two feet. But while most people blame them, together with a whole bunch of Midwestern acts loosely located in the "Corn Belt", for the explosion of the math-rock plague, the impact this short-lived ensemble has had on indie rock is probably still far from being recognised.
Their two classic albums, Flemish Altruism and Inindependence, reissued on vinyl by Thrill Jockey for Record Store Day on 19 April, are both presented with an array of previously unpublished pictures in a special four-LP set that includes download cards. However, what matters the most is that these albums, which have been out of print for a decade, have been remastered from the original tapes. The sensuality of the naked, raw sound that was the core of that scene (and I hereby use this term in the artistic, rather than in the geographic sense) is therefore faithfully represented in all its purity and ingenuity. "The Dutch Fist", "So Jesus Was At the Last Supper" and "...But the Pants Stay On" are some of the finest representations imaginable of noise as the most spontaneous by-product of the deconstruction of rock grammar. This primary necessity regulated by tradition - Erik Hoversten (guitars and vocals) and John Trevor Benson (bass) had both studied music at Berkeley - found its champions in Steve Albini (who else?) and Bob Weston (he too of Shellac fame), whose uncompromised affection for stripped-down sounds and total lack of artificiality constituted the perfect match for the band.
Flemish Altruism is the result of this formula, and tunes like "Jacking Off George Lucas" or "Ed Is 50" betray an improvisational approach which heavily relies on the dichotomy between the extreme unpredictability of noise and the discipline usually behind melodic patterns. The almost mandatory (at least back then) tour of most of the US would lead, two years later, to the recording of Inindependence: an album that followed the path traced by its predecessor, perpetuating the angularity and eclecticism that would make A Minor Forest easily recognizable years after their dissolution.
Flemish Altruism and Inindependence are the band's only full-lengths and it could not be otherwise. Although a collection of much of their out of print material, plus a couple of new tracks made it onto the Were They in Some Sort of Fight? CD on My Pal God Records in 1999, these two albums vouch for an incredibly inspired band which disbanded once they realized that the traditional rock instrumentation was starting to restrict their enormous potential and creativity. Does this awareness affect these two records? Not at all. A Minor Forest didn't live long enough to see their craft surpass their inspiration, and for this reason their legacy is definitely safer now than it was 20 years ago!
As mentioned above, both Flemish Altruism and Inindependence have been remastered, both include digital downloads, and are housed in swank full color gatefold jackets, Flemish Altruism has all new artwork, and while they last, available ONLY at aQ (or from the band on their upcoming tour, which begins a few days after this week's list!), both records are bundled together (4lps!), for a special low price, and housed in a silkscreened tote bag, with a killer new AMF logo by none other than Christoph Szpadjel, the Lord Of The Logos!
MPEG Stream: "But The Pants Stay On"
MPEG Stream: "So Jesus Was At The Last Supper..."
MPEG Stream: "Speed For Gavin"
MPEG Stream: "Erik's Budding Romance"
MPEG Stream: "Michael Anthony"
MPEG Stream: "The Dutch Fist"

album cover AQUARIUS TOTE BAG Black with Silver 'Black Metal' Logo by Christophe Szpajdel bag 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As mentioned on last Friday's in-betweener, for this year's Record Store Day, we finally got around to producing some aQuarius tote bags! People are always asking, and it's the eco-friendly thing to do, hope you like 'em.
It's a black bag, with metallic silver print, featuring a brand new, elaborately 'black metal' styled aQuarius Records logo, done by "the Lord of the Logos" himself, the very talented (and super nice) Christophe Szpajdel. He did Emperor's logo, among many others. He's the man. It's a nice lookin' logo, kind of black metal meets art nouveau. These 14 1/2" x 16" bags, with securely cross-stitched straps, are big enough to hold a bunch of lps (like, up a dozen single lps).

album cover V/A Todo Muere Volume 4 (Sacred Bones Presents A Record Store Day 2014 Sampler) (Sacred Bones) lp 17.98
A bit of a Record Store Day tradition at this point, it's the yearly Todo Muere lp, a sampler of sorts from the Sacred Bones label, featuring a handful of tracks, some exclusive, others from forthcoming releases. We managed to get enough so some of you mailorder folks can nab a copy too. And like every year, it's a pretty great listen, all over the sonic map, much like the label, starting off this time with Amen Dunes, from the forthcoming full length Love, a strummy psych folk drifter that's all hazy and dreamily druggy. There's also an outtake from the Zola Jesus record Versions, which found her teamed up with Foetus, aka Jim Thirwell, for some moody, drum machine driven string heavy goth. There's an outtake from David Lynch's The Big Dream, a creepy atmospheric sprawl of drum machines, and softly swirling atmospherics, all underpinning Lynch's ominous sung/spoken vocals.
This year's comp would be worth it just for recent Record Of The Weeker Marissa Nadler's gorgeous cover of Nick Cave's "The Kindness Of Strangers", delicate and haunting, and as good as anything on her most recent full length. Pharmakon deliver another exclusive track, a super trippy industrial-gloom cover of "Bang Bang", transforming the bombast of the original into a creepy, noise flecked torch song. Pop. 1280 kick out the jams on one of the comp's exclusive tracks, a pulsing synth driven garage-punk groover, all clanging jagged guitars, snarly vox, tripped out FX, and gloom-garage noise rock stomp. The spacey psychedelic drift of Follakzoid gets the remix treatment from someone called Oskreuz-Huidobro, and turns the original into a murky sprawl of softly pulsing minimal techno-psych mesmer, that sounds like Kompakt by way of Agitated. Nice! And finally, you get a teaser for the upcoming Lust For Youth full length, a shimmery, jangly, eighties style synth popper, that sounds weirdly upbeat after the mostly dour and downer vibe of the rest of the tracks.
Killer stuff as always. Only have a handful of these left, and once they're gone, they're likely gone for good! Includes a download code as well!
MPEG Stream: MARISSA NADLER "The Kindness Of Strangers"
MPEG Stream: PHARMAKON "Bang Bang"
MPEG Stream: FOLLAKZOID "Pulsar (Oskreuz Berlin RMX)"

