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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 SOFT MOON, THE Total Decay (Captured Tracks) 12" 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!!
In the year since its release the Soft Moon's debut full length has become a rare unanimous favorite here at aQuarius, and many other places too we would imagine. The songs were immediately gripping, but over time we came to the realization that the album is, dare we say, pretty dang perfect, and within the sea of similarly styled bands who would describe themselves as "dark" that record is one that will stand out as a classic. We often find ourselves wondering how something could be so goddamn amazing, managing to sound both familiar and unique to itself. Soft Moon mainman Luis Vasquez has taken things to the next logical step by assembling a full band to bring these songs to the live stage, and with the arrival of this brand new ep, Vasquez and company effortlessly show the world that there is more where that came from. The only issue we have here is Total Decay's short running time - but then it's an ep, so who are we to complain. Clocking in at under 15 minutes, we are already salivating for the next Soft Moon platter, but like the two singles that preceded the debut album, where we were given some months to digest the tunes and think about what might come next, Total Decay works in setting a mood while you hunger for what's around the corner. And yet, the ep also works well as a brief but wholly contained slab of music, beginning with "Repetition", where a murky post-punk bassline sets the flow over steady driving rhythms and frantically atmospheric synths that are as chillingly sexy as they are ominous. "Alive" would be a good place to start for someone who has never heard this band, displaying all the Joy Division / Wire / whatever influences they have merged into a sound that really belongs only to them at this point, with Vasquez's strange shouted whispers (or whispered shouts?) occasionally soaring into the disembodied falsetto that has become one of the band's trademarks. No doubt the standout here is the title track, which lurches forward midtempo with an industrial buzz and provides the perfect score to wandering alone through all the creepy abandoned parts of town. The heavily effected vocals feel like the voice of some sexless robo-narrator guiding you along and offering no guarantees that you won't get your ass kicked by whoever or whatever happens to be lurking around in the shadows as beautiful buried synths bring all kinds of strange melodies into the mix. The final track, "Visions" is a claustrophobic percussion workout with more creepy ambience that, again, has most of us desperately freaking out in advance for the next full length. Guess we'll just have to be patient, but until then Total Decay will be on constant repeat.
MPEG Stream: "Alive"
MPEG Stream: "Total Decay"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Zeros (Captured Tracks) cd 14.98
From the very first time we heard post punk / minimal wave / gloom pop one man band The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez), we were totally smitten. The sound dark and menacing, distorted drum machines, buzzing low slung basslines, tangled melodies, all woven into a sort of lo-fi downer wave propulsion, that took the Cure, removed much of the overt poppiness, and instead recast it as some sort of home brewed post industrial goth wave, replete with breathy whispered vox, woozy minor key refrains and alien atmospheres, everything wreathed in a washed out eighties murk, noisy and rough around the edges, we couldn't get enough.
The Total Decay ep seemed to be an extension of the self titled debut, a perfect slab of similarly shadowy post punk nihilism, but if anything it was the bridge between that record and this one, where Vasquez' sound has blossomed into something even more perfect, a twisted dystopian future-wave, all thick, corrosive buzzing synths, and dubbed out machine funk, keening sine wave melodies, and woozy, echo drenched ambience. It's all about the sound. Really it always was, which is ironic since we often complain about bands getting the sound right, but not having the songs to back it up, but with The Soft Moon, while there are still songs lurking in the shadows, it's really all about the sound, and the sound is so impossibly perfect. All it takes is a few second of the opener, "It Ends", with it's dense blown out buzzing low end synth buzz, dubbed out hand clap rhythms, and frantic percussive skitter, not to mention the weirdly mournful keening melody over the top, it's like all the best parts of witch house, reimagined as some mutant strain of cold wave, we would have been perfectly happy if that sub two minute chunk of pulsing, buzzing witch-wave was stretched out to fill up the whole record, even if it just stayed locked in that witch loop. Sure it's an intro, but we've listened to it about 20 times in a row!
Thankfully, that alien electronic witch-wave oozes into the rest of the record, wrapping its inky tendrils around the more recognizable Soft Moon style of jagged rhythms, Factory style basslines, echo drenched guitar jangle, and hypno wave groove, cold and clinical, like the soundtrack to some alternate future, and as one grows accustomed to the sound, suddenly, as if by some slight of hand, the songs reveal themselves, a melody here, a vocal there, a hook hidden beneath a cascade of corrosive metallic crunch, a catchy chorus obscured by sheets of synth buzz and dubbed out robotic rhythms, repeated listens are definitely rewarded, the record acting almost as some sort of sonic portal, requiring a deep listening key, ultimately allowing the listener access to the inner workings of The Soft Moon's sentient musical machine.
Oh and stick around for the closer, a reverse bookend of that witch-wave opener, literally, as it's the opening track in reverse, which only makes it that much more psychedelic and fantastically fucked up.
MPEG Stream: "It Ends"
MPEG Stream: "Machines"
MPEG Stream: "Zeros"
MPEG Stream: "Insides"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Zeros (Captured Tracks) lp 18.98
Now finally we have enough of the new Soft Moon on vinyl to list that format too!
From the very first time we heard post punk / minimal wave / gloom pop one man band The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez), we were totally smitten. The sound dark and menacing, distorted drum machines, buzzing low slung basslines, tangled melodies, all woven into a sort of lo-fi downer wave propulsion, that took the Cure, removed much of the overt poppiness, and instead recast it as some sort of home brewed post industrial goth wave, replete with breathy whispered vox, woozy minor key refrains and alien atmospheres, everything wreathed in a washed out eighties murk, noisy and rough around the edges, we couldn't get enough.
The Total Decay ep seemed to be an extension of the self titled debut, a perfect slab of similarly shadowy post punk nihilism, but if anything it was the bridge between that record and this one, where Vasquez' sound has blossomed into something even more perfect, a twisted dystopian future-wave, all thick, corrosive buzzing synths, and dubbed out machine funk, keening sine wave melodies, and woozy, echo drenched ambience. It's all about the sound. Really it always was, which is ironic since we often complain about bands getting the sound right, but not having the songs to back it up, but with The Soft Moon, while there are still songs lurking in the shadows, it's really all about the sound, and the sound is so impossibly perfect. All it takes is a few second of the opener, "It Ends", with it's dense blown out buzzing low end synth buzz, dubbed out hand clap rhythms, and frantic percussive skitter, not to mention the weirdly mournful keening melody over the top, it's like all the best parts of witch house, reimagined as some mutant strain of cold wave, we would have been perfectly happy if that sub two minute chunk of pulsing, buzzing witch-wave was stretched out to fill up the whole record, even if it just stayed locked in that witch loop. Sure it's an intro, but we've listened to it about 20 times in a row!
Thankfully, that alien electronic witch-wave oozes into the rest of the record, wrapping its inky tendrils around the more recognizable Soft Moon style of jagged rhythms, Factory style basslines, echo drenched guitar jangle, and hypno wave groove, cold and clinical, like the soundtrack to some alternate future, and as one grows accustomed to the sound, suddenly, as if by some slight of hand, the songs reveal themselves, a melody here, a vocal there, a hook hidden beneath a cascade of corrosive metallic crunch, a catchy chorus obscured by sheets of synth buzz and dubbed out robotic rhythms, repeated listens are definitely rewarded, the record acting almost as some sort of sonic portal, requiring a deep listening key, ultimately allowing the listener access to the inner workings of The Soft Moon's sentient musical machine.
Oh and stick around for the closer, a reverse bookend of that witch-wave opener, literally, as it's the opening track in reverse, which only makes it that much more psychedelic and fantastically fucked up.
MPEG Stream: "It Ends"
MPEG Stream: "Machines"
MPEG Stream: "Zeros"
MPEG Stream: "Insides"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE Grinding Halt (Kemado) 7" 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) cd 13.98
We've been going a little Soft Pack crazy lately, with the recent spate of releases from these guys, a 7" with a killer Cure cover, a 4 song 12", as well as a repress of their first record, recorded back when they were called The Muslims, their hooky jangle and stripped down garage pop just totally hitting the spot. Long touted as the next big thing, it's hard not to see how they WOULDN'T be, their sound right at home alongside the Strokes, probably the band they sound most like, sunshiney, jangly garage pop with drawled vox, each song only two or three parts, total classic power pop, but given a sort of modern day slacker makeover. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, "Down On Loving" is a loping punk rock garage groove, laid back, but super rocking, with call and response vocals, but it's "Answer To Yourself", also on the recently reviewed 12" that is the stone cold hit here, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, the Strokes vibe here is HUGE, but hell, those guys were awesome popsmiths, and these guys are too, and this is a killer jam, the one we find ourselves listening to over and over and over.
But don't get stuck for too long, or you'll miss out on a whole mess of other pop gems, tribal shuffling grooves, frantic clean guitar strumming, loads of jangle, simple bouncy basslines, shimmering synths, and hooks galore, every song more catchy than the last, not sure what's keeping these guys from blowing up, maybe it's the fact that they're not super hipster hunky, instead just regular dorky dudes, but hopefully that won't dissuade the rest world from getting hip to these guys.
Even if for some weird reason we felt like resisting, bucking the Soft Pack hype, not sure we could stop listening. Totally addictive, stripped down, jangly, garage pop bliss. WAY RECOMMENDED!! Now we can go back and play "Answer To Yourself" for about the tenth time today...
MPEG Stream: "C'Mon"
MPEG Stream: "Down On Loving"
MPEG Stream: "Answer To Yourself"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) lp 16.98
We've been going a little Soft Pack crazy lately, with the recent spate of releases from these guys, a 7" with a killer Cure cover, a 4 song 12", as well as a repress of their first record, recorded back when they were called The Muslims, their hooky jangle and stripped down garage pop just totally hitting the spot. Long touted as the next big thing, it's hard not to see how they WOULDN'T be, their sound right at home alongside the Strokes, probably the band they sound most like, sunshiney, jangly garage pop with drawled vox, each song only two or three parts, total classic power pop, but given a sort of modern day slacker makeover. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, "Down On Loving" is a loping punk rock garage groove, laid back, but super rocking, with call and response vocals, but it's "Answer To Yourself", also on the recently reviewed 12" that is the stone cold hit here, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, the Strokes vibe here is HUGE, but hell, those guys were awesome popsmiths, and these guys are too, and this is a killer jam, the one we find ourselves listening to over and over and over.
But don't get stuck for too long, or you'll miss out on a whole mess of other pop gems, tribal shuffling grooves, frantic clean guitar strumming, loads of jangle, simple bouncy basslines, shimmering synths, and hooks galore, every song more catchy than the last, not sure what's keeping these guys from blowing up, maybe it's the fact that they're not super hipster hunky, instead just regular dorky dudes, but hopefully that won't dissuade the rest world from getting hip to these guys.
Even if for some weird reason we felt like resisting, bucking the Soft Pack hype, not sure we could stop listening. Totally addictive, stripped down, jangly, garage pop bliss. WAY RECOMMENDED!! Now we can go back and play "Answer To Yourself" for about the tenth time today...
MPEG Stream: "C'Mon"
MPEG Stream: "Down On Loving"
MPEG Stream: "Answer To Yourself"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) 12" 15.98
For a while, there was a band called the Muslims, who were seriously hyped, before squeamishness about their obviously problematic moniker found the band changing their name to Soft Pack, only to have the kids cry 'sell out', but hell, one can only imagine trying to get on a plane with a bunch of flight cases filled with strange battery powered devices, all stenciled with the words 'The Muslims'. But hell, whatever they're called, it's easy to see what all the hubbub was about. These guys kick up a seriously excellent racket, somewhere between the lo-fi jangle of groups like Thee Oh Sees and the Fresh & Onlys, classic hooky Britpop and the more seriously post punk rock of the Hot Snakes, which is precisely how this 12" plays out. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, while "Eat Gold" is a pounding and manic with on-the-verge-of-cracking vocals and a definite screamo vibe, and then there's "Answer To Yourself" which also has a Strokes vibe, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, while the final track follows a similar sonic path, but adding a bit more grit and distortion. Really good stuff, it's easy to see why these guys were, and still are the talk of the town, it's not hard to imagine them on Matador, or opening for Interpol or on MTV. Which is not a bad thing at all. Especially considering we've been listening to this pretty much nonstop since we got it.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, each one hand numbered, with a download code so you can cram these jams onto your computer.

