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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.


album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Louden Up Now (Touch & Go) cd 15.98
Everybody's favorite indie funk-dub party band returns with their second full length after almost 4 years of near silence (just an ep and a few other sporadic appearances). And they take up right where they left off. Fun and funky, silly and sexy, occasionally intense and aggressive, but always a big ol' sweaty stew of jangly wah guitars, dubbed out FX all over the place, tribal rhythms, slap bass, ska horns, hypnotic grooves, bizarre production and lots of vocals! That's right. Vocals. The boy vocals sound quite a bit like the Clash at their most dubbed out, while the female vocals are classic sounding disco diva. All this vocalising keeps the proceedings weird and unpredictable, and add some serious snarl to the party (with a mouth that Mom would want to wash out with soap!), while perfectly complimenting !!!'s super extended instrumental workouts that are equal parts funky seventies sitcom theme song, coked up Studio 54 dance mix, British punk dub, Prince-like nasty funk (complete with Prince like lyrics: "U might C U R there...") and groovy Neu like krautrock. Comes with a bonus disc that appears to be the 'bad words removed' clean edit version of the record.
MPEG Stream: "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Karazee"
MPEG Stream: "Pardon My Freedom"

!!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Me And Giuliani Down By the School Yard (A True Story) (Touch & Go) 12" 5.98
!!!'s new single is razor sharp, cold 'n icy dance music, 2 lengthy pieces that have all the brightness and vitality of Liquid Liquid's "White Lines" or other similar hybrids of punk and dance music happening in NYC in the early '80s -- ESG, maybe Arthur Russell. Maybe it makes sense that they left the laid back clime of California for the adrenaline energy of New York. Three of its eight members are on Outhud, and one is in LCD Soundsystem.
However, I don't think foregrounding a vocal line is a good idea. !!!'s instrumentation is just enough; the vocals distract from what the instruments are saying, when all I want to hear is what that addictively groovy guitar's chkk-chkk-chikka chkk-chkk-chikka is going to go, or where the joyous chord progressions will take me. Recommended!

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Me And Giuliani Down By the School Yard (A True Story) (Touch & Go) cd single 5.98
!!!'s new single is razor sharp, cold 'n icy dance music, 2 lengthy pieces that have all the brightness and vitality of Liquid Liquid's "White Lines" or other similar hybrids of punk and dance music happening in NYC in the early '80s -- ESG, maybe Arthur Russell. Maybe it makes sense that they left the laid back clime of California for the adrenaline energy of New York. Three of its eight members are on Outhud, and one is in LCD Soundsystem.
However, I don't think foregrounding a vocal line is a good idea. !!!'s instrumentation is just enough; the vocals distract from what the instruments are saying, when all I want to hear is what that addictively groovy guitar's chkk-chkk-chikka chkk-chkk-chikka is going to go, or where the joyous chord progressions will take me. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard (a true story)"

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Myth Takes (Warp) cd 14.98
!!!'s latest makes us want to dj (or at least attend) a sweaty summer dance party so bad it hurts. Emulating the underlying mood of such parties, Myth Takes delivers without moderation. Drummer Gerard Fuchs provides a rapid heartbeat for the record by employing the open/closed hi-hat repetition you remember most from old 70's funk classics. Manic vocals that wax abrasive and wane falsetto paired with slap bass, clattering and hypnotic guitars, synths, and a whole lotta effects easily make Myth Takes the dance party record of the year. Accepting that college kegger dance-offs may merely be a not-so-distant memory for some of us, the Brooklyn based band's groove pounding third (full length) release has also proven to come in handy for ass-shakin' apartment cleaning and Aquarius order packing! Established !!! fans will certainly not be disappointed with Myth takes, and the Brooklyn based eight-piece is sure to recruit some new sweatband-rockin' blood with sex drenched hits like "Must Be The Moon."
MPEG Stream: "Myth Takes"
MPEG Stream: "Must Be The Moon"

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Myth Takes (Warp) lp 20.00
!!!'s latest makes us want to dj (or at least attend) a sweaty summer dance party so bad it hurts. Emulating the underlying mood of such parties, Myth Takes delivers without moderation. Drummer Gerard Fuchs provides a rapid heartbeat for the record by employing the open/closed hi-hat repetition you remember most from old 70's funk classics. Manic vocals that wax abrasive and wane falsetto paired with slap bass, clattering and hypnotic guitars, synths, and a whole lotta effects easily make Myth Takes the dance party record of the year. Accepting that college kegger dance-offs may merely be a not-so-distant memory for some of us, the Brooklyn based band's groove pounding third (full length) release has also proven to come in handy for ass-shakin' apartment cleaning and Aquarius order packing! Established !!! fans will certainly not be disappointed with Myth takes, and the Brooklyn based eight-piece is sure to recruit some new sweatband-rockin' blood with sex drenched hits like "Must Be The Moon."
MPEG Stream: "Myth Takes"
MPEG Stream: "Must Be The Moon"

!!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) s/t (Gold Standard Laboratories ) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Heads up, this is the highly anticipated full-length from current indie sensations !!! ("chik chik chik"). The band (composed of the guys from Sacramento's beloved Outhud as well as 3 or 4 other blokes) play a groove-addicted blend of (mostly) instrumental art-punk-funk that is so catchy and bouncy you will not believe it. Scene reports from all over the country have been afire with stories of !!! live shows wherein EVERYONE, including staid white emo boys, peels off their sweaty t-shirts to dance the night away. People who say they've NEVER danced at a show before simply could not restrain themselves in the face of !!!, who mix Gang of Four style angular guitar tension with the irresistible bass groove of Liquid Liquid, the fuzzy vocals of Joe Strummer (in fact it's sort of amazing and weird how often !!! sounds like "Casbah"-era Clash), and the kind of energy that just doesn't stop. There's only a couple of cringe-inducing moments (like when the singer goes "I learned a lot / from smoking pot / but I don't remember / what I forgot", but all in all this is a record that will have your hips moving wildly independent from the rest of yer body, like Byram's butt is doing right now... Go Byram go! (Then again, Byram has been known to shake his butt to Merzbow and Ryoji Ikeda, so maybe he's not the best litmus test of butt shaking music. Although our little dancing Santa in the window is certainly wagging his behind as we speak.)
RealAudio clip: "Intensify"
RealAudio clip: "Feel Good Hit of the Fall"

