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  • Beast Epic (Deluxe) (Pre-Order) Beast Epic (Deluxe) (Pre-Order) Quick View

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    Beast Epic (Deluxe) (Pre-Order)

    Deluxe 2x Vinyl Edition Features 5 Bonus Tracks

    I can whine about it all but I won't.
    -Samuel E. Beam

    The first Iron & Wine song that I ever remember hearing was Dead Man's Will, originally featured on the Yeti 1 compilation CD. Its hushed eloquence and unadorned beauty lent it a sort of soft power*,a triumph of instinct over overstatement. That was in 2001.

    In 2017, Beast Epic, Iron & Wine's fourth album of new material for Sub Pop and it's sixth overall, recasts soft power as a series of vignettes, observations and regular old songs that redeem through joy and a certain expectation of grace.

    Even the instant classic, Bitter Truth, with a lyric as pained and direct as any I've heard from Iron & Wine, is leavened with background vocals recalling The Jordanaires. Sam Beam has called Beast Epic his most personal album to date. It is the first Iron &Wine album that he's produced since The Creek Drank The Cradle,though the results are vastly different. This album brims with surprise flourishes, classic touches and an appealing confidence that is evident on songs like Call It Dreaming.

    After a decade and a half of prodigious expression and exploration,recording as both Iron & Wine and eponymously, Sam Beam confessed that he has finally figured out how to make records. He had me fooled all along.

    Beast Epic will be available worldwide through Sub Pop Records. It's my favorite Iron & Wine album by a mile.

    - Jonathan Poneman

    Iron & Wine's Beast Epic was written and produced by Sam Beam,and recorded and engineered by Tom Schick at the Loft in Chicago in July 2016 and January 2017. The musicians who played on Beast Epic include longtime Iron & Wine collaborators Robert Burger (keys),Joe Adamik (percussion), and Jim Becker (guitar, banjo, violin,mandolin), along with bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing and Fiona Apple), and Chicagoan Teddy Rankin Parker (cello). Beast Epic was mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville, Tennessee.

    *The term soft power was cribbed from author and Harvard professor Joseph Nye, but used in a different context.

    1. Claim Your Ghost
    2. Thomas County Law
    3. Bitter Truth
    4. Song in Stone
    5. Summer Clouds
    6. Call It Dreaming
    7. About A Bruise
    8. Last Nigh
    9. Right for Sky
    10. The Truest Stars We Know
    11. Our Light Miles
    12. Hearts Walk Anywhere*
    13. Kicking the Old Rain*
    14. About a Bruise (demo)*
    15. Claim a Ghost (demo)*
    16. Summer Clouds (demo)*


    *Bonus track on deluxe edition only

    Iron And Wine
    $28.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • Beast Epic (Pre-Order) Beast Epic (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $22.99
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    Beast Epic (Pre-Order)

    I can whine about it all but I won't.
    -Samuel E. Beam

    The first Iron & Wine song that I ever remember hearing was Dead Man's Will, originally featured on the Yeti 1 compilation CD. Its hushed eloquence and unadorned beauty lent it a sort of soft power*,a triumph of instinct over overstatement. That was in 2001.

    In 2017, Beast Epic, Iron & Wine's fourth album of new material for Sub Pop and it's sixth overall, recasts soft power as a series of vignettes, observations and regular old songs that redeem through joy and a certain expectation of grace.

    Even the instant classic, Bitter Truth, with a lyric as pained and direct as any I've heard from Iron & Wine, is leavened with background vocals recalling The Jordanaires. Sam Beam has called Beast Epic his most personal album to date. It is the first Iron &Wine album that he's produced since The Creek Drank The Cradle,though the results are vastly different. This album brims with surprise flourishes, classic touches and an appealing confidence that is evident on songs like Call It Dreaming.

    After a decade and a half of prodigious expression and exploration,recording as both Iron & Wine and eponymously, Sam Beam confessed that he has finally figured out how to make records. He hadme fooled all along.

    Beast Epic will be available worldwide through Sub Pop Records. It's my favorite Iron & Wine album by a mile.

