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WARB-FUE-9447xPanic! At The Disco
Pretty. OddFor Panic At The Discos sophomore follow-up to their Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen break-through debut 2005s A Fever You Cant Sweat Out, the band holed up in a Las Vegas studio with renowned producer Rob Mathes. What they created is nothing short of a masterpiece, the 60s pop-inspired Pretty Odd. This time around, the band opted for real instruments and live tracking over Pro Tools software, citing influences as The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Guitarist Ryan Ross explains, We want to make music that is simple and timeless and not too pretentious. The band also did additional tracking at the Abbey Road Studio in London, adding a Beatles-esque flavor to their usual Vegas flare. The song lyrics have moved away from the whole one-liner, sarcastic thing says Ross, in favor of more everyday things. Lead single Nine In The Afternoon has the band showing a healthy dose of maturity, having grown as songwriters and instrumentalists.1. We're So Starving
2. Nine In The Afternoon
3. She's A Handsome Woman
4. Do You Know What I'm Seeing?
5. That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)
6. I Have Friends In Holy Spaces
7. Northern Downpour
8. When The Day Met The Night
9. Pas De Cheval
10. The Piano Knows Something I Dont Know
11. Behind The Sea
12. Folkin' Around
13. She Had The World
14. From A Mountain In The Middle Of The Cabins
15. Mad As Rabbits$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WARB-FUE-3633xPanic! At The Disco
Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!"Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!" is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Panic! at the Disco.
Panic! At The Disco is a platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated duo from Las Vegas, NV. Formed in 2004, Panic! quickly began writing their debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, released on Fueled By Ramen in September, 2005. The album, featuring singles such as I Write Sins Not Tragedies and The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage was a smash, selling over 1.7 million copies to date. In July 2006, the album was officially certified Platinum. Coming off of their first worldwide tour, the band had established themselves as mainstays in the hearts of fans everywhere.
In 2007 the band began writing their sophomore release, Pretty. Odd. They decided to make the album they wanted to make. While the album is equally as catchy and infectious as their debut, Pretty. Odd. saw the band digging through their parents' record crates to craft and expansive pop album that channeled the ghosts of Brian Wilson and the Beatles as well as lesser-known pop sensations like the Zombies. After creative differences saw the band split from four to two members in mid-2009, it was time to start rebuilding.1. This is Gospel
2. Miss Jackson (featuring Lolo)
3. Vegas Lights
4. Girl That You Love
7. Casual Affair
8. Far Too Young to Die
9. Collar Full
10. The End of All Things$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Venomous Rat Regeneration VendorIn April, horror rock mogul ROB ZOMBIE returns with his fifth solo album, and in his words, "It merges the old days of WHITE ZOMBIE with the future of what I am doing now this is the perfect combo of both worlds." Much more than self-serving hyperbole, this is the Devil's truth! 'The Girl Who Loved The Monsters' harkens back to La Sexorcisto, whereas 'Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures' would be right at home on The Sinister Urge. Throughout the 12 songs, pretty much every aspect of Zombie's musical career is touched upon; Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is almost like a Greatest Hits comprised of entirely new material. First single 'Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Super Town' is a fiery, barn-burner of a track highlighting "wasted youth - an angel of odd in her birthday suit." That being said, the award for worst song title of the year goes to 'Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga'. Musically, it's actually quite a good piece, but that title and chorus - what were you thinking Rob? Then there's 'Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)', centered around a tedious, electronic syncopated drum beat. All signs lead to dull and dreary, but when this kicks in, it'll knock you on your ass! 'Theme For The Rat Vendor' is an unexpected 62-second instrumental immersed in middle-eastern sounds. Pulling a decapitated rabbit out of the hat, Zombie and cohorts John 5 on guitar, Piggy D on bass, and Ginger Fish on drums rock the shit out of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD's 'We're An American Band'; talk about a job well done! And if there really is a fallen angel in hell, Zombie will play 'Lucifer Rising' every night on tour. Bound to be a fan-favourite, this makes you move and groove uncontrollably; it's damn near irresistible. 'Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin' ends this illicit affair with the perfect amount of sex, sleaze and violence. Forget the Pied Piper, it's time to embrace, cherish and worship those Venomous Rats!-- Aaron Small1. Teenage Nosferatu Pussy
2. Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown
3. Revelation Revolution
