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CASTLE FACE

OBN IIIs

Live In San Francisco

    Castle Face Records presents the latest installment of the Live in San Francisco series, courtesy of OBN III’s (Tic Tac Totally, 12XU, Matador).

    “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s this: Don’t buy drugs from strangers on the street while wasted. A simple yet effective rule. Evidently no one told these reckless Texans, OBN III’s. We’ve captured them at their sweatiest for our Live in San Francisco series at the Chapel, from the kickoff shows of the tour with Thee Oh Sees last fall…. “These dudes are animals, period. This live recording is mixed like a hot pan on the brain, and it captures the raw live energy of a great OBN III’s show. Just about every night from note one, Orville [Bateman Neeley III] is in the crowd touching faces of fans and making OBN virgins uncomfortable. Let them touch your face (ewww).” - John Dwyer.

    Running

    Wake Up Applauding

      Running elbows in quick from the City of the Big Shoulders with Wake Up Applauding. Delivered loudly, dripping in unintelligible menace with the occasional flash of dark humor, their bathtub mixture of dope-sick guitars claws at your purse, ramming into an unhealthy sense of propulsion and repetition that seems chemical, unreal.

      This is villains-plotting-evil kinda punk, mutants in the sewers emerging and wreaking havoc… Mothra shorting out high-voltage power lines and melting, screaming, onto a fleeing populace. Corrosive, driving, repetitive, pissed off, these guys deliver that evil cruisin’ vibe, tight and pushing 100 but with just a rotted off stump of a hand grossing everyone out and shifting gears.

      The Intelligence

      Live In San Francisco

        “For folks who dig A Frames, Country Teasers, Wire, Gang of Four, pita chips and dad’s boozy breath, may we present The Intelligence, captured live in a truly subterranean underground show space below SF vintage clothier Vacation.

        “Lars Finberg: a name synonymous with artisanal hand-crafted, locally brewed, and organically-farmed song lasers. Hilarious, fast, tour-tight and ballsy—the band has all these perks in pocket, and all that on borrowed gear! I’ve watched this band go through many variations over the years and in their own right all of them have been marvelous. This particular version of the line up is constructed entirely of road-dogs. These guys don’t fuck around—or maybe they only fuck around, who can tell anymore? They drink, they get bawdy, they shred, and when we asked Lars if the band would be into doing a small show in a basement in the Tenderloin in SF for a live LP, he asked ‘What should we play?’ and I replied ‘nothing but the hits’— and they did exactly that.

        “The Intelligence and Lars himself are masters at the penning of hits—hit after hit after hit—and with a soft-shoed tippity-tap of crowd work and banter, you can really smell the basement on this one and feel the cobwebs grazing the top of your head as you go deaf in one ear from the eye level PA pointed directly at your soul hole. If you love this band then this is a great live LP of them scorching the hits and talking trash. If you don’t know this band (shame on you) then this is a good place to start.” —John Dwyer

        Crack the coffers, Oh Sees have spawned another frothy album of head-destroying psych-epics to grok and rock out to. Notice the fresh dollop of organ and keyboard prowess courtesy of Memory Of A Cut Off Head-alum and noted key-stabber Tom Dolas, while the Paul Quattrone / Dan Rincon drum-corps polyrhythmic pulse continues to astound and pound in equal measure, buttressed by the nimble fingered bottom end of Sir Tim Hellman the Brave and the shred-heaven fret frying of John Dwyer, whilst Lady Brigid Dawson again graces the wax with her harmonic gifts.

        Aside from the familiar psych-scorch familiar to soggy pit denizens the world over, there’s a fresh heavy-prog vibe that fits like a worn-in jean jacket comfortably among hairpin metal turns and the familiar but no less horns-worthy guitar fireworks Dwyer’s made his calling card. Perhaps the most notable thing about Smote Destroyer is the artistic restlessness underpinning its flights of fancy. Dwyer refuses to repeat himself and for someone with such a hectic release schedule, that stretching of aesthetic borders and omnivorous appetite seems all the more superhuman!

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: They're back again, reliably presenting us with their annual outing as 'Oh Sees' (not to mention their interim performances as any variety of that name), and they have reliably smashed it out of the park. Unbelievably grooving, beautifully constructed and forged with as much intensity as anything they've ever created. Once again, predictably brilliant.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive coloured vinyl edition.

        2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

        LFZ

        Name Plus Focus

          A glistening field of sport / Mylar turf sucking up to the feet of the future athlete / No noise from the crowd / Hypoextinct brain waves peak at nominal levels / Mouths hang as they watch the rehearsed games unfold. “Across megalopolis / Handshakes between men and machine / Ply for future rations /Every man for himself that isn’t under the spell of the government’s mind whip / Signals wash out over haphazardly stacked neighborhoods as they sleep / Investing, convincing, planting memories / Fabrication of emotion. “And even farther still / Past the snicker-snack of the city’s air intake fans /A humming drone passes over the green grey canopy of the last forest / The no man’s land / Scanning for heat traces and human sound / Looking for the resistance with its red pin-prick eye. “In the moments between search and seizure / The rebels eat from the forest floor /They climb trees, they commune with the animals / They live life, they stare out to the ocean, past the shanty skyscrapers/ The last frontier. “Sean Smith soundtracks all these thoughts in my mind’s eye / His synth and guitar layered music is the signal / It is the force field, refracting light / It is the chemtrail drifting down like slow motion party glitter / From the heavens settling like moon flakes on the roofs of the cards / On the debris / On the upturned faces of the rabble. “It is beautiful imagination at its best.” - John Dwyer.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          Uranium Club

          Live At Acri Taun

            Nothing like a carb-load Italian pre-show feast and table wine to grease the gears of some live action in Fidenza, Italy . A land-locked classico right where you would pinch to hike up the boot. A club packed tight with handsome men and women abused by sonic marauders. “Have you seen Uranium Club live? No? Drop everything. They are complete-package slayers.

            Watch- works drummer power, shred-haired bass magic (glasses flying), ripped twin guitar flexing on nerd beach, vocals poured through the skylight into your e-holes and over your thought center, sunglasses all around: fucking hypno- wheel. “Tough, smart, and wiry, midwest exploded all over the globe. Minneapolis, a city known for producing the best, has taken no nap on these young men: the driest tone, the snappiest hooks. They are simply great and this recording captures a particularly good night. They Shred ‘til everyone’s dead, including a nine-minute jam, god help us.

            “Here’s something to make you feel good about the world, to know that we have extended a strong art-handshake to our brothers and sisters in Italy. Vivia l’italia! Ciao, bella.” - John Dwyer.

            Once And Future Band

            Brain

              2017’s “Once & Future Band” landed upon our brains like the birth of a starchild - fully formed, otherworldly, yet comfortingly familiar in its contours…Floyd, ELO, Queen, Steely Dan, and Beach Boys rearranged into an unapologetically poignant pop moment, underpinned by 4 guys that could play their way out of a Faustian bargain. While we await whatever warlock’s potion they are brewing up next, they’ve pulled a maxi-EP Brain from the vaults for a moment in the sun. All of the mastery you’ve come to expect is at play here; enough chops to make a vegetarian’s mouth sweat, songs that tug at the heart while they play tricks on your mind, and with the steady hand of a of studio wizard sprinkling stardust around the edges just so. 

