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  • Hold Your Fire (On Sale) Hold Your Fire (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $29.99 $14.99 Save $15.00 (50%)

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    Hold Your Fire (On Sale)

    200 Gram Vinyl


    Remastered At Abbey Road Studios Using The Direct To Metal Mastering Audiophile Copper Plating Process, All From Original Analogue Masters


    Hold Your Fire is an album in the purest sense; infinitely greater than the sum of its parts, it gradually draws in the listener by slowly revealing its nuances and secrets. While the use of keyboards is still overwhelming at times, Geddy Lee employs lush textures which, when coupled with a greater rhythmic and melodic presence from guitarist Alex Lifeson, results in a far warmer sound than in recent efforts. Of course, drummer Neil Peart is as inventive and exciting as ever, while his lyrics focus on the various elements (earth, air, water, fire) for much of the album. Opener Force Ten is the band's most immediate number in years, and other early favorites such as Time Stand Still and Turn the Page soon give way to the darker mysteries of Prime Mover and Tai Shan. The multifaceted Lock and Key is quintessential Rush, and sets the stage for the album's climax with the sheer beauty of Mission. As was the case with 1976's 2112 and 1981's Moving Pictures, Rush always seem to produce some of their best work at the end of each four-album cycle, and Hold Your Fire is no exception.


    This title is not eligible for further discount.

    1. Force Ten

    2. Time Stand Still

    3. Open Secrets
    4. Second Nature
    5. Prime Mover
    6. Lock And Key

    7. Mission

    8. Turn The Page

    9. Tai Shan

    10. High Water
    Rush
    $29.99 $14.99 Save $15.00 (50%)
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Villains (Deluxe Edition) (Pre-Order) Villains (Deluxe Edition) (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $49.99
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    Villains (Deluxe Edition) (Pre-Order)

    Deluxe LP Pressed On Heavyweight 180-Gram Vinyl At Pallas

    Includes 14 Lyric Inserts

    Housed In a Gatefold With Pocket To Hold 14 Lyric Inserts

    Etching On Side 4 (No Music)

    The title Villains isn't a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It's simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened Everyone needs someone or something to rail against-their villain-same as it ever was. You can't control that.The only thing you can really control is when you let go.-Joshua Homme

    Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains, set for release on Matador Records.

    Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013's Like Clockwork gave the band its first #1 albumin the U.S. Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took Like Clockwork around the world and back are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question 'what do we sound like now?' If you can't make a great first record, you should just stop-but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn't evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.

    Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, After the baptism of fire that was Like Clockwork,I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the addition of Ronson into the creative mix What we've made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.

    LP 1
    1. Feet Don't Fail Me
    2. The Way You Used to Do
    3. Domesticated Animals
    4. Fortress
    5. Head Like a Haunted House
    6. Un-Reborn Again


    LP 2
    1. Hideaway
    2. The Evil Has Landed
    3. Villains of Circumstance

    Queens of the Stone Age
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • Walls Walls Quick View

    $24.99
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    Walls

    Multi-platinum selling rock band KINGS OF LEON (Caleb (guitar/vocals), Nathan (drums), Jared (bass) and Matthew Followill (guitar)) set to release of their hugely anticipated seventh studio album WALLS. The Grammy Award winning group decided to return to their recording roots in Los Angeles and work with famed producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine). Lyrically, the album will touch on band members' personal stories, which Q Magazine calls "goosebump inducing" and "worth holding your breath for."
    1. Waste A Moment
    2. Reverend
    3. Around The World
    4. Find Me
    5. Over
    )
    6. Muchacho
    7. Conversation Piece
    8. Eyes On You
    9. Wild
    10. WALLS
    Kings Of Leon
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun Quick View

    $22.99
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    Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun

    Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun begins with Crater, a ragged anthem that erupts with frayed guitar and thundering rhythm. Dallas and Travis Good's trudging riffs light the low-slung growl of Gord Downie:


    Hello there / Gentle Son / A crater / We're creating!


    Crater is an arrival: the mission statement of a young band unhinged, igniting ten songs of visceral punk rock exultation. Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun is a spirited exploration of the darkness surrounding daylight, a rallying cry from the Secret Museum of Mankind:


    Crater! / Getting crushed in our dreams / Or in our dreams / Doing all the crushing


    Downie's words burn in unison with the charging Sadies, the mantra of a band forged out of primal necessity. This album is a vital, reckless, and ecstatic moment, gleaming with the proud imperfections of a group discovering its voice.


    It came together urgently but slowly, after the long-time Toronto friends first recorded together for Lake Ontario Waterkeepers in 2006. Fleeting sessions over the next seven years yielded finished songs in immediate, alchemical takes. Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun is the action of first-thought-best-thought.


    The project's namesake, The Conquering Sun fuses The Sadies' rusted psychedelia with Downie's humble, volatile wail. Mike Belitsky's roiling drums, and Sean Dean's sure, standing bass spur the band through uncharted desert-scapes.


