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FIRE RECORDS

New version with updated packaging / digipack format.

Recorded in Amsterdam in 1988, the live Performance documents a set from the Perfect Prescription tour; the emphasis here is on the group's loud, noisy origins - only the closing "Feel So Good" hints at the more subdued atmospheres and textures which emerged as Spacemen 3's primary focus as they approached Playing With Fire. Among the highlights: "Take Me to the Other Side", "Walkin' With Jesus" and "Come Together."

FORMAT INFORMATION

CD Info: Now at mid-price!

Curanderos (Bardo Pond)

Curanderos

    With Bardo Pond’s RSD trilogy coming to an end, last year’s acclaimed Acid Guru Pond brought Bardo, Acid Mother’s Temple and Guru Guru together. The Philadelphia groups output for Record Store Day have been some of the most exciting and rewarding releases in recent years. Now for 2017’s RSD they return with yet another special release, this time side project ‘Curanderos’. Formed by the improvised journeys of the formidable Bardo Pond and experimental ensemble Kohoutek, these compositions take you on a cosmic voyage through kosmiche, drone, noise, prog and free jazz. Purveyors of psychedelic rock, Bardo Pond have the outward specifications of a rock band but the rivers that converge into the band’s oneiric flow have their headwaters in the outlands of ecstatic jazz, free noise and the avant-garde. 

    The Chills

    Snow Bound

      The latest postcard from The Chills’ epic journey is an album about “consolidation, re-grouping, acceptance and mortality,” claims the chief Chill. “Hopefully a kind of Carole King ‘Tapestry’ for ageing punks.”

      Wow! Are rock bands allowed to grow old gracefully and assess the world’s and their shortcomings in the process? Is it possible to swerve the obvious and make something that’s bittersweet in tone but harmonious on the ear? Of course it is.

      On ‘Snow Bound’ lost heroes are lamented, relationships are re-evaluated, atonement is sought, mortality is mulled over and fake news is undercut. It’s serious stuff, the thoughts of a dysfunctional 50-something wrestling with maturity and discovering that their post-punk DIY beliefs still have a real voice that resonates between the fans of their early years and which can now pass down to the next generation.

      Casting our minds back, we can recall that The Guardian mused, “They sound almost like the musical embodiment of autumn,” when confronted with ‘Silver Bullets’. Three years on, ‘Snow Bound’ nestles heartily in its own winter of discontent. And all this with a humalong melodic verve, Phillipps’ gift for the tempered dalliance of verse and chorus and those gorgeous euphoric organ fills. Let the soul-searching commence…

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Clear with white Splatter Vinyl is for Indie stores only.

      Giant Sand

      Returns To Valley Of Rain

        Valley of Rain was Tucson’s Giant Sand’s debut album recorded in 1983, and eventually released by 1985. It included Howe Gelb on vocals, guitar and Winston Watson on drums for most of it, Tommy Larkins on drums for some of it and Scott Garber on fretless bass for all of it. At the time of the recording, Howe was unacquainted with the possibilities of tube (valve) amps and had recorded most of the album with a Roland JC120 at the miraculous 8 track facilities of The Control Center in Korea Town, Los Angeles by Ricky “Mix” Novak.

        This impromptu recording had occurred because the band refused to cancel their first Los Angeles live gig, at Madame Wong’s, when the band (Giant Sandworms) had broken up days before in Tucson. Instead, Howe headed out anyway with Scott, the newest member who’d only been in the band for about a year, after band mainstays Billy Sed and Dave Seger reasonably decided ‘enough was enough’ following a rough and tenuous year spent in the lower east side of NYC attempting to further the band circa 1981/82. Tucsonan Winston Watson, (who would go on to tour with Bob Dylan in the 90s, as well as Alice Cooper, Warren Zevon etc ) was already living in Los Angeles and was brave/kind enough to jump in for the live date with no rehearsal. The result was so sparked with adrenalin, that the trio set up an impromptu studio session the next day to attempt to capture the sonic thrust on tape. The total cost of the day and a half recording was $400 including one 1” reel of 30 minute tape.

        The sound was insane. The funny part was Gabriel, who engineered and mixed the session, gave it an intentional 80s production sound. Howe later explained to Gabe he had been at war with that production trend since those first original recordings. So they all tried it again at Christmas time, this time with a newly discovered Fender 30 amp that had only been in production from 1980 – 1983. This new re-recording of that first album now sounds like it should’ve sounded. It was re-done for $400 and the same day and a half session time as the original. Scott Garber even drove up from Austin TX with his fretless to play so that the album is literally the originally line up for at least half of the songs. And yes, no pedal boards were used too. The band intends to tour this summer playing only those Valley of Rain songs. Giant Sand Returns To Valley Of Rain. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited blue indies only LP.

        Chills

        Silver Bullets (Silver Version)

          “Driving pop fuelled by simple, incessant guitar lines, combined with Phillips’s facility for a hook-laden melody.” The Wire // “The songwriter that helped kick off indie rock as we know it.” NPR // “Capable of rousing rock and breathtaking beauty.” Pitchfork // “The group’s loose and energetic and its signature pop-rock is still potent and the melodies as catchy as ever.” Pop Matters // Following on from ‘The BBC Sessions’ on Fire Records, The Chills released their first full length album in nearly two decades. ‘Silver Bullets' hailed the return of one of New Zealand’s most respected exports; Bursting with chiming Dunedin-pop anthems, melodic rock and Phillipps’ playful punk-rock tendencies, the thrilling new album brings them to the next chapter. Recorded at Albany Street Studios in Dunedin (NZ) the album instantly reaffirms Phillipps’ aptitude for writing intelligent and timeless pop songs delivered with conviction. 

          ESG

          Come Away With

            Come Away With ESG - 35-year anniversary release of the classic genre-busting debut album by the Bronx sisters ESG. The sample-friendly opus that’s the inspiration for hip-hop, house and post punk. Music that falls outside of the no wave, new wave and post punk library, it’s for the dance floor but it’s not funk, there’s no horns, no driving organ; it’s the opposite of Sly And The Family Stone but no less cool and no less groovy. “A lasting document of their unique brand of minimal funk that would influence subsequent post-punk, hip-hop, and dance music acts. Stripped down to the most basic of drumbeats and rudimentary bass lines, ‘Come Away’ confirms the notion that the real rhythm is what happens between the beats.

            Josephine Foster

            A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing

              ‘A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’ (2006) is an unusual album, first because it does things with classical music that aren’t usually done. The songs Josephine Foster sings here are classical pieces, written (the texts are German poems) by some of the greatest German composers of the 19th century, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Hugo Wolf. “Foster has found perhaps the most appropriate vehicle yet for her singular and affecting talents – 19th century German art-songs, wholly reconstructed here via Foster’s skeletal arrangements of voice and guitar” Pitchfork. Remastered and repackaged with new artwork

              Infinite Music

              A Tribute To La Monte Young

                Infinite Music is an entrancing drone experience. A breathtaking live collaboration between Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom, Zombie Zombie’s Etienne Jaumet and Celine Wadier, a master of Indian Dhrupad singing and tanpura. Recorded live at Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon in September 2017, the performance is released on magenta vinyl. Young was an inspiration on John Cale and original Velvet Underground drummer Angus MacLise, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, George Harrison, Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker, Stereolab and the classic Spacemen 3 album Dreamweapon. La Monte’s influence in the hands of this eclectic trio is timeless and beautifully evocative. “I’m not suited for these times but I am suited for the world I created.” La Monte Young. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Limited Magenta colour vinyl LP, download card included

                Their favourite records are the perfect counterbalance of the considered and the superficial. Whether it’s Madonna, Talking Heads or Holger Czukay - we enjoy these artists in the background with friends or profoundly and alone. Virginia Wing both understand and embrace this concept fully as they return with Ecstatic Arrow, an album which finds them in a place of renewed strength, optimism and clarity.

                Recorded in Switzerland, in the family home of longtime friend and collaborator Misha Hering within the domesticity and gentle routine of communal life, the album represents a world as predisposed to solemn introspection as it is to blithe conviviality. Ecstatic Arrow borrows from the heterogeneous terrain of The Flying Lizard’s Fourth Wall, the exuberant technology assisted pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra and the playful sophistication of Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s Press Colour, arriving at the evergreen intersection of pop music and conceptual art.

                The resolute opener of Be Released and album centre point The Female Genius pair resonant Fourth World instrumentation with sonorous, loping drum patterns. Elsewhere, the sentimental march of single The Second Shift plays out like an after-hours ballad re-imagined by Wally Badarou and For Every Window There’s a Curtain is coloured by the blue-lit haze of an Eventide warped tenor saxophone. Three albums in, the voice of Alice Merida Richards is more compelling and expressive than ever. The glacial deadpan of previous records has given way to a more candid, self-possessed delivery, showing an appreciation for the humour and tragedy innate in the downtown Arcadia of Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley or even Lynn Goldsmith’s Will Powers. It’s with this voice that Richards outlines a simple ideality that fortifies the entirety of Ecstatic Arrow - inequality pervades, destructive behaviours are inherited and each subsequent generation has to reconcile the debts of its precursor - yet a space exists within ourselves and each other that houses a fact we must be reminded of - we have the ability to choose. Even in moments of frustration; the ascerbic eye-roll toward male entitlement, Glorious Idea or the world-weary Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, there persists a joy for living that refuses to be confined. A depiction of a group finally at ease with itself, Ecstatic Arrow is a tribute to the internal momentum that quietly guides us toward our destination. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Dreamy, floating melodies and drums with reverb for days, Virginia wing manage to craft a delicately airy sound without sacrificing any of the inherent melodic content. A cleverly balanced and thoroughly beautiful journey.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Blue colour vinyl LP includes A3 poster, zine and DL card, exclusive to Indie stores only.

                Ltd LP Info: Black vinyl LP, includes A3 poster, zine and DL card.

                Bark Psychosis

                Codename : Dustsucker

                  Following the reissue of ‘Hex’ in late 2017, Fire Records reissue Bark Psychosis’ second studio album ‘///Codename:Dustsucker’ (2004) “which finds the band in remarkable form” (Pitchfork). Arriving ten years after the band disbanded, the long-awaited and criminally overlooked follow up brings with it an evolution of their sound. Their experimentations are layered with blissed out electronics, shoegaze, post-rock and jazz are still at its fore as are Sutton’s crystalline vocals. Languid and brooding, the soundscapes are dark and sustained while their “trademark cocoon of limpid, rippling guitar figures and jazzy adornment is buffeted by sharp leftward turns” (Uncut). Recorded in Graham Sutton’s East London DustSuckerSound studio between 1999 and 2004, it features contributions from Talk Talk sticksman Lee Harris and ‘found drumming’ from ex-band member Mark Simnett. 

                  Pictish Trail

                  Who's Comin' In?

                    2017 proved a huge year for Pictish Trail which ended in Johnny Lynch announcing he’d signed to Fire Records alongside Jane Weaver, Death And Vanilla, Noveller, Hater and Modern Studies. Seeing in the new year supporting Belle And Sebastian on tour across Europe and following a sold-out show at this year’s Celtic Connections, Pictish Trail releases ‘Who’s Comin’ In’ on black disco sleeve 12” vinyl on 25th May 2018.

                    Taken from ‘Future Echoes’, ‘Who’s Comin’ In’ gets remixed by Joe Goddard (Hot Chip, The 2 Bears). Here blissed out celestial tones stretch this gorgeous track into an eight-minute dance floor banger that has a ‘trip-hop subtleness bridged with a Caribou feel’ (Clash). The 12” also includes a remix of the same track from KT Tunstell. The critically acclaimed psych-pop record, ‘Future Echoes’, bursts with beautiful melodies, harmonies and lyricism with sublime production from collaborator Adem Illhan and additional production and mixing from Rob Jones (Sweet Baboo, Slow Club). 

                    Modern Studies

                    Welcome Strangers

                      ‘Welcome Strangers’ is the second record by feral pop outliers Modern Studies. Elegiac and haunted, life-giving and triumphant, this beguiling return digs deep into landscapes both real and imagined, internal and external, in a work that might perhaps best be described as “kosmiche choral” or, if we’re pushing it “arts-und-crafts-werk”. Or, put simply, glorious pop music. It is an elemental and often spectral world of contrasting tones and hues that is found within ‘Welcome Strangers’, one whose lyrical vocabulary is of loss, light, air, sun, growth; of spires, seeds and phosphene dreams. Here is the Britain of visionaries such as Kate Bush, Broadcast or PJ Harvey, a nation of dark magic, conflict, celebration and confusion, all at the same time.

                      Witness the incandescent chamber-pop of ‘Get Back Down’: underpinned by complex jazz rhythms, and string and brass flourishes, it manages to be both understated and epic as it explores a similar sonic terrain to Wild Beasts. Or there’s ‘Horns And Trumpets’, a haunting musical perambulation that burrows deep into Britain, a warm-hued hymn for future generations, and ‘Let Idle Hands’, which abandons restraint halfway through and, in a moment of musical epiphany, runs joyously to the horizon.

                      Meanwhile on ‘Phosphene Dream’ the honeyed harmonies of Emily Scott and Rob St. John wrap themselves around each other like Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood had they holidayed in draughty Glasgow tenements. Or perhaps – as on ‘Disco’ – they come closer to Kylie and Nick Cave. “It’s an ever changing thing - an organism,” explains principle songwriter Emily of Modern Studies’ collaborative creative process, “there is space for each of the band to experiment.” Shared band listening habits include Yamasuki, Van Dyke Parks, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Matthew E White, Basil Kirchin, and Nanci Griffith. Working at Pete’s Pumpkinfield studio in rural Perthshire through 2017, the band used a Creative Scotland grant to hire a chamber orchestra and a remote village hall to record them in.

                      Contributors include sisters, wives, toddlers, freeform saxophonists and The Pumpkinseeds, an ensemble featuring violins, violas, cellos, trombones and vocals, brought together to play Pete and Emily’s collaborative string, brass and vocal arrangements. Truly, a family affair. As well as further fleshing out the sound with analogue synths, tube organs, drum machines and mellotrons, some inventive techniques were deployed – a decayed tape loop of Emily’s vocals used to create the stuttering rhythm in Mud and Flame for example, or prepared guitars recurring as percussion and drones. Now they proudly present ‘Welcome Strangers’, an album of modernist pop weirdness for the 21st century, a bricolage where classicism meets experimentalism and repeated listening unearths new stories for this contemporary age. 

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd LP Info: Indies store exclusive.

                      Pictish Trail

                      Future Echoes (RSD18 EDITION)

                        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                        ‘Future Echoes’ is the latest album from Pictish Trail, AKA Scottish singer-songwriter Johnny Lynch. These spectral songs are filtered through a sun-warped pop lens, where heart-pumping guitar shriek-outs collide with sampled gurgles and fractured lyrics figure-skate over sine-waves of glacial synth. ‘Future Echoes’ represents the most confident, cohesive and pop-savvy collection of music Pictish Trail has written to date. Limited edition ‘cosmic’ coloured double 12” LP with disc of extras. 1000 copies.

                        Josephine Foster

                        A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                          ‘A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’ (2006) is an unusual album, first because it does things with classical music that aren’t usually done. The songs Josephine Foster sings here are classical pieces, written (the texts are German poems) by some of the greatest German composers of the 19th century, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Hugo Wolf. “Foster has found perhaps the most appropriate vehicle yet for her singular and affecting talents – 19th century German art-songs, wholly reconstructed here via Foster’s skeletal arrangements of voice and guitar” Pitchfork. Remastered and repackaged with new artwork. 1000 copies.

                          ESG

                          Come Away With ESG (RSD18 EDITION)

                            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE AND WILL BE AVAILABLE INSTORE ON SATURDAY APRIL 21st ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON. IF THERE ARE ANY REMAINING COPIES THEY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT 12.01AM SATURDAY APRIL 28th.

                            Celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary with the reissue of the classic genre-busting debut album by the Bronx sisters ESG, ‘Come Away With ESG’. So the story goes Anthony H hooked up with Ed Bahaman and the band’s debut album, ‘Come Away With ESG’ was created. In the intervening years, it’s been sampled to death. Those in the know have hailed ESG as innovators who fashioned Hip hop and house music, who rewrote post punk and somehow, somehow they remain something of a secret. Limited edition orange vinyl complete with new artwork. 1000 copies.

                            Television Personalities

                            Privilege

                              THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                              1989: It’s nine years since John Lennon died, and five years since The Television Personalities have had an album released. Fire Records sign the latest incarnation of the TVPs and let them loose in a proper studio. Dan Treacy’s muse is overcome by the versatility of Swatch watches and Back To The Future II, he doesn’t allow the songs on ‘Privilege’ to bend to temptation. The world is still wrong; it’s still unreal; as evidenced by the guest list at ‘Salvador Dali’s Garden Party’. Elsewhere there’s a hint of ‘60s soap operas, from Cathy Come Home to The Wicker Man. Remastered on limited edition black and white marbled vinyl. 1500 copies.

                              Television Personalities

                              Closer To God

                                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                ‘Closer To God’, as with all TVP albums, is mightily personal. Dan Treacy provides the antidote to the opening of the ill-fated Disneyland Paris and the first McDonald’s in China – it’s a white knuckle ride through his innermost hopes and fears with off stage giggling, half heard dialogue and feedback that sounds like an opera is expiring in an adjoining L-shaped room. ‘Closer To God’ is a spiritual rollercoaster that sounds as poignant and pressing as ever. Remastered double LP on limited edition on marbled black and white vinyl. 1500 copies.

                                Jane Weaver

                                The Lightning Back

                                  An independent retailers exclusive.