              Prettiest Eyes

              Pools

                Los Angeles (formerly Puerto Rican) punk band sizzles the brain on their sophomore album.

                For fans of Screamers, Suicide, Chrome, and The Birthday Party.

                “Very pleased to be working with Prettiest Eyes. I first saw them ages ago at the Satellite and they were cake-takers that night. Now, they are stronger and weirder than ever. I couldn’t believe this new batch of tunes and their bananasenergy live show and, their fans are hard-core heads, just a soup of dance and mouths agog. Brutal, fractured, pogoing beats played by Pachy [Garcia], also the singer, belching out vocal smoke rings in the laser light above the din—they are flat out commands, militaristic in their delivery and yet catchy, like you like em. Marcos, an extro-sensual bassist who climbs inside of your mind-clothes while grinding out aggressively greasy throbs and pulls and Paco, the keyboardist, who at times plays reeling wailing lines that could be mistaken for a number of other instruments…and the hair on this dude! I have a hard time remembering how nice his face is offstage, all you can see is a whip wigging out.

                They are captivating, they are odd, they make strange and interesting choices. Futuristic and yet drawn from the same sonic sludge that all mankind derives from, they live and breathe early Los Angeles-punk vibes while still innovating at every turn. There is electricity in this sound, they simply rule and what a pleasure to hear Pools doesn’t stray far from what makes them just melt it in person. Recorded perfectly to harness the animal on a nice inanimate slab of plastic you can take home. For fans of Screamers, Suicide, Chrome, and yes, a hint of a down unda Birthday Party.” - John Dwyer.

                Flat Worms belt-sanded everyone with their 7-inch on Volar, and Castle Face is proud as new papas to present their debut album. The band continues their ride on a buzz-saw wave of feedback-tipped riffs into the middle distance, the smog-choked sunset receding in the rearview, with a thousand-yard dead pan stare surgically pinned to a high octane set of boredom-energized punk pistons. This is an ear-ringing missive from the end of the cul-de-sac, a mirage wavering above a mid-sized American suburb at dusk, with the constellations bleached black by the sprawl. A little Wipers, a little Wire, and a lot of late-capitalist era anxious energy - Flat Worms scratch the itch quite nicely.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Laura says: Castle Face close out the year in fine style, with this hyper-energetic debut album from Los Angeles post-punk trio Flat Worms. Comprising of the all-star line-up of Will Ivy on guitar/vox (Dream Boys, Wet Illustrated, Bridez), Justin Sullivan on drums (Kevin Morby, The Babies) and Tim Hellman on bass (Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Sic Alps) the Flat Worms have created a classic buzz-saw guitar sound that would happily nestle in your record collection next to the SST back catalogue, The Wipers, Soft Pack, No Age and more recently, the Parquet Courts. Pummelling drums, heaps of guitar fuzz, massive feedback drenched riffs and dead pan vocals are the order of the day here, and once you throw in killer tunes you’re destined to have these noisy earworm nuggets bouncing around your brain for days and days. A winner from start to finish and one of the most exciting debut albums of the year.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: UK only coloured vinyl.

                Orb

                Naturality

                  An exciting development from under strange Australian lablights: ORB re-spawn from last year’s Birth with a further mutated slab of paranoid heavy shred, Naturality. They bring the dread with a kinetic muscularity and a pleasantly evolving synthetic strangeness, as if having eaten of the wrong part of the garden, causing familiar things start to seem less so. The effects of these spores on the modern brain, already clogged with a steady drip of zips and zooms, are fresh and confusing.

                  ORB are young and fleet fingered, and certainly know their way around a riff, but bring everything into an almost alien clarity both blunted and futuristic. ORB, you see, have ripened quite radically, and one can only think at an accelerated pace upon their travels with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.

                  This album finds them sprouting new appendages and clawing at their enclosures. This is potent stuff—be careful! Shroomed out doom rock extra-special… early Sabbath, Edgar Broughton Band, Buffalo…down tuned and grooving up the stoned rock …

                  “When I was first told about Duds, it came with the considered opinion that the guys were far from what you’d call ‘careerists’. ‘They don’t take themselves too seriously’ was another comment. I could have taken this as a warning that they weren’t in it for the right reasons—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. From my perspective Duds simply won’t bend over backwards to ‘get on’. They do what they do and you can take it or leave it. I took it—with both hands…with a vice-like grip. They have the invention and urgency of Edinburgh legends The Fire Engines. The PostPunk ethic. Short songs, short sets = short album.

                  “They’re one of the most thrilling bands I’ve seen in years—and the fact that they’re releasing this brilliant piece of work on the Castle Face label adds the last piece of a perfect ‘outsider’ jigsaw puzzle. Duds sitting alongside Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, Useless Eaters, et al. There is a god!” —Marc Riley, June 2017

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Laura says: Snare drums rattle like automatic gunfire, crashing cymbals are scattered amongst jagged guitar shards and dead pan vocals. Fiery sub three minute post-punk gems with a nod to the sounds coming out of both Glasgow and Manchester in the early/mid 80s, think Josef K, Fire Engines, bIG fLAME....

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: UK Exclusive clear vinyl edition.

                  LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                  Kelley Stoltz

                  Que Aura

                    Extra fine songwriter and longtime bedroom-pop auteur Kelley Stoltz delivers on the promise so many of his records slyly hint at. Que Aura is the platonic ideal of a Kelley Stoltz record, which is a very exciting thing indeed. Stoltz embraces his best synth-pop tendencies, with this incredibly self-assured set of tender tunes, combining in his own hangdog fashion both a disco-lit abandon and the attendant post-party sighs of dread and remorse.

                    Great songs come out of Stoltz at an alarming rate on any given day but this particular collection is some of his most effortlessly catchy stuff yet. Ennui under the disco lights suits him very well - there’s a hearty sip of Pulp-ian white Brit shimmy with a wink, a dash of Fleetwood Mac’s cynically professional late ’70s sheen, and even a spritz or two of Echo and The Bunnymen, which should surprise no one who’s noticed Stoltz has been playing guitar with McCulloch and Company for the past year or so. This record cements Stoltz’s place in the power-pop pantheon where he belongs, right between Dwight Twilley and Martin Newell. Let the Hall of Fame know!

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    John Dwyer

                    Exploded Globes : An Annotated Collection Of Posters 1999-2016

                      For the very first Castle Face book — a selection from the dusty vaults of John Dwyer’s prodigious poster output! Bold, brash, lovingly imperfect prints embellished with some stories of the nights in question as told by the man himself…don’t miss out on this or your coffee table will never forgive you. From the introduction: “In this book, in no particular order, are the handbills, fliers and posters I’ve made since 1999 or so to present.