4. Theme For The Rat Vendor
5. Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga
6. Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)
7. Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures
8. White Trash Freaks
9. We're An American Band
10. Lucifer Rising
11. The Girl Who Loved The Monsters
12. Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor (Picture Disc)Picture Disc
Horror rock mogul ROB ZOMBIE returns with his fifth solo album, and in his words, "It merges the old days of WHITE ZOMBIE with the future of what I am doing now this is the perfect combo of both worlds." Much more than self-serving hyperbole, this is the Devil's truth! 'The Girl Who Loved The Monsters' harkens back to La Sexorcisto, whereas 'Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures' would be right at home on The Sinister Urge. Throughout the 12 songs, pretty much every aspect of Zombie's musical career is touched upon; Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor is almost like a Greatest Hits comprised of entirely new material. First single 'Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Super Town' is a fiery, barn-burner of a track highlighting "wasted youth - an angel of odd in her birthday suit." That being said, the award for worst song title of the year goes to 'Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga'. Musically, it's actually quite a good piece, but that title and chorus - what were you thinking Rob? Then there's 'Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)', centered around a tedious, electronic syncopated drum beat. All signs lead to dull and dreary, but when this kicks in, it'll knock you on your ass! 'Theme For The Rat Vendor' is an unexpected 62-second instrumental immersed in middle-eastern sounds. Pulling a decapitated rabbit out of the hat, Zombie and cohorts John 5 on guitar, Piggy D on bass, and Ginger Fish on drums rock the shit out of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD's 'We're An American Band'; talk about a job well done! And if there really is a fallen angel in hell, Zombie will play 'Lucifer Rising' every night on tour. Bound to be a fan-favourite, this makes you move and groove uncontrollably; it's damn near irresistible. 'Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin' ends this illicit affair with the perfect amount of sex, sleaze and violence. Forget the Pied Piper, it's time to embrace, cherish and worship those Venomous Rats!-- Aaron Small1. Teenage Nosferatu Pussy
2. Revelation Revolution
3. Theme For The Rat Vendor
4. Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga
5. Rock And Roll (In A Black Hole)
6. Behold, The Pretty Filthy Creatures!
7. White Trash Freaks
8. We're An American Band
9. Lucifer Rising
10. The Girl Who Loved The Monsters
11. Dead City Radio And The New Gods Of Supertown
12. Trade In Your Guns For A Coffin$35.99Vinyl LP Picture Disc - Sealed Buy Now
Anarchy My DearSay Anything has been making odd, unclassifiable indie-rock music since they were teenagers, playing strangely literate and loud rock, characterized by what one might imagine if Larry David fronted a Fugazi cover band with the members of Queen. Having been birthed from the indie/punk boom of the early 21st century, Say Anything rose to prominence with 2004's ...Is A Real Boy and broke the pretty boy punk mold with 2007's equally eclectic and lengthy In Defense of the Genre and their exceedingly unruly 2009 self-titled release. Their fourth studio album, Anarchy My Dear, promises more of all of the above.1. Burn A Miracle
2. Say Anything
3. Night's Song
4. Admit It Again
5. So Good
7. Peace Out
9. Of Steel
10. Anarchy, My Dear
11. The Stephen Hawking$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Songs of Faith and DevotionIn between Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion, a lot happened: Nirvana rewrote the ideas of what alternative was supposed to be, while Nine Inch Nails hit the airwaves as the most clearly Depeche-influenced new hit band around. In the meantime, the band went through some high-profile arguing as David Gahan turned into a long-haired, leather-clad rocker and pushed for a more guitar-oriented sound. Yet the odd thing about Songs of Faith and Devotion is that it sounds pretty much like a Depeche Mode album, only with some new sonic tricks courtesy of Alan Wilder and co-producer Flood. Perhaps even odder is the fact that it works incredibly well all the same. I Feel You, opening with a screech of feedback, works its live drums well, but when the heavy synth bass kicks in with the wailing backing vocals, even most rockers might find it hard to compete. Martin Gore's lyrical bent, as per the title, ponders relationships through distinctly religious imagery; while the gambit is hardly new, on songs like the centerpiece In Your Room, the combination of personal and spiritual love blends perfectly. Outside musicians appear for the first time, including female backing singers on a couple of tracks, most notably the gospel-flavored Condemnation and the uilleann pipes on Judas, providing a lovely intro to the underrated song (later covered by Tricky). Rush is the biggest misstep, a too obvious sign that Nine Inch Nails was a recording-session favorite to unwind to. But with other numbers such as Walking in My Shoes and The Mercy in You to recommend it, Songs of Faith and Devotion continues the Depeche Mode winning streak.
