Tons more great new records came in this week! Here is a few we were extra excited about!
PIECE WAR – Apathy LP
Apathy, the debut LP by Auckland, New Zealand’s PIECE WAR (featuring Tina Pihema of the Coolies) is a punky, noisy, lo-fi pop masterpiece that was initially released in a microscopic lathe cut 10” pressing of 30, but is now getting its proper vinyl due. Loose, distortion washed guitars, dreamy (but tuff) vocals, perfect melodies, and smart lyrics immediately put Apathy in the pantheon of New Zealand lo-fi greats. This is bedroom punk for the ages. This one-time U.S. LP pressing of 500 on Square One Again comes with new, full-color art and lyric insert.
FLAT WORMS – Self Titled LP
Flat Worms belt-sanded everyone with their 7-inch on Volar, and Castle Face is proud as new papas to present their debut album. The band continues their ride on a buzz-saw wave of feedback-tipped riffs into the middle distance, the smog-choked sunset receding in the rearview, with a thousand-yard dead pan stare surgically pinned to a high octane set of boredom-energized punk pistons. This is an ear-ringing missive from the end of the cul-de-sac, a mirage wavering above a mid-sized American suburb at dusk, with the constellations bleached black by the sprawl. A little Wipers, a little Wire, and a lot of late-capitalist era anxious energy—Flat Worms scratch the itch quite nicely.
BEACH SLANG – We Were Babies and We Were Dirtbags 7in
“BEACH SLANG delivers acoustic versions (complete with piano and strings) of two beloved Beach Slang tracks, along with covers of The Replacements and Big Star. I suppose we’re all chasing something that resembles salvation, something that calms our bones. Maybe this is some small slice of that. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s chaos in soft clothes. Maybe it’s frightened. Maybe it’s fearless. Maybe it’s both. Or maybe it’s nothing. I don’t know, but I think about this: one day I’m going to be dust. And when my soul splits, maybe this will be the thing that sneaks me through the gates. If not, well, those are the breaks.”—James Alex [Quiet Slang]. Pressed on pink and purple color-in-color vinyl. Includes a download.
BELL WITCH – Mirror Reaper LP
With their third full-length album Mirror Reaper, Seattle doom metal duo Bell Witch have created their most enormous and all-encompassing work to date.The band takes their blueprint for minimalistic, mournful, yet massive sound and expands it to a new level, doing the unthinkable in the genre: a continuous 83-minute piece unfolding as a single time-stretching track. Once again engineered and mixed by veteran producer Billy Anderson (who claims this as one of the milestones in his entire producing career) the duo of Dylan Desmond (bass, vocals) and Jesse Shreibman (drums, vocals, organ) push the sound even further beyond their landmark 2015 album, the genre-defining Four Phantoms. With organ adding a new layer, the album also sees honorary member and guest vocalist Erik Moogridge (Aerial Ruin) return once again offering an even more prominent presence with his vocals. On the themes surrounding the concept and lyrics, the band states: “Our original idea for this record was to write a two-song album titled As Above / So Below. These two songs would have been split into seven movements to correlate with the seven Hermetic principals. The process took a life of its own and upon completion we have one song spanning 83 minutes. It is titled in reference to the axiom ‘As Above So Below’. During the writing process we were devastated by the loss of our dear friend and former drummer, Adrian Guerra. Out of love for and in respect to his memory, we reserved an important yet brief section in the song for him that features vocal tracks left over from our previous album. We believe he would be proud of it.”
LILLINGTONS – Stella Sapiente LP
For centuries, people from all over the world have been trying to obtain The Holy Grail, which is theorized to have been hidden by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. Fat Wreck Chords has been on the same sort of quest for quite some time. No, we haven’t found IT. That isn’t what this is about. However, we did finally mange to obtain our own version, in the form of THE LILLINGTONS! It’s been over a decade since The Lillingtons released a full-length album. Having signed to Fat Wreck Chords, they toiled away on their new record in secret, crafting an album that is both a continuation of the band’s legacy and a dramatic reinvention. It’s called Stella Sapiente, a title that vocalist-guitarist KODY TEMPLEMAN says roughly translates to ”wisdom of the stars”. As a band that has never-and likely will never-find much interest in the mundane, their songs are pulpy vignettes steeped in intrigue, unraveling mysteries, conspiracies, and cloak-anddagger operations while bashing through buzzy, pop-focused punk songs. Stella Sapiente sees the band removing all preconceived notions of what a Lillingtons record should sound like. While elements of the album may not be hallmarks of their genre, the way in which The Lillingtons adapt them for their use makes them feel right at home.