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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 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

album cover SOLAR ANUS Skull Alcoholic: The Complete Solar Anus (tUMULt) 2cd 14.98
It's hard to believe, but it's true. SOLAR ANUS IS HERE! It took almost 5 years, but it was well worth it! But what exactly is Solar Anus? An essay by French writer/philosopher Georges Bataille... a burst of plodding pummel from UK freedrone outfit Skullflower... but also, and as far as we're concerned more importantly, a band whose music conjures up a mysterious land of legendary monsters, ancient customs, cult beliefs and ritualized incest, all hidden just below the surface of our everyday world, a place only accessible through Matsuri, a group trance during which music and sound, lights and pictures help transport participants back to those mysterious other worlds and ancient times.
Such is the strange world of Japan's mighty tranced-out psychedelic doomlords Solar Anus, whose sound most definitely exists as Matsuri, a music designed to lull us into a trance and carry us off... mesmeric, hypnotic and HEAVY.
Here, for the first time ever readily available outside of Japan, is the entire recorded output of the legendary Solar Anus, all collected into one massive head crushing, mind melting double cd.
Skull Alcoholic chronicles the band's dizzying trajectory, from stumbling, buzzing, bloody-stumped, sludge doom behemoths to druggy, tranced out psychedelic outer space visionaries, swinging wildly toward both extremes the whole time. An impossible blend of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and the Boredoms, Flower Travellin' band, Pink Floyd, Boris and the Melvins.
Beginning life as a dizzy and druggy, slow motion stoner doom outfit, with their 1997 album On, Solar Anus channeled both the garagey spacestomp of old Monster Magnet, the epic miserablist doomscapes of Candlemass, and the purposefully obtuse sludge riffery of the Melvins, taking all of these disparate but distinctly heavy sounds and incorporating all manner of primitive percussive rituals, drifting dronescapes, 16 rpm Krautrock groove, dreamy angelic female vocals, massive fuzzed out guitars, huge in-the-red monster drums and swirls of creepy crawly dirge into a truly epic dronedriftdoomgroove sound.
The band's blend of propulsive tripped out krautrock, dizzying drum jams and glacial stoner sludge is at once ominous and swoonsome, crushing and psychedelic, lurching wildly from tripped out tribal Can worship to massive bulldozing metal grooves to super abstract druggy dreamscapes, often within the same song.
Album number two, 1999's Trance!! found the band trudging even more resolutely into a bleak and blown out world of dark doom, sounding more and more like classic doomsters, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Cathedral, but completely tweaked of course, and confusingly blended with epic stretches of lurching lo-fi psychedelic Krautrock blow outs a la Amon Duul II.
By the release of their final album, 2000's Next World News, the band had stretched out yet again, dragging their druggy doom into a head spinning world of cracked skull outerspace trance, spinning even further into the void, not so much heavy as blissed out and psychedelic. Lots of abstract rhythmic workouts, like a more demented, damaged version of Finnish dronerockers Circle, a swirl of confusionally dense and relentless FX drenched Krautrock spacejams rife with belching foghorn brass, squawking birds, dizzyingly dense tangles of hippy drum freakouts, chanted vocals, as well as all sorts of studio fuckery, chopped up tape loops, warbly pitch shifts and layer after layer of fuzz and buzz and psychdrone blur.
Each languorous stretch of fuzzed out metallic groove is swathed in blown out clouds of Hawkwind bongsmoke, but broken up by bleary expanses of chilled out 4am trancemusic, but instead of a post-rave laid back Ecstasy come down, it's like crashing and burning in some dirty back alley from an all night PCP binge, silvery streaks of electronic glitch laid over a pulsing techno throb, surrounded by thick washes of processed tribal drums, the whole thing a very Boredoms like primitive percussive ritual, hypnotic and heavy, sprinkled with all kinds of sparkling sonic twinkles and drifting chimes, and underpinned by a wasted moody muted sixties psychedelia.
