Thanks to everyone who came out for record store day. We’ve gotten some really cool records over the last month or two. Here’s some of our favorites:
TERRY AND LOUIE – A Thousand Guitars LP
Formed from the ashes of one the most tragic and beloved Punk bands in recent memory, THE EXPLODING HEARTS, they are TERRY & LOUIE aka TERRY SIX (The Exploding Hearts / THE NICE BOYS) and KING LOUIE BANKSTON (THE PURSUADERS, BAD TIMES) and they are back with a brand new full length album entitled … A Thousand Guitars. Terry & Louie are THE premier songwriting partnership duo. Much like Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds (Rockpile), Chin and Chapman, and Boyce and Hart before them. They combine the heart and soul from their predecessors with catchy upbeat blasts, picking right back up where they left off with huge, sonic signature guitar sounds and soulful vocal performances.
URANIUM CLUB – Cosmo Cleaners LP
“You’re being urgently, naughtily rushed up the tallest, steepest stairs you’ve ever climbed. Smile cautiously as the URANIUM CLUB welcomes you into their stinky apartment. You’ve been here before, right? Oh, that must have been some one else. Do you have a brother or sister? One of the members mumbles some deceptively eloquent bullshit as he hands you a drink. His lips are dark red and chapped; he looks really bad. But the drink is wet, and those stairs had been tall. Sit down, lean back, sip it. There’s salt in it, some pulp, some pebbles. It rolls around your tongue, hides between your teeth, a perfectly TV-worthy combination of pleasure and mischief. Swallow it. But spit it out… Spit it out now! It’s supposed to go into your ears! How crazy is that? Such a sensation of taste, transmogrified for the realm of sound? Is it Sprite, or is it… music? Careful, engaging, and dare-I-say theatrical vocals over hyper bass-and-drums while other boingy-boingy instruments puke all over it, all over the whole show. That’s called synesthesia. Gentle lectures, dangerous storytime, eerie fast-and-slow nightmare riffs, and a taut, bound-and-gagged rhythm section. Boingily-boingily, that’s phantasmagoria. That’s the Uranium Club’s latest album, “The Cosmo Cleaners.” So swish around some mouthwash and plug in your AirPods, kid, it’s time to drop that needle!”—Alex Ward / Cleveland, USA”You’re being urgently, naughtily rushed up the tallest, steepest stairs you’ve ever climbed. Smile cautiously as the URANIUM CLUB welcomes you into their stinky apartment. You’ve been here before, right? Oh, that must have been some one else. Do you have a brother or sister? One of the members mumbles some deceptively eloquent bullshit as he hands you a drink. His lips are dark red and chapped; he looks really bad. But the drink is wet, and those stairs had been tall. Sit down, lean back, sip it. There’s salt in it, some pulp, some pebbles. It rolls around your tongue, hides between your teeth, a perfectly TV-worthy combination of pleasure and mischief. Swallow it. But spit it out… Spit it out now! It’s supposed to go into your ears! How crazy is that? Such a sensation of taste, transmogrified for the realm of sound? Is it Sprite, or is it… music? Careful, engaging, and dare-I-say theatrical vocals over hyper bass-and-drums while other boingy-boingy instruments puke all over it, all over the whole show. That’s called synesthesia. Gentle lectures, dangerous storytime, eerie fast-and-slow nightmare riffs, and a taut, bound-and-gagged rhythm section. Boingily-boingily, that’s phantasmagoria. That’s the Uranium Club’s latest album, “The Cosmo Cleaners.” So swish around some mouthwash and plug in your AirPods, kid, it’s time to drop that needle!”—Alex Ward / Cleveland, USA
FATAMORGANA – Terra Alta LP
Formed in Barcelona in the summer of 2017, FATAMORGANA sprang to life from the hearts and minds of PATRYCJA ANNA PRONIEWSKA and LOUIS HARDING. What began as a bedroom project of sorts (monophonic synthesizers, four-track cassette recordings), the project soon blossomed into a functional live unit. Following a self-released cassette single at the start of the year, the pair spent the latter part of 2018 touring continental Europe and the west coast of North America. Recorded at Holyrook Estudio in Barcelona, Terra Alta is the group’s first full-length effort. The verse-chorus songwriting, the raw set-up of two-synths-and-a-beat, and the primal rhythms nod to the duo’s background in punk. But Terra Altahas a pensive and mesmeric quality, provided in part by an outstanding production job (Studio AS One, Warsaw), but also by lyrics concerning themselves with themes of love, time travel, reflections on the future, the power of imagination and the mysteries of the natural world. If pressed for musical references the band could be pin-pointed somewhere between early Depeche Mode, Young Marble Giants, The Human League and a rounder-around-the-edges Borghesia. Dreamlike synthesizers and echoed voices circle around danceable rhythms, inviting one to simultaneously contemplate and move one’s body. Be teleported from the majesty of nature to the glow of the discotheque.