- Ned Raggett (All Music Guide)1. I Feel You
2. Walking In My Shoes
4. Mercy In You
6. In Your Room
7. Get Right With Me
9. One Caress
10. Higher Love$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Evil Divide (Awaiting Repress)Three decades into their celebrated career, Death Angel remain as hungry as ever.
As a result, uncompromising urgency and unpredictability define the Bay Area thrash quintet's eighth full-length album, The Evil Divide [Nuclear Blast]. The group-Mark Osegueda [vocals], Rob Cavestany [lead guitar], Ted Aguilar [guitar], Will Carroll [drums], and Damien Sisson [bass]-satiate the appetite for buzzsaw speed riffs, double bass mayhem, and scorching vocals over the course of ten new anthems.
"I want every record of ours to always sound fucking hungry and desperate," declares Mark. "An injured animal is a dangerous fucking animal. We feel that. We're always striving for more and put everything into it until our bodies give out."
"We know who we are," adds Rob. "We're dedicated to this sound for both the fans and ourselves."
In order to siphon that energy, the group re-teamed with producer Jason Suecof [Trivium, Deicide] for the third album in a row. They traded Northern California for Suecof's Florida stronghold, Audio Hammer Studios, during two months in the fall of 2015. Following three consecutive records together, this lineup gelled more than ever while recording.
"You could feel it," continues Rob. "Everything was so much smoother in all regards. We progressed as a unit, and we all got on the same page pretty quickly. It makes recording and playing even more fun."
"We're collectively focused," says Mark. "Rob and I have grown a lot as songwriters, and the entire band is tighter than ever. We knew what to expect sonically with Jason, but we wanted to push things in a different direction. The production and drum, bass, and guitar tones are more organic. He's got such a great ear and nailed it. It's like we confidently hit our stride."
The first single "Lost" intersects a hypnotically haunting refrain with a chugging percussive groove, dropping the melody like a guillotine between fret-burning leads.
"Everybody feels lost at some point in their lives," explains Mark. "It's that sense of self-awareness or lack thereof that comes through in the lyrics. No one's immune to it. That time can be a fleeting week or a matter of years where you don't know what's going on. Music is a way to get it out and a vessel to vent. It's a universal thing." Opener "The Moth" whips from a galloping guitar death march into a battle-cry. Boasting a lyrical contribution from Rob, it name checks the album title in the chorus.
"Mark really breathes life into what I wrote," says Rob. "We have a great time collaborating and bouncing ideas off each other."
"The world is in such an odd state," sighs Mark. "There's always division, but these days it's wild. People are attacking each other for no reason. That's why I love metal. It's an amazing community, and people get into it for no other reason but the passion for music. It's the one thing we can retreat to."
"Cause for Alarm" volleys between a crossfire of six-string prowess, while "Father of Lies" closes on a haunting acoustic outro, illuminating the music's expanse and declaring another creative victory for the group.