!!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) s/t (Gold Standard Laboratories ) lp 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Heads up, this is the highly anticipated full-length from current indie sensations !!! ("chik chik chik"). The band (composed of the guys from Sacramento's beloved Outhud as well as 3 or 4 other blokes) play a groove-addicted blend of (mostly) instrumental art-punk-funk that is so catchy and bouncy you will not believe it. Scene reports from all over the country have been afire with stories of !!! live shows wherein EVERYONE, including staid white emo boys, peels off their sweaty t-shirts to dance the night away. People who say they've NEVER danced at a show before simply could not restrain themselves in the face of !!!, who mix Gang of Four style angular guitar tension with the irresistible bass groove of Liquid Liquid, the fuzzy vocals of Joe Strummer (in fact it's sort of amazing and weird how often !!! sounds like "Casbah"-era Clash), and the kind of energy that just doesn't stop. There's only a couple of cringe-inducing moments (like when the singer goes "I learned a lot / from smoking pot / but I don't remember / what I forgot", but all in all this is a record that will have your hips moving wildly independent from the rest of yer body, like Byram's butt is doing right now... Go Byram go! (Then again, Byram has been known to shake his butt to Merzbow and Ryoji Ikeda, so maybe he's not the best litmus test of butt shaking music. Although our little dancing Santa in the window is certainly wagging his behind as we speak.)

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Strange Weather Isn't It? (Warp) cd 15.98
Kind of crazy to think that !!! have been around for almost fifteen years now. Seems like just yesterday that they were a brand new band aligned with a scene of like minded musicians who were rediscovering the intersection of dance music and punk. There was something so refreshing and fun about those early years of the band and while along the way there were definitely some musical missteps and a few duds there were always enough great moments to keep us at least a little bit excited for every new record. Strange Weather Isn't It? feels like a bit of a throwback to those years when they and The Rapture were being groomed to take over the world, but we do really dig how on songs like "The Most Certain Sure" sound like the band has been digging on what their Australian and Swedish counterparts like Cut Copy, Tough Alliance and Studio have been up to, cuz really it's been folks like that lately who have created an updated version of dance minded rock that works so well. We actually kind of wish the band would push it even further into full on pop territory, as we think that's where they could really excel and be a refreshing voice, but too often they return to their trademark if somewhat tired sound. Overall it's a record that while maybe not blowing us away, is for sure one of their more solid efforts.
MPEG Stream: "The Most Certain Sure"
MPEG Stream: "Jump Back"

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Strange Weather Isn't It? (Warp) lp 27.00
Kind of crazy to think that !!! have been around for almost fifteen years now. Seems like just yesterday that they were a brand new band aligned with a scene of like minded musicians who were rediscovering the intersection of dance music and punk. There was something so refreshing and fun about those early years of the band and while along the way there were definitely some musical missteps and a few duds there were always enough great moments to keep us at least a little bit excited for every new record. Strange Weather Isn't It? feels like a bit of a throwback to those years when they and The Rapture were being groomed to take over the world, but we do really dig how on songs like "The Most Certain Sure" sound like the band has been digging on what their Australian and Swedish counterparts like Cut Copy, Tough Alliance and Studio have been up to, cuz really it's been folks like that lately who have created an updated version of dance minded rock that works so well. We actually kind of wish the band would push it even further into full on pop territory, as we think that's where they could really excel and be a refreshing voice, but too often they return to their trademark if somewhat tired sound. Overall it's a record that while maybe not blowing us away, is for sure one of their more solid efforts.
MPEG Stream: "The Most Certain Sure"
MPEG Stream: "Jump Back"

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Take Ecstacy With Me (Touch & Go) cd ep 5.98
No thank you. We'd rather do PCP with the James Gang. Or smoke drano with the Commodores. Or even drink Liquid Plumber and horse piss smoothies with Funkadelic. Or better yet, how 'bout we just listen to the original version by the Magnetic Fields and skip this all together...

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) Take Ecstacy With Me (Touch & Go) 12" 5.98
No thank you. We'd rather do PCP with the James Gang. Or smoke drano with the Commodores. Or even drink Liquid Plumber and horse piss smoothies with Funkadelic. Or better yet, how 'bout we just listen to the original version by the Magnetic Fields and skip this all together...

album cover !!! (CHIK CHIK CHIK) / OUT HUD Lab Remix Series Vol.2 (Gold Standard Laboratories) cd ep 6.98
Finally available on cd! Here's what we had to say about the beloved vinyl version that originally came out in 2000:
"Very, very good instrumental 12" from two Sacramento bands (the latter is pronounced 'chik chik chik'), both of whom draw heavily from the chugga chugga guitars of Wire and the art / punk / funk of Liquid Liquid. Highly recommended! Windy cannot stop playing this in the store."
Indeed these two groups were received with feverish enthusiasm, leading the indie dance-punk trend of a few years back. This split ep (one second over 30 minutes long) features three Out Hud tracks and one lengthy number from !!! (one second shy of 12 minutes long).
MPEG Stream: OUT HUD "JGNE"
MPEG Stream: !!! "Instinct"

!CARLOS! Bigger Teeth (Headhunter/Cargo) cd 11.98
Local boys play smart and plucky noise pop.

