Saturday, June 4, 2016

Vol. 7 Episode 2

Star Wars score fans should be excited for the new hologram vinyl for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is a double vinyl set with a tie-fighter on one and the Melinum Falcon on the other. As it spins it is supposed to give a 3D holographic 360 degree look at each ship. It can be preordered and you can watch a video on the concept at the Disney soundtrack page.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are going to be a part of a new project called Sounds Delicious from Turntable Kitchen. The project is a subscription service where a band or artist covers an entire album. The project is trying to get funding through Kickstarter right now with 26 days still to go. The goal is $20,000 and they are at $14,833 right now. It has not been clear what the order the releases are going to be but I am taking a chance that The Pains will be the first release.

Here we go...

It has only been a couple of years since this groups first album came out. It was a great fuzzed out shoegaze sound that for the most part was very slow and beautiful. On their second outing, the band has not really changed directions. The music is just as mesmerizing but I think that the difference on this album is that they have upped the tempo on about a third of the songs. This gives me the desire to tap my feet/making me feel good while listening to this album. Maybe I just really like what is on this album. There have been multiple different vinyl color pressings put out for this album. All of the colors that I know about are as follows: Black, Baby Pink / Bone White, Electric Blue, Olive Green, Blue Inside Milky Clear, Baby Blue / Bone White Merge, Blood Red, Grey, Orange Krush, Clear.

The album starts off with the track Fever Queen. It is a faster paced track that instantly locks you into what will be happening on the record. When the verse finally kicks in the music doesn’t slow down as much as the vocals instantly drag, slowing the song down. It makes a faster paced song become something warm and lovely. This is defiantly a favorite on the album.

The single from the album is called ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Dissorder). It is a classic styled male vocal shoegaze song. It is a song that you can lose yourself in and listen to over and over again and just mellow out to. I could listen to this album and easily fall asleep to it. It doesn’t need to be loud to get what is going on sonically on the album let alone this single.

I was very surprised to hear the song Everyone Is Happy. What really surprised me about this song is that the rhythm guitar is an acoustic. It gives a different flavor to the standard shoegaze music. I think that it enhances the genre. It is not that I haven’t heard shoegaze groups use an acoustic guitar but that it doesn’t happen very often and when it does it always seems to be something special.

Shoegaze music has always been associated with the wall of sound idea and full of noise. I think that this album proves the opposite is true. There is noise but it doesn’t need to be loud to be shoegaze. This is a wonderfully beautiful album.

This is a limited, 300 units pressed, 7” released on Night School records. This is the solo effort put out by Roxanne Clifford, guitarist/vocalist for one of my favorite bands; Veronica Falls (VF). I like VF so much that I have been trying to follow each of the members’ side projects. I was excited to hear that Roxanne had been working on something new.

The A side is called The Church. This song has a serious early 90s/late 80s feel to it. This is kind of a thing that has been happening I guess, the 90s revival thing that is. I really wanted to like the track but it just isn’t working for me. I think it could have been a great song if it had been arranged differently. I am not going to say that I could have done it better because what I come up with could be complete garbage but I do think that it could have been done differently and been something really single worthy.

The B side is done in the same style but with no drums and stripped back a bit more, for me just not all that interesting. I get what she was going for but it did not work for me on either tracks.

This is a new band on Slumberland Records. Slumberland actually turned me on to them before this release and I was able to get a live/demo cassette of the music that would be coming out from them in the future. I have to say I am expecting some great things from this group in the future.

The A side, Ariana, is a great song that has lovely chorus sound on the guitars and beautiful female vocals that flow so perfectly together. This is a song that I had already heard on the cassette. This is a song that I like and it becomes even better with this studio version. It is fuller than the live version and this is why I am expecting great things from this group. A live version is great but moving a song to the studio will do amazing things for a song and a group as a whole.

The B side, All That Heaven Allows, is a new song for me. I expected something great though with how Ariana sounded. I was not let down at all. This song sounded like a track that Bleached could have done if they were from the UK. It was fun, blissfull and above all else a great rock song.

I like this group a lot and want to hear more from them, very excited about this group!

This is the new single from Beck, digital only at this point. This is an interesting R&B/rap track from an upcoming album. The album still doesn’t have a title or an official release date but Beck is thinking it will be released this fall. This is a lot of time between the release of this single and an upcoming album with a vague release of the fall. This is not a strong track too. The rhythm part of this song is a sliding synth flute sound that sounds so lame and sickly. I really hope there will be a stronger single released to keep fans interested. This is nothing like last summers big hit from beck called Dreams. 

This is all I have for now...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vol. 7 Episode 1

It’s back!  I am going to start writing again. After a year off to play video games and just take my mind off of life for a bit, which ended up being a year plus, I am back and excited to get into this again.  I have changed jobs and sleep schedules but more importantly Radiohead have a new album and have released two singles from it!

There has been a fourth pressing of the first and second singles from the Man or Astro-Man? album, Defcon 54321, in a purple splatter. I misunderstood the tweet that I read from Chunklet and bought all three singles again thinking that all three were in purple splatter but to my surprise the third one came in clear with black streaks. I have only seen one other record that was clear with black streaks and that was a special version for a fellow blogger. I have no idea on the rarity of something like this or if it is even worth anything. I think it is still unique and it will not be leaving my collection.

