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TROUBLE IN MIND

Nightshift

Homosapien

    It’s been three years since Glasgow musical collective NIGHTSHIFT’s last album (“Zöe”, 2021) & aside form an odds & sods tape compilation “Made Of The Earth”, the group has remained relatively quiet on the recorded front. Newly regrouped into a quartet, the band has readied their proper follow up to “Zöe” & their third album “Homosapien”, again for Chicago’s Trouble In Mind Records.

    Recorded & mixed in the band’s rehearsal space by members Chris White & Rob Alexander, “Homosapien” started to take shape in Summer 2023. Writing had begun prior, but due to a crucial lineup change, the band had to start again. Thankfully, once they regrouped, the assembly and recording of the new set of songs was fun and relatively quick. Notably, the band has lost some members, gained a new member & shuffled some roles; former drummer Chris White (Spinning Coin) is now on guitar. His distinctive playing delivers a

    countrified energy that is central to the album, leading the song structures into more succinct and colorful places, matching the upbeat and playful nature the band has always drawn strength from, only more so now under his stylish approach. Primary vocalist & keyboardist Eothen Stern (also of 2 Ply)’s lyrical gifts illuminate the group’s output with an optimistic urgency that is unmatched. On ‘Homosapien’ she wears her heart on her sleeve, but even in the song’s darkest moments, the words create a sense of hope and potential. She doesn’t shy away from politics or contemporary love languages and finds humor, earnestness, and critique at every turn. Andrew Robert Doig continues to play bass (Dancer/Robert Sotelo) and provides occasional lead vocals on tunes like “Together We Roll” & “Mellow Baby”.

    Newest member & drummer Rob Alexander (Tarantula/Radio Banter) allows for a second new development in the band dynamic. Replacing Chris (his longtime friend from childhood) is no mean feat. Thankfully his drumming is an avalanche of skillful technique with a glorious abandon that swerves it away from the academic and absolutely into a wild and tactile performance that lifts the sound of the album (he also plays accordion and tin whistle). Friend & colleague Ray Aggs (Shopping, RAGGS) also contributes fiddle to “Sure Look” & “Phone”.

    NIGHTSHIFT’s newest songs were born out of some genuinely existential times (birth, death and love all played a very real part in the gestation of the new record). Songs like first single “Crystal Ball”, “Cut” & “Side Effects” all touch upon struggle created by an ever encroaching fascist government (exacerbated by Brexit) & the effects austerity has upon their people. Other songs like “Sure Look”, “Phone” & “Crush” deal with matters of the heart while “Your Good Self” & “Together We Roll” take on self-preservation & community. It’s a great irony that the band are sculpting their most succinct and tuneful music yet from this potential chaos, but it’s this unexpected quality that drives them onwards into a dizzying universe. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Crystal Ball
    2. Sure Look
    3. Together We Roll
    4. S.U.V.
    5. Your Good Self
    6. Cut
    7. Side Effects
    8. Phone
    9. Y.T. Tutorial
    10. Mellow Baby
    11. Crush

    Klaus Johann Grobe

    Io Tu Il Loro

      RIYL: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Air, Cavern of Anti-Matter, Neu!, Marcos Valle, Todd Terje, Klaus Dinger, Blank Realm.

      FOURTH album from the Swiss duo. Six years have passed since Swiss-based duo Klaus Johann Grobe's last long player "Du bist so symmetrisch" (2018) and you'll hear they've come a long way. "Io tu il loro", their fourth album for Chicago-based Trouble In Mind Records was written over two weeks in a cabin at the very end of a remote Swiss valley, where - pretty much at the same place - Klaus Johann Grobe came up with their whole debut full-length "Im Sinne der Zeit" album in 2014. What started out as simply making music again quickly turned into seriously making a new album. Once decided, the whole thing was finished rather quickly and recorded once again at David Langhard's Dala Studio at the end of 2022.

      "Io tu il loro" is a record that cannot be done by endlessly fiddling around with hundreds of ideas and sounds. All it needed was a real break (Dani and Sevi didn't work on any Grobe related stuff until they met up in the mountains in 2022). It's an album with a blurry vision and soft limitations. You can somehow feel them looking back on all their work forgivingly and then moving on to what felt right. So here we are with nine tracks full of embracing warmth, so melancholicly welcoming you don't know if you want to smile or cry. Some might call it timeless, some might call it dad-rock... well, it certainly isn't disco for the masses, it's more like, "If I can't make myself dance after four beers, I can as well go home." So, no disco? No syncopated synths? No German? No reverb? Where's The Grobe? Take your time, you'll notice Klaus Johann Grobe aren't gone, they just took a turn before driving yet into another unknown. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Highway High
      2. Getting Down To Adria
      3. Never Going Easy
      4. When You Leave
      5. Try
      6. Bay Of Love
      7. Io Sempre Di Tu
      8. Better Do
      9. You Gave It All 

      The Tubs

      Dead Meat

        London group The Tubs return to Trouble In Mind with their hotly anticipated full-length album entitled “Dead Meat”. The band were formed in 2018 from the ashes of beloved UK post-punk band Joanna Gruesome by former members Owen 'O' Williams and George 'GN' Nicholls. By incorporating elements of post-punk, traditional British folk, and guitar jangle seasoned by nonchalant Cleaners From Venus-influenced pop hooks and contemporary antipodean indie bands (Twerps/Goon Sax, et al).

        “Dead Meat” is resplendent in hi-fidelity strum & thrum, incorporating fleeting elements of post-punk and indie jangle, but the group’s penchant for trad British folk & Canterbury folk-rock takes a noticeable, caffeinated step forward. Echoes of Fairport Convention’s decidedly English chime cross swords with singer Owen Williams’ lyrics directing Bryan Ferry’s “thinking man’s libertine” persona into a more dolorous outlook. Many songs (like “Round The Bend” and “Duped”) soar with an urgent strum under Williams’ acerbic lyrics, recalling a younger fiery Richard Thompson. They languish in an aching, bitter resignation (of both the situations described & the protagonist’s place in it), particularly near the album’s second half. Others like the previously released “I Don’t Know How It Works”, “Two Person Love” and “Illusion” (re-presented here as “Illusion Pt. II” and all rerecorded from their original 7-inch versions) up the urgency, implying that the journey for the person described in each tune is not over & may be even more desperate than before. The band has never been tighter & more dynamic, often imperceptibly ratcheting up the tension, an extra guitar strum overdubbed, a barely audible organ/synth cranking under a chorus or bridge, or unexpected backups from current Ex-Vöid (and ex-Joanna Gruesome) vocalist Lan McArdle. The Tubs are poised to take over your stereo - there’s no point in resisting.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Martin says: Urgent, energised and utterly compelling debut from Joanna Gruesome offshoot; a motorised, razor sharp fusion of chiming guitars, folk stylings and punk fire that might just owe a lot to Hüsker Dü. Or, even if it doesn't, it scratches the same buzzsaw pop itch. "Wretched Lie", which closes the LP, is a nailed on classic.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Illusion Pt. II
        2. Two-Person Love
        3. I Don’t Know How It Works
        4. Dead Meat
        5. Sniveller
        6. Duped
        7. That’s Fine
        8. Round The Bend
        9. Wretched Lie

        Sunwatchers

        Music Is Victory Over Time

          In the decade or so that hard-working New York quartet Sunwatchers have operated, the group has steadily & subtly refined their sound - a brain-blasting mixture of jazz, psychedelia, krautrock, punk, noise, & Saharan blues - into something that is avant-leaning enough to appeal to the discerning jazz & experimental music fan & weird & wooly enough to get the true heads’ toes tapping. “Music Is Victory Over Time” is the band’s 5th album, and fourth for Chicago-based Trouble In Mind Records, seeing the long-running lineup of Peter Kerlin (bass guitar), Jim McHugh (guitars), Jason Robira (drums), and Jeff Tobias (alto saxophone and keyboards) in prime form.

          Album opener “World People” is a classic Sunwatchers number whose title expresses their Anarcho-Internationalist ideology (and the atypically multi-culti make up of their crowds), with an underlying melodic resonance to New Orleans funeral marches à la Albert Ayler — a triumphant call to arms to all peoples. Live fave “Too Gary”’s gang vocal shout punctuates a motorik rager named for a phrase often uttered by a badass eight year old skateboarder McHugh knew with a speech impediment (it means “that’s too scary”). “T.A.S.C.” (or “Theme For Anarchist Sports Center”) is inspired by Sonny Sharrock’s maligned 80’s output & sounds exactly like a wrathful, mutant version of a prime-time athletic show theme, replete with the requisite “sitcom ending.” The sun- scorched “Foams” - a longform piece intended to depict natural stuff like tides, nightfall, and time slowly passing, ancient, peaceful and slightly gross all at once - practically jumps out of the speakers, its palpable intensity crackling in your eardrums. The title of “Tumulus” might reference an ancient burial mound, but the music itself might be the group’s most high-tech song to date, complimented by an arpeggiating

          sequencer, three different forms of tape delay and an electric saxophone; ecstatic, fiery & deeply spiritual. “There Goes Ol’ Ooze” is a smoky creeper that lets Tobias & Kerlin take a walk for a while, with respectful nods to the Stones and Steve Reich. “Song For The Gone” closes out the album, showcasing a sincerely tender moment for the gang, as an expression of love and resolve for dear friends who had recently, tragically died. Its cascading, bluesy melody attuning itself to our own collective unconscious grief.

          Having the distinct pleasure of being the first band to record in John Dwyer’s new LA-based recording studio Discount Mirrors, “Music Is Victory Over Time” boasts a beefed up sound. The band worked closely with in-house engineer Eric Bauer - facilitator, troubleshooter, sonic obsessive, a legendary freak and a DIY lifer. The band also had full access to the studio’s epic armory of gear: amps, axes (it’s Dwyer’s Eddie Harris model electric sax), synths, a bass guitar once belonging to Klaus Flouride of the Dead Kennedys. Crucial for the sounds and the vibe.