album cover !T.O.O.H.! (!TOTAL OBLITERATION OF HUMANITY!) Order And Punishment (Earache) cd 15.98
Tooh? Tee-oh-oh-ech!!? What's that? Oh, TOTAL OBLITERATION OF HUMANITY! Nice. Of course, they're one of those mean and blasting grindcore bands, and a really good one, on the weirder side of the genre -- or genres, in their case, since the Czech Republic's misanthropic !T.O.O.H.! tend to blenderize metal, punk, jazz, and other elements in their music.
We've actually been fans of these freaks for a long time, and were pleased to see 'em get a release on big time extreme metal label Earache, especially as we'd never been able to stock their cds regularly before, since they were all hard-to-come-by Middle European imports. Now we can get Order And Punishment anytime we want to spank all y'all with. And a sonic spanking it is, an utterly spastic spanking of technical death grind insanity. Ripping rollercoaster songcraft, full of widdly neo-classical guitar, vehement vocals in Czech (about what, we don't know), dizzying changes, and some valiantly thrashing riffs... it's really those "classic" metal elements that turn this into a headbanger's ball for us, and make Order And Punishment a worthy repeat listen. What a bunch of nutters.
MPEG Stream: "Abu-Hassan"
MPEG Stream: "Padaji, Piskaji"

album cover ( R ) In Pink (Important) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Solo project from one of the members of Larsen. Languid post-rock hypnosis with plenty of nods to late-period Swans and Joy Division. The latter becomes apparent with a cover of Joy Division's "Atmosphere."

album cover (FALLEN) BLACK DEER, THE Requiem (Latitudes 0:15) (Latitudes / Southern ) cd 13.98
One of two new releases this week in the always kick ass Latitudes series, the other from long time aQ faves White Magic, and this one from the unknown to us until now The (Fallen) Black Deer, which features members of postrock/metal combo the Red Sparrowes. Ostensibly a soundtrack for the second half of Kubrick's The Shining, this is a gorgeous, haunting slab of cinematic drift and drone, that sounds a bit like a drumless Red Sparrowes actually. Moody and drone-y, measured riffing, keening tones way off in the distance, throbbing low end, jagged melodies, all smoothed into Godspeed style slow burning and building epics. The first four tracks play out as a single movement, the same riff, expanding and sprawling, finally culminating in the fourth track, a fierce crescendo, the guitars wailing and moaning, some buried black metal vocals, and bursts of static coming fast and furious, before slipping to the next track, and allowing the riff to drift off, leaving swirls of spaced out effects and layered drones, this goes on for a couple tracks before a new guitar line is introduced, spidery and minor key, mournful with a little twang, unwinding over a distant layer of whirring droning rumble, and over the last few tracks, that riff gets all tangled up with thick slabs of sludgey low end, soaring strings of upper register skree, stuttering chunks of effected guitar crumble, slipping dramatically form hushed and whispered to blown out and heavy. Very epic and cinematic for sure, but what it actually sounds like is just metallic post rock with the drums removed, and some drones added, which manages to turn it into something much more amorphous and abstract, and definitely gives it a sort of drifting unmoored vibe that definitely suits the sound. Especially when you imagine the sights these sounds are meant to conjure up.
LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES AS ALWAYS. Only 500 of which made it to the US, only a handful making it to aQ, packaged in that cool, origami style white on brown cardstock Latitudes sleeve, with a cool embossed metallic silver logo / image on the front, and a printed full color insert, each sleeve machine numbered.
MPEG Stream: "What Are Fears But Voices Airy?"
MPEG Stream: "Things Of The Past And Yet To Come"
MPEG Stream: "This Axe Is Restless"

album cover (INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY Bigger Cages, Longer Chains (Epitaph) cd 9.98
Taking the catchy rock n' roll energy of bands like the Hives or Rocket From the Crypt and propelling it into political territory, this Swedish fivesome provides the dance soundtrack to a revolution. Sexy, soulful horn-tinged garage-punk with lyrics dedicated to fightin' capitalism, giving a voice to immigrants, and other radical topics-- free your ass, and perhaps your mind will follow the young Swedes' lead to the weighty philosphies of Guy Debord, Luis Althusser and others, as listed in the liner notes following each song. Does the lack of a revolutionary quality to the relatively straight-ahead music undermine their message, or is this an aural example of tactics such as the use of comics and cinema that the Situationists used in order to better spread their message to the masses? I'm not sure, but I still think the album's pretty hot.
RealAudio clip: "Bigger Cages, Longer Chains"
RealAudio clip: "Beautiful So Alone"

album cover (R) Under The Cables, Into The Wind (Important) cd 14.98
Under The Cables, Into The Wind marks the second solo album for Fabrizio Modonese Polumbo, who hails from the eccentric Italian post-rock outfit Larsen. That said, Polumbo qualifies this as his first 'real' solo album, as he dismisses his earlier album Humps as little more than a collection of fragments, compilation tracks, commissioned works, and live sessions. Where Larsen creates a smoldering sound of hypnotic grooves and melodies intensified by slashing counterpoints, Polumbo's (r) exhibits a greater degree of experimentation with the studio itself as an instrument, building elusive, shadowy collages and swelling compositions from ringing chimes, bowed metals and thick walls of jet-engine noise. Yet, he hasn't entirely dropped the structure of the song on this album, as densely packed acoustic guitar chords buidling into orchestrations much like Swans' final album Sountracks For The Blind; at the same time, there's a thoroughly abstracted cover of Avril Lavigne's "I'm With U," which Polumbo is quick to point out was produced not for ironic purposes, but out of a fascination with the control mechanisms of pop music (e.g. Laibach's numerous covers of Beatles, Queen, Rolling Stones, Europe, etc.) and reinterprets it as a call for empathy for those who deserve it. Well done, sir.
MPEG Stream: "Shining Camels And Rising Anacondas"
MPEG Stream: "I'm With U"