    Working the fugitive dust / Under the conquering sun / Nature, please be good to us / Under the conquering sun


    Each song brims with energy, electricity embellishing a simple, rustic core. Acoustic inflections are cached in the album's array of fiery environments, staggering in its balance of ferocity and craft.


    Downie cries out possessed on It Didn't Start To Break My Heart Until This Afternoon: a pulsating blast of brash guitars and fuzzed-out gnarl.


    Drive it like we stole it / Through the snowflakes, into the cold of the sun


    On Budget Shoes, guitars shine over the tumbling bedrock of desolate but hopeful imagism. Downie writes in a universal voice, with a chorus taunting shadow from light. On Los Angeles Times, nations gather under that conquering blaze, singing unanimous poetry of promise and provocation:


    Raise a glass of hope / Raise a glass of liberty / And a glass of something else / May we be at ease with ourselves!


    The Sadies' effortlessly invoke this primitive emotion, intuiting Downie's themes with rollicking instrumental passages. On Devil Enough, Downie's solemn musings are liberated by The Sadies' roving plainsong; sobering internal sentiment brought to life with the flame of improvisation:


    You're making me drop things / I can't hold my cup / My state of being / Isn't what it was / The light the light / And my eyes adjust / What?s for sure is Devil Enough


    One Good Fast Job sneers like a siren, blunt guitars circling Downie's snarl. Demand Destruction pops with environmental pressure, coaxing an answer to a nuclear dilemma:


    And as the sun went down behind the shadow / Of this invisible war / You say, Is this accident ever over anymore?


    Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun spans depths and ages in its relentless half-hour, before concluding on an only note of reprieve. Saved dwells in the light of darkness, capturing our silent vibration of debt to the source. The album's last moments glint in the rapturous calm of collective awe:


    You say nothing can be saved / It all goes away / Darkness falls and colours fade / And the music gets so loud it flaps your pant legs


    Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun boils with hope and irreverence; toils with fire as a tool and a curse. This is the combustion of brotherhood and dissent: music of wisdom and innocence:


    It is the work, day is your word, night is the glue.


    by Jonathan Shedletzky

    1. Crater
    2. The Conquering Sun
    3. Los Angeles Times
    4. One Good Fast Job
    5. It Didn't Start To Break My Heart Until This Afternoon
    6. Budget Shoes
    7. Demand Destruction
    8. Devil Enough
    9. I'm Free, Disarray Me
    10. Saved
    Gord Downie, The Sadies, and The Conquering Sun
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Antisocialites (Pre-Order) Antisocialites (Pre-Order) Quick View

    $18.99
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    Antisocialites (Pre-Order)

    Antisocialites is the much-anticipated follow-up to Alvvays' 2014 self-titled debut. Across its 10 tracks and 33 minutes the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. Through thoughtful consideration in basement and abroad, Alvvays has renewed its Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage.

    The album opens with the excellent strum-'n-thrummer 'In Undertow,' a hi-amp breakup fantasy that is both crushing and charming for its level-headedness. You find a wave and try to hold on for as long as you can, you made a mistake you'd like to erase and I understand, sings Rankin, her voice full longing not for another person necessarily, but for what to do next. Meditate, play solitaire, take up self-defense, Molly continues, laundry-listing some strategies for moving on. What's next for you and me? I'll take suggestions, she deadpans under crashing waves of feedback and Farfisa.

    Replete with more songs about drinking ('Forget About Life,' 'Hey'), drugging ('Lollipop (Ode To Jim)'), and drowning ('Already Gone'), Antisocialites is a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss. Perversely enjoyable dark drama springs from Rankin's phonetic twists, quick-sung rhymes and irreverent syllable-play. So morose for me, seeing ghosts of me, writing oaths to me, the self-described introvert sings on the Cocteau-pop stunner 'Dreams Tonite,' the song from which the album's name is derived. In fluorescent light, antisocialites watch a wilting flower.

    Antisocialites details a world of ice cream truck jingles and radiophonic workshop noise, where Rankin's shining wit is refracted through crystalline counterpoint. 'Not My Baby' is a centerpiece, a meditation on the rapture of escape following the sadness of separation. Elsewhere, 'Plimsoll Punks' is the band's answer to Television Personalities' 'Part-Time Punks' and a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend. Molly wrote the rapid-fire sugar stream 'Lollipop (Ode to Jim)' after singing 'Just Like Honey' with Jesus and Mary Chain. 'Your Type' is a beautiful primitive stomp about running around Paris with vomit on your feet post-Louvre ejection.

    The record concludes with a movement that is at once stark and celebratory. On 'Forget About Life,' the apartment stands in disarray as undrinkable wine is inhaled: When the failures of the past multiply and you trivialize the things that keep your hand from mine, did you want to forget about life with me tonite? The resonant freaks in Rankin's tales don't find much resolve, but with equal doses of black humor and heartstring-tugging, Antisocialites rings a truer tone.