          The album art was created by Josh MacPhee, the activist artist, author, archivist and founding member of both the radical artist collective Just Seeds and Interference Archive, a public collection of materials from social movements based in Brooklyn. MacPhee's participation in the project works as a statement of Sunwatchers' progressive utopian intentionality, and organically underscores their involvement in revolutionary projects within and without of their hometown. Listening to “Music Is Victory Over Time”, Sunwatcher’s rebellious spirit & unbridled enthusiasm remain fully intact, but the secret sauce is their infectious irreverence in the face of the horrors of this world. Much of our best cultural commentary is Trojan-horsed to the general public via humor & satire & the band has a knack for lacing the ridiculous with the radical. It’s good to have them back.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Sunwatchers aren't for the faint hearted, it has to be said. There's a lot of the off-piste time signatures and microscopically off-kilter tuning decisions, psychy freakouts and wild untethered instrumeantals but my GOD there is groove when it comes. It's like all the atonality makes the unbeatable 'drop' all the more satisfying. An incredibly striking balance of jazz, post-rock and noise music.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. World People
          2. Too Gary
          3. T.A.S.C.
          4. Foams
          5. Tumulus
          6. There Goes Ol’ Ooze
          7. Song For The Gone

          Melenas

          Ahora

            RIYL: Hinds, Alvvays, Pastels, Heavenly, Shop Assistants, Look Blue Go Purple, Electrelane, Grauzone, Stereolab.

            Ahora, the new record by Melenas is the exact opposite of "that di‑cult third album". While other bands might be suffering from a lack of inspiration typical of that delicate creative moment, our Spanish quartet reappears more invincible than ever, reassembled with a collection of dazzling songs, and revitalized with a splendid new palette of sounds that raises the following question: can you make jangle pop and garage rock with synthesizers? Listening to songs like 'K2' or 'Bang' the answer is a resounding yes, because the glorious throb of the analogue keyboards that dominate Ahora does not betray Melenas' sound, that bubbling vibration that the guitars provided until now, propelling their songs to the pop heaven. The new textures that vintage synths like the Korg Delta or the Yamaha PSR-36 provide maintain that immediacy, and also imprint fascinating new shades of color by stretching the band's sonic identity, transforming it with new nuances, from the crystalline pop of '1986' to the somber but moving undertones of 'Flor de la Frontera'.

            Moreover, this new wealth of tonalities is in keeping with an album in which Melenas have a lot to say: its title ("Now") aspires to vindicate, according to the band, "the importance of time, to reflect on how we live our everyday lives, with whom we share our moments and how we want (or don't want) to do it". An exploration of their own identity, of their relationships with others and of the importance of " togetherness, shared feelings and shared action". Their intentions to "convey a moment of halting and reflecting on the present to know what we want to remain and what we need to leave behind" are brilliantly captured in verses such as "El tiempo que pasó ¿a quién se lo dí? / Desde hoy ganaré lo que perdí" (The time that passed, who did I give it to? / From today I will gain what I lost") or the irresistible "Lo bonito se acaba, me dijo mi ama / Este fuego calienta o te puede quemar" (What is beautiful always comes to an end, my mama told me / This fire can heat you up or burn you down).

            At the same time, musically, the new sonic vibes symbolically delve deep into those themes: the concept of togetherness is conveyed in the vocal harmonies, more abundant and elaborate than ever. The concept of time, by means of some astounding sequencers, arpeggiators and mechanical rhythms. Combined with Melenas' knack for pop, these elements turn many of these songs into an exciting mixture of darker, machine-like shades (the cold wave echoes of 'Flor de la Frontera', the kraut rhythm of 'Bang') with heavenly melodies. All this is woven together with a wealth of dazzling electronic arrangements, hand-crafted to perfection but played with the energy of a live band, in a very post-punk conjunction of synthesizers with real bass and drums. The outcome includes such wonders as 'Dos pasajeros', 'Tú y yo', '1986',or the beautiful 'Promesas', with its synthesizer ridestined to become a neo-synth pop classic.

            Melenas are more in command of their creative powers than ever. Not so much to give a new twist to their music - which is still essentially rooted in a love of pop - but to invest their songs with a new electronic energy and vibe. With these ingredients, let's hope the future holds 1,000 more songs from Melanas.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Ahora
            2. K2
            3. 1986
            4. Dos Pasajeros
            5. Flor De La Frontera
            6. Bang
            7. Promesas
            8. Tú Y Yo
            9. Mal
            10. 1,000 Canciones

            The Serfs

            Half Eaten By Dogs

              RIYL: Total Control, Cold Beat, Dark Day, Factrix, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, This Heat, New Order, Skinny Puppy, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Sextile, Suicide.

              Anyone paying attention can see that Cincinnati, OH is a very real hotbed of musical creativity at the moment, and the three members of The Serfs - Dylan McCartney (vocals, percussion, guitar, bass, electronics), Dakota Carlyle (Electronics, bass, guitar, vocals) & Andie Luman (vocals, synths) - and their respective side projects (The Drin, Crime of Passing, Motorbike) are undeniably near the center of Cincinnati’s neu-underground scene. After releasing albums on Berlin minimal-synth label Detriti & Seattle-based DREAM Records in 2018 & 2022 respectively, the band makes the move to Trouble In Mind for their third and best album yet. “Half Eaten By Dogs” puts a decidedly Midwestern spin on the modernist twitch of future-forward bands like Total Control or Cold Beat as well as the post-industrialist dance floor grime of Skinny Puppy, Dark Day, This Heat or Factrix.

              “Half Eaten by Dogs” is a wide-eyed look through a scope into a desiccated and heathenish vision, where ice-encrusted synth harmonies command oozing chemical rhythms and drilled-out elemental rock formations. There’s a psychedelic melancholy to it-- in both the abstract lyrical sense, with doomed proclamations of natural and supernatural disasters, and the more tangible musical sense. It veers all over the map of tenebrous drum and synthesizer industries and stygian guitar implements, at times with a cautious paranoia and at times with tuneful defiance and exuberance (and in some moments harmonica, saxophone or flute). The album kicks off with the driving ‘Order Imposing Sentence’, a motorik rocker propelled by machine-driven rhythm & tarnished guitar riffing. ‘Cheap Chrome’s skeletal pulse drops in next, summoning the spirit of Cabaret Voltaire’s synth heartbeat into a modern-day mirror reality. ‘Suspension Bridge Collapse’ is a shimmering track that calls to mind Suicide’s oft-neglected second album, buoyed by what sounds like synthesized laser blasts (or perhaps suspension wires snapping?) before the siren-like guitar of ‘Beat Me Down’ kicks in - Its propulsive post-punk offering a sonic diversity under the same dark cloud. ‘Spectral Analysis’ is a late night drive down a lost highway, with a ghostly saxophone (by Eric Dietrich) guiding the doomed listener like the pied piper to their destiny. The flat-out sexy floor filler ‘Club Deuce’ kicks off side two, with its low-end sizzle designed to make you move, slithering like a lurker at the threshold of the dance floor. ‘Electric Like An Eel’ follows, with its “Brotherhood”-esque synth trills & harmonica punctuating the buzzing din. ‘Ending Of The Stream’ adds an unexpected natural warmth to the album, its blanket of synthesized tones envelops like a loving embrace, while ‘The Dice Man Will Become’s triumphant melody comforts as its Rother-like guitar volleys aim skyward. ‘Mocking Laughter’ closes out the album, its waves of synthesis evoking flashes of an end credits sequence - an apropos ending to a truly cinematic album.

              “Half Eaten By Dogs” successfully coalesces everything that The Serfs have accomplished to date, but with greater intent and purpose than their preceding albums by a mile. There are songs to dance to, and songs to take in during a storm or while riding free through the roads of the world. It may be a step further down into the catacombs for the band, but if the principle of correspondence is correct, then they could be their way to somewhere higher.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Order Imposing Sequence
              2. Cheap Chrome
              3. Suspension Bridge Collapse
              4. Beat Me Down
              5. Spectral Analysis
              6. Club Deuce
              7. Electric Like An Eel
              8. Ending Of The Stream
              9. The Dice Man Will Become
              10. Mocking Laughter

              Onyon

              Last Days On Earth

                RIYL: Wet Leg, Es, Devo, LITHICS, Maraudeur, NOTS, The Staches, The Fates, Y Pants, Raincoats, Kleenex/Liliput, Chrisma.

                German post-punk band Onyon scrambled our brains when we heard them for the first time last year, so much so that we signed them & reissued their eponymous debut cassette EP (originally co-released in limited quantities by the Flennen/U-Bac labels) in June of ’22. “Last Days On Earth” is the band’s latest & first proper full-length for Trouble In Mind.

                The oddball, synth-soaked world of Onyon is disorienting at first - the band’s herky-jerky rhythms may operate in a familiar fashion to bands like Devo, Kleenex/Liliput or label-mates LITHICS, but Maria Untheim’s woozy synth squiggles that populate & punctuate the band’s songs keeps everything at arms-length. Flirting with the primitive cool of 80’s minimal-synth and the wire-haired cretinism of 60s garage, especially on tunes like the manic ‘Dogman’ or first single ‘Alien, Alien’. Guitarist Ilka Kellner’s six-string salvos rage unpretentiously with edges torn & frayed, rarely (if ever) soloing, but never afraid to unleash a spindly lead-line over Florian Schmidt’s rubbery bass lines & Mario Pongratz’s stuttering drum patterns that phase in & out of time imperceptibly like drunks doing their best to seem sober. Kellner & Untheim share vocal duties (in both English & German - sometimes in the same song), but the real magic comes when the two sing together, voices merging in loosely harmonic gang vocals; one deadpan, the other slightly unhinged. The group’s beguiling lyrics add to the mystique - inscrutable neu-world fables about egg machines, ghosts, worms that talk, and urges to consume newspaper that ooze a rural, old-world understanding of life & the imperceptible spaces in between reality & fiction, transmuted thru a modernist sci-fi lensflare.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Alien, Alien
                2. Talking Worms
                3. Egg Machine
                4. Goldie
                5. Two Faces
                6. Dogman
                7. Blue Lagoon
                8. Yahtzee
                9. Invisible Spook
                10. I Would Like To Eat The Newspaper
                11. O.U.T.
                12. Mower

                Martin Frawley

                The Wannabe

                  For fans of: Twerps, Courtney Barnett, Dick Diver, The Go-Betweens, Cate Le Bon, Tim Presley, Yo La Tengo.

                  “Workin’ all day, trying to forget about the old me.” Like most of us, Martin Frawley is busy trying to work himself out. He lives alongside the long shadow of his late dad, musician and songwriter Maurice Frawley, a cultural icon of the Australian underground and collaborator of Paul Kelly, Tex Perkins and Mick Thomas.

                  Most of Martin’s 20s were spent writing and playing songs in locally beloved Melbourne band Twerps – a collection of pals who were on the forefront of the city’s jangle pop renaissance. A few albums, US tours and band rotations under its belt, Twerps split up in 2018 and Martin turned his compass towards a solo project. His first album, Undone at 31 (2019), was a bit of a reckoning; a wild ride through the wreckage of both a band and longterm romantic break up. His new album The Wannabe is a personal, cheeky and, at times, self-depreiciating collection of songs unpacking the reality of finding his way as an adult without his dad around, and ultimately falling back in love with life, music and someone new.