album cover BEAR BONES, LAY LOW Recalentaitos (self-released) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It's been ages since we last heard from Bear Bones Lay Low, and that review mentions us knowing nothing about the man behind BBLL other than he was an 18 year old Venezuelan kid living in Belgium, who had just become a member of aQ faves Silvester Anfang, which is all we needed to know. Ever since, we've done our best to track down anything we could find, which was not much. But now BBLL is in the US, touring with another aQ favorite, Jooklo Duo, so obviously catch them both if you can. To commemorate the tour, BBLL put together this ultra limited (66 copies!) cd-r, available only from the band on tour, or from aQ, while they last.
Like the other Bear Bones recordings we'd heard, Recalentaitos, is another dreamily psychedelic collection of psychedelic vibrations, rhythmic pulsations, blurred chordal textures, ritualistic and avant, primitive and home brewed, opener "A Fifth Ring" sounds like some Finnish forest folk outfit doing krautrock, all buzzing synths, minimal percussion, a sort of pulsating kosmische via campfire jam, hazy and druggy and drifty, which leads right into the even more spacey "Lacreo", an undulating field of reverb drenched rhythms, soft swirls of sci-fi FX, again, a weird sort of motorik propulsion driving the track, but buried beneath layers of murk, and tangles of atonal distorted psyche guitar, that's woven into the gristly fabric of the song.
The other three tracks continue to delve deeper into some subterranean soundworld, from the bird call flecked muted creep of "Perdido Entre Las Ramas", to the mutated varispeed collage of "Name Game", which sounds like Monopoly Child Star Searchers doing their best Tangerine Dream, to closer "Green Temple", which sounds like some alien horror movie circus music, puled apart, and blurred into a mysterious sprawl of glitch-drone shimmer and crumbling space-drift ambience.
As we mentioned above, SUPER DUPER LIMITED! Only 66 copies, each on hand numbered, housed in a plain brown sleeve, with a full color printed insert. Once these are gone, they are gone for good!
MPEG Stream: "A Fifth Ring"
MPEG Stream: "Lacreo"

album cover JOOKLO DUO Live At Occii (Troglosound) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A few years back Italian free jazz / experimental outfit the Jooklo Duo, played a fantastic instore at aQ, while on tour in the US, playing exclusively on toy instruments, it was lovely, and super unique, playful and really special. Around the same time they played a woefully unattended show, at which they destroyed, a furious free jazz psychedelic freakout a la Brotzmann / Fushitsusha, drummer David Vanzan destroying his kit, brutal and punishing, measured and finessed in equal measure, whole saxophonist Virginia Genta wailed like a psych-jazz banshee. The tour cd-r we had briefly around that same time, was a blast of face melting psychedelic jazz crush, and as we mentioned at the time, about as heavy as 'free' music gets.
Well, Jooklo Duo are back in the US, playing a handful of shows, which should NOT be missed, and we managed to get a little handful of their tour only cd-r, limited to just 66 copies, and unlike the aural punishment of that previous disc, Live At Occii spends much of its time skittering and shuffling, the first four or five minutes sounds like a more free jazz No Neck Blues Band, a field of constantly in flux bleats and breathy flutters, over a bed of spare percussion, and loose abstract drumming, eventually the disc explodes into some serious free jazz intensity, both Genta and Vanzan sparring relentlessly, the horns dropping out, for a long stretch of wild percussion, which is soon joined by wild vocals reminiscent of Art Ensemble at their very wildest, and over the next 20 minutes or so, the sound veers wildly from tangled free jazz bleat, to dizzying drum solos and octopoidal percussion workouts, they even manage to infuse some groove here and there, not to mention some Borbetomagus worthy skronk, the vibe and intensity super energetic, and extremely psychedelic, dynamic to the point of exhaustion, perfectly capture what made them so mind blowing at that previously mentioned show. Killer!
And again, this is SUPER LIMITED. Only 66 made, each one hand numbered, housed in a mini plastic case with printed covers and inserts, only available from the band on tour, or from aQ, while they last...
MPEG Stream: "Live At Occii (excerpt)"

album cover LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (DAVID HESS) OST (One Way Static) picture disc lp 29.00
This recently reviewed soundtrack, now available as a swanky picture disc in honor of Record Store Day! We have a very tiny handful left, so grab one before they're gone...
First there was Death Waltz, then Waxwork, and now One Way Static throws their bloodied and battered hat into the horror soundtrack vinyl reissue ring, with their reissue of David Hess's soundtrack to Wes Craven's depraved exploitation classic Last House On The Left. We listed this on last week's special horror soundtrack vinyl in-between list, but figured we'd list it proper again this week.
Composer David Hess has an interesting history, having recorded the original version of "All Shook Up", befo