A quick look at the band's convoluted thanks/inspiration list gives another glimpse into their twisted musical world: German Oak, Crash Worship, Twink, The Electric Prunes, Stooges, Nebula, Pungent Stench, Timothy Leary, Monster Magnet, Ash Ra Tempel, Sodom, Sleep, Amon Duul II, Exit-13, Cathedral, Joel Peter Witkin, Saint Vitus, Church Of Misery, Corrosion Of Conformity, Romain Slocombe, Jimi Hendrix, Gong, Funkadelic, Budgie, Guru Guru, Electric Wizard, Brutal Truth, the Beatles and more. Phew.
And for all you Asian psychrock obsessives: The Solar Anus track "Dear Mother Coral" is actually a cover of a classic tune by Japanese psych legends JA Ceasar!
One of the weirdest, wildest, heaviest collections of druggy, dreamy, dirge-drone-doom-kraut-space-noise-sludge rock EVER!
Mind blowing psychedelic collage cover art, housed in a super deluxe die-cut 'solar anus' slip cover. Includes a massive 12 page booklet, with the original album art and liner notes. These two discs contain every single bit of Solar Anus ever, including their final recording, the previously unreleased nine minute title track, "Skull Alcoholic"!
Once again, it's the year of the anus! SOLAR ANUS!!!!
ONE TIME PRESSING OF 2000 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Skull Alcoholic"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Mother Coral (JA Ceasar)"
MPEG Stream: "Don't Run"
MPEG Stream: "Conceive Bang"
MPEG Stream: "Die In The Space"
MPEG Stream: "Nightfall New Year"
MPEG Stream: "The Extreme North"

album cover SOLAR BEARS She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
When we first heard Ireland's Solar Bears, for whatever reason we sort of pegged them as another eighties style retro Carpenter / Goblin worshipper, and while there is an element of that in what they do, and we of course LOVE that stuff, there's so much more going on, their sound at once futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, but also blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, an incredible mix of so many different sounds we love, which perhaps seem like they wouldn't work together, but somehow, She Was Coloured In ends up sounding practically perfect.
Beginning with a reverbed sample, laid over a murky lo-fi loop, and a skeletal bit of rhythmic skitter, the track blossoms with prismatic synth swirls, fuzzed out swells of distorted chordal shimmer, it's like some sort of shoegazey dreampop, before the track shifts into something almost funky, with fat fuzzy stuttery bass and some sci-fi soundtracky synth, which gives way to gorgeously hazy folky steel guitar strum, which in turn leads into some almost Ariel Pink sounding FM radio retro pop, all warm chiming melodies, vocodered vocals, low slung basslines and little flurries of guitar jangle.
As if it wasn't already good, starting with the third track, "Twin Stars", it gets even better, deep fuzzed out low end drones, thrum and throb, darkly melodic, then some programmed beats swoop in, looped and stuttery, some melancholy synth melodies surface, all very soundtracky, still more melodies, a counterpoint to the original melodies, all very emotional and intense and dramatic, until that gives way to swirly bit of Reichian synth loop shimmer that could go on forever. The title track begins with stately cellos, or cello-like synths, some woozy bass, lush melodic swells, and then the song transforms into some sort of post rock lope, chiming guitars simple drums, swoonsome strings, a little twang, a little psychedelic crunch, so lush and subtly epic, which leads directly into two minutes of glimmering new agey bliss in the form of "Head Supernova", which gradually transforms from muted murky thrum, to weirdly majestic pomp.
"Crystalline (Be Again)" is another strange hybrid, beginning as a minimal bit of subtle synth drift, before crunchy psychedelic guitars transport the track into the realm of propulsive space kraut drift, and then into tripped out new wave, more loping bass, swirling space age synths, looped riffs, building to a seriously soundtracky bit of retro futurism.