                  Martin and his band – friends Dan Luscombe (The Drones), Steph Hughes (Boomgates, Dick Diver), Nik Imfeld (Tyrannaman) and Dan Kelly had heaps of fun recording The Wannabe in Melbourne. The title track is a particularly spicy take on an entertainment industry that seems to give more shits about marketing than music. The album is a bit of an emotional tour, from anger and derision, through to comedy, through to deep and honest love. It’s positive with a lot of sadness. Not unlike Martin himself.

                  As well as the guitar, Martin had some fun playing the piano on this record. The technical term is ‘multiinstrumentalist’ but Martin’s more of a musical explorer of sorts. No one is exactly sure how these things work if Martin was born into music or if it was born into him, but it doesn’t really matter. Music is what he loves. It’s what he does. It’s not about the industry or about success not anymore. It’s about the freedom of creating songs on his own terms, and trying to let go of the feeling he has something to prove: to his dad, to his critics, and to himself. And while he’s not sure he’ll ever fully shake that feeling, he’s at least relaxing and having a bit of fun doing it.

                  Like his dad, Martin has a reputation as a ‘musician’s musician’. He hosts a pretty sporadic podcast Dive For Your Memory, where he has fast and loose chats with musicians while doing a deep dive into their musical inspirations and canon. He and his fiancé Lauren also make wine under the label El’More Wines, named after the farm and small town where his dad grew up. It’s all come a bit full circle, really.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. This Is Gonna Change Your Mind
                  2. The Wannabe
                  3. My Heart Beats
                  4. Lola
                  5. Heart In Hand
                  6. 5th Of The 5th
                  7. Assumptions
                  8. Slip Away
                  9. I Wish Everyone Would Love Me
                  10. Given Everything

                  Guardian Singles

                  Feed Me To The Doves

                    For Fans Of: The Marked Men, Ducks Ltd, The Sound, Mission of Burma, Straightjacket Fits, The Wipers, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Hüsker Dü, Bailter Space. Auckland, New Zealand post-punk group Guardian Singles return to Trouble In Mind for their follow-up to 2021's debut with "Feed Me To The Doves", a ten-track socio-political burner addressing our collective spiritual chaos that pulls influence from across the history of punk & permeates it into something decidedly Aotearoan & uniquely their own in ways that are both personal & universal.

                    "Feed Me To The Doves" is the first album to feature the current, long-standing lineup of Thom Burton (guitar, vocals), Fiona Campbell (drums), Yolanda Fagan (bass), and Durham Fenwick (lead guitar). The band has been playing live together now for a few years & it shows. The songs herein vary from the deeply personal, to sketches or postcards, as Burton says "…scribbled while watching the dregs of a delirious culture war play out through broken smartphones and praline vape clouds." Expertly recorded at Neil Finn's Roundhead Studios in Auckland by engineer Steven Marr, who Burton says had a "great sense of being able to keep the urgency of the songs while adding lushness and keeping things sounding like they're about to break at any second". Marr helped turn the album's scrappy beginnings into something more cohesive and beautiful.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Chad And Stacey
                    2. Pit Viper
                    3. Manic Attraction
                    4. Metal Fingers
                    5. Bleak Park
                    6. Com Trans
                    7. Nightmare Town
                    8. Untied, United
                    9. Shimmer
                    10. Ground Swell

                    FACS

                    Still Life In Decay

                      RIYL: Unwound, MBV, The Jesus Lizard, SUUNS, METZ, The Dead C, Echo & The Bunnymen, Liars, This Heat, PIL. Everything eventually turns to dust. Everyone knows this, but few want to acknowledge that our time on this mortal coil is fleeting, preferring to remain in stasis, in hopes that "the end" will pass them by. Chicago trio FACS (guitarist Brian Case, bassist Alianna Kalaba & drummer Noah Leger) have been perfecting their brand of intense, cathartic post-punk over the course of four ever-evolving albums, beginning with 2017's "Negative Houses" thru 2021's landmark "Present Tense", which saw the trio dig deep into the gaping maw of a black hole & pulling back whatever debris they could grasp onto.

                      Their newest "Still Life In Decay" comes as an addendum to the last album - a "post-event review" if you will. "Still Life In Decay" starts with a squall of white noise before collapsing into the band already locked into "Constellation"'s lumbering groove, with Case's guitar a ghostly presence, appearing & disappearing in washes of gauzy feedback throughout the track. FACS have never been more locked in as a unit, and "Still Life In Decay" is a decidedly more focused effort. The apocalyptic chaos that defined their previous album "Present Tense" is waved away in favor of an examination of events with cumbrous clarity. FACS are a heavy band, but they don’t necessarily FEEL like one (see side two's "Still Life", where Case's fluttering, melodic guitar lines are buoyed by the insistent, underlying pulse of the bass & drums). As a rhythm section, Kalaba & Leger dance & twist around each other like a double helix, forming the DNA of what makes FACS special.

                      Collectively they approach rhythm from outside the groove as opposed to inside it, creating a lattice where Case weaves guitar lines like creeping vines, which makes the moments on "Still Life In Decay" where the band DOES lock in even more powerful. When the guitar punctures the lock-step swing of "When You Say", it hits like a hammer. Case utilizes his lyrics like a person suffering from anterograde amnesia; repeating phrases & holding onto old memories in a desperate attempt to avoid the slide into oblivion. Freeform poetic missives touching on themes of resignation, cynicism, class warfare, and a search for identity & meaning in a crumbling society; A primal desire to hold onto anything in a post-pandemic barrage of sensory overload. The album is a decidedly local affair; recorded once again at Chicago's famed Electrical Audio by renowned engineer Sanford Parker & mixed at his Hypercube Studio in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood & mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service. 

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Constellation
                      2. When You Say
                      3. Slogan
                      4. Class Spectre
                      5. Still Life
                      6. New Flag

                      Dummy

                      Mandatory Enjoyment

                        LA-based Dummy signs to Trouble in Mind for the release of their new album! Dummy refuses to slow down. After releasing two cassette EP’s in 2020 (on Popwig and Born Yesterday respectively), Dummy’s debut full-length album arrives via Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records. Employing pummeling guitars and celestial ambience within the same breath, the band folds a myriad of reference points into their drone-pop style. Influence from ’60s melodicism and ’90s UK noise pop can be found woven in with inspiration from spiritual jazz, Japanese new age, and Italian minimalism. Dummy dodges the brooding, dark, dramatic tropes of contemporary “artistic” music often found in punk, experimental, and electronic, instead insisting on joyous and euphoric sonic palettes.

                        They refuse to be artistically stagnant, continuously shifting their approach to writing across 12 tracks. Shaped by performances around Los Angeles in 2019, songs like “Daffodils” and “Fissured Ceramics” feature relentless driving energy and ample psychedelic noise. Elsewhere, Dummy counterbalances the aggression with meditative synthscapes focused on sound design and studio experimentation, like on the motorik “X-Static Blanket”. Finally, centerpiece “H.V.A.C.” and the album’s final track, “Atonal Poem”, seek to synthesize these two poles, offering multi-part journeys through uncharted sonic territory. In contrast to blissed-out instrumentation, Dummy’s sardonic lyricism examines “the burden of modern life, consumerism, environmental collapse, alienation, and other anxieties born out of living in this absurd moment in history”. Interior design, marine pollution, the psychology of commercial architecture, and nuclear testing are all featured subjects.

                        Dummy’s restless creativity keeps them moving ever-forward, continuously challenging themselves and pushing their sound into exciting and exhilarating places. This is – as the album title suggests – “Mandatory Enjoyment”. "...the album’s lead single finds Dummy at their most immediate, riding an urgent textural wave directly into the core of the melting sun." Post-Trash // "It's sort of a conversation, more of a comparison of opposite viewpoints. It's about how easily vanity can take precedence over the greater good. It's about putting on your bucket hat and stepping out into the wilderness, carelessly taking natural beauty for granted and then hopefully falling off a cliff."Dummy

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1 Protostar
                        2 Fissured Ceramics
                        3 Final Weapon
                        4 Punk Product #4
                        5 Cloud Pleaser
                        6 H.V.A.C.
                        7 Tapestry Distortion
                        8 Unremarkable Wilderness
                        9 Daffodils
                        10 X-Static Blanket
                        11 Aluminum In Retrograde
                        12 Atonal Poem

                        Mountain Movers

                        World What World

                          New Haven quartet ’s eighth album (third for Trouble In Mind). Guitarist Kryssi Battalene also leads the band Headroom. Mountain Movers arguably are the perfect band for all the true “heads” out there. The New Haven quartet have been at it for 15 years, and the “newest” lineup (now at it for well over a decade; vocalist/guitarist Dan Greene, bassist Rick Omonte, guitarist Kryssi Battalene and drummer Ross Menze) have firmly grasped what it takes to fry brains; achingly beautiful melodies buoyed by a life raft of white-hot guitar scree and mind-melting feedback.

                          “World What World” is the band’s eighth album and third for Trouble In Mind Records. “World What World” is the newest chapter of the group’s continued explorations and efforts to refine their sound. The lyrics of “World What World”s songs all imply a protagonist on a quest; the title itself is an implied query with no question mark; is it a question, or a statement?. The one-two punch of opener “I Wanna See The Sun” and “Final Sunset” lay out what’s in store; Crazy Horse-inspired sandpaper melodies sit comfortably next to improvised, PSF-influenced six-string ragers. The group performs together effortlessly and telepathically, subverting the loud/quiet/loud dynamic that has saturated independent music since the late-Eighties.

                          The loud parts and quiet parts are like waves; indistinguishable from each other, creating a fluid dynamism and intensity that swallows the listener up in its current, sweeping it toward oblivion. Hyperbole, you say? Watch out for midway through “Then The Moon” when the tune’s lilting waltz pivots into a casually blistering solo by Battalene before fading into the melancholic “Haunted Eyes” - beckoning you with a mournful sidelong glance. Side Two opens with “Staggering With A Lantern”, an elegant, lumbering instrumental improvisation again showcasing the synergistic shredding of the group’s guitarists. The sticky lyrical hooks and sideways jangle of “Way Back To The World” and “The Last City”s midnight-hour, mellow singe come next, before concluding “World What World”s journey with “Flock of Swans”. The song is the perfect closer and culmination of the album’s mission statement. The subjects that populate Greene’s songs and visual imagery augment his elegiac lyrics, awash in magical realism and fantastic symbolism; knights, fighters, dragons, masks. Poetic missives are launched from the heart straight into the neural pathways, guided by the rhythm section’s otherworldly chemistry and Battalene’s masterful control over her instrument. Mountain Movers have been at it too long to care about acclaim. They do it because the music calls out to them, and they let it carry them away.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. I Wanna See The Sun
                          2. Final Sunset
                          3. Then The Moon
                          4. Haunted Eyes
                          5. Staggering With A Lantern
                          6. Way Back To The World
                          7. The Last City
                          8. Flock Of Swans

                          FACS

                          Present Tense

                            Chicago trio’s fourth album in four years (ex-Disappears).