                                  Widely considered the standout protonic pop song from Jane Weaver's unanimously revered Modern Kosmology, The Lightning Back sees the meteoric collision of micro-chip modulations and homespun harmonies courtesy of a self-sufficient artist who has in recent years become regarded as one of the countries finest in the field. This 3.5 minute pocket-pop implosion fuses subtle patch-bay arpeggios evoking the stylings of Wendy Carlos and (previous collaborator) Suzanne Ciani providing a deftly constructed framework for Weavers songwriting talents. Celebrating the intimacy and inhibition-free methodology found in her solo-power approach, The Lightning Back hears Jane's yearning lyricism rise through unique agile melodics seldom found in synthesised pop music. This limited vinyl single also comprises a B-side in the form of a remix from London based art-noise-jazz-rock supergruppen Sex Swing.

                                  Pere Ubu

                                  Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés 1987-1991

                                    Third, and final, box set includes ‘The Tenement Year’ (1988), ‘Cloudland’ (1989), ‘Worlds In Collison’ (1991) and ‘Lost Album’ (1989). With Pere Ubu on hiatus since 1982’s excellent ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’, David Thomas had recorded a much-praised solo album and the band had now signed to a major label. In a period of rampant world commercialism, what would happen next? Another crucial era for the band unraveled, Pere Ubu’s journey charted new undulating territory and so began a three-album escapade that retooled our understanding of what pop music is. The third in the four-part boxed set series, ‘Les Haricots Sont Pas Salé 1987-1991’ sits between ‘The Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’ and ‘Drive, He Said 1994-2002’. “Solid as the band can be, it's also likely to dissolve songs from the bottom up.

                                    For all Pere Ubu's uncertainty, the band isn't arbitrary; its music has the off-the-wall unity of a Marx Brothers routine,” said Jon Pareles of The New York Times on ‘The Tenement Year’. One year later and things were further obscured with ‘Cloudland’ when they released “their industrial-strength equivalent of a class Beach Boys album from musicians more familiar with factories than surf.” (Greg Kot, Chicago Sun Times). Then, in 1991, ‘Worlds In Collision’ became “the most atmospheric, carefully sculpted recording in the band's 13-album catalog.” (Tom Moon, Spin). Here we have Pere Ubu between 1987 and 1991 with three phenomenal pop albums, together with the ‘The Lost Album’, an 11-track record of demos that sounds like they’d loosened the nut and bolts of the genre even further.

                                    Four of these tracks, ‘Around The Fire’,’ Down By The River’, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and ‘Invisible Man’ were recorded as demos for the album originally designed to follow ‘Cloudland’. Referred to by the band as ‘The Lost Album’ they are now joined with songs from ‘Cloudland’ that wouldn’t fit on the original vinyl release due to the length limitations of vinyl. The record also includes a tribute to Van Dyke Parks ‘Wine Dark Sparks’ and ‘Bang The Drum’ inspired by a Van Dyke Parks song. Genius.  

                                    Jazz Butcher

                                    Bath Of Bacon

                                      ‘Bath Of Bacon’ was an experiment in sound, conjoining that Ronco platter to Todd Rundgren, a guitar from Wes Montgomery’s cupboard and mentions of imaginary monsters set to some funky chops. “The sound of a few mates failing to take note that they’ve an LP to make!” claims the JB site. It’s pop meets bluesy scat with plenty of deadpan irony – a theme that will recur.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      Death And Vanilla

                                      The Tenant

                                        The retro leaning Scandi duo fire up their Moogs and mellotrons, sonic archaeologists with a hauntological bent.. there is an alluring sexiness to their avant-Kraut Moog-pop excursions.” Uncut

                                        “Recalling the eerie, haunted ambience of Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise’s Twin Peaks soundtrack, Stereolab/Broadcast’s experimental vision of ‘50s lounge muzak/exotica and French ‘60s pop, or the narcotic country-noir of Mazzy Star.” The Guardian

                                        Following on from the deluxe reissue ‘Vampyr’ last year, comes Death And Vanilla’s unreleased live score of ‘The Tenant’ on limited edition magenta vinyl. Originally scored by Philippe Sarde, this release sees Death And Vanilla reimagine the film’s soundtrack four decades on for a new audience.

                                        The haunting instrumental is a foreboding piece of dark and cinematic avant-garde music that’s alienated, lonely and melancholic. Moments of hallucination and delusion mirror the lead character Trelovsky. Recorded in 2015 at Cinemascore festival in Spain alongside a two-hour performance and screening of psychological thriller ‘The Tenant’ (1976). With the band at their most minimal, the accomplished musicians once again bring the dark narrative to life with their expansive and ethereal noir sound. The recording features them as a trio – Marleen Nilsson (Farfisa Compact), Anders Hansson (Hagstrom Kent, Roland SP-404 and Technics SL-1200) and Magnus Bodin (Moog Prodigy and Musser M55). Directed by Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski and based on the novel Le Locataire by Roland Topor, ‘The Tenant’ is the finale in his acclaimed apartment triology which included “Repulsion” (1965) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968).

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Magenta LP with download card

                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                        Bardo Pond

                                        Volume 8

                                          Brand new album from Philadelphia’s much loved neo-space rock stoner drone outfit. A euphoric transcendental journey to a mountain top nirvana, a psychedelic tapestry that slowly unwinds as they travel onwards into the inner mind. A 40-minute opus delivered from a hail of reverb soulfully caressed by a ceremonial flute, that makes way for a shroud of ‘Weld’—era Neil Young fog. Bardo Pond is your rather ruffled tour guide to this far off place, this distant sense of wonderment at the crossroads with bewilderment.

                                          Loved and lauded by the late Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson, Jesus & Mary Chain, Mogwai and many more and acclaimed in the music press as such: “Dinosaur Jr guitar power with the glacial grandiosity of Black Mountain, as if Isobel Sollenberger is conjuring a thunderstorm with the sound of her voice and riding it across the heavens.” Stereogum // “One of underground rock’s most extraordinary enigmas” The Quietus // “They alter brain chemistry by the alchemical effect of distressed sound alone, aspiring to become engineers of the soul’s passage to alternate states of consciousness.” Tony Dale (RIP), Ptolemaic Terrascope, 2001 // “Fugazi on acid.” Noisey “Playing fuzzed out stuff of stoner dreams since the mid ‘90s.” Pitchfork // 

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          Half Japanese

                                          Why Not?

                                            Half Japanese have returned to peel further layers from their onion. They have a new album that's a square further on in their unpredictable musical snakes and ladders board. ‘Why Not?’ is a magical thing – it’s Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’ recorded in a cupboard, it’s an ode to love, it’s a Wire song with two duelling guitarists being Zappa on helium, it’s Parquet Courts in a tantrum, it’s The Crickets contorted into? and The Mysterians, it’s everywhere and nowhere, baby, it’s where it’s at. On ‘Why Not?’ nuances are mused, situations explained, questions asked.

                                            Outside, zombies and demons roam and everyday aliens emerge from spaceships: it’s a technicolor film transcribed by Jad Fair and friends John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, their faces at the cracked window of their subterranean habitat looking out at the real world. They’re on a high from their last release: “After all these years, his wiry voice still hits every song with a shock that’s equal parts joy buzzer and defibrillator, each barely in-key bleat alternating between laughable and life-affirming,” said Pitchfork of their last opus ‘Hear The Lion Roar’.

                                            To which All Music added that “after nearly 40 years of music-making, they're still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that's truly something to believe in.” ‘Why Not?’ goes further. It’s an even more intense concoction, it’s further out there. It contains pieces of fluffy thought-provoking music, a bag of sentiments delivered with a real sense of wonderment at how the normal world revolves; all powered with heart and soul, some crunchy guitars, a cello and reverb set-to-kill infiltrating their storytelling. ‘Why’d They Do It?’ quizzes track 11. Because they can. 

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Why not indeed?

                                            Television Personalities

                                            Beautiful Despair

                                              Television Personalities unreleased album. Recorded in 1990 by Jowe at his flat in Glading Terrace, Stoke Newington (shortly before it was demolished), over a number sessions on a portable 4-track cassette-tape machine. “Over the course of a few weeks, we had amassed fifteen tracks, some of which ended up being re-recorded with very different arrangements on ‘Closer to God’. The intention was to finish and release these tracks at some point, and that time has finally arrived” - Jowe Head… Of the previously unheard songs, “I Like That in a Girl” was based on a conversation Daniel Treacy had with Lawrence of the Birmingham band Felt, hence the peculiar accent that Dan uses towards the end!

                                              “Love is a Four-Letter Word” was a song the band would play regularly live; it eventually evolved into “Love is Better Than War”. I Suppose You Think It’s Funny” displays Jowe and Daniels double-falsetto skills. “If You Fly Too High” was based on an encounter with Evan Dando of The Lemonheads in Berlin during a memorable gig with them at the Ecstasy Madhouse in December 1989, when the Berlin Wall was being torn down. The band jammed with Evan on stage that night, playing some tunes by Jonathan Richman and Johnny Thunders. The song also mentions Alan McGee, who was a great fan of the TVPS. Alan openly admits that he emulated Dan’s style of music, and influenced his decision to run a mod-psychedelic club, The Living Room, and to start his label, Creation. 

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                              Pictish Trail

                                              Future Echoes

                                                Future Echoes is the new album from Pictish Trail, AKA Scottish singer-songwriter Johnny Lynch. Something of a sonic hermit, Pictish Trail has spent large parts of the past few years tucked away in his caravan on the Hebridean isle of Eigg, feverishly working on the follow up to Secret Soundz Vol. 1&2, his critically-acclaimed double album of DIY electronic folk-tinged croft pop, released in 2014. Future Echoes is the mesmerising result.

                                                Written in remote seclusion but recorded in the bustling heart of London, it reunites Pictish Trail with Adem Ilhan, who produces the majority of the record. Johnny and Adem previously wrote music together in 2010 under the name Silver Columns, releasing the hugely well received album Yes And Dance via London taste-makers Moshi Moshi. Future Echoes features additional production and mixing from Rob Jones (Sweet Baboo, Slow Club) and drumming from Alex Thomas (Fridge, Squarepusher, Air, Bat For Lashes) and was mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering.

                                                Throughout his career Pictish Trail has resolutely furrowed his own path, steadily creating a unique catalogue of recordings and performances through his own labels (Lost Map / Fence Records) while eschewing the blueprint of the predictable singer-songwriter in favour of something untidily intriguing. Born out of a compulsion to make infectious, melody driven music from a treasure trove of secret sounds, Pictish Trail’s spectral songs are filtered through a sun-warped pop lens, where heart-pumping guitar shriek-outs collide with sampled gurgles and fractured lyrics figure-skate over sine-waves of glacial synth. A very personal musing on mortality, the death of friendships and the finality of things, Future Echoes represents the most confident, cohesive and pop-savvy collection of music Pictish Trail has written to date.

                                                The album’s opener and first single ‘Far Gone (Don’t Leave)’ takes its cues both musically and thematically from the Coen brothers’ Fargo, adding a tongue-in-cheek hip-hop beat, raspy Casio keyboard bassline and echo-slathered vocal over the top of a queasy sample based on that film’s theme tune. ‘Dead Connection’ is a dizzying and very danceable dispatch of ghostly electro all about attempted discourse with the dead and accepting that what is gone is gone. ‘Half-Life’ slows things down at the album’s half way stage for a by-turns shuddering and twinkling take on decaying and yet somehow still interminable relationships, while closer ‘After-Life’ is a twisted polyrhythmic psychedelic disco opus, with a chorus sung in a Jimmy Somerville-worthy falsetto, reflecting on reincarnation and life lived on repeat. 

                                                Hater

                                                Red Blinders

                                                  “Their ability to effortlessly write songs that are devastating in their lyrical impact yet bewitching to hear is only rivaled by a few.” Revue / “Their unique take on rock music feels familiar and lived-in, taking bits from indie-pop, post-punk, and classic rock.” Stereogum / "Gorgeous, achingly bittersweet vocals, perpetually swaying between comforting and devastating.” Gorilla Vs Bear / You can imagine John Peel’s hurriedly inaccurate summation of a cold and unforgiving Swedish winter as he juxtaposes the big-jumper-like welcoming warmth of Hater.

                                                  Their lush and tempered guitars are an almost Marr-approved Smiths-like foil for Caroline Landahl’s beautifully accented and accentuated vocal – it’s a heartwarming brew. “We know little of their home town, Malmo,” Peel might have mused, caught up in Hater’s minor chord world weariness, “other than that Roy Hodgson had a particularly successful time there… probably long before this young four-piece were actually born. Indeed. Hater are new to the game. Last year’s well-received debut album, ‘You Tried’ earned comparisons to Alvvays, The Pretenders and even Jefferson Airplane, eclectic for sure, but that’s just incidental. Their new EP distinguishes their very own super polished and intricate guitar-led dreamy pop.

                                                  Featuring their first single for Fire, the wonderfully forlorn and truly lovesick ‘Blushing’ (we’ve all been there) and ‘Rest’ with its haunting monosyllabic guitar break, a super-clean chiming motif that seems like a closing salvo before it regains momentum and brings proceedings to a suitable climax, welcoming back Landahl for one last chorus. The echoey eeriness of ‘Red Blinders’ could have come right out of the bubble blowing indie pop hey days of the early ‘80s, while ‘Penthouse’ is a chunkier c86 groove with a wind blowing through its motorik rhythm. 

                                                  Virginia Wing / Xam Duo

                                                  Tomorrow's Gift

                                                    Among slowly unravelling coils of oscillations and intermittent fragments of semi-formed loops, instruments both electronic and acoustic resonate gently against each other over an ever-evolving soundbed of textures. A meeting of minds and those exciting first sparks of inspiration soundtracked by celestial, otherworldly tones and free-flowing spoken word. This was how Virginia Wing and XAM Duo spent two cold days at the start of January 2017.

                                                    A weekend escape in the frozen industrial district of Bradford became an archive of improvisations that were later sculpted into an all-encompassing full length. Within minutes of the four playing together for the very first time their ideas quickly grew into one single-minded theory; that of free-thinking, acting on instinct and each having the patience to allow even the smallest of initial ideas to grow organically into fully-formed pieces of music. Condensed from 48 hours down to 48 intense minutes the group’s recordings create an all-encompassing new universe of sound with references from the mutated world percussion of Holger Czukay, the transportive saxophone of Pharoah Sanders, and the devotional music of Alice Coltrane. Over the course of the album’s wide-eyed exploration, the group’s first ever steps of creative collaboration unfold in unexpected ways, whether it be on the inhibition-free wonderment of lengthy opener ‘Birch Polygon’, or the hopeful, throbbing ambience of ‘Good Roads Fair Weather’, with its minimalist piano and vapour trails of saxophone.

                                                    This overflow of collective creativity was captured live via half a dozen haphazardly placed microphones before being mixed dutifully and beautifully by close and trusted companion of the band, Misha Hering, who’s one-take, effect-laden sonic portraits were very much in keeping with the free-improvisation of the original session. With a few choice overdubs placed in and amongst to add further texture, the result is nothing short of stunning; meditative and warmly fluorescent, like a half-recalled melody teetering on the edge of a pre-cognitive memory. A spiritual record, perfect for a late-night diversion set to heal the souls of those willing to take it into their hearts. 

                                                    Bevis Frond

                                                    Son Of Walter

                                                      When the sleeve of The Bevis Frond’s ‘Son Of Walter’ arrived circa 1996 it was a mystery. The title is scratched on a window overlooking an Islington block of flats, the sunset is distorted. Today it would be the view from a banging grime pirate radio station. Back then, it was one man locked in his bedroom with too many ideas and too many instruments (and a Portastudio). It’s the Frond’s 15th studio album. “The release of this work signals a resurgent appreciation for the noodly psychedelia of which this Brit is the master,” claimed the beautifully named Jennie Ruggles in Addicted To Noise. “Guitar fans will eat this album up,” Calendar, a magazine in the US argued and Pulse! Magazine reckoned: “’Son Of Walter’ offers new recruits a generous and reasonably representative introduction both to Saloman’s deeply ingrained mastery of ‘60s-vintage idioms and to the humanity and tunefulness that sets him apart from less imaginative retro-formalists.” Ah, retro formalists, we love them.

                                                      "Don't ask why, but for this album I decided to make the long-awaited(?) return to the style of the first few BF records. So it's back to the home recording facilities, and back to being the only person involved. So it's definitely worse than the recent stuff. (Feel free to disagree)," Frond mainman and, indeed the only Frond left standing on this opus, reasoned on the sleevenotes when it first sneaked out on the super cool Flydaddy label in the US. So, what is it all about? The trademark folk strum with multi-harmonies is there. There’s a slight nod to a country-ish CSN&Y thing, but that’s only for four bars. Who remembers that when there is the colossal ‘Garden Aeroplane Trap’, a proper wig out at 12 minutes 20. Elsewhere we have the kind of timeless psyche pop that people with ears really love, two songs that namecheck Elvis and a song about a dead man on a train. That was London in the late ‘90s. Hey, rock ‘n’ roll. 

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                      Jane Weaver

                                                      The Architect EP

                                                        ‘With one eye on the dancefloor and another on those sprawling existential questions’ (The Quietus), ‘The Architect’ sees Jane Weaver evolving with an aero-lite melodicism, the drum heavy vivacious pop song evokes vivid images of early Modernist art, Archigram blue-prints with a rigid back-bone of Eames worthy construction.

                                                        Directly inspired by Hilma af Klint’s séances, spiritualism and the science of anthroposophy that formed the artist’s abstract paintings, Weaver finds herself in a transformative state channelling her inner spirituality, it’s place within her music and the cosmos. Shifting perspectives with her meditative vocal explorations and oneiric flow on ‘Code’. Eight-minute psych-pop opus ‘Element’ is richly melodic replete with pulsating analogue synths, unrelenting motorik rhythms and incessant beats. The perfect antidote to those longing for more music since the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Modern Kosmology’, the release features title track alongside unreleased new tracks and a special remix by Finders Keepers’ Andy Votel.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: Following on from her shop-adored recent album, Jane Weaver returns for an EP to keep you going on those dark autumn days. Featuring a rework by label head, and all-round sound-merchant, Andy Votel. No doubt this will be a hit as well.

