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Cult bands don’t come much more enduring than Sparks. Almost five decades after first forming in Los Angeles, the Mael brothers proudly remain on the periphery of the mainstream, quietly influential in their own inimitable, unconventional manner. Hippopotamus, their 25th album sees them revel in laugh-out-loud lyrical waggishness, from songs about drab sex (Missionary Position) to odes to Ikea (Swedish Design) and near-perfect love affairs (I Wish You Were Fun). For a band whose last two releases were a concept opera and a collaboration with Franz Ferdinand, the music is still steadfastly eccentric, from the zany art-rock of Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me) to the theatrical What the Hell Is It This Time? and the infectiously bonkers Giddy Giddy. It’s as offbeat a collection as ever, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. ~Irish Times

The new Hercules and Love Affair album, ‘Omnion’, is a vital step forward and sideways from what came before. The band, renowned for their killer disco-tech sound on stage and record, will cause ripples with eleven songs that sparkle with faith and tolerance as a response to our troubling times.Thus Hercules’s fourth album sallies forth into new territory, representing a new-found engagement with the world.

The Charlatans

Different Days

    Tim Burgess's favourite off the new LP . I know this  because he told me on the day of the signing session in our shop! Having said that, he did keep contradicting himself as each track whizzed by, No THIS is my favourite, hang on...THIS is my favourite!!!
    Different Days has a glorious melody with a slyly West Coast vibe (the Neil Young wannabe's America, anyone?) and a sumptuos, tidy groove, designed like most of the album, to make the world a much happier place! Job done!


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Perfect pop with a blissful, warm, summer feel.

    Yes! A brand new Charlatans album. Needless to say we're dead excited about this.

    Includes loads of guest, inc. Johnny Marr, Paul Weller, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Kurt Wagner from Lambchop, Ian Rankin, Nic from Factory Floor... 

    More info soon.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: Sounding like a natural progression from their triumphant ‘Modern Nature’ album, ‘Different Days’ has a similar uplifting, groove infused vibe but adds in a few more experimental influences along the way with synths and samples scattered in amongst their trademark guitar, bass and keyboards. They've recruited a whole host of friends to contribute to the album, with each adding their own stamp, be it musically from the likes of Johnny Marr, Paul Weller and New Order's Gillian and Stephen, or as in the case of novelist Ian Rankin and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, brilliant spoken word pieces. And on top of all that, Tim's sweet soulful vocals are better than ever, teetering perfectly between melancholic and resolutely joyful.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info:


    CD Info:


    Cassette Info:


    7" Box Set Info: 5 x 7" box set.

    The Charlatans

    Modern Nature

      Following the death of drummer Jon Brookes last year, The Charlatans regrouped and set to work on their 12th album. As always, they’ve drawn on the past as well as the present to create their musical melting pot. “Talking In Tones” and “In The Tall Grass” have an early morning post-rave melancholy, there’s Mayfield-esque soul in “Keep Enough”, “Emilie” and “Come Home Baby” are pure pop, and “So Oh” with its sun dappled West Coast vibes is an absolute gem. The anthemic “Let The Good Times Be Never Ending” is prime Charlatans with wah-wah guitars and swirling Hammond keys over driving bass lines and skittering drums. And throughout it all, Tim’s vocals are sublime. Yes, there is melancholy here, but this is by no means a maudlin elegy to a lost friend, instead there’s love and real warmth. It’s an optimistic, forward looking album and their best in a decade.

      Q have already described the album as “ one the finest of their career”, whilst the Guardian have called it “a triumph”

      The album comes after a difficult year for the band following the death from brain cancer of their old friend and drummer Jon Brookes last year. Rogers says that they were determined to carry on to honour Brookes' memory.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: One of the best records of the year just got even better!

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xDeluxe CD Info: The deluxe CD edition includes 4 bonus tracks.

      Smashing Pumpkins

      Monuments To An Elegy

      The Smashing Pumpkins have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in musical history, having sold more than 30 million albums and won multiple Grammy Awards in the process.

      ‘Monuments To An Elegy’ is the band’s eighth studio album, recorded in Chicago by Corgan with Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Playing drums throughout is Tommy Lee. The album was produced by Howard Willing, Corgan and Schroeder. It was mixed by David Bottrill and mastered by Howie Weinberg, who did the same honours for Pumpkins classics in the 90s.

      Billy Corgan says, “For those interested in sound, think: ‘guitars, guitars, guitars, and more guitars’ but more so on the epic side of things than say, grossly metallic.”

      “Nine lean, melodic shit-kickers about love and loss (and Roman emperors), it boasts contagious hooks and carves new synthpop patterns into the Pumpkins’ flesh” - NME


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