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WICHITA RECORDINGS

Health & Beauty

Shame Engine / Blood Pressure

On first glance, the line-up on Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure, the seventh studio album from Chicago’s Health&Beauty, might indicate a passing of the torch. The recording features a large cast of musicians from the outfit’s past and its present helping the band’s founder and sole constant Brian J Sulpizio achieve his idiosyncratic vision—a sound and ethos he’s been kicking around, retooling, and finessing for more than 15 years, a few years after moving to Chicago from his native Defiance, Ohio in 2000. From song to song the band’ssound encapsulates detail-rich pop songs, extended jamming inspired by Chicago’s free jazz legacy, and devastatingly potent country-folk tunes. Sulpizio has never been hung up on genre, but his imagination and musicianship has allowed him to bring far-flung ideas to beautiful fruition.

A good chunk of the beautifully scorching new album was cut right after a quartet version of the group—with guitarist Jake Acosta, drummer Seth Vanek, and bassist Bill Satek—had finished an intensive three-week tour at the end of 2017. The new album conveys a directness and scorching power that seems to stem from the band’s live performances, whether the harrowing, droning blues of the opener “Saturday Night” or the soulful Irish-tinged folk-rock of “Recourse.” In reality, Shame Engine / Blood Pleasureis simply the latest chapter in an evolving tome, but it’s absolutely the most gripping and satisfying instalment in that process yet.

Over time many musicians have collaborated with Sulpizio—some in short bursts, others, like keyboardist Ben Boye and drummer Frank Rosaly, over the long haul—and the new record includes some fresh faces. Sulpizio is that rare beast with a keen ear for detail—no doubt a byproduct of his frequent work as an engineer and producer for some of Chicago’s most beloved bands—as well as an abiding love for the spontaneity and heated interaction of live gigs. His epic improvisational abilities have been a constant in the bands led by Ryley Walker—where the guitarist cemented his bonds with both Boye and Rosaly— but he’s always focused on serving the band rather than grandstanding. Even within Health&Beauty he frequently cedes lead guitar duties to others: check out Acosta’s post-Eddie Hazel fantasias on “Saturday Night.”

Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure, like its predecessors, is undeniably the product of his fertile mind, but it wouldn’t sound the way it does without the input and ideas of his collaborators. “We all have too much to gain by working with as many people as makes musical sense to us, and I really enjoy having Health&Beauty records run a wide musical gamut,” explains Sulpizio of the peripatetic line-ups of the band over time. “I've loved working with everyone I've played with over the years. Some versions of Health&Beauty seemed to live out a natural lifespan; some may come back together again. I really can't express enough how grateful I am to get to make music with the people I've worked with. Their contributions amaze me, ranging up to songwriting. Making music, going to shows or sessions or rehearsals, is joy and catharsis for me.”


FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

Ride release their first album in over twenty years, ‘Weather Diaries’ on June 16th via Wichita Recordings.

Produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, ‘Weather Diaries’ is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early ‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. The album will be released through Wichita Recordings and sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album ‘Nowhere’ and produced it’s follow up ‘Going Blank Again’.

The revitalised four piece - comprising of Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert, and Steve Queralt - reformed and returned to the live scene in 2014, selling out headline tours around the world to a plethora of critical acclaim, as well as show stopping turns at festivals including Coachella, Primavera and Field Day. More than that though, the British music sphere especially has been littered with bands heavily indebted to Ride and their peers. The likes of The Horrors, School Of Seven Bells and labels such as Sonic Cathedral have ensured that shoegaze is a sound that's eternally relevant.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Limited clear vinyl edition.


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