New Releases — February 2, 2018

AWOLNATION – Here Come The Runts CD/LP (Red Bull)
AWOLNATION’s third undertaking sees Aaron Bruno once again at the helm producing, writing and recording. “With this record I really wanted to make a rock ‘n’ roll/pop album.” says Bruno. “And I say ‘pop’ how I grew up listening to it, in the sense of Dire Straits or Born In The U.S.A. or The Cars or Tom Petty.”

Bardo Pond – Volume 8 CD/LP+MP3 (Fire)
Volume 8 is the brand-new album from the neo-space rock stoner drone outfit. It’s a euphoric transcendental journey to a mountain top nirvana, a psychedelic tapestry that slowly unwinds as they travel onwards into the inner mind. A 40-minute opus delivered from a hail of reverb soulfully caressed by a ceremonial flute, that makes way for a shroud of Weld–era Neil Young fog. Bardo Pond is your rather ruffled tour guide to this far off place, this distant sense of wonderment at the crossroads with bewilderment.

Anna Burch – Quit The Curse CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
The deceptively complex pop of Quit The Curse marks the debut of this Detroit singer/songwriter. The nine tracks come on sugary and upbeat, but their darker lyrical themes and serpentine song structures are tucked neatly into what seem at first just like uncommonly catchy tunes. Burch’s crystal clear vocal harmonies and gracefully crafted songs feel so warm and friendly that it’s easy to miss the lyrics about destructive relationships, daddy issues and substance abuse that cling like spiderwebs to the hooky melodies. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Pearl Charles – Sleepless Dreamer CD/LP (Kanine)
Pearl Charles has been playing music since she was 5 years old. At 18, she formed the country duo The Driftwood Singers with Christian Lee Hutson, singing and playing guitar and autoharp. At 22, she joined garage rock band The Blank Tapes on drums. After two fun-filled years immersed in the rock and roll lifestyle, she decided it was time to pursue her own songwriting, and began developing the songs that formed her eponymous debut 2015 EP. Her music career has been a chronological progression from old time music to ‘60s garage and psychedelia, ‘70s country rock and now ‘80s soft rock.

Chase Atlantic – Chase Atlantic CD (WB)
Chase Atlantic is an alternative pop trio from Australia. Their music is heavily influenced by rock and R&B.

Kyle Craft – Full Circle Nightmare CD/LP+MP3 (Sub Pop)
Ever since his debut album Dolls Of Highland was released in 2016, Kyle Craft has been a critic’s dream. Based in Portland, Oregon he serves up all the observational, storytelling talent with none of the attitude that so often comes with male singer-songwriter territory. His second album, Full Circle Nightmare, is entirely autobiographical.  A straight-up rollicking rock ‘n’ roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of “Exile Rag,” to the gothic style of “Gold Calf Moan.”

Grateful Dead – Road Trips No. 3: Denver ’73 3xCD (Real Gone Music)
Denver was always one of the Dead’s favorite stops. This three-CD set offers the complete November 21, 1973 show along with some choice excerpts from the night before.

The James Hunter Six – Whatever It Takes CD/LP+MP3 (Daptone)
There is a common theme on Hunter’s sixth album. Whatever It Takes is not a record about infidelity, shallow seductions, fleeting backdoor trysts, or any of the other common clichés of R&B. These are poetic testaments to truer love. Loyalty, devotion, humility, and the inevitable regret of those who take love for granted.

Montgomery Gentry – Here’s To You CD (Average Joe’s Entertainment)
The eighth and final album from the country music duo was completed shortly before the death of Troy Gentry in September of 2017.

Steve Reich – Pulse/Quartet CD (Nonesuch)
Pulse (2015) is performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) – an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced – and Quartet (2013) is played by the Colin Currie Group, an ensemble led by percussionist Colin Currie that specializes in the music of Steve Reich; these are also the ensembles that gave the world premiere performances of the respective works. [Vinyl edition due March 30th.]

Rhye – Blood CD/LP (Loma Vista)
Blood is the much-anticipated sophomore album from romantic soul-pop group Rhye following 2013’s acclaimed Woman. Themed around the aftermath of love, Blood alluringly pairs the band’s sultry, subtle, funky brand of soul music with the warm, powerful, and totally unique vocals and lyrics of frontman Mike Milosh. “We’ve spent the last few years on the road translating the Woman album from a bedroom project into a full live experience. With Blood, it’s been the opposite process; the music and sounds were really born out of the live environment and are built for performance,” commented Milosh.