    1. In Undertow
    2. Dreams Tonite
    3. Plimsoll Punks
    4. Your Type
    5. Not My Baby
    6. Hey
    7. Lollipop (Ode To Jim)
    8. Already Gone
    9. Saved By A Waif
    10. Forget About Life
    Alvvays
    $18.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel (Awaiting Repress) The Grinding Wheel (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
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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
  • Babel Babel Quick View

    $16.99
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    Babel


    Babel follows the 2009 release of Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sigh No More. It is produced by Markus Dravs.


    Fantastic 4 Star review from American Songwriter!



    There are some guitar sounds so indelibly stuck into our collective pop-consciousness that even those who can't tell a minor from a major chord can identify the band or player from just a few riffs -a dreamy John Lennon lick, the cosmic climb of Joe Perry, Slash's slash, Nirvana's fuzzy-barre rips, the post-punk fury of Sonic Youth. Now, the chugging, kinetic strum of Mumford & Sons is slowly creeping onto this revered list - not born out of extreme skill or virtuosity but by sheer branding, note for note. And it's how the band's second album, Babel, opens on the title track: with that same very strum, born somewhere between English mountain folk and an old time Appalachia. You can nearly hear the sweat flying off Marcus Mumford, his Martin instrument hiked high on his chest, every time he and banjo player Winston Marshall attack their strings.

    So it's no coincidence, it seems, that the band's highly anticipated sophomore record begins exactly where we might expect, and the rest of LP that follows proves that this isn't an attempt to smash any expectations with a sudden progression of their style. For those devotees looking for the Mumfords to evolve drastically, well, you're out of luck. But who would that audience be, anyway? The band is no doubt polarizing: old time and bluegrass faithfuls wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of Sigh No More, and their most ardent followers are more likely to have an iPod stocked with Coldplay and John Mayer than Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Even pop addicts can't deny the catchy craft of "Little Lion Man" or "The Cave." No one is looking for their Kid A. Thus Babel's not a new sentence in the book of Mumford & Sons - it's what happens after an ellipses. And in many ways, that suits them just fine. It will most definitely suit their fans.


    Marcus Mumford has always been a bit of a melancholy fellow, and even a marriage to pixie-haired starlet Carey Mulligan, sold-out shows and Grammy nominations haven't shaken the teary introspection from this set of songs. Obviously, Babel deals in a lot of religious imagery and lyrics - with all the success and opportunities to indulge, it seems the boys have taken a moment to ask a few questions of their maker. "This cup of yours tastes holy/but a brush with the devil can clear your mind," Mumford sings on the second track "Whispers in the Dark." It's an anthem call with a firm statement: "I'm a cad but I'm not a I'm not a fraud / I set out to serve the lord." Maybe the trials and tribulations of being simultaneously loved and harangued have worn on the Mumford's, but at least they can prove to themselves, their audience or even their lord that this stuff comes from the heart.


    The album's single, "I Will Wait," is an easy crowd-pleaser moment with an arena-ready hushed chorus, set to those furious strings. The lyric and melody could easily be a Fray song if you removed the plucking banjo -and that's the amazing thing about Mumford & Sons. Purists aside, there's no one else that can get an audience from ages eight to eighty screaming along to a bunch of acoustic instruments or urge a kid to choose guitar lessons over computer games. Every time they perform - live or on Babel - they do it with sheer fervor, as if it's both their first and last time.


    While the band is mostly known for their "Americana" sound, they also pull references from their side of the pond: from both classic British countryside folk and Celtic punk bands like The Pogues. Those influences run a little more clear on Babel - "Ghosts That We Knew" and "Reminder" are both soft, melancholy stunners born out of grassy hills and cockney-tinged tales told in wood-paneled bars. And "Broken Crown" is the boys at their angriest yet: "I'll never be your chosen one," Mumford sings lightly before launching into an all-out war over minstrel plucks. It's a force of a song, and not your firmest pick nor hard-earned callous could weather that storm.


    Babel has some other unexpected moments, too, like on "Hopeless Wanderer," which begins with keys instead of strum, and "Lover of the Light" is a sunnier moment, perhaps a nod to the singer's recent vows ("to have and to hold," Mumford howls on the track). And the album's closer, "Not Without Haste," is a beautiful lullaby meant more for singing a restless man to sleep than a still-innocent child.


    There's also a continuation of the Mumford's love of literary references, with the boys even copping recently to ripping a line from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - this is the band, after all, that was able to loop Macbeth's fateful cry of "stars, hide your fires" into their rollicking song "Roll Away Your Stone." So while the album title, Babel, is most likely a biblical reference, it's hard not to think of Jorge Louis Borges' short story, The Library of Babel. In it Borges imagines a universe composed of an endless library that contains every book in every possible permutation, and, therefore, nothing at all. This excess causes great despair for people of the library as they try to search for meaning in all of it. They fret. They come up empty.


    Babel may not hold all the answers, and it may not be some exotic transformation of their original formula - it's a safe bet to say that nothing from the Mumford & Sons may ever be. In The Library of Babel, the final realization that everything repeats itself is the universe's saving grace. And in Babel, you could say the same. Though there may not be endless possibilities, there's comfort - elegance, even - in that familiar, now nearly iconic rip of those strings, strummed in the way only those boys from West London can strum. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly Mumford & Sons.


