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Pretenders Vinyl Box SetEight classic albums collected together in this limited edition LP boxset for the first time. All albums are pressed on 180-gram heavyweight black vinyl, two for the first time on the format.Albums Included:
Learning To Crawl
Last Of The Independents
The Isle Of View (2LP)
Viva El Amor!$182.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Box Set - 9 LPs Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
Pretenders (On Sale)Pretenders One of the Most Essential Debuts Ever Released: No-Nonsense 1980 Set Ranked 155th Greatest Album of All Time by Rolling Stone
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Added Extension, Sharper Imaging, Multi-Dimensional Soundstaging on MoFi 180g LP Place Pretenders on a Small Stage in Your Room
Pretenders' Self-Titled Record Moves Fast With Biting Hooks, Soulful Melodies, and Guitar-Charged Toughness: Includes Brass In Pocket, Precious, and Tattooed Love Boys
The milieu the Pretenders create on their groundbreaking debut didn't exist when the album came out in early 1980. Such is the magnitude of originality, creativity, and nerve the band captured on a record that captivated each side of the Atlantic and both upended and advanced tradition. The no-nonsense set also announced the arrival of the inimitable Chrissie Hynde, one of the greatest singer-songwriters in rock history, gender be damned. Equally significant, the album remains just one of two studio efforts featuring the original members before tragedy ended the lives of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP of Pretenders grants the influential music newfound clarity, punch, dynamics, and perspective that enhance the realism and attack of everything from Hynde's vocal snarl to the band's myriad textures. Originally recorded live in the studio at high volume levels by producer Chris Thomas, the record on this vinyl edition boasts added extension, sharper imaging, multi-dimensional soundstaging, and a crispness that practically places the Pretenders onstage in your room. Replete with detail and nuance-particularly, Hynde's singing and Honeyman-Scott's terrific array of hovering chords, colorful palettes, and inventive effects-this is a record that rewards repeat listening and full-bloom playback.
Cited by Rolling Stone as the 155th Greatest Album of All Time, Pretenders took shape via the vision of the Ohio-born Hynde and chemistry she achieved with three Brits circling the same punk orbit-one that saw the frontwoman work with the Sex Pistols and briefly embark on a serious music-criticism career. Indeed, while Hynde is the unquestionable leader of the gang, the Pretenders are the sum of their total parts, displaying rapport and interaction that never came together more convincingly, naturally, or emotionally as it does on their debut. Honeyman-Scott's ringing arpeggio tones seamlessly combine with Hynde's no-muss sass, sensuality, and soulfulness. Similarly, the rhythm section contributes considerable thump and classically styled explosiveness. Together, the four sound like no other band.
Such distinctiveness helps explain why Pretenders remains as contemporary now as it did 30-odd years ago.Schooled in the era's raw, unfiltered English punk yet equally versed in rockabilly, new-wave pop, and British Invasion rock, the band orchestrates songs that overflow with keen hooks, sexual swagger, and ear-catching melodies. Courtesy of the aggressive guitars and leather-tough cool, Pretendersmoves fast, Hynde's assertive deliveries and take-notice lyrics jolting the senses with a lethal mix of sophistication, toughness, tenderness, rebelliousness, and romance.
With Honeyman-Scott playing the Richards to her Jagger, Hynde operates on pure instinct. She throws down the gauntlet on the corrugated pulse of Precious, proves she can hang with even the roughest boys on the energetic bounce of Tattooed Love Boys, and, on the smash hit Brass In Pocket, spouts self-aggrandizing claims that she would back up for decades to come. Yet Hynde and the Pretenders' appeal goes much deeper than brazenness. Akin to her guitarist's unconventional phasing and treated effects, the singer never abides by rules or stereotypes as she balances the gutsiness and attitude with sensitivity (Lovers of Today), compassion (the jangling Stop Your Stopping), and vulnerability (Kid).