                                                        The Jazz Butcher

                                                        The Wasted Years

                                                          Featuring ‘Bath Of Bacon’, ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’, ‘Sex And Travel’ and ‘Distressed Gentlefolk’. Remastered by Brian Pyle. "The Jazz Butcher was always something of a unique vehicle, a sort of musical dune buggy - it interweaves the influence of The Velvet Underground and Syd Barrett with the new wave energies of the day and leaves us all richer for looking in" Pete Kember - Spacemen 3…. The ‘Butcher’ delivered a gaggle of albums and many 45s for Glass from 1983 to 1986, the jacket notes on the dusty tome that recalls this period mentions Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased), Thatcher, DIY post-punk, LSD, surrealist cabaret, The Velvet Underground, a bottle of Cointreau or two, the Amstrad 7090 and Ronco’s ‘Black Magic’ compilation. All that led to the ‘The Wasted Years’:

                                                          Four albums, many visions… ‘Bath Of Bacon’ was an experiment in sound, conjoining that Ronco platter to Todd Rundgren, a guitar from Wes Montgomery’s cupboard and mentions of imaginary monsters set to some funky chops. “The sound of a few mates failing to take note that they’ve an LP to make!” claims the JB site. It’s pop meets bluesy scat with plenty of deadpan irony – a theme that will recur. ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’ took a “competent little rock band” with a bassist who’d served time in Bauhaus into a world chorused by multi-track vocals and bathroom ambience. “A top-shelf diamond of a record that is filled with excellent, memorable songs.” (All Music). ‘Sex And Travel’ offered a broadening perspective. Competence and European travel beget a narrative akin to an impressionistic cold war spy movie, a “mess of styles” that became coherent. “A great album,” muses All Music before comparing JB mainman Pat Fish to Ray Davies circa 1969. 

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          4xCD Info: 4 x CD with 20 page, hard back book.

                                                          Half Japanese

                                                          Half Gentlemen / Not Beasts

                                                            In 1974 Jad Fair, along with his brother David, co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half Japanese released fourteen albums (which are all due to be reissued on Fire Records throughout 2013), and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band’s pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll. Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts is a collection of the Fair brothers earliest home recordings, originally released as a homemade three LP box set. These stretch their DIY, lo-fi ethos to the limits featuring sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics and odd effects, whilst throwing in some barely recognizable covers (such as tracks by The Temptations, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan). ‘Half Gentlemen / Not beasts’ is now available as a 2LP package. 

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                            Bark Psychosis

                                                            Hex

                                                              “The Best Post-Rock Album Of All Time” Fact Mag // “Their influence is pervasive” The Quietus // “Mysterious, haunting, and breathtakingly visionary” Allmusic // The recent release of Jeanette Leech’s book ‘Fearless: The Making Of Post-Rock’ (Jawbone Press) celebrates post-rock and its origins. Finding new inspiration, bands were beginning to experiment with techniques as the digital age took over. A case study in her new book, Bark Psychosis were one of the most innovative bands of their time and as legend has it, saw the first use of the term ‘post-rock’ by music critic Simon Reynolds. Following several singles and EPs, the avant-garde soundscapes built around drones and samples of 21-minute stand-out track ‘Scum’ arrived just two years before their seminal debut ‘Hex’ (1994).

                                                              Frustrated by the mainstream, ‘Scum’ was a huge statement that set them apart from the beginning. Bark Psychosis’ sound was born out of their improvisations at makeshift studio within St John’s Church in Stratford. Taking a year to complete ‘Hex’ left the band on the brink of collapse and by the time of its release they had dissolved. Hailed as a masterpiece, it’s “mysterious, haunting, and breathtakingly visionary” (Allmusic). Breaking down their songs and rebuilding them in the studio brought distinguishing ambient soundscapes and an atmospheric experimental sound. Last year Fact Magazine deservedly gave the album further recognition with it claiming top spot in their ’30 Best Post-Rock Albums Of All Time’.

                                                              Following ‘Hex’ and the disintegration of the band, Graham Sutton went on to create seminal Drum ‘n’ Bass as Boymerang and hugely acclaimed production work for the likes of These New Puritans, British Sea Power, Silver Apples, Jarvis Cocker and East India Youth. He revived Bark Psychosis at the turn of the millennium, eventually releasing another album, the equally extraordinary ‘///Codename: Dustsucker’ Newly remastered in 2017 from the original analog tapes at Metropolis Studios by Graham Sutton and Stuart Hawkes, and reissued officially for the first time

                                                              Victoria Williams

                                                              Victoria Williams And The Loose Band - Town Hall 1995

                                                                CD release of the RSD vinyl LP. In 1995 Victoria Williams toured with the Loose band. Critics swooned and acclaimed her live shows as “beautiful” and “intimate”, set lists varied every night, special guests happened along. Finally they reached a town hall (somewhere) and this Record Store Day set was created. Seven of the 15 tracks are taken from ‘Loose’ but they are reduced Darwin-like, made even more personal.

                                                                She harks back to the earlier Donnie Darko-like strangeness of ‘Crazy Mary’, sketches small town America on the ‘Summer Of Drugs’ and welcomes Lou Reed for a duet on ‘Sweet Jane’. No Depression at the time enthused about a live show where 50 people were in touching distance of greatness. It was the perfect platform they believed, trying hard to still keep Victoria their own personal secret. This live set, with its laissez faire feel and impromptu vibe is as close as it gets to a personal performance. Van Dyke’s veneer is rubbed off and every song positively tingles right through to a gorgeous version of ‘Over The Rainbow’. It’s a fairytale to believe in. 

                                                                Television Personalities

                                                                Mummy You're Not Watching Me

                                                                  Returning with psychedelic dark masterpiece, Television Personalities’ transitional second record ‘Mummy Your Not Watching Me’ was originally released in 1982 on Dan Treacy’s ‘Whaam!’ label. The album features ‘If I Could Write Poetry’, ‘Painting By Numbers’ and includes songs reminiscent of their earlier sound that can be heard on 'Magnificent Dreams'. With the formidable Daniel Treacy at its core, Television Personalities remain one of new wave’s longest serving and seminal artists with a career spanning over three decades. The indie pop visionaries influenced many people across the industry including Battles, Black Dice, Crystal Stilts, MGMT and Creation Records’ Alan McGee. ‘Mummy Your Not Watching Me’ is reissued for Record Store Day 2017 it will be available on black and white marbled vinyl alongside ‘The Painted Word’, ‘And Don’t The Kids Just Love It’ and ‘They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles’ / “It's a gawky, charming collection of great little pop tunes, clever bits and embarrassing bits, superb songs” Sounds, 1982.

                                                                  Television Personalities

                                                                  And Don't The Kids Just Love It

                                                                    Ahead of its time, ‘And Don’t The Kids Just Love It’ was Television Personalities’ influential debut album released in 1981 and features ‘I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives’. The legendary lo-fi release sees them produce British inspired 60s pop and post-punk that captured the period and ‘sounds remarkably prescient’ (Pitchfork’s Best 100 albums of the 1980s). With the formidable Daniel Treacy at its core, Television Personalities remain one of new wave’s longest serving and seminal artists with a career spanning over three decades. The indie visionaries directly influenced virtually every major pop uprising of the period including artists as diverse as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Pavement and Creation’s Alan McGee. ‘And Don’t The Kids Just Love It’ is reissued for Record Store Day 2017 on 12” black and white marbled vinyl alongside ‘Mummy Your Not Watching Me’, ‘The Painted Word’ and ‘They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles’. “They provided the inspiration and motivation for me to start the label.” Alan McGee, Creation Records. / “A remarkably influential album that holds up extremely well.” Allmusic. 

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition, black on white marbled vinyl, DL card, 1000 only.

                                                                    Death And Vanilla

                                                                    Vampyr

                                                                      A Standard LP and CD release will follow later. Now re-issued as a double vinyl package, ‘Vampyr’ is full of “eerie haunted ambience” (©The Guardian), an atmospheric and spaced out 78 minutes that galvanizes Moog, glockenspiel, zither and vibraphonette in a beautiful piece of claustrophobia, a timeless slice of suitably scary sound filled with an unnerving sonic vibe that sticks in the psyche. “The retro leaning Scandi duo fire up their Moogs and mellotrons, sonic archaeologists with a hauntological bent.. there is an alluring sexiness to their avant-Kraut Moog-pop excursions.” 

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      2xColoured LP Info: 500 only 2LP, black and white marbled vinyl, printed inners, gatefold sleeve.

                                                                      Evan Dando

                                                                      Baby I'm Bored

                                                                        Emerging after The Lemonheads disbanded Evan Dando returned to music first with a solo tour and ‘Live At The Brattle Theatre’ then came his debut solo album ‘Baby I’m Bored’. Mature and autobiographical, ‘Baby I’m Bored’ is a stellar record that stripped Dando of his grunge label. At the time of recording, he was without the band which saw him lean more towards an achingly melodic alt-country rock sound. Self-deprecating, these are songs of decline and coming back from that.

                                                                        The record includes “Hard Drive” and “All My Life” two tracks penned by Ben Lee and features contributions from producer/composer Jon Brion, producer Bryce Goggin, Tom Morgan, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, Calexico's John Convertino and Joey Burns, ex-Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon, Come's Chris Brokaw and Arthur Johnson. // “Dando has a flair for bruised melancholy that stands comparison with Gram Parsons and Alex Chilton.” Q Magazine // “A beautiful album of tender reflections on life, love and drug-induced folly set in soulful, country-tinged guitar pop.” 

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        2xCD & Book Info: 2CD Book-back with 24 page book

                                                                        Pumping their way out of the South Bronx of New York in the early 80s, this rhythm and dance-punk outfit made unforgettable funk that was also unusually rooted in post-punk. This powerhouse of raw and cutting edge music ultimately made them ahead of their time. ESG enjoyed success sharing stages with PiL and Gang Of Four and have been heavily sampled by many musicians including TLC, Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys and Liars. This version, a band-approved reissue of "Step Off" is released with artwork from award nominated illustrator Hannah Alice, who recently gained critical praise for her work on the Bert Jansch reissue of "Avocet". One of their most stripped back and intoxicating offerings, it clearly displays the group's love of dub's minimal and sparse arrangements plus the bass-led song style also purveyed by the genre.

                                                                        'ESG's fusion of sweet soul and punk attitude with an intuitive understanding of dance music remains.' - The Guardian
                                                                        “This is still funk with an alien otherworldliness the likes of which George Clinton never envisioned, stripped to its barest essentials for maximum impact.' - All Music
                                                                        'ESG are as cool as ever.' - Fact


                                                                        Modern Kosmology sees Jane Weaver's melodic-protagonist channeling new depths of creative cosmic energy within. After the huge critical acclaim of 2012's “Fallen By Watchbird”, followed by 2014's exploratory "Silver Globe" LP winning her unanimous "record of the year accolades" and hefty measures of radio play-listing Jane Weaver's conceptual trajectory has sent her neo-kosmische penchants to the point of no-return. Jane Weaver's unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism. As snowclones go, Modern Kosmology is the new Silver. Another Spectrum to add to the tension.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Andy says: Jane Weaver has fully hit her stride. This record is the perfect companion piece to the incredible ‘Silver Globe’, with just as much invention, depth and attention to detail, but somehow more streamlined, more concise. Proving that our erstwhile Album Of The Year was no flash in the pan, ‘Modern Kosmology’ is just as magical, just as lovely, and most importantly just as full of top tunes!

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies only Blue LP repress.

                                                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                        Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe LP for Cargo Collective Stores Only, 1000 only black 180g vinyl, deluxe metallic foil print sleeve, black inner, 24”x12” fold out poster, A6 download card.

                                                                        LP Info: Standard vinyl edition.

                                                                        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                        CD Info: Digi-pack sleeve.

                                                                        Evan Dando

                                                                        Baby Im Bored

                                                                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                          Emerging after The Lemonheads disbanded Evan Dando returned to music first with a solo tour and ‘Live At The Brattle Theatre’ then came his debut solo album ‘Baby I’m Bored’. During his hiatus he sobered up, got married and went straight. Taking four years to produce, his live shows funded the album’s recording sessions. Mature and autobiographical, ‘Baby I’m Bored’ is a stellar record that stripped Dando of his grunge label. At the time of recording, he was without the band which saw him lean more towards an achingly melodic alt-country rock sound. Self-deprecating, these are songs of decline and coming back from that. The record includes “Hard Drive” and “All My Life” two tracks penned by Ben Lee and features contributions from producer/composer Jon Brion, producer Bryce Goggin, Tom Morgan, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, Calexico's John Convertino and Joey Burns, ex-Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon, Come's Chris Brokaw and Arthur Johnson. This limited edition special Record Store Day 2LP ‘bookback’ reissue includes a disc of unheard unreleased tracks, singles, b-sides and rarities. “Dando has a flair for bruised melancholy that stands comparison with Gram Parsons and Alex Chilton.” Q Magazine / “A beautiful album of tender reflections on life, love and drug-induced folly set in soulful, country-tinged guitar pop.” The Independent 



                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          2xLtd LP Info: 2LP plus 24 page book + DL Card.

                                                                          Television Personalities

                                                                          They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles

                                                                            Originally released in 1982, ‘They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles’ was the influential band’s third album. A collection of singles, demos, outtakes and rarities that was intended to mark the band's breakup in 1982 had they not got back together again so soon. The record features ""David Hockney's Diaries"", ""The Boy In The Paisley Shirt"" and ""Psychedelic Holiday"". With the formidable Daniel Treacy at its core, Television Personalities remain one of new wave’s longest serving and seminal artists with a career spanning over three decades. The indie pop visionaries have influenced many people across the industry including Battles, Black Dice, Crystal Stilts, MGMT and Creation Records’ Alan McGee. ‘They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles’ is reissued for Record Store Day 2017 on 12” black and white marble vinyl alongside ‘Mummy Your Not Watching Me’, ‘And Don’t The Kids Just Love It’ and ‘The Painted Word’. “Its scope is incredible, its ambition outstanding and its heart damn near broken.” Melody Maker, 1982.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition, black on white marbled vinyl + DL card, 1000 only.

                                                                            Pere Ubu

                                                                            Drive He Said 1994 - 2002

                                                                              ‘Drive, He Said 1994-2002’ brings together the albums ‘Raygun Suitcase’ (1995, winner of CD Review’s Editors’ Choice Award), ‘Pennsylvania’ (1998, voted no.1 in Music Critics Poll (1988), Village Voice), ‘St Arkansas’ (2002, prompting Mojo to summarise their review with ‘It's difficult to think of a more important band currently working’) and a 12” disc of extras, ‘Back Roads’. ‘Back Roads’ features live studio, jam sessions and newly remixed tracks, including ‘Electricity’ (with the original vocals that were discarded at the time as ‘too brutal’), an outtake from ‘Pennsylvania’ and a live recording of SAD.TXT from Transmusicales Festival in France, 1998.

                                                                              These albums were the catalyst to finally uniting critics and the establishment to recognise that the band’s music was a force to be recognised, prompting four day festivals at the Royal Festival Hall in London, The Knitting Factory in NYC and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s event, ‘55 Years of Pain,’ honouring Pere Ubu along with fellow icons of the Cleveland scene, 15-60-75, in 1999. With current band members Michele Temple, Robert Wheeler and Steven Mehlman joining David Thomas here for the first time, it is a defining period for Pere Ubu. All studio albums and the 12” disc ‘Back Roads’ were remixed and engineered by David Thomas and Paul Hamann at Suma, in June 2016. ‘Raygun Suitcase’ (1995) “If underground rock had a Hall of Fame that gave awards for influence and creativity, Pere Ubu would be more decorated than Magic Johnson." Rolling Stone, 05/95 / ‘Pennsylvania’ (1998) “From the beginning they obviously understood the nuts and bolts of popular music, and then loosened them.” Mojo, 04/98 / ‘St Arkansas’ (2002) “Uncompromising is an epithet bandied around with frightening abandonment these days, and one which should really only apply to those who strive to push beyond musical boundaries and bend the parameters of modern music. Bands such as '70s art-punk collective Pere Ubu.

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              4xLP Info: 4LP hard box, includes fold out poster

                                                                              So complex and substance-affected was their evolution, Bardo Pond have been creating their dreamy riffs for 26 years alongside a myriad of side projects and their prolific Record Store Day releases. Returning with a career defining album, ‘Under The Pines’ sees them delve into the subconscious with their transcending cosmic post-rock. Over 41 minutes The Pond’s fermentation, their languid throb and textured groove (flute, violin, Isobel Sollenberger’s haunting vocals) sounds like cathartic dream pop wrapped in a delicately constructed barbwire shroud. “Playing fuzzed out stuff of stoner dreams since the mid ‘90s,” (thanks Pitchfork) and beyond the mentions of free jazz, the avant garde, Sun Ra and The Book Of The Dead, Bardo Pond’s remarkable career and exemplary output has seen them gain fans from all corners of the pond.

                                                                              In 2010 Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson invited them to perform at the Vivid festival they curated at the Sydney Opera House, not forgetting they were recently handpicked to support Jesus & Mary Chain at London’s Roundhouse as part of Mogwai’s 20th Anniversary and Stewart Lee chose them for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival which he curated just last year. Hailed for their space rock, drone, shoegaze, noise and/or psychedelia, and in a super lengthy interview in Ptolemaic Terrascope enthused (back in 2001) that they were somewhere between John Cage’s silence on 4’33 and Japanese noisenik Merzbow’s total ear splitting cacophony. One of their finest albums to date and nearly three decades on, Bardo Pond are in it for the long haul and remain one of the most significant underground rock bands of our time. 

                                                                              Re-issue of the explosive 1996 debut by Neutral Milk Hotel. Jeff Magnum's songs are cryptic and crazed, his ideas fast and furious, and together they force the home-recording concept out of the basement and into a brave new world, a fuzzy masterpiece of experimental lo-fi recording. Full of rapid-fire wordplay with true and heartfelt experimentation, both ambitious and eclectic, it's not hard to see why this has been such an influential album. Part of the fabled Elephant 6 collective, Neutral Milk Hotel won over many a music critic with this cult classic.

