New Releases for January 20, 2023
CDs + Vinyl:
Wilco – True Country 2xLP (dBpm)
Released last year on CD – now available on vinyl. The dynamic Chicago rock band Wilco returns with its 12th studio album, the first of its kind. Cruel Country is the band’s exploration of the genre they’ve often been defined by but, until now, never fully embraced. The double album features 21 Jeff Tweedy-penned tracks, made almost entirely of live takes, created with all six members together in The Loft for the first time since the 2011 release The Whole Love.
The Bad Ends – The Power And The Glory CD/LP (New West)
The Bad Ends is a band of veteran musicians from Athens, GA featuring Bill Berry (R.E.M), Mike Manitone (Five Eight) Christian Lopez (Curly Maple) Geoff Melkonian (Josh Joplin Group) and local guitar-shop-owner, Dave Domizi. An immediate classic referencing the best of early ‘90s college rock. Athens, GA to the max.
Mac DeMarco – Five Easy Hot Dogs CD (Mac’s Record Label)
Mac DeMarco’s new instrumental collection Five Easy Hot Dogs was created while traveling across North America, with each song named after the city in which it was recorded. The tracklist is sequenced in the chronological order in which the songs were produced. DeMarco set out on his journey to make Five Easy Hot Dogs in January 2022 with the plan to stay and record in motels, hotels, or people’s houses. “The nature of ripping around and recording and traveling in this manner doesn’t lend well to sitting around and planning or thinking about what it was that I was setting out to do,” DeMarco said. “I didn’t ever have a sound in mind, or a theme or anything, I would just start recording. Luckily the collection of recordings from this period all shake hands, they have a present musical identity as a whole. I was in it while I was in it, and this is what came out of it, just the way it was.” [Vinyl edition due May 12.]
Howdy Glenn – I Can Almost See Houston: The Complete Howdy Glenn CD (Omnivore)
While Black influences are inextricably intertwined with the formation of the genre, there is a very short list of Black country performers who made a splash on the national charts or the public consciousness in the 20th century. After winning the 1974 “Trucker’s Jamboree” at the Hollywood Palladium, Inglewood California firefighter Howdy Glenn began a recording career that not only gained him regional hits on an independent label but found him appearing to rapturous crowds whenever and wherever he performed live. After singing at the Academy of Country Music’s general meeting, he was signed to Warner Bros. Records by Andy Wickham (who had also signed Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Buck Owens, and more). I Can Almost See Houston: The Complete Howdy Glenn collects 23 of his recordings and reexamines Glenn’s legacy.
Guided By Voices – La La Land CD/LP (GBV Inc.)
La La Land doubles down on the intricate proggy-pop displayed on Guided By Voices’s last album Tremblers And Goggles By Rank. On a hot streak of critical acclaim, Robert Pollard continues expanding his songwriting towards extremes of prettiness, heaviness and poeticism.
Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick [Reissue/1972] CD+DVD (Rhino/Parlophone)
To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Thick As A Brick has been reproduced in its original format, the legendary 12-page newspaper. Mixed by Steve Wilson.
Ladytron – Time’s Arrow CD/LP (Cooking Vinyl)
Beauty, disposability, and fragility of the culture that surrounds us, and the exhilaration of freeing yourself from those structures… these are the themes Ladytron return to on Time’s Arrow, their seventh album. Driven by analogue synths, distorted chimes, and hallucinogenic soundscapes, Ladytron crash-landed into electroclash at the turn of the century, using the dancefloor as a bridgehead to the collective unconscious. On Time’s Arrow the group add new richness, distant shimmers and a shoegaze-adjacent glow with Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo’s trademark understated voices now inhabiting a space somewhere between cloudscape and dream.
The Murder Capital – Gigi’s Recovery CD/LP (Human Season)
Ireland’s The Murder Capital make their return with Gigi’s Recovery. While their 2019 debut When I Have Fears captured the vital beginnings of the group, the 12 songs of Gigi’s Recovery push the band into ever braver sonic territories, oceans apart from previous peers. Ambition is put right at the front and center, with the inventive, expansive guitar work of Cathal Roper and Damien Tuit paired to a precise and intelligent rhythmic unit in bassist Gabriel Paschal Blake and drummer Diarmuid Brennan. Electronic elements are noticeably more prominent across the record, with industrial inﬂuences explored in greater detail than ever before, frontman James McGovern’s bold melodies acting as a reassuring anchor, so we never get totally swept away into the band’s newfound soundscape.
New Found Glory – Make The Most Of It CD/LP (Revelation)
On their acoustic album, Make The Most Of It, New Found Glory tackles the last year head-on with their most cathartic collection of songs to date. Written in the wake of guitarist, Chad Gilbert’s cancer diagnosis and mixed by Mark Trombino (blink-182, Jimmy Eat World), MTMOT is a rumination on what it means to grieve, to live, to approach every day with appreciation and a sense of fulfillment.
Caitlin Rose – Cazimi CD/LP (Missing Piece)
The latest release from Nashville-based Caitlin Rose, Cazimi captures a voice which is equal parts honeyed and world-weary, and sees her singing self-aware songs of self-destruction, documenting proclivity and impulse control, bad habits in life and in romantic pursuits. She skips across genres, combining new wave influences with pop stylings and the melancholy folk songwriting that made her such a staple of the Nashville rock scene.