Anyway, here we go…

This is the new album from Radiohead. There are a few different formats available to purchase. There are the standard versions; Vinyl, CD and DL (WAV and MP3) along with the special versions; a box set of vinyl, CD and DL (Your choice of WAV or MP3). There is also a colored vinyl edition that was only available through record stores. The special edition also comes with a second CD with two additional tracks and a section of tape from recordings that range from Kid A to The King of Limbs. The tape is a length of ¾ of a second. They are cutting this tape up because it is degrading and it is cool to give this kind of thing to the fans.

This new album is very warm but very depressing. There are eleven tracks on this, their ninth album. Some of them are old songs made new and some are completely new songs.  I think that all 11 of these songs have been live tested all the way back to OK computer/Kid A eras. The first single, Burn The Witch will be talked about below with the 7” record for the single. The second single is Daydreaming. It is a soft song that reminds me of the songs that are used on the 70s summer camp movies when the lead roll takes a walk in the woods to reflect. I usually dislike these slow songs but Radiohead seems to find the right sounds in a slow song that still makes me happy.

I really like the track Identikit. The song reminds me of something from Kid A. I really like that album and this track sounds as if it is pulled directly from that album and made just a little bit more current. There are not really any electronic sounds on this track to make me think Kid A but it is more the way that the vocals flow.

My other favorite is this studio version of True Love Waits. I really liked this song the way it was presented on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings. This version was with Thom singing and playing the acoustic guitar. I was afraid that they would make this new studio version something that I would hate. I was happy to find that this was not the case. The song was slowed down and the acoustic guitar was replaced with a piano playing arpegiated notes. I actually like that the song is slowed down from what I remember. It almost becomes an adult lullaby. It is such a depressing song but I always feel so happy when I listen to it on both versions of the song.

I am very excited to get my hands on this album but the special version doesn’t come out until September. As a consolation if you get the special version you get instant access to the download. I did also get the colored record store copy that will be released June 17th. I will also probably get the CD too.

Radiohead – Burn The Witch
This is the new 7” that has been put out for the new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. This record was only released in record stores world wide.  There were only 2500 pressed. I was lucky enough to get a copy from my favorite record store. The record did come with a download but, unlike most records that I have gotten in the recent past, there was not a card included in the sleeve. The download information was printed on the inside of the sleeve.  Like most Radiohead things that have been put out there was a special web page to get the download.

The A side is Burn The Witch. This song uses a string section as the rhythm part. The strings played staccato notes all the way through the song and tension grows all the way to the end through that part of the music. Thom’s vocals soar through the chorus as he sings the title of the song. The bass is a standard saw tooth wave that sounds so cool with the organic sounds from the strings section. I truly is a wonderful weave of classic sounds and new electronic sounds.

The B side is the song Spectre. This song was composed and intended to be used with the last James Bond movie of the same name. It was not chosen so the band decided to put it out for the fans. This song was originally released before the new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. One could get it as a download through the Radiohead Soundcloud page. I did get it as soon as I heard it was available. This 7” is the only way to get a physical copy of this song at this point. The song itself is fantastic, slow and very emotional feeling. I thought it was perfect for the opening credits of the movie, Spectre, until I saw the song put to the credits. The credits are done in two colors, blueish grey and gold. I found that the song didn’t work for me when the gold color was present. I have an idea as to what I would change but that is not for me to change. It is still a great song on its own and that is probably why they released the song anyway.

Lush – Blind Spot 
This is the first release from Lush since Topilino back in 1996 which was more of a B side compilation. That is 20 years since the last release from Lush (I am not counting the best of compilations though). I found out about this EP late though that I didn’t get a signed copy. There were 200 copies of this EP on vinyl that the band had signed and was put up for sale on their web page.  I am disappointed that I missed out on this but at the same time I am happy that I have a copy on vinyl. This EP was also released on CD and as DL. 

There are four tracks on this EP and the first track, Out of Control, was released as the single. I really like this song as it soars and takes its time to tell the story of teenage love. It is like the group didn’t have that big gap in time because this track sounds like it was written right after Scar in the early 90s. The song is absolute Shoegaze perfection. It is not that loud noisy shoegaze, it is wonderful soft and smooth with beautiful female vocals.

The other three tracks on this EP are very similar sonicly but don’t quite have that special something that would make them a single in their own rite. I will say that this is a great EP if you wanted to get into the shoegaze genre.

This is the latest release from The Pains. It was originally released as a DL only. It was later released in Europe for Record Store Day as a 7” EP on black vinyl with two tracks and an additional two tracks with the DL. It was also released as a CD in Japan a bit after the original release but before Record Store Day with a couple of demo tracks that were both tracks that I had never heard. My point is that if you have gotten the CD and the 7” you would wind up with six new tracks. The 7” will be released later this year on ox blood (dark red) and black splatter vinyl for the US.

The title track, Hell, was the single. I think this is a good song but lacked the something that made it a great single like Simple and Sure or Until The Sun Explodes from the previous album.

What I really liked was the cover of the James song Laid. It changed the male vocals for female and used more distortion than the original or at least a different version of distortion giving the song a slightly different flavor. I find this version so much more pleasing than the original just to imagine a lesbian relation ship. It fits so perfectly. If James heard this cover I could only imagine that they would be happy too.

I like this EP but the way that it was released was a little abnormal.  There wasn’t a standard CD release and it was kind of a surprise with the Record Store Day release being only in Europe and a later US release (7/29/16) on Creep Records. The US release will have four tracks as opposed to the two track European RSD release. 

This is all that I have for the come back episode...