                                                                              The band are recognized as one of the most influential alternative acts to come out of the mid-90s and sowed the seeds for everything from anti-folk to the likes of Arcade Fire, Caribou and even Franz Ferdinand. On its original release, this album ranked #35 in the annual Village Voice Jazz & Pop Critics' Poll. Also, Spin proclaimed this album one of the ten best "you didn't hear" of 1996. 

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              CD Info: Deluxe repackaging in new mini gatefold sleeve with TWENTY FOUR page poster booklet, this reissue includes the 'Everything Is' single and b-side 'Snow Song Pt.1' from the original 1994 7" release (also re-issued as a limited 500 copies only release).

                                                                              With Jad Fair at the helm for over four decades, the highly revered Half Japanese still remain “the ultimate expression of punk’s dictum that rock should be accessible to anyone who wanted to pick up an instrument and play” (AllMusic). Born out of the Fair brother’s lo-fi bedroom recordings of the mid-70’s, they reinvented rock music with their off-kilter view and popular outsider rock. Leading the lo-fi movement of the early 90s burgeoning indie rock scene, Half Japanese’s lasting influence and prolific output has seen them experiment with alternate tunings, chords and melody and in recent years they’ve produced more cohesive offerings. Wildly eccentric and humorous, the energetic ‘Hear The Lions Roar’ is an art rock record where Jad’s expertly thrown out lyrics remain optimistic and fresh alongside a fierce and compelling rhythm section. Featuring a cohort of past musicians from the 90’s, their dexterous instrumentation brings further depth to Jad’s songs. 

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                              Harvey Mandel is among the most innovative guitarists to emerge from the Chicago blues scene of the late 1960s. His career began at Twist City and other local hotspots, sharing stages with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Buddy Guy. He came up in that scene alongside Charlie Musselwhite, Mike Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg and Steve Miller, leading to an invitation from Bill Graham to open for Cream at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium in August 1967.

                                                                              Mandel was a member of Canned Heat, appearing with them at Woodstock. He played on numerous John Mayall albums, and on the Rolling Stones' 1975 LP Black and Blue ("Hot Stuff", "Memory Motel"), having auditioned for Mick Taylor's job, which ultimately went to Ron Wood. Known for his "tapping" technique and sinewy, sustain-driven phrasing (thus his nickname, "The Snake"), Mandel's solo albums such as Cristo Redentor, Baby Batter and Righteous have been sampled and drooled over by guitar geeks, DJ's, and fans of funky, soulful, otherworldly composition.

                                                                              Harvey's fifteenth studio LP and his first widely distributed album in 20 years, Snake Pit was recorded in two days at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Harvey teamed with fellow Chicago-based musicians Ben Boye (keys), Ryan Jewell (drums), Brian Sulpizio (guitar), and Anton Hatwich (bass), who have all played with singer/songwriter Ryley Walker. Harvey and the band had not met previously, nor had they rehearsed. He played snippets of song ideas for the band on his iPhone, and then they would lay down a track in one or two takes. Hard to believe when you hear the album, but that's exactly how it went down.

                                                                              Minimal overdubs with strings and percussion were added, but mostly what you hear is what happened spontaneously in the studio. The album contains six new original compositions by Mandel and two revisited songs : "Baby Batter" from his 1971 Janus LP of the same name, and "Before Six" by Larry Frazier, which appears on his first album,Cristo Redentor. Snake Pit marks a spirited return in a career that now spans six decades -- all the more intense and poignant given Harvey's recent battle with cancer.

                                                                              Pere Ubu

                                                                              The Art Of Walking

                                                                                Released in 1980, ‘The Art Of Walking’ sees Pere Ubu ‘moving even further from the conventions of rock music - and from their own past - but still moving forward, without a doubt, and losing none of their integrity as a group.’ (Melody Maker, Chris Cutler). The album features in new box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Coed Jail! Live dates mark the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995. 

                                                                                Pere Ubu

                                                                                Song Of The Bailing Man

                                                                                  Released in 1982, 'Song of the Bailing Man' is an ‘inspired, invigorating, confounding, disturbing... yeah, one hell of a swinging way to go. Still the futility Ubu must have felt making far sighted music in a chronically near-sighted world is pressed hard into these grooves.’ (Melody Maker, David Fricke). The album features in new box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Coed Jail! Live dates mark the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995.


                                                                                  Pere Ubu

                                                                                  New Picnic Time

                                                                                    Initially released in 1979, ‘New Picnic Time’ is “weird, wonderful and so far beyond the expected that these deconstructions of popular music are as charmingly retro as the Beatles and as modern as today's blending’s of funk, hip-hop and alt-rock. Revolutionary and demented yet full of fun, Pere Ubu are indispensable to any collection of 20th century rock.” (Herald-American, Scott Laurence). The album features in new box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Coed Jail! Spring dates mark the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995. 

                                                                                    Rats On Rafts / De Kift

                                                                                    Rats On Rafts / De Kift

                                                                                    The best act I've ever seen at a festival" Paul Thomson, Franz Ferdinand. Rats On Rafts have joined forces with legendary underground Dutch punk band De Kift - Zaandam punk vs Rotterdam punk! A playful revisioning of each other’s music which began at Metropolis Festival in 2013. The record brings together songs from Rats On Rafts critically acclaimed second album ‘Tape Hiss’ and De Kift’s huge catalogue. The two bands locked themselves up for a month to record a completely analogue album. Together they will play this material live on tour. Instantly recognisable as Rats ‘Last Day On De Zon’ is shot through with brass - enter De Kift. Dark, dub infused ‘Meggy’ sees Rats bringing their explosive and unrelenting rolling crescendos. ‘Sleep Little Links 2 3 4’ is uplifting with the addition of brass whilst folk tinged ‘Dit Schip’ sees them bring further depth to the collaboration. Energetic and raw, the spirit of their festival performances prevails throughout. De Kift have released music for three decades with father Heijne only retiring in 2013, brothers Marco & Ferry Heijne and cousin Pim remain alongside co-founder and drummer Wim. The nine piece brass ensemble have released eleven albums, collaborated in theatre, film and various media projects which has seen them win a number of Dutch awards across film and music. Both formats have unique sleeves made from recycled LP/CD sleeves, with the front and back cover printed and stuck on to the recycled sleeve. The band have assembled and fulfilled each one themselves. 

                                                                                    With many groups, a reduction in their personnel is often mirrored in a simplification of their sound. In Virginia Wing’s case, their reconfiguration from a trio to a two-piece sees them blossoming from the previously cold, Kosmische palette found on their debut LP Measures of Joy into the wider-reaching, fully focused sound of Forward Constant Motion. The album dives headlong into the synthetic waves that lapped around the edges of their initial work, drawing as much from the compressed thump of Homework-era Daft Punk as the languid new age-isms of Laurie Anderson to create a bold and inventive modern pop record.

                                                                                    Then there are tracks, like the glimmering finale Future Body, that focus on the strength of women and female friendship. As Richards explains, the group are acutely aware of misguided perceptions when operating within the paradigm of a male-female electronic duo. It’s a record made out of a union that is vital for the on-going evolution of the group. Reduced to their very nucleus, they now sound at their most natural, comfortably processing the boundless ideas that they previously eschewed and shaping them to work, pushing the pair ever further forward.



                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                    Barry says: Part Synth-pop part wonky electronic part indie, Forward Constant Motion is a grooving and dynamic trek through melodic anthems imbued with a playfulness and depth. Crackling synths and syncopated drums, all topped with those smooth-as-silk vocals breaking through the mix. Ambient interludes break through into triumphant clanging anthemic rock. Wildly varied, but brilliantly cohesive electronic indie.

                                                                                    Fire Records are delighted to announce the release of the brand new solo album from Australian songwriting legend Tom Morgan, best known for his contributions to Smudge and The Lemonheads. 'Orange Syringe'
                                                                                    includes ten perfectly formed stripped-back pop songs saturated with Aussie charm, with just the right amount of jangle and an instantly comforting hook. The album showcases Morgan's skills as a master storyteller and lyricist, delving in to complex and personal subject matter, while never forsaking the hooks, leaving the songs swathed in melodic hues and moods ranging from the bright to the very, very dark. The man who wrote iconic songs like "It's A Shame About Ray" and "Outdoor Type" delivers line after line of tongue-in-cheek genius, with darkly funny twists like "the outcome is bleak, the second time in a week" and "I'm not broke, I'm just not working" along with casual flirtations, winking as he delivers "this beauty before me, she's a bit of alright" and smiling through his days of holding back on the bus fare when a pretty girl sleeps over and remembering his full family history while picking up the bottle of wine for dinner at his mother's.

                                                                                    Tom Morgan has played in a plethora of bands, including fronting Aussie stalwarts Smudge, a tremendous 'slacker pop' trio who he formed in 1991 with drummer Alison Galloway (immortalized in The Lemonheads "Alison is Starting to Happen"). They quickly became known for Morgan's melodic, mini-pop masterpieces with his colourful lyrics and the band's low-fi approach to recording, releasing three albums (plus a collection of B sides and unreleased covers), a mini-album, a handful of singles, and appearing on several compilation albums. Fire has recently reissued their stellar Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra and Manilow records. Long established as one of the finest lyricists of a generation of Aussie tunesmiths, Morgan was brought to wider attention when he paired with Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando for the albums It's a Shame About Ray and Come on Feel The Lemonheads. With Tom's lyrical dexterity and ear for a perfect pop song, their meeting bore immediate spoils, inspiring Evan to global acclaim as he began the more 'pop' direction of his career. He was so taken with Tom's tunes that he even covered some of Smudge's songs, with great commercial success. Following passing a guitar back and forth with Evan, Tom and Smudge continued in various guises before finally splitting in 1999, only to get together a few years later to play periodic shows. A prolific writer, he has been continuously working and creating, and is finally ready with a proper solo album, seeing him recording with his wife Leticia and producing some of the very best work of his career. It is clearly time to sit up and take notice of the pop songwriting masterclass that is "Orange Syringe", where finally Tom Morgan can take centre stage and receive the recognition he deserves.

                                                                                    Wovenhand

                                                                                    Mosaic

                                                                                      This has been out of print for years , now repressed. Free of any boundaries (like saving songs for 16 Horsepower) David Eugene Edwards delivers "Mosaic". His 4th Wovenhand album and his masterpiece. The album again was put to tape by Robert Ferbrache, a one-time lap-steel player in 16 HP who runs Absinthe Studios in Denver. He doesn't stray much from his signature sound: mournful, minor key dirges within which Edwards ruminates on his recurring themes of faith, the fallibility of man, and the folly of the non- believer. But on Mosaic he unleashes a maelstrom of intensity and conviction that is as captivating as it is deeply spiritual. This is it. The one. It's magical, dark, mysterious, sinister and gorgeous.

                                                                                      Following the release of ‘Total Exposure’ the fiery Argentinian grrl group Las Kellies return with new album ‘Friends & Lovers’. Inflected new wave post-punk blends garage-psych with infectiously deft dance beats and melodic pop. ‘Friends & Lovers’ fuzzed-up gems sees them move away from the heavier dub sounds of their last record instead sinking their teeth into a groove like Thee Oh Sees with the spirit of ESG and Delta 5. Rupturing with dance floor classics like ‘Sugar Beat’ and ‘I Don’t Care’, they effortlessly move into sun-soaked psych-pop tunes (‘Summer Breeze’, ‘Sun Goes Down’) with slow grooving honeyed tones, shimmering guitars and propulsive percussion. Produced by Iván Diaz Mathé (credits include Lee “Scratch” Perry & Mad Professor), who’s worked on their previous records.

                                                                                      The Bevis Frond

                                                                                      Sprawl

                                                                                        1994’s ‘Sprawl’, originally released on Woronzow, features Nick with Jimmy Hastings (flute), Tony Aldridge (violin) and Andy Ward on drums. Vocals here were provided by Ade Shaw, Dean Carter and Mick Donovan along with Current 93’s David Tibet guesting with spoken word on the spiritual ‘Right On (hippy dream)’. Hypnotic 12 minute psych piece ‘Awake’ is interspersed with instrumentals and the grungy guitars of ‘The Puller’ are offset by Aldridge’s strings. The tenth studio album release in less than a decade since and ‘Sprawl’ - once again - demonstrates Nick’s immeasurable song writing power. 

                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                        2xLP Info: Double LP, gatefold sleeve, printed inners, art insert, download postcard

                                                                                        Howe Gelb

                                                                                        Sno Angel Like You + Sno Angel Winging It

                                                                                          Clocking up a decade since its initial release ‘Sno Angel Like You’ will be reissued this September celebrating its ten year anniversary. Collaborating with Canadian Gospel Choir, Voice of Praises following a performance at 2003’s Ottawa Bluesfest where Howe was billed alongside gospel choirs. Howe experienced his own awakening of sorts and found himself discussing with the church director the possibility of recording together. A similar run of events ensued at the same festival and Howe would go on to meet folk singer Susan Odle. Recruiting along the way, Jim Bryson’s keyboard player and recording engineer Dave Draves was soon on board and would go on to record the album. Once in the studio, Howe met drummer Jeremy Gara (pre-Arcade Fire) and together they laid down the initial recordings of the album on guitar and drums using similar recording techniques to older Giant Sand. Recording seven new songs with the choir arranging vocals, they also covered three Giant Sand songs and three Rainer Ptacek tracks. The uplifting and soulful popular tenth solo record sees “the occasionally unassuming, semi-mumble of Gelb's voice contrast marvellously with the trained, primed-for-transcendence-quality singing of Voices of Praise.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          2xCD/DVD Info: 2CD and DVD book feature documentary 'Sno Angel Winging It

                                                                                          The last of the Fire Records Half Japanese reissue series, ‘Volume 4:1997-2001’ contains 1997s ‘Bone Head’ and ‘Heaven Sent’ (on LP for the first time) and 2001s ‘Hello’. Final volume of four part box set featuring ‘Bone Head’, ‘Heaven Sent’ and ‘Hello’. “Cutting straight to the gut. Jad’s phrasing matches surging sentiments, creating a counterpoint to the spot-on music. When they grind out a groove half-rhythmic/half-blank cadences, the woozy disconnect is oddly compelling” Pitchfork’s Best New Reissue. “This should lay to rest any questions about the importance of Half Japanese. Without them, we wouldn’t have the primitive pop of Beat Happening nor the id-bearing beauty of Daniel Johnston” Paste Magazine // November 2015 sees Half Japanese and Fire Records bring you the final volume of the immense box sets that focuses on releases from the late 90s and early 00s. The final volume of the four-part Half Japanese box set series "Volume 4: 1997-2001" – includes albums "Bone Head", "Heaven Sent" and "Hello". Showcasing a range of experimental pop smarts and noisy punk bite, these albums see the band surrounding Jad Fair's musings on subjects from hopeless monsters to hopeless romantics with everything from sharp melodies to 64 minute work outs, with a Primal Scream cover thrown in there for good measure. Fire’s colossal Half Japanese series began last year with the Record Store Day exclusive of ‘Half Gentleman/Not Beasts’, this set contains the records in their original form and will include original artwork from Jad Fair. Heaven Sent is made available on vinyl for the first time, with the title track originally over an hour long, a special edit brings over 30 minutes to the LP release. High-quality downloads are included in the LP format which includes extra tracks featured in the CD format. 

                                                                                          The Chills / Martin Phillips

                                                                                          The Curse Of The Chills / Martin Phillips Live At The Moth Club

                                                                                          This exclusive hardback book contains 'The Curse Of the Chills' documentary on DVD, as well as the Martin Phillipps - Live At The Moth Club, London 2015. ‘The Curse Of The Chills’ is a major new feature documentary that features never-before-seen live footage, interviews and archive. With exclusive access to the Phillipps family home video archive, the film provides an intimate portrait of the man behind the Chills. Exploring the source of his creativity and his songwriting aesthetic, the film also follows Martin on his journey from scenester musician to international star, then follows him on the downward spiral, interest in the band waned and depression and addiction set in. It’s an age old rock and roll story where Martin is unflinchingly honest about his heroin addiction and struggles with Hepatitis. Happily, there is a final act to the story, and the film is ultimately one of redemption and vindication of living a life that stays true to your beliefs – whatever the cost.

                                                                                          Hard back book, containing Martin Phillips – Live At The Moth Club CD and ‘The Curse Of The Chills’ documentary on DVD. 

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Hardback Book Info: Hard Back Book.

                                                                                          The first release for the Swedish Psychedelic dream-pop band, their self-titled EP caught the attention of French label ‘Hands In The Dark’. They originally released EP in 2010 on CD an extremely limited edition run of 100 copies. The EP is reissued on blue vinyl to match the cover alongside the ‘From Above’ 7” and their self-titled debut long player.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Blue vinyl.

                                                                                          Orchestra Of Spheres

                                                                                          Brothers And Sisters Of The Black Lagoon

                                                                                          Recorded mid-summer 2015 at Pyramid Club, Wellington, New Zealand. Born out of Wellington’s fertile creative music scene in 2009, the Spheres quickly gained a crowd of devotees, entranced by their sonically and visually ecstatic live shows. Their sound is an explosive brew concocted from the quicksilver synths of Mos Iocos, the intricate bass lines of EtonalE, the psychedelic biscuit tin guitar work of Baba Rossa and the primitive, powerful stick work of new drummer, Woild Boin. 

                                                                                          Death And Vanilla

                                                                                          Death And Vanilla Album (Reissue)

                                                                                          Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson AKA Death and Vanilla released their first full length self-titled eponymous debut LP in 2012. It radiates sophisticated retro-futuristic psych-pop whilst channeling their passion for hauntology, library, krautrock and radiophonic music. Mastered by Linus Sjölund at RED audio it was initially released on French label ‘Hands In The Dark’ which like their EP sold out on pre-order.