Roxy Music – Roxy Music [Reissue/1972] 2xCD (Virgin)
Roxy Music release an expanded edition of their ground-breaking debut album to mark its 45th anniversary. The double-CD package features rare and previously unavailable material never-heard-before outside of Roxy’s inner circle, including tracks taken from the band’s John Peel Radio Session (1972) and their BBC “In Concert” performance from Paris Theatre (1972).

Saxon – Thunderbolt CD/LP/Cassette/CD+LP+Cassette (Militia Guard Music)
Since the 1970s Saxon has consistently showcased an ability to take rock ‘n’ roll and give it an electrifying edge, cementing their status as pioneers of the British heavy metal wave along the way. Following the critically acclaimed release of Battering Ram in 2015, the heavy metal giants return with their latest studio effort, Thunderbolt. “This is album 22 and it’s a storming smashing thundering collection of tracks we’ve been crafting with producer, Andy Sneap…Stand clear and fasten your seat belts!”, says frontman Biff Byford.

Simple Minds – Walk Between Worlds CD/LP+MP3 (BMG)
Walk Between Worlds is Simple Minds’ first album of new material since 2014’s Big Music. With its eight tracks rocketing past in 42 minutes, it’s a relatively concise affair. It’s also an album of two distinct sides, very much the old-school album format that singer Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill grew up with as music fans. Side One tracks such as “Summer” and “The Signal And The Noise” revisit the glassy guitars and new wave dance grooves of the post-punk era and the second half explores more cinematic sounds, with the title track and “Barrowland Star” both featuring dramatic orchestrations recorded at Abbey Road.

Soundtrack – Lady Bird: Soundtrack From The Motion Picture CD (Legacy Recordings)
With her directorial debut Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig revealed herself to be a bold new cinematic voice. Gerwig disclosed that she’d written personal letters to artists she had in mind for the film – including Dave Matthews and Alanis Morissette – to expressly ask for their blessing to use their songs. “The soundtrack,” wrote Billboard’s Tatiana Tenreyro, “plays a big role in showing protagonist Lady Bird’s turbulent adolescent years. The film is set in 2002, and Gerwig wanted it to feel as authentic as possible with a soundtrack that transports viewers to the era.”

Justin Timberlake – Man Of The Woods CD/2xLP+MP3 (Sony)
Ten-time Grammy winner Justin Timberlake returns on RCA Records with his highly anticipated fourth studio effort and follow-up to 2013 double album, The 20/20 Experience.  Combining the sounds of traditional American rock with the modern influences of collaborators The Neptunes, Timbaland, Chris Stapleton, and Alicia Keys, this new material explores storytelling inspired by his son, his wife, and his personal journey from Memphis to where he is today.

W.A.S.P. – Re-Idolized (Soundtrack To The Crimson Idol) 2xCD+DVD+Blu-ray/2xLP (Napalm)
In 1992 W.A.S.P. released “The Crimson Idol”. It’s the story of Jonathan Aaron Steele, an abused child looking for love. The band celebrates the 25th anniversary of this (their fifth album,) with a re-recorded version of the LP along with a 50-minute film of the album’s story.

The Wood Brothers – One Drop Of Truth CD/LP (Honey Jar)
The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing Nashville-based trio treat each song as if it were its own short film. =

Frank Zappa – Zappa/Mothers: The Roxy Performances 7xCD (Zappa)
This 7-disc box contains all four public shows performed on December 9th and 10th,1973, remixed in 2016 and presented in their entirety for the first time. Also included is the soundcheck from December 8th and bonus content that features rehearsal nuggets and unreleased tracks along with highlights from the recording session at Bolic Studios that took place in conjunction with the filming dates.

This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:

Big K.R.I.T. – 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time 2xLP (BMG Rights Management)
Released last October on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from the Mississippi rapper.

Country Joe & The Fish –  I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die [Reissue/1967] LP (Craft Recordings)

Drive By Tuckers – What It Means Live At Newport Folk Festival b/w The Perilous Night 7” (ATO)
A new limited edition double-A side single featuring “What It Means” recorded live at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival.