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SUB POP

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

Dereconstructed

    Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires make music for the foundry worker that writes fiction in his spare time and the college English professor that changes her own oil. The band are rough enough to put the amps on ten and soak a club in their own sweat, sharp enough to discuss the finer points of labor relations and international politics.

    On ‘Dereconstructed’, the band’s second album and their first for Sub Pop, Lee and co. rip through ten striking songs of urgent, Southern-by-way-of-punk rock; or, in the words of Sub Pop boss man Jonathan Poneman, “authentic gulf-coast choogle.” While The Glory Fires have a sound that is unmistakably rooted in the 70s rock canon (think Bob Seger System, The Faces, classic Southern boogie), Dereconstructed is distinctly of the present. The guitars are coated with thick, blown-out distortion, revealing the band’s distinctly modern, punk leanings. Lee’s literary, politically charged lyrics bring to mind Ronnie Van Zant under the tutelage of Noam Chomsky.

    The Glory Fires’ explosive live show has ripped up clubs, basements and theatres of the United States and Europe for the past few years and their debut album, ‘There Is A Bomb In Gilead’, was released in 2012 on Alive Natural- Sound Records.

    ‘Dereconstructed’ was recorded by renowned rock ‘n’ roll outsider Tim Kerr (Big Boys, Poison 13, The Monkeywrench) and mixed by Jeremy Ferguson at Battletapes in Nashville.

    The Afghan Whigs

    Do To The Beast

      ‘Do To The Beast’ is the first new album by The Afghan Whigs in over a decade and a half. Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1988, the band has long stood out from its peers, with their savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions.

      The new album is both a homecoming - it marks their return to Sub Pop, for whom the Whigs were the first signing from outside the label’s Northwest base - and a glimpse into the future of one of the most acclaimed bands of the past twenty five years.

      ‘Do To The Beast’ is an appropriately feral title for one of the most intense, cathartic records of Dulli’s entire career. It adds fresh twists to The Afghan Whigs canon: there’s the film noir storytelling of ‘Black Love’, the exuberance of ‘1965’, the brutal introspection of ‘Gentlemen’. However, the album exudes a galvanized musical spirit and rhythmic heft that suggest transcendence and hope amidst the bloodletting.

      Recorded in LA, New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Joshua Tree - a virtual map of the band’s past and present homes, the album features Whigs co-founders Greg Dulli and John Curley, along with the core band of guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson and drummer Cully Symington. Also featured are soul iconoclast Van Hunt, Mark McGuire (Emeralds), Johnny ‘Natural’ Nagera (Usher’s musical director), Alain Johannes (Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys), Clay Tarver (Bullet LaVolta, Chavez), Dave Catching (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal), among others.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Laura says: Greg Dulli and co return in fine style with this swaggering blend of rock'n'roll angst, classic r'n'b and soul. A dark and uncompromising tour de force.

      Obits are a four-piece band who currently live in Brooklyn, NY, and whose music is probably considered an occupant of the rock music genre, specifically in the areas of garage, punk, surf, surf-punk, and garage-punk.

      On this new album, ‘Bed & Bugs’, they’ve also covered a song (‘Besetchet’) from Volume 23 of the excellent ‘Ethiopiques’ series. So much for tidy categorization. · This is the third full length album by Obits, following their 2011 album ‘Moody, Standard And Poor’, which itself followed their 2009 album ‘I Blame You’.

      ‘Bed & Bugs’ was recorded by Nikhil Ranade, Eli Janney and Geoff Sanoff.

      The discerning listener may well note more than a passing similarity to such bands as Hot Snakes, Edsel, Drive Like Jehu, Girls Against Boys, Pitchfork, and possibly Television or the Wipers. This is un-coincidental - with the exception of those last two, Obits share members with all of those bands.

      TRACK LISTING

      Taste The Diff
      Spun Out
      It’s Sick
      This Must Be Done
      Pet Trust
      Besetchet
      Operation Bikini
      Malpractice
      This Girl’s Opinion
      Receptor
      I’m Closing In
      Machines
      Double Jeopardy (For The Third Time)

      His Electro Blue Voice

      Ruthless Sperm

      Ruthless Sperm. What’s in a name? A whole hell of a lot, actually. Sperm can ruin everything. Persistent little shits that fight their way to the prize. If just one soldier gets ahold of its egg of choice, things will break apart, bubble and mutate. A microscopic violence that leads to thirty plus pounds of sludge and flesh. Still, beauty tends to be the outcome after all this splashy mess and most parties find a happy, rewarding ending. Most parties. To the unfortunate others, the outcome can be more terrifying than anything dreamed up in a Polanski flick.

