As usual, the next few weeks are apt to be a little slow on the releases as we move closer to Record Store Day, although, that said, there are some pretty big things out in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, we’ve got a lot on the go for RSD so you’ll want to be sure to stop in. You may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….
….pick of the week…..
Diamanda Galas: All the Way (Interavenal Sound) LP
Diamanda Galas’s All the Way is a collection of radical re-workings of traditional and jazz standards such as “All the Way,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “The Thrill Is Gone” (made famous by Chet Baker). It also includes a solo piano interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight, and live voice and piano interpretations of the American traditional “O Death” and the country song, “Pardon Me I’ve Got Someone to Kill.” The album includes both electric live performances (recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, and East Sussex) and studio recordings made in San Diego, CA.
File Under: Jazz, Blues, Experimental
Causa Sui: Live in Copenhagen (El Paraiso) 3LP Box
Live In Copenhagen captures Causa Sui at two very special nights: at the release parties of Euporie Tide and Return To Sky. Since the band seldomly performs live, this may very well be the best chance to experience what the band are capable of at their best. One show was recorded at avant-garde institution extraordinaire, Jazzhouse, while the other captures Causa Sui at legendary underground venue Dragens Hule. Both shows were recorded multitrack with an A-grade selection of mics. During these three discs Causa Sui aren’t merely running through classic cuts from the catalog. Each track is explored, reinterpreted and given new life – often straying far away from its original roots with a fervent energy. One minute the band is bluesy and heavy, the next they’re repetitive and blissed-out or venturing into a cacophony of Ayler-like sax bursts, free-form electronics, and feedback. Swedish saxophone player Johan Riedenlow joins both shows and Papir-guitar player Nicklas Sørensen occasionally adds his magic to the Dragens Hule set – including a towering 13-minute version of “Eternal Flow”, that seems to channel the energy of mid-1970s Popol Vuh, as well as a breezy cover version of Agitation Free’s “First Communication”. “Ju-Ju Blues”, from the Jazzhouse set, is Causa Sui at their most fuzzed-out and Hendrixian, reaching new improvisational heights, whereas “Dawn Passage” feels like an obvious fusion of Tame Impala and Allman Brothers. On the Dragens Hule sets, the band goes all the way out. “Portixeddu / Tropic Of Capricorn” turns Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis into a crazed sludge-fest, and fan-favorites “El Paraiso” and “Red Valley” appear here in their ultimate versions. To cap things off, the band delivers a 17-minute exclusive tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” featuring both Johan Riedenlow and Nicklas Sørensen.
File Under: Psych
Bob Dylan: Triplicate (Legacy) DLX 3LP
Bob Dylan’s newest musical endeavor is the three-disc studio album, Triplicate, featuring 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016. Triplicate is available in several configurations including this Deluxe 180g 3LP-set packaged in a numbered case-made book with 3 bound in swing pockets and four panel folder. For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters including Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”). The titles of the individual LPs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late. Dylan notes, “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I’ve hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.” The artist’s two previous album of classic American songs, 2016’s Fallen Angels and 2015’s Shadows in the Night, were both critically acclaimed worldwide hits and garnered Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Fallen Angels achieved Top Ten debuts in more than a dozen countries while Shadows in the Night debuted in the Top 10 in seventeen countries.
File Under: Folk
Feral Ohms: s/t (Silver Current) LP
Feral Ohms is a power trio from Oakland, California, led by Comets On Fire / Howlin Rain / Heron Oblivion guitar and voice fireball Ethan Miller along with animal drummer Chris Johnson (Drunk Horse / Andy Human) and the loudest bassist in fifteen counties, Josh Haynes (Nudity). The band turns the spatial pyrotechnics and expansive spirit of classic psychedelia inside out, dragging it through the punk rock era kicking and screaming and boils it down into a series of explosions that start at needle drop and end when the record does. They blast pure action and outlaw rock ‘n’ roll joy through relentless, violent musical force, blowing the doors off psychedelic rock and letting loose the raw, wild, high speed feedback wail of something massive careening off the rails and into your ears. This is Feral Ohms’ debut studio album. Recorded by Eric “King Riff” Bauer (Ty Segall, White Fence, Heron Oblivion), Phil Manley (Earthless, Wooden Shjips) and mixed with scorched Earth policy by Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz). For fans of The Pink Fairies, ‘80s and ‘90s Nanjo led PSF records, Motorhead, Void, ‘70s & ‘80s Australian punk and “red album” Grand Funk.