                      The style doesn’t vary all that much…similar content…but I think I’ve gotten slowly better over all these years…I’m still a bit too impatient of a person to make “perfect” prints…but I think part of that is my style: a mess sometimes. Nothing wrong with that. I’m really not a huge fan of the typical rock poster. It can be a tedious format to look at, especially after years of playing shows and a million posters, so I try to make something from a bit of a different place. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy, maybe you were at one of these shows? Maybe you thought, who made this shit poster? It was me.” —John Dwyer

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Hardback Book Info: In hardcover, casewrapped in crimson cloth with gold foil lettering, so it looks nice on your shelf.

                      The I.L.Y.'s

                      Bodyguard

                        Experimental garage rock / art punk duo featuring Zach Hill and Andy Morin of Death Grips, with guitar from Tristan Tozer (Yah Mos, Drug Apts) The latest release from the mysterious, experimental duo comprised of Zach Hill and Andy Morin of Death Grips, Bodyguard also features guitar work from Tristan Tozer (Yah Mos, Drug Apts).

                        “...with Bodyguard, they’ve given us, I would argue, an album a whole lot more bracing and immediate and fun and welcoming than anything Death Grips will ever allow themselves to make.” – Tom Breihan, Stereogum

                        Magnetix

                        Live In San Francisco

                          “The couple that slays together, stays together: Looch Vibrato and Aggy Sonora, like the moniker of an infamous killing duo, the fucking butchest band from Bordeaux. Looch, with hands like bunches of bananas and songs like flaming arrows. The lovely and tough-as-hell Aggy, crushing the kit. Heavy weird attackers from our sister country. Sludge drips—murder the guitar, usurp the amp, fry the mic, howl like beasts, melt the crowd: Magnetix. We were lucky enough to grab them on one of their rare U.S. shows, recorded in a basement in San Francisco. Here it is in all its gory glory. Let’s go tripping…” —John Dwyer

                          Male Gaze

                          Miss Taken

                            “Matt, Mark and Adam, aka Male Gaze, return quickly from the brainy roar of their previous album King Leer with their six heels hanging even further over the edge of the abyss. Good bands often pull punches but the great ones don’t and these charismatically scarred veterans of romance, gear singed from all too real firefights in the dark world of adulthood, lodge ten new slugs into your vest. Your life was spared but you’ll feel every second of the thirtyfive-plus minutes, grateful that all you got was a bruising. Imagine what it did to them! Have you ever flung yourself out there to such a degree that you risked total humiliation if it all went south, to where the next step would be self deportation to some distant island of annihilation in your mind? How did that work out for you? Don’t worry, Male Gaze knows and they wrote some songs about it. Look out your window, down at the glittering metropolis below and listen to this album.” - Henry Rollins.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Dream Machine

                            The Illusion

                              Warm Soda’s Matthew Melton makes it a fantastical family affair

                              When Matthew Melton told us he had two brand new records for us to hear, a final Warm Soda record as well as a new band with his wife Doris called Dream Machine, I must admit there was a little sadness that Warm Soda had run its course. Then I put on Dream Machine and poof, a puff of smoke and a familiar looking magician appears, beckoning for me to jump through his top hat and we’re off! The vibe makes a deft jump from Warm Soda’s terse power pop to tongue in groove swinging proto-metal a la Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple, Heart, and more than a hint of LA’s dark masters The Doors…Doris absolutely murders the organ all over this thing, along with some perfectly placed synthesiser pepper - it’s just jammed with hooks and pulsing vintage vibes but in an unassailably clever and accomplished manner. This band is going to be the background party band of the summer I can already tell, this sounds like a saturday night satanic ritual in a sunsetting Austin backyard, everyone dressed to the nines and we’re fuckin goin’ there man. If I didn’t know Melton already I would have lost my shit seeing this out in the wild - expertly played, fantastically recorded (at A = 432 hz, by the way) and just a real tasty party platter of a record here for you –

                              RIYL: Vanilla Fudge, Blue Cheer, Uncle Acid & Dead Beats, Purson, Iron Butterfly, The Doors, Brown Acid… oh yeah!

                              Warm Soda

                              I Don't Wanna Grow Up

                                Within seconds of dropping the needle on I Don’t Wanna Grow Up one gets the feeling of being in good hands: an AP course in power-pop, delivered by Matthew Melton, with the confidence and consistency of your favorite late night diner. Familiarity works as a curious device — this is directly in Melton’s wheelhouse, no sonic surprises whatsoever, yet somehow these odes to teenage love and heartache are brand new, catchy and vital.

                                His twists and turns utilizing the same tools are astounding in their continued freshness. That this is the final Warm Soda record (in anticipation of his new band Dream Machine’s debut, also forthcoming on Castle Face Records) seems logical when you consider the way he’s re-written the same vibe into four excellent records of catchy pop. A lesser talent would have given up after two records, tops — Melton’s commitment to the platonic ideal of power pop again bears fruit, and perhaps this one is the best yet? Mix tape makers of the world, take note: if you leave this album out of your next amorous transmission, you’re fucking up.

                                Oh my, what is this? The alien globule of Damaged Bug’s errant planet has circled the sun and re-enters our orbit where last year’s Cold Hot Plumbs left off. Urgent falsetto morbidities detail Damaged Bug’s most rhythmically adventurous offering yet, syncopating lush landscapes with moon-shot death rays. Witness in horror the tractor beam pull of Slay The Priest - a breathless sprint through unfamiliar enemy territory - erratic laser beam synths dredge the lake, hard panned double drums resurrect dead heartbeats - load thy crossbow, friend, this night is long and we appear beset on all sides. The Bug is back and more hideous than ever - join us in a gawp at its iridescent shell, its alien mandibles…and the guts streaming from the wound. 

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: John Dwyer steps into his Damaged Bug moniker once again for a synthy freak-out of psychedelic loops and twisted melodic interludes.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                2xColoured LP Info: UK exclusive colour vinyl crystal clear with 6 colour splatter..

                                When squirming black mold in a dingy Bayshore, CA, warehouse became sentient, creaked and took humanoid form it created Blank Square and their singularly oddpunk debut, Animal I — sounding like the weirder end of Flesheaters but with a sterility that can only be contemporarily compared to Total Control’s Aussie hardcore no-wave and then with a pinch of what made DNA and Mars amazing. This album is captured with plenty of concrete and sheet metal kept in the mix and a highlight towards dissonant syncopations, as if it was recorded in a empty room minus one chair and definitely down a flight of wet, cement stairs. Featuring saxophone with a mild but nauseating-at-times rippling slap delay, the band cruises on a rhythm section that sounds like the they’ve got another house show to play tonight after this one. Rectangular in all the right places, it’s uncomfortable, like sleeping in a car. For listeners who love art in their sax punk, reaching waaaay back into California’s punk history (SST would’ve undoubtedly dug this). There you go, weirdos.