Pretenders is not only one of the most impressive album debuts in history, it's one of the most essential records, independent of genre or timing, ever made. Hear this energetic music in the finest-possible fidelity it's ever enjoyed.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Precious
2. The Phone Call
3. Up the Neck
4. Tattooed Love Boys
5. Space Invader
6. The Wait
7. Stop Your Sobbing
9. Private Life
10.Brass In Pocket
11.Lovers of Today
12.Mystery Achievement$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
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
7. My City Was Gone
8. Thin Line Between Love and Hate
9. I Hurt You
10. 2000 Miles$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
The Old MagicOf Nick Lowe, NPR once observed, Few musicians get better with age, Nick Lowe is an exception. While it's undeniable that his last album garnered Lowe the best reviews of his career and his best one-week sales in the Soundscan era, there is little doubt that he has always been at the forefront of modern music. Be it his production work with The Damned, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders or his stone-classic solo albums Jesus of Cool or Labour of Lust, Nick has always set the standard for smart, switchblade-sharp pop music.
His latest album, The Old Magic continues Lowe's late-career evolution with arguably his best collection yet. Amidst urbanely insistent grooves (Sensitive Man), and spare-yet-imposing shuffles (Checkout Time), The Old Magic features three exceptional Lowe ballads: album opener Stoplight Roses, House for Sale and I Read A Lot. As is his custom, Lowe also peppers the album with three covers by Elvis Costello, Tom T. Hall and Jeff West that fit seamlessly with his originals. The Old Magic might be the album title equivalent of calling your shot, but for Nick Lowe it seems more a simple statement of fact.1. Stoplight Roses
2. Checkout Time
3. House For Sale
4. Sensitive Man
5. I Read A Lot
6. Shame on the Rain
7. Restless Feeling
8. Poisoned Rose
9. Somebody Cares for Me
10. You Don't Know Me at All
11. Til' the Real Thing Comes Along$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - Sealed Buy Now
StockholmThis is the first-ever solo album from Chrissie Hynde, the founder and singer for The Pretenders. Stockholm is a suitably impressive addition to a Rock &
Roll Hall of Famer's staggering legacy, a fresh debut. "It's the first album with my name on it," Chrissie says. "But it's not a solo album. In fact, making this
album was more of collaboration than any Pretenders album ever was."1. You or No One
2. Dark Sunglasses
3. Like In The Movies
4. Down The Wrong Way
5. You're The One
6. A Plan Too Far
7. In A Miracle
8. House Of Cards
10. Sweet Nuthin'
11. Adding The Blue$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
AloneThe Pretenders are set to release their first album in eight years, Alone, via BMG. Recorded in Nashville and originally intended as a solo follow-up to 2014's 'Stockholm', it soon became obvious that those driving guitars, ragged but righteous arrangements, tough yet tender lyrics delivered by the most beautifully distinctive voice of a generation, sounded fantastically familiar. The Pretenders were back. 36 years after their remarkable first album, 'Alone' could be the older, wiser, badder sister to that exhilarating debut.
Chrissie Hynde recorded the album in Nashville with Dan Auerbach, from The Black Keys, who stood as captain, producer and multi-instrumentalist on the record, an album which sees Chrissie at her searingly honest, most incisive best.
The full band joining Chrissie and Dan on the album features Johnny Cash's former bass player Dave Roe and country rocker Kenny Vaughan on guitar plus sundry members of Dan Auerbach's side project The Arcs: Richard Swift, drums, Leon Michels, keyboards and Russ Pahl providing sly curlicues of pedal steel. The album was mixed by Tchad Blake (Arctic Monkeys, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello). Duane Eddy also features on the punchy 'Never Be Together'.
