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PAVEMENT

Pavement

Brighten The Corners - Reissue

    Pavement's fourth proper LP seems to be a direct response to anyone who thought 1995's "Wowee Zowee" sealed a downward spiral from indie-pop heroes to incomprehensible, in-joke nonconformists. On "Brighten The Corners", the rock hero in Pavement re-emerges as the dominant stereotype, making the lyrical idiosyncrasies on which critics of the band like to harp into witty window-dressing. Nowhere is this dichotomy better heard than on the electrifying opener, "Stereo", which rages with anthemic power-chords and a rock-star chorus ('Hey! Listen to me! I'm on the stereo'), while also pondering the longest-standing mystery in rock, the voice of Rush singer Geddy Lee ('how did it get so high/I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy').

    Musically, "Brighten The Corners" extends the rock tradition to the other side of Sonic Youth's dissonant discoveries while staying free of grunge's self-defeatist mentality. No longer a group of lo-fi pranksters, Pavement has tightened up into a mighty ensemble, able to jam like psychedelic maniacs (the closing "Fin") or fly by night like punks on speed ("Embassy Row"). Lyrically, Stephen Malkmus and co-conspirator Scott Kannberg (aka Spiral Stairs) have started questioning where they belong in a late-90s world seemingly devoid of secrets and mysteries. Their declarations present yet another yin-yang to the Pavement whole: Kannberg's answers seem to lie in emotional stability, Malkmus' in the never-ending search itself. These uncertainties of dealing with one's unrecognised worth play out like an Irvine Welsh novel: the chapters full of spunky glee, the ending steeped in melancholy.

    Pavement

    Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Reissue

      Originally released in 1994, this was Pavement's second album, and it signaled the end of Pavement seeing themselves as a recording experiment and the beginning of Pavement as a full time touring band. One of the casualties of this change was the eccentric and usually drunk drummer Gary Young (included here are eight tracks of pre-album Gary Young sessions), whom was replaced by Steve West who bought a greater stability to the line up. The new line up recorded "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" in NYC, and it proved to be an instant indie classic, packed with superb tracks including singles such as the awesome "Cut Your Hair", "Range Life" and "Gold Soundz".

      Pavement

      Terror Twilight - Reissue

        Where 1997's "Brighten The Corners" saw Stephen Malkmus and his merry band of indie rock pranksters shine a light on the band's rock-centric qualities, "Terror Twilight" harkens back to 95's "Wowee Zowee", when Pavement were all about the shambolic sprawl of Alternative possibility. Of course, four years later the context is entirely different - the band's fate as rock's (commercially unsuccessful) great post-Nirvana hope is nearly sealed. And maybe that's where both the terror and the twilight come into play - in the realization that preaching sprawling possibility to the converted is more a noose than an open field, that failed expectations are a setting sun.

        So, a downbeat spirit pervades "Twilight"'s songs. And in this gloom, Malkmus looks for and finds soft, dark, melodic wonders: "Spit On A Stranger" turns its eye towards relationships, "Major Leagues" towards a careerist's self-worth, and "Ann Don't Cry" tries to be an anthem for outsiders while visibly flashing its own lonely tear. It's not until the closing "Carrot Rope", a sunny bit of mid-tempo Pavement-pop-foolery with two competing and overlapping vocals, that a major-key ray of light is cast upon the proceedings. Let's hope that this little light is enough to get them through the night.

        Pavement

        Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement - Reissue

          ‘Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement’ spans the entirety of Pavement’s career from 1989 to 1999, from the scratchy and mysterious sounds of their early vinyl-only releases to the rich, multi-layered warmth of their final recordings.

          Pavement

          Slanted And Enchanted - Reissue

            In 1992 "Slanted And Enchanted", arguably the first and best release of 90s 'slacker rock', felt like a compendium of all the very best post-punk moments from the previous fifteen years as well as a surprising new combination of wit, absurdism, noise and pop. All these years later, the album is still fresh, still exciting and still makes most of the competition sound derivative and lazy. So to summarise; still slanted, still enchanting.

            Pavement

            Westing (By Musket And Sextant) - Reissue

              Westing is a compilation of Pavement's early singles and rarities, that shows the band growing from the initial "Slay Tracks" EP through to the singles and EP's from their first two albums.


