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BEGGARS BANQUET

Love And Rockets

Sorted! The Best Of...

    15 track compilation selected by Love And Rockets from across their entire career and all labels. Contains some rare 7" single versions previously unavailable on any albums and all the tracks are remastered from the original tapes. Also features exclusive new sleeve notes by Love And Rockets themselves.

    Thee Hypnotics

    Righteously Recharged - Remastered Vinyl

      “Thee Hypnotics brought the house down with their Stooges-like raw power, singer Jim Jones prowling like a feral Rob Tyner-meets-Jerry-Lee and backed by a cut-price Heartbreakers build around flamboyant guitarist Ray Hanson.” - Mojo (4 stars)

      “Thee Hypnotics care only for their own generic past and frenetic present. The future doesn’t even get a look in... forget regression, this is reincarnation! Past, present and future!” - Melody Maker

      Nineties hell-raising rock ‘n’ rollers Thee Hypnotics announce the release of ‘Righteously Recharged’, a coloured, heavyweight vinyl anthology including rare and unreleased material via Beggars Arkive. The band have also reformed for live EU and UK dates.

      ‘Righteously Recharged’ will feature four LPs including Thee Hypnotics’ acclaimed debut album ‘Come Down Heavy’ (on violet coloured vinyl), the swamp-rock follow-up ‘Soul, Glitter & Sin’ (on red coloured vinyl) and their Chris Robinson, Black Crowes produced third album ‘The Very Crystal Speed Machine’ (which never saw a UK release and will be on clear vinyl), along with a fourth disc, called ‘In A Trance’ on white vinyl, with their very first single ‘Love In A Different Vein’ plus early demos and Peel Sessions.

      The set also contains in-depth liner notes by journalist Julian Marszalek, featuring interviews with the band and a savvy look at the band’s rip-roaring career, featuring outrageous tales of rock ‘n’ roll excess and exhilaration.

      Taking their cues from the Detroit militancy of The MC5, the corrupting output of The Stooges and the gospel according to The Cramps, Thee Hypnotics’ devastating brand of rock ‘n’ roll was propelled by near punishing decibel levels and a fervour bordering on the evangelical.

      Blazing a devastating trail of high-octane thrills and annihilation, Thee Hypnotics occupied a bizarre hinterland that sat somewhere between the British neo-psychedelic scene of the late 80s and the detonation of garageinfluenced rock from the Pacific northwest of the early 90s. Little wonder that a band that shone so bright would burn out before the end of the century.

      For the first time in 20 years, the classic line-up of co-founders Jim Jones (vocals) and Ray Hanson (guitar), with Phil Smith (drums) and Jeremy Cottingham (bass), have hit the road with all the power of a Viking raiding party. Still harbouring an intense belief in assaultive rock ‘n’ roll as liberation and delivering their sonic payload with a savage intensity, this influential and legendary group is back to testify one more time.

      Gary Numan

      Dance

        ‘Dance’ was Gary Numan’s fifth studio album and was released in 1981. Beggars Archive are excited to reissue this album on double purple vinyl.

        The original 50-minute album was cut onto a single LP with a resulting compression and compromise to the sound. For this new edition, the tracks have been mastered over three sides for improved fidelity and the fourth side contains relevant singles, B-sides and an out-take.

        Additionally, the previously unreleased, full length version of ‘Moral’ has been used to close out the original album. The double LP will be released on purple vinyl in an adapted, colour-corrected gatefold jacket with two printed inner sleeves.

        ‘Dance’ makes a notable effort by Gary Numan to step away from the synth-pop he was famous for and experiment with something a little more jazzy, saxophones and all. Guests on the album include guitarist Rob Dean and (fretless) bassist / saxophonist Mick Karn of Japan, drummer Roger Taylor of Queen, keyboardist Roger Mason of Australian band Models and Canadian alternative musician Nash The Slash.

        The Charlatans

        Up To Our Hips - Piccadilly Records Exclusive Green Vinyl Edition

          SORRY BUT THIS HAS NOW SOLD OUT AGAIN! WE FOUND A FEW COPIES BUT THEY SOLD OUT STRAIGHT AWAY.