Of the new album Chrissie Hynde said the following: "This record is what I love the most - real people playing real music. I sang and recorded every vocal in a 48 hour period - 48 hours to sing them, 40 years of preparation!"1. Alone
2. Roadie Man
3. Gotta Wait
4. Never Be Together
5. Let's Get Lost
6. Chord Lord
7. Blue Eyed Sky
8. The Man You Are
9. One More Day
10. I Hate Myself
11. Death Is Not Enough$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Digitally Remastered & Expanded Four 180gm Vinyl LP Pressing In Hard Case
Warm Leatherette represents a watershed moment in the career of Grace Jones. The first of her much loved and critically-lauded 'Compass Point trilogy' it saw the star embrace contemporaneous new wave (The Normal's 'Warm Leatherette', The Pretenders' 'Private Life'), old soul (The Marvelettes' 'The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game' and leftfield rock (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 'Breakdown', Roxy Music's 'Love Is The Drug'). All sounded like nothing you'd ever heard before once Grace had finished with them. This set is a perfect demonstration of players, writers and production team at the very top of their game, headed up by a singular performer reaching the apex of her career to that point.1. Warm Leatherette
2. Private Life
3. A Rolling Stone
4. Love Is The Drug
5. The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
9. Warm Leatherette (Long Version)
10. Private Life (Long Version)
11. A Rolling Stone (Long Version)
12. Love Is The Drug (Long Version)
13. The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game (Long Version)
14. Pars (Long Version)
15. Private Life (Long Version 2)
16. Private Life (Dub Version)
17. She's Lost Control (Long Version)
18. She's Lost Control (Dub Version)
19. Love Is The Drug (Single Version)
20. Private Life (Single Version)
21. She's Lost Control (Single Version)
22. The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game (Special Single Version)
23. Breakdown (U.S. Single Edit)
24. Pars (Single Version)
25. Pars (Dub Version)
26. Love Is The Drug (12" Single Remix)
27. Private Life (12" Single Remix)$152.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Box Set - 4 LPs Sealed Buy Now
URPD-JAC-025xZach Hill, Janet Weiss, Matt Cameron
DrumgasmDRUM SUPERGROUP WITH DRUMMERS FROM:
Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Quasi, Wild Flag, Sleater Kinney, Hella, Death Grips
Janet Weiss - Quasi, Wild Flag, Sleater Kinney
Matt Cameron - Pearl Jam, Soundgarden
Zach Hill - Hella, Death Grips
Let's get this out of the way -for the casual listener, the musical window shopper, there is just nothing for you here. This music will confuse you, maybe annoy you, perhaps even cause a panic attack. Even reading about it will probably just confuse and annoy; so better just stop now and forget about it.
Alright - who's left? You are not 90% - you are the music freaks, the true heads, and of course... the drummers! Because, this record is a document of what happens when Matt Cameron, Janet Weiss, and Zach Hill - three of the most remarkable drummers of late period rock & roll, whose collective roll call of bands - Pearl Jam, Sleater-Kinney, Hella, Quasi, Soundgarden,Wild Flag, Death Grips, Boredoms - have had a heavy impact on all levels of rock & roll from full blown arena rock to the radical fringe underground, set up together in a room & just commence to EXPLODE.
I'm in a unique position to comment on this music, as I actually scammed my way into the session, on the pretext of video taping the whole thing. Did I actually shoot some footage? I don't even remember, because, sitting there in the room as it all went down, I was just transported by the spirit, the energy, the fire, which was being generated in large doses. Three people, three drum kits, some microphones and a reel of tape - that's it: pure spontaneity. There's nothing out there that's very comparable to this - maybe the Voodoo drum ritual music of the Drummers of the Societe Absolument Guinin, is all I can think of, though admittedly even that is a pretty far cry.
After the session was done and mixed, I was given access to the recordings, and I spent hours listening closely, parsing out the details in what seems at first like a Niagara Falls of sound. In fact it's very possible to pick out what each of the drummers is doing at a given time (they are given distinct areas within the stereo spectrum), and zoom in on action/reaction, call and response, time games, shifting levels of synchronization and de-synchronization, repetition and pattern... it's all there if you want to dissect it. But eventually I found that simply relaxing into the sound, riding the contours of energy, density, movement, was probably the most rewarding way of listening to this music. At this level, the experience is deeply calming, as the sound becomes a river, sometimes roaring in a torrent, other times opening up to reveal subsurface details, but always moving, flowing... people spend all day watching rivers flow by like this, maybe pretending to try & catch fish. One could likewise spend all day listening to this music flow by, except the time limits imposed by the LP format have pared the music down to more reasonable chunks.
So for us, the freaks, the heads, this is gold: masters of their instruments in a frenzy of creation - creation for its own sake, for the love of music and sound and drums, a universe away from music as product, musician as brand. Dig it. -Armitage ShanksSide A: Drumgasm (21:16)
Side B: Drumgasm (18.27)$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bricks Are HeavyBricks Are Heavy was the third album by L7 originally released in 1992. Produced by Butch Vig Bricks Are Heavy is somewhat poppier with more focused songwriting than their previous LP's and was the bands breakthrough album fueled by the success of the single Pretend We're Dead. L7 was often associated with the then raging Grunge movement (even though they were from L.A.) and it's not hard to see why as the album features abrasive, sledgehammer guitar riffs and plenty of heavy rockers with the songs Wargasm, Slide, and Everglade. The group emphasized their feminist and Riot Grrrl side with This Ain't Pleasure and Diet Pill. First domestic release on vinyl for this early 90s alternative classic.1. Wargasm
3. Pretend We're Dead
4. Diet Pill
7. One More Thing
8. Mr. Integrity
11. This Ain't Pleasure$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Great PretendersThe Great Pretenders is the second album by Los Angeles band Mini Mansions.1. Freakout!