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) 8x7" 35.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We had this marked out of print, but just realized we have ONE COPY LEFT of this super deluxe 7" boxset from the Soft Pack, a special Record Store Day release, which features the band's self titled debut, on multiple 7"s, including a bonus single with two unreleased tracks!
We've been going a little Soft Pack crazy lately, with the recent spate of releases from these guys, a 7" with a killer Cure cover, a 4 song 12", as well as a repress of their first record, recorded back when they were called The Muslims, their hooky jangle and stripped down garage pop just totally hitting the spot. Long touted as the next big thing, it's hard not to see how they WOULDN'T be, their sound right at home alongside the Strokes, probably the band they sound most like, sunshiney, jangly garage pop with drawled vox, each song only two or three parts, total classic power pop, but given a sort of modern day slacker makeover. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, "Down On Loving" is a loping punk rock garage groove, laid back, but super rocking, with call and response vocals, but it's "Answer To Yourself", also on the recently reviewed 12" that is the stone cold hit here, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, the Strokes vibe here is HUGE, but hell, those guys were awesome popsmiths, and these guys are too, and this is a killer jam, the one we find ourselves listening to over and over and over.
But don't get stuck for too long, or you'll miss out on a whole mess of other pop gems, tribal shuffling grooves, frantic clean guitar strumming, loads of jangle, simple bouncy basslines, shimmering synths, and hooks galore, every song more catchy than the last, not sure what's keeping these guys from blowing up, maybe it's the fact that they're not super hipster hunky, instead just regular dorky dudes, but hopefully that won't dissuade the rest world from getting hip to these guys.
Even if for some weird reason we felt like resisting, bucking the Soft Pack hype, not sure we could stop listening. Totally addictive, stripped down, jangly, garage pop bliss. WAY RECOMMENDED!! Now we can go back and play "Answer To Yourself" for about the tenth time today...
MPEG Stream: "C'Mon"
MPEG Stream: "Down On Loving"
MPEG Stream: "Answer To Yourself"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE Strapped (Mexican Summer) cd 10.98
Also on compact disc!!
We've loved pretty much everything these guys have put out, their sound a super catchy jangly indie rock, that at times is a dead ringer for The Strokes, but for whatever reason, we like these guys a whole lot more. The songs are more rough and ragged, and while maybe not MORE catchy, definitely catchy in a different way. And this record, from the very first listen, has pretty much set itself up to be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future. The opener "Saratoga" is a jittery propulsive blowout, all bubbly bass, frenetic drumming, with some killer catchy riffing, and languid laid back vocals, the second track finds the band in Strokes mode again, slowing things down a bit, even adding some horns, while "They Say" sounds like it could be the single, with a propulsive almost new wave-y beat, some big crunchy guitars, and a vocal line that will stick in your head for days!
And so it goes, "Tallboy" adds some whirring organ, the sound almost classic rock, while "Bobby Brown", is dangerously funky, the band flirting with eighties pop, sounding suddenly like they should be on Captured Tracks, but then in swoops "Chinatown" another barnburner, that we imagine will inspire jittery indie rock bounce and hair swirling headbanging in equal measure. And stick around for the sprawling "Captain Ace" which sounds very nineties, in a good way, mixing in lots of tripped out effects, lots of layers and texture, more horns, strange sci-fi effects, all stretched out into a glorious slab of psychedelic indie pop space out.
MPEG Stream: "Saratoga"
MPEG Stream: "Second Look"
MPEG Stream: "They Say"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE Strapped (Mexican Summer) lp 17.98
We've loved pretty much everything these guys have put out, their sound a super catchy jangly indie rock, that at times is a dead ringer for The Strokes, but for whatever reason, we like these guys a whole lot more. The songs are more rough and ragged, and while maybe not MORE catchy, definitely catchy in a different way. And this record, from the very first listen, has pretty much set itself up to be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future. The opener "Saratoga" is a jittery propulsive blowout, all bubbly bass, frenetic drumming, with some killer catchy riffing, and languid laid back vocals, the second track finds the band in Strokes mode again, slowing things down a bit, even adding some horns, while "They Say" sounds like it could be the single, with a propulsive almost new wave-y beat, some big crunchy guitars, and a vocal line that will stick in your head for days!
And so it goes, "Tallboy" adds some whirring organ, the sound almost classic rock, while "Bobby Brown", is dangerously funky, the band flirting with eighties pop, sounding suddenly like they should be on Captured Tracks, but then in swoops "Chinatown" another barnburner, that we imagine will inspire jittery indie rock bounce and hair swirling headbanging in equal measure. And stick around for the sprawling "Captain Ace" which sounds very nineties, in a good way, mixing in lots of tripped out effects, lots of layers and texture, more horns, strange sci-fi effects, all stretched out into a glorious slab of psychedelic indie pop space out.
LIMITED TO 2000 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Saratoga"
MPEG Stream: "Second Look"
MPEG Stream: "They Say"