    1. Babel
    2. Whispers In The Dark
    3. I Will Wait
    4. Holland Road
    5. Ghosts That We Knew
    6. Lover Of The Light
    7. Lovers' Eyes
    8. Reminder
    9. Hopeless Wanderer
    10. Broken Crown
    11. Below My Feet
    12. Not With Haste
    Mumford And Sons
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Concrete Confessional The Concrete Confessional Quick View

    $24.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Concrete Confessional

    An institution can be relied on forever. Its foundations don't shake due to the winds of change or tides of trends-no matter how volatile, omnipresent, or tenuous.


    With steadfast determination, drive, and dedication, Hatebreed cement themselves as one of heavy music's strongest institutions on their seventh full-length offering and very first for Nuclear Blast worldwide, 2016's The Concrete Confessional. Since 1994, the Connecticut quintet-Jamey Jasta [vocals], Chris Beattie [bass], Wayne Lozinak [guitar], Frank Novinec [guitar], and Matthew Byrne [drums]-has risen to the ranks of hardcore and heavy metal elite with a GRAMMY® Award nomination, main stage slots on festivals, and countless fans worldwide. 2013's The Divinity Of Purpose earned their highest entry on the Billboard Top 200, bowing at #17 with impressive first-week sales in excess of 17,000. When it came time to return to the studio after two years on the road, Jasta and his cohorts clung to the bedrock on which their legacy stands firm.


    "There's nothing better than loud amps, riffs that hit you right in the chest, and lyrics that spark a new thought and give you a charge," he declares. "That's our musical DNA. We could just be who we are. We don't need to incorporate whatever the trend is. We can just be Hatebreed. There are some new highlights to the game, but you know it's us."


    The Divinity Of Purpose saw them become a headliner in locations such as Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Japan, and beyond. They would perform at Poland's Woodstock in front of 400,000 people. Stateside, the band supported longtime friends Slipknot on an extensive 2015 run in between festival appearances at Rock On The Range, Welcome To Rockville, and more as well as Motörhead's Motörboat with Slayer and Motörhead.


    "Riding into this album, I realized we could play with bands of every genre nearly anywhere without deviating from who we are," continues Jasta. "The Motörboat was really a highlight of our career. We played this exclusive event with some of our chief influences. We got to literally chart new territory."


    Returning home in the Fall of 2015, they entered the studio with longtime producer Zeuss [Rob Zombie, Soulfly]. Immediately, they channeled the spirit that's long defined their signature sound. By January, the record was mixed by Josh Wilbur [Megadeth, Lamb Of God] and primed for ignition.


    "We had a really good vibe in the studio," he says. "The record is a snapshot of this time for us."


    It also reflects what's going on outside. The opening track and first single "A.D." fuses together torrential thrashed-out guitars, double bass drums, and Jasta's immortal growl before an incendiary lead. The singer dissects what the American Dream means in a climate of upheaval. "Fight fire with fire, you'll see everyone's burning," he screams. Think of it as "Vote With A Bullet" or "Holy Wars The Punishment Due" for the Instagram age.


    "It's a mirror of both sides of the story whether it's what you believe in the media or what you actually see," he explains. "Musically, it came together quickly. It's about all of the frustrated feelings that come out when I turn on the news. So much of our attention is focused on the wrong areas. People want to one-up each other with better clothes and cars, and it's all bullshit. Nobody goes to the grave with any of that stuff. It's not all instant gratification. What exists on the phone and computer isn't what exists in real life. What is the American Dream anymore?"


    The machine gun chug of "Looking Down The Barrel Of Today" proves equally uplifting and undeniable. "I wanted something to get crowds pumped up," he admits. "So many fans will tell us, 'Your records help me get through my life.' I needed to encourage this cyclical power to get up and face the day. You either make the best of today, or you're done in by it."


    "Something's Off" carries an ominously lyrical bass line into a guttural chant, showcasing Jasta's chilling vocal dynamics in the process. "I've written songs about depression, alcoholism, and falling back into destructive patterns," he says. "However, I never felt like I could really put my finger on what anxiety is. It's not just social anxiety but this unexplained feeling of unease. I've felt it since I was in kindergarten. You can't control when it happens. Heavy music has kept that beast at bay-in addition to exercise and experiences with my family. I had to confront it directly in the lyrics here."


    Elsewhere, "Remember When" and "Slaughtered In Their Dreams" juxtapose visceral lyricism with a searing sonic backdrop as chaotic as it is catchy. Through and through, The Concrete Confessional is classic Hatebreed.


    In order to transfer this message to the masses, the band inked a global deal with Nuclear Blast. "They're world-renowned mainstays in the metal community," he smiles. "We get to be in the company of career bands we look up to." These musicians have come a long way from the East Coast's storied nineties underground scene. Their journey has seen them achieve a 2005 GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of "Best Metal Performance" for "Live For This," sell over 1.2 million records, and land a #1 debut on Billboard's DVD Chart with 2009's Live Dominance. Moreover, they've annihilated audiences from OZZfest Japan and Download Festival to Wacken, Hellfest, and beyond.