The Evil Divide stands out as the culmination of thirty-plus years of music for Death Angel. It kicked off with legendary debut, The Ultra-Violence, in 1987. The classic Frolic Through The Park began to cement their legacy and even earned the distinction of landing on Loudwire's list of the "Top Ten Thrash Albums NOT Released by The Big 4." The group broke up following 1990's Act III only to reunite in 2004 on Art of Dying for the next generation. A powerful trifecta followed. In 2010, Relentless Retribution boasted a cameo from virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela, while 2013's The Dream Calls For Blood bowed at #72 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 5,400 copies first-week and earning the group's first-ever entry onto that respective chart. Beyond continued public praise from the likes of James Hetfield of Metallica and Robb Flynn of Machine Head, the band's music has popped up everywhere from Carl's Jr. commercials to Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Their fire burns brighter than ever in 2016.
"If you're a casual fan, I hope you really get it on this album," Mark leaves off. "If you've been with us since the beginning, I want you to see we aren't messing around. We're still Death Angel."1. The Moth
2. Cause For Alarm
4. Father Of Lies
5. Hell To Pay
6. It Can't Be This
7. Hatred United, United Hate
9. The Electric Cell
10. Let The Pieces Fall
11. Wasteland$25.99Vinyl LP -2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'EmThe Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are the last of a dying breed of Grease Rock Bastard musicians who somehow, despite and in spite of the last 3 decades trying their best to kill off balls out, non-bullshit rock'n'roll music, somehow, against all the fucking odds, still exist, surviving on a steady diet of God sent gigs, hire vans, broken down amps, split drum skins, greasy spoon fry ups, patched up jeans, roll-ups, cheap leather jackets, booze, weed and bathtub speed.
Spare them your sympathy - no-one made the silly bastards do it. They just NEED to!! Right??
Facts to face - the Shovell are named after a 17th century English naval commander; Bill Darlington plays drums, Louis Comfort-Wiggett plays bass and Johnny Gorilla plays guitar and sings, they have been together as a band since 2008.
Their debut 2011 Rise Above 7, Return To Zero'/'Day After Day, sold out instantly and now commands £100 plus a copy; their 2012 debut long-player DON'T HEAR IT FEAR IT received unilateral rave reviews and was described pretty accurately by one scribe as 'the aural equivalent of stumbling into an 18 year-old male's bedsit in 1973 - the kind of greasy hard-rock thrills rarely heard in this climate of blind nostalgia and misjudged authenticity. It's hard 'n' heavy, without the marshmallow; it's old-fashioned yet so NOW that it hurts!''
They've toured and played with the likes of Orange Goblin, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Incredible Hog, Gentlemans Pistols, Graveyard, Gonga and countless more, toured Europe and had chief Groundhog Tony McPhee playing on their first LP!
On their new LP CHECK 'EM BEFORE YOU WRECK 'EM the Shovell somehow carry on the lineage of the truly golden age of British heavy rock whose dog shit stained road was paved by the likes of Budgie, Sabbath, early Motorhead, Quo, Lizzy, The Groundhogs, Stray etc. Chuck in a healthy chunk of U.S. and Aussie proto metallurgists Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, Bang, The Litter and Buffalo, as well as a healthy Vertigo 'Swirl' of dew picked mushrooms bad trip psych.
The Shovell thinks the world could do with another slice of no-nonsense re-gressive proto-rock 'n'metal - one that you don't need a Degree in doom-rock or a Masters in metal to appreciate - just a love of when music was F U N !!!!
Remember kids - CHECK 'EM BEFORE YOU WRECK 'EM!!!1. Do It Now
2. 2 Tonne F*ckboot
3. Captain Merryweather
4. Running From Home
5. Happiness Begins
6. Shaker Your Head
7. Don't Hear It ... Fear It!
9. The Thicker The Better
10. Late Night Mornings$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BADBADNOTGOOD is a hip-hop jazz band from Toronto who's
doing a pretty admirable job at kicking the jazz world's ass back
BABADNOTGOOD's approach is much less refined and intentionally so, with a brash attitude and youthful energy winning out
They deconstruct the four bar loops, understanding how to work
crescendos by stretching out and reshaping the music into their
- Huffington Post
BADBADNOTGOOD is a young supremely talented trio of musicians made
up of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alex Sowinski on
drums. Since their inception at Humber College's Music Performance program
in 2011, the three have challenged the rule book on improvised instrumental
music and taken jazz tradition into the future.