album cover SOFT PINK TRUTH Do You Party? (Soundslike) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If Martin Schmidt has anything to say in the matter, "Do You Party" will be the one and only Soft Pink Truth album. For the Soft Pink Truth is the work of Drew Daniel, Schmidt's partner in the acclaimed San Francisco electronica duo Matmos. Where Matmos flirted with notions of dance music, incorporating all sorts of electro-acoustic experiments and eccentric sampling techniques, the Soft Pink Truth offers a cheese ball pastiche of queer pop culture references -- disco fantasy, robot funk, big booty bounces, and house cliches all rolled up in a ridiculous explosion of libidinal pleasure. It's clear that the clipped house grooves that emerged in Matmos' third album "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure," were just teasings of the bright-pink, spandex electro-pants that Daniel was itching to put on. Thus, "Do You Party" is the full realization of those house leanings that Daniel wanted to explore, but had been kept in check by the "experimental" aesthetic which Matmos had so carefully constructed. In fact the Soft Pink Truth is the by-product of a dare to Daniel from Matthew Herbert to make this record; and Daniel dutifully produced a cheesy, nasty, and funky house album but with plenty of twists and turns to make it much more than your garden variety Castro club fodder. Along with the Sylvester acid squelches, there's a goofy Vanity 6 cover of "Make-Up" with disembodied vocals presented by Bevin Blechtum and there's also plenty of smarty-pants gender bending allusions that pop up throughout the album. But when the day is done, the (soft pink) truth about "Do You Party" is that it's all about booty.
MPEG Stream: "Make Up"
MPEG Stream: "Promo Funk"

SOFT PINK TRUTH Do You Party? (Soundslike) 2x12" 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 on vinyl (with three less tracks). Here's what we said about the cd a few lists back:
If Martin Schmidt has anything to say in the matter, "Do You Party" will be the one and only Soft Pink Truth album. For the Soft Pink Truth is the work of Drew Daniel, Schmidt's partner in the acclaimed San Francisco electronica duo Matmos. Where Matmos flirted with notions of dance music, incorporating all sorts of electro-acoustic experiments and eccentric sampling techniques, the Soft Pink Truth offers a cheese ball pastiche of queer pop culture references -- disco fantasy, robot funk, big booty bounces, and house cliches all rolled up in a ridiculous explosion of libidinal pleasure. It's clear that the clipped house grooves that emerged in Matmos' third album "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure," were just teasings of the bright-pink, spandex electro-pants that Daniel was itching to put on. Thus, "Do You Party" is the full realization of those house leanings that Daniel wanted to explore, but had been kept in check by the "experimental" aesthetic which Matmos had so carefully constructed. In fact the Soft Pink Truth is the by-product of a dare to Daniel from Matthew Herbert to make this record; and Daniel dutifully produced a cheesy, nasty, and funky house album but with plenty of twists and turns to make it much more than your garden variety Castro club fodder. Along with the Sylvester acid squelches, there's a goofy Vanity 6 cover of "Make-Up" with disembodied vocals presented by Bevin Blechtum and there's also plenty of smarty-pants gender bending allusions that pop up throughout the album. But when the day is done, the (soft pink) truth about "Do You Party" is that it's all about booty.
MPEG Stream: "Make Up"
MPEG Stream: "Promo Funk"