          WE'RE DELIGHTED TO OFFER A LIMITED REPRESS OF THIS 1994 CLASSIC CHARLATANS LP ON GREEN VINYL - EXCLUSIVE TO OURSELVES!!


          Andy:
          Come 1994 and The Charlatans found themselves in an unusual place. They'd had a number one pop album with the glorious "Some Friendly" but in a post-Madchester baggy fallout music scene and the loss of their original guitarist, follow-up "Between Tenth and Eleventh" (greatest song ever "Weirdo" notwithstanding) had struggled to hit the mark. Enter "Up To Our Hips"! Boldly instating hippy maestro Steve Hillage behind the desk, this record was the moment when The Charlatans finally settled upon their classic rock, groove, soul, mod pop (and everything else!) sound. They would go on to produce 3 massive albums in as many magical years, culminating in the peerless "Tellin' Stories", but this was where it all began. Of course there was drama (keyboardist Rob Collins got busted and actually went to prison!) but it only made the band try harder; bassist Martin Blunt stepped up to the plate with either cool, slinky, mellow grooves (perfect opener "Come in Number 21") or thunderous, scuzzy bottom quaking funk ( pulsing instrumental "Feel Flows") and not forgetting bass-propelled throbbers (like the still cool "Patrol"). Whilst this came to typify their sound, it was newest member Mark Collins (on guitar) who finally found his feet. The acoustic "Autograph" was undoubtedly a beaut but it was  "Can't Get Out Of Bed" ( one of their Top 3 songs and a modern day classic) and it's gorgeous Faces/Stones strut which let everyone know that The Charlatans had finally, fully arrived (again!) They were here to stay!

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Ultra limited green vinyl edition. 250 only!!!

          Buffalo Tom

          Let Me Come Over - 25th Anniversary Edition

          Buffalo Tom (Bill Janovitz, Chris Colbourn and Tom Maginnis) formed at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984 - a breeding ground of post punk guitar bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies. They thrived on college radio in the late 1980’s and toured extensively in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan. In 1992 the band recorded their third album Let Me Come Over with a varied group of songs they had been developing at home and on the road - mixing their live power trio sound with some more acoustic based guitar ballads. The album’s single “Taillights Fade” would become their signature song.

          2017 marks the 25th anniversary of this album, and to celebrate, Beggars Arkive reissues it on vinyl + cd and package it with a live album. Recorded in London at ULU (University of London Union) in 1992, this marks the band’s first-ever live release. The double LP contains 10 live tracks, and the cd edition contains the entire show (17 songs).

          Buffalo Tom have never really stopped making music or playing shows, and 2017 has seen them celebrating the album’s anniversary with commemorative live shows, including a date at Islington Assembly Hall in London on 9 June. For these shows, they have been performing two sets – the first being Let Me Come Over in full, and the second being favorites from throughout their career. They have also funded a new album via Pledge Music which will see release later this year.

          On its first two albums, Buffalo Tom constructed towering guitar-scapes and mastered a naturalistic version of quiet-to-loud dynamics. So, for its third, we found Buffalo Tom shedding a bit, but not all of the skin it had worn and emerging with its charms more front and center. Let Me Come Over is the sound of the trio exiting the insular underground for the wide world of “alternative” rock--but more or less bringing its best moves along with it, too. Previously loosely linked with fellow travelers Dinosaur Jr. and Uncle Tupelo via a similar three-piece format, stunning depth of songwriting and association with Boston’s Fort Apache Studios--it’s not hard to imagine Buffalo Tom wanted to stake a claim stylistically. Yet, LMCO never feels like a break with the past, it’s a transition. Inside that abstruse cover are undeniably magnificent tunes.

          “Staples” is emblematic of a band in flux with a grungy lyrical conceit rendered with hi-fi guitar squalls. It’s the first single “Taillights Fade,” however, where the band appears to find a new comfort zone, at an unhurried speed where Janovitz’s storytelling and car crash metaphors stand the best chance of making an impression. It plays with quiet-to-loud dynamics, and as for emotional expression, it swings for the bleachers--and a place on alternative rock radio. “Mineral” jangles in a similar vein and makes grand gestures. “Darl” and “Larry” (referencing the brothers from the Newhart show I always thought?) are solid but disparate cuts. Colbourn’s “Darl” feels a bit like an outlier with its thrashy feel--it sounds better louder. “Larry” has a sweetness to it that’s augmented by its busker’s strumming.