2. Death Is A Girl
5. Any Emotions
7. Honey, I'm Home
8. Mirror Mountain
9. Heart Of Stone
10. Double Visions
11. The End, Again$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Last Of The Great PretendersColored Vinyl
San Francisco-based singer and songwriter Matt Nathanson's album, Last of the Great Pretenders, is the successor to his 2011 release Modern Love.
Nathanson on the cover art for Last of the Great Pretenders: The photograph has been a favorite of mine for years. It was done by an incredible artist called Mr. Toledano. I was over the moon when he gave us the go ahead to use it.1. Earthquake Weather
2. Mission Bells
3. Last Days of Summer in San Francisco
4. Kinks Shirt
5. Sky High Honey
6. Annie's Always Waiting (For the New One to Leave)
7. Kill The Lights
8. Heart Starts
9. Birthday Girl
10. Sunday New York Times
11. Farewell, December$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Let's Pretend We're MarriedLet's Pretend We're Married was the final US single from Prince's 1982 album 1999.1. Let's Pretend We're Married
2. Irresistible Bitch$12.9912 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
$19.99 $15.79 Save $4.20 (21%)
It's All Just Pretend (On Sale)Seattle-based five-piece rock combo Ivan & Alyosha are finally complete, having organically grown from the original duo of Tim Wilson and
Ryan Carbary, adding Tim's brother Pete and Tim Kim, then drummer Cole Mauro as a full-time member for their sophomore Dualtone Records
album, It's All Just Pretend, an uplifting exploration of the things that fuel their classic sound, steeped in the verities of family, faith and existential
doubt. On It's All Just Pretend, Ivan & Alyosha continue to make timeless music that shows that rock and domestic bliss can indeed co-exist,
as they overcome any obstacles by the sheer joy of their roles -- not only as performers, but brothers, husbands, fathers and sons.1. Something Is Wrong
2. Bury Me Deep
3. All This Wandering Around
4. It's All Just Pretend
5. Tears In Your Eyes
6. Oh This Love
7. Come Rain, Come Shine
8. Modern Man
9. Drifting Away
10. Let Me Go East
11. Don't Lose Your Love$19.99 $15.79 Save $4.20 (21%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Oracular SpectacularNewly remastered from the original analog tapes, this edition of MGMT's million-selling major label debut album from 2007 includes the generational anthems Kids, Time To Pretend and Electric Feel.1. Time to Pretend
2. Weekend Wars
4. Electric Feel
6. 4th Dimensional Transition
7. Pieces of What
8. Of Moons, Birds & Monsters
10. Future Reflections$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
$13.99 $11.05 Save $2.94 (21%)
Helpers On The Other Side (On Sale)Adding flourishes to the formula established on their debut Out of Africa, Alternative Tentacles' flagship band Triclops! continues its assault on all pretenders to the punk / psych / prog throne.
The sound on this album is varied, but one might say it's akin to fIREHOSE crossing streams with Goblin in an acid vat. There's even an acoustic bridge in With SARS, I'll Ride the Wind that sounds like a fever-warbled classic rock jammer.
Triclops! is an acid-punk version of avant-garde classical composition with cinematic textures--an absurdist soundscape replete with comedic relief that acknowledges its own pure ridiculousness. This career suicide / cult-accepted approach to exhibitionism finds kindred spirits in envelope-pushing, progress-obsessed minds like Butthole Surfers, Slayer, David Lynch, Zappa, Heinlein, Timothy Leary, Melvins / Big Business, B. Traven, Deerhoof, Bill Hicks, Sun Ra, Fellini, Sonic Youth, and Scratch Acid.
Having toured Europe and shared bills with Melt Banana, NoMeansNo, Big Business, and Jesus Lizard, these post-punk veterans' distinct sound is unmistakably Triclops!1. Glaciers (Cry of the Modern Neanderthal)
2. Brown Summer
3. Until All the Threads Are Stripped
4. Send Conan Home
5. Homage to Monte Cassino (Red)
6. With SARS, I'll Ride the Wind$13.99 $11.05 Save $2.94 (21%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Shaw Tapes: Live In Detroit 5/27/88"The best garage band in America since the '60s. Very primitive they made
people with Les Pauls and Marshall amps look like idiots."