album cover SOFT PINK TRUTH, THE Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want... (Tigerbeat6) cd 14.98
How's this grab you? Drew Daniel (one half of famed SF electronica duo Matmos and a good friend of ours) doing a record of mostly punk/hardcore covers: Die Kruezen, Crass, The Swell Maps, Minor Threat, The Angry Samoans, Rudimentary Peni...and Carol Channing? Well it wouldn't be The Soft Pink Truth if gay camp wasn't an ingredient. Hence the show tune. Actually, hence the whole album. Drew's previous solo effort under the Soft Pink Truth moniker was a celebration of gay house/disco culture, and here Drew indulges again in the disco thing, perverting these carefully-chosen punk nuggets into electroclash dance-floor fodder with lots of beats, synth, and samples. He's certainly having fun, and chances are you will too if this concept appeals to you at all. We wonder what's in store for future SPT albums...is he going to move on to his death metal favorites next?
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Step"
MPEG Stream: "I Owe It To The Girls"

album cover SOFT PINK TRUTH, THE Why Do The Heathen Rage? (Thrill Jockey) cd 15.98
The Soft Pink Truth was originally the solo outlet for Drew Daniels of experimental electronica duo Matmos to get ridiculous with over the top gay house/disco music. How ridiculous? Well, in this case, the subtitle to his long awaited new SPT album says it all: "Electronic Profanations Of Black Metal Classics", meaning, club/techno/IDM/industrial versions of songs by Venom, Beherit, Sarcofago, Sargeist, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Hellhammer and others! What Drew did to his favorite hardcore punk songs ten years ago on SPT's Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth? disc, he does here for his fave black metal tracks, which we'd always predicted/hoped he would - since, as we can attest, Drew's no poseur, he's seriously a big fan of black metal, and has been for years. Although, what he's up to here is perhaps less than serious - one of the alternate subtitles provided in the liner notes is as follows: "Putting The Fag Back In Sarcofago". So, there's an element of humor (and, of course, um, gayness) here that your average corpsepainted churchburner might not appreciate. At the same time, though, Drew has put some deep thought into his reasons for manifesting these "profanations", which he explains in the liner notes, the section that begins "Confessions Of A Former Burzum T-Shirt Wearer", check it out and see what you think.
Anyway, about the music on here, we can kind of sum it up by saying a lot of it sounds like Snap (y'know, of "The Power" fame) meets Cradle Of Filth. Or Skinny Puppy with a dose of C+C Music Factory, wearing corpse paint. It's rave music that took a wrong turn into an Impaled Northern Moonforest - which happens to be the name of the late Seth "A.C." Putnam's joke black metal band, whose "Grim And Frostbitten Gay Bar" is the last track covered here (that one NOT actually a black metal classic, but still an album highlight, in part thanks to the use of a Rihanna sample, are we right?). Elsewhere, results vary, at the worst it can be pretty goofy, but on the other hand, a few tracks get pretty crazy in a cool Venetian Snares sort of way. For lots of folks, this might be more of an amusing novelty record, and to a degree that's essentially what this is - but still, we wonder what folks unfamiliar with all the black metal Drew is referencing will think? Perhaps for some open minded dance music fan who stumbles upon it somehow, it could become the most demented booty-shaker in their collection.
MPEG Stream: "Black Metal"
MPEG Stream: "Let Their Be Ebola Frost"
MPEG Stream: "Maniac"

SOFT PINK TRUTH, THE Why Do The Heathen Rage? (Thrill Jockey) lp 19.98
The Soft Pink Truth was originally the solo outlet for Drew Daniels of experimental electronica duo Matmos to get ridiculous with over the top gay house/disco music. How ridiculous? Well, in this case, the subtitle to his long awaited new SPT album says it all: "Electronic Profanations Of Black Metal Classics", meaning, club/techno/IDM/industrial versions of songs by Venom, Beherit, Sarcofago, Sargeist, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Hellhammer and others! What Drew did to his favorite hardcore punk songs ten years ago on SPT's Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth? disc, he does here for his fave black metal tracks, which we'd always predicted/hoped he would - since, as we can attest, Drew's no poseur, he's seriously a big fan of black metal, and has been for years. Although, what he's up to here is perhaps less than serious - one of the alternate subtitles provided in the liner notes is as follows: "Putting The Fag Back In Sarcofago". So, there's an element of humor (and, of course, um, gayness) here that your average corpsepainted churchburner might not appreciate. At the same time, though, Drew has put some deep thought into his reasons for manifesting these "profanations", which he explains in the liner notes, the section that begins "Confessions Of A Former Burzum T-Shirt Wearer", check it out and see what you think.
Anyway, about the music on here, we can kind of sum it up by saying a lot of it sounds like Snap (y'know, of "The Power" fame) meets Cradle Of Filth. Or Skinny Puppy with a dose of C+C Music Factory, wearing corpse paint. It's rave music that took a wrong turn into an Impaled Northern Moonforest - which happens to be the name of the late Seth "A.C." Putnam's joke black metal band, whose "Grim And Frostbitten Gay Bar" is the last track covered here (that one NOT actually a black metal classic, but still an album highlight, in part thanks to the use of a Rihanna sample, are we right?). Elsewhere, results vary, at the worst it can be pretty goofy, but on the other hand, a few tracks get pretty crazy in a cool Venetian Snares sort of way. For lots of folks, this might be more of an amusing novelty record, and to a degree that's essentially what this is - but still, we wonder what folks unfamiliar with all the black metal Drew is referencing will think? Perhaps for some open minded dance music fan who stumbles upon it somehow, it could become the most demented booty-shaker in their collection.
MPEG Stream: "Black Metal"
MPEG Stream: "Let Their Be Ebola Frost"
MPEG Stream: "Maniac"

SOFTIES It's Love (K) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Softies are Rose Melberg (from Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, and a heaping cake box full of other pop confections) and her good friend Jen Sbragia. Two jangling guitars, two sweet voices. Fans of Amelia Fletcher (Marine Research, Heavenly, Talulah Gosh) surely must be rabid fans of Rose, and vice versa. Very very lovely.

SOFTIES It's Love (K) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Softies are Rose Melberg (from Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, and a heaping cake box full of other pop confections) and her good friend Jen Sbragia. Two jangling guitars, two sweet voices. Fans of Amelia Fletcher (Marine Research, Heavenly, Talulah Gosh) surely must be rabid fans of Rose, and vice versa. Very very lovely.

SOFTIES Softies (Slumberland) cd ep 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

SOFTIES Softies (Slumberland) 10" 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

SOFTIES Winter Pageant (K) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

SOFTIES, THE Holiday In Rhode Island (K) cd 12.98
The Softies are back! Two women who seemingly effortlessly write music that can only be described as the sweetest of the sweet. Prettiest of the pretty. Lovey-dovey-est of the lovey-dovey. What else would you expect from a record from Rose Melberg (ex-Tiger Trap, Gaze, Go Sailor) and Jen Sbragia? Angelic voices lilt around reverb-rich duo guitar melodies. This time around the songs are embellished with xylophone, keyboards and bass (all performed by Jen and Rose). Positively dreamy.