The record is so varied, and the sound so ever shifting, that it's difficult to describe without going track by track, yet for all of the record's varied sounds and songs, it all flows so perfectly, like the score for some lost sixties psychedelic film, or the soundtrack to some super strange European television show, so evocative and ethereal and atmospheric, but with moments of spaced out rocking, or blissy shoegazey drift, or hypnotic krautrock throb. Fluttering flutes intertwine with delicate Appalachian folk, strings soar and sing, tinkling chimes drift over sixties Stereolab style Europop, synths distort and crunch, and weave pulsing science fiction electronic groovescapes, with moments definitely reminding us of Zombi and Majeure, but then as quickly as those bits explode into action, they recede leaving gently lilting drifts of hushed new age folky ambience, or layered droney buzz, or even minimal soundtracky groovepop that reminds us of Rockford Kabine's audio experiments, elsewhere looped sixties vocals are layered over warped fuzz bass and shuffling percussion, strings slip and slide, house-y rhythms sink into thick swaths of sun dappled chordal crunch, and super sweet melodies swoop and soar above handclaps and clipped drum machine, a weirdly propulsive sunshiney electro space pop, and then finally, there's a gorgeously lush and somber closer, with reverbed piano, more flutes, simple strummed acoustic guitars, warm soft swells, building to a lush tangle of guitar melody and dark piano chord drift, eventually leaving just a bit of flute flecked layered and distorted dronemusic, finishing with the ka-chunk of the stop button being pressed on an old tape player, as if we were listening to some old tape, or even better, like we were listening to this very record, only in some alternate future, the future as envisioned by pretty much every eighties movie and TV show, one where where cassette tape technology was still the preferred method of audio playback, even in our flying cars, and automated houses.
We love this record.
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Fountains"
MPEG Stream: "Children Of The Times"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Crystalline (Be Again)"

album cover SOLAR BEARS She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu) lp 17.98
When we first heard Ireland's Solar Bears, for whatever reason we sort of pegged them as another eighties style retro Carpenter / Goblin worshipper, and while there is an element of that in what they do, and we of course LOVE that stuff, there's so much more going on, their sound at once futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, but also blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, an incredible mix of so many different sounds we love, which perhaps seem like they wouldn't work together, but somehow, She Was Coloured In ends up sounding practically perfect.
Beginning with a reverbed sample, laid over a murky lo-fi loop, and a skeletal bit of rhythmic skitter, the track blossoms with prismatic synth swirls, fuzzed out swells of distorted chordal shimmer, it's like some sort of shoegazey dreampop, before the track shifts into something almost funky, with fat fuzzy stuttery bass and some sci-fi soundtracky synth, which gives way to gorgeously hazy folky steel guitar strum, which in turn leads into some almost Ariel Pink sounding FM radio retro pop, all warm chiming melodies, vocodered vocals, low slung basslines and little flurries of guitar jangle.
As if it wasn't already good, starting with the third track, "Twin Stars", it gets even better, deep fuzzed out low end drones, thrum and throb, darkly melodic, then some programmed beats swoop in, looped and stuttery, some melancholy synth melodies surface, all very soundtracky, still more melodies, a counterpoint to the original melodies, all very emotional and intense and dramatic, until that gives way to swirly bit of Reichian synth loop shimmer that could go on forever. The title track begins with stately cellos, or cello-like synths, some woozy bass, lush melodic swells, and then the song transforms into some sort of post rock lope, chiming guitars simple drums, swoonsome strings, a little twang, a little psychedelic crunch, so lush and subtly epic, which leads directly into two minutes of glimmering new agey bliss in the form of "Head Supernova", which gradually transforms from muted murky thrum, to weirdly majestic pomp.
"Crystalline (Be Again)" is another strange hybrid, beginning as a minimal bit of subtle synth drift, before crunchy psychedelic guitars transport the track into the realm of propulsive space kraut drift, and then into tripped out new wave, more loping bass, swirling space age synths, looped riffs, building to a seriously soundtracky bit of retro futurism.