    - Jonathan Poneman

    Iron & Wine's Beast Epic was written and produced by Sam Beam,and recorded and engineered by Tom Schick at the Loft in Chicago inJuly 2016 and January 2017. The musicians who played on Beast Epic include longtime Iron & Wine collaborators Robert Burger (keys),Joe Adamik (percussion), and Jim Becker (guitar, banjo, violin,mandolin), along with bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing and Fiona Apple), and Chicagoan Teddy Rankin Parker (cello). Beast Epic was mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville, Tennessee.

    *The term soft power was cribbed from author and Harvard professor Joseph Nye, but used in a different context.

    1. Claim Your Ghost
    2. Thomas County Law
    3. Bitter Truth
    4. Song in Stone
    5. Summer Clouds
    6. Call It Dreaming
    7. About A Bruise
    8. Last Nigh
    9. Right for Sky
    10. The Truest Stars We Know
    11. Our Light Miles
    Iron And Wine
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • Go Go Quick View

    $22.99
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    Go

    Jonsi has spent more than a decade writing epic compositions with Sigur Ros, creating some of the finest, most acclaimed albums of the last ten years. The choice to make an album of solo recordings came together as a solution to a backlog of songs Jonsi had written that didn't seem to fit within the Sigur Ros context. Go is a different beast entirely. Ecstatic, dramatic and alive, it features Jonsi's signature vocals throughout, with the majority of the songs sung in English.


    Not a straight ahead pop record, nor rock, folk, ambient or electronic, it encompasses all of these to create an expansive musical palette that's been brought to life by Jonsi alongside a number of free-spirited collaborators. Chief among these is Nico Muhly, the Philip Glass protege who is renowned for his work with Bjork, Antony & The Johnsons, Bonnie Prince Billy and Grizzly Bear. Also in the mix is the percussive genius of Samuli Kosminen, whose original drumming powers many of the songs along so you have a sonic landscape that bears little relation to anything else around today, yet explodes from the speakers with sheer happiness and wonder, wide-eyed and eager to be heard. The album was recorded in Iceland and Connecticut, was co-produced by Jonsi, Alex Somers and Peter Katis (The National, Interpol) and was mixed by Tom Elmhirst in London.

    1. Go do
    2. Animal Arithmetic
    3. Tornado
    4. Boy Lilikoi
    5. Sinking Friendships
    6. Kolnidur
    7. Around Us
    8. Grow Till Tall
    9. Hengilas
    Jonsi
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Rust Rust Quick View

    $16.99
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    Rust

    Rust" is the new album from Harm's Way. Recorded at Brick Top Recordings by Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos, Dead In The Dirt), mixed at God City Studios by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High On Fire), and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Nails). Brutally and meticulously refined, "Rust" brilliantly combines industrial repetition (think Godflesh), metal attack (think Sepultura, Helmet, Celtic Frost), and hardcore aggression. Showing that Harm's Way have emerged from the wreckage of past genres as the new high watermark of heavy in contemporary aggressive music.


    Opener "Infestation" stomps with machine-like precision before plunging into a depressing sonic dirge. While songs like "Law Of The Land", "Hope", "Cancerous Ways", and others introduce guitar and electronic driven atmospherics into the arsenal. These subtle dynamics bleed into other aspects of "Rust" as well. Mid-album beast "Left To Disintegrate" unfurls as an unforgettable anti-anthem ripe with infectious creeping metallic undertones. While "Amongst The Rust" and "Turn To Stone" introduce guest vocals from Colin Young (Twitching Tongues) and Emily Jancetic. Both of them adding haunting nuance to the brute force of the band. All of this leads to the epic closer "Ease My Mind"; a take-no-prisoners aural bludgeoning so heavy that it needs to be heard to be believed.

    1. Infestation
    2. Law Of The Land
    3. Cremation
    4. Hope
    5. Cancerous Ways
    6. Amongst The Rust
    7. Disintegrate
    8. Docile Bodies
    9. Turn To Stone
    10. Ease My Mind
    Harm's Way
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres Quick View

    $23.99
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    Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres

    Eternal life can seem like an eternity. Ask any vampire. The continuous march of sun ups, sun downs, transformations of form, seductions, cape fittings & exsanguinations. Eventually it all just becomes an endless, tired routine. It all seems so exciting & so sexy to those of us who operate knowing we have limited time. But ask any vampire about the downside of eternal life, & you won't be surprised to hear tales of binge eating garlic bread just to feel the hurt, or of the occasional dangling of a wooden stake just over the center of the rib cage.