    Now, The Concrete Confessional fits right into the bold, bloody, and beating heart of the Hatebreed institution.


    "The title had to be something that was heavy and hard, but also vulnerable and honest," Jasta leaves off. "Heavy music is this cleansing, therapeutic, and cathartic experience. You're on that concrete floor, the guitars are crushing you, and someone's screaming their head off-sharing their pain and aspects of their life through words, poetry, or songs. There's nothing like it. You confess you have negative thoughts, and you purge them. For however long you're at the show, there are no bills to pay, issues to deal with, or problems holding you back. You can be free."

    1. A.D.
    2. Looking Down The Barrel Of Today
    3. Seven Enemies
    4. In The Walls
    5. From Grace We've Fallen
    6. Us Against Us
    7. Something's Off
    8. Remember When
    9. Slaughtered In Their Dreams
    10. The Apex Within
    11. Walking The Knife
    12. Dissonance
    13. Serve Your Masters
    Hatebreed
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Concrete Confessional (Picture Disc) The Concrete Confessional (Picture Disc) Quick View

    $21.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Concrete Confessional (Picture Disc)

    Picture Disc Edition - Limited To 500 Copies


    An institution can be relied on forever. Its foundations don't shake due to the winds of change or tides of trends-no matter how volatile, omnipresent, or tenuous.


    With steadfast determination, drive, and dedication, Hatebreed cement themselves as one of heavy music's strongest institutions on their seventh full-length offering and very first for Nuclear Blast worldwide, 2016's The Concrete Confessional. Since 1994, the Connecticut quintet-Jamey Jasta [vocals], Chris Beattie [bass], Wayne Lozinak [guitar], Frank Novinec [guitar], and Matthew Byrne [drums]-has risen to the ranks of hardcore and heavy metal elite with a GRAMMY® Award nomination, main stage slots on festivals, and countless fans worldwide. 2013's The Divinity Of Purpose earned their highest entry on the Billboard Top 200, bowing at #17 with impressive first-week sales in excess of 17,000. When it came time to return to the studio after two years on the road, Jasta and his cohorts clung to the bedrock on which their legacy stands firm.


    "There's nothing better than loud amps, riffs that hit you right in the chest, and lyrics that spark a new thought and give you a charge," he declares. "That's our musical DNA. We could just be who we are. We don't need to incorporate whatever the trend is. We can just be Hatebreed. There are some new highlights to the game, but you know it's us."


    The Divinity Of Purpose saw them become a headliner in locations such as Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Japan, and beyond. They would perform at Poland's Woodstock in front of 400,000 people. Stateside, the band supported longtime friends Slipknot on an extensive 2015 run in between festival appearances at Rock On The Range, Welcome To Rockville, and more as well as Motörhead's Motörboat with Slayer and Motörhead.


    "Riding into this album, I realized we could play with bands of every genre nearly anywhere without deviating from who we are," continues Jasta. "The Motörboat was really a highlight of our career. We played this exclusive event with some of our chief influences. We got to literally chart new territory."


    Returning home in the Fall of 2015, they entered the studio with longtime producer Zeuss [Rob Zombie, Soulfly]. Immediately, they channeled the spirit that's long defined their signature sound. By January, the record was mixed by Josh Wilbur [Megadeth, Lamb Of God] and primed for ignition.


    "We had a really good vibe in the studio," he says. "The record is a snapshot of this time for us."


    It also reflects what's going on outside. The opening track and first single "A.D." fuses together torrential thrashed-out guitars, double bass drums, and Jasta's immortal growl before an incendiary lead. The singer dissects what the American Dream means in a climate of upheaval. "Fight fire with fire, you'll see everyone's burning," he screams. Think of it as "Vote With A Bullet" or "Holy Wars The Punishment Due" for the Instagram age.


    "It's a mirror of both sides of the story whether it's what you believe in the media or what you actually see," he explains. "Musically, it came together quickly. It's about all of the frustrated feelings that come out when I turn on the news. So much of our attention is focused on the wrong areas. People want to one-up each other with better clothes and cars, and it's all bullshit. Nobody goes to the grave with any of that stuff. It's not all instant gratification. What exists on the phone and computer isn't what exists in real life. What is the American Dream anymore?"


    The machine gun chug of "Looking Down The Barrel Of Today" proves equally uplifting and undeniable. "I wanted something to get crowds pumped up," he admits. "So many fans will tell us, 'Your records help me get through my life.' I needed to encourage this cyclical power to get up and face the day. You either make the best of today, or you're done in by it."


    "Something's Off" carries an ominously lyrical bass line into a guttural chant, showcasing Jasta's chilling vocal dynamics in the process. "I've written songs about depression, alcoholism, and falling back into destructive patterns," he says. "However, I never felt like I could really put my finger on what anxiety is. It's not just social anxiety but this unexplained feeling of unease. I've felt it since I was in kindergarten. You can't control when it happens. Heavy music has kept that beast at bay-in addition to exercise and experiences with my family. I had to confront it directly in the lyrics here."