Sampa The Great – As Above, So Below CD/LP (Loma Vista)
Having started her professional career outside of her home of Zambia, Sampa The Great returned at the beginning of the pandemic to Africa. As Above So Below is the result of this return to her roots, embracing the sounds and themes of her origins. Sampa has reconnected with a different side of herself, one closer to the younger artistry that was nourished growing up.
Sylvan Esso – No Rules Sandy CD/LP/Cassette (Loma Vista)
Describing Sylvan Esso’s first three albums as a trilogy that is now complete, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn see No Rules Sandy as the beginning of a new period, with songs that are “wilder and stranger and more cathartic than the band used to be,” as Sanborn puts it. “It feels like who we actually are,” Meath adds. “It just feels like us. We’re not trying to fit into the mold, just happily being our freak selves.”
Butch Walker – Butch Walker As… Glenn CD/LP (Ruby Red Recordings)
For his tenth disc, Butch Walker As… Glenn, he opted to set aside his eclectic resume and draw inspiration from his past, tapping into his own nostalgia. The album’s 13-tracks draws on the sophisticated pop elements of past hitmakers, particularly the balladeers of the 1970s, while pairing his characteristic sense of sardonic wit with a timeless storyline.
David Byrne – Live From Austin, TX 2xLP (New West)
Double red color vinyl pressing. Includes sticker. David Byrne is a modern renaissance man – and that’s not just a cliché. From the heady days as co-founder of the celebrated art new-wave group Talking Heads (1976-‘88) through his own constantly evolving and innovative solo music career, he has pursued his muse on many different artistic fronts. This show, captured on November 28, 2001, came on the heels of his hit single, “Like Humans Do” and the release of the album Look Into The Eyeball, which was another typically eclectic musical stew reflecting a variety of styles and influences, from Philly soul to a D.C. Go-Go inspired groove and his first-ever Spanish composition, “Desconocido Soy”.
Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory [Reissue/2012] LP+2×7”+MP3 (Carpark)
Deluxe 10th Anniversary sky blue color vinyl pressing + two 7″ flexidiscs. I
Dwarves – Come Clean [Reissue/2000] LP (Greedy)
Dwarves – Radio Free Dwarves Redux LP (Greedy)
Expanded reissues. Come Clean was originally released by Epitaph records and features sudsy artwork that was (or still is?) a fixture of the CD Central employee bathroom. Meanwhile, the A-side of Radio Free Dwarves Redux (original released in 2015) contains Dwarves live on European Radio. The B-side contains alternate 7″ tracks.
Roky Erickson & The Explosives – Live At The Whisky 1981 LP (Sunset Blvd)
Roky Erickson & The Explosives had been honing their craft in hot, sweaty clubs all over Texas for a couple of years before this California tour which, along with the Whisky, included the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, Galactica 2000 in Sacramento, the Stone in San Francisco, the Keystone Berkeley in, well, Berkeley, the Bacchanal in San Diego and the Europa in Tucson, AZ on the way back to Texas. But, the Whisky was a special, magic night of music.
Grant Green – Green Is Beautiful [Reissue/1970] LP (Blue Note)
Grant Green’s musical style evolved to embrace jazz-funk as the decade turned to 1970. The guitarist’s vibrant album Green Is Beautiful is a highlight of the era. With his distinctive tone, he shines on a set that includes covers of James Brown (“Ain’t It Funky Now”), The Beatles (“A Day In The Life”) and Burt Bacharach (“I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”).
Bobby Hutcherson – San Francisco [Reissue/1970] LP (Blue Note)
The musical partnership between vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and tenor saxophonist Harold Land fully blossomed on the 1970 album San Francisco, which found the musicians moving into fusion territory with relentlessly grooving tunes like “Goin’ Down South” and “Ummh” counterbalanced by exploratory pieces like the mesmerizing “Prints Tie”.
Kyuss – Muchas Gracias: The Best Of Kyuss [Reissue/2000] LP (Rhino)
Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss is a compilation album by American stoner rock band Kyuss, released in 2000 through Elektra Records. Although promoted as a “best of” album, it features mostly rare tracks and B-sides and includes only five tracks from the band’s four studio albums. The final four tracks are live recordings from a May 24, 1994 performance in Hamburg, previously released as the Live At Marquee Club EP which was included with the first 3,000 copies of the band’s 1994 album Welcome To Sky Valley released in Germany and Australia; the tracks were also included on various editions of the “Demon Cleaner” single that same year.
Rise Against – Nowhere Generation II 10” (Loma Vista)
Two decades into delivering social commentary via their blistering brand of punk rock, Rise Against’s latest, Nowhere Generation II, may be their most poignant, as it sums up the struggles, injustices, and collective action of a generation. The new single, “Last Man Standing”, is smooth in its most sensitive moments and roaring like a tempest at its peak. Brimming with punk rock spirit, it begs that we answer who and what is left if we continue on our current path.
The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones In Mono 16xLP (Abkco)
The Rolling Stones In Mono (Limited Color Edition) features the entirety of the band’s 1960s studio output, each pressed on a different color. 14 original mono albums are included in this set, including UK and US versions of “Out Of Our Heads” and “Aftermath”. Also included is the special collection Stray Cats, a double-LP set incorporating every 1960s Rolling Stones track that isn’t on the other 14 albums. This limited-edition numbered box set includes a 48-page booklet with an essay by David Fricke.