SOFTIES, THE s/t (Slumberland) cd 10.98

album cover SOFTLIGHTES Say No ! To Being Cool. Say Yes To Being Happy (Modular) cd 14.98
Not sure what it is exactly about this band, but there's something special that has sort of captured our hearts. It might have been seeing their amazing video on YouTube for the track "Heart Made Of Sound", where every word in the song is written out visually, in yarn, or food, or piss on concrete or whatever. Even the parts of the song without singing are represented visually with strange colored shapes moving and rearranging themselves in time to the music. And somehow, that video does sort of explain what it is about this band. It's fun and colorful, catchy and playful, but sort of strange, and a little bit unexpected.
This is pure, wide eyes indie pop for sure, simple jangly guitars, shuffling drumming, keyboards wheezing and bouncing melodically atop the rest of the song, and of course a winsome sad boy singer, lots of acoustic strum, and swooshy ambience. The closest comparison would have to be Death Cab For Cutie or maybe the Postal Service, Modest Mouse too, and fans of those bands will absolutely LOVE Softlightes. But those of us who wouldn't normally give this the time of day, have been playing it like crazy. The sound is just so glistening and gossamer, lush and weirdly spacey, lots of reverb and ambient swirl, some strange bits of electronic buzz, some drum machine, some power pop guitar crunch, some vocoder, it's all mixed in there, but none of that stuff would mean anything if this record weren't chock full of perfect little pop songs, which it is. Later on, the record gets lighter and lighter, almost to the point of seventies soft rock, but even then it's strangely lilting and lovely, almost precious, but never so much that it bugs, just enough to sort of wrap your head and fill you ears with soft poppy goodness.
"Heart Made Of Sound" is definitely the star here though, the one that gets the most repeats, and is definitely a possible contender for pop song of the year, and well worth the price of admission, but the rest of the record is right there behind it, blissy and jangly and dreamy and sucking us right in and wrapping us up tight in a perfect crystalline dream pop cocoon.
MPEG Stream: "Heart Made Of Sound"
MPEG Stream: "The Ballad Of Theodore And June"
MPEG Stream: "Girl Kills Bear"

album cover SOFTWAR s/t (Digitalis) cd 12.98
Full disclosure: the members of this new, Jewelled Antler-related outfit making their debut release on the Digitalis label are not only all friends of ours, but one of 'em, namely Christine Boepple, worked here at AQ for a spell (she was the charming lass dealing with all your mailorder requests). And until recently, another of the Softwar bunch, Kerry McLaughlin, was also working here side-by-side with Christine. So, OF COURSE this is great! And if all you regular mailorder customers don't order one, well, don't say we didn't warn you about what happens when you get on Christine's bad side... But seriously, this IS good, a relaxing fantasy camping trip into the wilds of Northern California (and into the basement musical lairs where these folks dwell when they're at home).
It is, as you might expect, improvised, abstract psych-folk. Drifting and densely detailed. Jewelled Antler's Franciscan Hobbies (among other JA acts) would be a close parallel, as would Finnish contemporaries Kemialliset Ystavat. Softwar's mysterious droning moods are sweetened by distorted melodies and haunting, gentle female singing. The sounds and structures are inherently unstable, with queasy keyboards and overloaded electronics sending the listener softly to the floor (or up to the clouds), where one can safely bask in the queer beauty of Softwar's fragmented songforms, which range from whispery lullabies adorned with clinking and tinkling atop their shimmering drones, to much more beard-stiffening, rhythmic jamming, with suggestions of a primitive communal hippy vibe recalling krautrockers Siloah ferinstance.
Like the artwork that accompanies it -- vintage photos of happy, groovy people playing "non-competitive group games" in the Whole Earth Catalogue era of the 1970s -- the music is playful and nicely captures the spirit of icebreaking games that were designed sincerely with the ideal of changing society.
We mentioned Kerry and Christine, who have played in a zillion bands from this scene; Kerry in Franciscan Hobbies, Buried Civilizations, and Skygreen Leopards among others, Christine in Skygreen Leopards, Ov, Kyrgyz, Franciscan Hobbies, Whysp, etc. But Softwar's also got two guys to go with those two girls: Geoff Koops (Franciscan Hobbies, The Shitty Listener) and long-time AQ fave Loren Chasse, whom we're sure you already know quite well from all of his myriad projects. Let's list a few together shall we? Thuja, id battery, Of, Ov, Coelacanth, Blithe Sons, Franciscan Hobbies, Child Readers, L/R, Kyrgyz, etc. etc. etc.
As wonderful as so many of those other projects have been, we're truly convinced that these four teaming up to wage Softwar is a very special thing.
MPEG Stream: "Psychic Shake"
MPEG Stream: "Hagoo (The Victory Over Moods)"
MPEG Stream: "The Softwar"
MPEG Stream: "Fraha"

SOG For the Love of God (Kompakt) 12" 28.00

album cover SOG MONGEY Large 11"+ Handmade Creature toy/figure 49.98
What the heck is a sog mongey? Well, in the land of Ms Cup, it is a distant mutant cousin of the sock monkey. She's made close to a hundred of these handcrafted creatures of her own design. Each one is unique and individually named (complete with numbered hangtag and 'hello my name is' tag). There have been stardust cowboys (with chaps!) and Fame/Flashdance dancers, party girls and death metallers (with corpse paint!). Others wore latex, fishnets, feather boas, fake fur, capes and masks. Would you believe there was even a King Diamond mongey? That's right, King Diamongey!
She even made a complete AQ sog mongey family. Bearing more than a striking resemblance to their human counterparts, they sat prominently behind the front counter and watched over the goings-on. Here's what we had to say about them back in AQ List #120: "In the likenesses of all the AQers and accurate down to the tiniest details: Allan's denim vest, Elisabeth's red hair, Sadie's black ponytail, Windy's flowered dress, Byram's beard, Andee's maroon ski hat, Jeff's Boredoms shirt, Jim's bracelets. You gotta see 'em. They're so fucking cute it's killing us."
We carry them very sporadically because A) they are *handmade*! and B) inspiration and materials just don't grow on trees. Patience, grasshopper!
Please ask about availability.

album cover SOG MONGEY Medium 8"-10" Handmade Creature toy/figure 39.98
What the heck is a sog mongey? Well, in the land of Ms Cup, it is a distant mutant cousin of the sock monkey. She's made close to a hundred of these handcrafted creatures of her own design. Each one is unique and individually named (complete with numbered hangtag and 'hello my name is' tag). There have been stardust cowboys (with chaps!) and Fame/Flashdance dancers, party girls and death metallers (with corpse paint!). Others wore latex, fishnets, feather boas, fake fur, capes and masks. Would you believe there was even a King Diamond mongey? That's right, King Diamongey!
She even made a complete AQ sog mongey family. Bearing more than a striking resemblance to their human counterparts, they sat prominently behind the front counter and watched over the goings-on. Here's what we had to say about them back in AQ List #120: "In the likenesses of all the AQers and accurate down to the tiniest details: Allan's denim vest, Elisabeth's red hair, Sadie's black ponytail, Windy's flowered dress, Byram's beard, Andee's maroon ski hat, Jeff's Boredoms shirt, Jim's bracelets. You gotta see 'em. They're so fucking cute it's killing us."
We carry them very sporadically because A) they are *handmade*! and B) inspiration and materials just don't grow on trees. Patience, grasshopper!
Please ask about availability.