    Elsewhere, "Remember When" and "Slaughtered In Their Dreams" juxtapose visceral lyricism with a searing sonic backdrop as chaotic as it is catchy. Through and through, The Concrete Confessional is classic Hatebreed.


    In order to transfer this message to the masses, the band inked a global deal with Nuclear Blast. "They're world-renowned mainstays in the metal community," he smiles. "We get to be in the company of career bands we look up to." These musicians have come a long way from the East Coast's storied nineties underground scene. Their journey has seen them achieve a 2005 GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of "Best Metal Performance" for "Live For This," sell over 1.2 million records, and land a #1 debut on Billboard's DVD Chart with 2009's Live Dominance. Moreover, they've annihilated audiences from OZZfest Japan and Download Festival to Wacken, Hellfest, and beyond.


    Now, The Concrete Confessional fits right into the bold, bloody, and beating heart of the Hatebreed institution.


    "The title had to be something that was heavy and hard, but also vulnerable and honest," Jasta leaves off. "Heavy music is this cleansing, therapeutic, and cathartic experience. You're on that concrete floor, the guitars are crushing you, and someone's screaming their head off-sharing their pain and aspects of their life through words, poetry, or songs. There's nothing like it. You confess you have negative thoughts, and you purge them. For however long you're at the show, there are no bills to pay, issues to deal with, or problems holding you back. You can be free."

    1. A.D.
    2. Looking Down The Barrel Of Today
    3. Seven Enemies
    4. In The Walls
    5. From Grace We've Fallen
    6. Us Against Us
    7. Something's Off
    8. Remember When
    9. Slaughtered In Their Dreams
    10. The Apex Within
    11. Walking The Knife
    12. Dissonance
    13. Serve Your Masters
    Hatebreed
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP Picture Disc - Sealed Buy Now
  • Kiss: MTV Unplugged Kiss: MTV Unplugged Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Kiss: MTV Unplugged

    Celebrating four decades of decibels, KISS, Mercury Records and UMe proudly announce reissuing the legendary KISS albums on 180g audiophile vinyl
    starting in 2014. Remastered to high definition 192kHz/24-bit audio for maximum fidelity, these albums have never sounded so amazing and now
    vinyl collectors will get what they've been demanding. All posters, sleeve art, stickers, etc that appeared in the original LP release where applicable have
    been faithfully reproduced for the KISS Army.


    On April 10, KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - which will be broadcast in May -
    and then will kick off a summer co-headlining tour with Def Leppard starting in June.


    After sinking deep into this musical celebration, even the not-so-avid listener will surely know something more about Kiss, a classic rock icon of the '70s roaring back in vibrant and passionate form. This recording of a session done expressly for the program MTV Unplugged in 1996 brought together a special group for a remarkable, if unexpected, reunion. Throughout this record, you can feel the support and raw adoration of the audience present, certainly a mixture of long-time fans and new admirers. The members of Kiss got together to rock hard on their axes and crash big on the drums, bringing a renewed sense of freshness and excitement. Nearly rock & roll legends, they exceeded expectations and, given their newfound energy, charisma, and love for the music, their performance provided the catalyst for the beginning of a successful world reunion tour. Coming Home delivers a feverish and electric opening that gets the crowd on its feet in a hurry. Soon the emotion and presence of this group are brought back with startling grace and wisdom on Plaster Caster, and the beautiful acoustic medley Goin' Blind. The decades of Kiss, their costumes, and their wild stadium shows roll back in a heartbeat through the crashing tune Do You Love Me. Perhaps one of the most bewildering tunes that really reflects the image of Kiss is the rocking blues tune Domino. The crowd is really fired up now, next experiencing the charming and soulful power rock ballad Sure Know Something. A World Without Heroes is very subdued and reflective. Rock Bottom is delicate and mysterious in the opening seconds, with a lush minor harmony delivered picking style on the acoustic. Now it gets rough, expresses Stanley, grooving in a racy blues statement. See You Tonight is a romantic and pretty ballad delivered with sweetness, and the group sings, I'll see you tonight/And if I can't, I'll cry, I'll cry/I see you tonight, outside. Then on comes the darker resonance of the band with I Still Love You, expressing grave longing after a grueling breakup. I got to make you see, is a gripping line in a haunting bridge section, before the shouted, emotional, sometimes painful chorus: Girl, it seems the price I have of losing you/Will be my hell to pay/It makes me want to die/'Cause I still love you. The solo during the bridge is reminiscent of the chord structure of the Guess Who's Undun. After this painful, depressing song, new breath is found with Every Time I Look at You, a song of forgiveness, delivered with sincerity and the feeling of hope: Every time I hold you/The things I never told you seem to come easily/'Cause you're everything to me. The bridge is brilliant and seems to elevate the melody to a gratifying level, before breaking into a chilling guitar improv, layered over with a shimmering string orchestra. Beth is the most heartwarming song of Kiss' power ballads: Beth I know you're lonely/And I hope you'll be alright/'Cause me and the boys will be playing all night. Finally, a Kiss show wouldn't be complete without the ultimate party song, Rock and Roll All Night, a tune still electric without electric guitars.


