While the stream of new vinyl continues to find space in the better record stores, a lot of stuff, both mainstream and underground, is once again easy to find (though I seem to have missed the boat on the last Dead Weather album at my local shop). However, there is also quite a bit of very nice vinyl that may not find its way to every shop.
After their RSD release of the Hot Water Music Live in Chicago #1
7”, No Idea Records
recently released Live in Chicago #2,
a second limited edition (1000 copies) set of incendiary punk rock, once again with die-cut sleeves and this time on red vinyl. It’s sold out, but this should be a wake-up to anyone unfamiliar with No Idea’s great vinyl to start checking their site (sticking with the Chicago leitmotif) early and often, because Live in Chicago #3
just dropped! It’s the same deal, only yellow vinyl! Don’t miss out, because #1 is already going for about $60 on eBay and #2 is starting to get up around $20.
The still young Tiny Engines
label has a pair of 12 inches out (their first full-lengths). Everyone Everywhere’s self-titled album is emo’s answer to it’s commercialized false face. Walls of guitar noise mix with jangle and hooks and the whole thing never gets mired in the tears with which the genre has become associated. This one is limited to 500 and, while only 150 of them are white, the maroon sure looks nice even if its not quite as rare. Castevet’s The Echo and the Light
is a broad soundscape that, rather than narrowing the music into songs, abstracts it into more pure art. It twists and turns, bringing the contents of the band’s deep musical pockets to bear in a variety of ways. This one, also limited to 500, comes on 180 gram black (200) or regular weight white (300). Both albums come with free downloads. Awesome!Ripple Music
is a young label (their first release came in June of this year) that has already made a name for themselves by foisting little known acts with big sounds from both past and present onto the world. Their first few forays into the vinyl world have shown that they know an awful lot about putting together a great package already. Proto-metal missing link, the JPT Scare Band’s Acid Blues Is the White Man’s Burden
, a double LP of loud, psychedelic blues rock, comes on green and yellow vinyl. Trust me, pictures don’t do this one justice. The wax is translucent and the effect is right out of the psychedelic era that spawned the band. Continuing in their walk through the early days of heavy metal, they also re-issued cult-band Poobah’s Let Me In
as a double LP with a slew of bonus tracks. It’s a spaced-out trip through Sabbath and the Guess Who that has, until now, reached far too few ears. The black and white gatefold cover might look a little plain at first glance, but it works amazingly well when combined with black and white splatter vinyl! Both JPT and Poobah come with free downloads to boot.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a 7” split between Stone Axe and Mighty High materialized in Ripple Music’s rapidly expanding catalog. Stone Axe leans a little more toward straightforward metal on their side while Mighty High takes their high-energy stoner attack to new heights on the flip. The Mighty High side features the artwork of Wayne Braino Bjerke (who channels R. Crumb like no one else) that the band’s fans have come to expect on their releases...and it all comes on black vinyl. Speaking of Stone Axe, Ripple Music will be re-issuing their now classic first album on vinyl for the first time in September. Also coming up from Ripple is another split, this time the psychedelic power-pop of Australia’s Grand Atlantic and L.A.’s Sky Parade. Great cover art and orange vinyl make this another one worth picking up.
have a fantastic EP on No Sleep Records
entitled The Plains
which features two throwbacks to the mid-80s underground (à la Change Today
?-era T.S.O.L.) that still manage to move forward and avoid nostalgia. The 7”, limited to 1000 copies split between green, white and black, comes packaged in a tri-fold letter press cover that has the appearance of an old leather-bound book. As always, the free download doesn’t hurt the cause either. This is a really cool record from the perspective of both the tunes and the artwork, so don’t miss out.Montagna and the Mouth to Mouth
self-released their Ultrapolyamorous 7
”. The EP from this seven-piece combines walls of shoegazing noise with a definite sense of being grounded that makes it stand out from other post-rock experiments. The colored vinyl comes in a hand-numbered numbered edition of 300 and might just be my favorite EP of the year thus far.
Banquets’ This Is Our Concern Dude
debut 7”, released on Black Numbers
, is as full of great melodic punk rock as it is of silly, tongue-in-cheek references that range from modern kitsch (“I Wish I Was a Little More Lou Diamond Phillips”) to historic nonsense (“What a Bunch of Aaron Burrs”). Whether current or classic, the hooks hold true. This pressing is limited to 500 and you can pick between red (100), white (150) or blue (250).Friction Records
released Bars of Gold’s nearly eponymous Of Gold
album. It’s one of those interesting album that subtly steps out of its genre in almost imperceptible ways. Did that just sound like Deep Purple? Well, no. Not really. And yet it did. The album is full of those kind of surprises and that makes it pretty amazing! Only 500 (250 translucent orange/250 translucent green) of these were pressed, so be sure to get yours soon!
Damage Pants’ self-titled LP came out on 140 gram black vinyl courtesy of Bombay Cove Records
. The duo tackles some of the more off-kilter heavy music you’ll hear with no small dose of crazy. This one is as dissonant as it is engaging. Best of all, it’s NOT available on CD, but does come with a free download!These Are Not Records
recently dropped Modey Lemon’s Wandering Eye
7”. It features two tracks of dark, trippy garage riffs over hypnotic grooves. It’ill burn itself into your brain before you have a chance to even know it’s happening and comes on 70 gram black vinyl in a numbered edition of 475.
Vinyl is thriving and these are just a few examples you might have missed. Be sure to support these bands and labels as they’re all doing really cool things on the best of all formats!