- Jack White
Recorded at a party in a Detroit storefront in 1988, this live recording of the
Gories captures the band at their apex. The ferocity, intensity and grit that come
through this record is a testament to why the Gories oeuvre has been heavily
mined for the past two decades by hundreds of poseurs, pretenders and johnny-come-latelys
The dual-guitar attack of Dan Kroha's smooth Fender Jaguar and
Mick Collins screechy Kent Videocaster, coupled with the snare-less, cymbal-less,
bass drum-less primitive drumming of Peggy O'Neill forms a perfect meld of
40's blues, 50's R&B, 60's garage and 70's punk. Dare we say it, but in terms of
in uence and reach, the Gories were the Velvet Underground of their day1. Nautiloid Reef
2. Leavin' Here
3. I Think I've Had It
4. To Find Out
5. Boogie Chillen
6. Real Cool Time
7. Charm Bag
8. Sovereignty Flight
9. Again and Again
10. Thunderbird ESQ
12. Train Kept a Rolling
13. I Just Wanna Make Love to You / Give Me Love$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bricks Are Heavy (Red Vinyl)Pressed On Red Vinyl
Bricks Are Heavy was the third album by L7 originally released in 1992. Produced by Butch Vig Bricks Are Heavy is somewhat poppier with more focused songwriting than their previous LP's and was the bands breakthrough album fueled by the success of the single Pretend We're Dead. L7 was often associated with the then raging Grunge movement (even though they were from L.A.) and it's not hard to see why as the album features abrasive, sledgehammer guitar riffs and plenty of heavy rockers with the songs Wargasm, Slide, and Everglade. The group emphasized their feminist and Riot Grrrl side with This Ain't Pleasure and Diet Pill. First domestic release on vinyl for this early 90s alternative classic.1. Wargasm
3. Pretend We're Dead
4. Diet Pill
7. One More Thing
8. Mr. Integrity
11. This Ain't Pleasure$23.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Phases and StagesThe legendary career of Texas-born music icon Willie Nelson has spanned six decades and stands as one of contemporary music's greatest legacies. Nelson first rose to fame as a Nashville-based songwriter, penning many now timeless standards including Crazy, a top hit for Patsy Cline. Feeling constrained by the Nashville music establishment, Willie relocated to Austin in the early 70s, where the melding of rock and country audiences made a huge impression on him. He began fusing folk and roots rock with a rebellious outlaw country flavor, inventing an authentic, stripped-down sound that remains vastly influential to this day. At this pivotal point in his artistic evolution, Nelson signed to Atlantic Records, delivering two signature albums revered as all-time masterpieces of his extensive repertoire, Shotgun Willie and Phases And Stages.
Phases And Stages is the first of many albums on which Willie strings songs together to tell a single story. The first half of the album recounts a break-up from the woman's point of view; the second half tells the same story, but from the man's perspective. Among the many outstanding tracks on this classic album are Sister's Coming Home, I Still Can't Believe You're Gone and Pretend I Never Happened.
1. Phases and Stages (Theme)/Washing the Dishes
2. Phases and Stages (Theme)/Walkin'
3. Pretend I Never Happened
4. Sister's Coming Home/Down at the Corner Beer Joint
5. (How Will I Know) I'm Falling in Love Again
6. Bloody Mary Morning
7. Phases and Stages (Theme)/No Love Around
8. I Still Can't Believe You're Gone
9. It's Not Supposed to Be That Way
10. Heaven and Hell
11. Phases and Stages (Theme)/Pick Up the Tempo/Phases and Stages (Theme)$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Bet On SkyThere is nothing quite like a Dinosaur Jr. album. The best ones are always recognizable from the first notes.
And even though J tries to trip us up by smearing Don't Pretend You Didn't Know with keyboards, it's clear from the moment he starts his vocals that this is the one and only Dinosaur Jr., long reigning kings of Amherst, Massachusetts (and anywhere else they choose to hang their toques).
I Bet on Sky is the third Dinosaur Jr. album since the original trio - J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph - reformed in 2005. And, crazily, it marks the band's 10th studio album since their debut on Homestead Records in 1985.
