New Releases — February 28, 2020

New Releases for February 28, 2020

Robert Cray Band – That’s What I Heard CD (Nozzle)
“Funky, cool and bad,” is how Robert Cray describes his latest album, That’s What I Heard. “I thought if it we could get this thing that Sam Cooke used to have, the kind of sound that early Sam Cooke records had, that we could pull this off,” says producer Steve Jordan. Over the past four decades, Cray has created a sound that rises from American roots, blues, soul and R&B, with five Grammy wins, 20 acclaimed studio albums and a bundle of live albums that punctuate the Blues Hall of Famer’s career. On That’s What I Heard, Robert celebrates the music of Curtis Mayfield, Bobby “Blue” Bland, The Sensational Nightingales and more, alongside four newly written songs.

Five Finger Death Punch – F8 CD/2xLP (Better Noise)
Founded in 2005, the American heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch has described their eighth studio effort F8 as a rebirth. This is the first album featuring new drummer Charlie Engel who replaced Jeremy Spencer in 2018. “Every so often, a band renowned for railing against the sicknesses of the system, decides to turn the lens inward, to express the inner turmoil that smolders within their own minds.  Forged from the fires of vocalist Ivan Moody’s lifesaving quest for sobriety, it comes to bear that F8 is deeper, angrier, and more disturbingly introspective than anything we have seen to date from one of America’s most successful metal bands.”

Four Year Strong – Brain Pain CD/LP (Pure Noise)
Four Year Strong aka vocalist/guitarists Dan O’Connor and Alan Day, bassist Joe Weiss and drummer Jake Massucco, began conceptualizing the ideas for Brain Pain two years ago. For the past year-and-a-half they focused on bringing those thoughts to fruition. “We didn’t want to set a strict deadline for this album because we wanted to be sure we took the time to write the best songs possible. In the past our writing and recording was so dependent on getting something out in time to go on tour; this time we really had the opportunity to take our time and work through these ideas,” explains Day.

Juiceboxxx – It’s Easy To Feel Like A Nobody When You’re Living In The City CD/LP (Dangerbird)
Juiceboxxx has been making waves in DIY music scenes since he was a 13-year-old in Milwaukee, WI combining rap and rock in an effective yet polarizing way that earned him an opening stint with Public Enemy in the mid- 2000s. It’s Easy To Feel Like A Nobody When You’re Living In The City is an album about the universal struggles of just getting by, told through a mix of anthemic pop-punk and deep-cutting rap lyrics. The 10-track collection is opened by the lead single “Coinstar Song”. Listening to it, you might ask yourself: ‘What is this life? Why??!? What do I get out of bed for?’ The answer might be in “Coinstar Song”, which is somehow both soul-crushing and supremely motivational.

Charles Lloyd – 8: Kindred Spirits – Live From The Lobero CD+DVD/2xLP+DVD/3xLP+2xCD+DVD (Blue Note)
On March 15, 2018 Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday in his hometown of Santa Barbara, CA on the stage of the Lobero Theater, with an unprecedented group of music lovers, including guitarist Julian Lage, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. Organist Booker T. Jones and Blue Note President Don Was on bass joined as guests. 8: Kindred Spirits – Live From The Lobero is the unique documentation of an irretrievable evening and the culmination of the artistic energies of an incomparable jazz artist.

The Orielles – Disco Volador CD/LP (Heavenly/PIAS)
On Disco Volador, The Orielles push their sonic horizon to its outer-limits with a sharp collection of progressive strato-pop symphonies. Disco Volador voyages through cinematic samba, ‘70s disco, deep funk boogies, danceable grooves and ‘90s acid house. It captures the warp-speed momentum following their 2018 debut, Silver Dollar Moment. “Disco Volador’s literal interpretation from Spanish means flying disc, but everyone experiences things differently. It could be a frisbee, a UFO, an alien nightclub or how you feel when you fly; what happens to your body physically or that euphoric buzz from a great party,” suggests bassist and singer Esme.