album cover SOG MONGEY Small 5"-7" Handmade Creature toy/figure 29.98
What the heck is a sog mongey? Well, in the land of Ms Cup, it is a distant mutant cousin of the sock monkey. She's made close to a hundred of these handcrafted creatures of her own design. Each one is unique and individually named (complete with numbered hangtag and 'hello my name is' tag). There have been stardust cowboys (with chaps!) and Fame/Flashdance dancers, party girls and death metallers (with corpse paint!). Others wore latex, fishnets, feather boas, fake fur, capes and masks. Would you believe there was even a King Diamond mongey? That's right, King Diamongey!
She even made a complete AQ sog mongey family. Bearing more than a striking resemblance to their human counterparts, they sat prominently behind the front counter and watched over the goings-on. Here's what we had to say about them back in AQ List #120: "In the likenesses of all the AQers and accurate down to the tiniest details: Allan's denim vest, Elisabeth's red hair, Sadie's black ponytail, Windy's flowered dress, Byram's beard, Andee's maroon ski hat, Jeff's Boredoms shirt, Jim's bracelets. You gotta see 'em. They're so fucking cute it's killing us."
We carry them very sporadically because A) they are *handmade*! and B) inspiration and materials just don't grow on trees. Patience, grasshopper!
Please ask about availability.

SOGAR Apikal Blend (12K) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOGGY s/t (Memoire Neuve) lp 32.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now we can perhaps prove that old adage that one YouTube clip is worth a thousand words! Go watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o49KyJQl-Og
Ok, you're back? Now just try to tell us you don't want to buy that band's record! After seeing that clip of Soggy kicking out the jams live on French TV in 1980 (thanks to our pal Brian Turner at WFMU for turning us on to it) we knew that if they had an album, we had to have it! A bit of research and we learned that indeed they did, newly reissued as a vinyl-only, limited edition. And now here it is, while they last. It's an expensive import, but it's also a deluxe gatefold package, with the super-thick LP in one pocket of the sleeve and a freakin' HUGE Soggy poster in the other (now when other records claim they come with a 'poster' they'd better step up!). And who cares how much it costs, didn't you just watch that video??!
For those for whom YouTube is somehow forbidden, we'll just say that Soggy (what a name!) were a French band circa 1980-82 who sound a lot like a more metallized version of The Stooges, obviously their biggest influence (end of side one here is cover "I Wanna Be Your Dog"). The skinny, shirtless singer is about as Iggy as you can get, with the added shake appeal of sporting a giant Rob Tyner (MC5) style Afro! Though they're about ten years after the Francais Metal de Proto scene we've obsessed over lately, they're more like Francais Metal de not-so-Proto, they'd fit right in, all heavy and punk and psychedelic. And they're even more obscure than those other French Stooge worshipers Angel Face, but just as badass. In fact, before they broke up the were supposedly slated to open a Judas Priest tour. What else do you need to know? Oh yeah, before they were Soggy, in the '70s some of these guys were in a band called the Hardfuckers!
All right, why are we still writing this? We don't need to, just watch that YouTube clip!! And yes, that song ("Waiting For The War") is included here. Act fast though 'cause this is limited to 500 copies and while we got a bunch we're sure they'll go quick.

album cover SOIL SING THROUGH ME (Manhand) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
FEATHERS and SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN! Not much else to say. Especially since we only managed to get about a dozen of these, and as with all SHOTM related releases, it's very likely we will never see these again. So if you do want one, be quick on the buzzer or be prepared to be disappointed.
Soil Sing Through Me is a wild whirring improvised abstract free for all collaboration between folks from both of these two underground outfits. The sound seems to fall much closer to the Sunburned end of the spectrum, with huge freeform dirges, wild Dead C like drumming, layers of whirring distortion and amp buzz and gritty reverb. Sonically, this definitely sounds like some lost release from NZ, some unreleased Xpressway cassette, Dead C, Trash, Gate, This Kind Of Punishment, A Handful Of Dust, a whirling suffocating skree, a dense drone dripping freerock space jam, psychedelic and totally mind melting. AWESOME!
Packaged in a super trippy, massive psychedelic fold out poster.
And again, only about a dozen of these, so odds are these will be gone before you can blink...
MPEG Stream: "Four Hands Carveed The Figure With Four Breasts"
MPEG Stream: "Sick Mothers"

album cover SOIL SING THROUGH ME MEETS KOHOUTEK New Milk (Wabana) cd-r 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Second release we've been able to get our hands on from Soil Sing Through Me, a sort of underground freak folk supergroup featuring members of Feathers and Sunburned Hand Of The Man, who for this disc have teamed up with DC outfit Kohoutek for an evening of communal music making, the results should be no surprise, a druggy blown out meandering laid back psychedelic folk free for all. Blasted, stoned, groovy and fucked up.
You can definitely hear more SHOTM than Feathers, or maybe it's Kohoutek who we had never heard anyway, but this is not so much folky as sort of spaced out and trippy. Simple propulsive tribal rhythm jams and simple stripped down rock beats are the framework for these inner space excursions, wah guitar and slivers of silvery feedback drift to and fro, melodies are spread out over the proceedings like a tattered old blanket, there seem to be vocals too, but they are minimal and are usually buried under a ton of FX and psychedelic shimmer, keyboards buzz and huge spacious expanses offer the players plenty of space to stir up subtle bits of percussive clatter, glistening flurries of blurry buzz, strange spidery little melodies all tangled up amidst the stumbling drums and rumbling bass. This definitely has a Dead C vibe, but then what improvised noise rock psych jam doesn't? No good ones, that's for sure.
The usual suspects will eat this up. Sunburned Hand obsessives for sure need this, as do all you free folk noise rock cd-r freaks...
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES, most likely already out of print. Packaged in the instantly recognizable skull and crossbones Wabana purple painted digipak.
MPEG Stream: "III"
MPEG Stream: "VI"

album cover SOILED MATTRESS AND THE SPRINGS Honk Honk Bonk! (Upset! the Rhythm) cd 15.98