          Released as a second single, “Velvet Roof” had given us a taste of what was newly possible, a hook-heavy stomper with a densely woven rhythm matched by tight lyric writing--each piece expertly crafted to go into the next, no frayed ends here--and a snazzy mix by Ron Saint Germain, a pro who would later bring out the best in Soundgarden. A wailing harmonica solo gives it all a swagger that’s kind of new for the band. “Stymied” summons the emotional intensity of Birdbrain--it’s probably the album’s darkest moment. Somehow both life-affirming and wistful “Porchlight” contrasts with the way “Saving Grace” blazes through the barroom like a ‘Mats tribute. There’s no filler to be found here. “Frozen Lake” sees the band caressing acoustic guitars in comedown mode.

          Let Me Come Over is kind of a short story collection with equal parts thunder and intimacy, hills and valleys, last night’s mistakes and tomorrow’s contrition. Ultimately, it’s possibility, a sense of ‘hey, this just might work’ that makes it such a deep spin 25 years later. Let Me Come Over triumphs.

          Having formed in 1994, Six By Seven have gone through various incarnations, with the only constant being singer and composer Chris Olley. They recorded three albums for Mantra Records via Beggars Banquet - ‘The Things We Make’ (1998), ‘The Closer You Get’ (2000), ‘The Way I Feel Today’ (2002) - toured extensively, had two hit singles - ‘Candlelight’ (1998) and ‘I O U Love’ (2002) - recorded five Peel Sessions and appeared on Later With Jools Holland (December 1998). Despite heaping praise on Six By Seven’s breakthrough second album ‘The Closer You Get’, the press seemed confused as to how to categorise them. The band straddled a fine line between post-Brit Pop, British rock and a much edgier kind of punk. Inspired by The Pistols and The Stranglers as well as US bands such as Sonic Youth and Mercury Rev, Six By Seven consciously wanted to write songs that would get played on the radio, as Chris Olley explains: “We wanted to fill a gap I think, fill it with the sort of music we would like to hear and buy ourselves; sort of Captain Beefheart doing pop.”

          Mixing misanthropic lyrics with Olley’s distinctive vocal style, the music was underpinned by malevolent, slow-burning guitars, creating a menacing, dense wall of sound. Chris Olley continues; “There is a great sense of vitriol running through ‘The Closer You Get’ both musically and lyrically.” Journalist Sharon O’Connell commented in her review for Mojo; “Few bands now have the courage to make noise as meaningful as this; it’s like warming your heart against a limited nuclear strike.”

          Six By Seven

          The Closer You Get + Peel Sessions

            Nottingham’s finest rock export Six By Seven release a double vinyl reissue of their 2000 classic ‘The Closer You Get’, with an additional LP of Peel Sessions and B-sides via Beggars Arkive.

            Despite heaping praise on Six By Seven’s breakthrough second album ‘The Closer You Get’, the press seemed confused as to how to categorise them. The band straddled a fine line between post-Brit Pop, British rock and a much edgier kind of punk. Inspired by The Pistols and The Stranglers as well as US bands such as Sonic Youth and Mercury Rev, Six By Seven consciously wanted to write songs that would get played on the radio, as Chris Olley explains: “We wanted to fill a gap I think, fill it with the sort of music we would like to hear and buy ourselves; sort of Captain Beefheart doing pop.”

            Mixing misanthropic lyrics with Olley’s distinctive vocal style, the music was underpinned by malevolent, slow-burning guitars, creating a menacing, dense wall of sound. Chris Olley continues; “There is a great sense of vitriol running through ‘The Closer You Get’ both musically and lyrically.” Journalist Sharon O’Connell commented in her review for Mojo; “Few bands now have the courage to make noise as meaningful as this; it’s like warming your heart against a limited nuclear strike.”