album cover (SMOG) Supper (Drag City) cd 14.98
A recent Smog show here in SF was, somewhat surprisingly, totally amazing. Instead of stark indifference and an uninspired performance, it was everything you could possibly want a Smog show to be-- intimate and immediate, with Bill Callahan in an approachable mood, bantering with the audience and even taking requests. Accompanied by just an electric guitar and a tamborine, he played some of his very best songs (oh man, "To Be Of Use" from "Red Apple Falls" breaks my heart every time I hear it!) in a fashion that managed to be both wrenchingly honest yet cheeky and good-humored (see: "Dress Sexy at my Funeral," definitely the highlight of "Dongs of Sevotion" and also of this particular Smog set). He also played "Bathysphere," and weirdly, he seemed to be playing a cover of Cat Power's cover of his song, turning the cello parts from his recorded version into intense vocalisations. It was great! Oh yeah, he's got a new record, too. A couple of the songs Callahan played live turn up on it. I liked them better in their stripped-down live versions. "Supper," at the very least, doesn't suck nearly as much as "Rain on Lens." In fact, it's actually very pleasant. He's still got the rock-band thing going, but there are more mellow-melancholy moments and the songwriting is a bit stronger. There's this one crazy free-folk song that's definitely my favorite thing about "Supper": softly frenzied textural drumming layered with multiple levels of almost droning guitar picking, banjo, and hypnotic group vocals repeating the same line again and again... really beautiful, like a little bit of Tower Recordings or something transported into a Smog song. The rest of the album gets very alt-country what with the lap steel slide guitar and Palace-y mock-religious folk country-- actually, "Supper" has a pretty Mountain-ep era Palace vibe, only with unfortunate detours into gross blues-rock. Honestly, though, I can always listen to Callahan's conversational baritone confessionals. Here, counterpoint to his wounded lone-wolf male perspective (see: review of "Accumulation: None") is provided by a female vocalist who's trying to do a powerfully sultry country chanteuse thing and not being overly succesfull at it (glad she's there anyway, keepin' the man-with-no-name cowboy heartbreaker tendencies in check, to a degree). Overall, not a bad Smog album, assuming you already have "Red Apple Falls," "Julius Caeser," "Wild Love," "Dongs of Sevotion," "Accumulation: None" and even "Knock Knock."
RealAudio clip: "Our Anniversary"
RealAudio clip: "Feather By Feather"
RealAudio clip: "Driving"

(SMOG) Supper (Drag City) lp 14.98
A recent Smog show here in SF was, somewhat surprisingly, totally amazing. Instead of stark indifference and an uninspired performance, it was everything you could possibly want a Smog show to be-- intimate and immediate, with Bill Callahan in an approachable mood, bantering with the audience and even taking requests. Accompanied by just an electric guitar and a tamborine, he played some of his very best songs (oh man, "To Be Of Use" from "Red Apple Falls" breaks my heart every time I hear it!) in a fashion that managed to be both wrenchingly honest yet cheeky and good-humored (see: "Dress Sexy at my Funeral," definitely the highlight of "Dongs of Sevotion" and also of this particular Smog set). He also played "Bathysphere," and weirdly, he seemed to be playing a cover of Cat Power's cover of his song, turning the cello parts from his recorded version into intense vocalisations. It was great! Oh yeah, he's got a new record, too. A couple of the songs Callahan played live turn up on it. I liked them better in their stripped-down live versions. "Supper," at the very least, doesn't suck nearly as much as "Rain on Lens." In fact, it's actually very pleasant. He's still got the rock-band thing going, but there are more mellow-melancholy moments and the songwriting is a bit stronger. There's this one crazy free-folk song that's definitely my favorite thing about "Supper": softly frenzied textural drumming layered with multiple levels of almost droning guitar picking, banjo, and hypnotic group vocals repeating the same line again and again... really beautiful, like a little bit of Tower Recordings or something transported into a Smog song. The rest of the album gets very alt-country what with the lap steel slide guitar and Palace-y mock-religious folk country-- actually, "Supper" has a pretty Mountain-ep era Palace vibe, only with unfortunate detours into gross blues-rock. Honestly, though, I can always listen to Callahan's conversational baritone confessionals. Here, counterpoint to his wounded lone-wolf male perspective (see: review of "Accumulation: None") is provided by a female vocalist who's trying to do a powerfully sultry country chanteuse thing and not being overly succesfull at it (glad she's there anyway, keepin' the man-with-no-name cowboy heartbreaker tendencies in check, to a degree). Overall, not a bad Smog album, assuming you already have "Red Apple Falls," "Julius Caeser," "Wild Love," "Dongs of Sevotion," "Accumulation: None" and even "Knock Knock."

album cover + / - (PLUS / MINUS) You Are Here (TeenBeat) cd 14.98
Originally a solo side project of Versus' guitarist James Balayut, Plus/Minus has swelled into a full blown trio with fellow Versus member Patrick Ramos and Chris Deaner hopping aboard. They present their full length follow-up to Holding Patterns, the blissful +/- five-song debut from earlier this year. You Are Here is for the most part quite an understated affair, but it's not without dynamic and stylistic range. Slightly jazzy, touching on almost all shades of Chicago postrock. The result? A finely blended sound that's reminiscent of a hybrid of Tortoise, The Sea And Cake and Versus too. Soft, often near-spoken male vocals, warm tendrils of tremoloed guitars, bendy groovy cyclical basslines, plenty of crash cymbal punctuations. That said, quite possibly their catchiest pop song to date -- the soaring guitar-driven "Trapped Under The Ice Floes" -- makes a welcome "redux" reappearance here (it was the second song on the EP).
MPEG Stream: "Ventriloquist"
MPEG Stream: "Trapped Under The Ice Floes (Redux)"

album cover + / - (PLUS / MINUS) Holding Patterns (TeenBeat) cd 9.98
On this 5-song ep, Plus / Minus waste no time in getting down to business, and that business is crafting glorious dream pop. However, they prove they can shift gears with nary a blink of the eye going from the considerably amped up power pop of the second song "Trapped Under Ice Floes" straight into the ultra soothing "Far Into The Fields". Very graceful and very nice. Can't wait for more!
MPEG Stream: "Trapped Under Ice Floes"
MPEG Stream: "Far Into The Fields"