                            Recorded at Electrical Audio by Sanford Parker

                            Chicago trio FACS never stop pushing forward; they’ve honed and refined their stark, minimal scrape and clatter for four years and counting, having risen out of the ashes of beloved Chicago band Disappears in 2018 with the bone-rattling intensity of Negative Houses. The trio return in 2021 with Present Tense, their fourth album and perhaps their sharpest statement as a band.

                            Opener “XOUT” barrels forward like a tank, with Case’s guitar chiming like warning bells, until the climax comes crashing down, glitching out near the close. “Strawberry Cough” comes next, its fusion of corporeal playing and stately, electronic heartbeats punctured by random bursts of noise or backwards masked sounds. “Alone Without”, a track originally recorded for Adult Swim’s 2020 singles series appears next in different form; more menacing and serpentine. Side two opens with “General Public”, taking the loud/quiet dynamic as a jumping off point for the song’s unsettling seasick vibe. ‘How To See In the Dark” offers a brief respite, with its persistent, dark quietude that lingers until the song’s end. “Present Tense”, the album’s title track, offers up its first truly weird moment mid-song when the song changes mood distinctly, and the music drops out save for Case’s guitar and vocals. The album’s final track, the densely packed “Mirrored”, begins with a restrained, post-rock shuffle. The mind-scrambling cacophony that comes next takes its time to roll in, but once it does, it comes in waves, flipping back onto itself multiple times until it’s folded into oblivion.

                            FACS once again shuttered themselves into Electrical Audio with lauded engineer Sanford Parker to lay down the basic tracks and overdubs for Present Tense. This time, the band approached their songwriting from a different angle “Alone Without was the first song we recorded and we really built it in the studio” Case says, “Alianna and I played different instruments, and I think that freedom informed how the other songs developed. All the lyrics were random phrases on a big sheet and were put together as the songs took shape, so I feel like I was collecting these thoughts and trying to figure out how to process them as a big picture vs making complete ideas in individual songs.” Case adds ”...letting the songs go where they wanted, without steering them into what we all think a FACS album should be.” The change is palpable from last year’s claustrophobic and fried Void Moments, but Present Tense is still ALL FACS, albeit draped in a layer of haze. Paranoia in soft focus, perhaps?

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. XOUT
                            2. Strawberry Cough
                            3. Alone Without
                            4. General Public
                            5. How To See In The Dark
                            6. Present Tense
                            7. Mirrored

                            Nightshift

                            Zöe

                              The band that became Nightshift formed in 2019 in the ecosystem of Glasgow's current indie scene. The city's fertile & creative group of musicians have been committed to pushing the boundaries of and blurring the lines between DIY, punk, experimentalism and indie pop for decades now; a home to bands like Shopping, Vital Idles, Current Affairs, Still House Plants, and Happy Meals as well as forebears like Orange Juice, Teenage Fanclub and Yummy Fur. Nightshift slot right in with all mentioned, featuring members from current indie stalwarts Spinning Coin, 2 Ply and Robert Sotelo. Initially formed by guitarist David Campbell and bassist Andrew Doig as a "No Wave/No New York/ early Sonic Youth/This Heat-esque" group, the addition of Eothen Stern (keyboards/vocals) and Chris White (drums) instantaneously transformed their approach (guitarist / vocalist/clarinetist Georgia Harris joined as the band was writing "Zöe"). The band self-released a full-length tape on CUSP Recordings in early 2020, laying the foundation of their sound; hypnotic, melodic, understated indie post-punk with hooks that stick around long after you've heard them. "Zöe" is the band's newest effort, and first for Trouble In Mind.

                              Unlike the band's previous album, the songs on "Zöe" weren't conceived live in the band's practice space, but rather pieced together and recorded remotely during quarantine lockdown, with each member composing or improvising their parts in homes/home studios, layering ideas over loops someone made and passing it on. The isolation actually allowed for an openness and creativity to flow and many of the songs took on radically different forms from when they were originally envisioned.

                              "Zöe" means "live drive", derived from the word conatus. Bradiotti defines conatus as “an effort or striving, endeavour, impulse, inclination, tendency, undertaking, serving is an innate inclination of a thing to continue to exist and enhance itself.” and Stern views it as "...a kind of feminist re-claiming of communal public, anti- privatisation, looking to strive for social and environmental justice. "Zöe" kicks off with "Piece Together", a hypnotic song anchored by the band's chanted vocals and serpentine guitar licks. "Spraypaint the Bridge" showcases Harris' clarinet in an unexpected & delightful melodic shift during the song's anti-chorus. Elsewhere tunes like the swooning "Infinity Winner" and "Outta Space"s minimalist, slinky rhythm swirl in a late-night vibe, while "Make Kin" ruminates on "Looking to kinship as a way of engaging with entangled environmental and reproductive issues... how a band is a bond" and lurches forward with kinetic guitar strangling and staccato rhythmic percussion from White and Doig.

                              "Power Cut" is the album's centerpiece, kicking off side two and lures the listener into its world over it's 7-minute runtime. Lulling them into involuntary movement with its waves of melodic harmonies, synth drones and metronomic pulse, until they all come crashing down in the song's dissonant midsection. The band acknowledges the whiffs of nostalgia prevalent in "Zöe"s songs (the title track in particular), and the nature of writing and recording the album is soaked in the self-work, reflection and reevaluations involved not only personally but creatively in each member's lives. Consequently, the album becomes a collection of sketches of hope, growth, awareness of the power of the world and the power of self, kith, kinship, friendship, resistance, and possibility.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Piece Together
                              2. Spray Paint The Bridge
                              3. Outta Space
                              4. Make Kin
                              5. Fences
                              6. Power Cut
                              7. Infinity Winner
                              8. Romantic Mud
                              9. Zöe
                              10. Receipts

                              David Nance

                              Staunch Honey

                                Fool's Gold Vinyl is for Indies only. RIYL: Purling Hiss, Neil Young, Jim Shepard, Roy Montgomery, Peter Laughner, Circuit Rider. Nebraska songwriter David Nance returns to Trouble In Mind with his fifth (proper) studio album "Staunch Honey", his follow-up to his acclaimed 2018 album "Peaced and Slightly Pulverized". Returning to the home-recorded magic of his early albums, "Staunch Honey" was recorded entirely to tape by Nance himself at his Omaha home with scattered assistance from his longtime live bandmates Jim Schroeder & Kevin Donohue."Staunch Honey" is the culmination of two years of hard work - Nance worked and reworked the album three times over, recording & rerecording songs until they sounded just so - a stunning batch of sonic manna that hums with feeling and mood; expertly crafted, but sounding simultaneously off-the-cuff. Nance dials back the squalling feedback & raging guitars found on "Peaced..." into something a bit mellower, like the soundtrack to a late-night drive or late night hangs. Rusted & dusted with mid-fi, stoney brilliance.

                                "The Merchandise" kicks off the album, loping into earshot with an off-kilter countrified gait, not unlike a front porch jam session. This vibe permeates the album, other tunes like "Save Me Some Tears", "Gentle Traitor" & "When The Covers Come Off" burn with casual intensity, while rockers like "My Love, The Dark and I" and "Sell It All Night" sizzle with a six-string fury. "Black Mustang" - the penultimate number - is a real standout, with a subtle banjo plucking in the background & a palpable yearning and melancholy. Nance's true gift as a songwriter lies in his ability to craft poetry and personas that feel "lived-in". There's a world-weariness to his lyrical and musical approach, but rooted in joy, love and above all; passion. Many of the tunes on "Staunch Honey" feel like classics, but that's because in Nance's hands - they are. Not content to let the album go by without the rumble of guitar, "If The Truth Ever Shows Up" closes out the album. It's an instrumental jam with Nance wrangling and riffing on a gut-punching guitar solo for 6-plus minutes that feels very much like the end credits to a long-lost midnight movie

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. The Merchandise
                                2. My Love, The Dark And I
                                3. This Side Of The Moon
                                4. Save Me Some Tears
                                5. July Sunrise
                                6. Gentle Traitor
                                7. Learn The Curve
                                8. When The Covers Come Off
                                9. Sell It All Night
                                10. Black Mustang
                                11. If The Truth Ever Shows Up

                                FACS

                                Void Moments

                                  Chicago trio’s third album (ex-Disappears). Chicago trio FACS have evolved very quickly in the span of their three year existence. "Void Moments" is their third & latest off¬ering; a dark & claustrophobic album with rivulets of seismic beauty peeking through the din. Formed in the wake of the dissolution of Disappears, guitarist Brian Case & drummer Noah Leger's project is the logical continuation of the trails blazed in their former outfit. Since their 2017 debut "Negative Houses", the band have reworked, retooled & reshaped their sound, and with the addition of bassist Alianna Kalaba on 2018's "Lifelike", their evolution has coalesced into something distinct. Gone is the bone-rattling minimalism of "Negative Houses"; "Void Moments" o¬ffers an abstraction of the melodic elements that crept into "Lifelike" and contorts them toward a new horizon.

                                  Where "Lifelike" rang with a metallic, near-industrial racket, "Void Moments" cloaks the music behind a black velvet curtain of sonance, obfuscating the band's most direct set of songs to date. "Boy" kicks o¬ with a lurch of vocals and Case's sinewy guitar-line guiding a stoic march. By the time Kalaba drops in with the bass, the track morphs into a milky swirl, leading into the chiming swirl of "Teenage Hive’s buzzing churn. "Casual Indiff¬erence" expertly fuses the band's rhythmic pulse with a sombre dissolve of guitars, vocals and backwards-masked drums. "Version" closes out side one with lush surges of Case's shoegaze'd guitar & voice weaving around the rhythm section. Side two careens in with Leger's cavernous drums, with Kalaba and Case riding alongside.