Real Estate – The Main Thing CD/2xLP+MP3 (Domino)
Over the last decade, Real Estate has crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specializing in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives even further into the musical dichotomies they’re known for – lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily – and what emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks. For the first time ever, Real Estate has brought in outside instrumentalists and special guests like Sylvan Esso, whose vocalist Amelia Meath features on first single, “Paper Cup”. Across the 13 interrogative tracks – as full of depth, strangeness, and contradictions as they are lifting hooks – the band balances existential, environmental, and political anxieties with fatherly sentiments, self-satirizing lyrics, forever-lively guitar lines, and shimmering strings.

The Secret Sisters – Saturn Return CD/LP (New West)
“As we age, we face obstacles that are beyond our control. Some forces are internal: insecurity, anxiety, fear. Some are external: the loss of loved ones, an unjust system and the fragility of time. Yet the mark of maturity is how you respond when you realize you’re not in control. Where do you find your resilience? This album is a reflection of us coming to terms with how to find our power in the face of an unfair world. These songs lead listeners past ‘where happy man searches, to a place only mad women know.’ We question our purpose, our relationships, and our faith. Trading the fears of our youth for the dread that rages within us as mature women. With Saturn Return, our hope is that women can feel less alone in their journey through the modern world. We need each other more than we ever have; the less competition and the more inclusiveness and understanding, the better. We are southern women in the 21st century, convicted by our beliefs.” – The Secret Sisters

Soccer Mommy – Color Theory CDEP/12” (Loma Vista)
For Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy, Color Theory confronts the ongoing mental health and familial trials that have plagued the 22-year-old artist since pre-pubescence, presenting listeners with an uncompromisingly honest self-portrait, and reminding us exactly why her critically-acclaimed debut, 2018’s Clean, made her a hero to many. The new album’s sonic landscape is vast and dexterous, with melodies that shimmer on the surface, but reveal an unsettling darkness with each listen. “I wanted the experience of listening to color theory to feel like finding a dusty old cassette tape that has become messed up over time, because that’s what this album is: an expression of all the things that have slowly degraded me personally,” Allison explains. “The production warps, the guitar solos occasionally glitch, the melodies can be poppy and deceptively cheerful. To me, it sounds like the music of my childhood distressed and, in some instances, decaying.” [Limited indie store exclusive colored vinyl pressing also available.]

Today Is The Day – No Good To Anyone CD/LP (BMG)
Visionary metal outfit Today’s The Day’s new album was recorded and mastered by Steve Austin, who offers, “I wanted to make the heaviest and most rocking, psychedelic songs possible. To take you on a trip. Anything goes at any second. No Good To Anyone is an experience. No Good To Anyone is beginning of the end of your life.” It represents the literal sound of a man rising from the darkest and lowest point of his life to a new plateau, delivering one of the most dynamic and poignant records in Today Is The Day’s enduring and ongoing legacy.

ZZ Top – ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock)
Produced by the award-winning Banger Films, ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas tells the story of how three teenage bluesmen – Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard – became one of the biggest, most beloved bands on the planet, all while maintaining a surrealist mystique that continues to intrigue fans and entice onlookers 50 years after the band’s inception. The 90-minute documentary is packaged with 35 minutes of live performances, a mix of recent Gruene Hall and archival footage.

The Allman Brothers Band – Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collection 5xCD/10xLP (Mercury)
The Allman Brothers Band’s first jam together – and last song performed together – was a Muddy Waters song “Trouble No More” which also became their first demoed track. The recording has remained unreleased until now, kicking off this 50th anniversary collection. Each set is housed in special packaging and includes an 88-page booklet, unreleased band photos and newly shot photos of memorabilia from the Big House Museum, and an essay on the band’s 50-year history by John Lynskey.

Black Market Brass – Undying Thirst CD/LP (Colemine)
Black Market Brass’ sophomore record is a noxious brew of diesel and bleach; a special long-player full of wasteoid rippers for skullduggerous hoverbike gangs peddling fugazi relics and snake oil tinctures. Hellacious guitars, nitrous-charged percussion, a brass section harsher than paint-thinner, and a special batch of short-circuited electronics and synthesizers will leave your head buzzing into the 31st century

Sierra Hull – 25 Trips CD/LP (Rounder)
25 Trips is a genre-transcending album emerging from the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music.