album cover + / - (PLUS / MINUS) Let's Build A Fire (Absolutely Kosher) cd 13.98
Let's Build A Fire is the kind of record you unfortunately don't hear much about these days. Not enough bells and whistle's perhaps. What makes the Brooklyn based trio so great is sort of subtle. Well played beautiful guitar riffs that blend perfectly with the gorgeously pitched soft vocals. Complicated, but not flashy drumming. Talented friends playing and harmonizing on a single track not for the novelty of a pedal steel or cello, but to complete the vision of a well rounded gentle pop song. Let's Build A Fire is reminiscent of a very definitive time in the history of indie music that had us glued to our headphones listening to the likes of Yo La Tengo, Superchunk, and Polvo (to name a few). It's the kind of album we definitely don't hear enough about these days.
MPEG Stream: "One Day You'll Be There"
MPEG Stream: "Leap Year"

album cover + / - (PLUS / MINUS) s/t (TeenBeat) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Very nice! The lovely, minimal vellum packaging offers very little in the way of liner notes and gives nary a hint of the sounds contained inside, but one thing we do know for sure is that this is the debut from +/- aka James Balayut and Patrick Ramos. And if those names sound familiar, well it just might be because they were two members of the fine NYC polished pop outfit Versus. Actually fans of said band might find this album a familiar friend as the overall sound flows quite closely to that of many songs from their last album, the subtly textured, varied and pretty "Hurrah". Mostly soft, warm and heartfelt vocals over lush instrumentation. Lazy day basslines, soothing organ drones, twinkling guitar melodies with a few bursts of My Bloody Valentine-esque feedback washes and an occasional playful, skitterish or blown-out programmed beat a la Cornelius. The warm boyish vocals reminded me of those of Elliott Smith, Sea & Cake and Mark Robinson. Standout tracks include "Beverly Road" and "Crestfallen". Check 'em out!
RealAudio clip: "Crestfallen"
RealAudio clip: "Beverly Road"

album cover +/- (PLUS MINUS) Xs On Your Eyes (Absolutely Kosher) cd 14.98
Wow, we've gotten quite a bunch of terrific pop releases for you his week... such as Dead Science, and this one! Xs On Your Eyes is album #4 for +/-, and what a fine one it is! Songs like "Snowblind" and the title track make this a near-perfect autumnal indie pop treasure and a great follow-up to 2007's Let's Build A Fire. With their warm reverbed male vocals, jangle-pop guitars and smart songwriting, +/- possesses the comforting fuzzy security blanket nature of bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Postal Service, Nada Surf and Yo La Tengo, but with more propulsive drums and horn embellishments. Also, as with past +/- recordings, you can still hear fond familiar echoes of guitarist James Balayut's other band Versus, so if you were/are a fan you sure don't want to miss! College radio cuddle-ready!
MPEG Stream: "Snowblind"
MPEG Stream: "Xs On Your Eyes"

album cover +/- (PLUS/MINUS) VS. BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS s/t (TeenBeat) cd 10.98
As the back cover informs us, "+/- covers BB and BB covers +/-". Seems simple enough, don't it? And if you're not familiar with these two bands you'd probably already guess just from the bands' names that this might be a rather odd pairing. So we thought. However, it's not as strange as we initially believed. Seems Blood Thirsty Butchers have gone through something of a transformation in the years since we last heard from them... it has been quite a while. If our memory serves correctly, they used to be a gritty indie hardcore band from Japan. As far as we know they're still from Japan, but they've mellowed considerably. They make dreamy post-rockish pop with angelic female and boyish vocals with a very occasional blast of gnarly guitar aggression. They're so much closer in sound to soft popsters +/- than we could ever have anticipated. Soooo, whatcha get is a pretty consistent half dozen delicious indie pop tunes with feverishly strummed Unrest-style jangly guitars. So at home on the Teenbeat record label.
MPEG Stream: +/- (PLUS/MINUS) "Banging The Drum"
MPEG Stream: BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS "Waking Up Is Hard To Do"

album cover 1-2-6 Graveyard Paradise: The Complete 1 2 6 & Taboo Recordings, 1966-68 (Ugly Things) cd 15.98

album cover 10 Kitsch (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
We continue to dig into the Chinese underground, as we do with every list lately, tapping into what has become a surprisingly vibrant scene as of late, and one of our recent favorites is this group called 10, whose sound is super tripped out and abstract, psychedelic, spacey and swirly, rife with drifting voices, glitched out electronics, shifting textures and mutant rhythms. Where lots of the Chinese stuff we've been digging has owed a great sonic debt to classic American indie / college / noise rock, 10 definitely move way beyond all that, maybe closer in spirit to another recent aQ fave White+, but unlike the psychedelic krautrockiness of White+, 10 seems to fall somewhere closer to Japanese weirdos the Boredoms, or maybe even Gang Gang Dance. Their songs are super rhythmic and effects heavy, with driving beats, motorik grooves, and truly strange female vocals, witchy and shamanic. 10's music is way less pop, or even rock, than a lot of those other Chinese bands, and way more experimental, almost industrial in some places, noisy and chaotic and psychedelic in others. Raw, lo-fi, primitive but also ambitious, lots of rhythmic texture, haunting ambience, dronescapes bleed into hazy ambience, which blossom into spaced out avant free-rock freakouts, which in turn devolve into tripped out minimal dirge pop, or FX drenched drifts, or sprawling textured noise, or abstract vocal mantras, draped over Nurse With Wound like sound design. Super cool, weird and wonderful, and way recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Mimi, Ua"
MPEG Stream: "Gajang"
MPEG Stream: "Catch It"