                                  The album's final two tracks "Lifelike" and "Dub Over" cascade into one another, becoming one & act as a perfect analogy to "Void Moments" mutability, both musically & lyrically. Despite its foggy presence, "Void Moments" still careens toward the light. By embracing fluidity, FACS continue to evolve & refuse to be ensnared by genre. "Void Moments" ruminates on humanity's increasing refusal of identity, not only by our increasing reliance on technology, but also within our society's challenging of societal & gender norms. "Void Moments" feels one step closer to oblivion, but its sounds are a welcome salve

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. Boy
                                  2. Teenage Hive
                                  3. Casual Indifference
                                  4. Version
                                  5. Void Walker
                                  6. Lifelike
                                  7. Dub Over

                                  The Hecks

                                  My Star

                                    Chicago trio The Hecks have been at it since 2012, starting out as the duo of guitarist Andy Mosiman & Zach Hebert. The band drafted guitarist Dave Vettraino into the fold, a recording engineer who was recording the band's s/t debut (Trouble In Mind, 2016) & ended up joining the band In 2017. The band's journey to the end result of "My Star" - their second album - has taken them three years. After recording an initial version of the album in 2017, The Hecks started gigging with new fourth member & keyboardist Jeff Graupner, whose synthesized squiggles added some welcome heft & swagger to the band's tunes. After reworking & rearranging much of the new material to accommodate Graupner, the band scrapped the recordings & rebuilt them from the ground up, incorporating Graupner's skills at the keys.

                                    The results speak for themselves, as "My Star" is a gigantic leap forward for the band, absorbing everything from "Manscape"-era Wire to Paisley Park nu-funk to abstract new wave & art rock plucked straight from the Cold Storage playbook. Much of "My Star"s ten tracks are designed to bewilder; the production is intentionally disorienting, with the mix tipped toward the treble, alternating from sparse to confoundingly dense at times, but never at a disservice to the songs themselves. Opener "Zipper"s intertwining guitar jabs & synth lines herk & jerk so rapidly it's liable to break your neck, while lead track "So 4 Real"s neon-laced dayglo soul ratchets up the mutant funk throb so tightly that the lilting, melodic guitar break at the chorus is a welcome dose of ear-candy. "Heat Wave" dials it back, reveling in romantic washes of synth and flange & it's yearning refrain of "It's tearing me apart, ripping out my heart again"; a captivating, slow burning ballad unlike anything the band has done before. Meanwhile album closer (and title track) "My Star" is so cinematic, it feels like the lost end credits scene to a heartfelt teen drama, with its end coda taking up the bulk of the song's near-eight minute run time. "My Star" is designed to make you move, you just have to let it. 

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Zipper
                                    2. Chopper
                                    3. Flash
                                    4. Heat Wave
                                    5. The Fool
                                    6. Chinatown
                                    7. So 4 Real
                                    8. The King Is Close
                                    9. Josef Josef
                                    10. My Star

                                    Parsnip

                                    When The Tree Bears Fruit

                                      Undeniably, Australia has been a fertile crescent of quality music for the past few decades. Its relative geographical isolation has allowed for a microcosm of innovation and communal inspiration that seemingly knows no bounds. Like the root vegetable from which their name comes, Melbourne quartet Parsnip flourished and flowered within that scene. Since their formation in 2016, after releasing two 7-inch EPs on local label Anti-Fade (plus one side of a split LP with fellow Melbourne band The Shifters on Future Folklore), they are ready to unveil their debut full-length "When The Tree Bears The Fruit". "When The Tree Bears The Fruit" is chock full of jangle and spirit; A irresistible mix of garage, surf, girl-group gang vocals and bizarro funk, with a carefree attitude that revels in its idiosyncrasies (crazed wah-wah, warped harmonies, unexpected rhythmic shifts, ambient sounds of the sea) without sacrificing any ounce of melodic fervor. Bassist Paris Reichen's explains the album's title; "I was attending a meditation centre based on the teachings of the guru Sri Chinmoy... When the Tree Bears Fruit stems from his wisdom on the divine quality of humility.

                                      When the branches are laden with fruit, they are offered to the world. The tree bows down and shares its gifts with all regardless of social status, wealth, age, gender, race, etc". Many of the tunes are symbolic of life's journey & whatever means used to get thru it (see first single "Lift Off", the addictive "Taking Me For A Ride", or the jaunty "Seafarer"), as well as celebrating the vast, weird & wonderful beauty of nature & the world. Look no further than "Sprouts" or "My Window" for evidence. Despite their admitted influences (Maurice Sendak, Beach Boys, Daniel Johnston, William Blake, 'Back From The Grave' comps, Sesame Street, 'Duck Soup'), Parsnip sounds like no one else; this is music that could only be made by close friends & family and the underlying positivity, jubilance and wonder within "When The Tree Bears Fruit" evokes a musical celebration, inviting the listener along to delight in its merry making

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Taking Me For A Ride
                                      2. Lift Off
                                      3. Lighthouse Beacon
                                      4. Sprouts
                                      5. Too Late
                                      6. Rip It Off
                                      7. Soft Spot
                                      8. Lullaby
                                      9. My Window
                                      10. Seafarer
                                      11. Trip The Light Fantastic

                                      Possible Humans

                                      Everybody Split

                                        The debut album from Melbourne, Australia quintet Possible Humans has been a long-time coming. Since forming in 2013, the band (comprised of Samuel Tapper, Leon Cranswick, and the three Hewitt brothers; Steven, Adam, and Mark) have self-released a "live improv" cassette & a two-song 7-inch on Sydney's Strange Pursuits label while periodically teasing a forthcoming full-length and burning up live venues across Australia. Everybody Split was announced to arrive on April Fool's Day of 2019 on ex-Twerps drummer Alex MacFarlane's excellent Hobbies Galore label. Thankfully, it wasn't a prank & the edition of 200 LPs sold out in a week. Trouble In Mind is proud to re-release Everybody Split worldwide in a more substantial pressing in hopes of getting this amazing album into everyone's ears.

                                        All five members shared songwriting duties on Everybody Split, & the album's nine tracks jangle and clang with that urgent, nervous energy felt in some of the best DIY/underground rock from the past three decades, R.E.M., GBV, Feelies et al, but also absolutely of the NOW, swooning with a smoothed, amber patina of melancholy and longing (see opener "Lung of the City", or "Nomenclature Airspace"). There's a palpable crackle emanating from the tunes on Everybody Split, throwing sparks thru a myriad of interesting melodic/lyrical twists & turns, like the earworm riffage on "The Thumps", that hotwire solo on "Aspiring To Be A Bloke" or the stutter stops / breakdown in the raging "Stinger". Stick around for "Born Stoned", the album's undeniable highlight, packing its near-12 minutes with nods not only to the aforementioned R.E.M. & Feelies dark jangle, but also the smoke & velvet solos of Heyday-era Church or Blue Oyster Cult. Yes, it's really that good. Everybody Split was recorded by MacFarlane himself & mastered by Oz-legend Mikey Young for maximum oomph. 

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Lung Of The City
                                        2. Aspiring To Be A Bloke
                                        3. The Thumps
                                        4. Absent Swimmer
                                        5. Nomenclature Airspace
                                        6. Orbiting Luigi
                                        7. Stinger
                                        8. Born Stoned
                                        9. Meredith

                                        Olden Yolk

                                        Living Theatre

                                          The musical duo of Shane Butler & Caity Shaffer released their debut album as Olden Yolk last year, an alluring concoction of hypnagogic folk & kosmiche rhythms, expanding & refining Butler's work in his former band Quilt toward a more focused direction. "Living Theatre" is the follow up to that eponymous debut & more than lives up to its promise. The songs on "Living Theatre" were written & recorded during a heavy time of transition & upheaval for the duo, with personal tragedies and a big move from their NYC home to a warmer climate in Los Angeles coloring the album's inception.

                                          Thematically "Living Theatre" tunes seem to be about how humans react to the ways life is colored by both fate and the consequences of the conscious & unconscious decisions we make. Musically, the duo's songwriting has gelled into a unified front, relying more on the subtle shifts of melody & rhythm than a barrage of chord changes; "Living Theatre"s hooks lap at your feet like a babbling brook, rather than bowl you over like violent waves. The refinement in tunes like "Castor & Pollux", "Grand Palais" & first single "Cotton & Cain" points to a new frontier for the group; soaring skyward toward the emotionally textural plateaus of trailblazers like The Go-Betweens or Yo La Tengo. There's a discernible romantic feel to tunes like "Violent Days" or "Distant Episode"'s lush arrangements with Shaffer in particular finding her own voice here; poetic, abstract & expressive. "Living Theatre" showcases a band breaking free from its chrysalis, and embracing its next phase of evolution

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. 240 D
                                          2. Blue Paradigm
                                          3. Cotton & Cain
                                          4. Meadowlands
                                          5. Castor & Pollux
                                          6. Violent Days
                                          7. Every Ark
                                          8. Grand Palais
                                          9. Distant Episode
                                          10. Angelino High

                                          FACS

                                          Lifelike

                                            "Chicago trio FACS was founded in 2017 by former Disappears members Brian Case & Noah Leger, along with their bandmate Jonathan van Herik. After van Herik amicably parted ways with the group just before their debut album "Negative Houses"'s release, Case & Leger recruited longtime friend Alianna Kalaba (Cat Power, We Ragazzi) to play bass. "Lifelike" is their sophomore release; six tracks clocking in at half an hour, carrying forward the musical trail blazed by the debut towards a new frontier. "Lifelike" occupies a space in between the band's debut & Case & Leger's work with Disappears, applying minimalism & space in compositions that reside somewhere near the realms of post-punk, art-rock, shoegaze, industrial music & post-rock. "Lifelike" however adds a more melodic sensibility, without sacrificing any of the debut's punishing sonic muscle, with a discernible audial force perceivable thru the speakers (credit due to engineer Jeremy Lemos' recording via Electrical Audio as well as John Congleton's mastering for accurately capturing the punishing heft of the band's live sound)"

                                            Kicking off with the lumbering "Another Country", whose opening drone lulls the listener into a trance before Leger's drums crack the earth below. The band veers close to This Heat territor y here, with Kalaba's minimal bass throb and Case's nearly unrecognizable guitar loops and multi-tracked voice punctuating the spaces between. Album standout "In Time" careens with purpose with cascading sheets of guitar noise over the rhythm sections ever-advancing march, while "XUXA"s melodic washes of monochrome eases the tension ever so slightly. Side two awaits, with the anxiety-ridden opener "Anti-Body" and the claustrophobic "Loom State"s clanging aura of menace. "Lifelike" closes with "Total Histor y", whose syrupy shuffle belies the blunt-force trauma of its closing minutes, with the sheer weight of sonic force seeming to blow out the speakers it emanates from. A phoenix returning to the ashes from whence it came. 