      Italy’s His Electro Blue Voice follows a similar path to creation. Once the choice is made, it’s guaranteed the trip will be violent and unrelenting. Only the band doesn’t tell you up front which crooked path is gonna lead you to the finish line (at first, they may not even know). But whether it’s slathered in a thick glaze of neo-gothic guitar, an unexpected electronic pulse or leveled under a death trip full of panic inducing terror shrieks, His Electro Blue Voice have become masters at building soundscapes that leave brave listeners spent, soiled and with nothing positive on their mind.

      On Ruthless Sperm – His Electro Blue Voice’s debut full-length, after a string of collectible singles/EPs and an appearance on the Sub Pop 1000 compilation – they set their trajectories on a Kraut-driven rhythm; a haunting, cinematic wash or a mechanically-sound industrial thump. Thirty-plus minutes of shock-horror blasts, blaring cyber-synth attacks and that gloriously-repetitive Stoogeoid-meets-Killing Joke throb. The end result is a platter that’s as direct as it is deadly. Yet for all the bombast and bummer, His Electro Blue Voice still bring forth euphoric hooks and shards of shoegaze, if only to leave them strewn about within the mechanical wreckage. You can almost hear the sounds of the early 4AD roster in the grooves, left teetering between warped indie sensibility and creepy-crawl madness. Crazy sounding, but damned if it doesn’t stick in your head.

      Ruthless Sperm by His Electro Blue Voice: subtle as a construction site and precise like a leather gloved killer. This is the apocalypse. This is end times. Thankfully we get a decent soundtrack to go with it.

      TRACK LISTING

      Death Climb
      Spit Dirt
      Sea Bug
      Tumor
      The Path
      Born Tired
      Red Earth

      No Age

      An Object

        With An Object, their fourth full-length album, No Age has forgone the straight and narrow route, landing in a strange and unexpected place, feet planted in fresh, fertile soil. This new LP finds drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt exploding from behind his kit, landing percussive blows with amplified contact mics, 4-string bass guitars, and prepared speakers, as well as traditional forms of lumber and metal. Meanwhile, guitarist Randy Randall corrals his previously lush, spastic, sprawling arrangements into taught, refined, rats’ nests. Lyrically Spunt challenges space, fracturing ideological forms and complacency, creating a striking new perspective that reveals thematic preoccupations with structural ruptures and temporal limits.

        As the title An Object suggests, these eleven tracks are meant to be grasped, not simply heard. Whether in the fine grit of Randall’s sandpaper guitar scrapes on “Defector/ed,” or Spunt’s percussive stomp and crack on “Circling with Dizzy” and “An Impression,” these are songs that pivot on the sheer materiality of music-making, incorporating the process every step of the way. Still, this is hardly a work of avant garde noise music. These songs are hummable, political, recognizably rooted in underground rock, and informed by an understanding of sound as a material to be shaped, handled, and worked over. It is an aesthetic in which the relationships between guitar, percussion, and vocals—as well as those between rhythm and melody—become relationships between things.

        These relationships are built into An Object at every level. In collaboration with friend and Grammy-nominated designer Brian Roettinger (5 EP‘s, Nouns, Losing Feeling, Everything In Between), the band prepared and assembled the physical packaging of An Object, including jackets, inserts, and labels, fusing the roles of manufacturer, artist, and musician into one. It is this sense of the total work of art that underlines An Object as the culmination of two years of touring, writing, and performing, finding No Age moving into new terrain at the height of their powers.

        An Object was recorded by longtime No Age collaborator Facundo Bermudez and No Age at Gaucho’s Electronics in Los Angeles.

        The name is Daughn Gibson - rhymes with Jaughn, or Raughn.

        He first entered the daydreams of the general public in 2012 with his acclaimed debut, All Hell. Armed with modern technology and a pile of thrift-store records, Daughn shook the ghosts out of scratchy Christian folk records and baptized them as fierce Americana with his booming baritone voice.