album cover 100 FLOWERS s/t (Superior Viaduct) lp 15.98
When legendary So-Cal punk rockers the Urinals decided to retool their sound, and get a little artier, they realized that maybe the band name the Urinals didn't quite match up with what they were going for, and thus, the Urinals became 100 Flowers. This is their one and only full length recording, originally released in 1983, and now reissued by local label Superior Viaduct. To be fair, the Urinals were already kinda arty, their sound super minimal, not punk in the sense of so many punk bands at the time, more sinewy and tribal, the guitars sharp and jagged, the songs short and spare, and that arty minimalism was super prescient of much that would follow. And the fact that only a couple years passed between the Urinals and 100 Flowers, and really, it's essentially the same band, you might think that that sounds would be pretty familiar, but in fact, 100 Flowers was a pretty dramatic shift, the sound much more melodic, less minimal, the sound more full and more poppy, just check out opener "Without Limbs", total jangle pop blissout, with crooned vocals, bloopy bass, shimmery guitars, some kinetic drumming, and a main hook that's pretty tough to resist. But the band didn't ditch all their angular weirdness, follow up, "All Sexed Up" is angular, and actually sort of funky, with sung spoken vocals, and a main guitar part that wouldn't be out of place in a Minutemen song (a group HEAVILY influenced by the Urinals / 100 Flowers), but even that doesn't sum up the new sound, cuz "Our Fallout" gets a bit punky, snarly and intense, the vocals venturing into almost Jello Biafra territory, the guitars fuzzy, the temp frenetic, but then suddenly, there's the minute long "Horizontal", with its weird woozy synth solo, and Devo like vocals, and its stuttering start/stop arrangement.
And they're pretty tough to pin down from there on out, but essentially, the elements displayed in those first few tracks, make up the rest of the songs in different measure, the funky punky Minutemen vibe is present throughout, there's also a surf sound that pops up constantly, especially in the guitar, and their So-Cal hardcore roots shine through all over the place, some songs slipping into something more poppy and jangly, others getting buzzier and punkier, and still others, slipping into arty angularity, often some twisted mix of the three.
Catchy and quirky, punky and poppy, this stuff sounds pretty great even all these years later. And while we always loved the Urinals, we're now becoming pretty obsessed with 100 Flowers too, and after having only heard songs on comps here and there, are extremely grateful to Superior Viaduct for rescuing and reissuing this killer slab of post punk pop.
Includes a printed insert, and a download code as well.
MPEG Stream: "Without Limbs"
MPEG Stream: "All Sexed Up"
MPEG Stream: "Our Fallout"
MPEG Stream: "Horizontal"
MPEG Stream: "California's Falling Into The Ocean"

10CC s/t (Not Bad Records) lp 24.00

album cover 120 DAYS s/t (Vice) cd 13.98
Of course black metal and soft pop aren't the only cool sounds coming outta Norway these days, but who'd guess there'd be something with such a German bent to it. 120 Days are the Norwegians of whom we speak. Four hip young fellows wearing the sizable influences of kraut rock geniuses (CAN, Neu!, Kraftwerk) and raw angsty post-punk terrors (Suicide and The Stooges) proudly on their sleeves. They take those lessons they've learned studying their masters' classic recordings and project 'em through a modern rock sheen and the result is strangely mesmerizing. Flitting from motorik jam to angular new wave and back again, often in the same song. Long blown out synthscapes and distant robotic pulses butted up against crazed dancefloor throb and jagged guitars... You can almost imagine some exclusive seventies German nightclub, tucked in the basement of some abandoned building, where every week, a crowd of tight panted, angular haircutted, garishly make-upped kids meet up with a bunch of long haired space rock burnouts, and stay up all night harmoniously dancing, getting high, making out and drifting off, all to the strains of 120 Days...
MPEG Stream: "Be Mine"
MPEG Stream: "Sleepwalking"

album cover 13TH CHIME Complete Discography (Sacred Bones) cd 16.98
We reviewed the vinyl version of this a few lists back, now the cd version is available, and as the title indicates, the cd gathers up all the songs from the lp, and then some, their entire recorded discography! Very cool.
13th Chime were an obscure band for sure, having issued only 3 singles in the early '80s before calling it quits. Their history was not a charmed one for sure, as the band known as 13th Chime came out of another punk band known as The Anticx, whose bass player died during a Dead Kennedy's gig in 1980. The remaining members of The Anticx kept playing as 13th Chime, having found another bassist who helped push the band in a new direction. Perhaps because of the death of their friend, 13th Chime found themselves darkening their sound and embracing the Goth redux of punk at the time. The Damned's Black Album, the first Bauhaus record, Crispy Ambulance, the first Christian Death record, and X-Mal Deutschland would have been the contemporaries of 13th Chime's singles, with their gloomy take on punk whilst all the while maintaining driving, propulsive rhythms throughout. The guitars offered detuned buzzsaw attacks with little in the way of melody, as that was pretty much the role of the bassist (Terry Taylor) whose high-neck basslines lead almost all of the songs (a la Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order). Mick Hand's vocals are somewhat nasal in delivery, but certainly not without their Howard Devoto charm. There's plenty of Bat Cave theatrics (including some guitar cabinets made out of coffins), clearly dating this material to the early '80s; but even so, 13th Chime were better than most of the bands that seemed to emerge from that scene without these amazing songs to show for it. And all of the tracks these guys ever recorded are featured here on this fine collection from Sacred Bones.
MPEG Stream: "Cuts Of Love"
MPEG Stream: "Coffin Maker"
MPEG Stream: "Cursed"
MPEG Stream: "Dug Up"

album cover 13TH CHIME Singles 1981-1983 (Sacred Bones) lp 19.98
13th Chime were an obscure band for sure, having issued only 3 singles in the early '80s before calling it quits. Their history was not a charmed one for sure, as the band known as 13th Chime came out of another punk band known as The Anticx, whose bass player died during a Dead Kennedy's gig in 1980. The remaining members of The Anticx kept playing as 13th Chime, having found another bassist who helped push the band in a new direction. Perhaps because of the death of their friend, 13th Chime found themselves darkening their sound and embracing the Goth redux of punk at the time. The Damned's Black Album, the first Bauhaus record, Crispy Ambulance, the first Christian Death record, and X-Mal Deutschland would have been the contemporaries of 13th Chime's singles, with their gloomy take on punk whilst all the while maintaining driving, propulsive rhythms throughout. The guitars offered detuned buzzsaw attacks with little in the way of melody, as that was pretty much the role of the bassist (Terry Taylor) whose high-neck basslines lead almost all of the songs (a la Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order). Mick Hand's vocals are somewhat nasal in delivery, but certainly not without their Howard Devoto charm. There's plenty of Bat Cave theatrics (including some guitar cabinets made out of coffins), clearly dating this material to the early '80s; but even so, 13th Chime were better than most of the bands that seemed to emerge from that scene without those three amazing singles to show for it. And all of the tracks from those singles are featured here on this fine collection from Sacred Bones.