            Back in 2000 it didn’t seem like the country was ready for Six By Seven’s brand of politically aware, angry and astute rock & roll. Whilst Olley was singing about junk food culture, unexploded mines, fake success and “this country’s dirty and depressing,” others were embracing Blair’s Britain. People had it ‘good’ and Coldplay were about to become the biggest band in the world. It seemed like no one understood where Six By Seven were coming from. As Olley explains: “To us it felt like everything was being diluted, merged and homogenised.” He talks about the sense of isolation they felt from the rest of the music industry: “We actually felt quite helpless and not part of anything, it was almost like we were in our own broken dream, stranded on an island because we had pulled up the drawbridge.”

            With everything going on in the world currently, the time is ripe to experience these impassioned songs again. The idea for the reissues came following a fan’s campaign to get the song ‘Eat Junk Become Junk’ to a Christmas Number One after Shaun Keaveney played it on his breakfast show last year, knocking both Slade and The Darkness off the Number One spot for a brief moment during Christmas week in 2015. Following this flurry of interest, Olley and Lesley Bleakley from Beggars Arkive decided to reintroduce the band’s classic sophomore album ‘The Closer You Get’ to a modern audience, as part of a carefully curated reissue package.

            ‘The Closer You Get’ is presented in all its former glory, without being remastered or tampered with and will sound the same as it did when it originally came out. In homage to Beggars Arkive’s re-release of Olley’s heroes and labelmates’ Mercury Rev’s ‘Yerself Is Steam’, the additional LP will be polybagged together with the album. It will feature Six By Seven’s third Peel Session on one side and various B-sides and other Peel Sessions on the other.

            The Charlatans

            Melting Pot

              ‘Melting Pot’ is a greatest hits album by The Charlatans, featuring tracks from their time at Beggars Banquet Records between 1990 and 1997.

              This compilation shows what a great band they were around that time (and still are!) There's not a bad track on here.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xLP Info: The album is reissued for the first time on vinyl since 1998.

              The Fall

              The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall - Remastered Vinyl

                Released in 1984, The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall was the band’s seventh studio album and their first for Beggars Banquet. It makes few conces¬sions to the larger market - every potential hook seemed spiked with the band’s usual rough take- it-or- leave- it stance - though the integration of Brix Smith into the band added a melodic twist.

                This LP has been mastered from HD files transferred from the analog tapes.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                David says: This is the pinnacle of The Fall’s ‘golden period’, bookended by ‘Perverted By Language’ and ‘The Frenz Experiment’. When I first arrived in Manchester I saw them six times in six months, on each occasion they were 100% more shambolic than the previous gig, which is impressive even by their standards.

                The Fall

                The Wonderful And Frightening Escape Route To The Fall

                  This contains the material from the two singles and the EP, Call For Escape Route, that the band released in 1984, which were also part of the extended cassette ver-sion of the original album. These were the remaining tracks recorded at the sessions.

                  The Fall

                  The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall - Expanded Edition

                    This expanded edition bundles together The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall with The Wonderful And Frightening Escape Route To The Fall.

                    Released in 1984, The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall was the band’s seventh studio album and their first for Beggars Banquet. It makes few concessions to the larger market - every potential hook seemed spiked with the band’s usual rough take- it-or- leave- it stance - though the integration of Brix Smith into the band added a melodic twist. This LP has been mastered from HD files transferred from the analog tapes.

                    The Wonderful And Frightening Escape Route contains the material from the two singles and the EP, Call For Escape Route, that the band released in 1984, which were also part of the extended cassette ver-sion of the original album. These were the remaining tracks recorded at the sessions.



                    The Fall

                    This Nation's Saving Grace - Expanded Edition

                      This expanded edition bundles together This Nation's Saving Grace with Schtick - Yarbles Revisited.

                      Originally released in 1985, their 8th album, This Nation's Saving Grace is one of The Fall’s most loved releases and is often hailed as one of the greatest albums of the 1980s. Drawing from the well of primal rock ‘n’ roll, the band play with muscular spontaneity and inspiration to create music that still sounds unique and challenging, especially against today’s anodyne imitations of Rock and ‘guitar music’. This LP has also been mastered from HD files.

