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Night Beats

The Sonic's 'Boom'

    Few artists loom larger in the garage-rock legend than THE SONICS. With raunchy, cult classics such as “SHOT DOWN” and “HE’S WAITIN” off their 1966 album, BOOM, the pioneering band staked their claim on rock ‘n roll, putting the Pacific Northwest scene on the map and cementing their place as heroes for future generations. Those that followed include Danny Lee Blackwell’s NIGHT BEATS, a group with its own underground origins as well as a direct, fuzz and feedback-coated link between the impact of THE SONICS and their own potent sound. It’s this connection that led NIGHT BEATS to record BOOM in its entirety, a proper homage to their musical forbearers. Blackwell, along with an arsenal of ace musicians manage to maintain the spirit of original recordings like “CINDERELLA,” “DON’T YOU JUST KNOW IT,” and a particularly unhinged version of “LOUIE LOUIE,” while injecting their own brand of earth-quakin’ soul-shakin, maximum R&B. Blackwell takes the lead on vocals and guitar, interpreting Gerry Rosalie’s mean scream with ease. Mike Brandon holds things down on drums as his partner in crime, bass genius Nate Ryan, while Julien O’neill grooves things up on keys and Joe Santa Maria wails on the horns. Finishing touches come from Marlon Rabenreither on acoustic guitar, plus Cole Alexander and Dan Gerbang on backing vocals—all working together to keep THE SONICS’ legacy intact, even as they tear the whole place down. Next time you hear a loud boom and your windows rattle, it’s probably a sonic boom alright; but on the other hand, it might just be “THE SONICS BOOM.”

    Unloved

    Heartbreak Instrumentals

      Unloved release a very special companion piece to their critically acclaimed 2nd LP ‘Heartbreak’ for Record Store Day 2019. These instrumental versions reveal the full depth of the album’s productions and give a fresh perspective on the cinematic beauty of the music, as used in the soundtrack for hit BBC Spy drama ‘Killing Eve’. Perfectly complemented by pulp romance cover inspired artwork by Julian House, director of the band’s ‘Heartbreak’ and ‘Guilty Of Love’ music videos, this limited release is not to be missed. Limited to 500, includes download.

      Big Wows is heavier, harder and weirder than Stealing Sheep’s previous work. Bold neon pop songs with rave percussion, steelpans, dreamy segues and breathy experiments. The *fsszzt* sound of lemonade opens the album with a hyper-real sense of optimism that progressively reveals the cracks of dystopian irony amidst sugar–coated pop; held together by Emily Lansley’s bass guitar, Luciana Mercer’s drum kit, Rebecca Hawley’s synths, and the trio’s swooning steely vocal harmonies.

      Stealing Sheep describe Big Wows as “a slow rush”; taking shape over a period of nearly three years spent working out exactly what they wanted it to be and creating an album that levitated their identities as individuals as well as merging them into one unit “We’re each finding our own creative intuition,” says Bex “..and then we come together...and we back each other up" adds Lucy.

      Just as the title suggests, Big Wows is both cynical and optimistic: dreaminess and pop dance rhythms are cut With eye rolling vocal styles inflected by heartfelt lyrical messages “We hit upon this conversational-style between the vocals and have alternating lead melodies. There's a sarcastic tone to some of the music but there is always a strong wilfulness to incorporate honest integrity, which is hard to do but refreshing when it finally comes out.”

      Side one opens with a burst of shimmery synths as ‘Show Love’ and ‘Back in Time’ lead you heart first into the headier feels of ‘Jokin' Me’ and upbeat bounce of 'Why haven't I?' following into the more progressive grooves for ‘Girl’ then fading out with the narcoleptic comforts of ‘Just Dreaming’. Side two digs deeper into a dreamworld, with the manias and hallucinations of ‘Breathe’ and ‘True Colours’ as well as the gorgeous disillusionment of the title track and ending with an unexpected tropical club banger ‘Choose Like You’.