        It's on Daughn's second album and Sub Pop debut, Me Moan, that he truly reveals himself to the world. If All Hell was a gritty black-and-white movie, Me Moan is a widescreen IMAX 3D extravaganza. While the roots of All Hell’s sample-based music remain, these songs are performed live, lushly detailed and richly orchestrated. Live drums, guitars (by John Baizley of Baroness and Jim Elkington of Brokeback), pedal steel, horns, house strings, bagpipes and organs appear on this record,

        Like Cormac McCarthy or Robert Altman, Daughn Gibson is a uniquely American artist who throws his soul into his work, free of compromise, possessed by unique vision and so damn intense that he constantly teeters on spontaneous combustion. It's not out of line to consider Me Moan as his Blood Meridian; his Nashville. All that's left is for you to let Daughn in.

        TRACK LISTING

        The Sound Of Law
        Phantom Rider
        Mad Ocean
        The Pisgee Nest
        You Don't Fade
        Franco
        Won't You Climb
        The Right Signs
        Kissin On The Blacktop
        All My Days Off
        Into The Sea

        Low

        The Invisible Way

          Low’s tenth album in 20 years as a band.

          Produced by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and engineer (and fellow Grammy winner) Tom Schick.

          Slow, quiet, sometimes melancholy, and, we hope, sometimes pretty.

          Mimi sings lead on five of the eleven songs (she usually only does one or two, despite being a fan favorite).

          Piano, lots of piano…and an acoustic guitar.

          Songs about intimacy, the drug war, the class war, plain old war war, archeology, and love.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Darryl says: Low at their best; slow, delicate and utterly beautiful.

          When Jaill nonchalantly stepped into the room with 2010’s ‘That’s How We Burn’, the group had already turned out a small catalogue of selfrecorded and self-released albums and EPs.

          SPIN said of ‘That’s How We Burn’, “What elevates their [Sub Pop] debut beyond your average tweepunk rager is the gentle psych dabblings: extra delay on a guitar solo, an errant ‘ooh-ahh-ooh,’ a dubby Panda Bear flourish, and the swirling noise that murmurs through the background.”

          Recorded throughout 2011 in Kircher’s crummy, poorly lit basement, with minimal gear and a control room of thrift store afghans, and mixed at NY’s Rare Book Room by Nicolas Vernhes.

          Milwaukee-based psych-pop three-piece confronting a malfunctioning universe with an inventive, lean 11-song album.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Ryan says: Jaill have stuck with their jangly 90's anti-anthems since their last release but this time round, it all feels more confident and honed. Each track is a winner in it's own right!

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Waste A Lot Of Things
          2. Everyone's A Bitch
          3. Perfect Ten
          4. Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs)
          5. I'm Home
          6. House With Haunting
          7. Madness
          8. Million Times
          9. Ten Teardrops
          10. While You Reload
          11. Stone Froze Mascot

          The fifth album from Greg (Afghan Whigs / Gutter Twins) Dulli’s Twilight Singers collective, and the group’s first in five years.

          The Twilight Singers’ previous release, the acclaimed confessional opus "Powder Burns", came out in 2006.

          "Dynamite Steps" is clearly the next chapter, a whole new level of catharsis and progress, evocatively cramming all the highs and lows of the maverick singer-songwriter’s past half-decade into unexpected sonic trapdoors.

          'Shot on location' at various locales significant to Dulli’s life, you can hear the sense of place emanating up from the grooves of "Dynamite Steps". Here, the weary nighttime decadence of New Orleans rubs up against the oppressive sunshine of Los Angeles and the desolation of Joshua Tree’s desert vistas.

          "Dynamite Steps" explores the thin line between life and death, mortality and immortality, resignation and celebration—that mythical moment when your life flashes before your eyes, drawn out here over the course of eleven songs.

          The album’s forty-three minutes prove an unflinching odyssey through the dark side, but one that’s ultimately redemptive in its scope and power.

          Various guests contribute to the new album, including: Ani DiFranco, Joseph Arthur, Petra Haden, Carina Round, Nick McCabe (The Verve) and Mark Lanegan.

          The Vaselines

          Sex With An X

            Formed in Glasgow in 1987, The Vaselines released two singles and one album and then split up in 1989 (the same week their album was released). They might have faded into obscurity but for the intervention of a certain band from Seattle.

            Nirvana covered three Vaselines songs, helping to fuel a growing after-the-fact appreciation of their seedy, two-and-a-half chord garage pop manifesto.