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: It's a beguiling beast this, brimming with the spirit of post-punk but rife with interesting fragments of electronica, concrète minimalism and art-rock posturing. Heavy and immersive, but imbued with influence from all over the musical spectrum.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1. Another Country
                                            2. In Time
                                            3. XUXA
                                            4. Anti-Body
                                            5. Loom State
                                            6. Total History

                                            Writhing Squares

                                            Out Of The Ether

                                              RIYL: Suicide, Hawkwind, The Stooges, The Contortions, King Crimson. Philadelphia band’s second album, following their debut on Siltbreeze. Kevin Nickles also plays in Relapse Records band Ecstatic Vision. Writhing Squares have been conjuring up cosmic slop from the Philadelphia underground for a few years now, mixing growling bass, motorik synthesis, and skronking sax into a heady brew of punk-laced progressive R’n’R. The duo of Daniel Provenzano (Purling Hiss, Spacin, Rosali & the Middlemen) & Kevin Nickles (Ecstatic Vision, Taiwan Housing Project) emerged in 2015 with their self-released “Gemini Blues” 7-inch, following it up the next year with their debut album “In The Void Above” for the renowned Siltbreeze imprint. “Out of The Ether ” is their sophomore effort, & first for Trouble In Mind. “Out of the Ether ” kicks off with the metronomic throb of “Dirt In My Mind’s Eye”, setting the stage for the album’s 5 tracks of minimal, droning ambience, overtaken at times by Nickles’ wailing, saxophone skronk; a mixture of the soulful runs of The Stooges’ Steve McKay & the no-wave stabs of James Chance.

                                              “Steely Eyed Missile Man” picks up the pace, with a four-on-the-floor drive underneath Provenzano’s guttural basslines. “Bloodborne Hate and Black Book Mass” and side one closer “I Turned To The Mirror ” add the industrial menace of Cabaret Voltaire to a locked-in groove and lysergicly introspective lyrics. Album closer “A Whole New Jupiter ” takes up all of the LP version’s side two, slingshotting the listener over the event horizon and thru the center of a sonically sculpted black hole, it ’s relentless motorik dirge evolving over the course of the track’s 19-minute run time into an abstract pulse before lurching back into the groove, riding it into the sun.

                                              Rays

                                              You Can Get There From Here

                                                Oakland band Rays return with their second album, You Can Get There From Here, their first release since their eponymous Trouble In Mind debut in 2016. You Can Get There From Here represents a turning point for the band, angling their scrappy, post-punk fury into a more refined & melodic pop sensibility, drawing inspiration from UK DIY pop & punk like Dolly Mixture, Cleaners From Venus & Television Personalities. Songs like "Fallen Stars" & "The Garden" temper their sonic crunch ever so slightly, relying more on the harmonic wallop of a solid hook than the sheer volume of guitars.

                                                This is urgent, chiming guitar pop that clangs with a sonorous melancholy & a ramshackle grace. Rays can still lay it down with the rest of 'em; tunes like "Subway" & "Work of Art" shuffle & stumble forward, skirting chaos in a flurry of strums, recalling antipodean groups like UV Race or Dick Diver who cull inspiration from idiosyncratic UK greats like Mark E. Smith or Robyn Hitchcock. The new album finds the core group of Stanley Martinez, Eva Hannan, Troy Hewitt & Alexa Pantalone augmented by new member & keyboardist Britta Leijonflycht, whose synth flourishes add melodic embellishments, sonic heft or psychedelic swirl where needed. 

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Fallen Stars
                                                2. The Garden
                                                3. The Big One
                                                4. To The Fire
                                                5. Veterans
                                                6. Yesterday’s Faces
                                                7. Around The Town
                                                8. Anti-Hand Man
                                                9. Subway
                                                10. Work Of Art
                                                11. Ray Johnson
                                                12. Before Sunrise 

                                                Swiss group Klaus Johann Grobe have been at it since 2012, and as they prepare to release their third album "Du Bist So Symmetrisch" (and third on Trouble In Mind), the group continues to defy description & blur the lines between electronic pop, dance music, synthesis & kosmische. "Du Bist So Symmetrisch" follows the inevitable path laid out by their previous album (the Basel Prize-winning "Spagat der Liebe"), incorporating the slinky, jazz-fusion-laced grooves populating late night clubs and braiding them together with the band's own blend of mutant electro-funk.

                                                Driven by an organic, metronomic beat aligned with synth, chant-like vocals, and a monstrous funky bass, the music aims towards a certain kind of hypnosis, particularly as the sleeping pill echo-heavy vocals cycle over the locked grooves the pair throw down. "Du Bist..." begins with the cascading arpeggio of a synth, edging into view, before lurching into the placid dancefloor groove of the first single "Discogedanken". While the band invariably feels more at home in the club, Klaus Johann Grobe certainly aim towards the more dance-orientated arena of German music (see "Der König" or "Von Gestern"), aligning the metro pulse of Klaus Dinger and Kraftwerk's later techno work to more biological factors - like moss growing on the mainframe. 

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Discogedanken
                                                2. Ja!
                                                3. Der König
                                                4. Sintemal 1
                                                5. Von Gestern
                                                6. Watte In Meinem Kopf
                                                7. Out Of Reach
                                                8. Du + Ich
                                                9. Sintemal 2
                                                10. Siehst Du Mich Noch?
                                                11. Zu Spät
                                                12. An Diesem Abend

                                                Second self-recorded album from this Chicago punk quartet. Chicago punk band Negative Scanner return to the fray with their second long-player, the cheekily titled Nose Picker. Once again recorded by the band themselves in their Chicago practice space, Nose Picker opens with a question; “Is there anybody there?”, which acts as both a legitimate query as well as a rallying cry. Negative Scanner make it clear that they want your attention, as opening tune “T.V.”s stutter step guitar riff leans into an lean and mean, 4-on-the-floor churn. The rest of the album follows suit, either with raging punk snarl (”History Lesson”, “First Blood”, “Let it Die”), or angular, emotive jagged guitar riffage (”A Cross”, “10 Million Kids”, “The Only One”), punctuated by vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Valeriano- Flores’ voice, teetering between a full throated roar and a plaintive monotone.

                                                Her lyrics are insular, spitting accusatory and inquisitory barbs inward, talking to anyone who listen. Is there anybody there? Despite the darkness on the surface, Nose Picker has an unmistakable air of whimsy, and a sense of humor, punctuated by the very literal album cover, and by the sound of a toilet flushing at the album‘s closing. The past two years have seen the band step out of the Midwest DIY spaces and basement shows and tour the USA and Europe, support UK band Sleaford Mods on select dates in the UK and the USA and standing toe-to-toe with the underground’s finest acts, including Sheer Mag, Protomartyr and more. 

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Hi-octane punk and roll, snarling vox, screaming guitars and fuzzed-out overdrive mix brilliantly into a dynamic, exciting force to be reckoned with. Negative scanner have hit the nail on the head with this one, just what you need to brighten up these hazy summer days.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. T.V. 2. Nose Picker
                                                3. History Lesson
                                                4. 6 Ft. Hole
                                                5. A Vision
                                                6. A Cross
                                                7. The Only One
                                                8. Shoplifter
                                                9. First Blood
                                                10. 10 Million Kids
                                                11. Let It Die
                                                12. Health Insurance 

                                                Connections

                                                Foreign Affairs

                                                  Fifth album from the beloved Columbus, OH band and first for TiM, after four albums on Columbus label Anyway Records. Features former members of 84 Nash. Since 2013, Columbus, Ohio's Connections have made four nearperfect albums of lo-fi pop majesty for the seminal Midwest label Anyway Records, and "Foreign Affairs" - their latest album (and first for Trouble In Mind), continues that winning streak with fifteen songs packed with sardonic tunefulness and Buckeye bombast, firmly planting them in the canon of the Ohio Sound.

                                                  Connections sprung forth from the ashes of Nineties pop band 84 Nash, infamous for being the only non-GBV related band released on Robert Pollard's own Rockathon Records and comparisons to the Indie Rock underdogs seem inevitable, if not a little shortsighted. Connections' brand of indie rock definitely has one foot in The Nineties but maintains a classicist's penchant for nuanced & timeless rock'n'roll. Many songs use
                                                  classic pop structures (see "Love Me Still"s quiet/loud/quiet power ballad-isms) but subvert them with a clever melodic twist, a bonkers twinguitar solo or unexpected synth squiggle underneath.

                                                  These guys have done their homework, but nothing feels studied - they've drunk from the waters of the Ohio Underground and the tunes flow forth naturally, with nods to their Nineties brethren (GBV, Breeders, Gaunt) as well as idiosyncratic Midwest legends like Mike Rep and The Quotas or Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments. For every obvious, life-affirming hit on 'Foreign Affairs' (the bouncy "Good Cop" or bombastic "Low Low Low") there are equal numbers of stealthy earworms like the chiming "Short Line" (with it's humming anti-chorus), or the yearning, organ-drenched "Downtown" to name
                                                  a few. The sixteen songs ooze familiarity and an instant lyrical relatability, with singer Kevin Elliot's lyrics reveling in the everyday's little details; good friends, love and rock 'n' roll with restlessness and desire in a harsh, unforgiving but still beautiful world. 

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Intro
                                                  2. Isle Insane
                                                  3. Cynthia Ann
                                                  4. Low Low Low
                                                  5. Good Cop
                                                  6. Misunderstanding
                                                  7. Short Line
                                                  8. Girls
                                                  9. Love Me Still
                                                  10. Ballad Of Big
                                                  11. Something Else
                                                  12. Purely Physical
                                                  13. Dream Away
                                                  14. Downtown
                                                  15. Very Nice, Very Slow
                                                  16. Outro

                                                  The Love-Birds

                                                  The Lover's Corner

                                                     RIYL: Twin Peaks, Teenage Fanclub, dBs, Game Theory, R.E.M., Replacements. Mastered by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub). San Francisco’s The Love-Birds have been tearing up their local scene, breaking hearts and making fans across the city ’s disappearing DIY spaces and proper venues alike since 2016. After releasing a 7-inch EP in early 2017 via local label Empty Cellar Records, they ’re ready to unveil In The Lover ’s Corner, their debut album & first release on their new home, Trouble In Mind.

                                                    The album eases into view with the first track, “Again”; it ’s gentle acoustic strum augmented by guitarist Eli Wald’s chiming electric twelve-string. From there the listener is treated to dynamic, life-affirming power-pop; bell-ringing, fuzz stompers (”River Jordan”), warm, carefully crafted fragile pop (”Clear The Air ”, “Failure and Disgrace”), and urgent, cr ystalline rockers (”Hit My Head”, “Weak Riff ”). The Love-Birds approach their craft with a classicist ’s ear; with nods to their Seventies originators as well as Nineties torchbearers, composing near-perfect future classics that ooze with subtle, interesting melodic twists and hummable, finger-pricking hooks that are instantly memorable.