SOILENT GREEN Confrontation (Relapse) cd 14.98

album cover SOILWORK A Predator's Portrait (Nuclear Blast) cd 13.98
Intense melodic death metal from this Swedish band, this album (their third) having being eagerly anticipated at Aquarius since previous Soilwork records have become favorites of ours. At The Gates and Carcass are the key comparisions here, although this band also professes an influence from Accept and MSG! As with their other releases, great guitarwork and catchy songwriting together with brutal velocities and vocals, and just a little bit of keyboard atmosphere make this new disc another winner for Soilwork. Allan and Andee both give this a very metal recommendation.
RealAudio clip: "Bastard Chain"
RealAudio clip: "Like The Average Stalker"

album cover SOILWORK Natural Born Chaos (Nuclear Blast) cd 14.98
The newest release from these Swedish metallers marks a rather dramatic change in direction. Taking the best parts of In Flames, At The Gates and 'Heartwork' era Carcass, Soilwork have always been a huge favorite around here -- we consider them to be of the best Swedish death melodic metal bands around. So after three practically flawless records, where can you go? You can't really get faster, or heavier, but you could get -gasp- more melodic. So that's what they've done. They got Devin Townshend of Strapping Young Lad to record the record and they've embraced power metal with open arms. But it makes for a great mix. The songs feature crushing, lightning fast verses with shrieked vocals, but followed by super melodic choruses with gorgeous harmony vocals. With dual guitar leads, amazing production, and some of the catchiest metal songwriting of their career. Yet they remain exceedingly fierce and aggressive. Fans of Children Of Bodom, In Flames, etc will totally dig this. And power metallers who might be up for trying something a little heavier should definitely give this a try. One of Andee's favorite metal records of the year!
RealAudio clip: "Follow The Hollow"
RealAudio clip: "As We Speak"
RealAudio clip: "The Flameout"

SOILWORK The Chainheart Machine (Century Media/Listenable) cd 14.98
Sophomore effort from this excellent Swedish death metal outfit, in the vein of classic "Heartwork" era Carcass. Totally raging melodic machinegun metal, so to speak.

album cover SOKAI STILHED Second (self-released) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Sokai Stilhed is the stage name for the soft-spoken Heather Cullen, whose vocal and sound-sculpting abilities should be taken quite seriously given the strength of her work on this hand-spun release. There's plenty of things that Cullen employs that immediately give us pause. First of all, there's the perpetual crackle of old vinyl achieving a golden patina which accentuates her otherworldly reverberations; but most importantly is her voice which drawls haunting reconstructions of Appalachian psalms which crosshatch a world-weariness with a hallowed adoration for the divine. Even as she pushes her own voice deep in the recesses of the faux-tape compression and dreamily droning ambience, there is a potency and strength to her voice. Given the opportunity, she could belt out a bluesy, a capella number at a Baptist church that would give many people the shivers; but instead of that well-trod path, she fragments her own voice to complement the delicate artifacts from guitar, autoharp, field recordings, and her trusted Loop Station. These tracks emerge as if stitched from spider webs, catching hold of whatever may fall into the web, but they are ephemeral if nothing else. If Philip Jeck were given unrestricted production over a Cat Power record, it would sound pretty close to this. These editions are handmade by Cullen featuring a candle-burnt and wax sealed piece of paper mounted to the cover and also featuring the album's track titles. It remains to be seen just how limited these are... A fantastic release, no matter how you look at it!
MPEG Stream: "Speak Easy"
MPEG Stream: "First"
MPEG Stream: "Ikiru"

SOKEA PISTE Valikasi (Ektro) cd 15.98

album cover SOL Black Cloud Of Becoming (Golem Tapes) cassette 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Latest from this Danish doomlord, whose last record, Let There Be A Massacre, was a huge hit around here, sure we hauled out the extra o's, it was supremely dooooooooooomy after all, but not sludgey funereal ultradoom, it was more a classic doom, with soaring and majestic melodies, proper songs, not just huge slabs of black rumble (not that we don't love that too). This new one though, actually starts off with some super minimal dronemusic, all layered tones and undulating swells of low end, atmospheric and ambient, it's not until about 5 minutes in, when something other than low end surfaces, but instead of a blast of doomy crush, it's an accordion / harmonium, emitting yet more drones, but these melodic and melancholy, drifting atop that sea of roiling blackness, and then when the church organ comes in, it's epic and intense, the sound so powerful and haunting, the whole first side of the tape, this gorgeous bit of blackened almost folky ambience.
But then flip it over, and that's where the doom comes in, a massive, crushing, lumbering slab of howled anguished depressive doom, the vocals a throat shredding yowl, over the downtuned churn of the guitar, and the Teutonic pound of the drums, all underpinned by atmospheric synths, the sound does shift into something more melodic, all spidery melodies and almost post rocky arrangement, before slipping right back into more abject doom. The track continually drifts between the two, before finally bleeding into the final track, which begins all wheezing organ drone and simple drum plod, hypnotic and weirdly krautrocky (reminding us actually of that Tony Conrad and Faust collaboration, so much so we sort of wished it kept doing that for the entirety of the song), until the guitars and vocals kick in, but instead of getting super doomy, the guitar is weirdly twangy, the vibe almost like a doomy Morricone, the shrieked vox the only concession to true doom, otherwise it would sound like some weird sort of Scenic / Barn Owl hybrid. Weird and quite cool.
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES! Packaged in a gorgeously printed textured paper J-card, the tape held shut by a printed Japanese style obi.
MPEG Stream: "Womb"
MPEG Stream: "Yielding To The Sound Of Clouds"

album cover SOL Let There Be A Massacre (Van) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally, time to clear away the dirt, drag that huge concrete slab to the side, reach way down into the ancient gloom and haul that old wooden crate up from the depths, pry open that rusted padlock, unwind the heavy chains, and pull out the nails, one by one, until we can remove the lid, and unleash the many many 'o's stashed there long ago. Confused? Well, it's been a while since we needed a bunch of extra o's for a doom review, but now that we finally have enough copies of Sol's Let There Be A Massacre to review, all of these o's are most definitely going to come in handy.
And yes, this is most definitely doooooooooooooom, but not of the slow motion near static sludge variety, no the doom of Sol is much more classic, and epic, melodic and majestic, almost like a Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride record slowed down, fucked up, and turned into something at once, totally familiar, but also strangely twisted and bizarre. The work of one man, a Danish dude called Emil Sol Brahe, and while he definitely has his fundamentals in place. Lumbering tempos, mournful melodies, thick buzzing guitars, howled demonic vox, the sound of Sol is anything but typical doom. It's another one of those instances where if you stripped away the distortion, it would almost be some gorgeously lilting slowcore post rock. The main guitar soars and sings, over a swirling wash of droning buzz, pounding drum plod. And the rumbling guttural vocals. The first track almost sounds like some strange mix of Skepticism and Godspeed, You Black Emperor. Very cinematic, and emotional, not evil or brutal as much as melancholy and haunting.
Check out the third track "Boginki", with its strange martial drum intro, the sound of the drums weirdly effected, the cymbals a distorted sizzle, the guitar comes in, a warped downtuned looped churning almost static riff, and then the vocals, super distorted and anguished, all wrapped up by a strange almost jig like synthesizer melody. In some weird way it almost sounds like Laibach. Which is definitely not a bad thing. There are occasional stretches of folky acoustic guitar, murky drones, and roiling buzz, but for the most part, Brahe and his Sol unfurl thick heaving slabs of that gorgeous epic doom majesty they just don't seem to make that much anymore. The final track is a weary woozy lament, all muted rhythmic thump and wheezing minor key accordion, finishing off with creepy minimal backporch banjo, folky and somber, mysterious and quite lovely, but in some strange way just as crushingly sad and funereally heavy as the rest of the disc.
Definitely essential for doomlords and doomaidens, and for anyone who has been lamenting the recent lack of multiple o'd reviews, but also, just melodic and pretty enough to possibly appeal to fans of apocalyptic doomfolk like Kiss The Anus, Ignatz, Woven Hand, Svarte Greiner, as long as they can handle their doom folk, HEAVY on the DOOOOOOOM...
MPEG Stream: "Centuries Of Human Filth"
MPEG Stream: "Boginki"
MPEG Stream: "Apocalypse"