File Under: Psych, Comets on Fire
Fucked Up: Year of the Snake (Tankcrimes) LP
Year Of The Snake is the eighth installment of the Zodiac Series from long-running Canadian hardcore punk collective Fucked Up. Fusing all the prime tenets of rock, punk, metal, and psychedelia into a comprehensive and imposing opus of unyielding enormity, Fucked Up is sonically and conceptually devouring in ways few bands can emulate. Following the releases of 2006’s Year Of The Dog, 2008’s Year Of The Pig, 2009’s Year Of The Rat, 2010’s Year Of The Ox, 2012’s Year Of The Tiger, 2014’s Year Of The Dragon, and 2015’s Year Of The Hare, Fucked Up‘s latest entry into the Zodiac Series documents the journey of self-care and opening awareness through the use of psychedelics and medicinal plants. The 24-minute epic title track follows the narrative of a trip with strange instrumentation and electronics held together sonically with the bands own loose interpretation of hardcore punk.
File Under: Punk
Jake Xerxer Fussell: What in the Natural World (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Entrancing guitarist and singer Jake Xerxes Fussell follows his celebrated self-titled debut (produced by William Tyler) with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. Featuring art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans—Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats)—as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah).
File Under: Folk, Blues
Geotic: Abysma (Ghostly) LP
Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast his project Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you’ll get a simple response: Baths is active listening, Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct, reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator. Don’t mistake passive listening for anything remotely resembling apathy. Over the course of nine self-released albums plus a handful of singles & EPs (all released on Bandcamp), Wiesenfeld has certainly proved the contrary. With Abysma, his first release for Ghostly, Wisenfeld solidifies this notion as Geotic makes his label debut in tandem with the projects first ever physical offering. Abysma might be dance music created for at-home listening, but it’s replete with a quiet beauty and private communion that can rival anything made to command the totality of your attention span. In a world riven by noise and distraction, Abysma is as subtle as Sunday morning ritual, a tender epiphany in a bombastic fireworks show.
File Under: Electronic
Gnod: Just Say No… (Rocket) LP
“It seems like we are heading towards even more unsettling times in the near future than we are in at present,” reckons Chris Haslam of Gnod. “2016 is just the beginning of what I see as the establishment’s systematic destruction of liberalism and equality as a reaction to the general public’s loss of faith in their system.” Charged by this outlook, Gnod’s new album, Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine, represents a hitherto uncharted level of antagonism and adversarial force for the band – an artistic statement as righteous, fervent and direct as its title. “On the surface it could almost seem like there’s no political art movement out there to oppose what’s happening, but there is – we know there is,” adds the band’s Paddy Shine. “Maybe that movement is struggling to find its voice as a cohesive whole right now but that will change.” Fueled by their militant drive and unyielding ardor, Just Say No refracts Gnod’s harsh and repetitive riff-driven rancor through a psychotropic haze of dubbed-out abstraction, with Paddy’s incendiary vocal delivery to the fore. Gnod – fiercely independent, never comfortable in one place artistically for any duration of time, always with their coordinates set on uncharted territory and the next challenge ahead, and delivering a monument of ire and iconoclasm.
File Under: Psych
Gnoomes: Tschak! (Rocket) LP
Gnoomes, the threesome hailing from Perm, Russia, present Tschak!. It may only be eighteen months since the release of Ngan!, the band’s first release for Rocket Recordings, yet the band have already moved on to a sonic landscape still more adventurous and ethereal on Tschak!, not to mention an emotionally resonant approach that’s bewitching to witness. Taking in torrents of guitar, noise, and electronic extrapolations, both bliss-fully kosmische and aggressively abrasive, it exists outside of all or any convenient genres, a vivid and singular work by three dreamers-at-heart forced to manifest their vision into a psychic defense to the circumstances surrounding them. Working in splendid isolation, thanks to a studio space provided by their work for a local radio station, the band had time and space for the alchemical process of creating Tschak! entirely on their own terms. Central to this were a collection of Russian synths that they gathered, whose eccentric arpeggios and analog textures form crucial ingredients on songs like “Severokamsk” and the title track, which allows them arrive at a sound that forms a star-crossed and timeless marriage between the experimentation of krautrock and the lineage of Warp Records.