    Electric Six knows all about eternal life. Electric Six has been around forever & it can never die. That's lovely, but it's also very tiring. Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres is the new release by Electric Six on Metropolis Records. One listen & you will immediately understand that the sexiest vampires are urban vampires. Where E6 has dabbled in dance, hip-hop & R&B in the past, Fresh Blood is the whole enchilada. It's thirteen songs designed to make the listener interested in smooth & nasty fuckin', the way they do it in the city. From the Grandmaster Flash-inspired Number Of The Beast to the super smooth tour of the NYC outer boroughs Mood Is Improving, the listener finds himself immediately deposited into an urban drop zone with hustlas & dickblockas coming from behind every corner.


    The radio-ready pop hits I'll Be In Touch & Dance With Dark Forces are the tracks that get the listener off the street & into the club. & it would not be an Electric Six album without an epic closer, that being the beautiful & haunting Spacewalkin', the ballad that assures the listener that the vampire has now fed & will live a thousand more years, albeit in outer space. Electric Six changes more frequently than change itself, but ultimately this just means they're never gonna put out the same album twice. Fresh Blood for Tired Vampires is poppy & smooth, nasty & raw...& oh so life affirming, especially if you are undead.

    1. Acid Reducer
    2. The Number of The...
    3. Mood Is Improving
    4. I'll Be In Touch
    5. Lottery Reptiles
    6. Dance With Dark...
    7. (Be My) Skin Caboose
    8. My Dreams
    9. I Got The Box
    10. Lee Did This To Me
    11. Greener Pastures
    12. The Lover's Pie
    13. Space Walkin'
    Electric Six
    $23.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • When Life Comes To Death When Life Comes To Death Quick View

    $16.99
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    When Life Comes To Death

    YAITW (Young and in the Way) are a blackened metal/crust hybrid from the shadows of North Carolina. Over the last four years YAITW have evolved through multiple releases from vicious monster to multi-headed beast. With each offering melding a vicious metal speed and hypnotic atmospherics with a bleak hardcore/punk spirit.


    When Life Comes To Death is the newest album from YAITW. It is their eleven song war between the pain of living and the magnetic pull of death. Each song is as dispirited and vitriolic as the next. Embattled opener Betrayed By Light emerges from darkness first, setting an ominous tone with haunting buzz-saw guitars, vicious vocals, and crushing d-beat drumming. While YAITW embrace demon speed and emotional dynamics in nihilistic hymns Be My Blood, Take My Hand, We Are Nothing, and more. All leading to closers Shadow of Murder and Embrace Extinction, that together play as an aural eclipse of truly epic proportions.

    1. Betrayed By Light
    2. Fuck This Life
    3. Be My Blood
    4. Self Inflicted
    5. Loved and Unwanted
    6. We Are Nothing
    7. Final Dose
    8. Weep In My Dust
    9. Take My Hand
    10. Shadow Of Murder
    11. Embrace Extinction
    Young And In The Way
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Dopesmoker Dopesmoker Quick View

    $28.99
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    Dopesmoker

    It is with an immense amount of pride that Southern Lord brings you a mighty offering from the gods known as Sleep! In 2011, Southern Lord was contacted by Sleeps' Al Cisneros about the possibility of releasing a deluxe version of the classic Sleep recording: Dopesmoker. Cisneros wanted to breathe some new life into the old beast and finally have the original vision of the album fully realized. Southern Lord was overwhelmingly ecstatic about the challenge of taking the reigns of one of the most important recordings in the history of Heavy Metal!


    The Lord version features brand new artwork by long time Sleep artist, Arik Roper, who created something specifically special for the albums' rebirth. The biggest difference between this new version and the old releases is the phenomenal remastering job by From Ashes Rise guitarist, Brad Boatright (OFF!, Noothgrush, Deviated Instinct). His vision was to enhance the original recording without changing it drastically.