TOTALED – Lament LP
Exhaling the ashes from acrimony, Totaled materialized in 2017 and recorded its ferociously blackened-hardcore debut album Lament. While lyrically ruminating in the abstract emptiness of the impervious void and grappling with a paradoxical duality, the audial gloom of the album conjures sorrowing burial strings that furiously discharge a punishing resonance, all wrought with crushing despair, depression, and scavenging hopelessness. Pummeling blasts and d-beats pound into orbiting shadows of pixelated black, beneath a pulverizing dense nihilistic bass distorted into a mournful funeral offering. Here lies a digested celestial nothingness, a symphony frozen in a cyclical noose, gnawed by the bacterial ether.
MAGIC CIRLE – Departed Souls LP
Magic Circle’s self-titled debut hit the true doom scene like a revelation in 2013. Without hype or hyperbole the band effortlessly invoked fundamental rock ‘n’ roll truths putting their own stamp on early heavy metal darkness. Joining 20 Buck Spin for follow-up Journey Blind, the band again offered that unmistakable classic sound with natural unforced evolution. On their third album, Departed Souls, they present an expansive hard rock vision, adorning their signature doom with seamless psych and prog ornamentation. This latest album reveals a Magic Circle delving more deeply into ’70s sounds, expanding farther outward from the primordial Iommic matter of their birth. Heavy Sabbathian riffs abound, but they open up, stretch out, and expose different shades that recall the moody peaks and valleys of the classic hard rock albums of that era. Acoustic 12-string, tablas and Fender Rhodes appear in lush moments of kaleidoscopic decadence woven into the fabric of the pounding elemental thunder. All the while vocalist Brendan Radigan seals the deal as one of the premier heavy metal singers of the 21st century, deliverin’ that Wagnerian dynamism and vigor that screams from the heavens and becomes thoroughly controlled in moments of quiet solemnity. Though all members are busy with other projects and other lives, when these five come together in the Magic Circle, the chemistry and palpable rock ‘n’ roll exhilaration reminds one that this band ain’t never gonna die with the herd.
CUBE – Decoy Street LP
Cube is the prolific and chimeric nom de plume of one Adam Keith, formidable tape experimentalist and artist / abraser currently operating in Oakland, California’s vibrant subterranea. After countless cassette releases, 2016’s well-received My Cube LP and a tenure in no-wave faction Mansion, Keith reaffirms Cube’s pledge with Decoy Street—his second album and the most developed work he has made under any guise to date. Opener “In This House” serves as the ideal introduction to Cube: cellular interference, colliding circuitry, metal-on-metal grind and simplistic guitar distortion meet a towering and damaged beat. While “Habit” merges downtempo and industrial touchstones via layers of heavily treated vocals, “Sanctuary” tilts further towards propulsion—a dark treatise on discomfort, yet contagious enough to charm DIY and post-punk devotees. Released on W.25TH, Superior Viaduct’s sub-label for contemporary bands, Decoy Street is recommended for fans of Prurient, Puce Mary and Alan Vega
SUBVERSIVE RITE – Songs For The…LP
NY punk heavily influenced by the early 80s UK scene ala Sacrilege demos, Varukers, & Potential Threat. Members of some other fuckin bands. The demos were good, this LP is much better. Strangely timeless, I feel like this could have come out in ’85, ’95, or ’05, but seems really fresh to my ears too. 550 copies, art by Joe B, recorded by Scott Tamucci at Danbro Studios, mastered at Noise Room, Tokyo. (Vinyl Rites/Bloody Master Records #6)
ARCTIC FLOWERS – Straight To The…LP
Portland’s Arctic Flowers have explored unique attempts at cross-pollinating genres that have grown apart over the course of the evolution of dark music, re-incorporating styles usually seen as mutually exclusive in today’s fractured (and fractious) punk scene. The end result has been a catalog that is one of the current punk scene’s most ambitious, challenging, and rewarding to listen to. Formed in 2009 Arctic Flowers has multiple releases under their belt. “Straight to The Hunter” is their newest full length. Self released by the band. Eleven tracks. (Arctic Flowers Records #3)
CENOTAPHE – Empyree LP
French duo Cenotaphe always true to its approach of integrity, delivers its fourth release, “Empyree.” Six tracks (30 minutes) of superior French Black Metal, imbued with tragic majesty and glorious despair.