                                                                                          Fire Records now release the album on black/yellow splatter vinyl and CD alongside the ‘From Above’ 7” and their self-titled debut EP. 

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Andy says: Krauty, moog, hushed, library baroque pop that breezes along in a sultry fashion.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: LP is yellow vinyl.

                                                                                          Bardo Pond

                                                                                          Acid Guru Pond

                                                                                            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                            Few things bring more joy on Record Store day than the recent series of special Bardo Pond releases. This year features the fruits of an incredible collaboration with Japanese psych-experimentalists Acid Mothers Temple. Wrapping their psych rock wizardry and cosmic space noise around Isobel Sollenberger’s ethereal vocals and majestic flute playing, the collective brings out the best in one another, feasting on innovation and distortion while not losing the swirling lock groove. Classic rock riffs merge and morph into the surrounding world music influences to cook up an enchanting and meditative brew. The naming of each song after a colour only further reinforces the vibe heavy proceedings. Begun in 2013, the Bardo Pond Record Store Day series continues to be one of the major highlights of the day. The 2016 release is limited to only 1000 copies. This exclusive release comes on two split colour vinyl discs, with disc one in a blue and green convergence and disc 2 blazing red and orange. This is a vital release for any Bardo Pond or Acid Mothers Temple collection. 

                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                            2xColoured LP Info: 2xLP" 2 split colour LPs includes download.

                                                                                            The Adverts

                                                                                            Cast Of Thousands

                                                                                              THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                              Originally released to a fan base and music press that were unprepared for the band to move on from the punk fury of “Crossing The Red Sea”, The Adverts “Cast Of Thousands” has since been recognized as a lost classic of the time period. TV Smith’s cutting observational lyrics and sharp musical instincts saw his song writing grow and move in unexpected directions. The primal thumping was replaced by dynamic and driving drumming, acoustic guitars and probing solos emerged, and Tim Cross joined to add keyboards and fill out the overall sound. The one constant was the pounding throb of Gaye Advert’s bass. Encouraged to experiment by surprise producer Tom Newman (Mike Oldfield “Tubular Bells”) the band found themselves stretching creatively, both in song writing and recording techniques. They might agonize over the sound of recording a match being lit in the middle of one song, while doing a single take of a vocal via a microphone hung in the bathroom for another. Giant choirs were built meticulously over multiple tracks, while the sound of a rat running through the reverb room would be captured forever. The results wrapped some of TV’s best songs in strange and inventive sounds to compliment his anti-pop smarts and rock and roll heart.

                                                                                              They did not know it at the time, but the band was falling apart. Tensions would soon rise to the level that replacement players were called in to finish their final tour. Punk fans left them in droves. Critics skewered the singles from the album. Their record label had moved on to the next big thing. Feeling that they had reached a creative peak made the tumble even harder to swallow. Time has been very kind though, and fans discovering punk after the first wave have been able to hear “Cast” for what it is - a brilliant and biting collection of rock and roll. Still full of stomp and swagger even when stripped down on “My Place” or via the anthemic surge of “Television’s Over”, with TV’s hook factory on full display on the anti-love song “Love Songs”, and the band closing the album with the creeping ballad “I Will Walk You Home”; The Adverts had grown from a great punk rock band to a great rock band. Available on coloured vinyl for Record Store Day. Download includes two bonus tracks. 

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: White vinyl.

                                                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                              Bevis Frond

                                                                                              Miasma

                                                                                                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                                Originally self-released by Nick Saloman and limited to just 500 copies, the debut from The Bevis Frond marked the beginning of a highly influential career in underground British neo-psych-rock. Armed with a four-track portastudio, the success of 1986’s “Miasma” saw it unexpectedly sell-out quickly with a repress not far behind. Sounding as bracing today as it did then, it collects some of Saloman’s finest songs. Having played in bands since the late 60’s, and constantly writing, Saloman had founded The Von Trap Family and played in Room 13. In fact, he had almost called it a day, but it was the popularity of “Miasma” that saw him continue onward and establish himself as an underground legend. A labour of love and fiercely independent, his prolific output has seen as many releases in as many years and an uncompromising vision under his own label Woronzow. Hailed as “a Hendrix devotee ever bit as tough and contemporary as the serrated guitar chorales of Sonic Youth and Pixies” by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, his immense psych-stoner-rock has seen him become a cult figure in his own right. The Bevis Frond’s legion of loyal fans includes Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr and Mary Lou Lord, who have all covered his music. The release coincides with an invite to perform at comedian Stewart Lee’s upcoming curated ATP in Wales (UK). Available as a Record Store Day exclusive and limited in the U.S. to 500 copies and on transparent royal blue vinyl, the record also comes with extensive bonus tracks available via download.

                                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                Coloured LP Info: 12” LP on transparent royal Blue vinyl includes download.

                                                                                                Bevis Frond

                                                                                                Inner Marshland

                                                                                                  THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                                  Following the unexpected success of The Bevis Frond’s debut, 1987’s "Inner Marshland" originally was recorded via the home studio four-track portastudio set up that was used for the debut album in Walthamstow, UK. Recorded over 12 months, "Inner Marshland” features the anglophile’s dreamscape of “Termination Station Grey”, the epic psych-blues-rock rave up of "I’ve Got Eyes in the Back of My Head” and so much more, with Nick Saloman’s guitar always leading the way. A labour of love and fiercely independent, his prolific output has seen as many releases in as many years, an uncompromising vision all under his own label Woronzow. Hailed as “a Hendrix devotee ever bit as tough and contemporary as the serrated guitar chorales of Sonic Youth and Pixies” by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, his immense psych-stoner-rock has seen him become a cult figure in his own right. The Bevis Frond’s legion of loyal fans includes Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr and Mary Lou Lord, who have all covered his music. The release coincides with an invite to perform at comedian Stewart Lee’s upcoming curated ATP in Wales (UK). Available as a Record Store Day exclusive and limited in the U.S. to 500 copies and on transparent deep purple vinyl, the record also comes with extensive bonus tracks available via download. 

                                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: 12” LP on transparent deep purple vinyl and download.

                                                                                                  Giant Sand

                                                                                                  The Sun Set Volume 1

                                                                                                    “30 years of Giant Sand way back when it seemed like a long spans. but no. just a blink of the eye. the flutter of the lid seems like it's in a slow-motion wow, but any motion is in fast-forward compared to still life. albums live on a shelf like a still life collection collecting decades and dust. what do we have here, collectively speaking ? musings set to motion. here in rewind and some in fast forward. we know there's no comfortable category to place it all. perhaps because there is no categorical comfort. the forefathers of this output have been set in rock: david bowie, john lennon, jimi hendrix, bob dylan and neil young. the forefathers set in ivory are probably responsible for what's coming next. but as far as rock erosion is concerned, with this collection of mega dust, this giant sand, it's high time to call it a day. 30 years seems an adequate number to aptly utter "I kinda quit". there's plenty enough here. more than imaginable. I'm very eager to see what the next blink will bring. piano for now. songs forever. So here's to the next 30 years of plunk rock. a circle of fifths in black and white blur. getting on a plane with no guitar bag slung. maybe a hat. .. bolo tie too. thank you so very much for your participation in all of this. I will never thank you enough because I can't. we are a fabric. a stitch in time. sonic threads woven by our space age muses.” Howe Gelb / Following the upcoming Giant Sand European tour in April, Howe Gelb and the Giants will be bidding a final farewell. As a parting gift Fire America will release a three volume box set entitled "The Sun Set". The complete A-Z of Giant Sand will be released alphabetically rather than chronologically, highlighting the careening career and wandering muse of Howe Gelb and his assembled guitarslingers. The perfect Giant Sand show runs two hours and drags you around the room filling you with booze and asking you to dance before pulling at your heartstrings, tying them in knots and then leading you into a barroom brawl that only stops to hear the piano player bare his soul before raining down the bottles and starting all over again. These collections allow you to get that feeling in your own home. The first volume of the Sun Set box set includes: "Ballad Of A Thin Blue Man" (1986), "Blurry Blue Mountain’"(2010), "Center Of The Universe" (1992), "Chore Of Enchantment" (2000), “Glum" (1994) and "Goods And Services" (1995). The hardboard slipcase box set contains six albums across eight 12” vinyl and features extensive and entertaining liner notes from Howe Gelb himself. Available as a Record Store Day exclusive and limited in Europe to 1,000 copies. 

                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                    6xLP Box Set Info: 6 title (8 disc) box set in hardboard outer slipcase includes download.

                                                                                                    FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                                                                                                    Pere Ubu

                                                                                                    30 Seconds Over Tokyo / Heart Of Darkness

                                                                                                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                                      Arriving in 1975 on own label Hearthan, Pere Ubu’s debut seminal single was initially written during the short-lived early days of Rocket From The Tombs. When the group disbanded David Thomas was eager to release ‘Final Solution’ and ’30 Seconds Over Tokyo’. Taking its name from a Ted Lawson and Robert Considine book about the 1942 Doolittle Raid the song is about a World War II bomber squad’s “suicide ride”. “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” is “seven minutes of apocalyptic synth storms, metallic guitars and unnerving vocals” Tom Pinnock - Uncut Dec 2015. Written during a rehearsal, ‘Heart Of Darkness’ resulted in ‘Final Solution’ getting axed from the B-side. Limited to 1000 copies this special release for Record Store Day 2016, these tracks are as vital today as they were forty years ago. 

                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                      Ltd 7" Info: 7” Single included download.

                                                                                                      Virginia Wing

                                                                                                      Rhonda

                                                                                                        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                                        Virginia Wing are not from the sedate school of dream-pop escapism…a hazy subversion of the traditional monochrome evocations of post-punk, a photo negative of an established form.” - The Quietus // “South London three-piece ally buzz and drone with sweetness and light” Guardian – New Band Of The Week // "A piece of noir-pop majesty that consistently pushes its own boundaries and frequently shatters the listeners’ sense of expectation" Loud and Quiet // "They possess a rare ability to dive deep beneath the skin.. a ghostly mix that flirts hard and fast with the avant garde while retaining a sly pop lustre" Mojo 4* // Following the 2015 release of their acclaimed debut album ‘Measures Of Joy’ on Fire Records, Camberwell based outfit Virginia Wing return with a striking new single. ‘Rhonda’, released for Record Store Day on 12” vinyl with a disco cut sleeve featuring artwork from longtime collaborator Florian Brooks. Recorded at Hackney-based Holy Mountain Studios with Misha Hering, ‘Rhonda’ sees the band expand the deep and varied sonic palette displayed on their debut ‘Measures Of Joy’. Featuring guest musician Koichi Yamanoha of Grimm Grimm, the single unfolds slowly as meditative incantations give way to a sprawling piece of experimental pop for the dance floor. The ambitious A-side flirts with disco beats and draws influence from a variety of schools of contemporary dance music whilst still remaining, at heart, a pop song. This is pop music with texture, depth and nuance; a daring and progressive piece. The B-side includes two new tracks: ‘Sisterly Love’ and ‘Daughter Of The Mind’ which further hint at the deviations we can expect on their second LP. Field recordings, ambient mediations and rhythmic experimentation abound; the new material sees Virginia Wing refining and reworking the sound conjured on their debut, a masterful workout and one that provides a thrilling incentive to await LP2 with baited breath. Following a headline European tour and a UK tour with Hookworms last year, Virginia Wing will be releasing their second album in autumn 2016. Forming in 2012, Virginia Wing are Alice Merida Richards, Sam Pillay and Sebastian Truskolaski. 

                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                        Ltd 12" includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                        Initially released in 1979, ‘New Picnic Time’ is “weird, wonderful and so far beyond the expected that these deconstructions of popular music are as charmingly retro as the Beatles and as modern as today's blendings of funk, hip-hop and alt-rock. Revolutionary and demented yet full of fun, Pere Ubu are indispensible to any collection of 20th century rock.” (Herald-American, Scott Laurence).

                                                                                                        The album features in new box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Coed Jail! Spring dates mark the release of the LP box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995. 

                                                                                                        Released in 1982, 'Song of the Bailing Man' is an ‘inspired, invigorating, confounding, disturbing... yeah, one hell of a swinging way to go. Still the futility Ubu must have felt making far sighted music in a chronically near-sighted world is pressed hard into these grooves.’ (Melody Maker, David Fricke).

                                                                                                        The album features in new LP box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Spring dates mark the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995. 

                                                                                                        Pere Ubu

                                                                                                        Architecture Of Language

                                                                                                          4LP box set with new masters of the albums ‘New Picnic Time’ (1979), ‘The Art Of Walking’ (1980) and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ (1982) plus a disk of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’, ‘Co-Ed jail’ poster and download postcard. Pere Ubu reinvented rock music from the ground up. Equally at ease with Sun Ra and The Monkees, Glen Campbell and The MC5, Can and The Raspberries, they are the white Funkadelic. 2015’s box set release, ‘Elitism For The People 1975-1978’ is a veritable primer for exploring the possibilities of popular music. It documents the band “creating their own private musical apocalypse and then forging on to start the world anew” (Uncut, Jim Wirth).

                                                                                                          The second in the series of box sets, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982,’ gathers together “the scariest album ever recorded,” ‘New Picnic Time,’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man.’ These are records of “unique beauty - a beauty marked by truth and thus also tragic and sometimes painful” (Sounds, Chris Cutler). Ian Penman, writing in 1980 in the New Musical Express, said “It is obvious that (the history of) Pere Ubu should not be thought of in terms of a linear development - reducing its entire operation and presence to an exclusive concern for working and succeeding in rock and roll. Unfortunately, most criticism - of Pere Ubu, of many other folks - assumes that words have one meaning, that desires point in a single direction, that ideas are logical; it ignores the fact that the world of language, noise and desire is one of lack, insecurity, interruption, struggle, blundering, disguises, ploys, embarrassed grins.”

                                                                                                          Mastered by Brian Pyle, the original quarter-inch stereo mix tapes were digitally transferred by Paul Hamann at Suma at a 192khz / 24 bit resolution. From these the vinyl LPs were cut by Pete Norman with a Neumann VMS80 lathe. The Coed Jail Tour marks the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995. 

                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                          4xLP Box Set Info: Box set, 4LPs, poster, download card.

                                                                                                          Rats On Rafts

                                                                                                          Some Velvet Morning

                                                                                                            Following the release of second album ‘Tape Hiss’ on Fire Records in October last year, Rats On Rafts return with new single “Some Velvet Morning” and spring tour that sees them share the stage with at London’s Tufnell Park Dome on 24th March. Abrasive and uncompromising, their Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood cover far from emulates with its twisted and dark original take on the classic. B-side is their last single ‘Last Day On Earth’ taken from their lastest album ‘Tape Hiss’ which saw them feature in Mojo’s talent section ‘Mojo Rising’.

                                                                                                            Hotly tipped as ones to watch across all corners of the music press the "Rotterdam awkwardists churn underground noise with bracing warped pop appeal" (Mojo). 

                                                                                                            "Their hot blooded sound recalls the extra messy post-hardcore psychedelia of early Flaming Lips or less hi-fi King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard. Stay Tuned." MOJO. 

                                                                                                            “Especially impressive is the way they play with texture and rhythm, locating a sweet spot between snarling chaos and poised precision, and building on the signifiers of the genre’s forebearers.” The Quietus. 

                                                                                                            “Rats On Rafts don’t so much slow down and pull up to their terminal, but rather hammer their foot to the accelerator and drive straight off a cliff.” Loud & Quiet.

                                                                                                            "Their songwriting is superb and shows a seasoned depth far beyond their years. This is a portrait of a band firing creatively on all cylinders. Their time is now. Don’t miss out." Blurt.

                                                                                                            “No one else in American rock, underground or over, in 1974 and ‘75, was writing and playing songs this hard and graphic about being f**ked over and fighting mad. No one else is doing it now.” David Fricke, editor of Rolling Stone.

                                                                                                            And, again, the bad penny shows up. Rocket From The Tombs is back. ‘Black Record’ delivers eight new tracks, as well as definitive recordings of Rocket classics ‘Sonic Reducer’ and ‘Read It And Weep’ and a cover of The Sonics’ ‘Strychnine.’ Still fighting mad. Fronted by founding members Crocus Behemoth and Craig Bell, ‘Black Record’ delivers anthems borne of decades of raw energy coupled with decades of experienced musicianship, firmly assuring its place in the extraordinary history of the band. Loud, hard and fast, ‘Welcome to the New Dark Ages,’ ‘Coopy (Schrödinger’s Refrigerator)’ and ‘I Keep A File On You’ are not breaking rules – the rules broke forty years ago. ‘Waiting For The Snow’ and ‘Spooky’ are not band-aids to malaise – they’re slap-in-the-face wake up calls. Every track is an assault. The band debuted June 16 1974. Between then and August 1975, when it finally crashed and burned, Rocket played a handful of shows, went through four drummers and wrote a set of songs that are now classics: ‘30 Seconds Over Tokyo,’ ‘Final Solution,’ ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ ‘Amphetamine,’ ‘Sonic Reducer,’ ‘So Cold,’ and ‘What Love Is.’ Pere Ubu, Saucers and The Dead Boys formed from the debris field. Over three decades, the band’s reputation spread through underground bootlegs, the cream of which were eventually officially released as ‘The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs’ (2002).

                                                                                                            Thirteen years earlier, a San Diego band, Rocket From The Crypt, inspired by those bootlegs, co-opted the name and went on to forge a notable career. Pearl Jam and Guns N’ Roses recorded covers of Rocket songs. RFTT invited fellow Clevelanders This Moment In Black History to contribute to ‘Black Record.’ "We've had a mutual admiration society going for years. I wanted them involved,” singer Crocus Behemoth said. “I wanted to feel a rival group’s eyes on us as we worked.” 

                                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                            Ltd LP Info: Silver vinyl edition.