            "Sex With An X" was recorded outside Manchester at the Analogue Catalogue studio in Mossley with Julie McLarnon engineering, and produced by Jamie Watson (who also produced that first album Dum Dum). The Vaselines ca. 2010 is Eugene and Frances with guest musicians Stevie Jackson and Bob Kildea from Belle & Sebastian on guitar and bass, and Michael McGaughrin from the 1990s on drums.

            Jaill

            That's How We Burn

              Recalling the glory of 90s lo-fi, these songs possess a sinewy tension honed from years of basement shows, and gritty rock sense born of  enduring cold Midwest winter months.

              Vincent Kircher, Austin Dutmer, Andrew Harris and Ryan Adams are a  somewhat sneaky, rarely sleazy group of guys from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Together, they are Jaill, a self-described psych-pop combo who play with undeniable guts.

              Recorded at the Mystery Room studio with Justin Perkins, the new Jaill album "That’s How We Burn" finds the band wrapping its head and arms more solidly around a sound they’ve been building up for nearly a decade, their Wisconsin sensibilities lending to a laid-back but creatively effortless brand of pop, with bright guitars and amped-up energy skipping like a stone over Kircher’s dense lyrics, only to sink into momentary mellow moments.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Darryl says: New on Sub Pop, Jaill marry a 90s indie-slacker style approach with some wonderful psyche-pop melodies.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. The Stroller
              2. Everyone’s Hip
              3. On The Beat
              4. Thank Us Later
              5. Summer Mess
              6. She’s My Baby
              7. Snake Shakes
              8. Demon
              9. Baby I
              10. How’s The Grave
              11. That’s How We Burn

              Dum Dum Girls

              I Will Be

                Dum Dum Girls churn out blissful pop that falls somewhere between The Ramones and The Ronettes.

                Their debut album ‘I Will Be’ was recorded at home by Dee Dee and mixed with the help of Richard Gottehrer (Strangeloves, Voidoids, Blondie, The Go-Gos, The Raveonettes).

                A decidedly medium-fi record, at just under thirty minutes and with eleven songs, it’s a concise tribute to love, fun and the classic pop form of the ‘60s girl groups and early punk rockers.

                Iron & Wine

                Our Endless Numbered Days

                  "Our Endless Numbered Days" is the second full-length album from Iron and Wine and it was recorded both at Sam's Miami home and in Chicago's Engine Studios with Brian Deck. On it, Sam is aided and abetted by regular touring and recording conspirators: his sister Sara Beam, Patrick McKinney, Jeff McGriff, EJ Holowicki, and Jonathan Bradley. No grand gestures here, instead the record is filled with tiny moments, little windows into our shared mortality in a way that serves to sharpen the hunger for love and connection over time rather than dull or defeat it. Listening to "Our Endless Numbered Days" makes plain Sam's deft touch with words and melody; one that allows him to turn out stories about love, loss, faith, or the lack of it that are at once personal and universal, set to music that is sweetly haunting and timeless.

                  The Shins

                  Chutes Too Narrow

                    Quite a departure from their "Oh Inverted World" debut. Gone is the 60s Beach Boys / Byrdsian low key production, "Chutes Too Narrow" has a much more updated sound. The same off-kilter songs are still there, but the vocals are brought right up front, and give the whole album a crisp, bright feel, while in the background, guitars jangle and backing harmonies intertwine beautifully.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Kissing The Lipless
                    Mine’s Not A High Horse
                    So Says I
                    Youg Pilgrims
                    Saint Simon
                    Fighting In A Sack
                    Pink Bullets
                    Turn A Square
                    Gone For Good
                    Those To Come

                    Hot Hot Heat

                    No Not Now

                      Ace angular, new wave / punk, taken from their "Make Up The Breakdown" album.

                      The Catheters

                      Static Delusions And Stone Still Days

                        The Catheters bring real energy back to a genre all too often plagued by bands simply going through the motions. For fans of The Dwarves, Dead Boys, Murder City Devils & The Germs...

                        The Catheters

                        3000 Ways

                          Currently creating a bit of a fuss Stateside, this Seattle band merge Mudhoney, The Stooges and Sabbath with good old punk rock!

                          Radio Birdman

                          The Essential (1974-1978)

                            A long overdue retrospective from the kings of Antipodean Punk Rock & Roll.

                            Various Artists

                            Is It....Dead?

                              Compilation of hardcore, thrash, grind and metal from the North West of the USA.


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