Back in the '80s, if anyone has suggested that these guys would be performing and recording at such a high level 27 years later, they would have been laughed out of the tree fort. The trio's early shows were so full of sonic chaos, such a weird blend of aggression and catatonia that we all assumed they would flame out fast. But the joke was on us.
The trio has taken everything they've learned from the various projects they tackled over the years, and poured it directly into their current mix. J's guitar approaches some of its most unhinged playing here, but there's a sense of instrumental control that matches the sweet murk of his vocals (not that he always remembers to exercise control on stage, but that's another milieu). This is head-bobbing riff-romance at the apex. Lou's basswork shows a lot more melodicism now as well, although his two songs on I Bet on Sky retain the jagged rhythmic edge that has so often marked his work. And Murph...well, he still pounds the drums as hard and as strong as a pro wrestler, with deceptively simple structures that manage to interweave themselves perfectly with his bandmates' melodic explosions!1. Don't Pretend You Didn't Know
2. Watch The Corners
3. Almost Fare
4. Stick A Toe In
6. I Know It Oh So Well
7. Pierce The Morning Rain
8. What Was That
10. See It On Your Side$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Win Hands DownArmored Saint are a colossus, and Win Hands Down will long be remembered as one of the seven wonders of modern metal. The album - the band's seventh studio offering in a career spanning more than three decades - is all things Armored, a vintage crush of classic power propelled by a cathartic blast of life in the year 2015. This is Armored Saint, and this is nothing short of magnificent.
The fist-pumping adrenaline rush starts with the title track and escalates from there, Win Hands Down delivering an album-opening rally cry that re-introduces the players after their five year sojourn since the release of La Raza in 2010. As always, they are the same Saints we've grown to know and love - frontman John Bush and bassist Joey Vera, guitarist Phil Sandoval and his brother, drummer Gonzo Sandoval, and guitarist Jeff Duncan - five masters of metal that combine to forge one of the genre's most criminally-unsung forces.
When we started work on this record, I said, 'Let's pretend we are a really big band and can do whatever we want', says Bush of the spark that ignited Win Hands Down. Technology allows us that luxury, and we can take that luxury when it comes to writing. In the end, we know who we are, so we don't have those boundaries that other bands might have - you push yourself, dig deep and write stuff that makes you feel happy and fulfills you. That's really important, and I think it came through. This means a lot more to us than just, 'We made a rock/metal album...'LP 1
1. Win Hands Down
3. An Exercise in Debauchery
4. Muscle Memory
5. That Was Then, Way Back When
1. With a Full Head of Steam
2. In an Instant
4. Up Yours$33.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Hypercaffium SpazzinateOn their first album in 12 years, vocalist Milo Aukerman, drummer Bill Stevenson, guitarist Stephen Egerton, and
bassist Karl Alvarez channel an energy just as raw and jittery as in their earliest days-a time when the band was
driven by the equally mighty forces of "rejection, food, coffee, girls, fishing, and food." Born from the all-for-one
spirit that's forever fueled the band, Hypercaffium Spazzinate returns to the frenetically catchy sound that launched a
generation of pop-minded punk acts and continues to widen the Descendents' following around the world.
The band's first Epitaph Records release since 1996's Everything Sucks, Hypercaffium Spazzinate began taking shape
soon after the Descendents surfaced from extended hiatus for a series of gigs in 2010. With Milo now living in Delaware,
Karl and Bill in Colorado, and Stephen in Oklahoma, the album came to life over a three-year period in which
the band sent tracks back and forth and occasionally met up in Karl and Bill's adopted hometown of Fort Collins.
With Hypercaffium Spazzinate featuring the classic Milo cartoon as its cover art-this time, he's got his head affixed
to a lab flask in an attempt to "synthesize some bonus caffeine," as Milo explains-the album finds the band both
honoring their past and living fully in the moment. "Since the dawn of rock-and-roll every band's tried to pretend
they exist in the age group of 18 to 35, no matter how old they get," says Karl. "But this band's very honest about
the fact that we're not teenagers anymore." Still, thanks in part to their enduring legacy within skate culture and punk
communities, the Descendents maintain a vitality that's amply reflected on the new album.