              Pavement

              Wowee Zowee - Reissue

                "Wowee Zowee", originally released by Matador in April 1995 on the eve of Pavement's infamous mud-bespattered mainstage appearance at Lollapalooza, began life as a controversial release. Fresh off the success of "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" with its chart topping Modern Rock hit "Cut Your Hair", the band went into the studio and came out with a deliberately chaotic and eclectic album that sounded nothing like its predecessor. With influences from the Groundhogs to the Frogs, Captain Beefheart to the more obscure mid- 80s central California hardcore bands featured on Maximum Rock'n'Roll comp "Not So Quiet On The Western Front", "Wowee Zowee" confused critics and alienated fans. How fantastic, then, that it went on to scan 122K copies and became many fans' fave Pavement album. A return to their pre- Crooked cacophony, the songs have a darkness that now seems appropriate, and with Bryce Goggin at the mixing desk, the production was the band's most rocking to date.

                Pavement

                The Secret History, Vol. 1 - Reissue

                  The strangest thing about Pavement? Not that there were ever many non-strange things about Pavement? Even though they made their era’s finest rock albums, the albums only told half their story. Pavement also made some of the Nineties’ best albums that never happened. Until now.

                  Pavement made five proper album-as-albums: ‘Slanted And Enchanted’ (1992), ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’ (1994), ‘Wowee Zowee’ (1995), ‘Brighten The Corners’ (1997) and ‘Terror Twilight’ (1999). Each has its own sound. Each has its own legend. But each of their official albums has a shadow album - and it’s usually as strong as the album that actually did come out. It’s time for the world to hear the albums Pavement could have made if they’d been a little less ambitious about music and a little more ambitious about the music business. If they’d been the kind of band to sweat the legacy. But if they were that kind of band, would they have written so many great songs? Much less these great songs?

                  The first, naturally, is ‘The Secret History, Vol. 1’, collecting the songs that got away during the era of ‘Slanted And Enchanted’, which Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg and Gary Young recorded on the cheaper-than-cheap in January 1991. This album collects gems from Peel Sessions (‘Kentucky Cocktail’, ‘Circa 1762’) and 7”s (‘Baptist Blacktick’) as well as live slop from the first European tours, with Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich in the fold. Some are outtakes from ‘Slanted And Enchanted’ - imagine leaving these tunes off your first album, when as far as you know or imagine, it’s your only album. These tracks (some of which had never been rumoured among Pavement freaks) came out on the 2002 ‘Slanted And Enchanted’ reissue. But they’ve never been separately available as an album in their own right and many of them have never been on vinyl before.

                  Pavement

                  Sensitive Euro Man / Brink Of The Clouds/Candylad

                    Matador Records is excited to announce the release of a three-song shaped picture disc commemorating the 25th anniversary of Pavement’s 1995 album Wowee Zowee. The special disc, cut in the shape of the speech bubble found on the cover of Wowee Zowee, features the tracks “Sensitive Euro Man” and “Brink of the Clouds/Candylad” that first debuted on Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels, the expanded edition that was released on CD in 2006, and will be available on vinyl for the first time via Matador Records globally. Limited to a one-time press of 3,000 copies.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd 7" Info: 7” speech bubble-shaped picture disc.

                    Heaven 17

                    Penthouse And Pavement

                      Original members of Sheffield’s Human League, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh left after the first two albums and formed Heaven 17 in 1980. Named after a fictional band in Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange”, they recruited Glenn Gregory on vocals (who had been the original choice for lead singer of the Human League).

                      Signed to Virgin Records, debut single “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” attracted a lot of attention in March 1981, and a BBC Radio 1 ban. Debut album “Penthouse And Pavement” was released in September 1981 and was certified Gold the following year. This album also features the singles “Play To Win” and the title track, along with key track “The Height Of The Fighting”.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: 180g white vinyl.


                      Latest Pre-Sales

                      184 NEW ITEMS

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                      To celebrate @shamebanduk new album ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ the band are broadcasting a 12 hour live stream this Tuesday… https://t.co/fwKFy9AJvs
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