The record is so varied, and the sound so ever shifting, that it's difficult to describe without going track by track, yet for all of the record's varied sounds and songs, it all flows so perfectly, like the score for some lost sixties psychedelic film, or the soundtrack to some super strange European television show, so evocative and ethereal and atmospheric, but with moments of spaced out rocking, or blissy shoegazey drift, or hypnotic krautrock throb. Fluttering flutes intertwine with delicate Appalachian folk, strings soar and sing, tinkling chimes drift over sixties Stereolab style Europop, synths distort and crunch, and weave pulsing science fiction electronic groovescapes, with moments definitely reminding us of Zombi and Majeure, but then as quickly as those bits explode into action, they recede leaving gently lilting drifts of hushed new age folky ambience, or layered droney buzz, or even minimal soundtracky groovepop that reminds us of Rockford Kabine's audio experiments, elsewhere looped sixties vocals are layered over warped fuzz bass and shuffling percussion, strings slip and slide, house-y rhythms sink into thick swaths of sun dappled chordal crunch, and super sweet melodies swoop and soar above handclaps and clipped drum machine, a weirdly propulsive sunshiney electro space pop, and then finally, there's a gorgeously lush and somber closer, with reverbed piano, more flutes, simple strummed acoustic guitars, warm soft swells, building to a lush tangle of guitar melody and dark piano chord drift, eventually leaving just a bit of flute flecked layered and distorted dronemusic, finishing with the ka-chunk of the stop button being pressed on an old tape player, as if we were listening to some old tape, or even better, like we were listening to this very record, only in some alternate future, the future as envisioned by pretty much every eighties movie and TV show, one where where cassette tape technology was still the preferred method of audio playback, even in our flying cars, and automated houses.
We love this record.
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Fountains"
MPEG Stream: "Children Of The Times"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Crystalline (Be Again)"

album cover SOLAR BEARS Supermigration (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
We first heard from Irish psychedelic electronic space synth duo Solar Bears via their 2010 debut She Was Coloured In, which we made Record Of The Week, and it remains one of our favorites, a tripped our collection of prismatic dream pop, mysterious vocodered vox, woozy retro psychedelic grooves, Carpenter / Goblin like synthscapes (well, before it was such a THING), string swept slowcore drift, and hazy washed out psychedelic ambience, and here we are three years later, and these guys have finally returned with a sequel of sorts to She Was Coloured In, and in some ways, their M.O. remains unchanged, although the sound has certainly shifted a bit.
After a haunting collaged symphonic intro, which seems to be preparing us for something much darker than we might have expected, the sound explodes immediately into a swirl of cascading minor key synth melodies, tense and moody, their Goblin / Carpenter obsession obviously still in full effect, but SB add had claps, squelchy bass, and soon when the song kicks in proper, they reveal a sound that's more poppy, sounding a bit like a more sinister Phoenix, a dark electro groove slithering beneath that swirl of kosmische synths, and it still sounds pretty goddamn great. Be prepared for the next track though, one of the records' sonic missteps, a bit of cringeworthy electro pop, which on its own might be a little light, but with the dreamy female vox, it becomes something way too twee and fey. But it does signal a sonic change, which is further reflected by the next track, which sounds like the High Llamas gone sci-fi, a sort of Steely Dan retro pop vibe, all woozy electric piano groove, some soulful backup vox, it definitely sound like some classic rock B side transported to the future.
The rest of the record seems to strike a balance between songs like "The Girl That Played With Light" and "Komplex" which channel the dreamy kraut-lite grooves of Stereolab through Solar Bears' warped sonic prism, sounding darkly soundtracky, but simultaneously dreamily psychedelic, and more far out kosmische shimmer, minimal pulsing sprawls of future drift and cosmic psychedelic swirl, with the only other duffer being "Our Future Is Underground" which finds that band returning to that folky female vocal driven twee electro pop, which sounds just a tad out of place.