(Nuclear War Now Records #426)
TOYOTA – Self Titled LP
The market development team at Discontinuous Innovation Inc. have pre-approved the following vinyl disc for market testing across consumer audiences. 13 tracks played at a feverish pace for maximum efficiency. Since adding TOYOTA AVALON on synth, TOYOTA’s sound has (d)evolved further to hit all the hot industry selling points, exotica, lounge, pop, devo-worship, accidental Primus nods? A record certain to sell for top collector dollars $$$$$$. Jackets hand stamped for maximum fucking profitability.
TEENAGE BOTTLEROCK – Stay Rad LP
Stay Rad! shows a slightly different side of TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET, putting their growth and progression on full display, while remaining a quintessential TBR album—complete with enthralling melodies, perfect harmonies, and their trademark breakneck down strumming.
STEVE ADAMYK BAND – Paradise LP
Steve Adamyk Band remains Canada’s premiere power-pop / punk crossover group. Throughout the last decade, the band has toured Japan, Europe (four times), and all across North America, unleashing five albums and a long list of seven-inch singles. But it hasn’t been easy. Most bands, by this stage, would likely have called it quits, yet Steve has persevered. When their most-consistent lineup to date unraveled in 2016, it would have been natural to end it where it stood, but the wheels kept turning (and touring) regardless. Fast-forward to 2019 and the band has been reborn. SAB is now solidified as a three-piece live (with Pat Johnson of The Acorn on drums and Johnny O of Uranium Comeback on bass) and are somehow tighter, more focused than ever, as a recent European tour proved last summer. On record, the threesome have also retained original member Dave Williams on vocals to give the songs the same vibe everyone has grown to love. Paradise—the album itself—is nothing short of a monster. Suitably, with a new lineup, the band has also beefed-up their sound. With their original feel in mind, there is nothing lo-fi about this record. Recorded by Mike Bond at Wolf Lake (Crusades) and mixed by Jesse Gander (White Lung, Japandroids) in Vancouver, Paradise is a sonically huge offering, with just the right amount of scuzz and crud where needed. Twelve new rippers, including an incredible cover of “Telephone” by The Incredible Kidda Band. Keep an eye out for the band in 2019—Steve Adamyk Band is back and won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
SLANT – Vain Attempt 7″
Hyper-urgent and super pissed US style hardcore played by members of SCUMRAID and BLOODKROW BUTCHER with a cleaner than expected delivery given the pedigree. Tight, passionate and driven music that goes for the throat. Crew oriented but singularly realized. Not to be trifled with. Housed in 12pt reverse board custom die cut jackets with lyric insert and download card included.
PREENING – Gang Laughter LP
Oakland three-piece PREENING is MAX NORDILE (saxophone, vocals), ALEJANDRA ALCALA (bass), and SAM LEFEBVRE (drums). Gang Laughter, mostly recorded in the summer of 2018 by HL NELLY at Santo in West Oakland, is Preening’s first full-length. The album follows three 7”s on labels Ever/Never, Fine Concepts, and Digital Regress, and at least three self-released cassette tapes since 2017. Jackets screen-printed in Oakland by Fine Concepts. “In an effort to ensure that as few people hear them as possible,” “hot new Oakland trio” Preening’s “misshapen angles,” “spittle,” and “occasionally funky” “guitarless no wave” is “an interesting listen” and a “slyly antagonizing joyful noise” that’s “as irritating as anything else in Preening’s discography,” though “I can’t tell if it’s a gag” and “there’s a charm.” Also, “the vocals have a bewildering quality.”
