Saturday, February 04, 2006

This week's new shit list via FE and AQ

Following come from Forced Exposure and Aquarius Records and are what I deem to be of interest. You can go to their website and check it out yourself. Most of the words come from the record company's website (Aquarius writes their own reviews, FE generally just reprints whatever the record companies send them).


via ForcedExposure.com

AK 99016LP

BLUE CHEER: New Improved! LP (AK 99016LP) 13.50
Akarma's all-time vinyl bestsellers now on 120 gram standard black vinyl. "Here, bassist Dick Peterson and drummer Paul Whalley present two distinctly different Blue Cheers. Side two works much better. It is 14 minutes and 43 seconds of three Randy Holden originals. 'Peace of Mind' is great, a lilting hard rock riff, and a refinement of the blistering Blue Cheer sound that launched them into the consciousness of the public. Although both sides of this album were produced by Milan Melvin, Dot recording artists Burns Kellogg on piano and organ, and Bruce Stephens on guitars, sandblocks, and tortoise shell, cannot help Peterson lift the basement tape vibe of side one to a place where it can compete with Holden's contributions on the second side. 'Fruit & Icebergs' is heavy psychedelia. Black Sabbath's 'Rat Salad' meets San Francisco's Big Brother & the Holding Company without Janis Joplin. The final track, 'Honey Butter Lover,' is a cute acoustic piece with more spirit than anything on side one, which makes this a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde album of Blue Cheer in transition." --All Music Guide

(Editor's Note: if you like 6 Organs of Admittance)


APE 019CD

MOUNTAINS: Sewn CD (APE 019CD) 12.00
"Apestaartje co-founders Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp follow up their critically-acclaimed self-titled debut as Mountains with this second offering of slowly evolving sound. Recorded over several lengthy excursions outside the confines of the city in upstate New York and Connecticut, Sewn invokes a sense of ease and delicate precision. A beautiful combination of clean crisp texture and warm pulsating harmony that shows a group developing and expanding their sound with an extreme attention to detail that reflects new layers in each melody and texture. Eight tracks that combine live instrumentation (guitar, piano, accordion, harmonica etc..), binaural field recordings and resonant electronic processing to create a wide range of electro-acoustic experience. From the folkish acoustic guitar of 'Sewn Two' and 'Bay,' to the densely layered organic din of 'Hundred Acre' and the psychedelic minimalism of 'Sheets', Sewn shows a group as equally invested in melody as it is in experimentation. Music for listening."

RUNE 221CD

AHLEUCHATISTAS: What You Will CD (RUNE 221CD) 13.00
"Formed in February, 2003, Ahleuchatistas are a guitar/bass/drums trio from Asheville, NC whose music is a cutting cultural critique and a joyous musical experience. Their sound is as stripped down as it can be -- they use no effects whatsoever -- and they combine elements of punk rock, post-electronic, progressive rock mathrock, fusion, and minimalism. They have released two acclaimed records, but What You Will is their first release with significant distribution. They have gained a significant reputation very quickly for their powerful and precise live shows. The band's name comes from a Charlie Parker song called 'Ah-Leu-Cha' and from the '-tistas' part of 'Zapatistas,' who are an indigenous people's movement in Southern Mexico."


EAR 40041LP

FALL, THE: Room to Live 2LP (EAR 40041LP) 26.00
"Released in September 1982, just months after the classic Hex Enduction Hour, the ever-iconoclastic Smith created Room To Live as a kind of 'fake-left' to fans and critics expecting a repeat performance. Just as the stench of success was beginning to drift in the band's direction, Room served to clear the air and send the faint-hearted running in the other direction. Now featuring an entire album of bonus tracks."