                                                                                                            Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                            Building on the breakthrough of her “Glacial Glow” album, and coming off of tours opening for St. Vincent and The Jesus Lizard (something that only makes equal sense for Noveller), guitarist and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate emerged with what AllMusic called “an incredible and complex statement, and one that clearly stands as a challenge to herself and her audience alike.”

                                                                                                            The album. “No Dreams” would continue to elevate her songwriting and soundscaping to new heights, with Pitchfork raving; “Sarah Lipstate creates miniature musical worlds, places that you feel like you’ll never leave as long as the record is playing.” Lipstate, a former member of Parts & Labour and Cold Cave, as well as a collaborator with such luminaries as Lee Renaldo and Jim Thirlwell, along with being a member of both Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army and Glenn Branca’s 100 Guitar Ensemble, has emerged as one of the most exciting and interesting guitarists of this era. “No Dreams” cements her as a talent on the rise. Originally released as a limited edition on the experimental label Important Records, following the success of her most recent “Fantastic Planet” album, Fire Records is reissuing the album on 180 gram vinyl to a wider audience. 

                                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                            LP Info: 180gram LP.

                                                                                                            “Noveller is the nom de musique of Sarah Lipstate, whose precise compositions build on a cathartic repetition of righteous riff action colored with gorgeous loopingfuckdoodlery and noise gush,” explains The Village Voice in introducing her album “Glacial Glow.” The more mannered Wall Street Journal likens her “use of her guitar to explore sonic territory similar to the mid-70s experiments of Brian Eno and King Crimson Robert Fripp.” They only touch on the unique way that Lipstate interacts with her Fender Jaguar and a layout of pedals that Guitar Player has run extensive features and analysis on and inspired Red Bull to anoint her one of the Best 30 Guitarists Under 30. As a member of both Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army and Glenn Branca’s 100 Guitar Ensemble, and as a collaborator with the likes of Lee Renaldo and Jim Thirlwell, Lipstate has emerged as one of the most exciting and interesting guitarists of this era.

                                                                                                            With “Glacial Glow” Lipstate honed Noveller into what Pitchfork called “a stronger, bolder voice” giving “each track a distinct theme, telling wordless stories.” Originally released in 2011 as a limited edition on Weird Forest, following the success of her most recent “Fantastic Planet” album, Fire Records is reissuing the album to a wider audience. 

                                                                                                            Blank Realm's transformation across the Australian mystic from sprawling spaced out psychotic punk blues, through the startling maverick pop psychedelia of ‘Go Easy’ to the widely acclaimed ‘Grassed Inn’, continues in its unrelenting quest for that quintessential synergy of chiming pop anthems.

                                                                                                            Hook-laden throughout they unleash their wild yet tender new album ‘Illegals In Heaven’ which offers up freaked out reflections on life, love and circumstance. As knowing as the Chills or the Pretenders, loner ballads are as gnarled and world weary as Dylan in a cacophony as bruised as Royal Trux yet with the playfulness of Half Japanese.

                                                                                                            Recorded and produced with Lawrence English (head of the Room40 label) on a late night at The Plutonium studio in Brisbane, the album sees them on their first foray into a recording studio. While it wasn’t exactly Abbey Road, it truly captures the chaos and majesty of the band’s formidable live shows.
                                                                                                            It would be all too easy to say that ‘Illegals In Heaven’ is their finest work to date, but the simple truth is that Blank Realm have been without peers for a trilogy of albums, so it just might be as Sarah huskily intones, "Gold" too.

                                                                                                            “Blank Realm are still bent on mixing the diamonds with the rough, and on Grassed Inn that particular swirl is at its most intoxicating.” Pitchfork 8/10

                                                                                                            “Balancing the arty with the party to make for a set of danceable, hook-filled songs that bubble and bloom with an almost biological rampancy, shooting out tendrils of strange, snaking melody in every direction like vines enveloping a ruin” Guardian 4*

                                                                                                            “A cracking selection of scuzzy, fuzzy psych-rock songs that recall Royal Truax and Sonic Youth” Uncut 8/10

                                                                                                            “Blank Realm generate scruffy, VU’s-Sister-Ray-loving grooves, coloured up with blooping synths, and yowling, way-off vocals” Mojo 4* 


                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                            Andy says: Catchy but cool as you like jangle'n'fuzz psych pop/rock from down-under. A big hit on the shop stereo.

                                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                            Ltd LP Info: A limited pressing of 500 Pink and white marble vinyl exclusive to UK Indies.

                                                                                                            Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                            The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

                                                                                                            I Like Rain: The Story Of The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

                                                                                                              Fire Records is proud to announce the comprehensive box set “I Like Rain: The Story of TJPSE”. Issued under exclusive license from Flying Nun, the 3 LPs and assembled bonus tracks showcase the group that best encompasses that label’s difficult arc from cult label in the 80s to a corporate-minded takeover in the 90s. From wildly crashing Christmas parties, to watching the brilliant album that could have changed their fortunes sit on the shelf, and international tours that left them undone, the band evolved, for better or worse, with the shifting fortunes around them. Now you can experience the full story.

                                                                                                              Emerging with one of the definitive songs from the scene, “I Like Rain”, TJPSE began as a band filled with charm at every turn. Making the most of limited recording budgets to find inventive melodies, harmonies, and percussion, and combining them into unique and oddly joyous kiwipop gems.,They also brought us one of the greatest band names in the history of indie rock. “Love Songs” captures all of those early EPs and singles, along with their earliest demos, that were previously delivered famously on cassettes in dog food tins.

                                                                                                              A dark and confident JPSE would emerge with the bracing “The Size of Food”, awaiting their big break overseas. At the same time, their record label was seeking a corporate cash infusion that would come with heavy strings attached. The resulting delays would cause “The Size of Food” to stand as a lost classic of the era, released without fanfare almost 2 years later. TJPSE were doing their best to regain momentum and look ahead, but it wasn’t to be easy.

                                                                                                              “The Size of Food” collects the US version of the album, including the crucial tracks “Cut Out” and “Mothers”. Also included as bonus tracks is the difficult and transitional “Precious” EP. Finally afforded a sizeable recording budget and surrounded by label glad-handing, “Bleeding Star” would see the songwriting axis shift, but also produce some of their strongest material. Able to embrace technology in the studio fully for the first time, the band vowed to make the most of their chance. Supported stateside by Matador Records, they would tour internationally, going from undeniably gleeful to slowly unraveling with each stop along the way. By the time they were ready to return to New Zealand, it was obvious that all 4 members would not be making this trip again. “Bleeding Star” collects the original album on LP for the first time, along with bonus tracks encompassing the final maxi-singles and EPs. Fully re-mastered and re-packaged with aching care, “I Like Rain: The Story of TJPSE” will allow old fans and new audiences alike to be able to enjoy the sound of what makes TJPSE so special. 

                                                                                                              Bringing together Bardo Pond’s three exclusive Record Store Day EPs from the last three years in one, 3xCD package.

                                                                                                              "Specialising in lengthy abstractions, these wigged out Pennsylvanians do sprawling space rock" Q.

                                                                                                              "Reliably transportative swathes of feedback-drenched psychedelica. Bardo Pond's genius lies in the collision of contrasts" Sunday Times. 


                                                                                                              Bardo Pond’ first Record Store Day EP ‘Rise Above It All’ was a breath of fresh air. Their explosive interpretations of Funkadelic's, ‘Maggot Brain and Pharoah Sanders' ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’ are epic performance pieces, taking the listener through a range of emotions as the band explore their innermost creativity. "These tracks represent the apex of sublimity for us” explains Michael Gibbons, “They are archetypes for our way of making music. They both offer the listener a mainline to an emotional epiphany that can only be experienced through listening to these very songs. Through seemingly minimal means, gut wrenching tones and glorious repetition, a gateway opens, endorphins are released, illumination is attained.

                                                                                                              With their humble ethos stunningly executed, RSD 2014 brought the second in what naturally started to look like a series. ‘Looking for Another Place’ was a continuation of their exploration and interpretations, this time they turned their attention to 'Ride Into The Sun' by the Velvet Underground and 'Here Come The Warm Jets' by Brian Eno. The results are astounding.

                                                                                                              The final instalment (RSD 2015) ‘Is There a Heaven?’ closes the series. Bryan Ferry's 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache' and Albert Ayler's 'Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe' are the subject of Bardo Pond’s feedback drenched, heartfelt and considered attention. Loosely formed in 1989 by guitar wielding art student siblings, Michael and John Gibbons, Bardo Pond became a reality in 1991 with the addition of vocalist and flautist, Isobel Sollenberger, bassist, Clint Takeda and drummer, Joe Culver (replaced in 1999 by trainee librarian, Ed Farnsworth). Bardo Pond are the flagship band of Philly's "Psychedelphia" space rock movement, which also included the likes of Aspera, Asteroid No. 4, the Azusa Plane, and tangentially the Lilys. 

                                                                                                              Josephine Foster And The Victor Herrero Band

                                                                                                              Anda Jaleo / Perlas

                                                                                                              Bringing together both of Josephine Foster and the Victor Herrero Band’s Spanish albums in one place, with a previously unreleased track. Anda Jaleo was originally released in 2010. Federico Garcia Lorca's popular folk song collection "Las Canciones Populares Espanolas" was banned under Franco's dictatorship and today the music survives but marginally within the Spanish sub-conscious.

                                                                                                              Taking their cue from Lorca and La Argentinita's infectious 1931 recording of the songs, Josephine Foster and her partner Spanish musician Victor Herrero arranged the poetically rich collection for their acoustic band, formed while living in the Grenadine Sierra. Anda Jaleo is the band's live recording of "Las Canciones"; a visceral celebration of the persistence of popular anonymous song.

                                                                                                              This new edition includes an additional track not featured on the original release, an interpretation of ‘Sones de Asturias’. La colección de "Canciones Populares Españolas" recopiladas y armonizadas por Federico García Lorca fue censurada en tiempos de Franco, y hoy en día la música sobrevive aunque de una manera vaga en el subconsciente del pueblo español. Inspirados por la contagiosa grabación de las canciones de Lorca y La Argentinita de 1931, Josephine Foster y su compañero el músico español Víctor Herrero han arreglado esta poética y rica colección para su banda acústica , formada mientras vivían en la sierra de Granada. Anda Jaleo es la grabación en directo de su versión de "Las Canciones"; una celebración visceral de la canción popular anónima y su persistencia. Following from Anda Jaleo, Josephine Foster and the Victor Herrero Band created a superb follow-up entitled Perlas (Pearls). It is a jewel of a collection, with songs and poems selected by Josephine herself, gathered from dusty old scores and brought vividly to the present with warm performances full of flesh-and-blood emotion. Made with a variety of stringed instruments and simple percussion, the songs were recorded live in the studio on to analogue tape by Paco Loco in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain. Foster breathes new life into timeless traditional melodies, drawing from the Spanish-folk traditions of Castile, the Basque, Santander and the Costa Brava.

                                                                                                              Robert Pollard

                                                                                                              Faulty Superheroes

                                                                                                                Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays Robert Pollard from the swift completion of his latest brilliant record. Faulty Superheroes jets off Pollard's vinyl-grooved runway like the prototype for some new super-sonic power pop fighter jet, and at this point in his career is anyone surprised that the twelve tracks on his latest effort are uniformly awesome? The answer is no. Exactly no one is surprised. The biggest thing Pollard has to contend is his own miraculously consistent greatness. That he rarely if ever stumbles is some kind of marvel, and perhaps implies superpowers of his own. If you see what we did there.

                                                                                                                Faulty Superheroes has a tossed-off, effortless magnificence that the rash of indie-whatevers trailing in his wake from Bee Thousand to the present constantly strive for, and fail to achieve. The constant sense of surprise, of wonder, of discovery that you routinely find in superbly-structured instant bomp classics like "Faster The Great" is not something that can be taught, or learned, or imparted, or copied. Pollard pretty much abandoned the four-track for twenty years now and still gets tagged as "lo-fi," which is a word that makes even less sense now in the days of digital recording than it did then in the days of occasionally tape-hiss smothered coulda-shoulda- been hits. "Take Me To Yolita" in lesser hands could have been not much more than a bad one-liner stretched to fit a pop song, but Pollard reverse-engineers the titular pun to build a Kinks-like mini-epic that elevates the raw material of the song to transcendent heights. "She walks to him but that's not him." Damn. And so it goes. Are there bum notes here and there? Recording accidents-on-purpose left in like crushed empty beer cans strewn around the miniature, glimmering pop/ rock/ psych/ prog construction sites left standing in the wake of each of Faulty Superheroes' finished/unfinished songs? You betcha.

                                                                                                                The Guided By Voices aesthetic was formed and developed and continues to be improved by Pollard, which makes all the more puzzling the hand-wringing that accompanies every announcement of a so-called GBV "break-up" (or for that matter, "reunion."). "You only need one," he sings on the song of that title. As long as we have Bob, we need nothing else. And we have Bob. If you're counting your blessings, don’t forget that one. It's kinda crucial.

                                                                                                                Robert Pollard - Guitar, Vocals, Todd Tobias - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards. Kevin March – Drums. Stephen Hopkins - Bass on "What A Man". 

                                                                                                                Half Japanese

                                                                                                                Volume 3 : 1990-1995

                                                                                                                Formed in the mid-70s, and setting the standard for post-punk ever since, Jad and David Fair and Half Japanese return with a new volume that finds us twenty years into their story. The 90s would see them under a new spotlight as Kurt Cobain used his celebrity to tell anyone that would listen about their greatness, and had the band tour with Nirvana. They would respond with three of the most wild and varied albums in their career.

                                                                                                                Continuing their Fire deluxe reissues of the entire Half Japanese catalogue, Volume Three: 1990-1995 is the third of four volumes containing three LPs/CDs. This next set of Half Japanese LPs begins with 1990’s explosively, noisy and chaotic (sometimes improvised) ‘We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love’ featuring their cover of the Them garage rock classic “Gloria” and two tracks “Titanic" and "Hand Without a Body” that were co-written with the like-minded Daniel Johnston. Two years later the notably more delicate and, dare we say, jangly, ‘Fire In The Sky’ (1992) arrived at a pivotal time for the group when they gained notable recognition from the likes of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub and Yo La Tengo (whose Ira Kaplan guests on the record).

                                                                                                                This highly anticipated third installation closes the trio with 1995’s ‘Hot’ which became MTVs album of the week on release, with Michael Goldbery writing “Hot, mixes Sonic Youth-style noise, Stooges primitivism and ’60s pop with excellent results. “Lucky Ones” is a simply charming number (“A good thing just got better/ As better as better can be”) reminiscent of Jonathan Richman, while “Drum Straight” is dose of feedback drenched skonk and “Vampire” rocks hard liken the Sonic’s “Bull In The Heather.” Fire’s colossal Half Japanese series began last year with the Record Store Day exclusive of ‘Half Gentleman/Not Beasts’, this set contains the records in their original form with extras that later appeared on CD formats available. It will also include original artwork from Jad Fair and liner notes by Half Japanese hall of famer Mark David Jickling. “Cutting straight to the gut. Jad’s phrasing matches surging sentiments, creating a counterpoint to the spot-on music. When they grind out a groove half-rhythmic/half-blank cadences, the woozy disconnect is oddly compelling” Pitchfork’s Best New Reissue (Volume 2: 1987-1989)

                                                                                                                “An impressive and well-assembled study of one of this band's more interesting periods” - All Music.

                                                                                                                “This should also lay to rest any questions about the importance of Half Japanese. Without them, we wouldn’t have the primitive pop of Beat Happening nor the id-bearing beauty of Daniel Johnston” - Paste Magazine. 

                                                                                                                Pere Ubu

                                                                                                                The Pere Ubu Moon Unit

                                                                                                                “Pere Ubu has never visited Cleveland, Ohio, but it sounds like an interesting place and we hope to go there one day.” David Thomas // Since the American Federation of Musicians have blocked Pere Ubu from performing in America, the band has renounced not only its American ‘citizenship’ but also its American past. The Pere Ubu Moon Unit, a subset of the band, has released 'Leeds,' a petition to the authorities in that English town, to grant Pere Ubu asylum as a band that formed in Leeds, in 1975. Those authorities are a specially convened congress of the members of Gang of Four, Sisters of Mercy, Soft Cell, The Mekons and The Wedding Present. Any member of the congress may object and Pere Ubu will then turn to the authorities in Port Talbot for sanctuary. Following on from their improvised sets on their Visions of the Moon Tour, 2014, the Pere Ubu Moon Unit was born as solution to the often irritating conversations regarding Support Bands.

                                                                                                                David Thomas says “if we're going to have to endure crappy support bands then we'll do it ourselves. The Moon Unit plays a 30 minute show of songs made up from nothing.” ‘Nothing’ never materialised. Instead, there were half hour continuous performances that opened unique new pathways in the Pere Ubu sound. Songs were formed, the musicians pushed their own and each other’s boundaries, Thomas was Ringmaster, with sleight of hand and voice. Whilst unmistakably the ‘sound’ of Pere Ubu, these sessions were raw and fascinating, and it was only through chance that a recording was captured. This album was recorded at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, during the November 2014 tour of the UK. This intelligent and theatrical recording exudes the unrelenting energy that was witnessed by the audience during these ‘support’ sessions. It is an extraordinary and just addition to the Pere Ubu story. At the end, Thomas concludes with a suggestion to the observers, “If you were cool like Jimi Hendrix, or something, or Brian May… you’d turn that into a national anthem”. 

                                                                                                                The first thing the listener will notice about Ricked Wicky is that it is the most musically adept project Guided By Voices' mage Robert Pollard has undertaken in some time, at least since late period-GBV (Half-Smiles of the Decomposed, for instance), or even Boston Spaceships. "[Ricked Wicky] is a sophisticated arena rock band," says Pollard, and I Sell The Circus offers in evidence a series of ball-peen hammers to the brain-pan ("Piss Face" with its James Gang-era slide guitar and the proto-punk stomp of "Intellectual Types," for example) alongside more delicate, prog-tinged frippery ("Cow-Headed Moon" features "Court of the Crimson King"-esque mellotron, while the acoustic guitar mastery displayed on "Even Today and Tomorrow" recalls the mellow-era ELP of "Lucky Man").