PATHOGENS – We’re Catchy LP
We’re Catchy, the debut LP from East Bay punk supergroup THE PATHOGENS, explodes out of your speakers at top intensity for 14 unforgettable tunes. Hailing from bands including ECONOCHRIST, FRACAS, UNDEAD BOYS, ZBS, DIVVYS, STRYCHNINE, the band blasts catchy-yet-tough melodies that complement the cutting, clever lyrics of CINDER BLOCK (TILT, RETCHING RED) and JESSE LUSCIOUS (BLATZ, CRIMINALS). Additional lyrics come from MISKI DEE (CITY MOUSE), MATT FREEMAN (OP IVY, RANCID) and AMY WINEHOUSE (no, really!). From politics to relationships to addiction to law enforcement to fun odes to being punk/weird/odd, there’s a song for everyone. This release marks the revival of Zafio Records, the record label that brought you the classic This Is Berkeley Not West Bay comp. Packaged with lyric sheet and download card, and pressed on limited edition blue vinyl.
NOISEM -Cease to Exist LP
Baltimore’s Noisem return from the dead with their third album Cease To Exist: leaner, meaner, with a new label and new life. After heavy momentum with second album Blossoming Decay and subsequent touring including the 2015 Decibel Magazine tour supporting Carcass, Gorguts and The Black Dahlia Murder, the band seemingly disappeared only to re-emerge in 2018 in new form and ready to resume their place among the most promising young bands in metal. Keeping with the tradition of the most classic grindcore albums, Cease To Exist is an immediately aggressive attack of confrontational energy, pushing the pace with a withering ten tracks over twenty-two minutes. An eruption of grinding blastbeats, unceasing Death-thrash riffs and an acidic vocal snarl to rival prime Jeff Walker, this album quells any notion that the band would ease up with time. If anything, this is their most seethingly vicious inwardly dark album yet. Far from being a typical grindcore record, be prepared for a cacophony of grind / death / thrash / punk / hardcore, seamlessly blended, blistered and set on fire. Having now re-emerged with a furious new album and live actions, Noisem make a full circle statement of intent: a savage declaration in the face of an ever more bleak future.
LOW LIFE – Downer LP
The whole “five band years = a lifetime” biz trope is justified, if not negated, by the second album from Sydney’s Low Life. Arriving with an aura of anticipation, Downer Edn (read: Edition) feels like a collective document of the band’s timeline since their unforgettable debut Dogging—an album which made enough of a mark on the punk landscape in 2014 to justify a reissue on London’s Alter in 2017. Recorded over two years and mixed in 2018 by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring), Downer Edn sees the core trio of Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro expand their ranks to a five piece. Dizzy Daldal of Oily Boys & Orion was brought in to reinforce the thick wall of guitars, whilst fifth member Yuta Matsumura, also of Oily Boys & Orion, re-joined the group later to free Tolman up as a dedicated front man for live duties. The hours of studio work have resulted in making the band sound more confident and fully realised, reaching for and finding a sound that was perhaps unattainable five years prior. However, lurking behind the bigger vision and polished production is a complex proposition and a dark blast of an album. As far as Australian punk is concerned, this album not only shatters the boundaries, it does so with the lushest attack conceivable. Like their (admitted) influence, the enigmatic Ohio legends of obscurity, V3, seldom has the fuck word been sung (repeatedly) in such a believable and poetic manner. The visceral pounding of melodies throughout the album transforms their inspirations; desperation, neuroses, trauma, survival, hooliganism, violence, hope, rejuvenation, and their hometown of Sydney’s full architectural and social scope—from a realm of intangibility to the very, very tangible. In the words of Mitch, “We’re influenced by Sydney as a whole, whether it be the hot and muggy concrete streets of the West and South West, the “glorious beaches” of South Sydney, the racial tensions left over from the putrid Cronulla riots of 2006, the pompous and superficial fake tan / bleached teeth combo suburbs of Bondi, as well as Sydney’s iconography: The Harbour, the Bridge, the Opera House, Kings Cross. All the desperation embedded in and around these areas, including the eternal influx of troubled people looking to get into trouble, is our experience and main influence.”