                      Available for the first time on vinyl, Schtick - Yarbles Revisited compiles the singles released around This Nation’s Saving Grace and includes 5 tracks from the bands’ 1985 BBC Peel sessions. Also included is the track “Ma Riley” which made its debut on the CD box set in 2011.

                      The National

                      The Virginia EP

                        To coincide with The National’s curation of All Tomorrow’s Parties at Camber Sands this December, ‘The Virginia EP’ is being made available on vinyl for the very first time ever.

                        Pressed on coloured vinyl, ‘The Virginia EP’ is a collection of B-sides and rarities from the band’s ‘Boxer’ period, originally available on CD when it was included as an accompaniment to the Vincent Moon filmed ‘A Skin, A Night’ DVD release of 2008.

                        Released in 1997, when it went straight to the top of the album charts, this year marks the 15th anniversary of ‘Tellin’ Stories’.

                        Building on the sound of their eponymous, previous release (‘The Charlatans’ - also a No.1), the band’s performance has the feel of a classic British rock band (the type which also contain ‘roll’ in the music), combined with the more focussed songwriting of Britpop.

                        The package contains the original album, re-mastered and cut from the analogue studio tapes, in addition to a collection of the single B sides, plus an unreleased, early version of ‘Don’t Need A Gun’, originally entitled ‘Rainbow Chasing’. Of the eight B sides only half were re-issued on the anthology ‘Songs From The Other Side’.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xLP Info: The double vinyl format is limited to 1000 copies pressed
                        on heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                        2xCD Info: The CD is a limited edition (2000 copies) in double jewel
                        case with slipcase.

                        ILiKETRAiNS

                        Elegies To Lessons Learnt (DVD)

                          Leeds band iLiKETRAiNS simultaneously release a full-length animated film of their debut album "Elegies To Lessons Learnt" and brand new single "We Go Hunting". They support the release with their third tour of Europe and a tour of small venues in the UK. The animated film is a beautiful and disturbing observation which follows a bewildered soul as he travels through a series of historical events depicted in the subject matters of the band's album. Self-produced, the film adds another dimension to the cacophonic experience of the album and is a wonderful companion for it. The DVD also features the bands videos, including the award winning "Terra Nova", plus extra live footage and a stills gallery.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          DVD Info: DVD is strictly limited to 1000 for the UK, and comes packaged in a regular CD sized digipack.

                          "Hideout" is Film School's second full-length for Beggars Banquet. Written largely in frontman Greg Bertens' Los Angeles apartment and recorded in both LA and San Francisco studios, it builds on the band's pretty, shoegazer pop and richly textured space-rock soundscapes by emphasizing powerful rhythms and beautiful melodies that take the songwriting to a new level. Bertens' signature vocal delivery shows more breadth on this release, and evokes a plaintive longing that is magnified by the addition of female voices, courtesy of bassist Lorelei Plotcyzk and guest vocalists Tracy Uba (Timonium) and Leah Piehl. Other guest musicians loaning their talents to the album are Colm O'Ciosoig (My Bloody Valentine) and Paul Wilson (Snow Patrol). It's the combination of ethereal atmosphere and strong rhythm that makes the album wholly compelling.

                          iLiKETRAiNS grace us with their magnificent new album, "Elegies To Lessons Learnt". Morose indeed, and conveyed with such supreme, spine-tingling, rousing melody and compelling instrumentation that this album will win hearts and minds all over the world. Recorded in an old chapel in Leeds, the album was mixed with the help of Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, Hope Of The States), and self-produced.