With early champions including acclaimed BBC broadcaster Gilles Peterson
and Tyler The Creator who helped fuel their discovery with a series of live jams
that instantly went viral and dubbed them the "Odd Trio", the band released
their first EP BBNG in June 2011 to wide praise. The marriage of jazz virtuosity
and hip hop source material offered a fresh take on the traditional "standard"
applied to hip hop classics by taking on choice cuts from the golden era rap
cannon and writing inspired arrangements for them instead of one-dimensional
The band hit a landmark by introducing original material into their compositions with BBNG2 in 2012. New songs like "Rotten Decay", "Vices" or "UWM"
carried on the proud heritage of musical juxtaposition by bringing together jazz,
hip hop, punk, and dance music into vigorous balance. Since then, they've won
praise from the four corners of the globe and collaborated with Frank Ocean,
Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Pharaoh Monch and RZA among many. Their notorious live performances have brought fans across the whole musical spectrum
together, taking the band around the world from Coachella to Glastonbury.
Now, the inseparable friends are prepping to release their biggest project to date
III on prodigious young label Innovative Leisure, a highly-anticipated project
ushering in the group's newest explorations which are proving to be limitless.1. Triangle
2. Can't Leave The Night
3. Confessions (Feat. Leland Whitty)
5. Eyes Closed
7. Differently, Still
8. Since You Asked Kindly
10. Sustain$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ConversationsWoman's Hour are not your average band. The first clue comes in the name of the London-based swoon-pop four-piece, taken from a beloved female-focussed news and culture show on BBC Radio 4. The second is in their graphic, striking monochrome visuals, meticulously curated in collaboration with TATE and MOMA certified fine artists Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg. These play with shape and texture, much like their powerful, iridescent music. On their excellent debut album 'Conversations', this has the intricate construction and intimacy of The xx and the iridescent shimmer of summer-defining indie pop. Pay attention now, or regret it later.
In a sense, we feel like the odd ones out, explains frontwoman Fiona Burgess of their nose-to-tail approach to their visuals, performance and songcraft. It's quite empowering that we're doing it as four people but we're not part of a bigger collective. Indeed, their 360º approach is closer to the art/music crossover of acts such as Throbbing Gristle, Yoko Ono or Factory Floor than most of this year's indie hopes. Their music - as poignantly personal as pop gets - has a rare singularity and purpose.
Take single Her Ghost, which layers a breezy guitar hook with Fiona's beautiful, sighing lyric of inner turmoil. I'm interested in the idea of memory and how powerful memories can be, and how powerful some things can be to let go of, she says. A lot of my writing is me trying to understand an emotion or situation. The track's melody and a message lingers in the recesses of the mind like a box of treasured letters.
Woman's Hour started to come together one summer, when Fiona started collaborating with her brother, guitarist William Burgess. I had been to a couple of rehearsals with other bands and it wasn't very much fun, says William. I mentioned to Fiona that I'd like her to sing and we decided to have a go. I went round to her place one day and it turned our that she had a pretty nice voice! The two recruited bassist Nicolas Graves, who was William's friend from back home (the pair had played in a couple of local guitar bands back in Kendal) and the three began creating their music. Nicolas explains: We just messed around in each other's houses for a bit and tried to get a few songs together.
We played our first gig in 2011, Nicolas continues. It was at Fiona's house in Camden. It was a hat-themed party. I remember wearing a beret. Fiona was wearing a trilby, and Will had a sombrero on. It was incredibly nerve-racking for the trio despite the jolly occasion (I almost froze with fear at one point laughs Nicolas), but the gig was a runaway success, and it was there that they all met keyboardist Josh Hunnisett, who was already a friend of Fiona's and happened to be doing the sound at the event. Even in the shambolic situation, the band were meticulous perfectionists.
The quartet had their first rehearsal in an old vicarage in Dalston. It just felt really honest, says Josh. There was no 'you can't do this, you can't do that, don't try that - the style of music felt pure and everyone was expressing themselves in the way they wanted. We've tried to think about this as a collaboration between four different creative people. Each band member brings a wholly distinct set of influences to the band - from German cold wave to pop rarities and uncompromising singer/songwriters. Their website even has a section dedicated to recommended reading.