File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
Goldfrapp: Silver Eye (Mute) LP
Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album, is dance music which evokes a pagan ritual rather than a club soundtrack. Cold, metallic electronics with a hot current of blood running through them. A 21st century moon dance. It weaves together the two strands of Goldfrapp’s music like never before. If 2013’s Tales of Us, a set of noirish folk fables, roamed the same pastoral landscape as Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, then Silver Eye (a reference to the moon) belongs to the pulsing, electronic lineage of Black Cherry and Supernature only deeper and darker. The common thread between these two modes, apart from the consistently exquisite arrangements and Alison Goldfrapp’s extraordinary voice, is a set of enduring preoccupations, which inform both the lyrics and the visual aesthetic. “Mysticism, ecstasy, ritual, contemplation, metamorphosis, the elemental,” says Alison, who took all of the photographs and creatively directed all artwork visuals. “I’ve realised that there are things I feel passionate about on a deep level and they’re in this record.” On Silver Eye, for the first time, Alison and Will Gregory sought new collaborators as the songs were taking shape. They spent 10 days in Dallas with John Congleton, Grammy-winning producer of St. Vincent, John Grant and Wild Beasts. In London, they teamed up with electronic composer Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak. Alison describes Goldfrapp’s music-making as “a constant quest. I don’t think you ever feel like you’ve achieved everything, it’s impossible. You’re always searching, trying to attain some kind of utopia in what you do.” With Silver Eye, that search has taken them to yet another new place, one that’s full of mystery, menace and transcendent beauty. Goldfrapp’s quest continues.
File Under: Pop, Electronic
Hills: Alive at Roadburn (Rocket) LP
Alive At Roadburn is Gothenburg based Hills’ third album with Rocket Recordings. Hot off the Swedish psychedelia revival of the past few years and after their hailed 2015 album Frid, Hills connect the dots to their country’s rich and intoxicating past with a handful of new sepia-toned tunes. Like their predecessors unholy trinity of Pärson Sound, International Harvester, and Träd Gräs Och Stenar, Hills penchant to stretch out beyond, performing what feels like openly casual exhortations into intricate Eastern tones and primal hypnotic rhythms. These four tracks sit deeply buried in oblivion, bones, skin, sweat, grooved with fearless intensity with no diminution of the interplay, spontaneity, and feeling onstage, the band are entombed in mantric repetition while the vapor trail of The Byrds’ (Untitled) epic; “Eight Miles High” descends into an Elysian Field, where the dead enjoy happy tranquility, until they come to life and rise up again.
File Under: Psych
Julia Holter: In the Same Room (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to launch Documents, an irregular new series of live studio recordings designed to capture the ever-evolving arrangements of the label’s artists and bands in high fidelity. Taking its inspiration from classic BBC sessions, each Documents release will be recorded in no more than a day or two at a world class studio in London. Or at least that’s the plan. In The Same Room, a beautiful new release from Julia Holter, inaugurates the Domino Documents series. Named after a song from Holter’s 2012 album Ekstasis, this career-spanning collection is the fruit of two days recording by Julia and her tremendous band (Corey Fogel – drums/vocals; Dina Maccabee – viola/vocals and Devin Hoff – stand-up bass) at RAK Studios in the days after their main stage performance at Green Man Festival in Wales. Comprised of new arrangements of songs from three of her previous studio releases (Tragedy, Loud City Song and 2015’s breakthrough Have You In My Wilderness), Holter’s Domino Documents is an essential release for anyone who has witnessed her brilliant, beguiling band on tour around the world in the last five years as well as the perfect introduction to a truly important and innovative young artist.
File Under: Indie Pop, Electronic
Magnetic Domain Tapes
A wonderful batch of tapes from the excellent Saskatchewan based Magnetic Domain. Three new releases, 4 sides of deep modular explorations from Chad Munson and a collection of experimental pieces for various instruments by musician and visual artist Jon Vaughn. As well as restocks of all of the still in print previous releases including Pulsewidth, Will Kaufhold, and Mehta Youngs.
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Drone
Mastodon: Emperor of Sand (Reprise) LP
Emperor Of Sand finds the mighty Mastodon returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. “Emperor of Sand is like the grim reaper,” says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. “Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?'” “We’re reflecting on mortality,” adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. “To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It’s 17 years in the making, but it’s also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives.” Emperor Of Sand was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside Mastodon’s hometown of Atlanta, GA with producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine), who first worked with the band on their seminal 2009 album Crack The Skye. The majestic album artwork was created by Alan Brown aka Medusawolf.