    - Shawn M. Haney (All Music Guide)

    LP 1
    1. Comin' Home
    2. Plaster Caster
    3. Goin' Blind
    4. Do You Love Me
    5. Domino
    6. Sure Know Something
    7. A World Without Heroes
    8. Rock Bottom


    LP 2
    1. See You Tonight
    2. I Still Love You
    3. Every Time I Look At You
    4. 2,000 Man
    5. Beth
    6. Nothin' To Lose
    7. Rock 'N' Roll All Nite
    8. Got To Choose

    Kiss
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Beulah Beulah Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Beulah

    Beulah. It's a small, complicated word with a tangle of meanings.


    It's the title of John Paul White's new album, his first in nearly a decade, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it's a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.


    Beulah is also a White family nickname. "It's a term of endearment around our house," White explains, "like you would call someone 'Honey.' My dad used to call my little sister Beulah, and I call my daughter Beulah. It's something I've always been around."


    Beulah is also something much loftier. For the poet and painter William Blake, Beulah was a place deep in the collective spiritual unconscious. "I won't pretend to be the smartest guy in the world," says White, "but I dig a lot of what he's written. Beulah was a place you could go in your dreams. You could go there in meditation, to relax and heal and center B photo credit: Allister Ann 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D yourself. It wasn't a place you could stay, but you came back to the world in a better state."


    And perhaps the music on this album originated in that "pleasant lovely Shadow where no dispute can come." According to White, the songs came to him unbidden-and not entirely welcome. "When these songs started popping into my head, I had been home for a while and I was perfectly happy. I wasn't looking for songs. I didn't know whether any would pop back in my head again, and I was honestly okay with that. I'm a very happy father and husband, and I love where I live. I love working with artists for a label that I think is doing good work."


    Far from the grind and glamour of Nashville-where he worked for years as a working songwriter before stepping into the spotlight himself-White settled in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a wellspring of gritty Southern rock and soul since the 1960s. Together with Alabama Shakes keyboard player Ben Tanner and Shoals native Will Trapp, he founded and runs Single Lock Records, a local indie label that has released records by some of the Yellowhammer State's finest, including Dylan LeBlanc, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and legendary songwriter and keyboard player Donnie Fritts. The label is based in a small ranch house a stone's throw from White's own home, which would come in handy when those songs started invading his head.


    "Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down. I got my phone out and I'd sing these little bits of melody, then put it away and move on. But eventually I got to a place where it was a roar in my head, and that pissed me off." Due to his experiences as a gun-for-hire in Nashville, White was reluctant to romanticize the creative process, to turn it into a spiritual pursuit. "Then one day I told my wife I think I'm going to go write a song. She was as surprised as I was. I went and wrote probably eight songs in three days. It was like turning on a faucet."


    Most artists would kill for such a downpour, but White was wary of the consequences. He knew that writing songs would lead to recording them, which would result in releasing them, and that means touring and leaving home for weeks at a time. "As soon as I write a song, I start thinking what other people might think of it. I've talked to friends about this: What is it about us that makes us do that? Why can't I just sit on my back porch and sing these songs out into the ether? I don't have an answer for it yet, but I think it's just part of who I am. I need that reaction. I need to feel like I'm moving someone in a good way or in a bad way. I need to feel like there's a connection."


    White threw himself into the project, no longer the reluctant songwriter but a craftsman determined to make the best album possible-to do these songs justice. He cut several songs at the renowned FAME Studios in his hometown, where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Allmans, the Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Arthur Conley, and Clarence Carter recorded some of their most popular hits.


    One product of those sessions is "What's So," which introduces itself by way of a fire-andbrimstone riff, as heavy as a guilty conscience-the kind of riff you wouldn't be surprised to hear on a Sabbath album. But White's vocals are gritty and soulful, a product of the Shoals, almost preacherly as he sings about earthly and eternal damnation: "Sell your damn soul or get 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D right with the man, keep treading water as long as you can," he exhorts the listener. "But before you do, you must understand that you don't get above your raisin'." It's the heaviest moment on the record, perhaps the darkest in White's career.


    At the other end of the spectrum is "The Martyr," one of the catchiest tunes White has ever penned. The spryness of the melody imagines Elliott Smith wandering the banks of the Tennessee River, yet the song is shot through with a pervasive melancholy as White wrestles with his own demons. "Keep falling on your sword, sink down a little more," he sings over a dexterous acoustic guitar theme. This is not, however, a song about some unnamed person, but rather a pained self-diagnosis: "These are the wounds that I will not let heal, the ones that I deserve and seem so real." White knows he's playing the martyr, but he leaves the song hauntingly open-ended, as though he isn't sure what to do with this epiphany beyond putting it in a song.


    The rest of Beulah was recorded in the Single Lock offices/studio near White's home. "I can be more relaxed about the process. We can all just sit there and talk about records or baseball without feeling like someone's standing over our shoulders. That's a big deal to me, not to feel pressured. And I'm only about twenty yards away from home, so I can walk over and throw a baseball with my kids or make dinner with my wife."