    What he has done makes this epic opus sound invigorated, more powerful with renewed clarity and all-around unbelievably mammoth. His work was enthusiastically approved by the band and considering how focused, vigilant and protective of their masterpiece the band is, that is nothing short of a miracle! Also exclusive to the reborn version of Dopesmoker, is a unreleased live track of one of the best songs the band ever did, "Holy Mountain." Purple 180g double vinyl pressing from Southern Lord with bonus track and brand new artwork in thick Stoughton gatefld jacket with spot uv-varnish.


    Formed as a Bay Area hc/punk rock band called Asbestosdeath, the band changed their musical direction and name and debuted as Sleep with their Volume One album in 1991. After Justin Marler left the band, the core lineup of Al Cisneros, Matt Pike and Chris Hakius went into the studio to record a demo cassette that they sent to Earache Records. The recording was released in November of 1992 (exactly as received by the label!) under the name Sleep's Holy Mountain and went on to forever alter the musical landscape. Countless current bands cite Sleep's Holy Mountain as a major inspiration, and the unique sound and style of the record can be heard in many subsequent releases by bands from all over the world.


    Sleep's Holy Mountain created such a humongous buzz that major label London Records signed the band. Unfortunately, the label lacked the vision necessary to actually follow through and release the album that Sleep recorded, mostly because it took the not-radio-friendly form of a single song, a 63 minute long ode to weed, called "Dopesmoker." Sleep returned to the studio and edited the track down to 52 minutes and re-titled it "Jerusalem," but it was again rejected. London Records shelved the record and dropped the band, leading to their dissolution.


    Dopesmoker was recorded by Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Melvins) at Record Two Studio in Comptche, California. While recording the song, it began to form differently than the band had originally envisioned. Pike stated that "The song was getting slower and slower and then it got weird. We started tripping out and second guessing ourselves." Recording the album was difficult. Pike recalled that "There was so much to memorize for that album, and we had to do it in like three different sections because a reel-to-reel only holds 22 minutes. It was really cool, but it was one of the hardest things I've ever done in in my life." Sleep were in the studio for one month then went home to rehearse and returned for another month. Pike noted that they ended up with two or three different versions of the song.


    In the aftermath of the breakup of the band, four versions of the album were released. In 1999, Jerusalem came out with a running time of 52 minutes and is a single composition split into six identically-named tracks. There are 3 different versions/releases of Jerusalem: (1) a rare London Records promotional disc, (2) a bootleg with cover art by Arik Roper, and (3) the Rise Above/Music Cartel Records release. All three of these versions are edited and considered unauthorized versions. The version of the album titled Dopesmoker was released on April 22, 2003 by Tee Pee Records on compact disc and vinyl with a 63-minute running time. That version is the only version the band considers to be "authorized" and worthy of release. Dopesmoker stands as one of the towering achievements in recent metal history... a mesmerizing, intoxicating, and incredibly complex song that is still unrivaled in the annals of (stoner) metal!

    LP1

    1. Dopesmoker


    LP2

    1. Holy Mountain (Live at the I-Beam, San Francisco, CA 1994)

    2. Sonic Titan (Live at Gilman St, San Francisco, CA 1992)

    Sleep
    $28.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Immunity Immunity Quick View

    $24.99
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    Immunity

    The LP is a double heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold jacket and comes with a mp3 download
    card.


    Jon Hopkins is to release Immunity, his fourth solo album, and second on Domino on June 4 following
    up on 2009's Insides.


    A powerful, multi-faceted beast, packed with the most aggressively dancefloor-focused music
    Hopkins has ever made, Immunity is about achieving euphoric states through music. Inspired by
    the arc of an epic night out, the album peaks with Collider, a huge, apocalyptic, techno monster and
    dissolves with the quiet, heartbreakingly beautiful closer, Immunity. The track featuring vocals from
    King Creosote, which could sit comfortably alongside the gems of their 2011 Mercury-nominated
    collaboration, Diamond Mine.
    Immunity is a confident, dramatic record defined by an acute sense of physicality and place. It feels
    like the hypnotic accompaniment to a journey of creativity, a trip inside Hopkins' mind, using analog
    synthesis alongside manipulations of physical, real-world sounds to make dance music that feels as
    natural and unforced as possible.