File Under: Metal
Moonlandingz: Interplanetary Class Classics (Chimera) LP
Hailing from Sheffield, England, The Moonlandingz brings together bloodthirsty NME cover boys Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski (of Fat White Family) with oddball synth twiddlers Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer (of The Eccentronic Research Council). Produced by Sean Lennon, the whole is even loonier than the sum of its parts. Interplanetary Class Classics is a feast of swirling juddering synths, wailing guitars, motorik stomp and extraordinary songwriting. The Moonlandingz have proven themselves to be one of the best live bands in the UK and now they’ve produced an equally as compelling album’s worth of weird, catchy, glorious and filthy pop. Includes guest vocals by Yoko Ono, Rebecca Taylor (Slow Club), Randy “Cowboy” Jones (The Village People) and Phil Oakey (The Human League).
File Under: Psych, Electronic
Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang: Build Music (Luakabop) LP
Janka Nabay, the famed modernizer of indigenous Sierra Leonean Bubu music issues Build Music, his second album for Luaka Bop. The production harks back to his ‘90s Freetown cassette recordings, built on a foundation of multi-tracked drum machines, Casios, and samplers. Nabay began the process of recording with three original Bubu Gang members: Syrian-American singer-bassist Boshra AlSaadi (TEEN, Saadi), keyboardist-musicologist Michael Gallope (IE, Skeletons, Starring), and producer-engineer Daniel Schlett (Strange Weather Studios, White Bike). Soon they enlisted the help of Steve Marion (Delicate Steve) and Matthew Mehlan (Skeletons, Congotronics vs. Rockers). Mehlan ultimately played the role of producer, working closely with Nabay, AlSaadi, and Gallope to help sculpt three years’ worth of material. The result is a bubbling Bubu cocktail with Nabay as mixologist. Certain tracks retain the live band flavor of the previous record (“Build Music,” “Popeneh,” “Santa Monica” “Stop Jealous”), while others are culled from Voice Memos recorded on tour from an iPhone (“Game Over,” “Kadiatu,” “Tek Lak la Gben ba Kun”). Some are updated, reimagined versions of old songs Nabay had recorded in the 1990s (“Sabanoh”, “Angbolieh”), while others are vocals sung over original Sierra Leonean “riddims” (“Sabanoh”, “Bubu Dub”) that were created by collaborators back at home (Lanzo on D Beat, the late Tunni Boy, and the late Nfagie Kabeh of the Kabeh Brothers). Sung in Sierra Leone’s lingua franca, Krio, his native tribal Temne, as well as English and bits of Arabic, Nabay’s songs sound infectious, inventive, and entertaining on the surface. But a listen with the translations of Nabay’s lyrics in hand reveals complex layers of meaning and discontent. “Game Over” expresses a strange mixture of hope and despair. “Santa Monica” is a joyous affirmation that relates a traumatic story of being harassed by the Santa Monica police just prior to his performance at The Getty Museum. Others are drunken calls to celebrate (“Popeneh”), self-reflexive songs about the power of songwriting itself (“Build Music”), love songs (“Stop Jealous”), and pleas for social cohesion (“Combination”).
File Under: African, Highlife
Pharmakon: Contact (Sacred Bones) LP
The release date of Contact marks the ten-year anniversary of Margaret Chardiet’s project, Pharmakon. While working on her newest release, she began to evaluate the project as a whole. Though the content of each record has been very different and specific, the pervading question, which has underlined them all, is what is means to be human. Her last album, Bestial Burden, focused on the disconnect between mind and body, looking at the human as an isolated consciousness stuck inside of a rotting vessel. For Contact, she wanted to look at the other side of the spectrum – the moments when our mind can come outside of and transcend our bodies. Because an album is itself an object, she struggled with how to convey the transcendence of the physical, through a physical medium. She started to study trance states and equate her live performances to them. In trance states, music and the body are used to transcend the physical form and make contact with some outside force. In the live setting, she used sound and her body to create an exchange of energy and make contact with outside forces – humanity, empathy, the audience. This energy/empathy exchange has always been at the heart of a Pharmakon performance, but she felt that on records, it wasn’t translating. They were one-sided and flat – declarations rather than conversations. She decided to structure the compositions of each side of Contact after the four stages of trance: preparation, onset, climax, and resolution. By using these stages as a biorhythm for the album, she animates it, and instills the intention of communion into the music.
File Under: Experimental, Noise
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble: Finding Me Finding You (Drag City) LP
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding You locates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn’t a surprise — Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget the long era of Stereolab) — but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind’s-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album. Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia’s favorite composer) graciously wrote “Deep Background” for her. The duet with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on “Love Captive” (not to mention Rob Mazurek’s distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You — that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others. Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!