                                POW! continue their danse macabre in the laser glow of hi-beam synthesizers, with a new batch of synth-punk candy that will rot your teeth: Crack An Egg. Vacuum-sealed, chrome gleaming, propulsion pounding, eyebrows arched and slightly pixelated, this album is like the cupie-doll face beckoning from a digital billboard outside your hovercraft window. From a none-too-distant dystopia and on to your turntable — VCFs slowly open across a smogged-out horizon as they urge you to take that “Necessary Call,” warn moodily against a “Cyberattack,” and inexplicably “Crack An Egg” in honor of the human race. Synthetic earworms squirm into and out of view like twinkling city lights through evening’s opaque air, feasting on terse punk skeletons. The neon is buffed to an aerosol sheen by Chris Woodhouse behind the blinking motherboards, with a streetlight or two of Gary Numan’s slanting through the door. The automatons know where the party’s at — follow them.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: Dusty synths meet with crackling vocals and VHS saturation. Pow! rip into the ozone layer with their jagged celestial melodies and trancey psychedelic rock. Half electronic, half direct rocking anthems, but brilliantly balanced throughout. A triumph of concept and execution.

                                From the same misty mountaintop tape spool as August’s A Weird Exits, Thee Oh Sees bring the companion album An Odd Entrances.

                                Delving more towards the contemplative than the faceskinning aspects of its predecessor, this sister album is a cosmic exercise en plein aire with John Dwyer and company double-drum shuffling, lounging with cellos, following a flute around the groove, and spooling a few Grimm-dark lullabies along the way. Lurking in the grass are a snake or two, like the celestial facing instrumental buzz of “Unwrap The Fiend Pt. 1.”…But for the most part this is a relatively hushed affair, a morning rather than evening listen.

                                The band plans on donating half their profits from the first pressing to Elizabeth House, a local charity in Pasadena that specifically helps homeless women with children get back on their feet.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: If this forms the Yang to 'A Weird Exit's Ying, there is between them a fully realised and startlingly broad palette of skills. Where 'Weird Exits' brought the fire, this brings the sweet, sweet burn cream. Rhythms are more pronounced, the distortion is turned down a little but still forms a brilliantly nuanced and fantastically executed whole. Superb.

                                The white-hot set of Live In San Francisco not only features Feral Ohms’ shaggy guitar heroics captured directly to ferromagnetic medium for your grokking, but also happens to be their debut record. From zero to vertical from the get of the set, the ’Ohms muscle this one out fast and hot, featuring Ethan Miller of Howlin Rain, Comets On Fire and recent psych-folk breakouts Heron Oblivion.

                                Miller gives free rein to his most pyro-psycho-technic guitar fancies, not to mention a full-throated demon-worthy wail, with Chris Johnson on drums (previously of Drunk Horse and currently of Andy Human and the Reptoids) full MC5 style with freight train pummel, with rides so heavy in the mix it sounds like early Damned. Josh Haynes (of the unGoogle-able Nudity) is a total forehead smacker on bass as he bi-amps a filthy sound while wearing some weirdo humility leather strap face harness - it’s just dirty.
                                “Teenage God Born To Die” indeed. Expect great things from them and this concise set is just long enough to get a dander up for a proper full length, set for release on Ethan’s Silver Current label in 2017. In the meantime, keep an eye out for their live shows and don’t forget the ear plugs, they’ll singe your minge...

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                Emerging from the distant light is the new double-LP from John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees—the first studio recordings to capture the muscular rhythm section of twin drummers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon with ringer bassist Tim Hellman cracking spines. The groove and bludgeon one has come to expect from the band’s live shows is captured seamlessly here—they go from zero to headsplitter, and on the rare occasions they do let up on the gas a bit, you’re treated to some locked-in hypnotizers, too. The guitar sounds more colossal and ethereal at the same time, riding roughshod over the vacuum- sealed rhythm section, spiraling skywards, and diving into the emerald depths so quick your guts tingle. Synths, strings and smokesoaked things crawl behind the scenes to make an extra far-out party platter, served on 45 RPM plates for most excellent listening quality. With amazing visuals (including a side-D etching by airbrush-vanart maestro Robert Beatty) and packed in vape-proof goatskin, it’s a beast and, come August 12th, it can be yours should you so choose.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Darryl says: How is this possible?! Another year and another Thee Oh Sees album being proclaimed as their best yet. Thee Oh Sees albums have been near constants in the Piccadilly EOY Top 20’s since 2010’s game changing ‘Warm Slime’ LP, and now the massively prolific John Dwyer and co. incorporate for the first time the dual drumming rumble of Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon.
                                Possibly their most diverse album to date, ‘A Weird Exit’ kicks off on familiar ground with “Dead Man’s Gun”, an urgent and jerky rhythm section combining wonderfully before the nasal-hair-burning guitar lines and Dwyer’s vocal howls bring the house down. “Ticklish Warrior” takes this one step further with the filthiest and thickest riffs ever heard riding a galloping groove - a face melting noise belter that’ll have the mosh pit in a frenzy.
                                Then things start to turn a bit weirder - aided by agitated synth spooks and noises, a Can style shuffle sees the dual drumming coming to the fore on the instrumental “Jammed Entrance”, before things get further strung out on the epic “Plastic Plant”, with its gnarly vocals and soaring guitars firing molten sparks out of the kosmische stratosphere.
                                “Gelatinous Cube” returns to the guitar heavy sound, a Sabbath-esque “Iron Man” style intro lurches into an urgent headrush of noise and spectacular clattering drums, before we get chance to breathe again with the meditative slow burner “Unwrap The Fiend, Pt. 2”. All of this leads to the album’s cornerstone, “Crawl Out From The Fall Out” a downtempo spiritual jam that stretches out for almost eight minutes melding cello drones, loose limbed drums, drifting soundscapes, and cool whispered vocals. Album closer “The Axis” drifts along in a similar cosmic trance aided by an eerie organ sound before dissolving with a final piece of guitar shredding amp destruction.
                                Their best album? Most definitely…. at least until the next one!

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: LAST COPY EVER!!!
                                Indie store exclusive transparent green vinyl - 975 copies only!!

                                Thee Oh Sees

                                Live In San Francisco

                                Perched in the belfry of The Chapel we caught thee mighty Oh Sees, alive and in their natural element, with our shutters aflutter and our
                                tapes on a roll. After a short incubation period, the beast has reached full maturity and it is hideous. Over three nights they pummeled, and we’ve culled some great photographs, a wicked recording, and even a little live video action.

                                Castle Face is happy to announce the first double LP in the Live in San Francisco series, presented on two discs, in a handsome double
                                gatefold jacket, with live video shot by Brian Lee Hughes and his crew of merry gentlemen on an included DVD. Finally you depraved
                                Oh Sees freaks have something to take home with you when you lose your shoes and your girlfriend at the show. Put it on at home and pretend to wait in line for the bathroom and it’s like you’re really there.
                                The thrash, the throb, the mob is all present and pushed to the front. Dual drummers synced in each ear, Tim Hellman rounding out the
                                bottom and Castle Face’s own John Dwyer up front on guitar, lasering young brains off and fomenting the crowd to a froth—it’s a great
                                band, in a great room, with a great crowd and it’s cooked to perfection…

                                Take a little bit of it with you this time.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                2xLtd LP Info: Vinyl includes DVD with live footage of the
                                show.

                                2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                The skies have opened and dropped a trio of kids from Geelong, Australia, packing some seriously futuristic sludge: ORB.