album cover SOL / BLODTRU Old Europa Death Chants (Paradigms) cd 17.98
We've heard Sol before, the one-man Danish dooooooooooomster whose debut on Van we compared to both Skepticism and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and recommended also to fans of such acts as Svarte Greiner and even Woven Hand, due to the "apocalyptic doomfolk" elements of Sol's sound. Now, we've got some new Sol, a collaboration on the always interesting Paradigms label with another Danish artist named Blodtru, and it's even more of a mashup of ultra doom, militaristic neo-folk, ambient, goth, and classical (the first track adapting music by 17th century English baroque composer Henry Purcell). Instrumentation ranges from accordion and glockenspiel to feedback and programming... Musically, it's both menacing and melodic, usually molasses-like and mesmeric. Across the six long tracks of this 77 minute disc, you'll encounter rumbling low-end bass, some sombre singing, shimmering cymbals, martial drum rolls, acoustic string pluck, and long lovely stretches of quietly wavering electronic drone. The occasional vocals sound somewhere between Antony of Antony & The Johnsons and Gregorian monk chant, or get scarier with a guttural black metal like rasp. Stunningly effective, super heavy when it's heavy, totally blissed out when it's blissed out, sometimes both at once, so atmospheric, and recommended! Could equally appeal to fans of Der Blutharsch and OM, Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat and Aun. Limited to 500 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Crippled By Emotions We Die In Solitude"
MPEG Stream: "Where Did We Fall"
MPEG Stream: "Death Chants For Old Europa"

SOLA TRANSLATIO Mother Sunrise (Hypnos) cd 15.98

album cover SOLAAR, MC Cinquieme As (Sentinel Ouest) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brand new album from French hip hop superstar MC Solaar. Pretty good album, certainly the best since Prose Combat: heavy beats, nice production and even some decent scratching. To be sure, there are a few weak slow jams on the album, but somehow they don't sound all that bad. I think this is partly due to the fact that they're sung in French, which not only sounds nicer than English, but also saves us (the Franco-ignorant that is) from hearing the lyrics. Then again I'm a big supporter of more English speaking artists in the popular music realm either picking up a second language or dropping the words all together. But that's another story. Besides, all we really care about here in the States is image: Has it got a sexy cover? And it does. It's got a sexy cover featuring a bare chested Solaar. What more do you need?
RealAudio clip: "Degats Collateraux"
RealAudio clip: "L'Aigle Ne Chasse Pas Les Mouches"

SOLAAR, MC Prose Combat (Cohiba) cd 16.98

SOLACE 13 (MeteorCity) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOLACE A D (Small Stone) cd 13.98
It's been more than 3 years since the last Solace full length, and it's been close to 7 since their last appearance on the aQ list. Not exactly sure why that is, the heavy rockers around here are way into these Jersey stoner metallers, so we were pretty excited to find out there was a brand new record, this one in fact, but were thrown for a loop by the opening track, the grungy noise rock crush of "The Disillusioned Prophet" which sounds more like Soundgarden via AmRep than Kyuss, with angry vocals, but hell, we were digging it big time, some seriously heavy stoner noise rock? What's not to love?
Ends up that track is a bit of an anomaly though, from track two on, A D hews much closer to more traditional stoner rock, BUT, and that's a big important but, the sound remaining grungy and is way heavier, and way more metal than rock. Which is definitely a good thing. We're definitely reminded of Kyuss, you can't be stoner rock and not have a little of that in ya, but we also hear some Raging Slab style twang flecked heaviness, not to mention lots of Ozzy era Sabbath, the vocals often falling in a distinctly Ozzyish croon, the riffs big and crunchy plenty of serpentine guitar harmonies, there's definitely a HUGE Monster Magnet vibe happening, which pretty much seals the deal. C'mon, if someone told us there was a record that sounded a bit like Kyuss mixed with Raging Slab mixed with Monster Magnet, fuck, we'd be all over it. And that's sort of what this Solace sounds like, heavy, groovy, stonery, metallic, hooky, poppy too, it's a pretty potent, and goddamn near irresistible combination. But why would you want to try to resist anyway?
Folks who have been digging recent records by bands like Freedom Hawk, Leeches Of Lore, Sardonis, Iota, Humo Del Cairo, will most likely dig this too. Of all the heavy stuff we've gotten in lately, this one ends up being one of the ones we listen to the most, make of that what you will!
MPEG Stream: "The Disillusioned Prophet"
MPEG Stream: "The Immortal, The Dead And The Nothing"
MPEG Stream: "Six Year Trainwreck"

album cover SOLACE Hammerhead (Land O'Smile) 10" 5.98
We haven't heard from East Coast stoner rockers Solace for ages, but fuck if they don't sound better than ever. This three song 10" is an absolute killer. The first track is a cover of "Hammerhead" by early seventies prog outfit Rare Bird, and it somehow comes out sounding more like some NWOBHM classic, all groovy riffs and killer leads, an incredible hook and great vocals. The second track is an original and is way heavier and meaner, with howled vocals, cool harmonic breakdowns and a more fuzzed out aggressive feel. The funny thing about that song is the riff is dangerously similar to one of our favorite metal songs ever, "Warriors Of Genghis Khan" by Bad News, the Spinal Tap like alter ego of UK comedy troop the Young Ones. Amazed that no metal band has covered it yet.
The B side is a super stretched out version of Link Wray's "Rumble" which might be the Ur-song of all heavy metal, even though it's a rockabilly instrumental. But somehow here it also ends up sounding like a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band, maybe like some rad Iron Maiden outtake, with tons of amazing guitar leads, in fact the whole second half of the track is nothing but dueling leads. So killer!
Cool painting on the cover, horses, warriors, swords and bloodied bodies. Also bonus points for one of the best label logos ever, a parody of the Land O Lakes logo, but with the Indian squaw holding a huge skull instead of a box of butter!

SOLANGE Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Street Dreams (Geffen) cd 12.98
Beyonce's little sister has some magic of her own! Not all of this is great but it for sure has its moments and we'll be curious what shape her future outings take.

album cover SOLANKE, JIMI Storyteller (Eko Star) cd 16.98

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