                                                    Aside from mastering by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), In The Lover ’s Corner is a decidedly local affair, with album art by Shayde Sartin (Fresh & Onlys, Sonny and the Sunsets) and recorded in two sessions, one with engineer Glenn Donaldson (Art Museums, Skygreen Leopards) and another with Kelley Stoltz. “ In The Lover ’s Corner ” is issued on CD and Black vinyl (and a limited, yellow vinyl version for direct accounts) and will be available via all digital retailers and streaming services. 

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Again
                                                    2. Hit My Head
                                                    3. Angela
                                                    4. Clear The Air
                                                    5. December (Get To You)
                                                    6. Kiss And Tell
                                                    7. Gerrit
                                                    8. Weak Riff
                                                    9. River Jordan
                                                    10. Tommy’s Theme
                                                    11. Failure And Disgrace

                                                    FACS

                                                    Negative Houses

                                                      FACS sprung forth in early 2017 , Brian Case, Jonathan van Herik & Noah Leger were formerly of Chicago band Disappears. "Negative Houses" is their debut recording; an abstraction of their former outfit, even more minimal and bare than what came before. "Negative Houses" approaches the stark, gothy post-punk previously perfected more rhythmically and abstract than in Disappears, with Leger's motorik, machine-like drumming taking the forefront (see the tunes 'Skylarking' and 'Others') and van Herik's guitar alternating between slashes of dissonant ambience and percussive accent. Case switches from guitar to bass in FACS, adding an economical throb to the band's drive on songs like 'Just A Mirror' & the album's centerpiece, the near nine-minute, sax-soaked tour-de-force 'Houses Breathing', whose electric heartbeat lumbers forward, sounding like an outtake from Cold Storage Studios circa 1979. 

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1. Skylarking
                                                      2. Silencing
                                                      3. Houses Breathing
                                                      4. Just A Mirror
                                                      5. Others
                                                      6. Primary
                                                      7. Exit Like You
                                                      8. All Futures

                                                      Salad Boys

                                                      This Is Glue

                                                        New Zealand’s Salad Boys are back with “This Is Glue”, the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2015 debut album “Metalmania”. Recorded once again by bandleader/guitarist Joe Sampson at his home studio, “This Is Glue”s twelve songs dig deeper, with sharper hooks embedded deep within a more mature musicality. This Is Glue” hones Sampson’s songwriting chops to a razor edge, with many of the album’s songs sounding utterly timeless. The ri¬s and melodies seem all too familiar, perhaps recalling greats that came before them (The Chills, R.E.M., The Bats), but Sampson has a voice all his own and “This Is Glue”s tunes tread upon a singular path of measured melancholy.

                                                        The themes are darker, the lyrics more claustrophobic and yearning with Sampson confronting anxiety, mortality, and fear through the his abstract lyrical lens; a cracked world view, to be sure. Songs like “Exaltation”, “Dogged Out” and “Divided” convey a world-weariness of a man twice his age. That’s not to say that “This Is Glue” is all doom and gloom; album opener “Blown Up” kickstarts with motoric drumming that crescendos into a thrilling guitar ri¬ that could crack mountains. “Psych Slasher” crashes forward frenetically awash in phaser before easing into a melodic denouement buoyed by a bubbling synthesizer before a tidal wave of guitar crashes down again. Existential angst has never felt so exhilarating. 

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1. Blown Up
                                                        2. Hatred
                                                        3. Psych Slasher
                                                        4. Right Time
                                                        5. Choking Sick
                                                        6. Exaltation
                                                        7. In Heaven
                                                        8. Under The Bed
                                                        9. Dogged Out
                                                        10. Scenic Route To Nowhere
                                                        11. Going Down Slow
                                                        12. Divided

                                                        Olden Yolk

                                                        Olden Yolk

                                                          Olden Yolk is a New York-based group whose penchant for dystopian folk, abstract poeticism, and motorik rhythms have enveloped them in a sound uniquely of-the-moment yet simultaneously time-tested. The project is currently led by songwriters, vocalists, and multiinstrumentalists Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, whose interlaced vocals are found guiding each composition on their enlivening self-titled debut. The project was initially conceived in 2012 by Butler as an outlet for one-off songs and visual art while touring and releasing albums with the band Quilt (Mexican Summer).

                                                          Following the release of a split-record with Weyes Blood in 2014, Olden Yolk became a collaborative entity. Olden Yolk’s debut ruminates on questions surrounding love, self-doubt, and locating autonomy amidst burgeoning unrest. Wrought with hazy melancholy and halcyon joy, Butler and Shaffer’s lilting vocals play off one another through a devotional dialogue, taking form in haunting choral melodies and candid rock n' roll. These songs are ecstatic odes to the life of the city; to the subway platforms, kiosks, and monuments which enliven and encompass our collectivity, elevating into an urban-psychedelia.

                                                          On the album, Butler and Shaffer are joined by drummer Dan Drohan (Tei Shi, Uni Ika Ai) and guitarist Jesse DeFrancesco who round out the studio sessions and live-band. Drohan’s deep passion for jazz, hip-hop, and experimental percussion come to fore while Defrancesco’s minimal yet powerful guitar ambiences are heard swelling in the peripheries of each song. The album was recorded at Gary’s Electric in NYC by Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) with co-production, electronics, and mixing by Jon Nellen (Ginla, Terrible Records). Other guests, such as multi-instrumentalist John Andrews (Woods, Quilt, The Yawns) and violinist Jake Falby (Mutual Benefit, Julie Byrne), add to the mercurial nature of the record, creating a landscape tinged with beatific songwriting and transgressive underpinnings. 

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: The familia, often-tread middle ground between folk and psychedelia is a dangerous one. On one hand, you have bands which sound like they could have come from any era in the past 30 years, and could slip away a mere month later. On the other hand, you have the undiluted hypnotic beauty and filmic soaring majesty of Olden Yolk, perfectly marrying the mind-melting chemical meltdown of the 70's with the pristine production and thematic purity of todays folk. Superb.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1. Verdant
                                                          2. Cut To The Quick
                                                          3. Gamblers On A Dime
                                                          4. Vital Sign
                                                          5. Aria
                                                          6. Common Ground
                                                          7. Hen’s Teeth
                                                          8. Esprit De Corps
                                                          9. After Us
                                                          10. Takes One To Know One

                                                          Greg Ashley

                                                          Pictures Of Saint Paul Street

                                                            Greg Ashley has been a ¬fixture on the underground music scene since the late 90’s while stra¬ng eardrums as a teenager in Houston in garagepunk band The Strate-Coats. Since then he’s proven himself not only as a songwriter, singer and guitar player in bands like The Mirrors & The Gris-Gris, but also as a producer / sound engineer.

                                                            His career as a solo artist is vast & varied, spanning the gamut between fried & beautiful psychedelia, gorgeous & cathartic symphonic suites & gentle, damaged folk music, beginning with 2003’s “Medicine Fuck Dream” & last leaving us with 2014’s “Another Generation of Slaves”. His latest, “Pictures of Saint Paul Street” carries forward that album’s musical palette (a rootsy amalgam of tortured, Cohen-esque folk tinged with the beer soaked recklessness of a West Texas honky-tonk).

                                                            The songs on “Pictures of Saint Paul Street” are lush & beautiful autopsies of society’s underbelly, with stark and brutally honest ruminations on humanity. Songs like “A Sea of Suckers” & “Pursue The Nightlife” pull no punches, while “Jailbirds & Vagabonds” and “Blues For A Pecan Tree” carouse on a more abstract, human (almost romantic) level. By the time you’ve hit the album’s centerpiece; “Bullshit Society”, Ashley’s songs move from ballads of hopeless misery to rallying anthems for the dispossessed.




                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. A Sea Of Suckers
                                                            2. Goodbye Saint Paul Street
                                                            3. Blues For A Pecan Tree
                                                            4. Two Person One Man Band
                                                            5. Bullshit Society
                                                            6. Jailbirds And Vagabonds
                                                            7. Self-Destruction Derby
                                                            8. Medication #9
                                                            9. Pursue The Night Life
                                                            10. Six A.M. At The Black And White

                                                            Melbourne, Australia band Chook Race formed in 2010, starting out as a scrappy, garage/surf band, but soon developed a greater pop sensibility, born of their love of the Flying Nun bands and other bedroom favorites. After a string of of tapes and 7"s Chook Race return with new album 'Around The House', due for release on September 2nd through Chicago's Trouble in Mind Records.

                                                            The ten songs on "Around The House" are oddly withdrawn yet highly personal tunes, but performed by the band with a desperate urgency. Songs like the immediate & catchy "Hard To Clean" & "Sometimes" clang & clatter like chrome-plated pop earworms, while others like the somber "Pink & Grey" and album-closer "Start Anew" hum pensively, quietly insinuating themselves into your subconscious.

                                                            Captured in a single day by Tom Hardisty (NUN, Woollen Kits) and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring) the album has a compelling sound defined by jangly guitars, boy-girl harmonies and lyrical observations of the everyday. 

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Hard To Clean
                                                            2. Sometimes
                                                            3. Eggshells
                                                            4. Lost The Ghost
                                                            5. At Your Door
                                                            6. Pink & Grey
                                                            7. Sorry
                                                            8. Pictures Of You
                                                            9. Sun In Eyes
                                                            10. Start Anew

                                                            Primitive Parts

                                                            Parts Primitive

                                                            RIYL: Parquet Courts, Hookworms, Swell Maps, Blur, Wire, Eddy Current. Parts Primitive is the debut album from London-based band Primitive Parts. The band consists of Sauna Youth, Monotony and Male Bonding alumni / hit-makers Lindsay Corstorphine (guitar / voice) Kevin Hendrick (guitar) and Robin Christian (drums). They first practiced in 2012 after working together in a record shop in Crouch End with the goal to make something 'without fuss', that might sound like 'Stiff Records in the 60s'. They count The Deep Freeze Mice, Mick Jagger and Swell Maps among their many influences. After signing to Trouble in Mind (Dick Diver, Jacco Gardner, The Soft Walls, Ultimate Painting) in 2015 they immediately bought a Tascam 388 multitrack tape device. The resulting recording process was executed succinctly over the next 3 working days across 2 locations - the bands practice room in Homerton and Corstorphine's home, a former furniture factor y in Hackney Wick.