SONY 12418CD

MOBY GRAPE: Crosstalk: The Best of Moby Grape CD (SONY 12418CD) 12.00
Originally issued in 2003; Sony's Moby Grape 2CD in the US (Vintage is no longer in print, so this Eurpean "best of" is your best option (outside of the vaguely distributed San Francisco Sound albums). This CD features 23 tracks, roughly broken up between the first 4 albums. "The five members of Moby Grape were not cut from the same cloth. Jerry Miller, Bob Mosley, Peter Lewis, Skip Spence and Don Stevenson came together in San Francisco in the summer of 1966 from fairly different walks of life... But the five of them had one very important thing in common: all of them could write, sing and play superbly. And thus the beauty of Moby Grape: good stuff, only more than usual. A three-pronged guitar attack via Miller, Spence and Lewis, vocals from all corners, most memorably rom the scarily soulful Mosley and the earnestly sweet-voiced Lewis, and with all those singers -- harmonies few bands have ever matched... Moby Grape were there, they made records like no one else, and in the annals of American rock n' roll, there will never ever be any band like them again." --Dave DiMartino, from linernotes

The following come from AquariusRecords.org

ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI Pedestrian Pop Hits (Latitudes 5) (Southern) cd 11.98
It took some of us a while to come around to the mad, maddening, drug addled defect pop world of Ariel Pink. We were convinced it was all an act, a put on, but it soon became apparent that Mr. Ariel Pink is indeed INSANE, and his music suddenly became less of a complicated art project and more a tantalizing glimpse inside the mind of a seriously fucked up musical madman. Pedestrian Pop Hits is 15 minutes of freaked out, psychedelic effects laden, dementedly catchy otherworldly pop. This is definitely not pop for the faint of heart, this is twisted and dark, like pop from an alternate dimension, where pop song hooks are chopped up and flung to the ground and stomped on in wild musical temper tantrums, rhythms careen wildly from in time to not even remotely toe tappable, sweet guitar melodies get dunked chorus first into deep vats of jabbering lyrical nonsense and blooping burping synthesizers, the whole thing run through forty delay pedals and broadcast through the speaker on a passing ice cream man's truck. Somehow, with all this damage and what-the-fuck going on, these songs (or this song) manages to sound pretty lush, and impossibly catchy. Imagine Brian Eno on Mescaline or listening to AM radio after a full frontal lobotomy. Wow! A testament to the mad genius of Ariel Pink for sure.
Comes packaged in a super intricate hand screened die cut fold over sleeve with a full color insert. Each copy hand stamped and numbered. Limited to 1000 copies worldwide, 500 of which made it to the United States, about 50 of which made it here. So you know what that means!


album cover SQUIRREL BAIT s/t (Dexter's Cigar / Drag City) cd 13.98
We ranted and raved about the mighty Bastro a few lists back, and almost as if planned, both records by the band that would become Bastro get re-pressed not a few months later
We're talking about Squirrel Bait, post punk, pre math rock, a dense mix of massive hooks, a twin guitar attack and raw vocals which manged to be not punk enough for the hardcore kids but too fast and fucked up for the indie rockers resulting in Squirrel Bait being, overlooked andÔTOTALLY UNDERRATED.
The pride of Louisville, Kentucky, these guys were LITERALLY just kids when they started this sonic bombast. A bit thrashy perhaps for power pop purists (boo!), these boys wrote the book on post-hardcore for sure. Good enough (or better than, depending on who you ask) to be as influential as Husker Du or the Replacements, but more genuine in their attack as they were young bucks making an unholy racket well beyond their years. Squirrel Bait's debut is a wild and loud messy mix of pop and punk, but this ain't no 'pop punk', this is just a furious blast of mathy, heavy, catchy, hooky, thrashy, sloppy rock and roll. Later folks would call this post-hardcore, post punk, stuff like that, but the truth is, Squirrel Bait were making music that while similar to other groups at the time, was taking chances, and making sounds and writing songs like no one had heard before. It's still fiery and furious and in your face, but amidst all that youthful exuberance, were the bits and pieces that would define a whole generation of post rockers. It's no coincidence that members of Squirrel Bait would go on to play in Slint, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol and The For Carnation.
Even to this day, this record sizzles and crackles and sounds as original and innovative as the day it was released!