Intronaut – Fluid Existential Inversions CD/2xLP (Metal Blade)
Sixth full-length from the genre-bending progressive/post-metal masters.

Sergio Mendes – In The Key Of Joy CD/2xCD/LP (Concord)
In The Key Of Joy is the first album from Sergio Mendes in 5 years. It features an array of guest artists that join him in creating an album with the forward leaning sound that has come to define his music. Guest artists include Common, Cali y El Dandee, Buddy, Hermeto Pascoal, Roge, Guinga, Sheléa, Sugar Joans, Gracinha Leporace and Joe Pizzulo. [Deluxe double-CD edition includes classic songs by Sergio Mendes such as “Mas Que Nada”, “Never Gonna Let You Go”, and many more.]

The Revivalists – Made In Muscle Shoals CDEP (Loma Vista)
Made In Muscle Shoals finds The Revivalists down at the hallowed Fame Studios offering up re-imagined takes of some of the soulful anthems from their 2018 studio album, Take Good Care including the mega hit “Wish I Knew You”, plus the Bee Gees cover “To Love Somebody” and new song “Bitter End”. [Vinyl edition due March 20.]

James Taylor – American Standard CD/LP+MP3/2xLP (Fantasy)
It takes an extraordinary artist to re-imagine some of the most beloved songs of the 20th century and make them completely their own. And that’s precisely what James Taylor has accomplished with his brand-new album, An all-star array of Taylor’s musical comrades makes significant contributions on American Standard including drummer Steve Gadd, percussionist Luis Conte, electric bassist Jimmy Johnson, upright bassist Viktor Krauss, keyboardist Larry Goldings, fiddler Stuart Duncan, dobroist Jerry Douglas, and vocalists Arnold McCuller, Kate Markowitz, Andrea Zonn and Dorian Holley.

Tombs – Monarchy Of Shadows CD (Season Of Mist)
Monarchy Of Shadows is the fastest and most vicious blackened metal from Tombs to date, showcasing the quartet’s metallic precision without sacrificing the bleak post-punk leanings that set the critically-acclaimed band apart. [Vinyl edition due March 6.]

Tycho – Simulcast CD/LP (Mom + Pop Music)
Simulcast follows the release of Tycho’s fifth studio album Weather earlier in the year. Simulcast features instrumental versions of the album tracks.

ZZ Top – ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas DVD/Blu-ray (Eagle Rock)
Produced by the award-winning Banger Films, ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas tells the story of how three teenage bluesmen – Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard – became one of the biggest, most beloved bands on the planet, all while maintaining a surrealist mystique that continues to intrigue fans and entice onlookers 50 years after the band’s inception. The 90-minute documentary is packaged with 35 minutes of live performances, a mix of recent Gruene Hall and archival footage.

Chet Baker ‎– Chet Baker Sings [Reissue/1954] LP (Blue Note)
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing – part of the Blue Note Tone Poet audiophile vinyl reissue series.

Broken Social Scene – Live At Third Man LP (Third Man)
Third Man Records had the pleasure of hosting the inimitable Broken Social Scene, carefully absorbing and recording their magnetic and unforgettable live set on the Blue Room stage. Epic, panoramic, and intimate all at the same time, the legendary Toronto collective Broken Social Scene began as an ebbing and flowing collective of artists in the late ’90s, collaborating to create a distinct strand of indie rock that is both perplexingly maximal and straight-up catchy.

Grant Green – Nigeria [Reissue/1962] LP (Blue Note)
Grant Green’s Nigeria is an underrated gem in the guitarist’s remarkable Blue Note catalog. Recorded in 1962, and released in 1980, the album features a top-shelf band with Sonny Clark on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and powerhouse Art Blakey on drums. The groove is deep right from the start, highlighting timeless renditions of the classic tracks.

Hank Mobley ‎– Poppin’ [Reissue/1980] LP (Blue Note)
Hank Mobley, famously called the middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone, had a round sound and an incredible rhythmic lightness. This remarkable 1957 session features a stunning cast of bop giants, including Art Farmer, Pepper Adams, Sonny Clark and more. East of Brooklyn, a highlight on the album, is a masterpiece of lyrical construction. Part of the Blue Note Tone Poet audiophile vinyl reissue series.