The best track here is probably the epic (and epically titled) "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation", a totally killer slab of futuristic psychedelic spaced out synth pop, sounding like the chase scene from some eighties B movie, or the end credits from some lost seventies television show, dreamy melodies tangle around strange sound effects, lazer blorps and pulsing sequenced synth churn, all driven by a dense driving programmed beat, the main 'riff' doused in FX and constantly mutating, sounding a bit like a more avant Daft Punk, stripped down and sinister. Too bad the whole record wasn't this good, but still a pretty enjoyable psych-pop electro-synth ride!
MPEG Stream: "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Runner"
MPEG Stream: "Love Is All"
MPEG Stream: "The Girl That Played With Light"

album cover SOLAR BEARS Supermigration (Planet Mu) lp 15.98
We first heard from Irish psychedelic electronic space synth duo Solar Bears via their 2010 debut She Was Coloured In, which we made Record Of The Week, and it remains one of our favorites, a tripped our collection of prismatic dream pop, mysterious vocodered vox, woozy retro psychedelic grooves, Carpenter / Goblin like synthscapes (well, before it was such a THING), string swept slowcore drift, and hazy washed out psychedelic ambience, and here we are three years later, and these guys have finally returned with a sequel of sorts to She Was Coloured In, and in some ways, their M.O. remains unchanged, although the sound has certainly shifted a bit.
After a haunting collaged symphonic intro, which seems to be preparing us for something much darker than we might have expected, the sound explodes immediately into a swirl of cascading minor key synth melodies, tense and moody, their Goblin / Carpenter obsession obviously still in full effect, but SB add had claps, squelchy bass, and soon when the song kicks in proper, they reveal a sound that's more poppy, sounding a bit like a more sinister Phoenix, a dark electro groove slithering beneath that swirl of kosmische synths, and it still sounds pretty goddamn great. Be prepared for the next track though, one of the records' sonic missteps, a bit of cringeworthy electro pop, which on its own might be a little light, but with the dreamy female vox, it becomes something way too twee and fey. But it does signal a sonic change, which is further reflected by the next track, which sounds like the High Llamas gone sci-fi, a sort of Steely Dan retro pop vibe, all woozy electric piano groove, some soulful backup vox, it definitely sound like some classic rock B side transported to the future.
The rest of the record seems to strike a balance between songs like "The Girl That Played With Light" and "Komplex" which channel the dreamy kraut-lite grooves of Stereolab through Solar Bears' warped sonic prism, sounding darkly soundtracky, but simultaneously dreamily psychedelic, and more far out kosmische shimmer, minimal pulsing sprawls of future drift and cosmic psychedelic swirl, with the only other duffer being "Our Future Is Underground" which finds that band returning to that folky female vocal driven twee electro pop, which sounds just a tad out of place.
The best track here is probably the epic (and epically titled) "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation", a totally killer slab of futuristic psychedelic spaced out synth pop, sounding like the chase scene from some eighties B movie, or the end credits from some lost seventies television show, dreamy melodies tangle around strange sound effects, lazer blorps and pulsing sequenced synth churn, all driven by a dense driving programmed beat, the main 'riff' doused in FX and constantly mutating, sounding a bit like a more avant Daft Punk, stripped down and sinister. Too bad the whole record wasn't this good, but still a pretty enjoyable psych-pop electro-synth ride!
MPEG Stream: "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Runner"
MPEG Stream: "Love Is All"
MPEG Stream: "The Girl That Played With Light"

SOLAR FIRE TRIO Breakthrough / External Threat (Invada) 12" 19.98

SOLARIZED Neanderthal Speedway (Man's Ruin) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A perfectly titled album in which 4 longhaired stoners jam on low-IQ thud rock loaded with huge riffs and solos. Pretty soon, you're liking it. Members of Monster Magnet, dude.

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