album cover SQUIRREL BAIT Skag Heaven (Dexter's Cigar / Drag City) cd 14.9
We ranted and raved about the mighty Bastro a few lists back, and almost as if planned, both records by the band that would become Bastro get re-pressed not a few months later
We're talking about Squirrel Bait, post punk, pre math rock, a dense mix of massiveÔhooks, a twin guitar attack and raw vocals which manged to be not punk enough for the hardcore kids but too fast and fucked up for the indie rockers resulting in Squirrel Bait being, overlooked andÔTOTALLY UNDERRATED.
The pride of Louisville, Kentucky, these guys were LITERALLY just kids when they started this sonic bombast. A bit thrashy perhaps for power pop purists (boo!), these boys wrote the book on post-hardcore for sure. Good enough (or better than, depending on who you ask) to be as influential
SB's second and final release clocks in at under 30 minutes, but even more than their debut, Skag Heaven packs the future of indie rock and the blueprint for post rock right there in that half hour. This band explodes and offers up song after song dense with strange melodies and furious rocking, delicate arrangements and hooks galore. These guys accomplished more in this half hour than most bands do in their entire careers. They may have been POST hardcore, but the hardcore spirit meant you didn't need a 80 minute double album to say your piece, short and sharp, and pretty darn near perfect. Maybe more twin-guitar buzz this time around, more refined songwriting (without giving up the innovation OR the aggression),Ôsome of the best drumming EVER, and vocals that show real angst and depth without devolving into that indie sad boy whine. All this andÔstill not one member legally old enough to purchase alcohol!

(EDITORS NOTE - that's me speaking Vinyl Mine - Leviathan is the only black metal band you need to follow):

album cover LEVIATHAN Verrater (tUMULt) 2cd 15.98
By now, pretty much every blackmetalhead who hasn't been lost in a grim and frostbitten forest for the last 5 years is well aware, and most likely a huge fan of the mighty Leviathan, which is just one man, Wrest, who along with likeminded outifts Xasthur, Draugar, Crebain and a handful of others have managed to reinvent and reinvigorate black metal in the last few years, while turning California into a land as grim and as black as the Norwegian clime that spawned the genre. But there was a time, when Leviathan hadn't released any proper records at all, outside of a handful of cassettes and home made cd-r's. This double disc collects the best bits from all of those releases and was the first glimpse many folks would get of the blackness that would come to define modern USBM. This is the second and FINAL pressing of this essential slab of black metal, limited to 666 copies (of course). Once these are gone, it's back to eBay on bloodied knees for you! Here's what we had to say about Verrater the first time around (with some minor updates and adjustments):
Those of you who live in San Francisco may have seen or even bought some of the many self released casettes by the mysterious one man black metal band called Leviathan. Or some of you may have seen Andee or Allan sporting their Leviathan shirts, or you may have even seen Wrest, the man behind Leviathan lurking around AQ...regardless, Leviathan is the latest and certainly one of the greatest of the Bay Area black metal bands (Ludicra, Sangre Amado, Crebain, Draugar and the godlike Weakling [both also on tUMULt], etc...) who seem to exist in some sort of vacuum here while elsewhere, band after unoriginal band keep getting signed to huge labels and hyped to death even though most of them suck.
For this release Andee and Wrest went through the 13 full length Leviathan cassettes/cd-r's (as of the release of Verrater that number had leapt to 15!) Leviathan had recorded since 1998 to compile a good overview. But they couldn't whittle it down enough so one disc became two, with the first disc being the newer stuff, and disc two being the older, raw-er material.
Verrater is pure, primitive, cult, home recorded evil. Two discs, twenty two tracks, one hundred and forty three minutes of buzzing, howling, pummelling, black metal. Think Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, that sort of thing, but with all sorts of weird twists and sonic surprises. Yes, Leviathan is grimmer than grim metal that the frost & forest lords of Norway should bow down to, but it's also pure expression unfettered by genre restraints, although informed and inspired by them. Like Weakling, Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra, Caacrinolas, Ludicra, Potentiam, Enslaved, and some other AQ-championed black metal acts, this is not just one for fans of black metal only! It's dark, weird, noisy, disturbing art embodying one man's vision that should be heard by anyone into avantgarde, experimental, psychically and physically powerful rock music. From blasting howling fury to moody ambient blackness to off kilter weirdness to droning riffery to soul crushing heaviness. What's truly remarkable is that one man, playing all the instruments himself, and recording at home, can evoke such strong emotions and invoke such musical demons. Original, evil, hateful, misanthropic, bizarre and truly black metal.