                                A heaping helping of proto-metal chops meets paranoid sci-fi fantastical ravings, replete with some tasty synthesizer werk that breaks it up just so. Close-mic’d to perfection by Total Control’s own Mikey Young, these epics swing with demonic swagger and crackle with the static of a menacing future, twisting and churning through loose-limbed riffery, all punctuated by a wail that sounds as if it’s coming from every hidden camera outside the Ministry of Love. A proggy but in-the-pocket head-trip hard rock record for the table, and hopefully these Aussies will be bringing their dystopian groove your way soon.

                                Weirdo-punk supergroup Male Gaze is back with nine new chunks of octave-pedal abuse and sultry croons with King Leer, their first proper long-player. This time around, the trio of Matt Jones (ex-Blasted Canyons), Mark Kaiser (ex-Mayyors), and Adam Cimino (ex-The Mall) have added former Blasted Canyons and Tiaras member Adam Finken on second guitar and resident Castle Face engineer Chris Woodhouse behind the boards to ramp up the skuzzpop of last year’s Gale Maze into brutal wall-of-sound territory.

                                “On King Leer, the boys toy with their poppier side, dosing the songs with syrupy melodies and some newfound heartfelt introspection, but they’re by no means going soft on us—these tracks, buried beneath mountains of fuzz and pounded out with Adderall-fueled fury, pack enough sonic punch to rattle your brain loose.” - Luca Cimarusti, Chicago Reader. 

                                Fans of early 90s Am Rep crunch will dig deep here!!

                                “Hermetically sealed punk broadcast from a bunker. This guitar is untying a knot of wires; vocals like watching a fight where two men exchange tit-for-tat face blows. Surgical drums; bass grown under glass. The occasional synthesizer like you didn’t know you were thirsty till water crossed your lips. Wound tight, lock-jawed; no rust on these gears. Chilly production crystallizes these post-apocalyptic poems from San Francisco.” - John Dwyer.

                                Deep Throats

                                Good Bad Pretty

                                  “I was a kid, I took mushrooms to help me ‘ease into things.’ It was a perfect SF night [circa 1999]—warm and dimly lit, shit-and-piss-smelling Clarion Alley. A band took the eye-level built-that-afternoon stage. I had peeked up gender-bent punk’s chicken-leather skirt and into eternity. How old were they? Who were they? How were they so fascinating? “They were blowing my young mind. I remember a show where, for some reason I can’t recall, but probably the cops had shut a party down, they got moved to a friend’s backyard down on 3rd Street. They played in front of a halogen work light on cement and somebody threw a bucket of yellow latex paint into the sky. The show was incredible and unstoppable (until the bikers next door called the cops and broke up the party). I’m not sure how I made it home but the next morning I woke up to strangers sleeping on my living room floor and yellow-paint footsteps covering my joint. I spent the next day gagging on my hands and knees scrubbing paint off the hardwood floor (even the shitty flats in SF have nice floors). Drugs, violence; general snottiness; elastic paranoid guitar; SRO drum kit; coke-bottle specs, sharp bass sounds. “An abstract guitar dance that still I can’t rip off without feeling guilty. Smirking medicated bass player whose heavy glasses slid down his sweating beak. Hot-as-hell and unapproachable drum master Sugar , whose boyfriend at the time I remember as like an extra from Warriors except he rode a BMX and was like 40...bad ass. Then there is Tracy —sneer lip stick smear, ripped stocking high heel in my eye. Tough as nails. Off the rails. A guitar as skinny as a knife, bent on pushing an ideal into your face hole. “I look back on these dark and aggressive times with much fondness. Now, here, we present to you the long-lost final Deep Throats recordings, Good Bad Pretty , on frosted, sugar-injected vinyl. Dig in, kids.” - John Dwyer.

                                  Get a load of Castle Face’s first local release from their new home in East LA: native Angeleno four-piece Feels and their debut self-titled LP.

                                  Scuzzy, slanted guitar interplay, a little grrrlish swagger, flashes of raw emotion and a cement chip of punk attitude propel these songs directly to your dome and down the brain stem. Kinetic, omnivorous, and easy to get stuck in the noggin, Feels has charm and grit to spare and is pushed deeper into the red, weird wilds by Ty Segall’s home-cooked production.

                                  Naked Lights

                                  On Nature

                                    Surrender yourself into Naked Lights’ dark and intense orbit! From the first few seconds through to the end, On Nature is intensely addictive and welcomely unpredictable. Shades of post-punk, dub, even anarcho-punk are thrillingly blended into wholly futuristic shapes that defy easy categorization.

                                    The cross-talking guitars speak their own thorny language, the atmosphere is wide-focus and carries a subtle tang of danger, and it’s topped off with unique vocals that are as in-your-face as they are intriguing and foreign. An altogether refreshingly vital listen, Naked Lights’ On Nature comes courtesy of Castle Face Records.

                                    Apprentice Destroyer

                                    Glass Ceiling Universe

                                    Recorded one track at a time at Guitar Center, completely in secret, Apprentice Destroyer’s debut Glass Ceiling Universe transcends its intriguing concept to highlight a hyperactive and omnivorous talent within. These wide-ranging, kaleidoscopic instrumental compositions veer from the disorientingly complex to the achingly and delicately beautiful, all the while maintaining a metallic, misanthropic edge. It’s almost as if computers were playing to each other across the sales floor, laughing at the puny humans attempting to create harmonics in air when they can do so perfectly in the vacuum of binary. Glass Ceiling Universe is lifestyle music for all the cyborg assassins out there, and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Announcing a totally far-out split release from unexpected corners: fave Hoosier-via-SF tripper transplants Burnt Ones sweet-talked the one and only Space Lady into a sharing an album, and the results are magical. In her inimitable style The Space Lady sparkles through “Across the Universe,” “Starman,” a brand-new original called “The Next Right Thing” and an achingly elegaic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” These beautiful tunes are wonderful additions to her lovely repertoire.

                                    For their half, Burnt Ones mellow down their sound, crafting a warm cocoon on two kaliedoscopic creepers, peaking just a little with a floweringly spaced-out version of the Space Lady’s greatest hit, “Synthesize Me,” and closing with another druggy lullaby. It’s sweet and mellow ride through both sides and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

                                    “These were carefree times. We were young enough to put our bodies to the test every night on the seven-by-seven-mile patch of the Bay. The endless wars seemed less at home. Songs were hanging off the branches heavy, plump and threatening to rot on the vine if they weren’t polished and put to tape.

                                    The band was on their third live drummer but the lineup in The Fresh & Onlys’ recording tower was a consistent group of pop soldiers writing, working and whiling away the hours. A beeramid of cheap cans, endless dope smokery and a pretty strong vibe of dudes who would play together into oblivion. 388 rolling, tape spilling over itself, drum kit covered in mufflers, a chest of shitty percussion toys, lots of ideas and multiple secret weapons at their disposal.

                                    “Shayde Sartin: the beast from out east, the thud of a heavy slow bomb… the best bass player in the Bay. Unaccredited infinite times on records that were made better by his finely crafted skills. I can pick him out on records instantly.