But it was their favourite radio show that was to be have most prominent effect on the band. When we were first doing demos we named them all after BBC Radio 4 programmes, explains Nick. The World at One, Afternoon Play, that kind of thing. I think Woman's Hour might have been one of them, and when it came to play our first gig (at The Queen's Head in London) one of our friends suggested using it and it stuck. Indeed, their jangle-pop first single Jenni, which is quite different to their current material, was named after Radio 4 stalwart Jenni Murray. The band's first 7, Jenni/ Human, was released through London label Dirty Bingo after the label head tracked them down on online and interviewed them for beloved London zine Loud And Quiet.
Although the single made a splash, things were moving too fast for the band. Suddenly we thought, 'should we have had something to back this up?, says William. 'We didn't have any more songs, so we took a year and a half off to write and develop the sound. That's also when we met Tom Morris, our producer. The band hibernated, starting from the bottom up. Let's get everything fucking slick, how we want it, let's do everything exactly how we want it ourselves - don't compromise.
It was worth the wait. When the band put their gorgeously lilting comeback single Our Love Has No Rhythm online in 2013, the blogs exploded, in part due to the glossy monochrome video depicting Fiona's face in close-up, and also the stunning single artwork - an uneasy found image of a suited gentleman falling over. We've been using images that are taken from manuals, explains Fiona. Lots of different 'How To' manuals from How to Train a Chihuahua to How to Fall Over Without Hurting Yourself. We like the idea of how to look after yourself physically paired with the music, which is a lot less direct.
Perhaps Woman's Hour's music does not hammer its message home, but there's a nuance and craft that's scarcely found in today's industry. They followed Our Love Has No Rhythm, with the cooing, Beach House-esque Darkest Place in which Fiona implores I don't understand why you're not around over swooning keyboards, with a cooing ooooh-ooooh hook. For the track's striking video, she'd is depicted in close crop with her eyes closed as an unknown figure attempts to prise them open. I was finishing a degree in performance studies at the time, and I came across this particular piece by Vito Acconci, she says of the inspiration for the video. The original piece is about 20 minutes long, and it's absolutely gruelling, there's no soundtrack to it and it's a piece where you can hear the sound in the room of two people in a physical struggle. You can hear the heavy breathing, the feet, the occasional sounds of resistance. She endured a restaging of the piece, which she found very intense and intimate.
Woman's Hour have an uncompromising commitment to the unconventional. For them, music does not exist as merely a hummable soundtrack but as a wider and more artistic proposition. As Fiona continues: A lot of music videos are not very challenging, and I like the idea of them being quite confronting. Our album artwork is inspired by a picture of a woman surrounded by pyramids that was part of a magazine article called The Start of an Era. It was a 1970s performance piece that was performed at the Whitney Museum in New York, and we've also designed nine of these pyramids with Oliver Chanarin that we'll incorporate into our live show when possible. The Start of an Era? We couldn't have said it better ourselves.1. Unbroken Sequence
3. To The End
4. Darkest Place
5. In Stillness We Remain
6. Our Love Has No Rhythm
7. Her Ghost
8. Two Sides of You
11. The Day That Needs Defending$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Option Paralysis (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress)Pressed On Red Vinyl
Limited Edition of 500 Copies
Printed Dust Sleeve & Vinyl-Only Bonus Track
At first glance, "Option Paralysis" seems like a highly inappropriate title to describe the constantly evolving output of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. But once you're faced with the cumulative power and vision of guitarist Ben Weinman, vocalist Greg Puciato, bassist Liam Wilson, guitarist Jeff Tuttle and new drummer Billy Rymer, you'll wonder-right after you pick yourself up off the floor-why more bands don't achieve similar force-of-nature status.
