Sunday, 29 May 2011

Vinyl Madness

I've been on a vinyl catching up binge recently and spent too much money on the things. On the bright side, having moved in with my girlfriend recently I had to leave my CDs behind (I'll get them back some day), so now I listen to proper records all day like you're meant to.

 The first one up is a Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma Alt Takes that was released for Record Store Day. There were only 750 of these made worldwide I believe and he is a very popular artist so I was surprised I could pick this up at the normal price or at all.

 This is a split EP between New Found Glory and Dashboard Confessional called Swiss Army Bro-Mance. Being a British male I'm not that familiar with Dashboard Confessional. Initially it was meant to be a tour-only EP, but the tour was cancelled so they released it through the normal channels. They each cover two of the other's songs. Mine is purple.

This is a split between Face To Face and the awesome Rise Against. There has been a bit of a kerfuffle online about this due to Folsom Records decision to send out the records without giving people the option to chose what colour they want. I don't care about colours, but I got a yellow one, which will annoy people.

Speaking about Rise Against and me not caring about colours, the next record is Rise Against's Join The Ranks. This was initially released on Record Store Day on picture disc in the USA. Fat Wreck then decided they can make more money by re-releasing it on black 180g vinyl. This is the version I got. I loves it.

Next up is a split between Hot Water Music and The Bouncing Souls. They each do one cover of the other's song. Chuck Ragan has a cool voice. This comes on a blue tinged muticolour vinyl that would make it hard to work out where the different tracks are if there were more.

This is a 10" recording of radio station sessions made by The Bouncing Souls. There are several diferent versions of this on different colours and at different speeds. Mine is the Side One Dummy version that is a 45 on black vinyl with a yellow splatter. The splatter effect does not come out that well on the photo, nor that well on the actual physical product. It also came with a download code, but my piece of shit computer would not allow me to download it properly, so I was forced to fund terrorism and download it illegally.

The last record is the super-dooper popular Burial/Four Tet/Thom Yorke collaboration Ego/Mirror. You'll have to take my word for that as there is no distinguishing markings for you to know this, except some etchings on the record.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Explosions In The Sky- Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

I have a friend who only listens to the most extreme Death Metal. He considers all other types of music as “pussy shit.” Despite this one day when he was feeling particularly melancholic he confessed that he doesn’t always listen to extreme Metal. In near tears he confessed that he also listens to Explosions In The Sky. In his mind Explosions In The Sky were a gentle band playing lovely, romantic melodies. They are not.

Along with Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky are the quintessential Post Rock band. Never straying far from long songs with loud-quiet dynamics and an absence of lyrics, they have been mining a similar field since their inception. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care is their latest opus and it is a similar story here. There are few shocks, although ‘Trembling Hands’ is a pop perfect three and a half minutes long. This is not a detriment, after all if it ain’t broke why fix it? And if bands have spent the last ten years ripping you off it certainly is far from broke.

The CD comes in ridiculous packaging that must be worth the price of admission alone and is probably the only way to stop CDs from disappearing from sight totally.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Burzum- Hvis Lyset Tar Oss

The most notorious of Black Metal musicians, although I would rather stumble across Varg Vikernes than meet Gaahl down the gay bar. Burzum in many ways is also the quintessential Black Metal musician. He is the only member of his group, because BM Nazis have no friends. He has released two albums of synthesiser music (although he had no choice in that matter) and of course has burnt down at least three churches.

Recorded in 1992 but not released until 1994 by which time Vikernes most notorious aspects were behind him and he had recently started his imprisonment. It is albums like this that makes me wonder why I or anyone else bothers to listen to any other music except true brootal cvlt Black Metal. Atmospheric, brooding, scary, engaging. In some ways Black Metal is the late 20th century answer to Classical music, much more interesting than anything John Cage ever did. I cannot recommend this album enough. While you are down at Helvete it would be a good idea to pick up some Emperor too.

Savatage- Streets: A Rock Opera

God. Look at that cover. The late 80s/early 90s was such a depressing time. If Rolling Stone magazine can call the ‘Zuma’ cover one of the worst ever, heaven knows what they made of this one. Savatage have even stuck Cactus Jack on there pretending that no one would even notice because they are too busy laughing.

This is a 1991 album from Technical Metal/Prog Rock outfit Savatage. Just in case you were wondering if it might be too cool for you to listen to they gave the album the subtitle of ‘A Rock Opera’. This is the type of album that Dream Theater would produce if they made concept albums rather than concept songs. The CD edition that I have kindly provides the story as I never bother to listen to lyrics as I see the voice as an instrument and am more interested in the sound rather than what they are saying. The story is somewhat similar to ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd but with less totalitarian aspects. ‘The Wall’ comparison goes further than just the story, with many parts of the music sounding like they could come from that album too as well as Journey.

The variations that Savatage have in their music consist of mainly the difference between acoustic and electronic, rather than any Faith No More style genre hopping. It makes you wonder why The Mars Volta insist that they are Progressive Metal, being lumped in with Savatage and Dream Theater, when I would say they were more Jazz Metal.

The Kinks- The Kink Kontroversy

The Kink Kontroversy is a transitional album. It features the cool ‘You Really Got Me’ copying Hard Rock of ‘Till The End Of The Day’ and ‘Gotta Get The First Plane Home’ while having the more mundane English song writing like ‘I’m On An Island’, which can be blamed for Damon Albarn boring everyone for 10 years with Blur.

Obviously the rockier songs are better, unless you read Q magazine in which case you will disagree. But you would be wrong, and boring. In a little side note, this is the chronologically the earliest album I have, predating The Doors debut by two years. Yes that’s right, fuck you proper bluesmen.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Four Tet/Daphni- Pinnacles/Ye Ye

12" split between the Canadian Four Tet and the British Caribou. Unfortunately I can't listen to it yet as my turntable is in France and I'm in England. Philip Sherburne (who apparently can't spell Sherborne correctly) calls the Four Tet track 'like Carl Craig remixing LCD Soundsytem covering Carl Craig' and the Daphni song 'full to bursting'. I'll have to wait til the 13 May to verify.