      Running through the whole record is a response to living in a tech era: “We wanted sounds to represent TVs, computers and everyday glitches” says Bex “We started to have this feeling that life is like a game and how you can malfunction when you're blasted with too much information…” As well as composing with traditional instrumentation they also started songs solely on the computer; sequencing, building sounds, drum machines and responding to that non-emotional binary world. “The big challenge,” continues Bex “is making machines sound organic, emotional, finding their flaws. That’s why Delia Derbyshire is so important to us. All the effects that she uses serve to humanise the machines.”

      Since the release of their last album, 2015’s surreal and fantastical ‘Not Real’, they’ve been in demand as multidisciplinary public artists as well as musicians – on projects including Wow Machine, which brings to life another more conceptual strand of ‘Big Wows’; in a mechanical light up stage with dancers and live music. This summer they also performed at UK festivals with a 15 strong all-female procession to celebrate the centenary of Suffrage. “Being female has become more of a theme in our work” the band say. “It's obviously always been there but now we're playing with it more conceptually and thinking about empowerment"

      This greater confidence and rock-solid aesthetic mean that Stealing Sheep can take greater risks and reap more wonderful rewards. They have a broad range of influences – St Vincent, Michael Jackson, The Knife, Kraftwerk, Drake, Little Dragon - but they remain so resolutely and richly themselves. “We try new things out and we get more confident about what we like.” says Bex. "There’s a really good thing Grayson Perry says about developing your creative intuition. You get to a level as an artist where you know on a gut level what you like and what you don’t like. It takes a long time to feel comfortable in that place, to know your palette, to know you like these drum sounds or whatever it is.”

      Lucy is working with a full drum kit now instead of just toms, Emily is playing bass guitar, Bex is making her own synth patches and they’re all using new equipment: they are developing and experimenting and moving forward together. “We wanted the machine sounds to be juxtaposed against a full kit and bass guitar, which we tracked live to feel intentionally loose in places. We like the idea of placing robotic tech next to real life energy.”

      The songs began at home or in their studio at Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory, laying down the main body of the tracks, then the band worked with various producers – including Marta Salogni (Bjork, MIA, Factory Floor), Andy Smith (Years & Years), Ash Workman (Christine & The Queens, Metronomy) and Joe Wills (video artist for Little Dragon) – as they’ve tried out different mixes and ideas to convey their messages. They also teamed up with 8bit video artist Pastle Castle (Emily Garner) from Leeds, who created a Karaoke video series for the whole album; exploring Stealing Sheep's digital dimension and their shifting identities amidst changing cultural moods and millennial paraphernalia. "It's a crazy time and it's challenging navigating through it, but it's like 'whatever' bring on the BIG WOWS.’


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: I remember being slightly surprised when Dave told me I should give the new Stealing Sheep single a listen a few months ago (Dave and I have canonically opposed tastes in music), and I actually really liked it. Throbbing synths, sugary percussion and huge 80's reverbs but with perfectly precise production and more than a nod to that classic sound of Italo disco. There's no way this isn't going to be a hit, and it deserves every minute of it.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Splatter disc with mirri-board sleeve (first pressing edition only).

      Right as the clock was striking midnight on the last day of the year, King Gizzard issued Gumboot Soup, an entirely new 11-song collection. "Greenhouse Heat Death" and "All Is Known" are microtonal jams that roil and boil like the songs on Flying Microtonal Banana, the metallic "The Great Chain of Being" has the proggy feel of Murder of the Universe, and a bunch of mellow tracks ("Superposition," "I'm Sleepin' In," "The Wheel") could have been warped a bit and slotted right into Sketches of Brunswick East. The rest of the songs are strong neo-psych that would have fit well on the grab bag that was Polygondwanaland; the soft rock "Beginner's Luck" would have been a highlight with its marshmallowy chorus and jabbing guitar solo, and the same goes for the almost funky "Down the Sink," which reveals a loose-limbed side the band doesn't often show. So yes, it's a collection of castoffs and almost-weres, but the amazing thing is that it sounds like a greatest-hits collection made up of songs that are fully realized and played with passion and weirdness, not a half-baked slag heap. In case anyone needed it, Gumboot Soup is yet more proof that King Gizzard were firing all year long on all five cylinders, plus about four more that most bands don't have, and the body of work they created is immensely, intensely, jaw-droppingly impressive.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Though I feel like I might be getting RSI from writing about King Giz, amazingly they've managed to smash out yet another killer LP, full of their trademark hooks and off-kilter psychedelic scree. Once again, a completely realised and cohesive collection comes from the KG camp.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited opaque orange coloured vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Baxter Dury