album cover CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE Young Shields (Tomlab) cd ep 6.98
Hot on the heels of the split 7" Casiotone For The Painfully Alone did with Fox Pause comes another short'n'sweet C.F.T.P.A. release (this one's available on 2-song vinyl and 4-song cd)... And just in time for Valentine's Day, no less! This one man band (aka Owen Ashworth) seems to have a bottomless heart-shaped box of schoolboy lo-fi pop-tronic bonbons. On the first two tunes of this cd (the two that make up the 7" version), his trademark rudimentarily programmed drumbeats and perky Casiotone keyboard melodies once again make us muse as to whether or not Ashworth and Stephin Merritt might be long lost brothers. That said, in more ways that one, the standout track is definitely the somber finale on the cd version. An alternate version of his song "The Subway Home", its plucked cello strings bring to mind the final droplets of rain that fall from leaves after a stormy night. Moody loveliness.

album cover DURRETT, LIZ The Mezzanine (Warm) cd 14.98
Dare we say that on her newest album, Liz Durrett out 'Cat Power's Chan Marshall? Now, we're by no means taking anything away from Ms Durrett nor are we suggesting that she's a copycat. No, it's just that this album inhabits a very similar territory as, say, the beloved Cat Power album Moon Pix. The reference is a total compliment. she's a great songwriter and a captivating performer in her own right. Oh yeah, and she doesn't sounds anything like her Uncle Vic (Chesnutt) neither! Whew, hope that clears things up and gets us out of any pickles. This is her second full length and it is so absolutely lovely -- a fantastic follow-up to her debut, Husk. Durrett shares her dreamy secrets in hushed pastel tones and delicately lilting folksy phrases. You'll have no choice but to linger a while (or at least for the 37 minute playing time) on this Mezzanine!


album cover SHIT AND SHINE Ladybird (Latitudes 1) (Southern) cd 11.98
These Latitudes cds have beeen a bitch to get. Thanks to everyone for beeing so patient. They are super limited and only a handful even make it to the states, and of that handful we have to fight tooth and nail to get enough to list. We only now managed to get 20 copies of the inaugural Latitudes dics, number ONE, from the UK's Shit And Shine, a gore soaked, bloody nosed, sweat stained knee to the groin. Multiple drummers, lots of guitars, a toy keyboard and one mighty riff. Think prime era Butthole Surfers, add some Stooges stomp and some Hawkwind spaciness, an unstoppable wall of crushing churning psychedelic crunch, thick sludgy basslines, fuzzy filthy guitars, grunted shouted vocals, all in a druggy swirl of effects, random noises and full on brain frying weirdness. A glorious forty minute pummelling.
Comes packaged in a super intricate hand screened die cut fold over sleeve with a full color insert. Each copy hand stamped and numbered. Limited to 1000 copies worldwide, 500 of which made it to the United States, only 20 of which made it here. So you know what that means!

1 Comments:

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous andee / aQuarius records said...

thanks for the kind words, digging what we do and spreading the word!!
xxoo
andee
aQ

 

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