Amusement Parks On Fire came to prominence in 2004 with the release of the eponymous debut album on Geoff Barrow (of Portishead)'s Invada label. The unit then retreated to Sigur Ros' private swimming-pool sanctuary Sundlaugin in Iceland to complete the sophomore release 'Out Of The Angeles'. The band crash-landed in Los Angeles in 2009 to make 'Road Eyes'. Again inspired by the locale, the collection was intended as 'a skewed Californian contemporary-classical', with Alternative Press characterizing it as 'sun-drenched, challenging and gratifying - a near-perfect album'.
Initially envisaged as a much longer, expansive volume, the record is now newly available as a 'deluxe' edition, appended with a second disc of nine unreleased cuts.
Let us be direct: these songs are so beautiful; they evoke so much.
It’s always the people in between, the ones who straddle genres, that make the most exciting music. So even as Secret Shine—in their guitars, in their harmonies—echoed the sound we call shoegaze, the drift we call dreampop. they brought a level of pop smarts to their music, an emotional depth, that in the right moment (or the wrong moment—especially the wrong moment) can move me to tears.
You could call them the last great shoegaze band of the shoegaze era. One hears in these songs a final glorious breath right before Britpop arrives and money becomes more important than art, before digital life becomes ubiquitous, and our lives accelerate into fragments and chaos and oblivion, all of us feeling anonymous and yet always under constant surveillance.
Let us be direct: Secret Shine made music that was entirely human, expressive and unfiltered. Hearing it today, it sounds like freedom.
Genius is a lot of things, but mostly it’s just of good timing. And now that Time has, in a linear sense, ceased to exist at all, maybe Secret Shine can be allowed to exist without being defined by their musical influences. Let Secret Shine be simply Secret Shine—one of the most emotionally powerful bands of their era, or any era you want to put them in.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
At times, Crash City Saints sound like a powerpop band in shoegaze clothing. 'There's No School Tomorrow,' a song that prompts the equation GBV+MBV=CCS, might shower us in sparks, but it grooves like The Cars.
What do you say about a band that's been able to take the best parts of MBV, Smashing Pumpkins, Galaxie 500, cut out the worst parts and make an album of 12 great songs?
Back in the early 90's Secret Shine got snatched up by seminal indiepop label Sarah Records, because Sarah could hear the hooks in the haze, the vitality in the vocals, so much more than a trend, so much more than a sound. It's obvious Secret Shine grew up in love with pop, in love with ABBA, in love with the Smiths. But oh what a sound they make.
Anchor is the first record from dream-pop veterans Trespassers William. RSD 2016. 500 pressing (worldwide). Recorded in 1998 while the band were still teenagers in their native southern California, the album shows the band developing their signature sound within the context of singer/songwriter Anna-Lynne Williams' always beautiful and haunting songs. Though the expansive soundscapes they would explore on later recordings are more subtly presented here, the atmospheric melodies of guitarist Matthew Brown still gracefully complement Anna-Lynne's ethereal vocals.
With the band expanded to 5 pieces just as the tracks were being sketched in, the contributions of new personnel and a more live approach to recording make for an album with a solid rock sound and dynamics. Tracks like "Glow," "Metro" and the lead single "Stay With Me" reach massive intensities, while more downtempo songs like "Mirror" and "Not There" lose you in space and texture. Other tracks, like "On Bright Days" and "Auto Zen" take an amped-up and breezy, dream pop approach. Building on the sonic energy of their first release (last year's self titled EP), Drowner, on their first proper long player, presents a band at ease with experimenting outside of their shoegaze and dream pop beginnings. Many of the same elements are here, but are more nuanced: layered vocals are brought to the fore, the arrangements are more confident and the balance of noise, shimmer and melody, more finely rendered. The instrumentation expands to include warm piano and slide guitar, bringing a hint of soulful country. True to their foundations, Drowner's You're Beautiful, I Forgive You, is smoldering and cinematic, lyrical yet powerful; a compelling and listenable record.
19 NEW ITEMS
209 NEW ITEMS
MorrisseyAll The Young People Must Fall In Love (Bob Clearmountain Mix) / Rose Garden (Live At The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville)
Various ArtistsA Disco Fantasy - Inc. Sylvester, Louie Vega, Amp Fiddler, Sweet Tooth T & Greg Wilson
Tue 22nd - 11:45
Mon 21st - 3:23
Mon 21st - 2:41
Sun 20th - 11:47