                                                                                                                Credit the players: bolstering the easy mastery of a dizzying array of song writing forms one naturally expects (and receives) from Pollard are the impressive instrumental prowess of fellow Daytonian Nick Mitchell ("no blood relation to Mitch," Pollard stresses), who can otherwise be found in near-weekly performance at Wings, an important Dayton sports bar, multi-instrumentalist and producer Todd Tobias, and "the worldly Kevin March," (Pollard again) who does double duty these days in Guided By Voices. These guys can play, and on I Sell The Circus, they play the fuck out of the songs. "The band named Ricked Wicky is significant in that it is the very first name I created for a non-existent band in my early teens," explains Pollard. Fourteen of its fifteen tracks were recorded at Cyberteknics in Dayton, a studio Pollard has come to use with increasing frequency due to its profusion of vintage analogue gear.

                                                                                                                Used to great effect on ISTC: "Rotten Backboards" is as gorgeous and melancholic a tune as Pollard has ever written, and lyrically sounds a note of wistfulness that long-time fans will not find unfamiliar. "She can run, 'cause that's what I did," sings Pollard over a sublimely-textured background of synth-strings, arpeggiated guitar, piano, and clattery drums, and while it's tempting to read real regret into the content ("rotten backboards" as a metaphor for the debris of the past), it's always dangerous looking for autobiography in Pollard's mostly-fictional constructions. And anyway the misty wistfulness is cleared away immediately by the sharply propulsive prime-Who swagger of the next -- and final -- track "A Real Stab." Which seems to be about needles, or the messengers of Oz, or paper bags. It's one of the best songs on an album of standouts. "Some may wish to refer to us as a 'super group,'" says Pollard, tongue practically poking through his cheek, but as with a lot of the pronouncements made by the oracle of Huffman Prairie, as no one has ever called him or ever will, he's joking, but he's not joking. Ricked Wicky may not be a super group as the term is too-commonly used, but there's no real doubt they're a super group.

                                                                                                                Fire Records are delighted to announce the addition of Sterling Roswell to the fold. The former Spacemen 3 drummer and multi-instrumentalist self-released and sold out of a limited run of 300 copies of the album earlier in the year to great acclaim, including a rave review in Mojo (as well as a pick by Andrew Weatherall in the same magazine) and it was album of the month in Rough Trade Shops who described the album like this: "Lavishing in pop structures but drawing in myriad influences to the wondrous black hole, The Call Of The Cosmos features some shimmering spaciousness but also sleazy exotica-themes, not unlike a Lee Hazelwood production infected with Joe Meek's ghost.

                                                                                                                Roswell's own songwriting and voice recalls a solar-fried Bobby Gillespie, an artist he no doubt originally influenced with the Spacemen 3. Elsewhere, there's truly psychedelic excursions into outsiderdom which come off like The Seeds mutating ever larger into lysergic-dipped monsters." Any attempt to categorize Sterling Roswell, runs the risk of misrepresenting a true radical. Artist, musician, poet and producer, Roswell is all of these and more and over the years he has embraced a myriad of artistic forms to great effect. For the live shows he will be joined by the band The Psychedelic SRB featuring a rotating collective of musicians including the fantastic George Frakes (lead guitar), Syd Kemp (bass) and Tucker Nelson (drums). They not only bring the album The Call Of The Cosmos to the live stage but in the midst have created their own unique space age sound.

                                                                                                                Live appearances, both solo and with The Psychedelic SRB, always hold audiences spellbound and is THE act to see in this new age of psychedelia. The Call of the Cosmos features the singles 'Interplanetary Spaceliner','Give Peace Another Chance' and 'a remix of The Girl From Orbit', cementing the elements which have infused Sterling's work since his days with Spacemen 3, his multi instrumental driving force behind The Darkside and his innovative psychedelic soundscapes as a studio engineer and producer. The album stands testament to a new message for Interplanetary Peace and features a truly fitting tribute to the late, great front man of THE SEED, Sky Sunlight Saxon with a cover of the song 'Tripmaker', which was originally featured in the Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda movie The Trip in 1968. "Baudelaire once wrote, 'music excavates heaven'. Listen to this record and you might just have to agree." Andrew Weatherall / Mojo

                                                                                                                Robert Pollard, head lunatic of the Guided By Voices' asylum, has a surfeit of original thoughts. (Most people are lucky to have even one, ever). That this even needs to be expressed is evidence enough for its "truth," as only obvious or obviously untrue things can ever hope to be true. Or to approach the truth. Something Pollard does with uncanny regularity, and which is further on display on every track on the gloriously unkempt, roiling-with-ideas More Lies From The Gooseberry Bush, the second record Pollard has released under the nom-de-rock Teenage Guitar.

                                                                                                                Here's a song title: "Matthew's Ticker and Shaft a. come to breakfast b. the girl's c. division of swans d. when death has a nice ring." It starts with distorted guitar over a primitive snare-and-bass-drum beat (all instruments on all songs played by Pollard), shifts into an out-of-tune piano clumping along a simple seven-chord progression, lurches into a wall of distorted guitar as two tracks of Pollard wail wide-panned in each speaker, before finally resolving in a pretty harpsichord (or some synthesized version thereof) figure inelegantly trips over itself before trailing off into the next track: "The Instant American," which presents a multi-tracked Pollard vocals chanting over a background of what sounds like a bunch of people at a party drinking. These are not the two strangest tracks on the fifteen-song album, which clocks in at just over thirty minutes.

                                                                                                                If there are times when Pollard's musical ambition seems to overwhelm his ability to present his ideas coherently, that's a feature, not a bug. The spazzy machine-generated beat of "A Guaranteed Ratio," the ham-handed church organ of "Good Mary's House," the off-key crooning, the awkwardly plucked possible-banjo on "All You Fought For" the general (but not always) sloppiness, the rumbling toms and slashing power chording of "New Light": it's all of a piece, and that piece adds up to a sense of urgency and what sounds an awful lot like unconstrained joy suffusing every single track on More Lies From The Gooseberry Bush. For those who like their Pollard stately, tuneful, and elegiac – sure, he can do that without effort, but that's not what Teenage Guitar is about. Teenage Guitar is about trying hard without seeming to try hard.

                                                                                                                The result is that rare thing: a completely original album. Which is also a true delight, a sky-blue gem, a timeless and untimely cabinet of wonder. And by some few miles the greatest musical artifact your ears will have the pleasure of encountering this year.

                                                                                                                The music of Scraps is a unique cosmic universe of emotions, thoughts and bedroom sound. Utilising a minimalist set up of drum machine, keyboard and synth mixed with a life time obsession of the electronic pop music of yesteryear allow Laura Hill's ideas to come alive. These are not cute brainless love songs however. Although love is an inspiration in a lot of the songs, the lyrics and themes mostly deal with the darker painful side of that irrational emotion. Depth comes in the way Hill can effortlessly blend the banal drudgery of everyday living with the abstract and surreal. Meditations on the sadness of a fleeting human existence, strange attractions to machines and the technical world, to the ever present escapist allure of outer space and the dream world. All this set to some of the finest and (I dare say) catchy pop music this side of the 21st century.

                                                                                                                Scraps is a distinctly unique artist borne directly out of her environment. Scraps has not gained her small but incredibly loyal and growing cult following through media saturation, blog hype, or a money backed promotional whirlwind. It has been acquired through the independent and uncompromising nature of her spirit, the authentic DIY quality of the music, and her honest approach to songwriting and performing. Strong releases on hometown Brisbane record labels Bedroom Suck and Disembraining Machine have complimented an already dense discography of hand made, self released material. Scraps has performed relentlessly all over Australia and abroad to a wide variety of people alongside an even wider variety of bands and artists. From drunken suburban house parties, inner city generator squat shows, art galleries, cafes and bookstores, museums, drug fuelled nightclubs, rural raves, reputable and disreputable pubs, to some of the biggest venues in town as international support. The fact that Scraps can effortlessly transcend these often starkly contrasting spaces is a testament to the quality of her abilities as a songwriter and performer.

                                                                                                                Electric Oceans is a culmination of years spent lost in the independent music wilderness. Experience has been gained through Hill continuously pushing herself as a musician, artist and human. Scraps is not your typically modern spoilt rich kid flash-in-a-pan solo synth songsmith. Tough battles have been fought and either won or lost, both personally and creatively - the results of which are more than evident on this record.

                                                                                                                The first thing you might notice about Hospitality's second album Trouble is what you don't hear. The process of completing Trouble was, for the band, one of learning to accept silence, to let that empty space exist no matter what it might awaken or evoke. You could catch glimpses of these dark and unexplored places in the margins of Hospitality's 2012 self-titled debut, but they are at the very heart of Trouble. If you listen closely, you can hear a band pushing against their own boundaries and limitations until they find the very air around them subtly but perceptibly changed. The trio of Amber Papini (guitar, vocals), Brian Betancourt (bass), and Nathan Michel (drums) approach Trouble with the force and unity of a well-rehearsed touring rock band. They supplement their performances with strategically placed strings, synthesizers, and drum machines. But silence is an inescapable force on Trouble, an invisible fourth player that draws you into the unexplored corners of familiar sounds: the full, ghostly decay of a reverb tail, the round pluck of a bass string, the exact syllables where a doubled vocal line diverges. In its lyrics and its musical construction, Trouble is an album that wonders about the mysteries that lurk just beyond our field of vision. Slyly and sympathetically, Papini ponders a Saturday afternoon fishing trip as a wrenching interplay of life and death, the perfect blue sky at an air show as a setting for a soured romance.

                                                                                                                Papini elaborates: "Most of the songs are about everyday environments that arouse anxiety or unease. The ocean isn't meant for people; we aren't supposed to be there, and some of the animals that live there are much bigger and faster than we are in the water. I think a lot of the songs deal with this 'out of place' kind of theme, feelings of unease and the questions of what is under you or what surrounds you." Trouble creates a space where conflicting sentiments and experiences are given room to coexist, where small and seemingly mundane observations pose big questions that hang in the air, unanswered and unanswerable. With a title referencing the artist's endless struggle in the battle between creativity and outside forces, Trouble also explores the universal themes of loss, love, and loneliness with Papini's trademark wit. Lines like "And if I'm lost and low / And need you / I'll disconnect the line" from "Inauguration" somehow make the ultimate kiss-off seem charming, while nature makes clear the loneliness felt when leaving someone you love behind in these lines from "I Miss Your Bones": "And all the stars will / Twinkle in the midst of a sea / Of black and lonely /An everlasting loss lack abyss." It's fitting that the album was hashed out in band practices that blurred the boundaries between work and leisure, darkness and light, creative collaboration and friendship.

                                                                                                                Foregoing the usual night-time hours kept by musicians, the band chose to work on these songs during daily morning rehearsals that proved in many ways more demanding than characteristically relaxed night-time gatherings. Through these sessions, the band sought to take their music as far as they possibly could as a three-piece, to make sure that every small gesture fell into place and played a vital role in constructing the shape and feel of the songs. The band carried this daylight-infused clearheadedness with them into the studio with chief arranger Nathan Michel and engineer Matt Boynton acting as co-producers. Nathan describes the process: "We really wanted to avoid the ornamental, but I always like to add more sounds. Matt was helpful in keeping the arrangements as simple and direct as possible. We all wanted the record to have a warm and open sound." When put to tape, some of the songs for Trouble worked better than expected as fierce and focused trio performances, while others called for more substantial re-imaginings. "I Miss Your Bones" emerged almost entirely from a live performance, while "Inauguration" found the band ripping apart their live arrangement and reconstructing the song with drum machines and synthesizers. The album unfolds like a walk on the beach or a journey to a place you didn't know you were going. Perhaps a darker sound overall, but Trouble begins with the trademark Hospitality pop then unfurls to reward the listener with the more expansive stripped-down instrumentation of side B. And here, again, is that distinctively present silence, creating a space where an undulating synthesizer feels as alive and mysterious as a single voice in a room.

                                                                                                                Combo Time was the second and last album to be released by Medway veterans The Len Bright Combo, featuring front man and songwriter Wreckless Eric. One of the most influential artists to emerge from the Stiff Records stable, Eric had one of punk’s biggest hits with “Whole Wide World” in 1977. Following the immediate rush of their debut with a quick punch to the jaw, The Len Bright Combo returned to their DIY recording set-up for a second long player in the same year, making sure to capture their ramshackle power before it was suddenly extinguished. These recording have now become extremely rare and sought after, so these Fire reissues are sure to be very welcome. An explosive beat combo ruling over the mid-80's UK Medway scene, The Len Bright Combo paired Wreckless Eric with the ramshackle rhythm section of Russ Wilkins and Bruce Band (formerly of Billy Childish's The Milkshakes).

                                                                                                                Putting today's garage pretenders to shame, the combo recorded two albums of rough and ready pop blasts, with the shake and stomp never losing Eric's sharp wit, or melodic punch. Hardly in step with the UK fads of the day, the trio toured with their own PA system, blasting out performances like each one could be their last. Soon, it would be, as they parted ways after two underground albums released in the space of a year, leaving behind a collection of smoldering gems. This reissue will finally make the albums widely available and have been lovingly re-assembled, including detailed and entertaining liner notes from Eric himself, taking us back to those days, warts and all.

                                                                                                                Howe Gelb

                                                                                                                Little Sand Box

                                                                                                                  Here is the Little Sand Box, an 8 CD box-set featuring all six commercially released solo albums by Giant Sand frontman HOWE GELB. Each album has bonus tracks and alternative takes and also included is the Sno Angel Winging It live CD and a selection of piano pieces entitled Some Piano. The Little Sand Box includes liner notes from Howe, with an introduction from Sylvie Simmons, presented in a 48page perfect bound booklet.

                                                                                                                  Albums included in the Little Sand Box are :
                                                                                                                  1. Dreaded Brown Recluse
                                                                                                                  2. Hisser
                                                                                                                  3. Confluence
                                                                                                                  4. The Listener
                                                                                                                  5. Sno Angel Like You
                                                                                                                  6. Sno Angel Winging It
                                                                                                                  7. Alegrias
                                                                                                                  8. Some Piano….

                                                                                                                  "The solo albums came about as an afterthought", Howe explains, "loving better the notion of hiding inside a band like Giant Sand for the rest of my life. When life demanded something else, then they began to happen." At first severely home-made and lo-fi with "Hisser" during the days when Rainer was critically ill. Followed by the depressing "Confluence" when everything turned to shit in the late 90s. And back up again and running fine with "The Listener", which began the resurgence of the sonic spirit during a surprisingly long stint in Denmark. That path would then lead to the sizzling season with a full gospel choir attached in Ottawa, Canada with the release of "'Sno Angel", and shockingly Mojo's 5 star praise of it. Next would come the most gratifying time spent surrounded with guitars in discovering the city of Cordoba, Spain and recording "Alegrias". This recording, the Spanish critics declared, melded indie-rock pluck with the prowess of Flamenco strum in a rarefied way that was heralded significant instead of the usual 'touristo' failings to marry Flamenco with anything. It also attracted one of Spain's most famous guitarists into the session, maestro Raimundo Amador. Cordoba felt like the closing of a significant circle, feeling more like home then home, due maybe to my own DNA and probably the originating point of what one-day would become Tucson. The album was so wonderfully received in Spain and granted me a kind of peace, now in my 50s, to find myself in such exquisite company whereby the sonic pathways thru gospel and Flamenco all began with meeting Rainer (Ptacek)."

                                                                                                                  Orchestra Of Spheres

                                                                                                                  Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music

                                                                                                                  New Zealand’s Orchestra of Spheres return with their second full-length album, Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music, a surreal road-trip through a hyper primal, fuzzed-out, synth laden, garden of Eden. Recorded in Italy in September 2012, in the midst of an epic 70+ gig European tour, this album captures the band as a live, hot, dynamic unit ... a futuristic bunga-bunga party band for 22nd century boom-boom cults!! Born out of Wellington’s fertile creative music scene in 2009, the Spheres quickly gained a crowd of devotees, entranced by their sonically and visually ecstatic live shows.

                                                                                                                  Their sound is an explosive brew concocted from the primitive, machine-like drumming of Jemi Hemi Mandala, the quicksilver synths of Mos Iocos, the intricate bass lines of EtonalE and the psychedelic biscuit tin guitar work of Baba Rossa. Chanted vocals bring a hypnotic, trance inducing element to many of the tracks, especially in the crowd favourite, Mind Over Might. Recorded onto 24-track tape at Outside Inside Studio, Montebelluna, Italy, this was the first time the band had recorded in a real studio. Sweaty summer nights, sleep-depriving mosquitoes and abundant fresh local fungi made for a magic combination, and the group banged out all the tunes in one or two takes. The vintage recording gear and mixing talents of Mojo Matt Bordin bring a garage quality to the bands’ ancient future funk, and NZ artist Kerry Ann Lee’s other-wordly landscapes and magic voodoo scenes adorn the album’s cover. Two weeks after recording, half the band’s gear was stolen from the back of their tour van in Poland. Now, somewhere in suburban Krakow, the Spheres’ unique homemade instruments, including the sexomouse marimba and electric gamelan, are changing the sound of the Polish underground for the better.

                                                                                                                  Sleep Dreamt a Brother is the new album from musician and artist Mathew Sawyer, due for release on Fire Records in October. Mournful, lush arrangements that sound almost medieval at times with stark strings, classical guitar and piano overlaid by Sawyer's bare, distinctive vocals and creepy foley sound effects. The record is a place. Not the representation of a place, but something inhabitable. With a clearer vision than his other records, the album is very notably about death. Sawyer wrote and recorded the majority of the album following the loss of three friends a few months apart in 2011 and completed it two weeks before his son was born. As Mathew explains: "When I talk about death or loss I want it to be the feeling itself, not just a representation of that feeling."