                                    “Wymond ‘The Count’: you can almost smell his hair on his hooks. If there was a stage monitor in your living room his fence-climber boot would be on it. Wymond always has the riff that made the jets of the song take off. Listen and you’ll see what I mean.

                                    “Tim Cohen: the man behind the beard. Some would say the leader. In the game as long as Bette Midler. Cohen writes great songs in his sleep, I think. Once referred to by a buddy as ‘like three weirdos in one.’

                                    “Think of these as basement tapes, a companion to the first Fresh & Onlys Castle Face release (which itself deserves another listen). I remember watching some of these tunes get banged out live in a sweat pit in Oakland. The sound guy so gacked out that there was no sound guy, basically.” - John Dwyer, February 16th, 2015.

                                    “A fog of memories caught in the sun-flakes settling in the forest, a beautiful album indeed... [M]any glittering gems [are] woven into these tunes but one listen is not enough to see them all. Like trying to appreciate the silver strobing of ocean waves, they are different every time you glance at them. Better to watch their reflections on the ceiling and just soak it up.

                                    “It seems kind of rare that an album can create and sustain a mood, not to mention such an odd and unique vibe as this. A sing-song tale of a long, surreal journey through canopied pathways, tunnels and spiraling downwards through the earth’s maw…falling, falling, falling and suddenly you wake in your bed. Home-grown in aesthetic, Mirror Woods is a quilt of hues... The colors, albeit gorgeous, are cross-processed, like a polaroid of a cathedral’s most glorious stained glass window: off, slightly sour but just dripping with pop sentiment. This is not an experimental album for young chin-scratchers only, this is a pop record for anyone with a heart; this is a homage to love, to friends and family, to droll existence. Hold up a torch to the dark, make a spark.

                                    “Think United States of America meets Vangelis meets July meets Silver Apples in Arthur Russell’s New York apartment (what a family band portrait that would be).” - John Dwyer.

                                    John Dwyer has a surprise… While everyone eagerly anticipates the next Oh Sees record, he’s been working tirelessly in his synth laboratory, hand-crafting a followup to last year’s neon-noir Damaged Bug debut - one that shakes up the snow globe considerably.

                                    If 'Hubba Bubba' was a brush with a robotic exoskeleton on deep-space patrol, 'Cold Hot Plumbs' visits the alien world that sent it into the cosmos. Lush, textural and psychedelic, the songs breathe with a otherworldly sadness and heart. Barbed, sophisticated arrangements flower in every direction. The vintage-perfect sound palette would be window dressing if not for the songs themselves: fresh, vital, and above all catchier than the flu. 'Cold Hot Plumbs' is a strange, beautiful, and oddly infectious addition to Dwyer’s oeuvre, and not one to be missed.

                                    Thee Oh Sees

                                    Mutilator Defeated At Last

                                    Here we have a new batch from Thee Oh Sees for your absorption - nine muscular tunes primed to pummel. Last year’s Drop was more schizophrenic, ranging from heavy to whimsical and back - Mutilator Defeated At Last has more in common with the monolithic hugeness of Floating Coffin - with only two slight reprieves in heaviness this is a record made to be played loudly and that demands bodily sacrifice inherently.

                                    Despite the plutonium heavy feel, Thee Oh Sees continue to be omnivorous - synths and acoustic guitars expertly wind their way throughout like veins of gold through granite - any and all that stands in its way will be devoured and assimilated. This is the sound of a band doing what they do best, and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    POW! is re-chromed and ready to soundtrack your dystopian near future. Harsh neon synths battle with zipline guitars for space above a dark and teeming cityscape. Your guide is always in the shadows, you can’t make out his face but you hear his crazed diatribe as he wards off all affronts. Razor-sharp punk at its core, Fight Fire is fleshed out with inventive and catchy synth work—and the floating bits of atmospheric expansion between tracks only heighten the paranoid atmosphere. These tunes have a sci-fi depth, a moody bite, and a startling clarity sharpened to a point by the wizard hand of Chris Woodhouse, who helmed the magnetization. Recommended listening for future-punk teens and grown adults alike.

                                    “I believe Destruction Unit to be one of the most important underground bands in America. The live shows vary from dense chaos to dumbstruck pandemonium. The volume is always colossal. The spectacle, dramatic. “Putting microphones on these Arizona weirdos is similar to trying to get a decent recording of a soccer riot-getting Ryan [Rousseau] to sing into our microphone like shooting a hummingbird with a spitball from across a gorge… but we’ve done it. Polished up and pushing the red, we present this deathless comet captured to tape. Headphones on, lowlights flickering, spliff in hand-you are a warrior on the dawn of a new perilous passage…until you have to flip the LP. Enjoy.” - John Dwyer.

                                    On the tail of their breakout second LP Midnight Passenger, Memphis-based punk cyclone Ex-Cult delivers a brand new batch of bruisers. Chris Shaw lends a sneering, spitting toughness to the proceedings while the band flays riffs in loose, hairy, mosh-inducing menace behind him, touching on post-punk, psych sprawl and early-’80s hardcore while remaining beholden to none. They have the power to convert even the most jaded and bored concertgoer into a sweaty mess in the pit. Punks, skate rats, scenesters, skinheads, hardcore kids, druggies-so many disparate groups dig this band it’s like an MRR cartoon waiting to happen. The adrenal-enhancers on Cigarette Machine are road warriors already, having been honed on the band’s recent tour that no doubt laid waste to a town nearby. The only problem with this sterling batch of sluggers is that it’s over too quick.

                                    By now you should know what you’re in for here: an eardrum-toasting take to tape of the mighty Ty Segall Band, captured during two nights in San Francisco at the barely-pushing-medium-sized venue The Rickshaw Stop. Rowdy crowd, meet stacks of amplifiers—Ty, Charlie, Mikal and Emily came to singe your ears off. There have been live recordings of Ty before, of course, but never so crisply and fully realized as this scorching platter of fuzz.

                                    As always, the cover artwork showcases beautiful black and white photos shot to film at the venue by Castle Face’s favorite lensman Brian Pritchard. As always, the tape takes are tweaked and saturated to perfection by their incredible crack team of engineers and knobgoblins. Live in San Francisco features jams from throughout Mr. Segall’s torrential output of the past few years, including a take of the first single “Feel” off his great new record Manipulator. It’s the next best thing to getting in to the show, which is getting harder and harder with Ty these days…

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Jack Name’s genius is the listener can never anticipate his next direction. A change of trajectory is as likely a return to the beginning as it is a sharp upwards spike that pulls one deeper into one’s seat and threatens unconsciousness. Nothing here is concrete or predictable. Songs float, attract, repel, and rebound off each other like pitch black matter.

                                    A wonderful followup to 2014’s masterpiece Light Show (God?), Weird Moons was recorded in a room with mirrored walls, moth-eaten shades pulled low to block the sun’s brutal radiation and the howls of the urchins 60 stories below. Less a sequel to the tales spun in the first, and more a rocket that has jettisoned its initial thruster to be driven further away from this mortal orb and deeper into this sticky story.