      Miami

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

        Heavyweight 180g White vinyl                                                                              
        Speaking on the remix, Baxter stated:Jarvis I guess isn’t interested in doing things politely, this is a different song, possibly a better oneMiami (Original)BBC 6 Music:B-LISTED: MIAMI w/c 02/10, 09/10, 16/10A-LISTED: MIAMI w/c 23/10Miami - (Jarvis Cocker and Parrot Remix)the Queitus - 6th top track of 2017 http://thequietus.com/articles/23768-tracks-of-the-year-songs-2017Trevor Jackson - "can't start to tell you how much i love this mix, love the original too and hearing this made me buy the album, which i love too! thanks for sending."Joe Goddard / Hot Chip - "Amazing tune"Kelvin Andrews / wONK / Soul Mekanik / Creative Use - "I'm a big fan of Baxter. This is just great. Nice work Parrot & Jarvis! Thank you! Playing this out loads!"

        From Melbourne by way of Brisbane, Confidence Man are unarguably one of the hottest acts on the planet right now. A portable party that’s levelled dance floors and flattened festival crowds as it’s rolled out across the world, they are a machine custom designed to make you dance and lose your cool.

        Without doubt set to be this summer’s most joyously exciting new band, they have to be seen to be believed – upfront there’s a statuesque chap clad only in a pair of nothing-to-the-imagination hot pants next to a woman in a custom designed baby-doll dress and shorts combo while behind them lurk two shadowy mute figures on drums and keyboards, each stripped to the waist and veiled secretively in what look like a satanic beekeeper’s hats made of a material so black, the light seems to fall into it.

        If Janet Planet, Sugar Bones, Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild weren’t a band already you’d be snapping at their heels demanding they form one quick-sharp. Fact is, they are, and on Friday 13th April 2018 they release Confident Music For Confident People, their 11-track debut album for Heavenly Recordings.

        The band have already offered a glimpse of what’s in store on Confident Music For Confident People – recent tracks Boyfriend, Bubblegum and Better Sit Down Boy were big and brash and bright as hell, like Dee-Lite tooled up and ready for our berserk modern times.

        Confident Music for Confident People sets eleven tales of 21st century ennui to irresistible, irrepressible dance music. The opening lines of Try Your Luck (“I must confess/I’ve been sleeping with your ex/’Cos I heard he was the best/I must confess/I never would have guessed he would get so obsessed… I’m not surprised”) set the tone perfectly for what follows.

        Here is a set of songs that take the kind of all-consuming interior monologues that bored, disaffected youth are wrestling with the world over and places them square in the middle of the dance floor before adding call-and-response choruses for good measure – it’s the best collection of perfect pop music you’ll hear all year, the perfect embodiment of the characters that made it that somehow manages to be both wildly ambitious and deceptively simple at the same time.


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: 'Don't You Know I'm In A Band' perfectly encapsulates the whole vibe behind Confidence Men, brash, bold and more than a little conceited, they take the stereotypical entitled hilarity of stardom and turn it into a bitingly ironic, brilliantly accomplished synth journey. It's ridiculous, but it's totally brilliant. Heavenly have gone out of their comfort zone on this one, and absolutely smashed it.