"The title 'Option Paralysis' represents being in a situation where you have so many choices you can't decide, and end up being frozen," says founding member Weinman about the mindset permeating the band's fourth full-length album. "Back in the early days when I started to discover music, go to shows and find out about new bands, there were 'filters' from various circumstances - geography, economic status, etc - which deeply affected how a band sounded and what they stood for. Now, everyone is going through the same filter-namely computers and the internet-and everyone has the same circumstances: Everybody's seeing the same thing for the first time at the very same time, simultaneously all over the world. That very system is negatively affecting art and has created a situation where everything is influencing itself and art is not based on struggle, personal scarcity or unique and personal inspiration. This cultural revolutions is a big part of what determines our mission. We're not listening to any of the bands around us for some kind of input as to what we should sound like. At this point, we're using our own accomplishments as a measurement of what we need to do next."
From their early days in the late-'90s as short-haired Rutgers, New Jersey, college students delivering hyper-complex thrash to audiences of boorish long-haired surly metalheads, to performing with NINE INCH NAILS on the pioneering electronic band's farewell shows, the DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN have merely one prerogative: to go forward in ALL directions simultaneously. Their groundbreaking 1999 debut full-length, "Calculating Infinity", is inarguably the essential technical-metal talisman for the 21st century, melding hardcore's blinding rage with a musical vision that made most progressive-rock bands sound positively lazy by comparison. "Irony Is A Dead Scene", the band's 2002 collaboration with Mike Patton, maintained their patented extremity while exploring electronic textures. The 2004 follow-up, "Miss Machine", (the first record to showcase frontman, Puciato) was a distillation of the band's work thus far, while including jaw-dropping flirtations with mainstream metal ("Unretrofied") that further enforced DILLINGER's desire-and ability-to take their music wherever the hell they wanted. 2007's "Ire Works" had the band finding inspiration from underground glitch and breakcore electronica, as well as indigenous music genres, in a world seemingly overrun with metalcore bores and screamo trend-hoppers. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's unerring sweat equity has consistently found resonance with listeners on both sides of the stages the band trod upon.
"Option Paralysis" marks the beginning of another trajectory in the DEP mythology. After aligning themselves with the renowned Relapse label for most of their career, the band entered into a deal with the French label SEASON OF MIST to put out "Option Paralysis", tagging their new PARTY SMASHER INC label. "We signed a pretty traditional record deal with them for one record," explains Weinman. "What's exciting is that Michael [Berberian, SOM label founder] is a really big music fan and has a great understanding of how we operate. He was totally aware of the possibilities and limitations of working with a band like us-he's not expecting pop hits-and he's been extremely enthusiastic to dive right in and make it work for everyone."
Produced by Steve Evetts, Dillinger's new music is positively abundant with possibilities. Drummer Billy Rymer, whom Weinman describes as "young and hungry," now occupies the engine room that powers the band. Frontman, Puciato has always had a knack with a bellow that could make reciting a grocery list seem like an exhortation to open the mouth of Hell. But feeling some of the lyrics on "Option Paralysis", you can't positively determine if the singer is handing down indictments ("Farewell, Mona Lisa") or feeling emotionally wounded. "This record is concept driven but there is still a very emotional and personal aspect to his lyrics," says Weinman soberly. "He's going through transitional stages in his life right now." Nothing so eloquently supports that statement than the six and-a-half-minute "Widower", where the band are joined by veteran David Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson for an aural excursion that incorporates piano-trio jazz, tender balladry and anthemic power. While there's no shortage of DEP plasma-balls on "Option Paralysis" ("Room Full Of Eyes", "Good Neighbor"), the band keep things fresh with the math-rock/free-jazz convergence of "I Wouldn't If You Didn't," the electro-tweaked "Chinese Whispers" and the closing "Parasitic Twins". The latter track sports lead vocals courtesy of guitarist Tuttle, as well as Beach Boys-styled harmonies and a major-key Weinman solo that's more Clapton (ca. Derek And The Dominos) than calculus crush. Clearly, this is not your older brother's DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. "We're just trying to make music we can be stimulated by," says Weinman about the assorted directions and sonic vistas on "Option Paralysis". "We consider ourselves songwriters, which is kind of odd when you consider the kind of band most would consider us."