13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE Bull Of The Woods (Charly) 2lp 35.00

13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE Easter Everywhere (Snapper) cd 14.98

album cover 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE The Psychedelic Sounds Of (Sunspots) cd 16.98

album cover 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE The Psychedelic Sounds Of (Sundazed) lp 24.00
Classic!

13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE The Psychedelic Sounds of... (Snapper) cd 14.98
Classic!

album cover 14 ICED BEARS In The Beginning (Slumberland) cd 11.98
What with the Heavenly Vs Satan re-issue, the five Messthetics 70s/80s UK compilations and this 14 Iced Bears collection, it seems to be high time for a UK bubblegum punk/pop resurgence. So how 'bout hopping aboard this bouncy Brit buggy. "In The Beginning" compiles this mid-80s UK pop combo's first three singles as well as a handful of unreleased BBC session tracks, live recordings and demos. Capturing both their feisty and gentle sides. Released by prime purveyor of supreme dream pop confections Mike Shulman on his label Slumberland (home to recordings by such artists as the Aislers Set, the Lilys, and Lorelei). Fey indie psych-pop cousins of the Pastels, June Brides, and Housemartins. Oh and you just might recognize the bouncy "Balloon Song" from The Aislers Set's cover version on their album "The Last Match".
RealAudio clip: "Cut"
RealAudio clip: "The Balloon Song (Peel Session)"

15.60.75 (THE NUMBERS BAND) Jimmy Bell's Still In Town (Hearthan / Water) cd 12.98

16 Bridges To Burn (Relapse) cd 14.98

MPEG Stream: "Throw In The Towel"
MPEG Stream: "Skin And Bones"
MPEG Stream: "Me And My Shadow"

album cover 16 / TODAY IS THE DAY Zodiac Dreaming (Trash Art) split cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Split cd between L.A.s legendary sludgesters 16 and the completely maniacal Today Is The Day. 16 (who you can check out at the Sight Sounds Liberties festival Jan 31 if you live in SF) have been around forever, and their sound hasn't changed a whole lot, but then, why fix what ain't broke?! Three tracks of bass heavy sludge rock, equal parts Jesus Lizard, the Melvins and Helmet. Dark and brooding and furious. Today Is The Day contribute two tracks, also heavy and furious, but pretty weird too, even for them. The first track starts out like vintage TITD, but soon breaks down into a piano driven dirge, ringing reverb and howling whisper/falsetto vocals, sounding remarkably like Devil Doll or old Alice Cooper. Very dramatic and intense. They finish off the cd with a brilliant/stupid take on Queens Of The Stone Age's also brilliant/stupid 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer' with an incessant grinding metallic guitar riff, while the vocals consist of nothing but a recitation of drugs, from smack to cocaine to xanax to alcohol. Kinda dumb but well worth it for the other 4 tracks.
RealAudio clip: 16 "You're Not My Real Dad"
RealAudio clip: TODAY IS THE DAY "Invincible"

album cover 16 BITCH PILE-UP / MIKE SHIFLET split (Ecstatic Peace) 12" 13.98

album cover 16-17 Early Recordings (Savage Land) 2cd 19.98
Long overdue reissue of the impossible to find early releases from Swiss extremist free jazz / outrock outfit 16-17! Because of using saxophone, 16-17 were always tagged as some kind of 'jazz' group, but if this was jazz, it was a kind of jazz no one had EVER imagined at the time, extreme and difficult listening for sure, like Borbetomagus filtered through the Swans or like a snake charmer high on PCP jamming with Prong's rhythm section. Or even a free jazz Whitehouse! 16-17 were a shrieking banshee, a pummeling behemoth, massive, ear shredding, primitive horn blasting freakout predating Zorn's extreme jazz (Painkiller et. al.) by at least seven years. This trio (saxophonist Alex Buess, drummer Knut Remond and guitarist Markus Kneubuhler) wove tight, tense grooves of pounding drums, pulsing thick ropy low end guitar throb, and atop it ,all Buess' wildly squealing, squirming, snarling sax. 16-17 sound was so intense and far out, and so much modern music can be heard in these tracks, Flying Luttenbachers, Laddio Bolocko, Aufgehoben No Process, Painkiller, a few years later and maybe Buess would be celebrating HIS 50th birthday with star studded NYC performances and multiple cd releases, but as it is, these guys remained a footnote, lurking on the periphery, making common cause with Kevin Martin's God and Alboth and the even the Digital Hardcore label, their legacy indisputable, modern music's debt unrepayable, so thanks to Savage Land we can all now genuflect before the Gods of ultra extreme hardcore free jazz post punk whatthefuck, hear where it all started, feel the same thrill folks must have felt stumbling into some dingy New York dive when 16-17 came over and toured with the Swans, and being fucking flattened by these guys.
Includes the first two albums, Self Titled (1986) and When All Else Fails (1989) as well as the ULTRA rare Hardkore & Buffbunker cassette (1984). Two discs wrapped in a cardboard slipcover. Transferred from the best available sources, digitally remastered by Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers) and this is the very first time ANY of this music has been available on cd!
MPEG Stream: "Kat"
MPEG Stream: "Speech"
MPEG Stream: "Hardkore 1"