                                                            Parts Primitive consists of 10 close-knit and succinct songs that aim to evoke a sonic space that could be an imagined 1970s. ‘Miracle Skin’, ‘Signal’,‘Rented Housing’ and ‘Troubles’ are influenced equally by the dynamic Australian garage rock of The UV Race, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control as they are by the pop sensibilities and British charm of early Eno, The Kinks and Blur. First single, ‘Being There’ is a homage to the 1979 Peter Sellers film about a simple, sheltered gardener. Album closer, ‘Ever Outward’, features an improvised outro played by all 3 members on drum machine and cassette loops. Parts Primitive was recorded by the band directly onto two 7" reels of quarter inch tape, mixed by Mark Jasper at Soundsavers and mastered by Mikey Young overseas. The artwork makes a nod to 1970s photo books 'British Image 1 and 2' and Euan Duff's 'How We Are', old council and librar y letter heads and the painfully thin paper picture sleeves of records by bands like Vain Aims and Protex.

                                                            The album follows 2 sold-out singles on the SEXBEAT and Faux Discx labels, both of which received heavy air-play from BBC 6's Marc Riley and Jenn Long and were acclaimed by critics including Stereogum and NME. Primitive Parts have shared stages w/Twerps, Franz Ferdinand, The Homosexuals and Juan Wauters. Having recently bought a car, they plan to embark on a full UK tour in Autumn. 

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Miracle Skin (02:45)
                                                            2. Signal (02:45)
                                                            3. Troubles (02:29)
                                                            4. Being There (02:57)
                                                            5. Eyes (03:13)
                                                            6. Rented Houses (01:45)
                                                            7. TV Wheels (01:58)
                                                            8. Open Heads (02:22)
                                                            9. Dust (02:24)
                                                            10. Ever Outward (04:58)

                                                            RIYL: The Wipers, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Fall, Eddy Current Supression Ring.

                                                            Debut album from Chicago band formed from the ashes of Tyler Jon Tyler. Furious & snarling post-punk. Negative Scanner have been destroying rooms in Chicago’s vibrant DIY since 2012, earning well-deserved accolades as one of the cities best live bands. Their electrifying debut album finds the band taking on all comers; guitarist / vocalist Rebecca Valeriano-Flores’ gutteral howl & lyrics have gained confidence over the course of the band‘s previous two singles in 2014 (their debut on Trouble In Mind & it ’s follow-up on Tall Pat Records). The band (guitarist Matt Revers, bassist Nathan Beaudoin & drummer Tom Cassling) have evolved into a lurching, post-punk tornado furiously spinning into near-chaos but never leaving the band’s capable control.

                                                            The album’s opener “Ivy League Asshole” sets the tone - feral & ragged guitars chug over the rhythm section & Flores’ manic yelp spits out lyrics borne out of confusion, agression, domination & submission to life, living, lovers & beyond. The album‘s eleven tracks in 28 minutes fly by the lsitener, threatening whiplash but begging to be replayed. Negative Scanner ’s s/t debut was recorded by the band themselves in their practice space, mixed by Mike Lust ’s Phantom Mobile Unit & mastered by Australian legend Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring). 

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Ivy League Asshole
                                                            2. Criticism
                                                            3. Low
                                                            4. Gone Wild
                                                            5. C.P.D.
                                                            6. Would You Rather
                                                            7. Planet Of Slums
                                                            8. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning
                                                            9. Fane Vs. Wild
                                                            10. Forget It
                                                            11. Pity

                                                            Much has changed for the members of The Paperhead since the release of their TiM debut back in 2011 - tours both domestically & abroad, more releases, college, life, work, love, tragedy. The span of time & growth (both personally & musically) are reflected in the ten tunes on the band’s third album “Africa Avenue”.

                                                            Recorded by the band themselves in bassist Peter Stringer-Hye’s Nasville garage & mixed by Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin’ Bajas), “Africa Avenue” finds its groove in its unabashed melodicism and pop hooks. The title of the album is an homage to a street the band hung out on as children, and the experiences & memories created there drift in & out of lyrics that are appealingly abstract, but hint at an unspoken narrative. The jaunty opener “Africa” sets the scene with guitarist Ryan Jennings’ acoustic strum & sly synth squiggles, before unloading a crunchy guitar hook unlike anything the band has done previously, letting listeners know that something new is happening here; a step towards a full & comfortable immersion in the sounds they love. The band makes no bones of it’s affection for Sixties & Seventies psychedelia, but “Africa Avenue” quietly tiptoes around easy comparisons, mutating itself into something more textured & intricate, leaning more towards avant-pop.

                                                            The rest of the album has it’s fair share of stunners like the cosmic country of “Mother May”, the folk-raga of “In A Corner, or the harpsichord-sprinkled majesty of “Old Fashioned Kind” all fight for ear-space in an album full of highlights. The true key to the album’s success lies in the band’s synergy that comes from playing together since they were teenagers; the “hive-mind” that enables each to anticipate & play off each other, achieving an effortless grace in their arrangements & performance. “Africa Avenue” feels more organic, sounding like the work of a cracking live band in action rather than a heady, studio construction. A breath of fresh air & without a doubt, the band’s most accomplished effort to date.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Africa
                                                            2. Eye For Eye
                                                            3. Old Fashioned Kind
                                                            4. None Other Than
                                                            5. House
                                                            6. Nasty Girl
                                                            7. New Trend
                                                            8 . In A Corner
                                                            9. Mother May
                                                            10. Frustration

                                                            Brighton's Dan Reeves is a busy guy. In addition to running his own label, Faux Discx Records & playing in the band Cold Pumas, he also records under the moniker "Soft Walls". These 10 songs are meditations on the passing of time itself & the pre-conceived notions (both external & internal) of what you can & should be doing with it. Filled with avant-leaning psych drones, dreamy guitar ragas, motorik head-boppers, & pop tunes that shimmer enticingly, these are songs to get lost in; to discover & re-discover. Don't worry - there's plenty of time.

                                                            Hailing from London, England, Tyler Zypreska has been crafting shiny pop gems all by his lonesome, building up an impressive backlog of tunes that hit all the sweet spots from O.M.D. to La Dusseldorf, to Trio & the pining ennui of the teenage angst-anthems littering your 'Pretty In Pink' & 'Breakfast Club' soundtracks. Although his influences may lie in the discarded neon bones of the 80's & 90's there's an infectious spark of melodic tune-smithing permeating the album's 10 tunes.

                                                            "Psychic Death Hole”, the ultra limited 6 song cassette released early in 2013 introduced the world to Morgan Delt’s self-produced, genre-bending flavor of brown acid-dosed flowerdelia. Equal parts 'Odyssey & Oracle’ and ‘Parable of Arable Land’ Morgan Delt ’s debut self titled album expands on those initial tracks and brings forth one a fully realized glimpse into the California native’s twisted brain.

                                                            Morgan cites influences from Curt Boettcher to West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and rounds it out with golden age Sunset Strip heavies like The Byrds and Love. It’s all in there; obsessively studied, mastered and then mutated. Side one opens with the one/two punch of ‘Make My Grey Brain Green’ and ‘Barbarian Kings’ blasting apart 40 years of pop-psych and stitching it back together in a way that is both familiar but also refreshingly new. ‘Beneath the Black and Purple’ soars with a chiming guitar grumble right out of "8 Miles High" & “Chakra Sharks” squirms it’s way out of the speakers like a snake - oiled up with the stink of not only what came before, but what’s happening NOW. The drums pound hard and heavy, while the backups “la-la-la” all over your noggin like a Frankenstein version of The Flaming Lips & Thee Oh Sees. Each track worms it’s way into your brain and takes hold.

                                                            The finale ‘Main Title Sequence’, is all Stu Phillips-worship, right out of the soundtrack to your favorite 60’s cult classic with it ’s angelic backing vocals and lilting tremolo lead but somehow still buzzes with a modern current. As Morgan so keenly described his notion on the current state of genre bending music “I think we’ve become unstuck in time and everything is going to happen all at once from now on.”

                                                            RIYL: Flaming Lips, Thee Oh Sees, Curt Boettcher, Red Krayola, Byrds, Love, White Fence.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. Make My Grey Brain Green
                                                            2. Barbarian Kings
                                                            3. Beneath The Black & Purple
                                                            4. Mr. Carbon Copy
                                                            5. Obstacle Eyes
                                                            6. Little Zombies
                                                            7. Chakra Sharks
                                                            8. Sad Sad Trip
                                                            9. Backwards Bird Inc.
                                                            10. Tropicana
                                                            11. Main Title Sequence

                                                            Australia is in a full-on rock & roll renaissance right now, and charging to the front of the pack are Melbourne’s Woollen Kits.

                                                            ‘Four Girls’ is the follow up to their self-titled debut LP on RIP Society and a continuation of the greatness of their Trouble In Mind debut 7” from summer 2012.

                                                            The new album finds the band in tip top form - confident and assured, with a suite of their best tunes to date. Songs herein deal with underlying longing or fantasy with individual truths and being fed up with people’s phoney concepts and ideals (which, guitarist Tom Hardisty says: “… in an effort to make themselves feel more deep and interesting to people, are actually creating a barrier between themselves and everyone else by only relating to others on a very one dimensional level”).

                                                            However, despite this frustration or sense of loss, there’s usually a positive spin on these themes. ‘Cheryl’ is a definite standout on the album, and offers listeners some of the truest lyrics ever put to song with “When you look good, you know you feel good, and when you feel good, you get sh*t done.”

                                                            ‘Susannah’ is another instant head-bopper with its happy-tappy VU guitar strum and horn interplay. Tom, Tom and Leon have taken the two disparate voices of their debut album and forged a united delivery emphasizing the best of both songwriters’ strengths. It’s got the swagger and jangle of classic Flying Nun and the simplicity and directness of Beat Happening with a dash of late-80s underground rock.

                                                            For fans of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Velvet Underground, Tronics, Beat Happening.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            Back To You
                                                            Cheryl
                                                            Sandra
                                                            Be You
                                                            So Cold
                                                            Susannah
                                                            Please
                                                            Shelley
                                                            All Sorts
                                                            On The Move

                                                            Hollows have taken the girl group influence of their debut & time warped 20 years, creating a sound that has more in common with Kate Bush than Ronnie Spector & more Go-Go's than Shangri-La's. "Vulture" finds them mining more sophisticated & nuanced sonic territories. Full of yearning throbs, swelling into a symphony of strings (literally!), Caribbean rhythms, plus the crashing drums & organ trills Hollows are known for, "Vulture" is a razor sharp musical talon.



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