As passionate about their craft as ever, DEP are looking to ramp up things even more in 2010, with a planet-beating touring campaign that includes basement shows, a stint on the main stage at this summer's Vans Warped Tour, a performance at the legendary Cochella festival, and various points in between. But after 12 years of deliberately challenging themselves, as well as the preconceived notions of critics and the strict genre-specific zealots of the world's underground music scenes, the big question remains: What is the mission of the DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN? It's a question Weinman addresses with equal parts melancholy, unwavering determination and humor. "I've been trying for a while to have someone explain that to me," he says, laughing. "Seriously, 'Option Paralysis' represents why we're here and why we're still making music. We started at a time when there wasn't all this access to the larger world. Our only goal was to make a small dent in the scene that we were in. The fact we've made it this far and that we're still relevant is really special to me. I feel that it is extremely important for bands like us to continue to represent the ethic and attitude that was present during a time that doesn't exist anymore."
"That," he says, pausing to smile. "And I have to pay my mortgage somehow "1. Farewell, Mona Lisa
2. Good Neighbor
3. Gold Teeth on a Bum
4. Crystal Morning
5. Endless Endings
7. Room Full of Eyes
8. Chinese Whispers
9. I Wouldn't If You Didn't
10. Parasitic Twins
11. Chuck McChip (vinyl only bonus track)$21.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Set Your Lightning Fire FreeIt's been a busy couple of years since the self-release of Shana Falana's debut EP,
2011's In The Light. The veteran dream pop artist has toured all over the US and
Europe. She's released two Bandcamp-only collections of lo-fi works, Channel and
Velvet Pop, as well as a cassette-only document of her early-career music, Shana Falana
Sings Herself To Sleep. But for all her globetrotting, archiving, and micro-releasing, this
is the moment we've been waiting for: Set Your Lightning Fire Free.
A lightning fire is exactly what it sounds like, the earth at odds with itself, burning
itself to the ground and starting from scratch. On this record, her debut LP, Shana
Falana makes a point of breaking her own rules. "I've always kept the different sides
of my music separate. The ambient ballads, the fuzzed out stuff; they all needed to
exist as their own statements," says Falana, "I would have two or three bands at one
time: a sludge rock band; a Bulgarian women's choir; a pretty, dreamy organ and guitar
duo. This is the first record where I've combined all of that, sometimes in the course
of one song."
Rather than spending months in the studio, laboring over arrangements and ideas,
Falana recorded SYLFF in just over a week. The songs were already compact and fully
realized from years of touring. Recorded at ISOKON studios in upstate New York
with producer Dan Goodwin (Devo, Kaki King), SYLFF's working mantra was a) get
the idea down b) move on c) don't look back. Shana chose to record the vocals herself
alone in various locations, from her bathroom to a child's bedroom. And for the first
time, Shana wrote and performed her own lead guitar parts.
The other noticeable difference is the addition of steady drummer and creative
companion, Mike Amari. The two met at a garden party. Shana was covering a
Bauhaus song and the two instantly connected. Soon after they were setting up to
play together for the first time in an abandoned theater in Kingston, New York.
Mike's minimalistic and tribal approach to drumming was a perfect fit with Shana's
droning dream pop, and within six months they were heading out on their first
Shana and Mike's collaboration has culminated in Set Your Lightning Fire Free, and the
result is a record of stark confidence. Undaunted guitar riffs and thundering drums
prevail, while Shana's two decades of songwriting and performing lend authority and
emotion to one or two word refrains like "Gone," "Go," and "There's a Way."
"Anything," with its Bollywood strings and industrial groove, climaxes with repeated
shouts of "No, you didn't take anything from me!" in a way that would make James
Murphy sweat. Lead single "Heavenstay" takes the lilting "higher, higher, higher"
refrain of In The Light's "Light The Fire" and absolutely soars with the most explosive
chorus of the LP. Day-Glo guitars are smeared across this record, and Falana's
veritable army of vocals stacked and vibrating with her eastern European influences.1. Gone
5. Know UR Mine
6. Shine Thru
7. Second Skin
8. There's a Way
10. That Girl$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now