File Under: Indie Rock, Stereolab
Saltland: A Common Truth (Constellation) LP
A Common Truth is the second album by Saltland, the solo project of veteran Montréal cellist and composer Rebecca Foon. Following the acclaimed 2013 debut I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us, Foon performed Saltland live in various successful configurations, but as the concept and compositions for a new album began to materialize, she wished to further expand on an approach with her cello as primary source for all sounds on the record. Combining unadulterated, processed and sampled cellos, A Common Truth largely reflects this commitment and results in an album of gorgeous integrity, restraint, and meditative intensity. The one notable exception: longtime friend and prior collaborator Warren Ellis (Nick Cave, Dirty Three) is the album’s special guest player, contributing violin, pump organ and loops to the album’s four instrumental tracks. Working with engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes), Foon has produced a song cycle that alternates between wordless instrumentals and lyric-driven pieces, balancing austere, organic intimacy and lush, multi-layered expansiveness. The analog warmth of Lasek’s naturalistic rock production anchors Saltland’s juxtaposition of dry and processed strings, with the placement of Foon’s voice very much within the mix but never veiled or concealed; a voice described as “an instrument of somnolent, gossamer allure which floats gracefully amid the eddying, amniotic music” (Mojo, 2013). Electronic music strategies, via signal processing and re-sampling, are deployed minimally and judiciously – and all the more powerfully as such. A Common Truth also importantly channels other strands from Rebecca’s life: the record is about climate change and marks an attempt to musically translate a complex mix of emotional, social and political resonances in this regard. The album’s atmosphere and pace is guided by the coexistence of optimism and despair, resolve and resignation, the intimacy of the local/personal and the hope of the global/collective. Foon has devoted much of her life in recent years to working for decarbonization, land conservation and renewable energy – as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group cooperative, as founder of the conservation charity Junglekeepers, and as co-founder of Pathway to Paris, an international concert series bringing together musicians, writers and activists to help raise consciousness toward implementation of a robust international climate agreement. Rebecca Foon’s new Saltland album A Common Truth is a compelling coalescence and fullest musical expression of the inspiring trajectories charted by this committed and renowned artist, activist and organizer. Thanks for listening.
File Under: Indie Rock
Wire: Silver/Lead (Pink Flag) LP
Silver/Lead is the fifteenth studio album from musical pioneers Wire. It arrives on the 40th anniversary of their debut performance. Yet it’s about as far from nostalgia as you could get. This is the sound of a uniquely addictive 21st century psychedelic post-punk. Colin Newman and Matt Simms’s guitar work is alternately jagged and luminous, while bassist Graham Lewis’s ear-catching lyrics are vivid yet oblique. Meanwhile, drummer Robert Grey provides a virtual masterclass in percussive minimalism. But it’s how the various instruments mesh together that really counts. And Newman’s production creates a sonic space in which even the smallest gesture is accorded some recognition. Highlights include the optimistic dazzle of “Diamonds In Cups,” with its almost T. Rex-style buzz and chug, and the moody swing of “This Time.” Elsewhere on the musical spectrum, there’s the menacing widescreen grandeur of “Playing Harp for the Fishes” and breakneck-paced guitar pop of “Short Elevated Period.” Wire are one of the world’s most ground-breaking bands, their influence acknowledged by bands as diverse as Blur, Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and Savages. But they have never been interested in exploiting past glories. For Wire, there is only ever one possible direction: forwards. So it’s perhaps not surprising that over recent years, they’ve played strings of sold-out shows, achieved career-best record sales, and been cited as a strong influence by yet another generation of bands. Wire’s last three albums garnered nothing but rave reviews from 2013’s strangely beautiful Change Becomes Us to the crackling motorik of 2015’s Wire and 2016’s punchy mini-album Nocturnal Koreans. Consequently, although it may be being released on the band’s 40th anniversary, Silver/Lead is an album which has nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the future.
File Under: Rock, Post Punk
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Boris: Pink (Sargent House) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison (Legacy) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Daughters: Hell Songs (Hydrahead) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Greg Graffin: Millport (Anti) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise) LP
Daniel Johnston: Hi How Are You (Eternal Yip) LP
Madlib: Bad Neighbor (Bang Ya Head) LP
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Moondog: Snaketime Series (Moondog) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts i-iv (Halo) LP
NOFX: White Trash (Epitaph)
NOFX: The Decline (Fat Wrecks) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Pink Floyd) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Rancid: Life Won’t Wait (Epitaph) LP
Rancid: And Out Come The Wolves (Epitaph) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
Smog: A River Ain’t Too Much To Love (Drag City) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) LP
Tool: Opiate (Zoo) LP