album cover 16-17 Gyatso (Savage Land) cd 14.98
WARNING: You -should- play this loud. But still, be careful! Make sure any of your easily-aggravated housemates aren't asleep. Move breakable objects out of the way. Take your heart medication. All reasonable precautions before subjecting yourself to the might of 16-17's newly reissued Gyatso.
The music of Switzerland's 16-17 has been called industrial free jazz. And it's certainly got the swarming, squealing saxophones of the most freaked out free jazz we've heard. But with its industrial/metallic elements, the BRUTAL trance-inducing grind of martial drumming and guitar chuggery, maybe "free" jazz isn't the word. How 'bout "totalitarian jazz"? When we previously highlighted the two-cd Early Recordings collection of 16-17's '80s output, we described the band as the "Gods of ultra extreme hardcore free jazz post punk whatthefuck". Ok, that's about right.
Well, Gyatso, originally released in 1994 on Kevin Martin's long gone Pathological imprint (home to Martin's projects like Techno Animal, God, and Ice, as well as crucial discs by Oxbow, Peter & Caspar Brotzmann, Terminal Cheesecake, Zeni Geva, etc.) was even more insane than the stuff on Early Recordings, being to us the pinnacle of 16-17's recorded existence. The thing is, this album takes their earlier excesses into a whole new realm, finally getting their music the heavy duty production treatment it deserved. It's about the heaviest "jazz" ever! Basically, imagine Godflesh teamed up with Peter Brotzmann (Machine Gun era) and this is about what you'd get. The aggressive, constantly-escalating tension of machine-gunning opener "Attack-Impulse" pretty much wipes the floor with all other contenders, going beyond the likes of Zorn's Painkiller or fellow Swiss maniacs Alboth! It simply kills. Having done so, for the rest of the disc 16-17 make sure you stay good and dead with an expansive onslaught of repetitive, rigid rhythms and psychedelic skree-scapes, with brassy bass drone and high-end sax skronk swimming in an ominous electronic miasma. A couple extra-noisy remixes are included at the end to wrap things up in the most extreme manner possible. (These appeared on the original version too.)
The trio responsible for making this masterwork consisted of Alex Buess (screaming saxophones and bass clarinet), Markus Kneubuhler (guitar, electronics and tapes), and the relentless Knut Remond on drums. Also, this disc features a couple very special guests: on utterly sick, thuddering bass, there's Ben "G.C." Green of (indeed) Godflesh fame. And providing electronic samples, Pathological head honcho Kevin Martin.
This essential reissue has been digitally remastered by Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers), and comes with a thick booklet of extensive new liner notes based on interviews with Buess and Martin, discussing the history of the band. We were fascinated to learn that Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine was such a big fan of 16-17 that back in 1995, he actually invited Alex Buess to work with him on the (still unrealized) follow up to Loveless! Who would have guessed? Apparently Alex spent a month in the studio with MBV, without much to show for it unfortunately... though we'd be still interested to hear what they were up to..
But, it surely couldn't be anything like this, there's nothing better as far as "ultra extreme hardcore free jazz industrial" or whatever is concerned!!
MPEG Stream: "Attack-Impulse"
MPEG Stream: "The Trawler"

album cover 1900S, THE Cold And Kind (Parasol) cd 14.98
Not to be confused with another current young, numerically named band The 1990s who hail from Scotland, Chicago, IL's The 1900s actually sound more Scottish than those Glaswegians! Last year the half dozen songs on the band's Plume Delivery debut release had us delighted us with its lovely pop dreaminess, and we're happy to report that Cold And Kind picks right up where that ep left off. This full length of a dozen unabashed ice cream-y toothsome sweetheart tunes are still very much for fans of Scottish cozy popsters Belle & Sebastian, but we bet it'll also tickle the ears of fans of Stars, The Concretes, Kings Of Convenience, Peter Bjorn And John. Kind? Yessiree! Cold? No way! The 1900s will give you nothing but the warmest of fuzzy feelings!
MPEG Stream: "No Delay"
MPEG Stream: "When I Say Go"

album cover 1900S, THE Plume Delivery (Parasol) cd ep 10.98
Wonderful breezy pop very much in the vein of Belle And Sebastian that also reveals a moodier side. Dare we say that this 6-song ep by Chicago sextet The 1900s almost makes for a better B&S follow-up to Dear Catastrophe Waitress than The Life Pursuit! Yes, we do. Much like those Scots' last few lush albums, The 1900s' Plume Delivery comes fully decked out with organs, harpsichord, violin, keyboards, horns. Of course, that alone wouldn't mean much if the bountiful instrumental palette wasn't put to good use, but it certainly is. The 1900s incorporate it all seamlessly into such lovely melodies and glorious arrangements. But the super dreaminess comes from the vocal department, Caroline Donovan and Jeanine O'Toole's voices alternately remind us of Isobel Campbell and Laetitia Sadier, while mainman Edward Anderson's voice can easily be compared to Belle And Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. If you dig the sounds of the abovementioned bands as well as The Delgados, Call And Response, Young & Sexy and Mates Of State, you might also take a shine to The 1900s. A super delight from start to finish!
MPEG Stream: "Bring The Good Boys Home"
MPEG Stream: "Whole Of The Law"

album cover 1929 Last But Not Leased (Siltbreeze) cd 13.98
This is some seriously fuzzy, muddy ass kicking ROCK. There's some sort of pedigree here (Brother JT and some other randomness) but it hardly prepares you for the rock and roll attack. This is basically all instrumental, 'classic' rock, but with some Fushitsusha style freakouts and some downright friendly melodies, swathed in feedback and tape hiss and all run through that lo-fi/low-brow Siltbreeze filter. Think Comets On Fire, Zen Guerilla, Musica Transonic, Van Halen, the MC5 all stripped down and fuzzed out, with nods to post rock, space rock, free rock and just a tiny hint of that Siltbreeze/noise-rock sheen. But mostly just ROCK!
MPEG Stream: "Webbed Toes"

album cover 1990'S Cookies (Rough Trade) cd 17.98
Not to be confused with another similarly numerically named band The 1900's who call Chicago home... 1990's are from Glasgow. They rose from the ashes of Scottish indie pop band The Yummy Fur. This is their debut album!

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