    Immunity is the most human electronic album you'll hear this year.

    1. We Disappear
    2. Open Eye Signal
    3. Breathe This Air
    4. Collider
    5. Abandon Window
    6. Form By Firelight
    7. Sun Harmonics
    8. Immunity
    Jon Hopkins
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel (Awaiting Repress) The Grinding Wheel (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $31.99
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    The Grinding Wheel (Awaiting Repress)

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like "Death Rider," "The Beast Within," and "Raise The Dead" already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.


    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.


    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. "It just makes sense for us," reflects D.D. "If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing "Grinder," the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work."


    "One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time," seconds Blitz. "Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics."


    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in "Come Heavy" and Iron Maiden in "The Long Road" and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.


    "Punk is huge for Overkill," confirms Verni. "And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world."


    Central to that premise is the incendiary "Let's All Go to Hades" which is sure to become a pit favourite. "This one was a hell of a lot of fun," says Blitz. "You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more."


    Adds D.D., "It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes."


    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is "Our Finest Hour." "It's about the recognition of sameness," explains Ellsworth. "I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune."


    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like "The Long Road." D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. "Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on "Our Finest Hour," is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.


    "I've had that kind of sound now for a long time," says Verni. "There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars."


    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. "Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds."


    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.


    "That's the strength of the band," explains Blitz. "Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization."


    And Ron? "He's one-of-a-kind," says Verni. "He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it."


    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.


    "I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.


    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.


    "For sure," says Blitz. "One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear."

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) (Pre-Order) The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
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    The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) (Pre-Order)

    Pressed On Yellow And Black Vinyl

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like Death Rider, The Beast Within, and Raise The Dead already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby Blitz Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.

    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.

    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. It just makes sense for us, reflects D.D. If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing Grinder, the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work.

    One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time, seconds Blitz. Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics.

    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in Come Heavy and Iron Maiden in The Long Road and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.

    Punk is huge for Overkill, confirms Verni. And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world.

    Central to that premise is the incendiary Let's All Go to Hades which is sure to become a pit favourite. This one was a hell of a lot of fun, says Blitz. You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more.

    Adds D.D., It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes.

    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is Our Finest Hour. It's about the recognition of sameness, explains Ellsworth. I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune.

    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like The Long Road. D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on Our Finest Hour, is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.

    I've had that kind of sound now for a long time, says Verni. There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars.

    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.

    That's the strength of the band, explains Blitz. Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization.

    And Ron? He's one-of-a-kind, says Verni. He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it.

    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.

    I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.

    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.

    For sure, says Blitz. One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear.

    This title is not eligible for further discount.

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • Pop Crimes Pop Crimes Quick View

    $17.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Pop Crimes

    Rowland S. Howard started playing in teenage bands in late
    70s Melbourne. Whilst still a callow youth he wrote "Shivers," an
    undisputed classic, (quietly ignoring the fact that Rowland perhaps
    doesn't see it that way and approaches the song as if it was written
    by someone else). The song was recorded by his band The Boys Next
    Door who mutated into the Birthday Party and then relocated to
    Europe to wage a guerrilla campaign against the trivialities of the
    80s, until they turned their fire upon themselves and disintegrated
    mid-decade.


    Whilst his former associates have moved on to weekend colour
    supplement acceptability, Rowland has commonly been perceived
    as the banished wastrel prince... exiled to a squalid garret on the
    colder edges of the kingdom, accompanied only by his dreams and
    inclinations. His demeanour (pale, gaunt, stick thin, sickly, dark
    humoured, fatalistic) has perhaps inadvertently added far too much
    credence to this interpretation of events. The shadow of this myth
    has seemingly obscured the sheer volume of his creativity and the
    singularity of his musical vision.