EX HEX – It’s Real LP
When EX HEX exploded onto the scene with their unfettered brand of rock and riffage, the power trio for our generation had finally arrived. Made up of MARY TIMONY, BETSY WRIGHT and LAURA HARRIS, the group’s debut Rips was a gleaming collection of tightly wound gems that scored Best New Music honors from Pitchfork, the top spot on Magnet Magazine’s Best of 2014 list, and No. 11 in that year’s Pazz & Jop critics poll. Touring throughout 2015 and 2016 established the band as a force to be reckoned with: an audacious three-piece distilling rock music to its essence with formidable skills and a reputation for frenzied and unabashedly fun live shows. On It’s Real, the band’s second album, Ex Hex’s commitment to larger-than-life riffs and unforgettable hooks remains intact, but the garage-y, postpunk approach that defined Rips has grown in scale and ambition. What started as a reaction to the blown-out aesthetic of Rips would test the sonic limits of the power trio and lead the band on a quest for a more immersive and three dimensional sound. Vocal harmonies are layered ten tracks deep, solos shimmer and modulate atop heaving power chords, and the codas linger and stretch toward new frontiers of sound
AFSKY – Self Titled LP
A new release from Danish black metal hellions AFSKY. Limited quantity available.
DIAT – Positive Disintegration LP
Years in the making, the follow-up or maybe even companion piece to 2015’s Positive Energy, Positive Disintegration sees the band with a bit more of a pop zap to the ever present post punk dreariness of modern Berlin life… Or even modern life at large as most of the lyrical content has to do with the monotony of barely getting by or trying to have a meaningful exchange with a remotely interesting person. These things are hard to come by most of the time and this music eats at that very feeling. It’s almost enough to make you wanna throw in the towel and move to Spain without a care in the world to haunt your remaining days. You probably won’t though, you’ll most likely listen to this record while you sip your overpriced room temperature coffee drink whilst ordering new bulbs for your anti depression lamp from a major online retailer. It just feels like life is getting away from you, ya know? Dark. Housed in 24pt reverse board jackets with lyric sheet, poster and download card included.
SILVER MACHINE – Standing on the LP
The epoch of The Silver Machine began in 2012, from mystic visions seen by its female founders in Savannah, GA. The name of this cult of performers, and their mytho-futurist-intergalactic-shamanic doctrine, sound and aesthetic, are derived from the infamous psychedelic-space rock band Hawkwind. The Silver Machine travels sideways through time, along Hawkwind’s electric lines, calling forth ancient truths long forgotten, discovering new Zodiac signs. The heroines in this space odyssey reach even further, discovering new quantum territory with every enchanting harmony and guitar chord. When listening to Standing On The Bare Ground, one is projected to an alternate realm. The all female vocal-crooning sounds like the conjuring of spirits at a druidical fertility ritual. The synths tingle and amplify the senses, activating long forgotten synapses of the mind, forcibly wrenching open the third eye of one’s collective consciousness, and the drums, forever charting their cosmic trajectory, carry the momentum, moving into the future and claiming it as the present, perpetually seeking the event horizon. Standing On The Bare Ground is the band’s debut album. Having kept their ancient cosmic knowledge a secret only known by participants in their rituals of live performance for years, The Silver Machine has finally found ground control with Alternative Tentacles Records. Personally endorsed by Jello Biafra, and the infamous Hawkwind voyager Ms. Stacia, who calls the record, “A work of divine inspiration.”
FRIED EGG – Square One LP
Years in the making, FRIED EGG strike hot with their debut album, following EPs on Beach Impediment and Negative Jazz, and a Beat Session cassette. The Central Virginia group spent their time honing these nine tracks, (in fact, most were nailed on the first or second studio take) which make up one of the most vital and hard hitting hardcore punk albums of recent vintage. While firmly rooted in the golden era HC punk footprint, Fried Egg have shifted things clearly left-of-center on Square One, incorporating elements of discordant rock that could have found a home in the post ’83 Touch And Go catalog. Fried Egg have crafted a concise and unnerving album—one that echoes the anxiety, tension, and disenchantment running rampant through modern day America. Recorded direct to tape at Montrose Recording in Richmond, VA. Artwork by KOHEI URAKAMI and JASON LEE. Packaged with a printed inner sleeve and download code.