                          "Yes, U", their third album, marks a striking evolution. Previous records have been praised for their gothic detailing and subtle use of instrumental colouration (harmonium, Optigan, rhythm box, keyboards, strings, et. al). Devastations earned a reputation as well-refined miserablists and classic-minded balladeers, specialists in the sub-genre known as orch-pop. This was a mixed blessing. Unlike the artists to whom they were compared, Devastations' songs were not intended as weepers, and their arrangements did not fill up every nook and cranny with suffocating detail. Rather, they were particularly notable for their use of space and careful construction. The noir moods did not seem like a plea for sympathy, or an indicator of depression, but a glimmer of how one might find salvation. Recorded in Berlin with Jeremy Glover and mixed in New York City with Chris Coady, "Yes, U" still hints at spiritual predecessors like Serge Gainsbourg and The Velvet Underground - urbane artists who revelled in the life of the metropolis, with all its glamorous, grimy, and sensuous details. But it also brings to mind thornier cosmopolitans such as Suicide, Scott Walker and Yoko Ono - deep thinkers all, each noted for creating treacherous sonic environments and tangible, physical sounds.

                          The National's 2005 album "Alligator" saw them fulfil the promise shown on their previous two albums, and set the bar impossibly high for their follow up.

                          However, with "Boxer" they've created something quite stunning, in fact the opening three tracks, "Fake Empire", "Mistaken For Strangers" and "Brainy" are possibly their best songs ever. A taut rhythm section is present throughout, and complements the languid vocals and lush string arrangements perfectly. Although the strings and Matt Berninger's distinctive drawl create a solemn mood, there are plenty of upbeat moments here too, creating a rich anthemic album with just the right amount of melancholy.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Laura says: Re-listening to this for the first time in ages, it still stands up as a great album. It was originally released in 2007 and was my album of the year that year, pretty much soundtracking my entire summer. Listening now you can see the progression from previous album 'Alligator' and how they moved on from this to 2010's 'High Violet'. All the key factors are there: the intricate, layered arrangements, the brooding intensity and of course Matt's distinctive vocals.

                          The Fall

                          Seminal Live

                            The Fall's contractual obligation album. With Brix leaving (or left, depending on your history) the group, this is a hastily assembled selection of what sound like Frenz Experiment outtakes and nine live tracks, their last for Beggars Banquet. These opening five tracks would have made a nice EP supporting the single "Deadbeat Descendant," the first song featured on the album. They're not among their best, but "H.O.W. (History of the World)" has a certain grim stateliness to it, with a grungy bassline by Hanley leading the group. "Pinball Machine" continues in Smith's long line of rockabilly covers.

                            The Fall

                            This Nation's Saving Grace

                              "Feel the wrath of my Bombast!" exhorts Smith on this follow-up to their groundbreaking Wonderful and Frightening World of... the Fall, and this collection is ample proof of the pure confidence the group had at this time. Stompers like "Barmy," "What You Need," and the mighty "Gut of the Quantifier" are all led by Brix Smith's twanging lead hooks, filled by distorted guitars and bludgeoning drums, on top of which Smith rants with conviction. But it's the departures from this sound that mark the real interest here: The synth-driven "L.A." looks ahead to the Fall's experiments with electronica; "Paint Work" is an impressionist piece interrupted by Smith accidentally erasing over some of the track at home; and "I Am Damo Suzuki," a tribute to Can's lead singer, which borrows its arrangement from several of that group's songs. the Fall sound mysterious, down-to-earth, and hilarious all at the same time. The CD reissue adds the singles "Cruiser's Creek" and "Couldn't Get Ahead" as well as their B-sides making this an essential purchase." - AllMusic.

                              The Fall

                              45 84 89 A-Sides

                                Originally released in 1990, the seventeen songs collected here come from The Fall’s Brix Smith era, aka “the golden era of Fall releases.” This is a perfect introduction to the band, and as legendary critic Robert Christgau said, it’s “The only Fall record any normal person need own”.

                                The band’s legendary and notorious frontman Mark E. Smith passed away earlier this year at the age of 60. The band’s output since they formed at the height of the punk rock movement in Manchester in 1976 was prolific to say the least. It’s hard to be exact, but in their four decades, The Fall released 31 studio albums, 5 part-studio/part live albums, 32 live albums, 40 compilations, and Mark E. Smith also released two spoken word albums. Another high number is that of former members of The Fall. There were over 60 different band members over the years. Their high volume of quality work over the last 40+ years had an enormous influence which was extolled greatly after his death.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: White vinyl edition.

                                The Fall

                                The Wonderful And Frightening World Of...