    Some of the quieter-but no less intense-songs on Beulah were created in that environment, including the ominously erotic opener "Black Leaf" and the Southern gothic love song "Make You Cry." As he worked, a distinctive and intriguing aesthetic began to grow clearer and clearer, one based in austere arrangements and plaintive moods. These are songs with empty spaces in them, dark corners that could hold ghosts or worse. "There were certain moments when Ben and I would finish up a song, listen back to it, and think how in the world did we get here. But that's just what the songs ask for. These are the sounds in my head. This is the sound of me thinking and living and breathing and doing."


    Once White had everything assembled and sequenced, it was time to give the album a title, to wrap everything up for the listener. Beulah stuck-not only because of family history or Blake, but because White realized that making music was his own trip to Beulah. "If you had to sum up what music is for most people in this world, it's that. It's that escape. It's that refuge. You go there and you come back and you use that to help you with your life. You always have that as a place to go."

    1. Black Leaf
    2. What's So
    3. The Once And Future Queen
    4. Make You Cry
    5. Fight For You
    6. Hope I Die
    7. I've Been Over This Before (Feat. The Secret Sisters)
    8. The Martyr
    9. Hate The Way You Love Me
    10. I'll Get Even
    John Paul White
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Learning To Crawl (On Sale) Learning To Crawl (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)

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    Learning To Crawl (On Sale)

    What is the sound of a fledgling band dealing with multiple tragedies, coming to terms with drastic changes, digging deep into its consciousness, finding resolution in hurt, and overcoming staggering odds to record a bonafide masterwork? It's the sound of every note that graces the Pretenders' Learning to Crawl. Still recognized as one of the most emotionally gripping and musically gutsy performances ever made, the smash 1984 album hasn't aged a day. And now, it sounds better than could ever be imagined.



    Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Learning to Crawl finally possesses the combination of whisper-in-your-ear intimacy and nerve-checking toughness that it's always demanded on Mobile Fidelity's super-quiet analog LP. Leader Chrissie Hynde's voice is made viscerally apparent, wavering between vigorous determination and solemn reflection, while drummer Martin Chamber's punchy backbeats register with requisite punch. To say nothing of how fresh the effort's hit singles (Middle of the Road, Back on the Chain Gang) and incredible deep cuts sound.



    The story behind Learning to Crawl is directly connected to the powerful, moving music within. After releasing two records that swept the world by storm (Pretenders and Pretenders II, the latter available on hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity), the group's fortunes reversed after guitarist James Honeyman-Scott was found dead of a drug overdose in 1982. Shortly thereafter, founding member Pete Fardon, fired just two days before his partner's death, also succumbed to an overdose, leaving the band's state in tatters. Would there still be a Pretenders?



    Hynde answers this question with a resounding yes on Learning to Crawl, which still contains signs of the band's early, street-wise rawness but also adds new wrinkles, with more streamlined melodies, sensitive ballads, and reflective tones. Back on the Chain Gang, the Pretenders' most commercially successful hit, functioned as a bittersweet tribute to her ex-mates while the Christmas-themed 2000 Miles holds rank as one of the most effecting, penetrating love songs of Hynde's career. Throughout the record, the Pretenders are again one.



    New guitarist Robbie McIntosh supplies simpler, bluesier, basic guitar lines and the foursome know how to all-out rock, with the furious Middle of the Road and socially conscious My City Was Gone testifying to a stinging, thrilling sensibility that can exist only because of the devastation that the band survived. Call it the rise of the phoenix or triumph of the human will, but any way you see it, Learning to Crawl occupies a rare territory--akin to the space referred to on the superb cover of Thin Line Between Love and Hate--that registers in the pits of the human soul.



    Whether you've grown up with this album, heard it in college, or are just learning about it now, Mobile Fidelity's expertly mastered 180g LP version is the only analog edition worth owning. Hear Hynde and Co.'s cathartic, transcendent effort in all its full splendor, and, like the Pretenders, refuse to settle for less.


    This title is not eligible for further discount.

    1. Middle of the Road
    2. Back on the Chain Gang
    3. Time the Avenger
    4. Watching the Clothes
    5. Show Me
    6. Thumbelina
    7. My City Was Gone
    8. Thin Line Between Love and Hate
    9. I Hurt You
    10. 2000 Miles
    Pretenders
    $34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Sorceress (Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Black Vinyl


    There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.


    Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.


    "This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."


    Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?


    "My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."


    Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.


    "I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."


    Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.


    "When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."


    For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.


    "There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."


    If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.


    "I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."


    Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.


    "It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."


    A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.


    "I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."

    1. Persephone
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Wilde Flowers
    4. Will O The Wisp
    5. Chrysalis
    6. Sorceress 2
    7. The Seventh Sojourn
    8. Strange Brew
    9. A Fleeting Glance
    10. Era
    11. Persephone (Slight Return)
    12. The Ward
    13. Spring MCMLXXIV
    Opeth
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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