        King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

        Polygondwanaland - Heavenly Edition

          With an insanely prolific year, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard return with their twelfth album, Polygondwanaland to journey into the depths of the mind and the limits of the universe. The Australian 7-piece have made a name for themselves with a steady stream of new material since their inception 2010, blending everything surf rock, prog, soul, folk, metal, garage rock, and even elements of spoken word and cinematic presentation, creating a large buzz and rabid fanbase stretching far across the globe from their Melbourne roots. this album is full of the psychedelic rock outfit's jazz and groove laden jams.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: For all of you who missed out on the Piccadilly Records exclusive beer splattered vinyl version of this, their TWELFTH LP, then here it is brought to you by the wonderful Heavenly records on CD and standard LP. If you haven't heard it yet, then get on it, or they'll have another one out before you get chance.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd LP Info: 180 gram black vinyl.

          Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

          Nonagon Infinity

          Recording, releasing and touring a couple of albums in 18 months is beyond the realms of comprehensibility for most bands, but then King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard aren’t ‘most bands’. Forget a couple of albums, Friday April 29th 2016 marks the release of Nonagon Infinity, their fourth long-player for Heavenly Recordings in a little under a year and a half. Workshy they ain’t!

          After the acid-flecked cosmic jazz of Quarters and the hazy, pastoral, acoustic bliss of Paper Mache Dream Balloon, with Nonagon Infinity the Gizzard once again dive head-long into the gonzo freak-beat frenzy that mark both their Heavenly debut I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, and their perpetually in motion, double-drummer propelled live show.

          Recorded by Wayne Gordon, Paul Maybury, Michael Badger and Stu Mackenzie at Daptone Studios in Brooklyn, in keeping with their indefatigable spirit the 9 track album may be the world's first infinitely looping LP. Each of the nine, complex, blistering tracks on Nonagon Infinity seamlessly flows into the next, with the final song linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic mobius strip.

          Although little is known about H Hawkline at this stage, international record collector, occasional DJ partner and hirsute head Andy Votel divulges that he is “from a family lineage that comprises of 70s radio DJs and Welsh Horror movie stars.” He continues: “H Hawkline’s own place in the limelight often cascades and intertwines with the likes of his close friends Cate Le Bon [who produced this album], Sweet Baboo and Gruff Rhys. As an adept multi-intrumentalist main vein Huw Evans claws his influences from a broad outernational record collection comprising of Faustian Krautrock, Welsh Damp Wave, Turk Jerk and South American pre-punk.”

          An album of “strange pop” (words borrowed from Huw), ‘In The Pink Of Condition’ is a controlled explosion of laser-guided guitar melody (think a careering Television show or Pavement outside the original site of Spillers) and whipsmart bi-lingual wordplay.

          Although reluctant to cite a shopping list’s worth of influences, Huw nods to two permanent inspirations - the maverick US author Richard Brautigan (the Hawkline name is appropriated from Brautigan’s 1974 ‘gothic western’ ‘The Hawkline Monster’) and a just-turned-solo Paul McCartney (Huw namechecks ‘Ram’, an album coincidentally recorded when the once-and-future Beatle was also twenty-nine). From the former, a wistful ways with words - songs constructed as slices of life, surrealist observations on the everyday. From the latter - what else would one ask for other than a just smidgeon of McCartney’s sixth sense for abundant, tumbling melody?

          Toy

          It's Been So Long

            The second 7” to be released from the album ‘Join The Dots’.

            Screen printed 7” of 500 copies. Also available as a digital download.

            As with their debut album, ‘Join The Dots’ was recorded mostly live with Dan Carey at the helm, although increased studio time has enabled the band to experiment more with Carey’s laboratory of effects and pre-amps, and embellish their swirling, psychedelia, Krautrock indebted tracks with overdubs.

            Toy’s swirling, psychedelia, Krautrock indebted debut album arrived almost exactly 12 months ago.

            Dan Carey sits at the controls once again on ‘Join The Dots’, released via Heavenly Recordings.

            As with their debut, ‘Join The Dots’ was recorded mostly live with Carey at the helm, although increased studio time has enabled the band to experiment more with Carey’s laboratory of effects and pre-amps, and embellish the tracks with overdubs.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Andy says: As good, if not better than their superb debut. And you can't say that too often! A much more powerful, physical record, but with those shogazery melodies still intact.


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