"Each time we make a
record it's almost like the first time all over again," says Bill. "There's a quote from Ornette Coleman about how the
song is the territory, and what you do with the song is the adventure. We're definitely still going on all these little
adventures together."1. Feel This
2. Victim Of Me
3. On Paper
4. Shameless Halo
5. No Fat Burger
7. Without Love
8. We Got Defeat
11. Fighting Myself
12. Spineless and Scarlet Red
13. Human Being
14. Full Circle
15. Comeback Kid
16. Beyond The Music$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
RedThe long awaited follow up from the irrepressible Norwegian duo sees both '80s and modern day influences intertwined to create a landmark release. Red is a thoroughly unashamed love letter from Fredrik and musical partner Ketil Mosnes' to the influences that made Datarock what they are today. DEVO, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruki Murakami, Don Delillo's White Noise, Scott Walker and the works of John Hughes and Peter Greenaway are all referenced. The duo does a fine balancing act here of sounding both modern and retro, and altogether funny. Highlights include the album's centerpiece and single The Pretender and Amarillion among others.
1. The Blog
2. Give It Up
3. True Stories
6. Do It Your Way
7. In The Red
8. Fear Of Death
10. The Pretender
11. Back In The Seventies
12. Not Me
13. New Days Dawn$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bows + ArrowsThe Walkmen may have had their collective tongue somewhat in cheek when they called their first record, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone (Startime International/2001) but the acclaim and attention it received was anything but insincere. The Washington DC-bred, New York-based quintet's emphatic, deeply textured rock was embraced by fans, radio and press alike as something fresh and unexpected, which is why their second album, the Dave Sardy-produced Bows + Arrows, was equally as well received and was one of 2004's most acclaimed releases.1. What's In It For Me
2. The Rat
3. No Christmas While I'm Talking
4. Little House Of Savages
5. My Old Man
6. 138th St.
7. The North Pole
8. Hang On Siobhan
9. New Years Eve
10. Thinking Of A Dream I Had
11. Bows And Arrows$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
X-CommunicateSometimes you have to rip it up and start again. It was a tough
call for Dee Dee. Dum Dum Girls was her guise for most of a
decade, an outlet through which she's crafted a resonant,
instantly-identifiable body of work. Over the course of three
albums, four EPs, and an array of singles, Dum Dum Girls
morphed from the girl-group-gone-bad moves of their 2010
debut, I Will Be, to the plush noir-pop of 2014's Too True, a dark
heart burning bright. But as her music evolved, she found that for
many she would be forever refracted through the prism of Dum
Dum Girls' early work: retro-leaning female harmonies, a
backdrop of lo-fi, fuzzed up guitars.
In 2015, she decided to shed her skin, ditching Dee Dee for her
real name, Kristin, and adding Kontrol. It was a spontaneous idea
that resonated. The challenge was to start fresh, go further back
into her relationship to music. Sweep all her loves together into
one genreless experience. "The first music I felt was mine was
classic 80s pop and 90s R&B, from Tiffany, Janet Jackson and
Madonna to TLC, SWV, and Aaliyah," she says. "But for years I
was hellbent on the rock'n'roll thing, revering Joan Jett, Patti
Smith, Chrissie Hynde, -- a rebellion against her classical vocal
training -- but I was like, fuck it, I'm just going to try it all. I'm
going to pretend I'm Kate Bush covering Mariah.
Refocused and inspired, Kristin wrote 62 songs, whittled the list
to ten for X-Communicate, and finished the album with the help
of new producers Kurt Feldman (who had produced her Christmas
single a few years back) and Andrew Miller (who played
guitar on the first Dum Dum Girls album and had joined the band
in its last incarnation).
Arguably the biggest shift, beyond the music itself, is that as
Kristin Kontrol she tells her stories using a sonic palette splashed
with bold pop melodies, her vocals showcasing a range hitherto
unexplored on record. The songs that emerge from Kristin's
universe -- a menagerie of new wave and R&B, European synth
pop, and experimental disco -- are both familiar and unique,
using genre rather than adhering to it, with a distinct nod to the
present. It may be a leap into the unknown, but "little risk means
little reward," as Karen O once counseled her. I feel free. I kind
of excommunicated myself. Even if I have to rebuild my whole
career, I'd rather work hard than feel stagnant. I feel excited
again, and that's priceless.1. Show Me
2. White Street
3. (Don't) Wannabe
5. Skin Shed
6. Drive the Night
7. What is Love
8. Face 2 Face
9. Going thru the Motions
10. Smoke Rings$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now