                                                                                                                  Mathew Sawyer is a renowned painter and artist and has a Masters from The Royal College of Art. He has exhibited all over the world (he was The Guardian's artist of the Week and his exhibition at the Rokeby Gallery was previewed in Time Out). He created a painting as cover art for Sleep Dreamt a Brother, which features a man raising his arms with death mirroring this action. They're a reflection of each other. They're brothers. In Greek mythology, Hypnos and Thanatos are brothers. They are Sleep and Death. The title Sleep Dreamt A Brother imagines Sleep dreaming his brother into being. The record views life and death as just a memory or a dream of the other, and tries to reconcile the gap between them. It considers the dream world to be just as valid an experience as the waking world, and that death is like a dream we'll have. Mathew says; "When I die, I'd like to die in the night time as dreaming in sleep is not of this world anyway. Lost in a dream is nothing to be afraid of." The album was recorded and produced by Sawyer at his home. "I like recording to be hand in hand with everyday living. The sound of cars come through the windows, the phone rings, floorboards creak. These sounds all played an important role in making this record. Studios are quiet and lifeless." Although this record is under his own name, previously he has gone by the name of Mathew Sawyer and The Ghosts, and before that just The Ghosts.

                                                                                                                  Fire Records will be reissuing the first 3 albums by the Lemonheads, Hate Your Friends (1987), Creator (1988) and Lick (1989), featuring copious bonus tracks and many never-before released rarities and live recordings. Together, these seminal albums showcase the band's early punk rock roots and trace the Lemonheads’ transformation towards becoming one of the most successful and influential bands in indie rock. Before the 90s. Before the internet. Before Nevermind. Back when something called “independent music” first began reaching a wider audience, through college radio, word-of-mouth, and that small “underground” record store you seem to find in every town…there was a band from Boston called Lemonheads.

                                                                                                                  High school friends Ben Deily and Evan Dando, Lemonheads’ primary songwriters, co-guitarists and co-vocalists, first recorded together on 4-track cassette in the spring of 1985; by the end of the decade they—together with bass player Jesse Peretz, sometimes-guitarist Corey Brennan, and successive drummers Doug Trachten and John P. Strohm—had created a body of recordings which would see them on MTV’s fledgling “120 Minutes,” beating out the Grateful Dead on college radio charts, and entering the consciousness of a generation of music fans. Cited as influences by artists as varied as Billie Joe Armstrong and Ryan Adams, these fledgling Lemonheads recordings—part rock, part pop, part unique hybrid of the 80s punk styles beloved by the band members—mark the start of the trajectory that would eventually lead to “mainstream” success and stardom for a later version of the band. But they also represent a distinct, never-repeated phase of the band’s history: one that is finally receiving the attention it deserves.

                                                                                                                  Lick is the third full-length album by the Lemonheads, and the last to feature founding member Ben Deily. It was the group's last independent label-released album before signing to major label Atlantic. An odd mixture of brand-new, and considerably older, sounds, 1989’s Lick brings together the output of several distinct recording sources: six brand new songs recorded with Minneapolis-based band friend and producer Terry Katzman, and a collection of older, B-side and never-released material originally overseen by producer and engineer Tom Hamilton. The difficulties of writing and creating a new full-length album every year (Hate Your Friends and Creator were released in 1987 and 1988, respectively) are clearly in evidence on Lick. While the newest material (“Mallo Cup,” “A Circle of One,” “7 Powers,” “Anyway”) hints at promising new song writing directions for both Deily and Dando, there’s an almost valedictory sense of the past in the inclusion of versions of “Glad I Don’t Know” and “I Am a Rabbit” (from the band’s first-ever, self-released EP), and the now-classic track “Ever,” a previously-unreleased tune from the original 1986 Hate Your Friends sessions.

                                                                                                                  At moments, Lick almost sounds like an elegy for itself—or an elegy for a band that has reached the end of the beginning. Also audible in the heterogeneous songs are the tensions of line-up changes—and inchoate, growing frustrations. After various band break-ups or threatened break ups (such as Dando’s brief departure to play bass for Boston band the Blake Babies), the Lemonheads convened to record new material for Lick now featured Dando on drums, Peretz on bass, Deily on guitar (and “piano,” according to the album credits) along with the addition of long-time band friend—and former member of TAANG! labelmates Bullet LaVolta—Corey Loog Brennan on lead guitar. And yet the frenzied, quasi-ironic hammer-ons of Corey’s axe provide some of Lick’s most entertaining moments—like the unaccountably-translated-into-Italian paen to 70s detective Ironside, “Cazzo Di Ferro.” (The song’s music was originally composed by Brennan for his Italian punk band, Superfetazione.) After the album’s completion, Deily opted out of the subsequent European tour, before leaving the band permanently. Jesse Peretz stayed on to record their Atlantic records debut Lovey, but left after the supporting tour in '91. Since then, Dando has been the Lemonheads' sole permanent member.

                                                                                                                  BONUS TRACKS: Features bonus tracks including several never-before-released live tracks from a 1987 radio session, live tracks and an interview from the 1989 European tour, and the 4 tracks of the Lemonheads self-released debut EP, Laughing all the way to the cleaners.

                                                                                                                  Creator is the second album by legendary Boston band The Lemonheads. Still featuring the full original line-up of Evan Dando, Ben Deily, and Jesse Peretz, the album also includes John P. Strohm (of the Blake Babies, Antenna, and Velo-Deluxe) on drums. From the oddly surreal album cover image (a snapshot of friend and high school classmate Ivan Kreilkamp, originator of the name “Lemonheads,” clutching a box of Cheerios) to the themes of death, dreams, obsession, and mayhem that haunt the material, Creator is weird, ambitious, and markedly moodier than its predecessor—without having lost the band’s irreverent sense of humour. Also evident in this sophomore effort is a newfound attention to idiosyncratic detail—from the precisely timed inter-song pauses and sound clips, to the carefully-crafted song order of the album’s original 13 tracks.

                                                                                                                  Creator finds Ben Deily once again slipping in quotations from Emily Dickinson (“Burying Ground”) and references to Matthew Arnold (“Come to the Window”), while Dando breaks new ground in song writing complexity (the rich sonic tapestry of “Out”) as well as arrangement, ushering in the band’s first-ever acoustic recording (his cover of Charles Manson’s “Your Home Is Where You’re Happy”). At the same time, the band still fires off blistering punk rock (“Clang Bang Clang,” “Die Right Now,” “Take Her Down”) and finds time to lovingly trash Kiss’ 1977 classic “Plaster Caster.” Recorded in one coherent series of sessions—unlike its predecessor, Hate Your Friends, and its follow-up Lick—Creator is, for all its musical schizophrenia, arguably the most coherent of the Lemonheads’ TAANG-era recordings.

                                                                                                                  BONUS TRACKS: This Fire Records re-issue features bonus tracks including never-before-released live tracks from a 1988 radio session (featuring a never-before-heard configuration of the band, including guitarist Ben Deily on bass and vocals); also includes an original song (“Cease to Exist”) never released on any album, and a performance by Juliana Hatfield.

                                                                                                                  Hate Your Friends is the 1987 debut album by the Lemonheads, one of only three full-length releases to feature the original band line- up of Evan Dando, Ben Deily, and Jesse Peretz. The album showcases a hardcore-punk-to-pop-rock sound and sensibility as playfully fierce as it is surprising…especially to listeners who know the band only from their better-known major label recordings of the 1990s.

                                                                                                                  The roots of Hate Your Friends begin with the genesis of the band itself: when high school friends Ben Deily and Evan Dando—inspired by a shared love of the 70’s absurdist comedy troupe the Firesign Theatre, literature, and punk rock—began playing their own songs together in 1985. Dando and Deily first started out as a two-piece ensemble: swapping back and forth between a shared Guild guitar (and a crappy amp) and vocal mic, and pounding a drum kit “borrowed” from the high school jazz band. With the addition of classmate and friend Jesse Peretz on bass, the two-man outfit quickly became a power trio. With a handful of original songs, a passionate love for their favourite bands—from Husker-Du, the Replacements, Black Flag and the Germs, to the Saints, Wire and ‘77 UK punk—and a tiny recording budget, the Lemonheads set about their first studio session within days of their high school graduation in June of 1986.

                                                                                                                  During that summer, a significant amount of what would become the band’s debut album was recorded in Brookline, Massachusetts, with Deily and Dando sharing vocal, guitar and drumming duties. Above and beyond bass, Jesse proved pivotal as the band’s manager, booker and tireless promoter—helping arrange for the Lemonheads self-released debut EP, Laughing all the way to the cleaners, later that summer, and shortly thereafter helping establish the relationship with Curtis Casella of TAANG! records that paved the way to full-length LP Hate Your Friends. Finally, with the addition of full-time (and fairly short-lived) drummer Doug Trachten, the last songs of Hate Your Friends were recorded in the winter of 1986-7.

                                                                                                                  BONUS TRACKS: This Fire Records re-issue features bonus tracks including 12 never-before-released live tracks from a 1987 radio session, rare tracks from the early compilation Crawling From Within, and additional tracks not included on the original release of Hate Your Friends (“Buried Alive” and “Gotta Stop”).

                                                                                                                  Scott & Charlene's Wedding

                                                                                                                  Any Port In A Storm

                                                                                                                  The impeccably named Scott & Charlene’s Wedding are back with not so much a brand new album, as a generation's glimpse of love, home-sickness, basketball, alienation, rock and roll and all things that matter to an expatriate Aussie stranded in New York. Any Port In A Storm is fated to become your essential backdrop to the summer of 2013.

                                                                                                                  The brainchild of the amiable and unashamedly charismatic Craig Dermody, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding offer a sonically charged take on the Lemonheads’ ramshackle melodicism and Pavement’s lo-fi drawl. Following the success of Critical Heights' recent reissues of the band’s debut album Para Vista Social Club and the follow-up EP Two Weeks, the new album sees their first new recordings for over two years capturing Dermody at a pivotal time in his life. He has further developed his gloriously ragged anthems to reach new heights of nonchalant perfection.

                                                                                                                  Having uprooted from Melbourne, Australia to New York, New York, the Big Apple has replaced Melbourne as inspiration his latest trials and tribulations. His heart-on-sleeve lyrics reveal tales of everyday Dermody life, somehow more absurdly unhinged, humorous and poignant than the lives of his peers. All coming from a man with a clear mission to update the rock’n’roll template beyond his inspirations and influences as Scott & Charlene's Wedding effortlessly sprawl across the generations, linking the vintage swagger of the Velvets to the off-kilter pop perfection of the Only Ones by way of the Stooges and Television. The eleven electrifying tracks taking us on an intimate journey with Craig Dermody and his daily struggles, like a peak in to his personal diary.

                                                                                                                  He documents his move from Melbourne to New York to follow a girl. ‘Fakin NYC’ sees him adjusting to life in a new city, having to find a new job and feeling out of place as a security guard for a trendy bar. ‘Lesbian Wife’ sees him being caught in the middle of the biggest storm ever to have hit NYC and feeling homesick for Australia.

                                                                                                                  "... the execution for his frustration is point perfect-- his sleepily conversational vocals fold into his sunny, jangling guitars seamlessly" Pitchfork.

                                                                                                                  Bardo Pond

                                                                                                                  Rise Above It All

                                                                                                                    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2013 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                                                    2 track LP featuring covers of Funkadelic's 'Maggot Brain' and Pharoah Sanders' 'The Creator has a Master Plan'…. Bardo Pond return with a special release for Record Store Day in the form of a limited edition LP featuring their explosive interpretations of Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” and Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has a Master Plan”. With “Maggot Brain” running to over 21 minutes and “Creator…” at fifteen minutes, these are epic performance pieces, taking the listener through a range of emotions as the band explore their innermost creativity. As Michael Gibbons from Bardo Pond explains : “These tracks represent the apex of sublimity for us. They are archetypes for our way of making music. They both offer the listener a mainline to an emotional epiphany that can only be experienced through listening to these very songs. Through seemingly minimal means, gut wrenching tones and glorious repetition, a gateway opens, endorphins are released, illumination is attained. We stand in the light emanating from these Pyramids of Sound. We humbly rolled them up in the Lemur House as a form of pilgrimage. Please partake. Thanks.” Loosely formed in 1989 by guitar wielding art student siblings, Michael and John Gibbons, Bardo Pond became a reality in 1991 with the addition of vocalist and flautist, Isobel Sollenberger, bassist, Clint Takeda and drummer, Joe Culver (replaced in 1999 by trainee librarian, Ed Farnsworth). Bardo Pond are the flagship band of Philly's "Psychedelphia" space rock movement, which also included the likes of Aspera, Asteroid No. 4, the Azusa Plane, and tangentially the Lilys. They favour lengthy, deliberate sound explorations filled with all the hallmarks of modern-day space rock: droning guitars, thick distortion, feedback, reverb, and washes of white noise.

                                                                                                                    Spacemen 3

                                                                                                                    Sound Of Confusion

                                                                                                                      Spacemen 3’s debut album "Sound Of Confusion", released in 1986, was a blistering affair - establishing their love of the two-chord song and also expressing their admiration for the likes of MC5, The 13th Floor Elevators and The Stooges. Sound of Confusion was 7 tracks of overdriven assault, with a strange bleakness and despair creeping through the hypnotic sprawl. R Hunter Gibson would later say: "It boosts the value of unlit rooms, unpaid debts and unfeigned terror and it would rather tackle the gradients than settle for level best.

                                                                                                                      Fire Records will be reissuing SOS JFK , the one and only album from folk two-piece The Children’s Hour, which featured Josephine Foster and Andy Bar. Initially released in 2003, the album introduced audiences to Foster’s enchanting vocals and poetic folk, which would be developed to staggering effect in her later solo recordings, such as the recently released critically acclaimed album Blood Rushing (Fire Records). The Children’s Hour were an acoustic duo comprised of members Andy Bar and Josephine Foster. The two friends first connected in 2000 in a short-lived rock trio called Golden Egg, and then on a lark formed the pop song-writing duo oriented toward more naïve themes. Foster was a recent opera school dropout and the band became a vehicle for her to explore singing in a non-operatic manner into a microphone and learn to play the guitar. Bar was finishing studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and was honing a personal and highly melodic fingerpicking style inspired by bossa nova in particular. They were heard performing in a Chicago dive bar and given a surprise invitation to make a studio recording (SOS JFK), which both found to be an extremely nerve-wrecking learning experience. Meanwhile fans of their music rose up from unexpected corners, even invited by the band Zwan to open all the shows of both bands´ maiden tour. Initially conceived of as a modest front porch collaboration and side project, the band did not withstand all the attention long. Bar and Foster took meandering paths in diverse directions, although the two remain stalwart pals and both continue to dedicate themselves to the muses.

                                                                                                                      This is the reunited Guided By Voices' third album of 2012, in case you had lost count. Many bands struggle to release three albums in their career, never mind three in one year. It would be one thing if these were tossed off lo-fi affairs of the sort one might expect from the fellows who made the defining records of that so-called genre, Bee Thousand (1994) and Alien Lanes (1995). While the debut from the reunited "classic" line-up, Let's Go Eat The Factory, contained its share of basement gems, both that record and its follow-up Class Clown Spots A UFO are notable more for the preponderance of properly recorded rock: a testament to the years bandleader Robert Pollard has spent refining both his songwriting and his approach to recording. The Bears For Lunch is not a great deal different in that regard, but right off, from the opening track "King Arthur the Red," with its full-throated riffery, slam-tastic drums, and even some show-offy lead guitar shredding, it's evident that GBV Mach 2 may just now be hitting its stride. The progression is not dissimilar to the one the band made from Alien Lanes to its 1996 high-water mark Under The Bushes, Under The Stars, both in terms of longer, more fleshed-out songs and let's call it a semi-pro approach to recording fidelity.

                                                                                                                      For all the well-deserved acclaim GBV's first two records this year have garnered, Bears is a step up in every sense. This isn't to say there's a whole lotta gloss going on, and certainly the album has its share of more casually considered songs, but from the relentless drum figure that fuels sure-fire-live-staple and obvious single "Hangover Child" ("the best thing [drummer] Kevin [Fennell]'s ever played" sez Pollard) to the chugging, melancholic, melody-mad "White Flag" ("I think you know this time it's real," Bob sings over an almost New Order-ish bass line) to the propulsive, early-R.E.M.-inflected album closer "Everywhere Is Miles From Everywhere," the 19-song 43-ish minutes long Bears delivers a gut-punch as sure and assured as anything the band's ever dished out. And that's without mentioning the stellar contributions of Tobin Sprout ("The Corners Are Glowing" and "Waving At Airplanes" are particular standouts), bouts of unrestrained whimsy like "The Military School Dance Dismissal," featuring what sounds like seven Robert Pollards singing in unison/harmony over a Beatle-esque piano line, the punning workplay of "She Lives In An Airport," or the staggering work of heart-breaking genius "You Can Fly Anything Right." Add to this Pollard's two excellent 2012 solo albums, a raft of festival appearances and some club touring, and you have possibly the most consistently productive output ever in one year from a band and a songwriter already noted for its/his insanely prolific nature. That said, in a year of highlights, The Bears For Lunch may well take the most cake.

                                                                                                                      Ned Collette And Joe Talia (Wirewalker)

                                                                                                                      Long You Lie

                                                                                                                      FIRE records presents the experimental songcraft of Ned Collette & Wirewalker. Their new album "2" is due out in August and ‘Long You Lie’ is a double AA side EP which also features ‘The Hedonist’. Ned Collette moved to Berlin from his native Melbourne two years ago. A well known and respected singer-songwriter in his own country and in underground circles worldwide, he has toured Europe previously with the likes of Joanna Newsom, Akron/Family, Bill Callahan and Nina Nastasia. His early musical output was based mostly in experimental music, before he gravitated towards more traditional song structures.



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                                                                                                                      We now have @slowdiveband signed albums in. Thank you for popping to our pop up shop @bluedotfestival guys. https://t.co/qvq2SqExmk
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