    Always respected by his peers, a scan through Rowland's
    catalogue of work sees him allied with the likes of Lydia Lunch,
    Thurston Moore, Wim Wenders, Barry Adamson, The Gun Club, Nikki
    Sudden, the Beasts Of Bourbon, the Hungry Ghosts and HTRK.
    Rowland's own ensemble These Immortal Souls gun their engines
    in the ill-lit background and the legacy of his work with The Birthday
    Party scores the skin of successive generations of musicians and
    fans.


    But it's a history Rowland would gleefully put a match to. With or
    without it Rowland S. Howard would make tense, beautiful music,
    would deliver us his personal vision of the world, would create Pop
    Crimes.


    Long-time faithful friends Mick Harvey (who played with Rowland
    for over 30 years), JP Shilo (Hungry Ghosts) and producer Lindsay
    Gravina make for a formidable backline. Out front the guitar playing
    couldn't be any one else but Rowland S Howard and his weary,
    almost journalistic vocal delivery dispassionately sits amidst the
    sweaty panic of the music, adding to the ill ease.


    The band lurch in to Pop Crimes as if dragging a rain soaked body
    across a muddy field. The ghosts of Lee Hazlewood, Snatch, Sergio
    Leone, The Shangri-Las and nameless guys from a never known chain
    gang watch on. Within the first few breaths Rowland references
    Stalin, Calvary and genocide, whilst razoring guitar lines the current
    crop of post-punk revisionists could only fantasize about.


    "Shut Me Down" is Rowland at his most romantic, though
    inevitably it's shot through with loss and longing. If only Dusty
    Springfield were alive to revel in its drama. Talk Talk's 'Life's What
    You Make It' is re-imagined as if it had risen from the grind of a
    Detroit auto plant's assembly line. '(I Know) A Girl Called Johnny'
    sees Jonnine D from HTRK sidle up to the microphone for a duet
    that will melt even the coldest of hearts. It's a glorious missing link
    between the New York girl group sound and the street smarts of
    Suicide. Townes Van Zandt's "Nothin" is given a chilling tenement
    building transformation. "Wayward Man" has the band wailing like
    alarm sirens before Rowland emerges at his most contemplative
    with the gorgeous, fragile build of "Ave Maria." Final track "The
    Golden Age Of Bloodshed" takes the album out on a swaggering,
    swashbuckling epic, with salvation slipping through the narrator's
    fingers.

    1. (I Know) A Girl Called Jonny
    2. Shut Me Down
    3. Life's What You Make It
    4. Pop Crimes
    5. Nothin '
    6. Wayward Man
    7. Ave Maria
    8. The Golden Age Of Bloodshed
    Rowland S. Howard
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Horrible Night Horrible Night Quick View

    $37.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Horrible Night

    Recorded during the summer and autumn of 2012 at Hampshire's Earth Terminal and London's Earthworks studios, Horrible Night is the sound of MOSS emerging from its cocoon a much more savage, intelligent and all the more terrifying beast. While no longer obsessed with extremity for its own sake - with weirdly infectious riffs, eccentric vocal melodies and no song over 12 minutes - MOSS remain heavier-than-thou, broadening their horror beyond any imposed 'scene' expectations. This mastery of the craft is evident from the opening moments of first track Horrible Nights - written back in 2010 it sets the course for the album, taking the twisting death-crawl of MOSS mini-epics such as Tombs of the Blind Drugged and administering a lethal dose of addictive melody, cooked up by the colossal riffs of Dominic Finbow and the Ozzy-via-seance vocalisations of Olly Pearson. Cuts such as The Coral of Chaos and Dark Lady expand further upon this potent formula, dragging the Black Sabbath blueprint to its most nightmarish conclusion and ushering MOSS further into their newest dark age.


    With 6 tracks, MOSS proves more than ever why this English cult band is regarded exactly as such. While still no easy pill to swallow for the uninitiated, over its duration Horrible Night will demand complete mind control. Nonsense prefixes such as stoner, sludge or drone do not apply here; this is pure DOOM METAL, a celebration of horror, the arcane and the unknown.

    1. Horrible Night
    2. Bleeding Years
    3. Dark Lady
    4. Dreams From The Depths
    5. Coral of Chaos
    6. I Saw Them That Night
    Moss
    $37.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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