Future Islands "Ran" Single (future-islands.com)
"Ran" is the lead single from Future Islands new album "The Far Field". As always singer Samuel T. Herring puts everything he has into his passionate, heart felt vocal delivery. He's quickly emerged as one of the more enigmatic frontmen in recent years and "Ran" is the perfect example of why he's deserving of such stature. Bassist William Cashion's signature swing is the driving musical force behind this one and he's complimented well by Gerrit Welmers's alluring atmospheric keyboards. It's infectious rhythm and lulling undertones are undeniably appealing and showcase the bands first rate song writing ability and drive to explore new horizons. "The Far Feild" is available today courtesy of 4 A.D.
Guided By Voices "August By Cake" 2 X LP (GBV INC)
Few musicians actually make it to their 5th album much less their 10th but there is a very minuscule group who can say they have made 100 albums. Off the top of my head I can think of maybe James Brown, Hawkwind and Merzbow. "August By Cake" is GBV founder Robert Pollard's 100th album and is also the bands first double album. Packed with amazing anthems like "Dr. Feelgood Falls Off The Ocean" and "5° Degrees On The Inside" the album marks the return of longtime guitarist Doug Gillard and first appearance by new acquisition Bobby Bare Jr. both of whom make their presence felt in full effect. Other favorites include the jangling sounds of "Hiking Skin", the Gillard penned "Goodbye Note" and psychedelic noise of "Fever Pitch". Here's to another 100 albums from the most prolific man in rock n roll.
Lucius "Million Dollar Secret" Single (ilovelucius.com)
It's no secret that I love Lucius, so I was really excited to hear this brand new single. Clocking in at a brief two minutes and twenty three seconds "Million Dollar Secret" is a soothing, passionate number that highlights Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe signature voices in fine form while maintaining a breathtaking array of ambient tones. The track recently appeared on an episode of the HBO series Girls and the band are also featured in the upcoming David Byrne documentary "Contemporary Color" which you can check out the trailer for below.
Milon S/T E.P. (milonbristol.bandcamp.com)
Off the chart musicianship, cagey rhythms and brilliant dynamics is what you will find on this debut release from Bristol based art/jazz unit Milon. Led by tenor saxophonist Dino Christodoulou and electric guitarist Neil Smith the group unleash seven introspective pieces that continuously keep things on the move. The guitars range from crisp clean chords to frantic "strangulation" like solos while the saxophone style is more aching to that of Sonny Rollins. Drummer Roberto Nappi and bassist Pasquale Votino lay down an unbeatable foundation that's not afraid to wander into the outer realms of experimentation. The band sync together amazingly well, much like the four lions that got together to form Voltron. "Calabacin" is an absolute shredder while "Ayia Luna" and "Woody's Beat" offer up a bit more swing. This is the type of record that has me picking up something new with each and every listen. It challenges you while you can tell the band are challenging themselves throughout the entire thing. A truly stellar release across the board.
Sage "Procrastinate" LP (sagerulez.bandcamp.com)
Sage are a promising new band from Cochrane, Ontario Canada. Their debut E.P. is full of crushing riffs and pounding drums that harness a raw, primal energy that channels the likes of Dinosaur Jr, Buffalo Tom and Nirvana (they even do a cover of "Aneurysm". The catchy melodies and hooks on tracks like "Sinking Boats" and "Lukewarm" gel well with the dirge driven riffs of "Procrastinate" and "Fairweather Friends" while the slack rocker vocal stance and lofi-ish production won me over quickly as "Procrastinate" has all the key ingredients of a 90's underground rock n roll fan feast. A remarkable effort indeed.
Various Artists "Max's Kansas City 1976 and Beyond" 2 X LP (mvdb2b.com)
Max's Kansas City was a legendary New York City venue from the late 60's through the early 80's. The early day's saw appearances from Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, the Stooges, Bruce Springsteen and countless others until closing in 1974. The venue Reopened in 1975 under new management, Peter Crowley was hired as music director. The new young bands he booked helped spawn, in tandem with CBGBs, the New York City punk scene. In 1976 Peter compiled a studio album of acts associated with the club, Max's Kansas City 1976, to help promote the club. The album included the first recordings from legendary artists like Suicide, The Fast and Warhol-era veteran Wayne County, whose title-track gave a roll-call of many of the famous acts who'd regularly performed there. Now MVD entertainment has released this expanded 25 track 2 X LP/40 track 2 X CD titled "Max's Kansas City 1976 and Beyond" and it features tracks from New York Dolls, the Stillettos, the Offs, the Senders, Philip Rambow, VON LMO, Iggy Pop, Knots, Roland Alphonso, Cherry Vanilla, Nico, Joy Ryder, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers and Sid Vicious. It's an incredible collection of raw in your face performances from the golden era of punk and also includes liner notes from Crowley himself. Simply put this is an essential collection of true New York punk/rock n roll.