                                    Reminiscent of late-era Can, Bruce Haack, Hans Edler, Solid Space, Dario Argento and VHS tapes, it’s fucking great. Listen to this album in an egg-shaped speaker chair, if possible.

                                    Icky Boyfriends

                                    Live In San Francisco

                                    “You like anchovies? Morning breath? Dried blood? The sun-up residue after a night of hard drugs? Well, you’re gonna love Icky Boyfriends.

                                    “I painted houses for a couple years with an old-school San Francisco artist / musician dude who would let me run the boombox while we worked. This was right around the time I became obsessed with Icky Boyfriends. I would play the shit all day and wax about how I much I loved them. He piped up one day and asked what they were called again. ‘Icky Boyfriends,’ I said. ‘Oh yeah, I remember those guys…man, they could clear a room.’ “That’s the Ickys—an acquired taste for people who maybe have eyes that feel natural when trolling the gutter for nutrition. These are stories of strung-out super heroes singing the praises of the old school San Francisco freak scene. Hilarious at times, genius always and as scuzzy as anything you could ever hear. “Live in San Francisco was recorded masterfully by the Castle Face engineers team at the grand SF Eagle. There are many classic favorites here, as well as a couple new jams (I challenge anyone to tell the difference). We’ve kept it primal and simple as the Ickys always have. What a treat, now let’s eat!” - John Dwyer

                                    Cut from the cloth of early Soft Machine and Kevin Ayersisms, garagearray is a lofty, loopy flight in a candy-flossclouded sky, with an ever-present darkness just below the surface. It’s wonderfully off the cuff, at times reminiscent of a Syd Barrett session where the band must’ve just closed their eyes and felt it out in the dark, coming together in all the right moments in the nick of time.

                                    For 'Garagearray', Dylan Shearer is joined by Petey Dammit (Thee Oh Sees) on bass and Noel von Harmonson (Comets on Fire) on drums. Produced by Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, etc.), the recording maintains a lighter-than-life vibration, like a breeze weaving through a tree far overhead. The production smacks with that lostin- time quality of a BBC session piloted by a natural-onthe- knobs genius. Shearer has a sort of shy quality that seems to fall away when he sings these songs live. It’s really quite lovely and full of sad and poetic moments.

                                    Castle Face is very proud to co-release garagearray with Empty Cellar Records, and to celebrate the occasion, the labels have come up with two special limited, hand-printed jacket / colored vinyl editions featuring artwork by Michael Sean Coleman.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Our lad John P. Dwyer has been lancing eardrums with Thee Oh Sees in an ever-escalating flurry of records for the past six years. Since the release of The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In announced a new loud era (and excepting a few momentary detours into home-baked territory - Dog Poison and Castlemania, for example), Dwyer and company have pummelled a bit harder each time out, cementing their reputation as a live force to be reckoned with and leaving legions sweaty and bruised in the process. Late last year, after years of relentlessly touring the world, the word got out… Dwyer’s moving to Los Angeles (fear not, still California!) and Thee Oh Sees are taking a much-needed hiatus with a shifting of gears ahead and a new album on the way. This is that album.

                                    Drop was recorded in a banana-ripening warehouse (no joke) with hair-farming studio warlock Chris Woodhouse playing drums; it’s also graced with the presence of talented gurus Mikal Cronin, Greer McGettrick and Casafis adding horns and vocals. The result pushes the familiar polarities of the group farther outward than ever before. Opener “Penetrating Eye” might be the heaviest Oh Sees song yet, “Transparent World” and “Put Some Reverb On My Brother” foam with seasick fuzz, and yet the ballads, like the harpsichorded “King’s Nose” and the lush and stately closer “The Lens,” extend their oeuvre into mellotronic, far-out pop with delicacy and grace.

                                    This schizophrenia heralds the man and the band into an unseen future in classic Dwyer fashion - restless energy harnessed into exquisitely crafted jams, with an emphasis on the pensive and the paranoid in turns.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Matthew Melton has done it again! Just when it seemed as though he’d reached the pinnacle of power pop confection with last year’s excellent Someone for You, he surpasses all expectations with his latest masterpiece Young Reckless Hearts.

                                    With the unlikely addition of cello serving only to bittersweeten their teenage pop fantasias, Warm Soda delivers deviously barbed hooks that instantly lodge themselves in your memory. The wide-screen technicolor production was done by Melton himself at his Fuzz City Studios in Oakland. This is the record to fall in love to (or possibly out of love to) in 2014.

                                    Burnt Ones have been Castle Face favorites for years, and last year’s You’ll Never Walk Alone on Burger was the one for which they kicked themelves repeatedly for not getting to first.

                                    The label is very honored to present their third record, Gift. Far more psychedelic than their previous work, the album may be a bit of a surprise to fans on first listen. A potent blend of wide-eyed strummers on shifting sands is punctuated by blinking oscillators, left turns into wispy sound collage and tape manipulations, drug-rug-wrapped lushness and telephone whispers from a supremely stoned sounding Mark Tester, the guide through this cultish and vaguely sinister headphone-scape. It’s a woozy and a woolly one.

                                    Trin Tran: The one-man band without a plan, hurtling through the songiverse without a map or compass. For years now, Trin Tran has been creeping out from deep space (America’s Midwest) and bouncing songs off satellites. These transmissions are a testament to his lovely weirdness. This new EP is an injection of strange-pop—less garage than his recent full-length on Ty Segall’s imprint God? Records and more the bastard child of Duran Duran and Bruce Haack.

                                    Riskier vocal delivery, heavier synths. Stronger, swifter, silver-er. Mute Records would have licked their glossy lips over this meal in the early ’80s. Recorded by Eric Landmark of San Francisco scrapsynth alums Numbers and Ricky Reimer of Madison, WI, angularities Transformer Lootbag, mixed and mastered by John Dietrich of Deerhoof, Far Reaches truly harkens from the 6th Dimension. It’s a new era for the mask and its one-man armada.

                                    Announcing The Traps’ Boom Pow Awesome Wow: Another grimy bit of gold from the vaults; “home made” music from Providence, RI, to irk your co-workers with. When you hear the word “garage,” does it make you want to leave the room? I can relate. Beaten over the head, we’ve been. The horse that was once merely dead is now paste on the linoleum. Garage songs sell cars. Needless to say, The Traps would be last on the list for ad men’s fancy. Sometimes you see or hear something that is so completely the raw ingredient of what was once great in your life that it stands out…or in this case, hunches over with a thread of saliva from its chin to its knee.

                                    This is The Traps:
                                    • From Providence, Rhode Island, circa 2003-2004
                                    • Very, very heavy
                                    • Very, very simple
                                    • Recorded in an unwaveringly carefree manner

                                    • Three young men: Two very mellow dudes playing guitars thru towers of fried amplification, one very loud dude from Illinois playing what sounds like a bass drum and a 40-inch ride cymbal Coachwhips played with them, then I came home and tried to rip them off, but I wasn’t man enough to fit these balls in the front seat. Castle Face has collected their six tracks from a CDR-only EP as well as four tracks pulled from a dusty box of cassettes by yours truly. Spit-shined in mastering and with all-new original artwork by Dusty Petersen, Boom Pow Awesome Wow is the perfect antidote to the G-word selling more yet meaning less. - John Dwyer.