                                  "The Fall made the leap to a semi-major label -- Beggars Banquet -- with The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, hooking up with noted producer John Leckie to create another smart, varied album. Contemporaneous with the slightly friendlier "Oh! Brother" and "C.R.E.E.P." singles without actually including them, Wonderful and Frightening World makes few concessions to the larger market -- every potential hook seemed spiked with the band's usual rough take-it-or-leave-it stance. Mark E. Smith's audible, tape-distorting spit on the descending chord blast of "Elves" -- already spiked with enough vocal craziness as it is -- gives a sense of where the album as a whole aims. Brix Smith co-writes about half the tracks, creating a strong partnership with many highlights. It may start with a semi-low-key chant, but when "Lay of the Land" fully kicks in, it does just that, Craig Scanlon in particular pouring on the feedback at the end over the clattering din. Smith sounds as coruscating and side-splittingly hilarious as ever, depicting modern Britain with an eye for the absurdities and failures (and crucially, no empathy -- it's all about a gimlet eye projected at everyone and everything). Two further standouts appear on the second half -- "Slang King," a snarling portrayal of a cool-in-his-mind dude and his increasingly pathetic life, and the concluding "Disney's Dream Debased." Though unquestionably the most conventionally attractive tune on the album, ringing guitars and all, Smith's lyrics portray a Disneyland scenario in hell, however softly delivered. Elsewhere, Gavin Friday from the Virgin Prunes takes a bow with his own unmistakable, spindly vocals on the trebly Krautrock chug of "Copped It" and the slightly more brute rhythm of "Stephen Song."

                                  [The CD version, in an admirable move by Beggars Banquet, contains seven extra tracks to fill the disc out, including "Oh! Brother" and "C.R.E.E.P.," along with associated B-sides and the Call for Escape Route EP.] " - AllMusic.

                                  These five Cincinnati friends recorded two albums and a mini album for Brassland before signing to Beggars Banquet. Their last effort, "Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers", was touted as one of the year's best by Rolling Stone and other magazines.

                                  The National contains two pairs of brothers - Aaron Dessner (guitars, bass) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (guitar, bass), Bryan Devendorf (drums) and singer Matt Berninger. Matt's potent baritone intones about matters fraught and funny and sad; about record collections, missing persons and medium-sized American hearts. The songs are intense, and emotive but generally quite restrained, but on one or two tracks, this intensity spills out into a superbly abrasive blast of emotion, before ebbing back into mellowness. Wonderful!

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Laura says: An absolutely awesome album - one of my albums of the year in 2005 when it was originally released. Although it's perhaps a little less 'polished' than "High Violet" it still has that same compelling, claustrophic intensity too it.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: One of a series of vinyl re-presses from Beggars Banquet. Fluorescent yellow/green vinyl.

                                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Biffy Clyro

                                  My Recovery Injection

                                  "My Recovery Injection" finds Biffy Clyro at their most confident, featuring some of the bands' most memorable and catchy hooks to date.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  CDS Info: The CD single includes "It's Always The Quiet Ones" and "Corfu".

                                  Featuring 15 original tracks and boasting some stunning guest appearances, "Bubblegum" is simply one of Mark Lanegan's (Screaming Trees singer and Queens Of The Stone Age member) best albums, a stunning dark americana journey full of tales of remorse and loneliness delivered by his unique and emotive gravel-edged voice. Musical assistance on "Bubblegum" comes from luminaries including Queens Of The Stone Age bandmates Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, PJ Harvey (who provides vocals on "Hit The City" and "Come To Me"), Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli and Ween's Dean Ween amongst others.

                                  Michael J Sheehy

                                  Ill Gotten Gains

                                  Second solo album from ex Dream City Film Club frontman, Michael J Sheehy. Includes a cover of the Junior Parker / Elvis classic "Mystery Train".

                                  Tindersticks

                                  Can Our Love....

                                  Tindersticks return with their fifth album, and they're on a bit of a soulful, Curtis Mayfield tip for this one.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  CD Info: Limited edition packaging on the CD. As with the vinyl, it comes in a lovely thick card gatefold sleeve.


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