                                    BEHOLD - when we introduced this live series we spoke of lightning in a jar - this here's a thunderstorm. Ty Segall's new stoner thrashers FUZZ not only totally murdered this set at San Francisco leather-daddy hangout The SF Eagle, but it was Ty's birthday and he blew out his birthday cake candles mid song, didn't miss a beat, and that moment is forever etched into this record (we took a photo too). The place was insanely packed and they sound like the agile wolf-men they are up close and personal - Ty, mic wailing through a guitar amp and dominating drums like it's the easiest thing in the world, Charlie - guitar set to Hendrix-meets-Hawkwind melter-mode, and Roland keeping his bass firmly lodged in the groove - the jams are thick and wooly, we got some great photos of the night - man, this was one to remember and we're super excited we captured such a freakishly good performance. As always, captured hot to tape and mixed and massaged by our crack team of speaker-freakers (Chris Woodhouse, Eric Bauer, Bob Marshall, and John Dwyer) and shot to nicely grainy (real) film by Brian Pritchard.

                                    WHITE FENCE, 1st of the LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO series from Castle-Face.

                                    Everyone with any degree of hearing loss knows that, at its best, the loose and shaggy beast of a band balancing on the crest of their capabilities is the ideal, the firefly that all records aspire to capture in a jar for your repetitive pleasures. The live record promises better, but somehow most fall flatter than the painstakingly refined and honed tones of a studio creation. Who better to try to right this wrong than a bunch of home friers, 4 track freaks, and DIY gear-cookers? John Dwyer had the idea of recording our friends live with his Tascam 388 and it rapidly galvanized into a real crew of heavy hitters and voila, we come bearing the fruit of that unholy union...

                                    WHITE FENCE throw a fork in the light socket with their blistering live set, captured in all it's ragged glory to tape on Thee Tascam 388 under the sternly masterful yet tender care of low-budget luminaries Eric Bauer, Chris Woodhouse, Bob Marshall, and of course, our own John Dwyer. They were screaming out of the speakers that night and we kept it safe in a jar for you, undiluted and unsullied. This and the whole series will be packaged in handsome but simple trappings - a thick gloss jacket featuring black and white photos of the evening (shot to film!) that you can marvel to in envy as the jams pour out of your speaks and into infinity. However, this being the first of (we hope) a long and fruitful series, catching the band eternally between two instants of a amazing night at a tiny club full of sweaty, lucky souls.

                                    A collection of unearthed demos and repolished old tracks, out September 24th on Castle Face Records Featuring original artwork by Shalo P

                                    No one sounds like The Herms.
                                    No one sounds like Matthew Lutz.

                                    The Herms are a smudged window into a neighboring dimension to ours, Berkeley. Even though it's right next door to Oakland and San Francisco, it may as well be a million musical-miles away. Back when they were playing around town, it felt to me like not too many in my scene "got" this band. I thought people should have been going crazy for these guys. The local rag gave them accolades (a curse perhaps?), and even a cursory listen to this collection should clue you in to how great they were. This may be one of the few times that I have to concur with a music writer - this band is amazing. They are sun, heartbreak, pop and fried-static all in one master package, evolving from song to song, and I think they're fantastic.

                                    The Herms did have a proper release years ago, but on CD only (gasp!) and frankly I've always been in love with these earlier, rawer 8 track Tascam demos. They sound like the band did when you were standing in front of them. I love The Herms and have been waiting a looooong time to do a proper release for them. Sorry it took exhuming their songs from the grave before I was ready. Please listen loudly with the windows open, so maybe that music writer may pass by, hear it and think, "Finally! I told you so, you assholes". John Dwyer 7-10-13.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    "The year was 1996 (a guess really), when I had LA MACHINE play in our Olneyville warehouse space. It was the first time I danced in front of other people. (I was later told I was really good). I think maybe it was the first time I can recall where I stood in front of something I would consider modern psychedelic music. Not a rehash of some ghost from the past but something new to me.

                                    We had a plethora of hardcore, improv, and noise bands in New England... but this... this was something different. It was churning and it had a haunting floor-scraping ass on it. It had hints of nausea and a cyclic simplicity that to this day I still love and listen to often. Loudly, stoned, driving through the desert, laughing. They played and my friends skated the quarter pipe my flate mate had built...it was my first successful party and I thank La Machine for it.

                                    RICK PELLTIER and JOHN LOPER have compiled these tunes for us to release post-mortem, but who knows...maybe they will come back to haunt a warehouse near you...OoOoOoOH. Every song reminds me of when I was younger, stronger, and faster. But now I know enough to realize how lucky I actually was to have this stuff around me. And now you can too. Enjoy." -John Dwyer (4.30.13).

                                    Lovingly remastered from the original cassette with new original art by WILLIAM KEIHN.

                                    Perhaps you've heard of the trajectory our beloved friend Greer McGettrick and her cohorts in The Mallard have traced across the current musical landscape…a promisingly home-baked debut full of twists and turns that nonetheless felt of the time and lived in…tours and tours and tours…songs on splits and compilations, including both Son Of Flex and our covers record of The Velvet Underground and Nico…shifting band members and band members shifting instruments…the now infamous Noise Pop performance where they played as Throbbing Gristle at one of the oldest and most venerated venues in San Francisco, The Great American Music Hall, to a thoroughly bewildered audience…all the while getting faster darker and sharper…and after coming back from SXSW, the sudden dissolution - with an album finished, and already being printed and pressed with us, their now-swan song Finding Meaning In Deference.

                                    It's a conversation interrupted to be sure, but one that you should be listening in on. There's an unapologetic maelstrom of dark energy simmering beneath the surface of these tunes, but it never subsumes some of the group's best songwriting efforts yet. The myriad guitar/vocal interplay is sharp as ever, the pissed-off is turned up to 10, but there's an ever-present bop and hook to even the most bummed-out tunes here. If you never got to see them, I'm sorry - but this record catches them in excellent form at the zenith of their powers, a guitar somehow hung from the rafters for the rest of eternity - we're sad to see them go, but thrilled to share this excellent record with the world.

                                    Thee Oh Sees / Total Control

                                    Split

                                      Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, TOTAL CONTROL destroy with a wicked follow up to their first LP/masterpiece Henge Beat. Four new burners from the unstoppable 5 piece. Hard psych guitar based tracks and floating and dark keyboard centred pieces make this a well rounded feast for your southern hemisphere hungry ears.

                                      San Francisco repeat beaters THEE OH SEES return with 4 revised tunes. These are the live, full band versions of four faves that sweaty kids have learned how to writhe to and old chin-scratching music hoarders have proclaimed as "not bad." Producer CHRIS WOODHOUSE is at his peak performance with this recording. It's raw and all speaker-melty-and holy shit, it comes with a free download so you can pour it in your ear at the gym.


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